View Full Version : Breaking The Spell of Civilization 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Done
05-07-2006, 08:30 AM
Spell Breaker - breaking civilisation's spell
"All hypnosis is basically self-hypnosis. It is the subjects' belief and conviction that the hypnotist posseses the mysterious power to hypnotise people which in great measure invests him with this power.
If the subject doubted the hypnotists ability it is very unlikely he would be hypnotised."
- The Theory and Practice of Hypnotism - William J. Ousby.
We have been hypnotised by civilisation's myths.
We have confidence in its power.
We believe its lies.
It's time to break the spell, to begin to awaken from our slumber.
Slowly now, I'll count backwards from ten and by then you will have opened your eyes and be fully awake.
05-07-2006, 03:13 PM
Once upon a time humans lived as other animals lived.
They ate and slept and played and sang.
They lived in small groups as nomadic hunters.
They hunted and gathered what was offered by the sea and the forest.
They explored the universe within them and the many realities outside of them.
Life was good.
05-07-2006, 08:53 PM
But it's directly related to the subject of this thread, so...
The Influence of Trance in Democracy
Dennis R. Wier
Director, Trance Research Foundation
How can advertising, trance, false memory and the ideals of democracy be mutually reconciled? This question occurred to me just as I finished reading The Death of Discourse by Collins & Skover, and was giving a synopsis of the book to a colleague. I thought, for me, Collins & Skover raised more questions than answers. Their point of view is from a legal and cultural view of First Amendment issues. Collins & Skover are concerned with freedom of speech and the change in its meaning from Madison's time to the contemporary age. They echo the fears expressed in Huxley's 1946 nightmare Brave New World. Part of their view is that our self-indulgent electronic culture has replaced the 18th century Madisonian discourse of ideas paradigm with communication for the sake of private pleasure.
In my own book, Trance: From Magic to Technology, I raised similar questions from another point of view. My view was more psychological and only incidentally legal and cultural. My view is that there is a simple way to understand the mechanism of involvement with electronic images and their effect on the construction of personal memory which ultimately affects meaningful communication, political discourse and decision-making.
Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister said: 'Simplify and repeat. Simplify and repeat.' He knew what worked as a propaganda and indoctrination strategy. As a strategy that simple formula still works today. It is used extensively as a de facto model of modern advertising and is undeniably a controlling paradigm of our political life. But when trance is used to advance greed or violence, or to promote the uncritical acceptance of lies and deceptions, then trance becomes the means of enchantment of the most evil sort. And we have seen it before.
In my book I proposed a simple model for trance because I was interested in modeling meditation. I would like to repeat it here because it not only applies to a variety of religious or spiritual practices including meditation and ritual, but it also provides a model for the creation of false memory, addiction, cult behavior, compulsions of all sorts as well as indoctrination of political belief or propaganda.
What is a trance? And what does it mean to be in a trance?
As I define it, the specific dissociation of awareness which results from any sustained cognitive object (thought) loop is a trance. A trance always results in the disabling of some cognitive functions, and it is some subset of these disabled cognitive functions which most people intuitively associate with the word trance. One of my aims is to show how the implications of this model enhances our understanding of the profound changes in our culture due to electronic media.
Trance always results in the temporary disabling of some cognitive functions for energy conservation reasons. Trance enables a type of dissociated cognitive multiprocessing, but naturally does so always at the expense of other cognitive functions.
The disabling of a cognitive function can have both positive as well as negative effects. The mind in a trance is easily able to integrate multiple cognitive functions or processes, but it does so at the expense of explicit and detailed control over the subprocesses.
In some cases, the disabling of a cognitive function has a negative effect, such as becoming insensitive to and unaware of physical or emotional pain. One potential side-effect of a disabled cognitive function is that you are unaware of verbal suggestions that are given to you by electronic media. That is, critical judgment is suspended and you uncritically and without awareness accept the images, experiences and verbal suggestions from electronic media as though coming from a trusted part of your own self.
There may or may not be subjective awareness when you are in a trance. You are not usually aware that you are in a trance, but you continue to believe that your subjective awareness is somehow functioning normally. Often times, the only way to tell you have been in a trance is when you are startled back to your ordinary awareness. When, for example, you are sedulously involved in following a particularly exciting sports play on television, interruptions become particularly vexing and may deliver a shock as painful as a punch. From a trance theory point of view, this shock results from the collapse of the trance. If you knew that you were in a trance, this discomfortable sensation might readily be explained.
Television, movies and computer video are media which always induce a hypnotic trance. The trance generating loop occurs by reason of our cognitive processes which organize the synthetic images into sense. You are tempted and enticed to let go of your normally critical cognitive faculties and to accept uncritically the images, sounds, voices and experiences that are represented by the synthetic reality. As a reward for this suspension of critical belief, you gain a certain vicarious pleasure or sense that you have experienced an exciting, entertaining or rewarding time. The trance generating loop of television, movies and so on, is this synthetic stimulus-pleasure reward response loop.
The two most important cognitive functions that become disabled due to trance are volition and critical judgment. When these two cognitive abilities become disabled, we can no longer decide what is good for us nor do we care. We then tend to uncritically accept suggestions from others, whether these others exist in reality or are merely synthetic images on a television or movie screen. Related to critical judgment is our sense of determining what is real. When our ability to distinguish the reality of an experience is suspended we more readily fantasize, have more constructive visualizations and begin to believe that the synthetic images are actually real.
How easy is it to create such a trance? Remarkably easy. All that is necessary is to simplify and repeat, simplify and repeat. Eventually, little by little, day by day, more and more people will accept whatever suggestions are offered by the electronic media, whether these suggestions relate to attitudes, images, brands, political, economic, moral or ethical beliefs. The primary reason that this happens is due to the subtle but powerful effects of the induced and unterminated trance.
A third important cognitive function which is usually disabled by trance is short-term memory. The faultless memory of experiences helps us to make judgments. When you have had a pleasant experience, your memory serves you by retaining images of that experience. Accessing those images guide you in making future decisions. One problem with memory is that the content of memory is not always real. That is, your memory does not by itself distinguish between what really happened in the past and what was only a synthetic image originating from electronic media sources. This becomes especially important in long-term memory. The reason is that our physical human memories were not designed with the idea that such modern and exotic devices as movies and television would provide our memories with synthetic experiences. From the point of view of physical human memory, all memories are real, none are synthetic.
While you may be able to distinguish between real and synthetic memories in the short term, as a memory fades more into the past, the distinction between real and synthetic becomes blurred. You may have never traveled to South America, Europe or Japan, but can you imagine what it looks like? Is there an experience connected with that image? And what is the feeling connected to that experience? And what is the attitude connected to that feeling? And does that attitude influence your political judgments about a place you've never been to?
Ronald Reagan once recounted an experience to reporters which purportedly really occurred. An inquisitive reporter attempted to uncover the background of this experience and found that the source of it didn't exist. The source was a movie that the president had seen some decades previously. Although the experience was in the president's memory, his memory could not distinguish reality from synthetic.
This problem is not limited to the president. When trance disables aspects of memory recall it becomes impossible to distinguish whether an event really occurred or was merely a synthetic experience from a movie or a television synthetic event.
Do the images shown on television news have a basis in reality, or are they synthetic? When you remember images from the last war in a place you have never visited, does your memory indicate to you that you actually experienced it? Does the fear, shock and awe feel real to you? Or is the memory tagged with an indicator that says to you the image is synthetic and not real? What happened to your ability to think critically?
Modern computer based graphic tools can insert images or parts of images from one digital video into another and blend them together. Even shadows and reflected light can be computationally created so that a viewer cannot know that the composite video shows a synthetic reality which never existed. Yet, this synthetic reality can represent experiences and provoke profound emotions and generate attitudes all of which you remember as a false memory you nonetheless believe.
When a synthetic reality is perceived on television or at a movie in which the viewer is in a trance and the synthetic reality is composed of an emotionally intense story, additional cognitive demands are made on our emotional integrating abilities. These demands further reduce or disable critical judgment cognitive abilities among others. When, for example, people are in a state of terror, attention is narrowed and perceptions are altered. Peripheral detail, context, and time sense fall away, while attention is strongly focused on central detail in the immediate present. When the focus of attention is extremely narrow, cognitive thought objects repeat and a trance is created. When a trance is created, certain cognitive functions are disabled and these may produce profound perceptual distortion, including insensitivity to pain, depersonalization, time slowing and amnesia. Greed, deception and violence flourishes in such a mental atmosphere.
Because of the prevalence and intensity of synthetic images in our culture, synthetic imagery may be at this point in our cultural time in a strong competitive position with our ordinary reality. Some people already have a real problem in distinguishing between ordinary reality and synthetic reality. They would argue that the synthetic reality is as real as ordinary reality because the emotions and memories are equivalently real. As synthetic reality becomes more sophisticated and impinges upon more senses in a more complete way, and as trance is more fully understood and abused, it will no longer be possible for most people to distinguish between ordinary and synthetic realities. Among children who grow up with more television hours than hours with real people, this may already be the case.
The issue of a 'false memory' thus becomes easy to understand as a natural result of trance and the synthetic reality of electronic media..
What effect does trance have on democracy? How can a person in a trance, with critical judgment and other cognitive functions virtually disabled and with a plethora of delusions based on false memories be expected to make rational decisions or reasoned judgments affecting vital social, economic, legislative or political issues? Indeed, the normal television viewer in a trance is unable to concentrate on the issues, and becomes nothing more than a disenfranchised slave to the rulers.
Adolph Hitler once said, "What luck for the rulers that men cannot think."
For a democracy to work and the enchantment to end, men must be able to think critically. In thinking critically, love, truth, compassion and forgiveness can also thrive and those rulers whose god is greed, arrogance, deception and violence can never survive.
05-07-2006, 09:13 PM
These wild ancestors of ours didn't build any pyramids - they lived lightly and left no mess behind.
It's only very recently in evolutionary terms, 10,000 years or so, since humans started doing civilisation, but within that short time we've done our best to forget our uncivilised ancestors.
We really do think history began 10,000 years ago and that we've been "progressing" ever since. We have forgotton how full and rich and complex life was for our wild ancestors.
Our task then is to remember our ancestors, remember how they lived...
If you go to the woods and be silent,
your ancestors will talk to you
and tell you what it was like.
You are a total asset to this forum. That is a most excellent piece.
05-08-2006, 08:32 AM
Death On A Pale Horse
Europe was once forest filled and people lived as hunter gatherers. Then a tribe came from somewhere in the Middle-East and destroyed what was here. This tribe had farmed their own lands intensively, tamed plants, other animals and themselves. Then in the true spirit of civilisation they expanded.
Invaded everyone elses home.
The native people hadn't much of a chance against the metal weapons of the invaders.
Slowly civilisation marched through Europe.
Obliterating the forest, the wild people, the wolves, bears and wildcats.
05-08-2006, 12:25 PM
Invader Farmer Culture
The invading farmer culture was fundamentally different than the native hunter gatherer culture. Farming produces different relationships between plants and humans, other animals and humans, and between humans themselves. It fosters a master/slave relationship, a completely different way of living.
A life of toil and slavery.
Of soil erosion, floods, famines, deserts and plagues.
Yoked and blinkered.
Grinding away at repetitive, back-breaking work.
Forest wonders forgotton, their true wild natures barely a distant memory.
Even farming that is completely one hundred percent organic and uses no fertilisers, pesticides or other poisons, still causes problems. For example, the Amish people in North America have farmed in that way for only two hundred and fifty years and already the topsoil has been depleted by half, from sixteen inches to eight inches.
Farmers stop roaming freely, build fences, walls, barriers in their head as well as in their villages. They placate the gods with sacrifices, humble themselves, become less human. They subdue and manipulate nature for their short term gain, and so nature becomes an adversary to bully and coerce rather than a gift-giving friend to respect and love.
As a hunter your senses are sharp, your intuitions' finely tuned. You are alert and senstive to the powers around and inside you.
Farmers lose that vitality, dull themselves. They domesticated themselves, lost their edge. Although the rot sets in slowly, it sets in steadily and the results are here, all around us.
05-08-2006, 12:50 PM
John Prine has said a lot of wise things but that was one of the wisest.
There's something about being a primate, having the visual orientation of that order, which makes TV, particularly as it is currently used, horribly seductive to us. Color and movement fascinate us, I would suspect that the introduction of color greatly enhanced this mesmerizing effect of television. Same goes for movies and computers(I'm strictly a text reader myself):). There might be a place for these media in a sane world, but I'd expect it to be much more limited than today.
Thanks for that piece, it makes coherent some stuff I've been kicking around for a long time.
05-08-2006, 01:12 PM
:applause: If so, could you autograph a couple books for me?:asshole:
All spot on, the question is how do integrate what we are with what we have become, because Thomas Wolfe was right, you can't go home.
05-08-2006, 08:25 PM
Missionaries in Europe
Once we started farming, building cities, constructing hierarchies, we got sicker and sicker.
The church killed millions of men and women who fought to keep their way of life. Witch hunts that lasted hundreds of years in Europe. Millions were burned at the stake or drowned. They were tortured and maimed - systematically destroyed by religious men who wanted everyone in Europe to be civilised.
Dividing our souls from our bodies and our hearts from the land.
Making us believe in good and evil and heaven and hell.
Wrenching us from our true wild natures.
Eclipsing feminine power and ways of seeing with cold reason and measured science.
Unhinged it came,
By the end of these witch hunts there would be very few animists left in Europe. Our native ways were almost obliterated. Our forest home destroyed, our ancient knowledge forgotton.
The religious men invaded other lands, wiping out their ways too. Missionaries with a bible in one hand, a gun in the other, spreading their sick ideas, their civilisation disease.
These missionaries need to use guns and deception to force native peoples to convert because native peoples everywhere resist the destruction of their forest home and forest ways. They know there is no god in heaven or hell below. That the life force is everywhere, all around us and inside us. That there is no good and evil, just different ways of doing things, different ways of looking at things.
Nature and Madness
05-09-2006, 06:01 AM
Living without the forest, without wildness, has a deep impact on us.
Do you do a job you hate and at the weekend take lots of drugs and drink ? Do you watch television for hours and hours or go shopping for things you don't need in huge shopping centres?
Does it make you happy?
Do you keep doing it anyway because you are told by the adverts, by the television, by your whole materialistic culture, that it will make you happy? And even if it never makes you happy at least you're fitting in, being normal, right?
Are you afraid to think about things too much because deep down you know it's all a load of rubbish, that there's no substance, no soul to life here?
In this grey desert.
It doesn't have to be like that, no-one is forcing you to live that way. Don't be afraid to think for yourself, to break away from the herd. It's not your destiny to be miserable unless you choose that path.
05-09-2006, 07:40 PM
A lot of our problems start when we're real young. As little babies we are not held and carried around on our mother's backs or hung in trees like other children. Instead we are put into cots, separate beds, buggies and car seats. So as babies we miss out on the vital touch of another humans skin, we miss out on the warm snuggly feeling babies need. All our lives we seek this comfort, but rarely find it. We are born in hospitals, with cold machines taking the place of warm humans and very few of us feed from our mothers breast. Always then we are missing our mothers breast, always we feel incomplete and lonely. The effects of the way we are born stay with us all our lives.
See how a machine takes the place of warm skin,
A plastic bottle the place of a mothers loving breast,
A cold stare the place of a tender smile,
A stink of disinfectant the place of living bodies,
A mechanical whirr the place of mammys' heartbeat.
Children here are treated with no respect, they can't go anywhere without an adult with them. Most places have so many roads and cars that you cannot let them out to play or else they will be killed by a car. Our kids are imprisoned in houses in front of the television. They are fat and unhealthy because of the lack of physical exercise and poor diet. Sometimes they get to go round other childrens houses, but it is all organised and supervised by adults. Children here have no freedom, are not trusted to act responsibly for themselves. Having never had the chance to explore the world for themselves, they are ill-equipped for adult life. They are given the message loud and clear that they are helpless, unable to fend for themselves at any level.
How can people who are given this message ever start thinking and acting for themselves?
School - The Murder Machine
We send our kids to school to learn to shut up, sit down and take orders. Learn how to be the same as everyone else and bully those who are different. To draw straight lines on paper for weeks on end. To be intimidated, coerced, forced to sit in a completely unnatural and physically damaging position.
Please sir, can I go to the toilet?
But this of course is the whole point of school. It's supposed to break a childs spirit. It's part of the process that begins when a woman allows her pregnancy to be medicalised and controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, it continues with the horrors of a hospital birth and abandonment in a creche after a few months. It's all part of the civilising process. Only civilised peoples herd their kids into a box to "educate" their children. Wild peoples kids are fostered by their whole community. They learn useful things as they need to, they play, they laugh, they sing and chatter...they are not "taught" anything, they learn themselves from example. All other animals imitate their peers. A baby bird learns to fly by watching from birth how other birds fly.
"A soulless thing cannot teach; but it can destroy. A machine cannot make men; but it can break men..."
- The Murder Machine, Padraic Pearse
05-09-2006, 08:30 PM
Our minds are poisoned. The earth is poisoned.
We all know this, yet nothing gets better. When will we start to heal ourselves, to allow the earth to heal?
We are like a burns victim who is so badly burned they can't feel any pain. The tissue has been burned away so the nerves are gone and no message can get back to the brain. We are so severely damaged that we don't even realise how bad the situation is, how sick we are.
We need to
and look at
Assess what needs to be done.
And start on our journey towards re-wilding ourselves.
05-09-2006, 08:32 PM
Alder sheds his catkins to make new leaves.
Nature is ever-changing, full of beings dying and being born. A branch drops from a tree and becomes fungii food. Our bones become food for the soil. Nothing really dies, it just becomes something else. Some other creatures dinner.
Feel comforted by the sense of this. The incredible, vast, terrifying beauty of it all.
You are on a long flowing river of discovery.
There's no boundaries, no borders, only a vast, beautiful universe to explore.
Enjoy your journey.
05-09-2006, 10:58 PM
This is one of the best threads I've ever read. Period. You've outdone yourself. I thank you.
By Daniel Quinn?
I think you'd like him.
He also wrote, "My Ishmael," and "The Story of B."
All very good.
05-26-2006, 10:50 AM
Since technology is, by its very essence, artificial - that is, not natural, a human construct not otherwise found in nature, where there is no technology - it tends to distance humans from their environment and set them in opposition to it. And the larger and more powerful it becomes, the greater is that distance and opposition: "The artificial world", as Jacques Ellul puts it, "is radically different from the natural world," with different imperatives, different directives and different laws" such that "it destroys, eliminates, or subordinates the natural world." At this point, technology is able to so completely overwhelm that natural world as to threaten its continued existence, and unless the technosphere re-establishes some connectedness to the biosphere it seems certain to carry out that threat.
05-28-2006, 12:07 PM
SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE
05-29-2006, 09:46 PM
02-23-2007, 03:01 PM
02-24-2007, 11:24 AM
No matter how you try.you never never are able to get sucked up into the "meat grinder".You cannot follow orders.You never end up as a brick in the wall.
02-25-2007, 02:52 PM
You really got my attention with the Alder- I was trying to figure out what was growing on my property.
02-25-2007, 03:04 PM
I'll post pictures of a couple of my better trees,after you they finish leafing out.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.10 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.