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Recently I have been having discussions with some about the way we think and act. More specifically about the easy access we have to immeasurable data juxtaposed to the apparent lack of original, individual thought and action. I was expressing my frustration over what I see as the prevalence of mindless ‘groupthink’ in almost every dimension of our lives and especially the way on social interactive media that we flood our lives with glossy, full colour photo-shopped memes with warm-fuzzy quotes from “famous” people and at best, superficially regurgitated opinions of others… with very little, if any well constructed personal thought or individual perspective

Maybe the scientific revolution with the dominance of all its legal referencing and quoting of prior research publications to substantiate a claim has unwittingly muddied the waters of honest, open and free debate irreparably? Religion especially has seemingly fallen prey to this modus operandi where sermons and arguments are substantiated on “established” quotes and opinions of others (doctrine, dogma) rather than well thought out individual perspective. Even universally known scriptural text references seem to have lost some of their accuracy and sometimes even relevance if not accompanied by a literary ‘topographic grid-reference’ (John 3:16) and even if a concept is rephrased in normal, contemporary English it is often barely understood and most often rejected.

One response I got in the midst of this complex discussion was a colourful picture of our planet posted on my wall with an artistic rendition of a surrounding communication network graphically superimposed over the circumference of the globe.

Underneath was the meme: “We are all connected. One world, one love!” (a very common anthem in our day)

The person who posted this seemed to feel this meme would “piss me off” and they wrote as much in an accompanying comment to the meme.

My reply was as follows:

… I seem to have perhaps hit a bit of a nerve, … and yes, we are all connected, we are all one, as you suggest, one love, yes, indeed… but these ideas sound so appealing until we really begin to understand them …
in reality if we are so very “one” then we are so “one” that we are also “one hate” and if we all share as one in all things it stands to reason that in our universal oneness we also rush along towards a shared fate, … together…
… and of these and many other memes we seem to love to speak so evangelistically over ourselves and others … what are we really trying to say? … or are we perhaps shouting louder and louder lest our real voice is heard?

Perhaps it is true that none of us really seek for truth, … we seek only for those ideas and contexts which confirm our preconceived ideas …

… wide and narrow are the two ways, as they say …
and few and many are the responses to this journey… one man’s meat is another mans poison, but we all eat from the same banquet…
… indeed, we are one, absolutely one, inextricably one…
…and so we invent ideas about a ‘heaven’ and a ‘hell’ to position ourselves more favourably

nevertheless, as we the multitudes say, we are indeed all one … an inconvenient truth, … or a reassuring lie?

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One Comment

  1. I am struck by my own contradictions, one of being stuck out on a limb and doing something incredibly nervy and risky and non politically correct, while on the other hand I “edit” or “censor” my facebook page when I don’t like the way I’m portrayed publicly by someone else, or when someone asks me to enter into a conversation where I would have to take other non politically correct and unresolved sides of a complex issue. Life is complicated. I act and think in mass when I am “pretty much convinced” that that I agree with a famous quote or a theological conviction. On the other hand, I love the conversation and sharing of ideas respectfully and creatively. I will converse with certain people about certain subjects, but not always publicly, because of wisdom or discretion. We do protect our boundaries and ourselves in different ways, but those who are very sure about that which they speak, or act, should continue to count the costs and speak out or act out for that truth.


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