I am sick to death of the illusions and lies we are forced to swallow day in and day out. All I want, is to live in truth. I want to deal with facts, with honesty, and with logic. I want to work with other people to find realistic solutions to the problems we face. I want to change the conditions of suffering because I believe it is infinitely possible to do so.
All of the barriers to our progress are artificial, and I want to obliterate them. We all deserve to live in a society which values self-determination, truth, and justice. Yet here we are, forced, through no fault of our own, to live in a reality which values compliance with the status quo, manufacturing of consent, and inequality. This imposed reality makes me want to crawl out of my skin. We are not made for this, these are not our natural values; we are made to live in truth and love.
When I think back, ten years ago, I didn’t feel under siege by propaganda and attempts to manipulate my reality. But, I realize now that it was still happening to me. Ten years ago I did not have a visceral reaction to reject falsity every time I read the paper, watched the news, or watched TV shows and movies. All of which became intolerable because I could tell they were lying or trying to propagandize me by glorifying the very apparatuses which make injustice possible (the judicial system, cops, the military, the government, the spy agencies, the war makers and imperialists).
“People are naturally curious animals, and they will seek out what they are ‘not allowed’ to see. Censorship works best if people are unaware that it is happening.” – Caitlin Johnstone 2018
Back then, I did not know everyone was lying to me. I was in my 30’s before I even heard the words “manufacturing consent.” I didn’t know anything about the power structures of our society and I had no real understanding of how government and law actually worked. I certainly had no idea that the history I had been taught about our country and its government… was partial truth at best. My ignorance back then was mind-numbing, which is exactly the intent of those who manufactured it.
Ten years ago I was asleep because the system I was born into put me to sleep. It did so to make me compliant and docile. I was never happy in this state, but I went along to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly, contorting myself to fit their corporate-friendly consumer mold. I didn’t know any other way, but I bitterly resented my assigned role. So, I began to revolt. At first, it was just in little ways, and then in much larger ones. I began to seek knowledge. I began to ask fundamental questions. I began to change my life in tangible ways. I began, to wake up.
Waking up isn’t about knowing there is something wrong, I always knew that. Waking up is about finding the truth and acting upon it, it’s about gaining and accepting information which shatters your attachment to the false reality you have been sold. It means tearing down your own ego, which was constructed of those lies, and rebuilding it from the ground up. It means sacrifice, pain, and work.
Rebuilding your own value system, your own understanding of history and reality is thankless work. No one will pay you to work on yourself, to raise your own consciousness, or to develop a healthy mental state of being. You must do this work as a labor of love, self-love actually. You must do this work knowing that being the most authentic and compassionate version of yourself is inherently a contribution to the overall wellbeing of humanity, whether you can measure the effect or not.
There are only two responses to realizing we are all corporate slaves living in a form of corporate neofeudalism. Either, you stand up and fight or you roll over and die. There is no purgatory between truth and reality, you must accept what you have learned, and then decide what you’re going to do with that information.
Waking up is fucking hell, but it is necessary. That is what I’m trying to tell you. It is messy and traumatic. It is gut-wrenching and sob-inducing. It will break all bonds, and set you adrift. Finding your way back requires immense work on yourself, but it will also force you to rise to the occasion. It will put your back against the wall and either you come out fighting or you don’t. When you discover your own capacity to fight it fills you up with courage, hope, and ultimately a fierce determination. You emerge from the chrysalis remade.
This is a hard path to walk. Now that your eyes are wide open you begin to see everything differently. You begin to realize just how inundated people are with manipulations once they no longer slip into your mind unchallenged. You feel isolated because so many of the people you know are still asleep, and you cannot bear to play along.
There comes a point when you cannot bring yourself to engage in small talk anymore. When you no longer consume goods so you don’t care about the material shit everyone else is oohing and ahhing over, and when you are simply no longer willing to remain silent for the sake of someone’s comfort level. You are now the disruptor butterfly flittering through every social group you belong to, shattering illusions and causing conflict. You cannot help it, it’s who you are now and you cannot change no matter how many sleepwalking friends abandon you in disgust.
No, you are awake and you want more than anything to shout the truth from the rooftops. You no longer care what people think about your actions, your clothes, or some fake ass status in the commercial world. You are bursting with rage, and hope, and passion about the truths you have discovered. You want to change the world!
But, everyone around you is asleep and to them, you look like a raving lunatic. They still believe the lies they are told. It’s not their fault, but you are still right, so what do you do with that? How do you pick your battles when every one of them seems worth it? How do you leave someone you love to live an illusion… how do you leave anyone to live an illusion? More importantly, how do you show people you are not the raving lunatic, but instead they are and just don’t know it yet?
I don’t really have the answers to these questions; we all kind of need to find the answers for ourselves. I cannot tell anyone else how to navigate their own inner work, how to determine the right thing to do, or what strategy will work best for them. Self-determination is about each of us deciding those things on our own. We each choose what to believe and what actions we will take in response to the gained knowledge.
The one thing I do know is that we’ve all been lied to, in so many ways, and about so many things. These lies have divided us, and the truth will set us free. Free to unite. Free to collaboratively solve our problems. Click To Tweet Free to blow the world away with the radical change we could accomplish together. Throughout recorded history, human beings have always sought to work in unity with each other for the common good. Our divisions are manufactured and then exploited and we must stop allowing this to happen.
So, cultivate understanding and compassion for your fellow victims of this falsity, this divide and conquer tactic. If you do, we might finally see our common enemy for who they are. A tiny cabal of rich people who purposefully made sure we remain ignorant and ripe for manipulation and control. We are the source of these plutocrats’ gravy trains, but only for as long as enough of us don’t know that we are.
It is not a lack of mutual goals and desires among people; it is the lack of truth and facts which divides us endlessly. It is an inability to gain consensus on even the most basic of things which cripples our ability to create change in society. If we can gain even a modest unity around an idea then we the people become unstoppable. That is why I want to live in truth… I want us to be unstoppable.
I don’t believe that allowing suffering, war, and an economy of death is who we are in our hearts. So, let us rise to meet this occasion. Let us unite around finding truth and solutions which benefit the human condition rather than profit lines. If we are successful we will shake the foundations of our rotting system until we have cleared enough space to build something new, something better, something for all of us.
“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.” ― Anais Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
Feature Photo Credit: “Metamorphosis. The Art of the Brick. NYC 2014” photo by Matthew Kraus