Why conspiracy theorists love to theorize about conspiracies…

Via Ben Ralston
on May 4, 2011
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Yesterday morning I promoted (via the Elephant Journal Facebook page) Harris Mercer’s article ‘Why it’s wrong to doubt the news about Osama’. In case you haven’t read it, it’s an opinion piece.

Within minutes of the post the FB page received dozens of angry comments.

I realized two things: not only do conspiracy theorists love to theorize about conspiracies (which was the provocative title of my facebook post), but they don’t like to be called out on it.

I’ve thought a lot about this before, because I have a friend who loves to think (fantasize?) about this stuff. He spent many, many hours ‘researching’ over the Internet, and is firmly convinced that the world will end in 2012. He has invested not only a lot of time, but also a lot of money, into what he sees as precautionary measures to ensure his survival thereafter.

This is the conclusion I have reached:

It’s just another kind of addiction…

…up there along with shopping, pornography, video games, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc. Most people are addicted to something. We like to fuel our addictions to distract ourselves from the real issues that would otherwise (we fear) burn a hole in our mind – why am I not deeply happy? Why do I not do what I love? Why do I not relish this life, and live the life of my dreams?

For the record, I personally believe that there was something a bit ‘fishy’ about 9/11. I also believe that Osama probably isn’t dead! The greatest intelligence asset in the world, ever? Shoot him in the eye!

But hey, I don’t want to fuel any more conspiracy theories because I don’t want you to waste (too much) of your precious time thinking about them.

What I’d really like you to do is address the deeper questions. Are you deeply happy? Do you feel successful? Are you living the life you dreamt of when you were a child?

This is important.

It’s not important whether Osama planned 9/11; it’s not important whether he lived in a cave in Bora Bora or a mansion in Pakistan; it’s not important whether he’s alive or dead. It’s not important, compared to the simple question “Am I happy?”

You see, the world is full of unhappy people who pretend to be happy whilst pulling on their cigarettes; or plugging into the ‘net to research conspiracy theories; or going out at the weekend to get drunk, trying to forget about Monday looming up ahead, and the job that they dread.

So forget about Osama. If he’s not dead he soon will be, and we’ll never know the truth anyway.

Focus on yourself. “Be a light unto thyself”. You have the potential to be and do exactly what you would most love to be and do. When you get there, you’ll be a beacon of light in this dark world, and the more light we all bring, the more shadows we disperse.

Deep down we all want truth, justice, freedom, and peace. The only way is to find them within.


About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting. He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


12 Responses to “Why conspiracy theorists love to theorize about conspiracies…”

  1. Ben Ralston says:

    A comment from Wesley Trawick via Facebook:

    I agree highly with the overall point behind the article. The truth within is far more important than the truth without. However, I also believe the two are ultimately interconnected. You cannot affect one without affecting the other, and I don’t believe you can fully understand one without understanding the other, at least not without enough understanding to see how one reflects the other.

    I’ve actually found myself in a bit of a conundrum for a while concerning my views on the government in conjunction with my spiritual views and wondering how to justify the two together. I definitely think that our government is constantly manipulating and lying to us. However, I also believe that all things in the external world are symbolic of what’s going on inside the individual perceiving that external world. So, I cannot help but make the evaluation that perhaps it is symbolic of my mind manipulating and lying to the rest of my self. If that is the case then it seems paramount to me to discern the truth behind the lies, and there are two ways to go about that. One is uncovering what the government is actually doing and why, then applying that knowledge to my self. The other is to figure out what I am actually doing to myself and applying that knowledge to the external world. Some would argue that the latter is the better option, however it seems to me that one can ever be certain that any self-observation is without bias, whilst I at least find it much easier to view the external world with at least far less bias if not completely unbiased.

    Another take on it that has caused me some problems is that I consider it to be quite true that our beliefs shape our reality. So from that perspective it may very well be my belief in the corruption of our government that causes it to be so. If that is the case then it seems that the answer to the problem is to trust in the innate goodness of our government, but I can’t deny that smacks of the Ostrich who hides his head in the sand. So inevitably I’m just left with more questions than answers on the subject. However, when it all comes down to it, I think it’s an inherent part of my nature to question everything, especially authority. I have been rebellious since birth and I’ve come to believe that it’s just an unshakeable part of my essence. Anyways, sorry for rambling on, but I couldn’t think of a more concise way to respond to this post and I felt a very strong desire to do so.

  2. Ben_Ralston says:

    Wesley – the only place there can be no bias (the only place you can perceive truth directly) is WITHIN. So you make a fundamental error – to my eyes – with your thinking in your second paragraph. The way out of your conundrum is to look within. Another error you make is to assume that reality is created by *your* thoughts / beliefs alone. It is not. The world is a result of the *global* consciousness. To change the world, we must change all of consciousness, not just our own. How? Of course the only thing we can do is our part – change our consciousness. Hence the argument of my article.

  3. suzette says:

    freudian slip? osama surely not obama?

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Oh man you're right. I knew I'd do it sooner or later…
    Thanks for pointing it out and I'll edit it now.
    (probably not a coincidence that immeditely before writing this I was reading this: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/05/fox-freudi

  5. Ben_Ralston says:

    Yes, we're spoilt for choice these days huh? Unfortunately our technologies can lead us one way or the other, and sometimes both – like for example (ironically) the internet. It connects us, it informs us, it helps us spread our word… but it also traps is in so many ways, or can do.
    We live in a time when discernment is more important than ever… and perhaps more difficult?

  6. Franz Jaeger says:

    Hey.. It’s good point you are making.. better to be happy, and have no addictions.. which I guess reading alternative news on the internet tends to be for most.. why people are using the ‘conspiracy theorist’ phrasing all the time about people who like to ask questions that go beyond most corporate news media.. I would like to see a picture.. and have a few questions answered about the various subjects.. I don’t think there some grand conspiracy looming over all of our heads.. I don’t feel like an unhappy paranoid addicted person.. I think I am mostly like every other person out there.. i.e. with a mood that changes .. almost out of my own control… do I feel belittled by the administrations decision not to show any real proof of a widely publicized event… do I feel lied too..? yes.. is the US in the midst of a grand pullout and about to enter a second phase of this decades old war.. yes.. logistics fuel my interest for various subjects of our surroundings.. not an addictive unhappiness or fear of nothing.. but hey.. its ok.. everyone go back to sleep, and be happy every day..

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  8. Ben_Ralston says:

    No thanks, I'd rather chew my own legs off 😉

  9. yogiclarebear says:

    peace begins in the heart…silly conspiracies begin in the ego

    nice article ben!

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