One of the most iconic figures of the 1920s was Charlie Chaplin. He was so popular that it wasn’t uncommon for carnivals and fairs to host Charlie Chaplin look-alike contests. Apparently one day the real Charlie Chaplin came across one of these contests and thought it would be funny to secretly enter and not disclose his real identity until after he won. Except that never came to fruition because he ended up coming in 20th place. This means that 19 other imposters were able to impersonate Charlie Chaplin better than Charlie Chaplin himself.
When tourists visit Pier 39 in San Francisco a common attraction is the line of street artists drawing caricatures of paying customers. Their magic lay in their ability to be able to look at an individual and in a matter of seconds distill the unique character traits that defined them. Then by over-emphasizing these key features the caricature in certain ways became even more representative of the original subject than the subject themselves.
I believe this is how the real Charlie Chaplin lost in his own look-alike contest. The people who were impersonating Chaplin were so over-emphasizing the essence of the character that they were viewed as even more Chaplinesque than the real thing. By hyper-focusing on the unique qualities of Charlie Chaplin and amplifying these qualities, they were able to tap into the essence of Charlie Chaplin even more so than the real Charlie Chaplin.
And this is a common theme in life where we see people prefer the imitation over the real thing.
For decades the dominance of the McDonald’s franchise has set the standard for how people believe french fries should taste. Because of this expectation, most burger franchises have attempted to mimic the taste profile set by McDonald’s french fries or suffer the inevitable disappointment from their customers. This feedback loop has only reinforced the consumer’s belief of how french fries should taste. The problem was that McDonald’s has spent endless sums of money to hire world-leading scientists and professional tasters to chemically transform the simple potato to create the most desirable tasting french fry that can be mass-produced, stored, and preserved for their millions of consumers across the globe.
In the 1990s In-N-Out Burger started setting up locations in the Bay Area. For those who are not familiar with In-N-Out, their appeal was that their food was not processed and was made with simple ingredients prepared on sight and not frozen or modified for mass production. While their burgers were a huge success their number one complaint anytime they established a new location was towards their fries. Unlike other fast-food chains, In-N-Out would make their fries in-house from raw potatoes that they would hand crank through a press. So the end product was just the potatoes and not the McDonald’s style of lab synthesized fries that people were so accustomed to. So when consumers were presented with the actual natural potato fries they objected and instead yearned for the synthesized version over the real thing.
So how does this process of preferring the imitation over the reality take root? Consider the example of an apple. The first wild apples originated from Khazakstan. From the multitude of varieties found in that region, most were not all that enjoyable to eat. But eventually, some people selected a breed that they found tasty. Then someone had the idea well why don’t we take only the tastiest apples and plant those seeds. As this process continued the apples that were being produced were sweeter and taster than the ones before. As apples proliferated people started to extract the part of the apples they found the tastiest into juices and jams. They started adding more sugar to these apple byproducts and packing this apple filling into products like pies and pastries.
Eventually, someone had the idea to try to synthesize the key characteristics of the apple taste to formulate the ideal flavor of an apple. This has led to things like apple-flavored gums, candies, and drinks that have all the essence of apples but contain no apples.
Today we have entire generations of people who were raised on apple flavors but have never tasted the natural original wild apple. So imagine you take the average person and send them to Kazakhstan and have them eat the original wild apple what would they think? I would guess, that they may be unable to recognize the original apple and prefer the imitation flavor of apple over the real thing.
This process of being conditioned to prefer the fake over the authentic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Consider what this has done to our understanding of beauty. In the past, a person would have taken a photo, and as long as they were smiling and their eyes were open we would have considered the photo a success. And if a person really wanted to make themselves look their best they might have hired a professional photographer but even then the impact such things could have on a person’s appearance was limited. But contrast this to today where even the most novice photographer can run any picture through a multitude of filters and effects and in a matter of seconds create a photo that may be unrecognizable from reality.
Now a person takes a selfie and has endless degrees of freedom to alter and adjust the image to create a version of themselves that is flawless and enhanced. A sort of perfect avatar representation of themselves. With a simple click, they can make their eyes bigger and clean up the whiteness of their eyes. They can reshape their jawline and smooth out their skin. They can reshape their nose and eyebrows, and numerous other modifications. Eventually, the end result is a person that does not exist. Yet the people who create these images begin to adore their imitation selves over the person they really are. While this impacts mostly women, there is another consequence to this preference towards the fake that is plaguing men as well.
Sex is something that regularly occupies the mind of many men, but these days the idea of what transpires during sex has been utterly destroyed through the horrendous depictions that are carried out in modern-day pornography. In the past, a man would see a racy photo of a woman showing a little too much skin and that would have been enough to get their heart racing. Fast forward to today and people have become so desensitized to the smut that is created that unless it is the most over-the-top filth they are not pleased. And this false depiction sets a destructive expectation for many men to what they think a sexual experience should encompass and severely destroys a man’s ability to have a satisfying sexual relationship with their spouses.
Porn’s impact on the brain is much like a drug addiction. Individuals who consume pornography have to constantly push the envelope of the content they view in order to get the same level of stimulation they have when they first started this bad habit. This porn addiction is causing a generation of men to be dissatisfied with the sacred act of sex in real life because it fails to live up to the illusions that they created from watching porn. This has gotten so bad that many young married men who overindulge in porn now fail to be interested in their real-life wives. So when presented with the option of their spouse or porn, sadly many men choose the fantasy of porn over the real thing. And as for the men who are not married, porn is creating an epidemic of incels who have fostered hatred towards women because they fail to match the illusions they came to expect through their indulging in pornography.
[30:21] Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
But this mentality has far-reaching effects beyond the personal lives of individuals. As noted above, this is causing societal problems for generations to come and has even infiltrated the realm of civil law, politics, and even international affairs through the synthesizing of news as it is being spewed by the corporate media.
In the past, reporters would read the news and attempt to present the facts in an unbiased manner. Then people had the idea to try to add some color to the news stories to make them more exciting. Then some people decided that while we have their attention let’s try to frame the narrative in the way that our readers want to hear. Eventually, the stories that are covered by the media are so sensationalized that it becomes unrecognizable from the truth. The irony is that the people who gulped down these fake news stories are in utter denial even when they are presented with the facts that they still prefer the fake narrative.
A clear example of this was the 2021 Kyle Rittenhouse case. For those who are not familiar, Kyle Rittenhouse was a 17-year old who was charged for first-degree intentional homicide as well as a number of other charges during a BLM riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. Before the trial and sadly even after the trial most all major news sources made him out to be the aggressor in the altercations and labeled him as a white supremacist who was out to kill black people.
When the trial took place we saw the entire media narrative fall apart. They said Kyle didn’t live in Kenosha and that he crossed state lines to partake in the riot. It ends up he lived down the street with his father and worked in the area. They said that he did not lawfully possess his gun. Ends up that despite the law being slightly ambiguous he went above and beyond to poses the gun lawfully. They said that he shot black people, but ends up all the people he shot were white. They said he was the aggressor but ends up all three people that were shot by him were the aggressors in each incident. This includes the first culprit who was a child molester who got released from the hospital just hours before the attack where he was under psychiatric care for a suicide attempt, who they also had on tape threatening to kill him. The key witness in the trial, who had his bicep vaporized, confirmed during his testimony that he was a supporter for a Marxist revolution, that he had an illegal conceal carry during the incident, that he pulled the gun on Kyle first and was not shot until he drew his weapon at him the second time while Kyle was already on the ground from an attack. Not only that, but he also had a major lawsuit against the Kenosha Police Department that was highly dependent on Kyle being found guilty.
Rittenhouse was so falsely portrayed by the media that the prosecutor blatantly broke numerous ethics violations in an attempt to try to have the court a mistrial. And when the judge refused to declare the mistrial a producer from a major new organization attempted to dox the jurors on one of the last days of trial in a desperate attempt to get a mistrial or intimidate the jurors from giving the non-guilty verdict that everyone was expecting.
But despite the trial being streamed online and the evidence readily available for anyone who wants to verify it for themselves, news organizations and coalitions are still utterly sticking t their false narrative that Rittenhouse was the aggressor in the altercations.
This ordeal was not much different than the Covington Catholic Highschool student Nicholas Sandmann and the false narrative that was portrayed around him being a harasser of a Native American protestor from a viral video during the 2019 March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. This ended with a large settlement for Sandmann against the news organization that propagated this false narrative.
These are not isolated cases. The corporate news media has sensationalized so much news that almost nothing they claim should be believed. From Trump Russia collusion to the blatant non-stop lies about COVID, to their ongoing fearmongering regarding catastrophic global warming. The problem is that even when people are presented with the real facts they are still in disbelief that what they previously believed was false.
In December 2021, Joe Rogan interviewed the journalist Matt Taibbi. During the interview, Taibbi made the following prescient comment regarding the shift in journalism.
“Once upon a time the idea within the news business was pretty simple. Reporters were raised: basically, we will get all the facts, we will work really hard on getting it right, we will give it to you, and then you do what you want with it. It is not our job to tell you what decisions to make. It is just our job to get it correct. And that is the news. After that, it is up to you to make your own political decisions. And that is why political affiliation didn’t necessarily mean so much back in the day. It was always true that basically all reporters were Democrats, but it didn’t show so much in the news media once upon a time. Because we had a professional ethos that just said we are not supposed to care. We go in to cover whatever. We are just going to go collect all the facts, get all the quotes, put it all out there, make sure everything has been checked, and then it’s your deal.
“Now there is this new ethos, what Wesley Lower the reporter calls “view from nowhere journalism” which is what I just described, that is not good enough. That they have to compensate for inequities in the system by basically trying to impact how people behave through coverage. And this is what they do all the time. They are trying to get you to make political decisions by how they cover things. And I saw this early on as a campaign reporter. Once when I was much younger in 2004 and 2008. I would sit in the bus with the reporters and they would be discussing which candidates they were going to describe as fringe, which ones were going to be described as electable, which ones would be serious. Right, because they enjoyed having the power of deciding for people who got to be taken seriously and who didn’t. And I think that urge to mold how people act is engrained in the business.”
[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.
(٣٦) وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا
But all this is peanuts compared to what the processing of reality has done to religion. Consider when Jesus came he preached the worship of God alone. Yet today if you study Christianity you see that three hundred years after his death, people have set him up as God incarnate as part of a trinity.
[5:17] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, the son of Mary. Say, “Who could oppose GOD if He willed to annihilate the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone on earth?” To GOD belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. He creates whatever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent.
لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قُلْ فَمَنْ يَمْلِكُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا إِنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُهْلِكَ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ وَمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
[5:72] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah himself said, “O Children of Israel, you shall worship GOD; my Lord and your Lord.” Anyone who sets up any idol beside GOD, GOD has forbidden Paradise for him, and his destiny is Hell. The wicked have no helpers. [5:73] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is a third in a trinity. There is no god except the one god. Unless they refrain from saying this, those who disbelieve among them will incur a painful retribution.
How did this happen? How did Jesus, the prophet of God, get transformed in the eyes of billions of people to be considered the begotten son of God as well as God himself?
Jesus came and preached the worship of God alone. Some people were impressed not only with Jesus’s message but with Jesus himself and the miracles that he was able to produce by God’s leave. People started emphasizing Jesus and elevating his status. Eventually Jesus the man becomes more important than Jesus’s message. Then people started ascribing divinity to Jesus. Then someone said that Jesus was God’s begotten son, but this created a contradiction that God is one. So eventually they claimed that Jesus and God are one.
Chances are that if the real Jesus was to come back not only would he not recognize the religion that spawned from his name, he would probably be killed by the very people who claim to worship him today. This is because his supposed followers prefer the falsehood instead of the truth.
[5:116] GOD will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Make me and my mother idols beside GOD’?” He will say, “Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets. [5:117] “I told them only what You commanded me to say, that: ‘You shall worship GOD, my Lord and your Lord.’ I was a witness among them for as long as I lived with them. When You terminated my life on earth, You became the Watcher over them. You witness all things.
What happened to the religion depicted in the Quran is not much different, than what happened to Christianity. When the Quran was revealed the entire religion was founded and defined by the verses of the Quran. Ironically, the group that is most widely addressed in the Quran is the Children of Israel, which happens to probably be the group that is most repulsed by it. How did this happen?
The Quran was sent down in Arabic to the Arab people as a test for the Children of Israel, but over time more and more of the religion that the Quran promulgated was being over-written by the culture of the Arabs. Today the majority of the writings on the religion of Islam is not about the verses of the Quran, but mostly about the supposed customs and traditions of the Arabs that lived during the time of the revelation. This is best depicted in the volumes and volumes of Hadith that have been collected and used as the alternate foundation for this false religion. This has gotten so out of hand that most Muslims cannot recognize the message of the Quran anymore even when it is recited to them in their own language, because people’s perceptions have been so morphed by the false ideologies that have taken precedent from the Hadith over the Quran.
When we become accustomed to the imitation we become incapable to recognize the truth to the point that even when presented people still continue to deny the facts and prefer the falsehood. Consider the Shahadah, the testimony, that is meant to be the first pillar and the foundation of the religion of the Quran. Over thirty times in the Quran it states that the Shahadah is simply that “there is no god, besides God” or some variation of that.
[3:18] GOD bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. Truthfully and equitably, He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most Wise.
(١٨) شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Yet despite this, the average Muslim still believes and claims that the Shahadah is that “There is no god beside God, and Muhammad is a messenger of God.” Even when it is shown through the verses of the Quran that not only are there major issues with this Shahadah, but that God tells in the Quran that such a Shahadah is the testimony of the hypocrites.
[63:1] When the hypocrites come to you they say, “We bear witness that you are the messenger of GOD.” GOD knows that you are His messenger, and GOD bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.
(١) إِذا جاءَكَ المُنافِقونَ قالوا نَشهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسولُ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَعلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسولُهُ وَاللَّهُ يَشهَدُ إِنَّ المُنافِقينَ لَكاذِبونَ
It has gotten to the point where the masses prefer the false Shahadah over the Shahadah of God, the angels, and the knowledgable.
[39:45] When GOD ALONE is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion. But when others are mentioned beside Him, they become satisfied.
(٤٥) وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
The Real Life
Single-handedly one of the biggest false constructs that people have adopted over their lives is the belief that this world is the real life. That we live, we die, and we will never be resurrected and held to account.
[23:33] The leaders among his people who disbelieved and rejected the idea of the Hereafter—although we provided for them generously in this life—said, “This is no more than a human being like you. He eats from what you eat, and drinks as you drink. [23:34] “If you obey a human being like you, then you are really losers. [23:35] “Does he promise you that, after you die and turn into dust and bones, you will come out again? [23:36] “Impossible, impossible indeed is what is promised to you. [23:37] “We only live this life—we live and die—and we will never be resurrected. [23:38] “He is just a man who fabricated lies and attributed them to GOD. We will never believe him.”
And this is one of the biggest manipulations of truth that we see people fall into in this world, that they think that they are to live for only this world. Everything they do or aim to achieve is for this world, while they totally neglect all of their future eternity in the Hereafter.
[29:64] This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew.
وَمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
[40:39] “O my people, this first life is a temporary illusion, while the Hereafter is the eternal abode.”
(٣٩) يَاقَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ
[28:79] One day, he came out to his people in full splendor. Those who preferred this worldly life said, “Oh, we wish that we possess what Qãroon has attained. Indeed, he is very fortunate.” [28:80] As for those who were blessed with knowledge, they said, “Woe to you, GOD’s recompense is far better for those who believe and lead a righteous life.” None attains this except the steadfast.
[89:23] On that day, Gehenna will be brought forth. On that day, the human being will remember—but what a remembrance—it will be too late. [89:24] He will say, “Oh, I wish I prepared for my (eternal) life.” [89:25] On that day, no retribution could be worse than His retribution. [89:26] And no confinement is as effective as His confinement. [89:27] As for you, O content soul. [89:28] Return to your Lord, pleased and pleasing. [89:29] Welcome into My servants. [89:30] Welcome into My Paradise.
[57:20] Know that this worldly life is no more than play and games, and boasting among you, and hoarding of money and children. It is like abundant rain that produces plants and pleases the disbelievers. But then the plants turn into useless hay, and are blown away by the wind. In the Hereafter there is either severe retribution, or forgiveness from GOD and approval. This worldly life is no more than a temporary illusion.
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
A sign of belief is that we recognize the truth when we see it.
[22:54] Those who are blessed with knowledge will recognize the truth from your Lord, then believe in it, and their hearts will readily accept it. Most assuredly, GOD guides the believers in the right path.
وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
A sign that we are on the wrong path, is when we struggle to determine what is morally right.
[13:19] Is one who recognizes that your Lord’s revelations to you are the truth equal to one who is blind? Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.
أَفَمَنْ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَىٰ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
[37:13] When reminded, they take no heed. [37:14] When they see proof, they ridicule it.
[41:17] As for Thamûd, we provided them with guidance, but they preferred blindness over guidance. Consequently, the disastrous and shameful retribution annihilated them, because of what they earned.
(١٧) وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّوا الْعَمَىٰ عَلَى الْهُدَىٰ فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَابِ الْهُونِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
These fake constructs of reality that we form for ourselves destroy our ability from being able to distinguish truth from falsehood. While in the short term this can make truth unrecognizable, but over time if not corrected can make a person start preferring the falsehood over the truth.
[7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.
سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَإِنْ يَرَوْا كُلَّ آيَةٍ لَا يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَا وَإِنْ يَرَوْا سَبِيلَ الرُّشْدِ لَا يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلًا وَإِنْ يَرَوْا سَبِيلَ الْغَيِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلًا ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ
One thought on “Imitation Versus Reality”
great way to elaborate.. Really impressed