Monday, February 27, 2006

Even though “Day of the Dove” was a third season episode, I begin with it because seeing it recently on DVD prompted this post. I will shortly discuss its story in historical context, but my own recent response to it had more to do with the present. The basic premise of this story is the existence of an alien entity that feeds on the energies of violent emotions---on hatred, vengeance, racial bigotry. But the entity does more than that---it creates the conditions that prompt those emotions by manipulating both matter and mind. In essence, it creates evil, and feeds on the emotions evil produces.

This sense of evil as an alien force that creates a self-perpetuating, self-renewing closed loop of evil energies was suddenly frightening, because it made me wonder if this was the explanation for what was happening around me today. The troubles of this world seem distorted to enormous proportions, overpowering what would seem to be the normal agencies of control.

It is this sense of an uncontrollable force that generates evil, violence, hatred and vengeance, and makes them seem justified and proper, even reasonable and certainly necessary, and even, eventually, normal—that suddenly caused me to wonder if this indeed was the reason: That from somewhere has come an alien power called evil, and it is in control of this time.

Many may identify with this feeling or this perception, from quite different points of view. Some may see simply the extreme polarizations, the political discourse overcome with extremes of anger, contempt and self-righteousness, and the justification of slander, lies and threats visited upon opponents.

Or some may see only the hatred they identify with terrorists, or a particular race and religion. Or some may see mostly the violence perpetrated under false pretenses by the Bush government, and its apparent attempts to create a perpetual warfare authoritarian state, while sacrificing the earth’s future by ignoring the true clear and present dangers to its most vulnerable citizens as well as to the planet’s ability to sustain life as we know it. Or they may see both terrorists and “insurgents,” locked in the same cycle with “warmongers” and war profiteers in the ruling class of the U.S.

In fact, they may agree on only the feeling---that evil is out there, and has us in its grip.

I’m not saying I believe this, just that this episode made me wonder for a moment if evil was a force from outside, affecting everyone and everything. And so I intend to explore where that feeling leads by examining this episode.

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