You Are Not The Soil
When a seed is planted in the appropriate soil, it is planted in a rich composite of properties such as organic elements, minerals, rock and clay particles, acids, water, etc. We can enrich the soil with compost, manure and fertilizers. Seeds are carriers of information. When we say a seed has a certain DNA, we are saying that it contains certain information. This certain information somehow directs its environment to form the corresponding plant. We are like plants in soil. As human beings, we are of one kind of seed. So we have a certain DNA that has directed our differing environments to form each of us. Even though we are the generally the same, our differing environments have contributed to some level of uniqueness among us. But are we truly unique? Truly individual? The main obstacle to freedom is ignorance of oneself and our environment. It is also the main obstacle to individuality. If I am governed only by the opinions and models that I obtain from my surrounding culture then I am not really an individual. Instead, I would only be a particular manifestation of the collective consciousness of humanity. I might have special characteristics, but these are all drawn from the reservoir of human thoughts and feelings. In fact, the Greek root of the word "idiosyncrasy" means "private mixture". Quantum physicist David Bohm says,
A genuine individual could only be one who was actually free from ignorance of his or her attachment to the collective unconscious. Individuality and true freedom go together and ignorance (or lack of awareness) is the principal enemy of both.I am not my upbringing. I am not my education. I am not my religion. I am not my job. I am not what people expect of me. I am not public opinion. This could be so. And for so many people it is because this is the easy way. But in order to be really liberated and therefore truly an individual, I must know the truth about my attachments, and being aware of them, be truly free.