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Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

June 17, 2024

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To me, the key concept in this conversation, with or without Prof. Mattias Desmet’s book, is the parable of the swines in Gadara. It is the story of Jesus’ “exorcism” of the ego, (Mk 5:1-20 and Lk 8:26-39, Mt 8:28-34), the ego thinks multiplicity, and that large numbers establish the truth and the demon protests: “My name is legion, for we are many.” But Jesus thinks otherwise; here is the KJV:

7And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13And forthwith, Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. (Mk5:7-13)

I want to come back to some of the metaphysics and psychology of A Course in Miracles, which I have been describing in earlier articles in this space, simply because it is my frame of reference as I am attempting to get to the bottom of “mass-formation” – take what you need and leave the rest. Simply put, the Course teaches essentially a pure non-dualism, which is too abstract for us to say much about. The original condition was that we were one with our source, with God in Heaven, and as the Course views it, there was no difference between creator and creation other than that one caused the other and not the other way around, so the relationship was not reciprocal, the creation was simply an extension of God, created by him as part of himself and simply extending indefinitely. Then:

Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. ³In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time. (ACIM, T-27.VIII.6:2-5)

In short, within the creation arose the notion of a separate existence, and since the mind of God’s son is powerful, when we took the idea seriously, it took form. We now had a separate mind, and within that mind there are immediately two sides, one part, the “right mind” holding the memory of Heaven, or the Holy Spirit, and the other part being the “wrong mind,” holding the thought of the ego, of separation and separate identity. When the Course speaks to us as “you” it speaks to the mind that still has that choice between the right and wrong minds. Ken Wapnick has called that the decision maker. We have a choice between these two, but the ego chooses to continue the separation and wants to forget the Holy Spirit, it wants to run its own show. In order to do so it now forgets the mind and makes up the world of bodies: expressions in form of the thought of separation, for in the world all is individualized, everything is a separate entity. This is the dream state where we think we live, a movie The Life of… (fill in your own name).

This the Course’s version of the big bang: we repress the memory of Heaven (Holy Spirit), along with our guilt over leaving home, and project the world of bodies, which expresses in form the idea of separation – separate identities. The Son of God now become the sons of God in the dream that is this world and this life. And the dynamic is now what I recently described as the Hegelian dialectic, an ongoing avalanche of problems in this world which we project into the future and always revolve around some form of an outside enemy attacking us and us developing a counter to the threat and a plan to get us there. Within the evolution of the ego-mind this goes on forever, and we do not even notice that we are the cause of our own problem. This is all buried deep in the unconscious, and the Course describes it as follows:

A brother separated from yourself, an ancient enemy, a murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death, yet plans that it be lingering and slow; of this you dream. ²Yet underneath this dream is yet another, in which you become the murderer, the secret enemy, the scavenger and the destroyer of your brother and the world alike. ³Here is the cause of suffering, the space between your little dreams and your reality. The little gap you do not even see, the birthplace of illusions and of fear, the time of terror and of ancient hate, the instant of disaster, all are here. Here is the cause of unreality. And it is here that it will be undone. (ACIM, T-27.VII.12:1-6)

What we call our lives are endless variations of that original story, until we get fed up with it and start looking for another way. Within the world then, the ego prefers always to project the guilt onto others, so that it can play the role of the innocent victim, and as we know most victimizers justify themselves with a victim story, much like Hitler did in Mein Kampf. When we see ourselves attacked, we then spend our time doing what it takes to thwart the attack. Hence another nomenclature the Course uses for the fundamental choice we have to make, the only place where we meaningfully have “free will,” is the choice between Love (Holy Spirit) and Murder (the ego), and the world as such is purely a projection of the ego thought of separation, which takes form in n-generations of separate bodies who forever repeat the same patterns, where any appearance of free will is illusory because the scriptwriter stays the same. We are watching reruns all of our lives unless we begin to wake up and see the patterns. This often takes the form of vague déjà-vu experiences, etc. The example everyone understands is that of the abused wife, who after 19 nasty experiences finally goes to see a therapist and for the first time becomes willing to contemplate the idea that the one constant in the different episodes is she herself – she found the bastards, and nothing can change unless and until that realization dawns.

The masses then always prefer the victim role and hence always find leaders throughout history who eventually lead them to the slaughter. And the roles of victim and victimizer periodically alternate, but the story goes on forever: either you take responsibility for your own life or you resign your self to going off the cliff with the herd of swine, who of course symbolize lack of discernment – they’ll eat anything – and are traditionally considered unclean. Once again, the story at Gadara is of course a parable. The herd always has the victim role, and it is up to the individual to begin to doubt the story, which always ends the same; slaughter. 

Our experiences have overlapping domains, some are group experiences, sometimes you experience stuff as a couple or other small group, like your town or the street where you live, or it can be almost the whole planet. Between modern communications and the psychological need to see the enemy outside oneself made it easy to whip up the virus story. The success of the story can only be fathomed when you understand the profound psychotic need of individual consciousness to always see the cause outside, for inside is the guilt over having run away from home. We imagine that daddy (God) is angry, but like the parable of the prodigal son tells us, daddy loves us, and is waiting for us to come back home. The fundamental psychosis then is individual consciousness, which denies what we are in truth as the Son of God, and substitutes a false personality which we legitimize and reinforce with the story of our lives, our lousy parents, our dysfunctional families, our lousy government, and so on. The ego thinks passing the blackjack is the winning strategy.

The truth is the answer is always inside, in a willingness to examine the psychological dynamics at work, and the Course offers forgiveness as the process to peel the onion, with Jesus as our therapist. As we forgive, we let go of the differences that set us apart, we become more tolerant, and more peaceful, and eventually, we simply return to an awareness of being what Jesus showed us to be.

“Mass formation” is thus nothing new, except in name. It is a new version of the ego’s basic victim script, repeated endlessly, regardless if the leaders are Duryodhana, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler or Tony Fauci. The herd prefers to stay asleep, which hinges on seeing the enemy outside and giving away its power to leaders, who ultimately always abuse it, and lead the herd to the slaughter.

On the level of herd instinct, we just don’t want to be responsible. Understanding this psychological dynamic, however, does not mean that people, including the shepherds, the leaders, are not responsible for their actions, and when it comes to light how all the pieces fit together, it is certainly appropriate to think of justice, if nothing else to prevent a repeat. However, if justice is conflated with revenge, it merely repeats the victim/victimizer script, reversing the roles, but allowing the herd to stay asleep. Justice worthy of the name is a correction, to prevent worse outcomes, and it can be applied evenhandedly and with complete equanimity, for it is simply best for all. 

The ego is the archetypal conspiracy against God, and Truth, and we produce endless reruns in the soap opera of the world: think “all the world’s a stage. The “virus” was a particularly convincing episode. And the sequels with the vaccines and adverse reactions made it even better. The only reason there is hope, in the end, is when we take responsibility for our choices, because we realize we caused the problem ourselves, and so we are the only ones who can solve it by changing our minds, which is, by the way, the core concept in Jesus’ teaching: “metanoia,”  which is usually badly translated as “repentance,” but it really is a change of mind. In the Course, he says:

You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality. ²Is it your decision to do so? ³You recognize from your own experience that what you see in dreams you think is real while you are asleep. Yet the instant you waken you realize that everything that seemed to happen in the dream did not happen at all. You do not think this strange, even though all the laws of what you awaken to were violated while you slept. Is it not possible that you merely shifted from one dream to another, without really waking? (ACIM, T-10.I.2:1-6)

MANY VOICES, ONE FREEDOM: UNITED IN THE 1ST AMENDMENT

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Ginger Breggin
1 year ago

  I believe the key to this essay is in the following statement. “Fundamental psychosis then is individual consciousness.” 

That statement, and the basic concept of the piece that declares We are all one and we’re pretending we’re separate right now is the opposite of individualism. And individualism is the core upon which freedom and liberty and our Constitution is built. This essay basically looks at life from a perspective of collectivism. And of course the term “mass psychosis” mentioned in the essay shares an acceptance of collectivism.

Finally, I believe the Bible itself, that shows God Himself as well as His Son, Jesus, embrace a perspective of individualism. The Bible tells us to personally accept Jesus. There is no condition which requires the rest of humanity to accept Jesus in order for an individual to have a personal relationship with Him. The relationship is between God and one individual human at a time. It is each individual, each single soul that makes a personal decision that results in his or her after death fate. And it is each individual who goes to heaven or hell.

It is each single soul who makes a personal decision that results in his or her after death fate.


An essay that talks about individual consciousness as psychosis is exactly the opposite of reality and is both crazy making and damaging to freedom and liberty.

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