Why would Germany, the most rational and civilized nation at the time, embark into the dream of a madman? Before zeroing on the Jews, the Germans started persecuting the deformed children and the mentally and physically deficient adults. Hitler’s objective was to purify the race, and the nation, with few dissidents, was overpowered by his madness. A proof of the importance of knowing ourselves.
How come? In an attack of hubris, after being humiliated in the first World War the Germans decided to save the world from what they considered the scum of humanity. Hitler, a psychopath, managed to wear the clothes of the savior of Germany and the world. This is a powerful example of how human beings, said to be rational, can be dominated by the unconscious.
What lessons the Holocaust and other mass exterminations pose to humanity? Man cannot be guided by his rational side alone. He has to give space, to pay attention to his unconscious. Free will does not exist, unless you have gone through a very extensive program to know yourself, which means a deep psychological analysis, generally undergone with the orientation of a trained analyst.
Beware! The unconscious is strong enough to overpower man’s mind, to overpower his ego and lead him to acts that will shame him afterwards. I am not talking about Hitler, Stalin or Mao; they are madmen, and we cannot expect nothing else from them. I am referring to the normal citizen, law-abider, probably religious, that embarked with gusto in Hitler’s mad dream.
What is the difference between the Holocaust and other barberries that happened in the world, like Stalin’s and Mao Tse Tung’s mass murders? The answer is that, thanks to the Jewish people, this lesson is not being forgotten, is not being hidden under the rug despite the pathetic denial by the president of Iran, questioning its mere existence. This lesson cannot be forgotten and should be kept in the minds of all humanity.
The Holocaust is our best reminder that our Ego does not control our actions, that, when in the grip of a complex, man may act like an animal, totally irrational, even against his most cherished principles.
Roberto Lima Netto believes that our objective in life is to be happy, and that Jungian psychology and Spirituality, his main areas of interest, can help us in this search for happiness. He is the author of several books, including “The Little Prince for Grown-ups” and “The Jungian Bible” that can be found in Amazon. His blog is www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.
You’re welcome to reprint this post on your website and in your e-newsletters free of charge, provided that you don’t change the article in any way and you include the link: www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.