Has the world become an echo chamber? Has the originality that comes from an individual and unique persona suffered the homogenizing effects of popular ideology? Of course. At least to some degree, but I think that degree is due to an integral part in our human nature. You want to belong don’t you? To love and be loved? Human beings desire familiarity over change. We desire social acceptance over social rejection. We conform in many ways because we believe it is to our benefit. Conformity is only bad if we ultimately betray ourselves in doing so. People want to come together, in thought and in action, and that drive deep within us is the very same reason we so often become divided.
Paradoxically we desire to be part of a group, to belong, yet when we form that group our dualistic reasoning must recognize the outsider as ‘other’ or ‘separate’. Driven to belong we wind up excluding others… but this is only true because our intellectual understanding of ideas mirror our physical reality. We believe we exist as separate from all else. We live within our physical bodies and observe all else. This separation is our foundation as we reason, and therefore we reason all things as either separate or within, right or wrong, good or bad. Oddly though, we may be able to reason endless ways to divide intellectually, but our emotions tell us a different story.
With the dividing lines drawn more boldly and across every conceivable boundary I cannot help but stare in wonder at the gibberish I hear spoken in politics, in media, and in the streets. Understanding that divisive ideology is spread like cancer to intentionally deceive us from following our hearts is key in unraveling the chaotic atmosphere in todays world. Strongholds of power and influence benefit from pontificating the core ideologies that promote and strengthen their hold. This is simple psychology. The mind wants to reinforce all things that are to ones own benefit. We lay claim to (and identify with) the things that reinforce a reality that supports our way of life . Nothing to difficult there to grasp.
But why is it so popular for people to reinforce the very same things that cause them to suffer in the first place? Things like selfishness and greed serve only to isolate and confine us when our truest desires are of belongingness and connection. I cannot help but shake my head in disbelief at the sheer irony of it all. The oppressed propagating the same lies used to keep them down-trodden. The poor pledging allegiance to the men and women who’s profits rely on their economic status and the despair that keeps them working long hours for less. The dividing lines of race, sex, and culture should be nothing more than a recognition of the diverse ways we as humans express ourselves. Since we are all driven in the same core ways we are all very much alike and only superficially different. Our minds divide us yet our hearts yearn for unity… why?
The patterns of thought that exclude others and confine us are easy to identify. They are the lines of reasoning that lead us down a dark path where our fellow human beings are seen as separate, as different and less valuable than ourselves. They create the prejudice, bigotry and hate that robs humanity from attaining the level of love and peace the world desires. These lines of reasoning are riddled with judgements and accusations and a never ending stream of justifying opinions. What they lack are hard facts. Opinionated rhetoric and gibberish. The “News” has become anything but informative. “I think therefore I am” is not the whole of it. We need to feel as well. I accept the truth of my feeling nature; that I love you all and desire to be loved. Does that make me crazy?
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