Tag Archives: balance

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #94

“I’d like to have friend #1334-02-28 if it pleases.”  He enters the numbers and motions me to head for the cages where the guards wait for further orders.  He walks to another hut and two handlers walk to the cages behind me.  I am let in to my space and soon the ‘transfers’ are done.  I move into Swala’s cage; Tieka is moved to Zel’s cage.

End blog post #93
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Begin blog post #94

What just happened here are the kinds of things that get you both loved and hated.  When people who have no power see others in similar circumstances apparently without real effort wielding external power, there is jealousy.  When such power brokerage benefits some, they will love you until you fail.  They never expect you to fail.  When you do they turn against you. 

So here’s my thought on the matter.  Methinks heroes should always die young, just after they have accomplished the one thing, whatever it was they set out to do and they should only set out to do one thing.  Then everybody is happy and there are, hopefully, no more expectations – unless they believe their hero is some sort of avatar.  Then the hero’s reputation will both rise and plummet as followers and detractors face off.  It’s foolish, it’s wasteful, it’s so human. 

The women in the cages will love me more than ever, that cannot be helped.  Friends of the overseer will hate me with a passion.  That cannot be helped either.  In the end I will fail those who love me and give satisfaction to those who hate me.  I will die a violent death.  The ones will feel abandoned, the others vindicated.  So I have learned.  So it must be.  Unless I am wrong about this, as wrong as I’ve been about so many other things since I came here.  I wouldn’t mind being wrong in this case!

I turn to Swala.  She seems happy to be with me, but I must ask.  “You want me with you, Swala?”

“I be happy with you, yes Anti.  Always, I like you.  Copy fighting and training ways.  Listen to Teaching.  You tell stories from stars, I always listen.  I believe all from you.  Trust, I do.  I be friend with you.”

There is a quiet, sensible kind of gentler energy to be with an older woman.  Older by our standards.  Swala is twenty years old and has already survived many fights in the arena, few of them fair.  Strong, muscular, heavier than most fighters, she is a favourite for the gamblers and for that has paid a heavy price already.  She carries many scars and ugly welts on her back – result of some ‘unofficial’ flogging probably received in some drunken sex orgy.  Doesn’t matter.  I move against her and we begin to doze off together, nothing left to say that isn’t better left unsaid.  As with Tiegli, this is the closest thing to what the Cydroids would call mind touch. 

You wonder I did not say, “Deirdre”?  Ah but with her the mind touch was always cancelling out by our carnal feelings for one-another, our “need” of each other.  Every time we got close to the knowing it was like poking your finger in a mirror surface of a small pond.  Any reflected image there is broken up.  No, our mind touch, such as it was, could never be pure, no matter how good a thing I thought we had or I wanted to believe we had.  It was always spoiled by the ‘shattering’ energy of hormonal action.

It’s good to just be with a friend during the night.  Especially when your feelings won’t let you decide whether to be happy or sad with your situation.  I enter the Teaching: from sorrow, of which I have plenty here, comes joy, always.  I embrace that joy tonight.  Once embraced it more than suffices.  That’s the thing about joy, you know?  It is self-fulfilling.  If you experience joy in that moment it is impossible to know less or more of it.  It manifests only in completion.  That too is part of the Teaching.

Morning comes, clear, beautiful, clean.  The purple glory of early morning sky has faded, giving way to reveal a deep turquoise blue painted from battlement to roof to battlement across the top of the old keep.  This means no desert storm blowing sand in the sky.  It also means we should enjoy the morning freshness for the rest of the day will bring on oppressive heat.  After our meal we wash and begin our training ritual.  No fights scheduled for today since the fixed one was cancelled.  Our male trainers are less truculent than usual and I wonder if my judge friend has had a meeting with them and laid the law down.  That has happened at times in the past. 

As weapons master, even though the title must remain unofficial, I oversee the distribution of the weapons and how they are handled by each fighter even before they are used.  I insist on the ritual of awareness to be practiced by every trainee.  It took me years to have the male trainers and handlers turn a deaf ear to my exhortations to the women; to ignore the silence rule in this instance.  They are not so stupid they can’t see the results of my teaching on weapons handling.

Thus I address the women each time I am the unofficial overseer (nor do I address them in their pidgin but in proper language):

“Every weapon you hold becomes your friend and it seeks to accomplish three basic tasks: to protect and defend you and to defeat your enemy.  That is the energy it carries; the purpose for which it is made.  It knows this.  That is no different than how a fighter is bred and becomes a member of the female ‘fighter elite’ that you are.  As your bodies are bred for a specific purpose which allows you to fight men who are stronger and heavier than you and to defeat them time and again, so your weapons are ‘bred’ to defend and to attack.  You have no other purpose, neither have they.  So know your weapon well before every fight.  Handle it with pride and use it only with the best of skill you possess.  Never get sloppy with a weapon for if it loses respect for your grip, stance, methods, it will fail you.  It will not let you down if you do not let it down.  This is a great teaching that goes beyond weapons to everything in the land and the sky.  It is the teaching on balance of energies. 

You know of scales?”  They nod affirmatively.  “Good, when you see scales tip one way, you have two choices: either you step on the heavy side and cause the tipping to complete swiftly, or you jump on the lighter side and cause the balance to be restored.  The master must know beforehand which step to take then take it without hesitation.  This you must understand as fighters: whether to join the heavier force and cause it to fall, or oppose it and cause it to hold.”

This too I consider part of the Teaching.  Making the women aware that everything possesses its own spirit; its own force through awareness of purpose and surroundings.  That inanimate “objects” so-called have energy.  That energy fields, or forces, contain sentience causing them to hold together.  When we enter these forces or manipulate them we join with them and become a part of them.  This is life.

“As with human partners, if you have a special and precious weapon, say a sword that you treasure and with which you have won many battles, you do not, at the end of the fight, throw it in a pile with other weapons of various kinds to be handled or even taken by anyone.  I could tell you stories of very ancient times when knights (they were a special class of fighter) kept their swords in scabbards that were worth more than the sword itself, in terms of money.  They inlaid precious stones in the scabbards, the holding belts and even in the hilts of their blades.  It was their way of telling their sword friend how much they appreciated them.  And know this, that if the knight was ever in dire straights and became poor, he may sell his horse, his armour, the very scabbard and belt that held the sword, but he would never sell the sword.  If he could not carry it openly, he would find a place for it, wrap it carefully in oiled rags and hide it with the hope that in better days, or at great need, he would find it again.  Thus many old swords were found again by new fighters and new tales of heroes born from difficult times.

“Now hold your weapons high and salute life.  Salute victory.  Salute the goddess who slowly awakens to you as you awaken to her.  Our days are coming, as surely as the seasons change.  Hail to the weapons!”

Each time we go through this ritual the women barely restrain themselves from cheering.  These are the moments that inexorably change the face of Malefactus. 

End blog post #94

Growing Increasingly Dissatisfied

      [thoughts from    ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

Of late I have tried to be more open, more honest, nor only with those around me, but particularly with myself.  Less hiding of unpleasant awareness (I dare not call it facts), however annoying that might be.  It remains true, of course, that I am profoundly dissatisfied with life as I find it, or as it has found me and insisted on being my constant companion.  Whatever some people may say, and people do say many things, most of which are more the effluent of emotions than truly thought out philosophy, life on earth is not beautiful.  It isn’t wonderful.  It isn’t pretty or sweet smelling or amazing.  It certainly is not safe, nor is it predictable.  It’s neither caring nor loving.  I’d go so far as to say that earth life “is” and that’s about it.

I observe. That’s the first problem.  I think about what I observe: problem number two.  My mind’s the mind of a fixer and that is definitely problem number three.  All of my adult life has been one of observation, analysis, reaching conclusions about this world’s mega problems (obvious to those who observe and who go so far as trying to understand what they are observing) and going about finding solutions to those problems.  In this process I’ve done a lot of crazy things, not all of them “wise” in retrospect, but the consolation is that at least I was trying to do something positive.  However tempted, I never blew up anything, or shot anybody, and yes, in small ways I have to admit to myself that once in a while I did make someone’s life better with my meddling.

That being said, I repeat, I’m increasingly dissatisfied with it all.  This world, ladies and gentlemen (and anyone else in between, or crosswise) is a mess.  It’s the kind of mess that spreads, like a disease, which it really it.  It is the kind of mess that hurts people, many of those in extremely serious ways.  It is the kind of mess that steals people’s right to a decent life, and often takes their very life.

I could look at that as so many do and think, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  How about this great Americanism: shit happens.  Life explained in two words that need no translation or explanation.  Once that wonderful two-word philosophy has been expressed, the next logical step is, “Don’t worry, be happy.”  Sure, be happy.  Why not, if nothing can be done about the state of the world?

Here’s a wonderful quote:

Imagine if suffering were real.
Imagine if those old people were afraid of death.
What if the midget or the girl with one arm
really felt pain?  Imagine how impossible it would be
to live if some people were
alone and afraid all their lives. 
— Jack Gilbert, “Games”

Don’t let the sarcasm pass you by… hold on to it for a few moments of deeper thoughts.  Imagine, for one moment, if all that pain deliberately manufactured on this world… was real.  If children were molested, or slaughtered, mass-murdered in resource wars.  Imagine if women actually didn’t enjoy being sex objects, or being subjected to rape.  Imagine if being a war refugee wasn’t as romantic as you thought it would be.  Imagine if having your home bombed, or burned down, actually was a problem.  Imagine if having nothing to eat, and no water to drink was more than just a bit of an inconvenience.

Jack Gilbert says, “Imagine how impossible it would be to live” … and I paraphrase: if we had to endure what all these other people are enduring.  Let me add this: imagine further how even more impossible it would be if we realized we were the cause of this suffering?

Being an empath on this world is a terrible curse.  Imagine having to feel what other people feel, and not having the choice of feelings, whether they are experiencing torture, or the pleasure of an orgasm.  That is the lowest form of hell, so when some spirit agent or angel or divine presence offers you this gift, let me warn you: think long and hard before you say, “yes.”

I’m now going to take you to a different world; a world inhabited only by empaths.  It is not a very crowded world because these people need their space and they know how to keep it.  Nevertheless we’re speaking here of several millions scattered over a world maybe half the size of earth. These empaths are also telepathic and their lifestyles are ‘in tune’ with their natural environment so they need very little technology to live the kind of lives any of us would envy.

I asked one of the residents from that world what happens there when there is violence; when someone is killed in a fight, for example.  How does the justice system function?  There was a long moment of silence, then the woman I was speaking to answered.

“Your question has no legitimacy on our world.  May as well ask, what do you do when blue turns red?  There is no violence on our world.  We have no crime.  There are no predators.  Nothing is ever taken for all is freely offered.  We have no government for we have no such need.  We have no religion, nor money for the same reason.  No one is ever forced to do anything against their will; no one ever imposes any belief system upon another though all are free to believe whatever they desire; whatever helps them develop their personal awareness of life.”

I insisted on pushing the point further.  “What would happen, say, if a child died in an accident, perhaps a drowning, or from choking and no one was there to help?”

“Apart from the fact that such a scenario could never happen because we are empaths and telepaths from the time we are born, I can tell you what would happen.  The entire world – millions of individuals, not only of humans, but animals, birds, all sentient life – would come to a shocked stand still.  The enormity of the “crime” would be felt by all and nothing would proceed until the reasons for such a terrible tragedy taking place were understood. 

“Then the entire world would mourn deeply. 

“Then the entire world would come together to develop some way to prevent such a terrible thing from happening ever again. 

“But remember, this is taking me back many millennia, to the beginnings of our empathetic and telepathic civilization, a civilization that gives equality to all sentient life and that respects and honours all of life.

“As embodied entities we are not free of needs.  We do consume plants; we drink the water and we breathe the air.  We have various types of shelters for those seasons when it is necessary to allow the weather to get colder, or wetter so as to balance and replenish the environment.  None of that, however, is done without awareness of the energy flow between all of us, by which I mean sentients, plus the air, water, plants and soil.  We are “us” – nothing is excluded from our awareness.  A mountain; a flower, exists in my thoughts with the same intensity or “value” as my own child.”

That conversation took place a long time ago.  In the intervening years I’ve compared the performance of Earthians (who claim to be human) with what the Altarians (Yes, the world I was writing about is called Altaria) have managed to accomplish through a reasonable observation of what works, and what can never work, rejecting what they observed had never worked and would never work.  They didn’t change their environment, they changed themselves.  They rejected the selfish nature by developing two hidden senses that all pseudo-humans possess: empathy and telepathy.

Earthians’ great failing (they have many!) is their obdurate choice of solutions to societal problems that can only make those problems worse.  Tied in to this failing is to insist on regurgitating “solutions” that have been tried countless times, and failed abysmally in equal measure and equal number of times.  That is not a sign of intelligence, quite the opposite.

Speaking of telepathy, man’s technology is in the process of forcing this upon the population of earth.  It won’t be a gentle, open, joyful sharing of a people’s deepest thoughts, hopes and longings though.  It will be an extraction of information.  The information, by itself is pointless and meaningless, but that’s not the point of the surveillance police state.  The point is to rape the mind.  Do “they” give a damn whether you prefer to poison yourself at McDonalds rather than Burger King?  That you support “the Broncos” rather than “The Colts” or whether you’re homosexual rather than hetero?  That you pray to Allah and not Jehovah?  No, of course not, but they will make you think that because it creates fear and anger.  Fear and anger lead to endless anti-life aberrations; to violence, pain and death.  Why would the Status Quo want that?  Because that is how it manufactures power over life.

Yes, I long for my “transition” from earth to Altaria.  I’ve been working diligently to qualify as a novice and trainee in compassion, empathy and telepathy on my chosen next world for many years now.  I regret none of the time spent developing a mind that can understand and live on such a world.

The downside has been a gradual “separation” from the accepted, and acceptable; for my part, a pain-filled growing awareness of all the horrible crimes committed daily, mostly unawares, by people without feelings for those (human, animal, etc) they use, abuse and whose lives they destroy without any qualm, guilt or even a passing thought. 

“Pass me those wings, will ya?” 

“Git ‘er Dead” A sticker on the back of a  pickup canopy advertising a type of bullet accompanied by the picture of a dead buck lying on the ground. 

Cheering when more “boots on the ground” are sent by the President to some country the cheerers couldn’t find on a map. 

By what right?  By all those “rights” that are destroying this civilization day in, day out and none the wiser.

I’ll tell you this: there is but one weapon of mass destruction on this world: it’s its pretend humanity; every single one a weapon aimed at every other and the world they exist on without ever bothering to develop a life purpose.  Aye, there’s the rub: no real purpose but to exist and die.

And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is my “close.” You may retire for your verdict but regardless of what you decide, I already know what will be the outcome.

Balance and Harmony

 [observations from   ~burning woman~   ]

Quotes:  “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” —                Harlan Ellison

“To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.” ― Victor Hugo

Quotes are good to attract attention to an idea but beyond that they really mean nothing, having necessarily been taken out of context, and what matters is the context, not the quote. 

Having said that, and following my two quotes (and you can go ahead and say, or think, they are meaningless) I wish to say this:  in a lifetime of observation of how Earthian society goes about furthering and plundering itself, I notice that all of it is based on misinformation, disinformation, belief systems based on faith or theories, none of which can be proven as being fact.  One thing I found to be true of Earthian society: nothing about it is true.   

The motions of society are like a dull over-salted sea putrid with dead and dying growth, growth that exists only to further more growth without any desire to change or better itself.  The sluggish waves pile up more flotsam and jetsam upon the shores of the world’s “great” centers of civilization, burying them under thickening mantles of propaganda and lies, the stench of corruption rising like a festering, disease-filled steam over the earth, gradually rising up the sides of remaining mountains, and covering the poles, their pristine snows and glaciers melting and crumbling, their fetid waters flowing inexorably to be absorbed by the dying sea. 

Let me then give some context to the first quote:  you are not entitled to your opinion.  You are entitled to an informed opinion, if you must have one.  No one is entitled to be ignorant.  Sadly, that is obviously not how Earthians reason.  In fact, following the recent spate of election rhetoric down south it’s obvious that ignorance is held in very high regard; a necessary factor in claiming the highest seat of power in the land. 

How did Earthian society become so devastatingly ignorant that it is able and quite willing to destroy itself by destroying its living ecosystem and maybe its home world for no valid reason?  Well, it’s called entitlement.  That doesn’t apply only to the rich, but to every sector of society.  The rich, predictably, never have enough because the more they have of their own manufactured and artificial “richness” – the more they realize how ephemeral and baseless their accumulated false wealth is.  What they chased is now chasing them and they have to get more in order to stave off the inevitable: that unavoidable collapse each generation of entitled elite hopes will not catch up to them. 

And the poor, what about the poor?  Their excuse for contributing to the demise of the planet is economic survival by having lots and lots of “kids” for support in their old age.  They need income, so killing the last elephant, or lion, or taking the last tree, the last ‘whatever,’ or serving the chemical monsters of the age by using deadly chemicals on crops for growth and protection from insect infestations is all legitimate.  After all, aren’t we all entitled to the good life, however we may find it?  If not the good life, at the very least some type of survival.  Does the long term cost matter?  Not when the immediate is so immediate.  Not when food has to be put on the table today… Not when money is needed to satisfy some addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

Rich or poor, it’s all the same.  No one but the rare few understands the need to take responsibility for the whole, and of those who actually do, all is lost when they turn their heads to the past, or the existing structure and think to tinker with it and make it change course a half-degree here, a quarter-degree there in the hope that the ship of state will avoid the string of deadly breakers they can hear in the dark; breakers that will rend and crush the hull of the ship and send it to the abyss.  But the problem is, the structures of the past have so rusted that the tiller does not respond any longer, and the ship will not be turned.  Nor is there enough power left in the engines to slow it down: entropy has set in.  Stand and watch… Listen to the billions of passengers in the hold begging for a bowl of soup, the millions in the lounges drinking and laughing, and the million more  curious with their cell phones on the upper decks clicking in the darkness for a sharper image of a deadly breaker to send to “friends” in the lower decks. “Hey look, that’s what a live mushroom cloud looks like!”

The second quote by Victor Hugo: to put everything in balance is good; to put everything in harmony is better.  That’s a good thought.  You see, with tremendous effort and much sacrifice, using a planet-friendly technology some kind of balance could possibly be gained.  Personally I do not believe man still has that option but if one believes in miracles… OK, we get rid of “polluting” fuels and replace them with wind/solar/geothermal energy.  Great costs, great upsets, great and sore trials, running and running before the flood.  We achieve a shaky temporary balance and we keep up the pressure for change and we hold back the tide.  Balance.  Good. 

We have balance, but do we have harmony?  We’ve replaced a kind of polluting energy with a less polluting one and the cities still function, though millions have died by now, deprived of cheaper, more accessible fuels.  What we haven’t done is bring in harmony.  We haven’t eliminated over population.  Nor racism.  Nor misogyny.  Nor economic disparity.  Nor poverty.  Nor slavery.  Nor the strangleholds of Religion, the State or Money.  The old gods still rule.  The wars are still going on and the “great economies” are still based on oppression and killing.  We haven’t achieved harmony and therefore our balancing act is essentially a wasted effort.  We delayed the inevitable downfall of society and the death of billions by a few decades, perhaps a couple of centuries but we haven’t solved any of man’s innate problems. 

What did we miss?

 

Quest for Balance – an essay

Possibly the hardest “lesson” I’ve had to learn, and continue to learn, is the understanding (wisdom?) of balance in life.  Each day seems to bring out this fact: everything is on a quest for some sort of balance. 

 I asked my teachers why finding the balance between extremes was so much a part of my life.  They reminded me that even if I give little credibility to astrology, I chose to be born in the house of Libra.  And I chose the path of transgendering in my search for healing.  Well, what can I say? 
 
Where to start?  I know I’ve touched on the subjects of chaos and order before, but from a position of choice between one or the other, never from an empowered perspective that recognizes the necessity of both and how they can be “spun” together to make a working whole.
 
Perhaps I need to re-iterate my lessons on Earthian humanity.  E-humans are, by nature, beings filled with chaos.  They find little, if any, order in their short and confused lives.  The reason for this state is known to me, but the history behind it would fill volumes.  I just accept this statement as true based on historical records and current global and personal experience.  Chaos rules Earth and its humans.
 
How have humans gone about creating or finding order to control their chaos?  Through belief “systems”.  Through organized collectives of various kinds.  By belonging to groups.  By making laws.  Order, they reasoned, would come from imposition upon the chaotic.  Religions would bring people together to pray to a common deity and to seek forgiveness for their chaotic behaviour.  It wouldn’t necessarily change them inside, but they could see a semblance of order in their outward behaviour towards those they associate with.  Their laws would force them into some reluctant cooperation.  Families would provide security and support.  Nations would provide some unity of force for aggression, defense or favorable trade in resources.  Heroes and popular types would provide a basis for pride; for a sense of superiority over other groups.  (Not surprisingly they were the first rulers and originators of bureaucratic institutions.)
 
On the surface, organizations do provide order in the chaos of undisciplined individual behavior.  However, points out one of my teachers, each collective is but a Pandora’s box full of chaos, controlled and confined negative energy which the owners of the “box” are often tempted to let loose.  The anarchy of war: a prime example. 
 
There are other problems with collectives as holding chaos with enforced order.  Analogy: a cardboard box full of apples.  Each apple contains some rot in it – chaos.  They cannot be removed from the box or the box would become empty and useless (powerless).  So there they remain, and the rot must, of necessity, increase.  The resultant mush softens and destroys the walls of the cardboard box, the ordered holding, and it oozes out.  When two such piles of mush touch each other, you often end up with flare ups of civil or religious wars (the worst examples of the evil of war). 
 
Another example of chaos being leashed but not controlled is in today’s mega corporations and government bureaucracies – huge collective entities that consume human life-energy while putting on a front of serving, pleasing, giving.  Education, health, social welfare, food, clothing, housing, transportation — all of it serving the elites who own the boxes… 
 
Well, I’ve said these things before.  But what about balance, then?
 
What is balance?  It is not helpless acceptance of evil, quite the opposite.  But the balanced individual approaches the problem from a totally different perspective than the one who relies on institutions for empowerment.  Institutional empowerment will always pit forces of chaos against forces of order (for example in times of revolutionary social change) or order against chaos (as during great reactionary movements, such as the First World has seen in the last 50 years: the retrenchment of the old forces of Plutocracy and Meritocracy leading to the hoped-for establishment of some nebulous but definitely fascist “New World Order.”
 
Personal empowerment dissolves the collective hold within itself.  It does not eradicate it and it does not seek to replace it with “light” or replace its known evils with good.  For that, refer to the above.  Doesn’t work.  What it does is learn through various steps of surrender how to allow in equal measures of opposing forces, building itself with both. 
 
It applies what it learns through trial and error, reasoning out the results of these efforts, using logic, common sense and intuition together.  Sensing what makes “sense” by using more than the usual physical senses, then trying out this awareness in the “real” world on a daily basis.  Personal empowerment is the power to capture chaos within one’s order field, thus providing one’s energy field an immunity of sorts.  As external chaotic forces push their way in they are snared and masterfully “twined” within one’s total energy field.  Neither fire nor ice can now destroy that field. 
 
Personally, this has been a slow and grinding business that continues unabated and will continue.  I see no reason for it to end, though the processes of “allowance” will change with each dimensional leap, of course. 
 
So, my physical/mental make-up is a personal world of chaos.  But the “Force” or Spirit that feeds this necessary chaotic mess is pure order.  This offers me a whole new world to exist in: a world of balance.  That is the world I must create, moment by moment.  That is the world my dreams have time and again, demonstrated as logical and harmonious.  That is the world all systems, particularly belief systems, fear above all things and have vowed to prevent on this world.
 
The “master” of energy, be it a mage, wizard, witch, druid, shaman – necessarily a living being, thus necessarily made up of chaos and order – achieves a balance of light and darkness; of living and dying, of good and evil.  No, you will not find this being exercising evil against other life to prove its mastery of it.  The beauty of balance is, one can order chaos to one’s will and vice-versa.  The trick (well, OK, it’s much more than a trick) is to “twist” or “spin” one within the other, to strengthen one by linking it purposefully and carefully with the other.  Such a successful twisting becomes a successful life.  It makes me think of DNA when I envision this.  Or the fusing of dissimilar metals to achieve strength and flexibility. 
 
Understanding of life on this principle is what is required to move inter-dimensionally.  This is the place where no negative “good” or “evil” is created.  For it must be understood that due to great forces of balance beyond our control (at least beyond mine at the moment) anytime anyone “forces” what is considered “good” somewhere, someone else, something else, will balance this with an equal force of “evil”.  This simply because all life is an endless quest for balance, or so it appears to me at this time.