There is a common notion that external threats such as a nuclear war or a climate catastrophe could spell the end of humanity but a far greater threat looms in what the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung described as the collective psychosis of the human mind.
In marking Holocaust Memorial Day it is worth remembering that the murder of six million Jews did not happen overnight. It is dangerous to assume that the catastrophe was executed by Adolf Hitler and a small cabal with warped and psychotic minds. Without the support of millions of ordinary people, the holocaust would never have happened. The Nazis became the largest party in Germany with 37 percent of the popular vote in a democratic election in 1932.
Brutal dictators of the last century such as Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Pol Pot headed mass movements that executed policies claiming the lives of millions of people.
Beyond the veil of normalcy lies many a dark shadow
It is easy to argue that this is history and that it will never happen again. But the war crimes in Ukraine demonstrate that beneath the civil exterior of many a “normal” person lurks the shadow of evil. Russian leader Vladimir Putin would never have come to power and remained in power without the support of millions of ordinary Russian people.
Crimes of individual leaders do not abscond the collective responsibility of the populace who enabled and supported them. Jung spent most of his life studying the unknown world of the human subconscious mind.
“We need more understanding of human nature because the only real danger that exists is man himself. He is a great danger, and we are pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil,” Jung surmised.
It is worth bearing in mind as the world stumbles toward ever-greater totalitarianism even in countries where we thought democracy was deeply ingrained. During psychosis, people lose their sense of truth and reality. Mass Psychosis is when a large section of the populace turns all its attention to a leader or series of events and all attention is focused just on one issue. Millions of people are hypnotized by dogma, ideology, or toxic emotions such as hate regardless of the facts.
Social media compounds mass madness
It does not come as a surprise that Facebook and Twitter have just reinstated the social media accounts of several prominent spewers of hate and toxic emotions. Studies reveal that negativity spreads more than positivity on social media. The most controversial, vindictive, and outlandishly ridiculous posts on social media generate the most clicks and therefore advertising revenue. Emotions rule the game. The guardrails have fallen a long time ago. All the more important is that the individual stands guard at the doorway to the mind. What you consume as a reader has more influence on making you into the person you are now than you might think.
Instead of bringing us together, it appears that some social media is tearing apart the very fabric of society with cyber-bullying, hate posts, and fake news. According to a SimpleTexting survey six out of ten people said that they were afraid to post about certain topics for fear of negative feedback. A massive 90 percent of people also said they’ve even seen racist posts by people in their network. In addition, 86 percent say they’ve seen negative content regarding sexual orientation and gender posted by people in their network.
According to research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate the social media platform TikTok, used by two-thirds of teenagers on a daily basis, is responsible for bombarding young people’s feeds with “harmful, harrowing content that can have a significant cumulative impact on their understanding of the world around them, and their physical and mental health.” Researchers set up new accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia at the minimum age TikTok allows, 13 years old. These accounts paused briefly on videos about body image and mental health and liked them. “What we found was deeply disturbing. Within 2.6 minutes, TikTok recommended suicide content. Within 8 minutes, TikTok served content related to eating disorders. Every 39 seconds, TikTok recommended videos about body image and mental health to teens,” the organization concluded.
The difference between emotions and logical thought
When you are captured by emotions you are out of control. Emotional information is shared more frequently than non-emotional information both online and offline. An angry person can easily be manipulated by external forces. It’s the tool many a demagogue has used throughout history. When in fear, anger, or anxiety your logical brain literally shuts off and puts you into fight or flight mode. You are no longer in control. It is like driving a car under the influence of alcohol. Emotions never tell the truth. They have to be filtered by the logical mind that has the capacity to discern between truth and fiction.
Parents need to monitor and communicate with their children on what they are watching on social media sites. On an individual level you need to train your awareness. What is truth and what is fake? Am I feeding my mind with positive, uplifting, spiritual and educational information or am I being manipulated with information that triggers emotions of hate, anger, fear and anxiety?
By boosting your vibrational energy on a daily basis with exercise, healthy food, and mental training such as meditation you will at the same time attract those things into your life that are of the same higher frequency.
Every generation has its own challenge. We are on the threshold of an age where Artificial Intelligence (AI) will influence and change the lives of humanity in multiple ways. AI could be useful in solving some of society’s most pressing problems such as climate change. But it can also be abused in destroying the social fabric of society as we know it if guardrails are not put in place.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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