In the first part of this two part series I cautioned against making happiness the goal of life. Rather, the goal might be to live your own life while creating as little suffering as possible along the way. Keep your heart open as you do so, surrounding yourself with only those who will let you be without leaving you alone. This takes courage. It’s the work of emancipation which means taking one’s life into one’s own hands (mains in Fr.). Happiness is the bonus for mustering the courage.
Living your own life isn’t easy. There are forces aligned against this simple proposition. Some of these forces are outside us. Some are within. Forces that want your life in their hands. But even the forces “within” were set up by early failures of relationship that made us feel as though being oneself meant being shunned, punished, neglected and rejected. We internalize the bad feelings, and solve the problem of being unloveable by living their life. It increases our chances of surviving the ordeal of lovelessness.
But there are forces in society as well that do not want us to live our own lives. Remember that scene in the Matrix when Cypher, who had exited the matrix to join the resistance, decides he wants to go back into the simulation? He wants his red wine and steak and to pretend that everything is peachy keen. The promise of an easy life, even a utopia, or fear of some impending disaster that only they can save us from, is how powers outside of us keep us entranced by the life they want us to lead, so that we won’t join the resistance. What the resistance resists is living somebody else’s life. But it can be exhausting. And sometimes it’s dangerous. And so we conform ourselves out of existence, sometimes consciously, like Cypher, but mostly unconsciously.
He chose the kind of happiness that requires head-in-the-sand oblivion. The Wachowsky brothers/sisters, who wrote and directed The Matrix, were making a point that most humans most of the time, especially in the more affluent nations, are in a simulation game. The simulation is being programmed by elites (as we’ll see using mainstream media) who are writing the script for the rest of us. If we’re lucky we get a red pill moment, like Neo. But if you take the damned thing, you’re going to have to fight for your life.
This requires what Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing called “demystification”. He worked with individuals who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. But when he interviewed the families of these patients, he entered into a fog of obfuscation, double-binds, and chaos. He asked himself, who’s insane here, the patient or the family?
Huxley’s 1931 book, Brave New World, is a dystopian take on the the elite’s end game, which is control through technologies like “the feelies” and a pill called “soma” which keeps people in a state of “happiness” while being enslaved. He saw the dangers of state and corporate overreach, along with the use of “science” as a tool of the state. The devil’s bargain is to offer happiness in exchange for your freedom and sovereignty. Bad deal.
The therapeutic journey is an invitation to accept the ordeal of fighting for the freedom to be yourself, and courageously opposing any and all forces aligned against this human instinct both, within and without. The personal and the political are two sides of the same coin.
While we shouldn’t be attached to happiness, it does seem to be waiting for us when we cultivate the right conditions (and for adults that means finding the courage to clear the fog). My five month old daughter seems to default to it when the conditions are right ? when she’s fed, changed, rested, and loved. Her smile, under these conditions, could light up a thousand universes.
A Brief Spiritual Contextualization
If it’s true that we have our origin in the pure light of Spirit, which is my hunch, then every incarnated creature is a shard of an originating, creating light, unique and wondrous. We’re here to manifest that light (i.e. live our own life), and when we do we feel “happy”?the abiding sense that, despite the challenges, how shitty we can treat each other, and the darkness of fog, underlying it all is this originating Light. When we are connected to this light source, the existential feeling is that everything is already, always okay. As the prologue of John’s gospel puts it, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it”. Think of the darkness for the purposes of this piece as the fog and the fog-generators. And the light as what’s left after seeing through the deception and the gaslighting. That’s the truth (not THE truth). I mean by this the capacity to articulate the phenomenological truth (not philosophical) of what is actually going on at any given moment – to master the competency of trusting your own experience and intuition.
A Not So Brief Foray Into Mainstream Media as Fog-Generators.
Matt Taibbi teamed up with Douglas Murray to debate Malcolm Gladwell and Michelle Goldberg. The topic was: be it resolved, don’t trust mainstream media. Taibbi and Murray were speaking for the resolution. They mopped the floor with Gladwell and Goldberg. Prior to the debate the audience was evenly split. After the debate, 40% of those who were predisposed to trust the media flipped. It was the largest swing in the history of the Munk Debates. This wasn’t because Taibbi and Murray were superior debaters. They just cleared the fog and let truth prevail.
As Murray points out in the debate, our national broadcaster here in Canada, the CBC, is subsidized by the federal government to the tune of 1.4 billion annually. Do you think this might affect what stories get told, how they get told, and and what stories don’t get told? Could it affect what is considered newsworthy? One only has to look at the coverage during the pandemic to realize that no actual journalism is happening at the CBC. They were reading from the same script that every other mainstream global outlet was reading from.
Take masking as one of many examples of how zero investigative journalism happened during the pandemic. The media relinquished its historic role as challengers of the the narrative of power and became propagandists on their behalf.
Toni Fauci, the self-appointed Czar of public health, who ran the NIAID (National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases) for the past four decades (recently resigned), came out early in the pandemic and issued a statement that masks are ineffective with the coronavirus. Very clear. That is actually what the vast majority of the science tells us, as we’ll see below. Then he changed his mind, without ever actually saying he changed his mind, and without a single North American or European news outlet noticing his flip flop. They concluded, well, science changes. Really? In the two weeks it took for him to change his mind?
Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies at New York University, did notice. He teaches students how to differentiate between propaganda and actual news in the media. He’d been doing it for 20 years. When the pandemic started, he asked his students to think for themselves about what was being reported, what was true, what was false. This was his job. He asked them to hunt down scientific research about masks. The students who actually did their homework would have discovered that there are far more studies that show masks don’t work than that they do. If you click on the above link you’ll find 167 of them to be precise. But it’s likely you’ve never heard about them on mainstream media, because well, they were not considered newsworthy. Why? Seems like pretty important science is being withheld from the public. How is that mainstream media outlets in North America chose to ignore this? I mean, you’d think at least one of the networks would investigate. Dr. Miller, of course, was reported by his “progressive” students for assigning the homework and viciously attacked and defamed by his colleagues for his temerity.
Or I might have visited the website of the Cochrane Library. These people are known to produce high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. The Cochrane reviews bring you the combined results of the world’s best medical research studies, and are recognized as the gold standard in evidence-based health care.
The researchers failed to find even a “modest effect” on infection or illness rates from any type of mask. If you want to hear an actual epidemiologist summarize their most recent meta-analysis of the Cochrane reviews latest summary of the evidence check out Vinay Prasad’s video.
The lead researcher on masks for the Cochrane Review, Tom Jefferson, had this to say in an interview with Maryanne Demasi, PHD: “There’s still no evidence that masks are effective during a pandemic”. When asked by Demasi, “And yet governments from around the world implemented mask mandates…”Jefferson replied, “Yes, well, governments completely failed to do the right thing and demand better evidence…”
Now, just because there’s no evidence that masks don’t work, doesn’t mean that at some point in the future a better designed research protocol could show that masks do work,. I’m open to that possibility. But as it stands, this is the best science we have. Given that the media trot out the mantra ad nauseum, “follow the science”, why aren’t we being given this science? Who is telling these “journalists” and anchors not to tell the whole story? And why the fuck are these reporters obeying? The good ones get fired or walk away.
When did it happen that the media started to align so seamlessly with the state, the health authorities, and with the corporate agenda of Big Pharma? It’s not the job of the fourth estate to represent these groups, unless you live in Russia or China. The proper role of media is realized when they have an antagonistic relationship with power.
The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) is an international consortium of mainstream media whose mission is to safeguard the public against “misinformation” and “disinformation”. Which begs the question why would bona fide news organizations need to collectively do such a thing if they are committed to investigative research? It used to be that they were competing with each other for the scoop. They challenged experts and authorities with alternative facts and then watched them squirm. When the representatives of the consortium get together who gets to determine what is misinformation? Breaking news. That’s your job, not the government, not the think tanks funded by the government, or private interest groups. It’s difficult to imagine true journalists getting together without a single one asking the question, ummm…do we know if masks even work? To my mind, this is the very definition of a conspiracy, a breathing together to conceal inconvenient data. They came to consensus that all those “anti-maskers” are a fringe group – no need to report on all that other annoying research or check in with the Cochrane Review.
The real agenda behind the consortium is to establish a monopoly on what is news because they are losing market share, fast, to independent journalism (Substack, podcasters, etc.) who are still digging for the story. Journalists like Seymour Hersh, the same guy who broke the story that almost single-handedly ended the Viet Nam war by exposing the truth of what U.S. soldiers were doing over there. On his Substack column this past week he described, in startling detail, how the U.S. blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline. The best the legacy media (and the TNI) could come up with was that Russia blew up their own pipelines, along with half their annual GDP. This courageous, Nobel laureate, is now being cast as a disinformation spreading conspiracy theorist. It’s predictable and actually getting boring.
The vitriol directed against alternative sources of information by mainstream media reveals an underlying insecurity as the public increasingly is seeing through the fog.
Editor-in-chief of the CBC, Brodie Fenlon wrote an article citing a poll showing that over 49% of Canadians think that the media are purposely trying to mislead the public, 52% agree that the news is ideologically driven and politically motivated, and 52% agree that the news is not objective. The fog is lifting. But then, by way of reassuring the mistrusting reader, he ends by telling us that the CBC can be trusted because they signed on to the TNI. Well, that is reassuring.
Control of the narrative through mainstream media has long been a goal of the fog-generators. During the pandemic the British government employed an entire department to use “nudge” strategies on the population – essentially deciding what is true for the people and then deploying behavioural psychology techniques (without people’s consent) that aim directly at their subconscious, in order to effect compliance. (You would think that mainstream media would express just a little concern about state overreach. Again, nope.) The CIA has been perfecting mind control for decades, including infiltrating mainstream media with journalist operatives. It was called Operation Mockingbird. Not a conspiracy.
Independent journalist, Matt Taibbi, a left-leaning journalist who actually remembers what it is to be a journalist, reminds us that the media are now welcoming this infiltration by intelligence agencies in the U.S.
“Both MSNBC and similarly foundering competitor CNN (which lost 19% and 27% of their audiences, respectively, last year) have been open for years now in their desire to serve as final revolving door destinations for the shadiest conceivable military and security officials. While MSNBC went after Brennan (former Director of the CIA), Figliuzzi (former assistance Director of Counterintelligence at the FBI), and Bash (former Chief of Staff of the CIA), CNN scooped up James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence), Michael Hayden (former Director of the National Security Agency), and Steven Hall (CIA), among many others. The lists are so long, only an exceptional mind could keep track of them all. How many spooks fled to the Peacock?”
We all need to decide for ourselves what’s going on, that is, what we’re being told, by whom and which interests the information serves. But that’s the point as it relates to happiness. How can we be truly happy living in a fog? If mainstream media is turning to authorities who are masters at the art of deception, and they have themselves stopped actually investigating, why should we believe them? It’s clear from the above poll, fewer and fewer are believing them. Viewers and listeners are leaving in droves.
A Final Word about Trauma and Fog
Psychologist, Dr. Gabor Mate, who is considered a trauma expert, came out early in the pandemic declaring that the reason people refused to get jabbed and wear masks was that they were traumatized. “It’s nothing to do with the issue itself, it has to do with the issue acting as a flash point for their own unresolved traumatic imprints.” The conspiracy theorist, like the truckers, claims Mate, are born of unresolved trust issues. If they weren’t traumatized, they’d trust the health authorities, the government, and the media. They’d have access to reason, which has obviously gone off line because they were traumatized and seek refuge in belonging to fringe groups.
But is it unreasonable that a small percentage of citizens started to doubt what has been called the Covid Consensus? We’ve seen what happened with masking. That is, we’ve seen how mainstream media now functions as the propaganda wing for state and private interests and the narrative of their choice. Is it an unreasonable choice to question the dominant narrative as it relates to the pandemic?
Let’s see: refusing to take a vaccine that doesn’t function like any other vaccine in history, (i.e. doesn’t prevent getting or transmitting the virus); that is being promoted by an industry that has been fined 10’s of billion dollars collectively for falsifying research results, fraudulently claiming that a medication is safe when it’s killings hundreds of thousands (think oxycontin and Purdue), and withholding negative research findings in the last decade; a new delivery platform (mRNA) that is experimental, having never been tested before, except on the individuals who were jabbed during the pandemic; vaccine trials that were not and to this day still haven’t been subjected to randomized control trials (RCT’s), the gold standard for research; adverse effects that have far exceeded all other vaccines combined; the suppression of treatment protocols that have been proven to save lives in favour of Big Pharma’s singular solution.
It seems like a reasonable choice to refuse this injection. Although I understand why most people chose it. I’m all for freedom of choice and bodily sovereignty. But the playing field wasn’t exactly even. Globally, we have been subjected to the most comprehensive experiment in mind control, with mainstream media acting as the delivery system, in the history of humanity.
Yes, one of the impacts of trauma is distrust and yes it could result in an anti-authoritarian stance. But trauma can manifest in different ways. It is equally possible, and I would say more probable, that childhood trauma generates powerlessness and helplessness, resulting in a lifelong attitude that you had better not question authority or else.
When trauma is unconscious we proceed without having dismantled the early setup that made it impossible live our own lives. Our first experience of the fog was in our own families. This necessary and intelligent historical concession to the big people who were supposed to be protecting us, but who were actually been hurting us, and then mystifying what was really going on, gets projected onto the “big” people even after we’re adults. The big people are those we perceive to be in authority, the ones that can hurt and betray us if we don’t follow their rules, adopt their worldview, and even defend them when anybody speaks poorly of them. This threat of punishment is very effective in eliciting obedience on its own, but when it is supplemented by the unconscious fear that was set up by shaming and punishment in childhood the fear is magnified. I was scared for of my federal and provincial government for the first time in my life.
In my book, Dismantled, I write a chapter on The Family as Cult. In that chapter I propose that if our trauma remains unconscious, then the traumatizing family acts to set us up for other authorities who, in a re-enactment of early trauma, tell us with words that they are acting on our behalf, but with their actions it’s a different story. Unless we bring this trauma into conscious awareness we may be set up for a lifetime of blind conformance based in unresolved fear.
On the long and arduous journey to live one’s own life, it’s no longer sufficient to get one’s inner life sorted out. Once that terrain has been demystified it is imperative that we start clearing the fog that is being generated by those who want our obedience not our freedom. Happiness awaits the courageous. The attitude to take is not paranoia, but a humour-filled perspective-taking that is born of connection to Spirit. Bruce Cockburn’s song, Laughter, conveys this attitude. He’s spent a lifetime clearing the fog with his music. I’ll leave you with some of the lyrics:
Let’s have a laugh for the men of the worldWho thought they could make things work.
Tried to build a new Jerusalem
And ended up with New York.
Ha, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho…
A laugh for the newsprint nightmare
A world that never was
Where the questions are all “why?”
And the answers are all “because.”
Ha Ha Ha…ho, ho, ho…