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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Social Controls Amuck

Sometimes I get inspirations & insights in the shower, sometimes as I awaken, sometimes when walking, meditating, praying, etc. This morning I awoke with some clear insights re: Social Control, one of my most meaningful college classes, & what's going on in the world right now.
So I watched in amazement as people fought, pepper sprayed, shot guns, threw punches, camped out for days, etc. in order to shop for some material thing. First I got a funny picture of people so motivated that they behaved that way to get into church. Then I thought, what is the difference?

Church offers spiritual food. Church offers help with the big & real issues of our walk on earth. Church gives us places to serve & express. Church gives us friends that are also spiritual seekers. Church offers a place for spiritual conversation. Church asks of us to do & be in certain ways that may be challenging & even difficult.  Church deals with infinite & eternal things.

Shopping offers us things that will rust, rot, go out of style, go obsolete & are temporary, but relatively easy. Shopping gives us things that entertain for a minute or make us believe we belong because we have the latest or most in style thingamagidget. Shopping is a huge distraction, when it goes beyond intelligently providing our needs & starts controlling us.

So why the difference? Social Control. What controlled us when I was a child? There was TV only from the age of 12 on in my town. We were the 2nd family to get a TV & it was 1952. There was no internet. There were no computers, no portable phones let alone cell phones, etc. Tradition, family, church, school, home, friends, books were the main social controls - they informed us about what was important & how we ought to behave.

Today the media, including social media & especially TV & computers, has huge control over people. I was thinking about studying the mind years ago & learning that TV & computers are extremely hypnotic, gaining fairly direct access to  the sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind reasons deductively - that is, it can only reason from what is in it & cannot seek out new information to weigh & balance.

So today we are shown people camping out, interviewed, glorified. Special sales on various items that can only be gotten this week-end & of course no one can be without are presented with urgency. We see rag tag groups occupying various places, glorified by the media, yet having no seemingly coherent issue or plan. Entranced people learning how to blow themselves & others up as they stare into the computer screen. We are informed that smart people go into the streets to demonstrate or into the malls to shop or spend the day searching the internet for great deals. So they do. We are mindlessly controlled to do & be whatever the media decides & promotes.

Even many churches have switched to hype rather than deep spiritual practices. People go to be entertained, swept up in emotion & told the absolute "truth" from the new denomination's point of view. What was the original intent of the founder (I mean Founder such as Jesus), is ignored or twisted. So, for example, where is love in all of this? Where is awakening? Where is something with true meaning?

All of this is profoundly influenced & kept in place by critical thinking skills being absent, as they are no longer taught in schools. Students are mostly taught to pass a multiple choice test.

So we have a terrifyingly large amount of people who are hypnotized & have no skills in thinking themselves out of the fog.

I see it. I don't know if there is anything to do about it. I wonder how many are awake? How can we get at least most of our own Social Controls in our own hands?

Lord, show us the way out of the fog of others controlling us. Show us how to be mindful & walk as awakened people.

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