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    Thread: Materialism?

    1. #1
      Member Awaken's Avatar
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      Materialism?

      It's something I've been thinking about for a good chunk of my life - what, in the end does materialism accomplish for our souls? Everyone is running around like there is a 'top' they can reach, but that they must work hard for it. People forget about the concept of 'now' and rely on expectations. It's turning the world into a rat race full of daydreamers. The lucky ones are able to see through this and find internal happiness simply by being here, now. Not looking forward to anything monumental, not acting as if the day doesn't matter and that there will be a time when we can be happy once again. No. The plateau has already been reached for us. It was reached the day we were all born. Remember how happy we were as kids? The joy we felt every day just by being able to go outside and play with one another. We were constantly reminded how difficult life would be, and how we would have to abolish fun for hard work, and act as if we were striving for something greater. Slowly, most people accepted that idea and fell into the trap of accumulating their physical wealth.

      Inside, throughout my life, I always knew this was not to be my way to go. What is the point of living for survival, and spending our lives on physical manifestations? Sure it's fun for a while, but the effect wears off and then we want more. And the products are everywhere, so how can people say no? Imagine spending your whole life running from an animal trying to kill you. That's a little bit how I felt when I tried joining the rat race.

      I know we need to work to keep ourselves alive - but I feel that the material items are sucking the life out of us. Of course, we need material items to an extent, otherwise I wouldn't be typing this, both because of a lack of a computer, and a lack of the information to express it. However, I don't feel it should be the focus of life by any means. My dad sees my fairly empty room, calls me a 'minimalist', tells me about all the things I 'should' decorate it with, and acts as if I have no pride because I don't have a lot of 'stuff'. If only he, and others for that matter, understood my internal gratification for life itself, and other people, and not how I express it in a material fashion...There's a big smile inside me. All the time.

      If this doesn't make sense, keep running the ant colony. I'll be out throwing a ball around or flying a kite with the little boys and girls
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

    2. #2
      Member I Bleed Blue's Avatar
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      I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said. I'm only 17 now (3 weeks until I'm "free" grrr), but I have noticed a change in myself in the last few years. As a kid I remember always wanting "more" and always NEEDING "stuff" or the latest and greatest because Billy, Bobby, and Joey had it. I've come to realize though, that none of it matters. I no longer care about material belongings at all. I do find, however, that I have become much more affected by music in that I enjoy listening to it way more than I ever did, and I play it more than I ever did.
      Its hard to dream recall when your starin' down the barrel of a loaded Thnikkaman.

    3. #3
      Member simisu's Avatar
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      so what do you think we can do about it?
      i mean... we have to work... we have to "get along" with everything...
      (hahaha i just noticed that my brother is watching jungelbook and "the bear necessities" is in the backround)

      in that artical he mentiones at the end of "waking life" the auther talks about TV/books/McDonalds as diffrent realeties then the one we're actualy living in...
      and i think he's kinda right...
      it's all based on the assumption that we really actualy NEED all these things... and we're led to belive it...
      and still i could not imagine my life without a computer and the internet (i mean... i CAN... but i'd still rather have these things )
      kids today draw their moraleties from TV and this fake life/realeties (one of which is metirialisem... but that's just part of it!) rather then from the real things around them!

      i think it's all a matter of balance!
      cuz the fact is we're still a part of this ant colony and it's not gonna take care of us if we're always doing what we want... something's gotta give...
      or we have to take care of our selves somehow... but how?
      compremises must be made i guess...
      it sucks huh?


      i see all this things and i just want everything to change for the better... cuz i know it can... but on the other hand i'm the one who has to change and that's not easy at all!
      opinions were like kittens
      i was giving them away

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      What really bugs me is people who work 10 hours a day, then go home and work for another 3 just because they want more money. These people have absolutely no joy in their lives. Take my dad for instance, he makes a ton of money, but he spends about 11 hours at work everyday. When he comes home he's always in a bad mood and he just sits and watches t.v. for a couple of hours, then goes to bed, then he repeats the cycle. And he always tells me how lucky I am. Why? Because I live in a two story life? Because we have 8 t.v.'s, but only 4 members of the family? Because every room is filled with useless garbage that nobody even uses? I don't want to spend my life in some stupid cubicle filling out reports so the rich get richer and my life continuosly gets worse. All my friends practically say that this is the life they want to lead, and it really makes me sick. People today are just so greedy and self centered; they want money, but when they get it they don't feel any happier. What's wrong with working a job that offers freedom, but not a lot of money? What's wrong with living in a small house? What's wrong with not owning a $30,000 car?

    5. #5
      Member simisu's Avatar
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      death-wuad... just dont forget your dad does all that for you!
      from his prespective he's probably doing the right thing...
      opinions were like kittens
      i was giving them away

    6. #6
      Member evangel's Avatar
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      Remember how happy we were as kids? The joy we felt every day just by being able to go outside and play with one another. [/b]

      An alternate viewpoint....
      Not to rain on anyone's sunshine, but not all people have happy childhoods. The only reason most children are able to be happy-go -lucky "without a care in the world" is usually because their parents/guardians have provided enough for them to be that way. Try speaking with kids left without parents -especially in disease, famine, and war-ridden countries. Survival of the fittest takes on a real meaning for them and most of them die or develop disabilities or lifelong illness as a result...

      To me, kids are cute and all, and I agree that THERE IS something about their simple understanding and perspectives of life that is to be admired, but they are also usually the most self-centered, ignorant of others needs (especially if they encroach on their own needs) and utterly dependent on adults to care for them.
      "By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me; a prayer to the God of my life."
      Psalm 42:8

    7. #7
      Member Awaken's Avatar
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      Originally posted by evangel


      An alternate viewpoint....
      Not to rain on anyone's sunshine, but not all people have happy childhoods. The only reason most children are able to be happy-go -lucky \"without a care in the world\" is usually because their parents/guardians have provided enough for them to be that way. Try speaking with kids left without parents -especially in disease, famine, and war-ridden countries. Survival of the fittest takes on a real meaning for them and most of them die or develop disabilities or lifelong illness as a result...

      To me, kids are cute and all, and I agree that THERE IS something about their simple understanding and perspectives of life that is to be admired, but they are also usually the most self-centered, ignorant of others needs (especially if they encroach on their own needs) and utterly dependent on adults to care for them.
      I certainly agree, not all children have happy lives. Those who are put against their own will, those who are confused by social issues, and certainly those who are a victim of other uncontrollable circumstances - poverty/disease/war are put in a helpless position. It saddens me.

      As for the other part, I don't believe kids in nature are self-centred and ignorant of peoples' needs. I think it is a product of their surroundings. If kids are shown the instant selfish pleasures of materialism, it is only natural to assume they might want more for themselves and not for others. However, if they are shown the true values of getting along and being equal with one another, I think it's that much more likely that the unity of humans, as a whole, can show through. Last summer, my 9yo cousin came to see us. I hadn't seen her in a few years, but for no apparent reason, she brought me a simple gift...Not something she bought at the store, but something she made for me - just a notepad she made with a stack of paper and cut into a neat looking shape, with the from/to cover on it. It meant more to me than anything anyone could have bought me at a store...or car dealership! Nothing shows true emotion better than true creativity. I think if kids are shown the emotional value in something so simple, it's much easier for them to see where true happiness comes from.

      *edit
      As for kids being helpless and dependent on adults, it's simply a matter of how their minds are allowed to develop. The 'dangers' of the outside world are projected into their minds, where the manifestation and fear starts. Instead of seeing the world for themselves, and questioning on a rational, logical basis, they're told about the untold horrors about the drug dealers and abductors lining the streets. Who wouldn't want to look for guidance when there's this kind of complex problem to worry about?! Even if it is imaginary...They don't know the difference because they aren't allowed to question it. It's forced upon them as real as the idea of two arms and two legs.
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

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      Originally posted by simisu

      i think it's all a matter of balance!
      cuz the fact is we're still a part of this ant colony and it's not gonna take care of us if we're always doing what we want... something's gotta give...
      or we have to take care of our selves somehow... but how?
      compremises must be made i guess...
      it sucks huh?


      i see all this things and i just want everything to change for the better... cuz i know it can... but on the other hand i'm the one who has to change and that's not easy at all!
      It is most certainly about balance. We could fulfill every moment of our lives with being entirely blissful, but this completely goes against the idea of a mutual, functional experience for all humans. It's how we share the experience which determines how happy we are as a whole. People these days are so focused on self-gratification that it throws the whole thing out of balance. There is very little meaningful human interaction anymore, outside of our tight circle of friends or family. The rest is simply built upon ego and supremecy. The hungry feed the full, in return for a few breadcrumbs. But they are blind to how much food they are giving, and how little they are getting back. It's the material possibilities which make it seem that much more gratifying.
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

    9. #9
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      Well there is a difference between working long hours and getting payed a lot and working long hours just so you can pay the bills. I think more often its the poor person working long hours than the rich one. Assuming that is not the case though, and your doing it because you want to and not have to, there is nothing wrong with working more to get nice stuff or more money. You shouldn't be killing yourself over it though. Last thing you need is to get health problems and die from all the stress in your life right before you get the big promotion.

      I think most kids are kind of self centered. Its not always because they are greedy though but some times they just don't understand money. If they knew how hard someone worked for all the stuff they had, they might look at it different.

      Materialism probably makes you feel a lot better too. When your house is full of stuff it makes you feel like your doing something with your life, like your going some where. When I was a kid I thought our family was doing pretty good, it seemed like we always had a lot of "stuff". Truth is, we weren't really that far away from being poor, as long as you own stuff though your not really poor are you? No one wants to be poor so they buy stuff and it makes them feel better. Last thing you need is to start thinking about how you spent 20 years of your life working and your only a months pay from being dirt poor.

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      You always hearing how the average person is in debt and owes people money. I always used to think "how come so many people owe people money? Can't they just not spend as much?" Well seems like most can't.

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      Originally posted by Alric

      Materialism probably makes you feel a lot better too. When your house is full of stuff it makes you feel like your doing something with your life, like your going some where. When I was a kid I thought our family was doing pretty good, it seemed like we always had a lot of \"stuff\". Truth is, we weren't really that far away from being poor, as long as you own stuff though your not really poor are you? No one wants to be poor so they buy stuff and it makes them feel better. Last thing you need is to start thinking about how you spent 20 years of your life working and your only a months pay from being dirt poor.
      This is true for some, but it's all subjective. Personally, in the end I don't feel any better with lots of stuff than I do without it. It goes upon varying degrees between people. I like to have 'some' stuff...but too much just overwhelms me and makes me feel like a packrat. I like having the communication tools - computer, cell phone - to me they are far more important than dressing up the room with drapes, bookshelves, armoirs, furniture that no one uses, etc...Truthfully I really don't care what the room looks like (to an extent! I like cleanliness), as long as it serves my purpose The influence of a lot of 'stuff' is purely in the mind of the beholder. Some people like it as a tangible symbol of accomplishment, others see it as a waste of money.
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

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      Originally posted by Alric
      You always hearing how the average person is in debt and owes people money. I always used to think \"how come so many people owe people money? Can't they just not spend as much?\" Well seems like most can't.
      Quite literally, materialism is like a drug addiction.
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

    13. #13
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      Yea I don't really need all the little stuff either. You don't normally go out and get all that stuff though. It just kinds of build up over the years heh. A lot of the little things I got that don't really do anything with are gifts and stuff.

    14. #14
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      Originally posted by Alric
      Yea I don't really need all the little stuff either. You don't normally go out and get all that stuff though. It just kinds of build up over the years heh. A lot of the little things I got that don't really do anything with are gifts and stuff.
      Haha, very true...Half the christmas/easter/birthday gifts I get, I end up throwing in the closet...I did a room-overhaul today and got rid of about half my stuff...
      2 garbage bags full of crap, and a bunch of other stuff which went in the crawlspace
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

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      Member simisu's Avatar
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      befor i had to join the army (when i still expected my perents to provide for me... and they didn't mind...) my friends and i used to go out every night to coffeshops or pubs and also sit around and smoke weed...
      now... i'm not a big alcohol drinker and i got coffe at home... so every time we'd go out it made me feel bad not spending any money (which i could always put to better use then drinks!) and they couldn't understand it at all... they'd say "come ON... its not like you dont have any money... you cheep bastered" but when i wanted to buy my Canon EOS 30E or my Sony MZ-N707 minidisc (both of which i love...) i didn't have to think more then once about spending that much money...

      now that's what i call balance

      people forget to work for their free time rather then for stupid nonesenss and useless stuff (suger is over rated! junk food is over rated! fancy cars are WAY over rated! penthouses are over rated (i'd much prefer living in a house with a garden!) and so on and so on...)

      mess production has made us forget alot of good stuff!
      my mom used to make kickass butter cookies... but today we have money so why bother?
      hummmmmmmm.....
      opinions were like kittens
      i was giving them away

    16. #16
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      The consumer society is by far the biggest (edit->)hypocrisy I've ever seen. Anything and everything to keep people's minds on buying more stuff and selling their lives away to the CEO's...Anything to keep people buying those hulking monstrosities they euphamise with "sport utility vehicle" (don't even get me STARTED on how much I loathe these things). And constantly shoving body and mind-destroying cigarettes and booze in our faces while claiming the horrors of non-toxic plants and fungi.

      Illegal drugs make people realize the government is full of shit. LEGAL drugs make people slow, stupid, docile and dependent, and that's just the way they want us....Go back to bed, America, your government is in charge.


      Sorry, went off on the negative there All better now, just needed the release
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

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      Two words, pet rock.

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      But it will just be another mouth to feed!
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

    19. #19
      Member evangel's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Awaken

      As for the other part, I don't believe kids in nature are self-centred and ignorant of peoples' needs. I think it is a product of their surroundings. ...As for kids being helpless and dependent on adults, it's simply a matter of how their minds are allowed to develop...They don't know the difference because they aren't allowed to question it. It's forced upon them as real as the idea of two arms and two legs.
      Let me try and clarify my point:

      When born a human being is aware of only a few things:
      1)eating
      2)defecating
      3)tactile experience

      Therefore, a human baby is COMPLETELY dependent on other human care for food, clothing, shelter, etc. (Animals are in the same boat, but many of them are able to care for and are sometimes forced to survive on their own with no help).

      Therefore, "BY NATURE" we are self-centered, unaware, and ignorant, until socialized by a parent/guardian or group.

      The stuff like non-material or non-selfish pleasures are, as you pointed out, learned from others - they are not natural in the sense that they behave this way without some kind of socilaization.

      As for consumerism, there are certain cultures (most of which we call "primitive") which actually de-emphasize accumulation of material wealth and classify it as foolish in the least. This usually stems from a belief in God, the spiritual/eternal realms and or a profound appreciation for the brevity of life and the wonderful gift that it is. If we could even catch a glimpse of the meaning of this, we wouldn't be so caught up in trying to satisfy ourselves and those close to us by buying or "attaining" all the time.
      "By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me; a prayer to the God of my life."
      Psalm 42:8

    20. #20
      Bio-Turing Machine O'nus's Avatar
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      I recently did a study on materialism.. so I feel like sharing the information I have found. Take in heed that it is lengthy..

      Materialism, one of the two chief tendencies in philosophy, that on which science is based and which is able to give the only scientifically adequate answers to the fundamental problems of the nature of the world and man. Materialism, in contradistinction to idealism, recognizes matter as primary and thougt or consciousness as secondary. Its most fully developed form is Marxist philosophical materialism, known as dialetical materialism which recognizes and overcomes the inadequacies of preceeding matieralist doctrines. The history of philosophy showa that, as a rule, matieralism is the world view of the more progressive social classes, of groups interested in the development of science.

      Materialism grew up in the Ionian colonies of ancient Greece at the close of the seventh and the beginning of the sixth century BC, in the epoch of the establishment of the ancient Greek city states, and greatly contributed to the development of industry and trading. Engels, characterizing the philosophy of Ionians, wrote: "Here . . . is the whole original natural materialism which at its beginning . . . regards the unity of . . . natural phenomena as a matter of course, and seeks it in some definity corporeal principle, a special thing, as Thales does in water." Asserting various material elements ot be the basis of all things, the Ionians looked upon the universe as an interconnected infinite process of change and transformation of these primary elements. They were all, in Engels' expression, "natural born dialecticians." This naive but essentially correct view of the world was most clearly reflected in Heraclitus (about 455-585 BC). The further development of ancient materialism is connected chiefly with the names of Anaxagoras (about 500-428 BC), Empedcoles (about 485-425 BC), and especially Democritus (460-370 BC), Epicurus (342-270 BC) and Lucretius (99-55 BC). Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius were representatives of atomistic materialism. They held that the basis of all things was atoms, tiny, indivisible, impenetrable material particles which moved in infinite space. This atomisitic materialism was directed against the idea of the intereference of gods in teh affairs of this world, and in general against religious superstition. They held that the soul was material, made up of lighter atoms, and rejected the beliefe in its immortality.

      During the middle ages, philosophy became transformed into a handmaiden of theology, and the dominant trend of thought was derived from Platonic and Aristotelian idealism. Ceratin materialistic tendencies in scholasticism appeared among the nominalists (Duns Scotus, William of Occam) who held that universal or general ideas do not exist over and above the individual concrete things, as the so-called "realists" of that time maintained. The development of science and the revival os materialism are connected with the breakup of feudal society and the formation of the new capitalist system of production. The great geographical achievements of the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century (the discovery of America, the sea route to India, the circumnavigation of the globe) proved the sphericity of the earth. Copernicus (1473-1543) dealt a mortal blow to the theological world view of the Middle Ages in his doctrine that the earth revolves around the sun, Te Copernican theory was further developed by Kepler (1571-1630) and Galileo (1564-1642).

      Materialist philosophy, at the beginning of the modern period, building on the foundation of the victories won by science, carries on a struggle against scholasticism and clerical authoritarianism, turning to experience as to a true teacher and approaching nature as the proper object of philosophy. The father of modern materialism was the Enslish philospher, Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Bacon attacked scholasticism and defended scientific knowledge; he considered sensation and experience the only valid source of knwoledge. Although his materialism included mechanistic tendencies, it did not take on the one-sidedness characteristic of fully developed mechanism. In Hobbes (1588-1679) meterialism assumed a clearly mechanistic character. "Knowledge based upon the sense loses its poetic blossom; it passes into the abstract experience of the mathematician: geometry is proclaimed as the queen of sciences." The French philosopher Descartes (1569-1650) developed mechanistic materialism in his physics remaining a dualist in his metaphysics. Gassendi (1592-1655) revived teh atomistic materialism of Epicurus and combated the idealistic metaphysics of Descatres. This great Dutch philosopher Spinoza (1632-1677) overcame the dualism of Descartes. Spinoza took as basic a single substance-nature-and considered teh though and extension as attributes of this substance which was eternal and infinite. In spite of the variety of inadequacies, the philosophy of Spinoza represents a great synthesis of the knowledge of his time. THe work of Locke (1632-1704), although not free from concessions to idealism and agnosticism, developed the essentially matierlist thesis that impressions received through the sense organs from the outside world are the source of knowledge.

      This thought influenced the theory of knwoeldge of teh French materialists of the eighteenth century. French matierlism (La Mettrie, 1709; Diderot, 1713-84; Helvetius, 1715-71; Holbach, 1723-89; and others) built upon the success of the natural science of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Because of its militant and progressive character, this materialism became the theoreticla weapon of th revolutionary bourgeoisie in the struggle against feudalism, a struggle which culminated in the French revolution of 1789. The French materialists became warriors in the cause of scientific progress, against religious obscurantism and seventeenth-century idealistic metaphysics. Their philosophy, however, could not transcend the limiations of metaphysical materialism and the mechanistic conception of motion, while their approach to the feild of social phenomena was idealistic. The last great figure of pre-Marxian materialism was the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-72). Combating the idealism of Hegel, Feuerbach held that nature exists independantly of consciousness and that man was a product of nature. But Feuerbach was a metaphysical materialist, since, in rejecting his dialectics. He considered man only abstractly, as man in general, not concretely, in terms of an evolving social and historical environment. Not understandin the significance of social practice, he remained an idealist in the field of social phenomena, and, ins pite of his sharp criticism of religion, himself set up a new religion, "religion of the heart," of love.

      Marx and Engels, the ideologists of the proletariat, having assimilated the positive and valuable elements of precedding scientific philosophic thought, were able to work out a higher form of materialism - dialectical materialism. After Marx and Engels, bourgeois philosophers and scientists mae several attempts to resurrect the earlier forms of materialism, lending them an oversimplified and vulgar character (Buchner, Moleschott, active in Germany in the fifties and sixties of the nineteenth century). Marx and ENgels comabted thsi sort of materialism. After the death of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin developed further some of the basic concepts of dialetical materialism.

      Hope I've been enlightening.

      - Dialectics of Nature
      - Marx, "On the History of French Materialism," in Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach)

    21. #21
      Member Awaken's Avatar
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      I'm not trying to completely destroy the idea of materialism - just saying that it shouldn't be the focus
      In this crazy world if they don't consider you mad, then you have no confirmation of your own sanity, do you?
      Imagine if this crazy world thought you were sane?! Oh my God, worst nightmare!
      -David Icke

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