How to Fall in Love with Your Own Illusions « Vlastimil Marek

How to Fall in Love with Your Own Illusions

26.9.2013

I will use citations from an article written by Dr. Koukolík, who is a promoter of the many recent psychology studies of human behaviour and motivation that (subconsciously) drive us. My blog here will also use some examples of the „seminar goddesses“ type of women and their often irrational behaviour, and women who often don’t know what they want but won’t stop nagging until they get it (driven by illusion to „find their true self“ in a weekend-long retreat). Their blame however, is only partial since some (if not most) of them were damaged through traumatic birth or given birth in traumatic circumstances thus handing over the relay batton.

Despite the fact that most have high education and proper family background, they are ruled by automated needs (and evolution). The crisis of the state is related to crisis of the family and further to crisis of the modern femininity (and feminism). As always, I offer you my viewpoint and perhaps (for those who can appreciate it) a well meant advice from the heart. Please don’t take exaggerations personally, they are merely for illustration and hopefully motivation to change things before they could get that bad.

In the article How to fall in love with the System Dr. Koukolík says: There will always be people (and let’s admit it – it’s most of us) who tend to stand in their own way. I wonder, why is it that most of us act against our own fundamental interests and (paradoxically) support establishment of system which is detrimental to us in the long run? Why is something so paradoxical so perfectly functional? He answers it himself: Because, to a degree, it fits our nature. This is especially true from the perspective of cognitive dissonance: When we hold two conflicting ideas (approaches, values, etc) we don’t feel good having such conflict within us. We will naturally try to do anything it takes to make ourselves (feeling) better, or in other words, to restore the balance. Often we choose the easier way (and that is most of the time the one we are familiar with), despite recognizing the choice we make isn’t doing us good… Especially if the „harder“ choice requires extra effort from us. Why is it so difficult to break the habits? We may know it‘s bad for us, but everyday we choose to go along… because it’s easier. More comfortable. Familiar.

I will turn around and re-phrase a question that has the most fundamental impact: Why do some women try so hard to find their true feminine-selves on one hand and on the other actually throw away their (true!) femininity offered to them by their own bodies and minds (and although they may not like to hear it, but also – menstrual cycles)? The modern, emancipated and educated woman wants a career while her biological clock is ticking (remember above example of two conflicting emotions) – her psyche and her body are in state of conflict which calls for one thing only – the need to restore the internal balance, by making a choice (and thinking up excuses why she didn’t choose the other one). Due to the education, society pressure, even upbringing she uses (as most of us, afterall) her left brain hemisphere (the supposedly rational one). At the same time she suppresses her instincts (intuition) to resolve things radically or „rationally“ – falling into the cultural, gender and logical traps of cognitive dissonance.

May I remind you once again before you start thinking of taking offence or taking it too personally – we all do it, that is how our brain/mind is wired. All I’m saying is that we should be the masters of the direction our thoughts are going – we can direct them the right or wrong way.

Our conflicting emotions can be about literally anything – be it our views, values, religion, our own behaviour, good and bad habits, anything resulting in contradiction of what we think and how we act. We will do anything possible and impossible deal with that unpleasant feeling of internal conflict, and we are very capable of changing our perception (lie to ourselves) so that it is more acceptable regardless of what the facts may be telling us – in order for us to deal with the internal conflict and restore our inner balance.

The above example of educated superwoman making radical decisions –  and these are always decisions that impact lives of others – some such Czech women are perfectly ok to leave their husbands of many years as well as small children to go on to try to find „themselves“. While most psychologists advise that communication is indeed the best tool, those women wouldn’t listen, they are rather „switched off“ in that respect: „don’t want to talk about it“, „not now“, „leave me alone“. I knew a woman so stubborn in her own ways that she demanded to have a „right to make her own mistakes“ despite recognizing that these „mistakes“ were going to hurt her future and also people around her. In this example of „ emancipated and educated woman – the seminar goddess“, such conflict of „should I stay or should I go“ can be generously helped by her already divorced girlfriends – they will support her in her right to make her own mistakes, and moreover, they will be able to explain why she may be feeling the way she is and why it would be good for her to try something else… From a man’s perspective, it is really quite sad.

Well, this is the thing, people deeply convinced of their own truths don’t listen to rational arguments. And yet they call it rationalization or reasoning – well, if this is rationalizing or reasoning then indeed your reason (i.e. your mind) must be deceiving you? Such rationalitizing is just another logical trap we use to convince ourselves of something. We rationalize by suppressing something, and making excuses for choosing something else – often the easier and the wrong option (as the women desribed above): But this is not just true about the microcosmos within ourselves but it’s the same for macrocosmos of our society: We like to believe that the system we created (be it law, education system, or whatever else…) is true, just and legitimate. We want to believe, the system is good despite seeing how it’s failing us. And the more illogical our behaviour is, the more stubborn we are, like a broken record – in that respect, stereotypes are our best friends especially when trying to restore our inner balance. Hm, just think about our politicians and/or replace the word system into the word husband…(family, relations),

Now we knot also, that these are the stereotypes, that make our decision making a lot easier saving energy by automating our thinking (take for example: how easy it is to pigeon-hole something or somebody based on superficial observation? It keeps the energy consumption to a minimum, and it is a natural behaviour of our brain to save energy… Our misunderstanding is often supported by our conviction that we are rational beings.

And we even proudly call ourselves homo sapiens sapiens: This impression was gained in antic tradition which makes this mistake as tragic as it is comical. It is similar to the illlusion that the more high class and more educated people are, the better they are. But that is an utter rubbish. Education doesn’t make people’s personalities and characters more honourable or kind. Education may bring more understanding of our own nature and the need to regulate our behaviour for the greater good but often it brings arrogance and ignorance alltogether creating a worse state than before..

Nowadays psychologists also know, that People tend to believe what they want to believe, and almost any idea can be „planted“ into almost anybody’s mind – some people don’t like to call that brainwashing (or if you do it to yourself you could call it rationalizing?), and there are women who happilly abuse their femininity to take advantage over men and abandon it just as easily when it suits them. Even our intelligence and memory is easily mislead in that respect (especially when our memory is going down the hill anyway). We tend to remember things the way they fit our „wish-world“ scenarios and excuse our actions by convincing ourselves of something more palatable that binds it all together – be it all lies that will catch up with us later in life.

Dr. Koukolík seems to be slightly pesimistic when it comes to the future of human societies (although even he hasn’t quite reached the end arguments of the current status quo): It is clear, that an unjust regime will reach its end at some point. Sometimes the price to pay for the change is unimaginable, and sometimes another system/regime rises in its place, only to be even worse than the previous one. The new regime brings its own (more) complexities which give us the feeling of growth from where we were before. Nevertheless, the fundamental problem remains – ever more uneven distribution of power and wealth. Watching the divorce statistics in our republic I am slightly pesimistic when in dones to the future of families and newborn babies to the future of our society.

So why are we unable to change the system we have created (or indeed change our own self-destructive behaviour)? The answer is quite simple: because the need for sustaining inner status quo (balance) is a purpose – the conscious and the subconscious one. As soon as any pattern of behaviour becomes a habit (establishes itself as „normal“ state – i.e. „I’ve always been doing it this way – therefore it’s all right“), we will protect it as if it is part of our integrity, even though we may be aware of its negative impact somewhere down the line.

Please don’t take any of this personally, it is not meant that way. Perhaps my own experience with the „seminar godesses“ affects the way I write, but trust me I am not the only one – there are many people who share my experiences and views. You probably know by now, that men are more vulnerable. Women have more power (ability) in that respect to argue better and use an arsenal of „weapons“ against men. To make a change in current state of things, we have to start ab ovo… from egg… again, it is women, who have the power and the ability to make a really big impact to everybody’s lives, and they should use it wisely.

The lack of true (oxytocin triggered) maternal love (as described by Michel Odent – A Century Without Love) is caused by us attempting to be more „civilized“ and in the effort we have learnt to ignore our amazing evolutionary instincts and replaced it all by science (which always only contradicts to whatever it discovered before – one day this is good and that is bad, and next day the other way round). The men who had been traumatized by births in 50´s have medicalized childbirths now to a complete stupor (the future mothers-to-be just want to be numb, not feel anything in such an important moment, that would bind them to their babies on very fundamental hormonal level). Where else would you want to start changing things if not from the start? The birth is the start to anyone’s life… change it to the better with more love and care and our children will gradually (generation by generation) become more aware, caring and loving (no yobs culture)… it is our future, isn’t it?

Dr. Koukolík also asks whether it is possible to get out of this vicious circle of „comfort behaviour“ despite knowing it’s bad: Yes, of course it is possible. We are not just ruled by our biology, we make our own decisions and we can decide to act in a particular way. It is possible that next generation will have better understanding and appreciation of how we function on mental and emotional level and be able to change the course of humanity for the better. It requires courage and strength of character as well as ability and kindness in mind to even go as far as kindly „punish“ ourselves: admit honestly that we can or do wrong (admit that we are in a trap!), take advice and step by step rebuild our attitudes and lives. Dr. Koukolík however hasn’t included the possibility and impact of future born buddhas to help humanity realize what is really important. My question for my advanced readers: How many yugas (google it ) will have to pass for humanity to learn its lesson and recognize they live an illusion? Hm…

I’ve received a lovely and motivating response recently from one of my female readers, one who has learnt not to take my blogs personally (or take offence as some do!) but read them (after three divorces) with inspiration and motivation for life: The curse for women really lies with looking for complications where they are not – especially in their partners, men. Men are straightforward and easy, they’re happy and satisfied when they’re fed, feel cared for and left to fight their own battles (well, at the end,  it’s a manly thing isn’t it!). We, women we don’t think this is satisfactory, we always strive for and want a bit more than what we have and we certainly do notice if our man isn’t as perfect in all areas! We’re spoilt by non-sense of modern feminism.  Hand on heart, if we only disconnected from our busy modern ways, and put ourselves into care for animals, garden or a house, instead of thinking up things we are still “missing” to finally be happy – we would probably notice that we are already happy and just be so glad to see our men returning back home from work to us!