When I observe myself doing anything it seems that what is happening is a series of prearranged modules springing forth in sequential pattern. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly new or different about any one of the modules and it is only the end sequence which fits the need of the moment which is inevitably unique.
Everything about my daily life seems to consist of little more than rearranging my fixed preexisting modules to accomplish some mundane task. Even my thinking and observing my self in action from an apparently conscious platform seems to be no more than the expression of a module I developed years ago for self observation. I think I am thinking and I think I am doing things and I think I am in control of my actions, but if all I am doing is running out a sequence of preconceived routines learned in my past, what is it that I am calling thinking? It seems to be little more than mental walking – just like putting one foot in front of the other in an orderly sequence learned years ago.
My thoughts can go in many different directions and end up in very different places, but so can my feet and when I walk to any place it will inevitably be a unique set of actions. In what way are my totally internal thoughts any different, even when they don’t result in external actions? They are just a set of preexisting mental operations working their way through my brain in a timed sequence, just like the mental operations when physically walking are working their path through in time once again in my brain. Both of these mental sequences are orchestrated in my brain and if I am typing out a thought both end up with an external behavior. Walking moves my body about and lets me experience external things, but my thinking expressed in typing, an external action, puts ideas out there for anyone who finds them to experience. But, in both cases it is just brain operations making themselves manifest in external reality where other people can observe them. In both cases it is just an external manifestation of prearranged modules springing forth in sequential pattern.
When these mental modules are about social issues, with which we do not agree, we call them prejudices. There could be specific terms for other mental modules but these particular types have been given a name and that makes them easier to talk about. It is easy for us humans to see other people’s prejudices, but nearly impossible to see our own. It seems these prejudices are just easily discernible examples in others of the modules that drive all of our lives. We shuffle our prejudice modules to fit our needs and when these prejudice modules are seen shuffling in others, we think of it as rationalization based on foolish internalized ideas.
We like to think we can and have cleansed our own mental equipment of prejudice but that seems unlikely. All we are doing is pretending. What we can do is to pay close attention when our prejudice module is being challenged and at that time make a point of choosing a different response. Probably this can be successful if we approach the challenging point from an emotionally different way, a way that permits us to respond in a new way which hopefully is more in alignment with accurate and testable facts and reasonable helpful behavior. However, if we approach the prejudice module, or any internalized module in the old way we will get exactly the same response.
The only time to change a prejudice is when it is about to manifest itself.