Radical Islamic Terrorists, French Foreign Legionnaires, Samurai, Crusaders and Japanese World War 2 kamikazes all seem to be very different on the outside and are separated by vast oceans of time but when you look past that, they appear to be fundamentally one and the same.
When I was talking to one of my Facebook friends, Cody Funk, I learned from him that people who dedicate themselves to an Idea/ Ideal destroy their Ego and become more than they really are. That got me thinking, when they undergo the transformation of the Ego destruction to embody an Idea/ Ideal, they tend to override all sense of self-preservation and cannot be swayed so easily with money, Power or other worldly things and instead devote themselves to achieving this new purpose they made which exists as Symbols in the realm of their Minds.
I read from a post on www.psychologytoday.com about “The Power of Symbolism: Why burning the Quran Is Disturbing” and it presented an interesting idea that Symbols are our way, as humans, of coping with our frailty and finite lives and meeting our need of wanting to be part of something larger. It is when those symbols are desecrated e.g. burning a country’s flag, attacking a country, burning a Bible/ Quran/ cross, football team banners, mocking a God etc that we feel insecure , destroys the idea of us wanting to be part of something larger and reminds us of our mortality.
The Symbols that are ingrained in our Minds start to take a life of their own and we begin to feel and express love for it as we do for a lover or family member according to “The Brain Sell” by Dr. David Lewis which explains why most people are fooled to buy branded items like Gucci, Armani, Rolex etc.
It is this love for Symbols that makes us do anything to achieve what these symbols suggest or represent like spending excessive amounts of money on the branded items or maybe even killing other people who don’t represent or support that Symbol. Soldiers and Kamikaze fighters say they die for their country, which in their minds is the flag symbol, when in actual fact, they will kill as a way to express their love for that flag Symbol. The same goes for Radical terrorists who do disgusting things as a way to express their love for their idea of God.