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ZetaTalk: Subtle Message
Note: written on Jan 15, 2000.

Resistance to the message that one needs to prepare for the coming changes also exists in the average person. Take the example of a family man who has young children, who is tied to mortgage payments and a job. The thought of selling a home or changing a job incites so much anxiety that it becomes an argument with the self constantly. Should this family man be convinced by frank discussion that the danger is real, so doubts could be put aside and preparations expedited, he is likely to find that more and more of his time is spent arguing with himself. Debates over whether he should or should not make changes in his life. Often these arguments are settled by a sharp put-down. He decides to simply not think of the issues anymore. He decides he can't continue in a state of indecision, as he can't function. Perhaps he has been sharp with the children, and they go off crying. The wife asks what the family is coming to. The resolution is denial.

On the other hand, what if the message is subtle, a subtle message that floats out on the media, perhaps only a glimmer, an advertisement, something simple so that the back of the mind is allowed to receive this, to process this without having to be challenged. What if the message likewise tells this family man that he doesn't need to worry about selling his home or building a fortress in the hills or having an infrastructure established before the cataclysms happen. What if the message is that he only needs to remember a simple set of steps to be taken, that there need be no more preparation in order to save lives than to go on a camping trip. Steps such as where to go, what to eat, what to eat long term, to save seed, to have some recipes - which he feels he can deal with. This is an oversimplification, of course, but it is something that can be absorbed and understood, so this is in fact what occurs.

Rather than blocking the information, the family man therefore begins to think about this as he drives to work. How does it differ from a camping trip? What does one do in week two, or week three? This can be entertained because it is not extreme. And as the weather gets bad and things become extreme in his life, he will find that he puts these thoughts on like a comfortable set of old clothes and reacts in the right way at the right time, when he no longer has to argue with himself. Because of the extreme weather changes, the food shortages, the rising tides or whatever, he and his wife finally say to themselves "lets not fool ourselves any longer, we've got trouble here". He will find that he has become comfortable with the steps that he needs to take, because they have been allowed to coexist with his life. Thus, sometimes a very muted or understated message, of the simplicity of the steps, is more valuable than making it seem too complicated.

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