I just wanted to talk about the possibility of the bigger picture affecting our reality. It seems to me that events in the West have been very unusual over the past year, and consider the possibility that it might be:
1) A consequence of previous actions.(Karma?)
2)Part of the so called 'raising of consciousness'
3) People are saying this has been predicted in the bible.
4)Does it seem like things might be under some sort of control? (God?)
Basically are these unusual times or have we seen them before?
Maybe this tsunami of fake info and bullshit from all quarters is 'the Universe's way to help us concentrate on what is real, the real life we actually experience rather than the 'made up' one that fills our head via the media. If we eventually decide that what we see on tv and the media no longer makes sense, we might shrink back to a more meaningful life that we really experience. Which is more important: Donald Trumps insane rantings or Real experience?
Trump himself is not a spiritual catalyst, but the unpredicted and improbable success of his campaign is the sign of the radical changes: people are massively rejecting establishment authority, from administrative to academic, like they once did in 1960s and 1970s. And this is the most wonderful.
Not so wonderful, however, is the fact that, contrary to 1960s and 1970s, the main alternatives to the rotten and corrupt establishment in 2010s are often, if not mostly, reactionary and authoritarian.
I am frightened by the strong sense of have of the massive increase in (virtually unconscious) confirmation bias that is occurring through our digital lives. At least old school marketing required someone to be exceptionally clever. Algorithm-powered mega computers are making it almost too easy for companies like Facebook (et al) to "tell people what they want to hear".
I think that's really the chicken to the Trump-egg so to speak.
I've posted this in the 'Trump' thread, but I think it's about much more than Trump.
Others have said similar things since Brexit/Trump.
"Let's attack where the real power lies, and not blame 'the left' for everything!"
The last line of your post that I've copied made me think twice about this.
It wasn't that I started 'blaming the left', it was that I suddenly realised that they were capable of the same insanity as the 'other side' that I'd assumed were 'wrong' and 'bad' for so long. So that left me with nowhere to go. Thus the sudden feeling of detachment from politics and actually a feeling that I was better off that way. Comparing my feelings with others, I just don't want to be be a part of that 'mob' that are full of anger, I just don't. I'm left deflated in a way, I am content with not knowing where the real power lies, and I'm certainly not motivated to 'attack' anything without being certain that it's a threat to me.
It's the ability to ignore principles and show blind hypocrisy that I feel has blurred the divisions. I didn't think much about Obama's Presidency until last year, I was rather pleased that a black man was somehow the president. I started paying more attention after the Brexit issue, when he came across to lend his support to the remainers cause. I thought to myself, 'this is really not his business' - and just for the record, I voted remain! Then when I read about his record of signing so many drone attack orders, and locking up whistleblowers, basically the same old murderous shite that we've seen for ever from those in power forever, both here and the US.
And so I came to the conclusion that Obama wasn't the kind of President I'd vote for, as he had shaky principles. He was the same as all the rest that had let themselves down. I thought Bernie Saunders looked relatively promising but hey ho. The first obvious clue I had was Brexit. Gee whiz! The countries going mad over Brexit. That's when I saw the 'temporary insanity' of a lot of my friends, as I saw it. Maybe it's because I had a serious life changing event that allowed me to think the way I now do. Ok, so it might be bad.But it's not that bad! Believe me - things could be worse! But we took a vote, the people that have been voted democratically into power decided to take a vote. The same people that took us into the disastrous Iraq was, the same people that hushed up David Kelly's murder, the same experts, the same people that are outraged when one of them criticises the 'experts', the ones that voted to bomb Syria etc etc - basically the same people that do very little that I applaud.
And that's ok. It's the real world, people are doing their best, I couldn't do any better. I get on with my little life.
Then comes Trump! The mass hysteria reaches fever pitch. Facebook is full of people crying, saying all sorts of things, often hateful things. When Obama makes his final speech, my lefty friend are gushing with praise, now I'm not against praise, but this is something more than that. Something that gives me cognitive dissonance! Makes me squirm. The same feeling that I first got when I saw the massive outpouring of grief when Princess Diana died. It was weird then, it's still weird now. What is it that gets into people in certain circumstances? It's like mob rule in a way? Around this time, I get accused of being a 'white supremacist' by some scots 'lady', two of my American friends defriend me in disgust at my posts. Posts that include no offensive language or anything personal, just my honest opinions. I try to get across what I really mean, but eventually decide that there's no point. They have made up their minds! I feel that the talk of '30s Germany is possibly valid!
They are precisely in the same state that we often describe the way sceptics appear on this forum, or at least on some of Alex's podcasts - in a state of cognitive dissonance. It's carefully controlled in the podcasts, but on Facebook and Twitter we see the ugly truth. There's no rational discussion possible with many of them. The Scots woman I mentioned in the previous paragraph, frightens me! But, and this is critical - the 'other side' is capable of exactly the same behaviour. It seems that we are all susceptible to this insanity! And I think it is exactly that.
Now, the hysteria surrounding Trump is just mainly that as far as I can see. What I am saying, is : What is so very different about Trump to Obama, or Hillary for that matter? The Muslims that have suffered in Iraq, and across the Middle East and Libya are forgotten. We seem content to hear constantly how the poor have to eat from food banks, how the uk MPs vote Year after year for 10% pay rises while imposing crippling cuts to vital services for the 'plebs', it goes on and on. Where were the huge protests and the media then? I mean WTF? To me it's all hypocrisy. So you say it's wrong to ban Muslims, but it seems it's ok for them to bomb the shit out of them? We love Hillary and Obama but hate Trump because he's a bit of a narcissist and a sexist and a bit violent etc, when they both have a proven record of being willing to kill foreigners by the thousands? WTF?
It's a mess.
Now to see where I sit, here are some things on my own fantasy wish list! :
Scrapping nuclear weapons,
Prioritise teaching as a profession
Properly organise and fund the Nhs.
Properly fund mental health
Pay people properly
Have small conventional 'armed forces'
Goodness knows what this would lead to!
I don't like many of the things that go on elsewhere, but what should we do? I think what we should do is 'live with it', get our own house in order, be the example that others eventually see works well, and might follow. Think Star Trek. At the moment we are definitely not capable of pointing the finger at anyone. Trump won the democratic election!!!!! Democracy is alive and well in the west, such as it is! Oh - I forgot, labour or the greens or the liberal democrats would be so much better in the uk. They wouldn't!
So where am I now? Lost? Dejected? Depressed? NO. I'm just basically the same as I always was, just another pleb trying to make sense of it all. I'm staying upbeat despite all this madness around me. I have my 'faith' that there is purpose to life in spite of it all. Don't get me started on fucking religion! Many American Christians deserve everything they get if you believe in something like Karma. They're really bonkers!
Yet I feel more 'religious' than ever!
I honestly think that if we as the world's human beings could all sit for an hour and think positive thoughts in silence, it would be a 'good thing'. But it's not to be, not for now, at least. So I'll sit and ponder the insanity that makes us the way we are, knowing that we're all on a journey, so the madness is ok for now. As anyone who has read my book will know, concentrating of gratitude and forgiveness and other such virtues is key. It really works for me, try it, let me know if it works for you, 'cos it will.
How big is your universe? Can it be completely encapsulated ideologically so that you have a complete explanation of why everything is the way it is in yours and others' lives and -with even more hubris- gives you the complete confidence that you know what everyone should do to fix it at all points in the future?
That is the sin of the Demiurge. In earlier times it was seen as the the worldview associated with a totalising extension of an imperial bureaucracy administered by foreign bureaucrats tasked with harvesting diverse populations of wealth that was then centralised into the hands of absolute rulers, who were themselves backed by an unstoppable military. (The empire never ended, indeed.) The sin is in thinking 'this is all there is, I have a full understanding of it, and I can do it better'.
Our ancestors found joy in the bleakest or most humble of circumstances -which probably says something important about the nature of joy and hope. People (quietly) celebrated childrens' birthdays in the Nazi death camps. Humble attempts at marking Christmas happened on both sides of the front during World War I, or in the ruins of the Haitian earthquake. The one thing that makes us weep louder than the horrors of the world is seeing the light of human dignity and hope shine out from within them. No person, ideology, circumstance or system can take from you the capacity to touch the infinite and that is precisely the thing the Demiurge wants above all else. That is why it and all attempts at intermediating that fundamental relationship fail if you do not give in to it. It is by design.
To become invincible -to recognise Ebert's hoax- is not an abrogation of your own suffering or the suffering of others. Indeed, long-term studies of NDE experiencers suggest that precisely the opposite thing happens: there is a pivot toward the service and healing of others following the event.
However shit things get -and they will likely get shitter before they get better, which may not be in your lifetime- do not cut yourself off from the experience of joy. Just look at the top regrets of the dying. They regret not spending enough time at family gatherings or hiking in nature. Arguing on the internet doesn't make the list.
And do not let anyone tell you that this experience of joy folds neatly into their political conceptualisation and is therefore suspect. Your particular intersectional constellation is not in any way invalidated by the experience of joy. If anything, running off an authentic core experience of the universe rather than its synthetic representation within an ideology is a recipe for more effective change-making. Waiting for every single intersectional configuration to unwind for all people everywhere into some kind of glorious utopia before you allow yourself to experience joy is the worst of both worlds: you still have to live in this shitty construct and you won't even allow yourself to touch the infinite which is LITERALLY YOU.
Become invincible. Allow yourself to experience joy at every available opportunity. Yes, things are really bad.