. . ! . . Life As Awakening . . ! . .

Gerardus here:
I do not know who wrote this essay. It's very good...  Thank You Author!

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In this essay we'll examine how the ordinary mental state of most 
humans is literally a form of dreaming while asleep. We'll discover 
precisely what this involves, how humans arrive at this state, 
and - most important - how we can escape from this delusory dream state 
and ascend to a higher mode of consciousness. By "ordinary 
consciousness", we mean the usual state of awareness, including the 
associated mental and emotional elements. 

If we ask the average person why he believes his ordinary 
consciousness is veridical, he'll say that it puts him in touch with 
reality in a way that "works" for him. "My usual way of thinking 
enables me to deal with objects, persons, and events in a manner that 
leads to successful outcomes. Since it 'works' for me why would I even 
consider the silly idea that I'm living in an illusory world or a 
dream state? I'm free from any such absurd restriction". 

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those 
                                   who falsely believe they are free! 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The difificulty is that the ordinary person isn't able - or willing - to 
acknowledge when his habitual consciousness (the dream state) leads 
him astray; when his view of the world causes him to mistake a 
dictatorial police state for a democracy, a mindless tyrant for a 
"fearless leader", and a pre-emptive, unjustified war for a struggle 
against terrorism and the spreading of democracy. 

The dream state of ordinary life is, of course, different from 
dreaming during regular sleep. This special state of dreaming sleep is 
an extraordinarily difficult condition to become aware of - or 
acknowledge. People in this dream world take it to be reality; they 
don't believe they're asleep - in fact they'll argue strenuously with 
anyone who says they're asleep and dreaming. This unusual dream world 
becomes a mass delusion when enough people accept the illusory domain 
as real. The demonic cabal presently creating this dream world can 
define reality for the sleepwalkers. 

Wake up! Snap out of it! Something's going on and you need to wake up! 
You've fallen into a trance or something, and you need to rouse 
yourself. You think you're awake but you're not - and as you've been 
sleeping, all kinds of hideous things have been happening. 

I know that you think you're awake; your eyes are open, and you've 
been performing various motor functions and skills - after all, you 
are reading this. But you're still not really awake! You've been going 
through these actions as if you're in a trance, or under a spell or 
something, and you're not really awake; you're not really aware. It's 
very hard to explain the state you're in, but if you'd just snap out 
of it, you'd see what I'm talking about. 

Let me put it another way. Things aren't really as you think they are. 
The thoughts you think aren't really your thoughts. You think them 
because somebody else wants you to think them. And the same applies to 
your actions. You do what ever it is you do because you've been 
programmed to do it. You don't realize it, but you've been programmed 
to think, act, and feel only within certain prescribed parameters. The 
bottom line, straight and simple, is: you are not really who you think 
you are - you think you are someone other than your own True Self.

You've been sold a complete bill of goods, right down to the very 
basics. What you believe, what you think is right or wrong, good or 
bad, what you should and shouldn't do, even who and what you think you 
are. But it's all a dream, an illusion, the result of the 
indoctrination and programming you've been subjected to. But 
underneath all this, the real YOU still exists.

You came into this life with a plan and a purpose. And you have an 
awesome power at your command. It lays silently inside, waiting. . . 
But you need to wake up and remember. Remember who you really are. 
Remember what you came here to do. And remember the awesome power. It 
is of great consequence that you do. I do realize that this must sound 
pretty crazy to you. But let me assure you; it is the truth. I wish 
there was something I could say or do that could instantly snap you 
out of it, but it doesn't work that way. 

Waking up is a process. Plato described it clearly in The Republic, 
(Book VII; The Cave) And even though that was over two thousand years 
ago, he wasn't the first. The Vedas, the oldest written records of 
mankind, are road maps left behind by awakened ones. They tell of the 
various techniques and methods they used to wake up from this 
somnambulistic, dream-like state that we human beings live in. 

Imagine that! The very first entry in the journal of mankind is a call 
to awaken. It tells us that we human beings are not who we think we 
are; it calls upon us to awaken from this sleep-like state, and 
remember that we are so very much more than we think we are. And it 
describes the power. And ever since, artists, saints, and poets, 
throughout all the ages, have endeavored to call our attention to this 
higher and truer state of existence. 
The Ordinary Dreaming State

Because our habitual state of dreaming sleep is so difficult to 
recognize and acknowledge, we'll need to examine this condition in 
detail and in as much depth as possible. The most insightful analysis 
of this state was carried out by Plato in a number of his dialogues. 
When we study Plato's dialogues mindfully we discover they possess an 
advanced technology enabling a prepared person to achieve a higher 
state of waking consciousness. We'll concentrate on Plato's
Theaetetus and Commonwealth, because they refer directly to the 
ordinary state of dreaming sleep, reveal the nature of this condition, 
and provide the means of rising above such a state of delusion. 

In the Theaetetus, Socrates asks: 
"How can you determine whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all 
our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one 
another in the waking state? 

"Theaetetus: Indeed, Socrates, I do not know how to prove the one any 
more than the other, for in both cases the facts precisely correspond; 
and there is no difficulty in supposing that during all this 
discussion we have been talking to one another in a dream; and when in 
a dream we seem to be narrating dreams, the resemblance of the two 
states is quite astonishing. 

"Socrates: You see, then, that a doubt about the reality of sense is 
easily raised, since there may even be a doubt whether we are awake or 
in a dream. And as our time is equally divided between sleeping and 
waking, in either sphere of existence the soul contends that the 
thoughts which are present to our minds at the time are true; and 
during one half of our lives we affirm the truth of the one, and, 
during the other half, of the other; and are equally confident of both".

The feeling of certainty we have about our experience - whether awake 
or asleep - is the same. It's naive for us to assume that our mere 
feeling of confidence is enough to assure the veracity of our experience. 

How We Are Put To Sleep

Many people wonder why Plato insisted in the Commonwealth that 
educational and artistic material used with young people should be 
strictly supervised. This wonderment arises from our naive assumption 
that our American public educational system is free from control by 
ideological dogma.

In fact, the opposite is true: American public educational 
institutions are entirely dominated by a system of misinformation and 
anti-intellectualism which has been imposed by the cabal which took 
control of education in the first decades of the twentieth century. 
The result has been just what they planned for: large masses of 
American citizens who are certifiably illiterate and lack any ability 
to think for themselves, thus allowing a criminal gang to take 
political and economic control of our nation. 

Plato insisted that educational and artistic material be supervised 
because young people learn from role models and become the kinds of 
people they read about and see in their everyday life. 
"Since our students, the future leaders of the nation, imitate from 
their earliest childhood we should choose appropriate models for them 
to emulate, namely people who are courageous, self-controlled, 
virtuous, and free. We shouldn't encourage them to embody or imitate 
what is illiberal or shameful behavior because imitation gives rise to 
desire for that kind of reality. Imitation, continued from an early 
age, turns into habits and dispositions - of body, speech and mind". 

Commonwealth III (395 c-d) 
Instead of adopting Plato's teachings, Americans have allowed a 
depraved junta to seize control of the three most powerful 
brainwashing technologies in modern history: education, television, 
and movies. Through the insidious use of these instruments, American 
young people are programmed to value greed, egomania, money, power, 
fame, and cleverness in unscrupulousness, and are conditioned to crave 
and embody violence, ignorance, and anarchy. 

"The average person in the US watches about four hours of television 
each day. Over the course of a year, we see roughly twenty five 
thousand commercials, many of them produced by the world's 
highest-paid cognitive psychologists. And these heavily produced 
advertisements are not merely for products, but for a lifestyle based 
on a consumer mind-set. What they're doing, day in and day out, 
twenty-five thousand times a year, is hypnotizing us into seeing 
ourselves as consumers who want to be entertained rather than as 
citizens who want to be informed and engaged. We need to take back the 
airwaves as a sphere of mature conversation and dialogue about our 
common future". 

"Experiments conducted by researcher Herbert Krugman reveal that, when 
a person watches television, brain activity switches from the left to 
the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere is the seat of logical 
thought. Here, information is broken down into its component parts and 
critically analyzed. The right brain, however, treats incoming data 
uncritically, processing information in wholes, leading to emotional, 
rather than logical, responses. The shift from left to right brain 
activity also causes the release of endorphins, the body's own natural 
opiates - thus, it is possible to become physically addicted to 
watching television, a hypothesis borne out by numerous studies which 
have shown that very few people are able to kick the television habit.

Peter Russell, "Dehypnosis - Breaking the Trance" 
One of Plato's ideas we must take seriously is that we're not born 
with a fully formed psyche or soul, but through nurture and education 
develop into a specific kind of person. We begin with a capacity to 
develop and enhance our own psyche or soul through the kinds of 
experiences we encounter or orchestrate. We ingest cultural messages 
from our parents, teachers, and authority figures and these archetypes 
shape our psyches. Since our souls are constituted by the cultural 
messages we encounter, we must carefully supervise the kinds of 
concepts and exemplars we experience. 

To comprehend the dream state of ordinary life we have to understand 
the distinct nature of the immature mind and how this mind is formed 
and controlled. In speaking of the undeveloped mind, Socrates says: 
"The immature are incapable of judging what is the underlying meaning 
of an allegory (hyponoia) and what is not and the beliefs they absorb 
at that age are hard to erase and apt to become unalterable. For these 
reasons, then, we should take the utmost care to insure that the 
stories and myths that depict virtue are the best ones for them to 
hear". Commonwealth II (378d) 

Plato uses the Greek word hyponoia, 3 which refers to the hidden 
meaning of a myth, the meaning and understanding coming from below. 
"Hypo" means "under", and "noia" is thought or mind. So hyponoia is 
literally "hidden, deeper, or underlying thought or meaning to which 
an allegory refers". This word has the same stem as that used to refer 
to hypnosis: a process in which a person is able to affect you in a 
strange way by somehow coming in under the radar of your own critical 
thinking, placing your ordinary consciousness in a state of suspension. 

Plato is saying that an immature person cannot recognize that a myth 
or allegory is something that has a hidden, deeper, or underlying 
meaning and effect. The immature person is unable to recognize what 
that deeper meaning or effect is, what the story or myth or allegory 
is about, what it's doing. This peculiar lack of orientation and 
inability to distinguish meanings and detect effects is constitutive 
of the immature and infantile mind. In the cognizance of an 
undeveloped mind, myths or allegories float free of their deeper 
symbology and inducement, they float free even of the recognition that 
they have deeper significance and control. 

The mature, awakened mind possesses an exceptional capability of 
self-awareness, the "witness" aspect that allows it to stand apart and 
observe, ascertaining what is going on from a higher position of 
attentiveness. It is this extra-dimensional capability of awareness 
which Plato's dialogues enable us to develop, as they teach us to 
reflect on all aspects of our experience, not "falling sleep" in the 
immediacy of our sensations and thoughts. 

Psychological and Intellectual Immaturity

To explain what immaturity means, Plato introduces us to a specific 
psychic type in the opening passage of Book I of the Commonwealth: the 
elderly person who's never achieved intellectual or psychological 
maturity. Cephalus, an older man, acknowledges that the stories and 
myths he experienced in his early years now haunt him, causing him to 
fear the retribution for sins which the myths have caused him to 
believe will occur after death. Cephalus, like millions of people in 
the modern world, never matured emotionally and mentally: fantasies 
frighten him because he cannot tell the difference between myth and 
reality. He never understood what those early brainwashing fables did 
to him and didn't work to overcome their negative effect. 

Socrates explains that the impressions immature psyches take into 
their minds and emotions have a tendency to become fixed beliefs and 
habits, difficult to eradicate or change. A mature psyche has the 
capacity to distinguish truth from mere fantasy and appearance, 
propaganda from truth, to recognize stories as stories - and develop 
out of infantile illusions. Immaturity is the state of being asleep 
but presuming that you're awake; it is the inability to tell that 
you're NOT awake. Maturity is the capacity to distinguish true waking 
from vivid dream experiences. It's this discriminating capacity that 
goes to sleep when you go to sleep intellectually and emotionally. 
It's precisely because we can't tell that we're NOT awake that 
dream-experience has such power over us. 

The American Condition

"The essential problem is that Americans have been lying to themselves 
for so many years now that they are completely incapable of telling 
the difference between the rather frightening truth and their 
mythological view of America. The roots of the problem go back to the 
1930's, but the real problems began right after the Second World War, 
when the American government came under the control of the group of 
thugs who still run the country. There has been a carefully planned 
program of complete domination of all sources of information through 
total media control, the creation of the 'think tank' system to 
manufacture policy, the establishment of entrepreneurial right wing 
religion as a method of political control, the use of political 
contributions to buy politicians, and, if all else fails, simple 
violence. It is now a country where anyone who could do good is 
marginalized or assassinated, and changes in government are at least 
as likely to occur by coup d'etat than by the operation of democracy. 
There is no longer even the necessity to hide the fact that the 
country is run entirely for the benefit of certain large pools of capital. 

The essential lies that Americans tell themselves, which mainly have 
to do with class structure and, even at this late date, race, infect 
every major political issue in the country - crime and the 
incarceration industry, health care, the 'war on drugs', education, 
immigration including the racist response to 9-11, the environment, 
poverty and the extraordinary creation of what is really a new caste 
system consisting of a permanent underclass (something that has 
happened, unnoticed, only in the last few years), and even American 
foreign policy. Each year since around the time of Sinclair's 
broadcast [Gordon Sinclair's famous broadcast from radio station CFRB 
in Toronto in 1973] the situation has gotten worse, but lately the 
rate of deterioration appears to be increasing rapidly. 

Things have gotten so bad that the government is now fronted by a 
retarded (and I use that word in a technical sense) clown, who 
everyone treats as if he were a real President (the worst lie to 
yourself is when you have to pretend that the obvious idiot who leads 
you is entitled to do so). The lies are so deeply ingrained into 
American thought that the vast majority of the population apparently 
is incapable of seeing that there is anything wrong, meaning that 
there is no possibility of change". 

In Book V (476c) of the Commonwealth, Plato explains that the 
incapacity of the immature mind to distinguish truth from fancy is 
essentially what it means to be in a dream state. While dreaming we 
take the dream-image of a person to be a real person. We take 
something similar to be the very thing to which it appears similar. 
His exposition explains how we can distinguish between the true waking 
state and the dream state. 

"What about someone who believes in beautiful things, but doesn't 
believe in Beauty itself and isn't able to follow anyone who could 
lead him to the knowledge of this Form? Don't you think his life is a 
dream rather than a wakened state? Isn't this dreaming: whether asleep 
or awake, to mistake resemblance for identity, to liken dissimilar 
things, to identify the expression of the Form as the Form itself, to 
think that a likeness is not a likeness but rather the thing itself 
that it is like? . . . 

"But take the case of the other, who recognizes the existence of 
Beauty and is able to distinguish the Form from the objects which 
participate in the Form, neither putting the objects in the place of 
the Form nor the Form in the place of the objects - is he a dreamer, or 
is he awake? 
"He is wide awake. 
"And may we not say that the mind of the one who knows has knowledge, 
and that the mind of the other, who opines only, has opinion? 
So, to become mature we must learn how to: 
distinguish resemblance from identity - for example, to distinguish 
between true democracy and the fake democracy that we now suffer under 
and hear the cabal puppets lie about bringing to Iraq 
avoid equating dissimilar things - for example, advancing in age is not 
equivalent to maturing understand forms abstain from identifying the 
manifestation of the Form as the Form itself: abstain from identifying
 our present Constitution (a plutocratic document) with the Ideal of a 
Commonwealth (a government of the people for the people) realize that a 
likeness is a likeness and not the thing itself that it is like: realize 
that an illiterate, demented president is not a genuine American President 

Maturity or awakedness is the capacity to stand apart from the 
immediacy of our experience and observe sensations and thoughts as 
they occur, reflecting on them, evaluating them, and thoughtfully 
choosing what our response will be. Plato assists us in attaining this 
kind of intellectual, emotional, and social maturity through his 
dialogues - but also through myths and fables as well. 

The Transformative Use of Myths

Plato is not suggesting that developing minds not be given myths, 
allegories, and fables from which to learn. He himself uses myth to 
teach and transform his readers. As with all elements in the 
terrestrial world, the use that is made of myths and allegories is the 
key. Hyponoia - myths with deeper meanings deposited under the literal 
surface - have a noetic character: the reader or listener has to think 
his way across a semantic bridge, beyond which lies a realm of 
transcendent knowledge. Plato's myths and dialogues - which are 
stories - are highly advanced devices through which we are enabled to 
ascend to a higher consciousness. 

Plato's use of dialectic and myth is so extraordinary that we have to 
work assiduously to grasp their deeper meaning and effect. The 
transformative elements of Plato's wizardry appear within the 
narrative of his dialogues, so it's easy to overlook them if we're not 
attuned to their characteristics and effects. We can learn a great 
deal by exploring Plato's strange myth which he develops in Book III 
of the Commonwealth (414c +). He refers to this myth as a "useful 
fiction" (not a lie 5) and says it is similar to old Phoenician tales 
about humankind's origin which people were encouraged to believe. 

The "useful fiction" or myth is to be told to all the people, 
informing them that their early life was a dream, that the education 
and training which they received was initiation into an illusory dream 
world. In reality, they will be told, during all that time they were 
actually being formed and nurtured in the womb of the earth. When they 
were fully formed, the earth, their mother, caused them to ascend to a 
higher realm. So, the earth and their country being their mother and 
their teacher, they are responsible for defending her against attack, 
and her citizens are all to be regarded as a part of their earth family. 

Plato's "useful fiction" also involves telling the people that God has 
framed them differently. Some have the power of command, and in the 
composition of these he has mingled gold, wherefore they are to 
receive the greatest honour. Others he has made of silver, to be 
auxilaries. Others again who are to be husbandmen and craftsmen he has 
composed of brass and iron. And God proclaims as a first principle to 
all the people that their primary duty is to preserve the human species. 

This myth fits into Plato's discussion of how the best kinds of humans 
can be produced through education and training - one of the major 
themes of the Commonwealth. Part of the educational process consists 
in observing students to see how their experiences affect them: who 
they know, what they read, and how they act. Do they, for example, 
swallow nonsense which is handed them and allow their beliefs to be 
formed by falsehoods? 

We must first recognize that Plato is presenting a myth about a myth: 
a story about how a story might be told to the people. Why would Plato 
possibly tell such a fable to the populace? What effect would Plato be 
trying to produce in the people to whom this myth was told? Why is he 
telling the story to his dialectical fellow-participants? 

Part of the people's evaluation will be to see how they react to this 
story. Far from wanting the people to believe such a "useful fiction", 
Plato is encouraging a questioning attitude in them concerning how 
they were raised and what effect all the cultural "received truths" 
(principles, axioms, laws, customs, structures) had on them. He is 
showing that their culture's "useful fictions" have shaped all their 
beliefs, habits, values, tastes, desires, self-estimation, and 
countless other elements. "Who am I?"  Plato wants them to ask; "How 
was I formed by my culture?" "What response have I made to the 
cultural myths which shaped me?" 

Plato is encouraging them to question all their cultural values. "Why 
are there these class distinctions?" "For what purpose did my culture 
shape me in this particular way?" "How can I improve and transform 
myself, now that I have awakened to how I was structured by my culture?" 

"What is so deceptive about the state of mind of the members of a 
society is the 'consensual validation' of their concepts. It is 
naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share 
certain ideas or feelings proves the validity of these ideas and 
feelings. Nothing is further from the truth. Consensual validation as 
such has no bearing whatsoever on reason or mental health. Just as 
there is a 'folie a deux' there is a 'folie a millions.' The fact that 
millions of people share the same vices does not make them virtuous, 
the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be 
truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same forms of 
mental pathology does not make them sane". 

Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom
The myth is meant to awaken people to question what has happened to 
them, what is currently happening to them, and what intelligent 
response they can make to their cultural engendering. It shows how 
easily public myths can, in some instances, completely structure the 
personality and social constraints of a culture. They are encouraged 
to become aware that they were earlier in an unrecognized state of 
sleep, were caused to ascend to a higher plane of awareness, but must 
now investigate and study their current state of consciousness to 
detect aspects of sleep or immaturity now present. 

Maturity or awakedness is the constant, unending endeavor of 
discovering aspects of immaturity or sleep in yourself and rising 
above those to a higher awareness. One of the essential ways of 
telling if you're asleep is if you're regularly discovering traits and 
behaviors in yourself of which you were previously unaware, negative 
elements that controlled you without your being cognizant of them. For 
example, you may discover that you previously had fooled yourself into 
believing that you wanted to understand what is going on in the world, 
and you realize you hadn't really wanted to at all - as evidenced by 
your mindlessly accepting the cabal's propaganda. 

Plato is using this unusual myth to explain the evolution of human 
experience. We're born as infants with very little self-awareness, 
living almost entirely in our immediate sensations and desires. 
"The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real 
only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the 
outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only 
from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The 
opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see 
people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate 
this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one's desires 
and fears". 

As we grow older, we enter what is called "adult life" and embrace the 
cultural myth that we've wakened to a new form of conscious awareness. 
But part of what Plato's myth is telling us is that credulously 
swallowing this "adult life" myth involves merely "waking up" from one 
level of dream-life to enter another one. We are like someone in a 
dream who dreams that he wakes up. Thus although he considers himself 
awake, in reality he's still in a dream. As "adults", we're encouraged 
to believe that we're fully mature, that we now know what life is all 
about and have a total awareness of reality. The cultural myth of 
adulthood conditions us to believe that we've been initiated into the 
realm of civilized life and are heir to all the "received truths" 
which make us "enlightened". 

Plato's "useful fiction" helps us realize that most cultural myths are 
for the purpose of "putting us to sleep", making us believe we're 
mature and awake when we're not, making us assume we understand 
reality fully when we don't. Plato's myth helps us make the 
comprehensive distinction between appearance and reality, myth and 
truth, cultural conditioning and true maturity. It makes us aware that 
most of life is mere appearance, a dream meant to keep us asleep and 
ignorant. Thus this "useful fiction" is psychologically and 
metaphysically revolutionary. It sows seeds of critical awareness and 
healthy skepticism at a "mythic level", making us wary of both the 
myths we've experienced and any future myths we might encounter. We 
seek to understand what it is to be truly awake and fully in touch 
with reality. And as we attain awakedness and genuine maturity, we 
enter an entirely new world. 

"The breakdown of the infantile adjustment in which providential 
powers ministered to every wish compels us either to flee from reality 
or to understand it. And by understanding it we create new objects of 
desire. For when we know a good deal about a thing, know how it 
originated, how it is likely to behave, what it is made of, and what 
is its place amidst other things, we are dealing with something quite 
different from the simple object naively apprehended. 

"The understanding creates a new environment. The more subtle and 
discriminating, the more informed and sympathetic the understanding 
is, the more complex and yet ordered do the things about us become . . 
. A world which is ordinarily unseen has become visible through the 

Walter Lippmann. A Preface to Morals
As Plato's myths make clear, we are the victims of a cultural trance. 
Whereas in hypnotism, we're aware that someone is trying to influence 
us, with our cultural conditioning the situation is the opposite. 

"Our consensus trance is not voluntary; it begins at birth without our 
conscious agreement. 
"All authority is surrendered to the parents, family members and other 
caretakers, who initially are regarded as omniscient and omnipotent. 
"Induction is not limited to short sessions; it involves years of 
repeated reinforcement. 

"Clinical therapists would consider it highly unethical to use force, 
but our cultural hypnotists often do  -  a slap on the wrist, or severe 
reprimand for misbehaving. Or perhaps more subtle, but equally 
powerful, emotional pressures  -  'I will only love you if you think 
and behave as I tell you.' 

"Finally, and most significantly, the conditioning is intended to be 
permanent. It may come from the very best of intentions, but it is, 
nevertheless, meant to have a lasting effect on our personalities and 
the way we evaluate the world. 

"This is why awakening from our cultural trance entails far more than 
a simple snapping of the fingers. There is a lifetime’s worth of 
extremely powerful induction to be overcome. 

"We would seem to be firmly stuck with our conditioning. Indeed, for 
most of the time we are. Yet there are occasions when we do wake up, 
and see things in a different light. In those moments we are given a 
glimpse of what is possible". 7 

Awakening From Relativism

Developing this higher level of awareness and discernment requires not 
only a positive expansion of our understanding and capabilities but 
ridding ourselves of negative elements. For example, we can only gain 
increased powers of discernment if we're unreservedly honest about 
ourselves and constantly seek to discover personality features that 
hold us back. We learn to recognize when we're rationalizing, 
equivocating, lying, projecting, or acting defensively. 

Plato explains - and effects - escape from sleep in Socrates' discussion 
with Theaetetus and Theodorus in the dialogue Theaetutus. Cultural 
"sleep" in Plato's day as in ours is created by people becoming 
literally possessed by the Protagorean/Thrasymachan ideology: 

There is no objective truth; each individual is the determiner of 
truth and value for himself 

Whatever a society thinks useful, and establishes as the truth, really 
is the truth so long as the established order continues in power 

Justice is the interest of those in power: they decree what is legal or just 

Plato's discussion of relativism 8 is of immediate relevance because 
it has currently become the reigning ideology of American society. 
According to this creed, there is no way to determine the truth; truth 
is merely what a person happens to believe or what is imposed on 
society by the dominant powers; justice is the interest of those in 
power. Truth, under the rule of the current demonic cabal, is whatever 
they say is true. If they say there are weapons of mass destruction in 
Iraq and we must invade Iraq to make us safe from terrorists, then by 
golly, that's the truth. If that proves not to be born out by 
inspection, so what. The truth is what they say is the truth. Dubya's 
allowing the NSA to spy on Americans is legal - because he says it's legal. 

We can best get a sense of the fantasy-based non-thinking of the Bush 
cult from an article by Ron Suskind in the New York Times: 
"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that 
the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications 
director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. 
He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me 
something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend  -  but which I 
now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency. 

"The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the 
reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that 
solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I 
nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and 
empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works 
anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we 
create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality  -  
judiciously, as you will  -  we'll act again, creating other new 
realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort 
out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to 
just study what we do.'"

It's interesting that Plato's refutation of relativism now has a 
modern application, because Protagorean relativism has seized the mind 
of many Americans: 

Since whatever a man thinks at the time is the truth for him, then no 
person can assess another person's judgment and see if it is right or 
wrong, so intelligent investigation of the truth becomes nonsense 
Every person is equal in wisdom to every other person: that's why we 
have so many uninformed idiots paraded in front of television cameras 
as though their complete ignorance is an indication of their grasp of 
the truth. 

All arguments can be is forceful or entertaining, never true - (what 
pretends to be "argument" on TV is most often downright boring) 
Plato anticipated another contemporary falsehood: truth as determined 
by public opinion poll. 

"Socrates: 'And how about Protagoras himself? If neither he nor the 
multitude thought, as indeed they do not think, that man is the 
measure of all things, must it not follow that the truth of which 
Protagoras wrote would be true to no one? But if you suppose that he 
himself thought this, and that the multitude does not agree with him, 
you must begin by allowing that in whatever proportion the many are 
more than one, in that proportion his truth is more untrue than true.' 
"Theodorus: 'That would follow if the truth is supposed to vary with 
individual opinion.' 
"Socrates: 'And the best of the joke is, that he acknowledges the 
truth of their opinion who believe his own opinion to be false; for he 
admits that the opinions of all men are true.' 
"Theodorus: 'Certainly.' 
"Socrates: 'And does he not allow that his own opinion is false, if he 
admits that the opinion of those who think him false is true?' 
"Theodorus: 'Of course.'" (170e-171a)

Socrates points out the absurdity of saying that truth is determined 
by personal feeling. If this were true, he says, then truth would be 
determined by public opinion polls. An idea believed in by only a 
few - as in the case of Protagoras' view of "man is the measure of all 
things" would be false in reference to numbers. 

Socrates makes it clear that truth is not determined by personal 
feeling, popular appeal or majority vote: it is an independent reality 
which must be discovered through objective investigation. 

"An opinion on a point of conduct, not supported by reasons, can only 
count as one person's preference; and if the reasons, when given, are 
a mere appeal to a similar preference felt by other people, it is 
still only many people's liking instead of one. To an ordinary man, 
however, his own preference, thus supported, is not only a perfectly 
satisfactory reason, but the only one he generally has for any of his 
notions of morality, taste, or propriety, which are not expressly 
written in his religious creed". 

John Stuart Mill. On Liberty
The cultural sleep state many Americans have allowed themselves to 
fall into involves the belief that truth is whatever their "leaders" 
tell them and right behavior is however their "leader" act. It's okay 
for "leaders" to "out" a CIA agent if they don't happen to like what 
her husband says about their lying about weapons of mass destruction 
in Iraq. It's legal to allow elections to be fixed in Florida and Ohio 
and elsewhere because Bush and his supporters say it's legal. 

The absolutely fatal danger of this kind of non-thinking inculcated by 
a culturally-induced dream state is beyond measure. The very life and 
death of Americans is now being determined by such a cultural sleep state: 
unthinking people are signing up for Bush's unlawful wars and dying by 
the thousands 
American workers in the millions are losing their jobs and falling 
into poverty and homelessness 
Constitutional freedoms are being destroyed wholesale before our eyes. 
If you think all this talk about Americans being asleep is 
philosophical nonsense, the stark reality of this dream state is made 
dramatically evident when we see almost no Americans rising up to 
protect their lives and their country. In this current totalitarian 
mind-set, the cultural myth that truth is a personal whim allows 
unscrupulous leaders to dictate "truths" which will inevitably lead to 
our destruction. 

"How is it possible that the strongest of all instincts, that for 
survival, seems to have ceased to motivate us? One of the most obvious 
explanations is that the leaders undertake many actions that make it 
possible for them to pretend they are doing something effective to 
avoid a catastrophe: endless conferences, resolutions, disarmament 
talks, all give the impression that the problems are recognized and 
something is being done to resolve them. Yet nothing of real 
importance happens; but both the leaders and the led anesthetize their 
consciences and their wish for survival by giving the appearance of 
knowing the road and marching in the right direction.

"While in our private life nobody except a mad person would remain 
passive in view of a threat to our total existence, those who are in 
charge of public affairs do practically nothing, and those who have 
entrusted their fate to them let them continue to do nothing". 
Erich Fromm, To Have or To Be?
Plato To the Rescue

What Plato's dialogues provide us - especially in such critical times 
as these we're living in - is a clear vision of what life is all about 
and a reassuring sense of the ultimate victory of transcendent, 
timeless truths. In the Theaetetus, Socrates finds two 
persons - Theodorus and Theaetetus - who have allowed themselves to be 
almost completely possessed by Protagorean relativism. This is similar 
to the situation in which we now find ourselves, when we encounter 
millions of Americans who have allowed themselves to be culturally 
brainwashed into a mindless relativism: whatever leaders say is the 
truth is the truth. 

But even in persons who have allowed themselves to be enslaved by 
destructive ideologies (think "compassionate conservatism") there are 
still deep, foundational soul-elements through which to assist them to 
regain a truth-affirming self-empowerment. 

Humans recognize both wisdom and ignorance as characteristics of 
different people and seek the wise as their teachers. 
Humans are aware that there are great differences in the ability of 
specific persons to understand what is reality or truth. 
In relation to health and science, persons acknowledge that not all 
people possess knowledge of what is best - only some possess that 
knowledge; some people are superior to others in terms of knowledge. 
Humans recognize that a person who cannot give a reason for a thing, 
has no knowledge of that thing, that only when someone can provide a 
rational explanation does he possess genuine knowledge. 
Humans recognize that knowledge is correct judgment accompanied by 
knowledge of the difference between one object and other objects. 

"We compel [the members of the jury] to hear both sides before casting 
their vote. We compel them to hear those two sides according to some 
rational rule of evidence and advocacy; and then, having taken these 
precautions, we take the further precaution of having the evidence 
summarized by an expert in the shape of the judge, who shows its 
relation to the law. Only then have we some hope that their decision 
may be broadly a sound one". 

Norman Angell, The Public Mind
From their own knowledge of mathematics, Theodorus and Theaetetus 
understand that there are experts in the area of ethics or morality as 
in all other fields. They're aware that truths - such as mathematical 
truths - are not determined by subjective whim and that a person can't 
merely make something true by saying it is. From their understanding 
of mathematics, they recognize that they are not knowledgeable in 
certain other areas, for example, in the field of determining what is 
true justice. They recognize that there are experts, such as Socrates, 
in the area of virtue, justice, and wisdom. 

From their insight into geometry and other mathematical sciences, 
Theodorus and Theaetetus understand that one must have the humility of 
"knowing that one does not know" which makes a person ready to learn. 
They recognize that such psychological capacities constitute a kind of 
moral prerequisite in one's character, different from competence or 
expertise in a particular subject matter such as geometry. They agree 
with Socrates that morality is as stable and real a dimension of human 
knowledge as mathematics. 

Socrates finds it possible, with such intelligent persons as Theodorus 
and Theaetetus, to clear up the smoke and mirrors of cultural 
relativism - the mind-state of being asleep instead of aware. From 
their knowledge of mathematics they know that there are principles 
that exist outside the terrestrial realm - Forms which are expressed 
only imperfectly through mundane entities such as the image of a 
triangle drawn on a sheet of paper. 

They realize that when they see geometric images with their eyes, 
they are also - more importantly - seeing noetic forms with their higher 
intellect. They know that geometric truths are not private understandings 
(whims or declarations) subject to public controversy, but universal 
conceptions valid for all. By extension, they are able to comprehend that 
there are similar universal and unchanging structures - such as justice - in 
the field of morality. 

 What Socrates is able to effect, through dialectic, is the ascent of 
Theodorus and Theaetetus from the subterranean cave of myth-thinking 
and relativism to an awareness of their Higher Self which recognizes 
excellence in humans and the transcendental existence of Forms which 
are manifested in mundane entities. 

Socrates is in part a "physician of the soul". A soul made unhealthy 
(unjust, ignorant, presumptuous) by cultural myths, does not see 
clearly - is asleep in a dream world. So the imposed dis-ease of 
somnambulism - cultural sleep - must be cured because "seeing" 
transcendent realities requires turning one's whole soul toward the 
good, the Higher Forms. Only the healthy, psychically awake person is 
able to discern supersensible realities such as Beauty, Justice, 
Goodness, and Wisdom. Only an awakened person can see through the muck 
of everyday affairs to the divinely guided evolution of humankind. 

"Real ability is to respect relative truth without damaging oneself by 
refusing to realize that it will be superseded. When you observe that 
today's controversies often reveal not relevance but the clash of the 
untaught with the wrongly taught, and when you can endure this 
knowledge without cynicism, as a lover of humankind, greater 
compensations will be open to you than a sense of your own importance 
or satisfaction in thinking about the unreliability of others".

Idries Shah, A Perfumed Scorpion
Plato is telling us that although we've awakened to a certain level of 
conscious experience, we must now develop the capacity to recognize 
life as a higher form of allegory. Waking up to conscious adult social 
life has involved merely entering a dream at another level where we're 
unable to distinguish between physical objects and the Forms which 
they manifest. 

We must now move on to the next level where we acquire the ability to 
recognize terrestrial objects, events, and persons as higher 
allegories (hyponoia) pointing to deeper, hidden meanings. Earthly 
entities - such as beautiful people - are in fact manifestations of the 
Form Beauty. 

As we make a concerted effort to examine our lives for elements which 
impede our development and keep us asleep, we attain a higher state of 
awareness and awakedness to who we really are and the ability to 
understand life in higher terms: 
The physical world is itself a divulgence of the higher world of Forms. 
The Divine has the power to take all human actions and use them to 
assist us in our evolution. 

Who we are - at the highest level - is conduits of spiritual purpose 
which transcends any single person, group of persons, or any specific 
time period. 

The Divine manifests through everyone and everything. 
Each person receives exactly the experiences from which they can best 
learn what they need for their personal evolution - and at the same 
time for the evolution of all humankind. 
The Divine creates a world which provides precisely coordinated 
learning experiences transcendentally matched to our current needs and 

Nasrudin on phone: "Hello, psychiatric ward, my wife needs some 
psychiatric help". 

Nurse on phone: "What's the problem?" 

Nasrudin: "Well, she thinks she's not a manifestation of the Divine, 
but just a physical being". 

Nurse: "Okay, we'll be right there to get you, uh, her". 

Understanding Current Events From a Higher Perspective

What is the wise response to the collapse of our everyday world? We 
certainly don't want to bury our heads in the sands of indifference or 
ignorance, like so many who are now acting like mental ostriches. We 
can't escape into a fantasy realm, pretending that the ordinary world 
doesn't exist. At the same time we don't want to become so mentally 
brutalized by the daily horrors of the ordinary world that we allow 
their negative energy to create fear and hatred in us. 

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is 
rounded with a sleep". 

We must recognize that the present political-economic-religious-social 
reality is merely a temporary scene in a vast drama being played out 
on Reality's eternal stage, that humankind's experience within history 
is being used to bring about its spiritual evolution. 

If the current mindless rulers delude themselves into believing that 
they control human life and human destiny, we're able to see through 
this chimera. We don't have to be taken in by their distortion of 
Reality. We can retain our own humanness, our ability to understand 
and our capacity to care for one another even in the face of the 
prevailing dog-eat-dog ideology. 

We see, for example, that the cabal junta isn't interested in saving 
the lives of service personnel in Iraq; they have the technology to 
destroy 90% of the roadside bombs, BUT HAVEN'T TAKEN THEM TO IRAQ. 
These inhuman creatures haven't sent humvee armor or body armor to 
soldiers in Iraq. They simply don't care if Americans - in Iraq or in 
the United States - live or die. 

We see the true purpose of their militaristic imperialism when we 
read - almost every day - that they have let out a new no-bid contract 
to Haliburton or one of the other corrupt corporations that support them. 

"The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not 
that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes 
from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher 
vision. We are at length restored to consciousness by awakening in a 
real universe, the universe created by the One Mind as opposed to that 
perversion of it which has been created by our egocentric selves. We 
then see the visible world as the expression of the immanental life of 
God, the Divine in manifestation. In relating ourselves to it we live 
in that Presence subjectively in the depths of our mystical being. And 
in the properly integrated personality the two processes have become one". 

Lawrence Hyde, The Nameless Faith, (1950)
Beyond seeing through the cabal's propaganda haze that attempts to 
keep people ignorant and asleep, what are the higher purposes which 
Transcendental Power is realizing through this present world-anarchy? 
In what way is this seemingly totally negative power structure being 
used to further human evolution? 

The depraved outragousness - the enormity - the total disregard for 
human life - shown by the cabal's actions are being used to awaken 
Americans to the fact that their very lives are at stake. Many people 
have allowed themselves to fall into so deep a somnambulism that only 
the most astounding events have a chance of awakening them. 
The more extreme the tyranny, the more direct the lessons to be 
learned. 9/11 has brought to the awareness of Americans that they will 
be murdered if they don't do something realistic in response - on their 
own, not by their leaders. 

An inhuman militaristic imperialism - with wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, 
and next in Iran - is teaching Americans that no one should die for a 
ruler's egomaniacal purposes, that perpetual war for ruler profits is 
no safeguard of American lives but - on the contrary - the senseless 
slaughter of Americans instead. 

The clearly negative character of George W. Bush is making clear to 
Americans that the presidency - and the entire structure of federal 
government - has been seized by a criminal gang. Dubya so totally lacks 
the intellectual and moral capabilities to lead effectively that it 
becomes abundantly clear that a cabal is in power - not the figurehead 
trotted out to show to the people. 

The utter criminality of the Bush junta and its cabal controllers is 
becoming so clear for all to see - with the revelations of the crimes 
of Libby and Abramoff and others - that Americans are awakening to the 
need to replace the rulers with decent, just leaders and institute new 
political and economic structures that will establish a government of 
the people for the people. 

The murder of Americans - in war and through economic repression - is 
providing the lesson that the American public - in large numbers - has 
become intellectually, morally, and vitally (life-or-death) 
are making it clear that these Americans are so out of touch with 
reality that they will allow others to lead them to their own destruction. 
The total seizure of all political and economic power by this demonic 
cabal is finally awakening Americans to the necessity of organizing 
themselves to create a more perfect union, that the course of human 
events has come to the point that it is now necessary for the American 
people "to dissolve the political bands which have connected them 
with" their rulers and "to assume among the powers of the earth, the 
separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's 
God entitle them". 

To enact once again what our Declaration of Independence calls for: 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created 
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable 
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of 
Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted 
among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the 
governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of 
these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, 
and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such 
principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall 
seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness". 

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the 
sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of 
their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks 
of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we 
have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more 
glorious the triumph". 

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, December 19, 1776