I recently had a conversation with an editor of an online magazine that has 10's of millions of monthly readers. He is also in duty of managing content that is published to Facebook. Once he posts an article, he is required to then track the number of readers in real time. If an article dips below a certain threshold, it is yanked and replaced.
He offered that the magazine receives articles that are filled with depth, meaning and actual citations of real data. These articles rarely become popular. The articles with sensational headlnes, sensational opinion and no citations of fact are eagerly devoured at record pace.
We are sensation craving beings. Think about a typical day in your life. Most of us crave to be touched, to be talked about, to become excited by stimulation from news or the "next greatest thing" to come into our lives. Our society is addicted to another dopamine hit when we unlock our phone.
What's interesting when this is confronted in public, people deny it immediately. That's not me, it's them. This a very telling observation. We know we are living superficially, but we are addicts, unwilling to admit our addiction.
This conversation was a wake up call for me. In all the ways I might guilty of superficial addiction to another dopamine fix, I will be honest with myself when I feel this need for stimulation. We are absolutely drenched in our culture with the opportunity for immediate gratification. Porn, politics, and idealization of celebrity are the main focus of our attention.
I hope whoever might finish this very unsensational article might understand that there are other beautiful things this world outside what the masses are consuming. It isn't that sensation is a bad thing, it is that requiring instant gratification leaves the practitioner living in a very superficial world. The beautiful nuggets that our beloved poets and writers have gifted us, are left unpracticed. Experiences that are likely to stir the soul are replaced by an addicted untamed mind
Here are some soul stirring that I have discovered...
The joy experienced when studying and practicing virtue.
The peace and tranquility of sitting in seclusion and finding the sensation from listening to nature and silence.
The warmth experienced when practicing listening to others to explore and become enveloped within their joy.
Lying entangled with a lover or friend, where silence allows a connection with just being.
What say you?
We can feel like we're growing, but we're doing the growth within our small view box of the world. These, I refer to as lateral growth. To break free we must find ways to push outside our comfort zone.
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Our lives are streams flowing into the same river towards whatever heaven lies in the mist beyond the falls. Find the joy in your life, close your eyes and let the waters take you home." ~The Bucket List
There is an idea around being "awake" or being "asleep"... A good way of understanding the idea of being asleep is that people don't realize that most of the meaning they've given to how the world appears to them was delivered by other people. Awakening people begin to understand that they can take back this "will" that was given away and begin choosing their own meaning of the world. In doing so opens doors, windows, paths, avenues, venues etc to truly living a dream life.
This is scary to the asleep, because it seems letting go of beliefs will turn lives to chaos and evil will spread. Awakening people understand that there is a collective unifying impulse... as I awake and live my most joyful experience, this will unify myself even more to the collective of humanity.
Sacred dating is about redefining our cultures process for meeting our intimate partners. It's about returning depth and heart to the process.
***If you're single and find dating a life giving adventure, this article will be a waste of your time.
I've been single for a while now and I've heard story after story about the frustrations surrounding the way our culture dates these days. I've shared these sentiments and experiences many times. Often this has to do with the process of online dating. There are so many, including myself, that wish to meet our partner organically.
What is it about online dating that has us wishing for something different?
In America, our culture is deeply influenced by a shoppers mentality. We shop for everything, our phones, shoes and even our churchs. We analyze the objective features of what we're looking to purchase. Online dating offers this process by creating a database of features for which we can window shop for a partner. It goes even further by creating algorithyms that will mathematically match us to further satisfy our desire to avoid bad experiences.
If you have an uneasiness about this process, maybe it is the process of objectifying a person like we do with picking our next cell phone. This process works at the level of our analytical mind, but insults the soul. That leaves me asking the question, is online dating to blame?
Let's answer this first by asking a larger question, why do we seek a mate when it is such a frustrating process?
This can only be answered by looking at all of the craziness of the different relationships we're challenged with in our lives. We have relationships with relatives, friends, acquaintances, strangers and intimate partners. The whole process of relationship could be summed up as a practice for connection between people. Some of our relationships deepen and some of them fizzle. All relationships teach us something and help us grow into better people. If you're in this mindset, we can then say that we seek a deeper and deeper exploration within ourselves and knowing others.
With this in mind, is online dating the problem?
We are seeking heart connection through a mind dominated process, this is a very ironic aspect to our cultural process.
How can we take back today's consumeristic process and use it for our heart journey?
What if we were to add depth to our cultures process? Instead of having a myriad of get to know you dates, what if we were to simply add depth, and make dating sacred? We change our mindset to a knowing that we simply can't know anything of potential intimacy until we know something of a person's soul. In this we seek experiences with people that like what we like, not dishonoring our minds, but simply leave behind the cultures expectations and of dating until we know them on deeper level.
We can live in expectancy of finding the "one" while getting to know other people and learn through each experience. This process will also leave behind a lot of the mistakes we make, like sleeping with people too quickly.
This sounds a lot like the friends first idea. This is true on one level, but making dating sacred is an intentional way of creating a process in our lives that is greater and more beautiful.
I haven't given up on online dating, but I've changed my thinking around it.
I share with you how I introduce this to people in my profiles.
I have a higher understanding of dating, I don't go on a "date" with anyone unless I know them at some level of the heart. You may be a perfect match on paper, but I know this doesn't define you as an individual. In this idea, I'm looking to meet people for life giving experiences and see where it goes from there.
*By all means, if this works in your world, feel free to take it and edit as it fits for you.
Many moons ago, an acquaintance, in a state of inebriation, exclaimed, "copies are the devil man". That artifact from my history, has remained as an inner dialogue I process as I contemplate life. I've come to know that the way the common culture operates is by divvying into right from wrong incessantly.
In this mindset, we float from truth to truth, pronouncing we know what the devil looks like. Watching too much TV becomes the illness that makes what is wrong with the world. Being a certain political party is the devil man. Going to the gym is the devil. Not going to the gym is the devil.
These are all opinions and often we stake our "belief" of what we think is right around these conclusions.
This process of devilizing is a tennis match where there is no winner, a never ending volley. When something is deviled, at this level of consciousness, there will always be an opposing returned deviling.
The simple answer to stepping out of this frustrating game is to stop looking to the exterior world for what is true. It is an inner journey of self discovery where truth lies. When our inner state begins to reach deeper levels, our exterior world changes.
Facebook isn't the devil. It is simply a matter of what we do with it. We might not like what other people post or how they use social media, but again, the journey is about what we do with it. We can "like" and "share" higher levels of consciousness. When we look into the enormity of the problems this world faces, the is a lovely platform where we can be the change.
What's your perspective?
We change ourselves...
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