L-mode and R-mode case study

I’ve been thinking more about the interaction between L-mode and R-mode as discussed in last week’s blog post and it occurred to me that another hobby of mine provides a useful case study in the subject. That hobby is powerlifting, a sport that consists in the three lifts of the squat, the bench press and the deadlift (as opposed to the clean and jerk and snatch of Olympic weightlifting). I stumbled into powerlifting a few years ago after never having so much as set foot in a gym in my adult life. After a period of experimentation and self-learning, a powerlifting coach, seeing my awful technique one day, introduced himself and invited me along for a free evaluation session at the club where he coached. I went along for the session and then joined the club at which point my real powerlifting journey began.

The training strategy used in beginner and intermediate powerlifting is called the linear progression. The coach will establish your starting strength and fix a baseline weight. From that starting point, you begin a program where a fixed weight increment is added to the bar each week. For example, you might start the bench press at 60kg. Week 2 will raise that to 62.5kg, week 3 to 65kg and so on. Although there are all kinds of variation in beginner programs, they all follow this underlying principle. Note that this methodology is straight out of the left brain: linear, analytic, sequential and time-bound. The system works because the body adapts to the stress of lifting by over-compensating. If you get your diet right and load up on carbs and protein, the body will use that surplus to add more muscle, bone mass and ligament mass. With that extra capability, you are ready to lift the heavier weight the following week and the cycle repeats where the body adds even more mass which is then put into action the week after. The rate of adaptation is not equal among the different bodily components. Adding muscle is relatively easy and cost-free for the body and so this happens the quickest. It is more costly to add bone and ligament density and these adaptations take longer. While these changes are taking place, it’s common for the trainee to feel “pain” as the body is essentially re-architecting itself. The lifter must learn to differentiate between pain which denotes a genuine injury and pain that is just a signal of adaptation in progress.

This brings us to the subjective, right-brained part of powerlifting. Weightlifting is probably one of the more purely “objective” sports in the sense that you are dealing entirely with the laws of physics when lifting a bar. There is no opponent to psych-out, no teammates to help out and no referee who will make a stupid decision that costs you the game. There’s just you, the bar and the laws of physics. A lifter’s technique can be evaluated according to these laws. The bar path on the squat and the deadlift must be vertical. Any deviation from this is sub-optimal. You may still make the lift but you will have used more energy than was necessary and this will become a limiting factor over time. A similar but slightly more complicated geometrical equation holds for the bench press. That’s all well and good, but the lifter cannot watch themselves while lifting. They cannot form an objective impression. Thus, there needs to be a “translation” of the objective criteria into subjective heuristics in order to get the lifter to do what is necessary to achieve the optimal position. For example, one of my problems when squatting early on was that I would fall forward out of the bottom of the movement resulting in a bar path that was not vertical. As a beginner, I wasn’t subjectively aware of the problem because my mind was overloaded with stimuli including the nervousness and fear that comes from having a subjectively huge weight strapped to my back. This is where the coach is necessary. The coach’s job is to give you a cue which will address the problem. An example could be “chest up!” to get somebody like me to not fall forward. Other options include “look up” or “eyes forward” or “stand up straight”. One of the jobs of the coach is to find the right phrase which will resonate with the student and get them to do what is necessary. Sometimes the phrases can be very strange. At a powerlifting competition once, I saw a coach cue his student with the phrase “shoulders in your back pocket”. This is objectively nonsense but what he was trying to get the student to do was to pull their shoulders back; an important element in the deadlift. Such metaphorical expressions are R-mode or right-brained focused and, in fact, the act of lifting is all R-mode. Just like with other R-mode activities like drawing or playing music, it is possible to get into “the zone” doing powerlifting when things are going well. I have never heard a coach say “keep the bar path vertical” which is the objective truth of what needs to happen.  The reason is because, from an R-mode perspective, the lifter has no idea what vertical is. You can feel it as a result of a well-executed lift but the process of lifting or in “imagining” the lift before you start, such objective, L-mode statements are not useful and are probably counter-productive just like it’s counter-productive in drawing to bring L-mode concepts to the task. This is another small piece of evidence, I think, that lends weight to the L-mode/R-mode distinction.

In powerlifting, there is also a strong propensity for L-mode to unduly influence R-mode. This manifests in a variety of ways that all tie back to the L-mode linear program that the weightlifter is undertaking. For a beginning lifter, each week is a personal best weight as they add a fixed weight to the bar which is a weight they have never lifted before. Assuming they have a coach to ensure their technique is not developing in an incorrect way and they are eating appropriately, the first few months of lifting are fairly effortless although there can be some growing pains during this period as the body undergoes significant change. It’s as you move from this beginner’s period into the intermediate level that L-mode starts playing tricks primarily because you now have just enough experience to start to generate expectations based on L-mode thought patterns. As the saying goes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. One example from my intermediate period was when I accidentally put 20kg more on the bar than I was supposed to be lifting that day after getting distracted while loading the bar. I squatted the weight and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It wasn’t until I finished the sets and went to unload the bar that I realised I had 20kg more than I should have according to my program. This was quite a surprise. You would think that you would notice such a large difference in weight but I hadn’t. What had happened was that I was living in L-mode and L-mode said that the weight I was lifting was well within my capacity (which is true at the start of a cycle where you start with low weights and build up to heavier ones). Thus, I lifted it as if it was that lower weight. The subjective experience of the lifting, the R-mode, followed along with what L-mode told it. This is the same dynamic I mentioned last week in relation to the audio engineering where I “heard” what the L-Mode told me to hear. L-Mode sets up expectations based on a “logical” extrapolation. The expectation was “this weight is well within your capability” and that was what I was primed to experience.

A similar thing happens with weightlifting in relation to your subjective feeling going into a training session. For example, you might be feeling drained after a hard day at work or you might be feeling energised at something that happened right before the training session. As a beginner-intermediate lifter, your L-Mode extrapolates these subjective states into an expectation. If you are tired going into a session, you expect that you won’t lift very well. The opposite if you are energetic. One of the things you learn in weightlifting is that these expectations are irrelevant. I have gone into sessions feeling great only to lift poorly. I have gone into sessions feeling like I was coming down with a flu only to have a great session (and then feel in full health afterwards). After more experience, what you learn is that the start of a session is the time you have to dial in your technique. It is your technique that determines how well you are lifting and nothing else. Once you have enough experience, you can subjectively tell when your technique is slipping and get it back on track early in the session. That will determine how well the session goes. Emotional states are unimportant. Or, rather, you have to make them unimportant. You must learn to control your emotions and not let them distract you. You show up and do the work irrespective of how you are feeling. Note this does not include situations where you really are sick but the mind can play tricks on you there too. As you start to get into really heavy weights, it’s amazing how you can start to feel “sick” all of a sudden but that’s just your animal instincts trying to remove you from an unpleasant situation. It’s a variation on the flight response. Another thing you must learn to work through as a lifter.

From this I think we can extrapolate a model of learning. L-mode sets an expectation of a result and, unless R-mode’s subjective experience of the result diverges significantly from that expectation, no information of difference is recorded by the mind. In other words, you don’t even realise what happened just as I didn’t realise I had an extra 20kg on the bar when I was squatting that day. For the beginner and early intermediate practitioner, the mind is also full of other stimuli which raise the noise floor and make difference harder to perceive. You must learn to exclude such irrelevant stimuli. It’s also the case that R-mode gradually gains a firmer grasp of what we might call “the ideal” as you gain experience. This ideal is not an L-mode derived logical expectation but a subjective experience. In weightlifting, you can “feel” how well you are lifting and understand what is wrong from experience without L-mode analysis needing to happen. In German, this is called fingerspitzengefühl; a tacit understanding that is holistic and subjective.  Thus, the master has achieved an appreciation which is entirely R-mode.

L-mode and R-Mode

Recently I was given the excellent book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. It’s a book about learning to draw but, as the title suggests, the author takes an approach based on applied psychology/neurology. This is not a mere affectation on her part. Rather, it seems Edwards was teaching drawing for decades, discovered what worked and then realised that what worked had a basis in psychology. She introduces research from neurology about the functional differences between the two hemispheres of the brain and then frames the drawing exercises around that research. According to Edwards, the motor skills needed for drawing are not the main game, contrary to what most drawing instruction suggests. Rather, you have to learn to “see” and that “seeing” is carried out by the right side of the brain. Those who try to draw from the left brain are drawing “symbolically”. They translate what they see through the left side of the brain which is where language processing occurs. Thus, rather than draw the vase in front of them, they think to themselves that is a vase and draw from the idea in their mind. The results are not good and the person usually concludes that they are unable to draw and they give up. I’m skeptical of the neurological basis for all this; sounds very left-brain to me. But I think this distinction is true phenomenologically and it also maps on to what we know about how language works. I have mentioned before in this blog that I wrote an honours thesis in cognitive linguistics which deals a lot with the schematic nature of language and cognition. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but “childish” drawings are schematic and this lends weight to Edwards’ idea that learning to draw is learning not to draw the schematic representations in your mind but what is visible to your eye.

Edwards calls these differences R-mode and L-mode corresponding the right and left brain respectively. L-mode is verbal, analytic, sequential, linear, objective and time-bound. It is about intellect, logic and computation. R-mode involves intuition and leaps of insight. It is subjective, relational and holistic. When you are ‘in’ R-mode, you have a feeling of timelessness and immersion in the moment. According to Edwards, a major problem that students of hers have is that they are stuck almost permanently in L-mode. When trying to draw, they are not really seeing the thing they are drawing but are intermediating through language and logic (components of L-mode). Thus, they might try to render a cube reasoning that all the sides must be the same length. But this is not how the eye perceives a cube and thus the drawing will be wrong. What they must do instead is learn to see the angles and relations of the cube. That is what needs to be taught and learned. It’s because L-mode is so strong in our culture that Edwards spends the first half of her book trying to get the student to use R-mode instead. She has several exercises intended to make the student distinguish between the two. I seemed to be cured of this problem as I didn’t have any difficulty getting into R-mode but the exercises reminded of a time when I had to learn the distinction the hard way. I’ve told this story once before on this blog, but I’ll re-tell it here as I think it perfectly describes what happens when L-mode dominates over R-mode.

Some time ago I decided to teach myself audio engineering. I had been a musician for a number of years and learning the basics of sound mixing seemed like a good practice tool as well as a way to record ideas for songs. The technology to record audio had also become incredibly cheap and it was possible to do home recording to a technically high standard. The technical means to do audio recording are now not much more expensive than the technical means to do drawing. But, just like drawing is all about seeing, audio engineering is all about hearing and that is not a technical problem but a perceptual one. To put it in Edwards’ language, it’s about learning to use R-mode. But I didn’t know that at the time. My early mixes sounded dreadful. Although I knew at some level that this was a problem with the fact that I wasn’t listening properly, I still went looking for technical solutions. I employed an L-mode way of addressing what was an R-mode problem. I jumped online and started searching for solutions to make my mix sound better. One of the ideas that came up was compression. Compression was the difference between a professional sounding mix and an amateur one. That’s what the internet said. This statement has some level of truth. Compression is essential to a good mix and many of the sounds we hear in professional recordings are created by a compressor. But the key task for the sound engineer is to learn to hear what the compressor can do. That was what I had not yet achieved and it was part of the reason my mixes sounded so bad. The internet didn’t tell me that, though. The internet told me to try this compressor or that compressor. And that’s what I did. I downloaded the compressor that somebody said would fix all of my problems, eagerly loaded it into the track I was working on and switched it on. Instantly my mix came to life. The highs were high, the lows were deep and mellifluous, the vocals rang out like a choir of angels. I sat back to take it all in and then figured I should check the settings on the compressor so I could remember them for future reference. I looked down at the computer and realised that the compressor was not even switched on. I had clicked the wrong button. I switched it on for real and the mix went “meh”.

Obviously I’m exaggerating the story for effect but I really did perceive the mix to have changed at the time and when I learned that the compressor wasn’t switched on I was genuinely shocked at how easily I had fooled myself. We all tell ourselves stories about the world that turn out not to be true, but on this occasion my base perception was wrong and no amount of excuses or post hoc rationalisations could have shown otherwise. As I was reading Edwards’ book, I realised she was explaining why that had happened. L-mode really can interfere and override our perceptions. If it can do that with seeing and hearing, it can certainly do it with more complex phenomena like, oh, I don’t know, pandemics. On the other hand, what Edwards says is true about R-mode is definitely correct. As I became proficient at audio engineering, I would regularly achieve the state of immersion and timelessness that Edwards associates with R-mode. It’s a state of deep focus where one loses all sense of time. It’s sometimes referred to as being “in the zone”. I experienced that feeling again when working through some of the exercises in Edwards book this time in relation to drawing. Phenomenologically, I think the L-mode/R-mode distinction is very useful to highlight the artistic mindset but also more general cultural traits. The reason Edwards needed to write such a book is because we live in a culture that has become massively imbalanced in favour of L-mode. All of our education system, which now lasts about sixteen years for the average person is about the manipulation of symbols without any corresponding real world experience. It’s like talking about how a compressor works without ever hearing how it affects a mix or hypothesising how a line on a page represents an object without ever drawing an object.

Using the L-mode/R-mode distinction, I can now see that this what Gregory Bateson was getting at in his excellent book Mind and Nature which was all about parts and wholes, relations, hierarchical structures, synthesis and other R-mode concepts. It’s also what underlay Christopher Alexander’s book A Pattern Language, or Ivan Illich’s critiques of our education system. In fact, many of the important critiques of our society and culture from the 20th century were really pointing out this imbalance. Western culture systematically excludes R-mode from consideration. We consider any intuition to be superstition. We dismiss subjectivity as “anecdotal evidence”. We know how to break things down through analysis but we’ve forgotten how to build things up through synthesis which is why we can’t create things of beauty anymore. Most importantly, I think, we are drowning in symbols (L-mode) without the subsequent perception of reality (R-mode) that would ground those symbols. As Edwards notes, her students struggle even to hold their attention on an object so they can draw it. They fall back to symbolic representations. Such people find it easier to think “that is a vase” and draw a schematic version than to actually look at the vase and really see it in order to draw it. This change seems to happen about the time of adolescence when the symbol-manipulating faculty develops to a high level. It’s at exactly that time we subject teenagers to an education system that does nothing to develop their R-mode but makes them work through exercises based entirely on L-mode. The grading system of exams is also pure L-mode. All this education was originally intended to train people to serve in the bureaucracy which is, of course, just a symbol-manipulating organisational structure. That training is relevant to bureaucrats. It is, however, entirely irrelevant to any occupation outside of an office. The increase in higher education in the last few decades has, thus, swung the existing cultural imbalance in western society even further to the left (interestingly, this statement also works in a strictly political sense too).

How do we address this imbalance? Teach people how to draw, paint, play music, mix audio, sew, knit or any other handicraft or art. Learn any skill in an empirical fashion with only minimal book learning. Disconnect from exposure to symbol manipulation. Learn how to trust intuition, guessing and leaps of faith. Take naps. Fritter away time on “useless” activities. Sit around and do nothing. If you need an excuse to do these things, just say you’re developing the right side of your brain. Or better still, tell your left brain to STFU.

Hitting Rock Bottom

In the middle of last week Melbourne had its biggest earthquake on record. It was the first time in my life I’ve experienced an earthquake. It only lasted about fifteen seconds at my house but that was certainly enough to get my attention. Up until corona, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the symbolism of such an event but nowadays I am not so sure. The literal earthquake came just two days after a metaphorical earthquake which made headlines around the world in the form of a mass protest by construction workers in the Melbourne CBD followed by days of police violence the likes of which we haven’t seen since this country was a prison colony. In a post back in May I predicted that Australia was going to have a severe political and cultural meltdown before corona was over. Boy was I right. It was fitting that the meltdown happened in Melbourne; the epicentre of our corona earthquake. On the day of the real earthquake, Melbourne equalled Buenos Aires as the most locked down city in the world a record we now hold by a comfortable margin. Melbourne used to call itself the world’s most liveable city. Turns out we are also the world’s most lockdownable city. Who knew? With the events of last week, I think Australia has finally hit rock bottom in our corona story. We are heading into summer now, vaccinations rates are up and governments are finally talking of getting back to normal. Nothing is certain in these times, but it would take something special for things not to be back to some kind of normality by Christmas. The long-term effects of corona will then become apparent and it is here that I think the earthquake may be symbolic. Things have happened here in the last year and a half that will not be forgotten and are going to need to find some kind of resolution. What that looks like is too early to tell but a political earthquake is certainly one of the options.

What was key to the Melbourne protests last week was that they were carried out by union members against a Labor state government. To know how significant that is you have to know that the Labor Party in Australia was built on union power which is still very strong in Australia. Like its counterparts in Britain and the US, Australian Labor abandoned its traditional economic platform in the 90s to get on board the neoliberalism train. However, that shift was carried out far more successfully in Australia than other countries and in the last few decades the working class here have not economically suffered anywhere near as much as in Britain and the US which is part of the reason why Australian politics has been a snooze-fest while Brexit and Trump happened. Although the Australian Labor Party is now also the party of the inner-city intelligentsia, it has still kept its working-class base. Until now. The first signs of the loss of that base came during the last federal election where the Liberal-National Party picked up an increasing share of the working class vote and won a surprise victory. I think that trend is now set to go into overdrive. With corona, the unions around the country have failed to stand up for their members in the face of vaccines mandates. Starting last week, the construction union became the latest one to sell out its members. The Victorian construction union is the most old-school in the country and is notorious for both its violence and its willingness to flout the law to achieve its aims. The membership was quite willing to turn those capabilities on its leader and let him know what they thought of his agreeing to mandatory vaccinations for construction workers. In fact, the CFMEU is probably the only institution in the country that could have carried out a protest such as the one that happened last week. The fact that a Labor politician was unable to know that is quite telling. It was an incredible political miscalculation. The important point in the medium term is that the union movement is going to face a political crisis and that crisis should directly impact the Labor Party. The 20-30% of the union workforce who did not want to take the vaccine but who have been forced into doing so are not going to forgive either the unions or the Labor Party. That should have a direct impact at elections in the years ahead.

In normal course of events, that should help the other side of the political spectrum except the Liberal Party has also betrayed its supposed values and its base during corona. The liberal Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, gave an absurd address to the United Nations general assembly last week in which he decided to highlight the fact that Australia was one of the few countries involved in the drafting of the universal charter of human rights. Not only that, Morrison stated that Australia puts its belief in human rights into practice right here at home. Really, Mr Morrison? Article 13 states that everyone has right to freedom of movement within their own country and also the right to leave and return to that country. Australia has been blatantly in breach of this article for most of the last eighteen months. Why would the Prime Minister make this a point of his speech at this time? You could argue it was just a slip up. But this dissociation from reality has been a feature of the Morrison prime ministership. He was famously on the beach in Hawaii during the massive Australian bushfires of 2019 and seemed genuinely not to understand why he needed to break his holiday and, y’know, lead the country during a time of emergency. During covid he has been little more than a cipher often just missing completely from the public view. He appeared unable to foresee the political consequences of not securing enough vaccines and he has been unable to bring State leaders together to agree on, well, anything. That he should get up and blab on about freedom and human rights while there were “anti-terrorism” police firing rubber bullets on unarmed civilians on the streets of Melbourne is stunningly naïve at best. This is the same Prime Minister who changed the words of the national anthem to “we are one and free” at a time when states borders were closed. You get the impression Morrison just hopes that if he ignores such problems long enough they might go away.

Will they go away? There is actually a possibility they will. The NSW state premier yesterday released a road map that she said was definitely not about “freedom day” but that included the dropping of all restrictions even against the unvaccinated on 1 December, which kind of makes 1 December just like freedom day except it’s definitely not a freedom day. This came just a week after stories started circulating about how the state’s vaccine passport app was not going to be ready in time for the easing of restrictions. Given that the passports are apparently only going to be in place for a month and a half, I’d say that means the government won’t even bother to roll the app out. This was certainly an about face on the rhetoric of the last few months and a clever bit of politics. If the Premier can pull it off, the other states will almost certainly have to follow suit and drop all restrictions too. That would mean life goes back to some kind of normal just in time for the start of summer. If things go well in the northern hemisphere winter, it may just be that the Australian government can bring The Plague Story to an apparent end . The vaccines were provided just in time for the summer off-season. Any corona surge won’t happen until the following winter by which time I’d say everybody will be over the whole thing. If that happens, it may be that things barely change and life goes on as normal. It’s far too early to say whether this will happen but it is now an actual possibility.

Another possibility is that Australian politics is about to receive a big shakeup. Both major parties have betrayed their base and their ostensible ideals in the last year and a half. Indeed, it is plain that there really is no discernible difference at all between the two parties; a fact which was also clear in the recent Canadian elections. Like Canada, Australia may just vote on party lines again. However, there is now a sizeable demographic ready to vote for an alternative. The only question is whether there is a politician with the smarts to win them over. In any case, I’d expect to see the minor parties do very well in the next federal and Victorian elections. There are a lot of unknowns moving forward. How bad is the damage to the real economy in particular the tourism and higher education sectors? What will be the mindset of people who think the vaccine will stop them getting infected when they do inevitably test positive? What happens if things get really bad next flu season? What if things get really bad in the upcoming northern hemisphere flu season? If the Melbourne earthquake is an omen for any of these things, we may see something seismic in the year ahead.

A Few Short Poems

I was rummaging through the cupboard recently and came across an old notebook containing some poems. I make no claims to being a poet. Every now and then a poem pops into my head fully formed and I scribble it down. Some of the poems in the notebook I quite liked and so I thought I’d put them on here for something different. The first two make a nice pair and the third one captures how I am feeling about my home city of Melbourne right now. See what you think.

Blood Brothers

I curled myself up into a tiny ball
So small
I almost disappeared

I have been distant from you
I have even been distant from my self
But this distance and this space allowed me to see
I saw the great space around us
And that we ourselves are so wide and large and tall
I do not want to cut us down

Necessarily, I come now from afar
And I may speak a strange tongue
If I come now bearing the knife
Know that I will not cut you down
But if I do cut you
Then we will be blood brothers
For I too have felt the knife
And I too have bled

Goodbye

I told you about joy
But you were thinking of your pain
I told you about pain
But you were laughing

Around sunset
We set out again
The sky was red
And we were out of step

Fools, we two
Two tongues wagging out of tune
Unable even to make sense of the dissonance

My ears could not hear you
And yours not me
Each other scarcely could we see
We were not made for such

So, it’s time
That you go your way
And I go mine

One day we may meet again
And see each other for the first

Til then

Goodbye

Check It Out

Check it out, said Jesus
The suits are back in town
Bring petrol, guns and ammo
We’ll burn the whole fuckin’ thing down
And don’t worry about that love stuff
Didn’t work out anyway
This is the bad muthafucker Jesus
Come back to save the day

Corona (archetypal) update

I wanted to throw in a quick post about Biden’s speech this week which represents a new phase in the evolution of the corona event. It came at the same time as this deeply weird article in the Australian media. In the article, the scientist who designed the Astra Zeneca vaccine admitted what has been obvious from the start which is that the vaccines do not stop you getting the virus. Thus, both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can expect to be infected. She stated that the goal of eliminating the virus is over. This should have been good news because if somebody with a high profile is finally telling the truth, then maybe we can start to deal with this issue properly. Did the article point that out? Did it say that the only way forward is to assume that everybody will catch the virus and devise a strategy based on that fact? Of course not. It promptly went on to tell the reader that the unvaccinated needed to be “shunned”. This is both a non sequitur and a logical contradiction of what the expert had just said. If everybody will test positive anyway, your vaccination status is completely irrelevant. This new rhetoric against the unvaccinated marks a dark turn in the corona event and Biden’s speech, which announced new measures against the unvaccinated, was indicative of the new phase we are entering.

Readers of the posts in my Coronapocalypse series may have recognised the language Biden used. There were a couple of key quotes that mark the change in rhetoric that has occurred in the last month or so starting with the Israeli Prime Minister (Israel is the canary in the corona coal mine) and then eagerly picked up by Trudeau in Canada as well as the state premiers here in Australia. It was always going to be a very small change to take the language used about the virus and start to apply it to the unvaccinated. That is what we are now seeing. Let’s look at the key phrase from Biden’s speech:

“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.”

The vaccines, of course, are supposed to protect people from the virus and our leaders assure us that they do in fact protect people. Biden himself was at pains to point out how well the vaccines worked. According to this logic, the vaccinated are already protected against the virus. So, why would the vaccinated need further “protection” from the unvaccinated? This makes no logical sense just as the article in the Australian media made no logical sense. Of course, as we know by now, we are not dealing with logic here but with the archetypal takeover of the rational mind; specifically, The Devouring Mother. Biden’s phrase is the exact catchcry of The Devouring Mother who hides her intentions behind the pretence of protecting her children. Until now, the children have needed protection from a virus. Now they apparently need protection from the other children. Again, this makes sense within the archetype. The vaccinated are the acquiescent children and the unvaccinated are the rebellious children. So, the whole thing maps on to the archetype perfectly. The Devouring Mother is rewarding the acquiescent children and punishing the rebellious. What we are seeing with this new change of rhetoric and the new measures against the unvaccinated is the full and unvarnished manifestation of the archetype unencumbered by any last vestiges of science, logic or reason. I can’t make any sense of Biden or Trudeau or others except in archetypal terms. These people are supposed to be the leaders of their countries and leaders do not divide the public. What is going on now is punishment, pure and simple. Another quote from Biden’s speech makes this clear:

“We have been patient but our patience is wearing thin”.

Is this how a president, a public servant, a leader talks to the public? No. But it is how a parent talks. It is how The Devouring Mother talks. The rebellious children need to be punished. That is the explanation for these measures which not only don’t make scientific sense, they don’t even make political sense. Let’s take the current situation in Australia. Apparently each state government is going to individually implement its own vaccine passport. They will do this even though the federal government controls the data on vaccination status and has said it will not make that data available to the states as this would be a violation of the law. The solution? Each state will need to create its own system to track vaccination status. They will make people download an app and then upload their vaccination paperwork to the app. All this will need to tie in with the QR code system. Bear in mind that Australian government IT is famously incompetent and the states have about a month or two to get these systems up and running so the promised freedoms can be delivered to the vaccinated. Even if they miraculously get the systems to work, the whole thing is a disaster in the making. Twenty percent of the population will not be vaccinated and I’d estimate at least another 10% will not use these apps either because they can’t (elderly people who aren’t tech savvy) or out of moral principles. How many restaurants, cafes, pubs etc are going to be financially viable with a 30% reduction in revenue? Not many. Then consider that you’d need multiple apps to use if you travel interstate. The whole thing is a logistical and political debacle waiting to happen and a total waste of money. Our Devouring Mother-in-chief here in Victoria, Dan Andrews, called this a “vaccine economy”. If ever there was economy designed to fail, it is that. What that should mean by extension is political failure. I’ll be watching the upcoming Canadian election with great interest as this is the first time a western public will be able to vote on such measures. We have an Australian federal election due next year just in time for the failure of the vaccine program and the vaccine passport program to become a reality. That’s going to open up all kinds of possibilities.

I noted in a previous post that things were about to get weirder and now they have. We are now, I think, in the peak of the archetypal takeover. The Devouring Mother is out to discipline her rebellious children. Will it be a slap on the wrist or something far darker. We’re about to find out.