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How To Stay Sane

July 11, 2010

From time to time I just take a stroll around town and just look around me.  Other times I just browse the internet at random reading news, or watch people’s videos on YouTube.  I find one thing which is almost always lacking – critical thinking.  People lack the scientific method.  Their opinions are not rooted in empirical evidence and rigorous thought.  Instead it’s based on intuition and emotional feelings.  People base their views on intuition and it plagues this world with irreconcilable conflicts.   The scientific mindset tells us to withhold belief absent empirical evidence.  Every belief has to be proven by observational data.  We need things like fossil records, data from careful experiments, inferences from proven scientific laws, and so forth.  It’s like a court of law where everything has to be proven by the most stringent standards before we’ll believe it.

Take when I open up my email inbox.  I receive all kinds of conspiracy related emails, most of which I read for entertainment.

That’s so awesome… lol.  Or how about this?

I get all kinds of conspiracy stuff in my email.   Some of it comes from David Icke so I was watching a video of his.  As I listened I just thought to myself, “David, what is this?  You’re drifting further and further from reality.”  And that’s what everyone seems to do – drift in their mind somewhere far far from this reality.  Very few people are actually knowledgeable about this world or how it operates.

Here’s the video I was watching:

As you listen to him go on and on about “consciousness”, reptilian beings who live under the Earth’s crust, how the moon is actually a space-base similar to the Death Star in Star Wars (George Lucas of course knowing all of this because he’s an ‘insider’), you can’t help but think, “What evidence do you have to prove all these claims?”  He repeatedly says, “This is just what I’m feeling.”  I think in this video he talks about his experiences with a psychic he visited.  I can’t remember.

He feels the human race was created by the reptilians 30,000 or so years ago.  They’ve modified our brains so they could transmit their thoughts into us in order to make us slaves of theirs and so that they can harvest some sort of low vibrational energy from our emotional cycles.  It’s pretty out there.

I’ll refute all this very quickly.  The pressure under the Earth’s surface is so great there’s no way there can be tunnels or a hollow Earth.  Such structures would be crushed immediately.  But if that’s not convincing enough, we have very sensitive detectors placed all along plate boundaries of our crust and every time an earthquake happens we measure all the waves and how they propagate.  We’ve modeled the interior of the Earth, and it’s not hollow.

If you read say a textbook in biological anthropology you can see all the detailed fossil record evidence showing our evolution.  And as for the brain structures which the reptilians supposedly implanted into us, neuroscience textbooks, as well as studying comparative neural anatomy of say that of chimps, show no signs for any of that.

But you know, people would say, “Yeah, well that guy’s just nuts.”  But how would you classify “nuts?”  How would you define insanity?  Insane people lose touch with reality.  If that’s the case most everyone I know is insane.

Take the fourth of July, when I went to a family picnic with relatives.  My family is very religious and at the park where we all gathered many church folks were invited as well.  Some of the musicians got out their guitars and started singing worship songs.  There they went singing about how they love the Lord, and how they’re clay in His hands, and on and on and on.  I just thought, “Who is this ‘Lord’?”  … “It’s faith brother.  You have to believe.”

I can see people saying David Icke’s crazy talking about reptilian aliens. I mean, what evidence do we have for such creatures?  Well, what evidence do we have for the ‘Lord’?  If you think about it, it all falls in the same category.  I love these people, but I mean, isn’t the stuff in the Bible just as crazy?  God is pure love, but creates a rather hellish universe, forces us to endure all kinds of hardships, then comes down and embodies himself in Jesus to undergo a suicide mission, nails himself to the cross in a bloody crucifixion to forgive people of their sins so they’re not given to Satan (a demon with horns) to be thrown into a pit of fire for all eternity… But God is pure love… yet if you do one small little sin, even the smallest sin, you’ll be tortured without end.

The leaders who run our world believe that.  Here’s Richard Dawkins talking with Ted Haggard who has been a top advisor to many of the world’s leaders, such George Bush, Tony Blair, and Ariel Sharon.

I don’t even know how you talk to someone like that.  He certainly isn’t interested in Potassium-Argon dating methods.  How would Haggard explain the fossil record?  Dinosaur bones?  How these tests date these fossils back millions of years?  What about cosmology and the redshift of galaxies receding away from us?  What about the cosmic background radiation seen at the outermost edges of the universe – that fog from 400,000 years after the big bang?  I mean, you can’t deny irrefutable evidence.  How can you just ignore DNA?  Does he know that the sun will eventually burn out?

All you have to do is just start asking questions and look around you.  But their problem is they don’t look around.  They’re disconnected from reality.  They’re plugged into a self-referential loop with their imagination.  They’re not plugged into the universe around them.  Reality is what the television, their political party, or their holy book tells them is reality.

I oftentimes like to tell people that’s it’s easy to devote your life to something and go out preaching your beliefs to people.  It’s much harder to know whether your beliefs are worthwhile and true.  Pastor Haggard spends so much time giving sermons and running all over the place teaching people all this stuff, when really he’d be better off if he just stopped for a while, locked himself up in a room and read some biology, cosmology, anthropology, astronomy, neuroscience, and other textbooks.  I think if he did this he’d quickly realize that what he’s been teaching is not the truth and he’d think, “Oh my gosh.  I’ve been teaching people all these mistaken beliefs for so long.”  He’d then resign.  But as you can see, you can’t even talk to him.  But to be fair, Dr. Dawkins isn’t exactly the most tactful individual out there.

But strange thing is, if you try to confront people with reality they say you’re arrogant.  They come at you with the strangest arguments.  I don’t think there’s anything you can do.  It’s like the situation Galileo was in.  He tries to tell them, “Just look out of this telescope.”  But people won’t look through the telescope.  They’re not interested in the world as it is.

Religious beliefs are just as crazy as talk of reptilian aliens.  I mean, there is a giant talking snake in Genesis, and people believe that literally.

There’s no limits to the amount of craziness people can dream up.  You have to keep your mind sharp and precise, constantly sifting through all the bullshit people come up with, always demanding evidence.  It’s the only way to stay sane in this insane world.  If you don’t, you’ll quickly drift off to who knows where.

It’s not just religion or conspiracy theories.  Just read the news.

Why are we at war in the middle east?  Do you know?  Does anybody know?  Is it about nuclear weapons?  They’ve done searched and there wasn’t any.  Is it about the Taliban and Al’Qaeda?  They’re no longer in Afghanistan… yet we’re still there.  Iraq?  Who knows.  But young men and women in uniform march out there to fight a war.  Why?  Don’t they ask that simple question?  They could die out there, and for what?  “Fighting against these crazos who hate our freedom!”  *Shakes head*

If insanity is people being disconnected from reality, then I’d say over 99% of people are totally insane.  They have no clue about human origins, the origins of the Earth, the formation of our solar system, what causes the seasons and weather, climate change, the consequences of their actions, the galaxy… hell, most of them can’t even identify their country on a map, must less anyone else’s.  They’re clueless about any culture other than their own, and most of the things they do they’ve never thought about.  They don’t know how their body processes the food they eat, or even why they eat.  They don’t understand animals or insects or why they’re there.  They don’t understand money nor the economy.  They don’t know the history of human civilization or what that even is.  They don’t understand science or remotely comprehend how all the technology around them operates.

I sometimes just want to run outside grabbing people saying, “Why is this grass here?  Do you know?  Why are all these bugs here?  Have these bugs always been crawling on the ground?  Why is our body made out of mostly water?  Why do you go to your job everyday?  Have there always been birds?  Plants?  Trees?  Has the sky always been blue?  What causes the weather?  Why does the wind blow?  Why is the sun orange?  Why does it hurt your eyes to look at it?  What is light?”

My younger brother used to work with a guy who did things like this to his coworkers.  He’d grab them and ask, “What are the three branches of our government?”  Sadly, hardly anyone could ever answer his simple questions.

Saying people are insane is bit harsh though.  Living in a box might be a nicer way to put it.

What people do know is the details of the consumer culture.  What most people consider social awareness is really an intricate knowledge of the bubble.  They know all about mass consumerism and the bubble reality created for them by the big corporations.  They know about movies that are coming out.  They know the latest sports statistics.  They know all about the celebrities and the big bands and when their new cd will come out.  They know the menu at the big chain restaurants they eat at.  They know about new TV show lineups.

Maybe that’s what happiness is for a lot of folks.  Who am I to infringe on people’s lives?  But I feel that people would find it much more fulfilling learning about the amazing, incredibly vast universe we all live in.

But you guys want to know a secret of mine?  It’s not known to anyone but my closest friends, but really I have this big thing for the Black Eyed Peas.  Yeah.  When I hear they’re going to be in concert near where I live I think, “Are you KIDDING ME!  I’m SO there.”

Sometimes they open with that one.

Let’s get retarded in here

And the bass keeps running, running
And running, running
And running, running
And running, running
And running, running
And running, running
And running, running
And running, running
And-

In this context there’s no disrespect
So when I bust my rhyme you break your necks
We got 5 minutes for us to disconnect
From all intellect
and the let rhythm effect

To lose the inhibition, follow your intuition
Free your inner soul and break away from tradition
Cause when we beat out, girl it’s pulling without
You wouldn’t believe how we wil’ shit out!
Burn it til it’s burned out
Turn it til it’s turned out
Actin’ up from north ,west, east, south

Everybody! (Yeah?)
Everybody! (Yeah?)
Let’s get into it! (Yeah!)
Get stupid(Come on!)
Get retarded! (Come on!)
Get retarded! (Yeah!)
Get retarded!

Let’s get retarded ha!
Let’s get retarded in here!
Let’s get retarded ha!
Let’s get retarded in here!
Let’s get retarded ha!
Let’s get retarded in here!
Let’s get retarded ha!
Let’s get retarded in here!

….

Let’s get ill that’s the deal
Out the gate, we will bring a punked Eye thrill (Just)
Lose your mind this is the time
Y’all can’t sit still just to bang your spine (Just)
)))))))))))))Bob your head, like Epilepsy ((((((((((((((((((((((
Up inside your club or in your Bentley
Get messy
Loud and sick
Your mind past normal on another head trip
So, come dumb now do not correct it
Let’s get ignant
Let’s get hectic

….

– Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get Retarded

This is my guilty pleasure.  I disconnect from all intellect, follow my intuition, and get retarded in here! I like to punk an eye thrill (wtf?) then bang my spine and bob my head like I have epilepsy up in the club!  lmao.

Ok, I wasn’t serious, but you guys probably guessed that.  Yeah, and they’re making millions while school teachers struggle to get by.   That’s where the truth is people.  Intuition and disconnecting from your intellect.  Whatever your mind thinks up, go with it.  Imagination is reality!

The other day I was with my father and we went to a rural hardware store.  Beside the big “Cowgirl Up” and “Welcome To Our Barn” wooden signs there was a shelf of refrigerator magnets.  One had a little kitten, all cute and cuddly, and it said “I trust my instincts.”  So did George Bush when he sent us into Iraq, after his phone call with Pastor Haggard who probably confirmed that his intuitive feelings were a good idea.  Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead, thousands of our own men and women in uniform lost, trillions of dollars wasted in a needless quagmire… *brushes hands together* “Job well done guys.”

Let’s get retarded.  HAH.  Let’s get retarded in here!

Let’s see.  Are there any other wise sages out there telling us the follow our intuition?  Sarah Palin tells us time and time again about living by faith and following your inner convictions.  Or how about Rush Limbaugh?  Start watching at time 6:00.

“Also for those of you in the drive by media watching, I have not needed a teleprompter for anything I’ve said. *Pumps fist*  And nor do any of us need a teleprompter because our beliefs are not the results of calculations and contrivances.  Our beliefs are not the result of a deranged psychology.  Our beliefs are our core.  *Points to heart*  Our beliefs are our hearts. We don’t have to make notes about what we believe.  We don’t have to write down, ‘Oh gee’  *scribbles on podium*  We can tell people what we believe off the top of our heads, and we can do it with passion, and we can do it with clarity, and we can do it persuasively.”

– Rush Limbaugh, CPAC 2009

There’s no need for notes because there’s no need for things like facts and statistics, or worrying about accuracy.  It’s all in your heart!  Don’t worry about critical thinking, questioning your beliefs, or consistency.  Speak your mind with passion and tell people what you intuitively know is the truth!  And notice the certainty that all opposing views are instances of ‘deranged psychology’.  The world is black and white.  You’re good and they’re bad.  You’re perfection, and they’re completely evil, on all counts.

This would be a good time to que up the Black Eyed Peas song and play it at full volume while listening to Limbaugh’s speech.  “Our beliefs are not the results of calculations and contrivances.  LET’S GET RETARDED  Our beliefs are our core.  LET’S GET STUPID Our beliefs are our hearts  LET’S GET RETARDED IN HERE!”

The more time that goes by, I really don’t belong in this place.  I come across a sane person here and there in this rather difficult life of ours, but they’re few and far between.

I’m sorry everyone.  I love you all.  If you believe in aliens ruling the world, or are religious, or think the war in Iraq was to defend our freedom, I still love you.   Come over here, give me a hug.  I don’t hate you.  I really do love everyone out there.  I really do care.  It’s just from my perspective, I’m seeing people waste away in needless wars, wasting their lives serving imaginary deities, and conjuring up conspiracies of aliens and it’s all such a tragedy. I hope I can help share the truth with some people and help them see the world as it is, so we can then get on the same page and start fixing the problems we face.  If I can help even just a handful of people realize their folly, and keep them from falling into these traps, that’s good enough for me.

So Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, the Black Eyed Peas, Pastor Ted Haggard, the conspiracy theorist telling you about aliens ruling the world, and the good ol’ boys at the country store tell you to follow your instincts and believe what’s in your heart with unwavering faith.  What would someone like Albert Einstein say?

“The important thing is not to stop questioning”

“Question everything”

“A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

– Various quotes by Albert Einstein

Do you notice the difference?  Remember to question everything, be critical of everything, think about everything, and never believe anything without sufficient evidence.  That’s how you stay sane and connect with the world around you.  And if you feel everyone’s crazy, you’re not alone.  Einstein felt the same way:

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

– Albert Einstein

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