Freedom of Thought (part I)

                One of things I have always prided myself on is my ability to think outside the box. Right or wrong, I have never been one to go about life without a sense of curiosity and wonder, hence I tend to question most everything.  A quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet guides my philosophy –

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”

                A little background, this is the scene where Hamlet’s friend Horatio walks in him while he is having a conversation with his father’s ghost. Horatio is philosophy student whose world view does not include ghosts or anything supernatural. Hamlet’s criticism of Horatio is an urging to suspend his disbelief; simply because what he has learned does not include ghosts, does not mean they do not exist.

                Let’s extrapolate ghosts, as my essay has nothing to do with supernatural beliefs, but rather the limited thinking and mass brainwashing of humanity. I have written an earlier blog musing about humanity’s inability to employ critical thinking in their daily lives. From time to time I look around at the lemmings which surround me, oblivious to the world around them, and ask why?  Why do people accept the mainstream media accounts? Why do they allow one cult of personality or another to dictate their entire worldview?  Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin’s rats, they follow the sweet song of conformity to their figurative deaths.

                The blame is institutional I think. As small children we are spoon fed our collective beliefs by our families, the clergy, the school, television and music etc etc. We are programmed by the powers that be to never question what they have to say. To oppose, is to risk being socially ostracized; a leper to be shunned by all. Freedom of thought however is only for the courageous. The psychological imprisonment imposed by the social wardens is often comforting; platitudes of bullshit keep the straining populace in line; followed by the heel of jackboots when words are not enough.

                This if far too big of a topic to contain a single story, so I have decided to divide it up in multiple parts; part 2 will follow shortly.

Smokeseek Smokeseek
36-40, M
9 Responses Mar 9, 2009

Thanks Koy, you make an interesting and valid point. I have been ostracized my whole life not jumping on this bandwagon or that. I tried for a short period of time years ago, and that only made me miserable.

Hi Smokeseek<br />
I think the process is worse than you paint it. People not only ostracize non conformists but they cluster around the norm as their sole reference point. There is no thought process involved just identity with the status quo and their group. So free thinkers have an extra problem of being unable to communicate because no language will suffice. Non conformists think with words. Conformists do not - they sense the group. You have to move the whole herd. Free thinkers are individuals and do not get this essential difference. Hard work to get a conformist to think or move position. (just something I have observed without any pleasure sadly).<br />

Thanks Mr McChee, I think more and more people are beginning to ask the questions. It's slow process. It's only matter of getting the word out to open minded people.

"Freedom of thought however is only for the courageous."<br />
I agree with that completely!<br />
<br />
I've always been "One on my own" as they've called me... but to you and I, a "Free-thinker".<br />
<br />
At the age of Confirmation at my Roman Catholic Primary School they said "Do you believe in God? (to be confirmed)" and I said "If God is so great why doesn't he show himself?".<br />
Naturally this didn't go down too well!<br />
<br />
Of course its been like this my whole life and I've been outcast many many times just for having my own opinions that I keep to myself! It's hard sometimes if your not courageous enough! But it's something I'll have to deal with probably for the rest of my life heh.<br />
<br />
I don't like to class myself as a "wolf", but more of a curious squirrel! Harmless, haha.

smokeseek very well done indeed!

sheepple are everywhere...but some are waking up.

Thanks both Vixen and Outer. Yes I am working on part 2 now, glad to see there are some independent minds in the world.

I think you are correct with it being comforting and also agree it is a psychological imprisonment. Like how you worded that.<br />
<br />
it is very easy to not question and just follow along.

Hear, hear. From another person who continually shakes their head in puzzlement at the lemmings that surround me, I say "Bravo." It is nice to know, I am not alone out there. :)