Category Archives: Cogs New Series

The Decline and Fall of Civil Society – Chapter One

The Decline and Fall of Civil Society

Chapter One


Cognitive Dissonance



From my perspective at least, it’s a chicken or egg question. Was civil discourse among a diverse human population desired, or even required, in order for civilization to form and flourish? Or did civilization initially coalesce, with civility to follow shortly after as a means to increase socioeconomic efficiency and to encourage people from killing or maiming each other by setting minimum standards for public conduct?

Or could it possibly be more symbiotic, with both components required in varying degrees and amounts for either component to survive and thrive in the combined form of ‘civilization’?

I am a child of the 1950’s and 1960’s, a time so far removed from today’s brave new world that, even to me, feels like ancient history. This is not to say it was all pomp and circumstance back then, but in many respects so-called civilization was much more civil in my youth than it is now. And this applies to just about all modern social interaction, regardless of the underlying medium, method or mix. Continue reading The Decline and Fall of Civil Society – Chapter One

Dispatches from Occupied Territory – Fear Is The Mind Killer


Cognitive Dissonance


This is the third in a series of fictional explorations into an individual’s awakening to the suddenly unfamiliar world around and within her while still engulfed by the day to day insanity. These short stories in letter form are intended for the more sensitive and inquisitive reader who wishes to look more deeply within and explore in depth their beliefs and perceptions as well as how to cope with a world gone frighteningly mad. It is the author’s hope to accomplish this by way of an intimate and revealing first person correspondence between two long time friends as they discuss her ongoing awakening. The first two chapters may be found here.


Dear Marie,

It was good to hear you are beginning to settle in after several months of personal turmoil and distress. The shock and awe that results from first light, that initial rush of awareness and revelation as our awakening begins to take hold, is unlike anything we have ever experienced and can at times be very frightening and quite frankly revolting. When I began my awakening I was never quite sure whom I was angrier with, the lies and liars I discovered all around me or the most egregious liar of them all, the formerly complacent and complicit liar I found lurking within.

After the first wave of fear and nausea passes we tend to go numb as a sort of psychological defense mechanism to protect our psyche from an overload that could lead to severe psychosis. Underneath this unnatural calm there remain conflicting urges to flee the insanity, to pull the covers over our head and hide from the beast, and the growing wellspring of rage at the machine and the urge to strike back. This is a very dangerous time for us and it is important for us to seek guidance and balance or we can quite literally go off the deep end. Think of it as suddenly being shaken awake from an extremely frightening dream, only to realize the ‘reality’ you have awaken too is in many respects several orders of magnitude worse than the dream you just left.

This brings me to the thrust of your last few letters and the subject which presently disturbs you so deeply. I promised you I would get back to you on this, so without further delay here I am. You speak about the horrific realization that everything around us appears to be a bald faced lie with a macabre facade painted on the surface for the benefit of our denial. In particular you mention those private, public and governmental institutions you formerly trusted, even if only up to a certain point. Often what we describe as ‘trust’ is in reality a debilitating dependency hidden by deep denial. None the less it still feels terrible when it has been violated, particularly when we enabled the violation.

There is no way to adequately describe the shock one feels when a person first learns they are sleeping with the enemy and could easily become its next victim. In many respects by awakening you disturb the beast that lay beside you, thereby risking the potential to draw unwanted attention to yourself. We learn very early in life to keep our head down and to go about our business. So when we begin our awakening, in many respects we are doing just the opposite. To discover those we have blindly trusted have repeatedly violated us in a most personal and intimate way is so far beyond disturbing that at times it escapes accurate description.

Suddenly we see very clearly how for decades there were dozens of warning signs we deliberately ignored or flat out denied. This ugly realization alone is the primary reason so many abandon their journey before they have even begun and rush headlong back into the warm embrace of blackout living and willful denial. Our personal revelation can bring on wave after wave of self revulsion and depression. However, nothing will be gained by loitering here for long. To pull out of this downward spiral we must make a deliberate conscious decision to abandon this self defeating paralysis and move towards healing and growth.

The emotions you describe in your letter all revolve around the emotions of violation and the fear this realization generates. Or should I say the fear you are programmed to experience. Before I speak of specifics we need to pull back and find the proper perspective if we are to reach a higher understanding. It is one thing to be lied to once and done, another entirely to be lied to continuously and in many cases (in retrospect) obviously. While in the first instance you might rightly be declared a victim, in the second you cannot, at least not in the purest sense of the word because it is much more complicated than black and white, right and wrong, victim and perpetrator.

In no way is what I am about to discuss to be construed as justifying or condoning their lies, cheating and theft. These people violated, and continue to violate, a public trust and their fiduciary duty, a much higher standard of conduct than simply holding up their hands and promising they will protect and serve. They should not, and will not, get a pass from me on this matter.

But (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming Marie) we are discussing you and your reactions to these revelations and violations. Since you cannot personally make them do anything to reverse or rectify the wrongs they have perpetrated against you, this is all about you reaching a greater understanding of yourself and why you feel the way you do in order to begin the healing. I do not wish to discuss the specifics of who did what, when and where, or of the violations to you and me because as difficult as it may seem to understand, the specifics are immaterial at this point in the awakening process.

Because we have been conditioned to do so, when we first discover the massive lies and conspiracies which are part and parcel of the world of the elite, the corporate and banking world and of course all levels of government, our first tendency is to dive into the minutia and details of the actual wrongdoing, along with the various cover stories and smoke screens. We want to believe if only the information about their heinous crimes were more widely known and disseminated the public would react in righteous indignation and throw the bums out, then burn them at the stake.

This is a mistaken belief that is tragically and endlessly repeated over and over by every newcomer and sadly perpetuated by many veterans as well. It is just another hamster wheel created to distract and exhaust us, a part of the social control system to keep us endlessly chasing phantoms rather than health and healing. Logic dictates if these people are able to pull off the level of crime, corruption and traitorous actions they clearly are capable of, they are obviously receiving protection from each other as well as from higher, more powerful people and entities. In other words, the system at this level protects its own so it can protect itself.

Peek a Boo - Clean

That is not to say you should abandon your research into the who, what, when, where and why of these events, as well as the overall corrupt business dealings they are engaged in and which are shrouded under the cloak of misdirection and layers of deceit. No real harm can come from a greater understanding of how the sociopaths and their enablers ply their craft and why we always fall for the same stupid misdirection dog tricks. Knowing ourselves and those around us is never a waste of time if our intentions and motives are squarely aligned with our actions.

And it is here, while searching for our real motives, that we find many of our own lies clouding our intentions and distorting our thinking. After overcoming the initial fear that comes from discovering our protector is in fact our tormentor and potentially our killer, a fear we must examine more closely, we then move on to the next stage, that of sounding the alarm. But first let us explore the fear, because as we awaken we will discover our fear, in all its forms and permutations, is behind nearly everything we do, and react to, on a daily basis.

Of utmost importance here Marie is for you to recognize, and then accept, that the dangers you speak of and write about have always been there. It is you who have changed, not your surroundings and most certainly not the machine. The government has always been your enemy and not your friend; those multinational corporations have always pursued power and profit first at yours and my expense; the education system is designed to condition and indoctrinate, not liberate your mind, and your family is just as asleep as you were and maybe even more so. This was always the case with the danger partially hidden behind an obscuring lace veil. The only difference now is you have looked into the abyss and are shocked by what you have found.

What is the central difference in our mind between walking down the center aisle of our local supermarket and walking down a dark downtown street at 2 AM? I would argue that seen from the point of view of personal danger there isn’t much difference from moment to moment, though over longer periods of time there most certainly is. Yet in practice these two worlds are far removed from each other, with the supermarket perceived to be much safer than the darkened late night street.

It stands to reason you will act more openly and freely in the supermarket then on the street, particularly if you always shop at the market and rarely if ever walk the late night street. So the level of danger you feel is more perceptional than actual with the familiarity of the market, along with many other people present who are just like you, greatly reducing one’s perception of danger. It is not the actual danger that is alarming to us as it is our perceived proximity to danger that gets our blood racing. We use rationalization and subtle denial, in all its petty forms and functions, to distort our perception of many the dangers which in practice are always present and all around us.

Thus while shopping in the supermarket you aren’t overly concerned with who is behind you or walking past, who is standing next to you while you select a steak or reach for the frozen peas. Nor who is waiting in the checkout line directly behind you and within two feet of your purse. While this might all seem obvious, the point is you are not concerned to any great extent with your personal safety while in the supermarket, yet you would be on the late night street, even if statistically from moment to moment you might be equally as safe. People are robbed or assaulted in the supermarket and have their wallets and purses stolen while in the mall, retail store or parking lot.

On a day to day basis we go about our business giving very little thought to our personal safety or even to those around us. While we know crime does exist and we may even know a friend or family member who has been ‘victimized’, it all takes place at a distance from us physically, mentally and emotionally. We take for granted, barring extraordinary circumstances, that we are not presently in danger. In many ways this is a naïve approach to life and it certainly sets us up for a real shock to the system when the inevitable violation occurs.

But since we are not trained or conditioned to view the world much beyond the next few hours, maybe days at the most, we simply assume what happened last minute will happen this minute and again during the next. And make no mistake about it Marie, how we are trained to see and perceive reality makes all the difference when creating and interacting with reality.

The odds are very high nothing will happen to us from moment to moment, which simply acts as real time confirmation of our conditioned bias. But it also breeds complacency within us and the emotional perception of safety we so desperately desire when we do not wish to assume responsibility for our own personal safety or sovereignty.

This is why we often bemoan the lack of police or some other authority figure when the inevitable happens. While intellectually we know the police react to crime, not prevent crime, since we have sub contracted out the responsibility for our personal and emotional safety, clearly it must be the sub contractor’s fault when we are harmed. It does not matter if the sub contractor was incapable of doing the job in the first place or even wanted to do so. Since we have abdicated our own personal responsibility we must now find emotional cover when things go wrong. And they always go wrong, thus proving the lie we can avoid accountability in the first place.

Fear2 - Clean

Sitting there while reading this, you might be tempted to intellectualize this discussion and claim you don’t engage in this behavior. And it is so easy to explain it all away because everyone else is doing the same thing at the same time. But Marie we have talked in the past about how in practice many of our decisions are emotional or impulse based and only afterwards do we rationalize them, thus validating our own ‘intelligent’ choices. This in and of itself is the core function of denial, separating the emotional animal from the rational being as if they are two different entities, when in reality they are just two dissimilar faces of the same beast.

Before moving on let me emphasize once again that all of us to some extent or another expect external authorities to protect and serve us. We have been conditioned to believe this is why we pay our taxes instead of those taxes being tribute to the state the payments really are. That is supposedly why we gather as large loosely connected tribes within clearly defined physical and cultural borders, for our collective and individual benefit and self defense.

But this also leaves us particularly vulnerable to the collective as well as to individuals within the collective who do not abide by the rules and who, while doing so, are protected by the collective to further other people’s individual or collective goals. This is the corrosive effect of systemic and wide ranging corruption, to turn nearly all ‘law abiding’ members of the collective into a pool of captive victims waiting to be exploited. For those individuals who depend upon the collective for sustenance, protection and emotional support, thereby becoming dependents of the collective, they are seen as little more than fish in a crowded pond to the predators.

I contend this love/hate relationship is responsible for much of the underlying fear we experience from day to day. While we rarely acknowledge our vulnerability to the collective, on a subconscious level it is blatantly obvious, thus we always live in a state of low level fear and apprehension. But our fear is hidden from view because it has been culturally assimilated by us within us. It is given different, more pleasant sounding names in order to be widely accepted as part of modern life, thus natural, normal and no big deal.

For example, while we are conditioned to believe the local police are there “To Protect and To Serve” in reality they are the local armed enforcement division of the protection scam called government. They are the armed revenue generating agents of the local tax ‘authority’ and the private security force for the financial elite. They protect the property of those who control their salaries while violently subduing peaceful protestors of the elite in response to their agent provocateurs inciting a riot.

When we see flashing lights in our rearview mirror we can safely say our heart does not leap for joy with the prospect of another encounter with those who protect and serve, but rather a rush of fear flashes over us as we quickly assess what the damages will be during this latest bald faced extortion exercise. After the officer has pulled us over and run our plates for wants, warrants and outstanding protection payments, he doesn’t walk to our car with a hand casually draped over his service weapon because he wants to give us a warm welcoming hug.

When the IRS comes calling with a notice of extortion demanding payment, saying we owe more of our ‘voluntary tax’ than we have declared, suddenly we realize the IRS has the legal right to assume we are guilty while the burden of proof of our innocence falls upon us. Worse, if we protest too much we are hauled into a special ‘tax’ court where the rules of evidence and self incrimination are stacked against us. It is then we realize the smart move is just to pay the cost of defense (the penalties) plus the original levy rather than fight the rigged system. Chalk up another personal violation.

But even these examples are obvious when given serious thought and a clear eyed assessment of what is really going on. What is chillingly frightening to you is the realization nearly everything you believed in, the basis by which you lived your life and pursued your interests, vocation and entertainment, is the polar opposite of what you thought was true and correct. Worse, not only is your government not your protector but it might just be your mortal enemy.

Essentially you are discovering you live in a dream world Marie and most of what you believed real is not only false and fake, but deliberately conceived to deceive our perception of reality in order to control and exploit. This strikes to the very heart of what we are conditioned to believe “We the People” are as well as our small part in this promoted reality. Rather than the shining beacon of global truth, justice and the American Way, you are beginning to recognize those who run this country are true psychopaths and ‘our’ country is closer to a banana republic than a representative republic. Worse, it appears we are the biggest rotten banana in the global bunch.

Relatively early in life, say around mid to late teens, we have already created an internal world view which, while flexible enough to be changed slightly to accommodate the movable feast of world events, is still firmly anchored in cement by fundamental ‘beliefs’ indoctrinated into us from birth by well meaning fellow ‘believers’ and/or captive wage slaves dependent upon the machine to create their reality and feed their family.

SadToy - Clean

The propagandized illusion of national wholesomeness and moral certainty, while increasingly under assault by the growing mass awareness that something stinks in the wood pile, basically remains intact precisely because our semi flexible worldview accommodates selective reasoning, denial and narcissistic fantasies. But when viewing the full Monty of the police state and its control apparatus, combined with the clarity of a growing awakening, nearly all of us suffer some sort of breakdown on both a psychic and spiritual level, leaving us isolated and broken and desperate for fellow support and affirmation.

For nearly all of us this is simply too much to bear and we rapidly retreat to the sweet bliss of feigned ignorance. Don’t ask, don’t tell works quite well for most individuals who have previously peaked into the abyss and are desperate to forget not only what they saw, but the social implications it has for them. Obviously an emotional and psychological transition must take place here if we are not only to recover our feet, but to move forward towards recovery and rejuvenation.

And it is here dear Marie that I return to the subject of sounding the alarm. By this I mean any attempt by us to warn and/or rally those around us in order to facilitate systemic change and reform as well as to develop allies for personal protection and empowerment. Our instinct when leaving one tribe is to either join or create another one if for no other reason than to replace the collective affirmation we no longer receive from the tribe we abandoned.

As in all things in life our intent is often more important that our actions. If we are sounding the alarm out of personal fear, then fear is precisely what we will project, consciously and subconsciously, when talking to others. Since the people we talk to also harbor an internal discomfort and disconnect which they do not acknowledge, thus they are on edge if only on a subconscious level, they will sense our projected fear and react with revulsion and rejection. Nobody wants to get too close to the crazy person, especially when that person is proclaiming ‘truths’ contrary to their consensus belief.

Because of this projected fear, along with the prevailing denial of those being ‘warned’, many newly awakened make almost no headway when sounding the alarm which in turn increases their sense of isolation and desperation and thereby their fear. It is a vicious positive feedback loop which usually ends in emotional exhaustion and possibly even a mental breakdown. At the very least many become depressed and despondent which, when combined with their inevitable social withdrawal, further encourages others to label them as malcontents or even mentally ill.

Marie……this is why we must suppress the instinct to fight or flight and immediately begin the work within. Only after we have come to grips with this terrible emotional trauma and are settled not only with our prior participation, but also the inevitable personal changes we must enact if we are to embody what must be done in order to facilitate our partial or full withdrawal from the insanity, can we move forward with our life. How much and to what extent only you can determine, but certainly no settled decision can be made until and unless you have begun the personal soul searching work of self discovery.

Many of the newly awakened, as well as countless veterans, spend nearly all their time bargaining with their awakening instead of focusing on their healing. For far too many the awakening itself is the nightmare rather than what they are awakening to. While some will claim otherwise, often those who are awakening just want the system to be ‘fixed’ so they can go back to sleep. I know many who feel it is an injustice they must be the ones who are awakening, thus the carrier of the burden of contrary information and knowledge, rather than recognizing the wonderful gift they have been bestowed.

Once you arrive at a fork in the road you must make a decision. Make a choice, be settled with it and move on. If need be Marie you can always revisit that decision, though oftentimes if you attempt to do so you will find yourself so fundamentally changed from the journey itself, either you won’t need to revisit or once back there the same choices will no longer be there. It is only when we continue to bargain with our ‘self’, either before, during or after our (in) decision, that the damage is done and reinforced. It is this constant state of tension, this unwillingness to seek centering and to be settled in our new role in life, that exaggerates and inflames our fear and isolation.

Obviously this is easier said than done and ultimately no matter how much encouragement and support you receive along the way, your journey is a solo affair. As difficult as it may seem for you now, please recognize you have entered the beginning of the end of your mindless dependency upon the collective machine and external authority. From this point forward how well you handle yourself and your recovery depends entirely upon how willing you are to step away from the herd and explore the space within. I promise you this much; once you recognize the only thing you have to fear is fear itself the emotional release you experience will be life altering.

Go ahead and take that first step. If you are committed and have faith that the process will be life changing and healing, it will be all that and so much more.

Beside you always,




Cognitive Dissonance



Fearless - Clean

The Sovereignty Series – Orienteering : Lost in the Wilderness

Because our personal memory cannot extend beyond our lifetime, neither before our birth nor after our death, we tend to view the world with narrow blinders on. In addition, since we alone occupy our mind (unless of course we are of two minds) we tend to perceive the world interpreted through our conditioning, training and experience. We believe ourselves to be credible and intelligent, even though nearly all our working capital, our knowledge, is corrupt and seriously tainted.

This is the functional equivalent of seeing the world through a pin hole camera lens while wearing dark sunglasses. Essentially this leaves us myopic at best, and functionally blind at worst. We stumble and bumble through life believing we have near perfect vision when in fact we have been sleepwalking since birth. Seen from this point of view is it any wonder “We the People” can be so easily herded and controlled?

But it gets worse, much worse. While we see ourselves as a large community, a nation of individuals gathered together under a common cause, on a day to day basis the reality we experience is far different. The problem we face as a nation of individuals is that while we ‘perceive’ ourselves as part of a greater group, we myopically pursue our own goals and aspirations and leave the bus driving to someone else, mostly those who claim authority to drive in our stead.

As anyone who has participated in “Orienteering” will tell you, one must constantly be aware (mindful is the term I like to use) of where you are in relation to where you wish to go. And might I add, where you have been. Spatial awareness is of utmost importance when navigating the four axis (longitude, latitude, altitude and time) of unfamiliar terrain, something modern men and women have mostly ceded to GPS enabled Garmin, smart phone mapping apps and a benevolent government who would never steer us wrong on the really important stuff.

When attempting to efficiently navigate to a destination there are several items, tools let’s call them, of utmost importance we must possess. One, we must know where we presently are in relation to where we want to go. This requires not only a map or some other type of document displaying a ‘concept’ of ‘reality’, almost always created by others, but also the proper mindset, one that requires (demands) curiosity, critical thinking and creativity in order to adapt to an ever changing set of circumstances and terrain.

In addition, on this map of reality there must either be an ‘X’ to mark the spot where we presently reside (you are >here<) or some method must be offered that is used to determine where we are in space (and equally importantly time) and how that relates to the map in hand. Most often we are ‘told’ where we are by way of signposts, route numbers, word of mouth information, intuitive guesstimating or a benevolent government (and its lackeys, sycophants and mainstream media) who would never steer us wrong on the really important stuff.

Two, we must know where we wish to go and the route or routes we will travel beginning from where we are now. As obvious as this may sound to someone who thinks they know where they are and where they are going, after some careful consideration and reflection it becomes increasingly apparent that our spatial knowledge is mostly derived from group think and common ‘beliefs’ than by a careful examination of available information and a critical and suspicious eye towards disseminated propaganda.

This Way - Clean

All too often we willingly absorb and act upon untested ‘truths’ simply because they come from ‘trusted’ sources we have been ‘told’ are impeccable. Examples of this are our primary school system, the mainstream media, experts such as lawyers, doctors, scientists and institutions such as corporations, governments and centers of higher education. And lately for those who claim increased awareness, the vast universe of alternative ‘news and information’ sources of equally dubious credibility and quality.

We accept with little suspicion and rarely question that the map as it is laid out before us is complete and accurate, that the reality depicted is as it actually exists just beyond the horizon. See, it’s clearly marked here on the map. This way be dragons and monsters, but that way over there is the land of milk and honey. Those bad brown, yellow, red or black people just beyond the mountains are our enemies and these folks over here are our white friends and companions. You know….the good guys with central banks and natural resources to exploit.

This brings us to number three in our orienteering exercise, that of understanding where we have been before ‘now’. Of critical importance to us is learning, and then applying to the present situation, where and why we were previously back there and what we have learned from that journey. Without (fully) understanding where we have been and the lessons learned, any subsequent journey we undertake is always a first time for us, virgin territory in all aspects for us novices.

The time of greatest risk of failure is when we have never gone before, even if we really have and just don’t remember….or are deliberately misinformed. Not knowing ‘our’ history (actually more often the history of those who came before) dooms us to endlessly repeat past mistakes, wrong turns, dead ends and abject failures.

If the map has been subtly modified or altered (or even worse, continuously changed) yet we are repeatedly assured it is true and accurate, a ‘fact’ confirmed by group think, consensus opinion and official authority proclamation, we are left to aimlessly wander the landscape, begging equally befuddled random passersby for clear directions or possibly even a better map.

Under these conditions who among us can declare with any degree of certainty that they ‘know’ that the reality spread out before them as depicted on the map is true and accurate, an honest representation of what lies over the hill, thus alleviating the need to actually travel there to confirm the authenticity of the map in hand. How could anyone trust a document of such dubious pedigree and lineage to do anything other than to help start a camp fire on the side of the road and warm our hands while we gather our bearings?

And yet even those among us who claim to be awake, to see more clearly through the cognitive fog than the average Joe, still use the same pin hole camera lens and cheap sunglasses to view the world. They attribute their new found clarity to the discovery of several flaws in their map or possibly a new and improved map produced by others who also claim excellent vision and insight. Oftentimes the new map is declared better simply because it is different, the more radical the change the better in some eyes.

Underwater City - Clean

Since we no longer trust the presently popular Oracle of Delphi, the one worshiped by the surging herd as the purveyor of the one true map, instead of attempting to widen our field of vision and remove our Ray Ban’s in order to properly see and perceive, we cast about for another self proclaimed authority to declare with utmost confidence that dry land is most assuredly that-a-way.

By swapping one leader for another rather than seeking truth independently, who is to say another wild card hasn’t been slipped into the deck to wreck havoc and poison the well. Trading dependencies accomplishes nothing for the dependent and everything for the entity(s) depended upon.

Being personally sovereign requires the complete removal of any and all visual impairments and the application of critical thinking to new information presented to the sovereign as truth. Since ‘our’ history has been, and continues to be, repeatedly obscured, edited and rewritten over countless generations to suit the control needs of each map maker, to simply swap maps is to swap problems, not find solutions let alone the truth.

To declare that because we have found our map defective, therefore we need a new one, simply invites the control system to infiltrate the process at any point along the way and once again obscure the results, leaving us in even more precarious straits. At least before with known damaged goods in hand, we cast doubt upon the validity of the old map and ventured forward carefully, deliberately. Now that we have embraced the substitute we are even more easily led astray because our faith and belief has been restored and the chain is again secured around our neck.

Once again sleepwalking through life, though this time with the belief we are wide awake, the damage we subsequently do to ourselves and to others by our cries of Eureka is magnitudes greater than before. Every rebel voice, every rebellion, contains its own seeds of destruction when it finally 'wins' and goes mainstream. And make no mistake about it; the alternative press is ‘our’ mainstream media. The personally sovereign never declares victory when still surrounded by the enemy, for to do so is to be quickly overwhelmed and assimilated.



Cognitive Dissonance

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The Sovereignty Series – Swimming with the Sharks – Being a Small Fish in a Big Pond

Let’s suppose you’re charged with a crime, but you are innocent. Despite your innocence the court was able to ‘prove’ you were guilty and a jury of your ‘peers’ agreed with the evidence presented and unanimously returned a guilty verdict. Does the fact that the judicial system was able to win a conviction against you change the fact that you are innocent? Obviously the answer is ‘No’, though that does not alter the reality that you are now doing time. Continue reading The Sovereignty Series – Swimming with the Sharks – Being a Small Fish in a Big Pond

The Sovereignty Series – Reassessing Our Lives – The Value of Being Centered

Most of us will argue that on those occasions when we reach critical decision points in our life we believe they are successfully navigated. Just as important we believe the vast majority of our decisions are based upon current data, the present state of our personal affairs and how it all fits in with our perceived life goals.

Quite frankly, for many of us this is an illusion we embrace in order not to upset our sense of self and our positioning within the ‘real’ world we call ours. In reality we rarely deviate much from our present path, a path more often chosen for us by opportunity and circumstance then by directed thought and conscious decision.

When do we ever pull back and thoroughly assess where we are and what we want, not based upon debt or family pressures or even what our employment situation demands of us, but upon what we really truly desire of ourselves? Until recently, for this author at least, the honest answer was not very often.

In fact the last time I conducted this type of thorough self assessment was back in 1990 when I completely changed my career and life direction. While the decision was right for me at the time, it was now well past stale and moldy, the ‘sell by’ date long past expiration.

Since that critical juncture in my life I had not considered conducting another self assessment of this sort with any real seriousness. If anything I would engage in fantastical daydreaming about how neat this might be or how liberating living that way could be. To be frank I did not want to back myself into a emotional corner, to come to a conclusion contrary to where I was presently positioned in life, and then not follow through.

No one wishes to face their own impotence, to fail their ‘self’ and then have nowhere to hide. It is best not to have tried rather than fail and be unmasked and miserable. Sometimes we are most embarrassed when bare naked and fully exposed to our self.

This is the deeply conditioned slave mentality which I and so many others struggle with, a perspective that helps to explain quite well the present state of the zombie nation. We dull the ever present pain of our own failure with food, drink, TV, work, whatever it takes to forget if only for a moment more.

Gear - Clean1

I did know that I was growing increasingly unhappy with my chosen profession and I wanted out. But like a deer in the headlights I was frozen in place and unable to make any significant decisions because of all the entanglements, real or otherwise, that I thought were tying me down.

Some I believed were financial, some physical, some emotional, but all were blown way out of proportion to the reality I was trying to avoid. One must build the walls of our own cage higher than we are willing to climb if we are to remain safely confined within our own mind.

In short I was unhappy enough to think about radical change, but just content enough (‘sated’ is probably a much better term to use here) with the status quo that I didn’t wish to upset my carefully stacked house of cards. Who really wants to gather up all their Jacks and fling them high into the air in order to see what comes up when they all fall down?

Mostly this was because I had never honestly asked myself “What it is that I desire most” or “How would I like to live”? Instead I would ask myself the normal questions society directs us towards; what is it that I want to ‘do’, or what do I want to ‘be’ when I grow up, get out of school, change careers or retire?

Think about one of the first questions you ask a stranger you are meeting for the first time in a casual social setting. Or what is asked of you during that same social function. “So….what do you do”? The honest answer is that we live in our own mental straitjacket with our body and life dragged along, securely attached via our own carefully constructed ball and chain.

For most of us the ‘life’ decision process, at least initially, works in reverse. We start off listing what it is we don’t want and move forward from there. And the number one item at the top of most lists of undesirables is the following……“I don’t wish to be poor”.

Since we are forever focused on the ‘money meme’ every decision radiates out from that central focal point. It may help to remember that the all controlling meme permeates so deeply into our childhood that the tooth fairy brings money in exchange for recently removed used body parts.

Circle Ceiling

Ok……….well if I don’t wish to be poor I will ‘need’ (as opposed to ‘want’) a good education followed by a decent job to start my career, then marriage, kids, cars, house etc. Before we know it our exercise wheel is up to speed and we are off to the races on our never ending run to nowhere.

Back in 1990 I changed everything in my life after nearly two decades wasted. Because I headed off the deep end just after graduating from high school, rather than money being my central focus it was another equally damaging obsession that I revolved around. Seventeen years later, my life in tatters by my own hand, but still well along in the process of living, I struggled to move forward while balancing single parenthood demands with the need to earn a living.

The decisions I made at that point suited my life situation, not my happiness. I did what needed to be done to finish raising my son, who was then only five years of age, and to begin the process of cleaning up the mess I had created which trailed far behind me.

When the time came for my son to leave home and move on, essentially thirteen years later with me still single and uninvolved, I settled in to begin the serious work of examining the world around me, something I never fully pursued earlier since life was demanding my attention after I got my act together.

Back in 1990 after I awoke from my stupor I saw contradictions and cognitive dissonances as far as the eye could see, but I deliberately chose not to look too deep in order to maintain some semblance of stability in my son’s life, not to mention my own. It was years, actually more than a decade, before I felt stable enough to really begin to deeply examine what I perceived as wrong with the world.

Once we begin the process of questioning everything, eventually we begin to seriously question ourselves, a course of action that often derives its value from the procedure itself rather than any actual results obtained. If we find the courage to travel far enough down the rabbit hole we find ourselves face to face with……….well, with our ‘self’. It is then that we reach a decision point unlike any we have encountered up to this point in our lives.

Do we travel a path, the path, any path that ultimately frees us from ourselves (or at least gets us a little bit closer), one which opens up an entirely new panorama of choices, the road less traveled if you will? Or do we look into the abyss, experience only disorientation and fear, then rapidly retreat to the perceived safety of our existing familiar surroundings.

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If we have remained in a continuous state of low level pain for a long enough period of time, the idea of making radical changes in order to relieve that pain is not as inviting as it might seem at first blush. The elevated level of pain we mentally and emotionally project will result from the change is nearly always believed to be much worse than it actually turns out to be.

A perfect example of this is the person with a nagging toothache who is frightened of the dentist. On an accumulated basis that person might experience ten times more pain over a month’s time before finally capitulating to the inevitable trip to the dentist rather than if he had just ripped the tooth out at home with some pliers. Procrastination is just as much a process of bargaining with ourselves as it is fear and consequence avoidance.

This isn’t to say that one must change everything in order to begin the process of being true to oneself. Becoming personally sovereign in the middle of an insane asylum is a journey at best and not a destination. One can never be truly clean when we wash in filthy water, but we can begin to filter the water and improve the conditions under which we bathe.

The thing is that the end result for many who go down this road is not a product of any one decision, but of a series of half steps and reluctant conclusions that lead to a fundamental recognition. Eventually we come to understand that if we are to be true to ourselves we can no longer live in the manner we currently are. It is then that we discover if we have the courage to take a chance and move deeper down into the rabbit hole, or do we scurry away back to the perceived safety of the herd’s insanity.

I say this not to be judgmental of anything the reader is or is not doing. I live in a very fragile glass house with no intention of throwing stones or examining the quality of your life’s construction. Nor do I claim to have arrived at my destination and thus am qualified to give advice and direction. What I am doing works for me, and most likely will not work for you precisely because we are all unique individuals with distinctively different needs and life situations.

While I have clearly stated that personal sovereignty is a ‘State of Mind’, meaning we adopt a particular mindset that fully encompasses total personal responsibility for our ‘self’, it also requires that we be more centered than most of us presently are. If we are unhappy with our lives, or if we are in denial about our unhappiness, which simply pushes us further and further away from our center, trying to adopt the personal sovereignty mindset is nearly impossible.

Take that first step; reassess where you are and why you aren’t somewhere else. Look deeply, ask those difficult questions of your ‘self’, push your outer boundaries and scale those walls. You have little to lose and everything to gain…..including your centering.



Cognitive Dissonance

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