Monthly Archives: September 2016

New England Potpourri

New England Potpourri

There has been a lot of national attention and upheaval with regard to race relations, showing itself in externally-engineered confrontations, riots, police encounters and violence, and political gnashing of words and minds. 

These twin articles — selected from the weekly newsletter from “Brain Pickings” — lend a good deal of insight.

[I urge your subscription and financial support]

 

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/19/hidden-figures-the-untold-story-of-black-women-mathematicians=who-powered-early-space-exploration 

 

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/20/eudora-welty-on-the-difficulty-of-seeing-each-other-and-the-power-of-photography-as-a-dignifying-force 

 

Version 2

 

Arthur Silber is hanging on.  In his powerofnarrative.blogspot.com update in late August 2016 he says 

“… goddammit, there’s still some writing to be done. Just recently, I discovered — quite by accident, as it happens (where are my spies when I need them? I can’t believe no one told me about this book) — Tribe, by Sebastian Junger. I’ve just begun reading it, and — oh, boy. The short Amazon description accurately provides the book’s perspective:

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding–“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.

Those readers familiar with my work will know that this subject is one I’ve addressed in some detail. They will also know that Junger’s perspective represents the complete inversion of what I consider the correct and psychologically healthy approach. Once I’ve finished reading Junger’s book, I expect to have quite a few articles to write, to clear up confusions, to explain many issues he appears to neglect entirely, and to offer some new material to build upon my earlier argument. (For that earlier argument, see this essay and this one in particular. They contain some of the best analysis I’ve ever offered here, in addition to which I am convinced that my thesis is both true and important.) I suspect that reviews of Junger’s book might also provide illuminating material for analysis. If any of you come across reviews that strike you as particularly interesting, please let me know. Junger’s book has been very successful, and most readers think his ideas are absolutely swell. That explains a lot.

So there’s that to be done. And I suppose I should try to offer a few words about this Marx Bros. election. I apologize: what a terrible insult to the Marx Bros….”

 

Boston – Augustana

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ASJBXu8tNo

 

What if there were a crop that, instead of creating pollution, consumed it?  

http://www.tomarketmagazine.com/featured/2016/9/9/reconsidering-the-oyster 

 

 

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http://www.tomarketmagazine.com/featured/2016/9/9/craft-cider-is-the-next-craft-beer

 

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https://www.newengland.com 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNCCA6rWFJ0

 

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Fall in New England means warm sunny days, chilly nights, and fall foliage.  It means it’s time to get the chimney swept, the firewood stacked (or the pellets stocked), the snowblower serviced, the storm windows hung, the spring bulbs planted and the garden winterized.  In between all that and raking the leaves, you’ll want to see them in all their glory and there’s no better place than in New England.

I gave some thought to a premier fall foiliage tour last spring and actually started to chart it out and drive it.  I’ve lived in New England for the better part of six decades and I know some secret places that have the best color in the world.  If you live here, you’ve probably discovered your own.  If you’ve never been to New England and need or want to see the best, pay attention.  If you’ve been city-bound and need a get-away, jump into the tour I’ve envisioned below.

Get out a map. Google Maps are online, you may have Apple Maps, you might have something else. No matter.  Get yourself oriented.  What I envision is a grand event, a very slow automobile rally not unlike the famous Mille Miglia in Italy but without the tense and competitive auto race elements. That way, you may enjoy a leisurely pace that will allow you to explore landscape, culture, art, restaurants, antique stores, book shoppes, or whatever other interests you might have. Be sure to bring your camera, your GPS device of choice, and a bagful of credit cards, and the person closest to your heart.

I’m going to help you envision a loop around New England that you can attack in one big swoop, or more likely in piecemeal fashion.  If you’re living in New England, you can access this loop from a wide variety of places. If you’re flying in from somewhere else on the planet, you can come in via Logan at Boston, or Bradley International.  You can drive up from New York to northwest Connecticut to get on this “trail”.  Ditto if you’re coming down from Montreal or Quebec, where you’ll start on the northern segment just below the Canadian border. Of course the idea is to give you as much freedom of choice as possible while still directing you to quintessential locations.

Okay, get out the map and find Granby, Connecticut.  Granby is one of the foci of my automotive ellipse.  It’s just to the west of Bradley Internaitonal Airport, with lots of hotels to choose from, and easy access off of the north-south Interstate 91.  It’s the southernmost tip on a key road in the roadway ellipse, US Route 202. As a starting or ending point, use @TheBarn, managed by James Chen and Kristin Garcia.  My wife and I had dinner there and the meals were weak-in-the-knees stupendous.

From there, navigate to the other side of the Barkhamstead Reservoir on US Rte. 44 and look for Route 8 north near Winsted, Connecticut. Once you hit Route 8 North, you are in for the long haul.  Essentially you are going to cross over the state border into Massachusetts, staying on Route 8, and follow Route 8 all the way north through Massachusetts. You will be running north to the east of the Berkshires and dozens of you will want to veer west to take in Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and the rest of the Berkshires.

But Route 8 is pure back road through some small places inside a large tract of forest, so you’ll see some leaves. Another side trip at the top of Berkshire County could bring you into North Adams and Williamstown, home to world-class museums, great restaurants and some damn fine foliage.

The road  (Route Two) that runs across the top of the state of Massachusetts between Greenfield and Williamstown is legendary for its color.  It’s called the Mohawk Trail.  You’ll bisect it, along with Route 9 and the Mass. Pike on the first part of your drive north.

You could easily spend two to three days exploring this terrain, but you might want to do a straight-through boogie (about 80 miles, requiring three hours without stops). Essentially you’d be running down the middle of a vast tract of near-wilderness forest between Route 5 along the Connecticut and Route 7 along the New York State border. Your midpoint target is Stamford, Vermont. This is a critical juncture because you want to continue off Route 8 onto Route 100 North in Vermont.

The critical step is to veer east on Route 8A north out of Dalton, home of Crane Paper (the folks who make the precision-manufactured top-secret high-tech “linen” on which your Federal Reserve notes are printed) and also home ot the founder of the Israel Baseball League.  Turn left at Windsor to continue north into Savoy. Turn right at Savoy and go into Plainfield, then north into Hawley, then Buckland.  Buy a box picnic liunch and scramble around for a while in Hawley, Buckland, Shelburne Falls (stop for the Bridge of Flowers and wave to Bill Cosby who lives out in the hills), and the hook up with Route 2 West.  Route 2 will take you up into the Hoosac range over the Cold River (drive carefully up Deadman’s Curve and then down through the Hairpin Curve), then take an obliquely sharp right north at the bottom of the hill just outside North Adams to rejoin Route 8 north into Stamford. If you haven’’t shot at least 100 frames of photography by then, you were driving way too fast.

Route 100 North through Vermont is famous on a number of counts. First, it’s sometimes referred to as the ski road because it will take you close by some of the finest ski resorts in Vermont. There will, of course, be no snow, but you’ll know where to return to when it arrives. Secondly, it’s simply a great road to drive. Thirdly, it goes past some of the finest restaurants in New England. It drives through the heart of the Green Mountains. [You brought your luggage for this part of the trip, didn’t you?] There are no navigational tricks in Vermont; simply stay on Route 100 all the way to Newport, Vermont, just below the Canadian border and close to Interstate 91.  This is the northern foci of the ellipse.

From there, you’re going to drive south on Interstate 91 and then take Interstate 93 into New Hampshire. You’re at the top of the Connecticut River. Buckle your seatbelts and refresh and renew your camera-recording technologies because you’re headed through Crawford Notch and then across the Kangamangus (Rte. 112).  Stay on Interstate 93 South until you get to Lincoln, NH and then turn left into and across the White Mountain National Forest. You’re going to pop out at North Conway, Conway, and Center Conway.

From here, you have a choice; how much time and money do you have?  Again, you can attack the foliage ellipse freom the sides in piece-meal fashion. If you flew into Portland, you could approach the loop in Southern Maine.  Alternately, you could have skimmed the top of the White Mountain National Forest on US Route 2 and run across into Bethel and Norway, Maine.  How much time do you want to spend in Maine? They have lots of rivers, pine trees and bears, and seafood on the coast, but less of those colorful deciduous trees.

reservoirthree.jpg in foliage trip folder

Whether you drop down out of Maine or through the Lake Ossipee region west of Winnepesaukee, your eventual target is Rochester, NH and US Route 202.

Remember US Route 202?  It was that benchmark road in Granby, CT, and yes, you can follow it down out of Rochester, across New Hampshire, into Massachusetts, across Route 2, down the inside of Quabbin Reservoir, through Granby, MA into South Hadley, across the Connecticute River in Holyoke, down into Westfiueld, across the Westfield into Southwick, MA and eventually back to Granby, your starting point near the Bradley International Airport.

Or you could do the loop in reverse, setting out for the White Mountains.

Frankly, for my money, the best foliage is on the northern and western edges of the ellipse, not that long southeastern leg.  But decide for yourself based on your own interests, available time, and budget. If you need further help, try this link:

http://gonewengland.about.com/od/fallfoliage/tp/new-england-foliage-central.htm 

 

http://www2.alibris-static.com/i-gotta-crow-women-voice-and-writing/isbn/9780871161932_l.jpg

 

A recent experiential writer’s craft workshop held in my locale focused on how to extract and sharpen “family tales”.  It featured Steve Layt and Jill Hackett.  Hackett is the author of “I Gotta Crow” [see http://www.jillhackett.com/docs/Crow_reviews.pdf ]; she noted the Ted Talk noted below by the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” as a shareable take-away.

Layt is the principal at https://glidepathleadership.com/coaching/.  I got to spend two and a half hours with these two (and I’m grateful for it). If you were to understand who he is and what he’s done, you’d understand why I could easily spend an evening with him at the cocktail and appetizers bar at Applebee’s.  For openers, he was an EMS worker. And he’s an executive coach who could have written half of Summon The Magic.

Participants got to work through a process in which they listed ten “tales” from within their lives that might be interesting to others (“when an elder dies, an entire library burns”).

They worked through an exercise in which they told the story in a snippet, got feedback and questions from others, and learned something about how to identify the most compelling parts of that story for the potential reader.

There was discussion about the craft of writing, the use of voice and perspective, about crafting fiction and writing about unknown people, and about remaining true to one’s own voice.

Said Layt: That piece of writing that some might do can be broken down into what we know, what we don’t know, and what we don’t even know that we don’t know. [That sounds like something that would work when doing not only “historical” fiction, but investigative research and journalism too.]

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

 

And Steve capped off the writing workshop with this:

“What is the question for which your life is the answer?

That is your strongest message.”

Zanshin reconciliation

Zanshin reconciliation 

Zanshin is a word used commonly throughout Japanese martial arts to refer to a state of relaxed alertness. Literally translated, zanshin means “the mind with no remainder.” In other words, the mind completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand. Zanshinis being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself. It is an effortless vigilance.

In practice, though, zanshin has an even deeper meaning.

Zanshin is choosing to live your life intentionally and acting with purpose rather than mindlessly falling victim to whatever comes your way…..”

http://www.lifehack.org/383170/zanshin-learning-the-art-attention-and-focus-from-legendary-samurai-archer 

photo by Mark Nichols courtesy of http://zanshin.net

Zanshin

Ashes and soot fallen

Petrified by blood and tears:

Whetstone for justice

haiku written by Boy

In a discussion in the comments thread under her own blog entry, Greencrow made a marvelous suggestion about contacting Donald Trump relative to the 9/11 Truth and Reconciliation idea promoted originally by Carl Herman at Washington’s Blog and picked up by her.  I mirrored them both by link.

Greencrow suggested that, “during the first upcoming debate, Donald Trump should make an announcement that, as soon as he is sworn in, he will set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate 9/11 and its aftermath.  This would be a genius move on the level of Karl Rove because it would:

1. Surprise/scare the hell out of the perps and you might even see it reflected in the surprise on Hillary Clinton’s face! Don’t forget, it was her husband, Billary, who set up the 9/11 attacks. They were good to go when Dubya took over.

2. What could Hillary and her ilk say in response? Could they say they objected? On what grounds.? Any objection to bringing closure to the country and to the families would bring suspicion of complicity in the events. This would go for the main$tream media as well. Any objection will be evidence of “something to hide”.

3. It would get Trump off the hook during the rest of the campaign and afterwards…he could deflect all questions about 9/11 to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He might even start throwing out possible names for members of the committee.

4. Finally, it would be hugely popular with at least 50% of Americans who don’t believe the official story.

Can someone post this on “Twitter”? …  It’s a win/win for everyone….except the 9/11 perps.

And  greencrow said…

“Oh…and if Trump refuses and/or gives lame excuses…listen carefully. In his response, you will also learn who, if anyone, pulls his strings. Some already have their suspicions…IMO, his response will provide conclusive proof.

Like I say…It’s win/win for everyone but the criminally complicit.”

reconciliation

reconciliation

At long last, an actual discussion among bloggers and other interested folk:

http://greencrowasthecrowflies.blogspot.com/2016/09/with-trump-landslide-possibilitytruth.html 

I dumped the guts of the previous As The Crow Flies  blog entry [ see http://greencrowasthecrowflies.blogspot.com/2016/09/truth-and-reconciliation.html ] (with links out to it and Carl Herman here at Washington’s Blog) over at the list-serv on Yahoo (long after the “breach”) for members of the 9/11 and State Crimes tele-conference group.

I have for years been an invited member of the monthly conference call meeting and was recently invited to join the list-serv. Both are somewhat closed groups, though the minutes and audio of the meetings are made public and are sometimes posted. The list of participants is a who’s who of 9/11 activists who are a league above me in caliber and output, but the subject interests me and I speak out. I am humbled to be among them.

I find the time spent listening to a lot of people a bit unwieldy and unfocused. [I’m a male; I don’t multi-task well, and I have a neuro-scientific appreciation for how multi-tasking diminishes critical attention.] The online discussion forum works differently, being asynchronous, and one can choose when and where to comment. I use my blog as a vehicle for response, especially its sister site The Sullen Bell, because it allows further time, freer expression, and the opportunity to note what others say to a wider audience.

[See especially http://www.thesullenbell.com/2016/09/01/bypassed-by-reality/:

“… I don’t care if my first responder rescuer brethren and the victims were blown up or down, by thermite or nukes, with Saudi or Israeli help; I want to see the perps walk to the gallows, and everyone who is or was complicit in the cover-up shunned for life….. Does 9/11 justice emanate from political struggle, legal maneuvering, or transformational thinking?… The 9/11 truth movement may well have been “caught responding to situations that have already changed”.]

The rules on what I may “export” from the list-serv where I have jump-started a discussion are murky and not in favor of easy cut-and-paste, though I am at liberty to copy my own comments.

Over there, there is a parallel discussion about the law, and limited legal liability, to which I responded:

Limited legal liability suggests impunity, and we’ve had a lot of that lately. People don’t get impunity and, if a corporation is a person, then a corporation shouldn’t get it either. But we are hanging in the wind with this whole thing, given the specter of the trade legislation that will give corporations global legal supremacy. Talking about the law is talking about politics and organizing political parties and movements that will rewrite (or kill) certain legislation, insure friendly judges, etc., and right now I don’t see any parties or movements (save possibly one, or its extension) that can muster the power (pun intended). Only the victors get to hold the trials and hang the perps. It’s been alluded to here before, and elsewhere with more interest and oomph, but the ability to exercise these kinds of major systemic change is implemented with the masses of people and/or the force of arms.

I’ve asked about (and await the YouTube recording from) the panel of legal experts at the recent conference in NYC. Do world courts have the legal power (and the other power to back up the legal power)?  Isn’t that a form of one world governance?

I posted the blurb about truth and reconciliation because I think the 9/11 truth movement (is that with a T or a t?) needs to have this discussion. Given the forthcoming election and the obvious attempts at bringing to the American people waves of cultural upheaval and violence, the looming possibilities of martial law or some variant thereof, etc., is it even worth having that discussion?

What is the reality on the streets, in the living rooms, on the stock exchanges and currency markets, and in armed state face-off with sovereign people and sovereign states?

Also on that discussion board, in another thread, is reference to the role of Judge Hellerstein’s role in preventing lawsuits relevant to 9/11 from coming to trial (hence no disclosure), and I’ve mentioned the role of Judge Stanley Sporkin in matters pertaining to the company and proprietary software seized from Catherine Austin Fitts, so be careful about going to court.

One of the problems in a cross-blog discussion is that it is sometimes not easy to back-check and read all the comment and responses to comments, a lapse on my part which was pointed out by GC.  I take no umbrage.  It’s simply the nature of asynchronous online discussion; people live in different time zones, and we all have more to our lives that that particular discussion.  Time allows us to knit together the ideas.

At the every end of my “white paper” on disasters, simulations and virtual communities, on the “about the author” page [that contact info is no longer valid], I noted my experience as an association executive, which entailed strategic leadership, lots of Board meetings, et al.  I marveled at but never found the skills exhibited by a Quaker physician I knew and revered who knew how to build consensus toward action. I’ve been a member of a now-defunct Virtual Community Working Group at learningtimes.net, was one of six beta-testers of the inaugural Internet-based “Game of Games”, and attended several online conferences on appreciative inquiry, as well as facilitating in an online world.  I designed a communications engine inside a theoretical simulation trainer that allowed people to take on differing perspectives and roles as a tool for surfacing ideas and difficult-to-find-facts and solutions.

Greencrow mentions the imminent election of Donald Trump. Meaning no disparagement of Greencrow or The Donald, that jury is still out on Donald’s access to the Oval Office, and the prospects of rigged election processes, some form of “October Surprise”, executive fiat, martial law, open warfare (internationally or civil), advancing severe weather/global warfare and even disclosure of the presence of extra-terrestrials remain on the horizon. Perhaps we’ve only been conditioned to think they are valid prospects, but lots of people are thinking they are valid.

Trump is no angel and is seen in some circles as being a “trojan horse” for the same interests who were allegedly behind 9/11, so don’t place faith in a politician the way so many did with Obama.  Obama was supposedly the antidote to the Bush dynasty, and Trump is seen as the only choice given the option of a Clinton/Obama dynasty. Just because Trump once alluded to 9/11 “truth”, be wary.  Allusion is closely related to illusion, and one of Trump’s supporters is Rudy Giuliani, a fellow any 9/11 activist knows is deeply implicated. By now we should have learned that they are all on the same team and, as George Carlin so nicely put it, we are not included. Our challenge is sometimes referred to as “herding cats”. But I do not wish to disagree with Greencrow so much as celebrate her inclusion in the discussion and her support in expanding that discussion.

Finally, GC said: “I appreciate the “Occurrences” Blog very much as it simplifies the daily task of getting an overview of geopolitical events from the alternative blog perspective AND it has an ecumenical approach, inclusive of the lesser known blogs like mine.”

I appreciate the comment very much.  It’s pretty much the nicest thing that’s been said about my labor of love, one of the reasons I climbed down off the hospital bed (and up off the floor) after I’d had a hemiplegic motor stroke. [Luckily, the event turned out to be positive and did not affect either my cognitive brain or my typing skills.]  GC’s comment is also a good summary of the intent of “Occurrences”.

It should be noted, for my general readers, that I am literally on the verge of completing my own personal living-space transformation. For the past two months, I’ve been doing what blogging I’ve been able to do using my wife’s MacAir, digging into her own writing time, because we bought our “forever” house.  The basement/office transformation is almost finished; my own iMac is functional, awaiting perhaps a transition to the new OS Sierra with Siri capacities (but I don’t think I want to import an open mike into my world), but it’s already capable of major blog production and more. Blog renewal time also approaches at the end of October (more about which later). The downstairs work space comes complete with a half-bath, a coffee bar, a pellet stove, safety rails for the stairways, my entire library, all of my logged music (including four days worth of jazz, rock and more), space for the air beds for the grandkids, two tables, lots of chairs, and my new photography tools. The windows look out (and the back stair/bulkhead opens out) onto a patio/garden/koi pond/waterfall complex with an overhead deck off the bedroom; you’ll find my wife in her gardener’s shed, in with the fishes, or in the garden. Tarzan knew where Jane wanted to go. It’s her reward after retiring from a 40-year career as a nurse during which she cared for her ailing mother (and now her nearly-disabled-but-miraculously-recovered black sheep of a husband). Which brings me to two last elements of the discussion about truth and reconciliation: love, and forgiveness.

Does it matter if we are Christian, or Buddhist, or something else?  My wife has taught me a lot about unconditional love. I have read a lot of Davd Ray Griffin, the theologian and expert on the topic of evil… I have read two books by the noted Catholic Worker James Douglass (JFK and the Unspeakable, at the end of which  — in the study guide edition— he talks a lot about evil, and more importantly his earlier book Resistance and Contemplation, the Trappist (Thomas Merton) root of his activism about nuclear weapons in which he talks about needing to be willing to go to jail, or die a horrible death at the hands of those opposed to truth). No one is suggesting that we all rush off to jail, but JFK asked if we believed in redemption just before he rode into the bullets.

One of the concerns that must be on the table is the extent to which our reconciliatory love bleeds over into giving permission for all the death and warfare that resulted, for the people important and minor who participated (does our grace extent to Abu Ghraib?), and becomes a quiet complicit celebration of militaristic ardor because we failed to differentiate or to hold people’s feet to the fire.

One of the more fascinating surprises for me was discovering a 9/11 activist who is also an ardent Constitutionalist who promotes a true understanding of the early legal meaning of the term “militia” at a time when actions aimed at the Second Amendment hang in the balance.

We would like to bring them to justice for treason; they call us “enemies of the state”.

The implications for 9/11 activism seem to be “all or nothing”: find the means to execute the perps mercifully or fugeddaboutit.

Who, in the end, is “the state”?  Our historical roots and documents speak about we the people.  I see little in the formational political literature of this nation in support of elitism, excess wealth, banking fraud, hijacked polity, oligarchy, dual citizenships, or the need for a hyper-security state.

I am still contemplating my own resistance.  My wife works diligently at shining her own little corner of the world, whether through flowers, or fishes, or grandchildren.  It is her maternal outlet, her paradisiacal escape, the creation impulse to which she can retreat when my own thoughts about things like 9/11 burst out into open conversation.

I write, read some more, contemplate, meditate, pray, breathe and write some more.

healing

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Psychologists Explain Why People are Still in Denial About 9/11 Despite the Hard Evidence

 

https://vimeo.com/121786070

(Note: be sure to view the 30 minute video from which the transcript below was obtained. It has many images that I have never seen before – and I have probably spent a hundred hours or more studying the facts of 9/11.)

Seven psychologists plus author David Ray Griffin, Ph.D., provide insights on why so many people are in total denial regarding the truth about 9/11 despite “years of hard scientific evidence that disproves the government theory about what happened on September 11.”

Trauma, fear, pride, and cognitive dissonance (information that contradicts beliefs about our worldview) are among the reasons given for why people can’t handle the truth about 9/11.

The panelists were: Marti Hopper, Ph.D (Licensed Clinical Psychologist); Frances Shure, M.A. (Licensed Professional Counselor); Robert Griffin, Licensed Psychologist; Robert Hopper, Ph.D. (Licensed Clinical Psychologist); Danielle Duperet, PhD; Dorthy Lorig, M.A., Counseling Psychologist; John Freedom, M.A., Personal Development Counselor; David Ray Griffin, Ph.D., professor/author

Why are people resistant to looking at the hard evidence regarding 9/11?

At this point, we have 15 years of hard scientific evidence that disproves the government theory about what happened on September 11, 2001.  Yet, people continue to be either oblivious to the fact that this information exists or completely resistant to looking at this information.  So, the question becomes: Why?

Why is it that people have so much trouble hearing this information? From my work, I think we would be remiss not to look at the impact of trauma…

As we know, the horrors of what happened on 9/11 were televised all over the world. They were televised, in fact, live.  We witnessed the deaths of almost 3,000 of our fellow Americans.  We know that this had a very severe and traumatic impact on a majority of the population.   I, myself, cried for weeks after September 11.

A friend of mine, who is a psychologist in practice here in Boulder, said that her case load increased tremendously after 9/11.  People who she had not seen in ten years were coming back into her practice.

So, I think it’s safe to say that collectively, as a nation, because of what happened on September 11, we experienced trauma.

9/11 Truth Conflicts with Our Worldview, Causing Cognitive Dissonance

Why do people resist this information – the information that shows that the official story about 9/11 cannot be true?  What I’ve learned is that, as humans, each of us has a world view.  That worldview is usually formed, in great part, by the culture that we grow up in.

When we hear information that contradicts our worldview, social psychologists call the resulting insecurity cognitive dissonance. For example, with 9/11 we have one cognition, which is the official story of 9/11 – what our government told us and what our media repeated to us over and over – that 19 Muslims attacked us.

On the other hand, we have what scientists, researchers, architects, and engineers are now beginning to tell us, which is that there is evidence that shows that the official story cannot be true.  So now, we’ve lost our sense of security.  We are starting to feel vulnerable.  Now we’re confused.

Our Psychological Defenses Kick In When Our Beliefs Are Challenged

9/11 truth challenges our most fundamental beliefs about our government and about our country.  When your beliefs are challenged or when two beliefs are inconsistent, cognitive dissonance is created.  9/11 truth challenges the beliefs that our country protects and keeps us safe, and that America is the good guy….

When your beliefs are challenged, fear and anxiety are created. In response to that, our psychological defenses kick in and they protect us from these emotions.  Denial, which is probably the most primitive psychological defense, is the one most likely to kick in when our beliefs are challenged.

It’s Easier to Deny the Truth

America is a powerful nation.  It has never been attacked.  We were confident.  We felt secure.  And all of a sudden, that security collapsed.  People started to be fearful with all of the rumors, with all of the news.  People didn’t know what to think, which is a very uncomfortable state to be in.  Eventually, our mind shuts off.   Just like when a computer is overloaded, our minds get overloaded.  We can’t handle it anymore and we shut down. It’s easier to deny it and move on with our lives.

What some will tend to do is deny the evidence that is coming our way and stick to the original story, the official story.  We try to regain our equilibrium that way. Another thing that we can do is decide to look at the conflicting evidence and be sincere and open minded, and look at both sides of the issue.  And, then make up our own mind about what reality is.

We Will Do Just About Anything to Defend our Mental and Emotional Homes

If we can think of our worldview as sort of being our mental and emotional home, I think that all of us will do just about anything to defend our homes, to defend our families.  I see that with people.  I saw that with myself when my brother tried to talk to me about it: “Don’t mess with me. Don’t mess with my home.  Don’t mess with my comfort with how things are.”

About a week later, I read a lengthy article by professor Griffin about why he believes the official account of 9/11 cannot be true.  It was a very well researched article.  I was in my office at the time.  I sat there and felt my stomach churning. I thought that maybe I was going to be sick. And, I leaped out my chair and ran out the door and took a long walk around the block – around several blocks – and just broke down.

I understand now that my worldview about my government being in some way my protector, like a parent, had been dashed.  It was like being cast out into the wilderness. I think that is the closest way to describe that feeling.

I sobbed and I sobbed.  I felt that the ground had completely disappeared beneath my feet.  And, I knew at some point during the walk that at some point I was going to have to become active educating other people about this.  For me to retain any sense of integrity, I was going to have to take some action.  I couldn’t just let something like this go.

9/11 Truth Challenges Our Fundamental Beliefs About the World

Many people respond to these truths in a very deep way.  Some have a visceral reaction like they have been punched in the stomach.  To begin to accept the responsibility that the government was involved is like opening Pandora’s Box.  If you open the lid and peak in a little bit, it’s going to challenge some of your fundamental beliefs about the world.

Initial Reactions to Hearing Contradictory Evidence about 9/11

Following are some of those spontaneous initial reactions to hearing the contradictory evidence about 9/11:

“I don’t want to know the truth or I will become too negative and psychologically go downhill.”

“I’m not sure that I want to know.  If this is true then up will be down and down will be up. My life will never be the same.”

I refuse to believe that that many Americans can be that treasonous.  Someone would have talked.”

Initial Reactions are Based on BELIEFS, NOT Scientific Facts

But these are BELIEFS.  They are NOT scientific fact.  But, these beliefs do KEEP US FROM LOOKING AT THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.

9/11 Truth Contradicts People’s Paradigm

You have empirical people who will simply say: look at the evidence and if it is convincing, I will change my mind.

Other people are paradigmatic people. They have a paradigm.  They say, this is the way the world works, and I am convinced that this is the way that the world works.  9/11 doesn’t fit into that paradigm.  So, I don’t have to look at the evidence.  It’s paradigmatic.

And then there is a third type of person that we often call wishful thinkers.  I call it wishful and fearful thinking.  So, they simply will not believe something that they fear to be the truth.  And, I find that to be, maybe, the most powerful factor of people rejecting 9/11 truth and not even entertaining the evidence.

The Truth is Not Bearable

So, whenever we say “I refuse to believe”, we can be sure that the evidence that’s coming our way is not bearable, and it is conflicting with our worldview much too much.

Denial protects people from this kind of anxiety.

A Common Emotion is Fear

As I thought about all of these responses, I realized that what is common to every one of them is the emotion of fearPeople are afraid of being ostracized, they are afraid of being alienated, they are afraid of being shunned.  They are afraid of their lives being inconvenienced – they’ll have to change their lives. They are afraid of being confused.  They are afraid of psychological deterioration.  They are afraid of feeling helpless and vulnerable.  And, they are afraid that they won’t be able to handle the feelings coming up.

When Presented with the Truth, Those in Denial Become Angry, Indignant, Offended and Ridicule the Messenger

None of us want to feel helpless and vulnerable.  So, we want to defend ourselves.   And the way that we often do that is with anger.  Then we become angry.  And, when we become angry, then we become indignant.  We become offended.  We want to ridicule the messenger. We want to pathologize the messenger.  And, we want to censor the messenger.

Raise Awareness with Gentle Dialogue and Gentle Questioning

So, how can we overcome this resistance in denial?  The first thing is to meet people where they are at.

One thing is that we need to raise people’s awareness about this – what I would call gentle dialogue and gentle questioning…  It doesn’t work to challenge people’s beliefs or immediately tell them “I know the truth about 9/11.”  A good way is to ask open ended questions that lead to open dialogue and discussion about it.

One of the ways to deal with the trauma is to find the answers.  That’s why I think it is of such importance to have a comprehensive investigation.

Pride is Another Reason People Deny 9/11 Truth

I believe that to become the type of country that we think we are, we have to face some of the things that are not as we think they are… Thinking that we are above such things – that it could happen in other countries, but it couldn’t happen here – that’s a lack of humility.  That’s excessive pride.  As, so not being able to see our dark side or our weaknesses is the most dangerous thing.

The observation that pride is one of the basic human flaws is absolutely correct.  This is especially true for Americans because we for a long time looked at other nations and said, “They are in such bad shape.  But, luckily we don’t have those problems.  We don’t have leaders that would do those things that were done in the Soviet Union, or done in Germany, or done in Japan… This is a type of pride that Americans have.

A feature of American history that makes particularly liable to this pride is this notion of American exceptionalism – that America is the exceptional nation.  That began from the beginning as this country was formed.

People would say that there was so much evil in the European countries, so much cheating, so much lying, so much using the people for the ruler’s purposes.  But not in America! We have leaders who are free from those sins.  This has made 9/11 particularly difficult for Americans.

Everyone can make mistakes.  But, our ideals and our principles get us back on track.

9/11 is One of the Defining Issues of Our Time 

This is one of the defining issues of our time.

Questioning IS Patriotic

So, we need to understand that questioning is patriotic.  Questioning is what we are supposed to do.  That’s our duty.

The Real Perpetrators Must be Held Accountable

When we come to the national level, when something like 9/11 happens, we need to be sure that we have a real investigation into who the perpetrators are.  And, then we need to make sure that those people are held legally accountable. It’s part of the healing process on an individual level and the collective level.

End.

 

t/c to Gary Kohls, M.D.