Today while I was meditating, I worked to examine why I was so angered by conspiracy theories. I started my exploration first in my own psyche exploring why it bothers me so much when people post these things online. Believing that anger takes place when our emotional buttons are pushed, I wanted to determine what those buttons were within me - what judgments I might be cultivating without my conscious awareness.
As I adhere to the thought that spending our time being fearful is detrimental not only to our mental health but also to our physical well-being, I could not fathom why anyone would want to propagate these theories and why others would so fervently promote them, especially those who identify as “spiritual.”
In our own ways, we are all seekers of truth. But why do some gravitate toward negativity and inflammatory rhetoric, and why do they accept these opinions with little actual proof or true science to back it? Is it because uncertain times breed a feeling of powerlessness? When we feel helpless, we can also feel hopeless or angry and having something or someone to blame for our situation is easier than accepting that there are things in life that randomly occur to wake us up. When we have someone to blame for our situation, it can make us feel more powerful than to accept an invisible enemy that has no conscience or apparent motive other than to replicate. Additionally, if there are others that agree with this vision of reality, then not only does it reinforce our world view, but it also somehow empowers us. In our fervent need to awaken others, we lash out at those who do not believe, thus helping us to not only feel superior to those poor fools, but also as a way to be striking out at our oppressors—The Gates, the Chinese, the Deep State, and the sheeple who believe that this virus is lethal are all being uncovered by US, the little man, and we will bring down all of those who are blind to our new wisdom. If we can do nothing about our invisible enemy—Covid-19—at least we can unmask the hidden enemies responsible for all our hardships and exert our right to make our own choices.
Uncertainty can cause people to believe whatever supports their fears. Remember what happened during the black plague? Millions of cats, Jews, and women were killed due to the fear that each of them was the cause, when in fact it was a flea often found on rodents that was the real culprit. When strange “illnesses” seemed to overtake three teen girls in the 1600s in Salem, Massachusetts, the witch trial fanaticism began.
Throughout history there have been conspiracy theories. Often, they led to unthinkable acts by people being riled up by others with their own motives.
Is that happening now, too?
In times like these, it is so important that we check facts with reputable sources. But at the same time, these theorists will tell you that those sources are somehow part of the conspiracy and consequently tainted. Read, study, explore. Why might someone profit from this hysteria? Look at sources that are both pro and con to your position; which is heavily researched and contains documented facts and which is supposition and based on emotion? Check the credentials, history, and past articles attributed to the experts who posted the article or video. Do your research.
In the end, how does this information really help us survive and even thrive after this is all said and done? If it creates more division, anger, pain, fear, and unhappiness, what benefit are you gaining by promoting it? Power comes from working together for the common good not from fear or guilt.
In the end of my meditation, I didn’t get a clear explanation for what buttons this issue presses in me and I will continue the work to figure out why. But I am clear that I don’t want to be a party to anything that makes anyone think they are superior to anyone else, and thus, allows them to cause pain or death through misguided information and a selfish concern for themselves over others. In this pandemic what you want should not take priority over what is best for those that have no choices now: the sick, elderly, disadvantaged, or minorities. If we want a world where everyone’s needs are primary, then we must work together to solve the problems that are surfacing now. Together is where are power lies.