What is life for us, thinking animals? Is it not mainly going on in our head, our brain pointed towards a future? Most animals do the thing they do without contemplation, they don’t wonder why they are naked or roll around in the mud. We human beings are also animals and most of what we do is also done without contemplation, but we can look backwards, forwards, and wonder why, where, what, whom, and how.
When we get up in the morning and perform our rituals: drink coffee, start the car, drive to work. At any moment we can snap out of this automatic behavior. Where we don’t ask ourselves why, it just happens. But we can place ourselves in the driver’s seat and reflect upon our actions. At that moment we are more than just an drone. This is off course all a little dramatic, but a big part of our lives is automated. Try to recall why you agree with a certain kind of person, like that color, prefer that taste, dislike mountains, hate flying, check the door one extra time so on and so forth. Do you really know why you do the things you do or is it like rolling in the mud?
People are good in giving rational reasons for their behavior. We ignore that most of our habits are ingrained in to us by our contact with family, friends, society, (forgotten) experiences, and the random or determined makeup of our physical body the chemistry in our brain.
How many protestant children are there in a Muslim family, Hindu children in a Russian orthodox family, or a catholic child in an atheist family? It hardly ever happens, look at the statistics, but the true believer will still insist that his fate is the only one and this person doesn’t see that he believes this way because he grew up within it, is surrounded by it. Would that person have been adopted at birth by people of another faith, than they would have adopted that faith and proclaimed it to be the only way? With religion it is clear. However, lots of habits you identify yourself with are just that, habits. There is no reason behind it. Just instinct from our genetic makeup and programming from our surroundings.
People that are so certain that their way of living is the only way, and are in the minority. They’re like the pigs that role around in the mud, they have no clue why they’re doing it, they just do what comes automatically, with the least resistance.
If everybody in the world new that their “I”, their “self” is a construct than we would have a lot of uncertain people, questioning their every move but at least we would all be part of the same team.