Basically, a fanatic believes that he is powerless.
He does not trust his own self-structure, or his ability to act effectively. Joint action seems the only course, but a joint action in which each individual must actually be forced to act, driven by frenzy, or fear or hatred, incensed and provoked, for otherwise the fanatic fears that no action at all will be taken toward “the ideal.”
Through such methods, and through such group hysteria, the responsibility for separate acts is divorced from the individual, and rests instead upon the group, where it becomes generalized and dispersed. The cause, whatever it is, can then cover any number of crimes, and no particular individual need bear the blame alone. Fanatics have tunnel vision, so that any beliefs not fitting their purposes are ignored. Those that challenge their own purposes, however, become instant targets of scorn and attack.
Generally speaking in your society, power is considered a male attribute. Cult leaders are more often male than female, and females are more often than not followers, because they have been taught that it is wrong for them to use power, and right for them to follow the powerful.
I said (in Session 846) that you have religious and scientific cults, and the male-oriented scientific community uses its power in the same way that the male Jehovah used his power in a different arena, to protect his friends and destroy his enemies. I spoke rather thoroughly in my last book (The Nature of the Psyche) about the sexuality of your species, but here I want to mention how some of those sexual beliefs affect your behavior.
The male scientist considers the rocket his private symbol of sexual power. He feels he has the prerogative to use power any way he chooses. Now many scientists are “idealists.” They believe that their search for answers, however, justifies almost any means, or sacrifices, not only on their parts but on the parts of others. They become fanatics when they ignore the rights of others, and when they defile life in a misguided attempt to understand it (see Session 850, with Note 3).
Women make a grave error when they try to prove their “equality” with men by showing that they can enter the armed forces, or go into combat as well as any man. War always makes you less as a species than you could be. Women have shown uncommon good sense in not going to war, and uncommon bad sense by sending their sons and lovers to war. Again: To kill for the sake of peace only makes you better killers, and nothing will change that. In any war, both sides are fanatical to the extent that they are involved. I am quite aware that often war seems to be your only practical course, because of the set of beliefs that are, relatively speaking, worldwide. Until you change those beliefs, war will seem to have some practical value — a value which is highly deceptive, and quite false.
Fanatics always use ringing rhetoric, and speak in the highest terms of truth, good and evil, and particularly of retribution. To some extent capital punishment is the act of a fanatical society: The taking of the murderer’s life does not bring back the victim’s, and it does not prevent other men from committing such crimes. I am aware that the death penalty often seems to be a practical solution — and indeed many murderers want to die, and are caught because of their need for punishment. Many, now — and I am speaking generally — are in the position they are because they so thoroughly believe what all of you believe to a large extent: that you are flawed creatures, spawned by a meaningless universe, or made by a vengeful God and damaged by original sin.
Criminals act out those beliefs to perfection. Their “tendencies” are those that each of you fears you possess. Science and religion each tell you that left alone you will spontaneously be primitive creatures, filled with uncontrolled lust and avarice. Both Freud and Jehovah gave you that message. Poor Darwin tried to make sense of it all, but failed miserably.
Fanatics cannot stand tolerance. They expect obedience. A democratic society offers the greatest challenges and possibilities of achievement for the individual and the species, for it allows for the free intercourse of ideas. It demands much more of its people, however, for in a large manner each must pick and choose from amid a variety of life-styles and beliefs his and her own platform for daily life and action.
There are periods in which it certainly seems to some that all standards vanish, and so they yearn for old authorities. And there are always fanatics there to stand for ultimate truth, and to lift from the individual the challenge and “burden” of personal achievement and responsibility. Individuals can — they can — survive without organizations. Organizations cannot survive without individuals, and the most effective organizations are assemblies of individuals who assert their own private power in a group, and do not seek to hide within it.
Organized action is an excellent method of exerting influence, but only when each member is self-activating; only when he or she extends individuality through group action, and does not mindlessly seek to follow the dictates of others.
Fanatics exist because of the great gap between an idealized good and an exaggerated version of its opposite. The idealized good is projected into the future, while its exaggerated opposite is seen to pervade the present. The individual is seen as powerless to work alone toward that ideal with any sureness of success. Because of his belief in his powerlessness the fanatic feels that any means to an end is justified. Behind all this is the belief that spontaneously the ideal will never be achieved, and that, indeed, on his own man is getting worse and worse in every aspect: How can flawed selves ever hope to spontaneously achieve any good?
SESSION 854, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events.
Copyright © 1986 by Jane Roberts and Robert F. Butts. Current copyright holder – Laurel Davies-Butts.
What a great series! There are lessons here for all of us. Creating a healthy perspective, one that works for us, not against us, and one that makes us happy, is one of life’s greatest challenges.
Roger/Pete Peterson – https://realtalkworld.com
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“How you define yourself and the world around you forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth
In other words, we create reality from what we choose to think and feel about ourselves and All That Is.
If we don’t consciously choose our beliefs, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.
If our our beliefs create reality, can we afford not to question them?
The more we love and understand ourselves, the better we treat ourselves and the world.
What do we want most for our children, ourselves and the world?
What can we do today for the selves we’ll be tomorrow?
The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of our experience. Look for them!
Affirm what you believe!