First: Some questions that went through my head while reading this.1. If we lived in a collective society, how would we experience or ignore certain events that come to pass that would feel abnormal or alien to us?2. Would the mind automatically wonder of things forbidden? or would this happen to only a few? (like the main character and what he thinks is his curse). 3. Is this society possible? could it ever exist? Are we already living in a society where this is happening (in certain ways)?To be someone without an identity, a mindless herd. I put myself in the shoes of the main character and threw myself into this word as best I could... and I found it to be terrifying to think of. Thinking of it, I realize that out society has many similarities to the world and characters within the story. Going day to day, doing the same thing, without original thought or identity is something that happens all the time. But the question is... how much does original thought and identity really matter? If looked at on a whole, our existence matter very little once our time has ended. We believe it's important to have our own voice and ideas but in the end it plays a part only DURING our existence in the here and now. If you put religion or spiritual beliefs into the equation then the view will change but without those things there is hardly a reason for doing anything or experiencing anything.I do not like feeling this way about life and tend to avoid if fairly successfully. This book brought those questions and thoughts through my mind again. It is just another way of looking at our existence and trying to make meaning of it. This is not to say it is the truth behind our humanity and the meaning of life.... nothing. It should be tread lightly lest you take it's subject matter too closely to your heart and mind.The books world is a nightmare. It is the type of society that I have nightmares about. Having no free will, no identity. Where is the reason for life? Everything is a machine, no reason for anything. It touches on many topics that I fear from my own thoughts. It was hard to read only because it brought those fears around again. On the other hand, I put myself into the world and felt the excitement of discovery, of seeing familiar things in a new light. Of appreciating what we have in the world around us and not wanting more then what is usual. All these things I have been reminded of through this book. I highly recommend it but caution those who will take those subjects and brood on them... I know it can be done and it's not easy to handle. Stay away, if you are one of those few.