My earliest school memory is of a teacher reprimanding me: “Why can’t you be more normal like Simon who is so obedient…?” she asked. “I’m not a dog!” I thought, “What demonstrates more intelligence: the student who is doubtful and opinionated or the one who accepts and abides?” Obedience is a quality that is seen so virtuously. Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Darwin, Pasteur, the Wright brothers, and countless other truth-seekers over the centuries were silenced, rejected, persecuted, even executed, not for their vices but for their virtues – the rebellious spirits they had, and the bold daring new truths they presented.
Abnormally Normal Society
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. ~ J Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Mystics, healers, introverts, and Eccentric people have all suffered the shunning of the abnormally normal. From a very young age, through our education, family and cultural environmental conditioning, we are taught what the majority of people believe acceptable and “normal”, knowing nothing else. These seemingly normal people are only judged as being “normal” in comparison to how well adjusted they are to such an abnormally ill society. If the people in our society were truly normal, they would find the state of society untruthful, distasteful and impossible to adjust to. They would choose not to partake in it, to rebel against being normal, resulting in their exile from such a society and labeled Outcasts.
Reaction Is Not Rebellion
Rebellion is not to be confused with a reaction against society. A reaction is unconsciously instantaneous. Our brains move from one extreme to the other to avoid having to deal with progressive change. For example, as a child you ate too much and were overweight, so now you have traumatic memories about your weight and unconsciously react by obsessing over fitness or diets. In your conscious mind you feel that you’ve made a great change when it fact it’s merely a superficial change You’ve gone from thinking about eating all the time to thinking about not eating all the time. However, the topic of fixation is the same: eating. You are still buying into the game and giving food too much importance. Another example of reactionary living can be seen in the Monk. He feels sexual urges, but decides to become a celibate. Yet, in his mind the topic of focus is still the same: sex. “Stop!…don’t think about that, you’re a celibate man now, what you’re doing has a purpose!”
Skinheads, Atheists, and Anarchists are all still slaves of unconscious reaction. They are obsessed with the same idea, and are therefore still part of the extremes game. First there must be a belief in order to disbelieve it. Understandably these people react out of frustration and anger, but they are still acting just as sick and crazy as the society they live in.
A rebel is different from these people. The rebel is the person who don’t react against society, but who understand the whole game of extremes and simply chooses to slip out of it. The games society plays become irrelevant to them; they are neither against nor for anything. This is the beauty of their rebellion: the rebel’s freedom. To the rebellious person, action is good but reaction is bad. They realize that when we unconsciously react, somebody else has the control over us. In other words, people can manipulate you in whatever way they like, so that they continue to have the power over you. We experience and see this behavior everywhere: somebody comes and insults you and you instantly react and become angry. But the truth is, we rarely realize that the other person has control over our happiness or unhappiness when we behave this way.