How Our Environments Keep Us Down

I’m more and more becoming aware of how what I’m reading and watching is trying to cultivate and program me with limiting (negative) values often related to our base psychological needs (i.e. lower stages of development and levels of consciousness). It’s actually getting so bad that I’m finding my news feed on Flipboard is 80% garbage, basically a distraction that’s deviating me from my work and more importantly deviating me from the growth of my Self, by keeping my mindset stuck at a lower level.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but emotional reactionary articles or videos are pretty much all the rage now (with people making massive profits doing so). So there’s this pain or frustration encountered with something in life and a corresponding lashing out in anger at it.

This perfectly ties in with Robert Kegan’s Socialized Mindset, as well as a Reactive Orientation to life, mentioned by Robert Fritz.

Reactive behavior may take the form of cynicism, or you may have a chronic chip on your shoulder. You may be suspicious of others or simply have a “short fuse.” You may hold conspiracy theories about people in power or subscribe to a political or religious philosophy that reacts against injustice or evil.

Robert Fritz, The Path of Least Resistance

A more advanced and difficult to detect programming is one of pushing an expert mindset. These are typically those of a nature indicating “five things to do to be successful,” as though life as a whole can be reduced to a handful of knowledgeable things that can be quickly learnt to shortcut it and exploit it.

Spoiler alert. There is no shortcut to life, as much as we want to believe there is one. It’s a never-ending journey. Whenever you think you’ve got it all figured out, there’s another level beyond the one you’re currently within.

This perfectly ties into what I’ve said before about how the highest stages of development are often full of paradoxes, often more complex than the last. Thus stepping forward is more about letting go, unlearning, and relearning more than anything, rather than trying to mentally brute force your way forward.

But ya, getting out of these environments that are continually trying to program you and reinforce old patterns of thought are one of the most difficult things to do. And I think how we perceive ourselves, for better or worse, will determine whether we get stuck spinning within these cesspools (with a victim’s mindset) or are able to rise above them.

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for The Adventure of Your Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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