Our current social environment is the most difficult I have witnessed in the west. Our political leaders from both major parties are fully committing themselves to the totalitarian toolkit (censorship of free thought occupying the prized first position), our corporate leaders (most especially those highlighted or working in dominant traditional media) are the colleagues / bosses of these political leaders, our educational institutions are indoctrinating students in racial/sexual/gender Marxism, and all sectors of society (including our spiritual institutions) are promoting the grooming of children in all manner of sexual deviancy beginning at birth. Sometimes leaders openly acknowledge these behaviors, other times they hide them. The effects of whether acknowledged or hidden are only subtly different for the victims of this abuse.
Not surprisingly, the streets are tending toward anarchy given so few places for individuals to feel safe.
So what's left?
I have a circle of people around me (in real physical space) that I trust. That said, even most of those within this circle do not see (or choose to ignore) the level of absurdity to which our modern culture has descended. As such, to answer my own question, I listen for good insight or information from those I am in contact with, but I am forced in the end to trust completely only my heart. It has become my sole responsibility to determine where I find truth, because clearly the organizations claiming to represent truth do not do so even the tiniest bit. I make many mistakes, as we all do, but 90% of the time, my heart can tell - even in the moment - that I am doing the wrong thing. The other 10% of the time when I make a mistake is a genuine opportunity for learning a brand new perspective.
Tips on which I guide my discernment:
1) Organizations where nobody has personal contact with real people are automatically not to be trusted. Media, for example, is always designed to speak to "the people" who are an imagined entity created only in the minds of those doing the writing. They think they know what "people" want, but the "people" in their heads are just that: in their heads. They don't know me, or you, and it is by definition impossible for them to care about anybody, because they cannot access individuals, only imagined groupings. Media thinkers care about projections from their own imaginations. The only organizations I trust are those where I have direct contact with those engaged in the activity.
2) People calling for violence and hatred against [X] group of people are projecting. Once we create [X] people, it's so easy to put all the negative images that float around in our heads onto that group. This is pure projection, just using the word [X] as the catch-all for all bad things so that we can feel like we are in control and know who to oppose. It's a recipe for chaos. All the people out fighting in the street against "their enemies" do not recognize that their enemies are projecting on to them precisely the same negative projections that they are projecting on to their enemies. It becomes a scrum, with everyone hating everyone else, no end in sight. Sound familiar?
3) There is an organizing force in the universe. This is a belief, and unprovable. It is the crux of faith. It all looks to each of us like chaos, because none of us has access to a schema broad enough to encompass any reason for the whole. It looks simply cruel. The only way out of this depressive/nihilistic perspective is faith. This faith need not be in any readily identified deity or deities. Those have all been created by groups of people trying to explain in a tidy package that which is fundamentally inexplicable. On the flip side, however, if it were just chaos, there would be zero organization or beauty in the universe, and that is an obviously and blatantly false proposition. The existence of organization and beauty in the universe must come from something, and though I make no claims to define what that "something" is, I am forced by the existence of these elements to the faith that there is an organizing force in the universe.
Realizing that third point has provided a major flipping point in how I approach this life. Yes, it looks brutally chaotic and cruel. But it has always looked like this. Think about the families of those hunted in the witch trials a few hundred years ago. Either we can decide it simply is brutal and cruel, or we can operate on the premise that we're not supposed to understand, but we can each personally learn something from our time here.
I have faith that I have the capacity to learn and grow as a spirit passing through this maelstrom. That personal growth is both my privilege and my duty in this lifetime. In that I place my faith.