People Without a Self
These are very common now – normal, in fact. The process of growing up, which normally produces people with individual selves (the process of individuation) now produces people much like everyone else. And this is considered a huge improvement, because all can be considered as one.
Anyone not normal is a threat, however, and must be dealt with severely. This is the logic behind the War on Terror – all these people are different from us, and can be safely assumed to be an enemy.
At the same time, all of this must be carefully overlooked and relegated to the unconscious where it can operate without conscious interference.
I have spent a lot of time in the last few months learning about WWII. Everyone was baffled by Nazi behavior. And the same behavior was evident in many other countries – Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Japan. To me, it was simple – more examples of people without individual selves, but with an all-powerful group-identity. The Germans and the Japanese stood out because they were better organized.
This can also be looked at another way. A person with a self has control of his life, simply because he has one. A person without a self has no control his life because he has none – and lets his world control him. But everyone greatly approves of this behavior – and to their way of thinking, that is all that matters.
I am reminded of a woman I met recently. She came across as the friendliest person imaginable, and immediately confided some of her life’s secrets. She had acquired control of a granddaughter, and raised her herself. (She didn’t say much about her son, the father of the granddaughter, but I gathered that he was pretty much of a mess.)
After this granddaughter graduated from high school, she made sure she joined the military. The poor kid didn’t have a choice, that was where she went – and the whole family rejoiced. The granddaughter, who was a bright child, was bored to death – she felt she was wasting her life – which indeed she was.
This made no difference to the grandmother. She was in the right place, and she was going to stay there. The waste of a life meant nothing to her – she had probably never heard of such a thing. But she had heard of a group identity – and made sure that everyone she had any control over stayed in the Straight and Narrow.
Perhaps this does not sound like much of a problem to you – since the result is a powerful country – and, more than that, a powerful global culture. “What,” you might ask, “Is wrong with this?”
The answer is simple – mass people cannot think – they have been carefully trained not to. This means they are not aware of what is going on – and cannot tell where they are going. They can only do more of what they are already doing.
And what they are already doing is destroying their world.