June 8, 2014
It is almost trite to restate this but the issue is so massive and abiding that it actually cannot be re-stated often enough, until we get this through our thick skulls!
In the West, we live in a very harried, distracted way, where it can become difficult to focus and to be effective, at whatever it may be that we are seeking to achieve. Often, this can be because we are “stuck” on events from our pasts or we’re either daydreaming about – or fearful of our futures, which can never truly arrive – because the future is never NOW.
Yet, we routinely seem to be more preoccupied with either the past or the future or worse: superimposing our past experiences onto our visions of our futures!
What we lack, in the West is a sense of being PRESENT in the NOW. It’s a cultural phenomenon. We think in terms of a linear progression – of PROGRESS and we’ve been mired, from an existential point of view, by an entropy which belies that we are actually defined by progress, at least at the level of our day-to-day awareness.
Humanitarian photographer, Lisa Kristine discusses this, in her experiences, having photographed many peoples from the world’s most ancient cultures, noting a quality of being PRESENT, which seems to distinguish all of them.
YES, these peoples are mostly still living the way they lived, perhaps thousands of years ago. They are not driven by this urge towards progress, which drives the West. They didn’t invent nuclear bombs and cellphones but they have something else: they have a sense of peace and acceptance of life on its own terms.
Am I advocating that we go native? Not at all. Can we learn something from these peoples. Yes, I think so.
Wisdom 2.0 2014: http://www.wisdom2conference.com.