I'm just playing around with title ideas for a much-needed seminar. Lot's of good titles are taken, like "Think And Grow Rich," or "The Secret." Have you ever attended a business seminar? About a self-improvement seminar by a self-help guru? I'm sure many readers have attended one of those multilevel marketing seminars that promise that you'll be able to quit your teaching job (or office job, or any job) in six month with all the money you'll be making, as long as you recruit another 50 dreamers like you.
Some seminars are really good; many provide really good information about opportunities or better ways of doing things, of accomplishing your goals, of thinking.
I've attended many seminars in my career, including seminars about business, technology, time-management, project management, entrepreneurship, self-improvement, sales, marketing, etc. Again, some of them are really good, and others not so much.
But I've always noticed something: A great deal of seminars are based on current trends, appeal to our base instincts of greed (success?), fear, insecurities, and are ultimately very superficial and transient.
What I've never seen is the announcement of a seminar that promises to reveal the root causes of all social problems, and that once you fully understand them you would have decoded "the true secret of happiness and success."
If you've read this much, and are wondering if this is a snark, the answer is, "well, yes, and no. Allow me a few more lines..."
Aside from my normal life which includes work, play, love, bills, resolving problems, etc., just like anyone else, I try to push my intellect (such as it is) to think about ways to break through the artificial (mental) barriers that have been drilled into our minds through propaganda. The thing that makes us feel impotent against the monstrous and well-entrenched system that's destroying our spirits, exploiting us and subjugating us, and ravaging our environment.
I think to myself, "how do I inspire others to 'think and act BIG' by becoming aware of their true potential, and true power? What would be the best use of my limited time when it comes to on-the-ground social activism, vs. just writing behind a keyboard?"
If I learn something from Democracy Now, or the Sunlight Foundation, ProPublica, or multiple non-profit media sources and investigative journalists, from Thom Hartmann, Norman Goldman, the New York Times, Daily Kos, SF Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, an myriad of sources out there, what do I do next to have a real (positive) impact in the world?
One thing I know... the answer can't just be to write, read, and report about what the right wing and the fascist billionaires are doing. Why? Because it seems to me that the dynamics in that situation is that THEY ARE DOING stuff, and WE ARE WATCHING AND REPORTING what they're doing.
And what I understand from that is that they get to do stuff--to really, really do very big world-changing stuff--because they have vision; they have a plan; they have resources; they have and agenda; they are focused; they are patient; and they know what they want. The beauty of their agenda is its simplicity: (paraphrasing George Carlin) "The owners" want more for themselves and less for everybody else.
In spite of the potential for overwhelming power, the citizenry is kept divided (conquered, manipulated and controlled) by a powerful and effective mass media propaganda machine.
To me, anybody that is able to find a way to liberate a large enough number of people from that type of almost-total mind domination would have found the true Holy Grail that would help bring about the next stage of human enlightenment, or shared prosperity, harmony, and peace.
But again, the more I analyze this situation, and the more I interact with people, I realize that accomplishing that at a massive level is almost impossible.
But, of course, if it was easy it would have been done by now. One thing that gives me hope is that I believe that these agents of change don't have to be a large percentage of the population at large. In fact, I think that if 5 to 10 percent of the population were able to truly conceptualize the true nature of our system, free themselves from the effect of its propaganda, and (most importantly) come up with a very simple to understand, disciplined, and focus agenda, it could set the stage for a true social revolution--helping bring about a better world.
And all that leads me to this mental exercise...
Imagine if someone was able to develop a very powerful seminar using a standard approach. Try to understand your audience. What are the problems and needs you are trying to address? How are you going to motivate your audience? Are you going to appeal to their wants, their ambitions, their fears, their insecurities, their emotions? Is there a hook, or a gimmick, or an iconic concept you can use to grab the attention of the audience, get them excited about your ideas, make them believe that their life will be better off if they follow your "prescriptions," and most importantly, will make them want to reach to others and share this great news?
Of course, this type of approach would disqualify 99.999% of meetings, presentations, shindigs, get-togethers, of the typical "progressive" or "activists" organization out there.
No; I'm talking about an almost-religious experience; something that reaches deep, deep into the psyche of the people attending, make them feel that "before they were sleeping, and now they've awaken, and alive." Now, that's a challenge!
And while you work on your ideas, once the seminar is developed, also think how you're going to market it. What is your objective? It seems to me that it is to help bring about the much-talked-about "new consciousness awareness that's going to change the world--for the better."
The market is huge, it seems to me. First, think about the undercurrent of the generalized social malaise that's affecting the citizenry. On the surface things may seem fine, but just below a very thin layer of reality exists certain discomfort, a cognitive dissonance, which is the result of the effects of the mind control exerted over the citizenry via the mass media conglomerate, which is programmed to make people accept absurdity as normal.
So address that disconnect. That part is easy since the reason the effects of the mind-bending mass media propaganda machine in the United States is so effective is because it is very tenuous... It's generalized, but very very thin. So much so that almost anybody can be deprogrammed (at least for a short time until they get back to their routines) in a very short conversation.
But again, the key for success is to connect with the audience more at an emotional, visceral level, than at an intellectual level.
You would have to be like a preacher! Emphatic; powerful; making emotional pronouncements; soft voice here, thundering voice over there. You know what I'm talking about if you've attended enough "motivational seminars" or if you are churchgoer.
The message? Well, that's simple, actually... I'll leave you with this: