The Leveling Effect…
The Steps of Leveling
There is a principle of the evil one at work in this present western society. We call it leveling.
Though symptoms of this have been seen in previous times, it has surely reached its pinnacle in our generation. Such a principle can only take place at a time when individuals in the society have lost their own passion and vitality and have become incapable of saying or doing anything contrary to the LEVELED norm. Ultimately, it steals from the individual his very life. He can no longer stand firm in anything, is powerless to speak the things deep in his own heart, and is unable to “take dominion” over anything, being himself totally dominated and manipulated without even being aware of it consciously.
He is lulled into believing that he is satisfied and content in a leveled state of nothingness. He no longer has the potential to become what he was created to be; he is totally dull — especially in regards to his need for salvation. Putting man into this mental state is the goal of the evil one’s work.
The leveling of the individual begins in early childhood, when his young mind searches and reaches out for everything. In this present age, the evil one’s ultimate tool for subduing a child is the seemingly innocent television set. In previous generations the destructive power of leveling could be mainly seen in the press. It was one of the only “media” at that time that had the power to level society.
Certain cognitive individuals such as Soren Kierkegaard (from whom some concepts in this paper were taken) saw through the press and exposed it for what it was. Had men such as Kierkegaard been alive today to see this destruction magnified as it is by television and the other modern media tools, he would surely have been appalled.
All in a day’s work
Nowadays the “loving parent” sets little Johnnie in front of the TV set at the earliest age possible.
Who knows? He might be pacified by it, if only by observing its color and action. From then on Johnnie remains out of one’s hair. No longer is he searching and reaching, but rather sits passively and watches quietly. All his passions have been subverted and redirected into mere mental gymnastics. After several hours of gazing into that box, little Johnnie drops off to sleep, totally exhausted from his tiring day of “non-active activity.’’ As he grows older this process only matures and deepens in his personality.
Perhaps Johnnie would have grown up to be an impassioned zealot, striving to satisfy a desire deep within himself for justice to be done on earth. As he saw all the injustice around him through the years of his youth, he may have been grieved to the point that as he reached early manhood, he would have been stirred by his fiery heart to take action against it. But not so today. Johnnie’s fire has been safely exhausted through hours of thrilling adventure stories, frightening science fiction, erotic love stories, and mind-boggling quiz shows, not to mention the even greater amounts of time spent viewing the emotionless world news commentaries. All together, these have left Johnnie a heady mass of fact and fiction with no life of his own. At night, Johnnie crawls into bed, satisfied by vicariously having climbed Mt. Everest, killed three wanted bank robbers, judged and condemned to death a soldier who deserted his post in the midst of a bloody battle, and to top it off, won $10,000 by answering that one question which had baffled all the other contestants on the late, late quiz show. Yawning, he drops off to sleep dreaming of another day of challenges like the one he has just lived through.
Actually all this took place as Johnnie sat passively in his big, soft easy chair, munching on the potato chips he was convinced to buy during one of the commercials. Johnnie himself never really did anything. His own voice was silenced at a very young age. He is no threat to the leveled norm, having been unconsciously molded into the pattern of this present age.
But there is one thing that does rile ol’ Johnnie up. It is when he hears of someone who has done something that he calls “radical.” It bothers him when someone takes a stand contrary to the norm. It doesn’t matter whether that stand seems right or just. That isn’t the question. What gets to him is the fact that someone has the passion to disagree. Johnnie doesn’t even realize why it bothers him so. Poor Johnnie!