We’re hung up on thousands of layers of bullshit. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, we get hung up on small details every day. Often we get hung up on details for a great reason like solving difficult problems that require getting hung up on information to solve them. Most of the time, we get hung up on trivial things like whether or not our food dish has colored carrots or not.

If you hail from the United States, we’re hung up on our flag, and we’re hung up on our two-party political system. In the dwindling number of sane American minds, we realize that both hang-ups are categorized as Groupthink and are dangerous. We also realize that we’re Americans first, and that includes Canadians, South Americans, and everyone else that’s part of the world we live in.

Like a chicken on a chalk line

We get stuck like a chicken on a chalk line. Many of us get stuck on the idea that the world is out to get us. We believe the world exists to oppose our world views and remove our ability to manipulate people into following ours.

Imagine a chicken crossing a road, now imagine that chicken stuck on a line in that road. It’s not difficult to then guess what will happen to that chicken. If we follow this thread, we realize we lead ourselves to suffer by getting hung up on thoughts and ideas.

Alan Watts is one of my favorite philosophers and he says it best.

“It’s a little scary because you feel, Who’s in control around here? Why should there be anyone? It’s a very weird notion we have that processes require something outside them to control them. It never occurred to us that processes could be self-controlling.”

— Alan Watts

We’re not that important

We’re hung up on the idea that we’re more important than anyone or anything in the universe. Our Ego controls how we show up in the world and how we react to our environment. When we get hung up on this idea we can often release ourselves by remembering how infinitesimal we actually are. If we look at the micro speck we are in this universe, and meditate on that, we’ll often find a sense of fear and peace at the same time. It can be scary but it will help us put things into perspective.

“A hundred thousand million Stars make one Galaxy; A hundred thousand million Galaxies make one Universe. The figures may not be very trustworthy, but I think they give a correct impression.”

— Arthur Stanley Eddington

Our Ego holds us hostage and tells us we’re important. It tells us that everyone must listen to us and they must act upon our idea of the world. We often find ourselves looking in the mirror when we tell others that they are wrong when we know we are right. We live in a complex world, but it doesn’t need to be.

Let’s open our eyes

It’s easy to shut down and cling to our world view. It’s less work if we turn on Fox News or CNN and let them tell us what to believe. I apologize for bringing up politics in a philosophical context but remember they are inseparable. The ideas of people that lived long before us and those that live now shape our world view. If one of our goals in life is to avoid needless suffering opening our eyes and letting go of our hang-ups isn’t the worst we can do.