We Are Not the Labels We Wear
A Matter of Silly Pride
I hope everyone would agree that we can't take a pride in something for which we can't take any merit. Sports fans cheer through a victorious game of their favorite team -- identifying with them -- and proudly yell: "We won!" Oh yes, by finishing a bucket of popcorns and a six pack of beer.
Likewise, a dude of a macho mentality is looking down on the "weaker" gender, as if he decided, while in mother's womb, about his own. For the longest time it used to be the "man's world", and in some parts of the world it still is. It's so silly when you take a little deeper look at it.
As male babies, and all through early childhood they are totally dependent on their mother, a "weaker female" -- and then they fluff their feathers as "more important" when they grow up. Just for being called a "man", not really justified to take any credit for it whatsoever.
As if They Picked where to Be Born
Likewise, those fanatical patriots with recognizable traces of a Nazi mentality glorify their homeland as if they picked it for their native country before being born, while talking about it as some sort of their own achievement that they can be proud of. Similarly to those sports fans, they ascribe to themselves everything that those able individuals in the society have made of that country.
People rarely think honestly about it. If they did, they would also notice that those best looking old palaces in their country are not a part of a "glorious past", but a shameful one, filled with occupying, exploiting, grabbing, even enslaving and massive killing.
And yet, they are passing by those "monuments of national glory" feeling somehow dignified, as if they themselves participated in all those unholy triumphs of greed.
Of course, this is not to turn us away from loving our country, but to put that love in a right perspective. On a certain level we are displaying quite a few characteristics of animals -- and our global coexistence will readily attest to that -- so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that something like a "natural habitat" in a part of our still animalistic survival instinct.
And that, my friends, is the basis of our love for our country. If you still have any doubts, just ask yourself why Eskimo or those desert peoples never migrated to a more livable parts of the world. They are not "stuck" there, so what are they still doing in those horrible living conditions?
Well, that's exactly what it is -- their natural habitat, and to them it may be just as unacceptable to leave it as it is to a river fish to migrate to the sea water. Who knows, maybe they are also "proud" of their rough environment.
Believers by Inheritance
How about all that pride about the religion that we follow. When I was a baby, they had me baptized in a Catholic church, not allowing me to choose for myself when I grow up. Being a bit of a satiric, I sometimes get this vision of a cow getting branded, I don't know why. My parents and grandparents living in a Catholic community must have simply felt compelled to do it -- so they did my baptizing for themselves, not to become targets of rumors in the neighborhood.
Well, needless to say, I never grew up a Catholic, or belonging to any other denomination or organized religion. I believe in something like a universal consciousness with humans tuning into it -- but that's a theme for another article. So, I am not either religious, or agnostic, or atheist -- oh, man, how I laugh at any of those labels that would try to "define " me and my humanness, let alone my own version of spirituality!
It's a simple fact that the great majority of religious followers are that by "inheritance", not by their own "inherent" inner drive to have a god in their mentality. Am I mocking them for that? No way, being an individualist by intuitive choice, I honestly could not care less what other individuals choose to believe -- it's entirely their own business. I am merely expressing my own views, not being normative at all.
So, in my views, I just can't see the point of religious folks being "proud" of their religion, since most of them never contributed in its creation, they got it all "cooked and put on their plate". Moreover, many of them shouldn't be proud, because they are only "strong believers" by their words, not their deeds.
"Together We Are Strong"
So far I have been trying to impress you with some of many other examples of people using social labels for their identity. At the time of elections in the USA I happened to hear one of the candidates throwing a smart slogan at the voters: "Together we are strong". What a nice way to get under the skin of all those with insecurity issues -- which might as well be the whole nation at these times of terrorist threats and other uncertainties.
Indeed, what stands behind all this self-identification with labels is an inner need to blend with a mass -- to increase our own mass, because that makes us feel more secure. As if saying to some invisible and hypothetical threat: "You are not dealing with the little me, but with everybody-of-me, and look, I even got a god on my side".
Of course, nobody is thinking consciously this way, but it's a part of that 90-something percent of our mental processes that are going on under the scope of our awareness. We are mostly social beings out of a need, maybe not so much out of a choice.
Because, let's face it, we are all different enough, just eager to find that which we have in common with others, and that has escalated into thinking, believing, and feeling like everybody does. Out of something like a "collective consciousness".
Bees Got It, Birds Got It, Fishes Got It - and so Do We
When you observe a swarm of bees, a dense flock of birds, or a school of the ocean minnows, you can't but admire their navigational skill, as they move in unison, never bumping into one another. But is it really a skill, or a telepathically guided movement of all of them becoming one body - a phenomenon that I will call "collective consciousness", or "collectivism" where it refers to us humans.
On a certain, not thoroughly explored level of our nature that is default, or robotic, we are displaying our own version of collective consciousness, and it goes much further than picking up someone else's yawning.
Some spiritual teachers are taking it a bit too far by suggesting that "all of us are one", so they propose something like "selfless altruism" as a healthy and "normal" way of coexisting. Religion and politicians gladly joined that philosophy establishing a code of morality based on de-personalization in favor of a "higher good for all".
While it is true that we are all connected on a quantum level through an "entanglement" of everything in the universe, even the physical theorists are saying that it's up to our individuality how we contribute in that co-creation of our reality.
There is nothing uniform in this universe, which obviously insists on its principle of variety - so saying that "we are all one" is a major illusion propagated by those who benefit from it. Collectivism was a horrendous misinterpretation and exaggeration of our similarities, and in my opinion, a major cause of all suffering.
In the Core of Suffering
Maybe it's time to start recognizing what it is in us that's responsible for alienation from ourselves. Many spiritual, even some psychological views are blowing into that same trumpet about our need to "blend with everyone else in order to find a peace of mind".
Well, I am radically opposed to that view. In my opinion, collectivistic morality is responsible for much of the human suffering, while being the cause of our alienation from our true selves, from our spiritual signature and fingerprint.
By trying to be "like everybody else and believe like everybody else", we have become too dependent on outside resources of healing, happiness, and peace of mind - making obsolete our own mind power over these aspects of life.
Every discipline in self-healing and spirituality clearly means turning our attention inwards and finding all the answers and strengths in there, not outside, not inspired by some "role models". There is no one out there exactly like ourselves, and that should be a starting truism in our peeling off all labels from our sense of identity.
Many emotional and consequently physical ailments are directly or indirectly caused by our having lost the touch with who we really are on our deepest level of being. These ailments are a manifested inner outcry for returning to our essence, and stop being a bunch of labels suggested or imposed by the society.
When many self-actualized individuals join their efforts to co-create the human reality, they form a healthy society, with each of them contributing to it from a pool of liberated personal strengths.
So, here we are facing a choice between our status quo and a newly discovered sense of self which has nothing to do with any of those labels that we have attached to ourselves in the process of being historically brainwashed out of our own dignity.
© 2015 Vladimir Karas