Less information, more educationBy NICK JACOBS
I watched the movie, “Hacksaw Ridge” and was overwhelmed by the bravery of the soldier, Desmond Doss, who was portrayed in this true story. At the same time, I was disturbed by the graphic depiction of the total insanity of war. The United States has only had 21 years of peace since 1776.
Maybe because of these continuous conflicts, many of us seem to have burrowed once again into a deep hole of fear. We fear those people who we perceive to be dissimilar to us. More importantly, however, we fear losing control. It’s that fear, perceived or real, that seems to be consuming societies across the world.
Think of it. All of the knowledge ever accumulated by mankind is virtually available to us at our fingertips, and our inability to either absorb or control that information can be the source of some of this fear and discontent. Add to that our inability to deal with the daily run of information that is intensified and modified by the 24-hour news cycle. We are inundated with the explainers, and the bloggers, the opinion columnists, talk show radio and podcast hosts who benefit from producing views that represent these extremes.
She went on to say that the other relatively new twist in all of this was our ability to directly communicate with each other in a way that has not existed since the very beginning of humankind. She explained that a young Massai boy from Tanzania could be in instant contact with his 13-year-old cousin in an apartment in Jersey City through his smartphone.
This ability to communicate so broadly can be extremely problematic for authoritarians’ governments. Someone who is trying to rule a country could have previously told unchecked lies to their people, but today those autocrats are called out by world connectivity so that only those supporters who choose to or are forced to be blinded by their lies will continue to endorse their leadership.
My son just returned from his third trip to China, and he said that, besides the totally intimidating presence of the military, there was a complete lack of access to the Internet. The outside world is virtually shut out. You are only permitted to access what the government wishes for you to access.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a few steps back and try to be objective about our personal journey and potential. What is it that we could achieve if we could just stop focusing on fear, embrace the vastness of opportunity and direct our lives accordingly.
Two weeks ago I heard a presentation by Deepak Chopra that revolved around his new book, “You Are the Universe.“ What follows is an excerpt from my notes. Ninety-six percent of the universe is unknown and unknowable. Seventy percent is dark energy and expanding. Of the 30 percent that’s left, 26 percent is dark matter that is invisible, and 4 percent is atomic. Of that four percent, 99.99 percent is dust. Consequently, only about .01 percent is the visible universe.
He went on to say that atoms are made of particles, and atoms disappear into waves. It is those WAVES which represent possibilities. So, with that in mind, your body’s atoms represent a localized adventure of the entire universe.
We are the universe, and we have the ability to lead ourselves, our country, and our world out of this funk that we currently seem to be entering. Let’s will us to personally embrace the light and stop being so very well informed and yet so incredibly unwise.