Perspectives: The Programmed Mind

September 24th, 2019

“We are kings of bliss, begging for misery.”

-Nick Mulvey

We come into this world from light, love and the peace that they contain, nothing else. That is also all we exit with, nothing else. It is our responsibility to be vigilant in making sure nothing is allowed to come between that and us.

Along the duration of our life any disturbance to that peace is what we allow to enter.

This suffering and misery is not us however – although we can make it seem so by nurturing it and weaving it into the story of ourselves.

Once inside us and left unchecked, such disturbances can become so ingrained that we can no longer tell what is us from what is this viral, replicating ’program’ that thinks in our voice most of the time. We nurture it to the point it becomes part of our identity. ”Well, that’s just who I am. That’s just the way it is.” Ahh, but don’t you believe them…

What is a program? 

Programs are mental parasites – often leading to physical health consequences as well. Their purpose is to feed on our light. They disempower us, make us forget who we truly are and may even convince us that everything is futile and inevitable. They depress our joy and make us cynical, fearful and depressed. At the physical level they can age us before our time, making us weak and sick.

It may seem very much like we have been under some kind of sinister spell. Once we become aware of them however it is the beginning of a true life change.

The tricky thing about programs is that they have no immediately tangible substance. We cannot see, touch, taste or feel them in the tactile sense. We can however, experience the results of their directives. Like wind in a wheat field, we may not be able to see the wind itself but we can see how the wheat reacts to it.

If we do not pay attention and dis-identify from them they can drain the life force from us. And that is the real damage – what we do to ourselves while trying to avoid, ignore or repress them.

We will drain ourselves in endless compensatory activities, compulsions, addictions and neurotic behavior, all to avoid the anxiety these programs generate in us.

It is their ability to convince us to harm ourselves in subtle and not so subtle ways that makes them so destructive.

Let us now take a look at some of these programs to understand them a little better.

Cultural programs and the super-ego.

Culture is not our friend. What we call culture is really only an arbitrary set of vaguely shared values and assumptions about what is important in life. Culture and its values are conditioned by time and place and certain socio-cultural economic groups that can include factors like race and nationhood. It is in fact, a super-ego.

NBC News

The personal ego (sometimes confusingly called our self – in lower case) may be defined as the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. It is a program that is constantly striving to bring attention to itself to justify its existence.

It is the babble of the mind, the constant commentary, the anxiety, the problem causer and, conveniently, the offerer of a labyrinth of false solutions to those problems. As long as it is front and centre to the energy of our attention, that’s all that matters to it.

The super-ego is merely the collective version of this. It winds stories around itself in the search for identity, solidity and certainty: ”Ours is the one, true God!” ”My country, right or wrong!” ”The American dream!” ”White supremacy!” ”Black power!” – there are endless examples.

It desparately wants to convince us it is real but it is not. It is a (collective) program. It is also highly subjective. None of these ’values’ are universal.

Perhaps most importantly, cultural programs serve to control individuals and groups with rules based upon these arbitrary values. Feelings like pride, predjudice, guilt, shame, envy and feelings of unworthiness are natural consequences.

A few examples

  • A while ago I read an article in a major newspaper reflecting a typically materialistic approach to life based upon the culture is was in and written for. It outlined the ’problem’ with each decade of adult life. One’s 20’s were supposed to be filled with anxiety about finding direction in life and not ’missing out’ climbing the ladder of acheivement. Apparently, one’s 30’s were overly concerned with the accumulation of debt and responsibility with the expansion of family and material possessions and so on. Finally, it only reached as far as the 70’s, whose major obstacle, in this article’s view, was feelings of morbidity about death(!). It read like a training manual in how to be weighed down and eventually crushed by life, ending by instructing the reader when death was expected of them.
  • A client, 51 years, came to see me in clinic. He was quite overweight, lost most of his hair while the rest was white/grey and even the smallest adjustment to posture elicited puffing and grunting noises due to the apparent effort. He self consciously caught my eye and said: ”Well, of course you have to expect these things after fifty.” My reply was: ”Do you?”

Note how both these examples contain those deceptive, unconscious assumptions that so easily lead us into negative outcomes.

Anxiety programs

Actually, there are many programs in this category, each contributing to the same result: the entropy of the human spirit and eventually the body along with it. 

Let’s start with an obviouis one. After all, it hides its intent in plain sight: It proudly advertises its ’programs’ right out of the box…


Ahh yes, that tried and true anxiety generator. One never really watches TV to relax – even if we tell ourselves that. When we are not receiving carefully filtered news that almost exclusively features negative stories then we are being ’entertained’ by morbid levels of violence, the sexualisation of everything or merely having precious hours of our life wasted in triviality and banality.

If that wasn’t enough, our viewing habits are being targeted with equally anxiety-generating advertising posing as helpful or caring solutions – to the problems they insist we have! What we are left with are feelings of anxiety about these problems – which is precisely the point.


This includes the many ways we consume it. Mostly it revolves around our connections to the internet – mobile phones, tablets, computers and so called ’smart’ TV’s. Unlike television which is passive, the internet offers the illusion of enpowerment through interaction.

Illustration by Cali Rossi. All rights reserved.

While we think we are making a contribution through watching/reacting/commenting/liking or supporting certain causes, interests or sites we are actually being even more monitored and controlled than with television. The advertising too is even more craftfully tailored to our perceived profile.

It has become all too clear in recent times that we can be manipulated collectively via this medium to serve the interests of others.

So why do we mysteriously spend so much time online then? Two main reasons:

  1. Because it is designed and ever more refined to be addictive.
  2. Because we are trying to distract ourselves from this nameless underlying anxiety that, ironically, we are only fuelling through our internet habit.

That last statement can apply to any of the anxiety/misery programs. Here are a few more of them

  • The promise of comfort and security. Pension and insurance schemes. The effect is to increase our insecurity and focus on ageing and death
  • Consumerism and the lure of the next new thing to complete us. What it really does is reinforce a feeling that we are not enough
  • Pornography – the itch that can never be scratched, guaranteeing return business while numbing our capacity to make intimate connections with others
  • Gaming and gambling – a self destructive, anxiety distraction pattern posing as the escape to the excitement of another reality than our own
  • Alchohol and drugs – the need to be ’comfortably numb’ in the futile and health sabotaging search to be free of our anxiety programs
  • A constant need for affirmation outside of ourselves that can never be quenched. From this root flowers endless self destructive behavior
  • Food obsessions (for more detail about this one click here) – nothing will ever be enough to dampen or satisfy the parasitic program of anxiety
  • Constant economic struggles with spending and debt and a feeling of poverty and fear that we can never overcome

Of course many of the above programs work in tandem by reinforcing and feeding off each other. We can even feed off other’s negative programs. After all, misery loves company and we can bind each other in it. So be mindful of the company you keep.

Illustration by Andrea Wan

Don’t get with the program

The truth is, our original state is happiness, joy, love and peace. Irrespective of changing outward circumstances, our light inside is our right and we must stand up for it and not let anything or anyone distract, corrupt, seduce or bully us into thinking and feeling otherwise.

We do not need to fall for these programs. They are not normal at all. They are not even truly ours unless we agree to them and make them so. So, refuse to put up with them! Grow beyond the search for happiness and the fear of unhappiness and into who you truly are.

When we understand this true state of ourselves then there is no other option. It is neither hard nor easy, it is the recognition of truth and the choice we make from that understanding.

Beyond the matrix

So where do we go when we leave the program? Well, I’m so glad you asked because next time we will be looking at some of the ways we can wake up from this uneasy, hypnotic dream and integrate back into ourselves.


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

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