Post-truth – adj. Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. ~ Oxford Dictionary
There is a phenomenon that has been happening, which was finally labeled in the Oxford dictionary. This is the new word for the year. It’s called post-truth. I mean this literally. I am not joking. Post-truth, what does that mean? The meaning of the word is that facts or historical meaning has secondary meaning and value as compared to how people feel emotionally. The truth is in the degree of emotional belief about an issue. The post-truth is how you feel about something. One’s feelings are what makes it true or not true. That is a pretty serious issue and it’s amazing that people had the wisdom to create a word that actually describes the current level of thinking/feeling relationship to historical or factual reality.
What is the problem with post-truth reality? In the yogic tradition we have viveka, which is the ability to distinguish between temporary reality and cosmic reality. The temporal reality is the historical reality, the scientific facts, and knowing what’s going on in the world, and the cosmic reality is the oneness of all things, the ultimate truth of creation prior to time, space, and I Amness. Now we have a third level, which is called post-truth reality, which doesn’t pay attention to either of those. It is completely relative and dependent on how your brain and your emotions have been programmed by the outer world, which includes media propaganda, TV, Internet, whatever belief-system gets generated in the moment or is considered politically correct for the moment. It’s all relative, therefore there is no anchor to the truth. There is no factual or historical anchor or a cosmic anchor. That is a guarantee of chaos and a societal breakdown. Everybody can make up their own rules and if they believe strong enough in whatever that is, then that is their truth and they feel justified acting on these beliefs. This is antithetical to evolution in spiritual life.
Aren’t emotions important? Of course they are important, but they have to be connected to some level of objective and cosmic reality. The deeper teachings in the traditions are that you have the cosmos and the Divine will and the cosmic truth that has existed for myriads of years. We have the Buddhist 8-fold path and the Yama and the Niyamas, which are the do’s and the don’ts of the yogic tradition or the Vedas. There are the Ten Speakings from the Hebrew tradition. These are all pretty similar. Those aren’t really cosmic truths, but they are dharmic spiritual truths that hold societies together and create order out of chaos. They are rooted in some deep understanding of what has worked for many years for creating a quiet enough space for one to go beyond the mind.
Post-truth reality is not just gaining popularity here in the US; we are seeing this all over the world. This is degenerating into a certain level of chaos, in which people’s minds and emotions become more and more out of control and we lose the foundation for spiritual life, which is a quiet mind and deep soul connection. This is very important. The antidote to that, which is the advantage of post-truth consciousness, is because it has become so disconnected from the temporal reality that we can eventually see through it.
The lack of debate around climate change is an example of this. It is significant that over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition saying that there is questionable hardcore, definitive scientific proof for the theory of global warming, and yet we don’t report that at all. That is an interesting problem because without the scientific data unequivocally supporting the theory, it remains just a theory and is not proven. Other evidence, such as reported in the book Dark Winter, suggests that there are 200-year cycles of global warming and cooling related to sunspot activity. Whether it is cooling or warming is secondary to moving the issue back to scientific debate, rather than a highly inflamed post-truth reality discussion. People feel strongly about the global warming issue and, therefore, it must be so. People are freaked out, thinking we may not survive. The fact is that since 1998 there has been no rise in global temperatures and yet the belief in global warming is affecting people’s peace of mind. Time, of course, will reveal the objective truth on this matter and whether it’s there, or, as some people feel, a globalist hoax to create a worldwide tax system and control. Unfortunately, we have heavily politicized science on the global climate change issue as well as the vaccine issues that have attempted to create post-truth reality fear in, and in some cases, panic in people.
We can sit and observe without getting emotionally involved, but the minute you go into post-truth reality, you can get upset about any way you want to look at things, which leads into chaos and destabilizes your mind. If someone disagrees with you in post-truth reality, it gets perceived as a personal attack, as it is one’s feelings being attacked, and people are so identified with their feelings.
How do we move away from that post-truth way of being where your emotional attachments to whatever you believe in makes it true, and come back to a more objective truth? This is where our connection with our soul becomes important. The soul is the aspect of each person, the spark of the Divine in each person, that hardwires one into the reality of the soul. When we reconnect deeply with our soul, in other words the spiritual light shine, we start to connect more deeply with the cosmic truth, which then begins to bring us out of a certain amount of chaos. When we see the cosmic truth, it opens us up looking at issues from a higher level spiritually. We can then move from spiritual truth, to mental, and emotional levels of objective truth. We are able to look at history and to look at facts and not to be so emotionally involved that we cannot see the facts in front of us or the historical reality supported by archeological discoveries. Where we are in history is unique, but not that unique. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all created their political correctness, and also killed many people. Post-truth reality isn’t really a new thing in any way. What is new is that people don’t understand that that is what’s going on. They think that their post-truth emotions are reality.
A key to life, from a spiritual perspective, is to remember that the personality is the case of mistaken identity, which includes one’s emotions and mind. Spiritual life begins to take one away from identifying with the personality, with one’s emotions, with one’s gender, and all external things. We then begin to be aligned with the deeper truth that’s been with us for thousands and thousands of years.
The more we connect with our souls, the more we start to have peace. This is where we start to move out of chaos, confusion, hate, and separation between people. We start to see that we are all connected on a soul level. We are all one soul aspect of the Divine. That is what eventually will happen as we move from the directive of a post-truth consciousness back into a cosmic truth conscious, and a relative factual and historical truth. May everybody be blessed that we are able to connect more deeply with our souls to help us move into these deeper understandings that quiet the mind and bring love to the heart and reestablish peace among people.