2018-01-25-Meeting and Responding to Censorship
Topic: Meeting and Responding to Censorship
Group: Lightline TeaM
Student: Yes, I have a question, Michael. I don’t have a problem accepting other people’s opinions, no matter how antithetical they may be to my own. But when one is confronted with someone, or a group--say a cult whose idea of their own freedom is the right to curtail the freedom of others, what does one do about that? Do we accept that?
- Meeting and responding to censorship
Michael: Well, yes, my son, you put your finger right on one of the greatest difficulties. What do you do when you’re confronted with a very narrow-minded person, or a group that is doing their best to curb your own freedom of expression? I don’t think there is any other way to deal with that situation but to accept the reality and demand your own expression. Now if it gets all the way into some physical confrontation, this is where your more liberal societies have very good laws about everyone’s freedom of speech and expression. So you literally have no choice in terms of your own freedom but to express yourself right in their face if necessary.
Hopefully your political life comes in and you do your best to promote those policies right on a city, or county, or state, or nation-wide level. Promote those politicians who are representing you and your belief in the greatest amount of freedom. Throw all your weight behind those organizations that promote the greatest variety of expression.
I know this is difficult because your modern media tends toward polarization. In your politics where half the people don’t bother to vote, those that do--different political parties’ so-called “base”--are those individuals who are so emotionally wrapped up in the problems of the day they will get out and vote. This tends to polarize opinion.
But again, my son, you have your own notions, and opinions, and understanding of things. I encourage you to do your best to express yourself and promote those who believe in and demonstrate the greatest degree of freedom of speech and expression.
Student: Yes--good. Thank you.
- Responding creatively—providing the link
Michael: This is your responsibility, your ability-to-respond and, as you say, call them out and challenge them. Hopefully you can do so in ways as I did in my own human life. It can be a matter of teasing, or sometimes simply presenting another view. Do your best to understand their point of view so you can provide them with a link to your own. A lot of the time they may be into a rather simple-minded, restrictive way of looking at things. Here you’re giving them that next connecting step if you can. The good ones will appreciate it. Above all avoid becoming just their opposite counter-point for that is just butting heads.
Student: Right. Thank You.
Michael: Thank you for your question. Be in my peace.
Student: I think tonight you have opened up a wide area of interest and I’d like to approach it. I think we were talking more about within a nation and how it might handle different things. I’d like to have us talk about internationally.
I think the United States offers a good example in our founding concepts of a free culture and the right to your thoughts and thinking. Especially now with the internet we can look to other nations and be very aware of their different cultures. What would be the appropriate role for the United States with respect to the freedom of women and their rights, which we are coming to recognize here? We see other cultures that really seem wrong to us, but what is the proper role of the United States in terms of addressing we might see in another nation?
- Be well informed internationally
Michael: Well, yes, my son; let me put it this way. Everything I said tonight was internationally oriented. I meant that very much when I said that when you turn on your TV or internet you can bring in the whole world and be aware of it. Every nation-state has their own propaganda of their viewpoint on life--their cultures. These are available to you now with just a little bit of research by way of your United Nations. Of course all the different languages are a barrier to a Russian, or Indian, or Chinese viewpoint, but since they are very interested in what the people of the United States think because of the power you have both economically and militarily, you are very blessed in that they do have English presentations.
All this is available to you, so the first thing is getting to know them. Again, as I said before, this can be somewhat difficult because your own media is very polarized in how they see the United States relating to all the different nation states of the world—your so-called conservative or liberal viewpoints. Rather, get out there and see how they present themselves. This will tell you about their own internal feelings and what they think is important. Then you can formulate your own opinions and do your best to promulgate your own viewpoint towards them. This is where it gets rather political as you try to back those policies you would personally determine how the United States presents itself to all these different cultures. This is where you have to get involved yourself in your local, state, and national political realm. So be involved, but first of all get to know them.
Student: My issue though is: should the US--as a government--involve itself in any way in the internal affairs of another country? If a country is repressing the freedoms of their people, and the people through the inter-net are becoming aware of that, and some segment of that population would like to overthrow their government to open up more freedoms, my feeling is the US gets in the middle of that and tries to help them. Naturally the power in those countries opposes that, and yet it is something we want for their people. How should the US approach that?
- All the ways countries are connecting
Michael: My son, always keep in mind how everyone is involved with everyone else continuously already, especially in terms of what you call propaganda--the promulgation of each nation-state’s view of things such as the different relationship of the sexes you mentioned in different cultures. This exchange is already going on enormously and it is one of the greatest things of your present age. As you know, a couple of the more repressive nation states of the world recently have had revolutions happening because the young folks were tuning in to the internet and getting a kind of international transparency.
You can do this individually yourself, but when you are talking about the United States with its State Department, and then all the economic interrelationships between all of the countries, this is constantly going on all the time. Every little culture is doing its best to promulgate itself. When you think about the United States, there are thousands and thousands of different viewpoints of all the different organizations within it whether they are religious, or political, or economic. These are all in play all the time.
Do you see what I mean, my son? These are happening all of the time. There is no monolithic United States even within the State Department where they have differences of opinion that change from one administration to the next. Do you understand?
Student: Yes I do, it is a difficult area.
Michael: There is no monolithic single thing of any country anywhere for every country you can think of has this enormous variety within it. Obviously some of the more dictatorial, extremely repressive societies have a single official voice, whereas in more democratic societies you have a wide variety of opinion and viewpoints being expressed. Just be aware of the profound complexity of the dynamic that is constantly happening.
Student: Right. I would like to yield the floor to some of the others with their questions.
Michael: OK. Be in my peace.
- The wonderful variety of information now available
Well, if there are no more questions or comments, it is my hope that this last round of questions gave you the idea that, especially in your modern democracies, you have such an enormously wide spectrum of opinion from liberal to conservative--in terms of politics and policies--being expressed in your modern media--all your different TV stations and all the different websites on the internet with their tens of thousands of expressions of individuality.
Even within a particular administration, however democratically or un-democratically coming into power, the more closely you examine it the more you see a divergence of opinion, sometimes a desperate attempt in the less democratic, more rigid societies, the enormous extremes of repression to promulgate a single voice from a single person. Still in the world today, single individuals are given a god-like power of interpreting law and behavior. Even an oligarchy--a small group of individuals--can so totally control overt public expressions through controlling the media.
- Repressive governments are crumbling
Yet even now the broad internet is getting through the censorship. Mother Spirit and I have talked about what fear these totalitarian regimes live in as their control starts to break down more and more, especially since their younger people can tune in to the world. This is enormously accelerating the challenge to these more dictatorial societies, even to the point where Mother Spirit and I say you have to have some empathy, even some sympathy for them. For these cultures and systems of value and meaning that rely upon repression are crumbling. There is truly a world-wide general evolution happening right along with what I introduced tonight as individual freedom.
So do your best to see this and take it on as your own orientation for yourself. Be open-minded and know the wonderful glory in the fact you are living in an age where this is accelerating more and more, even to the point of having some sympathy for those whose iron grip on things is crumbling.
This is the challenge for each one of you, this open-mindedness, this getting beyond monolithic thinking and welcoming and expanding to encompass more and more yourself. This enormous personal variety does exist within all these classical nation-states. It’s the de-centralization of authority as individuals take greater and greater responsibility for themselves.
- Finding peace in greater freedom for self and others)
Mother Spirit sends her love, and I bid you: Be in my peace. You will find it in this greater freedom, so find it for yourself. Give it out for yourself, and then welcome it in everyone around you. It’s what growing a greater and greater soul is all about. Good night.