The Power of Mystification

Image: (c) Dazdraperma http://www.fotosearch.com

Mystification is the state we’re in after we’ve been mystified. According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to mystify is to: 1: to perplex the mind of; bewilder 2: to make mysterious or obscure. I venture most of us have been mystified at some time by the performance of a magician. When it is done for entertainment it can be enjoyable and leave us appreciative of the performer’s skills. Sometimes a teacher may mystify us as a means of introducing us to a subject. Once the teacher has caught our interest, they can proceed to instruct us in the discipline involved. Perhaps, this is the most common method of education in the natural world. However, the act of mystifying people isn’t always done with such a benevolent motive or positive results. Sometimes, in fact quite often these days, when we’re being mystified it is being done with a predatory motive.

First, it is important to understand that we, as human beings, all love to play. We love to be entertained. When I was young I was introduced to the axiom “Work before pleasure.” That guidance has undoubtedly sustained humankind throughout the centuries. However, it is often through play, during leisure time, that we reap the benefits of new ideas, creative thinking. We know that it is stimulation that leads our bodies, including our brains, to develop fully. Often during play, or leisure time, we follow the flights of fancy that one stimulation, or another, may have given birth to within us. Sometimes it is just a moment’s enjoyment. However, sometimes we find ourselves positively mystified by something we’ve experienced through our senses or within our imagination. I say “positively” because these are the times we are caught by an idea which we want to follow up on. An idea about how to do something in a more efficient manner, or about creating something. Possibly a tool, or perhaps a work of art. Sometimes mystification, followed up on, can lead us to positive, culture changing discoveries. I wonder if all new inventions and works of art begin with a person being mystified by something?

In fact, mystification has played such an important role in human development, I venture that we instinctively appreciate it and seek it out. In our earliest memories we find ourselves being mystified by about everything. To a very young person, even the actions of walking and talking are mystifying experiences. We are mystified, we learn, we accomplish. To our minds, in it’s most wholesome manifestation, mystification is akin to our bodies experiencing the aroma of a fine meal being prepared. First the tantalizing promise of a reality, then, with the application of disciplined effort, the realization of the promise.

We have, through time and personal experience, come to value mystification for it’s ability to lead us to new visions, new understandings. However, within the predatory business model which currently dominates commerce worldwide, the reality that mystification has a value has not been ignored. Today several entire industries utilize mystification routinely in their marketing and as a lever in their all too predatory pricing practices. Contemporary industries which strongly rely upon the public being mystified with their product in order to both attract customers and demand inflated prices include: communications technology: cellphones, computers, and related devices, many other high-tech industries, pharmaceuticals and many other medical devices and practices.

In the middle of the 20th century the use of mystification as a mass marketing tool was possibly pioneered by the movie industry. But over time, increased familiarity with the product and it’s means of production, have resulted in a general demystification with the movie industry. However, a good story, well told, can still draw an audience.

From a developmental perspective, a major problem with the way mystification is being used by industries today is that unlike the process in which it occurs within nature, as a part of process of benevolent development, within many industries mystification is being used as a component of an extremely predatory business model. There’s no developmental “payoff” included nor intended. Just an ongoing demand for exorbitant prices on the part of the industry.

Which brings us to possibly the most culturally damaging effect this use (misuse?) of mystification is having in the world. Like the addicts who pay extortionate prices to illicit drug dealers for a fix, we are paying extortionate prices to the industries who have mystified us with their products and the short term satisfaction we often get with their use. I say “short term” because that’s what it is. Whether we’re referring to the instantaneous stimulation we get from video games and various electronic technology, or the temporary immunity offered by vaccinations (versus the permanent immunity from a naturally occurring immune response). We’re apparently transfixed by these products, their complexity, their mystifying actions (and the promises our subconscious infers based in evolutionary history). So we keep paying, and paying and paying to access them. We pay extortionate cable fees, internet fees, game rentals, equipment costs. As far as pharmaceuticals go we often pay exorbitant costs for the product’s development and then the extortionate costs demanded for the product.

It must be noted these aren’t the only products which have managed to mystify great numbers of people resulting in demands for exorbitant prices for the products. Some others in the U.S. include professional sports/athletes and “superstar” entertainers. Also Las Vegas and other extravagant, mystifying gambling houses. All of these enterprises rely upon mystification in the marketing of their products.

So what? Isn’t it just the way it is that businesses charge as much as they can? What’s wrong with that? What are you, some kind of idealist?

There is a concept that is important to grasp. It is the concept of a body working in balance, in harmony, as opposed to a body in which the various components of the body are fighting with each other for vital resources. If an organ, or group of cells, within our physical body goes on a campaign of inordinate growth, that is often a case of what we call cancer. Left unchecked it will result in the demise of the body it is occurring within. What is important, vital, to grasp is that the same principle is at work when we increase the scale we are looking at. The same principle applies when we’re looking at families, cultures, nations. Balance and harmony indicate a healthy body. Whether that body is a tribe, town, city, nation or planetary culture. If some component of the whole begins working to acquire inordinate amounts of the vital resources required by all, that is a symptom of a condition of disease and left unchecked will result in the demise of the body it is occurring within.

As with other aspects of what it is to be human, such as pleasure, mystification is a vital, important part of our lives. However, if we allow an inordinate amount of our personal time, energy, and material resources, or our collective time, energy and material resources, to be captured in a single minded pursuit of mystification, other vital areas of our lives, we ourselves, are going to suffer for it. On a cultural level, other professions are going to find the vital contributions they make to the sustaining of our lives, our communities, going undervalued, or ignored. Farmers, teachers, janitors, construction workers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, store clerks, restaurant workers, sanitation workers, police, firefighters, healthcare workers of myriad disciplines, all these contributors to our personal and cultural wellbeing and more, will find, are finding, their ability to earn a decent living increasingly diminished. Diminished because we are allowing a few to acquire too much of what is needed for the good of the whole. In part because we are captured by the mystification we experience when accessing their products.

Will it take another extinction event, another re-boot of humankind, for us as spiritual beings to realize the folly of ignoring our own interconnected, spiritual reality?

Image (c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

We are all energy beings. We are manifested in a manner which presents as material and solid, however, when physicists take a closer look, that appearance begins to be revealed as a manifestation apparently constructed out of nothingness. We’re all energy beings. As such we live within, and are a part of, an energy field. We’re all, at our most basic level, all made of the same stuff. That same stuff is all around us and extends into the infinite universe we live within. We are, quite literally, inseparable from the universe we live within. One universe, many planets, many stars, many galaxies, many dimensions. All within the one, the all. And we have the privilege, the blessing, of being conscious, alive, to experience it.

Beyond a doubt, the experience of consciousness within such a stellar and magnificent reality can cause some aberrations to take place in our minds. We love it, some want to own it, some want to somehow grasp onto the very small piece of it closest to us and control it. As if that were possible in the crude, brutal ways it is usually attempted. We are in a dance, a dance of energy, light, motion, love. To do anything other than try to flow with it, to appreciate it, and to care for aspects of it we have the ability to work with, is hubris. It is the lack of humility, the overestimation of, or presumptuousness as to our place within our reality that creates a lot of problems for us.

Some look around and think because of the color of my skin, or hair, or eyes, or my height, or my physical strength, or my keenness of intellect, I am wholly superior to others. Or that because they happened to be the first human to begin living in a particular valley, or on a particular hill, they therefore own the whole of it. Our desire to own, to somehow freeze the ongoing flow of time and life, and make it our own, has led us to form collectives, cabals, with agreements to abide by certain rules and documents and to live as if those rules and documents truly represent some kind of divine right. Again, such hubris.

Innate within us, within us from the moment of our creation, is a connection to the Universal Creative Spirit, which is, in fact, the universe, the all. Within that connection is guidance. When we still our minds, access that guidance, we know what we should do, and we know what we should not do. We know that each and every one of us, each individual, is ultimately no greater, nor lesser, than any other. In a move that has shown itself to have the potential to be both a blessing and a curse, in all of this wondrous creation, for reasons we may not (cannot?) fully understand, we have been given free will. I guess the Creative Spirit, which flows within and around us, and of which we are all an integral part, didn’t want a bunch of puppets.

We know there have been other civilizations before this one. Civilizations lost in time, we occasionally find artifacts which testify to their existence. One of these prior civilizations, Atlantis, from the stories which have been passed down to us, brought it’s destruction upon itself through it’s hubris. Too much knowledge in too specific a focus. Not enough appreciation of the whole of the system they (we) exist within. In their manipulations of the material world, they lost sight of, lost appreciation of, the spiritual. In their ability to play with aspects of the stuff of creation, they lost humility. They went out of synch with the universal dance they were a part of, and were washed away as the will within universe didn’t see fit to alter the greater in deference to the lesser.

What more obvious way to love, to honor the Universal Creative Spirit, call it God, or not, than to love and honor the creation? After all, the creator and creation are one. We are, in fact, of God. When we forget that we are only parts of a whole, and that none of us has any greater claim to the whole than any other of us, then, again, we get into trouble. In the past that trouble was always, relative to the totality of human existence and the planet, relatively local stuff. We fought with stones, axes, swords, guns and relatively localized explosives. As time has gone on we have become increasingly capable in our ability to wreak destruction upon the materialized reality we are a part of. However, to want to do so is symptomatic of mental and spiritual illness, always. It is symptomatic of people cut off from, in denial of, the foundational spiritual reality which we all live within and are all a part of. To engage in the deception of, the destruction of others, is to engage in self-deception and self-destruction. To engage in cooperating with, nurturing, building, healing, appreciating others, is to manifest those things in our world, to manifest them as resources for, aspects of, ourselves.

We have free will. History shows us the Universal Creative Spirit, because love is it’s essential nature, also will wipe the slate and start again if necessary. When the hubris of the creation has led to a denial of love. Humankind has reached a level of functioning that allows individual men and women, and groups, to engage in activities which affect all human life, all life itself, upon the entire planet. We have free will. We can engage in constructive, loving, nurturing activities, or we can engage in activities which are designed along narrowly perceived avenues of immediate benefit to a few, but which ignore the effects of such behaviors upon the conditions affecting well-being of the larger whole. Conditions which will, ultimately, bear upon all.

Will it take another extinction event, another re-boot of humankind, for us as spiritual beings to realize the folly of ignoring our own interconnected, spiritual reality?

The Assault Upon Our Democracy

Graphic: Copyright: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

As we enter 2021 the United States is filled with a citizenry which, on the whole, is more troubled, fearful, angry, and poorer than they ever have been in the last 75 years. A citizenry which is increasingly homeless and hungry. A citizenry which is increasingly being “ruled”, not governed, by a cabal composed of the wealthiest who have managed, over the past 60+ years, to shape the thinking and culture of the nation to their liking. Joe Biden was certainly correct when, in his speech on Jan. 6, he stated “…our democracy is under unprecedented assault…”. However, he is sorely inaccurate in his assignment of the source of the assault merely to those who were demonstrating, and rioting, at the Capital Building.

While the demonstration and riot did manage to achieve a graphic display of the dissatisfaction which is widespread in the U.S., as far as preventing a fulfillment of the results of the last election, it was a misguided, futile effort. The pervasive and, at this point, long standing threat, the primary threat to American democracy: which is on the verge of dealing a fatal blow to the American experiment in democracy, is the dissemination of inaccuracies, lies, propaganda, which those occupying the highest positions in both government and industry have been increasingly engaging in since the end of the Second World War. It is impossible for a healthy democracy to exist without a steady flow of honest, accurate information for the people, who are at the heart of the system, to base their decisions upon. As we enter 2021 we must face the fact our democracy is crippled in this regard by five realities:

  1. Our “representative government has in reality become a government/industry amalgamation which routinely cries out “national security” to prevent the citizenry from gaining access to critical information. Information essential to any genuine effort at democratic government.
  2. The corporations deeply entrenched in governmental function are so obsessed with being at the “top of the food chain” in a predatory corporate culture, lying to the public is simply standard operating procedure.
  3. The governmental agencies which have been originally tasked with the protection of the interests of the public, have been co-opted by the industries the public expects them to be regulating. Their proclamations are little more than corporate PR.
  4. The “mainstream” news media (the fourth estate) has been monopolized by large corporations and, collectively, have become little more than conveyors of propaganda disseminated under the guise of “news”.
  5. Our government is increasingly populated by self-serving politicians who: have learned how to manipulate the system for personal gain, are increasingly dependent upon the wealth of corporations and certain wealthy individuals to obtain office, employ professional speech writers who expertly write speeches which divert, manipulate and placate the public. Speeches which they have no compunction against delivering. The U.S. has not yet had a President which does not fall into this category during the 21st century.

So yes, Joe Biden is entirely accurate with his claim of an unprecedented assault being waged upon our democracy. However, his assigning the primary source of that assault to those who engaged in the misguided actions in Washington, D.C. on Jan 6th is just more diversion and manipulation. It is more misinformation, which is, in fact, the true assault upon our democracy.

The key to dismantling this monstrosity of a manipulative system is simple and easily available to every individual in the U.S. In fact, every individual in the world. It is love. It is having love for all of humankind. It is basing our speech, our actions, our systems on the reality of that love. We must embrace the reality encapsulated in the “Golden Rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” and genuinely and thoughtfully apply it in our lives. We are all an important part of an interdependent system. When we realize that, “One for all and all for one.” becomes much more than an interesting motto from a book.

Cults, Mind Control and Covid-19

Well before Covid-19 emerged on the world scene, in a series with a goal of freeing people who are in cults from oppressive mind control, cult expert and deprogrammer Steve Hassan had this to say about how cults gain control over peoples’ thinking and behavior: “Someone who’s skilled can figure out how to systematically and incrementally manipulate you into a vulnerable and isolated place, and start to control your behavior, control your information, control your thinking, and make you dependent and obedient.”

Bear in mind this is almost always, if not always, done with an expressed goal that involves loving yourself and others and the assurance that what you’re doing is for the greater good. There is also always a covert agenda of which the person being targeted has no idea. The covert agenda(s) are certainly never explained in any presentation by the cult. In this dominant/submissive scenario, any serious questions about the imposed ideas/rules are often unwelcome and may not be tolerated. If anyone who senses something isn’t right asks questions which threaten the leadership’s authority or in any way might address/expose the covert goals, that person may find themselves identified as someone who is suspect, possibly an enemy. They may be targeted with degrading and derogatory remarks. They may possibly experience harassments and threats to their wellbeing.

Particularly in regard to what those in positions of political power are proclaiming and demanding of the public in regard to Covid-19, I have to ask; is the scenario that Steve Hassan describes the scenario that is playing itself out in the U.S. and other places? Everything that Mr. Hassan describes in the above quote is most certainly taking place. What I think we need to be asking is: is there a covert agenda or, are everyone’s motives and agendas in the open? One logical subsequent question is: is there money and/or other worldly value at stake? In this case, concerning Covid-19, there are billions of dollars at stake in terms of sales diverted from one retail outlet to another. There will most likely also be many real properties being repossessed and they will become available to investors. And then there are the potential billions in profits from the sales of vaccine(s). So the answer is yes, in a very big way, money is on the table.

What about other worldly value? Is there economic and political power to be gained by the way things go during this period of time? There absolutely is. As we have seen, especially since the passage of “Citizens United”, in many ways, I would say too many, money controls politics. So yes, at this time it is an inescapable fact that economic and political power, along with great wealth, is in play with the dynamics around Covid-19.

The next logical question we should all be answering for ourselves, and maybe the most profound one, the one we really need to seriously be examining considering what is at stake is: are the people who are profiting, or who stand to reap future profits, people we can wholly trust? Are they people we trust with the level of control they have established and those they are working to establish over our lives? Over our childrens’ lives? Are they people who are being completely honest about their agendas and/or other Covid related factors which affect our lives and which may affect their current or future profits? It’s a very important question. After all, we’ve been rearranging, limiting, postponing our lives on the basis of their proclamations. In some cases people are being thrown into financial hardship, bankrupted, losing their businesses, losing their dwellings, losing educational opportunities, due to the demands being placed upon us.

So it comes down to: are we being lied to? Is the data around positive test results, “cases”, and even the deaths attributed to Covid-19 being covertly, manipulated? Is it being exaggerated? Are the authoritarian demands truly commensurate with the dangers in the situation? (Despite all the uproar and superlatives being thrown around by the media, the death rate, in the U.S. is less than 1/10th of 1% of the population.) Is the authoritarian response to Covid-19 grievously harming more people than the virus itself?

Are we being given half-truths and/or outright fabrications? Two differentiations I think we very much need involving the Covid-19 statistics are: 1. What is the number of people who are in the hospital for an unrelated medical condition, are subsequently tested, found positive, as opposed to those who actually check into the hospital for Covid-19 related issues? And, 2, What is the number of people who die with Covid-19 as opposed to those who die from Covid-19? Right now those two populations are apparently being lumped together. This is not a distinction without a difference, there is a very real difference in both the reality and implications involved.

We know there is certainly a very real motive, should the temptation be too great, for some to see the current situation play out a certain way. Are those controlling the data and the media reports, those making demands upon our lives; are those individuals above succumbing to the temptation of using their position of power to manipulate “reality” in order to funnel some of the substantial amount of wealth and power potentially available in this scenario into their own hands?

What do we have to base our perspective, our answer to this question upon? In fact, the only thing we have is what we can learn about their behaviors, not their words, but their behaviors in the past. Especially if looking at the “distant” past, say 20 years or more ago, those behaviors may or may not be any real indicator of present behavior. Despite the protestations of those who maintain otherwise, people can and do change with time and experience. Some more, some less. It often depends upon the nature of the experiences in a person’s life. With this in mind, what are the more recent indicators of a person’s ethics, honesty?

So, again: can we trust those amassing and distributing the information regarding Covid-19 and, on the basis of that information, making subsequent demands upon our lives?

What do you think?