You don't see the world the way most people see it.
You don't think the way most people think.
The Conventional bores you.
The Mainstream worries you.
The Material is not enough for you.
Your heart believes a more beautiful world is possible and your soul longs to play a part in creating it.
The people whose company I enjoy most, feel this way. So I used this "profile" as a filter when creating and inviting people to my facebook group Free Thinkers Anonymous
As I define them, Free Thinkers come in all shapes and sizes. Some hide deep in the conventional professions as Lawyers and Bankers. Others operate on the fringe, living off-grid in intentional communities working on their non dual perception or polyamory skills. But most lie somewhere in between.
This can't-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover quality of Free Thinkers, got me thinking about what specific traits we all have in common.
1. Non Materialistic
This is the most obvious trait and it make perfect sense. The most conditioned (and thus least free) way of thinking and behaving in our materialist society is the worship of material success and conspicuous consumption.
Rather than sell their soul for a six figure salary, Free Thinkers will break their parents hearts to pursue their art or vocation and make a modest living doing what they love (although there's no need for it to be too modest)
2. Black Sheep
Virtually every Free Thinker whose childhood story I've heard, has told me that they were the black sheep of their family. Free Thinkers seem to be born, not made.
Actually that's not true, I imagine we're all Free Thinkers as infants, but then our cultural conditioning kicks in and pretty soon our Free Thinking is "socialised" right out of us. As the Jesuits famously said "show me a boy at 7 and I will show you the man."
It seems to me that being a Black Sheep i.e. resisting your cultural conditioning to the extent that you refuse to "toe the line" and "fit in", is a prerequisite of maintaining your Free Thinking into adulthood.
That's not to say cultural conditioning can be resisted entirely, it can't. But you can be less culturally conditioned than your siblings and school friends...and that ability to think outside the cultural box, only gets stronger over time.
3. Prone to Bouts of Extreme Melancholy
The harsh reality is that ours is a world run by deeply conditioned thinking. Trickling down from the plutocratic elite into the minds and mouths of their governmental stooges and on into the halls of academia and the corporate media, is a way of thinking whose only goal is to preserve the status quo.
As Upton Sinclair elucidated
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
The result is a feeling of such hopelessness and impotence in the face of seemingly all encompassing Groupthink and narrow mindedness, that periods of extreme melancholy are inevitable. Fortunately Free Thinking people are also prone to trait number 4, which inevitably lifts them out of their melancholy.
4. Inspirational Intervention
Logic dictates that the human race is f*cked.
Lying between us and environmental destruction, climate change, resource depletion and economic meltdown is...well...not much.
Yet Free Thinkers know that although life contains logic, logic does not contain life. More importantly they experience this fact in a very real and visceral way, through regular bolt-from-the-blue attacks of inspiration.
It can come in the form of a conversation with a friend or a chance meeting with a stranger. It might be a silent revelation whilst walking alone in the countryside or a Eureka moment while watching T.V.
No one knows how it will come or where it comes from, but Inspiration's against-all-odds M.O. works it's magic on the hearts and minds of Free Thinkers everywhere, like the great reset button in the sky.
And so Free Thinkers know, no matter how bad things appear to be, it ain't over until the fat lady sings.
Those cycles of despair and inspiration develop into a kind of Zen-like "whatever-ness." Once you've hit rock bottom and come back smelling of roses a few times, your everyday personal disasters start to illicit a "no biggy" response.
You start to really get that your job on planet earth is not to curse the darkness, but to light a candle. That "what lies behind you and what lies before you pale in comparison to what lies within you." You develop a sense of destiny.
You do have a part to play.
What you do does matter.
You can make a difference.
And regardless of bad luck, poor circumstances or a lack of a Wifi connection, by God that's exactly what you're going to do.