Dark thoughts can envelop our soul. We create some of these thoughts from personal experience, but not all of them. Real but hidden threats cause some of these thoughts. Historical memory of devastating wars, poverty, and disease are the source of others. Many dark thoughts come from the collective unconscious of the group mind reflected in the deep rumblings of the core violence of human culture.
There are bigger currents of humanity that move through our minds – a collective current that touches us all but is acknowledged by few. Our troubled violent history and current problems disturb us to the core of our being. It is easier to deny, to self-medicate, to distract with destructive pursuits. To look away is tempting. Denial, however, does not work very well in changing reality.
Human civilization is dark and violent. Human beings have a long history of collective and personal violence. War and violent crime have plagued humanity since before the beginning of written history. The first recorded war occurred over 5,000 years ago and human beings have been systematically slaughtering each other with the best available technology ever since. War is the primary driver of technology and economic development.
Violence may have created and certainly sustains human culture. Read the Bible or the Koran and take note of the wide-spread murders, wars, plundering of cities, the women raped and murdered, and children put to the sword. Much of this slaughter was done in the name of God. It was also done to get new lands and steal the wealth of others. It is too often rationalized as the will of god.
The violence that permeates culture creates chronic pain called ANGST – the universal pain of the human condition. Living with the conscious knowledge that we will die causes us fear. To know that we need to love and the violence causes more violence causes shame and guilt when we live a world where life must feed upon life in order to survive. Addiction may well be a universal cross-cultural mechanism for managing this primal fear. There seems to be a strong relationship between fear of violence and both addiction and mental health problems. There is strong evidence that primitive religion emerged as a result of ritual practices to stop collective mob violence in primitive communities.
As long as we deny the violence all around us and pretend that it doesn’t exist, we ware part of the problem. We silently enable the violence and refuse to see what we are doing. The dark thoughts that we push deep into our mind, however, haunt us and often emerge at unexpected times. We are all guilty of perpetrated or enabling violence.
While hanging on the cross Jesus said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This statement tells us why we are all culpable for the violence that surrounds us. If we don’t continue to improve our violence control mechanisms based on human empathy, individual societies and the world can lapse again into world war and domestic riots.
Tremendous resources are invested in national and international violence control mechanisms. War is expensive. So is crime. Many of us prefer to deny this fact. It is easier to pretend that civilization is based upon a foundation of peace and love. It’s not! History has taught us that denial of violence does not work. Denial results in more violence. The social processing of violence, in a peaceful way, is necessary to establish any solid foundation for future peace.
It is hard to accept the truth and then stand for something better – a higher truth that we are also a part if something better. The problem is that power structure of the world has a solid foundation and a need for perpetual violence. To develop a peacetime economy that is not preparation for war is a goal that has yet to be achieved.
LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE