An Equal and Opposite Force
The power that our conditioning and the Ponzi/government/Fed has over us is essentially an illusion, one that while we may support, is growing weaker by the day. As the Ponzi falls apart, as we fall apart, as the illusion begins to lose its focus and clarity in our minds and thus in our reality, the support structures become increasingly unsteady. Its hold on us rapidly diminishes on an exponential basis.
The more unstable the Ponzi becomes, instability that’s coming from layers upon layers of lies, deceit and deception, the more force must be applied simply to remain in place or slow the decline. The same can be said about ourselves. As we begin to lose our links to reality, as our insanity increases exponentially, the more force of will we must apply to remain functioning. As the systems fail, the collapse progresses rapidly and exponentially. The end comes quickly. Let me explain by using an example from my childhood.
My brother and I were horsing around one day and we starting pushing against each other from opposite sides of a door. Quickly we ramped up to the maximum force we could apply and it became a stalemate, with neither having the power to overcome the other. And we were both rapidly tiring. Since there were no reserves left in either of us, there was no way to quickly escalate and win the battle.
Because we were both at maximum power, even a small drop in effort by either side would quickly be overwhelmed by the other. In this case, I was the first to tire, so I tried to let go and get out of the way at the same time. The door quickly crashed into my face and chest, knocking the wind out of me and bloodying my nose.
The same dynamic is playing out worldwide. Maximum effort is being expended by the Ponzi and its support structures (various governments, banking cabal, Fed etc) in an effort to remain in place. Only in this case, the Ponzi (which is a reflection of our own madness) is fighting against the inevitable collapse of the madness itself. In effect, the Ponzi is being consumed by the escalating effects of the Ponzi, just as we’re being consumed by our own insanity.
The markets are very cognizant of this fact and are eagerly searching for any perceived weakness in the system while at the same time fearful of a total or partial collapse. The participants believe they can somehow not only profit from the destruction but then successfully escape with their gains, just as we believe we aren’t part of the madness and can avoid it’s destructive death throes. Escape with what and to where; by what means and when?
The first sign of any real substantial weakness will start a cascade and bring the system crashing down, which doesn’t necessarily mean governments will fail, though anything goes at this point. But it does appear at the very least that the fiat currency and possibly the economic system’s days are numbered. The real question is when.
To think we can safely escape at the last minute is as delusional as someone waiting until the water is 3 feet deep before trying to escape from the hurricane. The recent flash crash showed us the speed that the stock markets can and will fall. And you can safely assume the government will put a halt to security sales and money distributions and transfers when it gets real bad. Desperate Ponzi men will do desperate things.
A similar battle is occurring between our ego, our conscious mind, outside systemic influences and our subconscious. While the great systemic control forces being applied to the population appear to be overwhelming and controlling, in fact the system is highly unstable and susceptible to a crash if one side gains just a small advantage.
So the logical question is who or what has the ultimate advantage? From where I’m standing, the survivors will be those who retain or regain some semblance of sanity and who’ve already done much of the difficult internal work of finding emotional and spiritual centeredness.
Control through Apathy and Conflict
Let’s return to the citizens at the commissioners meeting. Once they saw that the impossible was in fact possible, that they were able to resist the commissioners, they made this new possibility, this new perception, “real”. And they created this new reality again and again simply by believing it’s possible. Nothing else changed other than their faith and belief in their own ability to effect change for their own benefit.
They made this new perception their own reality primarily because they wanted it to be their reality. So in effect they created their own positive feedback loop to benefit those inside the loop rather than be exploited by others. Either we create our own reality or we live within someone else’s reality.
Since our perception of reality directly affects how we interact with “our” reality, in many ways we make our reality fresh every day. Only we often make it exactly the same way as yesterday because our perception hasn’t changed. The people at the meeting were previously apathetic in response to their perceived powerlessness brought about in part by their fear. But now they created a positive feedback loop beneficial to them (with initial help from my friend) which helped them to subvert their old conditioning.
One could say this is literally the power of positive thinking or belief, which is another way of saying the power of the herd mentality working in and for the best interest of the herd. This local section of the herd is becoming sentient, self aware of its ability to change its reality to something more agreeable and beneficial. The power has always been there. They’re simply harnessing it for the first time.
Apathy is an emotional defense mechanism used to deal with one’s own perceived weakness. “Whatever, who cares, same ole same old, nothing we do matters so go with the flow and take care of yourself.” In a way, this also applies to those of us who are caught up in the endless cycle of fighting among ourselves. We don’t dare challenge our abuser, but we want to release our anger, so we attack each other instead. Our apathy is acted out as aggression against anyone other than those whom we really wish to attack and topple.
Once we enter the devastating cycle of apathy, we become bound within our own gravity well of helplessness. We’re rarely able to break free because the only energy we can muster is used to increase our apathy and the force of the gravity well itself. In order to free ourselves, among other things we must admit we supported the very system that enslaved us, an extremely uncomfortable and emotionally charged proposition.
This is one of the reasons social violence is rarely directed at leadership and often back at ourselves. The submissive slave mentality, the frozen apathetic mind, simply can’t revolt to any significant degree against the master. So the mob acts out it’s aggression on other more vulnerable groups. On a personal level, depression could be considered inwardly directed violence repeatedly applied. We reenact being traumatized again and again, often unable to break the vicious cycle. We do this because unconsciously we’re unable to face the root of our own trauma, our own victimization of ourselves.
To break through this pain means not only that we must accept that we can/could have resisted, but we must also take responsibility for our part in the mess. We won’t push through this pain unless we can see a quantifiable benefit, sometimes just a way out, which requires narrowly tuning our internal radio station to “What’s In It For Me” (WIIFM) at least for the first push out. As nice as it sounds to say we did something for others, at this early stage in the centering, we must be acting solely for ourselves. Nothing focuses the mind quite like the certain knowledge of imminent death or great pain, which removes all the clutter and excuses in one quick swipe.
We begin this emotional and spiritual tuning by looking inward and conducting an honest appraisal of our own part in this dance of self enslavement and servitude. We must clean house internally if we’re to begin the healing process. If we study 12 step recovery programs (alcohol, drugs, sex, abuse etc) we’ll find that this is the heart of an early and long lasting recovery. Very few stay clean and sober long without this internal cleansing. Once the foundation’s been repaired, then the rebuilding can begin. But leave a shaky foundation in place and we’ll have lifelong problems. Or more likely, we’ll simply continue our downward spiral.
By starting small with something easily understood and achieved we build courage, which in turn helps us to push through further pain. We must all build upon our small victories, which develops the experience necessary to go bigger and bigger. How do we move our personal mountain? The answer is devastatingly simple, one wheel barrel at a time. The key is to narrow our gaze and see only the task directly in front of us, focusing just on that one wheel barrel we’ve now loaded with dirt and are pushing away from the mountain.
The control system has convinced us we can’t move mountains. And the control system’s correct. We can’t……in one big push. That’s the illusion that’s promoted by us and others to keep us immobilized; it’s all or nothing. But we don’t need to do it all at once. We can move the mountain one wheel barrel at a time. Anyone can. Once we push through this falsely perceived and promoted high hurdle, and we do this through the application of rigorous honesty, we begin to understand that it’s us who control the chains that bind us to our servitude.
This cleansing and rebuilding starts small, with our own personal affairs and those of our friends, neighbors and community. It’s entirely realistic thinking to believe we can change our conditions by our own hand and for our own benefit. The powers control us only by our consent, usually through active encouragement of our apathy. Remove or reduce our apathy and empower the individual through rigorous honesty (and a push in the right direction) and we’re no longer held captive to the lies, be they internal or external.
Our overall freedom begins within each individual, not in any mass movements, riots or strikes. The only strike we need to call is our own personal strike from self deception and false hope seeking. We’re easily controlled when we self deceive. We in effect blackmail ourselves.
It’s quite simple really. We’re playing a game with ourselves against ourselves. We know what cards we hold but we pretend we don’t know. Consider playing a game of cards between you and your ego. Your ego knows all your psychological triggers. You, the conscious you, will consistently lose, which is precisely what’s happening.
Rethinking the Problem and the Solution
At one time, I thought the only way to “win” was to raise large armies of enraged citizens who would then storm the walls of power and wrestle “it” back. Though I admit I was never quite sure exactly what I would be wrestling back. I believed I needed an army because I’d been conditioned to believe I needed to move the mountain in its entirety and all at once.
And I was conditioned to believe this so that I would never even try; logically assuming I could never accomplish the task. It was only after I realized that we’re always powerful and will forever be powerful and that on a daily basis we’re conditioned to surrender our power that I recognized any massed assault against the perceived walls of power was unnecessary.
The towering walls are merely an illusion we’ve created (with plenty of outside help) in our own minds. If you think about it, twenty years ago the federal government was considered much less ominous. So dealing with the occasional corrupt official wasn’t that difficult. Now, after twenty years of escalating governmental and corporate misdeeds and abuse, it looks nearly impossible to get anything done. Incredibly, we support this illusion in order to kill the pain of our impotence and enslavement.
And we mustn’t forget that the people working for or in government are affected in the same manner. We need to stop, step back and consider why people continue to work for entities that are clearly working against their own best interest. We can’t simplistically assume these government workers, along with the rest of the Ponzi, are just “bad” or dumb or incompetent and walk away with an “understanding” that supports our desire to believe we’re powerless.
I don’t care how much we protest we want things to change. As long as we declare we want change but can’t change, either us or the system, we’re caught up in our own insanity. We need to reexamine the problem with fresh eyes, starting with basic assumptions. Since we’re not aware of many of our lies and self deceptions, we have no idea where they are or how far they’ve infiltrated our thinking. So it’s back to the basics. We question everything, which has the effect of establishing a base for clear and logical thinking.
The more we’re abused, the bigger we make the mountain. We see no way out, in the same way a battered spouse sees no way out of her prison while looking out her open front door. From her point of view, it doesn’t matter if the door is open, there’s no way out. In effect, we’re self medicating using self deception and the comfort derived from ignoring choices. “I can’t do anything about the abuse so I might as well make the best of it.” Since we aren’t happy with our enslavement, but we’ve been (self) conditioned to believe we can’t do anything about it, we must establish mythical but plausible reasons for not acting to save ourselves, thus increasing the spin of our insanity.
This desire to self deceive, created in order to deny the pain any real self awareness of our condition would bring us, leaves us wide open to all sorts of other lies and conditioning. We don’t need to break these illusions down from the outside; we simply need to stop supporting them from the inside. But this can only be done if we reject the self deception and lies that are the basis of both the internal and external control system. This is why I always say “we” are the control system. We are the foundation and building blocks of the very walls we wish to bring down.
An understanding this simple must be, and always will be, dismissed as crazy, unrealistic, unworkable and fantasy by those who have bought into the illusion. To accept any idea contrary to our illusion is the kiss of death to our illusion. Or more accurately, to those of us who have become emotionally and physically dependent upon the illusion, there can be no alternative to the illusion. Our own reality cannot accept any alternatives, for in our mind to do so would be suicide. We’ve built up the problem to such enormous proportions that a simple solution that requires our own actualization rather than blame shifting is totally unacceptable.
This is what I mean when I say we’re co-dependent. The amazing thing is that the illusion dies on its own without our support. No need to storm the walls since we are the walls. And we buy into the illusion by supporting its lies with our own lies. We validate the illusion by making it our own illusion, by making their reality our reality with the power of our own belief.
Wow! Who was That?
If the power of another’s belief is extremely strong, it often overwhelms and controls ours, particularly if we’re uncertain of our own belief or desire. This in a nut shell is the power of the herd when scattered or the mob when concentrated. This is also the power emanating from some individuals that we describe as “presence” or as “charisma”. This can’t be faked or substituted, though that’s precisely what the political and corporate image makers are trying to do.
And we’re susceptible to this image making manipulation because we’re all searching for this very power within, though I contend many of us are just acting like we’re searching. Careful what we wish for, right? The problem with being a success is that we can no longer acceptably fail, meaning the standard has been raised by our own hand, thus we can’t hide any longer by failing to succeed.
Because we constantly find ourselves lacking through (self) conditioning and indoctrination we’re much more willing to accept artificial imitations as genuine (imitations). The same applies to many human created religious movements. We’re seeking religious salvation and divine answers outside of us because we don’t have the desire, courage or faith to find them within.
We empower our religions just as we empower our governments and corporations. The sad irony is that not only do we fail to see within us the power we possess, but by failing to see the obvious we then empower and embody into an external entity all that we wish to find within. We give away what we claim we don’t posses. Which makes sense because then we aren’t responsible for the use (and abuse) of that power. Let someone else do the dirty work and receive the blame while I sit back and reap the rewards. There’s no risk on the hamster wheel.
The very power that we can’t find or see within ourselves is then projected onto and into an external entity. We deny having the very power we transfer to others. Once we’ve been conditioned to fail, success is much more frightening than to “naturally” fail. Failure breads more failure and we actually derive some pleasure from succeeding at our failure, particularly if we’re emotionally rewarded to fail.
Making our Realty, one Pill and one Bill at a Time
Let’s look at a phenomenon that illustrates the power within, which is easily measured by the pharmaceutical industry. Of course, I’m talking about the placebo effect. Someone’s given an inert pill or capsule for an illness or malady and told that the “medicine” in the pill will make them feel better. And for a mathematically significant number of people, they do feel or get better.
How can this be? How can something that’s not a “medicine” act like a medicine? Is that really what’s going on here or is the “reality” offered or invoked by the “medicine” accepted by the patient as “real” and thus the patient adopts the, or conforms to the, new reality.
Interestingly, when these inert pills are shaped and colored like other medications rather than left as a simple round white pill, the effect is even greater. And when neither the patient nor the care giver knows this actual pill is a placebo, the placebo effect becomes stronger. When both the patient and the care giver truly believe the inert pill is a “medicine”, the placebo effect is greater still. What’s going on here?
Part of the effect seems to be tied to the patient’s belief in the fake “medicine” and part is tied to the care givers belief in the fake “medicine”. Symbolically, the taking of a pill for an illness could be considered an acceptance of both the reality of the illness and of the power of the “medicine” to affect the reality of the illness.
And the placebo effect changes for unknown reasons, varying from day to day and person to person. While the dynamic behind the placebo effect is not understood, the effect itself is so well known and so completely trusted to be “authentic” that it’s used to measure the effectiveness of actual “real” medicines. If the “real” drug is no better than the “fake” drug (the placebo) the “real” drug is considered ineffective. But no one dares to look too closely to see what makes the “fake” placebo effective because that might just open a can of worms.
Yes, there have been studies but very few. It’s clear an industry dependent upon selling drugs doesn’t wish to fund it own destruction if they were to prove inert pills could “cure” disease and illness. Nor will a government fund a study that might undermine its illusion of power. Understanding the placebo effect just might empower the individual. Can’t have a bunch of empowered minds asking difficult questions as they wake to their own power, can we? Even the doctors concede that the patient’s will, desire and belief are often the difference between healing and dying.
While there might be numerous explanations for some of what’s going on here, it seems pretty clear that the power of one’s belief, and the combined power of two or more people’s belief, either has the power to alter reality or the power to convince someone to alter their own reality. In the face of this and hundreds of other anomalies, outliers I like to call them, how can we say that reality is static and unchanging and we can’t affect it? At least the scientists hedge themselves when they say the placebo effect doesn’t seem to conform to the “known” laws of nature.
From the Pill to the Bill
The placebo concept blends nicely with our belief in symbolic paper “money” or currency as “real” and of our acceptance of the reality of money when we agree to accept it in return for our “real” labor. We then “spend” the real money for other goods and services, thus perpetuating this reality. Accepting and spending money is our symbolic acceptance of the fiat currency system and of our part in the economic/social/cultural illusion. It really opens the mind when we begin to follow the rabbit down the hole, doesn’t it?
Let’s look closer at this “belief” concept from the currency point of view, one that we’re more familiar with. Just as our currency is only as strong as our faith and belief in our currency, the powers that be are only as strong as our faith and belief in the powers that be. If we believe in our currency, if we believe it’s strong, it will remain strong. As well, if we believe in the powers that be, if we believe they’re strong and powerful, they will remain strong. It doesn’t matter if we hate them as long as we believe they’re strong, or at least stronger than you and I.
Slightly off topic, while I believe Gold is much more than just an element on the periodic table, Gold’s detractors try to demean the power of Gold by saying it’s just a piece of shiny metal, a barbarous relic as they like to say. In fact, it can and has been seen in the past as exactly the same thing as fiat currency, a symbol of the ultimate strength or weakness of our faith and belief in it. The difference is that humans have believed in Gold for thousands and thousands of years.
And this belief is universal, crossing cultural and language barriers. Fiat currencies come and go but Gold has always been seen as “real”, meaning either Gold is more than an illusion or this illusion is extremely persistent. This is the ultimate power of Gold, its universal acceptance as a store of value and its ability to continuously attract and embody our faith and belief in its stability and power.
A few years ago on a hunch I conducted some unscientific experiments with 2 infants just a few months old using Silver and Gold coins as well as Gold plated coins. When I displayed the various coins to the infants, always giving them a choice between two different coins, the two infants most often reached for the real Gold.
This occurred even when I controlled for weight by not letting them hold the coins, controlled for inscriptions by using coins of similar size and engraving and controlled for left/right bias by switching hands. Somehow they even understood the difference between plated and solid Gold. There’s something about Gold that can’t be explained and those that deny this “power” are denying themselves or talking their book.
They Need Us
Ultimately the government’s power is a derivative of our own real and natural power, which is expressed and quantified as our belief in the government’s power. Because governmental and elite power derives from us we can easily withhold our consent and belief in “them” and collapse them in the same way our currency would collapse if we simply withheld our belief in it. There are of course consequences for our actions. But doing this doesn’t mean the entire system would collapse, though the powers that be constantly tell us this would indeed happen if we removed them from power.
This same false promise of collapse is promoted by the abusive male spouse when he tells the battered wife she can’t live without him. Of course she can, just as we can live without our abusers. The abuser (aka the government, Fed and private banking and corporate interests) has conjured up an emotional and intellectual spell (to use an old maligned term) or an imaginary meme, which can also be called an alternative reality. And the battered spouse (we) has agreed to accept, consciously and/or unconsciously, the power of the alternative reality/spell/meme. We are the active ingredients that can break the cycle of violence and abuse quickly, though we often see it as nearly impossible.
The insane spouse abuser (aka government/Fed etc) is entirely captured and controlled by his insanity and rarely stops the cycle of abuse. We often hear an abuser say that he didn’t know what came over him and that he just couldn’t stop. Of course, he often blames the abused for his actions. I suspect he really is a bit surprised and confused by his own behavior, just as many recovering alcoholics and drug addicts admit they also were very confused by their inability to stop. Regardless, the insane abuser is going to continue to abuse anyone he can control just as our government and private corporations will continue to abuse anyone they can continue to control. We are willingly giving our abusers their power by remaining under their control/spell/meme.
I understand that the reader may chaff at my use of the word “willingly”, which is the reason I’ve spent page after page explaining the concept and manifestation of our insanity. Speaking for myself, I know that I will seek refuge in the comfort of self victimization so that I don’t have to do the hard work of self examination. I’ve often found that I set myself up to fail by placing unrealistic barriers in my way or by enabling precisely those I say I wish to break free from.
From where I stand, that’s the definition of willing, though I understand there are mitigating factors. That’s the reason for this long dissertation, to explain the nuances. But if we can’t examine this dynamic honestly and recognize our part in the dance, we’ll never break free from the insanity. What I’m really saying when I use the term “willingly” is that we don’t wish to exercise our innate and natural power to stop the abuse for a variety of reasons. And that’s a bitter pill that our ego doesn’t wish to swallow.
I need to make it absolutely clear here that I’m neither victim bashing nor blame shifting. I was subjected to terrible abuse for many years and I’m intimately aware of this dynamic. It’s abundantly clear that it’s the sole responsibility of the abuser to stop the abuse and that we must demand every single abuser stop their abuse in every single case of abuse. Period! But we must also find the courage to discuss why the abused remains inside the cycle of abuse. We must do this because this same dynamic is at play within our culture and our country.
When we remove our support of the powers that be (abuser) only the powers that be (the abusers) running the machine (this reality) will collapse, just as the people at the top of government always collapse when half the population shows up in the streets. The people in the streets are removing their faith and belief in the current powers and the powers collapse. The exchanges, banks, governmental services and the economic system all remain in place and operational to a greater or lesser extent after the fact.
They need us; we don’t need them. We have bought into their lies regarding their value to us and the system they’ve constructed to enslave us. For now, all we really want is for the structure to remain in place after they’re gone. We need to detonate our own psychic neutron bomb, killing the powers that be, but leaving the system intact. Once they’re gone and our sanity begins to return, then we can begin to change the systems. It doesn’t all need to change tomorrow. That feeling of urgency is false.
When we’re apathetic, we don’t resist or directly support the powers that be, and thus we willingly and consciously relinquish our power to them. We don’t actually hand our power over to them as much as we don’t apply our power against them. They don’t need to resist that which is not brought to bear against them. This has the effect of reducing our collective strength which is equivalent to adding to theirs.
I sometimes think of this concept in military terms. Ultimately an army is only as strong as the amount of force it can muster and bring to bear against an opposing army at any one time and place. A solider not available to fight doesn’t need to be opposed by the enemy. How we prepare ourselves, how we perceive our role, our readiness and our mission directly determines our effectiveness and thus the reality we project or accept. If we’re missing from the battle, the other side doesn’t need to fight as hard or bring as many troops to bear. Ever wonder how 5% of the population controls the other 95%?
It’s not What you have but How you use it
Let’s revisit the commissioners meeting one last time for our final lesson. A year later, the number of people attending the monthly meeting remains at around 30. But of those 30, easily 20 or more are now active participants in the governing process. Their apathy has been replaced with a belief in themselves and each other. And it isn’t always the same 30 people at these meetings.
As new people rotate into the meetings, they learn the lessons publically demonstrated by others in the herd of what an engaged and proactive citizen’s responsibility is. Since more of the citizens at these meetings are proactive, this essentially makes the same force (30 citizens) much more effective. Essentially they’ve leveraged their power while still using the same number of people. The herd is naturally teaching others in the herd through demonstrated public behavior.
While the commissioners see the same number of faces this year as they did last, those faces are now asking questions and demanding answers. And the commissioners are now much more responsive and accommodating. Their arrogance has been replaced with respect and even enjoyment now that they feel they’re working with the citizens rather than in a vacuum. It’s no longer a thankless task.
One commissioner told my friend last month that he now enjoys the meetings even though he still doesn’t like being challenged. The leaders are being retrained and reenergized. The commissioners, after their initial shock and resistance, have conceded to the changed reality and have accepted it, thus conforming to and confirming the new reality. The reality changed because the citizens wanted it to change. The citizens led and the leaders are now following.
It’s our apathy that empowers them. A dam that doesn’t need to withstand very much pressure doesn’t need to be very strong. Pull up pictures of beaver dams if you don’t believe me. And since 95% of us are either fighting each other over the dwindling scraps or sitting on the sidelines in abject apathy, the “towering” walls of the powers that be need only resist 5% of the population. Their walls are only as strong as our apathy is strong.
Energize just 1% more of the population, from 5% to 6% of total population, and we’ve increased the pressure on the powers that be by 20%. Energize 5% more of the population, from 5% to 10%, and we’ve doubled (100%) the pressure on the powers. This is why it’s so important to them to keep us dazed and confused and thus unaware of the power and pressure we can quickly bring to bear against them. As they lose control, they’re rapidly ramping up overt control techniques because they’re fully aware how precarious their situation is.
Remove our apathy and we remove their strength. They feed off our apathy and indifference as well as our infighting, which is why our control system encourages our apathy and division. This is done by way of our own narcissistic self indulgent behavior and by diversion tactics used to divide and set each upon the other. To overcome this, all that’s required is the spark, particularly now that the control system is extremely destabilized.
The kindling and firewood for the spark to ignite is all around us. Or like I said in an earlier article, the snow to create the avalanche is already in place everywhere we look. If we act, we’ll begin the process of teaching the herd how to teach itself. If we continue to disempower ourselves, we cannot empower the others. Thus we, meaning me and you and him and her and them and those, must empower internally before we can disempower the powers that be. This is why we must first find ourselves, then find the others. Once we begin our healing, it will rapidly spread to others.
Fear the Nailman
OK, so now what do we do? Well there are two final concepts I wish to discuss, that of critical mass and the catalyst. But before doing so, we must discuss our own fear. No matter what psychological games I play on myself, that mountain appears to still be in front of me. And I don’t know if I have the courage within myself or others to do the hard work that will enable me to see the illusion.
Or we might say “yes I understand the mountain’s an illusion, just as the walls of the powers that be are an illusion. But I’m frightened and unsure what to do”. Fair enough, so am I. The first step is to talk about our fears. By doing so, by dragging the monster out from under the bed and the boogeyman out of the closet, we go a long way to disarming our fear.
I said way back in chapter one that we’re only as sick as our deepest darkest secrets. Well, we’re also only as immobilized as our deepest darkest fears. So before I begin with the final two concepts, let me relate a personal experience about fear. It’s often easier to create our own reality when we’ve seen others do so. And “fear” is simply a reality we can both empower and disempower at will.
I’d worked in residential construction for nearly 20 years, from when I was 16 to my mid 30’s, encompassing the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Towards the end of this period, I found myself working for someone else on a crew of one and a quarter building a house. In other words, I was doing 90% of the work and he would show up when I needed a second body to lift walls and place floor joists.
As usual, I was working alone one morning, on top of a step ladder with a compressed air gun nailing down the double top plate of a wall. I was reaching with the gun in my right hand while pushing the wall in place with my knee and left hand. A strong gust of wind pushed me off balance while I was just about to nail the top plate next to my knee. I missed the top plate and shot the 3 ½ inch glued and barbed framing nail into my left leg about six inches above the knee. Can you say Ouch?
From what little I could tell, it was the perfect shot, directly through the center of the leg at a slight angle, through the center of the leg bone and out the other side but not through the skin on the back side. The only thing that prevented it from going through and out of the other side was the head of the nail. I’d just shot myself, nailing the leg muscle to the leg bone, and I was all alone and unable to walk, barely able to get off the ladder. And this was before cell phones.
Then I got lucky. I expected to be working alone all day, but my boss showed up 30 minutes later because he’d forgotten something. He quickly called the ambulance and along with the fire department they got me off the second story and into the emergency room in about an hour and a half, the delay caused by the lack of stairs in the unfinished home. Once the emergency room doctor saw the x-rays, the on-call orthopedic surgeon was summoned.
Unfortunately, for reasons never fully explained to me, the surgeon took over two hours to show up. Personally I think he was off in a motel somewhere. The ER doctor didn’t want to order pain meds because I’d been handed off to the missing surgeon. So I was basically abandoned medically while call after call was placed for the MIA surgeon. I’d been in pain now for over three hours with what was effectively a gunshot wound through the bone. And quite frankly I was getting very worried and was nearing panic when suddenly almost all of the pain disappeared.
This lasted about 2 or 3 minutes and I was baffled. At first I thought something bad had just happened, that maybe I was going back into shock. But I felt OK, not dizzy or cold or disorientated. I was thinking clearly and I was fully aware of my situation and my surroundings. I’d just decided to start hollering for someone to come into the exam room when the pain came blasting back. Oh my, now that was a shock.
For about 5 minutes I was stunned and somewhat befuddled. What had just happened? What the hell was going on? And then a realization and understanding swept over me. It wasn’t the pain that had disappeared and then reappeared; it was my fear. The fear I was experiencing (where the hell is the doctor, what are they going to do about this nail, will I be able to walk, will I be able to work) was creating a emotional positive feedback loop that exaggerated the pain which exaggerated the fear and so on.
Basically my emotional state was more of a problem than the nail, at least as far as the pain was concerned. Since I knew that it was now possible to be fear free, meaning the “reality” of no fear had just been demonstrated to me, I decided to try it on my own, in effect to experiment. I knew I could be without fear because I’d just experienced this reality for a few minutes.
Rather than try to understand why it happened, I wanted to focus on making it happen once again so the pain would go away. So I decided that I had no fear. I’m not talking about hoping or wishing or thinking or praying or trying not to be afraid or trying not to have fear. I decided fear was not present because it did not exist at that moment and time.
This is an example of how something becomes real or a part of our reality simply because we have “proof” it’s real, regardless of how silly or impossible it might seem. I consider this the central core to our madness, this constant need for proof of our reality before we accept our reality. Or let’s reverse that sentence. This is an example of our denial of certain realities if the “reality” can’t be proven to be “real”. Let that concept sink in for a minute.
Consider how much we depend on others, mostly authority figures of every kind, to tell us whether something is real or not. And if we’re told it’s not real, we dismiss it from our minds and thus our reality in the same way I dismissed the fear from my reality. If we’re told something is “real” we believe it pretty much without question. “They attacked us because they hate our freedom; now shut up and get back on the hamster wheel.”
I knew the absence of fear could be “real” because I had just experienced it, in the same way we know our feet will touch the floor when we roll out of bed in the morning. We never even consider that the floor won’t be there when we swing our legs off the bed. We don’t question it because it’s there, it’s real, with such a huge degree of certainty that there’s no doubt whatsoever.
This “reality” has been “proven” to us repeatedly each and every morning. We don’t doubt it because it’s “real”. This isn’t just an intellectual exercise. We approach so much that’s in life in exactly the same manner, thus making real something that might not be real if we hadn’t been told it was real. For example, every source we turn to tells us that the towering walls and powers that be are impossible to bring down. This is not true yet the vast majority of us believe it to be true, thus making it “real”.
It wasn’t even that I knew I had no fear. I simply accepted the condition of the absence of fear as I would the condition of the floor under my feet and the examination table under my butt. I created the reality by expecting it to be there, which is not the same thing as hoping it will be there or expecting the fear to go away. The fear simply wasn’t there because it did not exist. I can create and empower the fear from within or I can choose not to create and empower the fear from within. I have the inner power to make the fear “real” or not.
Do. Or Do Not. There is no Try.
When I related this to a friend a week later, at first he laughed. But then he said it reminded him of that scene from Star Wars where Yoda is training Luke. Luke has just failed to lift the star fighter out of the swamp muck and Yoda scolds him after Luke said he would try again. Yoda says “Do! Or do not! There is no try!” I understand using this movie reference sounds somewhat “out there” but I need to emphasize that there simply was no “try” to be without fear. There just was no fear. It did not exist and it never existed. In fact I had made the absence of fear so “real” that to actually feel fear at that precise moment would have been a contradiction of reality because there was no fear to feel.
I experimented a few minutes turning my fear on and off, of turning the reality of my fear on and off, until I felt I understood how to do it. I was literally going from lots of pain to very little and back again. It was very surreal. The key was to assume total and absolute responsibility for my fear or the absence of my fear. There was no “this situation is making me afraid” or “that nail in my leg is making me frightened” because I make or don’t make whatever reality I want. Nothing makes me do anything. I and I alone control myself and my reality. Only I can “make” me do something. I’m accepted my responsibility for creating my own reality. Nothing else is responsible for making my reality, no matter how uncomfortable it is.
Consider how often we use the word “make” when describing our reality, in particular our emotional reality. You make me mad. I made her angry. She makes me happy. I made my son angry. They made me upset. The actions of the powers that be make me furious. The bankers are making me very upset. Obama makes me furious. In each situation, we’re abandoning our responsibility for our own emotional response. Thus whatever response we present is not our fault. The other person or entity then owns us, which is another way of saying controls us, because we hand over control of our emotional state. This inevitably leads to our physical control.
All there can be is the simple and absolute understanding of the experience of the absence of fear, of being without fear. For example, you’re reading this now. You’re not thinking “I don’t want to be afraid” or “I want this fear to go away” while reading this. You simply aren’t thinking about fear because there’s no fear present. I was creating that condition in my mind. Actually it “felt” like I was turning on and off a switch that was literally located in the back of my head. Something had shown me how to create an alternative reality. And like the good student that I am, I followed instructions.
Suddenly the surgeon walked into the exam room with a bunch of people in tow. After 10 minutes of looking at x-rays and examining my leg, he turns to me in the most matter of fact manner considering the situation and lays out two choices for me. They can rush me off to the operating room, cut my leg open and extract the barbed and cemented nail from the center of my leg bone. This choice could subject me to infection risk as well as a long recovery time because of all the cutting and possible sawing.
“Or we can take care of it with these.” He turns around and in his hands are two very shiny and beautifully crafted vice grips, one large and one slightly smaller. He didn’t need to tell me what he wanted to do because it was obvious. He wanted to grab the head of the nail with the vice grip, lock the jaws closed and twist it out. I was a bit shocked that one choice involved surgery and the other involved a pair of vice grips.
I asked about the danger of pulling the nail out in the exam room and he spent a few minutes talking about ripping open an artery and hemorrhaging, breaking or shattering the bone from the torque applied when twisting the nail out and even tearing the muscle with the barbs. “No big deal” is how he summed it up. I asked him for his recommendation and he flashes this big smile and says “I’m here, you’re here, let’s get the party started.”
After a few seconds of thought I told him to go for it. He asked me if I wanted a shot for the pain and I said no, I had the pain under control. He asked again about the pain, then looked at me and said no more. I did say I’d need a minute to prepare before he started. Five minutes later he said he was ready and I went to that place and flipped that switch I’d just learned about, where there is the absence of fear because there is no fear.
As it turned out, the “extraction” was much more difficult than he expected, what with the barbs and cement. After about a minute of twisting and pulling the nail as one would a corkscrew, he finally was able to pull it completely out. Both he and I (after it was done) were astounded that I was able to bear the procedure without crying out in pain or using the second pair of vice grips on his ear or nose in retaliation. BTW, 25 years later I still have the nail and the x-rays and I regularly pull them out (pun intended) to remember that important lesson.
One week later, when I visited his office for a follow up, I asked him if he’s normally that cavalier and forthright when talking to patients under similar circumstances. He said no, he doesn’t normally and he’d thought about it often, wondering what came over him. He said he didn’t do anything different than he normally would, meaning the same choices would still have been offered.
But when I persisted with my questions, he did say he felt the emotional situation was “light” and “easy going” and he “felt” (I remember he had a confused look on his face when he said this) he should act the same way. He seemed to be genuinely surprised by what he had experienced. This brings to mind the concept of mirroring, how when talking to someone I mirror their actions or they mirror mine, such as if I cross my arms the person will often do so as well.
The surgeon had unconsciously been mirroring my lack of fear and my calm demeanor. He didn’t walk into a crisis situation. I’d created in him an alternative reality simply because he was exposed to my reality. This is part of the dynamic of herd behavior on an individual basis. Understanding the concept of mirroring is important because it can be used as a source of strength and inspiration when we rally those around us or when we seek support from those around us.
Obviously the point of this story is to illustrate to the reader the power of a belief or awareness of a “truth” or “reality”. More to the point, the understanding of the power I already had and still have within myself, which I used to create an alternative reality (in this case the absence of fear) or to alter the reality I was experiencing. What helped me to believe an alternative reality could be possible was simply that I had already experienced it when the fear disappeared for those 5 minutes.
It’s important to understand that regardless of whether or not I had experienced the lack of fear beforehand doesn’t mean I could or could not create the absence of fear now or later. The “proof” had nothing to do with the alternative reality, other than to build conviction in my mind that the alternative reality could be “real”, thus I could make it real. It was the belief that was the active ingredient here, not the proof. The power was and is always there. We simply chose or don’t chose to utilize it.
Our fear is entirely under our control because we make it real or not. No one makes us afraid or fearful, we make ourselves afraid or fearful; the other person simply presents circumstances that we’re conditioned to believe the proper emotional response is fear. Understanding the root of the power of our fear is the key to dealing it, just as one understands that the power of our currency is our emotional response to it.
To quote Albert Einstein “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.” The illusion appears to be so “real” that we’re completely seduced by its form and function. We don’t ever consider that something is not real, that something might be an illusion. We use the same words to describe a house or a rock as we do to describe an emotional state of being. Thus it’s “real” simply because of our utter and complete acceptance of it as real.
The power of our minds to create this illusion in all its magnificent detail and depth is so overwhelming that we believe the reality we’re creating is more “real” than that which is actually creating it, our consciousness, our mind, our spiritual being. Sadly, we’re so thoroughly lost in the woods that we use the “proof” of our everyday reality, which is created by us, to disprove the power of our reality’s creator, our own innate and natural power. We are mistaking the finger pointing to the moon as the moon itself.
In Chapter 5 of this examination of our collective insanity, we’ll finish our discussion on fear and then look at how imagination opens our minds and creates our reality. We’ll also examine how reaching critical mass and being the catalyst is the key to creating the changed reality we all want.
Note: If you’d like to explore more on the subject of the dream like nature of reality and how we manifest our reality, then I urge you to spend some time visiting the web site of Paul Levy, who has devoted most of his adult life to exploring this question. Paul Levy has studied Carl Jung for decades and interprets Jung’s writings and philosophy in a very unique way. By way of disclosure, I (Cognitive Dissonance) am not Paul Levy nor do I have a business relationship with Paul Levy, other than to use his private practice services from time to time. Everything on his web site is free including an extensive library of articles.
Cognitive Dissonance - 06/11/2010