Here’s a thought I had:
Many people think that a persons interest in a subject is a result of that person being “interested” in it as the motive. Interestingly, I have found that a lot of my interest in specific subjects is not a result of being “interested”. A lot of the subjects I have been interested in are more to ward off being deceived. In other words, there is a sense, in me, that I am being deceived by people and society. As a result, it has made me pursue my own personal inquiry into things so that I am not “led on” to believe this or that. In this way, I have sought out what is important and relevant to me and to not blindly believe in things.
These subjects that have received great influence include:
- American mentality and character
In all these subjects I maintain a continual inquiry and observation to establish what I feel is going on and to have an idea of what seems to be going on. I do not want to “blindly agree” with things, what people say, the media says, or even what “educated people” say. Instead, I want to know from personal inquiry. The main point is to find what I feel to be correct and what my “gut” tells me is true. I don’t what to be told what is true but to discover it for myself.
It appears, to me, that this feeling of being deceived is a result of conditions in the U.S. after WWII which have created a sense of “being perpetually deceived”. These conditions include:
- The media. The media, with its overwhelming prevalent presence, throws just about everything at you that is within its grasp. This includes a multitude of opinions, information, gossip, advertisement, etc. Its like a continuous ongoing noise that never ends.
- Education. Schooling, frankly, has a similar effect of media. Its more specific though, revolving around specific subjects. Regardless of that, it is just a proliferation and demonstration of this or that opinion, information, etc. It can go on endlessly.
- The prevalence of different opinions and point of views. All my life, I’ve heard of nothing but opinions and points of view. Every time I turn around there is another opinion or point of view. Its become a confusing mess.
- Of the endless bouncing around of what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”. I find it hard to believe a society that continually changes “right” and “wrong”. One minute what was “right” is “wrong” and what’s “wrong” is “right”. I just can’t believe in a place like that . . . it puts great doubt in me.
- The absence of authority. The U.S. has done everything in its power to destroy authority. As a result, this destruction of authority has caused an absence of something to say “this is correct”. What this is done is to turn everything into an opinion and that’s what everything is, an “opinion” which basically means it has no authority and meaning. As a result, everything has become “this and that, this and that”, with no meaning and authority to the point that America has become one big society of an endless ongoing “blah, blah, blah”.
- Various social problems, particularly those that surfaced during the Vietnam War protests. These problems caused a big conflict in the U.S. about various social issues that are largely unresolved. Everyone has their point of view that they view as “right”, of course. In some respects, it has tore the U.S. apart, one group thinking this, another thinking that . . . God only knows what’s right or wrong.
Basically, listening to this society is like a perpetual and endless contradiction in which “everyone is right and no one is right”. This leads to the logical conclusion: “I can’t believe anything”. And I don’t. Because of this I have had to do my own independent inquiry and come up with my own viewpoints. Sadly, because it is so ingrained in the society it has forced me to do a solitary and independent inquiry, not depending on or leaning on anything that originates in this society. Because of this, I have become set apart and removed from this society. I always say “I have one foot in and one foot out” of this society.
Interestingly, I’ve known about this since the 1990’s but have only realized its significance recently. The fact is that much of my life has been spent in avoiding being deceived by American society. Its become clear now, after all these years, that I do not trust American society, what it says, what it produces, or most of its people. That is something hard for me to say but its the truth. I believe, though, that it is founded on real-world reality and conditions. What this means is that American society has forced me to put reliance on myself, not on society, which is normally the case.
Its also become clear that much of the conditions above adds up to a “mass mentality”. In other words, American society is “mass mentality” in nature. It follows and moves to whatever the masses say and want. It does this whether the masses are right or wrong. In this way, American mentality is like a big lumbering beast that, once it moves in one direction, it all moves in one direction because its so big it can’t stop its movement. This has always scared me about the American mentality: it is dictated by the movement of the masses, not by a wisdom. The absence of wisdom in the American character and society has always worried me and puts doubt in me.
Because the American mentality is a “mass mentality” it means that, to be a part of it, one must have a “mass mentality” point of view. This means that a person must accept the “mass mentality” as lord and master. In other words, one gives up ones self to the “mass mentality” and accepts its dictates, whatever it says. This means a loss of self and ones integrity as a person. In short, “mass mentality” tends to destroy or undermine “personhood”. As a result, not only did I do research into things to avoid being deceived but to maintain a personal integrity in the face of “mass mentality”, which is all around me. In this way, American society has become something of a threat and much of my research is to avoid this threat. This has always bothered me as its basically saying that a person must defend themselves against the society. It seems, to me, that society should be helping you but that’s not what it looks like to me. If I completely followed this society I would become a “mindless nobody that believes whatever its told”. As much as I hate to say it, that’s what a lot of American look like to me, especially the girls. To me, it seems sad and I think this is one of the problems of large civilizations.
This defending yourself against society, it seems to me, is commonly seen in large societies. This is why many people go against society, rebel against it, and need time away from it. Even the other day I was saying that when people have to “get away” (such as in a vacation) it is a subtle way of saying that the society has become a threat to them. I said that stuff like this “is often a sign of a society that has become too large”. I do think the U.S. has become too large and is having the problems of being too large, one of which is the response I have spoken of above.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen