We live in a time of somnambulism. Each of us exists in a small bubble, created of our egos mated to a network of social and media influences, which isolates us from any sense of reality as it is.
The condition of all people living in bubbles both protects us from accountability and makes us harmless to others because we are narcissistic and thus oblivious to the actual import of their deeds. We are programmed to ignore reality, so we take other people at face value and ignore what they are hiding.
In this way, we are perfect atoms in the Crowd. That entity is formed of a duality: the individualism (greed, selfishness, lust for power for power’s sake, pretense) of individuals, which is reality-denying, and the power of the natural tendency toward herd behavior of humans which enables this reality denial.
Imagine a group of heroin addicts. Each person wants to ignore real life and do heroin; the others want to do the same. They agree that blowing off life and doing heroin together is the only right way for them to live, but this requires that they demonize and scapegoat the rest of the world.
Individualism is a paradox. It cannot exist in only one individual, because that individual must then provide everything for themselves and are forced to become realistic, or focused on results in reality. In a group, people can agree to help each other out in order to further the illusion, and have a subsistence-level society.
Look at most of the world; it is individualistic. Everyone does what they want and they ignore the need for collaboration on anything larger than that, except for large events that they enjoy participating in like wars. Social order, infrastructure, and future planning are ignored so that individuals can act out their drama.
We get confused because herd behavior is not an opposite to this, but an extension of it. When individualists gather, they form a herd because they share a similar objective: total independence for the individual. The consensus merely enforces the ability of each individual to do whatever is wanted, without real consequences.
If we look at this process in a biological context, we immediately recognize it as herd behavior. The individuals of the group, each wanting to minimize risk and maximize reward, have formed a group that absorbs the consequences of individual behavior while rewarding those who re-affirm the unity of the group.
The herd has one commandment: its members must not change themselves for anything that is not human. They do not adapt to future consequences, rules of logic or nature, or even obvious threats; however, they are attentive to each other, and focus only on what others want to believe is true, which they then enforce on each other.
This means that they must generate constant scapegoats to explain the failure that results when people ignore reality. They will blame life itself for not being what they wanted; they blame anyone successful for their own lack of success; they are convinced that conspiracies exist which explain their lower state of power.
For an example, we can consider the recent phenomenon of “woke.” People from third world ancestry, whose nations never developed the organization and competence of the West, want to tell us all about how they are oppressed. In actuality, the only oppression is their own behavior, which mimics that in their home countries.
If Africa had been prosperous and powerful before the colonists arrived, and poor after they left, oppression might be a conceivable narrative. Instead we see that Africa was poor before colonialism, and slightly less poor afterwards, with some nations rising thanks to learned Western methods and technologies.
In the same way, we have to consider that slaves and immigrants brought here found a better life. To be a slave in Africa is to have few options, where Western chattel slavery was more merciful and gave them an important social role, if they could avoid engaging in too many broken behaviors.
In this sense, being “woke” is to engage further in the bubble where the individual assumes that he is innocent and any conflict with his desires on the part of the world is the result of some conspiracy or error. This makes woke-ness the opposite of being awakened.
To be awakened, on the other hand, requires change and adaptation on the part of the individual. They must recognize the bubble, and step out of the idea of universal truth, accepting that humans are not equal and what seems true to one — or most — will be transparently wrong to those who have gone farther down the path of wisdom.
Those who awaken discover that most of human activity consists of herd behavior, which being formed of the duality of individualism and socialization, is vigilantly reality-denying. Accepting reality as the necessary target of our thinking places the individual on a path to transcending themselves, part of self-actualization.
In understanding the self, the individual then casts aside the self as a goal, and sees the self more as a method: the goal is to have a meaningful life, which comes from bonding with the world, not rejecting it to fall into navel-gazing and libertinism. The awakened seek the meaning that comes with connections, not isolation.
For the awakened, one motto may suffice, and that is, “no excuses.” They realize that the world is theirs to make into something beautiful, which requires understanding how the world works outside of the human bubble that projects itself through universalism, humanism, and collectivized individualism, or herd behavior.
They realize that the path of the herd leads to control, or regulating the methods that others can use in order to influence or program their thinking. This begins with individualism, which is a method based in dividing experience from the world to the individual and its social echo chamber.
Control requires the solipsism of humans which unites the individual and the Crowd. They wish to see a world only of their own desires, feelings, emotions, judgments, thoughts, and the fascination of their own egos. They want to obscure the scary reality where they are powerless and safety is non-existent, and replace it with a happy illusion.
In actuality, the world outside of humans makes a great deal of sense, while the majority of humans create an evil little sub-world within it based on the lowest common denominator impulses of humanity, namely the selfishness, narcissism, and greed that are hallmarks of individualism unchecked by hierarchy.
They live in a permanent dream. They want to eliminate conflict and risk, so they restrict the methods that people can use to understand life, which makes those others domesticated, pliable, self-obsessed, and otherwise inert. In this dream, all problems are the fault of someone else, and the individual creates himself without reference to ancestors, nature, logic, or the divine. The individual alone matters.
Such people employ another method, filtering, as a means of maintaining their illusion. If something does not conform to the narrative upon which they base their personalities, they simply refuse to hear it, and summon the power of the Crowd to exclude the speaker. That way, they are safe from troubling inconsistencies in their thinking.
Thus insulated from reality, they turn toward projection, which is the habit of seeing themselves in the situation of others and assuming innocence. In every prisoner they see themselves, so they fight to neuter punishment; in every poor child they see themselves, so they demand socialism. In every smiling third world face they see themselves, so they demand the borders must open.
In reality, they are entirely different animals than these people, and never would have found themselves in such circumstances because they were born with different capacities. Even a modern solipsist, if cast into desperate poverty in the jungle, would find a way to plant crops, organize a hunt, and live well. They only see consequences however and not the actions that caused them because they wish to deny the importance of choosing actions well, since that would require understanding reality.
Part of maturation involves recognizing that most people are usually incorrect in how they see the world. Not politically or morally incorrect, necessarily, although those as well, they are fundamentally inaccurate in their interpretation of facts and logic that reveal the world to us beyond the immediate.
When we look at the disease of the modern time, what first comes to mind is how egotistical and pretentious people are. They deny their failings, blame others, and use that excuse as a means of further indulging the lower instincts of the human being, like animals gorging themselves blind because once they were starving.
Our first duty, if we love life, is to bypass “woke” (and similar illusions like class warfare, the JQ, superstition, and paranoia) and look instead to awaken. Life exists out there for us to seize if we can only perceive it somewhat accurately, and then act on what we find, even if it requires us to think ourselves less godlike and more mundane.