“A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.”
The Big Lie is the third chapter in my new book, Beyond Hope: Letting Go of a World in Collapse. It is the last part of my three-part chapter release.
We are born into an elaborate Lie.
Long before we can shape our world, the world has firmly shaped us. What we are shaped to become, is no accident. Almost everything we are taught to believe originates from the Lie. We are shaped by our parents, who were shaped by the very same Lie as the generations who preceded them. How far back this fable goes is anyone’s guess. The details have been cunningly edited to support those who benefit most from the ongoing perpetuation of the long-standing Lie.
Although our arrival into the world is arbitrary, the world that receives us is not. We are born into the expectations of our culturally programmed parents. In most cases, a single thought is the prompt for our emergence. Rarely is this thought conscious, however. More often than not, it is powered by a dominant, yet covert cultural expectation to self-replicate and carry forth the Lie.
The lives that we lead, the beliefs, values, and attitudes we hold, and the identity of who we are shaped to become, are founded by those labeled, “mom” and “dad.” Who they are is who we are. Our starting point in life is one of helplessness and total reliance on external forces over which we have no control.
We have evolved to pay close attention to our parents and absorb everything they feed us for the first few years of our lives: physically, mentally and emotionally. By our very nature we are trusting and apt to be less skeptical than we should be. We tend to accept the foundational assumptions of the culture we are born into without dispute. The key to evolution and progress in any civilization, however, is to ask questions. But questions are threatening to a worldview reliant on groupthink for its sustenance.
Dominant forces within a Soul-destroying civilization have engineered the context in which we are born. The environment we grow up in paints a version of reality that influences the beliefs we carry forth for the entirety of our lives. So wholly do we learn to identify with these mental constructs, that we detach from our very essence within the first few years of life. We are not born free. In fact, in taking our freedom for granted, we extinguish all possibility of ever attaining it.
We have bought into a dangerous story; a misperception of truth that perpetuates a collective consciousness that blindly violates, degrades and destroys the web of life that sustains existence on Earth.
Adolf Hitler designed a propaganda technique called “The Big Lie.” The source of the Big Lie technique is found in a passage extracted from James Murphy’s translation of Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf. It reads:
“… In the Big Lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the Big Lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent Lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”1
Hitler went on to say, “Make the Lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually, they will believe it.”2
A colossal untruth is the basis for the elaborate Lie we are born into: that we—species homo sapien sapiens—are superior to, and therefore separate from, the laws of nature that bind all things living to an intricate web of life on a complex, living organism, within an ever-evolving universe. We have separated from the Soul. This Big Lie is a most insane and destructive fallacy.
Humans are a complex, multi-faceted species. The consciousness that motivates us is a dichotomy of material, mortal, conditioned, separate self; and immaterial, immortal, intuitive, non-separate Soul. The aspect of consciousness we choose to nurture molds our character, and ultimately determines our destiny.
Collectively, we are engineered by all cultural systems to think in only one direction: separation. The result is a world that reinforces our alienation, denial, entitlement, fear, apathy, despair, arrogance, and ignorance by hapless design. Ubiquitous amnesia drives the story we believe to be real, suppressing our consciousness and preventing the remembrance of the whole of who and what we authentically are.
In this great forgetting, we have morphed into a 7.6 billion strong collective operating outside the laws of nature, pillaging a complex living organism; stagnant in our consciousness, in an ever-evolving universe. The imperious inertia of this mass identity portends a short-term future for our species.
Dogma is the process of managing large collectives. Every system and institution in our civilization is under its influence. From the dogma of gender, parenting, appearance, and education; to the dogma of profession, religion, health, economics, law, media, medicine, and culture. The rules for functioning and behaving like a “normal” citizen within the Lie of our dominant civilization pummel the psyche from every direction. Because we willingly comply with the dogma of each of these systems and institutions, we’ve built a story around them and deemed it, “truth.” This consensual “reality” traps us in unconscious behaviors, reckless actions, and an ignorant, arrogance that knows no bounds.
Everything about our civilization was designed to dumb us down and polarize us to sustain an inert status quo. With the rigid mindset of separation, the masses are compliant with an unwavering allegiance to a destructive, Soul destroying machine. Believing this purgatory to be real, they blindly proceed—against overwhelming evidence of cultural collapse and ecocide—with business-as-usual. Because compliance is so highly rewarded, the Big Lie remains firmly intact.
In this collective ignorance, we are now so enmeshed in the Big Lie that we know nothing else. When a story is told long enough, it becomes truth to its recipients. For generations, the Big Lie has grown, morphed and expanded into an enormous monster with a life-force of its own—a dysfunctional illusion that has entirely devoured the human psyche. In our comatose haze, we’ve abandoned our role as participants within the web of life, and are now captive to our separation sickness. In the delirium of this deathly illness, we’ve traded in the sacred web of life for a dystopian web of lies.
The story of separation has enormous inertia. It spins its web around the mind and pulls it relentlessly toward consumption, indifference, and powerlessness. To resist it is to suffer the wrath of the dominant collective who have been programmed to normalize the abnormal by denigrating the sacred. Fear of truth is the driver of this unconscious behavior. The Soul is the most feared truth of all.
In the delusion of our separation, the mutated human psyche has devolved us into a uniquely violent species. By far, humans are the most violent animal on the planet. We are the supreme predator in the air, the water and on land. We kill mercilessly, with nary a thought. In the 20th century alone, we slaughtered more than 200 million of our own kind3. And while other predators rarely kill us, we kill them—and every other living being—on an unfathomable scale.
According to the website, Animal Equality, “Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans. These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes.”4
The numbers become exponential when we factor in the millions of animals killed every year in shelters, research labs, and animal-slavery enterprises such as circuses, rodeos, zoos, and marine parks; as well as fur farms, trapping, and those animals labeled “nuisance”, “pests” and “game” to be slaughtered, poached and hunted.
A widespread meme exists that states, “If humans were slaughtered at the same rate animals are, our species would be extinct in less than two weeks.” Our cruel indifference toward animals and each other with our thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, choices, and actions means we all have blood on our hands.
The state of the world in which we live is indicative of the fact that our violent, separated nature has prevailed. It comes as no surprise when we are mindlessly fed heaping portions of violence from early on. Violence infects our history. Our games are violent; our entertainment is violent, our sports are violent, our books are violent, our news is violent, our heroes are violent; even our gods are violent. This incessant violence desensitizes us and puts us into an emotional-psychological state that makes it impossible to relate to the natural world and each other. The most insidious form of violence, however, lurks at the end of our forks multiple times daily, as we consume the dismembered, rotting corpses, ovulations, and maternal secretions of helpless, sentient beings. In separating ourselves from life, we willingly consume all the suffering, terror, and violence that brings this profound misery to our plates.
By the time we grow into full “adulteration,” we are so contaminated—physically, mentally and emotionally—that we accept violence as the norm. Consider how violence—from judgment, blame and shame; to incarceration, slaughter, and war—is the “go-to” solution for every problem in our world. Peace on Earth is as foreign a concept as traveling to alternate space dimensions.
Humanity’s capacity to envision and invent new ways to destroy life appear boundless. There are no limits to our cruelty toward animals, Earth and each other. The separated mind always prefers familiarity and desire, over truth and compassion. It will even defend its familiar, desirable actions using rationale and reason, regardless of how cruel and insane they may be.
Our dominant narrative worships money over life, power over compassion, competition over cooperation, hubris over humility, war over peace, and fear over love.
It wasn’t always this way. For much of our existence, we were like other animals operating seamlessly within the web of life, not removed from the natural order. Something changed along the way that separated us from the web of life—and the Soul—however.
There are many stories about how, when and why we chose to adopt the Big Lie and forget who and what we are, but this book is not about speculative history. It’s about the epic Lie that brings us to the place we now stand, squarely facing the near-term end of life
Louise Leakey summarized it well in her 2008 TEDx talk, A Dig for Humanity’s Origins, “…The question now is, ‘Who are we?’ We’re certainly a polluting, wasteful, aggressive species with a few nice things thrown in perhaps, but for the most part we’re not particularly pleasant at all. We have a much larger brain than our ape ancestors. Is this a good evolutionary adaptation or is it going to lead us to be the shortest-lived hominid species on planet Earth?”5
Our fear of reclaiming the Soul perpetuates our ongoing war against Earth. Our refusal to evolve beyond our conditioning is our refusal to awaken to what we authentically are. Remaining captive to the antiquated belief systems of our parents and preceding generations, brings us to the critical place we stand today.
Separation is a learned identity. It is taught to us by our parents, relatives, friends, schools, churches, media, politics, health care system, corporations, and all other cultural institutions. Through the teachings of our fallen civilization, we are altered by corruption and greed. Whenever we make anything outside of ourselves more important than the Soul, we are bound to separation. The very institutions that hold us captive to separation all suffer from the same fatal affliction: they have pursued power and growth to the point of insanity, and have made money, consumption, and destruction more valuable than life. We are now living in what scientists call, the Anthropocene epoch—the age of humans—or the era of human-centric planetary destruction.
Australian professor of Public Ethics, Clive Hamilton articulates this destructive era in his article, The Great Climate Silence, where he states:
“After 200,000 years of modern humans on a 4.6 billion-year-old Earth, we have arrived at a new point in history: the Anthropocene. The change has come upon us with disorienting speed. It is the kind of shift that typically takes two or three or four generations to sink in.
Our best scientists tell us insistently that a calamity is unfolding, that the life-support systems of the Earth are being damaged in ways that threaten our survival. Yet in the face of these facts, we carry on as usual.
Most citizens ignore or downplay the warnings; many of our intellectuals indulge in wishful thinking; and some influential voices declare that nothing at all is happening, that the scientists are deceiving us. Yet the evidence tells us that so powerful have humans become, that we have entered this new and dangerous geological epoch, which is defined by the fact that the human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system.”6
According to the story we’ve been told is real, modern humans have been around for some 300,000 years (according to recent studies), or less than .01% of Earth’s timeline. In this small sliver of time, we have left an unfathomable impact on the planet. Our impact has been most significant in the 200 years of our industrialized civilization, where we have violently disrupted 4.6 billion years of natural history on planet Earth. We’ve placed ourselves so ruthlessly at the center of things, that we no longer see the beauty of life, but only how we can profit from it in ways that serve our selfish desires. Everything around us suffers from our existence. We leave massive footprints everywhere we go. The more our desires grow, the more complex our destructive technologies become. No matter what we do, our dominant civilization is destroying the natural world around it. We spit out polluting materials in all directions: into the air, the soil, the rivers, streams, lakes, and ocean. In the hubris of this separation madness, we seem to believe that we can carry on with our frenzy of growth and consumption without consequence.
The prevailing human mindset is not one that supports life. Rather, it is meticulously trained to defend the Big Lie and the lifeless civilization spawned from it. This delusional outlook paints a dismal future for life on Earth.
Most humans have checked out of the reality of this grim truth in favor of the “realities” they live through their televisions and portable devices. The dominant culture distracts our attention by reinforcing the misconceptions that money will make us happy, drugs will keep us healthy, weapons will keep us safe, looks will bring us success, and endless information (regardless of its source) will up the ante on our smarts. Majority consciousness dictates the power of these fallacies. Our separation is boundless in its disconnect from life.
We’ve separated ourselves from the entire natural world. We clearcut, frack, blow up, mine, pollute, poison, rape, and pillage Earth as if her capacity for abuse can be indefinitely sustained.
We’ve separated ourselves from the non-human animal kingdom. We enslave, cage, domesticate, rape, hunt, breed, poach, exploit, torture, trap, imprison, skin, and slaughter with reckless abandon as we declare to ourselves our moral superiority.
We’ve separated ourselves from our physical bodies. We suppress, oppress, overfeed, starve, distrust, drug, cosmetically alter, disfigure, dismember, medicate, numb, and silence the great wisdom within.
We have both the technology and the understanding of how to use it to destroy our entire world with the “push of a single button.”
With our hubristic sense of superiority, we’ve altered the course of the most sacred gift of all: life. Cloning, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, geoengineering and other such Franken-creations threaten the very fabric of existence. As Jeff Goldblum said in the movie, Jurassic Park, “Scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
With an arrogant sense of entitlement, we ransack the sea and put back plastic, sewage, oil, and an endless stream of garbage. As Gaea cries for mercy, we denude her forests, blow up her mountains, develop her coastlines, alter her creations, poison her air, soil, and water, and blindly reproduce ourselves with no thought for the future. Who do we think we are? What have we allowed ourselves to become? How can we possibly believe we can continue this way without massive repercussions for life on Earth?
Earth is filled with trash. The oceans are filled with trash. Outer space is filled with trash. Our bodies are filled with trash. Our minds are filled with trash. Our contempt for the sacred knows no limits.
The web of life is unraveling before our eyes, and the masses are too blind to see. We’ve become cynical, jaded and apathetic to the overwhelming chaos of our world, so much so that we simply tune it out.
We now find ourselves on a runaway train, hurtling wildly down the tracks, barely holding its course; powered by a Big Lie that fuels the avaricious consumption that eats at the very heart, flesh, and blood of the planet. As the failing train hurtles wildly on, we are quickly reaching the end of the line.
In the sickness of our separation, we have become so lost in the hall of mirrors that we have lost our sanity and given away the Soul to systems of exploitation and manipulation; institutions of deceit and domination; and structures of delusion and disconnection. The civilization we have created for our very survival is killing us.
Our civilization does not, and will never care about life. It was created to replicate a virus which can only be destroyed by itself. It was designed for self-perpetuating growth, expansion, and consumption at all costs—including the destruction of its very host. Its only “intelligence” is its own survival. Appealing to the “better nature” of our civilization is futile because it has no conscience. There is no reasoning with it. There is no fixing it. There is no changing it. The inner work of self-evolution is the only way to stop feeding it. But self-evolution is painful, so we don’t bother.
We are so much more than what we’ve allowed ourselves to become, yet denied the connection and meaning that nourishes what we authentically are, we’ve grown small, stunted and invasive in the poisoned soil of our dominant civilization. The problems of our world are more profound than the crises of our altered planet, endless wars, rapacious consumption, human supremacy, judgment, fear, racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, speciesism, and so on. The most significant crisis on Earth is the crisis in consciousness that closes our hearts and holds our minds firmly in the grip of separation.
Are we authentically predatory? Competitive by nature? Are we the selfish, materialistic, utilitarian, violent, fear-filled, domineering, arrogant breeders with an insatiable libido and addiction to consumption that we’ve allowed ourselves to become? If that’s who we are, we’ve been doomed from the start.
Despite overwhelming evidence pointing in that direction, I don’t believe this to be so. Our inflated sense of self-importance has flatlined our consciousness and distorted our perception of who and what we are. In the hubris of this demented identity, we’ve designed a one-way world of take, take, take. But the isolation that accompanies this worldview is a heavy burden to bear. We are aching for authentic relationships—commencing with our Selves. Seeping through our separation is the quiet voice of the atrophied Soul pleading
On a deep, primal level, we know that we are connected to—not separate from—the web of life. Our animal bodies formed by Earth itself, desire and require authentic relationship to the world: to the water, air, and soil. To the animals, birds, trees, plants, and fellow humans that comprise the complex living system in which we were born.
Most of us have no sense of community where we can feel safe. In our civilization, there are so many systems in place to prevent us from connecting to what matters most: integrity, equality, respect, unity, compassion, life, and truth. Our consumptive civilization thrives on this disconnect because it’s easy to sell stuff to people who are lost to their Selves. The endless sea of advertisements, billboards, stores, and shopping malls are filled with bandages for the wounds from our Soul-separation.
When our minds are captive to the Big Lie, we lose our relational nature and feel compelled to control everything around us. In the grip of this fear, we forget that mutual, reciprocal relationships are possible, believing instead that all relationships are based on hierarchy, power, competition, and domination. When we look at our civilization, this is undoubtedly the case. This belief only serves to perpetuate our fears, however, so we become too frightened to relate to our neighbors, the forests, the oceans, and non-human animals for instance. This fear is the very root of our separation. It enslaves us in the superiority complex that drives us to dominate, exploit, commoditize, hate, and destroy.
When we look to nature in its unaltered state, we see the triumph of diversity. We see the celebration of uniqueness. We see the intricate interconnection of each plant and animal species and how they symbiotically support each other in life-affirming ways. This relational interconnection is the sacred in action. It is truth made manifest.
Every species on the planet has evolved into existence over the 4.6 billion year history of Earth. It has taken the entire history of planetary evolution to bring forth the diversity and complexity of our biosphere. This incredible story is utterly awe-inspiring. But in the sickness of our collective separation, we have single-handedly catalyzed, the 6th Great Extinction Event.
Species come and go, but in mass extinction events, species vanish in droves. At this time, we are losing thousands of species annually by our own hand—perhaps far more than we are able to discover. Ironically, most humans are unable to think of themselves at the level of a species. But that’s precisely what we are: just another species. Despite our delusions of grandeur, we are not immune from our own self-destruction. Despite the overwhelming denial from those who project animus on the harbingers of this somber truth, the incontrovertible evidence for our imminent demise is becoming increasingly clear.
In their blog post, Climate Change: Saving the Planet, Saving Ourselves, Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null wrote:
The Earth’s history is a long story of numerous species birthing, evolving and eventually going extinct. There is no manifest destiny for our species. There is no divine promise that humanity may not in the future follow in the footsteps of the dinosaurs. Our lives are not transcendent to Nature nor the multitude of other natural forces, animals, plants, microbes and other life forms and molecules upon which our existence depends.”7
What is it that prevents us from looking into the mirror—into the Soul—and asking ourselves, why? What is it that prevents us from sitting with the pain of what we’ve done to create this sickening reality? What is it that binds us to the narrow, short-sighted worldview that compels us to destroy our only home? Why are we so fearful of the Soul?
Homo sapien sapiens has evolved to become the destroyer of all. It is evident that this species will not rest until every millimeter of the planet has been decimated. There has never been a species in the last 65 million years that has been so destructive—and one that is so utterly blind to its destructive nature.
We are not only living through a cultural and ecological crisis; we are experiencing a story crisis. There is something terribly wrong with the way we understand who and what we are, and our relationship with Earth. The accelerated breakdown of our civilization and our biosphere is making this painfully clear. We are being forced to awaken from the Big Lie and look deeper within.
There is a Hindu story that goes as follows:
Once upon a time, humans had the power of the god force. But they behaved so badly the gods decided to remove this great privilege. Once removed, they had the daunting task of concealing this great power so it could not be readily found. Because of its sacred nature, it was only to be recovered by those who remembered who and what they are.
One god said, “Let’s put it at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean. They will never find it there.” But the other gods disagreed. They knew that one day, humans would reach the bottom of the ocean and therefore discover it.
Another god said, “Let’s put it in the far reaches of the skies. They will never find it there.” Again, the other gods disagreed. They knew that one day, humans would learn to fly and would, therefore, discover it.
And then Brahma, Hindu god of Creation said, “I know where to hide it. Let’s put it inside the human heart because they will never think to look within.”
The gods enthusiastically agreed, and the power of the god force was placed deep inside the heart of every human being.
So to free ourselves from the Big Lie, we need only look within to discover the truth that has been with us all along. It’s in this expanded awareness that we liberate the Soul to lead us through these increasingly daunting times.