So how did humans get in such a predicament? Toltec wisdom explains how we got stuck conforming to society’s rules and stunting our true selves.
We all have individual, personal dreams. But those who came before us created a bigger dream – the “dream of the planet.” This dream created everything we see as normal in our existence: family, community, city, and the world. It encompasses laws, religion, cultures, and all of society’s rules.
Our parents are the first to teach us about this outside dream. As we grow, school, the media, churches, and other aspects of our environment hook our attention and tell us what proper behavior is.
- We’re told what is right and wrong.
- We’re told how to behave, what is acceptable, and what to believe.
- We learn a specific language that wasn’t our choice.
- We didn’t choose our own names, yet our name becomes a core part of our identity.
All these rules and understandings of how the world works, everything we accept as true, is an agreement. We agree what’s good and what’s bad. We agree to a religion or a set of beliefs. We agree what constitutes proper behavior.
When we accept an agreement, we believe it unconditionally. Our belief systems and our personalities are made up of thousands of these little agreements. We surrender to these beliefs.
We are born into this system of beliefs – this societal dream – through no choice of our own. We’ve been exposed to it for so long that we can’t fathom living or thinking any different way.
Domestication of Humans
The process of surrendering to these outside beliefs is called “the domestication of humans.”
As children, through this domestication process, we’re trained just like dogs. We’re rewarded for doing what Mom and Dad want us to do. We’re punished when we go against the rules. We fear punishment, but moreso we fear being rejected and not being good enough.
In this process we become someone different from our natural selves. We lose our normal, innate tendencies in this process of domestication. This is why adults behave differently than kids – adults are more efficient and productive perhaps, but also less joyful, inquisitive, and free.
At a certain point we become our own domesticators. We don’t even need an authority to threaten or punish us. Our belief system – the Book of Law – rules our minds. The Book of Law consists of all the agreements we’ve accepted as truth.
Despite its limitations, the Book of Law makes us feel safe. It’s our understanding of how the world works, and it represents order in a world of chaos. We may not have chosen these agreements, but we agreed to them. And they don’t change easily – challenging our own beliefs takes courage.
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