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The Paris terrorist attacks. Suicide bombers in Beirut. The refugee crisis. Increasingly extreme weather all over the world. More and more fireballs spotted across our skies. It seems the chaos and insanity is only increasing on the Big Blue Marble at this time. How can one maintain their sense of sanity in an increasingly insane world?

Today on the Health and Wellness Show we take a deeper look at psychology and how we can do just that - stay sane when it seems all the forces around us are trying to make us do the opposite. We'll be looking at the weaknesses of human psychology and how those can be exploited to nefarious ends and how one can, with proper awareness, defend agains this. The ancient maxim "Know Thyself" figures prominently in our only means of defense.

Join us Fridays at 10am EST for the SOTT Talk Radio Network's Health and Wellness show as we expose the lies and emphasize the truth about health in our modern world.

Running Time: 02:06:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Jonathan: Hey everybody. Today is November 20, 2015. Welcome to the Health and Wellness Show. My name is Jonathan. I'll be your host for today. Joining me in our virtual studio from all over the planet we have a full compliment of hosts today, Doug, Erica, Tiffany, Gaby and Elliot. Welcome everybody.

All: Hellos.

Jonathan: So we've got a good topic today. We're going to be taking a deeper look at psychology and how we can stay sane when it seems that all the forces around us are trying to make us do the opposite. We're looking at all the insane things that are going on in the world today and how to preserve our mental health. We thought that this would be a good topic to approach especially considering the recent attacks that happened in Paris and obviously all of the other attacks that are going on in Lebanon, the ongoing situation in Palestine, the situation with the police in the United States, the situation with psyops and the media. There are so many things that are taxing our ability to just keep a level head and so we wanted to talk about that from a health perspective and see how we could keep our heads on straight essentially.

So let's start out with a little bit of connecting the dots. We've got a couple of articles here to get us into the flow. Erica, do you want to start us off with this article about police and immunity from prosecution?

Erica: So in the news last week, actually November 15, 2015; on the World Socialist website there was an article called; Immunity For Killer Cops? Thank the US Supreme Court. It's actually really concerning. As the death toll from police brutality is mounting and we see videos daily of all the different things that are happening, all the violations of civil rights and human rights by the US police, the Supreme Court issued a decision expanding the authoritarian doctrine of what's called, "qualified immunity" which shields police officers from legal accountability. So when a civil rights case is summarily dismissed by a judge on the grounds that it is considered qualified immunity, the case is legally terminated. It never goes to trial before a jury and is never decided on its constitutional merit.

In this particular article they talk about the Luna v. Mullenix case in which case in which case a police officer fired from the on-ramp of a freeway at a car that was being chased at 85 mph and he shot and killed the driver even though he was told by his superior officer not to shoot. So this case was brought to court by the Leija family members who claimed that Mullenix used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The district court that originally heard the case together with the Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal denied immunity to Mullenix on the grounds that his conduct was violating clearly established laws, meaning he wasn't in any sort of danger.

It was interesting because the Supreme Court intervened to uphold the Mullenix entitlement to immunity. So basically a decision set a precedent for the summary dismissal of civil rights lawsuits against police brutality around the country. This case is a response to the ongoing wave of police mayhem and murder and the message is clear, according to the author. "The killings will continue. Do not question the police. If you disobey the police you forfeit your right to life."

The media largely didn't even cover this. They remained silent about this pro-police Supreme Court decision. Then back in October on the 23rd, the FBI director, James Comey stated, "May god protect our cops". He went on to accuse those who film the police of promoting violent crime and meanwhile in virtually every police brutality case that has come before the federal court, the Obama administration has taken the side of the police.

And for those who may not know, this idea of qualified immunity is a reactionary doctrine invented by judges in the latter part of the 20th century to shield public officials from lawsuits. As a practical matter, this doctrine allows judges to toss out civil rights cases without a jury trial if in the judge's opinion the official misconduct in question was not plainly incompetent or a knowing violation of a clearly established law.

So in recent decades the doctrine has been stretched to a Kafkaesque proportion and shields police officers from any accountability. So it's actually really quite scary because in this Luna v. Mullenix case this man was just outright murdered. Maybe he was breaking the law by speeding, but there will be no protection for his family and really not even addressing the issue. It's very concerning.

Tiffany: Well the thing that ticked me off about that particular case was that the justice in that case ruled that the cop didn't use deadly force because he was aiming at the car; he wasn't aiming at the victim. He just happened to shoot the victim in aiming at the car.

Jonathan: It's crazy. That alone is one of the basic tenets of gun safety, to know your target and these are supposed to be trained officers. To me trained means trained. There's not really a lot of ambiguity there. Of course people make mistakes but mistakes are one thing and egregious mistakes that result in someone's death are another I think. This whole thing has been really interesting to me too because I've known some cops and I do currently know some cops and I know that there are some good cops out there, honestly not many, but there are. And there are also dangerous people in the world. It's not like the world is a totally cushy, cuddly, safe place.

So there needs to be some addressing of the dangerous situations that police find themselves in. However, the big caveat to that is that when they get into situation, which we've seen happening over and over and over again, especially recently, it's where they kill innocent people and there's no recourse. There's no nothing. There has to be some sort of a system in place where if a police officer is found to be either egregiously mistaken or outrightly psychopath, you've got to get rid of him. They should be kicked off the force at the very least, if not prosecuted for murder in a lot of these cases.

Unfortunate doesn't really cut it but that's the first word that comes to mind.

Erica: Yeah. What's concerning is that in the article it talks about how Mullenix wasn't even in any danger and the supervisor told him to wait until other officers tried to stop the car using strip spikes and he fired four shots and then he boasted, "How's that for proactive?" It was like a plan.

Gaby: Yeah, the scariest thing, at least for me, is that the media didn't cover it so most people don't know about it.

Erica: Exactly.

Doug: There are absolutely no consequences in these situations. This cop knows that despite the fact that he was told to wait. "Well you know there's not going to be any consequences. I actually just am proactive and kill this guy." There's so much precedence now for there being absolutely no consequence for cops taking these actions, so if you're a psychologically deviant cop, why not do this. There's no consequence.

Tiffany: Well there should be a system in place to protect citizens, and I say "should", but this is an insane world so everything is just backwards and twisted. So there is no protection. Even if a citizen files a complaint or sues the police department for excessive force, they can sue but the police department doesn't suffer any consequences. Whatever money they get comes from the taxpayers.

Jonathan: Yeah, and they're a pretty hardcore brotherhood too so they often protect their own. Cite the classic movie Serpico, anybody who's ever seen that one. Obviously that's a film but it happens in real life. The cops will band around each other and even if one of them has made an egregious mistake or outright murdered someone, they'll protect that office in order to protect the force as a whole.

Erica: It's that fear tactic, "Don't question the police. If you disobey the police you forfeit your life." That's really the precedent that's being set. And it's using that fear. If you see this could happen to you or any number of scenarios, it creates that sense of fear all the time.

Elliot: And it's that gang mentality that came through in the FBI director's speech when he went to say, "May God protect our cops" rather than saying, "May God protect the innocent" or something like that. He explicitly said cops. And I think it's insane how firstly what they tend to do is they outright deny that this police brutality is a crime in and of itself. But then secondly, to make it worse, they're attempting to accuse those who film it, who document it and who try to gather evidence of this brutality, they accuse those people of promoting violent crime!

Doug: Which is ridiculous.

Gaby: It's like the entire population at large is the real enemy and the cops are the "good guys".

Elliot: Exactly, yeah.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Tiffany: Well if that were the case, if the people who are filming it were promoting violence, where did they get the violent footage? The police provided it, so their only crime is to promote it on YouTube? Is that what they mean? (Laughter)

Jonathan: Yeah.

Tiffany: We have to consider too the type of people that are drawn to positions of authority and power in the police forces in the first place. People who are just easy-going guys - and I say guys mostly because most cops are men - but they don't want to tell people what to do. They don't get off on the power of it. So police forces in general attract a certain type of mentality to the force. There was one article that was carried on SOTT a long time ago. Somebody who tested really high IQ-wise did not get on the force because the police force thought that he would become bored and lose interest in the job, so they specifically recruit people who aren't that bright.

Gaby: Yeah, I remember that. You need to be stupid to qualify.

Jonathan: It's true. I actually have a friend who's taken that exam.

Erica: More than a thousand people have been killed by the police in America and we're in November.

Tiffany: Yeah, there is no war on cops. It's a war on people.

Doug: Yeah, absolutely.

Jonathan: Tiff, like you had mentioned, to the topic of our show about the insane world, you can look into the history of police and look back to the Pinkertons around the turn of the century. I think you can make a pretty valid argument that the police have never actually been here to protect people. That's not to say that certain cops don't want to. That may be their personal intent. But in the general consciousness, you get in trouble, you get broken into or whatever, you call the cops, they come over, they help, they protect and serve. And that is no longer the case. It might be the case in some rural areas. I guess I'm still trying to do the devil's advocate thing but as we saw recently with this article which some of our listeners probably saw from Santa Monica, there was an African American woman who had to get a locksmith to get into her apartment and her neighbour called the cops thinking that this black lady was breaking into somebody's apartment and what did she say? 19 cops showed up for one B&E, which is insane! That is insane! And of course she had to explain at gunpoint that she actually lived there. It's mind-blowing.

Gaby: Another mind-blowing example; a SWAT team arrives at a house and the woman who refused to give an anti-psychotic to her daughter, a very small child - first of all there's no medical indication of a psychotic in such cases - she refused to give the psychotic and she was being ordered to have her child taken away from her. The SWAT team arrived. They were taken to jail. It's the news items that we see more and more often.

Tiffany: Yeah, there have been several stories of people or families who have called cops on suicidal family members and the cops show up and they end up killing the person. It's crazy! And I would even argue and say that cops do not protect and serve. In my opinion I don't see much protecting going on. I don't think the cops actually prevent any crimes. Maybe they do on a small scale but crimes happen, somebody calls the cops and the cops come and they take down the information and allegedly look for the perpetrator in most cases. I don't hear much about cops stopping anything from happening.

Elliot: I think it's really just a case of don't call the police, in America anyway. I think that's just the best thing to do because as you guys have said, the amount of times now that people call the police over really small things - I can't think of any examples in my head - but there have been so many occurrences where the police have just shown up and essentially killed someone who's innocent, for not really doing anything wrong whatsoever. So I think nowadays the best thing to do is just to stay out of their way and not even contact them.

Tiffany: I concur.

Jonathan: Yeah, and if you see a bunch of police congregating around a house or a business with their lights flashing, get out of there! That's what I think.

Doug: Yeah.

Gaby: It is really insane!

Jonathan: Yeah.

Doug: And lock up your dog too.

Jonathan: No kidding! I know there have been too many cases of that. I know dogs can be vicious but I've been bitten by a pit bull and it was bad, but it wasn't that bad. I didn't need to shoot it. {Laughter}

Tiffany: You didn't think your life was in danger Jonathan, as all these cops are saying, "My life was in danger. I had no other choice but to shoot."

Jonathan: No, I thought I needed to get some peroxide and a band-aid. But anyway, let's move on a little bit in our topic and along the lines of what we were talking about - these low expectations of the police that we have to have now as is evident - Doug, do you want to do this article about pessimism, a recipe for life.

Doug: Yeah. So this was an article published on SOTT on November 4th. Originally it was on Natural Blaze, written by Heather Callaghan called; Pessimism: A Recipe For Life. The article is mainly a video and I recommend anybody find the video. It's just a short one, only 2½ minutes. It's called The Wisdom of Pessimism. It lays out how a lot of times we're encouraged to have an optimistic outlook by the media, through advertising, like "Buy this product and your life will be perfect". That's essentially the message that you end up getting. They also talk about how technological progress leads people to be very optimistic about things but that it's not a realistic outlook on things.

It's calling it pessimism but I think really in a lot of ways it's being more of a realist, actually looking at things from a perspective that not everything is going to turn out for the best despite the fact that that's often the message we're given. I know in a lot of new age circles and things like that as well they often will promote this positive thinking, the importance of positive thinking. You always have to put a positive spin on absolutely everything. This article is saying you actually are in a better position if you do have more of a pessimistic outlook and at least keep in mind the possibility for negative things, for everything to fall apart because then you're much more likely to have contingency plans. It's the old adage to hope for the best but expect the worst because then you're hoping that things are going to turn out the best that they could but you're going to take steps to prepare for things not turning out well.

The author of the articles says she believes that fear, the lack of self-acceptance and self-love led to her getting cancer - sorry, I'm reading the wrong sentence here. She was actually looking into a person named, Anita Moorjani who had a near death experience and she came back from that experience with this wisdom and talking about how pessimism can lead to a more realistic outlook regarding what's surrounding you. And she believed that fear; the lack of self-acceptance and self-love led her to getting cancer and initially dying. So she kind of came back from that with a wider perspective on things. Anyway, it's a very interesting article. I recommend you check it out.

Jonathan: That is. It makes me think of a set of anticipations and I remember seeing this on our forum a while back and I forget exactly. There was negative anticipation of a negative event, positive of a positive event, positive of a negative and negative of a positive event. So it was all these different types of anticipation that we can have. I think that the best was essentially positive anticipation of a negative event, which means you prepare for the worst and hope for the best simply put, so that you can hope for the best while still being ready for things to go wrong. We see this a lot throughout peoples' day-to-day lives and I think that this could be considered a mental health issue. If you spill your coffee on the newspaper or your cat poops on the floor or whatever, if these small, annoying "bad" things that happen because of extreme emotional upset, there's an imbalance there.

And you can even look at more extreme events that happen in peoples' lives, obviously not just including death but losing your house and things like that. Obviously that's a traumatic thing to go through but there is a way to approach these situations so that you can retain your mental stability throughout them. We'll talk about that a little bit more I think later in the show.

So let's jump into our topic today. As I said in the beginning we wanted to address - based on the recent attacks that have happened in Paris and the explosion on social media of an outpouring of armchair activism and things like that and people looking at this one situation and becoming filled with fear without realizing that it's happening everywhere else. For instance, Boko Haram is one of the most "dangerous" organizations right now. They've killed many, many people and barely anybody knows who they are. I hate to say this, but most people ignore the situation in Palestine that's been ongoing for many, many, many years. You're talking tens of thousands of Palestinians that have been killed since the establishment of the state of Israel there.

And as we were talking about the situation with the police in the United States and in Europe and all of these things, how do you keep your head on straight? Just to start off the discussion I'll start with an example for myself and see if you guys want to chime in with your own examples. I've noticed, and I really hate to admit this, it's frankly kind of embarrassing, but I've noticed that when I see things online, say somebody was killed by a cop or what just happened, there was an attack in Paris, I am sympathetic and empathetic towards the dead and the families of those people and at the same time I can't help but notice in myself a feeling of "Meh! That's what happens now, that's the way the world is now and let's go on to the next thing" when it should be really infuriating. It should be really sobering.

It should be all these things and yet, like I said, I can't help but notice in myself a feeling of apathy towards these really awful things that are going on in the world. And that kind of scares me. Well why am I feeling this way? And I think that a lot of that has to do with the desensitization that's going on through all outlets of media and through the psyops and propaganda that are being put out there. I wonder if you guys had any similar sort of feelings, if you noticed the same thing or if you have other reactions to it.

Doug: Yeah, there is definitely a certain level of detachment there. When you open up your news feed and you're bombarded with all these negative stories and all this kind of thing, it's almost like your brain is saying, "Well I could be overwhelmed by this or I could put this in the category of things that happen but not to me". You switch off on that level because it's almost emotionally overwhelming. There's just too much to deal with. Part of that is just being in our modern technological world where we're in touch with so much more that's going on in the world. When you go outside your front door, you go to work and all these kinds of things, your day proceeds normally. You aren't confronted with all these crazy events.

So it's like there's a real disconnect there between these crazy events that are going on around the world and what's actually going on in your back yard.

Elliot: Yeah, I completely agree, especially looking at SOTT every single day, seeing how terrible things happen in the world pretty much every day now, if you keep up to date with it, even for the normal person who doesn't keep up to date with everything. But I've definitely noticed that myself as well. It's like you become desensitized and there's normalization, like accepting "okay, this is the way the world is". I think that's one of the reasons why it is so important to keep up to date and to constantly subject yourself to this horrible information because it can act as a reminder, that you can use it in two different ways. I think you can use it as a way to stay awake and to become more aware of what's going on the world. Then if don't pay attention it can easily just fall into this sort of "Oh well, this happens but it's not happening to me. I'll go on to whatever I'm going to go on to." Does that make sense?

Jonathan: Yeah.

Tiffany: Yeah, it's kind of a balancing act between what you can do if you're looking at or working on SOTT every day, to keep from falling into an abyss of despair and what you can do to just keep carrying on and doing what you have to do. I think in a lot of ways we owe it to the people who are suffering around the world to actually just bear witness to what is going on and presenting the truth in the best way that we know how to do it, just so other people can see. And I think in a lot of ways you do have to develop a bit of detachment but it also serves as a protective kind of thing. Like Doug said, these kinds of things happen but they don't happen to me. But there's going to be a time, maybe, in the future, if some people say "when", when all of these things are going to come to get really, really personal for you and if you can read other peoples' accounts, if you can know what to expect in a way, it takes away some of that shock factor so you're more prepared when things start to go south around you and people that you actually know personally.

Jonathan: I think part of what is the crazy making aspect of this is the cognitive dissonance of the things that are thrown at us. One of our chat participants here says, "I've been feeling a lot of anger about what's going on" and that I think is a healthy emotion. I think anger is quite a healthy emotion. But what I think is interesting is that what we should be doing is feeling anger and yet we find in a lot of people this cognitive dissonance of apathy and fear at the same time. So you're desensitized to the things that are going on and you're like, "Oh well, that's just the way the world is now" and at the same time you're very fearful.

It's been in the news recently in the United States that many states are turning away Syrian refugees because they're afraid the terrorists are going to come into their state. So people have this overblown sense of fear about things like, "That's just what happens now but it doesn't happen to me. It happens out there. Don't let it come close to me. And if it does come close to me I'm going to have this overblown reaction" and any kind of latent hatred towards groups, races, people, anything like that is going to come to the surface. And hatred doesn't have to be an overt action of violence or anything like that. Hatred can simply be "I don't trust you because of what I think about your group".

That's what I think is crazy-making about it, is that people are presented with these different ways of feeling and they feel them all at the same time but they don't know how to process them and they probably feel anger under the surface but don't know how to process that either or how to let it come to the surface or how to manifest it in a healthy way.

Doug: Yeah, I think that's a big part of it. I think a lot of it is the way that information is presented to people as well. In the media you're never given the whole story. You're never given everything from all angles or anything like that. It is really presented with this element of randomness to it. It really is promoting this idea of fear, that "Oh my god! Look what randomly happened! This could happen to you! We have to do something!" It's very easy to manipulate a crowd of people based on these fears. That goes back to Bernays and the Bernaysian manipulation of peoples' emotions and their psyches.

If you're not completely informed, as Elliot was saying, if you haven't really been paying attention too much when these big, explosive events come along, people don't know how to react because they've been primed to just be afraid.

Erica: Martha Stout talks about that exact thing in her book The Paranoia Switch and how terror rewires our brain and shapes our behaviour. It's really quite interesting. I recently watched a video at Cambridge, Massachusetts book store back in 2007 and she said our national consciousness has been geared to a heightened experience of fear and anxiety in our daily lives, suffering from a collectively PTSD and we have altered our behaviour and our reactions to those events in our own personal lives on the world stage. She explains both profound and volitional biological changes and what we can do to break free from the cycle of terror.

So it's the idea of switching in peoples' consciousness this fear reaction then people tend to shut down. They want to block it out as Doug was saying and others. In the US we go to our jobs where we experience daily life. We don't see these types of things until we do and then how do you deal with it? You just shut it out. You do not address the situation. It is frightening but at the same time having awareness about what you're experiencing, like Tiffany shared. I feel the same way. You get so inundated by what's going on and things don't affect you like they did say, a few years ago, but just being witness to it and knowing it, so when these major events happen, are looking for all the other aspects of how you're being controlled and manipulated by the media.

You really saw that on Facebook where everyone was changing their Facebook profiles to the French flag. It was like people just got onboard and they didn't really know the information or what else was going on, how they were being manipulated and really feeding that paranoia switch. That makes sense, that traumatic memory repeating over and over.

Tiffany: Well that's one of the important things about staying on top of what's happening in the world anyway because you reduce that cognitive dissonance. I can imagine how confused people would be if they don't know what's going on and they see all these cop beating videos and yet they hear "God bless our cops" and "We're here to protect and serve" or "liberte, egalite and fraternite" and "freedom and democracy" and yet you're living in a police state. You kind of know that on one level but you really don't have the words to express it or you can't get over that. Some people think it's depressing to read bad news all the time, but at least you know why things are happening and you're not just wondering and confused and fearful.

Elliot: Yeah, you're better equipped to deal with situation that could arise in the future. You can work from a more objective narrative of what's actually likely going to happen in certain situations and what to look out for, how to protect yourself and actually be of service to other people in that sense. This is what it comes down to, I would say, that by trying to gain as much awareness of your environment and of your internal environment as well, you can essentially equip yourself with the relevant skills to be able to help others who are not equipped with that knowledge.

Erica: Exactly. Martha Stout talks about how when we're frightened we give up logic, values and rights for a perceived safety. And the way we perceive safety is by being loyal to those who claim they are there to protect us that, keep us sane.

Jonathan: Well guys, we have a caller. Hi caller. Welcome to the Health and Wellness Show. What's your first name and where are you calling from?

Andrew: Hey this is Andrew. I'm calling from Africa. Thanks for having me on the show.

All: Hi's, welcomes.

Andrew: A very good topic, very important because yes obviously everybody's being manipulated by various external influences all the time and it's very sad because with the right kind of education as you just mentioned and information to be able to change things, people could really change. But it seems like there's a chronic lack of knowing what to do. A lot of us that are awake are sitting around looking at what's going on but we're not actually actively able to extract ourselves from the situation, in a sense of actually building networks or building types of education programs that would be necessary to change the perception of the greater, mass consciousness.

As an example, I was just watching the riots in South Africa last month on YouTube with all the student protests. And they're demanding education. So here you have all these people and apparently there's a communist influence in the ideology there from what I can see. It's just interesting that that happens to always play a very strong role. I'm reminded of Alex Jones mentioning during his 9/11 documentary, his coverage of the 2004 elections where he says, "Communism is capitalism's counter-revolutionary control valve".

And you've got all these people demanding an education from the state. First of all, the state never educated you properly to begin with. They're demanding university level education. Secondly, the university level education that you're going to be getting is nowhere near what you actually need to understand the triviums to understand what you really need to survive in this world. So here you've got all these people demanding and meanwhile a few blocks down you've got the Reserve bank building and you've got other interesting buildings that are all actually the real source of the problem but they're all outside parliament, which is like the senate. They're all fighting there to say, "We demand you give us a lower cost to be able to pay for our education!" Can anyone say, "fractional reserve banking?" When will people get it and how do we educate people to go to the core issues as opposed to trying to demand for their own enslavement? They're literally fighting the police for their own enslavement.

Jonathan: I think that's a really good point. I think that kind of speaks to our topic as well today, the means and methods of staying sane in the world that increasingly insane, one of the main root methods I think is self-education and pursuing through whatever means necessary, the path of educating yourself, learning from any of the resources that are around you and from the experiences in your life and that doesn't mean necessarily having a university at your disposal. It doesn't necessarily even mean the internet, although the internet can be a really great tool for that. In my opinion it means having a spirit of openness and a sense of wonder and the ability to take the reins of your own mind and for what you think and what your opinions are and what your actions are.

I think it's a symptom of the authoritarian follower personality Andrew, what you're talking about, that people want to be given things. Certainly in some cases there's an argument to be made for providing of resources. If the powers are going to be there, then they should take care of their people yet the epidemic of people expecting that to happen I think has definitely been a problem.

Andrew: I was in a protest years ago, not because I was part of the protest but I was just taking photographs of it and there were these people once again demanding education saying, "You still haven't built us a school" and I'm thinking, "Do you realize how lucky you are that your kids are not going through school?" {Laughter} Hear me out. Number one yes, we do need to understand our ABCs and the basics of language and basic mathematics but after grades 1, 2 and 3, it really gets terrible because it becomes full-on indoctrination and a sort of, "Let's see if we can get the Pavlov's dog experience going?" They want all the kids to regurgitate - excuse my harsh language - but to be able to parrot back to them; not to be able to gauge whether or not they can think for themselves or be innovative, but simply to be able to make sure that those kids are never going to push an authority, come up with alternatives to authority if it's corrupt. That's what school's all about, right?

So how do you tell these people that really think that the government's going to come and save them, those who govern their minds and who govern their lives and who exploit them at every turn, how do you get people to realize that because on the other hand, here are these two major ideologies in South Africa that I'm seeing at the moment. Then you've got the left and the right of so-called democracy which is like communism lite, like a socialist democracy. And then you've got hard core communism. On both sides people are saying, "Government's going to provide for us. Government's going to provide for us". And the communists are saying, "No, you need to take this government down so that our guys will be really benevolent towards you!" It's like history shows it never works.

How do we get people to realize that they're just not going to be able to do anything better than becoming self-reliant, if your little community can become self-reliant? But how do we get people to start thinking that way? That's what I'm racking my brain on because I try to strike up conversations with the average person and they've already worked their nine-to-five and by the time we get to the evening the person says, "I don't have any energy. I don't want to have to think about it. I don't want to have to know about it." And it's not just cognitive dissonance. It's just being so tired that you're like, "I'm so ready to just turn on the television so I can get my emotional dose of different emotions from the television because I never speak to my family. So I'm just going to see what the elite are going to provide for me with this opiate." {Laughter} How do we jump out of this? That's what I'm trying to say. I'm just trying to figure out if you guys have got some ideas.

Erica: Well that's why Martha Stout wrote that book, The Paranoia Switch. She thought if people knew how frightened they were, as a nation here in the US and across the world, and that she was surprised when she realized people aren't really aware that they're being played, that they're being manipulated, literally a war for their minds.

Tiffany: And at the same time you can't shove anything down anybody's throat. If they're not open to hearing anything, then they're just not open to hearing it and you have to be externally considerate towards other people and what they want to talk about. You can't force them into things but at the same time there's small things that you can do, like if you're on social media you can share important articles or make posts about things that are important to you and see if somebody wants some more information and if they do then that's the time that you can share.

I understand where you're coming from Andrew people fighting for their enslavement and demanding schools and they really don't know how lucky they are. There's authoritarian follower type personalities who think that school is the only place where learning takes place and really that's just life. You can learn doing a number of things and learn them much, much better than sitting in a classroom all day long.

Andrew: Right. Well I think the big question is - sorry go ahead.

Jonathan: I was just going to say if I may that I think fostering individual connections is a valid way to approach this because as Tiffany said, you can't force anything down peoples' throats and often times if you do they will retract and they'll pull away from that. Not all of us have the resources to start a media network like which we involve ourselves with quite a bit. But in the sense of getting out there in the world and fostering connections and friendships with people on an individual basis so that when it comes up at a certain point, if they don't ask or if they're not open to it then you can't shove it down their throat. But if they do and it comes up in a conversation, when you have that one-on-one personal connection with another person you can be much more effective in saying, "Here, look at this. Look at that. This is what I think about how we should learn. What do you think about the school system, and if so, why?" And have those really deep discussions and debates with people.

But I really think the only way it's going to spread is on that individual level so that you have a modicum of trust between two people so that that discussion can take place because if I walk up to somebody on the street - and I totally agree with you about education - and ask, "Do you know the education system is a sham? Nobody's getting educated. They're all getting schooled. This is to make good workers and citizens, not free-thinking people" - if I just say that to somebody on the street they're going to be like, "Okay, alright. Get away from me." If I have that same conversation with a friend of mine they may be more open and ask, "Well why, do you think that?"

Gaby: We have to keep in mind that 50% of the population have a personality type that makes them predisposed to be authoritarian followers so no matter your good intentions, there's always going to be a certain part of the population will warrant that fake education so to speak.

Andrew: Right. I was going to saying it seems as if almost like you have to realize that the crux of the matter is that the school system does create auto-followers. And it's 12 years of indoctrination on average or more. And that is a really hard thing to break because it's the formance of years. I think it was the Jesuits who said, "Give me a child until they're five or six and they'll never, never leave the church and they'll never disobey orders." So it's kind of interesting with Jesuits being very much involved, now that process seems to have spawned out into the rest of the so-called western world.

It's almost like you've got to start with this next generation and I think micro groups or people that can formulate their own community networks where it doesn't even have to be people that are geographically living very close to each other. People can form their own business networks or their own what you might call intelligence networks. I think you're going to maybe see things like micro finance and different types of organizations that start emerging where they sort of float on top of all this mess. I've walked up to people and tried to say to them, "What do you think about - well pick your facts, the stuff that people don't want to hear - and the average person will probably be very confused like you just said, or think that you're crazy. Some of them might take notice but like you just said if we can't have regular meetings and have regular discussions, meals with each other, working together during the day, something like Iceland.

Iceland's people generally work together and they've got a specific kind of culture and they've got a specific agenda and they're small enough to be a cohesive group but not so small that they can easily be attacked by whoever it might be that wants to attack them. And that's why they've managed to do what they've done. I think if 100,000 people or even 10,000 families in a particular region of the United States, maybe just one state, got together and said, "Right. Let's do things differently", then we'd start to see this emergence of people living less dependent on the system.

Jonathan: I think one antidote to this insane world, and with respect to what you were talking about there, small groups, communication, meetings, is compassion which a lot of people are losing. They may not want to admit that and they may not be consciously becoming less compassionate, but it's through the programming that our society has that that is actually taking place. I think if you're interested in people, then be interested in them and when you make a friend, say, "Hey. You seem like a person I would jive with. Let's grab a coffee and let's sit down and talk" instead of at the outset, I am often tempted to do this and say, "Oh, this is all of what I think about the world" and just throw it at them {Laughter}, instead ask "What do you do for a living and how did you get there?" Or "How did you grow up and what are your experience?" and have compassion for that person's situation in life and what their experiences are and what their opinions are, have a reasonable discussion with them, establish that mode of trust and then begin to say what you think about things. Then through those kinds of connections a group of 10 people who are compassionate and understanding and have trust in each other and are on the same wavelength are much more powerful than a group of 200 or 300 people who don't know each other.

Andrew: Okay.

Jonathan: And it's what we see in our communities these days, especially in the United States where I live, nobody knows their neighbours anymore. I even hate to admit it, but I have neighbours who I've never talked to since I moved into this house and that's really unfortunate. So it's on me to change that situation as well. It's not on them or anybody else. So if everybody took that kind of individual responsibility - and I'm not trying to preach on a soapbox because like I said, I'm liable - but I am aware that that is the case and that maybe this conversation will prompt me to go say hi to my neighbour after the show.

Andrew: Yeah. I think community growth is a great opportunity and to have the emotional intelligence because I certain sometimes fall short of that. That's an understatement. But to be able to understand that if I connect with someone it doesn't make me responsible for them, but we doing as much as we can to be responsible in our community. Because a lot of people don't want to have to take the responsibility to have to deal with any repercussions that may come from having to deal with someone that's in their geographical location - if you make an enemy in your geographical location where you live, that's for the long term, if somebody disagrees with you or if there's a fallout.

That's why I think a lot of people tend to be very private these days because if somebody gets their back up against the wall or disagrees with you on something, it can scale out of proportion. The whole court system, etc., really feeds off of that and actually encourages people to fight with each other. So it's a very dangerous or very difficult thing in some cases. But also that needs to be balanced I suppose with wisdom, to say, "Okay, how do I take the right amount of responsibility in our community to be able to connect with people and at the same time know I'm not responsible for somebody else's opinion?" How do we protect ourselves even though this legal system, any would say that it's just a fiction although it implements real things in our reality, people say it's illegitimate.

But the reality is that there are millions of people that believe in it. So therefore it's almost as if belief makes right. So unfortunately we have to be cautious of how we approach people in our communities, not to come across as discriminating in any way, etc., etc., because people can very easily take things out of context. So that's one aspect.

And then the other thing was Max Egan who's actually speaking on the France attacks and he's a very big activist in terms of Palestine and rights for people, he was saying if you don't have any better solutions to offer someone, don't even tell them about the chaos. Or if you don't have a positive to bring along with the chaos, then don't even mention it perhaps because people are going to react to how obviously, yes, how we approach them. He's the guy that's kind of saying, "Don't burn your passport. You still need something because you don't have a better alternative to that passport currently." So that made a lot of sense and I think that's kind of closer to what we should be doing. It's difficult though.
It's very easy to call into this radio show because it's so anonymous, right? {Laughter} If you guys would be willing to maybe a 15 or 20 minute segment where people can just call in every week and just say, "this is what I did in my community this week", that would be so awesome.

Jonathan: Yeah. Again just to loop back to help us to be on the topic of the show, that's a great practice I think because the insane world that we're talking about, one of the major factors of that is splitting people apart, destroying communal connections, makes people feel more isolated at which point you have no feedback mechanism for the doubts and uncertainties that you have in the world. Again, people are much stronger in a community than they are alone and the whole "No man is an island". It's a cliché but it's true.

Well Andrew if it's alright, I think we're going to let you go. I really appreciate your call.

Andrew: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Jonathan: We're going to move into the topic. Yeah, thank you. Appreciate you calling in.

Andrew: Thanks.

Gaby: Well that's a very good point. When people are isolated and scared they're more vulnerable, they're easier to manipulate. So it's like a war for our minds and our very souls in a sense.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Elliot: Exactly, yeah. I can say from personal experience, when you're in a state of fear you're almost disconnected from everyone else who's around you. You don't feel like you have even the energy to be able to speak to anyone. "Are they going to be a terrorist?" {Laughter} I know that's a bit extreme, but that's actually what a lot of people are going through right now, especially since this France attack. I think the terrorism thing; the fear, I guess is the divide and conquer method. Fear is really good for that.

Jonathan: Yeah, that's a great point. It's really a sad situation. To your point now, people have been programmed to look sideways at an Arabic man in an airport and they're going to do that subconsciously no matter what. And it's the same thing as in the 40s, 50s and 60s where white people looked sideways at an African American in a restaurant. We've had these examples of groups being split apart and mistrust being fomented between them. I hate that some of these things have become clichés but the whole "We are the world" thing, but it's true. If we could just look at other people as people, as humans and say: "Okay, I don't know who you are yet. I don't know whether you're dangerous or safe or anything like that" so I do have some uncertainty, but I'm not going to be afraid to get to know this person because of biases that have been programmed into me. If we could get over that step we might have a better chance at fomenting some sanity instead of some insanity.

Tiffany: And that is one of the powers that be's modus operandi really, the divide and conquer scheme is to portray the other as non-human or an animal or something to be feared and not trusted. So you have to realize that all of that is just a lie. There are some people who are animals and cannot be trusted, but you can't go around living your life as if everyone is like that and totally isolating yourself. You're going to have to get out there and try to connect with people. Keep in the back of your mind that some people can be psychopaths and authoritarian followers. Study as much as you can on that, but if you really want to try and make a difference with other people and be helpful with other people to form a community, you're going to have to get out there and meet people and get to know them.

Doug: There was a really interesting article actually posted on the 14th of November called; Let Sympathy Lead to Action. Originally it came from the website: theartofmanliness - which is a really interesting site that people should check out. It's got some really great information up there - written by Brett and Kate McKay. The idea behind it is that it's very natural to have these kinds of reactions when something big like the Paris attacks happen that's all over the media and you have this strong emotional response. They're saying that that's an affirmation of the best of our humanity, to feel this emotional response, to feel sympathy, to feel anger, to feel incensed by this kind of information coming to you. But they say that that has to lead to some sort of action and that by not acting on that, you actually are being disingenuous with your emotion. They even go so far as to say that you don't have a right to experience that emotion if it doesn't compel you to do something about it.

They actually have a really interesting quote from William Barclay and I'll just read it here.
There is nothing more dangerous than the repeated experiencing of a fine emotion with no attempt to put it into action. It is a fact that every time we feel a generous impulse without taking action, we become less likely ever to take action. In a sense, it is true to say that we have no right to feel sympathy unless we at least attempt to put that sympathy into action. An emotion is not something in which to luxuriate; it is something which at the cost of effort and of toil and of discipline and of sacrifice must be turned into the stuff of life.
So I just found that really interesting because you see in the wake of the Paris attacks all these people who are putting a filter on their Facebook photo to the France flag and posting all these other kinds of things and that's an easy way to dissipate that emotion without actually doing anything. Changing a filter on Facebook is not doing anything. It really is like less than nothing. It's going along with the crowd. "Oh, this is what's trendy right now so I'm going to go along with the crowd and put this Facebook filter on."

Obviously the type of action you take is very important and you see in the wake of the Paris attack things like people burning the refugee camps and things like that and acting out in a very unthinking, automatic way, taking this anger and channelling it into a very negative channel. But I think that taking these emotions, this anger, this sympathy and these sorts of things and doing something, like we've been talking about, connecting with people out there, discussing it, networking, saying "What's really going on here?" or doing something like spreading information. If the media's encouraging people to think about this in a negative way, while there's no positive spin you can put on this, what's the bigger picture here? What can you really be looking at and realizing that these refugees are humans that they are not responsible for what a small group has done; discussing what we can do to actually help the situation instead of just reacting.

Anyway, I thought that was a very interesting article.

Tiffany: Yeah, sympathy without action is pretty much just lip services and in a lot of ways it's pretty phoney, especially the selective empathy. People express all this sympathy with the victims of the Paris attack - which they do deserve your sympathy - but also the people in Yemen, the people in Egypt and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Palestine and all those other places that the US has bombed, they deserve your sympathy too. In many of the cases it's not possible for the average person to go over and lend a hand or volunteer in a hospital or help refugees in any direct way, but if you say you're so sympathetic to what is going on, other peoples' suffering in the world and on the way to your job you step over three homeless people, what good is that?!

Elliot: Yeah. I think even just the fact of acknowledging it as it is, I think that could be said to be doing something about it because when there's so much confusion spread by mainstream sources, just the very act of learning about it to some extent is going to put you in a better position. I'm not going to lie. I got quite frustrated. It was just after the Paris attack and my news feed on Facebook was just absolutely flooded with people pictures with the French flag on it, the colours. It really frustrated me. I think it was mainly because its selective empathy and I think it's that people genuinely believe that doing something like changing their profile picture is proof that they care, is proof of their sympathy for those others. What I think it kind of comes down to is more like when this happens in Palestine, when this happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, that's far away. It's almost like a dehumanization thing. It's like they're over there and that's not affecting me therefore I'm not bothered about that. But then when it's so close to home it's kind of like "That could have been me and therefore I'm going to show those guys sympathy." I think it's quite a selfish thing that's going on.

Doug: But at the same time you can't really fault those people because like we've been saying, people aren't overly informed about this kind of thing. That whole attack in Lebanon was not publicized on North American media at all.

Jonathan: No, no.

Doug: So most people don't actually know about it so we can't really expect them to express sympathy when they don't know. So on the one hand it's easy to get angry. I've seen a few arguments erupt on Facebook about the whole changing of the filter and stuff but that's like fighting a symptom, like trying to go head-to-head with people with "Why aren't you expressing sympathy because of this other stuff?!" You can't really fault these people for it. It's more like a symptom of the overall ignorance that's going on.

Jonathan: It creates cognitive dissonance in people to admit those things like Tiffany mentioned, all these countries that the United States is bombing and when people in the United States - and they're obviously in other countries as well but the US is a particularly poignant example right now - have a sense of nationalist pride, USA, USA kind of feeling which again, I'm with you on that Doug. You can't necessarily fault them for that because in the same way - and I may sound a little harsh for saying this - but you can't fault a computer for doing what it's programmed to do.

People are programmed to react a certain way. And when you present them with alternate information and because they identify emotionally with their country, with their nation, when you say, "Do you realize how many innocent people, women, children, old people, the United States military has killed and yes even fighting age males who are not fighters, who are innocent, all of these people, literally tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people, just in the last few years that have been killed by the United States military and by operations that the United States has sponsored, when you present people with that information, there's such a cognitive dissonance because to them that means it's them. If that's my country then it's me and there's no way I would support that kind of violence so it must not be true."

Doug: Yeah.

Erica: Right.

Jonathan: I cannot believe that my leaders would do something like that. And it's that hump of "cannot believe it" that prevents people from accepting that information and then being able to process it in a healthy way. So that's where I come back to what I was talking about with Andrew, which is the one-on-one interpersonal connection method of spreading information because again, if we use Facebook as an example, if I make a post on Facebook about all of the things that I just said, there might be some people who agree with me who will like it and say, "Yeah, that's true".

And then other people will see it and say, "He's just crazy and there's no way that we would do that". And so you never get a chance to actually suss out the topic or discuss it with anyone and that's what it takes. We're basically having an emotional food bite, just throwing our opinions at each other and nobody's processing them.

Elliot: That's right isn't it?

Jonathan: Not just opinions too but objective facts. There's stuff that I said about how many people have died at the hands of the United States military. That is an objective fact whether you like it or not. The problem is its being processed as an opinion. "Well it's just your opinion that the military has killed that many people." No, it's not!

Gaby: You realize the tragedy. It's official. Millions of people have died thanks to the war on terrorism and it's been paid with tax dollars that normal people pay these taxes and this money goes for that war. And these are facts. It's just a tragedy that people just don't realize how by their very ignorance they are cooperating with this evil.

Jonathan: Yeah, and again, like Doug said - and I don't know if this is exactly what you were saying - but until the point at which people actively deny that fact, where they see the truth, they are presented with it, they process it and they still deny it, at that point then I believe that they're at fault. But up until that point at which they don't have access to the information, they're kind of not at fault. They're doing what they're programmed to do and they may be hindered by a number of other factors like we've talked about before, diet, media programming, and imbalance of neuro-chemicals that don't allow you to think properly. All of these things factor into how people process information and if they can't process it then they can't process it and we're stuck.

Elliot: I guess it comes down to having compassion for where people are. If not compassion it's become frustrated and out rip on Facebook saying, "You're not this" and "You're not that" and "You should know this" and "You should know that" when in fact, as you just said, different people can't be blamed for not knowing something that they don't have access to, to some extent. Is that what you're trying to say?

Jonathan: Yeah pretty much. There still are cases too - and I've run into this with people in my past where we were looking at something online and you show them the proof of the situation that's going on and they go, "Oh well, I just don't think about that kind of thing." Then I think that that person is at fault for actively denying the truth. But it's complicated.

Doug: It is complicated because then you get into what people have in terms of their actual capacity to take on. You can't necessarily fault an individual who is of the authoritarian follower type personality. You can't expect them to drop everything that they've been raised with and programmed with. Let's be honest here. The media and everything is actually using psychological tricks to channel peoples' thoughts in a very particular direction. So to expect somebody to just on the spot drop that and take on this new information and work with it might be too much to ask of certain people.

But I think if you maintain awareness and like Elliot was saying, empathize with the person and see where they actually are coming from, in several conversations you can drop little hints here and there and gauge people, see where they're at and if somebody is of the personality type where they could actually take this sort of thing on, then maybe you can go a little bit deeper with them and move on.

Tiffany: And in a way also you have to be the type of person that sets an example for other people. You have to be the compassionate, caring, helpful person who stays calm and is not run by fear. And if you set that example for somebody, maybe somebody might ask you, "Hey, how are you keeping it all together when all this crap is going on around?" and that'll be another chance to share some information.

Jonathan: Yeah. Let's get into a little bit of the nitty gritty about what can be done on a personal level. Our topic is mental health in an insane world, so the logical conclusion is that our goal is to say how can I retain my mental health in this insane world? We've presented a number of points - compassion, interaction, things like that. This brings me to an article that's up on SOTT here that was actually from, Medical News Today called; Knowing Me, Myself and I-What Psychology Can Contribute to Self-Knowledge. I'll just read a couple of excerpts from here.

How well do you know yourself? It's a question many of us struggle with, as we try to figure out how close we are to who we actually want to be. In a new report in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychologist Timothy D. Wilson from the University of Virginia describes theories behind self-knowledge (that is, how people form beliefs about themselves), cites challenges psychologists encounter while studying it, and offers ways we can get to know ourselves a little better.

There are a number of theories that aim to describe self-knowledge by a dual-process model, pitting the unconscious against the conscious. Wilson notes that these theories are pessimistic in that they view the unconscious as something that cannot be breached. However, he remarks that, "self-knowledge is less a matter of careful introspection than of becoming an excellent observer of oneself."

Wilson suggests some ways that can help us learn more about ourselves, such as really attempting to be objective when considering our behaviours and trying to see ourselves through the eyes of other people.

I think that that's a really important point. I think part of the reason that we have a lot of these issues - and I'm not trying to pin it just on the new age movement, but I will cite the new age movement in saying that it's been promoted that you just need to introspect, you just need to meditate, you just need to get in a certain state of mind, be Zen, be chilled dude, that kind of thing, doesn't include a really harsh, objective observation of yourself, of your actions and of your beliefs and then taking matter into your own hands to correct any imbalances that you might see. You are just supposed to get into a Zen state of mind and then everything will fix itself.

I think a promulgation of those ideas is what has led us to a point where people by and large, don't know how to observe their own actions. I know for me when I encountered this information some 10 years ago now, and obviously I'm not a master of this, but it's taken that much time. It took me at least five years to just be able to say, "Holy crap! I just observed myself from a different point of view and wow, I am not proud of what I just did!" It took a long time to just be able to view that separation and say, "I'm actually observing my actions from this external point of view and not just self-identifying with my own opinions".

So I that's another solution to this mental health issue in the modern world, not getting caught up in self-identifying with your own personality, your own ego, and not denying the ego either in a new agey sort of way but in a really critical, objective way being able to look at yourself and note down observations and then approach them from a practical perspective.

Doug: I think it gets into a lot of the esoteric work of people like Gurdjieff and Ouspenski and even Castaneda to a certain extent, the whole maxim of "know thyself". People take that on a very peripheral view of that. "Oh, know myself. Okay." But it really is something that requires a lot of work. Bringing it back to the topic at hand, it really does take a lot of work on the self to not get caught up in these psychological mind games that we're surrounded with all the time. It's so easy to get caught up in the channels that have been pre-prepared and encouraged, promoted, in order to vent those emotions that you naturally have from the different things that are going on in the world. So it really does take a lot of self-work to realize "Wait a second! I'm actually getting caught up in this. I'm very identified with this movement all of a sudden." It isn't necessary the best use of your energy. So I think you stated it quite well.

Erica: It also brings up the idea of confirmation bias. There was an article on SOTT called; Confirmation Bias or Why Being Wrong Feels So Right. There was actually a study from the University of Iowa that finds when people reach a conclusion they aren't likely to change their minds even when new information shows their initial belief is likely wrong. So it's that internal struggle and being open, being able to look at all different sides of a topic and be prepared to be wrong about what your initial idea was, whether it's diet or this regime of exercise. We talked about that in previous shows. There's also the book You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. They talk about confirmation bias in there and how your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information that confirms what you believe while ignoring the information that challenged your preconceived notions. Basically that confirmation is seeing the world through a filter; the real trouble begins when confirmation bias dictates your active pursuit of facts.

There was an interesting little paragraph in the book that I'd like to share. Terry Pratchett through the character Lord Vetinari from The Truth, a novel of Discworld: Be careful. People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things aren't what they expect. In short, what people think they want is new but what they really want is old. Not new but old. Telling people that what they think they already know is true.

Doug: And that right there gets down to what we've been talking about - why people run into this problem where when they are trying to present new information, give people a wider a perspective on world events, how much resistance they actually encounter. It's kind of our in-built psychology which is obviously exploited in a lot of ways. So to get out of that mode, to not stay in the popular opinion, it takes a lot of self work. There is a lot of cognitive dissonance involved in that. How easy is it to just not post something; "Oh I think people won't react very well to this, so I'm just going to not post it." It takes work.

Jonathan: Yeah, it is very hard work and also makes me think to of how hard it is to keep your head together during trauma. I'm sure a lot of our listeners too have had similar experience. Everybody experiences some kind of trauma in their life and I'm sure you can relate to that moment if you look back and try to imagine yourself in that moment when it was happening; it's extremely hard to stay focused and to stay strong when you're being traumatized. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of real effort to pull out of that.

Unfortunately where we are in modern society, the way we've been talking, we are in a constant state of trauma. We're in a constant state of psychological trauma. We've mentioned the Shock Doctrine and that's a very effective ploy by the powers that be to shock people into a state of susceptibility. It's essentially a hypnosis technique at its core. This is not to say you should just go out and be able to keep your head together during any situation tomorrow. It's not going to work that way. It takes a lot of work and it's very hard so that's where we also need to, as we've mentioned, have compassion for people who may not have encountered some of those ideas because they are - and very understandably so - going to fall apart during a traumatic situation, generally.

Erica: Yeah and when you keep getting traumatized over and over and over, it doesn't really rally you. It scares you and you become introverted and as we talked about, isolated. Then you can't really address legitimate fears.

Doug: There's a term in psychology called the amygdala hijack and it's basically the idea that the amygdala is what's responsible for producing emotions or responding to the external environment in an emotional way. And when something very strong and very traumatic happens to you it takes over. Then your access to any sort of higher reasoning is effectively shut off. So you are in this state of reaction. You don't have the ability to consider things from multiple angles. Everything becomes very black and white, bad/not bad and in that state, anybody who's offering a solution or anybody who would seem like they're on top of the situation suddenly becomes the good, the not bad in the situation. So people very easily will latch onto that.

So recognizing that in yourself, recognizing when you are in that state, which does take a long, concerted effort at self-observation, is like an escape valve from the channels that exist that want to filter everything into their particular channels; so recognizing that this is a part of our human biology, that this isn't something that you can just shut off, this is how you're going to react. You will. But the idea that through self-observation you can maybe be aware when you're in that kind of situation and maybe not make any rash decisions. Or when you do have a moment of quiet after everything has gone down, reassess. Try and calm yourself down. The Éiriú Eolas breathing program is very good for this, for getting you out of that reaction state; the black and white thinking, and really open up your perspective and see what's going on.

Jonathan: I think too that that kind of self work and observation during a traumatic situation doesn't mean just suppressing your emotions, like stoicism. Part of that is processing your emotions in a healthy way. So it's not like something bad happens, "I'm going to be a rock. I'm going to be super strong right now and nothing can affect me." If you need to weep or you need to cry or shout into a pillow or go to the junkyard and break something with a bat, those kinds of things, process it out and deal with it and don't just shove it down. It's a very precarious balance and that's what makes it so hard.

Gaby: And also think about it, it's an integral part of true healing, how to process our emotions, how to connect to our true emotions to see the world around us as it is, not as we would wish it to be. For me it's like an integral part of healing that's so often dismissed.

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: Another way to heal you're self also is to actually help people. People who have been through some kind of trauma and after they've gotten through it they often go into that same field and help other people who are dealing with the same thing. So a good way to process your emotions and not just have lip service to being sympathetic to people is to actually help some people and not just with small things like how helpful are you around the house. Do you do things without being asked? Do you do things that are asked of you, when they're asked of you and not waiting and not doing it with grumbling underneath your breath? Are you helping somebody with a cheerful heart and are you standing up for them? You can do the small things. If you can't even do the small things, how are you going to help somebody when it really, really, really matters?

Doug: I think that's a really good point. It's difficult - excuse the language - but when you're going through your own shit basically and you're really not in a place of psychological balance you're under a lot of stress or whatever it is - we were talking about trauma, but like Jonathan said, this can manifest in a lot of different ways. You might just be going through a very stressful period in your life. It's not necessarily tied to world catastrophe on any level. It might just be you're going through a divorce or you're going through a move or something like that. You're in a traumatic place. And to try instead of dwelling on that sort of thing and getting into a self-sympathy type mode and sitting around a dwelling, to get out of that mindset and really put your focus onto helping other people can be incredibly rewarding and incredibly psychologically balancing in a lot of ways. It just gets you out of your own stuck place, stuck in the mud.

Jonathan: It brings me back to the idea of community that we were talking about earlier and this is also another tenet of that self work and referring to an article that we have here in our notes.

Studies suggest, "That others may know us better than we know ourselves." How many times have any of us had that pointed out to us where you're doing something that you can't see until somebody says, "Hey, do you realize that you're doing x?" So there are some interesting points in this article. For example, 'The self is better at judging friends' intelligence than its own because it's not that threatening to us to admit that our friends aren't brilliant. But it's more threatening to admit to ourselves that we're not brilliant. Take attractiveness in your mirror. We look in the mirror all the time yet that's not the same as looking at a photo of someone else. If we spent as much time looking at photos of others as we do ourselves we'd form a much more confident and clear impression of the other's attractiveness than we would have of our own in after looking at the mirror for five minutes we're still left wondering "am I attractive or not" and still have no clue.

It's not the case that we all assume that we're beautiful, right? This is what this article says. So continuing on: For some personality traits the author says that we miss the point if we look at thoughts and feelings and ignore the behaviour. Bullies for instance fit the SOKA (self-other knowledge asymmetry) model because their thoughts and feelings tell them that they're insecure and want to be liked and admired which is not a horrible nasty notion. They cannot see their behaviour as nasty and horrible though because their thoughts obscure their actions.

So this goes to that point of being able to observe yourself from an external perspective. We are programmed to do the exact opposite. We're programmed to react at a base level to the emotions and opinions that we have in our own heads. However in a community situation when you're in tight and close with other people and you are able to not have your ego bruise very easily, you're able to take some criticism, then the other people in that community can say, "Hey this is what I see in you. Do you see that?" And if you don't see it, then take their feedback and take that into your model of learning about yourself and continue on from there. I think that's a very effective method.

But also very difficult because we're all programmed to do the exact opposite just like people in the United States are programmed to be nationalistic and patriotic. But when we get feedback from people from the Middle East or from China or Russia, South America or wherever else outside of our country that say, "Your county's kind of an asshole" {Laughter} - that's a polite way to put it. It's actually like a very psychopathic regime so I'm being light-hearted there I guess. It's hard for us to take that criticism because we cannot generally observe our own self-identified emotions. It takes a lot of work and help from other people to be able to do that.

Doug: Yeah. And we can even take it down to a more microscopic level in your own life. This is something I've encountered more than a few times. It's the kind of thing where I'll be in a social situation and saying something thinking that I'm being funny. I can't think of an example but just going off on some sort of tangent where I think that I'm being humorous and it's very easy to just stay in that and leave that situation and don't think anything more about it. But if you pay attention to the reactions that you're getting. I remember being quite shocked in one situation where I was suddenly realizing that, "I'm not coming off as funny and these people are actually taking this more as not necessarily an insult but 'okay, that wasn't so funny'." And it can be shocking at the time because you're quite embarrassed by it and just shut up and end up dwelling on that for a while.

But it's the same kind of thing. You can use the reactions of other people to see what you're completely identified with. In that situation I was identified with my personality as funny guy Doug. Meanwhile that was actually not the case. It was probably more like asshole Doug, the inner jerk Doug. It can be a bit shocking but on a more macro scale you can look at the things, like Jonathan was saying; if you're really identified with nationalism, with your own country and how great it is and everything like that. In talking with people who maybe are outside of your country or maybe have a better perspective on things you can say, "Wait a minute! I'm really actually caught up in this. I'm not seeing the information that these other people are seeing." So working with others I think is a key to this.

Jonathan: For sure. I was looking through some of our notes. I wonder if it might help us to take a second and look at the idea of petty tyrants. We're talking about methods of how to stay sane in an insane world, how to change yourself, how to be able to deal with trauma. There are a lot of different methods that go into that and there are a lot of ways to address those kinds of situations. We've talked about community, self-observation, connection, compassion, empathy. There's also another aspect of this which is a little bit masochistic, I guess you might put it that way, but not in a pathological sense.

Our listeners may or may not be familiar with the work of Carlos Castaneda and the character in his books called Don Juan Matus. One of the ideas that he presents in these books is the idea of a petty tyrant. There are different levels of petty tyrants. I won't get into a lot of detail about that but essentially the idea is that a petty tyrant is someone who is a tyrant towards you in some way, an oppressor, a bully, an abuser, something like that, that you then take that abuse and utilize it to your own self-growth. So instead of actually denying that, you actually take it in and utilize it to your advantage. In the Castaneda books Don Juan says that everybody must have a petty tyrant and if you lose one then you have to find another one, which is kind of an intimidating idea.

Doug, you were talking about the macro scale. In our society today we could consider this psychopathic control system that we have over us as our petty tyrant. So the idea being to take the abuse that's dished out towards us and instead of saying, "I'm so enslaved", "I'm this" or "I'm that" or "I'm being abused or taken advantage of", which may be true, but when you get to a point where you're able to process that, keep your head on straight and approach it from a different perspective then you can say, "I can use this oppression as a way to hone the control that I have over my egoistic reactions, my emotional reactions, my base opinions that may get in the way of a rational approach to life. I can actually take that abuse and have it make me stronger." I guess trial by fire is a simple way to put it. I wonder if you guys have had any experiences with petty tyrants where you were able to take that experience and use it to your advantage.

Erica: I have.

Jonathan: Okay, anything that we're comfortable talking about.

Erica: I had an eensie weensie petty tyrant. Children can be really good at that. {Laughter}

Doug: Oh yeah.

Erica: Learning like you said Jonathan, to be stronger. I just talk about dealing with children who tend to be very clear and observational and say things sometimes that you don't want to hear. I found dealing with teenagers can really unnerve you and it really build character, I guess would be a definition I'd use to not fall into the dynamic of arguing and trying to assert your sense of self but just letting it percolate into your mind because with young children and even teenagers and young adults, the filter isn't as strong as when we get older so things just come out. It's a big learning experience and what I practiced was just letting the information come and sitting with it, not trying to say, "No, no, I didn't do that!" or "I did this!" But just sitting with it and ruminating about it and then realizing yes, as much as I don't want to hear what this child has to say to me right now, it's pretty much spot on. {Laughter} It's hard to swallow especially when you're supposed to be the "adult". I think there's a lot to be learned from that and it's painful. It really is. So that's my little eensie weenie petty tyrant.

Doug: I think what petty tyrants are really good for is showing us our own self-importance and how caught up we are in our own self-narratives. If you think of yourself as a take charge kind of person and then in a certain situation the petty tyrant is obviously the one in charge, I guess petty tyrants are really good at pressing our buttons. And from that perspective you can get a better look at what your buttons actually are. How is this person manipulating me? Why am I so triggered by this person? What is it about them that makes me react in this way? So in a lot of ways it's a great tool for self-observation, self-work, to really see yourself and see how you're reacting to these different situations.

Elliot: Yeah definitely. I find that especially working with or encountering moderate petty tyrants who tend to have some level of authority and tend to trigger a parental sort of father/son relationship program, I'm not sure whether due to some trauma or something like that from childhood, but yeah, it's very difficult to fight against the tendency of being very submissive to this authority figure. And I think that that is something that I tend to do quite a lot. So it's very interesting to simply observe this tendency and try not to give in to it. It's very difficult at the same time and you don't often get to see the aspects of yourself if you are not in situations where you are subjected to a petty tyrant.

Jonathan: I have a couple of quotes here from Castaneda. I want to make clear for any of our listeners who might be really familiar with the history of Carlos Castaneda and how he turned out later in life, that we're kind of taking pearls from the swine here. The Castaneda series of books is quite good. There's a lot of very good information in there. Castaneda himself turned out to be a very questionable character later in life and so it's like do you listen, do you not listen, or do you go and pick out the truth from what he wrote and stay vigilant?

So I just wanted to point that out because I could imagine somebody being like, "Well they're citing Castaneda so I'm going to write that off". But please don't. So in a couple of these quotes about petty tyrants that I thought were pretty good, Don Juan says:
A petty tyrant is a tormentor, someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction. Nothing can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power.
How much does that sound like where we are right now? So he says:
Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to stand the pressure of the unknowable. The perfect ingredient for the making of a superb seer is a petty tyrant with unlimited prerogatives. Seers have to go to extremes to find a worthy one. Most of the time, they have to be satisfied with a very small fry. Then warriors develop a strategy used in the four attributes of warriorship - control, discipline, forbearance and timing.
The idea of using petty tyrants is not only for perfecting the warrior's spirit but also for enjoyment and happiness. Even the worst tyrants can bring delight provided of course that one is a warrior. The mistake average men make in confronting petty tyrants is not to have a strategy to fall back on. The fatal flaw is that average men take themselves too seriously, their actions and feelings as well as those of petty tyrants are all important.
So just to repeat that;The fatal flaw is that average men take themselves too seriously. Warriors, on the other hand, not only have a well thought out strategy but are free from self-importance. What restrains their self-importance is that they have understood that reality is an interpretation that we make. Petty tyrants take themselves with deadly seriousness while warriors do not but what usually exhausts us is the wear and tear on our self-importance. Any man who has an iota of pride is ripped apart by being made to feel worthless.

I thought that was really interesting, that using control, discipline, forbearance, timing and having a handle on your self-importance and not having all of your emotions and opinions and feelings being the most important thing in your mind, but instead having a strategy with how to approach, as we've been saying, an insane world or traumatic situations, you can consider those situations as your petty tyrant. So as Doug said, you can use that to learn about your self-importance and learn from the suffering. Suffering is a necessary part of life. I think if we went without suffering in this world that we're in, we would never learn necessarily. Suffering is what makes us learn.

Well I guess we are getting close to the end of our time here. We have a pet health segment from Zoya today that sounds pretty interesting. It is about pet mysteries with some paranormal aspects so I'm really curious about what she has to share with us today. So let's go to Zoya and then when we come back I have a recipe that's kind of a rerun. I want to do the chicken broth out of Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions because we're entering in the cold and flu season. So if anybody hasn't heard that yet stay tuned. We'll do that after this.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the pet health segment of the Health and Wellness Show. My name is Zoya and today I'm going to talk about something mysterious. The other day I read an interesting article that talked about a new survey of more than 2,000 pet owners in the UK conducted by animal charity Blue Cross that said that more than 30% of people believe their pets protect them from ghosts and spirits.

Many pet owners reported that their dogs and cats alert them to a supernatural presence by barking, growling, or staring at nothing or by backing away from something that cannot be seen. Some respondents said their pet also displays flared neck fur when a spirit is nearby. Among all dog owners, around 25% said that they had seen their 4-legged friends bark or stare at nothing at least three times during the past month. Around 25% of cat owners said they saw their feline hissing or growling at an empty space twice over the past four weeks while other respondents said that they have seen their cat follow the invisible presence around the room with their eyes. Some respondents also reported seeing their pets behave oddly around areas where someone has died.

But a pet's abilities may stretch further than sending off heinous spirits. They may also have psychic abilities. According to the survey results, many pet owners believe their animals can sense when a family member is heading home or when they're about to leave the house, as was described in the research by Rupert Sheldrake for example. One of the previous pet health segments was dedicated specifically to this topic. Others said their pets know when it is time for dinner while some said their animals can sense when a storm is on the horizon.

Veterinarians say that pets can soon learn subtle changes in our behaviour, in the environment that alert them to something we are about to do or changes to the atmosphere, like a storm brewing. They are quick to learn a routine so they know when the owners are due home, when it's dinner time and when you are about to go out without them. But it's quite obvious, as was indicated by Sheldrake's research, that learning routine isn't all there is to it. What is more, around 75% of pet owners believe their animals can predict illness, with one dog owner reporting that his canine friend alerted him to a kidney infection by placing a ball on his stomach.

Such a belief however is not so farfetched with numerous studies hailing the medical detection abilities of dogs. Last year for example, a study talked about two highly trained dogs that were able to detect prostate cancer in urine samples with 98% accuracy which has been attributed to their acute sense of smell. Dogs and cats were the most psychic of the ghostly experiences that were reported in the survey, followed by rabbits, guinea pigs and horses.

Overall it seems that pets are more than just cute and cuddly. They may also have supernatural abilities that may protect us and our families or at least show that something is out there, something to keep in mind next time your furry companions hisses or barks at an empty space.
Speaking of barking or hissing at an invisible something, there are many mysterious and downright creepy examples in paranormal literature that talk about dogs exhibiting strange behaviour when faced with the unexplained. For example in his book Missing 411, David Paulides talks about how dogs play a major role in many of the disappearances. Sometimes the dogs disappear with the victim and are found later with the person. Other times dogs disappear and return home with the person. Sometimes dogs disappear and are never found.

Also bloodhound canines can track scent. The dogs that are given the person's scent, via a worn shoe or shirt for example during the search and rescue operation, then they were brought to the location where the person was last seen but they either refused to track or could not pick up a scent. This behaviour happened too many times to ignore though it's not understood why it occurs.

John Keel, an investigator extraordinaire of the UFO and paranormal phenomena, talked about countless cases such as the one in New Jersey where pet dogs and cats in the 1970s were disappearing in large numbers. One area in Connecticut lost 700 dogs in a brief six month period. He writes that owners all over the northeast were holding meetings and demanding government action. The popular theory was that organized gangs were stealing animals to sell to sinister laboratories for use in grisly tests and experiments. Investigators found however that such labs, were few and they were able to get all the animals they needed free from pounds and other legal sources.

Something has always been slaughtering dogs, cats, horses and cows as Keel says. The slaughter is senseless and very mysterious. These things are happening in every country on earth. But sometimes animals like dogs weren't the victims but they were suspected of being monstrous beasts themselves. According to Keel, huge dogs and cats of unknown origin have appeared and reappeared frequently all over the world, spreading terror and nurturing superstition in their wake.

There are numerous documented accounts of these apparitions in medieval histories but such events continue to persist to this day. England has suffered periodic outbreaks of these monsters but so have the civilized, sophisticated climes of Connecticut and Michigan. In many of these incidents the creatures somehow materialized during violent thunderstorms.

There is another kind of phantom cat also which occasionally appears and disappears suddenly, even in heavily populated areas. This one is huge in size, resembling somewhat a little black panther. It has turned up in many places where panthers were and are unknown, for example in England which is considered to be pantherless, has had a number of sightings of this beast over the years.

There are countless other examples of mysterious animals and beasts of all shades and sizes and levels of creepiness and there is a very high chance that your pet can see them. Please understand I'm not saying it to scare you but it does make me wonder about old superstitions like, for example, when moving into a new home always let the cat enter first for good luck. Or for example in 16th century Italy, people believed that if a black cat lay on the bed of a sick man he would die; however they also believed that a cat will not remain in a house where someone is about to die. If the family cat refuses to stay indoors this was a bad omen.

Well this is it for today. I hope you found the information interesting. Have a nice day and good-bye. {The bleating goats and laughter}

Doug: It's such a spooky topic that we're going to have those goats going at the end!

Jonathan: Well that was cool. I can definitely say I've had a similar experience with my cat watching something invisible moving around the room and it's kind of creepy. That was fascinating. Thanks Zoya.

We are approaching the end of our time here, so time to wrap up with a recipe. We have done this one before, but it was a while back so I figured it would be good to revisit because winter is coming. For some people, including myself, it's already here. So begins the cold and flu season. So I'm going to do chicken stock. This is out of, Nourishing Traditions which is a book by Sally Fallon that we have referenced quite a few times. It's a great book. It's huge. There's a lot of stuff in here. I haven't read through the whole thing. Honestly I'm not even sure if I could. There's a really good index and it's been extremely useful for referencing a lot of things. So it's a cookbook and a reference book.

I'll just read you a little excerpt here. Sally Fallon says:
Why is chicken soup superior to all the things we have, even more relaxing than Tylenol? It is because chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. This inner lining is the beginning or ending of the nervous system. It is easily pulled away from the intestines from too many laxatives, too many food additives and parasites. Chicken soup heals the nerves, improves digestion, reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength.
Actually I'm sorry. That was a quote from a different book. It's in this book but it's a quote from, Ageless Remedies from Mother's Kitchen by Hanna Kroeger.

So the ingredients are 1 whole free range chicken or 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings.
So when you do this, don't ignore the gizzards. They usually come inside the chicken in a little plastic bag. I don't know how they come elsewhere but for us we get this chicken that's from an Amish farm called Gerber's and it's hormone and antibiotic free and the gizzards come in a little plastic bag in the cavity. So take those out and make sure you include them in the recipe because there are a lot of nutrients in them.

Also the feet can be used. That might be kind of a turn off for some people, but if you have chicken feet, put them in there. They contain a lot of gelatine and other things which I'm not readily remembering, but I know gelatine. Also four quarts of cold, filtered water; two tablespoons of vinegar; one large onion coarsely chopped; two carrots peeled and coarsely chopped; three celery sticks coarsely chopped and one punch of parsley.

In the description she says, "If you're using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. By all means use chicken feet if you can find them. They are filled with gelatine. Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet to be the secret to a successful broth. Even better us a whole chicken with the head on. These may be found in oriental markets. Farm raised, free range chickens give the best results. Any battery raised chickens will not produce the stock that gels.

Cut chicken parts into several pieces. If you're using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces. Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except the parsley. Let stand for 30 minutes to one hour then bring to a boil and remove the scum that rises to the top. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for anywhere from six to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavourful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock add the parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.

Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you're using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses; such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. The skin and smaller bones which will be very soft may be given to your dog or cat. Now personally I disagree with that, although it says it here: "The generally thinking is giving raw chicken bones to your animals is the best way to go." However if they have been boiled perhaps that's different. I don't know if you guys can speak to that. I can imagine that boiling them would make them much softer.

And then it says strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer. Again, I would say use the fat. If you're going to skim it off, keep it for some other use, otherwise just mix it back in. Every time I make chicken stock that's what I do; take it out, warm it up and make sure to mix the fat back in with the stock. And it's really handy for a lot of different things.

You can also spice it up with a lot of different spices. Sometimes a little pinch of cumin and coriander works really nice in there. Also clove and cinnamon, but in very small amounts, makes a nice wintry broth.

So that is chicken stock. I don't know if you guys made any of that recently.

Doug: I make it all the time. Good stuff.

Jonathan: I just made some yesterday and I did sort of a Caesar soup chicken stock mixture, so I added butter and coconut milk and then mixed that up with some other vegetables and the chicken meat and it came out really good. Alright, that's our show for today. I would like to thank our listeners and our chat participants and a big thank you to our caller Andrew. We don't get callers very much so we really appreciate that when people call in. Be sure to tune in to the other two shows on the SOTT Radio Network - the Truth Perspective tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern and Behind the Headlines at 2:00 p.m. eastern. They're always very good shows so check those out and we will be back next Friday with a new topic.
I had mentioned last week that we were going to cover iodine this week, which obviously we did not do. We're waiting on a guest and so we're trying to figure out right now when a good time will be, so we will keep you tuned on that and let you know when that show is going to be coming up. So thanks again everybody and see you next week.

All: Good-byes.