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The joys of negative thinking
Posted By Stuart Goldman On 09/11/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
One of the phrases that is bandied about with annoying frequency
these days is “think positive.” Whenever I hear someone utter this
tiresome piece of hokum, I have to suppress the desire to deliver a hard
left hook to the guilty party’s liver and then say, “Think positive
about that, chump!”
Think about it for a moment. Exactly what does this saying
mean? I’ll tell you. It means: only look at the aspects of
reality which please you, and ignore those which are unpleasant to
you. In short, brainwash yourselves!
I take the opposite point of view. I think the only sane way of
living in an absolutely insane world is to think negatively. I’m not
suggesting that you make a point of seeking out only the depressing
aspects of life, but neither should you ignore them. All I’m really
saying is that you have to look at everything. And the only way
to look is out of a state of denial. Why? Simple. Because everything out
there posing as “fact” is, in reality, someone’s opinion. And contrary
to popular belief, opinions are essentially worthless.
Let me ask you something. Those things that you call your opinions
… how did you get them? Have you ever stopped to wonder where they
came from. How have you tested them? It always kills me when
somebody says, “I’m entitled to my opinion.” As if his opinion had any
value! On the contrary, if you’re interested in
truth — opinions only get in the way.
There is another issue we must deal with, and that is that people –
whether or not they admit it — are inveterate liars. You lie so that
people will react to you in the fashion in which you want them to. This
happens on a personal, or (as in Mr. Clinton’s case) on a mass level.
This state of “lyingness” is the actual state of the world. To put all
this more simply: 90 percent of everything you see, read and hear is
Do you pick up the newspaper (or go on the ‘Net) and believe what you
read? If so, you’re a fool. We use papers to delude ourselves into
thinking we’re getting facts. But whose facts? What are the
motives of the people who give you these facts? To keep their
jobs. To stay in power. Their interest isn’t in truth — it’s in
maintaining their position. This may sound elementary, but we don’t
think about this when we pick up the paper or watch the evening news.
Oh, we might question it a bit, but somehow the idea that something is
“in print” gives it
Understand something. There is no such thing as “objective
journalism.” No matter how much the reporter may try to mask it, he is
always in the story, lurking somewhere in the background. You are
getting his point of view, by virtue of which facts he selects to
write his story. If he succeeds in convincing you that you’re getting an
“objective” viewpoint, he’s conned you.
Now let’s move from lying to hypnosis — which is the state of mind
that exists when we accept someone else’s version of reality. There are
many ways in which the world keeps you hypnotized. People talk about how
terrible TV is, but the worst part about TV isn’t simply that it’s
stupid. It’s that it keeps you in a constant state of suggestibility. TV
shows are designed to kill our awareness, so that by the time the
commercial arrives, your poor benumbed brain will simply absorb the damn
thing (and hence, buy the product).
But what’s the big deal about awareness you ask? I’m telling
you that in order to weed your way through the muck out there — in
order to get through one day in this lunatic asylum — you’d better damn
well be aware! Every second. Why? Because it’s dangerous out
there. Because every single day of your life, you encounter eight
zillion people whose sole purpose is to con you, cheat you and lie to
you … to steal your money and your mind, and your soul if they can.
And if you don’t have the wherewithal to weed out the truth from the
lies, than you are a victim, my friend.
But this is terrible, you say! What can I do to help myself? The
first thing you’d better do is to start disbelieving everything and
everybody. Don’t laugh. I’m serious. This, means you’ve got to
expend a tremendous amount of energy in order to scrutinize everything
that comes your way. Worse, the task is doubly hard, because the
instrument that is doing the scrutinizing — your brain — has, from day
one, been polluted (it’s called “conditioning”) with massive amounts of
Let’s get something straight. I’m not suggesting that you go off and
sit on a mountain top like a bunch of stupid little New Age zombies. The
idea that you can transcend this world is sheer idiocy. Sorry, you’re
But don’t get despondent. It’s not all that bad. In fact, this way of
meeting the world — which I simply call Negative Living — isn’t
depressing at all. On the contrary, it’s incredibly invigorating.
If you’ll give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised to find the many
rewards it offers … not the least of which is that people lose their
power to manipulate you. Better still, it’s fun!
I think that’s enough for this little sermon. I have just one
question for you. Do you believe anything I’ve said?
If your answer is “yes,” go back to square one and start over.
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