How I Discovered The 7 Deadly Myths That Keep People in Bondage
Looking back, quite a number of years now, I'd say my life has been defined by various disruptions and my constant attempts to sort out the truth from the lies. Not an easy task. But with each "discovery", new vistas and possibilities have opened up. And I think what I've learned is worth sharing - because if I'd known, earlier in life, what I know now - then I could have accelerated my journey to freedom, and had more time to enjoy the fruits of my labours. But that's life.
Life is a process - a process of trial and error, of trying to find your way. And regardless of your age, gender, race or creed, we are all looking for the same thing - freedom and happiness. But the path of life is strewn with false sign posts and dead ends - not to mention dead bodies!
When I look back, I notice how each personal "breakthrough" was preceded by the discovery of a particular myth - and that these myths were built up in layers - one upon another like a stack of pancakes - each one supporting the other.
So, if I could condense my experiences, to distil them into the "essence" of what is important - then perhaps the following true story would be the result.
Dodging the Bullets
My early years were spent growing up in a major English city. I'd call it "comfortable working class". My father had come down from Scotland to find work - and ended up setting up his own "fish and chip" shop (in the days before McDonalds). He was a hard worker and expected the same from others. I was peeling "spuds" from an early age!
I can recall being sent to Sunday School from the age of four. I can also recall complaining about it - and the fact that only I was going - not my parents. I had hoped this ruse would get me off the hook - but instead, they started to go to church as well, to keep me company!
Religion was a given - something that was just there, and not to be questioned. But, oh how I hated spending my free time locked up in Sunday School - as if my normal Monday-to-Friday school week wasn't enough!
Later, as a teenager, I finally got up the courage to say, "I don't want to go to church any more!" - and to my surprise, my parents acquiesced.
My family emigrated to New Zealand when I was nearly 10. And after a period of adjustment, I became a star pupil at school. I recall, at 14 years of age, how I was top of the class in Latin, French, Maths and English - and top overall. A promising future for sure. But it was not the future I wanted. I wanted to do art and creative things. But my grades, and the insistence of my teachers, got me doing such things as chemistry, physics and calculus instead.
By the time I was 15, my grades started to slip - because my love of art and music had raised its head - and I was spending my free time painting pictures, designing houses and playing the piano accordion and trumpet.
My schooling took a terminal dive when my musical friends asked me if I'd like to be the drummer in their fledgling band - to which I replied, "You bet!". That event sealed my fate as a student - and I became obsessed with learning and playing the drums, practising with the band, and dreaming of becoming famous - like the Rolling Stones, or the Beatles.
The band was made up of some of the brightest people in my class - and from that day on, we slid from the top of the class to the bottom - being constantly berated by our teachers along the way. But we didn't care. We were doing what we loved.
I left school - after failing the university entry exam - and began work as an architectural drafting cadet. I lasted three years, and hated it. I'd always been fascinated by architecture, but didn't like being an architect's dogsbody.
I was playing music every weekend, and still dreamt of doing it for a living. Well, the chance came when friends of mine (in another band) decided to get on a ship and sail to Australia - with images of success in their eyes. I caught the dream, left my job, and sailed into the sunset with them. My father had urged me to first finish my "education" - but I was adamant.
In our new country, my musical career began to blossom, work poured in - with two gigs a night, 5 or 6 nights a week. Then one night, it all came crashing down. Our band van got hit by another car, which drove through a stop sign, and we all found ourselves in hospital.
I had a broken neck - very close to being paralysed. After two weeks in traction and three months in a neck brace, I was able to resume my musical work - but felt like I was starting over.
I worked around the South Pacific for a few months - then returned to New Zealand for my father's funeral. He had died, slowly and painfully over 12 months, from stomach cancer.
After that, it was back to Australia - where I met my future wife. And after extensive touring in Asia, we landed up in New Zealand again, married - ready to settle down, buy and house and start a family.
It was then that religion burst back into my life - like a ghost from the past. This time I did it of my own volition - and found myself totally immersed in my belief. I have always taken ideas seriously - and intended to live this Christian life properly. And I did - for three and a half years - until the weight of hypocrisy became too much of a burden.
I decided I must resign from the church - a decision that was enormously difficult, given that all our friends were there. It was like leaving "home" and starting all over again.
I realised that although I still believed in "God" - I no longer believed in church, or organised religion. It would take me a little while longer to wean myself off the "big man".
That's when I turned to politics and social action. I wanted to change the world. I got stuck in. I worked as a volunteer Lifeline counsellor. I worked for World Vision - organising 40 Hour Famines around the local schools, I organised a fundraising visit of the Korean Children's Choir - and I got involved in a political party.
I was consumed with the idea of being able to change things. So much so, I taught myself how to touch-type, just so I could efficiently write dozens of letters to the editor! I was a powerhouse of action.
But it was short lived. Three years later my marriage was over - and I was left staring down the double barrel of both a failed marriage and my first failed business. I was devastated.
It was during this period I discovered the truth of being utterly "alone" - when not even the kindest of people can alleviate one jot of one's pain - because, like everything in life, such emotions and experiences are uniquely personal.
I remember calling this "the time where I experienced the death of God" - or more properly, the death of god as far as I was concerned.
But another event was just around the corner. Six months later, I got back with my wife for a second attempt - and moved in with another couple to keep expenses down. It was here that I found a copy of a book called "Who is Ayn Rand?" Who indeed!
Well, after reading that book, I went out and purchased Rand's magnum opus, "Atlas Shrugged". It was to be the most tumultuous reading experience of my life. I was left speechless, dumbfounded - and utterly stressed and confused. The reason? Through the telling of a story of a man who literally caused the world to crash, by persuading all the people of ability to go on strike, I came face to face with an alien philosophy. Alien to what I had always been lead to believe. Alien to everything society apparently stood for - and promoted.
Rand stated a simple proposition. Your life is your own. You have a right to happiness. Self interest is the natural and proper human condition. Self sacrifice is evil. Wow!
Well, I can tell you, these heretical ideas really put the cat among the pigeons! For at least one month after reading "Atlas" I was in turmoil. My mind was torn between what I had always been lead to believe - and this new philosophy, which I was convinced was the actual truth. The matter was settled when, in a cathartic way, I embraced the concept of self-ownership - and rejected thousands of years of mystic assumptions and superstitions.
I marched forward with a new sense of purpose and energy. I was still very much involved politically - and would continue to be for another 15 years. I got back into music with a vengeance (having stopped during my Christian years). I started the first of two very successful businesses.
I poured myself into self-improvement books and ideas. I became obsessed with my new-found ability to take control of my life and make it the way I wanted it to be. I was on top of the world.
I continued with my political activities - standing as an independent candidate at a general election. I started a philosophical newsletter. I held philosophical discussion evenings. I even formed a new political party - and, of course, kept on writing letters to the editor.
But it all came crashing down again. This time - after 10 years of successful business - I sold up, and confidently embarked on a new business endeavour. It failed one year later. I started another one. It also failed. I started another - and it failed too! By this time (three years after selling my previous successful business) I was literally broke. I was in debt to the tune of $35,000. I had no income and had to sell my house.
My marriage had ended. I moved into a friend's house. I visited the bankruptcy court to see what was involved - but rejected that option. I cried myself to a fitful sleep every night. I was a mess.
Then I remember something I had heard on a Tony Robbins tape - regarding a Charles Givens, who, when confronted with the burning down of his life's ambition (a recording studio that was uninsured), stood in the ashes and cried. He then had a true epiphany. As he stood there, he realised he still had what he always had - his MIND.
That picture came back to me - and I awoke from my depressive stupor, found a job teaching computers - and began immediately to think of creative ways to climb back up into life.
Inspiration wasn't long coming - and once again, it was in the form of a book. It was called simply "PT" - which was short for "Perpetual Traveler". It was red, leather-bound, with the letters "PT" in gold - by a mysterious author named "Dr WG Hill - and came with a whopping US$100 price tag!
But the ideas in that book shook my world yet again - and gave me hope at exactly the time I needed it.
I had been morose, pondering my stupidity and my fate - which, for a man in his forties (to have lost everything), seemed like an impossible situation. I couldn't imagine HOW I could climb out of that black hole. Every time I considered the idea of working hard, even having two jobs, in order to pay back my debts AND pay my way - I was consumed with despair. Why? Because I knew the harder I worked - the more I would be financially punished by the government, via the tax system.
Sure, I could have declared bankruptcy, handed in my passport, and become a ward of the state. But as someone who wanted to work my way out of debt - it appeared the system was stacked against me. That's where this marvellous book came in. It showed me a way to escape, a way to build a new life - without the deadweight of government restriction and taxation. It was my lifeline - and my inspiration.
I was immediately aware this information was dynamite. Why hadn't I ever heard of such a strategy before? Why had it taken me so long to find out that such ideas actually exist? There and then, I realised I could not only start a new life, but build a new business on the basis of spreading such knowledge.
It had another effect on me as well - it killed my interest in politics and the political process, something I had been involved in for 20 years! But as one door closed, another one opened, and politics went the way of "religion" and "education" - consigned to my personal dustbin of history.
That was 1998. Within one year of working full time and starting my new business, I'd paid off all my debts. Within two years, my new business was earning three times more than my day job. So I quit the job - to focus on my passion. Within three years I had saved over US$150,000. By then I was ready to plan the next stage of my strategy - to exit the "old" world and enter the new, by becoming an international citizen - a sovereign individual.
This was the goal that was ignited as a result of reading PT - a goal which inspired me like no other.
When I arrived in my new country - having trashed all my years of "paperwork" and "connections" - I walked down the street and wanted to sing out aloud - such was my joy and exhilaration. I was on cloud nine. That feeling has never left me.
Since then I have been up and down - and sideways. I have dealt with sharks. I have discovered lifelong friends. I have strengthened my resolve. I have consolidated my life as an internationalist - and there is nothing else I'd rather be - or do.
So, what has all this taught me?
There are "Seven Deadly Myths" that support the current system of power and control. And they act together - as a cultural matrix of force, fraud and fallacy - to deny the emergence of true individual freedom. They are myths precisely because each one fails to deliver on the promise implicit in their declared purpose - to make life better.
1) The Myth of Religion
We are, each one of us, utterly alone in this universe. The whole fabric of organised religion is an attempt to cover up this unsettling fact. It's also the principle method of controlling people. God is not OUT there. God is within (even Jesus said that). You are, in essence, your own god. Organised religion has been responsible for the death and ruination of millions throughout history.
2) The Myth of State Education
It is nothing more than brainwashing and indoctrination. The state insists on controlling education, moulding the minds of the young, precisely in order to control the thinking of its citizens. Hordes of sheep are being herded into pens - and "educated" to be passive employees and "socially adjusted" good citizens. It's education for slaves.
3) The Myth of Democracy
The whole political process is a gigantic fraud. And democracy is just a system for fooling people into thinking they have some say in the running of their own lives. Nothing could be further from the truth - for democracy is just another word for the "tyranny of the majority". Voting is a waste of time - and only perpetrates the problem.
4) The Myth of Victimhood
Freedom means self responsibility. It means you are responsible for your life and what you make of it. The truth is you can become whatever you want to be, and that nothing in your past can be used as an excuse for your failure now or in the future.
5) The Myth of Equality
Nobody is equal. The only equality is that everyone has an equal right to their own life. The constant political attempts to "create" equality are forever doomed to failure.
6) The Myth of the Nation State
The state is an outmoded and dangerous concept. It is the source of all war and economic depravation. It's a prison camp that claims ownership over you - simply because you were born in a certain place. The nation state is the source of the poisonous ideology of "nationalism' - which when linked with religion, is a potent force for evil. Witness the wars of the 20th Century.
7) The Myth of External Authority
There is no valid external authority over your life - whether family, friends, church, society, nation, or cosmic Big Brother. Each individual human is a sovereign being, a self-owner - and no one has the right to one moment of your life - or to force you to do anything against your will.
Think of these myths as similar to drugs - which alter your state of awareness, your concept of reality, AND which are highly addictive. The more myths you accept and believe, the more you are bound by the cultural matrix. The more myths you can offload, the more you are capable of setting yourself free.
Maybe you still feel attached to one or more of these myths. I can appreciate that - because I also previously believed one or more of them. In fact, if I go back far enough, I believed the whole lot! But remember, life is a process. Life is about change. So change your mind and change your life!
If you can gain even one insight from what I've written of my experience - then you're most welcome to it.
Yours in freedom