Malevolence is seated in the mind

June 1st, 2015

Lub-Dub-Lub-Dub-Lub-Dub. His heart beat ferociously, with escalating excitement—he was carrying precious cargo that no one dared to get close to. With his free hand victoriously punching the air, he glided towards his friends. The blasting music propelled him to punctuate his movement with freestyle dancing; it made him feel like a superstar. And he was. The children looked at him in awe, several wanted to be in his good books and were willing to go out of their way to humour him. Acknowledging them with a smug nod, he ran faster unbothered by the swelling beads of sweat that washed his face. His focus was on his friends. How were they going to react?

And they didn’t disappoint; they celebrated him as one would a true hero, receiving him with thunderous hurrahs, high-fives, and tons of flattery!

Grabbing the shiny objects, “How did you manage to get so close?” asked the youngest, salivating.

“I want to be like you, you are my guru,” gushed another.

“How do you always get the best?” demanded the oldest of the group. He was transfixed with the assortment of shiny treasures.


He was not hailed as king for nothing. Taking a swig of beer, stolen from the old man’s shop, he reminded them how he worked diligently rummaging through piles of garbage. “The deeper I go, the luckier I get; the shiny scraps of metal always sink low. He had worked day in and day out, weathering the smog, ignoring the multiplying gashes and infestations on his bare feet, navigating narrow, filthy alleys, potholes, and rowdy cyclists; nothing deterred him. Why, he was even accustomed to the toxic fumes he inhaled as he dug through raw sewage…his appetite to reach the shiny trash unfailingly fired him up.

“Cheers to you!” they commended, momentarily feeling superior too, as they sat close to their hero celebrating him with fervor late into the night.

This is a familiar setting in different world’s—crumbs and scraps to excess food; over-familiarity to distant and aloof; Prada-toting to plastic bag dragging. Under perfect friendly veneer, the “slumming” of the mind takes place with speed—the gossip germ multiplies faster than the spreading of terrifying virus.

“Do you know?” “Guess what I heard?” “Oh! you are not going to believe it!” The mouth moves fervently relishing the trash, “I just got the news, and it is first hand; it happened right next to me; she so deserves it; I saw this coming for him; blah, blah, blah!” And then, the privileged category, “No one scoops better than me, why I even have people delivering it to me, to be in my good books.” One is intoxicated with a feeling of importance and superiority that comes from being closer to the source. In situations where hierarchy in “slumming of the mind” is practiced, one is rewarded with under the table deals, for enabling, flattering and laughing at “the garbage guru’s gossip!”

The temporary elevation of status while unloading the rubble of impoverished minds is extraordinary. The astounding part is the commitment of each player—they painstakingly contribute to maintaining this slum.

In everyday life, families, so-called friends, neighbours, coworkers, and strangers practice slumming with effortless sincerity, switching cloaks—from the guise of an afterthought, or concern, because they believe they can. Engaging with oneself from a nourishing space requires self-love and awareness; creating an internal space for feeling and thinking requires commitment, integrity, and action. This would mean having to address the larger issues that have heaped up in one’s life— passivity and hostility, abandonment and anger, hypocrisy and duplicity, inadequacy and jealousy. Looking within takes effort. How easy is it to soothe the sloth with gossip, to feed the disarray of the mind?

With each trade of gossip and masterful reinterpretation, low culture traders reinforce their lack of character and further punish their disfigured souls.

One can be seated comfortably in many positions in life, but when malevolence is seated in the mind, the frothy demeanor confirms that slummed souls can never traverse the marginalized land of their mind.