The Triviality Trap

old gate in Bruges
Read in Dutch on The Fire Online

In our world today the good needs strengthening through resistance, protection and creation. The bad needs closure through demolition, justice and learning. The past needs reexamination and the future needs intentions. These pillars of action are all highly urgent, but around them a triviality trap exists that is causing delays, that is making it seem as if nothing matters much, as if humanity is powerless and hopeless – an illusory, self-fulfilling prophecy that exists only in the obstructed human mind.

The triviality trap is the motor of all oppression. It is the force that shuts down new ideas, visions, dreams, passions and talents and replaces them with doubts and insecurities. Action morphs into inaction. It is not surprising that the triviality trap is so powerful right now. First and foremost, global Psy-Op efforts –such as identity politics– are adding to negativity and pessimism by promoting and rewarding victimhood, narcissism, mediocrity, irresponsibility and banality. This is supported by an observable effort to undermine virtues, traditions, nature and values.

Other major driving forces behind the triviality trap are monetary and fiscal policies that have made work increasingly unrewarding and debt more unavoidable and appealing. Taking on risks and responsibilities becomes harder. The cooperation between central banks, multinationals and governments outside democratic oversight has created unprecedented financial resources to serve the interests of the few: the triviality trap. And so public funds are financing the downward spiral of trivializing life, while in reality, everything matters more than ever before.

The odds against building a sunnier future seem insurmountable, and yet, after a few years of disillusionment and reorientation the momentum to break free is finally growing, for the simple reason that there is a limit to how much negativity, inhibition and oppression humans can handle. People have always been planting trees, proverbially speaking, even in the knowledge that they themselves would not enjoy their shade, and even when the planting of trees was ridiculed, taxed, discouraged or punished.

The brilliant, defamed, censored and imprisoned Viennese psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) wrote in his book The Murder of Christ The Emotional Plague of Mankind (1953) that humanity has subconsciously gotten used to living in a trap, since nature always adjusts to circumstances. “Once life has been caught in a trap, nothing will remain of life in paradise except a faint memory. Restlessness, hurry, nervousness, a dim longing, a dream long past – yet, still around somehow – will be taken for granted.” All psychological problems are caused, Reich concluded, by living in the trap without being aware of the trap.

Trivialization is worth resisting, simply by giving life the benefit of the doubt, as Jordan Peterson once argued. Fates are intertwined, and therefore everything matters. The evidence for this is among the most censored information of the past few centuries. Oppression, with trivialization as its primary tool, is a very long-standing, unnatural phenomenom. “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote more than 250 years ago. Nowadays, with a new day dawning, analysts and commentators can keep on describing what the trap looks like on the inside, as long as they are equally eager to keep working towards an escape.

Read this article in Dutch on The Fire Online

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