There are two major factors which, combined, make present day living extremely challenging for anyone who attempts to stay informed on major issues of our times.
The first one is the weakening of authority in so many areas of life. For thousands of years, people’s lives were run by a very few authorities, religion, the ruler, and later in the West, the Church, medicine and the family doctor, the schoolteacher, social customs, and in most cultures, men rather than woman. (I still remember visiting a chief in Tchad, central Sahel, in the seventies, who, when I met him, apologized that he only had 32 wives (his father had 94) and they crawled on their knees on the ground, heads bent, until they reached his feet, and he allowed them to lift their heads and address him.
The second one is the explosion of information since the invention of internet by a British scientist, Tim Berners Lee, at the Geneva CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) in 1990. In the mid-nineties, the invention of fiber optics cables was to facilitate the flow of information in an amazing way. In 1997, only one percent information flowed through two-way systems such as internet, in the year 2000 it was 57% and over 97% in 2007. Anyone in the world, be she/he floating on an iceberg in the Antarctica or navigating in a small canoe in the Pacific, can, with a good internet connection, have access to the quasi totality of information available on the globe.
BUT – and it really is a huge but – the combination of the loss of authority in so many areas and the instant availability of huge amounts of often contradictory information anywhere means that we have to choose what we are going to believe. And the covid pandemic made this painfully clear to so many of us: top level medical authorities on both sides claimed the truth. But sad to say, on the side of the pro-vaccination camp, outright lies were disseminated, sometimes even by governments, as the brilliant book by French scientific journalist Xavier Bazin, (alas, not yet out in English) “Antivax toi-même!” very clearly shows.
So, the average citizen like you or me is faced with a dilemma none of our predecessors of any period ever faced. And I haven’t yet found (and hope I never will) the Big Pharma pill that instantaneously dissolves doubts!!!
My personal attitude when faced with this dilemma is to inform myself as best I can and then go into the silence. And just listen. For I believe in an infinitely loving providence which will always guide me if I seek that guidance. And still working at 85, with seventeen-hour days, it seems to work for me.
But the most important dimension for me is the honest intellectual research, followed by going into the silence with an immense trust in this providence which has saved my life in amazing ways, because I MANAGED TO TRUST IT.
My friend, you can do the same.
Pierre Pradervand, April 2023
“I bless us all in finding that inner space deep inside us which is beyond all change because beyond time and space, where we can always restore ourselves and find that “peace that passes all understanding,” is our ultimate home.” PP from 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and The World.