"We Are All Going To Die!"
by Cognitive Dissonance
"This one is short and sweet folks. The subject alone could fill several books, so I decided to keep it contained to just a few... OK, five pages. With that in mind, I present the basic outline and ask you to let your imagination be your guide. One word of advice; if you find yourself triggered and defending not discussing or thinking about this subject (or screaming at me that you do) you just might be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
I have a motto, a proverb if you will, that neatly encapsulates the root and process of our insanity. It goes something like this… “We are only as sick as our deepest darkest secrets.” Those things we do not talk about, especially to ourselves (or if we do, in only the most superficial manner) point directly and inevitably to the root of our insanity. And I use the word “talk” in its broadest possible sense and meaning because “We the Americans” can incessantly ‘talk’ about something and still never say a word about the actual subject matter.
A perfect example would be our utter obsession with all things ‘sex’, a subject we rarely speak about directly. Our movies and various other media, our clothing, mannerisms, consumer products, nearly everything screams ‘sex’ in one form or another. Yet we use veiled terms such as ‘sleeping with him/her’ to convey the desire for, or the completed act of, copulation. I may be wrong, but sleeping is usually the last thing that’s actually going on.
There must be at least a hundred words we use to not directly discuss sex and our obsessed desire to engage in the act itself. It has been conservatively estimated that up to 40% of all internet activity is directly related to the trafficking of pornography. Yet we rarely talk about it in public or private.
The marketing of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra for “erectile dysfunction” is a case study in not talking directly about something, yet still speaking volumes on the subject. While most certainly the drugs have a medical use, the purpose of the advertising is to encourage the ‘patient’ to seek treatment to obtain the drug for ‘recreational’ use.
I would call us humans silly if our behavior wasn’t so dangerously neurotic. The same can be said about death and dying. If there is one thing we know with absolute certainty, it is that at some point we are all going to die. While the where and when may always be in question, there is no ‘if’ about actually dying.
And yet we are obsessed with death and dying, even though we cannot individually and collectively discuss the subject in depth and detail. I worked at Prudential for over eight years in the 90’s and the principal product I sold was life insurance. It would have been easier to sell refrigerators to an Eskimo than to sell the one product everyone is absolutely positively guaranteed to use. Or at least our beneficiary will use it.
I was actually pretty good at my job, but only because I brushed past most of the discomfort exhibited by the client and talked about death in the same way I would talk about night and day, as a commonly understood fact and not a whispered-among-conspirators possibility. This is not to say I was rude or blunt. Rather I was sensitive to their discomfort while displaying no awkwardness of my own. The psychology behind this technique is called ‘mirroring’, where the person you are talking to will eventually reflect back or mirror your own mannerisms and attitude.
Don’t believe me? While directly facing someone during a one on one conversation, cross your arms across your chest and keep them there. Then watch what happens.
Never once in those eight years did I come across a single person who didn’t demonstrate some degree of neurotic behavior about death and dying. Often it was hidden beneath anger, indifference, suspicion, embarrassment, discomfort, subject change, outright avoidance, the use of ‘code’ word non-descriptive terminology and so on. We are so frightened of death we insist on spending ‘whatever it takes’ to get healthy once sick, while spending little to nothing to avoid becoming sick in the first place. The ‘medical’ procedures and pharmaceutical poisons we inflict upon ourselves, particularly when older, would be considered (elder) abuse, even torture, if it wasn’t culturally accepted, thus considered normal and natural.
All this self inflicted pain and suffering just to possibly squeeze out a few additional moments of ‘life’, always assuming quality of life means very little and duration is the only thing that counts. What do you mean you don’t wish to participate in the cut, burn and poison procedures I’ve recommended? Don’t you want to live? Are you nuts?
For a death culture that doesn't want to discuss our own inevitable death, we seem to be obsessed with creating a lot of it in others. We are deeply immersed in what can only be accurately described as a ‘death’ culture. Our children are purportedly witness to 10,000 ‘simulated’ murders or deaths via various media before the age of 18. The military, a sophisticated killing machine, is culturally glorified as ‘moral and just’ (as long as they kill by the rules) or just doing their job (civilian leadership calls the shots) while the wounded soldiers who did the actual dirty work (that means killing and maiming) are eventually discarded like moldy mystery meat found in the back of the fridge.
Ever listen to a ‘professional’ military strategist speak about killing…oops, I mean ‘tactics’? Considering the words ‘kill’ and ‘death’, among many others, are never used, you’d think they were discussing their next blue chip corporate marketing campaign. In fact, in many ways they are. But what they aren’t discussing, while thoroughly and completely discussing it, is the actual ‘killing’.
‘Collateral damage’ is the perfect example, a phrase that reduces the ‘accidental’ spilling of blood and guts down to something not much worse than a severely stubbed toe. “I was chasing my wife around the kitchen table not trying to have sex with her when I suffered collateral damage and stubbed my big toe. It ruined the moment we weren’t having.”
I suppose this is because life is sacred and must not be taken carelessly or cavalierly. Notice that doesn’t preclude taking someone’s life, the primary function of the military, but about giving great thought and deliberation about taking someone’s life; then doing so efficiently and without the loss of your own life in the process. Because your own life is sacred and shall be preserved at all cost. Everyone else?
Umm…not so much.
Our entire system of governance ‘operates’ via carefully veiled physical and psychological coercion. The government representative asks nicely, several times in fact, before calling in the men and women with guns to convince us it’s in our own best interest to do as we are ‘requested’. The state has a monopoly on institutional violence and we are conditioned from birth to applaud and obey.
And make no mistake about it; we are trained from birth to accept the present state of violence as natural and normal, human nature in fact. Nothing we can do to change what we are, so just sit back and enjoy the show. If we won’t personally become sociopaths, at least accept (and obey) the sociopaths in power as just the way things are supposed to be.
Silly rabbit, peace and mutual cooperation are for sissies and gadflies. Real men and women take what they want because they can. Of course, this is human nature because we are all descended from apes and apes are naturally violent.
At least that’s what we are told.
Besides, when “We the Advanced Humans” finally turned to hunting and gathering rather than beating each other over the head like apes, we still had to beat each other over the head like apes in order to protect what we had hunted and gathered. Do you see the madness inducing closed loop feedback system working to perfection here?
A supposedly violent past is used to justify and rationalize a violent present and future. It is inferred we simply cannot, therefore will not, mature because violence is in our genes. The best we can do, we are helpfully informed, is to grin and bear it. And kill…but only if we must. And we must because ‘they’ made us do it. The killings will continue until the killings stop. Thank God we have the sovereign state to bring law and order to the art of violence and murder. Let the professionals handle it. They know what they’re doing.
Please note I used the word ‘supposedly’ in a previous paragraph. By now we should all understand ‘history’, particularly ancient history, doesn’t always reflect actual truth, but rather the prevailing and ever changing historical narrative that sets the stage for the present day controlling memes.
Because it’s all part of our overall belief system, we never ever consider how much our belief in a specifically defined, as well as hidden, past affects our view of today and tomorrow. It is nearly impossible to know where you are going without an understanding of where you have been and where you are now. That is how important it is for the controlling meme to manipulate our historical perspective.
Let me state unequivocally that a culture of death will always attempt to convince us via various methods of ‘persuasion’ that a culture of death is perfectly rational and justified in being what it is, a culture of death. How could it be any other way and still exist?
Considering we are in a controlling and abusive relationship with our serial abusers, is it any wonder we are all suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and are therefore unable to sanely confront and contend with our eventual demise? That which we refuse to confront controls us to some extent or another, and usually much more than we care to believe. Those who wish to exploit us only need to manipulate our fear of what controls us. It’s as easy as taking candy from a baby.
We are all going to die. Get over it. Embrace it as part of the journey. Examine it for all it is and isn’t. And accept it, thereby removing the fear and rendering it impotent. This way we can move on towards a more glorious endeavor, that of fully living life rather than simply waiting ‘round to die.”