Coming to terms with “humanity as an organism,” and recognizing oneself as a component of it, is especially difficult when you’ve cherished individualism as much as I have for so long. And the more I understand of mind, economy, and programs, the more blatantly obvious the conclusion becomes. I need to read “Individualism and Economic Order” (Hayek).
The real question is: once you’ve got this understanding, what do you do with it? Once you’ve recognized that most of your motivations are derived from either genetic programming or societal forces beyond your control, what do you call your self? All of that is external, either created long before your conception or by meta-human forces.
Do you accept the these things and just roll with them? That’s roughly the Taoist perspective. I suppose you could also say that zen is different, in that it seeks the elimination of the illusion. The only other option, really, is to get immersed in the illusion.
The illusion takes on realness when it becomes a closed loop; when all your points of reference lay inside the worldview you’ve constructed. I think that’s where contentedness is to be found. Opening that loop is troublesome. Certainty evaporates, and the closer you look at things the more misty they become. Like flying into a cloud, or walking into a fog bank. You can’t pretend that you understand, and that is frustrating.