We Consent to Play in The Devil’s Temple
Buddhism’s primary aim is to recognise suffering and the cause of suffering, which is ignorance of our true nature of unconditional happiness. However, we must also recognise that there are outside forces who, consciously and deliberately, influence us. This is sometimes difficult to comprehend, as we have been brought up and programmed in this insidious system. When lamas speak of “speedy westerners” as if that is their first nature, they don’t acknowledge that this speediness is the result of social engineering; we are all too ready to conform.
Edward Bernays has been cited as the inventor of the consumerist culture that was designed primarily to target people’s self-image (or lack thereof) in order to turn a ‘want’ into a ‘need’.
Bernays wrote in his 1928 book, Propaganda, that “propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government”: the power behind the throne to influence the masses.
What can we do about this? We need to loosen the grip on the supposed, idealised reality we’ve adopted – the reality of the “the executive arm of the invisible government” – by perceiving its effect on all of us.
Even though our suffering is due to our own ignorance of our true nature, we first have to recognise that we are imprisoned by this external illusory programming which we consent to maintain at every milli-moment: it’s hard to shake off the veil of conformity.
We choose the maintenance of the familiar over the maintenance of recognition of our true nature. This programmed conformity can creep into temples of any kind.
Better the Devil you know,
than the Devil you don’t!