No American corporation or bank (think Wells Fargo) would knowingly promote violence and chaos within the Global Village but it is happening nevertheless. Such are the consequences of the existential unconsciousness which dominates human behavior. If we are to have a future on this planet it boils down to waking up or dying! Are we exaggerating? Unfortunately NO!
We repeat incessantly the fundamental structure of human consciousness because until we internalize this key to transforming human behavior nothing will change. Our worldview (beliefs, attitudes and values) determines our identity (reactionary, self-destructive false self or compassionate True self, steward of all of Creation) which finally drives our self-expression, our behavior.
Is it not obvious to at least some of us that most of the world’s problems can be traced back to human behavior? The Simple Reality Project cites at least 300 wise and insightful people both in the East and West going back over 5000 years who have warned our species as we are doing in this essay. A few of these compassionate people have also discovered practices that have enabled their followers to engage in self-transformation, creating a new and healthy identity, and in some rare cases to achieve transcendence, awakening to a profound experience of the perfect Creation in which they found themselves.
For example, let us cite the science fiction of Ray Bradbury and his book Fahrenheit 451. We believe that each of us chooses our worldview, hence our identity and behavior. So did Bradbury. “Bradbury believed that we wanted the world to become this way. That we asked for the firemen to burn books. That we wanted entertainment to replace reading and thinking. That we voted for political and economic systems to keep us happy rather than thoughtfully informed. He would say that we chose to give up our privacy and freedom to tech companies. That we decided to entrust our cultural heritage and knowledge to digital archives.” (1)
Facebook provides an example of how social media can be used to provoke and feed our dark side. “Facebook’s most consequential impact may be amplifying the universal tendency toward tribalism. Posts dividing the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’ [the Other] rise naturally, tapping into users’ desire to belong.” (2)
The Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka are reading on their social media about a fictitious plot on the part of the Muslim minority to sterilize and destroy their community. “A reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s descent into violence, based on interviews with officials, victims and ordinary users caught up in online anger, found that Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing.” (2)
Bradbury did indeed foreshadow the future into which we have now arrived or so it might seem. We need to become aware of our own unconscious conditioning but also of what C. G. Jung called the collective unconscious if we are to distinguish reality from illusion.
Insight # 42: Part of the job of creative persons is to challenge traditional habits of thought and behavior and develop new expressions to surprise and reinvigorate the collective mind-set. Alex Grey
- Collective Unconscious in The ABCs of Simple Reality, in print and on this blog, by Roy Charles Henry, 2018.
- Bahrani, Ramin. “Essay/Confessions of a Book Burner.” The New York Times Book Review. May 13, 2018, page 19.
- Taub, Amands and Max Fisher. “Where Facebook Rumors Fuel Thirst for Revenge.” The New York Times. April 22, 2018, page 8.