Chapter 195 For a Peaceful Mind, you Must Accept That Our Political Leaders Will Not Do Anything to Save our Once Great Nation from the Inevitable Decline

As of July 7, 2012, it appears that our futures at the hands of the politicians will do nothing to prevent America’s inevitable decline from a once great industrial empire.  For future continuing peace of mind, lower your expectations and realize that increasing wealth will not be a part of your lives for the foreseeable future.  I was reading posts and articles on today that showed a town hall meeting with Mitt Romney, the muli-millionnaire who the Republicans chose to challenge our current president Barack Obama in November. 


Needless to say, it really doesn’t matter who wins the election.  America has spent itself into a debt spiral that she can never expect to pay off.  President Obama has spent just as much money as the former president before him, President George W. Bush.  Government Sachs, er, I mean Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan Fraud, I mean “Chase” and the other lobbyists donate equal amounts of money to both candidates to promote their own agendas.  America is now run by the money from almighty special interest groups.  Whoever is the president is mostly a “trigger man” who represents “big money”/big corporations.  And America is knocking on another debt ceiling of over 14 Trillion dollars.


No matter how much people wish to criticize President Obama, his challenger seems to have precious few ideas of his own.  Mitt Romney, a millionaire hundreds of times over, can have little connection to the typical American, who is living paycheck by paycheck, with an underwater mortgage on his/her home (meaning the debt owed is larger than the house is worth), and with car payments that they can hardly keep up with.  Daily it seems, there is a sad article about someone who either died or committed suicide because one of the big banks foreclosed on them, leaving the homeowner…now well, homeless. 


These same megabanks were selling mortgages to owners with the only qualification as a “heartbeat”.  There were 50 year mortgages, “interest only” mortgages, even reverse mortgages (where the debt INCREASES year after year), on new and existing homes.  The borrower only had to fill out an application, and not even provide proof of income.  They were popularly known as NIV loans (No Income Verification) loans.  Stories of illegal immigrants with a phony SSN number working at McDonald’s but stating their incomes well into the six figures were accepted happily by “too big to fail” banks.  That is, until the bubble popped in real estate in late 2007.   Real estate prices plunged, and the Case Shiller Housing Index which tracks home prices continue to show year upon year of price drops nearing 30%.


The ensuing collapse of company after company (mostly banks and those that insured these bogus mortgages like AIG) in the financial crisis nearly brought down the entire US and hence world economy.  The banks were bailed out by the government with loans that our children and their children will have to pay.  There were no real changes.  A couple of years later, it was back to normal on Wall Street. They just engaged in the proverbial “kick the can” routine.  Americans were outraged, and justifiably so.  The economy basically collapsed a couple of years ago.  As the Federal Reserve eased like crazy, financial disaster was averted…at least for the time being.


The critical issue is still one of jobs.  A prominent newspaper noted that the main drivers of hiring during these past two years has been McDonald’s and Walmart…both minimum wage starting jobs.  The news business media reported that the top six stockholders in Walmart stock were worth over 1/3 of the entire country.  That disparity usually signals revolution.  We will have to see what will yet happen.  The mass riots in Europe which started in Greece may actually come home here to the USA.


The fake unemployment numbers grossly underestimates the true figures.  So many people just dropped right off the unemployment index radar because they gave up looking for jobs.  So many others are “underemployed” (meaning that their skills far exceed the jobs they are currently doing).  And there are ranks and files of “part time employees” (who have no health insurance and other benefits).  The true unemployment rate, as commented on is likely closer to 25%, a disaster number.


Mitt Romney, in the town hall meeting, suggested to the public that if they could not find a job, that they ask their parents to borrow money to start a company.  That is such a joke.  No families really have any money to spend, let alone spend to lend a hand to their already indebted children.  Maybe his tactic would work…if your parents ARE Mitt and Ann Romney.  Nobody in America really knows how to create real jobs anymore.  It’s just like Mitt Romney saying he knows how to create jobs… then pointing to Sports Authority and Staples (a retail office supply store).  This is another joke.  It is just what this economy needs – more minimum wage retail jobs from stores that peddle nothing but over-priced items imported from China.  CNBC did a show on how they work so hard in China in factories where they actually LIVE.  They work horrible hours for peanuts, some ten dollars a DAY (a long workday at that). 


But at least China has a manufacturing base that is expanding.  The USA’s Industrial Revolution has ended and now is primarily a service economy, with poor wage growth jobs.  The aforementioned American retail store clerks making $8.25 an hour are noted by people like Romney who think those workers are going to then turn around and buy $250,000 condos, Range Rovers, and revitalize the economy. 


This is so ridiculous that I think I need to take a break from writing and take some more pain medication like Tylenol and Aspirin to quell the headache that I get whenever I think of the future of this once great Empire. 


About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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