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Discernment Tips

by JenniLee
2021, April 2

dis•cern•ment (dĭ-sûrn′mənt):  good judgement or insight

When it comes to doing your own research and delving down into a myriad of rabbit holes, you have a challenging task before you!  Why?  There is a war being waged over each and every person's mind on this planet, so as to make it very hard to discern what is truth.

There are a few points to be illustrated here on this page to help you with your own discernment skills.

1.  Do not just tap into, but also trust your own sense of innate discernment.

2.  Understand tactics used by other people and/or organizations to alter one's perception of reality (to delve into this at a deeper level, see the page Truth Within Society).

3.  Ask the right questions about anything you are evaluating.

4.  Take into account context, so as to better gauge the truth.

Innate Discernment

schoolies toon

To start with, everybody should be familiar with the term "gut feeling."  One's gut feeling is actually an intuitive ability; you are sensing emotionally, and perhaps even physically (in the gut or otherwise), whether something "feels" right, or whether the person communicating to you "feels" right.  Does something you are hearing resonate with you?  If so, this is how you determine what is true for you -- your truth.  This is a skill we all have, and it can be honed and developed with practice.

Keep in mind that what resonates with you and sounds truthful, may not resonate with others.  Each person has their own truth, and this is perfectly okay.  That's how it all works, as life is a process of experiencing things and always re-evaluating what seems to be true or not.  What seems to be true can and does change over time; new information may come to light that changes what you thought you knew, which is why having an open mind is key!

One's Perception of Reality

There is much that can be said about how the perception of reality can be altered or "colored" from an individual level up to a mass level.  Let's start with how there is a continuum of terms that describe a range of efforts starting with benign, and rising up to invasive, to alter the perception of reality:

Note:  the above links are to Wikipedia, which is not known for being a bastion of accuracy!  This is because some of the above methods are used to affect mass perception!  This doesn't mean there isn't truth there - just that one must use discernment!

Edward Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud) is considered to be the father of public relations or perception management via his book "Propaganda" while Gustave Le Bon wrote a key book on crowd psychology in "The Crowd."

The BBC documentary The Century of the Self" by Adam Curtis also delves into this whole topic of mass influence.

Scott Adams (creator of the cartoon "Dilbert") is an expert on persuasion.  He has written a book all about persuasion called "Win Bigly" and maintains a Persuasion Reading List.

Here are some additional links to get you started in understanding the information games being played.  But do take the time to perform your own search to see what you can find!

Propaganda and Disinformation:  How the CIA Manufactures History (this was written over 30 years ago!!)

The Evolution of Disinformation: How Public Opinion Became Proxy

31 Persuasion Tips That I Learned From Scott Adams, by Sterling Terrell

The point of listing all of the different ways that one's perception can be altered and/or messed with, is that you need to see and understand this, if you are to see THROUGH it.  We are being influenced "six ways from Sunday" every day, if not constantly.  If one recognizes this and sees it as it is happening, then you can see past it by filtering out the manipulation.

Asking the Right Questions

To sum it up, we're in the midst of a crowd of monkeys who are all throwing poo everywhere!  So how to sort it all out?

Ask yourself the following:

  1.  Who is saying what?  Who is this person, what is their background, and what specific agenda do they have?  Who do they work for?  And most importantly, "qui bono?" --  that is "to whom is it a benefit?"  Along the same lines, "follow the money."  Who is to benefit financially from a certain perspective presented as "truth?"
  2.  Are your emotions being played with?
    • Specifically, is the emotion of fear being projected?  If the message follows the lines of, "if you don't do this, you will suffer some negative consequence," then that is fear projection.  The question then becomes, "why is fear being used to 'herd' people into taking some particular action?"
    • A subcomponent of fear is loss -  losing money, your life, a loved one...  See The Uncanny Fear of Loss article.
    • Is guilt being used?  Are you being guilted into taking a particular action, and if so, why?  What assumptions are being made about you when such emotional tactics are used?  That you are irresponsible?  That you don't care about others?
  3.  In terms of the message being conveyed to you:  does the message empower you or disempower you?  If what we are facing here on Earth is good versus evil, or light versus dark, then whether something empowers you or not, clearly delineates which side of the fence a message falls on.  Anything good, or of the Light or the Divine, will NOT entail any disempowerment!

Context

Context refers to the greater environment or setting which surrounds any sort of issue or topic.   How much of the greater context one perceives depends upon the degree to which one focuses on details, versus backing away to see a bigger picture.

The idiom "can't see the forest for the trees" illustrates this point.  If one cannot see the forest for the trees, it means the focus is too much on the details, focusing on the leaves (or leaf) of a specific tree instead of on the forest as a whole.

There is a range for viewing things, and this affects one's perspective.  When trying to hone in on truth, it helps to see things first at the detail level, and then to back out to "higher elevations" to see the bigger picture.  It is when looking at the bigger picture that one can begin to make connections between various data points of information, and to ultimately see patterns where truth holds together and makes sense.

To Aid Your Exploration

Alternative News Links

These are links to news resources/blogs that are an alternative to the mainstream media.  The people behind these sites are dedicated to getting at the truth.