by Sheikh Abd al-Azîz b`Alî al-Suwayd
It is not the eyes that grow blind but the hearts within the bosoms that grow blind.
[Q. al-Hajj: 46]
There is a blindness that is more pervasive and subtler than that of the eyes. There is deafness more insidious than that of the ears. The malady is born of heedlessness and consequently leads to the thoughtless rote following of others (takfiri). It is the result of what we might call social hypnosis — a state of being wherein the intellect is lulled to sleep (apathy) or reactionary stupidity* by whatever society dictates or suggests, even though one feels free and independent. Popular consensus informs the hypnosis and places people in such deep oblivion that they succumb daily, encumbered from the cradle to the grave.
We are lulled into intellectual slumber by an unquestioning acceptance of customs, traditions, standards, and conventions we are simply too familiar with to think about. Customs and traditions, at times, comprise assumptions that act as a sedative on the intellect. Social sedation paralyzes intellectual development. Those under its sway cannot formulate ideas outside the confines of what is suggested.
Society — either through its control of the media, its pervasive cultural presence, its web of values, its accumulated parables, or the authority of its customs, habits, and traditions — has the power to close the mind and stand as an obstacle to independent thinking. This prevents people from being able to ascertain the truth about the world around them and about God. This is a kind of heedlessness that people in society fall into. You see them walking about, driving their cars, holding conversations, eating, drinking, and engaging in all sorts of activities. Yet, they are intellectual sleepwalkers under hypnosis. Their perception is blunted. The influences of their environment and cultural norms direct their life routines, their responses, their feelings, and even their innermost worries as if they are under remote control .
[People] are not so corrupt that they actually wish to do evil, but they are blinded and don’t really know what they are doing. It is all a matter of baiting them for decisive action … ~ Kierkegaard 
- reactionary stupidity is a conditioned reflex.
There is no refection involved whatsoever. ~ oz
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