Aristomenes X

Seize the initiative and claim yourself. Be determined to grow and thrive. Choose to choose no matter what, and embrace all meaning vibrantly alive. To create, to redeem, to be free as was meant.

Realism, Idealism and the Meaning of Life

Idealism and realism are opposing views. Their more extreme versions are irreconcilable because they are intended to be. Each is defined by the denial of the other. The extremes of idealism, transcendentalism (in the mystical sense) deny the tangible, and pragmatism, realism or objectivism in its extreme expression denies the existence of spirit and mind as anything but a side effect of random- and hence meaningless- materialization.

Extreme as these views are, they each have a certain merit, but only when mitigated by the other view. This is a paradox because we can make sense of it when we look beyond the obvious- or toward it depending on one’s perspective. The views are interdependent and each can balance the extremes of the other, when they are taken as two sides of the same coin.

I want to, therefore, suggest looking at the merit or attraction of the two views. Why are we drawn to one over the other? Can there be a happy medium between them, or are we limited to flipping the coin back and forth to access only one side at a time?

Let me approach this by my own example. For years I had been an advocate of pure spirituality, and the more I practiced the more spiritual and focused on mind and consciousness I became. That was not, however, how I saw and felt things as a child. I remember that the world mattered, and that my thoughts and feelings mattered, and that the two were cohabiting, with the lines between them being ever more blurred the further back my memories went.

Conventional wisdom might say the blur was a product of my immature psychology. Memory, or the feel of it at least, tells me that this was a healthy state. It made sense, and was free of conflict. Everything was embraced, and everything was experienced in a more direct manner because of that. It was only as I was growing up that polarization between “objective” and “subjective” was rather imposed by the words and actions of people around me.

Following the conditionings of childhood and the turmoil of adolescence, I found myself on a quest to heal the damage that growing up appeared to have inflicted upon me. Part of that included the quest to reconcile the idealistic, transcendent states of subjective coherence, with the worldly, sensate focus of objectively powered reality evaluation.

This journey was far more chaotic and disorganized than its initial referencing might suggest. As I approached adulthood, my concern was holding my own in social relations, be they causal, intimate or formal. The quest for truth wasn’t idealistic, but driven by a desire to use truth as a sort of tool, if not a weapon, to enhance my position in the group, as it were. Nevertheless, being more an introvert, my attitude was rather defensive.

In academics I found myself majoring in physics, even though I strongly continued to question he extremes of radical idealism and what I came to know as reductionist materialism. These are labels, since idealism can be an oversimplified bottom line of nihilism, just as materialism can be revolutionary in its meaningless assertions. My view that idealism was for those of intuitive bent, with realism/pragmatism for the more rational was also overturned over the course of time and experience.

Analytic reasoning can support either view, just as feeling based-intuition can advocate the sensual world (if one is hedonistically motivated, for example) as the abstract and transcendent divorced from it (as is the case for the disgruntled aesthete). It became apparent even further down the line that the situation was even messier. Whatever one’s motives, both reason and intuition could be used to justify them.

Even when the bottom line is the adage that the truth will set us free, what matters is not so much the truth itself, but the acquisition of freedom. If we are convinced that a certain view is the truth, it is at the very least interesting to consider that freedom may be seen to come not so much from the view itself, as from our vehement support of it. We may be passive in that support, resisting opposing views, or end up fighting for it. As we do, we can consider that our struggle is to be free from whatever oppressive or harmful influence we may feel the contrary view represents.

For some the door to freedom from whatever oppresses them in life might take the form of supporting a view because it is popular or collective accepted. For others the opposite can hold; resisting the popular view is how one can be truly liberated in life. Or maybe the collective voice gives one courage to join with it or makes one desperate to resist.

In my case, and after deliberation over several decades, I have settled in a place where I don’t feel I am coddling myself, nor beating myself up. I can grow through challenge, while maintaining a sense of integrity and self-respect through minimizing conflict.

My motive is the love of life. I am not speaking of the way things are in the world, but of the very nature of life and its broad horizons of possibility. Life is tangible. Life is free. Life is the magnetic force of desire for more, for deeper, for greater, for less, for higher. Life is beauty and love and challenge and fun, and creativity in all its aspects. Life is the fulfillment of what matters, and all that is meaningful.

To be more specific, there are few things that can be concretely said about life and the experience of being alive without falling off the mark in some way and distorting one’s own intended meaning. It may appear that scientific description of life is accurate, but subjectively poetry appears to have more authority when it comes to resonating a sense of meaning in the human breast.

Even so, the proverbial left brain has its place. Thus, to navigate the existence in which- of which- we find ourselves, as human beings we need to distinguish this from that, to identify, to speak, to formulate, and to analyze. It doesn’t mean we proceed with stuffy academic or theoretical complexity either.

Life is the big picture and all the little ones as well. What may lie beyond the furthest horizon need not negate what is in from of our noses. More importantly, what we feel as meaningful need not be treated like so much psychic trash just because the feedback we get from the world is disappointing. As such, the child I used to be would be well justified to kick me in the shins if it realized how much I contributed to trashing its felt ideals over the years.

If that child were savvy with its intellect, it might even tell me I am making a mess of things in confusing my copping out for growing up. It might aggressively explain that a hardening against life is nowhere near the same as maturing in accordance to its reality. On the other hand, if it could that ever sagelike child-me might patiently explain that so long as my motives represent all of me, all that I was and all I will be- and nobody ever said self-knowledge was easy- I can be as intuitive as I need, as intellectual as I need, as emotional as I need and as spiritual or materialistic as I need to be without beating myself over the head for being “selfish”.

In my experience selfishness only appears to benefit the selfish, and generally harms those around them. Ditto for self-denial, because the two are also sides of the same coin of dis-integrity. All in all, truth is not easy to pin down, but we can make friends with it. Perhaps we might even be lovers. But if we are denying ourselves or accepting something that we only mistake as our-selves, then truth is nowhere near what we think we are befriending.

Let me then be so bold as to assert that these days it matters not what I believe so much as what it means and where it takes me. It matters not so much to discover or live truth than to be true and genuine, to myself, all my relations and ultimately to the existence in which and of which I am. If there is any mode of becoming that may approach a “path to fulfillment”, I believe this might be it.


The Judgment against Cognitive Bias

Nothing is written in stone, including the assertions of ending this blog expressed in the last post. I’m back because I have things to say. And I intend to keep xparavox alive for the foreseeable future. This post marks my return, and is the first in a series of articles expressing my own responses to trends I’ve observed in how people think these days- online at least. In that sense it’s not much different than what I wrote before I thought I ran out of material.

Be that as it may, there are patterns to be observed, described and evaluated, and I want to clarify my sense of them. Hopefully, these thoughts of mine will make some sense to the reader and stimulate their own exploration of the situation. I believe pattern recognition of such trends is an important element of understanding where the world is going and how. Perhaps then some may be inspired toward doing something, that currently may not even seem possible.

Encountering walls of dissonance in online discourse frustrates me, and I am sure I am not alone there. But more than the pure subjective experience of it, I am disturbed in the confrontation with certain reality views. Opposition to my views is not the problem. I worked hard for them, tested them and lived by the more pragmatic of those views. I don’t feel bothered by alleged threats to how my reality perspective.

I am, however, convinced that proliferation of certain views can threaten the very world in which I find myself. That’s the cause of my dissonance. I couldn’t care less if I see red and someone else sees blue. But if I see danger and my understanding meets denial and/or hostility something very fundamental is going on. It might be in me, others or everyone.

It very much disturbs me, furthermore, to shove this response of mine under a catchy label with a few flimsy psych arguments about “confirmation bias”, “cognitive dissonance” and “magical thinking”. These are fancy words with an abrasive authoritarian edge. Yet they appear to have taken on the nature of symptoms of cognitive pathology in whoever does not conform to established patterns of reasoning.

According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, there are over one hundred decision-making, belief and behavioral biases known to date. It’s as if they have been observed roaming around newly discovered cognitive territories, by paragons of reason known as “researchers”, and offered to us so we may be never manipulated by unreliable and prejudiced emotional- and magical- thinking again. Thus, the light of honest reason can always shine through those crusty unreliable feelings of ours.

Interestingly, when approaching such labels, I would agree with those who urge one to observe while withholding evaluation. When one has observed enough, however, it is not difficult to surmise that there is something to these patterns of bias. On the other hand, the very word “bias” is not necessarily a description of pathology.

The meaning of the word “bias” is usually slanted toward something being unfair or a distortion of truth. It is also synonymous with being predisposed, which is to be inclined to a specified attitude, action, or condition, according to one online dictionary. In other words, biases can be viewed as natural inclinations that are apparently there for a reason, like instincts. I would, therefore, say the label “cognitive instinct” is more appropriate.

More to the point, there are cognitive scientists who view the biases as evolutionary adaptations to maximize efficiency in evaluation of circumstances and subsequent decision-making. They label the biases in terms of Cognitive Heuristics, mental short cuts in the evaluation and decision-making process that are rather built-in to the cognitive matrix, as it were.

Nevertheless, even the positive descriptions have a certain bias to them; one slanted in favor of “logic”. I do not see this bias as being a natural heuristic, but one acquired by the specialization and dominance of the analytical aspects of the human mind. That would be commendable if it weren’t promoted at the expense of the more holistic, intuitive ones that also include sensate or feeling-based thought and evaluation. This bias can easily class a complex mode of the mind’s reality assessment capacity as a simplistic and questionable evolutionary strategy by the analytic component being marginal, even if it plays a supportive role in the process.

What I find particularly interesting in all this is the prevailing trend among the more intellectually inclined in social media and general online discourse to utilize terminologies surrounding the theory of cognitive bias. It is no surprise, given that anyone confronted with the morass of information would naturally seek out a map of classifying and evaluating to deal with the various arguments imposed on them. I myself also do what I can to clarify my own stance in the face of challenging online encounters.

The motive to arm oneself with an effective arsenal of evaluation and discourse, even to the point of studying the art of rhetoric, could also be nourished by repeated encounters with the more belligerent elements of seemingly rational humanity when engaging in debate or even informal discussion about this or that topic. Trolls are an extreme expression of the aggressive online conversationalist, while for many the temptation of dominating intellectually can be enough to cross more than one line of propriety.

In other words, we don’t need to invoke conspiracy theories to acknowledge that the field of online discourse can be a traumatic experience, especially for those of a more sensitive disposition. The problem I see here is that people who have been hurt, can also be predisposed or biased toward the same verbal aggression that they themselves endured, all the while either not caring about what they are doing, or outright denying their behavior. Thus, more bias is exacerbated.

Considering all the above, labelling things in terms of bias may offer a neat mapping of what one encounters during online discourse. It also establishes precedence toward using cognitive terminology to push one’s own biases on others. In this way, anything I say can be used against me, and the same applies to anyone else. When we are under the stress of daily life and in addition must endure stress online, cognitive dissonance is even less of a welcome experience than if all we had to endure was a disagreement or two on trivial matters.

In addition, there are many who desire to monetize online presence, by marketing their views through writing, video and podcast. For such individuals, saving face and sustaining a positive reputation is tantamount to maintaining an extra income if not an intended livelihood. There may even be those who in some way gain monetarily or through avenues of other kinds of support by promoting specific views, whether they believe in them with the vehemence they may be expressing online or not.

Whatever the case, there appears to be motive, means and opportunity to avail oneself of resources toward effective logical argumentation made accessible easily online, but often in practice peppered with ample subjective overlay such as sarcasm and caustic repartee. It makes me wonder how much trauma such proprietary argumentation can generate, given one is laden with condemning “judgmental” evaluation in a manner that is dressed in pristine legitimacy when the offending party is proficient in using the rhetoric arsenal of formalized analytic cognition. At least with trolls you know where you stand.

That brings me to the point I’ve wanted to make since the beginning of this presentation: Our resistance to cognitive dissonance, or protection of the devil we know vs. the devil we don’t, and more importantly our reliance on gut feeling and what our hearts tell us are qualities with more than just a silver lining to be tolerated. They are part of the human experience, to be honored and valued for working toward our best interests and healthiest state of being.

That is a generalization, of course- bias again- since there have been many roads to hell paved with avoiding cognitive dissonance, denying uncertainty and relying on what we think is emotion based wisdom. Yet emotions are not only the foundation of our humanity, they link us to the other warm-blooded animals on this planet, and the capacity to participate directly in life’s symphony. Analytic cognition is, on the other hand, inherently alienating when serving interests other than those of the heart and compassionate mind. It is something to consider.



Moving Forward

It’s been awhile since the last post here, and for a reason. I wasn’t satisfied with this blog, in the sense that it did not represent me in a way that would keep me motivated to write as I have. I won’t go into any tiresome analysis about it, but it was time for a change. As many readers may have observed in their lives, sometimes the realization that it is time for a change takes a while before it is validated by real-time experience.

Sometimes the changes are not only undesired, but they can be forced upon one almost violently. In a way, it’s like being bored in my carriage ride and ending up hitting a major bump so that I practically bite my tongue off. I can see such an event as an answer to my “whining”, or I can figure that my carriage has bad suspension and requires some fixing.

The good news is that unless one encounters a particularly upsetting patch in one’s life journey, bumps are usually brief events. If one, however, realizes that some sort of adaptation to the chaotic forces is needed, the journey becomes not only smoother, but may  reveal the vehicle entering a more engaging territory.

As I was pondering about how to be more true to my muse, making a number of new years resolutions in the process, the bump hit. It’s a long story. Suffice it to say a family issue came up right on the Winter Solstice, and it wasn’t until about a week ago that things started to smooth out again.

Shit happens, and our world is in crisis enough without personal matters exacerbating things. Similarly, our lives are chaotic enough without world events making it worse. Like many of you, I just want to live in peace, to explore my being and my world, to be creative and to be free to live, love and prosper in health and meaningful expression, as I define such- respecting the life around me of course.

The fact that shit gets in the way of that irks me. These posts were expressions of a mobilizing frustration with the constant push of psychopathic and parasitic causality to program not just people, but nature Herself toward destruction. To make matters more irking, this destructive path is imposed because the depths of hell in those psychopathic souls- in all of us for that matter- are left to a great extent unaddressed. Certainly I want to live in peace, but I do not want to be oblivious to what desperately needs my attention.

In my view, we as human beings are constantly conditioned to frame our experience in ways that marginalize our capacity to effectively deal with it. We are either numbed to ignore and deny or are limited to obsessive and relentless applications of flimsy band aids with sparkly promises written over them. We are, furthermore, programmed to emulate our authoritarian matrix handlers as if they were parents, masters, or gods according to some of their dark fantasies. Thus when we do manage to see a problem we cannot avoid, we treat it like the medical establishment treats cancer: poison it, burn it or cut it out. In the end, even as we sink in the sweet fantasy of doing the best we can, the result is our self-mutilation and the sacrificing of all we hold dear.

I am actually quite optimistic as I write this. I am hopeful with a sense of possibility because so much that drags us into perdition is written upon and within us as “reality”. It is that writing on our inner wall, tantamount to dictated code to enforce obedience that prevents our truly divine natural healing potential from kicking in and getting us back to being the free and creatively loving blessings to ourselves and all around us we were “designed” to be.

If one gets physically sick, the body requires time and care to heal. But first conditions need to be met, such as healthy diet, proper hydration, adequate rest and comfort. If infected by a parasite, we need to remove the invading organism, eliminate the toxins it has released into our system, and insure the aforementioned of any proprietary conditions of physical healing are met.

My point is to identify the programming as the parasite, like a computer virus that not only infects us and replicates at every turn, but which is designed to instill the sense that we ourselves are machines. Thus, whereas the nature of the parasite may be of the sort our natural design can address, we are instead hobbled to view it mechanically so that it cannot even be understood unless we pose it in terms of a computer program or virus or other such morally neutral assemblage.

So I was looking at issues revolving around mind control and how to mitigate, counter and even reverse it. I was not content to simply spout commentaries on the human condition, and opinions regarding events as the media- alternative or otherwise- portrays them. On the other hand, this blog will still stand and the occasional post of paradoxical or straight-laced commentary will be made. It’s just that right now, my focus is more on a path that I believe is more conducive to addressing the issue of mind control and overt parasitic conditioning, the need for deep existential healing and the possibilities of empowerment beyond cliché elaborations.

In my view, esoteric themes more appropriately cover these topics when presented with lucidity and care. That is easier said than done. So no guarantees, but it is my very determined intention to present what can be realistically applied provided one puts in the energy (time, attention, life force etc.). One cannot embrace positive change in contradictory conditions of active oppression without initiative and effort. Simply taking a pill or being basked in grace has not worked and is not meant to work unless the way is paved for it via some form of effort. The majority of humanity may indeed wait for the savior, but it is a minority that will usher in the conditions favoring salvation.

We don’t have to wait for everyone or most to transform or “get it”. We don’t have to bear the weight of responsibility on our shoulders. We are instead best served, in my view, by knowing ourselves independently of “where we fit in”. Will I offer the effort, energy, time, attention- whatever? Some pay for services, knowledge etc. That can work to get the ball rolling but if buying salvation is one’s (albeit hidden) intent, through a seminar, a book, a pill or whatever, disappointment is the most likely outcome.

Yet if one acquires something as an investment and seed around which to base one’s effort, attention and energy, then  more than likely the seed will sprout and will lead to nourishing fruit that will make a difference worth the investment and effort together. From my end, I have made my own efforts and have results worth sharing. The Esothemes blog will be the medium and most of my focus. If you who read this are interested, the link is As for this venue, it is slowing down for now, but never halting activity completely. Stay tuned, you never know what might come up here and how the wheel may turn.

The Perverse Empowerment of Authorization

A simple online dictionary definition of empowerment is “the giving or delegation of power or authority; authorization”. This definition appears to imply empowerment from an external source. I realize the wording is such that the source of empowerment is unspecified. When I read about delegation of power and authority, I think in terms of something or someone doing the delegating.

To empower thus is to authorize. To authorize is to establish that someone or something is an author, someone who makes things happen. A human subject of authorization can thus manipulate any target toward whatever they will for it. Authorization denotes not just the brute force to accomplish such a thing, but the moral privilege if not obligation to do so. That means everyone is somehow left with no endorsement to counter the individual thus empowered.

Words like “empower” and “authorize” are commonly used in circles, mundane and esoteric, official and informal alike. It is easy to be mired in a sea of debate and contradictory assertion when trying to wrap our heads around the implications of their meanings. Some claim they are immune to abuse, for example, because they are empowered by their rights. But if there is no might or power beyond that of the idealized concept of “right” itself to protect them, then their ideals dissolve in the face of violating force like so much smoke on a windy day.

Those who monopolize the power to force compliance realize it isn’t enough to sustain their positions. They take advantage of the loose nature of social cohesion in those whey rule. Then they can claim “special status” by virtue of authoritative idealism to confront thinking contrary to their purposes when threats do not suffice. Authoritative structures can be, therefore, passed off not just as natural entities or “corporations”, but as supernatural ones. As such authority organizes into hierarchies.

The notion of “hierarchy” describes sacred or sanctified authority. It often relates to religious priesthoods, but generally refers to the chain of command of any organized group. Groups of this kind form structures of authority where dominion flows in a single direction, where the source of rule authorizes the next stages in the flow. Such, for example, is a pyramid structure hierarchy. Therein, the flow is top to bottom. Therein the top authorizes and empowers each level to act as representatives of its authority on the levels beneath them.

In the above scenario those so empowered dominate “beneath” them in the name of the authorizing ones. Even in the most benign and “enlightened” instances the system compromises the freedom of those that are ruled. It is not uncommon, therefore, for human nature to prompt even the best intentions regarding authority structures to pave the way to the hells of human enslavement. In the latter cases, authority is tantamount to tyranny, and empowerment regains its idealized and meaningful status when directed to break the yoke of authorization. It is no surprise that enslaving establishments tend to promote anything that can be turned against such dynamics of just outcome.

It’s been argued that religious faith leads to empowerment. Ethnic, gender and global identity-sense have also been touted as paths to empowerment. I can agree with the above, unless these areas of human experience have been co-opted by an establishment of social dominance. It doesn’t take a genious, therefore, to discern that even the most sugarcoated tyranny amounts to a slave culture; just like the most well-treated bovines are still prone to end up in the slaughterhouse.

In recent decades, individual identity in much of the world has been twisted into a me-cult of ego worship. Punctuating this is a counterpoint of fear, guilt and humiliation posing as objective commentary and moral imperative, facilitated all to easily by the rapid advancement of mass media technologies that serve rather than expose the establishment.

I use the term “establishment” in a general sense. No matter which of its myriad incarnations draws our attention it still expresses the same essential nature spanning all geographic areas and historic periods. Power is the name of the game. It is the power to dominate other human beings, and to claim all available resources.

Sometimes, as if pushed by a perverse romanticism, we like to think we live in a dark age, and in the past all was better. We might want to consider the myth of the great golden age being nothing more than our tendency to sugarcoat our yesterdays and provide a safe haven in the past to protect our sensibilities from an uncertain future.

It’s not that peaceful cultures with near-ideal conditions never existed. I am certain they did even if the validity of specific examples is a matter for debate. The Caribbean islands, environments that would rival any mythical paradise, hosted a variety of native cultures. Many were violent cannibals and others quite pacifist and friendly, and yet they occupied the same general geographic area during the same time period. Such extreme variety in behavioral inclination in various indigenous groups was found in many geographic areas prior to periods of urbanization and central authority.

The current dominant culture derived from West European colonials is, on the other hand a derivative of Imperial totalitarianism marked by an addiction to technological “progress”, all in a veneer of moral superiority, ethical refinement and democratically inclined civil pretense. Of course the centers of indoctrination for children, teenagers and young adults known as schools would disagree with my assessment, but that is no surprise.

The dominant cultures of our time thrive on perverse empowerment. They feed on the draining of authority from the individuals that make up a society, either to blatantly empower an insatiable minority, or on the pretense of empowering the collective group as an entity unto itself. The latter is reminiscent of a kind of communal or hive mind effect in the more extreme versions of the occurrence.

I want to point out that perverse empowerment feeds upon and flourishes through the misery it happens to be creating in its given conditions, regardless of what they are. That misery can only be orchestrated by haters of humanity. Thus, the current global “establishment” appears to hold a policy of extreme disdain for all who are not of their minority groups.

Perhaps it is a matter of the psychopath not trusting what they do not understand: the healthy human psyche. Regardless, I believe racism as it is touted to today is a divide and conquer tool used on the majority of humanity because it is easier to get people to hurt those who are different.

In the face of becoming aware of the above state of affairs some believe that doing away with the perverse minority will solve the worlds ills. If you, however, manage to remove the immediate perpetrators, then others will rise from lower levels of the social pyramid. The social niches where psychopathic disposition thrives are symptomatic, not causal. As such they will always extend a siren call to candidates until the essence of psychopathy itself is cleansed from the collective psyche of humanity.

This may not be as tall an order as it appears if we think in terms of the species participating rather than the burden falling on a few individuals. Nevertheless, it is not easy to imagine just how the whole species will or even can be involved in any direct manner. Even so, I view it as humanity’s evolutionary imperative at this time.

The stakes are very high. Our planetary environment is in need of healing, but unless we remove humanity from the equation altogether, the healing of our psyche as species is a priority. This is best preceded by the healing of the individual psyche, where each human being must choose to take the initiative.

We are speaking of a form of empowerment that differs from and even opposes that mentioned in the title and elaborated in this writing. It is the natural and healthy empowerment of the individual. It is a vitalizing dynamic that is free of the necessity to authorize for authority already lies within. Natural individual human empowerment is exemplified by the sincere human heart shining its light to activate the path that expresses the truth of the integrity of that individual.

It leads to action that is therefore right, wherever one is drawn to apply it, under whatever circumstances and cultural, racial and/or religious context. In this chosen path, however, it is still one’s own responsibility to cover the bases that call to be covered to heal and attain the freedom that only living in integrity can offer. This is the freedom of true empowerment, a subject for another day.

Musings Part IV: Meeting the Challenge

In our sojourns through the highways and byways of social media, we are bound to confront psychologically destructive intentions in the form of written, verbalized or visually depicted communication. It is a painful thing to endure, and all too tempting for those who finally get to be the bully they’ve hated- or admired- all their lives. The hurt bleeds into and infects the disposition of the victim so even they can end up abusive and directly hurtful unto self and others. The simple solution is to police beliefs.

The idea that one has no recourse but to engage in controlling what other people think and feel is probably one of the most harmful of beliefs. It is all the more dangerous because it is so easy to justify, enticing us with promises of smoothing out all those pesky problems we endure because of others.

The impact of the idea of thought control as viable in modern society is, therefore, not to be underestimated. It is no less insidious for the fact that it slips so easily into masking itself as common sense to be taken for granted by the majority of socially active human beings.

The speed and ease of information transfer these days can fool us into thinking we can act upon that information just as rapidly. I see it, furthermore, as an understatement when I say that in the age of instant this and getting things done yesterday, patience does not appear to be the virtue it once was. Information may flow at light speed, but meaning takes time to digest.

It is crucial we take that time so we can separate waste from nourishment, allotting each in their proper place. When our ability to digest is compromised, our ability to discern is handicapped. We end up just nodding to the givens presented to us as we are flooded with toxic memes. In this state we are left weakened and debilitated, mentally, emotionally, often tot eh depths of our souls as we suffer acute and chronic deprivation of empowering truth and meaning.

Nevertheless, even in a state of toxic overload, we can step back and remember that we define who we are, even as circumstances may appear to control so much of what happens around us. We may surprise ourselves at how much we can still muster the strength and determination to support that voice within that still craves something more than what we are taught is our lot. Even as we realize the demoralizing nature of agendas far and near, and that we are not in Kansas anymore where all we took for granted as normal was concerned.

Agendas can be exogenous- created outside of us. Most of “conspiracy” thinking describes something like this, but it can include any systematic bullying, harassment and abuse. They can, however, also be endogenous- created within us. They can be psychological in nature when involving our apparent sense of self, but also of a spiritual dynamic if mundane explanations don’t quite cover what is going on. As unsavory as this sounds, each of us can have our own “agenda” and be barely aware of it. It can be so even and probably especially when you, I or another are under the impression the word “awakened” describes us hands down.

I am in no way reluctant to include myself in the lot of endogenous agenda holders. I see it as par for the course; part of the challenge of knowing ourselves deeply enough to cultivate our potential to the best of our ability. In this way our best grows to be ever better, and we can even relish meeting what otherwise would have us withdraw under the jackboot of a crushing cognitive dissonance.

It’s so important to apply the golden rule to ourselves. It is important because it is nourishing. We are therefore nourished when we see and treat ourselves as we would like others to do so- masochistic dispositions notwithstanding. We are nourished when we acknowledge the progression of our growth. We are nourished when we affirm our process of accumulating wisdom with ever more grounded and impacting applications.

In this manner we can stand up to the naysaying thieves of personal truth and self-esteem that abound on the internet today. No matter how these online junkyard dogs bark and growl or whimper and whine at us, we can still root in the affirmation that our desired empowerment is a reality that trumps assaults by bullies, guilt-trippers and fanatics. We can stand strong and revel in our choice to engage with frameworks of possibility we can accept as intimate with our very core of being.

I cannot help but cringe when I read sayings like “smart people know they are stupid and stupid people think they’re smart”. I don’t find these nourishing, not even as reminders of healthy humility. To generalize that way is just another version of the “up is down and light is dark” meme poisoning the field of human understanding these days.

Manipulative tactics are often nothing more than strategies and tactics to project stress, to demonize, to get recognition, support, attention, to dominate or vent. I am speaking generally, mainly to emphasize that all of us have ourselves to work on more than others. That being said those that aspire to inform their fellows of alternatives to the collective program of acceptable thinking are growing in number.

More importantly, sharing experience and views that are mind-expanding involves building bridges to others. It also involves rebuilding those connections that a lifetime in the matrix has left in a sorry state of near collapse.  That is anything but easy, especially when internal agendas are relentless in their attempts to undermine any mobilization toward real empowerment. At the same time if we sense impulses, our own or another’s expression of weakness free of overt calculating intent, we can cut us all some slack.

Sometimes agendas are just the motive to find shoulders online upon which to release our pent up tears and frustrations. After all, those who read, listen and view us on social media are often called “friends”. So it can appear normal to ask for prayers, kind words and even a bit of verbal coddling and flattery. I found that if I actually took every such request seriously, I would be spending most of my time just projecting well-being on people. Anyone who has ever tried that- seriously and not just showing up for a bit of loving drama- should collect disciples and walk on water. The world needs you.

There are many who can make a difference in the lives of others by projecting good will to them. The problem is that unless there are boundaries, the sender can become ill and the receiver an addict of what is given to them. Those who usually practice helping others in this manner are selective, and some even use the image of “healer” or “wise one” to establish boundaries so they are not bled by those in desperate or even flippant want.

When the culprit is within us, we tend to display intelligence and/or felt honesty, yet there is an agenda of dumping all that we don’t want to face on others. We make friends and act supportive, but it is we who seek to lay our burdens anywhere but where it is our responsibility to lay them. The above statements are free of judgment and accusation because they reflect very human strategies to alleviate the pain and stress that is often beyond our ability to endure.

Thus we move to sustain the image we desire to sustain as we stand before those who know us as well as the mirror we confront every day. It’s prudent to protect one’s self from the foibles of human pathos, but I am not describing psychopathy here. I disagree with those who see a psycho at every turn. Psychopaths make a splash in human circles when they come out of concealment, but they are still a minority.

There are, nevertheless, many desperate and lonely people out there. There are medicated people out there, people saturated with toxins of all kinds to the point of bursting. Who among us has not been hurt in some way? Some, however, sustain degrees of trauma that would break others. We are not all the same, and one size does not fit all- cliché but very true.

Let us always keep in mind that our differences matter, but so does common ground. We need common ground with each other, and we need to be aware that any forcing or fabricating it is the act of someone with an unsavory “agenda”. With common ground we can empathize where nourishment embraces more than you or me. With common ground we can experience compassion to carry first any trauma of our own being to healing, and then lift it from wherever we find it.

This the art of enantiodromia: the art of reversing course, going up stream and transforming the dross into gold and crap into fertilizer. It doesn’t matter where trauma originates when we confront it constructively because in the now of our art we are not being hurt. In the now of our art we can see ourselves as more than former victims, more than righteous or vulnerable or anything but willing to get on with being healthy in every way.

More importantly, we can and should be self-centered, and refrain from demonizing the idea of being selfish because we know in our process that we are committed and response-able. We can and should insure the oxygen mask meets our needs before we attempt helping others with theirs. It is good sense, and to let anyone undermine that in the name of ego-deconstruction is itself falling for an agenda. We are no good to anyone if we are not good to ourselves.

These musings are not as random as the title implies. They are born from daily online encounters, and they fuel much of the ranting of this blog. Most of the writings here can probably have the words “Musings of Online Encounters” inserted somewhere in the titles. Over the last few months I’ve gotten frustrated with some of my day to day encounters. I hear it’s a common occurrence, but no less unpleasant for it. Musing through them helps me clarify where I stand, and formulating where I stand out of the morass of debate and contradiction helps my psychic posture. I think I’m straightened out for now- *winks*.

The Gamers of Engineered Society: Part I

The issue of social engineering is vastly important. It is both complex and multifaceted. It is represented in the evolution of human history, and has vestiges reaching into the murky past prior to existing written records of any kind. If one cannot comprehend that human society is engineered by those who would proclaim themselves ultimate authorities of it, they cannot discern the lengths those who lust for power will go to consolidate it.

In the second decade of the twenty first century extensively organized power grabbing isn’t as far-fetched an idea as it used to be, for the majority of westerners at least. The focus in this diatribe involves the perspective and mindset of the power-broker. Namely, it isn’t just a cliché to assert that that those who lust for social, political and economic power, tend to be of a certain Machiavellian disposition that tends to express in a sort of “gaming” mentality.

Power brokers- psychopaths- with vast resources at their disposal, with little in the sense of empathy or moral compass, and with virtually no awareness of existential meaning beyond their own survival and quest for control, are natural “gamers”. I refer to gaming that resembles strategic and tactical warfare, where winners and losers are more like perpetrators and victims, be the game a simulation or harsh reality acting as such.

The above thesis can be understood when described in the form of the real world example of the United States financial system. In this game players seek to accumulate standards of value, otherwise known as commodities, which translate as power over existence. That includes its beings, circumstances and rules of operation.

In more common parlance the goal is to play god, a game that can be quite addictive to a psychopathic personality. That’s a big claim when the system itself poses as nothing more than wealthy folk investing in human productivity.

Regardless of the nature of this game of greed and power, human beings are natural representations of value. They have potential power over themselves and their lives via their creative capacities and resourcefulness. A human being can be a force of change in the world for better or worse. If their value is quantified as a monetary sum, however, then the assumption that the value can be tapped and treated like any other monetary commodity easily follows.

A gaming mentality takes advantage of this, and can also go a long way to dispense with any pesky issues of ethics, justice or humanity for those whose nature is devoid of any kinship or compassion with the rest of life. In this instance the gamer can seek to either tap the “human resource” for themselves, or subvert it. The latter may appear counterintuitive. The gamer from a Machiavellian perspective, nevertheless, can see benefit in doing so because a) human beings are kept from becoming one’s competition, b) it prevents another player from tapping into the human being.

For a more informed context regarding our example I’ve taken refuge in the internet resource I love to hate: google. Anyone interested can reproduce the search and look at the first five hits or so of each word string of the following three cases: 1) straw man all capital letters, 2) corporate personhood, and 3) birth certificate used as collateral.

Conspiracy analysts often lump these three topics together, but there appear to be inconsistencies the many “skeptic” and “debunking” sites on the web love to emphasize. Lumping the topic under one category can throw doubt on the whole thing when an inconsistency pops up. In this case, the “straw man” concept assumes one’s legal/corporate persona can be separated from one’s real person where the establishment laws are concerned. Whether it is fair or not, that separation is not legally recognized.

Yet some think that writing one’s name differently automatically results in separation as if somehow authorities are constrained to act against the interests of the system they serve. In other words, even as they pose things in terms of contracts, analysts act as if the game isn’t rigged, but that people just don’t know the rules.

Let’s place more attention on the concept of legal or corporate persona mentioned above. The gist of it is that although a business is made of human beings who own and operate its courses of action, it can still be presented as an embodiment with legal identity on par with that of a human individual.

The interesting thing is that humans are also given corporate (embodied) legal status, even though they are already individualized. The embodiment/corporate label is then neither truly embodied, nor truly abstract as an ideology or strategic initiative might be. The idea of incorporation appears to me to be a packaging concept to be used however the interests behind the legalese see fit.

This need not be alarming if the motives of those manipulating this conception were fair and just. What makes the deal a gaming system in my view is the third theme. This centers on our birth certificate; the primary document establishing proof of our embodied personhood (that we are registered game pieces). It refers to the certificate as a monetized bank note where the financial system is concerned, at least in the United States..

I had a hard time understanding how this could be, but the US birth certificate document indeed is defined as a bank note. It is not only monetized but used as collateral for bets placed on the New York Stock Exchange. The legalese regarding the incorporation of our identity allows for the convenience of ignoring the moral ramifications as the jargon always takes precedence. It also makes for more efficient book keeping.

All this talk of legal fictions and birth certificates, however, was a bit of a detour to explore the idea of gaming being a primary meme in our society via this prominent example. There is more to be said here. But let’s leave that for the next installment.


Living in Fear vs. Living with Fear

Fear dominates much of human existence, and this is nothing new. Fear is used as a weapon by those who seek to dominate others, and that is also nothing new. The promotion of fear has become a precise science among a minority portion of humanity that it has taken on the nature of a WMD (weapon of mass destruction). 

Be that as it may, fear is a natural response in biological organisms. Fear tells you to run, but it doesn’t specify where, and if you are not aware, the direction of flight might lead you to a dead end or over a cliff. Fear tells you to fight, and you may triumph or be cajoled into a conflict where the only victor is the puppeteer that set you up.

To avoid fear being turned from friend to nemesis we are challenged to refrain from repressing or denying that response. It helps us little or naught to assume fear is an illusion, or something to be transcended for loftier sentiments. Fear is truly the most primal force of our psyche, they very radical imperative toward continuity of life. In humans and other sentient animals, it can even take on the form of compassion when one fears for others. 

Given all the above a fundamental a difference in the ways we may relate to the impulse of fear is noteworthy: the difference between living with fear and living in fear. Denial fosters the latter, and acceptance brings us to the former. When we live with fear, we engage with our response as a shifting energy. It can be a powerful resource to nourish courage, inspiration and inner strength, all of which allow us to better discern and navigate the challenges facing us.

Energy literally means motion. E-motion is energy, and in nature overwhelming fear is present so long as the threat is immediate. If animals and prehistoric humans lived in fear as modern humans do because of the dangers facing them, they would all have died off long ago. Chronic disease and the inability to defend themselves because of their perpetual paralysis would be their killers more than any natural threat.

In the far past, humans lived with fear and it served them. Today, many promote that fear is bad, when what we really don’t want its causes: the sources of harm. Denying fear for the sake of a convenient routine, only makes it fester. When this has collective ramifications tyranny takes hold because those who are most in denial of the fear driving them end up being the most motivated to control. If denial were recognized for the miasma and diseased state it is, psychopathy may not have grown to be dominating force it is today.

The miasma has perpetuated, however, passed on from ancestor to descendant, from parent to child, taught by example. Most often in human societies acceptance and honesty were punished in a rather expertly veiled hypocrisy. Thus we have been more and more conditioned to mistrust our own nature. Instead, perversion and psychopathy in the name of professional or otherwise dominant authority have become our masters.

In my view feelings transform and nourish reality, and thoughts structure it. Feelings are “energy” and thoughts are what patterns that energy, like a watercourse guides the flow of water from the mountains to the sea. The supporting role of thought is meant to nourish us. In return, the nourishment empowers and reinforces the thoughts that reflect and support our desires.

When thoughts become dictatorial over feelings they act against our natural desire sense, and we become our worst enemy. This is especially true when our thoughts are based on lies and deceptive manipulations of our perception. We may be led like the proverbial fool to dig a hole to escape a flood. Our delusion of flight becomes the making of our own grave.  

In being tricked to fear our fear we can be locked in polarities of fearful vs. fearless, when this has nothing to do with the nature of the energy, which cannot be created or destroyed, but only changes form and expression. When erroneous tyrannical thought structures our options into either being overwhelmed by emotion or empty of it, it does not work toward our best interests. Instead it denies the very nature of emotion to change form and expression in relation to circumstance and need. 

When we are overwhelmed by fear- the word is “terrorized”- the energy feeds on itself, leading to panic and increased distress until an external cause alters the condition- usually for the worst. When we open to fear from a place of acceptance, and the threat is not immediate, we can feel deeply without acting out impulsively.  

The emotional energy can then run its course toward resolution. More awareness can enter and repurpose the fear energy toward a constructively mobilizing expression of well-being known as excitement leading to exhilaration. This is very empowering and the way even terror can transform when thought is held from artificially defining it. The transformation that can take one from the brink of panic is facilitated both by a quieting of verbal mind, and then by its initiating an inner dialog that gently allows the feeling to be digested without trying to force the feeling into submission in the name of a “positive mindset”.

In my honest opinion, waves of fear these days come from a backlog of collective and individual repression and due to deliberate terrorism by those who seek to engineer society against the human species outside of a select group. It sounds counterintuitive, but when we open to naturally respond to this attempted terrorism without buying into it- when we feel without drama, in other words- we can activate potentials in our being that do more than just give us a clear head and mobilized heart. We can, in the midst of fear, open to well-being as a form of natural love (known as agape).  

In this way, as we become established in this more mature mode of being, the weaponized fear thrust upon us becomes a means of empowerment, whereas those perpetrating terror end up being the only avenue for its expression. For those who promote fear are those who deny and repress it the most.

Consider that cause and effect works in the following manner: if one cannot dump their energy into a victimized outlet, and they continue to refuse to take response-ability for it, this energy will make them confront a reality reflecting their denial. Whether one credits this view or not, it does not serve us to be victims of fear.

It is my understanding that we can harness this energy as a source of empowerment, and even redemption. We may, therefore, do our part in leading our lives and world to balance and meaningful expression. The road to that balance may still be a rocky one. Those who would manipulate want us to think that we will suffer if we don’t cower before them. That is the biggest lie of all. Will we call their bluff and get real? Can we afford not to?

Musings Part III: The Challenge to Grow

Social media reflects the state of the modern world. It is an arena of data mining, so long as people continue to post representations of their visceral responses to all the little things in life. Data mining the seemingly innocent indicators of individual and collective desire, and the behaviors corresponding to them facilitates the structuring of marketing strategies by individuals and groups invested in doing so. We are told this is to more efficiently promote goods and services people want. It’s just the good old free market at work.

The darker side, of course, is the mapping of the internet user’s behavioral spectrum in order to establish set pathways of stimulus/response. Encouraging creative discourse and problem solving do not quite fit within the parameters of that agenda, where it clashes with the interests of its promoters.

Social media could be a conduit of illumination and problem solving far in advance of real-world alternatives, at least as far as the planning stages go. I would say it is by design that such is not the case. Manipulated or not, social media tends to reflect the state of many current conditions of human society, especially if one broadens one’s horizons of interaction to encompass as much variety as comfortably viable before the friction of incompatible expression, belief and preference tears the situation apart.

The fine line between open-minded social variety and finding one’s self on a battle field of conflicting in-groups is a blurry one. It is, however, worth stickling one’s neck out on social chopping blocks if there is a chance to experience firsthand the statistics of where others are coming from.

That is one reason to refrain from bitching- too much- about the internet and all it involves. Even lies and half-truths can be valuable teachers. They tell us about the neurotic, the deceiver, the bright smile concealing a shady agenda, and about ourselves and the weaknesses we hold from the light of day. We are challenged to be aware, and that’s the hard part. The harder part is doing something about it that counts; something that nourishes our integrity rather than compromising it.

In discerning the ins and outs of online human nature, no amount of talking is going to change the beliefs people hold. Life does that. Discussions, however, can supply us with a field of alternative conception when life finally reveals that it’s time to reconsider things. Or discussions can provide a field of resistance and inertia so we chicken out and run back to all the familiar shit we had just realized sucks.

If someone’s beliefs, views or attitudes are such that they clash with my sense of integrity- not the same as simply disagreeing with them- I let them be. We have enough violence in the world.  Getting rabid in a virtual environment is just demeaning, especially when we all have the option to step back and chill out.

If there is a point of contact or common ground, on the other hand, I focus on that. It is funny how social media and discussion forums have gone such a long way to teach me diplomacy. If only for that the internet has been invaluable to me.

In addition, sometimes I find myself feeling psychological harmony with people where there is no sensate connection other than words on a screen. In that feeling lie the revelations, that never get old, of how much well-being is dependent on solidarity with our fellow humans, and how deprived most of us are in lives diminished without it.

The value of human solidarity might be obvious in theory, and even in terms of off-line experience. Demonstrations, rallies, even parties and celebrations attest to that. It so happens, however, that in our information age crowds of people are a few keystrokes away all the time. And as we seek those who are like-minded, we may have to wade through swamps of communication dissonance that might even bring up issues from the past or just latent sensitivities we would rather not face.

Just as solidarity is healthy and empowering, social dissonance weakens us with one exception: the predatory personality. This would be one who projects their inner dissonance onto the world as a means to experience empowerment by witnessing the weakening or psychological turmoil of others.

We can, through some misadventure, learn to identify such individuals and avoid them. It is far more difficult, however, to deal with people who mean well, but in one way or another are in denial of a specialized form of dissonant projection.

That latter statement is not describing a disease. It’s really just the nature of being human, living in a society of artifice and trauma, and mired in the confusion of layers and layers of distortions, lies and out of context facts. The usual symptom is experiencing views and beliefs pushed in one’s direction that don’t resonate with one’s sense of right, even though they may make sense, or reflect common (proprietary) sense.

Confronting that kind of pressure can lead to a spectrum of choices that make us pray psychological manipulation on a number of levels. Coping mechanisms can include embracing relativism for the sake of keeping the peace, and raising the banner of our pet peeve to crusade against a world populated by infidels of one sort or another.

We may want to remain “correct”. We may want to vent, but still hold on to our precious integrity and sense that we are “good”. We may end up caring too much what other people think, yet still avoid considering just how much pain and constriction sensitivity to collective consensus is causing us.

If we are of the ilk that desires to see positive change. If we are willing to challenge the flow of mass correctness, there is much to learn and much to be done. Swimming against the current requires more strength than the average individual can manage these days. Otherwise it would be a common occurrence, one that I must be blind not to see. The good news is that strength can be cultivated. How to stand and how to proceed can be cultivated. Courage to liberate ourselves from the rut of familiarity can be cultivated.

Clouded vision and clouded heart will begin clearing when we stand by options and views because they come from a place that is genuine regardless of how vulnerable that feels at first. Persistence in such commitment transforms a person to a pillar of strength without their demanding attention or some form of psychological ‘tribute’. Then one is a force of inspiration and experiences the power and possibility of the modern online social medium.

Engineered Memes

We take so much for granted in this social menagerie of ours. Our sense of meaning and value, or logic our feelings and desires. We tend to orient with respect to characteristics of experience as if they are the most natural thing in the world. We take them for granted and question little. Those who are more inquisitive about the ‘normal’ stuff- if they aren’t children to be ignored or given pat answers- are told they are overthinking things. I’ve heard- more than once- that overthinking will only make a given situation more complicated than it needs to be. We have enough to keep us busy worrying our whole lives anyway.

Overthinking is a characteristic or meme that I question. Avoiding it, in my book, all too often leads to the other extreme. Whereas “overthinking” is a common term, however, “underthinking” is not. It isn’t even recognized by my spell-check program as such. So I question: why not? If we are one-sided to avoid overthinking without compensating our trend, won’t we fall into a dumbed down attitude of being accustomed to an oversimplified, canned and packaged, predigested version of life itself?

It isn’t hard to see how we can be encouraged by trends to adopt attitudes that are approved in a wide spectrum of our relations. Allow me to be more definitive and speak specifically of memes. The concept I am pointing out is defined in the online urban dictionary as follows:

[A]n idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media).

The word is derived from a Greek verb that means “to imitate”.  A meme is thus not just a belief system but an pattern of proscribed behavior we are conditioned to mimic. If memes are engineered, it is very unlikely that there is benign intent behind the initiative. Given the prevaling patterns of propagated behavioral programming, the conclusion of this blogger at least is that the aim is to make us as docile, simple-minded and obedient.

The behavioral imperatives by which we are bombarded by media reinforcement are cumulative. In most urbanized humans of modern technological civilization, they saturate the psyche from cradle to grave. In this way they trigger a cascade of progressive programming that an increasing number suspect is leading to our acceptance of changes to life and society no sane human being would allow perpetrated- not without a fight.

Given the above let’s consider the notion regarding our values and sense of meaning being a product of a natural- if not healthy- environment. Compare it to the notion of all we consider tried and true to be not much more than the engineered regurgitations of an electronic information medium that is owned and operated by individuals you would not trust with your own, or any children for that matter. The latter is disturbing enough to draw attention, and from that initial response can emerge a number of outcomes ranging from a crusading attitude to protect ourselves from the implications of the idea to a crusading attitude to reject and demonize it as delusional.

But seriously; the above sounds like rampant, undadulterated paranoia. Even so, the urgency of the proposal that our responses to social scenarios, how we think, feel and express are determined by memes begs us to pay attention. The idea that such memes are actually designed and engineered either from scatch or corrupted in a purposeful manner heaps even more significance upon the question: who or what is behind it?

Caution is needed at this point, mostly due to the temptation to jump to extremes. Confusion can replace clarity, not because we are overthinking, but because we refer to the same memes to make sense of things. Confusion can also replace clarity when we are aware of the implications of assuming memes are our own thoughts, and fight them in a fearful and overly defensive manner. Specifically, regarding the prior question, we may refer to the “conspiracy theory” meme in one way or the other.

The conspiracy theory meme draws a stark line between those who advocate the prevalence of ongoing social conspiracies at the global level and those who do not. The meme is not the belief itself, but the evaluation of it from a perspective claiming to be rational.

It was originally engineered to demonize those that supported that large scale social conspiracies are fact. When that failed, further memes were engineered to divide, confuse, and drive into disarray those who considered themselves “awake” with respect to those on the other size who considered themselves anywhere on the spectrum of law abiding reason.

Any attempt to point out that the situation is engineered is bombarded with information overload, disinformation and aggressive responses from those who support the purpose of the meme- while mostly denying the meme has a purpose. Regardless of the power of the meme, it cannot resist the nature of human information networks, which is mutagenic to meme patterns.

In this case, more appear to believe in conspiracies than a decade or two ago (especially in the USA and Europe), but as the number increases so does the variety of personal neuroses expected in members of a dysfunctional society. So also do the opportunities to throw discord into the mix and divide opinion into specialized manageable groups at odds with each other.

One subsidiary of the meme is the idea- or observation depending on where one is coming from- that larger groups of believers are managed by individuals who are either accepted by the meme engineering establishment for containing the situation, or who are themselves kept busy and on the defensive. If they manage to stir a large enough number into solidarity, they are eliminated, usually through rabid discrediting.

If that doesn’t work then fabricated legal issues undermine their livelihood. If that fails then physical elimination is the final option. The latter, however, is probably not as common as some conspiracy advocates think. It makes sense that it would be reserved for those with overt material as opposed to strictly ideological impact, such as leaders of movements against specific corporate, political and economic interests.

Validating any conspiracy theory is easier said than done. Reliable sources are mixed with disinformation without a definite means of telling them apart. There is one option that where analysis can be set aside, however. It is pattern recognition. Consistent and open-minded observation, in other words, leads to the verification of prevalent patterns regarding the implications of our questions.

Another tactic that can be useful is the consideration of motive, means and opportunity where questions of a prevailing conspiracy- such as the idea that memes are engineered- arise. Usually these elements reveal the presence of criminal behavior to be more likely in any given context.

The conspiracy theory meme is just one example. There are memes of terrorism, and memes of beauty and social approval. There are memes that capitalize on historic injustice, racism, sexism and religious bigotry, and the unresolved resentments in individual psyches that may or may not always be a product of these issues.

Be that as it may their unofficial allure is that they offer the hope of justice and even reparation to the downtrodden, while keeping the populous divided even as they reward certain types of righteousness and punish others. On the other hand, any opportunity for righteous self promotion attracts the most unsavory individuals who may unfortunately also be the most charismatic among us.

We don’t have to deal directly with such sensitive memes to get the picture that we are being overtly conditioned. We need only open to the possibility that the pattern of a given meme can inform us regarding the motive, means and opportunity of those behind it.

The dire implications of such a possibility warrant our attention, and the consideration that a certain number of memes in modern information age society are not just- of at all- due to the vagaries of human nature. They are at the very least also a result of calculated intervention. Its ultimate purpose is to program human response by taking advantage of those human to which a psychopath can relate, such as resentment, greed, and various forms of- overt and covert- intimidation.

There is more to this than meets the eye in this writer’s opinion. If we go deeper into the rabbit hole we might crack open a window to see how psychopaths relate to the world when they will not or cannot empathize. I refer to their “gaming mentality”, a topic for the- hopefully- near future.

Musings Part II: Revising the Rant

When something disturbs me online, I sometimes open up a word file and just write. Be that as it may, putting forth polished and edited venting may be an exercise in refined catharsis, but it doesn’t necessarily make for insightful reading. Instead of the fine verbal sheen and smooth linguistic flow that comes from coherent editing, polished venting can result in not much more than tiresome dribble.

I speak for my own dribbling tendencies. They tend to hit when I get affected by the prevailing winds of politically correct guilt tripping and wimp out not wanting to piss people off.

This second instalment of the topic at hand, therefore, is an attempt to re-muse the former musing, now that some weeks or so have passed and the mental pipes have all been vented. Unfortunately, circumstances are not so kind as to encourage the mental pipes stay vented. More encounters, more frustration; so be it.

I want to blame it all on the “establishment”, but the latter as a controlling minority with hoarded resources and extended experience in the art and science of psychopathic manipulation still cannot get away with all that goes on without the participation of you, me and the rest of the proverbial majority of online humanity. I speak specifically of internet oriented behavior manipulation.

The bait is the sense of power every “little person” feels in sounding out where they stand, be it complaining, pontificating or simply socializing. We all have reason to complain, and opinions are like assholes- and I mean no disrespect to the aforementioned body part. Socializing, furthermore is a basic human desire if not need.

Expressing as such is healthy, so long as we consider the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and its reflection or inverse (treat yourself as you would treat others). These two sides of the golden rule, however, are counterproductive if we seek to harm ourselves.

In any case, many worship, admire and most likely envy celebrities these days. Many, furthermore, would love to be a celebrity, and I can’t blame them given the promoted images. The bait then is promoted self-importance, and sometimes monetary gain under the guise of “teaching people what’s right”. From there it can escalate to the sadistic pleasure of acting as judge and jury, if not executioner- at least in the physical sense.

This is where I urge myself caution in plenty. Each of us can be found to be perpetrators of that which we condemn, as far as online communication is concerned. The irony is that those who slip through the cracks of the witch hunt are often the most manipulative and psychopathically inclined; but that need not be taken as a rule either. Nothing can, but oh do we wish it were that easy (or at least I find myself wishing like that on occasion before I slap myself awake). How can we then apply discretion and be discerning in such a contrary venue? Here are some suggestions:

1) Insistent- but not brutal- honesty in viewing the reflection of the world in yourself, as well as the reflection of yourself in the world.

This includes the basic honesty regarding one’s motives, sense of purpose and feelings regarding others. If there is any time we are served to evaluate a situation from a position free of condemnation (normally know as being judgmental), it is where we ourselves are involved.

If we are sincere, if we are not running a scam or seeking to crush others and dominate even if psychologically, we can remember that it suffices that we know. The problem with a correctness mentality is that it is a hop skip and a jump from a witch hunt mentality, which itself two fingers away from a holocaust mindset, and I am not speaking of any specific historic uses of that word. Holocaust simply means burning everything to the ground, for whatever reason. Those who would desire such thing can get those with an exacerbated inferiority complex to do their dirty work and face any consequences if they are outed. It all starts with pushing guilt.

2) Be aware of your responses in applying (1).

Honesty is not painful, but it can reveal pain. When honesty itself is painful then it isn’t honesty, it is punishment. Taking responsibility for one’s pain does not mean creating more pain on top of it. Atoning is not a spectacle to satisfy others, neither is it groveling in front of the self-proclaimed righteous. It is meant to be a healing, which is meant to move from the stage of pain to the stage of soothing reconstitution.

3) Concern is primarily best turned on one’s self.

In other words, don’t worry about what others are doing or how they are doing it, unless you are done worry about yourself as thoroughly as it takes to move to do something about it, even if that involves “inner work” and not much in the way other’s see you. Guilt as a dominant meme we inflict or allow inflicted upon ourselves is malignant and toxic.

If you experience compassion for your circumstance and state of being, you need not accept guilt from a misplaced sense of fairness. If you are forgiving to yourself then you will be more understanding regarding guilt tripping others.

I am not giving original advice. It isn’t even “new age” advice. In this blogger’s honest opinion, it is the kind of sense that describes someone who is pragmatic where their inner world or experience of self is concerned. All too many are taken for a ride to embrace self-denial in subtle and overt ways, and to degrees that vary from mild to being extreme, if not lethal in their ramifications.

As far as I’m concerned coming to terms with one’s own set of personal values and qualifications of meaning, knowing oneself, being mindful and self-aware, even self-centered establishes a grounded stance that empower’s one to be free of manipulative guilt- without turning into the boogey man psychopath that has turned into what everyone loves to hate these days.

Psychological abuse is not uncommon. Insuring one is capable of avoiding or even reversing one’s victimization is one of the most practical things one can do in the information age, where online presence has more impact than ever. Riding the high of self-righteousness, however, is a conscious act because one needs to affirm the superiority of their stance all the time. If we fall into the trap of seeing manipulation everywhere and take the bait to see the devil behind every corner, then it is we who might be a witch-hunter or inquisitor in the making.