Discover more from Truthloving
Moral traffic waves
There is a certain kind of highway traffic that is based on nothing.
Cars stop because the car in front of them stopped, and this goes on forever.
Here’s a handy gif to illustrate:
This is called a traffic wave. (If the image above isn’t moving, click here to see the GIF animation. It’s worth it.)
All it takes is one person to slow down suddenly, and a chain reaction begins. The car behind them has to slow down, and then the car behind them, ad infinitum.
It only ends when the next car is following from such a great distance, that they don’t have to slow down when they reach the same spot as everyone else.
“Okay, so there’s a kind of traffic that’s caused by nothing. That’s interesting.”
Oh, it gets better! Here’s what’s really interesting:
You can fix a traffic wave by yourself.
All it takes is a single car, driving slowly enough that it doesn’t need to hit its brakes when it reaches the invisible slow-down spot. Then the person behind them doesn’t have to hit their brakes either, and neither does the person behind them. The chain reaction is broken.
A single car can obliterate a whole lane of traffic, which would otherwise stretch back for miles and affect hundreds of people. All you have to do is drive a little extra-slow for a couple minutes, without hitting your brakes, and build up a large following distance.
And maybe a few impatient drivers will make angry faces at you and pull ahead into your extra-large space in front, making you 0.41 seconds later for work.
Here’s why you should care:
Traffic waves illustrate moral law.
Traffic waves are literally nothing, yet slow thousands of people down. But one person can say, “Even if a few people get mad at me and pull ahead, I’m going to create a good reason for everyone to stop treating this nothing like it’s something.”
Refusing to participate in an illusion, reveals it as an illusion.
This is how Gandhi kicked the British empire out of India. Resisting British rule with violence would have been participating in an illusion: “the Indians are the terrorists, and the British are the law.”
Instead, he refused to participate in the illusion of British moral authority. He said: “I’m not going to slow down for no reason. Even if a few people get mad at me and treat me unfairly, I’m going to create a good reason for everyone to stop treating this nothing like it’s something.”
In his own words:
I seek entirely to blunt the edge of the tyrant’s sword, not by putting up against it a sharper-edged weapon, but by disappointing his expectation that I would be offering physical resistance. The resistance of the soul that I should offer would elude him. It would at first dazzle him and at last compel recognition from him, which recognition would not humiliate him but would uplift him.
—Mahatma Gandhi, from his writings on mkgandhi.org (emphasis mine)
When the Indian public and the rest of the world saw the British mistreatment of peaceful Indian citizens, everyone came to see British moral authority as the illusion it had always been.
Refusing to participate in the illusion, revealed the illusion.
illusions fight back
Here’s the hard part: illusions don’t like to be revealed. They fight back.
More accurately, people who are still participating in the illusion, fight in its defense.
It’s not their fault. They think it’s real.
The trafficbuster provokes angry glares from a few fellow drivers.
The Satyagrahi provokes unjust punishment, risking jail, beatings, humiliation, or even death at the hands of the fake authority.
Therefore, you’ll notice a crucial ingredient common in both the trafficbuster and the Satyagrahi: willingness to suffer.
If you’re willing to be misunderstood by people who are still trapped, and to suffer for their benefit anyway, you can dispel illusions that would otherwise affect an infinite number of people.
To suffer for someone else’s benefit is to disillusion them, inevitably.
Lies are like traffic waves.
Someone lies once, then someone takes action on that lie, then it reaches the originator again and they have to lie again to cover up for the first lie — ad infinitum.
Should we all lie just because someone else lied once? Hell no!
A single car, driving a bit slowly, can prevent traffic from affecting hundreds of people.
Every little truth you tell, every little grain of honesty you wring from yourself — even if you only share it with 1 or 2 trusted friends — can erase an entire dynasty of lies that would have affected others. It’s not a small thing.
A lie slows everyone down, until someone decides to absorb it. It can be you. It can be hard, but it’s worth a lot.
That’s why, despite everything going on around us, what truly matters is our own decisions, and our commitment to truth, and our trust in truth. You can be small in the world, and gigantic in love of truth.
Truth doesn’t care what your rank is, who you know, what you can do, how much money you have, the size of your Twitter following, how many armies you command, whether you have an intelligence agency at your beck and call, or whether you’re a Rothschild, a Freemason, or a human-alien hybrid.
Truth conquers when a heart loves it. Period.
Traffic waves were discovered by one of my favorite scientists ever, Bill Beaty of http://amasci.com. His entire online body of work deserves praise and attention, but traffic waves are one of the things that got him nationwide attention. Learn more: trafficwaves.org