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How Much of You Is Really You
What's All That Pride About Anyway
I hope everyone will agree that we can't take pride in something for which we can't claim any merit. Sports fans cheer through the victorious game of their team - identifying with it - and proudly shouting "We are winning!".Yeah, sure, by finishing a bucket of popcorn and a six pack of beer.
Then, those men with a typical macho mentality may proudly walk swinging their manhood like a church-bell for everyone to notice and looking down at the "weaker gender" - as if they decided to be a male back there in mother's womb.
Also, those fanatical patriots with a Nazi mentality glorify their country, even though they didn't choose their birth place. And finally, let's just quickly scan through all customs, traditions, labels, slogans, religions, and "norms of normalcy" that we may blindly follow - while not having participated in their creation, and without having a say in how much sense they are really making.
Are These Feelings Mine or My Mothers'?
That's where it starts getting somewhat amusing, as we may gather enough courage to ask ourselves - whose thoughts are we really thinking, and whose emotions are we really feeling, along with our attitudinal mindset and our general worldview?
Heavily influenced by the collective system of beliefs we are mostly copycats of someone else's beliefs, and it wouldn't be nearly so tragicomic if we didn't take it for "normal". After all, "blending with the mass" gives us that warm sense of security, and guarantees all the benefits of having a comfort zone, so how could that be wrong, you ask.
Well, it's not about a choice of living in a society or living as a hermit somewhere in woods - but it's a matter of whom we are identifying with. More precisely, it's a matter of living an individual or a collective consciousness. For we have both, so we need our intuition to make an inventory in our hierarchy of mental forces and come up with a bunch of honest answers.
Namely, we should be able to recognize in ourselves what is really "us", and what is "others". While nothing is wrong about "adopting" others' information, we have to be clear whether it's really our choice and working for the best interests of our wellbeing, happiness and growth.
We Are Not a Flock of Birds
When you look at a swarm of bees, a flock of birds, or a school of minnows in the ocean, you can't but admire that unison of collective motion which makes you wander how the heck they don't bump into one another while being so close to one another.
So how do they manage to navigate in such a collective fashion? It's their collective consciousness, and every species has it - including us humans. Only, since birds, minnows, and bees are missing verbal communication, theirs is expressed a sort of telepathically, as they all "tune into" one channel, one collective choice where to turn next - maybe orchestrated by a leader telepathically guiding their wings while they are switched to their "automatic pilot".
As for us humans, there is a default part of our nature that's programmed in such a way that all humans see green as green, hear sounds within the same range of frequencies, and otherwise share other characteristics that are species-specific - and yes, abide to a collectively-artificial paradigm, or "way of coexisting and believing".
It's for this inner urge of collective consciousness that we create all traditions, customs, laws, religions, and other forms of social interacting. And again, it wouldn't be all that bad if we didn't forget that unlike other living beings we are given freedom of choice - what to think, believe, feel. No matter how much we agree to be a little particle of the humankind, we are in the first place individuals.
"All for One(really?) - and One for All!"(mostly)
Spiritual gurus could be accused of romanticizing collective consciousness when they talk about "all of us being One". They talk about a "self-less altruism" - a deeply ingrained collective illusion, so much abused during the course of the history as "patriotism".
It has been an incredibly useful tool of rulers to make their subjects fight for their selfish or career-oriented agendas. We saw it millennia ago at work - and we are still seeing it these days, however not fully getting its degrading impact on our individual rights, which are the same as those of kings and presidents.
Swayed by sweet-talks of our leaders we will proudly send our boys to a war that only serves the agenda of a current administration in power - not necessarily the next, and let alone "interests of the country's security".
Just yesterday I saw on the news President Obama being cordially greeted by the Vietnamese dignitaries at the airport. And only some days before he was welcomed by the Japanese leader, ahead of visiting Hiroshima.
How nice, we all say, but what about all those young people in uniform who died on both sides of this historical friendly handshakes? Again, collective consciousness has many ugly faces. "All for one - and one for all" was a cute slogan of those three (or was it four) musketeers - but in the reality of collective consciousness, it's predominantly the second part of it that is being honored.
Love Your Country - Cleverly
Of course, I am not telling you to stop loving your country. But I certainly am appealing to your individual consciousness to assess how much of your patriotism is generated by the default urge of collective consciousness to make an infatuation out of that patriotism.
No, I am not using some too strong words here. There are so many things that we never examine. Like, I am almost sure it never crossed your mind that patriotism - on our deep animalistic level - equals our affinity for our "natural habitat".
Think of Eskimos or those folks living in deserts or in any other almost uninhabitable locations on the planet. Then ask yourself, why they never bothered leaving, since they must have heard of better places on earth. Think of some horrible natural elements they are daily fighting with in order to survive.
But they just can't leave it, they are not only in it - it's also in them. That's what I called "patriotic infatuation" up there - and it may come an eye-opening concept the next time when a politician starts playing again on that card of "your duty to your motherland".
Don't Be Stuck at the Receiving End
When we start respecting our individual spiritual signature and fingerprint, that's the time we also start cherishing our freedom to think out-of-the-box, to choose our own attitudes, not mimicking others around us. We don't owe it to our parents, our leaders, political or religious to be a carbon copy of their positions and worldviews.
Also, let us forget about the idiocy of the "democratic freedoms". Democracy is an artificial social construct, and it can't "grant" us a freedom that we were already born with. It's like that silly joke about the man coming from woods and all excited sharing with his family; "Imagine, a poisonous snake just saved my life!" Asked "How?" - he says : "It didn't bite me".
Indeed, when it's about freedom, we are giving way too much credit to our leaders. Just like we shouldn't be told by a holy book how to be moral, how to love, and to whom we should surrender our power.
If we don't have sufficiently awakened intuition to guide us in life, then it's time to wake up to that intuition, instead of giving up on ourselves and our inner guidance as the supreme source of what is right and what is wrong.
Any holy book can only "remind" us about something that we intuitively knew all the time. "Teaching" involves some "new" material, not something that instantly sits well in our hearts as true.
Let's Become Who We Are!
In a garden variety of collectivists - people brainwashed by collective consciousness - a typical one constantly depends on the mood of others, while not knowing that he can choose his own.
So here we have a paradox, as he would be assumed to be "more helpful" to the others than an individualist, who may be portrayed in the minds of many as a "self-centered" dude. That's a capital mistake, because two blind men won't get far, and at times of someone's misfortune, the individualist won't pick up that suffering mood and sit down to cry with the sufferer, but will detach himself enough to be useful and effective in that situation.
It takes an individualist to do something "out of ordinary", because ordinary means collectivistic, or spiritually passive and waiting for others to say what is O.K. and what is not.
Individualism is about discovering who we really are, not as products of society, but as expression of those babies that we used to be - pristine and free, curious and creative, and ever willing to grow in any direction that our inner guide is telling us.