This Asian author has hit upon the perennial truth that Ibsen expressed when he said that minorities are often right — and the majority is always wrong. N.V.
There is a myth among the herd that loners are people without social skills. But this is just a copout excuse to ostracize others and try to place them below you on the pecking order. The truth is something quite different and outside the box, beyond the paradigm of the conformist.
Many loners are people who have discovered how to live an authentic life, inner or outer, and prefer it to the fakeness and pretentiousness of “going through the motions” with others at parties. When one sees life and the big picture more clearly, it often feels better to live authentically alone than with fakeness among others. These people who are more sane, realize that their “inner authenticity” is more precious and valuable to the hassle of dealing with others and the pretentiousness and lies that go along with it.
Thus, loners tend to be more authentic and sane than popular people, who have to practice being good liars in order to get along with the maximum number of people. The sad truth is that people who tell the truth all the time have few friends. But this is politically incorrect and unpopular to mention. It goes against our nature to conform. But many, especially great thinkers and intellectuals, have transcended the need to conform. This sets them apart from the herd. These are the kind of people who make history [while other sit back and watch].
This tends to be more true in fake cultures like those of the USA and Canada, more so than with more authentic cultures like in Russia, Latin America, parts of Europe, etc. Thus you find the biggest number of loners from the USA or other Western cultures where fakeness is the norm and authenticity is not.
So this begs the question: Are the majority sane or insane?
Most hold the following assumptions:
1) The majority of people are right, normal, sane, friendly and sociable.
2) Misfits and people who don’t follow the herd are crazy, insane and weird. They are the problem and to blame for any incompatibility with others.
However, many great thinkers and intellectuals with deep insight, from ages ago to recent times, have seen through this fallacy, and realized that the reverse was true. Here are some quotes from them:
“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
“The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” – H. L. Mencken
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” – Gandhi
“Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Frederich Nietzsche
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” – Frederich Nietzsche
“The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society — and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic.” – Eric Fromm (The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness)
(The statement above perhaps explains why the majority do not see the obvious social realities I described?)
This parable illustrates the truth that Fromm described very well:
The parable of the poisoned well
There was once a wise king who ruled over a vast city. He was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. Now in the heart of the city, there was a well whose waters were pure and crystalline from which the king and all the inhabitants drank. When all were asleep, an enemy entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well. And he said that henceforth all who drink this water shall become mad.
All the people drank of the water, but not the king. And the people began to say, “The king is mad and has lost his reason. Look how strangely he behaves. We cannot be ruled by a madman, so he must be dethroned.”
The king grew very fearful, for his subjects were preparing to rise against him. So one evening, he ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well, and he drank deeply. The next day, there was great rejoicing among the people, for their beloved king had finally regained his reason.
“Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.” – Ayn Rand
“Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality.” – Michael Ellner
What all this means is that if you are even aware of the truth of social realities, you will have the hardest time breaking into cliques in Anglo/Oriental countries, because cliques and groups in rich cultures have become full of fakeness and conformity, and one has to be on a similar vibration with the social clique to even have a chance at breaking in (besides playing the tricky social games, too). This means that if you are on a “truth vibration” and see things the way they are, you will not be compatible with most cliques, thus if you recognize the reality above, you are already a misfit. This is the sad reality.
So the question we must ask is: What is the value and price of truth, freedom and liberation of mind? And is the price worth it?
Most people, though, prefer the practical benefits of conformity, rather than the truth or the value of owning oneself.