Monday, August 4, 2008

Pandora's Box

"Instead of elders, we now have elected politicians who speak with corrupt and self-serving voices; instead of fragrant local wisdom we have homogeneous civil law and institutionalized religion to guide us." --Caitlin Matthews, "The Celtic Spirit"

I often find myself yearning for a different time, a simpler time, when we lived in harmony with the turning of the earth. Although technology has done much to improve our lives, in many way it has also impoverished us. The society we live in is driven by the holy dollar, and there seems to be very little room here for the idea of the "common good".

Our media-driven culture teaches us from infancy that the most important people in our world are those who have everything and look good...not those who have the wisdom to guide us and have lived in the world long enough to speak from experience.

We live in a world where human connections are transient, fragile, and even unnecessary. Families are separated by oceans and divorce is easy with no real consequences.

I'm not saying the world was perfect before all this technology came along. I think that in many ways it was a harder, grimmer place. But I think there was much more of a sense of family and a sense of community.

We may have gained a lot in our technological achievements, but I think we have lost a lot, too. We have an entire nation full of lost people with empty lives, many of them popping antidepressant medications because they know that something is wrong...they're just not sure what.

I'm not sure what the answers are, though. All our technology is like Pandora's Box, and there's no stuffing it back inside and slamming the lid shut once it's out there. Perhaps part of the answer lies in listening to what's really in our hearts and stop letting other people tell us what we think.

Writing Prompt: What does your heart tell you about how to live an authentic life? What kind of life resonates with your inner self?

10 comments:

Gianna said...

What does your heart tell you about how to live an authentic life? What kind of life resonates with your inner self?

wow!! this is exactly what I'm dealing with right now. I'm feeling extremely heavy hearted because I see that every choice I made while on drugs was not an authentic choice and now that I'm finding my soul again I'm being struck with staring some really hard shit in the face.

I guess that's one of the reasons I need a hiatus..I can't really deal with most of what is going on with me in a public way anymore and I don't have the energy to be creative in less personal ways...

I wrote this in a comment on my blog today:

I could not feel who I was and now I’m trying to figure out who I am now that I can feel. It’s very frightening sometime. Having not had connection to my soul in so long. Learning that maybe some of my life decisions were made in a fog and in desperation because I did not know how to take care of myself…

where do you begin to make reparations for a life lived when you could not discern the truth?


ahh...heavy stuff...nice to get a bit of it out here...don't feel like making it the center of a post...

I'm glad you're out there Jazz...I have a feeling I'm going to be relying on some of my favorite bloggers to keep me writing a bit while I don't feel able to maintain my blog.

Jazz said...

Gianna--
It's pretty hard shit to deal with. I've been doing my own share of dealing with it the last couple of years...you know...who am I really, and what kind of life means something to me? I don't think it has much to do with the acquisition of stuff and status.

You'll get it figured out, you know. It won't happen tomorrow, it's a process...you were on meds for a long time...you and your soul have a lot of catching up to do...but you already know that. And you're on the right path.

I'm pleased that you're planning to visit even if you're taking a break from your own blog. You were one of the ones who inspired me to start my own, you know...

Gianna said...

you inspire me too Jazz,
I'm actually really grateful I can still come here...cold turkey withdrawal from all of you would be too painful...

Marissa Miller said...

Jazz, I agree. This is a really insightful post.

I'm still trying to find my "authentic" self. I don't really know who I am. I'm just beginning to explore. For so long, I've wanted what you outline here: the most important people in our world are those who have everything and look good. I wanted fame, fortune, and to be loved and accepted by people I don't know and will never know. I still struggle with the latter. I don't regret missing out on the paparazzi. :)

I'm trying to simplify my life. I'm not a simple person. I'm ridiculously complex if you couldn't already tell! I'm trying to be content with the life God gave me: a wonderful husband, a great support system through my blog, and an awesome family.

I think I just found the answer to one of your questions — I suppose the kind of life that resonates with me is just being content with what I have.

catatonickid said...

This is really interesting to me because I just finished reading a book that relates pretty well to your question.

It talks about moving from logical, information/technological focus modes of thought (left brain) to a more creative, more open and whole frame of reference (right brained).

The logic part is necessary but no longer sufficient for so many of us - access to information is not enough. It's how we make meaning that counts - how we live, how genuine and really present that living is that makes the difference between going through the motions and really finding joy in who and what we are/know.

The book is called A Whole New Mind, if you're interested. It's a quick read and totally worth it.

Stephany said...

I think we all end up finding our way back to ourselves eventually. If you read the blog "A Storied Mind" on my side bar, he has written an article highlighting a comment I told him, and I explain more in the comment section there than anywhere else, even on my own blog. I think the post there is called 'walking away from depression' or something like that.

Ironically being 48 I'm trying to remember who I was at Marissa's age, and even before then--before marriage, etc. I'm finding I'm still there but the daily grind of life smothers it. It's when I feel a breeze of sort run through my mind remembering me at age 16, 18, even 21 and then the phone rings or other real time stuff happens and the memory is swoooshed away.
I think that's why we've all written at times we need to be alone, because how else can we ever get into this without peace and quiet?

Good luck to everyone.

Stephany said...

The post on Storied Mind is titled "Dropping Depression".

His entire blog is worth reading if you don't already.

Jazz said...

Marissa--
I believe that being content with what we have is one of the "secrets" to happiness...

Jazz said...

catatonickid--
Thanks for the reference--I'm going to check that book out. I've been thinking a lot about this kind of stuff over the past year or so...how to be mindful, find joy in the everyday...because if you only find joy in the big things, like vacations and expensive toys, then you're probably not experiencing joy very often!

Jazz said...

Stephany--
I've been reading A Storied Mind for a few weeks now, and I really enjoy it.

You are right about the daily grind smothering who we are...I think that's part of striving to be mindful and living in the moment--not letting the daily grind smother us.

I think that you're are very right about needing peace and quiet in order to get into this stuff...and I think the reason why most people don't is that there isn't any peace and quiet. How often do any of us really have time alone when there are no demands on us? How often to we have time to just sit and be, to contemplate life and what it means to us? Most of us don't get that kind of time, and don't have the time or the strength or the ability to make that kind of time for ourselves. But I think it is crucial that we do make that time.

One of the things that made me slow down and start thinking was the thought that there I would be at the end of my life, looking back, and thinking, That was it, was it? Boy, that went fast. I never even had time to stop and think...