I am taking my own advice by trying to live more simply when it comes to this very intrusive informational culture in which we live by reducing my dependence on so-called “social media,” because I have found the social experience of Twitter and Facebook to be quite unsatisfying. I grow tired of bouncing messages, whether text or Facebook, and weary of checking my cell phone. We drown in information but seem to have missed the most basic, fundamental reasons why we are here at all–to take care of our souls and to love one another and this planet we walk upon every day.
For awhile I plan on taking time to take long walks without my cell phone, write letters by long hand rather than email (and certainly send paper cards not electronic ones), speak in person or by phone rather than at than via email or text messages, and otherwise hobnob with others where I can see them up close rather than through Skype.
I know I may not be able to be Thoreau sitting in his Walden Pond cabin saying “I wouldn’t walk around the block to see the world blow up.” To start with, I wouldn’t want to see the world blow up, but, like Wordsworth the world sometimes feels “too much with us. For this, for everything, we are out of tune.”
There is a path ahead. I’m on it now. I can’t go back. I don’t really know what’s ahead. All I can take is one step at a time into the green woods and hope I find the way through.
If one is to find the primary life energy, the Tao, sometimes all that one need do is stop and pay attention. I have found that usually what is most important is right in front of me. I need to give this my full attention.
When he was out walking, the Buddha was asked by someone if he was a God or a prophet. He said he was neither. The seeker then asked: “Then what are you? “I am awake,” the Buddha replied. It’s hard to be awake when one’s mind is cluttered and clanging with inner and outer noises. One could do worse than sit still and be quiet. Half the troubles of the world are caused by people who want to change it to fit their interpretations of what it should be, and many of these people come with what appear to be pious agendas.
It is time to reflect, wait, seek understanding and wisdom.