On Your Mind | David Gruder | Hijacking Of Humanity

 

There are countless beliefs, ideologies, and perspectives that mold society today, and unfortunately not all of them consider our best interests. Some are focused on the hijacking of humanity, trapping everyone on an endless slippery slope. Delving into this alarming problem with Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D is award-winning clinical and organizational psychologist Dr. David Gruder. In this first part of their insightful discussion, they talk about the three holes of humanity, the five aspects of the hijacking of humanity, and the two symptoms of a dysfunctional society. Dr. Gruder also explains how the concept of the American Dream causes people to chase distorted ideas of happiness, kills the intuitive mind, and pushes us further away from a complete revisioning of humanity.

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Dr. David Gruder And The Center For Enlightened Spiritual Sovereignty – Part 1

Dr. David Gruder playfully refers to himself as a recovering psychologist and professional troublemaker. In actuality, he is a twelve award-winning bestselling Integrative Psychologist who Radio-TV Interview Report named America’s Integrity Expert. Drawing on an unparalleled range of board leadership, training, consulting, business, and clinical roles that he has filled over the past five decades, he founded the Center for Enlightened Self Sovereignty.

Its purpose is to help usher in a spiritually elevated next chapter in humanity. Through the center, Dr. Gruder works with concerned citizens, government and community leaders, business owners and executives, influencers in the media education, and the helping professions to maximize their positive impact in their respective fields.

Dr. Gruder, it’s great to see you again.

It’s great to see you again too, Dr. Hayes.

Authenticity, Connection And Impact

I look forward to this opportunity to discuss your latest project. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started on this and what drives your passion for it?

Yeah, I certainly can. How far do you want me to go back? I could go back to six years old in terms of where this all had its roots.

I don’t know. How fast can you go from six years old to where you are?

Here’s what I’ll say about the seeds of this. I got deeply touched as a six-year-old when my family received a New Year’s card from a family friend that had a message. It was a UNICEF New Year’s card. The message was, “The greater peace will only come after the smaller peace we make with each other.” Even though I was only six years old, that message went straight into the cells of my being. It became central to what was important to me. What I would add to it is that the greater peace will only come after the smaller peace we make with ourselves and each other. Of course, at six years old, I didn’t have that level of discernment. That was added on later. When I was fifteen, my parents sent me to Woodstock. They didn’t know what they were sending me to beforehand.

You mean the music festival?

The infamous music festival in 1969. They thought they were sending me to a music and arts fair because that’s what it was. Nobody knew what the 1969 Woodstock experience was going to end up being. I thought I was going there for the music. What I discovered I had gone there for that I could never have anticipated was to have my worldview completely reshaped over three days. The reshaping has everything to do with my life’s work, which is why I’ll share this one additional story in answering your question.

First of all, the reason that my parents sent me to Woodstock was because I was very involved in performing growing up, and my parents were kind enough to somehow rustle up enough money to send me to a camp for the performing arts in the summertime. In the spring of ‘69, the camp director sent a message home a letter to all the parents saying, “For the first time in the camp’s history, we’re going to have an optional field trip to this music and arts fair in upstate New York. Do you want to send your kid?”

That’s how I ended up being at Woodstock at fifteen years old. What got blown open for me was that I felt and experienced underneath the cliché in the 1960s that said sex, drugs, and rock and roll. What I got to experience was that underneath the sex part of the cliche sex, drugs, and rock and roll was this yearning for a deeper intimacy than the societal expectation of a marriage contract. Underneath the drugs part of the sex, drugs, and rock and roll cliché was my generation, our generation, seeking a deeper sense of authenticity than the conformity that had been installed in US culture and then around the world in the 1950s.

The rock and roll part of the cliché was that for the first time in the history of music, lyrics were appearing in songs that were telling us that we had more power to change the world than we ever thought we did. Those three holes, authenticity, connection, and impact, I came to realize are what animates us as human beings. When we’re out of integrity with any 1 or more of those 3 core drives, as I call them, we have problems with ourselves, we have problems with each other, and we have problems with the larger groups that we choose to be part of.

Authenticity, connection, and impact are the three things that animate us as human beings. When we are out of integrity with any one of those, we have a huge problem. Click To Tweet

That lifelong quest has been around integrating our three core drives, integrating authenticity, connection, and impact, and integrating the fundamentals that gave rise to the original version of the American Dream when the United States was first coming into existence. It was to create a society that functioned at the intersection of if I can use the Constitution’s wording, preserving personal freedom and promoting the common good. It wasn’t either/or. There needed to be an integration between the two.

The American Dream

That’s quite the challenge. I believe I’ve heard you speak about how as we came out of the Second World War, we’ve had some distortions in the structuring of our culture and our economy that haven’t allowed that integration to be top of mind, to say the least, or to make it even easy or reasonable to try and keep that integration going.

That’s very true. There were some beliefs that were quite deliberately installed in the 1950s, first in the United States, and then spread around the world because of course, at that point in history, a lot of the world looked to the United States as a beacon, a free country, a beacon of personal freedom and prosperous society. Do you want me to unpack what those please things were?

Sure.

The short version of the story is that at the end of World War II, Harry Truman was president of the United States, and he had two overriding concerns. One concern was about keeping the economy growing in peacetime because he was well aware, as were others, that the economy had roared back from the Great Depression of the 1930s on a wartime footing. It was World War II that helped the United States and other parts of the world recover from the Great Depression. He wanted the economy to not be dependent on war in order to keep growing. That was his first concern.

His second concern was brought about because the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, fashioned his propaganda campaigns that were very successful for a period of time after the published works of an American named Edward Bernays, who was acknowledged during his lifetime to be the Father of Modern Public Relations. He was concerned that if that could happen in Germany, it could happen anywhere. He assembled a group of politicians and business people and charged them with coming up with a plan for keeping the economy growing in peacetime, and minimizing the chances that what happened to the Germans when Nazi Germany propaganda took over could happen here in the United States. What they hatched was what they called the American Dream.

That 1950s version of the American Dream completely rewrote the definition of the pursuit of happiness. The original definition of the pursuit of happiness brought about when the United States was first coming into existence was that the pursuit of happiness, if you can imagine a triangle, and at the top of the triangle is the pursuit of happiness. At the base of each corner are two ingredients that enable the pursuit of happiness to occur. One ingredient is personal freedom, and the other ingredient is the common good.

What happened was that in the 1950s, the pursuit of happiness, first of all, was redefined as excessive consumerism to keep the economy growing. The personal freedom part was recast as social conformity where we were going to conform to the notion of the good life that was created in this 1950s version of the American Dream.

On Your Mind | David Gruder | Hijacking Of Humanity

Hijacking Of Humanity : In the 1950s, the pursuit of happiness was redefined as excessive consumerism, and personal freedom was recast as social conformity, creating the concept of the American Dream.

 

The house with the white picket fence and the two-car garage, and the dog and the cat, and the 1.8 children. Of course, I’m being facetious. Also, the vacations, the latest consumer appliances, conveniences and all of that. The common good was redefined as overwork where people in the workforce were expected to work longer and longer hours in order to climb the corporate ladder in order to make more and more money working for a company whose values they didn’t necessarily agree with. This restructuring of the pursuit of happiness was a turning point in the deterioration of the United States, as far as I’m concerned and of course, then around the world, because like I said earlier, the American dream was adopted by a large part of the rest of the world as well.

Crafting An Intuitive Mind

One of the key components is the focus almost exclusively on the physical. There are many ways to take a look at that, but to expand or to reinforce what you were saying is if I am not thinking that the higher good is part of that formula, it’s simply, “I’m going to conform and I’m going to help my economy and I’m going to help my nation by being a good consumer.”

Also, my family, if I’m the breadwinner.

It’s all about the physical. It’s not about the mental, emotional, spiritual or other subtle energetics, which isn’t to say they don’t exist. We know that subtle energetics do exist, and our science is even continuing to develop devices that can measure it, but it measures things that our senses can’t measure. These other energies and interaction patterns are there, but if we aren’t focusing on them, we aren’t aware of them.

Without a doubt.

It’s like Einstein said about precious gifts, and the faithful servant. The precious gift is the intuitive mind and the faithful servants is a conscious, logical mind. We live in a culture where we aren’t teaching our children about their intuitive mind and their creativity. The other part of Einstein’s observation that is perhaps the more devastating is we’ve elevated the conscious logical to the level of master.

The tail is wagging the dog

Instead of it being a servant of practical things when we’re dealing directly in the physical realm, we’ve been trained to try and find answers to all of our subtle energetic, spiritual and emotional relationship issues through the logical, rational mind and it doesn’t work.

Hijacking Of Happiness

We see these kinds of splits reflected in society nowadays where some people are over addicted to overthinking. Some people are operating out of this faulty happiness formula that the formula for happiness is excessive consumerism and power and things along those lines. There are other people who are operating from what they often don’t know is a distorted version of spirituality. They’re doing what these days commonly referred to as spiritual bypass, where they’re pursuing altered states of consciousness, or they’re pursuing developing their intuition without simultaneously keeping their feet on the ground.

Some people are pursuing altered states of consciousness and developing their intuition without simultaneously keeping their feet on the ground. Click To Tweet

They’re doing it in order to essentially avoid dealing with the baggage that they carry, the unresolved trauma that continues to live in their system while they’re pursuing a transcendent state of consciousness. They’re wondering, “I’m pursuing higher consciousness. Why isn’t my life different? Why don’t I feel different?” It’s spiritual bypass as they call it, like I said. We’ve got these groups that are all pursuing distorted versions of happiness now.

My mind’s racing as you’re talking about that because there are a number of people that, like you in the project that you started here, are trying to help people stay grounded in basic fundamentals. They are dealing with young would call the shadow side of things while growing and expanding their capacity for tuning into other energies and other levels of philosophical and or spiritual growth.

Let me tell you a brief story connected to this that was told to me by the daughter of one of the founders of the League of Nations, which was the international body that preceded the United Nations. I don’t think she’s still alive. She told me that her father’s greatest disappointment in life was that he was trying to get the League of Nations founders to understand the importance of incorporating psychological wisdom into how they functioned.

He didn’t succeed at getting that woven into the fabric of the culture of the League of Nations. Of course, the UN followed in those same mistaken footsteps. Other groups have followed in those footsteps as well, which I got a firsthand taste of in I think it was 2004 when I was brought over to Geneva, Switzerland to train a group of World Trade Organization ambassadors. They had no idea that there was any form of problem-solving or negotiation other than coercion or compromise. They had no clue about how to do collaboration or synergy as a problem-solving and negotiation method.

Even now, there’s this poo-pooing of psychological wisdom and this poo-pooing of the importance of dealing with shadow, not only from a lot of high-influence leaders, but also on the part of certain individuals and groups in the spiritual elevation realms. They’re trying to bypass dealing with shadow while pursuing higher states of consciousness.

It strikes me that the thing that I talk to people about in therapy sessions and have for decades now is that if they continue using the tools that we can offer in solid psychological work and do their own introspection, they will soon find they’re one of the healthiest people they know. Most of the adults, and I mean full-fledged adults, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, most of the adults they run into are still functioning at the social-emotional level of high school, even those who don’t have addiction problems.

If you hang out in addiction circles, they’ll tell you, “If I started using drugs heavy or drinking heavy when I was 16, and when I’m 40 or 50, I decide I got to get sober, when I’m 40 years old and I quit drinking, I started when I was 16, my emotional development’s probably about a 16-year-old, mostly because I was running from emotional difficulties and discomforts into alcohol.”

Even without that, what I tell people is, this is what you’re describing, the manipulation or coercion, that’s high school level stuff. That’s not bright, intelligent, creative human communication at work. That’s low level, who’s the strongest, who’s the smartest, who’s going to get the most, who’s going to grab, it’s like the Hungry Hippos game, we just grab.

The same is true in spiritual circles. There was a book that was published short read decades ago now, called Your God Is Too Small. The whole focus of the book was not connected to the addiction recovery community. It was geared toward the religious and spiritual communities. The premise of the theologian who wrote this book was that most people’s version of higher love and wisdom or source or God or whatever term they use for that is stuck in childhood. It never grew up, it never matured.

On Your Mind | David Gruder | Hijacking Of Humanity

Your God Is Too Small: A Guide for Believers and Skeptics Alike

As we’re talking about this, I see two components we want to talk about. The hijacking of humanity, as you call it, and the re-visioning of humanity. How far are we into you helping us understand what you call the hijacking of humanity?

We’ve dipped our toes in might be helpful if I briefly describe the five aspects of the hijacking of humanity that I think have collectively the greatest negative impact on humanity. We talked about the first of those, which is the hijacking of happiness, people functioning from a faulty happiness formula. The second I refer to as the hijacking of health, where health got redefined as symptom control rather than optimal health.

Hijacking Of Health

There was this unholy alliance that, if I can ironically use that term, developed organically between two industries. One industry was the part of the food industry that a lot of people referred to as Big Ag, big agriculture. It’s mostly the part of the food industry that makes massive profits, overselling things that pass as though they’re food, but actually create illness when those things are consumed in regular and large quantities.

The unholy alliance is between that portion of the food world and the portion of the medical and pharmaceutical world, which is again, like I said about the food world, it’s not the whole world, but the portion of the pharmaceutical and medical world that is focused on controlling the symptoms that the illnesses that the fake foods create. When you get this unholy alliance between the fake food industry and the symptom control industry, you get the hijacking of health. That’s the second hijacking. Does that make sense?

Absolutely.

Should I keep going?

Please.

Hijacking Of Prosperity

The third hijacking is the hijacking of prosperity. Actually, there’s a lot of negative sentiment about capitalism, but what people who have a negative attitude about capitalism don’t realize is that what they’re rebelling against is two distortions of capitalism that are still called capitalism, even though they’re not. One is sociopathic capitalism. Think Monsanto, for example, companies that make massive profits off of harming people and the environment and things like that. Debtism, which was installed as part of the American dream, the 1950s version of the American Dream.

On Your Mind | David Gruder | Hijacking Of Humanity

Hijacking Of Humanity : Debt-ism is borrowing against an uncertain future through consumer debt to prop up the appearance of a lifestyle in the present that’s supposed to make us happy.

 

Debt is borrowing against an uncertain future through consumer debt and things like that in order to prop up the appearance of a lifestyle in the presence of the present that’s supposed to make us happy. That is not capitalism, that’s debtism. When you combine debtism and sociopathic capitalism, and that becomes what people think of as capitalism, of course, they should be anti-capitalism. However, most people don’t even know what healthy capitalism is supposed to look like. That’s the hijacking of prosperity right there.

You’ve left this gap there where we haven’t defined healthy capitalism.

You want me to do that now?

I think that’d be good. Put that in here. What’s an alternative to debtism and sociopathic capitalism? Those two words that weren’t coming to me. The sociopathic capitalism and the debtism. What’s the alternative that you’re calling healthy capitalism? How would you describe that?

I describe it actually as a fake formula, meaning something that sounds like a formula, but it’s not mathematical. I’m going to unpack these abbreviations right now, but the formula is money is PLE times C over A. That’s a fake formula for money. The P is portions. LE is our life energy, portions of our life energy in a converted form. The converted form is trading portions of our life energy for money over A and the A is agreements.

If I came to you for psychotherapy, I would be deciding that the portion of my life energy that I converted into money was an appropriate amount of converted life energy for me to get what I’m hoping I’ll get from you in psychotherapy at the rates that you are charging. We enter into an agreement that the amount that you are charging for me to access your converted life energy in the form of psychotherapy is ethically and integrally right-matched with the amount of my life energy that I have converted into money that I’m going to give to you in return.

You’ll get a balancing value from it.

That’s what real capitalism is supposed to be about. It’s actually supposed to be a mechanism for individuals to exert personal freedom through authentic agreement, not manipulated agreement, what we call in the healthcare and psychotherapy fields informed consent in contrast to what Edward Bernays called manufactured consent, which is manipulated consent.

We’re entering into agreements that the amount of life energy it’s going to cost me to access the life energy you’ve converted into something that I want is equitable. Those are decisions that individuals make with each other, or an individual make with a company that they buy something from. It’s not some universal formula that everyone is supposed to abide by because then personal freedom is eliminated. That’s healthy capitalism.

It takes quite a bit to evaluate that on an ongoing basis. When you’ve got your individual freedom, you can do that when you’re living in this balanced state of autonomy and balancing that, as you said earlier, with the highest good, the common good, then you can make decisions that are appropriate for you.

Hijacking Of Patriotism

When you understand that money is nothing more and nothing less than portions of our life energy in a converted form. That’s the linchpin that people are not taught in school or in their families. That’s the hijacking of prosperity. The fourth hijacking is the hijacking of patriotism. Patriotism has been hijacked in that people are defining patriotism in these days in two very divisive and extreme forms, both of which are incomplete and create massive problems.

One group defines patriotism as don’t tread on my personal freedom above everything else. If you don’t like what I’m doing, if what I’m doing has a negative impact on you, that’s your problem, not mine. Get over it. The other group is saying that the common good is more important than personal freedom. Those people are basically saying that conformity is more important than authenticity. The truth that I believe the founders of the United States tapped into and understood was that personal freedom, without social responsibility, is narcissism. Social responsibility without personal freedom is tyranny. Patriotism has gotten hijacked because we’ve got one group calling patriotism, personal freedom over everything. The other group calls patriotism the common good over everything. They’re both equally and oppositely insane. Patriotism has been hijacked.

Personal freedom without social responsibility is narcissism, and social responsibility without personal freedom is tyranny. Click To Tweet

Happiness has been hijacked. Health has been hijacked. Prosperity has been hijacked. Prosperity has been hijacked and patriotism.

Hijacking Of Problem-Solving

There’s a fifth hijacking, which is the hijacking of problem solving because in today’s divisive, politically polarized world, as I was referring to earlier, only 2 out of the 3 forms of problem solving are being used, coercion and compromise. I don’t think we need to go into the reasons why coercion is so toxic to individuals and groups. The reason that compromise is toxic, except if it’s a necessary backup plan, because people are unwilling to participate in collaboration or synergy.

Other than as a backup plan, the best attainable outcome with compromise is all people walk away from the negotiating table or the problem-solving table feeling equally ripped off. That’s the best attainable outcome. If it’s not equally ripped off, then one group feels more ripped off than the other group, and they’re pretending that that’s compromise. It’s a dysfunctional strategy. When we have a society that’s practicing coercion or compromise at best, we have problem-solving, having been completely hijacked and creating all of the hyperpolarization, hyper divisiveness dynamics that we’re seeing in society now.

On Your Mind | David Gruder | Hijacking Of Humanity

Hijacking Of Humanity : When we have a society practicing coercion or compromise, we have problem-solving completely hijacked, creating hyperpolarization and hyper divisiveness.

 

Of course, you’ve said the word once or twice, but the alternative to coercion or compromise is collaboration. Cooperation, collaboration, etc.

That is a skill that is talked about by some, but very few people have actually been trained in the fundamentals of how collaboration occurs. Yes, there are some people who are addicted to coercion or compromise, but of those who see the merits of collaboration, virtually no one has been trained in the mechanics of collaboration.

Addressing The Hijackings

What are the results as you see them, as you describe them, of these five hijackings? What’s the ripple effect that we’re looking at as these are pain points, these are problems, these are hurdles for us to get over and resolve?

One way of my answering your question is by saying that the Associated Press, the AP, has done surveys for the last number of years, surveys during the Trump administration and the Biden administration on American sentiments about whether our country is moving in a good or a bad direction. Regardless of which administration we’re talking about, a Republican administration or a Democratic party administration, 80% to 85% of Americans say we’re headed in the wrong direction.

What are the symptoms? All of the things that cause people to feel like they’re moving in the wrong direction, which are things like chronic stress, huge amounts of fear, chronic anger and rage and rebellion, or what we call in our field, learned helplessness. Those are the big symptoms of a dysfunctional society.

I guess it’s all hopeless, then.

That’s what the learned helplessness camp insists on.

The overview of the problem side, and you’re talking about offering a solution and, and offering people a program to help develop a solution. Before we move into the solution side, the overview of the problem with these five hijackings. Is there anything else you want to add to that or give a quick summary of, so that we’re going to talk about that problem and then we’re going to take a breather and then talk about what the CESS gives us for building solutions?

Sure. What I’ll add is two things. One is the reason that I think it’s important for people to understand these spells as I refer to them, these five societal hijackings and something else I’ll touch on in a moment. The reason for understanding these things is not to wallow in them. It’s because treatment without diagnosis is malpractice. Unless we understand the nature of the root causes of the problems we’re trying to solve, we can’t treat the problems effectively.

Unless we understand the nature of the root causes of today’s problems, we cannot treat them effectively. Click To Tweet

That’s the only reason that I articulate these problem states. It’s so that people have clarity about what needs to be solved, not so that they can stay stuck in those things or be victimized by them. The other thing that I’ll say in conclusion is that those five hijackings are what I call societal spells, spells that collectively we are under. When I say collectively, I’m using that term because there are individuals who haven’t been taken in by those spells. Collectively, those spells are very much in operation.

The other level of spells, if you will, are what I call personal spells. Personal spells are our own survival plans that we adopt in childhood to survive what I refer to as undigested life experiences, life experiences we have that we don’t know how and aren’t helped to turn into blessings and gifts. My term undigested life experiences is another way of saying trauma structure.

When you combine societal spells with personal spells, which is the addiction to a childhood survival plan that we were brilliant enough to intuitively construct as children, that then became so automatic and unconscious that we brought that survival plan with us into adulthood and have kept living from that survival plan long after we needed it in order to survive. Those two spells categories, societal spells, and personal spells, are what need to be healed in order for society and individuals to experience an elevated future.

Dr. David Gruder playfully refers to himself as a recovering psychologist and professional troublemaker. In actuality, he is a twelve award-winning bestselling integrative psychologist who Radio-TV Interview Report named America’s Integrity Expert. Drawing on an unparalleled range of board leadership, training, consulting, business, and clinical roles that he has filled over the past five decades, he founded the Center for Enlightened Self Sovereignty. Its purpose is to help usher in a spiritually elevated next chapter in humanity.

Through the center, Dr. Gruder works with concerned citizens, government and community leaders, business owners and executives, influencers in the media education, and the helping professions to maximize their positive impact in their respective fields. He also provides keynotes, training programs, mentoring, consulting, books, videos, and media appearances. Through all of these activities, he equips leaders, influencers, and concerned citizens with the missing spiritual inner and outer skills for maximizing their positive impact in their chosen spheres of influence. Dr. Gruner’s main website is DrGruder.com.

 

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About Dr. David Gruder

On Your Mind | David Gruder | Hijacking Of HumanityDr. David Gruder playfully refers to himself as a recovering psychologist and professional troublemaker. In actuality, he is a 12-award-winning bestselling integrative psychologist who Radio-TV Interview Report named America’s Integrity Expert. Drawing on an unparalleled range of board, leadership, training, consulting, business, and clinical, roles he has filled over five decades, he founded The Center for Enlightened Self-Sovereignty. Its purpose is to help usher in a spiritually elevated next chapter of humanity. Through the Center, Dr. Gruder works with concerned citizens, government and community leaders, business owners and executives, and influencers in the media, education, and helping professions to maximize their positive impact in their respective fields.
He also provides keynotes, training programs, mentoring, consulting, books, videos, and media appearances. Through all of these activities, he equips leaders, influencers, and concerned citizens, with missing spiritual, inner and outer skills for maximizing their positive impact in their chosen spheres of influence. Dr. Gruder’s main website is DrGruder.com.

 

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