Carl Jung said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
For months to come, Americans will make every attempt to fix blame somewhere for the tragedy in Newtown. “What kind of monster would do this?”
Some will blame his mother. His upbringing. His easy access to guns. Huckabee, and others, say it’s because “we’ve thrown God out of our schools.”
That one I can answer. If that caused this tragedy, how would you explain the shooter who two years ago stormed the worship services at First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois, firing his semi-automatic resulting in the death of the pastor and two other parishioners?
As I said in my last post, this kind of explanation…spurious theology sucks. It is un-Christian. And, it is wrong.
But then, I am wrong much of the time, too.
We all are.
Which is why the only way to explain the evil around us is by understanding the potential for evil within all of us.
Shortly before his death, Albert Einstein, in response to the many accolades that had been coming his way for all his accomplishments responded by saying, there is, “a grotesque contradiction between what people consider to be my accomplishments and the reality of who I am and what I am capable of?”
What is he saying?
That to fix praise or blame…or to seek to dismiss ourselves…or our culture…from the evil we see expressed through the horrific violence of Adam Lanza is only minimally instructive. A more enlightening approach would be to examine the darkness in him by examining the potential for darkness within each of us. What he was capable of doing, we are all capable of doing.
“Know thyself,” said Socrates.
The reasons for this tragedy will only ever be known when you and I understand, and so forgive, the tragedy…the sadness…the brokenness…yes, even the potential for evil that is the human condition…that is you and me.
Jesus said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone” (John 8:7). Elsewhere, Jesus said, “Judge not” (Matt. 7:1). Isn’t that essentially the same thing The Buddha was saying, when he counseled, “Stop searching for the truth; just let go of your opinions!”