Image is Everything?

Fantasy Self of Superpowers vs. Genuine Self of Competence and Growth

Image is Everything

Remember when tennis legend Andre Agassi was the poster child for “pretty-boy losers?” No matter how many times he said “Image is Everything,” his perfect image still lost tennis matches. Only after devoting himself to the hard work of becoming a better tennis player was he able to escape the “image trap” and develop the master inside of himself.

Agassi After Being Hit by Reality

Although the popular culture of celebrities is all about the fantasy life, the “image is everything” life, the real world only has room for so many celebrities and artificial role models. For most people, a successful life would be better achieved through facing reality head on.

Genuine Self vs. Fantasy Self

Becoming a Dangerous Child is hard, but playful, work. The art of personal unfolding and self-realisation which all Dangerous Children must undergo leads naturally into a deliberate and self-guided ascent up the mountain to becoming a genuine — as opposed to fantasy — self. Genuine selves are aware that they are fallible, with faults and weaknesses. It is this awareness which allows genuine persons to push themselves to grow.

This is in stark contrast to the “fantasy self”:

Because the main goal [of the fantasy self] is the attainment of glory, he becomes uninterested in the process of learning, of doing, or of gaining step by step — indeed, tends to scorn it. He does not want to climb a mountain; he wants to be on the peak. Hence he loses the sense of what evolution or growth means, even though he may talk about it. Because, finally, the creation of the idealized self is possible only only at the expense of truth about himself, its actualization requires further distortions of the truth, imagination being a willing servant to this end. Thereby, to a greater or lesser extent, he loses in the process his interest in truth, and the sense for what is true and what is not true — a loss that, among others, accounts for his difficulty in distinguishing between genuine feelings, beliefs, strivings and their artificial equivalents (unconscious pretenses) in himself and in others. The emphasis shifts from being to appearing. __ “Human Growth” by Karen Horney

It is easy to recognise the modern perpetual adolescent in Karen Horney’s description above. Today’s university student may spend years exploring college coursework before finding a field of study which does not require too much exertion. Because they had always been told how “special” and “smart” they were, and how they could accomplish anything at all to which they set their minds — and because they had never learned how to work or to discipline themselves — today’s generations of psychological neotenates find themselves at a loss. As they move out of the respective wombs of their childhood homes and the artificial school environments, they become aware that the world that awaits them may not place as high a value on their abilities as they do themselves.

Limit Early Exposure to Supernatural Fantasies

Since very young minds are exquisitely impressionable to all ideas — no matter how unrealistic or absurd — Dangerous Children are not exposed to the concept of superheroes or perfect humans until they have acquired the character and self-discipline they need to teach and guide themselves through the difficult process of self-discovery. They must avoid groupthink and become natural independent contrarians.

In the young years, teaching the child to love working hard to achieve his own goals should take precedence over any religious concepts of “perfection through faith” or other ideas that could easily be taken as magical by very young minds. Children must grow from the stage where everything is done for them to later stages where they are able to do more and more for themselves and eventually for their own families. “Magical solutions to real problems” can become lifelong impediments to a child’s development of personal competence.

For this reason, Dangerous Children spend most of their early years experimenting and discovering their interests and aptitudes, developing grit and character (executive functions), and in establishing footholds for future learning and self-teaching. This is all done in a playful context, allowing for plentiful serendipity, but within a deliberate framework.

Modern Culture is a Cesspool of Mindless Fantasy

And this is why so many college graduates and college dropouts cannot pay their student loans, and are forced to live in their parents’ basements or garage bedrooms. This is why young men who should be working and starting families spend their lives playing video games, watching internet porn, and living in fantasy worlds imagining themselves as superheroes and superstuds.

When the early years are frittered away on television comics and fantasy tales, invaluable time is lost which should have been spent developing basic foundations of competence and character. When children are handed over to institutions run by persons who have no real interest in the child’s development of a genuine self — but prefer instead to mold the child into a groupthinking zombie mind to make things easy on the institution — opportunities for developing personal competence and individual mastery of aptitudes and skills are squandered.

Today’s Youth are Disappointed In Reality, but Helpless to Make Things Better

Because most modern youth have been pampered, sheltered, made to feel special even when they are not, and are never given meaningful foundations for learning, self-teaching, or common sense — they are apt to have trouble finding a place for themselves. Their genuine selves were never developed, so they are left with fantasy selves and overactive imaginations necessarily disconnected from reality.

The modern world is evolving rapidly as a result of disruptive innovations in science and technology. In addition, the foundations of modern societies are being eroded by unwise energy policies (green energy scams), scientific hoaxes perpetrated by political activists (climate apocalypse cult), suicidal debt levels, and a dysgenic undertow that threatens to carry everything away.

Modern youth have never been prepared for such a world of increasingly precarious foundations. They have not even been prepared for a normal world of real-life expectations. But this world? It is an impossible situation for them.

And So the Need for Raising Dangerous, Self-Teaching Children, Who Love Hard Work

The perfect is the enemy of the good. And the perfect — the Platonic ideal — does not exist in the real world. Dangerous Children understand this, and are taught early to learn the shade-tree engineer’s approach of optimising, rather than perfecting.

The real world is where things get done and where there is money to be made — as opposed to government, organised crime, and academia where there is money to be stolen and stripped away from the productive world of work and enterprise.

Dangerous Children Teach Themselves Money Skills and Entrepreneurship and Much More

There are dozens of $billionaire college dropouts and thousands of millionaires who never went to college or dropped out to participate in the real world. They are largely self-taught. Self-Teaching for Ordinary Adults

The Dangerous Child movement is about more than building a strong personal base of operations. It is about building a competent society, one Dangerous Child at a time. Dangerous Children go on to network with other Dangerous Children to form Dangerous Communities, and networked Dangerous Communities. As these networks of competent communities proliferate, they provide a safe redundancy for the larger society in case of disaster or catastrophe. If worse comes to worse, networked Dangerous Communities can provide the nuclei for a more robust, resilient, and anti-fragile society to come.

An abundant and expansive human future of free people is only possible if children grow into their genuine selves, rather than into the fantasy selves which today’s degenerate societies seem to prefer.

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Boot Camps, Mormon Missionaries, and Academic Lobotomy: Rites of Passage II

Intense Late Adolescent Psychological Re-Orientation Takes Many Forms

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recruit_training
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recruit_training

Why Is Boot Camp So Intense?

You have to train 18-year-olds to run to the sound of gunfire and perform under fire and the threat of death.

This act defies all logic, goes against all human instinct, and takes one of the most intensive acts of psychological reprogramming to overcome.

… There will always be the need for young men and women who are willing and able to run to the sound of imminent danger and many, to their death. Nations need this. You need this. It is a horrible thing, but the sanctity and security of every nation on Earth requires young men and women capable of doing this.

To do this, however, we need a form of psychological training that is able to forge individuals who can do this. That is why boot camp has evolved to become such a potent tool in today’s military machine.
__ Jon Davis, Marine Sergeant

Sergeant Davis does not mince words. In order to create marines out of raw recruits, an intense form of psychological re-orientation (or reprogramming) is required. Why? Because most raw recruits arrive at basic training fresh from an extended childhood. They have been pampered, sheltered, told they were special, provided with their every need — and often their every whim — just like a child. But real adult life is not childhood in a productive society. “Children” need to undergo some form of transformation before they are able to understand the distinction.

Not Every Form of Rite of Passage Need to be So Intense as US Marine Boot Camp

Throughout the church’s history, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions.[2][3] __ Wikipedia

The Salt Lake City, Utah based Latter Day Saints (Mormon) church has its own rite of passage for youth. We have all seen “Mormon Missionaries” walking and biking about. But what is the inside story for this religion based rite of passage? First, its’ dangerous.

Missionaries intentionally go after people in desperate situations. On my mission, we’d go into the worst parts of town to talk to the meth addicts and crackheads. Sure, they need help and attention more than anybody, but most of my colleagues were distinctly upper middle class white Mormons. Short of bursting out into an impromptu rap about how “drugs are for thugs,” there’s no way they could have been more conspicuous.

Training for “missionhood” is regimented, with long hours.

The whole thing is divided up like the underclass in some dystopian sci-fi world — we’re separated into wards, zones, and then six-man districts. You don’t associate with anyone outside your zone while you’re training. Every missionary has to be in sight of their companion at all times. For two solid years, our only alone time was in the bathroom. Do not, under any circumstances, picture the state of that bathroom.

… It’s pretty much like The Hunger Games…

Mormon Missionaries are given this intense programming so that they can get results for the church. They must be committed before they begin — because they pay for their training in hard cash and precious time. And on top of all that commitment ant training fees, the church expects a larger return.

Among other things, you’re not allowed to use a computer if a companion can’t see the screen, and you’re never supposed to be out of their earshot. The logic is that you can’t break the rules if you’re never, ever alone…

… We log everyone who shows interest — or even talks with us — and follow up on a regular basis. That’s because the whole “converting souls” thing is very much a competition. The higher ups in the church are obsessed with numbers. They want people baptized, inactive members brought back to the fold, etc. __ Time as Mormon Missionary

The fatality rates among Mormon Missionaries are lower than among combat marines, during wartime. But Mormon Missionaries are always at war against the dark forces of human nature, so there is never any letup.

Much Beyond Religious Conversions Often Emerges From the Mormon Missionary Experience

Being thrown into strange and dangerous settings and experiences forces the young Mormon to think on his feet, to sink or swim. Many missionaries develop robust resilience in the field, which they bring back with them to their subsequent lives.

The notion of the Mormon mission as a crucible is a common one, and the benefits gained from going through it have been used to help explain the prominence of LDS Church members in business and civic life.[50][51][52][53] Mission experience has also helped prepare RMs for later engaging and prospering in non-Mormon environments.[54] __ Wikipedia

Other Common and Usually Constructive Rites of Passage for Late Adolescents

Any intense extended experience — either solo or group — can serve as a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood. Immersing oneself into particular occupations can serve the “passage” purpose quite well. Examples may include training as EMT / Paramedic, Search and Rescue, Police or Fire Department training, Commercial Deep Sea Diving, Wild Fire Jumpers …

Not all of the 20 Deadliest Jobs in America would qualify as rites of passage, but one can get a sense of which jobs may be more intense — and transforming — than others.

Washington Post
Washington Post

More

A Dangerous Child Will Have Mastered Multiple Dangerous Skills Before Age 18

Dangerous Child training is different from the run of the mill “rite of passage” discussed above. Dangerous Child training begins before birth and continues throughout the lifetime. Multiple rites of passage succeed each other, as mastery is applied to mastery, and complementary skills are added to complementary skills.

The point of it all is to help build a more abundant and expansive human future, using networked Dangerous Communities as pivot points and backup systems for larger societies that are too often subject to failure from dysgenic and ideologic Idiocracy.

Faux Rites of Passage

In lieu of meaningful rites of passage, modern children and youth are typically trusted to educational institutions and other institutions of culture and society at large, throughout their formative years. When youth are shunted off to college and university without having faced significant passage rites, they typically undergo what is known as “academic lobotomy,” or a brainwashing / reprogramming process carried out by idologues among university faculty and staff.

Instead of preparing youngsters for productive, creative, and fulfilling lives, such indoctrination only introduces and deepens broadly-held delusions and misconceptions about the underlying mechanisms of the natural and the human universes. Such academically lobotomised persons will find it an uphill battle to see through their brainwashing to the solid world beneath.

Other false rites of passage include a young woman having a child out of wedlock and going on welfare, or a young man joining a criminal gang that brainwashes him and limits his future just as surely as any academic lobotomy.

Rites of Passage Open Doors into Multiple Futures

There is a reason why military-trained persons are considered prime recruits for several types of occupation. The skills and mature attitudes that can be learned in military service prepare a young person for several avenues of productivity.

As noted above, the same is considered true for returned Mormon Missionaries. As a result of being forced to innovate and think outside the box, the returned missionary is of more value to prospective employers, and more capable as an entrepreneur.

Any process that teaches a young person to utilise his knowledge, skills, and resourcefulness under unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances — over a significant period of time — can serve as a rite of passage, if empowering lessons are learned.

But if “lessons of disempowerment and futility” are learned, any passage that occurs is likely to be in a backward direction.

Best to begin the process of serial rites of passage at an early age, and build upon it in a solid and progressive manner.

Curiosity

A Questioning Mind http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/
A Questioning Mind
http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/

Children are born curious. This is clear to anyone who observes infants from the earliest stages through the toddler years. They observe grownups “doing things” and moving about with a sense of purpose that defies early childhood reasoning powers.

Children often naturally assume that grownups are wiser, more intelligent, more powerful and masterful, and much more in control of their lives than they — the youngsters — are. They are taught — openly and by inference — that if they will only be quiet, sit still, absorb the knowledge of the ages imparted by the grownups, and become capable of regurgitating this knowledge on command, that they too can become masters of the universe, like their parents, teachers, doctors, dentists, media celebrities, sports stars, and religious clerics.

And so by submerging their natural curiosity and submitting to the dominant ethic — the consensual delusion — children believe that they will be prepared to face the future. Most of them are never told that the future is never what they expect it to be.

The Future is Ever-Changing, Ambiguous, Uncertain

If the future is not to be what they are being led to expect, how can they possibly be prepared for their futures?

There is only one way: Children must be allowed to retain — and build on — their innate curiosity, and be allowed to grow comfortable dealing with uncertainty.

If students can be made to feel comfortable with uncertainty — if they’re learning in an environment where ambiguity is welcome and they are encouraged to question facts — then they are more apt to be curious and innovative in their thinking.

… “Our minds crave closure, but when we latch onto it prematurely we miss beautiful and important moments along the way,” … including the opportunity to explore new ideas or consider novel interpretations.

… “Students have to grow comfortable not just with the idea that failure is a part of innovation, but with the idea that confusion is, too,” Holmes writes. Teachers can help students cope with these feelings by acknowledging their emotional response and encouraging them to view ambiguity as a learning opportunity.

___ http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/

Here is a quick checklist to help children to become more comfortable with the uncertainty and ambiguity of real world knowledge:

  1. Assign projects that provoke uncertainty.
  2. Adopt a non-authoritarian teaching style to encourage exploration, challenge and revision.
  3. Emphasize the current topics of debate in a field.
  4. Invite guest speakers to share the mysteries they’re exploring.
  5. Show how the process of discovery is often messy and non-linear.

Source

Without insight into the holes in our knowledge, students mistakenly believe that some subjects are closed. They lose humility and curiosity in the face of this conceit.

__ http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/

There are always holes in our knowledge, most of them hidden. But Dangerous Children learn to scan the world for clues to these hidden holes. The answers they discover often reshape important ways in which they view their worlds around them.

It is important that children discover the joy of learning on their own, through constant questioning of the current set of “answers.”

Dangerous Children learn that self-learning and self-teaching is a dynamic process, and they get better at it with practise.

One should not emphasise a child’s “intelligence,” but should rather encourage the rewards of self-discovery through a constant strenuous questing for the pivot points of knowledge. Working hard for a worthy goal should be made enjoyable.

Underlying the processes of childhood learning, self-discovery, and skills acquisition, are the hidden processes of synaptogenesis, synaptic pruning, myelination, the opening and closing of critical developmental periods, recovery from inadvertent illness and injury, and the visible and invisible changes in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realms that are constantly taking place.

The training and raising of a Dangerous Child requires attention — at the proper times. But since most of the teaching, learning, and training is done by the Dangerous Child himself, the overall amount of attention and resources needed are no greater than for a conventionally raised psychological neotenate of perpetual adolescent incompetence.

One of the earliest skills to be learned, is the best use of libraries and “intra-nets.” Libraries range from home libraries to school and public libraries to university libraries. Intra-nets are particularly important for pre-adolescent and early adolescent children. They are simply downloaded learning resources, carefully selected and compiled on archiving media such as optic disks, external HDDs, and flash drives. The price of such useful intra-nets is dropping rapidly.

The broader internet itself contains too many hidden traps and pitfalls to allow young Dangerous Children unrestricted access — just as broadcast and cable television are not safe for children who are meant to be raised independently from “the consensual delusion.”

When the child develops his own strong contrarian nature, his own resilient and independent style of thinking, he will be ready to face the broader consensual stupidity and indoctrination of the masses and the academically lobotomised.

Parents and caregivers hold a perilous responsibility in their hands. “Your children are not your children . . .” — they are themselves, and the persons they are capable of creating for themselves.

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday…

Source

Curiosity, scepticism, independence, the willingness to work hard at discovering new knowledge and new webs of knowledge — these must all be cultured and encouraged to grow in young minds.

You will probably never know how it all turns out. But develop your purposes and methods well, and aim at consistency wherever possible — at least in the early years.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too early or late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Rites of Passage I

Dozens of Rites of Passage On the Way to Adulthood

The long transition from the incompetence of infancy to the competence of a skilled, well-rounded, and confident adulthood, should provide many opportunities for demonstrating personal competence while discovering one’s own pace and direction of discovery and mastery over challenges. If a society — such as ours — is profoundly neglectful and negligent in providing for these successive rites and opportunities for competency acquisition and confirmation, it will be rewarded with lifelong adolescents who lack both competency and confidence.

Although it may never be too late to have a Dangerous Childhood, it may be too late to learn competencies at your peak learning window. That is a pity, but only one of many, and not to be cried over. If you are 30 or 40 years old or more, and still trying to find your “vision quest” or “rite of passage”, you have been ill treated by well-meaning parents and society. Do what you can to make up for it in yourself, but try not to perpetuate the crime on future generations.

Think of this analogy: Baby birds have to first crack their way out of their hard shells. Then they have to learn to leave the nest without killing themselves. They have to learn to fly, feed, survive. Then they must find mates, raise their young, migrate with the seasons, over and over again. In the same way, baby humans have a lifetime of competence learning and testing ahead of them.

Modern humans of affluent societies wish to spare their young from all of those difficulties. That is the worst thing they could do. Modern college professors too often tell students what to think rather than preparing them to competently mind-wrestle all comers. Such indoctrination — a hallmark of a modern university education — is likewise the worst possible approach. And so it goes, as the mass consensus culture takes the place of parents and schools, creating an artificial layer of delusion and “protection in numbers” around the citizen.

As new generations of incompetents work their way further into the control rooms of government and society, expect things to get harder for almost everyone. These are the times when you want maximum competence for yourself and those around you. More

It is easy to see that the numbers are against those who wish to bring about a Dangerous Society of Dangerous Children. For the Dangerous Child, there is no end to learning and the development and practise of competence, from birth until death. It is exactly that type of mindfulness to a child’s upbringing that most modern parents rebel against.

A brief hint of what we are talking about can be seen in the experience of the Robinson children. Arthur Robinson homeschooled his six children as a single father, using a self-teaching method of homeschooling that he devised himself. The children first taught themselves to learn, then taught themselves difficult subject matter — achieving college level mastery of calculus and physics by the age of 16.

But more, the Robinson children mastered the art of self-sufficiency in performing vital tasks on the family ranch/farm. Teaching themselves to be responsible for livestock and important household functions was likely as important as any part of their academic curriculum.

As the children aged, their level of responsibility for the household and ranch grew, along with their level of sophistication in study topics and materials. __ https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/who-stole-our-rites-of-passage/

Most parents who wish to raise Dangerous Children could glean a lot of good ideas from the Robinson experience, and the Robinson Curriculum.

As we wander more deeply into the theory and practise of The Dangerous Child Method, it will become clear that something more is involved than simply leading the child into self-teaching and self-development, and preparing him for professional, occupational, intellectual, and financial competence and self-sufficiency.

Dangerous Children are skilled in ways that most modern parents and educators would never imagine or think necessary. This is because most parents, educators, and other moderns suffer under the tunnel-vision delusion of the mass consensus culture. They cannot imagine a future for children that involves the transcending of the mass consensus. The very idea would frighten not only parents and educators, but anyone with a stake in modern media, academia, government, and popular culture.

To develop and maintain these many skills, Dangerous Children must undergo dozens of successive rights of passage, in every stage of his life.

We will look more deeply into the staging of competence rites as we look more closely at the curriculum concept, and how it applies to Dangerous Child training. It will quickly become obvious that once the child achieves a level of mastery in particular areas, he will be inventing his own curriculum — with assistance — for the rest of his life.

A Playful Foundation of Music, Dance, Art, and Language

Children are Born with Primed Brains

In the real world, babies are born with brains primed to learn language, movement, elements of music, and symbolic art. This is in stark opposition to the leftist belief in “the blank slate (PDF)” or tabula rasa view of the human brain.

In other words, the baby’s brain is predisposed to a rapid learning of language — preferably multiple languages — and music, movement, and art. Such learning can commence quite early — before birth — proceeding in a playful manner until the early lessons are learnt well enough to build upon.

Sensitive Periods of Brain Development
Sensitive Periods of Brain Development

The brain is most sensitive to particular types of learning at different stages of development. Good habits and emotional control should be learned in the early years, no later than 5 or 6 years. These are particularly important traits for later learning — particularly self-monitored learning.

Language and music should be learned early — and together. Multiple languages are best learned before the age of 9 or 10. Music cognition complements language cognition, just as language learning can be combined with music learning in songs and rhymes.

Music learning likewise complements spatial and number / size learning — so that music learning can be an important forerunner to maths learning. Keyboards and fretboards are spatial in nature, and counting and “sizing” of intervals are part of learning such instruments.

Dance movement and other rhythmic movements have been linked to improved executive function in young children. Dancing can be learned even before walking, with a bit of assistance and gravity mitigation. Rhythmic and choreographed movements involved in playful dancing are good training for the cerebellum and basal ganglia of the brain, as well as for insular cortex training.

Visual art is fun and excellent eye-hand training. The development of artistic judgment and perspective boosts spatial development while giving the child a sense of confidence in creating something that others can appreciate.

All four of these playful pre-school activities are full of opportunities for learning creativity. Art and music should be innately creative, as the child’s senses of vision and hearing develop. But dance and language can be equally as creative if allowed to be.

The early years also present a preview into the child’s later strengths and preferences. If a child is a budding prodigy of art, music, language, or movement, it will be difficult for him to conceal his talent if it has been allowed to develop in a playful, creative manner.

The child should have the opportunity to observe skilled adult musicians, artists, writers, dancers, and craftsmen at work. It is never too early to begin to set goals. But the child’s efforts should be appreciated for what they are, as long as he has put his heart into them.

A human brain is not fully developed until around the middle of the third decade, and remains in its prime for only about ten years before beginning to subtly lose ground. The earlier a child can find a strong talent for independent learning and skills-building, the longer the part of his life that he can develop and exercise that talent.

A television will not do much to help a young child, nor will a computer — at least as computers are currently made and programmed. Children need to see that human beings create music, art, stories, and dance. If a child is particularly talented in a given area, he should be encouraged — but not forced. If the motivation is not there, forcing the child will only prevent him from finding a talent he is willing to develop.

Play is the strongest motivator for young children. During this period, children crave the company of their parents and other family members. It is the period of greatest opportunity for self-development and foundation-building for the child. If this time is squandered by day care and television watching, it can never be retrieved.

Once simple play has lost its appeal, and once the child no longer craves a parent’s company, if the child has not learned good habits and self-control, a parent’s ability to guide the child becomes severely limited. Hasta la vista, baby.

This is important: A young child’s mind is a sponge. Be very careful what you allow it to soak in. You cannot take it back, once it is absorbed.

More on early foundations in future entries.