What is the most powerful form of ego-gratification around today? That's easy: it's called groupthink. People who indulge in this pernicious variety of feel-goodness are absolutely convinced that their particular group, whether it is based on politics, religion, nationality, race, or gender, is the one and only superstar alliance on the planet. Yes, how wonderful it must be when you can persuade yourself that you belong to the right bunch of people, especially since it also means that you and your buddies are a race which exists far above all of the other lesser people on the planet, whom you are perfectly entitled to disdain. So of course your group must be supported, fought for, and protected against all its enemies. After all, it is the only group which has cornered the market on truth, virtue, goodness, money, security, and the future. Such a worldview must be extremely pleasant.
It becomes even more delicious if your groupthink is based upon some kind of victimology. There is nothing like ancestral suffering to propel a groupthinker into the ego-based stratosphere. Your great-great-grandpa suffered at the hands of whomever, so that makes you a superior person, right? And now you must keep the memory of this suffering alive for the rest of all eternity, since those long-ago horrors make you and your family special people, also right? Well, the practitioners of this kind of nonsense always forget is that in one way or another everybody's ancestors suffered at the hands of somebody else's ancestors. So every last one of us seven billion humans is not only descended from some kind of victim, but from some kind of oppressor as well. Oh, but that doesn't count! Your own group's personal suffering is the one that matters! So you constantly need memorials, museums, anniversaries, and the 900-page victimology tomes which weigh down the academic libraries. There is no other way to keep the horrors of victimization from happening again.
Okay, but the problem is that memorializing atrocities has been going on for centuries, if not millennia. So does that mean that today, in the 21st century, our planet is finally free of man's inhumanity to man? Well, not that I can see. Behold yet another universally-accepted paradigm which simply isn't working the way it is supposed to.
And it never will. The problem with groupthink is that it disrupts the natural flow of energies in our universe, and anything which does this is toxic. We need to remember that both quantum physics and Eastern spiritual traditions tell us that all energy manifestations in our universe are somehow interconnected. All of which means that there is no such thing as a group. Those boundaries you are trying to put up between you and the people you don't like are nothing but an illusion. What's worse is that any time you try to erect them, you make yourself the problem with the human race, not the solution. That's right. If you think that you are a member of any kind of human group, and also that somehow yours is a good group, you have done nothing but turn yourself into a bad guy.
Of course, all the zillions of groupthinkers around today are convinced of just the opposite: they are the good guys, while everyone else is some kind of baddie. This fantasy most particularly applies to political and religious groupthinkers, who are always somehow the good guys, even when they are at the throats of a different group. Sigh. The German Nazis were also convinced that they alone were the good guys on the planet, which naturally meant that they could take anything or kill anyone they pleased. If you pursue any kind of groupthink to its logical conclusion, the only place you will end up is right smack dab in the Third Reich. Forget trying to model yourself upon St. Francis of Assisi, Ramakrishna, or any other sentient being who could sense the interconnectedness of the human race. Nope, that won't do for you, good groupthinker that you are, you intend to go through your life with the exact same kind of mental energies to be found in Herr Schicklgruber. Lots of luck.
All this is probably difficult for most people to understand these days since it flies in the face of the "education" they got in an American classroom. What our kids get from those 21st century ignoramuses called teachers is nothing but toxic groupthink, plus a whole batch of other legacy illusions such as hierarchy, competition, and secularism. All of the preceding are, of course, are what their self-congratulatory instructors call critical thinking skills. Well, if you ask me, there are no more ghastly incompetents in today's world than our educators, but that is another story.
The good news here is that nothing lasts forever. Especially since the true Reality of our universe is quite easy to understand: it consists of universal interconnection, plus the kind of universal equality this interconnection creates. If people all over the world would start to align their actions and beliefs in accordance with these two principles, that curse called groupthink would finally start to die its well-deserved death. Take my word for it, this is the only way to end those problems called racism, religious hatred, gender bias, or any other kind of discrimination.
So how can you personally help to rid the world of its most toxic illusion? Here are my suggestions:
The necessary first step. If you want to change the world, you need to change yourself first. And if you want to change yourself, the most important thing you need to do is learn how to work with Divine energy. This is simple enough: just follow my guide on How to Work with Divine Energy.
Ditch the past. In my opinion the three most sacred words in the English language are get over it. Those who look back, such as Eurydice or Lot's wife, are always lost forever. If you have been expending huge amounts of energy memorializing some kind of specific ancestral suffering, it's time to stop. You aren't doing good in the world--you are only perpetuating some very bad energies. But if you're terrified that forgetting past horrors will condemn humanity to repeat them, just keep reminding yourself that man's inhumanity to man can only happen in a world of hiddenness. That kind of world is starting to disappear, and this alone will be enough to prevent atrocities from happening in the future. If you want a better human society, your energies should be directed towards the creation of the kind of universalist and transparent world where tyrants or racists can no longer get away with it, instead of being stuck in your own variety of victimology.
Ditch any kind of separateness experience, including sports and games. There is some sort of ridiculous fantasy around these days which goes like this: sports teach sportsmanship. Ah, yes--the reason why games, sports, or any other kind of us-against-them experience are beneficial is because the participants or the observers experience something called sportsmanship. Well, here comes some Reality: any kind of an us-against-them encounter is a toxic illusion which will inevitably wreak havoc in the quantum field. Repeat: any kind of human encounter which causes hurt or disappointment in even one sentient being is toxic. It doesn't matter whether it's the Olympics, World of Warcraft, the next Marvel frivolity, the Pulitzer Prizes, or a Little League ball game, these kinds of experiences will always be an Indra's Net nightmare. So no, it's not normal or healthy to watch a sporting event or the latest superhero drivel out of Hollywood. Fortunately, in the Aquarian world to come, people will no longer be able to watch any kind of us-against-them any more than they could watch an execution.
Understand what makes a good guy. The only good guys in our universe are those who practice the unitive vision. They live in harmony with the natural flow of energies, allow for human agency, and rely upon Divine guidance. They want to work for the good of all sentient beings instead of gratifying their own ego, and they send out compassion and blessings to all and sundry. So if you want to make sure you are truly a good guy as you go through your days, this is what you have to do. Yeah, I know. It ain't easy. But if you persevere, great will be your rewards. The nice news here is that the delights of the good guy lifestyle are limitless.
But what if you're attacked? Unfortunately, we are currently living in a world where the ignorant enjoy blaming other people for their difficulties. And let's face it, there's nothing like having enemies to give a person a hugely thrilling and interesting life. Well, what can the rest of us do about these poor ignoramuses? At the moment, it is only reasonable for you to defend yourself if you have to. But you need to remember the lessons of a spiritual visionary named Morihei Ueshiba, who was the founder of the martial art of aikido in the 1920's. Ueshiba was the first martial arts expert in history who could see past humanity's eternal us-against-them mentality. He believed that you fight if you must, but you do it in a way that mitigates the harm to both you and your enemy. You don't try to destroy your enemy--you do what you can to make him your friend. At all times you remind yourself that your "opponent" deserves only compassion. Especially since it is obvious that the bad energy this person is putting out will eventually rebound in something called the . . .
The Cosmic Boomerang. One basic energy law of this universe is something I call the Cosmic Boomerang. This law states that the kind of energies you put out into the universe are the exact same kind of energies which will eventually come back to you. Over the centuries this idea has been proverbially expressed in many different ways: what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, sooner or later it catches up with you. I have never known anyone, including myself, who has been exempt from that little something called payback. So the Cosmic Boomerang is what you have to keep in mind when you must deal with those sentient beings whose actions continue to be based upon that illusion called separateness. Don't forget that sooner or later they will get their comeuppance without you having to lift a finger to make it happen. And if you personally are ever tempted to send out any kind of separateness thought or action, just remember that you're begging for some kind of harmful energy to come back and clobber you. So just don't do it. Or else.
Make every interaction you have with another sentient being a namaste experience. Namaste is a Sanskrit word which means I bow to you, and it is a way to acknowledge the Divine energy within each and every sentient being in the universe. While you don't always have to make a physical bow every time you send out a namaste, this kind of energy should always guide you on how to interact with every other sentient being you encounter. It is also one of the few guaranteed ways to hang on to your good-guyness.
Finally, don't forget that nothing lasts forever. Not even groupthink. The way things are now are not the way they are always going to be.
I am aware that the suggestions I'm recommending in this essay are difficult. But the rewards are worth it. Believe it or not, ditching your groupthink can be one of the most liberating experiences you will ever know. You no longer have to suffer under any kind of artificial boundaries, and the rigid structures of past cultures or religions become meaningless. Best of all, instead of wasting your time paying attention to that illusion called us-against-them, you can purse more worthwhile activities, such as creation, spiritual enlightenment, helping your neighbors, and acquiring wisdom. All of this adds up to turning yourself into what I call a citizen of the universe. There is no doubt in my mind that in the Aquarian age to come, this will become everyone's goal. And why not? After all, while being a member of a particular nation or religion is nice, being a citizen of the universe is absolutely fabulous.