The Worship of Safety
A relative of a friend of mine came to the US from Europe specifically to get the Pfizer shot, since she didn't trust the European versions. (This was a while ago.) Several weeks later, she started suffering from mysterious pains that were severe enough to warrant exploratory surgery. Right before the surgery, her heart stopped, they revived her, and for some reason, they went ahead with the surgery. Her heart stopped again in the recovery room, and she died. She was young and healthy. My good friend's cousin, who was in her seventies and diabetic, also got the Pfizer shot, and within a few weeks, she started experiencing mysterious pains like the younger woman. Shortly afterwards, she also died. These are only anecdotes, but doesn't scientific inquiry start with anecdotes, or it did before this pandemic?
Thank you for writing this series. These conversations are so needed and so helpful in releasing the stress from the past 2 years. The expat community around me were the most afraid, due to losing their ability to travel and being separated from family. Whilst I understood their fear, I lost many people I thought were my friends as they feared me and sadly these relationships have yet to be rekindled. There's no energy or desire left to try. But I have to say what I have gained in the re-ordering of my community and discovery of online writers and like-minded people questioning and seeking answers, is what I had sought for a long time but didn't know where to find. I would not want to experience the pandemic again, but I am grateful for what I received because of it. I also think you showed tremendous courage in sticking your neck out and standing up for your beliefs. Thank you.
Yes. A million times yes. The endless mantra of Safety First has been a stifling straightjacket for my entire life - for most of us, save perhaps the most elderly. If safety is first, it follows that all else comes behind it in importance.
I wrote this to drive a stake through the heart of this evil doctrine, and I'm so happy to see you spreading the same message to your much larger audience:
"The subtle poison of "Safety First" is apparent in the slogan itself. If safety is first, it follows that it comes before all other concerns. Glory, honesty, joy, adventure, challenge, growth, strength, will, purpose, love, triumph ... none of them mean anything if they conflict with safety. The smallest risk of danger is enough for Safety First to interpose itself, to say no, you can't do that - it isn't safe.
"Safety First takes as its basic assumption that the purpose of life is to maximize the length of life whilst minimizing the suffering in life. He who lasts longest with the least booboos wins. The quality of life, the depth and breadth of experience that a soul encounters, is of no import. Indeed Safety First does not admit of the existence of a soul; it is a mindset that could only ever take hold of minds seized by the materialist doctrine that this life is all there is, that there is nothing but a yawning chasm of nullity beyond death, that experience itself has no meaning, and that the best we can do is to postpone the inevitable crossing of the River Styx for as long as possible. The absurdity of such a goal is obvious, albeit rarely acknowledged: what sense trying to avoid the unavoidable? What sense fighting a war doomed to defeat?"
Safety measures often make us LESS safe!!
A fabulous example is the concept of "risky play" for children. . . it is an incredible study in what happens to humans when risk is removed. As the "safe" playgrounds of the 90s onward spread, the incidence and severity of childhood emergency visits ROSE!!! Humans were meant to test their physical and environmental (ie gravity) limits at an early age. Take away the ability to test those limits and learn them and the injuries are worse and more often. . .
Look up "Danish Kindergarten gone wild" and in 18 years of tree climbing, knife (serious Mora type bush knife) using, deep water edge nearby, braving all temperatures and weather conditions, the teacher only took one child to the hospital: because a parent ran over their foot with a car!!!
WE are so much more that we are led to believe. . . LET OUR PEOPLE GO!!!
One of the things that most people are not talking about is the need for people to grow up. The state, and health authorities have set themselves up to be parents to the rest of us (those walking lock step and unquestioning) who are primarily acting like compliant children.
Will you be (or have you been, since I've only recently come to your substack) talking about the role of education as one of the root sources of mass formation susceptibility? I have noted that often the most educated are the most asleep. And in that respect I am struck by the parallel to mass formation that occurred in New York with Orson Welles' "War of the World Broadcast". In my history of media course it was pointed out that the majority of New Yorkers who clogged the streets to leave the blazing city, without any physical evidence of smoke or fire, were the well educated.
In my exploration of this it strikes me that the primary purpose of education from pre-school on is to disconnect the child and then the adult from their somatic experience of reality in order to create malleable and compliant worker bees. Thus it is easy to frighten them, and once frightened they have an even more difficult time actually seeing the truth physically because they are stuck inside a brain already disconnected from the body.
My cousin used to make T shirts that said "SAFETY THIRD". I love to brainstorm what might be first and second with my kids.
Charles, you make me laugh. Thank you!
"After all, the goal of life cannot be to one day go to your grave having been as safe as possible."
Tremendous Essay/series! Absolutely Tremendous!
Let's see. The Asian Flu epidemic of 1957 killed from 1MM to 4MM globally and had a death rate about the same as COVID, 1/10%. I was in 6th grade that year and so probably got it along with the other shit kids used to get back then - mumps; measles; chicken pox - though not all at once. There were no lockdowns, school closures, vaccine mandates and I do not recall people even masking. You lived with it. But then our parents had grown up in the Depression and fought WWII (both of mine were officers and in the European Theatre). Flu was a cakewalk compared to the Nazis.
Fast forward to COVID in the era of Generation Snowflake. Need I say more?
What makes us so vulnerable to their manipulation to begin with, you ask? The system we all live in, are raised in, whose parameters suffocate and enslave us -- capitalism. Pure and simple, although of course I don't mean mom and pop stores, I mean monopolistic capitalism, corporate capitalism, predatory capitalism, global capitalism. Unless we first acknowledge this, no amount of asking for even-handedness or lack of destructive reactivity will make a dent at all. It will not solve the problem, which existed long before Covid.
Thank you for writing on this topic!
I am now thinking this way:
We don't need governments to tell us what's legal (as they break the law).
We don't need organized religion to tell us what's moral (as they behave immorally).
We don't need medical institutions to tell us how to be well (as they injure and kill us).
We need each other.
We have each other.
Look at the lively & deep discussions here.
the hits keep coming. one of the most important threads of this hyperobject we call the pandemic is how we view the cycle of life and death - short answer, we don’t. a society built on determinism and frankly keeping a steady supply of labor, is programmed to fear death (and revere ‘safety’) at all costs.
Steiner is much maligned these days for his eugenics planks but there is an incredible bit of writing some here may enjoy, Knowledge of Higher Worlds and It’s Attainment.
Wildly mystical but also very practical. In it Steiner explains how to gain unseen guides or mentors. One of the key exercises is to go into nature and observe both a ‘living’ and a ‘dying’ organism. And to harmonize our feelings or reactions to those two objects. I have practiced this and without giving too much woo to this thread, can say it has been a deeply magical instrument.
My point tho - is that there is a reason why he offers that as a practice. And Charles you’re hitting it beautifully here. blessings!
It all comes down to spiritual immaturity.
This seems part of a broader theme for people in Western societies to define their identities in the negative rather than the positive: what they don't eat, what they don't do, what they don't support. Moreso than by what they actively stand for and what they do in the constructive, building form.
This does reflect an absence of purpose and connecting with it.
"The real solution is to fall back in love with the living world, to see it as a beloved not as a collection of resources, a waste dump, or an engineering project. Then we will not only survive; we will flourish, as one does when they are partnered with their lover."
Yes to this! Anyone who has experienced a convenanted commitment to an "other" knows that this is the only way.....the love affair to re-member. This love sees the "holy" in the other, as in a mirror, equal, mutual, reciprocal and calls forth its expansive generative power for more being. This union in love is not an acquisition but a benediction. It is conferred on two "others" who have run the course of their love through whatever it may have led them and have entered, transfigured at last, the holy ground of their being. We are all ONE in this Love that is All in all.