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Monday, November 26, 2018

What Separates the "Ordinary People" From the Heroes?

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


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"This inner world is truly infinite, in no way poorer than the outer one. Man lives in two worlds." 
- Carl Jung


What Separates the "Ordinary People" From the Heroes?


Nietzsche, in a blinding flash of insight, pulled Thus Speaks Zarathustra out of the ether and, in a mad fury, wrote the entire thing in just ten days.

He then, like Jung, spent the rest of his life figuring out what this work meant -- discovering its meaning and fleshing his most brilliant ideas out of it.

Albert Einstein, one night, imagined he rode on a beam of light, and spent much of his career putting into words and building on that thought experiment, leading to his most important discovery, one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century, the Theory of Relativity.

Nikola Tesla, a wildly underrated figure of the 20th century, had no need for a model to test any of his inventions. They appeared in front of him as visions he could stop and start as though they were really there.

"During my boyhood," Tesla wrote, "I had suffered from a peculiar affliction due to the appearance of images, which were often accompanied by strong flashes of light. When a word was spoken, the image of the object designated would present itself so vividly to my vision that I could not tell whether what I saw was real or not… Even though I reached out and passed my hand through it, the image would remain fixed in space."

Day and night, he said, he would go on journeys. He would travel to new cities, imagining himself living in countries he'd never been to. "I made imaginary friends who were very dear to me and really seemed alive."

So, we wonder…

What Separates the "Ordinary People" From the Heroes?

The most brilliant people in history seemed to have an uncanny connection to a deeper, more primal, creative mind.

The thing, perhaps, Jim Morrison of the Doors [my first concert] and the Lizard King, would later, after a peyote-fueled vision quest through the desert, call the Universal Mind.

"My brain," said Tesla, "is only a receiver. In the Universe, there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know it exists."

In this core, said Tesla, is the solution to every problem. The fix for all that's broken. The answer to every question.

And, thing is, you don't have to be a genius to tap into this power.

Carl Jung, one of the most brilliant men of the 20th century, would, to access this core when feeling stuck, go outside and play.

The Power of Play

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung talks about how, one day, after hitting a wall on a particular problem, he let his intuition take over.

He went outside, gathered rocks from a lake, and began stacking them.

Without knowing why, he started building a village made of stones, with cottages, castles, eventually even adding in a cathedral.

"What are you doing?" he asked himself. "I had no answer to my question, only the inner certainty that I was on the way to discovering my own myth. For the building game was only a beginning."

This led him to drawing and painting, which became fundamental to puzzling out his BIG questions.

He wrote:

"This sort of thing has been consistent with me and at any time in my later life when I came up against a blank wall, I painted a picture or hewed a stone. Each such experience proved to be a rite d'entre for the ideas and works that followed hard upon it."

His intuition served him well.

Neuroscientists now know three states of awareness that correlate to creative insight -- all induced by a relaxed state of play:

  1. relaxed calm focus,
  2.  positive moods, and
  3. meta-awareness (being aware of your awareness and thoughts).

Why Kids Are Smarter Than Us

"We learn," author Jeffrey Davis writes in The Creativity Post blog, "by rolling up our sleeves and making things, even if what we make is crap or doodles or stacks of stones. The embodied creative mind lights up when the body is engaged in focused play.

"The playful hands-on activity of working with clay or sketching puts your mind in a state of relaxed calm, quiets the machinating worrier within, and awakens parts of your brain associated with creative insight."

If you're stressed, overworked, blocked, hitting a brick wall… it's time to stop trying… let go… and start playing.

It's the key to digging out the answer to your challenges (creative or otherwise) and even finding your calling.

Davis offers some suggestions:

1] Sketch your questions. With your question in mind, just start sketching. Don't control it, just put the pencil to paper and start, see what forms emerge, follow them, let go. Relax into it. Stay curious. Allow the inner critic to fall away.

2] Think with your hands. Says Davis: "Get some clay, legos, a sketch pad, or a whiteboard. Plant the question in the back of your mind, and start doodling with your hands. Diagramming on a whiteboard or doodling in a sketch pad trips up the brain's 'worry circuitry.'"

3] Start a dream journal. This is one of my personal favorites, and has been a huge part of my life lately. (More on that soon.) Sketch images that come up in your dreams. Write down larger themes. Can't remember them? Make the intention before you go to sleep. Your subconscious mind is always trying to communicate. Talk back. Ask it questions. Sounds "woo-woo," but it works.

4] Be playfully obsessed. Do something that has no point and makes no sense. Says Davis: "Andy Goldsworthy inspired me several years ago to start making random stick sculptures in our woods. I had no idea what I was doing or why except that it was helping me 'work through' some ideas for some life-transition questions."

Most of the greatest ideas in history didn't emerge from the rational mind, but from a deeper place.

Play, it appears,is the key to unlocking that deeper, creative mind.

Something, as it happens, sorely missing in the life of most adults.

What a shame.

It's the stuff of geniuses.

As one blazing-hearted Western mystic said long ago:

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


On the Political Scene:

Rumor has it…Iran plans to limit its oil output with hopes of driving up the cost of fuel for Americans in particular to $16 per gallon just in time for Christmas.

The Strait of Hormuz.

One-third of the world's oil supply passes through this thin strip of water every single day. If it were closed for any reason, the price of oil would spike immediately.

Unfortunately, at its narrowest, this body of water is controlled by Iran. Meaning every single barrel of oil technically must travel through Iranian territory.

With new sanctions on Iran, the country's leaders have been making a lot of threats lately.

Iran's military can't feasibly strike back at the U.S. But they could potentially cause problems in the narrow Strait of Hormuz, according to a former U.S. Army general. And any disruption to the oil supply, even lasting just a week, could spike oil prices 300% or more.

>one way or the other, an oil price spike is coming. Potentially this winter.

>Market tension earlier this month stemmed from a prediction that the federal funds rate would be well on its way to a decade high even if the Fed did nothing at their November meeting.

Well, the Fed kept their funds rate at 2 - 2.25%. And a big hike is due in December while the yield curve continues to flatten, potentially signaling a recession…helped along by uncertainty in the international markets [the FED raising rates again, Brexit, China, oil, final NAFTA agreement, etc.]

Here's what you need to know...

Plus, a lot more is happening:


My new favorite conservative website:

Many of my favorite columnists and features can be found here…it is a nice alternative to the leftist Yahoo…I recently stopped using this depressing search engine.

By the way, keep in mind:

 The winners are those who lose the least. As far as I'm concerned, the Greater Depression is looming, not just another cyclical downturn. You may find that although you're far ahead of your neighbors (you own precious metals, you've diversified, and you don't believe much of what you hear from official sources), you're still not as prepared as you'd like.

I think a good plan would be to approach the problem in four steps: Liquidate, Consolidate, Create, and Speculate.

Step 1: Liquidate

Chances are high that you have too much “stuff.” Your garage, basement, and attic are so full of possessions that you may be renting a storage unit for the overflow. That stuff is costing you money in storage fees, in depreciation, and in the weight of psychological baggage. It's limiting your options… It's weighing you down. Get rid of it.

Right now, it has a market value. Perhaps to a friend you can call. Or to a neighbor who might buy it if you have a yard sale. Or to some of the millions of people on eBay-my wife sold nearly $400 worth or Hallmark ornaments in a 24-hour period that she paid less than $20 for!   A year from now, when we're out of the eye of the financial hurricane and back into the storm, it will likely have much less value. But right now, there's a market.

Just before the previous financial storm hit in ’08, I warned my friends & associates to liquidate non-essential assets.  Those that did were forever grateful for that advice.

 Even if most people are no longer wearing those “He who dies with the most toys, wins” T-shirts that were popular at the height of the boom, there are still buyers. But the general standard of living is dropping, and mass psychology is changing. In a year or two, you may find there aren't any bids and the psychology of the country has changed radically. People will be desperate for cash, and they'll all be cleaning out their storage units (partly because they can't afford the rent on them).

Liquidate whatever you don't actually need – clothes, furniture, tools, cars, bikes, collections, electronics, properties, you name it. You'll be able to rebuy something like it, or better and cheaper. Just as important, you'll feel light and mobile, unburdened by a bunch of possessions that own you and weigh you down. It will definitely improve your psychology, which is critical to the next stage. And the cash it generates will be helpful for the rest of the plan.

Step 2: Consolidate

Take stock of your assets. After Step 1, that should be a lot easier because you'll have less junk but a lot more cash. You'll already feel more in control and empowered. And definitely richer. But your main assets aren't money or things. It's the knowledge, skills, and connections you possess. Take stock of them. What do you know? What can you do? Whom do you know? Make lists and think about these things, with an eye to maximizing their value.

If you're light on knowledge, skills, and connections, then do something about it – although if you're reading this, you probably already live life in a way that builds all of those assets daily. But there's always room for improvement. Think the Count of Monte Cristo. Or if you're not so classically oriented, think Sarah Connor after she met the Terminator.
Part of this process is to look at what you're now doing. The chances are excellent there's a better and more profitable allocation of your time. Even successful rock stars tend to reinvent themselves every few years. You don't want to get stale. That leads to Step 3.

Step 3: Create

Remember, the essence of becoming wealthy is to produce more than you consume and save the difference. But it's hard to maximize value working for somebody else. And when you're given a job, it can be taken away for any number of reasons. There is cause, and there is effect. You don't want to be the effect of somebody else's cause. You want to be the cause for everything in your life. That implies working for yourself. At least turn your present employer into a partner or an associate.

Perhaps go through the Yellow Pages (while they still exist), page by page, line by line, and see what you can provide as a service for the businesses advertising there. I promise you, they're all looking for someone to come along, kiss their world, and make it better. Think like an entrepreneur at all times. Remember that there is an infinite desire for goods and services on the part of the 7 billion other people on the planet. Find out how you can give them what they want, and the money will roll in.

I've said many times that I believe you could airdrop me naked and penniless into the heart of the Congo, and by the time I emerged, I'd not just have survived, I'd come out wealthy. And believe me, I don't think wealth is by any means the most important thing in life; it's important but should be considered a convenience, not an imperative. Not that I'd wantto be airdropped into the Congo at the moment; I've gotten a bit lazy, I have other interests, and you can't be everywhere and do everything.

But now that I think about it, if I wanted to make a real fortune today from a small base, I might prefer Africa to any other continent. As an educated Westerner, you can quickly meet anyone on an equal level much more easily than you could at home. If you have a reason that makes any sense at all, you can be in the office of the president within a week. These countries are all plagued with incompetence and corruption, they need everything, and they're full of untapped resources and talent. This all inures to the great advantage of a foreign entrepreneur.

Step 4: Speculate

You've got money. Now, you have to keep it and make it grow, because staying in the same place amounts to going backwards. That's partially because the world at large will continue getting wealthier, even as the dollars you own lose value.

 Most people will try to outrun inflation by trading or gambling. The markets, which are the natural friend of productive people, will perversely prove very destructive to them in the years to come. You'll know when the final bottom in the stock market has come: The average guy won't want to hear about the stock market, if he even remembers it exists. And if he does, he'll want it abolished.

Instead of becoming a victim of inflation and other politically caused distortions in the marketplace, you can profit from these things. Rational speculation is the optimum approach.

If you’re like us – WE SKIPPED BLACK FRIDAY. We did not visit any mall, we did not shop online…we don’t need anything other than food and clothing and therefore avoided bumping into rude crowds and foolish spending.  Instead, we enjoyed a pleasant Chinese dinner and completed a few holiday cards and spent another day cooking and enjoying time with friends…

Yours for a brighter season,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man!’


Final Notes…

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Additional Resources

Your Free Middle Class Survival Kit


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