Thursday, November 18, 2010

Broken Wheel

I won't deny it, sometimes I can get dang depressed about the endless stream of evil things happening in our bruised and broken little world, much of the worst of which comes at the hands of our own dear incorporated govmint.  I can also get sorely depressed about my own personal life; I could give you a whole long list of things that have gone wrong, mistakes I've made, things that should never have happened but did happen, encounters with predators and thugs of all kinds, getting ripped off, used and disrespected... you know, life.  I have taken my share of damage, maybe more than some maybe less than others, but damage happened.

It can be painful to understand accumulated damage in retrospect knowing there is nothing I can do about it now.  I can't go back in time and relive something and make sure it comes out right this time or make sure it doesn't happen this time, or be braver this time or less gullible, whatever it is that I think would have kept me from taking on another brick in my private wall of hurt.  A private wall which, my guess is, everybody has. 

If you're living you're going to get hurt, in fact if you're not getting hurt you're not doing much living.  Private walls encircle us all, built from the bricks of life experience.  Maybe we use these walls to protect ourselves but it's just as likely they could imprison us instead.  A real danger lies in becoming so imprisoned behind our private walls of pain that we can no longer see anything beyond them; all we can see are those awful bricks, each one imprinted with the indelible story that placed it there.  It does hurt to lose irreplaceable things like time and health and trust and hope, fill in the blanks with your own words.  It can be hard to sit in peace with the knowledge that life shouldn't have been this way and it wouldn't have been this way, if only...

If only what?  If only we'd had different parents, a different family, a different education?  If only we'd been born in a different place, or in a different time?  If only we'd had enough money to overcome some of the uglier roadblocks to happiness, maybe then we wouldn't feel like we got into a fight with life and lost.  But would any of those possibilities really have prevented us from getting hurt in this life?  Honestly? I very much doubt it.

Being undermined, used, cheated, lied to, violated... again fill in the blanks as you please, these kinds of things shouldn't be the structural underlying factors of anyone's life but I'm sorry to say, I think they often are.  It would seem they'd provide precious little to build a life on.  Wouldn't you think that only by extricating oneself from these types of things could one begin to clear a space for a personal foundation on which to build an actual life?  And wouldn't never having these things crop up in the first place be even better?

It would be like the difference between being handed a broken wheel at the start of a race or one that isn't broken.  A broken wheel is useless.  You don't know how to repair it.  You don't have the knowledge or the skills to know how to fix it but unless you can make it work you won't be going anywhere, so you have to try to do what you can.  You try this and that, it doesn't work, time whizzes by, finite resources are strained to depletion.  You take bad advice from good people and bad advice from bad people and end up with things worse than they already were.  You are painfully aware that you must fully invest every bit of yourself just to get that broken wheel into a basic, usable state while in the meantime you're not covering any ground, you're just continually struggling with a frustrating situation that is only made worse when you can see the guy next to you getting handed a beautiful brand new wheel that is not broken; and he sets it down and hollers, "Weeee!" and off he goes.  It's doubly insulting when you know the guy is a moron and a genuine jerk. 

For that guy, deserving or otherwise, life is good.  He probably can't conceive of what it's like to be handed a broken wheel that doesn't work and won't go anywhere and you can't fix it and it all sucks and never stops sucking.  He has no frame of reference for that sort of thing, it isn't in his life experience.  He may not be a bad person at all, just a person who has zero understanding of something he's never been through himself.  Which only makes sense.

But then again, maybe he knows full well that he just got handed the sweet and easy ticket to success.  For him, other people's troubles and their broken wheels are their own problem.  He's probably even glad that your wheel is broken.  Hell, plenty of people out there spend all day long trying to figure out how to break other people's wheels.  They understand it's an unbeatable handicap to run in a race against people who have no feet.  Some would even hire others to cut the competition's feet off and there are always those happy to show up and take the money and do it.  Think Nancy Kerrigan for a literal example of that metaphor. 

Dishonorable people are a dime a dozen in this world.  It grinds my craw (whatever a craw is) whenever I see people like that win, and the fact of it is people like that win all the time.  Crime does pay.  It pays extremely well.  In fact, it's the only thing that does pay extremely well.   You and I were told just the opposite, we were told that crime never pays.  That was just one of the million lies they tell us during our formative years, and that one's right up there with "Wonderbread builds strong bodies in 12 ways".    The criminals of culture are experts at breaking other people's wheels if nothing else.  They excel at pulling off dirty deeds and they're never bothered by conscience over it.  On the contrary, they're very pleased with themselves.  The real geniuses at it can turn abject filth into some noble sounding thing and people will not see the filth and will instead give them a standing ovation and a prize.  I'm telling ya, it is scary out there in the real world.  Things are next to never what they seem and they are definitely never what we're told they are.

It doesn't seem right that bad people win so often.  Where is the justice in this universe when nasty, mean and selfish people take all and good people have to suck mud and die?  That might well be the question that spawned conformist religiosity so long ago;  and who else would step in to play the lead role and answer that question but the very same people who made folks ask it in the first place?

I put it to you that this obnoxious, offensive paradigm is status quo with our species.  I'm saying this is nothing new, in fact, it's as old as the hills.  It has always been like this no matter when you were born or where.  It would be very rare and unusual, if not impossible,  to not have to run the whole gauntlet of oppressive negative forces restricting most people's lives, confining every life to be lived inside boundaries that are invariably asserted as real and legitimate when they're neither, defined as normal when they're not, and set and enforced by external, unknown others without you getting any say in the matter at all. Society at large simply accepts this status quo, and not passively.  They deeply accept it at face value and believe only what they are told to believe about it. They will attack anyone who actually thinks about it, analyzes it or questions it.  They will also happily kill anyone who refuses to be enslaved by the lies and manipulations that turn entire nations into intellectually and emotionally disconnected children living inside grown up bodies.

What a set up.  It's an eternally repeating loop.  It's the perfect recipe to protect those who feed on others, those who lie, cheat, steal and manipulate while simultaneously ensuring a steady supply of willing victims.   The parasite clown kings of earth hoist themselves and each other onto all the highest of the high public pedestals for every last sheeple to look upon and worship.  All it takes is walling in the minds of people from childhood, never showing them anything beyond the props that are used in the daily production and denying there is anything beyond those props should anything else be inadvertently dragged in.  The mind is thus imprisoned, and when it is imprisoned it ceases to be, because when it thinks it knows all there is to know it stops thinking.  It stops asking questions.  It stops seeking.  It stops learning.  It stops caring. And it resists worthwhile change.  Change would mean the answers you already possess are wrong.  A shut off mind can't adapt.  It cannot change.  That might be why bringing new information to the old table is often a total waste of time and can be about as welcome as the plague.  All the hard facts in the world won't penetrate the brain of someone who has stopped thinking. 

Are you with me so far?  You are?  Great!  Then roll down your socks into ankle donuts and follow me back to the broken wheel scenario. 

It is flat understandable that being handed a broken wheel in life can cause some serious unhappiness.  Especially when we can see the blatantly unfair way that certain other people are predictably and invariably handed beautiful brand new unbroken wheels. But here's the thing. Did you ask for a wheel?  Did you desire to be entered into someone else's race?  Are their rules of any interest to you?  Do they mean anything in your life? 

Why would you want someone else to hand you a wheel in the first place?  Especially when it's clear that what they're handing you is a rigged game, a handicap, something that will hold you back while helping someone else win this rigged race?  It's a perfectly good question to ask, what's in it for me?  Who's game are we playing here and why? 

It is true that for the most part we don't have much choice about being in "the race".  If you want to eat, if you want to fit in, if you don't want to be called a loser and a freak and be rejected from inclusion in the action and activity around you that does everything from get you food and shelter to friends to sex to love to choices of ways to spend your time and life then you are essentially forced to get in the race and pedal where they tell you to go. But you don't have to buy into it and you don't have to believe in it and most of all you don't have to accept it as it is and just go along. You don't have to take anyone's broken wheel onto yourself.  You can say, "No thanks, I'm making and using my own wheel, it's one of a kind and it's mine all mine".  If you're a thinking person you have to get to the point where you realize what nonsense everything in the phony rat race is and how truly little the blabbering, posturing, plastic circus of fools have to offer that has any real value, substance or meaning.  And I think when you realize that, that is the moment, or at least the beginning of the metamorphosis, that honest to goodness sets you free. 

You can't get to here without going there first.  Broken wheels open your eyes. Then you can finally see. What matters is not what they're doing out there, but what you think matters.  That is an immovable truth that "they" cannot do anything about.  They know this, it is not a news flash by any stretch.  They know it exquisitely well.  They know that all it would take to blow their whole False World of the Parasite Clowns to pieces is enough people thinking like this. With enough people seeing right through them not a shot would need to be fired.  No riots would occur.  In an atmosphere of peaceful silence, their games and all of their lies and senseless ways would become like melting snow.  They would no longer control the race.  They would no longer control the outcome.  They would no longer control anything.

But that will never happen.  At least not in my lifetime.  I don't see much chance of millions of people who can no longer think on their own getting to the point where they can see truth they've been told does not exist.  They are literally hypnotized and can only see what they're told is there to see.  Love those people, be kind to them, but don't waste time trying to jump-start their minds, and don't turn your back to them because they just might drive a knife through it.  Why?  Because instead of thinking and perceiving the world around them, they live in perpetual fear.  And nothing gets fearful people more excited than something coming along that sounds like change.  Different is bad, it doesn't matter a whit if it's true.    

If you think about it, it only makes perfect sense.  If you don't know anything about the world you live in beyond what you've been told by others,  you will live in fear.  People fear the unknown, and the real world that exists beyond their own lives is literally unknown to them. They would deny that of course, but that won't change the fact.  Ignorance or denial or even straight out dishonesty cannot change what is true.  What is true will be true whether we know it or not, or like it or not, or agree with it or not.  It will be true even if we deny it is true.  It will be true even if we say something else is true instead.  Nothing we do will touch what is true.  What is true cannot be changed by anything we say or do.

This is probably why so much time, energy and money is spent on covering up, literally burying what is true and then asserting that something else is true instead.  It is most often done by laying something else on top of the truth to partially or completely obscure it.  When people ask, "What is true", they will point and say, "Here is where the truth is, come and see it for yourself.  We will show it to you".  And they will point to where the truth is said to reside and people will look and what they will see is what has been laid on top of the truth.  Then they will say, "Now we know what is true". Only they won't know what is true and they'll probably never figure that out.   It's not exactly impressive or complicated to throw a whole lot of people off the trail of truth.  It is devious and dishonest though.  And it's par for the course.  Anywhere there is money flowing, there is a sea of bullshit to float it on.  Show me one exception and I'll eat my hat.

But you know what?  I think that deep down inside people know they don't have the real truth. They just can't stand the idea of it.  A shut down mind doesn't want anything to change.  People usually don't like change anyway,  at least not when the status quo is comfy enough to tolerate and the rewards for playing the game keep coming in.  A state of ignorance is a matter of will, not a matter of truth.   Deep inside where truth rings like a bell, they don't hear that ringing.  They hear lots of circus music and talking heads and assertions played on endless repeating loops and they're told that unless everything stays the way it is then everything would fall apart and chaos and anarchy would turn the planet into literal hell.  People see the finger pointing and stage-show posturing, but they don't hear that ring of truth.  The closer they get to noticing that and asking themselves what it means, then the closer they get to the most important fork in the road of a lifetime.  Do they strike out on their own and begin searching for the truth, or do they choose to remain ignorant by dismissing all available information and demanding they are right and everyone else is wrong?  If they decide to remain ignorant it is because it pays to remain ignorant.  It's much easier, it is effortless in fact, and since you're making everything up as you go then you can also make up the idea that you're right.  If they decide to strike out on their own and hunt for the truth we'll probably never hear from them again because they'll be dang busy for the rest of their lives.  Regardless of the choices made, the truth will never go away.  Ever. It will always be there, it is always there to be discovered and understood.  Ignoring it won't change it.  Denying it won't change it.  Hiding it won't change it.  It will always be there.


  1. You reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw recently:

    Fearful people do stupid things.

    A recurring theme for me right now is the degree to which our suffering is primarily caused by our thoughts and not our circumstances. Recent studies seem to show that that our degree of happiness or misery isn't so related to our actual (mis)fortunes. Lottery winners are back to their baseline level of happiness within a year of winning. Likewise, people who go on dialysis also come back to their baseline sooner or later.

    So I go back and forth between acceptance and rejection of the status quo. I accept it because I realize that hating it doesn't change it much, it just makes me miserable. And sooner or later I find myself rejecting it again, because I feel guilty at acquiescing so easily to injustice. I'm ok with that kind of whipsaw. Being stuck in either place feels wrong for who I am.

    The next time you're in a funk, check out A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie. I'm still pretty high from having read it last week and have begun visualizing a place where I accept and love "what is" even as I find motivation to create "what I want" without falling to the chasm between them.

  2. Change is terrifying. For proof of that, contemplate death. It freaks most people out, even though it's such a natural change. In the movie "Acts of Worship" the main character makes an observation regarding drug addiction: "Even Hell can get comfortable if you're used to it." True that. The matrix concept is fascinating to me. At the time of the Viet Nam war I began to wonder why soldiers fight. We all know the reasons they initially get suckered into it, but once they've seen the truth of the matter, why do they continue? For the same reason we continue to pay income taxes, and give politicians power over us. We can't all see outside the matrix at once. I think we all glimpse outside to the truth from time to time, but never collectively and never for very long. It would be SO FREAKING SIMPLE to put down the guns, keep our taxes in our own wallets and keep our power to ourselves. But we never have in our long, tragic history on this planet. Will we ever? Maybe one day we could have, but it looks like we've run out of time. The nuclear rapture may nearly be upon us. Maybe next time. Meanwhile, have a good, long laugh, and sing along! "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

  3. Rolf Brandt3:45 PM


    Your post hit some of my hot buttons. To name just two:

    (1) Crime does pay. Honesty counts for nothing. Worse, it makes you a loser. This experience is, of course, the direct opposite of what we all have been told at home, at school, at work. Why is honesty losing ? Because if it were to have a chance, you would have to "lie, cheat, steal and manipulate", in other words, do what the bad guys do, ie become a criminal.
    (2) The people worshipping the demagogue know deep down that they "don't have the real truth". If you tell them that, they will hate you for it. I have sometimes spoken out against the falsehoods of those demagogues and felt the heat of the crowd's hostily. So far, I haven't been killed or "disappeared". This would have happened in various earlier regimes and it may well happen again.

    Ang, how do you manage to hit those sore points so accurately ? Thank you for a very insightful post. I know you've hit my buttons because I can't forget your post for many days and weeks.

    Thank you, Rolf

  4. Oroboros,

    You've hit on a truly crucial point. What we think does more than anything else to determine how we feel. It is such a basic truth but it is one that escapes many of us, which makes us hold others responsible for our business. That never works out. I'd never heard of Byron Katie but I went and looked at her blog and website and she has a good thing going. Thanks for the head's up. She's got some free audio and video material to download and I'm going to get some and listen to it. I'm well familiar with where she's coming from, but it's always nice to get refreshed and reminded about important life principles by gifted teachers.


  5. Jerry,

    It really is odd to watch the merry go round and realize that all the suffering could come to an end right now, today, by simply refusing to participate in what we know is wrong. Isn't it interesting that something so clear and definable, something a child can understand, keeps mankind in perpetual states of aggression, as those who don't want to face that simple truth, rebel violently against those who know it is true. Around and around we go. So much struggle, and no need for it at all. Getting the whole world to come around to the simple and the obvious will take as long as it takes. And like you said, hopefully we won't commit planetcide in the meantime. I'll toast to that. Thanks for your comment.


  6. Hi Rolf,

    It's good to hear from you again.
    I don't know how I manage to hit your sore points so well, I feel like I should apologize for contributing to your soreness. All I'm doing is saying what I see, and apparently it's what you see too. I think moral people can't help but feel sore when immoral people are having their way with this world. It's supposedly a temptation to see the bad guys "winning", like we're supposed to say it doesn't matter that it's immoral, let's just participate and get ours too. I'm not tempted. When you have something real inside you, when you can see how and why things work or don't work, you're not tempted to go off and become stupid and help make things even worse. Maybe that's why you're sore. I'm sore like that too. It's irritating as hell for reasonable people to cope with unreasonable people. It will always be that way.


  7. Perfection. Absolutely brilliant article, that is easily the finest I read this year. It encapsulates the critical essence, the links often pondered but never defined so concisely in this manner. Great work, you are truly gifted with word, phrase and thought, keep it up! I've added you to my blog-roll at Undeleted Evidence


  8. Hi Ang,

    I first want to echo what Hei Hu Quan said. Secondly, to echo what Rolf Brandt said about hot buttons, but to add that you hit nearly ALL of mine.

    A 'broken wheel' is exactly what I was given. Like you, I can get 'dang depressed' about the 'endless stream.'

    My main purpose in writing a reply is to share how I sometimes use my own 'private wall of pain' to my own advantage - how I make a little good out of a lot of bad.

    It's to do with truth and enjoying that truth. It's to do with the joy of not conforming.

    Example - I came to this site by accident, by following a link from a Daily Telegraph 'Swine Flu' article comment. I had woken up from a strange dream at 4AM, too awake to stay in bed alone, but not fully rested. When this happens I just go and read, like I am now.

    When I had read this post and the one that came after it (and the comments), I felt that joy of truth. I wasn't as alone as I was before I had read it. I had spent a moment 'connected' to some kindred spirits. People I don't know and will probably never meet, but regardless - we were connected on a level where understanding, truth and therefore happiness was shared - albeit for a fleeting moment - but hey! I've been around enough to be really grateful for the smallest of mercies.

    By being able to experience this (and it has taken some decades to be able to understand the process) I have just experienced a truth, that for many is still a lie. This gives me joy, because I am bucking the system.

    I am supposed to only feel this joy by being connected in the 'traditional' sense with other people - by living with them, working with them in an office etc. I'm not supposed to be able to live alone, spend much of my time alone and still find happiness and revel in my own space and quiet. That's just too weird.I'm supposed to be craving the joy of alcohol, loud music, and a sweaty room that's too full of inconsiderate, testosterone fuelled people on this night of the week.

    For some time I did crave those things. But I now get simple pleasure by just simply doing the opposite of what I am 'supposed' to be doing.

    It doesn't take away the wall. It doesn't stop me hating the wall at times. But it makes me feel better about it.

    There are many things that I can't control that I wish I could. There are many things that I would love to change that I can't. But for now, I have time. And I have a simple choice - I either allow those other people who make 'the rules' to rule my time, take it from me and make me waste it in ways that anger me, or I can own my time as much as possible and revel in the simple joys of using that time in ways that bring me some truth, some freedom, some kind of connection that pleases.

    The more I refuse to focus on the bad stuff, the more good stuff I see and the more the bad stuff seems to matter less. I might be losing 'ambition' in the traditional sense, but by appreciating the little things more and needing less things, it amplifies the pleasure I get from the little things that I find.

    I may have a broken wheel, but I am the bloke who gave it away to someone else who had the urge to actually take part in the pointless race. I don't even need a wheel. I can be happy going nowhere - I'm already here. Where else is there that I need to go?

    Thanks for the inspirational and helpful articles, and thanks for injecting some moments of joy and truth into my world and doubtless many others.You've done a great job there, making the best of a badly broken wheel.

  9. Hei Hu Quan,

    Well dog gone it I'm glad you liked this piece! It always makes my day when something I feel strongly about resonates with another.


  10. ExRat,

    You're speaking my heart. That thing with the bars and the booze and the testosterone, I so hear you. There was a time when I thought that was normal and fun but that was a long time ago. The trouble with that, and with much of what passes for normal life around here is that it lacks substance. It lacks meaning. It lacks purpose. It's about the same as eating at McDonald's, plus liver and brain damage. Go ahead and call me weird but that doesn't sound like a very good way to spend my time. I'd rather be nourished or at least enrich my life by learning something new.

    Isn't it not funny the way all of the things that lead to truth and personal power and self respect and strong, real relationships and real love and friendship are discredited while puerile nonsense and self gratification are marketed as the real way to go?

    Well fortunately for me and you and a few others, we're not that stupid. That costs us. So be it.

    Thank you for your comment.