• By Lt. Tim McMillan

When Destination Becomes Destiny.

When I set out to intimately learn as much as I could about what divides people from each other; racism, bias, sexism, hate, pride, selfishness... I had no idea just what kind of rabbit hole I was jumping into.

I assumed that my conventional beliefs would be able to account for humanity’s seemingly enduring theme of polarization. The answers to the ebbs and flows of social conformity and chaos could be accounted for through sociology, psychology, biology, or the political sciences.

For about 12 and a half months, I comfortably roamed these confines as I engaged in my pursuit of understanding.

However, eventually, I found myself on the receiving end of a clarion call for a cerebral awakening and was thrust well outside my comfort zone.

I found myself in the uncomfortable position of realizing, not just me, but all of us don’t have a f***ing clue about the universe and our role within it.

When it comes to the absolute sciences, such as mathematics, we’re pretty darn good. The mathematics used to build the Pyramids of Giza is the same math used to build the Luxor Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. However, when it comes to us... human beings, we don’t we don’t have a f***ing clue. In fact, we’ve spent our entire historical existence being completely clueless.

We’ve enslaved each other time and time again. It is only the oppressed and oppressors who change as the year's pass.

We’ve killed each other time and time again. It is only who kills and who is killed that changes as generations rise and fall.

We’ve ruled and created empires on every land on of earth. Then eventually even the mightiest of nation’s are reduced to rubble and lay in ruin. Humanity’s response is then to simply move our artificial kingdoms of heaven to new locations, plant our flag firmly in the soil and declare, “Now, we will build to be a nation, above all others, that will stand the test of time.”

Ultimately, the details and time periods change, but same reciprocal cycle remains consistent.

Each time, we always believe that we have an understanding of how the universe works, the ruins of the past will not be the realities of our future. Then we go on to engage in the exact same behaviors over and over again.

Every way we try to understand human behavior, we do so on the foundation of our current beliefs of correctness. We use our social sciences to define the differences of our past in order to justify our current thoughts and opinions.

In the end, our biggest problem isn’t the aspects of life that we don’t know to be true. Rather, it is the aspects of life we believe to be true that facilitates our perpetual societal death and rebirth.

It is understandable and frankly encouraged that a reader not simply accept what, I’ve have said or will say, to be the truth; simply because I say it. In fact, it is quite the opposite. At this moment, I am not asking anyone to believe anything I have to say. Rather, I am challenging everyone to openly and legitimately examine their own personal beliefs.

Are they really your beliefs? Did you arrive at your beliefs based on your own objective experiences and investigations? Or is what you believe to be true merely what you were taught from childhood by your parents, teachers, or society as a whole?

When a person engages in open and honest introspection, they often discover that much of the truths they take to be self-evident, are nothing more than the result of social conditioning and have no real basis in self-discerning truth.

For example, if you asked the average American citizen, to sum up, what is the principled theme that makes America different from all of the great nations that have risen and fallen before, in one word, what would you think most people would say?

When I asked this very question in a research project years ago, the overwhelming answer was: “freedom.”

All things considered, I would say that the answer, “freedom” would probably be the majority response given by most Americans. Yet, I must ask the question,

“Do any of us really have freedom?”

In the same research study, I posed the question, “What is the one place you would like to see the most before you die?” – With that in mind, “What is the likelihood that you will visit this place within the next five years?”

Out of the total sample population, only 7% believed they would definitely have a chance see the one place they most desired within the next five years. 93% of respondents said that it was “unlikely” or “more unlikely than likely.”

Which begs the question, why?

The overwhelming response from people? Finances… People said they couldn’t afford to visit their dream destination. Which brings me back full circle…

Is this the definition of true freedom?

Honestly, think about that for just a moment. Millions of people accept that freedom is defined by accepting the inability to visit that, “one place you must see” on the planet before you leave this world. Bear in mind, not a one amongst us can provide an absolute guarantee of what we will all find the moment our mortal lives come to an end.

Essentially, regardless of what the “thereafter” really is, there is zero evidence any of us will ever have another chance to see our dream destination on this planet when we die. Yet it is not from lacking the freedom of desire that keeps us from achieving our goal. Instead, it is the lack of financial freedom that limits our ability.

At the end of the day, we must accept the fact that what most Americans assume is freedom, is actually more accurately defined by the word, ability. However, even under this precedent, there is no true universal standard of freedom of ability for all Americans. Instead, millions upon millions of Americans will live and die, having never laid foot upon the ground and eyes upon the sights of their number one dream destination on this earth.

The point I am trying to make here is that as Americans, the majority of us define our national identity as being freedom. However, a minor portion of Americans actually has real freedom. The bulk of us simply settles on having varying degrees of ability.

An ability we may or may not ever actually convert into opportunity and finally legitimacy.

Make no mistake, I am well aware that as Americans, myself included, we indeed have more ability than a lot of the world’s populous. However, we simultaneously are willing to defend, die, have pride, and sense of ethnic-superiority, all for an accepted and never challenged reality that is an illusion based on an inaccurately defined belief.

We all believe that one of the greatest minds the contemporary world has ever known, Albert Einstein, was speaking metaphorically when he said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

However, was he really just adding a meme to his legacy when he made this statement or was he speaking just as definitively as he did when he defined the theory of relativity?

The significance in considering Einstein’s quote relates to the most substantial power that our beliefs have over our minds. the concept that “seeing is believing.”

At this moment as you read this or stop to look at everything around you, realize that what you are actually seeing is a tiny frequency range within the electromagnetic spectrum called, “visible light.” However, visible light frequency only accounts for .005% of the electromagnetic energy that our current scientific methods can measure.

Now as if the realization that 99.995% of the energy in the universe cannot be seen by the naked eye, consider that the physical universe is said to only represent 4% of the entire known universe we can detect.

Everything I have just said is not some mystical or philosophical conundrum. Rather, by our current mainstream scientific paradigms, the same ones that allowed for the construction of the smartphone in your hand, says that 96% of reality is completely unknown and unmeasured by us.

Consider now that with such a limited view or understanding of life and the universe around us, how can we truly say that anything we believe is real?

Ultimately, humanity’s biggest obstacle is the snare trap it places in front of itself. We never choose to challenge our own ignorance to what we consider to be our reality.

As individuals, we seem to constantly desire for someone to fix the world we live in. We turn to vocal leaders amongst us in hopes they will guide us to a better life. We democratically elect leaders in hopes they will suddenly make our collective existence better than the one we have now. The cornerstone of virtually every major religious faith is set on the precedent that God will eventually return to save us from this existence in which we continuously harm each other.

Truthfully, these are all beliefs that each of us to varying degrees has.

However, are there not many instances throughout the ages in which great leaders have appeared urging humans to coexist peacefully? Indeed, some have been able to achieve great strides toward this goal. However, in totality, none have been successful in inspiring their ultimate objective. When these great leader’s time comes to pass, we simply respond by building monuments, naming roads or buildings, and assigning holidays to honor them.

Remarkably, we seem to collectively show little effort in continuing these leaders work in achieving their eventual dream for humanity.

In terms of our organized religious beliefs in God’s intervention, I have to ask, are not all of our religious scriptures based on the teachings of prophets who gave the word of God, or on the actual physical manifestation of God on earth? Yet, how do each of these canonized texts end? We either killed the prophets, or embodiment of God, or we eventually all willingly chose to no longer listen to what they actually said to begin with.

Honestly, can you confidently say that you, much less humanity as a whole, would actually listen if God named a prophet amongst us to speak on the Creator’s behalf? Better yet, what would a physical manifestation of God look like today? Would it be a person? Would that person make it through a TSA screening processes and gain entry in America? Assuming God would even want to visit America, to begin with.

Nothing I have said is to try and present a testament to humanity’s bleak existence, or irrational helplessness. Instead, I am being bold enough to suggest the exact opposite.

We are all incorrect in the belief of our own feebleness.

Consider for a moment, just because the evidence is extremely limited to suggest that one single central figure can save humanity, it does not mean that humanity cannot be saved.

Instead, contemplate for a moment it isn’t an individual that can usher in a better existence for humanity. Rather, it is a collective of individuals. A group comprised of single persons, in which each of us can very easily find these world changers.

In fact, it starts, by looking no further than yourself right now.

Going back to the “must see” location in one’s life; the one that most us don’t possess the freedom to actually visit. How exactly would a person go about going from desire to achievement?

First, one would have to decide where exactly they wanted to end up. Then they would need to know the direction to travel. Now, regardless of how one would travel the majority of the trip, the initial start would always require a person to step one foot after another, and walk towards making their travel goal a reality.

Now, it wouldn’t matter how much your mind was in concert with your desires, if your body was not harmonious agreement with itself, you would not be going anywhere.

To put it simply, each of your body’s unique and diverse parts would be required to work together in order to be able to take the steps towards any place you wanted to go. If your arms went one way, one leg the other, and your remaining leg stayed put, the most success you could hope for would be someone videoing your escapade and you accidentally creating the next new viral dance craze.

Instead, in order for any of us to achieve movement, we must determine our desires and then our body, comprised of a virtually countless number of diverse independent parts, works together in order to move towards our desires.

Ultimately, what is humanity, but a virtually countless number of diverse independent parts that come together to form one body?

Yes…indeed, if you’ve never realized it, we are all a part of one body. We are all contained within the confines of earth, and unless some of you are planning to fly off the planet anytime soon, this is it.

Earth is our body and we collectively make up the parts.

When it comes to what direction we should desire to move towards, I really don’t think that it should be some great debate amongst people. Sure, we can all have our individuals political, religious, cultural, ethnic, or personal beliefs…That’s fine. However, beyond those distinctive differences, at the most fundamental intimate level is the desires for ourselves and our children really that drastically different?

I highly doubt that in light of the multitude of differences between us, there is a huge portion of the earth’s population that says, “Man, I would just like life to be one big shit sandwich. Maybe we can argue, kill each other, and eventually pass on a huge dumpster fire on to our kids one day.”

Instead, I truly feel like the overwhelming majority of us have the genuine desire to see a better, peaceful world. Therefore, the only thing left to do is collectively start moving towards that goal.

Bear in mind, this means sometimes the left foot is going to be in front of the right. Other times, you might need to use your right hand and not your left. Essentially, collective movement means that you accept your independent part isn’t the most important and isn’t always going to be number one.

In the end, that isn’t what is most important. Instead, it is that collective is number one and moving towards the direction the collective actually desires. In fact, its ok if we stumble, provided we get up and keep on moving.

At the end of the day, after truly trying to immerse myself in why is it that humanity can get along, I discovered that the answer was actually very simple.

Humanity can’t get along because it doesn’t believe it can so it doesn’t even try.

Ultimately, the solution is equally as simple. Believe we can achieve a better existence and then try.

If you think the media is causing divisiveness amongst people… well, turn off the damn TV!

If you think politicians are self-serving and polarize citizens… well, stop voting for them!

Most importantly, get out of the tight-knit tribal groups we all like to stay closely confined inside. We have the power of social media, and we do what? Use it to stay within like-minded groups?

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with being around people who support the same interest as you. However, ask yourself are these like-minded groups simply confirming your bias against others, or are they actually supportive of your interest?

I’ll take my own profession for example. If you only stick with pro-police groups and like individuals, is what you're advocating really good for the profession? Or is it simply making you feel better and placing blame for any hardships onto others? What good is that doing? Is that making you safer? Is that making you better? Is it making the public like you more?

Or is it all allowing you to never examine your own thoughts, beliefs, strengths, and shortcomings by spoon feeding you what you want to see and hear?

Just so we’re on the same page, all that is doing is dividing people further, creating “us against them” and most importantly, likely giving you a very false and skewed system of beliefs about reality.

In closing, I’ll say one last thing. Remember, that one “dream destination” you have to see before you die? Imagine for a moment what might be achieved if everyone’s “dream destination” wasn’t a place, rather an existence. An existence, which actually represents what humans have desired for 32,000 years. Then we could all actually leave this world to our children knowing we each actually did something for them and the generations to come.

In the end, it simply all starts with belief. Because if we’re going to be clueless, why not choose to be clueless towards something good. Instead, of the same old story over and over, that keeps ending the exact same way.

Tim McMillan is a retired police lieutenant and investigative intelligence analyst; and holds BA's in mathematics and cognitive psychology. Primarily, focusing on the Defense and Intelligence Communities, he now uses his unique background, coupled with a willingness to examine any mystery, to deliver groundbreaking investigative reporting. Tim is a contributor for The War Zone, Vice, and Popular Mechanics

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© Lieutenant Tim McMillan All Rights Reserved by The Raziel Group LLC