“In prison, illusions can offer comfort.” — Nelson Mandela.
For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the deceptive act is committed, and for the fool, reality then becomes inexplicably built upon on a lie. That is, until the fool wakes up and recognizes the truth in the fact that he has been duped.
Maintaining the suspension of disbelief in the illusion, however, is often more comforting than acknowledging the magician’s secrets.
We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.
Psychopaths disempower people in this way. They blind us with never ceasing barrages of suggestions and absolutes that are aimed at shattering self-confidence and confidence in the future.
Bansky, the revered and elusive revolutionary street artist, once commented:
“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small.They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.”
Advertising is just the tip of the iceberg. When we look further we see that the overall organization of life is centered around the pursuit of illusions and automatic obedience to institutions and ideas which are not at all what they seem. We are in a very real sense enslaved. Many call this somewhat intangible feeling of oppression ‘the matrix,’ a system of total control that invades the mind, programming individuals to pattern themselves in accordance with a mainstream conformist version of reality, no matter how wicked it gets.
The grandest of the illusions which keep us enslaved to the matrix, the ones that have so many of us still entranced, are outlined below for your consideration.
1. The Illusion of Law, Order and Authority
For so many of us, following the law is considered a moral obligation, and many of us gladly do so even though corruption, scandal, and wickedness repeatedly demonstrate that the law is plenty flexible for those who have the muscle to bend it.
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