Our voracious technology appetite is a response to a deep hunger which things will never satisfy. This is a hunger for connection with each other and the natural world, Yet we are told to consume in order to feed our hunger. Advertising tells us we are lacking and in order to feel better we should buy stuff. We are programmed with an insatiable addictive consumer drive to acquire the latest iPhone or Android, or buy the big/bigger/biggest wide screen TV. Feeding these gadgets is content, the vast set of entertainment, misogynistic porn, gambling and mental titillation which washes over us almost 24x7, distracting us, temporarily soothing us, briefly making the pain go away. Where is this tidal wave of information leading us to? For all the stories of the internet building community (admittedly this is how you are reading this blog) consumerism and becoming lost in the sea of content is driving us apart and further disconnecting one from the other. When we mainline soul absent "entertainment" we become addicts who ignore their loved ones and only focus on the next fix.
Consumerism has two components in this addictive, connection wrecking cycle; the purchasing of products created at an almost inconceivable and tuning into the thousands of channels of largely useless, mindless, heartless content. These two aspects of consumerism substitute for actual human to human and human to nature connections.
Consider what it takes to create the all the products we consume. The atrocities done to the planet and her people to mine raw materials, to transport the materials, to fuel the factories, to transform the raw materials into electronics, to assemble electronics into finished products and then transport these products to our shores for distribution are staggering (see Conflict Minerals - this deserves a post of its own),
And what are we doing with all that content? We spend more and more time in front of a screen rather than in nature or in conversation with each other (face to face, without someone texting or reading the latest FB post).
I wonder if the greatly hyped "Virtual Reality", which is enabled by strap on head goggles fully blocking our view of the "Real Reality" will drive us closer to the dystopian view of the Matrix or other future shock movies where humans no longer interact person to person, but all connection is mediated through a machine? Will we finally disconnect ourselves from each other and, rather, plug into the nearest wall outlet?
As the news article at the end of this blog states, all this content, especially virtual reality will drive more and more demand for internet bandwidth. The race for more bits per second will continue at a blinding rate. Driving faster electronics, driving faster obsolesce, driving the hunger for more raw materials.
When does it stop? Does it stop when the Earth, the women and the children have been raped until there is nothing left?
Armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year by trading conflict minerals. These minerals are in all our electronics devices. Government troops and militias fight to control the mines, murdering and raping civilians to fracture the structure of society.
But, we don't have to hurtle into oblivion.
Walk, talk, sing and dance more.
We are the resistance.
Virtual Reality picture source: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32997.0
Virtual Reality article source: Sorry, lost the press source, but a similar article can be found at http://www.cablelabs.com/vr-you-have-to-experience-it/
I wrote the following about three months ago. A melancholia wraps itself around me from time to time. Feelings of overwhelm arrive, hope grows thin and I withdraw from my friends. Thankfully my friends love me and provide a safe container for whatever is present. I have come to recognize the darkness as another teacher, not to be feared or blamed, but to be curious and perhaps bring to art. Write poetry with it, dance it, engage it in loving conversation. I write this right now from a loving witness place. When I'm possessed by the darkness, it's a whole different ballgame and a post like this sounds like airy-fairy embrace your pain shit . Grace, love, small embers of faith, something - pulls me out. We all need help digging our way out. What pulls you through?
...I've hit another bottom in my life and as I look around, the thought comes - now what?
I've searched so much in my life for the answer, for purpose, to make sense of it all (or even some small part of it - life).
I gather wisdom, friendships, insights, connections and then I find myself at the bottom again. Tempted to toss it all out and declare everything I have learned as just so much bullshit.
Then something, perhaps grace, a song, a poem, a friend, a sunrise comes along and I start digging myself out of the pit.
by David Whyte
I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,
faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.
But I have no faith myself,
I refuse it the smallest entry.
Let this then, my small poem,
like a new moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.
I like to think of my soul as a lover longing for me, inviting me, wanting me. Every time I hear Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road", its my soul calling out to me....
The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves
"So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore" I need to know it's not too late and yes I'm scared. "Show a little faith, there's magic in the night" All of who I am is alright with my soul. So do I stay on that front porch?
You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
How often have I stayed stuck or looked to be rescued by a relationship, or by getting the right job or buying the right gadget? Have I wasted the summer of my life ignoring my very self?
Well now, I ain't no hero, that's understood
This culture is all about heroes, especially for men. Rise up, be heroic. Our redemption lies in the gritty, the dirty, the real.
Our souls invite us, the door is open:
And my car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk
"The ride ain't free." It takes effort and persistence, to walk away from the comfort of our addictions, the seduction of our pain. We can stay in our misery, hoping to be saved, or we can check out our soul's invitation. Maybe we'll "roll down the window and let the wind blow back [y]our hair"
So Mary, climb in
Welcome to the Blog for Set the Truth Free. Within these pages will be random musings on the spiritual journey, the search for soul, the path to healing and "wholing" our psyche.
I welcome your comments and contributions. Together may we find our way home
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Jose Enciso is an engineer by profession, a poet by necessity and a seeker of spirit and soul. He brings a gentle presence and deep respect for the interior journey as expressed through creative and expressive arts. Jose is a skilled group facilitator who is committed to the spiritual and psychological growth of those around him. He trained under Francis Weller to lead men’s initiation groups doing deep soul work and is equally comfortable in managing complex technical projects. Jose is devoted to the emergence of the divine feminine, supporting women and men claiming their voice and power, and rediscovering the soul of masculinity. He is currently working on multiple projects including a book which seeks to encourage everyone to write their own poetry as a discovery of their own soul's truth.