I haven’t been sure quite where to start this article – there is so much to say & it keeps …
… drifting into a slightly future topic.
Better start here.
I’ve been contemplating what an absolute pain in the arse it is to be an individual.
Quite possibly your blood pressure went up a few notches:
“How dare ‘she’ question individualism. My god I’m still having nightmares from her challenging …
… the light of truth!”
I do apologise I never thought I’d turn out this
live evil myself.
Mind you I’m not the only one.
“Both the fallacy of absolute individuals & the excess of individualism, wrote the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, are vicious.”
For those who will be travelling ahead on this particular journey, we’d better check out the brochure on individualism:
“theory maintaining the political and economic independence of the individual and stressing individual initiative, action, and interests”
“that the individual is the primary unit of reality and the ultimate standard of value“
Hmmm perhaps we’d better knot.
Many of the knots tangled round the word individual were spun by The Media Loom Corporation and have bugger all to do with the ‘being’ they supposedly describe.
They just sit on its back like a…
… malignant monkey.
Let’s continue …
Our civilisation deifies the individual.
That last sentence was of course, bullshit.
Our civilisation appears to deify the individual.
In a conversation with my son recently he mentioned a documentary once seen, that proclaimed individualism to be a marketing ploy introduced into America in the 1950’s with Freudian theories attached to its in vitro inception.
That idea is tantalising enough to play with for awhile – it certainly fits the ‘pain in the arse’ feel of individualism I experienced recently.
The discomfort began while sitting by a lake reading a book that touched on ancient feminine knowledge. I began wondering if women are really meant to be individuals – ‘cos its such effing hard work.
In the Women’s Show at the beginning of this year, five women got together & connected deeply. There was no fight for power or ‘specialness’ …
… we had a job to do & we did it together.
The Way of the Individual is of course a very dicey topic – so we’d better try to separate the wheat from the chaff. The following quote is quite good enough to give us an early foothold:
“Individualism is wanting to be different just to be different. Individualism also tends to be greedy: Each individual strives to get …
… as big a slice of the social pie as he or she can (generally with the result that others get less)“
Every fingerprint is unique.
But what would happen to a society that organised itself around …
Is it the fingerprint that matters, or that which is created by …
… the hands & fingers
“I believe unbridled individualism has such negative consequences that, as it destroys us, it may destroy itself. For one thing, a society that exalts the individual to the extent ours now does will be riddled with depression … individualism produces a tenfold increase in depression“
The source of the paininthearseness of being an individual (in today’s world) may lie in the lie(t) of individual awesomeness.
“A … more important factor is meaninglessness … one necessary condition for meaning is the attachment to something larger than you are … The self … is a very poor site for meaning” ~Martin Seligman – Learned Optimism
This idea is very important.
“In the concept of “the individual” we have created separateness where separateness does not exist – where, in reality the genuine condition is relatedness … a creature apart from a social group is little more than an organic being … The person is to a large extent a set of social interrelationships …
The interstimulation that occurs between him & the members of the group … explains him more than any other method of approach can do.”
“Every person is socially bound to the group in which he has been socialized. In a sense the “individual” is a myth…
… he is as organically bound to others as if he were one of a number of cells comprising a colonial organism … Even the emotionally arid psychopath is unable to do without others.”
“And as Gutking put it, “To think in terms of absolute individuals – absolute individuals are but things – is the outgrowth of our obsession with acquisitive urges”
Hmmm … that fits rather well with the (unproven) claim that individualism was a marketing ploy introduced into America.
Individualism, like democracy
See your local Western civilisation for details.
Terms & conditions apply.
How many women have swapped their deep earthy selves for a trendy ‘individualistic’
sell cell in a fashion prison …
I look good (& better than you),
therefore I am.
In our first podcast (reconnecting the sexes) Michael & Fitzy broke a deathly silence & spoke of being heartily tired of the constrictive roles that being a “man” enforces
I am a unique, one-of-a kind hero,
therefore I am
If we are going to create a future for ourselves, then we really need to get over ourselves – individualism may be the biggest barrier to our return to humanity.
you should be worrying about …
“In the land of “Rugged American Individualism,” in which the focus in the conditioning of the child has been to turn him into a person who conforms to the stereotype of …
… the “successful individual,” large numbers of persons are produced who, in the midst of the lonely crowd, live in an isolated narcissism that eventually leads to a chill … There are millions of them, & the damage they do underscores the myth of the individual namely that it neglects to teach …
… the moral obligation of independent thought, the responsibility to challenge unsound ideas & conventions, the right to protest, the bounden duty to object. This is an essential aspect of health. Blind submission to a group has always utterly vitiated personal development & progress in humanity.“
Much of the ‘Truth Movement’ is not described by the latter part of that quote – rather it is …
‘same old individualism, different (conspiracy) story‘.
So where do these ideas leave us?
Well, if we can get over ourselves, I think it leaves us in a pretty good place.
The tools to get us moving in a direction of our choice, already exist.
The work we have put into seeing from different perspectives is harvestable.
But we need to get out of our own way.
So let us join together
& become one for ever & ever.
We are each truly & magnificently unique. Every human always has been one of a kind. We couldn’t lose that if we tried.
But we in the West have been spelled into uselessness by the …
… divi’nci coded word individual.
Funny how our mind is told ‘one‘
yet the word spells two …
Any traveller must begin from where they are currently located.
In our modern world we have received extreme individualistic training. So we could no more return to simpler ‘self-less’ times, or base an idyllic future upon ancient or tribal oneness than they could grasp the idea of copyright.
“Our society grants power to the self that selves have never had before: to change the self & even to change the way the self thinks. For this is the age of personal control … The modern individual is not the peasant of yore with a fixed future yawning ahead … He … is a
… frantic trading floor of options, decisions, & preferences. And the result is a new kind of self, a “maximal” self …
Although its defenses have been unknown & untapped until recently, the maximal self is not defenseless. It is self-improving. Perhaps … it can come to see that its …
… inordinate preoccupation with itself, while gratifying in the short run, is bad for its well-being in the long run. Among the choices the maximal self might take is a paradoxical one. Selfishly, as a tactic of self-improvement, it might choose to scale down its own importance, in the knowledge that …
… depression & meaningless follow from self preoccupation“
So here we are, very self-interested & self ‘consumed’ individuals. Millions upon millions of tired, exposed, frightened & sometimes vicious people who must present confident, interesting, exciting, unique, intelligent, successful individual faces to the world every day.
And what a load of bullshit it is.
Last week Fitzy & I did a podcast, both of us speaking through a mountain of physical pain, it coloured what we talked about. Of course we ‘should’ have come back when we were dj-happy or ‘put on a brave face’ & pretended all was well.
But I have known for quite some time that speaking up especially when vulnerable can be a fastrack to growth
I have progressed leaps & bounds since that speaking out – my world has jumped into warp drive. On top of that the week has blossomed with syncs. That podcast also colours this article which had no reality until then.
Let’s introduce some images of a useable, workable ‘individuality’ …
What did you see?
Did you look?
Based on what you have now learned from the above images, list what is wrong with the eye mage of the individual formerly known as…
Oh all right you can have a few hints. Remember our English language uses double edged swords – there are wonderful thinkers out there but they are cramped into the tiny space afforded by Individualism & Individuality.
Try this thinker on for size:
“Individuality, on the other hand, is the flourishing of a person’s creativity ... Individuality is generous: A person wants to share his or her new idea with others …
… Each new idea increases the size of the social pie, so that there is more for everyone“
“Szczepanski argues that a society based on … each individual’s unique creativity, is a third way, in which both the individual and the group can win … such a new form of social organization in which each individual’s creative uniqueness is nurtured …
… could solve the dilemma of respecting the individual without giving rise to the socially disintegrative dynamics of individualism … we must transform our present societies … into this unprecedented synergistic form if our civilization is to survive”
“The obligation of the group, at whatever level, is to the person, to do everything in its power to maximise his potentialities & preserve his integrity as a person, a unique person. The obligation of the person to the group is to contribute toward the development of himself & of other persons“
So back to God.
I gave him an ultimatum – either he helped you return to godhood, or he was toast.
He saw reason … so here is your overall starter for 10
Question: In what sane universe does a Creator wear a pink satin negligee to create a work of art?
In the three paintings exhibited earlier what we were shown, was real creation…
- the focus of each human was fully on the creation at their finger tips
- the surroundings were untidy
- the creators wore overalls / aprons because their work was messy
- being deep within the ‘womb of creation’ these creators neither needed nor desired an entourage or audience
Hmmm … perhaps Mason’s wear aprons as a way of claiming the power of creation.
Individualism has turned human beings into ‘finished products‘ complete with polished skin, painted nails, designer suits & …
… (brand) names.
Celebrities are a finished product.
It must be an almost done deal that most celebrities will be rather boring. The glamour fed to the masses is part of the packaging of the finished product.
Creations should never be
mixed up with
Creation involves a time of heightened output, as a flower is the heightened output of the plant.
That is how it works.
We are not exciting, alluring, amazing because of our ‘individuality’ – let’s leave that to our creations where it belongs & get back to the earthy studios & crafting rooms of humanity.
We come alive when we are creating. When we create we are in a state of mess – look no farther than any art studio, kitchen, garden shed, fashion house, celebrity dressing room.
The finished painting, meal, vegetable garden, designer gown or movie star is the RESULT of creation.
We are designed to be creators not individuals stuffed full of goods made in China or behaviour made up in magazines. We are supposed to be messy & paint-stained with flour on our overalls & garden soil under our fingernails.
“Both the fallacy of absolute individuals & the excess of individualism, wrote the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, are vicious.”
Maybe individualism is the natural by-product of a society that based itself upon the measurable & the scientific. If the mind & body were split & it became normal to kill so that ‘life’ could be dissected, studied, identified & labelled, perhaps it was only a matter of time before the link between creator & their creations would also be cleaved apart.
Could this be part the Great Western blueprint. If you want to own/control humanity, it is here in the loss of our ability to create that we will be undone.
I leave you with something I have found usable & exciting in the rewards it gives:
“With the obsession on one’s self, it is hard to get yourself out of your own way. Everything becomes commentary on you, even though it may have very little to do with you. Objectivity and perspective, the very elements you need to truly improve by evaluating your desired outcomes against the current … is thawed by self-focus.
If you find yourself explaining yourself to yourself, STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN to what is all around you—reality. Change your focus from inner to outer. Describe how things look to yourself. Note the objects you can see and hear. This will put you back in reality, which is a nicer place to live than in your head” ~ Robert Fritz
~ ~ ~
Quotes in this colour from Helplessness & Learned Optimism ~ Martin Seligman
Quotes in this colour from Growing Young ~Ashley Montague
Quotes in this colour from Individuality and Society ~ Brad McCormick
Fitzy & I teamed up again last night for a podcast we had promised each other.
There isn’t an explanation for our podcast except to say it was pulled from our depths. We touched on nothing we had planned to speak about because …
… the moment called for something else.
If you are in a light & fluffy mood go forth & enjoy it. Come back another time when you need the touch of raw humanity, & we’ll be there.
Fitzy you are a courageous & humane being – I thank you.
Or listen to our podcast below: