Sheeple: Overused And Self Serving

sheeple
One well informed sheep apart from the herd.

Sometimes people like to call other people sheeple, or refer to them as asleep.   Urban Dictionary describes the word sheeple to mean, “People unable to think for themselves. Followers. Lemmings. Those with no cognitive abilities of their own.”  It’s vastly self serving to feel as if you are in the know, among the minority of people in the world truly able to think for themselves and to make their own decisions.  To denounce a person as a sheep, or a member of the herd, is to immediately infer that you are more aware of the world as it is, better equip to operate within it, and mentally superior.

First to consider is that we’re all sheeple in some sense of the word.  We have been influenced by someone or by ideas, philosophy or religion.  A group of people who believe they’re in possession of the truth, and think of everyone else as sheeple, are then sheep within their own herd.  We all have it ingrained in us to be lead or to lead, some of us are just more inclined towards one end of that spectrum.  Even if you’re the President you’re under the influence of others.  Perhaps especially if you’re the President.  No matter how independent you believe you are, and how free your mind, there’s some aspect of you that behaves as it does due to influences you’re not even aware of.

Are Any Of Us Truly ‘Awake’, Truly ‘Apart From The Sheeple’, Or Is That Concept Too Another Manifestation Of the Mind To Keep Us Feeling Special

From my observations people are more inclined to declare others to be sheeple or asleep if they are into conspiracies, a part of a religion, or identified with being spiritual.  This assertion is backed up by nothing more than the following thoughts, and it’s best to take them as mere obvious examples that could serve in the place of a thousand more.

Conspiracy theorists, by their definition, are prone to believe they are in possession of more facts, or a deeper truth of what’s happening or has happened in the world.  A person is quite capable of trying to gather and dissemble this information to the public, to desperately want to educate them for their own good, while at the same time feel superior to others who don’t understand as they understand or are not willing to open their eyes to acknowledge ‘truth’ as they see it.

If you’re religious, truly religious, and you believe your scriptures are divinely inspired, then it follows that others who do not believe as you believe possess less truth and knowledge than you.  It’s possible you could view those people with compassion, and have no judgement or perceptions of them being inferior operating in the recesses of your mind, but it’s highly unlikely.  To believe another is damned and that you are saved creates a rather difficult barrier to surmount in the way of seeing another person of a different faith, or of no faith, as on the same footing as you in terms of morality or wisdom.

If you are spiritual, that is to say you’ve adopted a new age practice, or simply meditate on mindfulness, you do not necessarily require any belief as absolute or without sufficient evidence, nor are you necessarily convinced of  a creator god that intervenes in your life, though you may well still perceive it and express it that way through language.  A spiritual person can be prone to a feeling of superiority because they see the path they take as more meaningful than someone they might view as more bound to the physical world and the transient pleasures it offers.  The spiritual person might think themselves over wise, or able to access realms of  consciousness otherwise inaccessible for the vast majority of others.  And this could be true, but the irony and humor here is that spirituality can be seen as the dissolving of your ego, yet it offers the ego a great opportunity to strengthen itself by taking the identity of a spiritual person, one who is awake, where others are asleep.

 We’re All Hypocrites, But It’s Where We Stand On The Spectrum That Counts

Of course not all conspiracy theorists, religious or spiritual seekers considers themselves more awake than others, and if they do on some level, they might not be inclined to think of most everyone else as asleep sheeple.   This aspect of psychology is universal as   an archetypal pattern, one that could as easily emerge from a professors or philosophers who scorn others inability to grasp the meaning of life as they do.  There are some people I enjoy listening to, or find interesting at least, who use the term regularly.  They’re not bad people for using it, but it’s helpful to see the inherent self serving nature of the phrase.  If others are sheeple, or asleep, and you are ‘Awake’, well then.. that speaks quite highly of you.  You must be important.

We’ve all done this to some degree, whether it was the word herd, sheeple, or asleep, it’s just another manifestation of the mechanisms in our psychology to encapsulate others with labels and to subconsciously, or in many instances consciously, prejudge and categorize them.  It’s not about blame to oneself or another, it’s about noticing the same patterns of thought or behavior operating within yourself.  We all sit somewhere within the spectrum, or within many spectrum’s  of degrees of awareness, intelligence and wisdom.

We, each of us rides an ever changing wave of various states of consciousness that are to varying degrees awake and asleep.  It is not difficult to conceive, or concede that we are not all the same.  And as individuals we change, hopefully evolve, over the course of our lives, and beliefs and theories we once held sacred melt away, what was certain as stone becomes as meaningless as a wisp of cloud.  Consider too that the other person is usually just as certain that their understanding of reality is as clear as yours, and to them, you might plainly seem asleep, or one of the sheeple.

It’s Nice To Think We Know More Than Others About The World, But Be Humble, Because We’re Probably Usually Wrong

While I concede it’s true most people are immersed in the brainwashing of our times to one degree or another, it’s good to remember we could easily fall into the same trap when it comes to a host of other matters currently occurring beyond your perceptual sphere limited by your nature, nurture, and what interests you.  Our unconscious mind manifests thoughts of superiority, or even inferiority – for one can build an ego just as easily on an inferiority complex as a superiority one – over others, but in declaring others sheeple, we do nothing more than pat ourselves on the back for being better at life than they are.

I typed in ‘sheeple rant’ into the you tube search and this was one of the examples that popped up on the page.  Unlike some videos, I would not endorse that it’s necessarily worth watching the whole thing, but maybe watching it, having read the above, you’ll get an idea as to how irritating the word can sound when spoken of others.

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