by Cognitive Dissonance
“This I Can Do, That I Cannot. We might not think about it this way, but early on in our collective conditioning we are taught the difference between real and not. Yet the line of demarcation between the two is blurry at times. My GI Joe make-believe soldier with the Kung Fu grip was most assuredly real, but my invisible make-believe friend was not. This confused me as a child because from my point of view I didn’t need a physical object to focus my imagination, thus my invisible friend was just as real as the GI Joe.
Actually my friend was more real to me because he was extremely flexible and changeable like ‘real’ people, whereas GI Joe (I called him GI Jack just to be different which infuriated my brother) was always just a plastic solider with a useless hand. Unless, of course, I borrowed some female doll clothes from my sister’s collection for some gender bending. But that’s another story.
Essentially the only difference between the two was that one had a physical presence in the real world. I could project my imagination upon the physical GI-Joe and that was considered OK or ‘real’ simply because my imagination had a physical receptacle or focus, thus grounding me and my imagination in the real world. But projecting my imagination upon a non physical entity was not OK or real because… why exactly? What is it with this narrow minded obsession with all things physically ‘real’ in relation to my non physical consciousness?
What are we afraid of discovering here? Why confine my limitless imagination to those things that are considered grounded in the real world? Why do we insist that only those things that have a physical presence are real? Do we need a physical presence to embody or reflect our projected consciousness in order for both the object and our consciousness to be considered real? Or is a physical presence not made real unless it is embodied by or projected by our consciousness?
We are assured that everything on the outside is real and all that comes from within is not. We tell each other that by studying hard we will make our individual reality ‘better’ through more valuable work, but that working on the inner journey is a waste of time and just plain crazy. And because this is a widely shared belief, for the most part we buy into this meme to the detriment of our inner peace and awareness. But as I will continue to illustrate, in many instances it’s not ‘real’ until we believe that it is real. Does our belief create reality or does reality cause us to believe?
The obvious inference here is that without that education our experienced reality will not be as pleasant as it would be with the higher more specialized training. Likewise, many cultures believe that by finding a soul mate or life partner we will experience a richer, fuller life than if we remain single and ostensibly unhappy. There are countless other examples, but this all begs a question. Are we happier or not, better off or not, simply because this condition is real or because we change our reality to match our conditioned expectations and those with whom we share our reality?
Living Inside the Placebo Effect: As a reminder, we ended Chapter One discussing the placebo effect and the ‘will’ to live. Essentially a random 5% to 10% of the population appears to be able to ‘heal’ or ‘feel better’ simply because we believe we are receiving drugs or other types of treatment that will help us. This is believed in spite of the fact that we are not being ‘drugged’ or treated in the pharmacological or medical sense, but rather only psychologically. In addition, when modern medicine has nothing left to offer us we are often reminded by the doctor that it all comes down to the patient’s ‘will to live’, as if to say our ‘will’ is a physical force to be reckoned with.
In other words it seems that when we perceive something so strongly that we believe it is ‘real’, we then appear to create a physical reality that mimics our belief. And furthermore, that the active ingredient in this reality creation is the degree or intensity of our belief. If we hold doubt or reservation the creative force is weak or nonexistent. If our belief is strong and unquestioning, whether by subterfuge or honest origin, the creative force is more powerful. So, are we happy or sad because we are in fact happy or sad or because we believe being happy or sad is what we should be experiencing and thus we act in a manner that fulfills our belief and expectation?
I’ve often wondered if we create our own reality via the placebo effect with near 100% efficacy. If you think this through, so much of our day is spent interacting with people, places and things which we never question or doubt. We completely and universally accept as ‘real’ everything around us and brush off any outliers with little to no thought. This is the Gold standard in faith and belief, completely accepting at face value and without examination or reservation what we see, hear or touch. In fact, we would consider anyone who does question ‘reality’ to be mentally ill and unstable.
Yet we live in a world where so many individuals and entities are furiously creating alternative realities right in front of our eyes. This is accomplished with substantial help from the control system and various authorities, public myth keepers and other wizards and warlocks. This dream weaving or reality creation appears to be real only because it is accepted as real by the majority, not because it actually is real. So how can something not real co-exist with something that is real? Do we create our own physical reality simply by the strength of our belief which is often measured by our force of will?
A Reality Not Realized: Our consumer culture has conditioned many to believe happiness can only be found in certain consumer goods. Yet one third of the population is taking mood and/or perception altering drugs (pain killers, anti-psychotics etc) and two thirds use legal or illegal mood altering compounds such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, ecstasy, even food. This doesn’t sound like happy little consumers to me.
All those advertisements appear to be selling me a dream or a belief, not reality. Maybe what they’re really selling me are expectations or what I like to call deception perceptions. Perhaps I’m being emotionally managed rather than just being sold physical goods and services. I suspect those objects are symbols of an altered reality that those in power are desperate for us to believe are real. And the failure of that sales promotion is presenting as a self medicating population yearning to escape from the insanity. Many years ago I learned about the power of a belief not realized and I suspect this is why so many of us are waiting around to die.
Sixteen years ago I received a phone call from a client who I had worked with for over five years. She was ecstatic and talked so quickly I could barely understand her. She was on her way to the lottery headquarters where she would claim her half of the top prize of $11 million and wanted to know what she should do. I gave her some instructions and told her to stop by when she was done. Three hours later she and her husband came in and she looked like she’d been run over by a truck. Somehow she had made a mistake and had misread one number, missing the top prize.
But her near miss did qualify her for the full second place payout, still a very respectable half million dollars. While I assured her that because of her windfall she could accelerate her retirement by 5 years and never work another day starting today, she was distraught and inconsolable. This formerly happy and loving individual never recovered emotionally, divorcing two years later and dying a broken and bitter woman within the decade.
What happened here? Her experienced reality was clearly influenced by her emotional state and her perception of an alternative reality ‘missed’ as much as by the money she actually won and her early retirement. So which reality was the real reality? She was physically and mentally ‘healthy’ up to the point where she failed to realize an alternative reality that wasn’t ‘real’ to begin with. She had never actually won half of the top prize, but instead had only thought she had. When her imagined reality failed to materialize in the ‘real’ world she crumbled.
How did her emotional state affect her body to the point where it seems to have killed her? Did she lose the will to live? How can it be our ‘will’ if we aren’t actually aware we’re utilizing it on a daily basis? And if we can lose our will to live, can we gain more of it simply by force of our will? I’m not just playing with words here. While science does recognize an emotional and physical connection between the body and the mind, the death certificate listed the cause of her death as myocardial infarction. On second thought I guess they were right. She did die from a broken heart.
Making our Reality Fresh Every Day: Are we currently experiencing a financial depression because many of us are out of work and the financial system is collapsing? Or is all of this happening because we believe we’re experiencing a financial depression or collapse? This isn’t a play on words, but a serious examination of what ‘makes’ reality ‘real’. While many claim they never saw the banking collapse coming, the collective doubt within many people about the wisdom of liar, no doc and walking dead/zombie loans was steadily rising until it peaked in 2008.
I’m not talking about ‘official’ pronouncements by the political and financial wizards that Happy Days were here again, which we repeatedly heard during the real estate run up and collapse, but about what was and still is going on in the collective gut of the population. Contrary to popular belief there is a common sense of understanding among the people, often referred to as the collective consciousness. But the wizards convince us to ignore it. Actually seduce is a better word to use here because it exposes our active participation in the process.
By ignoring the inner warning bells and our gut instinct, the insanity builds to levels higher than if it were to burn off naturally. The average Joe knew deep down inside that something was seriously wrong even as s/he piled on more and more debt. The banking magicians and government enablers told us what we wanted to hear to help quell the growing inner doubt. Sounds like moral hazard for the average Joe, doesn’t it? And the same thing is happening again in ever quickening cycles.
The entire basis for the Fed’s daily POMO spell casting is simplicity itself. The financial wizards and political warlocks are pumping massive amounts of computer generated money into a financial system that’s based entirely upon the willingness of the people to participate in it (surrender to it) in order for it to be sustained. In effect people must suspend disbelief and believe in the currency and the financial and political wizards to keep the balloon inflating. Have you ever really thought about the juice, the power, behind the term ‘moral suasion’ with regard to the Fed?
This sounds more like (science) fiction than ‘reality’ to me. In fact it appears to be very similar to watching a television program. To apply critical or logical thought to our ‘real’ time soap opera reality show would ruin the whole thing. In fact maybe that’s where we get our conditioning and training from, which in turn prepares us to live in our ‘real’ 3D world. You know, that fully immersive 50” flat screen LCD 3D surround sound real world simulator called our TV.
The masters of the universe are trying to restore ‘confidence’ in a make believe financial system through reality distortion techniques. And they expend considerable time and effort to convince us our economic world is ‘real’. They understand better than anyone else that it is our belief that makes it real, not their machinations. By artificially inflating the financial markets, thus demonstrating to the masses that the stock market and economy is improving, they are trying to signal that the economy is getting better to evoke a specific, call it positive, placebo effect response in the masses.
This in turn (we are told) will improve the population’s attitude and thus the behavior of the masses. We will then begin to act as if the depression has ended. Confidence restored, the now invigorated consumer spends even more money we don’t have, but we will earn in the future from our work, thus ending the depression. This then assures everyone there will be enough work for all to continue the process. And they claim this is reality. Actually it sounds more like mass hypnotism or a collective trance to me.
If when reading the various Fed speeches and economist position papers you were to strike out all the numerical mumbo jumbo, what it all comes down to is a massive psychological operation being perpetrated upon not only the American people but the global village. The masters of the universe are essentially admitting that continued economic growth is entirely dependent upon the perception of you and me that ‘reality’ (as measured and thus validated by GDP and all that economic mumbo jumbo) can be altered simply by wanting it to be so. In other words, they recognize that our reality flows from our perception and/or belief and not the other way around.
To Be (Real) or Not To Be (Real), That Is The Question: One can point to shelves of books full of all the theory and history you wish in order to ‘prove’ that by doing this or that the economy will improve. But every reading I apply to economic theory tells me it is all about manipulation of public perception in order to create a different reality. The numbers and history are simply trotted out in order to ‘prove’ to us that their psychological operation is actually well researched economic policy, thus giving us a reason to believe it is ‘real’. It is belief that moves the economic mountain, not reality.
Even the term ‘depression’ is based upon an emotional condition or perceived reality. In fact before the 1900’s depressions and recessions were called ‘panics’, an even more severe form of emotional expression. While the financial wizards assure us it’s all quantifiable and thus ‘real’, it all sounds like warlock black magic or wizardry spell casting when seen from a distance. And in many ways it is.
Does the reader remember a well known economic warlock telling us a while back that our economic problems were caused by a collective psychological depression and that if only we would straighten up and fly right all would be fine? While he was roundly derided here on Zero Hedge as well as in dozens of other publications and blogs I contend that in many respects he was speaking the truth. He was telling us that our perception and belief creates our shared reality.
Read the last few paragraphs again and show me anything ‘real’ other than our reactions to various promoted perceptions and beliefs. It sounds to me like emotion, which drives perception and belief, is creating reality and not the other way around. Our economy, our financial system, is ‘real’ solely because we believe it is real. Withdraw our belief, our consent to continue to participate, and we collapse this portion of our shared reality faster than residual winter snow piles on a warm spring day.
In effect we influence our experienced reality by our consensual participation in the only reality we ‘know’ via education, marriage, work, money usage, voting, religious worship, whatever. All these actions require our consent, regardless of whether it’s ‘real’ or fake consent, consensual or commanded. I emphasize fake or commanded consent because whether we agree to participate, or are forced to participate, we still believe what we are participating in is ‘real’.
For example, while we may not agree to the corruption that is a part of the financial and political system, and we may actively push back by buying precious metals or removing deposits from too-big-to-fail banks, we still believe what we are experiencing is real. In fact direct resistance is actually a signal or sign that we have bought into the consensus reality because we would only actively oppose something we believe to be real. We don’t actively oppose ghosts because we don’t believe they are real.
We are told that we can’t change the overall (control) system and that we either conform to the shared understanding or we will be rejected by the collective to become scum on the streets, unwanted and ignored by our fellow reality projectors/projections. Only the masters of the universe, our so-called elite leadership, can make social policy and change the system. This belief is pounded into us as that portion of our experienced reality that is fixed and immovable. This is the illusion that maintains the consensus reality and the elites.
Don’t Think About Pink Elephants: So which is it? Can we change our reality or not? It seems to me that we’re experiencing a massive Cognitive Dissonance on a daily basis by believing there are some things we can change and some we cannot. Yet because it is a shared dissonance that’s considered an immutable part of reality, rarely do we attempt to change it let alone question it. That cob of corn, my two year old Camry and my mother-in-law can all be changed, albeit some easier than others. But the too-big-to-fail banks, the Fed, SEC, FINRA, the Ponzi, our fraudulent fiat currency, political system and corporations I cannot. You just can’t fight city hall after all, right?
But what about the ability of the powers that be and the elite to change what we consider to be unchangeable? They most certainly believe they can change reality on a massive scale and they regularly do so using propaganda, moral suasion, regulation and liberal doses of the heavy hand via various social control systems. When you think about this carefully how does the elite 2% control the other 98%? Force might work for a while, but eventually the beaten mule breaks down and dies. What’s needed over the long term is a self motivated mule that feeds clothes and disciplines itself with only the occasional need for a poke in the ribs to keep him on the straight and narrow.
In order to accomplish this, our perceptual environment must be carefully controlled, massaged and manipulated. Aberrant thought and non-conformity must be repressed or eliminated. In a control system that requires consent as the active ingredient, there is little room for deviant thought and malcontent’s spoiling the programming of the compliant majority. In this positive feedback loop the need for control and therefore consent (willing or commanded) must eventually grow exponentially. This is why we see both the Ponzi and government repression and coercion ramping up at a frightening pace. When consent is not willingly given, it must be commanded
So the question needs to be asked. Why is it that the vast majority of people reject as impossible the very process that’s applied quite effectively to them? While their ‘money’ and ‘power’ certainly gives them some leverage, not as much leverage as our 98 to 2 advantage. It is our conditioning and shared perception that somehow it is in our own self interest to remain isolated and narrow minded that stifles us, holding us back from utilizing the very same reality distortion techniques that control us. What else can explain the population’s embrace of a reality that is not in our own best interest, either collectively or individually, but is in the best interest of our controllers and abusers?
Stockholm Syndrome: We act as pawns and willing tools for the magician on stage who calls for volunteers from the audience. Regardless of whether we actually self select for direct magical manipulation or remain safely in our seats, we are all still part of the overall illusion. The magic act requires active and passive believing participants and observers in order to be successful. In fact the active participants, by their involvement, help convince the passive that what they are experiencing is real.
This is similar to the escape artist asking audience members to come on stage and check the chains and locks. The participants from the audience prove the illusion is not an illusion, but rather real by affirming the bindings are genuine. Because we allow ourselves to be seduced, often by our fellow trance members who in turn have been conditioned for decades in what is and is not real, we willing disarm ourselves and then become compliant and passive tools of those who abuse us because we believe it is all real and unchangeable.
A carefully reading and understanding of exactly what the Stockholm Syndrome is as well as the dynamics behind the abuser-abused codependency and bonding phenomenon help us to appreciate that an altered reality presented under controlled conditions can produce people willing to participate in their own demise and contrary to their own best interest.
We respond to the wizard’s manipulations because we’ve been conditioned all our lives to believe they are all powerful. Or more to the point that we are powerless, consequently we need them in order to survive. In reality the wizards are simply convincing us to distort our own reality because we believe they have the power and we don’t. Thus we hand over our ‘real’ power to them when told to do so primarily through the skilful use of fear via a multitude of fear based programs/memes by the hand of government and its various religious, corporate, individual and state (foreign and domestic) agents.
And remember that because the vast majority of the population is passive and apathetic they are essentially out of the game and sidelined, thus they become the bulk of the believing herd that is easily manipulated. This means the 2% do not need to control the remaining 98%, but rather just 10% or at most 20% of the population. Tragically this 10%-20% consists of those who fully buy into the shared reality, i.e. the audience participants from the earlier example, and the evidence for this is that we actively participate using the only ‘real’ tools we are told are available.
Please come up on stage and confirm these chains (tools such as wealth, political power, corruption, influence) are real. To engage the master using the master’s tools in the master’s game under the master’s rules is worse than useless because it simply reinforces the master’s power to create the illusion. They run a rigged game in which only a fool or the insane would participate. Or those sufficiently hypnotized to believe what they are told is real.”