Honestly I think one of my greater desires is to share more. One of my greatest sadnesses is that it seems as if we are all afraid of how we are perceived, so we express the littlest possible of ourselves or manipulate our expressions according to our perception of others’ desires. I think this is probably one of the greatest barriers to our progress and happiness, and ironically one of the biggest reasons people don’t like us. If you aren’t expressing yourself from the heart, how can anyone ever relate to you? It’s baffling why we get so caught up in silly traps we create.
It’s interesting to think about how my perceptions and motivations and reasons change over time — how I perceive the same thing from a new angle, connect it with other things, or disconnect it from things it was previously connected to. How my mindset naturally changes as time goes on. I can tell what my mind has been immersed in by the structures and topics of my thoughts. It’s overwhelming to think about. And it’s scary that so many people’s minds are immersed in things like advertisements and TV shows. No wonder we’re so materialistic and discontent — the purpose of an advertisement is to make you feel like you should be discontent unless you own X product. But having THINGS isn’t fulfilling, so it’s a perpetual spiral of discontent, which is never satisfied. It’s overwhelming and depressing and it seems hopeless.
I’ve found that I have been tending to avoid thinking, because it usually makes me sad. This makes me sad. The reason I avoid thinking is that when I do, it seems that everything is far more complex than any of us can comprehend. So many more variables are at play of which we are unaware, and couldn’t determine cause and effect even if we weren’t. And we are all afraid of this fact, so we come up with comfortable belief systems, cultural and scientific ‘norms’ we can call reality, and demeaning, unhealthy distractions that end up making us angry, selfish and discontent; because we are not happy, we seek physical pleasure — which is the next best thing — to the point of self-destruction and misery, which makes us all the more miserable, neglectful, pleasure-seekers. We feel justified by others’ belief in our belief, so consensuses arise which are influenced by our pleasure seeking (“alcohol is good to drink”) and self-righteous (“get good grades, go to college, be ‘successful’”) natures. And we’re all afraid of what other people think of us, afraid of thinking about how twisted and wrong this all is, and too self-righteous to consider thinking.
I wrote this a few years ago. Not really sure what to think of it now (but I’m pretty sure I was reading Ayn Rand):
“I came to this thought because of long hours of frustration due to the blatant ignorance of humans (in myself and in others). Its purpose is to prove the folly of hating ignorance:
I think we can agree that humans have the capacity to be wrong (usually due to some form of ignorance).
But, why are people this way? Are humans naturally reasonable, or naturally animalistic? Perhaps we naturally have the capacity for both, but a tendency towards neither.
One can spend long hours trying to figure out why so many people are ignorant, but it is useless.
Imagine if humans always did “right,” but had no understanding of “wrong.” We wouldn’t really be anything — perhaps only beings with no purpose. The fact that we have the capacity for both right and wrong requires us to choose — and, naturally, we have the desire to be “right.” The desire to be right requires us to find out what “right” is, which requires the ability to implement reason in constantly challenging our basic beliefs. (Paranoid religious belief is the result of the absence of reason.) In our search for what is right, we must individually come to deeply understand why something is right or wrong, not believe it because someone else says it.
This is analogous to the idea of a capitalistic, unregulated society, in which the government’s only job is to protect the basic rights of the citizens. If people are allowed to fail, they have much more of an incentive to succeed. When they are given rewards for failing (i.e. welfare), they are demeaned by manipulating their natural want to succeed and replacing it with contentment in failure. In other words, they are not required to use reason in order to survive, and therefore become comfortable with their ignorance.
Humans are great not because they have the capacity to be right, but because they have the capacity to choose right over wrong.”