Grains of Habit

What a wonderful reality it would be if society could teach you how to become a unique individual. It can only teach you — nay, hypnotize you — to join the ever growing clubs of mobs and masses. To become a unique expression of individuality is a task you alone can perform. It would be rather ironic if it were necessary to first join a club or group before you can bloom as a personal force of your own. Yet the irony is there and little niche groups do exist for exactly this function, should they not degenerate into a fad and fanatic crowd, pursuing idle interests that are shared amongst them. If instead the group came together for the sake of unlearning what they know and discovering what is genuinely of personal interest, then a harvest of results might actually become a possibility.

The group itself would need to be special in a number of ways. Each member would have to follow certain rules which would otherwise seem fairly strange and unnatural. For example, they would have to refrain from expressing negative reactions to others and talking idly. The rules would be in place to ensure that conditions are of a higher quality than the common plateau; where the noise of common life is reduced so that one can actually hear, feel and see things which are normally missed completely. The problem with how we are usually relates and stems from the disorganized manner in which we perform and do literally everything. Our elemental functions of sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste are all left to perceive in whatever state they are accustomed. There is no guideline or rulebook to test their health and state; to reveal whether their functions are subpar according to the lens of a relatively objective benchmark.

We need to be able to find environments which are special and refined for the sake of introspecting how we are at the most basic levels. How we breathe, walk, talk and eat are the types of features which we are typically oblivious to. We are too busy with the noise of the world to notice such seemingly trivial and subtle matters. Even if we did, we would very soon dismiss or ignore the value of them. As an individual our habits drive us, but as a group where everyone has agreed to follow a different set of values and rules for the sake of creating an environment conducive for introspection and personal discovery, we might be able to repair and improve the quality of our way of being through the tweaking of the elemental functions of perception.

A team has always been necessary to achieve aims of a higher order and therefore out of the reach for a single man. The aims themselves would have an end and so the team surrounding them would need to disband at that very same moment. The means to an ends, for that is all that it would be, for the sake of attaining something that each individual personally seeks with earnest and eager intensity. This differs from the usual state of things, where we grow accustomed to the means as an ends in itself. Cultural traditions are an example of this tendency, as our laziness to think things through allows us to continue with outdated modes and methods simply because we cannot be bothered to innovate new ways and approaches. The special group would need to invent ideas on the spot which would prove valuable and effective to their needs and aims, and in thisile way they would test the mantle of each individual in order to act and swim against the grains of habit.

A single man is likely to fail if he tries to wade upstream all by himself. It might not be impossible, but it is unlikely. A group has a greater chance, for it is not as much as the momentum against them which counts, but rather the need to remind each other of the aim as one or another inevitably forgets all about it. It is our susceptibility to being influenced by old patterns that makes us individually forget about the task at hand. A group has a greater chance since even if half the group forgets, the other half remembers, and so it goes on in alternations as some set the vigil while others are permitted to sleep. It is this aspect of the journey — the need to be awake and mindful continuously — which determines whether persistence can surmount the tide of tradition and embark towards uncharted territory.


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