Whenever there is a decrease of righteousness in the world and unrighteousness seems to be on the rise, The Lord of mercy and compassion manifests to bring balance.
“We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.” –George Orwell, Animal Farm
“For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the God; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you.” —Socrates
Groupthink is a term for the practice of making decisions as members of a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility. Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, resulting in a loss of individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking. The term is a modern derivation of terms like “Doublethink” from Orwell’s novel 1984 that takes place in a dystopian world where people are under constant surveillance from telescreens, and other humans, who act as the monitors for a totalitarian government. Big Brother is the government leader that exacts ultimate control of all human interaction with the permission and collusion of the controlled. Some characteristics of Groupthink are: delusions of invulnerability; unquestioned belief; stereotyping of opposition as weak, biased, impotent, or stupid; self-censorship of ideas that deviate; illusions of unanimity; pressure to conform; lack of impartial leadership; failure, leading to low self-esteem; moral dilemmas that are stressful; and a high degree of cohesiveness leading to de-individuation. In the past, Groupthink has been cited in nonsensical political decisions, cult behavior, and, lately, in the behavior of men toward women and vice versa. Today, it seems that Groupthink is not the exception, but the rule, with the Internet becoming the ultimate addictive agency of control and herd behavior. Viral is really the right term for defining the way an idea, good or bad, can infect the minds of hundreds of thousands of people in hours or days as it spreads from Facebook to Twitter and back again…
“I have found myself increasingly wondering whether social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, constitutes a vehicle for civil dialogue. The number of attacks that I have either witnessed or experienced has been astounding. It has gotten to the point that I rarely respond to comments on either Twitter or Facebook…”1
George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1946 as both a reaction and warning of the dangers of totalitarianism that he witnessed during WWII:
“We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?”2
I don’t have an iPhone. I never have had one. Consequently, I am constantly on the camera side as people talk to others, make plans, get the latest news, and form opinions. I do have a computer and am well aware that the eye of the camera can be watching me and controlled by others (I keep it covered up). There is an ominous cloudy decrease in righteousness in the world, and a tendency for people to be subject to emotional contagion, sacrificing their own opinion in order to join the group flow. The fake relationships of social media have replaced the authentic awakening of mercy and compassion with rage and enmity. There is a growing fear of touching or being touched.
“Nearly 20% of the total time spent online in the U.S. across both desktop and mobile devices is on social platforms; Facebook alone makes up 14% of total time spent online. With this amount of time consumption it can be argued that social networks like Twitter and Facebook consume a large portion of our lives which begs the question: what type of impact does social media have on the way people think, specifically does it provoke groupthink?”3
In the 18th Century, a fellow named Jeremy Bentham designed an architecture called the panopticon. The panopticon allowed a single watcher to observe multiple inmates simultaneously in incarceration. These days the tables have turned and each one of us are viewed from many peering eyes. We have something called the Internet of Things (IoT) watching us from kitchen appliances, automobiles, smart meters, cameras and many other sources where embedded electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity are recording every aspect of our daily lives. These recordings are stored in “big data” cloud storage to be accessed by marketers, hackers, government agencies, or just troublemakers. Whether it is that chip on your credit card or a heart monitoring implant, all these cyber-physical systems have robbed us of any possibility of privacy. It may not seem intrusive that the barcode on your veggie burger may communicate with your refrigerator and change what you see advertised on your Internet connection. It may not seem important that your sleep cycles are monitored, and your electric usage clocked, but taken together all these monitoring technologies may alter your freedom, as they become more and more pervasive, unregulated or misused.
Is your Yoga class a Groupthink experience? Is your Yoga teacher an envoy of the fear of touching or being touched?
Yoga class is a group activity carried on in real time, with real people, meant to provide a respite from self-centered focus, in order to celebrate each other’s unique Cosmic presence. In a yoga class we move together with Super consciousness. In yoga class the group is meant to give relief from the Internet of Things, and allow the doors of perception to open. Yoga practice is a dialogue between God and the devotee.
On the Internet we move in circles of thinking without consciousness. The Internet experience is virtual, isolating and often anonymous. The Internet closes the doors of perception and covers the individual under the shadow of conformity. Social media give us the feeling of having friends without the responsibility of friendship. Social media creates the illusion of membership through false consensus effect, and becomes a filter bubble to (not) see the world. The Internet enabled Groupthink with collective narcissism, and never touches anyone.
Groupthink cloaks reality; Yoga-think uncovers reality. The Lord of mercy and compassion will appear as people reclaim their personal data and their right to disappear their smallness in order to become genuinely large and fearless.
Focus of the month: Big Brother is Watching You
- March 2020: Stages on the Path
- January 2020: The Presence of the Present
- December 2019: Unlocking Wisdom Within
- 0000: Unlocking Wisdom Within
- November 2019: The Wild and the Moon
- October 2019: Mauna (Silence) is Golden
- September 2019: The Secrets We Keep Inside
- July 2019: With Time Magic Arises
- June 2019: The Light of Knowledge
- May 2019: Our Interconnectedness and the Environment
- April 2019: LET YOUR SOUL BE YOUR PILOT
- March 2019: Feed the Birds
- February 2019:
- January 2019: Liberation Toolkit 2019
- December 2018: All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
- November 2018: Big Brother is Watching You
- October 2018: AI
- September 2018: It’s Not That Easy Bein’ Green
- August 2018: H2OM
- July 2018: The Magic Ten & Beyond II
- June 2018: The Magic Ten & Beyond I
- May 2018: Our Parents and Our Yoga Practice
- April 2018: Black is the True Face of Light
- March 2018: March Madness
- February 2018: With great Love, all is possible
- January 2018: Now this is yoga as I have observed it in the natural world.
- 0000: Gathering of Tribes
- October 2017: Back to Basics
- September 2017: FED UP
- August 2017: DEVOTION TO SHRI KRISHNA
- July 2017: IN THE LIGHT OF LOVE
- June 2017: PRATYAHARA: WHERE WE PUT OUR ENERGY
- May 2017: Be the change you want to see in the world.
- April 2017: Jivamukti Yoga
- March 2017: Matsyendranath, The Fish
- February 2017: Beyond Emptiness
- January 2017: Jivamukti Yoga
- December 2016: Someone to Talk To
- November 2016: What is a person?
- October 2016: Behind the Facade
- September 2016: WHAT IS THE USE?
- August 2016: Pushtimarg
- July 2016: Guru Mantra
- June 2016: Why Asana?
- May 2016: A Mother's Love
- April 2016: Creative Action
- March 2016: The Reality of the Enlightened Mind
- February 2016: The Sound of Yoga
- January 2016: Remembering Goodness
- December 2015: Wildness
- November 2015: Wildness
- September 2015: Life After Life; Reincarnation and Yoga
- August 2015: It’s Not What You Say - It’s How You Say It
- July 2015: Why We Like War
- June 2015: Flesh, Blood, Bones, Empty Space
- May 2015: What Is the Meaning of Life?
- April 2015: Forgetting and Remembering
- March 2015: Untying the Knots That Bind Us
- February 2015: Storytelling
- January 2015: Time Was, Is, and Will Be