a side track to future imperative

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 …


of specialness?

Is it the fingerprint that matters, or that which is created by …

… the hands & fingers
they crown?

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
for the

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.

It’s not
you should be worrying about …


 … Individualati

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.

Just kidding.

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…

… God.

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?

Answer: None

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
their creators.

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

November 17, 2012. Uncategorized.


  1. Michael Skaggs replied:

    Ohh I loved this “wake up reminder” this morning when I was have a coffee!

    So true!! Technology and Science are so rigid in form and “contrived rules” that is doesn’t leave room for ‘creation’. (except by the Master that created it!) Working dead end jobs that aren’t creating or giving back also is not helping the whole either.

    Bloody Brilliant perspective. Time to start making new connections and seeing what I can contribute to regaining creativity.

    Thanks for the engaging thought forms Alex!!


  2. recoveringmetalhead replied:

    A wonderfully timely article for me. About two years ago I set upon what seemed like a rather crazy plan to create a space in which I can produce a particular type of creative metalwork. It has required far more time money and patience than I had originally imagined. Essentially it has become the central focus of my life. I have known very few who have done this type of work and none who have ever attempted to use it in the way I plan to.

    I have frequently questioned the wisdom of this road I have chosen because at times it has felt like I perhaps am simply hiding within some sort of ego/individualistic/heroic/post truth movement mess of my own making. At other times I feel like any other endeavour would be waste/death/same old media manipulated crap that so much of my lifetime has already been lost to.

    Lately I have been trying to reconnect with the world that I have quite effectively isolated myself from. The work you have been doing lately has meant quite a lot to me. While I do understand that creating does not need to, and often should not, be some sort of complicated grand scheme it is interesting/painful/amazing to have lived through this preparatory period because I am ever more proud to present my changed and evolving self to the world and feel less and less need to explain anything to anyone. Although the yearning to do so remains.

    As individuals we create. As groups we grow. Through growth we create again. All the while the idea of serving some frightening powerful overlord seems distant and silly.

    Thanks again for all your efforts Alex!

  3. shabsoasis replied:

    This article explains everything that is wrong with me. I had a hard time listening to the last podcast, because I am in so much mental pain. But, I think I am more ready now because you reminding me so clearly that I am the cause of my own pain.

    I keep feeling like I need to leave los angeles so I can think clearly, but I can’t think clearly here long enough to make any money or a definitive plan of action. My head space is fucked. I have no one left to talk to, but I still feel some strange connection to spirit that reminds me I’m okay. I want to reach out and volunteer to help people, and be a part of the world, but I have grown so distrusting and honest to goodness lazy.

    I’m not sure what to do with your insights, but I am clearly in my own way. I’ve got to figure it out, how to create and do something useful with my time since I took suicide off the table years ago. But, I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound like the best option after some of the stupid shit I continue to do. (Don’t worry…its not an option. I’m just so fucking tired of myself, and my selfish nature that has led me to fearing life in a big city)

    Thanks for helping us take the steps, Alex. xo

  4. Katherine replied:

    Wow, just wow, Alex…you have done it once again, my friend. This article speaks to me on so many levels. I’ve just re-read this article again for the third time since last night and I keep getting something different out of it.

    I love that you stress the importance of the process of creating, where I think a lot of people (including myself) tend to focus on the end result and often wish to fast forward through the experience and messiness of getting there.

    While playing with the ideas you’ve presented in this article, I kept coming back to the comparison between creating and life itself….where many people would rather skip ahead to the end result of having a lot of money and their dream job and luxury car/house/stuffstuffstuff; while fast forwarding through the hard work to get to these things. As if somehow magically THEN their life can begin and they can really enjoy it, without having to get messy and shed some blood, sweat and tears along the way. No matter our situation or circumstances, I believe it is possible to fully enjoy and appreciate life as it is for us at the moment. Instead of seeing any hardships as obstacles as reasons to allow ourselves to “get in our own way” and feel sorry for ourselves, we can use them to learn and gain something, and hopefully somehow create something beautiful and positive, from something apparently bleak or detrimental.

    Finally, I have to applaud you for this quote: “ If you want to own/control humanity, it is here in the loss of our ability to create that we will be undone.”Working with young children, I have noticed that the imagination and ability to create has increasingly diminished….where children once played cars, they now play “Lightning McQueen” from the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars”…They no longer create their own heroes or heroines for their stories, they are given them and recycle the characters they see in whatever is the latest hit TV show or movie. This reflects in their artwork, storytelling and general imaginative play. I understand that this is not really a new phenomenon, but I have to be honest that it has become much more widespread and noticeably so, even just within the last decade. It also seems like the ages they are now so strongly influenced by it, has become younger and younger. I do my best as a teacher to encourage them to create and use their imagination, as much as possible. Of course, I would never tell them they aren’t allowed to copy stories or characters, but redirection is an extremely powerful tool with young children.

    I apologize for such a long comment, I honestly could probably go on a bit more, but I will leave it for now…However, I may or may not be back for more, after marinating some more on the ideas and thoughts you have presented here. Thank you so much for this wonderful and insightful article and everything that you have done and continue to do.

  5. alex robinson replied:

    Grazie Michael, & stay tuned there’s more to come to help make sense of the importance of reclaiming your creating xo

    Hello mr metalhead, thank you for sharing your story & I’m very happy to know that my creating has been useful to you.

    “As individuals we create. As groups we grow. Through growth we create again” – well said.

    Creating is about going on ahead in a particular direction – most likely you go alone, leaving behind those around you for a while but the intention is to return triumphantly with your ‘creation ‘which was always meant for the good/pleasure of those around you. At least that is my take on it. There is no guarantee that it will be received the way you intend, that someone won’t try to hack it to pieces, it’s scary work, that doesn’t change, but we do it anyway.

    very best to you

    Hello shabsoasis, I wonder if you realise that you have probably helped others by what you said here. I was reading something this morning that when one person speaks up, it frees ten more to speak also.

    In Robert Fritz’s work he points out that you do not need to be happy, settled, healthy to create to create ( I can vouch for that). Nor do you need to know ‘who you are’, or even to like yourself. None of these things affect your ability to bring new things into existence. The idea is to come to see your entire life as countless creations – come at it from that angle, but NOT as a critic! I recommend reading thro’ his blog entries (which are never long) & taking anything that speaks to you.

    very best to you my dear

    Hello, hello Kat’s back :)
    Thanks my friend, very good to hear & to hear from you.

    Yes I am learning that everything can be used as food for creation – in that sense there are no ‘bad’ things just food for thought. So many of my articles exist because of some kind of pain or looking for ways to heal. Anything we have experienced in our life is ‘ours’ – it’s up to us what we do with it – stuff it down, suffer it or use it & transform it.

    That is criminal what you say about the children – criminal on every level. What are most people’s lounges but ‘concentration camps’ for the children – instead of gas chambers there are tv channels – honestly what is the difference – just takes a little longer to kill them. I remember speaking to a Korean woman a while ago about her university age children & what they were like, she was a ‘business’ woman & so spoke from an economic the angle but what she said was … “They made the money, but they killed the children”.

    I was just thinking of that dream you told me of long ago, the other day, so I should have known I’d be hearing from you :)

    very best of everything to you

  6. paulo replied:

    within the lab inside the mouse whell the mouse must think hes actually running from his own free will … “i love to run i love to run i lov….” …

  7. alex robinson replied:

    hello my mouse friend
    Will & wheel are kind of similar don’t you think? Now if we can just move that wheel over to the lab wall we might be able it use it to climb over :)

  8. paulo replied:

    … dont put cheese into my mouse head …. wheel … wall? … hmmmm … :P

  9. paulo replied:

    … can i run backwards at least lab boss? please please….

  10. shabsoasis replied:

    Alex, I’ve got to thank you for sending me back to Robert Fritz. I’ve heard of him for years, read some articles due to your quoting him, but now I’ve really dived into what he is talking about, our structures, and really considering, then reconsidering all my thoughts on my options in life. It’s help me to finally identify my passion, and more importantly figure out what about my passion frightens me so. It’s also helped me to remember that I only feel like a selfish asshole when I am not reaching out. I have given a couple of massages again, just for free to friends, since your last article, and those moments have really helped me reconnect with my fundamental truth, which is that I love to heal. It also helped me realize that not everyone is open to healing, so I can’t try and just heal everyone in my life.

    I thank you infinitely for doing this amazing work and helping to crack the cement around my mind.

  11. alex robinson replied:

    paulo, I think we already are … perhaps try sideways :)

    Lovely to hear shabsoasis – & agreed, not everyone is open to healing & perhaps have no right to touch those ones, we may even damage them when we intrude without permission.
    I am rereading Fritz’s ‘Path of Least resistance” – definitely recommend it, it’s making even more sense this time round

    very best to you on your travels

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