People would rather live in a community with unreasonable claims, than face loneliness with their truth
Since the earliest days of our youth, we have been conditioned to accept that the direction of the herd, and authority anywhere — is always right.
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
The thing about the Lexington International Bank ladder was that it was very long, and climbing it was very exhausting, and so Andrew Brown didn't have a lot of time to think about whether he really wanted to get to the top of it—and besides, since so many other people were climbing too, the view from the top must be worth it.So he kept going. He worked hard. He put his heart and mind and soul into it. There was an opening for a position half a rung higher than he already was. With a promotion, he might get two hours a week of a secretary's time. He'd go to more important meetings, with more senior people, and have the opportunity to impress them, and if he did he might be promoted again and then... well, of course eventually he'd be running the whole office. It's important to have a dream: otherwise you might notice where you really are.
Most of the time, we see only what we want to see, or what others tell us to see, instead of really investigate to see what is really there. We embrace illusions only because we are presented with the illusion that they are embraced by the majority. When in truth, they only become popular because they are pounded at us by the media with such an intensity and high level of repetition that its mere force disguises lies and truths. And like obedient schoolchildren, we do not question their validity and swallow everything up like medicine. Why? Because since the earliest days of our youth, we have been conditioned to accept that the direction of the herd, and authority anywhere — is always right.
If we had to earn our age by thinking for ourselves at least once a year, only a handful of people would reach adulthood.
Nor, perhaps, will it fail to be eventually perceived, that behind those forms and usages, as it were, he sometimes masked himself; incidentally making use of them for other and more private ends than they were legitimately intended to subserve. That certain sultanism of his brain, which had otherwise in a good degree remained unmanifested; through those forms that same sultanism became incarnate in an irresistible dictatorship. For be a man’s intellectual superiority what it will, it can never assume the practical, available supremacy over other men, without the aid of some sort of external arts and entrenchments, always, in themselves, more or less paltry and base. This it is, that for ever keeps God’s true princes of the Empire from the world’s hustings; and leaves the highest honors that this air can give, to those men who become famous more through their infinite inferiority to the choice hidden handful of the Divine Inert, than through their undoubted superiority over the dead level of the mass. Such large virtue lurks in these small things when extreme political superstitions invest them, that in some royal instances even to idiot imbecility they have imparted potency. But when, as in the case of Nicholas the Czar, the ringed crown of geographical empire encircles an imperial brain; then, the plebeian herds crouch abased before the tremendous centralization. Nor, will the tragic dramatist who would depict mortal indomitableness in its fullest sweep and direct swing, ever forget a hint, incidentally so important in his art, as the one now alluded to.
A utopian system, when established by men, is likely to be synonymous with a dystopian depression. The only way for perfect peace by man is absolute control of all wrongs. Bully-cultures find this: with each and every mistake, another village idiot is shamed into nothingness and mindlessly shut down by the herd. This is a superficial peace made by force and by fear, one in which there is no freedom to breathe; and the reason it is impossible for man to maintain freedom and peace for everyone at the same time. Christ, on the other hand, transforms, instead of controls, by instilling his certain inner peace. This is the place where one realizes that only his holiness is and feels like true freedom, rather than like imprisonment, and, too, why Hell, I imagine, a magnified version of man's never-ending conflict between freedom and peace, would be the flesh's ultimate utopia - yet its ultimate regret.
Life is for those that deserve it. Those kings amongst men who can climb out of barrels and will dare to break through glass walls and to transcend all of this whatever it is, these eyes to the ground, this pretence, acting only as is expected and never as is intended. We have been told what is acceptable in what situation and so we take heed. This is not living. In the real world, in nature, there is no need to pretend. There is no place for it.
Of people that hold an opinion that is popular and that makes them look good: I cannot take your opinions seriously. If you are of a persuasion that is popular and that makes you look like a better person, then you hold that persuasion as a result of no inner convictions of your own; rather, you hold that persuasion as a result of self-consciousness. It takes courage and inner strength to hold convictions that go against popular opinion and that go against what would make you feel accepted in the eyes of most. There are three levels to this sort of consciousness: the first level dictates that you are simply unaware and you go about with daily life with no presumptions, simply going with the flow of everything. The second level is the one that the current generation mostly belongs to: the level of those who believe themselves to be enlightened, awakened. This second level belongs to those who would call those belonging to the first level as sheep. This second level belongs to those who would believe that there are only two levels: one belonging to sheep and another belonging to them. They are unaware of the third level. But the third level of consciousness is the level that belongs not to what those on the lesser level would call as sheep and also not belonging to the second level of those who believe themselves to be free thinkers. At this third level, are those who see plainly that the free thinkers of today are simply a different herd of sheep, who all hold a shared opinion of what it means to be a better person, what it means to be an enlightened individual, what it means to be free. They are the herd that believe themselves to be free. At least the first herd at the first level do not care to go about with such thoughts in their minds: they are the ones who care only of working honestly, living honestly, and doing good deeds. Those on the second level, however, upon believing themselves to be set free of former persuasions, are convinced of their mental and spiritual superiority. But, alas, such individuals would not dare hold any personal conviction if it meant they would be seen in an unfavourable light by their peers, friends, by the masses. Their inner compasses are controlled not by the image they wish to see in the mirror; rather, their inner compasses are controlled by the image they wish others to see when looking at them. Now, at the third level, nothing controls these minds except for the desire to see in the mirror what is true, what is pure, what is better; regardless if anybody else can see it or not. At the third level of consciousness, we find those who have transcended the pleasures provided by the feelings of other people's acceptance, praise, and opinion of them. To be good, and to believe good, not because it is popular, but because it is true and good. At the third level, we will find those whose inner compasses are controlled by their reflections in the mirror, not by their peers, their friends, or the masses.
Societal peer pressure to conform runs strong, but as more of us continue to think and act for ourselves, rather than be under the influence of group-think, we begin to make more effective choices.
Ordinary people are products of their environment and fit in. Artists transcend their environment and stand out.
Let's face it. We live in a command-based system, where we have been programmed since our earliest school years to become followers, not individuals. We have been conditioned to embrace teams, the herd, the masses, popular opinion -- and to reject what is different, eccentric or stands alone. We are so programmed that all it takes for any business or authority to condition our minds to follow or buy something is to simply repeat a statement more than three or four times until we repeat it ourselves and follow it as truth or the best trendiest thing. This is called programming -- the frequent repetition of words to condition us how to think, what to like or dislike, and who to follow.
Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day.
What kind of men, then, does our society need? What is the social character suited to twentieth century Capitalism? It needs men who co-operate smoothly in large groups; who want to consume more and more, and whose tasks are standardized and can easily be influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority, or principle, or conscience - yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected, to fit into the social machine without friction.
There are two groups of people: Herds and individual clever people. Because herds have numerical superiority, individual clever people remain weak in determining the right fate for the country! The solution: Disperse the herds, augment the individuals!
Most people do not have a problem with you thinking for yourself, as long as your conclusions are the same as or at least compatible with their beliefs.