Tag Archives: social conditioning

Quote of the Day – March 15 2013

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”
― Alan Wilson Watts

 

How do we break away from societal conditioning or at least realize which ideas are our own and which are just rote learned responses? Meditation helps for sure but also self-examination. If I feel myself having a fast reaction to something whether it be someone asking for money in the street, someone expressing themselves loudly or in ways that I was raised to believe were pushy and rude I have started to watch my reaction (I used to try fighting my reactions, talk about a sucker’s game… better to bring them out and let them dissipate in the open air), let myself feel what I feel and then look at it and test it for integrity. Does this truly express my values or is it the part of me that is the conditioned robot?  It helps to remember that the idea is not to not be the robot but to be truly expressive of the self at all times.

 

On a different subject, today just as an experiment, on my Facebook status I asked people, “What is the most beautiful thing you see right now?” and received so many fantastic responses. Shared joy is increased! I loved the idea that just for one moment, no matter what was happening in their days and lives that whoever read it would look around them for beauty. For me at the moment, it was my son having a bit of a temper tantrum over delayed plans. I have been enjoying watching him individuate more and more (tho there are parts of it that drive me a bit nuts as well) . Easily tho the responses to my question made my day. I may be getting the hang of this social media thing and how it can be used to share meaning after all.

 

What is the most beautiful thing you have seen today?
Blessings, G

 

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Wondering if His Dreams Have Wings
Wondering If My Dreams Have Wings by G A Rosenberg

 

Green EggsGreen Eggs by G A Rosenberg

Additional quote of the Day – April 26 2012 (A Long One)

“Very nice,” I said. “But why did you bring me up here?”
“It’s time for you to see the fnords,” he replied. Then I woke up in bed and it was the next morning. I
made breakfast in a pretty nasty mood, wondering if I’d seen the fnords, whatever the hell they were,
in the hours he had blacked out, or if I would see them as soon as I went out in the street. I had some
pretty gruesome ideas about them, I must admit. Creatures with three eyes and tentacles, survivorsfrom Atlantis, who walked among us, invisible due to some form of mind shield, and did hideous
work for the Illuminati. It was unnerving to contemplate, and I finally gave in to my fears and peeked
out the window, thinking it might be better to see them from a distance first.
Nothing. Just ordinary sleepy people, heading for their buses and subways.
That calmed me a little, so I set out the toast and coffee and fetched in the New York Times from the
hallway. I turned the radio to WBAI and caught some good Vivaldi, sat down, grabbed a piece of
toast and started skimming the first page.
Then I saw the fnords.
The feature story involved another of the endless squabbles between Russia and the U.S. in the UN
General Assembly, and after each direct quote from the Russian delegate I read a quite distinct
“Fnord!” The second lead was about a debate in Congress on getting the troops out of Costa Rica;
every argument presented by Senator Bacon was followed by another “Fnord!” At the bottom of the
page was a Times depth-type study of the growing pollution problem and the increasing use of gas
masks among New Yorkers; the most distressing chemical facts were interpolated with more
“Fnords.”
Suddenly I saw Hagbard’s eyes burning into me and heard his voice: “Your heart will remain calm.
Your adrenalin gland will remain calm. Calm, all-over calm. You will not panic. You will look at the
fnord and see it. You will not evade it or black it out. You will stay calm and face it.” And further
back, way back: my first-grade teacher writing FNORD on the blackboard, while a wheel with a
spiral design turned and turned on his desk, turned and turned, and his voice droned on,
IF YOU DON’T SEE THE FNORD IT CAN’T EAT YOU, DON’T
SEE THE FNORD, DON’T SEE THE FNORD . . .
I looked back at the paper and still saw the fnords.
This was one step beyond Pavlov, I realized. The first conditioned reflex was to experience the panic
reaction (the activation syndrome, it’s technically called) whenever encountering the word “fnord.”
The second conditioned reflex was to black out what happened, including the word itself, and just to
feel a general low-grade emergency without knowing why. And the third step, of course, was to
attribute this anxiety to the news stories, which were bad enough in themselves anyway.
Of course, the essence of control is fear. The fnords produced a whole population walking around in
chronic low-grade emergency, tormented by ulcers, dizzy spells, nightmares, heart palpitations and
all the other symptoms of too much adrenalin. All my left-wing arrogance and contempt for my
countrymen melted, and I felt genuine pity. No wonder the poor bastards believe anything they’re
told, walk through pollution and overcrowding without complaining, watch their sons hauled off to
endless wars and butchered, never protest, never fight back, never show much happiness or eroticism
or curiosity or normal human emotion, live with perpetual tunnel vision, walk past a slum without
seeing either the human misery it contains or the potential threat it poses to their security . . . Then I
got a hunch, and turned quickly to the advertisements. It was as I expected: no fnords. That was part
of the gimmick, too: only in consumption, endless consumption, could they escape the amorphous
threat of the invisible fnords.
I kept thinking about it on my way to the office. If I pointed out a fnord to somebody who hadn’t been de-conditioned, as Hagbard deconditioned me, what would he or she say? They’d probably read
the word before or after it. “No this word,” I’d say. And they would again read an adjacent word. But
would their panic level rise as the threat came closer to consciousness? I preferred not to try the
experiment; it might have ended with a psychotic fugue in the subject. The conditioning, after all, went back to grade school. No wonder we all hate those teachers so much: we have a dim, masked
memory of what they’ve done to us in converting us into good and faithful servants for the Illuminati.
— From Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, Illuminatus

 

And so it goes. Now obviously Mrs Shea and Wilson were speaking in allegorical terms. Sometimes tho when my son comes home from school and he starts talking about what he was taught that day I begin to wonder

 

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Electric Pathways by G A Rosenberg