…conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting… The truth is far more frightening – nobody is in control. –Alan Moore –
I’ve been awfully quiet lately, haven’t posted much. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been noticing and reflecting on everything that’s been going on in these extraordinary times. I just wonder if there aren’t too many opinions out there in social media land, and that adding mine to all the others might not always be helpful… But I had an encounter recently that compelled me to come back to my blog.
I will relate an experience I had with a woman who is an acquaintance of mine. If only to try to understand where she is coming from and how she could hold such beliefs…
I met her on a bike path, I was biking, she was walking. I stopped to say hello and we got on the subject of wearing masks. She explained that society was making too big a deal about Covid19, it was just like any other flu virus. And that masks were a symbol of how the establishment wants us to shut our mouths and obey. I was also informed that divine beings were intervening to help humanity destroy an elite race of devil-worshiping, blood-consuming pedophiles who rule the world and the economy. Thankfully, Donald Trump is in cahoots with the diving beings to save us all.
I swear. That’s what she said.
I am not pointing to any connection between anti-maskers and conspiracy theories, I really don’t know about that. But realizing that I knew someone who believed in such things rattled me quite a bit. Let me also say that I know that this woman is a very kind person. Her preaching came in the tone of “Believe me, I know about these things”, but also in the form of a warning from someone who cared.
Perhaps We Are Worshipping the Devil, if the Devil is Our Ego?
We know that social media is exacerbating the problem by isolating us in our own beliefs and disconnecting us from objective points of view. (More about that here) The division is worrisome and heartbreaking. But social media is not the problem, it is only the tool that is shedding light on all the division. Our egos are the problem. Our egos would like us to feel superior to others. So it finds ways to convince us that we are. Among them:
We believe that we’re better than others because of the color of our skin.
We believe that we’re better than others because our religion and our values are the most righteous.
We believe that we’re better than others because we’re more educated, come from a certain background or have more money.
We believe that we’re better than others because we are attractive.
And so on…
So many levers to prop us up. I’m not saying that being attractive or religious or educated is wrong, far from that. But unfortunately, humans have used religion and social class and various other mechanisms to make themselves feel superior to others. My encounter with a conspiracy theorist leads me to believe that this is just another lever. If you are part of a minority that is in the know about a conspiracy, that sets you above the rest, doesn’t it?
We need to prove again and again that we are worthy by using these excuses to prop ourselves up and to enable us to look down on others. From this point of view, the ego thinks: I must be better than them. If we need to go to these lengths to prove our worthiness, perhaps the crux of the problem is that we don’t love ourselves enough.
What is needed, I feel, is to connect to our spiritual side. (more here). A spiritual seeker is on a quest of the heart, which does not serve the ego. The ego needs to divide and conquer. The ego is concerned with “me” whereas the heart is concerned with “we”. Spirit is about connecting with others, beyond race, sex, status, appearances or whatever. Let’s be wary of which master we are serving on our journey: the heart or the ego?