The male cast of “Friends” mimicking “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
We call them Sheeple, sleepers, and mindless zombies. We refer to them as brain-washed and brain-dead. Obviously, these are not terms of endearment. We are less than understanding because it seems their blinders are putting us all in danger. We endlessly criticize them for not being more aware, while we desperately wish they would start to wake up. We somehow know that the transformation of our world, for which we are impatiently waiting, is also waiting for more of them to wake up.
What can we do?
It seems like a “Catch-22.” The world will not change until many more people begin to wake up, and yet many more people will not wake up until some major change begins to occur. At some point, there may very well be a historical breaking point, an Event of consequence, when business as usual no longer applies, and the illusion of normalcy is stripped away. How will the Sheeple react? Will they awaken en masse, to hope or to fear?“I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
There are certainly a few blank-eyed-hypnotized-zombie-like humanoids running around the planet, but the majority of sleepers I personally know (friends, family, coworkers) are far from brain-dead. They are quite alive – they just live in a very different reality.
So for the purpose of this article, I would like to refer to them as “Willful Children” – not because they are too obstinate to wake up, but because they have chosen to remain as naive and unburdened as children. They retreat into the freedom of a false innocence, and the Matrix is happy to feed them childish distractions. Many are simply too afraid to face the enormity of the illusory world they live in, a fear of powerlessness. They hide it well, but you can see the fear in the way they brush off and ignore uncomfortable subjects. Then the ego steps in and reasserts its domain, reinforcing the bubble.
Hopefully, this new label is more humanizing, more compassionate, for it’s not entirely their fault. They were raised by their parents to remain children. They were taught by their teachers not to question the official story. They grew up believing their country and government was honorable and upright. We were just like them before we awakened.
Willful Children always demand concrete proof of a government conspiracy or an extraterrestrial presence because they believe you will not be able to produce it. Thus they can remain in the safe confines of their reality bubble. And when you actually do present them with some prove, they immediately dismiss it as not good enough. Their minds have already been made up.
Unfortunately, we are hard-wired to ignore information that is not a part of our belief system. Our minds literally filter it out.“We tend to remember news that accords with our worldview, and discount statements that contradict it.
In another Stanford study, 48 students, half of whom said they favored capital punishment and half of whom said they opposed it, were presented with two pieces of evidence, one supporting and one contradicting the claim that capital punishment deters crime. Both groups were more convinced by the evidence that supported their initial position.
Consumers of news, for their part, are prone to selectively accept and remember statements that reinforce beliefs they already hold. In a replication of the study of students’ impressions of evidence about the death penalty, researchers found that even when subjects were given a specific instruction to be objective, they were still inclined to reject evidence that disagreed with their beliefs.”
― Your Brain Lies To You, New York Times
Willful Children do not comprehend that there is a larger spiritual reason why we souls in human incarnation are not allowed much proof, that we live behind the veil of forgetfulness for our spiritual and emotional evolution. (We could call them “young souls,” but that would be a digression into another article.)
Of course, the reality they believe in and the reality hidden by the media, transpiring behind the scenes, are two very different worlds, as different as night and day. To them – they are the ones living in daylight, and we are the ‘nuts’ stumbling around in the darkness of conspiracy theories. To us – we are the ones awake to truth/daylight, and they are the ones still sleeping in a dark illusion. Quite the mirror!“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
On a personal note, the sleepers I know and love (and tolerate) reside on both sides of the political duality spectrum. My friends and coworkers are highly educated urban liberals. My relatives are midwestern conservative Christians. Both groups are nice, loving, supportive, positive people. However, both groups are completely ignorant of what is really going on in the world, though I would venture to say that the educated liberals are far more deluded in their worldview than the Fox News watching Christians (and that statement comes from a former liberal!) It often seems that both sides tend to dehumanize the opposing group, so if we are to be true to our principles, the awakened should take care not to dehumanize the sleepers.
For the most part, I accept my friends, family, coworkers as they are. I let them live in their bubbles. Occasionally, I’ll find an oportunity to interject a new idea that might trigger an inquiry. Usually, they just ignore that which they don’t wish to hear. And while Snowden’s revelations have pried open many closed minds, they are still too invested in blissful ignorance to take a good look through the crack. So when I sit through a film like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” that is so blatant in its message, I kinda want to scream, “Wake up you mindless drones!” But then that does no one any good. Frustration comes easy. Compassion is difficult.
And of course, there are a lot more of them then there are of us. Unfortunately, if recent history were any indication, there’s not much hope for improvement.
Taking a look back through history, I’m struck by the knowledge that western culture has regressed both mentally and emotionally, from collective adulthood to collective childhood. Today, we are a nation of preadolescents. Let me explain.
Let’s look at just one factor – reading skills. If you have ever once opened a book that was written in the seventeenth to the early twentieth century you were probably daunted by the complexity of the language and the depth of information. This was equally true for literary classics as well as learned academic books. Just try reading one of the metaphysical tomes that were popular around the turn of the twentieth century. You might sware it was written in another language. Western literature has gone from Shakespeare, Chaucer, Austen, Dickens, Poe, Twain, and Steinbeck to … The Hunger Games. As a culture, we’ve actually been conditioned to believe this is progress.“High school students today are reading books intended for children with reading levels far below those appropriate for teens, according to a recent report.
A compilation of the top 40 books teens in grades 9-12 are reading in school shows that the average reading level of that list is 5.3 — barely above the fifth grade.
“The single most important predictor of student success in college is their ability to read a range of complex text with understanding,” Coleman writes. “If you examine the top 40 lists of what students are reading today in 6th–12th grade, you will find much of it is not complex enough to prepare them for the rigors of college and career.”
― American High School Students Are Reading Books At 5th-Grade-Appropriate Levels: Report, Huffington Post
Is it any wonder we’ve become a nation of Willful Children? Let’s look at a more recent example, films. Are you old enough to remember that motion pictures used to be written and distributed for an adult audience? Comic book heroes were once relegated to the Saturday matinée serials. As a kid in the seventies, children’s films were low-budget Disney films. Star Wars (which was my favorite film at the time) changed everything. Today, comic book heroes have turned the old classic movie houses into multiplexes and more sophisticated, low-budget adult films face a limited release in urban art houses.
The maturity level and character development of motion pictures has gotten so bad that Oscar-winning actors and actresses are now flocking to television, once considered the death of a film career. Kevin Spacey, Sally Field, Kate Winslet, Forest Whitaker, Kathy Bates, Linda Hunt, and Glenn Close just to name a few.
Let’s take a look at television over the years. Once upon a time we had healthy, if unrealistic, family role models in shows like “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver.” Now we have family shows that without exception represent the father as a bumbling idiot, like Homer Simpson or Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family.” Meanwhile, shows like “Friends” depict young adults as emotionally stunted children.
Some cultural historians credit James Dean as being the first American teenager (though he was 22 when he made his first film.) Extrapolating the point, we might speculate that prior to the 1950’s, western culture was an adult world. It became a young adult world from the 1950’s thru the 1970’s with the rise of the youth counter-culture. Then it became a teenage world from the 1980’s to 2000, obsessing over high school in so many films and TV shows – a far cry from an age that venerated maturity, wearing powdered wigs in the eighteenth century – I’m certainly not arguing for a return to pre-revolutionary style, just appealing for a little balance.
Right now, we’re living in a preteen world. Our adolescent selves are now in charge. Between Twitter, Disney, Angry Birds, and Justin Bieber, they are the engine of our doomed economy in too many ways. Preteens and their pre-sexual angst have become the new focal point of our media, from super heroes and video games, to “selfies” and teen paranormal romance novels like the “Twilight” series. And the adults are more than happy to indulge their own inner-preteen, and obsess over theses mindless distractions as well. Western culture now caters to Willful Children, the adults who wish to be more like their own children.
I highly recommend reading this mother’s post, describing how Disney subliminally changed her child’s behavior.“It’s hard enough to raise kids who will have the moral fortitude to stand up for themselves and for each other. It’s hard enough to teach my little girls to be proud and brave and own their bodies and their brains without apology. To recognize and condemn cruelty and sexism. It’s hard enough to get a moment to catch my breath and feel like my kids are safe and entertained for 30 minutes under the DISNEY umbrella without unwittingly downloading vain, cruel, and damaging sexist garbage into their impressionable brains. Shame on my naiveté and trust in the Disney name.”
― Disney is Ruining My Kid, IndeedIAm
By now, you’ve probably either written all this off as a lot of reactionary nonsense (if you are a sleeper) or concluded that none of this is by accident, that we have been purposely directed down a carefully scripted path of cultural regression. And this is a major reason why all the sleepers will not awaken, because they have been turned into Willful Children. And children are much easier to traumatize, control, and transform into submissive corporate wage slaves.
How do we get them to wake up? First we have to ask them to grow up. And as the Universe well knows, nothing forces children to grow up faster than challenging times.
We may be in store for some challenging times.