In my first meeting with my counselor, I was asked to write about how I really felt about myself. She told me to be honest with what I wrote and that I should put in even the small details that have some significance to me. I had some problems with recounting everything that happened but my counselor later congratulated me on being able to admit a few things to myself including certain transgressions that I’ve done to others. She told me that a lot of her previous clients tend to be hard in denial at first before admitting to a lot of mistakes. She went on to say that getting people to admit to their own failings is the first step to improving themselves and their situation.
Unfortunately, she also confirmed that not all of her clients tend to go through with admitting their faults and is one of the reasons they never fully recover from their problems. Well, while I can admit to still having problems, my counselor went on to point out that by not admitting one’s mistakes, one can never move on from their troubles and are doomed to repeat their mishaps. Then, she went on to tell me it was often self-delusion that caused criminals to do more and more reprehensible acts throughout their lives until they became total monster. A good example of this would be some of the Nazi war criminals and extremist Islamic factions of today. They hide behind causes that they consider just such as national security or interests and religious fanaticism respectively or sometimes even both.
Now, I will admit that the Philippines, despite its troubles, are nowhere near as deplorable as some of the more unfortunate nations of the world, this is cold comfort considering the degree of denial the government, the media and the people have. For instance, more Filipinos find interest in news regarding the Jamich couple as a recent comment in another article stated instead of the troubles at hand like the terrorists of Mindanao and the ever present threat of China across the South China Sea. While people have a right to consume what media they want, I don’t think they’re fully aware of the dangers that threaten them because of their selective obliviousness to their situation. It confounds me to no end that the troubles of celebrities (while some do warrant attention but are not, say, a matter of national security) often take center stage over more pressing concerns like terrorist attacks or the possibility of being annexed by another country.
During my college years, I often joined stage plays and one of my most memorable roles (for both me and my audience at the time) was that of Uncle Screwtape from the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It was a very loose adaptation actually as we took liberties with the original work and tried to make the story less about demonic hierarchy and more about the nature of temptation, human frailty and redemption. Anyway, for those not in the know, The Screwtape Letters is about demons and their relationship with humans. In the book, it is shown how they tempt people into committing acts of evil, both big and small, and how they whisper justifications to the minds of people to prevent them from realizing the horror of their crimes and repenting.
Anyway, upon remembering both the book and the script I was given at the time and comparing it with our society, I can say that a lot of people are caught in their delusions and cling to them to justify their existence and their often terrible attitude towards one another. One line I will never forget is: “They see only what they want to see and hear only what they want to hear.” It chills me to the bone to admit it, but this is certainly what I see in plenty of my countrymen.
I don’t want to sound preachy here, but if you’re familiar with the Bible, Jesus spoke a line that said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This was because a lot of Jesus’ tormentors and executioners at the time probably didn’t fully understand what was going on. The scribes and pharisees, the people who were in charge of organized religion at the time and paid lip service to the Roman Empire, twisted the words Jesus had said to make him look like a criminal before the public. Since seeing Jesus as a criminal and blasphemer was easier for people to accept than say that they were essentially all slaves of the Roman Empire, they chose to have the poor man crucified for all his troubles.
So okay, I might actually be stretching things a bit and I don’t really want to compare former President Arroyo to Jesus, but I can point out that our own heavily-biased media has fooled us (similar to the scribes and pharisees mentioned above) into seeing her as a criminal. In the original Screwtape Letters, it is mentioned that the favorite tactic of demons is to use the emotions of people to get them to see things in the wrong light. To twist a person’s words and their meaning to something different from what intended. While emotions aren’t bad in and of themselves, getting carried away by them is one way a person can commit some of the most heinous crimes and never realize it until it’s too late. Because of our emotions, we become easy to manipulate and easily blinded with propaganda. The same tactic is also used to prevent us from seeing the fact that China is expanding further into our territory and that the terrorists down south continue to terrorize the populace by presenting to us media sensations like extravagant celebrity weddings and beaten movie actors.
Filipinos are so much like children who have now wandered into a dangerous filled with snakes, wolves, bears and other wild animals as shown by Benign0 here. Now, instead of taking appropriate actions like hiding or defending oneself, the common Pinoy is taught to simply close their eyes and pretend that all those wild animals do not exist as if that will somehow make the ravenous bears, starving wolves and venomous snakes disappear.
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