A stammered truth is more resonate to the heart than a well-told lie; unfortunately, an habitually dissembling mindset will view the situation in reverse. All too often, our internalized system of viewing an unfolding event will determine our take on it. If the institutions (e.g., familial, governmental, mass media) that have influenced our method of perception are themselves compromised by internalized biases, then a type of carnival funhouse mirror effect is in play (both on an individual and culture-wide basis) whereby distortions reflect distortions that, in turn, reflect those distortions…ad infinitum. Reality is made grotesque, and gross distortions are perceived as reality.
This is why it is essential to develop a method of viewing that includes the heart, the gut, and all of one’s senses. A lie only fools the mind; in contrast, truth reverberates throughout one’s entire being.
“All I have is a voice / To undo the folded lie.” – W.H. Auden
A truthful remembrance will free imprisoned ghosts from their torment (They will be bestowed with heart-felt feeling (i.e., remember their humanity) and therefore be reborn.)–while shallow, self-serving dissembling will raise an army of mindless zombies.
Only 41% of the population of the U.S. believe in the verifiable reality of global climate chaos. The institutionalized, thus internalized, lies of the corporate/consumer state – the usurping of the innate longings of the human heart and replacing them with consumer desires – have not only left consumerist true believers bereft of the ability to honestly process information but have rendered them unable to locate the source of their own suffering. It is impossible to sate empty appetite by more empty consumption. The hollowness at the core of the consumer state can only be remedied by an awakening of the heart.
How does one take this course of action? The answer is neither recondite nor inaccessible: by the time honored methods of grief and gratitude. Fortunately, our lives give us ample opportunity for practice.
Apropos: Grieve for our abuse of the flora and fauna of this living planet into which we were born, and grieve for the suffering we bring to ourselves by these callous actions…for the abuse and neglect that we inflict upon the earth we heap on ourselves. As long as we believe it is our birthright to exploit the planet, then we will continue to believe it permissible to ruthlessly exploit one another.
In short, when we demean the world, we demean ourselves by the same methods. There is no need for a vengeful god above to punish us for our transgressions…we’re doing just fine on our own. To trudge through life devoid of the warmth bestowed by a compassionate heart, is to divest one’s self of soul…to not be fully alive within life. And that is an awful form of punishment: to construct, in the area within yourself where your heart should be positioned, a dungeon where you have become both the torturer and the tortured–all ordered by a merciless king (your willful mind untempered by the counsel of your heart) who lords over the wasteland of misapprehensions that you have mistaken for the whole of existence.
Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City.