Exceptionalism – The Mind Killer

It is so deeply embedded, so seamlessly rooted and integrated into what we think of as ‘our self’, that when expressed oftentimes it is (intentionally) mistaken for something else entirely. Our indoctrination begins at birth in tiny little ways, mostly personal in nature, with our parents and care givers the initial delivery system. From day one out of the womb we are conditioned via adoring smiles and Coochie Coochie Coo’s that we are exceptional, one of a kind and King of the house. A few minutes of screaming has everyone running to stem the tears and change the pee pants. And it is all downhill from here.

When we enter a mostly government controlled (aka elite controlled) education system, it is then that our cultural conditioning is hijacked and diverted towards ‘the greater good’, cleverly morphed into statism, capitalism, populism, consumerism and nationalism, all derivatives and extensions of exceptionalism. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the……….” Regardless of the source of the corruption, ultimately “We the Parents” are solely responsible for what is taught to our children by others.

Unfortunately the vast majority of us never resist the conditioning of our children since we are as deeply conditioned (‘cultured’ sounds so much nicer, don’t you think?) as they will be. After all why resist something that just is, and always has been, as far as we are concerned? Considering how short the lifespan of a human is compared to the longevity of the state and its always replaceable minions, who can blame us for not seeing the body from the naval while gazing.

Exceptionalism is one of the most insidious mind viruses ever created by man simply because it is often hidden within the framework of other more obvious memes and control techniques. And it feeds upon itself once its appetite has been stimulated through our unwitting and self consumed hand. The greatest trick the control system ever pulled was convincing the world’s population on a per person basis that it is in our individual best interest to subvert our own self interests for the benefit of the powerful elite. Talk about divide and conquer techniques.

Often it is presented as a beneficial sacrifice, sometimes small, sometimes very large, but almost always for the greater good. And since the greater good is served by you, and you by definition are part of the greater good, you too will benefit from your adoration of the nebulous and intangible “We the People”. It all sounds too good to be true………and it is. From birth we are taught to believe that what is good for the elite goose is good for the peon gander, beginning within our own family hierarchy and branching out from there to ‘greater’, more powerful, hierarchical elites.

This controlling meme has taken on many forms and flavors over the centuries, millennium if you think about it, with always the same outcome; our own power willingly handed over to those who declare themselves worthy, uniquely qualified, even en-titled to receive it……or to take it from us if we hesitate and don’t quickly comply. Regardless, the ultimate power source of exceptionalism is our own desire to be, or at least to feel, more powerful than we believe we really are. This deep seated need to be ‘exceptional’, this controlling meme conditioned into us from birth, springs from our own decision to concede that which is our very essence, our innate power, to unworthy and extremely destructive recipients.

The brilliance behind the controlling ‘exceptionalism’ meme is that it works in favor of the controlling elite both on the accent and descent phases of any nation or empire, no matter how large or small it may be, and on the individual level. The citizens of tiny Monaco collectively and individually think no less of themselves than “We the Conditioned” here in the US. I can, and will, always believe myself better, faster, smarter and stronger than the person in front of me on the way up the ladder and the same applies as well while descending all the way to hell.

No shoes but still have feet - Clean

There is always someone worse off than me, even when I am sleeping in the streets and even when there really isn’t. While the phrase “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet,” is intended to teach humility, often we secretly reject humility in order to ‘feel’ better about our own misery by embracing a sense of superiority over others. When chasing the leaders up the hill I believe myself unlucky or not yet ready to assume their superior position in the dog eat dog race. And when I fall from grace I can nurse my bruised ego by declaring myself ‘victim’ and not suited for this horrible place.

But this self deception also comes into play on a more subtle level as well. How many times have we heard, read, seen or even said the following, “Oh, they would never do that” with ‘they’ almost always referred to as someone or something/entity endowed with ‘authority’ and power. Our preferred belief, that “We the Weak” are ‘better’ than others, be it persons, institutions or nations, allows us to maintain the personal illusion that the undefined ‘they’ not only share our personal world view, but because ‘they’ do, and ‘they’ are so much more powerful than ‘we’, that ‘they’ would struggle mightily to maintain ‘it’ (the status quo superior position) for ‘them’ as well as for ‘us’. In other words, their superiority will trickle down to ‘us’ both collectively and individually. Sadly we regularly indulge in the fantasy of the trickle down pee-on theory.

This of course is precisely what the powerful elite are doing, maintaining the status quo, which is their power and control over “We the People”. But because ‘we’ are conditioned to maintain a sense of distorted and corrupted exceptionalism on all levels of our existence we willingly, even enthusiastically, go with the flow in order to maintain our own personal self deception.

In essence this is a form of self censorship, of externally induced self control that we embrace because it feeds the need to be perceived internally and externally as exceptional, which itself is artificially created and reinforced by our lifelong conditioning. This is how a few tens of thousands control (a softer, more egoically acceptable phrase might be ‘greatly influence’) seven billion. And for the most part the control is exquisitely executed.

We dearly wish to self identify with our protective tormentors in order to endear ourselves to them so that we may believe we will be placed under their protective wing. This induces us to enable, and endure, all kinds of abusive behavior by ‘them’ in the name of our personal protection, which in turn helps maintain our illusion of exceptionalism. Actually this point of view perfectly demonstrates the slave mentality, of which the Stockholm syndrome is a major part of, all of which works hand in hand with the overall meme of exceptionalism.

Even “We the Slaves” have our own hierarchy, so while misery loves company if I had my druthers I would much prefer you to be more miserable than me. Since I am creating and measuring the misery index, and you have no say in the matter, I can believe whatever I want. And what I want is to feel better (more gruel please?) about myself and my servitude/slavery. From a psychological point of view, there is very little difference between the King’s monarchy of old and the present day wage slave nation. In fact I would say it is worse today because in the days of King Arthur “We the Commoners” knew our place in the hierarchal order and had no fantastical aspirations of upward mobility because none was possible.

Essentially ‘exceptionalism’ (which in the modern era is carefully hidden within ‘nationalism’) plays off our hugely distorted and inflamed ego at every level, from the lone individual playing (and occasionally winning) online poker against faceless opponents to nations engaged in international sport or warring contests. A perfect example of the group or collective ego at play in a relatively benign environment is the national fanaticism expressed by all nations involved in the World Cup or the Olympics.

When considering armed conflict “We the War Mongersalways see our ‘selves’ as righteous and superior over those we wish to suppress. In essence we are desperate to be exceptional and will do just about anything to perceive ourselves as we wish, of course always with the expressed permission from an external authority so that we may keep our own hands clean. And if that means I must hold you back or under water, or kill you, in order to feel exceptional (or better yet, get the newly conditioned young adults to do the dirty work for you)……well, that’s just the natural order of things……right?

If I can’t be happy, you sure as hell won’t be either. How else can we internally rationalize and justify the killing and maiming of other humans beings, aside from the fact that most of “We the People” aren’t actually pulling the trigger or dropping the bombs? And the elite play us like dumb placid puppets, using our conditioned fears and inadequacies against ‘us’ and others. Divide and conquer, it works because we work it.


The politically correct approach to paper over the raw exceptionalism “We the Puppetsall embody to some extent or another is to affirm the joining of many nations in peaceful commerce and play; fun and games really. But the real driving force and money behind the scenes is in the exploitation by the controlling elite of the collective ego against other collective egos, all fueled by the individual ego. The various media outlets help us to avoid confronting our own raw emotional investment by promoting feel good stories in various forms and functions.

Just look at the excitement when Jamaica fields a Bobsled team in the winter Olympics, an incredible accomplishment considering Jamaica is snowless year round. This warm and fuzzy moment shared by all helps mask the fierce nationalism fueled by exceptionalism at play throughout the athletic contest. In war “We the Pious” are extremely careful to seek positive affirmation we are doing ‘right’ from those in ‘authority’, thus receiving our certificate of goodness from the very same entity that is promoting the bloody destruction. How screwed up is that?

To give the concept of exceptionalism serious and critical thought, one must begin to question the very idea of ‘human nature’, or more accurately what we often ascribe to human nature, thus writing our ‘normal and natural’ behavior off as nearly impossible to change or stop. Ask yourself honestly; what is the difference between deeply engrained generational conditioning spanning hundreds, even thousands of years, and what we describe as ‘human nature’, itself ultimately a phrase that describes something which springs from within ‘naturally’?

Is not ‘human nature’ just the deepest form of conditioning possible, innately derived and generated at the genetic level from eons of survival and cultural lessons learned? Regardless of whether the concept of ‘evolution’ is truly correct or not, few would argue over the notion that to a large extent we are a product of our conditioned environment, both past and present, and in every possible aspect of the word.

Or maybe to soften the egoic blow I should rephrase that last sentence to read “…few would argue over the notion that to a large extent we are a product of our culture…” Except (or course) when it interferes with our beloved belief in the gloriously self deceptive ‘free will’, such as the free will expressed when we are conditioned from first grade to pledge allegiance to the elite state. I love my masters; I really do!

Let us say that I turn left at the end of my driveway 90% of the time. But today, despite wanting to turn right and travel in a different direction, without thinking I do what I normally, or ‘naturally’, do and turn left. Should we ascribe my action as simply the product of ‘human nature’ or to self conditioning? Since most spontaneity and creative thinking is conditioned out of us by the time we graduate from high school, having been perfectly trained to be the corporate cog in the profit wheel, was my inadvertent left turn a product of my ‘self’ conditioning or just a small reflex in the much bigger cultural conditioning? I owe, I owe, so off to work go. And ‘left’ is where I go when I owe.

If our entire culture is deeply embedded within the controlling money meme and nearly everything we interact with on a daily basis is measured by, compared to or embodied within the fiat fantasy, can our overall behavior within the suffocating money meme be described as ‘human nature’ or ‘conditioned reflex’. Some better questions might be…do we even recognize the difference between those two choices and are there more? For the vast majority of “We the People” the answer to the previous questions is a resounding NO we don’t and YES there are.

I propose that the psychological carrot offered by perceived exceptionalism, along with the stick of wage slavery and a conditioned mind, which the personal and collective ego quickly diminishes in importance by hiding ‘it’ in plain sight in the form of other ‘isms’ so that it may remain safely hidden from self perception and introspection, is the bedrock support for our self imposed slavery.

And as ridiculous as this may sound to the average Jane and Joe, the upper class (notice I did not say ‘controlling elite’) also suffers from their own form of self imposed slavery, though granted they are less concerned with day to day survival and much more with their social status and business connections. But the mechanisms involved remain pretty much the same as the unwashed masses. We are all trickled on pee-ons when you get right down to the nitty gritty. Some just smell and dress better than the others.



Cognitive Dissonance

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8 thoughts on “Exceptionalism – The Mind Killer”

  1. Cog, this entire essay is, as always, pretty much ‘right on the money’, as they say – literally. :) Thank you, yet again.

    But – I would like to query you on this excerpted sentence fragment: “. . .our beloved belief in the gloriously self deceptive ‘free will’. . .”

    Is free will a self-deceptive ‘concept’? Is it truly just a ‘beloved belief’ – or is that the piece of it that got hijacked and re-envisioned by our ‘beloved’ keepers so that they could pervert something that is a natural part of our true makeup, into something that could be harnessed to feed their goals – and, convince us of their version’s veracity, versus the one we already had going for us as one of our own, built-in natural abilities?

    We come in to this place knowing what’s what about our selves; then, over the next decade or so, our witting/unwitting parents and society gradually crumble this clear foundation and we end up entrained in their ongoing mess, often wondering, as the Talking Heads song says: “HOW did I GET here???”.

    Perhaps by relinquishing our real ‘free will’ for the cut-and-pasted version sold to us by the existing power structure.

    It harks back to the birthright-selling-for-a-mess-of-pottage story from that old-time favorite ‘authority-on-it-all’, the Bible. In that case, they truly got it right: We started out with free will to choose – but have had it tricked/kicked/slick-ered out of us before we even knew it. And it’s a helluva hard slog to relocate it later on – if we ever do.

    I see this all the time in small children, who say intuitively brilliant, insightful and true things . . . only to be tut-tutted, shut down/shut up or made VERY wrong by well-meaning but obviously kool-aid drinking parents. I am appalled when I witness well-intentioned but totally thoughtless stuff like this! It is the ‘System’ at work, aided and abetted by the latest generation of ‘true believers’ of all stripes, that slowly and inexorably grinds our kids down while simultaneously having them ‘pledge allegiance’ in their classrooms, use Common Core for rote automaton learning behavior, and then vaccinates the hell out of these poor little kids, just for good measure. I weep to consider . . .

    How does one re-remember (if there even is such a word) the fact that we can make choices that matter? That we can turn away from this disgusting repressive system? I say: go inside, be dead-honest with your Self, and take a good, hard look at the auto-pilot button you keep pressing over and over and over every day. Wake UP; turn off that huge idiot-box on the pedestal; take a long walk (barefoot if you can manage it) at the beach, in the woods, or go sit in a meadow somewhere . . . and begin to remember who you REALLY ARE.

    It takes work; it takes courage; but it will ‘TAKE’ if you let it, that you are: ‘More Than This’ (another great musical item – try Norah Jones’ version).

    And, towards examining how the mighty are falling: this one, just out from VeteransToday by Jim Dean, is worth a read:

    Obama’s Asia Pivot: The Sad Story of American Exceptionalism | Veterans Today

    In spades, Cog – in spades.

    Thanks for this,

    1. The ‘free will’ I mention is the consumerism version, which along with ‘freedom’, has been reduced and distorted to ‘freedom of choice’ between two or three false choices. “We the People” have no idea what ‘free will’ is and wouldn’t know what to do with it if it was plopped down in our laps ‘free’ of charge.

      Just as a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy slowly loses definition and clarity each time it is reproduced, most of the ideas, concepts and inalienable ‘rights’ outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights have long since lost their meaning and purpose, reduced to marketing slogans and jingles reminding us to buy buy buy. Or is that bye bye bye?

      Sad….so very sad.

      Cognitive Dissonance

      1. It’s the “hall of mirrors” problem — it’s not that what you’re seeing isn’t “real” but that it has been distorted / perverted / reflected & reversed — it’s actually the more devilish for having the seed of “reality” somehow lost in the maze of illusions. The “originality” of the image is lost in its continual copying and transposing, re-experiencing and diluting. The initial awareness of all the illusory character of the perceived images leads the intelligent observer to a reflective cynicism and resignation, and an impulse towards self-disempowerment which only cements the perceived power of the illusion; only when the self has made the decision to “be mad” and break the mirrors can an effort to self-liberate succeed.

        “Through the Looking Glass” I am Alice — one that says what she thinks because she has become “mad as a hatter” and is liable to be able to believe a thousand impossible things before breakfast. That being the case, I can simultaneously imagine that I the breaking of the glass was both my freely chosen act of free will AND that it was my Dharma and hence “my assignment, should I choose to accept it.” Free will of the sovereign self is, within this paradigm, validated and also made irrelevant — the greater world cares not if I follow my path or I do not, and I am only ultimately accountable to myself for making the choice.

        There will always be those who choose to sleep — to the extent they wake, they want to be back in the Matrix (only rich and eating a good steak) — the door is always open, but only a few ever choose to walk through.

        1. Even though many sleep, the messages still are ‘heard’ on some level. They just decide it isn’t real or they don’t wish to ‘know’. Either way they remain unengaged.

          It is similar to how we incorporate sounds we ‘hear’ while sleeping into the dream we are currently engaged in. I am always amazed how quickly we are able to do this. Reality creation on the fly.

  2. It is not realistic to consider exercising free will when ‘freedom’ and ‘will’ have been so pathologically reduced in scope and scale in the physical by the forces doing the conditioning.

    Exceptionalsim in this case is limited to choices as if in a color gamut of dark grey to light grey. There is both no exceptionalism and no choice and no free will that actually have any real meaning for an individual. This is what happens when personal sovereignty is given away for ease. Exceptionalism is the Cracker-Jax prize you get for willingly enslaving yourself.

    The fact that this stripping away of free will starts at birth is a terrible injustice done to an individual. But even as conditioned adults we all know, all can feel, the terrible loss we have suffered for having given away our personal sovereignty. Our pain rattles around, resonates around inside us, driving some mad and driving some to resist. It is not an easy choice at all: madness, enslavement or exclusion from the group.

  3. I’ll preface this by saying, I put my pants on one leg at a time…

    The ultimate exceptionalism…Be-lie-ving that your tribe is chosen by “God.” A “God”(an off planet creator entity) that your tribal elders created in the first place. Then spend millenia convincing all others that your ‘chosen-ness’ is the truth. How’s that working out for humanity? By the way what do the other 11 tribes in the original story think about all this? Is the tribe of Dan cool with the Judah tribe taking the prize? Apparently the Dan-ites don’t have such a well oiled PR machine as the Judah-ites. And hey how about those Ephraim-ites? They get no respect or mention ever…

    What does that have to do with American Exceptionalism. I’ll let Walter Russell Mead enlighten you(the rest is here: http://israel-commentary.org/?tag=jewish-and-american-exceptionalism ):

    As the stunning and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Congress showed, Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth. Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul. The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism. The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America .

    It means more. The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race. For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

  4. “It could have been worse…it could have been us!”
    One of my grandmother’s favorite sayings {she lived to be a 100} when ever a disaster was discussed.
    I still say that to myself almost automatically when ever I see or hear about some bad disaster.

    About that turning left 90% of the time, autopilot sort of thing…

    Because of the way our subconscious brain is wired, turning left instead of right will happen every time, no matter what it was “I owe, I owe its off to work I go”, or go to the grocery store, or to go see the pretty lady down the road or what ever the reason(s) were {Good-Bad-or-Indifferent} for us to turn left 90% of the time…You will turn left instead of right
    IF we are not in the PRESENT {in the now or conscious mind}

    Neurons have to fire to do anything…drive…turn left and when neurons fire together ,they wire together and the more they do it, the stronger that pathway {Program} becomes in the subconscious mind.

    95% of the brain is subconscious and that is pretty handy when it comes to keeping the heart beating, breathing… but what also happens is that anything that we do repeatedly like driving, is often taken on by the subconscious mind’s programing. You no longer have to think about driving…in fact, you think about everything else BUT driving.

    The subconscious mind is all about survival of the body. During the first 2 years of life, the conscious brain is not even activated and really doesn’t start to really kick in until about 6. By this time, the ol’ subconscious has now been basically programed with how it is going survive. There are “Updates” to be had, but the basic program is place.

    You can reprogram but it is not easy {Why positive thinking fails for most people & addictions are addictions} The 5% conscious mind is terribly out gunned by the 95% subconscious.

    The scientific community has just started really getting a handle on this.

    Once you start to understand just how all this works in the brain, it is really easy to understand just how easy it is to program the “herd”. Why people are the way they are and why they don’t “wake up”. The whole system is on “Auto Pilot”!

    “The Biology of Belief” (2006) by Dr Bruce Lipton {an easy read} was the first book that I found opening this door.
    Since then a great deal has been studied has started to shift understanding in a Big Way. {He recommends “Muscle Testing” and “Tapping” as 2 ways to reprogram}

    “Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind” & “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One” both by Dr Joe Dispenza are Great! {my opinion} The last one has meditations to do to break old programming {Habits/Addictions} Not a quick fix but looks sound to me and is currently being pursued as my current self-help endeavor.

    After I became aware of how susceptible we are from birth to permanent programming…I just cringe when I hear Parents talking to their children! I have also really noticed the difference in Parent/Child conversations {Both 1 way & 2 way} depending on the location you are at.

    I wished I had read those books before I raised my own kids! Even though they are pretty good kids…they are starting to have and raise kids…and are on auto pilot! Imagine my frustration when I hand them the book that I wish I had read before raising children and say “Please read this before you raise that Child”…
    {You can lead a horse to water…comes to mind}
    Locked-in-the-Loop :-(

    This has been going on for millennia, but we are truly in a “Time of Change”. Lots of people are getting on-board, it just isn’t polite conversation in the “Empire”, so you have to look for it and realize that it will take time and each of us DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Just our thoughts & intentions {make them good ones} add to the “Awakening Global Consciousness” One day a tipping point will be reached that allows for accelerated change!

    This latest post by Kingsley Dennis really goes hand and hand with your article COG.

    Thanks for what you do!
    Your friendly neighborhood dynosaur

  5. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.” – Barack Obama, speech to West Point on May 28, 2014

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