There are many alternative life stylers on the island, many are activists for one cause or another, we have pro mask wearing, anti mask wearing pro vaccinations, anti vaccinations, Covid19 believers, Covid19 deniers and those who float in between...
Conspiracy infodemics often pop up ( fueled for example by deep mistrust for local authorities, corporations or xenophobia ) and some well educated people are at the forefront of instigating them...Fortunately there are other well educated people (debunkers) who will nip the conspiracy theories in the bud, with evident and facts....
It's important to have and maintain an open mind, (after all ....nothing is certain) but also important to show discretion when it comes to uncertainty (of which this virus's origin and true impact it is having world wide is yet to be fully determined/understood) which leads me personally to err on the side of caution ...
It comes down to "Ehipassiko" see for oneself and when it comes to the virus's impact on the world's population, I see the deaths, suffering, fear of the unknown, ignorance ( in not knowing, and also denial of what is) take hold, and many people gripped with different levels of stress & anxiety ...sadly for some it can be quite debilitating.... Anxiety can lead one to clutch at straws...fragments of truth that often make up conspiracy theories....
However instead of trying to cover the world population with face masks of calm abiding peace, I have taken a leaf out of Shantideva's book and like many others I choose to cover my own nose and mouth...and may others follow suit...
If Covid19 is a big money making hoax or a ploy by governments to control citizens by fear, as some scientists/people believe it to be, or whether it's the real deadly deal as many scientists believe is the case...I lean towards what the majority of main stream scientific evidence is telling us, however this does not mean I have blind faith....
It means I respect other people's opinions (whether I agree with them or not they have a right to voice them, but also with this right comes a responsibility not to cause harm when doing so)....
I have chosen to follow the Buddhist principle of "Do no harm" (or the least harm possible under the circumstances)...which leads me to follow the scientists and health experts advice, (along with my own research "within")....in doing so I feel I'm doing the right thing at this present moment in time....
In the long run only time will tell and either way... peace of mind will be there...well this is the plan
What's your Middle Way amidst this infodemic of misinformation sweeping the world ?
I've come to sort of a pragmatic relationship with conspiracy theories. There are way more conspiracy theories than there are actual conspiracies, so as my default setting I maintain a healthy skepticism of them until there is actual evidence of said conspiracy. You're much more likely to be a dupe by believing in them than you are to be a sheeple by not believing in them.
I've also had some success pushing back against conspiracists with this sort of logic. I'll say something like, "Mmm I don't know, there are way more conspiracy theories than there are actual conspiracies. I make a point of not believing them unless there is a fair bit of proof."
My policy is to join the best conspiracies: 🤪
and so on ...
I’m on the debunker’s side of conspiracy theory, I usually point out that someone is making money off these theories, from YouTube views, from adverts, from peddling their influence.
In terms of covid19 it’s hard to see who benefits... if it is a conspiracy, who stands to gain anything by it? I see only losers in the general economy.
@Kerome as resident potato head (confirmed by scientific questionnaires - See Morgan Freeman in previous posting in this thread) I would suggest that disaster capitalists, capitalise on any disaster. Created or not.
... and now back to the conspiracies chaos (aka dukkha).
[lobster plants head and waits for seeded growth] 🥔
I've come to the same conclusion. What I like to say is that if I were involved in a big conspiracy, I would make up a bunch (at least a dozen) of conflicting theories of said conspiracy and leak them all to different sources as soon as the public catches wind of the real conspiracy. That way the real conspiracy is hidden by all the contradictory theories like a needle in a haystack.
Then I wink and say "but good luck!"
A good conspiracy theorist will go to great lengths to make sure they plant tiny (and not so tiny) seeds of doubt into the minds of gullible members of the general public, which will go/grow against, any helpful information a government has in place, in order to enhance the conspiracy theorist's own self interest (well not just the general public...politicians are not immune...not mentioning any names here )....and in some of the more susceptible , these self nurturing seeds will eventually grow into mythical unicorns...and some will start to see unicorns appearing wherever they look..(See @federica first post)
I kid you not.......................
to reinforce what @federica and @Shoshin have said:
The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common.
They don’t alter their views to fit the facts.
They alter the facts to fit their views.
Which can be uncomfortable …
if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering
The Fourth Doctor Who [yes I do know her]
When I created this conspiracy that the Eiffel Tower does not exist ... 🤪
... It is a warning that people including Miss Govts believe their own spin-out-of-control.
Clarity of mind, one of the delights of practice 😎
One of my favourite recent conspiracy theories was that the country I live in doesn't actually exist......
I suspect even the person who came up with it had their tongue firmly stuck in their cheek.
Better than being a crazed unicorn. I too believe we can do good healing ...
Anyone for spiritual tennis?
Covid is only the manifestation, the cause is perpetual indulgence ...
[not to be confused with our dear sisters ...]
This is great. I was just on one, got bored and decided to come to NewBuddhist because it just connects with me better. Some conspiracy’s are true but most are not, hence, why their so annoying.
How do we know which are true and which are not?
Simple ...just ask Trump
And then believe the reverse.
Actually he is a reliable guide on most issues. Just as long as we remember that his North is the sensible persons South and vice-versa.
The pandemic is funding more money towards the enriched. Oh dear where are the radical conspiracies. I am looking under my bed to fund a red conspiracy to join ...
Keep it real
As some of you know suspect I live in my own conspiracy.
Yes it is true that Nothing is reliable. But it is not true that nothing is reliable. There are gradations of reliability. Science is more reliable than average chat, which is more reliable than conspiracy theories. Some conspiracy theories contain a kernel of truth, but most are pure balloney.
Some of us equate Nothing with Emptying. The Perfect Buddha non existence sounds too much like a buddhist conspiracy/myth though is an ideal aspiration ...
Science has its own theoretical 'mythology'. For example:
Maths and imaginary numbers
Zero is such a weird idea, having “something” represent “nothing”, and it eluded the Romans. Complex numbers are similar — it’s a new way of thinking. But both zero and complex numbers make math much easier. If we never adopted strange, new number systems, we’d still be counting on our fingers.
If we examine our reality bubble/self conspiracy what do we find? Nothing of certainty?
So in the sense of graduated truth we unfold and untangle our knots. Until:
Hmm interesting....I know a few newagers that are followers of QAnon.. pumping out misinformation on social media....
QAnon ...the Q stands for Quackery the A stands for Arse & non nonsensical...
A link from our our politics thread:
The Cosmic Right
When I clicked on the newagers link in the previous post from @Shoshin my computer/tablet conspired against me to load an app. [note to self: AI is too stoopid to be labelled anything but Artificial Stupidity AS]
Here are some top tips for clarifying butters nutters:
and lastly 4. Discernment 🙂🙃😇😌
NB no otters felt insulted by this posting ...
Not sure why the link don't work, however the Cosmic Right link that @lobster posted has basically the same info....
@Shoshin1 things are a little crazy at the moment in all areas. You can test links in preview mode in case they are being redirected or include code.
Another reason I am grateful for practice is that it helps me find the patience for dealing with anti-mask conspiracy theorists. I honestly think the majority are only pretending it is all about control so they have justification for being inconsiderate.
It is a conspiracy theory of convenience around an inconvenience, pushed and swallowed by the selfish and irresponsible.
As if "they" are going to try to control "us" by making us all wear masks, making it harder on facial recognition hardware.
I find it hard to believe that this is an actual belief. It is just an excuse to get out of doing the responsible albeit inconvenient thing for the good of all.
Just wear the mask. It is about community, not compliance.
I used to love conspiracy theories when I was younger. I'm not in that loop anymore, but I have noticed that the two sides are very distinct and very extreme at the moment. I saw something in The Guardian about QAnon and they said that it was 'baseless'. Hmm, well, Jeffrey Epstein's life and death make me think there is some base there! But that overlap seems to be unacknowledged.
I think it's something to be aware of and keep in mind. Not necessarily from a conspiracy point of view, but just an awareness of 20th century history, and the very clear truth that there are human beings who are 'cheeky monkeys', who seek power and control, and who don't have the best intentions of others. I don't think that side of humanity has gone. I think we should always, always, always keep one eye open for that, and be vigilant in questioning and challenging authority.
I'm skeptic on the nature (the science behind) of the measures taken to prevent COVID-19 but, what really worries me, is how polarised the debate has turned. There's no middle ground. Either you are completely against it and attack others with the New World Order / Conspiracy / Sheep diction; or you label them as Neo-Nazis / Negationists / Anti Reason Sheep....
It takes absolutely forever to explain something that never happened.
There is no true opposition and so the only way to grow is to make obstacles and then forget where we put them.
If you don't see the middle ground, become it
I've noticed this so much in The Guardian. Many articles connecting, for example, skepticism about the safety of a potential vaccine with the far-right, Nazis, anti-semitism, flat earth etc. It's really alarming. I'm not anti-vaccine, but I'm also not pro-stupid... I know that the average development of a vaccine is around ten years, and I know that the stringent regulations about safety are there for very, very good reasons. I can't ignore that. But if I say this then I'm 'anti-vaxx' with all the assorted pre-mentioned associations.
My personal view from the start of this pandemic is that what we are experiencing is a fear pandemic. Fear has unusual effects on our cognitive functioning, and I think a lot of the irrational and extreme behaviours we have seen this year stem from mass fear induced cognitive mis-functioning. I don't think we'll be aware of just how much until later years, when I have no doubt that we will look back and exclaim 'what were we thinking?!'
My middle ground is ...
"We're going to my little shack... in Honolulu...Hawai'iiiIIii...."
Hmmm? This calls for a little Love Shack!
It's healthy to have bit of skepticism, it comes in quite handy when navigating one's way over the ocean of Samsara , but like all things/thoughts it can hinder and become quite dangerous when/if these thoughts are allowed to become extreme...
Understandably anger, frustration and anxiety can creep in when people feel their rights are being restricted, (eg things are not how they use to be) even if these restrictions some experts feel, are for the greater long term good...
However, one's mind may, (more often than not), want/crave for things to be back how they once were...back to 'normal' so to speak (whatever normal may be) ....but one keys thing that the Dharma teaches us is change is inevitable (the impermanent nature of all things) ...suffering is optional (Dukkha waits patiently to fill the void) these changes can be subtle or gross, (this pandemic being gross rapid change)...
....and we all have a choice either to go with the flow with open acceptance of what is happening (a deeper experiential understanding that shit happens and how to deal with it) ....or go against the grain/flow not accept these inevitable changes (and try to push shit uphill back to where it came from)....
Only time will tell and the 84000 dollar Dharma question is ...how are you spending your time ?
"It never helps to draw a line and dismiss some people as enemies, even those who act violently. We have to approach them with love in our hearts and do our best to help move them in a direction of non-violence. If we work for peace out of anger, we will never succeed. Peace is not an end. It can never come about from non-peaceful means.
Thich Nhat Hanh - Love in Action: writings on non-violent social change.
"You are not here to change the world, the world is here to change you"
I would make it this...
'You are not here to change the world, the world is here to change you, and if you allow it to, then the world will change with you.'
There is much wisdom in you people......it’s a pity your voices get drowned out because the media only want to present the extreme views.....
The deeper implication is that there is no true distinction between the two.
Perhaps so, but I think a lot of people are changed by the world without having the capacity or will to give much back to it. Most people are trapped in the habit pattern of materialism, and leave very little of consequence at the end of their lives.
I can understand that view but that's just how we've conditioned as a collective. Truth is, every single one of us has something useful to offer if their interests are nurtured early on and encouraged by greater society. We all see differently and that makes every single one of us useful.
Instead, we still have a classist world where some lives are valued higher than others. I feel that changing though and as more countries are seeing individual worth for the greater whole, education is more being seen as a right rather than a priviledge.
And that's a big deal especially for our Sisters that have been basically oppressed for far too long. Once we raise our feminine vibe to an equitable level, other social justice issues will be more easily resolved in my opinion.
The fact that the vast majority of humans aren't daily ripping each other to shreds suggest that mundane goodness is the norm. I as a dreamer benefit hugely from those who keep society ticking over. My spiritual progress is massively dependent on not having to build my own home, grow my own food, find my own fuel etc. etc. I deeply appreciate that I live in a society that provides me with a firm foundation for my practice and for my idealism to flourish. I think a world needs both. In fact, I'd go further and say that the world needs them much more than it needs me. It seems like a necessity of the evolution process to have the occasional human being push humanity forwards whilst the vast majority of the collective hold daily life together. That's the only way it can work. A world full of me would be very peaceful for a few weeks, and then it would be dead.