To many, the idea that almost all of your beliefs are not yours, and that they have been impressed upon you as a means of control, is preposterous. Nevertheless, it is true.
There are a few reasons that the truth is difficult to embrace: your general resistance or cognitive dissonance to this idea, the belief you are uniquely special, and the assumption that you are operating with above-average intelligence. These major stumbling blocks make it difficult to see the hidden mechanisms of manipulation.
Like a parrot, some have learned to repeat a lot of big words. But, until you begin a serious meditative and contemplative practice, you’ll never know if the words coming out of your mouth are truly yours arising from original thought or “socially engineered” recordings imprinted in your mind.’
— Shen Life (@shenlifeteam) March 16, 2016
Read what Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda, has to say about social engineering:
“Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we’ve never heard of…in almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”
This excerpt by Edward Bernays comes from his book, Propaganda. He is known as the father of public relations. He mastered the art of social engineering and crowd psychology by utilizing the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. He built upon the works of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter to address the “herd instinct” that he considered dangerous and irrational.
Think you are the exception?
Well, do you think eggs and bacon are good breakfast food?
Bernays is credited for helping convince the public, among other things, that bacon and eggs was the true all-American breakfast.
If your food selections have been programmed, then what else has been implanted?
To be free of the manipulation machine takes work. Helping to reveal this dynamic is one of the primary purposes of the Shen Life work. Ask tough questions, meditate to access inspired thought, and stand strong in your convictions regardless of the herd instinct.
There are several inspiring quotes that remind us of this work. Perhaps the most concise and relevant is, “Know thyself.”