I began this morning thinking about friends who tend to believe me, and yet always have questions that show they don’t understand. This led me to think about the functioning of the mind. And Insight. The skill of insight comes from a clear mind that can see through the disinformation that exists around us. No-one has to believe me no matter how vehement I might sometimes be – a vehemence that recently turned to anger when I was not meditating well (something I hope will not happen again), yet in some cases they seem to want to believe me. Yet around them them there is so much disinformation and non-information it is a major leap for them to have the freedom that would allow them to understand. Despite what many activists believe that freedom comes from insight, and not from counter-information. Quite clearly insight can come from the practice of good meditation – vipassana, one meditational approach, means insight meditation. But not always do people learn their insight from meditation; this is evident from the understanding some activists have as well as the insight gained by the creative community. I want to investigate this insight and the way it is used with information.
I developed some insight early long before I practised meditation, and some insight has developed since as I grew older – even before I was meditating. This insight started to develop in me at the point where I had my breakdown. Somehow – I know it was karma but that is not analytically informative – all the stuff I had accumulated led to the breakdown. All I had accumulated came from my middle-class background – a background in which my family accepted what is dished out by the corporatocracy, as well as all that I accepted from my education. This accumulated information filled my mind but somehow my insight started to develop and enabled me to reject this. After an uncomfortable time with the booze my insight came to the forefront, there was a breakdown and my life began in which insight was the dominant force in my mind – the skill with which I interpreted life.
Now much of what we are taught just fills the minds with rubbish – non-information. Students instinctively complain about how useful what they learn is; my subject, maths, was particularly subject to such legitimate criticism. I was never dishonest enough to defend the teaching of maths, just saying the rationale was to pass exams. Students accepted such a rationale even though many had no chance of so passing. What is important to understand is that filling the mind with non-information is instrumental in preventing the development of insight. Insight comes when we step back and see the wood through the trees. But if we keep filling the mind with trees then insight has a problem to develop.
However filling minds with non-information has one ultimate flaw for the corporatocracy, and this flaw is fuelling one aspect of the current education crisis – the education system is not producing people with the qualities of critical thinking etc. that the corporatocracy wants (see Matriellez). So corporate-backed education foundations are springing up as the corporatocracy tries to educate for these qualities. In itself this has potential for real education because once the education process stops filling the minds with non-information and attempts to educate the more discerning abilities of mind, more people will gain the clarity of insight.
This discernment is the purpose of the title – disinformation and non-information. Because many intellectual activists have come through the system and have seen how unfair it is, they intellectually reject the system. They then start a process of countering the disinformation with correct information. Hence you will often find amongst activists that they fill their minds with correct information, but the keypoint here is that their minds are filled. They do not necessarily develop insight – their minds are not necessarily clear, so how important is the difference? Longevity. Once you have developed insight there is no way that you can accept the “normal” way. It is evident that many activists vehement in their youth peter out with frustration as the corporatocratic system is far too robust to fail on intellectual criticism – it requires struggle to wrestle the power for the people; often some turn to using their obvious intellectual abilities to become financially successful – thus supporting the very corporatocracy that they initially saw as the problem. These people, however correct their intellectual protestations might have been, fundamentally lacked the insight that makes their essential being deeply allergic to such capitulation. That does not mean that all with insight are critical of the corporatocracy – sadly, but those with insight do not accept that wage-slavery for consumer rewards is an acceptable way of living. These people with insight seek alternatives in which their insight can be satiated, spirituality is one such way. In fact the spiritual life can satisfy many who have developed insight but if that same spirituality traps them institutionally their insight becomes restricted as the institutions have subtle (ish) corporatocratic controls as previously discussed. In the end the spiritual path will take those through deep insight into understanding the corporatocracy, and then they make the choice as to how they cope with this understanding – not necessarily political activism but their teachings would not support the corporatocracy. In Buddhism for example, insight and detachment are mental skills that are promoted, both of these are anathema to the corporatocracy; insight sees the corporatocracy for what it is, and detachment enables a method of controlling the emotions so that those who hear cannot immediately dismiss their lack of control – detachment also enables those same to include the corporatocratic injustice into their understanding without allowing the emotional images of death and destruction to disturb their mental harmony.
Now culture is an integral part of the non-information that fills the mind, whilst corporatocracy is culturally independent culture fulfils this important function for the corporatocracy. In my own culture this non-information takes the form of the media – pointless soaps for example, or the slavish following of fashion by teenagers. Many observe how teenagers reject what their parents say and yet slavishly conform to the same image as their peers – often a conformity that is based around consumerism. They are conforming to a teenage culture that eventually will lead them into accepting their culture and becoming part of the wage-slavery. This teenage rejection is the natural evolutionary process that could yield results for a caring society. This rejection fundamentally says that what they have been born into is all wrong – what is called dukkha in Buddhism. People don’t see this in teenagers because most teenagers don’t voice about caring and wanting to help – because they have been mis-educated enough not to do that; and caring makes them vulnerable – too vulnerable at that age. So they seek protection in a different mini-culture – in a different mindset of non-information. At the same time the media provides the cultural images for the teenagers, and despite what teenagers think these cultural images have accepted one version of the system – very few of such teenage icons stand up and decry the corporatocracy otherwise they would not be media-acceptable. Non-information continues to fill the minds of our young preventing insight developing.
People perceive culture as theirs, often in my travels people will tell me “it is my culture” as if that is enough to justify erroneous behaviour. Now culture is not based around understanding, it might be described as a “received way of living together”. Usually culture will have a nationalistic character to it, a character that comes from the parents, community and education. When you see culture “received” in this way what chance has it got of being anti-corporatocratic? Yet it is the very people of cultures who are needed to fight against war and for the life of the planet (check this epitaph clip from Wangari Maathai that altered my rationale). Culture fills the minds with codes of expected behaviour, and such expectations are not anti-corporatocratic. What is worse is that because culture requires conformity culture acts as a braking system preventing developing minds from fulfilling their deep caring humanity and developing an anti-corporatocratic position. Recent riots in the UK were consumerist, young people demanding their “right” to the same consumer goods wealthier young people possessed. Whilst not defending their actions it was in some way a rejection of the corporatocratic society they had grown up in – equally those same youngsters would laugh at me for saying so. Significantly life is about how we live together, and acceptance of culture is essential for harmonious daily life. Yet culture needs not to be static and legitimate questioning from the vital youth component can evolve cultures into communities in harmony with Nature. But such can never radically happen whilst we are subject to the manipulations of the corporatocracy.
Important in maintaining the restrictions of our cultures is the media. Media creates the icons that become the fashion that fills our teenagers with non-information. Whilst media might show religious programmes that question our morality, how many of those religious programmes question the morality of the corporatocratic structure? How many questions are asked by the media on behalf of those whose personal moral imperative (insight) brings them into conflict with the status quo? And a significant function of the media is to present the news of what is happening in the world in a way that favours the corporatocracy. How many mainstream bulletins present political discussion as party politics both of whom are controlled by the corporatocracy? Rather political discussion is presented as a spectrum with the partisan politics being considered the two ends of the spectrum. What effective awareness of the corporatocratic system can come from such a forum where the real culprit is usually “off the table”. Informative news is essential in gaining insight into the way of the world, how can you understand what is happening if you don’t see the truth? Mainstream news is integral to maintaining the lack of awareness. On news bulletins we might regularly hear of people dying in Iraq but do we hear the analysis that says NATO forces have cemented the divisions of the factional fighting that have led to those deaths? Do we hear of the politics that has led to the Iraqi government using Iraqi money to pay the NATO-based companies to profit from the reconstruction? And do we hear the news that says that the dominant force that was leading to the invasion in the first place was the MIC – corporatocracy? I would encourage all people who want to watch the news to watch the daily bulletins from Democracy Now, and if they accept this as the truth of what is happening in the world today they cannot possibly see the corporatocracy in the image it would choose.
Insight and not intellect guides the choices as to what information we ingest. From the time of my breakdown insight has filtered my information input. My levels of political awareness have varied throughout my life but this filter has enabled a perspective that I see as truth. Do we believe politicians whose ambition is power? No we use this insight into their motivation as a means of assessing what they say. And in examining what they say we must not let our egos gain control. Politicians are clever and unscrupulous. They have worked in political systems all their lives, and such immersion has given them many skills to deceive. It is beyond our rational minds (not guided by insight) to discern such deceptions. These people have the resources of the corporatocracy at their fingertips, and the majority of people subvert their intellectual abilities to add to such resources. From the detached distance of insight the results of such resources can be discerned for the propaganda and corporatocratic justifications that they are, but to argue intellectually on their terms is an arrogance that will only lead to frustration. The world of the activist fills the minds of those people with information that enables dismissal of their obfuscations – such mind-filling information can lead to lifelong adherence to their cause. But insight is the best tool for clearing away their confusing clouds. An insightful mind can listen with detachment, analyse with a rationality that is based on the genuine premises of truth, and perhaps most importantly ordinary people will know that the person of insight has genuine integrity that is not driven by ego – but as always intellect will prevent such a truthful perception.