Metaphysics & Psychology

Righteous individuals possessing dark souls. How to see people’s true colors

We tend to categorize people quite readily. Here, one is deemed good, and another bad. We often describe someone as good if they lack bad habits and negative traits. However, this is a rather shallow viewpoint. Would you like an example?

Envision a brave individual who disapproves of adultery, embodies loyalty and dedication, and lives with intent and vigor. This person is athletic, industrious, and leads an extraordinarily healthy life—eschewing meat, tobacco, and alcohol. As a reflective philosopher with a profound grasp of art, they are also financially stable.

Upon introduction, what are your thoughts about this person? Would you admire them? It’s likely many would aspire to align their fate with such a figure. But what if it were revealed that this description pertains to Hitler?

Unfortunately, we often misjudge people. We tend to evaluate them based on what they lack. However, the absence of habits like drinking or smoking does not automatically make someone a virtuous person. In fact, it is frequently the opposite. Survivors of harrowing encounters often report that their aggressor initially appeared positive and friendly, engaging them in intriguing conversation.

Individuals with malevolent natures often cloak themselves in a veneer of decency and exaggerated politeness, yet they can exhibit extreme intolerance in moral matters. Consider the infamous Jack the Ripper, who targeted only women, referred to as “moths,” believing he was purifying London of its “filth.”

Similarly, history records an executioner named Sanson, noted for his devout religiosity and fear of God. He would pray before inflicting torture and treated his victims with extreme politeness and courtesy. For instance, he advised a seasick woman on her way to execution to sit in the middle of the bench to alleviate her discomfort. He executed her later, but not before showing concern for her seasickness.

Remarkably, he even authored a book recounting his encounters with notable individuals. Sanson executed them all, yet he did so with a polite demeanor, even apologizing for the harm inflicted.

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Hence, one should not form judgments about people based on first impressions alone. Everyone possesses a mix of virtues and flaws. When a person who is impeccably polite and adheres to strict moral standards is showcased, it is often this display of exaggerated virtue that should raise suspicion.

Countless individuals may appear devout in church yet behave cruelly towards their own family. How often do employees, kind and helpful at work, turn into oppressors within their homes? Considerable harm is inflicted in the world under the guise of “for your own good.”

The gravest concern is that those with malevolent intentions often fail to recognize the darkness within themselves. Instead, they view themselves as superior, morally justified in controlling fates, crushing spirits, or causing harm, whether it be physical or psychological.

There exists a certain group of dark souls – individuals who contribute neither positively nor negatively to this world. One might wonder why they are labeled as ‘dark’? It is because they embody indifference. The ancient sages deemed indifference the gravest of sins, for it is through the silent approval of the indifferent that evil unfolds in the human realm. Such individuals will ignore a group of teenagers assaulting a weaker peer, bypass a person who has collapsed on the street, and remain passive in the face of injustice. They rationalize that someone else will intervene; after all, it does not concern them, for their home is far removed from the fray.

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One can only evaluate a person based on their actions and the impact they have on the world. What kind of mark do they leave through their interactions? If others are negatively affected by someone, that person is considered harmful, regardless of the image they project.

Indeed, those with truly bright souls, who commit acts of goodness, often possess numerous weaknesses they don’t feel the need to conceal. They live life with an open heart. They may assist others and yet smoke profusely. They might save lives and still relish a drink among friends. They achieve remarkable feats and yet may have their vices. The public, observing only the unattractive exterior, often turns away in disdain.

Is it possible for someone to be good if they lack self-control, if they are driven by impulse? Perhaps! Such individuals are the ones who will stand by you in trying times, who will go to great lengths if calamity strikes, without expecting any thanks.

Hence, it’s crucial to judge people accurately. If someone who claims high moral ground oppresses you, it’s better to distance yourself. What is sometimes mistaken for depth of character is, in reality, not depth but a dark abyss. Observe their actions, heed your instincts. For if a person is fundamentally good and kind, their minor flaws can either be addressed or accepted. However, a dark soul cannot be amended.

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