19 December 2020

COVID-19 and Conspiracy Theories – a very personal account

What Conspiracy Theories (CT) have you heard? Believe any? Confused by some? Amazed by others? Personally, it has been astounding to hear some of the theories friends and even families have put forward; while others do leave me pondering.

So in this time of COVID, a very personal account from someone I value who has dived deeply into the world of CT, has reflected deeply and offers valuable insights.

Also, very warm wishes to all of you who follow this blog. We seem to be part of a community of people who value the same things – caring for our health, the health of our families and communities, and the health of the planet. We also value life as an exquisite opportunity. So may the spirit of Christmas – the birth of unconditional love as personified by Christ – touch your own heart and the hearts of all who you care for and about, but for now

  

          Thought for the day

   Everything we hear is an opinion,

   Not a fact. 

   Everything we see is a perspective, 

   Not the truth.

                   Marcus Aurelius - Meditations




I worked closely for many years with my good friend Siegfried Gutbrod. Some will have known Siegfried as the Foundation’s Business Manager; later he transformed into an exceptional group leader and therapist. His clown phase inspired by Patch Adams was particularly colourful, delightful and straight up fun!

Anyway, Siegfried left Germany as a young man and has a long interest in and engagement with Conspiracy Theories. Highly intelligent and a deep thinker, what he has to offer now on the subject seems highly relevant, so it is a pleasure to be able to share his experiences and reflections…


                                    Siegfried on the left, with Julia Broome, Ruth and myself

Siegfried writes :  

Triggered by the Corona pandemic and my recent online study with Eckhart Tolle I have been deeply questioning my attitude and approach to so-called conspiracy theories (CT). These CT have been part of my adult life since my late twenties in differing intensities. CT provided the narrative and certainly contributed significantly to the decision to migrate as a family from Germany to Australia in 1981. 

Uncertainties about the future play a big part in the advent of CT. They seem to well up collectively and personally at times of global crisis, turbulence and chaos. These global turbulences and the uncertainties about the future trigger a ‘lower ego’ reaction of anxiety and fear in me (and others). 

Personally, I then respond by reading a lot about the crisis; so at this time about Covid-19 and everything else that goes with it. I read about the mainstream narrative and also the so-called CT narratives. I feel drawn to some of the CT such as ‘New World Order Agenda’ etc. 

Then I communicate with likeminded friends and fairly quickly a leading alternative narrative sticks out which gets reinforced by the communication with ‘trusted friends’ and relevant sections of social media (‘echo chambers’). 

With other friends who do not share the same narrative or do not want to engage in the discussions about the topic, I put the topic ‘on ice’ altogether in future communications with them.

The shared narrative with ‘trusted friends’ provides a sense of certainty of what the future may bring. I can then take necessary steps to best position myself and the family in anticipation of the shared narrative occurring. The ‘lower ego’ loves all this. It thrives on the uncertainty and its resultant fear and anxiety. 

The shared narrative gives a good story for the ‘ego’ to hang on to. The story is then constantly reinforced with new updates from ‘likeminded friends’ and relevant social media. It gives an illusion of knowing what the future may bring and of being prepared and potentially a step ahead!

So what is the problem with all this? It worked well for me over the last 40 years!


A. The shortcomings of this approach for me are:

1. It all happens under the control of the ‘lower ego’ and it is basically fear/anxiety based.

2. It is an illusion to be able to know what the future will bring or look like.

3. Regardless how much I study and research I cannot get to the bottom of it all and find the ‘ultimate truth’. It is like a ‘bottomless pit’.

4. Reality has shown me repeatedly that the present always turned out quite differently from what I expected it to be based on my ‘narratives’. The expected ‘nasties’ did not eventuate but who knows they may very well this time around!

5. I experienced ongoing unsettledness, restlessness and frustration in not knowing what I should be doing to contribute towards much needed change in the outer world.

6. All of this has been quite stressful keeping me locked in time and space, in the future or the past. It therefore prevented me from being able to be fully present in the NOW and to experience ‘inner peace’ as the dominant state of consciousness.

This clearly is not where I want to be! As a matter of priority I want to learn to approach the future from a different state of consciousness. 


B. The cornerstones of the ‘new approach’ are;

1. I do not know what the future will bring and it is perfectly OK ‘not knowing’!

2. There is no need for fear, anxiety and fictitious narratives about the future. 

‘Everything is as it needs to be’.

3. ‘Accepting completely each moment as it is’ is the goal. 

Surrender to the present moment. 

No attachment to outcomes. 

‘I do not mind’ in a constructive sense.

4. I am not afraid of the future. 

‘I will eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes towards me from the future…’ 

‘We must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world direction full of wisdom…’ (from the Michael Verse).

5. The most important element I can contribute is to not add further to the collective unhappiness and confusion of humanity as a result of my ‘egoic’ state of mind. I want to be able to add Presence, Inner Peace and Compassion to the overall dynamic.

6. The future may involve suffering. That is as it is. I trust that I will be able to transform suffering on a personal and collective level by accepting it and surrender to it and find the transformative opportunity the suffering wants to teach me.

7. It has always been a characteristic of cosmic and earthly and personal evolution that order and chaos alternate. The current major upheaval and turmoil at the collective level is a good teacher for further transformation on the spiritual level.


C. Covid-19 Situation – What has changed for me?

1. I do not know which narrative or CT is right or wrong nor what the ‘truth’ is. And that is ok! I am sure that at some level some CT are true. There is no doubt for me that powerful manipulations are taking place at many levels. At the ‘meta conspiracy level’ there is the battle going on between ‘good and evil’. 

2. At another level the key question for me is how I am inwardly dealing with these conflicting narratives without contributing more to the turbulences in a negative way. See above under B.

3. I do not have an attachment to the likely progression of the pandemic. I can see many different
scenarios and will not take sides.

4. I am on alert to notice any anxiety, fear or attempts on my part to outguess the future at the earliest possible time and then bring myself back to the Presence as a matter or priority.  

5. ‘Everything is as it needs to be’.

6. I do not need to worry about what might happen or not in the future e.g. Covid vaccinations. I trust that if and when the present moment presents me with a decision making situation or a situation where I need to act there and then, I will be able to take the appropriate action out of the consciousness of the present moment rather than from a fear driven ‘egoic dysfunctional’ state.

7. The surrender to the present moment does not mean that I cannot take action in the outer world. However, it means if and when I take action it will be from the present moment consciousness and not driven by the lower ego.

8. If I do not meet these objectives, I will have compassion with myself and try again the next time.

It is work in progress.


9 comments:

  1. Hello Ian,
    Thank you for your insights - I love your approach and find it resonates with me - as always you help others to see different points of view in a realistic way, and for that I am grateful to you. WIshing you and your family a wonderful New Year ahead. Love Peta

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, as you imply, actual conspiracies abound, and only study and the presentation of evidence can determine where these is a conspiracy and where there isn't. When I wrote a book about the 2001 anthrax attacks, I deliberately used the term "conspiracy" because, as I was able to demonstrate, that's exactly what it was. ("The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy".) In the Covid case, I have so far felt defeated in trying to get to the bottom of it, so I call my position "assertive agnosticism" and try for equanimity and compassion. I often fail. Maybe we'll one day sort it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not an easy minefield, but worth putting time into the navigation... :)

      Delete
  3. Thank you for posting this, it is really helpful on understanding on how to navigate through all the noise during this time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great article Ian & Seifried, thank you

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for a realistic view of CTs. They can never bring happiness or peace of mind, only disempowerment and anger. There are plenty of mischievous people out there creating these things, unfortunately many are beguiled into negative states of mind by CTs. Why go there?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excellent Post Ian thank you .

    ReplyDelete