The most vulnerable members of our society are children, and there is something very sinister occurring on a grand scale which we should all be aware of, especially if you are a parent. What I will share with you now is something that I have been aware of for a very long time, but it is now intensifying and becoming all-pervading in our media-driven culture, with millions of young minds being affected across the globe.
Due to their innocence, children are easily influenced and easily led. When information is presented in a certain way that is appealing or interesting to them (especially through the medium of film, cartoon and ‘popular culture’ in general) they will accept and absorb it eagerly and unquestioningly. They will rarely be aware of any deeper message or agenda that may be present in what they are watching, listening to or reading, because they take things more on face value and are more trusting. They have not learned that there can be hidden agendas in communication, in portrayals of stories and films which may on the surface appear to be innocent and harmless, but which actually may be conveying a deeper and more weighty message. Of course, it is not always a negative message, but the fact remains that it can be, and often is.
For instance, a big-name children’s movie company makes what appears to be a fun children’s movie. It may be animated, full of colour and music, and on the surface seemingly benign. However we must remember that these films are written by adults and they are produced by adults. Film is the most powerful and influential medium we have on this planet at present – with immersive video games perhaps coming a close second – and as such, these adults are in a very powerful position to influence the minds of hundreds of millions of children across the globe.
So the big question is, how much do we trust these adults who are telling our children stories through the medium of film? And what are their intentions? We may think it is just to entertain, but the big Hollywood movie companies without doubt have serious socio-political agendas, and are not necessarily working independently from the government and its larger agenda. With careful observation, these agendas can be observed in some of the subtle and layered messages present in these seemingly child-friendly films.
It has been said that if you want to shape the future of society, shape the minds of the young. Sadly, this is exactly what the big-money film industry (as well as the television, streaming video and gaming industry) are all doing, and once you start looking more carefully, it is plain to see. The problem is that most people trust these industries, seeing them as just innocent ‘entertainment’ providers.
But the truth is that they are consciously steering the minds of young people in an orchestrated and strategic way, in tandem with a grander agenda which is deeply political and power-based. Those that run our societies and governments are without doubt harnessing the powerful mediums of films and video games to disseminate the messages that they want people to be getting, and they are now targeting children and young adults more than ever.
How well do we know the people who are influencing our children’s minds so powerfully? How much can we trust those who are writing, producing and investing enormous sums of money in these incredibly popular and very realistic films, all of which carry a deeper message (as all stories do by their very nature) that is going directly into the subconscious mind of our child as they are watching it. Wouldn’t you like to be 100% aware of what messages are being conveyed to your child? Then you have to look deeper than the outer appearances of the films, at the metaphoric and symbolic meaning of the story, because that is what is being absorbed most deeply by the viewer.
The difference between adults and children is that a child becomes totally immersed in the reality of the on-screen story as if it was real, becoming one hundred percent absorbed and captivated by what they are seeing and hearing. It is stored in their memory as if it was a real experience that they actually had, because it was so life-like and immersive for them.
It is important to understand that no matter how friendly and harmless the film seems on the surface, the underlying story, character dynamics and overarching message of the film is what has a lasting and powerful effect on the mind of the viewer, and thus their subsequent attitude and behaviour in response to certain social circumstances.
Adults in the entertainment industry have been telling stories with deeper meanings for a very long time, because that is what the best stories do; they communicate deeper truths metaphorically. This is why Jesus often taught people using parables. The deeper message goes to a deeper place, and we understand or perceive things in a deeper way. Jesus’ intentions were obviously pure and positive ones. His aim was to bring peace, wisdom and healing to those who heard his words, to teach them the way out of darkness and suffering.
So do you think that all story writers, all film directors and producers have the same pure intentions? I can tell you for sure that they do not. Of course, you may think that many of them are just making fun entertainment, and that very little thought or intention has gone into crafting the more subtle messages of the film, but I can assure you 100% that this is not the case.
All big-budget popular films have deeper messages (some of which are definitely good) because those that produce them are fully aware of the deeply influential power that metaphoric stories have upon the human psyche. The whole story-telling business is built upon the power to affect the human mind, and open it up to new ways of thinking, relating to and understanding the world and oneself. Of course, we would hope that the intention behind the story was always a positive one, but the people who are producing them – though obviously very talented – are not necessarily as pure-hearted and well-intentioned as we would wish them to be.
Over the past few years we have all been becoming more aware of the degree of corruption and deviance in the entertainment and movie industry, and upon investigation it is clear that it runs through all levels. And you will find, like in giant corporations, that those who have the most power and money are the ones who are most likely to be corrupt, because it is wealth, greed and power that most easily corrupt a human being. Wherever there are very wealthy, powerful and influential adults, there will be a higher degree of corruption present.
There is a huge amount of money and an enormous amount of influence (and thus power) in the entertainment industry, and therefore a directly proportionate amount of corruption, greed, and manipulation taking place. When powerful and corrupt people want more power, just like wartime propaganda, they will use the most effective means of doing so, which is the medium of film.
A film with a social and political agenda hidden beneath bright colours, fun, adventure, drama, music and song, will just be a fun film to 99.9% of the people who watch it. But all stories have at least two levels on which information is being conveyed, which is why we need to be fully aware of the underlying message of any film we watch ourselves, and especially those that we let our children see. I have seen so many, many modern children’s films (especially animated) which have been lauded, loved and enjoyed by millions, but which were portraying an underlying negative message.
I have studied this for many years and I have learnt to observe films on the metaphoric level, rather than the superficial level and to see the deeper message of the story, rather than being hypnotised by the surface events and occurrences.
Whether we notice it or not, films usually convey a political message because the people who are making them have political allegiances, and often social and political agendas. We are talking about the worlds most powerful medium for influencing the human mind and human behaviour – which is what film is – and it is being used by some of the world’s most powerful people and organisations for social and political purposes. To think that huge budget films – into which hundreds of millions of dollars are poured, and further millions are spent promoting and advertising – are just ‘harmless entertainment’ couldn’t be further from the truth, and it very naive to believe so. Yes, films are powerful and in an ideal world should be used not only to ‘entertain’, but also to benefit the people who watch them. Think of the positive and inspiring messages that could be flooding out into society via the movie industry, if it were populated only by well-intentioned and caring human beings.
Because if we want a peaceful world, it is essential that we lead people away from the tendency towards conflict, hostility and violence. We have to encourage tolerance, co-operation, patient communication and measured understanding of others people’s ideas. Yet most children’s films portray a very different message, one that we subconsciously might think is a ‘good’ message. They portray that for peace to prevail, we must fight and defeat the bad guys, destroy them, teach them a lesson, eliminate them, wipe them out. Yet this clearly involves conflict, aggression and violence.
Can you see how a seemingly ‘good’ message (i.e. defeat evil) can be used to encourage negative or harmful attitudes? We may think that defeating evil is a good message, but the deeper message is that it is right and proper to engage in conflict and hostility – even to hurt other human beings – under acceptable circumstances (i.e. in the name of goodness and justice). But no matter what the justification, conflict, hostility and physical aggression only lead to pain and suffering, guaranteed. We absolutely need to steer away from them. The attitudes of non-violence, compassion and tolerance are deeply, deeply vital to a peaceful and flourishing society. They are infinitely more nourishing and effective messages to be giving to our young children, if we want them to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life.
And consider this: in the portrayal of good versus evil, who decides who the ‘bad guys’ are? Who decides who you should be opposing, and trying to ‘defeat’? In society, ‘bad guys’ don’t walk around with patches over their eye, scars on their face, or evil twisted grins. To some people, the bad guys are the ones wearing suits and carrying briefcases. To others, the bad guys are the ones wearing uniforms and badges. To others, the bad guys are the ones who have an opposing belief system which they might vehemently disagree with.
All of this revolves around identifying ‘the bad guys’ (who are nearly always present in children’s films in some form or another) and then placing yourself in opposition to them, so you can feel good about who you are. But there is no more effective way of dividing a society than this. It is a deeply detrimental way of seeing humanity and we need to snap out of it a.s.a.p. and stop allowing our children to be brainwashed into thinking the same way.
See if you can find a big budget Hollywood children’s film (animated or not) that doesn’t portray good and bad guys on some level, in some manner. The ‘bad guys’ might just be unkind members of the same social group as the ‘good guys’ – they don’t have to be evil super-villains – and the message of the film is usually “teach the bad guys a lesson” or “give them what they deserve.”
Again, you might think this is a good message, (even though it encourages conflict and punishment) but who decides in society who the bad guys are? The media does, through its portrayal of news events, politics, human behaviour and so on. The media can put a face on the screen, tell us what this person has done, and instantly encourage a sense of hostility to that person. It can do this with groups of people also. It tells us “this is a bad guy, and anyone who behaves or thinks like him/her is a bad guy too” and when we are emotionally manipulated into feeling some hostility, anger or disgust towards the individual(s) on the screen, division and conflict has been successfully created within us. We feel like a ‘good guy’ because we have identified – and psychologically disassociated ourselves from – the bad guys.
But what about people who are being unfairly criticised and demonised in society for their ideology, or for not being politically correct? We might share some of their perspectives, their ways of seeing the world. Does that then make us part of the ‘bad guys’ team? Consider this deeply, because the media is heavily polarising people based on their political and social attitudes, and labelling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
It is all very well to encourage the punishment of the ‘bad guys’, until you realise that perhaps you might be perceived as one of them. This is why it is very dangerous and highly detrimental to society to promote the idea that good must fight evil, because it can only lead to conflict, cruelty, violence and suffering. This will not lead us closer to peace, it will only devastate society in every way imaginable, and deeply traumatise everyone involved.
For society to become more peaceful, it must become less divided, and this must happen on an individual level, person by person. It cannot happen to a group, and it cannot be enforced. We must decide, as a human being, to look at ourselves and see what ideas are creating a sense of division and hostility within us. What attitudes, what judgements? Are we intolerant of people who have opposing belief systems to ours? Who are we intolerant of? Who are we angry with?
Peace and healing comes with tolerance, with understanding other people and what is going on inside of them. Many people today are possessed by ideologies that make them see others as their enemy, just because of what they think. Does what you think make you a good guy or bad guy? Can you see where this leads? Can you see how this divides people, how it sets humanity against itself? We have to stop labelling people as ‘bad’ and seek to understand them instead, and by doing so we will understand ourselves better in the process, for all humans work in the same way. Some have been pushed to the extremes by their upbringing, their conditioning and their inability to adjust to society, but this doesn’t make them bad or evil. It makes them sick and mentally unwell.
We must steer away from judgement and hostility, and move in the direction of peace and compassion as urgently as we can. We must drop our attitude of opposition towards others and their beliefs, and instead focus on our own desire for peace. Leave other people alone. Stop focusing on them and instead focus upon healing the inner division within your own mind, healing the judgment, criticism and harshness that you encounter there. There is no compassion in those voices, and we must stop listening to them. This is absolutely imperative and essential. We can only make progress as a race if we do this.
Individually, we each have to make this one key decision if we are to help save society from self-destruction. We must decide that we want peace instead of conflict. This means we reject conflict and anything that encourages it, including any information, media or communication that incites judgement, criticism or division in any way. The human race does indeed need to heal, and we can all see this clearly. The only question in our mind should be “How can I be part of the solution?”
I assure you, you cannot heal something through force, destruction, conflict, opposition and anger, and because each of us is a cell in the great body of humanity, we must begin by healing the division, anger, fear and hostility within ourselves. If we decide to do this and each focus upon restoring peace to ourselves – rather than watching what everybody else is doing wrong – we will find that, very quickly, the world will seem a much more peaceful, safe and stable place to be. This will occur as we cease to look through eyes of division and judgement, and instead eyes of compassion and understanding.
The journey begins with seeing the degree to which we have set ourselves in opposition to other people, to ourselves and to humanity in general through our judgments and fears. We need to stop punishing ourselves and stop punishing other people. Yes, we are imperfect as a human, and so is everyone else, but we still need to be treated with care and compassion, as does everyone else on this planet. We must forgive ourselves for all our failings, and forgive other people for all their failings. Human society is a topsy-turvy and deeply complicated structure to be a part of, so we must not blame anyone for how they are coping with it, or how their upbringing has conditioned them.
The media does indeed polarise people, it does weigh them down with an abundance of negative and worrisome information, and we have to try and maintain our sanity and decency amongst all of this. It is a great challenge, but life becomes so much easier (and richer) when you introduce patience, tolerance, compassion and decency into the equation, extending them to all people without exception. Refuse to judge people, for that is merely fuel for inner division and hostility. Refuse to label a person or a group of people as ‘the bad guys’, for you do not know what has driven them, influenced them and led them to where they are. All human beings need healing.
To a great extent we are all the victims of a very manipulative media-driven society, so we should have empathy for our fellow citizens, no matter what their belief systems are, because most belief systems are influenced by the information that is presented to us as we grow up. Have compassion for all the simple humans, including yourself, that are just trying to feel safe in this world, and be watchful that you don’t allow your thoughts to generate feelings of hostility towards anyone, including your own self, for we are all vulnerable children at heart, looking for security in all the wrong places (such as belief systems). When we do this, and our belief system is subsequently threatened, we instantly feel insecure, as if someone is shaking the foundations of our safe dwelling place. This is the problem we have with investing ourselves in beliefs. Every other person with a strong, differing belief system is seen as a threat to our feeling of security. So if we are to live peacefully, our inner security must come from elsewhere. It must come from our heart, from our knowledge and faith in the power of Love. This is the difference between building your house upon the rock or upon the sand. Belief systems are not stable, and must be put to the side in the pursuit of peace. Love, compassion and tolerance must take centre stage, and we must reorient ourselves around them.
We must understand that all division and hostility begin in our mind, in our thoughts. Once we see this, we will realise that we have a choice whether to engage with such thoughts, or whether to steer clear of them, and come back to our heart, come back to a feeling of compassion and forgiveness. No matter who your thoughts tell you is the enemy, who you should be against, just see what those thoughts are trying to do. They are trying to lead you away from peace and into a realm of hostility. Don’t go there, come back to your heart, come back to peace.
You cannot have conflict and enjoy peace at the same time. And the idea that a person (or a group of people) will have peace once they have gotten rid of all their enemies is just as erroneous, because a mind in conflict will always create new opposition and new enemies, guaranteed. You will only have peace when you stop fighting, when you stop positioning yourself against other people in your mind, and thus creating your own opposition.
We are a human family – a very dysfunctional, divided and unwell family for sure, but a family nonetheless – and peace is possible if we individually address our own dysfunction and sickness, rather than pointing out everyone else’s. Because it is healing that we are in most dire need of, and this must now be our focus, individually and collectively.
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