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Liar, Liar; Planet on Fire — How I Learned to Cope with Conspiracies

YOWUSA.COM, 13-February-02
Marshall Masters

Planet X-class Kuiper Belt Object (XKBO)

Planet X-class Kuiper Belt Object (XKBO): A Kuiper Belt Object in a long period orbit around our sun, with sufficient mass to trigger life-threatening global Earth changes as the result of a flyby event.  Marshall Masters, YOWUSA.COM 

As of late, there seems to be many unusual events on Earth and in our solar system now. They seem all add up to the likelihood that a Planet X-class Kuiper Belt Object (XKBO) could fly past our planet sometime in the years to come, causing a global catastrophe beyond our wildest imagination.   Like the proverbial elephant standing in the middle of the room, our government talks around it.  Is this vacuum of official wisdom an intentional conspiracy designed to protect the interests of the wealthy and ruling elite? It wouldn't be the first time, so why squander time on useless finger pointing and rhetoric? 

Does our government lie to us?  Tell me "no" and rest assured when I tell you the check is in the mail.  Does our government crush the lives of honest citizens in the frenzy to maintain the secrecy of covert projects?  Tell me "no" and rest assured when I tell you that all it needs is a tune-up.   And the list goes on…

However, when we step back and take a hard look at global threats such as an XKBO, or global warming for that matter the whole issue boils down to us as individuals and what we will or will not do about it.  That is, after we are no longer comfortable with our materialistic blinders. 

When Karl Marx said, "religion is the opiate of the masses," he had it all wrong.  The fact is that materialism is the opiate of the masses.  We like our comforts and so we voluntarily wear blinders to keep those pesky threat issues out of our line of sight.  But then, one day we hit a bump in the road and turn our heads just enough to see something unsettling in the far distance.  This is when we begin the 5-step process to achieving the state of Catastrophic Coherence.

The 5 Steps to Catastrophic Coherence

Once we've lost our ability to be naively happy with our blinders we get zapped by something that could be a terrible consequence.  It could be an asteroid impact, weapons of mass destruction or whatever.  The bottom line is that whatever it is, it kicks you out of your soft materialistic slumber with all the tact of a Marine drill instructor suffering from hemorrhoids.  This is when you begin the following 5-phase process of personal development:

Phase 1 — Oh Crap

Whatever it was that you saw just outside your personal blinders, is has managed to kick you out of your soft materialistic slumber.  Consequently, the sudden realization that life could change for the worse in Titanic proportions hits you head-on.    

  • How Phase 1 Begins: You've read or heard something that hits a deep hot button within your psyche and you begin memorizing every crack, dabble and color in the bedroom ceiling above your bed. 
  • How Phase 1 Ends: After several sleepless nights, you finally decide to repaint the ceiling in your bedroom. 

Phase 2 — Come See The Crap

A consistent hallmark of Phase 1 is that it is primarily an emotional event.  Logic and reasoning would dictate that an informed decision is the best way to go, but this is still an emotional time.  After all emotion is like sand.  Whip it up into the air and you cannot see the horizon of logic — hence you are still lost.   

As the saying goes, "misery loves company." When people are lost, they want to share the experience so they can validate their own emotions. After all, why should you be the only one to know his bedroom ceiling needs repainting?

  • How Phase 2 Begins: You start sending incoherent E-mails to all of your friends and argue with your spouse or significant other, who just wishes you'd shut up about it. 
  • How Phase 2 Ends: You wake up one day and realize that you've isolated yourself.  Your friends stop returning your calls, and your spouse or significant other registers for 15 hours of night classes at the local Junior College to avoid you, and to be with other people who haven't gone around the bend. 

Phase 3 — But I've Got To Be Right?

The nice thing about being isolated from friends and family with whatever your catastrophe worry happens to be, is that it finally forces you to take a hard look at how you got there in the first place.  

  • How Phase 3 Begins: Tired of being emotionally whipsawed by your own self-inflamed fears, you finally ask yourself, "Did I make an informed decision?"  This is largely a solitary effort as your family and friends are still avoiding you, and talking about you behind your back in worried tones.  
  • How Phase 3 Ends: You form two conclusions. First, what you thought was a legitimate threat is really a lot of hype written by some bozo trying to panic you into buying a book.  These are easy to spot, as they always tell you in that the world will end with the next 18-24 months and where you need to send YOUR money. 
    The second conclusion is more profound and lasting.  Whether or not a fear-mongering charlatan took you in is beside the point.  The point is that your eyes have been opened and now for the first time, you see that this is a violent universe, that real threats do exist, and that you need to understand them.

Phase 4 — Oh God! 

This phase as the song suggests, "is the loneliest number you'll ever do."  At this point, you're still a catastrophe pariah for your friends and family, but they are being to like you again because you finally shut up for some unearthly reason.   

What they do not know, is that you've decided to make peace with your creator, regardless of what you call him, her or it.   

  • How Phase 4 Begins: No matter how you got to this point, you know understand that you live in a dangerous universe and that being blind to this fact is just plain stupid.  Further, no matter what anyone else thinks you've come the distance and if only you and God know it, then so be it -- you're good with that.
  • How Phase 4 Ends: You thank God that someone or something ripped those damn stupid materialistic blinders off your head and from this point on, there is no going back.  That is, unless you want to see a shrink for the rest of your life, which is a real option when you're rich and famous.   

Please note, for those of us who live on fixed incomes, gratuitous shrinks are no longer covered under our managed care Blue double-cross health plans. Consequently, we must accept a more affordable post-blinders reality. 

Phase 5 — The Universe Is Unfolding As It Should!

As a poet said: "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." Sounds familiar — yes? 

This famous poem titled "Desiderata," was reportedly written in 1692 and found in St. Paul's Church in Baltimore, Maryland.   

But given that you've passed "Phase 3 — But I've Got To Be Right," you've done your research and made an informed decision.  You learned that the church was founded in 1692, but that the poem "Desiderata" was actually composed in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945), a rector at St. Paul's Church.   

The whole point of this phase, is that it makes all the personal grief and suffering you may have experienced in the previous four phases vanish.     

  • How Phase 5 Begins: You feel a new sense of empowerment within yourself.  You've looked the beast in the face, smelled its breath, and you held your ground. You know that you will survive and that the universe is truly "unfolding as it should," regardless of whether or not it makes sense. 
  • How Phase 5 Ends: The point is that it doesn't end. 

You can scream all you want about conspiracies but that is only an emotional crutch used to avoid the path to Phase 5 and being one with the universe.  Why bother? 

If an asteroid is to strike the Earth and kill 3 out of 5, none of the governments or schemers and their conspiratorial fancies will survive.  They will be swept away like tears in the rain, just as the thousands of other connivers who populated the thousands of other civilizations on this planet that no longer exist.   

Therefore, the issue is how do you survive!   

Why Phase 5 Is About Survival

Every survival expert in the world will tell you that those people who more likely to survive when faced with a sudden life-threatening situation are the ones who can think their way through it.   

Will digging a bunker in your backyard and stocking it with a 10-year supply of canned goods ensure your safety?  No, not necessarily because: 

  • Your friends and neighbors, who once called you a stupid Noah before, are showing up at your door with guns and knives and demanding food because they have nothing to lose.
  • Dumb luck, your underground bunker with its 10-year supply of canned goods just happened to be ground zero.  Go figure.
  • You die from a disease you did not anticipate.
  • The government confiscates your supplies for the greater good — at gunpoint. (OK, so we're talking about a gunship-mounted, 20mm cannon with depleted uranium ammunition. Is that big enough?) 

All you can really hope for is enough advance warning to move yourself and those you love (and who will listen to you) to safety.  After that, whatever you can carry on your back for 10-miles without becoming a physical wreck.  For some, that can be 200 lbs., for other 2.  It all depends on your physical stamina and condition.   

But then, what about all those folks you were trying convince back during "Phase 2 — Come See The Crap?" 

Save Yourself — Not The World

The key to coping with global threats and the follies of government conspiracies is that you stay focused on yourself.  Do not try to save the world. Rather, find those like yourself who have begun their own journey towards self-empowerment. Share with them what you have learned, and what you want to explore.  Above all, make informed decisions.

There is an old joke about a man who goes to his doctor, and the doctor says, "You're going to die."  The man says, "Can I have a second opinion?"  The doctor says, "Yes you may.  You're ugly too."  

The point of this anecdote is that making an informed decision means using multiple, non-related sources.  Reading one book or Internet article with all the key issues is not good enough. Take the time to read more, many more!   

While in the process of making an informed decision, share your findings with those of a similar interest.  The simple act of composing a well thought out E-mail will shape those ideas floating around in your head into coherent thoughts upon which you and others can take action.   

Please note the operative phrase, "composing a well thought out E-mail."  This does not mean copying a dozen people with a slipshod and unsubstantiated slew of questionable hyperlinks with some thoughtless ditty like, "oh golly, you absolutely must spend your entire afternoon trying to find sense in this incoherent mess of hyperlinks because I think enough of you to swamp your E-mail in-box with half-baked nonsense."   

Simply put, share useful, usefully organized information with like-minded correspondents.  

The final and most important point is that this 5-step process is a heuristic process, which means that you will learn from your mistakes.  Expect to make mistakes and make sure you learn from them.  Do this, and you will be able to read the poem "Desiderata" with a new sense of survival meaning, survival insight and survival empowerment.  

Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.  

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.