Welcome To the Insane Asylum – Seeking Moral Courage - Chapter 5

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Welcome To the Insane Asylum – Seeking Moral Courage

Chapter 5


It’s generally understood by all that something that’s taken by force has much less value compared to the same thing given freely and willingly. Never again consider yourself powerless when it’s clear you posses something of such immense power and wealth that it’s constantly being manipulated and seduced from your hands.

For those who missed chapters 1 thru 4 in this series of 5, may I suggest you click the links below and read from the beginning before moving forward to this chapter? Thank you.

 

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/welcome-insane-asylum-%E2%80%93-our-collective-psychosis-chapter-one

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/welcome-insane-asylum-%E2%80%93-our-collective-psychosis-chapter-2

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/welcome-insane-asylum-or-how-we-learned-stop-worrying-and-love-big-lie-chapter-3

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/welcome-insane-asylum-%E2%80%93-making-reality-fresh-daily-chapter-4

 

 

Fear Is the Mind Killer

We rarely consider that fear is not only used by others to control us, but that we use it to control ourselves. Fear lowers our frequency of awareness, locking us into the here and now and shielding our minds from other possibilities and realities. We’ve been conditioned so thoroughly and completely from birth that now our fear response, which manifests in obvious and not so obvious ways, is the primary force in our universe. If we were to spend just a little time examining our actions, we’d find that fear is at the root of nearly all we do. Many “positive” emotions are actually fear based.

Not only do we immediately recognize fear for the power we’ve given it, but we’re conditioned to react in the same predictable and programmed manner. Fear, anger, rage, greed, lust, jealousy, envy, hate, indignation; these are all controlling emotions. Of all the things they have in common, the most important for the purposes of this discussion is that they narrow our perspective and shut down our reason, logic and empathy centers.

Of course, we can’t be controlled if we’re acting in our own best interest. So fear is used to disable our natural protective instincts. This sounds contrary to the belief that fear is what saves us when we’re in danger, the example being a lion, tiger or bear (oh my) that’s about to attack us. We’re repeatedly told fear mobilizes our body for fight or flight. And while that might be so, in our reality there are rarely wild animals around every corner, only the falsely projected perception of imminent danger all the time and everywhere we look, designed to shut down our higher awareness and coping mechanisms.

The fear response fully engages our ego, pulling the emergency manager even further forward to take total command. Our ego immediately disables our ability to engage in wide ranging intellectual movement, in the same manner martial law physically and mentally confines us and with it much of our capacity to act for ourselves. Our focus becomes fully on the here and now and we think no further ahead than hours or days at best. Everything becomes black and white, good or bad, right or wrong. There are no gray areas in an emergency and very little freedom of thought.

Our fear keeps us in the immediate moment and fully on ourselves, which doesn’t allow for a larger and healthier perspective. In effect, we become infantile when we’re fearful and we look for others to fix whatever it is that we fear. Of course, that would be whatever “authority figure” is attempting to control us, often family members, employer or co-workers, corporations that use fear extensively in commercial advertising and of course our own government. But equally often, we are both the controller and the controlled.

As I’ve explored in prior chapters, we place roadblocks in front of ourselves that give us an easily recognizable excuse to fail or even not to try. Often these impediments are constructed in exactly the same way as the external ones are, using fear as the template. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve projected into the future an entire sequence of events, discussions, circumstances and results that always conclude exactly the way I wish.

In the ultimate self fulfilling prophecy, my wish is usually to do nothing or to confirm that doing nothing is the correct and proper action to take. Carefully mixed into my own false projections are those our society and our controllers also use, resulting in a subtle confirming feedback that everything is as it should be and I’m helpless, just a poor victim without control or power.

The reason I talk about fear and reality is because of the direct connection. Let’s look at this a little closer. Fear narrows our view and perspective and limits or eliminates our capacity to think. Fear is the mind killer, which brings to mind a wonderful quote from Frank Herbert’s brilliant novel “Dune” where Paul recites the Bene Gesserit litany against fear. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

In effect this is what I did with my fear in the emergency room. I let it pass through me because I realized I gave it the power and I could disempower it as well. I recognized that fear was the controller only if I gave it the power to control and then removed that same power several times. Most people, including myself, have been trained from birth to fear our fear, to run away, to avoid or bargain with the fear rather than face it for what it really is, simply a manifestation of our inner confusion and uncertainty because the “reality” in front of us is not to our liking.

 

Deflation of the Mind and Spirit

I often think of fear in terms of deflation. It condenses, makes smaller, reduces in scope and ability and diminishes existing reality to less than what I perceived it was prior to when I became afraid. The reality I’m experiencing is shrinking in size and scope and my understanding and awareness shrinks as well in an exponential relationship as my fear increases.

The constant stress I feel from living the inauthentic life, of constantly lying to myself in order to ignore my insanity and that of everyone and everything around me leaves me shrunken and disabled and open to manipulation and exploitation. The absence of fear, the state of being without fear, is the natural state we’re born into. An infant just born is only frightened of loud noises and falling, as are most animals. Every other fear response is taught by us to our children, including our own phobias and conditioned responses.

This understanding was brought home to me with crystal clarity one day over two decades ago when my son was very young, barely 11 months old and newly toddling. One day while wobbling near a wall, he quickly turned around and walked directly into the wall. He bounced off but somehow kept his balance and was mostly startled though not hurt in the least. He looked over to me with what appeared to be an inquiring look. “What do I do now Dad?” My wife was just walking into the room and caught a glimpse of what had just happened.

I smiled and laughed and told my son that all was well and to carry on, saying “You’re OK, there’s no problem”. It was my tone of voice and relaxed expression that he was looking for, a signal from dad showing him how to deal with the reality that wasn’t what he expected and not really to his liking. He immediately relaxed and sort of looked around to get his bearing. There was no pain or fear in his face, just confusion because he was surprised by something he didn’t expect.

My wife quickly rushed up to him in great distress, which was written all over her face and in her voice as she quickly picked him up and began checking him out. My son immediately took the visual and verbal signs as extreme danger and began to cry his lungs out, which frightened my wife, which of course frightened my son even more. Once again my son had been conditioned to be fearful of something, in this case the unexpected. And he’d just received another of what would be a long string of life lessons in fear. Be surprised or startled, become frightened and then cry like hell, reinforcing the fear.

And the most important part of his conditioning was the act of being comforted when he was frightened and crying. I couldn’t help notice that as my son screamed his head off; he was trying to reach for my wife’s breast. My son received affirmation for his actions from his mother (and vice versa for my wife, who filled the role of nurturing protector) in the form of attention, such as being held, rocked and caressed. This was quickly followed by soothing words once my wife had calmed down and topped off with a reassuring bottle and a nap. Lesson learned.

We spend the rest of our lives seeking comfort to sooth every little bump, bruise and disappointment as we fulfill our (self) assigned life roles of husband, wife, employee, boss, thinker, baker and candle stick maker. The root lesson is that we don’t cry unless we’re hurt and if we’re hurt, we should cry and seek comfort. Pain is to be avoided at all costs, including the “legitimate” pain that is part and parcel of the inward search to answer life’s questions and which comes from a realistic searching assessment and understanding of oneself.

Instead of being the best we can be, we practice pain and conflict avoidance, always alert to potential dangers we’ve been conditioned to expect and which are usually way overblown. Regardless, our emergency manger ego likes it this way, always in demand, always useful. We all understand the terms “comfort food” or “comfort shopping” and I suspect we’ve all engaged in this behavior at one point or another. Simple lessons anyone can and does learn very early and very quickly. It’s now gotten to the point where we seek comfort just to make it through the day. The boss just yelled at me and my 4G iPhone won’t be here until Friday, where’s my nipple?

I was quickly admonished by my wife for not rushing to check on our son, whom she claimed could have been seriously hurt. To this day she still doesn’t understand her role in our son’s conditioning because she doesn’t want to understand. There’s a mental block preventing this reflection with a neon sign that reads “This way only leads to pain. Stay away.” She was simply passing on to our son her conditioning, just as the rest of the tribe teaches its newest members the only thing we know. If we don’t open our minds to other possibilities, we can never grow as a species. And like the well trained hamsters we are, we’ll climb back on the wheel once we’ve been sated and comforted.

 

Critical Mass and the Catalyst

The title of this section brings to mind those high school chemistry experiments we conducted where we’d create a solution and then let it cool. Suddenly as if by magic the liquid would be filled with solid crystals. You can create the same effect yourself by pouring lots of sugar into a glass of hot water and stirring it until it all dissolves. Then set the glass aside to cool.

If you watch carefully, the process happens relatively quickly. When the temperature reaches a lower point, suddenly more and more of the dissolved sugar can no longer be held in suspension. It appears that a critical mass is reached and much of the dissolved sugar reforms. It precipitates out of the solution and back into a solid. Forgive me if my terms are incorrect, but it’s the concept I’m after.

There seems to be a point where, when enough people become aware of something, suddenly nearly everyone becomes aware. Or at least we’re more likely to become aware, as if cognitive roadblocks are lifted. It’s almost as if the collective consciousness reaches a critical mass and rapidly explodes into the awareness of nearly every individual conscious mind. This point seems to be reached when about 5 or 6% of the entire human population (or the sub group directly involved or affected) becomes aware of something. This also appears to be the dynamic behind the herd mentality.

Now let’s consider the power of the catalyst. Thinking back to those chemistry classes again we all remember mixing up a solution and then placing a few drops of another chemical in it. This was the “catalyst”, that additional force, stimulant or irritant that seemed to be perfectly suited in every way to dance and intertwine with the existing solution. The catalyst started a chemical reaction that precipitated change. We all remember seeing a (sometimes clear) liquid turn into a jar of wet but solid crystals as if by magic.

My prior discussion about looking within and re-discovering our natural or innate power was written to illustrate that just as all matter has the capacity to change if given the correct stimulation or “incentive”, so too do we humans. The difference is that our power lay not only in understanding this concept, but that we can initiate it at will and even control the outcome. Since we shape our reality by way of our perception, this isn’t surprising when you step back and look at the big picture. Each of us has our own path to follow and so the strength of our understanding, and thus our power, varies greatly from person to person.

But not just power varies. We all react differently to others and our reactivity will change as we grow in our understanding and comprehension of our nature and ourselves within the greater collective. To illustrate this concept, think back to that chart on the wall in the science lab of the Periodic Table and remember that all the elements were classified by atomic weight or number as well as different “groups” of elements. There are some elements that are extremely stable and others that are reactive or unstable. My point is that some elements (people, concepts, realities) have a much greater effect upon our current reality, meaning they’re more reactive to those around them than others.

 

It’s Alive

Remember how the people at the commissioners meeting became not only active, but they began to teach those around them. Members of the herd became more “reactive” to others in the “universe” or herd. The herd began to learn from other members as they changed their composition and moved from being a passive element to that of a much more reactive element. So a form of leverage is realized here as the awareness grows in the collective consciousness of the herd. And awareness in oneself acts as a catalyst in others, which acts in an exponential manner to accelerate the group’s learning curve.

As our awareness and understanding grows, we move from an inactive, passive or self defeating consciousness to one that has become more aware, more informed and thus re-active. We in turn influence other people who’re orbiting us, such as family, close friends, co-workers or those who simply come within our sphere of influence, such as people around us in a store, on the bus, in the plane. Some of us who are very strong willed even have an aurora, charisma or a presence.

We’ve all been around people such as I’m describing. They have a presence, they move the room they’re in and people gravitate towards them. I’d love to hear the scientific explanation for this effect, this magnetism to borrow a term. Isn’t it interesting how our culture has words, and a broad understanding and awareness of what those words mean, for something that supposedly doesn’t exist scientifically or that science can’t or doesn’t wish to explain. 

As this process progresses and awareness leads the individual to grow emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, their learning curve grows exponentially. But their composition also changes to that of a more reactive element, which in turn destabilizes those passive elements around them, thus precipitating out of that passivity more awareness. And the reaction continues as if a wild fire has exploded under drought conditions. The entire herd’s awareness moves up the exponential curve until awareness quickly peaks and encompasses everyone. This is that 5 or 6% critical mass number I talked about earlier.

While on the surface it may appear that a light switch is flipped and the herd goes from 5% to 100% awareness, what’s happening is a good old fashioned exponential curve dynamic in play. This is also the curve our madness follows and once again a careful study of history shows this to be true. The cycle in and out of the insanity is not a circle but more accurately an extremely elliptical orbit or an elongated oval, with madness on one side and the highest awareness (for this cycle) on the other side.

The public consciousness is already moving on its own. The exponential change in our collective insanity, which we’re already exhibiting and acting out, is evidence of this change. The change is already here and more is coming. This cycle is already in motion, has always been in motion. There is nothing new to learn or believe regarding this cycle progressing because it’s self evident and self explanatory. This is happening and it’s happening now.

You and I see it coming in the form of stock market gyrations, bailouts and greed, tension between the haves and have not’s, North Korean torpedoes and US aircraft carriers around Iran etc. The question is can it be affected by you and me? Can we change the path already in place? And the answer is an unqualified YES. But we cannot consciously influence what we don’t clearly see. And we must understand its composition and properties before we begin.

 

Changing Our Influential Orbits

Even the largest objects in the universe, galaxies, can and are affected by other objects in the universe. While the biggest effect comes from other larger or smaller galaxies, in fact everything affects everything else to some degree. The Hubble telescope has shown dramatic pictures of galaxies spinning around each other in massive multimillion year dances. And our own solar system rotates around the center of our own galaxy.

On a smaller scale, inside our own solar system, both the moon and the earth directly and continuously affect each other even though they don’t ever come in contact. Our entire known universe is one big dance of cycles within cycles within more cycles. Of particular note for this discussion are comets and small asteroids which can be bumped or influenced out of their elliptical orbit (and into a different orbit) by another influential mass, again without ever making contact.

The take away here is to understand that the current cycle of insanity can also be bumped into a different orbital path very quickly if a mass of sufficient size is brought to bear. Remember that insanities mass is already there, it already exists, in the form of our current escalating madness. This path or orbit of madness is already playing out, but it can be influenced by either a reduction in the rate of growth of our insanity and/or in the rate of growth of our sanity. We either live within our own insanity as passive players or we change our own insanity.

The momentum is already there, the mass is already present, there simply needs to be an incremental change of energy in our orbit to effect overall change. All the components are already in the jar of fluid in our social experiment and the introduction of a small catalyst will effect a massive change quickly. Another example would be the way rockets are vectored towards Mars or other planets. By making small changes and using velocity and time to their advantage, the rocket scientists can effect big changes in trajectory with little energy inputs once the mass and velocity are already present. The components are already present and we have the power to effect change. It really is that simple.

 

Imagination Opens the Mind to the Possible

Just as fear contracts and closes our conscious mind and spiritual being, there’s an opposite state of mind that powerfully expands ones awareness and understanding. It inflates the entire mind and body and opens our consciousness and spirituality to any and all possibilities. When using this tool, which is so easy a child can and does use it, we find it brightens and fills from within that which was barren and empty. Consider this as you would the concept of inflation, which grows “reality” larger than the prior state and encompasses more than what was “real” before.

This can all be accomplished when we use our imagination, when we imagine a thing or a state of mind or an emotion which did not exist for us in that moment until we created it within our mind and gave it form and function. Consider that everything and anything is first imagined within man’s mind, that it’s formed in our conscious and unconscious minds well before it’s ever created by our hands. Thus, without our imagination, there is no reality in the same way there is no reality for most animals. For them, there just is.

Consider that its man’s mind that creates (significant) reality out of the raw material found around and about him. Yes, I understand some animals intentionally change their environment, such as a beaver building a dam or other animals when nest building. But this building is accomplished by animal instinct, not imagination. It’s almost as if these animals are genetically imprinted and are simply following an internal map.

What I’m talking about is an exercise in imagination of our imagination, the ultimate source of all creativity and creation. This creation is both in the literal sense, where tools are fashioned in the mind first, which then directs the hands, which then creates what was not prior but will forever be now that it’s been “created”. And also in the figurative sense, for do we not create our Gods, our evil spirits, our demons and our madness within ourselves before they manifest in the reality we’ve created and that we’re creating right here, right now.

Every part of our reality was imagined prior to its creation. Or might I say that every part of our reality is first imagined within the mind before it’s fashioned by the hand. If this is so, then what exactly is reality if not a figment of our imagination? I believe this is what Einstein was really talking about when he said “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”. And it remains persistently our illusion, our reality, for that is what we wish and want. Or at least we know of no other reality, so it cannot be anything other than what we know as our reality. It’s our reality, simply because we know of nothing else that our reality could be. It’s real because it appears to be real, making it real.

While relating this concept of imagining reality to a friend, he asked me how I would explain the cave man creating cutting tools by “discovering” that sharp broken rocks could be used as knives after accidently cutting himself on a piece of sharp rock. I replied that it still required the cave man to imagine using the sharp edge to cut something else, even if the instigation for the imagination was accidently cutting himself with the sharp edge.

Cutting yourself doesn’t automatically lead to cutting deer meat. But also notice that I didn’t say the person who actually discovers or creates something was the person who first imagined it, just that it needs to be imagined in order to be created in this realty. Once something is understood by enough members of the tribe, it’s known by all members of the tribe, even if every single member isn’t consciously aware of the knowledge.

 

The Highest Peak in the Deepest Valley

The entire idea of linear progression of man’s intellect doesn’t mesh with known history. It’s always assumed that today’s world of cell phones and automobiles is the height of human development. And the fact that people lived in grass, mud or stone homes 5,000 years ago means they were less “advanced” than us. Why does everyone think we’re now at the apex of human progress? That the only way to measure “progress” is with our own currently devised and constructed meter stick?

I can’t think of anything that demonstrates the incredible level of hubris our culture exhibits than our belief that we’re at the height of human development. But of course we must think this way, because to do otherwise would force upon us some overdue self reflection and examination. We simply can’t doubt or even question ourselves when that hamster wheel beckons and the replacement for the B-52 bomber is waiting for funding and future pilots.

So with absolute certainty we declare we’re at the top and everything that came before us was/is inferior. If so, why is it we still can’t explain how the Egyptian pyramids were even built (a new theory is offered monthly for those who care to look) let alone most of the other huge stone and earthen pyramids throughout the world? I’ve followed this subject for over 45 years and we’re still no closer to explaining the construction process than we were 150 years ago. Lots of patched together theories are all we can offer.

Nor can we explain why they were built. Everything I’ve read regarding the various reasons proffered is based upon the belief that the builders were primitives, which is an incredibility narcissistic approach to take when trying to understand cultures long gone. All this point of view succeeds in doing is to feed our superior attitude. I come from a family of structural engineers and architects and even one I’ve talked to tells me it would be extremely difficult to replicate many ancient monuments today, even though they were made 5,000 (or more) years ago by so called “primitive” people.

And what’s with those massive ancient earth works all over the world, including North America? And let’s not even mention things like the Antikythera mechanism. The list of the unexplained is extremely long and growing. Interestingly you find very little mention of these “outliers” in the text books, other than the cursory backhanded dismissal by those experts who won’t consider information that disproves their fully funded theories. Can we say institutional bias on a grand scale? If one cares to peek, there’s a whole universe of alternative thought available if we simply look to either side of our narrow narcissistic point of view.

My point is simple. We’re trying to explain our reality looking through a small hole in a large piece of cardboard that’s facing an even bigger universe. We don’t know what we don’t know we should even know to begin knowing. There’s no evidence that “proves” there were or weren’t (more) advanced civilizations 15,000 or 40,000 years ago other than our own conceit and self righteous assurances that we’re at the peak. An assurance we must believe if we’re going to keep spinning our hamster wheels.

And there’s plenty to suggest that there might have been earlier civilizations that did not need or want “technology” as we know it today. It’s well within the realm of believability that prior civilizations could have used different technology (spend some time studying Cymatics or Tesla to name just two “outliers”) even more advanced that ours today that they used to live full and happy lives. Notice I didn’t say “productive” lives, a distinctly 19th and 20th century word and concept creation. Is not expanding my mind, my personal universe, my spirituality the ultimate productive activity? Or is the real measure of our lives “X” number of units produced per (wage and debt) slave?

The so called “rigorous scientific process” leaves little room to stray very far off the beaten path. That alone doesn’t mean it’s bad if only science would admit that most of what it “knows” constantly changes. We need to remember that science is simply one method of describing our current and potentially future “reality”. Just like “terrorism” isn’t an army or a person, “science” isn’t reality; it’s a specific description of reality.

We could travel this road for a long time coming up with what ifs. And that’s precisely what the imagination is for, to imagine what if. The insanity of our current cultural mentality is that if our machines can’t count it, weigh it or measure it, it doesn’t exist, even if it’s right there in front of us. There are clearly things in our world today that don’t fit into any scientific box, but nonetheless they “exist” and thus are real. Is it possible that the insanity I spend page after page describing is actually blinding us to what reality really is or could be?

I find it extremely disturbing that so many highly educated people claim they “know” certain things with absolute certainty when what we “know” is being revised on a daily basis. Displaying such arrogant hubris and certainty in light of all this uncertainty might be an excellent definition of insanity, wouldn’t you say? We should spend our days saying “why not” and “what if” instead of “it can’t be” or “prove it” or ”this is the way it is”. Humility in large doses is always an excellent prescription to higher enlightenment and greater happiness.

 

Skynet is Sentient

What’s happened to the imaginer in today’s culture, those people who spent all day just thinking about possibilities, the Buckminster Fuller’s of the world? I find it deeply satisfying that as our physicists reach the boundaries of their machines, they’re turning to philosophy and (science) fiction for answers. Or at least they’re looking for inspiration and possibly confirmation.

I’ve often wondered if our technology is not some bastardization of our imagination for it appears as if the process of reality creation has been removed from our imagination and handed to machines that make other machines, effectively where machines make our reality. But of course this isn’t so; it’s just another illusion of our imagined realty.

However, because we no longer have conscious “control” over the machines making machines, I wonder if the effect is similar to the stock market running without circuit breakers, with the high frequency trading machines running wild. Maybe our technology is a mechanical imitation of our imaginations, which is tapped into the power of our imagination. But without the soul, spirit and creative spark human’s posses.

Maybe Skynet is sentient, only we’re Skynet and Skynet is acting out our insanity. A mechanical machine lacks the essence of being human, that of spirituality and creativity. And I wonder if this is behind the soul sickness humanity is afflicted with. In our madness, we create the machines that poison ourselves, effectively completing our suicide without having to personally pull the trigger. Near underestimate the brilliance of our own madness. After all, we’ve got our best minds working on it.

One of the dangers of too much reliance and belief in technology is the abandonment of greater understandings, of knowing something without having or needing proof. Isn’t proof only needed when doubt is present? Do you doubt your own self, your own existence? Do you need proof you exist and are here, are real and sentient? Then why do you need proof that humans are all powerful and that this power comes from within? Isn’t it interesting that as we have drifted further from the truth of ourselves, we demand more and more proof of ourselves?

I’m not talking about faith in “The One” saving me from myself as many religions teach us. This religious faith in the one goes a long way towards immobilizing us by creating a brain freeze that stops us in our tracks. Thus we shift responsibility away from those who have the power, “us”, to those who wish to acquire the power, “them”. What I’m talking about is a loss of faith in us, in ourselves, in our own natural power to move mountains.

While our leaders are constantly invoking this power in their speeches, what they’re really saying is that we should hand over our natural power to them so that it can be squandered and misused, so that a few can hold the power of God’s without the wisdom that’s required to accompany it. While we may hand over our power to others, the wisdom to use this power is naturally generated and shared by all and can never be given away or repudiated, only ignored and abandoned. This disconnect, this separation of soul, spirituality, wisdom and natural power is the source of our collective and individual insanity

We’re told that humans have occupied this earth for tens of thousands of years in our current state of evolution and millions of years in lower forms. Yet tens of thousands of year ago, our ancestors seemed to have survived quite well without leaders of the type we have today. They trusted themselves to know what was needed and to understand when it was needed. They reacted instinctually without any real thought or plan. They were as plugged in to the collective consciousness as we are not. Our advancements have come at a terrible cost and it shows. Just open a window and use your eyes.

As long as we view our past, our natural history, through the narrowly focused narcissistic insane eyes of our current reality, we’ll always fail to see anything of value to be learned and utilized. I believe this blinding is done deliberately and that our loss of insight is not only debilitating, but ultimately self destructive as well as sad to behold and to live within.

We read how sick animals seem to naturally know which plants or minerals to eat that will replenish or supply what their body needs. Somewhere along the line we humans, in our rush to divorce ourselves from “bad” nature, to supposedly become more perfect and better formed, have rejected that which we are by nature; sentient beings that are conscious. Do we hate ourselves so much that we would deny what we are? Is that not insanity? Are we not driving ourselves insane by repudiating our very selves and our natural abilities?

 

Taking a Stand and Declaring No More!

I soundly reject the notion that man is “naturally” corrupt and evil, that we’re selfish and antisocial. Please note the emphasis on “naturally”. Left to our own devices and without distortions externally imposed and then internally adopted, we’ll always act for the greater good of our individual and collective selves, just as every other animal and plant on earth naturally does. By our nature and the nature of all on earth, we seek balance both within ourselves and with everything around us.

I’m not saying that everyone will hold hands and sing songs of love and togetherness, most certainly not in our current insane condition. This natural balance can’t occur when we’re subjected to exploitation by the strongest of the weakest, when we’re subjected to constant warfare with the have-nots compelled to fight each other to benefit the haves.

Who can truly say what is “natural” when humans have been under artificial external and internal stress for millennium. This is why I examine older indigenous cultures for a glimpse of what man was and is capable of being before he was emotionally, mentally and physically subverted and constrained.

Just because something currently “is” a certain way doesn’t mean it always “was” and always “will be” this way. I find it telling that man’s “written” history coincides with man’s forced or induced decent into the hell we’ve found ourselves in over the past 5,000 years. People talk about man being naturally violent but a careful reading of ancient and modern history shows that the “average” man will usually only fight others in large organized groups to the death when we’re either bribed, coerced, conditioned or tricked (patriotism, conscription, money etc) into fighting.

Starve some dogs while intermittently beating them for weeks, then throw them into a fenced circle surrounded by screaming people while the handlers prod them and is it any wonder they’ll fight each other? Does this mean dogs are “naturally” vicious and killers? When a population is conditioned over hundreds of generations to act in a narrow range of responses and then it’s claimed this response is natural is beyond illogical and nonsensical.

The argument falls on deaf ears when presented as self evident, yet we hear and read similar explanations for mans behavior by so called intelligent people and entities. These explanations are plainly self serving for those who benefit from a controlled and subdued population. Who benefits most from the hamster wheel? And please don’t insist that the hamster’s “living conditions” are better. Let’s pull up some charts on infant mortality, obesity, mental illness, psychotropic drug prescriptions filled per year and on and on and on.

However, there’s no doubt that if these massive outside influences were suddenly released, man would violently rebound and struggle and many would die. This reaction can’t be considered “natural” behavior either, but simply the consequence of distortions being flushed from the system. These “natural” arguments are always put forward to justify doing nothing or to rationalize continuing or increasing the distortions, usually by the oppressors or by those who profit from the oppression, including many of the oppressed. We are after all our brother’s keeper.

I believe our government, and to a lesser but no less important extent our religions, tell us we’re “naturally” this way so that we can be more easily controlled. It makes it easier to justify the destruction and exploitation of everything and everyone we come in contact with. It’s the only way we can justify ideologies such as “manifest destiny” or the white man’s taking of black and brown slaves and other so called natural or political rights. This “natural” argument is the ultimate justification for taking what the powerful want and to hell with everyone and everything else.

It’s only when we surrender ourselves to mindless manipulation by nefarious forces, when we reject our responsibility to ourselves and to others, only then do we embody this insanity and begin to act against the greater good of our body and mind. To deny this self evident fact means either the denier is the manipulator or is deeply and mindlessly engulfed by the manipulation. To say that we cannot free ourselves from our own chains because man is naturally [fill in the blank] is to openly declare our own insanity.

 

Reject the Artificially Imposed Limitations of Self

I reject any and all external and internal limitations on my natural power. Nor do I accept any limits on the ultimate source of my natural power, wherever and whatever that might be. Someone may place a gun to my head and physically force me to do whatever they want. But they have no control over my free will, my imagination, my thoughts and emotions, unless I give that power to them. The powers that be know this intimately, thus they use deception and illusion to induce us to hand over to them that which they cannot take.

Consider also that most so-called Gods (at least many of the Gods explained and expressed by manmade religions) demand of us by our own free will the innate and natural power we all posses. It’s generally understood by all that something that’s taken by force has much less value compared to the same thing given freely and willingly. Never again consider yourself powerless when it’s clear you posses something of such immense power and wealth that it’s constantly being manipulated and seduced from your hands.

We must return to our inner self, our spiritual roots if you will, and re-discover the power which lay within. It’s our denial of ourselves that’s driving us mad. And this madness is being expressed by us in our reality. I don’t need to say anything more than this because from where I’m standing the truth is self evident. Why would we imagine we’d need a central power to direct us toward what comes naturally if only we’d allow it.

I’m not talking about shutting down the water and sewer systems, the banking system or the power plants today or tomorrow. I’m talking about shutting down that tendency that’s artificially implanted within all of us to reject our inner being, our sense of what’s right and just. Why would we accept an external source of “wisdom” from any “authority” that’s anything but wise and naturally powerful. Shut down this foreign force or entity within and the rest will take care of itself naturally over time.

The illusion that immobilizes us is the idea that everything must change instantly. I’ve talked repeatedly about the exponential nature of both the growth in our madness and of the efforts of the Ponzi to remain in control. This same exponential dynamic will also come into play if we chose to reject the madness and turn towards sanity and healing. One doesn’t question that the snowball set downhill will gather speed because it’s self evident. The same applies to the release of our natural power source, only at this point it doesn’t appear to be self evident because we’re blind to the power, the hill, our ability and our will.

Of one thing I’m certain. Change is not only coming but it’s already here. Our madness is real and it’s increasing. Even a casual stroll down the memory lane of history shows us that madness rises and falls, in regular cycles and rhythms. And we’re on the upward slope of increasing madness, though how close to the peak is anyone’s guess because this time it’s different, this time we have not only the desire but the technological capacity to do serious damage to ourselves. Our collective suicide will be broadcast 24/7.

 

Pain Avoidance Never Works

I’m not predicting what I’ve outlined will be adopted globally, though I promise you it can and will happen within us if we make the attempt. I’m saying that it’s entirely possible. The question is very simple, so simple in fact that it’s almost universally rejected as simplistic. How bad do we want change? How tired are we of our own personal insanity, not to mention everyone else around us? How desperate are we to push through the pain to the other side? Only you and I can answer these questions.

The active ingredient in this recipe is the will and desire to change. And the change must start within, in first recognizing our own capacity for personal change, which leads to larger and more permanent cultural change. I’m also not saying that by following this path we can avoid the pain of change. This will be extremely painful no matter what. We’re well along the path of insanity and anyone who says pain can be avoided is not being honest with themselves and those who are listening.

In fact, the promise of pain avoidance was and still is the catalyst for the looming disaster on the horizon. We’ve consistently handed over our natural power to the few in exchange for more and more promises of a better and happier life with little to no discomfort. We’ve always known these promises couldn’t be fulfilled. I personally believe we’ve driven ourselves mad by our delusional effort to avoid that which we all know deep down is inevitable if we continued to follow this path.

What’s coming no matter what is massive change and with it deep personal and social distress. The question is simple. Do we experience great pain along with death and dislocation and wind up in the same place on the hamster wheel? Or do we wish to exert our influence upon our insanity to effect long lasting social and cultural change with the cost being the same or less pain and dislocation?

I know the process I’ve outlined can and does work. This knowing comes from deep within and from personal experience. And I’ve watched and helped dozens of other people successfully follow the same path. Considering where I’ve been and the terrible prospects for my future at my lowest point (toes up in a month) my journey back might be considered remarkable.

But it’s only remarkable because of the extremely low expectations we have for ourselves and each other. And I submit our expectations are low not because they reflect what we’re capable of or what our reality could be, but because of what we’ve been conditioned and trained to believe. If our current reality is merely an illusion and I contend it is, we can decide to create any reality we desire.

This concept, this collective understanding, this deep inner knowledge is what keeps our insane leaders up at night and pacing the floors. For while you and I might not believe in ourselves, they most certainly believe in what we’re capable of. Finding ourselves, finding within ourselves what’s always there and has always been there, is their worst nightmare. Waking from our own nightmare will create theirs.

I find this supremely ironic because while we prepare for disaster, they’re also preparing for the end. Just not the same ending we are. They’re preparing for our awakening and with it their removal from power. They’re preparing for our inevitable accession precisely as our own belief in our awakening is at its lowest point. They’re extremely afraid of us exactly when we’re at our strongest point in our elliptical cycle but our weakest point spiritually and emotionally. At least someone has faith in us.

 

Self Will Run Riot

As I said previously I was one of those who visited deep emotional instability, who knocked at the gates of hell and stayed for quite a while. And then one day I made the personal decision that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, of dealing with my own insanity as well as everyone else’s. My personal mountain appeared to be overwhelming because I wanted to be the victim. I wanted everything with no effort and no cost. I had given up before I’d even started to make the changes needed because I’d convinced myself that change was impossible.

If I couldn’t have everything on my own terms with no effort and no responsibility, I wouldn’t even try. I would sit like a petulant child in my own excrement and cry for the nipple the terrible cruel world had ripped from my mouth. Why me, why now, why this, why not? My own self will had run riot, propelling me to the bottom of the septic tank pity pot. But all was not lost for I was queen of my septic tank and king of all septic tank dwellers. Misery loves company and I made sure I surrounded myself with other emotionally and physically damaged people. You know, for moral comfort and the intellectual exercise.

Then, for a thousand reasons and for just one, I gained the courage to take that tiny first step towards sanity and slowly built upon the initial success. I tried again and again, not always succeeding but still building experience, awareness and understanding each day. I’ve witnessed many others come back from even deeper into the abyss and I’ve come to understand that there’s never a point of no return as long as we’re breathing. There’s always the opportunity for reversal if the desire is great enough.

It’s not about finding the resolve to fix everything everywhere and all at once because that’s impossible.  It’s about working on ourselves, one step at a time, each responsible for themselves and themselves only. It’s about baby steps, not giant leaps. It’s about humility and empathy and about forgiving ourselves first, then those we love the most and those we hate the most.

It’s about accepting finally and completely that our very best efforts, the supreme output of every man, woman and child on this earth has created this stinking filthy cesspool. It’s time to find another way because this one failed eons ago. We’ve just been in denial about its failure up till now, when even our dead taste buds can no longer ignore the foul taste of self inflicted defeat. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. When we reach the end our rope, suddenly there’s only one choice to make.

I’ve been reading the comments left by my readers as each Chapter was published. There are many extremely smart people here on ZH, much smarter than me in many cases. But at times I’ve been a bit disappointed because while there were many discussing the extent or definition of our insanity or how it’s manifesting or even in-depth spiritual and philosophical explanations and criticisms, rarely did I see anyone stepping up and assuming personal responsibility to begin the change. Though there were a few notable exceptions and we know who they are because they were mostly ignored.

All these brilliant minds and yet so few willing to do the work of change. But of course, this is because the problem isn’t me, it’s everyone else. I’m already perfect, or at least nearly so. OK, maybe I’m flawed but still it’s not me, it’s you, it’s them, it’s they. I can only go so far without the others. I would start rowing but the others are holding me back. A thousand and one reasons for telling everyone else what their problem is so we can avoid looking at what our problem is. We’re all passing the buck and kicking the can while we complain about the “authorities” passing the buck and kicking the can. How apropos!

Everyone’s in the same septic tank I’m in. The only difference is our capacity for denial of our individual condition. Maybe I have a nicer TV or a newer car or more money or whatever we chose to distinguish between our little filthy fiefdoms. Only when we clear the filthy muck from our eyes and remove our nose plugs will we finally understand that we’re all in this together and each of us is responsible for our own little piece of the puzzle. Only when we want the solution more than the problems will we begin to turn the corner.

But even that doesn’t excuse each and every one of us from making those changes starting within, here and now, today and tomorrow, regardless of what my spouse or kids or boss or government does or doesn’t do. We are responsible. I am responsible. You are responsible. Get over it and get moving.

 

Save Yourself, then Save the Others

Let’s imagine your married with kids, are reasonably well off and while the economy’s doing poorly you’re OK or maybe even doing well. It’s the holidays and you have many of your extended family staying at your home over the long weekend. After staying up late talking and reminiscing, everyone finally hits the sack with people sleeping on floors, couches, wherever there’s space.

Around 4 AM you wake up. Your head is killing you and you can’t think straight. Through the painful haze you hear an alarm and somewhere in the back of your mind you recognize that it’s the carbon monoxide detector. So here’s the simple question. Do you get out of bed and walk alone to safety or do you do everything in your power to awaken the others, regardless of how difficult it might be? Do you make a determined effort to save as many as you can, including carrying or dragging family members out the door, even if it might mean you succumb to the deadly gas? Or do you walk to safety and do nothing else?

You’re the first one awake. No one else is. What’s your responsibility? What do you do now?

Do you even consider not helping anyone else? Do you just save yourself because the task looks damn near impossible and you’re all alone? You can’t help everyone, right? You dragged the wife and kids outside, but it looks hopeless doesn’t it? I mean you’re barely alive. It doesn’t even look like many of those left inside are still breathing. Let someone else go back in that’s more qualified. “I took care of my immediate family. I tried to shake some of the others but they wouldn’t wake up. And I’m exhausted and frightened and my head hurts.”

Of course, we know you’d go back in and you’d do everything in your power to save the rest of your family members. Why? Because they’re family? Because they’re valuable to you? Because you love them? Or maybe because you could never live with yourself if you didn’t at least try? Would you hesitate or would your response be obvious and natural? If your answer is anything but to go back in and save the others, you might as well just stop reading right here and click on another article. Because I’m not talking to you and we both know it.

So it’s pretty clear you’d go in for the rest of your family, right? But what would you do if it was your neighbor who was in trouble? Would you do everything in your power to save as many as you could if it was just friends or neighbors? How about if it was someone who just moved in next door and you’ve never met them? Would you simply call the police and fire department and then sit on the curb and wait for the “authorities” to tell you that you did everything you could and you did the “right” thing in a difficult situation? This is where we find out if we’re lying to ourselves and if we have any moral courage.

This isn’t a guilt trip because guilt can’t be given, only discovered or uncovered within. If we’re feeling guilty, it’s because we’re either doing or not doing something we’re feeling guilty about. I don’t give any guilt, I just present situations that might highlight guilt we’re already either feeling or in denial about. What I just illustrated above was an example of the distance we’ve created between ourselves and our fellow man. This is one of the results of huddling night after night in front of the boob tube for our daily propaganda, conditioning and cultural isolation exercises.

This is the leverage used against us by the powers that be to defeat our natural tendencies to save ourselves and our fellow human beings. Divide and conquer, isolate and indoctrinate, elevate our opinion of our own self worth and value while at the same time diminishing others in our own eyes. We wouldn’t think twice about saving our immediate family but we would seriously question whether saving the person down the street is even plausible or worth considering at all. Let someone in authority deal with it. So we pass our responsibility on to “the authorities” because we’re not responsible.

My friends, we are the authorities. We’ve called the police and they aren’t coming. We’ve called the judges and prosecutors and they aren’t coming. We’ve called the regulators and they aren’t coming. We’ve called our elected officials and they aren’t coming. Who do we call now? If we can’t see the obvious answer to that question and then act on it, we’re lacking moral courage and there’s just no way to sugar coat that ugly truth. There are three choices here that I can discern. We have moral courage and we’re willing to act on it. We want moral courage and might act if we had it. Or we don’t have it and/or we don’t want it. Everything else is just splitting hairs and hiding from ourselves.

We know deep down what needs to be done. I’ve laid out the case for action and we can either endlessly argue over the details and responsibilities or we can accept that something has to be done and it must be done by us now. This responsibility can’t be passed to someone else because there is no one else. There’s just you and I and anyone else who’s reading this. No one else matters because this is a conversation between you and me. There’s no hiding from ourselves though we try like hell. And every time we hide we make ourselves a little sicker, a little more insane and a little more psychotic.

Of course, we can all look away as if we didn’t see what we just saw. We can pretend we didn’t understand or it was directed towards someone else or whatever we need to do in order to swallow the blue pill and fall back into delicious denial. We can shuffle around arguing about details and plans and whatever busy work we can concoct in order to allow ourselves to live with the knowledge that we don’t have the moral courage to do anything about this. We can come up with ten thousands excuses for why we’re sitting on our hands while our distant cousin or our friend down the street slowly turns blue from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s ugly truth time and we know it.

I won’t end this without at least a few words about those who sing the doom and gloom song, declaring that we can’t do anything about the problem and we’re all screwed. I’m not surprised at all that someone like this would visit the Zero Hedge web site, a community most certainly about hope disguised as a whistleblower web site. Once again, I’ve passed down this road and so I’m speaking only of myself. If anyone finds value from my (self) description I’ll be delighted, but this has been going on far too long without being discussed.

I suppose this hopeless point of view might be correct, that we might all be doomed and nothing can be done. But if this is so, it brings to mind a few questions. Why does Zero Hedge scream day after day at the top of its lung about the corruption and abuse if Tyler, Marla and company didn’t think it might do some good? More importantly, why would the doom and gloom proponents visit such a web site unless something deeper’s going on? I won’t point fingers because it serves no purpose. What I will do is speak strictly about myself because I’ve traveled this road before.

There was a time when I felt nothing could be done, that it was hopeless and the ugly painful end was inevitable and certain. Quite frankly, I would visit web sites like Zero Hedge because I was secretly, almost desperately, hoped that something might be done about this shitty deal we’ve been handed. And I wanted to believe that the people on these web sites might be the ones who would initiate the change. At times I wanted to believe that someone, something, anything could make a difference. I wanted hope so badly I could cry. Please, let there be a way out. Please.  

But I also didn’t have the moral courage to join the minority, to go against to flow by declaring my independence and then acting on it. It was easier to hide among the crowd and proudly show my “crowd courage”, to be a paper tiger by screaming and crying and moaning while doing nothing. In truth, I lacked the personal moral courage to act independently, where the greatest effect and leverage would be realized but where the greatest personal danger also lay. It was so much easier to settle into my conditioning, to give up before even beginning, to admit defeat before ever lifting a finger in opposition. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Isn’t that human nature?

I was endlessly cycling through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, though the public face I usually presented would be one of false acceptance. I would pretend that declaring we were doomed was acceptance, but in reality it fit perfectly with my desire to be powerless and not responsible. It allowed me to avoid the need for moral courage while appearing to be resolute and “practical”. I was a public coward disguised as a truth speaker.

I didn’t need to offer solutions because my solution was to huddle in the corner and wait for the end. Any counter arguments were dismissed with a wave of the hand. “Doomed I tell you, doomed. Only a fool tries to move a mountain.” Of course, I didn’t want to move it, to be responsible for even trying to move it. I wanted an excuse to take care of myself and no more and I found it.

But I also wanted to secretly swim with others of my kind, to seek confirmation from other doom and gloom adherents that I was correct, that we’re all screwed and the end is near. And most importantly, that there was nothing we could do about it, thus confirming what I wanted to hear, that we were powerless and impotent and that I was doing nothing wrong by doing nothing right. I wanted to satisfy myself that I was correct as I cowered in my hole. I wanted moral absolution for my morally indefensible inaction.

I needed to hear that I could do nothing about the problems and it would be insane to even try. The only way I could live with myself was to be assured that I was morally right to do nothing other than to save my own ass and to hell with everyone else. I was a coward and I desperately wanted to believe I wasn’t a coward. “Please, someone agree with me that it’s hopeless and futile to resist. Tell me what I want to hear so I can live with my wretched self.”

I wanted confirmation that my missing moral courage was in fact not missing. So I’d puff up my chest and strut my stuff, feeling superior because I knew more than my comatose neighbors. In righteous indignation I’d scream for blood, demanding “someone” do something about these problems. See me pointing at all those bad guys. See, I really am doing something about all these problems. I’m leading because I’m screaming. Isn’t that how it works? It’s everyone else who’s screwing up. I’m absolved from actually doing anything because I’m showing everyone else the bad guys. I was first awake so now it’s everyone else’s turn to do the “work”.

Of course, when the call for volunteers went out, I was too busy screaming. Besides, I’ve got too much to lose. Let others with less to lose go first. I’m worth more. Isn’t that exactly what our culture said for centuries, and still says now, as we slaughter one culture after another? That “their” lives are worth less than ours, that they’re expendable, whether it’s in our wars or in our factories.

It seems I learned my lessons well for after taking a close look at myself I didn’t see much difference between myself and “they” or “them”. They send others to fight their wars of oppression and conquest and I wanted to send others to fight my war of resistance. Which is what I was really saying when I declared it was hopeless. “Don’t count on me buddy, find some other fool to take the lead.” It’s not pretty to look in the mirror and see such dishonesty. This was example “A” of my personal display of genuine imitation moral courage.

After all, how much courage did it take for me to sing the victim blues and declare that all was lost? I mean, what a great justification for ignoring my neighbor’s silent scream for help as I horde my resources and ignore the floating bodies and decomposing corpse’s. What I really wanted was vocal moral support for my lack of moral courage. After a hard look in the mirror, I had a simple choice. Avoid mirrors or welcome change.

I understand my words will be considered harsh by some, but please remember that I’m only talking about myself. It’s clear my views are somewhat unique and don’t apply to everyone. It’s not my intention to call out anyone specifically but rather to call out everyone together. Someone needed to stick their head out of their fox hole so it might as well be me.

I’m relating my experiences in public so that others may learn from my terrible mistakes and possibly empathize and identify. I’m simply expressing an opinion, which is no more or less valid that yours. If the reader feels that I’m directly challenging him or her, maybe it’s time to sit down and have a heart to heart with your inner self and your ego. That’s where I started.

 

Suggestions

First find yourself and then find the others.

Begin the process of clearing the mind and body by starting the de-programming. Shut off the TV and Radio now. Even if you don’t think you’re addicted to it or affected by it, go ahead and turn it off anyway. I think you’ll be surprised. Argue all you want about your ability to filter out the propaganda but if you haven’t followed my suggestion to read up on subliminal messaging, advertising and propaganda you don’t know what you’re up against. Clear it all out of your daily routine and within two weeks I promise you things will begin to clear substantially.

Challenge yourself on a daily basis. If I’m not suffering a major cognitive dissonance on a monthly basis and a minor one weekly, I’m not pushing myself enough to grow. Exercise your mind by pushing your comfort zones and your preconceived notions. Purchase a book on a subject you absolutely reject as bunk and read it with an open mind. You don’t learn squat from reading stuff you’re already familiar with and in agreement with. Staying in your comfort zone just feeds your confirmation bias.

And if you think you might be addicted to Zero Hedge, you are. If the site goes down for 30 minutes and you’re starting to get nervous, you need to broaden your news and commentary sources. Zero Hedge can be bad for anyone if we’re using it to feed our confirmation bias and to build false courage. I always spend at least 45 minutes a day reading main stream media sites to see what we’re being told because occasionally the main stream media does tell the truth. I’m not saying ZH is bad at all, just that nothing should be your sole source of information. Nothing!

Build a bullshit filter, not a solid firewall. Learn to discern between what propaganda is and what group think is. This requires you to stretch your legs and read things that might disturb you. Do it anyway. I’m constantly expanding into personally unexplored areas of non consensus thinking. “Why not” should be the first words used when approaching anything new. Once you begin to examine and question with an open mind, you’ll be shocked to discover how much of your “personal” opinion is actually beliefs seeded and implanted by others.

Don’t work alone. And the ZH community does count as working with others. We all need a flesh and blood compatriot who will walk with us down some scary roads and who will challenge our thinking. If you find someone you agree with all the time, find someone else because the prior relationship was intellectually incestuous. I want to exercise my thought process, not play patty cake with someone who plays nice and won’t hurt my feelings. No more lies.

Question everything and everyone, starting with this article and everything else you intellectually consume. Drag out all those comfortable assumptions and beliefs and give them a good scrubbing. Honestly examine them in the bright light of the noon sun and challenge them like you would a government spokesman. If your thinking is sound, it can withstand anything. If it wilts, time to open the mind to alternatives. If you can’t be honest here, that just proves you’re hopeless, not the situation.

Stop sounding like a fire alarm. The reason I couldn’t initially wake people up was simple; I sounded like a maniac to them. All I was to those comfortably asleep was an out of control fog horn that never shut up and never offered solutions. Be compassionate and considerate. It’s impossible to take years of knowledge and cram it into a frightened and emotionally closed person so don’t even try. Use the carrot and throw away the stick.

If the person isn’t responsive after a few tries, walk away and stop pushing. The more you push, the harder they’ll resist. The instructor will appear when the student is ready. Move on to the next person. Find those who’re receptive to your gentle message and encourage more learning in small doses. You’re looking to build alliances, not massage your ego by forcing someone to agree with you. From long experience, I’ve found only 2 out of 10 will be willing to listen and 1 out of 10 will actually want to learn more. This is to be expected and this is the way it is. Don’t fight it, just move on. You didn’t wake up over night and neither will they.

Set realistic goals and revise them as you progress. You’re not going to change the world tomorrow and you won’t change yourself in 6 months or even 6 years. It’s a continuous process. Accept this as fact. Count on the increasing numbers of people who are waking to do the heavy lifting. You just focus on the path directly in front of you and your partner. Let the bigger issues sort themselves out on their own for now. You’re not Superman, thought you’re ego will tell you otherwise. Start small and build experience. You’re in training here. You’re not expected to run the mile in 6 minutes if you’ve spent the last 5 years on the sofa. Take it easy but be honest regarding your effort. You’re only bullshitting yourself if you try.

You’ll find it extremely difficult when family members start (or continue) to resist. And they will be upset because to them it appears you’re the problem because you’re the changing party. Don’t destroy relationships over this, but don’t give up either. Respect their right to stay in denial but don’t enable their denial. You have a right to do as you please and you shouldn’t hide your activities because your spouse becomes upset. Their anger or concerned reaction is the manifestation of their cognitive dissonance caused by your change. You’re doing this for yourself first, then your family, then your community, then your country. That’s the order so stick to it.

Continue to prepare. I never said we shouldn’t prepare. All I said was that self preservation should not be our exclusive activity. Follow the airplane oxygen mask rule. Place yours on yourself first, then turn and help the others. If all you think about is your mask or that of your family, you’re out of balance and drifting back into the insanity. You have a responsibility to yourself and your family first, but then your community. Shoulder that responsibility.

Speaking of community, become active and get involved. I’m not talking about politics though that’s fine if you wish. I’m talking about community growth and support. Have you ever attended a local council or city managers meeting? Have you ever volunteered at a soup kitchen or a woman’s shelter or to pick up litter on the side of the road? This is your community. Treat it like its valuable and it will become valuable. Support it and it will support you. Give first, not last.

There’re plenty of ZH people and other web sites who have great ideas on how to fight back that I didn’t cover here. There’s no right or wrong way to walk this path, only an honest or dishonest way. Start small and work your way into the change you want to see realized. Don’t become buried in projects because you’ll soon experience buyer’s remorse and burn out. The world isn’t going to end tomorrow, though at times it may feel that way, so conserve and sustain. Work steadily and continuously rather than in bursts of manic activity, which is usually followed by depression because you don’t see immediate change. Slow goes the turtle over the hare.

So now it comes down to you and me and him and her and they and them. Whether or not we as a collective or you as an individual decide to make a change will not affect my path or my willingness to continue. What about you? I asked the following question a few chapters ago and it bears repeating. What are you going to do about this? What am I going to do about this? What are we going to do about this? If not now, when? If not us, who?

I constantly remind myself that we have a few things to do today. First we find ourselves and then we find the others.

Cognitive Dissonance - 06/23/2010

 

BTW, I pulled out that x-ray of the nail I shot into my leg (which I talked about in Chapter 4) and I thought you might be interested in seeing it. It really was amazing how well it all worked out. The orthopedic surgeon told me that if I had shot the nail an inch or so lower I would have blown out the back of my knee or worse. And if the nail had entered an inch further left or right, I would have split or shattered the leg bone. He said in all seriousness that if I was going to shoot myself in the leg, I couldn’t have picked a better spot. Simply amazing and something I’ll never forget. It was definitely a learning opportunity.

Nailman


Chapter 5

 

 

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Logic Bomb's picture

Thoroughly appreciate your thoughts and honesty.  I strongly feel that the root of many problems discussed on ZH start with the world's unquestioned ideas of what money is and how it works.  If consequential solutions are to be had, this is where I am choosing to start.

What happens if everyone can create their own currency?   ....not barter....personal equity....and electronic to boot.  Same infrastructure, different rules. Suffice it to say that this proposition sounds incomplete, but the flood of reasons why this wouldn't work are solved if you imagine how the game would play out... 

You accept currencies at par that you "believe" in.  You discount or deny those you don't.  People not known widely in the community find they must collect corporate, local government, or respected personal currencies to transact.  Professionals organize into trading blocs that collectively issue currencies.  Dollars of the 1-3 year plumber bloc are worth less than the dollars of the 10-higher year plumber bloc.  Walking into a Wal-Mart, technology enables you to see that your spendable account converts to 1,233 Wal-Mart dollars.

Investment comes down to currency trades...essentially voting for someone by taking an equity stake in them.  Your bank account becomes a blend of the various currencies you choose to invest in, and you designate the proportion of each to be spendable vs saved.   The need for debt obligations is mostly eliminated. 

Its a work in progress and from research I can see that people need to get desperate before it will work, but it will work and has in the past.  There are deep philisophical reason for why this MUST work.  First, because centralized currencies pool too much power in too few hands.  Second, because debt based money systems require competition to converge on exploitation.  Third, because debt carries risk of default and the myriad of derivatives to shift risk, while equity comes with the understanding of shared risk and reward.

This may seem to be off topic or a far fetched proposition, but if I take anything away from your message, its that time for talk alone is over.  Its time to start choosing our contribution to the solution and persuing it with everything we've got.  It is too easy to see the situation as dire; it is more inspired to look at the situation as an opporitunity....

hamurobby's picture

CD, I read your series, and I easily relate to what I will call a bottom up look at myself. Never have I read anything about sociology and felt it reflected my perception as well as your work, and I now feel vindicated. I am far from "repaired", but im a work in progress. I do feel so sorry for those who can not allow themselves to believe what we allow our society and status to be, could be flawed.  Great job, and thank you, I will be passing it around.

Fractured Space's picture

I am always late to the party, but that might be Karma, being I was born two weeks late. As far as war stories go, Feel for my mother, I was 11lbs 2 oz when it happened.

That being said CD, I feel this amateur works contain some of the best writings around. In the current Lexicon, Amateur has taken on a less the noble meaning and but Captain Obvious is telling me to stop for I have more important things to say.

I will hearken back to some of the ideas which I have posited on how to move forward. Weather they are unique, new or not feasible they are, and I have the contacts to take this inkling and make it happen. The basic premise comes from standards and standard bearing and the open access to said standards. For this mental exercise think of the IPK under a bell Jar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilogram. At the core of life beyond self are Communities they need financing, roads want to be fixed, but you would be investing into a full time job if you wanted to track them all, in order to maintain honesty in your city council meeting. Maps and info help but like in Hitchhiker's Guide the info is buried in the basement of city hall, hence why we all love the idea of Zero Hedge.

Getting to the meat of the Idea, there are great free and paid resources, where socio-economic (GIS) data is aggregated and mapped see - PolicyMap.com, but if no one is looking what does it matter. Combine that with a site like SeeClickFix.com, where communities can manage their infrastructure, the layers of Google Maps, and the power of FACEBOOK (your 6% critical mass) and you can have working model of how to keep people informed, comment, and start showing up. The goal of this amalgamation of technologies would be for people to see the very innerworking of the places we call home. Prometheus did not take the fire back so lets keep the creative fire burning.

If anyone cares are sees some value to this idea say so, It can be yours to run with.

kevinearick's picture

Programming Digital Ponzi Schemes

So, a boss comes to you and asks for a digital ponzi implementation, a gravity enterprise system. You laugh you’re a— off, and then code behavior attribute collections, and place individuals into the groups by behavior. The moment an individual is identified as being counter-productive to the scheme, all individuals from the group with the same attributes are removed from the credit pool. The other groups are promoted, but not safe. These groups get bigger, but when an individual in one exhibits counter-productive results, the bigger group gets eliminated from the credit pool.

At this point, no laws need be enacted, because individuals are watching which behaviors are being rewarded and which are being penalized. Individuals getting kicked out then replicate the rewarded behavior for re-entry into the bottom rung. Now, the law follows behavior, informally at first, with peer pressure, and then formally, with artificial majority rule. Pretty soon the law is applying increasing leverage to enforce the system, in a closed loop. Every time a group gets kicked out, more laws are written. The rotor is locked into the stator, the dog is chasing its own tail, and laws are being kicked out in every direction. Finally, the bosses themselves have attributes.

And there’s your gravitational field, which the planet sees, because it s algorithm is designed similarly, to efficiently collect and remove replication of systems that are not increasing diversity, and bred behavior cannot be changed in real time. Sooner or later, you have a demographic bomb. We now have a bomb ready to explode. So, what do you want to do with all that potential energy?

The gravity enterprise architects, the judges, are like the Sith. There’s no point in trying to stop them, because they are quite assiduous at keeping records. Instead, you build a relativity circuit that is energized / pressurized / fed by the explosion to create a productive outcome. The US Constitution was an open-loop relativity circuit at inception. Congress modified it at the behest of legacy interests, through the banks controlling the Fed, and appointments to the US Supreme Court. You’ll have that.

No one forced anyone to chase money with debt, credit expansion, which gave the Fed all its tools, and there is always going to be a legacy interest behind the curtain pulling levers. There is no sense in replacing that operator with a better lever puller. It’s more productive to replace the looking glass, or, better yet, apply an algorithm to modify the current looking glass to feed many new looking glasses. So, what do you want to do with the constitution?

My suggestion is to add an amendment that pops laws off the stacks with consistent application of legal doctrines across the stacks. Turn the law onto itself, within community constitutions, through purely municipal law, which will give the states and congress no choice but to make similar adjustments, when the municipal bonds crash and force the municipalities into bankruptcy (better yet, give all the prisoners that have to be released a ticket to Washington DC).

Legally, attack state and federal corruption with their own legal doctrines, to cut government down to size. It’s much cheaper to pay all these people to stay home than let them go to work. They can play golf with their friends at the AMA retirement home. It’s no accident that the US imprisons more individuals for system errors than all other nations on the planet, and has the poorest performing healthcare system, at the highest cost.

Or, unfold your lawn chair, pour a cup of coffee, and watch the show, as A becomes D, and B is replaced with E. Several have commented that existing law could not be overturned. That was never the point. The point was to lock the rotor into the stator, and remove the belts, once they removed all the circuit breakers. The law doesn’t change behavior; it follows behavior, efficiently paving a road that is already well-travelled.

If you consider the system as just a system, separate from its psychological and social dissonance effects, which are self-imposed, it’s quite ingenious. A handful of people are working in tandems to get 7 billion people to compete against each other as individuals, and all they have to do is control the distribution of oil, to which they have addicted the population … but now its time to put all that potential energy to work, the easy way or the hard way. The system is crossing the bridge, it can’t get across, it can’t turn back, and the bridge is really just false-work, never designed to carry the system’s dead weight when it stops.

So, there I am smoking a cigarette, and a mother and daughter team make it a point to walk by me, coughing and remarking as they pass, like twins, pete and repeat. So, there I am, double time Sunday, and the boss brings his 12-yr-old son in to babysit. The son is pulling his father’s tools just out of his reach every time he goes to pick one up. The father sends his son over to work with me, and I send my challenged helper, his best friend, over to work with him. In a few minutes, the son is wiring the motor and pump to the controller, and the boss is at his friend’s throat.

Poor critters. God love ‘em; they just can’t help but give themselves away. All you need is a prop, a sledge hammer at point 3, and a pressure switch. The golden rule is a looking glass. For those with a key, it’s a helix. For the self-absorbed, it’s a mirror. The latter automatically replace “you would have others” with “others have done”, looking back instead of forward, in a closed loop, self-fulfilling prophesy of replication, on the assumption that there is no space between the mirrors. They walk back and forth around the circle, turning around each time they see their own reflection, until they are absolutely confident that they know everything about the circle, at which time the circle becomes a point, and the false-work collapses.

We have reached the point in History, again, where the flexible capability of the artificially defined minority is swamping the rigid practices of the artificially defined majority. Within an economic life, the proprietors would normally swap polarity in the stator, to keep the rotor spinning. At the end of an economic life, they would normally move the rotor to a new location and build a new stator. In this case, everyone has seen the show, there is nowhere to move, and the planet itself is about to experience swapped polarity, which means that the voltage in the neutral line must be 0, or its going to get ugly to the extent it’s not. The best way to get there is to build communities with 0 net voltage, to balance multi-national behavior, as a foundation for next stage growth.

You do what you do. Evolution will take care of the rest. Quantum development is a perception. Change is occurring at all times. It just cannot be measured by knowledge, which is all the govt/corp system has. Beware; that cigarette may be a pressure switch.

(2 years of crisis management and the university administrators are still triple dipping? Critters just can’t help themselves. It’s like shooting flightless ducks in a pond, the pond is being drained, and the number of shooters is growing exponentially. That’s the problem for the ponzi secret societies; they have no exit. Once we play this thing out, we’ll install the last piece, open the gate, and start the new motor up.)

Fractured Space's picture

To Wit:

 

Who is John Galt, and did he actually stop the (your) motor of the World?

 

No.

tip e. canoe's picture

wit to:

john galt could not stop the motor because she was too busy looking at herself in the mirror and creating elaborate dreams in his/her mind of stopping the motor.  regardless, the motor does not need stopping, the motor just stops itself.

yes.

Winisk's picture

There is something about us that craves order.  I think we feel less anxious if we can trust that our environment is stable. Perhaps that's why so many people remain in denial, to maintain that false sense of predictability.  That may also explain why we engage in magical thinking.  It masks over all the chaos and uncertainty.  You ask some hard questions.  Is it fair to push folks out of the denial without offering a clear alternative?  Personally I feel more comfortable understanding the problems even if there is no obvious solution.

I am reminded of the time my brother was hanging on for dear life after the vehicle he was in was clobbered by a train.  Our family was escorted into a quiet room in the hospital and was offered support from a church minister on site.  That freaked me out.  Afterward the doctor described the injuries to us.  Broken ribs, punctured lung, possible head injury, all very serious stuff but strangely I was more comforted by this than the prayers.  I'm more comforted by the raw descriptions of our financial wreck than the magical thinking surrounding the stimulus bullshit.  I find order in that.  It makes sense to me even if it isn't optimistic.  We don't all think and feel alike so who am I to disturb someone else from their comfort zone.

What am I doing to promote change?  I'm doing the little things discussed frequently here.  But can I do more? I keep asking myself that now.  I never really thought hard about this before.  I have pulled back from my own preaching.  Those who know me know my outlook.  I don't hesitate to move quickly into conversations concerning the economy.  I am planting seeds.  But mostly I think of my own children and what I need to do to provide them with a good life and give them the tools to survive in a scary world.  I need to teach them to trust, for their own sense of order, while preparing them not to trust the people put in charge to care for them and the world they will inherit.

Thank you for your passion, dedication and persistence.

juangrande's picture

CD, Thankyou so much for the eloquent presentation. Although, semantically, my experience disagrees with some of what you say (ie. fear keeps you in a state of presence) the overall jist is beautiful. If one person who is searching for answers reads this and is influenced by it, that makes it totally worth the considerable effort. I'm sure it was cathartic for you, also. Again I say --   well done.

sharadov's picture

CD - chapter 5 was the gem of the five part series. It resonated completely with my personal philosophy.

 

Great work!

IEVI's picture

 

Cognitive Dissonance
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Clinteastwood's picture

C'mon, Cognitive Dissonance, I'm calling you out.   You are not really serious.  The ONLY radical thing I've seen/heard in all of this is.......Dylan Ratigan's call for those who are underwater in their mortgages to quit payin'.   Anyone else wanna go all the way and encourage non payment of taxes?  Didn't think so.

Cog-Dis.....................congratulations on seeing through the lie of 911,....otherwise..

Your 5-part diatribe is just striving after the wind....and boring repetition.

 

 

impending doom's picture

Last time I checked, Clint, they take their fistful of dollars, before I ever see a dime. So how would you suggest one go about avoiding paying taxes? Perhaps you've heard of that fellow in Las Vegas who tried to pay his employees in gold coins. How'd that work out for him?

rats's picture

For me, the main benefits of article was methods in waking up and motivation to try and wake other people up. 

 

A person on track of self actualization shouldn’t be told what to do they should already understand what should be done, it is just a matter if they want to accept the consequences of following that path.

 

Miles Kendig's picture

Thanks Cog for the call to stand as individuals and in human community.  peace

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe7yOccqdxI

Clinteastwood's picture

Hey Miles,

Real nice Pete Seeger.

And peace to you too, man.

 

kevinearick's picture

Reaction Pathway

Biochemical computers, pure physics computers, micro-generators, macro-generators.

Of course agency wants to skip steps, but it can’t, and it needs us to get to the threshold. Agency can’t learn; it can only know. Of course someone will give agency a macro-generator when the time comes. So what? All it can do with knowledge is create gravity, which we can then employ as a catapult. That’s life. The universe always has a sledge hammer waiting for those that think they know. Maybe by then human critters will be intelligent enough to employ gravity constructively.

History is gravity. Mold it accordingly. After thousands of years, all agency has is replication. It can’t even employ trial and error. It needs us for that. Tell it nothing; it is a thief by nature, and it always finds someone with an offer of something for nothing. It’s a straight line. If it goes through two points, it will certainly go through the third; it’s just a matter of time, which is why it always gets hit by the sledge hammer. A constitution protects agency, its natural inclination to create artificial majorities, from itself.

The President is doing his job. He’s talking. It’s our job to do. If agency does anything, it’s because one of us told it how, so we have no one to blame but ourselves. Agency is not people. We pay people to hold offices we don’t want. Problems don’t arise when they forget they are actors; problems arise when we conveniently forget they are actors, after we have encouraged them to take responsibility for outcomes, like incorrectly predicting the weather 4 years from now.

We can pay them to apply the brake as government officers, or to apply the accelerator as corporate officers, but they cannot steer. Only we can do that. If we end up on the rocks at the base of the cliff, that’s our fault, and making them the scapegoat isn’t going to change the outcome. If no one is on the train, does the train exist?

Mr. FedEx just stepped on the third point, stating that small business serves big business. His customers are beholding to him? How ignorant is that? Food chain? Is that the train you want to be on? If so, Boeing has a bunch of planes it wants to sell you, all designed on the digital computer, Oracle just loaded up on all kinds of businesses it knows nothing about, and Google is selling queries to the highest bidder. Full steam ahead, with plenty of numbers in the computer, placed there by the Fed, but watch out for that moratorium whiplash, all in a big multi-national circle-jerk, paid for courtesy of the US taxpayer, who is now tapped dry. Some benzene with that oil?

Government is perfectly capable of applying the brakes, and corporation is perfectly capable of applying the accelerator, with no information. The problem is they have too much knowledge, too many bad assumptions; the contacts are shorting all over the place, and the electrical panel is on FIRE. Assuming we extinguish the fire, there is no end to the work. We have to adapt all the technology in a global modernization effort. We don’t have to create demand; the universe is kind enough to create more than we can ever supply. Our choice is in how we choose to supply it, preferably in a positive feedback loop over time to match the pace of planetary evolution.

My suggestion is that since we have burned up the electrical panel, we begin by rebuilding our communities and populate them with small business, with an equity stake in outcomes, which are not beholding to big business or big government, seeing as they now need a towline out of that hole they dug for themselves, to re-ignite effective participation. Let agency write whatever history it wants. We can change it later, as the need arises. If you look past the fire, you will see that unprotected labor has been erasing the artificial geographic lines responsible for wage arbitrage for some time now. We just haven’t made a big deal of pointing it out to government or corporation. They don’t know it yet, but they are going to need some new formulas.

 

Quantum development is a perception problem.

 

We made Ronald Reagan for three reasons: he kept bureaucracy busy and out of our hair, he hired superintendents that were smart enough to look the other way when the work needed to get done, and he understood that he was an actor. President Obama skipped a few lessons, thinking that above-the-line law represented the economy, so he has to learn on the job. So what? He’ll catch up to the curve or he won’t, and his bad advisors are already lining up to jump off the ship. 

The other “leaders” were not afraid of Ike because he was Ike. They were afraid of Ike because his generation liked him enough to go all out to war with him. What did Obama’s predecessors leave him? A mercenary force, augmented by kids that think war is a video game until they get hurt and government is nowhere to be found, and, of course, Rubin, Summers, and Greenspan. C’mon. 

Many have forgotten how important the interstate highway system was, except to load it up with pork now that it is well past its time, just as they are loading up the Internet now. The entire digital economy is bankrupt, on life support, and they are still in the hole, pulling their oxygen tanks behind them, digging, because that is all they know. And we are supposed to get excited and jump in to assist them because they are running out of oxygen? They have a towline and they have cleats. 

The AC wave cannot be seen until the last piece is inserted, and the gate makes. The Keystone Kops in congress don’t engender a whole lot of goodwill.

Crab Cake's picture

I've long thought of how to respond...

I will let this quote from Dante's Divine Comedy do it for me.

Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Such characters in colour dim I mark'd
Over a portal's lofty arch inscrib'd:
Whereat I thus: Master, these words import.

Trifecta Man's picture

Diana Christensen: Let's stop kidding ourselves. Full-fledged messiahs don't come in bunches.

Dr. Sandi's picture

Diana Christensen: Let's stop kidding ourselves. Full-fledged messiahs don't come in bunches.

Maybe so. But when they do, they have a lot more fun!

Trailer Trash's picture

CD, Thank you for your series of essays.  I made it to the middle of chapter three in one sitting last Sunday and will endeavor to finish up this weekend.  It's good to read something uplifting.

Verum's picture

CD, throughly enjoyed all five (one) pieces. I feel that my life's journey has been one of falling in and out of an introspective state. Self realization is not an easy thing to accomplish in this society, as you are an outcast if you do not fall in line. ZH and yourself as well as the help of other sources have got me back on the path and I will stay on course this time.

Here is an good read I found today which relates well to the "us vs them" thought pattern as well as a loss of individual responsibility.
www.city-journal.org/html/15_2_oh_to_be.html

DollarMenu's picture

CD- apologies for hijacking your request, but since you are questing, I thought I would offer a link to a site I serendipitously found this morning.  I've had time to watch only two of the videos, but the information presented is worthwhile, IMO.

http://www.csper.org/

rats's picture

Thanks CD because of your articles I have started posting on my blog again. Its mainly focusing of trying to wake people up.

 

From my experience if you really think about something you want to change and write in a place where other people can read it, there is a good chance of that change happening. I believe you don't have to convert the 5% of population, you just have to wake up the main influencer's of TPTB which probably sounds crazy but my assumption is that they have also made themselves insane in the process of making other people insane


 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And the link to your blog is...........?

Marvin_M's picture

CD, thank you for this work and for baring your soul.  It must have been very cathartic to get this out.

Reading your experiences, it appears that you are probably of approximately the same age as yrs truly.  Looking back I feel the turning point for our generation was the assassination of JFK; a young, passionate, upbeat, inspiring person for us young people at the time.  When his life was taken we began our fall into the morass of Vietnam and this generation's collective insanity began.

The later brief moment when uplifting hope (paraphrasing, "Some at look at the world's problems and ask, Why?  and some look at the same problems and ask Why not?"), in the person of RFK, another young and uplifting person whose candle was again brutally snuffed out, was to be short-lived and we completed our fall from the edge.

I am not a Democrat or even a political person and am not advocating the politics of the individuals referenced above.  I am referencing their personae and spirits.  Spirits that challenged us to reach out to our fellow earthly passengers and share hope for a common future.  We strayed and have been led far from that path as a species.  Where are the leaders with whom we may share our collective power to regain the right path?  They are here among us.  We have to believe that.

InsanePonziClown's picture

i thought it was Nixon walking scot free, it is when folks realized, imho, there are laws, and laws 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 etc.

 

meaning yes we have the rule of laws, yet, them pesky laws change often and we're still using the old ones

Ckashan's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A&feature=player_embedded

All this talk about insanity reminds me of this clip : < }

Ckashan's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A&feature=player_embedded

All this talk about insanity reminds me of this clip : < }

downrodeo's picture

Thank you for your writings CD! Keep on telling the story amigo.

juwes's picture

Thanks for feedback.  This part was very succinct in this chapter.

 

"We must return to our inner self, our spiritual roots if you will, and re-discover the power which lay within. It’s our denial of ourselves that’s driving us mad. And this madness is being expressed by us in our reality."

 

I'll be around.

proLiberty's picture

To save yourself, you must be standing on firm economic principles.  I know of no better place to start than to read Ludwig von Mises' Human Action.   He outlines how economics is cause and effect, and proves why the only way that wealth is peacefully created in an economy is through voluntary free exchange.

The PDF of the book and the study guide is even a free PDF download.  See mises.org.

stickyfingers's picture

CD, many thanks for the five essays. I found the ideas and concepts you wrote about thought provoking. But I think what struck me even more were the comments in response to your essays. The clarity of thought and insights are not what you find on most other sites, in fact the comments usually start by advocating an impossible sexual act and then descend further.

Education is a life long process and I have learned from your essays, again thanks.

juwes's picture

CogniDis!  If you are ever in SoFla let's have lunch.

For about a week I was in a trance of focus and peace and I am driving back towards it now that it faded (annoyingly).

During that week I wrote down some aphorisms and thoughts because I knew (this is what makes me smart) I would forget what I was thinking when I felt so powerful.

I posted them in the forums under general discussion.  They are themed much like your writings and I have felt great reading your thoughts on life, the universe, and everything.  Here's a link:

http://www.zerohedge.com/forum/aphorisms-and-ideas-those-need-or-bored

 

P.S.  I posted them under my former account name, tradergod, but I prefer my current one and will keep it because it's funnier.

 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

All are great but a couple of them really resonanted with me.

The difference between a narcissist and a neanderthal is a cell phone.

Social fear may be fueled by the failure of society to encourage people to know themselves and understand and believe in a philosophy that is human.

The culture change in people will affect the corporate treatment of its own workers.  They only treat you as badly as society allows them to.  Badly is vague.

And the gem in the pile of gems.

Focus is derived from meaningful life not work.  Meaningful life means work is already a happy occupation.  Miserable job means miserable life.

 

Gully Foyle's picture

One less Zero Hedge member.

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/gadgets/0,39029552,49305387,00.htm

Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he's from the future

A would-be saboteur arrested today at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made the bizarre claim that he was from the future. Eloi Cole, a strangely dressed young man, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.

The LHC successfully collided particles at record force earlier this week, a milestone Mr Cole was attempting to disrupt by stopping supplies of Mountain Dew to the experiment's vending machines. He also claimed responsibility for the infamous baguette sabotage in November last year.

Mr Cole was seized by Swiss police after CERN security guards spotted him rooting around in bins. He explained that he was looking for fuel for his 'time machine power unit', a device that resembled a kitchen blender.

Police said Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age, would not reveal his country of origin. "Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening."

This isn't the first time time-travel has been blamed for mishaps at the LHC. Last year, the Japanese physicist Masao Ninomiya and Danish string-theory pioneer Holger Bech Nielsen put forward the hypothesis that the Higgs boson was so "abhorrent" that it somehow caused a ripple in time that prevented its own discovery.

Professor Brian Cox, a CERN physicist and full-time rock'n'roll TV scientist, was sympathetic to Mr Cole. "Bless him, he sounds harmless enough. At least he didn't mention bloody black holes."

Mr Cole was taken to a secure mental health facility in Geneva but later disappeared from his cell. Police are baffled, but not that bothered.

Wyndtunnel's picture

Hilarious.

Don't forget that the LHC was turned on for the first time on September 10th, 2008 then, four days after Lehman's collapsed, it had to be shut down because it "broke".  Was this merely a coincidence?  Most likely yes but I want to believe it wasn't.

While I am confident that the scientists who run the thing believe their own bullshit about why it is safe to run the most complicated machine ever built without rigourous, independant safety reviews, I am not confident that they are being honest about what they know that they don't know.  Bascially it is worth it to them to risk disappearing the Earth into a puff of quantum energy to satisfy their curiosity.  As they said: "The best way to prove the LHC isn't dangerous is to run the experiment".  Sounds a lot to me like the false assurances that were given about deep sea oil exploration in the GOM.

Perhaps there are innumerable weirder consequences to running the LHC that we simply cannot fathom that do not involve destroying the Earth but rather drive it's human inhabitants even madder than they are already...  Maybe people will start popping in and out of alternate Universes which might explain Mr. Coles escape from captivity... I recognize that none of this jibes with the scientific method and is just so much science fiction...but there are days where I think that if we can imagine something, it MUST be possible.  Although I'm still waiting for my personal flying car and robot maid.

CHNOPS's picture

Between hot and cold its structure arises, but it has no purpose. The structure becomes very complex but it still has no purpose. It will cease to exist and be reborn, still without purpose. We are those structures. We have no purpose.

 

Our civilization has no purpose but to run energy through the concrete and metal flippers and bumpers that we have constructed converting concentrated energy into dissipated heat at the highest rate possible. We are pinball wizards, but some day the game will be over for us. The game will grow silent when the energy is gone, we will be placed in history’s warehouse of things that were.

 

“You” never had control of the self-organization of our technological system. “You” perhaps have no control over your own wants, desires and actions.

 

Everything is at stake now for you personally and as a society. As CD says, you are fenced-in by fears, surrounded by a synthetic hologram delivered to you by the same medium that seeks to distract you from reality. In Mecca, Muslims on hajj circle the Kaaba and concentrate on religious principles. In the United States we circle around the T.V. that attracts us with entertainment long enough to zap us with a corporate messages, provide ready-made thoughts for the unthinking, and enthrall us with fears.

 

“You” must break free of the slavery. To die a free man, with a free mind is more important than anything the “system” can deliver to you.

Gully Foyle's picture

CHNOPS

UM, no.

Dude it is easy for people to become all scared. The future is change. Simple as that. Everything changes. We grow old and die, our kitties grow old and die, our shit deteriorates and we junk it.
Hyperventilating about human nature being shittier today than ever in the past is just plain crazy. Humanity in general has pretty much maintained a steady state of genius versus pedestrian, or involvement to self interest, or dogmatists to free thinkers.
Open your eyes and take a look around you, this is the golden age. You get sick go to the hospital. The common Cold will most likely NOT kill you as it would have in the past. Tv is a magic box with just as much drivel as meaning, you as the individual needs to decide just how you process all that information. The internet, mp3 players, so the fuck on.
People a hundred years ago would have traded everything they owned for the chances we have today.

Other than the Paris Commune and possibly parts of Spain during the civil war show me where the fuck in the History of the world ANY society existed that did NOT infringe upon the rights of the individual? Any GOVERNMENT that wasn't controlling and self interested?
They just are not the fuck there. They never were. We get fed the lie that the past was so much better. Truth is it was not.

RockyRacoon's picture

I have to agree for the most part.  The "common man" likes to be entertained when there is turmoil.  In the 30s there were dance marathons, and the movies where one could sit in the dark and watch a world of Fred Astaire that they could never be a part of.  Dancing in a tux with Ginger Rogers made them forget their troubles.  At least a recovering alcoholic knows the reason for seeking oblivion, whereas, other folks not so blessed fumble in the dark.  The current history is the same as the old with different minor details.

Careless Whisper's picture

interesting. thanks.

goldfish1's picture

To this day she still doesn’t understand her role in our son’s conditioning because she doesn’t want to understand.

 

There are people who, for whatever reason, get that they create their reality and can change their reality, in this very moment. I have not encountered very many of these people.

And, of those who do realize this, many aren't able (yet) to keep awake to the truth of the matter due to many factors, including societal programming and plugging into additional programming such as TV etc.

The cognizent ones know (know know know) that one (using his connection with universal power) can create whatever he envisions.   "When two agree, it is done" speaks to the power of like minds holding to a vision. Look at the reality most people create and agree to on a moment to moment basis. That we can change the world, there is no doubt. A couple or more of us using our power can surely change it up.

Back to your wife. You say "she doesn't want to." Does everyone have the ability to understand this truth? Perhaps they need a revelation in order to transcend the programming. I think she does not understand because she does not understand...not unlike many of the other billions of people.

Your dissertation is too long for me to want to read. After Chap 1 and 2 and part of 3, 4 and 5,  I get your tone and your intent. Specifically what reality do you want to create?

impending doom's picture

When my GF doesn't "want to", she creates my reality, whether I like it or not...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

My wife fully understood the concept but didn't wish to embody it or embrace it because she wished to express her need to be the nurturer and protector of our son. She wanted to be loved and needed by our son and this was the way she felt would guarantee this to happen.

These are her words, not mine, which she told me that afternoon when our son was napping and I began a quiet and gentle discussion with her. Her need to play her role and the pleasure she received from that role was predominant in her child raising decisions. She knew this and still did it. And she was emboldened in her decision by a culture that agreed with her.

BTW read the 2nd half of chapter 5 and you will know what I'm trying to do.

Gully Foyle's picture

goldfish1

I think the Wobblies had a quote along the lines " Building a new world in the shell of the old".

Nevermind's picture

Everyone needs an ideology, a code, a moral compass. But if one wields excessive power AND flawed ideology (whether morally or intellectually defective), what result emerges? Bankers as gods who decide economically who lives and dies?

Sometimes you can't fix what you've broken; that's the address where the uber-Keynesians live. And our government, least corrupt on the planet, shows us why power corrupts.

 

Gully Foyle's picture

CD something for you to watch.

Mike Rowe discussing work and to some extent illusion. It is very enlightening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRVdiHu1VCc