Guest Post - Conditioning
That Which Keeps People Subservient to Abusive Leadership
Try as we might to expand our view of the world, ultimately we can only see the universe through our own eyes. This is why I always enjoying reading other people’s point of view, particularly when that person has a completely different life experience than mine.
Peter, a premium member of Two Ice Floes, fits that bill perfectly. It was our hope when we developed Two Ice Floes to use the “Your Turn To Publish” feature to induce talented individuals to submit their musings for publication (you do not need to be a member to do so) in order to share their life experience and perspective.
While I have written on this subject before, Peter brings a fresh and more in depth focus to the issue. Thank you Peter. – Cognitive Dissonance
Few who are paying attention to world events through a lens more precise than the Main Stream Media (MSM) would deny that the vast majority of humans are being badly abused by their leadership in a variety of venues ranging from local, regional, national, and international politicians and bureaucrats, financial managers, corporate controllers, religious leaders, media moguls and warlords.
The vast majority of humans appear to be oblivious to this abuse and passively accept what is being done to them. Why is that? In one word - conditioning.
The vastly increased access to information that the internet enabled is responsible for a large number of people at least becoming aware of this abuse. However even among this more aware group, taking effective action to stop the abuse is sorely lacking. Why is that? In one word - conditioning.
There is a much smaller group that are proactively attempting to counter the abuse through group protest, but they are losing the struggle. Why is that? In one word - conditioning.
At 68 I am getting on in years. I have lived a full life and have had the time to reflect back on my path through life. As a result I have come to realize that most of the conditioning we are all subject to did not incapacitate me nearly as much as it did most people. I believe the realizations I have come to regarding my seeming immunity to conditioning are a necessary foundation required for people to free themselves from the tyranny that enslaves them.
With that hope in mind I would like to share some experiences from my youth that illustrate the problem (conditioning), and hint at the solution.
Our conditioning begins at the moment of our birth. Although they are not conscious of it, our parents, and family members, begin the process. Our parents have been conditioned before us and all their ‘conditioned’ traditions are passed on to us without considering the consequences. How often have you heard the excuse, “That’s just the way things are, get over it!” There is a great book by Wilhelm Reich called, “The Function of the Orgasm”, that explains the form of, and reasons for, this early in life conditioning. Yes, our sexuality plays a large role.
It is widely accepted that our late childhood, and early adulthood, years are our formative ones and also when we are in our prime both intellectually and physically. Historically people took full responsibility for managing their own lives much earlier in their lives, during what we consider late childhood. There were once 14 year old admirals that oversaw large naval forces. The commitment of marriage and raising a family began much earlier. Pioneers struck out to discover and populate new mysterious lands before they reached their teens.
The most rigid and destructive conditioning is imposed on us during our schooling. That schooling is starting earlier and lasting much longer than previously in history and while we are being ‘schooled’ we are not considered full adults with the responsibilities and freedoms such status implies.
Why is that? Could it be that control in our society is much more rigid than ever before? Those that control us realize that a rebellion of youth is the most dangerous kind. How better to minimize the impact of people in their prime than by keeping their status at ‘children’ with little access to power until well past their prime years? If people cave in to ‘slave hood’ during their prime years, how likely are they to rebel once they are past their prime; especially if they are burdened with excessive debt from their education?
I will only touch on the subject of our schooling lightly here and point out what I see as the most debilitating habits we are taught. The subject is an immense one covered well by people such as John Taylor Gatto, author of, “The Underground History of American Education”.
Disclaimer: I quit school in the early 60’s while in grade 9, at age 14. The reason being I felt I was being made dumber instead of smarter. My parent’s response was, “if you don’t go to school we will not support you.” I left home then and took on responsibility for my own life.
Even though I chose a different path than most I did not really understand intellectually why I did what I did then until recently, about a half a century later. What I did then, I did intuitively, rather than logically while accepting full responsibility for the outcome.
I first spent a few years hoboing around Canada taking whatever work I could find whenever I needed it. No job was too menial or too challenging to accept.
At 17 I took on a job that turned my life around and led to my conditioning mostly sliding off me.
This job was as a fire lookout man with the British Columbia (Canada) Forest Service. For a number of years I worked and lived on remote mountain tops, by myself, for 3 to 4 months each year. Spending that much time completely alone, and removed from civilization, especially during my formative years, had a profound effect on my perceptions about life as a human being and how I fit into society.
Rendered by me from a photo by Kyle Johnson http://kjphotos.com/portfolio/outside
I didn’t have a camera in those days so the image above, which closely represents my situation, is used to illustrate the setting.
Below is a photograph of me taken a few years later in the same general area I spent time on the lookouts. The other photos interspersed in this essay are taken by me as I explored the mountains near my home after my lookout years.
In current society peer pressure during childhood, and early adulthood, is immense. To survive in this setting we must pay close attention to others around us for clues regarding what is and is not acceptable. Because of this pressure the bulk of our energy goes into human interactions and we are pretty much oblivious to everything but our immediate environment. “Use it or lose it”, is sage advice. Because of concentrating on human relations during their formative years, most people have little if any connection to the natural world.
Try to imagine what people would be like if, as youngsters, they spent time exploring and living in nature while being responsible for their own survival and actions instead of hanging out at the mall or partying with their pals.
Is it fair to say that those that hang with the crowd are unlikely to be aware of, or able to understand, large scale events not part of their immediate environment?
What about someone who is tasked with surviving in the greater world using only their own skills? Would they stand a better chance of grasping what is going on?
Is this phenomena related to the common use of a ‘rite of manhood’ by many cultures where young adults leave the security of their group to face the wilderness on their own?
Do the majority of people in modern societies never go through this enabling rite of passage and instead go from the security of their parent’s care to the security of the big brother state? Does this explain why some people never seem to reach adulthood?
Substantial time on the lookout, without peer pressure, made me realize how confining trying to fit into the crowd is. Most people don’t even sense this pressure because it is all they know. It’s like the air we breathe. It’s just there until it isn’t, then we die; unless we are prepared for an airless environment.
Most people also don’t realize how much of their time and energy it takes to be ‘social’. Being removed from ‘socializing’ is enormously stressful if it is all you know.
Many aspiring lookout men needed to come down off the mountains prematurely because they could not stand being alone. Those that adjusted to the isolation came to treasure the freedom of being comfortable for extended periods with just their own company. The amount of time that then becomes available for other, possibly more worthwhile pursuits, is substantial.
In the forefront of these benefits is having the time to look inside youself without constantly being subjected to the opinion of others. Building friendships takes time and effort and becoming your own friend is no exception. Most of us never get the opportunity to do this.
Those that desire to control human behavior understand that people that are not comfortable with themself are much more susceptible to being controlled because they are lonely and need to seek comfort and friendship outside themselves. Virtually every sales campaign, ranging from that of the door to door salesmen to world leaders, is then enabled to easily sell you a bill of goods by convincing you that what they have to offer is going to become your best friend and make your life less lonely.
Short excursions or holidays into nature, most often with others fitted into a busy schedule, do little to increase our awareness of the greater reality that humans exist within. Thanks to modern technology very few of these excursions actually take people far from the human controlled environment they are conditioned to.
It is one thing to climb to the top of a mountain, conquer it, and then immediately return to civilization. It is something totally different to stay in that wilderness environment for extended periods with the time to come to know those other species that are at home in those environs. It makes one realize that humans are not the 'be all, end all' of life on earth. Humility is born which serves us very well. In this environment one soon comes to realize those species include the earth itself. Seeing the constant breathing of weather and daily and seasonal shifts of energies makes one realize everything is made of the same stuff and ‘lives’ in its own unique way.
To assume the earth is a lifeless blob which we can abuse without conscious consequence is a very risky proposition.
Most people’s lives are lived out within an environment created by and for humans. Most; and more all the time, live in an urban environment.
When they holiday people generally take some technological means of travel which quickly takes them to the other place of human habitation they wish to holiday in. Because people’s travel experience is so brief, and misses the detail of the ground they pass over, most of which currently has no human habitants, it is easy for them to agree when told by ‘experts’ that human overpopulation is a crisis.
Yes there are many urban places on the planet that suffer from overpopulation, and many more places on the planet that are being strip-mined to support those urban centers. But all in all there is an enormous amount of free space capable of supporting humans, if only they were able to tear themselves away from the social centers they now depend on and cluster in.
In the early 1990’s while transitioning from life in Canada to life in Mexico I drove between Canada and Mexico every second week for 3 years while gradually weaning my clients off the services I had previously offered. I was a workaholic and saw the time on the road as my own and enjoyed it by taking different highways almost every trip. Eventually I was able to drive between Mexico and Canada while only passing through a very few towns, all smaller than about 10,000 people. Most of the distance on these trips was spent on very remote highways with no other traffic to speak of.
I can say definitively that between, Canada, the USA and Mexico there is enough uninhabited fertile land to accommodate the whole world without the residents being able to see their nearest neighbor.
This vision assumes we overcome our condition of needing to be part of the herd clustering in vast hordes, and also manage to disempower the laws of those that enslave us that currently make this land unavailable to us.
Humans are far more difficult to control if they live in small clusters, all over the place, while paying little or no attention to the MSM. The propagandists can then no longer create a single message that will motive the whole herd of humans to act identically by broadcasting their one piece of propaganda from a single location that reaches everyone.
Propaganda still works, but it must be tailored properly to fit each unique situation in order to get consistent results. If there is no central broadcasting service the message must also be taken to each unique location individually. This is an impossible situation for our rulers and is the reason we are all so heavily conditioned to….
Need to be in close quarters with other humans.
Need the approval of others.
Think we must be/are part of a team.
Become isolated emotionally from ourselves and each other, even while packed on top of each other, so only big brother can offer us comfort.
Desire specialized knowledge which results in only being able to survive as part of the ‘urban’ team.
To desire a ‘carrot’ of reward that only ‘winning’, at any cost(?), within the crowd can present.
Depend on centralized services, especially sources of energy.
Depend on the rule of ‘human’ law to protect us from each other.
The most destructive conditioning takes place in our schools, right at the time we are most susceptible to it, during our formative years. During that period we have little experience of our own to compare to what we are told, and raising questions about the validity of the taught ‘truth’ is ruthlessly punished in order to force us to depend on the wisdom of others instead of our own intuition.
We are ruthlessly regimented to follow orders so that we eventually become incapable of thinking for ourselves and become dependent on the ‘boss’ to do our thinking for us. The intellectual box we become stuck within is then defined by the boss.
Specialization in training, and limiting access to information, (compartmentalization) is critical to our conditioning. If we cannot think for ourselves, and only understand part of the puzzle, and are incapable of deducing or intuiting answers to unknowns, we are trapped within our dependence on others.
I have personally met a number of world shaker class intellectuals that are extremely brilliant in their own field, but figuratively can’t tie their own shoe laces. This situation is not accidental. If only the boss has the full picture, the boss becomes the only one who can act effectively. Everyone else then becomes totally dependent on the Boss. Specialization has its place, but having a well rounded toolkit of life skills is essential to individual freedom.
Being away from civilization where the boss is not handy to hold your hand is a disaster waiting to happen if you cannot think for yourself. Then, unless you quickly learn to identify problems before they destroy you, and also learn to fix problems you can’t avoid intuitively without an instruction manually from the boss, you will not survive long.
Lack of education plus much time spent away from conditioning influences and conditioned humans, has changed fundamentally how I solve problems.
When faced with a problem a conditioned human will go through the channels of historical solutions until they find one that works for them.
Instead I consider the elements of the problem in place, try to intuit the workings of the device/situation, and then pinpoint what is going wrong and consider what might fix it. No manual is needed; just the ability to think a situation through for myself.
Using only this skill I have managed to live my whole life well, if not always comfortably, while being considered an essential resource by many people with far more education than myself, even in areas they have expertise in.
No one is perfect and you will make mistakes when you think for yourself. Mistakes are often painful, but if you accept the possibility of making mistakes, and are willing to learn from them when you make them, you will eventually become a very robust and capable person. What doesn’t break you strengthens you.
If you are afraid of making mistakes you are stuck on the safe (?) road built by our bosses. You still might not be safe, but at least you can then blame your mistakes on someone else.
I have learned far more from my mistakes than from my successes. I am now very thankful for my mistakes, even though some were very painful to navigate.
This essay is getting long so I will end it with one last point about what I learned from my life on the lookouts.
While we are thrust into the middle of ongoing intense personal inter-relationships, especially during our formative years, our attention remains strongly focused on each interaction as it occurs and the rest of the world passes us by unnoticed. We see the trees, but are oblivious of the forest. This is most often a habit we carry throughout life and it is a very dangerous one in our propaganda filled world. We see each piece of new propaganda as a standalone piece of information. We have no perspective to see if how it fits into the forest makes sense. We are then at the mercy of those that would deceive us for their own purpose. All they need to do is grab our attention and they can then do with us as they like.
On a lookout tasked with quickly finding dangerous anomalies, within a vast vista of forests, becoming focused on each tree individually is not productive and makes it impossible to see the whole picture. A good lookout man eventually learns to quickly scan vast vistas without focusing on anything in particular. Taking this approach to finding required data points, such as suspicious smoke, allows our intuition to come to our aid. It always amazes me how glaringly anomalies stand out when using this method.
It works just as well in any other environment, including researching on the internet. When surrounded by questionable ‘news/propaganda’ the fires stick out much more obviously when we also are aware of the apparently unrelated surrounding information that is part of webscape. The ‘trees’ of propaganda do not distract us from seeing the whole situation. If there’s no smoke there probably isn’t a fire. Our intuition can see the difference even though we logically can’t. Following our intuition instead of remaining focused on the propaganda leads us to the information that will then allow us to make sense of the situation.
Although my prognosis of our situation appears very gloomy I am not pessimistic. I see light at the end of the tunnel.
For those who managed to slog through to this point thank you for your attention.
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