Silence and Icebergs

I have been carrying a deep, spiritual hurt since learning about, and writing about the scope, depth and complexity of the propaganda machines being used and further developed today.

To learn of the extremes to which many are willing to go to deny and obscure the truth is appalling.   Of course those involved in the environmental movement have been struggling against this from the fossil fuel industry for decades.  Historically the war machine has been refining propaganda efforts to justify war for centuries.  Intolerance depends upon propaganda to try to justify that which we really know is wrong.

But I am also saddened by the other side of the success of propaganda today.  Propaganda is only successful against those who are susceptible to it, which are those who either don’t have the educational foundation to distinguish truth from fiction, or those who aren’t willing to put in the effort required to know the truth, or who purposely go along for perceived personal gain.

The Spirit reveals the truth, but we have to be able to hear it.  We have to create the conditions: the quiet, the silence, the willingness to be open, to dare to act on what we hear.  The reason I value the hour of silence of the gathered Quaker meeting is that it helps us create these conditions.

Surprisingly, propaganda can be relevant here, too.  As I have expressed in the past, one of the greatest spiritual dangers is to “interpret” what we hear from the Spirit.  I can only use examples from my own experience.  For example, nearly forty years ago I clearly heard the message that personal automobiles would destroy the planet if they continued to be produced and used in the manner they were then.  So I have refused to have a personal automobile since.  What has dismayed me since that time is the universal response I get from others, i.e., “I know we need to stop using cars, but….”.  There is ALWAYS a but…  We can be seduced to accept “but…” on our own, without propaganda, with convenience being the usual reason.

But this is also where propaganda can be successful, providing a way to avoid the truth, especially when the truth is inconvenient, or something we don’t want to hear for some other reason.

I have been studying The Gandhian Iceberg, A Nonviolence Manifesto for the Age of the Great Turning, by Chris Moore-Backman.   The symbol of the iceberg is that just as the bulk of the ice is below the surface, in our lives the bulk of our work is the attention we need to pay to our own spiritual condition.  That base has to be in good order before we can even begin the activism to translate our beliefs into action.

My godson Shawn selected the movie last night, TITANIC, with the obvious relevance to icebergs.  I loved being reminded of the character, Jack Dawson, and his commitment to fully live each day.  He refused to “interpret” how he lived his life in terms of the materialism represented by the “upper” class sailing on the ship.

The Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel.

Not that you could withstand
God’s voice: far from it. But listen to the breath,
the unbroken message that creates itself from the silence.
Rilke

Silence, never been so loud,
And the violence,
Never been so proud of my people.
Nahko and Medicine for the People  (Dakota Access Pipeline protests)

When I hop in a Cypher … 9 times out of 10 … I’m flowing off of the top … wether I sink or swim … it just what I love to do … seems like it’s becoming a lost art … I hope more mc’s pick it up.
Diop Adisa

Diop Adisa

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