The Battle for the Mind
“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein
World War III does not loom in the future. We are in it right now and have been for a while.
Wars are a result not a cause. The actual armed conflict is the last step in a long process. We tend to think only of the gunfire and bombs as the war but the war begins long before the first shot sounds. No war or battle can take place without a storyline to support it. In other words, the mind must be captured, influenced, convinced and thus moved to action. So the real war is always for the mind.
In our modern time with mass communication, this influence has been kicked into high gear. We are constantly bombarded with memes, images, slogans, sound bites and talking heads in an attempt to influence us into supporting their position.
Although this means of influence has always been known and practiced by those in a position of influence, there is something different about what is happening now. For the first time ever this is global, it reaches everywhere and almost every moment of every day there is an attempt to influence our minds. Actually that word influence is too weak. It is an attempt to control it.
But I see something else at work, something unprecedented. These attempts at control are only effective when the one being controlled is unaware of it. Once awareness is present, it completely falls apart. The idea or story that someone wants to instill in you must be believed by you in order to have any power or activity. If you don't believe it it is dead in the water. And so these self-serving storylines are always presented as the truth.
But they are not. Beliefs need to be believed. Truth is true whether anyone believes it or not. True is self-sustaining, self-existent, self-luminous and incorruptible. Humanity as a whole is seeking truth, not just another set of beliefs. Which is why I call this World War III.
There is a global upheaval of the mind happening. The old paradigm has long ago betrayed its falsity. The old way of human organization has proven to be wholly inadequate, a fact made stunningly apparent in the dismal response to the pandemic and the blatant profiteering where there should have been selfless cooperation.
But I have to put forth a warning.
In this time of enormous ambiguity, propaganda, divisiveness and polarization it is easy to jump to a new position. Once you realize that you have been deceived there is a tendency to grab on to a new position that is simply the opposite of the one abandoned.
This knee jerk reaction gives rise to what are called conspiracy theories which are, in many cases, just as deluded and dangerous as the falsity they are a reaction to. We can go beyond all this.
We don't seek a better story, we seek the truth and the truth is not a story. It is not just a different belief, even if it is an improved belief. Let me propose a standard by which all human interaction, behavior, organization and relationship should be informed and it is the only one that will make WWIII the last war ever.
That standard is Love!
We are not at war with people. There is a pervasive belief system that needs to be exposed as a belief. But that exposure must happen within each of us.
Can we drop our position and open to something beyond positions?
Can we embody that universal love?
Can we become conscientious about our choices?
Can we recognize our total interconnection, that suffering, anywhere in the world, is my suffering?
Can we transcend the modern universal narcissism we have all succumbed to?
Can we stop with the selfies and move beyond "I" to "We"?
If every act we engage in is devoted to the benefit of all, war will end, poverty will end, the destruction of the planet will end, profiteering will end, ignorance will end, consumerism will end, discontent will end, fear will end. The battle for the mind will come to a close, the victory handed to Love and we will finally know peace on earth.
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