The Hierarchical Principle

In 2012 AD, as it is plain to see, we live in a world built on the principle of hierarchy. Yet precisely because civilization, according to the record of consensus mainstream history, is based upon hierarchical organisation in most social, religious and political matters, it becomes a self-evident phenomena which is not scrutinized as much as it should be. Its method of operation does not only dominate the physical world, but it has also been internalized by our minds and even structures our very patterns of thought. Many consider the hierarchical mode of organisation to be a constant and a given in all natural and human relations – this goes so far as it being considered the only option. Within the constructed mainstream consensus, alternatives are unthinkable and those who utter such ideas are deemed to be dreamers or fools.

I consider it is the most fundamental and most relevant unchallenged assumptions of these times, which is the reason why its effects on the planet as well as individual and collective human consciousness are rarely discussed. We tend to see its various incarnations within the different hierarchies of religious organisations, bureaucratic structures and companies, yet we usually fail to see the concept of hierarchy as their common denominator – it is hidden in plain sight.

I feel that it is necessary to recognise the prevalence and analyse the inner workings as well as outside effects of the hierarchical principle in order to understand the world today. This article shall contribute to this understanding and provoke further discussion.


 

The Purpose of Hierarchy

What is the purpose of hierarchy? A hierarchical structure is generally established to serve the interests of the highest entity within the hierarchy. [1] While the “servants” are often made to believe that they act in the interest of a higher principle such as freedom or the will of God, this entity is most often simply comprised of a single individual or a group of people. One purpose of the hierarchical structure is the protection of the superiors from all forms of harm, which ensures the perpetuation and continued operation of the structure. Its second purpose is the expansion of control of the hierarchical structure in both intensity and scope. The subordinates are expected to work towards these goals. This can be exemplified through the employees of a company, which will be expected to protect its public image and its managers as well as to increase its financial assets. It should be noted that even within this relatively simple structure, disregarding the wider economic system, we are often led to believe that the managerial caste represents the highest entities, yet they are merely executing the will of the shareholders which usually remain in obscurity.

Control and Dependency – A Vicious Cycle

A hierarchy allows the superiors to exert control over those below. Just as employees submit to the orders of their managers, citizens submit to the laws and the executive forces of their country such as police, while patients submit to the medical treatment of the medical establishment represented by their doctors. [2] Furthermore, the subordinates willingly become dependent on their masters – an employee is to rely on the employer’s payments for the provision of his livelihood, a citizen becomes dependent on the state for protection against bodily harm and injustice, a patient becomes dependent on the doctor’s expertise. All of these agreements constitute a transferral of responsibility from the personal to the collective – important powers, skills and expertise become centralised within certain institutions and elite groups. Employees are encouraged to become highly specialised in order to maximize their profitability and thus loose time and energy to develop other skills. Citizens are encouraged to rely on police and rescue services, thus loosing the ability to defend and help themselves as well as others. Patients are encouraged to rely on the judgement of the doctor and do therefore not listen to their own bodies or independently build up medical knowledge. You can substitute these examples for any master-servant relationship as they are re-created in all hierarchical structures. The profound implications of people becoming physically, mentally and spiritually dependent on centralised, hierarchical structures was summarised by the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville as he wrote on Democracy in America in 1840: “It is in vain to summon a people who have been rendered so dependent on the central power to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity.” [3]

As dependency on these centralised entities increases, the ability and readiness to withdraw and re-take responsibility decreases. The hierarchical structure recognises the servant’s dilemma and further tightens its grip on them, opening up myriad possibilities for violating the initial agreement and abusing the subordinates: Employees are treated badly and are expected to work overtime, executive forces violate citizen’s rights, doctors administer unnecessary or harmful drugs in the pursuit of personal profit.

The Ideology of Hierarchy

An important method to increase the dependency on the hierarchical structure is to make the servants believe in a number of myths. The infiltration of the mind by the hierarchical principle is paramount to its perpetuation – through a constant strengthening of the dependency, the servants shall believe that they would ultimately hurt their own interests by severing the master-servant relationship. The hierarchical structure wants to spread the myth that the control of one human over another is anchored in ancient tradition and therefore part of the natural order. Ideally, alternatives shall become unthinkable and its dominance of human affairs shall be accepted as the way things are “supposed” to be. The ideology of dominance does indeed have historic roots, reaching back at least as far as the time of the Egyptian priests of the Pharaoh Akenathon. [4] The goal of these masters is to confuse their servants in order to ensure that they remain pre-occupied with trivialities such as entertainment and immerse themselves in the artificially constructed conflict of various ideologies (religious, political or otherwise). People fighting each other and thus falling for the age-old “divide and conquer” strategy have no time to reflect upon the unspoken assumptions of the system they live in. Most importantly, they have no time to realise that they share a common interest in abandoning dominance-submission relationships in human affairs altogether. This principle of the “good shepherd” has been exercised by an elite caste within both the religious and the political sphere. A more recent incarnation of this caste within the political game can be found in the crowd psychologists of the 20th century [5] just like the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays, who proclaimed on the very first page of his book Propaganda: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. […] we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”[6] He goes on to rationalise why this invisible government has the duty to limit and essentially control the voter’s choices, assuming that the exercise of self-responsibility by the people would result in chaos. Of course, the millennia of entrainment and acculturation to this modus operandi – which indeed make it difficult for the modern ‘civilised’ human to act self-responsibly – are not considered.

Rebellion or Submission? Understanding the game.

The historian Barbara W. Tuchman writes in her historic biography “A Distant Mirror” about spirituality outside of the Catholic Church in the 14th century: “Voluntary self-directed religion was more dangerous to the church than any number of infidels.” [7] This emphasises that a hierarchical structure such as the Catholic Church may well be able to ensure compliance within its own ranks, and it may even be able to control an organised opposition through various means. As long as the people are organised in power blocs, they can be easily manipulated and their actions may be predicted. However, the greatest danger to any hierarchical structure arises if the formerly submissive servant or fervent rebel starts to look within oneself for direction, rather than deriving his ideology and action from the hierarchical structure, whether he stands in submission or rebellion to it. Thus Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of Non-violent Communication, makes perfect sense when he says: “Never give them the power to make you submit or rebel.” The game of roulette may serve as an analogy: It is not a question of whether you bet on red or black – it is a matter of understanding that the green field always ensures the eventual outcome to be in favour of the house. It is not about choosing sides, but about being perceptive enough to recognise that the game is rigged and thus refusing to play along.

The Myths of Democracy

Of course the sphere of party politics is one of the major sources of distraction for the public, successfully applying the aforementioned divide and conquer strategy. While people continue to fight each other over political ideology, they fail to see the obvious: While the eagle has a left(-)wing and a right(-)wing, it only has a single head. In Bernays’ terms, the eagle’s head represents the invisible government which successfully controls the public mind. The importance of symbolism within our society is ignored by most. Confucius says: “Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws.” Notwithstanding, it is plain for anyone to see that just as companies and bureaucracies are organised as hierarchical structures, so are the governing bodies of schools, religious institutions, the media, the military, fraternal organisations and most other organisations. Those who have the power are not elected, while those elected simply have nothing to say. Even if there was a relevant difference between political parties, it would not be able to bring about fundamental change. In 2012, this is exemplified by the financial crisis – no matter what kind of government, it openly admits that its actions to be directed towards appeasing an obscure market of investors, which have certainly never been publicly elected. A lot more could be said on this, but the most relevant point is to recognise that the modern democratic structure is equally built on hierarchical principles. Furthermore, the democratic process of opinion formation is based on the publicised opinion of the hierarchically organised as well as highly centralised media. It is thus never neutral nor representing any type of informed public opinion. Therefore, unless actual (rather than astro-turfed [8]) grass-roots organisations and the public at large does indeed discuss and influence decisions, it is a travesty to ask for “the democratic process” to come up with a solution – if its participants are merely an elite caste of politicians, opinion-makers and hand-picked experts.

The Pinnacle of Hierarchy – Hidden and Secret

Secrecy is an element crucial to the functioning of any hierarchical structure. Governments have state secrets and companies have business secrets. It can be argued to what extent doctors deal in secrets, but by having studied medicine they certainly possess knowledge unknown to most. Hierarchical structures have a competitive advantage over those not privy to their secrets, as those who know more can easily deceive and manipulate others – knowledge is power after all. Servants are thus instructed to keep and protect the secrets of the structure they are subordinate to. Within the reasoning of hierarchical structures, the most highly guarded secrets are its own methods of maintaining and expanding power: how it remains protected from harm and how it manipulates people into wilful submission. The best protection for the hierarchical principle is never to be questioned as mentioned above. However, as the flaming desire to understand and thus ask questions seems to be an inextinguishable human trait, it needs to come up with various ways to protect its interests. These include the aforementioned distraction games of a “bread and games” kind and locking you into a submissive/rebellious state, or using the problem-reaction-solution dialectic and making promises as will be elaborated on further below – all of which can be facilitated by the use of hidden structures. Within this discourse, it is helpful to remind oneself of Goethe’s words: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe to be free.” [9] Following the age-old tradition, occult (meaning hidden) knowledge about manipulation is exercised by and within secretive and occult societies.

These are able to successfully guard their secrets while also shrouding their existence in mystery, and thus constitute the pinnacle of successful hierarchical structures. Until today, they successfully managed that the public remains ignorant if not of their very existence, then at least about their power and ambitions as well as their intricate layering, ensuring that even members are informed on a need-to-know basis or even purposefully misled. [10] Therefore it might well be argued that within a compartmentalized pyramid of nested hierarchical structures, they should be located above the more obvious and transparent entities of governments and companies. The membership within a society such as the Freemasons is not publicly disclosed. This puts them at a distinct advantage as members may occupy offices in both companies and the governmental regulative bodies which are supposed to watch them – thus becoming only accountable to themselves and their interests. They may also occupy leading positions within different political parties or even the belligerents of armed struggle – making it easy to control the eventual outcome. An official occurrence of an effective shadow government was Italy’s masonic lodge “Propaganda Due” in the 1970’s. Leaders in politics, intelligence agencies, business and media conspired to further their own interests. This nation-wide corruption became public and was officially purged. Considering that former lodge member Berlusconi dominated Italian politics for many years, this may well be called into question. [11] As complex and expansive as the topic is, Britain’s first Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli put it bluntly: “The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other government, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments’ plans.”. Forthcoming publications by network scientist Albert-Laszló Barabási show which power centers need to be commanded in order to control an entire system. Heavily centralised organisations are easier to control, his research showing that transnational organisations are especially vulnerable. [12] The rabbit hole is deeper than you think. One way to attain greater understanding about the details of hidden hierarchical organisation is to cautiously extrapolate from well-sourced incidents and conduct independent research.

The Promises of Hierarchy

Nobody would submit to hierarchies if they wouldn’t promise something which is desired. Companies promise material well-being, governments promise protection, the medical establishment promises health. A promise becomes necessary because the service provided is to be delivered in the future. Those who submit to the hierarchy – whether employees, citizens, patients… usually need to fulfil their part of the deal up front. This means submitting to perform a certain work, obeying the laws, paying money and undergoing treatment. However, there can never be a guarantee – either because the other party is unwilling or unable to keep the promise. Companies can cut back on payroll expenses or go bankrupt, governments can de-prioritise its citizen’s protection or simply withdraw it from political dissidents, the medical establishment may see a cure to be unprofitable or a disease to be untreatable. Still, it is of vital importance to the continued existence of hierarchy that you remain in submission and accept a new promise – even if the last one wasn’t kept. Persistence has its virtue, but being persistent in making agreements which ultimately damage you is neither virtuous nor intelligent. Making consecutive agreements may constitute a ladder of engagement – once we start, it’s hard not to involve oneself further and break the habit. [13] Who doesn’t hope for a better future? Hoping, instead of working for a better future, is mankind’s favourite escape after all. It takes quite a lot of frustration or a revelatory event to realise that although we want to believe that these hierarchical structures can ensure us a better life and have our best interests at heart – their track record and everyday observable actions betrays that they probably don’t. I am astonished by the degree of cognitive dissonance [14] many people are willing to bear only to remain inconspicuous and conform to norms which remain unquestioned. This excessive tendency to conform to social norms at the expense of self-expression is recognised as normopathy. [15]

In exchange for your collaboration, the hierarchical structure usually promises material comfort, intellectual gain or spiritual advancement. It promises to give you all the things – among them respect, power, recognition and even love – you have been systematically deprived of since birth. [16] The German author Marianne Gronemeyer [17] gives a list of common promises: saving of time, security, comfort and recognition. These are the basic needs the power (the hierarchical structures) promises to fulfil which lure us into wilful submission. She warns us about fundamental mistakes in thought through which we fool ourselves into believing that we are to benefit from an ever tighter relationship with the hierarchical principle, rather than withdrawing from it: We mistake being trapped inside a tight web of regulations as taking part in the system. We mistake being functionalised – being a cog in the machine – as having part in the system’s power. We mistake the cession of responsibility – and thus decision-making power – as load being taken off. We mistake the over-regulation of our lives as an increase in security. In Gronemeyer’s terms, instead of becoming claustrophobic, we feel cosy and arrange ourselves with the ever-increasing restrictions of our actionability.

The Pathology of Hierarchy

As the hierarchical structure continues to maximize its options by limiting those of its servants – how can any reasonable, informed human ever be interested in entering such a relationship? In line with the definition or normopathy above, it seems that those who are unwilling or unable to listen to their inner selves are especially susceptible to become the champions of hierarchical structures. The work by Joel Bakan [18] has shown how the best and most prominent servants of hierarchies today – chief executives of large corporations – have sociopathic traits. Just like the corporations they represent, many CEOs lack the social skills of empathy and compassion. It thus logically follows that the degree to which you can be selfish, inconsiderate and unscrupulous determines your suitability and success within the hierarchy. A lack of self-control, inner order and self-given purpose is compensated through the manic attempts at controlling the outer world – often resulting in tyranny and destruction. Instead of creating and empowering oneself through the recognition of one’s inner purpose, one submits to the outer order of the hierarchical principle and becomes its embodiment, a crazed emissary hell-bent on maintaining and expanding his control over the outside world. [19]

Gronemeyer gives the everyday example of a restaurant, where her requests for lower music volume (in spite of few guests) and a partial breakfast were denied by the waiter. He triumphantly explained that, being part of chain of system restaurants, the music volume and the breakfast being served as a whole only were ordained from above. The waiter’s inability to make self-responsible decision made him feel empowered and happy to function as a cog in the machine, protecting it from “interference”. Within the movie The Matrix, an allegory to the modern matrix of control, the character Morpheus states that “‎…many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” [20] The servants of hierarchy may develop a kind of Stockholm Syndrome – a psychological protection mechanism whereas traumatic bonding occurs in the face of overwhelming threat and abuse. [21] As Gronemeyer attests, the majority of ambitious people don’t want to get out, but rather integrate themselves and get deeper into the hierarchical principle. Instead of being afraid to be consumed, they are afraid to be spewn out. The maximisation of options becomes to be thinkable only within the centers of power – the top of hierarchical structures – rather than outside of them in the offside. This psychological dilemma can also be found in grass-roots movements, which often assume that only once they have come “to power” can effective change be brought about through the mechanisms of control. Rather, it should be realised that effective change can only come from within, to which one can empower oneself and be the change you want to see in the world”, as Ghandi is quoted saying. [22] Of course, the hierarchy does its part in demonizing everything outside of its reach (while also creating fake offsides in the form of controlled opposition as mentioned above) and instrumentalises that space as a means of disciplinary action to ensure mass loyalty and uphold the system morale. The insightful commentator and former priest Richard Thieme [23] offers his classification of masters, humplings and dredges with similarities to Huxley’s Alphas, Betas and Gammas. [24] Most people are humplings, hobbling within the tracks laid out for them by the masters, dreaming of becoming masters themselves. They are willing to hobble ever faster, afraid of ending up to be like one of those pityful dredges, which are themselves of course a social caste invented by their masters. You wouldn’t want to be one of this miserable jobless under-achievers, would you? So everybody wants to be well integrated – or possibly even worse – help all those under-privileged (whether they be women, immigrants, racial minorities, the sick or the useless) to integrate within this hierarchy we call society, without ever questioning what that exactly is, what it does or what it means. Everyone shall be modified until they conform to the norms, since everything that doesn’t conform (being sick, making mistakes, getting old, taking time…) is considered a lesser form of being. Every “No!” and all defiance is considered an irrational early form of a “Yes!”, a globalised agreement. [25]

The State – Illusion of Control and Hegelian Dialectic

The hierarchical structure of the state provides a good study case for understanding the mechanism of control. The citizens are led to believe that their interests are preserved by the modern democratic state. That belief is so fundamental that they allow the state to even exercise the monopoly of coercion. Its proper use shall be established through the separation of powers and various controlling institutions. Many continue to believe that an independent judiciary system ensures that the rule of law is upheld. Without deeper questioning of the purpose of law and the idea of positive law in particular, the impossibility of the modern state to serve the interests of its people can be shown on mere technical grounds. Whether they are official political parties or secret fraternal organisations, there are plenty interest groups which conspire in pursuit of expanding their power, obviously transcending any official separation of power within the state. While there is no reason to assume that the supervisory bodies remain untouched by political power play, it would still be impossible for them to successfully control the different elements of government due to Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety: “The larger the variety of actions available to a control system, the larger the variety of perturbations it is able to compensate.” [26] This means you are only able to completely control a system if you are able to have it controlled by a system that is at least equally variable. For a large and complex system such as a state, the only feasible method would thus be self-control. However, no incentive for self-control exists within the hierarchical principle upon which the modern state is based. It should not be forgotten that the primordial promise of the state is the protection of its citizens and upholding public order. While anthropologists and historians speculate about the reasons for the rise of hierarchically organised societies [27], the modern state needs to constantly re-affirm that it is required to ensure safety and order. The same reasoning also serves as an excuse to extend its control over its citizens in times of severe crisis and disorder. The Problem-Reaction-Solution framework is a Hegelian dialectic which can be observed by all hierarchical groups attempting to increase their power. [28] A problem or threat, whether real or artificially created, is instrumentalised to scare the public. The citizens are so scared and confused that they beg the establishment to save them from that threat at any cost. The establishment promises to protect its citizens through new regulations which increase the centralisation of power and the citizen’s dependence, while diminishing their rights at the same time. The attacks on the World Trade Center on the 11th September 2001 are a fitting example of this strategy. The attack on the towers provided an excellent opportunity for instigating mass panic and feelings of insecurity. The previously prepared PATRIOT Act was accepted by a scared public as it was promised that it would protect them in the future. Furthermore, it could be instrumentalised as an excuse to start the invasion campaign in the Middle East. It should be noted that many alternative theories about the 9/11 (which, incidentally, is the phone number of emergency services in the US) attacks are called conspiracy theories, the official theory espoused by the government assumes a conspiracy by terrorists. [29]

The Alliances of Hierarchy

The hierarchical principle has come to dominate the world through suppression and corruption. Marianne Gronemeyer likens four primary pillars of modern society to the four riders of the apocalypse. Their claim to power and interlocked relationships allows them to constitute monopolies in their respective spheres while dominating society as a whole.

The bureaucracy, charged with keeping order in society, claims the world regulation monopoly, ensuring conformity through the ideal of mechanistic functionality, calling “Thou shalt not disturb!”. The natural sciences, charged with researching nature, claims the world interpretation monopoly through manufactured consensus, calling “Thou shalt be within my spirit and trust my conclusiveness!”. The economy, charged with managing the stock, claims the world distribution monopoly through the ideal of competition, calling “Thou shalt desire to defeat your next!”. The technology, charged with facilitating productivity, claims the world design monopoly through consumability and consumption, calling “Thou shalt let machines work in your stead – let yourself be served and taken care of!”

The interlocking of the natural sciences and technology combine the desire to control with the means to achieve it. The addition of economy allows for profitability through commodification of the world. The annexation of bureaucracy enables the construction of “irresistible inherent necessities”, making resistance to their combined superpower seem impossible and foolish. Their combination knits a web so tight that their monopolistic demands turn into dictates with the desire to enforce their claims for world domination, obliterating and assimilating everything that stands in their path. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”, command the riders of the Apocalypse. One should consider that the merger of government and business control is the essential element of facism. [30] A perceptive eye will recognise the prevalence of fasce symbolism from the Roman Empire to the United States and see that, due to the nature of the hierarchical principle, the unholy alliance of government and economy has always existed while feigning independence from one another. Yet the public remains so inattentive that even when the same corporations sponsors the electoral campaigns of both candidates, they continue to naively believe that their vote has any weight. [31] Perhaps one should heed the engraved words of one who must have been quite apt at the game of power and control, the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial states: “They (who) seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers… call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.” He was possibly talking about the Nazis and their assumed desire for world conquest. The first FBI director Edgar J. Hoover spoke of communism when he said: “The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” Once we understand that these apparently different systems of government were all founded on the hierarchical principle just as our world is today, we are able to draw parallels and recognise that while the names have changed, we essentially live in the same system hell-bent on dominating mankind. I personally believe that the time of apocalypse, the “coming down of the masks”, is indeed dawning on us. No matter how ugly the real face of the gods we worship, to those who have eyes to see, it shall be revealed. Some may be rather shocked.

The Lock and Key of Hierarchy – The Human Mind

Given what we understand about Ashby’s Law, that a complex entity can only be completely controlled by another entity of equal or greater complexity – how can hierarchical organisations successfully control humans to such a great extent? Manly Palmer Hall, one of the greatest scholars of the occult living in the 20th century, elaborates: “To repress rebellion is to maintain the status quo, a condition which binds the mortal creature in a state of intellectual or physical slavery. But it is impossible to chain man merely by slaving his body; the mind also must be held, and to accomplish this, fear is the accepted weapon. The common man must fear life, fear death, fear God, fear the Devil, and fear most the overlords, the keepers of his destiny.” [32]We have discussed different methods by which the public shall remain confused and ignorant to prevent such a revolution not of superficial change, but of organising principle. The transcendentialist Henry David Thoreau, incidentally talking about slavery, makes this keen observation: “It is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself. […] See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.” [33]

Could it be that the mechanism of control employed by the hierarchical principle is more ingenious than we would assume, yet infinitely more fragile once we dare to confront it with an inquiring mind? We have given away our responsibility of thinking, feeling and acting for ourselves in exchange for the promise of protection from all our fears – a promise that is broken every day and which could never be held in the first place. We allowed the hierarchical principle to infiltrate our mind, so that we willingly submit to any master put before us, who proclaims he may save us from our fears. But could it be that for the hierarchical principle to survive, it has to outsource the actual control mechanism to each human individually? Have we not developed a schizophrenic personality, are we not our own slaves and our own slave-drivers at the same time? It is said that “You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink.” Who would drink out of a poisoned fountain that brings slow and painful death, however addictive the taste may be? It becomes time to realise that only we ourselves can overcome our fears – through dealing with them and facing first and foremost our own shadows – however uncomfortable that may be. The psychologist C.G. Jung must have spoken out of experience when he attested that: “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to stop from facing their souls.” Yet, facing ourselves means facing our fears, and it may well be the only thing which can put a definite end to our bondage and free us to experience the endless possibilities of life, unencumbered by any who claim to hold the truth. “I maintain that Truth is a pathless land […]”, says the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. [34] To embark on a journey where we each have to walk alone and where all the beaten paths curl up to circles, takes the courage to forfeit the soothing yet empty promises of any and all which claim to be able to take away your fear and enable you a cosy life. It is a courage so great it must spring from a flaming desire to understand the meaning of existence itself. It is no small feat to admit to one’s own ignorance and cowardice in order to humbly face the challenge which is the journey into one’s soul, dealing with and accepting one’s innermost fears. The fictitious Bene Gesserit order offers this litany: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” [35] The abandonment of fear indeed seems to equal the state of freedom, as The Buddha is quoted saying: “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.” It is thus your individual choice whether you live to remain in a golden cage at the whim of the masters of your choice, or whether you withdraw your consent, reject all help and experience the freedom of a life that you truly lead yourself. Your own mind is both lock and key indeed.

It is time to understand the underlying patterns which structure our own minds and consequently determine the society we create. It is not the structure of society which we try to protect when we claim that the abhorrent instances of exploitation, abuse, corruption, torture and brutality are isolated incidents – we attempt to protect our own minds by refraining from facing our shattered selves. If we are to admit that the very foundation on which our society is built – the hierarchical principle – is at the root of this great misery and that the impulses which breed these atrocities are emergent properties of this system, then we can no longer afford to look away. Society is but a mirror of man. It is the tyranny within that we have to come to terms with. The inner mind is the place where the war is thought and fought – the outer world merely reflects its outcome. Once we decide to take responsibility for our inner disorder and allow our inner slave and master to reconcile and re-emerge as a self-directed consciousness, then there shall be no more need nor desire for any man to dominate another. That is the world I strive to create, within and without.

For more information as well as workshops on these interrelated topics, please contact me.

Notes:

 [1] This article is heavily inspired by the work of Michael Tsarion, an alternative historian and scholar of the occult as well as the dimensions of psychology and consciousness. I highly recommend to visit his website and take a look at his numerous contributions throughout the web and YouTube. For a light start, I recommend his documentary Architects of Control.

 [2] The reports on the experiments by Stanley Milgram popularised the notion that obedience to authority to the point of inflicting pain on a third party is usual. However, a closer look reveals that situation and setting effect compliance considerably. Furthermore, most of those complying were suffering as well, suggesting empathy and consideration. However, Milgram’s notion of an authority-executor-victim triangle whereas the executor justified gruesome actions through calling upon a higher authority (economy, security, order etc.) may indeed apply.

 [3] Quote by Alexis de Tocqueville, De la démocratie en Amerique (1835/1840). I found his book on the French Revolution, L’Ancien Régime et la Révolution (1856), quite illuminating as it shows that the revolution was primarily a well orchestrated business rather than an uprising for human rights. His works are available at Project Gutenberg.

 [4] See Michael Tsarion’s interview on Akenathon and the Cult of Aton. The philosopher Armin Risi proposes that Akenathon sought to further theistic spirituality among his people. Tsarion views Akenathon as a tyrant, Risi sees him as an early harbinger of higher spiritual insight.

 [5] The excellent documentary the Century of the Self by Adam Curtis illuminates the ideology and history of mass psychology. I consider this caste to be one of the more recent incarnations of those who work to manipulate and deceive in order to facilitate control of the masses.

 [6] Quote from Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928).

 [7] Quote from Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror (1978). This book took me some time to read, but the biographical nature and the detailed accounts make it quite enjoyable. A historical distance allows us to see the events more clearly, while a critical mind will be able to draw many parallels to the world today.

 [8] Astro-turfing describes the attempt to construct an appearantly grass-roots neutral organisation which serves a particular agenda. A common ploy with parallels to False Flag Operations and  COINTELPRO.

  [9] Quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities (1809). Interestingly, it is possible that Goethe uncovered a plot by fraternal organisations to assassinate Friedrich Schiller, an information he encoded in his work. Philosopher and occult scholar Armin Risi elaborates here (in German).

 [10] This is exemplified by a quote from Freemason Albert Pike, as he writes in Morals and Dogma (1871) : “The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry. […] Masonry is the veritable Sphinx, buried to the head in the sands heaped round it by the ages.”

 [11] Wikipedia entry on Propaganda Due including Silvio Berlusconi‘s receipt of membership.

 [12] See Albert-Laszló Barabási‘s website and the presentation he gave at the Heinz von Förster Summit in 2011.

 [13] For more information on the ladder of engagement, manipulation techniques and wilful submission, I recommend Petit traité de manipulation à l’usage des honnêtes gens (2002) written by Robert-Vincent Joule and Jean-Léon Beauvois (in French).

 [14] Cognitive Dissonance essentially describes the physical discomfort we experience by holding two conflicting ideas in our mind or when our thoughts and actions or experiences do not align. This makes us ignore or resolve the issue as quickly as possible, without closely considering both possibilities. To understand human behaviour, it is essential to recognise this important phenomenon in oneself and others as it occurs. One possible scenario is denial, as experienced by some when exposed to alternative information about the 9/11 incidents [29].

 [15] See Joyce McDougall, Plea for a measure of abnormality, International University Press, New York, 1978, p. 156.

 [16] See the work of Michael Tsarion on The Age of Manipulation.

 [17] The elements of Marianne Gronemeyer’s work I intertwine with this article were conveyed to me at a symposium on Monasteries of the Future in June 2012 (in German), where the idea of how the monastic idea might be re-constituted into physical space to enable the re-emergence of high culture undisturbed by suppressive power relations was discussed. Her notions about the offside and her positive connotation of “Ohnmacht” (loosely translated as syncope, blackout or impotency) as a viable defense mechanism sparked quite a controversy.

 [18] Joel Bakan wrote The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power in 2004, which sheds light on the sociopathic behaviour of both corporate entities and their human champions. The book was also turned into a movie currently available on YouTube.

 [19] Michael Tsarion deals with this topic in depth in his work.

 [20] The quote is taken from The Matrix movie – a powerful allegory to perception management in our world. Interestingly, this movie might take inspiration from the documentary The Matrix of Power. This documentary was created by Jordan Maxwell, a scholar of the occult, well known in Hollywood for his work on occult symbolism in popular culture.

 [21] See the article on Wikipedia about The Stockholm Syndrome.

 [22] As recorded by Wikiquote. There are doubts as to whether he actually said these words. Obviously, nothing written in this article should be considered valuable due to some kind of authority, so whether he said this doesn’t matter. I consider it remains worth to meditate on these words and truly understand what they mean and implicate, and how they make sense.

 [23] I briefly met Richard Thieme at eComm 2011 in San Francisco, where he delivered a wonderful closeout keynote, showing that no techno babble in the world can surpass a meta-insight encompassing socio-psychological expertise and spiritual wisdom. Even all the nerds and industry professionals in the audience honored that, as his talking time was extended by popular request. He connects the exploration of the inner mind with observations of the outer world. I can highly recommend his book Mind Games, a collection of non-fiction fiction stories, discussing perception management, UFOs and alternate realities. People from the intelligence community seem to love it, too.

 [24] See Aldous Huxley Brave New World (1931)

 [25] The attitude Marianne Gronemeyer ascribes to those who remain unwilling to co-operate with or be co-opted by the hierarchy is summarised by: “You may destroy me, but you can’t control me!” No matter how strong the enemy, the will stands firm. It may indeed take such great determination if one is to resist the hierarchical principle.

 [26] Ross Ashby studied complex system and self-organisation from a cybernetic point of view. He developed the Law of Requisite Variety, which I came across during my studies of Systems Theory with The Open University, the module which constituted the prime reason for me to enroll.

 [27] A particularly interesting non-mainstream theory is espoused by James DeMeo. The Saharasia thesis states that famine has forced a peaceful, prosperous and technologically advanced human civilisation into savagery until today. It also detects a psychological problem, the emotional carapace, at its root.

 [28] The Problem-Reaction-Solution framework, under that name, was put forward by David Icke, an author and public speaker researching on how society is being controlled and by whom that control is exercised. I should probably note that I don’t necessarily agree with all the ideas of the people I reference, but that doesn’t diminish the valuable contributions which have been made. The Hegelian Dialectic can be employed at any and all levels, so it often becomes difficult to discern when one has really stepped out of the game.

 [29] Some people, when coming into contact with information conflicting the original 9/11 conspiracy theory, attempt to avoid the extreme cognitive dissonance and enter a state of denial as explained by psychologists in this video.

 [30] The Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini was probably wrongly attributed saying: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

 [31] Please see the reports on the 2008 United States presidential campaign contributions for Barack Obama and John McCain. While the contributions were officially made by the Political Action Committees, they still publicly associated with their organisations.

 [32] I can highly recommend the work by Manly Palmer Hall. I read his excellent esoteric encyclopedia The Secret Teachings of All Ages, which offers a succinct yet expansive overview on the most important mysteries of the occult, while providing plenty of illustrations and sources for further study. If you can make time, read the Conclusion. If you have genuine interest in the occult sciences, this book provides an excellent vista.

 [33] Henry David Thoreau‘s Walden is an excellent book on self-reliability and self-sufficiency, providing keen insight into both the practical and the philosophical dimensions. Usually not concerned with politics he takes a stand against slavery in his essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Interestingly, it is very possible that the Northern states invaded the Southern states during the American Civil War for economical and political reasons, using the good-willed activists as useful pawns while the idea of protecting human rights served as a superficial excuse. This tactic has been overused in recent times. Traditional slavery, where the master had to provide food and housing for the slave, was abandoned in favour of wage slavery, where the master does not need to be concerned with the well-being of his slave at all. Competition for work will furthermore ensure that he will pay a lower price for labour and be able to dispose of a seemingly endless supply of willing new slaves from the slave-market. This direct comparison and use of terms might be called overstated, but I would like to make the parallels most obvious.

 [34] This quote was given by the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti in a speech concluding the dissolution of his personal order which was created by the Theosophical Society when he was 13 to prepare for the coming of the World Teacher. Rather than accepting this title, he disavowed any association with Theosophy and proclaimed that truth can only be approached individually. I read Freedom from the Known, a transcription of some of his speeches. It took me some time and a second read until I begun to understand the profundity and relevance of his words. I highly recommend his work, as it is most inspiring.

 [35] The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear is part of the Dune series written by Frank Herbert. By many considered to be one of the best science fiction novels, it also deals with topics of power politics and the inner mind. It also emphasises the importance of understanding ecosystems and systemic implications.

Image credits (as available):

The Industrial Worker – The Pyramid of the Capitalist System

William Blake – The Ancient of Days

M.C. Escher

The Great Seal of The United States

The Matrix Movie

Freakingnews.com – I Want You To Destroy Infidels Poser

Albrecht Dürer – Apocalypsis cum Figuris, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

F. Dielmann – Celebration of the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia by the Colored Peole, In Washington (April 19, 1866)

Unleashing Personal Abundance

Virtue and Abundance by TiepoloCreating an Abundant Society through Sharing

As we come to think of ways to improve the world, we are often drawn to the construction of utopia within our minds, yet find it hard to take actual steps to realise its potential. A central theme to many of these visions is the idea of a society within which scarcity has become a notion of the past and abundance reigns supreme. But how can abundance be manifested in the present? How can we take the crucial first step towards abundance right now? The answer is both simple and scary, because there is nothing external to hold us back from its implementation and there is no excuse for delay:

Unleashing personal abundance.


We might not be aware of the fact that we can all draw from our personal source of abundance. The dominant paradigm of scarcity and false ambition urges us to cut our natural connection to this source. It woes us into buying the illusion of an inherently greedy, malicious human nature and a society within which the only road to any kind of wealth is the domination and exploitation of other human beings. Yet we find that by taking this detached path, no matter how much we have looted from others, we may never be truly satisfied. The security and abundance we yearn for can only come from within and consequently manifest in the profound connection with our fellow human beings.

Ravi Varma Lakshmi

Unconditional love of life and truth constitute the core of this personal source of abundance. Reverence for life and the courage to face reality enable us to come in harmony with our environment and share our abundance. When nothing else remains, love might be the one inexhaustible source we can freely draw from, with all other forms of abundance being its manifestations. It might be likened to, and indeed represent, the universal laws of nature, giving rise to life in all its myriad forms.

When we choose to share our personal abundance drawn from our inner source, we help to support society and nature with what it requires and thus contribute to making it a more plentiful, secure and pleasant – indeed life-supporting – environment for ourselves and others. Sharing abundance means that we are able to share unconditionally and without expecting personal gain. It also implies that neither threat nor scarcity are created when letting others partake in our wealth.

What are the concrete manifestations as we realise and share our personal abundance?

The basic, material necessities for survival and maintaining the physical heat in our bodies are the most external, yet vital resources we may share. In a society within which we assume control over shelter, food and clothing, these necessities exist plentiful but they may only be used by their owners. We can offer a spare couch to the tired, share excess food with the hungry and give our old clothes to those who seek protection from cold weather. As these basic needs are met, we can concentrate ourselves on contemplation, co-operation and creativity to improve ourselves and the environment we share.

The various types of equipment many of us possess often remain under-utilised. Sharing tools for construction, gardening, communication, computing or the creation of art usually doesn’t reduce their life-span or usefulness but may help someone else to grow food or create cultural goods and communicate their ideas.

Modern communication technology allows us to easily share all forms of cultural goods which can be digitally reproduced such as literature, visual art and music. While we should acknowledge those who initially created the goods we share, we may freely share the culture we feel worthy of reproduction and appreciation by a wider audience. The creative achievements enabled by the open source practice in programming and the sampling method in music are prime arguments for increased sharing of cultural goods.

<hrdata-mce-alt=”Unleashing Personal Abundance (cont.)” class=”system-pagebreak” />

Abundance by JaydotMany forms of sharing abundance take a more personal and immediate form. When a fellow human being is confronted with a problem we have previously encountered and given thought to, we may share our experiences in order to help the search for a more suitable solution. In a discussion, we may share our insight to resolve a conflict or clarify an issue – not to aggrandise ourselves, but to contribute to the common quest for peace and truth. We can share our skills working towards common goals or teach others to empower themselves. Realising the potential of unleashing our abundance can also take seemingly trivial forms: As we encounter a confused tourist, we may offer our expertise of the local area, give a handkerchief to a crying stranger, or help a blind man across the street.

As we are surrounded by distractions and those who seek to profit from diverting our concentration, it is attempted to turn human attention into a scarce resource. Sometimes, sharing our abundance may mean to listen, to be mindful and take someone’s argument serious while respecting their view. It may simply mean to share some of our time. It can also go beyond: To the depressed, we may offer emotional support. With the lonely, we may share companionship. To the lost, we may offer a cue to help them find themselves. With the dull, we may share our enthusiasm. To the desperate, we may offer hope. With the sad, we may share our joy.

Abundance by RubensWe should feel encouraged to share with friends as well as strangers. When we share our abundance with a stranger, we have the unique opportunity to build trust and establish a new relationship – through sharing, a stranger may become a friend. Sharing abundance in all its manifestations is always a conscious process, and we should only choose to share in situations we are comfortable with. It is important to be considerate when sharing our wealth, as many of its manifestations limited to the physical realm within economy and nature are only of relative abundance, which we should strive to both share and maintain accordingly. If we share with moderation, they can never be exhausted. On the other hand, sharing love, joy, hope and enthusiasm seems to most often result in their amplification without ever thinning out. We continue to draw from our abundant inner source and are mutually reinforced by those we share with.

It is within our own discretion to choose the purposes we support, the resources we share and the people we choose to share with. It is natural that we are personally responsible for the ethical standard we set for sharing our personal abundance. Within these considerations, we should feel encouraged to share as much as we may, since it only serves to bring about the society we strive for. We should be aware that every bit of personal abundance we choose to selflessly and consciously share improves the overall condition and creates a more worthwhile environment. The consequences might not always be apparent, yet the experience of selfless, unconditional sharing speaks for itself, no matter how modest the contribution. We shall ask for what we need, contribute what we can, and show gratitude for what we receive. As we dedicate our time to share our personal abundance in all its expressions – intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual – we all contribute towards a more abundant, ethical, peaceful and human society.

And if we are unsure where to start, we may share a smile. 🙂
I’d appreciate any feedback you have on this topic – please share your comment below.

Please see Page 3 for Resources, Inspirations and Image sources.

<hrdata-mce-alt=”Resources, Inspirations and Image Sources” class=”system-pagebreak” title=”” />

World of AbundanceRelated Resources:

My share page
The Foundation for P2P Alternatives
The Technate
Resources for a Solidarity Economy (Vienna)
Moneyless.Info
Demonetize.it

Immediate Inspirations:

Elf Pavlik (World Wide Elves)
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Manly Palmer Hall (Love of Truth)
Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation)
Mitch Altman
Armin Risi (Die Macht hinter der Macht)
European Organisation for Sustainability
The Commons
Albert Schweitzer (Reverence for Life)

Image Sources:

Virtue and Abundance by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Abundance by Jaydot
Abundance by Rubens
Lakshmi by Ravi Varma
World of Abundance by Aynur Karaman