“The less you know, the more you believe.”
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The concept of “fake news” has gone viral. It might be described as “so called facts weaponized to sabotage my agenda.”
Optimists who follow a spiritual path believe we are nearing the birth of a Golden Age. Realists notice that the world is getting increasingly darker. Of course, we wouldn’t be aware of light without darkness so, one might say: more darkness, more light.
Those brave (or foolish) enough to watch the mainstream news, otherwise known as the “mudstream” news, or the “lamestream news,” are increasingly aware of the concept of “fake news.” Is this real or fake? There’s always been deceit in what we’re fed by corporate controlled media. Propaganda takes many forms. Those who realized early that television is an advertising medium may not have fully grasped that the advertising is not primarily in the ads but in the lifestyles that television programs present. There’s a reason this is called “programming.”
Why is it that we seem to be increasingly forgiving of outright lying by leaders who, once upon a time, were expected to model behavior our children could admire and seek to emulate? Because we have fully embraced the belief that the end justifies the means.
According to a recent blog by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, “Many of President Donald Trump’s critics have raised concerns in recent weeks about his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. If the revelations are true, Trump’s infidelity is a serious matter between him, his God and his spouse.
“Quickly, so-called white evangelicals rushed to defend the president, urging the nation to ‘forgive’ and move on. ‘All these things were years ago,’ Jerry Falwell, Jr. told CNN. Another stalwart of Trump’s faith advisors, Tony Perkins, told Politico he and others are willing to give the president a ‘mulligan’ on issues of personal morality because he champions an evangelical agenda.” 1
Indeed, the end justifies the means. Here in this end cycle of the Kali Yuga, illusion dominates truth. Facts are now “so called facts” and routinely dismissed when they interfere with the fulfillment of personal agendas. As more and more of what we are presented as “truth” is in fact fraudulent, this becomes the new normal and we are increasingly complacent about it all. This recalls graffiti scrawled on a subway wall: “The problem with this country is we’re all apathetic.” Underneath, someone spray painted, “Who cares?”
How did it get to be this way? The image of the proverbial “slippery slope” comes to mind, as does the urban myth about the frog in steadily warming water who will sit there contentedly as the temperature rises until he boils to death. If he was dunked in hot water he would react immediately to save himself. It’s the slow, creeping change that seduces us into apathetic inaction.
When we honestly survey the world scene, it’s only realistic to acknowledge that it’s increasingly dark, that holistic awareness seems to be declining. The rise of the alt right, mass school shootings, raging racism, wealth inequity unlike anything we’ve witnessed since feudal times, and the determined effort, at least in this country, to ignore the dangers of climate change.
The world is now thoroughly “ego-centric.” We’ve built this modern world according to our beliefs, central of which is separation from God and nature. And, we are proud of ourselves, like children showing off for our mothers. “Look Mommy, I built this computer, this artificial reality game, this skyscraper, I have a billion dollars in the bank. Aren’t I clever and good? Please, notice me, praise me, love me.”
But this is not the whole story. Meanwhile, under the radar and un-reported – but absolutely real in experience for millions of us – is a growing sense of oneness with God and nature. We find ourselves literally transforming, and we seek each other out for support and inspiration. We increase our meditation time, not to better handle stress but because we love communing that way. We spend more time in nature for the same reason.
We find the boundaries that have separated us as an entitled human, arrogantly presumed to be the superior species on the planet (despite mounting evidence to the contrary), beginning to blur as we come to know ourselves, not as physical bodies bloated with swollen egos, but as the loving, gracious souls we are, in a synergistic, symbiotic relationship with all other life forms.
As Paul Harvey, famed radio host from the 70’s, always said to conclude his program, “”And now you know the rest of the story.”