Thoughts on mainstream consciousness

I had an epiphany today. It seems to be constant how often the idea of empathy is pushed lately. Everyone insists that everyone else must have as much empathy as possible, service employees are required to wear a mask of empathy for their clients and customers, celebrity are expected to shed tears for the masses and castigated when they do not.The idea of empathy has become extremely focused upon.

The idea has become mainstream. But the Capacity for genuine empathy and capacity to intuit the nature or actual emotional turmoils of others seems genuinely out of the grasp of a vast amount of humanity. I feel this explains the hollowness of the mainstream lately, as much of humanity seems to have discarded true empathy for the shallowness of waving about the concept as paramount.

I doubt I’m alone in pondering this, but I wanted to share.


You have some really good points on this. Seems like you are telling it like it is.


Yes i have noticed this too. My thoughts are that humanity is just conditioned with the whole ‘be as virtuous and good’ as possible even if you have to fake it, otherwise youre not gonna be accepted by society. Its an unhealthy way of living because nobody really relates to anybody, true empathy and love cannot exist in this way.


I could make a comment about NPC’s and philosophical zombies, but I’m sure you already are aware of them.


That’s very well said and so true. Throwing out (supposed) empathy to me feels like throwing out thoughts and prayers but not act on anything.
People also seem to have lost the capacity to take responsibility for their own actions.
I also find it has gotten worse in the last few years.


Yeah, if people knew what real empathy was about, they wouldn’t want more of it, they would think of it as evil incarnate, because yes, you would actually share the emotions of evil immoral people too.
I think what they actually mean is sympathy, there is a difference between having an understanding of where someone is coming from and actually feeling their emotions.


With respect, I have a different perspective on this:

Common courtesy is the foundation of any society that functions at something above primal power struggles, and in fact, even animals observe certain formalities to prevent every difference of will from turning into a knock-down drag-out battle for supremacy.

Why should we retain the mask?

Because the human condition is often a very difficult one: everyone has sore spots, “triggers,” insecurities, hatreds and biases, and raw screaming rage or pain from life events that they have to carry out into the world, into the workplace, into the high street and online.

Asking for common courtesy and the recognition of another person as also human and deserving of basic good treatment, even if not on the level of heartfelt sympathy and allegiance, surpasses all attempts to FORCE compliance and mind-control that have largely replaced the idea of simply being polite, and which are now causing us so much social upheaval.

To use what I hope is a relatively uncontroversial example, no laws against “fat shaming,” or prohibition of talk of “healthy” food choices or being of a “normal” weight would be necessary, if everyone was able to resist the degenerate and fleeting gratification of insulting people who carry a lot of body fat.

Modelling excellence is the superior tactic, in situations where people must share the same space and are not able to completely annihiliate each other.

Rudeness simply leads to an arms race over who can most effectively silence the other, or acquire the social, legal, or physical power by which to control the “opponent’s” actions.

Remove the mask of courtesy, expose the ugly seething mess that is in many people’s minds, and something much harsher and less agreeable will usually be called for to replace that benign mask.

Good manners are the key to being able to function amongst people one may privately dislike, despise, or be at odds with, but still, need to exist alongside.

I am therefore a proponent of simple good manners, which are far more evolved than any form of thought-control or drastic sanctions, and I think our society has gotten worse with the advent of “let it all hang out/speak your truth” from the 60’s onwards, which has now, naturally, evolved itself into some quite draconian thought-control trends.

I believe someone’s right to “swing their fist” verbally and in text ends where someone’s else’s nose begins, or in this case, where their basic personhood stands to be demeaned and dragged down by the harsh words of another.

Make rudeness the norm, and that justifies locking down not just the superficial external actions, but also the very thoughts behind them: this is scary, and far worse than voluntary masks of courtesy used to smooth social interaction.

I feel very strongly about this and as with the mockery of “thoughts and prayers” that’s quite common, anything that tries to replace it is usually far worse and far more restrictive, because it naturally develops into thought-policing.

Regarding “thoughts and prayers,” it doesn’t harm anyone to say they are thinking of a friend, colleague, or passing acquaintance when that person is in pain - telling someone who’s in the first raw stages of grief or shock that “uh yeah but did you see these amazing new shoes I got at an 80% discount?” (or “well he should have seen that one coming!”) just because that is what is ACTUALLY uppermost in the mind, is the polar oppositie of ascended behaviour: even cattle and rodents have formalities and manners they use to prevent physical clashes and violent retribution.

Don’t believe me? That’s fine, and yes there is a case for strategic “rudeness” in some situations, especially where we are at a point that people are fearing even having certain opinions. But I speak of a desirable overall goal for a world full of individuals and groups who may find each other annoying, and not exceptional cases.

Watch the whole “insect politics” speech by Brundlefly in the old movie The Fly for more on this.

I generally agree.

But, western/Europeanised society is built upon the foundation of the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And this is our common expectation of others, as well as ourselves.

It’s not attained perfectly and in many situations (self-defence, career ambitions, anything requiring aggression or domination) may require other tactics, but we have mostly grown used to it as the foundation stone of our society, and would fare poorly in societies or eras where it’s NOT the expected norm, like sheep to the slaughter.

I will avoid being political except to mention that the cultural clash between people who assume goodwill on this basic level and those for whom it is not, and never has been, a virtue to extend to outsiders is at the heart of the news almost every day.

But all groups have some degree of it, just with different boundaries (the faithful, the gang, etc) and I think it has genuine value for in-groups, bonded by trust and some shared agenda or common factors.

Can it ever be perfectly attained? Probably not, humans are prickly, competitive and sneaky, and often lack basic self-awareness. :thinking:

I offer this:



Day-to-day politeness ≠ gratuitous and forced expressions of virtue.
Service workers doing their jobs to maintain their clientele are not the same as those clusters of people doing this Empathetic™ thing that we all have been seeing/feeling.

I feel how fake it’s, but I don’t mind that much. It’s theatrics. Not many can stand playing and watching such roles for a long time…


Perhaps I could be a bit more specific on my perspective. There are industries where people are forced into persona that they wouldn’t normally choose to bear, more normally in any industry revolving around sales of any form. I have personal experience with that, as I’m sure many do with retail and the like, and it’s more in towards that experience that I speak from when I mention people in the service industry in particular. Not the “have a nice day” attitudes that are encouraged, those I feel are separate.


I’d prefer to respond as you have, with direct quotes, but I can embarrassingly say I don’t know how. Please bear with the clumsy nature of the construction of my reply.

“Common courtesy is the foundation of any society that functions at something above primal power struggles, and in fact, even animals observe certain formalities to prevent every difference of will from turning into a knock-down drag-out battle for supremacy.”

-I do feel you have a point in regards to common courtesy, but what I was referencing goes beyond common courtesy. As an example, Bell's 'Let's Talk' campaign rings hollow for employees suffering panic attacks, vomiting and anxiety | CBC News , this is the most blatant of the sort of behavior I was referencing specifically.
Being forced to maintain a false air of actual empathy to encourage others to open up, all for the purposes of making an extra dollar for those above you. That’s the sort of behavior that people seem to value over actually being capable of distinguishing between a person with genuine intention and genuine malice. Why bother being able to weigh the hearts of others when it’s easier to be told the scale? I dislike the mentality of it.
There are other less blatant or egregious acts of similarity, but I have no disagreement with your assessment of common courtesy.

“…Make rudeness the norm, and that justifies locking down not just the superficial external actions, but also the very thoughts behind them: this is scary, and far worse than voluntary masks of courtesy used to smooth social interaction.”

-I hadn’t expressed that making rudeness the norm was acceptable. Merely that the concept of empathy has replaced the actuality of empathy. I do not rail against the need for courtesy and polite society, but that forcing a false narrative of being on the exact same page as others for manipulative purposes is both a common thing and a general replacement for actually understanding or comprehending others.

“…Throwing out (supposed) empathy to me feels like throwing out thoughts and prayers but not act on anything.”

  • I don’t believe that we were exactly on the same perspective page with this. I don’t have an issue with people giving “thoughts and prayers” as long as they’re also willing to offer a helping hand, if it’s reasonable to do so and within one’s reach. I also agree that there is no merit in actively seeking out people to disagree with or being antagonistic for the sake of antagonism.

We seem to see fairly eye to eye in the rest of the post, although I don’t understand why you feel as if I (although generalization may account for my lack of comprehension) may not believe the validity of your perspective or the case for strategic rudeness as you mention.

The last part I’d like to quote would be this:

“Can it ever be perfectly attained? Probably not, humans are prickly, competitive and sneaky, and often lack basic self-awareness. :thinking”

-Which is what I believe to be at the heart of my revelation. That and the concept that I realize I failed to express of: not to expect better of people whom cannot grasp the situation at hand. Or even to say “if they’re not capable of self awareness, try not to hold them to the same standard of expectation as those who actively seek to cultivate it.”

I do appreciate your perspective and willingness to share it, as I also respect and appreciate all the replies this far and forwards :slight_smile:


I know, I was addressing generalities, not “accusing” you of wanting people to go round telling each other to fuck off or anything. :smiley:

Common courtesy, although it’s a construct, a mask, fixes so many problems that otherwise grow and expand to ridiculous degrees.

I believe sales requires a very specific approach: you need to enter the dialogue in the customer’s head, identify his/her problem/s, and then step in with a solution.

No-one buys goods or services, even high-status ones - they buy solutions, improvements, positive adjustments to their to own internal state.

No-one is interested in the salesperson’s internal state, or needs, or problems, prospects are in their own little bubble, and salespeople who can’t control their state of mind (or, ideally, tune it up to a positive productive state of mind on the job) will usually struggle. This, again, is a generality in a normal environment, not connected to 3am managerial calls or other things like the bizarre practices described in that article.

It’s a brutal reality that not everyone can do every job, I can’t walk down to Covent Garden and expect to get taken on as a ballerina just because I quite fancy the bright lights and the pretty makeup…

Not everyone can engage someone in a sales conversation successfully, coming from a positive place of service, and make that person walk away feeling they just had a big win by finding the right solution to their problems.

The most important attitude adjustment people fail at over, and over, and over, is to see sales as something you do FOR someone, not TO them.

Employers and would-be leaders who want to build a team need to listen to what people actually want, at least some of the time, and find what bonds them and motivates them. This is often missed out by inept middle-management, who only care about power and appeasing their own boss.

i’ll tell you a little secret about power that all these 3am-callers don’t understand - the moment you have to guard it, you’re on a downwards trajectory, and eventually will fuck up badly.

The key to power is to keep growing and doing what you do with integrity, that way, you’ll be bulletproof. Anyone who simply leans on those “beneath” them in order to try and stay in position is heading for a fall. Leadership is a service position.

Ave Belial! :fist:

Think of amazon where they fake smile lime a weirdo


@ Lady_Eva

Fair enough.
I should have been more specific anyway, especially since the idea that not everyone is in an ideal enough situation to take a job that they’re suited for or ideally capable of preforming without heavy burnout, is/was relevant to my perspective.
As is the idea that such positions that heavily burden the employee for sake of numbers and greed (middle management usually, as you say) typically foster the sort of “empathy” that I notice becoming more common: dressed up sympathy that drains the wearer of the capacity to actually empathize and distinguish between things such as presented malice and actual altruism. Hence, in my mind, contributory to the climate of people who en mass accept what’s told instead of discovering for themselves.

What you describe does sound like an ideal situation. A person who chooses a sales position and believes in what they’re selling as a solution Will sell more. However, it’s also possible for companies to become greedy and put the employees into positions of sales that the employees shouldn’t be in.
For example, it’s an operating practice here that even if one is calling to cancel a service (cell, cable, internet, what have you) most providers will insist that their call center agents still attempt to sell things, including when they open the conversation with financial woes or you can clearly see they’ve been behind for months, or when they’re very… verbal about how much they hate the company. I’m certain that places also do Not practice this form of business, but I cannot offer perspective on those.

That being said, adjacent to personal perspective perhaps, everything you’ve said about sales I’ve observed at the better sales meetings and data pitches I’ve been apart of. So I’d say your assessment is both accurate, apt and well researched/experienced.
It would be difficult for me to say more without sounding biased. Frankly discussing the service industry causes tremendous strain on my impartiality as a general rule.
Although, in the end that part of the discussion is technically adjacent to the topic. I merely brushed across relatable situations to underline the idea that empathy has devolved in the mainstream to be a thing to be put on instead of a skill that can show you if a person has actual beneficent intention or malefic. The practical seems brushed aside in favor of what can be perceived surface level which is then called skillful and adequate. People only pretend to feel instead of actually using their feelings to learn and grow. It’s even rewarded.

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Yes, this is very true. You have some degree of choice, even in sub-optimal employment, to commit to doing your best in that environment, even if you don’t personally feel heart and soul behind the product, because it’s keeping food on the table - and you can choose to work that way until you can find a better position.

All of the New Thought materials are ideal for people in that sitiuation to use in order to find a better career, the (out of copyright, so, legal to download) book The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace T. Wattles addresses people in exactly that kind of situation, and Napoleon Hill & Clement Stone wrote many books about this kind of thing as well, so you’re not without allies. :+1:


[quote=“Lady_Eva, post:10, topic:57837”]
believe sales requires a very specific approach: you need to enter the dialogue in the customer’s head, identify his/her problem/s, and then step in with a solution.
As individual I am inclined to looking at this and finding ways as to be a benefit for myself when encountering this empathy of negativity so that I can have a positive path and my outcome does not take away from others beliefs or desires but in fact hopefully using my higher self to guide myself… To more pure and divine love for all humanity

Pple reject religion so the masses have to be convinced to conform usung same method but different application of makeup

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So true. True empathy there are times when you really don’t want it

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I would very much like to hear that comment! I’ve had a bit of an epiphany on the subject which I may make a new thread on (or expand here) later on.

In short, it occurs to me that the actual number of bona fide incarnatable consciousnesses may be drastically lower than the assumed global population. Many ‘people’ may in fact be philosophical zombies, lacking internal qualia/sentience while still giving the appearance of sentience.

In a sense, our world may be a bit like the Matrix, being populated both by ‘real people’ and by artificial ones, the latter running off of near duplicate programs that again give the appearance of self-awareness.



Ah, NPC, a word commonly used in the videogame industry and by gamers when describing a non-playable character within a videogame. You basically interact with a character that uses predefined and scripted replies, which pushes the main story further.

This is similar to common courtesy, because it’s not about the truth of how you really feel when asked, but being “polite” enough to acknowledge your presence of one another. Acknowledgement is important to maintain the group dynamic in a workplace, but that same group dynamic pushes away the individual with suppressed emotions.

As I’ve experienced in my workplace, a “one sentence explanation” of how you feel is pretty much the limit, without breaking the patience of your bosses or friends at work. It doesn’t matter if your dad or mom just passed away, because they really don’t care. That doesn’t mean there’s no empathy or understanding of the process of grief, because death happens for everyone at the end of the day. The problem is the illusion of time, because most of us pretend that there’s no time to listen and truly care for one another. There’s always time, but most of us chose to use the time on something else instead.

Anyone heard of the bystandard effect? This basically means that nobody intervenes, even if someone gets hurt, injured or beaten…until one person breaks the spell of paralysis and help out, then others will follow. The mass consciousness is often more stupid than the individual consciousness. :man_shrugging:

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In terms of astrology: empathy is quite an issue, cause is a lesson taught by the elusive Neptune.
In a way empathy is painful and you can not learn true empathy without some pain, cause you would have to feel another’s people pain, sorrow, loneliness, etc and that is brilliant but painful at the same time.
so the whole of the lesson of Neptune which includes empathy is hard to accept, but Neptune is kind in a way is compassive so Neptune won’t be hard on you, and if you are not ready to feel the pain of Neptune’s lesson, then it won’t force you, it will have empathy on you, and it will do the opossite of forcing you, it will give you ways to evade that painful reallity, it can even provide you with fantasies, alcohol, drugs or addictions so you don’t have to feel the pain when you are not ready for it.
so avoiding real empathy is in a way part of the way to actually develop it.
you would be idealizing empathy as something easy and simple as courtesy. (avoiding reality) but sooner or later, the natal Neptune of everyone gets activated, then you’ll have a slap from reality, if you are ready for the painful task then you will overcome teacher Neptune, otherwise you will keep been stuck, in its fantasy realm, where everything seems simplier.