Statement: They shouldn’t recruit using lies. (I happened to see parts of a US Army recruiting video in the lobby of a movie theater today, which I incidentally first thought was a – pretty funny – parody.)
Yes. Feels true. Most of the world would agree. Most moral guidelines agree.
No. Not at all. It is just an idea.
- What happens when I believe that?
- I feel upset, angry, frustrated.
- I get judgmental of the foreign policies of the US government, of the US army, of those who actually are attracted to those commercials, convinced by their arguments, and decide to join. And then of myself, because I get caught up in contractions and reactiveness this way.
- I find support from my views, especially from all those who spend time researching and analyzing the recruiting strategies and also the way the US military is used to further US foreign policies (of power, gaining footholds, protecting economic interests).
- I become judgmental of those who accept the lies (“fighting terrorism!”, “protecting freedom!”), and then feel sorry for them (uninformed, in difficult economical situations), both of which are ways to look down on them. There is a sense something being off and of separation.
- What am I not able to appreciate because of that belief? The grain of truth in the advertisement. (They do fight terrorism in their own way, even if I don’t agree with their strategies most of the time, and even if it backfires and works against its purpose. They do fight for freedom, for instance the freedom of corporations to expand their markets and make more money.) The sincerity of many who agree with the slogans, which is actually quite touching. The need for the US military to use strong means to recruit, since they don’t have enough people interested right now. They are obviously willing to crack a few eggs, including in terms of letting go of honesty and nuances, to make the omelet.
- Who would I be without that thought?
Free from being in the grips of reactiveness. Able to appreciate the things mentioned above. Not caught up in judgments. Feeling a sense of connection with the US government, army and soldiers, while also not agreeing with or supporting a great deal of what they are doing. I can connect with them in a more real way, while also having different views and even, as I have in the past, work for changes.
- They should recruit using lies. They should, because they obviously see that as a good strategy. I am sure the way they recruit is no accident, and that they have found it to work for them. Also, it helps me see my own hangups around it. And it can even help some of the soldiers, who initially believed in it and then became disillusioned, to speak up and work for changes. Also, when it comes to war, the first casualty is truth as someone once said, so this is just another example. In a way, it is the job of those working for war to lie. (Even as I may work for changing that.)
- I shouldn’t recruit using lies. Another powerful turnaround that stops my mind in its tracks. How do I recruit using lies? I can find that in many areas of my life. I often lie in different ways to lead people in a certain direction. Mostly, these lies are of omission and slanting something a certain way. I enhance a certain perspective, while playing down other perspectives even if they are equally true for me.
- I should recruit using lies. I do, so similar to the US army, I have found it to work for me to a certain extent. Also, if I am not clear, I recruit using lies, and the discomfort there becomes a sign pointing to something to inquire into. And sometimes I may very consciously do it, if the situation seems to call for it. (Although I probably wouldn’t defend it, and I would know there are probably other options that for now are outside of what I am aware of or able to act on.)
- My thinking shouldn’t recruit using lies. My thinking recruit using lies when they say something is true, creating an attachment to certain stories, perspectives and identities.
- My thinking should recruit using lies. It is what it does. It is its job, until it isn’t. It gives me familiarity with that part of the human experience. It helps me explore the mechanisms of samsara.