Atlas Complex is an intricate psychological core pattern. It defines the individuals who feel and act like the world safety depends on them and their actions. Most of them are leaders by structure, but what truly motivates them isn’t the glory that comes with being the leader, but the pain they endure to protect the world.
In this time of tribulation, when the world is menaced by a deadly virus, people suffering from Atlas complex are facing a hard test: to actually save the world. It might be imaginary but for them, it feels painfully real.
The mythological explanation
Like most of the psychological complexes, Atlas Complex was inspired by a mythological character. A Greek titan, this time. And the best way to understand the psychological complex is by knowing a little about the titan it was named after.
Atlas was one of the titans who fought the young generation of Olympian gods during the famous Titans War. The newly gods won, and the titans and old gods were punished. Atlas was punished to forever hold the celestial heaven’s burden on his shoulders.
The psychological perspective
If you’d translate the myth into reality, Atlas would be the man – or woman for that matter – that feels he’s the one that has to hold the burden. The individual touched by this unconscious belief feels he is the only one who can keep the universe together, that without him and his dedication, the heavens would collide.
From a psychological perspective, people with Atlas Complex are conservative to the point of rigidity. They value their values more then they value life. Their minds can’t be changed, and routine is what they rely on to stay strong. They want to keep the world safe.
What they can’t understand is that the world can’t be safe because it can’t be kept. The world is alive and being alive means changing constantly. Becoming something else by the second. Being alive is always a risk. And this is the risk people with Atlas Complex can’t accept.
Atlas and the pandemic
The representations of Atlas show a man holding the sphere of the Universe. When you look at it, you could easily mistake the Universe with Earth. And it wouldn’t be a mistake. Not from a modern Atlas point ow view. The pandemic that we’re all living now is the perfect pretext for those suffering from Atlas Complex to become what they truly are: the keepers of the Universe.
The sad and funny at the same time part is that all the Atlases are holding different Universes on their shoulders. And each of them claims they are the one true keeper. They can’t see that the Universe they are trying to keep safe is their intrinsic and perfectly subjective way of seeing the world. They have their own gods that they need to protect against the new generation of gods.
Some of the Atlases claim that the world can only be saved if the lockdown is kept and even more severe restrictions are imposed. See the case of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who threatened his citizens they’d be shot if they dare to get out before a vaccine is found.
Other Atlases say that life as we know it will be gone if people won’t go to the movies, or the restaurants as soon as possible. As if we would forget how to get there when the pandemic will be over. Sure, a collapsed economy will change life as we know it.
A little conclusion
Every little Atlas is holding his little universe on his shoulders and fights the Universe that dares to challenge his routine.
But isn’t this what it is all about? Change? Isn’t change the single sure thing about this little piece of Universe called pandemic?
“Look at the sky. Ask yourselves: Has the sheep eaten the flower, yes or no? And you will see how everything changes… And no grown-ups will ever understand why is it so important,” said The Little Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.