f i g f – part ii

When he gave up hope, when he believed that
all his efforts had failed and
would continue

no future

to fail,
he died

You can analyze the past but you have to design the future. You need to open up possibilities & then …

piercing the sky

design a way of making those possibilities into realities

The creative process has had more impact, power, influence & success than any other process in history. All of the arts, many of the sciences, architecture, pop culture, & the …

treknology

… entire technological age we live in exists because of the creative process. Why has the most successful process in the history of civilization been made to seem a mystery? Why have most people had such little exposure to it?

If it wasn’t for writing this article I might never have come to see that the term used to describe you & me may have had a lot to do with our undoing.

human being

mmmm
sounds so good doesn’t it.

people

so wholesome & full of promise.

Actually if we look again …

being (n.)    c.1300, “… presence, fact of existing

… we find that it doesn’t hold any promise at all.

promise (n.)    c.1400, …  “send forth …  “declaration made about the future, about some act to be done or not done”.

Now we can see that there is no future at all behind the phrase “human beings” – only pre-sent existence.

Ahhh, English – what a wonderful spell-binding language it is!

the verb to be is … a verb of existence

the English verbs “to be”, “to do” and “to have” are very peculiar

Two verbs are normally omitted from Arabic … These two are to be and to have.

If I do the job I sincerely desire to do, then by the end of this article/series, you will (future-promise) have a new phrase to use & a cell-deep conception of your real nature.

All my work comes out of my own life. This journey is no exception.

A couple of months back while trying to understand why so many of my efforts to create ‘change’ in my life fall flat, I got an image of myself with tiny arms & hands & an accompanying sense of helplessness.

unarmed

I found the image both useful & useless.

It was the sync that followed less than 24 hours later that made all the difference.

While browsing the old-but-not-quite-packed-into-crates section of a library, a book entitled Helplessness by Martin Seligman grabbed my attention.

I wasn’t overly enthusiastic but after my armless vision I felt obliged to take a look – you don’t snub a good sync.

It was the following story that made me look for a comfy chair:  Experimenters had created a pillow for (healthy) infants – when they pressed their head into the pillow, they activated a switch which caused an …

mobile

… overhead mobile of coloured balls to move for one second.

Almost as an afterthought the pillow was tried out on a:

severely retarded eight-month old girl … [who] had never displayed any instrumental activity or any appreciable smiling & cooing. Within eleven days … her activity increased tenfold, & she smiled & cooed vigorously when the mobile was around

That story did something to me.

But when I began reading from the beginning everything came to a halt. The author was justifying his use of animal experiments in the pages that followed. I found myself in a severe quandary. The book had grabbed me by a sync, hooked me with the tale of the little girl & now I had to put it back because if I read it, I was as good as condoning animal experiments.

I’m not sure how long I sat considering the situation. In the end I made the decision, even if it damned me, to read the book. I have since come to feel that the girl & the animals have somehow called this article into being.

I believe that what follows is hugely important. I tried to write without using the experiments, but got stuck. If you will bear with me, I hope we may reach an understanding that helps lead…

agony

…  to the end of cruelty – & not just of animals.

I am going to suggest that the basic structure of the Western world (animal experimentation included) is based on learned helplessness & that learned helplessness is based on death. To move forward we are going to have to design a structure based on life.

Here is a very basic explanation:

Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards“.

As I read, I found myself familiar with the behaviour being created in both animals & humans. In many areas of my life I have consistently experienced a ‘shutting down’ when confronted with certain events, without ever being able to focus on what was happening. It is as if some part of me steps outside my body & simply lies down on the floor.

Reading about helplessness has allowed me to become my own guinea pig over the last few months – giving me both an intimacy & insight impossible for any animal experimenter.

So, if we are going to effectively change the structure of our world we need to clearly see the current shape of it.

the shape of things

Btw, if you think you live outside this box, think again.

Let’s get clearer about the dimensions & cost of being schooled in helplessness:

Human infants begin life more helpless …

infant

… than infants of any other species. In the course of the next decade or two, some acquire a sense of mastery over their surroundings; other acquire a profound sense of helplessness

Mastery has nothing to do with Western ideals of success:

From where does one get a sense of power, worth, & self-esteem? Not from what he owns, but from long experience watching his own actions change the world … not only trauma .. but noncontingent positive events, can produce helplessness & depression … It is highly significant that when rats & pigeons are given a choice between getting free food & getting the same food for making responses, they choose to work … Do hunters hunt from a lust to kill or mountain climbers scale peaks for glory? I think not. These activities, because they entail effective instrumental responding, produce joy

Not the greatest example perhaps but you may be getting the picture. If you recall the first time you rode a bike by yourself …

mastering

… you begin to grasp the overflow of life force that comes with working towards personal mastery.

Let’s return to the baby girl who called us to change our world today. When we change, create or invent something we are imprinting the world with our presence. Not only are we in this world, but it is allowing, perhaps even asking, for us to change its shape.

And
life
is all about
changing shape
through
creation, connection & involvement.

When we learn (are taught) to be helpless, not only are we severely disabled, but perhaps so too is the health of the world.

When we learn how to impact our world, we find even the disabled are enabled.

Learned helplessness refers to three interlocked things: First an environment in which some important outcome is beyond control; second the response of …

no future

giving up; & third, the accompanying cognition: the expectation that no voluntary action can control the outcome

Did you get the second point? Isn’t that interesting.

The response of giving up.”

Remembering that Western civilization & its religion are founded upon trauma, we might wonder what effect this image of giving up …

no grounds for this

… has had on the minds of millions of children, because ….

helplessness is a disaster for organisms capable of learning that they are helpless

Let’s get as clear as we can about how the Western world works:

A dog that has been given inescapable shock showed a strikingly different pattern … it ran around frantically for about 30 seconds. But then it stopped moving; & to our surprise, it lay down & quietly whined. After one minute of this we turned the shock off, the dog had failed to cross the barrier & had not escaped from shock … On all succeeding trials the dog failed to escapeThis is the paradigmatic learned-helplessness finding

The experiment is brutal. But lurking behind the brutality, is familiarity. The control mechanisms in place in our society are most certainly the equivalent of the Lab procedures carried out in the book “Helplessness’.

High on this list would be the ‘inescapable‘ daily ‘shocks’ administered via the media.

hype-nosis

when an organism has experienced trauma that it cannot control, its motivation to respond in the face of later trauma wanes. Moreover, even if it does respond, & the response succeeds in producing relief, it has trouble learning, perceiving, & believing that the response worked. Finally its emotional balance is disturbed: depression & anxietypredominate

We’ve all heard the story of the slow-cooking frog used to explain the lethargy & ‘stupidity’ of the ‘sheeple’:

When an experimenter goes to the home cage & attempts to remove a nonhelpless dog … it barks, runs to the back of the cage, & resists handling. In contrast, helpless dogs seem to wilt; they passively sink to the bottom of the cage, occasionally even rolling over & adopting a submissive posture; they do not resist

What is the only thing that moves now with every new trauma, public infringement or assault on privacy?

The mouth.

talk
Non-stop talk, talk, talk, talk.

If that is not helplessness I don’t know what is – isn’t it called gobbling in the turkey world?.

talkies

talkies turkeys

But again there’s a reason for that:

Helplessness retards the initiation of aggressive as well as defensive responses

depression & helplessness induced by uncontrollability reduce competitiveness & increase passivity

depressed people have … difficulty believing that their responding works … Depressed people are virtually drained of overt hostility toward others

If you think that watching the news ‘to be informed‘, is your ‘duty’ – think again. The media is absolutely vital to the instigation & maintenance of ‘helplessness‘ in our world.

Being told – particularly by someone “who should know” – that a given event is uncontrollable will create an expectation that the event is uncontrollable, even without experience of the contingency

This undermining of motivation has been seen with crystal clarity in a human helplessness study using shock. Following inescapable shock, college students sat & took escapable shock

helpless animals & humans … appear to have learned to be exceedingly passive

Sexual interest wanes, & impotence can accompany severe depression … these symptoms correspond to the appetitive, sexual & social deficits seen in helpless animals

sorrow

[Rat] Mothers who receive inescapable trauma, even before pregnancy, somehow can transmit their fear to the next generation

helplessness is not a peripheral alteration of the response repertoire, but a change central to the whole organism

Watching the world does not equate to connecting with it. A superb example of the subtlety of our confusion lies in the following. We have been taught to believe that ‘stimulation’ is vital to a child’s development – as usual we have been looking at stimulation from the wrong angle:

An infant deprived of stimulation is an infant thereby deprived of control over stimulation. There can be no dance of development when there is no partner

When a person is exposed to a chronic lack of something, he also lacks control over that thing …  [the infant’s] sense of mastery or of helplessness develops from the information provided by the mother’s responses to his actions

It is vital for us to see & experience the effects we have on the world. Forget love – start responding to people. The following is required reading for anyone dealing with children:

parents should go out of their way to play “synchrony games” … with their young children. Rather than do things your child likes when the whim strikes you, wait for him to make some voluntary response, & then act. When the child repeats & intensifies his actions…

synchrony

repeat & intensify yours … If this [information] is wrong & early childhood synchronies are unimportant, little is lost … If I am right … parents who go out of their way to “dance” with their children will thereby augment the sense of mastery that the children will develop

When we believe / are taught/ tricked that things are outside of our control, that there is nothing we can do, or if we try our efforts will be futile, something very dangerous happens. Its intensity varies greatly depending on the individual & the quality of mastery they have achieved in their lives, but here are some cautionary tales:

An 88-year-old man, without known heart disease, became upset & excited, wringing his hands upon being told of the sudden death of his daughter. He did not cry but kept asking, “Why has this happened to me?“. While talking with his son on the phone he developed acute pulmonary edema & died just as the doctor reached the house

helpless

A 45-year-old man found himself in a totally unbearable situation & felt forced to move to another town. But as he was ready to make the move difficulties developed in the other town, that made the move impossible. In an anguished quandary, he nonetheless boarded the train … Halfway to his destination he got out to pace the platform at a situation stop. When the conductor called , “All aboard,” he felt he could neither go on nor return home; he dropped dead on the spot. He was travelling with a friend … with whom he shared his awful dilemma. Necropsy showed myocardial infarction

no way out

The immediate cause of death … is usually heart failure. But, as we have seen, heart failure may be preceded by submission as well as by agitation

This final tale is closer to home. It is of a man we have met before & it highlights the awful sickness & waste of a world structured in helplessness.

In My 2011, I wrote an article called Holy Water. In response, Aferrismoon introduced me to the sublime works of Viktor Schauberger – Schauberger claimed that water was a living substance:

a well read but formally uneducated man who lived the greater proportion of his life observing and learning from nature. His insights and applications are so beautiful in their simplicity and in their application so harmonious with nature … In fact our planet is crying out for inventions based on Bio-technology such as Schauberger’s to become the norm of our industrial economy

viktor

In 1958, Viktor was tricked into going to America & then tricked out of his life’s work:

The agreement also included a statement which precluded any of Viktor Schauberger’s work being passed to anyone other than Mr. Robert Donner, this included his thoughts and knowledge in the past, present and future.

Although shattered by their experience Viktor and his son were not allowed to rest before taking the 19 hour flight home. Unfortunately Viktor lost his will to live, and in only five days after returning home on the 25th September 1958 Viktor died in Linz aged 73. Despairingly he repeated over and overThey took everything from me, everything I don’t even own myself”.” Link

As well as the media, I see helplessness being created by schools, religion, science, health professionals, governments etc.

The conspiracy industry is a mass diet of saturated helplessness.

Consider this.

Either there is a WHOLE lot of luck on the sides of those who ‘manage’ this world or there is superb expertise. Anything that works consistently well, takes the path of least resistance. So if you want to traumatise people & keep them helpless, do you

a. expend vast sums of energy & money creating real havoc?

or

b. spend a minimum of time & energy by creating realistic scenarios & capping them off with huge stories – like Hollywood does?

Consider this:

What if chemtrails are huge magic mind fucks?

whose line is it

… They may well contain crap but I sincerely doubt that what they contain could come close to the toxins created in each ‘conspiracy-educated’ human body every time that they ‘REACT’ to the sight of these.

What if the spraying follows weather patterns – so it looks as if bad weather is created by them?

I have NO answer on this scenario, but I do know that the helplessness being created by them is very dangerous to your health.

Then there’s poverty – the squeeze is becoming a whole lot squeezier. I wonder why?

How does poverty work psychologically to produce stagnation, hostility, & rootlessness? I suggest that among its effects, poverty brings about frequent & intense experiences of uncontrollability; uncontrollability produces helplessness …

poverty

… which causes depression, passivity & defeatism so often associated with poverty

Poverty solutionists also cause helplessness. Charity can be downright lethal. The giver may feel a boost of ‘mastery’, but the givee is endangered:

“... repeated experience with success, accompanied by real changes in opportunity, will be necessary to break the cycle of poverty. It is crucial that these successes be perceived by the poor

blighted

as resulting from their own skill & competence, & not from the benevolence of others

Hmm should we be spelling benevolence a little differently? bene-VIOLENCE?

When the lower strata of society are ground underfoot, revolution tends not to occur; when the people begin to expect, however, that their own actions might succeed, the time is ripe for it

Question:

How do the few control the masses?

Answer:

By helping them learn to become helpless.

The good news is that helplessness
can be unlearned.

But it can take a bit of violence.

Either internal explosioning – like a good dose of …

enraged

nice napalming or being dragged repeatedly into facing reality & out of the quagmire of expecting to fail.

It was found that neither coaxing, kindness or bribery could re-animate the dog that had learned helplessness. In the end they had to cut a lead on it & pull it to the safe area, not once but again & again & again.

After about fifty trials the dog becomes nonchalant & stands in front of the barrier; at the onset of the signal for shock it leaps gracefully across & never gets shocked again

Unlearning helplessness requires constant repetition & reminder of reality (what is actually here now) as opposed to what once was here or what we fear will be.

If it all seems too hard
let me be the first to

kick
kick you in the ass.

If there is even one person in the world you care about, who’s life you value, then you have an absolute duty to take action to re-connect with your future self.

Because I believe that is what we gave up when we become helpless.

I think when we are under severe attack (that includes the experimented animals), when nothing we do makes any difference, we become cut off from our future self.  When the enemy has penetrated to within inches of our very essence, & we can no longer generate a future connection, we have no choice but to lock the door & throw away the key, where even we can’t find it.

After that we continue as partial-selves, being, but not going, anywhere.

Three types of people have no future:

The dead

Those about to be dead (sacrifices)

Zombies

It’s time to get off our decaying asses & get back to life.

A while ago in a chat to my son, he said something I never forgot. Btw if you look after your children, (& I seriously think taking the role of older brother or sister is far superior to the sugar-fantasied ‘mother’ & father’, roles), then your children may well end up saving your sanity.

My son said this

mad-as

never give anyone your submissiveness“.

He is right.

Remember those who died from ‘helplessness’:

The immediate cause of death … is usually heart failure. But, as we have seen, heart failure may be preceded by submission…

I think submissiveness weakens the heart.

A variety of species – from cockroaches to wild rats, from chickens to chimpanzees, from infant to aged humans – seem to show death from helplessness: In the course of such deaths an individual loses control over matters important to him. Behaviourly he reacts with depression, passivity, & submission. Subjectively, he feels helpless & hopeless. Consequently, unexpected death ensues … No single physical cause [of death] has been assigned, but slowing of the heart is implicated ...”

What strengthens the heart?

What made for survival under these [POW camps] conditions? Most prominent among the factors … were “strong motivation for life with persistent exertion of will.

eagull

controlling the environment is powerfully pleasurable to a developing infant. Lack of control, does not produce pleasure & may even be aversive, even if the environment is stimulating

I believe we have to claim the future, it doesn’t seem to be ours by rights:

Being able to say ‘it’s mine & you can’t have it,’ is a developmental necessity” Gineen Roth~ Lost & Found

I think that if you do not lay a strong claim to the future, others can leech it from you. I am pretty sure there are future vampires out there & that this year, for the first time, I have fought them back.

much a deal about nothing

I think we can also get sucked into other people’s futures.

Remember death is simply a lack of future.

Being good is another way to guarantee helplessness. You don’t get to own your own creations, instead have to lay them at the foot of some benevolent person or god. Try telling them to …

go-f-yerself

… go fuck themselves, then look again at just how much effort you put into creating your life.

We need to shift from a destructive type (PAST/DEATH?) of thinking to a constructive (FUTURE/LIFE?) type“.

Religion throws God into the future – is that how he / they have survived so long – is that why they are immortal?

All gurus make you helpless – no matter whether they are spiritual, health, mental, philosophers, politicians. Why do some people heal from the most terrible of illnesses?

Because they create their own mastery – they build their own prescription & path to wholeness again. The problem is they think they have found “the cure”. There are NO cures & even if there were, they would make you helpless.

In every area of our lives from health to wealth to relationships to dreams – we are meant to create our own path & prescription. Undoubtedly we will borrow & learn from many people & ideas …

knit one, earth one

… but the final design needs to be ours
& the final fitting will only ever fit us.

Throw out your gurus, but keep a chair by the fire for the wise ones who visit from time to time.

What we have done … is prove people can work together, live together, & create together, not by compliance, but from commitment to build the future we envision. When people finish a building, road, well or a new garden they are excited to move to the next project. The contrast from now to before is dramatic

No matter what your problems are, for the most part, solving them won’t solve them. You will always have a new problem if you do not know how to create what you want. And creating is no problem

We have been obsessed with analysis but paid very little attention to design … Partly this is the result of our search for truth … The traditional concept is that ‘knowledge is all’.”

As I have worked with the ideas on helplessness there came a time when I thought ‘fuck’, this world is just like a Lab. All the absurd monstrosities that humanity has had to face seems so similar to the experiments that both animals & people were subjected to in the book.

I have had fun conversations about this with my friend Paulo. Play led to the idea that  the gods are really  …

i presume

scientists.

The sun is the overhead light in the lab. Night time is when the scientists turn out the lights & go home to concoct their next barbaric experiment.

So what do you want to do?

Take over the lab. Maybe we’ve been there & done that time & time again.

This is where design for the future comes in.

Time to create something that we want.

we can transcend the consequences we have put into motion. Cause and effect are suspended. Past actions do not become manifested in future outcomes. The past, no matter what it has been, is no longer a dynamic that must play itself out. Not only do we recognize the past is over, it is no longer at issue. We are able to re-create our lives anew

Here’s another way to pronounce the word future:

footsure  “another term for sure-footed”

… adj. 1. a. Not liable to stumble or fall.

b. Designed so as to hold well to the road

.”.. “capable of winning“; “capable of hard work”; “capable of walking on two feet.”

My greatest creation to date, that which I am so proud of, that which turned my life into the direction it has taken over the last few years came from a lie about the future.

I played a game. It was a lie. A fantasy. Only once I had played it, did I have the ability / strength / courage to create it.

I would like to suggest that we ditch the ‘going nowhere’ phrase of
Human being
& rename ourselves
Human creating.

The future is not a place of hard, cold truth.

It’s the place we weave our dearest dreams.

Dream = madre = mother
it is the place that gives birth to you –
don’t you dare give up on it.

~  ~  ~

Text in this colour from Helplessness ~ Martin Seligman

Text in this colour from The Path of Least Resistance ~ Robert Fritz

Text in this colour from I am Right, You are Wrong ~ Edward de Bono

Suggested holiday reading for fellow human creatings – “Your Life as Art” by Robert Frtiz

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December 20, 2012. Uncategorized.

10 Comments

  1. empoweredbyknowledge replied:

    Excellent work Alex. I’m sure you don’t know to what extent you touch deeply where no human creating has touched before. You’re a brilliant woman.

  2. Michael Skaggs replied:

    Bloody Brilliant!!

    I see why now you wanted to get this out by 21st ;-)

    I am going to go out and CREATE today, as I always do on days that belong to me…just have to learn how to get those other wage slave days back too! They are MINE and you cannot have them! (I will say to wage slaving!!)

    Loved the syncs too! I’ve been having them abundantly as of late.

    Bee well!!
    Cheers my friend!

  3. transcenddesigns replied:

    Unbelievable Alex,
    you truly are a genius!

    All the best to you and yours in what’s left of this ‘year of change’
    and in the many more ahead…

    Love,
    Human Creating

    :)

  4. recoveringmetalhead replied:

    Fantastic article Alex!
    Lots of syncs here for me. Too many to go into. Reminded me of a exercise that I do regularly. I have shared it with few because I never get a response about it. Here it is:
    Step one – Go to a USED book store
    Step two – Walk around the entire store looking at all the shelves and occasionally glancing over a book that that your hand seems to go to.
    Step three – After covering the store, stop and think about everything that you saw and felt. Pick out the one thing that you saw or felt that was ENTIRELY NEW to you. Could be a word, a picture, a theme, an idea. Go back and find and buy that book that comes to mind.
    Step four – Go home and read EVERY WORD from cover to cover. Even if it sucks.

    May sound strange and potentially dangerous considering that there are ways to injure oneself by reading garbage. Has done a WORLD of good for me and I recommend it to anyone.

    That’s all!
    Excellent work/play Alex! Looking forward sure footedly to footsure posts!
    Thanks!

  5. Clare Daniel replied:

    agh i’m so glad i found your place this year, you’re so encouraging and inspiring like few others, perhaps even no one else, i know.

    about 3/4 of the way through reading, this quote from Maslow came to me

    “If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up”

    which has been something of a mantra that’s been gradually building up steam in the back of my mind for a while now, maybe this is the moment to fully embrace it.

    and reflecting on it now, with the context you’ve shared, what if the key to what he’s saying is in being /told/ the nearest land is a thousand miles away. who’s doing the telling? and are they telling porky pies to diminish our will to keep living?

    what if the land is right in front of us, but we’re facing away from the shore and we’ve been lulled into believing turning round isn’t an option.

    thanks for helping to ignite something, Alex, you brilliant human creating!

    x

  6. alex robinson replied:

    Many thanks to you empoweredbycreating , I wish you a big, bold life ahead

    Thank you Michael,” I look forward to watching a brilliant future made real.

    All the very best to you to transcendcreating, may your future be phenomenal

    Wonderful idea mr metalhead, what an intriguing idea. You know you created a sure-footed method based on how the brain actually works (according to Edward de Bono) – without new input we have no choice but to follow the patterns set up by the brain.

    I wish you a playful & intriguing future

    Many thanks Clare. You asked some valid questions – we have become so trusting – surely being too trusting must also make us helpless. There is probably a very real need for a small degree of ‘healthy mistrust’ in even the closest of relationships – gotta leave a space for air & new ideas to flow.

    wishing you wonderful swimming out into the future

  7. Dennis replied:

    The hostility of the instrument of torture, the cross, is not lost on me, conform or die. The instrument of torture is sick and loved by so many brain dead xtians. Dennis

    • alex robinson replied:

      Ah Dennis, I think we should not leave ourselves out of the ‘brain-dead’ equation. I still keep smacking myself in the forehead over the most obvious things I keep missing.

      • empoweredbyknowledge replied:

        Yes, I’m a frequent head-smacker too. Regarding the cross and Easter, when I was very small I felt really helpless on seeing it in films and Processions (come to think of it we were being “processed”) -there goes another head-smack-, and thinking and saying “why don’t they take him down from there” seeing that his “mother” and loved ones were there. Why don’t all these people DO something? All the ones he cured, healed and helped. I think I was only about 3 or 4 at the time, but I’m still reminded of the sensation of “helplessness” every time I see the image being paraded in the streets come Easter time, even though I know the story is not accurate if it ever existed.

  8. alex robinson replied:

    Very interesting reply empowered, I have been thinking more about this of late too, even considering a fuller article – as you say it creates a tremendous sense of helplessness.

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