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writing for godot

Dangerous Minds--Your Thoughts are not Your Own! Case in point: Kalief Browder

Written by Mimi   
Tuesday, 09 June 2015 04:26
I was surprised (and somewhat horrified) when I posted in another blog yesterday that Kalief Browden shouldn't have committed suicide, that he should have channeled his despair into social change, and I only received two comments--both criticizing me for suggesting such a thing. How dare I suggest Kalief (and all the Kaliefs of this world) not end his life? Apparently, there are people in this world who think Kalief made the right choice in committing suicide...


Yes, my friend, there are people in this world who think you should give up, commit suicide, go away, and just let them continue to take over the world. Because Kalief, you are not the only young, black man who was arrested, thrown in prison and tortured by a system that is racist, classist, sexist and just plain corrupt. (No, I don't believe the system is "broken." It's just a bad system altogether.)

So I started thinking (as I often do) about how Kalief represents all of us who are suffering under this corrupt system we have here in the USSA. It's a system that throws an innocent 16 year-old boy into Riker's Island where he'll either learn to be cold, hard, mean and criminal, or he'll learn to be emotionally and spiritually broken. Sadly, Kalief learned the latter.

But what's even more disturbing is that there are so many Kaliefs out there. In fact, I believe we are now (here in the USA) a nation of Kaliefs. We are broken. We don't believe we have a choice. We have been shut down and shut out.

I feel this way myself, and in many ways I am on the front lines in the resistance movement against everything that's wrong with this country. Sometimes I think I'm a spiritual warrior, fighting to stay alive, to maintain my sanity, my clarity, my sense of self and my ability to see the big picture and keep things in perspective in spite of all that continues to happen to me and to those I love. Sometimes I think I'm fighting a losing battle, a lost cause. But what's the alternative? To accept that my country is now a police state? To get depressed and end it all? To accept and contribute to it? (Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!?)

And that's why nothing changes. Social injustice will always be with us in some shape and form. But we need the Kaliefs of this world to stay with us. We need them to speak out. Because they are on the front lines. They are living testimony to everything that is wrong with this country. I believe that Kalief, had he lived, would have done wonderful things for this country. I believe he would have helped his fellow Kaliefs, the other young and vulnerable ones who are unjustly imprisoned by the bullies that comprise our prison industrial complex. He could have been a champion for the rights of the imprisoned and for the rights of black people, and poor people in general, to not be hassled by the police, to not be criminalized, to not be broken.

We need the Kaliefs of this world to be strong, to stay alive and to speak out. We needed you, Kalief! You shouldn't have left us!

If you're a Kalief who's out there hurting due to the massive social injustice that's taken over this country then you need to know this:

Your mind can be your worst enemy. Beware of your own mind!

Yes, yes, yes, I know. The mind is a "terrible thing to waste." The human mind can do wonderful things. We humans figured out a way to fly, for heaven's sake. We figured out a way to travel at over 100 miles-per-hour. Yes, it's amazing what our minds can figure out.

But our minds can also be our worst enemy. Sometimes we can't trust our minds. Sometimes we need to talk back to our mind. Sometimes our own mind is lying to us.

Think about this: Kalief was beaten by prison guards, but he survived. Kalief was beaten by prison inmates, but he survived. Kalief was tortured in prison, but he was released from prison. He was a free man, and, from what I read, someone donated money to him so that he could attend college. But there was one thing Kalief couldn't survive, and that was himself. The prisoners and guards didn't kill him. He murdered himself. His mind wouldn't let him leave that prison. His own mind wouldn't let him go. He became his own worst enemy.

People, we need to take control over our own minds.

"How can this be?" you ask...
Well, I'm going to tell you something that may be controversial. The pharmaceutical industry doesn't want you to know this, nor does anyone in power want this knowledge to spread,
but here it is:

Your thoughts are not your own.

"What's that?" you say. WTF?
Well, I'll say it again.

Your thoughts are not your own.

Your thoughts--yes, the thoughts in your head, the ideas and memories that lead to emotions and feelings don't necessarily belong to you. They're coming from somewhere else.

OMG! She's a wacky conspiracy theorist! She's going to start saying the government micro-chipped my brain, is channeling microwaves into my cerebrum and turning me into an illuminati tool, or some nonsense like that. They're coming to take her away, ha ha! ("To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all time, and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats...")

Uh no, people. I'm not even talking about that. Certainly, there are lots of people who will talk about subliminal messages in the background of TV shows, movies or advertisements. That's very interesting too.

But what no one is talking about is that EVERYTHING is subliminal. The entire world is sending us subliminal messages all the time. We don't realize these messages are being sent. (That's what makes them subliminal.)

Subliminal messages are only powerful because we don't realize they are messages that are not coming from us. If we knew someone else was trying to control us, we'd rebel. We don't like being controlled or told what to do. If someone walked up to you and told you that you're a stupid, incompetent loser, and that you're life will always be miserable because you're an idiot, you'd probably get angry at her, right?

But if your thoughts tell you that... Do you get angry at your thoughts? Argue against them?

'Hey, you! Get out of my head! I'm not a loser! I'm a wonderful person! I've got a great future. Sure, things have been bad, but I'm going to make them better. I'm going to find good people who are supportive of me and I'm going to turn my life around! Don't tell me that s*it! Get out of my head!'

Do you do that? Do you talk back to your "thoughts"? Or do you just find yourself feeling sad because these "thoughts" are telling you to hate yourself and to hate your life?

Let's talk about words:
We hear words spoken to us that are audible to us on a conscious level. But subliminal messages are the messages we don't know we hear. Our subconscious mind receives the message, but our conscious minds don't register it as a message that's coming to us from somewhere outside of us. In other words, we believe these messages as our own thoughts. But they aren't our thoughts, they're messages being sent to our subconscious mind by someone who wants to control us, who wants to control how we think about ourselves and the world around us. When we don't consciously notice that a message is being relayed to us by someone else, we misinterpret that message as a thought, so we believe we're thinking our own thoughts. We're not.

WTF are you talking about, lady?

Subliminal messages are only powerful because we don't realize someone else is sending us the messages. When someone else tells us to do something, we often rebel. We don't like other people ordering us around! So if someone wants to control us and understands human psychology, he/she will plant thoughts in our head, make us think that their ideas and opinions are actually our own so that we don't realize they're planting these thoughts in our heads.

This process is often called "brainwashing."
It's the reason why poor people believe that it's their own fault they're poor and will attack other poor people for being unemployed, underemployed or homeless--even while they themselves are in the same situation!

It's the reason why poor people continue to shop at Walmart and to vote against their own best interests.

It's the reason why some homeless people will tell you that homeless people are just lazy and not even trying to make their lives better--even while they themselves are homeless!

It's the reason why some women will attack themselves and each other for having wrinkles or pockets of fat and sometimes kill themselves with bulemia or anorexia (while continuing to read fashion magazines and watch TV shows that repeatedly attack them for not being young, thin or pretty enough.

It's the reason why young men will gladly, willingly enlist in the military because they think carrying guns and killing people makes them more masculine.

It's the reason why many Americans will continue to be patriotic and support a corrupt system along with this "rugged individualism," i.e., selfishness and greed, that's destroying the country--even while they themselves continue to suffer from it.

It's the reason why victims blame themselves and fight among each other rather than fight the oppressor.

Brainwashing is powerful. Your mind turns against you. Of course, there is a solution. The first step is recognizing that your thoughts are not your own. Someone else is sending you this message and trying to control how you think. You can resist. You can take control over your own mind, but only after you realize that you do have this control. It is your mind, after all.

In his book, "The Four Agreements" Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about how we can live in a psychological heaven or hell. We can choose what what thoughts we give our attention to and which thoughts we talk back to.

Yes, I know, easier said than done. Not easy. Harder for some than others. But possible. Our minds are the one thing they cannot take away, though they will try, and sadly, in Kalief's case they succeeded.

But this doesn't have to be true for the rest of us. We can recognize when our thoughts are not our own then work on freeing our minds from the programming.


Okay, let me put this to you in yet another way. When the innocent 16 year-old boy, Kalief, was arrested then thrown into a dangerous prison with hardened criminals where he was beaten, placed in solitary confinement and, essentially, tortured, he received several subliminal messages. The messages came from law enforcement, from our society, and from the world around him that he was a criminal.

Now, I can't travel inside another person's mind. But if I were inside Kalief's mind and could hear the subliminal messages that his brain were receiving, my guess is that this was the first one he heard:

"You are a criminal. You are bad."

Since he was kept in solitary confinement, not allowed to interact with others, he probably hear this too:

"You need to be locked up. Society doesn't want you. Nobody likes you. Nobody wants you. Nobody cares about you. You are alone."

When he was beaten up, he probably heard this: "People are out to get you. Other people are bad. Other people are dangerous--especially the police. You can't trust people. They want to hurt you!"

When his suffering continued for three long years, he probably heard this:

"Things are never going to change. Things will never get better."

Since most of the people who hurt him represented our so-called "justice" system, he probably also heard these messages:

"People in authority are dangerous. The police are dangerous."

And maybe he even had thoughts like this one:

"White people hate black people. Don't trust white people! White people are evil!"

Like I said, I don't know what thoughts went through Kalief's head, but I do know he received a lot of subliminal messages, messages that were relayed to him on a subconscious level that he allowed to become a part of his own thought process. He became what they wanted him to become--broken, dispirited, unable to carry on, believing he couldn't escape the suffering for as long as he lived.

Like Kalief, we all have thoughts that do not belong to us, that were placed in our minds by people who want to control us. Most women feel bad about our bodies. We're too fat, too old, too out of shape. Those thoughts do not belong to us. Our parents didn't teach us this. The messages come from years of exposure to advertisements, to TV shows and films that constantly bombard us with images of very young, very thin, perfect-bodied women who are often paired up with men twice their age (and twice their body fat!) Of course, there are products we can buy that might help us to be more...perfect...

And as a people, we Americans have come to believe that we are powerless. We've become dependent on the powerful and have learned to "think" just like them. We work for large corporations, and when they lay us off we're helpless. We become "inferior" in the eyes of everyone around us because we don't have "a job." Suddenly, we're unwanted and unloved. Suddenly, we're outsiders because we aren't a part of this dysfunctional system. We don't know how to take care of each other anymore because we're so used to supporting and being supported by this faulty system that is collapsing day by day.

And now I've written too much. It's getting late, and I need to stop.

But just remember this. Your thoughts are not your own. They're the result of years and years of experiences embedded in your psyche. There are all kinds of people living inside your head. Most of them come from your past. Choose to associate only with the ones who are supportive of you. Tell the other ones to f-off and, eventually, they'll leave you alone, and your mind will be a safe place once again. your social media marketing partner
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