One of the most pervasive addictions we have in society today is towards speed.
Our technological society pushes us to increase the pace of our productivity and the pace of our lives.
Woody Allen, the American film maker, made comment on this obsession. He said he took a course in speed reading and was able to read ‘War and Peace’ in under 20 minutes. Jokingly he concluded it was about Russia.
In a society that literally demands life to run at double time, speed and addictions numb us to our own experiences of life.
It’s virtually becoming impossible to settle into our bodies or stay connected to our feelings.
Similarly, we are challenge daily to connect with people around us.
We find ourselves increasingly becoming isolated and lonely living in the fast lane.
We are becoming cut off from one another and the natural flow of life.
Take a look around you next time you go for a walk to the park or shops.
What do you see?
- Huge houses that look empty of human warmth.
- People walking addicted to their mobile phone.
- People running with nose cancelling headphones –“do not disturb”
- No acknowledgement of others with a smile as you pass them.
There seems to be a growing sense of loneliness and inner poverty. This is the most prevalent sadness in our modern society.
Not only have individuals lost the ability to interconnect, but this isolation seems to have spread to many modern day nations around the world too.
Watching the global news on any night can provide evidence to the ongoing conflicts that arise on a daily basis.
Since World War 2 we have had over a 100 wars globally. This fact is all the more remarkable when you consider there are only around 165 countries in the entire world.
Not a great track record for the human race.
So what can we do?
From a spiritual perspective we need to start with ourselves. We need to learn how to stop the inner war and isolation.
The inner stillness of a person who is truly at peace within will always find an interconnection with the world around them.
Mahatma Gandhi fully appreciated this inner struggle when he said:
“My most formidable opponent is a man named Mahatma Gandhi. With him I seem to have very little influence.”
Like Gandhi, we cannot easily change ourselves for the better through an act of pure force or will.
Such attempts will always backfire on us. In the end we strengthen the addiction we are trying to change.
We need to cultivate a new way of relating to life in a way whereby we let go of our battles.
When we can accept things as they are we automatically come to rest in the present moment. Only in the reality of the present can we awaken, find peace and understanding and connect fully with the world around us.
It’s not easy and needs to be repeated again and again.
I found this to be very true for me. Until I found a way of overcoming my demons I found myself constantly at war with the world around me.
It was a very lonely place.
That stuff doesn’t just change overnight. By constantly working on improving my awareness, and by being more present, I have gradually found a new appreciation of relationships and experiences.