Much of our delusion has been learned from others…some of it activity taught and trained. That is why it is sometimes referred to as conditioning. In the whole socialization process, we teach various illusions that then become our delusions. Some illusions have some practical value (inches, lines of longitude, an hour, etc.) Some of these delusions keep us in line and give the powers that be the means of controlling the masses. It maintains social order.
One of the things taught to us is the concept of pecking orders (which is an illusion). I am the parent – I am your elder and better, you have to listen to me. That is your teacher, you must listen to her. We learn about the role of “boss”. Sometimes we fight against it. You may have heard a child shout, “you aren’t the boss of me!” Status and pecking order is pretty ingrained at an early age. This makes sense if the current society is to be maintained.
There are cultural taboos which are taught to us at early ages as well. In transgressing against a taboo, you may evoke disgust, fear, hatred, etc. in others. For example, homosexual relations have been taboo for a long time. Within the US and at this time, it is a much more accepted relationship than in the past or elsewhere in the world. Being gay in Russia is still very difficult (& dangerous). Much more so than within the US. For those who have been conditioned into the taboo, same gender sexual intercourse may seem disgusting. With the taboo, there is also significant conditioning in men (for example) against even seeing an other’s penis. Having contact with it is unthinkable.
Could it be different? I don’t think so. You must first learn how to operate within society and the social game. We are punished for breaking societal rules. Children just don’t possess the understanding and wisdom to operate without the rules…as they are still trying to learn the game and be accepted by society.
It is like fear really. Fear only protects those who do not have the wisdom to not put themselves in harms way. Fear is not pleasant. Fear is a form of suffering (anxiety, worry, etc.). As children, we once burned our hands before learning to not to touch fire or things labeled “hot”. The pain initially created a fear of fire and burning that did not exist prior to being burned. However, this fear of being burned only serves to protect us when we don’t know better. When we reach adulthood, does the fear of being burned really help? What if someone becomes a firefighter or fire-eater? A fear of being burned would be counter-productive and get in the way of a career of working with fire. Instead of fear, they often have a deep knowledge of fire and respect for it.
It would be best not to break the conditioning and remove the delusions we were trained in without first deeply understanding why that conditioning exists, what purpose it serves, etc. You may find that seeing through the delusion and breaking the condition does not mean you would act any differently. Other times, you may find you might act very differently…which might make you a social outcast (if you aren’t careful).
When you don’t follow the delusions, conditioning, and social rules that everyone else is still using and takes seriously, you might become a social outcast. An outsider in relation to the game. You might be seen as dangerous. You might be seen as a heretic. You might become feared or hated.
Or, on the other hand, others might revere and worship you. Jesus of Nazareth taught many things against the social norms, customs, and conditioning of his day. Eventually, those for the status quo…the ones in power…had him crucified. The guardians of the game are rather protective of the game and insist everyone plays with the current rules.
The main delusion is that there is a “me”. After birth, you were given a name. You were told about “self-control” (stop fidgeting, no running in the house, speak more softly, etc.). You were punished (you are a naughty boy) and/or praised (you are such a good boy). People tell you what you are…tall, short, smart, dumb, white, black, etc. There has always been this reference to a “you”…which when you speak about it – becomes “me” and “I”. You were told certain things were “yours” and the concept of ownership was taught…and so “my” and “mine” become ingrained. Everyone seems to believe in this “me” and so the conditioning is reinforced constantly anytime you speak with anyone else. The language is all about “me” and “you”. What did you do today? Today, I wrote a blog post.
Of course, even after awakening…and there was a seeing that there is no “me”…you would still use the pronouns. The difference is you are not fooled by it. I could still say “I wrote a blog post.” It would just be awkward and sound funny to say – this body/mind typed a blog post.
So I will conclude in saying that delusion is something taught and trained in the human mind. It couldn’t be otherwise…if you wanted to grow up “normal” in any way and accepted by society. You have to learn the rules of the game, but because everyone treats the game so seriously…we forget it is a game.