The United States of Apathy

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“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty five percent would rather die than think.” ~ Thomas Edison

To examine the world today, politically and socially, is complex task. There are indeed so many complexities to the postmodern world that it is as if the more you learn, the less sure you become. It’s difficult to define exactly what postmodern even is.

The best way to analyze problems in order to find solutions is to simplify their dynamics. If we were to boil down the problems of the social and political problems of the world today we would find that there are some consistencies in what at first might seem like disconnected concoctions.

One of the main shared qualities is perhaps the tendency to for people act either as exploiters in pursuit of gaining control or, in contrast, are apathetic to exploiters. These behaviors – being exploitative or being apathetic to exploitation – are nearly never spontaneous but have been instituted into our societal systems. Indeed these modes may be so deeply engrained that we mistake them as being ‘natural’, and they go unnoticed. But an honest look at our present – the steering of our perceptions through media and tightening of laws regarding the sharing of information on subjects that might shake apathy – reveals that there exists a tendency among those at the top of our societal pyramid to limit our sensitivity to our own exploitation at the bottom of the pyramid.

It is surely not a natural tendency to be so exploitative, or to be so tolerant of exploitation. But today, there have never before been so many people so apathetic to to the exploitation going on around them, and the evil perpetuated against humanity has never been so extensive. Such unprecedented extremes can only be achieved by inches; by careful manipulation.

The Five Percenters

“There is natural ignorance and there is artificial ignorance. I should say at the present moment the artificial ignorance is at about eighty-five percent.” ~ Ezra Pound

The Nation of Gods and Earths is a community organization that began in New York City. The group, distinct from Nation of Islam, was founded by Clarence 13X, a member of Malcolm X’s N.O.I. congregation, before Clarence and then Malcolm left the N.O.I. The Nation of Gods and Earths, or Five Percenters, numerically theorized the pyramid system in the same manner as Edison and Ezra.

The theory is that 85% of people are lost. The 85% are easily misled and manipulated and die without knowing who they really are. The 10% are the exploiters of the poor and lost, the 85%. The 10% are responsible for and benefit from societal manipulation. And then there are the 5% – those who attempt to do the right thing and free the minds of the 85% from life under the thumb of the 10%.

The relationship between these natural roles within an exploited society can best be understood through the adage of the Wise Monkeys. This set of four is most often seen as a set of three, but there are indeed four parts. The Wise Monkeys are commonly known as Hear No evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil. These are reactions, born out of fear. The fourth monkey is Fear No Evil, and he holds his dantien or lower abdominal region, the area of the body from which all actions root, as the Asian cultures that originally used the monkey allegory believe.

4 wise monkeys - speak see hear fear no evil

The 85% are described as blind and deaf to evil, and are like the monkeys with hands over eyes and ears. The 10% are referred to as the rich slave makers of the poor, and are like the monkey covering its mouth, holding the secrets of evil. And the rare 5% are known as the poor righteous teachers, or fear no evil, the fourth monkey. Fear No Evil does not take action or reaction in fear. In fact he is depicted in a meditative position. Symbolizing truth, the antithesis of evil, he exists without fear; fear of outsiders, fear of alternative perspective or lifestyles, fear of the truth, fear of what reality may be seen, heard or spoken.

Tricked to Do Evil

Perhaps this approximation of 85-10-5 has always been about constant in pyramidal/oligarchical societies. Perhaps there have always been around 10% who are slave makers, 85% who are oblivious and apathetic to their own bondage, and the 5% who seek to instigate consciousness among the 85% so that the 10% don’t kill us all.

Perhaps the point in time where modern became postmodern is when we developed the ability to kill ourselves via our own unsustainable routine.

The oligarchical pyramid system was and still is the norm in our society, no matter its perforations and peripherals, or how many people yet see it. All the world’s woes can be traced to this same dynamic: the greed and trickery of the 10%, the stark unaware apathy of the 85% and the righteous awareness of the 5%.

United States of ApathyBut it doesn’t have to be this way. As we start to acknowledge the paradigm of the oligarchical pyramid system we were born into – as seen through the representation of the 85%, 10%, 5% equation – we can understand more clearly the dynamics of individual and societal consciousness, and ultimately change the paradigm of our society for the better, growing the 5% over the revolutionary tipping point.

Will you be like the fourth monkey, the righteous teacher, the rebel who responds to postmodern greed and apathy by raising awareness among the unknowing?

Or will you cover your eyes and ears, and keep working to satiate the greed of those our society is constructed to benefit the most?

“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Simply acknowledging reality is enough to begin to enhance our understanding of it, and contribute to its betterment, just as acknowledging our consciousness is enough to begin its enhancement. In this twisted postmodern time of exploitation and energetic imbalance, a righteous teacher performs a profoundly powerful task, so valued across time and space. Like the fourth monkey, without fear, they act in the name of freedom, exemplifying the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment – those of free speech, press, religion, petition and assembly. Essentially these are the right to question, communicate, speak out, stop, and act. In this manner the First Amendment is not only a description of some of our inherent rights, but a prescription to protect those rights – the right to be a righteous rebel.

“When Government turns against the people, rebellion becomes a responsibility” ~ Unknown

[For more on the First Amendment, check out Ethan’s 2010 article for OpEdNews.com entitled Patriotism Defined, First Amendment Explained]

Previous articles by Ethan:

About the author:

Ethan Indigo SmithAuthor, activist and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour.

The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics. His more recent publications include:

  • Tibetan Fusion a book of simple meditative practices and movements that can help you access and balance your energy
  • The Little Green Book of Revolution an inspirational book based on ideas of peaceful revolution, historical activism and caring for the Earth like Native Americans
  • The Matrix of Four, The Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity on the subject of the development of individual consciousness
  • 108 Steps to Be in The Zone a set of 108 meditative practices and steps toward self discovery and individual betterment, including techniques to develop balance, transmute sexual energy and better the self
  • and the controversial book, Terra-ist Letters, a work that humorously contrasts the very serious issues of global nuclear experimentation promotion and global marijuana prohibition

For more information, visit Ethan on Facebook and check out Ethan’s author page on Amazon.

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10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon

The truth does not cease to exist when it is ignored.
You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.
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This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

1. The average human life is relatively short. 

truthsWe know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

2. You will only ever live the life you create for yourself. 

Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.
Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.
And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3. Being busy does NOT mean being productive. 

Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.
Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.
Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

4. Some kind of failure always occurs before success.

Fail-Fail-Fail-Fail-SucceedMost mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.
If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful. The solution to this problem is making friends with failure. You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.
Bottom line: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. (Read The Success Principles.)

5. Thinking and doing are two very different things. 

Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Knowledge is basically useless without action. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.
And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.

6. You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive. 

Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.” It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.
Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

7. Some people are simply the wrong match for you. 

You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down. You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material. If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them. If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition. There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.

8. It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours. 

love-yourself-1It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.
Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU. (Read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.)

9. What you own is not who YOU are. 

Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need. That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.
You have to create your own culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.
Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is. “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.” And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important.

10. Everything changes, every second. 

Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason. It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day. It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.
Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives. A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event. And these events are always happening.
However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So when life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.
Your turn…
What else would you add to this list? What important life lessons do you often forget? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Authors:  Marc and Angel Hack Life

 

Source: RiseEarth.