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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/20/18

Life Secrets

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Message Caitlin Johnstone
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When it comes to the big questions, what life is all about and what's really going on here, everyone else is exactly as clueless as you are. The only difference is that some people are better at feigning confidence than others.

Anyone who thinks they've got life all figured out is suffering from a psychedelic drug deficiency.

The three most overlooked and under-appreciated things in human experience are (1) consciousness itself, (2) the extent to which compulsive thinking habits dominate our lives, and (3) the extent to which mass media propaganda influences the way we think.

There is a deep, abiding peace just beneath the shifting sensory input and flailing, babbling mental chatter. It isn't something lofty or distant that you need to strive for to obtain; it is here presently, and you can recognize it right now. Inner turmoil is the result of our falling all over ourselves trying to obtain something we already have, but are overlooking. Sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings all appear upon the canvas of emptiness, and that emptiness is peace.

Society is made entirely of narrative. By that I don't mean there are no humans and no solid objects; I mean all the rules, laws, expectations, beliefs and protocols we have in place for how human beings are supposed to act are made entirely of mental constructs. The most powerful people in the world are the ones who understand that since society is made of narrative, then whoever controls the narratives controls society. The way to democratize power is for society to awaken to the fact that this is all made of stories, and we can change those stories whenever we want.

Most of our experience is dictated by habits of thought and perception, most of which we formed in early childhood. How our attention moves, how we interpret events and the way we respond to them, the kinds of decisions we'll make day to day, the kinds of thoughts we think from moment to moment and the way they translate to behavior, all arise from internal habits we set in motion long ago and then kind of forgot about and made subconscious. You can bring consciousness to all of these habits and undo them, thus allowing you to live a life that isn't dictated by ingrained unconscious patterns.

We make vastly better and wiser choices when we can find a way of circumventing our habitual thought patterns and letting the decision arise from the emptiness.

It is possible to be truly present in your life at all times instead of living with your mental energy and attention wrapped up in compulsive mental chatter. When you are present in this way, life becomes joyful and indescribably beautiful. Life delights in itself. You don't have to do anything to enjoy this natural state, but there is a lot that you have to stop doing.

We all have people in our lives who try to manipulate us in various ways, who habitually attempt to control the ways we think and act and how we see ourselves. Life gets much better when you spot those manipulation attempts and extract them from your life, either by insisting that these people honor your mental sovereignty, or by ceasing to involve yourself with those people. Anyone who keeps trying to tell you what you are is trying to cage you.

You are far more powerful than you've ever imagined. I'm not blowing smoke up your ass, it's just a fact.

Since society is made of narrative, it is far more malleable than it appears at first glance. You can become an artist just by making that the narrative about you, and if you move in that direction in a confident and assertive way you will see doors begin to open up as people say "Oh it's okay, he's an artist, let him in." You can escape from seemingly inescapable living situations and free yourself from seemingly insurmountable obstacles just by pushing in whatever direction you desire with full, confident intention. Since nobody really knows what's going on and everyone's making it up as they go along, we tend to take our cues from the most confident-looking people in the room, so people will say "Oh, she seems like she knows where she's going. I'd better get out of her way." Just hold the positive intention and move toward it like you've already gotten where you want to be.

The self is an illusion; it's a mental construct and linguistic convention with no solid object in the center. What most people think of as "me" is a bunch of habitual mental "I" noises swirling around in consciousness, with no hard, solid object that could be called a self anywhere to be found. Thoughts and feelings are happening and a body is moving around in the world, but no one's doing any of it. Look within for the self and the search will turn up nothing but motes of stardust. Mental habits are much easier to undo when this is deeply grokked.

If you search for truth you won't find any. If you search for lies you'll find more than you can shake a stick at, just within your own operating system. Those lies can be excavated and discarded.

All it's really about is letting life be as it is, without all the lies you've innocently and unconsciously stacked on top of it throughout your lifetime. What remains is life as it is. And it's really bloody gorgeous.

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Caitlin Johnstone is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician. Rogue journalist, poet, illustrator, utopia prepper, and proudly 100 percent reader-funded through Patreon (more...)

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