psychology

Cultivate Attention and Discernment (5)

La Clairvoyance (1936) (“Perspicacity”) By René Magritte 1936.

“Sound judgement, with discernment is the best of seers.”

— Euripides


Reading time: 15-17 mins

So far, we’ve looked at healing the past so that we have a firm foundation upon which to build, such as choosing constructive, positive emotions. To be able to take the first steps, we must have enough self-respect and at least some measure of self-control to take responsibility for our own development. That means choosing this as a central aim parallel or including, a process of objectives, without self-deception or short-cuts. We must simplify our daily routines and scale back our ambitions so that undue complexity doesn’t enter in prematurely. Economising our energy permits progress to that end. If we never have enough mental, emotional and physical energy available then our aim will remain in the realm of fantasy – the very source of the drain itself. Non-identification, positive detachment and proper attention help us simplify and return to what is essential. To be aware of the mammalian brain and its addictive habits we can choose to cultivate attention. When we know what to look for, we can begin to recognise the emotional, intellectual and physical patterns which keep our creative potential trapped. We might then be able to discern the true nature of ourselves and our relationship to others.

So, what is “discernment” exactly? From the Latin words ‘dis’ (apart) and ‘cernere’ (to separate), it’s a skill that we develop in order to comprehend what is vague or obscure. This applies to a person, situation or an abstract idea. It is the art of seeing which includes the realm of the five senses and by extension, the possibility of accessing different modes of perception using the marriage of intuition and reason. And we do this by shunning self-orientated, subjective impressions and by striving to obtain an objective view of life as possible.

If we can comprehend something and reach clarity then we can exercise sound judgement and the further ability to discriminate between what is true or false. Discrimination – the noticing of any part, quality, impression, detail or difference in comparison to another object, person or situation – is the essential partner to discernment. Without constant discrimination between what is negative and positive, good or evil, gaining useful insights from a holistic view cannot be attained.

Careful discrimination weighs up and compares, discernment permits initial recognition of impressions received. We are then able to exercise judgement and reach a conclusion of the overall picture, coordinated by the will of attention. As Scottish theologian Sinclair B. Ferguson states: “True discernment means not only distinguishing [discriminating] the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the primary from the secondary, the essential from the indifferent, and the permanent from the transient. And, yes, it means distinguishing between the good and the better, and even between the better and the best.” And this means learning that the “devil” is often in the details because lies to ourselves and lies in the outer world are frequently sandwiched between the sweet and seemingly well-intentioned. Or, as British Baptist Preacher Charles Spurgeon once cautioned: “Discernment is not a matter of telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” Which is why ancient philosophical traditions emphasize the subtleties inherent in developing such skills.

“Almost right” is still wrong. And that can be a big deal when your life depends on it.

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9. Cultivate Attention and Discernment (1)

“Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the “past.” People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the ‘Future.'”

The Cassiopaea Experiment Transcripts, by Laura Knight-Jadczyk


Reading time: 18-20 mins

“Pay attention.”

A very familiar phrase. I don’t know about you, but this reminds of my school days when I certainly wasn’t paying attention for a lot of the time. I was either messing around at the back of the class or looking out of the window daydreaming.

Hardly surprising. School tends to encourage stress and dissociation plus all the frustrations and inattention that follows. Not that there aren’t some fine teachers about. But the concept of learning has gone so far from the joy and wonder it is meant to instil, that all who partake in this factory of disconnection can only end up blind.  When it extends into adulthood it acts as a fly-paper for a host of other problems – dissociation being one high on the list.

Children have a powerful ability to pay attention to their surroundings. Their “distraction” is a crucial part of developing sensory awareness and something we lose as we reach adulthood. Children actually notice and remember more through this total immersion which is developed through play, interaction and natural presence. [1]  By the time they reach formal schooling (i.e. indoctrination) children are force-fed what to think rather than how to think. Attention is directed to specific blocks of information created and formed by a consensus which is really just a form of hypnosis and entrainment and a product of distorted history and consequent perception management.

Filtration, fabrication and distortion form the education of our day, so it’s no wonder that young adult are feeling adrift after they graduate from such institutionalised propaganda. Thanks to this type of education, social media, a backdrop of content consumption and production there is, according to a recent study, a “…more rapid exhaustion of limited attention resources.” As a result, humanity’s collective attention span is getting shorter. [2]

Then we have the increasing automation of technology which is cutting jobs and laying waste to our ability to hold on to and develop new cognitive and practical skills to take us boldly into the future. There is an attention deficit but it is not restricted to the psychiatric label designed to market more drugs. We have a crisis of attention thus perception which has been going on for a long time.

At the most basic level, without attention, we would all be crashing our cars even more than we do already: burning our food to a crisp; sleeping in everyday; leaving the shower on all day or adding our number to the legion of people that die in accidents at home while attempting to “fix” things. A lack of attention and an overestimation of our knowledge can be a fatal combination.

Without paying attention we cannot simplify our life, give our lover pleasure, find our blind spots, control our emotions, or learn a new skill. Without paying attention we cannot define or uphold what we value. When values are absent knowing the difference between fact and fantasy is a tenuous proposition.

Attention not only matters it can determine whether we live or die, accept a truth or a clever lie. And these two pairings usually go together.

In other words, cultivating attention is a BIG deal.

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Cultivate Detachment and Non-Identification (2)

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

“Inner silence is for our race a difficult achievement. There is a chattering part of the mind which continues, until it is corrected, to chatter on even in the holiest places.”

— C.S. Lewis


Reading time: 15-20 mins

Inner Considering

You’re on an internal cell phone to your “Self” that never stops ringing. You pick up and you say the same thing over and over. You hang up. And then it rings again and you start over, completely forgetting your last feverish conversation. Our wires become so crisscrossed and entangled with endless contradictions and conflations that we end up trapped in our mind.

A life of endless chatter, deliberation, vascillation, questioning, doubts, ten thousand possible ‘if’s’ and ‘but’s’ fuelled by our fantasies of the future and the past. These thoughts get our brain and nervous system so habitually overheated, criss-crossing over each other with complexity, that we cannot discern or discriminate objective from subjective.

That’s an unfortunate part of being human. We all do it to different degrees – mostly as our default position. It certainly takes me back to all kinds of poor decisions which were based solely on that inner noise of fear and anxiety and not much else. We can even make ourselves believe that it’s all logical and rational rather than an internal babbling of self-protection.

All this has a name: “inner considering”, a phrase drawn from the 4th Way teachings of George I. Gurdjieff and its relationship to indentification and self-remembering.

When we fully identify with the object of our attention we immediately begin a cascade of thought loops about what might or might not be, fuelled by anticipation and inner dissatisfaction. People, in particular, form our most potent forms of identification. This is the social battlefield of unresolved childhood insecurities and misdirected sexual energies. Plagued by endless loops of inner considering we are not motivated by truth but by self-protection and inner comfort. It’s like we carry around a no-entry sign for any authentic interaction. Only those exchanges which bypass “sensitive” lanes into our heart are allowed access. And since most people are asleep to themselves, therefore inauthentic, much of what we see as social interactions are merely the exchange of inner considerations.

Fear is still pumped into society on a daily basis and has produced immense distrust and cynicism. Our infotainment mediocrity elevates artifice and images devoid of meaning which means most of us search desperately for anchors of purpose. Albeit entirely understandable, this is a fool’s game because it is driven by subjective, frustrated assumptions and all manner of negative projections – all of it largely unconscious.

The net result means no change, or change for its own sake. The loops are still there based on a refusal to take responsibility for one’s own development. A contractile denial of one’s own deformations remains in place.

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Choose Constructive Emotions (and don’t forget your greatest asset) (7)

© Sergey Khakimullin | Dreamstime.com

“The old saying “opposites attract” is often true. The difficulty is once they marry they drive each other crazy.”

― Dr. Steven Stephens


Reading time: 15 mins

In this final post on constructive emotions it might be useful to remind ourselves that the way we experience and process our feelings and emotions is quite different for men and women, boys and girls. When it comes to general, emotional awareness however, we all appear to have far more in common than the traits that can set us apart.

There are key differences in how we manage and react to feelings adjusted through the lens of our emotions. The way we manage them is so different in fact, that we frequently appear to be a different species to our opposite sex. (Why does he go silent? Why does she never shut up?) We need to be cognizant of these differences if we are to make headway in our relationships and our quest for a more constructive emotional life.

Needless to say, in our current climate of gender politics it’s a bit of a minefield; the mainstream media, social scientists and cultural commentators pore over the latest data and put it through the meat-grinder of ideological bias and belief. Despite this, from most people’s experiences on the ground, men and women do have different ways of coping and expressing their emotional world which is probably leaning towards a dominance of genes and biology and environment/sociocultural influences playing a part. How large a part we are not yet sure. One thing is certain, as the role of biology and epigenetics attains its rightful place as a key driver in gender differences the power of suggestion and cultural inculcation shouldn’t be underestimated.

Although we live in a culture that appears to be pushing the ideology that there are no differences and male and female is just a social construct, anyone who has had any relationships, partnerships and marriages will tell you that men and women are hardwired to process emotions in different ways. Yet, we seldom remember this dimension when in the midst of row or the inevitable misunderstandings at work. Undoubtedly cultural influences and a host of personal experiences play a big part, but these differences appear to have an even larger biological component that stretches back thousands of years to our hunter-gatherer ancestors and beyond.

Such evaluations and their conclusions don’t fit well with those invested in feminism and “gender fluid” beliefs since it dilutes the idea that it’s all about stereotypes or the “patriarchal system of oppression.” Ideologues don’t like being reminded that there are compelling arguments pointing to biology as a powerful reason for gender differences with their roots in survival and tribal cohesion. Gender does indeed matter but not to create divisions, rather to help us work together, much like the two hemispheres of the brain – If our brains were only given the chance.

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Have an Aim / Objective (2)

© Rostyslav Zabolotnyi | Dreamstime.com

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as
something to aim at.”

— Bruce Lee
.

Reading time: 20-25 mins.

This is a long post finalising our look at aim and objectives. I hope it will provide some food for thought as you go forward. Remember, that all the 31 suggestions exist as an essential part of each other. None of them come alive in isolation and all play a part in self-transformation.

***

Your aim must align to the best in yourself. It must ignite enjoyment over pleasure.

If you are an artist then your art must be deeply personal and passionately part of your being. When that happens, you will affect people. There are implications from your dedication to your aim. It will mean connections which initiate expansion for yourself and others. If you build your own narrative – genuine and sincere – it will click with others and they will play a part in the development and evolution of your aim.

Without that self-belief – because your aim and your objectives are you, if you’ve chosen correctly – the momentum is absent and the rotten fruit of failure will drop into your lap so many times that you’ll be forced to re-evaluate your plans. As long as the aim remains true, the distance and objectives along that trajectory can be adapted as many times as necessary. Failure is the whetstone upon which you build a razor-sharp aim that cuts through anything. This occurs by virtue of the fact is that it is TRUE and reflects the light of your intention.

Again, your aim and objectives will probably need work and will likely morph into something quite different depending on your field and focus. Go slow, step by step, that way you are much less likely to get disillusioned and/or create unnecessary obstacles. Often it is our anticipation and obsession with our aim that creates emotional static within which will repel constructive responses. Again, planning is about preparing the internal resonance so that the right response arrives in the outside world.

Do every objective for its own sake not for the perceived rewards. Even if your long-term aim keeps floating in front of you like a carrot on a stick, try to put it out of your daily mind while carefully arranging the system of objectives toward that aim. Every objective IS the aim. That way, instead of becoming impatient and miserable about your perceived lack of progress every completed action becomes part of that fractal process and overall vision, each giving birth to the other.

The manifestation of one’s final aim can’t happen overnight but it will happen.

In this post we’ll explore the notion of a personal system of consciousness and the process of objectives which can bring us creativity and flow, aligned to our primary aim.

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4. Have an Aim / Objective (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not
know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”

— Seneca

Reading time: 18 minutes

21st Century culture can be overwhelming in its intensity and the sheer rapidity of change. There is so much information entering our eyes and ears 24/7, it’s no wonder that we end up on auto-pilot the majority of the time. It’s similar to that state of mind one might slip into when one sit’s in front of the TV after a hard day’s work. You know, that slack-jawed, jelly-limbed creature that disappears into the sofa with only enough energy to click through hundreds of digital channels spewing up innumerable variations of the same utter shite to gum up our brains. When you mix in constant stress then dissociation is often not too far behind.

You don’t have to veer into dissociation to be habitualised to a kind of daily automatism, though the lines can be somewhat blurred. But if you spend a significant percentage of your life either day-dreaming (living in the future or the past) as a response to never having achieved what you really yearned for, then it’s time to defibrillate your life. Which why it is crucial to have a vocational passion that makes life worth living.

“What’s the point?”

Having an aim and an array of objectives means to orient ourselves away from chaos and into the arms of purpose, meaning and order. It provides structure against a sea of endless choices and sub-variables. Anyone that says they have no aim in life is lying to themselves. Everyone has an aim, even if it’s extremely modest. Most of us are dissatisfied with our lot and are seeking ways to improve it. Initially, that means seeking a short-cut to having our cake and eating it. But that route never provides what we really need, which is clarity and the courage to implement what we have honestly discovered. Such a realisation can continue for literally decades, especially if we are averse to change and covet security and the safety of routine.

Secretly many of us have dreams which take a battering from fate and circumstance leaving us stoic, bitter or “philosophical” about what we’ve decided can never be. Some of the rationalisations I’ve heard for dropping those dreams over the years are I’m sure, familiar to you…

  • I’m too old to do that now – it’s a young man’s/woman’s game
  • Too much time has passed – I wouldn’t know where to start
  • What would X think if I decided to do that?
  • I’m not good enough
  • X tried that and she couldn’t make a living
  • My father/mother wants me to follow in his/her footsteps
  • When would I find the time?
  • I don’t have enough money
  • It’s not practical right now

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Religious Authoritarians VI: Temple Mount …Temple Might VI

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

– Corinthians 3:16


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Apparently the message from Corinthians above, might as well have been scrawled on a latrine for all the lack of attention it received. Temple Mount and the Dome of Rock remain the primary portal of enormous conflict where the indwelling spirit of God seems to be the last thing on the minds of the warring tribes of cultish monotheism.

One of the two most important lynch-pins of End Times prophecy in Judaism and Christian belief is firstly, the rebirth of Israel, support for which has become the central nexus of foreign policy and the jewel in the crown of religious fundamentalist prophecy. Secondly, the idea of the Anti-Christ in Dominionism and Rapture theory who signs a seven year peace treaty with Israel – before its annihilation. The rebuilding of Temple Mount in Jerusalem with support from both Muslims and Jews is part of this deal. This is necessary because the Anti-Christ’s double-cross involves its desecration with all manner of apocalyptic calamities drawn from the traditions of Moses so that Christ will be suitably impressed and venture forth to provide the Second Coming carnival. The eschatological rules must be obeyed and it seems for the Christian Fundies, Jews must convert at the last minute to save more Gentiles, while Israel is busy being purged and sacrificed for God’s Kingdom to reign once more.

The Jewish Messianics and Lubavitchers  however, see it in reverse.  Christians and Gentiles will be sacrificed with Israel reigning supreme over a Greater Israel. Armageddon does not feature. At least, certainly not in the sense that they are the main course.

The Temple Mount has been a sacred religious site for Judaism, Christianity, Islam and pagan cults for thousands of years. Despite the accuracy of the geographical location being called into question it remains the inspiration for the final curtain of the End Times. For Judaism it is the birthplace of the world, a place which brought forth the sacred book of the Talmud; Abraham’s sacrificial and ritualistic binding of Isaac. [1] Orthodox Jewish beliefs assign meaning to the Temple in the shape of a “… figurative ‘footstool’ of God’s presence.” [2]

Most importantly, it is considered to be the location for Solomon’s Temple a site which has significance for religion, freemasonry and other occult groups. [3] British freemasonry in particular and the most “lunatic elements” within the fraternity have been involved in ensuring that the destinies of the “Lost Tribes of Israel” and the Royal bloodlines conform to the prophecies stretching back to Babylon and ancient Egypt.

51ypKU42fxL._In Judeo-Christian theology The Temple of Solomon is thought to have been built by King Solomon, son of Davidin 957 BCE and represented the First Temple in eschatological thought. After being destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, the Second Temple was apparently constructed on the same site first by the Persian King Cyrus the Great, (515 BC) completed under the reign of King Darius I (522 BC) and rebuilt and reconstructed by King Herod by 37 BC. The First Jewish-Roman war and The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 saw the destruction of the Second Temple. In Jewish traditions it is said that the Third and final Temple will be built on the same sacred site.

Islam’s contribution to the Temple mythology came from the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 637 BC and the subsequent construction of the Dome of the Rock on the site completed by 692 BC. This is where the Bible states that the Holy third Temple be built, which is why Sunni Muslims see this as the holiest site in Islam.

So, we have Christians, Muslims, Palestinians and Jews all claiming religious sovereignty over the site. We also have an alliance between ultra-right Christian Fundamentalists and Militant Zionists. The Christian Zionist and messianic sects in the US government – with particular attention to Chabad Lubavitch – require a precise biblical working out of a very, VERY old agenda with a spy vs. spy manipulation on a grand scale, with a global holocaust as their shared objective. For the Christian fundies, if Jews do not convert then they will be destroyed and the inherent anti-Semitism present in the religious right will be seen in all its Christian glory. Since these cycles of millennialism come and go and the world obviously doesn’t end, there is nonetheless, widespread carnage when shock, abandonment and disillusion sets in from what doesn’t happen, as much as what does.

If you find the notion that individuals and groups are actively seeking to stimulate World War III in the 21st Century a little hard to swallow, one of the best investigations of the subject is by Israeli author Gershom Gorenberg who confirms that this is indeed the dominant reality, where Christian Zionists, Jewish messianists and Muslim apocalyptic preachers are converging to do battle on the sacred site of Temple Mount with the rest of us as global collateral.

In this extract from Gorenberg’s book The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount he describes the reworking of eschatological scripts and the strange apocalyptic dances of the protagonists in question:

At the ‘End of the World,’ the believers of three faiths will watch the same drama, but with different programs in their hands. In one, Jesus is Son of God; in another he is Muslim prophet. The Jews messiah is cast in the Muslim script as the dajjal – another name for the Antichrist, the deceiver predicted by Christian tradition. The infidels in one script are the true believers of another. If your neighbor announces that the End has come, you can believe him, even if he utterly misunderstands what is happening.

It makes sense: Christianity’s scriptwriters reworked Judaism and Islam rewrote both. David Cook notes that from the start, apocalyptic ideas moved back and forth between the faiths; the global village is older than we realize. Some of the early spokesmen of Islamic apocalyptic thinking were converted Jews and Christians; they arrived with histories of the future in their saddlebags.

What’s more, a story’s end is when the truth comes out, the deceived realize their mistake. The deep grievance at the start of both Christianity and Islam is that the Jews refused the new faith – so the Jews must appear in both religion’s drama of the End, to be punished or recognize their error.

And the setting of the End is also shared. The crucial events take place in or near Jerusalem. After all, the script began with the Hebrew prophets, for whom Jerusalem was the center not only of their world but of God’s, and everyone else worked from their material. Isaiah’s announcement of the End of Days comes directly after he laments that the ‘faithful city [has] become a harlot.’ That sets up the contrast: In the perfected age,’ the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains’ and ‘out of Zion shall go forth the law.’ The Messiah’s task is to end the Jews’ exile and reestablish David’s kingdom – in his capital.

Christianity reworked that vision. Jesus, says the New Testament, was not only crucified and resurrected in the city, he ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives – and promised to return there. Without the Jews’ national tie to the actual Jerusalem, Christians could allegorized such verses. The Jerusalem of the end could be built on other shores, and countless millennial movements have arisen elsewhere. But the literal meaning is there to be reclaimed, particularly in a time of literalism, such as our own.

Most striking of all is Islam’s adoption of the same setting. For Muslim apocalyptic believers, Jerusalem is the capital in the messianic age. At the end of time, say Muslim traditions, the Ka’ba – Islam’s central shrine in Mecca – will come to Jerusalem. The implication is that in Islam, speaking of the apocalypse at least hints at Jerusalem – and a struggle over Jerusalem alludes to the last battle.

Curiously, academic experts often say that Islam assigns scant space to apocalypse. In the religion’s early centuries, believers attributed a vast body of contradictory traditions to the Prophet. Early Islamic scholars winnowed the sayings, establishing which were most reliable. Meanwhile, Islam became the faith of an empire, and it was time to talk softly of overthrowing the given order. So the authors of books containing the ‘most accurate’ traditions, the pinnacle of the canon, said little of the End. ‘High’ Islam appears un-apocalyptic. [4] [Emphasis mine]

So, we see the reason for Christians becoming Christian Zionists and the Dominionists jumping in bed with the Jewish Messianists – they seek to ditch the Jews at the last moment unless they fully repent and convert, which obviously isn’t going to happen. Meantime, they are useful players in this Biblical saga, as they are integral to the narrative of final redemption. Christian Zionists believe that the Second Coming will only take place if an “ingathering” of Jews is initiated in accordance with what they see as Biblical prophecy. They are the “chosen people of God” all right, but not quite in the way that Jews see themselves

Christian_cross

© infrakshun

Described as the Father of Christian Zionism, Texan Evangelist Hal Lindsey gleefully exclaimed: “Only 144,000 Jews will remain alive after the battle of Armageddon. These remaining Jews – every man, woman and child among them – will bow down to Jesus. As converted Christians, all the adults will at once begin preaching the gospel of Christ. Imagine! They will be like 144,000 Billy Grahams turned loose at once!” [5]

The Late Great Planet Earth (1970) has been described by the New York Times as the “#1 Non-fiction Bestseller of the Decade.” and with approximately 35 million books sold worldwide [6] Lindsey taps into the sub-strata of collective fears and reaping not only huge profits but fanning the flames of dangerous sectarianism. Like so many End Times writers constant revisions of prophecies that never come to be make it an exercise in hyperbole, self-justification and prevarication further underscores his opinions, the sources and footnotes of which are absent.

Lindsey’s business acumen and clever marketing strategy is in keeping with End Times non-fiction. His extraordinary reach and popularity however is in part, a result of his ascent to power care of the Reagan Administration of the early 1980s and he was not alone in that revival. According to Presbyterian Minister and writer Don Wagner:

“The election of Ronald Reagan ushered in not only the most pro-Israel administration in history but gave several Christian Zionists prominent political posts … Once the Reagan Administration opened the door, leading Evangelical Christian Zionist televangelists and writers were given direct access to the President and cabinet members. Rev. Jerry Falwell, Christian Zionist televangelist Mike Evans and author Hal Lindsey among them” [7]

Despite the professed love for Jews by fundamentalist and Catholic Christianity the history of the Church paints a different picture. As anti-Semitism has been used by Jewish power brokers and Israel to do as exactly as they please to whomever they please, so too, the Christian groups have adopted the politically useful tool of philo-Semitism so that they can smile sweetly while guiding them into a second holocaust that will be potentially far worse than World War II. Once the Jews have performed their task, only a select few (144, 000) maybe proffered salvation through conversion. If not, then they will burn in a multi-denominational hell along with the rest of us.

God Works in Mysterious ways indeed…

For Christian Zionists and many Dominionists, Jews are the vital key to Rapture and salvation. But once the door is open the key can be thrown away. And since the Jews, in their eyes are the source of all the problems of the world then it is only Biblical logic that they should be “dispensed” with, which is why many Christians support Israel, above and beyond all reason. While Israel and Jewish people move in line with Biblical prophecy then support will be forthcoming.

Come “Judgment Day” – the gloves are off.

Commensurate with daggers and smiles is the economic elevation of Israel with sufficient amounts of weapons and military might to ensure its perceived survival. Unfortunately, this amounts to fattening up the Golden Calf for a nuclear slaughter. Moreover, on the road to sacrificing humans, there are customs and rituals of animal sacrifice with a long and bloody history. Sacrificial cults have played a large role in Jewish history all the way back to the Talmudic Babylonian sects and the Israelities’ clash with Mosaic Law. Even the Torah has pages about animal sacrifice. As the practice died out Judaism seemed to do quite well without it, just like everyone else who decided to grow and progress.

Jerusalem_BW_1

Panorama of the Temple Mount, seen from the Mount of Olives | Photo: Berthold Werner (wikipedia)

Jewish journalist and author Grace Hasell illustrates this point when she recounts a meeting she had with a retired Army Major named Owen who in early 1999, as part of a dispensationalist group called Concerned Christians, was arrested by Israeli police. He and other members were jailed and deported back to the US after being accused of: “… planning a ‘bloody apocalypse’ to hasten the Second Coming of Christ,” and further, “…plot[ting] the destruction of Jerusalem’s most holy Islamic shrine.” She accompanies Owen as they visit the Dome of Rock, the shrine located at Temple Mount and the City of Jerusalem which has been “… throughout its long history … predominantly and overwhelmingly Arab.”

Hasell describes the scene as their Jewish guide who is leading the group launches into his practiced spiel:

“There—” our guide said, pointing upward toward the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque — “we will build our Third Temple. We have all the plans drawn for the temple. Even the building materials are ready. They are hidden in a secret place. There are several shops where Israelis work, making the artifacts we will use in the new temple. One Israeli is weaving the pure linen that will be used for garments of the priests of the temple.”

He pauses, then adds:

In a religious school called Yeshiva Ateret Cohanim the Crown of the Priests — located near where we are standing, rabbis are teaching young men how to make animal sacrifice.”

A woman in our group, Mary Lou, a computer specialist, seems startled to hear the Israelis want to return to the rites of the old Solomonic sacrificial altar of the temple.

“You are going back to animal sacrifice?” she asks. “Why?”

It was done in the First and Second Temples, our Israeli guide says. “And we do not wish to change the practices. Our sages teach that neglecting to study the details of temple service is a sin.”

Leaving the site, I remark to Owen that our Israeli guide had said a temple must be rebuilt on the Dome of the Rock site. But he said nothing about the Muslim shrines.

“They will be destroyed,” Owen tells me. “You know it’s in the Bible that the temple must be rebuilt. And there’s no other place for it except on that one area. You find that in the law of Moses.”

Did it seem possible, I ask Owen, that the Scripture about building a temple would relate to the time in which it was written — rather than to events in the current era?

“No, it is related to our era,” Owen says. “The Bible tells us that in the End Times the Jews will have renewed their animal sacrifice.”

In other words, I repeat, a temple must be built so that the Jews can resume their animal sacrifice?

“Yes,” said Owen, quoting Ezekiel 44:29 to prove his point.

Is Owen convinced that Jews, aided by Christians, should destroy the mosque, build a temple and reinstate the killing of animals in the temple — all in order to please God?

“Yes,” he replies. “That’s the way it has to be. It’s in the Bible.”

And does the building of the temple, I ask, fit into any time sequence?

Yes. We think it will be the next step in the events leading to the return of our Lord. As far as its being a large temple, the Bible doesn’t tell us that. All it tells us is that there will be a renewal of sacrifices. And Jews can do that in a relatively small building.”

Isn’t it atavistic, I ask, to go back to animal sacrifice? And what about a multitude concerned with animal rights in our modern age?

“But we don’t care what they say. It’s what the Bible says that’s important,” Owen stresses. “The Bible predicts a rebuilding of a temple. Now the people who are going to do it are not Christians but Orthodox Jews. Of course the Old Testament made out a very specific formula for what the Jews must follow regarding animal sacrifice. They can’t carry it out without a temple. They were observing animal sacrifice until 70 A.D. And when they have a temple they will have some Orthodox Jews who will kill the sheep or oxen in the temple, as a sacrifice to God.”

As Owen talks of reinstating animal sacrifice — a step he feels necessary for his own spiritual maturity — he seems to block from his awareness the fact that Muslim shrines stand on the site where he says God demands a temple be built.

That evening, after dinner, Owen and I take a long walk. Again, I voice my concerns about the dangers inherent in a plot to destroy Islam’s holy shrines.

Christians need not do it , Owen says, repeating what he told me earlier. “But I am sure the shrines will be destroyed.”

But, I insist, this can well trigger World War III.

Yes, that s right. We are near the End Times, as I have said. Orthodox Jews will blow up the mosque and this will provoke the Muslim world. It will be a cataclysmic holy war with Israel. This will force the Messiah to intervene.” Owen speaks as calmly, as softly as if telling me there’d be rain tomorrow.

“Yes,” he adds, as we return to our hotel. “There definitely must be a third temple” [8] 

Israel-2013(2)-Jerusalem-Temple_Mount-Dome_of_the_Rock_(SE_exposure)

Dome of the rock, Al-Aqsa mosque, Temple Mount, Jerusalem | Photo: Andrew Shiva.

The “Gush Emunim” or “Temple Mount Faithful” are as equally blasé as the Christians in the inevitability of death and bloodshed for everyone but their own tribe, utterly convinced as they are in their own special status certain that they have connected all the doctrinal dots in order to reserve their 1st class seat to heavenly bliss and World conquest. It is an apocalyptic picture that is painted with the same belief in blood and slaughter which saw the rise of the crusades. As one Temple Mount Rabbi enthused: “war is accompanied by destruction and death, on the other hand, it increases the power of the Messiah … Unfortunately, it is still impossible to achieve the completion of Redemption by any means other than war.” [9]

Whether it is the Christian belief in the Second Coming of Christ or the Jewish Messianists’ arrival of their Messiah it is unlikely either religious avatar would recognise him even if it were a reality. But you can be sure, should their geo-strategies be successful, that smoke, blood, bombs and horror will be very much at the heart of Israel during that process and possibly a large proportion of the world.

Do the Jewish Messianists have an ace up their sleeve perhaps? Nope. Just as the sacrifice of ordinary Jews during World War II was part of the plan for Statehood, so too the necessary and “inevitable” result of war may mean the levelling and destruction of many Jews for Lubavitchers , Christian Zionists and Dominionists as a necessary revenge. Gorenberg, views it like this: “The Jews die or convert. … If you listen to the drama they’re describing, essentially it’s a five-act play in which the Jews disappear in the fourth act.” [10] 

And the possibility of the fourth act being rushed through anytime in the next decade requires a speedy evaluation of living arrangements sooner rather than later if you happen to live in Israel. Such thinking hasn’t escaped the plotters and architects of terror. Pragmatism and survival is only logical. If you light the fire then you plan your escape route well in advance if you wish to rise phoenix-like from the ashes. Evidence of these preparations has been seen for decades in Establishment circles.

Journalist Wolfgang Eggert has been researching the subject for years and reports on lands in countries of Latin America currently being scouted as suitable refuges for the wealthy:

There is a storm brewing and thus it is not surprising that members of the controlling “caste” are looking around for safe harbours. Kawther Salam reports that the Israeli government is carrying out huge purchases of land at the other end of the world, in the remote Southern tip of South America. Her report coincides with revelations on the Internet, allegedly originating from German Intelligence Sources (Bundesnachrichtendienst), stating that this is an Israeli-American joint venture safety manoeuvre. Financial head of this venture: Paul Wolfowitz.

The truth is that almost a sixth part of Patagonia – which means a territory as big as Austria and Switzerland together – is now owned by 350 foreign “investors”. Media baron Ted Turner (CNN) only recently purchased a huge property including a safe water supply provided by a private river. George Soros, the Hungary-born Billionaire residing in New York, is one of the biggest private land owners in this area. The same is true for his associate Eduardo Elzstain, the Argentine business magnate and great Chabad donor. In the North of the American continent investments in building projects of the better-informed-circles are meanwhile being moved into the bowels of the earth. The Neo-Conservative US Vice-President Dick Cheney only recently had a sophisticated private bunker system installed under his home. [11]

Holy War is a means to an end. Just like the Neo-Conservatives, the Christian Zionists, occult groupings and Satanic practice itself, war is not a necessary evil but the means and the end rolled into one. This is where the depopulationists, eugenicists and eco-fascists align with the religious fanatics in the total disregard for human life, where culling of humans is for a global salvation serving a select few, the divine rights of which must be enforced. At this stage, the net results are the same, with religio-occult beliefs aligned in a common union of death for the “greater good” and on a grand scale.

The Pathocratic Elite and their military have been planning and spending considerable sums on private bunkers with the use of allocated funds far removed from Congress for decades. There are also those underground labyrinths left over from the Cold War presently undergoing refurbishments in order to serve the needs of the “continuity of government” in the face of nuclear attack or environmental catastrophe – or both. The overwhelming priority is the cull, survival and total control.

The influences of Chabad Lubavitch, Zionism and their connections to the Establishment in the US, UK and Israel cannot be viewed in isolation from religious fanaticism currently pervading Western politics. Moreover, these expressions of psychopathy and their probable trajectories cannot be understood further without taking a closer look at the dynamics of all three.

 


Notes

[1] “The most recent Palestinian uprising, this past September, began in the wake of the opening of Jerusalem’s “Hasmonean Tunnel,” which runs adjacent to the Haram al-Sharif, Islam’s Third Holiest Shrine, is the former site of the Temple of Herod, destroyed in A.D. 70 by Roman legions commanded by Titus.
Though the media repeatedly discounted it at the time, the Palestinians were enraged due to their fear that the opening of the Tunnel was the beginning of the end for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the start of the rebuilding of the Third Temple, which is the fabled goal to which most of the esoteric secret societies of the West and most especially the orders of Freemasonry, are oriented (indeed, masonic iconography is obsessed with a rebuilt Temple).
The establishment media, in a remarkable demonstration of the uniformity and power of their monopoly control of large scale communications, were able to stifle any substantial reporting in September, providing evidence that Palestinian fears on this subject had some justification.
In what James Shelby Downard terms a “cryonic process” (after the method by which Walt Disney’s mortal remains are supposedly preserved)–the freeze-wait-thaw operation–the truth about the intense concentration of the resources of both esoteric Zionism and esoteric Freemasonry on this “Temple Mount” complex, was frozen while the riots raged. When they subsided, a waiting period ensued as the crisis left the front pages and moved slightly to the rear of the consciousness of the group mind of the masses. After the waiting period, came the thaw, when the truth was taken out of the deep freeze and presented to the public. […]
The opening of the tunnel in September, 1996, with its ritual bloodshed, a precursor of the sacrificial blood ordained to flow if the Temple is rebuilt, was orchestrated in 1867. It was then that the future General Sir Charles Warren, England’s Commissioner of Police and co-conspirator in the occult ritual murder known to history as “Jack the Ripper,” had been dispatched on yet another masonic mission, to lay the groundwork for the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem. And so it was that in 1867, one of England’s most important Freemasons, a member of its “research lodge” (Ars Quator Coronatorum), “rediscovered” the claustrophobic, 500-yard tunnel.
The “implements” of the old Temple, according to the Talmud, were hidden on the Temple Mount before the destruction of the Second Temple. With Warren’s Tunnel now open, the “treasure hunt” begins, as the establishment media admitted, between the lines, during its mid-October “thaw.”
In the second week in October, Zionist zealots involved in crimes of terrorism linked to the hoped-for destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque, suddenly entered stage center from their establishment-imposed positions of obscurity. In the processing of the group mind, chronology is everything. Hence, mid October was the time designated for slowly pulling the curtain back and revealing the actual game afoot . At this juncture the establishment media unveiled Mr. Yehuda Etzion, head of Hai Vekayam, spearhead of the drive to rebuild Herod’s Temple upon the ruins of Islam’s revered Al-Aqsa mosque. As if on cue, seven Hai Vekayam “activists” were arrested by Israeli police when they tried to force their way onto the Dome of the Rock in October.
Also on cue, a petition was presented to the Israelis in October, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” of every Palestinian fear about what the Zionists intend with their “tunnel.” The petition, put forth by the Temple Mount Faithful organization, a group financed by deep-pockets Judeo-Churchian fundamentalists in the U.S. and shadowy, international Zionist and masonic moneybags, calls for the removal of the mosque from the Temple Mount. James Shelby Downard and I have a term for that call: Truth or Consequences via Revelation of the Method. – From ‘Warren’s Tunnel, The Palestinian Riots and The Apocalypse’ by Michael A. Hoffman II. 1996. | http://www.revisionisthistory.org
[2] There is no evidence at all for the Temple of Solomon story both in terms of location and narrative. For more information on the nature of the Bible as very far from a historical document please read: Who Wrote the Bible? By Laura-Knight-Jadczyk at http://www.cassiopaea.org/category/volumes/who-wrote-the-bible/ | Shekhinah: “Shekinah, Shekinah, Shechinah, Shechina, or Schechinah, (Hebrew: שכינה‎) is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew ancient blessing of the feminine aspect of God. The original word means the dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.” (Wikipedia)
[3] “The most recent Palestinian uprising, this past September, began in the wake of the opening of Jerusalem’s “Hasmonean Tunnel,” which runs adjacent to the Haram al-Sharif, Islam’s Third Holiest Shrine, is the former site of the Temple of Herod, destroyed in A.D. 70 by Roman legions commanded by Titus.
Though the media repeatedly discounted it at the time, the Palestinians were enraged due to their fear that the opening of the Tunnel was the beginning of the end for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the start of the rebuilding of the Third Temple, which is the fabled goal to which most of the esoteric secret societies of the West and most especially the orders of Freemasonry, are oriented (indeed, masonic iconography is obsessed with a rebuilt Temple).
The establishment media, in a remarkable demonstration of the uniformity and power of their monopoly control of large scale communications, were able to stifle any substantial reporting in September, providing evidence that Palestinian fears on this subject had some justification.
In what James Shelby Downard terms a ‘cryonic process’ (after the method by which Walt Disney’s mortal remains are supposedly preserved)–the freeze-wait-thaw operation–the truth about the intense concentration of the resources of both esoteric Zionism and esoteric Freemasonry on this ‘Temple Mount’ complex, was frozen while the riots raged. When they subsided, a waiting period ensued as the crisis left the front pages and moved slightly to the rear of the consciousness of the group mind of the masses. After the waiting period, came the thaw, when the truth was taken out of the deep freeze and presented to the public. […]
The opening of the tunnel in September, 1996, with its ritual bloodshed, a precursor of the sacrificial blood ordained to flow if the Temple is rebuilt, was orchestrated in 1867. It was then that the future General Sir Charles Warren, England’s Commissioner of Police and co-conspirator in the occult ritual murder known to history as ‘Jack the Ripper,’ had been dispatched on yet another masonic mission, to lay the groundwork for the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem. And so it was that in 1867, one of England’s most important Freemasons, a member of its ‘research lodge’ (Ars Quator Coronatorum), ‘rediscovered’ the claustrophobic, 500-yard tunnel.
The ‘implements’ of the old Temple, according to the Talmud, were hidden on the Temple Mount before the destruction of the Second Temple. With Warren’s Tunnel now open, the ‘treasure hunt’ begins, as the establishment media admitted, between the lines, during its mid-October “thaw.”
In the second week in October, Zionist zealots involved in crimes of terrorism linked to the hoped-for destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque, suddenly entered stage center from their establishment-imposed positions of obscurity. In the processing of the group mind, chronology is everything. Hence, mid October was the time designated for slowly pulling the curtain back and revealing the actual game afoot. At this juncture the establishment media unveiled Mr. Yehuda Etzion, head of Hai Vekayam, spearhead of the drive to rebuild Herod’s Temple upon the ruins of Islam’s revered Al-Aqsa mosque. As if on cue, seven Hai Vekayam ‘activists’ were arrested by Israeli police when they tried to force their way onto the Dome of the Rock in October.
Also on cue, a petition was presented to the Israelis in October, dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘t’ of every Palestinian fear about what the Zionists intend with their ‘tunnel.’ The petition, put forth by the Temple Mount Faithful organization, a group financed by deep-pockets Judeo-Churchian fundamentalists in the U.S. and shadowy, international Zionist and masonic moneybags, calls for the removal of the mosque from the Temple Mount. James Shelby Downard and I have a term for that call: Truth or Consequences via Revelation of the Method. – From Warren’s Tunnel, The Palestinian Riots and The Apocalypse by Michael A. Hoffman II. 1996. | http://www.revisionisthistory.org
[4] p.45; The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount By Gershom Geronberg. Published by Oxford university Press 2002. | ISBN-10: 0195152050.
[5] p.111; The Late Great Planet Earth By Hal Lindsey and Carol C. Colsen, Published by Zondervan 1970. | ISBN-10: 031027771X.
[6] Hal Lindsey, The 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon By Hal Lindsey, Published by Bantam, 1981 ( p.179). | ‘Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth and the Rise of Popular Premillennialism in the 1970s’ By Cortney S. Basham, Western Kentucky University January 8 2012.
[7] ‘Beyond Armageddon’ By Donald Wagner, 2007. www. christianzionism.org/article/wagner04.asp
[8] Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture and Destruction of Planet Earth By Grace Halsell. Published by Amana Publications 2002. | ISBN-10: 1590080157.
[9] ‘Temple Mount Fanatics Forment A New Thirty Years’ War,’ by Jeffrey Steinberg, Executive Intelligence Review, November 3, 2000.
[10] Gorenberg on CBS, 60 Minutes, October 6th, 2002, ‘Zion’s Christian Soldiers.’
[11] ‘Kein Zweiter Holocaust! By Wolfgang Eggert et al 2007 | http://www.apocalypse-no.net/en/

Virtuality

 By M.K. Styllinski

Worldskin-01

World Skin (1997), Maurice Benayoun‘s virtual reality interactive installation | (wikipedia)

“There is a new world order and our children are carrying it around in their pockets.”

Beeban Kidron


“There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding.” So, said the psychologist Erik Erickson. This extraordinary neurological development used to be facilitated and encouraged by the art of storytelling which allowed archetypes and mythological motifs to be gently assimilated into the mind of the child, so that this process could begin from an emotionally nourished foundation. Television as a primary tool of the advertiser helped to replace this deeply-rooted tradition.

A study conducted by the cable television industry in February 1996 found that 57 per cent of television programmes contain “psychologically harmful” violence. The findings, the largest profiling of its kind, were taken from over 2,500 hours of television programming, carefully tracked and analysed. These research findings did not necessarily suggest that children could act more violently but that it could contribute to conditions whereby violence is seen as a normal part of life. By the age of 18, the average American child will have seen 200,000 murders on television [1] and since there is at least ten times as much crime on television and increasingly the internet as there is in the real world, this helps to create a rather skewed picture of the expectations of what life has to offer. [2]

By the time 2013 came around peer-reviewed studies were finding further negative effects of overexposure to television. A study undertaken by the University of Montreal, Canada, by Linda S. Pagani, Caroline Fitzpatrick & Tracie A. Barnett was published in Pediatric Research and the scientific journal Nature. The report entitled: ‘Early childhood television viewing and kindergarten entry readiness’ amassed data from a prospective longitudinal cohort of 991 girls and 1,006 boys and was analysed for the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. The parent-reported data was collected from weekly hours of tele-viewing starting at about 2 and half years of age. Children were then scored “… on direct child assessments of vocabulary, mathematical knowledge, and motor skills, as well as kindergarten teacher reports of socio-emotional functioning…”

The research team’s results showed that watching television at 2.5 years: “… were associated with subsequent decreases in vocabulary and math skills, classroom engagement (which is largely determined by attention skills), victimization by classmates, and physical prowess at kindergarten.” The conclusions further suggested: “… the need for better parental awareness and compliance with existing viewing recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).”

Childhood obesity, apathy, passivity, compliance, earlier sexual activity, attention deficit, impaired cognitive ability, hyperactivity, depression and aggression are all increasing in children. Television is could well be contributing to this global malaise. [3] It is not difficult to see why the child’s ability to actually learn is impaired. It is not the quantity of programmes that is at fault, but the quality. Given that the quality of television is tied to the market place, then it stands to reason that television will project these ways of being straight into the waiting brains of the young. Children aged 6 to 8 now respond to the image of a television as alcoholics do to images of drink. [4]

Though a contributory factor, it is not the content of the programming that is doing the damage. The child’s brain is under attack from a deluge of images at the precise time that the mind/brain matrix is attempting to build neural fields that are healthy and stable, with images sourced from within rather than implanted by negative anxiety and adrenalin-drenched images from without. Quick camera switches, rapid image movement, computer generated objects, computer generated morphing and other technological stimuli are called “jolts” or “technical events” which induce the hormonal “fight or flight” response  together with the accompanying adrenal rush. [5] It is an addictive habit that forces the mind to latch onto firm ground that is forever being snatched away. This mind/body addiction means a near catatonic state; the glassy-eyed child fixed to the induction of alpha waves, ensures a hypnotizing effect that is most damaging to the neural circuits still being formed in small children. With these artificial images comes a habitually false sense of reality which becomes hardwired as author and scientist Joseph Chiltern Pearce explains:

Television feeds both the stimulus and response into the infant-child’s brain as a single-paired effect and herein lays the danger. Television floods the brain with a counterfeit of the response of the brain is supposed to learn to make to the stimuli of words or music. As a result much structural coupling between mind and environment is eliminated; few metaphoric images develop; few higher cortical areas of the brain are called into play; few, if any symbolic structures develop. [6]

Divorced from a measured and contextual response, the media plays its part in shovelling on fear and insecurity, pumping international horrors into our living rooms and already tired minds. There is always a variety of ways that consumer culture can allow you to buy back that security, however fleeting. Instinctual sex and violence ensures a “dumbed down” populace while ensuring ratings increases more of the same. In other words:

Since there is no way to stop the images, one merely gives over to them. More than this, one has to clear all channels of reception to allow them in more cleanly. Thinking only gets in the way.” […]  Every advertiser, for example, knows that before you can convince anyone of anything, you shatter their existing mental set and then restructure awareness along lines which are useful to you. You do this with a few very simple techniques like fast-moving images, jumping among attention focuses, and switching moods… [7] [Emphasis mine]

Our potential brain becomes imprisoned by the lower limbic brain and is sedated by the habitual and familiar: it is safe, comfortable, passive and devoid of the subtle nuances of creativity. Drop in doses of random violence and meaningless sex into the pliable mind of the child and a progressive normalisation of a pathological world view begins to take place. The child’s highly emotional mind ensures an easy state for conditioning. It is literally contoured towards states of acceptance. Babies and toddlers are unconsciously shocked into submission and programmed into mediocrity even before they can rationalize and conceptualise. Whether they will be able to think critically and discern truth from fiction later in life in combination with other environmental factors, is the key question.

The mass programming of movies, magazines, gaming and the integration of the internet and T.V. cannot by themselves, be considered threatening to the psychology of children and young adults. It is unlikely for example, that playing extremely violent, hyper-realistic, computer games such as Grand Theft Auto or Mortal Kombat is going to cause irreversible damage if they played occasionally. However, taken together and with the emphasis on the type of content being absorbed, one can make such a statement with assurance. At the age children begin to play video games they have not sufficiently developed the ability to distinguish between what is reality and what is not. These forms of mind stimulation make sure that, as adults, our focus lies in the realm of subjectivity rather than objectivity while all the time we believe the reverse.

The average American absorbs 34 GB of information a day, though half of it is obtained from playing video games. [8] It is little wonder that such games are coming under repeated suspicion when we read the following reviews from online gaming sites: “Hit man: Blood Money delivers the most brutal and realistic simulation of life as the world’s deadliest assassin.” In this game you must eliminate your opponents using a variety of weapons and killing techniques. One scene depicts a basement shootout where several busty, bronzed, bikini-clad maidens must be summarily blown away to progress to the next level. In the opening start-page one can see the hit man holding one of these aforementioned women by the throat with the implication that he intends to use her as a shield. You can imagine what follows.

Another game describes a futuristic battle where: “…three nations with opposing political views have erupted in an all-out war. From the cockpit of a giant metal ‘HOUND’, you must power your tower of heavy artillery through giant war zones while backing five others on your squad and dodging the firepower of six other live players via Xbox Live.” And further: “In Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter you can play as a Ghost, the best trained and equipped soldier the US Army has to offer. The year is 2013 and an insurgency has broken out in Mexico City, and it is your job to infiltrate the city and attempt to restore order.” That of course, means wiping out as many folks as you can. Or if a more gory enterprise is more to your taste: “Ninety-Nine Nights is a pure hack-and-slasher, brought to you by both Mizuguchi’s Q!” There is no limit to the number of weapons you can conjure and use nor the amount and variety of people you can kill. No irritating shades of grey here.

What about some good old fashioned propaganda? You need not look far for a double helping of “fun” in the guise of FA-18 Operation Desert Storm where, as an intrepid US pilot in the Allied Coalition, you must fly your FA-18 Hornet across enemy lines to bring down Iraqi forces for the ultimate glory that was Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Gulf war. Then there is Conflict: Desert Storm II Back to Baghdad where one on-line reviewer seemed to epitomize the dissociation involved with the reality of war versus the de-sensitization of real life:

“… there’s one thing that makes Conflict Desert Storm so engaging, and that’s the feeling you get when you’re all alone, your companions’ dead bodies scattered all around you, hiding behind a couple of clay pots to avoid the tank that’s just feet away. Finding yourself in this position just illustrates the sense of loneliness on the battle-field as you have no one to watch your back and success from this point becomes even more rewarding. The fine line is, that Conflict Desert Storm is simply better than any other war game that I’ve ever played and well worth the 10 quid that I paid for it…”

One wonders what the dead US soldiers and the millions of dead and mutilated Iraqi civilians would say to such “entertainment.” Such is the price of suffering that is reduced to teenage computer games and a “ten quid” tension ride.

Is there really such a difference between the programming of “Shock and Awe” pop video coverage courtesy of Fox T.V. and the gaming consoles in most American and European homes? If you were thinking that “Shock and Awe” sounded like a perfect computer game title then it will come as no surprise that the company’s US computer game office asked the Patent Office to let them register the words as a trademark. Sony backed down from plans to use the phrase as a title for its game about the war with Iraq due to customer and gamers distaste at such a move, especially as the patent was applied for only one day after the war started.

The studies that found violent video games had long-term, detrimental effects were given a further boost of credibility when in 2001, Japanese Professor Ryuta Kawashima, a brain imaging specialist, decided to investigate the levels of brain activity in children playing video games. He was hoping that his research would benefit the gaming world, thus possibilities for his own funding. His findings however, did not please the games manufacturers. The professor was convinced that children who play computer and video games excessively will not develop their frontal lobes and may therefore be more prone to act more violently as they grow up. [9]

As well as a clear correlation between watching violent video games and increased aggression, poor academic performance has also been repeatedly found to be a consistent result of prolonged gaming. [10]  In a world of apps and i-phones these effects are beginning to reach deeper into the young and are causing concern from a number of scientists and academics.

Maryanne Wolf, an author and cognitive neuroscientist at Tufts University in Massachusetts quoted in a September 2010 Guardian piece states: “It takes time to think deeply about information and we are becoming accustomed to moving on to the next distraction. I worry that the circuits that give us deep reading abilities will atrophy in adults and not be properly formed in the young.” The New York Time’s Nick Bilton reported on The UK Millennium Cohort Study in his March 31st article of 2013: ‘The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind.’ The study, which had been following 19,000 children born in 2000 and 2001 published a report in in the same year and found that children who watched more than three hours of television or DVDs a day “… had a higher chance of behavioural problems, emotional symptoms and relationship problems by the time they were 7 than children who did not. The study, of a sample of 11,000 children, found that children who played video games — often age-appropriate games — for the same amount of time did not show any signs of negative behavioral changes by the same age.”

So, it seems it is the quality and content and exposure time to these types of technology that is the issue.

Digitale-DemenzIn Europe, German neuropsychiatrist Dr. Manfred Spitzer has shown in his book Digitale Demenz (Digital Dementia – 2012) that when young children are exposed to too much computer-based activities their brain development suffers resulting in irreversible deformations. [11] Though not the first to investigate the effects of computers and software on young brains, his findings have drawn considerable criticism, not for the science it seems, but for the heresy of pointing out substantial drawbacks in the perceived perfection of a new technology that is currently re-shaping lives.

Researchers in 2005 also found a new perceptual effect they labelled “attentional rubber-necking” which appears to mimic the “jolts” and “shocks” we have from the dynamics of visual pollution. The Vanderbilt and Yale University study found that when people are exposed to erotic or violent images they often fail to fully process what they see immediately after. [12] It seems the mind’s capacity to absorb information – and perhaps crucial data – can switch off like a light bulb in a darkened room, or in the researchers words, an “emotion-induced blindness.” New research also suggests that young adult brains continue to be malleable to new thoughts and ideas (especially when fused with a highly emotional content) up until age 18 and beyond, though the areas of the brain affected tend to change.

The organizing and re-integrating of new sensory information via this technology shows such a “synthesis helps shape the kinds of emotional and behavioural responses [children] have to new experiences.” [13] It is these experiences that dictate exactly how a personality and its brain responds and perceives the outer world and whether it attains a creative or entropic response. How can an individual learn to understand himself and his psychological “wounds” if he is distracted and buffered by chemical inducing technology; where feelings, thoughts and dreams are fused with artifice?

The merging of official culture with new forms of technological addiction seems assured. Evelyn Pringle, writing for online journal Counterpunch in April 2010 revealed more information regarding the experiments in the effects of technology on children in her widely quoted report: ‘The Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers.’ In 2010, the University of Maryland conducted an experiment named “Unplugged.” Researchers asked 200 undergraduates to stop using all internet and cell phone technology for one day and to keep a diary of how they were feeling. Many of the students reported symptoms of dependency and addiction. The University of Maryland concluded that: “Most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable, to be without their media links to the world.” This means that similar studies are unlikely to attract the participants needed for further evaluations.

Research quoted by Newsweek’s Tony Dokoupil in his in-depth July 2012 report: ‘Is the Web Driving Us Mad?’ is also instructive.  He introduces Professor Gary Small, the head of UCLA’s Memory and Aging Research Center, who, in 2008, proved conclusively that changes in the brain occurred even with moderate Internet use. 24 people were used in the study half of which were experienced internet users and the others very green. While the green users were normal, the veteran users’ brains were scanned and found to have “fundamental” alterations in the prefrontal cortexes. Then, each of the newbie participants were instructed to spend five hours online and then scanned again. A definite “re-wiring” of their brains had taken place.  More from Dokoupil’s research presently.

The latest technological appendages that we and especially children cannot do without are the i-phones, i-pads and tablets. The new diagnosis of i-phone addiction disorder is starting to do the rounds. Journalist Evelyn Pringle further highlights cases from Taiwan involving one:

 “… high-school boy who ended up in an asylum after his iPhone usage reached 24 hours a day. The other [case] featured a 31-year-old saleswoman who used her phone while driving. Both cases might have been laughed off if not for a 200-person Stanford study of iPhone habits released at the same time. It found that one in 10 users feels ‘fully addicted’ to his or her phone. All but 6 percent of the sample admitted some level of compulsion, while 3 percent won’t let anyone else touch their phones.”

Meanwhile, the UK Telegraph ran a report from 2013 By Victoria Ward, entitled: ‘Toddlers becoming so addicted to iPads they require therapy.’ As the title suggested toddlers are fast becoming addicted to i-pads and tablets as a result of lazy parenting and a symptom of a laissez-faire attitude to technology in general. Many medical experts are concerned that: “… parents who allow babies and toddlers to access tablet computers for several hours a day are in danger of causing ‘dangerous’ long term effects,” The report stated. It went on to describe the case of a four-year-old girl from the South East of England who is the youngest known patient being treated in the UK. Dr Richard Graham, who launched the UK’s first technology addiction programme in 2010 is seeing an increasing number of children displaying symptoms of severe addiction in relation to i-pads and internet-based technology. A 28-day “digital detox” programme is offered to desperate parents at the Capio Nightingale Hospital in London. He told the Telegraph that:  “… young technology addicts experienced the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholics or heroin addicts, when the devices were taken away. He warned that the condition prevented young people from forming normal social relationships, leaving them drained by the constant interaction.”

But as baby-proof iPad covers and iPotties flood the market of convenience it seems this particular addiction will provide another market for healing and drug prescription.

Over in the United States Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is distributing tablets along with suitable curricula to college students. Part of the Department of Education and Common Core education initiative, it promises to lock children into a monolithic, centralised screen-based education with very little participation from parents and educators. Since children spend most of their days locked into their laptops, i-phones and computer games now they’ll be spending the rest of their waking hours staring into a computer screen studying a curriculum they already had little interest in.

Founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology EdX, a nonprofit enterprise offers online courses using automated software and artificial intelligence to grade student essays and other written answers. As the New York Time’s John Markoff, describes it in his piece: ‘Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break’: “Imagine taking a college exam, and, instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the “send” button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program. And then, instead of being done with that exam, imagine that the system would immediately let you rewrite the test to try to improve your grade.” The idea is to free up more time for college and University professors. That efficiency meme again…

Though many educators and academics loathe the idea and are resisting its implementation it seems inevitable that such automation in education will become the norm in a system that prides itself on technocratic principles rather than the needs of the child. ‘The Epidemic of Media Multi-tasking while learning’, by Annie Murphy Paul posted in May of 2013 to education/tech site http://www.navigator.compasslearning.com explored this very subject. It reached some disturbing conclusions, namely the erosion of student’s focus and attention through excessive multi-tasking.

Researchers from the lab of Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University-Dominguez Hills followed students as they went about their onerous studying and where he and his colleagues “… counted the number of windows open on the students’ screens and noted whether the students were wearing ear-buds.”

While ticking boxes on a check-list which included: “reading a book, writing on paper, typing on the computer—and also using email, looking at Facebook, engaging in instant messaging, texting, talking on the phone, watching television, listening to music, surfing the web.” It seems that students’ “on-task behavior” began to decline at after only two minutes choosing to respond to text messages or checking Facebook. Only 65 percent of the observation period was spent doing homework. Rosen stated: “We were amazed at how frequently they multitasked, even though they knew someone was watching. It really seems that they could not go for 15 minutes without engaging their devices,” adding, “It was kind of scary, actually.”

Unlike radio, the T.V., – and by extension, the internet – by replacing storytelling and other shared activities, may have paradoxically contributed to the loss of societal communication and cohesion. Eventually, this has devalued play in all its forms, eroded parenting skills, even inducing ignorance towards the idea of parenting itself. The internet is certainly an extraordinary tool for knowledge, information and social exchange, but naturally, it has a dark side which can be forgotten in the rush to embrace it.

From Tony Dokoupil’s Newsweek article, he usefully summarises the rate of change and some of its effects:

In less than the span of a single childhood, Americans have merged with their machines, staring at a screen for at least eight hours a day, more time than we spend on any other activity including sleeping. Teens fit some seven hours of screen time into the average school day; 11, if you count time spent multitasking on several devices. When President Obama last ran for office, the iPhone had yet to be launched. Now smartphones outnumber the old models in America, and more than a third of users get online before getting out of bed.

Meanwhile, texting has become like blinking: the average person, regardless of age, sends or receives about 400 texts a month, four times the 2007 number. The average teen processes an astounding 3,700 texts a month, double the 2007 figure. And more than two thirds of these normal, everyday cyborgs, myself included, report feeling their phone vibrate when in fact nothing is happening. Researchers call it “phantom-vibration syndrome.”

Dukoupil reported on the latest peer-reviewed research and other common findings which could only be seen as a slap in the face of internet utopians. He further stated: “The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.”

Newsweek conducted its own research reviewing findings from over a dozen countries all of which are following the same trajectory of addiction with their attendant negative effects. These include depression, reactive psychosis, anxiety, and the common rise in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The latter is linked to internet and i-phone addiction after studies reported by journalists Alan Schwartz and Sarah Cohen in a New York Times article of March 2013: ‘A.D.H.D. Seen in 11% of U.S. Children as Diagnoses Rise’ confirmed nearly one in five high school age boys and 11 percent of school-age children in general have received a medical diagnosis of ADHD. This is what the data revealed after a 53 percent rise in the condition in just a decade. Is there a link? Many believe so. Which makes a very lucrative case for Big Pharma, since all these children need to be medicalised, it seems.

It is no coincidence that also in the last decade the number of children less than a year old receiving medication has sky-rocketed in the United States. Diagnoses of bipolar disorder has also doubled over the last decade according to a Reuters report. Journalist by Evelyn Pringle writing for the previously mentioned 2010 Counterpunch article observed: “Of antipsychotic-treated children in the 2007 study sample, [from Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry] the most common diagnoses were pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation (28.2%), ADHD (23.7%), and disruptive behavior disorder (12.9%).

In one sense, all of us who use computers are made addicts since the average person spends more than 38 hours online due to the rapidly changing nature of technology tied to the workplace. The child however, is in the front line of this neurological change.

With a diet of gratuitous violence – whether comic book or ultra-realism – the child is habituated to a glut of sensation and the neurological stunting that eventuates. Anything less than this is “boring”. A spiritual vacuum condemns our future adults to a “filthy tide” of cheap thrills and superficiality wrapped in soft quilts of technical addiction. The damaged care for the damaged and perpetuate the legacy. Notwithstanding the background link of 18 Certificate computer gaming in most of the US shooting massacres of recent times, the ubiquitous and increasing levels of extreme violence and destruction classed as entertainment on our TVs and in our cinemas is deeply concerning.

When combined with the rise of SMART society and social media it can only exacerbate an already violence-saturated culture. However, the key to reducing this incursion seems to lie in the quality and content of the internet and video games and the type of technology to which we expose our children.

In writer Eli Khamarov’s words: “Most people are awaiting Virtual Reality; I’m awaiting virtuous reality.”

 


Notes

[1] Robert E. Hales, The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry (2008) p. 1472.
[2] ‘Development of a Cognitive Process Model to Explain the Effects of Heavy Television Viewing on Social Judgment’ L. J. Shrum, Rutgers University | http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/view-conference-proceedings.aspx?Id=8172
[3] Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Vol 159, p 607, p 614, p 619, p 687) quoted from NewScientist.com news service ‘Watching TV harms kids’ academic success’ by Anna Gosline July 4, 2005.
[4] “Lure of Television is stronger than a smile” by David Lister, The Times, November 7, 2006: “Previous research into the behaviour of young children and babies has shown that they prefer to look at faces and do so instinctively in order to learn and to communicate. This was borne out by an initial experiment on 34 five-year-olds, 25 eight-year-olds and 34 adults, in which they were each shown a photograph of a face alongside either a doll’s house, a toy boat, a toy train, a tap, a teapot or a wall clock. The overwhelming majority looked at the image of a face before the competing object.In a second experiment, however, 143 children aged 5 to 8 were seated in front of a computer screen on which the image of a blank television screen was shown next to a face for less than a second. The children were told to press the spacebar as soon as they saw a bar of chocolate appear on the screen. Most of the children aged 6 to 8 pressed the spacebar fastest when the chocolate bar appeared behind the picture of the television and not the face, suggesting that they were already looking at it. Only the five-year-olds responded fastest when the chocolate was behind the face. Martin Doherty, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Stirling, who carried out the research with Dr Bindemann, said: ‘One of the interesting things is that five-year-olds still have a face bias but six-year-olds don’t.’”
[5] Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander, published by William Morrow, 1978 | ISBN: 0688082742.
[6] p.166; Evolutions End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence By Joseph Chiltern Pearce Published by HarperCollins 1992, ISBN 0-06-250693-5.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Part of the Daily American Diet, 34 Gigabytes of Data’ By Nick Bilton, The New York Times, December 9, 2009.
[9] ‘Heavy Video Game Use by Kids May slow Brain Development – Game industry disputes findings of Japanese study’ – The Observer August 19, 2001.
[10] Video games ‘increase aggression’, 23 April, 2000, BBC News.
[11] Digitale Demenz: Wie wir uns und unsere Kinder um den Verstand bringen By Manfred Spitzer. (only in German at the time of writing.)
[12] ‘Researchers explore a perceptual effect called ‘attentional rubbernecking’ by Melanie Moran, August 2005 Vanderbilt University, Nashville USA.
[13] ‘Brains of Young Adults Not Fully Mature’ By Ker Than http://www.livescience.com February, 2006.