Fear of Omicron has swept this nation from sea to shining sea. America used to be the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE. Tragically, mass psychosis seems to more accurately depict American society. Once again, I have friends who have sequestered themselves inside their homes, friends that are cancelling in-person meetings, friends who wear a mask while driving alone in their car, and friends who run to get tested at the slightest sniffle. I’m beginning to wonder… do I need a new friend group?
It brings me back to my years in graduate school learning the fundamentals of clinical psychology. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (see Figure 1) suggests that basic physiological and safety needs are strong motivators of behavior. When a deficit
Figure 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs2.svg
occurs in these basic needs, an individual is willing to forgo higher-level needs in order to re-establish homeostasis. This is helpful in light of our current circumstances. It provides a basis by which to understand why people are scrambling to secure their safety once again. The visual image of bare shelves in the grocery stores, in conjunction with a constant flow of fear-based news reports of the rapidly spreading Omicron, can have a disruptive effect on the psyche of some individuals. Have you wondered why some people are more prone to this instability than others? The reasons are vast, but the one I want to highlight is the perverse worship of safety.
Maslow was a humanist. At the core of humanism is the concept that humans have the right and responsibility to lead lives that are personally fulfilling. Spiritual matters, religion, and godly principles are irrelevant within the humanistic philosophy due to the premise that solutions originate from humans. In other words, humanists look to themselves or others to provide for their needs; they don’t consider God as a source of their provision. When God is not part of the equation, it leaves people on shaky ground.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung in Symbolic Life stated, “It is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer, but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.”(1)
In the early years of my clinical work, I specialized in treating people with schizophrenia. My dissertation research examined the personality factors within family members of individuals with schizophrenia. So, I have a fair amount of experience identifying delusional behaviors. I can tell you; we are in the midst of a psychic epidemic marked by mass delusions.
Jung writes “the dictionary defines ‘delusion’ as 1. the act of deluding; 2. the state of being deluded; 3. a false notion or belief; 4. a fixed belief maintained in spite of unquestionable evidence to the contrary. People with mental disorder, especially schizophrenics, have delusions. But the act and state are not limited to people who are mentally ill: It is not just the hysteric or the schizophrenic who can manifest delusions. Anyone can delude others, i.e., mislead or deceive, and anyone can be misled or deceived, particularly if he/she is unconscious, i.e. not self-aware.”(2)
Jung's assessment of delusions captures the state of American society right now; the masses are deluded because they have been misled and deceived by the powers that be. They are fixated on errors they've been led to believe are true. The masses are asleep and unable to discern the difference between fact or fiction.
Gustave Le Bon, in his seminal work on crowd psychology stated, “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error. If error seduce them, whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”(3)
Have you noticed the vitriol from those who dutifully took their Pfizer or Moderna jabs toward those that have not? I've experienced it first hand; a stranger screamed at me “you killed my mother” because I didn’t get the jab. This is evidence of delusional thinking, there is no basis in reality for this line of reasoning. I couldn't resist including this meme which calls out the absurdity of the delusional thinking of the masses.
Fear is a form of captivity! When the masses are overcome by fear, they are willing to relinquish liberty for the promise of safety. Those that have been hypnotized by the Fauci narrative and have elevated the CDC to a place of ungodly authority, are trapped by the constantly changing end-zone. For example, six months ago, the definition of fully vaccinated was someone who had two rounds of the Pfizer or Moderna injections. Now, “fully vaccinated” are those who have had three injections. Israel is the frontrunner in this crazy making practice. In order to have a green pass in Israel, you now need 4 injections. Where will it end? Boosters every 4 months? And for a virus with 99% survivability rate for most ages?
When people lose touch with reality, the mind will create a delusional narrative that seems as “real” as normal reality. A prolonged state of fear imprisons people in irrational thinking. Fear originates in the amygdala which is the part of the brain referred to as the hind brain, primitive brain or reptilian brain. When a person is fearful, their ability to process nuanced information is impaired and they are more likely to blindly follow others without using critical thinking skills.
Is there hope that people will snap out of the hypnotic trance that has them hoodwinked? YES! We are never without hope! But a shift needs to occur from the perverse worship of safety, in which people look to themselves or others to provide them with safety, to recognizing that the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth is the One who provides our physiological and safety needs.
Remember the story of Moses and the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years? In case, you are not familiar with this story, Israel believed the bad report from the 10 spies. Israel shrunk back in fear when they heard about the strength of the giants and the fortification of the Canaanite cities. Rather than trusting Almighty Yahweh to be their provision and protection, the Israelites feared the giants (Nephilim). It was a tragic moment in history; they were camped right on the border of the promised land. It was their moment to rise up in faith and take possession of the land God promised to their forefathers. But instead, they chose fear; the consequence of which was to wander in the desert for 40 years. The generation that chose fear over faith was not allowed to enter into the promised land. They all had to die before Israel could possess their inheritance. Wandering for 40 years in the desert taught God's people that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
I’ve noticed a phenomenon within churches in America. Church leaders that embrace Woke Christianity are experiencing a mass exodus from their churches. Even those church leaders who play it safe and take the middle ground (lukewarm), find their church gatherings dwindling in size. Of course, church leaders justify it as a new move of God when they have to downsize into house churches, but what they don’t realize is the explosive growth happening in churches that are taking a stand against government tyranny. Church leaders who have not been hypnotized by the Fauci narrative and don’t elevate the CDC and local government to an ungodly place of authority are absolutely thriving!! Many people are coming into relationship with Jesus for the first time. A church community that stands in faith in the face of fear, offers up true worship. These faith communities provide solid ground in the midst of a world that is shaking. They introduce people to the Most High, who is their source of provision and safety.
Psalm 91 Security of the One Who Trusts in the Lord.
91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”
3 For He will save you from the trap of the fowler,
And from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions,
And under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.
5 You will not be afraid of the terror of night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.
7 A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But danger will not come near you.
8 You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes
And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].
9 Because you have made the Lord, [who is] my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
11 For He will command His angels in regard to you,
To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12 They will lift you up in their hands,
So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra;
The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him;
I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him and I will let him see My salvation.”(4)
One last thing, in case you’re wondering, I am not going to get a new friend group, just expand my friend group. 😊 I would never end a friendship over something like this. Instead, I pray and wait for an opportunity to point them toward truth.
Written by Laura Sanger, Ph.D.
1. Jung, C. G. (1950). The Collected Works of C. J. Jung (Volume 18): The Symbolic Life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
2. Jung, C. G. (1967). The Collected Works of C. J. Jung (Volume 13): Alchemical Studies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
3. Le Bon, Gustave, 1841-1931. (1977). The Crowd : A Study of the Popular Mind. New York: Penguin Books.
4. The Holy Bible: The Amplified Bible. 1987. 2015. La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.