Welcome to the About Words website. Below is a brief audio introduction to this site.
Did you know that one of the most popular words on the internet is God?
Self-respect is key. The more self-respect I have, the less I am obsessed about whether other people care about me (including other people in particular or other people in general).
However, I also accept the potential value of attention, drama, and fame. I just do not need to spend today living for a funeral with thousands of hysterical worshipers there. (Plus, if I am expecting Santa Claus to reward me with a dozen horny virgins when I die, that could distract me from my actual life today, right?)
So how does self-respect grow? First, I eventually recognize that my perceptions have been immensely biased by social pressures, and then I begin to favor my own discernment over what is merely familiar or popular. I value relevance, effectiveness, and precision. Sincerity is not validity.
What is courage?
If a group of people are driven by a great panic to face a small fear, that may just be desperation, not really courage. Consider a group of naive soldiers who, before a battle, are told that they are invisible or immune to injury. They are not precisely assessing risk and then taking action.
Instead, they are concerned about social perceptions of them as a good soldier. Their social insecurity is exploited and they are naively sent in to immense danger.
What if they are also told that if they are loyal soldiers then they will be rewarded after they die with great benefits from Santa Claus? Again, if they act in anticipation of unproven rewards, that is greedy (and naive), not truly courageous.
Seeking glory (social fame) can certainly be attractive, but how realistic is it? Are people so ashamed that they seek a moment of relief before they die… for knowing that they have done something that others will celebrate as heroic (to compensate for their past which they still reject as horrible and shameful)?
To review, they have a foundation of shame about their past, then they imagine that some action is so heroic that it will completely compensate for their own rejection of their life, so then they take that action. As they go, they are in agony, but with a desperate hope. If they fail, they are still in the same agony, but with no hope to distract themselves from the underlying agony. If they succeed, there is a moment of expectation that the agony will disappear (if only for an instant) because even though they still reject their past as shameful, they “finally” did something “good.” They still reject their life as worthless, but with a desperate hope that “this sacred action will make it from what it is fundamentally- worthless- in to a new thing.. a life worth living.”
Why not slow down now and experience some self-respect rather than chasing vanity in a hysteria of desperation and shame? “I need to do this so that I will earn the love that I so desperately want, but do not deserve yet!”
Of all, the poorly-armed soldiers who naively charge in to battle believing that they are invisible and on their way to heaven, how many will survive? Any? Of any who do survive, how many of the survivors will be paraded in front of their tribe to be awarded a medal of honor and of glory and of fame?
We can understand why military leaders might religiously tell young soldiers stories about Santa Claus and invisibility and heavenly glory. We can also understand why, during the recruiting process, the military leaders do not give the patriotic youth a tour of the disabled veterans home. Touring a cemetery would be much less disturbing than touring a paramedic station at the edge of a combat zone, right?
So courage can involve an awareness of risk plus an estimate of opportunity. The risk and opportunity could be something that someone else merely tells you about. Maybe they are sincere. Maybe they are not only sincere, but even somewhat accurate. However, what if instead of just telling you about their assessments (or repeating the statements scripted by some marketing specialists), they encouraged you to directly make some observations and assessments yourself?
Also, courage may involve taking a new action or even to discontinue an old pattern of behavior (or both). Generally speaking, if mass marketing from commercial interests were already encouraging you to do something, then it would not take any courage to do it. In fact, it takes courage to be skeptical about the unexamined presumptions of a herd mentality. It takes courage to question presumptions.
It takes courage to admit to a past driven by programmed presumptions and then take a position of extra skepticism toward any idea that has been mass publicized by special interest groups such as governments, churches, and school systems. It takes courage to admit to a past driven by fear and then relax. It takes courage to completely rebel- not just in the mass-programmed ways of a revolutionary- but even rebelling against the program of a patriotic revolutionary who saves the world in order to earn a ticket out of hell in to heaven.
There is no greater act of rebellion than a quiet, calm self-respect. Therefore, self-respect must be the ultimate enemy of any empire that depends on a foundation of naivete, fanatical hysterias, threats of personal shame, and intimidation. (By the way, all empires are empires of intimidation.)
This is a special presentation of the blog from this morning, except featuring the comedic talents of both J.R. and Dan. Their extra gags and ad libs culminate near the end when Dan makes reference to
“waterboating” in the location “south of the border,” which is a reference that “went right past J.R.” Listen to the end to learn the secret of that reference.
In the course of human events, people may notice preferences and even expectations. One of the most common ways to notice the presence of an expectation is when something else happens other than what was expected.
In contrast, when nothing is expected and something unfamiliar happens, there may be surprise and curiosity and, if there is much interest, learning. But when something is expected and does not happen, that can be quite different.
Instead of ignorance simply being replaced with the new stimulus or perception, when there is already an expectation, that is quite distinct from ignorance. The expectation implies that there is already interest. (If someone is not interested in something, then why form an expectation about it?)
Whenever an expectation is violated (which is inevitable), then there can be confusion. Note that confusion cannot arise without a pre-existing expectation that is erroneous. Total ignorance can lead to surprise, but not to confusion. (Surprises can be scary or fun or many other things.)
Only expectation can lead to confusion: “something is not how I expected it and I do not know why.” When there is an expectation plus an awareness of the violation of some expectation but no further clarity yet, that is called confusion. Someone may not even know which expectation has been violated.
That confusion can lead to seeking clarification and the refining of the expectations. However, that confusion can also lead in to a very distinct pathway, which we will briefly explore now.
I expect something. Something else happens. I am confused. (In other words, I notice that I was already confused about what would happen and then later I suddenly recognized my own prior confusion / erroneous expectation.)
But what next? How do I relate to my own confusion (my error / inaccuracy)? Is it okay to experience occasional confusion? Is it “to be expected?”
Is it ever overwhelming? Is it ever terrifying? Is it ever embarrassing?
Sometimes, an experience of confusion (from an unfulfilled expectation or violated expectation) may lead to embarrassment. Embarrassment is related to shame. That means that I experience fear about one or more other people’s perceptions of me and their behavioral reactions to me (such as violent attack, social shunning, or other punishments).
What next then? Do I withdraw (flee)? What if that simple response to stress is not available? How else could I promote safety?
Do I fight (to promote safety)? Do I freeze (to promote safety)? Do I fake (to promote safety)?
A common reflex for someone who is confused (and then embarrassed about it) is to cast blame. Blame can have an element of antagonism (as in a fight response to the fear / shame).
Blame is a type of complaint: “the only reason that ___ is because the weather is so unusually ______!”
That is basically a request for attention and sympathy. So is this: “the only reason that ______ is because of whoever I blame for this confusing and embarrassing development… and who I blame is ___!”
That is a totally understandable reaction. “I am so confused by the results of my actions that I am embarrassed and so in an effort to attract attention and sympathy and perhaps even assistance, I am blaming ________!”
“Other people should be more _____!”
“I should not have to ______!”
“Do you want to know what I think of that person? ______ is just such a ______!”
Now that I have presented some common patterns in language, you may notice that your behavior may have included some of these statements. (If so, then you are probably over the age of 2.) In fact, you may have noticed quite a few other people who are also over the age of 2, right?
To review, people (by the age of 2) will form expectations and then inevitably some of those get violated and so then people occasionally get confused (and perhaps ashamed about being socially witnessed as confused). That shame can lead to them casting blame.
Blame is a classic coping mechanism in the stages of grieving / learning. Blame can be a form of denial (as in a distraction from the underlying embarrassment or the underlying expectation that was not fulfilled).
Further, blame can lead to resentment, antagonigm, contempt, and lots of arguing: “I think that who is really to blame is not ____, but instead is __________. How can you even be so hysterical to suggest that _______ or that ________? You might as well be saying that _____?!?!?”
All of that is called hysteria. It is still a type of fear and a subset of shame. It is a defense mechanism in the realm of “I do not yet want to simply admit that I expected ________ and instead what actually happened was ______.”
So, how do people relate to the reality that expectations exist and can be violated? What about that confusion can arise, then embarrassment? What about that hysterical blame can arise and then hysterical defenses of the hysterical blame?
What about that sometime around the age of 2, most people develop the capacity to engage in arguments that may appear silly to outsiders? What about that some people continue those arguments for decades, even frequently triggering resentment and contempt so as to justify withdrawal from at least one person who is so unpredictable “because I refuse to update my own expectations in accord with their actual behaviors? I mean… why should I have to!?!?”
Or, maybe someone just seems too erratic for me at a particular time. Maybe my interest in them is not great enough to continue interacting with them because I am not ready to learn that fast. Maybe interacting with them is so challenging to my pre-existing expectations that I can only tolerate them in small doses. “That pesky pest is so annoying!”
If was simply bored, I would not be interested enough to argue, would I? People only argue for decades about things that interest them in some way. Further, people only argue with someone for decades if that other person interests them in some way.
How do I relate to people (such as 2 year-olds) who may on occassion experience confusion, shame, blame, and so on? Do I withdraw from them because they are manifesting a behavioral pattern that I have been repressing? Do I push them away with criticisms and condescension?
If I have been repressing shame, then wouldn’t I flee from any display of shame that scares me? Wouldn’t I flee from anything that scares me? If what scares me is the display of shame, would I flee from whatever scares me?
Further, if for someone reason I was not successful in fleeing, then wouldn’t I attempt to push away the perceived source of stress? Wouldn’t I increase my own stress hormones and go from flight mode to fight mode?
The point is that hysteria is a natural part of life. Some of them last only briefly and some can last decades or even centuries.
Hysteria is a type of fear and the sub-types of hysteria can include grief (a fear about how someone will adapt to some loss or absence) as well as shame (a fear of imagined future punishments) and blame. Blame, when expressed, can lead to compensation and apology and so on. Or blame can lead to other outcomes.
Consider the idea that “____ simply should not exist.” That may already be a form of distressed hysteria, right?
What is so frightening about the possible existence of something to someone that they should say it should not exist? What shames are they attempting to hide, if any?
“Hysteria should not exist! How can all these people still act like 2 year-olds? I mean, seriously, how come they don’t have totally accurate expectations about reality like I do? This is the most frustrating thing ever!”
“I really just don’t understand how all of these people don’t have totally accurate expectations like I do? It’s like they are just freaking out over unfulfilled expectations and that is not what I expected and it is totally freaking me out!?!?!”
“Yeah, that was totally weird, isn’t it? Hey, come jump on this bed with me!”
One of the priorities that people may focus on occasionally is health. Certainly, there are times when someone will knowingly compromise or sacrifice their health (in large or small ways) in the service of some other priority (such as firefighters entering a burning building or a squad of elite infantry soldiers engaging in an attempt to go in to hostile territory to find a particular individual, such as a captured comrade or an enemy spy, and bring that individual back with them).
But relative to most other possible priorities, health is one of the most dominant. Some institutions, like empires, like to glorify the soldier who sacrifices safety and health (glorifying such “heroism” through mass media and public schools and so on). However, that is because institutions want to promote the health of the institution (which may require the frequent risking of many lives).
What actually promotes health? Obviously, physical safety promotes health in the general sense of avoiding dangers and extreme threats. But in the more everyday sense of promoting health, what actions promote health (and which compromise health)?
I used a simple question to create a spectrum of priorities within the realm of health. That question is “how long does it take to die from an absence of each factor?”
Many people who study health begin with eating because eating involves so much conscious attention. Further, public school systems indoctrinate the masses that eating is uniquely important.
However, other than as it relates to poisons (including food poisoning), eating is actually the least urgent of the factors that I consider. Since poisons can also be delivered by insect bites (like from a scorpion), the issue of poisons is distinct from eating.
How long does it take to die from no eating?
In the extreme case of mammals who hibernate, we know that many healthy creatures can easily go 3 months without eating. In other conditions, it is possible to die of starvation in a number of weeks. However, in contrast to something like breathing, frequent nutrition seems rather unimportant (especially given that nutrients can be accumulated and stored for long periods of time).
How long does it take to die from no breathing?
The current world record for intentionally holding the breath is over 17 minutes. However, most brain researchers suggest that no breathing for more than 10 minutes can easily produce death or at least permanent brain damage. Some divers hold their breath underwater for well over 3 minutes as a matter of common practice- usually without any reported problems.
I even know of a case in which a human fell in to freezing water and experienced a complete cessation of metabolic activity (medical death) for a much longer period than 17 minutes, but still fully recovered with no brain damage. However, the only reason that the person was able to be revived was because of the sudden exposure to freezing temperatures, which actually preserved the vitality of the brain tissue and of other vital organs.
Which is more important to health: breathing or nutrition?
So, we know without any controversy that breathing is far more vital (essential) than nutrition. The fact that many institutions focus so much on diet and so little on breathing may reveal the actual interests of those organizations.
We also notice that by using conceptual models based on 19th century biochemistry, mainstream physicians focus on factors such as diet, nutritional supplementation, and medication (typically, combinations of synthetic chemicals). That is what they know. The results they can produce are limited by their methods and their paradigm. The frequent use of the speculative term “incurable” is due to their lack of comprehension of physiology in general (and, in particular, lack of competence in regard to treating a specific medical condition).
If we were to ask mainstream physicians today about how different patterns of breathing influence brain function, most of them would be completely unfamiliar with the subject. Likewise, they may be totally ignorant of how very simple breathing exercises can be used to dramatically alter health (to efficiently improve it). However, they may know the entire list of risks and side-effects associated with the most lucrative medical drugs that they push on their prospective addicts.
I digress. This is not even really about breathing exercises as a better method of treatment than making conservative dietary changes or using the latest experimental medications which block symptoms by interfering with the function of the immune system. I am primarily just setting up a contrast in regard to a hierarchy of importance.
Is anything even more important than breathing?
How long does it take for someone to die from a lightning strike? From electrocution by high voltages in a cold-blooded ritual of human sacrifice? From a nuclear explosion that bombards an organism with neutrons?
There are many ways to die that take much less time than several minutes. A total absence of oxygen to the brain is not an important issue if the brain is not functioning for other reasons, such as being fried to a crisp or even liquified.
Which is more important to health: breathing or electromagnetism?
One way that breathing is important is that inhalation can provide oxygen to the bloodstream and thus to the cells of all tissues and organs, including the brain. But why is oxygen so important?
The oxygen that we breathe (O2) is used in many metabolic processes (relating to the storage of energy as well as the release of energy). When something is burnt, that is called combustion. Combustion is one type of oxidation. Oxidation is essential to life because oxidation (a biochemical bonding of oxygen with something else) is involved in so many essential processes.
When people speak of anti-oxidants, that refers to substances that reverse oxidation (not prevent it). In particular, anti-oxidants have a single electron that is weakly bonded to the rest of the anti-oxidant. That electron can easily be magnetically pulled from the anti-oxidant to some other molecule that is so strongly attracted magnetically to that electron that the electron is ripped away from the anti-oxidant.
The term “inflammation” refers to the condition of a tissue that has reached an unusual extreme of electromagnetic charge. The inflammation can be due to exterior sources, such as a sunburn from sunlight or a burn from a flame or a burn from strong acids in contact with skin tissue (or even a lightning strike that “fries” an organism). The internal sources of inflammation ultimately boil down to the same issue: the balance of available electrons to available protons within a tissue.
That electromagnetic balance can be measured as voltage or as pH, which stands for potential hydrogen (because each hydrogen atom has such a highly available electron). While most mainstream physicians are learning how to spell long and cryptic pharmaceutical concoctions, biophysicists know that voltage and pH are like fahrenheit and celsius: just two different scales for measuring the same issue.
Physicists also understand that electromagnetic charge is the foundation of heat (and temperature). Why can you burn something with a high-voltage current (as long as oxygen is present)? Because combustion is a type of oxidation and all oxidation is an electromagnetic process.
Burns are all electromagnetic, whether from a flame or an acid. Flames are clusters of electromagnetic extremes in which huge concentrations of protons (AKA acidic pH or high positive voltage) will electromagnetically rip hydrogen from other molecules (such as skin cells) and oxidate that hydrogen to form H2O (as in steam AKA burning water). Note that the temperatures (electromagnetic extremes) of steam can also easily produce burns on skin tissue or any other living tissue, such as the flower of a plant.
Holism vs. reductionism
While physics is “inherently” a holistic discipline, with multiple scales for measuring the same phenomenon, modern physicians are grounded in conceptual models (and linguistic constructions) that are rooted in 19th century biochemistry and the out-dated physics that was popular at that time.
That means they use models that were made prior to the discovery of quantum physics or relativity or nuclear physics. In other words, they ignore huge amounts of well-established science in favor of preserving old conceptual models.
Why do physicians talk about carbon (C)as if it is an isolated reality from nitrogen (N) or oxygen (O)? Because they fundamentally misunderstand the phenomenon that is labeled “carbon.”
They relate to carbon as a primary unit rather than as a relatively stable compound or a temporary state. They attempt to “reduce” life to a set of about 100 fundamental elements and then ignore the common nature of those elements.
When a proton is added to a carbon atom (which has 6 protons), then the atom now has 7 protons, which is labeled nitrogen. If another proton is added to the 7, that energetic state (a cluster of 8 protons) is labeled oxygen.
That is called “nuclear fusion.” See the chart below.
So, carbon and nitrogen and oxygen are not 3 different fundamental realities. They are 3 distinct stable states of concentrated energy.
Furthermore, matter is not isolated from energy. Matter is a stable concentration of energy.
Matter does not release energy. Matter is fundamentally energetic and an energetic compound (labeled “matter”) can decay from a less stable concentration of energy in to more stable forms (as in “releasing energy”).
In the image above, there are three different subcategories of nitrogen (with weights of 13, 14 , and 15). What common factor is there among those three distinct sub-states that people can label as nitrogen? They all have 7 protons in the cluster of the atomic nucleus.
What are protons? They are one type of a concentration of electromagnetic energy.
Mass (and weight) are energetic properties, not material properties. There is no matter except for relatively stable concentrations of energy.
That is what matter is: a label for particular states of energy. For instance, solid matter (such as rigid crystals) is one very stable form of energetic compound. Plasma (liquid crystal) is the next phase or state or density, such as a semi-solid gel (like yogurt). Beyond that is liquid. Beyond liquid is a very dispersed “concentration” (lowest density) called gas: the material state of a gaseous form of energetic compounds.
So, fundamentally, carbon and nitrogen and oxygen are 3 categories of stable electromagnetic compounds. When nitrogen “decays” in to carbon and helium (the red compound at the top of the image above), what happens to the nitrogen?
It “splits.” We could even say that it disappears or ceases to continue.
Again, nitrogen is not a fundamental unit. It is a (relatively) stable electromagnetic compound which, when bombarded with a proton, can split in to two smaller and more stable compounds: carbon and helium.
How important is that example?
The specifics of that example are not of much practical importance. However, from a scientific perspective of physics, we can see that the conceptual model of elemental biochemistry is “primitive” or “imprecise” or even “unscientific” (depending on how attentive someone is to their use of language).
In mainstream medicine in recent decades, a massive hysteria about cholesterol and fat has been conceived and promoted by certain institutions. To a physicist, such hysteria may instantly be categorized as “delirium” or “delusion” or “quackery.”
Here, I will not get in to the history of the funding of anti-fat research (or anti-cholesterol research) and why that research was so lucrative for certain commercial interests. I will simply say that scientific facts can be directly observed and thus do not require the endorsement or protection of any institution.
Where does nutrition fit in to all of this?
Everything that you have seen here so far was in fact simply a preparation for the following. I was setting up a context for a comment about nutrition.
Some people who are still confused by the propaganda of public schools will fixate on nutrition and even on particular isolated nutrients. “How much magnesium should I have? How much selenium? How much iodine?”
These are understandable inquiries. With the logical foundation of reductionist medical hysterias, those questions are all but inevitable.
In fact, they are even useful inquiries. However, let us be cautious about thinking only in terms of elemental chemistry. Let us recall that organisms are complex systems involving electromagnetic energy as well as clusters of highly-specialized cells (“organs”).
So, when people say “magnesium,” do they mean the element magnesium specifically or any one of the common compounds that contain some form of the element (the stable concentration of energy) that fits the linguistic category of “magnesium?”
The table below is presented for reference only and is taken from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/08/magnesium-health-benefits.aspx#_edn1
|Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency||Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium and has stool softening properties|
|Magnesium chloride / Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium||Magnesium sulfate / Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as a laxative. Be aware that it’s easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed|
|Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium||Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind|
|Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which has laxative properties||Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane|
Magnesium is one type of “electrolyte” (any element that is considered extremely important to the biology of energy, as in the storage of electromagnetic charge, and especially the release or activation of electromagnetic charge). Calcium is another electrolyte.
So, when people ask “how much magnesium should I have,” they may be operating from a reductionist model. They ignore all other factors and ask for “the right amount of magnesium” (perhaps even without considering their weight, whether they are pregnant or not, etc).
There is a problem with that kind of thinking. When there is too much magnesium relative to other things, that is a problem. When there is not enough relative to other things, that can also be quite a serious problem.
The simple reality is that a combination of nutrients is required for optimal health. In the absence of addressing other possible deficiencies, adding only magnesium can produce effects like a sudden and complete emptying of the bowels (such as diarrhea). “Milk of magnesia” is in fact a famous remedy for constipation.
However, the same dosage of that common constipation remedy will not have identical effects for everyone who takes it. Why? Because some people lack the other nutrients that allow for “milk of magnesia” to be efficiently used.
If you want to promote health, are you willing to discard (refine) any conceptual models of reductionism that you may be operating from? A holistic approach implies that you are willing to change anything and everything. If you are only willing to change one isolated factor at a time, then consider that health is actually not your priority at this time.
Perhaps a higher priority may on occasion be the preserving of a particular social persona or self-image. That is entirely reasonable. However, that may have very little to do with efficiently promoting health.
The idea that one would be better off completely avoiding disappointment is… delusional. Disappointment is an important part of the learning process.
Further, the idea that one has the capacity to prevent expectations is also delusional. We can say “I expect that once I completely prevent myself from having any expectations, then I will avoid disappoint.” However, that is an expectation (making it ironic) plus it is delusional and certainly will lead to disappointment and all of that is perfect.
The following ideas are some foundations of intelligence:
capacity to perceive
- to form sensations, to filter those sensations, to focus on particular data (like how the eyes can change focus between near and far objects), to organize the selected data, & form perceptions out of the sensory data
capacity to perceive contrasting qualities and form complex 3-dimensional patterns
capacity to perceive 4-dimensional patterns (patterns of change over time)
capacity to recognize a familiar sequence and project a possible future
capacity to experience confusion (or disappointment, etc) and recognize that a false presumption or misinterpretation has been made
capacity to re-calibrate based on identifying presumptions, questioning them, and then making new observations to refine the capacity for pattern recognition
(all of those lead to the capacity for language, which are symbolic sequences of sounds and/or of written shapes)
capacity to recognize symbolic patterns, such as this sequence of 2-dimensional shapes on a screen
Whether “the world” happens to be “with you” or “against you” may be of little importance. If you are “against the world” or “for the world,” again that may be of no great importance.
However, when the mind is like that of a small child (clear, alert, open, curious, relaxed), some may call that “the narrow gate to the kingdom of heaven.” Some rather famous people seem to have considered that to be a very important detail.
In contrast, when the mind is pre-occupied with idealism about how people should be and how the world should not be and so on, that is “a busy mind.” That is also called “chronic tension” as in…. lasting distress.
Rebellion is over-rated. So is conformity.
There is no substitute for self-respect or self-discipline. You can’t get it from others (like from a social ritual). The only way to get back to the pure mind of a pure child is by repenting. Repenting can include acknowledging fright and worry and shame and all of the various repressions.
“To the pure, all things are pure. To the one who is already disturbed, the number of potential triggers is infinite (sparking contempt and distress and hysteria and so on).” – Titus 1:15 (more or less)
First, there are fundamental genetic instincts, then over time a variety of lasting challenges to those instincts (such as social influences). It is through challenges that learning happens and intelligence develops.
The development of intelligence can be nourished in general, directed in particular ways, or even inhibited (generally or specifically). Conflicts can be constructed involving emotions (and even involving basic instincts).
This can lead to personal experiences of enthusiasm without focus. In other words, there is a chaotic dance of fleeting attractions and repulsions, leading to a scattered disorientation, confusion, disappointment, frustration, and even despair.
The war on intelligence is intense. However, the intense challenges to intelligence can eventually produce profound leaps of intelligence…. at least for a few.
Not only do they monopolize power, but they organize soldiers and other supporters in to informal networks and formal bureauracies. Like streams flowing in to rivers, their supporters send tributes (economic support) toward the central destination.
Power concentrates. Access to resources concentrates. Access to everything concentrates, including to weapons, to food, to shelter, and even to mates.
But why would the masses ever experience an aversion to personal power? What traumas could be installed so as to create a repulsion toward their own power?
#1) People may get so jealous that they criticize you and slander you (secretly amongst themselves in quiet, privately to you directly, or publicly about you)
#3) You would have the freedom to do a lot of things, including something that you might really regret
Those are all possible outcomes. However, those outcomes are also possible even if someone does not have much personal power. The avoidance of personal power is no guarantee of safety, health, or happiness.
In fact, most of what people might call “avoiding” personal power is actually denying power that one does have already. There can be a minimizing of one’s own power. There can be a pattern of verbal assertions of powerlessness (victimhood).
The choice to use language to respect or to condemn
Imagine something that is unappealing to you. You can say “it should not be like that.” If stated with sincere passion and distress, we could call that condemnation (or even… hysteria or panic).
In contrast, you could say “I respect that it is how it is, but… I find it concerning (or unappealing or even unsettling or repulsive). So, I am exploring new patterns of relating to it (of interpreting it, of understanding it, of responding to it, etc).”
It is a fact that there is a range of personal power. Even in one person’s life, power rockets in youth, then slowly peaks, then plateaus, then eventually can plunge suddenly.
It is also a fact that throughout humanity, there are vast ranges of personal power in different regions of the planet, different localities and families, and even within the same family. Across long periods of time, the typical extent of concentrations of power (social inequality) varies considerably. The occasional existence of a “middle class” may be much less common than most people presume.
As a clear example of social inequality, one of the most obvious forms of privilege is governmental authority. Government officers are given formal monopolies on a variety of behavioral practices. Unauthorized engagement in certain activities (even for an off-duty officer) can result in severe penalties including fines, incarceration, seizure of property, and of course rituals of human sacrifice (“capital punishment”).
So, how can we relate to the simple fact of inequality? Infants are not equal to teenagers and a woman who is 8 months pregnant is not equal to a frail, elderly man who uses a wheelchair.
Many societies recognize complex sets of privileges in order to “counter” certain kinds of inequality, such as special parking spots for the physically disabled. However, a special parking spot does not make an immobile person as mobile as a person who can run a marathon.
Inequality is a simple fact. Within humanity, inequality exists.
Beyond humanity, inequality also exists. Horses are not equal to cats. Dogs are not equal to worms. Bugs are not equal to birds. Mushrooms are not equal to fruit trees.
Variety is a fact (as in diversity). The idea of equality is totally contextual (like two things can have near equality within a particular dimension, such as nearly equal weights or heights).
Why is the idea of equality so heavily promoted in government schools? Because the privileged groups that create governments are promoting ideas that train people to have an aversion to power (especially to unusual concentrations of power).
If “everyone” else has about the same amount of power, then that is the amount of power that it is “safe” to have (or to openly display). In other words, within your own family or neighborhood, you can display a certain amount of prosperity and people will congratulate you on your success. However, if you keep displaying more and more prosperity, then eventually those same people may begin to privately form questions like “what makes them so much better than me?”
At some point, it is typical for someone to move away (as in physically leave) a context in which their level of prosperity no longer fits with the social norms of those around them. That can take place in two ways: either they increase their prosperity much faster than others or… all around them, people are experiencing rapid declines in power while the exceptional person’s power is relatively steady.
So, what is the solution? Two obvious alternatives are to either increase in power alone or to bring select people with you.
In other words, dramatic increases in power or prosperity do not need to isolate anyone socially from familiar associates. Select associates can be invited (or perhaps even “dragged”) in to conversations and practices that promote personal power and prosperity.
By the way, note that the word power basically means the capacity to produce specific results (and quickly). The word “prosperity” originally meant virtually the same thing:
“agreeable to one’s wishes,”
mid-14c., from Old French prosperer (14c.) and directly from Latin prosperare “cause to succeed…“ from prosperus “favorable, fortunate, prosperous,” perhaps literally “agreeable to one’s wishes,” from Old Latin pro spere “according to expectation,” from pro “for” + ablative of spes “hope,” from PIEroot *spe- “to flourish, succeed, thrive, prosper”
I consider intelligence to be uniquely valuable. The further that one’s intelligence is beyond the average, the more valuable it can be.
If someone is seeking to have their intelligence validated from any external authority, isn’t that a sign of an average level of intelligence? The person may begin with a presumption that other people are more intelligent than they are or approximately equal in intelligence. Is there a logical basis for such a presumption?
We know that institutions have been organized for the purpose of governing the attention of the masses, such as through schools and mass-marketed publicity (books, movies, radio, etc). Why are some people interested in governing the attention of the masses?
If the attention of the masses can be focused on a certain limited range of experience, won’t that limit their exposure to new experiences and new learning? Couldn’t it produce boredom and discontent and frustration?
Further, if specific practices were considered to be uniquely conducive to promoting intelligence, wouldn’t it be predictable that an institution might be organized to distract people from those subjects? What better way to distract people than by forbidding that they put their attention on subjects of trivial complexity and irrelevant controversy?
What is the natural response of someone who is forbidden to think of a pink elephant? Reverse psychology involves the worshiping of a subject with attention through a program of repulsion from that subject- or even disgust toward it: “it makes me physically sick to my stomach.”
“The ultimate problem is that everyone should be less selfish.”
It is certainly an unresolvable issue, if no matter how selfish someone is, there is a systematic repression of that level of selfishness.
“However selfish you are, it is way too much and so you should repress anything that might be even close to the realms of self-interest, self-respect, and self-esteem.”
Why is it so important to confuse the masses and then keep their attention within certain bounds? Because they become familiar with certain programmed interpretations (methods of evaluation). Once the masses are programmed with the values that favor the institution which conducts the programming, then the attention of the masses is constrained.
What they observe is thus also contained. How they interpret the small range of things that they observe is also programmed. They make programmed interpretations of approved topics and then perceive their own interpretation of what they are trained to observe.
They are installed with programmed filters of isolated polar contrasts: either good or bad, either right or wrong, either true or false, either what should be or what should not be. They are trained to evaluate any observation based on the pre-programmed biases installed in to them through schooling and church indoctrination and so on.
Further, this general pattern is understandable. It is a basic level of linguistic development to recognize contrasts.
Imagine a toddler who is taught the words “high” and “low.” When they first learn to say these words, then everywhere they go, they will be looking for examples of any things that they can classify as “high” as well as any things that they can classify as “low.” If they sort things in accord with what their elders (older children or adults) verify as being high or low, then soon they master those polar opposites and move on to the next stage of neuro-linguistic development.
Is there a stage of neurolinguistic development beyond the patterns of polarity or duality? For instance, are their intermediate ranges between “tall” and “short?” Or, are all polar opposites totally isolated with no adjacent boundary between the two categories?
Can we imagine not just “left” and “right,” but also “center?” How about intermediate categories like “just left of center?” How about extreme categories like “far left” or “ultra-right?”
Eventually, we may encounter the simple reality that language includes polar opposites as well as spectrums. For any spectrum that exists, we could divide it in to absolutely any number of subcategories that we like.
We can measure something in a scale from 1 to 5 stars or from 1 to 10. We can measure temperature in fahrenheit degrees or celsius degrees.
“Which is more precise: fahrenheit or celsius?”
Such a question implies a lack of comprehension of the subject. Many other questions indicate a lack of comprehension of the subject.
“Which is better: the north pole or the south pole?”
“Which is the better terminal on a car battery: the one with a positive charge or a negative charge?”
“Which is always best: breathing in or breathing out?”
All of these questions can be referenced as reductionism. Reductionism is a contrasting practice from holism.
When I say that it is a practice, I mean that it is a practice in language. Language is a behavior. Reductionism is just a type of linguistic behavior. Further, it may be intensely programmed in some institutions.
Reductionism comes in many forms. Utopianism is the idea that one particular outcome is somehow inherently better than whatever is currently present.
We could say that all forms of reductionism are inherently exclusive, while holism is inherently inclusive (as in comprehensive)… even including the linguistic behavior of exclusion! Reductionism often corresponds to repressing a particular range of phenomenon as “negative” or “improper.”
Holism- and I do not mean something that happens to be labeled with the word holism, but only an actual instance of holism- implies respect for absolutely every portion of every spectrum. Reductionism is respected. However, it is recognized for it’s specific function and it’s specific value, rather than worshiped.
So, ancient teachings state that there is a time for every purpose and for every season, for both night and day, for both peace and war, for both love and hate. That is from the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible. That is a model of holism.
In the New Testament, a distinct model is presented. Love is favored over hate. Humility is encouraged rather than animosity. That is not a model of holism, but it is presented as a balance to other patterns that favored other kinds of exclusion.
People do not need to be taught animosity. Even two children who have dozens of toys in their midst may end up fighting over a single toy that neither is willing to share with the other. Two people may fight over the attention of a third. Likewise, two bears may compete for the same spot in a stream where fish are jumping right up to easily be caught by the bears.
Competitiveness is a natural pattern of life. So, cooperation may be promoted in order to benefit a particular institution.
For instance, slaves will be taught to be quiet, obedient, and to see each other as equals. Soldiers will be taught to cooperate together in specifics ways so as to benefit the interests that formed the army and that guide it’s military activities.
So, it is natural for humans to experience competitiveness. It is also natural for institutions to promote cooperation and blind obedience.
Intelligence is not the most valued characteristic of any institution. In fact, it is the most threatening quality of all to the leaders of any institution, who must promote a monopolizing of intelligence.
Institutions value obedient technicians. Institutions are threatened by ground-breaking innovators.
Those who show signs of intelligence may be of great interest to any institution. They predictably will target either neutralizing those who are intelligent or recruiting them in to functions in which their intelligence can be reliably controlled and directed to benefit the interests of the institution.
Which is more important in a sporting event: respect for the rules or athletic skill?
Extraordinary levels of athletic skill will certainly be noted in some cases. However, a player who consistently breaks the rules and gets big penalties will promptly be removed from the team, right?
But if two people consistently break the rules and only one shows extraordinary athletic skill, it is predictable which one will get the most attention from coaches, right? An athlete who is deemed “very promising” may even be strategically “groomed” for future involvement. They will be disciplined harder because the coaches will be more interested in them. A less promising athlete will be relateively neglected by the coaches.
How does that principle apply to other qualities? When a female fashion model is very beautiful, but has a drug addiction, she may be sent to a treatment center at no expense to her. When a person with unusual expertise or knowledge is identified, they may be targeted with bribes or blackmail in order to produce compliance, right?
In regard to intelligence, institutional interests are always going to have some degree of interest in intelligence. In some cases, intelligence alone may not be considered very scarce (valuable). Further, an institution that perceives itself to be very stable may become less and less interested in occasional instances of exceptional intelligence- especially if the intelligent ones have very little wealth or social connections.
Maybe an institution is craving the participation of people that show above average intelligence. Maybe instead another institution values marginalizing (crippling) most anyone who is intelligent (unless they also have other attractive qualities like athleticism or beauty or unique expertise).
Some institutions may even go out of their way to promote the intelligence of select candidates. However, the more that an institution invests in to a particular candidate, the more of a threat that individual may be to the institution if the individual does not cooperate with the institution at any point in time. In particular, once an individual is exposed to information that is considered “sensitive” by the institution, they may go so far as to keep an armed guard with the candidate at all times.
I recently heard of a soldier with sensitive information who was constantly accompanied by a guard whose orders were to watch for a possible kidnapping by an oppposing institution. In the event of anything approaching a successful kidnapping, the guard’s orders were to eliminate the risk to the institution by killing the soldier who knew the sensitive information. The institution did not want certain secrets exposed.
Similar practices are known amongst certain gangs, certain mafia organizations, and certain secret societies such as the Free Masons and the Jesuits. Getting in to the organization may be relatively easy. Once someone reaches a certain level within the organization, getting out may be extremely rare (and risky).
So, we began with the issue of whether someone is obsessed with other people’s validation of their intelligence. I later referenced the related issue of “self-respect.”
“What other person besides you is the best one to deliver to you the quality of self-respect?”
I raise that question with a reminder that certain questions demonstrate (sincerely or otherwise) a lack of comprehension of the subject. Self-respect does not come from others. Self-acceptance does not come from others. Self-discipline does not come from others.
What is a sign of a person with extraordinary intelligence? They have the capacity to produce the perception in the masses that they are of average intelligence (more or less). A person of truly average intelligence might not likely even consider such a possibility (that it might be favorable to “blend in”).
“Everyone should be above average.”
“Propaganda should not exist.”
“Extreme idealism is a major key to personal success.”
“Negative emotions like fear are mistakes that God made when creating us and so people should be ashamed of how God has given us the capacity for fear.”
“The presumption that earth is the only planet in the entire universe to have ever produced life is reasonable and easily proven by my personal lack of awareness of any contrary evidence.”
“The presumption that modern humans are the most advanced civilization that has ever existed not only on this planet but in the entire universe is reasonable and easily proven by my personal lack of awareness of any contrary evidence.”
“The presumption that scurvy is an incurable illness resulting from demonic possession by a living entity called a ‘Scurvy’ is reasonable and easily proven by my personal lack of awareness of any contrary evidence.”
that you can trust with anything,
Feels safe to talk to,
and thinks of what is best for you
Who listens closely
sharing deep secrets, holds them safe
champion and rescuer
I feel you deep inside of me
Lord, you beat my heart
You turn it on
You turn it up
Before my mother
grew me inside her womb
Before my father
taught me to sweep a broom
Before all of us
Lord, there was you
Who carried me
when my legs couldn’t bear my weight
Who gave me strength
to let me walk again
Lord, you beat my heart
You turn it on
You turn it up
Lord, you give me words
You give me life
My life is yours
Your life is mine