Disclaimer: this text is not for overly sensitive readers.
The term ‘zombie’ probably comes from the West African nzambi,
which means: a dead person who is made alive again, but who has no own free will. In the Afro-Caribbean culture this is an essential part of voodoo (originally from West Africa). So, we are in good company…
A living dead, an ‘undead’. The body is still alive and the mind (reasoning skills etc.) is active, but the soul has gone.
You may think this is part of a primitive culture.
You’re right. But do not think too quickly that the ‘primitive’ aspect has gone out of a culture if this culture doesn’t look ‘primitive’ at first glance. Particularly if it’s your own culture. The ‘primitive’ may simply express itself in a different way and continue in that way. It may be almost on top of you and yet you don’t notice it, just because everyone sees it as ‘normal’.
You don’t expect Saint Nicholas’ helper with toys on the roof
unless you’re five years old and your parents pretend that it’s the most normal thing in the world. You don’t expect someone to walk around alive again after his death, unless you are a Catholic for example and you weekly commemorate, together with the other folks, the resurrection of Christ. You don’t expect that a pill can bring back your soul unless you believe in the dogma of antidepressant pharmacy and thereby contribute your mite to 15% of the total pharmaceutical sales.
If everyone thinks women are good at math, then women are good at math.
And vice versa.
Ditto for men.
That’s the power of ‘the normal’. Another example:
a particular surgical operation (in the fifties) on arteries towards the mammary gland reduced the symptoms of angina pectoris (a form of heart disease) in 98% of women …
until a double-blind study showed that this was entirely a placebo-effect. This power of placebo was that big because everyone believed in it: patients, doctors, scientific researchers. Its rationality was also obvious. So it was very ‘normal’. In reality it was a mere magical act. Genre wizardry of the local medicine man.
For me this is the reason not to assume that the saying ‘to each his freedom’ would be innocent and harmless when talking about placebo in the broadest sense of the word. So: a lot of New Age fuzz, alternative medicine etc. and also the placebo effect in psychotherapy and regular medicine.
‘To each his freedom’ is insufficient. With freedom comes responsibility.
In this context, this means: keep thinking, thinking, thinking. Nothing is needed, everything is allowed in depth and respect. Placebo: you think something external is ‘curing’ you, but actually you are using the power of your own deeper self in covert ways. Problem: as a result you give away the power of your soul. You ‘sell’ your soul for a temporary pleasure. No depth. No respect.
Through this, you play into the hand of a broader happening.
If lots of people are ‘selling’ their soul, you’ll get a flood of losing-soul,
in which all sorts of vortexes appear that make a bad situation worse. Woe to the one who ends up in this with (much) less defense than ‘normal’. I mean for example someone with a greater sensitivity and at the same time little appropriate support. There are many examples in psychiatry.
Woe also to an entire culture.
At this level, zombification leads to damaging effects. So: a sea of aggression, a sea of misery. What did the twentieth century have in store: a couple of world wars, many other wars, a cold war, differences between rich and poor countries that got out of control, famine… And maybe less clear in quality of aggression: the aggression towards within. This is: depression, addiction, psychosomatics.
All due to ‘zombification’?
I see it that way.