A powerful quote from a powerful movie, the following comes from Detachment (2011), starring Adrien Brody. I watched this with my family last night. It’s a very shocking and disturbing movie about a substitute teacher dealing with a lot of broken children doing bad things. Some of the scenes still haunt me. There are a lot of things that could be said about this movie; the following quote, though, just stood out to me so strongly:
How are you to imagine anything if the images are always provided for you?
Doublethink. To deliberately believe in lies, while knowing they’re false.
Examples of this in everyday life: “Oh, I need to be pretty to be happy. I need surgery to be pretty. I need to be thin, famous, fashionable.” Our young men today are being told that women are whores, bitches, things to be screwed, beaten, shit on, and shamed. This is a marketing holocaust. Twenty-four hours a day for the rest of our lives, the powers that be are hard at work dumbing us to death.
So to defend ourselves, and fight against assimilating this dullness into our thought processes, we must learn to read. To stimulate our own imagination, to cultivate our own consciousness, our own belief systems. We all need skills to defend, to preserve, our own minds.
This. This is what I have to remind myself everyday. This is what I have been unable to express to my little brothers. This is what I will tell my children. We must read, and think about what we read, with the goal to find the truth. This is the first verse that is revealed in the Qur’an: “Read! in the name of your Lord and Cherisher, Who created.” (96:1)
We live in an age of manipulation. Media, government and business corporations to name just a few are ever ready with their rich psychological tools to turn us away from the truth. In order to get ourselves closer to the truth, we need to hold on to our reason and rationality. We need to learn to discern truth from falsehood. We need to guard ourselves against manipulations through thinking critically and always verifying any available evidences and validating our beliefs.
The rational mind is our most precious gift from God, what puts us above even Angels. Consciousness itself is precious. Don’t waste it. Don’t let yourself be manipulated. This is the best way to love yourself.