I feel like coming back to this topic already handled in the April blog, given the immense importance of the theme and the appearance and practice of “Fake news” which still complicates the debate. Although the practice itself is certainly not new it seems to have taken on a new dimension.

For thousands of years, humanity lived with an absolute minimum of information, as all information was either transmitted orally, or then in hand-written manuscripts. Mankind had to wait for Gutenberg to invent the printing press around 1440 for the first explosion in volume of  written of material that circulated, and which enabled the majority of people to have access to important amounts of information via books and, later, newspapers.

But we had to await the end of the 20th century and the appearance of internet for the circulation of information to become a real deluge. Today, almost anyone with a good internet connection, be she or he on a tiny island lost in the Pacific Ocean, can access amounts of information on practically any topic that would take people hundreds of lifetimes (and then!) to read.

One of the main challenges of this situation is that on almost any topic one will find an amazing, almost distressing number of contrary opinions.

For some topics – e.g., how to prepare a specific, highly valued dish of French cuisine or various opinions about a great football player or brilliant pianist – this is of little importance. But for other ones – e.g., specific medical treatments for life-threatening diseases, the value of a new religious sect which is rapidly winning converts by the thousand or even more – it can be of great importance. For instance, imagine two highly respected professors of medicine proposing totally opposite treatments for a given life-threatening illness, how would you react? Which reply would you select? And if the person concerned is your aunt Mathilda’s son (your cousin) and she asks seven family members to do research on the topic and they come back with seven different replies, how on earth can Mathilda choose?

Thirty or forty years ago, that outstanding figure in the field of personal development in the USA, Byron Katie, said that the main problem of the world was not the differences between the North and South, the dangers of war, political differences and so on (I don’t remember the exact factors she mentioned) but confusion. That statement has been a shining light for me for the past thirty years in understanding how our societies and the world function – or rather dysfunction!

My personal response to this upsetting confusion – which is all around us, daily – has been to create, deep down inside me, a place of such profound peace that absolutely nothing – and I really mean nothing – can disturb it. For me, this has implied a great deal of constant spiritual listening, not only in the early morning, but all through the day.

“I bless myself, first in my desire to truly deeply listen, and then in my ability to master the art of going into silence and listening to Spirit’s words of unconditional love and encouragement.

Despite the background noise of a culture on the run may I learn to calm the constant, strident chatter of the human mind and rest by the deep pool of inner contentment that is deep down inside me, awaiting my visit.” *

You too, friend, can reach that state, if you invest the commitment, perseverance, intent, vision and trust in some kind of Higher Power (however you define the latter). And if you feel the need for some kind of guide, you might look into the writings of that great American mystic of the last century, Joel Goldsmith (The Infinite Way is his main book – short and concise).

* From my book 365 Blessings to heal myself and the world

Pierre Pradervand
November 2023