How can we ever hope to evolve while we remain so heavily invested in the past. How many of us actively seek new/different ways of thinking and behaving? How many of us actively question our conditioned thoughts and actions?
There is no doubt that we are heavily conditioned – genetically, culturally/religiously and socioeconomically. All of our conditioning is historically informed and largely driven by conflict/competition over collaboration and unfortunately often perceived as fixed.
As long as our conditioned beliefs and behaviours remain unquestioned they are our biggest handicap. They leave us both driven to exploit and vulnerable to exploitation. We remain ignorant, blind to their impact on us and every aspect of the natural environment on which we depend. If we do not question what we believe and how we behave and why, nothing changes and the downward spiral continues…
Let’s tale a look at our various layers of conditioning…
GENETIC CONDITIONING – physical, emotional and intellectual predispositions
Genetic conditioning defines our humanity, it is the current physical representation of all whom have gone before us, within our genetic linage. Their beliefs, choices, experiences, abilities, vulnerabilities, likes and dislikes as well as the more obvious physical characteristics, our biology. Some physical aspects are fixed, other are not, merely a range of predispositions that our life and lifestyle choices may trigger.
The emotional and intellectual components of our genetic conditioning guide our responses to all we encounter and will drive every aspect of our life and personality if we allow. The more self aware we choose to become, the more we question our “programmed” beliefs and behaviours and make smarter choices the greater our capacity to rewrite our code.
We do not have to adopt the likes and dislikes of our parents or any of their personal dispositions, we are not destined to replicate them in anything or anyway, the choice is ours.
RELIGIOUS/CULTURAL CONDITIONING – beliefs, behaviours
Religious/Cultural conditioning underpins the societies in which we live. What we believe and why, how we behave and why, where and how we live, when we do things, who we do and don’t do things with, and for some, what we eat and wear. Again, all of this is historically informed or ill-informed if you like…
The texts that form the basis of our religious conditioning are hundreds and thousands of years old as are sooooo many of our cultural traditions. The “traditional” roles of men and women, as informed by religious/cultural conditioning, being a prime example. Religious doctrine dictates a better than lesser than relationship between men and women, with men the better… Who wrote those texts do you think?? And, what were they afraid of?? For centuries women have been exploited on every level, to the detriment of all mankind. It’s like formalised religion actively pitted men against women as a means of controlling the population. By giving men authority you invite loyalty to whatever set of irrational and illogical beliefs your touting. By preaching inferiority/subservience you dissuade any challenge to said norm, effectively, those that have the least to gain maintain the structure. Clever or psychotic…?
Some western cultural models have stripped back some aspects of religious/cultural conditioning while many other cultural models actively remain rooted in the past.
Imagine if you can, a world where ignorant notions in relation to the worth of men and women were cast aside. Where every member of the population was equally valued and respected, where half your brain power, strength, talent and wisdom was not ignored or deemed worthless. How would that planet look? Fewer people, greater innovation, less destruction, less conflict, greater harmony…
Religious/Cultural conditioning doesn’t just pitch men against women it pitches tribe against tribe, region against region, country against country with everything and everyone on earth paying the price. There are no winners in this game, we are all losers…
All religious/cultural conditioning, although powerful, is optional. We are not bound to adhere to it’s destructive nature.
SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONING – material and experiential needs, wants and entitlements
Our socioeconomic conditioning, combined with our genetic and religious/cultural conditioning determines what we aspire to own/experience on a material level in this life on this planet. In western culture the capitalist model can be simplified to “more is better”,“most is best”, profit regardless of cost. This is reinforced through all forms of media, editorial, entertainment, advertising and is all historically informed. And we unquestioningly buy into it.
In reality, everything we produce comes from natural resources. Natural resources that are finite. The cultivation/extraction of which is currently driving unprecedented levels of habitat destruction and species decline. On top of that everything we own costs us time/energy as well as money – the time/energy taken to earn the money, the time/energy taken to source/acquire. The more we continue to want the more time/energy we will be required to invest. Time, energy and resources that we cannot recover.
Our “more is better”, “most is best” profit at any cost conditioning has cemented competition over collaboration as a mainstay of our current socioeconomic model. Supposedly competition is an essential driver of innovation… tell that to the thousands of people who’s innovative ideas have been purchased and shelved behind patients or the start-ups absorbed by the tech giants mercilessly eliminating all competition. Increased profit and productivity are also used to drive innovation, often compromising quality. And all this is capped off by the delusion of infinite economic growth on a finite planet.
Our most recently acquired socioeconomic conditioning is also optional, we do not have to comply, we do not have to over consume, we do not have to continue our planetary destruction.
We must evolve away from our historically informed nature of intolerance and confrontation and onto more collaborative beliefs and behaviours that support rather than stagnate the evolution of humanity.
What is the cost of maintaining our conditioning – remaining historically informed??
- ongoing discrimination based on sex, age, race, religion, physical attributes and abilities, intellectual and emotional capacity, wealth…
- stifled innovation – fuelled by discrimination, entitlement and competition over collaboration…
- intolerance and entitlement based conflict, resource exploitation, wildlife and habitat destruction…
Same shit different day…
SO HOW DO WE TURN IT AROUND?
Ditch all conditioning(beliefs and behaviours) that support confrontation and conflict over collaboration. They basically drive all levels of discrimination, intolerance and social, economic and environmental destruction…………….
Start making holistically informed choices – about everything – THINK!
- Embrace diversity – recognise and address the drivers of intolerance
- Normalise sustainable innovation and collaboration
- Recognise and reject entitlement
We are spiritual as well as biological , we must learn to stop letting our conditioning rule. We have cell memory but we also have soul memory. Our soul is better informed than our biology can ever be. As a spiritual being we enter a genetic line at a place in time to learn lessons in human form, possibly lessons from past lives that we’ve struggled with or something new altogether, but something that we can over come rather than be at the mercy of. All of us. Be open to and guided by your soul wisdom.
Real innovation requires collaboration. Capitalism has evolved to thrive on a destructive level of competition which actively dissuades collaboration. Yet true collaboration has the potential to debase discrimination, intolerance and conflict and creates opportunities to end environmental destruction.
Entitlement drives mindless over consumption which in turn commits us to routines that serve neither us, the wider community nor the environment. Aside from our basic human needs/rights we are not entitled to anything that cannot be created/provided in a sustainable manner. We are not here to consume and destroy, we are here as caretakers for future generations, to leave the world and all upon it in a better state than we found it.
SO WHAT’S STOPPING US?
We’re stopping ourselves…
Either through ignorance or fear based conditioning – we are both the problem and the solution.
Our greatest asset has proven to be our biggest handicap – freedom of choice.
We are the singular species on this planet gifted with the option to choose what we think and how we behave. Our choices drive conservation and destruction, creativity and conformity, innovation and resistance to change, generosity and selfishness, collaboration and conflict.
We have the capacity to change the world by simply making better choices, so get to it!