Welcome to what I call autonomy Orange Belt. If, you are new to the program please follow this link back to the introduction.
Today we are going to take a very deep dive into the way your brain works and how your personality adapts to it. For some of you this may be relatively sensible but for quite a few of you some very foreign ideas are about to come your way. I have spent a lot of time on this introductory paragraph for those of you who struggle sit on the first analogy (about the coat of Armour), reflect on your self for a few days, or weeks, meditate & it will start to make more and more sense as you peel away the distractions.
I want you to carry this analogy forward into this post. Context is key from now on.
You are a human: that wasn’t so hard was it:). As you embattle through life different challenges come at you from different angles and you have had to develop a coat of Armour around you to defend your vulnerable soft flesh from rivals who want to reshape you.
Those rivals on the extremely physical end of the spectrum will want to reshape you with a violent strike of the sword to take off an arm (figuratively) but you will also come across rivals from different parts of the spectrum.
Rivals from the middle spectrum may suggest they reshape the way you look. More like them.
Rivals from the extremely emotional end of the spectrum will want to reshape the way you think. They will have a ready-made ideology waiting for you to step straight into. Again same as them.
As each rival approaches, your psyche (aka spirit) automatically creates a tailor-made part of your Armour to protect from that particular threat. Each rival approaches from a different angle and therefore eventually your Armour will encapsulate your entire body and need a second layer, or third, more.
Here is the important part: that same Armour that protects you from the outside world also shapes the way your interpret the outside world. It sticks with you, weighs your down, reminds you of all the rivals of your past then clouds your vision so that the present & the future looks very similar to those rivals you know so well.
The good news is that not everyone or everything is a rival and the Armour can be removed.
Memories jump to conclusions
Wrap your head around these two concepts then I will explain why.
Explicit memory’s are concrete memory’s of things that you directly remember happening to you (e.g. an event or a conversation).
Implicit memory’s are the subconscious (hidden) memory’s that quietly shape the way you do things and feel things.
This type of memory is how you build up a mental model (a belief system) of the world and it doesn’t need active participation from you. (e.g. the sky is blue, birds can fly, little silver metal disc with numbers printed on = money, dinosaurs are extinct). The peculiar thing is that repetition of explicit memory’s turn them into implicit ones.
If, you are really interested in progressing through life stronger than you were yesterday; understanding and breaking down your implicit memory’s will be your first big breakthrough.
Next time you do something (e.g. get up and walk to the fridge because you are bored) stop and ask yourself what is really going on. This practice won’t just cough up all of life’s big answers straight away but as you take more and more notice of your actions and your emotions you will start uncovering, layer by layer, some very interesting long-lost memory’s that are shaping your today. Challenge your beliefs and you may find out that they were never really yours in the first place but they were just implicitly implanted there (by your parents or teachers for example) and you have been subconsciously following the path set down for you ever since without question
Here is an example to give you a kick-start. During those times of parenting young kid’s I found myself infuriated by the kid’s inability to co-operate I would often find myself flipping out and losing my cool. It took a good three months but after practicing this strategy of awareness (previously mentioned above) and contemplating my implicit memory’s a pattern became clear. The underlying (and very deeply hidden under many layers of Armour) was the feeling of not being listened to. The pieces of Armour I developed as a kid to deal with the family situation at the time was freezing out that piece of me I needed now to deal with new stresses. Awareness of today comes from understanding your Armour.
Language is a shared memory
I remember thinking to myself as a little kid: who decided this piece of fruit in my hand should be called an “Orange”, what did the word orange mean before that?
If you think about it in the context of implicit memory’s language is an agreement everyone has made with each other to call that piece of fruit an “Orange.” You parent’s taught you as a kid and now you take it for granted (never to be disputed and never to be thought of again).
Language however extends beyond the material world of fruit and into the emotional world of relationships and powerful world of commerce.
Language has long been used by people in power as a means of making their subjects think a certain way. There has been a lot of research go into the topic and lots of books written on it (my personal favorite is 1984 by George Orwell). If you take a few minutes to really have a good think about it certain words conjure up certain thought patterns. That is a result of your social conditioning and it can be undone as soon as you are aware of it.
Political correctness is the language police of our time and I want you to continue practicing those strategies of awareness and stop to think about your emotions or actions when they are at their most extreme and which words set you off.
Language sets up one of the strongest paradigms you carry with you. It dictates a lot of how your see the world. By changing the meaning of words (which is what political correctness does) what it can do is it can make you see the world as something completely contradictory to your previously internalized model of how you think it is. Psychologists, kidnappers, marketers, criminals & social media giants have been using this very contradiction (aka projection) to manipulate your emotions and in extreme cases (say kidnapping or even army boot camp) can be used to fracture the psyche.
Project is the act of taking reality flipping it a complete 180 and throwing it straight back at the victim to turn them into a perpetrator.
Your family plays a major role in shaping the way you interact with the world and the way you see yourself. Some families may even be dysfunctional enough to go as far as to influence the development (or regression) of your own personality.
The word convention is really just a big word for the accepted way of doing things. For most of us we don’t leave the family home until we have learnt just about everything there is to know about the real world and how to do all the things we need to do out there. That being the case it is inside your family that you learn most of your conventions (such as cooking, cleaning, talking, interacting with people, arguing, social skills, exercise, learning, confidence, resilience etc. etc. )
What we forget though is that the conventions we learned as children were only ever as good as the conventions our parents were taught. When I got married and moved in with my wife I soon learned that her conventions really didn’t align with mine. Stupid little things like the methodology of how to hang up clothes onto the line became perplexing and complex mysteries to me but to her they were concrete ways in which the world had to take shape.
Most of us carry these conventions with us for the rest of our lives and never see them as hindrances nor feel the need to challenge them. Some of us will embark on a journey of self-improvement or self discovery if the need arises and these are usually the first chinks in your Armour to reach the surface.
This is when things really start to ramp up a notch or twelve. When I was going through my awakening (post divorce) tackling my society paradigms split open the entire watermelon (to coin a phrase).
I like the analogy of watermelon because until you wake up and crack open the paradigm everything looks green on the outside whilst because the opposite inside (hidden from view).
Don’t get me wrong I think society has a lot more benefits than downsides as a whole but once again as we scratch the surface a lot more benefit can be extracted.
Thousands of years ago as groups of people starting living closer and closer to each other certain unwritten social laws had to be followed. Some were more obvious than others (aka murder, adultery etc) but I want you to think about the more subtle, more hidden social laws that you have been following and turned into implicit way of living.
My biggest opposition when it comes to social group think is the radical feminists (solely because I came into direct conflict with the ideology during my divorce and family court sagas to see it exposed at its worst). What I found was that the social agenda set by this particular group had shaped my way of seeing the world for decades (which inevitably shaped me after all that time), It was a subtle but powerful social manipulation but now I had shed the paradigm it is amazing just how wide reaching and how manipulative such social engineering can be. Any other social group will also shape the way you think, after all compliance with the social group conventions is mandatory for acceptance into it.
Compliance to said social conventions comes at the cost of your own individuality.
Science has actually got a big part in making you who you think you are (and I bet you don’t even know it). It’s a fact! But what is a fact. A fact used to be something that can be repeated in a laboratory over and over again but as the scientific endeavor grew what we accepted as fact grew as well. Here is an example.
Fact: The earth is flat or the sun revolves around the earth. Several hundred years ago both these statements were accepted as scientific fact. It was indisputable because all the science available to them at the time suggested it was so. Low and behold now we know better. The thing to understand here is that science is an ever evolving things that is largely made up of theories that no one has been able to disprove yet.
99.99% of scientists spend their entire careers accepting the traditional theories and performing experiments to prove them right or making products that exploit the blind acceptance of the public.
Most of the major advances in science comes when a person decides not to just blindly accept the traditionally theory of the time and challenge it. That is what Einstein did. That turned out pretty well for everyone because now we think we understand a little bit more about the world and have worked out way to exploit more natural resources.
How does science affect your daily life though? You probably do 100 things a day because you accept the sales man when he say that the product you bought was “scientifically proven.”
There is now also things called pseudo-sciences specifically designed to exploit the public’s acceptance of anything technical. Modern Monetary Theory? Most of these have a strong political leaning.
Remember this: Science has been proven wrong many times, do you blindly follow something that a person tells you because they sound like they have a better grasp on technical theories than you do? As you become more and more aware of your internal thoughts you will see again and again that you have been tricked into accepting a “fact” that actually has no basis to it.
Surveys are prime examples. They can be engineered and analyzed to portray just about any agenda you want to reinforce.
Don’t get me wrong I strongly believe that humanity needs spirituality. But there is spirituality and there is organized religion, two very different things.
I am going to try to keep this section very brief because I don’t want to spend the next 20 years defending my position.
Some religions are very good at teaching its following how to live their lives, the things to do, the things to think & the ways to act but when it comes to the question of why; most people will never put in the work required to get it. Some followers are also very good at following but very bad at learning. Yes there is a difference between being able to repeat something and being able to truly understand it then internalize it to your being.
True spirituality (not the kind you schedule by church times) does very strongly align with my philosophy of autonomy. The lessons in the bible (and other spiritual scripts) teach the life lessons I am trying to teach a lot better than I can.
Remember this: Rituals will help you ponder the big questions in life. They may even focus your thoughts but growth doesn’t come from half-hearted repetition of actions inside your comfort zone.
History is often re-written by those in power to shape the present culture & present morality in a bid to shape a society.
Ever heard the phrase – If you don’t understand history you are destined to repeat the same mistakes.
When I reached my middle age and I realized that I had repeated far too many mistakes I decided to embark on a journey into history to see how I could go about learning the right pathway forward. What a rabbit hole I found.
The first thing I learned about history is that everything I was taught in school is not much more factually correct than an ancient Greek myth. Myths (aka fairy tales, old wives tales, urban legends) are designed to promote a popular belief and shape the population’s morality. By coupling history with science and its political leanings you can quickly open yourself up a massive can of worms once you lift the veil of fog that has been built around you.
If you want a big rabbit hole to dive into start reading some books by Graham Hancock on ancient civilizations. What I think you will find is that the majority of human history suggests a very different ancestry than what the mainstream education system wants you to believe. There is a lot of evidence of highly technical societies in the past. There is a lot of evidence of highly spiritual societies in the past. There is a lot of evidence of supernatural or extra terrestrial worship in the past too they like to suppress.
POLITICS & GOVERNMENT
For those of you who are politically affluent I won’t have to convince you just how influential governments can be on your everyday lives. For those of you who would much rather switch back to the football than have a political discussion I can fully understand. I was once in the camp of political indifference too. I was hoping that if I ignored the problem I could also ignore the consequences. What I have found is that if left too long the consequences of an out of control government cannot be ignored.
As governments have grown bigger and bigger over the decades legal systems have also grown bigger and bigger. If my grandfather was here today he would not believe that there are laws against doing just about everything; from walking across the road to speaking to certain people to where you can fish and what you can catch he would be gobsmacked. Almost every behavior and every interaction you anticipate with the world will have a corresponding law to advise you on how you are expected to be. Widespread compliance and lack of individuality is their aim.
The American government was set up by the founding fathers to serve its people. The vision has been long-lost and I strongly believe the government of today only services the elitists. Your behavior of compliance is what I want you to focus on. Your freedom is slowly being sliced away from you one blade of grass at a time. If you don’t live within a governmental structure which promotes freedom then your personal autonomy is going to be that bit harder. Not impossible by any means just harder. In some respect the blind and sheep like way that most Americans follow big government and big corporations without question will make it very easy for you to rise above them.
MY RED PILLS ARE VASTLY DIFFERENT TO YOUR RED PILLS
In the movie “The Matrix” Keanu reeves (Neo) was asked to take the red pill or take the blue pill. Taking the Red Pill meant he got to break free from the veil that masked reality from him and see it for what it really is. Taking the Blue Pill meant he got to live in ignorance and perpetuate the fairy tale. Unfortunately we don’t live in the movie screen and no one is going to present you with such a simple choice, you are going to have to work a lot harder to break away the Armour that veils you from your own freedom.
Occasionally the universe will throw you a bone and even smash down that Armour for a brief moment in time. I have had it happen three times in my life now. Divorce, deaths in the family and near death experiences of my own.
I strongly encourage you to search out your own red pills and don’t hesitate to swallow when you see reach that moment of clarity. For more on this topic follow the link by my Article Rock Bottom Doesn’t Have to Be All Bad.
ask yourself, what originality have I really brought into the world?
are you just a combination of your external influence?
Congratulations for making is this far. Hopefully you have seen some benefit along the way. As a take away activity I want you to leave with I will now ask you to focus on your Ego.
What images or thoughts does the word even conjure up with you? Stop and reflect on the question for a day or two and you will see many layers to the answer.
There is one key skill I want you to at least acknowledge, understand (and ideally learn) before leaving the Orange Belt. The awareness we have cultivated needs to be coupled with contemplation. Once you are aware of what is going on with your sphere of emotions and memory’s I want you to contemplate how the outside world can be re-interpreted. I will give you an example.
When I am not writing this website I work as a professional project manager. I have been doing it for over 20 years now and I started out before that as a tracer (I draw up engineering blueprints). Nowadays I tend not to get involved in the day to day working of technical projects becuase I don’t have to, other people are much more energized to do such things than I am. About once a week though a technical problem will turn into a commercial or contractual problem and gets escalated to me. Most of the time these are very simple problems that everyone already know the solution to but they are not willing to go on record as making the decision.
That is when my ego kicks in and I start some external kicking (metaphorcally of course). I still find myself stuck in the culture I cut my teeth in 30 years ago. It was a culture of action and production, things got done by people taking individual responsibility. Everyone took their individual responsibility very seriously because there were consequences. Fast forward 30 years and it would be safe to say a full back flip has taken place. The projects are divided up into technical groups who prefer to work in isolation from each other. Responsibility of making decisions that lie outside of a very small window of occurrences sits with one person. Consequences are negligible. I know this cultural shift has taken place but I still have to constantly check my ego when it gets unleashed and reset the context in which I need to interact with my team. My own opinion on how sad the state of affairs has to be buried in order to align the team. Eventually as I exercise more and more awareness I see this opinion of mine diminish (my paradigm getting removed). Awareness is the key and being able to identify the paradigm, acknowledge it and ultimately ignore it.
I hope you got some value out of this post. Please leave a comment below and check back in again for the green belt where we will be exorcising paradigms.
Hi there, My friends call me Remy. I am a middle aged divorcee that has decided not to walk the path other people decided to set down for me. I have gained the most strength in my life from my failures. Resilience is a very powerful attribute if you can manage it, I am still building mine up but stick with me and we can forge ahead together.