The Friday Five: Five Ways You Could Be More Awake (And Happy) Jeffer Thomason July 14, 2014 Every week Jeffer will bring you The Friday Five! Five reasons you should look at the world with fresh eyes on a variety of topics! Please leave your thoughts and comments! Okay, so you’re ‘awake’. You’ve spent the last couple of months or years searching online for hours each day, learning about all the problems in the world and telling everyone about it. Great! Now you want to triple murder/suicide your family and yourself because the future looks so absolutely terrifying that you want no part of it. Endless wars, the Military Industrial Complex, massive financial corruption, police militarization, police brutality, chemtrails, fluoride in the water, Bilderberg, The Illuminati, UFOs, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis (name that movie) all bombard your social media feeds every single hour. It’s been like this for so long that you’ve almost forgotten what you were like before you went down the rabbit hole. It’s a white knuckle ride that can leave you at the end of each day feeling either more determined than ever to build a new world or absolutely lost because your old belief system has been shattered and you have no new stable framework in place to effectively guide you through life. Judging by the news and updates coming through my social media feeds, I think the vast majority of people who are waking up currently fit more into the latter camp. In this week’s edition of The Friday Five I’ll be looking at the five reasons why since you woke up you’ve never been more miserable in your entire life and what you can do to get out of that negative downward spiral. 1. YOU’RE STILL LOOKING FOR A LEADER I first heard of libertarianism in about ’03 thanks largely to the comedy of Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope. I was a socialist until that point. Their stand up was on a website called The Sacred Cow along with videos by Alex Jones. Thinking Jones was maybe another stand up comedian, I clicked on his videos and so began my journey. 9/11 was an inside job, the Left and the Right are two sides of the same coin and government has orchestrated other attacks on the US people before. I even saw him interview a little known politician by the name of Ron Paul. I spent months after that, watching any documentary I could find on the Illuminati, JFK and the rising police state. I told anyone within earshot about it all. It wasn’t until after watching and discussing a David Icke documentary with a college friend that I was able to step back and analyse where this rabbit hole was taking me. “Shape shifting lizards? Really?” After some deep, honest introspection I realized what was happening. My old belief system was a top-down model, meaning that ever since I was a child I was fed an ideological narrative from school, family and peers – basically anyone I deemed an authority figure – and their information filtered through to become the building blocks of my life’s philosophy. Rather than living by a sound philosophy based on principles established by logic and reason, I too readily accepted what a teacher had said was true or how a parent told me to behave. The old model had been shattered, yet I still kept the top-down blueprints when trying to build a new one. This meant I was still naively allowing myself to be guided by ‘authority figures’ rather than by a sound philosophy. I look at my social media news feeds and I see a lot of people at this stage. They realise they’ve been lied to by those vying for power, yet still hold on to the top-down blueprints for their new model. This can be seen in their lack of skepticism towards any new (alternative) media resources or from still putting their energy into following leaders in the political arena. This is dangerous because whenever there is turmoil in the geopolitical world and the balance of power is threatened, you can be sure there will be groups from the entire political spectrum looking to make a power grab. Evidence of this can be seen in the hijacking of the Tea Party, to bring what was once a libertarian message more in line with oldstream (formerly known as mainstream) conservative values. Another example is the Russian government funded RT news network broadcasting in western homes. By shining a light on the corruption of western governments and institutions they stoke the fires of dissent amongst the people and help speed up western geopolitical decline (while ignoring the corruption of Russian government). In both cases, politicians and governments will use the opportunity to grow their own power, yet will never offer solutions that truly empower individuals because if they did that then they, as freedom’s lousy middle men, would be out of a job. Instead they would rather keep you focused on the problems by directing the narrative towards issues that they promise to fix, should they gain power. It’s important then to understand that this mindset of passing the burden of responsibility for society’s problems in to the hands of politicians to fix is at the root of the state’s power, which leads me on to the next category. 2. YOU’RE ONLY LOOKING AT THE PROBLEMS “Right, that’s it guys. I’m leaving Facebook for a while. Just overwhelmed by it all lately.” How many times do you see this type of post on your Facebook feed? I see this at least once a week. Sure, some of it is from drama queens and they’re back within 2 days, but a lot of the time it’s from people who just can’t cope with the reality shift. Their old belief system has crumbled and now they’re scrambling for a new one. One of the major hurdles faced by a lot of people in the early stages of waking up is getting over the information overload that stems from connecting with more like minded people. The number of negative, problem-based stories to positive, solution-based posts is heavily weighted towards looking at problems. This number is no doubt helped by Facebook’s recent psychological experiment where they altered their algorithms to make more negative or positive posts show up in users’ feeds. The results of this experiment were fairly predictable: if a user’s feed contains more negative stories then they are more likely to post negative stories and if they see more positive stories then they’re more likely to post positive stories. However, with or without this kind of manipulation I think it’s safe to say that the average person waking up is still far more inclined to focus on the negative problems as they: a) Have yet to discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes. b) Are still looking for leaders therefore passing the buck on to someone else to fix the problems. c) Do not yet have the philosophical framework to process the problems and think about solutions. So how can you escape this mode of thinking? I was still in this phase until a few years ago. Most of my energy was going towards following Ron Paul or focusing on political corruption and the growing military industrial complex. My energy shifted dramatically when I read an excellent article by Kaleb Matson on LewRockwell.com titled “Why You Should Quit Politics (and embark on a much more effective path to liberty).” This article did a great job of putting into words what I had been thinking for quite some time, stating that “If centralized power is the opposite of liberty then…individuals should instead begin working to undermine power’s very ability to centralize altogether.” The answer was for people to become entrepreneurs, to engage in business and to use the tools of capitalism to create such an abundance of everything that controlling it becomes impossible. Reading that was like a giant light bulb flashing above my head and suddenly the mantra came to me: Decentralize Everything. My focus then became about applying that model to all aspects of society. What if we decentralized education? What about the manufacturing industry? What about the food industry, energy, culture, money or information? After just a few days of shifting my thoughts to what if rather than what is, the future looked so much brighter and the feeling of hopelessness had lifted off my shoulders. Imagine what the education system will look like as free market online platforms like Khan Academy grow and innovate. Imagine what manufacturing looks like when 3d printers become mainstream and blueprints open source. Imagine what the food industry looks like when community gardens and local farms start growing organic food everywhere and using bitcoin apps to trade directly to customers. Imagine what the energy industry could look like if the world’s brightest minds used their ingenuity to innovate solar panels so that individuals could comfortably operate off the grid. Imagine all the opportunities that will arise when cryptocurrencies go mainstream – all the apps that will allow individuals to trade anything with anyone directly and bypass the political system. Imagine how drastically all these innovations combined could reduce the cost of living for individuals and increase their wealth, prosperity and free up their time. Once you start adopting this mindset for everything, suddenly GDP numbers, employment figures or any kind of conventional economic measure of wealth goes out the window. What now matters is opportunity. You can see a bright future, now you just need to figure out where you want to direct your energies to. What makes you passionate? What would you love to do so much that you wouldn’t even consider it a job? Aquaponics? Journalism? Vlogging? Bitcoin start up? Online teaching? Learning to code? “Okay, stop right there! This is all very pie in the sky. This kind of bright future might sit well in your head, but I don’t have the skills to work with cryptocurrencies. I don’t know anyone else to start a community garden with. I don’t know the first thing about 3d printers or solar panels.” If this is anywhere close to your line of thinking at this point then there’s a good chance that it’s partly due to the next category on the list. 3. YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY THE WRONG PEOPLE You feel like a black sheep of the family, right? Maybe, it all started when you brought up voting for Ron Paul at Thanksgiving, or perhaps from the fact that everyone from work or at parties gives you weird looks when you start talking about the Federal Reserve. You no longer get as excited about upcoming social gatherings with friends and family because you feel like you’re on a completely different wave length to anyone else there. It’s not enough to just talk sports, culture or make chit chat like it used to be. You shrink into your shell and shift more of your energy from real life interactions towards making online connections. It’s a start, but until you find the right people to really connect with beyond comments, likes and shares, you’ll find it difficult to escape the fear based culture of just focusing on the problems. So what can you do to connect with people to create solutions? Try using social media to find people who live nearby and share similar interests with you. One way is to go to a local bitcoin meet up where you can discuss in person all the opportunities that could arise from this new technology; perhaps you’ll even connect with people and start a business. Another way is to find a local hacker space and get involved in 3d printing. You could also look for or start a local community group that focuses on growing local culture – organizing music events, building community gardens and connecting produce with local restaurants and businesses, having skill shares, engaging in local activism or barter . There are millions of people out there suffering at some expense from the broken system, which means there has never been a better opportunity to connect with millions of people and create systems that allow all of us to evolve beyond the centralized models we have today and completely bypass the political process. If you’re still unsure about where you should direct your energies then maybe it has something to do with the next category. 4. YOU’RE NOT FOCUSED Take a step back and try to analyse your life as a whole: Your day to day life, your relationships and friendships, your health, your wealth, your drive and motivations, your goals, your discipline, the culture you consume and your philosophy. We live in perhaps the most self obsessed age of all time, yet also the most self destructive. While the saying goes that ‘war is the health of the state’, I think if you get to the root what’s being said the saying should be ‘self destruction is the health of the state’. The more individuals destroy their physical and mental health through bad diet or substance abuse, the more they destroy their wealth and opportunity by going in to debt, the more they drift aimlessly through day to day life without any set short or long term goals to focus the mind, the more they enter into destructive relationships and friendships, the more they glorify violent cultures, the more the state encroaches into their lives. The less individuals focus on becoming strong, independent people, the more likely they are to start investing their energy into things rooted outside themselves.They become drawn towards collective ideologies based on division, whether by race, gender, class or national boundaries. Over time new generations born into these cultures are taught from birth to think in terms of these divisions. This allows the top down ‘authority figure’ model for accepting information as true to be adopted rather than any sound philosophical model built on principles established by logic and reason. These cultures can be seen all over the western world right now and are the root of state power. By becoming aware that this is what powers the state, you begin to understand that focusing on deep self improvement is the first step of truly waking up. If you want to reach your full potential and the state to disappear then you need to construct a sound philosophy that gives you the framework to become a free, independent human being. Only then can you start to diagnose the problems and begin creating real solutions. “It is easier to build strong children than to fix broken men”. This quote by Frederick Douglass resonated strongly with me when I first read it. It allowed me to see more clearly where the future of freedom lies and envision a potential time frame regarding how long it will take humanity to decentralize everything and evolve past the state . Yes there are people who have been entrenched in top-down ideologies right into adult life who manage to evolve past them, but for the majority of people it may be too late to make the shift. It is therefore up to those of us awake in the current generation to start fearlessly laying the groundwork for the next, which leads me to the last category of this week’s edition. 5. FEAR Perhaps the most important piece of content I’ve seen come out of any liberty activist over the years was a video that journalist Luke Rudkowski made several years ago where he went skydiving to overcome his fear of heights. Upon landing he stated that when you conquer your fears you become more adept at facing challenges and managing personal growth. To me it stands as the most powerful piece because it transcends any ideology and gets right to the root of the human experience. No matter your race, gender, perceived class or where you were born, if you let fear control your life then it will stop you from reaching your full potential. When applied to those who are awake yet still paralyzed by fear, this message is the key to generating the personal growth required to break the cycle of fixating only on problems and passing off the responsibility of solutions on to others. Whatever your fears may be, whether it’s heights, public speaking, starting a business, quitting a job, reaching out to new people, ending a relationship or friendships, quitting substance abuse or facing rejection, make it either a short or a long term goal to conquer them. Document the experience and use it as a blueprint for any challenges that lay ahead of you. This could be the process you need to allow you to start visualising your true potential and begin thinking in terms of what if rather than what is: about solutions rather than just problems. You can be sure that those who hold power don’t fear a disorganized, divided, self destructive society that still looks for leaders to carry out a political revolution, rather than an evolution beyond the state. Only by being the change you want to see in the world will you become more confident, more focused, more independent and ready to blaze a true path to freedom.