woke - another dogma society didn't need
I write this article today with a heavy heart, knowing that I am stepping out on a limb by doing it because anyone who shares a viewpoint that contradicts the current “in style” social narrative is immediately branded a villain.
These are strange times indeed within human society. The current trend within society is “wokeness”. And this should make a spiritual figure like myself very happy. After all, awakening is a virtue. Society is served by people being aware and well informed.
It is served by people being actively attentive to and responsive to important societal issues. But alas, I am not happy. Because the woke movement is not what people think it is. It is not wokeness at all. Instead, it is a human society that has fallen into yet another pothole of both the ego and unconsciousness.
What used to be a social movement fueled by empathy and compassion and the desire to make a positive change. And what once was a social movement that successfully exposed the dark reality of injustice and backward thinking that was latent within our society, has devolved into a radical political and social ideology that is flirting with authoritarianism and that is wearing a mask of virtue.
- The most important thing to understand about the woke-ism of today is that it is gaslighting on a mass scale. This gaslighting will corrode the wellbeing of every member of society. On top of this, we must never forget that gaslighting sucks people into illusion and thus further from the real solutions to the very real problems (such as the social justice issues) that we, as a society, are facing.
- It is a movement within society that demands conformity and that not only fuels but that supports inauthenticity and dishonesty. It calls for pretense. Make no mistake, the woke movement within society today is one of zero tolerance. Even when it is forcing tolerance on the collective, it is doing so from a place of intolerance. Like all other dogmatic ideologies, it is rigid and black and white. It will not give room to anything that does not comply. As a result, it is just another movement trying to force compliance.
Man is a social creature. When people are put under social pressure to comply and conform, they do so in order to avoid pain and gain rewards. But in doing so, they deny, suppress and disown what is real. They slip into pretense. They become inauthentic and dishonest. And nothing can be done to actually change what is real when what is real is being hidden. For example, if a society decides that racism is out and the new fad is support for a specific discriminated race, many companies will jump on board with that trend and you will see people of that race dominating their marketing campaigns. But that does not mean that the people who run those companies actually agree with the new ideology. The people who run those companies could be racist as hell. But they are disguising themselves as socially a conscious company so as to not be “cancelled” as so as to win public support. Or for example, if a society decides that the right thing to do is to participate in a public health regime and has decided to paint those who don’t as a public enemy, those people who don’t are then marginalized or attacked if they don’t omit their opinion or even lie. The dogmatic demand for conformity to what the majority has decided is “right” kills the ability within people to admit to and express anything that does not conform to that ideal. It kills what is real and true.
People in society don’t actually have to change. They don’t actually have to be awakened or informed. They just have to say the right things and advocate for specific things in public and demonstrate solidarity against the current “out-groups” in order to be considered part of the newest ‘in-group’. It’s classic unconscious human social behavior at its finest.
Many people are celebrating the current woke trends as if they are a sign that society is changing and is finally headed in the right direction. But it is not true change if people are doing it to fit in with the ‘in group’ or to avoid conflict or to gain social support or to feed their own ego.
- Today’s rigid “woke” culture is ushering in an era of cancel culture and an end to the freedom of speech. When something is canceled, it is ended, nullified and eradicated. And today’s woke-ist culture is looking to cancel anything that does not align with its own rigid ideology. This includes silencing voices and blocking information that opposes its own.
- The woke culture of today is just another flavor of right vs. wrong and good vs. bad, black and white thinking. This is a direct contradiction to actual wokeness because awakening causes your mind to open. It shows you how complex and nuanced things really are. This includes social justice issues. Black and white thinking drags us into the inability to fully comprehend the reality of things. It causes us to draw simple, wrong conclusions. It harms our relationships, shuts us down to learning and to alternative ideas. And it limits our capacity to find the actual solutions to our problems. And the reality is that the woke culture of today displays the same dichotomous thinking that underpins the very social issues (such as racism or sexism or homophobia) that it professes to be against.
- Today’s woke society trend gives the unhealthy ego a place to thrive. Because society sees woke-ism as good and right, all your ego needs to do now, is to virtue signal. So many people are saying what they are saying and doing what they are doing, not because of a genuine understanding of what they are saying and doing and not because of genuine concern or actual personal truth. They are saying what they are saying and doing what they are doing so as to feed their own ego and win the social approval of others. A person can feel like they are such a good person by putting a performatively woke sign in their front lawn. They can feel superior by using the right pronouns when referring to another person. They can feel self-satisfied by posting a meme about cultural appropriation. They can feel righteous by publicly championing the latest public health regime. Because of this, our actual subscription to the wokeness is skin deep. This is clearly seen in the fact that our everyday behaviors definitely do not match the concern for social issues that we show online. In fact, our daily behaviors often directly contradict the performance we put on for the public.
- Today’s woke culture is a byproduct of very wounded individuals who are bitter as a result of having experienced unfairness. And whom as a result, have essentially weaponized their resentment. Because of the unfairness they have experienced, they blame other people (usually a specific “out group”) for their disempowerment and hurt and thus justify any action they take against a person who they think belongs to that group. And in the same vein, when they make other people (especially those in the out-group) responsible for the unfairness they have suffered, they then try to manipulate them into making amends. None of this is actual healing and none of this is actual empowerment.
- The “wokeist” culture is keeping the social deadlock triangle of victim, villain and hero alive and well. The very foundation of today’s woke culture is victimhood. There are perks for victimhood. This is scary as well because when there are perks this big to being a victim, everyone wants to be a victim, so they invent crimes so as to be seen by others as a victim. This is an injustice to actual victims and invites false accusations. On top of this, in a virtue signaling society, everyone wants to be a hero. And a hero needs both a clear victim and a clear bad guy in order to exist. People looking to be public heroes seek glory, attention and adulation. They also invent villains, regardless of whether that villain actually exists, so they can portray themselves as heroes. Essentially, woke culture has given people who lack bravery in every sense and who want to be heroes the opportunity to invent causes of victimhood so that they can then tell the world that they are the hero for eradicating the threat. This mentality keeps humanity disempowered. It creates scapegoats and false villains and it destroys the credibility of actual victims.
- There are many dysfunctional psychological and social patterns that today’s woke culture promotes and advocates for that so many of us in the spiritual, psychological and self-development field are trying our hardest to undo. For example, it promotes the idea that feelings represent reality and that you don’t have to really deeply look into something because you “just know it’ or you “just feel it” when what is true is that while feelings are always a carrier of personal information and are important, they don’t necessarily reflect reality. And you absolutely do have to look deeply into things and question them if you are interested in what is true. Or for example, it promotes the idea that we are either the oppressor or we are oppressed and we are defined by that group that we are born into. When what awakening looks like is ceasing to see the world in this black and white way. To see ourselves in everything and everyone and to decide that your own thoughts and actions to define you. Or for example, that if our ancestors or members of the tribe we were born into did something horrible, it is our offense whether we personally participated or not and thus, we are responsible for what they did. When developing psychologically is to see that you are not guilty for or responsible for what your parents or grandparents did. You could not change what happened. All you can do is to make an autonomous decision for your own conduct. You get the point…. There are so many ways that this woke movement is a direct antagonist to spiritual development, to awakening, to psychological, emotional and physical health and to self-development. Therefore, this current woke culture is not a forward step as many would like to think it is.
- Today’s wokeism shuts down intelligent conversation and thus, thwarts the progress of our entire species. Many would have you believe that the woke culture is a liberal ideology. It is not. This is yet another gaslight. What defines liberalism is the willingness to respect or accept behaviors that differ from one’s own and the openness to new ideas. Alas, this is not what we see. In this woke culture when someone expresses disagreement around social issues, it means that person is seen as either ignorant or bad. And instead of being open to their ideas, this culture shuts them down. The idea that maybe there is value inherent in the other person’s perspective does not exist. They have already made up their mind and anyone who has a different opinion is wrong. Also, shutting down or publicly destroying someone who “doesn’t see how wrong they are” is now seen as virtuous. It is now not ok to offend anyone by expressing an opinion others might dislike. This new culture is quite literally killing new thought and is also killing the conversation. People are showing an absolute unwillingness to test their assumptions. Without viewpoint diversity, there would never be any progress within the consciousness of mankind.