If you have ever wanted to end an awkward conversation with a little child, perhaps one of the ways to do so was to distract the child by shifting his/her attention on something else, something possibly more noisy and colorful than a boring old conversation. What you did there was: you used a distraction to disconnect yourself from that child and disconnect that child from you and the awkward questions he/she was asking you.
In the same way, powerful means in today’s societies keep us highly distracted ALL the time! We get distracted and we become disconnected from who we are and why we are here and what we need to do to sustain ourselves.
We are all super distracted because we constantly get pulled in a hundred different directions at the same time. If you just begin trying to think critically about important issues of spirituality and eternal life and start conversations to address these issues, you find yourself barely able to have enough time to sleep or take care of your endless bills and chores at home. Your life keeps on buzzing, while important issues of life and death keep getting brushed under the carpet. Spirituality is declining and love of money, fame, and power are increasing.
The way that modern social systems work, in a weird and possibly un/intentional collaboration with the internet and the media, is that they keep you on your toes all the time. Talk shows and TV programs keep us in a loop of jokes and news just to give us an impression that we are involved in the “real” issues of society. Yet, in reality, who actually HAS the power to make a change? Who MAKES changes? Is it really the people – the majority? Or is it a small minority of idiots in control?
I have often heard people joke about the situation where a leader tells those he/she leads, “I want you to tell me everything that you want from me,” laughs and then says, “but what I want is what will actually happen. Sorry, not sorry!” This seeming democracy is in and of itself a distraction. We are too distracted in the process and the fluff of giving our opinions that we lose sight of who is actually running our lives. We keep getting disconnected from reality and begin living in a “Trumanian” show-like state. (If you haven’t seen the Truman Show, its an interesting movie worth a watch).
From my own perspective as a Christian, I see that the world is in a very bad place and has been for a long time. Evil is rampant, and people are going to keep killing and abusing each other. Powerful leaders love to hold on to their power because they can use it to abuse and use those who are weaker.
Western countries, westernized countries, and self-proclaimed democratic countries are not very different from “third world” countries where oppression is more pronounced and obvious. What the West has done is offer a great deal of physical freedom mixed with a great deal of intellectual and spiritual distraction (oppression and lack of freedom), where a citizen can physically do anything but intellectually and spiritually not so much – in fact, people are often encouraged to physically act out any way that they want, which eventually lessens their ability to think and feel appropriately.
“You want to smoke pot? OK! Here you go.” – Oppressor
“You want to have sex outside of marriage and contract sexually transmitted diseases? OK! You got it, dude!” – Oppressor
“You want to overeat and become morbidly obese? Excellent! Here is your meal!” – Oppressor
“You want to do any kind of self-destructive behavior under the guise of freedom?! For sure, my friend, as long as you leave the thinking and strategic planning on me!” – Oppressor
Yet, underneath this “freedom” is a sinister oppression of the soul and the mind. If people in third world countries are suffering from physical abuse and torture, I think their solace will come in the fact that God comforts them in His own very unique way despite the tragedies. But, in the West, when we sell our soul to the physical life, we lose our spirit and our minds. If those are lost, the body becomes just a corpse – a lifeless yet breathing corpse.
We get distracted from the intellectual and spiritual aspects of our existence and we become disconnected from who we are. This distracted and disconnected state is the perfect state where our lives can be molded and shaped by oppressors. We need to be ware of what is to come!