The sadness of hypnotized hope
We just returned from a family weekend to Las Vegas and although the shows are incredible and we all enjoyed them, walking down the Strip and being shunted in and out of casinos forces you to see the dichotomy that is Las Vegas and the life of the constrained.
There is a running theme with many people that reach out to me after reading my blog articles or listening to my podcast - they know that something isn’t right in the world, but despite that the one missing thing they are all craving is hope. Hope that they can live a life that isn’t a treadmill experience of sitting in traffic for five days a week, working at a job they hate or at best tollerate, have limited time with the family and know that the future is just a continuation of this charade. But what can they do? They can’t afford to get off the treadmill because they could lose it all.
That’s not the way to live a meaningful life. That is the life of a slave. We all know that, but few of us have the courage to confront it for what it is. Most will find a way to succumb to the corporation and the workplace. “I love my job” they will say, but they don’t. “I love the people I work with” yet they know that if they were to leave the job, they’d rarely hear from them ever again, being treated like a rat that left the sinking ship. “A splitter” as some would call them.
I hate to break it to you, but they are not your friends. The fact you share only the same coincidence that you work at the same company is not a basis for forming a meaningful friendship. Sure, there are exceptions. I hope you have them, but for most people they are living a charade. And it never seems to end well.
I have to quote a Tweet from Molly Hodgdon @manglewood I re-tweeted on Twitter, that is pretty much on the money here:
“If you work hard at a job you’ll be rewarded, respected, and taken care of by your employer. Hasn’t been true of any job I’ve ever had. Not one.”
Yep, that is pretty much the truth. We are left to find sanity somewhere in our work. But how can you if you are filling out forms, writing code that is pointless, filling out a TPS reports, etc. It is no wonder that some of us want to destroy the printer in the office - take it out back and shoot it.
Work should be meaningful. Work should be something you embrace as “your calling”. Not some tasks being given to you by a dysfunctional boss at a dysfunctional company. Then it isn’t work. It is what you do. And you’ll do that until the day you die, or no longer can do it. Retirement shouldn’t be celebrated as a end of work, but should be feared as a time when you can’t do what you love to do. If you are passionate about what you do, you will never work a day in your life. Unfortunately few got that memo, and they are definitely not passionate about their jobs.
Where is the hope? What happens after 20 years of this? What do you become? Do you have a meaningful future ahead of you?
Or is it that the 20 year future doesn’t come.... Or that you live in a constant fear that you can’t compete with offshore labor or automation. Your job will be sent to China or India and you’ll be left with no income and bills, bills, bills.
The 401K or IRA might be full from your employer’s contributions, but you can’t touch that until you are probably too old to enjoy it. And when you can, do you become one of the zombies sitting in front of the slot machines at Bally’s? Do you come to Vegas to “win big” and yet leave with nothing? Do you feel empowered there, or transfixed? Like a deer in headlights, listening to the bings and bleeps, the music, the visual stimulation, anything to keep you hooked.... Stuck in the chair, wanting to press the “SPIN” button again and again and again.
Then you get up, leave and wonder what just happened?
I saw them doing that. By the thousands. That people flocked to that artificial city to spend money. The mental stimulation was on full afterburn. After a while, you start to get worn down by it. Either you succumb to it, or you just feel downright sick.
I fall into the latter category, personally. I’ve been to Vegas about 15 times in my life. Each year I head there for the CES convention, but I feel that there is some purpose to that pilgrimage. I get to see new technologies being unveiled which tells me the general sense of where that industry is going. My ability to observe is well fed by gadgets upon gadgets, and I would rarely touch a slot machine. But, again, I see all around me those that are not there with purpose - other than the call of the slot machines.
I realized Vegas is a symbol for 21st century herd life. The artificial world of benefits, “at-a-boys” and other small incentives force those to give up their life savings to the casino - the “house” as they call it. And yes, by design the house always wins. They might think they are enjoying themselves, but they leave poorer. They may have little more to do than to sit in a smokey casino, at a machine that gives them some stimulation and a drink lady who only wants tips. Even the calling of the $6.99 all you can eat buffet is long gone, now replaced by the $38.50 buffet at the MGM Grand. Maybe they still exist somewhere far off the strip, but that’s not where the action is, so the punters won’t go there.
The old days of $75 a night hotel rooms are replaced with corporate hotel mega-facilities and $300 a night “suites” which are nothing more than a small hotel room anyway. Ubers are, at minimum $12 a ride and taxis almost double that.
Yet they come. And come and come. In hundreds of thousands each day. McCarran airport is a zoo, and even they have the slot machines by the gates.
I’m sure you’ve been to Vegas. But do you see it as a metaphor for your corporate lifestyle? Are you hypnotized to go to the machine each day and press SPIN all the time? Periodically you get the pat on the back, “Employee of the Month” award, etc. Like the slot machine is paying you out a small amount of coins to keep you glued to the chair. Are you getting enough remuneration that can let you pay the bills, the taxes and all the other fees, that you have anything left over after? Or is it that the house always wins in your employed life as well?
And who, prey tell, is the house?
It is the banks. Yes, the banks. They exist outside of any one government, they provide the money that funds the corporations that you work for and that own the same hotels & casinos now in Las Vegas. They extract money from hypnotized people, and they use the very same tactics to hypnotize their workers to stay at their desks and do something they would never normally choose to do. Day after day after day. Until they are let go, hopefully with their retirement, only to seek out the very same purpose in hypnosis that often is found in the casinos on the strip in Las Vegas.
Who can break this pattern?
You. The unconstrained. By realizing that you are being programmed, hypnotized and your future has been predetermined for you, that is the first step to changing it. The question often is how far down the rabbit hole have you gone and whether there is any hope for you to change it? Are you able to pull yourself out of there before it is too late?
Have you been told that a “safe job” is the one that you get to work for the same corporation for 40+ years? Because that isn’t safe. That is a way for you to give up your own freedoms and choices because you don’t trust yourself to have them. You fear the responsibility of being a real person. A person of freedom and choice. So many of us are bred into a life of institutional enslavement and crave it. Without it, we are lost children in the jungle. And like a “lifer” - a prison inmate who can’t escape the prison complex, on leaving the jail they are lost in the real world and often commit crimes just to get back into the safety of their captives hands.
Is that you? Are you a “lifer” in the corporate job? Can you escape? Do you have what it takes to take the Red Pill and break free of it? Or have you already gone so far into debt - so far into following the mantra of stay in school, study hard, get a good job, work hard and the company will look after you? How’s that working out for you?
Do you have any money left in the month as they say? Because 80% of Americans don’t. 80% of Americans have no hope because they are enslaved to that very same mantra that forced them to buy too much car, too much house, too much student loan debt, etc. And now they are constrained. They can’t move, they can’t live free, they have no hope for the future.
I hope to god that is not you. But there’s an 80% chance that it is.
That life is work hard, watch mindless TV, maybe the football game on the weekend, worry about security, overspend on the credit cards because some retailer told you “you deserve it”, and take your frustrations out on political ideology and “triggers” that make you scream out that no one is hearing you, no one understands you, everyone are idiots and no one gets your points. Yet you are going to jump right back into that car and sit in traffic day after day after day and go to that same job, day after day after day, and hit the SPIN button over and over again, hoping for a payout that rarely comes, until the end of the week. Then we do it all over again. No wonder people are barking mad.
No wonder we have such a toxic society out there. People want to rip out each other’s throats. Gun violence is perpetual. Political ideology is driving families apart.
But it has nothing to do with the hypnotized messages of “Vote for this candidate”, or that immigrants are coming to steal your jobs. Hell, let them have the jobs. Who would want those jobs anyway? Why do we need jobs anyway?
Why? Because of the banks. They banks enslaved you so that you need to work to pay the bills, which are driven from a debt enslaved world. If you had financial sustainability you wouldn’t need the job. Then give it to whoever wants it. What do you care? You are fine.
At what point in your life do you realize this? When do you take the Red Pill and escape?
When do you choose to actually become unconstrained?
Well I can tell you this.... For the thousands and thousands I saw glued to the seat in front of the slot machines this weekend, I really don’t have much hope for them. They are likely to be suggestable. They fall for the hypnosis and I can’t stop that. But if you are someone who doesn’t fall for the hypnosis, maybe there is some hope for you. Because I can tell you that a life of being unconstrained is happy. It has hope. It is secure and it is wonderful.
The freedom to rise above that hypnosis let’s you see the opportunities out there that others can’t see. How could they? They are glued to the seat being told to press SPIN. Glued to the cubicle in the corporation. How would they ever see the opportunities with their own eyes? They can’t travel.... They won’t stumble upon them. They sure as hell won’t find them on Facebook or LinkedIn or a YouTube channel. You can invest 10 hours a day in those worlds and you will never really find the truth out there. Maybe glimmers of it, but until you get off your ass and go to the world and find the answers, you don’t get the golden ticket of opportunity. Yes, opportunity is a participation game. It isn’t given to those that don’t front up to it. And it isn’t where everyone else is going, because if it was there once, it is long gone now.
First step of being unconstrained is to unconstrain your mind. That means to begin to create financial sustainabiity that funds your existence without you selling your soul to do it. Then you have the freedom to transcend this hypnosis that is the 21st century workplace, and see the reality for what it really is. That’s where you find your security. Not in some W2 paycheck each two weeks - enough only to feed the bankers.