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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Who am I?

At last Wednesday's Critical Thinking session, the question of our existence was raised: Why are we here? What is our purpose? It is a question that few have considered important or relevant which came as a surprise to those who've been preoccupied with such questions for much of their lives.

The question who am I? may seem tangential to the work of Critical Thinking but we talk about the need for a shift in human consciousness, a realisation that we are interdependent and that much of our thinking and perceptions today have been inculcated with a deliberate purpose, not least to deter us from asking this fundamental question.

If the world is going to change for the better, we need to explore our motivations and reasons for living; the question is central to changing the world. We cannot impose our views on each other but we can attempt to identify whether we are sufficiently motivated to want to understand ourselves in order to work for the benefit of humanity.

Without seeking to claim knowledge or insights, Daily Pickings puts forward these three articles as being relevant to our journey of self-discovery:

The Odyssey as a Psychological Hero Journey
Heroes, as depicted in literature, often undertake the most difficult tasks and place themselves in mortal danger in order to bring back, for themselves and their societies, both knowledge and treasure. Their stories follow what Joseph Campbell calls the “Hero Journey.” The Odyssey , as the epic story of the hero Odysseus, follows closely the complete cycle of Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey, both as a physical and as a psychological undertaking. The Hero Journey, used as a framework for both Odysseus’ physical and mental journeys, serves to bind the two together. Each of Odysseus’s physical difficulties can be viewed as a metaphor for a psychological hardship that he must overcome, and by overcoming these hardships, Odysseus matures—achieving a more complete understanding of himself and his place in the world. At the conclusion of his journey, Odysseus is a better person, having conquered his own psychological restraints, and he returns home to use his new-found self-understanding to be a better king, husband, father, and son.

Sex and death in Homer
Just as men of my generation grew up hearing about the Second World War, and about its heroes and villains, we know that Telemachus and his near-contemporaries, the suitors, grew up hearing about the Trojan wars, and its heroes – Achilles, Ajax, Agamemnon, and, of course, Odysseus. How often they must have heard the bards sing of these great men. How much their imaginations must have been filled with them and their exploits. How much they must have wanted to be like them – to be them. It is this, I think, what the poem offers as an explanation for why the suitors are so young, and why they want Penelope. They are young because they are the next generation – the ones that did not fight in the Trojan Wars. They want Penelope because she is the wife of Odysseus. They want her because having her is like being Odysseus, stepping into his shoes, ploughing the furrow he ploughed. Even being in her aura, even simply hanging around Odysseus’ palace, brings them closer to what they want to be. They stay because their identities as Odysseus wannabes are underwritten and sustained there.

Encountering the Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Young Man’s Search by David Ulrich
“Above all, you must feel the need to know yourself. You are something and you don’t know it. You have to acknowledge that you do not know who you are, and that you need to know it. This opening is the most important step.” - Jeanne de Salzmann

Weather or climate?

Unusual weather is want to provoke the "it's climate change" reaction - similar to yesterday's brainwashing video, we've been subjected to decades of the climate change même (it was the "global warming" même before it became apparent that the claimed runaway warming was non-existent). But weather IS NOT climate and extreme weather is not in any way related to global temperatures, irrespective of the causes of temperature change.

The Great “Extreme Weather” Climate Change Propaganda Con
The “Extreme Weather” meme has earned its place in climate change history as the fundamental driver of climate scaremongering, used deceptively and effectively to promote the catastrophic man-made climate change theory by instilling fear, doom and gloom directly into the human psyche through simple imagery and repetitive correlation rhetoric.
Even though “weather” is not climate, the daily bombardment via news and multi-media of climatic disaster clips provide more than enough evidence for the casual observer to convince them that the climate is in fact changing as a direct result of human CO2 emissions.

In spite of the prevalence of climate change propaganda, many are waking up to the lies and deception around the man-made global warming myth and are expressing their doubts with well referenced arguments. What is the reaction of publications such as Popular Science? Rather than engage in healthy debate, they stop people expressing their views publicly because it may wake others up to the reality: man-made global warming is another scam. There has even been talk of making it illegal to express scepticism.

PopSci Kills Comments, Blames Global Warming, Evolution
First they came for the BoingBoing comments, then they came for the Popular Science comments, then they came for... wait, that pretty much sums up the current state of affairs. After BoingBoing opted to scrap its in-article comments for a forum in a few months back in June, PopSci just announced its decision to follow in suit with an article entitled "Why We're Shutting Off Our Comments". This remarkable act of reader censorship is backed by a number of questionable assertions -- most notably the notion that reader comments undermine the preaching of a "scientific doctrine" and that "comments are bad for science."

A recent edition of "questions for Corbett" considered: Why would people lie about climate? This question is addressed 16min 26sec into the video and explains how, contrary to popular myth, big oil is funding climate change hysteria rather than debunking it.

But on whose behalf are "big oil" (eg. Shell) and the World Wildlife Fund acting for? The Structural Elite, principally Rockefellers and Rothschilds who hatched and announced the global warming plot decades ago.

As was said in yesterday's Daily Pickings, we have to challenge all our beliefs, many of which have been inculcated over decades through constant repetition, playing on our fears to make us feel guilty if we question accepted narratives. Time to wake up! When you realise how we've been played, it'll make you crazy but once that passes, we can work on removing power from the charlatans, thieves and murderers.

Steps to understanding

We grow through learning. In many respects our education and belief systems act like a staircase. We learn facts and skills and once learned, these "steps" are relied on to build further learning and understanding. Having climbed some way up the staircase, we're disinclined to go back down the stairs to "unlearn" or verify what we've taken as read.

The reasons for this can be many and various: laziness, other priorities or because our status, place and view of the world are reliant on the character and shape of the staircase we've climbed. Revisiting what we think we know may negate everything we've "learned" and have come to believe subsequently; shock horror, we may even discover we're on the wrong staircase leading us to nowhere or worse.

Bearing this in mind, one has to persevere with this next video because if you are of a certain disposition, it will repel you initially but as it unfolds, the beliefs many hold dear are revealed as false, illogical and untenable. You may have to watch it more than once for its true import to sink in. The research we've undertaken within Critical Thinking corroborates most of what is claimed and explained.

Some of us have had to revisit the lower steps on our staircase, giving us a very different understanding of the world - essentially upending our "staircase" - it is a far from comfortable experience but once we've been through shock, anger etc. (a kind of trauma) we have a much better sense of the world as it is today.

If we are not prepared to consider alternatives to widely held beliefs, we risk drifting into "a world where the living envy the dead". Please watch the video, no matter how difficult or repellent you find it - understanding the world as it is is essential for us all.

Sex, money, murder and organ transplants

Paedophilia and human trafficking operate on multiple levels and when celebrity speaks, it is tempting to throw our support behind everything they propose, following our natural sympathy and empathy.

But before getting carried away with an emotive response, let's examine one of Ashton's specific proposals, to break anonymity on the internet; he refers to Tor. The biggest threat to us all is centralised power and the surveillance state. The US, UK and Israeli intelligence services collude to gather information, close down dissent and control us all. So before we applaud his demand for breaking anonymity on the web, let's think.

The rot of paedophilia in society stems from the top; paedophilia is a means of control and is fostered and encouraged accordingly.

Before going after the "non-authorised" perpetrators who are the inevitable foot soldiers of the human sex and trafficking industry, let's remove the levers of power from those at the top of the pyramid. They've corrupted our society by using media to seduce, kidnap, abuse and murder our children.

As commendable as Ashton's work is, he should look to Hollywood and media industry before pointing the finger elsewhere to get us to submit to yet more draconian control over our lives. Paedophilia is rife within media and media is a primary lever of control - always think of the whole system because knee-jerk, emotional reactions endanger our children and our future. Ashton Kuthcher's video is designed to elicit an emotional response... and it works (don't forget, he's a trained actor) - so let's not be played, eh?