Exploring the Dark Side


I’m looking for people who want to go farther spiritually than just explore the light side.

Too many are afraid of the dark side. It’s real, and we need to learn how to deal with it effectively. Most modern spiritual writers completely ignore it.

Wait. I’ll take that back. Most writers relegate it to confines so tight that it leaves the darkness of exploitation, abuse, and violence all kinds of room to do whatever the fuck. The darkness of exploitation and violence has covered the earth for millennia and met little resistance, except for that of other violent exploiters, even now.

Being the change we wish to see in the world is the first step, but just the first. Who wants to explore the second with me? Paul the apostle called it overcoming evil with good.

Most people today, pushed far enough, still believe that evil can only be stopped in kind: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, fire for fire, bomb for bomb. In fact, we’ve become preemptive: bomb for threat of bomb.


Others who know better and are spiritually inclined believe in the Avalanche of Pillows approach. They think that overcoming evil means doing lots and lots of good things, as if an avalanche of goodness will smother evil like a mountain of soft, fluffy pillows. Three problems:

  1. We have very little evidence for it.
  2. We have plenty of evidence to the contrary. Just look around.
  3. It doesn’t work with psychopaths.

More importantly, the Avalanche of Pillows requires us to do something that we suck at. When I encounter a “solution” that predicates success on weakness instead of strength, I know that something is fishy, especially when it presumes that the problem can’t be eliminated. “Solutions” that allow problems to recur are pretty weak, if they aren’t just bullshit. Notice that subscribers to the Avalanche of Pillows approach also believe that evil can’t be eliminated in this life. Stop evil? Someone else must do that for us. We’ll be fine if we just keep to “doing good.”


The best we’ve managed so far, judged by results, is nonviolent protest. Nonviolent protest is the equivalent of self-controlled, well-intentioned children complaining to abusive parents that they need to stop abusing. That only works if the parents already want to stop, or at least have a conscience to appeal to, or if there are enough adults around to back the children up. Again, it doesn’t work with psychopaths. And it’s time we grew up.

Lack of attention to darkness is precisely what makes most “spirituality” incredible to a lot of people, me included. We can’t say that we have knowledge of GOOD if we haven’t solved the problem of EVIL.

Shining light overcomes darkness, but what do you do if the darkness has scared you into hiding your light? What if you are afraid to speak? What then? How do we recover, and how do we prevent it from happening in the first place? How do we stop darkness and psychopaths from intimidating people? How do we OVERCOME?

If you want answers to THOSE questions, I’d like to hear from you.


About Millard J. Melnyk

Motley past, promising future exploring an open, potent understanding of mutuality, individual dignity and personal power through trust. DEAUTHORITARIANIZE EVERYTHING!
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3 Responses to Exploring the Dark Side

  1. David Brown says:

    Millard….love the article yepper…Ephesians 6:12 is real….sad so many will be deceived…..only way to decipher truth from illusion is through the Blood of Christ……In Christ david

  2. Jacob says:

    Hi! Saw your post on FB and backtracked to your website. 🙂 I like your stuff. I don’t think darkness can be ‘overcome’. Can the night overcome the day? Both exist in harmony, and the amount of darkness is simply based on where we are in the seasons. If we find ourselves frustrated with the darkness, perhaps it’s time to move to a different hemisphere. Are perhaps equatorial living locations similar to learning how to live from the heart?

    • Jacob, glad to meet you, and thanks for the encouragement!

      My definition of “overcoming” is to eliminate the effects of something so soundly that it leaves you confident. It doesn’t imply a particular method. Sometimes violence works, as politically incorrect as it currently is. More often, hugs and smiles work better. When it comes to bad behavior, prevention is worth a lot more than a pound of cure. I don’t really care so much how we define “evil” or “overcome” or even if we believe that evil “exists” or not. I think in pretty broad terms and prefer to accept definitions that are meaningful to the people I’m communicating with. Our terminology isn’t the main thing, nor are our theories. The main thing is what really happens. That’s what I want to get down to, regardless what we say about it. Let’s talk! 🙂

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