The Individual: The Foundation Of Society

Individual2
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 26, 2017

“They [conformists] think society wiser than their soul, and know not that one soul, and their soul, is wiser than the whole world…Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members….Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist…. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The collective is often promulgated as the vanguard of society – the gears that keep society moving forward.  Truth be told, nothing could be further from the truth.  This is because any collective, or any group, is nothing without the individual – it doesn’t even exist.  It can’t even exist.

At society’s core, the individual is the main gear that makes the world go round.  Like imagination is the foundation of creativity, the individual is the foundation of society.

It’s crucial to comprehend this concept of Collectivism Vs. Individualism, because it’s not something pondered deeply in society nowadays.  Individuals are often given a bad rap, as if wanting to be your own being is a bad thing.  The term ‘lone wolf’ is often bandied about in negative light regarding individuals.  But individuality is not about living life alone, but about maintaining your identity – your individuality, what makes you distinct from everyone else.

No matter what societal structure, job, or group the individual is in, the individual that maintains their identity will be one step ahead of the curve because they will hold the ability to think like an individual, rather than forgo their mental faculties for the group.  This is vital, because many times the mental faculties of individuals wither within groups, which is rather deleterious.

For instance, we all have heard of group brainstorming, the epitome of collectivism.  Group brainstorming is one form of collectivist structure that seeks creation ‘by the group’ at the expense of the individual.  However, this tool is fraught with issues.

Focusing on why brainstorming often fails, author and psychology researcher Susan Cain explains in her milestone book, Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking:

“Psychologists usually offer three explanations for the failure of group brainstorming.  The first is social loafing: in a group, some individuals tend to sit back and let others do the work.  The second is production blocking: only one person can talk or produce an idea at once, while the other group members are forced to sit passively.  And the third is evaluation apprehension, meaning the fear of looking stupid in front of one’s peers.”[1][Bold Emphasis added, Italics Emphasis In Original]

How many individuals suffer from such a system?  It’s certainly not optimal, although the illusion of it is always pushed as such.  Furthermore, due to all those reasons, the imagination and creativity individuals could employ otherwise remain stagnant, rarely if ever used except in rare circumstances.

Moreover, the larger the group becomes, the less efficient it is.  This, of course, makes individuals mere cogs in a machine when they could be harnessing their own endless creative potential.

Regarding large group inefficiency, Cain further notes:

“…some forty years of research has researched the same startling conclusion.  Studies have shown that performance gets worse as group size increases: groups of nine generate fewer and poorer ideas compared to groups of six, which do worse than groups of four.   The “evidence from science suggests that business must be insane to use brainstorming groups,” writes the organizational psychologist Adrian Furnham.  “If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity and efficiency is the highest priority.”[2][Emphasis added]

Furnham’s words boil down this particular issue to the individual.  It’s at that level that individuals shine the brightest.

Hearkening back to issues regarding individuals taking part in groups, Malcom Gladwell, author of the book The Tipping Point, states:

“…when people are asked to consider evidence or make decisions in a group, they come to very different conclusions than when they are asked the same questions by themselves.  Once we’re part of a group, we’re susceptible to peer pressure and social norms and any other number of other kinds of influence…”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

As we can gather, the collective is not where an individual’s maximum potential lies.

When the individual becomes part of the collective, creativity suffers, and thus, his imagination.

That is why it’s up to the individual to make sure they retain their identity if they are ever forced to work in a group, such as in school or work.

Ultimately, what choices an individual makes are dictated by what they see available.  When the availability of choices is forcefully narrowed down, the path the individual walks on is limited rather than boundless, and the individual’s choices are less than optimal to say the least. 

There is a great saying: “Knowledge is power. Lack of knowledge is lack of power.” A corollary to this would be: Individual potential is based on choices; lack of choices create lack of power.  The most significant ways an individual will lack power is when they merge with a group, as the example above detail.  As we have learned, brainstorming sessions in large groups are not terribly efficient.

Furthermore, as the individual identifies with the group, they tend to merge with the group mind and rarely ever voice their opinion, for various reasons. This is also highly inefficient because the whole point of group work is to cultivate idea and possibilities.

The ironic part is that group brainstorming, on paper, is about imagination, and yet group brainstorming is antithetical to it since it doesn’t maximize on the potential imagination of every individual and only employs a fraction of it.  On the opposite side of that spectrum stands the individual and their maximum potential, every single time.

Individuals which use imagination are self-sufficient in many ways.  The Individual that uses imagination not only seeks solutions, but creates them.  They don’t take anything at face value.  They check, recheck – they research.  Why?  Because individuals realize they control their own path and are responsible for it.  They live a better life, a healthier life, because they imagine better possibilities and put them into action.

These individuals don’t allow themselves to be stopped because they’re incapable of being stopped.  That’s not within their DNA.  It’s not part of their reality structure

Curiously, the proclivity to create is so ubiquitous in creative individuals that not creating seems rather foreign.  They always seek create beyond the lines, outside ‘the box’ – always in action, always creating.  This is why ultimately the individual is the foundation of society.

The canvas of endless possibilities is there for everyone.  It requires the desire to create to the nth degree coupled with conscious action for the canvas to become something more than a mere possibility.

What would happen if we all realized our canvas is reality itself?

As the philosopher Sun Tzu once intimated:

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”

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Footnotes:

[1] Susan Cain, Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking, pg. 89.
[2] Ibid., pg. 88-89.
[3] Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point, pg. 171.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

The Veritable Scaffolding For Writers Of All Types

ElementsOfStyle4thEd
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 26, 2017

“If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away.”
– Victor Hugo

Once  rated “one of the 100 most influential books written in English” by Time magazine in 2011, The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White is a systematic book which employs a no-nonsense approach on enduring principles of sound writing.

Cogent, concise and methodical, The Elements Of Style provides the firm foundation upon which writers can construct or improve their repertoire.

Featuring advice that is as simple as it is timeless, the book’s easy-to-follow approach allows for the incisive individual to become more robust with the principles of writing, while honing their own individual style as well.

Undoubtedly, some of these tenets will be familiar to some of you.  Even so, many are oft-overlooked and having them around to reference is quite convenient.

For a book that is nigh a century old, it still ‘packs a punch’.  Incidentally, that prior figure of speech, “packs a punch,” for instance, dances along the line of Style Rule #18: Use Figures Of Speech Sparingly.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have been used, perhaps so.  But having read this book, as a writer, I am consciously thinking of how the use of diction affects everything.  Ruminating a bit, perhaps, instead of writing that the book still “packs a punch,” I could have written “this book provides a treasure trove of insights for writers.”  Even though the first sentence gets the meaning across, the second one is smoother, and accomplishes the same thing in amenable fashion.    That is merely one example of the possibilities that this book will allow the shrewd writer to undertake once he begins to firmly inculcate its lessons and employ them therein.

Great writing, like a sound structure, can only take place with a firm foundation.  The scaffolding for that will undoubtedly require the insights of this book.  If you know all of them by heart, you’re one step ahead.  If not, then ponder getting this book.  And considering that these days, many people communicate with others through the written word on the Internet, it would be prudent to learn these tenets since they will undoubtedly help those who need to employ them.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: Phenomena by Annie Jacobsen

Phenomena
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 26, 2017

Phenomena -The Secret History Of The U.S. Government’s Investigation’s Into Extrasensory Perception & Psychokinesis by Annie Jacobsen is an attempt to catalogue the “definitive history” of the Government’s research into a lot of the paranormal.

Despite the book giving many facts, the information itself isn’t as interesting, nor as incisive as they could be.  There are other books that take a much more fascinating and detailed approach than this one.

If you haven’t delved into this topic at all, this book does have some starting points.  But if you have reasonable experience researching this abstruse subject, then this is going to fall way below expectations.

For starters, the book could have been written in half the pages without Jacobson being so garrulous.  A sizeable amount of the additional information covered just wasn’t necessar.  Even if you grant that, the book still doesn’t cover many of the most important historical individuals nor events within this discipline.  A few glaring issues are the author merely a cursory glance at the work of Robert Monroe, Ingo Swann and Russell Targ’s work.  Also, highly suspicious is the fact that Edwin May, who is a crucial individual in this, is missing as well.  If that were it, that would be regrettable enough, but there’s more.

Despite Jacobson using a few hundred sources detailed in the “notes” section, she fails to use proper notation – using none at all! – within the book.  It is quite laborious trying to ascertain which footnotes in the back couple to the missing notation in the front.  It’s like trying to find a treasure with the entire treasure map having hundreds of x’s all over the place, and all you need is one.  If you WANT to delve into this book thoroughly and use this information for research, you would have to expend many hours trying to do what the author failed to do before.  Seeing as a plethora of sources were used by the author, why not be a professional and note where each one applies?

Apparently, the author’s other books were great, and I am willing to give this author another chance, but this book fails considerably.  It even recently became known to me that this book is being used for a TV series as well, which may or may not have influenced the author’s take on the phenomena.

Taking all into consideration, the inquisitive individual is far better off starting elsewhere on this subject.  There are quite a few books out there, one notable being Jim Marr’s Psi Spies, that should be a great starting point for anyone venturing into this subject.  Another researcher that’s been doing yeomen’s work into the field of consciousness and paranormal is Tom Campbell.  Campbell, who is a former physicist, worked with Robert Monroe in his nascent stages, and has been doing research into much of this for over 30 years.  Campbell has a few hundred youtube videos as well, some of which cover this very phenomenal as well.

For what it’s worth, while the author collates much curious data, the book just isn’t as keen as it could be, it’s not the “definitive history” that it was claimed to have and promoted to be, it’s far too garrulous for its own good, and doesn’t even do a decent job at undertaking proper footnotes.  Recommend readers to give this book a pass and begin elsewhere.

Make sure to do ample research because there are a LOT of avenues to follow within this entire topic, so be warned.

__________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

The Gift Of Truth, The Gift Of Friendship

TheRoadTruthFriendship
Source: QuotesGram.com

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 17, 2017

“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”
– Socrates

It certainly seems these days that not a moment goes by without someone having some sort of disagreement.  Not that people should always agree about everything, that’s not the point.  Disagreements come in all shapes and forms, just like people do.  With that said, it seems like a lot of the disagreements that abound nowadays regard a certain section of the populace’s ceaseless push to inculcate their beliefs on others, regardless of the consequences.

There seems to be two prevailing schools of thought out there regarding how to handle these situations.  When aiding others in their search for truth, the initial school of thought [non-conformists] doesn’t mind when other individuals ask them questions about beliefs and ideas discussed.   The second group [conformists] takes downright offense to anyone questioning them on anything.  The former seeks to help the individual arrive at their own truth; the latter seeks to be the high priest, just like those of ancient times, who controlled the free flow of certain information.

This particular trend of individuals not wanting to be questioned seems to be growing in quite a few circles.  Individuals who do wish to carry out further inquiry to seek firmer ground have nigh no options when speaking to closed-minded conformists because ultimately with a conformist, it’s their way or the highway.  Ironically, what is happening to those who seek firmer ground is not unlike what happened to the “Father of Philosophy,” Socrates, over two millennia ago.

Socrates was feared because he wasn’t afraid of questioning an individual’s beliefs about any given subject, similar to individuals today who question others on myriad issues.  In parallel fashion to modern conformists, in Socrates’ time the ultimate conformists of the time – as with much of history – was the state.  This see saw bout of ideals that took place back then still takes place now as we can see.  For all intents and purposes, because of his very ideals, Socrates is the Godfather of Non-conformity.  Socrates is the living definition of a question mark.

With the Socratic Method – of querying deeply into the subject – Socrates would begin to dissect an individual’s paradigm and those inherent flaws if any, usually in the realms of justice and goodness.  Because of Socrates’ method, many times the paradigms individuals had – inculcated by the state and by religion – would drastically shift or disintegrate altogether, and begin something anew.  This lead the state to lash out against him for questioning the system, particularly the “might makes right” the state was notorious known for, and eventually got him executed.

The state feared that the changes Socrates’ was bringing about in the populace would continue to spread, and from their tyrannical point of view they could not allow that.  Thankfully though, most of what he was able to accomplish still echoes to this day – even to this very post, thousands of years later.

In similar fashion, nowadays, people who push conformity are doing themselves and the other individuals a great disservice.  This is because individuals pushing conformity are: [1] not being open minded, thus [2] not allowing themselves to grow by being able to see another individual’s point of view, whether it is true or not.  Further, by attempting to force conformity on others they are [3] taking away a terrific learning opportunity from individuals truly seeking answers to poignant questions, and [4] in the worst case, these conformists are even losing relationships because of fear of the ego being overridden, as well as their beliefs possibly being shown to be made of hot air.  All of this stands against the very nature of free-flowing inquiry.

Keen conversations of proactive mental discernment should have a certain flow, like a see saw, a back and forth between [like or unlike] minds.  However, what is taking place is far from such a common sense and proactive approach.  The talks that are taking place currently between conformists
and non-conformists echo a societal instability brought about by the conformist that will only exacerbate with time.

Intricately, this particular issue is touched upon in the thought-provoking book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki, who cautions individuals on this very subject:

“Try not to force your idea on someone but rather think about it with him.  If you feel you have won the discussion, that is also the wrong attitude.  Try not to win in the argument; just listen to it; but it is also wrong to behave as if you had lost.  Usually when we say something, we are apt to try to sell our teaching or force our idea.”[1]

In other words, allow others the freedom to make choices, to find their own path – to make mistakes.  That is one of the best ways individuals grow, by learning from their choices. However, forcing opinions and/or beliefs on others is diametrically opposed to all that is good and sensible.    Moreover, not only is overriding someone’s freedoms rather inhuman, or conformist to say the least, but it goes directly against the very idea of Freedom and its downright tyrannical.  In contrast, if conformists would opt to listen to others, as happens in free-flowing conversations of open-minded individuals, those pushing their beliefs and agendas would come to an understanding as to why the other individual feels reticent to the particular issue.  That simple step can help magnitudes in understanding where another person is coming from and why the other person feels as they feel.  A conformist’s conversations never even get that far.  Ironically, that would also be the place where arguably most progress could be made.

If inquiring individuals who wish to engage in mental discernment are not allowed their own personal moment of clarity – of piercing through the veil – they will not own the moment – know the truth – but merely borrow another person’s footsteps as their own.  Such an instance robs the individuals of making great progress in their strides for the truth and thus leaves them at square one.

When someone is forced to intellectually conform they are not allowed the freedom to philosophize – to seek wisdom.  Philosophy is crucial, for it literally means the love of wisdom.  How is an individual ever going to gain insights, journey to wisdom, unless they are allowed or even urged to ask questions?

As modern philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D. warned in his Philosophy 101 By Socrates:

“If we do not philosophize, if we do not question appearances, if we are satisfied with whatever makes us feel happy, we will never know whether we are being deceived about who we are and what level of our being is being satisfied.”[2]

An individual that is not allowed to hone their senses and polish their intuition will not have the opportunity to learn to see the forest for the trees.  If said individual merely accepts the authoritarian conformist’s attitudes they will suffer in many ways.  These inquiring individuals will have a harder time – or nigh impossible time – figuring out deception [as we are seeing nowadays]; these individuals won’t be able to figure out a well argued argument based on facts and logic from outright speculation or downright lies; these genuinely curious individuals will also not be able to become as robust and self sufficient as possible as they could be in this coming age of [dis]information.  Such an individual will be just like a boat in the ocean with a busted sail that is drifting aimlessly directly into an eternal storm.

That is why it’s imperative as individuals to help others realize their full potential as they seek truth and growth within our world.  As other individuals grow, they will share what made them change in positive fashion.  And as we learn from them, we can learn as well, and it begins a self reinforcing process in which the rising tide lifts all ships.

Ruminating a bit deeper into this entire conundrum, maybe this issue is about more than truth though.  Perhaps there’s more on the line than meets the eye.  What seems to be missing to some extent, in some individuals at least, is simply the ability for them to be caring human beings, regardless of beliefs.  A truly caring, wholesome individual will not simply railroad someone else because they believe something different or refuse to believe them.

It seems that following a personal philosophy of seeking personal growth through an attempted mastery of your mental and spiritual wellbeing seems like a prudent choice to say the least.  And personal growth involves more than just attaining truth or strengthening beliefs.

Observing the words of Kreeft once more:

“Wisdom is more than knowledge.  Knowing all facts in a library does not make you wise.  Wisdom is a knowledge not just of facts but of values, of what is humanly important; and it is a knowledge that is a lived, that is learned by experience and lived out in experience.”[3]

When conformists push their ideals and beliefs onto inquiring individuals, they take away the opportunity for those individuals to have meaningful experiences for growth and self-development, which includes more than simple truths or beliefs.  Those instances may never take place again. Individuals that are not allowed to live to their fullest extent will only realize a fraction of the capability they would otherwise be able to achieve if they were allowed to venture upon their personal road less traveled – their individual journey.

Those who are allowed to gain personal insights on their road to self mastery will not only grow profoundly but will also develop a more robust Socratic Philosophy, just like the Greeks did in ancient times.

In ancient times:

“The Greeks became the world’s greatest philosophers partly because…they learned to question appearances to find something more, some hidden reality behind the appearances.”[4]

Such is the reason why appearances, beliefs and supposed facts must always be questioned.  For if they are not, what might be hidden will never rise to the surface and will not be able to be seen in pure darkness.  Truth is the only light beam that disintegrates the shadows.  And the only way to attain truth is for individuals to hone their inner fire, their inner light.

Touching upon this very concern, award winning teacher, advocate of self-directed learning and of individual freedom, John Taylor Gatto urged in his landmark book Dumbing Us Down:

“People have to be allowed to make their own mistakes or to try again, or they will never master themselves, although they may well seem to be competent when they have in fact only memorized or imitated someone else’s performance.  Success in my practice involves challenging many comfortable assumptions about what is worth learning and out of what material a good life is fashioned.”[5]

Questioning our conformable assumptions – our beliefs – about what is worth learning – for each individual – and bring about most growth is what this entire conundrum is about.  That is why it is crucial that:

“One should not present others with ready-made answers, preach to them, or only make them memorize things.  One needs to activate them.  They should figure things out.  The ambition can even be to liberate them.”[6]

To help individuals achieve total freedom – physically, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and mentally – they need to be encouraged to walk their own path, learn their own lessons – find their own wisdom.

If individuals aren’t allowed to grow, or choose not to, their mental faculties will atrophy, like someone who uses crutches constantly has their muscles atrophy from disuse.

As friends, colleagues, or simply caring human beings, perhaps it is imperative not to worry only about our subjective ideas, beliefs, or even outright facts.  What’s important is helping the other individual wherever they may need help, along their road, so they can then better understand whatever it is that they seek knowledge in.  What got them to their current point in life is vastly different to what got you to yours.  In like fashion, what gets them to the truth will most likely be vastly different than what got you to it.

Allowing other individuals the opportunity for growth is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another human being in their journey.  Along this journey, other individuals may at times need help.  Walk along side them, as long as they need, and help them when possible.  But remember, their life is their journey.

While your paths may cross time and again, ultimately an individual’s journey will be a rather unique and authentic experience.  Along this path, the side of the road will surely be rife with random rocks lacking meaning.  But now and again, among/amidst the ruble, an individual’s curiosities will be sparked by sparkles of truth, and they will find gratifying gems.  These are the very gems of wisdom that will push individuals further down their path to intellectual treasure, further towards their adventure for truth – towards individual growth.

Ultimately, what another individual does is up to them, for its their life, their freedom, their choice.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them along that journey. Just help them in any way you can, especially if they implore you for help.  That’s what friendship is all about. That’s what being a caring human being is all about.

And maybe, just maybe, one day these individuals will realize that it was you whose left some of those gems along their road, and that they’ve been given a gift, and that it’s been there all along, just waiting for the right moment.

And the right moment is now.

Give them that gift.
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Footnotes:

[1] Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, p. 108.
[2] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introductory To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology, p. 74.
[3] Ibid., p. 10.
[4] Ibid., p. 19.
[5] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, p. xxxv.
[6] Tommi Juhani Hanhijarvi Ph.D., Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx, p. 32.
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Public Schooling | Conformity

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
April 17, 2017

“The school system is designed to teach obedience and conformity and prevent the child’s natural capacities from developing.”
– Noam Chomsky

For those seeking more information on this critical subject, please read:

The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling

What Lead To Award Winning Teacher John Taylor Gatto To Quit Public Schooling

SchoolIndoctrination

300 Word Memories #8 – Bruce Lee, Individuality & Freedom

BruceLee3

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 14, 2017

Bruce Lee is one unique, timeless and prodigious individual.

Lee’s widely known for his martial arts prowess, but he was quite the philosopher as well.  He is definitely a mind that strove to learn as much as possible, from as many places as possible.

In college, Bruce Lee ended up taking a philosophy course that would change his life.  From this impetus, Lee sought to learn from the greatest thinkers in the world.  Interestingly, he chose to remain open minded in his new ventures in learning.  Lee did not narrow down his exploration to any particular philosophy or culture.  Instead, he sought to learn from all of them.

This foundation upon which he built his philosophy – ranging the full breadth of everyone he learned from  – strengthened him as an individual.  It matters not whether from East or West, ancient or modern, Bruce Lee went above and beyond to learn from the full breadth and scope available in history.

And yet, even though many people saw Lee as a teacher, he often said:

“A teacher is never a giver of truth; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself.  A good teacher is merely a catalyst.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

For me, in this current moment, there is no better catalyst to learn from than Lee.  Having read dozens of his aphorisms this last week, there’s been much learned from his insights.  Particularly, Lee was as flexible an individual as ever existed.  He did not restrict himself into any particular type of
thought, system, or belief.  In fact, he was loathe to blind obedience and external authority.

This resonates deeply with me, because as someone who is regularly pointing out that part of society seeks to conform you and mold into what they want, learning from someone who espoused true individuality is a breath of fresh air.  And unbounded individuality ultimately leads to Freedom.

Lee elucidates:

True observation begins when one sheds set patterns, and true freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond systems.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

Being beyond systems, being beyond conformity is the true way of the Individual, and that is the ultimate gateway to Freedom.

In that respect, there’s much to learn from Bruce Lee.

For those keen reasons, and many others, that’s why individuals should seek to learn as much as they can from Lee, or anyone else that resonates with their inner being.  Not to conform to any preconceived idea or beliefs, but to learn to be fluid, to learn to be free.  Ponder these ideas deeply and ruminate upon what suits you best, for only you know what is best for you. 

In life, the most honest self-expression is Individual Freedom, and the most powerful catalyst for this is by being in tune with your innermost self.   It is in this understanding that we will be able to live life to the fullest.

And isn’t that what life is about?

___________________________________________________________
Source:

[1] Bruce Lee, Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Daily Living by Bruce Lee, pg. xv.
[2] Ibid.
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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

BenjaminFranklinAutoBiography

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 14, 2017

Having John Taylor Gatto recommend this book in one of his interviews, it felt natural to want to avail myself of this historical information and its insights.

The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin is an overarching glance  at the inner ruminations and significant instances of Franklin’s life, but not all.

Although smaller in size than most hardcover books, the book still feels like a high quality book to boot.

Offering a map to most of the intriguing areas of Franklin’s life, though not all, this autobiography  offers anecdotes of all types within his life.  In one of these instances Franklin mentions how his father used to have guests over for dinner and conversation, and how that offered immense value to him.  As the following passage alludes:

“At his table he liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children.  By this means he turned our attention to what was good and just, and prudent in conduct of life…”[1]

Not only did Franklin learn in such a manner, but he also learned from watching others partake in their craft quite often.  Beyond that, Franklin also sought many a book to sharpen his mental faculties.

Fortuitously, during a discussion about writing with his father, Franklin was told by him that although Franklin was quite proficient in spelling and such, he still fell quite short in “elegance of expression”.  Realizing this to be true, the help his father gave allowed Franklin to become more attentive and polished in writing.

Soon thereafter, Franklin found a volume of Spectator which provided the impetus for Franklin to employ self-learning at a scale he had not undertaken before.  This in effect lead to Franklin creating a system of deliberate practice that allowed him to become proficient in writing.

To observe how precisely Franklin accomplish this, please note what Geoff Golvin stated in Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else:

“Significantly, he [Franklin] did not try to become a better essay writer by sitting down and writing essays.  Instead, like a top-ranked athlete or musician, he worked over and over on those specific aspects that needed improvement.  First came sentence structure which he attacked precisely in accord with deliberate practice principles.  His method of summarizing and reformulating Spectator sentences y one by one was designed ingeniously for that purpose.  He repeated that routine at high volume…and he got immediate feedback by comparing his sentences to the original.  When he decided to work on another element of performance, vocabulary, he again designed a brilliant practice structure, versification, with high volume and immediate feedback. “[2]

Following that, knowing that he lacked a wide-ranging vocabulary, Franklin showed is intellectual versatility  when he chose to employ poetry to increase his writing repertoire.

The fact that Franklin used self-teaching to achieve unparalleled self-sufficiency in this regard shouldn’t be glossed over because there’s much to glean from it !!!!! considering that that is a keen quality to have but which public schools and even Universities fail to teach.

Another intricate aspect of Franklin’s life was how he employed  persuasion.  In respect to this, Franklin delves into his insights in persuasion and argumentation, which  allowed him to speak to others in various disputes and conversations in a way that helped him foster sound judgment and more profitable interactions with other individuals.

Besides his youth, Franklin also covers his desire to master virtues of self-mastery  in order to increase his quality of consciousness, and even designed a small system of implementation for himself in order to bring it about.  And although Franklin continued growing as an individual, he still was savvy enough to realize he was still quite proud, and even then sought to attain more humility, even though it at times seemed paradoxical.

For instance:

“In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.  Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”[3]

Such a passage will go show that although Franklin had much pride, he still sought to attain humility as much as possible, even if he might never quite attain it.

Even though Franklin covers some successes in life such as business, some of his philosophy, and even idea of individuals attaining freedom through the employment of handwork and wisdom, the book doesn’t extend into his life during the Revolution.  That was quite unfortunate for his ruminations on that would have been valuable.

Another point not covered by Franklin is his membership to the Freemasons.  This would have also been significant, but it’s also not surprising that he did not cover it.  That said, the book to a large extent covers what Franklin saw as valuable at the time at key junctures of his life.  Franklin’s insights into virtues and dealings with other individuals and his creation of a system of deliberate practice shows this best.  To some extent, the book almost reads like a self-help book, but not quite so.

Irrespective of all that, the book does have some bite to it, but it’s not the end-all be-all of Benjamin Franklin’s life.  As an introductory volume in understanding the man in his own words, it’s quite invaluable, if garrulous at times.

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Sources:

[1] Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin, p. 9.
[2] Geoff Golvin, in Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, p. 107.
[3] Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin, p. 99.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.