Today's Seth talks some more about epidemics and the impact of despair at the individual and the group level. One only has to look at the news to see some of the desperate situations large groups are subjected too, either through terrorism, or wars, climate change, failed economies ... and the list goes on. It's amazing that we don't see more epidemics given the potential for mass despair in many areas of the world.
"The environment in which an outbreak occurs points at the political, sociological, and economic conditions that have evolved, causing such disorder. Often such outbreaks take place after ineffective political or social action - that is, after some unified mass social protest - has failed, or is considered hopeless. They often occur also in wartime on the part of a populace [that] is against a given war in which [its] country is involved.
"Initially there is a psychic contagion: Despair moves faster than a mosquito, or any outward carrier of a given disease. The mental state brings about the activation of a virus that is, in those terms, passive.
"Despair may seem passive only because it feels that exterior action is hopeless - but its fires rage inwardly, and that kind of contagion can leap from bed to bed and from heart to heart. It touches those, however, who are in the same state only, and to some extent it brings about an acceleration in which something can indeed be done in terms of group action."
(The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Session 802)