In many parts of the world, the information is controlled with great effort and therefore you cannot put their world view on equal footing with interpretations in the free world. In the free world, there may be controlling factors as well, but only locally. A researcher usually needs a grant to do their work, and of course there is a problem with this as it can restrict the freedom. But different countries are run by different people, belonging to different sides in the political spectra and many of the conspiracies are not realistic because of these facts. So no, climate researchers do not spend time making their research political. There is no Jewish conspiracy and the Holocaust is as real as it always has been. The famine in Ukraine happened whatever Putin is saying. In other words, the Holodomor was a reality and a disgrace of the human enterprise. The earth is round. Elon Musk has done great work and is behind Tesla's success. The covid issue is not something that was faked by the medical researchers. Vaccines are great tools to fight against deadly diseases. NATO is not an offensive military organization that seek to destroy enemies. USA is not the devil. The western countries are responsible for a lot of freedom, but also darkness because of such things as slavery, as of conquering other nations, taking their resources. But one should emphasize that the people in the west, they organized, they invented things, they brought down the elite and put the people in power and fought for a civilized world. And the elite that did so many horrible things are no longer in power - at least in principle. But we owe the world that still is struggling to keep on spreading what's good and accept that there are two aspects of our history.
The anger of many people against other political views and societies, is to me a consequence of a combination of two parts. On one hand the insane political system the soviet communism was. And on the other hand the problematic parts with our capitalistic system that is an enabler for people to make money through non ethical manipulations. To me this was the lethal combination that caused many of the conflicts we see today in the world. Make no mistakes, but Stalin was a horrifying person and the system he sat up makes anyone with the slightest intelligence frightened and ready to fight back. I'm leaning to the left side in the political spectra and really feel the darkness of that era and what came after it. CIA and other western intelligence organization probably new how Soviet manipulated people in west and this fact is to me a clue to how their continuing actions went. The problem in west however was how the Soviet union was a boggy man that one could use to manipulate and get ones way of argument. I suspect that for example oil companies and associates used this strategy to handle the crises in Iran when the Iranian elected governmant decided to let the state take over their own oil resources that was at that time owned by foreign companies. An action that to me likely led to the situation we have today in this region. Of cause I speculate, but my point is to put fingers on the forces that ruled a good part of the world from 1945 to 199X. It was simply bloody difficult to orient yourself and difficult to do the right thing under these circumstances.
Reality is a horrible mess. And I have only one recommendation, try to keep two (many) thoughts in your head at the same time, it's hard but it's a great achievement if you can do that. I do not claim I can; I fall in the traps of human nature as everybody else. I also generalize. I have difficulty stepping out of my mind and take in the one I'm talking to. I miss some important facts. But still, I believe the points above are true and that at the same time it does not give anybody a free pass to behave nasty. For example, I do not like that Jewish people are attacked in my home country, I can see the mechanisms behind why they are attacked, and at the same time I do not give them a free pass to do whatever they like to Palestinians. I understand that this question is too difficult for me to judge, I'm not educated enough, and I let the professionals meddle. I just keep on living enjoying the company of my friends who are atheists, buddhist, christian, jewish, muslim, swedish, american, english, pakistani, indian, serbian, russian, iranian, taiwanese, afghan, tunisian and all others that comes from so many more places.
This brings about a point I would like to make. I will dress the idea in poetry as I like to paint a picture that that I think all leaders should consider and contemplate. I am of course a nobody, but still I would like to contribute at least a seed of thought.
As I've grown older, I recognize that a leader, or a speaker, should not think of themselves as a teacher that force feed the audience with information and rightful thoughts, a theme that I recognize poison the world today and is the actual inspiration to rehash this point again, that in a sense is obvious and not at all unique. This failed approach does not align with what I would call the way of God, or the way of a father, or the way of a lover, or the way of a fellow human. If you have something important on your mind, do not think that you are the sole one or group with knowledge or the genius that walks the earth or the one that herds the sheep. People are more intelligent and informed than you may think (for instance, it's absurd to compare a brain surgeon to a sheep). You are a servant and put in place as a gardener of all the seeds of thoughts, hope, ideas, life, death and things beyond, that lives in peoples hearts and souls. People are unique and each flower that grows in their heart is different, nurse them, listen to their nature, make sure the soil is full of nutrients. With your words and action resonate with the miracle of life that will create a healthy rainfall that all these flowers need to flourish and color the world. And if you realize you fail and do not resonate. Take it with grace and contemplate why other (smart people) do not agree with you, reformulate and argue your point, being aware that you may be wrong and need to recalibrate.
A good example that I have on my mind, is Martin Luther King with his iconic speech "I have a dream". I think he really resonated in a good fraction of the people in the way I paint here. He was able to put words and momentum for a kind of revolution, or maybe that is too strong words, inspire thoughts that blossom and that contained a momentum of change that lead to much much better condition for people of color in the years to come. He was seen as a great threat to such a degree that he was killed. But this is my second point here. The garden grew by itself, with the right momentum. As a result, there was much more color in the world for the people in the years that came after his speech.
The legend of Messiah is to me not a person, but instead a state of mind in how we organize our societies, how we keep seeing the unique human, but also make sure that we also recognize the collective, the human enterprise. In essence, i think (and I'm not alone) that we need to accept that we are different sides of the same idea, that we are all connected, and that we are not above any other human, country, religion or culture. It means that gardeners treat their work professionally. I would be beneficial if these "gardeners" accepted that the world is complex, that other gardeners also try their best to improve and find a solution, mitigate problems, mediate in conflicts - simply put, they should have a professional and inclusive attitude. Over many years this state seemed to me to move in the right direction. But today I looks like it is under attack. Megalomania, supremacy and egoism seem to spread. To summarize this section. I choose, as a technical idea of an argument, to interpret the Messiah legend as not a single person, but this state and a teamwork of gardeners, that aspire to do good even if they do not agree on every point,
I could mention many things I think about when reading philosophy and learning about religions. But of course, I do not have much knowledge and I admit my ignorance. Still some images rest in my mind. But more so I get an impression of these different cultures, by interacting with friends of different origin. It is not hard to find great points in all cultures/people you engage with, if you choose to view it with a positive filter. Many tend to focus too much on the negative side in their arguments on what's foreign to their culture. So I will, to counter this, try to write down a few personal observations, these are of cause generalizations, and there are overlaps, and may contain a naive view, but the point is not to be exact, the point is to paint my good impression and not dwell too much on each paragraph.
I absolutely love how Christians today focus on the word love. That is a guiding light to me, and a strength. To always have a fire inside the chest that speak of those warm feelings of platonic love and hence also respect. I also see how this religion has shaped itself where I live to be inclusive and open minded. I identify with the monks and their hard work. I admire the Swedish priests and how they managed to incorporate science and a modern society into a 2000 year old religion.
The Jewish culture represents to me a clarity and a balance between intelligence and poetry. My name is, although it comes from a deep Christian origin, also very Jewish - a mix-up that happens, for example, when anyone of my relatives with this name visit countries abroad like Israel. Somehow this bound me with the Jewish culture although I might not have any Jewish heritage. Their tragedy and horror also speak to me, with the warning against madness when the balance between thought and practicality is disturbed, as in Hitler's regime and Stalin's Soviet Union, which are evil because they are irrational thoughts detached from reality.
Muhammed and his followers represent devotion for me, they are a culture that is quite pleasant to interact with in my experience. It is like breathing fresh air when you hear a speech from them totally void of bragging and self-fulfillment and with a strong focus on being the servant of the word more than the teacher of the mind, this inspires me.
The Hindu culture is mystical and strange to me, one of the oldest tales of words beyond life. Their depictions of life, boiling intensity, and the theme of rebirth often touches my stream of thoughts. Glitches in reality that slightly opens the door to something else send me back to past life, at least in my mind. It stands for history and guides me, as a seeker, to explore what came before. They inspire me to strive for enlightenment rather than immortality.
Buddhism, this is about philosophy, to become the image that Buddha represents. To seek an interpretation where no God is assumed, to put a meaning to it all with no heaven and hell. A philosophy that in my understanding are non offensive. A culture that always try to reach for a smile (humor, kindness), even if it does not materialize on my lips.
The Eastern tradition with the iconic yin and yang stands for balance. This picture is so fundamental that it hangs in the wall of my mind and always remind of the interplay of the extremes. To humble myself to listen to my opponent and realize that interaction and conflict is not always bad; they can be creative. And yes, creativity itself is the balance act and productive conflict between logic and poetry, which is my style.
I highly value science, philosophy, logic, atheism, humanism. This makes me feel like I, too, am a flower that is beautiful in my own way. I am many times in this role, being productive. It gave the theoretical framework on how to accept religion and keep it as a poetic picture that makes me whole as a human. It gave me a view that makes a God or gods not a necessity but a possibility and in a sense saved me from going too deep. It makes it easier to accept other cultures and religions, as I am not bound to follow and believe in any one of them. It also benefited the writing of this blog post, as I have no stakes and obligations to follow and hence do not dwell over details and logical issues that come with a more classical and specific belief.
In all we all should allowed to be criticized as well. If done with great care and mindfulness it help all of us to grow. To be able to have a constructive discussion is a very important for us all to be grounded in reality and truth. We have the classic approach that starts with for example; "I like your idea, you have these strong points in your argument, A,B,C. But I think that there is a weak spot in the end of argument C."
This post is not about criticizing however. It's to start urging people to find a common ground and a good connection in order to actually be able to deliver something that you find disturbing or wrong. Failing to do so can be counterproductive. And as always this goes both ways. From my experience I would like the criticizing I see to be a bit more spiced with patience and humbleness. This improved way of discussion between us connects to maybe the strongest point in this text which in my mind is the metaphor of the gardeners. To etch that image with the association to the legend of Messiah, as a sort of idea of an ideal situation how we manage all societies and cultures of the world. Sure a grand idea, but why not.