There are so many ways to distract oneself, to fill every moment with some activity. We wait in line at a retail establishment, out comes the phone, checking for something we might have missed, maybe looking for something to want. It’s there whether real-time contact with others is available or not. Many people now behave as if it doesn’t matter whether real people are present. The relationship with the e-world is the priority.
Live performing arts were supposed to have died by now, but people still enjoy them as something real and tangible. Real, tangible, beautiful experiences are generally in short supply, and get crowded out with our constant plugging-in to the Matrix. A part of us, as human beings, still needs a human, real-time connection. Electronic versions of music, theatre, sex, and socializing, are so close to being satisfying, but we are trained by now that there is always “something more” after this. More, more, more. How can we enjoy life when “more” is always there in the immediate future?
The bigger question, beyond enjoyment, is how we are living life now. Do we care about reality anymore? Any unpleasantness can be tuned out in a second, the physical and emotional worlds can be denied, problems can be forgotten in the amnesia induced by switching on something – Facebook, Spotify, Pornhub, texting (All of these will sound quaint in just a few years as the e-world morphs).
If you turn it all off, and just sit, or walk somewhere, or just stand and look around you, it can be an amazing awakening. “Now” becomes a different thing. It is the place where you are, in the condition you’re in, being what you’re being. I dare you to turn it all off and feel the now, for just a few minutes every day. You can meditate, focus on breathing, focus on an object, repeat a mantra – any of those methods we’ve read and heard about a million times. Just being, with physical-emotional-psychic reality, with no medium.
Great art and practice of the craft that goes into art cannot be explored with a cluttered mind. Important decisions about one’s life cannot be made with earbuds pouring commercially-produced vibrations into your skull. Touching another human being, on a soul, skin, or emotional level, cannot happen when you are plugged in.
We are not yet completely assimilated into the e-Matrix. A part of us knows that. Be brave and stand outside of it occasionally. What does it mean to be here now? What does it mean to stop doing, stop consuming, stop thinking, and just be? For even a minute.