Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Friday, January 14, 2000
1) The world has proved itself to be much more adaptable and flexible than many critics believed. This is important to recognize and acknowledge. It assumes not only the fundamental intelligence of man and the systems he creates, but the cybernetic, or self-correcting, nature. (Look for more of this flexibility regarding the morphing of the WTO and the transformation of mainstream medicine to embrace alternative approaches.) Yet this awareness should not cause complacency or the abandonment of vigilence.
2) The credibility of media everywhere has suffered. The fourth estate is supposed to be the watchdog of the other three, but it clearly got carried away with its desire to sensationalize dire outcomes. Reporters and their outlets need to figure out if they want to put capitalism, ego, or truth first. If it chooses capitalism, it will give us hype, justifying it by saying that's what we want/buy. Unfortunately, that is generally true, and we need to examine what psychological gains we get out of contemplating worst-case scenarios. If it chooses ego, it will present as truth whatever story it is emotonally/attitudinally married to at the time. If it chooses truth, it generally generally sacrifices love and compassion, as I believe it generally did regarding Clinton's impeachment. If journalism is going to earn respect and credibility, it has to reach deep down and come from some place that has more integrity than these three motives.
3) If we want to maintain our credibility, we have to figure out how to be both courageous and balanced at the same time. I think a lot of people got it wrong because they were more courageous than balanced.
4) Fear can be a subtle thing. Many people will disagree with this, but it seems to me that a lot of people were feeding fear. They were unwittingly increasing the possibility of mass hysteria and societal breakdown by broadcasting their own fears. This is a common defense mechanism Freud identified long ago, called projection. There are times when it is appropriate to amplify fear. But fear is corrosive when held for days, weeks, months. That should have been a tip-off.
5) The fact that we can believe that we are so right when we are, in fact, mistaken, is a statement about how disconnected our ego and its beliefs can get from reality. The solution to this is to get in touch with other parts of ourselves, both internally (the interviewing of subpersonalities in dreamwork, for instance) and externally (for instance making sure that we are not discounting other points of view that disagree with our own)