Here Thar Be Monsters!

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My Mouth's Watering!

Holy Cow

We frequently hear folks say, “You have to have an open mind.”

There’s a lot of talk about open minds and opening your mind, but few people seem to want or try to explain just what an open mind is.  Perhaps it is because they don’t really understand it themselves.  It is not easy to have an open mind.  It is the very nature of our upbringing that closes our minds, and we must make a conscious effort to pry open the boundaries that have been artificially placed on our thinking.

It begins with the most basic sensory input.  You are hungry, so you eat.  Certain feelings, sounds, smells, and sights become associated with specific automatic responses.  When it’s dark, you automatically think you can’t see, so you are not open to the possibility that you may be able to see with other means.  People who become blind late in life describe how their other senses take over and become enhanced.  That’s not strictly true.  They’ve always been there, we just haven’t paid attention to them.

If you are raised to believe that the sky is green, then you will resist, possibly violently, anyone who tells you differently.  You are quite sure the sky is green because it has been green all your life.  Now this other guy is telling you, “No, it’s blue.  Everyone knows its blue.”  Your mind automatically shuts out the new information and you actively try to distance yourself from anyone who tells you the sky is blue.

These automatic responses are not necessarily bad.  Certainly, when you are hungry, your mind begins to envision foods that would satisfy the craving.  What foods you imagine are strictly cultural, of course.  

A Texan might picture a thick T-bone steak, medium rare, flame grilled and served with a baked potato all the way.  A Texan can hardly imagine a decent meal that doesn’t include a healthy serving of beef.  

An Hindu Indian will starve to death surrounded by cattle, and never have a single thought that they are looking at food.  An Indonesian, on the other hand, will immediately picture rice.  Whatever else goes with it is not nearly as important as the rice itself.  In fact, Indonesians have a difficult time imagining how anyone can be satisfied by a meal that doesn’t include a good-sized portion of rice.

It’s all in our conditioning and training.  We associate good feelings and experiences with certain sensory input, and when we receive that input, our minds and bodies respond accordingly.  

To me, the smell of cooking bacon is the very essence of a hearty breakfast, but I daresay my Muslim friends here would be appalled.  Training and conditioning.

As I said, these responses are not intrinsically bad, but there are two key problems with them.  One is that they close our minds to new possibilities, experiences and learning.  The other is that they can be turned against us, and used to control us by external means.

Not long after I arrived in Indonesia, I was treated to a completely new experience.  Some friends next door had prepared a special meal that was a cultural favorite.  It happened to be dog.  Of course, I ate it, but it was interesting that I had to battle my body’s automatic revulsion, which was based solely on my cultural programming.  In fact, the food was very good and quite spicy, which I love.  But my mind kept rejecting the experience because I was trained that dogs are pets, not food.  I was finally able to uninstall the automatic response by examining it and controlling my unconscious reaction.  It took an effort, but was not impossible.

In the same way, we must first make ourselves aware of our automated responses to input.  That involves not only knowing when it happens, but exploring when and why that response was programmed.  At that point, we can begin to uninstall the reaction and start to learn and grow.

The second problem is the use of our automated responses against us.  

All our lives, we are shown flags and logos and symbols of power, and those items are carefully associated with natural responses to protect and defend our homes.

By carefully manipulating how and where those symbols are shown, we are trained with Pavlovian responses to have certain reactions to certain stimuli.  

For instance, the World Trade Center was a symbol of American power and wealth.  It was used in media all the time, in certain contexts, to install particular subconscious responses of pride and nationalism.  After they were destroyed, there was a famous photo that made the rounds of firefighterz standing on a pile of rubble with the US flag amidst the destruction.  

Gut Reaction
There is not one American who didn’t have some visceral reaction.  The majority were angered and dismayed.  They wanted revenge, even though the symbols being used had nothing to do with their daily lives, and in fact most Americans were not the least bit personally affected by the event.  After all, the targets were the banksters and the military/industrial complex, both anathema to true American values.

As a consequence of the emotional manipulation, people are completely close-minded to any information that challenges their pre-installed reactions, and thus their beliefs.  They find it impossible to even entertain over-whelming evidence that the money in their pockets and the nationalistic emotions installed since their youth could possibly be used as weapons against them.

Most will react angrily, even violently, to any suggestion that the official story is anything less than the unvarnished truth.  Their mental conditioning actively filters any information that contradicts the programming they have received.  These folks will not analyze their feelings and reactions, instead they will fight anything that goes against them.

Just watch commercials.  Those are the easiest codes to see.

Look at the woman who comes in the door with a bag that have a loaf of bread and celery leaves sticking out of the top.  Where has she been?  What lifestyle does she have, based on the setting of her house?  Is she wearing a wedding ring?

Look at the ones with a man and women discussing a topic.  Are they wearing wedding rings?  What are the settings and implied social status of the people in the scene?  What is the color and quality of the lighting?  Is it made to look natural or artificial?  Carefully look at all the objects in the background.  They are all placed there on purpose to tell you something, whether you are aware of it or not.  

Nothing in TeeVee commercials is accidental.  You are being subtly programmed and manipulated.
One very popular technique is called the ‘opinion leader.’  This is when the advertisement uses symbols to tell us that one of the people in the scene is superior and more knowledgeable: a white frock and stethoscope…an older person and a younger one…framing that puts one person above (superior) to the other.  Through the subtle use of camera angles, lighting, costumes, and other cues, we subconsciously respond to those people as ‘opinion leaders,’ so whatever they tell us gets past certain blocks and filters in our minds.  

The relationship of a parent and child, a very strong stimulus-response in every human being, is used to control our thinking.  When we are small, we must look up to adults, so by placing the camera below eye-level of the character, we subconsciously respond as if we are children.

The way people are conditioned and respond to stimuli are well understood.  It has been intensely studied for several centuries.  Psychology, behavioral sciences and sociology have categorized and classified the way most of us respond to a given set of stimuli.

There are dozens of famous experiments, and many more classified ones, that have reduced the process of programming himans down to 'point and click' simplicity.

Madison Ave. has made an art out it.  Why, people didn't have body odor until after WWII, when advertisers convinced us that we smell.  In fact, think about how many products you use in your daily life that are really worthless.  They serve no real purpose except to separate us from our money by manipulating our desires.

Pavlov's Dog
The one experiment that is so famous, it has become an adjective, is Pavlov's dog.  Pavlov put a tube in a dog's mouth and quantified how much saliva the dog released when exposed to certain stimuli.  Then he trained the dogs that food was available when they hear a certain bell.  After a short time, the dogs would salivate just from hearing the bell, with no food anywhere near them, or even within smell range.

How often are your fears and insecurities preyed upon by corporations and government to elicit certain feelings nad reactions from you, without you even knowing it's being done?  How many Amber Alerts and 'terrorist attacks' and 'bin Ladens' will it take before you open your mind.

See...that's the thing.  An open mind doesn't mean you are suseptible to suggestion.  Just the opposite.  It means you have turned off the automated part of your psyche and freed yourself from the manipulation of those who would own you.

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