Who owns your mind?

Once upon a time, human consciousness was subject to divine possession. Take the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, much invoked of late for its resonance with Western self-obsession. In the best-known version, his rejection of Echo, the love-struck nymph who accordingly fades away to nothing, prompts Nemesis, goddess of retribution, to cause him to fall for his own reflection. So he too pines away from unrequited love, leaving only a flower behind. He’s not the master of his own thoughts, let alone his destiny.

Nor was my mother. ‘Who put that idea in your head?’ she used to sneer whenever, as a teen, I fought for independence. She’d trained my father to stay in line by exhibiting mental illness. All who loved her knew how to win her goodwill: you just needed to stroke her ego (typical of narcissists). After my father died, frauds had a field day. (She also trusted male doctors and the Liberal party implicitly: they did all the thinking for her.)

Today, science tells us the gods don’t exist. Never have; never will. And if we don’t buy this, we’re backward. (As for ‘buy’ being synonymous with ‘believe’, does that suggest a culture possessed by the god known as ‘the root of all evil’?) If we moderns still cling to patriarchal Greek myth, with its sword-and-sandal theatrics, maybe it’s because we’ve inherited ancient Greek maths, philosophy, three-act drama, medicine and democracy (LOL) for starters.

So no wonder most Westerners know nothing of the myths indigenous to the lands on which they dwell. And globalisation’s replacement of unique local features with omnipresent logos doesn’t help. A logical development of colonising the turf of others, globalisation has turned the known world into a virtual shopping mall, commodifying and sanitising culture-specific traditions until they all offer equal potential for meaning no matter where you live, while remaining equally empty and exchangeable. Then we get the re-enchantment brigade and their endearing resistance – born of confusion? – such as an eco-pagan who searches his soul during a crisis, finds comfort in Christianity, and adapts. So now God, in His singularity, is capitalised, while the convert continues to fulminate against capitalism – as if millennia of monotheism didn’t set the stage for progressive annihilation of culture wedded to place.

Is it coincidental that the more we hear about diversity – cultural, biological, neurological etc. – the more globalised and centralised our civilisation gets? Or that the more we hear about the progress of social justice, the greater the inequity between the rich and the poor becomes? And so the great Australian dream of home ownership recedes and collective resentment rises to the surface. Enslaved by low wages, tight pensions, deepening debts and soaring rents, the depressed and desperate masses seek distraction via Big Tech.

The thing is, the market forces – megacorps – that own the media need us to focus outside ourselves on what we don’t own; our desire for things to have and to hold is what feeds them. If we feel content with no more nor less than our birthright – our bodies, hearts, imaginations, wild nature, local networks, sacred rites of passage, cherished memories etc. – these parasites lose power. As they know. Which is why they’ve been busy colonising our bodies, hearts and the rest. Keep your memories safe? You can trust technology – to delegate the act of remembering to devices that constantly get obsolesced or updated at our expense, keeping us captive to corporate greed while sowing the seeds of dementia.

Lore once handed down through generations has progressively been replaced by randomly assembled information of doubtful provenance, packaged for easy consumption and novelty. And yet the political left, traditionally big on equality – rights for the oppressed – has bought into the dream that technologies owned by a tiny elite will pave the way to a global utopia. Criticise the Great Reset and you risk the charge of ‘conspiracy theorist’ – because the left has done a one-eighty. Technology that fosters dependence and false hope, enabling inclusivity at the level of surveillance, has become a means for suppression of dissent.

During the height (or depths) of Covid hysteria and the concomitant mass conformity with repressive measures – increased police presence, self-censorship, random vax mandates etc. – you could be demonised for comparing the scapegoating of the unvaxxed to Nazi persecution of Jews – a classic instance of the way opposites can swap places (like the Earth’s magnetic poles reversing). In his chilling satirical novel Red Pill (2020), Hari Kunzru pokes fun at latte-left reliance on the nanny state for protection from a violent far right, because repressed leftists fear the forces of instinct. (At least, I think that’s what he intended. If so, it’s brilliant; if not, it’s even more darkly comic.)

Who owns the future?’ asks André Dao, comparing the ‘smart, super-networked elite’, whose entrepreneurial visions for our world are devoid of critical thinking, with progressives seeking social justice, who fail to dream boldly enough: ‘as the world jerks from crisis to crisis, without giving way to structural change, the result is a lowering of horizons – activists and thinkers preoccupied with responding to each crisis, rather than working on transformative projects’. Written five+ years ago, this fits the Covid era. Where was advice on how to boost natural immunity? The whole masquerade merely highlighted the corporate capture of medicine, which keeps people consuming more, longer, to fuel a sick economy.

‘The reason I’m ringing,’ my GP told me gravely several weeks ago, ‘is that your bone density’s quite a bit worse than last time.’ I didn’t react. ‘Your last test was in 2017?’ my GP prompted. ‘2020.’ Brief pause. ‘Slightly worse then. So there’s been no improvement.’ Every second day for more than two years, I’ve been doing a workout designed by an exercise physiologist versed in evidence-based osteoporosis management and prevention. And to give the program a chance, I’ve never missed a session. Yet my GP had higher expectations re the benefits of weight training than I did and, to rule out an underlying problem, referred me for tests. So I saw an endocrinologist. What did I have to lose?

Everything, if I believe Dr B. But first I saw Dr W: who assumed he knew my body better than I do and that my doubts about drugs that stop bones shedding old cells were generic too. And though I kept assuring him I’d already researched what he was mansplaining (in his dumbed-down style), he assumed that ramping up his warnings would silence me. His shortness when I said I’d come to his clinic for tests, not treatment (or not yet), doesn’t inspire trust – if healing aims for wholeness vs. terminal dependence on drugs and a system that profits from minimising their side effects. It was as if Dr W felt compelled to convince me I need saving. As if my resistance were less individual than statistical. (In fact, he asked what I’d trained in – maths? – because I understood risk assessment.)

So this week I returned to learn the results of my bloods. All normal: I’m an ideal candidate for routine treatment. And Dr B (trained by Dr W) also tosses off shallow analogies: given the stats, not choosing a yearly drug infusion would put me on the same footing as a chronic gambler. While I’ve been lucky so far, losing ‘everything’ is a foregone conclusion. And so life for me is now a giant casino. But I can’t actually leave by opting for IV medication; all I can do is halve the risk of losing. And faced with questions from outside the box, he fidgeted and checked his watch. Would you trust this doctor to do all the thinking for you?

This entry was posted in the life of the writer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Who owns your mind?

  1. It’s poor form to give blunt answers, but I don’t trust doctors. Why should I? Their training is a form of political conditioning that is, I think, very clearly sociologically biased. Of course, I have good health, and don’t need to trust them, but nobody I love does anymore and they’re between rocks and sterile places.

    To answer your titular question. I do. What remains is the strength of conviction in upholstering that ownership. What tries to buy my mind, is another question, what draws my attention. What is the cost of ownership, what do I do to get the most off my buys? Etc. But then, I am a believer in Will being a facilitator of destiny.

    I personally don’t have a problem with capitalised divinities. But I don’t see it as limited to Xtianity. I follow (an expanded) Asatru, I tend to capitalise my Divinities. Hindoos, well some of them, I’ve seen do it. I’ve also had a chuckle to see some of your new age types and generic Goddess followers do it too. Although you could argue, to a degree, that some of the NA Goddess stuff is upside-down, inside-out reactionary Anti-Christianity. (Which only becomes something I raise an eyebrow at when it carries out the same impulses Christianity is accused of.)

    Anyway! A good read, again. Thanks for the thoughts.

    • Thanks for your engaged response. Blunt honesty beats equivocation any day. The problem of mainstream medical untrustworthiness, to my mind, becomes more pressing when alternatives are actively disparaged or even suppressed (as we’ve seen writ large re Covid).

      I like to think I own my own mind. And I have some basis for comparison, since I totally lost it at one point when young. But the experience of what I call madness (so as not to medicalise it w/ our culture’s usual reductiveness) taught me that our minds are subject to far vaster forces than our wills, whether we psychologise that reality (subconscious, collective unconscious) or spiritualise it (channelling, clairvoyance etc.).

      To clarify, I’m happy for folk to capitalise their deities. But due to long-term overexposure to Christian capitalisation of the singular divine male pronoun, I may have developed a mild allergy. 🙂 And ‘She’ is just the antithesis of ‘He’ – it’s not a synthesis.

      • While it was, I’d guess, not fun to lose your marbles I’d think it must have been eye opening. The allergy makes since. We live in a tiring world of capture a flag. Any flag. All the time. Forever.

        It’s a Lefty meme, but I always think of this cheeky old cartoon from a newspaper. When it comes to the Wealth Wealthcare Industry.

        It shows a pleasantly plump woman minus an arm with her bloody bandages telling the doctor the tale of her mangling. Without looking up from his chart he asks, “have you thought about losing 15 pounds?”

      • Not fun is hardly the point! Though I applaud your understatement. 🙂 The thing is, how to keep one’s eyes open? What mostly happens when ‘psychoses’ open people’s eyes is that psychiatry, on behalf of society, tries to close them tightly.

        Love the cartoon: accurate representation of how closely most doctors listen.

      • Euphemism is a lost art. Open eyes. What fascinates me is what open eyes see. Many conclusions once one falls off the reservation. Sadly, lots of gatekeepers and dragnets too. I tried to find the cartoon I saw in the paper. Didn’t. But found something very similar. Evidently there’s a market.

      • Agree the art part is lost. But euphemism thrives… (Folk ask ‘When did your mother pass?’ & I want to yell ‘DIE!’) As for what open eyes see, I think that if or when we can witness consensus reality w/ detachment, other dimensions reveal themselves naturally.

        Thanks for the cartoon: sums up the redundancy of the advice I received last week.

      • You’re welcome, of course. Anything to aid and abet a fellow international system-cynic.

  2. Now as to the exercise of divine manipulation or possession that is something I’ve thought about somewhat. Rather than blather more than I already have, I’ll leave this here. https://spergbox.wordpress.com/2022/08/03/working-ecstasy/ . No pressure of course. But I find the topic of what Bishop Sheen called the Divine Invasion, is worth exploring.

  3. Noted & bookmarked. Thanks again.

  4. So much here. Focussing on the end. Facing similar at this side of life. The aging body and the medical profession trying to offer cures. For the moment I’ve just switched off. My mother lived to 94 without over-the-top intervention. Yes, she did break her hip in the last years of her 80’s, probably spontaneously due to poor bone density…and she was skinny. She was on blood pressure pills, probably from her 40’s and family history of stroke and heart attack. So I have opted to follow GP’s advice and do the same regarding BP. They put her on daily Ca+ (can’t remember if D was in the mix as well) after hip fracture, but that was it for her. I went through bone density risk assessment and an offered entry into the injection research program after fracturing my foot 7 years ago. I refused. Researcher/Professor was pushy and not happy with my decision. Am I at risk? Probably. If, after a lifetime of solid daily exercise and drumming my bones are still losing density and are at risk….? Reaching similar re:physio sessions I’ve been attending for over 10 years because of back injury. Probably kept me walking but certainly did not IMPROVE and is not halting the slow mobility decline and pain. For me at this stage it is very much about making my own decisions in light of advice and research for as long as I can. Then being able to live, or die, with it if it goes belly-up.

    • I’d love to edit the comment I made except I can’t find how. Since commenting I’ve checked my mobile newsfeed…and guess who answered? Well, you’d know because I sent you an email. GOOGLE…with two news items for strengthening hips and balance. There you know. Now we know who owns our minds. A-a-a-g-h. Of course, I sort of knew that already but did not realise how quickly big brother responds.

      • Thanks, Annette: just found your email. And thanks for the link. Creepy Google, eh? Yep, my exercise physiologist is big on balance (though that’s the least of my problems). Endocrinologist droned on about increased mortality risk re hip fractures from falls, to which I said, yeah, often due to lack of resources & staff for proper care of immobilised patients in institutions. The doc agreed.

        And thanks for sharing your personal experience. Are you at risk? In a culture obsessed w/ safety, this is the burning question!

        I asked the endocrinologist for a printout of their ‘Fracture Risk Calculator’ assessment. It’s instructive. The doc checked ‘previous fracture’ on the form, after I explained that I was knocked down by a car that hit me at knee height, causing a tiny crack on my tibial plateau. But the form defines ‘previous fracture’ as a clinical risk factor if it arose from: ‘a trauma which, in a healthy individual, would not have resulted in a fracture’. Wasn’t this doctor listening? Or is it that healthy individuals can bounce off moving cars w/ impunity?

        Everybody’s bones are losing density. That’s what bones do. It’s part of ageing. But humans are generally living longer & getting more sedentary, so it’s more of an issue. Yet another burden on the hospital system. Making your own decisions sounds as good as it gets.


        It’s all about money. On Monday they told me to have a think about the drugs & gave me the number to make an appointment for treatment when I decide. Today a letter arrived: the date & time for the appointment I haven’t yet made. Like you say: pushy.

  5. As previous comment noted, there is so much here. Thank you, lots of thoughts. I got goosebumps when you talked about our memories…and the delegating of. Keep your memories safe? For some reason (which I shall contemplate) this has destabilised my thinking more than the rest.

    • Thanks for sharing your goosebumps! It humanises the virtual space. 🙂 Personally, the idea of keeping memories ‘safe’ does my head in. Like, why does everything have to be ‘safe’? The very nature of memory is shapeshifting, deceptive, elusive… besides which, all our memories are actually stored in the brain; we just don’t have conscious access to most of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s