Or as it’s more commonly known, the “failure to think”.
I’m usually a little more nuanced in the way I write about these things, but this time around I’m tired, have a lot of work to do and am not really beating around the bush with it, so to speak.
Today’s topic is on the crucial failure of independent thought and the facade of being a free thinker that many seem to be unable to recognize within themselves.
Everyone has this issue at some point in their lives – it’s the issue of seeing with terrible lucidity that some of the decisions you have made in your life, or the ideas you’ve come to, are not actually yours, but are fragments of ideas pulled from the world around you via idea osmosis that you’ve convinced yourself are “your decisions”, when in reality you never made a real decision to begin with.
Think back to the time you decided to go study X and be utterly convinced that it was all you. Or was it? Maybe it was the pressure in your home that pushed you into studying that, and you’ve rationalized it as being ultimately “your decision” because after all “you can’t really make money in Y”.
Or perhaps you’ve come up with a grand idea that we’re a community and we should help each other out – kumbaya and all that. You came to the conclusion via coincidental experiences that told you to “share your cookies that your mum made for you with Tim, because Tim is poor and it’s the right thing to do.” That was all you, all your independent mind at work.
Or maybe it’s the decision to settle for the nice girl next door because I mean, after all, you gotta settle one day and she’s a nice, albeit plain, lady that will be the mother of some nice kids. You made this decision on your own, not at all because of the subtle undertones you’re all too conservative friends were throwing at you from under the table. Or the YouTube guy who screams “THE DATA SHOWS” while scratching his atrociously ashy bald head.
But that’s not you, the reader..right? You made your decisions and stuck by them proudly. You’re independent and don’t need no man or woman. Right?
But alas, my point isn’t in these examples – those are just poking at an issue which has bothered me for some time, and it’s the issue that most ideas that people throw at me are not ideas that they concluded on their own via the entertaining of such ideas – they simply took them as implicitly correct or valid in some way, then went with it, applying their layers of mental muck on top of it saying “why yes, this is my independence at work”.
Except that it isn’t. It’s a misintegration of knowledge. It’s essentially taking information, assuming it is correct just on the basis that it was handed to you by someone who is presumably of value (and GOD HELP YOU if it’s from someone you barely know), then going with it while not understanding the method or reasoning as to why the information is correct.
This is misintegration, it is absurdly dangerous, and it depresses me deeply sometimes, because I’m very tired of listening to people parrot other people.
Think, damn it! Think. Don’t castrate your ability to question and deconstruct information given to you. Most information is a package deal, ie. it is layers of info that assumes many premises about reality, knowledge, rights, etc. You need to deconstruct these things, because many package deals are packed with a little poison, and a little poison in your meal can kill you.
If I present to you a free car but you do not know me or have any previous knowledge of my reputation, do not presume that the car is safe – and a blue check mark next to my name is not proof of trust. You don’t know me. The package is a full car, but under the hood may be a fucked engine that can explode and burn your family alive.
Question things. Don’t listen to “experts”, especially when they flip flop on issues clearly under the guise of a political agenda. Take their info in, entertain it and evaluate it against your own data and info, observe reality, and come to your own conclusions.
Look. I’ll give it to you straight. A lot of the shit we do in our lives are built off other people’s influence – influence isn’t bad, but influence needs to be questioned. That’s part of why so many people feel lost and confused in the world, or they repress and push down their values so hard at some point in their lives because SoCiEtY, that they become super stoics ie. robots with kids pounding their chest yelling “I AM MAN”. They never questioned what influenced them.
Your job, as an adult, and as a parent to your younglings, is to sculpt away the shit that was plastered onto you via error or evasion, and figure out what it is you actually wanna do in your life. What’s actually important – the callings, the fruits, the passions, the needs. The things that make you wake up, look at the sky and silently scream “I am fucking alive”.
But to do this also requires realizing that a lot of the dumb ideas, especially political ones, are probably not your own conclusions and need serious evaluating. It takes scrubbing, thinking, deconstructing, rebuilding. It takes the god damned nihilism vaccine I told you about, with nasty side effects such as Anakin’s bitchy “WHAT HAVE I DONE” whimper, Neo’s painful unplugging from the weird matrix baby tube he was sleeping in, and a feeling that nothing matters.
It takes a cruise missile of lucidity and horrendous unplugging. It takes looking at reality, then building from there.
Honestly I’m not sure why I’m writing and raving like this. I’m about to go to bed, but I’m rather tired. Not physically, but somewhere in the soul I have some fatigue, and that fatigue is because I yearn to meet more people in the world who truly look at life in a way that shows they carved a path of their own in it and have a radiant honesty about them. It’s the kind of authenticity you rarely see – people who go “yeah I chose to be this because I wanted it. I could’ve been an engineer or a white picket fence house dad dude guy but down to my soul, this is what I craved”. Perhaps I’m tired because I’ve also been going back and forth with bunches of people and there’s a common repetition among it all – a group think mindset that is disappointing and sad. You’re more than that. Why can I see that but you can’t?
It’s all of that. That honesty is what I want to see more of, and it takes incredibly powerful courage and independence to get to that stage. The stage of people figuring themselves out through their own judgement and learning about the world by trusting their own minds, rather than perceiving it through the wretched minds of the controlling, the twisted and the evil.
Don’t let your mind go. Think, entertain, be honest to what’s real and learn from mistakes. I ain’t fucking perfect, but I’m doing what I believe is correct for my life, contradiction free. I’m figuring it out, and I’m passionate about the writing, ranting, raving and painting I do.
Maybe the path changes somewhere around 40, I have no god damned idea. But I can at least look at the path and say I chose that. Not some god damned idiot on twitter or internet guru.
Carve a fucking path, and buy my art while you’re at it.
Support my work if you enjoy it.