The story of an essential experiment for the human race.
This is, in fact, the story of the world in which we live and its understanding might lead us to the conclusion that an inner revolution is necessary, like the Revolution of the Good OM.
It is said that power corrupts.
If this were absolutely true, it would mean that there is no hope for the human race, because as soon as someone of the power becomes, it would be corrupted. However, this is not the case. We know many quite wise people who have power and who are not corrupt. In order not to be corrupted, it is necessary, not only of strict inner rules, but also of spiritual awakening, which is a precious star. People who cannot be corrupt are, in reality, more than we think.
In order not to be corrupted by power it is also necessary to know what this temptation looks like and what to do differently than those who have failed at this level.
You may also resist the fall because it generally requires a regular transforming spiritual practice and the knowledge of an authentic meaning of existence.
One of the goals of the Abheda Community is to provide us with the tools to develop our spiritual virtues that could influence the whole world.
A very tough and real experiment
In 1971, Philip Zimbardo, organizes a social experiment, to understand how good people become bad. It quickly became the most controversial psychological experiment.
For the experiment, 24 balanced, intelligent young people, without medical problems, who have never used drugs and who have never had problems with the law, were selected.
They were divided by lot into 2 roles: prisoners and guards. Before the start of the experiment, which lasted two weeks, all volunteers had similar behavior and pretty much the same moral values. They were paid $15 every day.
The “prisoners” were picked up by the local police at home, searched, completely naked, humiliated (sprayed against lice, dressed in dresses, trimmed to zero, forced not to wear underwear), put in chains, brutally awakened every night at 2.30. They were only allowed to walk in the hallways blindfolded and benefited from a makeshift toilet in a small, dark space. They had no windows and clocks. They were listened to with microphones.
The “guards” were informed that they must take care to comply with the laws and demand respect from the “prisoners”. They received khaki uniforms, whistles and sticks.
Interestingly, the “guards” very quickly got into the role: they quickly found means to intimidate the “prisoners”, invented punishments.
Even though some “prisoners” left the experiment because they could no longer endure physical and mental pressures, the “guards” did not cease. Moreover, within a few days they became downright sadistic, while the “prisoners” went into depression.
Given this, the experiment had to be discontinued after only 6 days, although it was planned to last two weeks.
The experiment was a chilling test of how POWER can lead to dehumanization and abuse.
In 1974, the same thing was demonstrated by the artist Marina Abramovici, the woman who willingly turned into an object for 6 hours, during which anyone in the audience of an art gallery could do anything to her, without her retaliating.
What did other people do to her when she gave them total power over her?
They tickled her with a feather, gave her to eat grapes, gave her with perfume, smeared her with the thorns of a rose, tore her clothes, cut her, tasted her blood.
At the end point, someone pointed at her face a tangled gun with his finger on the trigger. The experiment fortunately ceased here, with other people in the audience stopping the one with the gun.
What do we understand from this?
The terrible fragility of humanity and the extreme dehumanization capacity of POWER.
It is worth noting, however, that there is hope!
Other people in the experiment stopped the one with the gun.
There were people who abused
and people who have done nothing
but also people who actually intervened when someone tended to do something irreparable.
“Give a man POWER, and then you will see what lies in him.”
Yes, we will see, but in it can lie wonderful qualities that will manifest then.
It is important to discover these resources that are in us and amplify them.