The Mind or the Tribe?

“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”. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche was wrong about many things. But he was right about the individual versus the tribe.

The tribe cannot save you from yourself. Only you can do so — with your own mind. There’s nothing wrong with a “tribe” of other individual minds. But you can only evaluate their actions, ideas and principles with your OWN mind. Not subjectively, but against reality, using reason, facts and logic.

Today we search for mental health. Mental health refers to the healthy functioning of our own MINDS. Minds don’t work as collective entities. Yes, sometimes a group can accomplish more than just one person. But the group is only as valuable as the minds who inhabit it.

Imagine you had to depend on others to save your life. Do you want to depend on a group of intellectually lazy, stupid conformists? Or do you want to depend on a brilliant genius who operates alone? Sure, there are third alternatives, such as a group of geniuses or a group of highly intelligent people. The point here: It’s the quality of minds that count, not the quantity.

The tribe is a myth. People who default to the tribe have given up on their own minds. They neurotically need the herd, the tribe or the group to do their thinking for them. The irony is that the tribe is often filled with people unable or unwilling to think on their own, as well. How ironic. Talk about the mentally blind leading the mentally blind!

Ayn Rand said it best: There is no collective brain.

There are only minds. The quality of your OWN mind depends on how often you use it, and how well you develop it.


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