“whosoever looketh into himself and considereth what he doth, when he does Think, Opine, Reason, Hope, Fear etc and upon what grounds; he shall thereby read and know, what are the thoughts and Passions of all other men, upon the like occasions”
Hobbes – Leviathan.
Conforming to those around us; sharing their thoughts and habits without question.
Hobbes said close critical examination reveals as much about the world around us as it does ourselves. He was developing the idea that what exists around us is not much different than what exists inside us. What I always found depressing was that the world offered no salvation, no solution, no clear end to justify the means of my existence.
Paul tells us not to be conformed to the world. Jacques Ellul says that's when we start following everybody's opinion, being so used to the political, philosophical and ideological norms of the environment around us that we no longer distinguish our thoughts from theirs. This is funny; that is sad; this is how relationships work; this is how parents raise their children; Eat like this; Think like this; Doesn't this look exciting? Won't this be fun?
Perhaps when we notice our thoughts and activities match all those around us; perhaps when we observe our time spent in leisure is spent no differently than theirs; perhaps when we pay attention to the way we speak to our children, speak about our neighbors, speak in front of colleagues; perhaps we may notice that to not be conformed to this world is a daily, constant, consistent habit to be implemented immediately and guarded tenaciously.