I am constantly amazed when I just observe people and humanity, just how much we follow things without question. Of course, if you're reading this, I'm sure the first reaction is, others do this but not me for I know when someone is trying to get one over on me. However, I think we all follow to some degree without question.
For me when I grew up, I was heavily brainwashed in the ways of one particular church denomination. Now it wasn't like someone strapped me to a table and put electrodes into my brain forcing me to follow what they said. It was more subtle than that. It was much more subtle than that. The brainwashing occurred in small and tiny little pieces that were almost too small to see with the naked eye. I'm not sure a microscope would have picked it up either. These things were cloaked around acceptance into the group. The acceptance into the group was not that anyone was allowed or not allowed in the doors, but that once they were allowed in the doors, there was a degree to which people were accepted or somewhat shunned in the group dynamics. Yes, there were things that were stated outright in many of the sermons, but they were the overall structure given to the brainwashing.
While you may be ready to say, I know of churches that do this and focus on the churches, this is not where brainwashing stops. We are involved in it every day of our life whether it is in an office we work or a job that we go to. It could be in some organization that we are a part of or it could be a community we are aligned with in some manner. While some of these may not necessarily denote a horrible ideal of brainwashing, they are in fact imposing some of the same things. It is up to each individual to not follow the unspoken truths of each source that I mentioned without pause but to question that which is presented as truth. Questioning these things through the sensing of our bodies can be one of the most important truth detectors for us.
Let's go one step further though in where you might find brainwashing. Have you ever stopped to think what the advertisements on the internet or on TV are doing to you? They have the right music, the right beat, the right images and emotions depicted to implant in your mind, the need to buy or use whatever it is that they are offering. What about the news? You know the source that tells you everything that is going on in the country and supposedly the world. Have you ever noticed though that the percentage of raw news facts is a fraction of the overall reported opinion by whichever news host you're listening to? If you haven't, put your critical glasses on and watch the news. Let me know what you see because I'm sure it will be different than what you have seen before.
Even in the new age enlightenment camps of our society, there is brainwashing. Maybe it doesn't appear that way but if you look closely you will see it. They often replace so many of the ideals and concepts in churches for a "more enlightened" version as they would say. However, as long as you follow their truths, and their origins, you'll be fine. The minute you start to question these things, it will be proclaimed that you are just not enlightened or you still have a ways to go on your journey. There can be a lot of good in these new age things but make sure you're just not following them blindly. It is ok to question, to ponder and not be in agreement with them. That is part of our human experience. It is part of our growth and our journey.
We can also look at governments from the United States to those around the world. Have you noticed how close Chavez is taking Venezuela to socialism? Some may disagree with that but there have been many changes Chavez has done all in the name of helping people and yet I feel the people are blindly being led down a road that is going to close in on them one of these days. Yet, our own government, The United States has in effect brainwashed us. From having our freedoms eroded day by day to looking to the government to solve our problems, we are following blindly to every bit and morsel they feed us. I'm not talking politics here either as I'm pointing out just how much the government gets away with. Again, put on your critical glasses and take another look. Let me know what you see because I'm sure it will be different than what you have seen before.
There are many examples around us and much of what I'm sharing or what I see comes out of my own personal experience growing up in a family where my father was a master manipulator. It was so subtle, yet so powerful. It has taken me years to rid myself of those things and begin seeing life through a much more clear set of lenses.
One important thing to remember is that if you are told something, taught something or asked to follow something, make sure it fits. What I mean by that is if it feels like you're trying to shove a round peg in a square hole, than question it. If you hear the words or thoughts and your first gut reaction is to say, that doesn't add up, than question it. If you are being taught something or fed an offer of some sort, check it out in your body. What does your body say about it? How does your body react? If you quietly listen, you will understand what your body is saying. The body is one of the best truth reactors there is, that is if the fears of the past are not standing in the way. So, in addition to listening to your body, work to rid the body of the fears that distort what you are able to see through the lens of your life.
While you may be questioning many things around, know that sometimes the process doesn't unfold immediately before your eyes. This is not about correcting yourself because you are wrong but learning more about yourself and allowing yourself the understanding of what you may or may not see in this moment. There is not necessarily right and wrong in concepts such as this but allowance and awareness in the understanding of them. Questioning is a healthy thing to do and awareness is the key to growth.