Self-Awakening in Times of Darkness

Self-Awakening

Self-awakening is perhaps the ultimate human experience. And many individuals, from various different intellectual disciplines, have tried to define it. Freud, Jung, and other classical psychological theorists talked of the unconscious becoming conscious. Twelve Step group adherents reference a “spiritual awakening.” But whatever you call it, waking up to a greater reality is a momentous event. (See also: Waking Up to Our Bigger Selves.) It’s how we discover our truer, bigger selves. And in the process, we also experience the sublime awe of connection to the source.

I’ve met too many folks who let the world and its ways and temptations define them. And often, the also let the world and its toxicities get to them.  They honored their perceived duties alright. They did what was expected. And they did the best they could to love, even in the face of misunderstanding, disregard, and mistreatment. Out of necessity, their hearts became hardened in the process. And this ultimately cost them a loss of self – their authentic, beautiful, powerful, luminous self.

How it Happens

Self-awakening generally happens in one of two ways. The first way is much less common. It occurs when a person is so totally swept away by great love and joy that they lose all sense of their smaller, wounded, guarded, well-defended, “false” self. Inhibitions melt away. And they experience sublime ecstacy. But more commonly, it happens when circumtances deal such a fatal blow that all one’s learned ways of coping fail. This is an extraordinarily painful process. And some don’t survive it. But those that do – even in the midst of their pain – find the light within. And that’s when real living truly begins for them. (See also: Spiritual Awakening and Character Growth.)

A Personal Wish

My wish for all the readers is not merely for empowerment and healing. True, those things are important. And they inspired my work and books in the first place. But my bigger wish is for much, much more. I fervently hope that everyone finds the light within, embraces it, and allows it to illuminate the world. We direly need this, for character dysfunction has sadly darkened many lives. (Reference: Character Disturbance.)

I’m aware that my recent posts have been of a very different character. But this is both intentional on my part and born of deep conviction. Things won’t improve merely by aggreieved parties recognizing and distancing themselves from toxic relationship partners. That’s why I’ve spent so much time on what will likely be my last book. We all need to be part of creating a new environment that magnifies rather than blocks the light. And, of course, that endeavor has to start with each of us individually. For the ultimate tragedy of our times is that decent, naturally luminous people get snatched from the light within them by disturbed characters and have a hard time finding their way back. I mean to help change that.

A Happy Announcement

I’m pleased to announce that at long last, the Spanish language edition of In Sheep’s Clothing is in press at this time. It will be available through the major distributors and resellers toward the end of next month. Although there are already many foreign language editions of this book, this is the first for North American Spanish Language readers.

 

22 thoughts on “Self-Awakening in Times of Darkness

  1. This is a lovely post. Things finally clicked. I’ve been an idiot in my comments. An offensive idiot, probably too. Psychopaths and sadistic abusers have a way of infecting their victim.

    I got bad advice, which was to become more like them, and tried my best to be less kind, less caring, less humble, less open, and more hardened, more defensive, and more ready for attacks. I failed miserably on all fronts and have only given ammunition for those abusers to say ‘look! she’s the abuser! here’s proof!’

    Reactive abuse functions quite nicely for abusers as they set their victim up and after years and years of simply taking it, whatever it may be, then the victim reacts badly, and abusers take it and run with it as supposed proof of their victimhood and the true victim’s supposed abuser selfhood.

    And I have been miserable and floundering as I’m not cut out for being a standoffish person. And perhaps the soft, kind, caring individual wasn’t a bad thing after all. Luminous. What an excellent word, Dr. Simon.

    Yes, Dr. Simon has been right all along. And letting your light shine, being a good person, is a good thing. Christians are going to be targeted anyhow, so we might as well stay the course and be kind, caring, humble people who try hard to do good. Care for our fellow Christians, especially!

    So sorry for my miserable, idiotic comments, Dr. Simon. Wishing you the very best. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.

    And wishing the other victims who comment and read the posts a good Christmas, too.

    The devil failed. King Herod failed. Jesus was born. He made it through infancy despite King Herod’s murderousness. He went to the cross and He finished His work, giving His precious body and blood, suffering for us, atoning for us. Time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and give thanks to Him. Thank God for His lovingkindness!

    1. Dear anonymous
      Thank you for your transparency and your heartfelt post. Dr. Simons excellent article has caused me to look inward as well. Perhaps he would be pleased to help us in this way.
      Thank you again for your courage. We are in this together.

  2. I am very much looking forward to your forthcoming book. I’m precisely the kind of person you want to help: two years ago, I was profoundly hurt by someone and I have lost the light that used to shine within me.

    The person who caused me so much grief might suffer from character disturbance, but I will probably never know. It’s one of the unresolved issues that distancing oneself from someone creates. I am one of the walking wounded now.

    Sometimes, I wonder if this experience has permanently extinguished my inner light or if an ember still remains. I am different today that I was before – and it’s for the worse.

    All your posts resonate with me deeply, but your recent thematic posts are incredibly well timed. I am an atheist, and your message is just as meaningful to me.
    Thank you for your writing!

  3. “Things won’t improve merely by aggreieved parties recognizing and distancing themselves from toxic relationship partners.”

    But the question still remains open, how can things improve, then?

    I don’t see it explained in any of the related posts how to interpret the vague biblical metaphor of “shining the light” in practical terms and how to translate it as your advice to the abused and to the abusers?

    Does it mean that no matter how much the abused would be damaged – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc – they should endure the abuse until the character disturbed would finally change his mind? Does it mean that the abusers can go on forever in their evil ways without any consequences of their actions, since the abused are somehow required to stay entirely unaffected by the abuse?

    Or the abused can just be psychologically damaged, no problem as long as he is capable of pretending to be ok? Does it mean that all of a sudden psychology and the well-being of decent characters is forgotten and is preceded by a subjectively conceived moral demand? It is subjectively conceived since the Bible is objectively concerned with the deliverance and separation of the decent folk from the evil-doers.

    In lack of clear statements in this regard one can only try guessing.

    In the context of the mentioned book, another question might arise: If the abused should forever be chained to the character disturbed, then why to even reveal the fact that the disturbed characters are so often wolves in sheep’s clothing? Why not then let the abuse victims remain unaware of what’s going on and enjoy their heavenly oblivion while being abused? And what’s the practical use of any psychological knowledge then? To acquire knowledge of the nature of abusers makes sense only if the victims have a chance to set themselves free from them. The Bible was meant to offer deliverance for the oppressed from the evil rather than being eternally chained to them. Only God can save or change someone to the degree that it would turn an evil character into a decent human being. When does such change happen no one knows, if it happens at all, to begin with. Wolves in sheep’s clothing often pretend repentance and remorse, and often come up with a fake apology, but they do so only to keep the abused hooked and deceived.

    These are honest concerns and questions. It would be really very helpful if this metaphor about ‘light and darkness’ would be somehow brought into the world of reality in the form of psychologically valid practical advice.

    1. “Does it mean that no matter how much the abused would be damaged – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc – they should endure the abuse until the character disturbed would finally change his mind? Does it mean that the abusers can go on forever in their evil ways without any consequences of their actions, since the abused are somehow required to stay entirely unaffected by the abuse?”

      I don’t think it could mean that because Dr Simon says “Things won’t improve merely by aggrieved parties recognizing and distancing themselves from toxic relationship partners.” In other words, there must be a recognition and a distancing from toxic partners. That means not enduring abuse or allowing abusers to “go on forever in their evil ways without any consequences of their actions”, or staying unaffected by the abuse. We have to first reject and distance ourselves from that toxicity.

      THEN we need to do more than that, we need to find that light within. What that means to me practically is to live and act by my values (which are values of light, not darkness), driven by a reaction to what is going on around me. For me it means choosing the way of compassion, courage, commitment, connection, composure, and clarity.

      1. Thank you for your explanation, Erin.

        I still find it undefined what this vague metaphor-dichotomy “light and dark” means in practical psychological terms. Will those who walk in the dark ever change by merely preaching them or even showing them “our light”? No. Conversely, those who have the light within need no preaching. Preaching, especially preaching to the choir, never works as an advice and works even less as ‘therapy’, hence it remains either meaningless at best, or encouragement one to engage in mere pretension at worst.

        Like you, I do too choose the way of compassion, courage and all the values you listed, and possibly even more, as I also choose discernment, truthfulness, justice and being realistic, and then I found that if I put all these together, the net result boils down only via the latter set of values. In order to be just one needs to be compassionate towards the victims, which often requires the judgment of his oppressor. Then compassion does take courage and commitment, and such discernment requires clarity in order to be just and truthful. According to a famous saying, neutrality, the absence of taking sides, always helps the oppressor hence further victimises the tormented.

        What you listed as a goal sounds great, but even that alone, ie staying a decent character, won’t result in one’s psychological well-being anyway.
        To be connected to those who understand you and your situation as a victim would be an actual practical advice but it is hard achieve. To be accepted in society largely depends on one’s psychological traits and those traits depend on mostly how and in what environment one has been raised. This is an undeniable fact.

        If you are a decent character but without any means and any supporting background, and especially if you grew up under the effect of toxic parents, good luck finding your way to ‘shine the light’ and to find a supporting environment for whom it would make a difference. You are glad if you can survive at all in this cruel, victim-blaming society.

        Society is extremely cruel to most abuse victims, mostly because those who are lucky enough to have been raised by loving and supporting parents, will never, repeat, NEVER even grasp the bottom line of what an abuse victim has to go through in life and will never understand the impossible position that the abused, estranged and victimised members of family and society are being pushed into, hence they will invariably blame the victims if those fail to meet the generic superhuman demands, ie if they are not the sort of successful, well-connected, upbeat, joyful, and preferably well-to-do fellows they are supposed to be, anyway.

        This dichotomy-cliche of ‘light and dark’ simply does not apply in a world where many among us only appear as ‘light’, joyful, social, connected or even compassionate (the wolves in sheep’s clothing) while many decent characters appear ‘dark’ (bitter, disappointed, lonely, angry) but only because they are left alone and rejected.

        If an abuse victim once departing from the family abuse, finds a community that is really compassionate, supporting and understanding towards the actual victims of family and society, hence they can achieve at least a certain level of self-realisation, that is – again – a mere matter of luck and as such can’t be applied as a general rule and requirement – it is rather a rare exception.

        (On this blog I posted several comments as “broken heart” – maybe those offer more clarification as to where I am coming from.)

        1. Truth Seeker,
          Really, not to be accusatory or argument but I’m fairly sure “Broken Heart” is among a few others you’ve posted under.
          You have a distinctive writing style which appears in anger, passive/aggressive, humble and preachy.
          Is that fair?

          1. D.
            No, it isn’t fair. Your post is a rude, unjust, arrogant, provocative, personal attack, ie abusive. That is, quite the opposite of what one would expect in a quality website that was supposed to be a safe space for people to be protected from the sort of characters that you are.
            Good bye to you and to this blog altogether.
            Ironically it was dr Simon from whom I learned that it makes no sense to try to reason with manipulative people.

          2. Right on, Truth Seeker.

            Isn’t D. the one who said he was an atheist and he was now intimidated from posting due to some Christians supporting one another on this website?

            So much for his supposed intimidation from posting claim.

        2. I read one of your comments as Broken Heart and I think I see where you are coming from. My comments below, though, are responses to your comments on this page.

          “I still find it undefined what this vague metaphor-dichotomy “light and dark” means in practical psychological terms. Will those who walk in the dark ever change by merely preaching them or even showing them “our light”? ”

          Light and dark is indeed a dichotomy and I would normally find it less useful to take such a black/white, rigid approach, for the very reasons that it poses a lot of questions like you have pointed out. However, I don’t see “light and dark” as implying that those who walk in the light should preach at the dark or try to change them.

          “What you listed as a goal sounds great, but even that alone, ie staying a decent character, won’t result in one’s psychological well-being anyway.” I’m not sure what I listed as a goal, but if you mean living by my values, I have found it to result in psychological well-being.

          “To be accepted in society largely depends on one’s psychological traits and those traits depend on mostly how and in what environment one has been raised.” I agree that society accepts certain people more than others, but I don’t agree that, firstly, my well-being requires me being accepted by everyone, and secondly, I can’t get better at traits that will help me connect better, even if I have to work very hard at them because of hard-wired tendencies from upbringing. I don’t believe traits are fixed.

          “If you are a decent character but without any means and any supporting background, and especially if you grew up under the effect of toxic parents, good luck finding your way to ‘shine the light’ and to find a supporting environment for whom it would make a difference. You are glad if you can survive at all in this cruel, victim-blaming society.”

          It would be extremely difficult, but I wouldn’t view it as impossible. Good luck, yes. Survive? Well, a protective part of me will scream that it is impossible, but I understand where that comes from. I just don’t believe it, but I think that part is biased by experience.

          “Society is extremely cruel to most abuse victims…” Yes, I agree and accept the presence of this cruelty and injustice.

          “This dichotomy-cliche of ‘light and dark’ simply does not apply in a world where many among us only appear as ‘light’, joyful, social, connected or even compassionate (the wolves in sheep’s clothing) while many decent characters appear ‘dark’ (bitter, disappointed, lonely, angry) but only because they are left alone and rejected.” Although I agree that the dark can be mistaken for light and vice versa, I don’t agree that therefore light and dark can’t be understood as metaphors for the way things work in this world.

          “If an abuse victim once departing from the family abuse, finds a community that is really compassionate, supporting and understanding towards the actual victims of family and society, hence they can achieve at least a certain level of self-realisation, that is – again – a mere matter of luck and as such can’t be applied as a general rule and requirement – it is rather a rare exception.”
          It is probably rare because it is difficult to achieve without assistance. But I would argue that it is possible, because there are supportive people around (harder in some communities, e.g. poor women in Pakistan would struggle to be heard and validated), and if one should never find it in one’s community, one can first find it in oneself. Victor Frankl used his imagination in the concentration camp and “felt” the connection with his wife (who was already dead by then).

          1. Erin, you raise many good points – and we do seem to agree along the main lines. The only difference that I detect is idealism vs realism, but the latter is something that comes with time and (more) experience. Please don’t take this wrong. I mentioned this before: I do understand where those who subscribe to this sort of idealism come from because as a young person, I have been there, burnt the T-shirt, then learned from it. I have become an outspoken person due to my experience. In my view the time of a radical rise, resistance and actual life-saving attitude of the good folk has arrived, rather than remain soaking in lukewarm Christianity and convenient non-religious pacifism.

            My stance might be also due to the fact that I come from a country where the way I was treated by society – in addition to by family -has been not much better than the treatment of Pakistani women, hence I did have to wear the war-paint early on, and because I probably endured longer and harder abuse. Hence my position “shining one’s inner light” comes down to fighting the good fight for self-defence and speaking one’s mind, rather than subscribing to anything that sounds lovely and compelling, ie pacifist and compromising enough. But I do believe that by now you do understand what I mean.

            On a side note, it speaks volumes that the leaders of the world could not care less about liberating women and helping the poor of the 3rd world countries, rather, they choose to import the respective women-oppressing, poverty-inflicting, in addition, warmongering culture to the Western world. Those from other cultures and races would deserve to be treated well and given opportunities in their own countries and culture. Instead, they are manipulated to mass-migrate to our regions, which is an extreme challenge for them just as much as for the host countries. Then those of them are who are lucky to make it to our lands, would deserve indeed a better life in a Western world, in a world of peace and opportunities that the West used to be, rather than them being dragged into movements against their own host-countries to inflict anarchy and wars in the West, ie to create the same conflicts here from which they are escaping from to begin with. But of course manipulative/narcissitic people in leading positions want exactly that: division, poverty, chaos for the masses – ie pushing everyone else into the LOWEST possible position, while keeping the war continuous that was never meant to be won. (Orwell)

            If we look around in the Western world we can notice the sheer proof of it. It won’t take long before Western women will be treated even worse than the ones in Pakistan. Am aware of this because I am from Europe/Mainland, suffering from the grave consequences of many stolen elections and open borders that brought this region to near 3rd world level criminality and oppression of women. Filtered immigration would at least decrease the chance of this, but fully open borders means an unspeakable and unmanageable catastrophe, especially in the long run. Under the newly “elected” US president the US can be prepared for the same ‘wonderful’ changes to happen.

            I wonder how well it is known that London’s mayor is from Pakistan? And how many are aware that in such a high position he allows Pakistani gangs to rape and murder white children and women in the UK without, and their deeds are left without any legal consequences?

            Now the US had a president who ended the ME wars, then the first thing the evil forces care to do is to kick him out of the White House via a thoroughly fraudulent election. It speaks volumes as well.

            I understand that you accept cruelty and justice and you have your own reasons to do so, and it is your choice – but not mine. To me such acceptance would mean the exact opposite of psychological well-being. In addition to personal and family reasons, it is clearly impossible for me to accept the vast amount of injustice and cruelty that so many decent people are subjected to by the manipulative, disturbed, evil characters. I can’t and don’t deceive myself just as much as I don’t deceive others either.

            You have a very good heart, Erin. I wish you all the best and hope that God would keep you always in the position and in circles where you can shine the light that you are.

          2. Truth Seeker’s “lukewarm Christianity and convenient non-religious pacifism” got me thinking.

            God is love and love REQURIES justice and God is INTOLERANT of evil and actively HATES evil. So much of preaching these days in Christian churches seems to be a ‘love all, let’s hold hands, smile everyone, pacifism’. I don’t believe it is correct teaching at all. I used to and girls/women are especially told to be ultra nice, ultra sweet, ultra pleasant, ultra self-sacrificing, and ultra polite in conservative Christian circles and such leads abusers to find ideal prey in conservative Christian circles.

            Love requires justice. God is a God of justice. We are to HATE evil. The wicked love the darkness and seek not to be exposed nor to have to cease being evil, thus being the light and letting your light shine could be interpreted/applied to going after ‘bad guys’ and bringing them to justice (as an example).

            I’m not the smartest nor have I attended Bible college, but such are my thoughts at the moment. I could be wrong in some of it. Feel free to correct me if you know better.

            As for the USA overall, I find it deeply immoral to be elite or rich or wealthy. Nobody should be homeless or starving or going without adequate healthcare in the richest country in the world, and yet it’s happening in the USA. The hollowing out of the middle class, the unrestrained greed of the upper class, the ultra-concentration of power in a few elite, and the pretense of democracy, are some of the problems we have.

            I thought it ridiculous that some of those in power, after the Capital mess, tweeted things like “we will not be intimidated!” as though it is some show of their strength and bravery. They are at the top. They live privileged lives. If someone shot or took them hostage or merely beat them up, there would be grave consequences to pay. They would be promptly rescued and the perps would be hunted. Look at all the power and resources employed into tracking down all of the rioters now. There’s plenty of criminal victimization that happens to those who aren’t so high up and nobody cares about their safety or getting justice for them or sparing no expense or manpower in tracking down their perps. Interesting how some people are worth so much more. For the first time in almost every one of those lawmakers ‘ lives, they experienced — very fleeting, very temporary, very miniscule (comparatively) fear/insecurity — and then they tweet about how strong they are and how they won’t be intimidated and how they are coming back to finish the job. What a ridiculous theatrical display of so-called strength and bravery. *Eye roll*

            A country/society is to be judged according to how they treat (or mistreat) their most vulnerable/weakest members. None of those lawmakers give a darn about someone freezing to death on the sidewalk. They walk about on marble floors and live in removed from society, privileged, security. They generally support and help corporate welfare and continue supporting corporate power.

            You think any of them care about the poor? You think any of them lie awake at night, wrestling how to best serve the vulnerable, how to wield their power in ways that help the least? No way. Not a chance.

            I kind of am impressed with the rioters. Not that I wished for a cop to die or anything of that nature, but we should make the powerful afraid to be corrupt. Is it little wonder how and why the wealthy have security teams and live in ultra-remote and guarded and gated communities? Too many people live horrible lives, just scratching out a miserable existence and then they die, because evil people on top want slaves, disposable slaves, to exploit and discard at will. That’s how fortunes are made and power is amassed. It’s not for nothing the USA is ranking last, compared to other similar nations, as to what it does for its citizens to weather the financial impact of the pandemic. $600? Seriously? Lawmakers ought to be afraid to do such. They walk on marble floors, live ultra elite lives. Then they tweet their supportive messages to the public. What a crock!

          3. Truth Seeker, Just to clarify that I don’t accept cruelty or injustice. What I meant is that I agree with you that people are cruel to others, i.e. I accept that cruelty exists, not that cruelty should be accepted or tolerated.

            You mentioned that the “resistance and actual life-saving attitude of the good folk has arrived”. This seems to be in line with Dr Simon’s exhortations about shining the spotlight on character, and finding the light within.

            Idealism vs realism appears to me to be subjective terms and based on past experiences. That’s where we’ll have to agree to disagree because it would be impossible to determine, on online posts, if someone’s position is objectively realistic or simply idealistic.

        3. Truth Seeker,

          I really appreciate your thoughtful approach to your posts. It’s clear that you take the time to think through your responses. Much of what you write resonates with me. I do wonder if that comes from having lived a brutal reality and a truly harsh awakening.

          I couldn’t respond below, but I wanted to say that I respectfully disagree with your assertion that the U.S. election was not legitimate. I live in the U.S.. The issues raised were taken to court and most were thrown out – by judges Mr. Trump appointed. Even the Supreme Court declined to hear the cases. Most of the members of the Supreme Court are conservative Republicans, and many were appointed during Mr. Trump’s presidency. Mr. Trump has been gaslighting his supporters and many truly believe what he is saying. Mr. Trump has been fundraising off this. The fine print on his fundraising site for the “fight” says that only a very small percentage of the money raised will go towards lawyers fees. The rest go to Mr. Trump’s campaign and the RNC.

          I live in one of the states that was at the heart of the battle. The things they were saying just wasn’t true. If they were true and they went to court, why were they thrown out? Thrown out by Republican judges that Mr. Trump placed there. Even Mr. Gulliani who kept saying it was fraud, when in court and was asked by the judge are you claiming fraud? Mr. Gulliani said said no. Why not? Because in court there is a consequence for lying. He can lie all he wants in press statements, but he cannot do that in court. He would be held accountable. We both know how abusers feel about that. In Georgia, even the normally very conservative, Republican, Secretary of State and Governor confirmed their was not fraud. They recounted 3 times! Remember, they certainly didn’t want to lose. (They are known for voter suppression tactics.) But, they also didn’t want to commit fraud. Mr. Trump tried to convince them to do so, many, many times, and to their credit, they did not. He threatened them many times.

          I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the receiving end of the tactics and pressure that was used on them. Not sure if you heard the phone call right before the run off elections. It’s awful. They put the screws to you. It puts your self-respect, integrity, safety, career, etc.. on the line. I personally have chosen to stick to integrity and have paid. Was it worth it? Yes.

          I’m not sure where you are getting your news, but I wonder if you would be open to reading/listening to news from additional, unbiased outlets, such as the Associated Press, PBS, NPR.

          We know that abusers do so by isolating their victims, controlling information, gaslighting them, and many other tactics. It’s so easy now to get caught in a information bubble if we get our information from Facebook or sites they only give us one perspective, viewpoint or, in many cases, “alternative facts”. Facebook in particular is programmed to keep sending you things that already reflect your opinions.

          This was an unsuccessful coup. But it’s scary how close he got. He’s brainwashed many good people and turned them against all that we supposedly we stand for. Look up how Mussolini was able to get power. I think you may find many similarities. Mr. Trump tried, but was not able to get the military on board. But, in his we are going to march to the capitol bit, was a page out of Mussolini’s play book too. But unlike Mussolini, Mr. Trump did not march with them like he said he would, he slunk back to the safety of the White House and tweeted and stoked. These folks were just pawns. Loyal and duped pawns who were used plain and simple. He doesn’t care about those people. He only cares for himself. They were a means to an end. The ends? To make money, his absolute power to take what was not his, by force, because he could not get it legitimately. Of course he’s pretending to be a victim now. That’s what they do. This was likely the first time he wasn’t able to buy, lie, cheat, browbeat, litigate, and gaslight his way out of. He’s not used to be stood up to and to being held accountable. For him there is no line that he will not cross. Too many people let this go on for entirely too long. Make no mistake he is a dictator wannabe. Unfortunately, by the looks of it, given how many people with the power to do something about it either looked the other way or went along with it, he won’t be the last. Next time, they might just be a little slicker and more competent.

          Again, Truth Seeker, I really appreciate your thoughtful posts. Mr. trump and his accomplices have worked hard to get you to buy into a false reality for their gain – and your loss. It’s hard to get past the confirmation bios, but I believe if you truly look at objective facts, you’ll see that what I am telling you is true.

          Take good care.

          1. Most any rich person cares only for themselves. That’s how they got to be rich. There is only 1 CEO that I know of who decided to pay everyone at his company a minimum of $75,000, with him no longer taking millions home while others eeked along at 20,000 or 30,000. He is only one CEO, out of how many?

            JK Rowling (sp?), the author of the Harry Potter books, is not a billionaire because she gives millions away to charity. Same with Dolly Parton. She is not a billionaire because she gives so many millions away to charity. So when you see a billionaire, you are seeing pure greed and exploitation. Nobody is worth that much. Nobody needs that much money. Nobody.

            I would like to see workers in Amazon, Walmart, and many other businesses that have gained so much during this pandemic, unionize. What if every employee walked out, and acted in unison? What if the working class worked in solidarity? What if the middle class joined in with that working class solidarity?

            Sure, the BLM protests were important for a lot of people, and yes, people got to feel like they were making history in the Capital mess, but what largely impacts people’s lives are socio-economic determinants. Policies need to work for the great majority of people, not the elite at the top. We need those in power to be working class folk who know the struggles of most of the USA, not some privileged, upper class person who cares only to benefit the rich, themselves, and the powerful.

            Start voting into power those people who make Wall Street afraid. State supporting unions. Start organizing rent strikes. How many people are going to become homeless this year? Start camping out at the offices of the elected powers that be, although, I’m sure you’ll be arrested, because power works that way and insulates itself. Look at the disabled folks, mostly in wheelchairs, that were dragged away from Mitch McConnel’s (sp?) office, literally dragged away by cops, and arrested, for protesting against the cuts to Medicaid, the program by which Mitch benefitted with his polio, and thus didn’t become disabled from such and end up more in the circumstances of those who protested outside his office one day.

            Start talking to each other and banding together. The rich band together and work together against us. We, the general people, need to do the same. Sure, it’s incredibly hard to keep up with any of it, to become informed, to find the time and energy to talk with one another and plan strategic actions when working multiple jobs, barely covering rent, barely getting by, — THAT’S BY DESIGN!!! Have to keep a near-slave class of people. Have to keep power concentrated at the top and within only a few. Have to maintain the vast inequalities, or otherwise those at the bottom (and even in the middle) might start acting in unison, might have time to reflect and evaluate their situation, and might revolt, in solidarity.

            Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the working class went on strike tomorrow? Things would grind to a stop! Jeff Bezos could give every single one of his employees a $105,000 bonus and still be as rich as he was at the beginning of the pandemic. You think he is going to do that? Nope. And his warehouse workers die of heat stress, piss into water bottles, and run about ruining their health and bodies, for a now $15 (no real benefits) wage that used to be much less, until Bernie Sanders shamed him into raising it to $15 (but then he made sure to drastically cut benefits and no stock or anything, so that $15 hourly wage isn’t an improvement).

            Are the landlords forgiving rent? Is Congress paying out $2000 checks? Are the workers at Walmart or any big box store being adequately compensated? No. Many of them get Food Stamps because the wages are so low that despite working full-time jobs, they still have to have the government subsidize their meager existences, same with healthcare, because Walmart refuses to pay a living wage (as do so many other big box businesses).

            Corporate welfare is aplenty and yet those at the top pitch austerity messages and shame the working poor, shame those eaten up by the system and left behind, those who are disabled, and so forth. Some members of Congress tried living on the maximum amount of Food Stamps for a week, and they couldn’t wait to get back to their regular life, having suffered for a week. Yet, it’s all “pull yourself up by your bootstraps!”

            Let’s make it increasingly immoral to be rich, to have any fineries, to live fanciful lives while most everyone else is not. I watch people of all ages chase after luxury or name-brand products, trying to acquire all these status-objects. Why? Gross! Throw that stuff away! Care about refusing to consume such things, on principle. Be in solidarity with others. Spend that money on the vulnerable in your community.

            Push for a universal basic income. Nobody would be becoming homeless in this pandemic if UBI had been implemented. Rent would be paid. Battered women wouldn’t be as thoroughly trapped with abusers if UBI was in place.

            Think about those things, not whether this election was supposedly stolen. Most elections are stolen because the people voting are not able to be adequately informed, are lied to, manipulated, deceived, and then not given any decent candidate to vote for because most any candidate that makes it is corrupt and bought for already. It isn’t working class folk populating Congress! Maybe a token here or there, but that’s it.

            What if everyone who participated in BLM riot/protest or participated in the Congress riot/protest ALSO made a point to act in solidarity and work to unionize their workplaces and advance policies and cultural norms that shun wealth, shun elites, shun the screwing over most of the USA for the corrupt and greedy benefit of just a few?

            Perhaps others have thoughts about these things, too. Once we look at problems as being individualized, we lose proper perspective. Most of the USA suffers dismal lives for the benefit of few. The system isn’t working for most because it is designed that way. We have a unique time afforded to us by the pandemic, so we can see the system for what it really is and see how the powers that be screw us, while tweeting out PC messages that seem supportive or caring or understanding. What a mess.

          2. Corrections…
            confirmed there was not fraud.
            sites that only give us one perspective
            and gaslight his way out of a problem/being held accountable.
            confirmation bias

          3. Mindful,

            I don’t dispute the election results. Biden won. Trump lost. Voter fraud is exceedingly rare.

            DJT and those in power or who have wealth don’t get held accountable. Not to the degree that others, less powerful, do. There are plenty of people who are above the law.

            I just wish people would rage against the machine for more worthy causes, not for DJT, whom I detest.

            As for the violence of the Capital mess, that’s unfortunate. But violence works. Look at how many women marched in protest of DJT being elected. What did they accomplish? Nothing. Nothing at all. All that money, time, and energy spent on nothing being accomplished. Then compare it to the number involved in the Capital attack. Puny numbers, by comparison, but they won’t be forgotten.

            Wish people put their rioting efforts towards forcing good changes, instead of wasting it on DJT.

            I believe the criminals should be rounded up and charged accordingly, but the criminal justice system is broken too. The rich don’t get charged at the same rates, and they are let out on sweet deals. Look at Epstein. How many lives did he ruin? And yet when charged years ago, he was let out each week, where he created more victims, and then he was allowed to victimize for even more years before finally being jailed and then dying in jail.

            But look at what is going to happen to these rioters. How many years of prison are each going to get? It’ll be heavy-handed, for sure. Those who beat the cop to death should be severely punished. But the others jailed for walking inside the Capital? Federal prison? Making examples out of them? It’ll be heavy sentencing. Brainwashed people who got indoctrinated into a cult, with FOX News (FOX brainwashing channel) playing a big part. Are any of the liars at FOX News going to be held accountable for bringing much of this about? No. Would DJT have been as effective or successful if FOX News didn’t exist? No.

            Are any of the Tech giants going to be held accountable for their part? Cambridge Analytica. Social media keeping up bad actors for as long as possible because it increases engagement and helps drive revenue. Makes money for them. All about the profits. And then you have the marginalized, uneducated, poor of America, living dismal lives of hardship, suffering, exploitation, despair, and pain and then comes FOX News’ liars/propaganda 24/7 blaming it all on the evil Democrats or whatever. Perfect conditions for cultic programming.

            I look at sadness about how many of them got swept up in this FOX News propaganda (and related liars on social media, etc.). DJT wouldn’t have been as successful in his efforts had FOX News and other propagandists helped him.

            Propaganda is all around us. All of us are susceptible to brainwashing. When people live marginalized, hard lives of suffering for long enough, they become extra susceptible. Lots of despairing people in this country.

            What if people would have rioted over the paltry $600 stimulus checks? What if people rioted over Wall Street’s greed? What if people rioted over corporate welfare and corporate greed?

  4. Truth Seeker,

    “Your post is a rude, unjust, arrogant, provocative, personal attack, ie abusive.”

    And Truth Seeker, it is from Dr. Simon whom I have learned to understand the manipulative tactic of projecting.

    Susan,
    I am a woman, not intimidated by Christianity and not intimidated from posting here. I have written that perhaps there are others who are mistaking this for a non secular forum and might hesitate to weigh in.

    And one more thing, Susan you wrote,”
    God is love and love REQURIES justice and God is INTOLERANT of evil and actively HATES evil.

    then

    I kind of am impressed with the rioters. Not that I wished for a cop to die or anything of that nature, but

    1. D.,

      So sorry to have mistaken you for another. I thought you were the person who posted saying he was an atheist and he was being intimidated from posting because some people had talked about Christianity.

      As for being impressed with the rioters. The more I see, the more I dislike. I spoke too early. I was more surprised that anything happened, that’s all. Too many people live miserable, desperate lives of pain and suffering and exploitation and then they die. Too much power and wealth is concentrated in the hands of too few. Those few don’t care about the masses, only to use, abuse, and exploit.

      I wish there was massive protesting and organized action taken about more worthy things, not DJT. I despise him. I despise FOX News, too, as they aided in brainwashing people.

      But look at how quickly the rioters will be rounded up and jailed. Look how rarely white collar crime is punished. The sheer hatred for these rioters whose impacts were limited compared to the numbers of lives destroyed by white collar crimes and corrupt people in power. Biden won the election. I wish the fervor of the crowd was whipped up for better causes. Perhaps demanding living wages. Unionizing workforces across the country. Demanding universal healthcare. Demanding universal basic income. Demanding better environmental protections so we don’t breathe polluted air, drink poisonous water, and eat toxic food.

      1. Susan,
        I am an atheist, I did write suggesting that others might be uncomfortable or intimidated.
        On that note I don’t need to speak of my beliefs every time I comment. I believe a point can be made and heard without quoting scripture and sermonizing.

  5. When day comes we ask ourselves,
    where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
    The loss we carry,
    a sea we must wade
    We’ve braved the belly of the beast
    We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
    And the norms and notions
    of what just is
    Isn’t always just-ice
    And yet the dawn is ours
    before we knew it
    Somehow we do it
    Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
    a nation that isn’t broken
    but simply unfinished
    We the successors of a country and a time
    Where a skinny Black girl
    descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
    can dream of becoming president
    only to find herself reciting for one
    And yes we are far from polished
    far from pristine
    but that doesn’t mean we are
    striving to form a union that is perfect
    We are striving to forge a union with purpose
    To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
    conditions of man
    And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
    but what stands before us
    We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
    we must first put our differences aside
    We lay down our arms
    so we can reach out our arms
    to one another
    We seek harm to none and harmony for all
    Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
    That even as we grieved, we grew
    That even as we hurt, we hoped
    That even as we tired, we tried
    That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
    Not because we will never again know defeat
    but because we will never again sow division
    Scripture tells us to envision
    that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
    And no one shall make them afraid
    If we’re to live up to our own time
    Then victory won’t lie in the blade
    But in all the bridges we’ve made
    That is the promised glade
    The hill we climb
    If only we dare
    It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
    it’s the past we step into
    and how we repair it
    We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
    rather than share it
    Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
    And this effort very nearly succeeded
    But while democracy can be periodically delayed
    it can never be permanently defeated
    In this truth
    in this faith we trust
    For while we have our eyes on the future
    history has its eyes on us
    This is the era of just redemption
    We feared at its inception
    We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
    of such a terrifying hour
    but within it we found the power
    to author a new chapter
    To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
    So while once we asked,
    how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
    Now we assert
    How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
    We will not march back to what was
    but move to what shall be
    A country that is bruised but whole,
    benevolent but bold,
    fierce and free
    We will not be turned around
    or interrupted by intimidation
    because we know our inaction and inertia
    will be the inheritance of the next generation
    Our blunders become their burdens
    But one thing is certain:
    If we merge mercy with might,
    and might with right,
    then love becomes our legacy
    and change our children’s birthright
    So let us leave behind a country
    better than the one we were left with
    Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
    we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
    We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
    we will rise from the windswept northeast
    where our forefathers first realized revolution
    We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
    we will rise from the sunbaked south
    We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
    and every known nook of our nation and
    every corner called our country,
    our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
    battered and beautiful
    When day comes we step out of the shade,
    aflame and unafraid
    The new dawn blooms as we free it
    For there is always light,
    if only we’re brave enough to see it
    If only we’re brave enough to be it
    ~Amanda Gorman

    Don’t know if you had a chance to witness this impressive young woman reading her poem, but it’s something to witness.

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