Hanging on

Cognitive Dissonance occurs when perception shows us what we are unable to accept. We fail, actually refuse, to see something because to see it will break something we rely on for our deepest security. This challenge to our world view is too much to bear. It is felt… we just can’t….

Who would have thought that one of the greatest challenges to our world view for the last fifteen years would require that we refuse to believe our eyes when confronted by the effects of gravity on falling objects?

It’s only fitting that our descent into hyper-rationalism would result in this particular nightmare of reason.

What is truly shocking to me is how difficult I find it, even now, to broach the subject. The taboos are just so great. Not intrinsic, instinctive barriers, like what it takes to willfully push one’s hand into a flame. No, taboos are different from instinctive rejections. They exist because there is no instinctive barrier to a type of behavior that a particular world-view finds abhorrent. Some have reasonable motives; but these are beside the point. The reason for taboos is that they enforce a world-view and therefore enforce the norms required to maintain it.

In our culture; a culture increasingly functioning as a self-consuming harvester of everything for the sake of propping up the power-hunger of those who wish to control everything; taboos blend almost seamlessly into a series of imposed neuroses. The greatest efforts are not expended on feeding and sheltering, or even militarily “securing” its members against external foes. These are spent controlling and manipulating its members so that they are compliant.

For this to work as smoothly as possible it’s important to defend cognitive dissonances and keep them from breaking out of the subconscious. For this to continue it’s necessary to maintain everyone in a state of infantilization. In this mode shame is the best weapon. Shame anyone who breaks the pseudo-taboos by lumping them in with the greater abnormal.

The model for this project was first worked out in the UFO crowd. Whether what was being defended were military secrets or an alien invasion doesn’t matter. The important thing was to bury the few actual reports within an avalanche of disinformation.

COINTELPRO was a model for how this can be done. A model still being used to fuel the War on Terror. It is hard to see whether there have been any genuine threats when every potential act is found to have been infiltrated and perhaps even initiated by embedded agents.

In this late-stage version of this game it has become useful – following the abuser’s handbook: make the victim complicit in her victimization – to let a certain level of distrust in official sources bleed through. This helps to channel dissent into impotent pathways like cynicism and pseudo-sophistication. “Who can you trust?”

What happened fifteen years ago this week were a series of events that could not have been engineered to be more devastating to our cultural psyche while at the same time serving so many elite interests while having a relatively minor actual, disruptive impact. For those who only see life as it appears in statistics, what would a few thousand casualties matter?

Anyone tuned in to the way abusers operate would have been on edge that day. Not just at the Enormity of what was happening, but at the way the whole day played out. There is a difference between manufactured panic and the way people face catastrophe in real life. There is an element of unerring wish-fulfillment in a psycho-drama that is not there in a disaster.

Narcissism demands to be seen. It demands that its greatness be appreciated. For that reason a psychotic killer is more interested in getting credit than in not getting caught. There is a horrific exhibitionism in their actions. One might even call it a desire to create “Shock & Awe.”

And so we have an event televised from every angle, at least in New York. Other venues were more sparsely in view or not seen at all. How do we ensure that a violent experience creates the most trauma in those who witness it?

Repetition. Slow-motion, non-stop, repetition.

Of course that does leave video-evidence. It takes a confident sleight of hand performer to risk that kind of exposure….

Of course, “They must fear me!”

The real terror of abuse happens when the victim realizes his part in his own victimization. When the abuser dares the victim to expose it all. That’s a familiar feeling. It manifests itself as shame. Shame that keeps the victim infantilized and unable to forget….

Who would ever put such tremendous efforts into not only traumatizing their neighbors by exposing them to visions of violence to the point of saturation but then, to follow that up with the injunction, “Never Forget!”

Any recovering victim knows that this is an attack on them, not a rallying cry asking them to join in an effort to redress a wrong. This is a further act of violence against those whom an abuser wishes will see themselves as his accomplices.

Whatever happened that day, the psychic truth is that all of our institutions treated us as victims of a Gaslight. Everything was done, has been done, continues to be done, to keep us off-balance, suggestible, and reactive.

Such psychic truths cannot be presented as physical facts. That’s what distinguishes the psychic realm form the physical. The thing is physics turns out to be the key to the whole event.

any object that is moving and being acted upon only be the force of gravity is said to be “in a state of free fall.” Such an object will experience a downward acceleration of 9.8 m/s/s.


All it takes is measuring the time to fall a certain distance and we can tell whether something is free-falling or meeting some other resistance.

That was always part of the magic wasn’t it? I mean the way they just dissolved into thin air! The whole, “This has never happened before!”

Except it has, hasn’t it? Repeatedly, and in exactly the same way. It takes some doing. Preparation, expensive gear.

But then it’s worth it right?

Doesn’t the sound of that question seem to fit? I mean, isn’t that the way certain people think?

We’re left with two facts. One psychic and one physical. They both tell us that we’ve been used, manipulated. Treated as victims by those who lack any compassion.

We quail at the thought. We’d rather gloss over the unrelenting force of gravity in favor of plausible deniability. After all we do feel shame. Don’t we?

There is only one way out of shame. Shine a light where we fear to see. Be prepared to actually feel instead of consuming images intending to distract us from what is really there for us to feel.

Grief does not need cheerleaders.

Does it?

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Published by Antonio Dias

My work is centered on attending to the intersection of perception and creativity. Complexity cannot be reduced to any given certainty. Learning is Central: Sharing our gifts, Working together, Teaching and learning in reciprocity. Entering into shared Inquiry, Maintaining these practices as a way of life. Let’s work together to build practices, strengthen dialogue, and discover and develop community. Let me know how we might work together.

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