Thankful for Not Belonging

Photo by Jacub Gomez on

All my life, I always got along with different groups but never felt completely myself in any one.

Any group, occupation or title always felt like it was selling me short, or incomplete, never a perfect fit … it became one of my core philosophical questions: Why do I feel discontent, not at home, in any group?

I morphed in and out of cliques (I think more of a feature of the 20th Century) in high school. As a kid I had played football and baseball and run track. And I loved it. But I wasn’t at home as an “athlete.” Then at 11, I started playing drums, and loved it, but I wasn’t purely and completely a “drummer” or even a musician. Even though I put in a sincere effort to be a member of the “stoners” clique. But l still love playing sports and music and still write, perform and record original music to this day, as well as stay active in martial arts, dancing and other athletics.

I had also spent from age 7-13 as an altar boy and Roman Catholic … but this same restlessness caused me to amicably disband from that group as well.

I am a business consultant but I don’t embrace the identity and persona we’re supposed to … or the societal value proposition of maximizing profit first and foremost. Luckily I have been able to evolve my work from strategy and operations to talent management and leadership development.

I’m independent … a maverick … and a truth seeker. That I know. And that feels like home.

I am a writer but feel it’s only part of who I am …

I have a slightly olive light complexion, and feel like this is as insignificant as my light brown hair … but I am aware some think it’s the most important thing.

I’m all these things …

It’s as if all of my interests and attributes serve that larger purpose that had been so hard to clearly and completely reveal …

I am agnostic, but deeply principled and spiritual, and honestly open. And I don’t feel at home in one religion or faith … I cull the gems I find in studying them, and in particular the people who adopt them, as I do philosophy, science and art. And I try to blend them into something new … something unprecedented, that we need, something that will help me as an individual, and us, grow wiser as a race. In our myriad beliefs, truth, balance and growth must stand as a new and divine contract unto each other, if we are ever to make strife and war obsolete.

I read that Ralph Waldo Emerson calls it the “Divine Discontent” – that conflict and discomfort between what the world demands and what your spiritual self demands.

I realized it was this divine discontent, and the space in between the groups and ideologies and philosophies and faiths that I wanted to explore. The inner universe of our consciousness and its undiscovered power, and creativity where I sought satisfaction. To me it’s as vast as the physical universe and its dark matter … we each have an inner universe and we are united in that collective inner universe as well.

I was always “philosophical” but didn’t particularly enjoy the academic exercise of philosophy. But I chose a new term, to encompass all the things I think I am – “Technical Philosopher,” – because it’s a new idea that seemed to describe everything, including my essence, and it’s not an identity with a special interest agenda, rather a universal one. The agenda is to create unprecedented truth, balance and growth for humankind via “Philosophic Technology.”

PT is the application of religion, philosophy, science and art to human behavioral and societal algorithms. We look at the coding that runs the human device and look for ways to modify it to increase individual success that drives group success.

Yes, we are trying to make the world a better place, as many groups do, but I am not remotely satisfied with our progress, as I know the majority are not, even while filled with hope.

It was a rather remarkable epiphany that I realized that Emerson’s divine discontent unites us.

I realized, this is not just me. It’s everybody … to different degrees, everyone feels some divine discontent. And it’s at the heart of our global, national and personal discontent. This principle is at the core of racism, identity politics, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, religious wars, class wars, ethnic wars … this unresolved, virtually unanimous state of spirit. And therein lies our new philosophic technology and opportunity.

If you don’t believe it, think of that feeling of choosing “the lesser of two evils” in the voting booth … it’s almost sickening … that’s some serious divine discontent.

So where can we all connect? Because everyone fits or belongs. You don’t need to be a technical philosopher to be a part of the all-inclusive group. We’re all already a part, and there are only 2 requirements – being human, and being benign.

So I joined with a friend and we started planning a group for everyone …

We call it “The Citizen Body.” Because philosophic technology learns from biology that we are as cells in the larger body of humankind. All working toward homeostasis.

The heart is of no value without the brain, the liver without either, and vice versa. We are one body, and our interdependence is unquestionable. No organ wields disproportionate power over the others, they are “equassential.”

Now, in the Information Age, that we are more aware of everything and able to connect with everyone, we are struggling with old “operating systems” for our brains. Physical technology is building artificial intelligence faster than we are upgrading human intelligence. This is why we need philosophic technology.

I realized that not fitting in completely anywhere, and having so many interests and desires for something more is not only who I am, but also, who we are. Human beings searching for something better, all of us, and we are united in that. A vision of 7.8 billion people finally realizing that they are more alike than different. Codifying together that life has meaning in being and becoming better, as the most intelligent beings we know of in the universe. More united than divided, more benign than malignant. An unprecedented combination of strength and kindness to fulfill.

We are in some faiths each a part of god unto ourselves. And our gods vary from non-existent to supernatural men, but what if we suspend our faiths to consider each other as individual parts of a god, maybe one we seek together? For if you have faith in the one true god surely our search would lead us there. I don’t fathom a god that would allow a united people truly seeking to go astray.

Or maybe in seeking god, together, and seeing each other as parts of god, we in the process become more godlike.

I can’t fathom a god opposed to beings seeking unity, balance and prosperity and endeavoring to become more holy.

Author of “The Power of Myth,” Joseph Campbell, said – “If we think and address others as “Thou” rather than “You,” our psychology changes favorably, we are more in tune and clear in the spirituality and priorities of the human condition.” I tried it and he’s right.

But, you needn’t believe any of these ideas to be a member of The Citizen Body any more than one of your own body’s cells needs to do anything to be a part of your body – it already is, as we already are. The question is – how do me treat each other in figuring out how to bring this body to homeostasis?

I didn’t feel at home because I wasn’t satisfied if everyone didn’t have the same joy I did … and that’s a good argument for meaning in life.

The Citizen Body launched less than a month ago … and this is our journey together – “The Body of Us, We, as Its Soul.” So feeling connected, content and complete is closer than ever … for everyone.

Published by John Katrina

TCB Member, Father, Co-Founder of The Citizen Body, technical philosopher, and artist.

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