by Gary 'Z' McGee
'Z' McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned
philosopher, is the author of
Birthday Suit of God
The Looking Glass Man.
works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages
and his wide awake view
the modern world.
a giant car
a brick wall
and everyone is
they're going to sit"
In the crashing plane of an unhealthy culture, healthy people place
the oxygen mask on themselves first.
The Oxygen Mask
is a metaphor that represents health: healthy mind,
healthy body, healthy soul.
The crashing plane
is a metaphor that represents an unhealthy, unsustainable
Oxygen is life,
Metaphorically, oxygen represents health.
Figuratively, it represents freedom.
And becoming healthy
and free is the fastest way to reach the point where you can
distinguish invalid human opinion from valid Universal Law.
You must be capable of
this distinction before you can decide what to do about the crashing
But first, oxygen.
First, health. First, freedom. First, self-empowerment...
These are paramount.
Without these there is nothing.
So, imagine culture is a crashing airplane. We are all on this
plane, and the oxygen masks have just been released. What do you do
first? Do you put the mask on your daughter, your son, your husband
or wife, the autistic kid sitting next to you?
No! You put the mask on
Why? Because in order to
be there for others you must be alive, awake and aware. In order to
be there for others, you must have oxygen in your lungs.
You cannot know if the guy two seats away has the courage or the
wherewithal to do what needs to be done. And even if you did know,
you can't rely on him.
The only person you can
control is you.
You, and only you, are
the one who must make a critical decision. It will be a decision
that may or may not sit right with your fellow passengers, but it is
a decision that you must make in order to right the plane.
Some people will
tell you the plane is just fine, that it's not crashing.
Some people will
tell you the oxygen masks are just scare-tactics used by
conspiracy theorists and will slough it off as paranoia,
while ordering another drink from the stewardess.
That's just fine, let
them talk, let them get drunk, let them ignore the masks.
When they pass out at
least they'll be out of your way, so you can save them. You put the
oxygen mask on before those less capable, after all. And they are
clearly not capable.
The Virtue of
Figure out what you love
and let it kill you:
"Meaning and morality
of One's life come from within oneself.
individuals seek self-expansion by experimenting
and by living dangerously. Life consists of an
infinite number of possibilities and the healthy person explores
as many of them as possible.
Religions that teach pity,
self-contempt, humility, self-restraint and guilt are incorrect.
The good life is ever
changing, challenging, devoid of regret, intense, creative and
Putting the oxygen mask
on yourself first is the virtue of selfishness...
This isn't a license to
be a self-centered egotistical asshole, mind you. Not at all.
It's a license to be
healthy and free. It's a license to love yourself, to heal
yourself and to forgive yourself so that you can be the kind of
person who can love, heal and forgive others.
Once you've figured out
how to love, how to heal and how to forgive yourself, you free
yourself up to figure out what you love to do and what you want to
do with your time.
Maybe you'll discover
that you don't have what it takes to right the plane. That's okay.
At least now you know...
At least you're not
ignorant to the fact that the plane is crashing. At least now you
can figure out what you want to do with the precious little time
that you have.
But before you can learn any of that,
you need oxygen. You
need health. You need freedom.
So, you must give into
the virtue of selfishness and put the oxygen mask on yourself before
attempting to help anyone else with their mask.
It's simple logic:
You must be
breathing, healthy and free in order to keep those less capable
breathing, healthy and free.
You are going to die,
so get busy living
"Remembering that you
are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of
thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.
There is no reason
not to follow your heart."
Here's the thing:
Whether your culture
is a crashing plane or not, it's still wise to put the oxygen
Because, although the
crashing plane of culture is correctable, the crashing plane of your
life is not. You are going to die. Maybe not today. Maybe not
tomorrow. But someday you will be pushing up daisies along with
every other human being who has ever existed.
You have from this day
until the day you die,
to live the life you want to live.
So, you might as well put
the oxygen mask on. You might as well make it a healthy life. You
might as well be free.
You had an eternity
before you existed to do nothing. You'll have an eternity after
you exist to do nothing. Now is your time to do something...
Putting the oxygen mask
on yourself is the first step toward doing something with your life
other than just waiting to die or waiting until the plane crashes.
Life is amazing. Life is full of adventure. Don't waste it. Don't
Day one, or one day?
There is no promise of tomorrow. You will be dead soon, so
just get started on living.
Put the oxygen mask on
yourself - stat!
Get out there and make
your life happen on purpose, with purpose. Only you can.
with their mask
hacking at the branches there is one striking the root."
Henry David Thoreau
Here's the thing:
The crashing plane of
culture cannot right itself.
Tom Morello said,
"The system cannot be
fixed by the system."
Most of the people on the
crashing plane are walking, talking, pissing, shitting aspects of
the unhealthy system.
They don't even know
that they don't know that the plane is crashing. They don't even
know that they don't know that they are unhealthy.
To the extent that they
do know, they are under the delusion that the plane will somehow
right itself, or that the system will somehow fix itself, or
that someone else will somehow save them.
Most people on that plane are going to be "hacking at the branches."
Most people will be so culturally conditioned, so brainwashed by the
system, that they cannot even understand the possibility of
"striking the root."
dissonance will almost always "save" them from the discomfort of
knowing that being healthy, being free, and possibly righting the
plane is their responsibility.
Much oxygen is needed.
has a mask.
don't know how to apply it.
In order to become the
kind of person who is capable of "striking the root," you must be
able to distinguish healthy from unhealthy.
You must be able to
distinguish invalid human opinion from valid Universal Law. This
will require putting the oxygen mask on yourself and then also
learning from others who have done the same.
Most of all, it will
how to question to the 'nth degree,'
how to take things into skeptical consideration, and how to,
"entertain a thought
without accepting it".
Furthermore, it will
require you teaching others how to put the oxygen mask of health,
freedom and self-empowerment on for themselves.
We are social creatures,
We need each other and,
number of people who are alive, awake, and aware of the fact
that the plane is crashing, the better
the more healthy,
free, self-empowered individuals working on the problem, the
the more people
attempting to right the plane, the better...
As the great
Étienne de La Boétie said,
"There are always a
few, better endowed than others, who feel the weight of the yoke
and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off:
these are the men
who never become tamed under subjection and who always
cannot prevent themselves from peering about for their
natural privileges and from remembering their ancestors and
their former ways.
These are in fact the
men who, possessed of clear minds and far-sighted spirit, are
not satisfied, like the brutish mass, to see only what is at
their feet, but rather look about them, behind and before, and
even recall the things of the past in order to judge those of
the future, and compare both with their present condition.
These are the ones
who, having good minds of their own, have further trained them
by study and learning. Even if liberty had entirely perished
from the earth, such men would invent it.
For them slavery has
no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised..."
The Politics of Obedience - The Discourse
of Voluntary Servitude