The Illusion of Choice
By Bernhard Guenther, November 5th, 2010
“I voted”. I saw that update coming up a lot the other day on Facebook at election day, neatly put on a red/blue/white button. What is the underlying message of someone who posts that? To show that one is an upstanding American Citizen doing the “right thing” by executing one’s right to vote? To feel good about oneself? To entice others to vote?
What strikes me as curious is that most of the people who had the “I voted” update never really post anything relevant to what deeper issues this country and the world faces in order to help spread awareness and understanding which could actually result in true change. Just this one day, all of a sudden: “I voted”. Voted what? who? why? Of course I’m not implying that Facebook posts and updates are a real life reflection of what people do or don’t do, but it still is an interesting observation. I’m also not saying that people don’t have the right intention. But as the saying goes, “the path to hell is paved with good intentions”. In a ponerized society with a corrupt political system, good intention, hope and voting don’t result in positive change, but merely wishful thinking and denial.
Obama’s election in 2008 should have taught that lesson, but many people still seem to be mesmerized and hypnotized by his persona, hype and slogans that they can’t see him for who he is: a corporate puppet and just as big of a liar as his predecessor, if not worse. The last two years speak for themselves as he supports the same agendas as Bush, most of all the phony war on terror. How can it be that the masses are so easily duped?
“President Obama does one thing, and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising – you buy or do what the advertiser wants, because of how they make you feel. He’s a marketing dream, but like Calvin Klein or Benetton, he is a brand that promises something special, something exciting almost risqué, as if he might be radical. As if he might enact change. He makes people feel good, he’s a postmodern man with no political baggage, and all that’s fake.”
– John Pilger
In regards to the latest election there is something else I noticed. I’ve seen more posts on Facebook about Prop.19 to legalize Marijuana (or not) here in California in the last days than posts on the anniversary of 9/11 to expose the biggest lie of the new millennium. A lie that has cost more lives and affects the world and us more than the issue about pot being legal or not. I’m not against pot being legalized, but it is interesting to see where people’s attention and focus is.
So some of you have voted. May I ask you what you expected by casting your vote, besides focusing on propositions? That your favorite party gets more seats in the senate/house? Which side did you choose: left, right, blue or red or maybe some “independent” liberal party? What do you expect is going to change by casting your vote once or every two and four years?
Let me ask another way. What do you do the rest of the year? Where do you get your information from? How do you educate yourself about what is going on? What are you telling or would you tell your children and kids in general? What do you speak out about, when are you silent, what do you ignore? Do you really know who and what you support by voting? Do you question what you are being told, what you have learned in school and what society, official culture, government and the mainstream media is trying to make you believe?
Just some questions and food for thought. Questions I ask myself all the time. I’m not saying that any of you are not doing their best in their own ways and lives to make this world a better place. Most people’s intention and heart is in the right place, but maybe there is more to consider, something we haven’t honestly looked at?
“The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right-wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right-wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for ‘moderation.’ The corporations that control mass communications conjure up the phantom of a left. They blame the phantom for our debacle. And they get us to speak in absurdities.” – Chris Hedges
There are no free elections in this country. There hasn’t been in a long time. The Voting System is a fraud sold to the public to give them the illusion of choice. The same goes for the two-party set-up. Democrats and Republicans. Back and forth. Two sides of the same coin. Despite popular belief we actually don’t live in a democracy anymore. People are so caught up in this left/right tunnel vision that they don’t see how they’re being duped and played with.
Brent Kopenhaver Jr. also gives insight in his article “Your Vote Doesn’t count“, addressing some major issues and pointing out:
“Elections are nonsense. Not only are they nonsense – they serve to maintain an illusion that we still live in a free, democratic society.”
The political system is an illusion to keep people in bondage. Most people fight to defend the very beliefs which are established by the controllers to keep them enslaved, just like Morpheus said in “The Matrix”:
“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it“
What I hear at times when I bring up the issue of control and manipulation is: “But I’m not enslaved, I’m free and can do what I want. That’s the beauty of this great land of freedom!” Enslavement in this day and age is not by force or martial law. It’s by the control of consciousness, by implementing beliefs and desires, forming your mind and behaviors to act and do a certain way, making you believe you are “free” and essentially keeping you complacent and distracted from Truth and the real issues this world faces. It certainly is not man-made Global Warming (one of those implemented beliefs to control/distract the masses) which so many Liberals like to focus on these days. Being “environmental conscious”, “green”, striving towards self-sustainability, permaculture, recycling, composting, driving a “Hybrid” car or planting veggies is not enough if we want true change. There are more pressing issues that cry for our attention and awareness.
Sometimes when I mention these points I’m being called a “conspiracy nut” and ridiculed by the ones who have “faith” in the system and believe themselves to be aware and conscious “good Americans” because they act with good intention and “love” when they cast their vote. However, there is no Love where there is no Truth. There is also no Love where there is Wishful Thinking. Love comes from Knowledge and Understanding, to see the world as it is and to see oneself as one is, not as one likes it to be.
“Give these people a voting day every year, so they have the illusion of meaningless choice. Meaningless choice, so we go like slaves and say “I voted”. The limits of debate in this country are established before the debate even begins and everyone else is marginalized and made to be seen as “communists” or some sort of disloyal person…and now it’s conspiracy [theorists]. You see they made that something that shouldn’t be even entertained for a minute that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen. You’re a nut case! You’re a conspiracy buff!”- Geroge Carlin
The illusion of National Identification and Patriotism is also something that many people are chained to. As Krishnamurti said “Patriotism is a Disease”. It keeps us separated just like religious identification and belief. The leaders of this country and the world couldn’t care less about America and other nations. These beliefs are just part of the circus show to keep people confined. What rules the world are Transnational Corporations and other interests. Wars are also not fought for National Securities or Patriotism, but the lie of “Patriotism” (with its emotional attachment of “Pride”) is being sold to the masses to follow without questioning.
“Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.” – Arundhati Roy
There is much information available to show the truth in these matters that need to be exposed before anything will change. Everything else is justre-arranging the surface or like staring at the shadows on the wall in Plato’s allegory of The Cave.
– Reflections on Political Ponerology
Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts. The general public hasn’t been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison.” – Dr. Robert Hare
This is just skimming the surface. There is more information, articles, essays, books, videos and research that examine each of the points I mentioned in-depth, much of it what others and I post on FB all the time. But who will actually make time and look into it? This is the age of fast food information, of twitter and quick Facebook updates, of texting, ADD and short attention spans. People are too busy with all kinds of trivialities in their lives. Most of them can’t be even bothered to THINK and many are too concerned with themselves to keep an eye on the world. I know life is not easy at times and we do need to take care of ourselves. There is much to do, but “having no time” to look into these matters seems to be a quick excuse these days, especially considering how they affect us and the world at large on a daily basis. Truth can’t be spoon-fed, nor will it be on Oprah anytime soon or neatly packaged in a five min. youtube clip. It is up to each of us to make an effort to seek Truth and speak out about it, even if it contradicts with our cherished long-held beliefs.
I had people saying that these “conspiracies” are “unwarranted claims”, but the same people do not look into the evidence and research that is out there and so debunk something they haven’t even looked into sincerely. There is an unconscious psychological protective mechanism that prevents people to face certain truths about the world and essentially about themselves, because the Truth will shatter much of what they believe in and they’d have to adjust their lives accordingly, most of all admitting to themselves that they have been believing in lies. Of course there is also the question of what “others” may think, peer pressure, friends, family, colleagues and so on. People don’t want to “rock the boat”. This is how the “matrix” protects itself and the “sheeple police the sheeple”, so no ones steps out of line. But in the end only Truth will truly set us free and help us to embrace a brighter future for ourselves and our children. Denial and Avoidance will essentially backfire as it is already.
“The scientific discourse misses the fact that the ability to deny is an amazing human phenomenon, a product of sheer complexity of our emotional, linguistic, moral and intellectual lives. Denial is a complex unconscious defense mechanism for coping with guilt, anxiety and other disturbing emotions aroused by reality.” – Stanley Cohen
There is another issue that come with voting in a corrupted system and believing in lies. On a deeper level (metaphysically speaking), by voting and by identifying yourself with a party (left or right) you actually give validity to the corrupt system, two-party set-up and essentially your “permission” to keep it in place. In a sense you actually give up your “free will” by believing in lies (taking the false for the true and the true for the false) and supporting them with your “vote”. It’s how the “matrix” works and keeps itself in place: By the consensus of the people believing in it and supporting it through their actions and beliefs.
No matter how good a lie sounds, how good it feels or what “positive” effect it may have (wishful thinking), there are metaphysical repercussions that affect everyone and the whole world “negatively” and actually feed entropy, essentially keeping the false system and control in place by giving it “energy”, regardless if the people who support/believe lies (unknowingly or not) are very loving, positive and mean well. In a sense by voting and buying into the illusion of “free choice” people tend to do more “harm” than any “good”.
The exact opposite of what we’re being told (“Rock the Vote!”) and have been conditioned to believe. Obviously it’s not about just not voting and doing nothing. It’s about gaining Knowledge and educating ourselves and see the “fraud” and the lies for what they are. Then we Know what to DO and most importantly what NOT to do. The more people engage in seeking Truth and work together in that regard, the better the chance that reality (as a Whole) will change for the “better”, because we DO create our own reality but it’s not as simple as portrayed in the many distorted New Age “You Create Your Own Reality” bits. This is a topic on its own, getting more into the realm of Esoterica, Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysics. This article touches upon that issue a little bit: Order Out of Chaos
“Illusion, thinking it is reality, takes reality for illusion” – Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis
One of the questions I’ve been asked is what do I suggest we DO if we don’t vote?
Well, what an interesting question, which reflects how we’ve been conditioned with basically only two options to choose from (left or right). I’m in no position to tell anyone what to do. I can give some suggestions and food for thought, but eventually the drive to seek to truth and act upon it, living life beyond personal interests but with awareness of the bigger picture needs to come from oneself.
Having said that, here are some suggestions:
1. The most important part is to gain Self-Knowledge and work on oneself to become a better person and “be the change“. I touched upon that in the blog “Know Thyself“. Self-Knowledge and Self-Work is also needed to truly understand the world “out there”. We are all works in process and all there is are lesson, but there needs to be effort to cut through our conditioning. It doesn’t happen by itself. It’s about conscious evolution.
“The change must begin with the human being, not with the outward structure. The human being is confused, the human being is conditioned. He believes, and therefore there is a contradiction in himself. He is really, deeply confused and if he wants to change the social structure, the change from confusion only breeds more confusion. Whereas, if he could bring about clarity within himself, and from that clarity act, then such an action is really a deep psychological revolution. That revolution is absolutely necessary.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
2. Educate yourself and seek Information and Knowledge outside the realm of official culture and mainstream media. Question everything!
3. Turn off your TV. As a matter of fact, get rid of it. Create a meditation space there instead. This article gives some insight of how watching TV modifies and programs (literally) our behaviors, desires, beliefs and even is detrimental to your health: Want Better Health? Stop Watching Television…For Good .
Take care of your health with exercise, yoga, qi gong, meditation, massage, breathwork, healthy diet (stay away from gluten, wheat, dairy, sugar), spending time in nature, etc… . The body and mind are one. What you eat and how you live has an effect on how you think and feel.
4. Network and talk about these topics to friends and family or new people you meet. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Awareness is the first step to change, Of course it is not about preaching or forcing one’s view on another, but about raising Awareness and “pushing the envelope”, spreading some “seeds” here and there if appropriate. There is a time to talk and a time to be silent, but not falling into Complacency, Conformity, Self-Importance, Anger or Rage. Meet on a regular basis with a group of like-minded people, so you can get feedback and keep each other “awake”, discussing these issues, creating community based on Truth, Knowledge and essentially Love. Together we’re stronger.
“Cowardice asks the question:”Is it safe”?
Expediency asks the question:”Is it politic”?
Vanity asks the question:”Is it popular?”
But conscience asks the question:”Is it right?”
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular
but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one what is right.”
– Martin Luther King
5. Blogging and using Social Networks to spread awareness and information. Facebook and other sites can be great tools to raise awareness and network beyond just talking about oneself, how much you love life or what you had for breakfast. We can keep each other informed and provide better and more insightful news than the mainstream media.
These are just some suggestions. More can be done and each of us should look deeply into oneself, of how one is being honest with oneself, others and the world at large. Everyone can do something to raise awareness and make this world a better place, each according to his/her unique talents that go beyond immediate self-gratification or self-interest that keeps one in a subjective tunnel vision. However this also entail questioning what we believe to be true or not and not mistake objectivity for negativity or wishful thinking for positivity.
The future is not set in stone. It all depends on each of us. The more people wake up to truth and see the world as it is, not as we “like” it to be, the better for all. Awareness creates change, not simply “positive thinking”, visualizing or meditating on “peace. Providing solutions without first getting a better understanding of ourselves and what is truly going on in the world can be self-defeating in the long run. Discernment is needed and separating truth from lies, within and without. This higher awareness then results in action that will have lasting positive results and not just change of “appearances”.
There is much we’ll have to come to terms with before true change can happen. Let’s not miss the opportunity during this “Time of Transition”. There is work to do, but it’s what we signed up for.
To vote is to attempt to wrest the force of the state towards coercing others who disagree into compliance with one’s own preferences.
Excellent article, great advice. Just what I needed to read after a day of seeing all those I Voted buttons on FB.