Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

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Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby jtightlips21 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:58 am

I dont know if its just me, but conformity is a major turnoff for me. This includes things like groupthink, following popular trends, uniformity, lack of diversity, or giving duty higher priority than happiness. Yet people who are not concerned about conformity interest me more. I cannot help but think that there is some essence of the collective ego involved. Yet I feel easily agitated when people conform to stereotypes and expectations with certain labels, for example a common groupthink of Americanized Christianity to be obsessed with homosexuality, people registered with certain political parties believing everything the party stands for, or forms of ageism where we expect people to drive, start a career, get married, have kids, retire, slow down and die at a certain age.

I think that it can be too tempting to want to identify with the individual ego to avoid the collective ego. In this case, one can easily get so identified with their own thoughts, opinions, preferences, and pleasure. Yet how does one go about avoiding identity with both the collective and individual ego. I see that the Individual ego is more of a shadow of a true person. Yet the individualist ego tends to see itself as its own island, disconnected from others.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:26 pm

Conformity is a response to fear - fear of expulsion, isolation, and at the base level quite a strong instinct.

If your environment is filled with competition and fear, then conformity will be more pronounced.

Authenticity and ego need not necessarily be the same.

A thing that ET says in A New Earth might be helpful for you to notice the difference -
If you are making an enemy, obstacle or means to an end of a thing, person, or situation - that's ego - or at least unconscious conditioning response to an experience. if you are doing this you will notice that you and those around you, or impacted upon by you are suffering.

If we are in states of acceptance, enjoyment (pouring your joy into), or enthusiasm in the present moment - that's conscious being. Conscious being is not a knee-jerk reaction in fear, nor does it create suffering in self or others.

We can see and even experience moments of ego arising, collective or individual, and still not fall into unconsciousness, making enemy, obstacle or means to an end of it either - person, thing or situation.

In awareness or awakened states we are present with what(ever) is. We don't bargain with acceptance, joy or enthusiasm we are acceptance, joy or enthusiasm. We don't put these things off to some other time or place because we know that there is only ever here and now, this moment.

So, I'd say this is exactly how we live authentically and ditch the expectations, they're not real anyway.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:03 am

It's NOT just you, I'm the biggest non-conformist out there, and I completely agree with everything you said !

I don't think there's anything wrong with the way we think. It's good to question the status quo; if we never did that, we'd never be on this forum.

People who conform are boring and shallow. Unfortunately, people like you and me are the minority out there.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:36 am

Because the more one conforms, the more one seems like he/she came off an assembly line in a factory ... i.e. unoriginal, cliche, boring, ... fake.

As an example, I live in Southern California, where, for some mysterious reason, people with beautiful fair white skin feel the need to destroy their beautiful skin complexion by getting an overdose of Ultraviolet radiation, ultimately making them look like mutants. Why ? Because, when they go to the beach, they need to look like every other person in a bikini. They don't want to be teased "Pale" or "Pasty white", as if that's a bad thing. Either that or breasts (or other body parts ... yeah, no joke) composed of Silicon. This problem of conformity really reveals itself in Southern California.

This world suppresses individual expression to the point where people who are unable or unwilling to conform (example - me) are left behind, i.e. outside the social perimeter. Originality is criticized, punished, even shunned. Those victims then spend the rest of their life on Prozac, or go shoot up a school yard, or hang themselves ... their crime was wanting to be themselves.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby DavidB » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:44 pm

I definitely have an aversion to conformity. Ever since I was a young child, I have always been defiant. This defiance used to get me into trouble when I was young, impetuous and rebellious, but now that I'm older and wiser this defiance is much more inconspicuous and tempered, except for when I get somewhat passionate and it can become subversive.

You know, there are some people that crave isolation, that thrive in places like Alaska, living off the land and being totally independent, not needing any human contact at all. Most people though are not this way, but instead need to be part of a collective, need to be part of a group identity.

Personally, while I do like people, I prefer isolation, prefer to be alone, to be totally independent. I live in the city though, and while I prefer to live in the wilderness, I've grown to appreciate what living with people has taught me, things that I could never have known on my own.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby dijmart » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:33 pm

Something to consider, rebel vs non-conformist by Osho-

It is an old association, and a misunderstanding, that to be a nonconformist is to be a rebel. The nonconformist is a reactionary; he acts out of anger, rage, violence and ego. His action is not based in consciousness. Although he goes against the society, just to be against the society is not necessarily to be right. In fact most of the time to move from one extreme to another is always to move from one wrong to another wrong.

The rebel acts with a tremendous balance, and that is not possible without awareness, alertness, and immense compassion. It is not a reaction, it is an action -- not against the old, but for the new.

The rebel is creating the new world so that this misery and this suffering and this ugly society disappears and man can live more naturally, more beautifully, more lovingly, more peacefully, enjoying all the riches that existence makes available, all the gifts of life which are invaluable.

Freedom, love, silence, truth, enlightenment, the ultimate flowering of your being -- all are available to the true rebel. The hindrances just have to be removed. All the old structures were creating more and more hindrances and obstructions against your growth. If the rebel is against those obstructions, it is to enable the new man to live without fetters, to live without imprisonment, to live outside the concentration camps and to live a life as free as a bird on the wing ... as free as a rosebush dancing in the rain, in the sun; as free as a moon moving in the sky beyond the clouds in utter beauty, blissfulness and peace.

The rebel is a totally different kind of man from the nonconformist. Never forget it, because to be a nonconformist is very easy, but to be a rebel needs a tremendous transformation in your being.

--Osho
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:23 pm

dijmart wrote:Something to consider, rebel vs non-conformist by Osho-

It is an old association, and a misunderstanding, that to be a nonconformist is to be a rebel. The nonconformist is a reactionary; he acts out of anger, rage, violence and ego. His action is not based in consciousness. Although he goes against the society, just to be against the society is not necessarily to be right. In fact most of the time to move from one extreme to another is always to move from one wrong to another wrong.

The rebel acts with a tremendous balance, and that is not possible without awareness, alertness, and immense compassion. It is not a reaction, it is an action -- not against the old, but for the new.

The rebel is creating the new world so that this misery and this suffering and this ugly society disappears and man can live more naturally, more beautifully, more lovingly, more peacefully, enjoying all the riches that existence makes available, all the gifts of life which are invaluable.

Freedom, love, silence, truth, enlightenment, the ultimate flowering of your being -- all are available to the true rebel. The hindrances just have to be removed. All the old structures were creating more and more hindrances and obstructions against your growth. If the rebel is against those obstructions, it is to enable the new man to live without fetters, to live without imprisonment, to live outside the concentration camps and to live a life as free as a bird on the wing ... as free as a rosebush dancing in the rain, in the sun; as free as a moon moving in the sky beyond the clouds in utter beauty, blissfulness and peace.

The rebel is a totally different kind of man from the nonconformist. Never forget it, because to be a nonconformist is very easy, but to be a rebel needs a tremendous transformation in your being.

--Osho


I respectfully disagree with the above excerpt from Mr./Mr.s Osho. It is full of assumptions based on I don't know what. Not sure how/when being a nonconformist became automatically associated with "anger, rage, and violence".

Here's the dictionary definition of "nonconformist".

noun
1.
a person who does not conform to generally accepted patterns of behaviour or thought

I know, personally, from being a nonconformist my whole life, that it has nothing to do with violence and rage.

To me, being nonconformist, is about thinking for one's own self, what is right/wrong, what is good/bad, how to live one's life ... as opposed to being fed one's thoughts/opinions by the almost exclusively ignorant masses. It is being active, not passive. It is being alive, not dead. It is being a shepherd, not a sheep. It is being original and real, not being fake.

It is a very ***positive*** thing to be a true nonconformist, unless it happens, in rare cases, to manifest as violence (a school shooting for example).

Most nonconformists simply suffer in silence. They sit at home on Friday evenings all alone, in their 40s and 50s. They don't go around shooting up school yards (those are rare).

So, I would characterize being a nonconformist as something very positive and something the world desperately needs more of. To quote someone I consider highly enlightened (and not because he revolutionized Math/Science), "Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." - Einstein
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby dijmart » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:20 am

I think Osho would have been more accurate to say there are 2 types (and more) of non-conformist vs using the word rebel.

I know in my own life I've met people who say they're a non-conformist and when they talk about society they are seething with anger. Almost as if they "want" to be part of society, but don't fit in for whatever reason, therefore opt to be against it completely.

Then you have people that could care less about what society thinks, they pay it no mind, there no emotional connection ....they just do their thing. But, they pay their taxes, work for money, abide by the law and after that....they go with the flow, but don't necessarily "conform" to society.

Or you have what Osho said regarding the rebel and the characteristics that entails (this I haven't personally seen).

Another words, just saying your a non-conformist is a general term. One may vary from another greatly.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:51 am

dijmart wrote:I know in my own life I've met people who say they're a non-conformist and when they talk about society they are seething with anger. Almost as if they "want" to be part of society, but don't fit in for whatever reason, therefore opt to be against it completely.



I can't quite tell (again, limitations of computerized communication), but it seems like you view those "seething with anger" in a negative light ? Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby dijmart » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:32 am

painBody wrote:
dijmart wrote:I know in my own life I've met people who say they're a non-conformist and when they talk about society they are seething with anger. Almost as if they "want" to be part of society, but don't fit in for whatever reason, therefore opt to be against it completely.



I can't quite tell (again, limitations of computerized communication), but it seems like you view those "seething with anger" in a negative light ? Correct me if I'm wrong.


I'm saying they are in denial, denying they want to be part of society, then projecting anger onto society.. It doesn't matter to me personally, it's just an observation from over the years.

Example- a girl feels inferior to a popular cheerleader, she doesn't feel worthy of her friendship, so doesn't even try. Instead she projects anger onto her. "Cheerleaders are stuck up, shallow...who would want to be her friend anyways".
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:08 am

dijmart wrote:Example- a girl feels inferior to a popular cheerleader, she doesn't feel worthy of her friendship, so doesn't even try. Instead she projects anger onto her. "Cheerleaders are stuck up, shallow...who would want to be her friend anyways".


I see. Sure, there are people like that, who have narrow uninformed views, and make assumptions/judgments. I couldn't comment further on such people because I'm not one of them.

I'm talking about those who go deeper, and examine the problems underlying society as a whole. Those who see how unconscious (using ET's jargon) most people are, and make the conscious decision to think for themselves and not let society dictate their way of life, just because "that's how it's done".

While I can't generalize, because I don't have all the facts handy (nor do I care about the issue enough to go about gathering those facts), I will say, with a fair amount of confidence, that from what I've seen, US schools (or worldwide, I don't know) are set up to be disaster zones, where children WILL be made to feel unhappy, children WILL be bullied, children WILL be alienated, and children WILL be set up for a very unhappy future (or a very short one, if they decide to take their own life).

In other words, the system is SET UP for failure. There are the popular cheerleaders, jocks, prom nights, and whatever else. By shining the limelight on a select few "special" kids, how can you NOT end up alienating other kids and setting them up for failure ? There is a 100% certainty that each school produces future therapy clients.

Even schools operate in a capitalistic fashion ! If you have the best grades, biggest boobs, biggest muscles, etc, you become "popular", or else, you fall into oblivion. "Happiness" and "success" are reserved for the "best" people :)
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:47 am

I think it's interesting to note that it is the nonconformists that have brought about real advances in different fields - science and technology, music, sports, etc. They are the ones that have contributed most to this world, even if only on the level of form. I'd like to mention a couple of people I know of, although I'm sure there are thousands.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (I have studied his history extensively) - One of his rules of success is, quite simply, "Break the rules, not the law". He states that one cannot be a true champion or maverick without breaking some of the rules. When he started bodybuilding, it was still a relatively unpopular (and even weird) sport. By the time he had won his 7 Mr. Olympias, Arnold was a household name, and more importantly, the idea of bodybuilding was now seen as "cool", and gyms started appearing all over America. This man did more for the sport of bodybuilding than anyone else in history. Not just bodybuilding, but the more fundamental idea of being healthy and being fit. It's not just his bodybuilding success that impresses me, it's his drive, his hunger, and ... his ***nonconformism***. He knew not to follow the crowd, he had the wisdom to look beyond the obvious. While all the jealous people made fun of his accent, his body, and his grunting in the gym, he stayed busy climbing the ladder of success. Again, this is all on the level of form, but it is an example anyone can follow.

Albert Einstein - I've read that he was considered a very weak student and a strange kid. And, it's not even his contributions to math and science that I consider amazing. He is one of the most spiritual people I've ever known of. Just read his many quotes and you will see the simple yet deeply profound pearls of wisdom in them and in him. My favorite is "Few are people who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts" (nonconformism !)

Grimes (i.e. Claire Elise Boucher) - She is quite an unconventional musician/person. Her music (esp. her first few albums), to me, is a portal into the formless. Her music is so unconventional and original that it is hard to categorize into one genre. I think I read that it is classified into five or six different genres, because it is so encompassing. She is an inspiration to me.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:55 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Conformity is a response to fear - fear of expulsion, isolation, and at the base level quite a strong instinct.

If your environment is filled with competition and fear, then conformity will be more pronounced.


I don't know how I missed this earlier, but what a profound and insightful statement ! Excellent observation !

Yeah, I also like to think of conformity as a wolf pack mentality. There is safety in numbers, so people like to "stick together", due to the fears you so eloquently and concisely described.

Conformity also reduces conflict and makes it easier to "get along" with others, though the huge and obvious downside of it is that it makes interactions more artificial/stale and meaningless in my opinion.

If you and the other person are both Manchester United fans, there is a lesser chance of one of you getting injured in a conversation about soccer :D

If you like Joseph Stalin as much as your neighbor does, there is a lesser chance of you ending up missing.

If you and the other person both like the show "Friends", you both have something to talk about, and there is less awkwardness socially.
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby ekidhardt » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:02 pm

There is a lot missed in this conversation.

Painbody,

This quote,
"Conformity is a response to fear - fear of expulsion, isolation, and at the base level quite a strong instinct.

If your environment is filled with competition and fear, then conformity will be more pronounced."



Even though you may desire this to be correct--it is not correct; it's highly inaccurate.

A question: Do you think ET philosophy espouses conformity or individuality?
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Re: Why does conformity make people seem so fake?

Postby painBody » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:55 pm

ekidhardt wrote:There is a lot missed in this conversation.

Painbody,

This quote,
"Conformity is a response to fear - fear of expulsion, isolation, and at the base level quite a strong instinct.

If your environment is filled with competition and fear, then conformity will be more pronounced."



Even though you may desire this to be correct--it is not correct; it's highly inaccurate.

A question: Do you think ET philosophy espouses conformity or individuality?


That's a great question, ekidhardt. And, you've made a great observation. I noticed it too.

The above discussion of conformity and individuality was confined to the world of form. In the world of form, those 2 words have completely different meanings and connotations than in the formless dimension.

In the world of form, I think that conformity is, for the most part, foolish, unoriginal, and meaningless. Why ? Because the world you are conforming to is largely unconscious (do we need more proof of that ?). And, individuality is far superior in almost every way. I understand the need for some conformity; without any conformity, the world would be in (more) chaos. Conformity is the reason we speak English on this forum and your computer and mine both speak HTTP. But, I think that conformity should be minimized and individuality should be maximized. Sadly, that is not the case in the world.

So, I must emphasize that the discussion above was within the context of the world of form. Perhaps, hence, the confusion.

Now, coming to the formless (i.e. ET's) dimension, those 2 words have completely different meanings. In the formless world, conformity might appear to be a good thing because it implies oneness ... everybody's equal, because we're all manifestations of the one consciousness. Despite that, I doubt that ET would ever use the word "conformity", because it has a great rigidity to it and implies some sort of blind following of, or adherence to, a set of principles (not unlike unconscious conformity). "Alignment" would be a better word. A conscious person is aligned with the Now. There is no real conformity, because there is nothing to conform to.

And, individuality in the formless dimension implies ego because the ego is what makes us all appear different to each other and is a barrier to oneness, so it might appear to be a bad thing. But, you'll recall ET constantly says that it's great to "play" with form, and encourages it. So, in that sense, it is great to "play" with one's individual form, i.e. individuality. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as there is no identification with that form.

My own conclusion is this - When we are truly present, we are both conformant to the one consciousness and are expressing our own individuality, by honoring our individual form (again, aligned is a better word than conformant). So, conformity is only bad when the standard being conformed to is that of unconsciousness. Individuality is only bad when identification with the individual form takes place.
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