Hello everyone, I haven't been here much since I made my Si-Fe checklist, and that's a good thing, but today I have on my mind the topic of doing things because everyone else is doing them, and whether that is right or wrong.
One question to ponder might be this: could Winston have been happy in 1984 if he had simply given up his struggle to be an individual and acted like everyone else? Perhaps this is what happened in the end of the novel, but I don't think it was meant to be a positive thing.
It certainly relates to the way I see life right now, though. I look at the world and I see 1984. Very little seems to actually make sense; I constantly find that people don't care about what they do and do not know, or ever really being able to explain the true purposes behind their actions beyond 'that is just what is done.' Things everyone takes for granted in life, I do not, and never have. They go to church, school, college, they get married, they get involved in the world of the news and politics, they partake in the entertainment culture has to offer like sports, clubs, bars, etc., and they don't ever really bat an eye or wonder if there was some other way to live that was, in my mind at least, more to the point.
We all have things we want out of life. Why don't we take the most direct course in obtaining those things? We go to school, for instance, and we learn many things about many subjects that we will ultimately forget and never use. Just one example, but there are many. That always bothered me, though. I always wanted to break away from this and do my own individual thing where I wouldn't be subject to the random, chaotic thoughts and agendas of other people. Furthermore, of course, I felt that other people would also be best off to do the same--but they don't, they just do what everyone else does without thinking about it.
At this stage in my life, however, I'm starting to believe that the most "to the point" way to succeed in whatever your desire is is actually to pretty much do what everyone else is doing, simply because to try to break apart means isolation, and it is pretty much impossible to do anything significant on your own. For this reason, as an example, I am beginning to think I need to return to college. Previously, and still, I saw college as a stupid way to go and get your head filled with big useless ideas and waste a lot of time in a classroom sitting around with your nose in books while you could be out there actually doing something. Unfortunately, however true that is, it is simply what everyone else does, especially people of my intelligence level and upbringing. It becomes apparent, from this standpoint, that going back to college is probably the most effective way to get what I want--friends, relationships, eventually a family and growing influence in the community--even though I feel very little intrinsic motivation to do any of it.
I just don't want to be alone. And guess what? There is literally nothing else out there. Apart from other people, I am nobody. To blatantly disregard the context of my culture would remove me and render me so isolated that I have utterly no resources. I realize that culture can feel like a prison, but it's a prison where outside the prison is absolute blankness rather than some utopia where everything happens the way I think it should and everything everyone does makes sense.
After all, did Winston ever stand a chance? Did he only ever make himself miserable with his rebellion? His criminal romance with Julia was like a fleeting dream that was over before it began, and wound up in a broken heart and torture at the hands of society, torture until the rebellion was crushed out of him. We arrogantly yell that we are stronger, that we are willing to suffer for our ideals and will never be broken, but in the end, are we really so important?
The bullet is going through my brain...
I concede that this is not absolute, and how could it be? There isn't one culture to follow--there are many, and sometimes things conflict and you get to choose which one you agree with more. There are levels of following society, but what I had been striving for was an absolute 0 level where I did not follow at all, and that is impossible (except with suicide, which is what you learn is the rational endpoint of this line of thought). However much I hate to say it, I am going to have to let society do some of my thinking for me and try to embrace those things which I can't explain rationally, remembering that "the point" is practicality, not truth. There is no truth. Like, fucking literally.
Last point, from an MBTI standpoint I guess this is what happens when you have inferior extroverted judgment. When I was younger, I was happier because I didn't question things as much. I embraced what people told me "should" be. I took care of Ti, Ne, Si, and Fe all fairly well. As I began to think more and more, I slowly began to decide that Si and Fe were unimportant, superficial, and most of all, not nearly as BIG as I would want them to be. With Ti and Ne, I can come up with very grand things that seem to elevate me to larger than life levels. What is so impressive about cleaning the bathroom, or making chit-chat with someone? In the end, though, that's not the way a good portion of people see things, not by a long stretch.