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.

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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…

Straight Talk: The Expiry of Deception

by nielskunze on December 1, 2016

“The masses are revolting,” she said haughtily, turning up her nose.

“The masses are revolting,” he said with eager anticipation, rolling up his sleeves.

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The Expiry of Deception

Once the lie has been accepted– internalized– that which was so OBVIOUS serves to render one as OBLIVIOUS.

Deception is built from lies.

Lies beget more lies whenever they’re challenged… lest the deception collapses altogether. There really is no other way to maintain a longstanding deception than through the compounding of lies– incidentally, much like interest on a debt.

At each fresh challenge to a deception, the placating lies become more tenuous, outlandish, absurd… and unwieldy.

A mass deception is like a vast house of cards, continually under renovation. New lies are inserted periodically in order to prop up the overall deception, but with each new addition the whole structure loses cohesion… credibility… its elegance of original design.

Therefore, even very clever deceptions are bound to erode over time, even under the most taciturn– but unyielding– scrutiny.

We live in a world built from lies. Vastly sprawling and ensnaring deceptions have been layered throughout every institution of western culture. Politics, economics, education, law, and all of their sub-categories have been founded in fundamental deceptions… that have historically lain relatively unchallenged for generations. For verification of this we need but ask whether the People’s needs have been well served by the politics of the day, the economic status quo, the state of our statist education, or the moral injustices of the law. Each must answer for himself.

Collectively, we’ve reached a tipping point, where a critical percentage of our modern generation have grown uncomfortable and unaccepting of the freshest rounds of lies used to maintain the old deceptions. We’re simply not buying it anymore. It seems there’s a limit to how many unanswered questions the average person can hold… before demanding more credible answers.

Hence, we have entered a time of collapse. And it’s likely a big one… and this is very important to remember during these trying times.

We can no longer evaluate world events in isolation and hope to make any sense from them. For instance, politics– like the recent election of Trump– will not make sense in old paradigm (deceptive) terms. The day-to-day politicking for the upcoming year can only make sense in the context of the meta-story– that being the unravelling of longstanding deceptions. Furthermore, the integrated and complex nature of our global community will cause events taking place in one realm of public endeavour bleeding through to other realms of public concern.

The analogy of a vast house of cards will be useful to remember. It is quite unlikely that those who have built and maintained the primary deceptions driving the World-Devouring Machine will voluntarily admit to anything. Their modus operandi so far has been to lie and deny at every turn… with each new lie adding another card to the shaky house of deceit. At the moment of free-fall collapse– coming soon– it will all come down very quickly. Expect there to be plans of distraction and coverup implemented immediately as all is laid bare. And remember that it will likely be very ugly… by all of our old standards.

But crisis is opportunity. The old order MUST collapse before something better may take its place. And it will be up to us to insist upon and implement that which is to follow. Chaos is an opportunity for both the manipulators as well as the manipulated… so stay sane! Your reasonableness and penetrating insight will be sorely needed.

My main point is that this all smacks of inevitability. We are in the final stages of the old game… and the rules themselves are changing, so it may be very difficult to discern exactly what is going on at every move. The overall process is one of revelation. Expect events to proceed according to the adage that whatever needs to be revealed will be revealed. Whose need? Humanity’s.

In decades past, the average person in western society didn’t need to concern himself too much with specific politics, or the day-to-day dealings of the economy, or the general state of education… because for generations we were insulated from the immediate effects of these to a large extent. No matter what we each perceived as being ‘wrong’ with the state of the world, we were nevertheless able to largely ignore it and still continue on with our preferred insular lives and views. This is what’s changed… in particular, the recent US election has clearly demonstrated how the unchallenged ideologies of large sections of the population can and will over time affect the lives of everyone. The ability to shield ourselves from the effects of toxic beliefs has greatly diminished. We are being forced to re-engage with the system– not to fix it, but to see to its expedient and thorough demise.

A critical mass among humanity’s collective are fed up with deceit, obfuscation, misdirection, denial and avoidance. Whether consciously or not, we have collaboratively formed the intent to finally know the truth of the reality of our experience. It is this collective intent which is providing relentless pressure for all of the deceptions to self-destruct and reveal their utter emptiness. We are finally demanding nothing less than the truth.

For those who have long seen this time of collapse coming and have adequately prepared themselves, this year promises to be only slightly scary, rather exhilarating, and quite hilarious. For all those who will be facing these myriad deceptions head on with no foresight or preamble, it will likely just be downright frightening! There should be ample opportunity for helping each other, though. Humans tend to be pretty amazing when they’re really challenged.

Don’t expect Donald Trump to provide much of a reprieve… or conversely, don’t expect him to suddenly turn into a Hitler-esque big-meanie-poopy-pants. The meta-story of what’s really going on will be so much bigger than any one person, government or plan. At best, we can each work to mitigate our own and each other’s suffering during these challenges.

Once the dust settles and the smoke clears, I’ll see you on the other side; we’ll roll up our sleeves amongst the ruins and the rubble… and get to work on the exciting and new.

In the meantime, for this tumultuous year of 2017, please join me in my daily affirmation, prayer, slogan, intent that…

MAY ALL DECEPTION BE REVEALED AND TRUTH COME TO LIGHT. That is all.

(The next essay in this series will focus on our individual challenges with maintaining some semblance of sanity during insane times– utilizing the template from the previous essay of closed-mindedness versus open-mindedness.)

Straight Talk: Introduction & The ‘New’ Mental Health

by nielskunze on November 23, 2016

Open Minds for Open Hearts

Open Minds for Open Hearts

The lines have been drawn.

We live in a society now that the phrase “drop and rebuild the tranny” means radically different things to different groups. To the geniuses on the socio-political left this is beyond the pale of micro-aggression, expressing ignorance and bigotry, having to do with insensitive terminology surrounding gender-reassignment surgery: “Unacceptable!” But even for the dimmest rednecks on the right, “drop and rebuild the tranny” simply refers– as it always has– to getting greasy, and fixing the damn car.

How has it come to this?

From my unique and novel vantage ensconced in the emerging noosphere (collective consciousness– which is the evolution of Jung’s Collective Unconscious), trends in human consciousness development have become rather easy to discern. At the dire risk of oversimplification– and I do love literary risk– our known history thus far, or at least throughout that portion of it referred to as the history of civilization, the collective unconscious of humanity has succumbed to a singular overriding trend: centralization… and so too, naturally, has the society we’ve built.

As a species, we have continually tended toward group-think.

Human individuals have a strong inclination, or even need, to belong to identity groups, to be part of a herd, or many different herds. Our psychological security seems to heavily depend upon identifying ourselves as belonging to certain ideological classes and sub-categories. Historically, these various groups within the human collective have structured themselves as hive-minds. The net result of group-think is a voluntary transfer of personal power from the individual to the herd.

Hive-minds exhibit a uniformity of thought through shared values, ideas and activities. They very strongly tend to demand a hierarchical internal structure, where leaders and exalted individuals occupy high-ranking positions and are primarily responsible for rigidly defining the ideology adhered to by the rest of the group members, and thus wielding their aggregated power. Hive-minds are extremely cultish, and indeed they are predominantly responsible for what we term “culture” in our modern society. Hive-minds have dominated the subconscious terrain of humanity for at least the last ten-thousand years (if the chronology of conventional history is reliable– unfortunately, it’s not… but that’s a different essay).

And now, suddenly, that’s changing– at least, for many.

We’ve recently turned the blind corner of history. The hive-minds are breaking down… mainly because they don’t offer the same (false) security that they once did. This breakdown in the false sense of security traditionally offered by group-think is due to persistent wrongheadedness.

“But which ones, specifically, are wrongheaded?”

All of them. But how can that be? Someone, or some group, surely, must’ve gotten it right! No. In order for that to be true we would need to ascribe to a meta-belief in the One True Belief System. It doesn’t exist; it can’t exist. Simply, there is no one, or no group, who is in possession of the One True Belief System which completely and consistently describes reality as it is. Each and every last one of us is wrong to some degree in what we believe about reality. And that is the true nature of belief.

Allow me to return now to my opening statement: The lines have been drawn.

Humanity seems more divided now than ever before. Ironically, as the lines of diversity have become rather blurred in recent times, due largely to cultural melting pots in western society by design and imposition, there seems to persist an ever-deepening divide between various ideological camps. And the divide appears more and more to be irreconcilable.

But the line which divides us– today– is not drawn along ideological fissures. Differences in ideology is what separates us superficially, but the real underlying difference is something much more basic than that, more fundamental… and more far-reaching.

Our population is divided primarily– fundamentally– between open-mindedness and closed-mindedness… along the entire social spectrum.

It is not the content of our beliefs which determines our open-mindedness. It is not even the quality of those beliefs. Rather, it is the degree to which we are personally invested in a specific belief structure or system which inversely determines the openness, and indeed the health, of our minds.

Closed-mindedness is heavily invested in a particular set of beliefs… quite often for an entire lifetime. Closed-mindedness asserts that it has accurately apprehended the One True Belief System. Because closed-mindedness claims to already know, it does not seek out new and challenging information. And when such new information crosses the path of a closed-minded individual, he will either reject the new information outright without any meaningful investigation, or he will distort the new information in order to fit it into his already-existing belief structure– even when that new data is logically incompatible with the old structure.

Open-mindedness is ever-expanding into the realm of possibility and potential. An open mind is characterized by the only sure knowledge that ultimately it does not know. Open-mindedness recognizes the Infinite Mystery of this human existence and embraces its unsolvability. All incoming data to an open mind is held in potential and evaluated in terms of the probability of its being true.

An open mind is naturally inclined toward ‘Big Picture’ awareness, wherein it is accepted that the Big Picture will never be completely fleshed out. A closed mind believes that its well-defined big picture view– already complete– is the only possibility.

The limited creativity of a closed mind will be imitative and repetitive, whereas an open mind is capable of great originality and startling creativity.

Readers of Carlos Castaneda may recall don Juan’s explication of the Tonal and the Nagual. The Tonal is ego-based consciousness, wrapped up in identity and self-importance, and can be likened to a tiny island in a vast sea (of consciousness). The Nagual is more akin to undifferentiated consciousness– though it has structure, it is much less rigid and loosely defined. It is the vast ocean of All Possibility. A shape-shifting shaman is more identified with the Nagual, the vast ocean, while most civilized modern humans identify themselves with the tiny island of the Tonal.

As don Juan explained to his apprentice Carlos, the inventory of the island (Tonal), the specific items it contained (thoughts, ideas, beliefs, ideologies, etc.) were of little importance… and they could be exchanged and replaced throughout one’s lifetime without any significant consequence. Possibilities, potentials, and probabilities however, were like a mist hovering above the oceanic womb of creation. By identifying oneself with the items of the Tonal, only repetition was possible. Only by self-defining oneself through the nebulous potential of All Possibility is a warrior free to create, enter and inhabit a new realm of human endeavour.

And that’s where we are, right now, on the cusp of a new realm of human endeavour. Its manifestation in the immediate future will fall to the open-minded among us.

We will first witness and accelerate the collapse and unravelling of the old order. We have entered the age of the Breakdown of Centralized Authority. We will witness the disintegration of all the hive-minds established and populated during the preceding millennia. Those who are able, once freed from the false security of group-think, will immediately begin to place tremendous value on their own ability to think critically, independently… becoming sovereign in their mentality, and reclaiming their long-estranged personal (creative) power.

The times immediately ahead will be rough. It may be helpful to remember that there is little to be gained in arguing over the inventory of our respective islands (specific beliefs). The content of our beliefs is secondary to our ability to hold multiple possibilities in mind as we enter these revelatory times. Ideally, we are to become the embodiments of All Possibility. And it is the degree to which we are each successful in this quest that we may accurately measure our mental health.

Closed-mindedness will be the criteria for culling the herd– the entire herd. After these tumultuous times, especially this upcoming year of 2017, only free thinking sovereign individuals will be left standing to carry the human race forward. The rest will be stranded on their own self-selected islands of stubborn self-importance, arrogance and self-righteousness… as the rising tide of new possibilities drowns them.

It is extremely important to understand this critical distinction and to cultivate immediately the ability to hold all of reality in mind as potential and possibility, rather than choosing to reject it piecemeal unexamined and unconsidered from a place of arrogant certainty or from the petty fear of gullibility. The hardest thing for the closed-minded is to see their own closed-mindedness. Many are affable and tolerant in their attitudes and behaviour, but the times that are now upon us will test that tolerance and attempt to pierce the closed bubble of non-awareness. Beware! (Especially be wary of the appeal to authority, confirmation bias and false dichotomies– more on that later.)

The most difficult thing for a closed mind to perceive is its own hypocrisy. For example, the closed-minded will attempt to meet the challenge of propaganda through imposing censorship, utterly failing to see the blatant hypocrisy of this. The open-minded will immediately see through the whole farce easily. The old control mechanisms will no longer work… yet every attempt will still be made to contain the awakening. It will not be contained.

We have entered a unique moment in time. Events on the global stage will proceed now with an unstoppable momentum of their own. No person or group will be able to stop or even significantly slow the unravelling we are to witness. Society, as we have known it, is collapsing. Those who take the most superficial view (i.e. the one presented on CNN) will perceive only unmitigated destruction, whereas those who’ve learned to see beneath the surface of things will perceive the dawning of a new renaissance.

In this first essay, I have offered a very simple lens through which to view the enormity of what is immediately coming. Open-mindedness versus closed-mindedness is the simplest reduction I can offer that gives insight and direction for those who would keep their eyes and hearts open. It is a theme to which I will return again and again in future essays in this series… for, the health of our individual minds is of paramount importance.

So, for now, please remember that it is not the specific content of our minds that matters most (what we believe in any given moment); rather, it is the basic quality of our minds’ own structure– its openness to new, unexplored possibility– that will determine our individual ability to move forward. Try not to expend yourselves in surface arguments; just try to acknowledge the possibility of what your ‘opponent’ may be suggesting. The Big Picture will necessarily require the participation of many, and even then it will take an eternity.

Be in wonderment, awe, inspiration and follow your natural curiosity. It’s time for us to stop living like cows and to embrace our full humanity.

We’ll talk again soon.