We Are Labeling Machines



For modern man absolutely everything that exists is put into definite categories. We are labeling machines. We classify the world, and the world classifies us. We have become perceptual jailers of each other. The chain of human thought is powerful. Even our deepest feelings are classified and ordered so that nothing can escape. One example is the way we alienate ourselves from the actual time we are living in, in order to mindlessly go around repeating stereotypes. We have a collection of preset days: Mother’s Day, All Saints’ Day, Valentine Day, birthday anniversaries and weddings…They are like stakes we tie our life to so we won’t get lost, and thus we walk the Earth, revolving around our descriptions like beasts tied by the neck.


– Carlos Castaneda. The Teachings of Don Juan.



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