Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse – Chapter One Of Three

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Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse – Chapter One of Three

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

Chapter Two may be found here

Chapter Three may be found here.

 

Why even question the obvious?

When contemplating a complex subject, especially one in which I hold a strong emotional investment, I find it extremely valuable to seriously and consistently challenge my own thinking, to play devil’s advocate with my oftentimes emotional mind. A ‘truth’ untested, particularly one I’m emotionally bound to, is little more than a belief, a comforting factoid that confirms my biases rather than enlightening and informing my mind. If I am to progress in my personal development I must test the mettle of my beliefs up to, and if need be well past, their destruction. For only then can I truly be free to exercise, and honor, my personal sovereignty on an everyday basis.

So it is that I’ve been considering the concept of ‘collapse’ with regard to society and its socioeconomic system(s), both on a personal and collective emotional and psychological basis. While it is always dangerous to paint detailed pictures with broad brushes, to some degree or another we are all emotional human beings. So while the cognitive details may vary (greatly) from person to person, our tendencies and triggers are very similar (partly because of a shared and distorted worldview) and relatively easy to discern if we have the courage to first look deeply within and then apply what we have found to the world around us. A word of warning here because this article is not a technical or fundamental economic analysis, at least not based upon the traditional financial definition of those terms.

Among the contrary crowd, of which I proudly count myself a member in good standing, it is widely accepted that an economic collapse that quickly leads to violent social upheaval is not only very possible, but inevitable, a ‘given’ fact so to speak. For the most part we accept that a collapse is not a question of if, but of when and in what form and of what severity. The consensus is that this rapid socioeconomic decline, when it comes, will be sudden and complete, thus the popular use of the term ‘collapse’. This ‘a priori’ position, which truth be told is simply a strongly held belief, is in serious need of examination if we are to follow our inner Golden Rule, that of questioning everything beginning with ourselves and our most cherished and firmly held beliefs and opinions.

Before going any further I wish to emphasize that the following is simply a thought experiment, a mental dalliance and a delicate dance with what if, how about and why not. Just because I argue a position doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wed to it or even that I support it. The ultimate purpose of my internal interrogatory is not necessarily to replace my current thinking, but to test it again and again and again, particularly if I consider my thinking solid and essentially beyond reproach. In my opinion this is where true personal courage is born and nurtured, for if I am willing to honestly face myself, particularly those deep dark places even I wish to hide from, then anything I might face externally pales in comparison.

Many more times than I care to admit I have found that what I previously thought was a solid conclusion was actually based not upon facts and reasoning, but upon preconceived notions (aka my conditioned worldview) as well as group think and/or consensus seeking. And just as often the real reason for my blind acceptance of certain facts and conclusions was to push my confirmation bias endorphin triggers again and again, as all severely addicted drug addicts are compelled to do. And boy oh boy do I love triggering my confirmation bias. There is no other drug induced high quite like knowing that I’m right and you’re wrong………except knowing that I’m right and everyone else is wrong.

Running with the (contrary) herd

Rather than denying or rejecting the notion that we are deeply influenced by the herd, a typical egoic response even if the herd is considered contrary (and don’t forget that the herd, contrary or not, might simply be a construct of my mind and populated solely by me, myself and I) if we wish to consider ourselves to be sentient sovereign beings then we must remain constantly alert to, and aware of, the herd’s influence on our emotional and spiritual centering. In addition, we need to be ever vigilant of its corrosive effects on our thought process and the conclusions we draw from within that distortion.

This is the big lie that influences us all, that while we might be part of a herd (if we can even manage to admit that much) we are thoughtful, intelligent and educated adults and thus not really affected by the herd to any significant degree. But common sense and life experience tells us otherwise, that this just isn’t true, that we are very much herding humans (whether by nature, nurture or both, ultimately it really doesn’t matter) and that we are most certainly influenced by others. In fact I would go so far as to say that for the most part we do not enjoy freedom from the herd, just freedom to choose the herd we run and think with.

The soothing self deception that we are stoic free thinking individuals, our psychological Achilles Heel if you will, is repeatedly and successfully leveraged against us by those who wish to manipulate and control. Very often it is not an outside force that blinds us, but rather an outside force that leverages our own blindness. This is why we must always question everything, beginning with ourselves. It is our own (mis)perception and worldview that is being manipulated, which often leads to our own blind and unquestioning support of policies, positions and laws that are entirely contrary to our own self interest or the collective (herds) good.

We often blame the herding rat race for our own lot in life (either on a micro or macro level) confidently declaring that ‘they’ are the problem so we are exempt from blame and responsibility. Then we do next to nothing to change our own circumstances, claiming it’s futile to even try because ‘they’ block the way forward towards significant and lasting personal and social change.

After successfully doing nothing we proudly take the softer easier highway to hell, a path that is conveniently laid out and paved by our controllers. Then we sit back smug as a bug in our self righteous indignation when anyone dares to place the blame back at the source of our own servitude. Our controllers love that we don’t even try to pick up the cognitive tools that lie scattered at our feet, let alone use them to defend and empower us. Hands down the most powerful weapon in the world used repeatedly against us is ourselves. Blunt force trauma by self (and group) is extremely effective when self (and group) corralling.

Certainty breeds contempt of our self

At times I struggle to remind myself that the more certain I am of something the greater the likelihood that I’m wrong, if for no other reason than that my absolute certainty most definitely closes my mind to alternative possibilities no matter how obvious they may appear to others. Not recognizing or even considering the possibility that I might be wrong feeds my confirmation bias and rewards my circular thinking with another shot of delicious cognitive dissonance soothing endorphins. Do not underestimate the power of this positive feedback loop for it claims all of us at one time or another, particularly when we confidently claim that it is not now doing so. Our critical thinking is often the weakest precisely when we believe it to be the strongest.

For the vast majority of us a new thought trail is blazed one cautious step at a time despite our egotistic self delusions that we bravely and willingly go where we’ve never cognitively gone before. And for the most part we all color well within the socially correct lines with very rare and short lived deviations beyond the border and into the cognitive badlands. Thus the reason for my venturing outside conventional contrary thinking and into what at first blush might appear to be the mainstream meme. Rigid beliefs and preordained conclusions must never dictate the (self) discovery process or the intent of that process.

Despite egoic protestations to the contrary it is downright frightening to venture outside the comfortable confines and safety of the consensus herd’s artificial reality, thus one of the reasons we keep tripping over our own (and other’s) cognitive dissonance. Once off the reservation we tend to huddle with other similarly off-the-beaten-track explorers, a perfect example being our affinity for Zero Hedge and its own equally artificial reality. The only thing better than being right when we know everyone else is wrong is cahooting with others who validate our beliefs. You scratch my confirmation bias and I’ll scratch yours.

If we are unwilling to travel in new perceptual directions, even if we can conceive of no readily apparent benefit and especially if we feel emotional pain while doing so and quickly back off, then all we ever manage to do is endlessly cover the same well marked territory regardless of its perceived (validating) distance from the majority consensus. Just because our intellectual hunting grounds may lie outside the mainstream meme doesn’t mean we are immune to our own brand of rutted rigid thinking and herd mentality. In fact we often justify our own rote thinking by pointing to our contrary stance as proof we are flexible and thorough in our self examination.

 

Mind Control

 

Self inflicted mind control

One man’s collapse is another man’s crumble, two seemingly divergent points of view formed in large part by very different perspectives as to the meaning of both terms as well as the active ingredients propelling the use of those terms within our respective (mostly false) world views. While on the surface this may seem painfully obvious, very often we do not practice what we perceive and even less often do we perceive without self deceiving, without externally and internally self inflicted distortions and blurring.

This is the art of mind control and false realty creation, to induce you and me to willingly create an alternatively perceived reality, often entirely within our own minds, thereby eliminating the need for messy ‘reality’ based rules, independent verification and basic fact checking. And for the most part we do this in response to manipulated external stimuli which is often in direct conflict with our true inner knowing.

The key to this manipulation is to convince all of us that it is in our best interest to ignore our better judgment, our inner voice of caution and prudence, and willingly surrender our personal sovereignty to a false external authority while rejecting our genuine inner sovereign authority. I say all of us because to some degree or another and at one time or another we have all done so, usually with plenty of excuses, rationalizations and justifications for doing so safely tucked away in our back pockets.

We surrendered our personal sovereignty long before we were ever threatened with concocted external ‘terrorist’ threats when we consciously decided to ignore the obvious early warning signs of an increasingly out of control and hijacked government and instead pursued our own ideology, financial self interest and assorted pleasures. Unfortunately very few of us will admit this, thereby keeping us locked in our own vicious circle of denial and dependence.

We rationalize(d) it all away by saying that at least we aren’t as bad as ‘those guys over there’, when ‘they’ are saying the exact same thing about us. Or worse, we utter the entirely self absorbed and narcissistic declaration that “It’s not my problem” or “I didn’t vote for that guy so…..” The litany of excuses given for our inaction, both for internal and external issues, is endless.

Within this skewed alternative reality state of mind, where we stand depends entirely upon where we sit, and where we sit nearly always depends upon our financial, emotional and psychological self deceptions as well as our strategically selected denials and raging co-dependencies. Essentially we achieve a perpetual infantile state of mind in return for transient material comforts and a false sense of security, security that could quickly and easily be achieved if only we were to (re)connect with our own personal sovereignty.

Like a dog endlessly chasing its tail, we can never practice true freedom of thought and being while deeply dependent upon and fully immersed within someone else’s version of reality, particularly when it is self induced. Yet after a sufficiently long enough period of time of sustained conditioning within our mentally confined cognitive box (achieved for the most part during our state sponsored education and in concert with the willing assistance of our loving parents who passed on their own cognitive conditioning) we find it nearly impossible to conceive of a life of true freedom (that of a practicing personal sovereign) without our deeply embedded co-dependencies and ingrained notions of how the world works, thereby completing the circular co-opting of our inner spiritual and sovereign being.

Freedom to choose………slavery

The brilliance behind our so-called (illusionary) freedom (of choice) is that we almost always consciously choose our own enslavement. The genius lay in never forcing us to make one large and final decision in favor of enslavement. “Sure, I’ll be a slave for life. Are there any fringe benefits?” The socioeconomic control system helpfully breaks the decision making process down into tiny little bite sized bits of slippery slope while sweetening the gruel with flashing lights and artificial colors, tastes and textures. “OMG, it’s the iPad mini in white and silver with a ruby red cover. Can I charge it?”

And when we do willingly choose enslavement we almost always make the choice based upon our own personally customized reasons that helpfully mesh with our mostly programmed pursuits and interests (reasons that just happen to be wonderfully aligned with the control systems’ own agenda) in the same way a cattle shoot funnels the willing cattle to their own personal date with slaughterhouse destiny. I don’t need to list them because there are hundreds of millions of them, several hundred of which I have personally used myself.

Regardless of whether these thousands of tiny little micro decisions appeal to our ego, vanity, sense of self worth, hidden inner fears or unsated (mostly externally manufactured) hopes and dreams (just review Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for a more complete list) and even if the decision is made by default, meaning we make no decision other than to stay with the status quo, the deed is still done. The ultimate Catch 22 is the cognitive catch you never fully recognize, but still willingly embrace. Where is John Yossarian when you need him?

Our ‘willing’ participation within the present paradigm only serves to strengthen the cognitive binds that tie us to our internal and external dependencies. It matters not if it is an agnostic, mindless, resentful or even hostile participation, just that we all march to the same narrow range of emotional and spiritual frequencies. And it really doesn’t matter if we are fully or partially aware of our dependencies nor that we might strenuously object to them, only that we participate in order to enable this powerful form of consent. Our slavery is always hidden in plain sight under layer after layer of willing consent, regardless if most of it is coerced with threats of state violence.

 

Catch 22

 

Socioeconomically addicted

To directly oppose this addictive material compulsion (whether by force of mind or body) only serves to nourish and strengthen it simply because it is cognitively and spiritually designed to absorb our misdirected emotional and physical energy by using it to feed other parts of the whole in the same manner someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol fails to secure his or her release from the addiction by way of denial or brute opposing mental force.

Ask any long term recovering drug addict or alcoholic (to name just two examples of deeply embedded co-dependencies) if they were able to free themselves from their addiction by just saying NO (and really meaning it this time) and their responses will be overwhelmingly negative. The consumed active addict simply refuses to acknowledge that they can no longer participate in their obsessive activity. Their battle is always to limit the addiction and never to admit defeat in their ability to control their addiction. Always they wish to bargain and always they lose more ground to the addiction. If asked, the intelligence services might call this socioeconomic addict a ‘compromised person’.

At first glance this appears to be a huge contradiction since how can you ‘control’ something by admitting defeat. The key is not to (even try to) control, but simply to disarm and disempower that which is controlling us. This allows the addicted to move beyond this seemingly impenetrable roadblock rather than meeting it head-on. The fight is always with us and within us, not externally where the illusion makes it appear to be, and the way to personal and spiritual release is not to fight, not even to try to ‘win’.

Our ego simply refuses to recognize that we are physically and mentally consumed and spiritually broken. The longer the battle for control rages the more consumed the ego becomes in winning a battle that only exists within and can never be won and only be lost. The solution is to accept completely and unquestioningly that the battle can never be won, then turn in an entirely different direction and begin to do those things we never would have done before because we were consumed with pounding on the closed door of addiction directly in front of us and oblivious to the dozens of open doors all around.

By opposing the addictive force directly the addicted is hopelessly consumed by himself, by his mental, emotional and spiritual defects. His directed energy, the force he applies when trying to break the addictive binds that tie, is mirrored and deflected back towards him, creating a situation where he is literally fighting with himself. Imagine a split personality pushing on both sides of an open door at the same time, one trying to force it closed while the other tries to push it open. Any increase in force from either side is immediately met with an equal and opposite force from the other. The only way to ‘win’ is not to play at all, to circumvent any notion what-so-ever of winning or losing and just walk away. Clearly this is easier said than done and thus exactly why the socioeconomic addict remains consumed and compromised.

This process describes very well the convoluted and conflicted mind of the severely socioeconomically co-dependent addict and it applies both externally in the ‘real’ world as well as internally, within our controlled and manipulated minds. To ignore this dynamic is to be totally controlled by it, the ultimate fulcrum that is leveraged against us by external mind control forces.

The Trojan horse money meme

The all consuming fear based economic mind control money meme of (among other things) contrived scarcity is the Trojan horse that gains entry to our mind and spirit and it is something we for the most part willingly embrace even while denouncing certain select portions of it as ‘the’ problem. We are simply unwilling to look critically at the entire money meme, at the artificial and contrived scarcity of many resources which is designed to demand of us that we ‘pay’ (our masters) just so that we may continue to exist.

We do not wish to look too deeply into the fundamental flaws of this system, of our willing and complicit bondage, because that might entail leaving it all behind once we recognize its true nature. This is our root addiction and one we are loath to abandon because that would entail embracing true freedom, not just freedom of choice. We have allowed ourselves to become institutionalized, sated fat rats that are more than willing to run the maze each day for our daily keep. We are a slave nation and rapidly becoming a slave Earth.

Like the (completely) consumed drug addict or alcoholic, we are desperate to control the money meme’s hold on us so that we can still partake of certain select (believed) ‘good’ components rather than to admit total defeat and begin to do those things we really don’t wish to do, to first look within and recognize who and what we are, and then to act upon those discoveries. We convince ourselves that if only this component was removed or that participant was properly controlled or regulated that the socioeconomic system would function properly.

This is the big lie. The money meme itself is designed to mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically enslave you and me while enriching and empowering a select few regardless of how well we think it can work if only we ousted the rogue elements, an excuse which is itself a colossal self deception. Explain to me again why we wish to salvage this? But of course logic and reason fall on deaf ears with the consumed compromised addict.

This concept can be difficult to comprehend for a mind thoroughly immersed within the right-wrong, good-bad, left-right present day paradigm. Or worse, it is impossible to accept for a mind that perceives itself as not afflicted by the money meme mind virus at all, as above the sordid fray and immune to the collective madness. To some degree or another we are all specialists in our own psychological damage control. We are experts in blame, involvement and personal responsibility avoidance at all cost because……well, it’s the other guy who’s to blame, not me. Tell him to get his house in order, and then maybe I’ll take a look at mine.

The amount of energy we expend to rationalize away our own direct and indirect involvement, of our actual willing participation, would be truly staggering to measure if it weren’t so sad to behold. I am constantly amazed how quickly we shed any personal blame whatsoever once we begin to gain some insight into the ugly underbelly of the mind control machine of the money meme. It seems as if once a portion of the manipulation is unearthed we become desperate to believe that now that the infection is somewhat visible to the naked eye, the virus is no longer infectious to us, as if our (limited) awareness somehow sterilizes the madness.

It’s the best of both worlds. At first we aren’t affected when we are clueless because ignorance is bliss, then we become magically immune once we are (somewhat) aware of the illusion. Sadly these are the first, second and third orders of our addiction; the denial, then the denial of the denial, and finally the denial that there ever was any denial in the first place. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I can clearly see what the issue is and it sure as hell ain’t me. It’s you and those idiots over there that’s the problem, not me.”

Our distorted worldview

Once we begin to peak beneath the surface layer we become so certain of our understanding of how the ‘real’ world works now (as opposed to how certain we were about how it worked before our revelation) that we rarely give it a second look, let alone devote any time to examine it critically. And why should we? Why venture too far down the rabbit hole when the next conveniently presented answer is right in front of us? The fact is that nowadays we are so completely bombarded with absurdity after absurdity on an exponentially increasing scale that we begin to lose all touch with common sense and reality…………including our own.

Stay high or drunk on the money meme long enough and reality becomes so strange that it is to be avoided at all costs. Soon enough our warped sense of perception comes measured by our dependencies rather than despite them. This all too common state of emotional and intellectual paralysis might help to explain certain vows of poverty and abstinence practiced by tens of thousands of history’s thinkers, philosophers and holy/spiritual men. One cannot see clearly while in the midst of the madness using only the cognitive tools and worldview assumptions supported and promoted by the madness.

Simply put if we allow ourselves the conceit of believing that we are thinking outside the box without actually (destructively) testing our predispositions, all we’re ever really doing is confirming for ourselves not only our imagined outlaw status, but our more perfectly conditioned and captured mental state. It is highly likely, absent a rigorous and continuous self examination, that we are blindly trapped within another smaller, though still thoroughly confined, psychological thought control box a la those fascinating little Russian nesting dolls.

With this entirely self imposed cognitive impediment blocking our way forward (meaning our unwillingness to destructively test our own thinking) our only claim to fame might actually be that we are still somewhat closer to the core issues of our own self enslavement. Tragically, this slightly higher state of self awareness in no way mitigates the fact that we are still hopelessly mired within the muddy waters of the present day false reality paradigm.

Chapter Two to follow shortly.

 

01-27-2013 

Cognitive Dissonance