Worldwide Discussion: The People Join In
WE ARE ALL COMPLICIT IN CREATING
HUMANITY’S VICIOUS CIRCLE
A gentleman has posted on the Neale Donald Walsch Facebook page a series of reactions to my last headline story at this online newspaper, and I should like to respond to him here.
I do so with eagerness and joy, because this is what The Global Conversation is all about. I believe it is conversations just such as these that can begin to generate a global movement toward changing many undesirable aspects of our global experience.
The gentleman posting on Facebook is named Martin Brower, and he writes:
“It’s hard to believe the junk you people believe, not a shred of proof, logic, reason, or accountability. It’s the hippie movement, ‘if it feels good just do it’. I would suggest reading some history. Society has been way worse sexually, violence was way worse, morality was way worse. There will always be a person that wakes up in pissed mood and is not mentally stable and no laws will stop it.”
To this I responded:
Right. Movies, video games, television has no effect on society whatsoever. That’s why sponsors may $5 million for a 60-second ad on the Super Bowl…because messages have no effect.
Mr. Brower then later posted:
“While it makes you and others feel good about shifting blame it resides in the consumer, stop driving your car, grow your own food, don’t use electricity, exercise and then you will sleep well.
“NOBODY has a gun to the head of anyone that smokes. Those companies would disappear as soon as their cash flow was gone if PEOPLE would stop buying them. McDonald’s would sell salads only if people wanted them. Until you start taking responsibility for your own actions you will always be in bondage.”
Here now is my further response to Mr. Brower:
My Dear Martin…Now you have echoed the whole point of the article I wrote. Yes, that is what I had hoped to convey. Of course it is not the “fault” of the tobacco companies, or the gun manufacturers, or the makers of violence-laden movies or video games. It is the mass public that consumes these products and the displays, in some sad cases, the behaviors they generate, and only when the mass public ceases to desire these products will the human species release itself from its bondage. Thank you for putting it more succinctly, and more verbally clear, than I managed to do.
Yet there seems to me to be no question that this is a circle. That is, one thing affects the other. And there also seems to me to be no question that, for instance, the creators of ugly, violent images influence the minds of millions of human beings — some of them, very young — and help to produce the mindset that generates a taste and a hunger for more of the same. And so the vicious circle completes itself.
Take smoking, for instance. This is as good an example as any. When smoking was high on humanity’s list of self-destructive behaviors, my observation was that television commercials played a major role in its increasing popularity. Messages like images of the “Marlboro Man” (who, ironically, died of cancer) made it seem manly and macho to smoke, and jingles such as “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should,” and Pall Mall’s famous tag line — “Wherever particular people congregate” — helped convince an addiction-prone public that smoking was a very cool thing to do. (There was even a brand of cigarettes called Kools!)
When smoking commercials were finally banned from U.S. television, and movie makers agreed to remove depictions of magnetically attractive, charismatic people lighting up and inhaling cigarette after cigarette on camera, smoking in the United States went down (speaking of statistics).
So there seems to me to be no question, Martin, that mass media affects mass tastes, mass desires, and mass hungers…and mass hungers and mass desires produce the incentive for the makers of products and services that feed those hungers to continue to do so — and to hope to increase them. It is, as I said, a vicious circle. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? That is an elegantly frustrating question. But there seems to be NO question that if you remove one, the other will disappear.
Yet so long as the makers of video games and the producers of movies and the creators of television programs (to use just a few of the examples cited in my article) refuse to accept responsibility for the role they are playing in keeping this circle intact — so long as they insist that THEIR activities are having no impact whatsoever on OURS, and that they play no role in CREATING our tastes and desires, as opposed to simply serving them — the chicken will produce the egg, which will produce the chicken, which will produce the egg, and the collaboration will continue.
I think the point of my article, Martin, was to describe the collaboration. And then to arouse sufficient awakening to cause sufficient interest in creating sufficient backlash to generate sufficient desire to pop the bubble of our illusion that one thing has nothing to do with the other.
I have enjoyed our discussion on this, Martin, and I thank you for your very articulate observation, as noted above.
Perhaps together we can cause an awakening — or (to speak more accurately), add energy to one that is already occurring.
Sending best thoughts…Neale.
AND ON THAT THOUGHT…Allow me to switch now to an exchange I’ve had right here in the Comments Section on this page with a Global Conversation reader who posts as “Mewabe.”
Mewabe was responding to an earlier entry from reader Christopher Toft, who wrote: “I have been flirting with the Humanity’s team website, trying to wrap my head around the concept. It’s weirdly confusing to me. I feel like ‘How can we have a humanity’s team?’ what does this mean? I don’t understand the idea. The idea feels fuzzy to me, difficult to comprehend. I expect it to be an evangelical organization, trying to ‘convert’ people to ‘Nealism’ and of course it’s not. It something more complex and integral (To borrow Ken Wilber’s phrase) than that, that I don’t understand yet.”
Mewabe replied, in part:
“I do not believe that there is one solution, one magic formula, one person who has it all figured out…I think change will take teamwork, and many different approaches, all complementary.
“I have never been ‘converted’ to anything…because I know who I am. I resonate with bits and pieces of things here and there, but cannot ever espouse another person’s worldview as if it was my own, because it is not and cannot be. This is why I have a natural resistance to all religions, all ideologies, all spiritual movements and all forms of group thinking, because I have and always had my own thoughts.”
Now, here is my entry in that portion of the ongoing discussion here…
My sweet friend, Mewabe…There seems to me to be just the slightest contradiction in terms in what I see you so eloquently expressing. On the one hand you say: “I know nothing about Humanity’s Team, but I focus my efforts elsewhere. At any rate, I do not believe that there is one solution, one magic formula, one person who has it all figured out…”, then you add…”I have a natural resistance to all religions, all ideologies, all spiritual movements and all forms of group thinking, because I have and always had my own thoughts.”
Then, on the other hand you say: “I think change will take teamwork, and many different approaches, all complementary.”
This seems to be exactly the opposite energy of your statements just above. For how is “teamwork” possible if nobody joins the team? How will “many different approaches, all complementary” be created, much less undertaken, if every human being resists “all ideologies, all spiritual movements and all forms of group thinking”?
Doesn’t a football team gather in a huddle to engage in “group thinking” to determine what the next play should be? Hasn’t all truly forward-movement-generating human activity been the result of some sort of human collaboration, not unlike the Evolution Revolution invited and suggested by Humanity’s Team?
If we resist the exhortations of others to join together in spiritually revolutionary movements — and do so on principle because it feels that resistance to such collaboration is resistance to GroupThink — do we not in the same stroke eliminate any possibility of overcoming and changing what humanity’s unconscious collaboration has already produced?
Is Conscious Collaboration not far more beneficial than Unconscious Collaboration? If the fulfillment of our highest human desires is our highest human goal, does not a Collective Effort to achieve a Collective Goal better generate that Collective Experience?
The point I was hoping to make in my article above is that right now, humanity’s Collective Experience is not being driven by humanity’s Collective Goal, but rather, by the Collective Goal of smaller sub-sections of humanity which, while working assiduously to produce particular outcomes, is denying any role in creating them.
Lovingly submitted to our Collective here, for discussion…