Wednesday 22 December 2021

The imperative to 'belong'

Belonging is an imperative - we must belong.

But what-it-is to which we belong varies through life, and by choice.  

As young children we belong in a larger world, we are part-of-things; and that belonging is the family. The family is centre of our belonging; which stretches-out from family to the world. 

As young children, we are not aware of 'communications' that need to be interpreted - rather, knowledge comes to us direct. Rather the knowledge is already-there: we just know all kinds of stuff about all kinds of things. 

We know we belong, but implicitly, passively - belonging is given to us.  

Spirits are real, dreams are real, we know the thoughts of others and they know our thoughts. The world may vary between benign and hostile - but our background knowledge is that we are not alone, we are part of the world.  

Adolescence brings - eventually - a complete separation from that passive immersion in the family and world. 

We find that we now longer experience Just Knowing but must choose from our-selves; and we become aware that we dwell in an ocean of communications: messages, images, sounds and human relationships.

We must belong - and there is a choice of what we belong-to. 

Usually that is the 'peer group'. In traditional society, the peer group is a given, and there is no choice about whether to join it or something else; but in modern society there is a variety of potential peer groups, and allegiance is chosen. 

Thus, from adolescence, we relate to the world via chosen peer groups - and until recent generations this meant that the belonging of a stereotypical doctor was different from that of a farm worker, this-village was different from that-town; churches were different 'peer groups' - because there provided a distinct peer groups via which an individual belonged to the wider world. 

What has happened over recent decades could be termed a convergence of peer groups into a single System.  

Peer groups are chosen; but whatever chosen peer group you relate to the world via - whether that be a local circle of relatives or friends, a school or college, a 'profession' such as law or medicine, or the bureaucracy of a corporation of state institution... Whatever your choice, as of no all peer groups are linked hierarchically and horizontally, have converged-into a single and global ideology and power structure.

Nearly all peer groups - and nearly all families, which are nowadays also consciously chosen - are therefore parts of one system: The System (the 'Matrix'). Not all peer groups are equally a part of the system, some have greater partial and relative distinction from The System - but ultimately all are linked-into-one.

Therefore we find our existential situation is that we must belong - belonging is an imperative; yet all possible peer groups that might give a sense of belonging are part of The System. 

Thus, apparently, we must belong to The System! - There seems to be no alternative, if we are to belong.

And we must belong. 

The above is, I think, the mechanism of compliance and obedience; the mechanism by which the great mass of people choose to opt-in and self-police their own subordination. 

People must belong - and there is only one entity to which they can belong; therefore, people willingly want, think and do whatever it takes to belong to The System.   

This means that people believe - they Must believe - System-communications; because it is these with which they belong. 

If any incoming communication clashes with System-communications - if it dissents; if it tends to push the individual out from The System (if expulsion is what he experiences on encountering that communication) - then that 'anti-System' communication will be regarded as invalid, and threatening, and excluded. 

My point is that - especially since early 2020 and the successful global totalitarian coup, there is but one world, one system - and all social belonging based upon 'normal' communications is increasingly (and more-and-more obviously) a part of that System

Since each Man must belong, there seems only the choice of belonging to The System, since there is -  apparently - nothing else to belong-to

Anyone who tries to choose a different peer group (eg. a particular church) is finding that that peer group is also being absorbed-into The Single System. 

All the interpersonal and within organization communications are becoming System-aligned - all potential contradictions are being eliminated. 

If the material world of communications, the 'public world' is the only world; and if a Man must belong; then it makes sense that all men simply believe whatever The System is telling them today, do whatever The System is telling them to do today, hold whatever attitudes that best sustain The System...

And this is what we find. 

If it really is The System or not-belonging - then there is no choice but to join The System; and do... whatever-it-takes to stay within The System. 

Such is the primary question of these times: When 'everybody' (and it may actually be everybody, so far as we know) believes that the only choice is System versus not-belonging; and on that basis has chosen The System - then each Man finds himself compelled to confront that core question of human existence: God or Man

In other words; when Man has chosen The System - and The System excludes God; then to choose God instead of System means to reject what the mainstream person regards as every-thing.  

And, for the one who chooses God, the imperative to belong remains. The God-believer must belong - yet perhaps all the worldly-world of communications rejects him! 

His belonging can only be to the divine, to the spiritual, to the other-worldly: and this belonging he absolutely Must Have since belonging is imperative.  

This 'not-of-this-world' path used to be the preserve of a tiny minority of 'mystics'! Yet I am saying here that what was the preserve of mystics, must be the path of everyone who wants to choose God instead of System

To believe in God - here and now - it seems that we must personally know, and 'belong' in - on an everyday basis, 'the Company of Heaven'. We must belong, therefore our daily lives must substantially be among that company

It seems a Huge ask; yet if it Must, then Must it is... 

And since our God is our loving creator and parent - if it must be, it must be possible: and possible for Every-One.  


Lucinda said...

I was thinking today about Heaven being a place of freedom and love, not traditions or anything automatic or transactional.

For me, the rubber hits the road in my family relationships. If family traditions don't exist, will my husband and I still be drawn to each other? And my children? I want to live so as not to take these blessings for granted, to re-create these vital connections across time.

I believe part of how the System preys on us is just like you say, by threatening isolation, but the belonging that comes through System is unsatisfactory and in vain. In the realm of relationship, we are still deeply cut off if we are not romantic, both free and bound by love. The sad part about watching people struggle inside the System is that they are still cut off, faking it, insecure, they sense that the System may turn on them at any moment, and over the stupidest thing. This is not real belonging, surely. The belonging that is offered by the System turns out to be a lie. Yet still many clamor, thinking that if only they achieve a higher level of System privilege, then they will find real belonging, but it is impossible in that way.

Skarphedin said...

Comoletely agree (to the extent I understand you) and well said as usual.

This is allegiance to a thought-world and not the real world.

Thoughts have being but less being than things in the real world. So, this activity you speak of seems like a choice to claim allegiance to and to try and live on a lower level of the Hierarchy of Being (than that to which we are meant to by God).

I suppose the proper thing is to pledge allegiance to the highest level of Being (God) and try to live in the real world.

Francis Berger said...

Well put! Since 2020 I have felt that people would have to distance themselves from the System as much as possible - not physically, which is extremely difficult if not impossible - but spiritually. I have referred to this personally as "system-distancing".

I couldn't always articulate what that actually meant, but the need to engage in it daily after 2020 has remained firmly etched in my mind as a spiritual imperative. I had not taken this line of thinking to its logical conclusion as you have here, but it does seem that the path of the mystic may be the only viable option going forward.

Having said that, I fear most Christians will dismiss this path out of hand.

David Earle said...

I've grown so much and deepened my faith and relationship with God to an immeasurable degree in the past 2 years with the knowledge and perspective I gain from reading this blog. You keep hitting it out of the park. My thinking has never been clearer. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Authority and individuality are contractual. The self has authority over itself alone to be orderly, having humility and being forgiving. The degree to which an individual consistently proves good traits determines the value of one's authority to host other individuals. Being oneself, being true to one's nature, the similar adages, are opposed to systems, yet only in error and untruths does a system rule without any authority. Individuality in error has sought a resemblance of the self by its placement within systems, not as it must by dispensing with itself.

Thank you Dr. Charlton.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lucinda - Great comment. We are being pushed into one of two mutually exclusive paths, are we not? And especially women - who so fundamentally desire to belong.

But one kind of belonging pushes-out another - sooner or later; as women discover who want to be friends with everybody, offend nobody.

The belonging such as The World offers (unsatisfactory for the reasons you state - indeed, a delusion because the 'contract' is unilateral) is getting more and more demanding; so that to belong in The World is forcing-out all other forms of belonging. And when The World is evil?...

I was thinking of how some of the women Christian mystics seemed to live among the Company of Heaven - 'belonging' among saints, angels, Jesus Christ. This is perhaps the main way that women are mystics, and become spiritually independent of The World.

Lucinda said...

Women are much more involved in avoiding the bottom than they are in getting to the top. I think many men can't understand this because they view the bottom as a useful strategic option for getting to the top. Women who are apparently ambitious for the top spot are merely getting the greatest possible distance from the bottom.

Needless to say, men and women interact with hierarchy very differently based on this difference in motivation.

The thing is, the experience of being an outcast is very spiritually fruitful. And it appears to me to be the only way to confront the reality of alienation, and then hopefully to get past it to the Company of Heaven.

Lucinda said...

After further consideration, I would rather say that those inclined to spiritual independence (who embrace heaven belonging) often then become outcast. However, there are fewer women outcasts as a rule, but not necessarily fewer women heaven-belongers. That is to say, heaven-belonging women are usually still useful to the group whereas heaven-belonging men often pose a threat. And the presence of such women would not be easy to know because of women's behind-the-scenes-as-wives-and-mothers influence.

So I think the more common path for a woman heaven-belonger would be to experience the outcast mystic path sympathetically/compassionately.
This is the path open to me anyway.