Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Forgiving Personality in Politics and Spirituality

The truth is different for everyone, that's the first law of chaos in A Course in Miracles. And one way we know that statement is obviously true is because we all have different personalities. Even similar personalities are still different. At the present time in human history, personality is scientifically measured using the Big Five.

The Big Five personality traits are the following:
Agreeableness: measure of compassion and politeness.
Conscientiousness: measure of industriousness, orderliness, punctuality, dependability.
Extroversion: measure of social enthusiasm.
Neuroticism: measure of negative emotions and volatility.
Openness: measure of intellect openness and creativity.

There are a number of websites where you can take Big 5 personality tests for free. Different tests give slightly different results, but the general ratios are usually similar.

As should come as little surprise, different personality traits make a person more or less attracted to certain ideas in both the political and spiritual realm. People vote and worship their temperament. Lower openness and higher conscientiousness is correlated with stronger conservative views both politically and spiritually. Conversely, higher openness and lower conscientiousness is correlated with stronger liberal views both politically and spiritually. Very agreeable people tend to be more attracted to charitable equity both politically and spiritually. IQ is separate from personality. So there are dumber and smarter people with similar personalities. Things get quite complex and much less linear quite quickly the more factors one takes into account.

For example, there are two main types of contemporary politically correct leftism that appeal to two types of personalities. Politically correct (PC) is a term that describes the strange union of postmodern philosophy and neoMarxism that is embodied in the main ideologies of the contemporary left. Now, of course, most postmodernists and Marxists would certainly reject that assessment but that assessment comes out of the present day results of the dissemination of postmodern philosophy regardless of the original intents of the thinkers lumped into postmodernism. Most people on the left never studied postmodern philosophers like Foucault and Derrida even though they are the people who planted the seeds that have become contemporary PC leftism. I studied and read the postmodernists. I took college classes on them and got A's. But even though I did find some useful grains in the postmodernists that even resonate with ACIM and nonduality, I'm no fan of postmodernism (although I do like Baudrillard). One example of postmodern-compatible-thought in ACIM is that there is no hierarchy of illusions. That's nice to know. But, of course, in practice, you are able to read this blog post over the internet on a screen right now because people sorted out hierarchies of illusion. Another example of a link between postmodernism and ACIM is in how Derrida's work gets deep into the issues surrounding the first law of chaos (unlimited interpretations/perspectives). The problem with Derrida's analysis though is that, in practice, there are a limited number of interpretations of the world that are at least true enough. And knowing those things clearly helps human survival. In many ways, postmodernism is an example of what happens when you confuse levels in ACIM. That's why, despite Marxism's history of catastrophic failures in implementation, postmodernism has resulted in neoMarxism (Derrida was a Marxist.) Postmodernism revitalized Marxism by turning everything into power struggles between oppressed and oppressor, replacing the original, more limited, Marxist concept of poor vs. rich. So postmodern neoMarxism instigates an endless victims victimizers game of oppressed and oppressor that is exploited for objectives of political power. But anyway, I could write a whole pointless book on the delusions and confusions of the bastardized postmodernism power cult of perpetually warring identity groups. But I'd rather not lol. One of my favorite summaries of PC thought is presented in this 1993 comedy sketch from "The Kids in the Hall."

But back to the subject of the two types of contemporary PC leftists. The commonality between the two main groups of contemporary PC leftists is high agreeableness in terms of compassion. The first group, PC egalitarians, arises first and foremost from exposure to ideas emphasizing perceived social inequalities and injustices involving individual differences. So some ideological indoctrination is necessary to get the ball rolling. PC egalitarianism tends to appeal to people who are high in openness, high in agreeableness, and high in verbal intelligence (medium to high IQ). However, politically correct egalitarianism becomes warped by people with different personality traits and so they turn it into politically correct authoritarianism. Politically correct authoritarianism tends to appeal to people who are high in conscientiousness in regards to order, high in agreeableness, and low in verbal intelligence (medium to low IQ). Politically correct authoritarians applaud censorship and punitive justice. There is also a high correlation between PC authoritarianism and people who have a clinically diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder or who have a member of their direct family that does. Interestingly, the same major traits that makes politically correct left wing authoritarianism also make right wing authoritarianism: higher conscientiousness and lower verbal intelligence. Higher conscientious people, in general (independent of IQ), are more prone to disgust, tend to be less open in terms of borders and sexuality, they are more concerned with cleanliness and order, tend to be healthier, and have greater in-group preferences.

(If you want to read a summary of the study from which I got all the above information go here: )

The difference between PC and right wing authoritarianism tends to simply revolve around group identity. The authoritarian left is a mother cult stemming from higher agreeableness while the authoritarian right is a father cult stemming from lower agreeableness. In the PC culture of the west, the authoritarianism of white straight males is usually characterized as right wing and so racist, sexist, fascist, etc. Conversely, the authoritarianism of people against the historical western hierarchy is usually characterized as anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-fascist, etc. However, both authoritarian groups have identity politics at their core; both seek to weed out by force some opposing group. Identity politics are abhorrent whether right or left and I usually don't hesitate to let people promoting them know that. It is by no means reasonable to attribute victim or victimizer status to people simply due to group characteristics. If that's not the kind of thing that characterizes racism then there is no reason for the word to even exist.

The similarity of left wing and right wing authoritarianism is an example that shows that groups have much more overlap than individuals. The individual is the ultimate minority regardless of what groups the individual fits within. The fact that right wing authoritarianism is currently painted much more negatively and broadly by western society than left wing authoritarianism makes left wing authoritarianism more insidious. The Oedipal mother authoritarian is every bit as dangerous as the father. You want your parent figures, both male and female, to foster independence, not tyrannical dependence. Because tyrannical dependence is predatory! And predators first stalk and take out the animals identifiable from the herd. You've got to remember, the ego universe is about twisted notions of God. God is the only parental figure with which total dependence is mutually ideal. Don't worship false gods!

Both female (left) and male (right) authoritarianism should be consistently called out by western society as dangerous. But people are afraid to criticize leftist authoritarians because they will invariably be called some derogatory term like racist or sexist if they do, regardless of their race or sex. Look at the treatment of black female conservatives as an example. Since the PC egalitarians have a "protective (Oedipal) mother" personality, they consistently come to the defense of the PC authoritarians, who are perceived as their own distressed, vulnerable infants. Unlike right wing authoritarianism, leftist authoritarianism is still not well studied. Since most academics are leftists, they've naturally concentrated on diagnosing pathology in their rivals, not their supporters and themselves.

Authoritarianism is becoming more prevalent among millennials in the form of extreme intolerance for conflicting views. Many attribute that trend to trends in over-protective parenting (Oedipal mother) and the prevalence of ideological echo chambers emphasized by parents, educators, and media. Things like safe spaces and support of limiting free speech are the post modern neoMarxist authoritarian millennial versions of traditional conscientious conservative emphasis on the protection of person and property through clear borders and boundaries.

Right wing force is mostly projected externally on protecting against "others" while left wing force is mostly projected internally on absorbing "others." Therefore, right wing authoritarians want ordered homogeneity through forceful exclusion while left wing authoritarians want ordered homogeneity through forceful inclusion. Both have an acute pathological desire for worldly homogeneity, which is what happens when you look for oneness in the world. Homogeneity in this universe is death. Don't confuse levels! Pursue oneness in the mind, where it is not only obtainable but also desirable.

The emotion of disgust is important in identifying authoritarian vulnerabilities. Research has shown that authoritarian attitudes are clearly linked to feelings of disgust and that disgust is linked to higher conscientiousness.

In general, people who feel more disgust support stronger protections against the objects and ideas that trigger disgust. The lower in IQ people are, the more willing the disgusted people are to outsource that protection to authoritarianism. The disgust correlation is supported by the "parasite stress hypothesis," which shows that threats to human welfare in the form of disease and famine feed authoritarianism. Disgust is a strong emotion because it has important survival advantages. For instance, the indigenous South and North Americans were catastrophically devastated by disease upon the arrival of Europeans. Which illustrates the value of having a predisposition to being disgusted and repulsed by that which is foreign, unfamiliar, dirty, or polluted. But disgust is also a vulnerability because the disgust link with authoritarianism means that a diabolical person or group left or right could exploit it to gain authoritarian power. The more one is disgusted by something or someone the harsher a person is willing to be in the treatment of that person or thing. Consequently, disgust becomes fuel for supporting the use of government force and thus authoritarianism. So look out for what disgusts you, because eliminating that object of disgust is your ticket to supporting authoritarianism. And also watch out for being disgusted by the disgust of others.

Eye rolling is an expression of disgust. And eye-rolling about one's partner in romantic relationships is a strong indicator of a doomed relationship. So if you can't help but roll your eyes about your romantic partner, that's a bad sign lol.

It is worth noting that strains of authoritarianism are very prevalent in environmentalism. Just the thought that the world would be better off in terms of ecological order if you yourself or other people didn't exist is genocidal. If you ever want to explore the pathologies of psychological projection, simply look at the term "climate denial." The only people I respect on matters of environment and pollution are people who believe in property rights. And since most people believe in taxation, very few actually believe in property rights. Human-made problems are a product of inconsistency (self-contradiction).

Another interesting thing to note about politics and personality is that conservatives are a bit less neurotic than liberals. Liberal males test the highest in neuroticism. Furthermore, conservatives and liberals have the same average amount of agreeableness. However, the agreeableness of liberals is more compassion oriented (bleeding heart) while it's more politeness oriented in conservatives.

Extremes in high agreeableness are a female personality characteristic while extremes in low agreeableness are a male personality characteristic. That makes sense biologically because there are advantages to women (and even some men) being hard-wired for high compassion. High compassion can be exploited by infants, the sick, the wounded, and the downtrodden (and resentful neoMarxists). Conversely, it is also biologically useful for men (and even some women) to be hard-wired for a lack of compassion so they can kill animals for food, fight against threats, and not be taken advantage of. We don't want everyone to have the same personality quirks because not everyone is a helpless infant and not everyone is a threat. Altruism can be just as much of a pathology as callousness can. In the dualistic ego universe, any virtue run to extremes in the world invariably becomes vice.

In the evolved human family dynamic, men produce and women distribute. The archetypal female ethic is one in which everyone gets taken care of through distribution of the resources made possible by a worthy mate (good provider). And that makes sense at the family level (including extended family), which is where that ethic should be implemented to the fullest. That ethic doesn't scale up well though without introducing big problems. The archetypal male ethic is competition for females. So deep down men don't want to help unrelated men compete for females nor do they want to take care of females who provide unrelated men mating opportunities. Men will minimize their effort for securing resources to the extent that there is no advantage to extra effort.

But anyway, as you can see, in the realm of politics, people robotically promote and adopt political ideas that justify their own personality preferences. And the same applies to spirituality. So, for example, a person too low in conscientiousness and too low in openness would have a very hard time getting anywhere with A Course in Miracles. A Course in Miracles requires a certain minimum level of openness and discipline. Similarly, someone low in agreeableness in the form of compassion and low in extroversion would have a very hard time getting very involved in socialistic spiritual ideas and practices like feeding the poor.

In a society of freedom of religion, personality differences leading to spiritual differences isn't that big of a problem. However, since those same personality differences and spiritual differences leak into political differences, the result is a lot of conflict. The realm of politics is people fighting over control of the guns/force of government. Consequently, in the realm of politics, people seek to impose their personality quirks (half-baked preferences) on others using government force, which never really works since force can't change personalities and thus can't change human nature.

Those with the personalities to recognize the dangers of government force in all its incarnations left and right advocate for less government force and less government spoils for people to fight over. But the people without the right personalities and thus ideologies can't quite appreciate such a remedy. Given enough time, half-baked ideas combined with the guns of governments destroy societies. Because most ideas that are appealing to certain personalities don't work in practice long-term or even short-term. Marxist ideas are a good example. People have at least mostly learned to despise discredited right wing authoritarian ideas, but Marxism persists. Despite the 20th century's horrific body count resulting from the implementation of Marxist ideas, there are still people (neoMarxists) who believe such ideas can work. Such people are deluded enough to think that if they were personally in charge, given their superior moral character, Marxist ideas would work. Nope! Sorry folks. If it requires the initiation of force on otherwise peaceful people, it already doesn't work. The socialist calculation problem alone makes Marxism doomed to devastating inefficiency at any scale. Even the modest Marxism (socialism) that exists on the back of contemporary capitalist societies can't consistently stay in budget while maintaining adequate quality; the consequence is ever-growing public debt and persistent calls for more taxation. Marxism is a philosophy of resentment in the guise of compassion; it's much more about hate for the rich than empathy for the poor. Nietzsche recognized that and so was able to foresee the tragedies (body count) of implementing Marxist thought before it was even tried.

Here are two interesting Nietzsche quotes that are worth a read:

"In the doctrine of socialism there is hidden, rather badly, a will to negate life; the human beings or races that think up such a doctrine must be bungled. Indeed, I should wish that a few great experiments might prove that in a socialist society life negates itself, cuts off its own roots. The earth is large enough and man still sufficiently unexhausted; hence such a practical instruction and demonstration ad absurdum would not strike me as undesirable, even if it were gained and paid for with a tremendous expenditure of human lives."
"You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for equality: your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves in words of virtue. Aggrieved conceit, repressed envy--perhaps the conceit and envy of your fathers--erupt from you as a flame and as the frenzy of revenge."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra 1883

General incompetence and unconscious guilt makes utopian delusions such as Marxism just that...delusions. But the general lower conscientiousness of liberals as a group compared to conservatives, combined with their higher agreeableness in terms of compassion, makes them still favor lots of Marxist ideas, especially in the form of neoMarxism. It's not like anyone is pro-poverty, it's just that people have different ideas about the most realistic and peaceful ways to reduce it. Capitalism has and continues to raise more and more people out of poverty.

Different personalities have different utility. High openness people start companies (novelty) but high conscientiousness people run them (stability). So diversity in personality is useful for society. Although capitalism is no utopia, it does actually work well relative to its alternatives. And in fact, capitalism's alternatives aren't sustainable at all without riding the back of capitalism. Historically, capitalism has worked well for conscientious people. Capitalism has been more of a crapshoot for lower conscientious people. That plays into why the left favors government forced income redistribution to achieve homogeneity by inclusion. While some of the richest people are liberal due to creative entrepreneurial tendencies favoring large financial rewards, the conservatives don't favor wealth redistribution nearly as much since conscientious people as a whole tend to have more money and work harder for it. In any organization, the most conscientious people do the bulk of the work. In America, there are only three things a person has to be conscientious enough to do to stay out of poverty: 1 - Graduate from high school, 2 - Get married before having children, 3 - Get and keep a full-time job. The bar for conscientiousness, even in the flawed corporatist capitalist system of present day America, is not very high for those who want to live a life vastly better than almost all people in human history. However, as technology continues to advance, capitalism is finding less and less use for lower IQ people. And no amount of education can make low IQ high IQ. IQ has no correlation to morality but it does to economic usefulness.

Since my own personality is shaping this very blog post you are reading right now, it'd be informative if I let you in on my personality details. I've taken Big Five personality tests and the results haven't been surprising. I'm always extremely high in openness (intellectual novelty and creativity), medium high in conscientiousness, low in neuroticism (low in negative emotions), low in extroversion (I'm very introverted), and fairly low in agreeableness. Additionally, I'm high in IQ. IQ is a can of worms politically since science indicates that IQ is around 75% rooted in genetics. Even though I couldn't care less about special bodies in terms of genetics, it is worth noting that I've got a chunk of Ashkenazi Jew in my genes, which is one of the two highest IQ genetic groups, the other being East Asian.

Everyone who knows me knows my most defining characteristic is that I'm hyper creative and intellectually adventurous. There is zero correlation between grades and creativity. And for that reason I didn't go to Harvard lol. Dumb is dumb but there are many ways to be really smart. Creativity is my strong point. But creativity screws up measurement systems because things that can't be contained in a limited box can't be measured. I've taken IQ tests and I tend to run in the 130 range on culturally biased tests. I'm usually about 15 points higher and closer to around 150 on unbiased tests (tests that are visual rather than word oriented). I don't know how much I believe any IQ measurements though. Some days I feel quite smart, other days quite dumb lol.

Creativity is all I care about really. I don't even care about being smart other than that it helps in the implementation of creativity. Creating is the only activity that keeps me happy (other than forgiveness of course). But creativity is a curse because it is very difficult to monetize most creativity. I'm intelligent enough that I could do most jobs in the world with some training. But many of the very well paid jobs and thus desirable jobs require a kind of seriousness that a highly creative mind can't muster consistently. For instance, you probably don't want a creative accountant or creative doctor lol. My creativity even gets in the way of me talking directly about ACIM; I'm usually creatively dancing around the course's ideas to present them in roundabout ways.

If you are not creative, be happy about that lol, because creativity has many downsides--especially for men since the option of being economically unproductive is less viable for men. Even a really good creative idea (novel and useful) still takes marketing and sales to result in profits. And since I'm also very introverted, sales and marketing are particularly unappealing activities for me. But I'm also quite conscientious and so I'm aware of just how impractical and risky it is for me to indulge in creativity. But I can't help it because the risk (financial instability) makes me much less discontent than the lack of freedom to create. I create all kinds of objectively pointless things that never see the light of day let alone ever generate income lol. But it's what I must do to stay consistently content. My books are creations but they are also compromises to make something somewhat marketable. The stuff I really like to create is not very marketable in any practical sense.

My political preferences reflect my personality well. People vote their temperament and the fact that I don't vote reflects mine. My politics are the golden rule. Which is best summed up in the political philosophy of voluntaryism. Voluntaryism is just ordered anarchism: anarchism ordered around the simple rule of no initiation of force (we should strive for all human interaction to be voluntary not coerced). Voluntaryism is full openness (liberalism) and conscientiousness (conservatism). The beauty of voluntaryism is that it lets people be free to limit themselves (sacrifice freedom for security) in whatever ways they want based on their personality long as they don't impose those limitations on others through force or threat of force. As far as I'm concerned, people are free to pursue whatever half-baked social ideas they want as long as I'm free to opt out, directly and from effects. The way I assess people's politics is very simple. If a person thinks he or she knows what is best for everyone and is willing to impose that upon everyone by force, then that person is dangerous (which constitutes most people and politicians thus making forgiving it all quite ubiquitous). Sorry, but if a person doesn't have it together enough to recognize the danger and immorality of government force in the hands of anyone, then that person sure doesn't have it together enough to know what is best for everyone. Understanding the golden rule in terms of politics is important going forward, because technology is moving the world in the direction of two main choices: techno voluntaryism or some variety of Orwell's 1984.

My spiritual preferences reflect my personality well too. My God is oneness. And as a super introvert, I'm not concerned about changing the world only changing my mind about the world through forgiveness.

Even though personality is a given in many ways, you don't want to be a slave to it. For example, prisons are filled with people with low agreeableness and low conscientiousness. Such people would do well to learn how to not be enslaved by their personalities. Low conscientiousness is one of the biggest trouble makers for people.

Since a lot of creative types who do things like write stories that turn into books and movies are low in conscientiousness, there is a common theme in stories where the writers glorify their own personality type. You know the typical story; the irresponsible free-spirit breaking the up-tight conscientious person out of his or her rigidity. The Shawshank Redemption is pretty much my favorite movie partly because it flips around that typical counterproductive and unrealistic story. The Shawshank Redemption glorifies conscientiousness combined with IQ and openness; plus it is anti-authoritarian.

Although, at my core, I'm fairly low in agreeableness, I nonetheless have learned through life how to be polite, kind, and to champion shared interests. And even though I'm very introverted, I can be extroverted if there is a good reason to be. I just can't maintain extroversion very long without becoming drained; I liken it to trying to drive fast in low gear. Also, even though I'm fairly high in conscientiousness, my openness and my IQ make me very anti-authoritarian (anti-initiation of force).

Are you starting to appreciate this personality stuff? Understanding personality is great for forgiveness because it helps keep you from falling prey to the first law of chaos. The world would not be a better place if everyone had my personality and neither would it if everyone had your personality. For one, if everyone was like me there'd basically be no economy lol. Not only do I have very few material wants, I don't want to take on the grueling tasks required to keep the world as it is running. More stuff (especially expensive and complex stuff) more potential problems. And the more rules added on top of that, the less interested I am in playing at all.

The world is complex; it does best when left to self organize so that the novelty builders and stability builders can constantly compete for efficiency. And that makes for a competence hierarchy, which is desirable if you want things to actually work! Competence is the kind of hierarchy we need in society. And much to the dismay of the neoMarxists, competence means accepting hierarchy, heterogeneity, gender differences, and competition. Civilized competition is cooperative because all who play must agree to the rules (namely the golden rule). And common rules are the domain of culture. Good luck interacting with people if you can't even communicate well enough to agree on the social rules. That's why I maintain that things like racism are mostly a phantom compared to culturism. Everyone is a culturist out of necessity due first and foremost to language. Difference in culture is the main thing that fosters division. And culture at the end of a gun by way of government just fosters even more division. Cultural diversity just makes Towers of Babel. It's chaotic enough that we all have different personalities. Realistically, we need enough commonality in any given society so we can at least communicate clearly enough to agree on the rules. If you can understand the game you can get along without understanding the other players.

And, of course, the real game is true forgiveness. True forgiveness is about taking full responsibility for everything you perceive. The reward for taking on that responsibility is healing the mind and thus awakening. ACIM isn't about changing behavior and so it isn't about changing your personality anymore than it is about changing your skin color or height. Those things are all part of your class curriculum. Who you choose as your teacher, ego or Spirit, is what matters. Spirit has an antidote for all personality pathologies, which help facilitate the Characteristics of God's (advanced) Teachers (M-4).

So anyway, forgive when you see people trying to impose their own personalities on others and on things like ACIM. Just like voting, people worship their temperament. So you can find all kinds of formulations of ACIM that appeal to different temperaments. There is no universal personality only a universal experience.
"A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure." (M-1.1:1-3)
(Note that for those who have read book four in the Undreaming Chronicles, Forgiving the Human Robot, bio-survival relates to extroversion and neuroticism. Emotion relates to agreeableness. Intellect is related to IQ. And morality relates to conscientiousness and openness.)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Forgiving the Fake Gun Control Debate

I've been wanting to write an article on forgiving the subject of guns for awhile but I've stopped every time I've started. That's because I've learned from experience that portraying guns as innocent leads to getting grief from a lot of people. Because, of course, everyone knows that it's not spiritual not to hate guns (that's a joke by the way). Really, that's just politics not spirituality. Politics is the realm of perception not reality. In the past, whenever I've brought up the gun subject and not projected guilt on guns I've gotten three main responses. One goes something like, "Unlike you savages in America we got rid of most guns where I live and everything is great, Americans should do the same." The second goes something like, "You must not be very spiritual if you don't hate guns." And the third goes something like, "Spiritual people don't need defenses like guns to protect the body because defenses are born of fear of God."

Of course, I have counter arguments to those points. For instance, to the third point I'd say that I agree but until I've reached the point where I don't defend against dehydration by drinking water, or defend against being burned by not directly touching hot things, I'm just going to concentrate on forgiveness rather than what comes after. Nonetheless, rarely am I in the mood to waste time arguing anyway, especially online. Sometimes it's a little fun to argue just to see if I can make a person who prides him or herself as being very spiritual to start projecting guilt on me. But that's not very often.

Forgiving is pretty much impossible to do in any authentic way for as long as you hold on to the ego mindset of "my side is right and innocent and your side is wrong and guilty." The first law of chaos is that the truth is different for everyone in this universe. Once you learn to not fall prey to your own subjective preferences as objective truths, you make a giant step forward in the ability to consistently and easily practice true forgiveness. That doesn't mean you can't hold firm to simple things like 3-2=1 as truth or the Golden Rule. But the stuff people tend to argue about are not as universal and cut and dry as 3-2=1.

I kind of hated guns when I was a kid, just because I was afraid of them. I was taught to be afraid of them. But once I got older and spent some time around guns owned by people I trusted, I lost that fear. Guns found a place in my mind similar to power tools, kitchen knives, and driving cars, all of which come with dangers and advantages. Life in general comes with risk. Consequently, as I got older, guns lost their specialness in my mind and blended in with the long list of risks in life.

But anyway, instead of writing my own piece on forgiving guns, Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams already wrote an article that does just about as good of a job of making the case for forgiving guns, and in particular forgiving the gun debate, as I could have myself. So I'm just going to present that below in italics. It's all about getting past the first law of chaos. In the secular forgiveness language of Scott Adams he calls getting past the first law of chaos the "Persuasion Filter." So read what Scott Adams said and then you can read my final comment on the matter at the end.

The Fake Gun Control Debate 
The most common view of the gun debate in the United States is that one side is sensible and factual — and quite attractive — while the other side is a pile of meat that has been sitting in the sun too long. The main source of disagreement about guns has been narrowed-down to this key question: “Which side is the rotting meat side?” But I think most people agree on the big picture — that one side is completely batsh*t crazy while the other team is brilliant, well-informed, and inexplicably sexy. You’re lucky you’re on the good team! Pity the people on the other side. Losers!  
But that’s not how the Persuasion Filter sees it. The Persuasion Filter sees nothing remotely like rational debate happening on either side. The persuasion filter sees individuals with different risk profiles favoring policies they feel will keep them safer even if it makes someone else less safe.
If you’re new to the concept of the Persuasion Filter, I use the term to explain how a person trained in the art of persuasion sees the world. The main distinction is that trained persuaders see humans as fundamentally irrational, yet hardwired at birth to believe we have common sense.  
The Persuasion Filter describes a world in which no one involved in the gun debate, on either side, is engaged in honest, rational debate. But we sure FEEL as if we’re being honest and rational. And therefore, logically, if the folks on the other side of the issue don’t see things the same way, they must be lying, hallucinating, stupid, or mentally ill. But they sure can’t be thinking as smartly as we are. If they were, they’d be agreeing with us so hard it would hurt. If you look at the gun debate through the Persuasion Filter, you see people who are pursuing their own self-interest as they see it at the expense of other people. But humans can’t say that directly. To do so would make us appear to be bad people in the eyes of society.
For example, anti-gun people know that some people would be safer with guns in the house for self-defense. I know a single mom with two teenage daughters who gunned-down a documented sex offender who broke into her home in the middle of the night. No charges were filed. She was safer with a gun, and she knew it. That’s why she had one. So the anti-gun folks (the most extreme of them anyway) would accept a world in which my friend and her daughters were sexually assaulted in their own home so long as it makes their own risk a bit lower. But they can’t say that. So instead, they point to England and say whatever works there would totally work here. That might be true. But it isn’t rational. There are too many differences to be confident we’d have the same outcome. 
Many pro-gun folks feel safer owning guns. Or they might simply enjoy guns for sporting purposes. They might also prefer gun ownership to lower the risk of a despot taking over, or simply because gun ownership is a freedom granted in the Constitution. But the unspoken part of those preferences includes the knowledge that some number of innocent people, including children, will die because of current gun laws. To be fair, guns will save some people as well. But no doubt about it, some innocent people will die whenever guns are easy to obtain.
We humans can’t say aloud that we prefer our position on guns (either pro or con) even though we know that getting our way will mean certain death to innocent people. So instead, we concoct irrational arguments about how places such as Chicago or Tokyo tell us all we need to know about the effectiveness of gun control. They don’t. 
Personally, I judge my gun risk to be similar to that of my friend who shot the sex offender in her house. As a public figure, my risk is higher than average. So if I want a right to own a gun for self-defense, I have to accept the fact that innocent people will die should the laws of the land go my way. 
One of the reasons I respect advocates on both sides of the gun debate is that we live in a political system that allows (and maybe encourages) people to vote for their self-interest, as they see it, even if the outcome would lead to the death of other citizens. I would prefer an option in which no one ever dies for the preferences of others, but for some types of political decisions, people will die no matter which direction you go. And that means people will vote in a way that makes it less likely they will be the ones dying and more likely it will be some other class of people doing the dying. 
If you see a gun debate in which both sides claim their preferred laws would save lives, you’re watching a fake debate. A real debate would sound more like this: 
Honest Pro-gun argument: “I realize the right to own guns will result in the death of thousands of innocent people. But owning a gun lowers the risk for my family, in my opinion, because of my specific situation, and so I favor gun rights.”
Honest Anti-gun argument: “I realize that some forms of gun control could result in the deaths of people who would otherwise be able to defend themselves, but I’m okay with that because my family’s risk would be lower if there were fewer guns in circulation.” 
Those are examples of honest opinions about guns. If you can’t say your preferred laws about guns are guaranteed to result in the deaths of innocent people — albeit different classes of people depending on the laws — you aren’t part of a real debate. You’re part of a fake debate that feels real. 
Personally, I’m pro-gun, with a preference for a national no-buy list. I believe my preferences, if they were the law of the land, would make me safer in my situation, while definitely leading to a greater risk of other people dying. I also accept the risk of people ending up on the no-buy list who shouldn’t be there. Some of those people might die because they can’t defend themselves, and I accept that tradeoff for purely selfish reasons because I think it is unlikely I would end up on the no-buy list. 
I also believe gun ownership makes the United States slightly more dictator-proof than it would otherwise be. Private gun owners stand no chance against a professional military, but they wouldn’t be facing a military. They would be kidnapping the family members of anyone involved in the dictator’s overthrow. While it would still be possible for a dictator to take control of the United States, that dictator would end up ruling a country that he or she wouldn’t want to live in. Gun owners would see to that. And that’s worth something. 
For more of my opinions on gun control, see my prior blog post on the topic in which I attempt to be rational but probably fail.

I pretty much agree with everything Scott Adams said in that article. And my personal stance on guns is this: all gun stances suck. The only surefire solution to guns would be worldwide sanity or perhaps some sort of fool proof anti-gun weapon or shield (maybe a sonic weapon that causes bullets to misfire rendering guns useless and dangerous to even have around?). When all stances suck my default preference is for whatever facilitates more freedom because I personally value freedom more than security. The gun debate is about keeping vulnerable bodies safe either by having guns or not having guns. I can lock my body in a safe room where the lock is controlled by me to be more secure, but I can't make my body more free if I'm locked safely in a cage and the lock is controlled by someone else (and since I'm talking to an ACIM audience, yes, I know that perhaps I could teleport out of the cage with mind power but forgiving comes first). That's why all laws beyond the Golden Rule tend to creep me out; they are attempts at locking groups of people safely in the same cage instead of people controlling their own safe cages. But those are just my subjective preferences.

I leave you with this quote from ACIM. Keep in mind that, in terms of defenses, being anti-gun and wanting to use the guns of government (political action is a weapon) to protect against the guns of individuals is the same as being pro-gun and wanting to have guns as individual to defend against other individuals and governments.

"You make what you defend against,
and by your own defense against it is it real and inescapable.
Lay down your arms, and only then do you perceive it false." (Lesson 170)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Predicting the Future and Forgiving Loser Scripts

Seeing into the future is a major hobby of mine. I'm always on the lookout for people with a knack for forecasting the future because I know from experience that it is indeed possible to tune into information from the future. And having a heads-up about the future is fun and useful. Most predictors of the future are either sub-par psychics or completely full of it. The least believable predictors tend to be the people who claim to have time traveled. Apex TV on Youtube is a good place to go to find phony time travel stories. With time travelers, you'd expect them to have some sort of extraordinary evidence or something to say outside the realm of what one could find in contemporary science fiction, but they rarely do. And the time travelers conveniently have the excuse that they have to be vague to prevent time feedback distortions. That could be true but it ruins the ability to test authenticity.

Over the years, I've weeded out two people who predict the future that I find consistently believable and sufficiently accurate. And I consider those two people my favorite future forecasters.

The first of my two favorite forecasters of the future is the economist Martin Armstrong who forecasts the future based on a computer model he developed called the Economic Confidence Model. The Economic Confidence Model maps cycles of human psychology and behavior as well as other things. Not only is Martin Armstrong's model very interesting and accurate, but his life story involving the model is very interesting. Armstrong had a standoff with the U.S. government over his model that led to him being held in prison for many years simply on contempt of court. A documentary was made about it all and supposedly a Hollywood movie is also in the works about it. Here is a trailer for the documentary about Armstrong.

My other favorite forecaster of the future is Clif High. Back in the 1990s, Clif High started developing a computer system called the Web Bot that mulls through language being used on the internet looking for anomalous words. Clif High's system is based on the idea that all people are psychic and their psychic abilities come out in the words they use. Clif High calls his system Predictive Linguistics. Over the years, Clif High's Web Bot has been refined to become better and better. But in recent history, due to certain parties gaming the Web Bot and thus corrupting some of its output, Clif High has tuned his system to forecast the emerging realm of crypto-currencies. Clif's Web Bot is open to interpretation and Clif's interpretation is usually more hyperbolic than what actually occurs.

Now, even though those two are pretty much my go-to future forecasters, I also enjoy the predictions of others. For example, the future forecasts of the team of Arten and Pursah (Gary Renard) are part of my arsenal of predicting the future. Arten and Pursah are obviously the most insightful when it comes to spirituality. But over the years I've found the predictions of Armstrong and Clif High much more useful than Arten and Pursah. Conversely, I haven't found Armstrong to be very insightful in terms of spirituality, he's good at philosophy though. Clif High on the other hand is quite insightful in the realm of spirituality, but he is still often too dualistic.

When predictions from multiple sources overlap, that's when I start to pay the most attention. And when I really start to pay attention is when predictions not only overlap but are at odds with the ego preferences of the people making the predictions. For that reason, I never take any prognosticator seriously until I know some things about the person, especially his or her political preferences. Because it's a big red flag if politics and predictions overlap too much.

The fact that the predictions of Armstrong and Clif High come from computers rather than their own psychic abilities helps keep their egos from tainting the forecasts too much. That's probably the main reason why they are my favorites, their predictions are computer predictions rather than ego predictions.

Although the script is written and thus so is the future, the script is multiple choice. For that reason, I reject predictions of "loser scripts" no matter who makes them. Loser scripts are predictions of negative preventable things. After all, if something undesirable can be predicted it should usually be avoidable. I accept the necessity of some creative destruction now and then but that's just because destruction that is beneficial is still a winner script.

Back before I got into ACIM, I was a big fan of the writer Robert Anton Wilson who died in 2007. Robert Anton Wilson taught that you should think of the world as a conspiracy not run by others but run by you and your friends, because that's a winner script. If you don't do that, you're living a loser script.

Back when I read The Disappearance of the Universe over thirteen years ago and I read the part about the nuclear terror attack, my reaction was, "Um, okay, yeah, I think I'm going to pass on that future."  Fast forward to the present time and I was pleased when I read pages 109-110 in Gary Renard's new book, The Lifetimes When Jesus and Buddha Knew Each Other. Gary mentions how Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is no longer around to facilitate the predicted nuclear terror attack. That's because the forgiveness homework necessary to avoid that particular scenario was completed.

That's an example of why, to all loser scripts I say, "F that!" And by F I of course mean Forgive lol. The winner scripts though, I embrace. The main winner script on the level of form that I'm still trying to forgive my way to is the "free energy technology" script. Clif High's data consistently indicates the possibility of free energy technology and the possibility of free energy is also mentioned on page 69 in Love Has Forgotten No One. Free energy would put an end to one of the biggest loser scripts out there currently: the global warming loser script. As many people are aware, I'm not a fan of the global warming loser script. I'll take a pass on that script if I can thank you lol.

The biggest loser scripts are where people tie their ego identities to being right about something negative so they can project guilt and say I told you so or so they can scare people into doing things like opening up their wallets; they are recipes for failure since failure in those instances has a big ego appeal. Global warming fits that perfectly. Another formula for loser scripts is that they often require collective agreement for success and so often also call for force. Global warming fits that perfectly too when the solution to it is presumed to be political. Politics in general is for losers lol (the default hobby of the lazy guilt projector). Winners just go out and do stuff voluntarily, they don't let government and the collective get in their way nor do they use government force to get their way. The global warming winners are out there working on things like new energy, while the guilt projecting losers are sitting around doing things like bitching about Trump lol. The same is true with a subject like net neutrality. The losers bitch about the need for government guns to regulate the internet while the winners are out trying to make a true free internet free of all censorship including the inherent censorship of net neutrality. An example of the free internet approach by winners is the Substratum project.

Fortunately, there are many winner scripts possible in this universe to avoid loser scripts. For instance, free energy is one way the global warming disaster could be averted. But there are many other possible ways too. Martin Armstrong's computer model predicts a cooling period imminent due to things like less solar output. So, for instance, a prolonged sun energy output minimum could usher in a mini ice age canceling out any significant global warming for many decades making global warming a godsend and giving time for technology to advance to remedy global warming. Or, an invention like a cheap, efficient air scrubber could make the global warming loser script dead. Or even new science revealing that earth has more natural mechanisms for controlling CO2 than previously known could kill it. Any of those things would be just fine by me, because I'd rather be happy than right about predicted disaster.

Happy instead of right is the formula for winner scripts. Because the ultimate winner script is of course forgiving everything and being done with the illusory ego universe. Forgiving is the winner script. When you forgive you are always winning. Because if you are confident you are on the way out, you are happy to accept whatever is in the script as the winning script.

In my own life, I almost always bet on optimism when possible. But I don't go all in on optimism; I also hedge for some pessimism. In other words, I bet on winner scripts but hedge for the occasional loser scripts on the level of form. That way I can be happy instead of always having to be right. Because I don't know what is best in the big picture on the level of form. Sure, I miss out on some of the maximum gains of going all in on optimistic winner scripts, but I also spare myself the maximum losses or lack of gains of potential loser scripts. And above all, regardless of how the script looks on the level of form, I'm able to see it as being part of the ultimate winner script of forgiveness.

As an example, I don't participate in the loser game of partisan politics. I'm a voluntaryist. The Golden Rule is the only law for me. Consequently, I have no respect for the left or the right. Government is just a game of people fighting over who controls the force of government and who is subject to it. It's a losers game. But the reality is that government is currently a part of this world. So, I just try my best to have nothing to do with government and forgive when I can't avoid it. So, for me, when Obama was elected president I thought cool, this is obviously the best thing possible for the winner script. Then, when Trump was elected, I again thought cool, this is obviously the best thing possible for the winner script. I see a difference in form between the two but see no difference in facilitating the winner script. Because, you see, when you aren't lusting over control of the guns of government and not making yourself vulnerable to them, you really don't care what government and politicians do. You're just glad there are two sides of maniacs peddling delusional ideas about what's best for everyone so neither group of maniacs ever really wins full control of the guns they are fighting over.

The only one size fits all in this universe is forgiveness. And since forgiveness is something only you can do, you don't need to worry if other people don't forgive. If you are forgiving you are winning. Forgiving is the winner script and it can also come with the advantage of facilitating winner scripts on the level of form too.

As A Course in Miracles says:
The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains. It appears at first glance that to believe such power about yourself is arrogant, but that is not the real reason you do not believe it. You prefer to believe that your thoughts cannot exert real influence because you are actually afraid of them.
I personally don't care about moving mountains; it hasn't ever been an important task for me. Nor have I ever seen anyone perform the feat of moving mountains without explosives. But I'm sure I and others do move mountains all the time as we weave our way through the forgiveness script. When time collapses and we shift into new variations of the script, many things change (past, present, future), but we are usually completely blind to those things. Nonetheless, with faith in forgiveness as the ultimate winner script, you can always rest assured that no matter what happens you are living the ultimate winner script in the big picture.

So, be wary of loser scripts. Loser scripts are at best cautionary tales. At worst, loser scripts are self-fulfilling prophecies of doom. Forgiveness is the antidote to loser scripts. Would you rather be happy or right? Winner scripts always choose happy and thus often end up both happy and right.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Forgiving Cognitive Dissonance, Hysteria, and Trump

After doing a quick first read of Gary Renard's new book, I posted on Facebook that I thought it was great but that it had been unnecessarily tainted by one pointless thing. That thing taints a lot of stuff. Gary himself admits he hasn't forgiven that thing yet (which I believe lol). So, even though Gary's new book prompted me to feel the need to explicitly address this topic, it's a universal enough issue that there is no point in just picking on Gary.

Have any guesses about what that thing that tainted Gary's book is? Well, rather than leaving you hanging, I'll cut to the chase. The thing Gary let taint his new book was partisan politics and more specifically Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). TDS is the kind of thing you only notice if you aren't suffering from the syndrome yourself. The main TDS displayed in the book comes on page 178 where the book manages to alienate about 63 million Americans lol and potentially feed unforgiveness in about 67 million.

Although my sentiment on this matter is reflected in the above meme that I made to accompany this blog post, I'm going to take a stab at it anyway and play my role in the "forgiveness script." Since I'm a political atheist with no discernible ego attachment to partisan politics, I have the rare qualification of being able to look at politics much more objectively than most people. And my actions match my words. I've never voted and hope I never do. What I want is just about always so far from even an option that it's beneath my dignity to vote. Given the quality of voting options, if it ever reached the point where I felt like I should vote, I'd forget about voting and start packing. Because if things ever get that close to disaster, I'm not sticking around to see which way the pendulum swings.

I don't know what all goes on in people's personal lives that needs forgiving but I do know that most people have a lot of forgiveness work to do when it comes to politics. And that includes most A Course in Miracles people, both students and teachers. For example, most of the stuff I've seen from the course community on forgiving Trump has been so lame lol; it's been so tainted by ego commitment to partisanship that to any somewhat objective observer (above the political battlefield) the lack of self-awareness has often been stunning.

In my main books, The Universe Is a Dream and The Universe Is Virtual, I made it a point not to mention politics other than as a brief example of duality. And in the other books I've written I've only talked about politics to disarm politics and reveal the dualistic nonsense at the core of politics and government in general. Me not getting involved in partisan politics is easy since I'm a political atheist. Not only do I not believe in the different sides in politics, I don't accept the thing the sides are always fighting over: government force.

If you are a fan of my stuff, Gary Renard's stuff, and A Course in Miracles, you probably agree that the universe is a vast hallucination. Another way to put it is that the entire universe is nothing but a mass hysteria. A mass hysteria is a collective illusion of a threat, whether real or imaginary, spread through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear (memory acknowledgment). One famous mass hysteria that Gary happens to mention briefly and conveniently in his new book was the Salem witch trials. But the universe is the most famous mass hysteria. It's just that few people have recognized the universe as the mass hysteria it is yet.

The rumor that oneness was destroyed and God was out to get us was projected outward as the hallucination we currently call the universe. The universe is the ultimate mass hysteria. The tricky thing about mass hysterias is that if you are in one and infected by one you don't realize it. People literally hallucinate whatever it takes to maintain the hysteria, which means hallucinating evidence for the hysteria. The whole universe is an hallucination set up to present a constant stream of false evidence to maintain the hallucination. Naturally (or technically unnaturally), since the universe is fractal (holographic), mass hysterias manifest at all levels and scales of the larger hysteria.

The seed of all scales of hysteria is the same: cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and thoughts. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, or thoughts to reduce the discomfort and restore balance. Cognitive dissonance is the nature of dualistic thinking. A cognitive dissonance example is, God is love and God made the universe. Most ACIM people are well aware of the variety of religious craziness that has been invented to rationalize contradictions like that one. Religion is a treasure trove of cognitive dissonance and so is politics. That's why religion and politics are pretty much the two most dangerous subjects to talk about lol. Because when discussing such topics outside the bubble of those who share the same basic delusions, such discussions start exposing cognitive dissonance. In other words, egos become threatened.

Many are probably aware of Aesop's fable The Fox and the Grapes. That fable is about cognitive dissonance.

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked "Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes." People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.

In that story, it is possible the grapes really were sour. And if the fox had got one grape and found it was sour then it would have been justifiable to leave the other grapes. But making up a story to dismiss the grapes as sour is cognitive dissonance at work. The fox wanted the grapes but the reality was that the fox could not get them. This is how the ego preserves itself. The ego hallucinates justifications to preserve the ego. For instance, treating oneness as unobtainable leads to all kinds of sour grapes dismissals of God.

The ego can't exist without cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance requires hallucinating a justification to maintain inner conflict. Ego is the essence of inner conflict. Therefore, ego preservation requires hallucinating a reality that does not exist. That's what this universe is after all. And that's also why no two people see the world the same. That's the first law of chaos, the truth is different for everyone. For us to all recognize that we are all the same we have to see the world objectively as it really is: illusory. To do that requires true forgiveness. Forgiveness is the ego eradicator because it is the cognitive dissonance eradicator.

Cognitive dissonance leads to confirmation bias and projection. Confirmation bias and projection are major tells for cognitive dissonance and general hysteria. If you look at A Course in Miracles with the concept of cognitive dissonance in mind, you will see how much of the course is about teaching people how to remedy cognitive dissonance. Although the word dissonance isn't in the course, look for words like contradiction, contrary, and contrast in the course sometime, they're almost everywhere.

"If Heaven exists there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive, and what we think is real." (W.138.1.3)

Now let me pause for a moment and ask you a question before I continue. Are you with me so far on this cognitive dissonance idea and how it relates to hysteria? If you are, pay close attention to what happens next in your mind. Because I know a good percentage of those who read this will have a lot of resistance and want to defend against what I say next as full ego preservation mode kicks in lol.

Currently, about half the United States and even people in other parts of the world are in a mass hysteria. This particular mass hysteria started with the 2016 United States presidential election cycle. But the mass hysteria didn't go into full force until November 8th of 2016.

For those who have been caught up in the current mass hysteria, I've consistently recommended following Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams to help forgive the hysteria away. Even though Adams doesn't seem to consciously realize it, he's helping teach people how to forgive in a round-about secular way. And so, rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm going to borrow some work Scott Adams already did and present it here in italics to progress my point.

On November 8th of 2016, a trigger event for cognitive dissonance occurred. Half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all minds work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their EGOS intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today: Russia and racists.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events. 

Nonetheless, a lot of the same people who didn't have cognitive dissonance when Trump was elected did have some when Obama was elected. In 2008, there was just enough evidence to make it seem like a Muslim Kenyan socialist was somehow elected. Trump himself even played a big role in trying to prove the Kenyan part. Remember when the Obama birth certificate was produced? The left said, "see, proof!" But the right said, "Photoshop forgery!" (Incidentally, Trump pulled the same birth certificate stunt on Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries.)

All sides in politics have their own hysterias. Politics is hysteria. The self-blindness required to get caught up in partisan politics to begin with requires a strong will for ego preservation. So, don't think that just because I'm picking on the left about the current hysteria that I am not well aware of plenty of hysteria from the right. These days hysteria can spread fast, far, and wide thanks to social media. But hysteria can also be squashed quicker than ever thanks to social media. Nonetheless, squashing the current left-wing hysteria has been nearly impossible since the mainstream media and the government has been fueling it to make it extra pervasive.

Those who are in the current mass hysteria have been constantly looking for evidence to support the two main defenses keeping the hysteria going: Russia and racists. Looking for evidence to tame cognitive dissonance is a recipe for confirmation bias. That's why ratings are up for news and shows that are feeding the mass hysteria with confirmation bias. Those in the hysteria are trying to preserve their egos after all. They'd rather be right than happy.

And conveniently for the ego, there has been enough evidence to feed plenty of confirmation bias. There is just enough Russia stuff to keep the Russia hysteria from dying out. And there is just enough racism around to keep the racism hysteria from dying out.

For example, one such piece of evidence to fuel the racism hysteria occurred over the summer in Charlottesville, Virginia. A handful of KKK and Nazi types from around the country got together with some mostly normal people who just like old decorations. The national media managed to capture great images showing the KKK and Nazi types carrying torches. The next day, opposing forces showed up. Some minor fighting ensued. Then after one person decided to snap and a person got killed, that was it.

Well, that was it until Trump bestowed a great gift from the ego gods by making a politically imprecise statement condemning both sides in the fighting. Those in the hysteria bubble immediately jumped on that statement as proof-positive Trump is a damned racist. Trump later clarified by condemning the racists, but to those in the hysteria it was meaningless words.

The tricky part with the Charlottesville incident is that any interpretation of what happened could be confirmation bias. But ask yourself which one of these versions sounds less crazy:

1. A sitting president, who is a branding expert, thought it would be a good idea to go easy on murderous Nazis as a way to improve his popularity.
2. The country elected a racist leader who is winking to the KKK and White Supremacists that they have a free pass to start a race war now.
3. A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) who is only filthy rich because he started out rich eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.
4. The guy who didn’t offer to be your moral leader didn’t offer any moral leadership, just law and order, applied equally. His critics cleverly and predictably framed it as being soft on Nazis.

I know what sounds most reasonable to me.

And just like with racism, there has been just enough evidence to keep the Russia hysteria alive too. Just in the last few weeks there have been major news blunders caused by people stuck in the Russia hysteria hallucinating evidence to support their guilt projection fantasies. There was the Brian Ross ABC fail. And the CNN "September 4" rather than 14 hallucination. After no good evidence of Russian collusion with Trump is found, the next phase of the Russia hysteria will likely be trying to prove some sort of conspiracy. In other words, to keep the hysteria alive Trump will be accused of thought crimes. And evidence for Trump thought crimes will come by manipulating people to testify against Trump. Conspiracy is what the government resorts to when it wants to convict someone despite the evidence showing innocence.

One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.

Compare that to the idea that our president is a Russian puppet. Or that the country accidentally elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis are “fine people.” Or that the country "purposefully" elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis are “fine people.” Crazy stuff.

If you think those examples don’t sound crazy — regardless of the reality — you are probably inside the mass hysteria bubble.

In recent history, I have made it a point to those close enough to listen that I won't waste my time discussing/debating with anyone who resorts to ad hominem attacks. Ad hominem attack is a fancy way of saying attacking the person instead of the person's arguments and position. The simplest and most common form of ad hominem is name calling. Legitimate debate is a logic game not a guilt projection game. Whenever anyone reverts to ad hominem with me I either end it right there without another word or explicitly say, "Ad hominem attack, you're disqualified, I win, the end!" Ad hominem is a symptom of cognitive dissonance, because it is really just plain old guilt projection. Guilt projection is a great persuasion technique but not a truth finding technique. And so, guilt projection is great for maintaining cognitive dissonance, hysteria, and ego.

When people have actual reasons for disagreeing with you, they offer those reasons without hesitation. Strangers on social media will cheerfully check your facts, your logic, and your assumptions. But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own.

Now even though it's as clear as day to me that the left has been in a mass hysteria for over a year now, that doesn't mean there couldn't be something somewhat interesting that comes up with the Russia stuff (the stuff so far has been quite lame, just trumped up technicalities and set-ups). And that also doesn't mean that there aren't some racist people in the United States. But the passion and numbers of racists are quite low and even though there is the persistent delusion that only whites can be racist, there is racism in all races. Other than Russia and racists, sure Trump might do something notably dumb, but as long as Trump is dropping attention getting tweets instead of things like attention getting bombs, I'm not too worried.

Incidentally, can you imagine how ridiculous it would all be if we could see how many of the people still ranting about things like slavery, which occurred over 150 years ago, were the very people who owned slaves and supported slavery in previous lives? The hypocrisy of partisan politics is ridiculous enough. Add past life hypocrisy and we'd clearly see what nonsense it all is. It really is the loony bin.

The main truth of why Trump was elected president is quite simple to those outside of the hysterias. The people on the receiving end of years of lefty guilt projection fantasies, being called racist, sexist, homophobe, backwards, dumb, and so on just for having different opinions than the left, wanted to find as big of a middle finger as they could find to stick up to the left. Trump is that middle finger and he basically even brands himself as such by constantly pushing the buttons of his opponents. That's the main reason Trump was elected. He's a big middle finger not only to the left but also the republican establishment. If you ever wondered what the alt-right really is, it's nothing more than a giant middle finger to the establishment. People in the hysterias keep on trying to define alt-right as something organized and sinister, but other than a middle finger, it has no coherent philosophy or agenda.

If the best thing the left has to win people over is to call them things like racists and sexists for not being on their team, then the middle finger won't end with Trump. Similarly, if the best thing the republican establishment has to win people over is to simply act as a big government weak opposition to the left (as it has for decades), then the middle finger won't end with Trump.

Without Trump being the perfect middle finger and without the media trashing Ben Carson over some inaccuracies in his book, Ben Carson could have been president today. And he could have won both the popular vote and electoral vote. That would have been two black presidents in a row and the republicans would have claimed victory as having the even blacker president lol. And it would have been hilarious watching the republicans constantly accusing democrats of being racist for criticizing Carson just as the democrats did to those who criticized Obama. Republicans love black people who share their culture and values. That's because few people are really racist but everyone is a culturist. Most perceived racism is simply cultural preferences that overlap with race. For instance, I'm a culturist in the sense that I have a preference for people who like ACIM and who speak the same language as me, English. That has nothing to do with racism although it's possible it could sometimes overlap with race. In that sense, if and when America starts to break apart, although it will seem to have some racial separation element, it will have more to do with ideological cultural separation.

Now let's take another pause. How are you doing? If you've stuck with me this far without having a total mental breakdown to preserve your political ego, there might be hope for you lol. The more persuasive I've been so far, the more crazy I've driven those suffering from acute cognitive dissonance.

Politics is a bunch of people fighting over control of the force of government so they can forcefully impose their subjective preferences on everyone else. In that sense, politics is the cognitive dissonance of force is bad but force is good when me and my team controls the force.

It is my current theory that there is a kind of political enlightenment that is inevitable for anyone who actually forgives politics. And for those who do forgive politics, their politics simply become the Golden Rule. That's why I decided long ago to become a Voluntaryist. Voluntaryism is the closest political stance to the Golden Rule that I have found. Like anything, you can find people in cognitive dissonance trying to trash voluntaryism and even the Golden Rule, but that's actually a good sign when looking for truth. You can find people in cognitive dissonance trying to trash ACIM too. The more persuasive something is the stronger the reaction from those in cognitive dissonance. Is voluntaryism idealistic? Sure, but without an ideal there's little hope to getting anywhere near it.

Voluntaryism is the belief that we should strive for all human interaction to be voluntary, never forced (non-aggression against non-aggressors). In other words, my political views are very simple: the Golden Rule, which ACIM itself says is the rule for appropriate behavior. The Golden Rule is self-enforcing because to violate it is to sow the seeds for one's own demise. If people were sane enough to adopt the Golden Rule as the supreme law of human life on the level of form, there would be no politics because government wouldn't even exist. But obviously, right now the simple Golden Rule world is not compatible with the ego script. That world would require mass political enlightenment. And so, I'm not concerned about changing any forms if the minds aren't ready.

When it comes to people's political ideas, I always just quickly run them through a simple formula. The formula asks:

Does this idea require using force and if so does that force come in the form of the initiation of force or the reaction to force? 

If the idea requires the initiation of force, I'm against it. If the idea requires the reaction to force (including threats of force), I might accept it. And if the idea requires no force, then I'm for it.

If an idea requires no force, it doesn't require government. If an idea requires only the reaction to force, then it may or may not require government.

To run the formula properly, you have to be honest enough to recognize the initiation of force. For instance, a lot of people would have a hard time accepting that taxation is a form of the initiation of force. But it clearly is if you want to stay out of political cognitive dissonance. Taxation is just a fancy form of theft. Now, even though ideally people would be sane enough to recognize that fact, I'd still be pleased if people at least sought more peaceful ways of organizing such theft. For example, a much more peaceful, efficient, and noninvasive way for the government to fund itself would be to spend new money into the system debt free (no interest) based on a percentage of GDP that would not be very inflationary. That still would not be perfect but it would be much less forceful than the current system. I have a pretty strong karmic link with the man who first popularized a variation of that idea, Jacob Coxey. Coxey was the inspiration for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. And my great grandfather beat Coxey in a Mayor election in 1933.

Another form of force is pollution. Over the years, humans got into the bad habit of socializing pollution. But pollution is a simple property rights issue whereby people must contain their own pollution to their own property without harming the property of others, including the air over their property and the water under it. But if property rights are so disrespected that taxation is acceptable in society, it only makes sense that pollution would be difficult to control. That's cognitive dissonance at work.

In general, I can find some things advocated by the democrats and republicans that compute with my formula in a positive way. But the little differences in belief in force are nothing compared to the big similarities of accepting the initiation of force. And so, without being identified with either side, I'm able too see the equal, petty, cognitive-dissonance-fueled self-interests of both sides. Look at immigration as a prime example. The left wants mass immigration because immigrants tend to vote left (big government). On the other hand, the right only wants carefully vetted immigrants because those immigrants are more likely to vote right (smaller government). That's also why democrats want to make it so people can vote without identification, but republicans don't. In both cases, there is no saintly altruism or evil racist agenda, just the petty self-interest of the parties wanting votes.

Overall, a subject like immigration is tricky because there are many pros and cons not just for the countries receiving immigrants but for the countries losing people. It's not beneficial for other countries if America is a brain drain for them or a tax payer drain. Just as it isn't beneficial for America if it lets people take advantage of it, whether through welfare or something like the Mariel boatlift of 1980. With the Mariel boatlift, Castro took advantage of America being soft; he emptied Cuban prisons and mental institutes and cleared the streets of bums and prostitutes by sending them into South Florida. The problems in South Florida that resulted in the 1980s from that event inspired things like Miami Vice and the movie Scarface (sick movie lol).

When I think about a complex subject like immigration, I have an easy time concluding that I have no clue what is best for everyone on the level of form. And any semi-sane, honest person would admit the same. I have a hard enough time figuring out what is best for myself on the level of form, let alone everyone lol. There have been many times in my life when I thought I was helping someone but the results were not helpful and times when I thought I might be being too much of a jerk but the results proved helpful. Don't be deceived by form!

America is a melting pot and the melting pot works as long as the people that come in assimilate. The uncomfortable truth about America is that discrimination is a key part of what has made it work. It's very simple, whoever was the last off the boat was discriminated against. That encouraged each group to speak English to get a job and blend in. But in recent history, even cultural discrimination has become unacceptable and that has predictably grown the divide in America, not closed it. It may not be pretty or politically palatable but discriminate to assimilate works for social cohesion. It's assimilate or separate. When in Rome...

Common language is the most important thing in any society and even accents cause problems. For that reason, the European Union is vulnerable to disunion for as long as it is without common language. Technology may be able to bridge the language gap, but we''ll see. In America, people talk about being part different ethnicities. For instance, my body is mostly Transylvanian Hungarian, German, French, English, Irish, Greek, Italian. You don't quite get people talking about that kind of multi-ethnic lineage in Europe due to the different languages.

Common government preference is also important. The two main choices when it comes to government is smaller or bigger rather than right or left since right and left can both be pro big government like they are currently. The bigger the government the more divide between right and left because the more force there is available to fight over.

If finding political beliefs that don't lead to cognitive dissonance sounds good to you, then you are probably well on your way to forgiving politics. If not, your commitment to cognitive dissonance will keep you stuck. Politics really is complex stuff. Figuring out the results of actions forced upon large groups of people is essentially impossible. Such things make for very complex nonlinear systems. There are just way too many variables. People almost always disagree and argue about nonlinear systems but agree about linear systems. In nonlinear systems, the best guesses are probabilistic rather than deterministic. In linear systems, there is no guessing needed. It's like the difference between calculating the next solar eclipse versus calculating the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere. One is straight forward, the other is a lot of guessing.

Cognitive dissonance feeds on trying to preserve the ego. And understanding cognitive dissonance is very helpful in learning how to forgive more easily. A thing I've started to promote after years of my own experience with forgiveness is something I've been calling "Kindergarten Forgiveness." I've found over the years that you can pretend to forgive all you want but with most things the first step to success is a willingness to change the story you told yourself to justify your unforgiveness. In other words, you have to be willing to stop preserving your ego with cognitive dissonance. It's okay to admit you don't really know about any given thing and thus it is okay to be neutral about it. If you aren't willing to do that you probably aren't willing to forgive. It is very simple and it doesn't even require understanding any advanced metaphysics. All the abstract talk about sin not being real because it is all just a dream is next to worthless if you aren't even willing to admit that any specific story you told yourself to justify unforgiveness might be a deluded dream that needs some reworking. Because I assure you that any story you hold in your mind to justify guilt is a faulty story. And that is very evident when it comes to politics.

I've found it very fascinating over the last few years how Trump has been able to drive so many people into full ego-preservation-mode while they simultaneously condemn Trump's ego. To talk about forgiving Trump in any authentic way you have to actually do so. Trump is the supreme ego lol. Donald Trump's minister when he was a kid was Norman Vincent Peale. Peale was best known for the power of positive thinking and was one of the most successful self-help authors in American history. Trump's ego was built on positive thinking. The left denigrates Trump's positive thinking by labeling it with pessimistic terms like malignant narcissism. But positive thinking is Trump's super power. Trump is a master at thinking to success; that's why he exaggerates to the extent of lying so much. Trump rains optimism on himself and those he sees as his friends. Trump rains pessimism on those he sees as his enemies. Not only is his ego huge, but his ego has huge impacts on the egos of others because his special love is extra special and his special hate is extra special.

There are two U.S. presidents with which I have a known karmic link. One is William McKinley and the other is Trump. When I was in middle school I had a teacher for all three years named Roy. I call him Roy in my mind to this day instead of his formal teacher name because of an incident I instigated one day when a friend of mine said to him "Hello Roy." The angry reaction from Roy to my friend for calling him by his first name at school was so ridiculous that I can't help but only call him Roy to this day lol. Roy was friends with Trump when they both attended the New York Military Academy high school. Roy was pretty much the poorest kid in the school and Trump the richest. Trump was very good to Roy through school. Trump even picked up Roy's bill so he could vacation with him. When Roy was still in college, Trump gave Roy a surprise visit and offered him a role in the new company he was forming. Since the timing wasn't right, Roy turned down the offer (foolishly retrospectively). In the years that followed, Trump became a famous big shot. Trump was even parodied (inaccurately) in one of my favorite movies, the Back to the Future Trilogy. Despite the fame and fortune, Trump still found time for Roy whenever Roy asked.

Over the years, I've naturally ever since linked Trump with my teacher Roy. Like Trump, Roy was a law and order kind of guy and he demanded a lot from his students. But just because Roy wasn't a passive pushover didn't mean he wasn't still a good, caring guy. Since Roy instilled in me a first person assessment of Trump that painted him as a good guy, I've always since looked at Trump the public personality as mostly just an act of trumped up New York salesmanship. And I still just look at Trump as a salesmanship act, because I still haven't found any sort of coherent political philosophy or vision in him lol.

Roy has written a few little books over the years; here is a very Trump blurb Trump did for one of them: “I thoroughly enjoyed reading Roy’s Soldier Boy. He brings back many memories of The New York Military Academy, and has done a fine job. Roy was always a winner, and nothing has changed.”

That little karmic link I've had with Trump by way of one of his high school friends has given me a little forgiveness advantage with Trump. Nonetheless, being someone who is a political atheist who doesn't believe in the initiation of force has been an even bigger advantage. Those two advantages are like a little nod from Spirit in the script that says, "play your role."

As a guy whose income is purposefully not high, who purposefully owns little, and whose ancestors have been in America since as early as the opening of the Northwest Territory, the vicissitudes of politics rarely have much impact on me. I try to stay as detached from government as I can. Sure, I can empathize with people who benefit from and depend upon things like Obamacare or DACA, but playing with government is Russian roulette. If your advantage comes at someone else's disadvantage things aren't voluntary (voluntary means win-win or no deal) and thus you may find the force you covet turned against you.

So anyway, I could go on and write a whole book on this subject matter if I cared about it more. But, for now, stay vigilant for cognitive dissonance and don't fall for it in others. A willingness to develop a knack for seeing through ego tricks by way of self-honesty is essential in the forgiveness game.

And finally, as homework, the more you dislike Trump the more important it is for you to start letting the view-point of Scott Adams into your life. If you want to forgive Trump you'll start watching his Periscopes and reading his blog. If not, face the fact that being right is more important to you than being happy and forgiving. Scott Adams is a smart, rational guy who calls himself an ultra-liberal, and who finds the idea that we are living in a virtual simulated universe quite probable. I like him and trust him. And he's the go-to guy for help in forgiving Trump in a successful way.

Running list of notable Trump Derangement Syndrome hysterias since posting this December of 2017:

  • Fire and Fury book hysteria
  • Nuclear button hysteria
  • Shithole hysteria
  • Trump insane hysteria
  • FISA Memo Trump obstructing witch hunt hysteria
  • Cambridge Analytica Facebook hysteria
  • MS13 "animals" hysteria
  • Children in cages hysteria. (Not to be confused with separating border-crossing parents and children, which was a legitimate concern. But the cages stuff was based on hyperbole and three main photos, all of which were false evidence.)
  • Putin more credible than U.S. intelligence hysteria