Ah, the spirit of the Black Knight. He believed to the end. Or rather, stayed in denial.
Denial is not usually so straight forward. When it comes to facing the fact that our beliefs and presuppositions about life might be wrong, we employ an arsenal of psychological machinations. Anything to stifle the discomfort that we are feeling inside.
It’s called cognitive dissonance—something is presented to us that challenges deep-seated beliefs that we hold dear. And it results in considerable discomfort. Dis-Ease. Depending on our basic personalty, it gets expressed in different ways. Anxiety. Anger. Aggression. Avoidance. Anything to bring our mental beliefs about the world back into equilibrium.
Americans have been exposed to an increasing degree of cognitive dissonance for the past few years. Those that believe that we are an exceptional people have to find some way to deal with Bruce “Call me Caitlyn” Jenner, and the almost universal adulation of the media and political leaders. Even the most hawkish and and socially conservative Senator Lindsay Graham, is approving. Jenner is simply the latest peak in the moral revolution. Or should we say revulsion? The LGBT movement has made significant inroads into the educational, judicial, and civic institutions of our nation. The Boy Scouts have lost the battle. As has the baker and the pizza maker.
Those that hold a deep-seated belief in the righteousness of the US foreign policy as evidence by invincibility have had to deal with half-a-century of failure. For now they resort to the defense mechanism of blaming it on this or that political faction or political leader, as they do with their discomfort over the moral decline. But down deep they are increasingly uncomfortable. Could it be that their views about America are wrong?
As the internet grows in power, access to information is growing exponentially. What would have taken trips to multiple libraries and weeks rifling through books and journals 30 years ago now can be accomplished in a few hours of research online. And only 30 years ago the mainstream media had the ability to almost totally control the information that was delivered. Fringe and alternative news sources have become a threat to that monopoly. The result, of course, is an explosion in the conspiracy theory movement.
That’s become a propaganda tool, by the way. Not the various claims of conspiracies to do evil. But the re-interpretation of the phrase, “conspiracy theory,” to mean stupid, outlandish, preposterous, and otherwise a threat to the rest of us sane people. Those in power now wield the phrase to cast into derision anyone who questions the official account of the government or those in power.
Those who dare to suggest that something is amiss and bring up some facts are quickly portrayed as people wearing tin-foil hats and searching the night skies for the next earth-destroying comet. And it works, for the most part. Until the evidence becomes undeniable. Undeniable to the point that the common man sees no other choice than endure a journey through cognitive dissonance to arrive at a more truthful understanding of reality.
Coming to grips with uncomfortable facts that force you to review and possibly revise your beliefs is never easy. Accepting that a government you once thought was basically positive and good, is not so much so, means going through some real emotional discomfort. It’s not wholly different from being betrayed by a good friend, someone you trusted and loved. Denial, anger, and some depression are normal responses.
Alice Adventures in Wonderland provides an example of the experience. Down the rabbit hole, into a world of delusion, where up is down and left is right. Where things aren’t as we are accustomed to seeing them. It is the central theme of the movie, “The Matrix.” Are we willing to take the red pill, endure mental and emotional discomfort and discover truth, or would we rather take the blue pill and remain in our comfortable, deluded existence?
If you find yourself increasingly uncomfortable by the current government and society, you may be like Alice, finding a teacake that says, “EAT ME.” Or perhaps you’ve been presented with the chance to take the red pill. I’ve put together several video’s below that explain cognitive dissonance, address the concept of conspiracy theories, and as a real challenge, linked to a 5-minute compilation of disturbing facts concerning 9/11. To be honest, you may find yourself angry, upset, or otherwise uncomfortable. And you’ll either end up confirming a current view, or questioning what you have come to believe is reality. You’ll end up taking the red pill, and going through the pain that it brings, or swallowing the blue pill, and going back to life as a human battery, comfortable in your false dreamworld. There isn’t a third option.