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Mass Evil And You

Mass Evil And You

Evil is born in the gap. The gap isn’t anyone’s private possession. The gap contains collective responses and collective themes. When an entire society accepts the theme of “the outsiders” who cause all the trouble, then evil has everyone for a father and mother.

Yet in every case of mass evil, there were thousands of people who didn’t identify with the collective impulse – they resisted, escaped, hid, and tried to save others. It’s individual choice that determines whether you latch on to the collective theme and agree to play it out.

The second question, “How could innocent people become the victims of atrocities?” is more difficult, because almost everyone’s mind is already closed. The questioner doesn’t want a new answer. There is too much righteous anger, too much certainty that God turned his back, that no one wanted to risk their own lives to stop the enormous evil being done to others.

As long as I am overcome by anguish or righteous anger or horror, my ability to choose has been shut down. What I should be free to choose is purification, a return to innocence made possible by the shock of what happens when innocence isn’t nurtured.

You and I are responsible for our participation in the elements of evil even though we don’t act out those elements on a mass scale. Believing in them keeps our participation going. So it’s our duty to stop believing in “harmless” anger, jealously, and judgment of others.

Is there some mystical reason why an innocent person becomes the target of evil? Of course not. People who talk about the karma of victims as if some hidden fate is bringing down a rain of destruction are speaking from ignorance.

When an entire society engages in mass evil, outer chaos reflects inner turmoil. The shadow has erupted on a mass scale. When this happens, innocent victims are caught in the storm, not because they have some hidden karma but because the storm is so overwhelming that it engulfs everyone.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.


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11:59PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Wow!..That is some great insight and logic...I work for a family owned business..and I often describe it like .."living and working in a constant tsunami", because they are so chaotic and just what you have explained....Thankyou for sharing this with us!

1:07PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Group thinking and getting others to dislike people who don't have the same views is very distructive.

6:21AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thanks for the article.

3:05PM PDT on May 24, 2010


4:40PM PDT on May 20, 2010

thanks for this article

10:27AM PDT on May 19, 2010

this is an incrediblly deep excerpt and must be reflected upon with all one's heart...

it is interesting that janet t. has picked out the example that she has....this just proves Deepak's whole discourse......
she has not understood this article at its depth at all and is totally participating in a way that Deepak is warning against......
also her facts are misguided.....

12:51PM PDT on May 15, 2010

There is great evil going on today of which most Americans are unaware, yet paying for. Israel's occupation of Palestine, and their treatment of Palestinians as less than they, has been tolerated and funded for decades. How Jews survived the Nazi horror only to choose to perpetrate their own on another minority is beyond comprehension. No one is immune from evil.

6:10AM PDT on May 15, 2010

Very good article, thank you

9:42PM PDT on May 13, 2010

..respectfully...thats why I study buddhism..become it in action in my see how it it feels...what it's implications it impacts on other belief systems...bring it into the lite and watch what it itself...Its the only honest credible way i have of finding things out..about myself and others..and may i add...that so far there seems to be nothing punitive about what
ive discovered in my little world re spiritual seems to be the same entity that exists regardless of belief system...and i think it's rather huge...huger than my limited capacity to discover how it operates..and why....once again..respect due...x

5:07PM PDT on May 13, 2010

Thank you so much Deepak! It has been difficult for me to understand why some people believe that "karma" is somehow punishing innocent people, because I have never believed that. It seems that in those cases they might as well be using the word "God" instead of "karma". Just because they call it something else doesn't mean their idea of a punitive spiritual entity exists.

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