The world is moving faster than we are. I am actually sitting on the metro writing this blog post. Joyfully connecting into each word as a world moves by around me. It is a beautiful thing that in an instant we can connect around the globe. We have access to countless bits of information, and this access can even come in the confines of a tunnel running under the nation’s capital. As I look up to scan the crowd I see that almost everyone else is doing something similar. Rarely do people make eye contact, and even more rare is the reaching out of a voice or even a smile to a stranger. Our technology allows us to be separated but not alone. I find that it is hard for me to sit at home and write, but if I plug into a coffee shop the words flow with ease. There is something about being in the energy of others that allows me to connect into myself. It allows me to see where I am in this world, and even though many of us are not connecting, we are still in some way sharing this moment. Not having to be alone, connected through our disconnection.
There is a theory that the 2012 incident that might actually happen is an elimination of technology due to a giant solar pulse. What would that look like? What would it be like if all the walls of our disconnect came tumbling down if even for a moment. Texting, tweeting and “liking” things has enabled us to share our thoughts in an instant. We can project out into the world pieces of who we are instantly. We can reach out to loved ones and say “Have a great day!” or “Hope work isn’t too stressful!”. Tho, I notice that the same people we send those text to, when put in the same room with us, we pull away from. May of us remain plugged in even when in the presence of family, friends, and partners. The art of conversation is dying. When instead of sitting down and planning out a future, you are restricted to having to check each other’s online calendars to determine when it will be okay to be present in each other’s experience. Technology allows us to scar someone else with ease. We can send passive aggressive texts, tweets and posts. When is the last time you said “I love you” in full presence and connection with someone you are sharing this life with? We don’t even really need to type it out fully on our cell phones, we only need pre-program the message to fly out at the touch of a button.
How does this impact our compassion for one another? For some, caring is sending the text, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use technology as a tool to reach out to those we love. I feel that it is more important to balance that out with a step into this reality. We have to connect to one another on the tangible plane of existence. When we “text argue” or “text talk” we get to plan out every word. Every thought gets a level of control, and we can avoid vulnerability like a plague. When we are face to face with someone else, standing in each other’s presence we can truly be in a place of deep feeling. When our partner, family, or friends have had a bad day we can be present. We can show empathy and reach out in compassion. If we stay plugged in we only may notice this on the perepherial. We seen the slumped shoulders, the tired look, but we don’t connect. Sometimes we only find out about the lives of those we share lives with through their Facebook updates or tweets. Rather than having intimate moments with those closest to us, we share with the masses. I’ve even seen people end relationships via the internet. When we can close down at the touch of a button we get this sense of control that is lost when we have to come face to face not only with others, but with ourselves. When lives are planned out in 2 month intervals via online appointments spontaneity dies. Spontaneity is one of the fuels for passion, and without it the flames eventual turn to embers that barely sustain heat. But what does it say about where we are in this society when we live our lives 2 or more months into the future. We do are not in the now, and that robs us of being fully aligned and present in our divine experience. It keeps us in full disconnection from those that are in this moment with us. THe further forward we live, the less room we create in the moment. I am not saying that we should not plan ahead, but when we become so rigid in our lives that deviations cause panic then we are damaging ourselves. Compassion to the self is something we forget about.
Our interpersonal disconnection is harmful. There are many cases where people won’t call for help when they hear someone in need, “Someone else will call.” We not only forget about the people we share this life with, but we absolutely forget about the earth. I can tell you how many Pagans I know that spend more time behind a computer, on their phone, or inside rather than actually celebrating the earth by going outside. Nature based faith requires us to at some point to connect into nature. Setting our computer screen savers to a woodland image is just not good enough.
Technology and advancement are wonderful. I mean, you wouldn’t be reading this blog without it. Take time to be in this world, and more importantly in your life. Connect with those around you, and create sacred time and space where technology is not allowed in. What would it be like to feel the love of all those around you fully? To unplug from the masses just long enough to embrace the idea that we can live in the moment? What would the passion of spontaneity look and/or feel like? Take a moment to give gratitude and thanks to what technology has brought you, then take a moment to make a commitment to re-connect back into your life. Plug into this moment, right now… what are you waiting for?
Michael A. Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT