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 lol.

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) lol. 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 lol. 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 illusion...an 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!"

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.
or…
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.
or…
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.
or…
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. The next hysteria lining up to try to bring down Trump seems to be the growing sexual harassment/misconduct hysteria.

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 lol.

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 lol. 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 followed by French, German, and Irish. 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. https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays



Friday, May 19, 2017

Forgiving The Free-Range Debt-Slave Plantation Scam (The Tax/Debt/Money/Inflation Scam)

Although the news pretty much never covers this subject at all, it covers its symptoms constantly. Much of the whole world is set up as a free-range debt-slave plantation; it's basically the biggest scam going. Since this is a big, complex subject, you'll have to watch the hour and forty five minute video presentation at the end of this post (made in 2010) to get up-to-speed on the debt-slave plantation scam. The guy who made the video, Damon Vrabel, was vocal about exposing this whole scam several years ago. But after spending a few years at it, he gave up due to seeing no hope for snapping the populace out of its left vs. right stupor. So he disappeared from the web to forgive it all on his own. I came to the same conclusion as Damon Vrabel after being interested in this subject for a number of years. I wrote a book about the subject in 2008, Dissolving Dollars.

The basic formula of the free-range debt-slave system is that all money in the system is issued as debt plus interest. To pay the interest on the debt requires evermore debt. If all debt in the system were paid off one day, all money would cease to exist since it was borrowed into existence. Since governments are the only entities that never pay off debt and instead only grow it, national debts represent the base money supply of the system. This all sets up a pyramid scheme where real wealth created by the many on the bottom is siphoned off by those higher in the pyramid who are able to issue debt and collect interest on it. Money doesn't have to exist as debt but it makes for a great scam when it is.

In the U.S., the establishment Democrat and Republican parties both exist to keep the debt-slave plantation running. And each party has its own sleight of hand to keep the slaves focused on symptoms of the scam rather than the scam itself. The left portrays things like corporations, big business, and profit as the problem while the right portrays things like socialism and big government as the problem. That sleight of hand keeps the left and right fighting each other in a zombie stupor over symptoms of the scam instead of joining teams to tackle the scam itself. And so it is all a back and forth treating symptoms to keep the cause safely hidden. In the end, the battle between left and right is simply a battle between who pays more and who pays less to keep the scam going and sustainable; socialism (big government) works just as well as capitalism (big business) to keep the scam going. As long as at least half the slaves are sufficiently content at any given time, the system is safe.

Take a look at this pyramid. This summarizes the whole system. See how the incessant fighting between the left and the right just serves variations of the same one scam?


Although true forgiveness isn't an intellectual thing, it is often helpful to be knowledgeable about what you are forgiving. Without knowledge, you're likely to project guilt onto symptoms rather than causes. And so you'll try to fix the symptoms instead of the causes. No amount of forgiving solves anything if the solution requires letting go of the guilt that keeps you ignorant of the cause. The ultimate cause is mind of course. And since the world is a derivative of mind the problems of the world born of being unaware of worldly causes just represent the denial of accepting mind as the ultimate cause. When you know the cause of a problem you know the solution and so it is no longer a problem to be solved just resolved.

So, the whole point of urging everyone to sit down and really soak in the content of the video at the end of this post is so you can stop projecting guilt on symptoms and instead get to causes. Because it is easier to forgive a cause than chasing countless symptoms as separate things to forgive. Once you are cognizant enough to see the worldly cause, you can more easily bring it back to the ultimate cause: mind.

You should find it interesting how often Trump is mentioned in this 2010 video presentation. Even though Trump as a personality is the perfect face upon which to project the guilt of the system, his rhetoric is often a challenge to key aspects of the debt-slave plantation. The Democrats, Republican establishment (Neocons), and establishment media loath Trump. For as long as Trump lasts as president, how critically he is portrayed will be a barometer measuring how much he is caving in to the elite power structure (deep state) or instead threatening to disrupt it. The highest point in the media for Trump so far was when he bombed Syria, which pleased the power elite. And interestingly, the whole attempt to vilify Trump due to his friendliness with Russia is perfectly transparent when you understand the system. At the 1:03:00 mark of this presentation, it talks about how the different countries fit into the whole debt scam and how Russia is the big outlier that has tried to remain separate from the global scam. Also worth noting is that at the 1:21:00 mark, Bitcoin would be mentioned if the presentation were made today. Bitcoin and crypto-currencies are a non-political attempt at a solution for destroying the debt-slave plantation. And when the video mentions Hamilton versus Jefferson, especially at around the 1:30:00 mark, think about the recent weird popularity of the musical Hamilton contrasted with the recent constant vilification of Jefferson. It's embarrassing to see how manipulated people are by their left/right identifications into being puppets of the system. Left vs. right is a trick, the real option is between bigger more centralized control or smaller more decentralized freedom. The more centralized the control, the more force and the easier it is to maintain the debt-slave plantation scam.

Lots of news becomes a lot easier to forgive if you have the background explained in this video under your belt. So, stuff I cover in the future will refer back to this. To me, I forgive all this fairly easily by realizing that the system as a whole exploits people's egos. Even most people high in the pyramid don't really understand the structure. The structure is relatively automatic due to how well it caters to and exploits people's egos. So I see no difference between the lowly dupes that blindly sustain the system and those who run the system. Because the same ego dynamic is working on all levels. Yes, the system could change if people woke up but I'm personally not going to bang my head against the wall trying to wake people up. As long as force is acceptable to people in society, especially in the form of government, some people are going to exploit that force to set up scams.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Forgiving Debate: Ad Hominem = You Lose!

As the first post on Forgiving the News, I want to talk about the subject of debate. Because news often leads to debate and the debate is often where the forgiveness opportunity shows itself.

As I say on page 164 of The Universe Is a Dream, debating on the internet is usually a waste of time. I usually only engage in it when I'm trying to formulate a position and thus refine an argument. Being good at forgiveness beats being good at debate. But debate is nonetheless a very useful thing. And in fact, proper debate and forgiveness actually go hand in hand. The only problem is that few people have the discipline for proper debate. 

Debate is a kind of logic competition through which one can strengthen an argument or at least discover its indefensible weaknesses. But for debate to be useful you have to be debating with people who are knowledgeable and don't slip into logical fallacies. Although there are about a dozen major logical fallacies that corrupt debate (which I list at the end of this post), ad hominem is the most problematic and pertinent to forgiveness. Therefore, ad hominem is the focus of this post. Ad hominem is when a debate turns into an attack directed against a person rather than the position the person is maintaining. Rule number one in a debate, especially an internet debate, is to end it when ad hominem starts. When ad hominem starts, it is no longer about logic and finding truth but about projecting guilt. He who resorts to ad hominem first loses the argument by default.

Ad hominem is like the equivalent of trying to build a building and basing the structural integrity of the building on painting its component parts red because red seems like a strong color lol. Ad hominem works to make it seem like an argument is taking place but it's actually an emotional appeal and not logic. I have no qualms challenging positions and beliefs when I'm willing to logically debate my position. But I know not to attack people personally, only their arguments. Because even if a person's position has some sort of flaw due to a personality trait or mental defect, the position can nonetheless be ripped apart without resorting to ad hominem. That's rule one in proper debate and also how you can debate while simultaneously practicing forgiveness (not project).

Political debate is usually almost totally ad hominem. Ad hominem manipulates people's emotions and it works because most people are way more emotional than logical. It's almost impossible for political debate to not be mostly about emotion, because politics is about who gets to control the guns (force) of government and where to aim those guns (force). If logic were running the show, everyone would point out how stupid it is that anyone at all should control the guns and be aiming those guns at anyone... other than at the kinds of jerks that aim guns and coerce people. That's how I think and that's why I'm a political atheist. So, to me most political debates are the same regardless of the political affiliation of those attempting to debate. The debate is basically: my team should control the guns and where they are aimed because my team is good and the other teams is bad. It is just mindless emotional projection and all about persuasion rather than logic.

I expect ad hominem in politics, but even science resorts to ad hominem. If you know something to be true scientifically, you are guaranteed to win any debate that doesn't resort to logical fallacy. But when the science isn't as sound as it pretends to be, ad hominem often results. For instance, science has a long history of using ad hominem on people who point to quantum mechanics to argue against physical realism.

Another example of an area where science often resorts to ad hominem is anthropogenic global warming. In case you haven't heard, the science on anthropogenic global warming is settled, it's real, it's a big problem, and those who think differently should be at the "Hague with all the other war criminals." With such a strong position, you'd think science could mop the floor in a debate with any dissenting scientist or anyone else. Well, the reality is that science currently can't, but it can politicize the science and resort to ad hominem (and other logic fallacies) to shut up dissent. The most common ad hominem is that warming dissenters are just in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. And the most common ad hominem rebuttal is that most regular scientists are in the pockets of governments and institutions that would benefit in both money and power from offering solutions to a climate scare. Yet, regardless of ulterior motives, if science knew the truth it would be able to crush any dissent in legitimate debate. But science only pretends to have that ability by discouraging and eliminating dissent through various forms of ostracization. As a result, the most vocal climate skeptic scientists are usually older and or retired scientists with less to lose: dissenters like Dr. Judith Curry and the now late Dr. William M. Gray. Such people are very smart, informed people, yet they find ample room for doubt in the supposedly settled science of anthropogenic global warming.

As a non-climate scientist, most cases put forth by scientists for and against anthropogenic global warming seem legit to me when presented on their own in isolation. In isolation, I'm blind to what each side of the argument is omitting to build the illusion of certainty. And in isolation, each side often builds straw men to dismiss their opponents. Straw man arguments are another way to cheat at debate whereby you illustrate your opponent's position in a way that makes it easily defeated. 

After spending time with the arguments from both sides of the climate change issue, I know neither side has anything near a rock solid position. That means I can't honestly take sides. All I know is CO2 has risen, there has been some warming, human activity could in theory be driving it, and it could in theory end up catastrophic. Therefore, my position on global warming is that, in case humans raising CO2 is a major climate driver, we should replace fossil fuels as an energy source. But that means having a real replacement for fossil fuels. A government gun aimed at people to stop CO2 is not a replacement for fossil fuels, yet that's all the scientists tend to have to offer as a solution. If the government gun solution is all there is, then that's as good as no solution, because government gun solutions are by their nature scam solutions, otherwise they wouldn't require government force. But enough about that subject. I'll eventually write a post on forgiving climate change since that's a recurring news item.

The point is that legitimate debate is a useful thing, like exercise or healthy food. But since people's egos and therefore emotions are often so tied to their beliefs, their beliefs are too often more emotion than logic. Consequently, debate usually ends quickly in one side or the other slipping into ad hominem as legitimate, logical argument is exhausted.

If you have a friend or relative that often calls your beliefs out to start debates, whether in person or somewhere like Facebook posts, and that friend is cognizant enough not to slip into ad hominem or other logic fallacies, that's a good friend. You should be able to mop the floor with your dissenting friend if your beliefs are more legit than your friend's. If you can't defend your beliefs, you should keep your beliefs to yourself until you formulate your beliefs in a way that you can communicate and defend them. If your friend can't debate without resorting to ad hominem, teach your friend about debate. And let your friend know that the debate is over and a winner is crowned as soon as either person resorts to ad hominem. And if you yourself are usually the ad hominem debater, then you know better now by reading this and so it's time to stop cheating!

Another thing to keep in mind is don't be a parrot; know the reason and evidence for why you believe what you do. Parrots can't debate because their knowledge and certainty is phony and just based on confidence in an outside source. Don't get mad at someone else for exposing you as a mere parrot. I don't care if you're expounding a political belief or a belief in A Course in Miracles, know what you are talking about before you start mouthing off. Otherwise, some smart ass like me might just be in a mood for some debate exercise lol.

I'll admit that I'm a Socratic gadfly that likes to test people's beliefs. In doing so I'm able to challenge my own beliefs and make my positions stronger. The only thing smart about me is that I know I'm an idiot, but I live on planet of the idiots and so I don't feel bad about it when it becomes obvious lol. And since I know I'm an idiot I know to always be open to good counter arguments to my beliefs in case I need to modify them.

What you discover by debating is that truth brings people together and delusion separates people. The tighter you hold onto a delusion or the more you leave yourself vulnerable to the delusions of others the more you are only going to be safe in a bubble. Truth is uniting because it is consistent and it is consistent because the ultimate truth is necessarily oneness. For that reason, another important aspect of debate is common language; that often means explicitly establishing common definitions for terms used in a debate.


Debate to learn, not to win. Because if you debate to learn you always win, even if you lose, or even if the debate gets you de-friended by a deluded bubble friend lol. Incidentally, de-friending is like the ultimate Facebook ad hominem, a close second is deleting someone else's comments. Even if you have a friend that always resorts to ad hominem, all you have to do is respond: ad hominem, I win. And if the friend keeps going with the ad hominem, then censorship is excusable.

But anyway, appreciating debate is important to forgiving the news. Because much of what needs forgiven in the news is the result of opposing views about what the news reports. Those opposing views facilitate projection and therefore forgiveness lessons. And those views are usually wrapped in many levels of logical fallacy, including ad hominem. By understanding the mechanics of rational debate, you can become more immune to projection. Therefore, you'll more easily remember to forgive instead of project guilt.

In closing, I leave you with the twelve commandments of rational debate. Always follow the first commandment and enforce it. But you can cheat with the rest to test out your opponent. However, once you are called out you have to stop using that tactic. And you must accept that there is a limit to certain arguments. For example, arguing that the universe is a dream or virtual or that the world is going to be destroyed by CO2 has limits. Once you reach those limits you have to concede that you've gone as far as you can without cheating.

 

The 12 Commandments of Rational Debate and (Logical Fallacies) 
  1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, only the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)
  2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s arguments in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)
  3. Thou shall not use small samples to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)
  4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)
  5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)
  6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)
  7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)
  8. Thou shall not lay burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)
  9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that,” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)
  10. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)
  11. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)
  12. Thou shall not claim moral authority. (“Moral high ground fallacy”)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Forgiving the News

I've had an idea for a blog or even a youtube channel floating in my mind for awhile called "Forgiving the News." The basic idea is to write articles or make videos applying the true forgiveness taught by A Course in Miracles to current events. A few things have been stopping me from pursuing the idea though. The main thing is that I question if it'd get much of a faithful audience. Realistically, to regularly update the blog I'd need enough of an audience for it to generate some revenue, because without pay I'd lack the motivation to produce steady content. After all, I can forgive the news on my own without going through the effort of writing articles or making videos lol.

Another thing stopping me has been that by forgiving the news I wouldn't be engaging in guilt projection. That's obviously a positive. But realistically, much of the psychological appeal of news for people is guilt projection. Most people pick their preferred news sources based on guilt projection. And most of that guilt projection falls into the right versus left binary (in the U.S. anyway).

At its core, the left versus right binary revolves around arguing about how to use government force. For that reason, I personally don't believe in the left or the right. Politically, I'm a voluntaryist, which means my whole political philosophy is basically the Golden Rule: do unto others as you'd have others do to you. Which means human interaction should be voluntary and so without force. Voluntary interaction equals win-win because voluntary means any interaction must satisfy the subjective definitions of win-win for the individuals involved or the interaction ceases. The Golden Rule precludes force and therefore, when taken to its logical conclusion, it necessarily precludes government.

"The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior. You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly. Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both. You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others." (T.1.III.6.4,5,6,7)

Due to my adherence to the Golden Rule, I don't believe in the left or right or government in general. Consequently, I usually fail to provide the guilt projection sought by those who take sides in the standard left right binary; those stuck in the left binary usually accuse me of being a right-winger and those stuck in the right binary usually accuse me of being a left-winger lol. So, while being a nonbeliever in the left or the right or the government in general makes me uniquely qualified to pursue "Forgiving the New," it also makes me unable to satisfy those stuck in the left right binary. Forgiving the news means finding innocence in everyone, not just one side.

So anyway, this is the "Forgiving the News" site if I ever decide to seriously pursue it. Nonetheless, I intend to at least make occasional posts here.