- Religion and Philosophy
Do Light And Darkness Actually Correspond to Good And Evil?
Well this is a topic that's never been discussed. Like ever. Okay, it's probably older than the Bible (ugh) but it's still somewhat of a stereotypical association we all have. The reason why you're reading this rant, is my recent re-watch of Beautiful Creatures and re-play of Enclave. Needless to say both of these storylines, settings and characters gave birth to a bunch of thoughts in ye olde space of colourful residence I call my mind.
The main problem with this entire topic, is that since the day we are born, in one way or another, we're constantly told that light is a good thing and that darkness is evil. Well, UV light is bad for you, hence the sun block for it and how many couples prefer getting intimate during the light of day than in the shroud of the night (even though this depends entirely on you and your personality and it's not even a really accurate example, but you get the idea so bear with me)? Stereotypes, in my opinion, are ridiculous but at the same time they're important in their own, specific way. But just like ever rule has its exception, the topic of light = good and dark = bad is a stereotypical rule, that has its of exceptions.
I love authors, artists, musicians and creative people in general, who strive to either break the mould on a stereotype or raise the bar for a certain aspect of a story in their own way, thus going beyond what has already been done. Many stories have tried to break and/or twist the concept of this topic in one way or another and some times they've fallen flat. While twisting a concept is an interesting alternative, breaking a concept down, piece by piece and building it again in your own way, always gives birth to some kind of result, regardless if it's positive or negative in nature.
The most recent example of this concept being broken is Game of Thrones. One of the many things I love about the story is how George R.R. Martin hasn't made his characters "villains" or "evil". One of the most famous quotes from the first book explains it exactly as it is - "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die; there is no middle ground." The literal meaning of this is that you either succeed or you die trying, knowing this we can understand that these characters will do anything for power. The story of Game of Thrones, at its core, is nothing more than a simple struggle for power and who will wield all of it. The common mind (and those controlled by propaganda and religion) will state that doing anything for the sake of power is evil (or that you've been possessed by the spawn of Satan). If doing everything you can to achieve what you desire is considered evil, then what can be considered as good? In my opinion, human morale is a template society tries to insert in our system, though thanks to individuality, we all have our own, individual morality and set of moral values. The characters in Game of Thrones have these individual moral values, despite the honour, pride and traditions of every house. Martin's characters can't be described as "evil", simply as ambitious - they all strive to achieve the same thing and all of them are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve it.
American Horror Story's second season, Asylum, presented a very real and enlightening quote via the character of Sister Jude - "All monsters are human." This explains the situation of The Mad King in Game of Thrones - a man plagued by madness, after achieving power. Aegon's dragons' however weren't mad at all. Animals are born with a strong connection to nature - something we're deprived of. They don't know what good and evil is, they only do what they have to to survive and thus maintain the ever flowing balance of nature. It's no coincidence that the symbols of the houses in Game of Thrones are either animals or weapons. The other beings in our world that don't know what's good and what's evil, are children. Children do whatever they feel is right and what they feel like doing and while animals can't be taught what's good and what's evil, children always are. People take on the role of guardians of their own children, just like animals do and are burdened with the ask of raising their kin. And while every parent disciplines their child in a different manner, they all tend to transfer their beliefs and understandings of the world and how things work onto their children, instead of letting them shape their own understanding and beliefs. Some parents only do this partially, to provide a stable foundation, from which their children can grow and structure their own opinions and views towards the world. This is by far one of the most important phases of development and growth within a person and nowadays, it's thoroughly neglected, like you could just call, oh I don't know, a London handyman to help build your character and personality for a price. That is not how this works, I assure you. Another great quote from Asylum came from Grace - "What you put out into the world comes back to you". This is connected to the fact, that people are responsible for the upbringing and personal development of children and that if they put a "monster" they've made themselves into the world - it will surely haunt them back in one way or another.In my opinion modern society is filled with "monsters" and the so called "lost souls", thanks to irresponsible and self-centered people, who have become parents, for no apparent reason, even though they know that they're not fit for the task.
Yes, I know I strayed from the general line of thought, but you can't deny that all these things are connected. In the end, what a person sees as good and bad, depends on their own perspective, as well as what they see light and darkness as. For instance, some people have allergies to sunlight, which is a good enough reason to like the night and the shadows more than the day and the sunshine. The important thing to remember, is that just like there's light in the darkness and darkness within the light, there can be good in evil and evil lurking within the good.Though I am certain that the entire stereotype with light, darkness, good and evil will undoubtedly continue to live on, especially for people, who can't keep an open mind.