Session 20 August 2011

Thanks for the session Laura - most interesting.

I have previously come across the concept that having a mirror in the bedroom is not a good idea. It is said that during sleep your Chi rises out of the body, and if it sees its reflection that can result in disturbed sleep.

Be well.

Lukas said:
I wonder if laura can you doing research on the conservation / education of people in Poland?
As a reader of this forum and associated sites, I'm sure you know, that Laura is a very busy person with tons of project going on at the same time, not to mention all other things that happend around her and the group that demand her attention.

I'm also sure that for a person in the country in question you would have far easier time finding materials relevant to it.
I have to admit that sometimes I wonder about the education system on how it affects the young organism.
Then what stopping you. Why do you want for other people to research for you? One of the primary rules of this forum is that if you are interested in something YOU DO THE RESERCH and share it with people that are interested in it, in case of problems you ask for help.
By the way, or no longer talked about not wasting energy on people who are new to the forum? to focus on the group?
I refer to the posts of new people to this topic ...
I don't think I understand you here. Are you saying that older members shouldn't help newer ones? The new members are as much part of this group as you, me or other members. We all star as a newbie and we learn as we interact with each other, read presented materials, books, work on ourselves etc.. How do you understand focusing on the group?
I chime in a bit late in this very interesting discussion. First, I must confess that I am a French man :scared: and I'm one of the worse kind since I went through one of the most intensive brainwashing process :bac C, prépa, grandes écoles (some kind of "elite" education path that only exists in France).

I apologize for the length of this post, but I’d like to share my observations (obviously, being French myself, I probably still don’t see half of the problem!)

You'll see that one of the traits I mention is intellectualism, and you'll probably notice that I'm not over this trait myself. Even worse here I'm writing in English, so imagine if I was using French, a language in which I know many more complex, show-off words. :halo:

So what about the French? Of course they are all different, of course geographic location has a strong cultural influence, of course countryside and city don't have the same influence on individuals, of course any cultural trait can be found anywhere around the world.

Such relativism could be a very good excuse to ignore any attempt to identify some (negative) traits that are more prevalent amongst the French people.

But aside from these variations which we can find within any national population, can't we find some specific cultural traits shared by most French?

Well "The Secret Life Of The French" and "French Toast" define some of those traits. When I read these books, first I reacted in a very French way: identify a very minor mistake (a date, the spelling of a French word...) to reject the whole thing. By the way this is a very French way of dealing with things: when you face something that is true and disturbing, your highly developed intellect will find a very small mistake allowing you to reject the whole reasoning as inconsistent, or argue endlessly about this non relevant detail while forgetting about the crux of the matter.

Then I kept on reading, I started to remember past events, school memories, incidents, and started to see more and more that there were some very interesting (and uncomfortable) truths in there.

Let's start with arguing / discussing:

This is a national sport. There are hours of talk shows on the radio, on the TV, displaying experts, intellectuals, researchers, politicians who will argue endlessly. The very same happens during most family meals or friends meetings.

The goal of arguing / discussing is not really to reach the truth but to show off intellectual skills and knowledge through rhetoric, use of complex words, complex sentences, rare cultural references,...

What really matters is not truth but to be right. Indeed, in France, intelligence (intellectual skill) is the highest value, higher than truth, honesty or empathy.

So those discussions are more about being right than finding truth, more about a struggle for power than a collective search for solutions, more about appearances and status (rank) than sharing information.

It's a subtle way to define hierarchy, particularly between people who just met. Throw a mix of remarks, words, intonation, rethorical techniques, and after a while most people participating in the discussion will clearly see the hierarchy and where they stand in it, though most of the time there won't be any direct confrontation, struggle, competition. Everything is covert.

That's really the big thing in France. Logics, rationalism, intelligence. It's what defines an individual's status (rank - position in the highly hierarchy of the French society), it's what determines the degrees he'll get, the job he'll get, the life he'll live.

Intellectualism is the finest quality for French people, unfortunately to reach this intellectual excellence, emotions, creativity, feelings will have to be sacrificed along the way.

In that sense, I cannot help but wonder what this “intellect” is. What value can pure intellect have when it is devoided of all emotion, or when the only emotions expressed are hidden in the fear and hatred of others that read between the lines. The fear of truth itself?

Rabelais said that "Science without conscience is the soul's perdition." Isn't it the same for "reason without proper emotion?"

French people think they are smarter, subtler, more knowledgeable. To some extent it's true, at least from their point of view. Since for French, the highest and only value is the intellect and since they've sacrificed so much (their childhood, their emotions, their confidence) to improve it, they consider themselves as superior. In some case they might indeed be intellectually brilliant. Problem is, the intellect is only one factor and in the other fields (creativity, sensitivity, empathy, self-confidence, courage) Frenchs rate extremely poorly.

Appearances and hypocrisy: did you wonder why France was world leader in fashion, cosmetics, perfumes? France is the world temple of appearances. There is this famous saying amongst the French elite circles: "we are not happy but we look like we are".

Indeed, French people are not happy. Our country has the highest consumption of tranquilizers and anti-depressants in the world and one of the highest suicide rate.

It's as if the French skipped happiness, hope, love, community, trust, and since they can't have it they'll go for a poor substitute: appearances. Usually, the French dress-up nicely (or what they consider to be fashionable), they talk nicely, they are polite, they follow the etiquette.

But in France you experience "haute couture" appearances: elaborate, coded, subtle. Most French wouldn't admit that they give much importance to appearances, and the phenomenon is indeed less straightforward than in other countries. That is why the French reject the "bling-bling" tendencies of their President. Wealth and status (ideas, clothes, readings, music, hairstyle, cars, houses...) are exhibited in a discreet way: enough to be noticed but not enough to be ostentatious.

French people are extremely polite. This extreme politeness is also a way to stay away from others by sticking to very rigid communication codes and therefore no sharing anything personal or emotional. It's also contributes to project a positive appearance.

But behind this appearance of politeness and sweet words lies a lot of hypocrisy. Since they are unable to express their emotions (feeling belittled, inadequate, stupid, shameful...), they feel threatened and therefore, hatred and anger keep on building up. The French are too ruled by fear to be straightforward and downward confrontational like Americans for example, so they'll go for the passive aggression, nitpicking, messages between the lines, belittling through intellectualism,...

Even intellectualism could be considered as one element of the French appearances structure. What's best to hide emotions, to hide who oneself really is, to avoid any threatening bonding than wallowing in endless and superficial (from a bonding perspective) intellectualism?

Most French spend their lives alone. Even when surrounded with family, friends, peers, colleagues, they are alone, because they are usually unable to connect emotionally, to bond, to really share who they are: their doubts, their weaknesses, their emotions. Years of programming have turned these areas into taboos. Sure, they spend endless hours discussing but never out of their comfort/intimacy zone. Intellectual discussions, cultural references, political arguments, logical reasoning but nothing personal, nothing intimate.

The French don't speak (with “strangers” - that's the way they put it and that's the way they're taught when they are kids) in public, they don't speak in the subway, they don't speak in queue lines. Some neighbors have been living for decades on the same floors without exchanging a single word. Sad but true.

All those traits seem to come from a common root : Fear / hatred / jealousy

Most French lacked much support, care, confidence, trust, bonding, love during their childhood, which prevented them from expressing their emotions in an healthy way : if you want to be loved by your parents, your teachers, or even your friends you have to be smart, intellectual, rational, logical, better than you are, strong... not much space for emotions, indeed!

This kind of childhood leads to individuals ruled by fear (because they've not experienced confidence and trust) and hatred (because they lacked proper love and nurturing) and jealousy (because of not being loved for who you are and because of the ever present competition atmosphere).

This fear is everywhere: fear of change, of the uncertainty, of losing, of being wrong, of losing face, fear/hatred of others and of oneself.

Racism, which is rampant in France though every French will tell you he's not racist, is only one of the numerous manifestations of this fear/hate complex. But it goes much further: French fear/hate their neighbors, their colleagues, the strangers because deep inside they hate themselves. How could it be different when their parents, their family, their teachers didn't give much genuine love, kept repeating they were not good enough?

These are some of the most noticeable traits of French people, but how to see them if you're French and therefore your only norm / frame of reference is the French culture or if you're a foreigner and didn't live long enough in France?

We can wonder why the French have acquired such traits. Me guess, History and above all education seem to have played a major role.


Since the Revolution there's not been one single generation free from wars/defeat/invasion: 1789, 1814, 1848, 1914, 1939. It can surely explain some of the ambient fear and neurosis.

Those repeated invasions can be one reason why the French developed such fear/hatred for foreigners. Repeated betrayals (bombing of the French fleet by the allies in WWII, Vichy regime, collaboration, Terror...) might explain why some French people go as far as to hate other French.

Also, the Revolution created a very clerical (non secular) society where faith was rejected (along with spirituality, creativity, emotions...) and where reason was instituted as the new state religion (but how to really exert reason when your mind is overwhelmed by years of repressed emotions?)

Before the Revolution there was the Age of Enlightenment and Descartes, the French philosopher and his now famous motto "I think therefore I am"

We could even go back to the inquisition that lasted no less than 4 centuries and the "Croisade des Albigeois" where literally, the elite in Northern France exterminated the people of Southern France.

Those historical factors certainly played a role in shaping the modern French culture but history can't account for everything, for many nations have faced very traumatic history, clerical models or Cartesian philosophy while their population didn't develop such dramatic traits.


Here's one of the "great" indirect legacies of the Revolution: l'Ecole de la République. Now compulsory until 16. So nobody can escape the programming that starts in kindergarten, at the age of 2 or 3. Though kindergarten is not (technically) compulsory, it's strongly encouraged - it's part of the programming: nobody would ever think of NOT putting their child at school from 2/3 y.o. You're expected to do it, otherwise it's considered as suspicious. And that will last for most French until they are way past their 20s. Almost no home schooling, almost no special needs class. The children will have to go through the inflexible schooling mold.

Even at work or at home there won't be any break because the parents/colleagues/boss have gone through the same indoctrination, so they all push the same agenda, the French education agenda : competition, excellence, intellectualism, academic knowledge (even if wrong), no emotion, fear/hatred of others, hard sciences, being "adult", individualism, reason, appearances, rhetoric, ambition...

All around the world, the French education system is depicted as a great achievement: free school , great teaching level, accessible to all... But what is not said (and probably not seen) is that the French education system is an enormous brainwashing (and worse, “heartwashing”) machine.

During the first years of its life, which are the most important to define who the child will be, there's not much space for building real trust, bonding, confidence, love, emotions. Around 6/12 months old the baby is left at the nanny while the parents go to work. Usually, the nanny, like the parents, has high expectations for the child: as soon as possible he must be autonomous, able to walk, able to read and write, able to write, able to control his emotions and his tears. It's as if he's already treated like a mini adult. In France the age of reason (l'âge de raison) is 7 y.o.

Then comes the kindergarten at the age of 2 or 3. That is where you start to read, count, write and learn. Every weekday from 9 to 5 or later if you parents can't pick you up soon. At 6 y.o., it's primary school. You start to get grades. Education goes on in high school and college. More and more exams, more and more pressure, more and more workload, more and more fear of failing. Classes 5 days a week. The rest of the time is often dedicated to sport activities, art activities, and extra Maths classes. Not much free time indeed.

All over these years, teaching is fundamentally the same: based on negative reinforcement, unattainable goals, a “never enough” attitude, competition & hierarchy, evaluation based on Maths.

Negative reinforcement:
* for example if you didn't do well in Physics, during Summer break instead of having holidays you will go for complementary Physics classes.
* In France you start getting grades at 6 y.o.. The grades you get are low, and they keep getting lower. For example in preparatory school (right before Engineering school), every Saturday morning there is 4-hour Math exam. The average grade is 6/20 (remember those preparatory classes only admit the very best students). If you're an exceptional student (who will enter Polytechnique, the finest engineering school in France) you might get 10/20 or 11/20.
* At the end of the year if your grades are not good enough you double the year. On September you're back in front of the same teacher, learning the same things. Except the other students are 1 year younger than you. Well, most students won't talk about it directly. What’s the point? Everybody knows. They know, and they know that you know: you've doubled, you're a retard, you are a failure.

The Importance of Maths:
In France you don't study the topics you like or the topics you're skilled for. Everything is about ranking and the ranking is made through Maths. Note that Maths is heavily based on the values promoted by the educational system: intellect, logic, reason...

If you're very good at Maths, you'll study Maths, go to the best schools, get the best diplomas and the best jobs. If you're less good at Maths, you'll study Medicine or Law, get a good diploma and a good job. If you're not good at Maths, you'll study Art or Sociology and you'll most probably end up jobless.

So, in France, generally you don't choose your studies according to what you like or what you're gifted for. You choose the best school that your level in Maths allows you to be admitted in.

The French education factory produces millions of Master, PhD, and post doc alumni. Much more than what the economy can accommodate. This unbalance leads to some huge over-qualification and disappointment. It's not unusual to see a PhD in Sociology or Philosophy selling burgers at McDonald.

France regularly ranks as the most productive country in the World. That's no surprise when you know the level of over-qualification and the importance given to results, effort, competition...

Never good enough/unattainable goals:
*The most common remarks a teacher writes on students’ evaluation forms is "Can do better" or "should do better"
* The selection rate is very high. For example, in Philosophy, the best school admits 40 students a year while tens of thousands of Philosophy students are trying to get in.

Competition and hierarchy:
Competition starts from a very early age. Choice of foreign language and optional classes are mentioned below because they are part of the ranking.

For example when starting high school, good students choose German as a first foreign language. Therefore, the good students are together in the same class. Allegedly the choice of this language is due to the fact that the sentence structures, the conjugation, the declinations require a... mathematical mind.

If you want to meet the system expectations, you'll have to go through several challenges : grades start at 6, choice of the best high school at 10, choice of the first foreign language at 10, choice of the second foreign language at 12, first national exam at 14, choice of the best high school at 14, choice of the best optional classes (Latin and Greek) at 16, choice of the best A-level (scientific if possible) at 16, A-level exam part 1 at 17, A-level exam part 2 at 18, choice of the best university/preparatory school at 18, national concourse and national ranking at 20, choice of the best school...

Academic results are so important in France that usually the nicest present teenagers get is not for their birthday or Christmas but when they get their A-level.

There are millions of examples but I think you start to get the point. The French society, particularly through its educational system, enforces competition, results, reason amongst generations of kids. It leads to neurotic adults ruled by fears, hatred and jealousy, and unable to express their emotions.

What seems to be seriously missing amongst the French, particularly French men, is emotions (expressed in a healthy way), trust, sharing, love, creativity, happiness, hope, sense of self... all the most fundamental values that were sacrificed on the altar of the school of the Republic.

That’s a very sad story indeed. And I am only talking here from my own limited experience, reading and observation. In a sense, I was very lucky because at least I was good at Maths ;-) When it’s not the case you’ll be quickly put on a dead end whatever your skills, talents and dreams are. Same if you're not servile enough. The school of the Republic wants good, obedient, rational individuals.

However, I can guess that the result is the same in any case, no matter our background. We always end up having to repress emotions, intellectualize, argue, etc. only to have the illusion that we exist.

Of course I only emphasized the negative traits of France here. We are so chauvinistic, so proud of our country, that it’s no point listing the good points of France, everybody keeps talking about them! ;)

Also, like any other citizen of the world, the French are not intrinsically bad, they are just victims of a system. The French system has developed some strong sociopathic traits in us.

Once we start being aware of this programming and its consequences, we can start trying to change things, take responsibilities (and not fall in self-pity!). Starting to trust, to open up a little bit more, to acknowledge and share some emotions, to accept to not always be right, to heal our past and our present, to listen more, to intellectualize less. Step by step, becoming a bit more who we really are.

Of course those changes, this opening up can’t occur everywhere, a safe environment is required. Me guess this forum is a great place to start those baby steps towards a real life, a better life for us and the ones we love.
I noticed of all these carateristics in many French too. Especially the "intellectuals". In an island south of France they say that the continentals are "psycho-rigids" (that how they explained it to me), and i used to describe it as "over-intellectualizing". Of course, on may de-programm from that, as with any artificial imprinting.
Interesting about the mirror in the bedroom. I have been sleeping in my living room because the weather is nice now and I can open the windows and run fans instead of using the AC in the bedroom. My trick is to have one window top open (some windows can't do this) and the other window bottom open with the fan blowing in- so the heat in the ceiling gets forced out.

Despite not having pitch black in the living room, I have been sleeping so well! I wonder if covering a mirror is the same as removing it.
For all its flaws, I think the French programming might have (had?) a better chance of producing people who can think and who have an awareness of 'social issues'. In the US, decades of extreme capitalism has forced a 'me first and last' type of attitude. On a very basic level, consider the pervasive capitalist attitude of social position and status and wealth being purely a function of how hard you work - the poor are poor because they are lazy. In France, the traditional idea used to be that everyone has a right to the basic necessities of life, including housing, education and health care.

However this mindset is rapidly changing. We're seeing more and more divisions created by the political clique between the people - especially between the poor and the even poorer - and less and less solidarity. We see more and more talks like: "if you're jobless, it's because you're lazy and just want to live off hard workers' taxes". We're seeing more and more "me first attitudes"/"as long as they don't touch my privileges, I'm perfectly happy and to hell with everybody else".
If I want to know who I am as individual of a nation it seems to me that the right way is to become acquainted with how foreigners (*) describe me otherwise it is a critical self-analysis and there is a credibility gap.

* of course the foreigner must be identified as a reliable source recognized by his peers
IMHO, one part of the process is to recognize oneself as an individual, regardless of the sociocultural background. The same with one's job and all other artificial appurtenance.
François said:
If I want to know who I am as individual of a nation it seems to me that the right way is to become acquainted with how foreigners (*) describe me otherwise it is a critical self-analysis and there is a credibility gap.

* of course the foreigner must be identified as a reliable source recognized by his peers

Soooooo French!
Just finished reading all your last posts before bed...And I feel SICK and DISABLE

The brutal realization of this programming is stunning me.

Fortunately I'm currently blooming with health Thanks to Paleodiet therefore to this NetWork (Family) and it will make it easier to much to add...some POTS and tomorrow will be brighter, Goodnight
skycsil said:
EGVG said:
Prometeo said:
dugdeep said:
I'll take the fatty ones!

:evil: HELL YEAH!

I ask myself if I was always saving me from some type of food, for example I'm lactose intolerant, I don't like bread I don't like so much dairy products and veggies, I like a lot meat, eggs, and some fruits. And I mean, that's not enough but it is fun, when I read about eating veggies I was reluctant to the idea, when I read that we needed to eat pork I was taking my spear out of my closet.

Maybe it's just your natural human instinc that is telling you the pork and fat way is the correct one. I feel more happy and secure about the being I think I'am, since I understood that meat and fat is what my body is made to function on. :)

I feel the same, and I think I like meat so much because it's the only "treat" that doesn't make me feel like hell. Of course I also like ice cream, sodas, chips and candy, but it really makes me feel sick after I eat it. Meat is delicious and makes me feel great :P

Thanks for this session, it keeps you thinking ;)

Same here. There is a htread early this year where I talk about a short digestive problem I had about january, and I came over it when I reduced veggies to very little, and I ate mostly meats.
Laura said:
Quote from:
François on Today at 11:05:53 PM said:
If I want to know who I am as individual of a nation it seems to me that the right way is to become acquainted with how foreigners (*) describe me otherwise it is a critical self-analysis and there is a credibility gap.

* of course the foreigner must be identified as a reliable source recognized by his peers

Soooooo French!


I was thinking this was common sense, but if you answer that way, I am wrong.
Oxajil said:
Isn't it interesting how there are religious restrictions on consuming pork? The programming is so strong, that some people literally go ''Eww'' when you talk about it, and these are people who never even tried it. If you ask them why their religion has restricted it, some say: "pigs play in the mud and eat their own feces, they're dirty", and I'm like....... speechless.

Yes, I was thinking of that, too!

At least nowadays, that accounts.

One of the old norse gods, Frøy, had a boar as his sacred animal. The people was eating their sacred animals back then, at least in that part of the world. There's descriptions of horse meat being eaten as part of their religion, too.
Nationality, such a lost of time indeed. The only thing that separates us is the distance, nothing more, everyone has the same oportunities, if we or some of us are souls, we can choose which kind of genetic we need dependently on our chosen lessons, you know, differentiate people cause their nationality is like being an animal and roar "Hey I am a lion and you a tiger, you are a red ant and I'm a black one, you are a dalmatian and I a san bernardo".

I have french ascendency from my grandfather, he was some kind of masonic scia spy rosicruzian guy lol, or something like that, supposedly a very "intellectual" guy, and I mean if I have french blood ... why I'm not like those from france? of course, because I was not programmed equally. So this thing about nationality indeed is just an illusion, there's no real sense, I have not french nationality I know, but there's completelly no point in distinguishing people cause their nationality.
Stellaria_graminea said:
Oxajil said:
Isn't it interesting how there are religious restrictions on consuming pork? The programming is so strong, that some people literally go ''Eww'' when you talk about it, and these are people who never even tried it. If you ask them why their religion has restricted it, some say: "pigs play in the mud and eat their own feces, they're dirty", and I'm like....... speechless.

Yes, I was thinking of that, too!

At least nowadays, that accounts.

One of the old norse gods, Frøy, had a boar as his sacred animal. The people was eating their sacred animals back then, at least in that part of the world. There's descriptions of horse meat being eaten as part of their religion, too.

Yes, I always found that odd too. It's also interesting that most Hindus consider the cow 'sacred' and don't eat beef because of it.
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