The Zombie Apocalypse is Here

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Psychology
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Not really. There never will be a zombie apocalypse. Even if some mad scientists were to create a bio-weapon that created a hunger for human flesh, the infected would eat each other. The uninfected would then kill off the zombie winners and the plague would be over. Since there’s been a bit of hype about the zombie apocalypse being imminent, I thought I might give my take on the possibilities.

The Fictional Zombie Apocalypse

The original movie zombies were long-dead corpses that arose from their graves and shambled through the jungle to eat the living. Decades of movies had slow zombies overpowering the living with surprise attacks and sheer numbers. Then, the excitement picked up with fast zombies. There have been a few other variations, such as zombies with guns.

Where zombie movie logic always fails is in the living dead angle. To move, they must eat. Either they eat their victims and fail to multiply or they only infect their victims and starve to death.

Could there be some lesser equivalent of zombies in the real world?

The Self-Righteous Zombie Apocalypse

“Everyone else is a zombie except me” is a popular piece of flawed logic. This comes from the perception that most people are conformist. We all play roles in order to get along socially and this creates that false impression. We are all unique in the same way – conforming to social roles while leading a richer interior life.

We can discount conformity as a zombie trait, within limits. Is there any condition that puts us in a zombie-like state? More than one, I think.

The Real Zombies

Hard Core Addicts

If someone spends all of their time drunk or drugged sitting on the couch, they may be in a zombie-like state. Those aren’t the kind of zombies we worry about. It’s the violent addict that’s a problem for the rest of us. They’ve done such a good job of forgetting themselves that even their friends and relatives don’t recognize them. A lot of murders are committed by this type of zombie.

Hard Core Believers

Many people have strong political or religious beliefs. They are deaf to conflicting arguments. That alone is no great problem. It’s when their beliefs become so hard core that they believe anyone who disagrees with them must be destroyed that they turn into yet another kind of violent zombie.

Extreme Mental Disorders

Mental disorders are considered clinical when they start to seriously affect a person’s ability to earn a living. Max out any mental disorder and they can become a serious threat to themselves or others. This is the most unpredictable kind of violent zombie.

Zombie Prevention

All of these violent zombies have something in common; an obsession with a thinking pattern that is making them unhappy. That includes the addicts since they are using their addiction to burn out the thinking that bothers them. There is another way and it’s already in widespread use. Meditation.

The usual way to meditate is to start by focusing on one thing until it’s the only thing you’re thinking about. It can be a candle flame, a nature scene, even a nonsense syllable. Once you clear your mind of all but that one thing, you stop thinking about that as well. This clears your mind and gives you peace.

In “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle compacts the process further by skipping the one thing. Think about nothing at all right from the get go. At first it can be difficult. A couple of seconds pass and you think, “I’m actually not thinking. Oops.” With practice, you’ll make it for longer and longer periods of time. The Now part of this relates to most problems. Either they happened in the past or will happen in the future. If they were happening now, you’d be dealing with them instead of thinking about them. Thus, put thinking on hold to give yourself a break from unnecessary negativity. I didn’t mean to promote Tolle’s book, but it is a new take on an old idea and worth reading if you’re interested in the subject.

And that’s my take on the zombie apocalypse.

Article text copyright 2012 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.


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