Conditioning Versus Insight

Thank you to Gary Null, a survival activist for getting me to look at conditioning as often automatically enacted but not for our own good. Why in the world do we adults do this? Why do allow minor mishaps or major destructive changes enter the world like fracking or oil trains as if we have no choice? Feeling helpless, we turn away from the problem. Feeling frightened of the problem as well as of those who call the outcome of doing it totally wonderful and harmless, the outcome of  not doing it a loss, we turn away from the problem and turn off our minds. Some go so far as to deny that the problem exists. They say that global warming is only a theory, not a scientifically supported fact. If enough naysayers raise their voiced together it becomes more believable, at least to them.

In going along with things via a conditioning response, are we like children clinging to our parents who say don’t worry and I am taking care of you? This tendency begins in childhood with protective parents but why does it remain in adulthood? Is it an on/off reaction depending on the perceived danger? The more dangerous the more conditioned the response.

Fear can make us retreat to childhood. When we are afraid of something we turn to those who claim to know better than we do like children seeking their parent’s protection. We do it even though we actually know a lot of information and have observations that differ. We let our frightened emotions rule us. We also have a scary history about murder being inflicted on those who break the mold and stand alone. Often, the murderer is presented by the press as a solitary and deranged killer although history shows that often, the murderer is a “front man” for a person or organization that wants the to-be-murdered person removed.

Lincoln who freed the slaves was shot by John Wilkes Booth; Martin Luther King, Jr. who supported a successful bus strike in Montgomery Alabama was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. People heard multiple shots but only one gunman was reported. The scene of the crime was dismantled overnight so that no investigation could occur. Malcolm X who told blacks to own their own businesses, their homes, their land, was shot.

Citizen’s power comes from where they spend their money. A population totally dissatisfied with losing their  jobs to countries whose workers accept pitiful wages, still buy the garments, TV, cars, stuff made there. They see the label Made in China/Bangladesh and buy it anyway.  They  guiltily smile when they notice it. Laughter helps us ease even deny our pain.  Humor helps us deal with unavoidable tragedy but is not properly used to go along with negative events which are imposed upon us.  We who buy stuff made in other countries support the loss of our jobs. We need to look at labels and choose what is made here for our own sake.

TV floods us with advertisements to make us feel that we are sorely lacking something, the very thing they are selling. Advertising encourages us to  compete with the Joneses. Looking at what others have makes us feel inadequate. President Bush’s response to 9/11 was to say, “Go shopping” to quiet our minds. It seems he also was confused about what to say and do.

The problem of our going along with what we are told to do but shouldn’t is one of conditioning. We are first conditioned  by our parents who direct us to protect us and then by “leaders” who applaud a lock-step reaction to their plans. Rare individuals see the necessity of doing it their own way whether or not others agree. You cannot stop falling in line until you see that you automatically do it. There needs to be an internal assessment before you decide. By thinking and feeling first, your conditioning stops being a natural response. There is a struggle between being part of a group  and standing in your own space. You may feel less alone if you  join the world of living things as members of a family. What is good for that larger world is good for us all.

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The Evil of the Lesser

We, the human race and all the species cohabiting Mother Earth, are zooming into the 6th Anthropocene extinction.  It is a matter of whether we can change our ways right now for the survival of earth dwellers, man, beast, plant….

People running for office thanks to the huge popularity of Bernie Sanders are speaking a little bit more about having a $15 minimum wage and free college. These ideas are nice to hear but given the personal history or those running for office,  previous behavior is the only thing to trust rather than words they say to win favor.

Most politicians are not environmentalists. At least in part needing corporate money to run for office, they are extractors who treat the earth like an orange. Squeeze it to release the juice and throw the skin away. They worship power. They believe in increasing their “stuff.” They want to spread their empire but label it doing good. In the time of Columbus the good was spreading their religion. Now good is that the encroaching forces of empire offer protection against resisters labeled terrorist who first are armed with stones and arrows.

What percentage of US politicians are not millionaires? These so-called “leaders” do not know what average people suffer because they dwell in personal privilege. They do not recognize that survival is a collective affair. They feel safe while having more of this and that  protected by walls topped with glass. Hillary Clinton was paid 6 figures for lecturing to Goldman Sachs. She was once a Po’ gal but she certainly is not that now. Can she discredit the extractor needs of Wall Street since she is in their debt? Can she carry out her current stated intention or is it even a wish rather than a posture?

Corporations which seek to own the world are extractive. They are after what they can get from Mother Earth: coal, oil, gas, nuclear materials, substances that will destroy us. When confronted with the need to change, they stall as long as possible. Even if their money making substance is running out, they search for more. Regarding treatment of  their workers, profit goes up when wages go down. Keeping jobs in times of scarcity ensures that the wages will be at their lowest. People will take a job at any price rather than starve and die.

Extractors do not look for the larger good. Extraction has a one-point focus. It focuses on itself. Public funded colleges are extremely sensible. The economy of a society depends on it. But the corporate extractive mind is not affiliated with a nation. Its only focused on its bankbook. Its location is nowhere. If schools are too expensive, corporations can import workers from nations with good schools. If fracking spoils our drinking water and makes the people sick, owners will deny it. If tar sands oil trains explode in towns and kill people, owners will fund minor repairs to keep them running. Eventually, the oil will be sold for so much money. How can they resist?

Everywhere we see death occurring as a consequence of greed. We call the unintended death collateral damage. People are dying due to drones hitting the wrong target or the right target which includes innocent bystanders. The Navy’s undersea testing of sound equipment deafens and murders whales and other creatures that can hear; Using fossil fuels which drive machinery are drying the earth, creating irreversible drought and forest fires, offering no water to raise the crops which feed us. Water is sold to the richest buyers including Nestles. Forget the rest of us; collateral damage.

We live in a time of increasing scarcity where those who have the bucks get more and better stuff. They think that little is running out. For the broad population, the cost of food is increasingly out of reach. Health care is disappearing with its copays and deductibles if you can afford insurance. Some doctors charge $2600 per year to be available. They call themselves “concierges.” You still pay for their services, Congress debates whether to keep Social Security which they claim to be bankrupt but isn’t. If they do not continue to use (steal from) her funds, it can last another 50 years. But the centripetal force of greed wants to absorb that too.

Those who would profit from extraction will continue until death knocks at their door. Me- first-ism  focuses on the I instead of we. It attempts to alarm folk by stimulating paranoid fear so that they turn against each other rather than against the actual “takers.” It sets the anti-fracking environmentalists against the Black Lives Matter people against the farmers not wanting to be sprayed in the field and to make a living wage. It sets whites against Muslims, believers against non-believers, workers against immigrants against the undocumented folk fleeing from societies turned into slaughter mills by the poisonous attack of those who want their natural resources.

We need international unions so that no one anywhere including in our prisons is paid less than a living wage. Our reintroduction of prison slavery is for the benefit of the few. Like in other civilized nations, the imprisoned need to be entitled to vote. There will be no solitary confinement to turn sane men mad. Prisons will teach marketable skills to be used when the prisoners are released. And they are released.

The only way out of this 6th great extinction is for all groups to work together with an emphasis on saving the environment. Free public education is offered. The only money for campaigning is given by the Federal government. A plurality voting system is installed.  First place, second place ….given to the chosen candidates. The one with the most votes wins. We need a documented voter counting system, one not dependent on privately owned computers and their programs. We need to make it illegal not to vote.

Single payer health care will be available for all. Solar and wind power will be free or cheap. Organic food will be widely available. Public parks great and small will be maintained. No longer take-over by realtors. We will accept all cultures and religions including non-believers. It is up to us to open our doors to those who are imperiled. If we do this, the evil of the lesser will be totally irrelevant and cannot happen.

Education vs. Prison

It’s true that a vast and an increasing number of our jobs are being allowed to flee to countries where the people will work for far less, no vacations, health care, retirement benefits. It is true that as a result, prisons have become perhaps our greatest source of work in regions of the country so that people hold onto the idea of incarceration, putting people in cages as a proper response to crime. It is true that in a culture of retaliatory rage, our politicians, and their appointees have removed education from the time spent in prison. Looking at prison history, offering education is associated with a significant reduction in subsequent incarceration due to crime. Why would we want to keep the prisoner population high?

Let us look at it from a different viewpoint. Do you have any idea of the cost of yearly incarceration? Take a step back and hold your head in horror. It costs about 65 thousand dollars. Can you imagine? I think that the annual cost of attending Harvard now is 65 thousand give or take a few.

What if instead of building and filling prisons, we make tax-funded colleges free – no lifetime of indentured servitude to pay college debt for those brave enough to attend? What if instead of incarceration, every person who breaks the law, is required to get some form of psychotherapy to recover from a desperate, hopeless, rejecting and frequently violent childhood? Step two is to attend a free school, college or speciality program to learn a trade. These schools will help the law-breaker to gain a certificate, a Masters a doctorate to become doctors, lawyers, scientists, educators, social worker, car repair experts, plumbers, green technology practitioners?

What if instead of locking people up in tiny cages which breed violence and hopelessness, we give them a future? The society would have new jobs again, a productive economy and a happier population. Would people no longer be automatic enemies due to the haves versus the have-nots? Is there anything which argues against this approach except for a way to control the voting population due to a “fear of crime?”

We do not want to be controlled by fear. We do not want to become a member of the “haves” because of our fear of being a “have-not.” We do not want to be part of a society which sets people against each other by labeling one as bad and the other good.

How do we get such a position known? Can we convince those who take the job of politician that we are more likely to elect or re-elect them if they propose a culture of education and not one that is “tough on crime.”

Get my book Unloved Again today! Email me directly at elangolomb@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Hardcover, $25 (including shipping) and Paperback ($16 including shipping) versions available. Payment collected via PayPal.

 

Slow Down and Be Seen

People who were raised in extremely critical and rejecting homes including parents who resorted to violence to punish the child or merely to express their rage, often learn the defense of invisibility to the point of not existing. It is better to be unheard than have the parent attack your speech, better not to do anything outstanding which attracts their attention.

The defenses we learn as children especially those raised in rejecting homes remain with them as adults. We  tend to expect the same mistreatment from those in the world around them, to the point of finding it when it is not there or great exaggeration when it is. It is a kind of alert response to save our life which causes us to lose it.

Whatever the parents focused on as our greatest misbehavior, we never will do again or will do it to the point of exaggeration in order to support their view of us as faulty. We do this to win their love. Whatever a parent focused on we understand as expressing their need and demand.  When not doing, over-doing or only doing, we are not being our natural selves. Were not our true self when expressing conditioned behavior rather than following our natural, happy, exploratory desires. This does not mean we don’t learn good manners and reasonable expectations. All animals learn to fit in.

Some say that natural behavior can never happen, that we are totally conditioned. This is not true. You only need one eureka  experience to see the difference, the time you expressed what came from your natural self and felt joy. Those who say that the only kind of natural behavior if expressed, has to be anti-social are filled with fearful self-hatred put  there by angry and fearful parents who projected their destructive sense of self. Children are great receivers.

The parents who saw us as destructive individuals who needed to be punished and contained and restricted and emotionally jailed, were seen that way by their own parents. Self hatred is learned and passed down through generations. The person raised to hate their self via incorporating parental hatred can be very damaging to self or “others.” Take the life of Hitler who was beaten and hated by his step-father. It is reported he had a Jewish grandfather. Did he blame his grandfather for his being victimized? He certainly turned that around- 6 million killed.  Look at the physical appearance of Hitler who worshiped the blond Ubermensch. This smallish man (5 feet, 8 inches, 160 pounds) with a dark mustache and nervous, flashing eyes, was not one of them. His rage did not make him bigger. There was no child to declare the “emperor is naked, and the crowd dared not speak the truth, possibly to see it. Fear can contaminate our vision.

People from destructive families need to recognize the part of their self which learned to cower.  They need now to evaluate the threat in order to not live under the shadow of childhood. However, the only real way that we can learn if our fears are supported is to do what we fear the most, to do it again and again. Humans are too complicated to learn from a one-time experience. A side-effect of this is that anyone who loves you, be it your mate, your spouse, your child loves the real you and not some phony image.

Bullies Attract You

In our current world, falling apart due to the activity of “extraction” (oil, gas, fracking, coal), so-called leaders scream about what will happen to you if you do not fall in line with their plan. What is more bizarre than this? Where do our adult brains go? How come the one that yells the loudest and seems to have the most weapons is regarded as a leader? Our primitive brain, our amygdala takes over. We become impulse-ridden children again. It is fear that triggers this response. It throws us into a pit of childish terror. In that state, we can be easily manipulated. Our bully/leader gets us to do what we are told to save ourselves.

What creates a bully? There are many causes. One often noted is an unfairly punished, even tormented childhood which creates endless rage, which is later turned against new victims. Hitler is a prime example. He is reported to be the illegitimate son of a maid and a Jewish man. Perhaps he later turned against a denied part of self and regarded it as the cause. Six million Jews were killed. Quite an expression of blame and rage. Another source of bully-dom is a person filled with inflated pride. This person is always trying to prove he is as great as he claims. Because the underlying sense of his greatness is a hollow claim, the need for more public appreciation never ends.  Another creator of bully-dom is money. Into whose pockets goes the gold extracted from frightened tax payers? It goes to those who create weapons to destroy our labeled enemies. It goes into the pockets of those who benefit from the spoils of war.

This is a well-known fact: that “false flag” operations are contrived by the presumed victim. The audience of this terrifying spectacle is told that we have been attacked and must fight back. The idea that we have been “attacked” gets our ire up in reaction to our sense of vulnerability.  We do not ask to see the facts of the event as presented by those whose are not controlled or rewarded by the bullies.

After a serious “false flag” event, hatred gains a power of its own. We are swept into a fighting group which makes us feel more powerful. Group mentality is dangerous because it ignores the thinking adult. Instead of believing the necessity to fight, ask who benefits from it. Who or what receives the tax money now made unavailable for schools, health care, aid to the poor, support for the elderly, care for national parks we continue to own, etc.? After you see where the ax falls, you are not so easily fooled. There is a child in all of us, easily made afraid. We the adult need to hold onto our inner child’s hand and not let it assume leadership.

 

Don’t Want to Hear It

Ever noticed how when you bring up some fact, well researched by you which is distinctly unpleasant to another and even sometimes to yourself, because it sets lowers the other person’s comfort level, they shut you out by by saying, “I don’t think that” and walk away.

What can be more shocking to you than their dismissal?  There is no respect for a foreign opinion let alone facts and you mistakenly take it personally and suffer. You have been designated a weirdo, perhaps insane, at the least misinformed and dropped in the garbage can.

Is this the experience of all people who deviate from the “common path?” I would say yes. Does this help the survival of the group which has its mental shades drawn down? No. It keeps the group going on with its old thinking and rationalizations as if that these are of primary importance. Such thinking does not help adaptation to the “new” by its  members and all living things. It is scandalous and disturbing how a group clings to an old idea as representing all its members. it is a kind of surrender, as if each person has  become a baby sucking on its mother’s breast.

Both the speaker and reject-er  are hurt by this. The one who whose knowledge is so rudely cut off feels worthless, which is a big mistake. Gandhi spoke about the response of people to new ideas: first rejected and mocked, then attacked and finally accepted as if it was always so. The speaker of a foreign idea needs to know this.

The one who rejects a new idea as worthless, who cannot even listen is hiding in the familiar where they feel a kind of safety. They lose an idea which might help them. They lose a relationship with the speaker. The category of rejection grows ever larger by a process of association.

All new ideas are upsetting to people addicted to “sameness.” Repeating and living the same as was done before is treated by the group as a facet of survival even in changing times. If it seemed to work before so it has to work now. The primitive mind seems to have been outgrown by the adult but it always can return since the mind does not lose what went before. We must be aware of what we are thinking and from where it comes especially when it tries to impose restrictive laws as if inducing a hypnotic trance. It is a  kind of “go to sleep now, baby.  Mommy and Daddy will keep you safe.”

 Frightened By the New

How do we become so afraid of the “new,” the discovery of something we have not seen before in another person, even in ourselves. A new form of anything makes us anxious. Only constancy lets us rest. It as if we are babies clinging to our Mommy or resting in our crib. Our baby mind is operating.

We don’t leave behind what we have undergone in the first days, weeks, months of life. Those initial  forces are not lost. How reacted then is how we react now, frequently without knowing it. We were shaped by events we handled well as well as those we failed. Every experience regardless of how tiny, leaves its mark.

Use a tree as your analogy and think that you are one. The past is in the present since root leads to trunk leads to branch leads to twig leads to leaf.  Our earlier experience whether it warped us or left us straight is present. Not knowing our history creates a stronger impact of that shaping on the present. Twisting of a branch twists the twig twists the leaf.  Awareness helps us accept how we became who we are and compensate where needed.

Sometimes the ancient experience explodes into the present. This happens when current circumstances remind us of childhood trauma due to common threads or feelings. We feel what we felt then but do not know we have returned to childhood, trunk into branch into leaf. The mind has drawn a curtain between present and past. When the past explodes into the present, it leads to hysteria and phobic retreat. The person is confused  about what is going on. “.. I don’t feel like myself.” The person seeks a protective parent.

How did the baby begin to fear “strangers?” All of a sudden the baby once so friendly only wants to be picked up by Mommy or Daddy or even only Mommy. All the other people are feared. Baby trust has given way because the child now distinguishes between Mom, Dad and the “others.” People wanting to play with the baby are disappointed. If fixated on being accepted, they will condemn the child as faulty. The parents who need the good opinion of “outsiders” may fall for this as well.

If the parents do not happily allow the child to cling only to themselves, the child does not grow out of that transitory period and the suspicious part remains in the adult mind. How often does the adult allow himself to be joyously wild if his parents were excessively guarded or insufficiently protective? The parent needs to protect the child but not excessively. Falling on your knees is insignificant in the world of play. A world treated by the parent as dangerous is not forgotten.

Advertising agencies play on childish fears. They offer safety devices in a terrifying world. They give the impression that the person is about to enter the Roman Forum with hungry lions if he doesn’t buy the advertised product. Lovers play strong parent when they promise to protect their loved one in a way that features childhood incompetence. A mature person with realistic fears and abilities would find an overly protective lover, gross, intrusive, unrelated.

A person doubts the reality of a long-term friend and even fears that person will cause them harm is returning to the time when only Mommy or Daddy would do.  The presence of a strange person reaching for him goes beyond his emotional limits. The adult who is suspicious of long-term friends and lovers is arrested in that childhood state with parents who did not allow him to go through the natural developmental progression until it ended.

The baby residing in the adult mind shuns “strange” experiences. As a result the adult does not develop the ability to tune in and get deeper messages. He is drawn to cliches,  Believes what everyone believes, feels protected by similarity. The unknown offers no such guarantee. He is paralyzed by warnings. Could happen turns into will happen. He only follows well trodden paths. No adventure. No thrills. Safe.