Ideology is a mental disease


  1. a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
  2. a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture

: Merriam-Webster

One of the best joys in life for me is meeting new people, especially the strange and the obscure. Many people don’t seem to notice how much diversity there is outside of their respective tribe. But as I venture through many tribes I seem to notice something very interesting among people.

One of the hallmarks of people watching and observing is that you begin to notice patterns. And one pattern that stands out among the rest is that we all seem to be running vastly different versions of reality.

They say language was invented for the purpose of lying. It’s a very effective tool in deceiving others, but it’s also very efficient when you want to fool your own self. It seems most of us are seeing things not based on what actually is, but on what we want to see.

Our minds try to build models of the world in order for us to easily navigate through it and avoid danger. And it’s been proven by science that our minds will even purposely lie to us, just so that we can have the illusion of understanding. It strives for a clear and linear explanation of the world it perceives and it leaves no room for gaps.

I remember someone once making a comment that really stuck out to me, “Everything is Jesus!”. I was fascinated by that statement, and I asked myself how does any “clear” thinking human being come to that sort of conclusion? This isn’t a knock on Christianity or religion, I’m saving that for another article. But this a question of what exactly defines psychosis and what is reality?

I don’t believe in an ultimately objective reality, this experience seems to be one of opinion rather than any sort of truth. Some people like vanilla ice cream, some prefer chocolate and variety is the spice of life. This variety also extends to the way we all see things. And this is definitely designed by nature so that we have many different angles as possible for our species. All these perspectives designed to serve a very specific function in the human game. But somewhere down the line the human game got infected with a very deadly virus. It spreads from parent to child, friend to friend, lover to lover. This organism, once attached to a host, divorces the individual from reality. This virus is known as ideology and its the oldest living disease known to man. A disease that is responsible for millions, if not billions of deaths in the world and the number one root cause of most conflicts on this planet.

This disease tells you what the world is based on a collection of ideas, usually developed by a group of misguided individuals grasping for some sort of model of reality that can be easily followed. The first mechanism of society is to instill certain ideas into your mind that will govern the way you behave from cradle to grave.

Our country, our gods, our morals, our values.

Their country, their gods, their morals, their values.

When you otherize people, you have all the justification to commit all kinds of unjustifiable things.

With that conditioning, your mind becomes a reduction valve of perception in which what doesn’t fit that model is thrown out or ignored altogether. But this creates a conflict between you and reality, and reality has a tendency to win this battle all of the time.

What needs to be understood in this article is that reality is far too complex to be condensed into a single book or model to follow. I’ve seen no evidence of a static universe that doesn’t change or has one specific direction. For example these ideologies tend to be unnatural and pit individuals against their own biology. A sort of torment for an individual that has to live life a certain way that totally goes against who they are. Sexual repression in society is one of the biggest spectacles that civilization has produced. It takes a very natural and important expression of being a human and turns it into something that is dirty and shameful. An unfortunate byproduct of a humanity run by neurotic human beings.

I can’t count how many times I’ve met people from other parts of the globe who tell me they aren’t allowed to do this and that. And when I ask them “why?”. I usually get a pre programmed response that doesn’t seem to leave me with a sense of satisfaction. And a good deal of them simply don’t make any sense. For example when I used to ask my Muslim friends why they were not allowed to eat pork, they would typically tell me that pigs are filthy animals. My eyes usually glaze over at that point. Dirty? From my own observations it doesn’t seem like chickens, goats, or cows are any more hygienic than your local corn fed swine. They all eat, sleep and shit in the same place last time I checked. And no matter how much you debate with people on the huge gaping plot holes in their ideological narratives, it will never hit home with them as their filtering system begins to work overtime at the point.

Modern consumerism is one of those ideologies that never ceases to raise a smile on my face, but not for a good reason. Somehow, under the covers of night, certain individuals drove us to adopt a lifestyle that revolves around the pointless and fruitless expedition of buying things you don’t need. Over and over again. Somehow a great deal of us have been confused into thinking that the latest smart phones, cars and designer handbag are somehow a cosmic truth.

Even with the gloomy statistics and the obvious destruction of our environment, we continue to propagate consumer capitalism as if it’s part of our evolutionary zenith. Coupled with an economic model that doesn’t make any sense either; infinite growth on a finite planet. Even with the alarming warnings about out our behavior, and the inevitable disaster it will lead to, we march on carrying the torch of fruitless conspicuous consumption.

The other side of ideology is the one that we develop on our own without the help of others. We all see things differently in many ways, it’s the old question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. On our own we like to build models and explanations on what life is and why certain things are. But we also build these models mainly from a poor pool of analysis. Which is filled with low samples sizes, attention only to the surface details and hearsay. And It becomes detrimental when we do it to other people. We assume certain things about people only based on limited variables and not on any meaningful interaction. Our mind likes to take shortcuts, and for example one of these shortcuts is stereotyping. In order for the mind to make faster decisions, it uses shortcuts to navigate the world, and to do this it will use these little shortcuts. But the problem with these shortcuts is that it is limiting and gives you a very flimsy picture of things and people.

Another component of the self created ideology is the one you hold of yourself. A tale of two extremes as It can be either be highly self delusional or extremely self limiting. We’ve all ran into that person who is in love with themselves for all the wrong reasons. Either it be their looks, inherited wealth and statues, or the highly opinionated chatter mouth who knows everything about about everything, but at the same time has nothing to show for it. I used to frequent a coffee shop in my old neighborhood in Vancouver’s Commercial drive and there was always this man in there who seemed to be in frequent the establishment nearly everyday. He would spend his time drinking drip coffee and schooling the barista’s and other customers on life. He had a opinion for everything, but that wasn’t the problem, most of his opinions were just flat out crackpot rhetoric that was full of all sorts of erroneous information. You can probably attribute 40% of all urban legends, false rumors, and pseudo scientific knowledge out there to this one guy. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has them, but in this case it was an asshole attached to another asshole.

Many of us, if not most are guilty of having self defeating attitudes. Finding the muster to even write this article was a challenge for me. Constantly battling with thoughts that tell me that tell me, “Who am I to write about these things?”. About 5 Years ago I decided to learn a new language and after narrowing down my selection I decided to take the challenge and learn Chinese. So I finally sat down one day and finally got to it. Well after that day I decided this was way beyond my cognitive abilities. I felt there was no way I could master a totally new writing system, characters, tones, and a vast vocabulary. This was surely just the domain of people who grew up in the environment or smarter folks with superior linguistic abilities. But all of this was just a thought. But I gave up and left the challenge that night. A year later I was working at my gym and overheard someone speaking Chinese in the corner to one of my coworkers who happened to be Chinese. This normally wouldn’t register as it’s common, but what immediately caught me at that moment was that the person speaking to her was not Chinese but white. I watched the exchange for moment and it hit me at that moment, “If he could do it, why the hell can’t I?”. So I went home that night and got down to business and never looked back. It was a slow process in the beginning, but little by little it started making sense to me. I went from being completely oblivious to the language to being able to function in speaking, writing and listening in Chinese. I by no means extremely fluent, but I can get my point across at this point of the game and if I were to go to China today, I would be able to get around. Not bad for 4 years of self study. But see how one initial thought and associated ideas prevented me from developing this kind of skill.

There seems to be a deeper more powerful and intuitive side of us that we don’t pay attention to. As I’ve been going through life in the last couple of years, I’ve been finding huge disconnects between what the mind(ego) is telling me is possible and what I’m sensing is possible. And my senses seem to be a lot of more accurate and powerful than simple mental abstraction that we are all in a committed relationship with.

Life is way too complicated and infinite to be solved. And nothing in it works in a specific and absolute way. It’s constantly transforming, fluctuating and developing; and to adopt an ideology in attempt to figure it out is akin to wearing sunglasses in the dark of night.

“The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.”