Re-posted from 2014
By John Means
…But leaving the Rabbit Hole is no easy journey. Once you have decided that the condition of our Society is unreasonable and intolerable you will be faced with constant conflict encouraging you to accept these conditions, from without as well as within. We are inundated with such a huge wash of information that our brains can only process so much, and long story short, it creates a generalized trend of thinking in our societies. Sorting all this information in an attempt to discover the ‘Truth’ is a pointless and truly all that information is in fact the ‘Rabbit Hole’ and we want to leave this crazy place.
Since this is not a physical journey, just a metaphor, in ‘leaving’ we are really talking about a new thought process that allows us to accept and integrate all this information. There are a few very specific concepts we must understand if we truly seek comprehension of the social and historical data many of us spend long hours researching. They are Rhetoric, Logic and Cognitive Dissonance. I cannot encourage you enough to actively try to recognize them in your day to day life. I will talk about them a bit here, but they are concepts that take observation and practice to understand.
Rhetoric and Logic are terms commonly used to asses a single statement or idea, but in reality they are academic schools of thought and were a standard part of formal education from a young age until the late nineteenth century. They can be most simply described as:
- Rhetoric – Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.
- Logic – Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.
These are very contradictory concepts that cover a huge knowledge base, but the moral of the story is this; to identify Rhetoric, you must apply Logic.
These seem like simple ideas to understand, but here is the Big Secret you will never be taught in a Class Room these days; Rhetoric usually feels pretty damn good, and Logic usually hurts like a son-of-a-bitch! The discomfort does not come from some mystical force or divine punishment, but as we explored earlier, from Cognitive Dissonance. To briefly recap;
- Cognitive Dissonance – Excessive mental stress and discomfortexperienced by an individual who is confronted by two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction.
Just reading that description it is easy for anyone to understand, and even have personally experienced a time of severe CD. We have all been there.
I try to avoid elaborate metaphors, but in the interest wrapping this up, and staying on point, we will stick with the ‘Rabbit Hole’. In this sense rhetoric is the walls and tunnels of the Rabbit Hole, the awe inspiring sights and shadowy niches that evoke fear and wonder. Cognitive Dissonance would be the hookah smoking Caterpillar or Cheshire Cat with their riddles and tea parties, always seeking to guide you, but to a destination and fate of their choosing, not your own. Logic is the way out, but it is not a map or guide post; it is a Looking Glass.
But this is not Alice in Wonderland, it is the real World, we can’t go ‘through the Looking Glass’! We have already gone through the looking glass friends, and it is not some magic device that transports us to a far away land, or a pair of spectacles that allows us to see through illusions. The Looking Glass has always been a plain old mirror, and it can lead us out of the Rabbit Hole, but only if we are prepared to hold it up, look at our own reflection and stand ready to question our deepest held beliefs and ideals.
Stop looking at the Rabbit Hole and start looking in the mirror. The only way out is to find yourself.
Maybe that bit sounds a bit like some some anecdotal guru mumbo jumbo, so I’ll explain it a little better. For those of us who seek greater awareness of history and world events it becomes quite distressing that the people around us do not take an interest in the rising unrest in the world. Good, smart people, whom we love with all our heart, yet they are apathetic and disinterested. Often in trying to spread awareness of events and issues we drive wedges in our personal relationships which are nearly impossible to mend. We need to realize that it is not them that changed, but us.
We are the ones in turmoil, trying to assimilate new information and realizations, and trying to express them to the people around us with the urgency and certainty we feel. We are the ones trying to come to terms with our awareness. In this way we allow those forces we perceive to be influencing the world to destroy our personal relationships and alienate us from others; pretty much the most effective way of insuring we will never influence anyone to take action. I can say from much experience that when a person gets to that point the tendency is to reject information they don’t agree with and seek validation from others who are of a similar mind on issues.
THAT is the Rabbit Hole. That is when we lose ourselves completely. That is when we need to look into the mirror and find ourselves by seeking a balance between our awareness and our action, and the simplest way to do that is to stick to what the people near you can understand. Target your message to your audience, and don’t pull out your Soap Box to stand on unless it is being well received. Don’t make people think you’re crazy, and if they do, certainly don’t encourage the idea.
DON’T MAKE YOURSELF AN OUTCAST, OR YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE ANYTHING!
In closing here, I would share an observation about ‘Truth’, and it is very relevant to the idea of ‘finding oneself’. Truth is not a factoid or statistic, not a Secret Society or an ancient mystery the will redefine the understanding of humanity. Truth is not a thing, person or event.
Truth, like Peace, is a state of mind. It is the commitment to a lifestyle of awareness and reason, and it can only be experienced by those who are prepared to deeply question every belief and value they hold dear.
Truth can only be found in the looking glass.