Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Value is Hearing What Other People Think

Many people think to create forums (media) so that they can tell others what they think -- rather than creating forums so that they can hear what other people think -- and that is the problem of communication in this day and age -- despite all the marvels that make those transmissions possible.  Nowhere is that more true, than on the social media -- in which everybody now has the opportunity to tell others what to think -- especially about them.

It becomes everybody's opportunity for self-advertising and self-promotion, which formerly was available only to those who could afford to pay for that privilege.  Now anybody who wants, can try to manipulate the thoughts of others -- rather than merely revealing the limits of their own, and their ability to express them.  The positive, is that more are motivated to master those skills with very tangible results other than just the grades they receive trying to live up to other's expectations of how well they are doing.

The advantage therefore, goes to the rare few, who are gifted and skilled, at seeing themselves as others see them -- rather than merely how they wish others to see them -- which is the age-old problem of the human condition.  There is no problem when everyone sees the same thing; the problem arises when everyone only sees what they want to see -- and nothing else.  

In a previous time, that was attributed to Madison Avenue, and the effects of advertising, which were considered among the highest skills, because that was the ability to unilaterally control how most people thought -- since most people could not afford to pay the high advertising rates of the existing publications (media).  One literally got, what one paid for.  The balance of power, was additionally weighted to those who could hire the best writers, and advertising minds.  If they were political rather than commercial, it was propaganda, rather than advertising, but it was marketing nevertheless -- evolving inevitably into the infomercial -- in which even their creators can no longer tell the difference.

Obviously, it becomes much easier to be delusional and incapable of distinguishing fact from fabrications -- and many come to prefer the latter, if not exclusively -- often as their "entertainment," or what they believe is their first amendment right, to believe anything they want to believe -- as the truth, and even higher than that.  Some think that is the "progress" beyond the truth -- of which they can convince themselves.  Thus evolved the preference for many, of virtual reality over and above the actual reality.  To such people, there is no difference -- and not just literally.  

That has unfortunate consequences for those who do not assess risk and reward properly, as life eventually instructs them definitively.  Many get away with their wrong thinking because they never actually test the truth of anything they know, because in most cases, it is enough merely to go along with the thinking of others -- until it is critically important that they have to think for themselves because the challenge is unique to themselves and to their situation -- which nothing else in life has prepared them for.

Under those conditions, many people predictably fail, or perish -- because life is only guaranteed for each individual uniquely, rather than unconditionally no matter what.  Some even miscalculate to the extreme of taking more risks that guarantee their demise and extinction.  Usually, that is just a lesson to the others, not to do the same.  But there is no guarantee that everyone is paying attention -- and sees what is happening, because they may be attending to some alternate reality, or virtual reality instead.  

That is not unlike the very common problem of being "distracted" by anything other than what one should (must) be paying attention to.  For that reason alone, one should not be conditioned to be distracted from thinking about what one is doing, in preference to better awareness of what they are doing -- as the integration of thought in action -- that transcends the power of either thought or action without it.

That is the crux of the problem of modern life and contemporary living -- as wonderful as it could be, but few yet have actually actualized to its fullest promise.  That is the greatness that is the promise of life in the 21st century.  That is the challenge and response of these times.  Everything else is just a distorted narrow view searching for this whole -- that even the sum of all the parts, if one could individually gather them, would not be equal to -- if in fact, one could gather all the parts in one's lifetime.

That becomes the key --  to understanding any of the parts, or bits of information, that will be proffered as the whole truth on the matter -- in the many infomercials and fabrications one will encounter.  Is there any relationship to any actual reality one is familiar with -- or is every reference, merely to another wishful thought -- never pointing to and grounded in any actual reality?  That integration of thought and action, is the difference between success and failure, in everything one does.

There is no secret to life.


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