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and cause grave destruction on account of going against the natural flow in trying to force human groups backward into outdated modes of existence.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.

Tidbits of wisdom and advice from Dr. Jordan Peterson

“How To Stop Procrastinating”:

“Wasting Time and Opportunities”:

“Daily Structure Keeps You Sane”:

“Go Out and Make Something of Yourself!”:

“LARRY ELDER: Black Men Crushed By Excuses NOT ‘Racism’; Talks On Hating & Reconciling w/ His Father”

A very good talk. Highly recommended.

“Reggie Yates’ Extreme UK: Men at War” (full BBC film) — plus my thoughts

Well, well, well…first time hearing of and watching this today. But, then again, I am already familiar with a number of the names and handles mentioned or shown therein, the exception being Milo. Known about Roosh V since that Jordan Owen and Aurini film debacle back last year once it finally flamed out, and one of the big problems there apparently had to do with Roosh V’s involvement. So last year I went and read his supposedly “satirical” piece titled “How to Stop Rape,” which you can still read on his site (now including a disclaimer after the backlash he received).

Honestly, point blank, I think Roosh is a piece of shit, having watched several of his videos and read his posts back then before settling on that as my final assessment. And I think people who willingly choose to associate with and defend the guy bring drama upon themselves. Would you want someone treating and viewing your little sister like that? How about your daughter? Or your grand-daughter? Or your mother? To go so far as to school other men to look at life and women that way is very low, at least in my book.

He has his free speech obviously, seeing as how he’s still talking and writing and performing lectures to paying audiences throughout the world. But he can’t realistically expect for everyone to be pleased and complacent when confronted with his message. I’d cuss him out if he happened to walk into my bar, no doubt about it. Would make a big scene over an asshole like that with no qualms about doing so. I can be a major bitch when the situation seems to call for it. He can speak freely, well, so can I and others. Same goes if he were advocating getting other men drunk and trying to rape them. Or if he were a woman who talked openly about trying to get men drunk so she could take advantage of and rape men or women. It’s low-life bullshit either way you slice it and deserves to be called out. I personally have no patience for such nonsense.

There may be fine lines in certain cases, but when you go out with the intention of not hesitating and not taking no for an answer, you’ve stepped over a line already. Rationalizing and “reasoning” can indeed take a person into strange places…

Such talk is disgusting. Not to mention the rumors I read about how Roosh contracted STDs and spread them without concern. Just…ugh…ick. Like he doesn’t have a conscience at all. Me personally, I want nothing to do with that joker or anyone who chooses to align with his beliefs and outlook. Firm stance there.

But, it deserves to be stated, Roosh is not an MRA (men’s rights activist). He’s a PUA (pick-up artist), and there is a difference. But he does still qualify as a “manospherian.”

Anyway, carrying on…I actually thought Reggie was pretty fair in this BBC production. He seemed fairly open to learning about the “manosphere,” though he’d need to dig a lot deeper to gain a better understanding of the political and social arguments and concerns within the men’s rights movement. Takes a good bit of time and research to wrap one’s mind around all of that, whether you ultimately wind up agreeing on all points or not.

Can’t say I’m surprised the so-called “MGTOWs” overall chose to opt out and threw a paranoid fit over the thought of being interviewed.  lol  And that’s why I can’t take those dudes too seriously. A man actually going his own way and determining life for himself and not being ashamed to state it plain — that I can grant respect (aside from Roosh V and his ilk). But a herd of complainers with little actual ambition to change a thing that they have direct control over, wringing their hands in pleasured thoughts over the coming Armageddon, fantasizing about how scared we’ll all someday be of them and how they’ll someday rise in power by default in a collapsed society — that shit gets straight-up nutty after a while. And when you step to them and tell them off (even after they come at you first, unprovoked), what do they do? Accuse you of “shaming” them, cry victim, and eventually scuttle off back into obscurity, typical keyboard warriors destined to remain as such. Nothing new there. That’s been known to plenty of us for at least a couple years or more in terms of this internet phenomenon. Cowards. They don’t like being called that, and I don’t blanketly apply the term, but it goes for those it fits.

I get worried and nervous over all kinds of shit, particularly in recent years after my confidence took a big hit. But I still show my face and voice my concerns and reasoning without hiding or pretending. And I mold my life and work so as to accommodate my core life choices and preferred ways of being, not the other way around. We all have this option. Who doesn’t? Granted, I’m not sending threatening texts and emails to people, but that’s not my prerogative. I suppose if it’s yours then you would wish to remain anonymous.

Am I picking on the “manosphere” again tonight? Maybe a little. Mostly just irritated that this sort of footage isn’t actually out of line with how so many of these “manospherians” wind up perceived by outsiders looking in. It’s not Reggie making them look like assholes — it’s their own selves. Not all of them, mind you, but we wind up associated in the eyes of others with that which we willingly choose to affiliate ourselves. Right or wrong. And maybe some shouldn’t care much about others’ opinions and should continue living life as they see fit and improving their movements from the inside so far as they’re able. I don’t necessarily begrudge folks for aiming to reform what’s already in place. Just that our affiliations are our responsibility oftentimes, so it shouldn’t be surprising when we wind up tarred and feathered right along with the others when the time comes. Led me to thinking I’d be better off being strung up for my own thoughts, ideas, choices and behaviors, not somebody else’s whom I have no control over. And that goes for gender-bent movements just as much as for any other political or social movement under the sun. Maybe the lesson to take from this is to choose our affiliations more wisely. And scrutinize everything we’re being told, from every source.

Food for thought from Professor Anton

Throughout the day re-watching videos when time permits, flipping through Prof. Corey Anton’s youtube channel again tonight, as I like to do fairly regularly. Following are a few I’m glad to stumble back across.

“Larger Implications of Youtube”:

“Information, relevance, and great acts”:

“Corey Anton: The Lie of Standing Alone”:

“Corey Anton: Stoic Virtues (Ancient & Modern)”:

“Corey Anton: Neo-Stoicism in the Modern World”:

“Corey Anton: Solving Psychological Problems (Logotherapy)”:

“Corey Anton: We Become What We Think of Ourselves”:

“Corey Anton: Ambiguity, Suffering, & the Atheist/Theist Debate”:

“Corey Anton: Self-Esteem & Reality Confidence (On Calibration)”:

“Corey Anton: Meaning Junkies & the Courage to Need Little”:

“Why I am not an Atheist”:

“What is a Wasted Life?”:

He has so many awesome videos worth taking time with.

“SOLITUDE OF SELF” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A 19th-century piece titled “Solitude of Self” written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton: