Breaking: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is exploring a presidential bid in 2024.
Having just reviewed your Mercola interview, read your works, listened to your ‘die with my boots on’ pledge when launching CHD, etc., I appreciate even more deeply your story, describing how you father gave you a book inspired by the Stoics. Having read ‘The Lives of the Stoics,’ and applied their passion to current events, I can think of no more appropriate calling, than to ‘do the right thing,’ at any cost.
As you know, few are as qualified as you are to do that today. I will pray every day that you navigate, as safety as humanely possible, your path. In heart and soul, I will stand by you and will share the same values with my children.
Fondly, and with deep respect,
I encourage you to view the interview.
Grant me one easy wish that could change me and the world. I would choose; “Don’t Compare,” psychologically. It seems so natural. That water is cold. This tea is hot. Every sensation, every thought is an opportunity to compare with another. And then comes all the judgments, “should” and “better;” not being quite good enough, grades, jealousy, envy, what will they think of me vanity, pride, hierarchy, patriarchy, racism, slavery, bigotry, conquest, holy wars, violence of all kinds, spawned and cheered by comparison. Evaluation may involve comparison. This mushroom is edible. That one is not. Factual information does not worm its way into our identity, but often it does.
Something sinister occurs in the human mind. Distinguishing hot from cold, surely does not justify a Civil War. 750,000 young men and boys were slaughtered in the United States during the four years between 1861 and 1865, or the 150,000 people prosecuted for various “offences” from 1478–1834, almost four hundred years, 3,000 to 5,000 executed, during the Spanish Inquisition. Dig deeply, identifying with judgmental comparisons that infect our identity is often the executioner, even within ourselves.
Having invested twenty-five years exploring the nature of human thought, Physicist David Bohm understood. There is an associative mental process, a reflexive or mechanical triggering which, due to its astonishing capacity to invent or imagine, produces an image, an appearance or feeling of a thinker, abstracted as separate from thought. Once accepted, this image falsely assumes that it is the source. Similar perhaps, to clashing Titans of Greek Myths believed to be the cause of lightning and thunder in the darkening skies. The truth is, there is a spontaneous, effervescent triggering of associative neural patterns displayed as felt-mental-images in the min. These most often mechanically trigger other felt-mental-images in a near-endless stream. No thinker is needed or implied. Thought produces the thinker, not the other way around.
With an assumed thinker, however, comparison achieves heightened importance, power, and meaning; delusional jealousy, pride, vanity, revenge, depression, hatred, racism, and murderous violence, all are easily spawned. Negate the thinker and there is simply a fact of relative difference. An artist might be inspired by the vision and skill of another, as they may be inspired by a stunning landscape. Inspiration, however, is not comparison. The obvious axiom; “Be inspired and learn from others, but don’t compare yourself to anyone, ever!”
In order to create the felt appearance of a thinker, the effervescent stream of mental-images must split, fragment, siphoning whatever attention is needed to reincarnate and sustain that image, moment by moment. It takes energy and attention to do so. Psychologically, this split implies a ‘something’ that is being compared to another ‘something.’ When this image is active, the state of attention is fragmented, partial, and incomplete inducing
a mental form of stuttering – hit the ball – am I doing it right? – hit the ball – what will they think of me? – hit the ball – will I win? What if I lose?
When this stuttering stops, the thinker–image evaporates. The energy and attention invested in creating and sustaining that image flow effortlessly back into complete, 100% attention. Some call this most natural state Flow, Authentic Play, or The Zone. In our book, “Magical Parent, Magical Child,” Joseph Chilton Pearce and I apply this optimum state to parenting, learning, performance, and education.
When active, it is the image of the thinker or observer that is compared. Psychological comparison is a shadow of this fragmentation, a defensive hangover from early childhood shame, threats, prohibition, harsh correction, punishments, and humiliation. As Bohm describes, this self-image is a fragment of thought’s reflexive movement, not an independent thing, entity, or reality.
With complete attention the observer, and its comparison habit, vanish. Most of what we call culture’s sustaining structures; parenting, schooling, religions, and more, maintain their authority and power to control with psychological comparison. Comparison is the driving force that sustains culture and paradoxically, negates optimum learning and performance.
What appears as our ego or self-image is a conditioned defensive reflex that springs to life whenever a threat is perceived, real, or imagined. As children, we are threatened, and so often, we quickly learn to anticipate what we have experienced. Children are prohibited or threatened nine to eleven times for every encouragement, each repetition being an ego-creating habit or reflex. It only takes two or three experiences to become a pattern to anticipate. Parents repeat themselves so often, it is truly embarrassing, even to a toddler.
Consider the possibility of providing our children with appropriate, proactive feedback, at each age and stage of their development, without poking the amygdala. Without an implied threat. If this was our child’s default experience, how less defensive, less hypersensitive and less active would their defensive ego-reflex be? The world would be a different place.
Feeling psychologically safe, they would naturally invest greater energy and attention in optimum states of learning and performance, instead of physiological stuttering. The less energy and attention invested in defensive egotism, the more attention is available for lifelong learning and creativity. What would that look and feel like at home, during each age and stage of development, in (God forbid) skool, in the arts, sustaining community, or co-creating a world driven by well-being and wholeness with others, including nonhumans. Without comparison, everything is equally different and effortlessly egalitarian.
Cast a magic spell over yourself and the world by stopping those psychological comparisons.