From Cassandra to Paul Revere. Or, the Cassandra Syndrome and Pavlovs Dogs: Reaching Tipping Points. Secret Knowledge and the Cassandra Complex.

From Cassandra to Paul Revere.
Or, the Cassandra Syndrome and Pavlov's Dogs:
Reaching Tipping Points.
Secret Knowledge, Secret Information
and the Cassandra Complex.

From Cassandra to Paul Revere?

April 16, 2011

There are several images in my mind:

Paul Revere riding in the night, shouting "The British are coming." And everyone listens.

Cassandra desperately crying to the Trojans, "Leave that wooden horse outside - it is death." And no one listens.

Pavlov's dogs salivating when a bell is rung. Two things - food and bells - have been tied together in their minds. No food. Just a bell. They still salivate.

What had happened in the minds of the Trojans that they did not listen? What muddle had happened in their brains, that they heard a clear warning and did not even check if Cassandra was right?

More to the point: what can be done when that kind of thing happens?

I am thinking of tipping points, when something suddenly catches like wildfire in a society - when something is not kept out, but suddenly comes in, is everywhere - it could be a weed, it could be a breath of fresh air.

More, I am thinking of Cassandra, the Cassandra syndrome. How to go from Cassandra crying in the wilderness to Paul Revere, his words catching hold.

Even more, of course, I am wondering: how do I get you to listen, people to listen?

Note: Paul Revere was right. The British were coming. But Cassandra was also right - and the consequences were far more dire: the utter destruction of Troy, the annihilation of Troy, the murder of most of the citizens, the enslavement of the rest. The British did not pose a threat like that. And yet, though the Trojans knew the Greeks were out to murder and destroy, they partied while Cassandra wailed.

Malcolm Gladwell - who wrote The Tipping Point - writes of 3 kinds of people, who get tipping points to happen. The first 2 are Mavens and Connectors. The mavens are the innovators, the spearheads of trends. Paul Revere was a maven. Cassandra was not.

Was there anyone in Troy who might have qualified?

More to the point. Who here and now, could be a maven for me? I am an idea person, someone who may be ahead of trends (or behind). But at least now, I'm not particularly trendy.

I don't see people looking to me and going, wow, groovy, take a look at that, amazing, right on.

Could I become a maven? And if not, who are the potential mavens?

Then ...

Connectors. Cassandra was well connected, knew everyone. But they already knew her as someone they did not listen to. Was there any connector around to whom the Trojans did listen?

And how do I score as a connector? I'm not a connector - have been too shy, generally. And that's just one small part of it. It's not one of my big gifts.

I'm up against a wall. An inside wall. I'm so familiar with this wall.

I think of what, for me, is the first time I came up against the wall. It took my mother maybe 52 hours to give birth to me. Hard for her. And for me.

I kept going.

Eventually the wall gave way.

I was born. I lived.

But deep within me, I know the wall so well.

How to stop being Cassandra, up against a wall, such vital information unheard?

How to become Paul - or Paulina - Revere. Heard. The thing with him: he was already someone who was listened to. He knew whom to talk to. And those people were again people who got listening.

That is the gap. It is not that Cassandra should maybe have talked more clearly, or less clearly. The gap is much larger. It is who she was, how she was in her society when the message came.

So again, what can I do?

It's all or nothing for me, over and over.

I am not born. I am born.

I don't have a job. I have a job.

I don't have a boyfriend. I have a boyfriend.

Building the site has been slow work, the work of years.

Step after step. Growing bit by bit.

But the big being born has not yet happened.

It will only take one step.

But where is that step?

I didn't know, when going on and on in the trying to get born, how close or far I was. I just knew I had to keep going.

Again, now, I don't know.

My hope comes from: I did get born. Now ... how to reach that tipping point, that personal tipping point which is also a big tipping point, as I see it, for society.

One tipping point: just going and doing teleseminars, reaching out. In other words, continuing on the path I'm on, taking the logical next step. Somehow it's hard for me to take that particular next step. Easer for me to write one more piece.

But that next step needs to be taken.

I have taken many steps - web, video, e-books.

If this were my birth, what hour would this be? It has been at least the equivalent of 2 days. So it feels - but that feeling has been there for a long time - that a big breakthrough is very close.

I come back to: Pavlov's dogs, and 2 things tied together. For a Maven, speaking has been tied with being heard. Paul Revere: "The British are coming." Those listening: "Paul says the British are coming. URGENT!! Spread that message."

In Cassandra's case the opposite had happened: her speaking (in her case because she had been cursed) was tied with not being heard.

Is my speaking tied to not being heard - Cassandra's case?

Or is it something milder - that I am neither Cassandra nor Paul - that my speaking is just not tied to being heard. I don't have expert status.

I think it's more that, than some massive curse.

How do I get expert status, so my words get heard?

Another thought. Is it that most people, in this society, live under the curse of not being heard? Am I just under some general widespread curse?

Maybe that's it - that we live in a society where most people do not get listening, no matter how important our words.

Quite something, to learn how to become a Maven, a Paul Revere, in such a society.

Pavlov's dogs? They were trained. Over and over, 2 things were tied together - food and a bell. Food - what I say. The bell - listening.

Over and over, to tie those together? Well, I suppose my site helps make that happen. And then there are those who get updates - my speaking and their listening is at least the tiniest bit connected.

I also know there is the matter of the break through. That's been important to me. I wasn't born. Then I was born. It's not that I kept doing things differently. I just kept doing them. Getting full time teaching. I just kept submitting my c.v. while doing part time teaching. Finally, a few days before classes, break through. A last-minute interview. An even more last-minute hiring.

So I'm going on, both keeping on and also hoping for the break through for a coming into a life that feels more right to me.

Good bye, Cassandra. Hello, Paul Revere.

In case you're new to me and my ideas,
such as the curse of the Cassandra syndrome,
click here for The Idea Emporium -
lots of writing on things
I have found "secret" -
meaning outside hearing range

What's a main idea of mine?
That there are many things our society will not see.
I consider those things secret knowledge
Click here for a few videos about this


From Cassandra to Paul Revere.
Or, the Cassandra Syndrome
and Pavlovs Dogs:
Reaching Tipping Points.
Secret Knowledge and
the Cassandra Complex.
Elsa's Blog Journals.

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the Cassandra syndrome,
the Cassandra complex:
having knowledge that should not be secret, that one does not want to keep secret, but that we cannot get heard.

tipping points
relating to
secret knowledge:
that is rather obvious - tipping points are those points where secret knowledge becomes common knowledge, where it is not longer secret knowledge, and where people may even go, how could that ever have been secret knowledge, it's so obvious.

the Cassandra syndrome
Pavlovs dogs:

as far as I know, no one has ever before tied the cassandra syndrome, the Cassandra complex, with pavlovs dogs. But when it I suddenly thought of Pavlov's dogs, when thinking of the Cassandra complex, it felt pretty apparent to me, that the two connected with each other. So maybe someone has tied Pavlovs dogs to the Cassandra syndrome. Maybe even everyone, except for me, connects Pavlov's dogs with Cassandra and her complex or syndrome, with her curse anyway. But I have not done so before.

the Cassandra syndrome
Pavlovs dogs:

how does the Cassandra syndrome tie in with Pavlov's dogs? Easy - Pavlov's salivating dogs had been conditioned to respond to a bell as they would to food. LIkewise, Cassandra had been cursed to be associated with not being heard.

The next thing is then obvious - how does one create tipping points?

tipping points? -
yes, points where the pendulum swings the other way, where instead of the Cassandra complex we get the Paul Revere response: he talks, everyone listens. Tipping points: where instead of the Cassandra syndrome, destruction of Troy, we get the British ousted from control of what became the United States.

Not all tipping points are desirable, by the way - some say things are better in Canada than in the United States because we never had the same tipping point as in the States, though we have certainly had many tipping points of our own.

Anyway, for undesirable tipping points, think of Germany in the 1920's - much free thinking, many rights - tipping into Nazi Germany of the 1930's.

the Cassandra syndrome,
Cassandra complex:

the response of the British prime minister of the time to Hitler's rise. He was like the citizens of Troy, unable to heed warnings.

Pavlovs dogs:
it's worth wondering, what faulty wiring had been conditioned into him that it was secret knowledge for him, that appeasement would not work with Hitler.

tipping points:
so many, all the time, in our society - not a stable traditional one.

Tipping points all around us, and also blind spots, thousands, perhaps linked to the massive number of tipping points. Rigid blind spots may be a way of being like Pavlovs dogs while actually being conditioned, being caught in the Cassandra complex, whether as speakers who cannot get heard, or people who cannot listen.

the Cassandra syndrome,
secret knowledge,
Pavlovs dogs:

Here my concern is with secret knowledge that would do much more good, were it not secret knowledge. The Cassandra syndrome or complex: the curse of not being heard when the message is crucial. Imagine Pavlov's dogs having learned to recoil at the smell of food, of Pavlov's dogs starving amidst plenty. That's akin to the outcome of the Cassandra complex.

tipping points:
from the Cassandra complex to Paul Revere, to new associations for Pavlov's dogs - along with the breaking of old conditioned associations.




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