The pace of western culture is blindingly fast and can only really be appreciated from the outside looking in. What makes time lines disappear seems to be the inordinate amount of information exposure. This is coming from a data junkie of sorts. Even for me, doing my best Neo impression from the Matrix Trilogy, main lining massive amounts of data, the rate of exposure is exorbitant. People have no time to synthesize information any more. Constant input leads to regurgitated output.
Living in developing countries over the last 12 years has offered a perspective that isn’t commonly held, but is being proved out anecdotally throughout the greater 48. I have seen that everyone is aging more quickly than before, and it has nothing to do with chronological time. Young children now display characteristics of much more seasoned individuals, and adults are now appearing older than their biological time clock would indicate.
This had me wondering if information, as a stimulant, prematurely ages us. Other stimulants such as caffeine or cocaine, if abused, will shorten your time line. Why wouldn’t information?
This theory runs in tandem with the mechanics of stress on our physiology. We have all heard of adrenal fatigue to the point of it being ubiquitous. Everybody and their brother has adrenal fatigue. In my practice, I would say 80% of folks need to take their foot off the pedal and learn to relax. Sounds weird doesn’t it, “Learn to Relax?” But it’s true. When relaxing the most effective treatment has been found to reduce the amount of stimulation.
In the yoga world, Vipasana is the silent time where one doesn’t speak and reduces their inputs to next to nothing. The only stimulation comes through monotonous chanting from others for the expressed purpose of bringing one into an alpha brain wave state. The science behind this practice is that by reducing stimulation, one can find their core vibratory frequency and then will be innately balanced.
Another reductionist modality is fasting. Wet and dry fasting have been practiced since time immemorial with the notion that the body will fix it’s self if you minimize stress on the GI tract. After a few days of no foodstuffs, the inflamed parts of your body shrink because they are no longer agitated and your body goes into an accelerated clean up mode called autophagy. This is when damaged and senescent cells get consumed by your immune system. We have an intricate street sweeping system that kicks in when we don’t overstimulate our innards.
Looking at these last two tried and true practices from the physical side of things, got me thinking that our minds need a break from incessant exposure to new NEWS. In the Americas, it’s probably against the law to just sit without being entertained. I’m old enough to reflect on time for reflection. Being an only child of busy parents, my formative years were always my own. I got time to think about what I was thinking and than test it out; in other words: synthesis.
I fall into the trap as soon as I am stateside. There is an endless buffet of consciousness consuming entertainment that a thousand lifetimes couldn’t watch. Then there are the smarty phones, which make us stupid. What I mean by this is that data has become so cheap that people have a frivolous attitude towards it. People don’t value free things. They go as quickly as they come. Usually, there takes some sort of adversity or emotionality to really imbed something into our synapses.
What was nice about being in Central America during the beginning part of the century was that cell phone technology lagged about ten years behind the 1st World. We weren’t indoctrinated into smartphone tech as everyone was riding it’s wave of novelty. It’s crazy to see the level of disconnect amongst groups of people now between the selfie taking and social media surfing. Maybe on a grander scale there is a greater volume of connection but I wonder if the quality of connection has diminished.
These anecdotal observations mesh well with how mentally advanced children are now. Through my small looking glass children minds are light years ahead of where we were at the same age. In talking with parents, there is this consensus of how much ‘Older’ these young persons are. I contend it’s because they are exposed to so much more information than us old folks.
When I was a kid, I had to wait to receive the newspaper for crappy sports news. If I wanted in-depth analysis once a year there would be a publication diving deeper to satisfy my craving. Once a year was the frequency for deep information, can you believe that? Now, multiple times a day that quality of insight is provided. We are talking about a thousand-fold increase in the frequency of that stimulant, but I’m not saying it’s better now.
In the past, when we had to wait, we got to formulate our own opinion. There was time to contemplate and imagine. Another way of looking at this is by analyzing horror movies. A good horror movie scares you with what it doesn’t show you. One that’s all slash and gore becomes a parody of itself extremely quickly. Jaws was scary as hell because your mind loomed large in imagining the terrible leviathan and it’s chompers. What you create in your imagination will always be more terrible than even the best CGI imagery. In fact, the supplied imagery will be a joke at next years Halloween party.
Time is our most important commodity. It’s something that we never get back once it’s gone. You could see it as a non-renewable resource. With the ease at which every passing intellectual fancy can be pacified by another’s opinion, have we lost the capacity to create our own novel insight?
I have had the opportunity to fast from electronically supplied information with great results. First off, I feel a lot less temporal stress. Pulling my head out of the screen puts my eyes in the natural world. I feel an ease overtake me when not perusing simulated environments. Make no mistake, almost all information on the Webosphere is strictly persona based, meaning it’s there to cause an effect. Someone’s intent to stimulate is being impinged upon you.
With more time to give to my real world surroundings I become more active, which has self explanatory benefits. Before we all grow egg heads and look like Grey Aliens with underdeveloped physiques lets use our physical gifts to their utmost. To be physically diminished because of neglect is truly a sad occurrence. I will vote again if there is politician who’s campaign is centered around kids climbing trees again!
It will be interesting to see humanity’s response to Virtual Reality. Maybe, just as cell phones put consensus meta data at our fingertips, VR will allow for exploring 3D universes with ease. My hope is that because 3D multiscapes can be physically interactive, our health as 1st worlders will get better. Just like sacred geometry can be two dimensional representation of something that has three axis’ Virtual Reality can reengage our body’s movement in a ‘holodeck’ simulation…..please forgive my Trekiness. Let’s hope that VR world will give us a virtual meditation space free of over stimulation.