more on beliefs


Richard Moore

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From: “Madeline Bruce”
Date: 29 August 2009 18:36:25 IST
Subject: Re: belief thread, continued

Bear in mind that in group therapy, the members are there to heal themselves, and each other.  Altruism is a serendipetous off-shoot of the chemistry of a cohesive group, that is, a group that has gone through natural, and required stages, like forming, storming, norming and onto a cohesive, working, performing group, that has faced conflict and worked through that.  – Madeline 

It would be nice if contributors could talk to each other online, in view of the other conributors? – 
M. Bruce, Nanaimo, B. C. 

Hi Madeline,
Thanks for the clarification re/therapy.
If someone wants to set up a chat room for cyberjournal people, that’s OK with me. In past such experiments, however, no one has participated. 
From: herb 
Date: 29 August 2009 20:58:12 IST
Subject: Re: belief thread, continued

Great discussion!
The propaganda sphere has so altered and damaged the tool of language itself that it has become difficult to have a calm discussion about words.  Our distant ancestors confronted propaganda, just look to the Church, but they did not confront the onslaught of the cacophony of lies, distortion, pure invention and emotional manipulation that your average current current citizen must contend with.  When navigating in a fog we become dependent on the spectacle of those landmarks that stand out from the fog, the bright, the extreme, the very big.  So to our minds become conditioned to think in terms of the extremes.  Normal is relegated to the land of invective.  But it is exactly the normal person, aided by a variety of abnormal but talented people in her group, that was the successful core of the hand we played in the card game of evolution.  
The thing that made us so successful in the drying savannas of Africa plus or minus 100,000 years ago, that allowed us to flourish from a genetic bottle neck of a mere 1500 individuals, was our built in biological incentives, our enjoyments.  Our enjoyment of sex, some would say, is dominant, but that misses the soup for the carrots, with apologies to honored Freud.  Of the mix of biological appetites that compelled us to expand to the billions certainly the enjoyment of cooperation and the drive to submerge ourselves in the emotional bath of the group, on the one hand, and the individuals fascination with novelty, the pure joy of novel patterns and novel combinations, on the other, have been some of the main drivers.  
Here in text world it is hard to appreciate or describe how incredibly complex and enmeshing is normal human contact, especially when it involves touch.  Those who can touch each other can fully meld their inner mirror neurons, and in a real sense, become the other for a while.  This is the healing energy that you sense lying beneath the surface ready to burst forward and establish inclusive community.  
Disasters sometimes allow us to see our better selves.  My favorite bursting forth occurred in the Marina District of San Francisco after the Loma Prieta earthquake.  Houses tilting drunkenly, burning, blowing up occasionally, no city services, and yet the people spontaneously organized to meet their basic needs.  If you needle people enough (get beyond how terrible it was) you often find people remembering the time fondly, as a happy and meaningful time where they were able, briefly, to receive and give gratuitously.
A pearl:  There are three stages of life.  First we get to get, then we give to get, and finally, we get to give.  The last is truly the sweetest.
Don’t manipulate emotions, invite them.

Hi Herb,
Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve got a few somewhat random comments.
You can say we had an appetite for being in a group, and that’s a true statement. However, that would never have been a conscious choice. Existence outside a group was simply inconceivable, as with other social primates.
I don’t believe there was ever a bottleneck of 1500 individuals. That’s one of those silly conclusions, like the mythical “Big Bang”, that scientists come up with when they start with faulty assumptions and slavishly follow their formulas to the bitter end.
Yes, I remember the Loma Prieta quake very well. I was down in Palo Alto. People were out on El Camino walking, a very rare sight, and the only light was from passing cars. I had a radio with a battery, so I could give people updates on the latest earthquake news. There was an energy of camaraderie, a very good energy. If we could simply disable everyone’s TV, we’d probably get something similar. Television, the drug of the nation, spreading ignorance and spewing radiation.
Interesting that you mention stages of life. I just wrote an article on that for Enneagram Monthly. Your three stages map fairly well onto my nine. The file is EgLife.pdf, and it can be downloaded from our files section:
From: Ed Goertzen 
Date: 29 August 2009 16:04:12 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: the belief thread continues 

Hi Richard:
Your comment about the “old adage, never talk about religion or politics in a pub, is there for a reason. But not every adage applies to every situation” caught my attention.
We have just perused some interesting material about brainwashing and propaganda. 
Where did the old adage originate and what is its effect? 
Have we not proposed, or even agreed, that the only way to negate propaganda is to talk face to face with someone?
One of the reasons that Cromwell’s “New Model Army” succeeded in defeating the Church and State in England’s civil wars 1638 – 1660, was that they were, in the lull between battles, discussing the “freedom” literature in the newly available King James Version of the Bible. 
From it, they gleaned a new perspective on the differing roles of both Church and State and the importance of being freed from the institutional oppression of either or both..  
[See Trevor Royal’s “Civil War  – the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638 – 1660” (2005) especially the “Putney Debates” Held in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Putney, they opened on 28 October 1647]
Pg 407: An inveterate intriguer and a committed Puritan, Thomas Rainsborough provided the most succinct articulation of the Leveller position when he addressed the General Council of the Army on the first day of the debates. In response to the discussion led by Ireton [Cromwell’s son in law] about who should be included in the [electoral] franchise, Rainsborough replied:   –
“I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore, truly sir, I think it’s clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that/ government that he has not had a voice to put himself under (9)

It is from there that we get the essential democratic concept of ‘government by the consent (consensus) of the people’. 
People who fight for a cause, and are willing to die for it, will always vanquish those who are merely mercenary “paid help”. [Note: Afghanistan]
It is the essential ingredient in associations. In voluntary associations it is human nature to contribute more to the cause than the benefits one receives. In a compulsory association, one will try to obtain more benefits than one contributes. 
Kind Regards
Ed G

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the historical note. There’s a critical flaw in what Rainsborough said however. Giving someone the vote is not the same as them choosing to live under that government. If only we had the choice to opt out! Even when the whole Confederacy was essentially unanimous about opting out, they weren’t allowed to.


From: J Fadiman
Date: 30 August 2009 06:54:46 IST
Subject: Fwd: [T-H-S] !!!!! The Silence of the Antiwar Movement is Deafening

You sure called it right. We all lie down and let the Bush-era policies escalate and do nothing to stop them:
The Silence of the Antiwar Movement is Deafening
Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland

FYI. Seems sound and depressing to me, 
“No Wage Growth; No Recovery” 
By Mike Whitney

– a line from somewhere that says a lot about democracy:
“A person at a table with five foods would freely choose the food they liked best – but the person with power was the one who set the table.” as in he who counts the votes…..

Hi Jim,
Yes, there are those who count the votes, those who choose the candidates, those who fund the political parties, those who decide who gets positive media coverage, etc. etc. I find it bizarre that anyone could think this system is in any way democratic. But many do, and this thread has been trying to get a handle on that bizarre behavior.
The Mike Whitney article is interesting. He’s thinking for himself, writing sincerely, and he doesn’t buy into the mainstream economic propaganda. Nonetheless, he fails to escape from the mainstream matrix. He says:
It’s no secret what’s wrong with the economy; the banks are struggling and
consumers are broke. But there are remedies, they simply require fresh thinking
about regulation and how to maintain aggregate demand.

He is like Nasrudin, when his camel died… “The problem is that the camel is not standing up. If we stand him up and give him a kick he’ll take us to Cairo.”
We are not in a recession. The camel is dead. The paradigm of economic growth has passed its sell-by date, and those who are running things know that very well. They know better than anyone else how much oil reserves there really are, what the economic realities are, what’s really happening with climate change, etc. They know the stimulus package has no hope of ‘restoring’ the economy. They know their monetization of debt will cause hyper inflation. 
     The pundits and economists are unable to see, because their formulas and models no longer have any relevance. They’re all based on the assumption that growth will persist forever. They are unable to conceive of a world other than that. And they have no understanding of the scope of elite strategy. They took the toxic vaccine against ‘conspiracy theories’.
     A new economic regime will be constructed. And as usual with construction projects, the old building is being systematically demolished and cleared away as the first step. 
     Such is the economic dimension of the new world order.
Thanks for the Cindy Sheehan article. It symbolizes the neuterization of progressives under the Obama propaganda regime. Meanwhile, my friends in the facilitation movement are wasting their time participating in Obama’s mock public-input exercises. Obama is absolutely perfect for the job of putting people to sleep while the new world order is being installed. 
Yes I did call it right about Obama. If one understands how power works in this society, and then one sees how the media has fawned over Obama from the beginning, it becomes quite obvious who he works for. And then when he appointed Wall Street people to all the important posts… my God, how much evidence to people need? 
From: “laurence”
Date: 30 August 2009 11:04:05 IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: the belief thread continues

Hi Richard,

there are ways to shifts things around. Some years ago I had projected to write a book on economics (my background) putting the human factor back at its right place, where it belongs: as a decision knot in the social fabric/system/network. A very essential question then arises, how do people take decisions? What influences the decision making process? The question includes of course the highly complex mass of non conscious interacting processes .
What helped me most in being immune to propaganda? Besides my basic personality structure, working on becoming aware of non conscious mental processes has helped me tremendously. I often thnk that if some basic NLP tools were taught in first grade school, what a huge improvement we would observe. Education is a huge key to improving our social fabric, and this can start of on a very small scale. I’ve often dreamt that I had enough money to start a research foundation that would work on creating and distributing pedagogic tools wrapped as playful games that would help people improuve their mental efficiency and awareness. I was so impressed by David Bohm’s writings on dialog  and how essential it is to learn and think broadly and properly.
Our individual choices, most of which are totally automatic/programed, are induced by our (non conscious) worldview and perception. As we shift our perception, our choices and behavior get altered. I’ve seen more than several groups of people starting out with the best intentions in the world, wishing to make a real change and run into a disaster after several months just because repressed personal neurosis would mess-up relationship among the members, or groups reproducing the good old hierarchy  scheme where individual neurotic needs of a few override collective needs. I do not see it as a matter of enlightenment, no, I see it as acquiring basic knowledge about self, how to just be a resonably healthy adult , I see it as basic homework.
The tricky part is that   most of those “neurotic patterns” are non conscious unless someone does put words on the issue, dealing with neurotic issues is by far much harder than dealing with purely material issues, and the cost of those problems ar huge even in private corporations, they are staggering everywhere, it is mindbuggling, yet this very issue is constantly put under the carpet, carefully avoided. I loved the way the umites described our social network, in their letters to some spanish recipient , they have hit the nail right in the center. And I have NO easy answer to that staggering problem except start somewhere, ie with self.   Back we are to what matters most to us in life and if we honestly live up to those values.     If not what does fuel our behavior? Non conscious neurotic patterns? Haha….It is never pleasant to face the fact indeed.

Yours sincerely,

Hi Laurence,
Thanks for your contribution.
Whether you call it enlightenment, personal growth, or whatever, the point is still the same: you’re saying that individuals need to change before the culture or society can change.
     And my response is the same. People in great masses are not going to cure their neuroses any more than they’re going to achieve enlightenment. It would be nice, perhaps, but it isn’t going to happen. Personally, I like my neuroses. Life would be boring without them to contend with. They are my reminder to keep learning. And from an intellectual perspective, masses of people are never going to have a right understanding of how this society works as long as they live under it as their primary influence. Mass propaganda cannot be overcome by amateur attempts at mass education, eg the net with all its revelations.
In Bohm Dialog there is an emphasis on how one participates in dialog. I’d say the point there is more therapy than dialog. The content of the dialog is considered secondary. 
     In Dynamic Facilitation, there is no attempt to change people’s style of participation. Rosa calls it a “come as you are” process. In DF the emphasis is on the content of the dialog, and on ‘really hearing’ what everyone has to say. Out of that process a space is created where people get past their neuroses and are able to work together creatively. They come up with very sensible outcomes. This is not theory. It is a proven method that works reliably, as long the group isn’t too big, there’s enough time available, and there is a problem that everyone in the group wants to find a solution to.