The word freedom is not an easy one to define. Whilst we are on the earth, and indeed wherever we find ourselves, every one of us must submit to one or more type of authority for our leadership, governance and essential things such as law enforcement. The idea that a free person can exist independently of everything in the world in which they live, and act with complete impunity for the duration of their lives is unrealistic, blind, and a form of slavery in its own right. People with no spiritual conscience yearn to reach this point of authority themselves. They devote themselves to climbing the ladder, betraying anyone who stands in their way; and displaying a zealousness that could be considered a shadow reflection of such as found in many religious communities. The result of all of this is the world you see before your eyes. A world where violence and disorder abound, where communal corruption is commonplace, where lies have become the preferred thing to hear, and where rape, abuse and murder are immortalised and idolised as an attractive way of life, completely ignoring the victims of these crimes – as if these human lives were of no value and not to even be considered in the same breath as those of their tormentors. And it doesn’t stop there. With dark forces until recently in positions of authority in the world, the enslavement and oppression of masses of people have been consistently occurring for a very long time, resulting in populations being subjected to treatments such as: online (and offline) monitoring and surveillance; threats, hostility and intimidation broadcast through national media channels; harassment, conspiracy and deception (often involving bribery) designed to disrupt the peaceful lives of private citizens; deliberate and targeted food, water and prescription medication contamination; stalking and reconnaissance behaviours; and a host of other activities in a desperate attempt to ensure that those on top remain there. But these things are certainly not to be found under freedom’s definition. How can any nation hope to be governed and inspired with any kind of effectiveness with morals and values such as these at the summit of their human authority? Do grass root populations of such countries observe the behaviours and characteristics of such leadership and go on to imitate such an attitude in their private lives, maybe without actually realising it? With such a strong team of corrupt controllers at the top of any organisation, and the complete absence of spiritual light, the logical result is dysfunction on an industrial scale – and an attitude of universal manipulation that permeates in a downward direction until everybody becomes infected, and the problem becomes viciously circular due to everyday people’s essential requirement to imitate and recreate the actions they see others engage in. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If leaders in all areas of society will strictly follow the teachings of the Bible then they and all of their sincere followers and subordinates will experience genuine freedom; their organisation(s) will function at their maximum human potential – thus increasing productivity and financial revenue – and their own personal leadership style and reputation will be celebrated and built upon by generations to come. Our media and social media providers will be less concerned with controlling the opinions of individual citizens and the habits of their consumption; and the minds of quiet, unassuming people will be truly free to live and move without having to endure that sinister type of influence, and enjoy the feeling that the choices they make in life are their own and don’t belong to anyone else – which is the only thing that I really want out of life. Then individuals and nations alike will have total responsibility for the outcome of their lives instead of having their destiny and level of success imposed upon them by others; and every person will be given their opportunity to contribute to the story of our planet with absolute autonomy over the scale and timing of their involvement.
You do not need to be employed in a position of authority in the media in order to be a skilled manipulator. Every educated person has in their minds a structure with two parts: a) the team of people – most likely representing the population of the earth; and b) the leader (or shepherd). The majority of humans, in a callously naïve, ignorant, and fanciful manner; put one person in this central position – themselves. They suffer from the martyr personality type – seeing themselves as the answer to every problem that will ever arise – but simultaneously never admitting that they have ever made a mistake; controlling every single person in their lives, and absolutely never taking responsibility when things go tits up. They are false, fakers, not authentic people in the slightest, and certainly not people who inspire me or that I choose to follow. The other kind of person is the lowly, gentle and humble servant of the God of Israel. This person reads their Bible every day that they can, and does what it says. They are excited by studying this book because it contains all of the answers; and is one of the quickest methods around to chase the devil out of your life on any given day, and get back to feeling like yourself again, not carrying that heavy burden and languishing in the pit of doom and despair. These people have been baptised with the Holy Spirit of God, and need never be anxious for anything for the remainder of eternity. They have put Jesus Christ in the position of leader, and are astonished and delighted with him (even before they have actually witnessed him in the flesh). And they are endlessly encouraged by remaining loyal to his teaching in any circumstance they may find themselves in. Unfortunately, not all of the world thinks like this. Why do people insist on bullying? What do they gain by shamelessly assuming control of another person’s body and/or mind, because the perpetrators themselves actually end up losing everything? My best guess (and I have given it much thought) is that they perceive that they are the ones who are facing a threat – and maybe they are right. They develop feelings of psychological insecurity and inferiority, so they lash out in ways that would cause a sensible person to be horrified and embarrassed. Some of them use the power of technology to taunt God’s precious people – reminding them day after day of the struggles they face. But do we do the same? Do we remind them how hot hell is, or how long it lasts? No we do not. We understand how lucky we are. We are thankful for the good things we enjoy – from the food on our table to the breath in our lungs – because we know where these things come from. Any other attitude would not please God, and would open the door for the devil to cause more damage. These controllers (and to a large extent many of their controllees) are educated people themselves – but they are so devoted to self that they cannot consider any external force or person to match them in wisdom and power. They have read enough books to hear the names of figures from the past – great figures, who accomplished so much in such a short space of time. Now it is their turn. They will accomplish more in a short space of time than any name who has gone before. They will write the script and get all of the adulation – and then they will die. But they do not know what happens after that.
In the formative years of a child’s life it is an almost universally accepted fact that at some point in time he or she will find themselves being tutored by their parents and hear the timeless and clichéd words being uttered: it is rude to stare at other people. There is a high probability that this instruction may surprise and unsettle the child if not delivered with gentleness, patience, and a high level of creativity to a young mind who may or may not be quietly sitting in a pram or push-chair, casually gazing at a person or persons they may find interesting, whilst being gently rocked side-to-side by the bus upon which they are travelling. Once being told by this parent of the evils of such behaviour, and possibly having to endure an associated reprimand or scolding, the lesson becomes an unforgettable experience for all the wrong reasons. As human beings, we are naturally drawn to observe (and study) other creatures that resemble ourselves, and we acquire this trait from a very young age. The painful lesson suffered by this child rapidly results in various negative and conflicting feelings within the young girl or boy, and sets this poor child in question along a path of unrelenting human observation (bordering on the voyeuristic) which will last the full duration of the child’s life unless successfully treated by various types of behavioural therapy, spiritual guidance and mentorship, medication; or a combination of all three. The world in which we now inhabit is not conducive to the resolution of this deeply embedded psychological problem, and even escalates this; contributing to a world where we are permanently bombarded with the human image, where the idea of success is to publicly occupy the focal point of people’s visual attention, where we want to derive sexual satisfaction from our secretive virtual vantage point, and where we will continuously stare at our target individual(s) to gather as much information about them (to use against them) as possible, hopefully without them suspecting a thing. In my humble opinion, this is an issue (once again) concerning power and control. We want the script of our story with this target individual to end up in our favour – our strongest desire is to have the last laugh. After all, if you are a heterosexual individual walking down a high street; were you to encounter a beautiful stranger of the opposite sex and look into their eyes; if their eyes move away from yours – then you have altered their behaviour – and arguably in the most intimate and powerful manner possible. I’m sure it is true that technology has caused us to become less communal beings. If we do not find ourselves staring at other people on an electronic surface we feel dissatisfied, and as though we are not making productive use of our time. The internet and social media certainly are wonderful things, but we have not been using them in the best and most enjoyable way. Instead of gazing at the undoubtedly beautiful exteriors of other people, we must turn our gaze upon ourselves, and improve the quality of our surroundings by glimpsing the reality of our inner selves – with all of its originality, failings and potential.
A disease of this ferocity has, perhaps predictably, already had a devastating effect on our world and the structures that allow it to function smoothly. Due to its high level of transmissibility and the subsequent restrictions put on global populations, world economies have been massively disrupted and all but the most essential workers have been forced to alter the way they operate to earn a living. Regular gatherings of large numbers of people for religious or sporting occasions have been put on hold; and children right across the world have had their education routines turned upside down as a result of the necessary constraints. But what if I told you that eradicating the SARS-CoV-2 virus is actually not one of God’s top priorities? If he really did make the universe, the planets and the stars, surely he could accomplish this feat in a flash? You might currently be saying to yourself: how exactly can reading a book (and doing what it says) help me to overcome this virus and then subsequently cause me to prosper and live a happy life? When you purchase a new car (particularly like ones of today with hybrid or even fully electric fuel cells) to learn how to operate it effectively and at its maximum capacity, you must first read the instruction manual. There you will learn about how the engine functions, how the vehicle is properly maintained; and how it will be most beneficial to you as the new owner. One could draw the same comparison to the words written down in the Bible. As our perfect father and designer, God has whittled down everything we need to know about life on earth and has compiled this into one perfect book or unit. These words have been divinely inspired and delivered to us from beyond the stratosphere and are the secret to correct human functionality and overcoming every challenge that life brings. This novel disease is in fact the backdrop; the context before which God is going to execute a series of incredible acts on the earth. His eyes are currently examining every single one of us and we have all been prepared and carefully positioned for this particular period of time. If you were the owner of a horse that you wished to enter into a great race; and if you had a genuine interest in your horse being the winner of this race, you would first put it through a strict training routine involving firm discipline which would improve its performance and contribute towards its long-term success. Living out the words of the Bible causes us to enter into such a race. The training can be hard but we quickly overcome this and go on to discover that our victory and happiness have already been guaranteed. The Coronavirus could be thought of as God’s attempt to get the world’s attention in his relentless pursuit of the salvation of all.
The landscape of today’s rolling 24 hour television news media has dramatically altered the range of vision for individual citizens to view and begin to understand global events. Today, almost anyone has the ability to witness and ponder situations and stories from all across the globe involving the whole spectrum of human behaviour both good and bad. Nowadays, it is considered extremely abnormal not to possess a television (or other suitable device) and to not take at least a passing interest in national and international news updates. The invention of the camera lens (and associated photographic equipment) is surely a technological advancement without comparison. Our ability to witness and store images of any of our collective life experiences and pass them on to future generations is probably something that they will take for granted, but that the history of is much more complex. Some of us might need to pinch ourselves today to remind us that the news images that we are currently viewing are not scenes out of a Hollywood movie but are taking place in actual reality; and present day global news developments captured and saved on so many photographic devices are certainly going to provide future historians and scientists with a lifetime of work attempting to understand and process the events of this age. Most if not all present day news corporations rightly display a high level of responsibility when depicting their major daily stories, not exposing their audiences to the more graphic and sinister aspects of happenings across the world, even though they must encounter the full range. The western world presently has a problem with large numbers and communities of people who are making it a matter of principle to not follow the current medical and governmental guidance involving such things as personal hygiene, practising physical distancing and the wearing of masks especially in indoor public gatherings and settings. Their desire for liberty and personal autonomy has brought about an almost reflex resistance to simple, non-intrusive behaviours that are needed to ensure that as few people as possible contract the Sars-CoV-2 virus. But I wonder what reaction such people would have if they were to witness the full horror and effect of the Coronavirus on a dying individual? Would they persist in their flagrant irresponsibility if they were to see on their television screens a terminal patient experiencing severe acute respiratory distress syndrome and the full effects of the cytokine storm within the patients’ immune system, if consent were obtained from the patients’ next-of-kin for such images to be shown with the goal of reducing the numerical fatality statistics of COVID-19? Would the initial shock of the removing of the veil of decency and modesty ultimately persuade fringe groups of people to comply and help push the terminal COVID-19 statistics in the right direction?
In today’s ultra modern daily life, full of social media and apps, we often need to remind ourselves how lucky we are to possess so much power and information at our fingertips. Even our most mundane day-to-day routine can be filled with electronic music, streamed videos, and an abundance of reference information, for the pleasure of our consumption, whenever we choose. We have come to such a place where almost anything and anyone can be digitised in a virtual box on our devices to be perused at a time of our leisure with the number of elements visible at any one time limited only by the size of our computer monitor(s). Automation has become king and with the advent of the 5G network this is sure to extend to every single aspect of society where operators of influence need barely even lift a finger to rectify any societal anomaly. But is it possible that we have overestimated the potential and scope of our devices to save us from all global dilemmae? Has our worship of everything technological clouded our perception of events on the ground in the real world? Have you ever noticed how social media can reveal the deep functionings of the minds of undisciplined individuals laying bare the simplicity of their primitive psyches? Have you noticed people often share some of the most desperate and tragic personal information purely to obtain a certain number of comments and likes? The internet search feature will surely always be a cornerstone of online activity. It features in nearly every web application and has allowed entire communities (legal and illegal) to unite in pursuit of common goals in almost any field one would care to mention. Perhaps we have almost become lazy in our efforts to create the perfect utopia given the range and wealth of useful information we can access at the push of a search button. In our battle against the Sars-CoV-2 virus we have rightly explored all options in restricting the spread of this dangerous disease. We have decoded the RNA structure of the virus itself, applied models to the potential future outcome of this pandemic in various nations, we have estimated a numerical value for the reproductive number of the virus in specific locations; and we have designed contact tracing apps (with varying amounts of success) employing Bluetooth technology to locate those infected and attempt to quarantine all associated people. But is there today an argument that states that this virus has now become unsearchable? Given the overwhelming number of positive COVID test results and the finite amount of human and material resources, is it now required that attention be given to more realistic, suitable and efficient tactics to statistically reduce the number of people getting infected and care for those who are already sick? The tool of electronic technology has undoubtedly played an irreplaceable role in our battle against the disease and is itself surely one of the new wonders of the world. But will our apparent over-reliance on this technology proceed to dominate our society and our very selves in our reassessment of life after this disease is gone?
As an intellectual, my mind is constantly attempting to find ways to fully understand life on this planet and communicate my findings to people who will listen. Nowadays, with our societal desires for liberty and personal autonomy it could be surprising to conceive that there might be patterns or even mathematical models involving the speech behaviours or rhythms of human beings, but they are there. Recent aerial videos of protests from around the world have also suggested to me that algebraic formulae could be used to describe the movements of crowds of people as there often appear to be similarities common to the actions of all gathered participants, when viewed from the vantage point of a news helicopter. But I have only been able to begin this research when I came to understand God’s vantage point and how we are all simply specks of dust in the universe whom God is patiently waiting on to respond to his message. During these very challenging times there have undoubtedly been many mistakes and misjudgments from leadership positions concerning public guidance and the allocation of human and material resources, which is understandable. But have we ever considered that these mistakes have been the result of a lack of sophisticated communication? Have you ever noticed that there might be patterns in human beings’ everyday conversation, and that by understanding this we might begin to overcome this relatively simple yet significant problem? The political arena is undoubtedly a harsh and competitive environment. It is filled with strong characters and voices and it is understandable (and inevitable) that conflicts and rivalries arise. But have these rivalries escalated out of proportion causing our political system to become largely (self)counterproductive? We are all required to speak, act, think (and dress) in such a specific way that individuality has been stifled and our lack of communicative flair has resulted in an inert political system unable to inspire the public and offer clarity on even basic guidance. In God’s eyes this IS a perfect world. He has gone to phenomenal effort, care, imagination, design and extravagance to create everything we see and enjoy; but (down here) we are so obsessed with obtaining victory over our enemies (out of our own talent and strength) that we do not have the time to bring Jesus Christ into the centre of our circumstance, treating him as the true friend and work partner that he actually is. Some people reject God on the typical basis that: he won’t do what I want him to do. This might be initially true. But by learning about him in the Bible, and respecting him as the senior partner, we come to the knowledge that we are the ones who must alter our behaviour first, and then watch him move on our behalf. Obeying God are the two words that can and will solve all the problems in the world for those who are willing to begin the journey.
The act of ridiculing another person is not only one of the most potent forms of rejection that a human being is capable of, it is simultaneously one of the strongest intentions of control in the world. In order to gain an apparent victory over another, some people employ the tactic of humiliation as their primary mode of dealing with certain individuals or groups. In their eyes, the target(s) in question have a perceived deficiency, they are in some way different, or they made some mistake; and every time these people encounter the target(s), they are going to make them suffer; they are going to make them experience (emotional) pain; they are going to control how the target(s) feel about themselves and their place in the world. Such practitioners are not as smart as they believe themselves to be. Due to their chronic inner personal conflicts and total lack of introspective skill, such an attitude inevitably rebounds back upon them as the practice simply does not make the world a better place. A sensible person does not need informing of the fact that ridiculing (or ‘ripping the piss’ out of) someone – has never solved any problem, anywhere in the world, at any time. The subject of racial discrimination has provided me personally with a life-long area of learning and pursuit of understanding. During my school years in the 1990s in the UK I witnessed countless instances of racially based conflict and hostility – and to my discredit, I was caught up and even involved in such occurrences. The whole area was wrapped in a thick layer of confusion because, as I was later to grow up to discover, I myself was in fact of a different race to the family I was born into. I am very familiar with the sensation of being rejected, and I am not only referring to such as by family and friends – the stranger on the street, someone whom I know nothing about and for whom I once had tremendous consideration and respect – they too had the potential to cause me to become ostracised, even in the brief time we spent together. I once heard a racist attitude described as: a person who sees colour only. I then surmised that I should therefore have to develop a colour-blind attitude. But later this only added to my confusion when I came to my discovery that the rejection I had received was of a racial origin – even though I broadly resemble my family and native countryman in physical appearance. I think that I am still yet to get to the bottom of this and am on a continuous learning experience. But I can certainly identify situations in life when there exists less racially mature attitudes, and the conflicts that typically arise. It has recently been said that the Sars-CoV-2 virus is less discriminating than some of the people that it infects. This may sound like a startling statement but perhaps there is some relevance to this. I have been fortunate enough to have had many delightful friendships with individuals of a different ethnicity to my own, and they have not once made me feel ashamed about the way I look. They have added a richness and diversity to my life experience for which I will be forever grateful.
If I had one piece of advice for someone genuinely interested in diligently pursuing a Christian life and the success it brings it would be this:
-you must ignore 100% of the things people say.
I am of course, practising hyperbole – but the seriousness of my message relates to those who prioritise the thoughts and opinions of other humans over the wisdom and practical life-counsel of the words written down in the Bible. Due to the present crises we have listened to many calls for unity and consensus regarding finding solutions to the many problems we currently face. It would appear that in order to return life to a semblance of normality former divisions should be set aside and a great ‘coming together’ should take place. We imagine or envisage the collection of our combined thoughts and perspectives as being the single answer to solving every current problematic situation. In this instance, we are in fact idolizing the human mind and frame as the pinnacle of power and wisdom in the world. At this point in time we are in the fortunate position of having a range of historical records and periods to study and digest. We read about events and discoveries of years gone by, many of them scientific; and the accounts we read often result in credit being given to a group or individual as having solved a great contemporary problem or conflict. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak many of us felt a sense of frustration that we were not given a similar opportunity to achieve such a level of greatness – something we always thought we deserved. We came to believe that the combination of technology, the internet, and the human mind were successfully resolving every difficulty the world had been grappling with. In recent years, a large proportion of great conflicts and subsequent resolutions have been confined to the televised political arena; one human triumphing over another. And yet we still believe that by collecting (or arranging) all people into one imaginary (or theoretical) location – this will solve all of our problems. We do not understand the deep internal divisions and inner conflicts that occur within all people of the world, and that without the ability to look deeply in an inward direction – we ourselves remain part of the problem. This is not a perfect world, and our time on its surface is brief. It is filled with people who are blind to the nature of the reality they occupy – they suffer through a lack of knowledge and so do the people around them. Recent unrest in the western world can be thought of as a result of spiritual misdirection. Rioting and looting are not characteristics of a slickly functioning society; and even under the strongest type of political leadership there is; the world will still be a divided place. Instead of attempting or claiming to be able to solve all of the world’s problems and please everybody in one fell swoop, effective leadership offers the practical consistency of expediting a series of incremental advances, assiduously building upon the work of those who have gone before.