There are few things that practically all of America can agree upon these days, but one of them is the idea that a capacity for self-determinism is a good thing. It’s practically what made America in the first place. A few British colonists wanted some sovereignty – defined as self-determination or freedom from external control – so they threw a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor and quit paying taxes. A couple years of brutal warfare later and a new sovereign nation, the United States of America, was born.
For all of our love of freedom and sovereignty, Americans have abdicated sovereignty in one of the most important areas of all, without even realizing it. In my opinion, most of America is no longer health sovereign, and we are paying dearly for that loss. There are a number of reasons for this. one is the general inability we have to recognize the difference between sovereignty and freedom. Freedom alone only creates the potential for sovereignty. Sovereignty itself requires a certain skill set and resources in addition to freedom.
When slavery was abolished in 1865, life did not improve for most of the freed slaves. They were free on paper, but most of them ended up in the equivalent of refugee camps ridden with disease like smallpox. Many starved to death. In some places their plight was so dire that many thought the black race might completely disappear from the continent. Many chose to return to working the plantations they had been freed from in order to survive. They were free, but not sovereign. Only a modest percentage figured out how to bridge the gap from freedom to sovereignty.
Sovereignty is a mindset coupled with the resources necessary to implement the ideals of that mindset when the opportunity of freedom arises, or is created. Without that mindset and those resources, even absolute freedom cannot create sovereignty.
It is ironic, and tragic, that in America, the greatest concentration of wealth and resources in the history of the world, the average person is almost completely dependent on others for the maintenance of their health. Something is interfering with our ability to become health sovereign. Probably a lot of somethings. But I am willing to bet that a good number of those interfering somethings come from one source. What I believe is standing between Americans and health sovereignty is something called binary thaumaturgy.
Yeah, big words and bizarre big words at that, but they are the best words to describe this process affecting us. The term is a combination of two concepts: binary thinking and thaumaturgy. Of the two, binary thinking is simplest so lets start there.
Binary thinking is George W. Bush style thinking “You are either for us or against us”. Binary thinking is the separation of the world into groups of polar opposites. It is a natural human tendency hardwired into us for survival. Is that animal by my favorite watering hole dangerous to me or not? It is very useful tool in a hostile world where snap decisions need to be made that your life might depend on. In a complex modern civilization where the difference between beneficial and harmful are more nuanced it becomes less and less useful.
The trouble with binary thinking is that it is very limiting. If there are only two possibilities for any given situation, a great deal of opportunity will pass by unnoticed. Because binary thinking is hardwired into us it is natural for some binaries to become so dominant in a society that a sort of binary automatism occurs in which nearly everyone accepts one or the other pole of the binary as truth without even realizing they have made a choice. Because the process occurs at a subconscious emotionally driven level there is no opportunity to step outside the binary and develop a third option or ternary. If a possibility doesn’t fit into the established dominant binary it is essentially invisible.
Thaumaturgy is what establishes the dominant binaries in our society. In the past it was a word for wonderworkers that performed miracles, either real or by sleight of hand. Some of its synonyms are enchantment and bewitchment. Today it is used by some in self development circles to describe the process of manipulating the subconscious mind to limits it focus with the end goal of altering a persons subconscious thought processes. This can be very useful when a person’s subconscious thought patterns are sabotaging their potential for growth. By limiting the focus of the subconscious non-rational mind, the limiting pattern can be reprogrammed to a healthy pattern that removes limitations to the expansion of consciousness. It is a bit like going back in time and correcting a mental misstep or wrong turn. You could think of it as practical enchantment.
Where thaumaturgy becomes problematic is when it is used to limit the focus of the mind for the purpose of manipulating masses of people into buying things or buying into ideas. You see, pushing the buttons of one individuals subconscious requires a highly evolved skill set. Nuanced manipulation is extraordinarily difficult. It requires an intimate knowledge of the individual being effected, the thaumaturgist must be able to intuit not only what is subconsciously driving that individual, something the individual may not even know themselves, but also determine which drives need to be focused upon and how. Pushing the buttons of a whole society is actually much easier, but also more limited in scope.
Manipulation of the collective subconscious is achieved through repeatedly triggering the primitive emotional drives present within all of us. These are the drives you see active in a four year old, fear, greed, envy, etc. Where this is most obvious is advertising. What do beautiful women and ski lodges have to do with luxury watches? Nothing at all really, but at a core physiological level I love the thrill of skiing and beautiful women, so I must have the overpriced timepiece, even if my cellphone keeps time more accurately and automatically adjusts timezones when I travel. The beautiful woman and the ski lodge triggered a subconscious emotional drive that short circuited my rational mind which knows I could probably spend a night or two at that cabin for the price of the watch with the beautiful woman I am already with.
The process sounds innocent enough, after all Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware. If I am foolish enough to part with my hard earned money for something as useless as a watch because I associate it with an actress it must be some moral deficit on my part. But there is a darker side to thaumaturgy at this level that goes beyond simple advertising. This kind of thaumaturgy only works through repetition and by dimming down the conscious rational mind. Gradually, over time, thaumaturgy has a tendency to degrade the level of consciousness to the level at which it is employed.
If the consciousness of society as a whole is constantly being triggered to dwell at the level of the basic emotional drives present in a four year old, you can see how that might be a problem. How can a society functioning at the emotional level of a four year old do anything truly productive or enlightened? How can such a society be truly sovereign? Sovereignty doesn’t exist for a four year old. They want their mommy to fix everything and then make cookies.
In some of you this has probably already triggered a binary, the us vs them binary. Some of you are probably thinking this is a method of population control being employed by a small powerful group of social elites, the Illuminati perhaps. Here is where it gets really dark and scary. There doesn’t have to be an evil elite perpetrating this upon us. There is a second problem with mass thaumaturgy, the thaumaturgist is not immune to his own work. Because he or she shares the same primitive emotional drives as the public, he or she experiences the same limitation of consciousness as them. The thaumaturgist is caught in his own trap. At the beneficial level of thaumaturgy this isn’t the case, because the drives being manipulated are not shared by the practitioner and client. They are unique to the individual in front of him.
As a result you can expect that as the use of thaumaturgy at the level of basic emotional drives proliferates within a society, you will see a gradual decline in the consciousness and emotional maturity of that society. Anybody for a weekend of reality TV?
So where does all this fit into your health sovereignty?
Health sovereignty fits in where binary thinking and thaumaturgy meet, with binary thaumaturgy. This is the thaumaturgy of modern politics. You take two opposing ideologies, conservative and liberal for instance, find a way to associate them with basic subconscious emotional drives, and hammer away at those drives until the conscious mind can longer mount a resistance against them. For better or worse, health care in America has always been tied up with politics, so thaumaturgy and binary thaumaturgy are utilized on a regular basis in the medical world.
I first realized this when I noticed something irritating to me. My elderly patients had a tendency to “believe” in chiropractic. I am happy and grateful that they value the service I provide, but belief shouldn’t factor into it. Chiropractic is a time tested, scientifically researched healthcare model that has been helping people for over 100 years. It isn’t the tooth fairy. The first couple times I heard it I didn’t think much of it. Then I started looking for it. I noticed that my twenty something practice members never mentioned a “belief” in chiropractic. They would say things like ” this is great, it really works, I wish I had tried this sooner.” For them it was just one of several possibilities to try.
My elderly patients were caught up in a binary!
For many of these particular individuals I was their only doctor. Not because I suggested this, but because they didn’t trust medical doctors, comparing them to greedy butchers on more than one occasion. They were reacting to medicine and medicals doctors at a visceral level, the level of subconscious emotional drives. I would not be surprised if for every one of these people in my office there was another person with 8 failed back surgeries that would rather have to use a motorized chair to get around than go to one of those “Quacks” or “Witchdoctors”, both of which I have been called in my relatively short career.
Perhaps this all seems like conjecture on my part, making something out of nothing. But there is some history behind all this that clarifies my logic. In 1963 the American Medical Association established a Committee on Quackery. The purpose of this organization was to control and eliminate the chiropractic profession. At that time chiropractic was growing very quickly and was perceived as a threat to the dominance of the medical profession. In 1976 an antitrust lawsuit was initiated against the AMA by a doctor Chester Wilk. The case, known as Wilk vs. AMA would initiate over a decade of legal conflict which would eventually find the AMA guilty of violating antitrust laws.
Notice that many of my elderly patients would have been young adults forming families during the period when the committee on quackery engaged in an anti-chiropractic propaganda campaign. During this time members of the AMA could have their membership revoked for associating with a chiropractor in any way. Many would even refuse to accept a referral from a chiropractor, even if it meant withholding necessary care from someone in desperate need. Medical students were told that chiropractors were like “rabid puppies, cute but lethal” and that they would be killing their patients if they allowed them to see chiropractors.
The AMA was using binary thaumaturgy to maintain complete control of American healthcare. You were either with them or against them. Choosing chiropractic at that time required belief in it. There was a strong risk of individual and family consequences for choosing to side with chiropractic. It took courage to go against the medical propaganda telling you that you were taking your life into your hands by visiting a chiropractor, and also risking the possibility of being shunned by your medical doctor should you choose to return. I can only imagine what it must have been like to take a child to a chiropractor and risk the good graces of not only your doctor, but your in-laws as well.
My twenty something practice members were born after the Wilk suit. They were not exposed to the level of anti-chiropractic propaganda and vitriol that their parents and grandparents were. They don’t need to believe in chiropractic to come see one. There has been some residual damage caused by the committee on quackery that chiropractors have to deal with, but relationships between medical doctors and chiropractors are improving. There are even some chiropractors practicing in hospitals.
How can anyone caught up in this kind of manipulation be sovereign? You cannot be sovereign when caught up in a binary. The conscious rational mind must be involved in the evaluation and decision making process for an individual to be sovereign in that area. But this is not the way healthcare options are presented, even in so called alternative care or wellness type options such as yoga or chiropractic.
In medical advertising the message often triggers fear, images of people falling and being unable to get up, stories about active professionals being stopped in their tracks by a heart attack, and always the caring tender physician is there to make the scared four year old triggered by those images feel better. The only thing missing is the milk and cookies.
Wellness advertising usually triggers the drive for sex or immortality, sometimes both. The cover model on the yoga magazine is always attractive, even if he or she is elderly the message is about how well they are fending off old age. These are things we all want and when presented with the possibility to attain them the inner 18 year old is happy to jump at the opportunity, if he or she is triggered strongly enough.
These things are not all bad. There is nothing wrong with wanting a good doctor when the unthinkable happens. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel and appear youthful and vibrant. The world would be a boring place if people didn’t care about these things. Our emotional drives exist for a reason. They can be very beneficial to us, as long as they are subservient to our rational conscious minds.
Our goal should be to limit the amount of thaumaturgy we are exposed to, learn to recognize binaries and exercise the strength of our conscious minds by finding ways to escape them. This is the first step to achieving sovereignty, learning to free your mind.
If all of this seems outlandish to you, humor me and for one day look, listen and watch for binaries. Look for images and soundbytes that are designed to trigger subconscious emotional drives to sell you on ideas or products. If you don’t see any then pronounce me full of it and don’t bother reading this blog anymore.
If you do notice them, binaries in particular, try this – try to come up with an outside possibility, a third option, a ternary. The first one will probably be difficult, it might feel like your mind is wading through mush to get there. Once you find one, the rest will start to arrive, more possibilities than you might have imagined possible, and it will feel good. If you keep it up, you just might free your mind. Share the experience with others and you can be a part of creating a free and sovereign society.
If you wish to learn more about these concepts, I suggest reading about them in the blog of John Michael Greer, Pluto’s republic, and The Trouble With Binary Thinking or listening to his interview on the C-Realm podcast #347 Totalitarian Centrism