Restoring the Biome… And Our Place Within It

by nielskunze on December 14, 2017

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In determining Self from Other, context is everything.

Word.

Healthy, living tissue cannot be infected.

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Restoring the Biome… And Our Place Within It

“Don’t eat poop!”

That’s probably the most oft-heard refrain during my forest walks with the dogs. They’re not interested in their own or each other’s, but the exotic, hair-laden morsels from other carnivores or the ungulate “raisinettes” seem to be practically irresistible.

Am I wrong to insist that they “Don’t eat poop!”? Perhaps.

Strangely, when the dogs chomp down mouthfuls of select dirt, I don’t object at all; I even praise them for it. And they do it every day. “Eat dirt and live!”… so then… “Eat shit and live!”… even better…?

What do they seem to know that we have such difficulty accepting?

Inner and outer are reflections of each other… or, perhaps, each is the full context for the other. The external reality can only make some kind of sense in the context of each unique inner reality; and that inner reality only remains functional and relevant in the immediate context of the world. As within, so without.

We carry a representation of the world in our bellies. We have to, or we wouldn’t be able to meaningfully interact with it. The lining of our gastrointestinal tract is our primary interface with the world around us. The very necessary microbes that make their home in our gut must closely resemble the microbes which reside in and on our daily food and the living soil in which it grows. They have to, or we wouldn’t be able to digest it. For everything which Nature builds, she also provides the means to break it down again— mostly via microbes.

But what happens when we eat highly processed food laden with chemicals and preservatives, having no discernible connection to the soil, to the environment, to life? The short answer is: Look around! We end up with a very sick and ailing population, disconnected, angry. Highly processed foods— with shelf-lives longer than our own life expectancy— end up in our bloodstreams unmediated. They aren’t really “handled” or processed at all by the bacteria in our gut. In the longterm, the gut microbiome starves and diminishes as we too slowly starve and degenerate on such a diet.

We absolutely require the microbial life which surrounds us— and interpenetrates us… that IS us.

Somehow the dogs seem to know this. They wouldn’t dream of passing up any and every opportunity to sniff each other’s butts, to chomp down mouthfuls of highly-varied soil, to taste every turd left as gifts along our forest trail, to drink from puddles rather than streams… to essentially expose themselves to the greatest variety of microbes that they possibly can. The dogs don’t fear germs in the least… and they almost never get sick.

“But a dog’s stomach acid is much stronger than ours, so they don’t get infected.” Really? Is that what you think is going on here? Do you suppose that they don’t inhale all of the same microbes with every greedy breath sniffing out all these various treasures? How are they “protected” in their sinuses? In their lungs? They’re not; they WANT the microbes! They collect microbes as avid connoisseurs.

Healthy, living tissue is never sterile; it is integrated with the microbiome community. We are unique communities rather than individuals (when we’re healthy).

Cancerous cells, for instance, approach sterility as they progress. Cancer creates a hostile environment for the helpful microbiota, driving them out and away from tumour sites. Cancer is a disease of profound isolation.

Interestingly, recent studies have shown that the absence of specific species of bacteria in the body is reliably predictive of specific types of cancer. The connection couldn’t be more clear: as diversity within the microbiome diminishes, susceptibility to metabolic and chronic diseases catastrophically increases.

So What’s the Answer?

In the last decade, probiotics and prebiotic substances (food for microbiota) have been touted as a viable solution. These are minimally beneficial at best. In the case of probiotics this is easy to see. A “good” probiotic will contain perhaps a dozen or so species of beneficial bacteria— billions of identical copies of each. A healthy human gut biome contains 10,000 to 20,000 different species of bacteria. Adding 12 select ones to the mix— without also providing a suitable environment in which they can thrive— is obviously practically useless. Many people begin with a probiotic regimen which returns favourable results at first, but rarely does it completely resolve any longstanding digestive issues. Picking “this” bacteria over “that” bacteria is not the way.

Like everything in nature, the microbiome is self-organizing and self-regulating, adapting intelligently to environmental stressors as they occur to the very best of its ability. When inner and outer are in balance, and when communication systems are intact and highly functional, this is more than adequate.

Our world is grossly out of balance and communication has largely broken down.

Enter redox signalling molecules…

A Foundational Solution

The journey back to balance will likely be a long one. Unfortunately, we’ve been relentlessly conditioned to demand quick fixes. There are certainly instances when the imbalance is so profound that immediate solutions must be employed as a matter of mere survival— like when a major bacterial infection threatens one’s life and antibiotics are needed as an immediate stop-gap measure. But we won’t be able to carpet-bomb our bodies back into balance; and never mind the environment.

And that’s why I’m rather enamoured of this first product I’ve been studying and employing in my own life. I’m ready to present an initial review of Dr. Zach Bush’s flagship product Restore. It appears to be the perfect first step to set the foundation for building real and lasting health, for ourselves— and the planet.

What is Restore? It’s a weak dirt tea. That’s what it looks like; that’s what it tastes like; that’s what it is.

Restore is an aqueous preparation made from an ancient layer of fossilized sediment from about 50 million years ago— according to conventional geological dating. Whether the dating is correct or not, the significance of this particular strata of layered deposit is that it comes from a time when life was extremely diverse and thriving on our planet. The soil was irrepressibly alive, fostering diverse growth amidst very complex ecologies. The evidence for this is replete in the soil… and that’s the point.

When Dr. Bush examined the fossilized record of this ecologically vibrant soil, he was shocked to discover molecular remnants of what appeared to be iterations of common chemotherapy drugs. “What the heck are chemotherapy drugs doing in ancient soil deposits?” A fair question… with an intriguing answer.

The molecules Dr. Bush was examining were carbon-based redox signalling molecules, the artifacts of an ancient communication network laid down by the tens of thousands of microbes coexisting in that life-giving soil. Typically, these structures consist of a “backbone” of numerous stable carbon rings with “tails” of reactive oxygen and hydrogen exchange sites. The exchange of various reductants and oxidation species formed the basis for an ancient microbial “language.”

The microbes were an intelligent community in constant communication with each other, responding and adapting to environmental stressors and challenges with balanced intellectual precision. Living soil is smart soil. And all life communicates… constantly.

Our Modern Predicament

Seventy years of chemical agriculture has devastated the topsoil of Earth’s arable land. Comparatively, our modern soil is nearly devoid of life— it’s a far cry from the virility of our ancient lands. The soil is grossly out of balance; the “food” which grows there is likewise unbalanced; and all the creatures feeding on that “food” are bound to be similarly unbalanced, as we are.

Just one chemical bomb— glyphosate, the main active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup— has become so pervasive in our environment that it is virtually impossible for any creature on Earth to completely escape its devastating effects. If you eat the food, drink the water or breathe the air anywhere on Earth, your physiology is impacted by the ubiquitous presence of glyphosate.

The main effect of glyphosate in our bodies, much to our detriment, is to cause some degree of leaky gut. The gut membrane, our primary interface between the inner and outer worlds, has been compromised. It can no longer function properly, dividing Self from Other. The lines defining our biological integrity have become blurred. Dr. Bush conservatively estimates that 95% of people residing in North America have at least some degree of leaky gut. I rather think that it’s closer to 100%. (Europe is marginally better due to a staunch resistance to Monsanto’s life-destroying business plan.)

Even if we take every reasonable precaution to limit our exposure, eating organic, purifying our water, and living close to nature, glyphosate— a water-soluble antibiotic— has already penetrated the water table. It’s in the water; it’s in the rain; it’s in the air we breathe. And we’re still relentlessly dumping over 2 billion kilograms of the stuff into the environment annually. And glyphosate is just one of many many troublesome culprits.

So now that I’ve scared the bejeebers out of you, let’s get back to the first solution. Restore has been clinically tested to show that it very effectively mitigates or even eliminates the worst of glyphosate’s devastating effects. It tightens up the tight junctions in our gut wall, restoring integrity and intelligence. With the leaks in our guts effectively plugged, we can begin to rebuild a functional Self in the context of a very complex Other (environment).

Restore Invites and Supports Microbial Diversity

Dr. Bush refers to Restore as “compost” for the garden that is our gut. Although it doesn’t actually contain any viable microbes, it rather provides the intriguing artifacts of a timeless language— a template, a blueprint— of a very advanced microbial society. It shows the way, in a language that our microflora can readily understand, as to how inclusivity can predominate in a paradigm of sustainable balance. It’s like the wisdom of the Ancient Ancestors has been forwarded through time, showing the way for peaceful co-existence.

The community of microbes centralized in our gut— all 1.5 quadrillion of them— can be thought of as a vastly complex bio-computer which also interfaces with our human nerves, cells, systems and chemistry. Restore is the main circuit board in liquid form, providing the means and the template for exquisite communication and co-operation. It’s not a perfect solution because, obviously, the world today is vastly different from the world of 50 million years ago. But in providing a viable blueprint for such a functionally diverse ecology, Restore gives our microbiome a consistent and persistent chance for higher intelligence and adaptability. I’m willing to bet that those little buggers are willing to learn… as long as we ourselves are.

My Personal Experience With Restore

I’ve been on Restore for a little more than 6 weeks now, taking the recommended 3 teaspoons a day before meals. (I don’t eat 3 meals a day; I only eat 1 in the evening… but you get the idea.) At first, I was a little disappointed as it seemed that the product wasn’t doing much of anything. For the first 5 days I noticed nothing at all. And then suddenly something shifted in my digestion. (I’ll spare you the defecatory details.) Something was happening…

Then it took me about 2 weeks to notice that I hadn’t been having my customary and well-habituated after-dinner beer anymore. I would always have one beer, sometimes two, right after supper. I really enjoyed it. Now, suddenly, I didn’t even want it.

It’s been fully 6 weeks since I last had a drop of alcohol. And so far, I don’t miss it a bit. I’ve also given up wheat in the same timeframe. These abstinences were not at all planned; they weren’t even conscious decisions. The once-persistent craving for these things just naturally fell away without any fanfare. I’ve long known that many of my cravings didn’t really belong to me— the hungry human. Rather, they were the expressions of microbial preferences and imbalances. Next on the list seems to be sugar. I’ve always been a sweet-tooth and the sugar craving seems to be diminishing more slowly, by degrees. But I’m not fighting anything; and I’m not making lists of “shoulds” and “should-nots”. For now I’m trusting that the complex ecology of my inner reality is working itself out bit by bit as I slowly move toward a more robust sustainable health… based in biodiversity, communication and higher intelligence.

I regard Restore as foundational and rather essential. I believe that virtually everyone can benefit from it. Strangely, it’s more for the non-human parts of us; smart food for our community, our partners, our rightful context. If the task is to reintegrate ourselves with the nature which created us as a billion-year project, then Restore is the perfect starting point. It promises the possibility of reconnecting us to our true Ancient Ancestors and the full potential of the bio-computer which is our microbiome… which is an integral part of the biosphere of all Earth.

A Bit of Woo-Woo Speculation

Philosophically, my background is Vedic— Vedanta. Everything is consciousness— consciousness at play. In the introduction to this series (previous essay) I referred to three seats of consciousness: the head, the heart and the gut. Although these may be viewed as three distinct “brains,” ideally they should represent a whole conscious continuum, of singular infinite potential.

When our three minds are disconnected from each other or in poor communication, we are lost, like a rudderless ship set adrift upon a Sea of Confusion… slowly leaking. Our “natural” inclination in such a circumstance is to identify with the head and its very limited 5-sense empirical perception/conception of the world. We are then literally lost in illusion.

Currently, there is a great deal of fear, excitement, and confusion about the possibility of our transhumanist future… where humans more and more merge with machines, finally becoming “Borg.” That’s not a future I relish… nor do I think it’s even viable.

When I look at the natural living world, at the balanced diversity and incalculable complexity which spawned us, I see intelligence, vast unfathomable intelligence. The ecologies of the natural world are our real tech, our inheritance, our endowment, our far-reaching future. We have the real opportunity to plug back into that intelligent biological mainframe, the Earth’s magnificent biosphere— instead of being its destroyer. The “socket” to plug into is in our own bellies. The direct descendants and allies of our Ancient Ancestors are intelligently connected to God, to Source. For they understand the very nitty-gritty of life, right down to the tiniest detail… and they’ve been at it for billions of years… building and sustaining.

The unfortunate situation for our wise microbial companions, however, is that they are housed under a conscious directive characterized by isolation, survival of the fittest, every man for himself… within the typical modern human host. In clinging to our head-based identities of stifling restriction, where every challenge is a fight, we deny our rightful heritage of living wisdom, we alienate the very ones who built us and sustain us, and we force the environment around us to conform to our limited conception of ourselves and the world… and everyone suffers.

“We’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden.”

I’m not really one to tell others how they should meditate. But with this new understanding of our greater context— our living context— sitting quietly and contemplating our own navels doesn’t seem so unreasonable anymore. The head might do better firmly seated in the heart, fully embraced by the Source-connected community in our bellies. With the proper foundation, there’s really no limit to where we might yet go…
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We need to begin to actually care about the quality of life in the soil… and it will in turn care for us.

Restore is available at: https://shop.restore4life.com

(In the next instalment, this essay series will examine the other redox signalling product, ASEA. It doesn’t compete with Restore; they’re complimentary. Please stay tuned.)

For inquiries and further health discussions, you may contact me at niels@nielskunze.com

(I get hundreds of spam emails on that account daily, so try to put something eye-catching in the Subject box— like my name perhaps. Once we’ve established contact, I’ll give you my private email to continue the discussion.)

The New Paradigm Papers: A New Introduction to Health

by nielskunze on November 22, 2017

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As above, so below.

As within, so without.

Universal Law: The law is one… and reciprocal…

…or, we’re all in this together.

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Integration

Among our contemporaries, philosophy is not compelling. Abstract thought is not persuasive. We have lost the value of trading in mere ideas. It has to get real and personal before massive sweeping change can really have a chance.

Irrefutably, things are getting pretty real… and personal. All of our lives are being touched.

Nothing grabs our attention like the challenges of compromised health. The etymology of health is found in wholeness. When health begins to fail, we— and the world around us— become fractured; things fall apart.

Autism is skyrocketing; heart disease is still the grimmest of reapers; cancer rates are inexorably on the rise; Alzheimers and dementia are more like inevitable milestones; diabetes is the new normal; and in the midst of all that, severe depression just makes good sense.

But don’t despair; it is always darkest right before the dawn. On the horizon, a new paradigm emerges…

The Folly of Micromanaging Complex Systems

At what point do we accept the abject failure of allopathic medicine?

It was destined to fail from the outset. Perhaps, in the beginning, it wasn’t so easy to see. All we wanted was relief from our various ailments. We wanted medicines to correct what had gone uncomfortably wrong in our lives. And the allopathic paradigm of the last hundred years promised to deliver a specific remedy for every complaint.

This untenable solution was a marketer’s dream… and completely unrealistic in practice.

The human organism— its complex physiology and metabolism, along with its interactions in a changeable environment, its adaptations and responses— this evolving human being represents perhaps the most complex system in existence. Just the intricacies of ‘simple’ nutrition, at the micro-chemical level, is still poorly understood. The myriad variables attending specific disease profiles are too numerous to adequately list. The number of little things that can go wrong— along with each of their potential cascading effects— are incomprehensible in their variety and expression. These bodies are complicated far beyond our current understanding.

Employing a strategy of micromanagement to such a poorly-elucidated complex system is utterly destined to fail. If you don’t understand how the system works, right down to every electro-chemical atomic detail, then your interventions can’t consistently work. Micromanagement of complex systems is predicated on a thorough understanding of the systems involved. Without such an understanding, how can we know among the millions of variables which buttons to push and which levers to pull, and when? At the very best we can say “Hey, let’s try this, and see what happens.” Isn’t that essentially what your doctor is saying every time you’re handed a prescription? Yeah, it might work… for a time, but there’ll be unforeseen consequences: side effects.

And even those who’ve broken away from the allopathic cartel, who’ve adopted a more holistic approach, whose strategies are based more in prevention, utilizing primarily nutrition and detoxification— even these have a tendency to fall into the micromanagement trap. “Maybe I should try high doses of vitamin C for this persistent infection… perhaps this enzyme will help with my bloating… I’ll try this herb for this and that supplement for that… or maybe I just need a little extra iodine, or magnesium… and how are my copper levels?… etc.” It’s still a hit-or-miss strategy based in micromanaging a poorly understood complexity… but at least such natural nutrition-based remedies have a very low capacity to cause harm, unlike pharmaceuticals.

Our conscious minds are ill-suited to intervening in— let alone, supervising— complex systems we don’t adequately understand. Can you imagine if the healing of a little cut on your finger required your conscious attention and direction every step of the process? Would any of us really have a clue what is required at the microscopic or even molecular level to take place… and in what precise order? Fortunately, we’re not required to consciously know and think our way back to health. Our bodies already know the way.

There was a time when I too fervently believed that pretty much every health challenge could be pre-empted or prevented by the two-prong strategy of nutrition and detoxification. As long as we were effectively cleaning out all of the gunk and pumping in all of the right building blocks, our cells should be immortal. Right? We’ve all heard about human cells surviving the bodies from which they were taken, living seemingly immortal lives in carefully controlled petri dish environments. All they need is to be adequately hydrated to flush out all the toxins and waste, and to be fed with the proper nutrients in a timely fashion. Seems simple. Seems legit.

But what is most-oft forgotten about our isolated cells in their petri-dish paradise is the intelligence of the human operator— that person in the white lab coat who carries out those life-giving functions. That human operator needs to be disciplined, diligent, consistent and knowledgeable… otherwise the cells will quickly die. But inside our bodies, there is no omniscient scientist co-ordinating such events. That duty falls to our innate body intelligence. Only our own bodies know how to heal our own bodies.

Only our own bodies know how to heal our own bodies… only when that innate intelligence is functioning at peak efficiency. Our Innate needs to be fully informed; and conversely, it needs to be able to precisely inform all the cells— and all the non-human actors involved— exactly what to do in order to heal. The missing factor from our detoxification and nutrition strategy is communication. What could be more important in complex systems than effective communication?

When communication begins to break down, parts become isolated, factionalized and desperate. Cancer cells are the very loneliest cells of all. But it’s worth remembering that cancer cells share the very same DNA as the surrounding cells; they belong directly to the cancer patient. There’s no foreign invader here; no malicious intent. Cancer cells have lost the ability to communicate with their immediate environment; our Innate has lost the ability to communicate with the cancer. Every particle of Life is programmed at the deepest level for survival above all else. When cells are cut off from the collective intelligence of the larger organism, they often resort to doing whatever they can to survive— in perceived isolation— by reverting to a more primitive fementative metabolism and reproducing as quickly as possible. Can you blame them? You can, but you would gain nothing of value thereby. Cancer is perhaps the most extreme manifestation of the breakdown of our internal communication systems.

In recent years, I’ve known too many people who have significant knowledge about holistic health and who are consistent in their application of such, and yet their health continues to decline despite their best efforts. It became obvious that something was missing from the big picture. Communication is perhaps the key to it all.

The Progress in Recent Decades

I was still a student in high school when the Human Genome Project was first conceived (1984). And the subsequent mapping of our DNA was achieved during the period from 1990 to 2003. It was a monumental and ambitious task… holding great promise.

Within the prevailing paradigm, the Human Genome Project promised the ultimate in targeted marketing strategies. Designer drugs could be developed for every genetic predisposition to every disease. Specific genes could be targeted for chemical expression or suppression. Pharmaceutical CEOs were drooling at the prospects. But it didn’t quite turn out that way.

At the genetic level, the human being was found to be far less complex than expected, having in the neighbourhood of 20,000 genes as opposed to the predicted 200,000 or more. The assumption at the beginning was that every gene was coded for one specific protein, and the gene was either switched on or off. The anticipated view was much like a computer: binary and predictable.

What was discovered instead was that each gene could have dozens of expressions, coding for a variety of proteins— which were environmentally determined in the moment. And thus was born the newer science of epigenetics.

Epigenetics is concerned with multitudes of environmental variables affecting specific gene expressions minute by minute. Change the environment, affect the genes. In such a manner, the internal environment of the human organism is made to directly correlate with its immediate external environment. They are reflections of each other, in a responsive feedback loop.

At the conclusion of the Human Genome Project, it was generally assumed that genetics accounted for roughly 20% of our physiological expression. Things like height or eye colour were hardwired into us and couldn’t typically be altered. With the subsequent emergence of epigenetics, that number fell to only about 5%… inversely correlating with the other portion of our DNA, the “junk” DNA. There was a plethora of evidence showing that our bodies are much more responsive to immediate environmental factors than previously thought. Even the mere shape of the protein molecules produced according to genetic instructions mattered significantly; it wasn’t just the specific sequencing of the peptides. The “junk” DNA, it was discovered, was continually creating micro-RNA in response to innumerable environmental factors. There was a lot more going on at the molecular level than anyone had anticipated.

And finally, this diverse molecular variance led to the discovery and study of the brand new science of redox signalling. (Much more about that later.)

The End of War Consciousness

Western culture is steeped in war consciousness. Every challenge is a fight. Every choice decides who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. “Support the troops and eradicate the enemy!” War, or warring, is the basic predisposition of our minds. Historically, it’s how we frame everything.

Cancer patients most often speak of “beating their cancer”… even though the cancer is every bit as much them as the non-cancerous cells. We all “fight” against colds, and try to “eradicate” infections. We are taught as little children to think of sickness as a fierce “battle” raging within us, and we are the “battlefield.” Since at least the time of Darwin, we have framed ourselves as competitors in a never-ending contest. The lofty ideal of “peace” is a mere concept, unachievable and ephemeral; peace is nowhere to be found on this endless battleground.

But war consciousness is a perspective; it is a way in which to view the world and ourselves. It is a filter, a paradigm. But is it the truth? And does it serve our progress?

Whether you believe Einstein or not, we live in a relativistic universe. All things are connected, and therefore are in relationship with one another. And what do we know about relationships? The success or failure of our relationships depend directly and invariably upon our ability to effectively communicate. This is as true at the molecular level, the individual body level, the societal level, or at the level of stars and planets as anywhere else. Where there is good effective communication, good relations are maintained and the integrity of the whole is supported and expressed. Where communication breaks down, relationships deteriorate, isolation and fragmentation occur… and the big picture can no longer be discerned.

A warrior’s mindset forever chooses who should live and who should die. But what if all the participants are necessary, that all are needed? What if wiping out the bad guys is the wrong strategy? What if there are no bad guys?

A New View of Human

Our exquisite complexity arises from diversity. Just as ecological diversity gives rise to environmental complexity, we too are an ecology, a community. And there is no “us versus them.” It’s all just us… needing to take responsibility.

At most, our human cells comprising these bodies number around 100 trillion. However, the microbes— the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microscopic players— who carry out up to 90% of our physiological functions in a symbiotic relationship with our cells, number around 1.5 quadrillion. That means that at the microscopic level of this human existence, we are outnumbered cellularly about 15 to 1 in our own bodies. Overall, we are so incredibly outnumbered in the microbial world that if war and competition was really the way of things we would’ve been conquered or outright destroyed long ago. If the microbes who live within us and upon us truly wanted us dead, we’d be dead within seconds… and there’s nothing we could hope to do about it. We need them. And for the sake of balance, let’s assume that they need us too.

These human bodies have very little capacity on their own for digesting and assimilating the nutrients in our food. Rather, it is the community of microbes living in our gut who do most of the heavy lifting. And those living on the surface of our skin are essential for our protection and physical integrity. Even within our healthy tissues, microbes are integrated at the functional level. Nature does not typically produce any sterile environments; microbes are everywhere, as they’re meant to be.

Three Seats of Consciousness

The human being has at least three distinct seats of conscious, or if you prefer, three separate minds. Most of us locate our consciousness in the head and associate it with the brain and nervous system. Only in recent decades has the heart too become widely recognized as a separate (emotional) centre of consciousness. And the third distinct mind within these bodies has only been gaining traction in western culture in the last few years. It resides in our gut, as our innate body intelligence (or just the “Innate”).

Our head consciousness, the seat of our thinking, operates primarily electrically, sending signals via the nerves throughout the body. Heart consciousness is our emotional centre of awareness, utilizing a communication system consisting primarily of complex and potent chemical messengers called hormones. And the gut brain is primarily localized in the very centre of our bodies, relying on a complex system of redox signalling molecules in order to communicate with the entire internal ecology of the human organism. And each of these systems overlap.

The gut brain is our Source-connected primal (first) consciousness, and it is mostly non-human. It correlates internal reality with external reality at the molecular level. Simply, it adjusts the internal conditions of body functioning to match the current conditions of the immediate environment. For example, if the body is taking in food which is grown in nearly lifeless soil devoid of microbial diversity, the microbial diversity within the gut will similarly diminish in direct proportion. The unfortunate consequence of such an instance is that a reduction in diversity results in lowered complexity which equals less consciousness— or a degradation in the ability to effectively communicate. (Our guts become literally autistic: isolated and overwhelmed.)

Perhaps it is time to recognize that it is wholly unrealistic to expect that we as individuals can possibly maintain our health in the midst of an environment which is suffering and rapidly degrading. Our inner world is inextricably tied to the condition and functionality of the world around us. The undeniable truth of this is being driven home by the sharp escalation in global health challenges occurring everywhere, including even in the most developed of nations.

Honouring The Ancient Ancestors

There seems to be something inherent in the human being which reflects upon and honours the past. Perhaps it’s as simple as knowing that self-knowledge begins in knowing where we came from. Among a humanity long lost in the seductive hallucinations of incessant mentation, along with a sprinkling of severe emotionalism, most folks carry notions of our ancient ancestry involving either vanished primates, the machinations of unknown gods, ancient alien astronauts, or a combination of these. And who is nearly always forgotten in our elaborate thinking? Our true ancestors: the mitochondria.

In the far distant past, Earth was a very different place. Billions of years ago it was teeming with life— microbial life— but the uncountable inhabitants were all single-celled. Among the prokaryotes (cells lacking a nucleus), the mitochondria were especially gifted in utilizing oxygen— whose planetary level was suddenly abundant and on the rise— for producing very abundant energy. And it seems that the ancient mitochondria conceived an ambitious plan. They learned how to build/grow multi-cellular organisms from their eukaryotic cousins, embedding themselves within the new physiology as the energy-producing organelles, our very own mitochondria.

Interestingly though, the mitochondria present in each and every one of our human cells doesn’t share our human DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is separate and distinct, despite the fact that these ancient organelles are inextricably integrated into our cellular biology. We couldn’t live for a second if not for the energy production provided by the mitochondria. In this way, we can think of the human being as an amalgamation of “self” and “other” in a singular functional organism. We have always carried the Ancient Ancestors along with us on this incredible human journey. Ain’t that kinda neat?

The Common Roots of All Disease

Cancer cells have dysfunctional mitochondria; they are damaged beyond any reasonable repair. Without the ability to continue aerobic metabolic functions, the cancer cell reverts to fermentation instead, which occurs easily within an oxygen deficient environment. But cancer is a severe case, lying at the far end of metabolic dysfunction and disease. What are the common steps along the way leading to all manner of disruption, including cancer and virtually everything else?

You’ve probably heard of oxidative stress. Our overly simplistic answer to oxidative stress has been to load up on antioxidants. Obviously, this is a response taken directly from our entrenched war consciousness. “Got a problem with too many oxidants? Wipe ‘em out with tons of antioxidants!” The balance, however, between oxidants and reductants— inside the cells in particular— is an exquisite complexity that can’t be “solved” by merely eating more blueberries. Here, the main problem is that many food-borne antioxidants are simply too big and too complex to penetrate the cell membrane. It’s useful to remember that the scale used to measure the antioxidants in our food (ORP: Oxidative Reduction Potential) tells us only of the potential. There’s no guarantee that the antioxidants will react with or reduce anything; they only have the potential to do so. And that requires molecular intelligence.

Much of the damaging effects of oxidative stress occur and originate within the cells themselves. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are continually produced by the mitochondria in ATP energy production. When a balance of reductants like glutathione and catalase are also present, the ROS are neutralized in redox reactions— which signal health and wellbeing to surrounding cells, both human and non-human, as well as to the Innate which many of us regard as our immune system.

When this delicate redox signalling system falls out of balance (the reasons for which we will discuss further in subsequent essays), the cells become damaged from the inside out. Along with the sustained damage comes a loss of communication at the cellular and molecular levels. And this chronic condition leads to chronic inflammation. You’ve probably heard of that one too.

In simplistic terms, chronic inflammation is an immune dysfunction. The Innate becomes confused and the body begins to attack or overburden its own cells… and the condition of inflammation never seems to end. And this, in turn, leads to further immune dysfunction which can result in autoimmune disease profiles like diabetes or psoriasis, for instance.

The genesis of all disease as we currently understand it goes something like this: redox reactions within the cells become unbalanced; the cells suffer oxidative stress and damage; prolonged oxidative stress results in chronic inflammation; unchecked chronic inflammation leads to many disease profiles along with increasing autoimmunity dysfunction… which, in turn, leads to the all-too-common autoimmune disorders.

One might argue that infectious diseases are outside of this causality chain, but, in the new paradigm, pathogens can only proliferate and take hold, causing physiological damage, only once the body’s communication systems have already been compromised… early on in the above causality chain.

Conclusion

When a sick person takes a pharmaceutical drug, that drug may help with the alleviation of various uncomfortable symptoms. When a healthy person takes a pharmaceutical drug, it is quite likely to make them sick. Right there, a picture of a flawed paradigm emerges.

In the new paradigm, tools for health contribute to health and wellbeing in sick persons in the same manner that they make a healthy person even healthier. Such tools are holistic and their action is systemic; they are not attempts at micromanagement. Health is not merely the absence of diagnosable disease. It is our wholeness, our integrity, our ability to adapt and to thrive.

As I observe the world, sickness appears to be on the rise. Unfortunately, that’s the way it has to be before humans will take the degradation of the environment seriously. It has to get personal and ugly. Only once it becomes clear that we cannot be healthy living in a sick environment will we take significant meaningful steps toward correcting it all.

Looking Ahead

So far, we’ve hit all the highlights of the emerging paradigm in the most general of terms. In the instalments to follow, I intend to elaborate on each of the main themes touched upon here, focusing specifically upon the unique tools and technologies that have recently become available as a result of the new research and new thinking.

Here is a list of the proposed essays to follow shortly:

Restoring the Microbiome and Our Place Within It (Dr. Zach Bush and his product Restore)
The Magic of Redox Signalling Molecules (Dr. Samuelson and the product ASEA)
The Real God Particle (molecular hydrogen therapy; Tyler LaBaron)
The Buzz About Carbon 60
The Endocannabinoid System: Yet Another Signalling Pathway
Odds ’n Ends (DMSO, pqq, serrapeptase, stem cells, ACV, fasting, AUT or Orin Looping…)

(Proposed titles are subject to change.)

All of the essays to follow in this series will be based in my own experience with each of the products and modalities described.

Straight Talk: Shorts: Legitimate Government

by nielskunze on March 24, 2017

Legitimate Government

I know. I know. It’s an oxymoron. Especially for people like me, there’s no such thing as legitimate government.

I’m an idealist… trying very hard to be more of a realist.

In the realm of government and politics, I’m an outright anarchist. I do not believe in the ENDURING need for government. But at the same time, realistically, I understand that we can’t have a peaceful anarchy tomorrow.

My adoption of (peaceful) anarchistic principles stems from the axiom that the only possible form of perfect control is self-control… or its corollary: control initiated at the behest of external force and motivation is inefficient, incomplete, inherently violent, and doomed to ultimate failure.

Self-control is a state of spiritual maturity— and it is exceedingly rare. Why is it so lacking in our modern society? Simply because it is not valued— or even considered— when external control issued through the use of violence is continually legitimized and perpetuated.

So coming back to government… I look upon the role of government as being loosely analogous to the role of a parent raising a child. Our society is undeniably infantile, and this is a failure of government.

In the West, our governments have never seriously taken on the goal of being a good parent or shepherd. Good parents raise, protect, and educate their children with the clear intent that the children will mature and grow into independent, self-reliant paragons of competency. In the true biological parent-child relationship this only makes sense because eventually the parents will be gone one day, and the children will necessarily have to fend for themselves.

With government however, we have a very different dynamic. Government never formulates the intent to genuinely foster self-reliance and competency among the masses because government never intends to step aside. Government never chooses a diminishing role for itself. On the contrary, it rather perpetuates greater and greater co-dependency. And this is a highly dysfunctional relationship, for which we are all reaping our ‘just’ rewards.

In order for government to claim any legitimacy, in my opinion, it MUST adopt a strict goal of its own eventual irrelevance and complete dissolution. If government is successful in fostering self-control among all the members of society, obviously it is no longer needed. And perhaps it never was.

Whenever I speak or write about the perceived need for government— or rather, the true lack of any need for government— I am invariably inundated with comments about people liking roads, and running water, and sewage facilities, and such. But then I remind them— or perhaps inform them for the first time— that the town where I live, Fairmont Hot Springs, wasn’t built by any government. No, not at all. My town was built by private developers. The water system, the roads, the power supply, the handling of sewage… was all taken care of by private investors and their subcontractors. Other than the filing of appropriate paperwork, there was no government involved at all. And I strongly suspect that the same holds true for most every other town.

It’s extremely important to remember that the things which government seemingly provides were once invariably initiated through private entities… and then governments subsequently took them over. It’s a racket.

Seems legit.

(Mr. Oxy Moron by Echolyn from their 1992 album Suffocating the Bloom)

Straight Talk: Shorts: God

by nielskunze on March 22, 2017

God

I think, today, I’d like to tackle God… so to speak.

Of all the words in the English language— and its correlates in all others— the word “God” certainly has the most diverse meaning. In fact, it may very well be that “God” means something uniquely different to each and every individual on the planet.

It is also one of the most emotionally charged words available, conjuring a spectrum of responses ranging from ridicule and outrage to fawning love and devotion.

There was a time, in my youth, when any serious mention of god was immediately met with a brick wall of denial and a clear view of my backside hurrying away. I was somewhat less than sympathetic to the god hypothesis, which I had dismissively branded as hopelessly delusional.

Finally, as I grew up— and continue to do so— I realized that the actual viability of the god hypothesis was solely and unreasonably dependent upon how “God” was defined.

And here we are.

Now, when someone, anyone, explains some crucial aspect of life, the universe and everything to me utilizing the word “god,” I just automatically substitute my own personalized definition for the term. I should point out that I am now perfectly accepting of the god hypothesis if you allow me this one smidgeon of leeway.

My definition of “God”— the one with which I am perfectly happy— is that God is the intelligence of the universe. This intelligence is both imminent and transcendent. We, as willful sovereigns, are able to freely choose to align and partner with this divine intelligence (its imminent aspect), or we can choose to oppose (or deny) it.

That the universe is intelligent seems rather obvious to me. The contrary notion that a complex system characterized by unconscious randomness, haphazard differentiation, developmental willy-nilliness, can and will produce the genius we witness among biological expression on Earth seems to be an untenable and illogical break with any reasonable notion of what intelligence is in the first place. I submit that the genius of say a William Shakespeare is due to more than the repeated smashings of rocks together in the accidental casino of universal conniptions lasting billions of years.

Human— and all biological— intelligence is a reflection of the inherent intelligence of the system which allegedly produced (created) it.

That’s how I see it.

(A Murder of Crows by Good God, a UK prog-jazz-fusion band, from their 1972 self-titled album)

(The Revealing Science of God – Dance of the Dawn by Yes from their album Tales from Topographic Oceans)

(My God by Jethro Tull from their 1971 album Aqualung)

(God Won’t Mind by my band Missing Peace from our 2016 album Second Thoughts)

Straight Talk: Shorts: Globalism

by nielskunze on March 21, 2017

T-Shirt

Globalism

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written in the category of politics, it would be easy to conclude that I am a fierce anti-globalist. And this would be an error— albeit a forgivable one.

Globalism, the inexorable move toward one world government, is not inherently and necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I consider it to be inevitable. One day, there will be a single global government. What is of crucial importance is what specific form and fundamental purpose will such a government adopt. Will it be representative and meaningfully answerable to all the peoples of Earth? Will it exist for the protection and development of each and every sovereign individual’s full potential in a highly interactive world? Or will it rather exist as an unaccountable, bureaucratic means of containment and crowd management in an ever-increasingly authoritarian and violent new world order?

The globalism we’ve had to date, being relentlessly shoved down the throats of the world’s citizens without any meaningful consultation, seems to fit squarely within the latter. And personally, that’s a form and function of globalism that I definitely do not want. It’s not globalism per se that is good or bad; it is rather all about its form and function. And we, the peoples of the Earth, need to have a say in that.

So today we may be fighting globalism to the death— because it represents just one more layer of intractable tyranny— but tomorrow we may just be embracing a completely different form of globalism, as it endorses the collective will of humanity to provide the greatest opportunity for the full expression of individual potential for everyone in a growing, evolving world. It is not for us to label these things ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in a reductionist’s dismissive sloth, but perhaps we should look closely instead at what direction the world moves, and decide whether we’ll march in lockstep toward destinations selected by elite interests… or dance to an altogether different tune of our own creation.

(As the World by Echolyn, title track from their 1995 album)

Straight Talk (Supplemental) Why the Establishment Media Is Failing (And Is Destined to Fail)

by nielskunze on February 25, 2017

This has been a slow process which is now accelerating, but the establishment media’s failure is imminent. Rather than dive into the quagmire of ‘fake news,’ I’ll focus instead on personal, individual reasons for this epic failure and how that might fit into the grand paradigmatic shift we’re experiencing globally.

The legacy media is operating from a business plan which is essentially hundreds of years old. And for centuries, it worked fine— for them. They had an effective monopoly on the dissemination of information, but with the advent and proliferation of the internet among the general public, the dynamic has changed considerably and irreversibly.

When you have a virtual monopoly on being the ‘truth-tellers,’ it is utterly inevitable that a tone of arrogance and condescension will come to dominate in the telling. For centuries, after the invention of the Gutenberg press, the only source of true humility among the media elites was good old-fashioned competition. As the competition inherent in the open marketplace of ideas begins to wane and a single dominant perspective emerges, condescension becomes institutionalized. This we have witnessed in recent decades.

Writers, documentarians and YouTubers have explained at length how approximately 90% of the news in America is controlled by just 6 corporate giants— who don’t really appear to be in honest competition with each other to any functional degree. Although these cozy corporate titans may not issue clearly delineated guidelines for overt censorship to their minions, there is a form of soft— yet very effective— self-censorship which naturally develops among the journalists, reporters and editors working within the corporate structure. Dan Rather has given many interviews available on YouTube explaining this. Journalists have ALWAYS spoken on behalf of their owners first… and in the interests of the people only selectively and secondarily.

The establishment media, with the minor exception of Fox News (who’s hardly any better than the rest), appears to speak with one voice, from a singular perspective. The tone of this entrenched perspective is decidedly condescending and conceited— the natural consequence of an historic monopoly. For clear, irrefutable evidence of this we need look no further than the following brief article appearing in alternative media:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-22/msnbc-anchor-admits-our-job-control-exactly-what-people-think

I began writing this essay yesterday and this morning the headline, MSNBC Anchor: “Our Job” Is To “Control Exactly What People Think”, appeared in syncopated confirmation. What’s most interesting about Mika Brzezinski’s brazen statement is that none of her co-hosts and colleagues even batted an eye at the admission. This is taken as true, unquestionably. Of course the media’s job is to control exactly what people think… what else could it be?

The unspoken implication here is that there is only one ‘right’ perspective… and it happens to be the one espoused by the major establishment networks— including Fox whose deviation is too trivial to constitute healthy dissent and skepticism.

American society is deeply divided— in case you hadn’t noticed. The fracture lines are many and varied, but I wish to focus upon the fundamental division between the Thinkers and the Believers.

It has been my contention for the last twenty years or so that we are in the midst of a major paradigmatic shift, and one way to characterize that shift is the general movement from being a population of Believers to one of Thinkers. Throughout history there have always been Thinkers, and indeed they tend to be the ones who move societies forward with creative innovations. But society itself is decidedly geared toward fostering Believers over Thinkers. It is a logical statist strategy. Believers are easily governed; Thinkers… not so much.

The internet popped into our awareness and our lives in earnest around the turn of the millennium. And very shortly after that, we witnessed the most pivotal event of modern times: 9/11. Prior to the internet, the public was largely at the mercy of the legacy news monopoly to supply the narrative and the details explaining such major policy-defining events. With 9/11, the public had for the first time the opportunity to scrutinize, analyze, discuss and evaluate the narrative being given through official channels and how well that squared with the known and emerging details— in real time.

Naturally, the Thinkers jumped at the opportunity to try and answer the question which was on everyone’s mind: How could such a thing ever have happened? In answering that question for themselves, largely through internet research and discussion, many Thinkers found that their answers differed sharply with the official view being forwarded by the government and unquestioningly supported by the establishment media. Something was decidedly off. The official version appeared to defy common sense and the very laws of physics… and yet the media wouldn’t budge in their view.

Serious doubt— a healthy skepticism— had crept into the public mind… and it would not— will not— be dislodged.

It was on 9/11 that I witnessed for the first time a most perplexing spectacle when every news channel at the same time suddenly announced only hours into the event that it had undoubtedly been orchestrated by Osama bin Laden— without any investigation or evidence presented. That was more than a bit odd.

Since 9/11, more than 15 years later, the singularity of the legacy media’s voice has become even more monotone, more self-conforming. The circus of panel discussions pretending to represent multiple perspectives on current events is an obvious show, a fraud. Every newscast on every major network speaks for and defends a singular opinionated perspective. Those token ‘dissenting’ voices are routinely shouted down and are rarely— if ever— taken seriously. It’s just for show. The latest, greatest example was the recent U.S. presidential election where the media was ubiquitously in bed with Clinton, universally despised Trump, and were absolutely dead wrong about how the election would turn out. They made complete asses of themselves.

And now the news consumers have begun to catch on big time.

Younger generations are less likely to turn to the TV news in the first place, but when they do, many find that their own perspectives are not realistically represented or taken seriously on any of the major broadcasters… or within the legacy newspapers. Reasonable, middle-of-the-road conservatives, holding traditional family values, have been marginalized and ultimately alienated by the condescension news media. And it’s insulting. This is precisely what the establishment media has consistently failed to recognize. Many potential viewers just can’t relate to the agenda being forced upon them and refuse to abide by it. But in today’s online world these potential customers have options, and they’re exploring them… with a great deal of enthusiasm and delight.

The establishment media, in its misguided view, has decided to fight back with the ‘fake news’ meme, claiming legitimacy of their own monopoly on truth. But the monopoly has been broken… and it’s not returning. In trying to find like-minded online presentations and discussions of political information and views, Thinkers have found something far superior to the condescension media’s parochial crap. They have delightedly found that the new alternative media is responsive, participatory and accommodating. And what’s more… the alternative media actively encourages Thinkers over Believers… and the inevitable discussions which ensue.

The alternative media demands discernment. By its very nature, the broad spectrum of perspectives covered by alternative media encourages its potential customers to decide for themselves what’s true and what’s not. Believers are horrified and terrified of such a requirement. Believers don’t know how to think for themselves… and believe that no one else does either. Believers absolutely need to be told exactly what to think, and further they fervently believe that there are no valid perspectives or opinions outside of the ones they’ve been given. To the Believers, nearly all of the Thinkers are misguided lunatics! (It has always been so in society.)

Thinkers will often ‘fall’ for ‘alternative facts.’ But alternative facts are really just the rest of the context for any given story— the other things that should be considered while aiming for the truth. No one— absolutely no one— has the inside scoop on truth. When multiple witnesses perceive a major event, they will all give a different account of that event, and sometimes their accounts will be incompatible or even contradictory. Believers will search among the witnesses for the one with the most ‘credibility’— usually the one adhering most closely to the official account— and discount the rest. Thinkers will consider all of the accounts, rate them according to their own criteria, and formulate their own unique opinion on the matter. This is precisely what a healthy, functional mind typically does.

The ivory-tower news media has historically fallen hard into the habit of marketing only to Believers; no Thinkers allowed! This entrenched habit is one of the main driving factors responsible for forcing onetime Believers into becoming newfound Thinkers. It has been a slow process— and there are much larger forces at play here than just the media— but now we are reaching a critical juncture where thinking is outstripping believing. This is predictable and inevitable.

Consider a hypothetical broadcast on CNN where they assemble a diverse panel of ‘experts’ to discuss current geopolitical conditions and strategies playing out on the world stage. One of the experts explains at the very beginning that his perspective and explanation is derived from the premise that 9/11 was an inside job, carried out by Mossad operatives and financed by Saudi royals… and that current geopolitical maneuverings can best be understood from this unorthodox perspective. Well, of course, CNN would never allow such a perspective to be aired on their network. Doing so would reveal the real possibility of their own complicity in a longstanding lie, and their abject failure as actual journalists. CNN at this late date has no choice but to blackball any such discussion.

I can just hear Wolf Blitzer saying “That’s a preposterous idea!” to our now-silenced expert. “We can’t go on air with such a blatantly false narrative!” The dissenting view— along with any others— is removed from the discussion. What old Wolfie doesn’t seem to realize is that many many people among his potential audience regard the orthodox view on 9/11 as the obviously false narrative. And such potential customers will therefore not even consider watching the CNN bullshit analysis offered. The network talking heads can stand on their soapboxes all they want, shouting down to the masses who hold differing views and analyses that their opinions are wrong, but what will it take for them to finally realize that hardly anyone is listening anymore?

The Thinkers want one thing above all else: inclusion. They want all perspectives to be heard, to be explored, to be considered. Thinkers believe only in the open marketplace of ideas. They will not accept being told like ignorant children; they will only accept persuasion through reasonable argument. The censorship of ideas in any form is repugnant to Thinkers.

To Believers it may seem that society is at an impasse, but we will only move forward now by allowing for and actively fostering the development of individual potential among society’s members… in essence, by converting Believers into Thinkers. The nature of the ‘impasse’ is the herd mentality, conformity, group-think, the hive-mind. Individuals will stride past it easily as they learn to think for themselves and immediately notice the rich rewards to self-esteem, ability, independence and freedom they suddenly enjoy. What they ‘lose’ in false knowing they gain in personal growth.

Believing is a fearful place… because it depends upon conformity. To Believers, differing opinions are dangerous and threatening. Thinkers have dispelled all such fears by relying instead upon their own accelerating ability to parse through bullshit and face the truth while ever moving forward into an exciting future.

This is a pivotal, monumental trend. It is transforming civilization itself. In an upcoming essay, I will explore the transition from Civilization 1.0: The Age of Conquest (of Belief) to Civilization 2.0: The Age of Collaborative Creation.

Please stay tuned… but turn off the damn TV!

Imagine What It Means to Come Together

by nielskunze on January 27, 2017

Transparency (photo by Niels via GoPro)

Imagine what it really means to come together. When we are each filled with illusions, pouring our energy into misunderstandings, planting ourselves in cul-de-sacs of thought leading nowhere… we can only come together as a milling crowd, a mob of weak character. We will find comfort, temporarily, in such an arrangement– this illusion of power-by-numbers– but we will be unable to solve or resolve anything. First, we must be broken, stripped bare of our comforting delusions; we must be taken down to our roots. We will be parsed, pared and pruned… until we are transparent to ourselves, invisible… as only the fertile soil remains as the basis for our commonality. And then the rose will rise up in the Spring, with the dandelions, among the towering conifers– each infinite in its potential. The Forest will breathe with One Life, nurturing each in its quest for the Sun. Imagine what it really means to come together…

(Come Together, written by The Beatles, performed by my band Missing Peace, live in Whitehorse, 2001)

Straight Talk: Do You Really Think…? (Part 1)

by nielskunze on January 26, 2017

Occupy your mind… because if you don’t, someone else will.

The Thinker (photo by Niels Kunze)

(No Brain No Headache by Missing Peace from our 1996 album Tense Moments)

“You can incite to riot, but you can’t incite to think!”

Do You Really Think…?

Freedom and Authority are fighting a turf war in your mind…
and you get to decide the winner.

“That which is falling deserves to be pushed.” – Nietzsche

When all one’s knowledge comes from books, all that’s learned is prejudice.

The main cause of human ignorance is the illusion of knowledge already gleaned.

Until you have given the whole world its freedom, you will never have yours.
___________________________________________
Psychology matters.

The state of a person’s mind, its functionality, matters… especially in a world where the word ‘crazy’ seems to come up in everyday conversation more and more. But what is crazy?

Let’s begin with a few ponderables…

Do you really think… that power doesn’t tend to corrupt?

Do you really think… that psychopathy and sociopathy don’t really exist to any significant degree in our modern society?

Do you really think… that only good, caring individuals are attracted to public office?

Do you really think… that some people are immune to confirmation bias?

Do you really think… that memorizing ‘knowledge’ is the same as thinking?

Do you really think… that advertising doesn’t work? How about propaganda?

Do you really think… that censorship is the appropriate response to propaganda?

Do you really think… that diet soda is somehow good for you?

Do you really think… that arms dealers spend their profits on peace initiatives?

Do you really think… that no one is interested in manipulating your thoughts and controlling your mind?

Do you really think… that your subconscious mind either doesn’t exist or plays no significant role in your life?

Do you really think… that the world is exactly the way you believe it to be?

Do you really think… that self-righteous indignation somehow makes you morally superior… to anyone?

Do you really think… that you could be any more fucking naïve?

Do you really think?

Long ago, as a writer, I consolidated my mission statement as follows: to inspire new thoughts among my readers.

Further, it’s not so much WHAT you think; it’s THAT you think… at all. And that is determined by your state of mind– its ability to function as designed… or not. Use it or lose it!

The simple thesis for this essay is that the specific contents of your mind matter far less than the structure and functionality of your mind. What you believe– specifically– is far less important than your ability to question or challenge those beliefs– and posit alternatives. And this is the main difference between open-mindedness and closed-mindedness… sanity and insanity.

In the first essay of this series, I hit upon an analogy, one with which I have grown rather enamoured. It is the likening of the mind to an island in a vast sea. I wish to unpack that extended metaphor now in order to demonstrate its aptness.

The conscious mind is an island in an infinite sea. It is small and familiar. The island is surrounded by shallow waters, suitable for swimming. The shallows represent the personal subconscious. Then, somewhere out beyond the protective coral reefs, lies the unfathomable ocean. Seamlessly, the personal subconscious blends and merges with the common collective– the Sea of All Possibility, the oceanic field of all quantum potential.

The human being is, in essence, equally the island, the shallows, and the infinite deep. The ocean is our commonality, our shared source– our ever-oneness. The island is our personality, expressed through individual choice. The shallows surrounding the island mediates between the two, a place where we can choose to swim, imagine, explore and dream… the subconscious.

Every island has its own unique inventory. The items “on” each island are specific beliefs (and goals, priorities, etc.). These items– our beliefs– are either gifted to us by others and accepted, or are self-selected (created) through our own explorations and curiosities. Ultimately, we alone decide what is allowed on our islands. (And like any seascape, the shoreline is subject to tides. That portion of the beach that is alternately land and then sea… and then land again, represents that portion of our belief systems that is often unknown to ourselves– our unconscious beliefs– yet they are knowable, through work and effort.) There is a strong, nearly irresistible, tendency to identify with the inventory of our own island– the contents of our conscious minds. But remember, we are the island, the shallows, and the deep ocean; we are NOT merely what we believe.

In today’s world, in 2017, there are many who have become strict islanders. The island is all they know. They no longer choose to swim in the shallows; even when they dream, those dreams are either mundane dreams of the island itself, or are simply forgotten completely upon awakening. Islanders tend to become landlubbers. The ocean exists merely as a dim memory, as something of little import or consequence. Islanders tend to cling to their inventories with fanatical tenacity, and focus exclusively upon the island alone. It is not uncommon for an islander to hold the same belief system (inventory) for an entire lifetime. Islanders are closed-minded.

In opposition to the islander stands the mariner (sans albatross). Mariners delight in the exploration of the ocean, its potential, its endless possibilities. Mariners cannot be entrapped upon islands; their islands are rather like vessels. Mariners understand that islands or vessels are not the true basis for identity; they are merely focal-points– functional and pragmatic. Mariners honour and hone their natural curiosities. Mariners tend to be open-minded explorers.

That which separates the mariner from the islander is the active acceptance of alternative possibilities. The islander has no use for alternative possibilities– alternatives to what he already believes– because he has convinced himself that he already knows. To an islander, alternative possibilities are a waste of time.

For the mariner, however, the exploration of alternative possibilities is the very purpose of life– and the subtle action of the mind– and there is no limit to the number of alternative possibilities he may explore, examine and retain. In fact, the more alternatives he is able to entertain in any given moment is the accurate measure of the degree to which his mind is open, functional and healthy. Alternative possibilities hover like a mist above the calm sea at dawn on a windless day. They are somewhere in between the pure potential of the infinite deep and the concrete manifestations of perceivable reality. Alternative possibilities which are found to be mere fantasies, having no basis or connection to perceivable reality, will eventually ‘burn off’ to become clouds in the sky… obscuring the sun… for they are not truly ‘possibilities’ at all.

(Imagination and fantasy are not the same. True imagination seeks to maintain a connection to perceived reality, while fantasy has no such requirement.) Islanders are prone to fantasizing; mariners are imaginative. (And I have been both.)

We are all creators, islanders and mariners alike. Perceivable reality is a consensus of our individual and collective creation. For islanders, creation tends to be a done deal. For mariners, the Great Mystery is fluid, ever-changing and unsolvable… and yet they delight in the wonderment and awe of actively trying to solve it. Mariners are avid thinkers, regarding contemplation as an essential art.

True thinking, or what I call contemplation, is a creative act. Contemplation must involve the challenge of novelty. Thinking requires that something new is considered– hence, the alternative possibilities. Islanders rarely think and generally disdain contemplation. Islanders like to take inventory… again and again, counting, itemizing and categorizing the familiar contents of their minds. Islanders wander around in circles… a lot.

Over time, islanders tend to shrink, even though they may accumulate mountains of trinkets to clutter their islands. This is the natural consequence of being primarily closed-minded. Mariners, on the other hand, tend to be expansive… by nature of their choice for novelty and alternatives. Islands or vessels cannot contain them, for they recognize themselves as the source of creativity… and creativity for a creator is a fundamental state of wellbeing.

In identifying oneself as either an islander or a mariner, there is some deviousness afoot… by way of self-deception. It is exceedingly rare for a closed-minded person to know themselves as such. The possibility of being closed-minded simply does not occur to them… as long as they are relatively tolerant and kind (in their own estimation). It is, ironically, the condition of closed-mindedness which makes closed-mindedness difficult to perceive– especially in oneself.

Let me return now to where this essay began.

Psychology matters, especially now.

We are being challenged like never before, and it’s only going to get more intense. My concern for the state of mind we each individually occupy is a matter of survival. I actually believe– as a real possibility– that the most closed-minded among us will not survive the coming challenges we will face. Only healthy, adaptable minds will manage to cope with the torrent of revelations poised to inundate us like a cognitive avalanche… beginning in earnest this year (2017).

If only 3 in a hundred survive with their marbles intact, I can’t count this as a victory. We need to bring each other along in curiosity, inquiry, healthy skepticism, critical thinking, and above all else, the ability to effectively communicate. Have you noticed that many many humans are having difficulty effectively communicating with their fellows? Closed-mindedness is the conversation killer.

We have been so deeply conditioned into the mindset of competitiveness that what should be open-ended conversation is nearly always immediately degraded into argument and a quest for dominance and superiority. Too many of our ‘conversations’ are a clash of conflicting belief systems. In such cases, the ‘combatants’ seek the untenable goal of supplanting the inventory of the other’s island. “You HAVE to believe me… because you’re wrong and I’m right.” How often does this work? Almost never, and the result is usually further isolation for all those involved. Can we ease up a bit?

This might seem trite and inconsequential, but as we approach each other in conversational exchange, we are not trading in vested beliefs; we are rather making offerings of alternative possibilities. Energetically, there is a HUGE difference between asking another to “Consider this…” and “You’ve got to believe…”

What another person believes is of absolutely no concern of mine– it’s none of my damn business– unless such beliefs include initiating harm against myself or others. However base reality may be configured, it seems to exhibit a rare perfection in that I will live to experience the consequences of what I specifically believe, just as you will experience the consequences of what you specifically believe– fair and perfect. And we are now unavoidably heading into very consequential times.

Open-mindedness begins with a single alternative possibility: that reality is somewhat different than what you currently believe it to be. It sounds so simple and obvious… and yet, through their actions, so many will steadfastly deny its validity. Arrogance is the willing whore of islanders.

There seems to be a nearly pathological fear among islanders of simple gullibility. It’s as though when a person is caught believing in something that turns out not to be true that some grave mortal sin has been committed. (As an aside, I believe that humanity fell for something dubious in the past, collectively, on a mass scale… and now is subconsciously afraid of being duped again.) But being wrong doesn’t hurt– unless we refuse to acknowledge the error and learn from it. Mistakes cease being mistakes the very moment we recognize them as such. Again, it’s the difference between open-mindedness and closed-mindedness. Simple.

So let’s stop trying to convince others to believe exactly what we believe. Instead, let’s just goad each other into considering alternative explanations, other possibilities. Ultimately, none of us knows… and we gain nothing by pretending that we do. And in the mere acceptance of alternative possibilities we engage and exercise our minds, bringing them back to full functionality. That’s how minds work.

And as we find ourselves engaging again in hopeful conversation, let us ask together whether our dialogue is geared toward a mutual big-picture understanding, or whether a single narrative is being forced and promoted to the exclusion of new insight and viable alternatives. This is especially true as we engage specific news sources. Are we being encouraged to question, to think critically, to reach our own conclusions, to consider heretofore unconsidered possibilities? Or are we being asked to believe a single narrative, to adopt a predetermined perspective, to submit to the experts and authorities?

For you see, that’s what’s at stake: your own choosing to be free as a whole, completely functional human being, able to think for yourself, a self-determined explorer of the Unsolvable Mystery… or submitting your passive acquiescence to doing as you are told by the ‘relevant’ authorities, staying isolated on a quarantined island, in a sea of nearly-identical islands. Shockingly, many will still argue for conformity– of thought, belief, and behaviour– that we are meant to be islanders. But I urge you, do not shout them down as being wrong– for that will not work. Rather, offer them the olive branch, the living possibility, that there just might be another way, a better way of exploring reality together in its infinite possibility.

In order to see, you have to look…

(Islander: Unreleased instrumental studio run-through, composed by Niels, performed by the rhythm section only of my band Missing Peace – Christopher Howse: drums; Ian Borenheim: bass: Niels Kunze: 12-string guitar)

(Islander/State of Love & Trust: Islander by Missing Peace; State of Love & Trust by Pearl Jam; performed by Missing Peace live in Banff 1998; cassette tape recording of front-end mix; Cory Price: electric guitar; Shane Hagan: vocals; the rest: same as above.)
_______________________________

Part 2 Coming soon…

Where we will explore:

Confirmation Bias
Categorical ‘Thinking’ / False Dichotomies
Strawman Arguments
Intellectual Honesty / Seeking the Strong Argument
Heart-Centred Intelligence
The Internet Equalizer
Healthy Skepticism
Adaptability and Survival
Education versus Indoctrination
…and more…

Sirclik and Linus (A Flat Earth Tale): Part 1 Sirclik Chapter 3 Ice-olation

by nielskunze on December 23, 2016

(Winter Time by Steve Miller Band)

Sirclik squeezed his eyes to mere slits, squinting against the unreasonable light reflecting off the snow and ice. There was light ahead, way ahead, but even here, a three-days journey out, it seemed to skid and bounce off of the homogenous white fields with little diminishment, poking him in the face, along with a relentless wind, causing the muscles in his brow to cramp and freeze. It was uncomfortable and foreign to anything he had known before… but all that was so far behind him already that he was truly now a stranger to himself, wandering in a strange land, toward an incomprehensible destination in pursuit of some idiotic personal mission. He didn’t understand his own motivations; he pressed on… only because going back seemed even more absurd.

He was empty of thought and rationale, a mere tumbling vessel of vacuous identity, rolling across a featureless landscape. Only the strange egg inside his breast throbbed with any semblance of life, a life no longer his own in any conceivable way. He was the arms and legs and breath of a singular esoteric mission assigned by the cryptic humour of some ancestral prank, the motility of an embodied idea too farfetched to even comprehend.

His feet shuffled on, wrapped in hides and sure compulsion. He stopped occasionally when the cold bit through to hug himself back to life, pulling his arms inside the makeshift tunic to warm his torso and his hands. It was a stranger hugging a stranger, as he was also the silent third– the witness– to such awkward necessity.

When the light ahead finally dimmed, he knew for the first time the definition of day and night… its length, its contrast, the silent, implacable measure of his resolve. In full darkness he had no choice but to stop, lest he might just wander in circles without the light ahead to guide his way. He piled the snow against the wind to huddle in a crevice. He yearned for fire, but there was nothing to burn… but the last of the calories in his empty gut. He grumbled with hunger throughout the night.

Fields of Ice

Fields of Ice

The trappings of his breath within that tiny cave of ice kept him alive during the few hours of fitful sleep. He managed to dream, but could not remember what. Dreams out of context, it seemed, were particularly fleeting and indistinct. The morning light penetrated his thin blanket of snow just enough to rouse him to wakefulness in a moment of blinking and de-cramping. With something less than real enthusiasm, he pushed himself up again into the daylight world, seeking passage again to the sun ahead.

A yellow orb in an orange-pink sky defined the sunrise of another day… in another world, that lay just ahead. He had never seen this sun before; it was a stranger, a foreigner to the man who stood at his back shrouded in dissolving memory like a trailing mist. Had he ever been that man? Truly?

He cast the ice from his veins in brisk deliberate movements, stamping his feet to encourage circulation in his numbed toes. There was naught to do but to press on another two days in total monotony… until the supposed ‘barrier’ encasing this beckoning world would decide whether and how he might pass within. And then what? He couldn’t even begin to imagine.

The second day passed interminably. Fortunately, even the processes of thought were cold, numbed and languid, so frustration was largely kept at bay by default. He tried at times to recall the many hours of instruction his dragon friend Lizabeth had bequeathed him, but their impenetrable unrelatability left him with just a head full of indecipherable hieroglyphs cluttering his mind. Their pertinence lay another day’s journey ahead, or so he had to believe.

That second night yielded very little sleep. As stores of energy were drastically depleted, the cold was able to bite that much harder. Waking again to the dawn light, this time a fair sight closer, he felt lucky to have woken at all. The vapour from his breath had iced the lids of his eyes firmly shut during the night. Cold clumsy fingers scraped the gluing shards away to allow the sight of the dawn ahead to fill him again with mad purpose, to rouse him to his feet– now seemingly permanently numbed– so that he might continue this agonizing shuffle toward a haunting destiny.

He had become an automaton. All movement was purely out of habit. His mind was a complete blank, and seemed to hover around the periphery of his upper body instead of staying strictly put inside his head. It was as though he was now just a loosely defined cloud of singular aspiration, drifting inexorably toward that unknown goal. There was nothing to reflect upon, nothing to remember, no cause for speculation. Fate was his dizzy companion… and there was nothing to discuss.

And then he was abruptly face down in the snow. That sudden reality was like a slap to instant wakefulness, causing him to wonder what had just happened. He pulled himself up on all fours, lifting his head to further discern the way. There was something directly in front of his face, invisible, undetectable to his senses… except that he could feel it there, right in front of him, gigantically looming…

It was the barrier. It was utterly huge, whatever it was. The strange egg throbbed inside him in some peculiar resonance with the invisible dome… as though the one was the microcosm of the macrocosm, one the internal origin of the other’s external reality. In some indecipherable way the egg was the dome; the dome was the egg.

He stood now before it, arms outstretched akimbo, sensing its implacable reality with an awareness beyond the five senses, an awareness that only comes in place of profound emptiness. Eyes closed, he could see it in his mind… and it wasn’t merely a dome, a protective shield placed upon the ground. Like the strange egg inside his breast, it was a fully enclosed bubble, or perhaps a cocoon. Where its edge met the ground it continued downward into the ice and snow, through the cold rock and frozen dirt beneath, to fully quarantine this world called Earth– from above, from below.

He stood before the outer magnetic edge of an alien world… and yearned only to be inside…

The barrier wasn’t physical, at least not in any way that made sense to the lone traveler. He could feel it, sense it, as he began to move through it. It provided no sensation to the outer receptors on his skin, but he could feel it moving within him as though he was a sponge and the dome a cold liquid. It poured through him in layers, like a beast devouring him, piece by piece dismembering him from the inside, masticating his last sense of selfhood, swallowing, appropriating his very essence…
And the strange egg burst like a star within him, filling him with the shrapnel of quantized, fractured light…

Sunlight in the Void… a mutual devouring, one into the other, from the other… the hands of paternity shaping the potter’s clay in divine purpose… infinity captured in the full lilt of the pendulum’s swing… from this to that, sound and silence…

Scintillant shafts and spears projected from the merger of eyes… to a screen of ghosts, monsters, shadows and angels… thoughts contorting to accommodate their own convoluted story-lines… imaginative array… unbound… unhinged…

And the sound… oh, the sound! Going out in reverberation… a blending of music and will, then circling the outer ear… spiraling, tunneling… the motion of God’s own jihad, coming to kill Himself, over and over again… the seductive melody of falsehood and self… everything propped up by words… in motion, dancing…

A swoon in the dizzied breast… call it love, punctuated by fear– the fear of moments unending… ribcages exploding in delight, for annihilation’s sweet promise that time is a friend… and a foe to singularity. The circle is broken… and outstretched, a line in parallel with infinity… finding no edge, no blade, no cut… just the unstaunched bleeding, with borrowed blood… beating back the inevitable, until growth pushes forward… into this stranger’s waiting embrace…

The power and the plexus… a filigree network, first tied to the sun, like a spider in her web… the lens is shaped from purpose and feedback. There are no naked eyes here; there is no seeing without the lens. The moon is a tunnel, through the quarantine, through amnesia… linking outer with inner, guarded by the cold-blooded, intelligent life-force of fire-breathing dragons… and our mutual dreaming…

The coming of procreators… spewing pools of sticky consensus, garments of agreements for the organization of masses… of generations, self-forgetting… dressing each other in the costumes we’d prefer for ourselves… and our unrecognized aspirations… pushing our leaders from behind…

And finally… the fragility of need… tied tightly to the ground… from loftiness to filth, the distant bars on the barometer… high and low– equal morsels to feed the relentlessness of hunger, the ever-present companion at life’s outer edge… motility… motion… prerequisites to the Hero’s quest… but stilled in fear, and equal measure of self-approbation… the kneeling supplicant… made humble, made great.

He was in. He was done, lain out to die.

Passed through the barrier, the barrier had passed through him, shattering the egg, spilling its mystery, diffusing a whisper of ancient breath. He was face-down in the snow, unable to even open his eyes, lucky to breathe… once more… and again…

…and then, nothing.

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He was rocked gently, in a giant cradle, dictating the rhythm of the deepest sleep reserved for the undead. Movement, more than anything, was a sure sign of life. If something moved, something was alive… but it wasn’t he who moved; it was the world in its totality, rocking back and forth, languidly, gently, reassuringly. Was it the giant hands of creator gods lovingly trying to rouse him? Was this mere slumber, or something more mysterious, sinister?

No. He was warm, comfortable– shockingly so. He could feel the outline of his body, buried under blankets or skins, under a mountain of care of someone else’s devising.

Gentle sounds came to his ears: the creaking of wood in mild duress, the pat-pat of hands smoothening the ruffled edges of reality, far distant voices– human, and then the almost imperceptible movements of someone nearby– clothes rustling, the creak of a chair being sat upon…

He opened his eyes.

“Ah, welcome friend,” came the voice from the man in the chair beside his bed. “We didn’t know if we’d ever see you alive.” He stood suddenly from the chair and stepped to the table beside the head of the bed. There he poured coffee, steaming, into a mug. He seemed to warm his own hands on it before passing it to the remnants of the man buried beneath the covers.

Under the covers, his own arms were impossibly heavy, nearly unresponsive. But with great effort and determination he drew them out from beneath the heavy quilts and accepted the mug. The hot liquid was bitter, but good, blacker than dried blood but fluid like thoughts and rain.

“I’m Ed Barrington. You’re aboard my ship. We should be back to the Americas in about a month,” said the man smiling. “And you are…?”

The briefest moment of panic set in as he swallowed the coffee, not knowing at all what to answer. But then something inside answered for him.

“I’m Linus.”

Homeward

Homeward

(Rhayader by Camel from the album The Snow Goose)

End of Part 1

Part 2 Linus coming soon…

Straight Talk: The Establishment Media Has Made Reasonable Political Discussion Impossible… For Decades

by nielskunze on December 20, 2016

May all deception be revealed and truth come to light.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-10-01-41-am

The Establishment Media Has Made Reasonable Political Discussion Impossible… For Decades

(Note: This is not the next essay in this series that I had intended. However, circumstances have temporarily diverted my efforts. The establishment media has been a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember… so when the opportunity to challenge, ridicule and eventually tear down the whole whoring edifice came along, I jumped on it. And I’m still jumping… and stomping… and laughing all the way.)

There is nothing more important to the ruling class than controlling the flow of information among the masses. It is essential to elitism to be able to consistently dictate the social/political/economic narrative with impunity. They have been doing just this– covertly– for as long as civilization has existed, for centuries, even millennia.

My attention was first captured by candidate Trump when, early on in the campaign, he started calling out the media for being biased and dishonest. When shortly thereafter he threw most of the Washington establishment under the bus too, I was transfixed. Early in the campaign, like most everyone else, I thought “He’s not going to win… but at least he’s put out some important considerations for the mainstream public mind to consider… for the first time.” In calling out the media and systemic political corruption, he had already accomplished more good at that point than any politician had in the entirety of my life.

By the end of the summer 2016, I was convinced that he would actually win. I encapsulated that prediction rather accurately more than a month before the election in a short story published on my blog October 4th called “Election Results November 9th, 2016.” In that story, I predicted a landslide victory for Trump, but more importantly, I also predicted the hysterical reaction of the leftoid libtard zealots– it’s kinda what the story is really about. (I will admit that I thought Trump would win the popular vote too, although I didn’t say so in the piece. The ‘Russian hack’ must’ve helped Hillary in this regard– not to mention Obama giving the nudge-nudge-wink-wink to illegals two days before the election, assuring them that there would be no legal repercussions if they were to cast their votes… illegally.)

So, Trump wins. Now, let me be perfectly clear that I definitely DO have a vendetta against the establishment media. The presstitutes are the most vile and pernicious evil-doers in society. I liken their betrayal of the public trust to that of a bad cop. THEY are the ones charged with keeping the government honest, with fulfilling a vital role in keeping democracy viable and functional. It is universally agreed that without a robustly free press democracy cannot exist. They abandoned that sacred trust long ago, but absolutely solidified their unconscionable betrayal in September 2001. The establishment presstitutes have been lying and spouting pure unfiltered propaganda ever since 9/11 (and before… to a lesser degree). More than anyone, they are responsible for the gross dysfunctionality in our society today. God, I hate the establishment media!

Somewhat ironically, propaganda is actually pretty easy to spot– except for by those who consume only propaganda. Those who are informationally fed on nothing other than a diet of pure propaganda are hopelessly incapable of distinguishing obvious propaganda from fact-based reporting. That’s precisely how propaganda works: if you have nothing with which to compare a particular news narrative, or in other words, if you make no effort to look outside of the mainstream position, failing to take into consideration dissenting and opposing viewpoints, there will be little hope of correctly identifying even the most obvious propaganda.

Propaganda is most often threadbare of facts and relies heavily on incessant repetition. History has bourn out this simple mechanism of propagandizing that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will eventually be accepted in the public mind as truth. In the complete absence of a competing narrative, dissenting opinion, counter-argument and additional facts, it’s easy to imagine why propaganda is so effective… until now. The popularity of the alternative news media has at the very least brought to bear a degree of healthy skepticism on a longstanding situation.

Perhaps a couple of examples of blatant propaganda are in order. First, let’s consider the situation in Syria. Nearly the entire western establishment media narrative has been little else but naked propaganda. How could this be? There are, and have been, virtually no embedded western journalists participating and witnessing firsthand the military adventures in Syria. There’s a very good reason for this. Any western journalists caught in areas controlled by jihadists would face the very real consequence of being beheaded. So instead, western ‘journalism’ has had to rely almost exclusively upon third-party information in their reporting. The two primary sources of this third-party information have been the UN White Helmets and the SOHR (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights). The White Helmets have been discredited and shown to be dishonest in their fabricating and staging of numerous news items and events in Syria; videos from the group have been proven fraudulent. And the SOHR which has been the number one source for western news out of Syria operates out of the UK, is on the payroll of British intelligence, and is run by one guy, Rami Abdulrahman, who hasn’t been to Syria for 15 years. His contacts on the ground are all embedded with jihadists and ‘moderate rebels.’ Think about that. All of the news is coming from terrorist sources. Is it any wonder that the ‘news’ is invariably critical of Assad’s government forces and their Russian allies? Would sources embedded with terrorists be able to report anything damning about the terrorists themselves without fear of imminent beheading? Western media outlets make very little or no attempt to provide unbiased, critical reporting, dismissing any claims by the other side as purely fictitious propaganda. That’s how propaganda works: it is masterful at projecting its own shortcomings onto all detractors and naysayers… in an act of purest hypocrisy.

The second recent example of naked propaganda is the ‘Russian hacking and outright theft of the recent US election.’ Here we have the classic “according to anonymous intelligence sources…” Consumers of news have to realize that absolutely anything can follow such a phrase and remain forever unverifiable. Whatever the claims may be, they cannot be verified… in the absence of additional evidence, which is precisely what we have with this story: no names, no evidence, and not even a coherent story of exactly how the nefarious deed was accomplished– both the hacking and how it affected the election result. All we have is vague Washington gossip… but remember, if you repeat it often enough in public, eventually it will be accepted as the truth. Additionally, very compelling counter-arguments to the CIA narrative have been offered by Julian Assange and Craig Murray who were directly involved in receiving the ‘hacked’ (leaked) data from a DNC whistleblower, who have both stated unequivocally that neither the Russians– nor any other state actors– were involved. Also, former highly-placed intelligence operative at the NSA, William Binney, has stated definitively that a hack was not the case at all– as the NSA is able to trace and document any such cyber-breaches; rather it was an insider leak– perhaps Seth Rich. And finally, Congressman Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has stated that he nor anyone else in congress has been presented with any evidence backing up the CIA’s claims. These critical and damning facts countering the CIA’s anonymous claims are reported almost nowhere within the establishment media. Again, that’s how propaganda works: stick to the established narrative and ignore any information that arises to refute it.

And if there’s still any doubt that this story is pure propaganda consider this. The entire narrative has been obviously designed to make the whole story about WHO is responsible for leaking the truth to the American public… and not at all about what that revealed truth might be. The leaked emails provided concrete proof– in their own words– of corruption and collusion among deep-pocket democrats, the DNC, the Clinton campaign and the establishment media. To Trump supporters, and much of the rest of the world, THIS is the real story, and yet the presstitute propaganda media decided to report it not at all. Isn’t that curious?

These are two very obvious examples of state-sponsored propaganda. For those news consumers who are in the habit of seeking out differing points of view on any topic, it is very easy to see through the transparency of the propaganda. However, for those who are in the habit of only listening to the singular narrative offered by the many establishment media outlets repeating the same baseless, fact-free narrative, it simply does not occur to them to question it. And so it is uncritically believed.

Democracy, property rights, the free market, and the open exchange of ideas are the fundamental interlocking bricks from which western society has been built. The establishment press however, especially in recent years, has hamstrung the minds of millions of news consumers so that there is no longer an open exchange of ideas, the free market is neither free nor conceptually understood, and property rights and democracy are just quaint notions from a bygone era. Healthy discussion and debate have been replaced with the most divisive and pernicious identity politics, driven by a relentless and biased media blatantly flaunting the agenda of divide-and-conquer. The unavoidable result of this deliberate program of mutual alienation has naturally been to create vast unbridgeable caverns of total silence between all those with differing ideologies.

I visit with my elderly parents every Sunday. They are some of the last remnants of a dwindling demographic– the only demographic (over 70) where the majority still embraces the old establishment media as their primary (and often only) source for news. All discussion of a political nature has been banned in my parents’ house… and understandably so. Reasonable political discussion has become all but impossible.

My parents are only aware of the propaganda narrative. The only facts which exist– the only ones that CAN exist in their minds– are the easily-parroted talking points supporting the spoon-fed opinions doled out on the major news networks. To them, there are no valid opposing viewpoints; they simply don’t exist, and anyone expressing an alternative opinion (like me) is suffering from the delusion of ‘conspiracy theories’ and ‘fake news.’ On the occasions where I’ve sought to bring additional facts to bear on the popular (among old fogies) viewpoints, I’ve been consistently shot down before any meaningful discussion can ensue. Here’s what my Dad usually says: “Oh, c’mon! I’ve never heard of that. Where’d you get that? Off the internet?” And that’s it; the implication is crystal clear. There are no additional facts; there are no opposing viewpoints with any validity; CNN said so. End of story.

I could try to spend hours updating and informing their position with uncountable and verifiable pertinent facts, but in the end, they will simply reject them– presumably because the TV news anchors have already done all of the critical thinking required. Why should they waste their time with this nonsense of hearing the other sides of the debate? There’s only one side of the debate that matters: the right one. And my parents– who ironically both came out of NAZI Germany– are steadfastly convinced that the right opinion is always issued and fully vetted by the establishment media. Everyone else is obviously a crackpot.

My visits with my parents are, unsurprisingly, rather quiet. Last Sunday, they brought up the issue of climate change… and how Trump will be the death of us all. I didn’t say a word; I couldn’t say a word. To even suggest the possibility that there just might be another side to the story would have me branded as an idiotic Trump supporter and a hopeless denier of reality– yeah, you know, the ‘reality’ that everybody knows without question… because questioning reality outside of what the ‘authorities’ have approved is automatically stupid and a waste of everybody’s time. Yup, it’s pretty sad.

But I bet there are many among my readers who can relate all too well with what I’ve described here. It is exceedingly common– this inability to communicate with each other. I don’t much enjoy talking to a brick wall… and I bet you don’t either.

As I outlined in the first essay of this series, it really comes down to open-mindedness as opposed to closed-mindedness. There is only one external cure for closed-mindedness. Internally, the cure is ever-available to anyone who chooses to suddenly consider alternative possibilities lying outside of their current beliefs; the mind opens from the inside out as a matter of choice– the choice to learn. In the absence of such a choice, only reality can break the lock of closed-mindedness– and that is invariably an ugly process. It happens when reality begins to present events and circumstances which glaringly, and finally undeniably, fall outside of the propaganda narrative. Through unexpected events, the closed mind is shattered; reality and the vested narrative diverge too sharply; they can no longer be reconciled. A total breakdown ensues.

Thankfully, the world is changing rapidly– despite my parents’ oft-repeated phrase “Oh, that’ll never change.” And it appears that the majority has finally rejected the propaganda media in favour of their own research and critical thinking. Three recent surveys conducted by Fox, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, all found that most Americans did NOT believe that the Russians influenced the election.

I was happy when Trump won as the self-proclaimed destroyer of the establishment media. But initially I saw a major problem: How was Trump going to nail the last nail into the coffin of the dying media without looking like a heavy-handed fascist dictator? He can’t just shut them down or revoke their licenses. But fortunately, it appears that Trump doesn’t really have to lift a finger. Trump and the public at large need only to continue selling rope to the media… lots and lots of rope… for they are apparently quite determined to hang themselves with their ever-more-outrageous bias and lies. Their credibility turns to hysteria by the day… and all the open-minded folk can see it rather clearly. Only the closed-minded echo-chamber folk can’t yet see that there’s any problem at all– except that the rest of the world appears to have gone bat-shit crazy, holding all these impolite and bigoted views that don’t agree with the evening news.

The revelations are coming thick and furious. And in the end it doesn’t really matter what we each believe as individuals. It’s much more about whether our minds are open to a reality peeling off its encrusted layers like a homeless stripper, and being able to adequately adapt to the barrage of revelations… or if we continually choose to shut our minds from all alternative possibility… and await the shattering moment when reality triumphs over such insane rigidity.

All I ask is that you just consider the possibilities… it’s all about the possibilities…