Look Out!  The World is Not as Bad as They Say

In 1994, a commentator on the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, referred to the frequency illusion as the Baader-Meiinhof phenomenon.  He was referencing the left-wing terrorist group operating out of Germany at the time.  Basically, after learning about the Baader-Meinhof gang for the first time and then seeing it referenced somewhere else less than 48 hours later, it triggered cognitive bias leading to the belief that its more frequent and more prominent than it really is.

It’s like seeing a car we like and the next day we research it online and suddenly we begin to see more and more of these on the road, which further strengthens the frequency bias.  But the matrix didn’t upload more of these cars into reality, it’s just that our awareness is attached to it.

In a recent interview with Sadhguru, a journalist asked about tragedies and the further mix of politics and faith.  Basically, saying that the world is getting worse and worse. 

Sadguru said yes, it’s happening, but much less than ever before; that there are less and less atrocities and tragedies in the world.  Basically, the world is getting better. 

It’s true, by the way: multiple studies, reports, and data show that the world is a much safer place than ever before.  Anyways, the journalist said, “Really, it seems to be much worse than ever before.”

Sadhguru replied, “No, that’s because of you (referring to her position as a journalist).  See, if ten people get beheaded in some remote part of Iraq, you make sure the blood spills into my living room.”

It is the journalist’s job and the business of “news” to make sure tragedy, atrocities, and politics spill into our living rooms from multiple, almost inescapable sources.  The more we see it, the stronger the Baader-Meiinhof phenomenon gets.  Then it’s hard not to believe the world is horrible place. 

He went on to say that without “journalism” or the prevalent bombardment of doom and gloom news, we’d be quite fine: “Say we’re sitting here a thousand years ago and a thousand people are killed in Iraq, we will sit here peacefully thinking the world is going really great; spring time.  Everything is nice”.  No tragic “journalism” back then.    

Negativity sells, because we’re wired to sense danger.  It’s cheap and easy to sell news, because of this.  And its not just the “news”, it’s entertainment.  Tragedy-based TV shows are immensely popular and that’s a real problem.  We consume this stuff in mass quantities and our frequency-bias is on overload.  Everything we see is ugly and the world is shit.

Many TV shows cleverly inject messaging and propaganda as well.  Divisiveness, racism, and politics sewn into the storyline to anger us and further divide us. 

Imagine we’re asked to perform a visual search on a computer screen that is full of different images and the proctor tells us to remember a car.  But, then when the screen is displayed, we’re told to look for a dog.  While there is a car in the display of images somewhere, it’s completely irrelevant.  Our job is to find the dog.  However, the car distracts us, especially when we keep seeing it (and we keep seeing it because of cognitive bias), making it much slower and more difficult to find the dog.

The dog is a metaphor for happiness, peace, and unity.  Try not to think of the car, even though the proctor told us to remember it.  The car is a metaphor for racism (cleverly disguised as anti-racism), anger, tragedy, division, politics, and negativity.  Now, try focusing on that dog.

There’s a lot of money in racism, shit-politics, divisiveness, atrocities, and tragedy and until that’s fixed, they won’t let it die.  Wait … I here the Bee Gees playing in the background, “Tragedy; when the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on, it’s tragedy.  When you lose control and you got no soul, it’s tragedy.” 

Like the dog and car image search and much like the Baader-Meiinhof phenomenon, we have to be aware and consciously observant of our surroundings, but at the same time, if we can’t ignore those surroundings, we wouldn’t be able function at all.

For the most part, the world is a better place than its been by a long shot.  We’re just not given the chance to see it and enjoy it.  I’ve traveled to many places and interacted with people of many different origins, ethnicities, languages, traditions, and so on; and … the overwhelming vast majority of them are good people.  But, we give all the power and attention to the tiny minority of assholes.    

So, for better life function, for happiness, for unity, for success, for peace, and love, ignore the “car” (don’t give it any energy or power), ignore what is surrounding us, so that we can see what is truly in our surroundings. 


Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

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