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22.1.13

How Fragile The Mind

Weltanschauung.

It's a German word composed of welt (world) and anschauung (overview).  Germans are masters at hooking together a couple of simple words to make really complex ideas.  The word means 'one's view of life, the Universe and everything, and one's place in it'.  Not what you'd call a narrow word.

From birth, we spend years on our parents' knees, in school and in our personal experiences building a weltanschauung.  We decide what to include and what to exclude, what our definitions are, and most importantly what boundaries we place on the Universe.

Some of us erect very narrow and simplistic walls, such as God is an old, bearded man in the sky and my country right or wrong.  Others construct much broader realms.  Still others place no limits on their Universes and instead allow for ever increasing information and ideas.

Those with the most narrow weltanschauungs are the most vulnerable.  They can have their Universe destroyed quickly and decisively by a single idea.  Their boundaries are so close to home that any attack whatsoever will hit dangerously close to the core.

Those with broader weltanschauungs push the point at which their definition of the Universe is challenged further out, until some reach the point where they have no expectations or definitions to destroy.  We call those people Buddha or Christ.

Our weltanschauung is the foundation upon which all else is built.  When it is undermined, all that we know and understand is completely destroyed.  Suddenly, we are faced with endless possibilities and boundless space.  Most people are terrified of this and work quickly to re-erect the walls of their Universe.  They don't want to deal with such vast unknowns.

Weltanschauungs can be very difficult to destroy.  Like putting a stick into an ant pile, thousands of little workers spring into action at the first signs of trouble and start piling the bricks up as fast as they can.  Without their definition of Universe, people are at their most vulnerable and pliable.  Their weakest flank is exposed and they will do anything to seal off the howling winds of Unknown.

For each of us, the Universe is created when we are given a Name.  If you read sacred texts, they almost all begin with the idea of some being 'speaking' the Word and creating the Universe.  How many of us consider that when we speak a Word, we create a Universe?  This is why we are forbidden to speak the Name of God, because that would limit God to some Universe, which cannot be done.

Throughout our lives, we pick up Names.  At birth, we are given a Name that creates our family.  In school, we earn nicknames that create our social groups.  As a Catholic, I was given a Name at Confirmation that created a Soldier of Christ.  Most of us are given numbers, which are just Names with different letters, that create things called Taxpayers and Citizens.  We give ourselves Names so that when someone asks, "Where are you from," we can create a thing identified with a certain piece of dirt.

If you are lucky, you learn more than one language in your life.  One language limits our Universe to only those things expressed by that language.  But learning other languages expands our Universe to include things that cannot be expressed in our Mother Tongue.  In this way, our Universe expands.
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A few of us, though, push on into the realm of Things With No Names.  This weltanschauung is very hard to attack, since you cannot destroy something that doesn't have a Name.  No one can take from you that which cannot be named and defined.  Without a Name, things don't exist.

Those who understand this concept have remarkable power.  They are able to destroy the weltanschauungs of others and reconstruct them in any form they like.  If you can yank the Universe out from under someone, then in their mad rush to rebuild, you can hand them whatever materials you like.  They will dutifully stack them up to rebuild the boundaries of their weltanschauung.  This is how mental manipulation works.

This mental control can be done on a mass scale, such as the JFK assassination or 9/11, or it can be done on an individual scale, such as punching someone when and where they least expect it.  In the resulting confusion and cognitive dissonance, the aware Name can recreate another's Universe.

If the Name is the brick by which we build our universes, then Belief is the mortar by which we stack them.  Beliefs are those things we hold to be true despite all evidence to the contrary.  These things color our Universes because we deny all reality to believe certain impossibilities or non-sequiturs.  For instance, believing that one;s country is exceptional or that it can do no wrong, or one's god was slaughtered but rose from the dead three days later, are examples of things that shade and skew our view of reality.

The problem with weltanschauungs, especially those that are too narrow or fragile, is they make us vulnerable.  We can be controlled by those who have the power to manipulate our world view.  They can force us outside our mental constructs and put us on very shaky mental ground.

When you build a house, you want to believe that it is a solid, secure house.  But then something happens to cause your house to collapse and you are left in the cold, shivering and shaking with the rain falling on your head.  Someone comes along and says, "Here, come in my house."  Now they are in control.  Now it is their house that gives you shelter and you must accept their construct if you want get out of the cold and rain.

This is why it is so important to challenge our weltanschauung all the time.  We must constantly re-evaluate the bricks and mortar that we built our house with, otherwise it will be all too easy to destroy our house and leave out in the cold.

For this reason, we must listen to conspiracy theories and alternative researchers.  We must consider their arguments, if they are well-built, and look around us to see if there is evidence that supports the argument.

When we do this, we expand the walls of our house and find stronger and stronger bricks and mortar with which to build.  Granted, we might reject an argument because we don't see credible evidence of truth.  But sometimes we come across a strong argument, good mortar, that allows us to expand and strengthen our house.

The reson for this is that if our weltanschauung is large enough and strong enough, we can never be at the mercy of those who would use us by destroying our world view and offering their own as shelter.  We cannot be controlled if our house cannot be destroyed.

If we have properly considered alternative ideas, then when something happens to challenge our world view, we can deal with it and not be left in the cold.  If one day, NASA announces the existence of life off the planet Earth, our world view has already considered the possiblity and cannot be shaken by this new fact.  If one day it is proved that the government was complicit in 9/11, this new information cannot shake our foundation because we have already considered the possibility and incorporated it into our world view.  If it is proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is a massive conspiracy to defraud the world through the financial system, we have already made that part of our Universe and we cannot be controlled by those who would use our disorientation to control us.

The more possibilities you build into your weltanschauung, the less likely you are to be prey for predatory powers.  If we are certain that life is only a small part of our existence, then the threat of death has no power over us.

It is most important that we take time to regularly push the boundaries of what we hold to be true.  Even something as simple as acknowledging the possibility that some outrageous idea could be true gives us a strength that cannot be attacked.

The ultimate weakness of every human being is the limits of their weltanschauung.  Once those limits have been pierced, we are prey to whatever force that offers us shelter.  It is vitally important to constantly push the boundaries of possibility, to challenge our beliefs, to entertain new and strange ideas.  If we don't, then our walls of reality are too narrow and we are vulnerable.

The next time you feel compelled to reject an idea out of hand, stop.  Instead, listen to the idea.  Examine the evidence.  And if you can allow that something is possible, no matter how improbable, then you have just strengthened your world view against attack.

Many of us stop learned even before we leave school.  Our 'teachers' spend a lot of time building a world view for us.  Our job is to break those walls and expand them ourselves.  We are tasked with spending our entire lives pushing the limits of what we know, believe and consider possible.  The more we do this, the less likely it is that someone can take control of our reality.

Those who live in glass houses cannot throw stones, but those who live in double-paned, Kevlar reinforced quartzite glass houses can play baseball indoors, if we wish.