Open Mouth, Insert Foot

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.  
— Albert Einstein

Nothing characterizes the unsustainability of the global village as much as the human failure to distinguish intuition from the intellect. David Sirota’s column[i] (2010) looking back on the decade, quotes 10 mindless utterances, Freudian slips and just plain stupid outcomes of the unconscious intellect. If each of the people quoted had taken a moment to breathe, denied their intellects the opportunity to “open mouth, insert foot,” and made a response instead of a verbal reaction, they each would have been spared a lot of pain and embarrassment.

Why does the government in Washington seem to be unable or unwilling to spend time on solving the problems of interest to the American people? We all suspect that special interests get more attention than American citizens. Senator Richard Durbin speaking with more candor than he might have intended about the banking lobby in 2009 said: “They frankly own the place.”[ii]  We kinda thought so!

When it comes to unbelievable verbal gymnastics, we have the incomparable President George W. Bush in November 2002, acknowledging to advisers that he knew his tax cuts were giveaways to the super-wealthy. “Haven’t we already given money to rich people. Shouldn’t we be giving money to the middle?”[iii]

What about the average American? They are not noted for acute self-awareness. “‘Keep your hands off my Medicare.’—Anti-health-care protester at an August 2009 congressional town hall meeting in South Carolina, the single most succinct sign that our country has become an idiocracy.”[iv]  The protester didn’t realize that “Obamacare” would protect his Medicare and believed the propaganda from the “right” that the administration was threatening his Medicare. We wouldn’t agree with Sirota that Americans are unintelligent but instead we are not accessing our most perceptive source of wisdom.

The cult of celebrity so prevalent in America today would not exist in a community that relied on its interior wisdom for determining its behavior.

“We did this for the show.”[v]
—  Falcon Heene on Oct. 15, 2009,
telling CNN that the “balloon boy” chase was a hoax

Now we come to then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, a “head guy” if ever there was one. “‘As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know they’re some things we do not know. But there’re also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know we don’t know.’ [Rumsfeld] on Feb. 12, 2002, effectively telling us that the government had no idea what it was doing by invading Iraq.”[vi]  Making decisions about something as crucial as war without pausing to consider a response rather than a reaction is particularly devastating to the human community.

For example, world leaders seeking power and control, expressing their own personal pride, create destruction on a massive scale. President Bush on July 2, 2003 dared al-Qaeda to attack U.S. troops with his verbal reaction: “Bring ‘em on.”[vii]

The false self controls the intellect of the unconscious person and is used to justify the endless search for security, sensation and power. Greed, for example is limitless. No amount of money or material possessions will bring satisfaction. Another aspect of the fear-driven false self is the common identity of being a victim. “Daniel Fass, chairman of Obama’s financial-industry fundraising party on Oct. 19, 2009 [this was Wall Street’s attempt to “own the place”], insisting that despite wrecking the economy and then being handed trillions of bailout dollars, Wall Street is a victim. ‘The investment community feels very put-upon. They feel there is no reason why they shouldn’t earn $1 million to $200 million a year, and they don’t want to be held responsible for the global financial meltdown.’”[viii]

The same unlimited greed, which is really an expression of the abject fear that drives human behavior in P-B, is expressed in the next quote. “$500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus.”[ix] Wall Street compensation consultant James Reda on Feb. 3, 2009.

The intellect is incapable of profound understanding and will also lack clarity and consistency in its expression. “‘I didn’t campaign on the public option.’—President Obama on Dec. 22, 2009, expecting the public to forget that his presidential campaign platform explicitly promised to pass health care legislation giving all Americans the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan.”[x]

Arrogance is a common characteristic of the intellect-driven personality. It is easy to become deluded with one’s own simplistic analysis and conclusions. In this case the leaders of an institution whether financial, governmental or religious assume a parent-ego state and see their constituents as “children who don’t understand.” This patronizing attitude characterized the remarks of Vice President Dick Cheney referring to polls showing the majority of Americans opposed the war in Iraq. “It doesn’t matter.”[xi]

But it does matter and, in fact, the very survival of life on our planet depends upon our choosing to give intuition prominence in our decision-making process in the future and compassion a central role in our identity.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

[i]     Sirota, David. “Top 10 quotes of the decade.” The Denver Post. January 3, 2010, page 5 D.

[ii]     Ibid.

[iii]    Ibid.

[iv]    Ibid.

[v]     Ibid.

[vi]    Ibid.

[vii]   Ibid.

[viii]   Ibid.

[ix]    Ibid.

[x]     Ibid.

[xi]    Ibid.


Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

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