We have a massive polarisation taking place on planet Earth right now, between men and women, men and women against minority groups, countries, politics and humanity as a whole. Like many, I have found this very painful to watch and have found myself engaging in from time to time much to my regret. With men hating on women, women hating on men, Trump supporters attacking anyone who doesn’t agree with them, the opposition attacking Trump supporters and, in the UK now, with our new Prime Minster, we have this division growing too.
I am sure I am not the only one asking ‘Why? Why is this happening right now?’
This is a 10 minute read
What you’ll learn in this article:
- Humanity’s Sickness
- How Do We Open Our Eyes?
- Critical Thinking Is Not Being Taught
- What Exactly Is TRUTH?
- Why is conflict necessary?
First Things First, An Observation
Before considering this more deeply, we need to look at what is actually happening between people. If all of what was happening was in a dream we would interpret the dream and the players in that dream as if they were ourselves. So let’s look at this world from an inner perspective.
I will try and take the ‘heat’ out of either side taking offence.
Donald Trump (and his followers)
The Opposition (and their followers)
Women abused (‘Me Too’ movement)
Men feeling blamed (‘Me Too’ movement)
Groups against LGBT community (religious or otherwise)
The LGBT community (LBGT stands for – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)
People of any colour that is not white
People white in colour
(The list goes on…)
In the dream we have many antagonists, victims, oppressed, manipulators, inner children – toddlers all the way up to teenagers and more. If this was a story it would be very vivid. If it was my dream for example:
Trump would be the part of me who was very controlling and needing to be right all the time, the part of me who manipulated the world around me to get what I thought I wanted. The followers would be the part of me that is unprepared to question or use critical thought, the part of me who wants to belong, to fit in. The opposition would be the voice of reason but could also be masquerading as my ego. Two warring parts of me determined to distract me from the real issues taking place inside of me. The parts of me that don’t want me to experience peace, love or freedom. These players in my dream all fulfilling my need to be out of the ‘now’ moment and wanting to be in control of my life, the part of me afraid to surrender and trust and have faith. These inner warring factions, much like a dystopian fantasy novel, revealing different ways I prefer to stay the same and fear change.
This is a simple interpretation of the current life events in the world that are mirrored inside of me, but beyond the dream, back into ‘physical reality’ there was a division before in this world, but it was not as powerfully pronounced or witnessed as it is today. In the past, people’s views were often kept off the dinner table. It was not polite to discuss politics, so most simply kept to their views and opinions and much was repressed and not spoken about.
Now, with mass media, social media and constant access to public opinion, everything that was hidden and repressed has been pushed to the surface.
Much like a balloon held down under water with a heavy weight, but the weight is now gone and the balloon has popped up to the surface and all that was hidden is now revealed.
When real change and transformation is happening inside a human being, that which was unseen and unconscious needs to come to the surface to be dealt with, looked at and either embraced or released. Otherwise it makes us sick.
For example, someone who is very bitter about life and who represses their voice from being heard may develop digestive issues or health problems that are more challenging.
This planet was becoming very sick and we needed leaders who would trigger this release of inner conflict in many people today. Those leaders (be it political, religious or other groups) were meant to be so extreme in their views and beliefs that this extreme polarity would happen, because before this sickness was growing, they were a volcano beneath the earth awaiting its time to erupt and now it erupts.
This eruption will not be pleasant in the beginning. The darkest aspects of the shadow that have been repressed in people, cultures and groups in society needed to be brought to the surface for release but also to bring change.
The earth is not sick (even those parts we think we are destroying or abusing – nature finds a way to heal itself), she can kick us off this land anytime she wants, be it from earthquakes, to floods, to an asteroid strike. We are visitors here.
The earth, once we are gone, will easily find her balance again and thrive again, but humanity as a species has become very sick. The way we live, the choices we make, the way we view who we are (and other people), has been repressed by many and projected outwards.
Many people hate who they are. Many people feel guilt, sadness, shame and extreme resentment and anger about their lives, but instead of dealing with it, that is the balloon coming to the surface to be viewed, they are projectile vomiting it onto other people, countries, nations, minority groups and so forth.
This is not just for one side either, this is not just Trump versus the opposition for example, this is also the opposition versus Trump. Any of us who feel we are better than another, no matter how much we perceive that other person as ‘wrong’ ‘insane’ ‘crazy’ ‘a snowflake’ ‘stupid’… is also projecting outwards, not prepared to look inside to see what in us is so deeply triggered by this avalanche of polarity conflict taking place.
And all of this projecting is necessary, but what is also necessary is that some of us are willing to turn the pointing finger around, no matter how painful the ‘other person’ seems basically wrong and to instead find out what it is that we are hiding from, what it is we are repressing that needs our clear, valid and deep attention?
In this dream we have US versus THEM.
In this dream we have NATIONS judging other NATIONS.
In this dream we have DIFFERENT SKIN COLOURS hating and resenting one another.
In this dream we have people who choose a CONVENTIONAL LOVE (man and woman) hating DIFFERENCE in LOVE.
In this dream we have players moving the chess pieces around so that nobody knows where they stand, who they are, what they can stand for and what to believe anymore.
We have CONFUSION but we think we have CLARITY often based on repressed emotions not brought into the light of day to be taken care of and understood fully.
The hardest part of all this is to keep coming back to self. It is easy to see other people and think that they’re literally batshit crazy. Yes a large proportion of people have not been taught to question their beliefs or the opinions handed down to them by family, cultures, politicians, media… If someone is not educated enough to question their beliefs, there is nothing we can do here but accept what is, as hard as it is, and start the change within and also begin to open our eyes.
How Do We Open Our Eyes?
This week I was looking at Twitter, which is a fast paced social media network where projection and attacks are happening regularly. Everyone’s being triggered all over the place and I saw a headline about how women in Saudi Arabia had finally been given the right to travel without permission from men in their country. My first reaction was, this is disgusting that they didn’t have that right, how backward is this country, what century are we in? And this is the response of many people to this news.
But I noticed a gentleman, albeit not conveying it in the best of ways, offering an alternative viewpoint and so I decided to go follow his replies to people and noticed he had one very valid point.
He was from Saudi Arabia, and much of the terrible news we hear about how people are treated in Saudi Arabia is given to us by the news media, and while some may be true, I would say much of it is not.
He said if you lived there and had spoken to people, you would realise it is very different to what you think. And here I was initially reacting in my knee jerk way of ‘disgust!’ and by doing so forgetting the fact that Trump supporters (and Donald Trump) judged the UK in a similar way just recently.
They were believing what Trump and other neo-Nazis in the UK said about the UK, enforcing the belief that the UK is a dangerous place to be, especially London city.
Now living in the UK for the past 43 years, spending time in London and many other cities I know from ‘lived experience’ that it’s simply not true. We have some crime, but it’s not in your face all of the time, nobody carries guns, most of us feel safe, yes, some areas are dodgy, but every single country in the world has this. And so I remembered this and thought that the only way we can see the reality of what is taking place is to actually live there ourselves OR speak to the real people who live there, not the news, definitely not the leaders in charge, but the real people at ground level.
BUT and this is a big but, we also need to remember that the people we talk to in each country may have very skewed views on what is happening too, tunnel vision based on their culture, their political views, their religion and their past experiences (or lack of experiences if they have never ventured outside of where they live).
Critical Thinking Is Not Being Taught
The problem with the conflict, the polarities taking place dividing the world, can be that many of us (including me in the past) were not taught critical thinking. We may have been educated to a low level or even a higher level, but because of the culture or family we are born into we based our interpretation of life events, world changes from a thought process that is severely limited. To give a simple example (I know Trump is getting a lot of mention here, but it’s probably the clearest example), Trump followers may not want their beliefs questioned because those beliefs are not based on truths because of personal prejudices, BUT before you say ‘YES, that’s correct…’ the opposition also don’t want their beliefs questioned either.
Any belief that is so strongly swinging to one side or the other cannot be reasoned with. This requires critical thinking and open-mindedness from those not tainted by conditioning from their family, religion, culture, race or gender. And let’s be honest, there are few humans who are not influenced by their family or area of origin.
So, we can’t change those who don’t want their beliefs questioned and we can’t make a difference in areas where people are not able or have not be taught how to think critically about what they take in from the world around them.
We need to figure out ourselves what is true for us, what we can change, how we can be a positive influence during the upheaval of this current state of disarray and imbalance?
What exactly is TRUTH?
Thoughts shared by Michael Doherty of themichaelfiles.com
“This question is very relevant today because of the way that populations are being polarised by politicians using fear as a way of separating people into ‘them and us’ and thus controlling them.
So, is there such a thing as absolute truth? In order to reach absolute truth, we would need to be in possession of ALL the facts, and to analyse them critically without any emotional or personal involvement.
In the book ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’, the author Robert Heinlein invented the profession of ‘Fair Witness’ who was trained to have a perfect memory, to assemble all the facts and to report them without speculation or assumptions, and without personal involvement in any way. The testimony of a Fair Witness was considered to be unimpeachable in court.
He thought it was a good idea to have unimpeachable witnesses in society to counterbalance the effects of government tyranny or the spread of hysterical, false claims or accusations.
In the book, a character demonstrates what a Fair Witness does. He points to a distant house and asks, “What colour is that house?” The Fair Witness replies, “It appears to be painted white on this side.”
Now, this is a statement of fact. No assumption as to the colour of the rest of the house that she cannot see.
Her answer could be considered to be truth.
If only we could all be fair witnesses, but unfortunately we aren’t. Our opinions, our truths, are coloured by our past experiences, our culture, our fears and prejudices.
Think about the troubles around the world. Let’s say there’s an attack where people are killed. From one point of view, the attackers are terrorists, from another they are freedom fighters. What is the truth?
In order to find the truth, we need to understand the history of the conflict, and many of these ‘histories’ go back hundreds of years. It takes considerable time and energy to find the facts – much easier to just take sides.
And then there is the problem of ‘cognitive dissonance’, which is where people dismiss or ignore any evidence which doesn’t support their point of view.
We see this with Trump. He accepts news that supports his belief system, but any news that doesn’t is labelled ‘Fake news’.
One of the problems we face is that it is almost impossible to counteract prejudice with reason. Extreme opinions are not based on fact, but on judging a situation based on incomplete evidence, and sometimes on zero evidence, and you cannot change their point of view with reason.
Most extreme opinions are based on emotions – especially fear, and you can’t change emotional responses with reasoned argument. The only way is to try to understand their fears and do what you can to address the conditions that have caused their fears.
So, back to the question. There are the facts of a situation, which we could call the truth, and then there are people’s perceptions of those facts, which will often lead to diametrically opposed extremes.
We are seeing this around the world today. In order to deal with these situations, we need to understand that everything in life goes through cycles, and cycles swing between extremes, and it’s not until an extreme is reached that there is the start of a swing in the opposite direction.
In the case of the polarisation in the US, we have to understand that the Civil War was never over and we are seeing a resurgence of the hatred and enmity that the original war caused.
Here again we need to understand hundreds of years of history. We need to understand the feelings and emotions of the minority groups who have been ignored and downtrodden for generations, and also the fears of the white supremacists, many of whom are aware that within a generation the whites will be in the minority and that their language will no longer be the majority spoken language.
In short, in order to relieve the situation, we need to find the truth, which will always lie between the extremes, but to do this we have to be very honest and examine our own beliefs and at least accept that other people’s truths may deserve respect. “
Thank you Michael for sharing your insight and this takes me onto the primary reason for this article.
Why Is Conflict Necessary?
I was reminded this week of the journey of the butterfly, how friction is required and a struggle before the butterfly’s wings are strong enough to take flight.
This current state of humanity needs conflict to this extreme so that we can raise our level of consciousness and this may mean further chaos, war, division until we swing back to the centre. Much like a pendulum in areas of politics, gender equality, race equality and so much more, we are swinging in a very polarising way to one side or the other and the centre point is where many of us can make a difference.
Like the infinity symbol where two polarising circles meet, there is a crossing point where one reality merges with the other to find a place where two sides can find a way to understand and know what is necessary for peace and if not peace, simply accepting ‘what is’ between people to happen.
This is not going to happen for everyone, in fact it may be a small critical mass of people that allow this tipping point to happen, but we are at that tipping point, if we choose to be.
While humankind fights over land, we can be reminded,
We are guardians of this earth, we do not own this land.
While different races hate one another for the simple colour of their skin, we can be reminded,
We are one people, if we were to remove our human skin like we remove our clothing at night… where do I begin and you end?
While people hate those who love differently, we can be reminded that,
We are like the sun, the sun does not have preferences over who or what it shines its light on, from the tiniest ant to the tallest building. There is no difference when it comes to love.
The lessons are great in this current challenging world we are in, where the polarities are widening further. We have so much to understand, become aware of and be receptive about. One particular aspect of this journey is learning about how to respond instead of reacting.
And so to finalise this rather long blog post, I see further polarising is taking place on this earth, as two mass shootings take place in the USA.
All I can say is breathe deep before responding, ask if it is necessary, will it make a difference, will it help or will it hinder. Not always easy to do, but perhaps needed right now.
We have a long way to go but as always it starts within.
What are your thoughts on what is going on right now in the world?
Listen to a recent podcast on this subject
Come back next week to read all about freedom of expression, self-justifying and passive-aggressiveness.