January 11, 2008

The Rational Mind

The Rational Mind is really the programmed mind. The 'educated person' is really the indoctrinated person. You see, the problem with human education (at least, 'public education') is that it is inevitably a form of mind conditioning. In packaging information for mass consumption, the facts must be standardized, and even formulized, so that the same message goes to all students. To standardize information, someone must decide what is the 'official story' that is to be delivered to the classes. That 'someone' is often a committee made up of 'experts' who themselves are all products of previous 'education.' What are regarded as facts is a matter of contemporary thinking-- of fads, in other words. As the machinery of public education becomes more bureaucratized and centralized, the committees and their output become more subject to political and/or socio-economic pressures. Recent fads have embraced 'political correctness' and related orthodox views that demand certain pre-approved portrayals of history, of nations, of peoples and of individuals. Deviation from the official story by maverick teachers is strongly frowned upon, and squelched and revised with great haste.

And so, we arrive at the present, where these trends in education have attained an extreme, and we are seeing what some observers have labelled a 'dumbing-down' of graduates of the modern, Western education system. Lest you suppose that this de-skilling affects only students in primary and secondary schools, I assure you that it is a prime feature of the self-exalted university system, as well. Anyone with school-age children understands the idea of the committee-designed curriculum, and the onus placed on teachers to 'deliver the message' as it is prescribed by 'the Ministry,' or 'the Department,' or 'the Board.' At the post-secondary level, the pressures are different. Here, it is the tyranny of academia that dictates what is acceptable orthodoxy. Whether in the sciences or the arts, a group-think mentality determines what a professor is allowed to profess at the front of a class. The faculty members all learn that despite all the pious BS directed towards the god of free thought, if they want to be successful, to progress, to get the coveted tenure, then they must spout the politically-correct, universally-acknowledged orthodoxy that everyone expects to hear and read. Of course, they are also expected to produce original research on their thesis topic within those unspoken but unbreakable limits; and so the academics end up churning out endless variations on a theme, examining the subject in minute, stultifying detail, expressed in the jargon of their chosen niche.

The graduates of this 'education assembly line' go out into the work world, full of the sure knowledge of their selected path, and ready to regurgitate it to whomever needs to hear it. Many become the experts who are interviewed by the media when 'background' is needed for a breaking story. Others become the media reporters who do the interviews and then synthesize a story to be broadcast to the great masses of TV viewers and newspaper readers. They both are products of the system, and already have been hard-wired with a world-view that has been carefully crafted for them. The stories of the reporters are then edited by another specialist whose job is to repackage the information in a format considered acceptable by the standards of the particular medium being exploited. In doing the editing, it is possible for a story to be radically altered in terms of its core message. In countries we consider dictatorships, the editing step is fully critical to the governments' ability to control and manipulate their populations. The mass media play a vital role in delivering a consistent message to the citizens, whether the subject is economics, politics, or science or the arts. The one who controls the message, controls the national character or atmosphere.

In a populace that is aware that the media are really organs of government propaganda, the situation is somewhat mitigated. For example, in the now-defunct Soviet Union, everyone knew that 'There is no pravda (truth) in Izvestia ('the News') and no izvestia in Pravda!' But in modern America (and much of the Western world) most citizens are under the dangerous illusion that the media are supplying news that is both factual (ie. true) and largely complete (or comprehensive in scope). Neither assumption is correct. In fact, it's worse than that-- the media, particularly in the USA, are deliberately massaging the news that reaches our senses with the aim of achieving certain results. In the last few decades, ownership of communications outlets-- newspapers, radio stations, and TV networks, has become concentrated in the hands of fewer, and bigger, owners. In yester-year, there were 'captains of industry,' dominating the industrial era; today, we have the 'media barons' owning the organs that shape the opinions of whole nations. Rupert Murdoch owns newspapers around the Anglophone world, and has a definite message he wants them to deliver. The Disney empire embraces publications and television networks as well as the original movie studios. Most citizens, like the proverbial frogs in the saucepan, have not noticed the gradual change in the character of the media.

In America now, there are only a few major media players, and they are firmly in the hands of big corporations that are intent on promoting the corporate agenda. That means they are strongly pro-capitalism and big business, and strongly anti-socialist. Their allegiance is ultimately to the bottom line, profit pure and simple. They are comfortably in bed with their friends in governments that are similarly 'business-friendly' and socially regressive, in a symbiotic relationship. Since the directors on the boards of these media giants are often the same individuals who sit on the boards of other businesses, the media are far from objective, but they are decidedly communications channels for the entire business world. That explains why 'investigative journalism' is essentially dead. What we get instead, is a few in-depth reports into celebrity misdeeds, or TV-suitable murders; that sort of thing. But rare are the attempts to probe the improprieties of politicians, except where it involves sex but not serious policy areas. Just watch '60 Minutes' to see what I mean. While the major media were virtually united and unflinching in their support of Bush's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, not one of them has done any serious investigation of the egregious inconsistencies in the official explanations for the attacks of 9-11-2001.

Those are just two examples of how the media manipulate public opinion, but the list could be endless. If Americans could (or would) check what citizens of other countries read or view in their local media, they'd be shocked. The news content is quite different, and the slant or interpretation of the stories is also quite different. Americans would learn things they never knew... or else they would retreat into traumatic denial. Depending on what foreign sources they checked, Americans would discover that their good friends the Israelis are not the white-cloaked heroes valiantly defending God and democracy in the midst of hostile ignorant fanatics. They might be amazed to discover that Arabs are mostly decent people, and Palestinians are kept in virtual 'national prison camps' while being stealthily 'ethnically cleansed' from their homeland.

Perhaps I've strayed from the rational mind theme; but the reader must begin to glimpse the notion that the world is a much different, more complex place than their favorite talking heads have been assuring them all these years. It matters not how much education one has; mind conditioning does not respect graduate degrees. The ugly specter of 'professional politics' and opinion programming appears in every field of knowledge, science being no exception. There is an orthodoxy in every branch of science that cannot be challenged except at peril of one's career. Every pioneer who questions the current state of knowledge in a science is regarded as a trouble-maker, a maverick, and his/her views are discredited in every way possible, including ad-hominem attacks. Yes, you can find scientists priding themselves on their objectivity, while defaming the mental health and personal circumstances of those whose views they happen to dislike. Not very scientific, in my view... but of course, I'm not a scientist, so what do I know?

Our most fundamental beliefs about the universe, our paradigm, has been and is being manufactured by our indigenous media. For example, if you're a typical 'westerner,' you simply take it for granted that democracy is the best system of governance possible; that capitalism is the natural order of the economic universe; that communism is of the devil; that Islam is a violent, fundamentalist religion; that all religions are the same; that Israel is a poor victim nation bravely defending democracy against overwhelming Arab enemies; and so on. You may be saying at this point, 'Duh... of course-- it's self-evident!' Is that so? Ask yourself why, after each of those sample phrases. Who says it must be so? Who told you that is the 'way it is?' All of those assertions are highly arguable; none of them qualifies as 'fact.' But those are the kind of messages that we in the industrialized countries have been fed for decades. In many ways, the messages have been reflections of our own civilization, the zeitgeist of our society, and to that extent, it is understandable and 'rational.' However, there has also been a lot of conscious propaganda imposed on the underlying stories, all designed to condition our minds for acceptance of the hidden agenda.

Over a lifetime, the western rational mind has been craftily trained to be well disposed towards a desired paradigm, and to be ignorant of, or prejudiced against, alternative views. We are even 'encouraged' to be inquisitive, to look at alternative sources; yet it is done in a controlled manner wherein the questions are assumed to have predetermined answers, and the alternatives are pre-discredited by implication. Moreover, the system makes sure that its subjects are aware of the rewards for endorsing the favored reality, and of the punishments for straying into forbidden opinions. Thus, no matter how many persons, in however many locations, with whatever qualifications, have been brave enough to report seeing a UFO, we all know what the correct answer is to the question: 'Are UFOs real?' The 'rational mind' is expected to simply 'know' that UFOs can't possibly be extra-terrestrial in nature, therefore they can't be real, end of discussion. The so-called rational person is expected to dismiss the evidence of history, the testimonies of thousands of credible witnesses, the radar and photo images, and conclude that the official de-bunking must be correct because.... Well, because what? Because our governments never lie to us? Because the scientists say UFOs are just optical tricks? The situation regarding extra-terrestrial life has become truly ludicrous with the close scrutiny of Mars currently underway. We have the spectacle of NASA officials getting excited over 'evidence of water' on the 'red planet'.... while amazing artifacts that could only be created by intelligent beings lie all over the surface! Their own photos show all kinds of weird and wonderful objects, yet NASA spokespersons stick to the rigid party line that the objects are all natural formations and we're still looking diligently for evidence of microbial life. Incredible; and, irrational.

The wacky world of UFOlogy provides a particularly salient example of the entrenchment of irrational orthodoxy within our conscious minds; but there are numerous other instances. Even in the field of health, we are conditioned to believe that the allopathic model for medicine is superior to all others, which are dismissed as primitive and backwards. This western arrogance greatly benefits the industries that manufacture drugs of all kinds, and huge, complex (and expensive) electronic diagnostic machines that need three-letter acronyms to label. But does it benefit the patients needing treatment? According to some sources, misdiagnosis and medical mistakes such as incorrect administration of drugs actually kill more persons each year than all but the deadliest diseases. Our much-vaunted western medicine may be killing more patients than would so-called 'alternative treatments;' but we continue to be told that it's the only system that works. And most of us quietly go along with it, like good sheep.

What the truly rational mind should observe by now is that the common denominator in our false illusions about reality is that they all serve the cause of big business interests. On looking into all the fables of our times, it appears that it almost always has to do with money; someone profits from keeping our perceptual blinkers focused a certain way. (The case of UFOs may not be about money, but almost certainly is about power, the power of hidden knowledge, if nothing else. I think we will learn much more on this account in the future.) Big industries, big corporations reap huge revenues from the mental prisons that keep us enslaved to a prescribed world view. But their illusions are so cleverly designed that the vast majority of prisoners genuinely feel that they are quite free, and that the system is truly benevolent... or at least contains enough built-in checks and balances that it cannot be fully corrupt. Well, the point of this essay is to get you to question those innate assumptions and to subject them to some rigorous cross-examination. The rational mind is an abstract concept, conceivable in theory, but impossible to fully attain in the real world. However, we can go a long way from the prison of our historical-social context toward a more conscious, awake state of reflection on the paradigm we possess as our cultural inheritance.

The first step toward freedom that must be taken by the awakened rational mind is this: to rise from our slumber and acknowledge that we have been mesmerized by a lifetime of subtle and blatant conditioning of our very thinking and our views of how this world works. Once one has experienced that 'aha moment,' various options become open that were previously closed. I won't try to prescribe a path for the neophyte observer, but will suggest that you will take a quantum jump to a new state of perceptual 'energy.' In that higher state, you will now be able to make much more informed decisions on what you believe and how you will act. You will see things that were previously invisible, or inconspicuous, to you; and many of them will enrage you, while others will frighten you. You will have to decide what to do with those feelings; how to react appropriately. Like me, you may be moved to try to wake up everyone else. Like a scenario from a sci-fi movie about survivors in a post-Armageddon future, you may feel like the last sane person trying to wake sleep-walking zombies before they all die from their morbid condition. That is one of the main pitfalls of the rational mind-- you can be very lonely, very misunderstood, and in the extreme, ostracized or even persecuted for your 'weird views.' Make no mistake-- being awake in a land of lotus-eating dreamers is frustrating at best, and dangerous to your health, at worst.

Those readers who are on the edge of wakefulness-- can see that the consensus reality has a lot of gaping holes and distortions-- may rightly resist full awareness because of another, final hurdle. We have been conditioned to believe that to give up one paradigm, we must jump to another, ready-made paradigm... or else we will drift aimlessly, like disembodied spirits trapped between worlds. We must not let that fear hold us back. It is the classic bogeyman conjured by manipulative pastors trying to keep their sheep shackled to a religious denomination-- 'Don't be foolish enough to abandon this stout ship, or you'll drown in the seas of doubt and confusion that lie beyond!' Take it from one who has done exactly this-- more than once-- you will survive the initial period of perplexity, for your boldness will summon ethereal forces to your aid, and if you are stalwart and patient, you will achieve a new paradigm, one that works for you at that moment in time. You could say that 'Sufficient unto the day is your paradigm thereof,' (to borrow and rephrase a biblical aphorism).

Most people can show more physical courage in their lives than emotional or mental courage... for reasons unknown to this writer. Yet, it's our mental landscapes, our background assumptions that mold the course of our lives and determine, largely, our fate. Those hidden views can hold us in bondage, or push us to heights of achievement. But the first step is the most crucial, and most difficult-- almost like pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps-- to allow ourselves to imagine that the world does not operate the way we have been told it does. That is the mental equivalent of jumping the prison wall. Once over, we are free to move off in any direction in a suddenly much bigger world. The biggest danger is to let ourselves march voluntarily into another, albeit different prison. This happens repeatedly in the religious sphere, but theoretically, it should be somewhat easier to avoid in the secular realm. The whole world of religion consists of pre-packaged belief systems, lurking like monsters eager to absorb any soul that ventures into their outwardly friendly mausoleums. In the secular realm, there are fewer obvious 'packaged paradigms' seeking new adherents. One can think of 'science' as a major paradigm, itself divided into a number of sub-paradigms, such as the various disciplines that try to interpret all of reality through the optic of their particular field. For the better part of a century, scientists have adopted (or been expected to adopt) the dogma of 'Evolution,' as if this materialistic view could somehow explain reality by simply ignoring the nagging question of 'How did the Big Bang come about in the first place?'

The awakening rational mind must not fall willy-nilly into the next convenient prison-paradigm that seems opposed to the last one! So, you have realized that 'religion' is a game... so, you think that the obvious refuge is science and the embedded dogma of Evolution. Well, hold on there! You've just jumped over the wall... and landed in another wing of the perceptual prison system. There may be some 'truth' to the reductionism of western science, maybe even to Evolution; but there's no guarantee that all of it, as a package, possesses all truth. Far from it. Science-- as understood in the present era-- doesn't even have the self-defined tools necessary to discover all truth. The more science discovers, the more it discovers that it doesn't have all the answers. Who told you that science and religion are irreconcilable enemies? Why should they be? They both purport to treat of ultimate causes of reality; ergo, don't they overlap at the extreme? Shouldn't the two disciplines be regarded as complementary? In any case, science-- as it is practiced-- is hardly in better shape than religion in terms of objectivity and openness to truly new insights. (I say 'hardly' because science prides itself on its purported objectivity, which is severely compromised by human nature.)

For a rational mind in search of truth, there is no choice but to become a philosopher... of sorts. Not a 'lover of knowledge,' per se, but a lover of truth; for the truth is not confined by the a-priori categories of human thinking. You must become devoted to that one principle, the pursuit of truth... whatever that means, and wherever it may take you. Nothing else must be allowed to capture our allegiance, enslave our free thinking. The first thing you must do is to disabuse yourself of the modern fiction that, outside of your narrow field of knowledge, you are ignorant! In other words, forget about the authority of the experts and their treasured degrees trailing their names, in alphabetic gibberish. Some of what they say may (sometimes) be correct; but do not assume it is automatic. Sure, we live in a constant barrage of information, so the psy-ops manipulators want you to believe that, therefore, you can't know anything unless you are told by an expert. What they are doing is destroying the innate power of common sense, a faculty that was hard-wired in our brains from antiquity. We are told that ancient man was a superstitious, ignorant being who only smartened-up with the dawn of the Enlightenment in Europe. This is false. Ancient man was endowed with powers of mind that most of us would be in awe of today. But back in the days when Christianity was spreading into Europe from the Middle East, certain agencies took steps to 'dumb-down' the populace, as we are seeing in today's world, with the aim of corrupting the new religion before it could begin to pull down the old power structures based on 'might is right.' The sad demise of true Christianity meant that when thinkers began to wake from their centuries-old slumber, they saw the prostitute of Revelation 17 sitting in place of the heavenly woman of Rev 12, and they rightly rejected her. Which is an allegorical way of saying that religion as a source of truth was spurned in favor of a new system, that of knowledge or 'enlightenment.' (Dare we call it 'illumination?')

Our modern truth seeker must re-learn to trust his/her common sense, and subject every proposal or assertion to the primary, basic test of innate practical evaluation. For example: does it make sense that not just one, not two, not three, nor even four commercial airliners could fly over the busiest, most populous corridor in the Americas over the space of about an hour and a half, after it was confirmed that they were high-jacked... and not be intercepted by a single military aircraft, despite flying within range of some 22 air-bases of the most militarized nation on earth? Does that sound remotely reasonable? Or; does it make sense that in almost a century of construction world-wide, not one sky-scraper had ever collapsed due to fire; yet on Sept. 11, 2001, three of them all collapsed as if in controlled demolition, at the same location? Does that sit quite comfortably with you? Does the notion make sense that all life evolved from primordial amino acids... when scientists point to numerous species and proudly tell us that 'they haven't changed in x-million years!'? If all life is evolving, why do some species stay unchanged after a certain, convenient point? For decades, bogus scientists insisted that there was no link between smoking and disease. It sounds ludicrous today-- like blood-letting to cure headaches-- but we were being stymied in exercising common sense. Today, it's studies by the mobile-phone industry that assure us that there's no link between cell-phone use and brain tumors. Common sense must be aided by a bit of knowledge on radio-wave emissions, but the connection is hardly rocket science. By now, I hope you get the point-- it's vitally imperative to free ourselves from the mesmerizing jargon of the experts, and simply trust and exercise the built-in 'truth-detector' that we were born with.

Fortunately, there are other inherent faculties of the human mind that we can employ in our bid to become rational thinkers. The writer, John Ralston Saul, enumerates six qualities of human cognition which are: common sense, creativity, ethics, intuition, memory, and reason. Altho he lists them in alphabetical order, he makes it clear that he ranks reason last, insofar as it has been horribly corrupted and misused since its exaltation by the Enlightenment philosophers. Perhaps the most useful partner of common sense is memory, as embodied in the adage 'Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.' It's so obvious that our politicians have come to depend enormously on the well-developed inability of modern, urban homo sapiens to remember anything beyond a few months at best. By flooding our environment with an unending torrent of entertainment, sports, and 'information,' the powers that be can be confident that our memories simply unload anything that is not absolutely essential to our daily, harried survival. Those who provide the most threat to the governing parties are those who have made it a priority to remember. Do you remember that the Vietnam war was instigated by the US administration on the pretext that a US Navy ship, the Maddox, was attacked by a North Vietnamese patrol boat? Do you remember that the incident was later revealed as a complete hoax, simply used to start the war that killed some 58,000 American soldiers and millions of Vietnamese? That's why the elite fear and loathe memory, and do everything possible to keep the entire populace in a short-term memory loop.

It is cogently noted that the first casualty of war is truth. The point we miss is that we have been in an endless war between the few who want to rule the world and the rest of us who just want to live a quiet, decent life. Hence, truth has always had to struggle to be heard, has always been in short supply. Raised in a culture of intrinsic mendacity, the rational mind similarly struggles to emerge from the cocoon of illusion spun stealthily around each citizen. We are unconscious victims of our own basic decency: we simply cannot imagine the extent and depth of the web of lies in which we carry on our daily lives in blissful innocence. Only those who face the horror of disaster-- as in war, crime, social collapse, etc.-- start to realize that the world is not what we've been told. Consider the poor of New Orleans who waited long days for relief and rescue that could have arrived within hours of the passing of hurricane Katrina. What kind of lesson did they learn? Or what did we onlookers learn? Some 'ordinary people' started to wake up; started to have the blinkers taken from their eyes; started to get rational. The same could have happened with the '9-11 false-flag assault;' we could have been shocked by its very inconsistencies into waking from our slumber. That was the big risk the perpetrators took-- that it would back-fire on them. Instead, tho, the media went into overdrive, pounding the official web of lies, as it had been carefully prepared beforehand, and squelching every hint of rational enquiry from the 'little boys' who noticed that the emperor wore no clothes. To this day, the media complicity has maintained the stone-wall in the face of every attack by people who know that the whole story is a monstrous myth... so monstrous that the average citizen, sitting at a safe remove in front of the glowing screen of the truth-box, simply cannot allow his or her mind to entertain the horrible prospect that '9-11' was nothing at all like the government version.

Yet, 'the truth goes marching on,' and it will always, eventually, prevail. It is not due to mystic reasons. Truth prevails because it describes reality; deception self-destructs because it must inevitably crash headlong into traps of its own design. If fascism hadn't been defeated in WW-II, it would have finally fractured under the in-fighting among competing strong-men. Communism disintegrated without a war because it became so built on institutionalized untruths that the tissue of lies just snapped apart. (This happened, for example, when party apparatchiks persistently misreported their unit production figures to the central planners.) In the end, then-- whenever that may be-- evil and deception must be destroyed by natural process. But in the meantime, we citizens of Earth must endure the ever more desperate attempts by the ruling elites to entrench their neo-feudal system over the masses of ordinary people. The drama is unfolding as you read. Will you be one of those caught completely unaware by their final totalitarian moves? Are you still stuck in your atheistic paradigm despite the elaboration of this apocalyptic drama in the pages of the Bible? These days of history are called apocalyptic because it is a time of revelation-- the time when the evil that has pretended to be good all these years will finally be shown for what it really is. This is the time of the great harvest portrayed by Jesus in the parable of 'wheat and tares,' where the weeds will be gathered up for burning, and the wheat claimed for harvest. It is a time to use your rational faculties of mind, and listen to the intuition that whispers the truth to you. Jesus prayed: '[God] Sanctify them [those who believe] in the truth; Your word is truth.'

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