“We are deceived by the appearance of truth.” Horace.
Repeating the last sentence of the previous entry “Shadow Society – Part One” and in relation to Horacio’s initial quote, the “shadow society“, consists for each one of us an allegory about the reality of our knowledge, our emotions, our values and yes, of our own conscience.
As in the myth of the cave, the same thing happens to us, whether we participate in social networks or in the “analog” society and we can look at it from the following three dimensions:
- The anthropological dimension (human nature),
- The ontological (of being) and epistemological (of knowledge) dimension and,
- The moral dimension (appreciation of society) and political dimension (way of governing).
Already in its day, the myth of the cave mentioned a series of very current characteristics: the existence of an independent truth and alien to the opinions of human beings, the presence of constant deceptions that make us remain deaf and blind to that truth, and of course, the “awakening“, “realizing” and “jumping over your own shadow“, which means becoming aware of that truth and our own identity. Once you become aware of it, there is no going back.
This is exactly what happens to us in our daily lives, specifically to the extent that the media, social networks and popular opinions shape our points of view and our way of thinking without us being aware of it (ontological dualism), and the distinction between opinion and knowledge (epistemological dualism).
Being election weeks at the time I write these reflections, I omit my thoughts about the moral dimension (valorization of society) and politics (way of governing), although words are unnecessary for anyone who follows the “electoral circus” in these and other moments.
In most cases, they try to transmit and instill in us a series of customs and traditions without any alternative, making us prisoners of the society in which we live and, at the same time, we educate ourselves chained to a controlled and politicized media that we give a subjective and distorted version of reality.
How to escape this shadow society? Through knowledge, study, critical thinking, reflection, abandonment of knowledge bias, unhealthy reductionism, and many other measures more available to anyone today. However, the really difficult thing will be to convince the fellow cavemates that their reality is not true but mere fiction. A shadow reality.
Due to our human condition, we may not be able to do without that world of shadows, but we can make a conscious effort so that those shadows are cleared, and we can shed light on what these shadows were trying to hide. However, we must not give up our curiosity and neither accept surrender to the comfort that “the illusion of knowledge” gives us.
I hope to be wrong that today’s society has been reduced to a cave of newscasts, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and LinkedIn, and the human being has allowed himself to be chained to a reality that is not his own and is not willing to find out the true one, because it prefers to cling to a populist and comfortable truth, albeit false, emanating from leaders as impostors and ignorant as fools.
I also hope that the psychologist and cognition neuroscientist Donald Hoffman is also wrong, who said that we are being deceived by the belief of our own reality and also affirmed that this conflict of reality versus adaptability has its consequences. The perception of reality is losing as our senses and the brain build reality to live, not to perceive the truth …
Hoffman coined the term “post-truth”, named a 2016 word in English by the prestigious Oxford Dictionary and defined it as “an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief…”
How will it continue? It is up to you, dear reader. The exit is in sight and at your fingertips. You and only YOU decide.
To “get out of the cave and its shadows“, all you need is awareness, attention, training, evaluation, and proper communication. All being factors within our own responsibility and field of action.
Your results are a direct consequence of your actions and these, in turn, have their origin in your decisions, which are not only conditioned, but also determined by your perspective, which is nothing more than a reflection of what you are aware of.
If you want to delve into this topic and learn how to “escape from the cave and the shadows”, I invite you to click and get straight to the point.
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