Everything is interconnected. There are no limits or borders in what is a part of our existence. Nothing is external. Even from a basic neurological perspective, everything takes place within our consciousness.
It comes as no surprise then that the most intellectually and emotionally satisfying programming that our brain is capable of running is fundamentally selfless. The more we dismantle the hologram of our imaginary self, the more easily we accept our evolutionary drive to care for others and the more capable we are of understanding the sinister foundation of our individualist conditioning.
Our history is full of examples where mainstream narratives successfully hypnotize us into complacency and inaction as they attempt to blind or distract us from the damage we are doing. Some of the most iconic examples, the holocaust and slavery, took place within the past few generations. Our inner selfish monster that we create as a coping mechanism for our fears and uncertainties does not reflect what we really are.
Even though its influence runs deep, since we begin the process of identifying and labeling ourselves very early on in life. As children, we don’t know any better and we often end up blaming ourselves for things that were either beyond our control or actions that we did not yet understand the consequences of.
We gradually and subconsciously create flawed beliefs that inhibit us. The more mindful we are, the more easily we see our own values and beliefs as an observer, which allows us to change the ones that hold us back.
We are continuously flooded by subtle and less subtle indicators that signal our subconsciousness and strengthen our belief that our experience is what matters most. We celebrate kindness and generosity strictly within specific cultural confines, where the narrative is usually as follows: human beings might be inherently selfish, but since doing good feels good, we’re not so bad after all.
Simply hearing or saying this can summon positive emotions. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see this message applied in charity campaigns or for example during Christmas. It’s been repeated to us in literal as well as subliminal ways to the point that it became an omnipresent and oddly comforting belief that unfortunately has gaping inconsistencies and horrific implications.
It’s an unspoken slogan of the individualist ideology that programs obedient consumers to only care when they stand to benefit themselves. It is perhaps the worst form of indoctrination when society makes us believe that the reason why we should primarily pursue selfish interests, is because we are not really capable of anything else.
As we grow up, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We know that our ideology is a facade. A collection of excuses that we let ourselves and each other get away with. The 1% may benefit the most, but the greatest conspiracy of modern civilization does not come from the top.
It is a collaboration that we all subconsciously agreed to and are sometimes uncomfortably aware of. In this ecosystem, the rare exceptions of those who at some point truly value something more than experience easily end up conflicted.
For a while, they may feel driven to fight for a cause or sacrifice their luxuries for a noble objective. But as soon as they somewhat ponder their actions within a greater context, the compass of their intuition fails to come up with convincing answers as to whether they are
truly doing what is right, making their endeavor unsustainable.
We fall back on excuses that are so commonly accepted, we almost fully believe we should indeed trust and value our experience above all else. This makes us deeply vulnerable to all kinds of manipulation.
Governments and corporations can dictate our behavior without advanced strategies or conspiracies. Politicians can scare us with insultingly inaccurate claims and we will happily consume and we well happily consume poisonous substances if presented along with imagery of laughter and joy preferably from celebrities.
Our indoctrination has made us pampered and passive. With this broken compass, we find ourselves somewhat puzzled when we reflect upon historical horrors like the holocaust: why did so few of the guards who witnessed the atrocities of concentration camps do something? How come they blindly obeyed orders and murdered millions, either by pulling the trigger or simply assisting, making them guilty of the atrocities that were committed.
Indoctrination can make us ignorant and the sleep of reason can produce monsters. But we are not children any more. As adults, we are perfectly aware, sometimes painfully so, that actions have consequences.
Therefore, when we consider an individual who willingly keeps someone in a dungeon to die of starvation, we universally consider it wrong or evil. But when we become aware of the death and suffering that’s been locked away in our own dungeon of ignorance, we ourselves become evil if we do not take action.
In a world with a continuous stream of tragic events that we can easily influence, wherein we no longer need to risk our lives in order to make a difference, our inaction kills on a daily basis. While we mentally recite to ourselves the mantras we’ve been taught: “There’s not much we can do.” “We are not responsible.” “They are far away.” “Perhaps they even deserved it.”
For all our progress, we can sound eerily similar to horrific echoes of the past: “We didn’t know.” “We were just following orders.”
Our culture has installed in our brains a colossal switchboard of excuses. And there are many options for every occasion.
It begins when we, as children, start to recognize the absurdity of many of the expectations placed upon us and innocently look for ways to dodge them. It becomes less innocent as we become more aware. Most of us grow older but don’t grow up.
Because it’s not in our society’s best interest to guide us into maturity. There is no profit to be made from it. So we band together in how we excuse our behavior and silently agree to conceal each other’s hypocrisy. Confrontations that do take place are met with empty defenses: “What about you?” “What about the government?” “I have to think about my future.” “This offends me.” “This is my belief.” “This is my opinion.”
But whether arguing against global warming or vaccinations, for socialism or capitalism, for social justice or against political correctness, our opinions and beliefs do not dictate reality. Our identities and our rhetoric are meaningless compared to the consequences of our inaction.
And our innocent strategy of excuses that once allowed us to skip our homework is no longer innocent among adults who are confronted with reality. That mechanism has run its course.
The only teacher who now has authority to assign our tasks and judge our excuses is our own inner voice of reason. When we selflessly resolve to adopt logic of flow as a core value, it sets us free from our fragile dependence of the judgment of others.
Responsibility is simply a principle of acting in line with our ever-expanding knowledge and rationality. It does not depend on intersubjectivity. It is not dictated by our culture, our social circle or politicians. Nor is it dependent on our fabricated freedom of choice.
And many of the most historical acts of bravery came from those who took a stand for what is right, even in the face of adversity and cultural disparity.
Such a profoundly selfless resolution can seem scary, as it threatens all the conditioned attachments that emerge in a culture where enjoyable feelings are considered the ultimate goal. But it leads to far more fulfillment than chasing our positive emotions like a carrot on a stick, as our ideology demands.
We’ve been led to believe the lie that the meaning of life is to chase materials goods, to consume. But even with only our intuition, we feel that this endless chase doesn’t make much sense. The pay-off is never great enough.
And those who choose to believe in a more selfless and logical objective ironically tend to experience much more fulfillment in their lives. It’s a principle that has inspired ancient spiritual concepts such as karma or heaven and hell: those who care most about their own indulgences end up haunted or tormented by their own self-interest.
But in modern cognitive psychology, it is not just an esoteric idea. There is a huge range of academic research and literature on the subject, usually described in terms of the scarcity mindset and its opposite, the abundance mindset. The brain operates in a mode of scarcity when we feel that there are things we lack.
This is perhaps one of our brain’s most ancient survival mechanisms and it’s been well established that, while this can sharpen our focus, it also tends to take up enormous amounts of what is called ‘mental bandwidth’. It hijacks our brain. It literally makes us less intelligent, more self-centered and even drops our IQ.
And every day, we are exposed to a near infinite array of societal impulses that are designed to lock us into this mental state.
From a very young age onward, we are deeply programmed with a set of requirements that must be fulfilled in order for us to experience abundance. Requirements that are often so elusive, that we become mostly entrapped in the scarcity mindset. But as soon as we see through this, which can be achieved in many ways, we are able to distinguish truth from indoctrination, to dispel our confusion and dissolve our apathy.
This presents us with a choice on how we lead our lives …
If we make life about ourselves, we choose to see everything through a lens of what we can take rather than give back. But we intuitively sense that we’re not doing what is right and feel unworthy of being truly loved. And we either attempt to make peace with this or we succumb to insecurity and prefer to obfuscate the truth.
But if love is defined as unconditional giving then love is all around us. It is in the structures left behind by our ancestors and the heritage of our grandparents. It is in the care our parents have given us and the cells that make up what we are. It is in the social structures and the safety nets that are forged into laws to protect us. It’s in the sun that shines and the infinite beauty that includes us.
If we choose to be what we are and see our life for what it truly is, then we realize it’s about much more than just us. It is about caring and doing what is right. About giving back and using our understanding to combat ignorance. It is about trusting in our ability to do so, trusting in our true selves. And letting ourselves be guided by our intuition, which knows right from wrong.
No matter what challenges we face, when our heart guides us with reason on its side, our imagined problems fade away. Behind everything there is a logical reason we can find when we choose to follow curiosity rather than fear. We don’t have to feel regret or guilt when we know our intentions are pure and we did the best we could at the time with the knowledge that we had.
The world can seem like a cold and dark place when this knowledge leads us to recognize the selfish motives behind people’s actions and how it causes idealistic movements to scatter and fall apart. But with these insights, those who choose to not make life about themselves can seek out and trust each other.
Everyone has this choice. But it will require a global movement where those who truly care take action, organize and unite to bring about the real change.