Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Jihad – The Rise of Fundamentalism and the Killings in the Name of God (with video)

God does not approve Jihad


How can we explain the attacks on American Embassies in North Africa? How could this happen after the strong support the United States gave to these people to get rid of their dictators? To understand the problem, we have to resort to psychology.


The Sociopath Next Door – Martha Stout

A study by Martha Stout, published in her book The Sociopath Next Door, claims that 4% of the population is sociopath, defined as one that knows what is right or wrong, but feels no remorse for his acts. He may kill his own mother without feeling regrets, if this act advances his plans. But the distribution of the 4% is not homogeneous in society. In politics, in big business and in prisons, the percentage of sociopaths is much higher.


This explains the psychology of the politicians of Al Qaeda and other similar organizations. They are sociopaths or psychologically unbalanced people that explore persons who fall for their fundamentalist preaching.

Wikipedia defines Fundamentalism as the demand for a strict adherence to specific theological doctrines.

But how to explain the attitude of the ones that carry the bombs. Are all of them sociopaths? I don’t think so. They got under the grip of a charismatic leader, and they are prepared to deliver their lives to their causes.

This same phenomenon happened in the Western world before. Remember Reverend Jones and the mass suicide in 1978, or the 75 followers of David Koresh 1993, in Waco, Texas. They were in the grips of a charismatic sociopath leader.

Fundamentalism is thriving all over the world, and can be explained by a sense of despair, worthlessness that dominate many young people. When you do not believe in the traditional churches, when the old gods abandon their temples, you may resort to cynicism or to fundamentalism. You may accept the new gods – money, fame, power – or you may turn to fundamentalism. Fortunately, these are not the only options.

I have nothing against the ones that practice a fundamentalist cult, but cannot accept practices that go to the extreme of killing people. That is what Jihad preaches. I cannot believe that truly religious people would condone such policy, and I consider the Jihad preachers to be sociopaths, not religious persons.

Man in Search of a Soul

We are living in an era when some of the pillars that sustained our lives are crumbling. Modern man is desperately seeking a new footing, a new platform were to stand. Paraphrasing Jung, modern man is in search of a soul.

In 1925, Jung visited the Pueblo Indians, in Southwestern United States. This people defined themselves as Children of the Sun. Their myth holds that to keep the sun moving, they had to pray for the Father Sun. Otherwise, in ten years the sun would no longer illuminate the Earth. The Chief Mountain Lake said, with the conviction of one who is saving the world: “The Americans want to destroy our religion. Why don’t they leave us quiet? What we do, we do not only for us, but for them too. We do this for everyone.”

Do you believe that the sun would no longer rise if the Pueblos stopped praying for it? It matters little, for the survival of the Pueblos, if you believe it or not. What it does matter is that they do believe. Saving the world was the central motivation in their lives, their reason for living. And what a strong motivation this is!

Edward Edinger, a well-known Jungian psychologist and prolific writer, opens his book, “The Creation of Consciousness”, saying: “History and anthropology teach us that human society cannot long survive unless its members are psychologically contained in a central living myth, Such myth provides the individual with a reason for being.”

Unfortunately, while we search for a new myth to sustain our civilization, we should expect such weird episodes, like Jihad, to continue.

I am Roberto Lima Netto, and I believe that our objective in life is to be happy and that Spirituality and Jungian psychology, my main areas of interest, can help us in this search for happiness. I am a writer. Some of my books are “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, “The Jungian Bible“, “The Amazon Shaman” and “In Search of Happiness“. I invite you to visit blog and leave your comment at:  www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.

You’re welcome to reprint this post on your website and in your enewsletters free of charge, provided that you don’t change the article in any way and you include the link: www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.

I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.


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  1. I never thought of the preachers of jihad has being sociopaths.There`s really know other way to explain it.Good explanations.Thanks.

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