Your Life Begins When You Know Its Purpose

Seth on Hitler

The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events (1981)

Chapter 7: People Frightened of Themselves \ The Good The Bad And The Catastrophic

[Paul’s note: My comments are all bracketed. This session occurs in the larger context of Seth’s concepts of Practicing Idealism, fanaticism, and the need for individual empowerment. Interestingly, what’s missing is any discussion of developmental stages of the collective or individuals within the collective.]

SESSION 852, MAY 9, 1979

Good evening.

(“Good evening, Seth.”)

When you are discussing the nature of good and bad, you are on tricky ground indeed, for many-or most-of man’s atrocities to man have been committed in misguided pursuit of “the good.”

Whose good? Is “good” an absolute? In your arena of events, obviously, one man’s good can be another’s disaster. [Adolf] Hitler pursued his version of “the good” with undeviating fanatical intent. He believed in the superiority and moral rectitude of the Aryan race. [His developmental altitude, or wideness of awareness, was ethnocentric or tribal.] In his grandiose, idealized version of reality, he saw that race “set in its proper place,” as natural master of mankind.

He believed in heroic characteristics, and became blinded by an idealized superman version of an Aryan strong in mind and body. To attain that end, Hitler was quite willing to sacrifice the rest of humanity. [This is a characteristic of ethnocentric development. All members of the “tribe”, corporation, team, nation, race, etc. are part of the good. Everyone else is labeled “other” and becomes a hook for shadow projections.] “The evil must be plucked out.” That unfortunate chant is behind the beliefs of many cults — scientific and religious — and Hitler’s Aryan kingdom was a curious interlocking of the worst aspects of religion and science alike, in which their cultish tendencies were encouraged and abetted. [Scientific cults can also operate from an ethnocentric developmental altitude.]

The political arena was the practical working realm in which those ideals were to find fruition. Hitler’s idea of good was hardly inclusive, therefore, and any actions, however atrocious, were justified.

How did Hitler’s initially wishy-washy undefined ideals of nationalistic goodness turn into such a world catastrophe? The steps were the ones mentioned earlier (in a number of sessions in Part 3), as those involved with any cult. [Which is ethnocentric at best, sometimes even egocentric driven, like street gangs.] Hitler’s daydreams became more and more grandiose, and in their light, the plight of his country seemed worsened with each day’s events. He counted its humiliations over and over in his mind, until his mind became an almost completely closed environment, in which only certain ideas were allowed entry.

All that was not Aryan, really, became the enemy. [Another ethnocentric characteristic, if you’re Aryan you’re family, if you’re “other” then fuck you _______! (insert racial epithet)] The Jews took the brunt largely because of their financial successes and their cohesiveness, their devotion to a culture that was not basically Aryan. They would become the victims of Hitler’s fanatical ideal of Germany’s good.

Hitler preached on the great value of social action as opposed to individual action. [One of Seth’s main themes overall, and why he focuses on individual empowerment to act in terms of their own practicing idealism, yet to avoid the pitfalls of fanaticism, which is inherent at ethnocentric wideness of awareness.] He turned children into informers against their own parents. He behaved rationalistically, as any minor cult leader does in a smaller context. The Jews believed in martyrdom. (Pause.) Germany became the new Egypt, in which their people were set upon. I do not want to oversimplify here, and certainly I am nowhere justifying the cruelties the Jews encountered in Germany. You do each create your own reality, however (intently), and en masse you create the realities of your nationalities and your countries — so at that time the Germans saw themselves as victors, and the Jews saw themselves as victims.

Both reacted as groups, rather than as individuals, generally speaking now. For all of their idealisms, both basically believed in a pessimistic view of the self. It was because Hitler was so convinced of the existence of evil in the individual psyche, that he set up all of his rules and regulations to build up and preserve “Aryan purity.” The Jews’ idea was also a dark one, in which their own rules and regulations were set to preserve the soul’s purity against the forces of evil. And while in the Jewish books [of The Old Testament] Jehovah now and then came through with great majesty to save his chosen people [Jews who buy into “the chosen people” belief system are operating from an ethnocentric wideness of awareness as well. However, those who operate from a wider awareness, a worldcentric (all-of-us) stage do not buy into this belief system], he also allowed them to suffer great indignities over long periods of time, seeming to save them only at the last moment — and this time, so it seemed, he did not save them at all. What happened?

Despite himself, and despite his followers, Hitler brought to flower (long pause) a very important idea, and one that changed your history. (Pause.) All of the most morbid of nationalistic fantasies that had been growing for centuries, all of the most grandiose celebrations of war as a nation’s inalienable right to seek domination, focused finally in Hitler’s Germany.

The nation served as an example of what could happen in any country if the most fanatical nationalism was allowed to go unchecked, if the ideas of right were aligned with might, if any nation was justified in contemplating the destruction of others.

You must realize that Hitler believed that any atrocity was justified in the light of what he thought of as the greater good. [Textbook behavior from an ethnocentric worldview space.] To some extent or another, many of the ideals he held and advocated had long been accepted in world communities, though they had not been acted upon with such dispatch. [A large percentage of the world’s nations also operated from a collective “center of gravity” that was ethnocentric.] The nations of the world saw their own worst tendencies personified in Hitler’s Germany, ready to attack them. The Jews, for various reasons — and again, this is not the full story — the Jews acted as all of the victims of the world, both the Germans and the dews basically agreeing upon “man’s nefarious nature.” For the first time the modern world realized its vulnerability to political events, and technology and communication accelerated all of war’s dangers. Hitler brought many of man’s most infamous tendencies to the surface. For the first time, again, the species understood that might alone did not mean right, and that in larger terms a world war could have no real victors. Hitler might well have exploded the world’s first atomic bomb. [Hitler’s Germany is an example of what modern technology, developed by worldcentric scientific awareness, can create in terms of mass events when hijacked by ethnocentric, racist shadow projections on “others” from different tribes. That is, at this stage of collective development, people are not yet able to see “the other is you” or tat tvam asi.]

In a strange fashion, however, Hitler knew that he was doomed from the very beginning, and so did Germany as far as Hitler’s hopes for it were concerned. He yearned for destruction, for in saner moments even he recognized the twisted distortions of his earlier ideals. This meant that he often sabotaged his own efforts, and several important Allied victories were the result of such sabotaging. In the same way (pause), Germany did not have the [atomic] bomb for the same reasons.

Now, however, we come to Hiroshima, where this highly destructive bomb was exploded (on August 6, 1945) — and for what reason? To save life, to save American lives. The intent to save American lives was certainly “good” — at the expense of the Japanese this time. In that regard, America’s good was not Japan’s, and an act taken to “save life” was also designed to take individual lives. [The USA operated from an ethnocentric — White European — wideness of awareness in deciding to drop the A-bomb on the Japanese. WWII in the Pacific was very much a racist war. It was one of the most brutal killing fields in modern warfare.]

At what expense is “the good” to be achieved — and whose idea of the good is to be the criterion? Man’s pursuit of the good, to some extent now, fathered the Inquisition and the Salem witch hunts. Politically, many today [in the late 1970s] believe that Russia is “the enemy,” and that therefore any means may be taken to destroy that country. Some people within the United States believe fervently that “the establishment” is rotten to the core, and that any means is justified to destroy it. Some people believe that homosexuals and lesbians are “evil,” that somehow they lack the true qualities of humanness [and therefore need not be treated with normal respect]. These are all value judgments involving your ideas of the good.

Very few people start out trying to be as bad as possible. At least some (underlined) criminals feel that in stealing they are simply righting society’s wrongs. I am not saying that is their only motive, but in one way or another they manage to justify their activities by seeing them in their own version of the good and the right.

You must realize that fanatics always deal with grandiose ideals [within egocentric and ethnocentric wideness of awareness at best], while at the same time they believe in man’s sinful nature, and the individual’s lack of power. They cannot trust the expression of the self, for they are convinced of its duplicity. Their ideals then seem even more remote. Fanatics call others to social action. Since they do not believe that the individual is ever effective, their groups are not assemblies of private individuals come reasonably together, pooling individual resources. They are instead congregations of people who are afraid to assert their individuality, who hope to find it in the group, or hope to establish a joint individuality — and that is an impossibility (emphatically).

True individuals can do much through social action, and the species is a social one, but people who are afraid of their individuality will never find it in a group, but only a caricature of their own powerlessness.

[In other words, “the sheeple” or those who blindly follow fanatical leadership, are what Seth is targeting in this book. In this own way, Seth is pushing his readers toward worldcentric and wider awareness. Again, it is only there that people can cognitively grok “the other is you” and thus deserve “inalienable rights” like liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which eventually widens to include an end to institutionalized slavery and promotes woman’s rights, animal rights, environmental rights, gay and lesbian rights, handicapped rights, and on and on. These things did not exist in Hitler’s Germany in any large way. There were traces of it, because there were individuals pushing through to wider awareness. There always is a leading edge, an avant garde in all cultures.]

[Again, individual and collective development moves generally through egocentric (me first), ethnocentric (us first), worldcentric (all of us first), and All-That-Is-centric (All First) stages of wideness. Widening awareness = better able to understand, empathically connect with, grok how each individual relates to All-That-Is.]

The Way Toward Health

Chapter 13: “Messages” From Gods, Demons, Heroes, And Other Prominent Persons — Or, More Conflicitng Beliefs

JUNE 23, 1984

One of the most rare and extraordinary developments that can occur in schizophrenic behavior is the construction of a seeming superbeing of remarkable power — one who is able to convince other people of his divinity.

Most such instances historically have involved males, who claim to have the powers of clairvoyance, prophecy, and omnipotence. Obviously, then, the affected individual was thought to be speaking for God when he gave orders or directives. We are dealing with “god-making,” or “religionmaking” — whichever you prefer.

In almost all such instances, discipline is taught to believers through the inducement of fear. Put very loosely, the dogma says that you must love God or he will destroy you. The most unbelievable aspects of such dogmas should, it seems, make them very easy to see through. In many cases, however, the more preposterous the legends or dogmas, the more acceptable they become. In some strange fashion followers believe such stories to be true because they are not true. The inceptions of almost all religions have been involved one way or another with these schizophrenic episodes.

The person so involved must be extremely disturbed to begin with: up in arms against social, national, or religious issues, and therefore able to serve as a focus point for countless other individuals affected in the same manner.

In a fashion, Adolf Hitler fell into such a classification. Although he lacked that characteristic mark of speaking for a superbeing, this was because he frequently regarded himself as the superbeing. The trouble is that while such religions can also inspire people to acts of great sympathy, heroism and understanding, their existence rests upon drastic misreadings of the nature of reality.

If the major religions have been touched, then there have also been numberless smaller cults and sects throughout history into the present that bear that same stamp of great psychological power and energy, coupled with an inborn leaning toward self destruction and vengeance.

To varying degrees, other less striking individual cases can bear the same sense of magic and mystery.

There is certainly no need to romanticize schizophrenic behavior, for its romanticlike elements have long been coupled in the public mind in an unfortunate manner, seeming to place the madman and the genius in some kind of indefinable relationship. Such beliefs are apparent in statements such as: “Madness is the other end of sanity,” or “All genius is touched with madness.”

Beneath these ideas is the fear of the mind itself, the belief that its abilities are fine and dependable up to a point — but if it goes too far then it is in trouble.

What does it mean to go too far in that connotation? Usually it means that knowledge itself is somehow dangerous. Period.

In some cases, however, the constructed superbeing can deliver astute comments on national, social, or religious conditions.

Most such personages, however, begin to prophesy the end of the world, from which the chosen people — whoever they may be — will be saved. More than a few have rendered specific dates for this worldly foreclosure — dates which have come and gone. Many people still continue to follow the very same dogmas that seemed to have proven themselves wrong; the personage comes up with a newer excuse, or a newer date, and things go on as before.

Again, however, even in far simpler cases, the constructive personage will often make predictions that, incidentally, do not predict — and almost always give orders and directives that are to be followed without question.

There are many other deep psychological connections beneath schizophrenic behavior, but since this book is also devoted to other subjects, we will go on to other ways in which conflicting beliefs bring about mental or physical dilemmas. ~ pp. 306-308.

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