When we are born and open our eyes, we immediately begin to shape our beliefs about life.
Some messages we receive are blatant – “be careful” (or, “always be on guard”). Other messages are more subtle, like “you must work hard to live” and “mistakes are always punished.”
I’ve taken stock of the nonconstructive messages with which our unconscious may be bombarded – and we can carry these stoways for decades or a lifetime. While an unexamined life is still worth living, examining our underlying beliefs sure makes life easier.
What concerns me most is that our young people are getting these messages much faster now than in previous years, and this can be devastating to forming their identities. What can we do to change this?
Here is a list, based on careful observation and bypassing doublespeak. Some are quotes from songs and burrow in the unconscious faster. The unconscious speaks in life-or-death terms, which is probably due to our survival evolution and self-protection.
- Happiness is equal to having our basic survival needs met – everything else is gravy.
- Happiness is being better than someone else.
- Happiness is found in distraction from real life (if we can’t be better than others).
- We will seldom or never do what we truly like.
- We are born to work hard until we die.
- Fight for everything or die. Dominate, or be dominated.
- Everyone is replaceable.
- There is never enough of what we need.
- No one will ever accept us for who we really are.
- No one cares about our lives, even if they pretend to.
- Unconditional love is impossible.
- We are fundamentally flawed.
- We are ugly.
- We are stupid and incompetent.
- We lack creativity.
- We are broken.
- Our lives are meaningless and we are worthless.
- Mistakes are not allowed – on any level.
- We are fundamentally and always alone.
- Trust no one.
- Fear everything.
- We live on borrowed time. There is never enough time.
- Intergity is overrated – it gets you in trouble. Lying is easier.
- Nothing is our bithright, except suffering. (“There’s no such thing as free lunch, unless it’s trash.”)
- Only the good die young and are free of this prison.
- Life is hell. Shit always happens.
- Live for today and don’t think about tomorrow.
- The only true gift is sensual pleasure – party as much as you can.
- Feel nothing to feel no pain.
- We don’t deserve to be truly happy.
- When life gets you down, get back up – but don’t expect it to be any different.
- There is no free will, and we don’t get to choose anything of consequence (except maybe the flavor of our cereal).
- Life is a slow death.
- Aging is to be avoided.
- Only a few chosen ones can serve as an intermediary between the Divine and us.
- Look forward to death because something better awaits us on the other side. The dead are “in a better place.”
Many people don’t realize what they actually believe deep inside until they take the time to unravel what lies beneath. Imagine having self-denigrating and often-contradictory beliefs driving your choices (which you do have) and actions. Self-sabotage is so common – why is that?
The truth is – when you do realize that all of the above are fundamentally unnecessary to living here and now, you are free here and now. Until then, a practical vision of a happy humanity is all but impossible.
So, how do we begin to unravel this mess? More importantly, what evidence is there that alternatives are possible? Yes, many people talk about achieving health and wealth, but we may think that they are charlatans or just lucky….Also, is pure wealth what anybody wants, or is it just a means to an end? Often we want or believe something, but stop short of understanding why.
I believe that the solution lies deeper than trying positive thinking and gimmicks to make a fast buck. We need a paradigm shift at a very fundamental level to dismantle the systems that have taken over our lives – and we have already outgrown them.
First and foremost, the people close to us have much power over our subconscious. Parents, partners, and close friends regularly catalyze us to accept beliefs without questions. We internalize who we think we are based on the reflections others project onto us because we trust the relationship, no matter how dysfunctional. Perhaps parenting, relationships, and frienship education should be freely available to all aiming to live sane lives.
Can we believe that getting our basic needs met is our birthright – especially with all the breakthroughs we have achieved to date? It’s not a stretch. We are not hunters and gatheres anymore – why do we think like them? Perhaps because our safety and survival is not a given – still. It is amazing that many people continue to resort to fear tactics and manipulation to block our transition into a safe world. Homelessness, hunger, and deep poverty are unnecessary. Economic status (to secure these basic human rights) is not sane. We are still so focused on survival, but – barring natural cataclysms – is it still necesary? And the organized bullies of the world – how are you still allowed to operate and commit atrocities with all our military might? At which point does a nation or religious group square away that it is the most worthy of the Divine, when we all come from the same source?
Can we believe that we should have more leisure time? Of course. The increase in automation has already made many jobs obsolete, and the trend will just continue. Of course Universal Basic Income is the next step – but how can we implement this without further becoming enslaved?
Can we accept that every life has intrinsic value? That’s tough when we are taught that everyone is expendable and replaceable. So, our value system has to grow up and mature. Not accepting that life is precious with opportunity to be free in wisdom may also be the reason we hate ourselves and dread our lives. Please don’t genetically engineer us! Go sell that someplace else – we are all stocked up here!
Can we believe that education can evolve into a new structure that supports unique gifts and nurtures inherent strengths? I have visions of how learning could be catalyzing to individuals, but this vision cannot be fulfilled by online learning alone. Social (face-to-face) contexts must continue for us to remain a society. However, it is no secret that Bill Gates and others want to see all education go online. No, we must continue to see and talk to people with the fundamental heartset that everyone has value. Teachers would not only engage the learning of ideas, but also guide social learning – so that we build a healthy view of fully individualized life and interactions. To be and work together, and to be fulfilled, many have to unlearn their knee-jerk reactivity that stems from the unexplored unconscious.
Can we learn that our bodies have the ability to restore health beyond pharmaceuticals? Most countries do, but these don’t have such an active pharma and processed food/drink/agricultural industry. In fact, when the US lands in developing countries, such as Mexico, they quickly degenerate in health and quality of life. And this fact is documented. Those who resist the KFC’s and Coca Cola‘s, for example, are threatened to fear for their lives.
Today, I watched a video on Prime called The Science of Fasting. Yesterday, I watched a TED talk on battling cancer with sound waves. However, such information is generally muted by the “ask your doctor” commercials about taking drugs.
In fact, we may need to learn more about how advertsing works to better understand the world and self views, which ads may promote. Many skillfully bypass our conscious processes and lodge directly in the unconscious.
It’s time we accept the truth that if something is possible and probable and serves those with influence, it is being done – even if it rejects basic sanity and care. It is very possible for food and drug companies to continuously sell to us and use powerful advertising techniques, which literally make us believe that they have our best interests while playing on our insecurities. In fact, disease is good for business! It is very possible and probable that these businesses do not value us at all and use us. Industries themselves have not yet matured to realize that they are useful only some of the time – but such a paradigm is not good for profits or power.
What we can do immediately is ask ourselves “What do I really believe?” and “Where does this belief come from?” It’s a start to becoming free of acceding to systemic influences. Maybe, like me, you’ll find that most of your beliefs have to go. When the cupboard is empty, please fill it with truth and self value….