I saw this image on Facebook one day recently.
… & given the issues I’m currently involved in … & the endless learning about what dupes we’ve all been of the folks who really pull the strings here on PE (Planet Earth)
It gave me a rather timely chuckle.
Oh, but you’re not a sheep, you say.
I’ve got news for you.
We ALL are.
We all get jerked around all the damn time.
By the media – mainstream, social, & whatever other kind there is
By the school system
The legal system
“Health” care system
By corporate forces/advertisers
So powerful, btw, they have us all walking around these daze, looking like this
It’s a sad & sobering thing … innit??
The issue I work on mainly, now, is vaccines.
I myself was a sheep on this for 63 years!
Just absolutely went along with the crowd – got led around by the nose – for, count ‘em, 63 years.
No curiosity. Just lead me by the nose, please!
🙁 🙁 🙁
**** “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” – Bertrand De Jouvenel
Kinda pisses you off when you finally realize you’ve been being duped your entire, bloody life.
I’m pretty pissed, alright! Sometimes I feel as though I have steam coming out my ears!
I’m pissed at the “authorities” that jerk us around by the nose, 24/7/365 – all the live-long day.
I’m pissed at US!
We, the people.
We, the sheep.
We might as well be walking around wearing a sign on our foreheads that says
“Hey! I’m a gullible moron. Lead me around by the nose, willya? Just walk all over me, while you’re at it, okay?”
Remember that list I mentioned, of the forces that jerk us around all the darn time?
I plum forgot to mention this important one.
Our very own parents!
They get the whole darn parade off to a very early start … right from the day we’re born!
They don’t mean to do this, of course. But they’ve been being led around by the nose all their lives.
They can’t help it.
None of us can!
We’re all unwitting fodder for the machinations of the culture (for lack of a better term). Of the powerful, mostly.
& the hired guns of the powerful, of course. The advertisers. The propaganda-purveyors.
I recently did a quick, partial re-read of Rogue Primate (by John A. Livingston), that I first read about 20 years ago.
& was reminded that our species has long been “domesticated.” Put simply (& briefly; I do heartily recommend the whole book!), we are wired for compliance. As he puts it,
“Our high degree of domesticated followership, obvious in a St. Peter’s Square or a Nuremberg rally, may also underlie the phenomenon of “trendiness,” whether in residential neighbourhoods, restaurants, television culture, or social criticism. Anyone who has ever endured life in the military knows about committed followership and knee-jerk obedience, as no doubt does anyone who has ever served a political master. In our role as domesticates, both our individual and collective docility and tractability have consuming importance. Lock-step followership is deeply rooted in us, if not to “leaders,” who do after all, come and go, but to doctrines.”
It seems very likely to me (and not just me) that everything has probably always had this kind of awful inevitability to it.
The problems (issues, if you prefer) with our species go back so far that there was likely never anything anyone could have done to “fix” things. Now we are simply living out, I suspect, the inevitable denouement of our species.
((Well. That’s what I believe, anyway. Of course I am just an unfortunate little sheep like the rest of us. So I could be wrong about that. I kind of doubt it, though.))
I think it’s probably fair to say I’ve marched more to my own drummer – been somewhat less susceptible to the herd mentality forces – than most.
But hey. Mostly, I’m just one of the overly compliant human beans, like everybody else.
Things do not seem to be heading in a very good direction on our planet.
With our species. (or, of course, all the others. We’ve kind of trashed the joint, eh?)
Many of us have seen the signs of creeping fascism (maybe a little bit faster than creeping??) gathering for some time now.
Maybe most folks don’t notice it. I really don’t know.
For sure, I do know I’ve spent 30 or so years now trying to help make the world a “better” place. Ward off the forces of destruction that are hard at work all around us (& in us!).
It’s always felt like worthwhile (& gratifying!) work, I have to say.
Sure haven’t “saved” the world! Heh heh. (Sardonic chuckle.)
But you know?
What I’ve realized pretty recently is not just that the work has always been its own reward (& it has, it has), but also that it’s brought very considerable joy, satisfaction, many awesome friendships … & many, many times, a wonderful feeling of true connection.
It’s all about solidarity.
Anthropologist Gregory Bateson said “Only connect. This is how we make meaning. This is how we learn to think as Nature thinks.” ** some quotations about community/connection
In these strange, unprecedentedly challenging times, I myself do still find truth a useful, bracing thing. (Also sometimes infuriating, sickening, despair-making; yes, those too!)
There are unsettling moments when I feel I’m in danger of spinning out - & that is not a fun feeling.
One has to negotiate day by day, moment by moment, how to cope with these difficult, difficult times.
So I do assert that we’re all sheep.
We’ve led one another/ been led by our various “shepherds” to the very edge of the cliff.
We’re flying right over the cliff!
How shall we behave as we fly toward the bottom of the cliff??
What kind of sheep will we choose to be, now?
Kind to one another?
Of course, we don’t have to decide that right this moment! In times of uncertainty, I very often use this mantra to help myself get by:
“I don’t have to figure that out right now.”
p.s. I find my own coping methods morphing. Of late, along with walking & writing (well, & reading, singing, drinking beer, hanging with friends, blurbing on Netflix), I find I have to turn off the “news” (on radio; I don’t own a TV) more & more often (especially when I can tell it’s got an agenda, & I ain’t buying what they’re selling) – turn off email & social media – & just listen to the sounds of silence. Or the birds chirping outside my window. Or maybe Chopin! This 2-hour compilation of exquisite music has a way of calming me right down. Alan Watts on YouTube is still also always a boon for my frazzled mind. This one … or any of them, really. Long or short. They’re all balm for a troubled mind (in my little world, at any rate).
p.p.s. I’m also keeping my supply of Rescue Remedy updated! Gonna get in the habit of carrying some around in my knapsack. No real idea how effective it is. But I think it will reassure me just to have it handy!
p.p.p.s. there is a lot more about the really really really serious state of the world in the Collections posting, under the headings Grief & Near-Term Extinction (or NTE).
p.s. #4: &, of course, tons about vaccines, all listed on the main page of this site, under the heading (over on the right) ‘On Vaccines.’ Under the quotations.
p.s. # 5: I found this ancient item I wrote on ‘Brainwashing’ back in 1994. I see I’d clued into quite a bit, by then. & also, that there was still some big stuff I was very much one of the sheep on (of course when you’re still being a sheep in some particular way, you don’t know you’re being a sheep). I sure still had lots to learn. Lots of illusion-busting lay ahead…
A Few Semi-Random Quotations
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Second in command of the Third Reich
“I would not interfere with any creed of yours or want to appear that I have all the cures. There is so much to know… so many things are true… The way my feet must go may not be best for you. And so I give this spark of what is light to me, to guide you through the dark, but not tell you what to see.” – Author unknown
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” – Mark Twain, 1898
“You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.” – Robin Williams
“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” – H.L. Mencken
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” – Helen Keller
“Anarchists are people who believe with all their hearts that governments are enemies of their own people.” – character in the Kurt Vonnegut novel Jailbird
“I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality.” – Thoreau in his essay ‘Life Without Principle,’ quoted in Paul Theroux’s The Last Train to Zona Verde – My Ultimate African Safari [a great read, btw!]
“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.” – Martin Buber
“The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.” – Leo Rosten
“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” – Bertrand De Jouvenel
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
A man travelling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge.
The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man then saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tasted.
** many more inspiring quotations in Quotation Central!
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” – George Orwell
 Rogue Primate – An exploration of human domestication, John A. Livingston, Key Porter Books, 1994. With this comment by Farley Mowat on the paperback edition: “Rogue Primate is one hell of a book, written by one of the most perceptive primates of our species. John Livingston cuts through all the balderdash that surrounds so much of our thinking about man and his place in nature, and tells us the naked truth.” The Toronto Star says (also on the cover) “If you read only one book this decade, let it be Rogue Primate.”
Another p.s. This additional “sheepish” graphic has also just come my way, also in very timely fashion. Sheep appear to be quite the recurring theme! (It gives me quite a chuckle, & laughter, after all – in the face of all the idiocy & constant horrific-ness (if you will) on our lovely planet, at this time – is really most welcome!) I suppose I might also add that I know too many people … people I once conceived of as intelligent, rational, thoughtful people – who are acting just like this sheep is doing. Practicing deliberate, wilful refusal to see what is so clearly right in front of her/his/their face(s). Gobsmacked, I am. I kid you not.