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?
The nature of a woman is to call for attention.
They do it with words and perfume and clothing.
Girls and boys also call for attention,
but they just want protection while a woman also wants affection.
But not from just anyone as you may have noticed.
They want the devotion of a man who offers more than just shelter.
They want an able protector and a stable provider.
They want nourishment, comfort, status and a champion.
Many women want an ally who can listen and direct them
kind of like a doctor or lawyer, but also like a grandfather.
They crave a man who keeps them centered and focused…
who can handle their challenges and balances their weaknesses.
They want his anger and his fear,
his jealousy and sadness,
humility and aggression,
his passion and stillness,
cunning and sincerity
humor and intensity
a man who keeps them feeling safe, relaxed, learning, and having fun
Are you seeking relief from a possible threat?
Are you reviewing new methods to promote a specific benefit?
Or, are you developing new focus by exploring buried motivations
(with no special urgency about any other priority besides learning about yourself)?
Option 1) GET FAST RELIEF:
If you want urgent relief from a possible threat and are reading this, then you will be open to new methods (because your prior ones have not satisfied you or you would not still be seeking relief). However, you may also experience a background of anxiety or even distress, so you will value quickly seeing repeated evidence of effectiveness (evidence that you consider credible). Next for you is to browse our index of solutions and then review the testimonials for that service. Click here now: “Somehow, I will get the relief I seek!” <not yet active>
Option 2) REVIEW NEW METHODS:
If you are already motivated by a clear target that powerfully attracts you toward finding the most effective methods that are relevant to you, then you may also have some method already in use (or that you tried and then stopped using). In other words, a valuable use of your time would be to precisely measure any methods familiar to you in comparison to a few relevant alternatives (which may even include things that are somewhat familiar to you). What is most important to you is getting the results that motivate you, not which methods you use (or else this is not the right choice for you at this time).
So, maybe you will keep using some of your old methods (at least occasionally). Maybe you will not. If you quickly see results that are far better than what is already familiar to you, then you will gather the resources to implement the methods that are the best fit for you (for promoting the priority that is motivating you toward new action). If this fits for you, click here: “I know exactly what I want and I am willing to get it through whatever way is best for me.” <not yet active>
Option 3) FOCUS ON MOTIVATION:
Every organism has innate motivations. Each of those motivations can be stimulated, left latent, or even suppressed socially. Through the skillful assistance of experts, we can carefully unleash motivations that we have learned to suppress or bury. This can be an immense relief and advantage, yet also may be dangerous without a skilled expert’s assistance.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO FIGHT YOUR OWN MOTIVATIONS?
What is it like to have suppressed motivations? When left buried, certain motivations may seem to conflict with our conscious intentions. They may distract us and make it hard to stay focused on less intense motivations (such as things that we have been programmed to fixate on or methods that we have been trained to relate to as totally essential).
Instead of us having the extra clarity and energy of those motivations available, those motivations (if buried) may even seem to cripple us. They are drawing our attention and respect.
Instead of depleting our own resources to suppress those motivations, we can release them slowly or suddenly. We will have all the extra energy that we had been using to suppress them. Plus we will have all the extra clarity that those motivations can provide us.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE WITH THE PARKING BRAKE ON?
As a metaphor, imagine driving a car in rainstorm with no windshield wipers and the parking brake engaged (or the brake pedal pressed down hard). It will take a lot of energy to get started against the resistance of that brake, right?
What if you could easily release the brake, turn on the windshield wipers and then even turn on some headlights? Your clarity (perceptiveness) can suddenly increase, plus the power and efficiency of the vehicle will improve.
If you currently experience frequent discontent in your life, then you may be like someone who has headlights working and wipers working (so you can see where you would like to go), but you are using energy to keep the brake pedal slammed down as hard as you can. Rather than just pressing harder on the gas pedal to accelerate against the brakes, how about releasing the brakes first?
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT: VISIBILITY OR SPEED?
However, it is important to make sure that visibility is excellent first before improving the power of the vehicle too much. For those who are accustomed to having to press down very hard on the gas pedal to get any response, it is good to have excellent visibility before improving the power too much. That visibility will help for someone to quickly recalibrate their own effort.
In some cases, we can see that poor visibility will actually lead to people being very cautious about using the power of their vehicle. Why do social groups suppress the power of individuals? One reason might be to give the individual time to improve their perceptiveness before being harmed by their own undisciplined use of power. Also, it might be important to have brakes that you know can function well (before getting too excited about how fast you can go).
MORE: HOW DID SOME MOTIVATIONS GET BURIED?
Over time, the attention of an individual typically gets programmed repeatedly. Certain subjects are identified as important (while other subjects are either dismissed, ignored, or ridiculed). So, attention is governed through language first, and then our interpretations of the targets of attention are also governed or programmed.
Among the subjects labeled important, there are two basic subcategories: such as good and bad. Some subjects are socially forbidden as dangerous and others are emphasized as beneficial. That is all social conditioning. Different social groups will label various subjects in different ways (important or trivial, good or bad, etc…). Some innate motivations may be encouraged and others neglected or suppressed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CURIOSITY & CONFUSION
First, our attention is programmed (including by language). Then our interpretations (which are entirely linguistic) are also programmed socially.
Further, what we typically experience is just our interpretations (not the raw sensations, which are filtered and organized in order to eventually form interpretations). Only when we experience moments of curiosity are we unable to settle on a particular interpretation of our sensations. Without reactive interpretations, there can be raw sensation of stimuli without presumptive interpretations (as in with curiosity or “an open mind of an innocent child”). For many adults, such direct physical sensation without presumptive labeling is quite rare.
An intense form of curiosity is called confusion, in which we have direct sensory input plus a reactive interpretation that we further interpret as imprecise (a misinterpretation). Confusion typically produces a cautious retreat from the stimuli that we recognize as revealing a flaw or imprecision in our familiar interpretative models. In some cases, we may respond to confusion with enough interest to bring curiosity in to an exploration of the unfamiliar stimuli. Confusion is not mere ignorance. Confusion happens by mistaking one thing for something else and also realizing the mistake. Until the mistake is realized, there is no confusion but simply an unrecognized error of interpretation. Confusion can precede a surge of curiosity and accelerated learning.
However, most people are programmed to interpret confusion as a threat to their familiar model of presumptive interpretations. In fact, there is no greater threat to a pattern of presumptive interpretations than direct sensations that clearly establish the imprecision of the interpretative model.
In such experiences of a conflict between direct observation and programmed interpretations (also called “cognitive dissonance”), there are only two resolutions to the stress. Either there will be a retreat from the stimuli (which will be called things like confusing or offensive or disturbing) or there will be a retreat from the programmed presumptions. (Or, there can be a total retreat both from the social programming and from the stimuli).
So, consider that curiosity and confusion are both things that could be interpreted as important. When there is a context of insecurity about a particular interpretative model, then there will be social pressure to interpret confusion as extremely unfavorable. However, when there is a respect for interpretative models in general rather than a worship of one in particular, then confusion may be highly valued as a gateway to profound learning.
When do people cling to a specific interpretative model? When they have an experience of economic desperation / urgency, they can hysterically cling to the familiar in distress.
When do people relate to confusion as an opportunity to increase the precise of interpretative models? When they have an experience of economic stability and security, they tend to recognize that confusion does not need to be reflexively avoided. Instead, any particular confusion can be calmly identified either as presumed irrelevant and thus totally ignored (as distinct from resisted or attacked) or else as worthy of exploring with curiosity (and with innocent humility, as in a respect for direct observation rather than resisting direct observation in the idolatrous worship of a particular interpretative program).
So, by programming our attention and our interpretations, social groups also program our experiences (our perceptions). Based on the programmed interpretations that we experience, we respond behaviorally.
We develop certain innate capacities based on social influences. Other innate capacities may be neglected or even suppressed. We develop according to the influence of social programming (and other influences).
What is even more important than our innate capacities? Our innate motivations might be more important. If left unprogrammed, then our innate motivations can be expected to guide the development of our innate capacities.
Again, social groups may target the governing of our innate motivations (and the development of our innate capacities), including perhaps to allow us to increase our perceptiveness prior to use having “too much” capacity or power or ability. In some social groups, it may be important to the group to cripple the human resources in various ways so that not only are they unable to escape from the role that the system provides to them, but are unable to even perceive any alternative to that programmed role. They will be programmed to reactively interpret all alternatives as either irrelevant to them (for whatever justification) or as simply impossible.
However, by unleashing suppressed motivations, what may have in the past been dismissed as irrelevant may be re-interpreted as not yet relevant. In other words, if resources are lacking so that a particular method is not yet deemed relevant, then an unleashed motivation can producing a gathering of relevant resources.
Methods that are not yet relevant will not be dismissed. They may even be explored as triggers for releasing motivation (to the extent that a particular method is perceived to be promising).
In particular, confusion will not be reflexively avoided. In the presence of confusion, there will be intense motivation to obtain the assistance of a competent, trustworthy ally to promote clarity.
There may be momentary retreat from the trigger of confusion, but that will lead to approaching possible allies with an interest in assessing who is perceived to be trustworthy and competent in whatever ways are deemed relevant by the individual who is open to experiencing breakthroughs in perceptiveness as well as in power. Instead of saying “I cannot because it is too hard and too dark and too rainy,” they will say things like this: “I will not proceed with enthusiasm in these weather conditions unless first I can turn on my wipers and my headlights, then have a good map and a reliable plan for my journey (including sufficient fuel), and finally there is one more thing. I value making sure that I am not leaning on the brakes the whole way. I value releasing the parking brake before I press on the gas pedal. In other words, I value knowing where I am going and actually getting there. I’m not just trying to show off my vehicle for social approval. I’m not pre-occupied with going where certain other people say I should. I want to experience my innate motivations fully, including the discontent of unfulfilled priorities. I want to explore my motivations with respect, like as if they have always been my allies and were never my enemies. Finally, I am open to competent assistance. I might even seek it out.”
To explore our services for carefully unleashing your most powerful motivations, click here. <not yet active>
Let’s explore what vanity is and how it is important. Vanity is a label for an anxious pre-occupation with social validation. In simplest terms, vanity is a form of anxiety (distress).
As background, I consider anxiety to be a label for the inevitable biochemical effects of a deficiency of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, resulting in reduced supply of oxygen to the brain cells (“hypoxia”), further resulting in the behavioral / experiential effects called anxiety. In other words, anxiety “attacks” are when the brain is suffocating from chronic hyperventilation.
The remedy is breathing calmly (slowly). In severe acute hyperventilation, it is common for people to breath in and out of a paper bag in order to dramatically raise CO2 levels in the bloodstream and thus prevent the brain tissue from suffocating. Most people know about acute hyperventilation (sudden onset) but do not know how common and severe the effects are of chronic (slow onset) hyperventilation.
Most people know about O2 coming in through the lung tissue and then Hemoglobin (red blood cells) bonds with the O2 (as shown above). What they do not know is the mechanism of how the O2 gets released. Let’s review that quickly.
Here is an image of what happens during calm breathing. As we already referenced, O2 (in blue at top right) comes in through the lung tissue and then Hemoglobin (red blood cells) bond with the O2. That is in the center of the above image (shown as HbO2). What happens next is totally uncontroversial and well-established, but not widely known or used.
So, we just breathed in and then we have lots of HbO2 (oxygen-rich red blood cells). Those oxygenated blood cells are flowing around with lots of H2O (water), right? When the oxygen-rich blood reaches a part of the body that has been doing some work (which produces CO2), then there will be a higher concentration of CO2 in that “active” part of the bloodstream and the O2 will be released there near the activity.
Why? Exactly what happens in the presence of CO2 that produces the release of the O2?
What is happening is that where there has been cellular activity (such as physical exertion), there will be raised levels of CO2. Next, all of that CO2 in the bloodstream will electromagnetically “rip apart” water (H2O in the bottom center) in to a hydroxyl ion (OH-) and a free proton (which chemists call a positively charged molecule of hydrogen: H+). Each freed proton (AKA “positive hydrogen ion”) slightly alters the electromagnetic charge (as in the voltage or pH) of the blood in that area of cellular activity.
Because of the local cellular activity has raised local CO2 levels, that rips apart some of the water molecules in the blood, thus making HCO3- (“bicarbonate” at left center of image below) and releasing free protons (“positive hydrogen ions” / H+). Those free protons alter the electromagnetic charge of the water / the blood in that area. That electromagnetic charge is extremely important for the release of the O2 from the red blood cells.
When the charge of the blood is in the ideal range (not too low or too high), then an efficient transfer of O2 in to the surrounding cells can happen. The free proton (H+) electromagnetically rips the O2 from the HbO2 (the oxygen-rich red blood cell in the center above) and then the released O2 (in the top left in blue) can finally enter the surrounding tissue. This sequence was documented in 1904 by a researcher named Christian Bohr, so it is called the Bohr Effect.
Basically, more CO2 in a certain area of the bloodstream results in more H+ (protons) which is measurable as a lower pH which further results in O2 getting released (electromagnetically ripped) from the red blood cells. After CO2 has lowered the local pH of the blood, then the hemoglobin has less saturation or “affinity” for oxygen (as the chart below shows).
It is a good thing for the O2 to be released. It is a VERY bad thing for no O2 to be released.
So, keep in mind that we breathe “through” the internal waters of the bloodstream. Like a liquid cell in a car battery, we obviously must have water in the cell so that all of these water-soluble biochemical reactions can take place, plus we must have an appropriate electromagnetic charge (pH) to produce the red blood cell’s release of O2 across the medium of water (H20).
How is pH regulated? By CO2 levels. If CO2 levels are wrong, then pH is wrong, so oxygen does not get from the red blood cells to the tissues. That starves the brain tissue and causes effects known as attacks of anxiety and panic and asthma. That is bad.
When CO2 levels are high enough, that lowers blood pH, allowing for the proper release of O2 from the blood in to surrounding tissues. That is good.
What causes anxiety attacks, panic attacks, and asthma attacks? Insufficient oxygenation of tissues (“hypoxia”), such as due to bad pH levels (which typically is due to bad CO2 levels from excessive exhalation). Again, that is bad. In the case of extreme sleep apnea, the suffocation caused by hyperventilation is so bad that the brain must create a nightmare to wake up the body and prevent brain damage or death.
By the way, suffocation is bad for you. Hyperventilation eventually WILL produce suffocation. Anxiety is simply an effect of suffocation. So, slow down your breathing!
Vanity is a type of anxiety. Chronic vanity is not as bad as a severe apnea attack, but it is still “bad for you.”
So, when we have chronic physical tensions (or physical injuries) that inhibit proper breathing, the natural result is an increase in the rate and depth of inhalations and exhalations. The result on the blood chemistry is that rapid exhalations deplete the blood of CO2, preventing the CO2 from breaking water in to HO- and H+, thus preventing the local altering of the pH of the blood, finally preventing the release of the O2 from the red blood cell in to the surrounding tissue. In short, by exhaling too much, all tissues (including brain cells) are slowly suffocated. Again, “anxiety” is the natural result (including the specific form of anxiety that I call vanity).
Most modern adults breathe about twice as much (by volume) than is healthy. As babies and young children, most of us breathe much more calmly most of the time (before the maturing organism develops the typical chronic physical tensions of mainstream socialization / conditioning / traumatization).
What is the nature of the chronic physical tensions? They are to repress the display of normal human emotions such as fear, anger, distress, and shame.
Many cultures (or social institutions such as programming schools) target those emotions as “evil” and reward children for suppressing them and “being good” (being quiet / still / compliant). In some cases, children may be drugged to be promote behavioral “normalcy.”
In order to adapt to all that social pressure to identify certain behaviors and emotions as evil and then suppress them, all children typically develop chronic physical tensions to maintain their social persona of “being good” (never displaying the punished emotions of fear, anger, and shame). Those chronic physical tensions inhibit the normal healthy breathing process, resulting in open-mouthed over-breathing. In other words, they dull their brains and emotional responsiveness by starving their brains of oxygen (by slowly suffocating / exhausting themselves).
Now, what exactly is vanity? Fundamentally, it corresponds to an interpretation of “I am not safe.” In particular, vanity is an organism’s normal healthy coping mechanism for the presence of social threats and especially institutions of intimidation. To compensate for the lack of safety and the presence of perceived social threats (such as potential critics / antagonists / assailants), a persona is formed to compensate for the perceived lack of safety.
In other words, the persona is a behavioral coping mechanism to increase safety. The personality (patterns of behavior) will settle in to whatever patterns promote survival and safety within the life circumstances and social setting of the organism. In situations of sufficient social stress, personality breakdowns (like PTSD or schizophrenia) may predictably rise in frequency.
So, what exactly is the behavior pattern of vanity? It is a pre-occupation with social approval / disapproval (validation/ invalidation). It corresponds to dilemmas and paranoid agonizing about “how can I best preserve my favorite social preferences?”
In religious terms, vanity is the worship of social validation and the neglecting of attention to God (and the activities of God). The ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah warned about it and Jesus quoted Isaiah directly on the subject, such as in Mark, chapter 7, verses 6-8 (see below).
In vanity, people “corrupt” traditions by conforming blindly (and hysterically) to their familiar traditions. With absolutely no respect for the actual function of the tradition and total pre-occupation with perfectionist vanity (social validation), many people copy traditions with their tongues and their lips, but completely miss the spirit of the traditions. Here is what Isaiah and Jesus are recorded to have taught:
From Isaiah chapter 29: http://biblehub.com/isv/isaiah/29.htm
10For the LORD has poured out upon you
a spirit of deep sleep—
he has closed your eyes, you [so-called] prophets,
he has covered your [ears], you [so-called] seers!”
11“And this entire vision has become for you like the words of a sealed book. When people give it to someone who can read, and say, ‘Read this, please,’ he answers, ‘I cannot, because it is sealed.’ 12 Or when they give the book to someone who cannot read, and say, ‘Read this, please,’ he answers, ‘I don’t know how to read.’”
13 Then the LORD [?Isaiah, whose title within the community of Hebrews would be Massioch or Messiah or Annointed Lord] said:
“Because these people draw near with their mouths
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me,
worship of men has become
merely like rules taught by human beings.
14 Therefore, watch out!”
Jesus as recorded in Mark, Chapter 7:
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders….?”
6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
“ ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
13 you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
In a related chapter (Matthew 15), Jesus added these famous lines:
14 “Leave them [stop concerning yourself with the teachings of hysterical leaders like the Pharisees]; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
What is the nature of vanity? It involves craving for a set of ideals to worship in hysterical perfectionism.
Mere concern for social reputation or perceptions is not vanity. Vanity is a chronic, hysterical over-emphasis on social validation. Drawing attention to one’s self is generally not vanity. Vanity is actually about distracting attention away from the “evil” aspects of one’s self.
“I will reject the voice of God within me and look outside of me for the way that I should be and should not be. Based on familiar social traditions, I will identify certain aspects of God’s creation to condemn as mistakes that God would not have been so dumb to make if I had just been consulted with the appropriate amount of humility on God’s part. Maybe I can discover my intuition simply by frequently listening to the sounds of the words of an ancient oral tradition (probably while rigidly resisting the meaning of the lessons therein). I already am an expert on everything important so I do not need all of the trouble of constant alertness and occasional introspection, for instead what I do need is some external authority (and social rituals) to provide me a constant source of validation (to compensate for my lack of inner clarity and confidence). Perhaps I can even achieve intuitive clarity by memorizing the words of the ancient oral tradition that was later written down and then however poorly translated and then printed with very fancy lettering. Let me cling to the familiar in terror and reject all that is unfamiliar, or confusing, or might be contrary to the presumptions that I blindly worship as idols while desperately pretending to have spiritual maturity. Of course, I will gather with others who cushion me from recognizing my idiocy by encouraging me in it.”
Vanity is hiding from humiliation in shame (in terrified anxiety). It is a hysterical paranoia about criticism. Some vain people will even condemn all criticism (even rebukes and calm corrections).
How do they condemn criticism? With intense antagonism and criticism, they rage in their terrified contempt for any possible threat to their pretenses of confidence and competence.
They are delirious. They are hysterical. Their brain cells are suffocating from a lack of calm breathing.
As Isaiah said, they are as if in a deep sleep. They have ears, but do not see hear with discernment. They have eyes, but they do not see with understanding. They trumpet so-called understanding in order to attempt to distract from their lack of understanding. We can also call this vanity arrogance or self-righteousness.
What are the solutions to vanity? I think of only two. First is the least common but the best: breathing calmly while “turning away” from triggers of distress and trivial controversies.
The second is humiliation. Humiliation reliably leads to humility, which is the interruption of habits of vanity. Again, humility can also be cultivated through breathing calmly and other practices. Or, humility can be delivered even more suddenly through intense social humiliation.
There are also moderate (even relaxing) doses of humility called humor. The root of the words humility and humor are the same as the root of the word humus (for dirt or earth). Humility means being grounded, as in “grounded in reality” as well as grounded socially (with an interruption to privileged luxuries that can spoil a child’s respect for their elders and for themselves).
However, if you are not absolutely clear on what motivates you, then that is “even more perfect.” Here is why: we can help!
Many people would say that they have some kind of trouble with motivation. You have probably heard people say things like that and you may have said it yourself, too.
For many of you, your first priority will be to clarify your most powerful motivations (your priorities). For you, we have programs designed specifically for creating breakthroughs in carefully unleashing layers of motivation (not too fast, but not too slow).
If this appeals to you, then next you can learn how it works. With our simple process, you will explore what motivation is and how it has already been operating your whole life. You will experience increased appreciation for the power of your own motivations and for the similar motivations of everyone around you, perhaps including one or more people whose deepest motivations may be a target of special interest for you. You can also review some common problems relating to motivation, plus some extraordinary solutions and examples of specific results like what you will get, too, if you choose to use those solutions.
(To learn more right now about “unleashing motivation,” click here <link not yet active>. To review sample results for our other services, scroll down first.)
We have services for health enthusiasts:
As well as several financial services, including debt settlement and highly-profitable investment programs.
Or maybe you could sacrifice some consistency for long-term profitability:
Increased website traffic & visibility
Increased “open-rate” (& profitability) for email marketing campaigns:
(If you know exactly the kinds of results that you would like to produce next, then click here. <link not yet active> To learn more first about “unleashing motivation,” click here.) <link not yet active>
To send us a message, click here.) <link not yet active>
Imagine a child arriving at an amusement park for the first time. Even before getting out of the car, the big curves of a colorful roller coaster are very prominent in the distance. The child says “What is that? Can I go on it?”
If the child has never been on a roller coaster, then they may be quite relaxed and genuinely eager to go on it- maybe not as excited as if they were more familiar with roller coasters. They have no experience with what it will be like to ride it. They are very sincere about their interest. However, they are completely unfamiliar with the reality of what the ride would be like for them.
So, are they confident? If so, how? They may be confident about their curiosity. They are certain that they are very curious or even intrigued. However, they can be much more confident about how they will like actually riding a roller coaster after they have actually been on one.
How about after the first few seconds of the ride? When the roller coaster slowly starts to climb up to the level of a single-story building, then up to the height of a two-story building, is that enough? Until they have climbed high and come speeding down (or maybe looped upside down twice in a row), then they are not actually experienced with roller coasters- no many how many stories they have heard or how many books about it they have read.
However, after they complete an entire trip, then they can be confident about more than their sincere curiosity. Maybe they will love the ride and maybe they will not. But does a lot of initial optimism guarantee anything?
How about if they begin very skeptical? Does that guarantee that they will never like riding any roller coasters?
I think that one of the most challenging experiences for me has been learning the reality of confidence. I learned early in life that confidence could be important. People who were confident could be recognized. People who were recognized as confident could be treated differently.
I was eager to be respected like those people who were perceived to be confident. So, I was interested in how to display what other people would perceive as confidence. The actual experience of confidence was less important to me than attracting respect. I was competing for respect, including competing with people who actually were confident. Sometimes I received it and sometimes I did not.
Only later in life did the experience of confidence itself become a focus. I had experienced the lasting stress of promoting a perception of confidence. I had earned respect in a variety of settings, some of which I found to be of no
Maintaining a persona of confidence could be especially exhausting in personal relationships. I learned a set of expectations for how people should seem, then attempted to present myself in conformity to those expectations. Sometimes that worked as hoped. I also failed to be convincing on occasion or even succeeded in promoting a particular perception but was not rewarded for it.
For example, I remember telling someone much older than me that I was very interested in social responsibility as in keeping the beach clean (picking up trash that people had left behind). She was not impressed.
She asked me if there were young ladies my age that were also part of the “beach clean up.” I said yes. She asked me if I had ever gone to clean up trash from the beach without a bunch of young women my age. I said no. She asked if I had gone to the beach with those same companions just to enjoy their company at the beach and not to pick up trash. I said “not yet, but yes I do like that idea.” She tapped her forehead and said, “yeah, I thought you might.”
Imagine a confident young man walking up to a young lady that interests him and saying “Hey, I have one quick thing to say to you, so stop texting your so-called boyfriend and look at me when I am talking to you. So, here is what is happening. You and I are going to the beach together this weekend- just the two of us- and I want to go with you in particular because what is really important to me is the environment and so we will take some garbage bags with us to pick up a bunch of trash and I have seen that you are really good at that kind of thing. You really know how to spot trash quickly and pick it up and then place it in to a bag until it the bag is too heavy for your thin little arms to carry. Also, we can take a whole box of bags, too, so we can really get a lot done in one day. Anyway, I want you to know that I respect that you really care about social responsibility rather than trivial things like social status or personal relationships. Instead of being horribly selfish like the snobs that should be more jealous of me for my excellent citizenship, you and I will be good people and get in to heaven when we die because we helped to keep the beaches clean for everyone until the following weekend when more people will throw a bunch more trash out there. One more thing: you do have a car, right? Don’t worry about paying for gas though because I will cover that. Wow, this is going to be really fun. It will be just like when the convicts from prison clean up the
trash from the ground except it will just be the two of us alone plus no one will be standing over us with a gun to shoot us if we try to escape. Cool, huh?”
The point of all that was that when I figured out a good script for appealing to some of the people around me, like the young ladies in my familiar social circles, that same script was completely unimpressive to a certain more mature woman. My grandmother was not impressed by my appeal to social responsibility. She did not come and join me on any beach clean-ups. She did not even say “I see that your grandfather needs to take you out more to show you the basics of courtship.”
Instead, she demonstrated that she saw through my pretenses. I did not care about any particular stretch of beach or even about social responsibility. I cared about social perceptions of me. I wanted people to think of me as a good person. I did not want condemnation or criticism. I wanted validation.
She demonstrated that she recognized that I was craving validation and she neither criticized me nor encouraged me in my environmentalism. She saw my desperate attempts to present confidence as well as my inexperience and ineffectiveness. What actually happened is that she changed the subject and she asked me how many push-ups I could do. Incidentally, her husband was a retired military officer. Also, I am pretty sure that they did not meet at a beach clean-up.
So, now you have heard a few stories about going to the beach to pick up women… I mean to pick up garbage. Before that was a story of a child seeing the exciting curves of a roller coaster in the distance. All of this was to contrast some points about what confidence is and what it is not.
To review, confidence is not eagerness. It is not sincerity. It is not interest. It is not openness. It is not just being relaxed about something.
All of those may be very attractive. They are just not the same as confidence.
Real confidence requires experience, and not just “more than none.” When someone has extensive experience with something and consistently gets the same outcome, then we can call that confidence. Also, if they are confident in their ability to produce a result, but are anxious about whether people will LIKE them or not for their extensive skills at, for instance, doing tricks on a motorbike, then that is being confident in a skill without being confident socially “in one’s self.” People can learn tricks and then attempt to “trick” others in to liking them. Sometimes that works very well, at least for a while….
Much of my life so far, confidence has been something that I desperately wanted other people to think that I had. If I was terrified, I wanted to be able to hide it. If I was inexperienced, I wanted to able to distract people from that detail. “More importantly, let’s talk about how the world should not be how it is and how most people are too naive.”
In fact, through lots of practice, I got reasonably effective at pretending to be confident. I grew more confident specifically in my ability to fake confidence in general.
Of course, I developed other kinds of expertise. I was confident in my ability to read and to ride a bike and to find my way around my own neighborhood. If the book was one that I had read several times and memorized, I was so confident that I did not even need to look at the little shapes of ink on the page in order to “read” the book.
Confidence comes from repeated demonstrations of skill. When there is skill, then criticism and validation will not be very interesting. When there is a lack of skill (or lack of maturity), criticism will be threatening and validation will be a relief.
However, there is no substitute for competence. When competence is clear, then there is no need for insecurity. Risks can be welcomed and measured and addressed. The best solution for insecurity is not just calming down and changing nothing else, but recognizing practical priorities and then effectively getting relevant assistance.
It is useful to accurately recognize one’s own skills as well as to be able to evaluate exactly how skilled other people are. Since it is impossible to be a master of absolutely everything, it is better to be very good at some things and then to ally with people who are very good at other relevant skills.
What is a good way to assess the skill levels of other people? What results can they demonstrate? What reputation do they have, especially among their competitors (other experts in their same field)?
Further, if someone is intensely criticized by several competitors, why? What is the nature of their criticism? Are they simply threatened by the exceptional skill of that competitor? Have they reviewed the competitor’s actual results or are they just dismissing the methods as unfamiliar (“impossible”)?
How clear are you on what you value most? If you are clear enough to identify a clear priority, then you could consider what kind of assistance you would like from possible allies, then begin to sort through some candidates for the best ally or allies.
Or, perhaps what is most relevant to you now is one or more allies who can assist you in prioritizing. What do you value most? What is most relevant to you? What is most repulsive to you? What exactly is most attractive? Who can provide you mentoring and coaching for you to efficiently get clear, stay clear, and fulfill your priorities?
Introspection- Ultimately, one can develop sufficient calmness, focus, and clarity to notice any rigidity of body and mind, then understand the underlying issues to resolve them independently of reliance on mentors. Mentoring of others can even accelerate one’s own competence.
Practices- The simplest practice for relieving stress is calm breathing. Here is the simplest form of that practice: take a slow breath in, then pause for a comfortable period of time, then slowly exhale, and then briefly pause again before inhaling.You can quickly experience that practicing a calming breath does in fact produce a calming effect. Next, you can learn the simple background of exactly how this practice works so well. Note that understanding how it works is entirely optional, although comprehension can be very useful as a source of commitment to applying the method consistently.
Notice that there are two common reflexes related to breathing: the startle reflex of holding the breath and the panic reflex of rapid, shallow hyperventilation. While these reflexes can promote survival temporarily, they are unfavorable as long-term adaptions or habits. When startled, it is natural to take a single sudden breath in and then hold it. If the fright is very brief, then the body’s next reflex often will be to calmly sigh.
However, when there is a longer period of caution or alarm, such as a startled inhalation followed by fleeing or fighting or freezing (holding the breath longer), then a singlesigh is not enough to return breathing to normal. At some point, a panting reflex will begin.Again, in many circumstances, the rapid, shallow panting contributes to the well-being of the organism. However, when there is lasting stress of certain kinds, a brief period of panting will not return the organism to calm alertness. In cases of distress, there will be the initial startle reflex of a sudden inhalation and hold, then that will resolve in to a sequence of gasping called hyperventilation.
The problem with hyperventilation is that instead of returning the organism from temporary alarm to calm, the organism will experience lasting anxiety (a semi-hysterical state on the edge of panic). Hyperventilating creates a deficit of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. That state is called hypocapnia by medical professionals. It is a very common problem and can be very serious.
Basically, for a molecule of oxygen (O2) to be carried from the red blood cells to other tissues adjacent to the bloodstream, a molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) is required (among other contributing factors). Hyperventilation starves the brain cells of oxygen not because of a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, but because of a lack of carbon dioxide to transport the oxygen from the bloodstream in to the adjacent tissues.
There is only one primary ways that carbon dioxide gets in to the bloodstream: from out of the cells of the organism. Cells produce CO2, sometimes in small amounts and sometimes in large amounts.
Even in the deepest sleep of hibernation, there are biochemical reactions happening inside of living cells. These reactions often produce CO2 inside of cells, which can be then released in to the adjacent bloodstream. When there is physical exertion, such as walking, stirring, or sawing, that produces CO2 at a higher rate than when there is no exertion.
So, there are two major ways to increase the CO2 levels in the bloodstream. They can be used in isolation or together.
The first method is to slow down the rate of breathing (to slow down the release of CO2). The second method is to increase the intensity of physical exertion (to increase the production of CO2).Note that if someone increases physical exertion and then also increases the rate of exhalation (panting), that will reduce or eliminate any benefit from the increased physical exertion. The point is to put enough extra CO2 in to the bloodstream (and keep it there for long enough) that tissues will receive an increased supply of oxygen.
Are there real consequences of increasing or decreasing O2 levels in brain cells and other tissues? Yes, such as in the case of sleep apnea in which the brain is getting so little oxygen that it may produce a nightmare to wake up the body and force an interruption to the hyperventilation of the organism while asleep.
When people talk about anxiety attacks or panic attacks, they are referencing the predictable effects of chronic hyperventilation (“over-breathing). They experience “shortness of breath” (mild choking) because of breathing too fast.
When there is a chronic deficit ofCo2 in the bloodstream, that will always produce a chronic deficit of O2 within the cells (including brain cells but also in many other tissues). We can call that chronic anxiety.
In that case, a relatively mild startle reflex from an external trigger (which would not produce much more than a sigh from an organism with sufficient Co2 in the bloodstream) can produce a severe enough diminishing of bloodstream CO2 (and intracellular O2) that we would call that an attack of anxiety or an attack of panic (or an attack of asthma).
Anxiety, panic, and even asthma can be reliably produced by chronic hyperventilation. Of course, because of the diminished supply of CO2 in the brain among so many people, the simplicity of this mechanism is unfamiliar to most people. They are in a state of chronic alarm, paranoia, and hysteria.
They may be easily fatigued (quickly depleting the constricted supply of oxygen that is actually getting in to the brain and other tissues). If they attempt to exercise, they may overexert themselves and then pant, eliminating the potential benefit of the exercise to increase co2 levels in the bloodstream.
They may even experience despair. What can they do to resolve this? To frequently practice the calming breath, perhaps in combination with a moderate increase in physical exertion, has been established as a reliable way to eliminate the effect known as asthma (over the course of several weeks).
Not only is it quite easy to produce anxiety and hysteria through hyperventilation, but quite easy to reverse. Of course, there may be other health issues besides the supply of oxygen to the brain cells, but the vast majority of modern populations have chronic deficits of oxygen in their brain cells (leading to early death of brain cells), which is due to chronic deficits of CO2 in the bloodstream, which is due to excessive breathing (as in too rapid- not enough delay between inhalation and exhalation).
Why all the frightened breathing? Because the stress of modern life can be nearly constant. Even when people are not driving huge metal containers at high speeds, they may seek out a steady supply of stressful stimulation, such as dramatic soap operas, intense action movies, and news reports about disturbing scandals (sometimes featuring exchanges of antagonistic hysteria between two bickering fanatics).
In addition to frequent practices to keep CO2 levels in the bloodstream sufficient (through the calming breath and moderate increases in physical exertion), there is one other very simple practice that is easy to use. Before sleeping, someone can put a piece of tape over their lips. This can be loose or, if appropriate, tight.
What is the benefit? While sleeping, many people will typically breath poorly (as in excessively). This includes any snoring.
By greatly reducing the amount of air that escapes through the mouth (or blocking the mouth completely), this allows CO2 levels in the bloodstream to remain high for the entire period of sleep. Sufficient CO2 in the bloodstream results in sufficient O2 in the cells (including brain cells).
Why do so many people wake up groggy (and yearning for coffee, sugar, or other stimulants to create a flood of adrenalin and invigorate their blood chemistry)? They did not get much O2 while sleeping, so instead of their brain being clear and alert, they wake up foggy.
They find it hard to concentrate. Those ignorant of biochemistry may call this “an attention deficit disorder.” It is a deficiency of oxygen in the brain cells due to over-breathing / chronic hyperventilating / a deficiency of CO2 in the bloodstream.
After a few years of poor breathing and poor sleep, the brain can begin to accumulate toxins that normally would be cleaned out every night while sleeping. After a few decades, not only are they foggy, but they begin to physically stiffen. Depleted oxygen to the cells of the body is also known as suffocation. Some people have been suffocating for years and some for decades.
There are two basic categories of stress: future-related and past-related. We will quickly review them both.Future-related stress is of two general types: worry and hope. Both can produce stress. Neither is always “bad” (and stress is not always bad either).
In simplest terms, worry and hope both refer to ways of relating to a particular possible future outcome. There is recurring focus (as in “pre-occupation”) on at least one possible outcome. One’s current activities can be organized in reference to that future outcome. That can be very functional.
However, the “problem” with hope is that hope can lead to disappointment, which people may be seeking to avoid hysterically. The “problem” with worry is that worry can lead to despair, which people may also be seeking to avoid hysterically.
In other words, the real problem with the future-oriented stresses of worry and hope is not the actual future possibility. The underlying issue is present hysteria (distress) as a foundation for relating to future stresses.How can that underlying distress be resolved? See the “practices” section for a simple solution.
As for past-oriented stress, we can call those guilt and shame. Those can be internalized and then externalized.
Guilt is about pre-occupation with something that happened but related to with a hysterical idealism condemning that event as something should not have happened. What happened is not the source of the guilt. What happened is the trigger for exposed a hysterical ideal that has already been internalized through a process of social distress or indoctrination.
Guilt can be projected at others in the form of contempt. Someone else did something they should not have done, according to some linguistic ideals of hysterical fanaticism/ present distress.
Next is shame. Shame is about what did not happen. When we already have an internalized anxiety about what should happen, but then that does not happen, we call that experience shame. It is a chronic tension of desiring to hide the terror of failing to conform to a perceived social essential.
The only way to block the display of physical gestures that signal terror is through chronic tension of the face, neck, shoulders (etc). Shame and guilt involve the same physical tensions.
Also, shame can be projected at others (a common strategy to distract others from noticing one’s own shame) and that can be called resentment. We resent others when we are terrified that they did not do something that we hoped they would do, but we do not have the internal resources to flee in terror. So, we fight. We repulse. We resent and then present passive aggression or open condemnation and antagonism.
That shameful aggression is very distinct from violence that is designed to kill prey, to openly intimidate/deter disobedience, or produce a redistribution of some kind of wealth (as in robbery or warfare). The shameful aggression is intended to destroy someone socially (as in their reputation).
We are jealous of their results. We hysterically assert that we should have had better results. We blame them for our disappointing results. We attack them (socially or physically or both).
This projection of internalized shame does not resolve the internalized shame. It does not relax the distress and chronic tension. It can be very dangerous.
In the case of a past history of contempt or resentment towards others, we may consider that we value an increase in social affinity with a particular individual or group. In that case, an explicit apology may be helpful.
We state to them (in whatever way fits best, considerate of their own input) that we wish to apologize. We apologize for first being in distress, then we had particular hopes and/or worries (specifying them with enough detail to produce comprehension in the other party but without so much detail to trigger a surge of hysteria in them). Then, we related to them as violating our preferences (which terrified us), then we panicked, condemned their action or inaction, and then ongoingly practiced contempt and/or resentment toward them.
We state next that we withdraw our condemnation of their action (or inaction). We respect them and their choices. We admit that our expectations or preferences are the ultimate source of our reaction, not their action or inaction. We apologize for our general distress and our particular animosity.
We may also make a symbolic offer of goodwill. We may make a request or invitation. We may make a promise (in exceptional cases).
We are primarily interested in their comprehension of the basic details of our apology. We are not expecting anything from them and we are not groveling. We may withdraw from interaction.
Usually, there is no stressing of anything that we owe them or that they owe us. The communication of the apology is ideally distinct from any other “negotiations” and, until the apology is completed (with a sense that the other has experienced relief of any concerns about the past condemnation), other communications may be halted.
There is much more to the issue of introspection. What is above is simply a general framework for additional exploration.The issue of exactly how the masses are programmed with specific social anxieties and hysterias can be addressed next (unless there is an immediate interest for mentoring first). Mentoring, briefly stated, is the practice of introspection with the assistance of one or more other people who are competent enough in the practice of introspection to increase the efficiency and benefits of introspection for someone else.
What would paradise be like? What words come to mind? How would you describe the experience that is most attractive to you… even inspiring?
We might think of momentary satisfaction. We have already experienced moments of distinct satisfaction, such as joy, pleasure, ecstasy, or euphoria.
However, the word paradise is not just about occasionally attaining a temporary high. We already know what it is like to experience temporary highs. Is there anything even more attractive than another occasional high?
We also may experience attraction to the idea of lasting relief from certain terrifying realities. If you have experienced terror, then you can understand the appeal of the idea of a permanent relief from terror.
Maybe we have been terrified of poverty or war, so we got intrigued by apolitical campaign about achieving global peace or even support a political war on poverty in the hopes of getting eternal prosperity. However, after thousands of years of peace-keeping armies and taxes to combat poverty, the peace-keeping armies keep doing violence and people who are struggling to survive keep getting targeted by cops and tax collectors and bomber pilots.
We can distract ourselves from the reality that there are systems that exist to conduct large-scale operations of violence among groups of humans, but we still know the reality. Somewhere, there is someone who is terrified of a particular government. Maybe we are thankful that those people are terrified of our own government, but the reality of terror is still obvious. We still know that somewhere there is someone worried about how they are going to keep the tax collection court from sending armed soldiers to evict them and take over their property in the name of some distant government treasury.
Governments are operations of terror. In order to terrify other people in to chronic anxiety, governments repeatedly publicize certain terrifying aspects of their operations, like when they drop atomic bombs on some civilians and confine other civilians behind barbed wire fences and guard towers in “correctional” prisons and ethnic minority reservations.
While some of us may think of governments as possible saviors that offer a final solution to terrifying realities, other people think of governments as just another terrifying reality, similar to earthquakes and tornadoes. Some people want a government that will free them from anxiety. Others want freedom from anxiety about a particular government.
However what all of those people have in common is that they all experience anxiety. In fact, many of them anxiously await a government that will free them from anxiety about some of other form of government (some policy or politician or party). They donate money and time to promoting a government-provided salvation to government-related anxieties.
However, before there were any governments, there was still anxiety. Further,even if all governments suddenly ceased to function, that would not end anxiety. What is the real source of anxiety… much more ancient than the existence of organized government? What is it that really motivates people tobe interested in conceiving of a future paradise? From what reality do we really seek relief?
There is another obvious detail that we can ignore but we cannot deny, which is that we throughout our lives are repeatedly exposed to the reality of death. Plants live and die. We are exposed to death in stories and news reports. Eventually,people we know die. We pass by hospitals and mortuaries and even graveyards that are filled with human corpses. Over and over, we are reminded of the reality of death.
Many people are so anxious about their own death that they do ignore the reality of it, distracting themselves from any idea of their own death. Maybe they will pre-occupy themselves with condemning a particular government
However, what if you imagined complete freedom from any anxiety about dying?What if everything about dying was something that you could accept without any anxiety? If we are terrified of anxiety, then we naturally would reflexively attempt to avoid any topic that terrifies us.
The process of dying can involve pain. What if you were totally free of any anxiety about pain? In fact, what if the neurological production of a pain sensation is an expression of pre-existing anxiety? What is pain except a signal of anxiety about a wound? The wound may not be painful by itself… but once someone sees the wound, suddenly they may experience pain. Pain is a signal generated by the brain.
What exactly does pain signal? Pain signals anxiety. That is not “a mistake.”That is the neurological purpose of pain signals.
So, back to the specific issue of anxiety about death, some governing systems publicize stories about a heavenly after-life that not everyone will get to access. It is a reward for those who are most obedient to a particular set of values publicized by that system.
For instance, when Vikings soldiers were preparing to go to war, the high priests would indoctrinate them with stories of an eternal after-life. Those valiant heroes who boldly charge in to combat and draw first blood from the enemy would be selected after their death by sexy virgin angels called Valkyries who would take them to an eternal after-life of pleasure.
These stories were very good for morale. Some groups of soldiers were told these stories in their training and other groups of soldiers were not told these stories. The young soldiers who were first thoroughly traumatized in military training camps and then instructed with these stories were recognized by the high priests to be more effective as infantry. So, the stories became popular.
Young boys long before being drafted in to the armies were told these stories of how to get in to heaven. Further, they were also told stories of eternal torture in hell for those who did not conform to the behaviors indicated to them by Santa Claus.
Some might ask if these stories were in any way deceptive? Did some of the military officers doubt the accuracy of the stories, yet still tell those stories?
Others might say that military officers should not use deception or indoctrination. However, the reality is that deception and indoctrination exist.
In fact, only people who have been thoroughly indoctrinated would ever say “militaryofficers should never use deception.” If people have been traumatized thoroughly and then conditioned to reflexively condemn deception as “always wrong,”then they are simply displaying their obedience to the indoctrinated dogmas when they publicize their condemnations.
Which aspects of reality do birds condemn? Do birds condemn certain other birds for parroting the sounds of a mockingbird? Do birds say “their deception gives them an advantage in their effectiveness as hunters and if we refuse to use a particular method because of chronic tension about being punished if we use it,then the advantages of that method are unfair. We protest the fact that those other birds use methods that are more effective than ours! Our methods should be more effective. Isn’t there a politician who will at least promise us apolitical solution that can make our method more effective (or make the method that we refuse to use less effective)?”
What is the best way for governments to conduct their operations of terror? Different people will have different opinions about the issue. Generally speaking, people are often happy to ignore any operations of terror that benefit them, such as tax systems that provide free child care for their children through public schooling. If the vast majority of the income from the tax systems is used for other purposes besides providing free childcare, that is simply not relevant to most people.
As long as people perceive (accurately or not) that they are benefiting from an operation of organized terror, they tend not to condemn it. However, once people begin to feel threatened, there is a predictable coping mechanism which can be observed in thousands of cases.
Over and over, threatened people begin to criticize some government for bullying and intimidation. They condemn a particular foreign government. They condemn a particular party or individual. They condemn isolated cases of corruption.
Why? Condemning isolated cases of injustice is a coping mechanism to distract them from the simplicity of the nature of all governing systems. Governments are violent and terrifying. They systematically redistribute access to resources inequitably, benefiting certain special interest groups at the expense of certain groups of human resources (such as in colonized territories that have been recently liberated).
“We need a more honest government that is less deceptive. We also need a more honest currency system that is less biased.”
However, what is the purpose of using violence to create a currency system except for the systematic inequitable redistribution of resources? Of course some army will form a legal system and then the legal system will invent some debts owed to the legal system by the human resources. This system of extortion can be monopolized in a particular geographic area and called “legitimate taxation.”
The loyalists paint little shapes on ink on to signs and then parade down the street chanting that “We need political reforms to permanently bring us a better reality that fits with the presumptions that we were programmed to worship in free public training schools. We were repeatedly rewarded with social validation in school for repeating the slogans and values of the indoctrination system. Everyone should congratulate us on our loyalty and patriotism and then join us in our heroic parade. By the way, why are there so many hysterical people who oppose our favorite reforms and instead promote some other reforms as if those reforms were their only relief from hysteria about the eternal tortures that they were trained are waiting them for their sinful nature? How can those people be so naïve and so hysterical and so antagonistic toward the ideals that everyone that I like worships religiously?”
Many people are easily insulted, which means easily reminded of shames and terrors that they pretend not to have. Some people are virtually impossible to privately insult. If there is no credible sense of tangible injury or detriment to their interests, then the opinions of strangers may be of no special concern to them.
So, what is paradise? Paradise involves a harmony between natural instincts conditioning.
There can be respect for social conditioning and social ideals, yet also a respect for all natural instincts (rather than the condemnations programmed through social conditioning). In other words, there can be self-respect and grace… in contrast to the typical chronic physical tensions to totally avoid the display of any emotions labeled “negative” or “sinful.”
What are the typical instincts of all living creatures (even plants)? Basic instincts include the instinct for survival, for reproduction, and for adaptive superiority. Many organisms in a species may survive to sexual maturity and successfully reproduce. However, some organisms will thrive more than others.In the case of animals, some bloodlines will falter and disappear while others will expand.
Some groups of humans may excel in the use of language and even organize systems for military cooperation. They may establish systems for cultivating obedient soldiers, for developing superior military technology and protocols,and so on. Empires may form.
Within these empires, certain individuals and families may experience notably above average benefits. They may lobby for governments to benefit their economic interests. They may lobby for governments to burden their competitors with complex tax laws, prohibitive licensure requirements, or even criminal penalties to promote monopolies for their most lucrative operations.
What if paradise is not only for after the death of a physical body? Paradise could be a state of respect for one’s own patterns of activity. If I am most experienced with certain kinds of social interactions(certain social dynamics), that could be useful to accurately assess as I go about my life of recognizing my instinctual interests and promoting them.
If I lack certain skills that I may value and that other people may have, that may be useful to know. Maybe I form a lasting partnership with one or more of them. Or, maybe I form a temporary alliance (like when I pay someone else to fly an airplane to a destination where I would like to go… or where I would like an item or piece of mail to be transported).
For someone who is already in paradise, do they need to involve themselves in political reform movements to bring a particular government closer toward certain ideological slogans? They might choose to invest their time in that way, but a pre-occupation with pretending not to have any anxiety can be exhausting to the point of blindness. If I am not terrified of anxiety, then I do not have to agonize over how to prevent it. If I simply accept that anxiety and stress and chronic tension are realities that some people may experience, I can respect all experiences.
What is the best way for a propagandist in a military empire to create their systems of indoctrination and public relations? How can the attention of the masses be reliably governed/ programmed? How can their interpretations and perceptions be reliably governed/programmed? How can their behavioral responses to their programmed perceptions be best governed? What is the best way for an empire to promote obedient sacrifice by the human resources?
Paradise could include relief from habits of programmed guilt (which is the behavior of linguistic self-condemnation in an internalized dialogue about distress and safety, as in an “attack” by anxious panics of hysterical idealism, like what a Freudian psychiatrist might call a massive “super-ego” of moralizing, perfectionist, crippling, paralyzing self-criticism,). The most lasting relief could involve clarity about how such habits have been systematically programmed in to the masses of all modern cultures.
Personal economic stability (“thriving”) could contribute to a relaxing of internalized tensions and chronic pretenses. Pretenses can involve tension.Lasting release of chronic tension can involve a dissolving of unexamined habits of social pretense (such as displayed self-condemnation to present an absence of anxiety by distracting from one’s own hysteria through condemning the hysteria of others).
What is the best way to promote lasting personal economic stability? Condemning the nature of a monetary system tends to correspond with a naïve idealism about“not needing money to thrive.”
Do you need money to survive? Relative to breathing, money is not absolutely required. However, to condemn others for valuing money (and what money can buy)… could be a hysterical loyalty to programmed ideals that serve to emotionally cripple the masses of human resources in regard to how they relate to money and wealth within an empire.
On the other hand, any popular obsession with money as the “ticket to paradise”certainly might be targeted with some skepticism. Hoarding money does not itself produce introspective clarity. However, a steady flow of sufficient passive income might contribute to a relaxing of chronic pretenses and a release of habitual momentums of hysterical self-attack panics.
One can respect the religions of guilt and their mass-marketed curses. One can respect the innovative witchcraft with which the masses are programmed to be paranoid and hysterical about being possessed by demonic entities such as stage3 cancer of the tumor, type 8 hyperglycemic diabetes, possession of the abdominal intestines by bad cholesterol bacteria, uneasy anxiety stressed dis-ease syndrome disorder, delusional naivete, viral hypertension, imaginary hyperventilation, cardiopathic arthritis of the tongue, post-natal hypothyroidism, and of course incurable hypochondria.
One can respect that the masses reliably do worship those demons. That is what they are trained to do through indoctrination systems that disproportionately benefit the medical industry (which is the purpose of all advertising and marketing).
The indoctrination can be very effective. The worship of the selected demons can be wildly popular.
So, perhaps I do not need to bring everyone to paradise for me to experience paradise.That idea could be just part of another religion of crippling guilt.
By the way, paradise is a word that has the same historical roots as the word “park”and the word “garden.” When we talk about the paradise of Eden, the word paradise refers to an area isolated by a boundary, especially a wall. The word paradise,in its ancient form, can be used interchangeably with garden or park or even sanctuary(such as a wildlife sanctuary or a hunting reserve belonging to a local king or warlord).
Do you value lasting relief from the programmed habits of hysterical inattentiveness to language? If so, I know a politician that promises eternal salvation from that terrifying problem for just a modest increase in your tax rate. However,do not be deceived by the hypnotic bait of that political party, for it is the party that has a monopoly on dishonesty.
The only way for you to enter paradise is to participate in a proper ritualc elebrating your Eternal Sovereignty (and your eventual conditional independence from the influence of any empire or organized religion). Fortunately, I was personally authorized to perform that ritual by the God of the Latter-Day Saint Nicolaus of the Virginal Valkyries. Of course, your participation is entirely voluntary and, if you are interested to the point of an agonizing social anxiety, then let me know immediately and we will schedule your very own ritual (in exchange for a small donation in the form of certain evil currencies of certain evil governments). Furthermore, it is my oath-sworn duty to warn you that any failure on your part to submit to the ritual celebration of your Eternal Sovereignty will be used against you in a court of final judgment and damnation, subjecting you to eternal tortures involving repeated verbal condemnation by 666 very self-righteous birds.
I admit that I was somewhat naive in the past, perhaps because of the fact that I started out life so very young. For instance, I believed in Santa Claus. I even believed that if a licensed physician said something, then as long as my parents believed it, I also presumed that it must be true.
That was my simple perception… until eventually I heard of the idea of “getting a second opinion.” Should I be offended by this suggestion that if you consult a variety of physicians, some of them might have more than one way of measuring health and of understanding various symptoms? Exactly how offended should I be if someone disagrees with something my own physician said (such as my own physician at a later time)?
And what about this issue of specialization? It was as if some physicians had more expertise in some areas than in other areas! This whole issue of whom to trust was getting rather complicated.
I later learned that most physicians did not personally do a lot of research. They might read several journals each year, but how many clinical trials did they personally participate in?
This all got very serious for me sometime around the late 20th century (perhaps in the 1980s). One of the great paranoias that I was trained to have at that time was in relation to cancer. Cancer was very bad. Cancer was very frightening.
But what exactly was cancer? A decade ago, I might have told you that it was the cause of a certain type of illness. I could list a few people that I would say “cancer killed.”
However, cancer is a label for an effect. It is not a cause. It is just a label for an effect. It is not a living entity (a demon) that possesses certain organisms and attacks them and spreads through them like a parasitic infestation.
While many people worship cancer as a demon that has power over them, I eventually considered such religions to be delusional and hysterical. I considered habitual statements like “your cancer is killing you” to be mindless curses invoked in rituals of witchcraft called “the practice of medicine.”
I was not emotionally triggered by the issue of cancer. I noticed that some people were. However, I personally did not suffer from cancer. No one close to me was possessed by the demon of cancer and then “abducted by mortality.”
So, as I listened to a variety of people talk about cancer, I noticed some wide variations in how they related to that word. Not everyone worshiped it as a powerful demon. Some people related to it as merely a predictable effect. In other words, some people demonstrated a scientific perspective on cancer, even logic and intelligence.
For instance, some people talked about how cancer rates changed suddenly in a particular area right after a nuclear explosion. They spoke of measured data, not just presumptive speculations made with no respect for language. (For the grammar police among you, I mean whether the word cancer should be treated as an active, causal entity by using the word cancer with a transitive verb).
Other people talked about cancer as a possible effect of smoking a certain amount of cigarettes. Was there really a connection between specific behaviors and possession by the demon of cancer?
Some people (such as the Center for Disease Control) talked about a specific type of cancer called skin cancer and how different races of people had differing levels of vulnerability to skin cancer (or at least different rates of incidence). Hispanics were several times more vulnerable than Asians or Africans. White people were several times more vulnerable than Hispanics. Further, the skin of white males was demonically possessed by cancer significantly more frequently than the skin of white females. Was it possible that there both behavioral factors as well as genetic predispositions?
I noticed that different people spoke very differently about how easy or challenging it would be to produce the effect called cancer (as well as to stop producing that effect). To some, cancer was very mysterious yet not very important. To others, cancer was something that they were personally motivated to research and understand.
So, the issue came to my attention that some people are more interested in a particular subject (than most people) and so they get more expertise and more precision. Others lack a devoted, calm personal interest (and have only a hysterical interest or only a casual interest) and so perhaps they just learn a popular protocol from a medical school and carry on their business of treating cancer patients as they were programmed to do (and rewarded for doing).
I noticed that various people used words like “safe and effective” in regard to various treatment protocols. Some were so interested in these issues that they cited legitimate research or even conducted their own rigorous measurements. Note that when I say legitimate research, I mean research that is credible scientifically such that there is no logical controversy about it.
I noticed that there were controversies among licensed physicians about whether certain treatment protocols were safe and effective. Some of the disagreements seemed to be over what exactly was meant by the word “safe.”
I reviewed the terminology used by the US government’s Department of Health and Human Services. A publication of theirs stated that “On October 1, 1988… the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established to… [provide] compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines.”
I learned that in over 4,000 cases a total of over $3 billion dollars had been paid by the US government on behalf of the vaccine industry, which prior to 1988 was legally liable for the injuries determined to be caused by vaccines. Other claims were rejected, such as allegations of a facial deformation caused in Beyonce, pictured above, after taking a skin cancer vaccine that made her in to a white male.
Anyways, I was curious about why this program did not have more publicity, given that large segments of public school curriculums are dictated by federal authorities. Why was there so much hysteria promoted about “the fatal effects of cancer” (which is bad grammar if cancer is an effect rather than a cause)? For every 100,000 white males, 4.3 of them are murdered by cancer each year!
Why was there so little paranoia promoted about the apparent dangers of vaccines? How interested should I even be?
Ultimately, my curiosity was only so strong. Perhaps the same lobbyists that in the 1980s persuaded the US government to transfer liability from the vaccine industry to the US government also did not want the budget for publicizing that compensation program to be more than $10,000 or $20,000 per year. I was satisfied by that explanation and moved on to other issues of greater interest to me.
As for the quotations in the original image, the reality is that in all social units, the interests / needs of the social unit as a whole may be more powerful than the interests / needs of an individual. In the obvious case of soldiers, they are not being sent to war in order to promote their personal safety. A mother running in to a burning house to save a child (or a pet) is also not thinking of her own personal safety as the top priority.
Just as individuals (or groups) are frequently sacrificed in the interests of “the greater good,” it is also true that some people get very special privileges. For instance, the US President has the legal right to overturn criminal convictions made in the US.
Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich of convictions for an enormous amount of tax evasion as I recall (among other felonies bordering on treason). Before that, Caspar Weinberger (Ronald Reagan’s secretary of defense) was pardoned before his trial (in order to keep certain information secret, apparently). Oliver North was only pardoned after his convictions.
As for the specific issue of ethnic cleansing, if it is so “bad,” then why did the US do it to the natives here? Why did the Israelites (under the direction of Moses, as recorded in the Book of Numbers) massacre almost the entire population of the Midianites?
Ethnic cleansing is one thing that can happen. Those who are ashamed of their own favorite government’s history of ethnic cleansing (such as the US, especially in the 19th century) may cope with the shame by directing their attention at one or two isolated cases of ethnic cleansing in the distant past. We can focus on the “heroism” of our government for combating ethnic cleansing, such as by dropping atomic bombs on the Japs in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Why? Because the Japs were conducting military operations of “ethnic cleansing,” which is very bad and so the world must be cleansed of those evil ethnic cleansers.
These 3 questions below could be asked from calm curiosity. In that case, the questions simply express open-mindedness.
However, when there is a background of distress (anxiety), the same questions can be used to forms dilemmas (rather than to launch exploration and brainstorming). After creating a dilemma of a rigid “either/or” pre-occupation, that fixation is the foundation that can be built on to eventually spark an avalanche of agonizing. After we review these 3 questions briefly, we will then explore the root issue underneath all 3 common forms of distressed agonizing.
What I should do?
Who should I trust?
How I should be?
Here, we could review some specific patterns of how people use those kinds of questions to cultivate distress. The short version is that they rehearse “fantasy” scenarios that frighten them.
(Note that the “fantasy” scenarios typically begin by rehearsing actual memories that trigger a distressed “brainstorming.” I use the term “fantasy” scenarios because they are not being directly observed in that moment, but are being pondered or recalled or invented. This can be a very frightening way of brainstorming.)
So, rehearsing the scenarios that are frightening then justifies a state of near-paralysis (or explosive hysterias). In an ideal circumstance, that can lead to a very isolated “cry for help” toward someone perceived to be capable of helping and willing to help discretely.
In moderate distress, there will need to be an expectation of receiving help before someone will display their distress signal. Because that is often not the case, the distress can be crippling.
However, in the most extreme distress, the typical resistance to drawing attention will be irrelevant. Help will be directly and explicitly invited from most any possible source of assistance.
Am I safe?
If someone is in distress, then their perception is that they either are not safe or might not be safe and cannot easily find out if they are safe. That creates an urgent dilemma.
So, in an extreme case of perceived threat, they do not perceive fleeing or fighting as attractive methods for coping with the perceived threat. Instead of the more active responses of fight or flight, they freeze and fake (which are relatively passive responses to a possible threat).
The specific kind of faking includes an attempt to block the display of facial expressions and gestures that could be interpreted as signalling distress. That requires physical tension. That tension can be held chronically (locked in).
They maintain the frozen physical state of locked muscular tensions. They may cling to their familiar routine and habits (so as not to do anything unusual that might draw unsafe attention to them). Not only do they “lock in” their own routine, but they also may begin to lean toward activities that are extremely common within their social setting. They seek to blend in. They hide not by being literally invisible, but by being as unremarkable as possible.
That naturally leads to disappointment with the results of the familiar methods, but when there is a reflexive suppression of the display of all disappointment, that means no talking about it directly. Instead, in moderate states of distress, people tend to keep doing the same old habits that used to work effectively. They may complain that they are not getting the results they expected or they may complain that they are getting the results that they expected, but they just do not value those results as much anymore.
Before they would say anything so direct and clear, they will likely experience frustration. The bigger the chronic tension or pretense in the background, the bigger the frustration will need to get in order for them to independently recognize the real source of the dilemma.
In many cases, people may seem blind to their own familiar presumptions as being presumptive. They are creating dilemmas and distress out of habit (inattentively). They are not calm and clear. They are not focused.
They are approaching panic, but hiding it. They are desperate. The root of desperation is despair, as in hopelessness. Instead of hope, they may be growing a terror.
Again, they are not just making careful, calm measurements of safety. They are operating from distressed presumptions of idealism. They are preserving their idealism at the expense of admitting that any of their presumptions might be presumptive. They may furiously dismiss the idea that they have any participation in
They may attack suggestions that they have authority as threatening. They may deny that their panic attacks involve any habitual interpretations or practices.
Instead of thinking about how to assess their own methods and revise them, they think about how to retreat from distress. Retreating certainly may be favorable and satisfying on occasion.
However, in actuality, there may be no dilemma between either retreating from some trigger (such as a person or a job) or changing one’s own methods. Often, people simply brainstorm about how to best flee (while maintaining the “holding pattern” of maintaining familiar routines). Or, people may crumble in to shameful agonizing over identifying the perfect method before taking any new action.
Again, either of those extreme responses could be valuable in a particular circumstance. But they often are ineffective.
Plus, when there is a distress and a chronic tension to hide the distress, then people may not relax on their own to the point of exploring how they can BOTH alter their own thought process AND explore moderate levels of withdrawing (rather than total retreat). When a possible threat is sensed, then caution can be increased, momentum can be interrupted, pace can be slowed, and more precise assessments of safety can be made (including by people considered unusually perceptive). Further, distress can be admitted and relaxation can be targeted as a possible priority.
So, we can avoid the dilemma of “either this is a problem caused solely by my own misinterpretation or this is a problem solely of external factors.” Maybe there is a problem and maybe not. Maybe it involves some degree of actual threat. Maybe it involves some degree of misinterpretation and invented distress.
The value of inventing stresses
Why would people ever invent distress? Inventing justifications for stress can be an effective method for testing other people in regard to their willingness and ability to handle stress (like stress in general or a particular kind of stress).
Do you value knowing how specific other people respond to stress? Then expose them to some stress! (Exactly how much feedback do you want to receive?)
If the stress is a stress that you make up, that may be ideal because then there is no real trigger for stress, but just an invented stress for you to display to them (as an over-reaction, even if sincere). You can practice displaying stress without any actual cause for stress being present. You may even know that the whole thing is a pretense.
However, willingness to process stress is not the same as ability. Some people may be very willing to assist others with processing stress (whether specific other people or absolutely anyone). Sincerity is no guarantee of effectiveness.
Maybe a person is eager to assist anyone with process stress because the prospective savior wants to compensate for a sense that they need some justification for existing (like their mere existence is somehow a problem or a crime). Or, maybe they do not have a savior complex of massive, heroic reforms.
Perhaps they are simply willing to assist specific others in order to promote specific priorities for them. Maybe they are cultivating partners and allies. Maybe they are creating bonds and networks. Or, maybe they are just professionals at managing stress and are earning a salary or an hourly fee.
Note that professional success is typically measured simply by cash profits. However, a professional may be extremely successful financially without being unusually effective.
Maybe they are quite happy in their own lives or maybe not. Maybe they are consistently effective with others and maybe not.
The various social valuations of stress management skills
In some circumstances, life may be orderly and stable such handling stress is rarely a challenge. Maybe only the poorest or least mature people have an interest in managing stress better.
In other conditions, there may be sudden, large changes for entire populations of people and then the ability to handle stress well is a rare and precious skill. Immense advantages may be accessible through a skillful and perceptive approach to managing stress.
Further, in conditions of lasting instability, handling stress well may be a very common focus because it is essential. Everyone may be interested and only those capable of mastering stress will survive.
Those different phases can form a cycle. Out of instability, order forms. Then order stabilizes. Then order destabilizes. Moderate amounts of order may destabilize gradually. Rigid orders may rarely destabilize without sudden and massive disruptions.
It can be useful to recognize which stage of that cycle fits for your current circumstance (in terms of culture and economy). While predictions can be challenging, measurements may be easy to make.
If you know both what your own internal feedback is and know what the social reality is, then that perceptiveness can promote effectiveness. With that in mind, I like to make an analogy to sailing on a boat.
Sometimes, it is easier to adjust the sails than to change the direction of the wind. Also, it could be very useful to accurately assess the actual direction of the wind before adjusting the sails. Any familiar presumptions about how the wind should be may be obstacles to adaptiveness and effectiveness… unless they are recognized as being mere presumptions.
As for identifying the destination of value to you, that can also be an important issue. If that is not clear and yet your sails are up, you might value taking them down to reduce your speed (or even find a dock).