IAN LAWTON'S BLOG
31 MARCH 2021: IF I HAVE A VACCINE HAVE I 'SUPPRESSED MY SPIRITUALITY'?
It is so, so sad to see humanity tearing itself apart during this pandemic. Whether this is a manipulated situation or not, we can still choose how we react to it, and we don't have to fall into the trap... if that's what it is... of becoming polarised, confrontational and judgmental. So perhaps we can take a step back for a moment?
I have been profoundly depressed by the number of spiritual commentators on social media, whose work I've previously admired, who seem to now take the position that unless one is anti-vaccine and anti-mask and unless one understands that the very freedom and future of the human race is at stake, one is acting like a blind lamb to the slaughter and denying one's innate spirituality. Really? Can it be so?
I accept that it's not impossible that this whole situation has been engineered as some sort of mass control experiment, but I personally put the likelihood of that at well below 50%... in fact probably only around 5% or less. History tells us that humanity has regularly been faced with viruses and other diseases throughout the ages. So instead I think it much, much more likely that this is just another in a long line... albeit one where we're now sufficiently medically advanced to have far more tools to fight it than has hitherto been the case. Whether we are using those tools in the right way etc. is an important debate, but not really germane to the one I'm trying to foster here.
I similarly accept that it's not impossible that the various vaccines that have been developed may contain some sort of DNA-mutation ingredients, even microchips. But again personally I would only put the possibility at around 5% or less. I think it much more likely that some incredible brains have put in huge amounts of research to come up with ways of defeating a new medical danger, and done it in double-quick time.
I especially accept that, as in any polarised situation, statistics are being manipulated. I am concerned by reports that deaths in which Covid is only an incidental factor seem to be incorporated in some stats. But equally I've seen very good evidence of stats being deliberately and seriously misrepresented by those who would have us believe that Covid is less of a killer than influenza.
There may also be scope for debate about whether or not it's helpful to wear masks, or even to lockdown. But arguably that's only indicative of developing knowledge, or at worst political incompetence or manipulation, rather than of a full-blown underlying conspiracy. What is more, if the mainstream media are so complicit in a cover up, how come they give such prominence, for example, to misleading reports of the side effects of the AZ vaccine? As far as I can tell the reported incidence of blood clots is actually less than in a random sample of the general population, especially one of the same age range and with the same underlying health conditions. In fact what some might consider downright irresponsible reporting will almost certainly have had a significant adverse effect on vaccine take-up generally. So whose 'side' are they on? Is this is just an elaborate double bluff? Or are they attempting to report on the pandemic without undue bias?
Of course different sections of the media can be and are influenced by those that own and control them to be biased in particular areas such as elections and referendums. But is everything they report tainted? Are we not in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
In the meantime let's not forget that there have been a whole host of 'alternative/conspiracy' scares that turned out to be completely false. In just the last three decades, for example, we have had 1998, the culmination of a period in which the American psychic Edgar Cayce predicted there would be huge 'earth changes'. This was much heralded and much awaited. We are still waiting. The same happened in the run up to 2012 and the supposed cataclysmic end of one cycle in the Mayan calendrical system. I myself got completely sucked into that one, even publishing a book of channelled material about it. But, again, we are still waiting. In fact I've stopped. More prosaically everyone will remember the 'millennium bug', whereby it was widely predicted that all computer systems would crash at midnight on 31 December 1999. They didn't. None of this proves that current concerns don't have more substance. But let's at least be honest about the fact that as 'alternative thinkers' we've got plenty of previous.
Since the current pandemic has resulted in much war-style rhetoric on both sides of the divide, perhaps we should compare it to a genuine war situation? As a spiritual person I detest physical violence and aggression. The whole energy of it leaves me depleted, even when I encounter people being needlessly confrontational in conversations down the pub. I detest guns, weapons and any kind of violence-inspired computer games. However...
Let's take ourselves back to 1939. Hitler and his regime were a huge and real threat to freedom and democracy in Europe. Immeasurably more of a threat, I would suggest, than being asked to wear a mask for a while, or to have a vaccine. I know there were a few 'conscientious objectors', but I wonder how we would have got on if spiritual people in their droves had regarded conscription as an infringement of their personal freedoms? Perhaps even more illustrative, what if all the supposedly spiritual people in London and other cities had refused to obey blackout rules on the grounds that it was an infringement of their civil liberties and freedom to have artificial light whenever they chose? Just how free would those people... and us, their descendants... have been if Hitler had won? Surely there is sometimes a bigger picture than our contemporary obsession with rights and freedoms... one that involves altruism, sacrifice and responsibility?
But perhaps what I find most dispiriting about the current situation is the implicit, sometimes even explicit, suggestion that the members of our medical profession, our journalists, our politicians, our police and so many more are en masse engaged in a huge cover up. Of course there are bad apples in every barrel. But isn't this all just a wee bit disrespectful to the huge efforts of so many individuals in each of these professions who are committed to doing their job with integrity? Is it really part of a spiritual approach to write them all off as engaged in a huge conspiracy designed to rob us of our freedom? I know some will say that many of them don't know what they're complicit in, but I'm afraid on the balance of probabilities I just don't buy that either.
It is so easy to get caught up in generalisations. Perhaps I'm guilty of it here. But I'm pretty sure that we need an injection of common sense and perspective into the debates... and that's a polite way of putting it... that so many of us are having at the moment. And perhaps just a little more faith in the basic decency, integrity and intelligence of so many of our fellow human beings, even if we are indeed faced with global elites who might be trying to undermine those things.
I would respectfully suggest that we're nowhere near the situation in the 1930s and 40s where the German population became progressively inured to the point that they turned a collective blind eye to what was really going on under their noses. In the West at least, if we were to revisit anything like that level of threat to democracy, let alone renewed attempts at racial cleansing and so on, I would be hopeful we'd have really learned our lesson and refuse to be part of such genuine horrors... and modern communication methods would surely help our chances. But whether this is wishful thinking or not, arguably overplaying the current 'threat' isn't going to help.
If the 'powers that be' start trying to find new excuses to keep us locked down and wearing masks long after the majority of the population have been vaccinated then, yes, let's rise up and protest. But in the meantime would it hurt us to calm down the rhetoric and be a little more circumspect?
9 JUNE 2020: YES... SILENCE IS VIOLENCE
Enough is enough. I am of a certain generation, and I see old friends who I value dearly posting some terrible things on this platform and it makes me weep. I cannot stay silent any longer.
Yes, white soldier Lee Rigby's beheading some years ago shocked us to our core. But there WERE plenty of protests and reaction at the time. And if you think the most appropriate response to yet another black man being killed in America by police brutality is to make immediate comparisons with that similarly terrible situation... but with the clear message that somehow one is more important than the other, or deserves more recognition, or whatever... then I'm afraid you're absolutely part of the problem.
Nor do I care how many times George Floyd had been in prison or what for, or if he was high when he was arrested. He was clearly not being violent. And to watch one human being kneel on another's neck for nearly 10 minutes while he's clearly struggling to breathe and telling them so... and eventually crying out for his mother... all this while other officers just stand around watching... well, if you can stomach that then you probably need help.
Yes all lives matter, not just black lives. Yes there are working class, predominantly white communities that have been decimated by closures of mines, steelworks and so on, and of course people can feel threatened if they see huge numbers of immigrants moving into an area that is already struggling. I get all that.
Yes, many African countries have had huge problems with corruption since gaining independence. But does that make all black people stupid? Or lazy? Or criminal? Any more than similar levels of corruption in former communist countries implied the same about their mainly white inhabitants? For that matter I happen to think our current Government is rotten to the core... does that make us all the same? Of course not.
I have had the fortune to travel and work in a number of impoverished central African countries in the last few years. I have met wonderful, intelligent people who are smiling through adversity and full of love.
It is easy to get scared when we see large numbers of young, predominantly black men going on the rampage. But it's no different from what we used to see with white, skinhead, football hooligans. The bad energy is just the same. And there is absolutely no doubt that BAME communities around the world are right to demand equality in the workplace, in how they're policed, and so on. Of course they're right that they're still a long way off that, and that enough is enough. Too many empty words, not enough action.
I know changing attitudes that have been deeply ingrained since childhood can be hard. But it can be done. For all that I loved about him, my father thought that anyone who voted labour or even had a beard was a pariah... and it rubs off. But you can get rid of it. It's a sheen of filth and you can wash it off just like anything else!
Thank God the new generations coming through seem to be blind to colour, sexuality and so on. They are the future. They understand that we're all not just citizens of Britain but citizens of the world. Whatever our colour or creed. I have a strong hunch that in another 20 or 30 years anyone who mentions the colour of someone's skin will be looked at as if they're from another planet. And that's just how it should be. Bring it on.