"Mr Aloysius Crancey
23B Montmorency Terrace
Mj Patrick Bromley
Dear Mr Clancey,
I thank you for your recent letter, though I find it confusing and, in many ways, dispiriting. You ask my advice on certain matters, and in so doing you show that you will never understand them. I shall, however, attempt to explain my position. If you cannot yourself make use of it, and your manifest self-doubt suggests you cannot, you might be able to pass it on to others.
One does not seek evil, Mr Clancey, one is Evil. (Evil with upper-case E is noun, not adjective. I hope you understand the difference. I précis my leaflets here.) Ideas of the devil are a distraction. Those who pretend to worship a personification of Evil will never become Evil, though they might become evil. To seek it outside yourself is to waste yourself. It is to doubt your ability and your courage. Evil is in all of us. It only exists within us. It can only be found within us. To become Evil is to discover what is within oneself. It is very important to understand this. You Are Evil. But you reject yourself. You refuse to be Evil. I repeat, You Reject Yourself. Do not personify, do not compare yourself with others. That is the way of the worldly and the weak. It can never lead to satisfaction.
As to what Evil is, that can be called a theoretical matter, susceptible of being studied and learnt. In the end, however, it must be understood within us. It is not enough to internalize a series of definitions. They must cause the Evil within you to resonate and desire to express itself.
Dispense again with the idea of Evil as the opposite of good. Good is an invention of man to justify his cowardice. Nothing more. It is then turned into some form of force, or being. Again this ridiculous urge to personify. It is a typically stupid failing of common humanity. They could all rise above it of they wished, but they do not. Given the chance to be Men, they choose to be animals. There is no hope for most of them, they have determined the course of there life, and they prefer it to be empty of all purpose.
Dispense also with the idea that Evil is selfishness. Dispense, rather, with the term, and the importance that is given to it. The Evil consider self, certainly, but because to do otherwise is simply to cringe in fear of oneself, one’s weakness, and one’s mortality. (Mortality, incidentally, is an essential part of our humanity. We should celebrate ours and, especially, that of those who fear it. It is doubtful whether we could be Evil were we not mortal. This is a point on which I have not reached a definite conclusion, and which is, of course, irrelevant to us, but I rather think not.)
Evil, then, is nothing more than the use of our will, our courage, and our character to the highest possible extent, free of the limits man imposes on himself, free of fear and weakness, free of the inventions of irrational cowards, designed to serve those weaknesses, free of the customs they let themselves become used to and accept as absolute laws. The greatest exponents of Evil, those who have come closest to complete understanding of themselves, rarely commit acts at all. When you exist almost entirely as pure Evil, there is no need to express Evil externally. Such people, I am not yet of that number, do not share themselves even to the extent of doing Evil to others. They have no such need.
You further ask why Evil should be considered the purpose of our existence. Here you show more promise, in that one who asks the question is on the way to understanding the answer. Existence is suffering. The possession of a body and a mind, of senses and emotions, means that most things will be unpleasant. Most people do not know how to limit suffering, but can only complain and hope it will not become unbearable, as they fear death so much. If there is so much suffering in the world it is necessary that there be those who inflict it, and to make the conscious choice to cause suffering of all kinds, to reduce as far as possible the pleasure someone can take from life, is to control suffering, including one’s own. To despise the suffering of others is to give value to one’s own life. To cause suffering enhances that value and the understanding of that value, and reduces the suffering we experience ourselves. It is the only way to give ourselves purpose. Real purpose, that is.
I say reduce the pleasure others take from existence as far as possible, because there is a limit. We do not want them to value death more than life, for then they would cease to suffer, unless, once that state is reached, we can deprive them of death, while perpetuating in them the desire to die. This requires great skill, and, except on occasions, in individual cases, is usually best not attempted. And so, I repeat, there is a limit to the practice of Evil. To the attainment of Evil within ourselves, however, there is no limit. This is why the greatest of us refrain from action altogether..."