"A mind is like a parachute; it only works when it's open."
It seems like every corner we turn in psychology, sociology, and philosophy, we find statements made to human ignorance.
Here is a short list of quotes.
We should face it; we are all born ignorant and we all die ignorant. What separates people is when they realize, admit, and work to become less ignorant. It is very unfortunate that more people do not do this. As Lord Chesterfield said, "In seeking wisdom, thou art wise; in imagining thou hast attained it- thou art a fool."
Why is it that people become so possessive of their thoughts once they have been taught something or take hold of an idea? Some even argue and physically fight over what football team is better; which is an insignificant, trivial, and subjective to the beholder topic. Nothing more than an "us vs. them" mentality; a view held and based purely in which "side" a person is on.
Why do people have a trait of finding it hard to see past what is directly in front of them? Like the man who sees a beautiful woman and places all his attention and desire on her. He loses all his judgment and rationale. He is completely blind to all the inner qualities that matter most and is also about blind to everything else going on around him. Or any incident where someone is distracted by what is on the surface, such as with the art of gilding, and refuse to evaluate what is behind the cover.
Humans can be like simple primates, like a monkey getting ensnared in a monkey trap. In Africa, monkey hunters drill a hole in a coconut, just big enough for a monkey to fit an open hand through. The monkey hunters put a worthless shiny object in the coconut, big enough so the monkey’s closed hand won’t fit back through the hole. The monkey is curious and attracted to the shiny object in the hole, so it reaches in and grabs the object. Now it becomes possessive and won't let go. The coconut is attached to a tree. When the monkey hunters come, the monkey still refuses to let go. It screams in fear and frantically tries to get way, but keeping that shiny object appears more important than its freedom. Additionally, in an emotional state it has no rational thought to let go.
Ideas, desires…… people, like monkeys, have a hard time letting go. Once in an elevated emotional state of fear, anger, emotional distress, or the feeling of the need to protect an idea attached to their identity or to defend an idea they are attached to, it becomes a freak of nature event for people to let go.
How many of you have seen this happen, or had it happen to you? A) A person speaks out an idea in a group, in which all the other people in the group make fun of that person. So the person will then become ashamed, give up their idea and conform to the popular idea of the group. B) A person is made fun of or has the feeling of not fitting into certain groups. They eventually gravitate to a group that will accept them. Soon, they have given up parts of their own identity and accepted the identities common of the group.
What is this self regulating force that causes animals and people to group up and attack, or pick on, another that seems different than all the others in the group? Or the force that causes them to herd together into various groups and become birds of the same feather?
The legendary Bruce Lee said, "Because of styles, people are separated. They are not united together because styles became laws. But the original founder of the style started out hypotheses, and now it has become the gospel truth. People that go into them became their product. It doesn't matter how you are, who you are, how you are structured, how you are built, how you are made. It doesn't matter. You just go in there and be that product. And that to me is not life."
There is another important psychological condition: denial.....
1) In psychiatry, denial is known as a defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious awareness. Can also be part of a series of negative psychological behavior, attempting to avoid the inevitable.
2) Refusal or restriction of something requested, claimed, or needed, often causing physical or emotional deficiency.
3) An unconscious defense mechanism in which emotional conflict and anxiety are
avoided by refusal to acknowledge those thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses,
or facts that are consciously intolerable.
4) A primitive–ego defense–mechanism by which a person unconsciously negates the existence of a disease or other stress-producing reality in his environment, by disavowing thoughts, feelings, wishes, needs, or external reality factors that are consciously intolerable.
Denial is a condition that prevents people from progressing in their lives. In our era, information is learned and spread rapidly. Ideas, truths, and realities of today can possibly be changed by the end of the week. This presents a lot of problems when examining peoples' possessive nature for their ideas and beliefs. It can create chaos. Denial is shown when a person discards any information that is contrary to the bias of their preconceived notion and only allows information in support of what they want to believe.
As people grow they seem to become rigid. "Rigid" as to not accepting new ideas, when we should remain fluid so we can evolve and adapt to changes. Again, I will quote the great philosopher Bruce Lee (yes, he was also a great martial artist), "Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot and it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water."
The Arbinger Institute points out a root problem that acts as a mental straight jacket:
"For too long, the issue of self-deception has been the realm of deep-thinking philosophers, academics, and scholars working on the central questions of the human sciences. The public remains generally unaware of this issue. That would be fine except that self-deception is so pervasive it touches every aspect of life. "Touches" is perhaps to gentle a word to describe its influence. Self-deception actually determines one's experience in every aspect of life."
In his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds written in 1841, Charles Mackay described the basic phenomenon of people becoming an agglomeration of diminutive intelligence.
I have modified the context of work produced by someone using the penname "Dr. Albert Pastore". The article has been somewhat unchained to encompass a greater area of human behavior. The basic characteristic described HERE unifies a lot of the issues written above.
I can see a moral to the story; we must always analyze information for solidity and logic. We also must always check and re-check all old and new information. It is the Socratic way!
"Socrates taught his students that the pursuit of truth can only begin once they start to question and analyze every belief that they ever held dear. If a certain belief passes the tests of evidence, deduction, and logic, it should be kept. If it doesn't, the belief should not only be discarded, but the thinker must also then question why he was led to believe the erroneous."
So how can the lemming effect be used to manipulate? Ever notice how people seem to be the zombies of TV shows and advertisements? It's as if they are subliminally directed how to dress, think, and act. The worst part about it..... they follow it in a mass hypnotic trance! This is not to infer that people don't like variety and change. The relation is more to changes that occur as a result of what the media promoted or suggested. Alan Moore has a very interesting philosophy on the power of words and the media, HERE.
It appears that when peoples' psychological process is understood, they can be operated like an RC car and not even realize it. The application of this control has a historical track record of going well beyond simply being used for advertisement purposes. Such as in the use of tactics found in everything from business to politics. For example: create at least 2 problems for someone to get caught up in, points A and B. Thinking they are solving the problems they arrive at point C. Point C is the exact outcome in which they who created the problems desired. It can be used for either good or diabolical purposes; some call it Hegelian.
The minds of humans have both great ability and inability. We can figure out complex issue and be fooled by simple ones. Our minds engage us in heart touching, unselfish acts of compassion; yet also the most evil and destructive behaviors of any other creature on the planet.
We are predictable creatures, but at the same time, we are complex and confusing creatures. Ask any man about women and any woman about men; most will agree to the impossibility about understanding the mental process of the others.
When provided and armed with the facts of our species faults, why does it still seem so impossible for the majority overcome them?
Some may find this insulting and hard to accept; the basic mentality of the general members in societies are that of technologically advanced baboons.
To be continued......
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