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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Plan a techno free week end - Turn off the f**cking machines!


This morning I woke up extra early-4:50 a.m. We are approaching the summer solstice, these lovely long days in the northern hemisphere when we bask in seeming endless hours of light and warmth.
I treated myself with a walk to the beach. The water floated below banks of soft mists, washing the horizon an indistinguishable border with the sea. Islands and boats appeared to hover in the air. A doe with two fawns stepped gingerly over the beach stones; a heron squawked and rose slowly up into the rose coloured sky. 

Then, I started to count the ghosts.

One ghost walked along with a baby carriage, a dog on a leash, and …you guessed it, a cell phone in her hand as she scrolled through whatever trivial distractions the Dark Machine (See previous postings for a definition, but you will probably intuitively know what I mean) had on offer. Another ghost absently threw a stick for his excited black lab, while he…you guessed it, watched with the absorption of an addict, frivolous entertainment on his device. Even better, a group of young ghosts sat on the logs and …you guessed it, gazed with catatonically into the blue screen, ignoring each other and the natural beauty around them.

Here’s the truth. When people are absorbed into the Dark Machine through the portal of their devices, they think they are connected, but in fact they are absenting themselves from their bodies, their relationships, and most important, from their environments. The environment is the greater Soul which surrounds, protects and guides us with every breath of our lives. The environment is the most immediate way we experience ourselves, others and Gaia (Star, 2007).
Answer me this-at the moment of your death will you say to yourself-I’m so glad I spent so much time playing mind numbing games, reading frivolous gossip about other ghost people and sending meaningless messages to other ghosts who are equally distracted and narcissistic. I don’t think so!
Increasing numbers of people are coming to me complaining of the new aliment which is pandemic in our modern world-anxiety. I tell them this-if you are absent for much of your day, then you are absent from your being! No wonder you are anxious! You are wasting your precious life!

The Dark Machine’s technology doesn’t connect you-it absents you! Its seduces you into a human-only phantasy world of distraction, narcissism and unreality. Over time, the brain can’t distinguish between what is happening on the blue screen and what is real. The brain starts to send threat responses from the mid brain to the rest of the body, because the input it’s receiving through the senses, limited mostly to sight and sound, is frightening, disconnected and unfamiliar.
Let me assure you-the blue screen is not real! You think you are connecting with your friends, but I have noticed that people are more isolated from others than ever before. If you want to connect with others, especially with the environment, then go out and participate in reality. Not phantasy!

My father was a high school principal; my mother was a full time teacher and part time artist. When I was a child, we spent the week ends together and on Sunday night, we had supper with my grandparents. We had an old black and white TV in the basement; I was allowed to watch Mickey Mouse cartoons only during specific times on week end mornings. We had enough time for each other and for enjoying the experiences of being human. We had the summers off-we spent them either on my grandparent’s farm or my father hooked up the home made trailer to our car and we drove to the coast for a few weeks of beach combing, camp fires, hikes and crab hunting. My childhood memories are filled with scenes of riding horses with my Dad through the bush lands of southern Alberta, going on long rides in one his antique cars to the lake, picnics in the meadows, crabbing along the white sands of the west coast. My parents were both full time workers with very stressful jobs. But they made time for the good things in life-family, couple time, enjoying nature, art.

The families I see now have zero time for such things. The adults pride themselves on being workaholics, admitting proudly to this perfidious and destructive mental health disease.  They gobble down anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs without a thought of why they need them. They buy large expensive items they don’t need to fill the inner gap of meaningless and disconnection. Their kids start to rebel and disconnect with their elders, they hide in a peer driven world of immature phantasy driven by greed monsters who want their money and attention. Gradually their lives slip into greater and greater unhappiness and misalignment.

Another aspect of this disturbing trend of how the Dark Machine is invading our lives is that machines, like all constructed beings, have a kind of sentience. This machine sentience is not sympathetic towards living creatures. It is not attached to the living structures which all beings with DNA share. They are not linked with Gaia, except in a very marginal way because the materials they are made from are, of course, from the earth. But because they do not have DNA, nervous systems, emotions, energetic bodies of light, they exist in a two dimensional world of deathless, lifeless existence. They are created with unwholesome intent, artificially and dishonourably intended to consume, not to participate in the living systems of Gaia.  We should not be spending even more time with these lifeless forms, trying to develop better machines. We should be learning how to be stewards of the greatest ‘machine’ ever created - the inter connected living systems of Gaia (Lovelock, 1981).

Numerous researcher are discovering what counsellors, therapists and educators have suspected for at least a decade-too much techno time is damaging for the brain especially for developing brains of our children. A new study by the National Institutes of Health in the U.S.(Johnson et al, 2016)  reports that children who are on screens much of their waking hours have a thinning of the cortex, the area of the brain that is associated with higher function thinking and reasoning.  This is also the part of the brain with capacities for compassion and taking the perspective of the Other. The report goes on the state that “most kids say they spend too much time on smartphones”. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents should not give any screen media to children young than 18 months. My response is ‘Are you f**king kidding???” Who would give their toddler a cell phone!
Tristan Harris (2017), a former Goggle manager, reports on how the Dark Machine spends millions of dollars in manipulative strategies to make their technology as addictive as possible. Dr. Gordon Neufeld (https://neufeldinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Digital-World.jpg) also raises the alarm of how the Dark Machine is manipulating our children’s minds and bodies. This set of criminally minded nerds and business gangsters relentlessly manipulate media thru the Dark Machine to feed their own hungry ghosts of fear, and the need for control and power.

Finkelstein and Zuckerman (2010) in their book, The fattening of America: How the economy makes us fat, if it matters, and what to do about it, quotes research that found adolescents who spend too much time on screen develop poor life style habits such as low activity levels which profoundly affect their psychological well-being. There are many other research studies that confirm-too much screen time has detrimental effects on growing minds.  (https://www.childrenandnature.org/research-library/results/?h=xx2339wJ) Twenge  et. al. (2018) links increased screen time with higher suicide rates and over all poor mental health. My question is this-if a teen is spending seven plus hours on their technos, then when do they have time to be human and connected into the real environment? This may seem old fashioned, but when I was a kid, there was no, NONE, techno crap to distract me from my embodied, real experience of the world. How I pity the child whose brain is so consumed by the fantasy world of the Dark Machine that they utterly lose touch with the real world.

Scary…No wonder we are seeing an pandemic of anxiety, depression, suicide , ADAA, addictions, addiction related deaths and a plethora of other mental health illnesses. All the Dark Machine cares about is its own consumptive feeding frenzy for money, power and control over others, especially young minds. The Dark Machine has no concern for the environment, relationships with others, including healthy relationships with plants, animals and other humans. It is a hellish construction without regard for life or continuance of life on planet Earth. Why would we feed such a monster? Unrestrained, it will bring a die off of life which will make the last ice age look like a picnic in the park.

One of the Dark Machine’s tactics is to spread a sense of inevitably of its power to dominate. James Brindle (2018) states in his book, New Dark Age Technology and the End of the Future,

In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.

Most people feel so helpless in the face of this threat that they simply give in and go along because it’s easier than fighting with their teens or even toddlers (shudder) about techno time. They believe the lies of the Dark Machine. The Dark Machine creates a new familial construct-women and men, mothers and fathers, are now expected to work so much that they have no energy or time for their offspring or elders. This breaks up the family, weakens relationships between spouses, children, other adults and elders. Children are stabled in child care facilities, schools, institutions; elders are drugged and isolated in sterile facilities where they slowly fade away.

The political far right gives lip service to family values-but it is just that-lip service to cover up a march towards a slave society.  And believe me; slaves don’t have much time for their families. Why would big business give you time to be a good parent, spouse, environmentalist or person? Why would big business set up just and equitable societies so citizens can be housed in comfortable safe homes? All it wants is you working, day and night preferred, so you can feed its hungry ghost of consumption, distraction, and control.  Perhaps, as Terrance McKenna quoth, “Humanity will entertain itself into extinction”. (downloaded from 

Television (technology) is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coercion, brainwashing, and manipulation. (McKenna, 1993)

It’s time to take back your sovereign power and birth right as an embodied human. You have the right to resist all that threatens your survival and the survival of your family and future.

Be careful though, any strategies to protect our human family have also been anticipated by the Dark Machine. It creates storms of mis-information which appear to save us from ourselves, but in fact work to undermine the very institutions which provide the last ditch stand against total annihilation. Through ignorant populist leaders, the Dark Machine insidiously and methodically dismantles all that threatens its survival. Government infra structure is the only power on earth that is greater than the Dark Machine. So it methodically and carefully undermines social and governmental structures that hold our human societies in safety and wellness. The Dark Machine spreads urban myths and fake news about the evils of government and social programs. Without any sense of conscience, ethics or holistic thinking, it attacks all that has a long term view of the continuance of life on this planet. And its most powerful tool is technology and the spread of machine mind. (Jack, C, 2018)

I’m not suggesting that we give up all technology. At this moment, I’m working on a computer writing this. Soon I will publish on my blog and other people will access it thru the internet. But when this powerful tool becomes the master of our destiny instead of something which we utilize for greater well-being-then it becomes problematic. It’s as though the knife we use to cut our vegetables suddenly develops the ability to jump up and threaten to slash our wrists unless we do its bidding.
Of course, the enemy is us. It’s the indigence and preponderance of egoic power that allows and maintains the Dark Machine.  This imbalance creates problems with the other aspects of our being which need expression-compassion, right action and a vision of the whole, Gaia.

In the spirit of personal empowerment- I always add a practice part to my theory. Exercises, practices, and meditations that you can bring into your daily lives.
Remember:
Start today
Use the resources you have
Work with the people in front of you

Turn off the f**king machine!

1.       Plan one week end a month to disconnect from all of your social media, and all technology. If your friends and family want to connect, they can call you on the land line.

2.       During this week end, no one and I mean NO ONE can access any technology, no screen time, no cell phones, and no social media. You can use the land line phone for phone calls-that is all. If you don’t have a land line then you are outta luck. Lock up your devices; disconnect all the computers and rotors in your home. Just unplug. Talk with your family members or other people in your lives about the Techno Free Week End. Tell them in advance that you will be off line for the week end. This includes work. No cheating, the machines must be out of sight as well as dysfunctional. Put a cloth over any screens in your home. You can treat this like a holiday. Bring out the board games, cards and other human to human activities. Remember everything on line or on the internet is fantasy-ALL OF IT!

3.       Get your life, your brain and your mind back. You’ll like being more present in the embodied experience of being a human in a real living environment.

4.       Notice how you are different without the fantasy world of the Dark Machine. Re-connect with real time friends, family, and environment. Go for walks, smell the air, listen to bird song and waves. This is how humans lived for most of our developmental ages. This is normal. Screen time is not! Notice how a quiet calm begins to suffuse thru your body and mind.

5.       This practice alone will reduce anxiety and its attendant sister- depression in a few months. Let you mid brain return to normal functioning. Align your attention into the real world-even if it is ‘boring’,  if the experience of being without techno distraction is ‘boring’ then allow yourself to hold and experience boredom fully. As you start to tune into it you will find it is much more than a slightly irritating feeling. It is probably the basis of how your monkey mind, undisciplined and without awareness, controls your habits, consumptions and beliefs.


References:

Brindle,J.  (2018) New Dark Age Technology and the end of the future. London,UK:Verso Books.
Finkelstein, E.A.,  Zuckerman, L. (2010) The fattening of America: How the economy makes us fat, if it matters, and what to do about it. Hoboken, NJ:Wiley.
Jack, C. (2017) Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Information. Downloaded from https://www.cbc.ca/radio/spark/ the-misinformation-about-disinformation-1.4309442
Johnston,L.D., Bach, J.G, O’Malley, P.A., Schulenberg, J.L. &Miech,R.A. (2016) Monitoring the future: A continuing study of American youth. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.
Harris,T. (2017) Downloaded from https://www.ted.com/talks/tristan_harris_the_manipulative_tricks_tech_companies_use_to_capture_your_attention?language=en
Star, J. (2007) The River Books-The three great ways, love, work and wisdom. Cowichan Bay,BC;River Institute.
Lovelock,J. (1981) Healing Gaia. New York; Oxford University Press.
McKenna,T. (1993) Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution . New York.NY:Bantam. 
Twenge,J.M., Joiner,T.E., Rogers,M.L. & Martin, G.N. (2018) Increases in Depressive Symptoms,
Suicide-Related outcomes, and suicide Rates among U.S. adolescents after 2010
and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time. Clinical Psychological Science
2018, Vol. 6(1) 3–17.

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