A Progress Report – Chapter 6

It’s hard tack at the moment. I’m working my way through Chapter 6 which was, up to about 10 seconds ago called “Undermining the Machine – Part 1” which sounded impressive because there was a Part 2, but completely failed to get to the point of the chapter which can be stated in various metaphors, such as “Removing the Shackles”, “Leaving the Cave” or (the new title) “Removing the Veil” (I briefly toyed with “Ripping the Veil” but it sounded a bit too much like bridal abuse, which is not nice at all). So anyway, this Veil of Ignorance thing – it sounds like a cliche, and maybe that’s the point. We’re so used to the idea that we’re not as smart as we like to think and people are constantly pulling the wool over our eyes, but there is a far more serious side to this because, as I discuss much earlier in the book – hooray, there is a much earlier now! – human nature makes it possible to totally deceive one another. So we have all these Tools of Disconnection acting pretty much in the open, and then this other thing – the Veil of Ignorance – making sure we don’t see them.

So rather than go straight in to the easy stuff I’m risking putting people off entirely by dealing with the really tough things straight away, because they are the things that have to be dealt with first. To quote:

At birth we are connected to the real world and then, subtly, without our nascent consciousness being aware of it even happening, a veil is slipped over our minds. As we proceed through our lives layer after layer is wrapped around us to suppress any inquisitiveness we may have. It’s impossible to know exactly when the first ragged holes start to appear in the Veil of Ignorance, but by the time they do, for most people, that wild spirit of curiosity that would have troubled our young minds had they not been veiled is gone. We are enmeshed in lives that leave little room for inquiry, and so set in our ways by the constant forces that have governed our thoughts that we do not seek out truth – we only seek out what the system has taught us are worthy goals: money, material possessions, career progression, synthetic happiness and whatever “dream” our adoptive country is driven to aspire to.

This chapter is about undermining the Veil of Ignorance in its many forms, so that we will be able to at least recognise what is going on around us and, even with no further help, allow us and those we care about, and those we feel should be aware, to make our own decisions. In order to undermine this, The Most Powerful Tool of All, we must first learn what makes it tick and thus what can make it stop.

I’m not working quickly here. The end of May deadline will be passed, and maybe by the end of the year I’ll be finished. On the other hand I’ve had another publisher rejection on commercial grounds with a suggestion that maybe online publishing is the only direction to go, so I might just take that up and, in the tradition of Charles Dickens (currently reading Great Expectations, by the way), publish online chapter by chapter. I’ll keep you posted.


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