The Truth About Alternate Facts | Catherine Shainberg, Ph.D.

Every day, we see the willful obliteration of truth occurring globally and, in many parts of the world, violently and tyrannically. The methods in use have now famously become the fodder for what is euphemistically called “alternate facts.” Whatever you call them, simply put, they are disinformation.

The American midterm elections are upon us, a metaphor and an example of outrageous disinformation campaigns. This phenomenon is not specific to the United States; the same willful obliteration of truth is occurring globally and, in many parts of the world, violently and tyrannically. But the methods – spreading half-truths and lies, creating confusion, knowingly twisting reality, threatening and punishing those who challenge – has famously become the fodder what is euphemistically called “fake news” or “alternate facts.” Whatever you call them, they are, simply put, disinformation.

We are not talking here of misinformation, which makes victims of us all. We have all been on the receiving end of erroneous facts, often times only to become unwitting spreaders of those same false facts, maybe inflating the misinformation even more.

This is called gossip.

How does this wrong information, this gossip, occur? We’ve all played the telephone game as kids. What was whispered by the first kid into the ear of the next kid ended up being unrecognizable by the time it landed in the ear of the last kid. Not much of a fun game when this damages or hurts the innocent., when indeed ,part of the inflation and distortion comes from an intention to hurt another person. This behavior is so harmful to self and others it merits its own Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Disinformation, of course, is far worse.

Disinformation is knowingly and willfully bearing false testimony. A deceit knowingly engaged in, generally used to hide something, to hurt or damage someone, to manipulate, has become an accepted political tool. Many of us fall victims to disinformation. We believe the lies fed to us. But why do we do that?

Why are we so vulnerable to disinformation or its weaker cousin, misinformation?

We play a part in allowing disinformation to succeed, thrive and take hold: maybe it is because we are too busy, or too lazy to put in the effort to discern the truth, or too uninformed or ignorant to even smell the stench of falsehood. Or maybe we don’t know how to check the facts and ask the questions that will free us. Or maybe, we have frozen feelings – of fear, hate, contempt, collapse.

Whatever the reasons, we have a way out that is a blessing to us and to those with whom we relate. It starts with the “facts.”

Facts are important. They fuel the question. The question fuels the journey, in our case, the dreaming. The dreaming delivers the answers.

Remember Perceval, the Arthurian knight, who was shown an “end of the world” image: an empty cup, a broken sword, a bloody lance, a severed head on a platter. He did not ask the obvious question (about the Holy Grail) and as a result he was punished with an additional nightmare: His mother died! This is a way the myth has of telling us that his subconscious mind went dark. Like the Fisher King, the last in line to protect the Holy Grail, he becomes incapable of fulfilling this task until healed through the hero’s journey. His lands – his subconscious – became barren while he waited for someone else to save him.

Perceval suffered because he failed to ask the healing question. That is, the question that fuels the journey to reveal the truth.

What is the truth? It is what grounds us. While the truth is lodged in the subconscious it is dependent on the conscious mind’s clear reporting of the real world. The Egyptians see truth as a red feather, both passionately grounded in physical embodiment and light as a feather. The feather aspect is revelation, the answer of the subconscious.

The conscious mind feeds the subconscious with facts garnered from our senses and from reliable sources. What happens to us when we can no longer trust our conscious mind to accurately relay the contours of the real world to our subconscious mind? The subconscious becomes untethered, confused, disoriented, angry, fearful. It plunges into survival mode. The conscious and the subconscious minds become enemies, violently opposed to each other, further removed from the truth. The result is more irrational behavior, violent rejection or attacks.

Today, with our heads truncated from our body sensations, we are bombarded with data, some of which are facts, some are falsehoods, many unverified or feeding into our unexamined prejudices. How do we make proper judgments when we are being inundated with questionable “facts” at every moment?

As dreamers we are accustomed to bringing facts to our subconscious mind, to checking our information through the lens of the subconscious truth. But as we have said before, when you bring false facts to your subconscious mind, emotional turmoil ensues. Chaos, confusion, mental agitation are signs that the body and the mind are not in agreement.

We have four bodies: the physical, the emotional, the mental, and the spirit. We all know how to cleanse our physical body. We know how to relieve our emotional body of the traumas of the past. Clearing our mental body is harder. Unless confronted, we have no reason to question our belief systems. We let “alternative facts” reverberate when they fit into our belief systems. Disgust, rejection, violence, are often symptoms of a fixed belief system. When our belief systems are confronted in ways we can no longer ignore, this earthquake triggers secondary tremors affecting the emotional body, creating physical symptoms, raising spiritual doubt. This is how we are informed that an earth-shattering reconfiguration is in progress.

A great error that people engaged in spiritual pursuits often make is that they want to eliminate the real world, the conscious mind. But the two minds must work together, honestly and carefully. The conscious mind must do its due diligence before questioning the subconscious mind. The subconscious depends on us asking a focused simple question. It will then return its truth. If not, it will regurgitate to us our fears and angers and we will, unfortunately, believe what we see. Watch your emotions, this is what will guide you to question yourself more carefully.

What is the truth? It is what grounds us. While the truth is lodged in the subconscious it is dependent on the conscious mind’s clear reporting of the real world.

But finding the truth starts when you hone your questions down to a one-pointed focus. The process of honing your question transforms emotions into clear intent. Find your burning question. Or ask your subconscious: What is my true question?

Remember the “still small voice”? Simple, clear, calm.

The answer too will come, as a simple, clear, luminous, calm image or words.

Trust your inner gazing: it shows the distinction of right from wrong, truth from falsity, love from fear.


Clearing the Clutter

Close your eyes. Breathe out three times slowly, counting from 3 to 1.

Hear the clatter of sounds between you and someone who is feeding you “false facts” that agitate you.

Catch the sound in a cone box.

Carry the box to the end of the world and throw it over the edge into a violet fire ocean.

Return to stand before that person whose false facts agitated you.

Listen to the silence between you. See the silence. What does it show you?

Open your eyes.


by Catherine Shainberg