Rule By Ignorance
By Quinton Figueroa
Dedicated to Manly Palmer Hall
When I met Quinton I automatically knew that we were in on a long journey together. His way of thinking reminded me a lot of how I am but his perspective in life is more towards a business, spiritual way of thinking, where mine is more based on a spiritual side. Our connection automatically gave me a feeling that we had shared many lifetimes together. I, a big believer in reincarnation, made it very clear to Quinton that I felt like we had shared many past lives together. It was an instant connection and so started a new friendship that I knew would last a while.
We soon started sharing our thoughts and even though they differed extensively we also agreed on many things in regards to spirituality and life. Quinton shared his dream about writing a book and I immediately agreed that he should share his thoughts with the world. His way of thinking always opens you up to more and makes you see things in a different way. He has a way of expressing his thoughts that either will upset you or guide you to a better way.
I followed him through his journey in the writing of the book and disagreed with some of the things that he had written about but advised him that it was his vision and his thoughts on how he saw these things in life and that no else’s thoughts should matter. Quinton has a way with words and though sometimes he may come off rude with his expressions and thoughts his message always makes you think clearer. He is a writer at heart and I am sure people will either hate his message or love it but all that matters is that he is not afraid of the fears that hold so many of us prisoners and expresses his thoughts in this book.
We are all messengers in this lifetime and our lives are reflected upon the message that we give to the ones we encounter on a daily basis. I am sure this book will reflect the powerful message that Quinton is trying to give to the world. One thing I have gotten out of Quinton’s message is that there is so much that goes on around us that we don’t know about or even try to understand and until we actually take the time to understand it we will all continue to live life in a very ignorant way.
"When the mob governs, man is ruled by ignorance; when the church governs, he is ruled by superstition; and when the state governs, he is ruled by fear. Before men can live together in harmony and understanding, ignorance must be transmuted into wisdom, superstition into an illumined faith, and fear into love."
People are ruled by ignorance. There is no greater terrorist, no greater threat, no greater dictator, no greater evil than ignorance. Ignorance dominates the world. Ignorance can be found at the heart of essentially all of the problems we face on Earth. Greed is ignorance, fear is ignorance, declining civilizations is ignorance and broken families is ignorance. Almost all of the problems in the world are a result of ignorance.
But what exactly is ignorance and where does it come from? Can it be cured? Have we always been ignorant? Will we always be ignorant? These are all very important questions we might want to ask ourselves. It is not my intention to change people in their views about ignorance but rather to bring certain aspects to their attention and create a more vibrant understanding of certain dynamics playing out in the world.
People know that ignorance causes small scale problems, but they never really see how it causes large scale problems -- problems like pain in their own lives, disarray in the lives of others, destruction to society and many other large scale things. In most cases, ignorance can't be seen directly, it can only be seen indirectly. If a tornado hits a city and wipes it out you know what happened. If ignorance strikes a country and wipes it out you hardly suspect it as the cause.
So what do I mean by ignorance? Ignorance is defined in the dictionary as:
the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.
This is a pretty good definition. However, when I use the term ignorance I am taking it a bit further. When I say ignorance I am talking about distance from truth; distance from reality; distance from nature and universal principles. That is what ignorance really is. And that is where we currently are as a people.
We have always had small blips of ignorance throughout history, but as a whole ignorance is now sweeping the world by storm. We are in a state of ignorance. Just look at all the problems we have. Politically everyone is in disagreement. Religiously we are left in confusion. Scientifically we are egotistically naive. In the home we are broken. Financially we are bankrupt. And in everyday life we are sapped of purpose. We are physically, emotionally and mentally distraught all thanks to ignorance.
Moreover, ignorance is relative. To someone who is ignorant things may look great. To someone who is wise things may look terrible. We've all heard the saying ignorance is bliss. And this is what makes ignorance so dangerous. We may very well think that what we are doing is curing a problem when in point of fact we are actually making the problem much worse.
This type of thing happens all the time. We may think that we are helping other people when we encourage bad behavior because we don't want to hurt their feelings, but in reality we are usually just making the situation worse. A drug addict may think that they are helping themselves when they take more drugs to ease the pain but they are really just making the situation worse. We may think that we are helping a student by giving them a passing grade to allow them to progress further in school, but in reality they are not learning the lessons that they should be learning. We may think that we are helping somebody by giving them money they didn't earn, but if they never learn how to earn money they will just keep coming back for more.
Ignorance also is not a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is a lack of wisdom and experience. There is a difference. Knowledge is simply memorization of information such as who the Presidents of the United States are, facts about sports teams, celebrity info, TV shows, trivial facts and so on. This is knowledge. And having this doesn't bring you away from ignorance. You can know all the sports teams in the world and still be ignorant. You can know which celebrity is dating who and still be ignorant. You can know all the Presidents of the United States and when they were born but still not have a clue about what they did or why they were important. Wisdom is what brings you away from ignorance. Wisdom is not only knowledge, but correct application and use of knowledge. Wisdom is not believing everything you hear, but weighing everything you hear against facts, reality and nature. In a world riddled with many knowledgeable people there are but few truly wise minds.
What do I mean by application of knowledge? I mean using knowledge in a way that brings things in alignment with nature and universal law -- using knowledge in a way that is beneficial to all people -- using knowledge in a way that brings the world to a better form of life, rather than a worse form of life. Correct application of knowledge normalizes each facet of the circumstance at hand into a direction beneficial to all. This is wisdom. And this is what we should be creating in our everyday lives.
But something is keeping us from wisdom. We aren't making wise decisions in life. Many of us create more problems for ourselves simply by not knowing how to fix our problems. We do short term fixes that cause long term problems. We become dependent on others rather than developing ourselves. We let others think for us rather than do the thinking ourselves. There are a myriad of things we do that keep us from growing, and almost all of them stem from ignorance.
So it is my hopes to shed some light on where ignorance takes over and becomes our ruler. I am not trying to convert you to my way of thinking nor am I trying to change what you currently believe -- I am simply inviting you on a journey to look at things a bit differently than you normally do. Not everything we are taught in life is really the way it is. Sometimes we learn things in life only to later discover that we have been misled and that we need to go back and relearn something.
As we delve deeper into things I simply want to have a conversation with you the reader. I just want to talk to you, share information and let you make of it what you will. I am attempting to start at a more basic level so that we can lay a foundation and both find common ground. From there I want to keep building from this foundation and see where it takes us. Buckle up!
"No one knowingly chooses to live without the truth."
Why are we here?
Often times in life when trying to understand something it is beneficial to start at the beginning. All too often when faced with a problem we start from somewhere in the middle rather than the beginning. Most of the time we don't even know that we are starting in the middle or that it matters where we start. We just go with what we feel and see where it takes us.
When we talk religion we just jump right in without researching where that religion came from or how it got to be where it is today. When we talk about various economic and political problems we talk about where we currently are but fail to realize where these problems came from or what caused them. And most of all, when it comes to life we simply go along confused not quite knowing why we are here, where we came from and where we are going. We are somehow stuck in the middle of this somewhat confusing, reasonably interesting and fairly crazy thing we call life. We all know that we are here experiencing something, but what that something is we can't quite put our finger on.
Why we are here, where we came from and where we are going is one of the most simple questions that we have all asked at some point in our lives, usually during our younger years. We normally turn to our parents at an early age and they turn to religion or science to give us this answer. If they're religious they say something along the lines of we are here to live a good life so we can go to heaven. If they're scientific they say something similar to we're here for no apparent reason other than by mere chance. And so we go on continuing our daily course of life always having this in the back of our head as a foundation for the decisions we make. We may not know it, but the question of why we are here greatly affects the core of each and every one of us.
If some people are religious and see this life as simply more of a test to prove ourselves to God then it can become easier to see why people may place less value on this life here and more value on the life to come. If this is a life to convert people to our current religious persuasion then it can be easy to see why some people become religious about religion. If we are scientific it becomes easy to see why we may hold on very tight to this life as it is the only life we are going to get. If we don't believe anything happens to us when we die we may want to do more here in this life to experience as much as we can. If we believe that we have multiple lives and come back again and again to experience different things we may take life a little less seriously. Different answers to the way we answer this basic question renders different realities for each of us.
What I am saying is that this core question greatly affects why people do the things they do. Most people don't know it, but that doesn't change the reality of the matter. And so we are left with many people starting from many different persuasions in life, all a little bit different than the next person's. Some people take life very seriously. Other people don't take it too serious at all. Some people see life as a test. Others see life as an adventure. Some people see life as a punishment. Others see life as a heaven. Different people see life differently. And because of this, we have differences of opinion on just about everything.
These different views on life usually make it a bit challenging for us to work cooperatively together sometimes, especially on hard questions. It is hard for us to agree on hard questions when our foundations for agreement are all very different. If one person thinks we go to Hell for not believing something and another person thinks there is no Hell then we can see that there is a clear difference of opinion here. And this difference of opinion will later affect many other questions in life. If you don't believe in Hell you are less fearful of doing certain things. If you do believe in Hell you may be more fearful in doing certain things. If there is no Hell then maybe it is okay to have a bit of fun just for the hell of it. If there is a Hell well then maybe you've had a bit too much fun.
But maybe if we were able to open up our wisdom we would be able to consolidate our beliefs a bit more. Maybe if we were able to understand the person next to us better we would in turn be able to add to our understanding, as well as theirs. Maybe it is not that one party is right or wrong about this question, but perhaps that we all have different pieces to it. Maybe religion has something to offer on this age old question, and maybe science also has something to offer. Maybe philosophy has something to say here and maybe history does as well. Who is to say that any one field of study has a monopoly on the answer to why we are here? Perhaps we can use all the tools we have available to form a more broad, foundational answer.
It would seem that if we were to fully understand and reach an agreement that could be proven to all on this question it would make our lives infinitely better, or at the very least a bit less confusing. If we knew for a fact whether or not we did live on after this life it would change our lives greatly. If we knew for a fact that this was just one of many lives in a vast universe of infinite possibility it would change our lives in many ways. If we could all agree that we are each here for our own individual journeys and experiences it may make it a bit easier for us to all get along with each other.
So can we reach a clear understanding on this question? I don't know if we can but I'd like to try to push us in that direction. I think we are all fed up with the current state of this planet and we know that something isn't quite right. Whatever we are doing right now, and however we are answering this question right now just doesn't seem to be working. People are more confused and more divided than ever. And when people are divided it becomes hard to reach agreement on anything. We have too many half-truths and narrow philosophies that simply no longer cut it in this day and age. We call ourselves civilized, but we are fighting with each other every other week. Do we really hold the wisdom that civilized civilizations hold?
We are reaching for the stars yet holding on to our bad habits. It is time for us to outgrow our diapers and become adults. We are in a new time period where we have instant access to information and technology we would have never dreamed of just 100 years ago. We have access to documents that we didn't have access to 100 years ago. We are in an time of revealing. Information is everywhere. And it is up to us to synthesize this information and make sense of it all.
All too often we are bombarded with more and more information yet for some reason it never seems to stick. This age of information seems to be both a blessing and a curse. We have access to everything, yet we know nothing. It is time for us to start putting the pieces together and forming the larger picture of who we really are as a people. We have been ruled by ignorance for as long as we can remember, perhaps we should give wisdom a try.
So why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? Why are we here on this planet? What is life? What the heck is really going on here? Let’s see if we can find out.
Often times as we go through the minutia of everyday life we forget just how special we really are. As humans we all share something that no other species has. As humans we have the ability to construct civilizations, we have the ability to journey to the stars and we have the ability to solve the mysteries of the world. As humans we have the unique ability to think objectively and to step outside of ourselves. Our intelligence separates us from everything else on this planet. No other form of life on this planet has the intelligence that we possess.
We may share aspects of growth and vitality with plant life and we may share emotions and certain instincts with animals, but we have something else that separates us from them. We have the ability to reason. We don't have to rely solely on our instincts alone to take us through life. We don't have to be a slave to ourselves or to others. We have the ability to change our situation. We have the ability to create what we want. We have the ability to understand the universe and life at a much more vibrant level than everything else on earth.
Every human on this planet has their own individual free will to live their life as they see fit. We don't have to go along as a herd like animals. We don't have to follow the pack because we are too dumb to stand alone. We can stand alone. We have the ability to be ourselves. We have the ability to be different. And this is a truly beautiful thing. We all have our own individual free will and the intelligence to do what we want to do with this.
While all life on this planet has instincts to varying degrees, humans have the least amount of instincts. This is because instincts and free will are basically opposites. As we develop our free will we rely less on our instincts. And the less free will we have the more we rely on instincts. This is why most animals are unable to do what we do. They do not have the level of freedom that we have. They rely more on their instincts than they do their intelligence. Their free will is limited more than ours. They are not humans, they are animals. And as animals they are set to go through life with the level of free will that they have. And as humans, we are set to go through life with the level of free will that we have.
It's like an old computer from the 80's vs a modern day computer that is thousands of times faster. We have the ability to do more and experience more. We are living life at a level with much more information and a much higher resolution. Things to us are far more beautiful for we have the ability to view and understand the beauty. We are going through life in a Ferrari while everything else is going through life in a baby stroller. I'm not saying these things to brag or put down other forms of life. I am saying these things to help us understand that we are really something special that has so much to offer the world.
Each and every one of us has the ability to find our purpose. We all have the ability to create our purpose. We all have the ability to find what it is we like in life, and then do it. How awesome is that? Anything we want to do we can do. Anything we put our minds to can be accomplished. We are the master of our own destiny. We are in complete control of ourselves. We don't have to get approval from somebody else. We don't have to bow before anyone else. If we really want something we can get it.
No other species on this planet has this level of freedom. We shouldn't take this level of freedom for granted. We have the ability to reason and to solve problems. We have the ability to actually become smarter and to become better. These are all gifts that many of us take for granted. Why do we take these things for granted? Why do we want to be like animals just floating through life? We're not animals -- we're smarter than that. We have something animals don't have. We're humans. We can think and we can reason. We can change our current situation and exercise our individual will. To step away from our true power is to step backwards into ignorance.
Nature and The Universe
In all this awesomeness that we call life we are all part of this amazing thing we call nature, or the universe. Here we are as a unique creation inside of what seems to be an infinite platform for us to exist. Nature is an irrefutable force that works with us in our journey through life. And like a good parent looking after us, nature is always here to provide for us. Nature provides the food we need for daily living. Nature provides the materials we need for shelter. Nature provides the air we need to breath, the light we need to see and the beauty we need to find peace.
In many ways nature is a force above us that we adjust ourselves to. It is very hard for us to change the course of nature, but it is very easy for nature to change the course of ourselves. If nature decides it's going to rain then we accept it and adjust ourselves accordingly. If nature decides it is going to be windy then we accept it and go along with it. We hardly ever question nature because we know nature to be true. Nature isn't something that wavers in its principles. Nature doesn't change the laws of the universe because it wants to. Nature is consistent and steady.
In this sense nature, or the universe, can almost be seen as a God. It is not so much that we are to fight with nature or avoid nature, but rather to find balance and harmony with nature. We are to find how to work with nature, rather than work against it. Nature is something that we can always turn to and count on. Nature will always do the same action again and again to us. If we play with fire and get burned from nature it will always burn us. Nature won't modify the laws of the universe to not burn us the next time. Nature is one of the best teachers we have because it is the most consistent and balanced teacher we have.
Nature is neither for nor against. Nature is simply a platform providing consistent feedback for our own individual actions and free will. It isn't the role of nature to choose sides. Nature simply provides us consistent, measurable results and leaves it up to us to make of them what we will. Nature doesn't treat some people different than others. Nature doesn't play favorites and nature doesn't go out of its way to hurt people. Nature simply is itself and is always true to itself.
In this way nature is balanced. It is hard to take one side or another with nature when the side we take depends on the outcome we want. If we want a storm and are in need of rain then we will gladly welcome a storm to help fill our rivers and feed our crops. If we are completely flooded and it has been raining for 3 days straight then we will gladly welcome the sun. How we view certain aspects of nature depend entirely on our own unique situation at a particular time. One day rain can be a miracle, another a disaster.
And so here we are going through life being part of this grand ensemble we call the universe. We don't necessarily know how it got here or why it is the way it is. All we know is that nature is here, it is extremely consistent and we are all a part of it.
The Universe Is Biased
It is an interesting thing to notice how certain things give us certain results with the universe. For instance, if we eat foods like vegetables and fruits they help us maintain a healthy body. Who said it had to be that way? Why couldn't eating ice cream and cake give us the same results? Why is it that ice cream and cake creates results that most people would consider inferior as opposed to vegetables and fruit?
Isn't it strange how exercising is something that allows us to live longer, and generally with less problems? Why isn't it the other way around? Why does our body require maintenance? Why isn't our body set up to where we can just sit around all day and stay in shape? Or why doesn't something like running make us more unhealthy? Who said it had to be this way?
Why is it that we are able to actually learn and remember things? Who said it had to be this way? Why isn't it that we forget everything we know the next day? Why is there a type of memory that allows us to keep building upon it? Why don't we have to start fresh every day?
Or what about hitting a key on a piano? Why when we hit the note "C" does it always sound the same? Why is there such a thing as consistency in the musical vibration? Who said it had to be this way?
Why are there certain laws of the universe that work a certain way? Why is it that the universe never changes these laws? Why is it that these laws work in a way that enable us to do certain things? Why is it that these laws work in a way that usually reward us for doing good behavior? It's almost as if the universe and our bodies are trying to tell us something? Why is there this universal framework that always seems to know the correct choices even if we don't? It's as if there is some type of bias that we are to learn from.
There is one aspect of the universe which can be seen at all levels: growth. What do I mean by growth? I mean the accumulation of energy -- the gradual addition of new bits and pieces of information to yourself and to the world. We are aware that the sun provides us with the life on this planet. The sun is constantly giving us its energy so that our crops can grow and so that we can eat and live. The sun is constantly pulling energy from somewhere and passing it on to us. Energy is always being passed in and out of things and things are always changing. This is growth at the highest level.
Growth can be seen on all levels of existence. The Earth grows, humans grow, animals grow and plants grow. Things grow on this Earth because we are in a universe that is based on growth and expansion. A plant starts out as a small seed and eventually grows into a full blown plant. A bear starts out as a cub and eventually grows into a full, mature bear. A human starts out as a tiny little baby and eventually grows into a full human being. I didn't come up with these rules. This is just the way nature is and it most likely is done this way for a reason.
While it is true that certain aspects of us may diminish as others grow, as a whole things grow. For instance, as a baby we may start out physically and mentally immature. As we become a full grown adult we may become physically and mentally mature. As we reach our older years in life we may decline physically and mentally a bit, but we still retain most of the growth we have achieved throughout life. This is why older people are almost always looked to for wisdom and guidance of future generations. Older people are generally wise because they have experienced more growth. Most older people have more to contribute to society and the world because they have experienced more time and therefore experienced more growth. They have accumulated more energy from various parts of the universe and nature throughout their life. They have more data to go off than younger, less mature people.
Children and Parents
In general, at least in a more materialistic, real-world sense, children are ignorant. This is why they have parents. They do not have the capacity to take care of themselves. This is why life is constructed to where children have parents and not the other way around. Children need somebody to provide wisdom and education to them so that they can go on to living a life of their own volition. It is not the goal of a parent to become a child but for a child to become a parent.
Children do not start out wise. Children do not start out self-reliant. These are all things which parents, at least good ones, possess. It is natural for parents to teach their children to outgrow ignorance. As the child grows they learn more and more things that enrich their lives and further their own creativity and desires. But without the proper education and insight provided by the parents children would never be able to reach the fullest of their potential. And we see this all the time.
Children who have bad parents usually don't come out as good as children who have good parents. Obviously this is a broad statement and it isn't always true -- but in most cases it is. What do I mean by good parents? A good parent is a parent that equips their child to eventually replace the parent and move forward in growth. In this sense a good parent is simply one who is aligning themselves with a nature. A good parent is simply playing by the rules governing them: nature. A child should eventually become a parent and this parent should then go on to teach their children and so on. This is the way nature operates.
Now obviously there are things that parents can learn from children, it is most certainly not a one way course. In many ways children can be some of the most honest, real and beautiful beings. But this doesn't mean that children aren't here to learn. And it doesn't mean that children are above their parents. Without parents children would die. Children need to first learn the rules of life through their parents.
Some of us may remember when we were young the way we used to look up to our parents. We used to see them do certain things and almost view them like gods. We viewed them this way because they had more growth than us. They were more capable than us because they had more experience, data and time than us. As we started to grow up and become more and more educated ourselves the godlike appeal and power our parents had over us slowly started to wane. And with enough time eventually the parent was not seen as much as a superior but more as an equal or an acquaintance. The godlike luster of the parent eventually diminishes as our growth progresses. And that is precisely what should happen. For if the student never became the master then we would have no more masters left to teach students. Eventually the child becomes at the level or above the level of their parents. And so the cycle of life and growth repeats over and over again.
Words, Symbols and Branding
Words and the way they are branded play an important role in our lives. Certain words mean different things to people. Some words evoke very strong emotions in us. For instance, the word Satan is a word many people feel very strongly on. Another word people feel very strongly on is Nazi. These are both two words that have been branded in a certain way that usually give us an immediate emotional response when we hear them.
But we need to be careful with the amount of weight we give words. Words are a way to represent expressions, ideas, things and so on, but we should remember that no word can ever accurately represent something. Words are simply a useful tool that we use in everyday life to estimate certain things. And just as words can be helpful for certain things they can always be hurtful for other things.
Words evolve. Just as a brand like Coca Cola or General Motors may evolve, so too do words. The word Satan may not mean what it did 500 years ago. The word Jew has a different meaning these days than it did 200 years ago. Today, the word Nazi really gets people stirred up where 100 years ago it would do very little for people. Words are brands that mean what we are taught for them to mean. Words can be used to help us or words can be used to hurt us.
And then we have symbols. If you think symbols don't mean anything to people try walking into a church with a swastika tattooed on your arm. You will get a reaction real fast. Symbols, like words, evoke certain emotions in people. When people see a cross they immediately think certain things. When people see a peace sign they immediately think certain things. What I am saying is that words and symbols are brands that mean things. And just as we have brands like Apple and Ford, we also have words and symbols that are also brands.
We need to understand that looking at a word at the surface level and only extracting one definite meaning from it is shallow. We have to realize that words aren't just a simple one sentence definition. That is not what a word or a symbol is. There are years and years of history behind each of these things. You can't simply say Satan means this and then call it quits. You can't simply say a cross means this and then call it a day. There is much more to words and symbols than the surface level definition. Words and symbols have history and they have evolved. Words mean different things to different people at different times. Each word or symbol is a study of its own that holds many unseen things.
So it would be beneficial for us to not be so fast to interpret a word or symbol a certain way. There is a lot more to it than that. And we need to be careful to see if words and symbols are being taken out of context. It is so easy for us to misrepresent a word and cause confusion simply by using it inappropriately. We need to really understand that it's not so clean cut as using a word and then calling it a day. Some people may understand what you're saying, but many others may be on an entirely separate page in confusion. What one person uses for the definition of one word another may use for a completely different word. To some people a swastika may be a good thing. To others it may be a bad thing. It is a matter of perspective and context.
- We all view why we are here, where we came from and where we are going differently. These differences of perspective create differences in core fundamental questions and beliefs.
- We are all a unique creation. We all possess something that no other entity on earth possesses: reason.
- Nature and the universe is in a way a God. This is a consistent platform that always provides feedback as we travel through life.
- We are all growing. We don't grow backwards, we grow forwards. We are always expanding ourselves.
- We are here to grow and experience.
- Different words and symbols mean different things to people. Everything is a brand to us. However something is branded is how we view it.
"Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death."
We live in a world of polarity. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction countering it. This has been known for thousands of years in Asian philosophy as the Yin and the Yang. Opposites are always working in conjunction with each other balancing things out. Anytime we do an action there is another action that counters that action.
These opposites are what define the world around us. The friction created by duality is what helps us understand things. Without darkness we would never know light. Without cold we would never know hot. Without bad we would never know good. All of these opposites are part of each other and all of these opposites work together. Light and darkness go together. We don't have one without the other. The two are different aspects of the same thing.
From a limited perspective opposites like good and bad may exist, however, in the larger scope of things opposites are just energy. Energy doesn't take sides. Like nature, energy doesn't care whether a hurricane is good or bad. A hurricane just is. Like nature, energy doesn't care if a sunset on the beach is good or bad. A sunset on the beach just is. Energy doesn't choose sides.
The good and bad aspects of every event go together and it is up to the observer to determine what is good and what is bad, because in reality there is no such thing. Energy can be either good or bad depending on which way you look at it.
What do you see when you look at this image? Some people may see a vase. Others will see two faces. No matter which one you see you are still both right and wrong. There are multiple ways to see things and things aren't always one-sided.
Most people see things in one dimension, or linearly. Most people are unable to understand multiple dynamics in a situation and only see things as black and white, good or bad. But the world doesn't operate in black and white. Everything is shades of grey. Nothing in this world is 100% anything. It is always a mixture between many different things. Some things may be very, very close to 100%, but they never reach 100%. Even in science we know that we can't measure something like the length of a table exactly. If you measure the table at 10 meters you then can then get closer by measuring it into 10,001 millimeters, then you can get even closer by measuring it into 1,000,001 cells, then you can get even closer by measuring it into 1,000,000,001 atoms and then as you get even smaller you run into energy and it becomes tricky to figure out what the true length of the table really is. Energy doesn't have a starting point or an ending point. It is only an estimation. So even in science we may be 99.9% there, but we are never 100%. We don't have ways of defining things with certainty, we can only make estimations.
When we look at certain people we usually look at them as good or bad. When we think of Adolf Hitler we usually think bad. When we think of George Washington we usually think good. But it's not this black and white. Some things Adolf Hitler did were good. Some things George Washington did were bad. It is not 100% in either direction. It is a mixture of goods and bads and lots of other things in between. So you can't just say everything Hitler did was bad and everything Washington did was good. In general it may be this way, but each individual case being looked upon should be weighed on its own individual merit.
Each thing has many different attributes that make it up. Somebody like George Washington has at least 100 different things that make him up. He may have the intellectual side, the emotional side, the physical side, the religious side, the political side, the playful side, the family side, the egotistical side, the greedy side, the jealous side, the giving side, the taking side, the hard work side, the lazy side and so on. There are virtually infinite different things that make people up. And each of these things can be at different levels for different people at different time periods. There are just tons of dynamics that go into it.
So while it is fair to say that George Washington is good by a small stroke, by a more large stroke it may not be okay to say this. Taking a small stroke is limiting the amount of information and is a shallow approach. And if you take a shallow approach you are going to get a shallow understanding. If we really want to know if George Washington is good or bad we would look at all the different aspects of him. A good or bad answer will never tell the full story of who George Washington was. The full story isn't good or bad, it is a symphony of goods and bads orchestrated by as many events as you can possibly measure. During certain time periods of his life he may have been better than others. He may have been better at certain subjects than others. When it comes to some things he may have been bad at them and been very uneducated on them. There is no such thing as one person being simply good or bad. That is one dimensional thinking for one dimensional people.
It goes much further than this. What about events in history? Was the American Civil War good or bad? Well you would have to first ask for whom? Was it good for the North or good for the South? Was it good for other countries like England? The more you start to look at something the more you start to understand that there are almost always favorable arguments on all sides, just different degrees. It isn't so simple as simply saying the American Civil War was good or the American Civil War was bad. The American Civil War was many things at play and it depends entirely on which way you are looking at it.
Another example is Europeans coming to America and changing it around. Was it good that Europeans came to America and started killing countless indigenous people? This is generally seen as bad by most people. But on the flip side by coming to America and allowing Europeans to develop a more free society the whole world has also benefited immensely. There are once again arguments on both sides of this event and many ways to view it. It isn't so simple as good or bad. It is thousands upon thousands of different things involved. The more you view it the clearer the picture becomes. The more you study something, the better your understanding. It is not about branding something as good or bad. It is about removing the brand and looking at the information inside.
Intelligence works a lot like the pixels and resolution in things like video games. Very old video games like the Atari and NES had very blocky low quality graphics. It was impossible to represent photo-real images with these devices. There wasn't enough hardware to compose an image that represented reality. As video game systems advanced the resolution of the images increased. With each new generation of video game hardware images began to appear more and more photo realistic. The present day video game systems that we now have are essentially photo-real. They look real because they have a higher resolution -- there is more information (pixels) going into the output. There are more calculations going on and the hardware is able to support it.
The image that these devices display can be analogous to the resolution that people see life in. Less intelligent people are essentially viewing things at a lower resolution than more intelligent people. What do I mean by this? I mean that some people can look at an idea or solution to a problem and only understand a very limited amount of it because they are only enlightened so far. Some people see things very blocky and simple while others see the exact same things as more detailed and colorful. Both people are looking at the same thing, but this thing is decoded entirely differently based on people's current hardware, or understanding.
Say I have 1,000 different squares that all make up an image. These 1,000 different squares could be 1,000 different pieces of information that make up an idea. If somebody is wise they will be able to look at the end result and see maybe 990 different pieces of information making up the idea. The idea will be very clear to them because they are able to process almost all of the information. Somebody of less wisdom may only be able to make out 600 pieces of information of this same image. To them things won't quite be as clear. People of even less wisdom may only be able to make out 100 or maybe even 10 pieces of information. To them things look very simple. An ignorant person says, "This goes here, this is this and this piece solves this. Boom done! That's all there is to it." But that's not all there is to it. They are taking a very shallow approach to something that has much more to it than simply 10 things. There are 990 other things that they don't have the hardware to see, because they haven't developed the hardware within themselves yet. The illustration that follows will make my point more clear.
Upper left: low resolution; Upper right: mid-low resolution; Lower left: mid-high resolution; Lower right: High resolution.
So you can see that wise people see in a higher resolution. I'm not talking visually or even physically. I am talking intellectually and intuitively. Wise people are able to see clearer. They are like a more advanced video game system with hardware that is more evolved. They have more to them and are more discerning. Somebody of less wisdom is not able to see things as clearly. Ignorant people are looking through life with less wisdom capacity. They have less experience and understanding to know how things play out. They haven't analyzed enough pieces to a particular idea or event to know all the different dynamics at play yet. Their view on something will only be mediocre. I'm not saying they can't be more wise than somebody of higher resolution than them on certain things -- I'm saying in general this isn't the case. And I am most certainly not saying that they are stuck here. Anyone can develop themselves to become wise to have a clearer understanding of things, it simply takes effort.
So that is what I mean by multi-dimensional thinking. Nobody has everything figured out in life, but some people have things figured out more than others because they have studied them, thought about them and experienced them. And people who have studied more topics and considered more topics are generally more equipped to understand the different fields at play behind each of them and put them together to form a clearer picture. If you haven't studied and thought about things your picture is most likely going to be low resolution and misleading. You will be fooled into thinking that your solution is correct when in reality it is shallow and incomplete. This is why so many people think they have it figured out when in point of fact they need to go back and do their homework.
Love and Reason
It has been said that if you have ever felt love then you can't define it and if you can define love then you have never felt it. This could be true to a degree, but I am going to attempt to define love in a different way. We all have our own definitions for love and we use the term all the time to mean many different things. To some people love is an emotion, to other people love is physical lust, to others love is a passion and still others see love as complete harmony between two people. Love means lots of different things to people. But with all these definitions we never quite grasp what love fully is. Love is still something that is fairly nebulous and open to interpretation. What is love to one person can be evil to another person. It really is hard to pinpoint love down.
Love is a personal thing. Love is an individual thing. We each have things we love. That is because love is basically our own individual free will. Love is what makes us up. Love is us. When we do things that we want to do we are loving. Love is a way for us to express our energy. Love is our individual creativity. As we create, we love. As we do things that we want to do we love. Love is us expressing our free will. Love is basically the energy behind our desires, whether for good or for bad.
Now love doesn't stand alone. Without some type of focus or direction love just runs in any direction it wants. Reason is what directs love. If love is the energy and the force behind our actions reason is the structure and channel that this force flows through. Reason is the experience that directs the love. Reason is the direction that we point the love in. Reason is all the data and information that we have accumulated so far in life determining what we will do with our own individual free will. As we grow and develop ourselves what we do with our energy, or love, may change. We don't always love the same way. As we evolve and pick up more experience through life our reason changes and therefore the way we express our love changes. What we once loved 10 years ago may not be the same today. What we looked for in other people when we were younger may be different than what we look for in people today. Reason is basically our current level of consciousness acting on love.
We have all seen how many animals are emotional. If we yell and scream at a dog it will get sad and put its head down in shame. If we get playful and happy around a dog they will get happy. This is something that humans share with animals. Animals and humans both have love. Animals and humans both have free will -- we are both able to do things that we want to do to the degree that our reason allows us to. Animals have less free will than humans because they have less reason than humans. Animals run more off instinct while humans run more of reason. Instincts and reason are pretty much opposites. Instincts are commands that are built into our body. Reason are things that we develop. Animal bodies allow for less development of reason and therefore animals are unable to direct their love at the same level that humans are able to.
Now I know what you're thinking. Yeah, but in a lot of ways animals are a lot more loving than humans. Not true. It might appear this way, but this is because that's all they can be. As soon as you allow something to be able to reason and express themselves in a greater way you allow for negative aspects to develop. This is a very, very important point here. Humans are often seen as evil because they have the ability to be evil. It actually takes reason and intelligence to be evil. Animals are seldom evil because they're not smart enough to be evil. Animals don't have the opportunity to be evil. Animals can only go so far as their instincts will take them. Animals don't have a broad enough range of free will to consciously do something evil of their own volition. Humans do. This is why we run into so many problems with human affairs.
This all has to do with the magnitude of love. As reason increases our magnitude for love increases. This can be illustrated with 3 basic objects: the dot, the line and the circle.
These 3 basic objects represent the relationship between love and reason.
The dot is us. The line is an action of our love or individual free will. The circle is our level of reason or consciousness. The line can go anywhere from the dot it wishes to go, meaning we can do anything we want to do. The line is not going in a good or a bad direction, it is simply going in a direction. As reason and consciousness grows the circumference of the circle increases. This allows for each line, or action of free will, to have more magnitude. This increase in magnitude makes each action louder. So while an animal may be loving it is because their magnitude is lower so they don't have many negative possibilities. It is more neutral. A human, on the other hand, has a larger magnitude and can be seen as super nice or super evil, depending on where they direct their energy.
Animal love and human love. Notice that the human has a greater circumference for reason which makes each action of love louder than that of the animal.
A truly kind animal can never be as kind as a truly kind human because the human will have a greater magnitude of love. It has to do more with magnitude and less with direction.
Unlike animals, humans have the ability to use their free will in ways outside of their built-in bodily limitations. We aren't bound by instincts on what to do -- we are bound by consciousness. And as we develop our reasoning and consciousness we also develop our love -- our individual free will. It is possible for us to over-ride our body if we so choose to. We can put our body and instincts on the backburner and sacrifice them to our free will. We have the ability to be above our instincts as humans.
Emotions and Habits
Humans and animals both have emotions at different levels. Emotions are basically different individual elements that combine to make up our love. Every time we do an action we are expressing love and each expression has various emotions involved with it. Sometimes an action may be fearful. Sometimes it may be joyful. Other times we may be greedy and other times we may be caring. Most of the time we are using multiple emotions at once. Most actions are never just anger or hate by themselves, they are usually a mixture of anger, hate and a lot of other things all working together to make up the overall love at that particular moment. Emotions usually come in packages of multiple emotions all working together at once. These emotions all work together to make up our overall, individual love.
What makes humans unique is that through our reason we are able to develop habits. These habits are essentially tools that refine and work on our emotions. Habits are things that we develop with time that act on our emotions. Emotions and habits are found in all of us. The types of habits we practice determine the types of emotions we express. If we practice good habits we usually express good emotions. If we practice bad habits we usually express bad emotions.
So a quick recap: Emotions are individual expressions that make up our energy, or love. Every action we do has various emotions associated with it. Love is like light and the emotions are the various colors that make up the light. One emotion may be red, another royal blue and another bright yellow. All of these colors of emotions combined result in the color of our individual light. Habits are what guide the various colors of light and tell them where to go and reason is what chooses which habits we will practice. So we are dealing with love, reason, emotion and habits. Emotions are a part of love and habits are a part of reason. It is not so much the words we use to label these things with but rather the concepts that are important.
When we start out in life our emotions are generally shallow, jagged and unrefined. As we grow in life we use reason and experience in the form of habits to slowly refine these emotions to be clean and smooth like a diamond. And just as a sander trying to refine a rough piece of metal, this isn't always a pretty and easy process. Sometimes sparks fly, sometimes edges rip off, sometimes too much is sanded, sometimes we use the wrong sandpaper -- there are lots of variables here and it's shaky business. But the goal is for us to slowly refine our emotions to where they are a shimmering diamond with beauty and completion.
And this usually is the case. Most people who are older in life usually are more developed and balanced when it comes to emotions and habits. Many of the bad habits we do as children we slowly shed and develop into good habits as we mature into adults. Not all of us are going to take the same path and there are many ways to enhance our reason.
Love and reason are not necessarily opposites, they are containers. Love is a container and reason is a container. It isn't like we have 25% love and 75% reason. We can have 30% love and 20% reason. Or we can have 75% love and 85% reason. It is up to us to determine how full we fill each individual container. There is a big misconception that opposites in life are one or the other. Opposites don't always operate the way we think they do -- sometimes they have less to do with balancing themselves out and more to do with their individual amounts.. If you have 20% good that doesn't mean you automatically have 80% bad. It is possible to have 20% good and 40% bad. Love and reason don't need to balance each other out.
Love and reason can be likened to how we have right and left brain people. The left side is the logical, rational side while the right side is the creative, loving side. We hear all the time how people are either left brain, right brain, or a mix of both. But I don't think this is necessarily complete. We make it seem like each side of the brain represents 50% and we have to decide what mix we will have to make 100%. But it isn't like scales where we weigh 2 things and see how they balance out. It is more like a gas tank and an oil tank where you can fill both of them independently to whatever amount you want.
Let's say we have two people, Person A who is right brained and Person B who is left brained. We immediately think the right brained Person A is more right brained than the left brained Person B. But that's not always true. Let's say the right brained Person A is 60% right brain and 10% left brain. And then let's say the left brained Person B is 70% right brain and 90% left brain. You can clearly see that, yes, the left brained Person B is predominantly a left brain person (90%), but they are still very high with the right brain (70%). So while this left brained Person B may be called left brained, they are still more right brained than Person A who is called right brained, but at 60%, 10% less than Person B.
Person B uses a greater amount of their right brain than Person A even though Person A is considered right brain and Person B is left brain.
What I am showing is that the left and right brain aren't so much opposites as they are containers. Being full on one doesn't make you empty on the other. Being 1/2 on one doesn't make you 1/2 on the other. These are both independent containers that can both be filled fully. It is simply up to us to choose how we fill them.
In school we have people who are good at English but bad at Math. Then we have the people who are good at Math but bad at English. English is generally more right brain and creative while math is usually more left brain and logical. Students usually gravitate towards one or the other. But every once in a while you will get a student who is naturally talented at both. They are not being good at one at the expense of the other -- they are being good at both. They are being 100% in both polarities.
This is the exact same thing with love and reason. Some people may be higher in love and reason than others. One person may be 20% loving and 30% reasoning. Another person may be 80% loving and 60% reasoning. Some people may be higher in both because they choose to be higher in both. We all have control over what we want to be and we have the freedom to develop ourselves as we see fit.
Merging Love and Reason
As we go through life we are constantly acting on love with reason and at the same time acting on reason with love. The two are constantly at battle with each other. As we grow in loving things we may take a few steps back in rational things. As we grow in rational things we may take a few steps back in loving things. The two often work against each other and it is very difficult to have the two working together in harmony. Love and reason are almost always tugging at each other. It isn't until we have put forth the effort to fully develop our habits that we can actually begin to have love and reason work with each other rather than against each other.
As we grow in this world of polarity we are naturally going to encounter both sides of things. We are going to be a bit like a ping pong ball bouncing around while we develop ourselves. One year we may lean one direction and the next year we may lean the other direction. This is normal, this is part of growth. As we grow we try things. As we explore different things we take in data which we use to make decisions with our free will. Since we don't start out with all the data, or at least know how to access it immediately, we fumble around trying to find our way. We are going to have contradictions and we are going to disagree with things we used to agree with. If we never changed our mind we would never grow.
I'm sure most of us are familiar with business people. Many businessmen are very frank and rash. Most of the people on Wall Street are not very emotional people but they are very rational people. These are people that have usually developed their reasoning faculties and from a rational perspective they appear to have things figured out. However, as soon as you throw some love into the mix it might start to throw some of these people off. It's like throwing light on darkness, it's revealing. Rational people don't like throwing love on things because it forces them outside of their comfort zone. Acting in selfless or patient ways is not something a rational person wants to do. But being rational alone will only take somebody so far, and at some point they will also have to grow in love to give their reason more energy.
And the opposite is true with love. Most of us have probably met a few people of faith who are very loving and emotional but not so rational or logical. These people have so much energy and they want so much out of life, but without proper reason acting on this love sometimes it can be misdirected in the wrong direction. And as soon as you throw some reason into the mix for these people it is usually not well received because it takes these people out of their comfort zone. Actually doing research and critical thinking isn't particularly something loving people want to do. But being loving alone won't always do the trick, and at some point loving people are going to need to develop their reasoning faculties to channel their love in a greater capacity.
Some of the most loving people you will ever meet are not very good with reason. They usually avoid things like math and logic. They usually aren't very technical and can't take a systematic, measurable approach to something. Conversely, some of the most reasoning people you will meet are not very good with love. They will usually avoid discussing their emotions and showing affection towards others. These two things really are hard to mix, it is much easier to be one or the other. But it is also much more powerful to be both.
Most people usually start out somewhere in the middle and then as they grow they gravitate towards more of a love path or more of a reason path. Certain people will find it easier to be loving and others will find it easier to be rational. So as we grow up and go through life we start to develop certain habits and traits based off of our preferences towards these things. The habits that we develop are based off of our individual preferences for love or reason and consequently our emotions are a result of our habits.
Loving people will usually resonate well with things like selflessness, helping others, giving, finding beauty and things of this nature. Reasoning people will usually resonate with things like facts, patterns, systems and structure. Loving people are more into people while reasoning people are more into things. Loving people want nothing more than to just help as many people as they can and be around as many cheerful people as possible. Loving people nurture others. Rational people want to make things real and they are very focused on getting things done. Rational people nurture things.
Take something like being selfish. Reasoning people are usually going to be more selfish than loving people because they are more connected to their ego. Their ego drives them to achieve and to compete with others. Their ego drives them to do better than others and to be the best. And as a result these kind of people tend to be more selfish. They are in it for themselves. If these people weren't as selfish they may not have the drive to do whatever it is they are doing. So in a way being selfish is good, however, we need to keep ourselves in check and understand that what is good for reason is sometimes bad for love. It would be much better to break up selfishness and take the drive and determination elements on the reasoning side and also add a touch of love to direct this energy towards others rather than ourselves. This is reason and love acting together to add the best possible result.
Loving people, on the other hand, are going to find it easier to be selfless. Loving people generally aren't trying to prove anything and don't have a reason to be better than anyone else. Loving people see others as their equals and aren't as aggressive as a reasoning person. Therefore, loving people are going to be more in line with selflessness and less in line with selfishness. But on the flip side of this a loving person may lack drive. A loving person may not want to ever step up to the driver seat of their own life and as a result somebody else may step up for them. There are pros and cons to everything. It is about combining the favorable elements from reason with the favorable elements from love.
When it comes to verifying information and putting pieces of information together, rational people are going to have a far greater advantage than loving people. Loving people aren't as equipped to go through lots of data and measure lots of things like a reasoning person is. If it can't be felt with the heart loving people struggle. If it can't be analyzed with data reasoning people struggle.
We have to understand that they both have their positives and negatives. Just because somebody is loving doesn't give them a free ride through life. Sometimes being loving isn't enough. Sometimes being a good person isn't enough. Reasoning people can still manipulate loving people through their emotions. People high in reason can outsmart loving people if the loving people lack reason. Just as you can outsmart your loving pets, people high in reason can outsmart loving people. If you are a loving person the goal is to also grow in reason.
And the same is true for reasoning people. Just because you are quick-witted and logical doesn't give you a free ride through life either. Being rational and logical isn't always enough. Rational people can be very stubborn and depend too much on data rather than the heart. Rational people will continue to dig a deeper and deeper hole when often times all that a person needs is a hug. Rational people will often times remove themselves from society when in reality they should be interacting with society. If you are a reasoning person the goal is to also grow in love.
Many of the people that we respect throughout history are people that have mastered this merging of the two. Names like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Gandhi and others are people that have combined these two polarities into a beautiful product. These people are the result of years of practice and study in becoming balanced, complete individuals. We, too, can all become like this if we continue to chip away and work on developing favorable habits that act on our emotions in desirable ways. We are all diamonds waiting to show ourselves to the world, most of us just don't believe it yet.
Most of us struggle stepping into the other side because it is hard and different. It requires work and change on our part -- it requires growth. The reasoning don't really want to give up a part of their ego and themselves for the betterment of others. This is a hard, hard step for them. Most loving people don't want to stop going with their feelings and actually start studying. That is a hard, hard step for them. But the things we don't want to do are often times the things we need to do most.
As we gain more in one side of the equation, the other side may go down a bit. As we gain more reason our love may slide down a bit. It really requires a lot of practice and dedication to raise one level while not decreasing the other. The challenge is to work our best at keeping our love levels up as we gain reason, and our reason levels up as we gain love. It is not so much about choosing one side or the other, but rather recognizing each side for what it is and merging them together.
Good and Bad
For the most part we start out in life as a blank slate. We are like a brand new computer that consists of hardware without any software. As we go through life our parents, our culture and our environment starts to shape our beliefs. Just how software determines what the hardware will do on a computer, our culture determines what we will do with our physical body. Our culture is the software that we install our bodies with. And not all software is the same. Some software has bugs, some software has viruses and some software needs to be updated.
Almost all of the habits we have are a result of other people. It is rare for us to do habits outside of our close network of people. If our parents are hard-working we are usually hard-working. If our parents are lazy we are usually lazy. If our friends exercise we usually exercise. If our friends smoke pot we smoke pot. We develop the habits of the people that we associate with. And these habits that we form shape our emotions.
These various habits that we practice are essentially our ethics. Ethics are subjective. What is right in one culture is wrong in another culture. One culture may be loaded with Windows, another may be loaded with Apple OS and another may be loaded with Linux. These different cultures have different aspects that make them up. Some things may be stronger in one culture and some things may be weaker in another culture, it just depends on the particular task at hand.
One culture may be very artistic and very good with making people happy. This would be Apple OS. Another culture may be very technical and serious. This culture may only allow certain elite people to be members of it. This would be Linux. And another culture may be a little less serious and do an okay job and keeping everyone happy. This one would be Windows. An artistic culture may be more about creativity and expression while a technical culture may be more about progress and science. On the flip side the artistic culture may be a bit naive and the technical culture may be a bit rash. There are pros and cons to each culture and based off the experience the software is delivering the hardware it may be favorable or unfavorable to each individual person.
These habits transcend further than simply culture. They also move into a more core level, the species level. Just as we may develop certain habits because of our culture, we may also develop certain habits because of our species. As humans we have specific habits that pertain to the human family. As mammals we have certain habits that apply to the mammalian family. If we were reptiles we would have certain habits that would apply to the reptilian family. Reptilian habits are different than mammalian habits. Different groups of entities such as humans develop certain codes of ethics that are favorable to the experience that they are creating for their particular species. And as these entities grow and mature so too do their codes of ethics.
Humans have live births, we don't lay eggs like reptiles. Humans walk upright on two legs, we don't crawl. Humans require oxygen from air to breath, we can't breath underwater. Humans require food and water to live, we will die without it. These are all parameters that humans take into account when deciding which habits are good and which ones are bad. Non-humans will have different ethics than humans because they aren't humans. It's not good or bad. It just is. We view things from our human, cultural and environmental perspective. From a non-human perspective it is all just energy that we are shaping.
Whether something is good or bad depends on the person interpreting it. Judgement of a situation is a subjective decision. What is right to somebody is wrong to another person. If something suits our desired preference or perspective it is seen as good from our frame of reference. If something goes against what we want it is seen as bad. If you take $100 from Person A and give it to Person B it is good from Person B's perspective. This same situation is bad from Person A's perspective. It is still just one event happening, but depending on which way you look at it can be either good or bad.
There are different degrees of right and wrong. Some things are more right and wrong than others. From the human perspective pretty much every culture on the planet agrees that it is wrong to murder another human being. Ask a group of humans if it is wrong to kill somebody and most people will say that it is wrong. Ask another group of humans if it is wrong to steal from another human being and you may hear arguments on both sides. Ask another group of humans if it is wrong to smoke marijuana. Again, you will receive arguments from both sides. Ask another group of humans if it is wrong to feed somebody who is hungry. These are all different scenarios that have different answers depending on the people interpreting them. Some things are more clean cut and other things are less clean cut.
And then how do you even define these things? How do you define murder? What exactly is murder? Is it killing somebody against their will? It it killing somebody in self-defense? What about killing somebody in war? Does there need to be a just cause for the war? What about badly injuring somebody vs completely killing them? There are just so many variables that it really is hard to define what you are talking about before you can even begin to make a judgement call on whether something is right or wrong.
What I'm getting at is that good and bad, right and wrong are not so clear cut as we make them out to be. Good and bad are ultimately relative terms. There are certain tendencies that certain people, families, cultures and civilizations have during different periods of time. Yes, there are certain things people do agree on, but there are also tons of things that differ at many different levels. There is no such thing as saying this one thing will be good 100% of the time and this other thing will be bad 100% of the time. It depends. Ethics are much better viewed on a case by case basis.
What was right to do 100 years ago may not be right to do today. It is possible for something that is right at this current time to be wrong 10 years into the future. Ethics are always changing and never clean cut. There are always going to be exceptions for every case. It isn't so much about developing a strict system of this good and that bad as it is about understanding all the circumstances for what they are.
We need to move past good and bad and move into intent. What did the person intend to do? Did they mean to hurt somebody? Did they do something intentionally or unintentionally? Did they do something out of ignorance or out of knowledge? These are much more important questions than simply if something was good or bad. Intent is a much greater qualifier of the deeper motivations of an individual.
Infringing on Free Will
When we call something bad what we usually mean is that something is infringing on our personal free will or somebody else's free will. We all have our own individual creativity to express ourselves as we please. When something else disturbs our creative force we don't like it. When we are lining up dominoes and somebody keeps knocking them down they are infringing on our free will. This will most likely upset us. When somebody physically harms us they are infringing on our free will. We didn't want them to harm us, but they did anyway -- they went against our free will. When somebody forces us to eat something we don't want to eat they are infringing on our free will and we see it as bad. The list goes on and on.
There are two main ways people can get us to do something: by force or by invitation. When things happen by force it is a lot more likely that this can be bad for us. When things happen by invitation it is a lot more likely that it will be good for us. Good teachers usually don't force things on their students. A good teacher isn't going to force their will on yours. A good teacher is going to try to understand the student, try to make information relevant towards the student and invite the student to their way of understanding. A good teacher is going to show the student what they know to be true and invite the student towards this way of thinking. A good teacher knows that they are not going to be 100% correct, they are simply going to invite the student in and go from there. A bad teacher is going to tell the student that they are right and they are going to force the student to think like them, even if the student doesn't want to. A good teacher invites change, a bad teacher forces it.
So we have things happening by force and invitation. When a government forces us to pay taxes we usually don't like it. If a government invited us to pay taxes we would like it a lot more. When a religion forces us to think a certain way we usually don't like it. When a religion invites us to think a certain way and tells us to make up our own mind we are much more liking of it. When a school forces us to think a certain way we don't like it. When a school shows us what they know and allows us to make up our own mind we like it.
And this gets tricky because using force isn't always a bad thing either. As intelligence decreases force usually increases. As intelligence increases it is usually appropriate for force to decrease. For example, if somebody does something that is good but we are ignorant of that something being good then we may see it as bad. When a parent forces their child to eat peas this is bad from the child's perspective even though it is good for them from the parent's perspective. The child is too ignorant to understand the benefits to eating peas and as a result their own ignorance makes it bad even though 10 years from now once they are more mature they will probably see it as good.
Difference in reasoning if often the source of good and bad discrepancies. We see this all the time in political and religious issues. What we think is bad for us right now we may actually find to discover is good for us as we grow in reasoning. What we think is good for us right now may actually turn out to be bad for us as we grow in reasoning.
When things are done through invitation we are much more accepting of it. When things are done by force they are almost always infringing on our free will and it invariably leads to something bad in our eyes. So if we really want to get rid of evil we should focus on force and infringement of free will. This is almost always where things that we call bad stem from.
We can't remove evil
There is no such thing as ridding the world of evil. In a world of polarity that is like removing 1/2 of the world itself. As long as we have polarity in the world we will have evil. What we need to rid the world of is not evil but ignorance. Evil is only able to be evil when people are too ignorant to recognize it for what it is. Evil only exists through ignorance. If people understood the dynamics behind a situation they would be less likely to take sides and call one side evil and another good.
All the time people are taking sides on issues. Some people are Republican, others are Democratic. Some people are religious, others are not. Some people are male, others are female. Some people are black, others are white. There are always going to be sides to an issue or thing. It isn't about taking sides and calling one side good and one side bad. It is about accepting each side for what it is and working with it. Each side is both good and bad.
We see this all the time with children. Children usually will react very strongly towards bad things. When something bad happens children will throw a fit. They are reacting to evil, or rather, something that is infringing on their free will. On the other hand, when something bad happens to a more mature, older person they usually don't react as strongly. Old people have seen more than young people. Evil isn't new to them. Old people understand what is going on. What is evil to a child isn't as evil to an older person because it has gone past the shock stage of surprise and now become data that has happened time and time again throughout their life. To a child ice cream falling off of their cone is a complete disaster and something worthy of crying. This is the height of evil to a child. To an old person they're just happy the ice cream didn't fall on their shoes and make a mess.
Evil is simply the boundary for good. Good is simply the boundary for evil. Evil is simply the reaction to good and good is the reaction to evil. These are all just energies that we are to interpret and deal with as we will. There is no such thing as evil. There is no such thing as getting rid of evil. There is no such thing as getting rid of bad sides. It's going to be here as long as the universe operates in polarity. So we had better buckle up and work with it.
Outgrowing Power Over Us
A big part about good and bad is outgrowing it. People can only do good or bad things to us if we allow them to. There are always going to be things that we disagree with or don't like. But it is not always about attacking something that is good or bad, it is about allowing this to no longer hold power over you. It is about learning how to defend yourself.
Most of the time people are able to do harm to us and manipulate us to their own advantage out of our own ignorance. When we don't fully understand something that somebody else does they are able to turn things to their advantage. We see this all the time in the banking industry. Most people know very little about how banks and money operate and because of this are almost always taken advantage of.
A lot of the time we are suckers for somebody else. It is about becoming less a sucker and more somebody who is unable to be suckered. When you have understanding and wisdom it is hard for somebody to play you for a fool. We shouldn't be running away from our problems, but rather working through them. We should find ways to become stronger, not ways to run and become weaker.
So a lot of time the things we call bad are really just us not having our defenses high enough to protect us from these things. A lot of the time if we were to simply know more and spend our time working towards things of value there would be less things that could do bad to us. Bad needs a target and if you give it a target it will take it. If there is no place for bad to facilitate itself how will it exist?
This is a lot like getting sick. If we spend our free time doing things that make us weaker we will become much more susceptible to evil. It is much easier to get sick if we are unhealthy. The same thing can be said about evil. It is much easier to be manipulated by evil if we are ignorant. If we spend all our time doing things that keep us ignorant then evil will have a place to exist. If we spend our time doing things which develop wisdom then evil will no longer have a resting ground.
Like a good teacher, evil challenges us. Evil is the friction which creates opportunity for growth. Evil is simply the catalyst behind most change. Without evil we would be like a weak muscle without exercise. We need that friction to allow for growth. We need evil to allow the complete picture of things to take place. If it wasn't for evil we wouldn't have a reason to get smarter or stronger and we would just sit around all day and become weak. We should be happy about evil working as a catalyst towards growth.
Yes, we may be able to overthrow evil for a short while and we may be able to mark our free will as the dominating force for some time. But eventually that will fade and evil will work its way in once again. The only true way to get rid of evil is to reach enough wisdom to work it into our life. How are we going to work within the confines of polarity to maximize our free will while minimizing infringement on others? That is real ethics.
- We live in a world of polarity. Everything has both good and bad.
- Things aren't always black and white. There are always usually arguments on both sides to an issue.
- Love is our individual free will. Reason is the consciousness that directs our love.
- Emotions are individual elements that make up our love. Habits are principles that refine our emotions.
- Love and Reason are not opposites. We can be 100% in both.
- Merging love and reason is a challenging task.
- Good and bad are subjective. What is good to one person is bad to another person.
- What we call bad is usually infringement on somebody else's free will -- or force.
- Evil exists through ignorance. If we want to get rid of evil we need to get rid of ignorance.
- We can only be hurt if we are ignorant.
"The wise have therefore declared that none can attain to the highest in the science of knowing until first he has attained to the highest in the science of living. Philosophic power is the natural outgrowth of the philosophic life."
So with ethics being subjective it is possible for us to consider different distinctions and see which ones bring us results we want. If we study for a test we usually get a higher score than if we don't study. This doesn't mean that it is right to study and that it's wrong not to, it just means that if you want to score higher on a test studying for the test is probably a good idea. So by considering different principles and polarities we are able to discover which ones are most likely to bring us results that we want most often in life.
Short Term vs Long Term
Most people operate in the short term. Ignorance operates in the short term. When you can only think about the immediate effects of something you are always going to be at a disadvantage. When you can only see the short term effects of something you have less information about something than somebody who can see the long term effects. Most people see the short term and not the long term. Wise people see in both the short term and the long term.
Seeing the long term of something doesn't mean not seeing the short term -- it means seeing the long term and the short term. Seeing in the short term means only seeing in the short term, which invariably leaves you with less options for decision making. Thinking in the short term only is hardly a good idea. This is because thinking in the short term will often set you up for failure in the long term. Manly P. Hall sums it up rather nicely when he says:
Shortsightedness, consequently, is the cause of endless misery. Moral shortsightedness results in vice, philosophical shortsightedness in materialism, religious shortsightedness in bigotry, rational short-sightedness in fanaticism.
When we think in the short term it is generally because we have less of an understanding on something. As we gain more information about a particular subject we are generally more able to think longer into the future about it. We see this all the time with investors and businessmen.
People that build businesses for the short term generally make less money than people that build businesses for the long term. This is because things built for the long term require more understanding, information, work and patience. But things built for the long term are ultimately more sustainable.
Long term things are constantly building themselves more and more. Rather than having to start over and over again, when we work in the long term we are developing equity. We are building interest when we do things for the long term. The long term begins to have exponential growth because all the past parts are used in addition to future parts. When we work in the long term we are not wiping the slate clean each time.
It's like the story of the three little pigs. Building a house out of straw is a very short term approach. Hardly any work and effort is put into building a straw house. A more long term approach is to build your house out of wood. More time and effort goes into building a house out of wood and as a result a better house is erected. An even more long term strategy, and the best strategy in the story, is building your house out of brick. This is the most long term strategy in the story and also ultimately the best. The brick house took the longest amount of time to build and it took the most work. The long term approach was also scoffed at by short term people. But that didn't matter. In the end the long term strategy prevailed. The pigs with the straw house and the wood house lost all of their work and have to start over. The pig with the brick house didn't lose any of his efforts. Nothing was wasted with the long term approach. Now while the other two pigs are rebuilding their houses again the pig with the brick house can add to his already existing house.
From Point A to Point Z
There is much more to short term thinking. Most people tend to only see a thin spectrum of events that happen from other events. Only being able to see from point A to point B can be limiting when there is a whole alphabet out there. Sometimes, if not most of the time, we should be doing our best to see from point A to point Z, and all the letters in between. We need to see as much of the spectrum of possibilities as possible. Most people may only see how something is directly good to them, but not indirectly bad to them in many other ways.
A simple example would be with food. Eating a bunch of ice cream may be directly good to your taste palette. Yummy! The ice cream is so sweet and awesome, how could there ever be more to it than just a good taste? But there obviously is. Ice cream comes with many problems that are all too noticeable by most people. Ice cream isn't good for your health, it's high in sugars and fats that our bodies don't particularly need. And when we eat lots of sugary and fattening foods our health ultimately suffers. And when our health deteriorates we become more and more limited by our body. We may have less energy. We may be sick more often. We may become overweight and have problems with tasks that used to not be problems. We may start to lose motivation for other things in life, and this in turn may make us turn to ice cream all the more. This is an example of being able to see a bit further than from just A to B. A may be the ice cream, B is eating it and C, D, E and so on are all the things that happen after eating ice cream. The more we know about something and the more long term our vision, the more able we are to make better decisions.
The ice cream example is obvious to most people except maybe children. But what about something a little less obvious, like economics? How does spending money on certain things right now affect other things into the future? Unless we have a certain level of economic understanding we really don't have a long term answer to this. What about certain political decisions? What about certain religious decisions? Like the ice cream example, seeing only from point A to point B can be detrimental in all of these categories.
Easy vs Hard
Most of the time things that are hard are usually good for us. Things that make us struggle are usually good. It is hard to run 3 miles for exercise. It is hard to read a non-fiction book to educate ourselves. It is hard to start a business. It takes actual work, effort and perseverance to do things that are hard most of the time and because of this it usually develops growth. Struggling usually transforms us into something better.
Conversely, things that are easy usually are not as good for us. It is easy to sit at home and not work. It is easy to avoid exercising. It is easy to follow the crowd and do what everyone else does. It is easy to watch TV instead of studying a subject. Many easy things are not as good for us as hard things. Not struggling usually makes us weaker.
Hard things are usually good for us because hard things are new problems that create growth once they are solved. Growth usually isn't easy. It wasn't easy learning to ride a bike. It's not easy staying physically active. It’s not easy eating a balanced diet. And most good things aren't easy. The world is set up in a way where certain things need to be worked for. Most of the things that make our lives better aren't handed to us, we have to search for them and work for them. It's not easy to find a diamond. You have to search deep and hard to find one. And then once you find one you have to refine it. The world is set up in a way where the easy path usually doesn't make you as good of a person as the hard path. I didn't write these rules, I simply recognize them. Things that are easy are usually good for the short term and bad for the long term. Things that are hard are usually bad for the short term and good for the long term. The hard road develops equity and exponential growth.
Of course this isn't always true and of course we need to relax sometimes and unwind. But relaxation and unwinding should be the exception, not the norm. When we get in the habit where we are spending most of our time doing easy things we almost always create a bleak future for ourselves. We see this all the time with the spoiled rich kids that have hardly worked a day in their lives -- they are usually egotistical people who think that the whole world owes them something because they happened to be born into that situation. The reality of it is that the parents most likely worked hard and took the hard path to get the long term rewards while the child never learned and developed these qualities. As a result the child will never become a higher quality individual until they start to take on the hard qualities that the parents took on to accumulate such wealth in the first place.
The same thing happens with business. We usually find that the businesses where the founders spend their time working hard in their garage go on to do much better than the businesses where the founders spend all their time buying flashy offices or new cars. The people who do the stuff that isn't fun and the stuff that is hard almost always come out ahead because they are exchanging short term pleasures for long term rewards. Almost every person of true success understands that you need to do things that are hard. All too often we spend time procrastinating from the things that we know we should be doing because we don't want to do something that is hard. We will think up every excuse we can to avoid actually doing real, necessary work.
And this doesn't mean that things that are hard have to not be fun. In a lot of ways hard things can be more fun than easy things. Most people inherently like a good challenge. Most people inherently want to become better. Most people inherently want to become smarter. It is just that sometimes it can be daunting and overwhelming to fully accept the things we must do to get there. When we realize that it might take 2 years of hard, dry, boring work to learn a new skill it can turn us off quite easily. But we need to learn to enjoy the hard things in life. We need to learn to enjoy the struggle of doing what is right and what is needed. We should set our minds on the long term rewards of doing what is hard and appreciate that it is possible to grow to an area that we currently are not at. We should be happy about working hard for something and earning our way. It is almost always better to get where we want to be by working for it rather than being given it. So we should learn to accept and be happy about taking the hard path as we know that ultimately the hard path will make us much higher quality people. If we truly want to grow as individuals and become better people we need to understand that doing what is hard and challenging is usually the way to get there.
Steps and Momentum
We should also learn to approach the hard path one step at a time. Nothing happens instantly. Everything takes time. It isn't about getting to the end immediately. It is about doing what needs to be done on a steady basis. By breaking down a hard task into small steps it becomes much more palatable. Consistency is what really matters. You don't need to group everything into one big task only to give up the next day. Just work towards the right direction a little bit each day.
When we break things into steps we also open up the concept of momentum. Momentum is a very important part of achieving hard tasks. Almost always when we accomplish something we feel really good about what we just did. When we finish a hard task we feel great about ourselves. When we finish a hard workout or a hard jog we feel fantastic. We feel as if we are ready for more. This is because we have momentum.
Let's say the hard thing that we are trying to achieve is losing 20 pounds of weight. This may seem like a daunting task because we are looking at 20 pounds and thinking, crap, this is going to take a long time. Where do I even get started? I don't want to do this. I'll get started in a day or two. But what we really should be doing is splitting this up into small steps and accomplishing these small steps. We need to get momentum. Momentum changes everything. Once we have some momentum from completing tasks we are much more likely to continue on to gain even more momentum.
So the way to accomplish a task like losing weight may be to just test the waters. Just take a very, very small step. Rather than being like a lot of people and being like, "I'm going to go to the gym for 5 hours straight and lose all this weight", the better path would be to take small, steady, consistent steps that build momentum for yourself. Small, steady changes -- that is all that is really needed. The first step shouldn't be going to the gym for 5 hours. The first step should be just getting to the gym. Or just putting on your running shoes and stepping outside. That's something that's not scary, anybody is okay with that. Then once you are at the gym or outside you can do the next step. You can decide how far you want to run. Maybe you only want to run for 30 seconds. That's fine. At least you did something. You moved forward. You took a piece out of the hard task and in doing so you created momentum. Now the following day you can do the same thing. You can go to the gym or walk outside and match your last record. You can run for 30 seconds again. Chances are you won't want to run for 30 seconds. This time you may want to run for 1 minute. This is because you have momentum. You have familiarity with doing something and you are now building and growing.
Everybody likes to build and create equity for things, we are just usually turned off because we make the steps too big. We need to learn to break things into small steps and then add to each step as we progress. If we don't want to take the first step then the first step is probably too big. Make it smaller. If you still don't want to do it make it even smaller. Make the first step as small as it needs to be. Eventually you will want to do the first step because it will be an easy part of a hard task. And almost all parts of a hard task really are easy. This is because when you break hard things up into more approachable pieces they become less daunting.
So with time we should become more comfortable and accepting of hard tasks. We should understand that hard tasks are really easy tasks in disguise -- lots of them. We should understand that when we think we are doing the easy thing we are really creating a much more challenging future for ourselves. We should also understand that when we do the hard thing we are really creating a much more rewarding and vibrant future for ourselves. There are no shortcuts, doing the easy thing won't make the problem go away, it will only make the problem larger in the long run. We need to learn to confront the hard challenges with an earnest desire for growth and understand that avoiding hard challenges will only create more problems into our future. The more we run from hard things the more we bring them upon ourselves.
Dependence vs Independence
We all start out dependent in life. When we are a child we are dependent on our parents. Since children haven't developed themselves to be capable of taking care of themselves they instead have parents take care of them. As we grow older and mature we eventually wean ourselves from our parents and begin to take care of ourselves. Eventually we become equipped with all the knowledge and wisdom of our parents and become independent like them, well at least that is the goal.
Nature is set up in a way for us to become independent. As we grow through life nature guides us to develop our independence. It is almost always more favorable to be independent than dependent. Independent people are able to do all the things a dependent person can do. A dependent person can not do all the things an independent person can. Being independent means that we are capable of more things ourselves. Being independent means that we have a greater amount of free will and expression. When we are independent we don't need to rely on other people to exercise our individual energy.
Like a child, the pets that we own are also dependent. Most of our pets eat when we tell them it's time to eat. Most of our pets go for a walk or go outside when we tell them it's time to go outside. This is because pets are dependent on us. Pet's don't make the rules, we do. So in the order of things a pet is lower than the master. I'm not saying we're better than pets. I'm saying pets are dependent on us and we are independent of them. We can do things pets can't do because we are independent of them.
The same is true in most corporations. Most people in a company are dependent on their manager. And this manager is also dependent on their manager. And we continue to go up the ladder until finally we reach the person running the company who is usually the most independent. I'm not saying whether this is good or bad. I'm simply saying that the most independent person in a company is often going to be the person highest up. This is the person who makes the rules that other people follow. The person highest up has the greatest capacity to exercise their free will.
A lot of the decisions we make also make us dependent. When we decide to run from problems this usually results in us ending up in a place of dependency. If we never face challenges and always avoid them we never learn the lessons associated with those problems. And if we never learn the lessons then we are incapable of being the favorable result of those lessons. It's like ditching school. If we don't show up for class we are not going to gain in understanding and we are going to be more dependent on somebody who did show up for class.
Leading vs Following
As we go through life we are both leaders and followers. We take on both of these roles to varying degrees as we participate in life. Most of us follow in what we don't know and lead in what we do know. If we happen to know a lot in a wide range of subjects we lead most of the time. If we happen to be ignorant in a wide range of subjects we follow most of the time. Unfortunately, more often than not we follow and very rarely do we lead.
Being a follower is a form of ignorance. It is not that it is bad to be a follower, it is just that it is limiting. Following is also addicting. Most of us get addicted to following because it allows us to put our life on autopilot and let others do the decision making for us. It actually takes work to be a leader and most of us don't want to do work. So when it comes to shaping our lives most of us play a passive role in the passenger seat rather than an active role in the driver seat.
Most leaders are people who are equipped to make hard decisions. And in order to make a hard decision you usually need to be prepared for that decision. And to become prepared for that decision you usually need to study, put forth effort and really apply yourself to the decision at hand.
Leaders almost always exercise more free will than a follower because they are able to do what they want to do. Followers are only able to operate within the confines of what their leaders have allowed them to operate within. Leaders do whatever they want to do, regardless of what others think. Leaders are rulers of themselves, not slaves to others.
Slavery vs Freedom
Freedom is something that is generally seen as a good thing. Freedom is something that is in alignment with nature. Freedom is something that allows maximum expression and maximum human growth. Wise people are generally in favor of freedom because wise people are able to handle freedom. But not everyone is capable of freedom. Given the chance to be free, many people choose the opposite to freedom -- slavery.
Slavery is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as:
- drudgery, toil
- submission to a dominating influence
We hear a lot of lip service these days about freedom, but the fact of the matter is that many people are much too ignorant to handle freedom. Freedom is frightening to many people. To a lot of people one of the worst things you can do to them is give them freedom. Freedom requires you to be an independent, free-thinking individual. This is a large, hard order for many people. This is why slavery usually comes in to take freedom's place.
The relationship between intelligence and the level of freedom can be summed up as follows:
This table illustrates the general view people take on freedom and slavery. To a wise person freedom reigns paramount. To the ignorant slavery is of much greater importance.
People who exchange their time for wisdom and hard work generally create more freedom for themselves. People who use their time in a constructive way generally are able to live lives of more freedom than those who do not. Freedom is something that is earned, not given. We all must earn our freedom. And once we are free we need to continually prove our worthiness of it by practicing principles which sustain it. Wise people are usually free and create free societies because they possess the qualities that are inherent in freedom and nature. Wise people have a hard time with slavery because it limits their freedom.
Ignorant people are generally more in favor of slavery, not necessarily willingly, but more so indirectly because they don't know any better. People who are less intelligent have a harder time taking care of themselves and consequently need help from others to take care of them. People of less wisdom don't necessarily know the best decisions to make and would often times rather have somebody else do the decision making for them. People who are less intelligent are also easy targets to be tricked into slavery and manipulation by those who are more intelligent than them. To an ignorant person slavery is what they want because slavery looks to be the best choice to them. Ignorant people see the easy, short term illusions of slavery and choose it over the hard, long term foundations of freedom.
Slaves and free people both see eye to eye in freedom being a good thing, but only the truly wise people practice the principles which produce and sustain freedom. When push comes to shove most people are too weak and ignorant to be free and would much rather be a slave. This is simply the history of the world. There are very few times throughout history where people are actually free. They are almost always under the control of some type of force, usually government. And why wouldn't they be? It is easy to be a slave. It is hard to be free. Freedom is something that is earned and it's hard to earn things when ignorance tells us not to.
Giving our power away
All of this has to do with an order of power. As we become more independent the more power we have ourselves. I don't mean this in a greedy or egotistical way. I am simply saying that independent people generally have more power than dependent people. Dependent people have less power because as soon as the person above them is gone the dependent person is all out of luck. In order to reach a certain level of living the dependent person needs to have that person above them providing them things. If there is nobody above a dependent person to take care of them then the dependent person faces problems.
Dependency is simply a more limited level of life. It's not bad, it's just not as free or capable as independence. It's not bad to be a child or a pet, but it doesn't have many of the advantages that being an adult has. Being dependent is often a form of ignorance because being dependent requires less thinking than being independent. It takes wisdom to be independent. Knowing how to do things yourself or how to have your own internal network of people who help you with things requires planning and work. This is something that is hard to do. It is much easier to just become dependent on somebody else and have them do it for you. But when we become dependent we are giving our energy away to somebody else. Rather than using our energy to build ourselves we are using our energy to build others. This isn't always a bad thing, but when it gets to the point that we are hurting ourselves it is a bad thing. And that is what far too many of us do.
Many times in life people end up in hard situations because they gave their energy to somebody else rather than to themselves. Many times in life people will offer us something that makes our lives easier in the short term. Rather than thinking about if this will be good for us in the long term or if this will make us better people we simply take the freebie and become complacent. But by doing this we are avoiding growth. Sometimes it is better to go after the hard thing or the right thing for the sake of growth. Sometimes it isn't always about the easy path that makes us dependent. Sometimes we need to struggle a bit. We build muscle by lifting heavy weight and struggling ourselves, not by sitting around and watching other people lift weights. But all too often we do let other people do all the weight lifting while we just sit around and become weak.
And a lot of people want to make us dependent on them. When we are dependent on other people they have the control and the power and we don't. So many independent people want to make us and keep us dependent. Just as a child or a pet has no real way to retaliate against the master, the dependent person has no real way to retaliate against their master. It works to the advantage of the bank to give you a loan that you are dependent on. It works to the advantage of the employer to make you an employee with nice benefits. It works to the advantage of the government to make you dependent on them for handouts. Being in a state of dependency makes you a servant to your master -- it transfers your power from yourself to somebody else.
It's hard to save money to buy a new car. Most people would rather just become dependent on a loan from the bank. It's hard to work out of being poor. Most people would rather become dependent on the government for assistance. It's hard to start a business. Most people would rather let somebody else start the business and just work for them once everything is set up. All the time we see people sacrificing independence at the altar of dependence. This is a decision to give up more freedom through independence for less freedom through dependence. This may not be what people really want to have happen, but by their actions and through their ignorance this is what they are creating.
- We should become not just short term in our thinking but both short term and long term.
- We should try to see from point A to point Z and all the letters in between as opposed to just seeing from point A to point B.
- What is hard for us usually brings us more growth than what is easy for us.
- We should take things step by step and work off momentum.
- Independent people exercise more free will than dependent people.
- Leaders are more independent than followers. We should all work on becoming leaders.
- Freedom is a form of independence. Slavery is a form of dependence.
- We need to learn how to keep our own power rather than always giving it away.
"For lack of interreligious understanding there has been very little religious understanding."
Religion and Spirituality
Religion and spirituality are not the same thing. When we think of religion we generally think of people who are spiritual and people who care about wisdom and growth. But this isn't always the case. Just because somebody is religious doesn't make them spiritual. And just because somebody is spiritual doesn't make them religious. These are both two completely different things. While it is true that sometimes religion may lead somebody closer to spirituality, there are other times where religion may lead somebody further from spirituality.
Many times we have a tendency to group things together and label them as the same thing when in reality they are two different things. Religion and spirituality are such things. Just because religion is supposed to be spiritual or looked on as spiritual generally doesn't mean it is. This is how many things in life are. Just because somebody is part of a Christian church doesn't mean they believe the same thing as the other members in the church. Just because somebody studies the Bible doesn't mean they practice positive principles from the Bible. It is one thing to call yourself something and it is a completely other thing to practice that thing which you call yourself.
With religion it is important to look beyond the words and branding and look into the actions and the fruit of that particular religion. If a religion truly is spiritual and good it will make people better. If a religion really is spiritual members of that particular group will make the world a better place. If a religion really is spiritual people outside of that group will be interested in learning more about it because of the way it makes the lives of those in the group better.
Religion is just one way to look at wisdom and growth. Religion is just one way to approach spirituality. Outside of religion there are still spiritual principles that exist. Religion doesn't have a monopoly on spirituality. Religion doesn't have a monopoly on God. Religion doesn't have a monopoly on you. Spiritual things have existed waaaaay before man-made religion. Religion is something that man created. Nothing man-made can ever be perfect and the same goes for religion.
There are invariably going to be aspects of religion that aren't perfect. And when we talk about these lacking or imperfect aspects of certain religious concepts that doesn't take away from the true spiritual aspects that religion is trying to promote. This is a very important point. When something in the Bible is found to be contradictory or false that doesn't mean that you throw out spirituality and God completely. It simply means that you refine your vision. This is what I talked about earlier when I went through the resolution analogy.
When you learn more about a particular religion you start to find certain corruptions and misunderstandings that may not be completely what you were originally led to believe. This is completely normal and okay, it's part of growth. This doesn't mean that you throw away your Bible or your religion. There is still value in there. It means you refine your religion. It means you refine your understanding. There are true principles that we all know deep down that are true. I am in no way trying to take away these truths that we all hold deep within ourselves. I am simply trying to clean up our vision a bit so that we can get rid of the stuff that is holding us back and embrace the new stuff that will move us forward.
It doesn't matter how many times a religion tries to define God or undefine God. There is still an ineffable principle and energy that we all have access to that we are all a part of. It doesn't matter how many sins or bad things we do in this life. We are still going to exist after this life and we are still going to evolve and grow out of these things in the future. There are certain irrefutable truths that no matter how hard you try to disprove them or sweep them under the rug you can't. There are certain things that prove themselves to be more and more true the more we look at them. This is spirituality. This is real religion. This is what all the religions try to promote but what all of them can never 100% obtain.
So it is up to us, the earnest student, to pick up where religion falls short and find the missing pieces. It is not possible for any one particular religion to do the spiritual work for us. We need to do the spiritual work ourselves and use religion as a tool, rather than a rigid system for life. We need to stop being dependent on religion and start being dependent on true principles of wisdom. God is far too big for any one religion. Religions come and religions go. But true spiritual principles and true wisdom is everlasting. True understanding and spirituality is just as true today as it was one million years ago. Rather than holding on to the short term, man-made concepts of the religions of today we should instead be searching deeper for the long term eternal truths that will serve us millions of years into the future.
To really understand religion we need to go back to the origins of religion. When we trace religion back to its roots things begin to become more clear. When we look into different religions and compare their similarities and differences things start to make a bit more sense. Many religions stem from a prior religion. And virtually all religions follow similar patterns of evolution.
Religion hasn't always been the same. Like anything else in life religion evolves. Christianity of today is a lot different than Christianity of even 200 years ago. Judaism of today is different than Judaism of 2,000 years ago. Religion is something that evolves and there isn't such a thing as a definitive definition of what any one religion is. Religions differ and people in religions differ.
All the major religions in the world share similar elements. Most religions talk about a God or some type of higher power. Most religions talk about going to some type spiritual place after this life. But why? Why does it have to be this way? Even though religions may differ in the details, they don't really differ in the general thesis.
If you trace Islam back you will find that it is actually very similar to Judaism. If you trace Christianity back you will find that it branched out of Judaism and incorporated other religions like Zoroastrianism. If you trace Judaism back you will find that this evolved out of Egyptian and Babylonian religions and if you trace those back you will find those evolved out of Sumerian religions. And it goes on and on.
All of our religions that we have today are essentially different iterations of the same thing. All of the major religions stem from a primary religion. As this primary religion evolved with different people and different cultures some things were kept and other things were dropped. In the East concepts like reincarnation and multiple gods were more prevalent. In the West concepts involving sin and salvation were more prevalent. All of these religions came from the same source, but they took on different aspects commensurate to each culture.
Every religion has an origin, but most of us don't want to know about the origin. If we don't understand the origin then how do we know what we are believing is actually something of authenticity? How do we know that Christianity is a good religion if we know very little about Jesus? How do we know that Islam is a good religion if we know very little about the Koran? Things aren't so simple and if we don't know where our religions come from then why do we give them so much weight?
So we really need to understand that each religion is much more a piece to the puzzle rather than the whole puzzle itself. A religion only has a small part of what is going on. We are going to need to explore the history of many different religions if we want to see all the pieces that we are working with here. Christianity has some elements and Hinduism has others. There are many different pieces here and not any one religion has everything we need. We are to test everything and hold on to what is true. There is good and bad in every religion.
Rituals and Traditions
There is just so much about our religions that people don't know and that people don't care to know. Most people don't have the slightest clue about why we do certain religious rituals and traditions.
Christianity, Judaism and Islam all practice a Sabbath day but few people know where it even comes from or even what it means. Few people stop to ask why Muslims have their Sabbath on Friday, why Jews have their Sabbath on Saturday and why Christians have their Sabbath on Sunday. Why do all of these religions worship a Sabbath on a different day? Why do they all have a Sabbath? What value do members get by practicing this tradition?
And then we have other traditions like circumcision. Is there a reason in particular why this is done or do we just do it because that is what our parents did and it is what their parents also did? Why do we follow the medical advice of what people did 2,000 years ago when we have science and medical understanding far superior to theirs? Why do we follow the traditions that people did during their time? We don't live how these people did 2,000 years ago. Our lives are completely different.
Why do we do things without investigating them? We do this because it takes work to investigate things and we would much rather remain ignorant than actually have to research something and dig up why we do what we do. Finding out why we do what we do is hard. People want what it easy. Finding out where the Sabbath, circumcision, communion and all these other things come from is hard and takes work. People don't want to work.
Most of the origins of these traditions that we practice today are entirely irrelevant to our lives today. Jews used to practice blood sacrifices. With the destruction of their temple in 70 AD they decided to give it up. Why were they practicing blood sacrifices? Why are they no longer doing this today? Why was it okay for their religion to evolve and get rid of this practice but still hold on to all the other practices? There are just tons of things that religions still do that don't need to be done anymore.
Is it more important for us to follow irrelevant traditions or is it more important for us to become better people? Does following certain rituals and traditions make us better people? If they don't should we stop doing them? Nobody seems to care to ask these types of questions. Instead they would much rather continue perpetuating these traditions rather than understanding them and correcting them where needed. If the goal of religion really is to make us better people then we should be asking if these aspects of religion are making us better.
We've all played the game telephone as little kids. You know, the game where a group of like 20 or so people sit down in a circle and one person starts with a small message like, "I eat eggs for breakfast". This person then tells this phrase to the person next to them. This person then tells this phrase to the person next to them and this continues until finally it reaches the last person. By the time it gets to the last person it is almost always different than the original message. This is something that is natural to humans -- we make mistakes, we have misunderstandings and we force our understanding on others. As humans we fill in and interpolate the missing pieces where we see fit.
So if we can't even get the game of telephone right over the course of 1 minute between 20 people what makes us think that we can get religion right over the course of thousands of years between vast cultures of different people? It's not possible. There are going to be misunderstandings, exaggerations, interpolations and everything else that humans want to add -- whether for good or for bad. Things are going to get messed up, humans aren't perfect and they can't deliver a perfect message.
So the idea of thinking that a religion is 100% perfect or has it completely right is ludicrous. It's not possible. Religion is going to have misunderstandings and things that don't resemble the original message. So rather than taking religion literally and as verbatim it would be much more beneficial to study religion as we would study any other type of knowledge, through testing and practice.
Religion has always been used heavily as a political tool for political means. It has been said that there has never been a religious movement that wasn't a little political and there has never been a political movement that wasn't a little religious. This is because religion represents knowledge, and knowledge is power. And when you're dealing with power there is inevitably going to be people striving for power and misusing that power.
This has happened for centuries with religion. This is why we have so many different sects and groups within a particular religion. In just Christianity alone we have Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Calvinists, Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses and so on. There are an increasing number of Christian sects all splitting off and forming their own version of Christianity because they don't like the "corruptions" and faults they saw with their parent version.
Human beings are only so good and when you put somebody in a position of power and tempt them with great influence they can misuse their power. If people are lacking in certain principles they will inherently misuse and abuse their power. This has been going on for centuries with priests and leaders of various religious organizations. People have self-interest and they are going to exercise their influence in a way that is in accord to their free will before they do something in favor of your free will.
So we have to understand that religion is prime for corruption. I'm not saying all religions are corrupt and that everyone in religion is corrupt. But like any other type of large institution, corrupt people are going to find their way into religion and they are going to find ways to misuse religion to their advantage. It is up to us as individuals to always be aware of and on the lookout for possible corruptions.
We have to understand that religion is a personal journey. There is no such thing as one true religion. For some people one religion may be better than another religion. Religions are just a tool for developing ourselves. All religions lead towards truth. All religions lead towards God. They are all just different tools working towards these things. And because each person is different it may not be appropriate for them to follow the same religion as another person. It may also not be appropriate for somebody to follow any religion at all.
Religion is philosophy. Religion is a way to guide our lives towards growth and prosperity, the same as any sound philosophy. Religion is the toolset we guide our life with the same way philosophy is. The religion we choose is the philosophy we choose. If we choose many religions then we broaden our philosophic understanding. Religion and philosophy is where we find our ethics. We develop our ethics from philosophy and if we want favorable ethics then we should study all the different types of ethics.
Obviously some religions are better at certain things than other religions, just as different countries are better at certain things than other countries. There isn't a right or wrong choice when it comes to religion. It is about expressing your own individual free will and enhancing it and evolving it through religion as you see fit. Do some religions help people more than others? Sure, but that doesn't mean that it hurts to be other religions -- some subjects and teachers also are more helpful than others but that doesn't mean we only stick with them.
Ideally, we should be all religions. We should learn and understand as much about every religion as we can and embrace all those aspects which resonate with us. Pretty much all religions have something to offer and they all have pieces of information that other religions might not have. We should take these pieces of religion that help us and embrace them and we should drop these pieces of religion that hurt us. We should become sifters who reflect upon everything rather than followers who take all of one small thing.
At the core most religions are meant for the betterment of people. Most religions are set up to help people become better. And most religions generally do help people become better. The problem isn't so much that religions make people better but that they limit people when that particular religion has been outgrown.
There eventually comes a time where we are to outgrow our religion. Religion is like grade school. Eventually we are to learn the curriculum of 1st grade and move on to 2nd grade. And once we learn the curriculum of 2nd grade we move on to 3rd grade. And eventually we graduate school completely. This doesn't mean we stop learning and growing -- it means the exact opposite. We stop learning when we stay in the same grade our whole lives.
If we were to stay in 1st grade our whole lives we would never learn the things that 2nd grade has to offer. And if we never learned the things that 2nd grade has to offer it would be harder for us to understand the things 3rd grade and up has to offer. If we had a world filled with people who chose to never move past 1st grade because that was their religion then we would be living in a world filled with 1st graders. Yikes!
We can understand this concept with education and grade school, but for some reason we can't quite figure it out with religion. Yes, there is such a thing as outgrowing your religion -- and many of us have outgrown our religions. At some point a particular religion will have less and less to offer. This is the natural way it should be. Many of our religious figures like Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha weren't any one religion. This is because they had outgrown religion. Many of the people we look up to and respect have outgrown religion to some degree or another. Jesus wasn't a Christian, Buddha wasn't a Buddhist and Mohammad wasn't a Muslim. So if that worked for them maybe we should consider it for us.
Now I'm not saying you skip religion. You don't skip 1st grade and move on to 2nd grade without first learning what 1st grade has to offer. Hardly. You simply move on when you have picked up most of the elements of that particular religion and move on to something that challenges you again.
But wait, I can hear it already... "None of us can ever master a religion! A religion is much different than grade school. A religion is something that we are constantly working on and will never complete." Well, sort of. But how many of us go to the same church once a week to listen to the same songs to hear the same overall message on a different verse from the same person? But moreover, if we're not mastering our religions then maybe we're doing something wrong. If we're not trying to outgrow our religion maybe we're not being honest with ourselves. Religion isn't about simply talking about it. Religion is about living it. And if we aren't living it then we aren't trying to move on. And if we aren't trying to move on then ignorance is ours to keep.
Another important step towards outgrowing our religion is outgrowing our church leader. The church leader only knows so much. The pastor or priest or what have you can only help you so much. At some point you are going to have to take control of your own destiny and do your own research and thinking. The goal is to become independent of our leaders. This doesn't mean that you don't listen to them. It simply means that you develop your own ideas and your own identity towards religion. You can do your own thinking and reach your own conclusions.
The afterlife is something that religion has completely taken hold of and branded. One religion will tell us that this is our only life and that after this we will live eternally in Heaven or Hell. Another religion will tell us that we will continue to reincarnate again and again until we reach a certain level. And then some religions are hybrids where they may say we had a preexistence, we live this one life here on Earth, and then we go on and rule over our own planet after this life. Religion is not at a loss for telling us what will happen when we die and what the afterlife holds for us.
It does seem as though nobody really knows with complete certainty what happens when we die. If we really knew what happened when we died we wouldn't argue back and forth over it right? But with that said there are also plenty of things we can look at which may give us some interesting insight as to what an afterlife really means for us.
The question we have to be asking ourselves is what makes religion the authority on the afterlife? How do religions know what happens when we die? How did religion figure it out back then, but today we are unable to figure it out? Because somebody wrote it down? Why can't somebody write it down today? Well they can, and they do...
Near Death Experiences
Something that really caught my interest many years ago were near death experiences, or NDE's. A near death experience is when somebody experiences death for a short period of time and then comes back to life. People have NDE's much more than we might think. There are many cases where somebody may experience some tragic accident and be declared dead only to come back to life minutes, hours or even days later. Somebody may hit their head on some heavy machinery, be physically killed, and then miraculously come back to life somehow.
Now I know what you're thinking. But how can we trust these people? How do we know these people aren't just delusional and making this up? How do we know that it's not all in their head? Well we don't, but we do know that almost all near death experiences are very similar and almost all people say the same thing. If everyone is making it up or delusional they sure do a good job at telling the same story as the next person whom they have never heard before. Christians, Muslims, Agnostics and Atheists all experience very similar NDE's which is a very remarkable thing.
So then where are these NDE's taking place? Well that we don't entirely know either. Many people may term this the spiritual world or a higher plane. Both of these explanations work. It very well could be possible that these are also happening in somebody's head. It seems as though we don't know entirely what or how this spiritual place works, but it does seem like every once in a while we are able to briefly peek into it and see how it works.
Almost all religions talk about an unseen spiritual reality. This may sound crazy to some people but radio waves would have also sounded crazy to people 200 years ago. We can't see radio waves, we can't touch radio waves, but yet radio waves exist and they do a very real task for us all. The same can be said about wireless Internet or our cell phones. Where does the data going from our cell phone to the other cell phone exist? It may be physical but can we see it? Can we touch it?
If we are okay with these types of concepts to be real why aren't we okay with spiritual concepts? Who is to say that 200 years from now we won't be able to more scientifically understand the spiritual world, just as we were unable to scientifically understand the radio waves world 200 years ago? Just because we don't currently fully understand something at this very time doesn't make it false or not real. It leaves it open. It very well could be real and we just haven't discovered it yet.
Almost all NDE's talk about a vibrant light of complete peace and love. The people who have NDE's talk about how they enter a reality where there is just pure love and bliss flowing everywhere in and around them. NDE's also talk about how people see what they want to see. This is a very important point. In the spiritual world you see what you expect to see and what you are capable of seeing. Christians see Jesus in the spiritual world, Muslims see Muhammad and so on. All of these religious people see exactly what they have been led to believe they will see in the spiritual world. We are all creators and we create whatever we choose to create. If we are a Christian and believe in Jesus that is how the spiritual world will be framed for us. This is a very interesting concept worth thinking about.
Another interesting point is what happens to an Atheist when they experience an NDE. Most atheists, since they believe in no afterlife, experience a lot of nothingness in their NDE's. Most atheists experience a type of void in the spiritual realm. They just hang out there somewhat confused on what is going on. Since they don't think it is possible to still be existing after having been physically disembodied they wander along spiritually confused. However, at some point the atheist does receive the same guidance that anybody else receives and is able to take part in the light. The atheist, like all others, experiences the complete love and peace of the eternal light of the spirit world.
So what does this then tell us about Heaven and Hell? It tells us that Heaven and Hell are man-made concepts that have very little basis in reality. I know this may be hard to take in for a lot of people. It was hard for me originally too. I am not saying that I am 100% right. I am just telling you my view and the view of those who have experienced NDE's.
There is nobody waiting there to judge you when you die. If anybody judges you at death, it is yourself. You are the judge. You judge yourself. That is because we are all creators. We all have the ability to do what we want. And in the spiritual world we look upon ourselves to see where we withheld love and hurt our fellow brothers and sisters. In the spiritual world we look to see how we improved and where we grew as spiritual entities. It isn't about some 3rd party judging us and forcing their free will on us. It is about us exploring ourselves and figuring out how to make better use of our free will.
The spirit world isn't about hurting anyone or condemning anyone to Hell. The spirit world is about reviewing our short little physical experience on Earth. The spiritual world teaches us that life is just one episode in a much grander scheme of things. The spiritual world teaches us that there isn't such a thing as just one life. We choose to enter into as many lives as we wish. The spiritual world teaches us the value in all things in existence. Everything has a purpose and everything is love. This is the spiritual world. This is what people who have NDE's come back to report.
There are some religions that talk about reincarnation -- the idea that this is one of many lives. This is a concept that is scoffed at by some religions and embraced by others. But we have to understand, no one religion has it right. We need to look at as many religions as possible and put together the good elements and drop the bad elements. When it comes to reincarnation this is almost invariably a concept that religions got right. Reincarnation is a concept that logically makes the most sense and also is in accord with other things like near death experiences.
Why on earth would we have only one life to prove ourselves to God? What does that even mean? We know that everyone starts with a different set of cards in life. Some people are poor. Some people are rich. Some people are physically disabled. Some people are mentally disabled. Some people are born into certain cultures and others are born in certain time periods. There are tons and tons of dynamics going into each life and no two lives are the same. So how would it be fair to say that we all only have this one chance and if we blow it then that's the end? We're eternally screwed. That's completely crazy.
The more logical view would be that we are all eternal beings that have existed before this life and will continue to exist after this life. Before this life we choose to enter into certain scenarios and families for the purpose of growing that particular way. Just as we may choose to drive a Ferrari in some cases and a Honda Civic in others, we choose to embody different bodies depending on what we want to get out of life.
This body that we go through life with isn't us. We are not our body. Our body is simply a vehicle. We are our spirits and our higher selves. We are the energy behind the body. Just as the Internet is not your computer screen. The computer screen is the projection of the Internet behind it. The body is the projection of the spirit behind it.
Something like being born ugly or blind or something that many of us call bad could actually be a new experience somebody consciously and purposefully chose to embrace to learn a certain set of lessons. If you had lived a life 100 times as some rich athlete it may get boring. Sometimes it may be beneficial to be the poor guy in the messed up family who struggles through life to grow in the most effective manner. There is no such thing as a right or wrong way to be born and to say that somebody is better or worse for being born into a certain creed, gender or anything else is inherently lacking.
We are all equal in that we are spiritual beings choosing to experience a physical life. Now that's not to say that certain choices we make don't affect us, they most certainly do. If we choose to do something we must be willing to face the consequences for our actions. We all exercise our individual free will and create our futures. Some of us may choose to get ourselves into futures which are a bit difficult. Some of us may choose to create futures of wisdom and abundance. We get what we create, often times unknowingly. It is all just part of an eternal progression of life.
The Bible is one religious book that warrants discussion. It is one book that has survived for thousands of years and continues to go strong. For some people it is the written word of God. For other people it is a foundation on how to live their life. For others it is a historical record of where man came from and where man is going.
The Bible is one book that continues to both enlighten and confuse. In many ways it depends on how you look at the Bible and what you are expecting to get out of it. The book is so big that is offers verses for just about anything you want to find a verse for. If you're looking for something enlightening and positive the Bible has that. If you're looking for something arrogant and negative the Bible has that. If you're looking for something contradictory and confusing the Bible has that too. In many ways the Bible is what you make of it, just like many other things in life. The Bible can be used for good or bad and the Bible can be both good and bad. It just depends.
That said, there are still many, many things we can gain by looking at the Bible. A lot can be learned from the Bible by studying the history of how we got the Bible that we have today. The Bible has obviously been written by many different people over many different time periods with many different translations. There has never really been one solid "Bible". The Bible has always been in different iterations and versions. The idea that the Bible is one book is a huge stretch. The Bible isn't a single book that was created with one solid thesis. The Bible is a collection of texts haphazardly assembled by many different people, all with their own individual free will and understanding of philosophy, history and God.
When the Council of Nicea assembled the Jewish Old Testament with the Christian New Testament writings in 325 CE they were giving their own interpretation of what the Bible should be. None of these people were perfect. None of these scholars knew everything. None of these people had the correct views on everything. All the people who assembled the Bible were simply people, all with their own individual insights, wants and desires. So the idea that these people could assemble a Bible that is 100% correct is completely false. It's not possible.
We know that there are many books that were not included in the Bible. Why? What makes these people more fit to know what should be included in the Bible than yourself? Why can't you be your own priest and make your own Bible off of your own collection of ancient writings? What makes these people the authority on which books should be included and which books shouldn't? And what makes these people so smart about spiritual things when they were only going off the information they had at the time? There are many books that these people hadn't read and there are many books that these people didn't have access to at the time of the Council of Nicea. Many of these books we do have access to today. In many ways, we have much, much more information than these people could have ever dreamed of back then. We have books from all around the world at our fingertips today. We have information today that would have totally changed the way these people viewed things back then.
So to think that the Bible is some special holy book is giving it too much credit. Sure, it is a fantastic book with many great insights and spiritual lessons. It's one of my favorite books. I have gained tons of wisdom and understanding from it. That doesn't mean it's perfect. That doesn't mean it's the only book inspired by God. That doesn't mean its history is the only history.
The history in the Bible was simply the history the writers wanted to portray. Most people don't talk about the negative aspects of themselves. Most people always paint a much more beautiful picture of what they are. Is it not fair to at least propose that the Biblical interpretation of the history of the time may have been written in favor of the Hebrew people? Is it not fair to say that the authors of many of the scriptures of the Bible had certain agendas and personal beliefs that they were trying to push? Is it not fair to say that these beliefs were not 100% right? Could not the people who wrote the Bible be more ignorant about the interpretation of certain words and events than we are today? Could not many of the parts of the Bible be misunderstandings and exaggerations? Of course they could be.
I'm not saying that the Bible doesn't have allegories and encoded hidden meanings, it most certainly does. The Bible has a great deal of aspects that are very hidden and encrypted to those people who know what they are looking for. All I am saying is that the Bible is not perfect and that the Bible is a product of its time. This is why it is important to study other religions and to study other histories. The more information we have to go off the more we can compare notes with the Bible. And the more we compare notes with the Bible the more we can see what the authors really meant, and the more we can see where they went wrong.
People of 800 BCE had very different renditions on ethics than we do today. It is not uncommon to find rather barbaric and absurd passages in the Old Testament. These kinds of things in the Bible happen every once in awhile. Where today we would put somebody in jail or something similar back then they may stone somebody to death. This is where the people were at back then. Just as some of the things that we do today will be barbaric 3,000 years into the future, some of the things people did 3,000 years ago were barbaric. It is simply a matter of perspective.
So with that said we should try to put the Bible in proper perspective. Was it a great book? Sure. Does it have a lot of wisdom? Yes. Is it God's one true word? No, it's not. There are a lot of great books out there. The Bible is just one book. The Bible is a compilation of a lot of other books. Do you need the Bible to live a good life? No, you don't. There are plenty of ways to become a great person without the Bible. There are plenty of ways to learn our history without the Bible. There are plenty of ways to get through life without the Bible. There's a lot out there and limiting ourselves to only the Bible is elementary and irresponsible. It's something a follower would do, not a leader.
God. It is quite possibly the one word that carries more baggage with it than any other word. God is the one word that can mean virtually an unlimited number of things to anybody. God can be a person, an idea, a concept, an energy, a force or whatever else our imaginations can dream up. Different words mean different things to different people and God is one word that means many different things to many different people.
In many ways, God is only as big as our imagination. To many religious people God is a physical entity that they can see with their eyes. For most religious people the idea of a personal, physical God is something that is easy to understand for them and so that is what God is to them. To the more philosophical, God is seen more as an energy or platform. The idea of God being only a physical entity makes very little sense to people of a more philosophic mindset. And so God becomes more of an abstraction and energy to people of more imagination.
What God is to one civilization is also different to another civilization. People 3,000 years ago had a much different concept of God than we do today. 3,000 years ago people didn't have the technology and scientific discoveries that we have today to help them shape their views on God. Today we know more about things like the Sun, planets, stars, galaxies and universes. We have a greater understanding of what these things are and how they work and consequently our understanding of how big God can be increases. It is possible for us to view God as more than a physical entity and more than a planet or star.
There are many different Hebrew words used for God in the Old Testament such as Elohim and Yahweh. Both of these words mean different things and are used for different reasons. In Genesis 1 and 2, in the English Old Testament, Elohim and Yahweh are translated as God and LORD God respectively. So in the first 2 chapters of the first book of the Bible we already have different words being used for God, yet nobody seems to ever want to talk about this. Why? Why are we okay with saying there is only one true God in the Bible when the first 2 chapters of the first book of the Bible use two completely different words for God? Nobody seems to care.
The Bible itself doesn't have a clear definition of who or what God is. And if the Bible can't get it right how do you expect people who use the Bible as the inspired word of God to get it right? This is rule by ignorance. We are too ignorant to even begin to know what we are talking about. We think there is only one God in the Bible but there isn't. We think that when the Bible says God it means God, it doesn't. It means many different things because the word God is many different Hebrew words when you look it up.
So the Bible is obviously not the place to look to find out who or what God is. Where else can we look? How about Ancient Greece? They seemed to have a lot of different Gods in this culture. We have Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus, Hades, Ares, Athena and so on. All of these figures are viewed as Gods, but it's probably not possible that they could be the God. All these Gods were a lot more just like advanced people, similar to other Gods like Yahweh in the Bible.
So we have this platform, energy God with a big G and then we have lots of physical gods with a small g. Almost every time we hear the word God both in the Bible and in history it is talking about a god with a small g. This is why we have the word LORD in the Bible used in conjunction with God. This is why we also have serfs calling their masters Lord. Entities above others are usually called God. That's all a god is throughout most of our history. When we hear the term God we are almost always talking about some entity that is above a group of people. That is why Yahweh is God. That is why Zeus is God. That is why Enlil, Enki, Ra, Amen and Aten are also God. That is why there isn't just one God in our history. That is why there were lots of different Gods throughout the world and in many different histories, including Jewish. That is why there isn't just one God in the Bible. There are multiple Gods in the Bible. And Yahweh is not the one true God. It is not possible for a physical being to be the one true force and energy behind everything. People have mixed up the energy God with the physical entity, master god. We are talking about two completely different things.
So who is the one true God then? Does it really matter? Being able to completely define or say what this God or energy is matters very little. What matters is that there is something there. What matters is that we understand that we all have the ability to tap into this infinite force that is infinitely giving us help and guidance. We all have something greater than ourselves to turn to and look to whenever we need it. We are never alone. We are never without help. We are never without love. There is always a foundation and platform for us to turn to at any time. What matters is that we understand that this is just one episode in a grand scheme of things. This life is not the only life we have. This life is part of something greater. There is always more to everything. If we can understand this basic concept it will change the way we view everything.
In many ways we are our own individual Gods. We are all Gods in training, that is a big reason why we are down here. We are trying to learn how to master the habits and principles to be like the great Zeus of Greece or Thor of Scandinavia. We are all capable of being whatever we want to be. We are all Gods, we are all infinite. And as Gods we are to put nobody above ourselves. Of course we can hold respect for people who possess certain habits that we find favorable, but as soon as we put somebody above us we are rendering ourselves as less than them. Followers and slaves put people above themselves. Free people and masters are their own Gods. We are all to become our own Gods.
Jesus is one of the most important figures we have in history. He is the one guy that seems to stand above everyone else when it comes to living life properly. Jesus was somebody who had truly mastered the art of living. When it came to love he was full of it. When it came to wisdom he was wise. When it came to knowing people and wanting to help humanity he had that too. Jesus truly was a remarkable figure. But was he God?
Every once in a while throughout history we are sometimes blessed with remarkable figures that seem to have everything going for them. Every so often we will have a person walking upon the Earth that holds great wisdom, love, understanding and human touch. These people are so perfect and complete that we have no other way to view them than as a God. But how can a person be God? If God is some infinite platform that we are all a part of then how can Jesus be that? He may be a part of it, but we're also a part of it. Even Jesus says this in the New Testament, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods”.
In many ways Jesus is the product of a mass marketing campaign. If it wasn't for the marketing and branding efforts of the Catholic Church nobody would know about or care about Jesus in this day and age. They could have just as easily have branded Caesar, Plato or Pythagoras to fill the spot for a universal savior. But they chose Jesus. And so Jesus became God. A human was branded into something that the Bible can't even define.
If Jesus really wanted to be in the position he is in today he would have promoted this himself. If Jesus really wanted to be viewed as God he would have written books about this and branded it himself. He didn't. Pretty much everything we know about Jesus is what other people wrote about him, not what he wrote about himself. So when it comes to Jesus we are subject to the misunderstanding of others to gain our understanding. This is a shaky foundation to build from. How are we to know that these people writing about him were qualified to be making the claims about Jesus that they were?
Many Christians say that we need Jesus to be saved. Saved from what? From sin? What is sin? Sin is defined as an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law. Okay, what is divine law? The law written in a book assembled over many centuries by many different authors and assembled and edited by a few people who are somehow smarter than us? Let's go with that. And now how does a person take us away from sin? Don't we save ourselves from sin by changing? Aren't we saved when we grow in wisdom and love? Don't we sin less when we look deep into ourselves and understand why we sin? Isn't sin overcome by working through it rather than running away from it and passing it onto somebody else?
If anything it is the people who put the blame or work on somebody else who usually don't grow. And this is exactly what Christians do with Jesus. How do you expect to move away from sin and become a better person when you are giving your energy to someone else? So then we are told that he picks up the slack where we fall short. And where exactly do we draw the line between short and full? At what point are we no longer short? At what point are we sinless? Only God knows that? And which God exactly are we referring to? Are we referring to Elohim, Yahweh, El or Eloah? Because we know that these are all different words meaning God in the Bible. And if we are trying to impress any of these Gods by believing in Jesus then we are really falling much too short of impressing the real, universal God that is above all these entities. What I am trying to illustrate is how simple and shallow the Jesus as God concept is. When you really start to look deeper into it the concept starts to have problems on all sides.
Now let me be clear. I am not trying to take you away from what Jesus being God means to you. I am simply trying to enhance your understanding as I stated earlier. Jesus not being God doesn't take away there being a real God above all things. You not needing Jesus to be saved does not take away the concept of an afterlife. It just means that you don't need somebody else to grant you something that you have an inherent right to simply for being a spiritual being in a physical journey.
What we really need to understand is that Jesus is the example. We are to be like him. We are to become a God also. We are all Gods. Jesus even says so himself in the New Testament. We all hold power. Sure people like Jesus can show us the way and help us. But he's not some huge figure that is above us. We need to stop putting people above us, that is what gets us into problems in the first place.
When we put Jesus above us we are acting like children who put their parents above them. Eventually the child needs to develop themself and stop relying on their parents. Eventually the child needs to grow up and become an adult. We need to stop hiding behind Jesus and instead become Jesus. As long as we are dependent on somebody else we are never going to hold the true wisdom and potential that we are all granted should we so choose to awaken ourselves. We are all Gods. We can all do the things Jesus did and greater. We just need to start working toward these things. If we just sit around saying that he is God and we can't be like him then we never will be. We create what we believe.
We need to step up to the plate and throw out the old misconceptions and misunderstandings that we have created about Jesus for over 2,000 years. We need to stop acting like little kids worshiping celebrities. Is it not possible that somewhere along the line we started to go off course and added more and more to the Jesus story that simply wasn't true? We've all heard the saying never meet your heroes, it's a disappointment. Is it not possible that certain religious institutions have either purposefully or ignorantly misused the whole Original Sin and Jesus story?
Why does the Jesus of the New Testament sound very different from the Jesus of the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls... when they were both written during the same time period? Why are we to believe the accounts of the authors of the New Testament any more than the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls? After all, the Dead Sea Scrolls are subject to far, far less tampering and mistranslation -- they were discovered less than 100 years ago.
I am not saying that Jesus was not a real person and I am not saying that most of the things we believe about him are false. What I am saying is we need to upgrade our resolution of him a little bit to understand the dynamics about him more. Right now most people see the Jesus story with a black and white TV from the 60's. We need to upgrade our vision and precision of him to a 1080p HD television. We need to see the finer details of what is really going on. There is more to all this than we think.
Did he die on the cross? Was he crucified? Did he do miracles? Did he heal people? Did he rise from the dead? Maybe, maybe not -- it doesn't matter. What matters is what we are going to do with the teachings that he left us with, not the teachings that a few unread authors, mistranslated by more unread scribes, tampered with over 2,000 years have left us. We are all better than this.
We need to stop looking for others to fix our problems and we need to start fixing them ourselves. Jesus didn't run from his problems. Jesus didn't put his problems on somebody else. Jesus was a leader. Jesus worked hard. This is what we need to be. We need to stop worshiping Jesus and start being him. Worshiping somebody will only make us more dependent and more weak. We need to start worshiping our own greatness and start developing our own greatness. We need to stop being weak, needy people looking for a savior and start being strong, independent people ready to take on the privilege of ruling ourselves as our own sovereign Gods, because that is what we really are. We are all as great as Jesus.
- Religion and spirituality are not the same thing. Religion is man-made. Spirituality is eternal.
- At the core, all the world’s most popular religions stem from the same source.
- There are always going to be outdated rituals, misunderstandings, and corruptions in religion.
- Religion is a personal journey. All religions have pieces of the truth.
- We should work on outgrowing our religion rather than becoming a slave to it.
- Near death experiences give us actual evidence of an afterlife.
- Reincarnation fits in with near death experiences and enhances our religions.
- The Bible is just one book. There are plenty of other books that offer wisdom and guidance through life.
- God is different things to different people. God is as big as your imagination.
- Jesus was a messenger. We can all become like Jesus and we are all Gods like Jesus.
"He who knows no life save the physical is merely ignorant; but he who declares physical life to be all-important and elevates it to the position of supreme reality--such a one is ignorant of his own ignorance."
These days science has built itself up as some type of irrefutable truth. If something is scientific we don't argue with it. If science is behind something it must be right. Science is factual and therefore right. Science is logical and therefore correct. Pretty much anything that is scientific seems to convince us that it is right. But what does this even mean? What does it even mean to be scientific?
Most people who turn solely to science for answers are usually people who have a bad taste in their mouth from religion. Many of these people were born and raised in Christian households and had religion shoved down their throat their whole life. Not being up for the challenge of synthesizing religion and keeping the good while discarding the bad, most of these people simply throw religion out completely and join the science camp full force. And so we are left with many people who are religiously scientific.
Science is the new religion. Science is a belief system just like religion. Scientific people believe in experiments and religious people believe in God. People have slowly replaced conventional, emotional religion with futuristic, logical religion. At the end of the day it is still a religion. Many people embrace science as if they are leaving behind the dirty waters of religion. But this is hardly the case.
Science still has many of the same attributes as religion. Science is still man-made and subject to human misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Just because somebody is a scientist doesn't make them perfect. Just because a scientist reaches a conclusion doesn't make them right. They're still just people and they can be wrong. Things are peer reviewed? What if the peers are just as wrong as the next peer? Why can't a large group of peers all be wrong? That's like saying it's not possible for a large group of religious people to be wrong.
Science also has its priesthood just like religion. You have a few main scientific organizations that are the authority on things and do all the thinking for the people. They release their results every now and again and the people take it as gospel. Most scientists never actually verify facts themselves, they just take what others tell them and believe it, just like religious people. Why do your own scientific research when the priests can do the scientific research for you and tell you what is scientific and what's not? And whatever conclusions they reach are obviously correct because they wouldn't dare make a scientific mistake would they?
Facts and Evidence
Many people seem to think that if there are facts about something that makes it true. Consequently people think that if there aren't facts for something that makes it false. We see this all the time in the scientific community. We see that some experiment showed a certain set of facts and therefore it is true. This isn't always correct.
Just because there are facts for something doesn't mean they are correct facts. Measurements and calculations in science are just as prone to human error as anything else. Having facts for something is just a part of the puzzle. What if you were using incorrect tools to measure your facts? The facts would now be incorrect also. There is more to science than simply finding facts and saying that is all there is to it. You could be using equipment incorrectly which makes the facts incorrect. You could be measuring something with the wrong tools altogether.
Moreover, just because there are facts for something doesn't mean they are being interpreted correctly. Just because somebody is a good scientist does not make them a good philosopher. Being able to take facts and figures and make coherent conclusions and estimations from them is what truly wise people do. This is why most people are terrible investors. Investing is just as much an art as it is a science. You can be the most scientific and technical person in the world and be a terrible investor. You need to be able to weigh everything to be a good investor.
100 scientists may look at a set of data and only 1 person, the most wise of the bunch, may make the correct assessment of the data at hand. The other 99 will simply be wrong even though they are being just as scientific as the 1 wise man. There are ignorant scientists just as there are ignorant theologians.
When we study a certain topic to become knowledgeable in it do we read one book and then call it quits? Do we think that after reading one book about something that we have it all figured out? Or do we continue to read different books from different authors to gain a deeper understanding into the topic? Why then do scientific people shy away from non-scientific things? Everything is scientific. Science is about taking in all the data and interpreting it -- not just what we pick and choose to take in.
We don't need evidence for something to be true. Yes, obviously having evidence for something is always helpful and should be used. But sometimes we don't have the luxury of evidence and we have to actually think about the topic to arrive at the answer rather than just having it handed to us by evidence. Evidence is the easy way to reach and answer and sometimes answers require more than the easy path.
If we are trying to reach point Z from point A we may not always have a clear path of evidence. Sometimes it may not be so simple as to go from point A to point B to point C to point D and so on. Sometimes we may have to start at point J. Then we may have to muster our way over to point X only to also find point A there. Then we may have to remember something from point R when we were passing point S. From there we may combine point E and point F to form point G. And then we may go outside of letters completely to find point Z hiding behind number 3. What I am trying to illustrate is how sometimes things, especially those of importance, aren't laid out in front of our noses with evidence. Sometimes answers need to be dug up and put together through association of information. Things often aren't laid out in a linear fashion for us and just because we don't have linear evidence doesn't mean that an answer can't be reached another way.
You don't have evidence that I had oatmeal for breakfast today. And even though you don't have evidence for it it's still true. You can't prove that I had oatmeal for breakfast today but it still doesn't change the reality that I did. Just because there isn't evidence for something doesn't make it false. And just because there is evidence for something doesn't make it true. Evidence is subjective. What is evidence to one person is not evidence to another person.
All the time in the scientific community we hear about sources. Sources this and sources that. What is your source? Those sources aren't trustworthy! You didn't source that claim so it's not true. We act as though if something has a source it is accurate and if it doesn't have a source it is inaccurate. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Where do sources come from? If a concept is new and has never been talked about before then how is it possible for this to have a source? And how do sources know what they know? If you trace a source back you will find that this source has a source. And the source of that source also has a source. At the heart of a source it eventually comes from some type of authority. But just because somebody is an authority doesn't make them right. And just because somebody was the first or the most popular doesn't mean it's not possible for somebody else to come along and be more right.
Sources in science are very similar to Gods in religion. We treat sources as an authority and act as though they are an infallible God. If some smart scientist says something then we better shut up and just believe what they said, because after all they are the smart one just like Yahweh. We don't want to argue with the authority. They know more than us and it's not possible for them to be wrong!
A big reason why I don't have sources in this book is because they don't matter that much. Just because I have a source for something isn't going to make you believe it any more. You will just say, oh those sources are biased. Or, oh well that's not a credible source. People who want to believe what I am saying will like the source. People who don't want to believe what I'm saying will dislike the source. But it isn't about the source, it is about the content and our understanding of what is being said. I would much rather just explain something to somebody in a way where sources don't matter. When you're parenting a child on good behavior you don't source something and say, "See, now do you get it?" No, you show them why something is the way it is and you develop their understanding. You persuade them through understanding, not some nebulous sourced authority. The authority is the truth, not the source.
Take the color blue for example. Do I need a source to tell you that something is blue? If something is easy to understand it doesn't need a source -- you can see the elements that go into making it true. If I tell you 2 + 2 = 4 you aren't going to ask me for my source. You can just look at it and handle it. We generally don't ask for sources on simple things that have maybe only 1 or 2 immediate steps towards understanding it. Seeing how I get to 4 by saying 2 + 2 requires no source or explanation. You just get it. If I were to give you a source that said 2 + 2 = 5 you'd probably get pissed at me and tell me I'm stupid even if the source said it was true.
If we step it up to something like 2x - 4 = 10 many people still will not need a source to believe me when I tell them that x is 7. But some people who don't understand basic algebra will require a source because they don't understand what I'm saying. If you don't understand something you will now have to verify it with a 3rd party. A source is a 3rd party opinion that fills in where you lack understanding. We turn to sources when we can't verify something ourselves. And this opens us up for the source being wrong and it puts our faith in somebody else rather than ourselves.
But taking this further. If we were to have something that required maybe 10 steps instead of just 1 to reach the answer you may not believe something so quickly. If a certain claim about something required an understanding in 10 different fields of study before you could understand it then you may not believe me if you had not an understanding in these 10 fields of study. Even if I gave you the source you would simply be putting your belief in the source now. Since you wouldn't understand what was going on you would have to simply believe this source or that source. You would have to put your faith now in a person rather than the argument itself. This is a shaky foundation and a foundation for ignorance. A wise person will investigate the matter themselves. This way you don't need to rely on any one person or a source. But investigating things yourself takes work and most people don't want to do work and so they turn to sources. Sources are a form of laziness.
The idea is to wean ourselves from sources. Sources are for people who don't understand things themselves. If you need a source for something it is because you are incapable of understanding something yourself. If you understand something you don't care what the source is. Sources make us dependent. The idea is for us to become independent. With sources you don't need to know anything, you just need sources. Without sources you need to truly understand what you are talking about and you need to be able to explain it so that others can understand.
Being Ahead of Science
A problem with science is that it can only go so far as its tools will take it. Science can only measure with the tools and understanding that we currently possess. If somebody or some idea is ahead of science and is unable to currently be proven scientifically it will be written off as false. It is entirely possible for somebody to be ahead of science with a correct conclusion and still be scientifically incorrect because science hasn't yet caught up to them.
This brings to light an anonymous quote I find fitting:
"If you're one step ahead of the world you're a genius. If you're two steps ahead you're insane."
Science is consensus based rather than truth based. Science represents where humans currently are with measuring and understanding the world around them. If you are behind the current scientific consensus you are stupid. If you are ahead of the current scientific consensus you are also stupid. There is a fine line in science between being smart and being too smart.
But this is all too obvious. Many of the best scientists were ahead of their time. People like Einstein and Newton were scoffed at by the scientific community of their time. Anybody who is ahead of others is going to come off as weird or strange. If great scientists thought the same as everyone else science wouldn't take the leaps forward that it does. Often times scientists have to go outside of science to actually move science forward.
Science is constantly in a state of flux and science is never complete. There have been countless times throughout history when the current scientific view has been later proven to be false. There have been times throughout history where non-scientific people have later been proven to be more correct and scientific than scientific people.
The Blank Slate Theory, which was scientifically held as early as over 2,000 years ago stated that humans were born as blank slates and that everything they learned and picked up came from education and their environment alone. This has later been proven to be incorrect with findings such as DNA. DNA proves that we inherit certain traits from our parents. If you were to try telling people this 2,000 years ago you would be called a moron and you wouldn’t be scientific.
Geocentrism was widely popular prior to the 16th century. For centuries scientific and logical people were led to believe that the Earth was the center of the universe. Even though these astronomers were being as scientific as possible they were still dead wrong. It wasn't until crazy people like Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler came along that this limiting scientific view was publicly replaced with the more accurate Heliocentric view of the Earth revolving around the Sun.
If this has happened in the past what makes us think that this is not happening today? Of course it is. Of course many of the things we hold to be scientific are actually completely silly. Many of the things that we think we are so smart about we are actually very dumb about. 200 years from now we will look at many of the scientific things we believe today and laugh at how primitive and silly they were. But if we laugh at how silly and primitive they are today we're crazy! We can't do that!
It is interesting that science has basically hijacked evolution while religion has thrown it away completely. Science tells us that we are all physical beings that have evolved for millions and millions of years to finally reach this one physical life experience. Religion tells us that we are all eternal spiritual beings that are taking on a physical experience for a short time.
Science leaves out the spiritual piece when it comes to evolution and religion leaves out the physical piece. This is because science hasn't quite caught up with measuring spiritual things. Just as science used to think the sun revolved around the earth, science today thinks evolution revolves around the physical. We have people who talk about spiritual things and experience them on a daily basis, but science hasn't quite figured out a way to measure it and so we are left without the spiritual piece in many scientific things.
Evolution is one of those things. It usually leaves most people feeling a little weird when science tells us that we are all just physical elements that reached this physical experience by chance and that we should just enjoy this one lifetime we have because it is the only one we are going to have. Both emotional people and logical people seem a bit confused by this. It kinda makes sense, but it seems to be missing something. This flies right in the face of religion which tells us that we are infinite beings and that there is much more than this one life here. Religion tells us that there is a purpose and science tells us that there isn't, well at least bad science tells us that.
When we research the topic and think about it more we will find that it is actually both. Science and religion both have parts of this right that need to be combined. Yes, science is right when it says we evolve over many millions of years, but science leaves out the most important piece: evolution of our spirit. Science leaves this out because science is still too primitive to measure a spirit. It's not just the physical body that evolves, the spirit evolves also. The physical body actually evolves as a result of our spirit evolving. Spiritual evolution is above physical evolution. Physical evolution is the result of spiritual evolution.
Each lifetime is a chance to evolve our spirit more and more, not our body. The body is simply a vehicle that follows the wishes of our spirit. As our spirit evolves and grows through the physical reality the vehicles that our spirit experiences the physical world through evolve to fit the spirit's needs. The spirit is what creates the evolution. As the spirit grows and evolves the bodies it travels through evolve with it.
We know that everything in the physical world has a vibration. For something physical to exist it has to have energy. The atoms in something as solid and permanent as a rock vibrate and are constantly moving. This vibration is energy. This energy of the rock is a certain level of consciousness. Sure, the rock isn't conscious like a human being, but at the level of vibration the rock experiences there is consciousness, there is life. Energy is consciousness. Everything in the universe is living. For a rock to simply exist in 3rd density is a statement of consciousness -- life. It is not possible to have anything material without energy and vibration.
So everything in this 3rd density reality we live in is conscious and living. All things in this reality are participating in life. Energy is all participating in evolution and consciousness. Everything is fluctuating through space and developing. That is the nature of this reality. So when we think of evolution we need to think deeper than simply beings made up of cells. We need to think of evolution at the conscious, energy level rather than simply the biological, being level. All things are working together towards evolution.
The 4 stages of evolution
The ancient wisdom of the world teaches us that there are 4 basic levels to evolution: the mineral, the plant, the animal and the human. Each of these 4 stages represent the evolution of consciousness. With each stage of evolution consciousness and ultimately free will and choice increases. As things evolve they reach spiritual clarity.
At the first and most basic level of evolution we have the mineral world. This world consists of all the elements functioning as themselves. Iron, gold, carbon and zinc are all operating in the mineral stage of evolution. All the elements are a form of life and energy building the foundation for life. The elements represent a very primitive and basic level of consciousness. Being physical in 3rd density is a form of life. Yes, a rock may not look very conscious because it's not very conscious. But the fact that it exists gives credence for its consciousness.
As energy evolves it takes on the plant or vegetable stage. The vegetable stage brings about the respiration and recreation stages of life. Plants are able to reproduce and plants are able to grow. Plants are more conscious than a rock. Plants have more energy than a rock. Plants are more aware than a rock. Yes, they're not aware like a human but they are aware. Plants do react to certain things that happen to them. Plants do have life and plants are alive. Plants bring about the vegetable stage of evolution.
As energy evolves deeper it brings about the animal stage. The animal stage is where the emotions are developed. Animals are more evolved than plants. Animals are more conscious and experience more free will than plants. Animals are a greater vehicle for spirit to experience 3rd density in than a plant. As spirits evolve from plants they take on animal bodies. Animals give spirits the next stage of their evolution. Animals offer feelings that were untapped in the plant stage. Animals also operate on the group level. Animals are less likely to do things individually and more likely to do things as a group of beings.
The final level of evolution is the human. Humans bring about the intellectual and reflective aspect of life. Humans are the crown of creation where all the levels of evolution combine to create a completely independent, aware being. For a lot of us becoming human is a lot harder and a lot less fun than being an animal. Becoming a human is the level that many of us are still working on. But with more growth and understanding comes greater expression of free will and individual choice. With each incarnation we evolve our spirit which in turn evolves our various bodies. Humans operate less on the group level and more on the individual level. Humans are able to be individual entities with their own creative desires and wishes.
As we become more conscious beings we walk away from instinct. To be instinctual and live at the whim of your body is to live in ignorance. To step outside of your body and rule your body with your spirit is to live in wisdom. We are all evolving to become capable of ruling ourselves in wisdom. We are all reaching to outgrow the nagging wants of our bodies and fulfill the creative insights of our spirits. Perhaps one day soon we will achieve this.
So if we really want to talk about evolution we should talk about it -- all of it. Evolution doesn't stop at the physical. Evolution is just as much unseen as it is seen. There is much more to evolution than simply matter bumping all around the place and forming physical things. Matter is life, just a much less conscious type of life. Evolution is a conscious thing. Evolution is an actively involved part of our growth. We create the evolution. Evolution doesn't create us.
- Science is the new religion for this day and age. It has many of the same aspects as traditional religion.
- Facts and evidence are subjective. Just because there are facts and evidence for something doesn’t make it true and just because there aren’t facts and evidence for something doesn’t make it false.
- Sources are an appeal to authority and make us dependent rather than independent.
- Science is consensus based rather than truth based. If you’re behind science you’re stupid. If you’re ahead of science you’re also stupid.
- Evolution is not just physical. There is a spiritual aspect to evolution which precedes the physical aspect.
"The average person doesn't think well because they went to school."
Purposeful, Spiritual Education
These days we have this notion that spiritual things should be separated from academic things -- or rather, that spiritual things are non-academic. With the rise of science we have slowly phased spiritual things out more and more and decided that they are no longer a part of education. So we are left with churches to teach the spiritual things and universities to teach the academic things. But why would we divide information when it is more beneficial to merge information? We should be finding ways to fit information together rather than dividing it apart.
We need to really think about what we mean when we say education. Almost everyone agrees on the importance of education and that we need to improve education. But simply doing more of the same thing isn't going to make education any better. If the education system is broken then simply spending more money on a failing system isn't going to fix anything. If we are looking to fix the education system we need to really rethink education completely.
Education is much more than simply going to "school" and "college" for our younger years and then getting a job and ending our education. Education is much more than simply memorizing information and then regurgitating it on a test. Education is much more than receiving a piece of paper solely for the purpose of a job. Education is much more than simply knowing what somebody else thinks we should know.
Education is a part of life. It isn't a temporary thing, it is an ongoing thing. Education is part of evolution itself. As we educate ourselves we evolve. As we try new things we educate ourselves. When we make mistakes we educate ourselves. When we follow our dreams we educate ourselves. We educate ourselves by going through life and taking on reality.
Real education is about developing our purpose and ourselves. Education should be built around us, not the other way around. We can't shape people into what schools tell them to be. We should be shaping schools around people. It is about finding the passion and purpose behind each individual and simply allowing that beauty to flourish and scale itself into a reality of value for others to enjoy. That is true education.
Education should be an extension of ourselves. Education should enhance our passions and our dreams and ultimately bring them to fruition. Education should be the underlying foundation that adds the physical reality to our spiritual reality. We all have dreams of things we want to do. Education should be the steps and tools we need to help get us there. If our education is not getting us where we want to be then it is not real education. If our education is changing our dreams for somebody else's dreams then it is not real education. We need to find what makes us tick and then go after it.
Education goes much further than simply arithmetic and rote tasks that a robot can and should be doing. We are never going to remember more information than Google so why even try? We don't need to memorize trivial things that can be Googled in seconds. We have all facts and figures right there in front of us. We should instead be developing the things that robots can't do.
We all have special strengths that we are born with. Some of us are better at working with people. Some of us are better at working with technology. Some of us are better at writing things and others are better at visualizing things. Some people are great at problem solving and others are great at creating problems. It doesn't matter what our talents are, what matters is that we follow them. But all too often we choose not to follow them, we give up too easily.
Not everyone learns the same way. Some people need to do things hands on, some people need to hear things, others need to see things. Some people can visualize what we tell them in their head and others can't. Different people learn differently. Our current school system teaches people in a very linear fashion. Hardly any effort is put on the individual student. Most of the effort is put on the collective whole. If a student chooses to do something different than others they are quickly brought back in line with everyone else. If the student disagrees with something they are quickly brought back into agreement.
If we really are part of something larger then we should understand that the universe is working in our favor. If we really do have a purpose here then we also have the universe on our side backing us. The purpose of having a purpose is so that we can achieve it. It's not about simply trying to complete our mission and giving up when it doesn't work out the first try. It is about struggling hard, overcoming obstacles and doing whatever it takes to achieve our purpose. We have the universe on our side and the more we go after what it is that we want the more help we receive.
Training vs Education
When most people say education what they are really saying is training. Education and training are two completely different things. Training is a procedure on how to do a specific task. Education is the theory and practice of thinking and learning. There is a huge difference between the two.
Most schools do not educate us -- they train us. It is much easier to train someone than to educate them. Training teaches a certain pattern of steps. Training teaches only one way to do something. Training takes away creativity and leaves us with a rigid, boxed-in way to approach things. It is entirely possible to be trained in something but still be completely ignorant in it.
I find business school to be a good example. When we hear the word business school we think about somebody starting a business, well at least I do. Just as we go to art school to become an artist we go to business school to become a businessman, right? Well, not really. Most people who graduate with business degrees do not go on to become businessmen. They become managers working for another company. A businessman owns his own company, they don't work for somebody else. But schools train us to work for somebody else because actually coming up with a business creatively is hard. It is much easier to follow a set pattern and this is why schools teach set patterns. This is what I mean by training.
Schools don't prepare us to be educated in the field that we're going into. They train us for the field that we're going into. In law they don't educate us on what law is and why we have it. They train us to approach law the way they want us to. In economics we don't educate people on how economies really function. We train them in the type of economics we want them to practice. And in business school we don't educate people how to run their own business. We train them how to run somebody else's business.
Real education teaches people how to think, not what to think. How many people do you know that really know how to think? Probably not many. Most people don't think much because school taught them not to. Think about what I just said. Most schools don't want us to think. Most schools want us to do what they tell us to do, which usually isn't thinking. School is much more about following rules than it is about thinking. The way we educate people is just enough to allow people to exercise a mediocre existence and that's it. We don't educate people to do anything beyond the norm and we don't educate people to do anything outside of the system.
Pretty much our whole lives are already put in place for us from the time we are born. We go to public school, get told some stuff there, go on to college, get told some more stuff there, go work at some job where we're told what to do for 30 or 40 years of our lives and then we finally retire. But this whole time very little real thinking and education actually takes place. There are very few times in life when people actually step back and think, what am I doing here and what do I want out of life? Most of the time we keep our heads down and never really care about doing anything different than what we have always been told to do. Our friends do it, our parents did it and their parents did it -- and so we continue on as if this is the way things should be done.
The whole educational system treats us like robots. But people aren't robots. Everyone is unique. So we shouldn't be educating people in a linear, robotic fashion. We should be teaching people how to do things robots can't do. Robots know how to crunch numbers all day long. Robots know how to memorize data. Robots know how to do what they are told to do. But robots don't know how to innovate and be creative. So we should be educating people how to be these things that robots can't be. Why on earth would we want to train our children to be like robots, especially when we have some of the tools that we have these days? Is it really necessary to memorize useless dates and facts that are completely irrelevant to our lives? Do we really think we're going to memorize more than Google? We should be exercising our creative and innovative faculties. We should be exploring rather than memorizing. This is true education.
Pavlov's Dog is a great example on how schools train us and condition us. Ivan Pavlov was a Russian psychologist who is known for his work with conditioned responses. When we feed dogs they usually will salivate at the mouth in order to eat the food. This is a natural response that humans also have. So what Pavlov did is when he brought out food for his dog he would also ring a bell in conjunction with the food. The ringing of this bell was always associated with the food for the dog. Time after time Pavlov would bring out the food and ring the bell. Each time he did this he was conditioning the dog to associate the bell with the salivation of the mouth. After doing this multiple times Pavlov noticed that if he stopped bringing food but still rang the bell the dog would still salivate at the mouth. He had trained the dog to have a conditioned response to what he did.
This is what schools do with people a lot of the time. They train us to have conditioned responses to our actions. If we make a mistake they condition us that this is bad. If we do something different they condition us that this is bad. They condition us to take out student loans to go into debt. If we choose not to go to school we are conditioned that this is a bad thing. They condition us that school and education are synonymous. We are conditioned that if we don't go to school we won't get a good job and make money. The whole time we go through school we are like a dog that is being conditioned to give a desired response.
These days college has become a religion. College is so prevalent and so popular today that we sometimes wonder how we ever had society and were able to move forward without it. Now let's get one thing straight, I'm all for education and being smart. But college is hardly any of these things. College has gone the way of religion and become the victim of inefficient, unnecessary, age-old dogma. College is a dinosaur that hasn't evolved with the times, just like religion. College operates on fear and enslaves us as opposed to freeing us. We all better go to college OR ELSE!!! If we don't go to school WE'RE SCREWED!!! AND WE BETTER GET GOOD GRADES TOO!!! If we don't go to college we're not going to get a job! This is what is ingrained in us our whole lives.
Do we really need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and multiple years of our lives learning something in a boring fashion when we could just watch it easily and for free on Youtube? Do we really need to buy and carry around outdated books when we can just Google it instead? College is rendering itself more and more pointless every day. College just isn't that big of a deal anymore. I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but this is actually good news.
Most people go to school to stand out from the rest of people trying to get jobs. But how do we expect to stand out from others if everyone else is going to college too? Going to college isn't unique. Everybody goes to college these days. If we want to be different then we shouldn't go to college. College is over-rated. College is expensive. College isn't going to solve all our problems in life. In fact, college is probably going to create more problems for us.
Most people go to college as a means of procrastination. Why get a job when we can get a student loan? Why get on with our lives when we can get on with partying? College is usually for people who are unsure on what to do with their life. But going to college isn't going to make us any more sure. And spending thousands of dollars before knowing what we want to do doesn’t seem too bright. Rather than do the Pavlov's Dog response of going to school and blowing money people should really just sit down, get honest with themselves, and think long and hard about what it is they really want out of life. Now I know it's not easy. Doing things that require thinking usually aren't easy. Doing creative things usually aren't easy. But college isn't going to make them any easier.
People need to just sit down and figure out what it is that they want to do with their life. In almost every case we will find that we don't need college to do whatever it is. But since people haven't ever honestly and sincerely thought about what their strengths are and what they contribute to the world they just collapse under the fold of going to college to be like everyone else. College isn't going to solve our problems of finding a job. College isn't going to make it any easier to find a job. College is just another excuse to procrastinate from what we should be doing.
Costs & Debt
How many graduating college students do you know that are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt? I know quite a few. And being in debt sucks. Being in debt is no joke, especially from college loans -- we can't default on our student loans... They follow us around even after a bankruptcy. Do most people really stop to think about how hard it is and how long it is going to take to pay off $100,000 in college loans? That's a lot of freaking money! Are we going to pay $200/mo for 40 years? Does that sound fun to you? Money doesn't just grow on trees and paying off $100,000 when we're also paying for rent, car, insurance, phone and other things is no easy task. Paying off loans is a huge challenge. And going to college to learn something that nobody wants to hire us for anyway isn't our magic ticket to making lots of money or paying off debt.
So why is college so expensive? It used to not be this way. College used to be a fair price and students used to not need loans to go to school. Why is it the norm these days for people to take out loans to go to school? Why when people think of going to school do they immediately think about "financial aid" the same way when they think of buying a home they immediately think about "mortgage aid"?
This is a big question and there are obviously lots of answers. One blaring answer is that the government started to guarantee the loans that banks were making -- the exact same thing that happened with the housing boom that busted in 2008. Just as the government essentially forced banks to make bad loans to bad borrowers during the housing boom, the government has now essentially forced banks to make bad loans to bad college borrowers.
When banks make loans for something it almost always raises the price for that thing. This is why real estate prices went up. Real estate prices went up because people were able to get loans for things that they normally couldn't afford. Demand rose because people had money that was loaned to them to buy things that were outside of their normal spending ability. This isn't real demand, this is fake demand. If it was real demand people would be buying these things without loans and they wouldn't be defaulting on the loans that they have. This is what also has happened with colleges. People who shouldn't even be in school because they can't afford it are going to school because of bad loans that the government is backing. Do we really expect these students to pay off their student loans? Do we expect our neighbors to pay off their mortgages?
So we have a generation of students feeling they are entitled to go to college because the government thinks that is the right thing to do. This is the height of ignorance on so many levels:
- Government doesn't know what's best for us
- Going to college doesn't guarantee us money, a job or an education upon graduation
- We shouldn't buy things we can't afford
But for some reason people still seem to think college is the right thing to do and will pay big money and create tons of debt to do it. It’s hard to stop ignorance. At least the colleges are making money I suppose.
One of the biggest reasons people go to college is to get a degree. A lot of the time this is the only reason people go. But a degree doesn't prove competency in a particular field of study. Anybody hiring solely because a person has a degree is just as mindless as the person with the degree. Degrees mean very, very little in the real world.
Now I know there are certain professions where degrees do make a bit of a difference like doctors and lawyers -- but this is like 1% of people going to college. All the other 99% going to college probably don't need that degree. A Liberal Arts degree isn't going to make it any easier for someone to get hired at a job. A degree in Art or Psychology just isn't a big deal. A degree in Marketing or Business doesn't make a difference. What makes a difference is what we know and the value that we can offer.
How many college students do you know that have actually tried to get a job somewhere before getting their degree? Why go to college to pay tons of money for a degree when we can just get a job right now? I got my first job without a degree. I've moved up in my profession without a degree. My brother got his first job without a degree. If somebody has value they don't need a degree. Degrees are for people who don't have value. If somebody has value and knows what they're doing they just start doing it. Employers pay big money to people who make them big money. If someone can make an employer money then the employer doesn’t care about the degree. Walt Disney said it best:
"Never mind the classification, just get that guy in here."
A degree can't possibly prove competency in something. Just because someone has a degree doesn't mean they know what they're doing. There can be two people with the same degree and one of them can be completely ignorant and not understanding of what the degree represents and the other could be a complete prodigy who has a complete grasp over the subject matter. Degrees are too broad and too general to ever accurately measure all the elements that go into competency. Smart people aren't always going to have degrees. Dumb people might often have degrees. What matters is the person, not the piece of paper.
College trains us for a job
Another large problem with college is that it trains us to get a job. Many people will think getting a job is a good thing, and in some cases it can be. But the whole college system trains us that we are to go work for somebody else and make them rich. College never teaches us to become our own boss and build our own company. Even business school doesn't really teach true entrepreneurship -- it teaches us how to manage somebody else's business.
The goal of college shouldn't be to go work for somebody else. This is a huge perversion and one of the main problems of college. We don't need more people lining up to go work for a job that nobody wants to pay for. There is no shortage of college graduates looking for jobs and yet there just seems to be less and less of them to go around. What we really need are people who create their own jobs and jobs for others. College doesn't teach this and it never has. College isn't solving the problems of the real world when it trains us to be employees for somebody else. We don't need more employees -- we already have too many of them. We need creative individuals who can innovate and solve the problems of the world.
There is plenty of work to be done. All we need to do is turn on the news or talk to a few people to see all the things that need improvement. There is never a shortage of work to be done. We need better education. We need higher quality foods. We need cleaner sources of energy. And the list goes on and on. There is no shortage of things to be done. The only shortage is people who actually have the guts to do something about it. That is the real problem. College doesn't teach people how to have courage, it teaches them how to expect somebody else to do courageous things for them instead, similarly to how a child has their parent do the real work.
The idea of going to college and then getting a job is shallow and highly dated. There are no more jobs to give. The jobs of the future will be jobs of innovation. We already have robots replacing you. Your job just got replaced by a computer program that does it 10,000 times faster and 100 times more efficient than you. We can't compete, and we shouldn't. It's time to step up and create our own job. College isn't going to get us a job and people don't want to give us a job. It's time to learn how to look after ourselves. It's time to become an adult.
Employees vs Entrepreneurs
One of the absolute largest problems with the way we handle education in the world is that we train people to be employees. We teach people that the goal of education is for them to go work for somebody else. We teach people that they should go to school and get a safe, secure job for the rest of their life. This is about one of the most ignorant things we can teach people to do. We don't need more employees. We have plenty of mindless robots all trained to think the same lined up and ready to offer mediocre assistance to entrepreneurs. The only problem is the entrepreneurs don't want them. And they shouldn't want them. Most people offer very little to entrepreneurs because they have been mis-educated and misguided. We need more entrepreneurs. We need more people who have a real education.
You see, entrepreneurship isn't about making lots of money and burning people. Entrepreneurship and running a business isn't some greedy, Capitalistic thing where the super rich go out and take advantage of other people. Real entrepreneurship is life itself. Business is life. Real business is going out and doing what needs to be done. Real business is going out and creating value in the world. Real business is going out and offering our unique strengths to the world where they are needed. This is real entrepreneurship and this is what the world desperately is in need of and is lacking greatly.
When a businessman goes out and does something that nobody else has done they are creating value. When somebody creates value they make the lives of not just themselves better, but of everyone else as well. We need to stop looking at being a businessman as some greedy, elite guy in a fancy business suit and start looking at it as each and every one of us as a human being. Every human being is a businessman. Every one of us is an entrepreneur. We all know how to make the world better in many different ways, we just avoid taking action and doing it. We don't have the guts to do it. We're scared.
We would much rather spend 4 years going into debt and paying off student loans working a job we hate for 30 years than working creatively and diligently towards our own entrepreneurial adventure. But why? Going to school isn't fun. Learning a bunch of stuff we're never going to use in the real world isn't cool at all. So why do it at all? Why not just jump into the real world and start enjoying it? Being an entrepreneur is fun. Being an entrepreneur is real. Being an entrepreneur is simply living our own life in accord to our own unique free will. But we don't want to be entrepreneurs because we're afraid. We would rather procrastinate and hide. We don't want to grow. We want to be told what to do and we want somebody to hold our hand and tell us everything is okay -- and we'll pay big money for it!
I am willing to bet that if rather than enslaving themselves with ~$50,000 in debt for college, people instead just spent 5 - 10 years working towards a business they would find much more success and happiness than school would ever find them. That is because being an entrepreneur is college. We learn the most by doing. Becoming an entrepreneur will teach us more than school ever will. Yes of course there is a time for reading, grammar, math and all that stuff, but there is especially a time for doing -- jumping into the real world and creating your dream.
An entrepreneur is like being an adult. An employee is like being a child. Why? An employee usually can't immediately do the things that an entrepreneur can. But an entrepreneur usually can immediately do the things an employee can. In a way an entrepreneur is more evolved or equipped than an employee. I'm not saying this to be mean, I am simply trying to make a point.
Entrepreneurs possess many of the traits that are found in solid patterns of growth. Entrepreneurs are much more long term while employees are more short term. Entrepreneurs focus on more creative tasks while employees focus on more rote tasks. Entrepreneurs usually make hard decisions while employees usually make easy decisions. Entrepreneurs live in more freedom while employees live in less freedom. All of these things point to why being an entrepreneur is more in alignment with nature.
Entrepreneurs are living life at a higher caliber than employees. I'm not saying that they're better, I'm just saying that they are able to do more and are more like an adult as opposed to a child. Which would you rather be? Would you rather be limited in life like a child who can only do what their parents say they can do? Or would you rather be an adult who has complete freedom to make their own rules and do whatever they want to do?
Yes, I know it can be scary to be an adult. It's scary to pack your bags and move out of your parents house and into your own house. It's scary to take on responsibility yourself and actually be accountable to your own actions. But it's necessary. There comes a point where we all have to grow up and becoming an entrepreneur is part of that growth.
Employees are usually limited to one field of study. But unfortunately life doesn't always throw you one thing your whole life. Nature doesn't always give us warm, sunny weather. Sometimes we have to make due with a rain, wind and cold. We may have to try different things in life. We may go from one field to another to yet another. That's okay. That is what life is all about. That is what being an entrepreneur is all about. What is necessary and valuable today may be less necessary 20 years from now. That is okay. As an entrepreneur you are able to adjust for these changes. It is much harder to adjust as an employee. Employees are stuck in one narrow field with tunnel vision.
When you're an entrepreneur it doesn't matter if there aren't any jobs. You figure out how to create value and make money your own way. When you're an entrepreneur it doesn't matter if you go to college or have a degree. You spend more time doing and less time talking about what you know. When you're an entrepreneur it doesn't matter if we're in a bad economy -- there's no such thing. There are opportunities in any market. In a good market you do well as an entrepreneur. In a bad market you do well as an entrepreneur.
These days if you are ignorant, you are willingly ignorant. We are living in an age where we have the opportunity to educate ourselves on just about any topic... for free! Books that were hard to find even 20 years ago can be found within an instant on the Internet. Things that only elite people were privy to years ago are now just a click away on the Internet. Discussions that could only take place in person now take place over the Internet. Most of the knowledge and wisdom people have can be found on the Internet.
Google has completely changed the way the world operates. With Google we have more information than we know what to do with. Pretty much anything we want to know can be known by using Google. Google has organized and efficiently optimized our information. Information that we used to have to spend years digging for can now be found immediately with very little digging. Things that we used to have to consult experts on we can now consult Google on. The whole world is different for the better because of Google.
With Google all we have to do is know what we want to look for and we simply look for it. But that can also be a problem -- a lot of the time we don't necessarily know what we want to look for and a lot of the time we also look for the wrong things. Rather than using Google for education a lot of the time we would rather use Google for entertainment. The top searches on Google aren't on philosophy or economics -- they're on celebrities and sports. People don't want to be educated. That's why they go to college.
Youtube has also completely changed education. Even if we're not very fond of reading stuff online we can most certainly watch a 5 or 10 minute video on Youtube. We can now watch educational courses by top professors right in our own living room for the same price as Google -- free! The fact that it's free and not official is what throws people off. If Youtube was owned by Harvard and members were charged $100,000 per year to use it perhaps then people would place a greater value on it. Youtube beats any school hands down. They have better videos than any school and they have more videos than any school. All for free.
The Internet is a complete game changer. There are less and less compelling reasons to spend thousands of dollars and tons of time going to a college anymore, it's just not necessary. If we really want an education everything is right there in front of us. If we really want to know something we can. With Google, Youtube, Wikipedia and other sites there is just no reason to be ignorant. All the information is right there. Everything is right there waiting for us to enlighten ourselves, and some of us slowly are discovering this.
This has all happened so quick that people still haven't figured it out. The only reason people go to school to learn is because we still have schools and tell people that is where they will learn. If people really wanted to learn they would just open up the Internet and start learning. That's what I did. And that's what many more people are starting to do. The Internet is a problem for college and a solution for education.
We are discovering more and more everyday that education is going the way of the music industry. It is no longer sufficient for a brick and mortar business to compete in the digital age the way that they are currently competing. Online classes are great, but even those aren't done right. We need to change the whole way we think about education with the Internet. We don't need to spend thousands of dollars for education. Everything that we need to know can be done at extremely low costs.
Information is free. It doesn't cost money to reproduce information like it does a physical book or a physical teacher. We are discovering more and more that these things just aren't necessary anymore. We don't need to get in debt to learn something, we just need to type it into Google. We don't need to listen to a professor in a classroom, we can listen to one on Youtube. We don't need to be part of some advanced college to learn about history, it's all right there on the Internet. The Internet is more relevant, convenient and up to date than college. College can't compete. The sooner we realize this the sooner we will be less ignorant.
- Education should focus on each individual’s unique strengths and interests. Education should draw out from the individual rather than put into them.
- Education should teach people how to think, not what to think.
- Our education trains us to give conditioned responses similar to Pavlov’s Dog.
- College is over-rated -- it teaches us to procrastinate from life, it puts us in debt, it focuses on degrees rather than competency and it trains us to work for somebody else rather than ourselves.
- We should be educating people how to be entrepreneurs, not employees.
- The Internet opens up avenues for learning we would have never dreamed of 20 years ago. With Google and Youtube we can earn a PhD in life.
"All human action, so far as it is rational, appears as the exchange of one condition for another. Men apply economic goods and personal time and labour in the direction which, under the given circumstances, promises the highest degree of satisfaction, and they forgo the satisfaction of lesser needs so as to satisfy the more urgent needs. This is the essence of economic activity -- the carrying out of acts of exchange."
Economics is one topic that very few people have an interest in. When economics is brought up people think you're talking about crazy mathematical formulas and advanced calculations. People see economics as very boring and dry. But what most people fail to realize is that everyday when we do stuff we are doing economics. Economics for the most part is life itself. Every time we take action on what we want and what we don't want we are dealing with economics. And this is economics at the core -- human action.
We live in a world with a fixed amount of resources. There are only so many resources to go around. We can't do everything we want to do. We have to pick and choose and we have to prioritize. And if we don't like our current situation we can improve it by doing something about it or we can live with it by doing nothing about it. This is economics. Economics deals with the production, distribution and consumption of resources.
If there are 2 people on an island and only 1 of them has a fish, then economics deals with how that situation is handled. One person may eat and the other may starve. One person may cut the fish in half and and give the other half to the other person and they both may eat 1/2 of a fish. One person may eat and another may go catch his own fish to eat. There are various ways to handle the situation and all of them deal with economics.
Now I know that is just a simple example but almost all economics deals with the same fundamentals but just on a much larger scale. Just as the fundamentals of math don't change when you use bigger numbers, the fundamentals of economics don't change when you use bigger numbers either. It's all the same thing just at a larger scale.
The idea of economics has much more to do with filling needs than it does with fancy numbers and crazy formulas. Economics is very basic and easy to understand. Usually when we get confused in economics (and most things in life) it is because somewhere along the lines we went wrong, or somebody made something confusing for their own benefit. Economics is about filling needs.
The vast majority of political issues are economic based. This is because most of politics is figuring out what to do with resources. This section is in this book because economics is a prerequisite to government. You can't talk about government without first understanding economics.
Let's start economics off with a story. Economics can be explained much easier when you look at it on a small, immediate level. Let's say you're shipwrecked on a deserted island with 2 other friends. So there are 3 people total on an island and you guys need to figure something out. So you prioritize. What are the immediate things you need? Well, you need water, food and some type of shelter. So you divide the tasks. One of you finds a way to get water, another looks around for food and another looks for shelter. This right here is the start of an economy.
Since the people on the deserted island are pretty much starting with nothing, most of their time is spent working rather than relaxing. There is very little time for any thinking or relaxation because all their time is spent surviving.
But after a couple of months on the island, and after lots of hard work, the group of friends has finally started to find ways to make their lives a little easier. They now have a shelter and don't have to spend all their time building it. The shelter is built, all they have to do is maintain it now. So the guy working on the shelter has some extra free time now. They also have found a nearby spot where they can fish and they also know where they can go to collect other types of food. So the food guy has more free time also. They also now have a water irrigation system in place and they know how to make sure that they always have enough water now. So the water guy also has more free time.
So now that these guys are a bit further down the road they have developed their economy a bit. They don't have to spend all their time trying to take care of their immediate needs. They have found a way to use systems and tools in place of themselves to help make things easier. By doing this they now have more free time to relax, think, have fun or come up with more ways to make their lives better.
This is the basics to an economy -- prioritizing and taking care of business. When you have taken care of things and done your chores you may have some extra time left over for your own things. If you develop tools and ways to make things more efficient then you make your life even easier by allowing efficiency to do the work instead of yourself.
We have economics because we live in a scarce world. If we all had everything that we needed and everything we thought of magically appeared in front of us then we wouldn't need to have economics. We wouldn't need to prioritize and figure out what is most important for the time being. But since we live in a world of scarcity we do have to prioritize. Since money doesn't grow on trees and things don't just appear out of nowhere we have to deal with matters of economics.
If we all lived in a spiritual reality then we wouldn't have to worry about this kind of stuff. But we don't. We're stuck here on earth so we had better figure out how to make the most of it.
Everything in the world is always in a state of flux where it seeks to find equilibrium. When there are more resources in a particular area they generally flow to an area where there are less resources. The places with less resources trade what they have a lot of for what they have a little of. Economics is always finding balance between resources. The country with lots of oil but little technology trades the oil for technology. The person with lots of skills in building engines trades his services for the person with lots of skills in making clothing.
We generally place lower value on things that we have a lot of and we place greater value on things that we have very little of. Value is relative. If you're stranded in a desert with no water then water becomes the most valuable thing. If you live next to a river with tons of flowing water then water means a lot less to you than things like food.
Cost vs Benefit
Almost every situation has a tradeoff between the cost of it (whether in time, labor or money) and the benefit. Something that somebody will do for $1,000 they might not do for $10. Some people may give an hour of their time for something if they like what they are getting out of it. These same people may not give 10 hours of their time for some other thing. We all have a threshold of where we draw the line for certain things. Everything has a cost and benefit built into it.
Things that take a lot of time or labor are generally things that have a greater benefit or payoff. There is a greater reward for digging up a piece of gold than for digging up a piece of copper because it is much harder and takes longer to find gold. Gold is more rare. There is a greater reward for building a house than building a desk. A house takes a lot more planning, resources and time and as a result is usually a greater payoff than a desk.
Sacrifice and Innovation
There are 2 basic ways in which we can get more of a reward for less of a price: sacrifice or innovation. With sacrifice we are basically putting off something we could have or do right now for something that will be greater in the future. Sacrifice is a way of exchanging something in the short term for something in the long term. If we sacrifice our time, labor or income we can generally free up the resources to enable us to achieve a greater reward in the future.
For example, let's say we are on an island with nothing but our bare hands. This island happens to have plenty of fish to eat, but it usually takes us 4 hours to catch a fish because we are using our bare hands. Let's say that we usually spend 4 hours of our day catching a fish and the rest of our day playing around. We catch 1 fish a day and we eat one fish a day. We are okay for the time being, but what if something happens and maybe there are no fish to catch for a week? What if we get sick and we are no longer able to fish for a few days? How will we eat? Well, we will probably need some type of fish savings. It would probably be smart to save a few extra fish for a rainy day. So we can do that through 2 main ways: sacrifice or innovation. We can either sacrifice some of our extra time to catch more fish, or we could find a way to catch more fish in the 4 hours of time by innovating.
If we decide to sacrifice our own leisure time we may decide to work an extra 4 hours a day and spend 4 hours less on leisure time. This would amount to us spending 8 hours a day total catching fish and the rest of our time playing. We would have less play time, but we would also have 2 fish a day rather than just 1. This is the sacrifice option.
We could also innovate. This would involve us improving the process of catching fish. Catching 1 fish every 4 hours with our bare hands is hard work. But what if we sat down and thought about a way to improve the fish catching process? What if we spent 4 hours of our leisure time finding a way to catch more than 1 fish every 4 hours? What if we thought long and hard for 4 hours a day for a week straight and finally came up with the idea of catching fish with a net? Then we would be able to catch roughly 1 fish every hour! This would then make it where we would only have to spend 1 hour a day catching fish with a net and free up an extra 3 hours a day to either have more leisure time, or come up with more ways to improve things. This is the innovation approach.
Innovation is usually more worthwhile than sacrifice because it makes things more efficient. Efficiency streamlines processes and replaces hard work with smart work.
Advancement basically falls into these two categories. We can make things better for each other usually by sacrificing ourselves or by innovating and coming up with a more efficient way to do things. This is a very important point to understand when it comes to economics because many people think it is possible to raise the standard of living of people and make our lives better without following these basic fundamental guidelines. But it usually is not possible. You can't really get something for nothing. Most things require work. If you want to make something easier you are probably going to need to sacrifice or innovate.
So this is an overview of the basics of economics. As you can see it has very little to do with math and graphs and a lot more to do with practicality and common sense.
What is money? We hear this word all the time, we use it all the time, but do we really know what it is and why we use it? What gives our money its value? Why are some types of money more valuable than others? Why do we use some types of money but not other types? Why is money issued by governments? These are all questions that are important to understand when dealing with economics.
Before money we used to barter. If one person had something that the other person wanted they would trade it between each other, or barter. If I have food and you have water we can both trade what we have with each other and share our food and water. We both come out ahead. If I can make you clothes and you can make me a house then we can trade services. This is a very good system and can go on for quite a while, but there comes a point where bartering starts to have limitations.
It's pretty straight-forward for somebody to trade an apple for an orange or cotton for wheat. But what about when somebody wants to trade a horse for an apple? What if the apple guy only has 100 apples but the guy with the horse wants 1,000 apples for his horse? Well, the trade is no good, he's out of luck. He can't really cut his horse into 10 pieces and give the apple guy 1 horse piece for 100 apples. There isn't a way to divide things in a bartering system, at least not directly anyway.
Moreover, it is also hard to price things in a bartering system. How much is a horse worth? Do you price it in apples or do you price it in loaves of bread? How do you know how much something is worth if you're using different scales to measure its value each time? It becomes tricky trying to measure something in apples, loaves of bread, cotton or whatever else there is.
So to solve this problem, as bartering develops certain items tend to become more popular and act as a medium of exchange. What this means is that certain items that everybody uses become an in-between unit that people use to exchange for stuff. So if somebody with a horse wants to trade with the guy who has apples he can't really do it because his horse is much more valuable. So what starts to happen is certain items become mediums of exchange. The guy with the horse might sell his horse for 1,000 pieces of cotton and then he might exchange 1 piece of cotton for 1 orange. This way he gets what he wants and he doesn't have to hold a ton of items that are perishable or that he won't be able to sell in the future. In this example the cotton would be the medium of exchange because the man with the horse uses this to indirectly buy what he does want. He trades his horse for cotton and then uses the cotton to buy his apples. He holds the extra cotton to buy more fresh apples when the time is right.
As economies grow and bartering increases certain items naturally become the mediums of exchange. Using something like bread or oranges is good as a medium of exchange because you can have small units of it, but it is bad because it has a shelf life and can only be stored for so long. After a couple weeks this product has now gone bad. So over time and as markets develop certain items start to become popular as the mediums of exchange. Historically speaking, the two most popular mediums for exchange are gold and silver. This is how we get money. This is how money starts. You have people who are unable to barter their items easily start to use in-between items to barter their items with. The guy with the horse will sell it for gold and then use that gold to buy what he wants. Rather than a direct barter it is an indirect barter. And this is the basics behind money and economics.
All money is is an in-between storage of value. It is a way to transform your bartered item, labor or time into a storage unit. Money is like storing energy. 1 unit of money is a measurement that products, services and labor is measured against. So money is a storage unit of wealth. If you get paid 3 ounces of silver for 8 hours of work then 3 ounces of silver represents 8 hours of labor. If you pay 3 ounces of silver for a jacket, then 3 ounces of silver represents a jacket also.
So why is it then that gold and silver usually always end up as money? Why not something else like cotton or copper? Why not diamonds or pearls? Gold has traditionally been used as money because it fulfills many of the needs as to what money should be. Gold is scarce, desirable, uniform, durable and malleable. All of these qualities make gold a very nice fit to serve as money. It is easy to resize, you don't need a lot of it since it is scarce and it doesn't tarnish or break. An ounce of gold today is the same as an ounce of gold 1,000 years ago. Gold is usually money because there isn't anything better to use for money. If something is found that is better, that will take gold's place. But this hasn't happened yet.
As economies became more complex, carrying around a bunch of gold and silver became quite a burden. Storing gold and silver at your house was also quite a risk. What if somebody stole it? How do you keep it safe and protect it? Well, this is where the business of banking comes in. And this is where you need to pay attention...
With people now using gold as money, banks would offer to store the gold for people and in exchange would give them a receipt. If you didn't feel safe about storing your gold at your house and if you didn't really like carrying it around with you, you always had the ability to give it to a bank. In exchange for your gold the bank would hand you a receipt saying that they have whatever amount of gold in storage for you. Both parties are happy here. You pay the bank a small fee to look after your hard earned money and you no longer have to worry about protecting your money. So if you had 100 ounces of gold and handed it to a bank they would give you a receipt saying that they were holding 100 ounces of gold for you. At any time you could walk into the bank, hand them the receipt, and they would hand you 100 ounces of gold. Simple right?
Because of this great convenience it became popular for people to simply exchange gold receipts rather than physical gold coins. You could hand me a gold receipt for 1/4 an ounce of gold and I could go drive down to the bank and redeem 1/4 an ounce of gold. So this is how paper money comes about. We start to use paper that represents gold. There is a very important thing to notice here. Your receipt or card is backed by gold. At any time you could go hand this receipt to the bank and get the amount of gold that it says on your receipt. There is value there. That receipt is valuable. It's like a receipt for a new pair of shoes you bought at a store. That receipt says you bought those shoes and with that receipt you are able to return your shoes and get a refund. The receipt has value.
But with a system like this comes the temptation for a bank to make a little extra money by playing a little trickery. In the past banks would notice that most people would just leave their gold in the bank and never really take it out. A bank might have 100 gold receipts out for 100 different people and notice that only 10 of these people are pulling their gold out of the bank at a time. The other 90 people are holding onto their receipts and not wanting to pull their gold out. So it became common for banks to always have about 90% of the gold in their vaults just sitting there. There was really only about 10% of the gold that people would need to pull out. Most of what was deposited just sat there.
So we all know banks are also in the business of making loans. And in order to make a loan banks need to have money to loan out. When somebody gives you a loan they usually lend you something they have. If a friend loans you money they put up their own money. But if a bank loans you money they don't put up their own money. They put up other people's money. Since traditionally banks usually had about 90% of other people's money just sitting in their vaults, they decided that it would be a good idea to just loan this money out instead of their own money. And so that's what they did.
Now this isn't necessarily a terrible idea if the bank tells you about this and you know that they're doing it. But they don't. This is how pretty much all banks operate in this day and age, but most people don't know it. When a bank gives you a loan for a new house it isn't their money, it's somebody else's money. The problem with this is that if everybody went to take their money out of the bank the bank would not be able to give everybody their money. The bank would be bankrupt. You think that your money is sitting in the bank safe and sound, but in reality your money is being loaned to many different people for many different things, some safe, some not so safe. The bank relies on the fact that not everybody will pull their money out all at once -- similar to an insurance company hoping that everybody will not make a claim all at once. But if everybody does, there's a big problem. And this is what would happen in the past.
A bank might lend out a little too much money and people would start to smell something funny. People would try to pull their money out and find out that the bank could only give them some of their money. Others would catch wind of this and try to pull their money too. Eventually everyone would catch on to this and there would be a bank run where everyone would try to pull their money out of the bank while they still could. Obviously a lot of people would not be able to pull their money out in time and would be left holding the bag so to speak. This is the history of banking and this is what banks do. But it is much, much more hardcore in this day and age which brings us to our next topic.
Inflation and deflation
Every type of money has a money supply, that is, the total amount of money in circulation. If we are using gold then the money supply is the total amount of gold in circulation. If more gold is mined then the money supply increases. If less gold is mined and people store their gold and don't use it then the money supply decreases. This is the same with other types of money. If we are using paper as the money then the money supply is the total amount of paper in circulation. If more paper is printed then we have inflation. If money is not printed then we have deflation. This is how inflation and deflation really work. It is very simple, it's not some crazy sophisticated thing -- it is simply the change in the money supply.
If there are 100 units of money in circulation and I add 100 more units of money into circulation then the money supply has doubled. This is inflation. If something used to cost 1 unit of money it now costs 2 units of money for that same item. Conversely if there are 100 units of money in circulation and I remove 50 units then there are now only the other 50 units in circulation. This is deflation. If something used to cost 1 unit of money it now costs 1/2 a unit of money for that same item.
The amount of money in circulation really doesn't matter. Prices will always adjust according to the money supply. If there is an increase in the money supply then there will be an increase in prices. Even though things may cost twice as much, you will also be making twice as much money. Things adjust. The same is true for deflation.
But there is a bit more to it than this. In a commodity based money supply like gold or silver it is hard to inflate. The only way to inflate a gold money supply is to mine new gold. Inflating a gold money supply requires actual physical labor. Inflating the gold money supply actually brings value to a society because you are bringing a valuable item into the world. Gold has many uses, silver even more. So by using commodities as money it is usually a good thing to inflate the money supply. More valuable products are brought into society (the money) and prices adjust accordingly.
But when we have a money that isn't hard to create then we run into issues. Gold we can only create by mining it with labor. Paper money, on the other hand, which pretty much every government in the world uses, can be created very easily, with essentially no labor. With paper as money the money supply can be inflated with virtually no labor. This may seem fine and dandy but it isn't and here's why.
Let's say there are 100 units of paper money in circulation. If I am the government and I have the power to create new money when I so decide I could easily choose to create 100 units of money and spend it on things that I want. As a government I could maybe spend this money on war, I could spend it on social services or I could simply distribute it among some of the people who work in government. But this money came from nothing. There was no physical labor involved and because there was no physical labor involved it is easy to do and there is no limit to how much of it I can do. Additionally, paper money has no value to society. When I print more money society doesn't benefit. When I mine more gold society does benefit. After bringing in 100 units of paper money the total money supply would now be 200 units of paper money, double what it was before. Bringing new money into circulation isn't a bad thing... unless of course when there is no value by bringing that money into circulation. This is one of the most important things to understand so let me explain it a little more clearly.
Bringing in 100 more units of paper into circulation doesn't do anything because 100 units of paper have no real intrinsic value to people. People don't want paper, they want stuff. People want food, cars, gold, services and stuff like that. People don't want stuff without value. So when money people don't want (paper) is brought into circulation by buying things that they do want (homes, investments, cars, etc) we run into problems. This is not a fair exchange. But this is the basis of how governments work and how money is created. Obviously it's not quite this simple, but this is the basic fundamentals behind it. Useless things are brought into existence for free and exchanged for things that were built with hard work and labor. This is the height of counterfeiting! Very few people notice what is going on because very few people know anything about money. And what they do know about money is usually limited and perverted, similar to religion, science and education.
So that is the dangers of inflation. It isn't inflation itself that is dangerous. It is when we use things for money that can easily be inflated that we run into problems. There is always going to be the temptation by governments to raise money through inflation rather than through taxation. Inflation in this sense is taxation -- it's the hidden tax. There is very little difference between you paying $100 in taxes and the government printing $100. Both things essentially do the same thing -- they raise $100 for government. Only with inflation it is a lot more easy to pull off politically because most people don't understand what is happening.
"Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it does this task so well. It gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
The free market is something that evolves naturally in the world. We start off with immediate needs we can handle ourselves. Then we start to divide labor between others. As we start to specialize in different things we begin to trade and barter these things. When trade becomes limiting and challenging we start to develop mediums of exchange which we call money. With money we create economies that are able to scale larger and further satisfy human demands. This whole time we are letting nature run its course and as a result we have a free market. There is no control over anything. People are voluntarily participating in the economy. That is what a free market is. The market is whatever demand makes it.
The free market offers people complete freedom over what they can do with their life. If people want to invent products and make other people's lives better they can. If people want to work for somebody else and live a comfortable life they can. But if people want to just sit around and not work then they're going to have to accept not having the quality of life of those people that do work. The free market gives back what people put into it. If people put lots of time into building a business they will do well in a free society. If people waste lots of time playing around and never get any work done then they are going to have problems in a free society if they don't take care of their work first.
Again, we live in a scarce world. There are only so many resources to go around. Until we find a way to remove scarcity from society we are going to need to prioritize and figure out how to manage our time in our life. We can't just sit around and do nothing and expect a free ride in life. If you were on an island by yourself with 2 other people you couldn't just sit around and have the other 2 people do the work. They would get pissed at you because it's not fair. You would still need to pull your weight even if the society consisted of 3 people. This same principle applies to a larger economy. Just because the size of the economy grows doesn't change the fact that you need to personally contribute if you expect something back in return.
A free market doesn't take care of you. And for a lot of people this is a big problem. Most people don't want to control their own life, they want somebody else to control their life for them. Just as a child wants their parents to provide food and shelter to them, so too do many people want somebody else to provide these things for them. Most people don't really want freedom -- they can't handle freedom. They might talk about freedom, they might talk about free markets, but most people simply don't want this. Even though they are perfectly capable of participating in a free society and even though living in a free society would give them a better life, most people are too ignorant to understand this. And so the great anchor to a free market slowly begins to enter the equation: government.
Like religion, government is man-made. The government acts as an anchor to the free market because it restricts it. Out of ignorance people almost always feel that they need a government to start taking care of them. The free market allows complete freedom, which to some people begins to become scary. It starts to become scary that another person can rip somebody off. You actually have to think before you do something in the free market. You actually have to be educated to participate in the free market. You actually have to be accountable for your actions in the free market. People want none of this. It starts to become scary that it is possible to lose money in a free market. People start to realize that in a free market businesses can go bankrupt. This starts to scare people who are ignorant of the dynamics of nature, balance and freedom. So people start to tug harder and harder to increase government, that is, somebody else above you. And in doing so the free market is crippled and quality of life begins to suffer.
Government is a very different dynamic than the free market. Up until government the free market has always operated voluntarily. As government enters the equation free choice begins to leave and things become involuntary. In a free market the consumer is in control because they get to choose what they spend their money on and they are free to choose what to do. With government, the consumer starts to lose control and instead politicians start to take control of their decisions. With the free market we have businesses serving people. With government we have people serving the bureaucracy. An example should better illustrate this point.
When you visit your local grocery store you are experiencing the free market. Often times you have different selections on which grocery store to choose from. You may want to go to one that is closer to your home or that has better prices, whatever the case you are voluntarily picking which store to go to. As you walk into the store you are greeted by an employee welcoming you to the store. You are treated well and the business does everything they can to keep you happy. This whole time you are in control. The business isn't in control, you are. If the business does anything to piss you off you can leave and go elsewhere at any moment. Nobody is forcing you to be there. The business needs to earn your satisfaction and they do what they can to work for you. If you're having trouble finding something you can simply ask somebody who works at the store and they will walk you to your item. If you accidentally drop something and break it somebody who works there will clean up the mess and make sure you're okay. The store won't charge you for the cost of the item that you dropped, they will simply take the loss on their end. When you get in line to checkout a lot of the time there won't be a line. If there is a line another register may open up so that you can get through the checkout process as fast as possible. Some stores allow you to checkout yourself if you would rather do that instead. The whole experience at the grocery store is built around you, the consumer. The business does everything it can to keep you happy. In the free market, businesses serve you. Nobody is forcing you to go there. You are voluntarily choosing to be there and voluntarily choosing to give them your money that you worked for. They are doing something you like because you are there giving them your money.
Now let's take a look at the reverse of this, the government. In order to drive on the road you are forced by law to have a driver's license. Yes, it was voted on by people but if you voted against it that doesn't matter. You are forced to get this or you can't drive. So in order to get your license you go to the DMV. At the DMV you aren't greeted by anyone. You get in there and you're not really sure what to do. You see a big sitting area and a place to grab a number. You take a number, it reads #87. You look up, they're on #13. Great, you think to yourself. Here goes another hour of my time. And obviously it's the middle of the day when you should be at work because government only operates during 9-5. So you sit there completely dissatisfied as you wait to talk to somebody. Every other person waiting also isn't happy. But the DMV really doesn't care if you're happy or not. Most of the people who work there don't look too happy themselves. This whole thing is poorly ran and managed because there is no incentive for it to be managed efficiently. If the DMV operated quicker the employees wouldn't make any more money. If the DMV made people more happy it would still be the same as if it made people not happy. There is no incentive here to make people happy. If you want to go to another DMV you can't do this either. There's only 1 DMV in your city. You're stuck with what you got. If you want to create a better DMV yourself too bad. This is run by the government and you're not allowed to enter this space and make the DMV better. It doesn't work that way with government run enterprises. And so the DMV is a terrible experience in comparison to the grocery store.
In a business you have to earn your customers. If you keep customers happy and do a good job they will spend money with you. If you piss customers off and give them a bad experience they will go to another competitor who does make them happy and gives them a good experience. But with the government there is no competitor. The government is a monopoly. If you don't like the service they are doing tough, you don't have another choice. This is the main distinction between the free market and the government. In the free market the business is at the mercy of the customer. In the government the customer is at the mercy of the government.
Let's take another example. Many of us have traveled throughout the country by airplane and had to deal with another government business: the TSA. The TSA is a textbook government business -- it's inefficient, unprofitable, time consuming and provides very little value. The whole purpose of the TSA is to protect us when we are flying. But what if we don't want to be protected? What if we are comfortable taking the risk and would rather skip the line and just get on the plane? It doesn't matter, we can't choose what we want with the TSA. We have to go through with them because the government tells us that is what’s best for us.
In a free market security would be handled by each airline individually. Each airline would choose which security measures they take and people would travel with whatever airline they were comfortable with. If you wanted to fly without going through scanners and being exposed to radiation you could do that. If you wanted to have a full cat-scan and eye exam before getting on a plane you could do that too. It would be up to people to decide what they want on an individual level and the airline companies would accommodate their customers for whatever types of security were necessary to them.
Just because the government is currently doing certain businesses does not mean they should be. If the free market can do things better than the government, which is the case almost every time, then it should be. We don't need the government to do things the private sector can do. When the private sector does something it improves the efficiency, cuts down the cost and it gives us more options because the free market rewards good decisions. When you do a good job in the free market you get more customers and make more money. If you do a bad job you go out of business and a better company replaces you.
In the free market you can complain if a business upsets you. If you are unhappy with a long line in a private business you can say so and somebody will accommodate you and try to fix the situation. If you're in a long line at a grocery store it is in the best interest for that business to do everything they can to make the line shorter and get you through the checkout process. If you complain and say something to somebody working there they will often times open up a new cashier and get you through the line. If you're unhappy about a long security line at the TSA what happens if you say something? When's the last time you heard somebody in a TSA line shout something like, "HEY! Can you speed it up around here? I ain't got all freakin' day!"? Hah, yeah right! You better not get out of line there or they will be sure to put you in line, in jail. People in the government treat you like a criminal. People in the free market treat you like a friend. Now yes, of course it's not this cut and dry. There are some great people in government and some not so great people in the free market. But in general the free market is always going to outdo the government in pretty much every comparison.
At this time we have an important realization to acknowledge. Both the free market and government are dealing with the same type of people working there. The people who work at a grocery store are the same type of people who work at the DMV. There is no difference between the people working in these places, but yet the people act differently. People at the grocery store are usually going to be nicer than the people at the DMV. There is no difference in the actual people though -- the difference is the system behind the people. The actual system in place and the dynamics of the system are what make people in the free market act differently than people in the government. You can take 2 of the same type of people and put one in the free market and one in the government. Both systems will make the same people act very differently. One will make one want to serve you. The other will make one want you to serve them. These are still the same type of people, but the systems make them different.
The free market is better at pretty much everything than the government. Things cost less with the free market because resources are used more efficiently. There is less waste and less middle men in the free market. In the free market things of value rise to the top and things of burden fall to the bottom. The free market is also more moral. With the free market we have the choice of what to do. We are able to exercise our free will in the free market. With government, somebody else’s free will is forced upon us. With the government we are forced to do things even if we don't want to or like the outcome. The control and power is taken away from us and given to others. This is what we defined earlier as evil.
So we have to ask ourselves. Why on earth do we create systems that make people worse? Why do we create systems that we don't want to deal with? Why do we create systems that treat us like garbage when we could have these same people treating us like friends in the free market? Because we are ignorant, that's why. Government has very little place in an educated, wise society. As people become more wise freedom increases, as they become more ignorant government increases. Which society do we really want?
Voting with money
There is another inherent part of the free market that is very important. When we do something with money in the free market we are essentially casting a vote. When we buy a new pair of shoes we buy the shoes that we want. When we buy a new car we buy the car that we want. We generally spend our money on what we want and we don't spend our money on what we don't want. We are usually very careful about what we spend our money on.
So money is in a way an accurate way to vote. In fact, money is pretty much the best way to measure our votes. We've all heard the saying put your money where your mouth is. What this is essentially saying is that if you really believe in what you are saying then you would back it up by putting your own skin in the game. If you really believe that something is a good product then you would own it yourself. If you really believe that something is a good investment then you would invest in it yourself. If you don't and instead you choose something else it means that even though you said you liked something, you actually liked something else more. We vote with our money because our money represents our energy.
It is also worth noting that other people generally spend our money worse than ourselves. If you were to give somebody $100 and tell them to buy you a gift they would probably spend it on something of less importance than if you were to spend it yourself. We are good at buying things for ourselves. We aren't as good at buying things for others. We see this all the time with Christmas when people always get gifts that they don't want. Most people would rather just have the money and buy what they want instead. Most of the time other people do not spend our money better than ourselves.
These days having a business is borderline evil. The larger your business, the more evil you are. But conducting business isn't an evil thing. Going around and trying to make a profit is not a bad thing. Businesses are simply an extension of ourselves. Businesses are people offering things for us to choose whether we want these things in our lives or not.
There is a fundamental distinction that needs to be understood with business. When you buy a product or service you are choosing to. Nobody is forcing you to spend your money somewhere. So when you buy something from Walmart or McDonalds you are voting for them with your money. Every time somebody spends money at a business they are voting for it. The businesses with the most votes, money, stay in business because that’s all money is -- a more accurate way to measure your true wants and desires. The businesses without votes go out of business. This is a completely natural and good thing. The point of a business is to fulfill the demands of a society. If a business is keeping people happy and getting votes then it serves a very real purpose and will continue to live on.
We have a completely backwards notion that somehow the business is in control and we are slaves to the big businesses. This just isn't true. The big businesses are slaves to us. At any time we, the consumer, could stop spending our money there and put them out of business. In a free market the consumer has the power. In a free market the business is the slave to the consumer. If the business doesn't do what we want then they're finished. So the business doesn't hold as much power as we are led to believe. The business is simply rewarded with our money for taking the risk to try to do something that people willingly choose.
We see this all the time in business. Businesses will do whatever they can to get our business. If a business doesn't treat us quite right or they're rude to us we may choose not to shop there anymore and we may tell our friends. This is a good thing. This puts us in control and it puts the businesses at our mercy. If a business pisses enough people off people will eventually stop spending money there and the business will fail. This is also a good thing. Businesses that people don't want shouldn't be around. The free market naturally sorts out what is wanted and what is needed.
These days not only are you evil if you're a big business, you're even more evil if you care about making a profit. Making a profit and trying to make money is seen as one of the most evil things these days. But why? How is making a profit bad? A profit is actually a reward for providing something that somebody voluntarily chooses to buy. A profit is a reward for taking the risk to either sacrifice or innovate through a business. A profit is only the result of a consumer choosing to spend money with a business. The consumer obviously agrees with whatever it is the business is selling them because they voluntarily spend their money at the business in exchange for whatever product or service it is.
A business should make a profit. A business is taking all the risk. A business will normally save up some money and take a risk when they are first starting out. If the business pays off they will become profitable and reap the rewards for their careful planning and hard work. By finding a way to make people's lives better the business is rewarded with a profit. In a free market both parties win in a commercial exchange. When you go to a business and buy something the business makes a small profit by providing a valuable product or service, and you end up getting what you want. The business wins, and you win.
It's not a bad thing to be a big business and make lots of money. Money is simply the reward a business earns by creating something people voluntarily choose to use. Money is simply a store of energy. People make money by exchanging their time, labor and talent for money. And then they give you this in the form of money.
When Apple makes tons of money because they create sweet products nobody seems to complain, but when Exxon makes tons of money with oil people seem to get all upset. Why? We're the ones buying the oil. We all drive cars. Not happy about it? Then do something about it. But stop complaining about Exxon or any other oil company making a profit for providing something that people need and use every day.
Companies that are big are usually big because they are better than their competitors at doing whatever it is that needs to be done. Big companies have found ways to supply what consumers want better than everyone else. Making customers happy is not a crime.
All the time we hear about big companies and monopolies. Here is a little secret that most people don't know: monopolies are almost always a result of government. Without government intervention it is very hard for a company to establish a monopoly.
We first need to define what we mean by monopoly. By definition a monopoly is:
the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.
By definition the absolute biggest monopoly is not an oil company or Walmart -- it's government. Government is a monopoly. So if you're upset about monopolies then look no further than the largest one, your government.
Private companies don't hold monopolies, and if they do it is by a grant of right by the government. For centuries the word monopoly meant a grant of special privilege on the part of the government to different businesses for exclusive production or sale of a product. The government forces the company to be a monopoly. A study of history will show this. Most monopolies throughout history are not because a company is creating a monopoly, but rather because a less efficient competitor is upset about losing business to a more efficient competitor. So the less efficient companies use the government to destroy their more efficient and profitable competitors.
We need to look at things from the viewpoint of the consumer. How is it making our lives worse if a large company does a better job at something than a small company? This is not a monopoly. This is efficiency. What should be shunned is low quality, inefficient companies, not big, efficient companies. If the big company really is a monopoly and they are unfairly setting prices high then we can come in and offset that problem by starting our own business and setting prices lower. The free market is set to balance imbalances like monopolies out. If a monopoly comes along and keeps the prices really high for a product then it creates an opportunity for another business to come in and offer the same product at a fair price.
If a company really is a monopoly then you can stop using it. If you don't like the way Walmart does business and you think it's a monopoly stop shopping there. If enough people don't like a business they will stop shopping there and it will go under. A monopoly doesn't have control over you in a truly free market. If a monopoly tries to control a market a competitor will come along and fix that imbalance. The only reason we don't see it this way is because we don't have free markets and the government always gets involved with things.
I will say it again in plain English. Almost all the monopolies we have seen both past and present are almost always a result of the government. Without government intervention we would have a lot less monopolies, if any. A monopoly is a highly hyped up concept that really doesn't exist in a free market. Monopoly is a misused and abused word that has been branded incorrectly just like many other words.
The government is involved in military, police, courts, roads, banking, energy, education, food and medicine to name a few. The only industries that the government isn't involved in are the ones that are 10 years ahead of them and that they haven't caught up to yet. And you will do well to notice that almost all of these industries are made worse because of the government. We talk about how bad our schools are but we forget that our schools are a government monopoly. If we want to educate outside of the government school system we can’t without their approval on what we teach. We can't do business these days in most industries without the government monopoly first allowing us, the competitor, to do business against them.
Every day Americans participate in the biggest monopoly of all and have absolutely no problem with it. So if people really are against monopoly they should be against government. If you want to get rid of the largest groups that control production and services then you should want to get rid of the government. There is no business that holds more control than the government. If you want to talk monopoly, let's talk government.
The whole point of a free market is to allow for competition. It's funny how we see competition as a good thing in sports but a bad thing in business. It's okay for us to compete in a game of basketball but it's not okay to outdo your competitor in business. It's okay for athletes to train to be better at scoring points than their competitors but it's bad for businessmen to train to make more money than their competitors. The whole world is competitive. All competition is is a trimming of fat. Things that are needed and necessary stay and things that aren't needed go. That is competition, and it is also nature. And competition in a free market increases our standard of living.
When we have businesses competing the winner is us, the consumer. When businesses compete against each other we get higher quality products at cheaper prices. Just like when athletes compete we get a great show, when businesses compete we get great products. Competition is what brought us fast computer processors, competition is what brought us higher quality automobiles, competition is what brought us the wide selection of food we have at our grocery stores. Competition also brought us many of the conveniences we use on a daily basis like electricity, running water and so forth. Competition improves things.
Competition isn't a bad thing. Competition is basically change. And change is part of nature. Everything changes. Things optimize. The unnecessary becomes replaced with the necessary. When a business goes under it might suck, but it goes under because a new business is doing a better job. It's an overall gain. We gain as a society when a business goes under because it has been replaced by another better business. And this better business will be more efficient and will make our lives better at a lower cost. This is the nature of competition and free societies.
We often think that markets and businesses need to be regulated. From what? Aren't we free to choose what we want and don't want? If a business really is so bad then we can choose not to work with them. If a business lies to us then they will face legal penalties if convicted. Why the need for regulation though? Aren't we more qualified to make decisions for ourselves than somebody else?
We don't need silly regulations to save us from ourselves. We don't need regulations to tell us how to live our lives and what decisions we can make. The only legitimate reason that regulations exist is because we are ignorant. Our ignorance creates regulations. Because we think we are too stupid to choose directly what we want from a business we allow other people in the government to regulate and tell us how these businesses should operate. All regulation is is another way to take away our free will and give it somebody else. Regulation allows a group of government officials to decide the best way for a business to run. This is completely the reverse of freedom and growth.
What makes a regulator the expert on how to run a business? Government officials aren't businessmen. They don't know how to regulate a business. Government officials aren't consumers either, they don't know what the consumers want. It's not possible for government to regulate business because government isn't the consumer. The government can't have a better interest at hand than the consumer. We, as the consumer, can choose what we want. The government can't choose for us.
If I want to buy some type of medicine that isn't federally marked as safe let me. I understand the risks and I understand the savings I will receive by the company not having to jump through 100 hoops before they can put out a product. If people want to pay more for drugs because they want to have them first be checked by 100 different agencies let them. As individuals we should be free to choose what level of risk we take. I am okay with getting surgery on my arm by somebody who isn't licensed if he has already successfully operated on many other people's arms. I can do my own research and figure out which doctor I want to go see. I don't need the government to tell me who I can use. It's about freedom of choice and that is what the free market provides. I want all the possible choices, not just the ones the government says I can choose.
If we really want to regulate something or inform consumers about a certain thing it can be done at the consumer's discretion. The consumers can choose to create 3rd party businesses that operate as a safety check as to whether or not a product or business is safe. People can choose to take the 3rd party’s advice or they can choose to go against it. The consumer has the ability to be as informed or as misinformed as they want. This is called freedom. Being able to make the choice you want to make.
Amazon.com does a great job of this with customer reviews. Many other online businesses do this as well with their own form of ratings and reviews. Whatever level of review service is needed will be handled by the free market. The free market adapts to fill needs. There are many online websites that review drugs and talk about the various side effects and precautions. Customers who use these drugs also share their valuable information for other potential consumers to review at their own discretion. This is the free market in action.
Jobs and Employment
We need to stop thinking in terms of jobs and start thinking in terms of quality of life. Is it better to have 100% employment where everyone is doing hard physical work for 12 hours a day or would it be better to have 0% employment where everyone is having machines doing the work for them and enjoying a higher quality of life than full employment?
We need to change the way we look at things. The point of a job isn't to employ someone or to make money. The point of a job is to fill a need. If there is no need to fill there there is no need for a job. The goal of an economy is to replace jobs with automation. This is a natural part of an economy. This is what the free market is all about. Through innovation things naturally become more efficient.
Say you lived on an island with 1 other person and you both spend majority of your time tilling fields, milking cows and making sure that you had food and water each day. There would be 100% employment and you both would be working and surviving. You both would have jobs. You may wish you had more free time to do more creative things like play music or study a topic you like, but work simply consumes you too much. By the time you finish taking care of all the daily chores you are exhausted and have to get your rest.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Just because you both are 100% employed doesn't mean that's a good thing. Wouldn't it be better to find some type of way to automate all the monotonous, physical tasks so that you could spend your time doing more productive things like studying and creating? It would be much better to have a machine that tills the fields, milks the cows and makes sure that you have food and water each day. You would be much better off if you were unemployed but had a machine that did all the work for you. You would still get the same result as if you physically did the work yourself, except this time you don't need to spend your time doing it. You can spend your time doing more important stuff while a machine does the other stuff.
This exact same principle works on a larger economy, but people are incapable of seeing this basic principle at work. All the time we have businesses going under and being replaced by new and better businesses. This a good thing. This means the quality of our life just went up. When a new business does something better than an old business we get more for less money. As a whole society will be better. Society as a whole gains when this happens. There will be some people who are on the losing end but there will be more people on the winning end. And the more this happens the more people on the winning end.
You might lose a job because something became more efficient in your industry. You may no longer be required to do physical labor because a machine can do it. It sucks for you but it's great for everyone else. And somebody else may lose their job at some point and it sucks for them but it's great for you now. But as a whole everyone ends up winning in the long run. This is how society advances. If we want full employment we can always go back to physical labor and we can farm our own food.
You have to really stop and ask yourself about the quality of life you are living right this very second. Many of the poorest people today are still living better lives than many of the kings and queens 200 years ago. Even poor people have indoor plumbing, heating and cooling, showers, lights and many other great innovations that didn't exist 200 years ago. We have tons of things that are awesome and even the poorest among us are living decent lives. We need to view things from a quality of life perspective and we need to be fair in our judgement.
When we hear the term unemployment we need to really look deeper. Unemployment is a completely relative term. Unemployment at what cost? Some people will do a job for $10/hour and some people won’t. It's completely relative and entirely nebulous. The term unemployment doesn't matter. As stated earlier, what matters is quality of life.
If we want less unemployment we should remove the minimum wage. The minimum wage keeps people from being employed. A business that may employ somebody at $5/hour is unable to do so if minimum wage is set to $8/hour. There is always a point where employment is priced out. So if we really want employment we should be willing to work for less money. If we don't want to work for less money then we can either start our own business or simply not work and keep our time. The option is completely up to us. But there isn't any rule that says we should have 100% employment -- it doesn't even make sense.
Employment is based entirely on personal decisions and individual needs. If somebody thinks they are too good to work for $8 an hour then they need to deal with being unemployed. If somebody thinks they are too good to do hard, physical work for 10 hours a day then they need to deal with being unemployed. The world doesn't owe you anything and employers don't owe you anything. We all need to be willing to work for what we want and we need to be willing to throw away our ego and start humbly at the bottom if necessary.
There are always jobs to be had. It's just a matter of how bad we want it and what we are willing to sacrifice. If we are all expecting to get $20/hour jobs sitting on our butts all day then we are living in fantasy land. If we are all expecting our college degrees to get us that high paying job then we aren't facing reality. If we are looking to start at the top without first working our way through the bottom then we are lying to ourselves. What gets us employed is bringing value to a need. If we don't have value to offer then we better learn how to offer value. But thinking that we can do the same thing every other unemployed person is doing and somehow come out better than them is ludicrous.
All this should illustrate that economics is not some crazy mathematical thing. Economics is simply reality meeting ideas. We all have tons of noble and great things that we want to do but we also need to take into consideration if we can actually achieve our goals. We all want to change the world, but if we are not using our resources and people effectively and properly we will never reach them. We need to first understand the basics of economics before we can begin to understand how to give each of our ideas life. It is one thing to have something in our heads. It is another to develop a proper system to bring this idea to reality. This is where economics comes in.
- Economics is the act of prioritizing what is most urgent against what is least urgent.
- We live in a scarce world and can't have everything we want. Everything has a trade-off and everything has a cost and benefit associated with it.
- There are two basic ways to progress forward as society: sacrifice or innovation.
- Money is the natural outgrowth of bartering. Money is energy. Our labor and talent is stored in money. Where we make and spend our money is where we make and spend our individual energy.
Banks hold our money for us and loan it out to make more money with it.
- When the money supply increases we have inflation. When the money supply decreases we have deflation.
- The free market raises the standard of living by increasing quality and decreasing costs.
- The free market is voluntary and we vote with our money.
- Business is life itself. When somebody creates a business they are offering something that people voluntarily participate in.
- Profit is somebody choosing to give their money to someone else. Profit is the result of efficiency and favorable decisions.
- The only real monopoly is government, not big business.
- Competition is basically change for the better.
- Regulation by government is an unnecessary role.
- Technology and innovation should replace jobs. This makes our lives better.
- Unemployment is a useless term. We could all start growing and planting crops immediately and all be 100% employed.
- Economics is reality meeting ideas.
"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."
What really is government? We have these things called countries and we have these things called governments but do we really ever stop to think why? What is the purpose of government? Why do we have it? What is government supposed to do? What isn't government supposed to do? Where do we draw the line? Is government necessary? How does government tie into each person's individual purpose in this thing called life? Are we creating societies that best enable ourselves to express our free will? These are all important questions worth asking.
A government is basically a collection of people. It doesn't matter the size. There are small governments and there are large governments. Government derives from governance which is the allocation of control. A family is essentially a government. A community is a government. A city is a government. A state is a government. And so on. As you group people into larger categories that group, or government, becomes larger. It is usually easier to control smaller groups and as groups become larger it becomes harder and harder to control. We see this all the time in business. Large businesses have a much harder time controlling things than a small business. Large companies react slower than smaller companies.
So we have government as a sort of way of organizing people. We can't do everything ourselves and working in cooperation with one another can be a very beneficial thing. So we set up certain rules of organizing each other.
The problem with government is that people are able to dictate policy over another human. This is one of the most fundamental problems with government. We are all individuals who have our own unique free will, but when we are part of a government we lose a part of our free will. There is no real way to opt out of government. If you don't like how the government does something you either have to just deal with it or move somewhere else where they will deal with that another way. Government takes individual free will and clumps it into group-will where you lose your own individual sovereignty.
This is the way it has always been so we just go along to get along and accept this as the way things are. But things don't have to be this way. We don't have to always compromise with the majority. Most people don't even realize that America was originally set up to not work this way. America was originally set up as an experiment in individual sovereignty. More on that later.
Most governments start out small and become larger and larger with time. There is a cycle to governance. It usually goes something like liberty to complacency to dependency to tyranny to revolution and then back to liberty again.
Many people have the misconception that government creates society. This is completely backwards. Government doesn't create society -- people create society. The government is an extension of the people, the people are not an extension of the government, well at least they're not supposed to be.
Society has existed long before governments and it will continue to exist after governments. Governments don't bring us forward in society. Governments restrict us. Government didn't bring us the automobile, the computer, the mobile phone, electricity or anything else of value. These were all brought to us by the free market. The idea that the government provides value to society is a large stretch that is hardly backed by reason.
Government is basically an evolution of ignorance. There is a direct correlation between ignorance and government. As ignorance increases, so too, does government. As wisdom increases, government decreases. This all goes back to some of the basic parts of life. Free people champion minimal control and maximum freedom. Slaves champion maximum control and minimal freedom. This is the way it has always been. Just as a child needs a parent to look after them, a serf needs a government to look after them.
When it comes to government most people simply do not understand history. There is the common saying that those who forget history are destined to repeat it. And it's completely true. Almost every political issue we talk about these days has been tested in the past in history. It may not have the exact same name or the exact same parameters, but it is still basically the same thing. We have volumes upon volumes of books outlining history for us showing us what happens when we do what. We have books upon books talking about what happens when a nation does this and a nation does that. To any educated person we really don't need to have many political discussions. They have already pretty much been done for us already.
We already have historical examples showing us what Capitalism produces. We already know what Communism produces. We already know what Fascism brings us. We have already seen Socialism at work. We have already seen what happens to countries that have fiat currency. We have already seen what happens to countries that create central banks. We already know what happens when countries try to police the world. We already know what happens when countries try to take care of everyone. We already know what happens when people live off the government. We already know what happens when commerce is restricted. We already know what happens when freedom is replaced with “security”. We already know what happens when countries become so successful that the people become complacent. We already know all this. It's written right in front of our eyes, and we choose to ignore it. It's all written in our history yet we want to be ignorant of it. We want to act like we don't know what these things mean. We go around acting like we want to solve real-world problems yet we don't read the instruction manuals that detail the solutions to all the problems.
I could understand if things like Socialism, Communism, Fascism and Capitalism were unseen mysteries but they're not. We have historical evidence showing exactly what these things are and what they create. Yet we still don't even care to understand them. We don't care enough to study Nazi Germany to see what National Socialism is really about. We don't care enough to study Bolshevik and Soviet Russia to see what Communism is really about. We don't care enough to study Fascist Italy to see what Fascism is really like. We don't care enough to study Capitalist Early America to see what that is really about. We already know what we get from all of these things. There are countless volumes written in detail about what's happened in all of these forms of government. But people don't study history. They don't know the past so they don't know the future.
It doesn't matter how many examples we have of things like Socialism, Communism and Fascism being failures for society. If people don't study history they will never know this. If people only look at the short term results of these systems they will never realize the long term repercussions of them. If people keep treating history and government the same way a 3 year old child does then they will keep sustaining governments no greater than that of a 3 year old child. If people don't honestly want to understand how to do government right they will continue to protect their ego while destroying their country.
Communism really wasn't all it was played out to be in the Soviet Union. All the while during the Cold War we were thinking that the Soviet Union was some big time powerhouse that was moving the world forward through Communism. An image was painted in people’s minds that Communism was a great system of equality and that people were living great lives. We later find out that the people were poor and that America was providing them with food the whole time. Communism turned out to be an utter failure and ultimately needed the success of Capitalism to keep it afloat.
But if we don't study history we would never know that. Many people probably know very little about Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. Most people probably don't see the similarities between these systems of government and the systems of government that we have in place today. If we don't study our history and understand what it means then we are destined to repeat it.
Almost all of the modern day problems we talk about have already been done in the past. We know what bailing out banks does. This has been done time and time again in history. We know what creating welfare states does. This has been done already. We know what policing the world does. Rome tried that one out. We already know what is going to happen before we even do it, that is, anybody who has studied history. It is all right there for us to understand.
When we hear things like central banking come up we already know that it was tried time and time again in the United States. Presidential elections were won over the topic of central banking. We know that prior to the Federal Reserve of 1913 there had already been 3 other attempts at setting up a national bank for the United States. This is a huge topic that nobody seems to care about. I guess if you don't know history you are destined to repeat it.
So as we go through the topic of government it is important to understand that almost everything has already happened in the past. Pretty much every political topic can be seen through the lens of history. All we have to do is read a book or two to find out if what we're talking about politically really does work out.
All the time we hear about the biased media or the controlled media. "Don't listen to Fox News, they're a bunch of right wingers." "Don't listen to CNN, they're a bunch of libs." "The elites control all the media." But these news stations became popular somehow. It doesn't matter how elite or how rich you are, you can't force people to watch the news. These news networks didn't magically rise to the top. The people brought them there. The people chose to support these corporations. The people liked what they were getting and they continue to like what they are getting.
If people really were not ruled by ignorance none of the major news sources would exist. This information is shallow, poorly researched, highly influenced politically and entirely lacking. If people really wanted good news it would exist, and it does to a small degree. But most news is exactly what people want: entertainment.
Most people want to be lied to. Most people want to hear what they want to hear, and they will pay big money for it. That is why certain people watch certain news stations. If all the news stations have terrible news riddled with misinformation and bad journalism that is the people's choice. The people want this. If they didn't want filth they would turn to one of the many other sources of information that does report accurate information. But you can't turn to something better if you don't know what better is.
People don't want accurate information when it comes to news. They want to be entertained. They would much rather watch the hot blonde actress reading from a script than have to perform critical thinking to actually understand all sides to an issue. It is much easier and more entertaining to let the hot one do the thinking for you. It is also much more believable when she misrepresents the truth to you. After all, she doesn't know what she's talking about either.
Just as we prefer hot women in our Hollywood movies we also prefer hot women in our Hollywood news. Everything about the news is manufactured and fake and that is why we love it so much. If we actually had ugly people on Fox News talking about how every dollar in existence is a "bill" to us issued by the Federal Reserve do you think people would be watching? Hell no! That doesn't involve war, sex, drugs or lies. The people want nothing to do with that. Media stations need to stay in business so they give the people what they want. This isn't a problem of the free market. This is a problem of ignorance. More government would make the media worse than it already is.
We call the people on TV reporters for a reason. They don't research, analyze or understand any of it -- they report it. The research and analysis has already been done for them. The real thinking and preparation has already taken place and the news reporters are simply reporting what they were told so you too can report what you were told to your friends. This is how the media operates. It isn't about learning, it is about reporting. And until the people want something different they won't get anything different.
So news these days isn't news at all. It is entertainment. That's all it is.
Rich people take a lot of heat these days. These days if you're rich... SHAME ON YOU! You shouldn't be rich! Being rich is bad. How dare you be rich when you should be poor! There are tons of people who are poor and look at you walking around all rich like you're better than everyone else! That's the way most people view it anyway. But being rich isn't a bad thing, being rich is a good thing. Most of us should strive to be rich, not to be poor. There is room for everyone to be rich. Being rich isn't only limited to a certain number of people. Being rich is open to anyone, you just have to choose it.
You see, being rich isn't so much the amount of money you have as it is the mindset you have. Rich people almost always become rich because they think differently than poor people. They do things of value and they make the lives of other people better. Rich people operate in accord with universal principles and are rewarded for these actions.
Yes, of course there are some criminal rich people. But there are also criminal poor people. Yeah sure, there are greedy rich people. But there are also greedy poor people. Being a criminal or being greedy or whatever else you want to call it has nothing to do with being rich or poor, there are all types of people on both sides.
One thing rich people do have in common is that they think similarly. Rich people think in terms of independence as opposed to dependence. Rich people generally become rich through hard work and determination. Being rich isn't accidental for most rich people. They simply applied themselves and went after their dreams. When Steve Jobs helped to create iPhones and iPads for people he was acting like a rich man -- he was creating value that people wanted to participate in by exchanging their money for these products. This is a rich man.
Rich people are inherently entrepreneurial. This is because nature is entrepreneurial. And by being creative and innovative like an entrepreneur you create wealth for yourself as people choose to participate in the great entrepreneurial things that you do. When you invest in a business like a rich person you are rewarded for taking the risk to help create a business of value. Investing is a good thing because it allows new ideas to develop that can eventually lead to making our lives better.
Rich people generally focus on the long term and not the short term. Most people may be okay making a steady paycheck for the rest of their lives. Rich people are not. Rich people would much rather sacrifice some of their short term gains for exceptionally large long term rewards. Rich people focus on the long term because the long term generally involves the process of building and accumulating. Short term people are usually not building and usually starting over again and again. Long term people are usually adding to what they already have and using their resources collectively.
Rich people generally take the hard road. It's not easy being rich initially, but it gets easier with time. Being rich may sometimes require sacrificing things that you would rather be doing. You may rather be watching something entertaining on TV instead of reading some boring book. But reading the boring book is going to give you the information that you need to change your ways for the better. Sitting around on weekends brainstorming ways to improve a certain procedure may not be as cool as getting drunk, but at the same time it will lead to you becoming rich and it will help other people along the way.
Rich people generally do things differently. Rich people don't care about looking like a fool. Rich people don't care what others think of them. Rich people don't need to be like everyone else and rich people don't need to fit in. Rich people follow their own heart and not the hearts of others. Rich people want to be different because being different and doing things differently is what brings about new things. If most people are the same and poor then it is much more beneficial to be different and rich.
Rich people are generally creative. Rich people know how to think. Rich people do think -- a lot. Rich people use the gifts that they are given and apply them to the world. Rich people don't take their ability to think for granted. Rich people don't want to be like an animal and just go along without expressing the unique human gift of creativity and thinking. Rich people make use of these special resources that are unique to humans.
Being rich is something that is usually earned. So when you see a rich person it is usually because they deserve it. A rich person is usually the result of nature rewarding the work, innovation and effort that was put forth by this individual. Nature is simply balancing out the equation by giving back. The rich person simply found a way to get more out of life.
As we have discussed earlier, making money isn't a bad thing when done legally. In fact, making money legally usually means that you are helping others. You can't make money in business without doing something that people voluntarily want to spend their own money on. So making money is a good thing. And being rich is a good thing.
These days attacking the rich people politically is common ground. But the rich people are the ones who are providing all the jobs and who are doing all the stuff that makes our lives better. The rich people are actually the last people we should be attacking. Rich people never force us to do anything we don't want to do. If we are participating in companies of rich people that we don't like then we are choosing to support what we dislike. It doesn't make sense.
We think that it is smart to put a heavier tax on rich people when in reality all that will really do is reward them less financially for building good businesses and make it harder for them to employ people. Everything we do is backwards because we choose to only look at the immediate, selfish effects of our actions and not the long term consequences for the whole.
We need to get over this idea of attacking the rich people and instead start attacking ignorance. The problem isn't rich people. The problem is ignorance.
So now we move on to poor people. Just as it is frowned upon to be rich, it is glorified to be poor these days. Being poor is seen as a good thing. Being poor is seen as pure. If you're poor that means you're down to earth, it means you're not greedy, it means that you value other people and it means that you care about things other than money. But this isn't true at all.
Just as being rich isn't so much the amount of money in your bank account as it is your mindset, being poor is also a mindset. Poor people think a certain way and poor people have certain characteristics. And many of the characteristics that poor people possess provide less favorable results than the characteristics of rich people.
Here's a big secret: you don't have to be poor. It doesn't matter if you're born poor. It doesn't matter if you became poor. It doesn't matter if you've always been poor. You don't have to be poor. Everyone can be rich, you just have to choose to become that way. Being rich isn't going to land in your lap. It will take work and effort, but at any time you can put the work in to be rich. But if you don't put the work in you can't complain when somebody is rich and you're not. If you haven't gone through what somebody else has what makes you think you have a right to have what they have? Of course some people have it easier than you, so? Deal with it. Maybe in another life you had a head start that they didn't. It's not about landing magically in the spot that you want. It's about working to the spot that you want from where you currently are.
Most poor people are dependent on somebody else, they are not independent. Being independent is almost always the better way to be because it allows a greater expression of free will. Independent people are able to extend themselves more and participate more. People of dependency must submit their free will to the will of those above them. This is how many poor people are. This is also how children are. There aren't very many rich children.
Most poor people are employees and not entrepreneurs. There are a number of reasons as to why this is. Yes, obviously it's not a crime to be an employee, but employees are more dependent than entrepreneurs. Employees are also almost always poorer than entrepreneurs. It's not a bad thing but it is a result of their actions. Poor people are poor because of the way they choose to participate in life. They participate from an immediate, employee perspective rather than a long term, entrepreneurial perspective.
Most poor people think that they are entitled to certain things. Most rich people do not. Rich people don't care about going bankrupt or having hard problems -- they find a way through them. Poor people do not. Poor people complain when a problem arises. Poor people don't want to become rich, they simply want to live off the rich. And this is what they do. Rich people run towards their problems. Poor people run away from their problems.
Poor people inevitably vote in certain government policies which take from rich people and give to poor people. But taking money from a rich person and giving it to a poor person is one of the most ignorant things you can do. For one, it is criminal to take something from another individual. You are directly hurting the rich person by taking their money that they earned. I can't go to your house and steal your wallet, so why do we think it is okay when it's done by the government? Two, it is morally irresponsible to reward bad behavior. By giving poor people money for free without them doing any type of work is rewarding something that is bad. You give people money when they do something of value, not when they do nothing. Giving people money for the sole fact that they're poor is only going to enable them to continue being poor. If you didn't give them the money they would have to find a way out, just like everyone else. They would be encouraged to contribute to society rather than take from society.
Our school system is obviously constructed to create poor people and not rich people. School doesn't teach you to become an entrepreneur. School doesn't teach you to think in terms of value like a rich person. School teaches you to think in terms of a job like a poor person. This is a big reason why most people are poor -- they went to school and believed it. If most people go to school and most people are poor you have to stop and ask yourself if school really is all it's made out to be.
Most people are completely unaware that America isn't a democracy. I repeat: America is not a democracy. But we still call it one, why? Because we don't study history, that's why. America was founded as a Constitutional Republic. The founders of America detested democracy, and rightfully so.
Democracy is simply rule of the majority, or mob rule. Rule of the majority is a terrible way to do things. Democracy is 10 wolves and 1 sheep deciding what's for dinner. A democracy is always going to have a loser. For some reason we think that is okay even when there are better ways to do government where people don't lose. A Constitutional Republic that provides basic rights to everyone is a much better way to approach things. This way nobody loses. We don't need to take a vote on what people think. We have already agreed on the way things work and we have written it into law. That's what a Republic is -- rule by law.
We don't see democracy in large businesses. It just doesn't work. We see rule by wisdom in large, successful companies like Apple, Google and Amazon. These companies are ruled by wisdom. The leaders of all of these companies are wise. The leaders of these businesses are not ignorant. They are high quality in many aspects of life.
Businesses don't run on democracy so why should governments? Not everyone has the same say on things. Not everyone should have the same weight when it comes to voting. Different people know more in certain areas and know less in other areas. Why do we need to clump everything together and blur everything? We don't. It is possible to have a government where everybody has specific protections and where people can't vote these protections away, it's called a Constitutional Republic, what America really is.
In actuality, a democracy is closer to rule by ignorance. The majority of people are usually ill-informed and easily manipulated. You can't expect the average person to be smart and democracy is a very hard system to practice when the majority of people are ignorant. Many P. Hall sums it up brilliantly:
"One of the difficulties of a representative government is that it does represent us. It does not do what we hope it will do - allow us to vote for persons more perfect than ourselves. If we had the chance we would not vote for them anyway, because anything more perfect than ourselves would frighten us."
This is the biggest problem with where America is. As we decline further and further into ignorance we elect people less and less capable of leadership qualities. We no longer elect people with virtue and intelligence. Somebody with intelligence scares us. When somebody is smart like a good parent and tells us no on something we get pissed. How dare they tell us no! We are ignorant and want to eat candy all day long. We get what we want -- bad leaders that we vote for.
We live in a democracy yet elect people not qualified for the job at hand. Why? Because we are ruled by ignorance. We are too fearful to elect people better than ourselves. We are too ignorant to know what a better candidate would look like. So invariably we instead choose a bad leader. But it isn't even about leaders...
The idea of electing people to rule over us is ignorant itself. When we put people above us we take away from ourselves. The goal is for us to become leaders. The goal is for each one of us to lead ourselves and to take personal responsibility for ourselves. When we elect politicians all we are doing is choosing to stay in childhood while daddy goes to work and takes care of us. Politicians are unnecessary and are a form of worship. It is not possible for another human being to fully represent us. We need to represent ourselves. A much better form of government is not mob rule and not politician rule, but rather individual rule where each one of us takes personal responsibility for ourselves.
Socialism, Communism and Fascism
Socialism is pretty much the most popular form of government we have today. Most industrialized nations are Socialists today. Socialism is basically defined as:
an economic and political theory advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
This is a pretty fair definition. Socialism is basically a hybrid between government ownership and private ownership to various degrees.
Communism is defined as:
a theory advocating elimination of private property; a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed.
Communism and Socialism are close twins. Most of what we call Socialism today has grown out of Communism. Socialism is basically Communism for the modern day.
Fascism is defined as:
a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
So now that we have the textbook definitions of these let's look a bit more deeper into these things.
One in the same
Capitalism is minimal government. Fascism and Communism are both maximum government. Socialism is in-between.
Socialism, Communism and Fascism are not opposites. These do not all sit at opposite ends of the political spectrum. This is a very important point that needs to be emphasized. All 3 of these ideologies have one important thing in common: they are all collectivist and state based. They all rely on a centralized organizing governmental power. By contrast, Capitalism is more of an individual based system without a centralized organizing governmental power. So you have Socialism, Communism and Fascism on one side of the spectrum as being labeled collectivist and then you have Capitalism on the other side as being labeled individualist. Socialism, Communism and Fascism all require a large, powerful government that acts as a central organizing agency. Capitalism requires a minimal, limited government that acts as a servant to individual desires. So Fascism is not the opposite of Communism. Communism is not the opposite of Socialism. These all 3 represent big government control and limited freedom under a different flavor. While maybe 5% of these ideologies are different, the other 95% of them are the same. By contrast, Capitalism is essentially 100% the opposite of all these.
Socialism isn't something that happens overnight. Socialism creeps in. Socialism isn't something that ever exists in its pure form. Like a parasite, Socialism always needs a host to provide it life. And the host to Socialism is usually some form of Capitalism. Socialism needs Capitalism to survive. Without Capitalism and some type of freedom Socialism would not be possible. Pure Socialism can't work, Socialism is an in-between form. And any degree of Socialism ultimately calls for more Socialism and it continues to grow. Socialism slowly grows more until it is no longer sustainable.
Socialism is by far the most popular collectivist ideology today and as such will be discussed rather than Communism and Fascism. Most of the things found in Socialism are found in either Communism or Fascism in a more extreme way. Fascism is often times the result of Socialism or Communism. For instance in Nazi Germany what started as a "National Socialist" state quickly turned into a dictatorial Fascist state where the individual had little freedom at all.
The same is true in Italy with Mussolini. He rose to power after big doses of Socialism in Italy. As is often the case, one repressive collectivist regime is often replaced by another repressive collectivist regime in a different flavor. Socialism is replaced with Fascism or Communism most of the time. Socialism is the weakest form of collectivism because it mixes itself with elements of freedom via Capitalism. But as Capitalism diminishes and Socialism rises it either takes a Communist route or a Fascist route. Either way, the people lose.
"Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.
This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free."
So what are some Socialist things we do? Well here are a few:
- Social Security
- Central Banking/Money
- Food Stamps
- Minimum Wage
- Universal Health Care
The list could go on and on but these are a few of the more pressing issues so we will address these. At the core, almost all Socialist policies share the same elements, so when you understand one socialist policy, you understand the other. They are all essentially built off the same logic -- or rather lack thereof.
As we explore Socialism we should always be exploring it in contrast to some of the basic human principles that we have established earlier. We should be exploring easy vs hard, short term vs long term, dependent vs independent, slave vs free and so on. We should see how Socialism stacks up against these things. Is Socialism easy or is it hard? Is Socialism short term or is it long term? Does Socialism make people dependent or does it make them independent? Does Socialism make people slaves or does it make them free? These are the questions that we need to be asking when exploring collectivist ideologies like Socialism.
A Failing Model
The basic premise behind Socialism is the concept of Welfare. This concept is a lot like Robin Hood -- taking from somebody that has something and giving it to somebody that doesn't. It doesn't matter how the person got that something. It doesn't matter if they actually worked for it. With Socialism what matters is that somebody doesn't have something that somebody else does. Socialism can be understood through a simple analogy that goes as follows:
Students at a school tell their professor that Socialism works and that if he would grade papers under the principles of Socialism then no students would fail. They say that Socialism would be a great equalizer in that it would take students who did really bad up and it would take students who did really good down. All of the grades would be averaged between the whole class so it would be impossible to have a student fail since there will always be the super smart students to support them. The professor agreed to give it a try.
So after the 1st set of tests all the students got their grades back and everyone received a B. The students that studied really hard were upset that they got a B even though they worked their butts off. The students that didn't study hard at all were happy because a B was a great grade to them. The students that normally worked hard got the worst end of this deal. But it doesn't end here.
When the 2nd test rolled around the students that normally studied hard didn't study as hard this time. They wanted a free ride too and knew there was no reason to study hard if the other students weren't going to study either. The students that normally didn't study continued the bad habit of not studying. This time around the class average was a C, down from before.
When the 3rd test came around nobody studied at all. There was absolutely no reason to study hard. If you studied hard somebody else who didn't study would just bring you down. There was no reason or incentive to study hard when you would get the exact same result as somebody else who didn't study. No matter how hard you worked you would still get the same thing as the person who did zero work. So by the time the 3rd test came around the class average was an F. Everybody failed the test because nobody studied. Nobody studied because there was no reason to study. The incentive had been lost.
This is Socialism in a nutshell. Almost every part of Socialism ties into this principle. Socialism punishes good behavior and rewards bad behavior. When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when the reward is completely taken away no one will try or want to succeed. This is why Socialism is a failing model. In the short term it seems like it might make sense, but in the long term it collapses in on itself. It is a proven failure, time and time again.
If you want to build a good football team do you hold the All-Star players back so that they play at a lower level? Or do you attempt to turn the average players into All-Stars? If the object is to build a team with each player playing their absolute best why would you want to hold people back? Would players who skip practice and don't try still be allowed to play?
Socialism holds back the All-Star players and allows the players who don't want to show up for practice to skip out. But this isn't how you you get better and this isn't how you build a great team. You get better by having all the players show up to practice. You get better by having everybody play the best they can play. Socialism doesn't do this. Socialism forces the All-Star quarterback to leave practice and go help the player that didn't want to show up for class. Socialism enables bad behavior and disables good behavior.
Somebody on welfare is a lot like somebody skipping practice. In the game of life we are constantly faced with practice in the form of challenges and changes. These challenges are what make us become better people and they help us grow. If we allow somebody to consistently enable us to run from overcoming challenges then we will be a bad player in the game of life. If the quarterback runs from practice they will be a bad player in the game of football. Do we want to become better or worse?
Rearranging The Chairs
Most of Socialism is simply a rearranging of the chairs. With Socialism real production and value is hardly ever accomplished. Sacrifice and innovation don't take place in Socialism because Socialism isn't about making things better. Socialism simply rearranges all the variables in an equation, wastes resources on a few middle men and makes a lot of mistakes along the way.
You see, without Socialism we have a constant flux and balance of supply and demand, of production and consumption, of risk and reward and so forth. All of these variables are determined entirely based off of real-world data and demand. If people want more of something, markets adjust. If people want less of something, markets adjust. The whole world adjusts for opportunities and for problems. Things are always being balanced.
But with Socialism, balance is distorted. Rather than letting nature run its course through the free market, in Socialism government tries to predict what to do and attempts to plan how the market should work. Government tries to adjust prices and to adjust regulations in order to make business operate more smoothly. But when the free market is already a better equation all Socialism does it make an inferior equation.
When we create something like a minimum wage law we think that we are actually doing good with Socialism because we are giving people a minimum amount of money for work that they do. But there is the other part of the equation that most people don't look at -- the part that is now out of balance. Yes, people may get paid more but now there are less jobs to go around because it costs more for businesses to hire people. Let me repeat that, minimum wage makes it more expensive for an employer to employ somebody. So rather than have 2 workers who each make $5 an hour you now only have 1 worker who makes around $8 an hour. Not only are there less jobs, but the 1 job that there is pays less than the 2 jobs combined. People are poorer and there are less jobs to go around. But through our ignorance we still think that Socialism and minimum wage laws are a good idea. All we are doing is rearranging the equation and then making some mistakes in our arithmetic along the way. This all comes back to people looking only at the short term, immediate effects and not the long term consequences.
At its most basic level, Socialism rewards failure. In nature you have to constantly be paying attention and you need to stay alert. If you rest for too long you will go hungry. If you don't fight for your food you may not have any food. If you don't build a shelter, you won't have a shelter. In nature, if you don't participate and you don't do something of value you won't have anything. Nature doesn't give you things for free. But Socialism does. And this is the fundamental problem of Socialism.
When a football team goes 0-16 for the season we don't go around celebrating and reward their failure. When a football team wins the Superbowl we don't pull them down for achieving greatness. When a student gets constant F's in class we don't go around rewarding them for getting F's. When a student gets an A we don't tell them they're bad for working hard and getting good grades. The whole world and nature itself is set up to reward good behavior and help fix and correct bad behavior. But not Socialism. Socialism is the exact opposite. Socialism rewards bad behavior and punishes good behavior. Almost every example will show this point.
Take something like food stamps. With food stamps we give people money basically because they don't have any. Of course some people may be in bad situations and things may be tight. But you don't get people out of bad situations by enabling these bad situations to perpetuate. By giving people food stamps you are telling them that they don't need to cure this problem. The cure for people not having money for food is for them to think, grow and find a way to have the means for food. There cure for lack of food is physical labor and work. This is what people did before food stamps. But food stamps do the opposite of this. Food stamps tell people they don't need to change their situation. Food stamps are designed to make people dependent on somebody else. People could easily be independent and take care of themselves, but food stamps tell them they don't need to be independent and so people stay dependent.
In addition, the money from food stamps has to come from somewhere. It comes from people who earned their money. People who did think, who did grow and who did work for their money legitimately are punished through Socialism for doing things in accordance with the universe and nature. By practicing the laws of nature people who earn money are punished by people who don't earn money. The people who receive things like food stamps are pulling those people who did things right down. And the people who did things wrong by not earning money are not being pulled up. Giving people food stamps doesn't make them any better off -- it just perpetuates their bad behavior at the expense of those with good behavior. So in this scenario Socialism is a lose-lose. The person who pays the money for the stamps loses by being forced to pay money that they earned. The person who receives the money is also on the losing end because they don't solve the problem of growing out of their situation. Food stamps don't force people to work or make a living. Food stamps simply enable people to continue doing nothing to change their situation or grow as an individual. It's one of the most ignorant things we can create as a society.
Socialism is legalized crime. If you were to practice the principles of Socialism on the street you would go to jail. If you were to steal money from somebody you would be committing a crime. Socialism does this everyday and we call this legal. Everyday we have the government stealing from people who have money and then giving it to people who don't have money. The people who have money usually don't choose for this to happen, it is usually the people without money who choose this. And so the government uses force to take this money from them. The government participates in crime by taking money from people and then giving it to other people. This isn't compassionate, it's criminal.
If I were to go into your house at night and steal your wallet and then give it to somebody of my choice would this be okay? Am I being compassionate when I take something that you earned and then give it to somebody else? Is it okay for me to steal money from you and then hand it out to somebody who is "less fortunate" than you? Is that okay? If it is okay give me your address and I will come take whatever you have and give it to somebody less fortunate. Why is it okay for the government to do this but not me? Socialism is criminal.
Is it okay for me to walk into McDonalds and steal a Big Mac to give to somebody who is hungry? Why can't I steal from McDonalds and give a Big Mac to someone in need? It is the compassionate thing to do isn't it? Why should somebody be starving without food when somebody else has food? It's because it's not right to take things from other people that aren't yours. People own things. And the things that people own, including money, they are free to do as they please with them. If you want to give somebody a Big Mac pay for it yourself and give it to them. But don't use my money to do it. Using force to take stuff that people own to redistribute to somebody else is criminal. If we can't do it on the streets why can we do it in the government?
Why are the people at the receiving end the least compassionate? Why don't the people on the receiving end ever give up their money? Because they don't have any? Where do you draw the line between people who have money and people who don't? There is always somebody less fortunate than you. So no matter how poor you think you are there is somebody poorer. Even the poorest people should be giving what they have to somebody who is poorer by this logic.
The principles of Socialism are morally weak. Socialism is built on the principle of giving people things as opposed to people earning things. Socialism spoils people. When you give things to people without them working for them you are spoiling them. This is common sense parenting.
When we parent our children we are to tread the fine line of choosing how much to give our children and how much not to give our children. When we give them too much they usually don't learn the lesson because they don't need to learn the lesson. It is important not to give our children everything they want because then they will never learn important life principles. When we discipline our children we are often times correcting their bad behavior so that they will change their ways.
If somebody wants food and it requires preparation to make the food people will do it. But if somebody wants food and the food is prepared for them then they won't prepare the food themselves. If the food is always prepared for people they will have no reason to ever prepare the food themselves. They will compromise aspects of their character because they don't need to grow.
Socialism enables people to compromise their morals and character. As we have already discussed, it is immoral to steal from people, but through Socialism this morality is compromised. People could still get through life without stealing by finding a way themselves or having others voluntarily choose to help them, but instead they use the government to force other people to enable their bad behavior. This is morally weak and mentally ignorant.
The purpose of life is to grow, not to simply exist. The purpose of life is to help everyone move forward. Of course we're going to get into hard situations and have problems. So? That's part of life. That's part of what we're supposed to deal with here to learn from. We need to work our way out. We need to reconnect to something greater than ourselves and grow. This is what the world is trying to help us with but we would much rather look elsewhere for answers.
Not Recognizing Errors
The same way a child does not understand their errors, a Socialist is usually unaware of the hidden errors associated with such a philosophy. When a child steals from a store because they can, they haven't fully developed themselves to understand that they are hurting the store by doing so. They haven't quite understood how there are negative effects outside of their selfish act. Socialists have not outgrown this same mindset.
Most good things in life take time. Bill Gates didn't become rich overnight. Thomas Edison didn't invent the lightbulb his first try. Beethoven didn't write his masterpieces instantly. Good things almost always take time and effort. So how do such principles compare to Socialism?
For instance, we can all agree that it is admirable and appropriate to help the lesser people in our society. Everyone should be given the best chance they can get and those in need should be helped. Where Socialism breaks down is on how it plans to accomplish such a goal. Socialism takes the instant gratification approach while a more mature approach takes an approach of patience and effort.
When somebody turns down a Socialist regime they are not saying that they think it is okay for people of misfortune to suffer and for nothing to be done about it. They are saying that the Socialist approach is not the right way to go about helping them, the same way that feeding a child candy is not the right way to curb his hunger. Giving a fish to a man who is hungry is also of less value than teaching him how to fish. The goal of helping those in need should be focused on equipping them with the ability to take care of themselves. Education and long-term solutions should be the focus. We need to teach people how to fish, not give them a fish. Socialism gives people a fish.
And yes, sometimes there is going to be some pain. Pain is not a bad thing. It is part of growth. Again, the correct path is not always the easiest path - in most cases it is the hardest path. But in the end it will provide the most fruit and allow for the highest level of freedom and prosperity. After all, such a path is in alignment with our universal principles that mirror nature. Find enjoyment in your struggles and enjoy the problems because that's a big part of what life is and they're not going away anytime soon.
We don't need to use failing models and morally weak doctrines like Socialism. When something bad comes around we should see it as a time for growth. When we get put in a tricky situation we should see it as an adventure to get ourselves out of. We need to stop looking to somebody else to take care of us. It is up to us to take care of ourselves. Just as a child outgrows his parents we need to outgrow our government. Yes there are going to be challenges. Yes there are going to be hurdles. We need to face them head on with honesty and enthusiasm. Challenges should be looked at as a fun thing, or at least a necessary thing. Once you overcome them you're going to become that much better. Think of it as a competition in sports. You're facing a challenging team and you're the underdog. Are you going to give up or are you going to give it your best shot against all odds?
Rather than turning to the government who can't give us anything without hurting someone else we should instead be turning to the higher power who is always ready to give. We live in a universe of infinite energy that is waiting to give to us. We have the most amazing universe that is always ready to help us work through our challenges. There is no challenge that is too big for the universe. And there is no challenge in front of us that we can't overcome. All we need to do is connect and make an effort. The universe will always work towards our free will. The universe will always put things in our path just when we need them most. We need to be open to it more and we need to turn to it more. It's waiting to help. And it is a much better teacher than the government.
When you're playing a video game and you face a challenge you don't turn the game off and give up. You keep going. You keep looking. When you're down by 14 points with 5 minutes remaining in the football game do you throw in the towel or do you play your heart out? When you're faced with being unemployed do you turn to the state knowing that you're going to be bringing other people down with you, or do you put in the hard work to prove to employers that you are a valuable part of their company and find yourself another job? When you get yourself thousands of dollars in debt do you just crawl up and give up on life or do you innovate, sacrifice and crawl your way out?
Life is a game. Play it to the fullest, live with the universe on your side, and give it all you've possibly got! Every challenge is something to learn from and a piece of experience to put in your arsenal of abilities. The more challenges you overcome the more powerful you become. Eventually you will reach a state where things are less and less confusing. Momentum will slowly begin to work in your favor and life will slowly become easier and easier. The harder you work towards overcoming your challenges the more life will become like a really fun video game. Don't give up, we're all in this together.
These days Capitalism has a bad reputation. Being a Capitalist is viewed as being greedy, immoral, selfish and only concerned with money. If you're a Capitalist you're a greedy, rich guy that doesn't care about other "less fortunate" people. That is how we view Capitalism.
Capitalism is formally defined as:
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
So capitalism is basically the opposite of collectivist regimes involving government.
Capitalism is simply a system of freedom. Freedom allows you to be rich if you want to be and it also allows you to be poor if you want to be. Capitalism simply allows each individual the choice to decide what they want to do with their life. Capitalism is the closest we have seen to absolute freedom. So if you're upset about Capitalism then you're upset about freedom itself.
And that is completely understandable. Many people prefer “security” over freedom. Many people would rather be dependent on the government than dependent on themselves. Like freedom, Capitalism requires work, and most people don't like work. So to a group of people who are intelligent and moral Capitalism is a great thing, but to a group of people who are ignorant and immoral Capitalism is a terrible thing. It simply depends on which group people associate with.
The name Capitalism is kind of misleading. Capitalism isn't really about capital as much as it is about freedom. The name should be Freedomism because that is essentially what Capitalism is about. Yeah, Capitalism involves money, but money is simply a storage of energy. So Capitalism isn't really about money, money is simply the medium of exchange we use between things that people choose to individually do through the free market. If we wanted to practice freedom without money we could, but it just so happens that it is hard to do when we live in a scarce environment where barter and money naturally arise.
We Don't Have Capitalism
We don't have Capitalism anywhere in the world right now. America is not a Capitalistic country. We don't have Capitalism in America. So if you're upset about the way things are going in America you can't blame Capitalism... we haven't had that for decades! We have Socialism now. So if you're upset about big corporations and the rich getting richer you have Socialism to blame for that. That's right, Socialism.
Capitalism has never existed in its fullest form. Early America was fairly Capitalistic but it still wasn't 100% Capitalistic. 100% Capitalism is a 100% free market. There has never been this. There is always government intervention and government regulation. A 100% capitalistic society has private market money, private military, private courts, private roads and so on. All I am saying is that we have never had a pure Capitalistic country ever.
Now yes, early America was about as Capitalistic as the world has ever seen and that is why America became such a great country. People wanted to move to America because they were able to do what they wanted to do. People wanted to move to America because they had the freedom to operate within a very Capitalistic country. People moved to America because they could do business how they wanted. So people essentially came to America to escape places that were heavier on government. People came to America for less government. This is what took America from a 3rd world country to a 1st world in under a century.
But starting around the 1900's and exponentially increasing in the 1940's America started to adopt a much more Socialistic viewpoint. Government and Socialism has been the norm for America the past 100 years. We have had many new laws passed and many old things changed that are different from early America. America today is nowhere close to the America of 100 years ago.
America of 100 years ago was a completely different world. We didn't pay income taxes 100 years ago. We didn't lose our money to inflation 100 years ago. Companies were not bailed out 100 years ago. Companies weren't regulated like they are today. In short, 100 years ago things were much more closer to freedom.
Today we are almost the complete opposite. Although we have small remnants of Capitalism remaining in America, it is a Socialist country today -- and the whole world for that matter. Socialism dominates the world we live in today. There isn't a country that exists in the world today that is as Capitalistic as America used to be.
Now I know what you're thinking. Well I would much rather be living in Socialist America now than Capitalist America back then. Back then was really tough, we didn't have all the luxuries that we have today. But really think this one through. Right now the few things left of America that are great are a result of Capitalism. We still do have a thin layer of Capitalism working in America and that thin layer creates the technology and abundance that we have come to love. But that thin layer is slowly being deteriorated. We are slowly entering back into more government, away from less government. We think this is okay because we haven't lived through the effects of it yet. This is because most people are short term. In the short term things look okay. But Rome is burning. And there will come a time when Socialism and big government will show their true colors. Capitalism made America so strong that it took over 100 years to bring it down. Socialism has been chipping away at America for over 100 years and we are just now starting to feel it. It took a long time and a lot of ignorance to take down Capitalism. But we are just about there now. And the results of Socialism are slowly working their way in.
So when you see how life is still okay right now in America realize that it would be much, much better if it wasn't for Socialism. When you see the technology and medicine that we have realize that it would be much further if we didn't have regulations and government slowing it down. Socialism is a drag on society. So all the cool stuff we have in our lives is in spite of Socialism, not because of it.
Many of the world's largest businesses are not rich because of Capitalism -- many of them are rich because of Socialism. One of the primary ways a large corporation like a bank can become rich is through Socialism. Socialism allows banks to be bailed out by taxpayers when they go bankrupt. Socialism allows banks to have a monopoly over the money that we use. Socialism allows certain businesses to have government enforced privileges that other businesses do not have. Many of the major US banks should be bankrupt right now. But Socialism prevents companies from going bankrupt and promotes government favoritism. So if you're mad about big companies and greedy rich people then you have Socialism to be upset about, not Capitalism.
Conversely, Capitalism doesn't play favorites. If a company goes bankrupt then it isn't saved by the government. If a company can't compete efficiently then it doesn't receive a government enforced grant of monopoly or a taxpayer subsidy. Capitalism allows things to take place naturally. When a company goes bankrupt in Capitalism then another more efficient company buys it at a discount and rearranges the pieces of this company to be efficient again. Capitalism is all about being fair and being efficient. When businesses go bankrupt it is because they are doing something that is no longer necessary. That's perfectly okay. Not every business will always provide value. If something new comes along that renders that business obsolete so be it. It's sad but it's natural. Nature also has a balance of things coming and going.
A microcosm of nature
The reason why Capitalism is so effective is because it is a microcosm of nature. Capitalism works more like nature than any other economic and governmental system. Capitalism is like nature. When a hurricane hits in nature there isn't some nature government institution that comes and makes things right. When a hurricane wipes everyone out nature doesn't also bail you out. When a hurricane wipes you out that's it. You have to rebuild. It sucks and you move on. In the future you can develop ways to minimize the effects of a natural disaster, but if nature gets the best of you then you deal with it. So what? It's a learning experience. You're able to grow from it.
This is how Capitalism is. In Capitalism if something bad happens then tough, you deal with it. There isn't some taxpayer-primed hand waiting to help you out in Capitalism. That's not how Capitalism works and that's not how nature works. Nature doesn't have bailouts and taxes because nature is efficient and balanced. Nature knows that it's not possible to always have outcomes on one side of the equation and so nature allows for balance to take place. Nature knows that there is good in bad and bad in good.
Nature doesn't redistribute things that you earn. If you go hunting and catch food in nature you don't have to pay a nature tax and give some of it away. Nature allows you to keep what is yours. Capitalism simply mirrors nature. If you earn something in Capitalism you can choose what you want to do with it. If you want to keep it yourself it's yours and you can. If you want to give something away in Capitalism you can do that too. But you aren't forced to do anything in Capitalism.
Consumer in the Driver Seat, Not Corporations
In Capitalism the consumer is in the driver seat, not the corporation. What does this mean? It means that Capitalism serves you, the little guy, not the big corporations. Big corporations have to make you happy in order to make a profit. At any time you can choose to stop giving them your money and they will suffer. You hold the cards, not them. So naturally Capitalism is geared towards the little guy.
Yes, of course there are tons of rich corporations out there like Walmart, McDonalds and Apple. But they're only rich because they are doing something that people voluntarily choose to support. People like the products Walmart has, people like the food McDonalds has and people like the products that Apple offers. If they didn't they wouldn't buy them.
If you piss a corporation off many times they will bend over backwards to make sure they correct the error. Every day corporations are in a struggle to make sure that they keep their customers happy. Conversely, government corporations could care less about their customers. You will face long lines and poor quality service in government and Socialist operations because these companies don't need to keep the customer happy -- they make money whether you choose to shop with them or not. Corporations, on the other hand, are faced daily with the task of winning over new customers and keeping their current customers happy.
This is why most people don't start businesses. It's hard. It's hard to find a way to make people want to pay you for something. It is hard to offer something of value and drum up a profit. This isn't easy, and this is exactly what corporations do. So when a corporation makes money it should. They took the risk of trying to please customers and it paid off. Good for them. They made the customer happy and they made money themselves. Everybody wins.
If customers are not happy with a business then it will be rewarded less and less money by consumers. If the business keeps up a low quality service that customers are not willing to pay for then it will eventually go bankrupt. The company will lose when they go bankrupt, not the consumer. The consumer gets all the reward of a good business with none of the risk.
Corporations are simply an extension of individual's desires. If people want something corporations fill that need. The richest and largest companies fill our most pertinent desires. So if we're mad about big companies we should really be mad at ourselves. We made the companies the way they are. If you don't like a business don't support it. We hold the cards, not them.
Democrats and Republicans
Democrats and Republicans are not really opposites. Yes, they have different views on many different things, but they both agree on one main thing: big government. Both Democrats and Republicans love government. They both vote on measures to increase the size of government, they just increase different parts of government.
Democrats are obviously much more into Socialism and building a strong population of dependent people. Democrats are really big on spending lots of money to enable bad behavior. Democrats spend lots of money to take money from efficient people and give it to inefficient people. So Democrats are essentially Socialists who champion a strong Socialist government.
Republicans, on the other hand, are much more into Fascism and building a strong military that runs the lives of everyone else on the planet. This is what Republicans are into. Republicans like building a very powerful, centrally controlled military. It doesn't matter how much money it costs or who we piss off, this is what Republicans are into.
Both parties are also perfectly okay with things like centrally-issued government money and income taxes. Even though both of these things are completely unnecessary that doesn't matter. Both parties are really big into paying taxes due to inflation and paying taxes on income.
Now yes, obviously there is much more to each side. Obviously not all Republicans are into military and not all Democrats are into Socialism, but this is the trend. And what almost all of these parties are into is big government and limited freedom. The larger the government the less freedom we have. But both parties are okay with giving up freedom for government. Both parties are okay with paying big taxes on inefficient government institutions that offer less to society than the private sector.
Sure Democrats may say that they're compassionate but they're really not. By their actions and historically speaking what they do makes the lives of those people they "help" worse. Democrats are actually the opposite of compassionate. If Democrats were compassionate they would be putting up their own money to help others and they wouldn't be forcing you to put your money up for their causes. If Democrats were really compassionate they would know that Socialism hurts society which in turn hurts people.
Naturally Republicans will say that they are fiscally conservative but they're really not. By their actions they run huge national debts. Military spending is our biggest government spending. That's not fiscally conservative, that's fiscally asinine. But strong military is #1 isn't it? Why? Constitutionally speaking we are to have militias, not centrally controlled militaries that go around pissing the rest of the world off like ancient Rome.
The national debt continues to increase no matter who is in power. Both parties are big on national debt and blowing taxpayer money. So if you're into national debt, decreased standard of living and lots of taxes then I would recommend either party. If you're not into these things then perhaps we should try something different.
The Federal Reserve
Although almost everything that the government touches is a failure, there is one failure that stands out above all other government failures: The Federal Reserve.
"On average, over $5,000 is extracted from your family each year, not to provide government services or even to pay off previous debt. Nothing is produced by it, not even roads or government buildings. No welfare or medical benefits come out of it. No salaries are paid by it. The nation's standard of living is not raised by it. It does nothing except pay interest."
The Federal Reserve is a semi-private central bank we have in America that loans money into existence. Constitutionally speaking Congress has the ability to coin money itself, but instead we chose to have a semi-private corporation do that for us instead -- and then loan it to us at interest. The Federal Reserve is neither federal, nor does it have any reserves. Our money isn't American. It is corporate. And whatever it is, it serves absolutely no purpose to America. The same exact thing that the Fed does could be done another way without charging interest. We get mad about greedy corporations making all the money but apparently we are okay with even larger, greedy corporations literally, physically making all the money.
Every dollar in existence is a loan. A dollar is not created as what we think of as money. It is created as debt. Every dollar created by the Fed is a loan with interest attached to it. The interest is to be paid to the Federal Reserve. This interest is paid with more dollars that have even more interest attached. Every dollar in existence has to be paid back with even more dollars which has to be paid back with even more dollars. As you can see, this is a losing model and an endless loop. The system has nowhere to go but to failure. Our money is debt. It's not real. The more money we have the poorer we are. The perceived value of our money comes from people deciding it has value. But this money isn't worth anything on its own. You can't do anything with it, all you can do is have people believe it is worth something. Our money has nowhere to go but to a collapse unless the current system is changed.
I'm not talking about paying off our national debt or cutting back on government expenses. This is just a fraction of the problem. The real problem is the money itself. The money itself is debt. What we call our money is a loan. A loan isn't money. A loan is debt. Real money is something that doesn't need to be branded as money by a government. Real money is something that people will accept regardless of whether the government tells them to or not. By law we have to use debt loaned to us at interest by the Federal Reserve.
This all has to do with inflation that I talked about earlier. When our money comes into existence it inflates the total money supply. If our money was something like gold or silver it would be hard to inflate because we would have to physically dig it up and it would be hard to do. Additionally, it the money was gold or silver there would be value by inflating because we would be able to use gold and silver in industry and for useful things. But with paper money this isn't the case. Paper has no value and it takes very little effort to print a lot of money. This is why it is harder and harder to buy the same thing at the same price. Prices go up because total money in circulation goes up. Bankers get to spend the money first when they create it and buy all the stuff that we build. They trade paper for real stuff that we work really hard on. This is all thanks to Socialism and government monopoly over the money.
This is the highest degree of ignorance in action. We don't even issue our own money interest free. But why? There is absolutely no reason to issue money with interest attached to it other than to inflate the economy and enrich the private owners of the Fed. That is it. There is no other reason. Before 1913 we didn't have a Federal Reserve. Now it is just a normal part of everyday life. Every day we are becoming poorer and poorer by having the value of our dollar decline. Since nobody understands what's going on they just accept it and think it's Democrats spending money on Socialism or Republicans spending money on Fascism. While yes, both parties spend money, that is not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the money itself. The real problem is inflation through the Federal Reserve. It's a hidden tax that nobody seems to notice. And since our standard of living increases through production and efficiency people don't notice that our dollar is becoming weaker. It can't go on forever like this.
Just to put it into perspective: our money is worth roughly 100 times less than it was in 1913. This means $1 in 1913 is now worth $.01 today. And I know people like to say inflation is normal, but it isn’t. Inflation is only normal in societies with central banks like the Federal Reserve. $1 should still be worth $1 today. It isn't. An once of gold in 1913 was worth $20. Today an ounce of gold is worth close to $2,000. Hmmmm, that looks like an increase of about 100 times. If you compare what things used to cost 100 years ago to the price of gold they are just about the exact same. What you could buy 100 years ago for an ounce of gold you can buy today for an ounce of gold. Think about what I just said. A nice business suit still costs the same amount today, in gold, as it did 100 years ago, in gold. Can this be said about the dollar? No, because the dollar is worth 100 times less than it was 100 years ago. The dollar has dropped in value. Gold hasn't gone up in value. The dollar has gone down. You have our Federal Reserve to thank for that.
Government of the Future
So with all this ignorance running our lives how do we do government the right way? How do we maximize wisdom in government and minimize ignorance? The answer is to have the least amount of government possible, if at all. We have to first realize that government is naturally a drag on society. We have to realize that it isn't possible to have honest politicians. It's just not possible. So don't count on it. People are always going to do what they want. It's not possible to have governments that keep themselves in check. So we should simply do away with as much government as possible.
It's not possible to have government look after us, so we should look after ourselves. It's not possible to have governments provide us education, so we should educate ourselves. It's not possible to have governments do what we want done, so we should do what we want on our own. It's not possible to have governments represent everyone all at once. So we should represent ourselves individually. It's not possible to have government do anything for us without doing something that somebody else doesn't want. So we should simply get rid of government as much as possible. As ignorance increases so too does government. As wisdom increases, government decreases.
We should try to increase wisdom. That is the only true foundation we have for governing ourselves and others. We need to stop looking for others to take care of us and start taking care of ourselves. We need to stop looking for smart and moral politicians to lead us to the promised land. We are the politicians. We are the ones in charge of our lives, not somebody else. We need to transmute our ignorance into wisdom. We need to take on the challenge of becoming better.
A government is an extension of the people. If you have ignorant, ill-informed people you have ignorant, ill-informed government. If you have self-responsible, wise people you will have a small, reasonable government that works. It all comes down to the quality of ourselves. If we want a better country then we need to be better. Countries are a reflection of us.
If we want government to take care of us then we are asking for something that never has been and never will be. If we want the government to make our lives easier we should look elsewhere. If we want government to educate us we should think again. Government isn't in the business of making our lives better. We are the ones who need to do that.
With that said, here are a few suggestions on improving the way we think about government.
Privatize as much as possible
Most of what we have government doing can be done privately through the free market. We don't need a government post office. We have FedEx and UPS. We don't need to waste money on this. We don't need huge offices for regulating things. People can regulate things themselves. Private businesses can do the regulation on a for-profit bases. We don't need government to do the regulation for us. We don't need the government to educate us. This is the last thing they should be doing. Public education will only provide lower quality education at a higher price. We don't need more money to go into education. We need to get rid of government education and let the free market take care of that.
We don't need a TSA. Who are we kidding? These guys couldn't find a bomb in paper bag. Let the airlines choose the level of security they want to provide. Most people don't want to be body scanned, molested and treated like a 3 year old. No thanks. That can go. Department of Housing? Sounds like another mistake. How can the government possibly know more about housing than the free market? It can't, so get rid of it. Rental assistance? For what? People who can't afford things that they shouldn't be renting? The more you look at government the more childish and immature it all becomes. It becomes hard to take the government seriously in anything.
I'm not saying we need to cut back on spending, I'm saying we need to get rid of it completely. We don't need these things to be handled by the government. They can be done better in the free market and at a cheaper cost. It is simply ignorance which keeps these things going. We already have a much better algorithm as proven historically and logically yet we choose to make the inferior decision of keeping government around. The free market knows how to do all these things. Let's stop being little children and grow up.
Businesses and entrepreneurs are waiting to get their hands on these projects so they can improve them. Almost everything the government does would be improved instantly if put into the hands of private businesses operating competitively and for a profit. It's not possible for bureaucrats to outdo the free market.
Money should be completely private. Money should not be issued by governments. Money is the one thing that government can always control us by. Governments can always manipulate markets if they have control of money. A government can create as much or as little money as possible. So we should stop thinking about money as something that government controls. It's just not necessary. Government doesn't need to control money. We have this picture of government creating money ingrained in our heads because we have been doing it this way so long. But this isn't how it has to be. Money can be handled entirely in the free market.
It is entirely possible for private currencies to rise up. We could have private companies issue gold backed currency or it could be paper-based currency, it really doesn't matter. What does matter is that it is done privately. You allow merchants and businesses to accept whatever form of payments they want to accept. A few main currencies will become the normally accepted currency. Rather than a US Federal Reserve Note being used people would instead start using something like a Gold Bank Credit. You would still have an ATM card and you wouldn't have to lug around all this physical gold or silver. You could simply store it all at the bank and you could pay via your credit card. It would work the same as it does now only the government wouldn't be creating money -- your bank would be. And the money wouldn't be created out of thin air, the money would be a receipt for labor.
If a bank ever did decide to do something shady and started to inflate the currency or manipulate it somehow you would easily have the option to pull out all your money and switch to another more competitive currency. Banks would be forced to compete to have the most honest form of money because it would be in their best interest to have the most amount of people using their money. The more people that used their bank the more money they would make. So banks would want to create honest money and banks would want to give you as many options to do what you want to do with your money. Banks would work with businesses and merchants to make sure that your transactions were as efficient as possible. Banks would make your data as transparent as possible so you know they're not screwing you.
This would work the exact same way USB and Firewire work in technology. Almost everything these days uses either USB or Firewire to send data from one device to another. The government didn't say it had to be this way. There wasn't a law saying that technology needed to consolidate and come up with a universal way to do things -- the free market figured it out. This is how the free market always works. The free market developed USB and Firewire so that people can easily use the same cord and the not have to worry about devices not being compatible with another one. Everything is streamlined and done efficiently.
Private money would work the exact same way. You would have a few main currencies like USB or Firewire that would be the most popular. There would be plenty of room for another bank or entrepreneur to come up with a better way to do money, but until that happened we would work with the money that we already have provided.
Early United States
The early United States had a lot right. Yes of course certain things weren't 100% right. But most of it was. We should look to the early United States as the model for how to do government right. I'm not saying early America was perfect, but it was a lot more perfect than what we have today.
Limited government is not some extreme measure. Big government is extreme. Limited government makes our lives better. Limited government makes us wealthier. Big government makes our lives worse and it makes us poorer. I have demonstrated that throughout this book. We need to stop being a bunch of selfish cowards and start living lives of virtue and integrity. Government isn't going to save us, it's just no possible. We need to save ourselves.
Freedom is not the default nature of governments. The default nature of governments is slavery and control. The United States was a rare experiment when it was formed. Freedom was breaking the mold of the way the world operated. The world operated with Kings and Queens controlling things. America changed this. America made the people sovereign kings. Under America everyone was made to be a king themselves -- the people could do what they wanted to, just like a king. That is freedom. And that requires discipline and wisdom. To be a proper king you must be well educated and wise. As wisdom declines, so too does freedom. Thomas Jefferson knew this all too well when he said:
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
- As ignorance increases government increases, as wisdom increases government decreases.
- Almost every governmental decision has already been made in the past. History shows us what works and what doesn’t.
- The media is entertainment, not news.
- Rich people think a certain way and often practice principles of growth.
- Poor people think a certain way and often practice principles of stagnation.
- America is not a democracy -- it is a Constitutional Republic ruled by law, not majority.
- Socialism, Fascism and Communism are all collectivist and all champion state power.
- Socialism is built on a failing model which rewards bad behavior and punishes good behavior.
- If we were to practice the principles of Socialism on the streets we would go to jail.
- Socialism is morally weak. The effects of Socialism hurt people more than they help them.
- Socialism is short term and not long term. Socialism gives people a fish rather than teaching them how to fish.
- Capitalism is basically Freedomism. If you’re upset about Capitalism then you’re upset about freedom itself.
- We don’t have pure Capitalism anywhere in the world, only small remnants of it.
- Capitalism mirrors nature and as such is very balanced and complete.
- Consumers hold the power in Capitalism, not big companies.
- Democrats and Republicans are essentially the same in the most important part: they both support big government.
- The Federal Reserve is the largest problem facing America 2nd to ignorance.
- The key to successful government is the absolute least amount of government possible, if any at all.
Money should be handled outside of government in the free market.
- The early United States had a lot right when it comes to government. We should look towards this as a starting point.
"Wisdom is given to no man until he asks for it."
All throughout this book I have shown how almost all the problems that we face are a result of ignorance. Problems arise because we are not wise enough to avoid them. We may not have the character to do the right thing even when there isn't a financial reward. We may not have the guts to do something that is right even when we will be hated for it. We may be too fearful to try something new. We may be too greedy to help others. All of these things are a result of ignorance, and all of these things are correctable.
All throughout this book I have attacked many things and I have painted a dark picture of things. But things don't have to be dark. Ignorance is dark. I am going to leave the final parts of this book towards things we can do to grow in wisdom and things we can do to make the world a better place. This book may sound negative, but it really isn't meant to be. There is always hope and purpose. There is always a bright light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a way out. And that is what I hope to address in this chapter.
Wisdom is something that is resting within all of us. Within all of us are the answers for all the things we want to know. Within all of us is the guidance we need to move forward to a brighter future. We hold all the keys to the future, it is up to us to choose when to tap into them.
Harmony with Nature
We should recognize the importance of nature and the universe. Everything in nature is exact. Nature is pure. We should realize the patterns of nature and choose to work in accord with nature rather than against. Nature is a platform that is always guiding us through life. In nature we can find much wisdom for how to live appropriately.
Yes, we all have free will, but we must understand that we will also have to live with the consequences of our free will. If we create good in our future by living appropriately now then so be it. If we create bad in our future by living inappropriately then so be it. We are simply receiving what we create, and if through our ignorance we create turmoil then hopefully the turmoil will eventually push us back into alignment towards wisdom. Nature is always right here waiting for us to grow.
We all have a purpose. We are all here for a reason. We all chose to live this life here for purposes that are unique to each of us. You may not have the same purpose as somebody else. That is okay. We all have our own purposes.
We may not immediately know our purpose and we may not immediately find our purpose. That is okay. It is about our journey towards our purpose. Things usually happen in our lives that hint towards certain things. We may meet somebody for a special reason that only later will we discover why we truly met. We may learn about something at some point in our lives only to come back to it later to see how it truly fits in.
Our lives aren't linear. They don't always go in order. Things don't always make sense immediately. That is okay. The important part is that we are constantly seeking and constantly open. If we choose to embrace everything in life as a lesson and as a step towards our true goal then slowly but surely we will unfold our purpose. If we choose to take on each day with an open heart in an honest direction then we will slowly step closer to discovering our true selves. If we take on life as a challenge to be the best that we can be then we will always be developing our purpose.
There are going to be times that are tough. There are going to be times that are confusing. There are going to be times that you want to rip your hair out and just escape. That is okay. Put on some music, relax and reconnect. You will get through it. Every problem already has a solution waiting for it. We just simply need to look beyond the problem to see the solution that is staring us right between the eyes.
Nothing is too difficult for us. We are never faced with any challenge that is too difficult for us.
There is a God. It may not be the same God that your friend sees but that's okay. It may not be the same God that you believed in 10 years ago either, that's okay too. What matters is that we understand that there is a higher power working in all of us. To atheists that higher power is the universe. To religious people that higher power is God. It doesn't matter what you call it, what matters is that you recognize it. You can call it God, Jesus, Muhammad, Physics, Truth, Nature, the Universe, Allah, the Isness, Prime Creator, the Essence, the Divine Presence or whatever else you can dream up. It is all the same thing being seen through a different lens. That is how freaking awesome God really is!
God is personal. God works different ways to different people. God is only as big as your imagination and will conform itself to fit your imagination. As you expand your imagination and your intuition so does your understanding of God expand. As you learn more about life so does your capacity to understand more about God.
God is our best friend. God is always within us and always just a thought away. All things are possible through God.
But like a good father, God doesn't do the work for us. We can't expect to receive things for free. Some things require work. You may need to learn math before you can solve a math problem. God isn't going to magically teach you math. You need to do the work so that you can understand math. Like a good parent, God will help you find the resources that you need to gain the understanding, but God isn't going to do the work for you.
If you keep making bad decisions that lead towards bad things in your life God isn't going to magically erase these things. Until you learn the underlying lesson as to why you are making these bad decisions nothing will change. Until you take it upon yourself to honestly work towards changing these bad decisions God will not change them for you.
We get what we create. We are all creating our own realities as we move forward in life and consciousness. We are all our own Gods building our future the way that we see things. We all see things differently and we all have the power to participate in the creation of our future.
Continuity of Life
This is not your only life. This is not your first life. This is not your last life. We are all eternal beings that live forever. We can't die. Death is simply walking out of your vehicle and figuring out which one to get into next.
There is no such thing as time. Time is simply a measurement of eternity, just as a meter is a measurement of eternal distance. There is no such thing as a solid measurement. Everything is infinite and everything is ongoing.
When we understand that this isn't our only life it makes this life a lot less stressful. When we understand that we don't go to Hell for doing bad and to Heaven for doing good it makes things a whole lot less confusing. When we understand that Heaven or Hell is only a thought away it makes things a little more real.
God isn't waiting to judge you after this life. We already know this isn't true. We have people who have died and come back to tell us. There is no such thing as a judgement after this life. The only person judging us after this life is ourselves. We are the judge. So if there's something we're not happy about that we've done in this life then we're the ones that we upset. All that we really care about after this life is where we chose to withhold love and not help others.
With each life we develop ourselves to becoming more aware and much more wise. Some people aren't going to get it all this life. That's okay. Maybe we were a bit stubborn in some of our past lives. Some people are going to get it quicker than others. That's okay. Maybe we will get it quicker in another life. Some people may choose to live a challenging life. Some people may choose to live a less challenging life. That's cool too. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that we understand that this is what's going on.
Somebody may choose to incarnate into a Ferrari. Somebody else may choose to incarnate into a Ford Pinto. It doesn't matter. Each vehicle will have lessons that are important to each driver. Each vehicle will have its pros and cons. We will all end up experiencing many different types of lives here on Earth.
If we don't learn our lessons in this life we probably will in another life. It's not because God is forcing us to learn these things, but rather that we choose to learn them. We choose to take on certain challenges for growth. Through growth we are able to understand more and express our creativity more. By being human we are able to understand and grasp more than plants and animals. By becoming more human we will continue to grasp more. This is what continuity of life is all about. We are here on an eternal journey of expansion. We are on a journey of exploration and amazement. With each life comes more information to build off and to grow from.
Change starts in us. We can't expect to change others without first changing ourselves. We've all heard the saying that we need to be the change we want to see. Government and the people leading us are a reflection of ourselves. People in power are supported by us. As soon as we choose to stop supporting people in power they will fall.
If we have bad leaders it is because of us. If we have bad religions it is because of us. If we want to do better we need to be better. Change starts with us. We can't expect the government or our religion or our schools to change us. We must change ourselves. Change is something that happens within ourselves. We will never change until we choose to change.
We need to learn to forgive others and let go. So what if there's people doing things that hurt you? There's always going to be problems. There's always going to be things that don't go the way you want them to go. There's always going to be people who are working on their own evolution and their own growth. Learn to forgive them.
When people hurt you they are doing it out of ignorance. People don't purposefully hurt you. If they hurt you because they are fearful of you then they do it out of ignorance. If they hurt you because they are simply expressing their free will and you somehow get caught in a part of it that you don't like then so be it. Forgive them. They're not doing it on purpose. There are tons of dynamics at work in this world and there is going to always be a flux of things you like and things you don't like.
We are not animals. We have creative faculties that animals simply do not possess. Animals are not able to build cities. Animals are not able to go to the stars. Animals are not able to create the music and art we create. We have abilities that make us unique and special. We should learn to use these to the best of our abilities.
Creativity is our way to exercise our own power. Creativity is a way for us to add our own perspective into the world. Creativity is our way to connect to others and to ourselves. Nobody likes seeing the same thing over and over again. Nobody likes doing the same thing over and over again. We all like something new every once in a while.
We all need to find what we are passionate about and do it. We all have specific strengths and interests that give us pleasure. These are the things that we should shape our lives around. Not only do we enjoy doing things we are passionate about, but we usually excel at these things as well.
Finding your passion isn't always easy. Turning your passion into something that can be useful and of value to the world is often times even more tricky. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least try. That doesn't mean that it's not meant to be. Sometimes the best things take time and hard work -- that's okay. There's nothing like working hard towards developing your passion into something of benefit to others.
Too often in life we find ourselves getting caught up in somebody else's passion. Too often in life we find ourselves stuck doing something that we don't want to be doing. This shouldn't be the case. Each day should be a day that we look forward to. Each day should be a day that we want to participate in. Each day should be another day for you to creatively develop the things in which you are passionate of.
We can't depend on others our whole lives. There is a time where we may need a parent or a helping hand. There is a time we may need a teacher or a mentor. But there also comes a time where we must learn to stand on our own.
Standing on our own isn't always easy. It requires responsibility. And responsibility requires discipline, understanding, patience, perseverance and integrity.
We need to stop giving our problems to somebody else. Giving your problems to somebody else isn't going to solve the problem. Giving your problems to somebody else isn't going to teach you the lesson. All too often we are looking for ways to run from our problems rather than for ways to work out of them.
I know I talk about self-responsibility and solitude in this book. That doesn't mean you don't work with others -- it means that you learn how to be independent first. Once you have become independent then you can truly maximize your own efforts by working with others.
Cooperation with others is a very important part in life. We all have different strengths to contribute towards others. When we create teams of people with different skillsets we are able to achieve things that would never be possible alone. We should embrace teamwork and embrace others.
We have so much to be thankful for. It doesn't matter how much or how little you have. We all have the same essentials. We all have life. We all have spirit. We all have each other.
Even the most basic things are a blessing. Even the greatest hardships are great. Everything we have we should be thankful for. There is so much to be derived from living a life of simplicity and satisfaction rather than a life of complexity and angst.
Sure wanting new things isn't a bad thing, but it also doesn't have to be a good thing. It seems that all we really care about anymore is stuff. We have houses filled with stuff. We work our whole lives to buy bigger houses and fill them with more stuff and then we somehow think that we are satisfying ourselves. We're never going to find satisfaction in stuff.
One of the biggest things that keeps us from growing is change itself. When we spend our whole lives believing something only to later find out that we were wrong or that there is more to the story it can be very uncomfortable. It's hard to change your views on something that you have built your whole life around. But we shouldn't look at change as being an all or nothing type of thing.
When you learn something that is contrary to what you believe it doesn't mean that you let go of everything that you currently believe. Most beliefs that people hold usually do hold some validity in them. They may not be 100% true, but they may be 20% true. That 20% truth should be held onto. And that 80% that isn't true should be replaced with something better. It isn't so much about one view being right and one view being wrong as it is about mixing the good qualities of both views and doing away with the bad qualities of both. Hold onto what you know to be true. But at the same time don't be afraid to let go of things that no longer fit.
The refining of our beliefs is something we all must learn to embrace. All too often we think that the first thing we are told is the correct thing. It doesn't work this way. There is no such thing as a correct anything. There are things that work in some cases and other things that work in other cases.
Many of the things we used to believe when we were a kid we no longer believe. As we grow and develop ourselves we start to increase our precision for understanding. And with this precision of understanding comes the refining of the way we view things. Things become more vibrant the more we look into them. Things that were once black and white or good and bad begin to be seen in their full color and as elements of both good and bad.
For far too long mankind has wandered aimlessly upon Earth without compass or direction. For far too long mankind has hidden behind principles of virtue rather than practicing them. For far too long mankind has rendered its adoration towards those people and institutions which hurt it most. And for far too long mankind has been looking for saviors to fix its problems rather than looking to the savior within.
If there is one central theme in this book it isn't about ridding the world of evil people, it is about each and every one of us becoming wise enough to where evil has no power over us. We need to stop acting like little children hoping to have the most moral and wise parents to look after us. There’s no such thing. The best parent in charge of our lives is ourselves. We need to become independent, responsible human beings if we are ever to create heaven on Earth.
Ignorance has been the ruling force for mankind for far too long. Ignorance is the innate mode of operation for human beings. If we don’t know any better we default to the solution supported by ignorance. If we don’t know any better we have religion make the rules for right and wrong rather than right and wrong make the rules for religion. If we don’t know any better we only acknowledge “scientific” things and ignore “non-scientific” things. If we don’t know any better we tell people what to think rather than teach them how to think. If we don’t know any better we let government tell us what to do rather than us tell government what to do.
But if we do know better then we can change these habits. And until we know better we won’t change these habits. It takes actual work and effort to change habits and for far too long we have become complacent with our best friend ignorance. It isn’t always easy to develop wisdom. Developing wisdom doesn’t happen overnight. Developing wisdom is a slow transformation from others ruling over us to us ruling over ourselves. Developing wisdom is something we actively participate in. Nobody can force wisdom on us, we must choose it. And until we choose wisdom we walk in ignorance.
All throughout this book I have emphasized how much power we all hold. I’m not joking when I say this. Each and every one of us is amazing. We are all here for reasons of our individual free will. This life has meaning and it is up to us to explore this meaning. It’s not about all the things in life that bother us about ourselves. We are never going to be completely satisfied with the way we look. We are never going to be completely satisfied with the things we have. We are never going to be completely satisfied with where we’re at in life. We are never going to find complete happiness in the outside world. We need to look within. We need to focus our attention on things which are not temporal but eternal. We don’t take physical things with us when we die. When we pass on we take with us out of this life only what we brought in: ourselves. So with this understanding it shouldn’t be hard to see what we really should be focusing on. It isn’t about what we have, how we look or anything else that derives from the physical. It is about who we are, who we really are, beneath all the temporary stuff. We need to look at the real us, naked, eternal and true.
Thank you for reading and I wish you all the very best! We are freaking awesome! God bless :)