I am not what happened to me.
I am what I am choosing to become.
There was once a proud and strong nation. People were furious; humiliated by the allied forces and angry at their own shifty political establishments and the lousy economy. But there was suddenly hope; the "Fuehrer" would be making things right again. They gathered late at night and watched forceful processions of soldiers and tanks; beautiful tall, blond women were marching as well. The fire was burning in massive vessels meters high in magnitude. They were enclosed by huge buildings constructed in the Greek-Roman style; they literally felt the power of the Fuehrer in the architecture. They were also tired as they had been standing for hours. But then he came and gave a rousing speech, delivered with the help of powerful speakers at a volume they had never heard before; he was full of power, hatred and force and he sucked them right in like a vortex. When he finally asked, "Do you want the total war?", they could only shout in unison, "Yes!"
Have you experienced this dark night before? The 2 am moment when depression sucks you in; or the phallus symbol that whispers in your ear, "I give you this power if you give me your soul"; have you felt this anger that sweeps you off your feet? The temptation that is impossible to stand up to? The fear that you want to stop somehow? The greed, that tells you you need to have this object, this person, this power or this status? If you have experienced this moment in the dark night then just perhaps you have some understanding for the German people who experienced mass madness when they elected Adolf Hitler as their Fuehrer.
I would conjecture that most of this evil stuff that happened before, and is still happening as we speak, is mostly subconscious. Many of us are just driven by programs that are beyond our conscious control. If you look carefully it is not that hard to notice when people are somehow on auto-pilot and are just reacting to triggers that move them around like puppets. Some are the good cops in this theater play - for example the greatest nation that defeated the Nazis - while some are the bad cops - the many Germans in World War II who committed terrible crimes; yet most still just follow subconscious programs.
A spiritual path is the awakening process from this dark cloud. Like Buddha, we start rewiring our brain. Like Jesus we start understanding what symbols stand for and confidently state, " Get thee behind me ego". Like Lao-Tzu, we start recognizing the yin and the yang around the Way. We are taking off a mask that we have worn pretty much all our life. It is hard work, yet it can be done. We are not robots and once we start opening up towards life we will have many friends who are happy to help us remove layer after layer of psychological protection. It is hard work and that is the reason why so few of us are really bold enough to go all the way. Yet, it can be done. Leave the dark night behind together with us.