At the start of each year, most people make new years resolutions. I suppose this would be my goals for 2019.
I wish to find/create a place within myself where I am in a state of far greater contentment and in deeper harmony with God, for lack of a better expression. I’m wanting to rise above dualistic thinking, purging myself of inconsistent thought and restlessness. I’m seeking greater peace within and to live in a state of joy that is independent of circumstances around me. That’s my primary goal.
Possibly another goal would be to further develop a detached, yet unconditional love toward all beings I come across. I wish to always treat others well, and do good, but not let all the stupidity, violence, and insanity going on around me affect my inner world. That’s what I mean by “detached”. I’ll help you when and if I can, but if you’re intent on going down a dark road that’s sure to bring you all kinds of suffering, I’m not going to let it bring me down in any way.
The last thing I want to focus on this year is what I would call “reconnecting with life.” Over the last decade or so, my life has mainly consisted of me sitting in a room, studying for exams, writing papers, working on physics research, and reading books. Besides that, there has been way too many hours just staring at this computer screen. I’ve noticed that the more time I spend staring at this glowing monitor, the more disconnected I am from life. I’ve noticed this in others as well and the changes I’ve seen are not good. Our online digital world is a sort of matrix of death. Let me explain.
One example of this death matrix is all the time I’ve spent just sitting here reading news articles, most of which are filled with lies, partisan BS intended to stir me up against others on the “left” or “right”, or extreme fear-mongering and negativity. Besides that, I don’t want to even get into all the fake news and strange ideas the internet has brought into our world. We live in a digital sea of nonsense, both from the mainstream and most alternative sources. It can lead some folks down a rabbit-hole of complete fiction, and sadly, when all is said and done, it seems that those who end up fighting with one another the most are the very ones who need to be coming together. But I can understand getting confused by it all. I believe that’s half of what it’s intended to do. I’ve invested far too much effort trying to figure out what’s “really” going on, what the real agenda is, and who the major players are, feeling like I have to be some sort of stalwart defender of truth. I know just enough to know that most of what we’re hearing is lies, but I also know that having the time and energy to decipher the sea of nonsense is a privilege only those with too much time on their hands have. This confusion creates all kinds of tension, and in my life, there is this constant struggle to diffuse all the animosity these “news” organizations cause within my family and friends. It’s exhausting and I wonder if it’s worthy of all the energy I put into it; is it worth paying attention to?
The digital death matrix extends into entertainment as well. I’ve sat on Netflix and Hulu watching television and movies that are filled with moral degeneracy on display, senseless violence, and stupidity. Ask yourself how many characters portrayed on television are role models, or examples of who you should strive to be? How many of them inspire you to be more than who you are? How many of them create an urge in you that this life has more to offer and that you can get out there and do new and amazing things? How many of them challenge you to be better? I rarely if ever see anything like that. Almost everything on there is mental junk food, filled with violence and other things to emotionally titillate the lowest aspects of ourselves. It’s even now come to a point where half of it is laden with political agendas. But possibly the biggest one for me is mindless video games. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve spent far too many hours engaged in these computer games where there is no emotional connection to anything, just killing people and random monsters for sport, over and over and watching some experience bar go up. This monotony is only occasionally broken up by the storylines, almost all of which are extremely shallow. All of this stuff is just death, death, death. Kill, kill, kill. Sex, sex, sex. Stupidity, degeneracy, fighting.
But this death matrix is now extending into our social lives. Everyone is carrying around these cell phones and are locked into Instagram, Facebook, and other forms of social media, caught up in this fake, socially competitive, reality. Most people present false images of themselves and their lives, caught up in some weird game where they all try to one-up each other, portray an image of “my life is amazing”, and are seeking everyone else’s approval with “likes”. They have to keep up with the Kardashians as they keep up with their neighbors and friends. It is the quintessential essence of conformity and herd mentality, not to mention the fact that past executives from social media companies are warning us that these platforms are destroying civil discourse. Facebook is running studies and has learned they can control your emotions and mood by controlling what is displayed in your feeds! They have literally hijacked people’s emotions as they spy on every aspect of their users’ lives and sell their information to greedy corporations. It’s unreal. But yet, this is one of the main activities going on in the digital world.
So yeah, for these sorts of reasons, I’m coming to a point where I’m almost completely unplugging from the digital world. This has been an ongoing process with me, but I have to reconnect with real life and stay out of this digital death matrix. The problem is, I’ve been locked into these patterns of behavior for so long, to break out of them it’s like, uh, now what do I do with myself? Ok, so I don’t spend my days locked away in a room trying to understand some aspect of the universe, reading books, or preparing for exams, or reading stuff on the computer (mostly the news), or watching Youtube, or Netflix, or playing computer games. What do I now do with my time? To find out what’s next for me is requiring a lot of meditation and soul seeking.
I’ve been spending less and less time on the computer, and have been exploring new activities. I’m currently learning how to fly hot air balloons and have been considering getting into flying paramotors. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gym. I plan on hopping on the motorcycle and going for a big road trip this summer, exploring the country. I’m getting back into playing basketball again. I’ve even been considering drawing and trying to express certain feelings/ideas I’ve had in pictures. I’ve also mentioned that I spend a lot of time meditating these days. That’s probably the greatest change I’ve made. I’m not sure where all this will go, but the I don’t want to spend the remainder of my life in the digital death matrix. Surely there’s better things to do with myself.
Cheers to 2019 and all that’s to come.