Some thoughts that need more work.
What people refuse to say and do is as important as what they say and do, perhaps more important. Most of us notice what people around us prefer to say and do and that is why we can tell that there are clear patterns of behavior made up of their preferred actions. However, it is people’s habits and preferred actions that create and reveal what they prefer to avoid. By talking about and performing certain sets of actions we feel comfortable with, all of the time or most of the time or some of the time, etc., we reveal that which we feel uncomfortable with. Put simply, that with which we are really uncomfortable what is missing from our language or our actions. Of course we are talking about small fragments, small actions, which add up to a larger construct that reveals a fear or an insecurity, etc. But what is even more important is that the actions we choose to perform and which we think we can rationalize could be just the opposite of what we think they are. That is our rationalization can be the opposite of their true subconscious state.
Dr Fromm Says:
“…we know that a person, even if he or she is subjectively sincere, may frequently be driven unconsciously by a motive that is different from the one he or she believes himself or herself to be driven by; that he or she may use one concept which logically implies a certain meaning and which to him or her, unconsciously, means something different from this ‘official’ meaning. Furthermore, we know that he or she may attempt to harmonize certain contradictions in his or her own feeling by an ideological construction or to cover up an idea which he or she represses by a rationalization that expresses its very opposite. The understanding of the operation of unconscious elements has taught us to be skeptical towards words and not take them at face value. The analysis of ideas has mainly to do with two tasks: one is to determine the weight of that a certain idea has in the whole of an ideological system; the second is to determine whether we deal with a rationalization that differs from the real meaning of the thoughts.”
So we could say that: even though we can explain or rationalize our thoughts and actions, often (and especially when we are passionate, upset or disturbed in some other way) our rationalizations are not objective and are not the actual subconscious thoughts, desires or intentions.
Furthermore, and more relevant to what I am about to talk about, he says:
“If we analyze religious or political doctrines with regard to their psychological significance we must differentiate between two problems. We can study the character structure of the individual who creates a new doctrine and try to understand which traits in his personality are responsible for the particular direction of his thinking. The other problem is to study the motives, not of the creator of a doctrine, but of the social group to which this doctrine appeals. The influence of any doctrine or idea depends on the extent to which it appeals to psychic needs in the character structure of those to whom it is addressed. Only if the idea answers powerful psychological needs of certain social groups will it become a potent force in history. Both problems, the psychology of the leader and that of his or her followers, are, of course, closely linked with each other.”
What worries me is that our global actions as expressed through governments, military, police and many other institutions are becoming more and more violent and therefore more and more dangerous because the need to suppress the instinct, in order to claim intellectual and moral superiority over other nations (by any one nation) is becoming more dangerous than the original violent instinct.
I think that no nation has created a true moral and intellectual ground from which to criticize other nations.
Allow me to elaborate.
I will talk about the most extreme example. The nuclear bomb or any weapons of mass destruction.
The very act of building a nuclear bomb in order to ‘exterminate’ hundreds of thousands of people in order to ‘protect’ oneself from being ‘exterminated’ cannot be defined as a sound moral or logical justification and must not be accepted as a sound moral or logical justification.
Why? One could write a book about it but all I will say is nothing can justify killing hundreds of thousands of people. All that happens is that the hero and the villain trade their places. Developing a more ingenious way to exterminate people who want to exterminate you is not a proof of intellectual or moral superiority. In fact, if anything, it proves one’s total lack of empathy. Our perceptions of our levels of empathy worry me because our level of empathy continues to decrease. I believe it continues to decrease because we sit idly and accept that the winner writes the history books. Unfortunately the winners are never interested in honest reflections and truth.
The more we suppress and ignore our subconscious fears, desires and intentions and so on the more they affect us in negative and unanticipated ways. Our behaviors becomes more bizarre and harder to understand.
To claim that one reason for killing hundreds of thousands can be more valid than any other is the purest form of shared global denial of the instinct for self preservation.
The fact that we can justify, to ourselves, any activity is exactly what prevents us from beginning to understand our true motivations, therefore it’s what prevents us from changing our patterns of behavior.
We can justify any action, not because it is justifiable but because we do not understand how the conscious and subconscious come together to shape our psyche that is our personality. Hence the need for political, cultural, religious and other forms of segregations.
I believe that our intentions, expectations and therefore actions can appear justifiable (psychologically, intellectually and morally) only to those whose psyche is aligned with ours. So each nation or religious group, etc., (because it remains unaware of the subconscious motivations that affect their behavior) attempts to suppress that portion of the subconscious which it finds unacceptable due to its social conditioning.
It is my belief that as a civilization we are yet to develop a truly neutral and peaceful moral and logical ground on which we could stand. When I say ‘we’ I mean all of us (all countries, all nations, all religions).
We have not achieved it and the proof is the fact that there nations that claim moral and ideological superiority over other nations and by doing so they fail to realize and therefore acknowledge that all they are doing is failing to recognize their own instinct for self preservation.
A truly neutral moral ground will occur when all nations unite and agree on a shared definition of humanity.
The hardest thing to admit is that we are disturbed.
My psyche is disturbed but so is everybody else’s. Jung said ‘Show me a sane person and I will cure him for you’. That should motivate us to acknowledge our problems and share them, unfortunately it doesn’t.
My psyche is disturbed (to some degree) but so is everybody else (to some degree). But, I think, and I could be wrong, most people go to great lengths to either :
- Hide the fact that they are disturbed
2. Ignore the fact that something has disturbed them and affected their perceptions and behaviors
Needless to say, the above attitudes make things much, much, much worse.
Failing to acknowledge that we are capable of performing hateful actions and failing to acknowledge that we are acting out of fear, etc., and therefore having to replace them with irrational explanations we fail to acknowledge our true nature.
We claim we are civilized yet it is our claim, which is no more than our desire to appear empathic, that is decreasing our sense of empathy.
To claim that all my actions are correct, true, fair, honest and normal is the greatest form of delusion there is, yet that is exactly what our leaders keep telling us.
To continue to operate, day after day, without any reflection or self assessment is a form of psychological and emotional suicide. Unfortunately, the amount of time we are allowed to dedicated to such activities continues to decrease and the less time we dedicate to them the less valuable we think they are, ad infinitum.
The amount of time we are able to dedicate to ourselves, to the self, continues to decrease because the economic system has been able to convince us that IT is the ultimate source of happiness. Not ourselves. The irony is we have been convinced precisely because we know so little about ourselves.
The media should be promoting self development, not self aggrandizement at the expense of others. Unfortunately it cannot do so because it is not a profitable endeavor.
Instead of providing us with the tools that would teach us how to reflect on our thoughts and actions corporations and now governments provide us with stimulants and relaxants. Drugs. Drugs of all kinds. From tobacco to whatever else you can imagine. Their manufactures have been able to maintain their family empires for centuries and have now finally managed to purchase governments and legalize anything they want.
People have no idea why they behave the way do and have no way to begin to learn that they have no idea why they behave the way they behave.
Our current mode of existence is self destructive. It applies to individuals as well as nations. It is so obvious now. It cannot be contained anymore. It is no longer an internal process. Finally, we have arrived at a point in time where each and every one of us can afford to purchase a tool (a gun or a car, etc.) with which to harm ourselves or others. The problem continues to grow in complexity because the nature of the world is changing, faster and faster. We are failing to see how our anxieties define our perceptions of our technological needs.