Taboo-ing is not to be taken lightly.
These are behaviors prohibited through law or custom.
A society creates these “norms” for fear that if enough people act “abnormally,” it could be threaten the survival of that culture. China still limits the number of children you can have for fear that too many people will destroy their standard of living. Others that have rationality include cannibalism, incest, and murder.
But too often it is the result of a leader who has gathered far too much power and wants to control all aspects of life and fears nearly everyone wants to steal his power. And if he can get most everyone to believe what he wants through fear, shame, blame and guilt, the best and brightest, like a Socrates, are eliminated as threats.
If caught, whether it be reading a the “wrong” book (Fahrenheit 451) or saying the wrong thing, you can be considered an outcast or far worse: placed in jail or burned at the stake (a favorite during medieval times).
Favorite taboo areas include religious, political, and sexual beliefs, as well as substance abuse, body functions and certain words. Some serious and some just nuts. In San Francisco, you could get arrested for selling condoms or showing photos of naked people in doorways.
But these are not the taboos with which we ask you to taboo.
Nevertheless, it is a very strong taboo in many Western cultures.
And it is a taboo that no longer serves the society that invented it.
What if the taboo was making the young dispirited or angry?
And what if this taboo was below the surface, and you weren’t fully aware of its existence?
It’s a primary cause for a most affluent and educated center on this planet, Palo Alto, the center of Silicon Valley and home to Stanford University, to be a youth suicide capital.
Why would our young, with so much wealth and privilege, decide to opt out?
Very few talk about this taboo. It is not in a consumer society’s interest to explain this taboo. If you don’t know, so much the better. Many forces don’t want you to know especially those who want to sell you stuff to make you feel better about yourself. As a result, we have become practiced at wearing masks which is the original definition of “person.”
In 1960 Alan Watts wrote that it may be the most powerful taboo of them all.
It is the taboo of knowing yourself.
Who are you?
What are you doing here?
And how do you get from wherever you are to your destiny?
If you choose this path, you have a legitimate shot at true freedom.
It is a place where you feel genuine, authentic, or what Dr. Martin Seligman calls expressing your “signature talent.”
But since everyone’s path is different, and few understand how this game is played, the taboo remains.
Yet, it’s a way out of restlessness, bouts of depression, and overdosing on pills.
Now, are you ready to play this game?