Skeptical but Aware

We know that what we see on the news isn’t reality.

On some level of awareness, everybody knows that no matter what type of corporate media they’re watching —  straight-up propaganda like Fox News, or propaganda-lite like CNN — they’re seeing a carefully sanctioned story line.

But this doesn’t let us off the hook for what’s going on in our world. It doesn’t mean we get to stop paying attention.

Is an event meaningless just because we don’t believe what the anchorman says it means?

Search for meaning 

If you’re a meaning-seeker, you pursue truth as a raison-d’être. You don’t drop the search because of the limitations of official agencies.

Nor do you shut your ears to mass opinions. You stay skeptical but aware of the groupthink of your society .

Collective currents, like the weather, surround and unite us. These trends, crises and blind spots constitute the backdrop of our individual story.

There’s a reason why the Goddess created Jupiter and Saturn, the societal planets.

Saturn ingress

Since Saturn (responsibility) went into Sagittarius (meaning) in 2014, the fact that the mainstream media is untrustworthy has become a truism.

What is the cosmic teaching point behind fake news and info wars? It is that the buck stops with us. We cannot rely on pundits and politicians to distinguish truth from lies on our behalf. The transit has forced us to refine our powers of discernment.

Now Saturn is getting ready to enter Capricorn (Dec 20, 2017). For the past couple of years we have honed our ability to infer meaning. Now we will have to act on it.

Years of reckoning

The Pluto-in-Capricorn era has killed off a lot of naïveté in the collective mind. It has eviscerated aspects of national life that were once thought immutable.

Since Uranus and Pluto started to wreak havoc on cultural traditions, the changes have been happening too thick and fast for many people to integrate. As T. S. Elliot said, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”

The treatment of NATO as sacrosanct, long after its original purpose of providing collective security against Soviet invasion has passed,[represents] a longing for the moral clarity of the Cold War.

London Review of Books

So a massive stonewalling is taking place. Millions of Americans are waging ideological trench warfare, hiding behind simplistic assumptions about war, patriotism and government that haven’t budged since the Eisenhower era.

But it can’t work. Too many of these old assumptions have become flat-out anachronisms. The futility of fighting to preserve them is symbolized by the cycle of Saturn (time-honored institutions) and Pluto (power and breakdown), now sputtering to a close.

For all of us, under skies like these the extremism and speed of the changes taking place constitute a mass trauma.

War 2.0

Consider how far the reality of war has diverged from our traditional ways of seeing it. Although the guy flying the American flag on his lawn has probably not absorbed the fact, these days wars are no longer fought by countries against other countries.

They’re fought by constantly-morphing multinational groupings of military and corporate forces, like the petro-political alliance between the Saudis and Big Oil. (The mainstream news would make us think that the bloodshed in the Middle East was all about religion. While it is true that groups like Isis recruit disaffected youth under the banner of holy war, the global powers who finance the bloodshed make no claim to be servants of the divine.)

It doesn’t much matter who’s in the White House. America has moved from the hawkish neo-liberalism of Obama and Clinton into the reign of an authoritarian buffoon, but regime changes in our era have little impact on US foreign policy.

The closest thing we have to a secretary of state outside government is the CEO of Exxon.

— Robert McNally, former adviser to G. W. Bush and member of the National Petroleum Council, on  the nomination of Rex Tillerson

Winless War

Since the PR disaster that was Iraq, American wars don’t even get declared. The only clue that our tax money is funding the violence in Yemen, for example, is the phrase “US-led” in front of the word “coalition.”

It is now official that this coalition is using torture. The Pentagon is probably betting on the fact that the unspecified nature of the American role in this atrocity will make the US public less likely to object. Vagueness makes for deniability.

It also makes it harder to know which side is “us” and which side is “the enemy.”

George W. Bush was able to get away with kindergarten terminology when justifying the bombing of Baghdad, in his talk of “bad guys” (which presumably meant ordinary Iraqis, given that there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until after we bombed it) vs. “good guys” (which presumably meant the US army, the CIA, and their legions of subcontracted mercenaries).

But since then, many Americans have become too cynical for that kind of spin.

Bad news

The bedeviling complexity of something that once seemed so simple is both bad news and good news. The bad news: it has caused a lot of people, from everywhere along the political spectrum, to tune out.

The warmongers know that our confusion works in their favor, and they keep their accounts as opaque as possible.

Thus, Washington’s war in Afghanistan is officially “over,” despite the presence there of thousands of US troops and assorted “advisors.”

Neither, apparently, does the deployment of special ops constitute being at war. They’re active in no less than 135 countries right now.

The new construction of war as endless and formless has made it difficult to know what or how to protest. As recently as 2003, the Pentagon’s clandestine use of white phosphorous in Iraq outraged a significant portion of the US public. Fifteen years later, however, although Assad’s use of chemical weapons inspires righteous huffing and puffing in the American media, the use of this hideous poison by the “U.S.-led coalition” provokes barely a murmur.

Good news

The good news, from the point of view of the individuation process, is that we are being forced out of moral and intellectual passivity. The powers-that-be are having a hard time fabricating rationales for what’s going on in today’s chaotic world, so we are having to cultivate our own.

This is where Jupiter (ethics) comes in: the lynchpin in this year’s Cardinal T-square. We each possess an inherent sense of justice and integrity, but, as with the five physical senses, it needs to be developed. This is why the Goddess created Jupiter transits.

When moral clarity is not forthcoming from the outside world, we have to go inside to reconnect with our instincts of right and wrong.

Images:
[Wonder Bread]: Robert Craig 
Dan Mountford
Havoc Art
Tetsuya Ishida
Franz Von Stuck (1897)
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