Separation: The Grandest of Illusions

In Philosophy by Eudaimonia Comments

We as a people have been duped. We’ve fell prey to the greatest con mankind has ever known. We’ve tricked ourselves; and we’ve been tricked by society. We’ve been tricked by the contradiction of being pushed to be ourselves, while simultaneously playing rules provided by society.

It’s quite the paradox isn’t it? You’ve been told from a young age to always be yourself, but yet throughout your life you’ve also been told to maintain within the fold of society.

This notion that you should be yourself while assimilating to the whims of society wrecks havoc on the minds of the young and old alike. This notion creates separation within you. At a young age I remember thinking – I’d like to explore who I am, but when I would find out that my interests were not in line with the rest of society I felt isolated. I suppressed my will to be weird, my will to be myself, in order to fit within the machinery – that is the society of our making.

Isolation and separation whether self-imposed or by the will of others leads to loneliness and a feeling of not “fitting in”. The irony is that the only person that notices, or promotes the feeling of not “fitting in”, is you.

Other people are too worried about “fitting in” to ever notice that you do, or do not “fit in”. It’s basic human nature that everyone is the star of their own show, and because they are the stars of their own show…you’re only a character in their movie, and unless you’re truly important to their storyline – you’re only making a cameo appearance.

Separation creation and philosophical gaming…

Let’s make for sake of argument that you prefer apples to oranges. *Yawn- I’m being cliché now – I know. You prefer apples because they are crispy; you prefer apples because they are sweet, but not too sweet. You prefer them because they’re low maintenance – it’s not necessary to peel them. You prefer them, because quite frankly – you prefer them.

Now let’s make a case for the argument that oranges are the preferred fruit of society. Oranges are all the rage. Everyone must eat oranges because they are sweet, succulent, and carry important anti-oxidants. And of course, if you don’t get your anti-oxidants on a daily basis, your life will cease to exist in a matter of hours. Oranges are being peddled as the fruit of all fruits, the be all and end all. The media is all over oranges and their potential health benefits. MOREOVER, you should like them because they are aptly named for the color they are…how nifty is that?

Now as a child – imagine a day when you show up to school and within your brown bag lunch (spoiler alert on how old I am) you have an apple along with all the other necessities. You gather around with your classmates, begin unpacking your lunch – only to realize that you alone are the bearer of an apple. Everyone has an orange except you. Everyone looks at you with derision (or so you think)…how could you possibly be eating an apple when everything in this world suggests you should prefer oranges.

That night you ask your mother to pack an orange in your lunch instead.   The next day you show up at lunch with your brown bag, begin unpacking your lunch and pull out your orange to eat. You look around for acceptance as you’ve decided to join the crowd and enjoy an orange. You realize that nobody notices that you’ve got an orange, instead of an apple. You wonder why nobody notices. Weren’t there smug looks of derision towards your apple yesterday?

You eat your orange and are dissatisfied, but not with the taste, or the pain of peeling the orange, but with the lack of attention you’ve received by joining the crowd, and the persistent thought in the back of your mind that you’d rather be having an apple right now. You’ve created separation within yourself (you love apples but are eating an orange), from the perceived separation from others.

You’ve just learned the lesson that while society wants you to conform, you would rather do as you please. AND…if you don’t do as you please, you’ll feel this separation. This simple lesson will be presented to you over the next 80 years of your life in various manifestations. Manifestations much more complex than the idea of apples and oranges, but perhaps not nearly as clear.

Where am I going with these fruit metaphors you ask? Well as I alluded in the opening paragraphs the illusion of separation in life in the context of society is probably one of the largest looming problems for the evolution of our species as a whole.

Seeing the world through the veil of separation leads to a cold, bitter, and unforgiving existence. Not only does the veil of separation make you feel alone in a cold and uncaring world, it also creates an invisible wall between you and your fellow human being.

Seeing the world through the veil of separation blinds you to the truth that all human beings experience consciousness in the same manner. Sure, everyone’s story is slightly different with regards to the big events in life, but everyone perceives the same joys, worries, sorrows, and moments of elation.

Moreover seeing the world through the veil of separation allows you to unconsciously minimalize the lives of others compared to your own. Don’t believe me? Almost every issue in the world today that you’ll find in the media is based off the problem of separation.

Immigration – they’re not from here, they’re separate, they’re different. Keep them out.

Wars – those people are different, they’re separate, they want us dead, we want them dead. We’ll never get along. A few bombs dropped, a few lives taken, a few families shattered, a few children growing up as orphans. No problem – it’s them, not us.

Sexism– She’s a woman, she’ll never understand how hard it is to be a man. He’s a man, he’ll never understand the pain us women go through.

Racism Them there darker-skinned folk don’t dance or talk like we do. Them there lighter-skinned folk don’t dance or talk like we do.

Bigotry Those people love a different sex of people then we love. They must be stopped.

Religion – They believe in a different god. Their god can’t be the right god. Or, they believe in the same god, but practice a different method of celebration, which also can’t be right.

Politics– The whole basis of politics is to separate and conquer a group of people by providing slightly different platforms, with the implicit aim of screwing everyone over. Hell there’s separation by party, by state (Red State/Blue State), by voting district, by age, by stance. Politics is the application of separation at the apex of functionality.

And let’s not get into the concept of nations or rampant use of nationalism to promote a feeling of superiority over peoples from a different part of the world. Birth is a complete lottery, and if you’re not Chinese or of Indian decent – you bucked the odds. Hell if you’re an American you still had less than 5% chance of being born swaddled in red, white, and blue.

Separation is used by society to make you feel like you’re part of a group and to convince you others are not. On the flip-side it is used to exclude you from the group and make you feel as an inferior human being.

Separation is used to drive a schism in your soul and make you lose yourself. Separation is used to drive you from your authentic self, and commit acts that are not natural to humanity.

The scary thing about separation is that functionally, and in theory, it is possible to create separation in anything within this world. The amount and degrees to what fractionation can occur is infinite. The human mind is built for categorizing and we can always find differences between ourselves, and others. But fortunately, if we look at the world for degrees of likeness we can overcome this and quite possible reverse the process.

The truth is that the reality of separation doesn’t exist. It’s fabricated. Everyone lives and experiences their lives in almost the same fashion. Everyone is driven by the desire to live a happy and fulfilling life. Let yourself feel this. Let yourself aim to remove separation from your life and see every human for what they are…a loving, beautiful, and expressive creature, which just wants the best out of his or her life.

The world doesn’t need to be a cold and lonely place, filled with hate, fear, and aggression. Practice radical inclusiveness and you’ll find that people are lovely, caring, and beautiful. They have such wisdom to impart and so many great stories to share.

Make them a part of your life…give them a major role in the play that is your life, don’t force them to make a cameo appearance. So much can be learned from opening your heart to “others”, and in doing so; much can be learned about yourself as well.

“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” –Alan Watts