A perspective on relationships in the era of fake news
Because you can’t know what is really true, because you can’t see enough of the picture to make a perfect plan, is anyone in a position to tell someone else what they should do or think?
What can we do? Many people are in similar situations. But everyone is experiencing these times in a different way. Part of that is because we all have different pasts, including the past of how our perspectives have evolved.
Clarity is Seeing Not Believing
An alternative to the belief that I have the truth and that you have to agree with me or I will attack you, is that who has the truth and how other people should react to it, is not as relevant as whether we ourselves have clarity.
Clarity, in this case, is not to be able to see which story or fact or truth is the right one. From a perspective, its just to see.
Why is it that with some information that you hear, you hold onto, you collect like ammunition? Why is it that some things you want to believe and others you want to not believe?
These questions aren’t meant for you to think of an answer.
Clarity is seeing the inner movements, one way or the other. Not just the idea in our heads, but the more subtle process of pushing away, of reaching.
At the core, we all need the same things. Figuratively speaking, we’re all in the same house. But we are all looking out of different windows, and trying to shout over each other about what is happening outside, what we’re up against, what we need to do.
If there will never be a viewpoint that we all agree on, why are we trying? How can we come together when we experience a different world?
Is there a place, even through all our differences, where we still meet?
There are layers of needs. And there are layers of the self. The fact that we speak in terms of: “I think”, “I want”, “I am” as if our perspective is singular, is a secret source of confusion.
Do you want a donut? Do you want a cigarette? Do you want to rule the world? How are you? The answer you give to any question about “yourself” doesn’t change the fact that somewhere within you there are layers of different impules and priorities. Which one we see, listen to, and how often, to some people, would tell what kind of person we are. In another light, the patterns of what we express has to do with which layers within ourselves we have access to and how this changes depending on changes in our environments.
Before the COVID-19 event, when life for many people was all about feeling good, certain perspectives or conversations might have been unwelcome because they didn’t feel good. This event has brought the instability and intensity that many people have been feeling for a long time to people who were materially comfortable and even those who were super wealthy. In the current context, perspectives that take us through the shadows of our systems, our relationships, our selves, that before might have been dismissed as negative or uncomfortable suddenly attain a sense of urgency that they actually always had. It is just that with the privilege to always be able to do or take something to feel good, the inner layer at which our civilization’s shadow could be faced was buried.
Information is neutral. How we relate to things has nothing to do with how those things are, but where we are in ourselves. Someone who has seen many people die from a certain source experiences the intensity of this source in a way that people who only hear about it from the news do not, unless…
Empathy is a kind of clarity, in that: when someone else experiences something, you are in tune with how you would feel in that situation. It is a kind of clarity because it means you can tell how important something is even if it is not affecting you in this moment. The alternative to empathy is a purely rationalizing perspective, in which anything can be good or bad, important or not depending on the mind’s power of persuasion, which is infinite.
Without crossing into different layers within yourself, you might not realize that how you feel about certain things only depends. Clarity, in this case, is not a process of finding an answer as much as it is sensing that everything (what people have experienced) is effecting everything else (what people think and do). And frustrating disagreements take place because we underestimate how different a person’s inner and outer context may be.
The belief that we can and should control our lives, that other people should be judged and punished for deviating from our answers, originates from not realizing how little of the field of cause and effect we are ordinarily aware of. Which brings us to the next territory of hidden layers: the self.
Layers of the Self
How clarity relates to the self.
One way to look at the difference between an answer, which is fixed, and a perspective, which is just another option, comes down to a part of us that desperately needs to be secure. It seems like the need for safety, for control, is a fundamental human condition and maybe this is why people seek to kill, or at least control, individuals or entire societies, over their ideas. Subconsciously a part of us experiences disagreement like a threat to our survival.
I say a part of us, to imply that the need to always be safe or right only seems to represent us because our ego, the inner process of separateness, is not something we typically learn to see. Because we only think of ego as when someone has an inflated since of self-importance, it is not obvious to us that our vision is narrowed by its invisible priorities.
Its main priority isn’t to bring us the best outcome, it is only: to survive.
The ego, in this view, is a background process of self creation. It creates a sense of self by creating idea distance, i.e. a feeling of difference that arises and changes the way we relate to other beings, even without any change in what is shared at the core between those beings. The term idea distance is used because the differences are not fundamental but only abstract (having a different appearance, a different strategy, a different lifestyle).
We believe ideas that push us apart and above nature, animals, each other, not because the ideas are “true” but because this is how who we think we are is created.
It is in this way that our identity is the cause of our conflict. Fortunately, our identity is just an idea.
An indication of this is how it has to be constantly regenerated, re-thought, re-submitted for validation again and again. If our identity was who we are, we wouldn’t have to do or think anything particular to be ourselves. If it was who we are, would we need to tell stories to make it true?
We are not insecure, because when all the thoughts pass we are still there. It is only the ego that is insecure, and thus prefers answers as opposed to being open to perspectives, because identifying with a seeming truth gives something which is otherwise unstable, flickering, a sense of permanence.
How do we know, to what extent, the things we hold to be true are because they are true, as opposed to because a part of us needs them to be? It is hard to know until we begin to recognize the process of truth creation in action.
Consider: what if there are no ‘types’ of people? It would mean that any time we were relating to a “type” of person, a process had taken place in our minds to shrink them into an idea. You learn concepts of types of people and then later, automatically, seemlessly, the world is divided into different kinds and tiers and values of people based on some appearance, action, or perspective. Patterns of how we act to different idea-people in different ways create social psychological material differences in how people experience the world and we interpret the results of living through these ideas as reality.
“Its just how they are”
We look through our secret truths for the world, but not so much for how these truths lead us to live in it. As we spiral more deeply into the information wars, this realization presents an opening if we can take the space to really consider it.
We have never lived on the truth, but only from ideas we took to be true that led us to experience life in different ways. Once upon a time the earth was alive, and in places it was respected, like a mother. Then it became just a bunch of atoms and there arose a quest to penetrate it, gain mastery over it. Now we have the power to destroy it, and with all we know, can’t stop doing so. Are facts really enough?
A doctor tells two terminal cancer patients that they will die within two months. One believes and dies on the day. The other does not, utilizes raw food technology from beyond the horizons of the expert and becomes cured.
Some people wouldn’t believe this, even if it is true. Not because they are a certain type of person, but because by a certain point in our lives a line has invisibly been drawn around what we now know, and we feel compelled to defend it as if there can’t be anything else.
How do we know how flexible reality is if we don’t know what ideas, hidden in the truth layer of our subconscious, are stopping us from trying things? If the reflex of who we are, the consensus of who is right, is committing us to the first truth that was convincingly presented to us, like the child in Utah who accepted mormonism or the child in Germany in the 1930s who accepted nazism?
Culture is a crystallization of responses to reality. That it is seen as who you are, that you are supposed to take pride in “your culture” “your race” “your country” commits people to a version of reality they only inherited, that they wont realize is a collection of unexamined ideas which may be secretly causing problems they think come from elsewhere.
This may seem like a quest for another truth but how it is intended is as an invitation to loosening. How can we know what is really true?And does it really matter if in pursuit of it we get tied up in supposed facts that make us forget each other, that make us hate each other?
The purpose of all the fake information being scattered into our eyes these days isn’t about selling you a different ideology, its about dividing you.
The time for only reasoning may be over. Everyone has their own sources. Are you going to cut the bond of compassion because of this? Can you see through your ideas to the deeper truth that is the same in each person? That we all want the same things. The person who wants the vaccine and the one who does not are each just afraid of different things. Our bodies are vulnerable to change, our minds are vulnerable to systems. We want to be loved. We want to be happy.
Can you see that you still exist without any beliefs? When your mind is clear and your heart is still beating. Can you see that in this space, before and after the war of ideas, this is where we all meet?
You don’t have to. But if you watch your inner responses before you react, the world over time becomes much less linear. In order to always be right, you would have to deny the history, of everything, intertwining, expanding outward and into all the perspectives that other people are holding, stuck in, see a reason to explore.
Sometimes, like now, which way the wind blows is a matter of life and death, of freedom and control. What do we do? I think the more relevant question is: how do we see each other? If we see each other as ideas, then where is the substance for our empathy to land? But if we can infer the same soul clay beneath the different ego shapes it makes it much easier to not think, but sense, feel each other, how your brothers and sisters, who like you have fears and desires, will be affected.
Whether this matters is a matter of perspective.
This is only an invitation to observe the deeper layers within ourselves, to trace the echoes between where we have been, and how we experience life. Can you see a thought before you believe it? Can you see the ripples in the world if it were to become the perspective of a population, magnified by technology, scattered like seeds into space?
We tend to think of truth as something exclusive, and we apply its stamp to our strategies. But truth can also be thought of like a pattern, something like a shape that, when repeated, creates itself on grander and grander scales.
Our reality is built out of the truths we, and others, carry out. Like frequencies, each truth echoes off of the world in a specific way, creating the structure of harmony and dissonance into which our lives breathe. Like a vase, with the semblance of form it gives to water, could the world today be just such a semblance? The persistent echo of certain truths, that give the appearance of walls, facts, of different and opposing things, when it is all just water and the filters we pour it through.