29 | Holocaust

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe was approx 9.5 million.  In 1950, it was approx 3.5 million.  While there were some emigrations before the intense Nazi persecutions began in 1938 and after WWII ended in 1945, the vast bulk of that reduction was the systematic murder of nearly 6 million by the Nazis during that intervening period. The Holocaust was a wretched chapter in human history and we can debate forever why and how it could possibly have happened…especially considering the vast number of both victims who were killed and perpetrators who made conscious decisions to participate in the killing or ignore the reality that it was happening.

Wars and horrific events that are occasioned by wars are an ever present experience in the history of the human species.  They have always seemed to me to have happened when our basest natures begin to rule our activities, for whatever reasons. It is almost as if wars and the horrific events around wars represent the collective of societies acting out in a massive alcoholic rage. I believe there is a parallel here to each of us in our diseased states.

Our individual alcoholism, the elements of our psyches that set us up to an ugly descent into the abyss of demoralization, shame, fear, and pain, may have had many causes. These conditions can happen for collectives as well. Thinking of what happened in the Holocaust, in all its phases, it seems that there are parallels to the most despicable of our behaviors in our diseased states.

This may be why, for those of us fully committed to living lives in the pursuit of sobriety, our new-found, 12-step based behavior is so critical to the societies in which we live. It is clear that the experience of the long history of the human species is to higher and higher levels of consciousness. As human societies evolve to these greater states, those of us carrying the message, modeling new behavior, motivated solely from a consciousness of service, will be the agents of ultimate change.  Service to everyone, individually and collectively, service to the Cosmos from a profound position of humility, must be our fundamental calling.

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