Tomorrow, You’ll Be One of Us: Have Your Own Mind, Conformity, Dogma, and Blind Belief in Authority

1. “Dr. Kauffman: Less than a month ago, Santa Mira was like any other town. People with nothing but problems. Then, out of the sky came a solution. Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field. From the seeds came pods which had the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life.

So that’s how it began…out of the sky.

Dr. Kauffman:
Your new bodies are growing in there. They’re taking you over cell for cell, atom for atom. There is no pain. Suddenly, while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds, your memories and you’re reborn into an untroubled world.

Where everyone’s the same?

Dr. Kauffman:

What a world. We’re not the last humans left. They’ll destroy you!

Dr. Kauffman:
Tomorrow you won’t want them to. Tomorrow you’ll be one of us.

I love Becky. Tomorrow will I feel the same?

Dr. Kauffman:
[shakes his head] There’s no need for love.

No emotion? Then you have no feelings, only the instinct to survive. You can’t love or be loved! Am I right?

Dr. Kauffman:
You say it as if it were terrible. Believe me, it isn’t. You’ve been in love before. It didn’t last. It never does. Love. Desire. Ambition. Faith. Without them, life is so simple, believe me.

I don’t want any part of it.

Dr. Kauffman:
You’re forgetting something, Miles.

What’s that?

Dr. Kauffman:
You have no choice.” Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

2. “I want to love and be loved. I want your children. I don’t want a world without love or grief or beauty. I’d rather die.” Dana Wynter as Becky Driscoll, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

3. “Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.” William Blake

4. “Having your own mind, a critical and constructive ability, makes you aware of possibilities and threats. The ‘go along to get along’ attitude represents a denial of your mentality. Recognizing the reasons for the evils and obstacles is an intrinsic part of moving toward your goals. Without a realistic view of where you are, you can’t expect to go anywhere.” Raymond Peat, PhD

5. “Self-regulating systems are self-ordering systems. When a person is allowed to function freely as a goal-directed, questioning system, the formation of patterns in the brain will be spontaneous and appropriate, and orderly. Knowing is the ability to hold patterns in awareness. Knowledge, rather than being stored like money in the bank, is something that is regenerated, or generated, as we need it.

When our own steering system is commandeered by the authorities, our patterns of knowledge will be compartmented, and arranged in a fixed pattern. This kind of knowledge either deteriorates, or it seeks more of its own kind.

While self-regulation and the generation of knowledge are pleasurable, having knowledge imposed isn’t.” Raymond Peat, PhD, How do you know? Students, patients, and discovery

6. “There is nothing that threatens a corrupt system more than a free mind.” Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

7. “A lion of truth never assumes anything without validity. Assumptions are quick exits for lazy minds that like to graze out in the fields without bother.” Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

8. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” Bob Marley

9. “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

10. “Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.” Albert Einstein

11. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” Albert Einstein

12. “Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking…” Leo Tolstoy

13. “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” Benjamin Franklin

14. “Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.” Voltaire

15. “Think for yourself and question authority.” Timothy Leary

16. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

17. “The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

18. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain

19. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” Mahatma Gandhi

“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” Rita Mae Brown

20. “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Friedrich Nietzsche

21. “The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life.” Georg Simmel

22. “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” Gianni Versace

23. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Oscar Wilde

24. “We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” La Rouchefoucauld

25. “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” Bertrand Russell

26. “When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” Pablo Picasso

27. “To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.” Bono

28. “Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Find out what you’re capable of.” Robyn Davidson

29. “Being your true self can only come from separating your thinking from crowd mentality.” Edmond Mbiaka

30. “Your thoughts have the power to control; our being, our emotions, and the way we view the world that surrounds us. If you don’t constantly re-think what you think of on a daily basis, how do you ever expect to evolve into a being of; wisdom, truth, understanding, love, and above all, to be there for others?” Martin R. Lemieux

31. “Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” Adrienne Rich

32. “Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the laws. Others sense their own laws within them.” Hermann Hesse, Demian

33. “Thinking is hard work, which is why you don’t see many people doing it.” Sue Grafton

34. “When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons.” Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947

35. “[E]ach of our voices has something unique to say. Not only should I not mold my life to the demands of external conformity; I can’t even find the model by which to live outside myself. I can only find it within.” Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism

36. “Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.” Virginia Woolf

37. “The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” A.A. Milne, ‘War With Honour’ (1940)

38. “To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment’

39. “Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young

40. “To be ’emotionally intelligent’, we need to have some awareness and consideration of what others may be thinking of us whilst not caring so much that it prevents us being effective and original human beings.” Mark Tyrrell, How to Stop Worrying What Other People Think

41. “Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.” Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

42. “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

43. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” Shannon L. Alder

44. “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy

45. “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” Rollo May

46. “The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity.” Thomas Szasz

47. “As much as I live I shall not imitate them or hate myself for being different to them.” Orhan Pamuk, Snow

48. “Much Madness is divinest Sense —
To a discerning Eye —
Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
‘Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail —
Assent — and you are sane —
Demur — you’re straightway dangerous —”
And handled with a Chain —” Emily Dickinson, Much Madness Is Divinest Sense

49. “However, because they have no actual interests of their own (or if they do, they squelch them in order to fit in) and merely pursue those that they think will look best on their college apps, they’re zombies.” Meg Cabot, Airhead

50. “Or about how when you’re a child, to stop you from following the crowd you’re assaulted with the line “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” but when you’re an adult and to be different is suddenly a crime, people seem to be saying, “Hey. Everyone else is jumping off a bridge. Why aren’t you?” Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

51. “The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” John Kenneth Galbraith

52. “The most erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.” H.L. Mencken

53. “We laugh at sheep because sheep just follow the one in front. We humans have out-sheeped the sheep, because at least the sheep need a sheep dog to keep them in line. Humans keep each other in line. And they do it by ridiculing or condemning anyone who commits the crime, and that’s what it’s become, of being different.” David Icke

54. “If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.” Thomas J. Watson Jr.

55. “It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations — past and present — are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millenia.” Eric Hoffer

56. “If I decide to be an idiot, then I’ll be an idiot on my own accord.” Johann Sebastian Bach

57. “One can often recognize herd animals by their tendency to carry bibles.” Allen Wheelis

58. “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” Osho, Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously

59. “Traditional American values: Genocide, aggression, conformity, emotional repression, hypocrisy, and the worship of comfort and consumer goods.” George Carlin

60. “The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I’m against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.” Robert Frost

61. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

62. “I want to belong,” pleads a woman whose face is swathed in bandages. “I want to be like everybody.” The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder”

63. “It’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I know it’s pretty bad. Ever since I can remember, ever since I was a little girl, people have turned away from me. The very first thing I can remember is a little child screaming when she looked at me.
I never wanted to be beautiful. I never wanted to look like a painting. I never even wanted to be loved. I just wanted people not to scream when they looked at me.” The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder”

64. “Well, we know now that there must be a single purpose! A single norm! A single approach! A single entity of peoples! A single virtue! A single morality! A single frame of reference! A single philosophy of government! We cannot permit… we must not permit the encroaching sentimentality of a past age to weaken our resolve. We must cut out all that is different like a cancerous growth!
It is essential in this society that we not only have a norm, but that we conform to that norm. Differences weaken us. Variations destroy us. An incredible permissiveness to deviation from this norm is what has ended nations and brought them to their knees. Conformity we must worship and hold sacred. Conformity is the key to survival.” The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder”

65. “Now the questions that come to mind. Where is this place and when is it, what kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? The answer is, it doesn’t make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence, on this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out among the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson to be learned … in the Twilight Zone.” The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder”

66. “Nearly all of us do at one time or other. The desire to fit in can exert a seemingly irresistible force. “Conform or be cast out,” Geddy Lee sings in the Rush song “Subdivisions.” The question is, how far will we go to do so? What will it cost us? And what happens if we fail?
Perhaps more importantly, who sets the standard?” Paul, Conformity’s Critical “Eye”

67. “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” picks up on themes similar to “Eye Of The Beholder,” but its specifics deal more closely with gender performance. A young woman must pick a new appearance as she comes of age, choosing between eight and 12 — the same choices made by her mother and best friend. On a surface level, this is a dystopian episode taking on the issue of conformity and the lack of original thought it breeds. But there is also an eerie underlying theme of being forced to subscribe to unrealistic beauty standards. “Improbable?” Serling asks of the idea of literal body transformation, “Perhaps. But in an age of plastic surgery, body building and an infinity of cosmetics, let us hesitate to say ‘impossible.’” Lauren Duca, 6 ‘Twilight Zone’ Episodes That Prove Society Is Way More Terrifying Than Any Monster

Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956
Image: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Eye of the Beholder, The Twilight Zone
Image: The Twilight Zone (1959-1964), “The Eye of the Beholder” (1960, Season 02, Episode 06)
Number 12 Looks Just Like You, The Twilight Zone
Image: “The Twilight Zone” (1959-1964), “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” (1964, Season 05, Episode 17)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s