The Illusion of Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in interesting times with one foot dragging behind mired in the memory of a gilded past and the other poised to go off the edge into a dark unknown abyss. It’s preferable to focus on the comfortable illusion of sameness, ignoring the obvious signs of change especially if the change is not so good.

Our planet is in trouble and so is our spirit and our collective soul.  In a world with a swelling population and dwindling resources it’s easy to zone out on the meaningless and glaze over that gnawing feeling with yet another distraction and there ate plenty distractions to keep us occupied.

 

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“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” ― Noam Chomsky

We are bombarded with messages everyday, bits of information, much of it totally useless that invade our minds on constant basis. Most of us are used to this constant stream of stimuli. Some of us thrive on it, and depend on it.

These messages are unimportant useless fluff that disguise themselves are dire. They cover up what is truly important. They lull us into complacency, we are not required to think, they do that for us.

They provide our heroes. the dreams and the ideals that we as responsible consumers should aspire to.They also tell us who to point the finger at and there are endless sources of blame to go around.

They give us our scapegoats. They prey upon our fears which they too have cleverly crafted.

 

Credit: Banksy
Art by Banksy

We are managed and manipulated by a system that has become rigged against most of us to benefit a privileged very few. Our lovely planet that belongs to all of us is becoming more and more privatized and profitized used to feed an bulging worldwide economy with a hearty appetite that never stops being hungry.

We are told we must have endless war. That we are not safe.

We are told that the worthiness of a human life is measured by one’s assets. We are told a lot of things.

They distract us. They divide us. We are told what and who to fear. They are very good at this because they have been doing it for so long.  They provide the illusion of choice.

 

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Treated like children we are presented with limited choices, usually two. This team or that team?  Coke or Pepsi? Red or Blue? Republican or Democrat? Left wing or Right?  When in reality it’s the same damn bird.  They who control what we see and and hear they would let us believe these are the only choices but they are not, far from it.  We do have real choice and we can make the world a better place for us all.

There are forces that would polarizes us. They divide us with their illusion of choice.

They want to keep us from finding common ground. Pitting one side against another, distracting us from our common enemy. Because as drastic as that sounds there is an enemy and it those who pull the crooked strings, those in the shadows, the ones that have the game rigged.

 

 

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They manipulate everything they can. There is no pie they haven’t already eaten most of and they are still very hungry.  We are being forced to share what little is left. They distract us with this and that. They divide us. And they are very good at it.

Most of us exist on the bottom of a great pyramid where those very few on the top live on the backs of those on the ever widening bottom. The very top depends on this arrangement and pretty much always has, we the people are waking up to that illusion of choice; that our much touted and much admired democracy is an outright and blatant lie and has been for a long time.

 

pyramid-dollar

 

 

 

Art by Banksy
Art by Banksy

 

consumerism
“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.” ― Philip Slater

 

Together we are powerful.  A force to be reckoned with. And we can remake the world into what we want it to be. We can heal our planet and ourselves. We can take back what rightfully belongs to ourselves and future generations.  We can refuse to play, to go along with the idiocy of the day.

We need to focus on what we agree with not what do not, this separates us. We need each other; divided we fall but united we stand strong.

charles-activism-interview_another-world-quote
“We can change the world with every thought we have and every word we speak.” –Alberto Villoldo

 

We can get back to basics. Turn off the damn TV. Go outside. Go for a walk and leave your car behind.  Talk to your neighbors. Grow some tomatoes.  Don’t buy anything you don’t really need. Open your mind. Open your heart. Question what you are being told. Speak up and speak up for others who cannot.

Topple their false idols and render their marketplace a ghost town.

How did this become our God?
How did this become our God?

 

Perhaps we can break out of the illusion and make our own choices. I do think we do have a choice and despite what one may hear about rigged elections and the like, I know for a fact that money talks. Don’t buy what you are being sold. Question what you are being told. Listen to what your inner voice tells you.

Encourage free thought. Listen to those who may have a different view that you. Seldom if ever is one side 100% right or 100% wrong for that matter. Listen to those who may be supporting a different presidential candidate than you. Many of us have friends and family members who fit that category and it is easy to be confused at their choice or their lack of choice at all but there can be found nuggets of universal truths and wisdom everywhere and in everyone, seek that out. Let us not be separated from each other at a time when we need each other the most. In reality we are all on the same side. No matter who is elected to any public anywhere. It is we the people who matter and it we the people can make a difference.

 

~NLM

love-peace-art-street-graffiti“Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.”

Suzy Kassem

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An Open Letter to the Status Quo

 “Sit, be still, and listen,
because you’re drunk
and we’re at
the edge of the roof.”
Rumi
art odd weird strange godzilla monsters
This crazy puppet show is distracting me from what is important.

Dear Status Quo,

We both know this can’t go on, not they way it’s been going…so you’ve got to go. We can’t take you anymore. You have outstayed your welcome and you must leave immediately.

I know you’ve been here a long time and some people are counting on you to stay but nothing is forever and frankly there are so many more of us who want you gone. We are quite adamant about it…in fact we demand it!

king kong -vs godzilla-image-8
Lets root for the lesser of two evils.

The way you carry on is unsustainable.

You said you’d change and we believed you only to be let down again.

The truth is we can no longer afford your frivolous ways and outlandish and wasteful behavior. You’ve damn near wrecked our home and now it’s our future selves and our children who’ll be cleaning up the mess that you’ll leave behind.

Put down that drink and wake up! Do you ever listen?

Hey YOU!!! Do we need to yell?

LEAVE!!   

Get out now! Never come back….

godzilla monster moivie
To the victor go the spoils. RAWR!

 

As a witness to 45 years of history I am thinking thoughts I never would have imagined years ago when at first I began to pay conscious attention to what’s was going on around me.

It’s funny how history can rewrite itself before one’s very eyes and yes indeed the victors do write and rewrite history over and over again….

It’s so easy to ignore it all…It’s hard to take. But as time goes on and events play out I am forced to concede that everything is not what it pretends to be and no matter how crazy I tell myself THAT is…I can’t help but begin to believe it.

It’s not that I don’t have hope. I am loaded with it and it is not just blind faith. I go on evidence. I see people waking up and realizing that if we don’t open our eyes and have the courage to say what we really think and how we really feel about what is going on, one day it will be too late. No one will come and save us. We have to save ourselves.

~NLM

variations-on-an-audience.038 fear vintage

 

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

~Carl Sagan

monkey evil see no

 

 

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Wisdom from Unlikely Places

I have found wisdom in unlikely places. In places some would say there is none to be found. In long dark hotel hallways at 3 am and brightly lit hospital corridors at seven fifteen. I have heard it come from the mouths of sweet innocent children and raving lunatic drunks…whispered by the howling wind, written in misspelled curse words scrawled on subway walls.

Wisdom can be hard-fought and long won over the ages. It can be found by standing on the shoulders of giants. It can be located in the deep dusty corners of one’s mind patiently awaiting attention. Wisdom can take flight into insight and explode into enlightenment. It can descend into fire and chaos and emerge like the Phoenix. Wisdom is golden. It is the light.

gold sunset ocean sea light glitter

 

Wisdom is like stained glass. Cracked and beautiful, letting the light shine through. Breaking into a million pieces…

 I carefully pick up the broken shards. Each one unique and beautiful in it’s own way. The truth is not always beautiful but the seeking of it is. I accept each begotten piece, judging them not but embracing them for what they are; glimpses of knowing and experiencing. Windows into the heart and the soul and oh yes. an open door to glorious understanding.

Credit: Copyright © Janet Hince and Heart To Harp, 2010 – 2014.

The truth does not question me, why do I question the truth? It remains in the eye of the beholder but I seek a more unblinking eye of logic and find none exists.  Whatever we are and whatever we do we cannot separate ourselves from our very human feelings and these feelings can cloud our vision and effect our reality, at times to our detriment. It’s easy to doubt the validity of a message due to the doubtfulness and dubiousness of it’s messenger but in all rationality can the truth cease to be the truth if comes from something or someone we dislike? Something bad or wrong or evil?

 

eye evil dark scare fear

 

Can we learn from wickedness? Can a exquisite flower spring up from frozen lifelessness? Can a seed of understanding be gleaned from a stark and abandoned field? Can adversity, fear and pain teach us anything? What about dark and horrible things? What can beauty learn from ugliness?

flower snow crocus purple

Some of the most beautiful people have suffered and they understand; knowing firsthand the power of love and compassion. Being in the position of having to rely on the kindness of strangers is apt to make one a kinder stranger…a kinder person…

Rose Meaning quote thorns

As so it goes. All we can do is gather our pieces of wisdom, saving some for a rainy day or to chew on later on some idle Tuesday. We can store them in forgotten boxes under the bed or we can bring them out and use them for the good and betterment of us all.

Stuff to ponder I suppose…

~Nancy

 

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Stephane Grappelli & Michel Petrucciani – Misty

POTENTIAL

apple-with-leaf

The untried, the new and the different….

You may wake up in the morning with one mindset and by the time you get to bed that night you are entertaining a completely different one.   I wonder how often this happens in life. I’ve noticed in my scant 43 years that change can happen suddenly; just like that. Life is full of these out-of-the-blue blindsides that help shape what we will eventually become.

Every situation we encounter in life has potential. The existence of opportunity is dependant on having eyes that see it.

For most of my life I have played it safe…probabaly more out of fear than according to any strategy. I would react after the fact, comfortably, out of the fray, never really trying…taking the easy way…which is easy but extracts a hefty price. 

Many times unrecognised potential lies there neglected, waiting in some dark and  dusty corner…waiting for something…some event…some epiphany or an aha moment to bring this potential into the light to be noticed and brought to fruition.

because…

Time goes by and your orbit starts to decay, it’s easy not to notice this at first…it’s dreadfully slow. Akin to the seep of the air out of a balloon..all those lost posssibilities…avenues never explored…opportunities left behind…potential never realised.

Everything and everyone has potential. We humans have major potential, we as individuals and we as a cohesive and fluid group.

Life is full of twists and turns, detours and bumps in the road. It is how we react to these conditions is what makes us drivers of our own destiny.

It is easy to fall into a rut…a pattern that is maybe not as productive or happy or creative or whatever…it could be said that ruts are full of potential. Perhaps we should not see them as lows but occasions for positive change..

We are always in a state of becoming…we are changing and growing.  Every day matters and so do you. You matter and you have potential.

This very day has it, this potential for greatness and the wonderful unknown. Today. This very minute. Seize it.

This day has been successfully seized by Strawberryindigo,

Wishing you a Happy Day….

day in the life cherry blossom and blue sky

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” 

―    Muhammad Ali

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Fresh Quotes: JULY (Truth)

T R U T H

“Whenever truth is injured, defend it.”

**Ralph Waldo Emerson (1834)**

“Every truth has two sides: It is well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either.” 

**Aesop ( 6th century B.C.)**

“The truth must dazzle gradually or every man be blind.”

**Emily Dickinson (1868)**

“The truth is not always the best basis for happiness… there are people who perish when their eyes are opened.”

** William Stekel (1868-1940)**

“YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

“We live in a culture that would absolutely fall apart if the truth were told.”

**R.D. Lang (1987)**

“ONLY CHILDREN, FOOLS, DRUNKARDS AND MADMEN SPEAK THE TRUTH.”

**Anonymous**

“You will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

**Jesus ( John 8:32)**

BOO!!!

“Truth sometimes comes out of the devil’s mouth.”

**Thomas Fuller M.D.  (1732)**
“Bring it on!”

I used to say when I was young that truth was the majority vote of that nation that could lick all the others.”

**Oliver Wendell Holmes JR (1918)**
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth.”

**Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1889)**

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”

**Walt Whitman (1855-92)**

The Spark

I believe we all have that spark inside of us; that indescribleness that I shall attempt to describe here.  A special something unique to each and every one of us.  Call it a soul, a consciousness or the divine…it precedes our birth and it dwells far beyond the physical; deep inside down the rabbit hole.  It can be so faint it is difficult to grasp, it is difficult to see and it’s easy to lose one’s way. This I know firsthand.

Sometimes people give up. It is gradual. They die a little inside every day until one day they realize the spark has grown cold,  pale and lifeless. It may seem at times to be totally extinguished. It may seem that way sitting all alone in the dark. At times the truth is clouded by our proximity to it.  And sometimes we see only what we wish to see.

My truth says the spark can never die that the spirit is timeless and beyond time. I believe it is a thread that weaves us all together like a beautiful tapestry, full of rich color; filled with hopes and dreams and the song of the universe telling a tale that is in constant rewrite.

My truth also tells me the spark can grow and burn brilliantly with the intensity of a million suns. It can set the world aflame with the light of unity and compassion. I believe it is up to those who burn the brightest to light the way for those who cannot see. I have found that a good many of us have walked in darkness at some point in our lives and the experience brings about an appreciation of the light and a profound sympathy of those who still dwell in that cold dark realm of nothingness.

We are all connected and we can tell if a fellow human is in distress, even a stranger. We have that built-in empathy that we literally feel each other’s pain.

We can also feel each other’s joy as well…..

What am I trying to say with all this spiritual mumbo jumbo? Chalk it up to new age silliness or an open mind full of crazy notions, maybe it’s a mid-life crisis or too much caffeine that’s prompting me to write all this today. I don’t know…

We all believe differently. I am the first person to acknowledge this. I prefer that people should believe whatever they damn well please as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. There are universal truths that most of us agree on…

Kindness begets kindness and spreading joy is a hell of a lot better than spreading its opposite. Patience is golden and at times we all need a little light.

Burning bright at midnight…wishing you a sunny day,

Strawberryindigo.

The unblinking eye of the truth

The Unblinking Eye of the Truth

The truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth…those are familiar words, but do most people truly adhere to every letter of that misused and misunderstood word?  The Truth.  As a word it seems so formidable, so tall and strong.  The truth never blinks an eye and never lets up for a second.

The truth is extremely important to me, maybe too much so. One of my quirky Asperian traits involves the truth and my devotion to it. I am compelled to speak the truth as I see it, I can do no less.

If someone asks for my honest opinion, I must give it. I try to be as diplomatic as possible, but sometimes the truth hurts, no matter how you sugar coat it.  I feel I owe it to people to be honest with them.

I feel that one of the worst lies a person can tell is to themselves. This lie is the most dangerous because it blinds us to reality.  I have tried to be honest with myself, no matter how painful the truth can sometimes be.  This is essential to my personal well-being and long-term success.

I don’t mind being incorrect and I don’t mind being wrong. In fact, I welcome this. I have an open mind; To me, mistakes are opportunities for growth. I try to learn as much as I can from my mistakes and from others mistakes as well…We live in interesting times and I can truthfully say that I have learned a lot.

I have learned that “The Truth” varies with one’s perspective of it.  My friend Einstein let me in on that little nugget and it certainly rings true.  Many conflicts occur because both sides of the argument are convinced that their truth is more true than the others truth,  “You must be wrong because I am right” and all that nonsense.

There are, however, universal truths that we all share.  We all want to live in peace and happiness, to be able to fulfill our hopes and dreams.  We all need love and understanding.  We have so much in common, we share the same planet and we all need each other.

We can deny these truths, we can look away, but in the deepest parts of our hearts we know what is right….. They say “The truth shall set you free” and I truly believe that….and I cannot look away any longer……

Happy Sept.12th.       Strawberryindigo.

“This is the character of truth; it is of all time, it is for all men, it has only to show itself to be recognized, and one cannot argue against it”                    **Voltaire**