Nervous System Pattern: Groupthink Drives Feeling of Biological Safety (Threats Won’t be Tolerated)


Hey it’s Elisha, and welcome back to another exploration of nervous system patterns, otherwise known as our subconscious programming, neural loops or the ways we find safety unconsciously…that is, until we make these patterns conscious and begin to live in freedom.

Today we’re exploring the nervous system pattern of group think. Because this is usually the birthplace of ALL of our nervous system patterns. 

We create nervous system patterns in childhood when our own natural and autonomous instincts bump up against whatever status quo environment we’re being raised in.

An easy target here is to think about religious environments or families who don’t allow anything contrary to the religious narrative in their homes. Please understand that I’m not anti-religious. I think there is beauty and truth in all religions. And I also see how the very birthplace of oppressive instincts came from the world’s religions. This is often what started wars that changed the course of history. The conquerors often subjugated their new populace and instituted their chosen religion, while not allowing freedom of assembly or faith – sometimes upon pain of death if you dared to disobey the new laws of the land.

Group think is the contagious nervous system pattern of conformity, in order to feel the biological safety associated with belonging to a group.

Historically, outcasts and heretics have been ridiculed, hung up in town squares to be pelted with rotten food, driven from cities to fend for themselves in the wild or hung to death, beheaded or burnt at the steak. Or more recently – based on the color of your skin or targeted for your faith by another group who feels superior. What were the Nazi’s if not the very worst of humanity represented in a really dark evil groupthink?

As human beings we have written into the fabric of our biology a survival edict that compels us to seek safety among the masses, or risk death.

If you were a German in Nazi Germany that didn’t agree with the rising status quo, did you dare speak out? Most who disagreed with Hitler and his devout followers hid their true feelings, hid Jews in their homes because truth and humanity were literally pushed underground.

We don’t often think about this in our modern world, assuming those days are long past and belong to heathens, barbarians and uncivilized humanity.

I challenge you to look at our modern world and not see that we are enacting these same patterns, even if our tools of ridicule, banishment and ideas about death have changed from burning witches and gassing Jews to canceling each other on social media or hurtling insults from the comfort of your phone. 

I bet every single one of our families had some form of group think. I know mine did. And when I confronted my family, it didn’t go over well at all. 

The primary sign/symptom of having the groupthink nervous system pattern, is the instinct to adhere strongly to a group narrative (ANY group narrative) that labels ANYONE who threatens that narrative as selfish or insane. The “enemy” could be a single person or another group of people whose own groupthink is diametrically opposed to yours. 

For example, the term conspiracy theorist is used to dehumanize people who believe certain things in order to get other people to see them as crazy and banish them to the fringes of society. 

The term conspiracy theorist was invented by the CIA after JFK’s assassination, to discourage people from believing ANY other narrative than the official one that JFK was assassinated by a crazy lone gunman. 

This year, in 2020, we are seeing mass group think in action. To terrifying degrees. 

It’s not just black vs white, or red vs blue…we are allowing ourselves to be fractured into smaller and smaller silo’s, where we become echo chambers of each other. 

We reject anything that doesn’t fit with our small group narrative, and make the other groups out there crazy, selfish, murderers, socialists, conspiracy theorists, anti vaccers, far left, far right, gun toting, fake news spreading….on and on. 

When the covid media coverage and mandates began in March, logic went out in the window in favor of fear. And fear induces our BASE biological instincts – survive at all costs. 

I’ve often said that your brain would rather you be in pain than dead. 

And when it comes to nervous system patterns, it’s equally true that your brain would rather you be in self-betrayal or self-delusion than dead. Your brain would rather you censor yourself than die. Your brain would rather you conform and survive, than stand out and die.

But surviving isn’t the same as thriving. Surviving isn’t LIVING. Surviving means you still have oxygen in your lungs, even if that oxygen cost you everything else.

Life – fully experienced – is inherently RISKY, uncertain and mysterious.

But any risk to our subconscious nervous system patterns will cause us to believe, at a base biological level, that our survival is in jeopardy.

So you adopt whatever feelings, thoughts and behaviors are dominant in the group you belong to…and you act them out without even having to think about what you’re doing. 

Here’s what I challenge you to consider today: 

The people we love to admire the most, our heroes and heroines, the people we look up to and learn from in books, movies and history lessons…

Most of the time, our heroes were the ones who stood out. They were the heretics, the rebels, the ones who dared to question the status quo.

They were the Galileo’s and Da Vinci’s, the Joan of Arc’s, the Paul Revere’s, Thomas Jefferson’s, Native Americans like Black Elk, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, the William Wallace’s and the Scots, the fighting Irish, Amelia Earharts, the Anne Frank’s, JFKs, the Robert F Kennedy’s, the Martin Luther Kings, Nelson Mandela’s, Rose Parks…

Who do you think those people are TODAY? Right now? 

They most certainly are NOT the people consuming or propagating mainstream news and believing what they’re told without questioning anything, who want to be good citizens and comply with every mandate, no questions asked. 

In my opinion, the heroes among us are the people risking their jobs and their lives to speak out against tyranny, to help humanity, to offer different and empowering perspectives; they’re the people sharing cutting edge science instead of the pay to play science regurgitated on mainstream news that perpetuates a certain groupthink. . 

My heroes right now are Del Bigtree, Robert F Kennedy Jr, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Pete Evans, David Martin, Mikki Willis, Andrew Wakefield, JP Sears, Shawn Stevenson, Kelly Brogan and Sayerji, Dr. Tom Cowan, Dr. Andrew Kaufman, Dr. Zach Bush…and more.

My personal belief is that what we’re seeing play out on the global stage right now is a reflection of our individual levels of consciousness and freedom.

To the degree we, individually, practice the freedom to think for ourselves, to be responsible for our own health, to hold ourselves accountable for our lives and the health of this planet…is the degree to which we will see it mirrored in the world, in our politicians, corporations, healthcare etc.

Unfortunately right now I see more conformity than courage; by and large I see groupthink instead of individual critical thinkers; I see people getting canceled and I see this celebrated, even though we supposedly live in a free country, with free speech laws and civil liberties.  

I see people practicing and sharing fear far more than wisdom. 

The heroes I mentioned earlier are the ones sharing wisdom.

We are not free beings when we organize our lives around the biology of group survival. 

We might feel safer. 

But safe doesn’t equate to a life filled with meaningful challenges that help us get to know ourselves and each other as individuals; it doesn’t help us gain wisdom or grow our courage or any of the beautiful traits we possess as human beings. We might survive, but our quality of life will diminish.

So how do we break out of this pattern? 

  1. Get to know yourself. Who are you really? What do YOU think, feel, believe…as an individual, not as part of any group. 
  2. Align your feelings, your thinking and your actions in life with your core values, and choose them consciously. 
  3. Learn to think for yourself, and critically question everything in life – including the thoughts in your own head and the instincts of your survival biology. 
  4. Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes. 
  5. Get ok with being misunderstood or ostracized by the group. 
  6. Spend time in your own company, or the company of birds, bees and trees. Learn from them about what it means to be unabashedly yourself and live fully while you’re alive. 
  7. Identify as many other nervous system patterns as you can, and scratch those records – make your own music and live life to the beat of your own drum. 
  8. Realize that this is a practice, maybe even an experiment, and as such – you get to change course, pivot, play, hit the pause button and begin again whenever you choose. Just make sure you do it out of freedom, instead of on autopilot. 
  9. And if your friends and family wonder what’s happened to you, tell them you joined a cult – the cult of you, or of life, or of the bee or the tree. In all seriousness, some people in your life might feel very threatened by your individuality. That’s because they feel safest in the group, and your weirdness, your differing opinion, your sovereign actions that go against the grain…well, they threaten the supposed safety of the group and that often isn’t tolerated. So you might have to prepare yourself for a life lived at the edges of society, a life of fitting out rather than fitting in, and if you’re anything like me you’ll feel a lot of terror at the idea. But it will also feel RIGHT, and if you’re outspoken enough…well, you might just have a bunch of weirdo friends waiting for you, who will love you for being you even if you’re different than they are. 

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