Thursday, January 01, 2009

I Resolve...

On this first day of this new year, I resolve to not buy into the fictions that are presented to me, and to the collective "us," each day. These fictions are pervasive, and they are presented so regularly, and so skillfully, both directly and indirectly that they put a coating of believability over each of their respective topics which makes it hard to even perceive them.

It is as if the coating serves two purposes. The first is to draw us unsuspectingly into an attractive alternative in the world of choices. The second is to capture us in a web which serves each and everyone who perpetrates it. The prime perp-er-trators are those who seek power over, and those who pursue financial gain over others.

Some of the tools and processes which perpetuate this web - dare I say: "Matrix?" include:

- The lie that is the "n-e-w-s," especially as presented on television;

- The fiction that is television programming, which is one of the most corrosive technologies on the planet. It purveys all sorts of unreality as if it is the way it is supposed to be. The latest lie I have noticed are the impossibly white teeth of virtually every celebrity wanna-be on the n-e-w-s programs;

- The lie that more and better purchasing and consuming will bring us happiness and a better quality of life;

- The lie that money is very important; it's important but after having a basic amount, not that important;

- The lie, the fiction, the deception that faster is better;

- The lie that we are a nation of great physical health and that pharmacology and high-tech medical procedures can, or will be able in the near future to solve most of our physical problems, and the lie that extension of life is in our best interest;

- The deception that financial investing is a good strategy for future security;

- The truly biggest deception is the covert programming that sucks from each of us the belief that we can make a difference;

- The unspoken lie of the established system that programs us to believe that we routinely need experts to solve our problems.

There are others. But I wanted to post this on the first day of this year.

I wish us all well in this coming year. And my wish is that all who embark on this discovery process will find a freedom and a power and a sense of purpose and life and engagement and responsibility that will benefit our respective worlds.


Paul said...

Tim, I look forward to your posts and this one was worth the wait!

News (aka marketing media), television, consumption, money, speed, medical industry, financial investing, impotence and dependence -- a fine list.

Jason said...

Bonne soiree, voison!

I just wanted to pose this as an open question: have we been conditioned to accept without question a specific conception of counterculture or alternative culture? It's important to question where all our notions come from. Some of the things on your list struck me as Thoreau all over again, but others struck me as really novel -> thus dangerous -> thus useful.

Glad to read some new stuff on the blog!

SimplyTim said...

Hey Jason,

How are you doing in your studies?

Re you question: "have we been conditioned to accept without question a specific conception of counterculture or alternative culture?"

If I understand your question, my thought and opinion is basically - yes.

I think we have all been conditioned in our perceptions and our thinking patterns. This is not a new development and my guess is that it has been that way back to the beginning.

Each society, even though there is diversity within it, favors certain ways of looking at ourselves and the rest of the world. In a totalitarian state, e.g., North Korea, I expect there would be crystal clear examples of group think with respect to the United States government.

Is that the case in the privacy of the minds of individual North Korean people? Do they have, or entertain, thoughts that their thinking has been massively shaped, their attitudes essentially pounded into them through continuous repetition?

Perhaps, perhaps not. My guess is that they accept it without question. To not do so may also not be healthy for their life expectancy.

To follow this line of reasoning further, I have to add a disclaimer that I have no first hand experience of North Korea. And therein lies a problem. How much have I been conditioned to accept the broad strokes which we have been exposed to and which have in turn conditioned our pathways?

Conditioning is how the pathways are established and how the "system" is maintained. It is the easiest way to maintain continuity. The more people buy into it, the stronger the pressure is.

When a new system is introduced by whatever means, the process begins all over again with a new or mutated collection of beliefs and expectations. And over time, the old adage that history belongs to the victor is reaffirmed once again.

The hard part about all this is that we often don't know that our thoughts and behaviors have been conditioned. But eventually, by staying open to questioning and testing beliefs and using simple questions like: "is that true?" "am I sure of that?" we begin to open new pathways.

Eventually we all have to do our own work. We have to be our own student and teacher. In doing that we begin to see the conditioning which has been imposed on us from an early age but also we can discern how we have conditioned ourselves.

These are not hard things. They are not easy. We get there by setting the intent and then staying the course.

You also commented that some of what I wrote struck you as Thoreau all over again and some of it was really novel. To the extent that I am merely repeating what Thoreau said, I am just a parrot, and giving back second hand experience. To the extent that I have digested his words and experiences I am a perfect example of a person who has been conditioned and not aware of that conditioning. To the extent that I have come to these opinions through my own discovery process, then he and I can both have a conversation based on our own personal experiences, and then that can become spirited and engaging.

I am glad that I am not in front of a college or graduate class of students who whould appropriately ask for references to back all of this up. But then again, I might say that the best discovery is self discovery and ask them to write their material.

I hope that is helpful.

Jason said...

Very well put. What I like about your blog most is the self discovery and what unfolds from that. Which is not something that I am accustomed to doing myself, nor am I accustomed to seeing it...Thanks for your response, and I hope you keep up the blogging!