There are so many organizations seeking our attention, agreement with their beliefs, and for us to declare membership in their organizations. They want us to join the tribe. Competing for control over our thoughts and beliefs by making other tribes wrong, they naturally are righteous – good, moral, just, blameless. Whether it is political parties; conservative vs. liberal leanings, regions (i.e. north/south), countries, my God vs. your God; all are forms of tribal affiliations. Tribes originated as protection against other tribes, caring for its members, hunting in groups, child rearing help, food sharing, etc. These evolved into complex societies with many sub-tribes. They are all artificial creations of our minds based in fear. They have one thing in common; the giving up self-determination, and conformance to the tribal way. In a free advanced society, supposedly of WE, THE PEOPLE, relinquishing of self is unnecessary.
Somehow these tribes, which were created to support us, began to demand loyalty. Read that as the giving up of our self-identities and replacing them with artificial tribal identities. This made us “safer”, more controllable and easier to control. We are told who we are and how to act. But are we really what we are being told? Should we have to give up self to be safer? Conformity is after all constriction.
People declare who they are all the time. They say, “I am Republican/Democrat/Libertarian; conservative/liberal; Pro or anti-administration; Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/atheist; black/white/red/brown ETC.” There are so many boxes, cubbyholes, niches, nooks, and compartments to place one. And often we are place in these artificial confines by birth.
What if we didn’t need to confine our selves and our thoughts, what if we used our own inner voice to decide who we are, while looking at the guidance these boxes may contain, without signing over our essence, and then to decide on our own, who and what we really are? What if our being was dynamic, growing, evolving and retains the ability to change and make new choices? What would be left?
Instead of, “I am a ____ _____ _____.” How about, “I see ideas I support and others I don’t.” Or “I align with most of your ideas, or the spirit of the ideas, but not all of the way they are put into practice.” Or “I will not follow lock-step with your dictates, but will choose based on my inner wisdom, reason, vision and the evidence, which I will verify.” Or “Your views are yours, they are not opposed nor aligned with mine, and perhaps we can discuss similarities?” Or “I will respect your views, though not necessarily agree with them, please respect mine.”
Sometimes you have to say, “your beliefs I see as artificially limiting and not supportive of me.” I will not be what you want me to be; I will be me. ME being unlimited or boxed, dynamic and growing.