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How Much of You Is Really You?


Stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.

-- Suzy Kassem

We Are No Birds in a Flock

When we observe a swarm of bees, a flock of birds, or a school of minnows in the sea, we can't but admire that unison in their collective motion, which makes us wonder how the heck they never bump into one another.

Indeed, how do they manage to navigate in such a harmonious fashion? While nobody knows the true answer, science is quick to play with some theories, which may involve something like a "collective consciousness".

All species living in a social arrangement seem to express it in their own way -- certainly including us, humans. Only, since bees, birds and minnows are missing verbal ways of communicating, theirs must be expressed a sort of telepathically, that is, all within a group being tuned to a single mind broadcasting navigational directives.

As for us humans, there is also a default part in our nature that's programmed in such a way that we experience colors the same way, hear the sounds the same way -- while the senses of taste, smell, and touch are somewhat individualized.

Namely, what we put in mouth may taste different to different individuals, and we may have individually refined senses of smell, as well as touch.

It's for that inner urge of collective consciousness to be "on the same page" that we created languages, customs, laws, beliefs -- and yes, also something like a "common sense", or a universally valid ways of logical reasoning.

And none of that would even be so bad, if we didn't forget that, unlike other living beings, we are given an advantage of choosing -- what to think, feel, and believe, independent of our collective consciousness.

To me, as an out-of-box thinker, this theme is of a particular significance, as I have a keen sense of what in my mind is someone else's thinking, and what is my own.

Since no one is called upon to eat for us, sleep for us, and the list goes pretty long there, no one is called upon to think for us either.

But, due to something that I call mental laziness, people live their complete life switched on the autopilot of their collective consciousness -- not even knowing that those thoughts, emotions, attitudes and beliefs are not theirs at all.

People have turned into mental automatons, just thinking they have a "free will", which a philosopher expressed in following words:

"If a tossed pebble could think, it would believe that it is deciding where to fall".

Indeed, we live in a world where one thinks and hundreds copy, while believing those are their own thoughts.

There is something that I see as a "principle of the appropriate" directing what is going on in our heads and our hearts as well.


When you are gunning to be like other people, you are foolishly repeating their mistakes, and the worst of it all is that you can't even correct yours.

-- Michael Bassey Johnson

With an Undernourished Individual Consciousness

Well, living by individual consciousness is not a matter of choosing between living in a society or living as hermits in woods -- but rather it's about being conscious, awaken, detached from the hypnotic advances from the authorities.

And neither is it about living as rebels, pissed at those authorities, but rather going highly selective about what of it we should, or we shouldn't, incorporate into our own views.

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It is my theory that most of the suffering in this world is stemming from that "one-fit-all-thinking", while our very soul cannot accept it, suffering for not given a chance to unfold into its own individuality and express itself freely.

We think and feel something that's "appropriate" to think and feel in any given situation.

So you tell me that I am a village idiot, and I "should" feel offended -- because "everybody else would be offended".

And I "should" feel a "loser" because I am not following the "norms" of being more ambitious, while I would rather be a meditator, have a great family relationships, spend a quality time with my friends, enjoy trips to nature, play my guitar, and have a simple, clean and creative life.

And I "should" feel "guilty" because I am not a typical "patriot" who would die for my country, while I view all wars as political and as such not worth dying for.

And so on, people suffer because their individual consciousness is not respected by the collectivistically brainwashed crowd. They feel lonely and not understood in their individuality -- because they never nurtured enough of individual consciousness to give themselves all respect, love and validation.


When you're appeasing too much, you might be egotistically over-estimating everyone's need for your approval.

-- Criss Jami

Posing As Appeasers and Conformists to Deserve Some Loving

Ever since our early childhood, we are viewing our personal value through the eyes of others -- because back there our individual consciousness was not allowed to bloom in that drill of making of us "socially acceptable" beings.

Hungry for love and acceptance we learned to stay confined in collective consciousness --appeasing one way or another -- to deserve that loving, respect and acceptance, since we realized how much it was conditional.

We didn't want to be undeserving-ourselves, but copies of some role models, laboring hard to fit into some shiny labels, to become somebody else. There is even that idiotic phrase of becoming "somebody" -- like before that we were "nobodies".

So, brainwashed into that mind frame of collectivism, here we are, living the life of our nation, if not life of the whole mankind, having this warm feeling of "belonging" to a herd mentality of a political party, a sport team, a dressing up trend -- whatever, where our thoughts and feelings are merely echoing someone else's.

Yeah, we are supporting a "cause", poor brainwashed bastards -- and appeasing the crowd, while it doesn't bother us one bit that we have turned into an insignificant particle of a human multitude.

Stripped of individuality, pathetically deceiving ourselves that we have something like a "free will".

Indeed, like the title of this post is daring to ask: How much of you is really you?

At times, since being this out-of-box thinker, I get proverbially-sick-in-my-gut observing all ass-kissing going on just to get something in return that would give people a sense of being loved, accepted, respected, maybe even popular.

Being such an individualist, I have my loving family, I have my bunch of REAL friends, I have my little world of give-and-take pleasant interactions -- and above all -- I have my rich inner world where my ever creative will and my choice mean something.

I'm not a mental beggar kissing anyone's ass, or conforming to anyone else's views, norms, and beliefs.

And as I once had this respectful conversation with a priest at a party, upon listening to me for a while, he said to me:

"Val, I see you as being closer to God than many of those attending my church."

Well, I appreciated that, but I didn't want to tell the good man how I am not even kissing ass of any deities to get something in return. By the way, he didn't seem to mind that I called him by his name, not as a "father" -- which would have made me feel tremendously ridiculous, since the good dude was younger than I.

So, how much of me is really me?

As much as I want me to be, and that's damn pretty much.

© 2022 Val Karas

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