Question Everything, Believe Nothing - Chapter Two - Group Think and the Hive Mind

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Question Everything, Believe Nothing

Chapter Two

Group Think and the Hive Mind

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

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Chapter One may be found here.

 

There is a pretty common ‘belief’ among many that to ask questions of some ‘things’ that others consider settled or ‘true’ is a sign of weakness, of someone who is weak minded, indecisive or one who just can’t be trusted when the nitty gets gritty. They ‘believe’ that the very act of questioning something that is obviously correct implies instability, doubt, hesitation, uncertainty, etc. They ‘believe’ that these people, the shameful Doubting Thomas’s, cannot be trusted and must be viewed with suspicion and distrust. You are either with the herd or you are against the herd.

Group think is most prevalent in the conditioned mind, a phenomenon that is completely invisible to the group members who truly believe they are thinking independently. The irony of group think is that each member is afforded just enough wiggle room with which to modify or mold the groups common ‘beliefs’ so that each member can call it their own original thinking. Does this sound familiar? No two members of the same political party are of exactly the same mind, yet they all pull the same political lever as one with the herd.

 

Group Think

 

The hive mind is most certainly capable of great feats of strength and perseverance precisely because it is narrowly focused and of ‘one mind’. A common argument in favor of the hive mind is the great feats of human engineering that are part of our daily life. I do not argue that the results can be quite spectacular. In fact I am somewhat of an engineering geek and marvel at today’s ships, planes, bridges, buildings, technology and so on.

But I do not accept the premise that these co-created ‘things’ would only be possible under the direction and control of the coordinated hive mind. From my point of view it is a marvel that they actually exist considering all the truly cruel and destructive effects of the hive mind. War and genocide come to mind as something that can only be accomplished by way of group think and the hive mind.

This state of mind is the antithesis of awareness and perspective, of true compassion and empathy, the act of actually transferring yourself emotionally and spiritually into someone else’s shoes rather than simply believing yourself to be in their shoes. Believed empathy is telling someone you feel their pain dawg. True empathy is doubling over in pain and nausea as wave after wave of the shared agony crashes over you.

Those who claim they have a flexible mind often have the least and those who worry they don’t have enough flexibility usually have the most. The same applies to those who ‘believe’ they have questioned their beliefs enough and found them sound, and those who continuously question what they believe precisely because there appears to be no doubt. There is nothing more certain than the certainty that our perception of reality has been seriously distorted and we do not, and cannot, perceive clearly now.

 

Distortion

 

Personally I have no substantial problems with questioning certain fundamental ‘truths’ that I have believed in the past were unassailable, yet still carry them with me to use until I have something better to replace them with………or I just decide to discard them altogether. Rather than flee in terror from this Cognitive Dissonance because it might undermine the very basis of my existence, I welcome the opportunity to cast off the binds that tie my mind to the hive.

For the hive mind though, this is a true paradox that sends the mind reeling and the stomach spinning. Having never begun an inward journey to locate the true source of their power, or if so, then quickly abandoning it as obviously too dangerous to the ‘self’ to continue, ‘certainty’ is the only force that group think has to propel itself forward. Remove that and the mind freezes, the body falters and the resolve quickly melts away.

For the conditioned mind there is no other fuel source to tap other than those resources supplied externally by group think and the hive mentality. This is why any approach to life other than slightly modified group think is seen as dangerous to the hive’s existence and must be repelled at first sight and expelled if found to already exist. Independent thought, let alone action is as dangerous to group think and the hive mind as Gold or any other ‘real’ substantial foundational basis is to ‘faith and belief’ central bank fiat.

To question everything and believe nothing is not an all or nothing proposition, a dead ended process of a lost soul endlessly chasing its own mind. To the contrary it is a fearless moral, spiritual and emotional self examination, an inner exploration that yields as much, if not more, from the process of journeying than from actually arriving at any particular destination. In fact if one allows their ‘self’ to believe they have actually arrived at enlightenment, most likely they are standing face to face with their carefully concealed ego.

Here’s the rub though. How does one even achieve enough sanity to begin questioning everything while simultaneously surrounded by, and interacting with, an insane world? Worse, how can we trust anything we might discover when we have finally accepted that deliberate deception runs ten layers deep and we haven’t even penetrated level one?

The question is similar to walking into a clothing store and not knowing your size or even what you like. What do you do? The answer is simple; proceed slowly and try on many different garments for size, shape and feel. Most of all trust your intuition and gut. Equally important, before starting, be settled in the knowledge that you will make many mistakes and that this is entirely expected. Navigating a maze while blindfolded is not an easy task and managing your own expectations and disappointments is paramount to moving forward.

As well, we must recognize that because we were conditioned from an early age, a time when our vulnerability was the greatest because we had no real ability to differentiate between programming, propaganda and believed ‘truth’ (nor did most of our familial programmers), we enter this examination process with our cup full of beliefs and our mind convinced in ways we haven’t even begun to explore that there are unassailable truths. These ‘unassailable truths’ are thus the most difficult to question, let alone shake, and shouldn’t be the first to be challenged.

While our ego might insist we charge directly into the valley of death, understand that the ego, the supreme expert in the manipulation of our ‘self’, is sending us into a psychological trap, a sort of reverse psychology deception by luring us in with false bravado and confidence, only to put us at cliffs edge staring down into the black abyss.

 

Close to the Edge

 

Having little to no experience in these matters, many (including myself on several occasions) are quickly overcome by vertigo and scurry back to the safety of terra firma and our familiar self deceptions. Knowing what we have just done, our ego, the master puppeteer, then skillfully encourages us to bargain with what we have just seen to assuage our shame and remorse and to settle for just another comforting version of the original lie.

Instead of pealing back another layer of the onion, tragically we have successfully added yet one more deposit, this time deeply set in stone by our own frightened hands. If we ever venture back down this path again this self created monolith will mock us in ways we can only imagine. Best to travel carefully as if walking a crumbling sandstone path then to delude ourselves into thinking we are surefooted mountain goats.

How arrogant we are to think we could quickly and easily challenge decades, centuries, of pre-conceived group think notions, ‘beliefs’ really since they can be termed nothing else without a thorough examination, without losing our footing and skinning our knees or (perish the thought) breaking some cognitive bones.

I remember well the cold sweat that formed on the back of my neck when I realized I had been criminally deceived into believing the ‘official’ story of nine eleven. Why then, after such a disorienting blow to the egoic mind, would I not expect whiplash when the dawning realization finally sweeps over me that I actually enabled The Big Lie, that I wasn’t quite the helpless victim I had comfortingly conceptualized?

The cognitive problem is never a difficulty in learning about new people, places and things, but in letting go of the old ‘certainty of belief’. We are attracted to the perceived ‘order of certainty’ because our conditioning compels us to seek it out precisely because that empowers outside forces, external author-ities (those who create or ‘author’ their own right to receive/take our power) to supplant our own inner knowing. By rejecting the certainty of belief we are confronting the complete ‘self’ destruction, a rebuilding from the foundation up and then the reordering of all that we ‘believe’ constitutes ‘me’.

Once the curtain is pulled back just a smidge to expose the wizard and his motley crew, our world begins to fly apart as if ravaged by centrifugal forces greater than the human mind can withstand. It is ‘we’ who find ourselves swimming naked when the tide goes out. Worse, we are the gravitational force that determines when, and if, the tide actually ever recedes. The pain we feel when balanced at the cliff’s edge is entirely of our own making and completely within our control to extinguish. All we need do is to abandon the certainty of belief that is presently stuck in our craw.

 

The Individual 'Self'

 

Our identity, our ‘self’, our very basis, all that we think ‘we’ are, is called into question when we seriously question everything, then look within for some real honest answers. It all comes back to one of the questions I posed at the beginning of this piece. Who, or more accurately, what are ‘you’ if very little of substance differentiates ‘you’ from ‘us’? This is the stark reality we face when we find ourselves beached naked as a jay bird after being blissfully ignorant nearly our entire life.

Consider just for a moment that we carry around with us, on our backs if you will, a huge pack stuffed to the gills, crammed with all our suppositions, assumptions, beliefs and precious ‘truths’ we hold so dear to ‘us’. That in a nut shell pretty much describes each one of us once we are released from the primary school indoctrination machine, competently instructed in the ways of the beast (these days more like trained as disposable shock troops) and ready to make our mark upon the ‘real’ world.

Now consider how much more that backpack has been stuffed after twenty or thirty years of ‘real’ life experience and imagine what a burden, what an absolute impediment, it must present to real substantial organic growth, the type that nourishes from within, that frees the mind and spirit rather than furthers our enslavement.

Is it really so hard to recognize that ‘belief’ is just another tool we may use, one of dozens we can employ at any time we wish to transport our ‘self’ from one way station to the next as we work our way through life? Instead, when unsettled or directly challenged, we desperately grasp for our beliefs with the ferocity of a drowning swimmer, our backpack clutched to our bosom with a death grip, certain beyond belief that we are identified by our beliefs rather than condemned by them to be chained to a life of spiritual stagnation and decay on every level. Either we sink to the bottom firmly anchored to the herd’s beliefs or we rise to the surface and beyond buoyed by true freedom of thought, mind and conscious spirit.

If I were to hold my hammer, chisel or even my chain saw with the same death grip I hold my beliefs I would soon find myself maimed for life, if not pushing up daises six feet under. Fortunately any and all damage done by the mishandling of my beliefs by my ‘self’ can be undone in mere minutes with a decision born of desperation or determination, it matters not, that I am not my beliefs, that it is my beliefs that control me and not the other way around.

This is why it is advisable to hold the contents of my backpack as I would a butterfly rather than the anvil it so often is. If I view my certainties as fragile and fleeting rather than anchored and immovable, much less effort is required when displacing one for another. Or better yet, to simply discard as no longer need or wanted, as outmoded and useless, what previously I could not imagine living without. Cut the ties, one by one, that binds our mind to the hive. This is the true genesis of substantial original organic life fulfilling growth.

 

03-06-2014

Cognitive Dissonance

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