This morning a FB friend posted something in reply to a statement I had made. The gist of it was that viruses did not exist and had been disproven to exist 200-years ago, and that oil and plastic were at the basis of all illnesses. He then attached a video showing various foods being shown to be willfully full of nasty chemical additives. I watched the video. On first sight, it is disturbing. However, I am a scientist and a curious individual as well and so I started to research the claims made in the video and quickly understood that all were fake – either deliberately or as a result of a lack of understanding of food science. I found another calm and methodical video by a food scientist debunking the first in ways that, as a scientist, I understand and acknowledge as being correct. My FB friend, despite being shown the evidence to the contrary continues to believe what he believes. This made me think – what is truth?
We live in an era where making videos can make you a lot of money. Youtube allows you to post videos and at a certain point, pays you for views. Facebook and other similar platforms allow the sharing of these videos and other content – with which people are making money. There is an entire cottage industry of youtube presenters whose content is critically commenting on other youtube presenters content. Both sides make money.
Now, what gets me an audience? Truth or Lies? How as a content provider do I make more money?
Well, I think sensationalism and shock horror is the way to go generally if you want something to go viral. Tell people their food is killing them and back that up with some nice video and you got a winner. In fact, if you want things to go viral for a cause as opposed to money – the same strategy works. A few years ago, a video emerged that purported to show someones water out of their tap being lit. It was a video made by a group against the oil and gas industry and it purported to show the impact of fracing. i.e. pollution of the water supply. It was a very effective piece of propaganda going viral and it can still be seen and still provokes a shock/horror response. The problem is the video was made by attaching the hose to the gas mains in the home and not the water faucet. It was a fake. It was for effect. It worked.
So just how do we determine facts and fiction? Especially when these days the mainstream media is engaging in the promotion of fiction over fact as well? It is a game for control of your mind that is being played out and none of us are remotely qualified to determine what is true and what is not. There are areas where we are qualified by virtue of education or experience but no one knows everything. This is what these people are banking on. That you cannot really determine fact from fiction and truth from lies. It is all about manipulation and the people doing that manipulation have a purpose.
So what is truth? Truth is subjective and your ‘truth’ is shaped by who you are. In the world of magic or self-psychology, we work diligently to try to discover who we are and peel away – often painfully – layer after layer of programming and habit. We try to discover the true self – the selfless self for only then might we see the world around us as it really is. But unless you are Christ, the selfless self doesn’t exist and all we perhaps are are less imperfect selfs. But as you go through the process, I can affirm that your view of truth changes and changes a lot.
Certainly, the manipulation becomes clear. The purpose behind it does not. We enter the world of conspiracy theory no matter what you do. I mostly see humanity as an imperfect thing that constantly tries to ascribe reason to chaos. It maybe that there is no purpose per se just a heaving mass of conflicting thoughts and actions that for one reason or another sometimes coalesce to look like an overall purpose? There are purposeful groups everywhere pushing agendas but I don’t subscribe to the view that one such group has the upper hand. In fact, I doubt it very seriously.
So again, truth is subjective and it is your truth. The harder that you work towards understanding who you are, accepting personal responsibility for your own life, and taking ownership of your own problems, the more truth shifts and changes. I believe to a more truthful version of the subjective truth. The levers used to manipulate certainly become more obvious. The strings can be seen. But those pulling the strings and moving the levers? Their motives remain unknown. Opaque.
I often try to show people what I see as truth. Sometimes, I get angry that even when it is right in front of them staring them in the face, they cannot see the subjective truth. The lens that they look through life at distorts it. Currently, that lens has been magnified by social media and the chaos is even worse than usual. Not only that, but guiding principles learned over countless centuries that help humanity steer a course are being willfully destroyed. Things like family, honor, duty, personal responsibility, religion and even spirituality. Things like myth, legend and history are being deformed and canceled. Without these guides to life I fear humanity will become even more chaotic and life more dangerous, unfair and difficult.
Part of the problem with subjective truth is that it is a graduation of truth. If you look at climate, for example (a pet peeve of mine!), there is truth in the idea that humanity has an impact on climate and certainly on the environment. But to use this degree of truth to promote the falsety that CO2 is totally responsible is a lie. It is bogus. The science is demonstrable that CO2 is not the climate driver but the current agenda say it is and it says the science says it is. It is a verifiable lie. But many people believe this to be truth. It is their truth. It is not mine.
For me, truth is subjective colored by the coccoons we build around our true selves. Real truth is unknowable in the human condition but the more we strip ourselves of predispositions, the closer we can get to the truth.
Meanwhile, the battle for your mind goes on and only an attitude in which you query and challenge everything will get you through.