and hides it as much as possible!"
This was a surprise for me, but also something that became perfectly understandable. Let me introduce to you the term "Banality of Evil". This word was coined by "Hannah Arendt, who made a study of totalitarianism after the Second World War, which was defined by her after the Eichmann Trial in 1963, described what she saw in this totalitarianism as “The Banality of Evil.” (1)
This has to do with the fact that when people do something very evil their minds and imaginations adapt to make that possible. In other words our imagination understands that our mind dose not want to think about the ill affects, pain, moral wrongness or horror of what we are doing. So it won't go there. It will not bring to mind pictures of the end result of the evil done. Making it more palatable for the person to "sleep" even while they do the evil.
"Arendt wants to emphasize was that “he [Eichmann] merely (…) never realized what he was doing.” (Arendt, 1992 : 287. Arendt’s italics). Namely, he did not connect his activities to their eventual consequences. Arendt qualifies such a lack of imagination, pity and the inability to adopt somebody else’s viewpoint as “a curious, quite authentic inability to think” (Arendt, 1971: 41), as if he perceived reality through a screen. Moreover, when Eichmann considered his activities, he saw them as irreproachable; all the more so since he had carried them out as duties." (2) (Underlining by Cliff)
Notice she mentions "a lack of imagination" on Eichman's part. He justified what he was doing by thinking of himself a just a normal small part of a huge program. A bureaucrat who answered the phone, wrote reports, gave orders, did his paperwork and so on, all this on a daily basis. A good employee working his way up in the system. Even the government had changed the moral law from "thou shalt not kill" to "you may kill". Never did his mind go independant and think of how wrong that was. Nor did his imagination to to the real results of his work and picture the gassing of millions to death. He never saw those death camp pictures going through his mind to show him the horror of what he was actually involved with. He stopped thinking. He stopped imagining.
When I was a kid in public school I had a bully as my nemesis. I had to deal with him from about grade 5 to 8 after which (to my great relief) I went to a different school for grade 9 and up.
For example he and his buddies would go into the barn and throw fireworks under my horse while she was standing in her stall. This of course caused her to freak out, break her halter rope and come charging wild eyed out of the barn.
There were other incidences, even having to do with heavy damage to our two wheeled cart with which this horse daily drew us to school for two and a half miles and back. It was just fortunate there were no injuries.
Even though he tried to stay in the background it became clear he was the organizer. One day, I was doing my chores, milking one of our cows when the barn door opened and in came this bullies father dragging him by the ear into the barn. Somehow his father had learned the truth of his activities and forced him to stand before me, there in the barn and apologize for all the things he'd done.
Now I knew this guy and this actually made me more afraid and concerned. As I suspected this just made him angrier and following this embarrassing episode, he began a new more fervent rampage of organizing his "boys" to really get me in even more creative ways.
It was clear he was not thinking! His imagination was not letting him see the big picture. It was not helping him understand the bad reputation this was giving him in the community. What helped him was he had friends that agreed with him. Being a group, made all this more routine stuff for him. It just became a regular school recess activity. Guys, friends hanging out and invariably thinking and planning new stuff to do to me. In his mind it was all justified, ok and a fun thing to do. Routine.
This is deeply concerning. For once anyone begins to think of doing something immoral or "evil" the imagination lets them down. It just gives us the lie of how good this makes us feel and how "right" or "ok" it is to do it. It just helps us "normalize" the things we do. It will not show us the real end result this is for the victim or for himself.
It's this "Banality of Evil" that kills the imagination and makes evil seem right, ok and normal.
(2) Hannah Arendt's 1963 book "Eichmann in Jerusalem"
and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does what is true comes to the light,
that it may be clearly seen
that his deeds have been wrought in God."
- Jesus Christ