The world has been shaped and coloured by myriads of political ideologies, cultural dispositions, religious beliefs and spiritual affinities. It is also strongly influenced by the zeitgeist or the collective spirit of the moment.
Some of them have been good and perhaps even though strongly resisted or fought over at first, they were conducive to the right social change.
Some other ideologies were however pointless, unproductive, incurred suffering or waste of life and in the end only benefited the ruthless few in power.
In today’s world there still are general collective mindsets or beliefs, we call ‘worldviews’, that even though not directly harmful are at best a hindrance to human creativity but can turn into hatred and violence at their fiercest.
I have picked up the top five worldviews which I personally believe the world would be a better place without.
I’m sure there are more but I think that the ones below are general enough to capture further and more specific forms of worldviews.
# 5 We are separate from the rest
This is a belief we have by default because we are subjective creatures within a body.
We grow up to believe that we are distinct and separate from other people, other sentient creatures and nature around us. This belief is reinforced by culture.
How does this affect us and the world at large?
Believing that we are separate and distinct fuels short-term decisions based on self-centred interests. It also makes us feel spiritually disconnected which is partly the cause of the neurosis of modern man.
Think about spiritually rich cultures such as the native Americans who believed that they were one with nature and an integral part of the circle of life.
# 4 Scientific reductionism/materialism:
Often referred to as the classical view of Science, it is the held assumption that every phenomena in nature, including the subjective experiences of consciousness can be explained in terms of chemical and physical processes.
This general scientific worldview, which is still advocated in some scientific circles, has created an aura of disenchantment with the world and the universe around us.
I do believe that everything can ultimately be explained scientifically but to reduce it to the chemical and physical processes is a very flattened view of Science.
After all we only know such a minute fraction of matter, the visible universe (let alone the invisible universe such as dark matter and energy), the hyper-dimensional space, life forces and subtle energies.
Existence is too broad and rich to be reduced to such a flat line of explanation.
The view that humans are at the centre of the universe and have the right to dominate over all other creatures.
Anthropocentrism is more of an attitude than an explicit worldview. We feel that everything on the earth and beyond belongs to humans.
In religion, anthropocentrism is the naïve belief that God created existence for Man to enjoy.
This idea allowed Man to cumulatively exploit nature, abuse of the earth’s resources and lack respect to other non-human sentient creatures.
#2 Fundamentalism and dogma-driven fanaticism:
No need of any introduction. Any religious or political ideology that is based on strict dogma or blind faith is an accident waiting to happen.
Dogma-driven religious or political fanaticism (of any religion or political view) is one of the guises of the ego. It is about the ego’s attachment to an irrational mindset which it won’t let go of.
Religious fanaticism is the latching onto a set of beliefs, the narrow interpretation of some holy scriptures (dogma) or symbols and doctrines in such a way as to deny or exclude any alternative form of belief (religious intolerance), rational counterarguments (the anti-scientific stance) or in some cases, any secular way of life (as in theocratic societies).
Fundamentalist views are very often based on authoritarian, male-centric and ultra conservative structures.
It is inevitable that such worldviews very often cause high emotional arousal, hatred, intolerance, ethnic turmoil, fear-based indoctrination and even violence and blood-shed.
# 1 Nationalism/Fascism:
All in all the ideology is ultimately based on the illusion of the ego and the irrational fear of all that is different and new.
Nationalism and its extreme fringes are based on the idea that a nation constitutes a homogenous cultural identity that should be protected from the erosion and infiltration by other cultures and ethnicity.
If you strip it down from fanfare, ideological mumble jumble, theatrics and rhetoric you would realize that it is the reaction of a very basic human fear – the fear of the other, the unknown and the different. Nothing more, nothing less.
It is about the ‘us and them’, the ‘they are different than us’, ‘our culture’, ‘our nation’, ‘our women’ and other crap like that. It feeds on the misperception of separateness or in many cases racial and cultural superiority.
Nationalists would arduously deny that cultural norms are relative and that national identity is just an illusion, a fabrication of the ego to rationally justify its irrational fears. They would argue that their way of life is absolute and supreme. Any learned man would see the shallowness and outright stupidity of this.
Nationalism is the cry of the collective ego to keep away the different and the unknown and safeguard that which is known – that which they can identify with.
But identity is the word of the ego. Identity equals attachment. To identify yourself with something or someone is to attach yourself to that something in a way that you would be very emotionally upset if that attachment is undermined or shown to be inauthentic.