It is fascinating that when our beliefs and convictions are questioned or threatened we seek to other and alienate. This is a defence tactic that is used by all animals automatically.
It is also possible to live a life unexamined; in fact it is how most of us exist. Our experiences are told to us by the victors and we tend to accept the version that has been tailor made for us.
What is reality actually? If you consider it, we believe what we perceive to be true, truth is relative. Reality is relative. Part of the beauty of foreignness is that one gets the opportunity to perceive that reality from a different perspective.
I think we should all retain some foreign-ness to ourselves; group-ism creates a certain entitlement. A sense of ownership of an environment that should remain free for navigation.Familiarity breeds insularity. Our socialisation as animals is a strength and a weakness. We survive in groups yet also create rules/laws that are meant to set us apart and isolate us and inevitably our survival is threatened by these groups as we seek to ensure group immortality by annihilating other groups.
Individualism might be the biggest saviour of our time, of course it’s not unproblematic but it also absolves us of group loyalty, it frees us for personal reflection and engagement. Alone, we get to navigate the world and find meaning for ourselves. Our institutions unfortunately are all centred around group behaviour. Our education prepares us for group existence and shapes us in such a way that we lose the selfishness that enables individual participation. Phrases like team player become what we most aspire to. There is a Japanese saying, “ Hit the nail that sticks out” this is true for most cultures.
Groups are of course easier to control. For a long time, religion, education, culture, global divisions have harvested of our need for meaning. By grouping us and setting us apart from the rest, we are temporarily made to believe that the meaning we need and search for is found.
Groups are a solution to our need for control. They are created to give us a sense of superiority over others. To make us believe that our collective tales as a group are unique and set us apart from the rest. To validate our selfish, greedy and self-serving/elevating nature.
Groups say to us; yes our story is unique. Our her/his-story has earned us the right to take from them or kill their offspring. We are the chosen ones and are therefore taking what’s rightfully ours. They say to us; if we don’t kill THEM, they will kill US.
By individualism I don’t in any way mean the self-serving, gluttonous, self-promoting products and drivers of the rat race. So afraid of free thought and speech and intent on regurgitating recycled ideas and kept in line by social communities on media platforms.
I mean a birth of free thinkers, people unafraid to be apart from the group and yet realise that they are part of the group, the interconnectedness of life. People unafraid of stepping outside of skins that limit their mental mobility. People who realise that I am but we all are.
People who respect all things living and acknowledge that life is a cycle of touch. Age is and should be a measure of how much one unlearns and relearns as they re-connect with the source, it’s a private and personal journey which must be travelled in spiritual solitude.
Individualism allows one to constantly morph and grow outside of group limits. It allows one to step outside of the constraints of group politics and propaganda and do what’s best for the cycle. To step outside of the pretentious chains of religion and question beliefs constantly. Conviction is not individualist, it is an ideal driven by those who most benefit from it. Certainty only validates group behaviour and gives groups freedoms that take from other groups and or individuals deviating from the group.
Certainty is the carrot the group uses to keep individuals firmly entrenched in group ideology. Certainty is the ventriloquist’s voice behind the puppet (read person in a group).
An unexamined life is not worth living.