This exploration will track the potential for a human to develop through the initial infantile stages of self-directed learning, then the stages of social development and beyond. Social development includes the recognition by the small child of their subordinate social position relative to various adults in their midst, as well as the eventual recognition that some adults have more social influence than others (within a particular social group). We are also aware of common stages of social rebellion, from the tantrums of a two-year-old to the rule-testing of a teenager and perhaps even to the protests and violent riots of mobs of adults.
From a young age all the way to the time of their death, most humans are consciously aware of the social influence or pressure or oppression of other humans. We learn to adapt to externally imposed forms of discipline, followed typically by a counter reaction back toward privacy, personal responsibility and self-discipline. with the exception of solitary pioneers in I wilderness setting, the practice of self-discipline ultimately leads us back to social interaction. We wish to have social relationships but to reduce the amount of pressure or oppression to which we are subjected. After a certain point of stability and confidence, we may even attempt to influence society or exert pressure or implement operations that other people may label as impressive.
The attempts to socially dominate range from attempts to dominate one individual or a few, attempt to exert social influence by reforming an existing group or system, or even the construction or expansion of a new system. Also, social domination can also include the military destruction of a foreign social system, although destroying a neighboring society is not the same as dominating it. However, public displays of military power can be useful as a form of psychological warfare and evoking terror among other neighboring groups as well as within one’s own civilian population.
For instance, when the famous Israelite leader Moses directed the Israelite army to invade and massacre the neighboring Midianites and capture their young girls, livestock, and gold, that was not an act of colonial oppression. They were not just colonizing, which involves sparing the lives of many of the occupied populations.
The Israelites did not impose a new occupation government or infiltrate the existing government. They simply slaughtered their enemy and then captured 32,000 young girls and brought them back as slaves to be included in the Israelite’s existing community.
Thousands of years later, a local ruler who was an official within the holy Roman empire became famous for impaling his political enemies on stakes. That individual, who was a royal Count from the Dracula dynasty, was torturing his enemies in order to discourage future disobedience amongst those who might otherwise be tempted to rebel against the social institutions of slavery and tax extortion which he was in charge of maintaining.
When atomic weapons were dropped on civilian cities, was that done to socially dominate the people who were incinerated? Consider that it was done in order to terrify other nations who might have been tempted to oppose the military superpower or to reject diplomatic advances and requests for loans and so on.
We can come back to larger social dynamics later. Now, let’s return to the stages of an individual’s social development….
First, we all physically began in a mode that we could call unconscious self-discipline. From the moment of conception, when two cells of our parents merge, there are genetic instructions that produce a body of a particular species and of a particular sex. During the period of pregnancy and fetal development, there will also be many influences on how those genetic instructions are used, such as based on the nutrition of the mother and other influences on her bodily functions like temperature and physical exercise.
but that kind of self-discipline is really just the absence of a specific social influence. Our physical development at that time is determined simply by genetics and environmental factors, so the word discipline does not really apply yet.
But soon after the transition out of the womb at birth, we do begin to manifest the capacity to learn through our sensory experiences. We have instincts and innate biases. We learned to manipulate things with our hands, to roll over, and eventually to crawl and so on. That stage of self directed exploration can be recognized as a rudimentary form of self discipline.
As we develop in our physical skills, such as our ability to walk and run and climb and open cabinets, we create a situation in which the adults in our lives are disciplining us. Once we can run, then if we live near a Street, there is suddenly the new issue of discipline in regards to running into the street or not.
As we get older and more capable and more intelligent, The forms of social pressure and oppression can get more and more extreme. There is the propaganda of mainstream media programming as well as the indoctrination rituals of schools. There is the social intimidation local thugs, local mercenaries of the law-enforcement field, and the soldiers of the national and international conquest.
We are driven to focus on specific issues and speak in particular ways about those issues. how we speak or relate to or interpret those issues produces our perception or experience of what we notice. Based on what we perceive, we respond behaviorally.
So, there are various institutions that seek to influence or government regulate our perception and behavior. Of course, churches are amongst those social institutions.
The more powerful or competitive we are in regard to the larger social order, the more intense the psychological warfare and oppression is likely to be toward us. Further, as technology advances, new methods evolve for the exercising of social influence or social pressure or social oppression.
However, depending on how that social pressure is applied, the imposing of external discipline will almost inevitably result in a counter reaction in which there is rebellion or withdrawal from social institutions. Those who are not thriving within those institutions may flee with haste. Also, there can be a slow withdrawal or divestment by those who are thriving but see an alternative that may give them access to increased opportunity or reduce risk.
Whether because of necessity or preference, people may seek to reduce their exposure to social oppression and to increase their development of self discipline. They want to develop the effectiveness to survive with a reduced involvement in certain social systems or even to completely extricate themselves from involvement with a particular system or perhaps just a particular group or individual. It can be as simple as an employee who is not satisfied with their job and starts to look for work with a different company while maintaining their existing job.
People may pursue new jobs or new relationships or new physical locations. People may also explore new ideas and new doctrines and new paradigms. Buy new, I simply mean unfamiliar to that particular person or at least not very familiar.
We may wish to change our relationship to a particular system of social dominance or of social influence. We may begin to question individual isolated cases or entire paradigms.
That transition can happen in regard to a particular place employment or in regard to a particular relationship or in regard to a particular system of government. Just as we formed initial impressions, we eventually have direct experiences and observations that may contradict or refine our initial presumptions. we received those presumptions through the social programming involving specific patterns in language.
We were programmed to label particular things in particular ways, such as positive or negative, such as shameful or glorious, and so on. Our attention is directed toward particular subject matter which we are programmed to value highly. We are programmed to have an interest in particular issues.
Social systems impose their values upon us so that we take less interesting personal responsibility and more interest and some particular form of social responsibility. We may come to associate our identity or our social worth as being a function of our loyalty to some inherited set of values or some programmed ideals, such as something that we read in a book or wrote in a test at school or saw in a movie. When We are socially validated and rewarded for acting a particular away or saying a particular thing, then we form habits and expectations about the consequences of that practice.
We internalize systems of external discipline. We internalize social conditioning and internalize the values (the patterns of evaluation) that are constructed through the social indoctrination rituals of schooling. We form habits like habits of linguistic behavior as well as habits of other kinds of behavior.
The word “habit” implies a lack of attentiveness as in a lack of alertness or lack of consciousness. We may be so accustomed to it particular social context, such as the extremely consistent context of schools, that we go blind conceptually to the reality that there are many other alternatives besides whatever is part of our own familiar social customs.
In short, habits that we form from internalized external discipline are the polar opposite of the practice of mindfulness and self-discipline. After years or decades of social pressure or socially delivered discipline, there may be extreme disorientation at the end of a period of consistent rituals. Two examples are graduating high school seniors and retiring senior citizens.
For a student graduating high school, they may not be well adapted to self discipline since external discipline is the central theme of systems of social indoctrination in which there is a curriculum constructed by distant authority and impose throughout a massive bureaucracy where intermediary authorities impose the programming rituals upon the targeted populations. For a senior citizen retiring from several decades of full-time employment, the transition to self-discipline can be even more awkward and disorienting.
So, we began with an instinctual self-discipline and then incrementally are exposed to various social pressures and social oppressions. Eventually, some of us return to and attention to our own innate instincts and values and mindfulness and self-discipline.
That can happen through a sudden emergency like when a social system collapses or when we graduate from a long period of participation in a particular social institution. Or, someone who is relatively stable and successful can simply develop a natural interest in self-discipline in order to better promote their performance of socially imposed roles.
Eventually, people may be extremely successful at socially imposed roles, but derive little or no personal satisfaction from that success and so they explore mindfulness and self discipline not in rebellion to society and not in the pursuit of socially imposed values but without any regard to social institutions at all. They are not pursuing glory or vanity in regard to condemning what is wrong in a society or reforming society or being the savior of humanity. They are simply curious. They are not fishing for validation or attempting to avoid invalidation.
In regard to a subject like science, they are not satisfied with memorizing and blind the repeating slogans and ideas in order to receive social awards. They don’t value memorizing doctrines about science. They value science and scientific inquiry.
So, they may question the theories that have massive budgets for publicity. For instance, the idea that humanity evolved from apes may be something that they are willing to be calmly skeptical and inquisitive about.
Why is it that humanity alone has a different number of chromosomes from all other primates? Why is it that humanity alone has a sexual fertility cycle that corresponds to the phases of moon and not an annual cycle?
Why is it that there are histories all over the planet that indicate the involvement of one or more creatures that are not from this planet and that came down from heaven or from the sky and involve themselves in human affairs? What about all of the archaeological evidence for ancient civilizations with advanced technology, such as the precise relief carving made by machine tools? Quality that could not be reproduced until the 20th century is evident and various archaeological sites throughout the planet that are widely accepted as being many thousands of years old. Why?
We can notice that there are massive publicity campaigns to present exactly one scientific model as the only scientific model. Then there is exactly one competing model presented which is presented as unscientific or anti-scientific. Then, there is a hysteria of ridicule and the complete absence of respectful scientific inquiry, and people call that a scientific consensus because a social authority has constructed the narrative or debate in a very specific way.
We can respect social indoctrination rituals with a full appreciation for the genius and their methods and for the simplicity of the agendas, right? Can we participate in those rituals a small amount, a large amount, or not at all?
We can develop our ability to effectively participate in systems of social influence, social domination, and social indoctrination about science. Or, we can pursue a scientific inquiry in some other direction.
We can explore the actual science of human origins while at the same time participating in systems for indoctrinating the masses about science. We can create curriculums to direct the attention of young people to particular ideas and then reward them for memorizing and blindly repeating those ideas or slogans. We can teach them to identify themselves as experts in science because they have memorized and repeated some ideas without ever examining or testing those ideas. We can teach them to be arrogant and to be terrified of curiosity and humility and critical thinking and self-discipline and personal responsibility and scientific inquiry and rational skepticism. Instead, they can be directed to anxiously trumpet claims of skepticism that are actually distressed flights from rationality and critical thinking.
So, we can rebel against social oppression or exert social pressure. Whatever else we are doing, we can make statements about what we are doing and what we are not doing, plus what other people should be doing and what it is shameful to do and so on.
We can speak out against personal responsibility or speak out against programmed ideals of social responsibility. We can condemn tyranny, social engineering, and cultural Marxism, or we can condemn mindfulness and self discipline.
But what we say is entirely distinct from whether or not we say it mindfully and with attentiveness and self-discipline. We recognize that behavior is a broad category which Includes many kinds of social behavior as well as many cons of behaviors that are not social in nature. One of the most powerful tools for influencing others is social behavior involving the use of language.
We can become interested in the use of language for the promotion of our social interest and self interests. We can be interested in influence and pressure that involves language as well as forms of influence and pressure that do not involve language, plus mixed strategies that involve assembling and training squadrons of soldiers, then sending out those soldiers to extort the wealth from the occupied population, then creating Systems for indoctrinating the public so their compliance with the extortion program will be effectively promoted.
While the actual weapons and bullets and uniforms of the soldiers may be the most important parts of the system for governing the masses and extracting tax contributions from them, language can also be very important. The soldiers will be rewarded with the sacred object of the governing system, called currency. However, they will also be one of the most intricately indoctrinated groups of all.
The children in general will be treated in ways that prepare them to be effective soldiers and ministers within the various government ministries. Of course, not all children will be given roles in the low lower levels of the military priesthood and the civil priesthood of bureaucrats and technicians. Some will be ignored and some will be groomed for rulership or royalty.
Some will be taught respect for social domination systems as well as respect for self discipline. However, in general, self-discipline is contrary to the interests of any system of social oppression. The general public will be taught to ignore it, or to have disgust and contempt for it, or to consider it dangerous or shameful or greedy or sinful… or at least foolish or pointless.