How “Branding” Controls Us
Branding: to burn with a hot iron as a mark of ownership.
For ‘Branding’, read programming. We are fed information, and this information is always biased; if we are of a certain frame of mind, it builds on our preconceived ideas, and we become further infected. Given the ‘right’ stimulus and the ‘right’ candidate, a reaction occurs. We are, en masse, very much like the film, “The Manchurian Candidate”, with technology, via media, programming and brainwashing the population. Human beings herd, and are easily addicted. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we salivate when hearing the word, ‘sale’ or ‘secret teaching’.
Surveillance reads, builds and stores profiles of our activity. It knows our tendencies and what stimulates us. We may think it’s about money and selling us something, but the thing that is being sold – and we are buying it – is the power to rule us. Unless we see this clearly, we will be controlled. We’re constantly being fed fear and hatred in the guise of love and, if we think that we are free thinkers, then we are deluded.
Meditation trains the mind, taming it to recognise distraction when we realise that we are not these ideas set up in our minds. We can walk away. However – and this is extremely important – while we can step away from the herd, we need compassion towards the insanity of doing and saying the same things and expecting a different result. We need compassion so as to not become one of the elite, entitled to abuse others. And that isn’t easy.
We must first look and scrutinise our own mind to see what has been placed there. Such self-investigation is a rare occurrence because for thousands of years, humans have been manipulated into believing whatever we are told, and, in turn, we manipulate others.
We cannot be reminded enough of the words of the Buddha – “Do not take my word for it” – as they can change our life entirely. This is how we avoid getting the same results. If we think that we do not know enough, then we will never realise that all those complex teachings are about just seeing.
Making something complicated creates an overload in the mind, and the rational side of our brain shuts down. Have you ever read the small print??
Spiritual paths are branding – even Buddhism. I love Tibetan Buddhism and I’m grateful to it, but I also have a problem with the adoption of another’s culture. The Buddha’s teachings obviously came from the Vedantic tradition of India – all teachings are the same at the deepest, esoteric level. The Tibetan culture is a vehicle for the Buddha’s teaching: it is very colourful and meaningful, and needs to be preserved. Modern people don’t have to adopt the Tibetan culture. We can chose to if we wish, or we can just follow the Buddha’s teaching, digesting it, implementing it, and rediscovering it, rather than buying into the branding.
Rediscovering is what the Buddha did.
We have to do the same, through simple realisation.
and wipe away ownership.
Theories are fake news.
The real news is in our realisation.
That is the true Dharma.