Thoughts on the types of world images in creatures with mention of the self

Any living creature must have a world image in order to live in the world.  That is to say, they must have some “idea” of what the world consists of and where they are in relation to it.  I often speak of the creation of this world image as ‘conception’ and the study of it as ‘conceptionism’.


There are a number of ways in which world image appears:

  1. Passive world image.  This refers to the physical attributes that a creature has that allows them to live in the world.  Because physical attributes do not change they can be described as having a passive influence.  Examples of physical attributes include fins, wings, legs, fingers, lungs, etc.  Each physical attribute limits the creature to specific functions and ways of living.  Because of this, in order for it to live within the bounds of its physical attributes it must, accordingly, have the ability to create a world image to match it.  That is to say, their physical attributes limit any world image to the capacities of the physical attributes.  This shows that all creatures have an innate ‘physical attribute/world image’ association’ in which the physical attributes are intimately bound with a world image that is created.  Because physical attributes do not change they create a static world image that is unchanging and defined.
  2. Active world image.  This refers to a world image as created by the active association of the world.  The creation of the active world image is founded on the passive world image and what it ‘allows’ the creature to do.  In other words, active world image is restricted by passive world image.  A creature simply cannot do something in which it has no physical attributes to perform (like a human living under water).  As it behaves, and lives, in the world a world image is created and developed.  In other words, the active element creates a more varied and changing world image.

This shows that any world image created by a creature is bound by its physical characteristics, both actively and passively.  They can only conceive of the world in a way that its physical characteristics will allow it to.  This shows that each creature is limited in its ability to create a world image and that they see the world only ‘partially’.  Because of this, one can say that each creature has its own “version” of world image (such as a sharks world image or a squirrels world image).  Therefore, each creature see’s the world in its own limited way that is different from other creatures.  This shows that there is no “complete” or “absolute” image of the world by any creature.

Other aspects of world image are:

  1. Mechanical world image.  This refers to the ‘design’ of the creature.  The ‘design’ of a creature is based on the assumption of the world image it will live in.  A fish, for example, is ‘designed’ with gills and fins to allow it to live in the water.  This shows that the very ‘design’ of the creature is the beginning of its world imageThere are some creatures whose whole association with the world is through mechanical world image.  A good example are bacteria whose whole association is based in what the cell is ‘designed’ to do.  It does not sense anything, make decisions, or anything else.  Because of this it is lives in a passive world image.
  2. Immediately perceived world image.  This refers to an image of the world that is created by the creature as it immediately perceives it.  That is to say, these creatures live in the ‘immediate now’ . . . there is no real memory or ‘analyzing’ of the world.  They react with what’s in the world in front of them immediately and with an immediate response.  These creatures tend to have small or no real neural systems, little memory, no real intelligence and are living in a second-to-second world.  Because they have no memory they are not aware of things they saw or experienced just seconds ago.  Simple insects are a good example here.  Because the creature is actively associating in the world it requires an active world image, as does everything else that follows.
  3. Immediately perceived world image with memory.  This is as in the previous entry but they have some memory.  This memory, though, is small, and tends to be rooted in instinct. That is to say, instinct “tells” them what to remember and why.  This allows them to ‘anchor’, so to speak, certain images and sensations as significant.  Otherwise, the images and sensations have nothing to give it value and, accordingly, are passed off as nothing.   Because of this ‘anchoring’ it allows them to find their nest, mate, food, and such.  This tendency creates a greater scope of their world image and how it is conceived.   This is the ‘sensation-instinct-anchoring tendency’ where a sensation is given special significance.  As a result of this, it greatly alters the creatures world image, making it more complex and intricate.  In order for this tendency to manifest itself, it requires more involved physical attributes such as more involved sensory systems, a larger brain, greater mobility, etc.  More complex insects are a good example here.
  4. The space model world image.  This is an image of the world where space is sensed and perceived as well as their relationships to things in space.  That is to say, they sense themselves in the spatial reality of the world.  Here they will see something, glance away, and turn back to look at it again.  In this case, their memory allows them to ‘hold onto’ things in their memory as well as its association in space allowing them to remember that something is there, in space, without immediately perceiving it.  In their brains they develop a ‘space map’, so to speak, of where things are located in relation to themselves.  This creates a ‘space model’ of world image.  Typically, they give no real meaning to things in the world, except what instinct tells them, such as that a hawk is a threat or that a nut is food.  Things are given no more meaning than that and things are not viewed in context with one another.  Flying insects are a good example here.
  5. The world model world image.  This is a world image where things in the world are put into context and are viewed in relation to one another and given meaning or value.  This gives a great scope of world image.  This makes it so that the creature ‘tests’ the world more to discover things.  It also creates a very intricate and complex association with the world.  As a result, they have a more active role in the world and are more versatile.  This is seen in birds, for example.
  6. The projected world image.  The development of the self creates a more involved world image.  In many ways, one could say that the complexity of the world image is in direct association with the development of the self.  This shows, I think, that the world image becomes an extension of the self and is directly related with it.  That is to say, the world image becomes an image of a projection of the self upon the world.  What this means is that what we ‘think’ the world is actually consists of what we ‘are’.  As a result, our world image is a reflection of us.  Typically, we tend to think that the world is something as something inanimate, that we only ‘observe’.  Though there is some truth to this, when we give meaning to the world we cease being observers and become a part of the world itself.  This is because when we give meaning to the world we project ourselves into the world and the world becomes a reflection, a mirror, of ourselves.  As a result, the world ceases being this inanimate thing and takes on a ‘living’ quality.  This is only seen in mammals, as far as I know, and is particularly strong in humans.

If we want to look at it more simply we could describe these traits in this way:

  1. Creature ‘design’/reflexes.
  2. Sensation.
  3. Memory.
  4. Space.
  5. Intelligence.
  6. Self.

These show something like a pyramid in the world of living creatures where the mechanical world image (creature ‘design’/reflexes) is at the base and the projected world image (self) is at the tip.  Or, to put it another way, mechanical world image (creature ‘design’/reflexes) reflects the simplest of creatures.  Projected world image (self) reflects the most complex of creatures.  In some ways, these abilities are like a hierarchy of creature complexity showing that, the more complex the world image the more complex the creature.


The greatest world image is a direct result of the self (as far as I know) and there it seems to stop.  One interesting point is how, in a way, the world image makes something like a complete circle.  It begins with the creature itself and its ‘design’ (mechanical world image).  The complexity of the creatures then travels away from the creature emphasizing the world and its reactions to the world (such as the space model world image).  It then comes back to the creature itself, in the self (projected world image).  The circle is something like this:

creature (design)>>>>>world>>>>>creature (self)

It has ended where it began – at the creature – though in a changed form.  The human who has a self, in a way, has returned to the same state as a bacteria, for example . . . a world image based in its own interior and inherent mechanisms as a dominant part of life.  To put it another way, the life of bacteria are based purely on its interior cellular activity.  The life of a human is now primarily based in its interior mental workings and fabrications (such as thoughts, ideas, etc.).  In both cases, the associations with the exterior world is somewhat restricted.

The beginnings of the self seem to be a result of aspects of ‘life preservation’This forces the creature to perceive itself as separate or removed from the world . . . the beginnings of the self.  This tendency appears in ways such as:

  • By a threat.  For many simple creatures the only time it reflects any sense of self-as-separate-from-the-world is when it is threatened.  In this case, it must react against the threat.  As a result, a condition is created of self-versus-threat.  That is to say, the self preserves the creature against the threat.  This is probably the simplest form of self.
  • By social organization.  Any social organization requires a sense, in some form, of the-other-in-relation-to-me.  That is to say, there must be a sense that one is associating with something else and that one is removed from this something else.  In other words, social organization requires a sense of self in a creature.
  • By mating.  This is just a more specific form and continuation of social organization.  In some ways, it requires a stronger sense of self than social organization as it reflects a sense of ones importance.  That is to say, not only is one separate from other creatures but one has importance in relation to other creatures.  This sense, no doubt, leads to the many fights and squabbling that happens when many creatures mate.  This would suggest that self-importance has origin in mating.

One of the things this shows is that the self only appears under certain conditions. Simple things like eating and crawling around do not seem to require a self to perform . . . the self simply has no value in those functions.  These are often done instinctively and with reflexes and natural tendencies for some creatures, such as insects.

Because the self only appears under certain conditions the self is perceived sporadically only at certain times and conditions.   As a result of this, I speak of this condition as the ‘sporadic self’.  The self, then, is not a constant awareness, nor is it a dominant entity in any creatures life.  It never has been.  Much of humanities ‘odd’ behavior, for example, often has root in this fact, such as how people tend to do things ‘without thinking’ or do things ‘unconsciously’ or ‘without their knowing’.  The self is simply not a dominant and constant trait in any creatures life.

Initially, in the simplest creatures, the self takes on a quality of an instinct.  Dictated by instinct (such as a result of a threat) it shows that the self begins as an instinct.  This is the ‘self-as-instinct’.  It is most dominant in the simplest of creatures, such as insects and spiders.  We must keep in mind, though, that, at this stage, this is nothing but instinct (such as jerking back when one is burnt) and not a ‘true self’ as we see later with humanity.

With the coming of ‘self-as-instinct’ it as if opens the door to the creation of a self.  It almost seems that the ‘self-as-instinct’ creates a self-ready-to-happen that is always there in many creatures, a self that ‘waits’ for the correct conditions to make it appear (remember that the self only appears under certain conditions and, therefore, only appears sporadically).  This self seems to sit there as if ‘hanging’.  It creates the ‘casual self’, a self that is only “half there”, dormant, waiting, and passive.  It is as if it is kept in a hand bag, ready to be used at a seconds notice.

The ‘waiting’ tendency of the ‘casual self’ creates a need for the creature to develop physical attributes of alertness and wakefulness.  This requires a more complex brain for this to happen.  It seems to appear with the reptiles.  In addition, the ‘casual self’ seems to require the need for sleep as part of its alertness and wakefulness tendency. This appears to be because alertness and wakefulness is a reflection of brain waves or, rather, overall brain functioning.  As the self develops so does brain waves and the need for a massive control of the brain as a unit.  This shows that the self seems associated with the brain working as a whole unit.  This requires a more complex brain functioning in creatures.  In some respects, the development of the self requires a complex brain structure to work showing a ‘self/brain complexity connection’. 

Various qualities that make up the ‘casual self’ include:

  • The self-as-memory.  Because of memory a creature begins to sense the self as ‘being in time’ or ‘in relation’ to something.
  • The self-as-in-space.  The sense of space, and ones relation to things in space creates a sense of self.
  • The self-as-testing.  The ability to test and associate with the world creates a sense of self.
  • The self-as-projection.   The projection of the self upon the world.  This creates a world image that is very alive and a reflection of us.  In addition, this often creates another ‘self’, so to speak, which allows for reflection and observation of ones self.  Most people seem to think the self is a result of reflection which is not true.  As far as I know only humans, and some mammals perhaps, have this ability of reflection.

A significant quality, found only in the more complex creatures, is the ability of projection.  It creates a tendency for the world to ‘come alive’ and a tendency to reflection.  The absence of these qualities greatly affect creatures behavior to such a significant point that there can be described two forms of self in creatures:

  1. The rudimentary self.  These have no projection or reflection.
  2. The projecting/reflecting self.  This have the quality of projection or reflection.

It seems, to me, that a creature with a rudimentary self (without projection/reflection) would have qualities such as:

  • They do not see themselves as separate from themselves.
  • The self is not complex, ‘profound’, or deep.
  • They are more in the now, living second-to-second.
  • They are only ‘aware’ . . . they are not “conscious”.
  • They do not think, reflect, or ponder things.

Most certainly, there are times when we all are in a ‘rudimentary self state of mind’, from time to time, and experience similar qualities, though we usually do not realize it.  This is because, in these states of mind, the self does not exist.  The fact that we do this shows that we have, within us, all the qualities of the simpler creatures.  Because of this, they appear from time to time.

As I said above, we do not perceive our self all the time but, yet, there is a tendency to feel that we have a self all the time.  This is the ‘self constancy illusion’.  This is because we perceive the self in different ways:

  • The self-as-experienced.  This is when the self really appears.
  • The self-as-memory.  This is when we live by the ‘memory’ of our previous self-as-experienced events and happenings.
  • The non-self as non-existent.  When we do not have a self we simply are not aware of it.  As a result, we sense the self only under the conditions above making it always seem “there”.

In actuality, it appears that much of our perception of a ‘constant’ self actually originates from memory.  We remember and reflect on what our self has done though, in actuality, we are actually doing nothing.  This often makes us think we are doing things when we haven’t.  In that way, a lot of the perception of a self is really a form of reminiscences.  Often, this tendency actually leads us further away from our self and makes us live in a fantasy-like world.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Existence: Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on ‘inherent government’, ‘disassociated government’, and ‘systemic government’

In a recent conversation I was asked what I thought was the best type of government.  The following is what came out of my answer:


I said that the best government is the one that is inherent in the society.   That is to say, the government a particular people created, on its own, reacting to its particular conditions, through centuries of work.  I called this the ‘inherent government’.  Each culture creates its unique form and style.  For some cultures develop a government style that is very controlling, others may have no control at all.  In this way, there are many forms that exist.  None of these governments are ‘right’ or ‘better’ than any other style.  What matters is that it is right for that particular culture.

This type of government becomes deeply rooted in the society and people.  It does this because it is rooted in things such as:

  • The conditions the people live under.
  • The beliefs of the people.
  • The culture.
  • The specific way of life.
  • The social structure.
  • The historical circumstance of the people.

In this way, the government can become so much a part of the society that no one realizes that there is a government at all!  In addition, it typically becomes an active part of society.  It becomes the “way of things” and is accepted as the way things are.  This makes it so that they tend to function very adequately.

Unfortunately, this form of government is very fragile and is easily altered and destroyed.  It often takes only a little bit to upset it, much like the religion and way of life of primitive people.  Because it is such a part of the way of life no one see’s it as an ‘entity’ in the society . . . its just there.  As a result, when its threatened or undermined no one notices.  But, once the damage as been done, it often cannot be revived:  a people cannot revive an ‘entity’ that they have not delineated.  As a result, it tends to disappear as a mist into the air.  Many people, all over the world, lost their ‘inherent government’ in just this way.

Many things can undermine the ‘inherent government’.  These include:

  • Overpopulation.
  • Exposure to other people.
  • Foreign ideas.
  • An historical event (such as someone trying to take over).
  • A change in way of life (such as climate change or crop failure).
  • Being conquered by another people, of course.

Things, such as these, can easily disrupt ‘inherent government’.  If these are mild enough they may only slightly alter the ‘inherent government’ and have little effect.  If the are extensive enough they may destroy it.  Once ‘inherent government’ is destroyed there is really only one path to take . . .


Once ‘inherent government’ is destroyed, or disrupted on a great scale, there is a tendency for any new government style to become somewhat disassociated from the people and culture.  This is because the new government style becomes rooted in other things than the people and culture, such as:

  • The new conditions and reality.
  • The ideas and conditions of other people (such as in a takeover).

These create a situation where the government is now responding to situations other than the people or culture.  In this way, the government tends to as if ‘spiral off’ into another direction which is disassociated or removed from the people and culture.  In other words, it goes from ‘inherent government’ to ‘disassociated government’ Most of the governments, nowadays, are a form of ‘disassociated government’.

One of the facts that this shows is that ‘inherent government’ can only work under certain conditions.  The arrival of ‘disassociated government’ often means that these conditions are no longer working or relevant.  In this way, it often reveals that ‘disassociated government’ is an attempt at dealing with difficult situations and dilemma’s.  As a result, ‘disassociated government’  almost always tends to involve problems, in one way or another. These may or may not be an integral part of the ‘disassociated government’.  That is to say, the government may be trying to deal with a problematic situation (overpopulation) or that the government style, itself, is creating a problematic situation (a foreign imposed government style).  But, almost always, there are problems with ‘disassociated government’.

The problems of ‘disassociated government’ tend to revolve around issues such as:

  • The problem of control.
  • The problem of fairness.
  • The problem of power.

What this means is that the ‘disassociated government’ tends to revolve around these issues, predominately, which ends up altering the nature of government, how it works, what it does, how it behaves, and its belief systems.  These tend to dramatically alter it from the original ‘inherent government’.

In this way, the government becomes a separate entity in the society even to the point of becoming a separate system removed from the people and culture.  This separation, oftentimes, begins a movement of the government further and further from the people and culture.  It can remove itself so far away that it can even become a ‘foreign entity’ within the society itself that no longer has a base in the people culture.  In my opinion, this is when a government fails.  It creates many problems and dilemma’s which often lead to . . .


Because of the problems associated with ‘disassociated government’ there is a tendency to try to alter or change it, in order to avoid the problems it creates.  This is usually in reaction to various conflicts and crisis that have happened in society as a result of it.  In some cases, these can be something like a dramatic and devastating war.  In other words, a new government style is created as a reaction to specific and particular problems that the ‘disassociated government’ created.  Often, this new style of government entails definite rules and regulations.  These may become written down or not.  In this way, the government becomes a system and a ‘systemic government’ is created.  This creates what can be described as a ‘government machine’.  This government style is prevalent nowadays.

‘Systemic government’ typically does not get rid of problems but it can minimize them.  In some sense, a ‘systemic government’ is nothing but a ‘restrained’ and ‘restrictive’ form of government, in an attempt to minimize problems.  In other words, it usually tries to restrict what it can do, often with laws, committee’s, and such, to avoid any problems.

A common misconception, it seems, is that ‘systemic government’ is a “generic answer” to all problems.  In actuality, it is a reaction to very specific and particular problems.  This does not, in any way, make it a “generic answer”.  Typically it has to be continually updated and altered to deal with problems that come up.  If it doesn’t, then it quickly falls back into ‘disassociated government’ with all its problems.  Since ‘systemic government’ is a reaction and alteration of ‘disassociated government’ it is, in reality, a ‘modified disassociated government’.  This means that it can very easily sink into the ‘disassociated government’ tendency and start creating the problems of ‘disassociated government’ again.  This is why ‘systemic government’ has to be continually changing.  In a way, that is the challenge of this type of government.

What all this means is that the problems of government are never “answered” once the ‘inherent government’, and the conditioned that support it, are lost.  No government theory or idea has ever achieved an “answer” nor will one ever. Since the appearance of ‘disassociated government’, government has really become a reaction to dilemma’s and conflicts that are continually appearing in society This reactionary quality makes it so that government is always ‘behind’ the problems, trailing behind them.  The result:  the existence of problems is inevitable, but they may be solved . . . or not, depending on how the government reacts.  As a result, government is always in a condition where it is balancing itself on the edge of a razor blade, ready to go one way or the other.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Government and politics, Historical stuff | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Interpreting the ‘blind spot': death, the self, the problem of imitation, and other things associated with it

Here are some thoughts I had involving a reaction to a situation I was in:


Recently, I had a problem that could of been serious.   Its details aren’t that important but I will mention that it had the possibility of cancer which, of course, may lead to death.  I shall refer to it as the ‘concern’.  Luckily, it turned out to be nothing at all.  To be honest, though, it scared the crap out of me.  The ‘concern’ created a great dark ominous cloud that hung over my head as it was being looked into.

I noticed that there was a particular quality about this fear.  I mentioned, on reflection, that I seemed to take to this fear too easily, way too easily.  I as if jumped right into it even though much of what led to it was founded on mistaken notions and misunderstandings.  Regardless, the fear was extensive.

But why did I react like that?

As I thought about it I felt that it actually reflected an earlier condition.  In other words, the fear was actually not over the ‘concern’ at all but something else that predates it.  The ‘concern’ only gave this earlier condition a target and a direction.  In this sense this earlier condition was ‘transposed’ onto the ‘concern’ making the fear bigger than it really was.

In addition, the more I reflected on it I, the more the fear seemed to reflect a ‘blind spot’ of some sort.  It was as if there was something about it that I could not see, that was hidden from me.  It seemed shrouded in darkness, inaccessible to me.  I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  This made me wonder . . .


Bewildered, I took a walk and a pattern of thought appeared in that walk that amounted to this:

  • I began by wondering about the ‘blind spot’ and what it was.
  • The first thing I mentioned is that the ‘blind spot’ was really a doubting.
  • I then went on to say that it was not the fact that I doubted something that was the problem but the act of doubting.
  • There was something more, I felt, and I began to mention that it reflected an inability to accept something, that I refused some truth or thing.  This inability to accept had the appearance of the act of doubting.
  • Almost immediately I knew what this something was:  an inability to accept pain.
  • I went on to say that pain was difficult to accept because, when one feels pain, it creates a strong sense of self.
  • I then went on to say that I didn’t like to feel my self too strongly.
  • I knew, then, that the ‘blind spot’ really reflected the fact that I had difficulty feeling my self-in-the-world.

The whole problem is that fear had to do with the sense of the self-in-the-world.

I tend to feel that the reason why the self-in-the-world bothered me so much is because it made me overly self-conscious.  This would mean that the problem really revolved around how I did not want to become too conscious of my self.

Its interesting that even when I thought about the prospect of ‘dying’ I found that what bothered me was the fact that “everyone would know” or that “everyone would watch me”.  This, it seemed to me, also created a sense of “why me?” which is another way of saying “I’m feeling myself too much, much more than other people, which doesn’t feel right”.  In this way, it shows an association:


To put it another way, the theme of death, and the fear it causes, creates an overly strong sense of ones self that is overwhelming.  It makes one become the “focus” of awareness.  It seemed, at least to me, that this was the real fear of death that I felt, not death itself.

It also created a new dilemma of the self-in-the-world requiring a new perception of the self that I did not have.  In many ways, it was a perception I was neither prepared for nor knew what form it should take.  How does one perceive ones self as “dead”?  This is a sense one normally does not have.  We see our self-in-the-world as “alive” and “living”.  To see ones self as “dead” is as if unnatural and goes against our natural tendencies.  Its no wonder why this creates a dilemma, it like going against the grain of everything.  In this sense it was ‘beyond me’, inaccessible.  I could not ‘grasp it’.  What this situation provoked is the question:  “how do I perceive myself as dead?” My response simply amounted to:  “I simply did not know”.  This not knowing created a sense of a ‘blind spot’.

I should point out that a person can “think” or “imagine” ones self as dead but that’s now what I’m talking about.  That’s only an abstract version, a primarily “cranial” or intellectual image that is created.  I am speaking of feeling ones self as “dead”, that ones self is “dead” as a fact, a reality, not something imagined.  But, of course, this has not happened yet.  In this way, one is trying to feel a sense that one does not have yet.  Or, to put it another way, one has not experienced it yet.  This creates a ‘gap of experience’ which leads to a sense of a ‘lacking’ which is really the ‘blind spot':  I cannot know what I have not experienced.  This creates a whole conflict of “how does one create a perception of the self-in-the-world in relation to death?”  Really, one can’t.  As a result, it will always be incomplete and lacking.  There will always be a ‘blind spot’ in relation to ‘feeling’ death.  In this way, it seems that its the inability to perceive the self-in-the-world-as-dead that is frightening about death, not death itself, as an actual event.

So we can see that the sense of the ‘blind spot’ has many elements in relation to death.  This, I felt, reflected only some aspects of the ‘blind spot’ that I felt, but I felt there was another . . .


The question of doubting brought up another point.  I knew the origin of this tendency to doubt (or, rather, the refusal to accept my self in the world).  I learned this attitude from someone who I shall call X, who is very close to me.  He basically ‘taught’ me the doubt I described above, of the inability to accept pain and the difficulty in feeling the self-in-the-world.  I know I learned it from him, as he displayed these qualities oftentimes.

Being close to X made me adopt many of X’s traits, as often happens.  I knew that I was only adopting X’s attitude in this doubting. This brings up the question:

Is the problem of my reaction my problem or X’s?

I knew the answer before I finished the question:  its X’s problem, not mine.   In effect, by imitating an aspect of X’s character I ended up adopting his problem.  But I didn’t have his problem.  Therefore, I developed a problem I didn’t have.  I called this ‘imitative inheritance’ meaning that we ‘inherit’ a problem we don’t have by imitating the qualities of another person.  In that way, it is an ‘acquired problem’.  

With ‘imitative inheritance’ I could see that the ‘blind spot’ was actually the fact that I did not have the problem.  Because of this, I could not feel an ‘intuitive connection’ to it, hence the ‘blind spot’.  It gave a sense of being unable to ‘grasp’ something or ‘put my finger on it’ and that something seemed ‘amiss’ with it all.

It seems, to me, that our living with this ‘imitative inheritance’, for a big part of our life especially, can make us appear to develop that problem.  It will appear genuine and real.  In addition, can be just as hard to get rid of as if we genuinely had it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this is far more prevalent than it at first seems.  This would mean that many peoples problems are not their own!  Most likely, we all have a form of it and many of us may struggle with the effects of it all our lives even.

The Good and Bad of Imitation

Imitation seems to have good and bad aspects to it.  Keep in mind that we can inherit good traits and bad traits when we imitate.  Not only that, what may be bad for one may be good for another and what may be good for one may be bad for another.  What this means is that there are many variations in the effects of imitation.  This can go to such an extent that no one, probably, can even predict the outcome of any ‘imitative inheritance’.  In the example I gave above I spoke of of inheriting a problem as a result of imitation but, keep in mind, that this is only one reaction.

Some of the bad aspects of ‘imitative inheritance’ include:

  • It makes us NOT who we are.  This can impair growth and development.
  • It creates problems that don’t exist.  By imitating other peoples problems we inherit their problems which we may not possess.
  • It gives us bad habits and ways.
  • It can give us traits that conflict with who we are.

Some good aspects of ‘imitative inheritance’ include:

  • It makes people alike and similar.
  • It can help by giving direction.
  • It can give us a way to be.
  • It can give us good habits.
  • It can give us good traits we don’t normally have.

As one can see, there are many good and bad aspects of ‘imitative inheritance’ which make it impossible if imitation can be described as specifically good or bad in its effects.  Frankly, its both.  It also gives it many scenarios and manifestations in how it appears.  Perhaps the effects of imitation contributes to the great diversity in people and characters?

Searching for the ‘blind spot’

I often feel that the ‘blind spot’ of ‘imitative inheritance’ (the absence of an intuitive sense of its origin, as described above) is something that we all live with.  In other words, the natural tendency to imitation leaves in us a ‘gap’, an emptiness, a sense that we cannot put our finger on something, the ‘blind spot’.  Imitation, after all, creates an absence of experience for we are experiencing the traits and qualities of another.  This absence of experience is felt as a great lacking or absence in ones self.  As a result, imitation tends to lead to a dilemma of the self.  For some people this can become a problem and cause a life crisis.  For others it can lead to life and the discovery of themselves.

Some people tend to have a tendency to look into the ‘blind spot’, to see what it is and looks for what’s missing.  Its as if the ‘blind spot’ is like a big pool that must be looked into.  As a result, imitation, as a result of the ‘blind spot’, tends to make some people reflective.  In this way, some people will find ones self in the ‘blind spot’.  That is to say, by seeking what is missing in their self they find what their self really is.  In a way, they begin to delineate who they are and separate themselves from imitation.  Because of this, the ‘blind spot’ is spanned and bridged and their self is discovered.  What this means is that imitation can help create the self, not necessarily by creating a self but in making the person seek their self and find out what it is.  In this way, the ‘blind spot’ can reaffirm and support the self.

Imitation and the Modern World

Nowadays, in particular, imitation is becoming a little bit too prevalent.  In fact, I’m inclined to think that imitation has become so prevalent that we could very well speak of an ‘imitation sickness’ nowadays.  In other words, its actually creating problems for people.  This means a number of things such as:

  • The ‘blind spot’ , which is created by imitation, has become an accepted and continual presence and has become an integral part of people’s lives and self. 
  • Because the ‘blind spot’ is so prevalent, and accepted, no tends to look at it which means that no one looks for their self.  This shows a lack of seeking a self.
  • Imitation, and the absence of looking for a self, makes a person somewhat mindless and, as a result, creates a bunch of ‘human robots’. 

In effect, an excess of imitation tends to cause a general dehumanization of humanity.  It causes things like:

  • An alienation of self.
  • A mindlessness.
  • A lack of growth. 

In other words, it makes us less human and degrades the self.  But these types of facts are hidden because, in imitation, we are doing what’s ‘accepted’ or ‘what everyone else is doing’.  Because of this, imitation creates an illusion, that everything is OK and that people don’t have the ‘sickness’.  Why should they? . . . They are doing what everyone else is doing!  This is the ‘imitation illusion’.  This illusion, in many ways, defines the modern world:  everyone appears OK because they are DOING what EVERYONE ELSE is doing.

One of the reasons why this illusion is so prevalent is because there is a tendency for people to mistake imitation for their self.  That is to say, they think that imitating successfully is the equivalent to having a self.  This is because there is a belief that the self is rooted in imitating in the correct way.  As a result of this, the measure of things becomes ones ability to imitate.  This thinking creates what can be called the ‘imitative lifestyle’.  This is a lifestyle rooted, and based, in the idea that imitation is everything and what life is about.  One could say the modern world is such a lifestyle (I’ve written an article on similar things called “Thoughts on the ‘era of imitation’ – the ‘learning deception’ and the ‘imitative culture’“).

Imitation and Education

Education, for the masses, is rooted in imitation.  This is because education-as-imitation works well when dealing with the multitude.  It makes it easy for the teachers to teach and it makes it easy for the students to follow.  As a result, it now has become a defining trait of modern education.  This means, in effect, that education-as-imitation is a form of expediency and need, not one of practicality or wisdom.  To put it another way, education-as-imitation is a ‘cheap’ way of educating the throng and hordes of people that now exists in society nowadays.  In so doing, its actually not an education at all but has more the quality of creating what can be described as ‘robots’ who are “programmed to succeed” (I’ve written an article on a similar theme called “Thoughts on an aspect of the youth of today . . . the creation of “the machines of the economy”“).

Imitation is so prevalent in modern education that it may be responsible for much of the ‘imitation sickness’ that we are now seeing.  This is because kids are thrown into an environment, beginning at an early age, requiring continual imitation.  This imitation appears in many varied ways and forms.  This goes on for hours each day, 5 days a week, for years and years.  In the end, most modern kids have spend thousands of hours in an environment requiring imitation predominately:  they “hear and repeat” (lectures), they “read and repeat” (textbooks), and they “do and repeat” (such as math problems).  As a result of this, the kids have had imitation drilled into their heads to such an extent that it affects their personality and self.  One could even go so far to say that a new ‘modern imitative character’ has been created as a result.  I would define this character as having traits such as:

  • A mindlessness.
  • Being robotic.
  • A hypocrisy and naiveness.
  • An artificiality.
  • An absence of self.
  • A lack of growth.
  • A tendency to do “what’s accepted”blindly.
  • An absence of originality and lack of genuineness.

In addition, the prevalence of imitation in education has created what can be described as an ‘illusionary genius’ in some people.  In effect, it has created a particular form of ‘cheap scholar’ which is increasingly permeating the education system, industry, and working world.  These are generally people who, because of their great ability at imitation, are able to do what the system requires and expects and what is accepted.  And because they do “what’s required”, they tend to be looked at highly and, as a result, tend to ‘get ahead’ and ‘appear’ to be the best people to do things.  In actuality, they are usually people whose main ability is the ability to imitate properly and in the way the system wants.

To go even further, things like grades, success, and prestige seem to have more basis in imitative ability than anything else.  If a person does not have any great ability at imitation then they will often have a hard time.  This means that imitation is becoming the “all-important trait” that is needed nowadays, not intelligence, not wisdom, not insight, not intelligence, etc.  Remember, imitation is not the same as common sense, practicality, intelligence, wisdom, and such.  The prevalence of imitation means that these other things are actually being undermined, eroded, and are disappearing.  This is what my observation is showing.  The schooling system seems largely involved with this.  Because imitation is critical in education, and determines who gets the best grades and score, it has made it inevitable that imitation becomes a critical and all-important trait.

Imitation and the Female Character

What I describe above appears to primarily reflect the male.  The female, having a different character, has a different orientation toward imitation.  In fact, my observation is that the female is primarily imitative in orientation.  That is to say, the female relies on imitation as part of their makeup of their self.  As a result, the female is more ‘receptive’ to imitation and appears to be ‘fitting in’ to this imitative environment better than the male.

I believe the imitative tendency, in the female, originates from the mother instinct.  To make a long story short, the mother instinct tends to create a tendency and need, in the female, of  ‘incorporating’ the child into her self so that it becomes a part of who she is:  this, in actuality, is motherly love.  This is the kernel, base, and origin of the female imitative tendency.  It creates a tendency for the female to try to ‘incorporate’ other people into their self.  Since its associated with the mother instinct it gets the power of the mother instinct as well.  This means that it is a powerful impulse, one which many females cannot fight and are basically slaves to.  In other words, the mother instinct makes the female so she has a tendency to become a “slave” to the imitative impulse and a “slave” to the need to ‘incorporate’ someone else into their selves.  Because of this, they “jump on” to imitation whenever they can.  This makes it so that they slavishly follow trends and fads, for example.

Because the mother instinct gives the female the need to ‘incorporate’ others into their selves we see that, for the female, imitation is deeply associated with the self.  But this is not in the same way as the male.  In general, the male uses imitation to FIND their self  (such as seeking the ‘blind spot’, as described above).  The female tends to use imitation to COMPLETE their self (follow trend, fad, etc.).  These are totally different orientations.  The male tends to develop a self-as-self.  The female tends to develop a self-in-relation-to-another.  This tendency in the female tends to create problems and dilemmas for the female.  In fact, the effects of imitation creates a number of dilemma’s for females such as:

  • They need to have another to complete them.
  • Their self is, in actuality, not an independent self at all but what can be described as a ‘dependent self’ or ‘relationship-based self’, one that stands only in relation to another.

The former tends to create a blind following.  The latter tends to create a mindlessness.  These qualities tend to create a particularly strong robotic quality in females nowadays that ends up enslaving and undermining them in the end.  As a result, just because the female tends to thrive in the imitative  environment does not mean that its what’s best for them.  In fact, I feel that its slowly undermining them nowadays and is eating away at the female hood in general.

In addition, because the female is so keen on imitation there is a tendency for the ‘imitation illusion’ to be stronger with them.  In other words, they are more inclined to think that successful imitation is what everything is about.  If they follow the trends correctly, if they follow the fads in the right way, then they are “with it”, so to speak, and have reached the ultimate of what a person can be.  This is what they assume.  Because of this, females tend to belief the illusion more extensively than the male.  Often, they will use it to justify their worth and value as a person.  But, we must remember, its all an illusion . . . they’re just imitating.

Imitation and Genuineness

The whole subject of imitation brings up the issue of genuineness.  Imitation basically degrades and erodes genuineness, destroying it bit by bit.  Because we are in an era of great imitation one could very say that we are in a ‘genuine poor era’.  In this way, one could say that the “cure” for imitation is genuineness.

Interestingly, what is often thought of as being genuine is often nothing but a form of imitation.  That is to say, in ‘acting genuine’ one is actually only doing a form of imitation of what the times thinks is genuine, which is usually based on what society, or a part of society, thinks is genuine.  This is a great dilemma nowadays and quite deceptive.  The philosophy of individualism, in particular, seems to promote this illusion.  This is because people act ‘individualistic’, thinking that they are being genuine and an individual but, in actuality, they are actually only imitating an accepted image of being an individual.  In this way, they are no closer to being genuine than when they started.  This is another example of the ‘imitation illusion’.

In many ways, because imitation threatens the genuine nature of the person one could say that the battle for genuineness is one of the great battles of this era.  Sadly, its a battle few are waging, at least from what I have seen.  The pull, and illusion, of imitation is so great that it has won many people over.  One reason for this, no doubt, is the fact that a person who is imitative tends to be accepted by everyone and tends to ‘get ahead’.  That’s not much of an incentive to try to be genuine.

Not only that, seeking to be genuine is not easy.  There are many aspects of being genuine that make it difficult to seek.  It entails many things such as:

  • A self inquiry.
  • A doing, experiencing, and living.
  • A way of life.
  • A cultural base.

Contrary what is often thought, genuineness is not rooted in the self alone.  This seems a common idea of individualism (which is prevalent in the U.S.), where the emphasis is what the “person alone can achieve”.  In actuality, it requires much more than that.  There appears a need for the other things listed above.  The first two points are needed from the person.  The two later points are needed in a persons environment or world.  The modern world tends to fail on the two later points.  This appears to be where the war for genuineness tends to fail.  The fact is that a person cannot be genuine without a base and a foundation in the world.  A way of life and culture supply these.  The lack of them tend to be impairing to the development of genuineness.  What this shows is that genuineness requires a base in both the self and in the world to be true. 


We can see that the situation which created the ‘blind spot’ showed multiple origins of this sense, not only from deep within (the idea of death) but socially, in relation to other people (imitation).  What this shows, in my opinion, is the great interrelationships that we have with the world and how any association with the world tends to entail two branches, one that goes within a person, to the seat of the self, and one that goes without a person, into the world.  This fact is even revealed in the nature of genuineness which requires a base in the self (such as self-inquiry) and a base in the outer world (such as a cultural base).   This is why I speak of the self-in-the-world.

Its interesting that these facts were brought out as a reaction to a situation that involved the theme of death which, in many ways, hits to the center of ones self and its association with the world.  Death, basically, ends this association making it the “ultimate” in self/world association.  It shows that the theme of death really revolve around the question of the self’s association with the world.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Death and dying, Dehumanization and alienation, Education and learning, Modern life and society, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis, The male and female | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A dream about shooting my flintlock into traffic – the dilemma of the modern world and ‘apparent lying’

I was somewhere that looked like a park.  I looked out over this grassy area.  For some reason I had my flintlock pistol.  I noticed it was loaded.  To me that’s dangerous so I decided to shoot the gun into the ground to unload it.  For some reason, though, I lifted my hand up almost horizontal (normally, I would of shot downward so the ball goes into the ground).  I shot and, oddly, could see the ball fly through the air.  Though I aimed into the grass the ball seemed to go up and up where it would cross over a road.  I got nervous and noticed there were no cars coming.  Then, as the ball reached the road, cars came from both sides.  I saw the ball go through a car window and thought I saw some accident, or something, in amongst the cars.  I cringed.  I looked again and it seemed OK.  I breathed a sigh of relief and forgot about it.  Some time later a female relative came over and told us of an accident that had happened and that they had found a muzzleloader ball in the engine (I think?) of a motorcycle and that the motorcyclist was hurt.  The police was investigating.  I panicked and did not know what to do.  I tried to think of a way out of it.  Sometime later the female relative came over again and asked if any of us had a gun. I said I had min flintlock and pulled it out.  I noticed that it was different than the one I really have.  The wood was greenish and it was slender with a longer barrel.  It also seemed to have some sort of border around much of the fixtures.  I looked down the barrel, into the pan, and such and felt that you couldn’t tell if it had been shot recently.  I was relaxed.  But my relative got a toothpick, or something similar, and rubbed the point along an inside groove somewhere (as if to get the residue of black powder).   This made me worry . . . a chemical test?  I was worried they’d surely find out.  I tried to think of all these ways to get out of it.  It seems that the police came over later and I denied shooting the gun, though they seemed to think I did it.  At this point the dream gets vague.  I recall taking a walk and I thought about what happened.  I realized that I should say exactly what happened, that I actually shot it into the grass but, for some reason the ball went up.  It was not deliberate on my part.  I seemed to feel this would be OK as it was the truth.  I can’t recall but I think that’s what I told them.  This dream so bothered me that I woke up, but it wasn’t quite a nightmare.

(What stood out in this dream was how I tried to avoid being implicated in the accident by lying about it.  In that way, it was sort of a moral issue.  I also feared the repercussions of it.  This is what woke me up.

In a half sleep I thought about the dream and basically said that this dream is a ‘realization dream’ involving the fact that this society is seeming, to me, to be getting more ‘screwed up’ and that I no longer can believe in it nor do I feel a part of it.  Its a reference to the realization that this is now ‘fact’.   I even mentioned this the night before.  I stated how this society seems less human and that the ‘system’ is taking over. I’m finding myself in a dilemma of no longer being part of a society.  I look around and people are just ‘there’.  In a ways, they are no different than the machines the litter the place.

The flintlock is a reference to my interest in the past and, in effect, refers to ‘human society’.  I can even recall how people reacted to my ‘primitive flintlock’ . . . it wasn’t ‘advanced’ enough for Mr. American.  They all had to have the ‘latest and the greatest’. Therefore, the flintlock refers to ‘human society’.  The shooting of the gun in the grass is a reference, I think, to my concern over society.  The ball flying into the traffic shows the realization that its a greater concern than I originally thought.  The area where the ball went reminded me of an area by a library I often go to.  There is a river next to it which is very nice but there is a road next to it that makes this horrible rumble which, basically, ruins it.  The traffic, then, refers to the destructive quality of modern society.  The worry over the inquiry of the police, really, is a reference to my dilemma of ‘what am I going to do?’.  The female relative refers to a relative who is a ‘male-want-to-be’.  The night before I heard a conversation between some adolescents in which they mentioned how they did not know if a specific girl “classified herself as a boy or a girl”.  One of them said, “I think she classes herself as a boy”.  I couldn’t believe it.  Can’t even accept what sex they are???  I remarked that “that’s pathetic . . . what a joke this society is becoming when people can’t even accept who they are.”   In many ways, this dream is a reference to the feeling that remark evoked in me.  To be frank, I don’t want to live in a warped society where people can’t accept who they are . . . that’s like a denial of one’s humanity to me.  That’s the dilemma:  I’d like to leave and go somewhere more ‘human’ and ‘natural’.  But where is this place at?

One thing I remarked, that was quite interesting, is about my ‘apparent lying’.  Initially, I resisted and refused to admit that I had anything to do with the accident.  Normally, people (such as the police) would make this out as some horrible act, that I was deliberately lying and such.  I felt that this was not the case.  In effect, the problem is that I had to have time to accept my involvement.  Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t know how to react.  Because of this, my ‘lying’ was not really ‘lying’, in actuality, but really a statement of “I need time to let it sink in”.  Interestingly, it was during a walk, later in the dream, that it finally ‘sunk in’ and I was able to admit, to myself, what happened.  I mentioned that I felt that a lot of ‘lying’ is actually a form of this ‘apparent lying’.  In other words, its needing time to allow certain facts to sink in.)


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Dreams and their interpretation, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Stuff involving me | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on how political theories do NOT reflect human life – the insufficiency of political theory as a model for human life

Here’s a thought I had:

Recently I heard some people moan and groan about someone’s disapproval of an inter-racial marriage.  Naturally, in America, this was made into a big political/legal issue.  The person who said it was villanized beyond belief and made out as someone who is full of ‘hate’ and a racist.  All this, of course, was said in the manner of American cold war paranoia of the 1970’s . . . God help us all, the world’s going to come to an end.  I am, frankly, appalled by this type of thinking . . . “it’s so last century”.  I’m tired of these stupid political-based American points of view . . . I don’t accept them any more.  My reaction amounted to this:

“All over the word, for centuries, there has been restrictions in marriage and in the idea of the mixing of different peoples, culture, tribes, races, and such.  Many cultures even have death penalties for these.  This has been a part of human life since the beginning of time all over the world.  This means that it reflects some human truth.  Whether you understand it or not does not matter.  Because of this, you can’t condemn people for feeling this way . . . it reflects a common human feeling.”

The attempt at trying to prohibit feelings such as these, at least in America, are primarily a result of political theory.  They are often boosted by recent historical events such as WWII (the Jews . . . the horror of hatred toward people) and the Cold War (the threat of nuclear annihilation . . . we now have to learn to ‘get along’ or be destroyed) which appear to give a verification to it all.   But all its doing is basically the forcing political theory and viewpoints onto human life.  In this way, political theory, not wisdom, not insight, not human reality, is enforced, and its enforced with political force.

Because of the close association of politics with law it often gets the sanction of law and is backed by law.  Because of the close association of political theory with law it appears to give it a more legitimate quality of authority.  But, in actuality, it is theory only.  Frankly, that makes it no more than an opinion.  But its an opinion backed by force, both political and legal.  This means that, in many ways, we are having opinion – someone else’s opinion – forced upon us through politics and law, which often tends to have an effect upon our human lifestyle.


Political theory, at least in this society, seldom reflects the culture, at least from my experience.  Though it may originate from the culture, it does not represent it, nor does it keep up with it.  As a result of this, political theory has a tendency to begin in the culture (where it gets it ‘sanction’ and justification), but slowly becomes removed from it, often becoming a separate entity in itself, even to the point that it can be described as a ‘foreign body’ within the society.  In this way, politics (and law itself) often tends to become an intrusive and disruptive element in society.  Despite this, its power keeps it there, even if it has become a ‘foreign body’, intrusive, and disruptive And so, by its nature, politics and law only tends to be partially rooted in the culture  . . . and it may not even be rooted in it at all!  This, alone, puts political theory into doubt as a model for human life.

In addition, in my opinion, politics and law are primarily rooted in the question of power, not in human life.  Its whole basis and existence are based in power, in keeping and maintaining power in society.  This power, though, is only a small part of life, and actually consists of little in respect to human day-to-day living.  Its for this reason that it so easily becomes removed from the culture and becomes a ‘foreign body’ as culture is not rooted or based in power.  This means that, to follow politics, then, is to follow an entity that is not rooted in culture, or human life, but something else altogether.  As a result, what it produces cannot be construed as reflective of human life nor a model for it.


When an attempt is made to create a lifestyle based on political theory I call it the ‘political lifestyle’.   The attempt at a ‘political lifestyle’ has been tried many times before in the past.  Communism and the Nazis come to mind.  It was very common in the late 1800’s and early-mid 1900’s, in particular, as many countries (including America) were trying to create it and create a whole national lifestyle based on it.  This appears to largely be a result of Nationalism which was a common theme during that time. Interestingly, the attempts at creating a ‘political lifestyle’ have largely failed.  The reason for this failure is simple:   political ideas are not a good enough model for human life nor do they reflect human reality.

America has tried extensively to try to create a ‘political lifestyle’ based on its political theory, which is based in the Revolutionary War in the late 1770’s.  Of all the countries that have tried it in the past America seems to be the one that has survived the best.  As a result of this, it is continuing this lifestyle even after the other attempts have failed in other countries.  I do not believe that this is because its ‘political life’ is better but because America had other things that helped it to survive (such as money).  In this way, America’s ‘political lifestyle’ is not kept going by its inherent strength but because of other things.  Despite this, America is actually continuing an idea created by Nationalism that has a history of failure.  

American political ideas, especially, do not follow human nature, in my opinion.  I’ve lived here all my life and I’m not seeing a lot of proof of it.  My observation is that every time American politics and law gets into things it ends up warping or undermining things.  In fact, I believe that one of the reasons why we have so much dehumanization and undermining of human institutions in this country is because the ‘political lifestyle’ of America does not work.  In effect, America’s political theory, supported by law, is actually killing it.

I don’t think people, in this country, realize how ‘politicized’ and ‘legalified’ their lives have become.  Its so prevalent, in fact, that many people use political theory as a replacement for things like morality and right and wrong.  In that way, it has even taken on qualities of a culture or even a religion.  In this way, it has become a ‘political-based culture’.  This is whey they have made politics more than what it is, ascribing it more power and meaning than it has.

The U.S., though, has not been the worst country to create a ‘political-based culture’. Both the Nazi’s and Communists tried to create a very involved culture based on its political theory.  In fact, they appear to of forced it so much that it actually ended up strangling the society, eventually helping to bring about their downfall.  The U.S., on the other hand, has not forced it quite so extensively, which is probably one reason why it has survived.


The fact is that political theory is neither extensive enough, wise enough, or broad enough to be a basis for a way of life.  They are limited because of things like:

  • They tend to be idealistic.  That is to say, they are often rooted in an ‘image’ of an ideal society or what they’d like things to be.
  • They reflect a specific point of view.  Typically, there are many political viewpoints running rampant in any political system.  This shows that political theory is never ‘all-encompassing’ or ‘all-answering’.  
  • They often tend to be biased.  Many political theories tend to favor certain specific people in the society, often at the expense of other people.  In this way, they are very specific and, therefore, limited in their effects.
  • They have a narrow viewpoint.  Most political theory only entail specific subjects, themes, and situations in life.  As stated above, they tend to focus primarily on power, neglecting other aspects of life.  This makes it very limited in its viewpoints.
  • They tend to be rigid and non-flexible.  Political theory tends to entail a cold rigid viewpoint about things.  In many cases, political theory is worse than science in its rigidity and lack of flexibility.  Often, they develop a system that MUST be adhered to, regardless of the situation.  In this way, political theory actually limits and restricts itself in what it can do and achieve . . . and this is seen in the behavior of many governments.
  • They are not reflective of human reality and life.  As stated above, politics is not rooted in the real human reality and life.
  • They deny or neglect certain realities about human nature and human institutions.  Because political theory is specific and rigid it often cannot cater to many aspects of human reality and life.  As a result, any purely ‘political lifestyle’ will have many aspects of human life missing or not addressed.

Things, such as these, make political ideas insufficient for human life.  We must remember that politics really only reflect the political reality, which is a narrow aspect of life.  To try to make life ‘political’, then, is a form of alienating oneself from human life and reality.  As a result of this, I tend to be suspicious when aspects of human life is affected by political theoryI become particularly suspicious when something that has been here for centuries has been altered or some new thing is forced upon us.

In general, I don’t want my life run by political theory – I don’t believe its competent enough – nor do I want it telling me what I can and cannot do or think.  Though I understand that there is a need for politics, in its place, I don’t want it to affect my human life nor do I want it determining my day-to-day life.  Political theory should remain in the political sphere and have minimal influence in the human sphere.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen


Posted in Government and politics, Historical stuff, Modern life and society, The U.S. and American society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on nihilism: the absence of the ‘belief show’

Here’s a thought I had:

Recently, I was thinking about nihilism.  I began to mention some things about it that were interesting.

First of all, I said that nihilism is nothing but the fact that there is no ‘belief show’.  I first mentioned the ‘belief show’ in an article called “A time when shamanistic ‘journeying’ scared me . . . I thought I was going mad: questioning shamanism – the ‘belief show’“.  ‘Belief show’ refers to a need that, in order to establish a belief, we need to have the belief demonstrated in some way . . . we don’t just say “I believe” and that’s it.  Because of this, belief needs to have a performance, a ‘show’, to demonstrate it, and to manifest its fact.  This appears a number of ways:

  • Through a ‘rehearsing’, often of a legend or myth.
  • Through festivals celebrating aspects of belief (such as the birth of Christ).
  • Having belief demonstrated or seen around you (such as by people’s behavior, statutes, temples, etc.)
  • Seeing other people participate in various version of ‘belief show’.
  • As a way of life and world view.

Nowadays, there is really no performance of belief anymore . . . the ‘belief show’ has largely disappeared.  We live in an era where there is no demonstration of belief.  This causes a tendency to have no belief:  nihilism.

Normally, the loss of belief is looked in ways such as these:

  • That we have nothing to believe in.
  • That we have too much to believe in and, because of this, don’t know what to believe in.
  • Because we have been so disappointed by things we simply don’t know what to believe.

In fact, it appears, to me, that these are actually examples of the result of losing belief (the ‘belief show’) more than the cause of the loss of belief.  The root problem, it seems, is that we have no way to believe because there is no way for it to be demonstrated.  As a result, belief is as if ‘put on hold’ and stopped from developing which eventually creates a lack of belief or nihilism.  In other words, nihilism isn’t just “not believing in anything” but the result of an impairment in the ability to believe because one of the mechanisms of demonstrating belief (the ‘belief show’) is not there.  To put it another way, we don’t believe because we have nothing to believe in but because we have no way in which to believe.  As a result, the absence of the ‘belief show’ tends to cause a deterioration in belief. 

This shows a number of interesting points about belief:

  • That there is a close association between belief and the ‘belief show’.
  • That belief is a ‘language’ all its own.  The ‘belief show’ is a medium of that ‘language’.
  • That belief is a ‘medium of expression’ which is why it requires a ‘belief show’. 
  • That belief entails other aspects of our self other than our conscious and overt self.
  • That belief is not a matter of individualistic power, that it is not rooted in the fact that a person says “I believe” or “I agree with the belief”.
  • It shows that belief is not rooted in ‘logic’ and the need for things to make sense.

In this ‘era of individualism and logic’ people tend to emphasize only the logical or individual aspects of belief (that is, whether it ‘makes sense’ or the fact that one ‘accepts’ it).  This, in actuality, is getting belief all wrong . . . no wonder this modern point of view can’t find belief!   The ‘belief show’ reveals that belief needs many more things than individualism and logic can offer.


The ‘belief show’ manifests its power in many different ways.  This is because belief reaches to many aspects of our self.  Because of this, belief entails many manifestations to become real and to reach the many levels of our self.  In many ways, one of the weakness’s of belief is that it requires so many manifestations.  But the myriad conditions of life create a slew of situations and conditions that disrupt, alter, destroy, and undermine the manifestations of belief.  In this way, belief often is ‘hanging on a thread’.  Some of the things that cause this include:

  • The existence of different and competing belief systems.
  • A change in way of life (as belief is intimately rooted with way of life).
  • A change in population (which seems to cause changes in belief).
  • A change in society and social conditions.

Things like these create conditions that hinder the manifestation of belief and, therefore, alter the ‘belief show’, generally by undermining it.  As a result, it becomes apparent that belief is, in actuality, actually a fragile affair, very reactive to conditions, and easily undermined or destroyed.   This conflicts with the common held view that belief is ‘solid’ and the ‘base’ of life.  The evidence points that, if a person believes then it is ‘solid’ and the ‘base’ of life but belief, by itself, is very fragile.  This is another way of saying that it is the people who believe that truly make belief.  It is not a ‘force’ of itself.  It has power because people give it the power of belief.

Passive Manifestations

The ‘belief show’ entails many passive manifestations.  By ‘passive’ I mean that it takes no real effort on the part of the person.  A person basically ‘follows along’.  This is done a number of ways, such as:

  • The belief is something that is seen and observed.
  • It is not instigated by us.  Because it is ‘happening before us’ it tends to give it a ‘life of its own’.
  • It often is repetitive in life.

Some good examples of this are ceremonies, festivals, and rituals.

The effects of these is that they make things a ‘fact’, something that is there, but not something we actively participate in.  We primarily watch and observe and, in so doing, it instills its fact upon us.  This puts them in our ‘consciousness’ and makes us aware of them.  Passive manifestations, by themselves, create people who ‘play along’.  This creates a passive form of belief which tends to be weak and easily shaken despite the fact that the beliefs are viewed as ‘all-powerful’ and invincible.  In fact, its so weak that people who only emphasize this element, even though they are in an environment of great belief (such as a formal religion or primitive tribe), tend to easily lose belief (as I’ll discuss below).

The ‘playing along’ creates something like an illusion.  They appear to believe when in the environment of belief but are slow to lose it when they are away.  This shows that the passive manifestations, really, is a manifestation of environment, of its demonstration before them.  This is ‘environment-demonstrated belief’.  Basically, the demonstration of belief, in the environment, maintains the belief in people.

In actuality, the ‘environment-demonstrated belief’ seems to create a number of effects:

  • Its  keeps belief going.
  • It makes belief consistent within a body of people.
  • It keeps the belief ‘on the peoples mind’, so they can access it when they need it.

These are all elements that maintain belief in a society.  As a result, the passive manifestation is crucial in the social situation.

Active Manifestations

But it takes more than passive manifestations to create a ‘belief show’ and make belief.  Just ‘watching it’ is not enough.  There must be active elements to give it life in ones life.  These include things such as:

  • Participation.
  • Some form of association with an aspect of belief.
  • A tendency to ‘deliberate belief’ (that is, of maintaining and developing belief for ones own self).

Some good examples of this include prayer, participating in ritual, actively practicing aspects of belief (such as certain observances, rituals, and customs), etc.

The active manifestations tend to create people who are actively involved with their belief and creates an active belief style.  Because of its active nature it tends to hit deep within a person.  As a result, the active manifestation is crucial in personal growth and development.  In contrast to the environment based quality of the passive manifestation it requires a lot of the ‘inner person’ to maintain and keep it going.  As a result, one could describe it as an ‘interior-based belief’.  This makes it so that the active manifestation is crucial on a personal level.  In some ways, it makes it so that belief pierces a person like a spear.

‘Levels’ of belief

These two manifestations shows that there are ‘levels’ in the manner of belief in a population of people, for not everyone is the same.  In a ‘believing society’ (that is, where the bulk of the people believe in a specific belief system) there tends to be gradations going which range from passive manifestation to active manifestation, revealing different levels of belief in a society:

  • An attitude of blind obeyance – “just following along”.
  • A culture-bound belief – “being a part of society”.
  • A ‘personal’ belief system – actively practicing customs and traditions of belief.
  • A deep interior-based belief – becoming a priest, monk, etc.

This means that, in a society, there are all levels existingIndividual people, though, tend to focus on a specific level depending on their inclination, abilities, and conditions.  This is quite significant and shows that there are two elements in belief:

  1. The social element – this is primarily passive
  2. The individual element – this is primarily active

For some people, the active elements of the ‘belief show’ plays a bigger part in life than others.  In fact, the ‘belief show’ can become a way of life.  In this case, life, as a whole, becomes a show or demonstration of their beliefs.  There are many ways this appears:

  • As a cultural phenomena.  In many societies this point of view is part of the culture and way of life.  Because of this, it often entails a large part of the population, which is usually quite small.  This is particularly pronounced in many primitive tribes, for example.
  • As a social phenomena.   In many societies the society will give special place and functions for people to display the ‘belief show’ as a way of life.  Good examples are priests and monks.
  • As a personal phenomena.  Many people will develop a spirituality, on their own, in order to satisfy the need for a more active ‘belief show’.

In a ‘believing society’, the ‘belief show’ tends to play a big part in society and there are many people who live the ‘belief show’ as a way of life.  This further ingrains belief into the culture and minds of the people and tends to strengthen it.  The effect of this, oftentimes, is to create a greater bond between the people and create a stronger society.

The importance of an ‘Active Belief System’

In an article called “Thoughts on defining shamanism: an ‘active belief system’” I defined what I call an ‘active belief system’ and a ‘passive belief system’.  In the ‘active belief system’ people see their beliefs demonstrated as an active and living entity in their life.  They see the gods decisions in events that happens, for example.  In the ‘passive belief system’ this is seen very little or not at all.  Often, the belief system is based on imitating or learning already established beliefs, rituals, etc. which they replicate.  They also tend to rely on religious texts and legends as an example in life, which they often try to replicate or emulate.  The active element has disappeared.

History tends to show that there is a tendency for the ‘active belief system’ to degrade into the ‘passive belief system’ with changing conditions, such as overpopulation, for example.  When this happens there becomes a change in the ‘belief show’.  Basically, with the deterioration of the ‘active belief system’, and the coming of the ‘passive belief system’, the active manifestations of the ‘belief show deteriorated as well . . . passive manifestations tend to become more prevalent.  But, as I mentioned above, the active manifestations are what make belief hit deep within a person.  Its absence has, accordingly, destroyed the deep hitting aspect of belief.  Many people, nowadays, have no sense of an ‘active belief system’ and certainly demonstrate no active manifestation of belief.  Their passive outlook, created by the modern ‘passive belief system’, naturally makes them look at things from a ‘passive’ viewpoint, expecting things to automatically ‘make sense’ and be demonstrated before them.  I have often been stunned how many people expect religion, for example, to automatically answer everything and answer all their questions, while they sit passively to the side in their lounge chairs.

With the coming of the ‘passive belief system’ the belief becomes somewhat weak and frail, as described above.  As a result, belief tends to waver easily and fall easily leading to a lack of belief:  nihilism.   Because of this, one could very well say that nihilism, then, is rooted in the deterioration and absence of an ‘active belief system’.  Once the ‘active belief system’ fails, all that’s left is the passive manifestation.  Typically, this is not strong enough to maintain itself and, as a result, belief tends to falter.

What all this reveals is that the great strength of belief is in the active manifestation . . . the passive manifestation are really supportive.  As a result, a purely passive-based belief tends to lead to no belief at all . . . nihilism.  In other words, nihilism is a condition created by a ‘passive belief system’.  This seems to show a historic progression:

  1. An ‘active belief system’ with active and passive manifestations.
  2. A ‘passive belief system’ with passive manifestations and some remnants of active manifestations.
  3. A ‘passive belief system’ with passive manifestations.
  4. Nihilism.

Though these conditions are primarily social they tend to have great impact on the person.  They make it so that there is a continual ‘losing hold’ of belief by the individual person (that is, its losing an active role in their life).  This shows that the fall of belief is, in some sense, a result of the failure of the person.  This failure is primarily because the person cannot stand up against the social/historic conditions that they are in . . . instead, they respond to it.  In this way, the failure of belief ,or nihilism, is a testament to the weakness and powerlessness of the individual person to life’s conditions and realities.   This fact is further represented in the fact that a person cannot just say “I believe” and that’s it, as is often claimed (such as by Christianity and the individualists).  Belief requires much more.  A person needs a way to demonstrate belief, the ‘belief show’, for it to be manifested and to become a reality in their life.  But the ‘belief show’ is influenced by various conditions and realities of life.  When these disrupt the ‘belief show’ so does belief become disrupted which can, in some cases, utterly destroy belief . . . nihilism. 


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Religion and religious stuff, Modern life and society, Philosophy, Dehumanization and alienation, Culture, cultural loneliness, etc. | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the ‘alien issue': peoples need to believe in the Divine when they can’t

Here’s a thought I had:

I have often chuckled at all the different statements about aliens.  In fact, its become a joke for me to say that aliens are the cause of everything.  If there’s bad weather . . . aliens caused it.  If there’s a tragedy anywhere . . . aliens caused it.  If someone does something stupid . . . aliens caused it, obviously with their ‘mind rays’.  I also jokingly speak of any bad event as a sign that the aliens are going to invade soon.  Not only that, anything that can’t be explained . . . aliens did it.  For me, its become a thing I joke about.

But, for many people, its not a joke . . . they believe it.  The claims of aliens as the source of many things has gone to extreme and absurd lengths.  Its practically created a whole new belief system about aliens, of what they are, what they do, and what their intentions are.  I sometimes speak of this as the ‘alien issue’.

Some of the things spoken of in the ‘alien issue’ include:

  • That aliens will cure everything and may even prolong our lives.  In this way, they are our saviors.
  • That aliens will give us advanced knowledge and a better society.  Often, they are perceived as ‘advanced’.
  • That the aliens built the pyramids, great monoliths, and other great structures of the past as our ancestors were to “primitive” to do it.
  • The idea that “the discovery that aliens exist will change everything.”  This refers to this idea that their discovery will somehow rock human reality to the core.
  • The idea that “the existence of aliens will show that we are not the only ones in the universe” or the “we are not alone”.  This is often treated as if it will be some great revelation.
  • The debate on whether a person believes in aliens or not.  This often is taken in the same context of if one believes in god or not.  I’ve even heard of people speaking of the “believers” and “non-believers” in relation to aliens, as if the “believers” have been initiated into some great truth.
  • That the aliens are the source and origin of the idea of our ‘gods’.  In this way, they are the gods of our ancestors.  To put it another way, our ancestors mistook aliens for gods because the aliens were so “advanced”.
  • That the aliens have interbred with humans and, as a result, we are actually ‘half alien’.  This is where our “advanced” nature originates from . . . its not a human trait . . . the “alien gene” gave it to us.
  • Then there is the idea that we are actually descended from aliens who came here from another planet and inhabited earth.

These are all outrageous claims in my opinion, more on the lines of science fiction than a serious belief system.  But, amazingly, many people believe these things as fact.  We must remember that aliens are only an ‘idea’, a possibility . . . no one has seen them . . . they exist purely in the imagination.  But, yet, there has been all these claims about them that are treated as if they are fact.  In this way, aliens have been treated as fact and have become real for many people, even though no one has seen them.

But the idea of an ‘alien’ is really nothing more than a ‘blank canvas’ in which to paint anything one wants to.  In other words, anything can be painted on to the image of an alien.  One can create a good alien, a bad alien, and, if one wants, even a gay alien, and they have been painted in many different ways.  The examples I gave above have described good aspects that aliens are supposed to bring us but aliens have also been painted in a bad and even horrifying way, such as by bringing conflict and war, using humans for food or labor, and so on.  These bad images of aliens, though, do not bring the devotee’s as the alien-as-savior theme which is what the ‘alien issue’ primarily revolves around.


After many years of watching the ‘alien issue’ I can’t help but see another side to it.  From what I have seen it appears that what a lot of the ‘alien issue’ is about is the fact that people want to believe in the Divine (namely, god and religion) but are unable to for some reason.  The ‘alien issue’ allows a means for this need to be manifested and brought out and satisfied.  This condition is created as a result of a number of things, such as:

  • The failure of religion.  The conflicts, disputes, and drama of the religious issue, at least in Western society, has left much of the population with a bad taste in their mouth in regard to religion.  Many people don’t want to have anything to do with religion because of the problems it has, or continues, to cause.  This has created a tendency for many people to be unable to believe in any organized religion and, even, the idea of a god.  This frustration in belief has even helped cause an atheism in some people which, in reality, disguises a religious need that is unfulfilled (I have written an article on this called “Thoughts on how “atheism” reflects a religious need in people“).  In many ways, the ‘alien issue’ is another avenue of this same frustration with religion seen with atheism.  Basically, its religious need turned in a new direction that does not appear to be ‘religious’ but really is.
  • The coming of science as the new belief system.  With the failure of religion science has often been promoted as the ‘new savior’ and belief system.  Science is now promoted as the ‘truth’.  Because of this, it has become the ‘accepted belief system’ instead of religion.  As a result, any ‘truth’ must be related to science in some way.  This creates a need for science in any ‘truth’.
  • The failure of science as a belief system.  Despite all that science offers it does not satisfy the ‘religious need’ for the Divine in life that people have . . . people need to believe in more in life, and they need mystery in life as well.  In this way, science has actually failed as a belief system and a bringer of ‘truth’ (I wrote an article involving this called “Thoughts on how we are in the “post-science era”“).
  • The human need for the Divine in life.   Because science has become the current accepted belief system, it has made many people try to create what can be described as a ‘scientifically supported religious belief system’.  The ‘alien issue’ is just one of these belief systems, a half-scientific, half-religious belief system that satisfies the scientific explanation but, also, the religious need.  In this way, the alien becomes the new Divine being, that is, the new god.  In that way, aliens replace the god that ‘people of science’ are not permitted to have.  As a result of this, aliens take on all these mystical powerful and awesome qualities, becoming almost god-like.  The need for god appears in the alien-as-god, cloaked in all this ‘mystical magical power’.

The historical conditions that began these starts with the Protestant Reformation where Martin Luther broke from the Roman Catholic church causing a split in religion.  This caused much religious conflict, disputes, and arguments over the years, including many wars.  All this caused a doubting of religion which eventually created what is often called the Enlightment, which offered logic and science as the ‘new answer’ and the ‘new savior’ instead of religion.  The Protestant Reformation and Enlightment took place primarily from the 1500’s to the 1700’s and created a great dilemma and crisis in Western society that is still going on.  In many ways, we are only living in the wake of this dilemma.  In this way, the ‘alien issue’ can be described as a result of the conditions created by the Protestant Reformation and Enlightment that continue on down to today.  Because of this, religion and science permeate this point of view.     


I was often stunned when people seemed to think that the discovery of aliens will “change everything” and so on.  Why should it?  I tend to view this as people wanting a ‘revelation’ of some sort to give a grounding on their alien-based belief system.  They’re hoping the discovery will bring this about.  In effect, they’re wanting something to give an ‘absolute certainty’ to their belief system.  This is because, remember, they aren’t permitted to believe.  As a result, any belief they have (even in aliens) rests on uncertain and unstable ground.  The discovery of aliens will dispel this and create certainty, which they need, and science does not offer

Some people think the discovery of aliens will have drastic effects on human reality, as if some great truth will be revealed to us as a result.  Its as if the discovery of aliens will shake humanity to its very center.  Perhaps it will change us all?  This, in my opinion, is really showing the need for religion and the need for a spirituality.  What they’re speaking of is an ‘inner transformation’ that the spirituality of religion tends to cause.  They are unable to find it because ‘inner transformation’ requires a belief in religion . . .

I’ve even heard of many references to this idea that the discovery of aliens will show that “we are not alone in the universe”.  I’ve heard some people make a big deal about this.  Why is this so important?  Of course, I know that this is a reference to a spiritual loneliness . . . again, a reference to the need for belief.  The question of being “alone in the universe” really refers to this absence of a sense of god that ‘surrounds us’ and permeates everything (which is reflected in their idea of the “universe”).  In many ways, its like saying “I have no sense of god but want one”.

Personally, I feel that the discovery of an alien, though it may cause great commotion at first, will basically be no different than discovering a new ‘species’ of living thing, except now it is extra-terrestrial.  Like the moon landing, it will be big news at first but, after the shock disappears, it will probably be ignoredI have no reason to believe that they will come in space ships and be “advanced” . . . that’s nice modern thinking.  I am inclined to think that an alien is more likely to be anything from a single cell-like thing, to a plant, to a small creature rather than some highly “advanced creature” in space ships ready to “save” us.


As mentioned above, the ‘alien issue’ is rooted in the religion versus science dispute which has, as one of its elements, a belief in science or, rather, the modern world.  Because of this, the ‘alien issue’ has many references to the worship of science and the modern world.  As a result of this, behind a lot of the ‘alien issue’ is really a display of modern arrogance.  This is why aliens are often viewed as being part of an “advanced society” which has this uncanny resemblance to ideals of the modern world:  knowledge, advanced society, and such.  In this way, aliens are often viewed as representing the ideals of the modern world.  This fact shows how much the ‘alien issue’ is very much rooted in scientific discovery and modern inventions, showing its great connection with the scientific movement.

A good example of this arrogance are some of the explanations of the great achievement of the past, such as the pyramids.  There are often two themes associated with their explanation:

  1. Since science views the past as “primitive”, the people of the past could not of created these great achievements . . . something else must of created them (i.e. aliens).  This assumes that the people of the past are dumb and stupid and shows an arrogance and bias toward the modern world.
  2. Everything tends to be compared to our scientific and modern world.  The construction of the pyramids, for example, is looked at from the point of view of “how would we do it?”  It never seems to occur to anyone that maybe the people of the past found a way to do it that we are not seeing.  The fact is that, in the past, there are so many great achievement in the world that its quite apparent, at least to me, that we are overlooking something that was obvious to them.  No doubt, this is because of our scientific-biased point of view, which makes people think that they had to of used, for example, cranes, heavy machinery, and such . . . this is only how we would of done it.  Since they didn’t have them they couldn’t of done it.  In addition, if we cannot figure out how they did it then its assumed that they couldn’t of done it.  It must be something miraculous that did it (that is, aliens).  All points of view are based on our views of things now.

In this way, the aliens have become a way to explain the achievements of the people of the past that we cannot explain.  This, of course, supports their ‘god-like’ qualities (religion) and their “advanced” nature (science).

Unfortunately, its also treating our ancestors like a bunch of idiots who aren’t capable of anything, which reveals that behind the ‘alien issue’ is a poor view of our ancestors.  This point of view is common with science which tends to view the people of the past as ‘backward’ or ‘primitive’.  As a result of this viewpoint, the existence of the great achievements of the past have perplexed many scientists who view our ancestors as incapable of doing anything like that.  Because of this, the existence of aliens gives an answer to this perplexing question.


Do I believe aliens exist?

My stance is that “I’ll believe them when I see them.”  I do not discount their existence.  I’ll believe them only where there is something to believe in.  But, more importantly, why should I?  What purpose does it serve me?  Why should I care at this point?  To me, its like saying “do you believe that there is a rock out in space that, if you look at it at the right angle, you can see a profile of George Washington?”  Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t.  Does it really matter?  So, to me, its purely speculative and fantasizing.

I’ve heard many people say, “with all the planets out there, odds are that there are aliens out there somewhere”.   That sounds like good math and science but it still doesn’t mean that there is anything out there or that I should care.  To me, its like a form of ‘scientifically proven hope’, making hope mathematically possible . . . again, another example of the blending of science and religion (hope) that is such a part of the ‘alien issue’.

In addition, I would think that, if they had space ships, we would of seen definite proof somewhere by now.  With all the radar, photos, and such, I would think there would of been something definite.  All the accounts I have heard of about alien space ships are nothing but UFO’s . . . . unidentified flying objects . . . we don’t know what it is.  Nothing is definite . . . and this has been going on too long.  I don’t count ‘indefinites’ as proof of aliens.


It appears, at least to me, that much of the fascination and debate on the existence of aliens is really nothing but people wanting to believe in something ‘beyond human’, that is, the Divine or god.  It reflects, really, a religious need.  Aliens are a good avenue for this.  They are a mysterious entity that are ‘out there’ somewhere, much like the Divine or god.  Because of this, aliens have become somewhat equated with the Divine or god.  This makes it so that people tend to believe that aliens often have god-like qualities, ascribing them great power and ability.  In effect, they are only creating a new image of god, one that they can accept in their scientific world.  They are forced to do this because the society in which they are in, which glorifies science, will not allow them to believe in god.  The image of the alien as if remedies this situation by blending the scientific possibility of aliens with the idea of god creating a unique image of aliens.  In this way, aliens have no longer become aliens but ‘god-aliens’, an image of the Divine, for many people.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Historical stuff, Religion and religious stuff, Other stuff, Modern life and society, Science and technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment