In what follows, I am giving my perspective on experiences. Bare in mind that my pieces are limited to my perspective and understanding. Some of the content here might or might not resonate with you. Take what works for you and leave the rest. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional (medical) advice, diagnosis, or treatment. My viewpoints are meant for you to think critically about the topics I discuss. So, please be critical while reading.
The human experience consists of a range of emotions. With every piece of information we receive, our reaction or lack thereof will give us an experience. We experience stuff every day, and every experience adds to the sum of our existence. One set of experiences can change your life forever. And some experiences are simply necessary for our growth.
I’ve spent some time contemplating and experimenting to what extent we can manage and influence our experiences; I’ve been curious to know what creates my experiences and where my agency lies in the midst of all this. Before digging into it, let me tell you a bit about my short-lived ecstatic post-awakening experiences.
My short-lived joie de vivre
After I had my spiritual awakening in 2015, I thought that that would mark the beginning of a “New Life” and “Rebirth” in some way. With the newfound joy and understanding from my spiritual experiences, I was ready to start living blissfully! I felt so in control of my life and destiny. But even though I had awakened to a much better, subtle, beautiful part of The All, still, something was dragging me down. At a certain point, there were more normal moments than blissful ones and the joy of living didn’t last very long.
Not long after a blissful awakening, where I saw life in terms of opportunities and infinite potential, life got back to normality. Internally, something had awakened, but to stay woke would be my own responsibility. I know, I know… “woke” is an overused word. Everybody calls themselves woke these days. And there are many types of “woke” people out there. So, to be more specific, I had awakened to the understanding that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to. I was fascinated to find out that my mind could be my most useful tool in the creation of the life I desire; that my thoughts create my reality and consequently most of my experiences are directly linked to my beliefs and attitudes. Also, that I am much more than just flesh and blood on a journey.
Reflecting upon my spiritual awakening got me questioning how come I got depressed and had emotional episodes during the past few years; I wanted to know how come I don’t always exert control over myself. Throughout my observations I’ve sensed that there is a constant pull to be like the collective. There is a constant pull to think like the collective. There is a force pulling all of us to be normal. That force is what I came to call the Collective Madness, comprising a range of predetermined emotions and reactions for a set of situations and events.
Let me break it down: we live in a reality that consists mostly of opposing parts; to remain neutral is almost impossible. Belief systems and attitudes influence our perception on a daily basis. They also contribute to our values, both individual and collective. So even when you don’t have an opinion, you have a thought. You have attitudes. You have values. We have like a Perceptional Labeler that gives meaning and labels to reality. These labels will evoke emotional reactions, experiences, that are both positive and negative, but seldom neutral. These reactions usually stem from our beliefs and values. And where do we get these belief- and value systems from? Some are created, but most are passed on from generation to generation by members of society.
I realized that most of our reactions are predetermined by our values, attitudes, and belief systems. Not only that, but also that the collective consciousness has a huge influence on our perception and experiences.
The NORM in “normality”
To understand how the collective affects us, think about normality. Normal is standard; usual, typical, or expected. Go to any traditional news outlet and you will notice the depictions of a scared and seemingly scary world. It is normal to find news about injustices, pain, suffering, poverty, hate. Division is the norm. Materialism is the norm. Greed is the norm. Fear is the norm.
I became extremely frightened in less than a year from my spiritual awakening. Fear made me comfortably mediocre – and the reflections of this mad world were starting to manifest in my behavior.
Fear had a feast all by itself. The fear of not being good enough invited the fear of failing. The fear of opinions invited the fear of not being accepted as I was. The fear of being alone invited the fear of not being seen. The fear of judgment invited the fear of not expressing myself fully. The fear of not getting what I give had me questioning why I give it all. And the fear of never being able to live the life I always wanted made me stop dreaming for some time. Fear took my power away and madness soon became my norm. And so, with little awareness, my personal experiences became a reflection of the madness of the world.
The individual & the collective
The physical world affects us and where we position ourselves in the world. Our vicinity influences our intentions, ambitions and even our experiences. We are part of the collective after all. If someone were to ask you who you are, what would be your answer? If someone were to ask you “what do you want?”, what would be your response? Note how as you think of an answer for these questions, the answers will entail for some part a reflection of what you see around you.
Even as part of The All, we can still individuate. The biggest influencer of our experiences is our awareness. It is when we are aware, that we get to change our automatic responses. It is through awareness that we question our thoughts. And only awareness can make us reflective of our behavior and attitudes. We are in power or we give our power away to the collective conditioning with awareness or the lack thereof.
On a final note…
Of course, not all parts of the collective is unconscious, but the pull to live like most people do and adhere to the norm of my surroundings is very strong. That’s why I find it now more important than ever to associate myself with those members of the collective that I can see myself in them. Not only who share similar values, but also those who are less afraid to live in general.
I want to sit and converse with people who think critically about life, who question their own motives, who reflect on their experiences and enhance their quality of life. I want to sit with those who know that they are abnormal and love it. The ones who challenge the status quo, and who have emancipated themselves from the collective mental slavery – or who are at least en route. I want to serve as an example of what it would be to live as an individuated soul, aware of the light and darkness around- and within me, yet always choosing for love and compassion. Choosing awareness over reactivity and originality over normality.
Life is always happening. “Good” and “bad” things happen all the time. As I am individuating by becoming more detached from the collective, I have reached a point where I want to live more in harmony with life happening as opposed to the crazy constructions humans have made out of life. Life will continue to happen, and most probably will have a few “low blows” prepared for me as I keep evolving. How I get to experience them, however, is up to me. I am always choosing between conscious awareness or an old conditioning.
What are you choosing? Feel free to share your thoughts on experiences!