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Guest Post: The Hidden Influence

(Today's post is a guest post by Sarah Sofia Granborg of Living in Scandinavia. If you would like to guest write for us, please check out our guest post guidelines. We look forward to publishing reader posts on future Thursdays.

Quick note: The views of guest writers are not necessarily the view of Michael C or Eric C. For our take, please check out the comments below.)

Let’s assume for a moment that man is not just a lump of meat and bones, but a unit of body and mind/spirit. In other words, think of every soldier as a spiritual being. (Depending on whether you're religious or not, you might want to call that "the soul" or perhaps "the psyche".) Whatever the case, the individual/personality of the soldier is not a physical thing that can be touched or even killed. On the battlefield “only” his body can be shot or blown into bits and pieces.

If we take that statement one step further, we realize that whatever experiences a soldier has had before this lifetime will influence his performance in the present time.

This influence usually occurs on an emotional level that we are not aware of--whether it's from this lifetime or before. We're talking about the sub-conscious memories and emotions triggered by certain events or things that remind us of moments gone by.

What is the relevance of this? Well, which kind of soldier would you rather have by your side: one who is fighting a random war because of inexplicable fears, or one who is aware of his background and in control over his responses?

The second one is the guy who signed up for all the right reasons, his motivation solely based on sane and honorable standards, with the intention to do what is for the greatest good.

He is the one you can rely on when the going gets tough!

People who are not aware of this mechanism simply do not survive as well, particularly in action. Like Brandon Friedman in The War I Always Wanted, it's all such a shock for him, and he has no idea how ugly it's going to get. All this makes him feel uneasy, exposed and vulnerable.

If, however, you are aware of the emotional connection, you can get to know yourself so well, that you will be able to predict much better and act accordingly.

The first step is awareness. If you are aware of how you genuinely feel about things, you can ask yourself why, and if you can answer honestly, all the mystery is gone. You're on solid ground. But that requires honesty. The ability to stay on track and remain focused, as well as the courage to be yourself and be true to what you know to be right, no matter what the consequences.

As for past-lives, some techniques to remember them seem to work, whereas others just seem to fall into the category of "dangerous brainwash" (like NLP and hypnosis).

Personally I just went with the flow. I stuck to what I knew was sane and the truth. For example, if you dream the same thing again and again, with heavy emotion and full perceptions, then there is bound to be something there.

And once you've looked at it and seen it the way it really was, then you're free of that influence.

By the way, I'm neither a religious fanatic nor an esoteric freak. I've simply been close to death so many times that I realized that there is more than the body. I realized you can make those emotional connections work for you, rather than against you, by remembering things like past-life-training and other skills.

fifteen comments

I guess what I would say is that a lot of your premises are unprovable, including both the soul and the permanence of that soul.


I don’t think the blogger’s point was to prove that past lives are a fact. What I got out of it was that there are a lot of hidden influences in warfare that people never really realize are there.


Sarah you know how much I respect you and some of my qualifications to speak on this issue. All my sons volunteered and are the best of the best and one has PTSD and TBI so we know that not only the physical being gets shot up. I had an Uncle return from IWO Jima and never recover, I had another on Guadalcanal who won the silver star for night raids on the japs and went on to a 30 year career. It is not your experiences it is what you do with them and what you let them do to you!


I am neither soldier nor pacifist.
I am not a soldier because there are only two kinds of soldier; those who lead and those who are led, those who lead rarely get killed, and those who are led inevitably do.
So there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with this soldier game.
Further the army is inevitably led by the politician. My experience and observations regarding politicians shown me they are a profoundly corrupt group of people, prone to lying, cheating and more concerned with power rather than humanity.
The hidden agendas… we will never know.
No war has benefited the soldier. The Generals, the upper echelons of the armed forces, yes, but not the soldier.
The soldier always looses.
The ‘soul’, the decision making factor in the human being, in a ‘good’ soldier has been obliterated. It’s part of the training. The soul has been destroyed, like a broken horse.
he soldier, in order to function, must only take and obay orders from ‘above’. The ‘above’ in this case being the chain of command, culminating with the politician.
One could say that in order to be an effective soldier, you must lose your soul.
Higher up in the command structure, you lose your troops.

It’s a crazy game where your life is on the line, for pretty puny bucks a month.
If soldiers were paid an index linked $100,000 a day, I could perhaps see why people sign up.
But as it is, I see it only as a hopelessly misguided sense of moral duty.

It is said that in this decade, George Bush and Tony Blair are essentially cold blooded murders, and should be brought to trail.

These CoC’s sent people to their death on some hidden financial agenda.
No, I do not think the World Trade Centre buildings caught fire and fell down. I feel sad for people who do. It was a trick.
Actually it’s amazing how many people didn’t fall for it.

But people have died and been maimed (my sympathies are with the maimed) in the name of this sham, this outrageous piece of bad Hollywood.

So if you are a soldier, all I can suggest is aim for being Major at least. Otherwise, somewhere down the line, you are going to get screwed.

The pacifist is in denial. I a not a pacifist.

If anyone threatens me or my kin physically, and there is no escape, I will react with a rage and a vengeance that renders me indestructible. I attack with an aim to disable the aggressor. I will kill, maim and generally make it clear that the agressor has overstepped the mark.

I cannot help but think that in the 1930’s/40’s if every Jew had a sub machine gun, the Nazi’s wouldn’t have got very far.

6 million sub machine guns make a lot of noise.
And would have killed a lot of SS ‘soldiers’ (only doing their job, which is to die).

Your post raises a question of spirituality.

In conclusion I think that to be an effective soldier, you must have no spirituality, that’s the point of the training. Like school, ‘school’ is based on the Prussian army system of dumb political indoctrination and the irrelevance of your own feelings. The feelings of your soul.

Ergo the ‘army’, the ‘soldier’, is not allowed a soul. It gets in the way of the political agenda.

The basic human being, by default, is a rather aggressive manipulative and highly destructive animal on this planet, which will no doubt be greatly relieved whe the human being relocates to some other planet. Don’t tell me it isn’t working on it.

Of course if the first thing we discover is life and Mars, the second thing is either to blow it up, or at least control it.

Well that’s the track record so far.
Goodness help the other planets out there… here we come… doom and destruction.

Propaganda movies abound regarding the Mad Destructive Aliens!

It’s us!

If you have a soul, hang on to it, whatever it takes.
If you are in the ‘Army’, they got it already, die happy.

You just made someone else richer.

A human being is a complicated item.
A good soldier is a lump of meat in the hands of a sleaze bag with a hidden agenda.

Get out while you can walk.

Give the soul a break.


@ Sarah – very interesting. While I’m not espoused to the idea of previous lives pertaining to a single soul, I cannot deny the compelling arguments made by Carl Jung with regards to a collective unconscious. Keith was correct about your discussion of the unseen influences whether they be spiritual or based upon the family at home or as seemingly insignificant as a pet dying. My brother tells a story about a young soldier who all but stopped functioning after his dog died. Perhaps he loved that dog so much or perhaps that was a representation of his youth and childhood slipping away.

@Malc – Where to start? There’s a great deal of anger and bitterness in that comment. Much of your post I disagree with. Soldiers are not souless. Underpaid, yes. The World Trade Center did in fact fall. I’ve seen the before and after first hand. While I cannot deny the multitude of politician are prominantly self serving, the level of conspiracy that you’re suggesting is something from a bad spy novel. To be blunt, it’s hard to take you seriously when you state that your rage will make you indestructable like you’re the Incredible Hulk.


@ Jim – to be honest, I don’t really know what to say to you in public, I guess you’re after all the one of us who’s better with words… but you know, YOU are the true survivor and I often wonder how you did it! But I guess many of us have more lives than a cat, uh?

@ Keith – yep, hidden influences is right! That’s what it’s about: anything that can get to you, because you’re not really comfortable with it and you don’t dare to look at it!

@ Eric – actually memories can prove it. – Memories of things you haven’t experienced this lifetime – or skills you haven’t acquired this lifetime, but which you for some reason do seem to have. All that could explain the existence of the personality/soul.

Also if you really wanna have someone messing with your subconscious while you’re not awake and around – then you can take your chances with hypnosis. It will prove that you have lived before, but at too high a cost for it to be worth it!

And then there is technology. If you have the right instrument at hand you can actually see the wavelengths of a thought, or the amount of electrical charge surrounding the spiritual being (let’s call it that, in order not to give it too religious a name!).

However I have to tell you I am not qualified to speak about that really. It’s not my subject and I leave it to those who actually are dealing with these sort of things. And “getting all esoteric” was definitely not the point of this post either!

But it’s truly important to me to be able point out that you need to know yourself really well to stay safe and that you should be aware of what drives you and why!


I want to highlight a few things that I really like in Sarah’s post. Firs, the idea that Soldier’s are the sum of their emotions seems commonsense, but is so often ignored. Most strategists sum it up as “morale,” but when you read Sun Tzu you realize that for him morale was huge. The ability to be strong emotionally, and affect your opponents morale is a huge concept that the current Army would love to replace with computers. It won’t work, and this post brings that up.

So taking that a step further, strengthening yourself emotionally is huge for Soldiers deploying in this war and past wars and future wars. It is the logical extension, but how we do that is complicated. Great post.

@Malc- Thanks for putting the time in on your first comment. I disagree that Soldier’s don’t have a soul though.

@Jim- Great point relating this to PTSD. It is true that emotional issues stick long after the battlefield, it just took the US army a long time to realize that.

Thanks all for the large volume of comments. Eric C and I appreciate it.


@ Matty – I think you’ve pretty much picked up my line of thought and actually, believe it or not, I could already tell that when I read your post about the “martyr-tramp”, even though I brought up another point of view. But I could very much follow your way of thinking.
I agree, soldiers are underpaid and not soulless at all! Many people have a picture of what they think a soldier represents to them, which sadly (or perhaps luckily?!) does not have too much to do with reality. And yet this idea is very common. It’s pretty much like what Michael and Eric have been trying to argue for in the Hurtlocker-post: The public has a certain idea about something, because it’s either based on some PR that someone has tried to sell them or because they find it too demanding to face reality. But the tragic fact remains: that image doesn’t reflect at all how things are in real life!
Many people think soldiers are brain-dead, ruthless killers but doctors, on the other hand, together with teachers and aid workers are believed to be saints. This couldn’t be any further from the truth!
But okay, I’d better shut up now before I really get going! Anyways, thanks for commenting and understanding what I’ve been trying to get across.

@ Malc – Pretty much like Matty, I also don’t really know where to start. You mention so many things! Thanks for letting us know your opinion and for sharing the way you see things.
I very much appreciate honesty.

Re politicians – I have my frustrations with them as well, but once in a while you can also get them to work for the greatest good. They are elected by the people, so we, the people have to make sure that they deliver what they promise.

Re your point of view on the soldier – well, that’s noted and also the fact that you do want them to survive.

Re attackers, threats etc. – oddly enough many people come with statements like yours.
Personally I find that rage, anger or any other sort of negative emotions could never be the cause for me acting in any way whatsoever. Because I know I would regret it afterwards, that’s why I never allow myself to REact, but I do chose which deliberate actions would be appropriate to take.
I have to admit, I don’t have to survive at any cost.
There are worse thing than losing the body.

Re the soldier not being allowed to have a soul – I’m not too familiar with the Prussians, but what you describe was very typical for communistic regemes. Religion and anything spiritual was banned and the individual person (any person, but of course also soldiers) mentally laid in chains in order to break any kind of free spirit and thought. But that wasn’t just the army – they started early, basically the indoctrination started at birth, kids were even interrogated in kindergarten and if they talked of the wrong children’s programs, mummy and daddy would end up as political prisoners…

Well, as I said, you mentioned so many things and I have therefor just chosen a few points to answer to.
Thanks for commenting.


@ Michael – I couldn’t agree more and I have to say: “The ability to be strong emotionally, and affect your opponents morale is a huge concept that the current Army would love to replace with computers.” cracked me up completely!!!

For me morale and attitude are a huge issue and do decide to which degree an overwhelm is possible.
Like if you wanna get real physical about it: just think about the Spartans how they pulled it off!


Interesting and controversial topic. I didn’t have time to read everything but I’ll just say that I have many experiences and proof (although unmeasurable) about the existence of soul even though I’m a scientist. I also often feel that I’ve almost drawn certain negative experiences toward me as if I needed to go through them. But on the other hand I think it would be cruel to explain everything with karma and past lives. Like torture and violent death for example… And war. The spirit guides tell us (if you believe in them) that war is useless and human race should struggle to end all wars permanently.

About soul: I think that you can never harm a soul no matter what you do to the person carrying it. A soul is always free and independent – and pure if we only want to. The only way we can harm our soul is by choosing the negative energy instead of positive. This is the essence of free will. No matter what happens to us we don’t have to choose the darkness. I will post about this later on.


@ Helena – yep, that’s a lot of writing here on the commenting space! Don’t know if I believe in spirit guides (to be honest I’m also not sure if I understand exactly what you mean) but everything else you say makes perfect sense to me.

Re war: of course the objective has to be to establish peace permanently. BUT that’s not everybody’s goal. Some do insist on chaos, anarchy and oppression. So what do you do then? Say: to hell with human rights and any sort of freedom, let’s all be slaves for all eternity – as long as we can have peace? That’s not life. That’s existing on such a low level that you might as well be dead!
But I think I know what you mean. The end-goal and the only truly civilized way man should behave towards his fellow man is of course in a peaceful manner. That is the ideal and also the only way things will work out, seen from a philosophical point of view. However we’ll never get there, as long as a very few bullies keep making life hell for the majority. And one can’t stand by and just watch it, can one?

I think you also have a very good point in saying that the only way one can harm the soul is to choose the negative over the positive. I like that: this idea that you put forward, that it is a choice that one makes! I agree very much with that POV; it’s not really what others do to you and what life throws at you, it’s what you decide – how you deal with it – which does determine if you’re gonna be alright or not.

Re torture, karma… of course you ask yourself “What the hell have I done to have had that coming?”! I really don’t know the answer. But I do believe that it is important to look into the future and to decide that all one can do is to contribute in a positive way – in spite of all.
And demand justice. Not revenge. Just justice to the degree that the truth gets known and that those who act against their fellow man get stopped. It would be wonderful if they started to make up the damage then, but it’s a long, long way until we will have conditions like that on this planet, where the guilty ones are helped to genuinely change for the better.
(That’s no psycho-babble by the way, I’m just sick and tired of paying taxes so anti-social losers can rot behind bars. I want them rehabilitated and working to support themselves and they need to make up for what they have done – for their own sakes as well as for the sake of everyone else.)


Jeg er krigsveteran i Danmark, jeg er bare fuckt op Mænd Om det betyder om min sjæl eller andet Findes ved jeg ikke, jeg ved bare jeg kun kan fungere ved fronten, Hendes hjemme Er det for svært at leve og for sukkerærter der brokker sig over At det er hambaryk I Stedet for Kød pølse.
de Menné sker der tror på vi kan leve i ro og fred uden at blande os i noget har fået noget helt forkert galt i halsen, en bombe er ligeglad med om du er dansker eller amrikaner og dem der Vil Springe Bomben er lige glad med Hvor den springer for bare de får Deres budskab ud.
syndtes bare at danskerne skulle Komme ind i kampen og hjælpe noget mere til, der er Nogen der gør rigtig meget, mænd der er flere der setter og udtaler sig om noget de ikke ved.

MVH. Harald


I suppose I should translate this one. (No idea why it’s in Danish and also why people keep sending me mails rather than posting their comments here…)
Anyways, this is from a Danish veteran, diagnosed with PTSD, says … well he says a lot of things… but in general he thinks people should get more involved and help rather than judging and complaining.


yeah, i tried to translate it but it didn’t work.


well, if you believe that an evil warlord named XENU existed 75 Million yrs ago, who culled a lot of people from other planets and imprisoned them here on Earth, you may believe what Sarah Sofia says as it is what Scientology believes and learns on the upper (secret) levels. (OT 3-8) Also that we are infested with alien spirits that need to be exorcised, which you learn on the very upper levels, they call these ‘Body Thetans’.
Just ask you local Scinetology Organisation, it really is true.
just letting you guys know what is behind this BS opinion