Pick Your Pieces – #SolutionsWatch

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Solutions Watch, Videos | 35 comments

Do you feel helpless? Powerless? Unable to achieve your goals? Is that because you are a weak, powerless, helpless good-for-nothing? Or because you have become stuck in a narrative frame that tells you that you are weak, powerless and helpless? And, if the latter, how do you rewire your cognitive circuitry to break you out of that habit of thinking? Joining us today to discuss his answer to these questions and other insights from his new book, Pick Your Pieces – Some Thoughts to Think About, is Joe Plummer of JoePlummer.com.

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  1. Question, what if they implement the digital ID at the ISP level? How can you get around that? Is that even possible? Because that would mean no more internet for those that don’t comply. How will you continue to do your podcast James, if your provider forces you to use digital ID, and you refuse it? According to Whitney Webb on one of her latest interviews, this will happen within the next 1-2 years…

    • I am hereby preordering an weekly video sent by snail mail.
      I can pay a yearly fee with gold or silver.
      Or maybe some cured lamb meat. Fenalår, is amazing:)

  2. Up beat and inspired. QFC? That last question you asked Joe deserves an answer from you as well James. What happen to your desire for producing a book?
    Does all your creative juices get used up with The Corbett Report?
    TCR is more than anyone could expect of you to create. It has succeeded. There still is a large group who prefer books over electronic media. Yeah, but there is only 24 hours in a day but you could serve a new demographic with a book expedition. You are a professional and very special and have mastered this here space. What’s next and why haven’t you started already?
    I’m rooting for you!

  3. Thank you James for having Joe on your show. I love the idea of Joe’s book so much so that I just ordered it on Amazon for my son who is whiling away his time (5 more months) in jail. I think he may enjoy this book! He’s getting very close to getting sick of this 😉

  4. I observe my mind, therefore I am.

    • Who is the observer?
      If you can view your mind?

      • Good question, who is the observer? Or what is the observer? Is it the brain, a chemical process or is consciousness something else? Is it somewhere else?

        I’ve had an out of body experience before, hit by a car when I was a kid and I wasn’t in my body but seemed to be floating above. I couldn’t see what was happening but felt like I was somewhere else. I could hear but was not really there. Very strange states of mind exist.

        Is this just some weird chemical reaction in the brain or something else, I wonder.

  5. I went through a similar, though less severe, experience and found myself performing this exercise of observing my thought patterns. It is a painful exercise, but helped me break some of the negative thought patterns.

    Thanks both for getting it out there.

    Listening to how you got there and relating it to my own experience made me wonder whether the regress to self observation is in itself an impulsive reaction to certain triggers. In both our cases the trigger seems to have been a desire to take responsibility for negative consequences of our actions which we traced to the way we think.

    Was this the thinking / excuse behind the corrupt justice system, to force that self reflection?

    • The notion of self observation is (was?) a technique taught by Gurdjieff who was a mystic from last century (I suspect the knowledge goes back a lot further), have you heard of him or did you stumble upon this idea from somewhere else? If people appreciate going down the path of self discovery leading to self unification then Ted Nottingham would be one source that I trust to be faithfully teaching Gurdjieff’s ‘Fourth Way’ principles in modern times.

  6. Originally I have written a much longer reply to this. But to spare you all the blasphemous thought, I have eventually decided to boil it down to the essence in a TLDR version of it:

    As a philosopher, I am trained in critical thinking. No, I am not an Illuminati agent but there is some need for deconstruction. So I ask myself, why has there never been a shortage of people wanting us to rewire our brains (and read books about it $24.90)? We can as much will ourselves to change as we can will our hearts to stop beating. Klaus Schwab and his cabale knows this and therefore use a much older but all the more effective emotional technique to instill change: real fear. The open intelligence community would better learn their lessons from that, instead of wasting valuable energy with ego-centric self-help religion that just puzzles everyone with its koans (no hard feelings Joseph, I am sure you mean well!). Nobody trying to change himself will ever change himself. “I changed myself” is just a matter of speaking i.e. semantics. How? Who is I? All this mind-rewiring business is a scam. And it is basically a religious scam. It wants you to believe in the self/god/icon of choice, which will do this change. Some mean well with it. Some not.

    • Generalisations are great, but tend to ignore useful facts. But, then as a philosopher you would understand those limitations of deductive reasoning.

      Anectdotal as our experiences maybe,they give an indication of what is possible. I don’t think the aim is to “change oneself”, but more to change the way you think. That, from my personal experience, is possible and yeilded positive results. Granted there are limitations, like everything else, but its an idea.

      Interestingly, neither myself nor Joe, claim we learnt this from a book. I for one was faced with consequences of my own actions which I could trace back to my patterns of thought. So I made a conscious decision to deal with that.

      The great thing about putting such an idea out there is that it may land in the hands of someone who needs it and can benefit from it. Pouring water on the idea, based on broad generalisations, without counter solutions detracts from benefits others could gain from it.

      • minx: Thank you for your answer. I think I do understand what you mean. But since your words are generalizations too and weighing only a few sentences, I might get them all wrong after all. However, I will try to address what is criticized.

        For a starter, it is real cheap to call someone out on generalizations. You know quite well that every philosophic problem, and indeed everything expressed in words, is necessarily a generalization. Every abstraction is a generalization. Words are nothing else but abstractions of reality aka perception, thus generalization. One can counter that to a certain degree by throwing more words at the problem, but the root problem persists and the amount of words is limited in the end. True, a book is better than a few sentences in that regard. But a book is like a weapon. It is not bad in itself. It depends on how it is used. A book used wrongly can just as well lead your mind into endless labyrinths of confusion or worse. It can be as deadly as a shotgun, or worse. True, there are useful particular facts. as you say. They do not invalidate my generalizations though.
        So, to the problem at hand…
        You can call the observation, or deduction as you call it, that most who speak of developing/changing/evolving the self etc. seem not to know at all who or what it is that does it, a generalization. Ok. I can live with that. It is an important generalization then, because this false perception of the self contributes to many, if not all, the illnesses of the system.
        So then. let us throw more words at the problem.

        “Anectdotal as our experiences maybe,they give an indication of what is possible. I don’t think the aim is to “change oneself”, but more to change the way you think. That, from my personal experience, is possible and yeilded positive results. Granted there are limitations, like everything else, but its an idea.”

        I am all for changing the way we think, i.e. changing our false preconceptions about who we are in the first place, which lead to all sorts of wrong ideas about change itself, the will, freedom, the future and all those other nice philosophical concepts. At the root of understanding anything is the understanding of the self. By “changing the way one thinks” one can change the self. That is the whole point of magic (e.g. chaos magic), which I guess you refer to. Magic, as every honest magician (and I do not primarily mean the bunny-in-the-hat stage magicians) will tell you, is nothing more and nothing less than self-hypnosis. It is an interesting method, I will give you that. But it has limitations. However, it is not them that I am concerned with, because magicians of that caliber do not maintain, what I would call, “a common perception of the self”. That would severely hamper their art. Joe, as much as I can deduct, is not a magician of that sorts.

      • “The great thing about putting such an idea out there is that it may land in the hands of someone who needs it and can benefit from it. Pouring water on the idea, based on broad generalisations, without counter solutions detracts from benefits others could gain from it.”

        Maybe. But both of you did not change as a result of ideas but as a result of consequences. However, the only solution you can bring to the table is “ideas”? Who could say what consequences our ideas will have in the end? Everything is possible. E.g. those ideas which changed Joe positively by bringing him into much trouble, are probably not of the kind we want to prescribe anyone no? Should we not rather prescribe consequences then? Which is akin to the prescription of change directly? But that is not possible is it? That is my whole point. Does this not conclusively show the pointlessness of the idea of change as something ‘we do’? Just as a sidenote: It is said that shady orders such as skull&bones do such things in their rites: prescribing consequences directly as an attempt to incite change that is. Who knows, it might just be a stupid rumour.

        Apropos solutions…
        You call me out on not providing solutions. Who said there have to be solutions? Why? I certainly did not. The idea of a solution to a philosophical problem, most famously the all important “meaning of life”, but also those others mentioned above, incidentally, stems from a false conception of the self.
        That there is no solution is part of the solution. Sounds self-contradictory? Sure. Not by accident. Did you know that koans try to incite change but not by words (i.e. logic)? That is why they are better than words and this is the whole secret about them. They are a kind of a para-semantic device. Similar to Poems. But different.

        I implied that the saying “You can/should/must change” is a koan. That is only partly true. To be more precise, it is only a koan when it is understood as a koan. Problem is, most people say that and mean it. Hence, no koan. Hence, a scam. However well meaning. While there might be many a form of yoga, many a book, koans and poems that indeed can incite change in a receptive person, the problem is not with the koans or yoga. I do not speak against all these things. It is that everyone and his grandmother is trying to sound clever using these devices without actually having a clue, never having done their homework. Making those devices worse than they are. Moreover, in many an instance it would be much more to the point and much more effective to just swallow the right kind of drug in the right kind of setting and by that jump start the whole process of introspection. But, as you well know, society does not want you to do that, of course.

        [SNIP – Please keep comments to 500 words or less. Longer comments can be split into multiple posts. -JC]

        • Thank you the response, to truly address all the concerns I have with it would require a book, but that would serve no purpose. As I am 96.45% certain you will right a book in response.

          To spare us both the trouble, I offer a truce at “we are coming at this from opposite ends”. I came to this looking for a solution in Solutions Watch, well you explicitly state you are not. No words we exchange can resolve that difference in perspective.

        • I fail to understand your reasoning.

          You rightly conclude that consequences can not be applied or given, but why would you even go there? Consequence is at the end of the chain, of course it can not be applied.

          Life is an iterative loop and has to be taken for what it is. Thought, action, consequence. Rinse and repeat. The problem is many just exit out of the loop while completely ignoring the result.

          It is like writing a program that calls many functions that are well written and provide reliable results, but the results are then completely ignored by the main function. Such a program would not have a great purpose, but that is exactly how great masses of people live their lives.

          People do not want to accept the responsibility. And when I hear people like Joe talking I build a mental picture of quite an authentic man who started aligning his behavior to consequences of his thoughts and actions. People don’t end up in jail because of consequences, but because of their actions.

          Theoretically. Jailing people seems to be a passtime in the US, but in this case it does look like that stupid Joe of the former years did some stupid shit and payed a certain price. Sounds like he got a pretty good deal, actually.

          But to get back to the point of my failure to understand, how is change something that we do not do? Change is exactly the missing link of afore mentioned loop, the feedback part. The missing circuitry needs to be built. And how do you help people get there without teaching them that the system works great and reliably, but it is them who do not understand it.

          It is a.hard lesson and the pupils are completely disinterested and combative. It makes sense that many different people will approach this problem from a variety of perspectives by.telling various stories. And that is what is needed. Billions of stories for billions of people to help them build missing circuitry; They themselves, of course, have to do all the work.

          • Thanks for your considerations mkey. Since you were so kind to ask, I would like to answer these two question of yours in the next two posts:

            1. “How is change something that we do not do?”

            2. “You rightly conclude that consequences can not be applied or given, but why would you even go there? Consequence is at the end of the chain, of course it can not be applied.”

            Starting with the second: I go there because, having all been brought up on Western philosophy, we always do apply consequences. Which is insane. That is the futility I am speaking of. Life, if seen as a ‘chain’ of events, consists of a long stream of consequences. There is nothing else than consequences. What else should there be? Until you ask one of our theologians of old, who will tell you happily that there is that one exception which is god, but otherwise… no. There is no starting point. That’s the meaning of what the Orientals call “Indra’s Net”. This whole concept of ours called “cause and effect” is nothing but a model, a theory. And it bursts a whole lot of bubbles if anyone dares to mention that fact in a way which concerns daily life application.

            In case you did not conclude that by yourself, yes, I am versed not only in Western but also in Oriental philosophy. Doing these studies, I have learnt to understand why ‘they’ call us ‘barbarians’. And it is true what concerns philosophy. While we usually think it the other way around, we Westerners really are the barbarians.

            • You deny the cause and effect. Right.

              You may refer to this as philosophy, to me it is nothing short of mental illness.

              Good day to you, sir.

              • Thank you for the compliment. It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
                What you deliver right here, and I am again thankful for that, is an example of a closed mind. It does nicely accentuate the gist of what I am saying, so much so that it could not get any better.

                I am sorry to say but an open mind is a mandatory precondition for a mind that is ready to grow. Moreover, it does not seem to bother you in the least that you stomp over 2000 years of ancient culture and wisdom without batting an eye (_different culture_ I give you that). It is a bit surprising though, as one would not expect such a typically imperialist attitude in a forum like this. Living for a long time in Japanese culture, I wonder whether James would approve of it.

                And besides: you really do not have to ‘sir’ me. It does not sound right in my ears as we do not have a military culture where I live. 😉

              • Just for the sake of completeness: regarding your ‘question’ about what you think is the ‘law’ of cause and effect. I never said that it is wrong. I never said that it is right either. I said it is a model. One of the peculiarities of an open mind is that it is possible for it to grasp such subtle differences. As such, an open mind is able to think non-dual, i.e. not like a machine. Alas, our common and scientific language is of a dual structure. And it contains many spooks. Dual thinking is what makes us biological machines, such as chimpanzees. It breeds war, just to name one of the nasty things it brings about. While war certainly is not ‘unnatural’, we humans do have greater potential than just being biological machines. Non-dual thinking is what makes us truly human. It is the so called ‘opening of the third eye’. Some drugs can help with that. This is why they are a serious risk to the security of the state and establishment, and thus taboo (for us foot soldiers it is at least).

          • So, what does this tell us about change? It says: sorry, my boy, but you do not, and moreover, there is no ‘you’ as you understand it to begin with, which has an impact on most of the other great philosophical concepts we more less consciously entertain in everyday life. It is a big and wondrous world. However, if we are not meant to, it is impossible to step away from those deep rooted thought patterns that we all have learnt from the cradle. My simple advice in one sentence: Best one can do is to always keep an open mind. Keep being skeptical of all dogmatic thought. That is all and that is enough. We have to keep in mind that all dogmatic thought has started out as a model, at some day in the past. This is Solutions Watch after all. So much for my personal and professional solution to the ‘life problem’ 😉

            Now to the first question: I hope what is said above explains, in my eyes, your question “how change can be something that we can not do”.
            If not, just keep an open mind and ponder the possibility of other points of view that have some validity to them. Maybe even study them. Circuitry is just the surface. We are so accustomed to those engineering models of ours (and yes, I am an engineer too), that we come to think all life works like a machine. This is a destructive philosophy as can be seen more and more. In its extremes, it is deeply distrusting and fearful of the organic and thus tries to control and subjugate nature. That is why we are barbarians in the eyes of the Orientals. And we want everyone, on gunpoint if necessary, to accept our point of view.

          • So my advice to everyone who cares is simply to do what we have learnt from Alice:
            If you see a rabbit hole, do not fear, do not give in to reassuring dogmatic preconceptions but be brave and jump in!

            However, not everyone can be as fearless as Alice. That is ok too. People can change. They just have to learn to let it happen. Those who think this amounts to a carte blanche for being irresponsible have still not understood.

            • And then again, yes, be irresponsible. Try it out. You might end up getting all the wiser and more sane like Joe did, despite all of it. Or you might end up dead. That is life. However, if you always go for the secure path, there might not happen much though and there is not much growth possible.

              If Joe was honest, which he is I believe, he would agree that what made him what he is now, is not ideas or books or meditative practices, it is the fact that he has, or had to, keep an open mind while living out who he is. He has processed and still is processing and integrating the data, the perceptions, the world. Every epiphany, all the new stuff that we encounter need be integrated and that means work and time spent working on it. This is not knowledge. Beware of knowledge. Knowledge, for some, is like armor against anything new and not entirely safe.

              • Change is all about potential. An acorn can become a tree. It cannot will itself to become a tree. That happens all by itself, eventually. Or not. It might die. There will be other acorns. However, it can never become an antelope. We can grow but we cannot change. Have I reached my full potential? I do not know. We never know. And that is a wonderful thing if you think about it.

              • Let us get practical then: If there was a test for potential, we could screen people and deny everyone with a low score any position of power. But there is no such test and there never will be one. And, anyway, who is ‘we’? There are certain aware and intuitive folks who can ‘see’ potential in people. But this is not science. This is not applicable. Better to have no positions of power to begin with, if you ask me. That is why I like the thought that is spun in Daoism for example. It is so unlike what Westerners ever managed to think up. Try it for once. Sameness without Difference is lifeless. Difference without Sameness is dead.

    • What he says is sound and science based. Neural pathways are plastic and people can change. That’s what he’s saying and his book explains how he did it.

      He had an experience that forced him to examine what he was doing with his life and found a way that worked for him.

      It’s true that being an active participant in life can expose people to necessary lessons for personal growth.

      A meditation practice to get people out of their heads, I think, is valuable. There is more to life than thoughts and philosophy. We are more than our thoughts and philosophizing without action is not productive.

      I had a similar experience to Joe with a severe and damaging addiction to stimulants as a young adult and quit when I was 22. It was a very brief and painful experience that dealt me a very very harsh lesson. Not everyone needs this type of experience to change but to come out of it was something I am very proud of and it has enabled me to empathize in a way that was not possible to do before.

      Emotional pan and suffering, mental health issues, addictions, etc. are a plague for many people and self help is probably the only thing that actually works. Empowering people to change themselves with effort does help. It worked for me. Our brains are not set in stone. Check out the medical research on this topic, neural plasticity is a real thing.

  7. looking fwd to this one as i need some inspiration.

    im sure i missed an announcement of a hiatus for New World Next Week. Did I?

    im missing my two favorite james in concert breaking it down for us.

  8. Excellent episode! I am sending this out into my community.

  9. I shall be keeping a note of ‘Pick Your Pieces’ in case it becomes popular enough to not have to buy it from Bezos inc. A quick search didn’t reveal any other retailers, but then it is quite new as yet. I would like to pick up the book from a U.K. bookstore.

  10. I’ve gotten 2/3rds of the way through the book and find it helpful. Haven’t seen a word about the family side of Joe’s life. I’m a proponent of family. When is the last time anyone has said anything pro- family. This young woman has her head screwed on tight. I must agree with her 100%.
    A family is a nation, a nation is more than the sum of all it’s parts. There, that’s all I have to say today to the world.

    • Youboob slipped this same video into my screen space some time ago.

      Of course she’s talking sense, but to insane people that’s heresy.

    • I agree that a two parent family is ideal IF both parents are well put together being a qualifier. I grew up in a single mom house hold because my dad was an abusive alcoholic and this was very traumatic. Thank goodness she kicked him out. I also credit having good grandparents and a loving grandpa that helped me. It’s weird because this was my dad’s father. I do think alcohol made my dad crazy and I have forgiven him. In fact the alcohol killed my father, so he paid the ultimate price.

      But anyway, my mom was an excellent parent and we were poor but she had a lot of time with me. It did cause problems and was much more difficult to grow up this way but I survived and turned out okay, not perfect but also not the worst human being either.

      My point is that a good family requires quality parents and if one of the parents is not a good person (for lack of a better term), a single parent can raise a decent human being.

      There are plenty of kids that come from two parent homes that have severe problems like my dad who came out of a Norman Rockwell home. Thankfully, my grandparents were better grandparents than parents.

      Just adding nuance to this topic. I was very very lucky to have my mom who was/is not only brilliant but has a heart of gold (despite being a bit neurotic and annoying).

  11. I really liked this conversation and I ordered a physical copy of the book. I need some encouragement to actually do positive things for myself, like exercise, meditation, health, creativity, education and perhaps contributing to solutions/investing in a better future.

    Motivation is extremely difficult for me at times and even more during the winter. I like knowing that people in this community are into higher consciousness, like Joe mentioned. Knowing that there are others who are similar is comforting. It’s kind of weird but humans like that, not to be alone in the world. Or maybe most humans crave knowing that they are not alone in their thoughts or feelings.

    I’m glad Joe spoke of his problems with drugs and alcohol openly. It may have been that struggle and hardship that helped shape his character and his insight into tyrannical systems of control. He doesn’t want to be a slave to anything if it’s an addictive drug or a negative thought loop or a psychopathic tyrant, doesn’t matter.

    I do think that anger is a natural impulse and that it shouldn’t necessarily be stifled or labeled as being bad though. Some people think becoming angry is bad or shameful. It is energy. People can get angry and do something positive with the anger. Anger is also important for boundaries. Having limits and boundaries is healthy.

    I do think spending more time as the observer is extremely helpful (practicing meditation and exercising help with this) to not get carried away by impulses. But our impulses are also part of what makes us human.

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