Sandwiched between our desires and our behaviour is our conditioned mind… the metaphysical location of our belief system. In our efforts to behave ‘properly’ our natural self-expression is corrupted by our belief system (which has an ‘attitude’ about our natural inclinations).
Civilization is an unnatural state for a mammal.
Civilized behaviour can only be achieved by the suppression of natural inclinations. This causes psychosis in the mind of the mammal.
The price of Civilization is paid for in the psychosis of its individuals.
‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ Thoreau
Behind the mask of civility, what insanity lies in wait for each of us to discover in ourselves and in others?
We arrive in the world as raw, pure, unadulterated potential… then we are led (albeit by people who mean well) into a labyrinth of madness, aka The Matrix.
Our innocent minds get fucked over.
‘The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.’ Jim Morrison
Our beliefs were formed in infancy and we live our adult lives using this infantile belief system as our guide for navigating The Matrix.
Because our belief system was formed in infancy in response – by and large – to our relationship with our parents, our understanding of the nature of The Matrix revolves around an understanding of what we are forbidden to do, therefore our conscious self-expression (aka ego) is focused on the negative and on avoiding censure.
Our adult relationships are – by and large – recreations of our infantile relationship with our parents, which was – by and large – navigation of group psychosis during which we learned that freedom of self-expression was ‘naughty’ and, therefore, forbidden.
The adult ego is a manifestation of infantile psychosis and is characterised by fear. Ergo, Civilization is a manifestation of collective infantile psychoses and is characterized by fear.
This is what happens to us, in my opinion: we go into a state of psychosis in our early years, it’s compounded many times over during adolescence (eeek… emerging sexual urges… cue: squeamish adults sticking their heads in the sand!) and the vast majority of us never get over it. Adulthood, and civilized society in general, is an exercise in mass PTSD. That’s why it’s all such a mess, folks.
Basically, children are being taught how to be adults by… psychotic infants. It doesn’t bode well, does it?
So… what happens when you find yourself in a situation when your natural inclinations conflict with what you understand to be the behaviour that is required of you as a civilized person in a civilized society? When there’s disparity between what you want and what you are ‘allowed’ to have or do, or haven’t managed to achieve, or between what has been promised but not given?
Many respond to their internal conflicts by beating themselves up for their inadequacies, for their failure to live up to their lofty aspirations of civilized perfection. Most have acquired a belief that their natural self is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ and that they are a failure for not achieving society’s demands. This psychic self-flagellation exacerbates their suffering. It is not a solution. It is rubbing salt in wounds.
When conflicted in such a way, we have no choice but to make a decision about which lesser of evils to adopt. We must decide which one we believe will bring about the least painful consequences. We can choose to conform, thereby sacrificing the fulfillment of our personal desires, or to act independently, thereby courting displeasure and conflict from the outside world. Either way there are consequences. We may think doing nothing will avoid an unwelcome outcome. Not so. Non-action brings a set of consequences all of its own, whether it’s in the form of self-recrimination for procrastination and/or (usually and!) attacks borne of frustration from others. Passivity is no more of an effective solution than is aggressiveness.
‘There is a great deal of pain in life, and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.’ RD Laing
Sometimes we simply cannot avoid consequences of one sort or another. Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances where consequences are inevitable. Fate will fold itself around us despite all our efforts to control our destiny.
I say that the demands of Civilization are unreasonable because they require that we act unnaturally. Understanding this gives us ‘permission’ (as if we need it!) to act more in accordance to our own inclinations and less in accordance with the demands of the finger-wagging herd.
I have discovered that this kind of suffering can be relieved by adopting an attitude of compassion and kindness towards myself that comes from an understanding that my difficulty is a byproduct of existing in Civilization. It’s a byproduct of having my innocent infant’s mind fucked over.
So… be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for not being able to achieve the impossible. Like Jesus to a child. And, if other people are involved, understand that they experience the same conflicts and their behaviour is an expression of this, and forgive them too.
There’s not really much point in getting angry or being outraged with each other… we’re all in the same boat, after all: we’ve all had our minds fucked by lunatics. And as a result, we all believe in a bunch of crazy bullshit. The differences between us are only in the detail.
And I reckon the times we’re happy are the times we’ve forgotten to be afraid, forgotten to be self-conscious, forgotten to worry about keeping the mask on.
To relieve our suffering, we need to detach from the crazy bullshit. We need to dump the junk. That doesn’t mean replacing one dogma for another… it means chucking the whole bloody lot on the scrap heap.
Why? Because our belief systems ruin our peace of mind. They condemn us to misery-inducing conflict. That’s why I say that amorality is the only true freedom (previous post).
I know it’s difficult because we’re trained otherwise, but I reckon we need to suspend belief as much as possible to avoid falling into the traps of limited perception, errors of judgement, misunderstandings and confusion.
So, this is where I’m at. Let’s see what happens from here on in.
image ©: TimeSplitters 4 (I think)