If the title to this article seems nebulous, that’s because it is nebulous. I could not think of a good title for what is floating about in my mind as I write this. So please forgive me if I ramble.

I do try to maintain some degree of focus—to stick to a topic to its conclusion. But honestly I am not often successful. My Kindle Reader has 20 or more books that I started, but never finished. The disk folder on my computer in which I store my programming projects also has a dozen or more endeavors that are incomplete.

I was raised under the banner, “You must finish what you start,” and thus my mind is often stabbed with impulses to do that. But like most people, as the years have passed I care less and less about following what others expect of me. They say that this rebellion is a part of older people caring less what other people think of them. And so it goes.

Again I can dare to suggest that the impulse mentioned above—the “voice” telling me to finish what I start—is part of a larger whole. Being raised to be a “responsible” person, I have swum in a sea of “should” throughout my life. Several years back I was undergoing therapy as part of treatment for a stress disorder. I remember the therapist telling me, “It’s time for Randy to give Randy permission to _____.” She was referring to letting go of at least some of those “shoulds” that were a big part of my stress at the time. From a rational or logical standpoint I understood her perfectly. Yet it is not easy to overcome those many years of mental programming–should, should, should.

Truth or Consequences?

This idea that it is hard to break free of ideas that have been ingrained into our psyche for many years can be extended again. (Anyone notice that I am in a daring mood today?) If we ask ourselves Why?—what is it that drives us to adhere to the old “mandates” learned earlier in life, we may well conclude that it is a fear. Yes fear—as though we might be scolded by our mother or father if we don’t do what is expected.

I believe this is an important thing to be in touch with because it is this same fear that drives what is referred to as political correctness in modern society. Isn’t that true? Are we not being forced to hold back—to keep our mouths shut—because we fear being “scolded” in some way by friends, family, co-workers, or who knows what other force? Heaven knows we don’t want to be labeled as “racist” or “bigoted” or “Islamophobe” or any of those of the other nasty tags floating about. It’s easier and more practical to just shut up.

“Reality” or “Truth”

Sometimes I double back and re-read articles I have written in the past—just to check in and see how much my ideas may have changed over time. This suggestion of “reality” came to the surface when I was reading the article My Purpose on this very website and particularly what I wrote under the subheading “Easy or Hard Road?” I ventured off into thought about how hard it is to escape from the spell that is cast upon us since our earliest years.

Is reality real? Is truth true? There are no universals for sure. I guess that is where the idea of relativism comes from. For several years I talked about a line from a movie that stuck with me. The movie was “Como Agua Para Chocolate” (Like Water For Chocolate), that was set in the time of the Mexican Revolution after 1910. Two sisters, Tita and the older Gertrudis were talking, and at one point Tita starts to say, “La verdad es…” (The truth is…) when Gertrudis cuts her off mid-sentence and says, “La mera verdad es que la verdad no existe.” (The real truth is that truth doesn’t exist). Gertrudis was making the point that no truth is universal. We all have our own perceptions of truth, but they don’t necessarily coincide with the perceptions of others.

"Sticky note" with Spanish words that (universal) truth does not exist

Manufactured “Reality”

Actually I enjoy tossing around these ideas, even though it is largely rhetorical. In several other places I have written about a manufactured reality that for the most part is created for us—starting with what our parents teach us (sharing the largely false reality that they have learned), then the “education” we receive in school that is more accurately an indoctrination designed to prevent us from becoming independent, free thinkers, and finally a lifelong bombardment of lies from the news and entertainment media, which is owned and controlled by the very elite elements that run the world from behind the stage curtain. I never go as far as to say that all—everything we believe is false. Of what is closest to us in life—our home, our family and closest friends—we can be certain that what we know is correct. But that all changes when we venture very far out our front door (physically or mentally).

Though I make this business about manufactured reality sound almost trivial, like something that is almost silly—it’s not. Seriously most of what we “know” about the world that surrounds us is false—cast over us by the propaganda contained in our education and the news that we hear and adopt as truth. After all, what to most of us know about what is happening in Syria or North Korea beyond what we hear in the news? Nothing. This leaves us wide open and ripe for being fed the propaganda that the government and heads of big corporations want us to believe. This gets a little better if we get news from the alternative media, but even then we must be careful and selective.

Is all of what we learn in school false? No. Of course we do learn some functional things that we need to survive in the world that awaits us later on. But at all levels there is a scheme designed to mold us into beings that fit into the plans of others—the rulers. For them it is not convenient to have a world full of people who are creative, independent thinkers. Such people get out of control (from their perspective) too easily. This is the reason that since the late 19th century the education system has been controlled by the Rockefellers and other powerful families and organizations that wanted to be sure that they would not lose control of the behavior of the masses—and eventually their power. This control is strongest at the “higher” education level—at colleges and universities.

The Great Escape

My belief is that we must escape from this manufactured reality that represses us. There are at least two steps to doing this, and neither of them is easy.

Step #1. Becoming aware and accepting that we are actually trapped by a “reality” that isn’t real. Many refer to this as “waking up” or having a “red pill moment.” As I stated earlier when I mentioned the difficulty of escaping the voices repeating the “shoulds,” this is not easy. If we start to believe and think differently than most other people we know, we can easily start to feel like outcasts, which is not easy especially for younger people for whom “fitting in” is important.

The harder part is winning a fight with our own EGO. Accepting that we have been duped, played for a fool, throughout our life is not easy. It’s a big-time stab in the heart of the ol’ EGO. It hurts, which is why most people step back. They find it easier to reject what is being offered as an alternate way of seeing things in life and opt to just hold and continue the old way. That’s more comfortable after all. And in some cases there may even be consequences for adopting different beliefs. Friendships may be lost, and depending on what type of environment the person works, they may even lose their job.

Step #2. If Step #1 above is difficult, Step #2 isn’t much easier. The foremost reason for doing what is suggested in Step #1 is to put down the EGO shield and be able to see the world through a lens of a different color—to get a whole new perspective on how things really work in the world that surrounds us. But it really shouldn’t stop there; at least my belief is that there is some need or even obligation to try to help other people to break free of the chains.

This is no easy thing either—for many of the same reasons listed above. It starts with the repulsion—being rejected by people who are simply more comfortable with their present “reality.” When we start “rattling their cage” and trying to share foreign ideas with them they may go as far as to turn their backs on us. I often feel that. I am completely aware that for the most part when I share something that I have written people don’t even bother to read it. In their minds it’s, “Oh, there goes Randy again—off on another of his wild tangents.” Most people don’t SAY anything out of “respect” (or political correctness). I repeat—it’s not easy.

Break Out? Why?

Really. Why would we even WANT to break out and away from the things we believed to be true for many years?

I can only speak for myself here. I feel renewed—free—in much the same way I felt when I was released from active military service or graduated from college. This is precisely what I hope to share with others. I believe that many of us feel that something is wrong. We work like devils, yet we actually lose ground financially (though our loss is hidden by the inflation factor that isn’t as visible as a paycheck for a lesser amount).

Of course I am not saying that “breaking out” immediately changes our financial situation. But again speaking for myself I at least feel better prepared to make changes that will lead me down a better path, even if that path is only mental or emotional rather than financial at this stage of my life.. The first step to solving any problem is identifying it—understanding what the problem is.

Because of my curious nature I have also been able to enjoy new adventures and continue to learn new things and explore new ideas. One of those has been studying the principles of anarchism, which has both helped me understand the true meaning of the word ‘freedom,’ and to see the fallacy in government—that the very concept is invalid. The belief in government and the whole Democrat-Republican political system is another part of the manufactured reality I mentioned before. We believe in it because it has existed since before we were born, and because no one we know has ever challenged the need for it. Government is the antithesis (opposite) of freedom. Government only reduces our freedom. End of story.

Another bit of good news in all of this is that after we free ourselves of the chains of the “reality” that has been cast over us, we will never again be imprisoned by it. “Once burned, twice shy” as the saying goes.

Reaching the End

Am I rambling? Oh, well I guess I said at the very beginning that in fact I would ramble on about the hodgepodge of ideas floating about in the sawdust inside my skull. Each time I reach the end—try to wrap up an article—I feel that there are lose ends or something that I meant to say but forgot. That is true now, at this very moment. But so be it. There will (hopefully) always be another day and another article in which I can continue chattering. Thanks for reading!

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