"People don't want to hear the truth
because they don't want their illusions destroyed."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
If truth knocked most people down in the middle of the street they would pick themselves up, dust their clothes off, then bustle along as if nothing had happened. We prefer the reassuring lie over the inconvenient, uncomfortable truth, because sometimes the truth threatens to overwhelm us.
But how do we prepare for a new world if we fail to confront the truths of our day?
One does not need to belong to a secret society, or dwell in the ivory tower to learn of the few basic truths that confront us like looming brick walls. Pushing the gas pedal of the golden Engine of Progress is not going to break us on through to the other side.
As I see it, the following are a few brick walls that we will need to dismantle, climb over, or navigate around soon.
- We live within a closed, finite system that makes infinite growth impossible.
- The more we mess with nature, the worse we make it. We are killing the planet.
- Unnecessary competition and struggle does not create the best conditions for peaceful, joyful, sustainable living.
- War and violence accomplish nothing positive.
- Taking care of each other is the only way the human experiment will ever be successful ("socialism" if you feel a label helps, although I call it basic decency, love, or compassion).
- Money and the things that can be bought with it will never make anyone happy past a certain modest and limited level.
- We are not separate from nature, or each other. What we do to harm others also harms us.
- We are not our stuff, or what we do for a living. We are not our thoughts or memories, and we are not just a physical body. What we are is bigger than all of this, and dwelling in comfortable illusions only gets in the way of the realization of our true identity, peace and contentment.
The lies may be reassuring, but at least we are beginning to recognize them as lies. When we know we are being lied to, we also can become aware of the truth that will set us free.
It is time to seek out those inconvenient truths, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be tearing down our familiar illusions brick by brick, lie by lie. It is time to speak out.
Be prepared for a backlash - you will need to be strong. George Orwell noted long ago that "the more a society drifts from the Truth, the more it will hate those that speak it."