Inner Michael » Perception: Things are not always what they seem

Perception: Things are not always what they seem


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” goes the idiom or “perception is everything.” Paradoxical, but true. Perception is the mirror game. I see you through who I am being—either consciously when I perceive a kindred spirit, or unconsciously as when I condemn you for something that lives in me, but hides from my awareness. Perception colors experience and a majority of people having the same perception of an experience, inform the collective consciousness which then becomes the prevailing reality for the whole.
A “truth” at critical mass or the tipping point, becomes truth whether or not it is factual. If there is something catchy or attractive (rhyming or entertaining) that describes the event, situation or person, that adjective and all it implies, can become part of the cultural narrative.
“Truth” is not necessarily accuracy. Truth is the reality that the majority accepts as truth. Something can be propagandized and repeated until it’s widely accepted as a truth even though it’s not.  People’s minds, as we have learned, can be herded to a particular destination the herder has pre-determined. “Truths” can be manufactured, tainted or slanted. Propaganda is an art. Deliberate manipulation through propaganda is an art form. When someone has a particular end in mind, and artfully employs propaganda and manipulation to drive the crowd to a particular conclusion, the person and the process is described as “Machiavellian.” Machiavelli believed that man sometimes has to act immorally or brutally to accomplish the desired outcome: “The end justifies the means.” It is a way to employ heavy handedness and manipulation to justify a desired ending.
Life is lived in the mind. Life impacts us as we believe it does. The mind is a perceptual perpetual-motion-machine. Reality is not joyful or painful. It just is. It is the interpretation of life that is either joyful or painful depending on the judgments placed on a situation. 
Perception is fickle and it can change in the blink of an eye. Someone can be awesome one day, and if a scapegoat is needed to deflect attention, the same person can be a villain the next day. Regimes know that to keep their people under control, they must give them an enemy or something to revile or fight against to distract them from their own oppression. Fantasy and scandal also serve to distract people from their ordinary lives. When scandal is accompanied by hysteria, the truth can get left behind.
Take a culture addicted to distraction, add scandal and hysteria and stir in a 24 hour news cycle, and you have something akin to madness. This is what happened to Michael Jackson. The pressure for “breaking news” and to get the latest “scoop” allowed an atmosphere of “anything goes.” Add in a climate of cut and paste journalism that doesn’t check for accuracy, but goes with a story in order to be the first to break the news, truth will become the first casualty. (Read the rest of this post at Jam Cafe`)

I know from hearing from fans for the last two years that the hardest part of their journey through grief is not his actual passing although it was a life changing event for them, but it is the perception of Michael by much of the world. There are those “haters” who seek to damage his reputation and retain the meme of Michael as “reditor” but Michael is not their real target nor is he their reason. It is their self loathing projected onto fans because they sense it will get a reaction that informs their practice of “hating.”

Self loathing is not easy to live with and impossible to acknoledge or give space in the psyche. To”hate” on someone else, especially an identified target is easier than doing the spiritual work it takes to begin to love self and therefore be able to love others. These people deserve your pity and need your compassion for they are locked in a prison of darkness of their own making. That too is easy to say and very hard to practice. Michael understood it and he moved beyond it. The vindication work must continue of course, but there may be more effective means to shift the perception.

The real problem is the culture– that is replete with grief and fear. Fear impells people to greed for fear there is “not enough.” And grief unacknowledged or unconscious causes despair. Despair can foster a climate of  having “nothing to lose” and “anything goes” which places everybody in jeopardy. It can reduce people to things and permit a form of cynical opportunism and even rape: a rape of the land, the planet, people, finances, ethics, morality, and things that would ordinarly be held in high esteem or considered sacred.

When a person feels bad about himself or herself, then no one is treasured but when a person feels bad about the world, nothing is sacred and anything goes for in that kind of ecosystem nothing and no one is valued. Those once reverent become irreverent and that which was once sacrosanct becomes devalued, ordinary or worse, fair game.

When something is not blatant and is comes by way of a creeping captivation and entrancement, it is a place where a funk resides that is undefined and mostly unconscious. You can relate to this by thinking of a time when you were in a kind of funk but didn’t know it or see it clearly until you were in another place altogether and could look back on it. Only when you’re out from among the trees could you suddenly understand you just emerged from a dark forest. There is an antedote for this funk. The antidote is hope. And I think there is something we can do about it if we put our heads together and take action. That plan comes not too far in the future. So I would encourage you to find and hold on to hope and stay tuned.

Perception is everything. You must know by now or have discovered that Michael Jackson fans see the world differently than most people. Many of those who came to know and admire the man have been jarred into another kind of reality. Many have journied through a spiritual emergency and transition. Some are still puzzled by it while others understand its purpose. Some are still in the cocoon stage and will emerge when it is time to spread their wings. Some are still angry and that anger can be conscripted to motivate them to move forward into resolution.

If you know Michael’s music and his lyrics, you know his message to the world and you understand his legacy. I know that you wish others could see it too. They will. In time it will become clear. Michael Jackson’s death motivated people in ways we aren’t yet aware of. There are things going on all over the world. Many people have identified their piece of this puzzle and are working on their contribution. And if Michael has captured you, you aren’t going anywhere else. If you had a spiritual emergency or spiritual awakening triggered by his passing, you are one of hundreds that I know of and perhaps thousands that I don’t.

Either way, I will try to be here for you if I can. I came here to serve. My intention is to step forward into a new space and to offer my heart and my hands in a slightly new way. In order to know where you are going you must understand where you have been. Sometimes life prepares you for your mission in unusual ways. Sometimes it completely conspires in a way that seems cruel and against you , but it is designed to strip you of any illusion and ego. That can look very dark and feel very much like despair. When the worm goes into the darkness, it cannot know that something beautiful will emerge, that wings will form in a very dark place but when the seal is broken and the light pours in, the forlorn creature finds it can fly– and it soars in beauty. It is beauty that we are all destined for. If you are still here, you are one of those who is being asked to step into your destiny, spread your wings and demonstrate for the world what soaring beauty looks like.

Next time we will speak of that transformation– for you and for me. And what we may each do for and with the other and others.







  1. gertrude said . . .

    Ah, so that’s what’s been going on – our wings have been forming. Genius. We need those.

    Posted March 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    It seems that darkness always preceeds new birth. Decay is followed by new genesis. A forest fire is followed by new green shoots. A break is followed by mending. A wound is followed by healing. Winter is followed by Spring. Death is followed by resurrection. Many have gone through (or are going through) a very dark time involving grief, fear and a sense of ignoble desolation. Some of them have had a spiritual embergency followed by emergence triggered by Mr. Jackson’s death. We are beginning to see evidence of spirit rising- an immediate example of this is the Occupy Movement. The 99% are tired of being taken advantage of. Dissatisfaction wtih the status quo is the first step toward change. Sometimes in order to know what we want, we must first know what we don’t want or we need to be faced with a harsh reality in order to develop the impetus to change it. There are some clues that seem to portend a change. For example, reality TV seems to be changing– X Factor and others like it are designed to showcase talent and brilliance. Desperate Housewives is in its FINAL season. Perhaps human brilliance is replacing human deviance? Are we all emerging from the cocoon soon? I will be asking MJ fans to help me help us emerge. “Will You Be There?”

    Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  3. gertrude said . . .

    I’ll be there. Wounds incurred, culminating with Michael Jackson’s killing, have left me so much more trepiditious than I have ever been! But what to do? If I do something, it has to be more helpful than nothing, regardless of the final outcome. It is so intolerble that his death be in vain and that he not be vindicated, it is so intolerable that the world be led by the nose straight over the cliff its at the edge of, that I promise I WILL be there, even if bitten and much more shy.

    Posted March 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink
  4. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Yes, certainly!
    With a soul full of gratitude for your infinite wisdom, patience and love.
    Namaste to all,

    Posted March 6, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  5. Robin W. Smith said . . .

    I am still here. Glad you are too. I am one of the captured and wish all could see the beauty and feel the Love. I look forward to your next post. Robin

    Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  6. Dania. said . . .

    Thank you Barbara… for your words that fits so well of what is in my mind.
    Some examples: … for the last two years that the hardest part of the fans’ journey through grief is not his actual passing although it was a life changing event for them, but it is the mal-perception of Michael by much of the world./ … Michael Jackson fans see the world differently than most people. / if Michael has captured you, you aren’t going anywhere else.

    “…when the seal is broken and the light pours in, the forlorn creature finds it can fly…” it reminds me of a sentence in a song by Leonard Cohen: Anthem; – There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.- Often someone needs a “broken heart” to be open to awakening and to walk his or her life in another way.

    Well, Michael has definitely captured me, I am not going anywhere else; I will be here!! Count on it!
    I bow to you, Barbara,
    Namaste to everyone.

    Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  7. Robert said . . .

    Amazing post and video clip!

    I just want to talk about Michael Jackson (MJ) fans for a moment because I don’t think they should be excused from your thoughts above.

    I don’t believe all MJ fans understand his message or his legacy (simply L.O.V.E.) even though they’ve heard his music and lyrics. I agree his death motivated them but, some perpetuate the propaganda you discussed above.

    Take a moment to go on a MJ fan forum/blog and you will find an agenda. Some agendas are more obvious and some are more hidden but, the agenda is there. Some MJ fans are “re-interpreting” or narrowing his life/memory to serve their purposes. As you said above, they are shaping him in an image that is more befitting and receptive to them personally. He is nothing less than a deity to some and nothing more than a whore to others. Some only focus on a sensational moment(s) in his life while others place the blame for all of his life’s troubles on their victim of choice; thus, removing all personal accountability from this human male who lived his life on his terms.

    Bloggers/posters are often combative to other bloggers/posters that don’t agree with the image/agenda they are propagating. These personal images/agendas truly have nothing to do with MJ. They are not actually “vindicating” him at all. They may also be considered self serving “haters” who are more concerned with validating their own self image (that they reflect ONTO MJ) that is driven by their own ego.

    I also don’t believe the only role for a fan since MJ’s death is to vindicate him. This again focuses attention only on sensational moments of his life and Michael’s life was not only full of sensational moments. It was full, vast, and varied, just like his fans.

    Posted March 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  8. vero said . . .

    BEAUTIFUL!! Thanks so much for these heartwarming and inspiring words, Rev. Kaufman. I think you are absolutely right and yes, changes are happening–we are getting ready to fly! ILYM

    Posted March 8, 2012 at 4:40 am | Permalink
  9. Heidi said . . .

    As Gertrude so expressed, it is intolerable that his passing be in vain. Our emergence will change the world. I really believe that, and we will vindicate his murder by honoring his message. WE ARE HERE Rev. B!

    Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  10. Erika said . . .

    Thank you for these wise words again Barbara and thank you for your efforts in trying to help us spread our wings.
    I fully agree with Robert, I’ve read comments, I’ve read blogs, and I often asked myself ‘where is the L.O.V.E. ?
    Focussing just on vindicating Michael is very important but not enough.
    I see it as ‘becoming’ Michael, be like Mike, live through L.O.V.E. with Michael as my biggest inspiration, act on behalf of him, and focus on spreading L.O.V.E. each and every way you can.
    In little things in daily life, always with Michael in your heart, remembering ‘why’ he changed my life.
    As this beautiful website is called, follow your INNERMICHAEL in everything you do.
    And if others ‘know’ that I am a Michael Jackson fan, they will see/feel and experience his beauty as a human through us.
    For me, this is the best way to honour and vindicate him and to show the world who Michael really was.
    It starts with US !
    I’ll be here, even if not always ‘present’ in a comment.
    Namasté to all ♥

    Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  11. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I appreciate your thoughts, E. I believe we can be the one percent squared. I have some ideas… coming soon. ~B

    Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  12. Nina Hamilton said . . .

    As I said I always would be, I’m still here, dear Barbara, and I’ll be there for the duration. As I told my son in June, 2009, I’d defend and be there for Michael until my dying breath; a declaration that surprised me. I was captured for sure, and yes, I cannot go anywhere. Since then I have done much to spread his love and messages like Erica, but it never seems enough. I am waiting for that light and my wings to fly to my destiny, my mission, to show that beauty to the world. I am aware of many things happening in a changing world, as I am sure you are. May that transformation soon appear. It can’t come soon enough. I wish I could make it happen faster.

    Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  13. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Maybe we can make it happen faster.

    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink
  14. gertrude said . . .

    Yes I agree that becoming Michael, becoming love, being the change we want to see in the world, IS Michael’s vindication. I would venture it to be his greatest vindication. To fearlessly be who we truly are: Magnificent Love, as he so fearlessly and amazingly was.
    And I think that love that we are IS a feeling, a fierce feeling, and not an intellectual concept. I think that fierce love feeling that he truly was and that we truly are is what he unleashed on us when he performed. It’s what made so many women AND men want to MARRY him. Its what made them cry and pass out.
    What astonished me about Michael when I first saw him in concert was that, to my mind at least, he was “letting God out”. I honestly think THAT is something he showed us how to do. To become Like Mike is to let God out, unleash the God that has been imprisoned within us. What indeed could be more vindicating than that?

    Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink
  15. Tania said . . .

    I am still here too Rev Barbara. You are profoundly correct when you say “if Michael has captured you, you aren’t going anywhere else.”
    I don’t feel trapped, just the opposite in fact, ive never felt freer but I also don’t know how to take the next step to find my wings and truly fly.
    I sense an expectancy in the Universe as we await our new emergence to embrace our next mission.
    I am so glad you are still here Barbara to be a channel for that light to pour through so together, we all may “step into our destiny, spread our wings and demonstrate to the world what soaring beauty looks like.” Such beautiful, emotive words! God Bless You.
    The world is waiting. The time for change is ripe. We can do this. Michael has captured us all for this moment in time. I am excited. When will it happen?
    Love and peace

    Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

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