This might seem like an odd post for a therapy service, but I just watched it and it fascinated me and made me cry, and I want to share it as widely as I can.
In fact, I would like everyone to watch this film.
It feels important for a number of reasons: about compassion, interconnection, awareness and individual ethical responsibility – for our own choices and for each other, for other living beings and for our world.
Above all, this woman catches two elements of our current societal position which I think are fundamental to the dangerous road we are walking as a species: (1) the creation of distorted social ‘realities’ by manipulation, driven by financial/political vested interests and resulting in social control; (2) our complicity in this – what she refers to as ‘wilful ignorance’:-
‘The power of wilful ignorance cannot be overstated. …This is systemized cruelty on a massive scale, and we only get away with it because everyone is prepared to look the other way.’
It happens because we allow it. Simple as that. We find ways not to care, or at least not enough to take personal steps. We leave it to someone else. We turn in, to our own families, our own immediate worlds and our own priorities. I know this well, because for years that is what I did myself.
The casual brutalities of some of the You Tube comments don’t inspire much hope in me. But the faces of her audience feel a bit more hopeful – many seem to have an emotional response to what they are seeing. And many of the people I meet in my work, and in my dance and other personal worlds, are living lives that DO inspire hope in me, and support me in believing that we can work with each other to create more loving, enhancing and sustainable social structures.
Hope for us as individuals, as groups, in our cultures, lies in our having the experience that this audience is having – the slow or sudden withdrawing of the veil, the spur to wakening.
When we catch sight of what this woman is showing us, we each face the same questions:-
– Do I care?
– If I do, am I going to do something about it, or am I going to stand by?
The points this film makes go for intensive farming, and for many other aspects of our cultures, ‘packaged’ for us in a similar way.
Awakening is painful and uncomfortable, it creates personal risk and it invites us to step forward into change. Ultimately it asks us to reach below the surfaces of our apparently secure, stable, enfolding lives in ways that challenge us at a profound level. This can be – will be – threatening, frightening and destabilizing. I can see why many of us – in or out of awareness – choose to stay sleeping.
And, of course, there are also consequences to that choice. For everyone.
Lindsey Talbott, Therapist
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter