The study of the human mind has advanced greatly since the days of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, pioneers as they were. Philosophers over the ages have also contemplated deeply on the processes that create a person’s inner being, prescribing many ways to raise the consciousness to higher, more ‘selfless’ levels, in which there is no conflict between the ego and the outside world. It might even be said that with the exponential manner in which knowledge is expanding, the day is not far when ‘criminals’ will be ‘set right’ not through punishment or incarceration, but by medical and psychiatric treatment.
A general belief has been that much of criminal activity has been due to the perpetrators’ physical circumstances – poverty, hunger, other kinds of suffering, the abysmal condition of the ‘backward’ societies they live in. However, it can be seen that the most violent, inexplicable outrages are committed just as much in ‘developed’ societies and nations as anywhere else. It has become clear that emotional trauma, particularly during childhood, negative programming, even flawed ‘wiring’ within the brain turns people into psychopaths and such like. In many cases, even the social norms are such that there is insensitivity to another’s pain, particularly towards animals. What can be expected from a society, for instance, that ‘celebrates’ the pointless massacre of animals, such as the mass slaughter of dolphins in Denmark and Norway as a ‘festival’? Children are encouraged to take part. Hunting as a sport and fun rather than for merely bringing meat to the table exists in almost all societies, even today. Does not such bloodletting and lack of empathy impact the psyche of societies and individuals?
This is obviously a lack of the ‘sanskars’ that have to be inculcated from childhood so that individuals and societies function on a higher spiritual plane. While certain societies have developed economically and technologically to advanced levels, they are suffering from the ‘isolation’ of the individual from the collective, leading to deep psychosis. It is unfortunate that even the sections of humanity that had evolved to a higher spiritual plane are regressing, seduced by the ‘tamasic pleasures’ of unfettered self-indulgence. The new generations are being initiated by their deculturised parents into such behaviour, thinking that it makes them ‘modern’ and ‘advanced’. Humanity needs to take a step back and examine these problems, particularly in countries like India, where there are already enough problems as it is.