Individuation process vs. hiding within collectivistic identity-based movements and groups

My thinking seems to oscillate daily. Sometimes I get irate over racist extremists — like black supremacists and their push for “communalism” (“one mind, one choice” to quote Latausha Nedd, a.k.a. Eye Empress Sekhmet) and outright rejection of individualism. As was the case yesterday. Then the next night rolls around and I realize just how much they’re fighting an uphill battle, not against white people or society but again Nature unto itself when it comes to trying to staunch and reverse humanity’s gravitation toward individuation. It’s where humans have been heading for the last few thousands of years and it won’t cease just because some ideologies wish for it to. In fact, those ideologies are destined to fail and cause grave destruction on account of going against the natural flow in trying to force human groups backward into outdated modes of existence. Won’t work. Hasn’t thus far. The 20th century demonstrated how devastating attempting to go down that path will be, and the 21st century will prove it again if enough feel so inclined to keep trying to force a square peg through a round hole.

It’s foolish to think we can return to the past. Not possible. Yet it remains popular for people yearn for and romanticize past epochs, believing life to have been simpler then and people to have been kinder (at least within one’s own tribe). We infuse these dreams of the past with magical properties, and then take the view that we have fallen from the grace they represented. That’s the interesting thing about dreams and imaginings — we can concoct them any way we wish. Their adherence to factual reality is irrelevant to us. We gaze fondly upon an imagined past most likely because we’re so uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the present and the future. And that too is a natural inclination.

When I refer to us humans as a bunch of modern-day Luddites, I’m only half joking. We really are, and it’s understandable in a sense. And because of this we’re keen on seeking out someone or something to blame: God, other races and groups and nations, modernity itself, other political camps, influential philosophies that we take issue with, etc. This is all part of the reckoning process that comes with living, especially in such drastically changing times. Lifestyles of a century ago are so foreign to us that we cannot relate, and because of this we get to thinking we’ve been robbed of something precious. Well, we have lost what once was, but, in turn, we’ve also gained what now is and what perhaps may someday be. Everything in life involves a trade-off, whether we like it or not. And Life doesn’t consult with us on whether we’re cool with that — it simply rolls on and we either learn to roll with it or get dragged along. Right or wrong, that does appear to be a fact of life.

On hearing that I’m sure some folks will dig in their heels all the more and proclaim someone like me to be jaded, overly cynical, even nihilistic perhaps. They may think I’ve given up hope, which is not the case. I’m just coming to terms little by little with what’s in my control and what isn’t. The past most definitely isn’t. Though you and I can impact the present and possibly the future as well. So that’s where I am being called to turn my attention, having long been one of the most stubborn Luddites out here who also liked to entertain dreams of what may have come before and harbored resentment over it being wrested from us. I too have been angry over so many things and cast blame in various directions, and still do at times. But, little by little, I’m starting to see this world a bit differently along with my role within it.

The individuation process is very necessary. Consider it the next big leap in the evolutionary progress of humankind. Another step in our progression away from pure animality and primitive sapienhood. Of course the process is painful and trying — when has living and growing not involved suffering? Suffering actually appears to be fundamentally necessary here, prompting expansion of one’s mind and empathetic reflections to enhance relations with other people and the world at-large. Don’t take that in the lovey-dovey sense, as if I think we’re all going to come together and sing kumbaya anytime soon. No, I’m referring to alterations to how we view and live in the world and communicate with one another, which are all forged through trial and error and many hardships and pain and sorrow that can lead us toward a greater consciousness and appreciation for Love, connections, critical inquiry, and grasping what’s of real value.

But this path I speak of is a lonesome valley. Can’t be any other way. People are trying (unconsciously or sub-consciously) to seek refuge in groups and movements and identity politics in an effort to avoid this path and all that goes with it. You can run but you can’t hide. There is no past to retreat to. It’s no more than a fiction in our minds at this point so far as retreating is concerned. Yet people keep trying to go that route, perhaps more and more nowadays, probably because they’re growing all the more terrified with life and where it might be headed. As is understandable, to an extent.

“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself” is an empty platitude that is often repeated but rarely heeded. Why? Because we’re all scared. Very difficult not to be. Uncertainty terrifies us, as does suffering. As does unfolding our own individual potential — that too scares us terribly for some reason, perhaps more than anything else. Maybe because it can’t help but be such an intensely solo (thereby lonely) project, not to mention fraught with worries over being judged by others for whatever fruits we attempt to produce (whether we fail or succeed). Fear of personal failure, especially while observed by others, is huge. And then there’s this nasty requirement that we put in so much effort and learn to turn away from unnecessary distractions (plenty of which we find entertaining). Beyond that, I wonder if it also has something to do with appearing naked in front of our Lord/creator (metaphorically speaking). The group, the hivemind, is a place of refuge not unlike a forest where we appear to be just one tree among many. To stand alone is to stand judged, and that’s a mightily uncomfortable proposition for anyone to contend with. Doesn’t sound like something most of us would willingly sign up for, and many of us therefore don’t.

But life has a way of forcing our hands. One such way, so it appears, is hiding within a group or movement until it grows strong enough that it becomes a monster in its own right that devours a good many of its own as well as those it stands in opposition to. Then all those individuals hidden out therein wind up with a bunch of blood on their own hands (assuming they survive and aren’t one of the ones targeted by the beast of their own making), which they then wind up judged for. Possibly for generations to come. They may cry out that they themselves, individually, were innocent and did not envision nor endorse what the beast eventually became, but others will mock them as cowards and pretenders in response, and rightly so. You built up that aggregated beast through your own individual efforts and contributions — that was a choice. Perhaps it was the easiest choice at the time, but it remained a choice nonetheless. To have otherwise faced scorn and ridicule, rendered alienated or been effectively deserted or maybe even targeted for attack and possibly killed — STILL it was a choice. Because the decision is difficult and the consequences potentially dire does not negate the fact that a choice was made.

So people can wind up tainted by the sins of that which they help create and build up and attempt to hide within, or we can risk being tainted by the sins of our own direct doing without a refuge to obscure us and our activities. Many of us prefer the former since if we do indeed prove to be wrong, the blame and shame winds up distributed among all involved, lessening our own sense of culpability (and/or public witness of it) via camouflage. Seems like a good plan, until it isn’t. Great consequences can be meted out to those deemed responsible for horrific wrongdoing, plenty of which are psychological in nature. And those who truly weren’t comfortable with the direction their organization was heading but who remained involved just the same wind up tarred and feathered along with the rest in the aftermath. No pity shown for them either because they chose to go that route. Here we can reflect on how societies across the world today view the German Nazis and the Russian Communists and the Chinese Maoists of yesteryear — still unforgiven (and unforgivable) decades later. And on and on it goes…

But one doesn’t hide within one’s race unless one makes a conscious identity of it. Because others attribute unwarranted characteristics to you based on your race doesn’t make you automatically guilty. There is a difference between what one is and can’t change and what one chooses to partake in (like an identity-based movement).

Either way, we will potentially face scorn and hardship and blame, no matter who we are. Attempting to hide within a human-made forest won’t change that, nor will standing alone on one’s own merit. BUT at least when one goes his or her own way and grapples with life in an authentic fashion, we’re hiding less from ourselves and others and thereby are capable of learning and clearly observing what will and will not work (assuming one’s goal is to be fruitful, and by that I mean honestly productive, e.g. life-affirming in orientation). Obscuring such truths only prolongs the process and the accompanying pain inherent in it. So taking the easy way today might very well lead to much greater long-term suffering for oneself and/or our descendants (those we claim to care so much about).

No group/movement is capable of instilling these truths into the minds of its members. Each individual has to reckon with and come to terms with what is and what is not on his or her own. Nobody else on earth can do it for us. If one opts to tune out and refuses to explore and examine information for oneself, then potential growth will be stunted for that particular individual, with no one else possessing the power to change that fact. If we choose the less studious route and allow a group or movement to indoctrinate us with talking points in place of real information that we have fact-checked and quibbled over, then we’ve allowed ourselves to be misled. That is one’s own responsibility since we are our own gatekeepers as adults. And if that group/movement we’ve chosen affiliation with goes into beast mode and creates havoc, we deserve our fair portion of the blame for having provided it fuel to grow and become what it has.

At bottom, there’s no way to escape personal responsibility. Try as we might to fight it and run from it, we’ll keep being returned to face this human truth. Again and again and again. Until we learn it and strive to act in accordance, it will continue being Ground Hog Day on this planet — repeating the same mistakes over and over with painful consequences that provide an opportunity for reflection, introspection and personal growth. It is ultimately our choice on what we each decide to do. If people prefer to create hell on earth by refusing to come to grips with this, then hell we shall have.

There are rules that are beyond our making but that must be lived in accordance with if we’re to ever transcend our current conundrums. I’d like to tell you that I’m sorry for this, but actually I’m not. It’s just life. Is what it is, and that’s okay. I happen to find it very interesting and awe-inspiring, albeit unnerving and very tough to come to terms with each step of the way. My prayer for others is that they too come to embrace Life’s wonder and strangeness without letting too much fear and pressure from other humans get in the way of exploring the possibilities. Take care.

My patience continues to wane for so-called Leftists and “progressives”

Back in for the evening after work and have some thoughts to get off my chest here.

First off, let me note that a very close female friend of mine called again today and has been over time relating stories about her crazy female cousin. They’re both a little younger than me, which is to say in their early 30s. Won’t go into details here out of respect for my friend and her family’s privacy, but I will say that her cousin is shaping up to be the quintessential SJW (Social Justice Warrior). From talk of feeling triggered all the damn time to mentions of desiring a safe space, from manipulatively mistreating her family members and then accusing them of “bullying” when they attempt to stand up for themselves in response, to grooming her own fiance into a therapist-of-sorts to coddle and cater to her every whim AND outright bashing others publicly for their conservative views to the point where she brought an older female family member to tears — the chick has serious problems. Wouldn’t care so much if her problems didn’t impact so many others in her family, including people I care about. So I’ve been listening to more about her shenanigans in recent weeks, and the only advice I can offer my friend is to take a tough love approach at this point, for her and her family members’ own sake. Chances are the crazy cousin won’t ever see the light and might continue casting blame until her dying breath, but her allegations are false and the amount of sheer torment and pain she’s foisting upon people who love her is straight-up unacceptable. If that woman can’t get her shit together better than this then she deserves to go it alone. What she puts her parents through is particularly upsetting to learn about. All while she remains financially dependent on them. Ugh. Anyway, I’ve said enough on that. They will have to contend with that matter among their own.

That along with so much else has had me thinking lately about how little respect I’m feeling for the so-called Political Left these days. Just running out of compassion for a good many of them. Let it be known that I exclude classical liberals from this assessment in so far as they openly choose to call these weirdos out. But so many who profess to be “liberal” truly are not. Rather, they’re proving to be the most intolerant amongst us.

Who cares if somebody else voices a view you disagree with? Either argue against it or move on. What you don’t have the right to do, at least if you’re a person possessing any real integrity, is to dox them and basically invite violence upon them and their family members and loved ones simply because you disagree with their political positions. You don’t have a right to print false allegations against them in an effort to harm their credibility, lest you want your own credibility destroyed in the process. You don’t have the right to sucker-punch people who are in no way menacing you or threatening violence against you. That’s some cowardly shit adopted by low-grade jerks and ninny-babies with no scruples or backbone. And if your violent tactics wind you up shot by people attempting to defend themselves, I, for one, will not be alarmed and grief-stricken. Because you’re an idiot behaving in such a way that is destined to get you removed from the gene pool, and perhaps rightly so.

There’s only so much love to go around at this point in time. I’ve got compassion oozing out the yin-yang, but not for folks who aim to visit harm upon others without just cause. Having your feelings hurt does not qualify as just cause. For the record.

What values do any of us continue to share in common nowadays? I see so many people acting pissed off, speaking out against the System and taking things to such an extreme that it appears their goal is to undermine our entire civilization in favor of something extraordinarily different, something communistic/socialistic/collectivistic primarily. Well, that’s not what we’re supposed to be about in the U.S. Maybe European countries are open to such shenanigans, but Americans are known for our rebellious and individualistic instincts and drives. So good luck with that. Don’t think it will work out in the ways that some may envision.

Why would you want to completely undermine our civilization? What do you imagine you’ll gain from such an endeavor? Do you honestly believe the rich will remain here to be pillaged and taxed to the hilt in order to further support your income re-distribution efforts? And what will you do when they’re gone and you’re left at the mercy of  criminal elements without enough law enforcement officials to combat them effectively? I wish people would go deeply down into this rabbit hole to explore the possibilities of what they envision, because one thing life has been teaching me is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’s oft repeated because it’s true. Because someone can envision a certain outcome in no way ensures that that outcome will be brought into fruition. So many complicating factors, so many unforeseen variables. Such is our social life, whether here or abroad, today or at any other point in history.

Life is complicated, life is mad. I witness so much passive-aggressiveness, so many pretensions, so much back-slapping for presumed victories, and yet so little honest and deep introspection. A political movement cannot save us from ourselves nor undo past problems nor perfect any society. Many have tried and all have failed. Because life’s stickier than that and less predictable — less capable of being made predictable than some might wish to believe. The top-down approach has severe limitations and tons of room for abuses and inversions of justice. History has taught us this again and again. Yet some people don’t want to accept that answer and wish to believe instead that it can nowadays somehow be tweaked just right to create the utopian outcome they so desire. This is a pipe dream, folks. Time will prove this once again…

Some days I grow so tired of my fellow humans. But then I aim to remember that it all simply is what it is and that no one promised us a rose garden. We must learn to roll with it in our own ways. I personally have chosen resistance on some level as my response, but that doesn’t mean I’m closed-minded to all these people and their concerns or unwilling to engage the reasonable among them in dialogue. They are still my brothers and sisters whether they can appreciate that or not. But then again, sometimes family deserves to be disowned. Time will tell how that shakes out too.

Will continue observing and pondering…

“Awaken from the Culture Time For Change (Terence Mckenna, Joe Rogan)”

YTer Carpo719 linked the following video so I’m watching tonight:

Food for thought…

I’m actually rethinking my past dismissal of Joe Rogan. Didn’t give him enough of a chance and haven’t listened to his podcasts beyond a few minutes. Will have to look deeper into what he’s put out into the world, out of curiosity. Because I completely agree with his trouble accepting the official story of building 7 on 9/11/01 — it’s bothered me since the first time I watched the footage. I’ve listened to countless arguments attempting to support how a building could fall like that without controlled demolition, but I remain unconvinced by all of these arguments.

We’re being lied to, that much I do know. What actually happened on 9/11? I don’t know, but I know enough to clearly see that the official story put out by the government is bullshit. Felt this way for a looong time now and looked far and wide for explanations, but all I keep coming up with are desperate attempts to deny the reality presented in the visual footage that originally aired. I can’t even bring myself to debate these lies anymore. It’s just a bunch of wishful thinking on the part of people who can’t cope with the idea of how thoroughly we’ve been duped. But it’s not the first time and won’t be the last. This is the way governments function once they get massive. History on up to the present continues teaching us this. It’s too big to where it’s guaranteed to fail. This has so far always been the fate of empires.

So many lies and cover-ups. I don’t like to call it “conspiracy theory” since that term’s been used to death. I personally refer to it as an “inquiry into collusion” because collusion is absolutely known to us to be going on. Those with the most power aim to keep it and grab more, so they collude with one another to do so. That factors into this situation, whether we want to accept it or not. It’s a fact. For one prominent example, look into the meeting on Jeckyll Island that concocted the formation of the Federal Reserve. This information is confirmed, right from the mouths of the men present at the meeting, documented in news reports years after it was a done deal. No one can deny the humongous impact that one decision has had on American life ever since. And it was born out of collusion. No theory needed.

Just the last 150 years alone have brought us into a whole new world. And it’s asking of us to come up with a unique way of navigating in it.

Though, I should state, I’m not a psychedelic substance user. Always felt I’d need to do stuff like that with a knowledgeable guide and in a comfortable setting where I felt safe and free to explore. And that opportunity didn’t present itself. Instead I was surrounded by wannabe-hippies, apathetics, rebellious young people seeking any kind of escape from reality, and loons (at least when it came to drug users I’ve met). I’ve never dropped acid before. Had a handful of microdots given to me randomly at a rave down at the State Palace Theater in New Orleans once upon a time, and I handed them back. Just not my deal, not so far. Tried a little bit of shrooms a couple times, once as a teen in shroom-aid though I barely drank any, and then a couple years ago with a gal I met at the bar and her boyfriend in a shady hotel room. Needless to say, I didn’t take much and immediately returned home a short ways away to lie beside my partner where I did feel safe. Laid in the dark and observed colorful designs pretty much reminiscent of tie-dyes and fractals. Then fell asleep. Can’t say I regret the experience, but also can’t claim to have gotten much out it. So I’m left listening to what others have to say about psychedelics and observing those I know who’ve had a lot of experiences with them. One thing I’m sure of is that acid can be overdone. Met several people a few hits over the line. Messed them up.

Always been skittish toward that kind of shit. Context and environment really seem to matter when partaking in those sorts of experiences. The dreaded “bad trip” sounded like something to seriously avoid at all costs.

Anyway, just not my cup of tea. And I think many of us are overdoing mary jane too. Overuse isn’t consequence-free, I don’t believe. Or maybe not all people’s brain cells are created equal. Pretty sure mine would benefit from no more than low exposure. Some folks I know who are into the ganja make it the center of their lifestyle. Smoke it morning, noon, and night. That’s one way to totally tune out, if you can function like that. Observation demonstrates most of those don’t fair terribly well past age 50. Get loopy, really lazy, dampened ambitions, less able to clearly track complex conversations and inquiries and then articulate meaningful insight in response. That winds up hindering them.

Things worth thinking about.

I took to beer and cigarettes and am obviously not claiming to be operating at an optimal level. LOL  I tune out/chill out in my own ways more than I probably ought too. Because it dulls us down, robs us of ambition, allows us to care a little less. Has it’s definite upside too, at least in the beginning. Consequences there tend to be cumulative.

Just sharing things that go through my mind…

Interesting video nevertheless.

Why follow the leader? — another excerpt from the book “The True Believer”

Feel like transcribing a little bit this afternoon. Been a long and stupid weekend. So, picking back up in Eric Hoffer’s book The True Believer (1951) on page 108, section 92:

The total surrender of a distinct self is a prerequisite for the attainment of both unity and self-sacrifice; and there is probably no more direct way of realizing this surrender than by inculcating and extolling the habit of blind obedience. When Stalin forces scientists, writers and artists to crawl on their bellies and deny their individual intelligence, sense of beauty and moral sense, he is not indulging a sadistic impulse but is solemnizing, in a most impressive way, the supreme virtue of blind obedience. All mass movements rank obedience with the highest virtues and put it on a level with faith: “union of minds requires not only a perfect accord in the one Faith, but complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and the Roman Pontiff as to God Himself.” Obedience is not only the first law of God, but also the first tenet of a revolutionary party and of fervent nationalism. “Not to reason why” is considered by all mass movements the mark of a strong and generous spirit.

The disorder, bloodshed and destruction which mark the trail of a rising mass movement lead us to think of the followers of the movement as being by nature rowdy and lawless. Actually, mass ferocity is not always the sum of individual lawlessness. Personal truculence militates against united action. It moves the individual to strike out for himself. It produces the pioneer, adventurer and bandit. The true believer, no matter how rowdy and violent his acts, is basically an obedient and submissive person. The Christian converts who staged razzias against the University of Alexandria and lynched professors suspected of unorthodoxy were submissive members of a compact church. The Communist rioter is a servile member of a party. Both the Japanese and Nazi rowdies were the most disciplined people the world has seen. In this country, the American employer often finds in the racial fanatic of our South—so given to mass violence—a respectful and docile factory hand. The army, too, finds him particularly amenable to discipline.

93

People whose lives are barren and insecure seem to show a greater willingness to obey than people who are self-sufficient and self-confident. To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for individual failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility. Moreover, submission by all to a supreme leader is an approach to their ideal of equality.

In time of crisis, during floods, earthquakes, epidemics, depressions and wars, separate individual effort is of no avail, and people of every condition are ready to obey and follow a leader. To obey is then the only firm point in a chaotic day-by-day existence.

94

The frustrated are also likely to be the most steadfast followers. It is remarkable, that, in a cooperative effort, the least self-reliant are the least likely to be discouraged by defeat. For they join others in a common undertaking not so much to ensure the success of a cherished project as to avoid an individual shouldering of blame in case of failure. When the common undertaking fails, they are still spared the one thing they fear most, namely, the showing up of their individual shortcomings. Their faith remains unimpaired and they are eager to follow in a new attempt.

The frustrated follow a leader less because of their faith that he is leading them to a promised land than because of their immediate feeling that he is leading them away from their unwanted selves. Surrender to a leader is not a means to an end but a fulfillment. Whither they are led is of secondary importance.

[Bold emphasis mine]

Stopping there on page 110. That piece jumped out at me when I read it the other day, so I wanted to share it with others.