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How Much of You Is Really You

Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.


The greatest discovery you'll ever make, is the potential of your own mind.

-- Jose Silva

We Are No Birds of a Flock

When we observe a swarm of bees, a flock of birds, or a school of minnows in the ocean, we can't but admire that unison in their collective motion, which makes us wonder how the heck they don't bump into one another.

So really, how do they manage to navigate in such a collective fashion? While nobody knows the exact answer, science, as usual, is quick to play with some theories, which in that case would involve "collective" consciousness.

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

As for us humans, by the same default instincts of coexistence, we abide to a collectively agreed cultural paradigm. It's for that expression of our collective consciousness that we have created all traditions, customs, laws, religions and moral norms of social interacting.

Collective consciousness has countless advantages over having to individually figure everything out for ourselves -- but then it also backfires, as it tends to almost completely replace our individual consciousness.

Namely, it's for that constant inner referral to our collective consciousness that we know when it's "appropriate" to feel good or bad, and in which ways and intensities, picking from a rich emotional repertoire of ours.

And hey, we even agreed upon something like a "common sense", that's supposed to be our universally valid use of logical reasoning.

However, no matter what common labels we may be giving to ourselves to enhance that sense of belonging to the herd -- in the first place we are individuals. Since no one is called upon to do our eating, sleeping -- and the list is really long -- no one is called upon to do our thinking for us either.

What we miserably fail to see is the main function of our individual consciousness -- having a choice over our models of processing reality, over our perception, our thinking, feeling, and believing.

Yes, folks, ultimately, we are merely a bunch of individuals -- or, are we really? And how much?


When you're surrounded by a world of constant lies, manipulation, and deceit, that dark energy is bound to seep into you eventually.

-- Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman

Are These Emotions Mine, or My Mother's?

This is where it starts being somewhat amusing, as at some point of re-examining our life, we may gather enough courage to ask ourselves -- whose thoughts we are really thinking, and whose emotions we are really feeling, along with possible other brave questioning, dealing with our religious and political beliefs,

What seems to be the truth about the most of us, we are incredibly influenced -- better say programmed -- by the collective systems of belief, being mostly copycats of someone else's beliefs, while taking it for "normal".

After all, blending with the crowd gives us that warm feeling of being a part of a multitude that sustains us in every aspect imaginable -- so how could that be wrong, you ask.

Well, it's never about a choice between living in a society or living as a hermit in woods, but rather a matter of living an individual or collective consciousness. For we have both, and we certainly have to abide by the norms of a civilized coexistence -- but then, it becomes a big issue of something I like calling "mental laziness", resulting with identifying ourselves with our socially programmed autopilot.

It got expanded to the very core of what we see as "normal" in our own mentality. That introspective censor in us starts flashing a warning light as soon as we slip out of the range of the "appropriate".

Like, if you would tell me that I am a village idiot, I am "supposed to" feel offended, right? Why? Because everybody else would be offended. So, should I just smile and say "Thank you", my censor is bound to warn me about my "weird" behavior.

By the way, myself being an individualist of my own design, have been called, aloud or not, a "weirdo", or an "oddball" more often than I would care to remember. We are expected to fit within the range of a recognizable herd-mentality. Thinking out of the box is often considered as crazy, and when I tell how I am also choosing my own emotions, it falls in the category of phoniness, because we are supposed to be spontaneous, "natural".

But what when our "natural" has become identical with our programmed, actually so much so that we are ready to swear how we have a "free will" which is behind all our choices".

Thus, in a final analysis, spontaneous is immature, coming directly from our autopilot -- whereas conscious choosing comes from proactive refinement, a cultivated model of beingness.

On the other side of the spectrum, collectivistic mentality means that one thinks and hundred others just copy, and by my spirited intuition I just can't go for that "bird flock mentality" of being tuned into a broadcasting central mind.


When people learn no tools of judgement and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.

-- Stephen Jay Gould

If We Are Not Using Our Mind -- Who Is Doing It for Us?

We don't owe it to our parents, friends, leaders -- whether political or religious, to sacrifice our individuality to their convictions. Of course, we may adopt some of the tenets and reject others, if we wish and if it intuitively makes sense to us. Mimicking those around us is a pathetic way of being. Competing with family members, friends, and neighbors is equally silly.

A spiritual suicide happens when we even start being proud of not having an identity, being a "selfless" particle of the human mass we call our nation.

Now, I am aware how many of you may be protesting against such a statement, since you see a true virtue in such sacrifices. Let me ask you -- who gave it to you?

Leaders, or inspirators of such "noble" ideas almost never live as an example of what they are expecting from followers. Politicians' children are never sent to a battlefield to "die if necessary for their country". They just hand that patriotic slogan to you, since your life is not as precious as the lives of their own kids.

And those religious icons eat better, live better, and enjoy a fame that followers never get -- not to mention how they are never seen among those who die in suicide bombings.

And the Pope, living in that architectural luxury of Vatican -- is he really praying to the same god as a poor dude of a Third world country?

People might some day in the future decide to crawl out of the ass of some norm-imposing collectivist.

Should we love and respect our parents "unconditionally"?

Not according to my book.

Well, they surely had one hell of a fun conceiving us. And sorry, but it's their duty, not their favor to us to provide for us until we are able to provide for ourselves. We did not invite ourselves to this world, so we are not obligated to follow their example in the way they think, feel, and believe.

Moreover, if our parents are not showing love, emotional support, and providing for our needs of livelihood -- what really makes them lovable? A holy book commandment?

I was born in a communist country -- and left that country as soon as I could technically do it, not becoming a communist. And I was baptized as a baby to be a catholic, never going to any churches except out a touristic curiosity.

And I have read over a thousand books on human nature, junking all the material which didn't pass my intellectually-intuitive test. Most of my studious efforts have been gravitating around the methods of self-liberation, de-hypnotizing from the suggestive advances from authorities, and seeking the ways to mentally outdo myself of the yesteryear.

Being a law abiding citizen never made of me a "yes-man".

Just couldn't join the herd's sense of "normalcy" after observing all self-inflicted suffering, and a sheepheaded compliance by the masses.

Thus, common sense doesn't appeal to me, for, millions of people using it could be dead-wrong about some basic truisms of life. And there are a growing number of scientists who have unchained themselves from the dogmatic academia and came up with some brilliant, new truths -- from our power to heal ourselves without doctors and nutritional supplements, to our very origin as species.

Times are changing, collectivism is slowly dying out, as the individuals are waking up, thanks to the internet, where alternate information is available.

Well, so much I wanted to share, with still that initial question on my mind:

How much of you is really you?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Val Karas

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