The Web, in which I include not only the Internet, but all forms of popular media, including movies, music, the vast majority of the content on YouTube and TV, is created predominantly by the fear-based consciousness in mind. Not all content is thus created, but the vast majority is. Certainly, the content on this website would be an exception. In addition, there is a deliberate agenda with such content creators, which is to instill into its viewers a fear-based framework of the world; that the world is essentially a violent, cruel, threatening place to defend yourself against – a dog-eat-dog world. We are, as a result, destined and resigned to suffering. If some of us were to simply stand back and examine why we are suffering, which very, very few have done, then it may be possible to identify this fear-based paradigm and then simply discard it.
It is not just that we are consuming the content, but that we are doing so without intentionality, without critically thinking about whether it truly serves the world in an overall sense. Does the constant consumption of fear, anger, resentment, judgment, guilt, shame, and other such negative emotions, make us feel better about ourselves and are they good for the world in general? We are normalizing the struggle that has become associated with life itself and are re-enforcing our current fear-based paradigm. To recognize that this content is actually lowering our quality of life is the crucial first step that we as a society must make. It is high-time that we recognize this fact and make better decisions going forward.
The human race, as far back as the historical record shows, has been at war with itself – always “us” versus “them”. In all of the stories, there has been the tacit acceptance of the consciousness of war, the desire to defend against an evil force and to defeat “the other”. As a voluminous reader of our history, I used to (regrettably) venerate the exploits of Alexander the Great. Countless thousands and perhaps millions of lives were interfered with, dehumanized and destroyed, just because they had the misfortune of being counted as “the other”. I now feel sorry for such historical figures and more rightly perceive Alexander the Confused. Like the Islamist terrorists of today, he believed that violence is a justified means to an end.
The reason for going into our past with regard to this topic is to connect our warring past with the consciousness that is perpetuated today in the content that we consume. The human race has not learned the obvious lessons of the past, that no amount of violence will lead to a peaceful solution, and has continued to engage in the same war-like consciousness as before. We have simply created different enemies. Although not involved directly in the act of killing and subjugating populations, we want to kill and subjugate psychologically. We will see this today particularly in the sports arena with figures like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Floyd Mayweather, who are idolized and venerated for destroying “the other”. These same individuals who I once adored as so many others did, I now see as unfortunate, confused souls, who are obsessed with the vain pursuit of competition and winning. Pity, therefore, and not adoration is my response today. There is the need for intense healing for such individuals.
In my view, the fact that we, as a society, admire these figures as vestiges of achievement is an indication of our own collective sickness. Let me illustrate with a very simple example. In Ancient Rome, gladiators fought to the death in the Coliseum. Thousands cheered and roared with applause. One gladiator violently kills another and is adored for it. Back then, the killing happened on the same day; today, the killing happens slowly over time. Every Sunday, millions of Americans watch around 100 men kill themselves slowly playing football. We cheer and roar and are entertained by violence. How are the two examples different, except in degree?
Confused souls like Alexander falsely believed that if they defeated “the other”, then there would be lasting peace. So, by eliminating the threat of “the other”, the impediment is, literally, removed and peace is attained. Persons with common sense, can perceive that peace on Earth has not been achieved as a lasting state. What has been achieved is the constant state of war. And war does not to lead to peace, but only to more war. And this same consciousness of war, that is born from a state of fear, constant judgment, and inevitable violence, is what we are consuming every single day, be it from movies and TV shows on Netflix, to violent American football games on Sunday, or to the pervasive and shallow societal judgments and comparisons on social media.
In virtually every movie or TV show or sporting event or violent video game out on the Web, there is the story of an epic struggle against an external foe, “the good guy versus the bad guy” – in virtually every arena, we see the same paradigm reflected over and over again. This paradigm, these stories, this drama, is what we must carefully look at. I am asking you to pause and consider whether the conflict-fueled, violent world we are living in today is just a reflection of the stories we are constantly telling ourselves. And if we want the world to be less a violent place for all of its inhabitants, shouldn’t we consider changing the stories we are consuming? Wouldn’t the world change as a reflection of our changed stories? I encourage you to dive deeper into this topic. By changing what we consume, by leaving the vast majority of the fear-based Web behind, we can change the world around us!