Wetiko – Cognitive Infiltration of the Third Kind

Just like millions of children before me, when I was young I would play imaginary games populated with scary monsters and evil space aliens. And of course I was always the courageous and handsome hero who saved the planet from certain doom and total annihilation again and again and again. I never tired of the game because the cast of characters and wacky scenarios I could play out was limited only by my imagination, thankfully a fertile garden at that time. In fact my mother still tells anyone who will listen that when I was an infant she could place me in my crib with a few scattered toys and I would be happily sated for hours on end. Such is the power of naval gazing and soul searching.

One of my favorite imaginary set ups was suddenly finding that while everyone around me appeared perfectly normal on the outside, on the inside they were ugly monsters or plague carrying mutants, most certainly something to avoid at all costs. Then I would spend the rest of the play period, sometimes for entire weekends, trying to avoid any physical contact with family, friends, neighbors and especially strangers in order to keep from being infected or consumed. Often I would entice a few select uninfected friends to join in the fun and we would craft powerful weapons to help us rid the world of the terrible pestilence.

This was excellent practice for a young mind to learn how to look and act ‘normal’, to fit in while living within an insane world, mostly because part of the game was to interact with the infected humans in order to dispatch them to hell or any available alien spacecraft orbiting above. If they saw you coming and suspected your intent, the monster within would suddenly spring forth and quickly devour or infect you. Since these inner beasts had eyes hidden in the back of their human heads, it was no use trying to sneak up on them because you would quickly be spotted.

So the best approach was always to act normal and walk right up to the human monster as if nothing was wrong, then quickly draw your weapon and gun them down. If we smirked or snickered or even wet our pants, we blew our cover and the jig was up. We always thought it was loads of fun, though I’m quite certain the adults in the neighborhood didn’t take too kindly to our antics. Then again, you would expect the insane and the infected to be that anyway. Ah, but to be young once again and not know what I know today. The good old days of blissful ignorance most definitely has its own compelling charm.

Cognitive Infiltration Pyramid


Cognitive Infiltration Pyramid

(Image h/t to WB7 @ http://williambanzai7.blogspot.com/)

Just like millions of children before me, when I was young I would play imaginary games populated with scary monsters and evil space aliens. And of course I was always the courageous and handsome hero who saved the planet from certain doom and total annihilation again and again and again. I never tired of the game because the cast of characters and wacky scenarios I could play out was limited only by my imagination, thankfully a fertile garden at that time. In fact my mother still tells anyone who will listen that when I was an infant she could place me in my crib with a few scattered toys and I would be happily sated for hours on end. Such is the power of naval gazing and soul searching.

One of my favorite imaginary set ups was suddenly finding that while everyone around me appeared perfectly normal on the outside, on the inside they were ugly monsters or plague carrying mutants, most certainly something to avoid at all costs. Then I would spend the rest of the play period, sometimes for entire weekends, trying to avoid any physical contact with family, friends, neighbors and especially strangers in order to keep from being infected or consumed. Often I would entice a few select uninfected friends to join in the fun and we would craft powerful weapons to help us rid the world of the terrible pestilence.

This was excellent practice for a young mind to learn how to look and act ‘normal’, to fit in while living within an insane world, mostly because part of the game was to interact with the infected humans in order to dispatch them to hell or any available alien spacecraft orbiting above. If they saw you coming and suspected your intent, the monster within would suddenly spring forth and quickly devour or infect you. Since these inner beasts had eyes hidden in the back of their human heads, it was no use trying to sneak up on them because you would quickly be spotted.

So the best approach was always to act normal and walk right up to the human monster as if nothing was wrong, then quickly draw your weapon and gun them down. If we smirked or snickered or even wet our pants, we blew our cover and the jig was up. We always thought it was loads of fun, though I’m quite certain the adults in the neighborhood didn’t take too kindly to our antics. Then again, you would expect the insane and the infected to be that anyway. Ah, but to be young once again and not know what I know today. The good old days of blissful ignorance most definitely has its own compelling charm.

Today’s youth are much less likely to create imaginary worlds and then play in them, and much more likely to play within imaginary worlds already created for them a la video games and interactive 3D TV. There is a world of difference between these two applications of our imagination, though I will not be a hypocrite and declare that the imagination of my youth (or ‘yute’ as my cousin Vinny and I would say) was free from external influence. One cannot deny that my monster and space alien play things sprang from popular culture and that this has been true for thousands of years. So while the bogeymen might change from generation to generation, society’s cultural indoctrination and de-spiritualization does not.

But, and there is always a but in the way of our oversized ego, the one constant down through the ages has been that while the initial wisp of a play idea may have been supplied by our culture, the heavy lifting and finer details were generated entirely by our own powerful imagination, the only true reality creation device in the universe. That old saying about how if you aren’t creating your own reality, someone else will create one for you is frighteningly prescient. Will someone please stop this reality because I want to get off? Let’s just say I need to go pee and leave it at that, OK?

Today we are witnessing another giant (and possibly fatal) leap into the dark abyss of insanity begetting more insanity, only now our imagination is being held captive and molded by the use of artificially created computer realities on an ever increasing scale and velocity. Call it High Frequency Transcendentalism (HFT) only traveling ass backwards and rapidly accelerating. And we are talking about artificial realities, mind you, that 20 years from now will be indistinguishable from the ‘real’ thing. Though I bet I could successfully argue that anything created by our imagination is real in every sense of the word, which means our present day insanity is a product of……our………insanity. OK, now I really want to get off.

I’m not some old fart bemoaning the passing of yesteryear and the souring of today’s milk. Ok I am an old fart, but the real question here is do we even recognize the exponential increase of ever more insanity in our daily lives? And what would we actually do about it if we did? This is not intended to be a rhetorical question, but rather the springboard to a broader discussion, the details of which I will leave to Paul Levy in his new book “Wetiko, The Greatest Epidemic Sickness Known to Humanity”, (here) a book I urge you to purchase and read, either in paperback or electronic form. While I dance around the edges and act like I know what I’m doing (just like in my ‘yute’) Paul hammers out the ugly details and actually presents a recovery strategy. Well worth your time and Federal Reserve Notes (aka fracking fiat).

Wetiko

So how do we identify the infection within us when all seems perfectly normal on the surface? When I played the game, either I would bestow upon myself some magical powers that made the monsters visible only to me or I would just assume everyone was infected and blast away indiscriminately, the latter being the most fun. But my basic assumption was always the same, that I was infection free and thus perfectly positioned to be judge, jury and executioner. Such is not the case today, or should I say not in this particular reality. Because whether we care to admit it or not, we are all infected with Wetiko - The Insanity Disease.

I suspect we won’t need to worry about crafting weapons because the only effective antibiotic available to battle our insanity is the disinfecting power of conscious awareness of our own insanity. In a brilliant expression of cosmic karma, not to mention providing the last laugh for our alien Gods, we don’t even know how truly insane we are. I suppose a bright-side-of-life kind of guy might say that this alone saves us the staggering cost of intensive global psychotherapy, though no one has yet explained to me how the insane can cure the insane. But then again, what difference does it make anyway when we really don’t know what sanity looks like. Remember that all we know how to do is act the part, and all we have for role models is other insane asylum inmates.  

In fact the only thing that separates you and me from those who are locked up in a mental institution is that we are the majority and thus we get to determine the rules of the game. Of course, this understanding then begs the bigger question. Are the evil space aliens all just members of an even greater majority and thus our collective mental institution is simply planet Earth? If this is the case, then Earth’s so-called leadership are simply Warden’s assigned to keep the inmate population so distracted and disorientated that we never become self aware long enough to organize a resistance and jump the fence. Oh, and they make sure we keep our cages clean and we are fed.

As humorous as this might sound, since we are all insane, I dare you to prove me wrong when your ‘logical’ explanation springs from the very same insanity that produces mine. The only reason yours might sound more reasonable is because it fits within the current insane narrative and thus is supported by the insane majority. By the way, your response at this point is to highlight my insanity by saying “But it is you who are insane, not me”, thus confirming for both of us the righteousness of our insane arguments. Who says insanity can’t be fun?

The only reason those we lock up in the mental institutions believe they are insane (and many do not) is because we tell them they are. Imagine that, the insane telling the insane they are insane and that the insane will cure their insanity. Makes you just want to kick back and watch your flat screen color TV for some more normalcy bias programming. Which brings us back to the future where the burning question in 15 months will be “Have you voted for your choice for Warden today”? I did and I have my red, white and blue sticker as proof, which means I am certifiably sane.

However, after careful thought and quiet deliberation, I’m beginning to see the wisdom of the majority who all pretty much agree that since we can never really tell the difference, there is little we can do about the problem and we might as well just break out the kegs and proceed directly to the party. This argument is not without merit since absent a disinterested third party (maybe a passing space alien volunteer?) who can quietly sort out the sick from the sicker from the sickest without anyone knowing, a sort of mental triage on the down low, that the best response is just to let our mental illness all hang out. But wait a minute, isn’t that precisely what we’re doing right now? Now I’m really confused. Damn you Cass Sunstein, get out of my head.

But wouldn’t you know it, just when the party hits full steam and the beer and projectile vomiting are both flowing freely, someone goes and blows the whole night by saying something completely and utterly politically incorrect, such as “Maybe our illness compels us to just give up and rut in the mud precisely so that the disease can not only survive, but even prosper. Maybe if we focused our conscious energy towards recognizing our disease and all its symptoms that it would almost immediately begin to recede and abate.”

Bummer dude, who invited him to the party and when is he leaving? Marge, I think next time I’ll handle the guest list, OK?

But what if? I mean seriously, what if? What if all this raving lunacy isn’t just human nature, at least not as it has been experienced for several thousand years? Suppose instead that humans are infected with a spiritual deficiency or corruption that has slowly rotted the humanity out of our spiritual being, leaving only the lying, thieving, cheating, sociopathic predator behind that was formerly balanced out and even suppressed by an inner guiding light? Could it be that all the ugly destructive traits we attribute to the human condition are caused by a treatable malady? And the only reason we don’t resist is because we are controlled by the disease in the same manner as some types of parasites compel the animal host to eat or drink substances that, while harmful to the host, feed the parasite?

<All at the party are dead silent as crickets chirp in the background and the grass continues to grow.>

Kidding, just kidding folks. So who’s ready for another round? Marge, where did you put the shot glasses and Jagermeister? Man, I’m gonna get bombed tonight or die trying. And maybe even both.

 

07-18-2011

Cognitive Dissonance

___________________________

Those readers who have been following me for some time, both in the general comment section and as I post essays, know that I rarely if ever recommend any specific reading material for a variety of reasons. I just don’t. But I am making an exception for an important work by Paul Levy; someone for whom I guest posted an article (here) back in January of this year that became part of his new book Wetiko, The Greatest Epidemic Sickness Known to Humanity.” 

I’ve know Paul for a little more than two years now, speaking often with him in private session. And I’ve come to greatly respect his process, knowledge and inner connections. When I talk about looking within and knowing yourself, I am in effect speaking about Paul Levy, who walks the talk and has done so for decades. However I am not alone in my praise for his new work, for no less than Catherine Austin Fitts wrote the Foreword and Sting contributed a ringing endorsement for the back cover, along with Dr. Arny Mindell, founder of ‘process-oriented psychology’.

At 152 pages long and in paperback format (as well as a .pdf downloadable version) this is not an epic read. But neither does this mean you’ll breeze through it in two hours on the beach. While the book might not be thick, it is chock full of penetrating insight though surprisingly readable considering the material. What I love about this book is that you can open up to any random page and just jump right in. Within a few paragraphs you are fully engrossed, but if you wish you can flip 30 pages ahead and start in all over again. And best of all for Zero Hedge fans, Paul talks about vampire squids. So what’s not to love about this gem of a book?

Please visit Paul’s web site, the only place at the moment where you will find this early release, and purchase the paperback or downloadable file. The price is extremely reasonable and the paperback includes free shipping in the USA. But best of all, the contents are absolutely priceless and highly recommended.

CD

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