There seems to be this low-level, constantly running sense of uneasiness about the future that hums below the evidence of the daily news that says the world is more or less the same place it always has been. The question is about whether or not there is truly something extant as absolute evil in the world, and once this is affirmed, then the remaining question is whether or not there is more of it in the world today than there ever has been. For my money, there is no evil in the world if you remove all of the human beings. There is not really much in the way of a passage of time as we mark it, because seasons and geological epochs settle slowly upon the earth in a natural way that isn’t found in our frantic quest to beat the clock and leave our mark before we die.
The amount of evil and good that is in the world at any one time, then, is dependent upon the human beings who are bringing these forces into the world. Depending upon how you view someone’s one ignorance about the destruction their existence causes, you could argue that more evil was being done back in the Rennaissance and Enlightenment, when humanity was always at war with itself, and native peoples were constantly being butchered and enslaved. Or you could argue that most people who did the warring, butchering and enslaving didn’t have fully-formed consciences, and were therefore not bringing absolute evil into the world the way someone would today if they were to go into their neighbor’s house and commit such atrocities. You could also argue that all of the indigenous people who had yet to be colonized were in possession of consciences that were not fully formed, or argue that they were in fact fully formed, but they still propogated more good than the evil wrought by colonists.
You could also make the case that people who are actively caught up in prayer and worship of God, no matter what the religion, and who are not committing acts of terror in the name of their God, are perhaps manifesting more good into the world to offset the evil. So, men and women in monasteries and nunneries offset the evil wrought by the warring colonists. In that case, perhaps the amount of new and pure good that is being brought into the world is decreasing even as the evil is as well. And yet, as more people become less inclined to see any evil in their own actions and see no need to practice an active manifestation of good, they are inadvertently bringing more evil into the world.
There is, of course, no good way to quantitatively measure such things. You can only sniff the air with your spirit and try to put your soul’s finger on the pulse of the times and get a feel for whether more evil is afoot or not. I would argue that sense we are now several generations removed from WWI and WWII and all of the atrocities committed then, we are starting to see young people coming of age who do not have a strong sense of what absolute evil really looks like. They might be able to spot it in a pedophile or a serial killer, but they can blithely listen to a pop song or watch a horror movie or vote for a poltician who denies the holocaust, and think that they are immune to evil because they don’t believe that such a thing exists apart from a few badly warped individuals. This kind of thinking might be able to sustain itself for a few generations, but it can’t possibly last forever.
Those of us who have studied history, though, have become so overworked at finding the next Hitler beneath every would be President, that we have probably overused the analogy to the point where when a person does assume the role of President in the oval office who will be every bit as bad and even worse than Hitler, we won’t be able to recognize him for who he is and stop him before he commits the crimes that he does.
It may not even be very productive to go about sniffing the signs of the times for the canary in the coal mine who will alert us to the moment when we need to fill up the car with our dried goods and bug out. The evil that is lurking about will come and pass if we spend our time cast in prayer, filling the world with more absolute good in order to keep the absolute evil in check. As long as there are enough of us who keep the faith and keep the light of God’s Love burning, then the forces of darkness can’t overcome the world. What’s more, if we who are of the Light do one day happen to find ourselves in the minority, we should see ourselves as being nothing without our faith in Christ to see us through those dark times. For, the Kingdom of Heaven will come when it will, as the Spirit moves when and where it wills, and we are not magicians trying to wizard our way into the Kingdom or wizard the Kingdom forth onto the earth.
So, underneath the hum of unease should be a much deeper and broader flowing stream of faith that is every bit connected to the Spirit, and takes comfort in God and Christ, and strives to remove the pieces of the soul that still house darkness and refill the cracks and splits and breaks with the Light that is so much more abundant. In the end, the evil that is absolute will seem like next to nothing, it will be compressed into a tiny, tight ball of hell for those who would stay in the darkness and they will be like nothing at all to the rest of us who have conquered sin via Christ.