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The digital era: the intoxicated mind & the closed heart

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One of the things that amaze me everyday, as I go to the office with the metro, is the large number of people staring at their smartphones, ipads or kindles while they wait to be taken to their destinations. Reading morning statuses, online newspapers or chatting with friends, while listening to music at the same time. Playing Candy Crush, Sudoku or Tetris …at the early hour of  9 in the morning. It appears as though they are looking for something to elude themselves, to avoid spending time with their thoughts, with their breaths, with their life.

 

“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being.  If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?”

~ Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

 

I, too, have experienced how smartphone addiction feels like, for a short time, when I received a smartphone from my previous employer. It was enough for me to never want one again.

Having some years of meditation now, it is easy for me to understand that using Social Media and the internet without a discipline makes my mind cluttered. That’s why I try to use it without it using me.

In my opinion, this hunger for information is a hunger for happiness. Living in crowded cities, disconnected from nature, makes one believe happiness lies within the narrow lines of Facebook statuses. When the truth is happiness comes in a peaceful mind and with real human connections.

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The intoxicated mind &  the closed heart 

As a child of this digital age, I too have lived for years believing that the game here is to know. To know as much as you can stuff into the brain. To have a vast culture about everything: literature (methodically ordered by movements, of course), arts, show bizz, IMDB, scientific discoveries, history, social networks, gadgets etc…..

But the truth is, that led me to a false understanding of life and human relationships. Only by spending time in the nature, meditating and cultivating authentic human relationships did I understand what the real game is.

What can we do to balance the mind?

1. Meditate: Vipassana   is really good for cleaning the mind, awareness of breath  or The “Who am I”meditation

2. Go out in the nature

3. Use Social Media & smartphones with moderation

4. Or, take a break. Give up the smartphone, use Social Media once or twice a week and take breaks from compulsive needing to chat.

Luminaries all over the world ring the alarm that the large volume of information people digest everyday is actually in their detriment. It crowds the mind, kills the attention span and leaves no space for peace.

 

Wish you all have a great time and enjoy living in this digital age but remember that the excessive consumption of information severely damages your mind!

Love

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Photo: Adrian Ion


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