“Everything is for your benefit.” – – A Course In Miracles
In her recent book “Blowout,” Rachel Maddow tells the story of a brazen hacker who went by the pseudonym “Guccifer” (“the style of Gucci and the light of Lucifer) who tapped into the email accounts of Colin Powell, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and others. Just for fun. And to become famous. His shenanigans began in 2013 and lasted til his apprehension the following year. His base was Transylvania and he bore no political affiliation, and his actions didn’t seem to cause any lasting damage. However, the ease with which he hacked into accounts and caused turmoil didn’t go unnoticed. Particularly by the Kremlin.
Maddow goes on to describe a sort of “think tank” created by the Kremlin existing for the sole purpose of creating bogus Facebook accounts. And becoming versed in and preying on every weak spot in America they could possibly unearth. So what was once considered “social media” began to get more and more contaminated. One would have to live under a rock these days to not notice the divisiveness in our country no matter what your political affiliation. And still I’m talking about a different type of Facebook war.
In the last week, I have un-followed three people from my FB page due to content they posted. What I was getting tired of was repeated posts of stories originally printed one, two and even three years ago. Let me make this perfectly clear (pun intended): I am no Trump fan. Even so it bothers me to see folks reaching back that far to post stories that are very old news. It seems to do little to resolve tension and divisiveness in the air.
Solution? How about not logging into Facebook. (blush) Yeah, I’ve thought of that. It’s an addicts paradise. What better place to go and ignore whatever may be going on inside with juicy stories about others. And events that we don’t agree with, to say the least. And daily political turmoil. I’m in no way advocating being ignorant of current events in a messed up world. What I’m suggesting is that there’s a middle ground between being informed and staying emotionally balanced. And I’ll be the first to admit that some days it’s a very difficult task. It’s made even harder for me when I play too long with a social media tool that has become weaponized.
The late Ken Wapnick helped to edit A Course In Miracles with Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford. The Course is big on projection, forgiveness, and the enormous presence of guilt in every human being. Wapnick used to suggest that the reason we like “bad guys” in the movies is because they would get their just whatevers in the end and we could walk away satisfied and maybe even happy. What he further suggested is really going on is that we’re projecting our guilt onto an on-screen villain, thus supposedly clearing it out of ourselves and onto the offending character. Presto! Guilt free! Not so fast.
Anyone who has been in a human body for while knows that the projection dynamic doesn’t work very well for permanent change. And where are we but in a real life “movie?” The movie will end one day. And nobody gets out alive. As far as I can tell the objective is to leave as clean and peacefully as possible. The projection dynamic is prevalent today. No matter what your political, religious, or ethic viewpoint, there exists a smorgasbord of targets in the world. It can be very difficult to remember that the origin of whatever discomfort I feel is inside, rather than on the bullseye I’ve placed on a person, place or thing.
In 1993 a group of varying size (between 800-4,000)of TM Sidhas put together what they called a meditation project that lasted for two months. A study focused on the period between July 7th and July 30th, in which the crime rate in Washington D.C. was reduced by as much as 23%. Before the project, the Chief Of Police was asked what would reduce crime by 20% in his town. His answer? “Twenty inches of snow.” My friend Rose does an astonishing amount of work on behalf of nurses in her role as President of the Minnesota Nurse’s Association. If you’re a FB friend of hers, you will see regular posts of her flying around the country from one event to another, working tirelessly to effect change in a terribly unbalanced industry. She is a shining example of activism, and obviously she makes a difference in the world. That is one way. In a conversation I had with her a few months ago I suggested that there is another way.
About two years ago I told my Alanon story at an Uptown Pin Night, to be followed by an AA speaker. After I finished I sat down and was blind-sided by a huge hug by the AA speaker on her way up to the podium. As she began her talk she looked my way and said, “I was so nervous and you relaxed me.” I say this not to toot my own horn, but to remind myself that there are people I know who affect my world just for the fact of their calm presence. We all know somebody like that. They spend a considerable amount of their day focusing inside themselves. This can do much to affect world change, probably more than any of us thinks. There may be revolution of such folks occurring right now that we don’t hear about due to the focus of news being everything “bad” in the world. It may in fact be what’s causing such a huge shift in the world, who knows? I know it doesn’t get caused by inundating social media with attacks. One Course In Miracles lesson is “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” A tall order, but at least for short periods of time, doable.
I miss Facebook being a harmless little fun page where I could send friends messages or look at upcoming events or games. It’s one thing to post an occasional opinion or political story, It’s entirely different to be obsessed with them. My solutions are simple. Get off Facebook, or remember that everything exists to be forgiven. It’s not personal, and it is indeed for my benefit.