By Jerry Alatalo
r. S. Awan, editor of The Burning Blogger of Bedlam here on WordPress, has kindly accepted an invitation to participate in our new interview series. Thank you Mr. Awan for taking the time and sharing your insights in response to our interview questionnaire, presented in the following words.
Question 1: What was your primary motivation for entering the world of blogging – the internet?
Oddly enough, when I started my main blog, it was just for fun. I had no intention whatsoever of writing about serious, grown-up subjects, politics, society, corruption, cover-ups or any kind of ‘truth-seeking’. I had no kind of ‘noble’ intentions. I originally just wanted to write about music, film, comic books and stuff that I’ve been enthusiastic about all my life. I also wrote a magazine column for a while about the supernatural and the more esoteric side of things, so this kind of stuff was what I had in mind for blogging.
What happened was that the world started to feel like it was falling apart just around the same I time I was trying to find my feet with the blogging. The refugee/migrant crisis was escalating, the horrors in Syria were unfolding, a very toxic atmosphere was spreading all across the Internet (and society) with a resurgence of really bad ideologies, and with all manner of rampant corruption and cover-ups going on in plain sight. There was also a sense that a whole sea of misinformation, propaganda and manipulation was going on all over the place – not just in the mainstream, but in various parts of so-called ‘alternative’ media too. And that there was a growing absence of good intentions in most of this, but rather a web of different interests and biases utilising the alternative media momentum and general ‘truth-seeking movement’ (if I can call it that) for their own purposes in order to advance their own agendas and to recruit people to their own ideologies and biases.
I was thus drawn instinctively to start trying to navigate and make sense of all these things, trying to make honest appraisals from the perspective of someone who considers himself largely non-partisan.
Early on, the main thing that really got me working hard was the manufactured ‘terror’ threat and the business of false-flag terrorism. I made it a goal to critically analyse every single alleged terror incident in the West as soon as it happened, so that I could play some small part in undermining the false narrative (and its objectives) as relentlessly as possible.
I guess the motivation now is just to continue to try to make sense of everything as it continues to evolve, spiral or degenerate.
Question 2: How would you describe yourself with regard to spirituality?
I would regard myself as a fairly spiritual person, in as much as that I am open to and interested in various spiritual philosophies and schools of thought.
I think a spiritual dimension to our understanding of life, the world and even politics and society, is important: though, admittedly, I’m more comfortable sticking to the meat-and-potatoes of ‘mundane’, non-esoteric things when it comes to writing these days. This is, I guess, because I will always consider my ‘spiritual’ understanding or authority as a work-in-progress and therefore not something I feel I can speak of definitively.
However, I believe – without doubt anymore – that we are partly spiritual or metaphysical beings, probably with a form of multi-dimensional consciousness. I think time is also something we don’t really understand and that there is some profound connection between time and consciousness that we haven’t figured out yet – and probably will never figure out. I tend to think that the answers to some of this reside somewhere where we can’t effectively study them – specifically, in the still-mysterious realms of sleep states and non-waking consciousness.
That’s as far as I’m willing to go, as far as making statements is concerned: as I’m still on a seemingly unending quest to develop my own understanding. And until I do so to my own satisfaction, I probably shouldn’t permit myself to speak on such subjects with any kind of authority.
Question 3: What were some of the most memorable transforming points across the years (books, personal contacts, mystical experiences, etc.) in the developing of your current spiritual perspective?
It’s hard to say – as I’m not entirely settled on what my spiritual perspective is. However, there’s a bunch of stuff I can say here. Firstly, I’ve had a number of what I would call ‘anomalous’ experiences in my life that have opened me up to the necessity of needing to think about life in different terms. I don’t really want to go into detail about what those experiences were, but they were experiences that definitely force you to get outside of boxed or mundane thinking.
I’ve generally also always been partial to deep thinking and to contemplation of the nature of consciousness and reality. A life-long attachment to science-fiction and comic books has also, believe it or not, made me naturally inclined towards those kinds of considerations. I can’t pinpoint anything to any specific books, but I do think reading Rene Descartes (the philosopher) when I was a teenager probably influenced me a little.
Most of my spiritual perspective has probably come from my own meditations or attempts at self-conditioning over the years. I also, for a period a while ago, conditioned myself to enter into extended periods of what I’m calling ‘hyper awareness’: to explain this better, I basically trained my mind to go into phases where I scrutinise or analyse every single thing I see, hear, think or feel, in order to understand the nature or reality of that thing in a hyper-aware sort of way. It’s extraordinary the knock-on effects this has if you do it often enough. It really trains you to be cognitively ‘alive’ in the moment – whereas I realised that we usually spend most of our days switched off and in a kind of default-mode that takes in reality only very dimly. The drawback with what I’m explaining is that you can’t really do it continuously or all the time, as it doesn’t lend itself to living an efficient, functional everyday life – but even doing this just periodically can have a very interesting effect on your consciousness.
I’ve found that the more cognitively hyper-aware you are at any time, the more you also become aware of yourself and others emotionally, and also the more you become acutely aware of things are connected in different ways, spiritually, energetically, temporally, etc. In that kind of state, you’re more likely to be able to instinctively see, feel or understand the ‘truth’ of a thing – or the truth of many things all at once.
I sort of wish I could maintain that kind of state of consciousness continuously – but it’s just not possible, as far as I can tell.
Question 4: What is your greatest wish for readers as a consequence after reading/considering your writings?
I guess it varies, depending on what any given article is about.
For example, one of the things I was really adamant about at one time was convincing people who were perhaps hostile towards refugees that things like compassion or our moral responsibility as human beings and developed societies shouldn’t be considered somehow as ‘outmoded’ thinking. Judging from much of the response to those articles, I probably failed to convince anyone; but it has become evident to me over the years that much of ‘conspiracy theory’ writing or blogging has moved from being about exposing truth to being about giving people justifications to no longer have any compassion for anyone but people like themselves, and to indulge in racism, sexism, homophobia or also a weird kind of religiously motivated ‘conspiracy’ lore that is really just about a specific school of confirmation bias and indoctrination.
In writing about how, for example, neo-fascists were cleverly utilising things like the refugee crisis and the fear of ‘ISIS’ to indoctrinate people into adopting Far-Right viewpoints, I wanted to wake certain people up to the reality that they were being manipulated. Likewise, in writing extensively about Zionist manipulation of Western ‘populism’ or nationalism and its manipulation of Islamophobia, I wanted to demonstrate to more people just how much the so-called ‘alternative media’ or supposedly ‘anti-establishment’ trends and platforms were being co-opted and redirected from what was initially a broadly ‘truth-seeking’ operation to what became instead an indoctrination operation.
In general terms, I guess I want to encourage people to think critically *all* of the time – and to not defer their critical thinking to other parties or agendas, whether that’s in the corporate mainstream media or in some of the highly suspect elements of so-called ‘alternative’ or ‘anti-establishment’ platforms. I really want people to break away from or stay clear of their biases or echo chambers. And to avoid being goaded into ‘camps’ based on sectarian, racial, religious, gender, or sexual biases. But to think, instead, about all of society – or even all of humanity.
Question 5: Can you offer any advice to people having a difficult time dealing with government and media lies, especially as it pertains to so many average citizens who hold erroneous perceptions on important events and situations around the Earth?
The best thing I can think to say is this: get out of the echo chambers. Get out of the camps. And this, most important of all – don’t make the mistake of thinking that anything labeled ‘anti establishment’ is automatically more reliable or noble than the MSM. Doesn’t work that way. Clever manipulators know that they have to move with the times and trends and keep reinventing and re-packaging the manipulations: clever manipulators therefore know how to use both the MSM and how to utilise the anti-MSM or anti-establishment movements and platforms.
My frustration is that too many people make the mistake of thinking that all you have to do is turn away from the MSM and then just defer your thinking to some popular, seemingly anti-establishment platforms or voices. That’s bullshit. That’s the dumbest path of all. Because some of the so-called anti-establishment platforms, movements or voices are far worse, far more manipulative, than the corporate MSM. What they do very well is to take elements of truth that the MSM won’t – and then to assimilate those ‘truths’ into a broader brainwashing agenda that has the style or appearance of genuine ‘truth-seeking’ or truth dissemination, but is really just the emperor’s new clothes.
My advice is to always question what someone’s agenda or bias is. Is the information being forwarded purely for its own sake (the sake of it being simply the truth), or is it being packaged along with an underlying ideology or agenda?
Also, I advise a broad range of news sources or information sources (both mainstream and non-mainstream). Never end up getting all your information from just one source or from just one common ideological network of sources. Keep a broad range.
And, crucially, find sources, writers or bloggers that you trust. And when I say ‘trust’, I mean trust in terms of their motivations, their intentions and their tone. Of course, in reality no writer or blogger is entirely without their own bias or some semblance of an ideological-leaning: but it is fairly easy to discern when someone is trying to manipulate you, poison your thinking, forward a cynical agenda, or simply misrepresent information.
Now, more than ever, we all need to have our critical faculties operating at maximum efficiency.
Thank you again, S. Awan. Peace.