Wrestling Against Evil Part 1
Junious Ricardo Stanton
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
Humans have long pondered the origin and nature of evil and wrong-doing, trying to fathom the origin of in the world. Various ethnic groups, tribes and cultures have attempted to give reason for the existence of malevolent behavior and actions, they have tried to practically deal with the negative ramifications of evil in society. By evil I am not referring to calamities or misfortunes that befall mankind but rather the behaviors and actions committed by humans against the well being, stability and safety of the community and the environment.
Our ancient African ancestors viewed the world from a spiritual perspective postulating that consciousness; energies/spirits permeated the universe and are interwoven throughout all creation. Evil then had its roots in spirit. Evil itself is not of God or THE CREATOR but exists in the world the result of a mix of spiritual (invisible) and human (visible) causes. “The Yoruba trace the perpetration of evil in a society to two sources: namely, visible and invisible causes. The visible ones are the consequence of human action or inaction. These include murder, violence, oppression, victimization, stealing, and refusal to help those in need. Invisible sources have a spiritual origin…Yoruba religion exonerates God from the blame of evil and misfortune that befall human beings. The problem of evil is attributed to the concept of ori (head) and akunleyan (fate). It is held that whatever one asked for in front of eleda (creator) before one was born becomes one’s ayanmo (lot or destiny) in life. Therefore, whatever happens to one depends on one’s choice of ori when one was making one’s choice (akunleyan)” Encyclopedia of African Religion Molefi Kete Asante and Ama Mazama
Today in our society we are experiencing evil on every level. Immorality, wickedness and corruption have metastasized throughout our world from the local to the national and international levels. In the Black community we see, a rampage of evil: murders, shootings, hit and run, home invasions, robbery theft and a general pall of immorality, incivility and lawlessness. It is as if a large percentage of our people have lost their minds, and we have.
This process was not organic; we did not all of a sudden become irrational, immoral or suffer brain damage. Much of this has been induced; it is what the late great psychologist Dr. Bobby Wright called menticide. Menticide is the deliberate attempt to destroy a people’s mind. The Dictionary of Psychology says this about menticide: “literally mind murder, brainwashing, the systematic attempt to break down one’s beliefs, attitudes and allegiances in favor of the ultimate adoption of those of another.”
This is what is happening to us today, it is evil and it is deliberate! The human perpetrators of this wickedness know what they are doing; they know and anticipate the consequences of their malevolent actions. We have long known the adverse effects of television on the human brain, “While much research has been done on television’s effects on children, adults have often been left out of these data collections. It’s no surprise that the sedentary behavior of binge-watching TV can negatively impact our physical health, but recent studies show it’s also a bad habit for long-term brain health and function. Studies have also found a link between high television consumption and the onset of depression.” Is Binge Watching TV Bad for Your Brain? https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/en/HealthU/2022/08/10/Is-Binge-Watching-TV-Bad-for-Your-Brain
As bad a TV watching is, binging on Social Media and Internet content is even worse. Social media impacts our brains in ways we are totally unaware of but the engineers, designers and programmers know what is happening. “Many people have been aware of the negative effects on mental health caused by social media, but people often neglect to look further into how social media is programmed. Platforms have designed their apps to target a part of the brain many people are unaware of. This part of the brain is known as the ventral striatum. When humans experience a social reward, a rush of dopamine and oxytocin is experienced, or in medical terms, a positive intermittent reinforcement. Receiving the positive feeling of dopamine creates an unconscious habit. By using psychological methods to create an addiction to social media platforms, companies are able to increase interactiveness on apps which benefits them economically. Significant interaction with social media platforms caused a 151% increase in suicide among middle-school-age girls. More effects from social media usage include alienation, election hacking, inability to focus on current issues, and mass chaos due to fake news. Therefore, social media negatively affects people.” How Social Media Companies Consciously Affect Society, Allie Daudelin https://bfamercury.org/6152/opinion/distracted-by-distraction-by-distraction-t-s-elliot-how-social-media-companies-consciously- Underlined emphasis is mine.
This is deliberate on the part of the creators of social media; they know what they are doing. This is unvarnished evil! We will explore this deeper in future articles. Needless to say we need to monitor our media, legacy and digital, consumption and balance it with positive real world engagement and interaction.