I need to write about this cause it’s beginning to make me sick. So many people live their entire lives with the fear of what others will think about them. This is so deeply wrong and perverse that even Berserker is a child’s game confronted with this idea.
The only way to get rid of it is to realize that it is bullshit. You are thinking bullshit yourself and you are thinking that other people think something else than bullshit.
This is the same as the fear of being percieved as arrogant. People won’t step out of their comfort zones and go after the thing they want because of the belief that you shouldn’t be overly confident or arrogant. “People that say and do what they want are dicks and assholes. I don’t want to be like that, I want to be good and accepted. I will forget about my dreams and desires only to be accepted and loved by EVERYONE. If a random douche on the internet calls me a ‘bastard’ I will cry myself to bed for a week. I don’t want that pain, I will never reach out, say what I feel and do what I want. Being an asshole is bad and I will never become one. I’d rather die having a miserable life than be called an ‘asshole’ by ‘random douche on internet #37′.”
Lately the common theme for some people is to call me and Sigvatr arrogant or assholes. I know where it comes from. I write that my games are best and I will conquer everybody that doesn’t agree. Of course this is what I write and it is arrogant, but I myself am not actually arrogant! I am nowhere near it. So what am I? I’m writing this blog so it holds as a reference point, for anyone that wants to discuss assholeness with me.
Every mammal on this planet that lives in social groups lives in a group hierarchy. It is also called the pecking order, you can imagine chicken doing it. Can you imagine humans doing it?
Pecking order is a system of organization among a flock of poultry [..]. In this system, a bird pecks another bird who is of lower rank, and submits to pecking from a bird of higher rank.
It is a basic concept in social hierarchy that has its counterpart in other animal species as well, including humans. Among mammals and other animals, the term “dominance hierarchy” is used. [..]
The basic concept behind the establishment of the pecking order among, for example, chicken, is that it is necessary to determine who is the ‘top chicken,’ the ‘bottom chicken’ and where all the rest fit in between. Consequently, this also determines which chicken gets to eat first or which chicken gets to peck on any other chickens they want. The top chicken is one which can peck any chicken it wants. The bottom chicken is one that lets all the other chickens peck on it and stands up to none. There are chickens in the middle, who peck on certain chickens but are, in turn, pecked on by other chickens higher up on the scale.
Simple right? Now how do you think this works? How do these chickens establish who is higher and who is lower in hierarchy?
Is there a Judge chicken which analyzes all chickens and throws them on a scale? Each chicken wanting to know where it is in hierarchy asks the Judge?
Maybe there is something like a NASDAQ stock market index, where all chickens are evaluated and there’s a chart. All chicken can then clearly see the Top 10 chicken from it?
Absurd. So how does it work? The pecking order of course is not centralized and it is not objective. It is working in each and every chicken.
There must be a special delegated brain circuit whose sole purpose is to evaluate and define the chicken in the group. The chickens brain is actually placing itself in the hierarchy. Probably based on a number of subjective inputs like own size compared to other, well-being, age, current health etc. as well as basing it on subjective experiences and memories.
What is the moral of this?
Your brain establishes a social role for you and places you on an artificial social hierarchy so you are obedient to the groups system, hence preserving the continuity and evolution of the group.
What does it mean in simpler words?
Your brain fucks you up.
It will place you on a social ladder based on some arbitrary and completely subjective idea of what it thinks the current social hierarchy looks like. It will make you feel better than some people. And it will make you feel bad and inferior to other people. If you feel worse than your boss, the President, a police man, a Playboy model, it is because you have placed yourself lower in the hierarchy. If you feel better than a bum, hippy, ugly girl or a Counter-Strike player, you have placed yourself higher in the hierarchy.
And this does not have anything to do with what you THINK!
You may think your boss or teacher is a prick, analyze and rationalize all day about why you are superior to that person. But when you actually come into contact with him/her and you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t act normal, say what you want – you are the ‘bottom chicken’.
Now if the idea that your brain, your own precious brain does this to you, does not make you mad I don’t know what does.
The critical thing to know is that there is no social hierarchy nowhere written down. It is not defined anywhere, written in stone or on Wikipedia. What is percieved as higher in one culture is percieved as lower in another. It is 100% subjective. Each chicken defines its place in the pecking order by using a subjective scale.
If nothing clicks inside of you now I can’t do much more. This is a book subject and I can’t fit it in one blog. I’ll get to why I am not arrogant in a second. For now I want to explain that you can transcend or deactivate the ‘pecking order’ brain circuit.
If you transcend it, it loses power over you. You will have freedom of action, thoughts and feelings in situations in which you didn’t have before.
If you do something embarrassing publicly and you feel bad about it, you are not feeling bad because what you did is objectively wrong. You are feeling bad because you make yourself feel bad. You make yourself feel bad because you believe you have dropped on the social ladder because of the thing you did. You unconsciously processed what it means to be high in hierarchy and decided that tripping over for example is not something a person like that does. Based on that subjective interpretation you lower yourself on the social ladder, trying to make up for it by nervously laughing (lowering yourself even more on the ladder because you’re now begging other people to accept you).
If you don’t believe the lies this brain circuit feeds you, you won’t ever feel embarrassed by anything ever again.
So once you deactivate this brain function and you stop believing in the pecking order do you feel better than other people?
No. If you think like that you are not there yet. Realize this: whenever you compare yourself to somebody, you are analyzing people in order to place yourself in the pecking order.
When comparison ceases, then and only then you are independent.
If you don’t compare, you don’t feel better and you don’t feel worse than anyone. You just ARE, living aside from the social ladder, as an observer.
So am I arrogant?
Definition: ar·ro·gance [ar-uh-guhns]
“Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.”
Superiority and self-importance imply comparison. You must be superior -to something. More important -than something.
If I write I will make the best game in the universe. I’m writing it because at that moment that’s how I feel and I’m being honest. If I say you are the ugliest person in the world does that mean anything besides me being honest with my perception at the moment? How can I know how all people in the world look like. It’s just my subjective opinion. That statement does not automatically imply that I am the prettiest person in the world as well as saying my games are the best does not imply all other games are crap. I’m not comparing, I’m just stating a feeling. Don’t think so much, feel more. If I say to a girl I love you to death, that does not mean I will actually love her until I die, it just says how I feel at that moment…
This is beginning to be long, but I still have one important thing to say. Probably the most important and optimistic part. I’ll leave it for a second part of this blog.