Dealing with Distortions in Reality

It wasn't long after I read the initial draft of the piece Jerry published on Tuesday that I came across an article that struck me as relevant to the discussion of how centering allows us to come to learn the underlying truth of every situation.

The article describes the human cost of the the actions of the conspiracy theorists--Truthers, I guess they call themselves--who show up and insist that various atrocities never happened. The article in question deals with the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

(Here's a link to the article: Sandy Hook father Leonard Pozner on death threats: ‘I never imagined I’d have to fight for my child’s legacy.’ Be forewarned that there are details about the wounds suffered by his son that make this article a very tough read.)

An acquaintance of mine some years back was a 9/11 Denier. Our incipient friendship ended one night as he drunkenly shouted at me, "You have to accept that 9/11 was inside job!" No, I didn't, and I didn't need to be friends with someone who felt it was appropriate to treat me that way. We had an interaction in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, and he insisted that the events in Newtown that day constituted a "PsyOps operation" by the government, designed to distract the American people.

As my acquaintance offered insane details ostensibly contradicting the "official" reports of what happened in Newtown, I remember thinking of rejoinders to his claims, but I wisely chose not to engage in that manner. What was the point? But I also remember a sickening feeling of wrongness in my body as he spoke. I had a literally visceral feeling that the best course of action was to get out of the situation as quickly as possible and never look back. (I completely cut ties with him after that.)

This all happened well before I ever met Jerry, so I had never even heard of centering, and yet I still had a felt, embodied sense of wrongness as I experienced this man's unhinged diatribe. I guess I can consider myself lucky for that.

To say the very least, we live in complicated times. If we hope to engage effectively with the madness that surrounds us--and in some cases, like this one, madness is not too strong a word--we would be wise to cultivate the skills that will allow us to find our way through the distortions in reality that occur all too often in our society.

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