Researching Opposing Views

SK21 – Researching Opposing Views

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Read full details below, transcribed. Therefore the wording often appears as it is spoken by our hosts. Please, listen to the podcast for full value. Researching opposing views may be a key to the problem with information today. The issue is that most of the information today is not good for you to acquire. There was a time when knowledge was driven by a deep curiosity, not the surface level, social media scrolling kind. But a real hunger to understand something, to research opposing views by yourself, to be eager to learn about those opposing views, so that there was a sincere element of learning, not just choosing a side, because that’s where your tribe stands. Therein lies the problem with information.

Group think

Group think

I don’t know, is it just me or is it true that everybody seems to feel like they have to take a position? Most likely that is driven by the people that they associate most with rather than researching opposing views. Whether it’s family group thinking or your political allegiances or even maybe the school that you go to. In understanding the problem with information, we should go back to the root of the very word “information”. There is the word “form” in it. So it is a piece of data that takes place within a framework. In fact we think according to our education, our upbringing, et cetera. We are all operating within a certain framework. We acquire new pieces of data and they find their place within this framework, or not. But we always have this framework. Within this framework, this data becomes information. Without researching opposing views, it is limiting.

Data is a part of the problem with information

Data is a part of the problem with information

Your framework shapes your view of the world. It takes its place and it’s part of this framework. Or it can put this framework under question. That is, if you are cognizant of the problem with information. What happens today is that we have no framework of reference anymore and we are bombarded with data. That’s the problem with information. Data is very different from information. Data, they are just various points of inputs that do not find any place in any framework of reference. And those points of inputs could be pretty questionable depending on how they were acquired. A lot of data is usually skewed towards the perspective of what the person is trying to put out there. And this is why the source of information or data is very important. We need to find a way to assess its truthfulness.  But also crucial is how we process the data so it becomes information. It must nourish our framework or make it deeper or make it different. And this is why having these bits of data or so called information is not sufficient. We need to learn how to process it.

Turn to the Quran when researching opposing views

The problem with information is that having data is not enough. We need to learn how to think. This is the teaching of the Quran. This is what the revelation is for. Not only  providing us data that are truthful, but also teaching us how to think, and in researching opposing views. How to use it in order to live optimally, how to really think and process this data to make it something meaningful. This is why the Quran has this extraordinarily non human structure where things are not presented in a apparent framework as they would be in a textbook or an essay. It’s a non human way of presenting things where data is squatted all around the place. And the Author is encouraging us again and again to gather all pieces of data and not forget one of them, gather everything, and then a picture emerges. With this, we weed out any problem with information.

Gestalt Philosophy and information

It’s what is called  Gestalt in philosophy, where if you provide to someone a point, a point and a line and a line and a circle, it means nothing. But if you put those elements in a framework, it can draw a face. And this is the kind of meaning that emerges from getting the correct information, but also knowing how to process it. One of the main dangers is that we gather data and we make a framework by ignoring some pieces of data. Now herein is a major problem with information. We need to make a framework and to make our framework deal with all data we receive. But we have to be careful that they are true. And unfortunately, some people do even take the Quran, and they conveniently omit some of the data that doesn’t suit them in the Book. This is also done in other scriptures as well. So I think it goes back to the human application of information. But it also diminishes the importance of researching opposing views.

What we can learn from the angels in the Quran

There is a very striking example in the Quran. There is this order to the angels to bow to Adam after he has received the knowledge of the names. This is very mysterious. And they “all” bow, except Iblis. We don’t know exactly who “all” is referring to.
The order is to the Angels, but if they bow, all other creatures would bow too. Seven times in the Quran this episode is narrated. In six of those instances, the nature of the creature that refused to bow, that is Iblis, is not mentioned because it’s not the point of the verse.
But in a seventh verse, it is said that he was one of the jinn. So not an angel. He doesn’t say he became a jinn. He was one of the jinn. And many people ignore this seventh verse, strangely enough. Hence the inability in researching opposing views brings about our problem with information.
The order is given to the angels to bow, and they all bow, except Iblis. And we should point out that a jinn is a fire being. It’s not an angel. It’s very clear that according to an alchemic view, if you want, it’s a different way of looking at things, not through molecules and matter, but through principles.
Men or humans are made of water and and earth or dust. And the jinn are made of fire and wind, and the angels are made of “noor”, which is light, but it’s not the photon, it’s not the electromagnetic light. It’s a spiritual light. We must ensure that we don’t incur a problem with information here.
So in one of these verses, very clearly stated by our Creator, he was one of the jinn. So if you forget this verse and just concentrate on the six remaining where the nature of Iblis is not the point of the verse, people imagine, without researching opposing views which is in the 7th verse, that he was an angel.
They conclude this just because the order was addressed to the Angels. Now you enter some shenanigans like:  he was an angel. He was amongst the angels, then he fell from grace, then he became a jinn as a result. This is not what the text says.
The text says “kana min al jinn”. It means “he was one of the Jinn”. So this is how we learn not to forget one element, because if we forget one piece of information or data, we reach the wrong conclusion and we inadvertently change the story. Hence how we create a problem with information ourselves.

Researching opposing views is humbling

We enter now a realm of imagination, just trying to make sense of what is ambiguous. So what doesn’t make sense shouldn’t be forced, that’s one of the lessons: if something doesn’t make sense, don’t force it into a certain conclusion in your mind that is suitable or convenient to you. Researching opposing views is humbling.
It’s an ancient way of thinking, of teaching philosophy. For example, you know Socrates, the master of Plato, or supposed master of Plato. It’s possible that Plato made him up as this figure of wisdom. Anyway, Socrates said that the first step is  “I know only one thing, it is that I know nothing”. It’s the first wisdom.
Don’t take your hypothesis as a truth. Otherwise you’re leading into a problem with information. There should be a strong barrier between what you know and what you don’t know. And in order for data, to cross this barrier, it needs to be weighed accurately.
So when you imagine we only had six verses, where the order is given to the angels to bow to Adam and they all bow, except Iblis, it is ambiguous because what does “all” refer to? It seems very likely that it’s referring to all the angels, but it’s not said “all angels” bow. It is said “they all bowed”.

Jumping to conclusions, another problem with information

Jumping to conclusions, another problem with information

So we shouldn’t conclude, we should be very careful. Because in fact, the spiritual world and the creation of Allah is very hierarchical. And anyone who is living in a traditional society understands this. If you have a meeting with, let’s say an army, there’s a hierarchy, the generals, the colonels, captains and the foot soldiers.
Imagine they are gathered in a room. And the King makes someone enter, someone totally unknown. And the King orders the generals to bow to this unknown person. “They all bow”.
If the order is given to the generals, do you think that the foot soldier is going to remain standing? No, they will bow as well. So the order is given to the angels, who are the highest spiritual creatures. And “they all bow”, meaning all creatures bow.
So the conclusion that “all” refers only to the angels is just a matter of education, of understanding. It’s an assumption. If we don’t recognize this, fortunately, there is a 7th verse that makes it very clear he was one of the jinn. Hence it helps us in researching opposing views.

How to think, brought to you by God

So this is how Allah is teaching us how to think while providing correct information. And how to deal with the information that we’re being given. And that’s so well said, because now knowledge is empty, almost always gossipy and divisively, untrue. That’s the real problem with information.
Oftentimes it’s about an agenda or some sort of a narrative that’s supposed to be put out there, even when we’re talking about geopolitics or banking or any serious subject, health, the medical field.
I mean, it’s just either mudslinging and character assassinating in order to prove yourself right, or a direct attempt to misguide and control. And at some point, there has to be an awakening to this. I mean, at some point there has to be this mass demand for truth. Why don’t they make it incumbent on the media to engage in researching opposing views?
Wouldn’t that only make sense to report all sides? And people are starved right now for the truth. Maybe they don’t even know it, but at some point they’ll wake up and say, I now understand that I’m starving for the truth.

The forbidden word result in our problem with information

‘Truth’ is really becoming the forbidden word. Right. Because if you say this is true, the culture now is framing this as you trying to impose an opinion. There is no more truth. There are only opinions. There are always points of views, and I’m entitled to my point of view, Right? So when you invoke this word “truth”, it is very difficult to say it, because the very concept of truth has been abused. Very much. It no longer seems to be the priority. Researching opposing views is unheard of nowadays.
That’s what’s really shocking. Telling the truth and even demanding the truth doesn’t seem to be the priority. Winning an argument seems to be the priority. Convincing seems to be the priority. So doing it at any cost is the way. And that is so wrong. That’s got to be called out for what it is.
It has been called out for a long time. Even Plato and Socrates talk about these people who are bent on convincing others above anything else. This is a part of the human psyche trying to win over at any cost, including lies. We have a huge problem with information and it’s not getting better.

Strive for knowledge

I understand, but as a Muslim, we come from a history of striving for knowledge with a passion, but never to cross lines by, for example, attacking people’s character or having a go at other people’s opinions, or even categorizing them by putting labels on them so that we can start character destructing them.
That doesn’t feel right. And I wonder at what point there is going to be a turning point. When is researching opposing views going to be respected for what it is? Today we have more data than ever, so that’s not the problem. The problem with information is that we have a lot of “information”, but it’s mostly garbage.
Really a waste of headspace, yet we stuff our heads with it anyway. And I think a part of the problem is because it’s being dumped on us, we have no choice but to go and be fed the headlines that are pretty much across the board all the same, or storylines about people that we don’t care about.

Diverting with celebrities

Diverting with celebrities

I mean, celebrities and famous people and who knows who: what have they done to get to the positions that they’re in? Why should we care? We don’t care. Yet it’s being dumped on us and it’s offensive. And at what point do we say “no”, turn all of this off and really go after the truth?
And then how do we get to go after the truth? Where do we go for that? There is a French philosopher called Pascal who said all is diverting, almost entertainment. Diverting like a king or someone who is in his room and thinking about his life: without distractions, he is full of misery.
So it’s a way also to escape, it’s all diversion. “Divertare” means to turn away. A very real part of the problem with information.  So you mean avoid your own problems by thinking or focusing on other people’s life stories and gossipy narratives? Yes.
It’s something that has been building up in the 20th century, the building of a fake world. It’s like a fantasy world that is totally disconnected and more and more disconnected from reality. But it’s almost like the media has figured out that the formula is to make it sound like gossip.
Because for some reason, gossip is very appealing, I guess, in their minds, to people, it’s entertainment. And how do you engage in researching opposing views or any form of critical thinking there. It’s designed to dull your mind.
So they’ve made the news entertaining in a gossipy way. And that’s offensive. That’s offensive to any critical thinker who really wants to know the news, who really wants the truth. So, you know, with all these apps and I mean, firstly, it’s not humanly impossible to take in the information that comes to us every day. And with any degree of dissection, we don’t have the time to critically think. So we just do take it in. We just consume it.
So we’re really not seeking knowledge. We’re just sort of opening our brains up to have someone just pour something in it. So what do we do? We parrot it. And worse, we pass it on as if we’ve now become the experts of it. And we just aren’t experts. We won’t be experts until we make an effort to really go out there and seek knowledge in a proper way. But I think it’s lost on us what that way is.

Important Question: What is the Agenda?

It is critical that data/information is analyzed and understood before we accept it as truth. Because today, more than ever, it’s driven by someone else’s perspective or even plan, and they want you to be a part of that plan. That’s how it works.
Our brains are being attacked, and we often lose the fight and just accept what’s being pushed on us. And before we know it, it’s a non thinking society that’s just following the instructions of what we’re being told to do or think. Yes, I would call it a narrative. Okay?
Everything is part of a narrative, and in several layers. A narrative to make things seducing you because it is, I don’t know, appealing to your fears, to your appeal for drama. And also there is this probably conscious decision to overload people with data, pilling up information so much that you cannot process it.
And I see more and more people who have wised up to this. They understand that it really darkens their heart to have access to all this data, and they just quit, meaning that they restrict their views and their world to their life and are not interested anymore in what’s happening around them.
And it’s a kind of also has an effect that is negative, because if you feel that you are disconnected from this world, dark forces are still operating, you know, and when you realize that this world contains a lot of victims, victims of nefarious practices like… talk about pollution or things like this. People are falling victims of it.
You face also people who say, well, life is life and people die and everything will be solved on the day of judgment, so why would you care? And and it triggers in people a kind of passivity towards what’s happening around us. Passivity like: I can’t bear it, so I will restrict to my own life and not care anymore about others.
This is also not a healthy approach. That’s also not a good approach because then you’re not really partaking in life as you should. You should be making the world a better place. You should be trying to learn and understand. And maybe the first place that we start, given today’s environment, is realizing that we just become untrusting.
Why should we trust the talking box, which is called the TV set or the radio or the Internet? Why should we trust anything we hear?

Who Benefits?

You know, we need to take a deeper dive and really figure out who are these sources, where are they coming from? Where does their money come from? And how do we decipher what is reliable and what’s not? And that’s a little bit of a tough exercise, but we’ve all got to undergo it.
And the usual question the police is asking in any investigation is qui bono, who benefits? And this is something people tend to forget. Who benefits? Why I’m being told this and where is it leading me if I accept it?
And I think we need to also ask, why does everything sound so scripted? Why are all the headlines pretty much parroting each other? Why do all the stories sound similar to one another?
You don’t get a different story or a fresh perspective necessarily in the mainstream media until you start digging deeper and going to off the beaten path sources. And sometimes that’s citizen journalists that are on the ground somewhere and they’ve either been canceled or deleted or they’re being persecuted and they have something to say.
So you try to hear their voices, which are a far cry from what the mainstream is trying to do. And that could be an indication of a control agenda when everything sounds so scripted that by parroting it, it’s a way of brainwashing us into believing it. In any matter, my conclusion has been that you should always listen to all sides.
Okay, you have one side, which is pointing to the shortcomings of the other side and you can then investigate this shortcoming. You don’t need to be a specialist of everything. I mean, we are also having these ridiculous discussions where someone is pointing something obvious in the matter of health, for example, and immediately there is a blockade. You are not a doctor.
So imagine someone is quoting a study saying that, I don’t know, green tea is actually more damaging to the DNA through oxidation, than milk. And this is an actual study and you’re quoting this study and people are saying you’re not a doctor. So if I say the earth is turning around the sun, I could be said that I am not an astronomer.

You Do Not Need To Be a Specialist To Recognize the Truth

So we are reaching a point where these mechanisms of defense, instead of addressing the argument, because we as humans, we don’t have to be specialized in everything, but we have, I think, according to each possibilities in time, investigation, et cetera, we can reach conclusions.
Especially when one side is refusing to debate with another side. And you see something is fishy and you can go and find more sources, et cetera, and get clarity on many subjects.
I do that for many subjects, like if you’re interested in science and you go this whole push towards quantum physics and it’s very interesting, but this is so complicated and based on equations. It led to some operational results.
But when you understand from people who have a broader view that, for example, the whole quantum physics is based on the axiom, I mean, the postulate that events happen without any cause – this is at the core of the theory…. Now it’s up to you to accept it or not. You know, the principle of causality is that: if something happens, there is a cause to it.
It seems pretty foundational to the way this universe work. So you have a theory that gets rid of this. Everything is probability. There’s no cause to events, anything can happen at any point. But still it leads some results and some practicalities. You can use GPS through this, you can send satellites and et cetera. So it works. It works.
But does is the underlying theory true or not? Now many people are questioning it, because it doesn’t make any sense. So something can be true and not be accessible yet and something can be false and lead to results that are actionable.
This is a trap. I can build a model like I’m in the morning, at six in the morning, you have some chicken that is just singing and the sun rises. So my model is that it is the singing of the rooster that makes the sun rise. And I can test the theory. Each time it sings, the sun rises. So does it work? It works, but it is wrong.
And in many fields, we are in this situation, by the power of calculation, by forcing things, we may miss tremendous discoveries by sticking to wrong theories that “work”.
It goes back to your example of the data in the Quran. Look at all the data at hand. Don’t just look at one piece of information. In the case where you said there were seven points that were repeated at different parts of the Quran, but if you just look at six of them, you’re going to be at a loss.

The Example of the Speed of Light

So you can’t make conclusions without understanding what data you have at hand. There’s a brilliant example. You know the relativity theory that Einstein actually took from Henri Poincare, but whatever, it states that the speed of light in void is constant, doesn’t change. The reference point is always the same.
However, there were measurements of the speed of light in two different directions in void, made by Michelson in the 20’s. He was the head of the Academy Science of America. And he found a difference in light speed.
So the speed of light is not constant. But these results were not accepted because despite his trying to do the best measurement possible, people thought there must have been a problem in the measurements. He was someone with a lot of credibility, but because, again, the theory of relativity yielded some results in fundamental physics.
But, and this is Einstein saying it, if the light speed is not constant, then the whole theory falls and we need to find something better. So until the year 2000, there was no confirmation of this, but in France, the Institute of Weights and Measures redid the measurement of the speed of light under the supervision of a Nobel Prize of economy who was also a great scientist, Maurice Allais.
And he found that it was not constant. So now, have you heard any headlines saying, well, the old assumption beyond relativity is wrong? And now we have to, I mean, give credit to Einstein, who said that if it’s not constant, that the whole theory is wrong. Right?
No, we just ignore this piece of data. Which is a great information. Yeah, it’s a great information but sticking to this probably prevents us from finding something better and something more suitable to this universe, to understanding the laws that Allah has willed. So it’s a problem to not evolve.

We Evolve as We Learn

When we stagnate like that, we’re not going anywhere. It’s a problem of stubbornness. Just because something works and we are comfortable with it. We just ignore data, like we would ignore one verse of the Quran because it doesn’t suit us. It doesn’t fit our framework.
Or just for the fact that we don’t get it because it must not be important if it doesn’t clearly makes sense. It’s like when we read the six verses and we deduce from the ambiguity of the verses that Iblis is an angel.
Then we can go into too many theories. We can imagine he was the best angel of all angels and he was so pure as an angel that he refused the order because he loved only God. And he refused to bow to anyone than God. And his purity was his fault. But the text doesn’t say that!
Nowhere in the Quran is any importance given to Iblis. Nowhere it is hinted that he was the best at anything. Just a little jinn who just got blinded by his ego. The first word he says is “I (“ana”) am better than him”. Which tells you everything that you need to know.
He explains to God that he he is made of fire and air and that “this one” is made of mud and water. And so who are you, God, to ask me to bow to something inferior to me? And he’s explaining to Allah the superiority of him over Adam, when the point is not that he is made of this or this.
The point is that Adam has the knowledge of the names. I just find it so interesting that he’s trying to convince Allah that he is superior to Adam. He’s challenging the Creator and Allah gives him many chances. “What made you refuse?”, trying to make him think about this.

Ignoring pieces of Data Can Be Fatal

If we ignore data, we may fall into this dreadful theory called Satanism. This is to worship or to put Iblis in such an elevated position that he would deserve. I mean, we could start saying: “the poor guy, he was so pure and he refused to bow to Adam because he loved only God”.
Now we are giving him so much importance. We elevate him and then we fall. So we have this theory that is very seducing because it’s so romantic. And we bump into this 7th verse that says that he was one of a jinn. Oh, my God. It doesn’t fit my framework. Now I refuse.
The speed of light is not constant. I ignore it because I love this relativity theory so much, right? It doesn’t mean that it’s not an approximation of some truth, but it’s not true. Einstein himself said so. Maybe continue to use it, but let’s not make it an absolute.
I wonder how much of it is decision fatigue with all the information that’s going on today. I was reading that Steve Jobs would wear the same blue jeans and black turtleneck every day and Zuckerberg the same gray hoodie so that they could eliminate their decision fatigue because there was just so much to process on a day to day basis.
With our minds so busy, there maybe some things we just need to leave aside and not burden ourselves to make decisions. So that when it comes time to making important decisions like on our health or relationships or our careers, that we can really put that due time in to make sure that we don’t make any mistakes on those decisions and maybe leave aside the decisions on what am I going to wear today?

We Need Spiritual Guidance: the Light

We Need Spiritual Guidance: the Light

In general, we humans, we are very fragile in dealing with information or data. And this is why, again and again, Allah tells us that the one to whom Allah gives no “nur” (spiritual light) has no “nur”. “Nur” being the information that is related and linked to him. A lot of people simplify “nur” as light.
But light is an English word that also covers “daw”, light as photons. “Nur”: we could call it the spiritual light, but it’s not the electromagnetic light. “Nur” is a lot more robust than that because it comes in the form of inspiration and information.
And what I was taught is that the conduit for “nur” to come into you and inform you in the correct way, coming from him, it’s the “ruh”, the spirit.
And all precautions related to spirituality in general are there to protect the spirit. Lying, mischieving, stealing… all these things, they just narrow this conduit of the “ruh” into you and lower the light, and you reach a point where your heart is dark and you don’t see anymore what is true from what is wrong.
So we need this guidance called the hidaya. We need to be guided. And Allah is the best of guides. Without his light, I’m afraid we can end up in constructing framework that are absolutely not true.

Data can be manipulated and Lead to Wrong Conclusions

You do see that in prison movies where you exhaust the prisoner’s mind so much, you torture them, you deprive them of sleep and information and to a point where they’re just at a much easier place to control.
And I wonder if, to a certain degree, that kind of psychology is being used to the general masses, where they’re just being bombarded by fear and by, if you don’t do this, then this will happen, and make sure you prevent this from happening to your family.
And so you have a population that’s so worried all the time, and so that fear drives them to say, okay, okay, tell me what I should do. And then they turn to sources of information that is closest to them, which usually is the mainstream information. And they do what they’re told to do.
It definitely doesn’t seem like an accident oftentimes, because it certainly does fall into a very convenient structure. And people do line up conveniently most of the time.
So it sounds pretty destructive to me. It is. But at the same time, how many people are really reading articles? They are reading headlines. Exactly. And they don’t have time. We, in general, don’t have time.
And it also happens in scientific studies. It’s fascinating that you have an abstract that is supposed to summarize the findings of a study, but the abstract is totally contradicting the raw data.
So it means that the people conducting the study had in mind the result. They make the experiment to test an hypothesis. The results do not lead to where they want, and they will still put the abstract according to their preconceived idea.
And many people will just read the abstract. And this happens again and again. In fact, there is a kind of secret or mystery in this world that is entirely under the authority and guidance of Allah, because He is al-Muhaymin (the one who controls everything).
You have dark forces who are trying to trick us into being disconnected from His light. But following this path has to be a voluntary act, we cannot be forced. So we have to agree to be distracted. Because the whole point is to charge us so that when the trial comes and the day of judgment comes, we cannot say we were forced, because someone under duress is not responsible.

Do Not Fall For the Tricks

Now, if you want to make someone fall, you need to trick him. But at the same time, you need to say things as they are. So there’s always a way to see that it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work. And this is striking. There’s a French saying that goes “le diable montre toujours le bout de sa queue”, meaning the the devil is always showing the spare of his tail.
So there’s always something that is either contradictory or that should alert you that it’s not correct. Sometimes you need to trust your gut feeling. I mean, sometimes things just sound so contrived and you need to believe that that’s a signal to, at the very least, dig deeper.
Yes, and I’m always struck that in face of certain questions, things seems very complicated. But people with no education or formal education, what we call simple people, they have the right reaction because they are connected to the truth. They know from inside. They don’t know why.
But you have the postdoc PhDs types, those who Nassim Taleb called the “IYI” (Intellectual Yet Idiot), who just fall into the trap because they just have switched off this safety mechanism: to be linked to Allah, the source of “nur”.
And basically you get informed the right way and guided. I wonder what it is about the education system that builds that level of ego to such a degree where you actually are convinced that you don’t need the element of God and the guidance that’s outside of you.
That you actually start to believe that everything that you need is within you and within your mental capacity and your ability to make decisions and control your own life.
Yes, it’s extraordinary because if you look at the story of science, all great discoveries were all made by accident. Either by someone dreaming of something or totally accidentally finding something. And therein is a huge message for these scientists who believe that they don’t need anything outside of themselves.
And in fact, when you study again the story of science and the lives of great scientists, you always find that none of them are atheists. They all know. The more you know and the more you are convinced that something is organizing all this.

The Need for a Proper Educational System

So you become a believer with proper education. So a lot of people are beginning to wake up to the flaws of the education system to such a large degree where they’re actually convinced that they need to pull their kids out of the school system and take matters into their own hands.
Which I don’t think is such a bad idea, given all the things that we know, especially in the last couple of years.
The conclusion that I’ve come to is that we must peel ourselves away not only from the education system. Yes, I think colleges are very damaging. I think kids go into college and they come out as monsters, really.
They’re unthinking and unfeeling beings. They may be able to do a job, whether it’s engineering or lawyering or accounting or a teacher, they’ve lost a certain element of their soul. And peeling ourselves away is not just for our sanity. It really is for our own protection. It’s become that serious.
People listened to the news in the lockdown and they were told many false things and many people died. We know that today people followed the instructions and the lockdown was a great control tool. It got people where this control tool wanted them to be again, the highest form of punishment in prison is solitary confinement, isn’t it?
It can make a person crazy. It’s frightening to be alone. So to be locked down as we were on a mass level in the world, one can say that no one was prepared for it.
And they got sort of like a very difficult awakening. And it really can take over your mind and break you down until you comply. Because when you’re all alone, it’s much easier to control you.
And that’s what they do in prison, is anytime someone has to go through the highest form of punishment, they put them in isolation and then they bring them out and they deal with the person. And in a way, we all went through that in those years of the lockdown, which may be coming up again.
Yes, it was a great social experiment. There’s something that could be worse than solitary confinement: to be locked up with people that you can’t bear. And it’s led to tremendous problems. Well, it showed itself, didn’t it, during the lockdowns, there were a lot of issues on who we really are and how we really do relate to others.

Do Not Loose Sight of the Highest Goals

Do Not Loose Sight of the Highest Goals

And I think right now, our biggest challenge as humanity is to keep sane and to stick to a real purpose in life. I think people have lost track of that.
Now it’s all about survival. How do I stay alive and how do I just make enough money to get by and get my family by? And I think we need to put that aside, put those worries aside and really stop for a moment and practice being alone, but connected to Him.
Because we don’t know what’s around the corner. But we do know that if we can become better thinkers in times of isolation and in times of being with others that, like you said, we may or may not get along with, that may be a skill that may be the defining factor for our lives going forward
Yes, but you could say I mean, it’s a shortcut, but it’s so true that if you are with Allah, if you are with God, you’re never alone. Exactly. So get to know God. That’s the point, though, right? The point of being alone is to know that you’re not alone.
The point of being alone is to get the best advice that surrounds you, and that is a higher source of that advice. And take hold of your own life. And for sure, don’t let them get any part of it.
The media is the most self involved game out there. They don’t care about us. They care about what we can do for them to control us and to lead us on what to believe. They use bully tactics in a way to achieve this.
They show us how people get canceled saying things that they shouldn’t be saying. They get to tell us what they deem as wrong. And we need to toe that same line. They demand that people who don’t think a certain way should be called intolerant or racist.
That’s what’s going on out there. And we need to get a hold of ourselves and make sure that we don’t fall for that and we don’t become part of that control game.
Yes, I agree. And it’s again coming back to a framework that is true. But what’s our first step out of this noise? Do we stay in silence and finally understand what peace feels like? Is that how we start to empower ourselves before we get to something that we do want for ourselves? Which is what’s happening right now.
A lot of people are at a place in life after the lockdowns, after all the mandates and instructions we were given, they’re at a place where they don’t want to be. So where do we start to regain control of our lives and our own information?
I think it probably starts with having clear ideas and also building a community of like minded people. But a community where you don’t get so busy socializing and time wasting. We have to be careful with what that community means to us.
I know a lot of youth, not only youth,  people older than me that are busy working really hard on their day jobs in their offices or in their home projects or work, and then they get ready, go out to dinner, go out with friends or whatever.
Where is that time to really think and reflect and to read a headline and say wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right. Or: Wait a minute, okay, that may sound fine to me, but I’m going to argue against myself and make it not sound fine to me until I hear both sides and then decide.
So finding a community is important, but maybe we need to define how we find that community so that it’s the right community. Absolutely. And this is up to each of us to define all these fine lines.

What Authority?

There’s also the problem of authority. Who do we look up to? But then when we decide who we look up to, let’s follow their money. Let’s figure out where they’re getting funding from or where their money is coming from and how they’re using it.
A lot of the time it does boil down to money and power. Who’s got the money and the power behind whatever thought process is happening?
We know also a very common tactic to put someone on the forefront that is very knowledgeable and wise and after a while is just misleading people. So following a leader should not be blind. We have references that the truth is above all what we look for. Right?
If someone can help us towards it, fine. But if it starts to deviate, we’re not following a person, we’re following the truth.
Ultimately, the truth is Allah. Of course, the truth absolutely is God. And what we receive from God is the ultimate protection that we have. And perhaps if anyone is in a place where they don’t understand really what’s been happening, maybe one of the starting step also is to learn to unlearn.
Maybe we need to unlearn a lot. Maybe we need to sort of hit a type of a reset button.
Most importantly, leave all the news and the information that is absolutely devoid of spirit and not fruitful and and primarily gossipy, as we said earlier. Leave the celebrities who cares who’s married and not married and who’s upset and who’s fighting with whose family.
It really is a distraction that is so toxic for our minds and we need to be away from that as far as possible.
These personalities and luxury brands never wanted anything good for us. I can assure you. These celebrities don’t know that you exist or these families who are having problems with each other are just doing it for show and don’t care really about your family and what’s happening to you.
They just want you so that they can increase their numbers of following and bottom line money. That’s the truth.
So at this point, can we all at least come to an agreement that our starting point is to maybe just unlearn what we’ve learned, especially in these last couple of years and try again to really hit that truth target as sincerely as we can?
Yes. There’s also a very strong emphasis in the Quran upon silence. There’s also these moments where you can be silent and you can preserve these moments of silence so that things become more clear to you.

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