Can you be good AND awake?

You can see here in this video how Muhammad Ali has mastered the ability of being “untouchable.” This was confusing and disorienting to his opponents, because it was not logical. Ali, by not acknowledging their attacks, wore them out, not just physically but by causing them to doubt their own ability to reason their way through the contest. Then, when they were inwardly defeated, he took them out.

So it is in today’s political climate. One side relies on logic and scientific facts, thinking that these alone will persuade a reasonable people. But the other side refuses to acknowledge their logic or their facts, thus keeping their opponents confused and frustrated, wondering why the facts aren’t working. And so they wear them out in their futile attempts to change the world through reason.

Meanwhile, the untouchables work the crowd, playing on their insecurities and their narrow moral sensibilities. By focusing the debate on the most volatile issues, the ones that flaunt traditional values, and by supplying the media with the most provocative examples and avoiding any form of reasoned discussion, they keep their opponent off-balance and thus achieve their victory.

tumblr_mdrdlrTYYO1rlxx9ro1_1280It’s not that the untouchables don’t believe in logic or reason. They believe in it, alright. It’s just that they know not to rely on it in a political fight. Their strategy is to confuse (how can they not listen to reason?), disorient (turn the crowd against their opponent), and frustrate (block every reasonable attempt to advance an opposing agenda). All the while, they taunt their opponents with blatant denials of facts and logic, not because that’s what they actually believe, but because they know that it will further confuse and enrage the other side.

Then, when their opponents have exhausted themselves by doggedly clinging to the rules of logic and their vain attempts to sway the crowd to their side, the untouchables move in and achieve the ultimate end to their strategy:

They win.

So you have to ask yourself: which side is smarter? Which side is more awake? Goodness is nothing without strength, and strength is nothing without goodness. But the most important thing, the quality without which neither goodness nor strength is sufficient, is to be awake—to see the world clearly for what it is—and in the face of that to retain our goodness and our strength.

Don’t be hoodwinked by the puppet show. The constant parade of ignorance before the public eye is meant for you, not for them. They know that, and you don’t. You have bought into the lie. The dumbest, absolute dumbest thing you can do is to believe that the other side is stupid. They’re counting on that.

“Be ye wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” – Jesus

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