Sunday, January 5, 2020

Living to Die: Culture-Assisted Suicide

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



I want to tell you about something.

You probably won’t like it and will think I’m going overboard by saying it.

After all, although it’s utterly insane, it’s also quite normal.

You therefore probably know it quite intimately, just as nearly every one of us do in one way or ten others.

It’s culture-assisted suicide.

Kino

I recently watched the anime Kino’s Journey (originally, Kino no Tabi). (2003 series: Kino’s Journey. 2017 series: Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series.) Kino is a traveler of an alternate world. She goes from country to country on her motorcycle Hermes and never spends more than three days in a given place.

What’s striking about each of Kino’s encounters is that the residents of each location always turn out to have one glaringly peculiar trait about them for which they, themselves, are completely oblivious to the glaringly peculiar nature of.

What’s so powerful about Kino’s Journey is that we, as viewers, are shown individual yet highly magnified slivers of our own societal problems.

Typically when we watch TV or a movie of a more or less contemporary setting, we’re given a real world atmosphere; said differently, the settings include all the wonders and woes within day-to-day living. In this way, we don’t necessarily see the backwardsness of our ways as the stories unfold because, mixed in with everything else, it looks normal. Nothing may seem particularly “off” about it unless it’s of primary importance to the plot of the story.

Kino’s Journey takes a different approach by using each country to express one major distortion, each a mirror of our real world experience, as the basis for the residents’ way of life. There's so little else included setting- and script-wise that it becomes impossible for a viewer to miss how backwards the ways of our real world actually are.

A Visit to the U.S.

If there were an episode about Kino visiting a place that mirrored the U.S., a sliver of glaring peculiarity we might learn of is culture-assisted suicide—something that’s horrific yet so commonplace and desirous to the residents that they can’t even see how horrific it is.

You see, in this country, we have a very strong tendency toward self-destructive behavior—people willfully imbibe in societally approved practices for long-term suicide.

Think, for example, of drinking alcohol.

People are forever finding reasons to justify their drinking problems—to hide the issues beneath them—and these justifications can be so foolish.

For instance, people go to work and get all stressed out (never mind that they don’t do anything to quell the stress in a healthy manner), and then they leave work and hit the bar for “Happy Hour.” Hmm. “Happy” is it? If it’s really happy hour, why are people getting intoxicated, for one thing—shouldn’t people be able to be happy without forcing their consciousness out of their bodies?—and, secondly, how can anyone really be happy when the price is the ingestion of a depressant?

And there’s no doubt that plenty of drinkers know they’re damaging their livers, know they won’t be able to function properly until the alcohol wears off, know they may black out and even die if they drink too much (college, anyone?), and so on. Yet they keep on with it.

Drinking alcohol offers the triple-threat of disease, sadness, and life removal. If every choice is a matter of life or death, of making or unmaking, alcohol consumption is definitely not on the constructive side.

Another example is unhealthy eating.

I would estimate that at least 80% of what is on the shelves of most grocery stores is garbage food. It’s laden with unhealthy fats and refined sugars, it’s “fortified” with vitamin and mineral substitutes that the body cannot even properly utilize, it’s got all sorts of unnatural colors and preservatives and the like, and the list goes on.

Even in terms of homemade baked goods, there are countless people who’ve little to no control when it comes to, say, eating a small desert after dinner and being done with it. And the truth is that these deserts are usually merely fancy-shaped and baked wads of refined fat and sugar—that is, edible diabetes.

No one in history has ever eaten so terribly as the people of the US and no one has ever been so sick. Yet we just continue running headlong into it. Even those who know better often continue on like Eh. Diabetes? Can’t happen to me.

And diabetes is the tip of the iceberg compared to all the possible long-term consequences and other havoc that high blood-sugar wreaks on the body—including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Can anyone honestly tell me that this isn’t some kind of death wish?

Unexpected Places

Sometimes causes of self-destruction can be found where we’d least expect it.

An example of this is excess running. Running can be a healthy part of anyone’s life. However, there are many people who are not running because they truly enjoy it or because it is in any way productive—although they may certainly think it to be so—but because they are, internally, running away from something.

This excess running as a metaphor for running away is unconsciously done, but this doesn’t make the truth of it any less real, nor the effects any less harmful. It has been shown that frequent fast-paced, long-distance running puts a great deal of stress on the heart and creates micro-tears and scarring that eventually lead to major heart complications and even death.

The heart is a metaphor for our capacity for and expression of love. Damaging the heart, even if unconsciously, is a sign of a lack of self-love. If the repressed mental-emotional issues that cause the damaging behavior were to be resolved, the damaging behavior would cease automatically. The behavior only exists as an effect of the programming.

At the end of the day, due to the conditions under which excessive running may occur, and does occur for many, running can be a form of slow-onset suicide.

To point out, I acknowledge that there are some people or groups of people who run excessively and are doing just fine. I don’t think this is at all a contradiction of supposed facts, and I can think of several reasons why these people are different from others.

The one reason I want to mention in particular is similar to what I’d just mentioned: the mental-emotional condition, both consciously and unconsciously, of any given runner.

It’s not just thoughts and behaviors that change when a person has mental-emotional burdens, even if repressed: the body changes also and, depending upon the issues, a given person may breathe differently, shift into an unnatural posture, experience hormonal and nutrient imbalances, and so forth.

Surely, these “invisible” alterations can have a significant impact on whether one is able to run faster and for greater distances (or do anything at all, really) with lesser to no harm to one’s self—and here in the US, people carry a lot of these “invisible” alterations.

The Code of Silence

The list of means of culture-assisted suicide is quite long. And why not? It’s effectively the bedrock of this country’s culture.

As far as I’m concerned, the list even includes items such as submittal to The Man.

At times, depending on a given person’s circumstances, standing up for what’s right isn’t worth, say, losing a job, going to prison, or being killed over. There’s a time and place for everything and everyone.

However, the vast majority of the time, whether citizens to their government, employees to their bosses, or children to their parents, people have not been acting when they would do well to act, and their lives have become increasingly more miserable in consequence.

People remain silent externally while their insides continue churning, Oh, I failed. Oh, I can’t speak up. I’m such a weak loser. I’m unworthy. It’s too dangerous.

This fear-focused, worthless, depressive, victim-mentality takes a serious toll on people. It causes them to gradually (and sometimes rapidly) self-destruct, whether through resultant harmful behaviors or the mind’s own power and diseased reflection on the physical body.

Each act withheld in regret, in self-denial and -degradation, becomes another strand in the invisible rope that eventually forms to become the noose that takes so very many lives.

Suicide is the ultimate escape (or so it would seem to the living, anyway). But since most people don’t have it in them to kill themselves right out and still have too many other worldly attachments, the escape becomes a very slow, painful one—one that nearly everyone accepts but only a few dare acknowledge.

Ignorance Is Bliss, Huh?

While it may sound over-the-top for me to be claiming the described behaviors as suicidal, I ask you, if they aren’t, what, then, are they?

No matter how pretty things may look in-the-moment, no matter how funny some of the stories of self-destructive acts may seem in hindsight (e.g.: “How ‘bout that time we got really drunk in college…”), no matter how normal circumstances may be, individual and collective perception doesn’t and can’t change the objective view that countless people are constantly seeking ways to snuff out their own lives in a culturally approved fashion.

And, yes, sure, many people are oblivious to the correlation between their harmful actions and the self-destructive effects—many don’t even know that their actions are harmful.

However, this doesn’t matter in the sense that the awareness of and action on what is right and good should intuitively come to us automatically because it’s the way of Life, because it’s naturally what happens when there are no unnatural blocks inhibiting Life’s flow.

Not knowing that eating sugar cereal, potato chips, and fast food all day will cause a person to get diabetes doesn’t do anything to prevent a person from getting diabetes. Even in ignorance, people act in accordance with their state of consciousness: whether this be of a higher and lighter orientation or of lower and darker, they will choose that of like resonance.

Our culture is one founded on drawn-out assisted suicide because that is what our collective consciousness has been resonating with.

Seeking Sanity

The fact of the matter is: happy, healthy, empowered, self-loving people simply don’t choose paths of self-destruction.

This is not to say that any such person will never have a drink or a smoke or run a marathon. This isn’t about periodically getting one’s toes wet or breaking through one’s seeming limitations if it truly feels right to them.

What this is about is a culture that is literally built on self-destructive behaviors—on living lives that are so problematic that people don’t even realize how problematic they are, while maintaining abundant resources, not for awareness and healing, but for the proliferation and endorsement of suicidal tendencies.

Remember Kino? Kino is a traveler who never spends more than three days in a given country. She says she does this because she feels that to stay a fourth day would make her want to settle down.

However, after seeing a bunch of the countries she’s visited and assuming that they accurately represent the whole, I can’t help but wonder if maybe there’s something about Kino’s three-day-stay rule that she never speaks: The people in nearly every country, though often seemingly decent at first, are, with very rare exception, quite insane, and so her best bet is to never stop moving.

Certainly, there are good parts in the U.S. as we know it. Yet, for most people, the culture-assisted suicide part is quite overwhelming—it’s the context in which most people live their day-to-day lives.

What visitor, who is truly sane and knows differently, would want to settle down in this place where the vast majority of people live in an effort to die?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Perception Deception

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



After pulling a load of groceries from the trunk of my car and leaving another load behind, I dropped the trunk lid just enough so it appeared closed but didn't lock.

Why do you think I did this? Because…

  • I feared some hoodlum would see the remaining items and steal them while I was in the house?
  • I didn’t want the blazing hot sunlight to directly hit the cold items?
  • I was trying to be secretive and wanted to minimize the chances of my neighbors seeing what I buy?
  • My parents had slapped me as a child for failing to shut the trunk when I wasn’t standing right there?
  • I had this idea for a blog post and didn’t what the intro statement to be a lie?
  • I wanted to burn the extra 1/8 calorie by opening and closing the trunk again?
  • There was also a mannequin in the trunk, and I didn’t want anyone to see it and mistake it for a human body? (...or was it the other way around?)

Rather than provide my reasoning, I’ll leave you to think whatever you want.

Why?

Because it doesn’t matter.

The point is that, regardless of circumstance, one simple thing can generate many potential perceptions about that thing’s occurrence.

This is important to realize because people lean heavily toward thinking and behaving as though their perceptions of life are “how it really is.” Yet all of these perceptions are relative, the vast majority of them are completely inaccurate, and “what’s happening” is not likely the concern of any secondary perceivers.

To make matters worse, people frequently share these phony perceptions with others and defend them in an oft-closed-minded but believed-to-be-sane fashion—as in gossip.

Evolving beyond Survival

I encourage you to make a practice of consciously seeing your thoughts as they arise and considering how you think about things. Consider that how you perceive things to be may not be how they actually are—not even close—and that your judgments as to "what's happening to who" are most likely irrelevant to you.

Consider that you are telling yourself stories about this thing, that thing, and everything else in order to close any mental gaps of not knowing. This is how our brains are programmed to operate at a survival level, after all—to make up and believe lies in lieu of the truth for the sake of self-protection when the truth is unavailable or uncomfortable.

But by rampantly and haphazardly calling “truth” to both falsities and arbitrary perceptual data, we close off our minds to any actual truth and to the openness of infinite possibility and potential. Said differently, in observing without unnecessary judgment and speculation, we enable ourselves to see what is as it is.

In order to truly grow up, to not just age physically or collect data intellectually but to actually evolve as souls, we must consciously reprogram our minds and rewire our brains.

By all means, we’re all more than welcome to have preferences, to wonder, to think about the things of the world, to make jokes, and so on—this is not about anyone becoming an impersonal robot.

This is about taking on a constructively critical approach to faulty thought processes—something we’ve all got a heavy hand in. This is about removing the internal circus of mental flop that is general thought and its more destructive off-shoots such as judgment and blame.

People cling to their crappy thoughts like stink on shit, but it must be understood that stink on shit is natural—most human thought is unnatural since it’s an effect of junk programming.

In utilizing this or any other self-help practice, we aid ourselves in returning to our natural state—which for us, thankfully, doesn’t imply a rank stench. Indeed, the “rank stench” is what we’ve already been emanating profusely, “normal” though it may be.

We only stand to gain through conscious awareness and letting go.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

“I Got Engaged!!” [Cue Mechanical Excitement Response]

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



“Oh, congratulations! … [Does my smile looks as real as it is fake?]

When someone tells you that they got engaged or married, what do you say?

Why?

Not-So-Great Expectations

I’ve never bought into this whole marriage deal.

Something about it has always rubbed me the wrong way, but for most of my life I hadn’t questioned my thoughts or feelings. Indeed, I didn’t want to for the sake of fear and change.

I therefore continued along with the status quo beliefs and expectations embedded within our culture such as
  • Serious/long-term relationships should roll into marriage.
  • Marriage is a good and necessary thing.
  • You should approve of the marriages of family members and friends.
  • You should be happy for others when they’re getting married.
  • You should lie about your true feelings to yourself and others.

Well, I got tired of being fake and decided to thoroughly question my motives and feelings and be myself instead of a phony.

“Guess what, John!? Marissa and I got engaged!!”

“...Okay...”

I’m such a let-down.

Marriage is an opinion as to how to live life. People can call it a religious necessity or a validator of love or a tax break or whatever they’d like to call it, but it’s merely an opinion, albeit a very popular one.

If it’s an opinion anyone wants to accept as their own, that’s wholly their business. But, like anything worth calling one’s own, it’s important for people to understand what and why they are calling it their own to begin with and why they are approving of others who’re of like mind.

It all starts with integrity.

Here’s Why…

If you’re truly happy for an engaged couple or newly-weds, then by all means share in their happiness. But if you feel any other way, then you would be lying to respond contrary to those feelings.

Rebuttals may arise to this such as, “But I’m afraid to hurt their feelings,” and, “I’m afraid they’ll hate me and gossip about me if I show disapproval, or, God forbid, they find out I think it’s a horrible idea.”

I get it. It sucks to see others hurt, and it sucks when others reject us because we didn’t live up to their not-so-great expectations.

But I also get that:
  1. It’s all programming, conditioning. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that any of it is right or sane, but just simply the accepted norm.

  2. Their disappointment is based on an expectation based on an imaginary depiction of “who he/she is” and “how he/she will respond to my good news.”

  3. This is not so much a fear of hurting the feelings of another: It is a fear that in hurting someone else’s feelings—even if we’re fully in integrity—our own feelings will be hurt.

  4. If another is going to reject us in any way because “we” have upset them, we can accurately assume that we’re merely stoking a fire that had already been burning. The trigger for this reactive negativity had been embedded long before the current circumstance; we thus only trigger what is already there and are not the ones creating it.
If you must, when the engaged excitedly tell you, “We’re getting married!!!” in integrity you look at them and say, “Okay.”

Because you know just as I do that to lie about this is going to make you miserable. Especially if the person is a family member or close friend, you’re going to have to uphold a lot of fakery. If you tell one lie, you either have to come clean immediately or keep on telling them.

And what does the lie get for you? So you didn’t hurt their feelings in order to avoid hurting both their feelings and your own. But now you hurt anyway because you carry a guilt which makes you wish you’d told the truth. Now you have to either fess up, which will make them double miserable, or keep lying, which will leave you feeling bad repeatedly and embed you with guilt for life.

You better hope he or she doesn’t then ask you to be in his or her wedding party. (Yikes!)

In fakery, everyone gets hurt and unhealthy expectations and behaviors perpetuate.

Seemingly Reasonable Approval

Now, let’s say you do approve of a given engagement/marriage, or you know of a currently unengaged couple and think that if they’d walk up to you right now and tell you they are getting married you’d congratulate them.

My question is: How reasonable is this approval?

To answer this, I’m going to look at a few different scenarios and their underlying mentalities. Keep in mind with each that I’m making up scenarios in order to illustrate a point: As needed, read in between the lines; insert details from your own life or from the lives of people you know or alter the details to make the scenarios more or less fitting.

The Little-Known In-Law-To-Be
Suppose you have a nephew who you only see three times per year. As far as you’re aware, he’s more on the up-and-up than the down-and-down. He seems nice and friendly and all that, and he’s your relative, so how can you say anything bad about him? However, you don’t know him all that well.

Your nephew has a girlfriend. And maybe you’ve only see her once or twice per year. Maybe you’ve never even seen her in the five years they’ve dated.

If your nephew comes to you one day and says, “Hey, guess what, Uncle Ripley!? Believe it or not, me and Tina are getting married!” what are you going to say? I would hazard to guess that you’d say, “Oh, how wonderful! Great to hear!”

But is it? You hardly know your nephew, and what you “know” about his girlfriend, if anything, you’d learned second-hand. What do you really have to base your judgment of approval on?

Marriage is, after all, at least traditionally speaking, a rite meant for those who are truly in love and wish to be together their whole lives. Aside from merely seeing ideas such as, They should get married because “it’s time”, or, They must love each other since they’ve been together for so long, how much of a feeling do you actually get that they’re a really good match? Is it enough to endorse a marriage?

Misplaced Trust
Trust—as in, “I trust [my nephew, niece, second cousin thrice removed, etc.] to make the best decision.”—may be claimed in cases where knowledge and interaction with those getting married is sketchy.

Here, trust seems a reasonable thing, but maybe only at surface value.

Following the example above, your nephew and his girlfriend could turn out to make an outstanding couple. Alternately, maybe what you view in your nephew as being “quiet and shy and kind toward his partner” is actually a major lack of self-confidence. Maybe his girlfriend, the one you’ve only just met, now, as they tell you of their engagement, pushes your nephew around all the time because she’s a miserable snot and he’s too weak to stand up for himself.

To congratulate is to give approval, and to give approval in blind trust is, potentially, misplaced.

Two-Faced Approval
When I’d written the post “Silly Traditions: Permission To Wed,” I’d said:
When you realize, if you realize, the depth to which the average person is making nearly every decision not by free will as it appears but as driven by subconscious (i.e.: unknown) fears, errant beliefs, and trauma-based directives, you will also realize how it is that a grown man can “give his daughter away” … to a man he disapproves of.
I still feel this is true. And similar can be said, or asked, here.

Even if you knew a newly-engaged couple fairly well, on being told of the engagement, how many of you would offer prompt congratulations even if you didn’t agree with such a marriage?

How many of you would, perhaps, smile and say something like, “Oh! Good for you!” only to say to you spouse or friend or a coworker later on while rolling your eyes, “Isn’t that the girl who’d told us that she’s only marrying him to get citizenship? That’s mad whack, yo!”?

Or would you put a justification to it? You might congratulate the couple while thinking, I’m a Christian, and they’re Satanists. But it’s not in my place to tell anyone, if unasked, that I find their marriage unacceptable.

On one hand, sure, if a couple wants to get married, their marriage doesn’t cause harm to others, and they don’t ask for the input of others, it’s not really anyone else’s business to be negatively disagreeable. On the other hand, why did you offer congratulations? That’s effectively your approval, your agreement. You don’t have to say, “I disagree because you’re Satanists who want to get married in a black mass and will go to hell and burn forever—die, die, die!” but neither do you have to extend congratulations if you believe the marriage is wrong.

It is so important that people give conscious attention to what’s actually going on in their minds, to notice the obscene number of rationalizations and all the non-integral thought-to-deed behavior to result, and then internally align themselves as needed.

The Over-Eager Marriage Endorser

Another way people offer junk marriage approval can be seen in the instances where someone is over-eager for someone else to get married, such as a mother or father persistently insisting that their son or daughter get married to their partner.

Unless there is direct harm being done to others in not making a marital commitment (which seems very rare, at best), one’s discomfort over someone else’s relationship choices and path is solely on the person who experiences the discomfort.

If anyone who is in this category of over-eager approval would look deeply enough, they’d find these words to be 100% accurate. The proof would be found in beliefs such as, They better get married because my religion demands it, and fears such as, If my kid isn’t married but he sleeps in the same bed as his partner, what will my family think of me, what will my friends think of me, what will God think of me? I could go to hell. I’m a lousy parent. Oh, my parents would roll in their graves if they knew my son lived with his girlfriend out of wedlock. Oh, and the sinful things they must be doing with each other. Oh, God, please have mercy on our souls!

To prod another in this way is interference; it’s arrogant, selfish, and immature.

Also, while the one doing the urging might claim unconditional love, what they’re actually projecting is conditional love. Do this, or else…

Inadequacy is also implied: What I want for you is more important than what you want for you. And, I know what you need better than you know what you need. And, You can’t run your life properly, so I’m going to tell you how to do it.

No one appreciates being told what to do as though they’re an ignorant and irresponsible dope. You don’t like it, I don’t like it, and no one else likes it.

To those who do this: Learn to take control of your own lives rather than seeking to control the lives of others as if this could actually, somehow, maybe, eventually, if you only finally say or do the right thing at the right time and say or do enough of it, give you what you want.

As You Be, So You See

There are things I point out in my writing that go straight to the core of our fears, false beliefs, and behaviors in such a way as to immediately reveal distortions. While it’s possible, and even likely, that a person who carries a resonant distortion will try to deny it, since the points I make are sometimes so sharp the person will not be able to deny in honesty.

Yet there are others who may honestly not see the distortions for what they are.

This is one of the reasons I see self-inquiry and the general practice of self-help as so important for everyone:

As you be, so you see.

Earlier, I’d thrown out the hypothetical instance of Uncle Ripley’s approval of his little-known nephew’s engagement. Then I questioned the potential behaviors of his nephew and fiancé.

It could be that Uncle Ripley is quite blind to the fact that his nephew is weak-willed and his girl pushes him around even if he knows both of them well and sees their negative behavior regularly. This would be so under the condition that Uncle Ripley has the very same dynamic playing out in his own relationship.

Perhaps belittlement of husband by wife is what Uncle Ripley had learned to be “love” by his parents. So, weak-willed himself, when he went seeking love he found a “perfect” match with a pusher-arounder female. Now, he sees nothing particularly wrong with such relationships. They may not be perfect, but “What is perfect?” or, “It’s the way life is.”

In this light, we can understand why there are occasions when a person could be both ignorant and of distorted perception and still honestly offer marriage approval: The person is seeing an unquestioned external reflection of what they perceive as true within.

Easy it is for the mind to see whatever it wants to see, especially when it’s been looking at life from a skewed perspective since birth. Self-inquiry then becomes the required key for pulling together the whole picture in order to heal, see clearly, and make quality and truly self-integrated decisions.

As You See, So You Be

As I make points as to what to be on the lookout for, I realize there are things that the average person doesn’t or can’t know about others. But much of this is simply due to our high levels of self-ignorance.

This is where the ever-useful tool of self-inquiry comes in—again. The more you open up to yourself, the more you’ll be able to observe the world clearly with your outer eyes, and the more you’ll be able to perceive intuitively with your inner eyes.

With practice and healing, what you’ll come to discover is that whether you meet someone once per day or once per decade, they are presenting you (and everyone else) with signs, both subtle and coarse, as to what they believe, how they were raised, what they really feel about this, that, and the other thing, and so on. The average person has no idea how much they’re “saying” without saying anything at all or even speaking to the contrary.

As this applies to the current marriage engagement topic, I can’t help but think that if people actually knew what they are offering congratulations and approval about and why then they’d be doing it far less.

…Or maybe not.

Because if self-inquiry leads to healing and everyone were self-inquiring, then everyone would be healing, and everyone would be making healthier choices, and fewer people would be getting engaged and married under false pretenses, and fewer people would have to deny approval, and we’d all be happier, more integrated people!

Option 3

This whole time I’ve been talking in terms of approval and disapproval. Are there other choices?

Yes, at least one: indifference.

Personally, for plenty more reasons than discussed in this post, I feel an overall indifference to marriage in nearly all circumstances.

I intuitively see a lot of the more subtle issues of relationships, but, except maybe in cases where significant harm is involved, what others choose relationship-wise is irrelevant to me.

Everyone has their personal life lessons and thoughts and behaviors, some for the better and some for the worse, and if people want to attach a marriage onto it all, it’s not mine to be concerned with.

In indifference, I don’t offer congratulations or attend weddings, but I do, if only in mind, wish them the best.

It’s Personal

Although at times I’ve been more direct with saying that certain behaviors (such as the over-eager marriage endorser) are thoroughly distorted, I encourage you to find your own answers (which you should be doing anyway, regardless of whether I claim a thing to be right or wrong).

This is far more about you than anyone else. This is about using self-inquiry to personally see circumstances more realistically and then using that awareness to make wiser, more integrated choices.

Again consider the “little-known in-law-to-be.” I’ve provided you a couple guideposts to follow, my intention being to lead you, not to “the right answers,” but to the answers that work for you.

There are many perspectives by which a person can look at a given situation, but how diverse and meaningful are they?

My sense is that most people haven’t reflected on relationships and marital circumstances as I have here. I therefore hope that you’ll find this to be a useful tool in moving forward, in engaging with yourself to come ever closer to living in whatever way works best for you.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

You Are the Meaning of Life

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Have you ever accidentally…

…slipped on ice?
…burned yourself?
…stepped in poop?
…stubbed a toe?
…crashed a car?
…walked into a glass door?
…tripped on a shoelace?
…gotten a splinter?
…fallen down the steps?
…locked yourself out?
…bought rotten fruit?
…gotten a paper cut?
…chipped a tooth?

“Accidentally…? Yeah, right, because I do them on purpose all the time.”

Well, truth is, we all do do these things on purpose all the time. We just don’t realize it because it’s not a conscious aspect of us that’s directly responsible.

Similar can be said of when our…

…dishwasher leaks.
…car’s timing belt tears.
…stove doesn’t turn on.
…computer gets a virus.
…clothes majorly shrink in the dryer.
…house’s foundation cracks.

Flush 'Em Out

When hardship strikes people so often have rationalizations at the ready such as, “Life is a bitch,” “God hates me,” “I’m doing penance,” “It’s one thing after another,” and so on.

Please, get rid of these rationalizations.

Write your rationalizations on a piece of toilet paper, on the top write These are shit:, and then flush the list down the toilet.

Then ask aloud, “What is the cause of my hardship? Please, Life/God/Source, what causes me all this pain and suffering?”

The Cost of Ignorance and Stagnation

Except for the penance excuse, with the vast majority of us carrying the victim mentality, it’s very easy for us to overlook any benefit to pain.

Think again of the rationalizations mentioned a moment ago. Where is there any room for an alternative view, potentially one that’s more positive and thoughtful? There isn’t.

Painful experiences occur and the mind says, “This random hardship is happening because life sucks like that,” or, “This is happening because I’m unworthy of happiness.”

Life responds by saying, “Okay, well, that’s a pretty closed-minded, ignorant view you have, claiming you know the truth and thus shutting yourself off to anything better. But if that’s what you want, then that’s what you can have. I will gift you with more pain.”

Why does Life say this? Is Life evil?

What Life knows—but few of us do—is that we are not who we’ve constructed ourselves to be. Life knows that we are not our collection of beliefs and fears. Life knows that we are not the distorted things we say and do based on our faulty internal software that we imagine to be true. Life knows that we are not little cosmic accidents that shouldn’t even be here.

Life gives us pain because pain, and the usually consequent suffering, is the ideal impetus for positive change.

“Out There” Is “In Here”

There is a fact of life that I repeat over and over again on this blog. It is that

Life is a mirror. What is external to us is a mirror of what is within us.

I really cannot stress this point enough.

The reason I told you earlier to flush out your rationalizations about why you experience hardship is because, in order to understand the mirror-image of life and to understand what you’re being told, you have to first open your mind to the possibility.

Even if you don’t like the idea, can you at least not believe that you don’t believe?

Life is going to continue giving you unnecessary hardship whether you want to face it or not. At least if you decide to change, to open to possibility and self-responsibility, then you’ll immediately be able to see the truth for what it is.

Try This…

When you slip on ice, ask yourself if there’s something about your overall experience that’s “slipping.”

When your house gets infested with termites, ask yourself if there’s something that’s been psycho-emotionally “eating away” at you.

When you get a sore throat, ask yourself if there’s something you’d wanted to speak up about just before getting sick but failed to do so due to fear.

When you drop food on the floor, ask yourself if perhaps it’s time to eat healthier or lose some weight.

When you bang your head, ask yourself if you’re being headstrong or big-headed or hardheaded about something.

When a tire on your car blows out, ask yourself if you’ve been getting enough rest, if you’re “overtired,” or if you’re “tired” of faking your way through life.

When you hear excessive car alarms and horns, ask yourself if there’s something that desperately needs your attention.

Leakage before the Levee Breaks

Let’s suppose that you’re “headed for a crash” in some area of life.

Perhaps you have stocks that are about to tank or maybe you intend to tell a coworker something that will put your job in jeopardy—I don’t know, and it’s completely on you to read the signs and figure out the metaphor.

For the most part, there are stages, or there is a progression, in which Life offers signs before an incident occurs.

Let’s use the example of your intention to tell a coworker something that will, unbeknownst to you, put your job in jeopardy.

As you formulate what you will say to your coworker, Life is working to set up unusual incidents meant to get your attention and suggest to you that you’re about to make a very poor decision and you need to reevaluate.

Maybe you decide that before saying anything you should first type up your thoughts cohesively. You double-click on Word and nothing happens. You double-click again and nothing happens. Thinking this odd but probably an easy fix, you open Firefox intending to search for a cause and means of resolution and the first link you click on causes a virus warning to pop up. This seems even more peculiar to you, but, well, peculiar is the way life is sometimes.

You decide to give up for the time being but can’t stop thinking about what you want to say.

The next day, you order Chinese food for lunch and get a fortune cookie with it. The message reads,

Your mouth is only as wise as your mind.

You chortle to yourself and sarcastically think, That’s why I get paid the big bucks—I’m a genius and people love what I say.

Upon leaving the restaurant, as you drive through the intersection, another driver misses their stop sign and drives right into your car. Naturally, you place blame on the other person.

The next day, having ignored the deeper meaning of your hardship and even blamed it on others, you go into work, you tell your coworker what’s been on your mind, and soon afterward you lose your job.

The Trajectory of Pain

Your hypothetical situation escalated very quickly before its climax.

This is not uncommon, but Life does often give us plenty of time to see the signs provided and adjust ourselves accordingly—sometimes we’re given years or decades.

This is not to say, however, that a time extension makes life any more pleasurable.

If, for instance, you have a resentment for life, if you can’t enjoy your life, if mostly unconsciously, you might be on a trajectory for pancreatic cancer since the pancreas releases insulin which allows you to absorb sugar, or the “sweetness of life.”

You might not be diagnosed with cancer until you’re 64 years old, but you might very well spend several decades prior with diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

Repeat Offenders

Also, hardship’s pain can be repetitive; it’s not always varied.

Repetition can be a more powerful attention-getter than the variable because the repetitive can be so peculiar.

For example, if you’d intended to buy a certain used car, even though your (physiological) motor skills and spatial perception are usually in great shape, you might unexpectedly slip on the stairs three times within the three days prior to the date you’d scheduled to buy the car.

Slipping on the steps like this could be a sharp message to you from Life saying, Do not buy the car! You will regret it!

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to drive the car home and the engine is going to fall out… At least not for a few days.

If the seller is being dishonest to you, Life would know this and could be helping you to make a better decision. If you don’t have the intuitive openness to just “get it,” the only thing you have to rely on is the signage Life puts before you. And the signage is always there whether you know it or not.

Context

Regarding all the above, take this as a significant chuck of the full picture of hardship and pain, not the whole thing.

In one instance, consider death. Everyone and everything must pass away. These circumstances cause hardship and pain, but there is nothing we can do about them but embrace them for what they are.

In a second instance, perhaps a painful event happens as a means of balancing a person’s karma from another lifetime. In such cases, unless a person were either highly intuitive or went to a healer or psychic of some sort to find an answer, which might never come, a person could exhaust themselves through effort and worry trying to connect dots in their life that simply cannot be connected.

Whether pains are mild and short-lived or intense and long-term, while many do have very specific psycho-emotional components that must be addressed for healing, some must simply be experienced as they are and left alone.

You Are the Meaning of Life

I made a note for myself on my computer’s desktop that says:

Every little “glitch.”

The fact is:

Nothing in life is meaningless.
There is no such thing as a coincidence.

We’re so lost in our ideas about how we imagine life to be that we’re unable to see how life is in reality.

We’re unable to see the Oneness of existence; unable to see that Life is madly in love with us because Life is us, and, with whatever leeway we allow Life based on its inability to interfere with our beliefs and fears, Life is doing everything in its power, desperately trying to get our attention, for the sake of us remembering this very fact.

Life doesn’t appear to have much meaning to so many of us because we don’t see meaning within ourselves.

But Life puts out sign after sign after sign anyway in hopes we’ll finally realize, Yes! I see that life has meaning because I have meaning, and I have meaning because life has meaning!

Does God hate us? Is life a bitch? Does life suck?

Admittedly, life can be incredibly fucking difficult sometimes—many sometimes!

But Life is also madly in love with us because Life is us.

Life works tirelessly to reveal to us that, no matter how ugly the external circumstances, there is a space of pure, unconditional love within each of us.

And what is pure, unconditional love but God itself?

Do you remember?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

You Say You Don’t Actually Mean That? Are You Sure?

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Some time ago I was out for a walk and passed an older guy on a cellphone who sounded like he was talking to his grandson.

From what I briefly overheard it sounded as if the guy’s grandson had made a mild joke about this guy to which the guy laughingly responded, “Do you want a knuckle sandwich, kid!? Do you know what a knuckle sandwich is!? Do you want me to give you one!?”

As the guy said this, an image came to my mind of this grown man smashing his 10-year-old grandson’s jaw with his fist for making a silly joke about him.


This incident got me thinking about the irrational things we say that we don’t at all think are irrational.

Although usually said seriously, another phrase, which isn’t very common anymore and I probably remember more so from watching cartoons as a child, is, “You’d better scram before I make mincemeat out of you.”

If we would stop for a minute to actually think about what we’re saying, although these things may be meant jokingly, there’s still an edge of wickedness to them.

Our grandson makes a well-intentioned joke and we react by telling him we’re going to smash his teeth in?

Or maybe our neighbor doesn’t want us in his yard stealing tomatoes and he threatens to put us through the meat grinder?

Am I mistaken to say these things are at least a little bit intense?

While I can accept humor where humor is due and seriousness where seriousness is due, the fact that threats—and such harsh threats, at that, even without any intention of following through—are how a person impulsively responds seems to point back to something internally troubling.


I’ve become far more conscious of my own language over the last decade, and I’ve noticed how, as I clean up my internal world, it rarely occurs to me to make such threats. Of the few times that I do I tend to feel very awkward about it.

Ten years ago I was of a coarser level of consciousness. For someone to make a joke about me that I knew was a joke and one which I would have agreed was it’s true and funny and ha-ha-ha, I might have jokingly replied with a statement such as, “I’ve killed people for lesser offenses.”

Nowadays, I can’t say that I’d never say such things again. But I’m quite uncomfortable with it.

Why would I want to tell someone, especially if they’re being humorous and mean no offense, that I’m going to bust their face in?

What would my mental disposition have to be that, if a kid were to come into my garden and steal some tomatoes, my instinctive response would be a threat to hack him into 50,000 itty-bitty pieces?


An interesting thing about all this is that the violence is perceived as acceptable.

You never hear of two characters on TV or your brother say to his wife, “If you don’t get over here and help me right now, I’m going to come over there and rape you!”

Woah!

Culturally speaking, by and large, rape has never been acceptable. Violence, however, often as a solution, has been glorified.

Child-rearing, or beating the shit out of one’s kids for the sake of conformity and devil-purging, was a totally acceptable practice not all that long ago. Some parents even still practice milder forms of it.

And in the media, what would TV, movies, video games, and the news be without violence?

This is something that sits in our consciousness both individually and collectively. It drives us to say things we may not think we mean but on some level do.

There’s something in us that wants revenge. There’s something hidden deeply within us that gets triggered unreasonably and uses current events, which reflect the original, repressed, traumatizing events, to give us an excuse to get a little bit of the revenge we desire.


Periodically on this blog I talk about words and phrases and their often unrealized power of creation; I talk about the different ways people manipulate words in an effort to manipulate others.

What must also be understood is what was created before the words that the words themselves are now pointing to.

How we use language is not an accident.

How we use language is directly correlated to our inner state, most of which remains in our subconscious and thus out of our conscious awareness.

In a way it could be said that “speaking just happens” for most people because most people don’t place conscious attention on what they say. The words just tumble out of their mouths as a combination of their understanding of grammar, their culture, and what resonates with their state of consciousness.

Other times on this blog I’ve mentioned how people may think they can hide their issues but can never actually do so completely because they’re always somehow giving themselves away.

The way a person speaks is a great example of this.

Yes, some people are pretty good at “speaking highly” (and will reveal themselves in other ways). But peoples' secrets are usually embedded in their very words.

Because if words and ways of speaking, whether lighter or darker, don’t resonate with one’s inner state of being, the person simply won’t say them.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Adam and Eve: Guilty Not of Original Sin but of Heresy

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



The Gods of the Old Testament and the New Testament are two different characters.

Adam and Eve did not live in paradise.

The serpent of Eden was not evil.


The Gods of the Old Testament and the New Testament Are Two Different Characters.

There’s a very good reason why the “God” of the Old Testament—hereafter referred to as “god,” with a small “g”—was such a miserable bastard—because he’s not what “God is…”, as stated in the New Testament, which is “…love,” and thus he is not the one, true God.

According to the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, before the manifest world came to be there was a distorted being created known as Yaldabaoth, king of the Archons.

Yaldabaoth is a non-physical being who has a tremendous power of creation. He is the one who created the low-density, or veiled, physical Earth that we inhabit, as well as this form of human.

In the Old Testament, god says that he is a jealous one and there is no other greater.

Strange thing to say, is it not?

Imagine sitting down at the dinner table and your spouse unexpectedly says, “You know, I think the woman who works in the cubicle next to mine is super attractive, but I love you, and I wouldn’t cave in to kiss her if she happened to come-on to me.”

Why would your spouse ever even think to say such a ridiculous thing if his love and fidelity toward you were true; unless he had doubts and felt the need to try to prove to himself that it weren’t so by rationalizing aloud?

In this case, Yaldabaoth had imagined himself to be alone; he hadn’t yet realized that any being/essence/God had already existed that is greater than he.

The angry, vengeful, and insecure nature of the Old Testament god is proof that he is not the one, true God spoken of by Jesus.

Adam and Eve Did Not Live in Paradise.

Seeing that the Old Testament god is a fraud, I think it’s fair to conclude that he wouldn’t give us all we are due nor allow us to know exactly what our due is.

In the Old Testament it’s stated that man was made in the “image and likeness” of God.

How this is interpreted by most people is incorrect because it assumes that
  1. Yaldabaoth, who is never mentioned by name or origin, is one and the same as the one, true God, and
  2. the “image and likeness” are referring to the same being/essence when they are not.
The image is the physical human form which Yaldabaoth created based on seeing the pure Spirit-Human that had already existed in a higher density realm.

The likeness, however—which is the Spirit of God itself—did not come from Yaldabaoth. In fact, Yaldabaoth did not even have the power to animate the physical human body that he had created. This breath-of-life- or Spirit-giving act was provided by an essence of far greater purity and ability than that of Yaldabaoth.

This life-giving act was greatly to Yaldabaoth’s dismay because it meant that the truth of the human Spirit and it’s worthiness we’re of pure Godliness in its nature, far above his own.

Yet, through Spirit’s placement in a dense, physical human form and like existence, it was made ignorant of its true, divine nature.

Whatever delights the “paradise” of Eden may have offered, not only had Adam and Eve been imprisoned by ignorance from the get-go in a place also created by Yaldabaoth, but, once they’d eaten the apple—or awakened to their ignorance—Yaldabaoth threw them out and into the darkest depths of his realm—Duality—in hopes they would never find their way out.

The Serpent of Eden Was Not Evil.

Think about this in the context just provided.

Adam and Eve were ignorant.

The serpent—the one the Church forever claims to be the devil—tempted, or persuaded, Adam and Eve to eat the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Is this really so bad?

If one is ignorant of their true nature and of the reality of life, is being urged to eat of the knowledge of good and evil an indisputably devilish thing?

Wouldn’t the devil be the one who says, “Don’t eat! You’ll die!” because he would rather there be ignorance than awareness?

And wouldn’t God be the one to say, “Eat up, kids! Know the truth, and it will set you free!”?

The serpent (a metaphor for kundalini energy, by the way) knew exactly what it was doing and who it was working for—the serpent was working for the greater good of God.

In truth, eating the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor for the mind’s awakening to the illusory, dualistic nature of this form of existence.

Like Plato’s Cave, only by becoming aware of the illusion can one escape from it. The serpent therefore offered Adam and Eve not Original Sin but the greatest of gifts—an open door to Self-/God-realization, to Oneness.

This Ain’t Your Mother’s Christianity

There’s vastly more material covered in the Nag Hammadi texts, but we can see in this little bit alone that it’s no wonder the Church has rejected any and all of these scriptures and has claimed any adherents as heretics.

Acknowledging potential error and variations between different accounts of the same information, the Nag Hammadi’s books still pose a great threat to Christian indoctrination.

This collection of books stands way too close to the truth of creation, who has been working avidly to control the world, and the revelation of who and what humanity actually is. Religion runs rampant with guilt, shame, and victimhood indoctrination, and, where these books are accepted, individually or collectively, it becomes impossible to continue on with such distorted programming.

And get this… Jesus wasn’t actually a super-serious, tight-assed SOB. There are plenty of occasions where Jesus is talking with the apostles and the author writes, “Jesus laughed…” It is also written that Jesus had spent a significant amount of time with a woman named Mary of Magdala whom he had regularly kissed on the lips.

Hmmm…

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures I’ve read is the collection edited by Marvin Meyer.

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume (HarperOne; 1st edition; 2009)

I don’t have anything negative to say about it.

The introductory texts to each book, the translations, and the footnotes are very comprehensive.

The contributors offer their views from very open-minded and well-versed perspectives, and they include plenty of references to other cultures, lines of thought, etc. from that time period that resonate with the scriptural material.

Although the Nag Hammadi has a Christian bent, the intention of the contributors is clearly about extrapolating the truth rather than catering to conventional Christian teachings and expectations.

Don’t Take My Word For It: Do Your Research

As necessary, take what has been said here and what is stated in the Nag Hammadi largely as a metaphor and with a grain of salt. For one, scripture is always heavy with metaphorical value, and, two, in the Nag Hammadi there are numerous similar but varying accounts of the same situations.

What I provide above is a bare-bones generalization of a portion of the Nag Hammadi in an effort to bring awareness to a deeper truth and reality of life.

At no time do I claim this to be any sort of be-all-end-all set of accounts. But, for me, the basic concepts of the Nag Hammadi hit far closer to home than almost anything I’ve ever heard out of the mainstream Christian domain.

I would also direct you to educate yourself regarding Anu and the Annunaki. Here’s one resource of many:

WingMakers: The Neruda Interviews
(Click: “Fifth Interview”)

The Anunnaki, Mankind’s Enslavement
(YouTube video, transcript reading)

I see a fair number of similarities between the Nag Hammadi texts and the story of the Annunaki, only the latter can be interpreted far more literally.

What If…?

In closing, I want to take a moment to address the topic of disbelief and denial regarding this material. The information regarding the Annunaki especially, it seems to me, will come to many as a shock—or maybe as stupid.

It’s always your choice to believe and accept—if only as a possibility—or disbelieve and deny.

If you lean toward the latter, would it not be better to look objectively with an open mind in the context of What if it is true?

As stated earlier, there’s a lot of metaphor involved and I don’t view this as any kind of be-all-end-all account of history.

But it’s information—information that could well have a high degree of truth. (After all, the Church has rejected Gnostic-type literature and thought as heretical and had wantonly tortured and slaughtered any who’d believed such things on their way to becoming the greatest power in the world. So, yeah, it’s probably true…)

By any means of mainstream theology or conventional research, what do any of us actually know regarding the creation of the world and how man-as-we-know-him came to be?

Taking the scriptural approach, although the opening of the Book of Genesis provides some very valuable information, at least symbolically, it simultaneously says very little due to the distortions it contains (as noted above) as well as its lack in length and detail. From the beginning of the world to the time Adam and Eve are thrown out of Eden, everything fits into 3 chapters at about 2.5 pages.

The Nag Hammadi, on the other hand, discusses the same material—including what came before the creation of the world—from a variety of perspectives in roughly 10 books and 150 pages.

If one prefers a scientific approach, well, obviously, it’s hard to say anything about anything when interpreting what is metaphorical and/or had taken place on a different plane of existence.

As for what had taken place here, where does one start? If we assume that Adam and Eve metaphorically represent humanity as we know it, what about all the precursors to the modern human that we’ve supposedly evolved from?

The theory of evolution can’t even explain this because no fossil records show a gradual shift from one form to another. Either we were seeded here more or less as we are now, or there occurred some grand shift that miraculously turned everything up a notch.

As for combining mainstream theology and conventional research to create a cohesive picture—forget about it! Talk about cognitive dissonance!

All the more reason why I and many others see significance in the information regarding the Annunaki—it can be accepted fairly literally and it fills in many of the gaps left open by metaphor, the “mysteries” of religious dogma, and half-baked science.

Again, you can believe and accept or disbelieve and deny whatever you want. It’s your choice.

But as you engage with this information, if and when rejection arises, I’d ask you to look into what your rejection is about.

Is it the material itself? Really?

Or are you being challenged, perhaps, to shift your worldview in ways you’ve never imagined?

Are you being challenged, perhaps, to change your beliefs, to step out of the status quo, and you fear the rejection you imagine you will receive from others for doing so?

Are you being challenged, perhaps, to admit that the egoic bubble of “knowing” that you’ve been living in is very fragile and on the verge of popping?

There are many people who claim to want the truth.

It’s not an accident that only a few ever actually find it.

Monday, September 23, 2019

I Asked for a Shirt but Only Got the Shi_t

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



I’ve been buying a lot of clothes from L.L.Bean lately.

Some people might imagine that to do this I must “have money.”

Well, I do—it’s not like I’m stealing the clothes.

But money isn’t something I have much of.

Ten years ago I left my stable job (you know, a job that was dependable and reasonably paying, not one with horses) to try my hand at “my own thing.” This mostly collapsed and a couple years later I dropped into a dark night of the soul that included joblessness, zero savings, and a long-term health crisis that I’ve been working to resolve ever since.

Not much room to make an income under these conditions.

All the while, being a person of self-inquiry and self-discovery, I’ve gained a few insights about myself and, in consequence, about other people and the world at large in terms of self-worth and having and spending money.

Benny’s Is Qualitatively Challenged

I used to shop at “Benny’s.”

Benny’s is fictitious, but the commentary not.

If you don’t know, Benny’s is a department store where things are usually on sale for anywhere between 20% and 70% off and, if you’re a member, you get a bi-weekly or monthly mailer giving you up to an additional 30% off, plus for every $50 you spend you get another $10 of in-store cash to use on a later purchase.

I shopped at Benny’s for years, and I would say that the clothes were at least decent up until, perhaps, ten years ago. For around this time it seemed that every damn piece of clothes I would pick up, and occasionally buy without noticing or thinking it would cause me so much annoyance later on, had something wrong with it.

One sleeve of a long-sleeve tee shirt would be two inches shorter than another. The seam of a shirt that began at the armpit would strike a curve and end four inches toward the back bottom. Shirts would feel twisted when worn. Jean denim was thin and would wear out with a quickness.

Why, Oh, Why?

Surely I’m not the only one this has happened to.

By all means, yes, my troubles were primarily at a time when Life wanted me to move on and seek a higher and better path. So I totally understand if when thinking I was buying a shirt I “just happened” to only ever get the shit.

But, c’mon. Low quality is low quality. Maybe I hit on the worst of it, but people must be buying this stuff all the time.

If I can shop at L.L.Bean (and similar stores) that sells their clothes (at least what I buy) for basically the same MSRP as Benny’s sells theirs—but at 3x the quality—while also regularly running significant sales (e.g.: 40% off, free shipping over $75, etc.) on their full-priced inventory, why would I want to shop at a place such as Benny’s?

Why would anybody want to?

Maybe because people don’t know of stores such as L.L.Bean, maybe because they want to buy Ralph Lauren products or graphic tees, or maybe they like the variety offered by a department store all in one location.

On one hand, these may be legitimate answers. On the other hand, a great deal of what is sold is low-quality, imported garbage and people know it.

What, then, keeps many people going back?

The answer is 2-fold:
  1. People subconsciously believe that they’re worthless, that they’re unworthy of more money and better clothes (and other belongings), and
  2. People are unhappy.

Feeling Bad Feels So Good

Whatever we feel or believe or fear internally, we express externally.

Sometimes we can cover these things up fairly well, at least temporarily, but in some way or other how we live is a mirror of what is going on internally.

When people feel unworthy within, in an attempt to prove to themselves that this worthlessness isn’t so, many of them spend money since money and what is acquired when spending it is perceived to be an external symbol of self-worth.

To make matters worse, people are unhappy. And what commonly makes people happy (at least for 14 seconds) is spending money, buying stuff.

Furthering this predicament, people mistakenly imagine that they can resolve their internal discomforts by doing externally escapist things.

People are not therefore of the mindset that,
If I save my money for a few months, I can go to buy that $800 pair of Gucci shoes. Imagine how good I’d feel with those on. Imagine what all my friends would say. I could buy those shoes, feel good, and then be satisfied for a few more months.
Instead, people are of the subconscious mindset:
I’m unhappy and believe myself to be worthless.

This is a chronic issue and I know that buying a pair of $800 Gucci shoes will only make me happy to the extent that other people compliment me on them. Since compliments will be limited and unsatisfying, it won’t be long at all before I’ll want to buy something else to quell my inner dis-ease—but won't have the money.

I therefore choose to shop where I can buy a bunch of cheap-ass, poorly made shit that I’ll be disappointed with, will complain about, and may have to return.

If I return it, then I can get the double whammy of goodness of feeling good about both getting money back and then immediately spending that money once again.

Since I buy low-price items, the cycle can go on and on—internally and externally.

I will keep pretending I don’t have the money for better clothes and other belongings, but, truth is, I just don’t want to feel the internal discomfort that will arise if I spend a few dollars more on quality stuff. If I’m satisfied with what I get and don’t have to replace it for a year or ten, I don’t have a reason to spend more money and won’t be able to provide proof to myself that I’m not worthless, nor will I be able to get regular endorphin highs.

The Receipt

Next, consider this:

Let’s suppose you were to buy $1000 MSRP worth of merchandise at Benny’s.

To start, there’s a good chance you’d get, roughly, 40% off what you buy simply because it’s already on sale. As a card-carrying member, you’d get an upwards of an additional 30% off after that because you got the mailer coupon, and then you’d have, let’s pretend, $50 of in-store cash to redeem that you were rewarded from previous purchases.

$1000 x .60 (or 40% off) = $600
$600 x .70 (or 30% off) = $420
$420 - $50 = $370

Your receipt would show a grand total of $370 and then say: Today you saved: $630.

Every item would be listed there at full price minus all the discounts, which would be tallied at the end, as though you’d bought some quality stuff at discounted prices rather than a load of child-slave-fabricated shit from the Far East that was heavily marked up and then discounted to what its MSRP should have been initially (which is probably somewhere in the single digits).

Mind-Slavery

In order to market effectively marketers must know what drives the people they’re looking to sell to.

Here, not only is this knowledge available, they actually target peoples’ most base, distorted, and unconscious urges and make no qualms about using psychology-based behavior manipulation—commonly referred to as brainwashing.

As screwed up as this is, the marketing must be working to adequately condition the masses because the marketing hasn’t changed for years and Benny’s manages to stay afloat even as their competing anchor stores die off.

Worth Begins Internally

Ultimately, choosing quality has little-to-nothing to do with “having money.”

Choosing quality is about seeing yourself as worthy of it within.

And in seeing, not only do you become aware of your own deeper truths and needs, but you awaken to the manipulation around you and become much more capable of either choosing differently or consciously choosing the same.

Moreover, you find that you actually have more money, even when you have less, because you spend it in wiser ways.

The folks going to Benny’s (and other such cheapo places) have so much more money than they know. It’s only because they want to claim unworthiness and be unhappy and allow themselves to be manipulated that they keep on spending themselves into poverty and the perception thereof.

The Song Remains the Same

It seems to me that, whatever the financial topic, the same can be said about it.

What do you really want?

Do you want quality and satisfaction, or do you want poverty and misery?

People so often say, for example, “I can’t afford organic food. It’s too expensive.”

But they’re going out to eat all the time, they eat processed food and don’t exercise, and they’re therefore chronically sick and regularly paying for medical bills and such.

If people would stop choosing the path of the victim they’d have more than enough money to buy organic food and they’d be far healthier and happier.

They might well even have money left over to save or to put toward other wants and needs.

Self-Responsibility

Wherever the finger might be pointed in blame at the distorted ways of the world, the finger is always ultimately pointing back at the one who is pointing.

The problem at hand is a personal, internal one.

If you abide by the programming and behavior discussed here, the task is fully on you to make the change if you truly don’t want it anymore. Otherwise you’ll stay right where you are.

That’s one of the wonders of this Earthly experience of duality: We can have whatever we want.

If we want poverty and misery, we will draw circumstances into our lives in which we will be aided in bringing about those wretched conditions. If we want prosperity, abundance, and satisfaction, we will draw circumstances into our lives in which we will be aided in bringing about those wonderful conditions.

Whatever we may want, dark or light, painful or pleasurable, Life will place itself at our service; people, places, things, and situations will come into our lives to provide for our desires.

In this way, Life takes very good care of us.

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet learned to take very good care of ourselves.

As our mouths say, “shirt,” our subconscious screams, “SHIT!”