Nick Williams, Contributor
What we have succeeded in doing (without necessarily meaning to) is creating a completely ‘dishonest’ environment for ourselves to live in. We all heard about ‘fake news’ but what this amounts to is a fake world. We can make a very obvious statement at this point and that is to say that ‘living in a fundamentally dishonest environment is without any doubt going to be psychologically harmful for us’! This might seem like too obvious a point to make but we need to make it all the same because it’s such a vitally important one – it’s a vitally important point that we never actually pay any attention to! We might spend money in a health food store or go to the gym twice a week or practice yoga or meditation but we never seem to give any thought to the fact that our actual environment is fundamentally dishonest, and therefore toxic
I’m not making a metaphysical point here about the illusoriness of the world or anything like that – what I’m talking about is the fundamentally deceptive nature of the communications we surround ourselves with. Just to give one example – it is abundantly obvious that we are living in a world that is completely dominated by advertisements of one sort or another. Everything is an advert for something! This is therefore just another way of saying that the reality we are presented with on all sides is dishonest – it’s not what it seems to be. Everything we see or read is propaganda for the system that is being daily foisted upon us!
Adverts are ‘dishonest’ because they always claim to be something about something else than what they’re actually about – the day has long since passed when adverts were purely and simply about providing information about a product. We have moved on a long way since that day. The science of advertising relies on the fact that we are very easily manipulated by ‘unconscious associations’, implications which are there, but which don’t need to be spelt out. These associations work on us without us knowing that we are being worked on. This is just the same as saying that ‘adverts work by manipulation’, which is very obviously true – no one is going to be foolish enough to try to deny this!
The one way we could agree that this is true but say that it’s not really a big deal either – we know that ads are about manipulation, but so what? We have got used it to this stage and presumably we all feel that we’re immune to it. Where advertising surely does become a problem however is when the whole world becomes one giant advert, one giant ‘promotional exercise for itself,’ as John Berger says here –
“Publicity has another important social function. The fact that this function has not been planned as a purpose by those who make and use publicity in no way lessens its significance. Publicity turns consumption into a substitute for democracy. The choice of what one eats (or wears or drives) takes the place of significant political choice. Publicity helps to mask and compensate for all that is undemocratic within society. And it also masks what is happening in the rest of the world. Publicity adds up to a kind of philosophical system. It explains everything in its own terms. It interprets the world.
The entire world becomes a setting for the fulfillment of publicity’s promise of the good life. The world smiles at us. It offers itself to us. And because everywhere is imagined as offering itself to us, everywhere is more or less the same. …”
So how could we say that it’s not a ‘big deal’ when our whole environment is designed to manipulate us and there’s nothing left in it that’s at all honest? Surely we must realise that there are bound to be seriously adverse psychological consequences to living in a world that’s nothing more than ‘an advert for itself’!
If we grew up surrounded by people who always had an ulterior motive, who were always duplicitous, who never did anything without a hidden agenda, then our mental health would of course suffer as a result – we’d be in need of an awful lot of therapy in that case! The same is true therefore when we live in an environment is always comes with an ulterior motive, an environment which always carries some kind of ‘disguised coercive element’. The usual way is for us to be more or less oblivious to the coercive (or controlling) aspect of our environment, and unaware of the all-pervading dishonesty of the type of communications that make up the world we have to live in, and so this means that we are ‘unfree without knowing that we are’. Apparently, this very peculiar set-up seems to work; apparently, we can get by perfectly well this way!
There is a problem here however even if we can’t see it – there’s a problem especially if we can’t see it! In order to accommodate ourselves to this invisibly coercive and deceptive world we have to live on a very superficial level, and this is fundamentally unnatural and therefore unhealthy for us. It has harmful consequences. Human beings are not naturally superficial; we not naturally lacking in curiosity about the world. All we need to do in order to appreciate this is to look at children – children are (of course) full of curiosity, full of questions. Adults – on the other hand – aren’t! As adults (oddly enough) we seem to swallow whatever line in nonsense it is that is being fed to us at the time. Well go along with anything. The alternative seems to be just too frightening for us!
So the ‘problem’ that we are looking at here is the problem – we might say – of compulsory superficiality. We are given no choice in this matter – were pushed into this extraordinary limited state of being from all sides. We don’t know that this fate has befallen us (we have no way of knowing it) but the quality of our lives has been degraded all the same. Another crucial aspect of this ‘compulsive superficiality’ that were talking about is that we don’t have any genuine volition. If we are being swayed by superficial appearances the whole time then how can we possibly be said to have any genuine volition of our own? This is clearly an impossibility.
We can put all of this together – therefore – by saying that we have created the world for ourselves which, rather than being based on the principle of truth, is based purely upon the principle of deception. We so used to this that we think nothing of it – our eyes are accustomed to the insincerity and so we pay it no heed. As Matthieu Ricard says,
“We are very much like birds that have lived too long in a cage to which we return even when we get the chance to fly away. We have grown so accustomed to our faults that we can barely imagine what life would be like without them. The prospect of change makes us dizzy.”
In this world it’s not about what’s true, it’s about what seems to be true. It’s about ‘image rather than content’. We all know this very well – who’s actually going to deny? The question we’re asking here is ‘What effect is it actually going to have on us to be living in such a world?’ One answer is to say that the consequences of this state of affairs is that we become completely gullible, i.e. ‘100% manipulable by external controlling factors’. We do what we told to do and we believe what we’re told to believe, and what this comes down to is a complete lack of autonomy. We have ‘lost ourselves,’ in other words. We’ve lost ourselves completely. It is one thing to have autonomy and find yourself in a world that is trying to manipulate you (or amongst people who are trying to manipulate you) and quite another to have never had that autonomy and to live in a world whose very basis is manipulation and coercion!
This is such an extraordinary thing to contemplate – we have created a world that denies us, a world that is against us! It isn’t the case either – I would say that this world is ‘bad for most of us but is good for a small minority’, which is what it looks like on the surface, admittedly. What we’re looking at here is a fundamentally unfair system, it is true, but even the so-called ‘winners’ in this game aren’t winning anything worth having! By denying others we deny ourselves, after all. By controlling each other we are just as bound as our victims by our need to control. It’s actually the business of ‘playing the game’ that denies us, not whether we win or lose, which is of course what we are brought up to believe. ‘Playing the game’ denies us because by always striving for personal advantage (which is what we have been brought up to do) we turn our backs on our true compassionate nature, and if this isn’t a recipe for misery and frustration then nothing is!
We can only truly be ourselves by being compassionate – as all the great Wisdom Traditions tell us – to try to find meaning in life by being selfish and manipulative and competitive (which is what our society demands of us, whether we see it or not) is a road to nowhere! Meaning in life doesn’t come from being good at controlling, from being a ‘winner in the game’, but from nourishing the imagination, nourishing the creative and compassionate side of ourselves. Our true nature is incomparably greater than we have been led to believe that it is, but we are afraid to find that out, and this fear drives all sorts of toxicity.
About the Author
Nick Williams – I work as an occupational therapist in acute psychiatry in the West of Ireland, and have done for the last 25 yrs. Before training to be an occupational therapist I graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in Health Education and Natural Science, and before that I was unemployed in South London for 15 years. The part of my current work that I enjoy the most is running a community creative writing group and a number of mindfulness groups. I am a keen blogger on the topic of ‘alternative approaches to mental health’ because I believe that the conventional approach in psychiatry does not respect the healing process that is always going on in us and simply tries to return people to a ‘standardized’ form of mental health. I feel that a lot of the chronic mental distress in the modern world comes from the artificial constraints that society puts on our consciousness and are not due to a type of ‘illness process’, as psychiatry suggests. I also give talks and run workshops on ‘nonduality and mental health’. Please visit my blog Negative Therapy and intrinsicspace.me.
This article (Society is an Advert or Itself) was originally published at Negative Therapy and is re-posted here with permission.
Man is able to induce controlled hallucinations without psychotropic substances
The human brain is so cunningly designed that accidental damage or malfunctions in the neural network can generate large-scale effects that do not harm a person, but, on the contrary, deliver a lot of new sensations.
We are talking about hallucinations, influences on the sensory system, which stem from the inside of the brain itself. Modern technologies make it possible to purposefully launch such reactions without harm to humans.
The technique of guided hallucinations is based on the Ganzfeld effect, which states that when the brain receives a powerful stimulating signal in only one area, it automatically begins to “think out” signals in other areas.
For example, if you peer into the darkness and listen to white noise, the brain draws an imaginary picture, although the eyes do not receive a single photon of light. And if you run noise on the screen in absolute silence, the brain will complement them with sound hallucinations.
One interesting experiment with guided hallucinations was conducted by TV host and inventor Derek Müller, who locked himself in an anechoic and completely darkened chamber for 45 minutes to conduct a sensory deprivation experiment.
His brain, which at once lost 90% of the signals from the outside world, remained fully functional, and Derek did not go crazy. Moreover, in the absence of external stimuli, he began to feel the subtlest vibrations of his heart and the flow of blood through the veins.
It was not a hallucination, it was just that the brain switched to processing the signals that remained at its disposal, amplifying them and presenting them in the form of sensations understandable to the mind.
Angels showed the End of the World to a child from Indonesia?
In early October, on many eschatological and conspiracy sites (The End Times Forecaster , 444prophecynews.com), a video was posted by a girl named Jacqueline, who lives in South Africa. The video tells that on September 16, in some altered state of consciousness, similar to a lucid dream, Jacqueline was given a warning: on October 10, 2020, there will be some kind of nightmarish geological catastrophe – either a volcanic eruption, or an earthquake.
Jacqueline does not specify where the catastrophe will occur, but immediately after the volcanic eruption, she saw President Trump in Washington and the destruction of the Washington Monument with fiery stones falling from the sky. The full text of Jacqueline’s video was posted on the forum and can be viewed at the link, but her revelation itself is not very informative. It is only clear that on October 10 something may bang, and very strongly. Another thing is much more interesting.
Since Jacqueline was shown truly creepy things, she, like anyone in her place, doubted that all this was true. However, she noticed that in her dream, before the horror broadcast began, she was shown a calendar on which she read the KIMIKO inscription.
“Kimiko” is a popular Japanese female name that literally means “wonderful unusual child”, so Jacqueline decided: if she got it right, then she needed to look for a girl from somewhere in Japan who would kind of hint at her deciphering what was shown in her dream.
Kimiko was never found, but another girl named Catherine was found. She lives in Indonesia, is in 4th grade and is 9 years old. Jacqueline had her dream on September 16, and on September 18 some angels took this Catherine to heaven in a dream and showed her what would be on Earth in the very near future.
According to Catherine, everything will begin on October 10, 2020, when some kind of catastrophe occurs – a catastrophe, most likely of a geological nature. Buildings will collapse and coastal cities will suffer from terrible tsunamis. At the same time, a terrible rain will pour, which in some regions will flood buildings up to the fourth floor. Thunder will thunder in the sky, which is 10 or even 20 times stronger than ordinary thunder, and after the thunder, hail will fall the size of a car windshield. But besides the hail, all the planes located there fall from the sky.
However, the End of the World will not happen as life goes on and Trump wins the US election. After that, Israel will begin to restore the Temple, but they will not have time, since a war will start around. At this moment, the Earth will face unprecedented catastrophes.
A huge new planet will appear in the sky and the atmosphere will take on a reddish tint. It will get hotter. H achnut erupting volcanoes, and terrifying winds will become commonplace. And further, in the region of the Bermuda Triangle, a hole is formed in the lithosphere, and armada of some strange flying machines will appear from there. On TV they will say that these are good aliens.
In parallel , a total vaccination will take place on Earth, after which people who have received the vaccine will be endowed with some unthinkable ability to communicate with their gadgets – phones will show them everything at the click of a finger and connect to subscribers with the power of thought. But happiness will not last long, because then the skin of the vaccinated will begin to turn green and many will be covered with ulcers. Further, these people mutate into a kind of zombie who will engage in cannibalism and those who have not taken the vaccine will become their preferred food. And for those who will not be eaten by mutants, aliens will chase in their flying cars, kidnap, throw bombs at them and burn them with rays.
Finally, to top it all off, mutations will affect flora and fauna. So, insects will become gigantic, and algae will begin to crawl ashore and whoever gets into their nets will be devoured. Mutations will affect birds, jellyfish, and the rest of the fauna. Dinosaurs and real fire-breathing dragons will appear, which will fly everywhere and pour fire on everything.
In general, the girl tells something that is impossible to believe – no reality can stand that. However, the probability that reality is real, according to estimates of the theory of probability, is no more than 50%. That is, we live in the Matrix with a probability of 1/2, although nothing can be proved / disproved somehow. But if we take into account various strange quantum effects and other miracles, then the probability of the Matrix is already seventy percent and 30% remain for a flat / round Earth, for the rest of “natural science”. Therefore, maybe we are now on the eve of the reboot of the Matrix, during which we will begin to load characters from other entertaining games.
It is possible, of course, that all these stories were invented by her mother, but similar stories are told by other children, and even adults, who were thrown either somewhere into the astral plane, or into the next world, or generally into the deepest warp. Different, unrelated people cannot tell the same tale. Therefore, most likely this is not a fairy tale and there is something in all this. But what – here we do not know, so we just have to wait and see.
Clinical death helped the inveterate egoist to change his attitude towards life. He is grateful for this experience
William F. did not live the most righteous life. His selfish, authoritarian behavior caused a lot of suffering to the people around him, especially his wife. And it is not known how his marriage would have ended if one day William had not had an accident.
On that fateful day, November 6, 2019, a man was riding a motorcycle and crashed into a truck as it changed lanes. William tried unsuccessfully to get out from under the heavy truck, as his helmet got stuck under the front axle of the car.
A policeman was the first to come to help, then an ambulance arrived. The motorcyclist was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital. The man in the helicopter told William not to sleep, but he collapsed into unconsciousness.
What William saw in oblivion made a strong impression on him and changed his future life.
William’s near-death experiences
The next thing I remember happened on a large field. There was a fence about 100 meters away from me. There was a black hole in the fence on the other side of the gate.
I was drawn to the gate. The closer I got, the more love and warmth I felt, the more selfishness and bad feelings went away.
When the gate was about five steps away, and I was about to open it, someone’s hand stopped me, grabbing my forearm. Looking at this man, I noticed a few more.
– You need to stop. I watched you for a long time, son, you made a lot of mistakes. Do you know where you are? The man asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said, looking around.
“You are dead,” he said.
“You’re scared,” he remarked.
“Then [during your life] you were always afraid of it for no reason,” he said softly. I nodded in agreement, and our dialogue continued.
– Do you feel that everything is under your control?
“I don’t know… no.
– You have never controlled anything in your life. It’s an illusion …
– Yes, you’re right, – I nodded again.
– You are given a choice that many do not have. God gives you a choice: come back and correct your mistakes, or you can go through the gate. If you enter this gate, all the regrets of life will torment your soul until you are given another chance. It will feel like eternity.
I still have regrets about my past life, ”he added after a pause. – If you come back and do not start working on yourself to become better, if you do not find happiness in the righteous way, you will always remember and crave the feeling that you are experiencing in this place now, but you will not get here again.
When you return, recover, heart and mind will be restored. You are given something great … But you understand that God already knows your choice.
Then he looked at me and asked:
– What are you going to do?
“I’ll be back,” I replied.
At that moment, the feelings that gripped me were gone, and I let go of the gate.
“See you again very soon,” he said at last.
Then I woke up and saw my mother. I told her that I was back for good and that I would not go anywhere. She had a tired face.
“You’ve been in a lot of pain,” she said.
I said that everything would be all right with me, and told that I saw Him. She clarified who exactly. I replied that I did not know for sure, but they gave me a second chance. Mom laughed and said that probably my grandfather kicked me in the ass to bring me back here.
William’s life has changed
William underwent several operations, but the doctors said that physically he would not be the same. Among other things, the man had to learn to walk again.
About a month after the accident, thoughts of the pain inflicted on his loved ones and loved ones flooded into William, so he focused on correcting the mistakes of the past and changing his future.
Five months later, William was walking without limping. Now she runs for several kilometers, and the only evidence of an accident is scars.
The biggest proof of the reality of what he saw during clinical death is a complete change in himself, says William.
“I saw mistakes, especially in my relationship with my wife, and I understand things that I didn’t understand before. It is strange to think that someone was watching my life from a distance and knew about my actions. If I had not changed, I would have yearned for death. “
“I used to have sociopathic tendencies and no empathy. I have never felt guilt or remorse. Now I am selfless and empathetic, I feel the emotions of others, and it is overwhelming. I know how people feel just by looking at them. This is a kind of intuition.
Remorse and guilt help me re-evaluate the past. I also notice that when I do something instinctively, in the old way, I realize it and I can stop. “
“People believe when I share my experience because they see a big change in me.”
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