Saturday, November 1, 2008

Maslow and the Human Pyramid

I don't know if I even want to post this ..... I'm having second and third thoughts .... but who reads these posts anyway?

One highly disturbing parallel that came to me is that between Maslow’s hierarchy and the pyramid of bodies found in Nazi gas chambers when the doors were finally opened. In their desperation to survive, and in a futile attempt to reach fresh air at the roof, the fittest of those locked in the chamber were found to have climbed over the bodies of fellow victims who had already succumbed to the poisonous gases.

It's not what Maslow was really talking about but it somehow indicates the brutal power of our survival instinct. It conjures up in my mind the primal hunger I attribute to the flow-wolf, in its most base and horrifying form.

The full account of the Holocaust victims can be found in the film entitled Shoah by Claude Lanzmann and the above story is recounted in this review. The unbelievable suffering that we humans are capable of inflicting on each other is a sad indictment of humanity. But what is also sobering is what we will do in order to survive.