Selling the Car Crash and Buying the Cancer

For just a few minutes I ask that you suspend disbelief and consider what I am about to say from the perspective of your point of view. Forget what others may say or do. Ignore how you think the herd might react to the scenario I’m about to outline and look deep within yourself into that honest place we all possess and rarely visit.

Suppose you were told by an extremely trusted source, I think the word is impeccable, that sometime in the next week you will suffer a terrible accident, a car crash to be specific. While you will most likely not die in or from this accident, you will probably wish you had because the pain and suffering you are facing will test you like you have never been tested before. You have no details of the event, only that it is very soon, inevitable and will be life changing.

Or………you can choose what is behind the second curtain in this fictitious world of clear foresight and alternative scenarios, and instead of immediate pain and disfigurement you get to kick the can down the road and select the cancer, the big ‘C’, and hope for the best.

The good news is the occultist seer, your provocateur of prophecy, projects that the cancer will probably not kill you as well, though the mortality rate is much higher than the car crash. And it isn’t even an especially fast acting variety, so your life can proceed pretty much uninterrupted for a year or two, maybe even more, until the surgery (cut) chemo (poison) and radiation (burn) become unavoidable and must begin.

Besides, who knows what miracles medical science can come up with between now and then? There are success stories everywhere of cancer survivors beating the odds and living a long, healthy and satisfying life. Regardless, when contemplating the choice between an emergency responder using the jaws-of-life to extract you from your mangled motor vehicle or a handsome skilled surgeon extracting your diseased colon/lung/prostate while you are knocked out cold, is there really any choice in the matter?

So when, not if, you decide to buy the cancer and sell the car crash, will your perspective change at least a little with respect to those lying corrupt disingenuous politicians, central bankers, corporate executives, too big to fail bank CEO’s and millions of other ‘bad’ guys we blame for making matters worse when the ‘obvious’ choice to make was the car crash and not the cancer?

I suppose the more important question to be asked would be why we were even at the point where this choice between two extremely poor paths was presented. Then again, conditioned slaves can complain, bicker and debate all they want about their living conditions, but never about their actual slavery.

Intellectually we understand the ‘correct’ decision to make back in 2008-2009 was to bite the bullet and select the car crash. Sure it would be tough, real tough, and there is no doubt that much suffering would follow. Millions upon millions of people stood to lose their jobs, homes and personal retirement savings and public pensions. The collapsing dominoes and the resulting whoosh would have been shocking and unimaginable even to those of us who believe we had a fairly good idea how it would all go down.

Banks and business large and small would have gone under, hundreds of municipalities most definitely would have declared bankruptcy and countless lives altered in such a way that the memory would linger from generation to generation for as long, or longer, than the reverberation from the Depression of the 1930’s.

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The shock waves of the car crash would have gone global and billions would have had their standard of living slashed in half or more. In fact the greatest damage would not be felt by the first world nations, but by the second and third world. The proof is the effects seen in the less developed nations as the first world exports massive cancerous inflation in the form of currency printing. When the first world catches a cold, the second and third world comes down with life threatening pneumonia.

Unlike the scenario I outlined above where you and I are personally facing the prospect of either immediate or delayed pain, the difference when contemplating a national/global car crash or cancer choice is our perceived lack of immediate proximity to the resulting pain and suffering. Real or imagined, based in fact or fiction, we all tend to emotionally and intellectually diminish our proximity to external danger by any number of techniques such as denial, rationalization, apathy and emotional distancing.

Part of the reason we believe the car crash choice to be proper was/is our clearer understanding of the inevitable implosion that results from the cancer choice. Only this time the death and injuries will be orders of magnitude greater than what might have been experienced in 2008. We perceive little to no personal benefit from kicking the can and believe great harm will result from doing so.

In reality the only thing we know for certain is that life would be very different from today if we had faced the music back in 08-09. Better or worse is the real question, though I suspect better……if for no other reason than the wound eventually heals or it festers and you die.

In addition, we recognize the large (and growing even larger) disparity of illness and symptoms that results from the cancer choice between those who have and those who have not. It is believed that if the car crash were chosen, while the have not’s will suffer under any scenario; the haves might actually be taken down several notches while also being pulled from the wreck, a dubious assumption at best……at least for the top one or two percent.

Worse, our sense of outrage is inflamed when we realize that not only are the elite not suffering the same cancer symptoms as we are, but are actually benefiting from, even prospering from, the cancer choice. If nothing else they appear to be bleeding the middle class dry while kicking the can down the road as far and for as long as they can.

Wealth has its own rewards and distinct advantages, and the belief that the wealthy would push the floundering swimmer underwater in order to support (let along enrich) themselves is outrageous, at least from the perspective of the now underwater swimmer.

The list of reasons why ‘we’ feel the cancer to be the wrong choice, oftentimes a belief developed with the benefit of hindsight, is endless and ultimately self personalized to fit our own worldview and denial/rationalization spectrum. Regardless of the specifics of your own view on this subject, the real value to be unleashed from this introspection is the better understanding of our ‘self’ that results when we look deep into that honest place we all possess and rarely visit.

 

05-05-2014

Cognitive Dissonance

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9 thoughts on “Selling the Car Crash and Buying the Cancer”

  1. Having seen many car crashes during my career, I must say the majority were caused by the error of people. Distracted or impaired drivers. Cancer does have some personal responsibility. Certain behaviors or poor diet is implicated in many forms. I’ll never forget the young woman screaming at the top of her lungs, laying on the gurney with her leg broken at a right angle. ” I run red lights all the time and this is the first time this has happened!”

    It’s hard for me to see the personal responsibility I have for the financial problems we face. I’d like to ask the car crash occur only to those elites that deserve it. But, of course, that is not how it works. The lower classes on the Titanic were trapped below locked gates so not to fill the precious few life boats. All suffer for the actions of a few.

    When we consider the suffering we chose if faced with global financial collapse, I think we are truly at a loss to understand the choice. I understand intellectually the pain of the car crash and the cancer but even I cannot know the full extent of the pain having suffered neither. I have only been an observer. I know if the collapse had been the car crash and I was thrust into poverty, I would have an easier time adjusting because I had lived in poverty in my life. Someone who had only lived a privileged life would have difficulty. They would mostly likely choose the cancer. And, of course, I am speaking as an American not an African where some spend more than 50% of their incomes on just food. My poverty was certainly not theirs.

    I personally grow weary of the slow march to an uncertain end. There is a certain low level stress that permeates all aspect of my life that simply is not sure what is the correct path to take or how to prepare. But this in itself is a arrogance. When has anything been ever assured in our lives? Why do we seem to have so much more angst today than generations before? We seem so much more fearful, depressed and angry than ever even though having dodged this financial crisis. I can’t see how the choice of the cancer was truly the better one.

    Miffed

    1. I find it interesting that the question is whether we should have chosen the car crash rather than the cancer. Of course, I am asking this question because many on ZH and elsewhere are also asking this question. After 5 years of ‘recovery’ it appears the recovery is very selective, limited mostly to stock market assets and other assets owned by high net worth individuals.

      The real question is why were we ever at the point where we were forced to make the choice?

      It’s hard for me to see the personal responsibility I have for the financial problems we face.

      Our personal responsibility is often limited by our social, financial and political reach. Compared to others in the driver seat our influence is so small as to be considered meaningless and insignificant. But remember, no one rain drop blames itself for the flood.

      I do not have to take the carrot dangling out there in order to live my life in a meaningful and substantial manner. In fact I can find other ways to live on the outskirts of the insanity. We are not entirely blameless simply because there is no ‘easier’ way forward than going along to get along.

      Cognitive Dissonance

      1. Good point. Just because I cannot see my own responsibility does not necessarily mean I am blameless. This is where introspection and humility can serve us well. Though not fully cognizant of the ramifications of all my life choices, I can see shades of thoughtless pursuits that were part of the groupthink. Dulling of ones senses by following the herd. We excuse this as youthful immaturity. The hopeful result is maturation and evolving beyond the pressures of the masses and their scheming,ever hidden in the shadows, masters.

        I used to be amazed at a man who would sit on the sidewalk in the busiest intersection of my town and meditate. Once I asked him why he didn’t choose a more suitable, quiet location of which were numerous in beautiful Ojai. He told me to fully challenge himself to achieve absolute Quiet he must exist in absolute chaotic Noise. He taught me my incessant running was the opposite of what I needed to do in my life.

        Miffed

        1. About 15 years ago I was taking a solo motorcycle ride along the Skyline Drive (aka the Blue Ridge Parkway) in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. I pulled over into a small rest stop and came upon about 7-8 other motorcycles, all of which had husband/wife or boy/girl friend riders. In other words no one was riding solo, but rather everyone was riding two up on each bike.

          As most all bikers do, I pulled up alongside and started talking to them about bikes, weather, the Skyline Drive and so on. Most of them were in their mid to late twenties and none were older than 30ish. After 20 minutes I started to excuse myself, wanting to use the facilities before I pushed on south. A young lady to my right suddenly stopped me and blurted out a question.

          “Don’t you find it lonely riding alone,” she asked? Everyone else in the group immediately stopped talking and waited for my answer. It was clear they rarely rode alone and were interested in hearing what I had to say.

          Without thinking I immediately responded with, “I think I’m pretty good company.

          The blank expression on their faces indicated to me that they just didn’t get it. In fact the girl who asked the question scrunched up her nose a bit as if to say that being alone with herself would be extremely distasteful.

          Yuck!

          The art of being OK, even comfortable, with yourself is the key to being comfortable with where you are and where you are headed. I was riding towards life while they were riding as fast as they could away.

          Cognitive Dissonance

          1. How fascinating. I must admit I am taken aback at that. I had always had the stereotypic view being on the road on a bike personified freedom and individuality. Though I have seen bikers together, I had thought it still an exercise of calmness and introspection. Silly me.

            About 15 years ago I was attending an Anglican Church. The priest was a wonderful man that had helped me through some pretty tough times. His wife suddenly divorced him, no longer wanting to be a priest’s wife. This was very nasty and very public. She decided to destroy him and was planning to sell his beloved horse. I bought him for $1.00 before the lawyers could do this and kept him for my friend.

            This man went into a terrible depression and I was at a loss what to do. He was an extremely quiet, very well educated man with a good heart but the life was just ebbing out of him. I asked him if he would trailer his horse with me and go riding in the local mountains. He told me no, he didn’t want to but I was persistent. Finally he agreed. I think just to shut me up.

            We went deep into a large cedar forest and rode for 4 hours not saying one word. I was a bit concerned he was unhappy and was just getting it over with so I worked our way back to the trailer. As I was getting ready to dismount he asked if we could go out for a little bit more. I smiled and took him out another 2 hours. We were still silent just taking in the majestic view. When we got home he turned to me with tears in his eyes and told me he hadn’t had such happiness in months. The peace and quiet in nature had soothed his soul in a way that had been elusive.

            We continued to do this once a month for about a year when he remarried and moved away. Always rode silently listening to nature and our horses foot steps on the paths. I realize now this was a form of prayer for both of us. Two damaged people helping each other in Spirit where words were not needed. I once asked why he never rode with anyone else who had asked him. He told me I was the only person he knew who understood what he needed was peace and quiet, not social chit chat. I am honored I had helped him heal and move on with his life.

            I have always appreciated being alone. Yes, I as well has discovered I’m pretty good company too! And I am so happy I have a husband that can respect my need for solitude at times. Being an only child who lived on a farm makes this easy for him to understand. ” Let’s be independent together!” was his marriage proposal. How could I turn that down? ;-)

            Miffed

    2. M. M. said: “It’s hard for me to see the personal responsibility I have for the financial problems we face.”

      Same here. For the most part the foundations of these financial problems were in place before I was even a gleam in daddy’s eye. The balance before I had even attained voting age(born 1959)…as if that would have mattered.

      Since I became aware of the nature of this game I have tried to change things that I can. No bank, I use a local credit union. No credit(debt) cards. Only debt I have is the balance of my house note, 6 years left. Ramped personal consumption way back to basic needs and replacing (some)things that break/can’t be fixed. Unfortunately I do still have to use the FRN when I pay with “cash.” ‘Coin of the realm’ and all that…but I recognize that a FRN does not really represent anything of true value or wealth. In 1996 I consciously chose a work schedule that cut my income almost in half and lowered my tax ‘donation’ to the status quo system.

      All in all though it feels quite a bit like pissing into the wind. For me I’ll have the car crash please.

      1. Hi disenchanted,

        When I first went to ZH I admitted being miffed, now I’ve moved through disenchanted to pretty darn pissed off! Waking up is hard to do.;-)

        Born in 1961 so I can relate to your experience. I’ve done some of what you describe. My biggest problem was my husband who didn’t get on board until the last 4 years and I just wasn’t knowledgeable nor persuasive enough to pled my case. That goodness we see things in unison now and I do feel for those who are going it alone with an asleep mate. Everyday I wake up and am grateful it hasn’t blown because I’m that more close to more self sufficiency. But I agree with you. The wait is a killer. I feel like I’m standing on the tracks waiting for the train to hit me. Of course, the optical illusion says it’s far away but in reality it’s closer than I may realize.

        Be vigilant but be happy as well!

        Miffed

  2. ” I admitted being miffed, now I’ve moved through disenchanted to pretty darn pissed off!”

    I can relate to that too. lol! Cheers to ya Miffed, ya made me smile.

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