History books tell us that Napoleon was defeated by Wellington in the famous battle of Waterloo. But that wasn’t the complete story. The honor of winning the battle should go to Napoleon himself or to the effect his unconscious had on him during the fateful battle.
When Napoleon was a six month old his nurse left him in the garden to enjoy the morning sun and have some fresh air. She left him there in the crib and went back to the house taking him to be safe and sound.
Just then a wild cat jumped at him probably in a playful mood since the cat did not harm him. However, the cat’s act startled the boy so much that he simply froze in terror without a whimper escaping his lips.
As Napoleon grew up his fear of cats remained. But he did not know why. Though he simply forgot about the incident the trauma of cats was deeply imprinted in his unconscious. So whenever he met a cat he was so terrorized that he could not think any further. The normally courageous Napoleon who could possibly take on a lion suddenly transformed himself into a coward in the presence of a more humble cat.
Wellington got to know about this phobia of his arch enemy. So on the fateful day Wellington brought along 70 cats and kept them right in the front of his army.
Napoleon as a leader loved leading his army from the front. But as soon as he saw those cats his mind froze. He stopped thinking. In utter confusion he called on his generals and asked them to fix the strategy for the battle and arrange the army. He left the battlefield saying that something has terribly gone wrong for him and for this time he would be unable to face the enemy.
Without Napoleon in the lead, the French army was disillusioned and demoralized. They were suddenly afraid and unsure of their fighting ability and soon lost the fateful battle to Wellington.
In fact 70 cats won the war for Wellington.
Our unconscious harbors what we know and don’t know — things which we have either picked up tacitly or explicitly through direct experience or learning. It is the unconscious that guides and directs the conscious part of our brain to act and behave in ways that we choose to behave and act.
Scientist say that 90% of our total consciousness is made up of the unconscious leaving a poor 10% of the power to the conscious part of our brains; i.e. the rational and logical part of the brain.
So there is a need to connect our unconscious to our conscious in different ways so that a mere ‘image of a cat’ would not force us to lose several battles in our lives.
Above all we must be willing to come face to face with any fear we knowingly or unknowingly harbor in our unconscious to free ourselves from their bondage.