We want to reduce the stress in our lives, yet we keep piling on the number of things we need to do. We travel arms wide open into a tidal wave of responsibilities.
We want to restrict the data tech companies collect from us, yet we swipe right at consent. All terms, all conditions, in favor of the Leviathan.
We want to think we’re a curious bunch, open to a world unknown, yet act like novices at the ways of seeing. What is new leads somewhere new, absent the spot.
We meditate to detach the mind from surfeit consciousness when simply going for a walk, doing the dishes, or shooting hoops produces the same relaxing effect. With little effort, the neuronal spike trains intensify in voltage.
Opposite to everything, without opposition to anything. Whatever one says is true, the opposite is equally true.
Open to detours, fixated on the wrath of curiosity. The single-minded goal-setter scrounges for practice.
In theory, doggedness is the least path of resistance. Like a magnet, we’re drawn to specialized learning.
But we can’t afford to put the right brain to sleep. Quiescent, it too begs to act.
The creative compulsion knows no boundaries. It explodes in those non-cash working hours, when you’re raging with inspiration.
Like making music, the notion of work and play intertwine.
“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.”
Social media is a world where everyone tries to out self-promote each other and in doing so, stretch their lives further from reality.
Even the destinations — whether it be a restaurant, hotel resort, or kayaking trip — want to make their experiences more Instagrammable.
Sharing has commoditized life, turning us into an avalanche of rotating ads, blurring the lines between paid and organic. Every post is anad in some way, shape, or form. Like TV, we start to develop an imaginary relationship with those on screen, doubtful we’d ever met in real life.
The blizzard of images droughts perception with seeing. We feel envious of those in our feed before we know why we may feel so. The contagion of jealousy spreads like a virus. The upshot is a homogenization of lives and content.
We all want what we don’t have. Social media generates a false narrative of unnecessary desire. Instagrams are just pictures on a wall, temporarily surfing over the hopes and fears in our genes. It feels good lying stuck in the ludic loop.
But irreality is ephemeral. The long-term narrative eventually wakes us up to the fact that we’re barking up the wrong tree. Life is here and now, attracting itself and trying to love you back.
Assumptions provide fence-sitting answers. They give the impression of solving issues but they’re really just band-aids that make us feel safer. Half-truths also hinder inquisitiveness.
“We must be ignorant of what we are looking for, or we would not go looking for it.” — Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Rather, like a dog with a bone, we should be running off for a half hour and then coming back. The external stimulus has to be interesting enough that even we get bored of it, we revisit it later.
The last thing we want to do is externalize the whimsical nature of life to the certitude of a photo. Life goes on beyond the screen. Memory hinges on context and keeps developing each time the story gets told.
Confidence basks in the chase of uncertainty if only to ensure that the truth remains unfixed.
Dissolved into data, we produce a feast of trackable interactions.
[easyazon_link identifier=”0553418815″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]They[/easyazon_link] are the editors as much as much we are the authors. While we create everything, they produce nothing, yet the internet still owns our words.
“It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.
There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”