We can’t help it.
Being human means we are susceptible to things like heat, hunger, and having our minds messed with by military grade propaganda. Crank up the heat and people respond; wipe out the food and people respond; blast the brain with relentless propaganda and people respond—and for the most part we respond predictably.
Sometimes it is difficult to frame a conversation that exposes our inherent human vulnerability. Many times people don’t want to hear it, they tend to shy away, tune out, or ignore these vulnerabilities. Why is that? I believe it is because we, as human beings, have an innate need for a sense of security—which is the opposite of vulnerability—and that requires we maintain a mental grip on “rightness” and other self-affirming mental aberrations. In other words, we must protect our ego.
This is an instinctive and inseparable aspect of being human, and it leads directly to predictable patterns of behavior. Though there are some who can maintain awareness well enough to monitor ego in real-time, that would be the exception, not the norm. For most of us, most of the time, we flicker in and out of awareness (of being aware of our own mind and emotions), and for the most part our ego just does its thing without much notice. This is normal. It’s not bad—but it does have implications.
Our ego is our inner storyteller. Ego is constantly repeating the script that has been ingrained into the grey matter between our ears. It is that incessant, pesky voice that demands attention, that drives reckless behavior, that gets offended just because, and refuses to concede even in the face of facts. Why is that?
I believe it’s because the need to maintain a coherent self-image, an inner identity built on language and labels that are acquired by the mind, gives the ego a sense of self that has its own instinct to survive. We must have this self-identity in order to exist and function—otherwise what’s the point, why try to survive, right? I have to take care of me. I have to take care of mine. This requires I value myself as a distinctly separate being, and that I prioritize my own survival above others.
Of course, there are exceptions, like sacrificing one’s life for a loved one, or to save a fellow soldier, or to fight and die for freedom, for example. But the point here—and there is a point—is that our instinct to survive is not just a physically driven phenomenon. At the mental level, the instinct to survive manifests as the ego trying to keep our self-image intact, to feed a sense of importance and gratification that adds value to our reason for existing, and create a story that rationalizes life as it is.
We have to make sense of things. We have to relate what’s going on in the world with who we are and where we are at in life. This, by default, is the role of the ego.
And that’s where the vulnerability lies.
The ego is not the faculty that discerns fact from fiction. All that the ego is concerned about is the story. And here we need to make a critical distinction: The ego is not the mind. The mind is a tool. I like to say, “If you’re not using your mind, your mind is using you.” What I mean by that, is that if you are not consciously choosing to use your mind, chances are your ego is busy using your mind, chattering on and on about the endless stories that enforce your current perspective, emotions, and beliefs.
That is, your ego is controlling what you think, how you feel, and how you behave based on beliefs that may or may not have ever been validated by the logical mind. If our thoughts, feelings, and actions remain ego driven (driven by the stories in our heads) then we are at a significantly greater risk of mental manipulation. If, on the other hand, we can evaluate our thoughts, feelings, and actions in the light of awareness—which is best achieved through breathwork, cultivated curiosity, and intelligent inquiry—then we have a much greater chance of resisting mental manipulation.
Why does this matter?
I believe that the ultimate solution to political chaos is the elevation of individual awareness. In the realest sense, people need to wake up to what’s happening in their own hearts and minds before they can begin to see the fog of deception. It is critical to realize that when people have been deceived, they believe in the lies and illusions just as surely as a Baptist believes in the Bible.
And, if people just keep on believing the lies—say that humanity is a plague upon the planet, or that we’re in an epic battle for democracy, for example—then those who are manipulating the masses, planting these stories, and hijacking the minds of humanity will continue to have their way with us. By appealing to the ego, offering people the chance to “be a good human” and “do the right thing,” they will (they are) carefully nurture the narrative that anyone who threatens The Story must be eliminated.
We are very close to this point now, and though there are all kinds of wonderful facts coming to light about the global deceit and corruption, I sincerely doubt any of it will have any meaningful effect on the course of things moving forward. The reason I believe this is simple, it boils down to physics: What is already in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by a superior force. Logically speaking, a few blips of truth in a barrage of propaganda does not constitute a superior force.
Thus, the Great Reset and its associated arsenal of great deceptions, which I believe is what is currently driving geopolitical events, will continue on course.
Meanwhile, public attention will continue to be shattered by the never ending cycle, emotions will be manipulated at will, and the majority of people will remain none the wiser. By shattered public attention, I mean as a whole, as the body politic, our concerns will be broken apart the way a plate breaks when it hits the floor. Pieces go everywhere, and in the same way, public attention is going everywhere. The result is an inability to develop a cohesive and effective defense against mental manipulation.
In other words, with so many people believing so many different stories, not only is our personal attention divided and the public mind distracted, our emotions are being driven by the various narratives that seek to ensnare the ego and assimilate our minds into the overarching story. What’s your role? What’s mine? What story are we in again? That’s right, it’s a story of Good versus Evil, a story of Light versus the powers of Darkness. It’s timeless.
Ultimately, it’s a story of Us versus Them.
And that’s where the ego comes in. That’s where we’re being exploited.
Who’s side are you on? Which side is right? Who’s good and who’s evil? Who’s right and who’s wrong? Are we on the right side of history, or are they?
The point is that both sides claim to be right and good. More importantly, both sides believe with utter conviction that they alone are right. Thus, our egos bicker and battle over beliefs without the faintest clue that these beliefs are being embedded through mental manipulation. As a result, we feed the narrative and become lost in the story that someone else is telling. We become captives in our minds.
It happens to the best of us. It happens all the time.
After all, we are only human.
You might be wondering where I’m going with all of this—and there is a point, a practical solution you can deploy in your personal life—but first I want to share the news that set me off on this philosophical romp this morning:
See it for what it is.
It’s insanity. It’s psyops. It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s distraction. It’s bullshit.
But it’s news.
Today it’s the liberals’ turn to get worked up about the banking crisis, as all the liberal outlets glom onto the narrative from last week that demands “tougher rules” for the mid-sized banks, while the big banks rake in profits and cozy up to the regulators because they’re too big to fail—all while the AI is predicting an imminent market collapse, except that it isn’t (the AI was manipulated to produce the headline).
On the conservative side, we have headlines like this:
All the squawk is about how Russia is trying to recover the downed American drone, and how the U.S. has vowed to “protect our equities”—whatever the hell that means—as our western allies (UK and Germany) scramble to “block Russian jets” just hours after the Russian fighter jets downed the American drone over the Black Sea.
It sure seems like we’re on the brink of war doesn’t it? And—surprise, surprise—now all the conservatives can act (vote) on the conviction that it was RUSSIA who started it! Cue the demands for F-16s and more endless funding of endless wars, to fight for democracy all around the world. It’s such a great story, isn’t it?
Or perhaps that’s not your cup of tea?
How about Antifa violently attacking a Christian speaker’s event at UC Davis? How San Francisco is paying blacks $5 million each in reparations? How about Dr. Fauci developing bioweapons for the pentagon since 2002, “directly and significantly” contributing to Chinese gain-of-function research and their subsequent patents?
What story interests you most?
What story riles you up? What story gets your mind reeling?
Are you aware of your mind reeling?
Are you aware of your thoughts and your feelings?
That is the point.
The ego desperately needs to know what’s going on, but we can’t. This causes the mind to concoct a story based on scraps of information that may or may not be true. Thus, we each believe what we believe, generally without vetting our perspectives against any metric of objective reality (to whatever degree that’s possible). This is how we become confused and disoriented in the mental mirage, wherein our perception gets distorted by the mental house of mirrors that are reflecting limited information.
Fortunately, the solution is simple:
Take a deep breath and pause when your lungs are full.
Relax your shoulders as you let out all the air.
Take another deep breath, filling up even more, and pause again.
Holding your breath with your lungs full, feel your heartbeat.
Relax and be glad that you are alive.
You are a spiritual being. There is power in every breath. Breath control is the most basic building block of self-control. When we learn to control our breathing, we learn to control our heart rate and our emotional state of mind. We learn to observe our ego, become aware of our stories, and refine our perception accordingly.
When we take time to feel what’s real—like stretching our lungs with a full breath, feeling the air entering and leaving our body, tuning into the rhythm of our heartbeat, feeling the sun on our skin, etc—we tap into a deeper level of awareness and access the level of inner, spiritual awareness that gives rise to discernment.
And, obviously, we need discernment now more than ever.
The greatest depravity of this ongoing deception is the attempt to deprive you of your ability to sense the truth with something other than your mind. Ego is easily deceived. It’s the spirit within you that discerns what’s real. With practice, your soul can summon peace in the midst of the storm and joy in the hardest of times. You will need these skills to endure what lies ahead.
When everything is swirling around inside, take a deep breath and pause.
There’s always more to the story—and don’t forget, you get to write your own script.
The thought that you are powerless to do so is the ultimate depravity of deception.
The Torch Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.