On the face of it, we are living in a deeply divided world and it feels like we’re all too entrenched in our own beliefs to accept any other points of view. Every week, more highly contentious issues arise that split opinion, often fracturing groups that were previously united and fighting for a common cause. These issues are all highly emotive, provoking deep feelings and passionate reactions on both sides of the argument. And when you feel so strongly about an issue, it’s very difficult to step back and see the bigger picture or the other side.
“We're living in an age of confusion”
On top of this, as I have previously explored, we’re also living in an age of confusion, where it is very difficult to know what to believe:

Nowadays, information about what’s going on in the world is everywhere — not just in traditional mainstream media but in every corner of the internet. There are so many conflicting voices, all supporting or condemning any number of opinions and versions of the truth. Each of us is exposed to our own personal cocktail of information, and the purveyors of this information are all vying with each other to control what we’re exposed to and effectively ‘curate’ our realities.

It’s almost as if the powers that be are deliberately trying to divide us, split opinion on as many issues as possible and encourage us to attack one another rather than look up and see the bigger picture. Is this what modern day divide and rule looks like? It certainly appears so. And everyone seems to be going along with it, doubling down on what they think is true and then laying into those that don’t agree with them.
“How do we know what's true?”
However, no matter how much we might be being manipulated and cajoled into thinking and acting in a certain way, ultimately we all have individual autonomy and must take responsibility for our own convictions and the way we treat others.

We also need to ask ourselves the question, “how do we know what’s true?” So many of our views and beliefs are based on assumptions that come from external sources. These range from the things that we see on the news and social media to deeply ingrained received wisdom that we have always perceived as the truth. But now that manipulation and duplicity is coming to light at all levels of society, and going back many years, how can we be sure that any of our assumptions are based on truth? And if we can’t be sure, then perhaps we should consider opening our minds to the possibility that there may be elements of truth and merit in the beliefs of others that we have been portraying as “wrong”, “blind” or “the enemy”.

Even trust in the mainstream narrative is eroding away. We are now all coming to the realisation that the widely accepted establishment version of the world is every bit as moulded and curated as any other version of the truth. The only difference is that the mainstream narrative is endorsed by a series of supposedly “trusted” sources whilst anything that goes against this story is depicted as a conspiracy theory or even a cult.

If the definition of a cult is “unwavering devotion to a set of beliefs and practices” then blind faith in what the establishment is telling us sounds a lot like a cult. The only difference is that these beliefs and practices have been installed as societal norms. But that doesn’t mean that they are serving our highest good and shouldn’t be questioned. And I don’t mean questioned by “experts” who can then tell us what’s true and how we should be behaving. I’m talking about every single one of us stepping back from the noise — away from all the opinions and influences — and tuning into our own truths.
“Listening without prejudice”
But how can we access our own truths? Well, we can start by listening to others, who may have dramatically different views, with compassion and without prejudice. Everyone has a reason for believing the things that they believe and, contrary to popular opinion, people with contrasting views are not all bigoted, mad or stupid. If we all started to genuinely listen to each other without prejudice then most of the barriers that divide us would fall away and we would enter a new era of celebrating our connections and interdependence rather than pathologising our differences.

Unless we can listen to a range of views and make up our own minds about what we think and believe, then we’re always going to be dependent on others to tell us what is true or not. And once we start tapping into our own truths, I believe that we will discover that we have a lot more common ground with each other than we think. For millennia, those in positions of power all over the world have been finding ways of dividing their populations to keep them fighting amongst themselves rather than recognising their common humanity.
“Democratisation of information”
But now it feels like things are changing. The rise of the internet and modern communication tools have enabled people to connect directly to one another in a way that has never before been possible (at least in our current 3D paradigm!). Granted, this new technology has also produced new ways to control people as well, but this is far outweighed by the fact that everybody now has access to myriad sources of information. Gone are the days when a centralised media empire could control the narrative being fed to every single citizen, perhaps barring a few renegades armed with pamphlets. Now we are constantly presented with a multitude of different versions of the truth and it’s up to us as individuals to discern what resonates with us.
“Discerning our own truths”
So how do we do this? How do we know what’s really true? So many of us are steeped in a society that’s told us how we should live our lives, how we should behave and what we should believe and think. We haven’t been trained to recognise our own truths. Where do we start?

I think the best place to start is by acknowledging that these are our own unique truths and therefore our ways of discerning those truths will be different for each and every one of us. Some people might have trusted sources of information that they believe in; some might research all the evidence in order to settle on their point of view; others might access non rational ways of knowing like intuition or some form of divination. And there are many other approaches that are beyond the scope of this article to explore. I would suggest that the best way would be a combination of a number of these — whatever you feel works best for you. Just don’t blindly accept everything that you’re told!

We also need to be aware that we all have our own truths. There may be objective truths that most of us can agree on but most of the things that we believe to be “true” are subjectively true from our own perspective but may be completely untrue to somebody else. This doesn’t make them any less true in the eye of the beholder. We have all been led to believe that the universe is constructed outside of ourselves and that we can educate ourselves to discover the truths behind how it works. But cutting edge scientific discoveries, especially in the field of quantum physics and related disciplines, are now telling us that we create our own realities. So what is true for one person may not be true for another, but those two people can simultaneously be right in relation to their own perspectives.
“Unity in diversity”
The days of homogeneous societies controlled by centralised authorities are over. The world is becoming more decentralised and communities are becoming more autonomous. We need to embrace this direction of travel and come together in celebration of our diversity. Otherwise humanity will fracture into a multitude of warring factions.

In order to come together as one humanity, we need to honour our diversity. Everyone has their own unique gifts to contribute to the wider community. But we can only recognise the diverse range of attributes that we all possess if we appreciate each other for who we are. And that means listening, without prejudice, withholding judgement and giving our full attention to what is being said — what is really being said. Then we can realise the full potential of our times: unity in diversity.


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