We learn from an early age what is acceptable in our culture and what is not, regardless of what is acceptable for us individually. Although our egos like to believe that we have unique and ingenious thoughts, most of us think the same thought patterns each day, which are recycled in our society at large. The unconscious thought in the world accumulated from present and past generations is the collective unconscious, or Spiritus Mundi (Latin for world spirit), which encompasses the beliefs and ethics of a society.

Take a look at how you stay within the safe parameters of your society. What are some societal views that you uphold but that don’t really apply to you? Have you ever examined why you do these things or have you simply chosen to do them because that is what you’ve been taught or because that is what everyone else does? Have you grown complacent in your thinking and your actions?

Have you ever thought about tearing up all the grass in your yard and having a rock garden, wildflowers or a vegetable garden? Have you ever challenged the beliefs of your religion? Have you tried sleeping on a mat to see if you like it? Have you experimented with every possible sleeping pattern to figure out what works best for you?

Just as there is no single diet that is going to work well for every human being, there is no single best plant for every yard or single best sleeping arrangement. It is up to you to choose what works best for you. This will get you thinking outside the box and get others to expand their thinking as well – without fear of disapproval.

The benefit to breaking out of dogmatic thought is that new ideas get generated. Better ways of doing things are discovered. Creativity flourishes. People become more open-minded and liberated. A deeper level of constructive thinking occurs.

The more we live in a way that works best for us and is unique to us, the better our quality of life will be. When we fail to question the collective beliefs and ways of society, we become complacent because we rely on other people’s experiences rather than have our own experience. This is not entirely bad. We can trust the negative experience of heroin addicts rather than have our own bad experience with heroin.

But realize that having a herd mentality can harm you.

For instance, it can influence your longevity. If you believe that the average life span for the Western world is approximately 70 years of age, your reality would likely prove that. But when the average life span increases to 100 or beyond, you become open to that new possibility. When we see this demonstrated more often as the norm within society, we will believe it enough to see an increase in longevity. But why wait to see this improvement? It makes more sense to test the hypothesis yourself.

Engaging in conscious, independent thought also allows you to see alternatives within the areas of medicine, transportation, energy, education, business, government, economics, science and theology. Instead of believing what you have been told, experience it as true for you.  Critically think and move beyond current methods. Make adjustments to all your thoughts, ideas and concepts by testing what needs testing until you know it is intuitively right for you. Move into a deeper state of awareness in all you think, say and do to gain control of your thoughts and emotions. As this occurs, you’ll function at a significantly deeper level, gaining mastery of your life.

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