There is an insidious black magic woven into the customs of our current ‘civilized’ societies. Its source is greed and its result is loss – loss of self, of values and in every interpretation of the phrase, loss of life. It has a specific mechanism of which we are all familiar with. It is in plain sight, the best place for something lethal to hide; our acclimation and apathy fuels its seat as it digs in deeper the longer it remains a function of our everyday lives.
It started with the road-side hucksters, the common jesters (not the bards) and the politicians. As the tools to proliferate communication developed over history, this very simple technique of manipulation became the staple of every marketing campaign across the world. People go to school to learn how to form these spells. They do school projects and take exams in how to manipulate your emotions, so it’s important to know what’s being targeted at you.
This is how it works:
Phase One. In order to make someone vulnerable, one must make that person lower their guard, so the best way to do that is to entrance them. To get them ungrounded and a bit drifted away from their center so that they are more impressionable. More open to suggestion. More open to believing something that just isn’t true. Here comes the glamor spell. It is a sexy body. It is a cooing baby. It is a cool glass of water, a day in the mountains. All of these things are meant to invoke emotion and open our field. We might even feel emotions like disgust, shame, self-hatred or sorrow. Maybe it is the adrenaline rush of extreme violence. We all know that the more acclimated to violence we are, the more severe it has to be in order to affect us. We understand this, and think that this understanding protects us.
In any case, once we are in that state, feeling that emotion, phase Two is put into play.
Phase Two is creating a link or an anchor between your strong emotion and whatever it is that the creator of this spell – this curse – wants to lodge deep into your psyche. If you are feeling a positive emotion, then their product or idea will be presented as a path for you to get to that emotion in the future. If you are feeling a difficult emotion, then their idea or product is presented as a way to escape that feeling, – that was just invoked in you, an emotion based on a situation that usually was not even based in real life.
Often, all that is inserted, deep into your psyche is a logo. This is called branding. Once the anchor is made, all the company has to do is to present the logo in order for that emotion to be re-invoked.
Think about it. iPhone or Android? Mac or PC? How do those two words feel inside of you? Are your reasons based in any truth? Aren’t both companies engaged in destroying the planet?
Whatever the image, it becomes a handle that can be pulled at a future time. It can be as simple as that, or it can be the building block of a more complicated language that is all rooted and hooked deep in different parts of your psyche.
The machine of incessant images has been able to create value systems that even if we know that we do not subscribe to, we are pulled into and shamed by. Only skinny can be beautiful. The only kind of wealth that has any value is of money. Young is people. Only white people really exist. By refraining from showing images of normal lives and only showing images of imaginary life, everyone starts to lean towards trying to live imaginary lives. We have become puppets.
At this point, Phase Three, all that is needed in order to portray a whole lot of messages without even having to say them, is to present a recycled archetype that was created by this system long ago.
Phase Three. The internalization and eventual regurgitation of the entire process. This is where, without prompting or further brain-washing, people take it upon themselves to continue the patterns of entrancing in order to fill their own personal and small business needs. It’s a dog eat dog world. Everyone else is doing it, so I must too.
The destructive virus of thought-form creation is even in our alternative, progressive subcultures. Subcultures that aren’t run by corporations, that don’t have to be that way, that are supposed to run on a different set of values. Unfortunately, until people are able to root out their internalized mechanisms, they will still be trying to fit in, to be ‘someone’, to climb a ladder when we don’t believe in ladders, to give preference to those with shallow, sparkly qualities that are not nourishing to anyone, to glamor others in order to ‘survive’. Who gets most of the attention? Who is collecting the money? Who is given promotion into the ‘cool’ positions? It’s exactly the same game as in mainstream culture. The images are not the same; they are a little bit different. But they are the same.
We have all seen spiritual teachers, yoga teachers, public speakers trying to enamor people to want to take their classes, who use their sexual energy to draw people in. We have seen dogma manufactured that is designed to make us wonder, to make us look outside ourselves for happiness and fundamentally doesn’t really make a lot of sense. But it still gets repeated over and over, because it serves those who want you to think of them as your source of wisdom and revelation.
There is a big difference between commercial advertising and someone beaming in their authentic, unique light, sharing their medicine so others can find theirs. We have all had enough of people casting glossy projections of themselves in order to hook people into wanting to be like them, but we allow it to continue. We allow it by giving these people our energy. Many of us actually want to be taken on a ride because it’s much more like eating a chocolate chip sundae than doing the work within. This is the where the loss comes in. We give our precious, divine energy, time, money to forces, companies and people who do not have our best interest in mind and actually are willing to go to psychological warfare to get what they want. It pulls us more and more outside of ourselves. It can pull and pull until we don’t know what happened or who we are anymore.
This, my friends, is addiction.
Phase Four, the most lethal phase, is when both the source and the receiver of the black spell becomes ourselves. We mentally impose pictures over our own experiences, comparing them to illusory images we have seen in the outside world and then we give our experience a grade. Am I having fun? I am attractive? Did I do that like the guy on the show I liked? Would they think I was crazy? Does this mean that I am getting closer to the life that I have been shown? Am I doing this right?
We think that we should be happy – all the time. Not just content or at peace with the wide spectrum of life, but blissful. If we are not the kind of happy we think we should be, we impose images on ourselves in order to invoke the emotion we want. Then we run to a product or we put music on to drown out our true feelings. Or we create flowery dogmatic language to describe our reality in a way that makes it more epic-like. But nobody lives an epic, not like in the movies. Actually, the epics which are our true lives are far more interesting and fruitful, it’s too bad Hollywood wouldn’t just get a clue on that. How about a show around the inner workings of a blue collar town where all the characters are at work or running to get their kids or at the grocery store?
We all know this stuff but do we really think about it enough? As children, we naturally modeled ourselves to those around us. We had no scope of the world and human behavior. We were trying out ways of being. Many of us had very mixed up big people around us to show us what love was supposed to be. But we were trusting of those big people. We didn’t know any better. The thing is, if we never got a chance or a challenge to figure out for ourselves what is right for us, what our values are, we are still susceptible to outside forces to tell us how to think.
Because the media has become our parents and the strong comfort of reliable friendships is not presented to us anymore, we meet someone we like and wonder if they are going to be the one to take us away from our lives to an permanent castle of love bliss. We look around the world and we see the downcast, the millions of people who are not rich or skinny and we blot them out in our minds. This goes for people of color as well. If they don’t exist in fantasy land, we don’t want to engage with them in the real world.
[art by Aeryn Davies]
This is called marginalization.
The revolutionary battleground in countries like ours is not out in the streets. Oh no, we are a “free country”. We would see no need for that. Besides, we have become so apathetic that we would not know where to begin or who to target, since the incessant mental attacks comes from every corner in current times. Every corner.
We owe this to ourselves. We have to stop thinking that the world of adults is full of grownups and strive to be one. If we don’t extricate ourselves from this twisted, sticky web, no one will do it for us. We can’t withdraw from this black magic without withdrawing from its loudest sources. We have to stop looking around the corner hoping something better is coming around. We have to commit, to ourselves and the life of authenticity, which is the only life that can bring true satisfaction.
Even so, we could invest great amounts of time and money in therapy finding ourselves, but the moment we are strong and ready to rejoin the world, we will find that the world has not changed. Yet. The barrage of mis-messages will still be there, challenging our true values without cease. No one can withstand that without significant spiritual support and clear boundaries around what goes in their cauldron. So we need each other. We can’t do it alone, even for ourselves. We can’t shut down entirely. We are social creatures and we are part of this world. Metaphysically, isolation leads to death, but in this world, overexposure is another kind of death? Managing this, navigating this is our puzzle.
First step, is to clean house and get to know our values.
Our Sacred Cauldron is our inner vessel. It is our bodies, our minds, our very souls. What we choose to expose ourselves to, is how we take care of this vessel, this tabernacle. This means media, food, people, music, communities. We choose what is good for us. We have to stop trying to live other people’s lives or fantasy lives and live our own.
We need to get away from the swarm of messages, get off the high speed train, the Ferris wheel, the pheromone ride, the puppet dance – and stop running around, slow the fuck down and be more present with the people that we call our friends. We need remember to listen within and without and let arise that which is singing underneath the debris of catastrophic psychological and spiritual warfare. This song is a pure song, we know, because it arises by itself with no prompting. We need to trust that life is inherently resilient and that the fresh inspiration that comes from a real sunrise or the gait of a heron -not the photoshopped pictures of them that we place in front of them – will always be real. These are the types of things that cannot be changed or marketed.
Life is something to behold, not to manufacture. The images between ourselves and our lives can be eradicated, first by disassociating from their sources, then by nourishing that which is nourishing and real to us. If you don’t know what is nourishing to you, be excited, be still. Your body will tell you when you find yourself trying something new and relaxing into joy. Maybe some of you will find joy.
There is so much to learn about nourishing the good in life, about holding space for all parts of the cycles of life, death, sorrow, the delicious mundane and joy in our lives. For now, hopefully there has been enough said here for you to be able to understand and take apart a powerful mechanism which binds so many of us.
Knowledge and discernment is power. Real power.