Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

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  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 06:16am

    #1
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

One of the problems we run into when discussing solutions is that there are alot of people who believe that solutions come from collective action, and so fail to take individual action.

I remember reading something to the effect that men in crowds act like cowards because each man is looking to the other to do work and nobody is really “all in”. Of course, looking at it logically, all “collectives” are simply groups of individuals. So there really is no such thing as a collective and all action is individual action. Yet there is this belief that “I am only one person so what I do wont change anything”. So nobody does anything and nothing changes.

There is a philosophy known as stoicism which asserts that one should act according to ones view of right and wrong, individually, to do what is within his power and to disregard what is outside of his power. So, in other words, if I dislike the censorship on facebook, google, and twitter, I should do what is within my power….to stop using their platforms. And never mind whether this becomes a “movement” that changes the world. You’ve done your part. If every individual stops worrying about what everybody else is doing and simply did his part, you’d have a massive collective movement that would change the world.

Rosa Parks did not know that her defiance would start a “movement”. She acted as an individual. For all she knew she would have been flung off the bus and the whole thing forgotten. She wasnt motivated by a collective, she acted as an individual…the collective came later, inspired by her individual courage.

The biggest obstacle to change is the inertia of the individual as he waits for a collective movement. We are never going to all hold hands and decide to jump together. A leader isnt going to pop up who is going to do it for you. You have control over your OWN CHOICES. And your job is align your actions with your values. Do not be attached to outcomes, be attached to your choices.

My hobby is archery. I shoot traditional, barebow recurves and longbows. I love it, and I have been shooting and competing for years. In the beginning, when I would go to shoot, I wanted to hit the x and win the event. That was my focus. This made me very anxious and my shooting during those events was never as good as it was when I shot alone. I read a book called “With Winning in Mind”. It was written by a 3 time olympic gold medalist.

The premise of the book was to switch your focus away from hitting the x, and rather, inward to your shot process. So you might perform your shot flawlessly, but a gust of wind might take the arrow off course and cause a miss. According to the book, and the stoic philosophy, that should not concern you. You should only be concerned with your execution, NOT with the result. The execution is within your power, the result is outside of your power [ therefore not your concern ]. After I absorbed and adopted this into my practice and competition, my scores went much higher. Im just trying to give an example of how this philosophy and action works in real life.

The majority of people are, in my experience, just sitting around and complaining “We need a movement, we need to change this, we need to stop the “great reset”, we need to save the environment, we need the government to put a stop to big tech abuses, etc,etc”  and nearly ALL of them are using Google, Youtube, Twitter, or facebook…even though there are alternatives. They do nothing to change their lifestyle or habits. They want these things changed but they want somebody else to do it for them.  Be a person of action, and then let go of the expectation of a result. Do YOUR part. You’ll be happier, more effective, and keep your sanity through these trying times ahead. Nothing dejects and belittles a person like inaction [ and the resulting feeling of powerlessness ]…seeing a problem and being frozen in the headlights is a guaranteed failure.

Thanks,

Brushhog

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 08:08am

    #2
    Netlej

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    Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

Actually that is the mentality that got us into this mess. Everyone is focusing on their own little world while those who plan and “conspire” are busy successfully effing up the entire planet.

In the 90’s there was this huge trend in the developed world that manifisted itself in many ways but I will refer to it as the Self Help (SH) craze. A massive amount of propaganda came out on TV, newspapers, magazines, and tons of books. Book stores had large departments close to the front of the store packed with SH books and systems. They were always the busiest most populated dept in the store. There were dozens of Gurus filling venues preaching SH. It seemed that everyone I knew had a favorite who they swore by and would insist I go to a meeting with them. I went to one Werner Erhard talk and never again.

Parallel to this was a spiritual craze where a personality would rise to rockstar status as being able to “read” you and help you overcome whatever was holding you back from _________. Most claimed they were channeling someone or something that could see the real you that you could be. All of which had the same goal as the SH craze which was to become “more” or successful, a euphemism for rich.

All of this was just used to eliminate any guilt about just focusing on yourself and not letting anyone bum you out, bring you down, take your “energy”. My brother in law had a box of 50 or more tapes he would listen to constantly. I asked for a lift once and heard one. It just repeated over and over how great you are, how powerful you are, how you deserve to have everything you want, etc.

This was the precursor to the “hyper-individualism” that is rampant today. For 30+ years people have been touting your message over and over until now it is taken for granted.

Homosapien is a group species. We thrive in groups and tribes. we accomplish amazing feats when we pull together. The BS meme that humans are “dog eat dog”, which by the way Darwin never said, is bologna. Without embracing mutual aid our species would not exist, as with almost all species in nature.

Your example of the Olympian’s focus is spot on and great advice for anyone performing any task or function but it does not apply as a lifestyle focus.

The biggest problem today is everyone believes that what think, feel, and do is the most important thing in the world and nothing else matters. This is a very tough mentality to overcome and it is getting worse because TPTB loves it, encourages it because it benefits them because they are afraid as hell that we might just realise that we could all come together and end their tyranny.

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 09:58am

    #3
    brushhog

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    Reply To: Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

Oh, and one more thing; Ignore those who discourage you from personal action. Anyone who discourages you from taking individual action under the false claim that “only collective movements” matter or that your power to effect change personally is too limited, is either invested in your failure or just plain ignorant.

It is also true that some people have created a personal coping strategy that justifies their own inaction. To these people, seeing or hearing about others actually doing things makes them feel uncomfortable about their own choices. Avoid these people and ignore them. Just my 2 cents.

Brushhog

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 10:25am

    #4
    Susan7

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    Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

An elite monoculture and ketman

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/america-woke-elite-monoculture/

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 11:03am   (Reply to #4)

    #5
    brushhog

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    Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

Thats a very powerful article and nice introduction to the concept of “ketman”. After reading the article ive done more research into “ketman”. Very interesting.

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 11:09am

    #6

    pinecarr

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    Philip K Dick quote

“This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.”

― Philip K. Dick

 

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 12:05pm

    #7
    Netlej

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    Our greatest power is in our numbers

Brushhog – Nowhere in my comment did I discourage anyone from personal action. In fact I would hold up that I have acted on all of what is happening more than you or anyone else I know. Obviously we each need to “start with ourselves” but if you bothered to read my comment, without shutting down because it hurts your head, you would understand that nothing good can happen unless and until we can overcome our ignorant hate, supposed differences, and work together.

Any one who tells you not to work together is working for the oppressors and against real change.

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 12:40pm

    #8
    agitating prop

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    Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

Interesting topic.  Brushhog your ideas, as applied to one’s personal ‘goals’ are excellent. And Netlej, your ideas are equally worthy, because they address some of the downsides of hyper focus on self. I don’t think that the archery example is focussing on self, as much as focusing away from self.

Both personal life and life within the social political sphere should be about transcending self. In other words, as Brush hog describes, not being attached to outcome…just acting in accordance with what feels to be a higher order of values.

Every philosophy has a shadow aspect. The self help movement originally purposed for boomers who had been raised with guilt and shame, became a vehicle for nurturing narcissism. And that has worked alarmingly well on a social level.

It’s not so much that people feel powerless, as that they simply don’t care about anything that doesn’t have an immediate impact on their lives. They are too attached to the outcome, which is a textbook cluster B symptom.

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021 - 01:06pm

    #9
    brushhog

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    Reply To: Collective Cowardice, individual stoicism

Netlej, working together is great. Nothing wrong with that but real change will only take place when individuals are willing to take personal action and accept the consequences. You can get together all you want, you cannot delegate the sacrifice to a hypothetical “group”. A perfect example is Al Gore, who spent 20 years jetting around the country talking about climate change while living in a 40 room mansion that used more KWH per month than 20 homes.

You can get together with a group to “work” on the big tech issue but if everyone in the group is using google, facebook, and twitter…you have to understand that you are not accomplishing much. It would accomplish more to have one person simply stop using those sites.

The problem with collective thinking is that each person believes that the price will be paid by some mythical “collective”. Al Gore isnt willing the pay the price for his beliefs, he believes in collective thinking. [ Im just using him as an example ]. He thinks by “working together” he can delegate the sacrifice to somebody else.

More would have been accomplished if he had put his efforts into modeling the behavior he would like to see others adopt. Had he been the very picture of sustainability, environmental consciousness, and change, not only would he have contributed to alot less carbon emissions, but his example would have inspired others and he might have actually started a more successful movement.

There’s no way around the reality. There are no shortcuts. If you believe in something you have to think it, act on it, and live it. Not just because you are aiming to make changes in the world but because you believe it’s the right thing to do. Then you are living an authentic life. Thats a very powerful thing and people will recognize it. Thats the foundation you build change upon.

  • Thu, Jan 28, 2021 - 12:34pm

    #10
    tbp

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    The Big Lie of the non-individual collective

Brilliant, Brushhog!

So, in other words, if I dislike the censorship on facebook, google, and twitter, I should do what is within my power….to stop using their platforms.

Not when you understand that we’re in an information war. The right thing to do is not to abandon the biggest battlefields. But diversify, and provide incentives to move to alt-tech like exclusive content. Keep in mind also that alt-tech platforms aren’t as good/advanced, technologically, yet — e.g. the Youtube video player is way better than any of the others.

And your job is align your actions with your values. Do not be attached to outcomes, be attached to your choices.

This. Especially this. What matters is not what happens (outcomes), what matters is what you do with what happens (choices).

The premise of the book was to switch your focus away from hitting the x, and rather, inward to your shot process.

Yep, I’ve noticed this in many ways as well, when I stop trying with the mind and just “do it from the heart”, it just happens. When you[r ego] stop[s] trying to control outcomes, i.e. when you reduce ego resistance to the Dao, the universe/world (which is actually a higher-dimensional aspect of yourself) is more likely to manifest the (already-existing) parallel reality scenario that is the path of least resistance, i.e. has no choice but to reflect back a closer representation of the heart’s intention.

@Netlej
Homosapien is a group species. We thrive in groups and tribes. we accomplish amazing feats when we pull together. The BS meme that humans are “dog eat dog”, which by the way Darwin never said, is bologna. Without embracing mutual aid our species would not exist, as with almost all species in nature.

I don’t think the two ideas are mutually exclusive or opposites. You act in alignment with your values, serving others as a shining example of what they can also do/become. That’s true leader mentality. We are 3rd-4th density ascending humans with a developed neocortex, not 2nd density great apes. Look for like-minded people, not for “someone else” who is doing what you’d like to be doing (inaction/follower behavior).

There’s no way around the reality. There are no shortcuts. If you believe in something you have to think it, act on it, and live it. Not just because you are aiming to make changes in the world but because you believe it’s the right thing to do. Then you are living an authentic life. Thats a very powerful thing and people will recognize it. Thats the foundation you build change upon.

Yep, and I’d go even further to suggest that once you are in that vibration, you’ll manifest reality elements (such as people) that are of like vibration — while other people with the follower/inaction/collectivist mindset will shift to parallel reality versions of Earth populated by people of like (hive-)mind in their subjective reality tunnels. The collective is a direct effect of the causes(/actions) generated by the individual.

We are actually more powerful than we can even suppose or begin to imagine. And you can prove that to yourself by simply agonizing your serotonin 2A receptors with your principal endogenous vibrational frequency neuromodulator (and dream-inducer), DMT:

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