Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reason and Fear

We work with the machine. We work with care and diligence to blend all aspects of the machine: the emotional center, the intuition, the intellectual center. All aspects have their relevance and function, lending themselves well to each other, and when all is working properly, making each aspect more finely tuned and perceptive…ripe and able to Awaken.
All our aspects can work for us. Our intellectual center has its purpose, although, like anything, it should not be allowed to take over.
In his recent book, The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, argues the opposite: That most Americans have allowed their intellectual center to be muted and numbed…ignoring reason and logic and replacing it with blind faith. Faith in leaders and authority. Faith…trust in the military, in the president, basically, anybody but ourselves.
Gore says:
"The point of this book is that our nation is so shockingly vulnerable to such crass manipulation. Whether it’s New Orleans or Iraq or the climate crisis. And it's happening over and over again – the censorship of scientific warnings about the climate crisis; the warrantless mass eavesdropping on American citizens; the overturning of a prohibition against; and the fact that there is so little protest or outcry points to the much deeper problem not of just the culpability of those in the White House at the present moment, but at the fact that we are so vulnerable to these mistakes and that we allow them to occur with hardly any impressive outcry of resistance or protest."
The "why" of this interval is complex, but the first example is our culture of fear.
"Our systematic exposure to fear and other arousal stimuli on television can be exploited by the clever public relations specialist, advertiser, or politician."
Most Americans watch more than two hours of TV a day. Subjected to the latest news of murders, accidental deaths, terrorists, suicide bombers…a world out of control and we want safety. We have given up many rights for this image of safety…even our ability to reason has gone out the window. We are more likely to be struck by lighting than be killed by a terrorist attack, yet, despite the logic, in recent years, Americans have hardly peeped while right after right has been stripped away in the name of safety. The intellectual center has given way to the primal desire for survival, the most basic machine tendencies are now in control. The lizard brain is in command of the ship.

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