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Rebirthing Rituals, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and the Value of Popular Culture in Awakening: The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight … Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere There Is Hope and What Did You Expect Awakening to Look Like? Look Hard Enough, You Just Might See the Seeds of Light Amidst the Darkness Surrounding.

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Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing

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Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.

The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight: Societal Self-Analysis, an Internet Reformation, and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace

Societal Self-Analysis

Culture War Replaced Cold War

We see the workings of these opposing tendencies to look away from problems or to embrace them by examining the reactions in America to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The disappearance of this huge object for distraction from inner unhappiness, about which one could rationalize the use of defensiveness and scapegoating, led to continued turning away through the emergence, in America, of a search for other societal scapegoats and therefore the “Republican revolution.” Culture War replaced the Cold War as the way one could be comfortably ignorant of one’s insides and self-assuredly distracted, self-righteously engaged.

This removal of a collective punching bag or scapegoat also resulted in a healthy turning toward the darkness within and a collective self-analysis in America. This reaction has brought to the fore many of our social and political shortcomings.

Talk Show Soul-Searching

For evidence of this latter response we notice beginning in the Nineties the rise of the talk show; the rituals of nationwide self-examination over issues of sexual harassment, spouse abuse, and race relations played out in the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings and the O. J. Simpson trial; the hashing out of controversial and formerly hidden personal issues around sex, lies, and marital fidelity, played out in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal; the reevaluation of matters of faith precipitated by priestly sexual abuse; and many other such national psychodramas staged on cable news networks and the magazine-style, documentary-type TV shows like Frontline, Nightline and the like.

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We also witnessed the rise of reality shows as part of this societal pull to see beneath the covers of what is thought to be real. Now, progressives and intellectuals have lots of fun vamping about how superior they themselves are to such interests, as exemplified in reality shows. This can only be the position of elitists out of touch with the ways ordinary folks live their lives.

Sitcom Socialization

To make my point, let me back up a bit. The swagger that the Left, and intellectuals in general, display around reality shows is the same superiority they have expressed for decades concerning sitcoms. First, let me say that I consider most sitcoms and reality shows to be rather boring and a bit inane with their laugh and soundtrack framing. father-knows-bestYet, when I was a child, growing up in a medium-sized city in the coal country of Pennsylvania and coming from a very traditional family, it was only through such sitcoms that I had a chance to find out what a different style of family and parenting would be. Today, I would laugh at a “Father Knows Best.” But it was a step up and into socialization from the “Father Knows Little” or “Father Not Around” of many in my social stratum when I was a kid. This exposure allowed me, and many of my generation, to seek for more in our life and for better interpersonal family relationships…and eventually better parenting.

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This presentation of better alternatives—middle-class, liberal, “hollywood” ones—to everyone in America has a lot to do with the fact that the Sixties were so explosive. It was the first decade after the introduction of a national culture through the medium of television. Much has been made of the fact that newscasts brought information into living rooms for the first time in that era—which is the thing that intellectual elitists will focus on, blinded by their quaint beliefs that humans are rational actors. It takes an experiential psychologist and social scientist like myself to notice that most folks act out of ideas and attitudes that are rooted in experiences and information that are hardly rational. So, the modeling of a more “advanced” way of family life—not perfect but for many better than the traditional ways they had known, which included things like spanking and attitudes like “children are better seen not heard” and “spare the rod, spoil the child”—through the TVs and cinemas of America was vastly more influential in changing society than newscasts, whose information could just as easily have been shared through the print media. The sitcoms brought liberal middle-class values to everyone in America who owned a tv set; and this was a huge step forward at the time.

A Modern “Priesthood”

This is where righties have it right when targeting “hollywood” for many of the changes in our culture over the last half century…though they see that as a negative influence. But intellectuals and lefties blow an opportunity and lose support among ordinary folks through an unconscious haughtiness and a cultural snobbery they are blind to but display in their turning up their noses at popular culture. Luckily, as an anthropological social scientist, I can study popular culture and get away with it, though not without some snide commentary coming my way from progressive and professional circles. They simply will never understand an intellectual who can speak to working folks because he’s one of them. They simply don’t get my attempts to package the crucial understandings of modern science and social sciences, on which the existence of our very world depends, in words that are not primarily directed to and meant to appease the gods of academia. They consider themselves important within their tiny professional circles, thinking they are changing the world when no one even knows what they are doing beyond that constrained perimeter.

Keeping the People Down

Indeed the attitude of academics and progressives about popular culture, especially talk and reality show tv programming and although they would be appalled to ever think it, is no different from the attitudes of the Catholic church and the clergy about matters of faith during medieval times. There, too, we had an elite wanting to “keep out the unwashed.” There, too, we had a distinction between people in the know and the rabble, with the anointed ones requiring ordinary folks to go through them for matters of truth and faith. We had then also this sharp distinction between the “high culture” of the Church and aristocracy—exemplified in the chamber music of the time—and the “low culture” of the masses—exemplified by the folk music of the troubadours of that day.

Nowadays this poo-pooing of tv culture by intellectuals is the same kind of attempt to funnel reality to the masses through the filters of a new “priesthood.” The cultural purists and intellectual elites would prefer that for truth you go through them in academia, where you ‘d have to pay a toll of course, just as the priests of the Middle Ages required you to pass their way on the road to the divine.

Therapy for the Masses

At any rate throwing off the snootiness of intellectualism, I contend, allows us to notice that sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows serve functions in society that are, overall, beneficial in advancing our culture and catalyzing increased growth. They may not reflect, yet, where intellectuals and progressives think we should be, but for many they show something beyond where they are.

We should know that they are overall helpful in our cause from the fact that conservatives want to attack hollywood and limit freedom of expression on any airwave. The fact that many reactionaries want to keep their children out of schools, home-schooled, and away from tv sets should be telling progressives something about the value of popular culture.

Rebirth Denied

My point is that the rise in reality and talk shows are coincident with a need for a kind of societal “therapy” that came about when we took back our projections from the Soviets and were forced to look at ourselves. I’m saying this was a healthy way of doing it, and this was helping us, though it was tumultuous and difficult, in the Nineties. It is unfortunate, but it suited the forces of war and fascism, for the 1% to bring forth in the millennium the bugaboo of terrorism…perfectly bringing about another endless feud with another concocted enemy to project our own darknesses onto so we can escape from having to notice them ourselves and bring about actual personal growth and cultural advance…let alone the cultural rebirth that has been trying to happen for decades.

American Rehab

Reality shows are like watching group therapy happening. It is not surprising that there was even one reality program that was about therapy—Celebrity Rehab. Reality shows also expose ordinary folks to what amounts to crude but informative sociological experiments. If academics could see beyond their pretensions they would applaud this sort of, however haphazard and imprecise, understanding of group processes and individual psychology arising in the masses.

If there weren’t reality shows, folks would have a harder time knowing appropriate ways for men and women to act with each other. The gains of feminism would not have spread so widely or as fast if they were not being modeled and reinforced repeatedly on talk and reality shows. They demonstrate parenting and social skills—“politically correct” ones, in the good sense—to folks who would otherwise not know any better than to behave crudely and abusively. They bring the world, geography, travel, and history to the masses.

Intellectuals quibble about the quality of that, which comes across as quite childish, for it arises as if out of a jealousy of others getting the attention they want and out of a fear of competition for informational matters around science, culture, and humanities. It strikes me as more than ironic that those on the Left who would wish people to wake up from their zombie slumber would want to push programs of literature or drama where truths are filtered through the consciousness, and unconscious, of the artist, while wishing to deprive folks of a direct look—however contrived, it is actual reality and not scripted—at the world around them and people’s actual unplanned behavior and spontaneous reactions to unusual events.

Seeing people’s behavior in some of these shows does often remind me of the dynamics I’ve seen in therapy groups, and some of the personal changes in the participants mirror some of the evolutions I’ve seen in folks undergoing deep experiential psychotherapy. The audience participation part often sounds like group therapy or an intervention. I’ve been struck by how some of the group processes in the show remind me of family day in rehab, with folks reflecting back what they see in each other and how others’ behavior has affected them. These are all things that conservatives cringe at…actually hate. Yet liberals, except for notable exceptions like Jerry Springer, are not seeing the opening they have here. Lefties are fighting rather than using these forces, which are in the direction of personal growth and, cumulatively, much needed societal change.

As a psychologist and simply someone who loves people, I am fascinated by some of the things I see in these shows. They can be heart-wrenchingly real at times. So it occurs to me that folks who disparage these shows, comparing them with literature and dramatic productions, is another thing where some are wanting to have their reality filtered, managed, and packaged for them, lest it be too “disruptive” to their prejudices of things.

The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight

The upshot of all this is to say that just as a lack of a Cold War caused both collective acting out—another war, a Culture War—and collective inner searching via television talk shows, documentaries, and such. So also the prevention of “hot” wars on an international, not just intercultural, scale and the cause of peace in general require such inner soul-searching and such confrontation with one’s darker sides. And if we must, it is better to endure the psychotic acting out of a culture war—with its battles played out on the airwaves—than an actual war.

For is there any doubt that either of these or any combinations of these alternatives, however uncomfortable and even violent…on a smaller scale…at times, is a small price to pay compared to the price of outright war and violence which, by any measurement, is a cost horrifyingly huge and unacceptable?

America Currently Refusing to Pay Such Price

The converse of this is also true: When the dramas wanting to be discussed are suppressed in the mainstream media, it is as stifling of the growth of a nation as an individual’s growth. Unfortunately we have seen this as well recently. There have been massive worldwide and nationwide Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, massive Wisconsin union outpourings, and events in Japan and about Fukushima that the American people really want to and need to know and discuss, but they are being blacklisted from being broadcasted on. There has been a change in government in Iceland, with banksters being jailed, that Americans are not hearing about; there have been demonstrations in Japan about their insane response to their tragedy, which Americans won’t be told about; there have been massive demonstrations in Israel against the colonial policies of their own government that curiously do not make it into the offerings of news programs. These are things that in the Nineties would have fed the talk on tv and stimulated the necessary societal hashing out for there to be a chance of going beyond them.

What Is the Cost of Denial? Of Complacency?

It is hard to know, though, what happens when the natural urges of a nation to grow and change are thwarted. While I discussed this abortion of cultural renewal and the abomination that results from it at length in Chapter Seven of a companion book to this one, Culture War, Class War, under the title Cultural Rebirth, Aborted, the question remains what happens when this societal “rebirthing” is more urgent than ever. What happens when—for the sake of the survival of the human race and of the planet—it is necessary that this growth happen and instead it is continuously derailed and snuffed out of the light of collective consciousness?

Internet Revolution Is Another Reformation

Luckily all this is changing as the internet and social networking have upended the academic elitists, swarming around and over their petty barriers of intellectual privilege. The blogsters and “rabble” of the net have taken over the cultural dialogue of the time as assuredly as Martin Luther and the Reformation changed religion forever and helped to bring to an end the cultural stagnation of the Middle Ages and to ignite an Age of Reason and of Enlightenment.

We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations: Know Thyself … Let the Buck Stop Here!

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Moratorium … Let the Buck Stop Here! We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations

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“Know Thyself” ~ “Narcissistic”?

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Self-Discovery, Soul-Searching, Psychological-Mindedness, Self-Analysis – Sixties Generation

clip_image0033So, we have taken a look at the need for societies to “do therapy” on themselves, to hash out and process, however messy that might seem to be, the perinatal projections from the unconscious, as they manifest in the tribulations of the times—both profound and mundane. It must be kept in mind that it is the products of nearly the most Painted Glass Ball Illusion“advanced” mode of butterfly-transformationchild-caring—the delegated-release subclass of the socializing psychoclass — who have proved most willing to pay such prices for peace, as for example, in increased soul-searching. In fact they would be later stigmatized for just this quality of introspection, this supposed fault of looking into themselves, through the derogatory appellation, narcissistic.

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Grof_AdventureSelf-Discoveryiconclip_image0053Indeed, Keniston foresaw this when he studied the Sixties generation as college students. Observing the amount of inner exploration they engaged in during their quests for self-discovery, he would describe this attribute in a biased way as “the overexamined life,” and more fairly, for the activist youth, as a “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis.” [Footnote 1]

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“Let It All Out? No, Leave Some of It In!” – Pat Buchanan, Fifties Generation

clip_image007_thumbNo doubt those who criticized these youth in the past are some of the same ones or their surrogates who, now older, are wrongly castigating the self-analyzing characteristics of contemporary society as the Sixties generation is now in its “triumphant” phase—the time when as adults a psychoclass takes over the reins of society and most strongly influences it. I have already taken note of the tendencies of the right to rile against the collective processing that is happening in their attacks on popular culture and in particular what they call “hollywood.” They express their desire that “such matters” not come to public light, for they deem them “offensive” or an affront to their (oh so delicate) sensibilities. 181264_233235313453542_936852846_nThey sense a threat to the precious untruths that prop up their self-destructive way of life, woven through as it is with war, fascism, planetary and planetmate annihilation, and the other horrors mushrooming about them in the postmodern era. [Footnote 2]

These highly defended and fear-minded conservatives, prone to projection, are incapable of appreciating the integrity of an inner-thinking generation like the Boomers are. These outer-minded authoritarians would not get, would outright hate those who “questioned authority” in the Sixties.

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clip_image0091These defended entrenched egos would be secretly jealous of and overtly aggressive to a generational emergence that since the Sixties has been psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually working on themselves to be free of inner tyranny. As one of their exemplars, Pat Buchanan, long ago phrased it, “Let it all out? No, leave some of it in!”

Let the Buck Stop Here!

CD_0094MillionProtestersDisappearNonetheless this cadre of kindred Sixties spirits would in their actions declare for the first time in history as a generation, “Let the buck stop here!” And they would seek to turn themselves, and by extension their children and society-at-large, into a more loving, wise, and less acting-out humanity…most importantly, one willing to cooperate rather than war with Nature, or other nations.

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If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

baker_conceptioniconwe.said.let.the.buck.stop.hereWhat virtually all the folks outside “my generation” never get is the unimpeachable vision we had of the complete and utter wrongness of the path and tendencies of modern times and the abyss toward which civilization was heading. We were proven right, of course, as especially in the last decade we have seen the disintegration wrought of those tendencies on all fronts—political, environmental, personal. The Sixties generation saw modern civilization as being unreformable and needing complete remaking, so that everything we did was an attempt to create reality and culture from scratch, sans tradition.

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We had seen normal ways of doing things to be impotent and often dangerous and most importantly leading to apocalyptic endings in our near future. This understanding is what was responsible for all the “non-normal” behaviors my generation displayed—communes, confrontations, clothes, relationships, organics, alternative ways of everything…an entire counterculture. We have been laughed at for essentially being ahead of the curve on the messages of modern events. We have been called crazy for our inconvenient prophecies, virtually all of which are now coming to pass.

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While I and my cohorts, to use just one example, spoke out on the dangers of nuclear energy and in particular the insanity of building plants on fault lines, the professional pundits scoffed and boasted they lived near nuclear plants. This was thirty years and more before the world ever heard the word, Fukushima. The examples like this are endless. We saw all these unworkable endings and asked ourselves, “What would be a real way of doing that?” “What would be a workable, sustainable way?” “What would be a sane and happy life, ethic, and lifestyle.” “What would be a loving, peaceful mode of being?”

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While we sought to redo culture from scratch, building it on perennial and unimpeachable principles, the threatened elders and the jealous youngers, who would soon enough come behind, poked fun from within the confines of their assured and comfortable wrongness. rainbowThey called us narcissistic for thinking we could look at ourselves and the world and dare to think we could change it from ancient ways. They thought we were making ourselves important that way, putting on airs, even. Actually we were shouldering responsibility we did not want—yearning for a simpler, less serious time—but which we accepted for the sake of all those who would come after, knowing their very existence depended on our actions. We took faith in the touchstone of love itself—the only thing that did not crumble under examination—and sought to bend all emerging along its outlines.

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candle.666655jpgSo our seeming impertinence was born of an inconvenient prompting, an unwanted vision now proving prophetic. It was hardly selfish, as many of the best of my generation paid the ultimate price and are no longer with us or they are imprisoned. It was hardly narcissistic as it was done out of love…for each other, for the peoples of all the world and of all the religions, for our children, for the planetmates and for the Nature of which we learned we were a part, and for the generations unborn.

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What others will never get is that our “overexamined life,” our “psychological-mindedness,” our perinatal propensities, and our soul-searching and self-analysis were not about being narcissistic. It was about needing to start everything anew as a rational response to the horrors we saw about us in our culture and in the world… horrors which we were correct in trying to address at the time. For their existence today, because of our inability to be completely successful in remedying them, are bringing about all the political, economic, and environmental armageddons I’ve been discussing in this, and its related, books. And we knew, and still know, that only some change huge and radical will help us, and for that we need to find and stand upon the deepest and firmest of ground within us. That is what we’ve been looking for, are still looking for…only now we have lots of company .

Wall Street Protest

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Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits: A Drive to Healing, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and Millennial Promise

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A Drive to Healing and What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like? Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

A Drive to Healing

We cannot expect that everyone will heal their birth traumas when they arise into consciousness during periods of peace. However, we can expect—especially now that there is understanding of these dynamics and there are techniques and modalities available for healing them—that some people will!

Furthermore, even the more ritualistic and superficial yet blatant regressions to infancy, birth, prenatal, or even prior to that—for example, as Mayr and Boelderl describe in Europe—are not the indication of a “death drive” or “death instinct” as these researchers claimed. [Footnote 3]

clip_image002These highly symbolic collective rituals are instead the manifestations of a drive to healing—a drive to regressing to early traumas and to reexperiencing the events clip_image004that occurred then and thus recapturing an integrity of self that existed prior to the dissociation that happened as a result of those traumas. This drive to regression is no more a “death wish” than the mystical or spiritual quest is a “death wish,” and for the same reasons, as Jung correctly admonished Freud a long time ago. And we can expect that more good than bad can come, eventually, from engaging in them.

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What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like?

Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

clip_image008In conclusion, when we see blatant collective regressions, by the sorts of people mentioned, to these perinatal dynamics in undisguised, and relatively harmless, social rituals—as described by Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson—we can expect that, because of their closeness to their unconscious pain, they are likely—even if only a little more likely because of their more advanced mode of child-caring—to have insight into these dynamics and to resist acting them out in a more extreme form, like war, global pollution, and overpopulation.

clip_image009To put it another way, I would have preferred that Hitler had acted out his craziness by jumping into mosh pits, humming baby tunes, wearing a pacifier…or even engaging in sexual orgies…than the way he did.

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So these current signs of blatant regression by youth and others in Europe or the US, or in fact anywhere in the world as in rock concerts, are not signs of an impending war. What did you expect peace to look like? You might call it messy, but it is the scenery of human healing, we should expect to be seeing, on the pathway to an Earth rebirth.

What Might We Expect?

Millennial Promise

clip_image011What might we expect from the future? Well if ecological/environmental consciousness and refusal to use projection onto others is accepted as evidence of perinatal access, as I have been asserting, then the current generation of youth and young adults—the Baby-Boomer Echo Generation, also called the Millennial Generation, whose two main concerns, as I have mentioned, have been polled as being the environment and racism—may also be expected to be more open to their perinatal trauma, and hence more likely to resolve it and further the gains of their parents against war and global apocalypse.

“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”

clip_image012For, as Janov has pointed out, closer to one’s Pain—one’s unconscious—is closer to being real. And this closeness holds out the possibility both of healing…and of self-destruction.

From the roads and TV screens of America the scenery can often appear bleak. Sure, heavy changes are coming down…but what should we expect? “A hard rain’s gonna fall,” sang Bob Dylan. And that’s what it takes to blossom the spring. Look hard enough, you just might see the seeds of Light amidst the darkness surrounding.

Evidence in Our Collective Dreaming

Next we will take a look at one of the projective systems of our society, specifically, our cinema, to see if it shows evidence of the change of consciousness that we have here been describing as necessary to derail the cycles of war and violence that have plagued our species for millennia uncountable and have led us to the brink of extinction.

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Films are both the collective dreams of our society as well as the only truly clip_image016widely shared method of collectively experiencing a nonordinary state of consciousness. Thus they are telling, in the messages they contain, as well as powerful in their impact on the audience, who in this mild nonordinary state of consciousness are more open to suggestion and to receiving mental impressions and information.

We will look to examples from films of the last few decades for indications that our collective consciousness is actually changing and that there are grounds for hoping that we will be able to stave off apocalypse…creating instead the quantum leap to an Earth rebirth.

Footnote

1. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.

2. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.”

3. Mayr and Boelderl, op. cit., p. 149.

Continue with Apocalypse – No! Chapter Eleven: Control Versus Surrender … Heaven Leads Through Hell

Return to Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

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The Cycle of All Events, the Evolution of Parenting, and Auspicious Collective Regressions: Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One

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What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide and the Necessary Mess of Transformation: Hard to Believe, But We’re Getting Saner

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Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

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There Is a Cycle to All Events … The Spiral Dance, Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction, and Where There Is Real Hope

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The Spiral Dance – The Cycle of All Events: Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals, the Inevitability of Disappointment, and Where There is Real Hope

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Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals

clip_image002clip_image004At the point when the perinatal unconscious arises, individuals — and collectively, society — have the choice to turn toward the emergence of these feelings or to turn away from them.

In turning toward these feelings we embrace, feel, and if we go deeply enough into that, we relive the roots of them and resolve them finally.

clip_image006In turning away from them we shun them, act them out, and are enslaved by them…thus we act unconsciously, trance-like, zombie-like.

If we face these inner forces—we call that feeling them…in this instance, feeling through or reliving one’s birth—we integrate them and heal the underlying trauma, the perinatal trauma.

Satan.symbolCD_0094Or the individual and society can avoid this going within—as depicted in the peace symbol—and can choose instead to act them out, which is the peace symbol upside down—the Satan symbol, the pentagram.

one.tries.to.be.strongIn acting them out, one distracts oneself from the uncomfortable feelings, which though not focused on, are still there. POSSESSED-PERSONOne tries to be “strong” in the face of feelings but one is actually driven and directed by them—they “take over one’s mind.” maya-deren-photo-of-her1This is the source of the idea of spirit possession and in general of the idea that a devil or Satan can take over one’s soul.

So in running from our feelings we are captured and enslaved by them, we are forced to act them out in ways we would not otherwise choose which are negative to horrible but in all cases self-sabotaging. Of course war is the most horrible, most self-sabotaging, greatest, and most all-consuming form of such acting-out…the greatest struggle.

Humans are characterized by a particular kind of birth process.clip_image012 It is a coming into being that is traumatic and which is related to our distinction of standing upright and thereby decreasing the pelvic opening as well as suffocating the fetus prior to birth. The fact is that because of this “distinction” we are destined to go through periods of rebirthing purificatory rituals, whether for good or ill. [Footnote 1]

For we are psychologically wedded to reliving that which we could not fully experience at the time because of the overwhelming quality of pain associated with it.

A “Spiral Dance”

These rebirthing rituals we are doomed to repeat, one way or the other. We are going to act out this primal pain—this birth trauma—in an unending cycle of feelings having these components

    • Periods of feelings of expansion
    • Closedness or entrapment, guilt, and depression
    • Aggression
    • Release

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Ritter3Tao_YinYangEarth2Then back around again.

In winning the “war” or having the success or achievement, there begins the same cycle of expansion followed by entrapment. Losing the war…the struggle, the battle…is akin to death, even if there is no death. There is numbness and repression…akin to a kind of “limbo”…before life can begin anew. A reconception is necessary.

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The Pattern of Our First Nine Months Imprints Us For Our Entire Human Lives

pt654_84-croppedThe reemergence of hope in individuals and societies is biologically equivalent to conception. And following this reconceiving, there is a similar cycle of reemerging strength—akin to the expansion that follows winning. C11Then there is continuing depression or overarching gloom and helplessness feelings coupled with revenge feelings and blame as individuals and societies stew in the vessel of indecision, inaction, and doubt. This is quite like the closedness and guilt which follows achievement-success-victory. Note, however, that the revenge and blame feelings here are aspects of the BPM II matrix, just as is closedness and guilt.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

highlights_pk2And then the cycle is the same again. Specifically, there is aggression against the oppressor (War and revolution both see the foe as an oppressor, even if one is actually the one who is the aggressor.) What follows upon fighting is release or “death”; and so on around. The “happily ever after” that inspires such battle truly only exists in fantasies and fairy tales. Prosperity and feelings of success are unfortunately doomed, on this physical plane of existence, to be short-lived.

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Where There Is Real Hope

facefeelingsagainandagainvulnerableinwombIt would seem we are fated to never be happy, for long. But progress is possible; herein lies our only real choice in the entire scenario. For we either work through these cycles in some deep psychologically BreathofLife (3)transformative way that helps us deal with and pass beyond the difficult and painful parts of the cycle as well as helps to fade the imprints’ potency in determining our behavior zombie_reaganor we are doomed to act them out in the external world in ways that we are blindly unaware are not congruent with the actual facts of our circumstances and are harmful to ourselves and others around us.

Self-Reflection-in-a-Cup-of-TeaWe are fated to experience these cycles of birth, and we will either act them out disastrously or we find ways KumbayaCrowdof dealing with them inside of ourselves in some way—and some ways are better than others for doing this—so that we can have some inner distance from these patterns and therefore some conscious ability or choice around our actions when these pushes and pulls arise.

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Railing Against the Darkness: The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, Progress Requires Regress, and Healing Is Nothing if Not Messy

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Railing Against the Darkness, The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, and Social Progress Requires Regression

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The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of “Reason”

pt654_84-croppedWhat we absolutely don’t have, yet arrogantly think we do, is the ability—through will or reason alone—to choose light over darkness, to replace these inner veils of distortion with clarity of thought and perception and hence of positive behavior and actions while in the midst of them.more-easily-irritated Trying to reason with and to obtain truly desired outcomes is about as possible as trying to reason with a lizard and convince it to conform to one’s wishes for its behavior. For good reason: Indeed our rational mind is as split off from the “reptilian brain” inside us within which these imprints circulate and from which they arise as are we from the consciousness of a gila monster.

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What We Call “Reason” Is Largely Just Rationalization

This impotence of intellectual understanding in the face of these patterns of self-destruction occurs because these schemas are rooted in memories existing in an emotional and entirely dissociated part of the brain, which is hardly touched by neocortical admonishing of any kind. As deMause correctly points out,

[The fetus’s] “early experiences have been found to be recorded in a separate early neural network—a dissociated emotional memory system centering in the amygdala, quite distinct from the declarative memory system centering in the hippocampus that is established in later childhood.” [Footnote 2]

Disclaiming these cycles, which inevitably pass through darkness, and reliance on “will-power” to change one’s patterns, which includes self-sabotage, has been exposed in its impotence in modern times. We see as evidence the growing acknowledgment of the ineffectiveness and, indeed, counter-effectiveness of psychoanalysis. [Footnote 3]

Railing Against the Darkness

So the question begging to be asked is “What do we do about it?” What do we do about these pernicious cycles?

bill-owensclip_image002And when these elements erupt in society in harmless, possibly healing ways, how do we view them? Do we, as Mayr and Boelderl do in their article, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe,” decry the regression…as if by disclaiming it we could somehow keep the cycle from happening? [Footnote 4]

Mayr and Boelderl write, for example, that the situation of collective regression in Europe “strikes us as being high-explosive [sic] and bitter enough.” [Footnote 5]

In another place they exclaim, “What is horrible about this insight [about the increasing collective regression in Europe] is the additional observation that regression is becoming still more radical.” [Footnote 6]

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This response of railing against the “Darkness” is a Freudian response. Yet it is not even a neo-Freudian one, since regression in the service of the ego—which began to be seen as ever more important by neo-Freudians—is not acknowledged, let alone considered.

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Social Progress Requires Regression

406327_251312034972552_198185372_ngeologicallycuriousThat regression in the service of the ego is not considered is confirmed by Mayr and Boelderl in their statement that “[R]egression by definition is a process of repression and a defense mechanism.” [Footnote 7]

These are surprising words, in light of the concept of regression in the service of the ego and awareness of the clinically based evolution of psychotherapeutic theory since Freud’s original postulations, over a half-century ago.

death-as-an-allyclip_image004They are even more awry if one considers the universal, cross-cultural, implementation by societies of rebirthing rituals to handle the same kinds of forces we are confronted with. The anthropological literature is rife with these accounts.

Further, Grof has meticulously shown that regularly going into altered states of consciousness where one confronts this material is a prime function of cultures, and it occurs nearly universally although it is woefully lacking in Western culture for the most part.

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Moreover, these words by Mayr and Boelderl indicate a conflict with or ignorance of the fact that deMause’s theory of evolution of historical change requires regression on the part of parents, while parenting their children, as the primary “engine” of sociopsychological progress.

For deMause writes,

“[T]he ultimate source of all historical change is psychogenesis, the lawful change in childrearing modes occurring through generational pressure…. Psychogenesis depends upon the ability of parents and surrogates to regress to the psychic age of their children and work through the anxieties of that age better the second time than in their own childhood.” (op. cit., 1982, p. 135, emphasis mine.)

clip_image006satanBut this mistake by these two social scientists would not be all that important if it was not the perfect example of the kind of uninformed attitude we have, generally speaking, in Western societies about these forces. This attitude is reinforced by a Judeo-Christian tradition of specialness and scapegoating in the West. It is a pervasive feeling about these things; specifically it, itself, is the actual defense. While this is a widespread reaction to our inner realities it is far from science, and even further from the truth or reality about these things.

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“Stop It!” … Yeah, That’s Gonna Work

At any rate, if we adopt this Western, Judeo-Christian, Freudian tactic of decrying the darkness, we are as effective in derailing the cycle of violence and war as Freudians are in what amounts to admonishing their clients to “stop it!” when it comes to their neurotic self-sabotaging.

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For people cannot will themselves to merely stop their cycles of neurotic self-sabotage and self-destruction, which are the individual manifestations/ acting out of their birth traumas. As mentioned these directors of action operate out of a different part of the psyche, and brain, than one’s conscious willing part. They are simply not accessible, so hardly amenable, to rational or willful input. And changing one’s thoughts to affect them is about as helpful as rearranging the furniture on the deck of the Titanic.

Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One: Auspicious Collective Regressions

People Who Have It All Figured Out Are the Ones to Watch Out For … Emotional “Sickness” Might Indicate More “Wellness”

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Regression in the Service of the Ego

With the exposure of the ineffectiveness of the Freudian tactic of intellectual understanding has come the Freudian movement’s disintegration into schools advocating various other strategies for change.

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doctor-handing-pills-to-a-patientEponahorsegoddessThese schools/strategies include the psychiatric—the use of drugs; the neo-Freudians who acknowledge and use regression in the service of the ego and abreaction; the humanistic-existential approaches, stressing the “experiential”; and the Jungians and neo-Jungians, who would seek the resolution of these cycles in their inner archetypal acting out, resulting in an eventual rootedness of the ego in a higher Self (a spiritual center) beyond or transcending the cycles. [Footnote 8]

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cant.luxury.negative.thoughtOther approaches include the bulk of the spiritual, new-age, or transpersonal means that are flourishing these days. These alternative paths basically differ from all others in their belief that one can simply bypass these perinatal pulls and pushes and go directly to the Light or the Self by dismissing the birth cycles, or the Darkness or Shadow, through affirming the Light, meditating the Darkness out or the Light in, changing one’s thoughts, creating one’s reality, and various combinations of these.

normal_ButterflyOfHealingFINAL_LG_Jpg2Finally, these newer schools and strategies for healing include those of what might be called experiential psychotherapy, which includes primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, some forms of (experiential) meditation (Vipassana meditation, for example), Reichian and healingcrisisbioenergetic approaches, some forms of hypnotherapy—experiential ones—ones that involve reliving traumas—and virtually all the techniques, treatments, and correctives that are espoused in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology.

reunionThe point is that from a good number of these other-than-Freudian perspectives—and all of those that acknowledge the importance of 947867-lightdarkness_largeregression in the service of the ego—and from the perspective of the entire field of experiential psychotherapy, the answer to the cycles of violence, war, and death-rebirth is to stop the acting out, not by simply intellectually decrying it—as if one can actually talk oneself out of one’s inner fears and one’s Darkness/Shadow—but by reliving those cycles of violence at their origins…their primal roots. In the case of perinatal forces, those forces from “the dark side,” this is accomplished by reliving the violence of birth, a perinatal trauma that is thoroughly and masterfully delineated by Grof and deMause. [Footnote 9]

Auspicious Collective Regressions

But from this perspective of experiential psychotherapy—one completely congruent with and grateful of deMause’s contributions in psychohistory as well—regression, in Europe, or elsewhere, is not seen as something to decry, disclaim, be horrified of, or be seen as dangerous but is seen as an opportunity. Regression is certainly not seen as a form of defense but as the opposite of that. Regression is part of a process of diminishing one’s defenses against one’s internal reality of pain and trauma.

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Thus, examples of blatant collective regression as in Europe—more so to the extent they are relived, released, and integrated—are entirely auspicious for the eventual elimination of war as a collective device of acting out—defending against—the painful feelings coming from one’s personal history which one carries around, all unknowingly, and which pervade, in one way or another, in forms subtle and not so subtle, every moment of one’s consciousness in the present.

From this experiential psychotherapeutic perspective, we have a different feeling about developments like those that Mayr and Boelderl describe as collective regression in Europe and Lawson describes as occurring at rock concerts. [Footnote 10]

From a more enlightened viewpoint these cultural phenomena should have us, if not dancing in the streets, at least hopeful of a gradual decrease in the use of war and violence. Why? It is because the youth who display this “regression” so blatantly were brought up by an “advanced” form of child-rearing than that of previous generations, that they have fewer defenses, fewer layers of obfuscation covering up their unconscious psychodynamics; consequently the regression is seen more clearly in their behavior. [Footnote 11]

Unflinching Belief Related to Total Dissociation

Why is this important? DeMause points out that people do go to war, and that prior to it their perinatal dynamics come to the fore, as evidenced by perinatal-laden words and images in the media and in leaders’ speeches used to describe the situation and its dynamics. Thus, our leaders take us into war, they act out their perinatal dynamics…and we in following them act out ours…in such gruesomely overt ways because these dynamics are so hidden, repressed, and overlaid with defenses that the conscious mind has absolutely no access to, and hence insight into, them as being part of one’s unconscious dynamics.

clip_image008Consequently the conscious mind is completely able to convince itself that those dynamics are actual, real, and doubtless parts of the situation and therefore require an actual, real, and extreme response. The amount of resolve required to act out war can only be wrought of an unflinching belief in the rightness, the absolute correctness of one’s perspective of the situation and therefore of that extreme course of response. And that can only be brought about by a total dissociation from one’s perinatal traumas, and a complete and utter projection of it on the outside—the enemy, to be specific.

Blatant “Sickness” Related to Being Real

The contrary is also true: When there does not exist that total and complete dissociation of the perinatal trauma—when it is, as in Europe and rock concerts currently, closer to the surface, less defended against, less repressed and, hence, more blatant—it is more accessible to consciousness and less likely to be acted out in the extreme as in war. Instead it is more likely to be acted out in less extreme forms, such as jumping into mosh pits, carrying pacifiers, listening to baby tunes about the, very real, difficulties of being a baby, and so on.

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Finally, it is more likely to be actually allowed to emerge in consciousness and be relived, and thereby “healed”…and gone beyond, to be replaced by something more benign and more socially constructive, and thus to be removed forever as a motivation to war or violence. This is the auspicious view of the developments described by Mayr and Boelderl. [Footnote 12]

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Janov was the first to point out that a permanent resolution of underlying trauma initially entailed an aggravation of symptoms and symbolic acting out. That is to say, the underlying dynamics become more blatant and apparent in behavior. [Footnote 13]

Janov was also the first to note that the acting-out and overt neurotic was closer to being “real,” and therefore really sane, than his or her highly functioning and “normal,” but repressed, rigidly defended, and unfeeling neighbor. [Footnote 14]

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The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History: I Know It’s Hard to Believe But We’ve Been Getting Saner

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Thanks to You We’re Getting Saner: The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History

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Evolution of Parenting – We’ve Been Getting Saner

Finally, the correctness of the view that being “crazy” in an insane world might be more sane has been borne out in recent history. DeMause describes an evolution of parenting from ancient times to the present which involved ever decreasing psychosis and violence and increasing caring and consciousness of the needs of children. He connects this decrease in violent child caring to ever decreasing violence and psychotic acting out in societies.

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DeMause labels the most common modern parenting mode the socializing mode. Short of the quite recent helping mode—which only really rose to prominence in the last three decades—the socializing mode is the most advanced and most humane.

Lest there be any confusion, I wish to point out that my own theoretical first_peopleunderstanding differs from deMause’s in one important respect. While I agree with his evolution of child-rearing over the course of civilization and within recorded time, I believe he is wrong about prehistory and what primal peoples were like and the kind of child-caring they engaged in. He depicts prehistoric societies as psychotically oblivious of the needs of children, engaging in, first, infanticidal; then, second, abandoning; then, third, ambivalent modes of child-rearing. Whereas it seems to me the overwhelming evidence and increasing numbers of anthropologists point to a natural “organic” child-caring being employed in the the mists of the past quite a bit more “advanced” than even many modes employed today.

kapstadt-wandern-mit-pavianenI believe the change from the loving parenting we see in many primal peoples and in Nature among many of our planetmates to the infanticidal, abandoning, and ambivalent modes he has described for early historic cultures is a product of that ever increasing control of Nature that went into full gear with the agrarian revolution, some ten to twenty-five thousand years ago. So, I am saying that brutal parenting was a consequence of “civilization” and was at its worst at the beginnings of recorded time.

But I agree we have been gradually evolving to better modes of child-caring over the history of civilization to the most sane and psychologically beneficial modes employed in recent decades, which, you might want to note, are very much like the modes of the earliest humans. I describe why and how we lost our connection with Nature and loving ways of parenting—how we left “Eden”—in my book and blog “The Great Reveal.”

The Cycles of Time

I believe my understanding shows once again how much of what modern folks thought of “development”—including it being linear and increasing from “darkness” to “light” with ourselves always at the top (conveniently)—is wrong and merely part of an anthropocentric bias and an ethnocentric heritage. For more and more, as we lay down those blinders to reality, we notice the evidence of the cyclical nature of everything—from our lives (ashes to ashes) to the physical Universe’s expansion and contraction, to the vibrations at the subatomic level, the waves in the sea, the turning of the Earth and the revolutions of the solar systems, and I contend now also, the so-called “history” of our species on Earth. This is the thoroughly postmodern idea that human time is also cyclical, with over and again peoples returning to earlier halcyon times only to “fall” away from them.

The Worst of Times Quality of Current Events

This idea of time as cyclical not linear is in keeping with Eastern philosophies, as well as indigenous ones. Hindu thinking currently has us at the depths of the Kali Yuga, the worst part of the cycle right now, with matters to be reversed very soon and the best of times just ahead. And, as I have been describing in my books Falls from Grace and Primal Renaissance and will be directly pointing out in my upcoming book, Primal Return, we are currently seeing a most necessary return to a more harmonious way of being and a more natural self. And with it, requiring it, to some extent preceding it, we are evolving to the most advanced mode of loving parenting.

The “Best of Times” Nature of Our Parenting

Psychohistorian Glenn Davis, following deMause, analyzed the most advanced form of child-caring short of the most recent helping mode—the psychogenic parenting mode deMause termed socializing—and found that it comprised four submodes. In order, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century and each one a more “evolved” and humane one than the previous one, they are the submodes of psychic control, aggressive training, vigorous guidance, and delegated release. [Footnote 15]

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The Wall Movie 1982 (7)

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Oh, Be-HAVE. WWII Generation … Received Aggressive-Training and Vigorous-Guidance Parenting

Davis concluded that in America the Vietnam War was perpetrated by individuals belonging almost entirely to the aggressive-training and vigorous-guidance psychoclasses. [Footnote 16]

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Questioning Authority and Oneself Is Good. Boomers … Received Delegated Release Parenting

clip_image0048065543_origYet the Vietnam War was brought to an end largely as a result of the efforts of an antiwar movement whose largest component was a Sixties youth brought up under a more advanced delegated-release child-caring mode. [Footnote 17]

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The delegated release mode, which resulted in the phenomenon of Sixties youth and the counterculture, is the most “advanced” mode short of the helping mode.

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“Let’s Collaborate” – Millennials. Received the Most Advanced Parenting – Helping … “We Just Want You to Be Happy.”

trust-father-sonboyjumpintomanshandsclip_image006The helping mode is the child-caring mode employed widely by the Sixties generation for their children, the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y. So, a helping mode of parenting was enjoyed by the children of a delegated-release psychoclass, the Boomers. Sixties youth are seen, psychologically, to have the most the most “advanced” ego structures short of their children taught within a helping mode. [Footnote 18]

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What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide – Peace Is Painful: But Better Psychotic Than Warring

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Ending War and Humanicide—Peace Is Worth its Price of Suffering: Better “Emotionally Disturbed” Than “Healthily” Fighting in War

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Walking In Another’s Moccasins

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It is obvious that these Sixties youth did not have the same unflinching and unqualified belief in the absolute rightness of their country’s position in Vietnam as did many of their parents. clip_image009[1]This is obviously the case in a psychoclass of youth chanting a generational mantra, “Question authority!” and whose more extreme members would at times even go over to the perspective of seeing the war from the eyes of the “enemy,” the Other.

As I mentioned earlier, among the Sixties Generation we saw Jane Fonda’s journey to Hanoi, the waving of North Vietnamese flags by protesters, clip_image011[2]and the carrying of little red books on the sayings of Chairman Mao. These are obvious indicators that the generation as a whole was open to seeing the war from the North Vietnamese perspective: That is, as a conflict perpetrated by a foreign nation that was hypocritical in its espousal of democracy in that it prevented democratic elections that would have without doubt elected Ho Chi Minh and instead it installed a puppet-ruler in the South, making Vietnam a virtual colony of the United States. From this perspective, the clip_image013_thumb[3]Vietnam War was for the Vietnamese as much a war for independence as the American Revolution was for the U.S.

This is just an example of how there are two sides to every issue and how an attempt at empathy or “walking in The Other’s moccasins”—made possible by a closeness to a perinatal unconscious that is also an opposite perspective than that of the conscious mind—can lead, at the minimum, to the reluctance necessary to prevent engaging in at least the most blatant and horrific forms of violence…against others, but consider also, against Nature.

The Perinatal Generation

clip_image0143At any rate, is there evidence that this undermining of the self-righteous position necessary for the instigation and carrying out of war and ecocide—this ability to see at least somewhat from The Other’s perspective and not just one’s own—is in truth correlated with a closeness to perinatal dynamics, a closeness to the unconscious for that generation of youth, those of the Sixties? The answer: Absolutely yes!

clip_image016_thumbAs mentioned in a previous part, sociologist Kenneth Keniston did psychological studies of members of the Sixties Generation.

He was inspired to do so through his noticing that he was seeing something really unusual and radically different in these youth than what he had ever seen. This led to his fascination with discovering what made them so different. And he documented his findings in two books—The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society and Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. Roughly speaking he chose to study the unconscious dynamics of both the “alienated-hippie” and the “activist” sectors, respectively, of that generation. [Footnote 19]

Blushing Troll-Handlers

pacifier.millennial.gen_thumbbill-owens_thumbAt the risk of repeating myself, I wish to remind the reader that a reading of his books—keeping in mind that Keniston knew nothing of perinatal dynamics at that time, and few people did, for that matter—reveals a degree of perinatal imagery, fantasy, and acting out—especially among “the uncommitted”—enough to make a troll-handling, pacifier-wearing, mosh-pit jumping youth of today to blush! [Footnote 20]

Self-Analysis and Psychological-Mindedness

woman-looking-in-mirror_thumbcandle.666655jpg_thumbBecause of this peculiar perinatal access, I don’t believe it is any coincidence that Keniston also found an unusual amount of inner reflection—questioning oneself—alongside the more well known questioning authority. This he labeled “overexamined life” for the alienated sector and “psychological mindedness” for the activists.

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Better Emotionally Disturbed Than “Healthily” Engaging in War

So, being close to one’s perinatal imprints, being less defended against one’s inner unconscious painful memories, leads to one being able to question not just oneself—and therefore to be a catalyst to personal growth and a quest for truth—but also the actions of one’s society. It is a counterbalance to our tendency to act out in violence to others as in war and to Nature as in ecocide. It means people will suffer more inner turmoil and pain, will feel more psychologically “disturbed,” and will be less likely to take it out on others, will be less likely to make others or the environment “pay” for what happened to them.

Let us contrast that with its opposite. DeMause writes,

Hitler’s projection of his fears…into Jews and foreigners helped him avoid a psychotic breakdown and enabled him to function during his later life, as long as others shared his delusion of poisonous enemies.

Therefore acting out collectively, as in war, can prevent a psychotic breakdown in certain individuals.

Better Psychotic Than Waging War

clip_image0173But when the consequences of acting out one’s birth trauma, collectively, is millions of people—including oneself—dead, not to mention the uncountably large loss of material and personal resources, it is clear that by comparison a psychotic breakdown is a more benign alternative for either the individual or the society in which that or those individuals act.

Similarly, not providing the outlet of war as a collective birth ritual…oftentimes, for the soldier involved, euphemistically called a “rite of passage”…would allow the genuine neurotic breakdowns, the collapse of people’s defenses, and their opening up to their underlying perinatal dynamics. Thus accessed, they can be healed, or in the least they would prevent the kind of unflinching belief or self-righteousness required for war and violence.

Some folks might even be motivationally paralyzed—receiving information from the unconscious that contradicts and undermines the stance and beliefs of their conscious ego. But when that egoistic stance is slanted, commonly, towards war, violence, selfishness and greed and corresponding environmental apathy, then better one would be indecisive, overwhelmed, and doing nothing.

The Price of Emotional Pain Is Minuscule Compared to That of War

Yet it is true that this neurotic breakdown, of at least a small amount, on the scale of society would result in the kind of collective regressions that Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson describe. That is, the cause of peace, of the saving of human lives, requires that people pay the price of encountering their primal pain.

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clip_image019[1]By all measures, this peace price is minuscule. It is even more worth it when you take into account the fact that many people, after initially “breaking down” for lack of a collective…and highly destructive…act-out like war/aggression, will actually succeed in reconstructing a self more in line with reality, through the dynamics and means categorized under the term regression in the service of the ego, desccribed above. Regardless of professional help…which would be nice but is not always available or practical…some people just find a way.

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Continue with Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing

Return to Apocalypse No! Chapter Eight:
Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence

Footnotes

1. A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319.

2. DeMause, op. cit., 1995, p. 12, emphasis in original.

3. See, for example, Alice Miller, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, trans. by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, especially “Vantage Point 1990,” pp. vii-ix.

4. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156.

5. Ibid., p. 144.

6. Ibid., p. 148, emphasis mine.

7. Ibid., pp. 149-150.

8. Regarding the “experiential,” I should make clear that this approach is, from the perspective of the experiential psychotherapeutic approach I will be describing shortly, actually the superficial symbolic acting out of these underlying and powerful cycles in a way that is only a little less impotent than the Freudians.

9. DeMause, op. cit., 1995.

10. Alvin H. Lawson, “Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1994): 335-353.

11. Mayr and Boelderl claim quite wrongly and quite strangely—as if to make the facts not conflict with DeMause’s psychogenic theory, or as if to cover up some hole in their analysis—that those caught up in the pacifier craze were raised under the intrusive and socializing parenting modes (op. cit., 1993, p. 145) and yet, in 1992, were between the ages of 15 and 30 (Ibid., p. 143). This is hard to understand because these youth would have been born between the years 1962 and 1977 in advanced Western countries of mostly Western Europe—Italy, Germany, Austria, all of Europe, and even the U.S. (Ibid.).

However, the intrusive and socializing modes are associated, by DeMause, with the eighteenth century and the nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, respectively, in the Western world (DeMause, op. cit., 1982, p. 62). On the other hand, the helping mode begins mid-twentieth century in the Western world (Ibid., p. 63).

The conclusion from this is that these youth, described by Mayr and Boelderl, would have been greatly influenced by the helping mode. They would be expected, at least, to have received the most advanced methods of child-caring overall in the world at this time—considering DeMause’s theory—since they are the most recent progeny of the Western world!

Indeed, if these cannot be considered products of the helping mode, who can be? In order for Mayr and Boelderl to dispute this and claim they were exceptions to the rule and were raised under intrusive and socializing modes, they would have had to do a study demonstrating this, or at least cite one done. And this they do not do.

12. Michael D. Adzema, “Reunion With the Positive (Self), Part 1: The Other Half of ‘The Cure.’” Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology 1(2): 72-85. Reprinted on the Primal Spirit site.

13. Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. New York: Dell, 1970.

14. Ibid.

15. Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1976.

16. Ibid., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and the Youth Revolt,” and p. 240.

17. Ibid.

18.Ibid., p. 241.

19. Kenneth Keniston, The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society. New York: Dell, 1965; Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968.

20.While these aspects of youth are laid out by Keniston, a fuller delineation of these dynamics are to be seen in my work-in-progress, tentatively titled The Once and Current Generation: “Regression,” Mysticism, and “My Generation.” [Stay tuned.]

Continue with Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing

Return to Apocalypse No! Chapter Eight:
Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence

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“Don’t Despair. There Are Others Doing It With You, and We’re Here, Too”: Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Eight — Always Are We Helping You

Sins of the Father and Cosmic Encouragement: What Real and Unritualized Spiritual Experience Looks Like — “But Always Are We Here Helping.”

I wish now to provide another example of real, unritualized spiritual experience … this time from my own life. What these experiences—that of my wife and myself—have in common are these things: (1) they were spontaneous occurrences … in no way planned, anticipated, or orchestrated by self or other; (2) they were growthful … they led to greater awareness, positive change, and in my case I can say for certainty, life transformation; (3) they came about in ways that had a supernatural quality about them, that is, transcending what is thought to be laws of nature or physics, and (4) they were experienced as a gift … a “blessing” — that is, the recipients did not feel they earned or deserved them.
So, the first quality of these experiences corresponds to my referring to them as unritualized; the next three, together, to why I put them in the category of spiritual.

Keeping those characteristics in mind, let us look at what I experienced one night in 1980, which I would remember ever afterward as perhaps the most unusual experience of my life but certainly the most transformative. It is not that I was not already looking in the direction this experience opened to me; it is not that I did not already have the beliefs or values it embodied; it is not that I was completely unaware of the kinds of things about us and our history that it clarified. No, I was fully prepared to receive what I got; spiritual experiences don’t make you something other than what you are … they facilitate you in becoming more of what you are already. So it is that I was confirmed in a path, I was given a profound direction for a lifetime, I was given … shown actually … knowledge about our history and our situation that was beyond anything anyone could know through normal channels of scholarship and research. And I was given reassurance and a promise of support and assistance in my life’s path.

So you might say it was more like an initiation. But unlike normal societal initiations that indoctrinate one into the roles of society and culture, this one initiated me on a singular spiritual path. So it is more like what a Native American might get on a vision quest. The other thing that comes to mind is the word confirmation. Brought up Catholic I once received a sacrament of confirmation. It involved a ritual that I can barely remember anything about. One becomes “confirmed” in the faith. Well this experience was not ritualized yet it definitely confirmed me on a path and with a set of beliefs and way of thinking about things that has stayed with me throughout the thirty-two years since it happened. Also, it is something I can remember in detail, as though it happened days ago … quite unlike the ritual “confirmation” I received at the age of … it was such a nonevent I can’t even remember my age at the time … about 13 or 14.

So let me share my story of my spontaneous, unritualized spiritual experience. First I wish to give you its context. 

A Cosmic Slap on the Back

In the course of my own struggling to change, in primal therapy, I was at a particular place in 1980 where I was very much in despair at the immensity of the task of changing the programming that was dragging me down, that was keeping me from being the full human being — happy, fulfilled, fearless, and doing what I was meant to do in life — that I could see lying there in potential and that I could only sometimes be. It was therefore an encouragement to me when I had the experience that follows — like receiving a cosmic slap on the back, a gift from the Universe, and it helped me through that time. But I am convinced this experience has relevance also for all who are working hard at growing beyond their limited selves. I feel it might especially be of use to someone in a similarly hopeless-seeming place.

For these reasons I wish to share this experience. You can do with it whatever you like.

Before relating what happened, I want to say that although some might be tempted to call this experience a fantasy or a dream, it certainly did not feel that way to me at the time. I cannot doubt that an unusual thing happened to me, which was unlike anything else that I’d experienced prior to it or since. It was related to certain experiences I was having in my primaling but was very different from “having feelings.” I was not under the influence of any drugs, nor had I been previous to the incident. I had one beer that night.

One other note: I will leave the determination of who the “she” and the “we” were in the experience to the interpretation of the reader. I certainly don’t know for sure who she and they were, though I have my ideas — all of them highly positive. Also, the following, except for some minor editing, is exactly the way I wrote it the morning following the experience.

Journal Entry of June 28, 1980:

I was lying in bed last night with Maddie. Couldn’t sleep, air conditioner too loud. Suddenly I was aware of all this energy coursing through my body. Was really scaring me. My body zinging, intense ringing (buzzing?) in my ears, rushes flowing through me. Was scared I was going crazy, would hurt Maddie, would become possessed or something, etc. Tried focusing on my third eye so as to control it like I did in Portland.

That may have helped some, but I could sense, and was scared of, other “presences” in the room. I thought I heard a woman’s voice behind me over my left shoulder and that scared me. Without realizing the transition, I found myself projected into this panorama of history and a woman’s voice was narrating.

She described how once there had lived “noble” beings. I could see vast and colorful panoramas of peoples exuding “nobility” and “integrity” (for want of better words to describe what they were like). They walked and paraded before me and were all around me.

Then the woman explained that the peoples degenerated and, as if in demonstration, I began seeing battles and wars played out before my eyes. I was in the midst of them!

However, I was still aware that I was in my body lying on my bed, because I could feel myself against it. Even so I was afraid that I would begin taking on the bodies of participants in the battles and would feel pain like they were obviously feeling. This feeling was especially strong when I was in the midst of the convergence of two groups of warring parties (their garb reminded me of Israelites or people of Biblical times or something). The group I was facing were going at each other with hatchets and I was afraid of becoming a participant and possibly feeling an ax chunking into my neck or skull. But although it was happening all around me, nobody in the crowd noticed me; it was as if I wasn’t there. In fact at one point I believe they actually may have passed through me!

This scene passed, along with other dramas, and it was explained to me that now it was time for a regeneration of peoples on this “plane[?]” to regain their former “nobility[?],” “integrity[?]” (again for lack of better words).

Still feeling that I was conscious, i.e., knowing that it was all happening to me while I was really lying in bed; I let myself walk through many landscapes and terrains, which I felt I could easily have lived in at one time and which I felt had all existed at some time or place or did now exist somewhere in the world or Universe. I walked through small shack towns. I remember a small group of bedraggled people huddled together in one. There were many kinds of pastoral settings also: some beautiful with rolling, lush hills, and some not as beautiful — rocky terrain, etc. All seemed to be viable habitats for different people. I had the thought that these may have been places/lives that I had lived in at one time.

Certain places brought up bad feelings in me, foreboding, scared feelings. In fact it can be said that the whole time it was happening I was scared about the experience. I feared meeting some dangerous and evil entity or being stuck in an undesirable place. When I was in one particular environ/habitat that wasn’t very pleasant, I remembered something that Seth had said about consciously altering and changing his environment. In line with that I decided to stop believing in the one that I was in and see what happened.

What happened was that environment went away and then there was a blank grayness as I waited for a new scene to appear. I continued to be aware that I was in a trancelike state and that I had a body lying in bed. I would at times vaguely return to the feeling in my body and would feel myself on my back, hands and arms outstretched, mattress against my back, in a very deep state of relaxation and suspended animation which had a feeling of heaviness or deadness about it. My body didn’t need to move and it was perfectly comfortable.

I could hear the air conditioner running, also, and even Maddie’s breathing next to me. Several times, I don’t remember exactly when, Maddie had reached over and put her arm around me, both times only for an instant, before she rolled back away from me. Neither of the times did it disturb the deep state that I was in or cause me to rise at all out of it. I simply felt warm and good towards her at the affection she was showing me. I even had the thought that, considering the fact that she only did it for a moment before turning away, that somehow she knew what was going on, in some deeper, nonconscious part of herself, and was reassuring or encouraging me.

Anyway, I was securely very deep and felt that I wasn’t going to be suddenly disturbed from it unless, perhaps, I let it. But I really didn’t want to do that. I was rather scared and apprehensive most of the time, as mentioned, but, more importantly, it was all so damned interesting!

There is no doubt that I was thoroughly enjoying the color, the panorama, the expanse and freedom of consciousness, the fact that I was experiencing something important and that I had never experienced before, so that I dearly wanted to stay there despite the fear.

Sometime after the gray place, I believe it was, I was aware of some kind of light far off in the distance that I could travel to if I liked. At around that time I could hear Maddie saying to somebody (about my body in bed): “Is he moving at all? Is he breathing? Do you think he’s dead?” and so on. I remember thinking to myself how silly that sounded and that “No, I’m not dead, I’m just in this deep trance and everything.” But then suddenly I began to wonder if maybe I was dead! It had all been so strange that maybe I had actually died in my sleep!

At that point I recalled the accounts I’d heard and read about of people dying and not knowing they were dead, how they would often hang around and watch other people’s reaction to their death (and this could go on for days). I remembered how Steve had once told me something to the extent that if that should happen that one shouldn’t get carried away and fascinated by the after-death state but that one should “get down on one’s knees” (figuratively speaking) and search out the source and the presence of God. Thinking that was perhaps when I actually looked around and saw the light.

At any rate, I found myself wondering if I wanted to be dead. This place was certainly an interesting one, even with the apprehensions. And it sure seemed to be a change (so far, anyway) from the constant struggling to survive and grow. But I also felt that there were just so many loose ends left unresolved in my life. There were so many areas that I’d made good progress in but had not yet taken to completion. My love for Maddie (next to me), which was only just beginning, came to my mind as an example.

And so I decided to find out if I was dead or not, both to know if I should go heading for the light (if I was) or to reassure Maddie (if I wasn’t). I determined to get into my body and, with an effort and strain, I forced myself up from the depths, forcing my body to move and sit up. I was mildly surprised to find that I was able to do this, bringing myself into physicality and into a half-sitting position. In this position I looked over to see Maddie sleeping next to me, I could hear the air conditioner whining, and so forth. I realized then that she hadn’t “physically” been sitting over me, talking about me, but I also felt that some part of her must have. (We used to have this thing when we slept together that often we would feel like we had been communicating with each other on some kind of subconscious level the whole night long. We wouldn’t ever remember all that we had said but we would often both remark about it the next morning).

Realizing that I wasn’t dead, I lay back down and let myself drift back into the deepness. All I remember, after this point, is talking to Maddie, probably about what had happened to me, explaining it to her, though I’m not sure that was all of it. Also I remember at least one other time, maybe two, forcing myself to waking consciousness to see if Maddie was awake (as if in an experiment), because it really seemed that we were actually, physically awake and talking to each other. I thought we were lying in bed physically talking. It was hard to believe it when I forced myself awake only to find her lying beside me asleep.

After that there were some actual dreams, quite different from what had been going on earlier. I fell into sleeping and dreamed of being in my Grandmother’s home. I remember reading a book, sitting in a chair in her kitchen. There were other people there also; they were sitting in the same kind of straight-backed, none-too-comfortable wooden chairs.


I remember that early on, when I was doing all the traveling and stuff, that I didn’t know how I’d possibly remember all the experiences that happened to me and all the things that I saw and learned. It seemed like a lot of time was crammed into that short period. I remembered hoping just that I would retain as much of it as I could, especially hoping that I wouldn’t just blot it all out as it felt important.

Don’t Despair, There Are Others Doing It With You, and We’re Here, Too

I feel like the meaning of the part about the regeneration of the peoples on this plane was an answer to my despair at working on getting through my feelings. It’s like it was saying: “Sure it’s hard! What you’re talking about is the reversal of hundreds of generations of degenerate and violent habit, custom, and activity. But we’re talking about changing that also, and you’re not the only one working at it. There are many others in your time period struggling to do it just like you.”

And the feeling that left me with was/is “So don’t despair. There are others like you doing it, and we’re (out here) helping you too.”

Sins of The Father

Now, having conveyed what I wrote the morning after the experience, I wish to add that regardless of how you may wish to label the preceding experience, it remains one whose message has stayed with me through all the intervening years thirty-two of them in fact. It is a message that has rung true and helped me through other difficult spaces. Indeed, I still reflect on it and can’t help believing there is a lot to it. Consider:  Generation after generation of Western culture has engaged with little awareness of the consequences in passing down their personal pain and trauma, in some form or other, onto their offspring.  And they in turn dump it on theirs.  We know that child abusers were themselves abused as children; but this is just a very blatant example of how the pattern operates.  On and on and back through into hazy unrecorded history this situation has existed; this vicious cycle has perpetuated itself.

But many of us in these extraordinary times, and goaded on by the specter of global catastrophe, for one thing are saying:  “Let it end with me!”; “Let us not continue this madness any further!”  Attempting to break the cycle of “kill and be killed,” of hurting and then inflicting hurt, attempting to halt the prevailing insanity, we make the Gandhian effort to take the energy into ourselves, to change ourselves lest we, also, be like the generation before — forever passing on the insane legacy.

So why should we think this would be easy?!  We are trying to bring to an end, in our single lifetimes, the accumulated results of untold generations of our ancestors dumping their pain and insanity onto their descendants.

But Always Are We Here Helping

So of course it’s hard!  And for me to realize this fact allows me to accept it.  That is, it allows me to accept this task and to take up my place in the ranks of those arrayed in the purpose of undoing the craziness rather than to turn away in despair at the immensity of the task or to quaver in paralysis before it.

This experience has also provided me with a wonderful outlook on the people around me.  I look around to the many people who are working spiritually to change themselves and this crazy world — who are serving, mending, and healing others and themselves.  In doing so I have this sense of brother/sisterhood — that we are all engaged in an immense undertaking . . . that we are synergizing our energies in an endeavor which is not merely crucial, it is imperative . . . not just for our personal growth, for our personal satisfaction or well-being — although that’s not to be discounted — it is necessary for the very survival of this planet.

I feel that if this task had been easier it would have been done long ago by well-intentioned ancestors.  Indeed, it may only be because the survival of this planet is now at stake that substantial numbers of us have at this point, finally, accepted the challenge.

Many of us are aware of the seeming intractability of the situation we face — both personally and globally.  But what I feel now is not so much the despair at the difficulty of the task but rather, because of what I was taught through this experience, I feel a sense of belongingness, cosmic belongingness, if you will . . . a sense that I’m not alone.  I feel that many others are working at this same thing in this day and age.  Our combined energies — along with the energies of the Universe that are working with us — together constitute an incredible force.  Confronted with the enterprise we have before us, this force may just be sufficient to do on this planet what has never been done before here (as far as we know).

So to all who occasionally despair, I can only repeat, “Sure it’s hard, but always are we here helping you.”

Continue with Vision Quests, UFO Abductions, Brainwashings, and Boot Camps: Ritual As Shadow, Part Nine — Initiation, Authentic and Inauthentic

Return to “You Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free” … What Real and Unritualized Spiritual Experience Looks Like

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“Sure It’s Hard! But Always Are We Here Helping You,” Part One: The Spiritual Quest, For Earth’s Sake!

For Earth’s Sake, Get Real Already: “Sure It’s Hard! But Always Are We Here Helping You,” Part One

Summary of “Sure It’s Hard But Always Are We Here Helping You”: This details the spiritual experience I had in 1980 which set me on this path to help the planet and the planetmates. I was shown by certain entities the path of our devolution as a species, thousands of years ago, and was told that we need to turn this around immediately. I was told that there were many others at work right now doing the same thing, so I need never despair, at the immensity of the task. Most importantly, I was told that we are receiving help… always…in our efforts. I was led to believe that these higher powers, of which we are yet to know, are fully engaged in our endeavor on this planet and assisting us at every turn.

The Spiritual Quest, For Earth’s Sake!

If ritual is a substitute for real spiritual experience, what does real spiritual experience look like? What follows is an example of a spontaneous, unritualized spiritual experience. But first let me put it in its context.

We Must Do What Has Never Been Done Before.

It is no surprise that the anti-nuclear and environmental movements have joined forces with the spiritual/human potential ones. For as Ken Keyes (1982) points out in The Hundredth Monkey, the threat of nuclear disaster (we need also mention global environmental destruction) is a challenge to all of us . . . a challenge to go beyond the “us vs. them” kind of consciousness which has led us to the brink of catastrophe. As many of us know, we must raise our consciousness in a way that has not been demanded of humankind, as near as we can determine, on this planet ever before.

But Many of Us ARE Now Working to Get Beyond “Eye for an Eye” Thinking.

Now, many people have been working hard to do just that. Many of us have been working on ourselves to break free from those patterns of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” or, what it comes down to eventually, those patterns of “kill and be killed.” We’ve been doing it in many different ways.

As for myself, I have been involved in spiritual pursuits since 1968, especially meditation. As well, I have been intensively working on unraveling my negative patterns through the powerful experiential modalities of primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork beginning back in 1972. These, especially primal therapy, have been my ways of dealing with the particular negative conditioning into which I was “raised” and which keeps me stuck in behaviors and feelings that too often undermine my efforts to live a fully spiritual and loving life.

However, we all have our ways of trying to grow beyond that kind of negative programming. It is important to recognize that each of us is working in that same direction however we go about it. What I would like to share is an experience that happened to me while I was in the midst of trying to root out some of my conditioning. I believe that it may be helpful to others in their own struggling “heavenward.”

Sure It’s Hard

As most of us have come to realize who have been on this path for a while . . . who have been working at changing ourselves for a while . . . it is no easy task to change those very deep grids or programs. Rather, we discover that it requires a lot of work, dedication, and time.

The Task Is Immense for Our Point of Departure Is a Psychotic Culture.

The psychiatrist Theodore Isaac Rubin (1983), in his book on relationships titled One to One, points out that the divisive competitiveness and us-versus-them striving that we see predominating around us in Western culture is learned. He writes, “We compete, we fight wars, we are compulsively concerned about our hierarchical position relative to the next person, because we learn to be so through a psychotic culture passed on from one generation to the next” (p. 184).

The point is that this is where we are coming from. Our point of departure is a psychotic culture or, as Erich Fromm (1955) put it, an “insane society.” Many of us are trying to reverse this violent and crazy trend, but it is understandable that it would be hard to make a 180-degree turn in orientation — from aggression to peace, from competition to cooperation, from fear to love. Therefore, our culture is gradually coming to the realization that we are involved in a difficult process, and understandably so. Our culture is starting to realize the immensity of the task we are undertaking in trying to change our inherited and deleterious patterns.

“To Think That It Is Easy Is Probably To Be an Impostor.”

For example, Herb Goldberg (1983), a psychologist, points out in his book, The New Male-Female Relationship, especially in his section on “Transitions,” that to think that it is easy is probably to be an impostor (p. 134). He asserts that the people who are really making the changes in male-female relationships and becoming fuller human beings, you can expect, are struggling to do so . . . that it is a difficult process and takes time. In fact, Goldberg discusses at length his contention that real growth takes a lot of time and struggle, whereas “pseudo-growth” is the only kind of growing that occurs “overnight” and easily. (pp. 134-141)

So not only does it take time, but we discover that it is hardly ever pleasurable. What most of us have discovered is that the path to bliss leads sometimes through despair and hopelessness. As Hesse (1965) described it in Demian: the bird, in pecking his way out of his shell, must destroy a world before discovering a new one. No, it is not often pleasant to confront some of the darkest things within ourselves, as we must do if we are not to continually project them onto others and onto the world around us.

Continue with A Cosmic Slap: I Was Told “Once There Lived “Noble” Beings” and Now Is the Time for a Regeneration of Peoples to Regain What We Lost.

Return to Wounded Healers, Heroes, and the Group Mind: The Universe Bears Up and Rewards with Renewed Life Those who Voluntarily Sacrifice Themselves for All

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Moratorium … Let the Buck Stop Here! Rebirthing Rituals, Part 7: We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations

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It Was Hardly Narcissistic, It Was About Needing to Redo Everything from Scratch as a Rational Response to the Horrors We Saw Around Us: Sixties … Know Thyself!

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“Know Thyself” ~ “Narcissistic”?

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Self-Discovery, Soul-Searching, Psychological-Mindedness, Self-Analysis – Sixties Generation

clip_image0033So, we have taken a look at the need for societies to “do therapy” on themselves, to hash out and process, however messy that might seem to be, the perinatal projections from the unconscious, as they manifest in the tribulations of the times—both profound and mundane. It must be kept in mind that it is the products of nearly the most Painted Glass Ball Illusion“advanced” mode of butterfly-transformationchild-caring—the delegated-release subclass of the socializing psychoclass — who have proved most willing to pay such prices for peace, as for example, in increased soul-searching. In fact they would be later stigmatized for just this quality of introspection, this supposed fault of looking into themselves, through the derogatory appellation, narcissistic.

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Grof_AdventureSelf-Discoveryiconclip_image0053Indeed, Keniston foresaw this when he studied the Sixties generation as college students. Observing the amount of inner exploration they engaged in during their quests for self-discovery, he would describe this attribute in a biased way as “the overexamined life,” and more fairly, for the activist youth, as a “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis.” [Footnote 22]

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“Let It All Out? No, Leave Some of It In!” – Pat Buchanan, Fifties Generation

clip_image007_thumbNo doubt those who criticized these youth in the past are some of the same ones or their surrogates who, now older, are wrongly castigating the self-analyzing characteristics of contemporary society as the Sixties generation is now in its “triumphant” phase—the time when as adults a psychoclass takes over the reins of society and most strongly influences it. I have already taken note of the tendencies of the right to rile against the collective processing that is happening in their attacks on popular culture and in particular what they call “hollywood.” They express their desire that “such matters” not come to public light, for they deem them “offensive” or an affront to their (oh so delicate) sensibilities. 181264_233235313453542_936852846_nThey sense a threat to the precious untruths that prop up their self-destructive way of life, woven through as it is with war, fascism, planetary and planetmate annihilation, and the other horrors mushrooming about them in the postmodern era. [Footnote 23]

These highly defended and fear-minded conservatives, prone to projection, are incapable of appreciating the integrity of an inner-thinking generation like the Boomers are. These outer-minded authoritarians would not get, would outright hate those who “questioned authority” in the Sixties.

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clip_image0091These defended entrenched egos would be secretly jealous of and overtly aggressive to a generational emergence that since the Sixties has been psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually working on themselves to be free of inner tyranny. As one of their exemplars, Pat Buchanan, long ago phrased it, “Let it all out? No, leave some of it in!”

Let the Buck Stop Here!

CD_0094MillionProtestersDisappearNonetheless this cadre of kindred Sixties spirits would in their actions declare for the first time in history as a generation, “Let the buck stop here!” And they would seek to turn themselves, and by extension their children and society-at-large, into a more loving, wise, and less acting-out humanity…most importantly, one willing to cooperate rather than war with Nature, or other nations.

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If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

baker_conceptioniconwe.said.let.the.buck.stop.hereWhat virtually all the folks outside “my generation” never get is the unimpeachable vision we had of the complete and utter wrongness of the path and tendencies of modern times and the abyss toward which civilization was heading. We were proven right, of course, as especially in the last decade we have seen the disintegration wrought of those tendencies on all fronts—political, environmental, personal. The Sixties generation saw modern civilization as being unreformable and needing complete remaking, so that everything we did was an attempt to create reality and culture from scratch, sans tradition.

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We had seen normal ways of doing things to be impotent and often dangerous and most importantly leading to apocalyptic endings in our near future. This understanding is what was responsible for all the “non-normal” behaviors my generation displayed—communes, confrontations, clothes, relationships, organics, alternative ways of everything…an entire counterculture. We have been laughed at for essentially being ahead of the curve on the messages of modern events. We have been called crazy for our inconvenient prophecies, virtually all of which are now coming to pass.

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While I and my cohorts, to use just one example, spoke out on the dangers of nuclear energy and in particular the insanity of building plants on fault lines, the professional pundits scoffed and boasted they lived near nuclear plants. This was thirty years and more before the world ever heard the word, Fukushima. The examples like this are endless. We saw all these unworkable endings and asked ourselves, “What would be a real way of doing that?” “What would be a workable, sustainable way?” “What would be a sane and happy life, ethic, and lifestyle.” “What would be a loving, peaceful mode of being?”

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While we sought to redo culture from scratch, building it on perennial and unimpeachable principles, the threatened elders and the jealous youngers, who would soon enough come behind, poked fun from within the confines of their assured and comfortable wrongness. rainbowThey called us narcissistic for thinking we could look at ourselves and the world and dare to think we could change it from ancient ways. They thought we were making ourselves important that way, putting on airs, even. Actually we were shouldering responsibility we did not want—yearning for a simpler, less serious time—but which we accepted for the sake of all those who would come after, knowing their very existence depended on our actions. We took faith in the touchstone of love itself—the only thing that did not crumble under examination—and sought to bend all emerging along its outlines.

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candle.666655jpgSo our seeming impertinence was born of an inconvenient prompting, an unwanted vision now proving prophetic. It was hardly selfish, as many of the best of my generation paid the ultimate price and are no longer with us or they are imprisoned. It was hardly narcissistic as it was done out of love…for each other, for the peoples of all the world and of all the religions, for our children, for the planetmates and for the Nature of which we learned we were a part, and for the generations unborn.

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What others will never get is that our “overexamined life,” our “psychological-mindedness,” our perinatal propensities, and our soul-searching and self-analysis were not about being narcissistic. It was about needing to start everything anew as a rational response to the horrors we saw about us in our culture and in the world… horrors which we were correct in trying to address at the time. For their existence today, because of our inability to be completely successful in remedying them, are bringing about all the political, economic, and environmental armageddons I’ve been discussing in this, and its related, books. And we knew, and still know, that only some change huge and radical will help us, and for that we need to find and stand upon the deepest and firmest of ground within us. That is what we’ve been looking for, are still looking for…only now we have lots of company .

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Continue with Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits. Rebirthing Rituals, Part 8: A Drive to Healing, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and Millennial Promise

Return to Rebirthing Rituals, Part – 6: Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.

Footnotes

22. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.

23. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.”

Continue with Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits. Rebirthing Rituals, Part 8: A Drive to Healing, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and Millennial Promise

Return to Rebirthing Rituals, Part – 6: Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.

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Thanks to You We’re Getting Saner: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Four – The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History

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The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Four  I Know It’s Hard to Believe But We’ve Been Getting Saner

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Arthur Janov was also the first to note that the acting-out and overt neurotic was closer to being “real,” and therefore really sane, than his or her highly functioning and “normal,” but repressed, rigidly defended, and unfeeling neighbor. [Footnote 15]

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Evolution of Parenting – We’ve Been Getting Saner

Finally, the correctness of the view that being “crazy” in an insane world might be more sane has been borne out in recent history. DeMause describes an evolution of parenting from ancient times to the present which involved ever decreasing psychosis and violence and increasing caring and consciousness of the needs of children. He connects this decrease in violent child caring to ever decreasing violence and psychotic acting out in societies.

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DeMause labels the most common modern parenting mode the socializing mode. Short of the quite recent helping mode—which only really rose to prominence in the last three decades—the socializing mode is the most advanced and most humane.

Lest there be any confusion, I wish to point out that my own theoretical first_peopleunderstanding differs from deMause’s in one important respect. While I agree with his evolution of child-rearing over the course of civilization and within recorded time, I believe he is wrong about prehistory and what primal peoples were like and the kind of child-caring they engaged in. He depicts prehistoric societies as psychotically oblivious of the needs of children, engaging in, first, infanticidal; then, second, abandoning; then, third, ambivalent modes of child-rearing. Whereas it seems to me the overwhelming evidence and increasing numbers of anthropologists point to a natural “organic” child-caring being employed in the the mists of the past quite a bit more “advanced” than even many modes employed today.

kapstadt-wandern-mit-pavianenI believe the change from the loving parenting we see in many primal peoples and in Nature among many of our planetmates to the infanticidal, abandoning, and ambivalent modes he has described for early historic cultures is a product of that ever increasing control of Nature that went into full gear with the agrarian revolution, some ten to twenty-five thousand years ago. So, I am saying that brutal parenting was a consequence of “civilization” and was at its worst at the beginnings of recorded time.

But I agree we have been gradually evolving to better modes of child-caring over the history of civilization to the most sane and psychologically beneficial modes employed in recent decades, which, you might want to note, are very much like the modes of the earliest humans. I describe why and how we lost our connection with Nature and loving ways of parenting—how we left “Eden”—in my book and blog “The Great Reveal.”

The Cycles of Time

I believe my understanding shows once again how much of what modern folks thought of “development”—including it being linear and increasing from “darkness” to “light” with ourselves always at the top (conveniently)—is wrong and merely part of an anthropocentric bias and an ethnocentric heritage. For more and more, as we lay down those blinders to reality, we notice the evidence of the cyclical nature of everything—from our lives (ashes to ashes) to the physical Universe’s expansion and contraction, to the vibrations at the subatomic level, the waves in the sea, the turning of the Earth and the revolutions of the solar systems, and I contend now also, the so-called “history” of our species on Earth. This is the thoroughly postmodern idea that human time is also cyclical, with over and again peoples returning to earlier halcyon times only to “fall” away from them.

The Worst of Times Quality of Current Events

This idea of time as cyclical not linear is in keeping with Eastern philosophies, as well as indigenous ones. Hindu thinking currently has us at the depths of the Kali Yuga, the worst part of the cycle right now, with matters to be reversed very soon and the best of times just ahead. And, as I have been describing in my books Falls from Grace and Primal Renaissance and will be directly pointing out in my upcoming book, Primal Return, we are currently seeing a most necessary return to a more harmonious way of being and a more natural self. And with it, requiring it, to some extent preceding it, we are evolving to the most advanced mode of loving parenting.

The “Best of Times” Nature of Our Parenting

Psychohistorian Glenn Davis, following deMause, analyzed the most advanced form of child-caring short of the most recent helping mode—the psychogenic parenting mode deMause termed socializing—and found that it comprised four submodes. In order, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century and each one a more “evolved” and humane one than the previous one, they are the submodes of psychic control, aggressive training, vigorous guidance, and delegated release. [Footnote 16]

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Oh, Be-HAVE. WWII Generation … Received Aggressive-Training and Vigorous-Guidance Parenting

Davis concluded that in America the Vietnam War was perpetrated by individuals belonging almost entirely to the aggressive-training and vigorous-guidance psychoclasses. [Footnote 17]

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Questioning Authority and Oneself Is Good. Boomers … Received Delegated Release Parenting

clip_image0048065543_origYet the Vietnam War was brought to an end largely as a result of the efforts of an antiwar movement whose largest component was a Sixties youth brought up under a more advanced delegated-release child-caring mode. [Footnote 18]

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The delegated release mode, which resulted in the phenomenon of Sixties youth and the counterculture, is the most “advanced” mode short of the helping mode.

Robert Altman at Altamont 1969

“Let’s Collaborate” – Millennials. Received the Most Advanced Parenting – Helping … “We Just Want You to Be Happy.”

trust-father-sonboyjumpintomanshandsclip_image006The helping mode is the child-caring mode employed widely by the Sixties generation for their children, the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y. So, a helping mode of parenting was enjoyed by the children of a delegated-release psychoclass, the Boomers. Sixties youth are seen, psychologically, to have the most the most “advanced” ego structures short of their children taught within a helping mode. [Footnote 19]

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Continue with What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide – Peace Is Painful: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Five – But Better Psychotic Than Warring

Return to Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Three – Auspicious Collective Regressions

Footnotes

15. Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. New York: Dell, 1970.

16. Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1976.

17. Ibid., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and the Youth Revolt,” and p. 240.

18. Ibid.

19.Ibid., p. 241.

Continue with What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide – Peace Is Painful: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Five – But Better Psychotic Than Warring

Return to Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Three – Auspicious Collective Regressions

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People Who Have It All Figured Out Are the Ones to Watch Out For … Emotional “Sickness” Might Indicate More “Wellness”: Rebirthing Rituals, Part 3

Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Three – Auspicious Collective Regressions

Circle Ceremony

Regression in the Service of the Ego

With the exposure of the ineffectiveness of the Freudian tactic of intellectual understanding has come the Freudian movement’s disintegration into schools advocating various other strategies for change.

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doctor-handing-pills-to-a-patientEponahorsegoddessThese schools/strategies include the psychiatric—the use of drugs; the neo-Freudians who acknowledge and use regression in the service of the ego and abreaction; the humanistic-existential approaches, stressing the “experiential”; and the Jungians and neo-Jungians, who would seek the resolution of these cycles in their inner archetypal acting out, resulting in an eventual rootedness of the ego in a higher Self (a spiritual center) beyond or transcending the cycles. [Footnote 9]

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cant.luxury.negative.thoughtOther approaches include the bulk of the spiritual, new-age, or transpersonal means that are flourishing these days. These alternative paths basically differ from all others in their belief that one can simply bypass these perinatal pulls and pushes and go directly to the Light or the Self by dismissing the birth cycles, or the Darkness or Shadow, through affirming the Light, meditating the Darkness out or the Light in, changing one’s thoughts, creating one’s reality, and various combinations of these.

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normal_ButterflyOfHealingFINAL_LG_Jpg2Finally, these newer schools and strategies for healing include those of what might be called experiential psychotherapy, which includes primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, some forms of (experiential) meditation (Vipassana meditation, for example), Reichian and healingcrisisbioenergetic approaches, some forms of hypnotherapy—experiential ones—ones that involve reliving traumas—and virtually all the techniques, treatments, and correctives that are espoused in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology.

reunionThe point is that from a good number of these other-than-Freudian perspectives—and all of those that acknowledge the importance of 947867-lightdarkness_largeregression in the service of the ego—and from the perspective of the entire field of experiential psychotherapy, the answer to the cycles of violence, war, and death-rebirth is to stop the acting out, not by simply intellectually decrying it—as if one can actually talk oneself out of one’s inner fears and one’s Darkness/Shadow—but by reliving those cycles of violence at their origins…their primal roots. In the case of perinatal forces, those forces from “the dark side,” this is accomplished by reliving the violence of birth, a perinatal trauma that is thoroughly and masterfully delineated by Grof and deMause. [Footnote 10]

Auspicious Collective Regressions

But from this perspective of experiential psychotherapy—one completely congruent with and grateful of deMause’s contributions in psychohistory as well—regression, in Europe, or elsewhere, is not seen as something to decry, disclaim, be horrified of, or be seen as dangerous but is seen as an opportunity. Regression is certainly not seen as a form of defense but as the opposite of that. Regression is part of a process of diminishing one’s defenses against one’s internal reality of pain and trauma.

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Thus, examples of blatant collective regression as in Europe—more so to the extent they are relived, released, and integrated—are entirely auspicious for the eventual elimination of war as a collective device of acting out—defending against—the painful feelings coming from one’s personal history which one carries around, all unknowingly, and which pervade, in one way or another, in forms subtle and not so subtle, every moment of one’s consciousness in the present.

From this experiential psychotherapeutic perspective, we have a different feeling about developments like those that Mayr and Boelderl describe as collective regression in Europe and Lawson describes as occurring at rock concerts. [Footnote 11]

From a more enlightened viewpoint these cultural phenomena should have us, if not dancing in the streets, at least hopeful of a gradual decrease in the use of war and violence. Why? It is because the youth who display this “regression” so blatantly were brought up by an “advanced” form of child-rearing than that of previous generations, that they have fewer defenses, fewer layers of obfuscation covering up their unconscious psychodynamics; consequently the regression is seen more clearly in their behavior. [Footnote 12]

Unflinching Belief Related to Total Dissociation

Why is this important? DeMause points out that people do go to war, and that prior to it their perinatal dynamics come to the fore, as evidenced by perinatal-laden words and images in the media and in leaders’ speeches used to describe the situation and its dynamics. Thus, our leaders take us into war, they act out their perinatal dynamics…and we in following them act out ours…in such gruesomely overt ways because these dynamics are so hidden, repressed, and overlaid with defenses that the conscious mind has absolutely no access to, and hence insight into, them as being part of one’s unconscious dynamics.

clip_image008Consequently the conscious mind is completely able to convince itself that those dynamics are actual, real, and doubtless parts of the situation and therefore require an actual, real, and extreme response. The amount of resolve required to act out war can only be wrought of an unflinching belief in the rightness, the absolute correctness of one’s perspective of the situation and therefore of that extreme course of response. And that can only be brought about by a total dissociation from one’s perinatal traumas, and a complete and utter projection of it on the outside—the enemy, to be specific.

Blatant “Sickness” Related to Being Real

The contrary is also true: When there does not exist that total and complete dissociation of the perinatal trauma—when it is, as in Europe and rock concerts currently, closer to the surface, less defended against, less repressed and, hence, more blatant—it is more accessible to consciousness and less likely to be acted out in the extreme as in war. Instead it is more likely to be acted out in less extreme forms, such as jumping into mosh pits, carrying pacifiers, listening to baby tunes about the, very real, difficulties of being a baby, and so on.

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Finally, it is more likely to be actually allowed to emerge in consciousness and be relived, and thereby “healed”…and gone beyond, to be replaced by something more benign and more socially constructive, and thus to be removed forever as a motivation to war or violence. This is the auspicious view of the developments described by Mayr and Boelderl. [Footnote 13]

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Janov was the first to point out that a permanent resolution of underlying trauma initially entailed an aggravation of symptoms and symbolic acting out. That is to say, the underlying dynamics become more blatant and apparent in behavior. [Footnote 14]

Janov was also the first to note that the acting-out and overt neurotic was closer to being “real,” and therefore really sane, than his or her highly functioning and “normal,” but repressed, rigidly defended, and unfeeling neighbor. [Footnote 15]

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Footnotes

9. Regarding the “experiential,” I should make clear that this approach is, from the perspective of the experiential psychotherapeutic approach I will be describing shortly, actually the superficial symbolic acting out of these underlying and powerful cycles in a way that is only a little less impotent than the Freudians.

10. DeMause, op. cit., 1995.

11. Alvin H. Lawson, “Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1994): 335-353.

12. Mayr and Boelderl claim quite wrongly and quite strangely—as if to make the facts not conflict with DeMause’s psychogenic theory, or as if to cover up some hole in their analysis—that those caught up in the pacifier craze were raised under the intrusive and socializing parenting modes (op. cit., 1993, p. 145) and yet, in 1992, were between the ages of 15 and 30 (Ibid., p. 143). This is hard to understand because these youth would have been born between the years 1962 and 1977 in advanced Western countries of mostly Western Europe—Italy, Germany, Austria, all of Europe, and even the U.S. (Ibid.).

However, the intrusive and socializing modes are associated, by DeMause, with the eighteenth century and the nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, respectively, in the Western world (DeMause, op. cit., 1982, p. 62). On the other hand, the helping mode begins mid-twentieth century in the Western world (Ibid., p. 63).

The conclusion from this is that these youth, described by Mayr and Boelderl, would have been greatly influenced by the helping mode. They would be expected, at least, to have received the most advanced methods of child-caring overall in the world at this time—considering DeMause’s theory—since they are the most recent progeny of the Western world!

Indeed, if these cannot be considered products of the helping mode, who can be? In order for Mayr and Boelderl to dispute this and claim they were exceptions to the rule and were raised under intrusive and socializing modes, they would have had to do a study demonstrating this, or at least cite one done. And this they do not do.

13. Michael D. Adzema, “Reunion With the Positive (Self), Part 1: The Other Half of ‘The Cure.’” Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology 1(2): 72-85. Reprinted on the Primal Spirit site.

14. Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. New York: Dell, 1970.

15. Ibid.

Continue with The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History: Rebirthing Rituals, Part Four – I Know It’s Hard to Believe But We’ve Been Getting Saner

Return to Railing Against the Darkness: The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, Progress Requires Regress, and Healing Is Nothing if Not Messy

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All We Are Saying Is Give the Universe a Chance … Darkness Creates the Very Light to Dispel It: Part Two of 32nd Prasad from Planetmates, Human Redemption — Facing Darkness

Faith and Benevolence … “It Would Drive Me Crazy,” You Say. As if You Are Not Already Crazy. Part 2 of 32nd Prasad from the Planetmates, Human Redemption – Facing Darkness

You are aware at some level that Reality is this way. It is what you refer to as God being All-Merciful and All-Forgiving. But hear us that you by no means have to wait till after you have died to experience that. It is available to you at any moment.

Faith and Benevolence, Part Two of Elaboration of The Thirty-Second Prasad: Human Redemption—Facing Darkness

At any rate, in fleeing the possibility of overwhelming fear (this delusion of yours), you flee ordinary fear, helpful fear, the fear that catapults the good you do: Darkness creates the very Light to dispel it; just as Light needs a Darkness for it even to exist. Yet you are fascinated by horror, not horrified by it. You turn from your fears, then you project them—more twisted and horrible for you viewing them indirectly now—onto the dramas of screen and into your imaginings of doings of those unlike you. And you are fascinated with them in this altered form—not connected to you in any way. You need to take back these projections of horror onto screen and scapegoated others and realize they exist within you. You need to be horrified at the Reality you are creating. Only then will you be motivated to write a different script, a more wonderful one. And it would be that much more wonderful inspired by and propelled by this fear that is natural in view of this horror of your making.

So, no. Love is not letting go of fear. Love is facing real fear so one might be able to do something about what is causing it. Concern for the welfare of those other than oneself is what would motivate one to do that. And that is the very definition of Love. No. Apathy is letting go of fear. Insensitivity is letting go of fear. And this is the path you most assuredly plod at this moment. Whereas, being conscious of the darkness, and only then…that is, with the darkness and suffering in mind and motivating the best possible alternative of good to negate that, knowing that is the correct thing to do…is Faith. So, actually it is only Faith that is the letting go of fear.

You say, “I can’t stand it.” You say that because you fear it would be overwhelming. With Faith, you know that you never ever receive more than you can handle. That is the Nature of Reality. It is a benevolent Reality—a helping and comforting one—giving you only that which you can handle at any time and for the purpose of your higher good and ever expanding en-joy-ment. It can not help but be assistive in your overall, long term happiness because it is not, as you in wrong-gettedness have made it, separate from you. It IS you. You ARE it. So how can it not be on your side? How can it not want the greatest joy for you since it IS you? And it is only by thinking that you are separate that you can have such a thing as self-defeating behavior, self-destruction…or suicide—those peculiar inventions of you.

It is simple. You need to give the Universe a chance. Have faith that you can “stand” it, that the Universe does not contain things you cannot “stand,” things that would somehow “destroy” you or make you deranged. For right there with your assertion that you would not be able to “stand” it is the refrain, “It would drive me crazy!” Seriously? As if you you are not already crazy. As if it is not “crazy” to run from helpful fear and try to manifest a light that has no darkness and that continues unending. Not only is that impossible, but how could it not be the most boring kind of hell imaginable?

No, this being “destroyed” or made mad by emotions cannot happen. In fact, you are made mad by NOT letting yourselves have these natural emotions. Chopping up your experience that way into pieces—some of which you are desperate for and others of which you must not acknowledge lest you be “destroyed”—is exactly that disintegration that you call madness.

So it is that madness you already have that causes you to think that what you need to do and would be the most beneficial to you overall is the opposite of that. It is your delusion and magnified fear that makes you think any experience can ever “destroy” or “derange” you. And on the contrary, in trying to “stand” it—your fear, guilt, shame, and so on—you will find how benevolent the Universe is, once again. You are aware at some level that Reality is this way. It is what you refer to as God being All-Merciful and All-Forgiving. But hear us that you by no means have to wait till after you have died to experience that. It is available to you at any moment.

So, you need just to resist the running away, the turning from the important things. You need to face it, “stand” it, so you can learn you can with-“stand” it. “Stand” in place and embrace your natural fear as you would the savior it is. You need to follow this fear to its source, which is the precarious state we are in in which All, including yourselves, is at this moment falling over a precipice into a deep abyss. In allowing your fear to inform you, it will show you that dark abyss. And into it you must stare. You must not shrink from looking deeply into that void. For from it emanates the grandest and noblest of intents and motivations. It is only by taking in the darkness that you can engage in manifesting that which is light, or good, or life-affirming.

The Thirty-Second Prasad: Human Redemption – Facing Darkness

For you have damned yourself in what you have done, and you are pulling all of Nature on this planet in with you. So you need the saving and the reconciliation with Nature implied in redemption. For that, you need face and embrace your plight. You need look into the darkness you have created.

Only by turning toward the darkest of nights that you have pulled over us can you discern the brightest of brights that lies at its center. Your evil is capable of catapulting the greatest of good. This we need you to do for the sake of all. But the most important thing is that in this way lies your salvation.

Continue with Like a Prodigal Son, You Are Being Invited Back Into Eden … Can You Accept a “Friendly Universe”? Part 3 of 32nd Prasad, Human Redemption – Facing Darkness

Return to To Reconcile with Nature You Need Humility and to Stop Projecting Your Unreal Malevolence Onto the Universe, Say Planetmates: Part 1 of The 32nd Prasad, Human Redemption — Facing Darkness

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The Rise of “Obvious Truths” … Creating a (Not So) American Life: Stolen Elections, Crazy-Making Social Processes, and Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine: Creating an American Life

Power vs. Passion, Money vs. Authenticity – Opposing Ways of Changing America

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Opposing Ways of Changing America – Passion vs. Power, Authenticity vs. Money

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In the last half century, Americans have experienced unprecedented changes hippiesimages (11)in their lives, their lifestyles, in what it means to be alive and a human in America in these times. Rarely have societies experienced this kind of change. What is even more astounding is the way the changes send us shooting dramatically in one way and then in the other direction.

Of course it is amazing that people are able to manage these kinds of change. But we don’t do this easily.

Let us look at the side-to-side careening of American life in that time and where we are today in that.

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Creating an America Worthy of its Name

In introducing “Obvious Truths,” I talked about how politicians and leaders can only do so much and that the effects of their words are often fleeting. I said that social change that’s either reinforced or carried forward, or even initiated, by something like music or something that affects your feelings, can be greater and longer lasting. The powerful feelings that are stirred this way can affect people for their whole lives and even have influence for generations. I mentioned that these emotional influences reach more deeply into people because feelings exist at a deeper level of the brain undergirding words, thought, or even reason.

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Finally, keep in mind that this is titled the rise and fall of “obvious truths.”

Obvious “Truth” – “Money Changes Everything”…. Really? … Only?

So I’m gonna start looking over what has transpired so far. I said at the beginning there was a title, one that pointed to the power and grandeur of these social movements.Occupy Madrid I wrote at the time that if the title’s claim–casting ordinary folks, along with revolutionary art, as the instigators of grand movements…the people of the Sixties and the music of bands like the Beatles, for example—sounds silly or trite to you that you are operating out of social prejudices we all carry from childhood, like most people do, particularly around status.

img_0168-2~s1000x1000And by that I meant we have a tendency to assume that it is money that changes everything and that ordinary folks have little power without it.

For example, we assume that artists and musicians can’t affect anything. They more often arise from non-affluent beginnings; we have the term, starving artist, for example. Their power in society is considered to be as minimal as their finances.

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“Real World” vs. “Flaky”

But this is not true—that is what I’m getting at. For, has the power of people been created with money, solely? Well, I think there’s a tendency to think it is.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Not long ago, America and I went through such a change arising artistically from the masses. The Beatles affected us in such a great way that we were changed forever and society’s traditional momentum in a direction benefiting its moneyed royalty was stopped and even reversed. Their music and that of those like them changed the world in terms of the way we saw peace. The way we saw love. The way we saw drugs. The way we saw tolerance of other people…the way we looked at other people.

Status and Money, More Than Ever, Determining What Is “Real”

But I’m not going to go too far there, because that’s all coming up, too. I’m roflbot6-1just saying that we do have these preconceptions about status and money that affects what we think is more important or powerful. It affects what we think of as “real” and “real world” versus what is considered silly or superfluous … “flaky” … “kumbaya.”

I was talking earlier about how, these days, it seems like only people with money have power. Everybody knows that and assumes it can only be that way. This is so because many people today have not had the experience of seeing it being different than that.

The Exception That Reveals the Rule

There is one exception and as it happens this exception does reveal the rule.

The Blue Meanies Dissed, Dismissed

For Obama’s rise to the presidency was startling, shocking even, because it imagesnnnwas a unique phenomenon for this time. It was a grand and sweeping phenomenon because people got a chance, for the first time in a long time, to see that ordinary folks getting together could effect massive change…without the power of gobs of money. We can recall how his campaign was largely done over the internet and with small contributions. People could feel again, some for the first time, that they had the power in their passion and numbers to throw off the shackles of the filthy rich. Unbelievable.

Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not

Creating an America That Is Not – Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate

Creating an America That Is Not

Obama’s success was astounding, but look what it took! Look at what had to happen before a Democrat, Obama, and the first African-American ever, could win the presidency. It only came about after a long time of national suffering, disgrace, war, loss of life, incompetence, cronyism, scandal, atrocity, erosion of rights, squandering of money, tragedy, and more. Bush was in the presidency for a full eight years; he actually got to steal a second election.

The Blue Meanies – Stolen Election

It is clear that Bush’s first term was not won fairly. Even putting aside the intimidation of black voters in Florida and similar unfair and illegal practices perpetrated by Republicans, we still have the fact that Bush was given the presidency by a decision of the Supreme Court. Our history records how vote counting was stopped before the outcome could be determined; the Supreme Court decided on a winner, Bush; and subsequently the vote tally came out that Gore had actually won the presidency! These are simply the facts, the things not in dispute.

The Rule Itself—Money Changes Everything.

The facts of Bush’s second election are less well known; in fact they are more assiduously covered up. Still, in the vote tally against John Kerry it should not have even been close…but for more obscure reasons.

There is plenty of documented public evidence that the electronic voting machines were fixed, making the outcome fraudulent. The machines were owned by Diebold Corporation, a firm solidly in the Republican camp, the head of which promised the Republicans, before the election, that he was going to get Bush elected. I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty much an admission that the voting machines were going to be fixed?

And in fact this is what they discovered to have taken place.

Now, is this not the kind of thing that in the past would have brought people out into the streets? [Footnote 1]

Anyway, it was confirmed, to some extent even prior to the election, that even a person walking by with an iPhone or something similar could hack into these electronic voting machines and change the votes. That is, if they had the correct access information. And the only ones who had that and therefore could decide the vote tally were the Diebold Corporation in league with the Republicans. Is it any wonder Bush “won”?

The Battleground for America

“Only people know just how to change the world.” – J. Lennon

So the two things of relevance in this example are that in previous times this would have brought people out into the streets, would have caused people to rise up in outrage against authority when it was found out.

The Duty, and Failure, of the Press

Which brings out the second relevant point: The public’s power could be stirred only by these facts coming out and becoming widely known. This information did come out; entire popular books were written describing how and that it was done. It came out in the broadcast media as well.

It is unlikely that you know that, however. That can only be because it wasn’t told enough in the media, that it was downplayed in the media, covered up, or the media directed your attention away from it. And that is the problem I’m getting at.

Changing America by Changing its People

But you see there’s another thing that happened. Even with a responsible media you have to have a citizenry that is open to this kind of information and able and willing to process it and draw conclusions from it. That is what I will be addressing now.

Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies

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Creating a (Not So) American Life: Your Mind Made Fertile For the Planting of Lies

Thousands turn out at the State Capitol to rally against Obama policies, huge deficits, bigger government and higher taxes.  Corneliu Constantinescu (CQ) wears tea bags on his hat at the rally on the steps of the Capitol.</p><p> Photo by Doug Beghtel/ The Oregonian

Going back, I was saying we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience ever fending off inner and outer information, clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.

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Thinking About There Not Being Enough Time to Think

But you know sometimes you have a chance to kick back and not be caught up in the struggle to survive. You have a chance to reflect on your circumstances, your prejudices, and to re-evaluate matters. jacob-and-the-angelYou have leisure time in which to do more than survive, to actually re-create, re-new yourself, and to grow in wisdom so you are not so blinkered by the blinders of the comfortable ignorance of grade-school propaganda and other early conditionings, prejudices. So society benefits both through your productivity but also through the fact that you have leisure time to become a wiser social actor. You have this leisure time….

Or, do you?

Well, not too long ago we had more leisure time, let’s put it that way. We had more leisure time; we had more time to pause and reflect. So some things might occur to us that were different than what we originally thought…than our preconceived notions; we might actually change our mind about things if we thought about them. I am not saying that was what everybody did all the time or anything like that. I am saying it could happen, and it happened more. So I’m saying that a lot has changed.

Well, you don’t think we have less leisure time? If you are much younger than me, you probably don’t know. But I am old enough to know that I have never seen Americans so busy…so busy and so preoccupied.

18 Ritual dance of the drummer boy.larger

Climbing Down the Ladder of Your Todo List

Backing up, so imagine you or somebody like you is saying, “Ah, naw naw naw, naw, y’know, musicians, ordinary folks, they can’t do anything; they’re not politicians, they’re not powerful, they’re not rich!” Ok?simpsonarrivingfuturetime But this person or you may not have had occasion to actually pause your life…to step back from the twenty-four hour climbing down the ladder of your todo list to success. Y’know?

How long is your todo list by the way? Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated…you’d see people that were really striving …trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

Forms Fill Up Free Time…”Fax It Over, I’ll Look At It.”

There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed “free time” of the average American. Man! What the hell is with that!?

Now they can blame it on computers; they can say it’s because we have more information and they can store larger amounts of it electronically, and they can put more… aw, c’mon, it’s people deciding that you have to fill things out and that you have to get and give more and more and more and more information, this is a lot of time!

Did you ever buy a house?pile-150x150 You sign that Sisyphian hill of documents? I can only just imagine the day when there was just a deed, signed over. I’m not that old.

So, with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We got a lot of red tape, we got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…

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Taxes to Twist You With

DSC_0299_20060815And part of that paperwork … probably the worst part, if you’re like me, is due to the complex and contradictory tax codes. Part of the leisure time lost disappears into the black hole around tax forms. Seriously, I am old enough to have seen taxes get more contradictory and complex over the years. In fact the tax codes are rather convoluted abominations twisting themselves to benefit corporate special interest, with little or no rationale even presented to explain why these special interests should be benefited. TwistedGrowth (2)And this sort of corporate special interest input into tax codes has just exploded over the years.

In the previous times, such things as a benefit to any special interest were usually presented to the legislature, and the public, in a particular way to justify them. You can just imagine like, in some kind of bargaining session in Congress, they would say, “Well, if we provide a break here, that’ll result in benefits over in this sector…” Or they might say, “…and it benefits our economy as a whole, which will…” and they might add a few elements into the equation before the inevitable, “it’ll benefit the average American or be a boon to our society as a whole.” And the reaction, we imagine, would be like, “Aw, yeah, yeah…ok.” Then it’s good; it’s approved.

Crazy-Making Social Processes Aid Manipulation

But over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.

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sarahpalinYou have probably all heard the story. You call up the tax adviser, you have a question about how to fill something out…how to do something. And you’ll ask one person and they’ll tell you one thing; and then you call back and you get a different person and they’ll tell you something entirely different; then if you call again, somebody else will tell you something again … all different. Well, this is crazy-making.

And that crazy-making takes up your time; and it makes you worry more…and, well, it works itself into your time to ponder things, especially important things.

The Planting of Lies – The Rise of “Obvious Truths”

So, the tax code is hopelessly brain dead, and everyone knows it. Any former link to fairness, reasonableness, or coherency has been severed; it has become a coffin into which anything can be thrown and in which any corporate wish can be granted. So the country has now turned completely into the hands of the corporations, ok?

The Money Changing Everything

And with corporations firmly backing Republicans, the Democrats in every election that I can recall, especially in the presidential elections, always were way underfunded and the GOP overfunded because the Rich-publicans were carrying the wishes of those corporations into the board rooms of Congress along with their huge amounts of money.

Corporations invest in America (government).

But these payoffs were small investments to corporations, relative to the benefits they would get in the changes in government policy which affected them. Republicans were…It was obvious…it was all on public record…were getting huge amounts of money going into their campaign coffers and were way overfunded. One hell of a lot of money was put toward putting and keeping Republicans in office. It was not even a fair fight.

Democrats not wanting to be totally disarmed

So with no hope then…and this is what I saw happen…Democrats, who were still wanting to work for a better America and therefore better government, were forced into a choice of either continuing to rely only on contributions from the American people–as for example unions, keeping them woefully underfunded, and therefore losing…or to accept what was being offered them also by corporations.

So you began to have some Democrats making compromises with their principles and accepting some corporate money. Though even then it remained true that for the most part Democrats are funded by unions and organizations dealing with issues, like education, health care, seniors, jobs, and so on that affect the average American.

Now, this is where I get to one of those Big Lies, one of those concocted untruths that end up everyone just knowing to be true.

Obvious “Truth” – Politicians Are Like the People We Want Others to Think We Are Like (But Aren’t)…Like Who We Pretend to Be

To make this point, I need to back up to that thing related to convoluted tax codes and corporations. I was saying that eventually it was getting to where a huge increase in that problem could be attributed to corporations not even having to justify that the paybacks they wanted were good for America anymore. How did this happen?

Breaking news—Politicians are human.

Well, we have the situation mentioned where eventually Democrats were virtually required to accept corporate money or else they had no chance to win election. Naturally then, they had to produce at least a little for their benefactor corporations as well.

People can still be good, even if not Mother-Theresa good.

It is crucial to keep in mind the fact that Democrats were not getting near as much money from corporations as Republicans, by and large, and they remained largely staying afloat through contributions from unions and from organizations of masses of people pushing issues of overall social benefit. So Democrats were backed for the most part by actual people not corporations; still they had to produce something for the overlords.

Alright, so it happened that Democrats would seek to strengthen their overall hand to accomplish beneficial things for society by tossing occasional bones of tax concessions to their corporate backers. They would go to their gop counterparts and would want something in the tax code, for example. And the Republicans would say, “Well you want that? Well, I’ll give you that, you give me this.” So it could not help but happen that taxes and public policy got more and more convoluted in conforming to these complications and outright contradictions. We saw this increasingly over the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Obvious “Truth” – Both Parties Funded by Special Interests

But Republicans were always seen as the ones who were representing various corporations and what were called the special interests–defense, big agriculture, big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, and so on.

But then this is what also happened: This huge lie was created, becoming a big part of the Matrix, the Matrix of confusion that was being put out to cover up truth. This lie was impossible to make out, blocked out by an omnipresent media saying all the same thing, in rather like this monotone voice almost like Pravda in the old days of the Soviet Union. I saw this happen too. You no longer had differences of opinion you just had the same thing being said.

Anyway, this Big Lie, firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix as to be both invisible and therefore unchallengeable even by rational arguments…this lie, and I’m sure you’ve heard it is that: Well, both parties are funded by special interests!

Democrats funded by a special interest—people

Now, of course, you know you’ve got Big Oil and Big Coal, and you’ve got the Pharmaceuticals and the Defense Industry and they’re funding the Republicans, and they would come back and say, “Special interests?! Well you Democrats have them too. What about your unions? You’re being funded by them!”

Well let’s just take the unions for starters, ok? Seriously, the unions as special interests? The unions?

Republicans funded by non-people—corporations

Ok, let me step back. We got corporations, which are a few people getting rich and it’s not even benefiting people. They’re not even including the people who work at the corporations, because they’re union people, maybe, or else they’re non-union people but they’re certainly not making any money off of what the corporations are getting in laws and benefits from their paid-for Republican representatives.

Obvious “Truth” – Unions Are a “Special” Interest

So, what is a special interest now? Ok, so, is the American public a special interest? Wait, I thought the government was supposed to be for the people. Now if the people are workers, primarily; and at one time there was a lot of them that were union workers, ok? But even if they’re not union workers, aren’t the unions aiming for benefits for their membership that also carries over to the non-union workers? If the unions are able to get medical benefits, for example, which is one big thing that they pushed for, well then it became common for all workers to get medical benefits.

Is it a “special” interest if it benefits virtually everyone?

Ok…that’s a special interest? I thought special interest was something that was against the interests of the American people and it was only going to benefit a certain small segment, a certain handful of people. That’s why it’s called special, isn’t it? But there’s the Republicans saying, “Oh, they’re unions, workers benefits are for unions.” And I just wonder if the unions are just a handful of people, who the hell is making all the stuff in America, who’s building the buildings, who’s…? Geez! I think you got the point.

For, I’m sure you’ve all heard it, and I’m sure you’ve all accepted it that “unions are special interests.” But I just don’t get it how…well maybe I don’t have a high paying job, or anything like that. But I work…doesn’t everybody?..I’m a working person and unions aren’t against me. I just wish there were more unions, so that whenever I would have a job or something like that I could have one to represent me against the powerful corporate owners.

Put out to cover up and confuse

So here, quite clearly, we have one of those obvious “truths” put out to cover up and confuse clear thinking: Unions are a special interest.

Obvious “Truth” – Education Is a “Special” Interest

But what else is a “special interest” for Democrats? Oh, it’s the teacher’s union or stuff like that, or, education.

Oh, great! So, what is that again? So education is for who now? Ok, now that’s a special interest. Mmmm hm. That’s a special interest? Does that mean that there are like only a few people that have kids that need education?

Education is a “special” interest…it is only for those who own brains.

I’m starting to get sick here. I don’t quite get it. I mean I’ m getting confused, you know what I mean. This is what I’m talking about, this is that irrationality: Special interest, education? Aw, c’mon, c’mon, I want to say.

An America without people is an America that doesn’t need education.

I mean, c’mon, aw, c’mon, somebody, somebody point out that education is not a special interest. It’s… Jesus! We won’t have an America in the future unless we have kids!

Don’t need education…it doesn’t matter if stupid people make our corporate and governmental decisions. *sarcasm*

Not to mention how can it be a special interest if were we to give more money to education, we would have better educated people growing up…these people would even benefit the corporations by being better corporate employees. They would, in fact, benefit all of society by making better decisions.

I kind of think we have an idea of what a big difference intelligence makes… what a big difference it is when you have intelligent people running things and when you don’t.

We kind of know how that works (stupid people running things).

For didn’t we have a kind of a little contrast there; didn’t we have a kind of a little experiment in that recently? I believe it had to do with C-student Bush…if you remember some things like Katrina and things like that…or maybe what hits you is something about a huge costly war that…well, it was gotten into on false grounds, illegally, we were lied to…but the whole matter and even the conduct of it, wasn’t it all rather…stupid what happened?

Bush gets presidency—kind of like he won the lottery.

Such things that happened under Bush are incompetencies that never happened before. Never! Not even under Republicans. We got Bush here, taking more time off from the presidency than any president in history…it was kind of like he thought he won the lottery or something. Didn’t even bother to look like he had a job to do. Wasn’t his first press conference something like ten months after he was sworn in?

Obama gets presidency—kind of like he got a job!

Now, contrast that with Harvard Law Review editor Obama. How many press conferences did he have after taking office? How frequently have you seen him on the job? He’s handling some of the biggest problems this country has every had. And people are impressed that he can do it. And there’s so much of it. So, isn’t intelligence kind of a good thing for us all?

Anyway. You get the point. Education a special interest? Seriously now.

Obvious “Truth” – The Sick and the Elderly Are “Special” Interests

How about medical care? Health and life are not for the common good. God, no, we don’t need medical care, that’s a special interest, that’s just for them people who get sick…and I’m starting to get sick here, I mean, y’know, for people who get sick? C’mon!

Health care is a special interest…it’s only for people who have bodies.

And, it’s like, “Oh, no, no, it’s not just for those people who get sick, it’s those people who have to pay medical bills.” Oh, I see, then that must be just for…. Who’s gotta pay medical bills, again? Well none of us have to pay medical bills, it’s all free, right? Nooo, it’s not.

The elderly are a special interest…it only benefits those who are affected by time.

And is it really necessary to point out that seniors and the retired are not a special interest? I suppose if you’re thinking the current group is the last humans ever to reach an advanced age it would limit their numbers some.

So unless we all suddenly stop getting older, help to the elderly and the retired is help to us all; it is not special. Am I not right?

Obvious “Truth” – Democrats and Republicans Are Equal

So, where do you hear anybody pointing this out? I don’t know but if you’re hearing the same media and TV coverage that I am, you’re hearing that they’re equal. The Democrats and Republicans are equal because they’re equally funded by special interests, and the special interests…. What are these special interests again? Well, sometimes it’s like, “What are those special interests?” “Well, it’s the union, and the education, and it’s the medical care.” Oh, geez, just listen sometimes.

Obvious “Truth” – Corporations fund the elections of both Republicans and Democrats.

And by the way, I said this was the rise and fall. The idea that both parties are funded by huge corporations, what they call large donor contributors, was blatantly revealed as the lie it is during the 2008 presidential election.

Remember, contrasted with Republican McCain’s funding from those real special interests–that related to Big Business and Defense…what Eisenhower termed the military-industrial complex…Democrat Obama ran a campaign in 2008 where the donations were voluntarily capped at an unusually low level. The upper limit was set at $1,000, which meant that his backing would have to come from numerous small contributors not special interests benefiting only a group. And, amazingly, he received a record amount of money to support him. It was said he had all kinds of money more than McCain, even though McCain was backed by corporations.

Then I must be a corporation, because I gave to Obama.

Now, how did that happen? Well it could only have happened because the masses of Americans wanted to give, even if it was $5, $10, or whatever…whatever they had. It required that donations come from a huge number more of people than contributed to McCain. I gave. My wife gave…several times. Didn’t you give, too?

For a change, in recent memory, this demonstrated that strength I was talking about before–that strength that’s of so many people feeling the same way, therefore acting in solidarity with each other. Surprisingly this happened despite them not being in face-to-face contact with each other, in general. This was one of the interesting things about this development: that it was largely accomplished just through the power of the internet.

It’s the Internet vs. the Matrix.

So the internet kind of brought folks together in solidarity of purpose the same way maybe a rally or demonstration in the past would have brought people together.

It was significant that most of this happened from the actions of people sitting alone in front of computers, not buoyed up by the effusiveness of a demonstration. It showed an unexpected power of social media.

In the past, face-to-face, like demonstrations, were where people connected with people like them.

Remember, in demonstrations in the past…and I’ve been to them…you would go and you would share your feelings of outrage and hurt, you would be affirmed in the importance of your concerns and be instilled with hope of a change in them, most of all you would have your sense of what was going on expressed out loud. Previous to that, you may have been reading the newspapers, say, and feeling, this is wrong, this is an outrage. This would have motivated you to attend a demonstration, and there you would have found other people who were feeling the same things. So you would be confirmed in your beliefs that it was wrong.

In the past, face-to-face, like demonstrations, were where people learned and grew in understanding.

Now, social media and the internet provided a similar thing where you could express your concern and rage and find others who felt the same way you did and so confirmed your beliefs, and even expanded on them with more information. So you could grow in your understanding of events and in your knowledge of what you could do about them.

This function of developing your insight and your effectiveness was provided by the rallies and demonstrations in the pre-electronic eras. The point is that over the election of Obama people connected again; and it was people not loads of military-industrial money that got him elected.

Bush brought us all together…

Well, that’s one thing that Bush gave back to America. He united us. He united us around at least one obvious rallying standard. He made our minds finally clear that…it’s true he’s an idiot! It’s true Republicans can’t handle government. It’s true that they will claim to be fiscally responsible and yet…what happened? Well the largest economic collapse in American history second to the Depression…and it was the largest collapse in the economy of the world. (So, thank you, George W. Bush!… See Footnote 2 as well.)

Obvious “Truth” – Republicans/ Conservatives Are Fiscally Responsible

So this financial “meltdown” is coming from the people who are supposed to know so much about economics. But at the same time, like McCain said, “I don’t know too much about economics.” He don’t know too much about economics! Who does McCain think he is, the Herman’s f-ing Hermits!? Anyway, McCain kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the actual truth came it: About conservatives and fiscal matters…Republicans “don’t know too much” about it.

Coming Up – Watch Black be Made White, White Be Made Black!
Oh, Those Rascally Magical Republicans!

OK, that’s it for Part One of “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’”—Chapters Eight and Nine in this book.

Part Two is available here too—Chapters Ten through Thirteen. And in Part Two I go more into how they were able to get American people—including the media and the pundits and everybody—to accept this obvious unreality which is that both parties are funded by “special interests”; and you probably believe that yourself.

Oh, The Things They Do

But I think if you hear what I have to say, I think I’ll convince you of how amazing it was that they were able to pull that off. I think it will shock you to see how they could get so many people thinking irrationally about something that is so obviously not true. And there’ll be other things like that too.

Watch ‘em turn black into white!

There’s a pattern I’ll be talking about where…it’s like black is made white, white made black, where things are turned around. For example Republicans might have a proposal to help with the health care problem, for as they say, and we all know, the costs of health care are high and people are not getting covered. But their proposals end up accomplishing the exact opposite of what they say they will. And they know they will do that even when they propose them.

It is a matter of record that these sorts of swindles have been proposed and pushed by Republicans fully knowledgeable of what they were accomplishing. These things happened; we see they continue to happen. Taking health care again: Obviously we were left a very, very bad health care problem by Republicans. The point is that right from the beginning—you can go back to Nixon on this—they knew what they were doing. They knew how it would turn out, and there’s proof of this. We have their very words…

A glimpse ahead

The last thing to be disclosed in this series: the Why. The actual events that led these people to decide on this path toward us all, and moved them to increase and add and elaborate those initial moves to the levels of the most comprehensive totalitarian controls over a people ever attempted, let alone succeeding, as far as we know right now.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind


Footnote

1. Helen Caldicott compares our complacency in the face of dire happenings–such as Fukushima–to the parents who respond emotionless when she has to tell them their child has leukemia. She says, “Get mad. Get emotional.” She urges us to take back our governments from these mad perpetrators of the darkest doom imaginable. And, in the least, occupy! She proclaims,

It’s time you took your country back…. Use your bodies like they did in Wisconsin. Do a Tahrir Square here. Take back New York. Take back the Congress. Invade the Congress! Those people belong to you. They are your representatives, and you are their leaders. But you’ve got to have some guts! And stop being so goddamn polite all the time! And don’t need approval. Step up to the plate….

We’ve got to be emotional…. It’s time we used our emotions and become incensed! Otherwise we’re not going to make it.

2. You might want to step back and enjoy the humor in this as I did. This is my little, oh, “thank you note” to George W. Bush.

It is a satirical piece. A supposed admirer-fan-chum of George W. Bush encourages thank-yous for Bush’s “accomplishments,” which, described glowingly by the fan, sound quite the opposite to the listener. The fan has the most admiration for the great caper Bush “pulled off” at the end.

This comedic monologue combines the actual facts of recent history with a simple, unspun speculation of them, coming from the mouth of a fawning admirer who, for that reason, is allowed to elaborate on the shady dealings. So Bush, it is intimated, basks in the glory of having his ideas for illegal dealings praised as clever and awesome, or even cute.

This is political satire that will have you laughing from the total incongruity and irony of the monologue, but it will also leave you more informed and thinking. This is provocative, funny stuff.


And the audio only version of the above:

A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for the Great Bush-Paulson-”Filthy Rich” Caper
by SillyMickel Adzema

About the audio and video above.

[From February 2, 2010] Yesterday the airwaves were abuzz re: the CEO of Goldman Sachs taking $100 million in bonuses and thumbing his nose at Obama in doing so. Other reports this week are confirming the sleight-of-hand and shadiness surrounding the TARP bailout of the banks: Specifically, that TARP money handed out by Paulson was not recorded, let alone accounted for or monitored; and therefore it cannot be traced or even determined whether it went to benefit American corporations, let alone Americans, and not foreign corporations or even private interests or parties.

With these recent developments coming to light, along with the tea-baggers and Republicans continued blaming of Obama for everything from being born, daring to take the oath of office with unpresidential skin pigmentation, to daring to reverse the direction of the country from the cliff that Bush had so clearly left us heading for, it seems it’s time to revisit those days of yore, those nostalgic last glimmerings of a time when we had a government solidly on the side of the people, that is, helping them in keeping them comfortably distracted from the sight of the truckloads of loot being removed from the Treasury to the coffers of the filthy rich and the huge, oftentimes, foreign or international corporations.

Let us return, then, to December, 2009, and President Bush’s last couple months in office, and recalling those halcyon days, render our gratitude anew:

And the text of the “Oh, Thank You..” audio and video:

A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for “The Great Bush-Paulson-’Filthy Rich’ Caper”

C’MON EVERYONE, JOIN IN NOW!: “Why, Thank you, George Bush!”

…………….This is my little, let us say, oh, “thank you note” to George Bush for all his “hard work.”

Also, in appreciation of the “Paulsie Scam,” which we will be dealing with forever….
luckily it’s been arranged that won’t be too long.
…………….

“Thanks George W. Bush for all your efforts and “hard work” which have led,
your decisions and your Administration solely to blame –

thank you for being “THE DECIDER!” by the way –

to leave us in the midst of so many dire and rapidly expanding problems, so that many people are not just wondering if they will have a job or money, but that even if this planet will make it through another fifty years.

So, hey, thanks for all the hard work and for relieving us and all our grandchildren of any money, and….

oh, I see, there probably won’t be any planet for the little dears to live on.

And everyone dead and all….

Why, gosh, Mr. W., you’re so smart, you probably knew that!

So that’s why you and your cronies went so far as to commit grand larceny even at the end, scraping out the last of any money in the Treasury — wasn’t much left for Obama to do with anyway, after your eight years of partying on high with your Halliburton and your god-only-knows faceless “filthy rich,” gang.

Must’ve felt like the ol’ times, eh, except for the cocaine. . . Er, I mean, I didn’t mean to presume, I mean, you can have cocaine, who am I…

Oh! What a relief, glad to hear you did not partake like the others. It’s just that….

I mean George, friend, my Man here, c’mon there were some pretty weird dancing and stuff and things — right at the end there — that had me wondering and worrying…

Oh, I get it, no cocaine, but wink, wink, you’ve got your ways you say? Hmmm?

Finding things better than cocaine and getting away with it?

Well, he he, I’m not about to judge. I mean if we can have Rush Limbaugh asking for drug users to be hung up by their finger nails, even as he’s got a constant drip for a codeine fix, and he gets away scot free, why shouldn’t you have your fun? You always said it was haaaard work.

But I gotta get back to that stunt with the Treasury at the very end. I mean many, many a lesser, “criminal,” shall we say, mind would never go back again and again, let alone in broad daylight and in front of the entire world! Gad!

Was this all your idea to totally take everything while you could? Somebody else’s?

Anyway, it was brilliant. First, you enlist the support of that guy Paulson. Er, now that I know more about him, being worth $700 million, like and, getting bonuses of $37 million in 2005 and then 16.4 million the next year before he came into office with you…..

Why, could it actually be that he was the one that talked you into it!!! Naaaaaaw?

Certainly, he’d have to be characterized as one of them “filthy rich” that you helped to create, making people wonder who’s really calling the shots in Washington. …

But, never mind, even if it was his good idea — and now I understand he’s had plenty of experience — being involved with the folks who did Watergate and all…way back in his early days… with Ehrlichman and all — so that — no doubt he’s got lots of good ideas, ya gotta give him that.

But, hell, don’t want to take any shine off your apples. No, it was you who chose him. And despite his background, managed to get him on your side and portrayed as one of the most well-respected men on Wall Street, at the time… I remember that well…. I’d never know about his background, and I was most respect…everybody said it was a big…a good pick for you? ‘Course that was the old Wall Street; ‘cuz we now know those bonuses and stuff aren’t too popular right now.

Anyhow, brilliant move, you put this man of yours on task for the high-pressured auto trading that you knew would be required to pull off such a heist.

So you had your guy Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs…coming to take this position of Secretary of Treasury for you. And now we find out that none of that money went where it was intended to go and it did not change the situation but rather exacerbated it! Brilliant! More on that later, but…

more on that later, but, Jesus! I gotta say though…pretty incredible!!? I mean, Paulson himself, gets like, uh, what was it…50 some billion to a German bank? That then owes…Goldman Sachs 16 billion, and so he makes off with 16 billion on top, is that like…

What a crackup this guy is being! I mean he had everyone fooled, and, in fact, there is nothing at all being said about his involvement or his possible effects on what happened, even to this day.

That’s smoothness even you and I could learn from , y’know, Mr. W and……..stay away from him, man…. He’s just tooo smart for all of us, ok, I think he’ll have……. He, he, I think he’s already had his hands in all of our pockets, he, he, I figure… (I’m sorry bout that)… But anyway…

Naw, c’mon, let’s, let’s…we wanta go over your accomplishments tonight, Mr. President, I mean…. I mean..the whole thing…y’know, going to Congress, there…. Getting them to tally up that un-be-leiv-able sev-en hun-dred bill-ion dollars! …like almost a trillion dollars…. I mean they could not get that high, I mean….

Anyway…so we heard how you guys gathered these guys together in Congress…I mean how it was done, y’know, it was like…well musta been like one of those movies….like Ocean’s elev…. Like an Ocean’s 33, yeah! And. Anyway, so you gathered those suckers, those guys, in Congress together, who had the money, huh?

And, he, he, he, y’know, like, we heard afterwards how you guys gathered, Congressional Leaders… and… without explaining exactly how it would happen – of course Congressmen could not be expected to understand the workings of economics and high finance like a Paulson could. So, kindly Paulson and his deputies explained using analogies, how nice of them to bring it down to their level, so sweet of them….

Y’know analogies…like this is like this, this is like this, y’know, and…yea, like that….

I just want to say how cute you are, W.. I mean, it was just, soooooo you….

Anyway, the analogy they used was that if Congress didn’t cough up the dough pronto – perhaps those weren’t the exact words, my bad. But anyway, that the consequences – and tell me W. this was all you, right? – The consequences would be that of a “GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN” (tell me, that part was you, right?) a terminal global economic meltdown that would… (wait, I’m getting an inkling here… was this next part, Cheney’s?) “End modern civilization as we know it for the foreseeable future.”

Wow! It gives me shivers just hearing it. I mean there ain’t no auto salesman in his wildest fantasies that could come up with something so absolutely, well, disabling.

You guys really took those suckers in Congress “out by the knees”! How could they have had a chance!

And, boy, there’s that implied nuclear thing again…”the meltdown”; yea. Doesn’t have to make any sense; I mean economics melting, but hey close enough. How clever! I mean that whole image of mushroom cloud, why it just worked stupendously to get us into a war. And now, this being economics…

Oh, my God, I see it; it’s like a fifties movie — “Oh, please help, we’re meeee-ee-llll-tiiinggg.” Yea, super scary. Heck, anything like that from fifties horror flicks…just good stuff. Heck, you know that most people believe that stuff anyway. So, I see, you feed them what they always feared anyway. Brilliant. Brilliant.

But that’s my George, the W. himself, going with what he knows. And, hey, why bother coming up with anything else, that card’s a winner for you, my man….

And c’mon, level with me, I just gotta know, won’t tell anyone else… Was that Cheney with the “end of civilization” part? C’mon, he’s already living the Wild West out there in Wyoming, he’s probably thinkin Mad Maxin it and everything… I mean, c’mon…. C’mon, it’s got to be him, that’s just sooo Darth Vader, who else could think like that?

Please tell me I’m right…I feel like I know this guy and that is….well, that is just sooooo him!…


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click below to launch the audio player here.

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player.swf?1305835359


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eight: Creating an American Mind

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Your Mind Made Fertile for the Planting of Lies: Creating a (Not So) American Life, Pt 3

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Creating a (Not So) American Life, Part Three: Your Mind Made Fertile For the Planting of Lies

Thousands turn out at the State Capitol to rally against Obama policies, huge deficits, bigger government and higher taxes.  Corneliu Constantinescu (CQ) wears tea bags on his hat at the rally on the steps of the Capitol.</p><p> Photo by Doug Beghtel/ The Oregonian

Going back, I was saying we all have these prejudices regarding what is deemed powerful and important. We all have stuff from childhood that makes us shrink before authority, cower before money, status, and power. We all have irrational ideas magnifying the power of our oppressors, telling us to obey, to not question, to go along with that which others would have of us but which is not in our own interest and in fact brings suffering into our lives. And on top of all that, these early imprints and social teachings would have us rationalize our subjugation and deny our felt experience ever fending off inner and outer information, clues threatening to our precious conscious untruths and instilled self-sabotaging beliefs and notions.

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Thinking About There Not Being Enough Time to Think

But you know sometimes you have a chance to kick back and not be caught up in the struggle to survive. You have a chance to reflect on your circumstances, your prejudices, and to re-evaluate matters. jacob-and-the-angelYou have leisure time in which to do more than survive, to actually re-create, re-new yourself, and to grow in wisdom so you are not so blinkered by the blinders of the comfortable ignorance of grade-school propaganda and other early conditionings, prejudices. So society benefits both through your productivity but also through the fact that you have leisure time to become a wiser social actor. You have this leisure time….

Or, do you?

Well, not too long ago we had more leisure time, let’s put it that way. We had more leisure time; we had more time to pause and reflect. So some things might occur to us that were different than what we originally thought…than our preconceived notions; we might actually change our mind about things if we thought about them. I am not saying that was what everybody did all the time or anything like that. I am saying it could happen, and it happened more. So I’m saying that a lot has changed.

Well, you don’t think we have less leisure time? If you are much younger than me, you probably don’t know. But I am old enough to know that I have never seen Americans so busy…so busy and so preoccupied.

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Climbing Down the Ladder of Your Todo List

Backing up, so imagine you or somebody like you is saying, “Ah, naw naw naw, naw, y’know, musicians, ordinary folks, they can’t do anything; they’re not politicians, they’re not powerful, they’re not rich!” Ok?simpsonarrivingfuturetime But this person or you may not have had occasion to actually pause your life…to step back from the twenty-four hour climbing down the ladder of your todo list to success. Y’know?

How long is your todo list by the way? Busy, busy all the time is now required for survival concerns. There was a time in which you might be really motivated…you’d see people that were really striving …trying hard to be a big success or something like that. But it wasn’t required.

Forms Fill Up Free Time…”Fax It Over, I’ll Look At It.”

There is also the increased paper load, the mountains of red tape, which is also filling up the supposed “free time” of the average American. Man! What the hell is with that!?

Now they can blame it on computers; they can say it’s because we have more information and they can store larger amounts of it electronically, and they can put more… aw, c’mon, it’s people deciding that you have to fill things out and that you have to get and give more and more and more and more information, this is a lot of time!

Did you ever buy a house?pile-150x150 You sign that Sisyphian hill of documents? I can only just imagine the day when there was just a deed, signed over. I’m not that old.

So, with exorbitantly more paperwork, there’s less time for thought, less time to think. We’re busy, and we’re nervous. Why? We got a lot of red tape, we got a lot of things to do. We’re under stress…

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Taxes to Twist You With

DSC_0299_20060815And part of that paperwork … probably the worst part, if you’re like me, is due to the complex and contradictory tax codes. Part of the leisure time lost disappears into the black hole around tax forms. Seriously, I am old enough to have seen taxes get more contradictory and complex over the years. In fact the tax codes are rather convoluted abominations twisting themselves to benefit corporate special interest, with little or no rationale even presented to explain why these special interests should be benefited. TwistedGrowth (2)And this sort of corporate special interest input into tax codes has just exploded over the years.

In the previous times, such things as a benefit to any special interest were usually presented to the legislature, and the public, in a particular way to justify them. You can just imagine like, in some kind of bargaining session in Congress, they would say, “Well, if we provide a break here, that’ll result in benefits over in this sector…” Or they might say, “…and it benefits our economy as a whole, which will…” and they might add a few elements into the equation before the inevitable, “it’ll benefit the average American or be a boon to our society as a whole.” And the reaction, we imagine, would be like, “Aw, yeah, yeah…ok.” Then it’s good; it’s approved.

Crazy-Making Social Processes Aid Manipulation

But over time, even this linking to the common good was not necessary, so the tax codes got exceedingly more convoluted and hopelessly contradictory, essentially lacking any reason. We all know that. It’s a dead document, so to speak, which would never, ever, ever be able to be brought back to rational health, so riddled with myriad kinds of cancers which are special interest convolutions of its elements so that it would be impossible to excise them all.

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sarahpalinYou have probably all heard the story. You call up the tax adviser, you have a question about how to fill something out…how to do something. And you’ll ask one person and they’ll tell you one thing; and then you call back and you get a different person and they’ll tell you something entirely different; then if you call again, somebody else will tell you something again … all different. Well, this is crazy-making.

And that crazy-making takes up your time; and it makes you worry more…and, well, it works itself into your time to ponder things, especially important things.

Continue with
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine:
Creating an American Life

Return to “Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not: Creating an American Life, Pt 2


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part One,” click on the link to the audio site above or click below to launch the audio player here.

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=rzznhtzjsk
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”: Part One. by SillyMickel Adzema


Continue with
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nine:
Creating an American Life

Return to “Stolen Elections, Complacent Electorate – Creating an America That Is Not: Creating an American Life, Pt 2

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

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