I cannot get the picture of President Trump pointing his finger at members of the press and stating ‘You are fake news’ out of my mind. And the accompanying news report, stating that statistics show that people are unable to differentiate between fake and real news. Now, let pause and discern ourselves from whatever we may feel about Trump and consider how ‘Fake News’ may speak to us.
This has preoccupied my thinking and my response in honouring and cherishing human nature in all its perfect imperfection – is I am not surprised this term has power and place.
My chosen image is a photograph I stole from autumn. You cannot tell at first what it is, is it the wrong way up or not. This makes me think about self – for what is fake and what is true? To answer this question way may need to turn our thinking inside out. The
At the heart of the human condition is a dilemma. We think we know who we are, but in truth self is an emergent concept – and who and how we are changes with the the degree to which we are able to open our bandwidth of awareness. Self can never be fully described in factual terms – more we are mystery unto ourselves.
If we take an immediate and differentiating view of self – we will recognise that we commonly face the world through a partial self and the journey of life is to discover our wholeness. This mask that we wear is the self to which we default. And from this standpoint and centre we can commonly make believe that this is all of who we are. In a nut shell, we think we know ourselves but self is ever waiting to reveal the ‘something more’.
In some psychological literature you may hear authors draw the distinction between a false and true self. I would not be so judgmental to use these terms myself, since judging our partial self, the self to which we default to be false – enormously devalues the paradox of the journey we call development and its very engine. However, look to the heart of the human condition and our dilemma – can we tell whether we are false or true, partial or whole? With compassion, can we, when we look first to ourselves, judge what is false and real – can we discern what is fake news?
Only when we are able to go beyond the critical judgment of the partial self to which we default can we paradoxically open to discover the ‘something more’ for which we may blindly seek.
Ironically the finger that points to the fake is the hand of critical judge. Intent on pointing out falsity and correctness – what it assesses to be wrong or right – is the preoccupation of the self to which we default.
So we have a self-fulfilling prophecy – a partial self that thinks it knows the whole truth – that would rapidly and with force judge right and wrong. The false self – driven to point out falsity in order to secure ones position and survive.
Only when we can look to our own depths and with tenderness and compassion point our own fingers towards the part of ourselves that make believes we know it all – are we able to free ourselves from the division of judging – falsity and correctness.
Our partial self – literally gets bad press! Yet this self is vital to our survival – it has kept us safe – it may suffer from chronic anxiety in doing so – but its unwavering goal is to protect and keep you safe. In the certainty and surety of knowing what to do – in these circumstances – it forfeits humbleness and instead may fight for singularity and dictatorship.
Look upon the awareness of this part with thanks – can we learn to accept the part that would reject us.
Only in this moment of recognition and acceptance does a window open – offering an expanded bandwidth of perception – through which we can look beyond to the discovery of more of the whole of who we are.
We may be fake news, we may also not be able to see the difference between fake and real, but be careful – for the finger that is driven to point, has little knowledge of the whole truth to rightly judge.
Maybe Trump is inadvertently guiding us – to have the courage to meet that within us that we would judge to be fake. For this is the only way to discover “the whole truth and nothing but”.
The fake or false self (if I dare to use these labels for a moment) I treasure. This aspect of me has worked to keep me safe – on an edge – maybe over worked at times. However, this important phrase came to my thoughts:
“You cannot feed an insatiable appetite, instead we must learn to soothe the part that hungers.”
In accepting what may be judged to be fake, is a vital piece of the jigsaw towards a deeper integrity and authenticity.
Only when we do this might we see clearly in others the difference between fake and real. However, this is such a humbling experience, we would never point it out.
May we learn to recognise and love what we may cruelly judge to be fake within ourselves and so permit the discovery of the ‘more than’ for which we have searched.
Awareness of of what we might judge to be fake and partial – that which would divide, judge and lock us – is paradoxically the only key to our liberation. The way to wholeness and experience of fulfilment is through inclusion of each and every aspect of ourselves. Every jigsaw in self awareness terms, completes a picture of our perfect imperfection.
Be careful when you point and judge falsity – look first to whom is pointing and the right to judge. The greatest act of the warrior is to know when to lay down his sword.
Let’s be grateful for awareness of such false news, for with compassion, such awareness when we look to self first, may be the essential means to our wholeness and potential fulfillment.
About the Author: Andrew Machon PhD, MA, MCC has dedicated his life to enabling others to change for the better. He has worked for over 3 decades in major international business as an executive business coach, coach trainer and experienced coaching supervisor. He is a trained and qualified psychotherapist and a visiting lecturer in positive psychology to New Bucks University. Andrew’s life long aspiration is to share insights into the real nature of development and mastery.
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