I’ve mentioned before in passing the notion of inherited contexts, that is, views (which, to remind, never occur to us as a view but as reality and The Way Things Are™) that we pick up and take on simply because that’s the ideological waters we’re swimming in as we grow up and move through the world.
And it’s very hard to push back against something that we don’t realize is an ideological force. When we grow up or exist in a culture* that tells us X, and we end up doing or behaving or believing a certain way that falls in line with X, rarely do we realize we’re making a choice about it. That we’re consuming an ideology. We just do what we think people do… and there’s plenty of evidence that it’s “normal” and “right” because, indeed, we see many people around us doing that very thing. Plus, because it is the dominant ideology, we’re often surrounded by media and messages that further tell us that this is what is so.
So we follow it… even if it doesn’t pan out the way we think it should, or it doesn’t produce the freedom, satisfaction, fulfilment, or peace of mind we want it to. But what can we do? This IS the way it is, that is REALITY, so the fault must lie with us, right? Clearly if it didn’t work, we need a bigger hammer…
Except. Except! The key here might well be in those unexamined and inherited contexts. The assumptions of who we are, who others are, and how the world is and operates that we’ve been consuming unconsciously. Is there something to break out of there?
Chances are, yes, yes there is. And when we shine the light of our mindfulness there, we gain freedom. We can choose to keep, modify, or discard the inherited context and create a new, greater, more accurate and empowering context, and begin not only to live into it, but to share it as well.
(Pair this post with a (re)reading this previous post on how “Some of the thoughts you have inside your head aren’t even yours…”)
* And that culture includes the culture of our family, our community, our school, our circles of relations, our city, locality, country, and so on.