292: Limited Hangouts and Perception Management

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KMO welcomes Mark Robinowitz of OilEmpire.us back to the C-Realm to discuss economics, protest, and the management of mainstream worlviews by the corporate media. Mark explains why he regards the presidential election as a form a theater and why he holds no enthusiasm for the candidacy of Ron Paul.

Music by Kurt Liebezeit.

  • http://twitter.com/ThreeEsEmail ThreeEs

    Excellent interview! Mark nailed it, do not focus on on the 2012 political race and focus your energy on long term strategies. We have a choice to be reactive or proactive to the predicament we are in.  ThreeEs 
    http://3es.weebly.com/

  • Mushroomike

    Whats the name of the speeach by Luther king? 

  • tash

    OK, C
    stands for consciousness. Say, what we perceive, what we choose to
    perceive and what we choose not to perceive, and how we go about it
    all.

    My
    opinions which follow (very much of an “old hat” character to
    many C-Realm fans, I’m sure), represent both my direct personal
    experience (long past) and my conjecture that the use of psychedelics
    in the ’60s, ’70s, and beyond into the present, has been at least
    partly a culture-wide attempt at self-medicating. Specifically, this
    activity has frequently been an unconscious or partly conscious
    attempt to allow and facilitate the healing of our society’s very
    wounded and damaged mechanisms of awareness–this primarily by means
    of, or towards the ends of, understanding their real manner of
    operation.

    We
    needed something as powerful, radical–and, it must be acknowledged,
    as dangerous–as LSD and similar hallucinogens if there was to be any
    hope for building new and more healthy sets of perceptual lenses
    through which to see the world.

    I have
    yet to learn much about the thinking of Niall Murphy, but I very much
    admire his choice of online moniker for the Shamanic Freedom podcast,
    “Opaquelens”. Opaque lens. Murphy gets it. Those two innocent
    words are like a fertilized ovum in that they encapsulate and permit
    the seemingly improbable unfolding of the entire story. I think
    anyone who understands the import of choosing that moniker, those two
    words, comprehends it all.

    An
    opaque lens is necessarily the only tool of perception any of us ever
    really has. When you understand that, you can understand how all
    psychedelics, all vivid hallucinations, all perceptions actually
    work–and also what their potential might hold. Or might not hold.

    For
    example. A person looks at their surroundings and sees the trees,
    the clouds, and blue sky above. That person then ingests some
    powerful hallucinogenic substance like, say, psilocybin. Later she
    lies on her bed and observes the night sky with its clouds and bright
    stars above–that is, she sees all of this quite clearly while
    looking straight through the ceiling and roof of her house. Then our
    observer subsequently finds herself struck by the fact that both
    experiences seem equally lucid, valid, and real.

    And
    indeed they are. Because both are merely instances of the
    perceiver’s internal experience. Both are unavoidably indirect
    recreations; they are both second-order approximations and
    representations (re
    presentations, i.e. making-present-again s)
    of external circumstances. That is, consciousness does not consist
    of the things to which it refers; consciousness is not existence
    itself. Consciousness is an artifact of existence.
    Consciousness is only a likeness, an image–a product of
    imagination.

    Well,
    at least that is my conviction. At least right now. I think.

    Anyway,
    which of our tripper’s perceptions had the more direct and meaningful
    connection to “truth”? Probably, if we are to be completely
    honest with ourselves about the nature of the question, neither.
    Maybe it depends on context. Who knows. But if either experience
    caused her to have a little less certainty about the complete
    veracity of the other, then I’d say that was a good outcome, probably
    as beneficent as could be hoped for in either case.

    All
    of our perceptions are illusions. All of our perceptions are
    hallucinations. All our perceptions are essentially arbitrary
    approximations, educated guesses, culturally and experientially
    conditioned, randomly acquired half-truths about how the underlying
    realities of our existence actually operate and function.

    But
    these very imperfect societal and personal conceptual models of the
    world, these products of our imaginations, are the best kind of
    contact, the best kind of understanding of reality we can possibly
    ever have. Therefore all of it, everything we think we know, is
    subject to–and frequently impacted by–the ever present possibility
    of simple error.

    The
    clearest, most well-informed, and most well-intentioned visions and
    understandings are at best, in the end, only further instances of
    illusion and hallucination–imagination. We never “know”
    anything. In this sense, we are all always, necessarily, and
    inherently “wrong.”

    We only
    make educated guesses. Guesses of varying quality and integrity.
    That is the best we can hope to do. That is what the nature,
    the fundamental character of perception is; that is all it can be.

    I
    believe that this notion is fundamental, that it is the single most
    hopeful and helpful antidote to arrogance, narcissism, and error
    that is possible.

    Being
    inherently and unavoidably subject to the dictates of illusion–and
    therefore also to the ever present possibility of destructive
    delusion–is a condition we all share. Always; the possibility of
    delusion is ever present. Illusion/imagination is the only ground we
    can possibly have on which to stand, and this unavoidable
    circumstance comes with its inevitable attendant failings.

    At some
    level, I think all of us are aware that this is the case. But short
    of compulsion by some traumatic or extreme experience or circumstance
    like, say, a large dose of LSD or a 2×4 to the side of the head, I
    think few of us have learned to “wake up”, and stay awake, to our
    predicament. That is, few have developed the habit of allowing this
    awareness to become reified in a such way that will guide a
    preponderance of our thoughts, choices, and actions.

    All
    these clarities and certainties that most of us feel we experience as
    distinct entities and realities in our everyday lives–these are all
    only illusions. Illusions upon illusions with greater or lesser
    degrees of utility.

    We
    maintain these perceived clarities and certainties because for most
    of our purposes they serve well enough, because they are true enough.
    But in reality, of course, there is no certainty, there is no
    security, there is no digital black and white. There never was. All
    is continuum, all is in flux.

    The
    bottom line? Just this: While some form of “true” learning and
    progress is almost always possible, the trust we place in our own
    knowledge should always remain provisional. Always. To move forward
    we must always be willing to hold our minds open. This necessarily
    implies that in almost all of our activities we should strive to
    observe patiently and thoroughly, and to hold judgment in abeyance
    while doing so.

    At
    different times, some of us will do better or worse than others in
    this. No surprises there. The point is, we must always be prepared
    to be–and to accept the consequences for being–wrong.

    C-Realm
    episode #292 and Mark Rabinowitz deals a bit with the subject of
    Martin Luther King. I write all of the above here in this comment
    partly to acknowledge, and partly to use as an example of the kind of
    thing I am trying to describe, the circumstance that I, and the
    relatively privileged white people I happen to have been born to in
    Alabama, were, during the period of King’s political life and
    subsequent prominence, very often quite thoroughly oblivious to
    reality, and seriously wrong, in our comprehension of the subjects of
    racism and Martin Luther King.

    We had
    a distorted view of reality, and we simply didn’t know it. And I
    think very much of this had to do with the fact that we thought it
    was possible, and necessary, to comprehend the world
    “correctly”–that there was clearly a right way, and a wrong way
    to think. That is, we thought
    we thought correctly, and that if the rest of the world
    appeared not to agree, well, then something was wrong with it
    . And that was as far as we went. We were quite certain that
    our shit didn’t stink.

    But the
    world suffered, and continues to do so, because of our poverty
    of imagination. Because we couldn’t admit, or couldn’t comprehend,
    the possibility that we might be wrong. We just didn’t want to hear
    it.

    Fish
    don’t see water, it seems. Again, no surprise, and so it goes.

    At any
    rate, I think many readers will agree that it is certainly true that
    here in the US in general, and in significant contrast with many
    other countries, we tend to be thoroughly conditioned to not know or
    seek awareness of certain facts. Once more, no surprise. But
    because C-Realm attract lots of people who wish for such things not
    to be so much the case, I list below what I have found to be some
    interesting links and references of which some readers may not be
    aware:

    Paul
    Wheaton reads MLK’s letter from the Birmingham Jail

    http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/631-podcast-101-letter-from-a-birmingham-jail/

    TUC
    Radio podcasts produced by Maria Gilardin

    http://www.tucradio.org

    C-Realm
    fans who don’t know and support the work of Maria Gilardin probably
    should:

    The
    Execution of Martin Luther King

    http://www.tucradio.org/10_01_20_MartinKingOne.mp3

    http://www.tucradio.org/10_01_27_MartinKingTwo.mp3

    Who
    Killed Martin Luther King

    Dr.
    William Pepper at the Memphis, TN, King Assassination Trial

    http://www.tucradio.org/2008_03_19MLKtrial.mp3

    http://www.tucradio.org/2008_03_26MLKtrial.mp3

    Book

    An Act
    of State, The Execution of Martin Luther King

    by
    William F. Pepper, copyright 2003

    published
    by Verso

    I
    purchased a copy from a reseller that acquired the apparently
    unwanted copy from a library–how bleak is that?

    I close
    with Sturgeon’s laws:

    1.
    Ninety percent of everything is bullshit.

    2.
    Nothing is always absolutely so.

  • Vasper85

    I don’t think I ever heard that speech by MLK.  I would go as far to say he was most likely killed because of this speech, then for his speeches on equality.

    The reason why I say this is because the chains of debt slavery can rest just as heavily no matter what your race is.  Equality (between ethnicities, not classes) and civil rights is not a true threat.  Questioning the system that enables the unequal distribution of wealth…that is threatening.