Thursday, October 10, 2013

You Are You: Not Him, Her, or Them

It seems to me that, for the majority of people, self-knowledge is constrained to the persona. When speaking of being self-aware, if they ever do, what people usually mean is that they are conscious … of their conscious self! The subconscious self with all of its issues, motives, intentions and such, is unknown, and, so, unexplored and unexamined.

Being unaware of my inner self, having not one clue as to who I am to become or to what lies within me that is at war with this person, I am yanked around and prodded into mindless action. If anyone ever asks me “why” I did something, I reply, “’Dunno. I just did.” I don’t know why I do what I do or why I feel or believe as I do. I just do. For the unaware, life is something that happens to him, not something he creates.

Mindlessness is easy. Not wanting to exert the effort to become who God called them to be, people adopt generalizations about how all people think and feel, and then airily announce, “I have come to the conclusion that this is how I think and feel.” This requires no soul work: no sweating of the brain, no digging down into the heart, no self-examination. But just as this leaves me a victim of unknown internal forces, it also leaves me vulnerable to those external forces that are at war with even the notion of individuality. I am referring to those people determined to define me as a sociological statistic, to place me in a large box that can be easily managed and controlled.

The individual, however, is not a statistic. We cannot generalize about “this” man or “that” woman. We do, of course. We encounter a unique human being, a once in all eternity and inimitable soul, and we place him in a category, along with all the others who are just-the-same.

Governments do this with gusto, crafting policies for Man in General, planning economies for the mass designated, “Humankind” or “Citizens.” This is why, historically, government social planning always fails, because, when it comes to human beings, there is no such thing as The Norm.

Of course, people who see themselves as a statistic do not chafe at being treated like one. Group Think is only possible when each person in The Group sees his or her self as being undifferentiated from the whole. There really isn’t a singular self: only an “us.” This is the road to serfdom, the mindset of a slave. And wouldn’t you know it: there is always somebody around that will see this as an opportunity to exert his will over The Group. “My will be done in the US, as it is in DC.” -- The mindset of a slave-owner. 

Breaking Away
Breaking away from the herd, from Group Think, from slavery, is a scary prospect. Refusing to allow others to think their thoughts through your brain and choosing to live your own life rather than allowing others to direct your life as they deem best are no small hurdles when, up until now, you have always gone-along-to-get-along. This is especially so if the individual doesn’t have the psychological and spiritual resources to combat the hell that The Group will seek to put him through when he chooses to say, I exist. I think my own thoughts, not yours or theirs.

Do you remember the scene from The Matrix where Neo (Keanu Reaves) takes the Red Pill and almost dies? This is a very apt metaphor for what happens to us when we first break away from the fantasy and its accompanying delusions created by Group Think (The Blue Pill) and, instead, embrace reality (The Red Pill). Surviving this existential breakdown until it becomes a breakthrough, takes extraordinary commitment and faith.  However--

Surviving this breakdown also helps prepare you for maintaining your individuality. With each victory—and sometimes just surviving is a victory—your personhood is strengthened. Each time you choose to be true to your self and take responsibility for your own life (a moral imperative), you add more definition and depth to your soul.

You count. You matter. God brought you to the party for a reason, and it wasn’t so that you could pretend to be like everyone else. Shed the persona, get comfortable in your own skin with your own soul, and seek to be who God created you to become. Sure, soul-work can be arduous, but slavery is far more costly; especially if you believe in eternity.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2013

1 comment:

  1. Have wondered and still wonder why God invited me to the party. If there's a purpose to fulfill I'd like to consciously participate in it. Looking for signs......