Within each of us there is light and darkness. What I have found is that darkness is not external, but exists within each of us. I recently read about and then watched a movie called “Experimenter” on research involving obedience of authority conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale University.
Between 1961 and 1964, Stanley Milgram carried out a series of experiments at Yale University in which human subjects were instructed to administer what they thought were progressively more painful electric shocks to another human being to determine to what extent people would obey orders even when they knew them to be painful and immoral. The experiments came under heavy criticism at the time but were ultimately vindicated by the scientific community.
Milgram’s experiments on obedience to authority are considered among the most important psychological studies of this century. Perhaps because of the enduring significance of the findings—the surprising ease with which ordinary persons can be commanded to act destructively against an innocent individual by a legitimate authority—it continues to claim the attention of psychologists and other social scientists, as well as the general public.
Milgram’s experiment shows two things, first, that every human being is capable of harming another innocent human being and second, that this is possible by blindly following a person of perceived legitimate authority. In these experiments, over 65% of the individuals in the experiment pulled the trigger to shock an innocent person that could potentially kill that person. In each instance, the person in the experiment was not forced or coerced to pull the trigger, but asked politely by someone they perceived to have legitimate authority, in this case, a man wearing a lab coat.
I believe that this happens everyday when people follow political leaders, spiritual leaders, spiritual teachers, community leaders, or others with perceived legitimate authority. I have seen this within the spiritual community when someone hold themselves out as a leader, teacher, healer, etc., and people blindly follow them without questioning their intentions or motivations.
Always question what you are told and told to do as we all have free will to choose. Listen to your intuition and higher self, and have awareness. We are easily persuaded because of our own insecurities, fears, lack of self worth, or vulnerabilities that cause us to blindly follow the directions and suggestions of others without questioning or considering our own moral or ethical values. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)