Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Stay Out of the Mob Mentality

First, think for yourself. Never agree with anything unless you have a self-determined understanding regarding it. If you are being encouraged to join in agreement with others on some matter be sure to first think the matter through independently. Remember that pro-life activity cannot take place without the competent application of self-determination, so you are not only letting yourself down, but also denying others the benefit of the results of your analytical self-determination if you agree to something without thinking it through first. If the group has agreed on an analytical basis then you should be able to communicate fully, freely and analytically with any member regarding it. If you find that some or all of the group are not able to speak or communicate on a logical, understandable self-determined basis on the subject, then that should be a flag that something is not right with that agreement. Never trust anyone that does not want you to think for yourself, or at least get to the point where you can think for yourself.

Use the idea that a group in a mob mentality state, and in the absence of competent, analytical self-determination from its members will knock down, knock out or suppress what is good, and will uplift and promote what is bad. So make a list for yourself of some bad things, and make a list of good things. Is indecency bad? Decency? Criminality? Respect for others? Respect for public property and the property of others? Which list does the group under consideration line up with?

Use a datum or set of data known to be analytical as a "lifeline" and maintain an analytical hold on it while sailing rough waters. It helps here to have built up a set of fully self-evaluated and cross-aligned data that pertain to the area of life.

If you are working within a formal group there should be policy, both general and specific that pertains to whatever you are doing. Assuming that the policy is valid, and helps to forward the group purpose, or at least does not cut across it, then avoid direct agreement with other group members outside of the context of this policy. Make any such agreements with other group members only from within the context of an awareness of the freedom to act and participate together within boundaries or scope set by the applicable policy.

Staying out of the mob mentality in the private life can be more challenging, because there are usually fewer formal analytical guidelines, and possibly a greater range of inputs from and interactions with the environment. It helps to apply what I call the Theory of the Fallible Analyzer:

The basic idea is that ethical, pro-life activity and movement is analytical, while contra-life, unethical activity comes from a mind that is to some degree non-analytical. Part of this theory is that spiritual beings have been around in this universe for a very long time, and that we were once in much, much better condition than we are now. Not just some of us, but all of us. So what happened? Well, we must have made a LOT of mistakes, and each time we made a mistake we THOUGHT we were right. So, for those of us who are motivated to improve ourselves, it should be obvious that our analyzers are fallible, and that it is not good enough only to THINK or CONSIDER that we are right.Depending on the analyzer alone will not get us back to where we were. The analytical mind is a tool that should be used, but with caution, and always in combination with some sort of cross-checking or corroboration.

Probably the most basic cross-check is just to check the alignment of new data with known good data. This is where it is very handy to have accumulated a coherent data set applicable to the area of life under consideration.

Often a question can be narrowed down to two possible answers. If so, then it may be possible to work out what would be happening in the environment-- what observable conditions would exist-- for each possible answer. Once the two sets of observable conditions have been worked out, then it is just a matter of observing the actual conditions. If the actual conditions have a high correlation with one set of these conditions and not with the other, then you have the answer. If the actual conditions lie somewhere in between then it is time to throw out that test and take a better look at the possible answers.

A good approach to take is to have an awareness of some of the abberative mechanisms of the mind, and how they came about through our experience. A common abberative mechanism is the accumulation of contra-life actions in a certain area which have not been recognized, acknowledged or admitted to by the individual responsible (even if only to himself). The first such contra-life action, if not taken responsibility for, makes it that much easier for a similar action to be perpetrated in that or a similar area. There is a cumulative effect, so that eventually, after a large amount of "dirtiness" has been accumulated in a certain area, there can even be a compulsion to commit more contra-life acts in that area, or similar areas of life. Going along with this build-up of "dirtiness" is an increase in the magnitude or severity of the contra-life acts.

There are options available to the perpetrator during the course of this increasing abberation to make himself less uncomfortable. First and best, at any time he may take responsibility for his actions, seeing himself as the responsible cause and guilty party. If he can face up to this honestly then he will feel some impulse to improve or rectify conditions in the area. A common misconception at this point is that the individual must make personal contact with those he has hurt or harmed in order to make up any damage. This is often not desired or appreciated by the harmed party. A more decent alternative is to make significant contributions to the purpose of increased group causation and civilization. This then allows for the indirect benefit of the harmed party while respecting their privacy. If a road or path of Commitment to Continuous Improvement of Competency could actually be established without barriers at any point, then it would, in a sense, be a way of conquering time, or at least the pressure of unmet obligations, for all honest people that chose to travel it. It is because it would be a given, provided the road remained open, that at some point each individual traveling the road would have contributed enough to the general good to indirectly make up for any past transgressions. Since it could all be done without reference to the private life, but from a non-personal "hat" viewpoint, this road would also provide a way for people to gain more and more control over their private lives.

Another choice is to live with the truth that he is wrong and guilty, but continue with the contra-life activity.This is usually not done over the long run because it is too uncomfortable.

A third choice is to lessen, invalidate, weaken or undermine the subjected area. This is a way he can make himself "less wrong" (and so less uncomfortable) because, after all, the area was "less right". This involves lying to himself regarding the rightness of the area, and probably even perpetrating more contra-life activities against it. To keep these lies in place he may feel the "need" to use measures to see that the area continues to be "less right". Though not uncommon, this is obviously not the right choice.

There is a lot of subjectivity involved with this third choice. A way to guard yourself from falling down this "chute" is to always retain an objective grasp of a situation as senior to a subjective view of it.

You can cross check your analyzer by monitoring whether you have impulses to lessen or denigrate or invalidate a certain individual, type of individual, group, etc. It is not necessarily wrong to do so, but the possibility should be checked. Check it by making sure any objection is fully aligned with objective reality as far as alignment with progress in the pro-life direction.
There actually can be a valid reason for invalidation or speaking derogatorily. When a person acts unethically or criminally it is because he has allowed his self-determination to be overcome by a mental force or compulsion coming from the non-analytical part of his mind. Such compulsions are often derived from or at least exacerbated by his dirtiness in that area of life, or a similar area. This does not relieve him of responsibility. A person is responsible for both parts of his mind-- both analytical and non-analytical. Both are functions of his abundant experience in this universe. An individual can use ethics and reason to apply analytical thought in opposition to this compulsion and overcome it.

When the individual fails in the application of ethics and reason to his unethical or criminal situation then it falls to his environment to supply a counter-force or influence if he is not to succumb to it. Properly applied, this activity is called justice. The aim of justice is not to overwhelm the individual. Since all progress in the pro-life direction comes from the competent application of self-determination by the individual, it makes sense to preserve this self-determination. It is to the benefit of the environment, not just the individual, to preserve it. It can be done by the application by the environment of successive steps from a known progression of increasing severity of "force" counter to the unethical compulsions. Speaking derogatorily can be one of the steps on this progression. At some point in this progression it will become more painful for the individual to continue with the unethical activity than to cease it. Once the individual has stopped the unethical or criminal activity then there is no reason for further application of justice steps. At this point steps should be taken by the individual with or without help from others to eliminate or at least decrease the unethical compulsion. Usually this involves taking responsibility for any dirtiness in the area, cleaning up misunderstandings, getting into communication with it, or at least with the general rules or laws regarding it. The idea is to make sure it won't happen again, or at least that he will not be overcome by the compulsion again.

If an individual finds himself denigrating or speaking derogatorily or applying pejorative labels to a person or group it would behoove him to run a cross-check against the objective realities of the situation. If the objective realities do not show an existing unethical or criminal situation then it may be that the individual is actually trying to remediate his feelings of discomfort or guilt due to dirtiness he is responsible for in the area he has targeted. In this situation the individual has taken a wrong turn down into the non-analytical zone. He should be careful to stay out of agreements with others on realities based in this zone.

In conclusion, think for yourself. Never agree with anything you do not have an understanding of and which lines up in the pro-life direction. Your competent self-determination is your tool to effect improvements for yourself and others. Use it and grow it through successful application.