Entertained to Sleep

With the growing interest and social buzz about consciousness, it is remarkable that we don’t see more people turning away from the seductive tides of the entertainment industry.  Whether it is television, radio, Internet, online games, Facebook, Twitter, movies, magazines, advertisements, etc., entertainment has become one of, if not “the,” greatest distraction of our lives.  I write “of our lives” because this is exactly what we are sacrificing when we become entangled in its alluring web.

It may not seem dire or toxic.  Yet, if it is something that consistently takes away a good measure of our time, energy, relations, motivation, creativity and lives, it may warrant a close observance of our lifestyle.

None of us are immune to the “want” of being entertained.  It began at an early age, and sometimes as a way to be preoccupied so that our parents or guardians could be afforded an earned break.  As we grew older, it began to be distorted from a want to a need to even an entitlement.  We find it much easier and desirable to turn on the TV, radio, and Internet as a type of “white noise” to make us feel more comfortable, connected, related or fulfilled.  It can even be such a daily routine that it becomes a minute-to-minute endeavor.  When we find ourselves without the false security of entertainment, it may impact our behavior, perception and mood.  It becomes something much more than amusement.  It becomes addiction.  We are entertained to sleep.

When we turn on the television to watch sit-coms, we are greeted with forced laughter, elementary-level jokes and unrealistic life situations.  It is cotton candy for the mind.  There is a quick flash of fleeting sweet pleasure that dissipates as quickly as it arrived.  When we turn on dramas, we are drawn into states of anxiety and stress.  News broadcasts can put us into a perpetual state of fear and apathy.  And reality shows.  Need I say more?  When the program is over, we are left only with emptiness and a longing with which entertainment is all too successful providing.

The Internet is an amazing invention of information, discovery, education and expression.  Yet, without moderation, we may find ourselves spending hours upon hours of our time glued to the screen and the mouse, forever searching for a relatedness and fulfillment never to be found on a computer.  We may become more connected with the World Wide Web than we are with our family and friends.  We may even begin to believe that social media is the future of relatedness.

Most entertainment has one thing in common.  Escape.  It offers an avenue that many of us are more than willing to take.  It seems evident that a great number of people would choose to evade the constant onslaught of reality by which we are continuously impacted.  Some may even believe that reality is manipulated in such a way to drive people toward things like entertainment, poor diets, drugs, sports, shopping, social media and a number of other distractions.  It would seem that society is rife with many diversions manufactured for the sole purpose of keeping us distanced from the one person with whom we are born to be related, ourselves.

It is amazing the amount of our energy, time and money we willingly surrender to our entertainment.  Being distracted by entertainment is one of the primary things that enable an undesirable “reality” to persist.  It is our entitlement to being entertained that is keeping us from living the lives that we love and by which we are truly inspired.

Over the last two weeks, my wife and I chose not to go on Internet, turn on the TV, scroll through Facebook, view videos on YouTube, read articles online, etc.  We turned off the laptop and our Kindle Fires to bask in the glow of how life was before the explosion of technology.  Where we once turned on the TV, we now talk with each other.  Where we once surfed the Internet, we both picked up a book.  Where we once turned without to be entertained, connected and informed, we now choose to turn within and to each other.

For me, this practice has opened up a great deal of time and a wellspring of creativity.  It has taught me to honor the silence, my relations with others, my artistic expressions, my goals, my purpose and my life.

Instead of being entertained by other people, imagine the possibility that our life itself could be fulfilling enough.  For if our lives aren’t that entertaining, what does that say about how we are living them?

The life we are given is such a brilliant gift and blessing.  Now is always the time to honor and reclaim it, not by entertaining it, by living it.

http://www.zengardner.com/entertained-to-sleep/

An Emanation of Truth

Under the Influence:

Our world, as we have been led to believe, is an illusion.  All of us live out our days performing the roles we have been conditioned to adopt with the belief it is for a greater cause.  Yet, this synthetic purpose serves only the few at the grave cost of the many.  Our perceptions have been manipulated over the span of our lives to hypnotize us into accepting a meager, ordinary, repressed, and selfish existence.  We measure the growth of our progression by our physical appeal, our programmed intellect and our social status, while we avoid, dismiss and discredit the essential expressions of our heart and soul.

Soul Sacrifice:

There is a massive gap between what we interpret as spirituality, religion or faith and its authentic and resourceful application into our daily lives. Many of us flock to our selected practice searching for sanctity, knowledge and the meaning of life.  We kneel in blind devotion to superficial entities feigned to exist far beyond our limited commitment, comprehension and willingness.  What we either don’t choose or don’t want to realize about our fidelity is that we are handing over our personal power to various beliefs sourced not by spirit, yet invented and exploited by man.

Global Exploitation:

Everything about the three dimensional reality in which we exist is manipulated.  From the seemingly most sacred to the utterly profane, everything we encounter in our daily occurrences has come under malevolent influence.  As atypical as genuine epiphanies are in our modern lives is as rare we discover pure and true experiences beyond the realm of mortal persuasion.  Our natures have become attuned to the energy of manipulation.  It has desensitized, diminished and destroyed our innate propensities for acceptance, compassion, understanding, wisdom and love.

Living the Lie:

The wool of our cynicism, denial, judgment, insecurity and fear has been pulled over our perceptions.  We enable exploitation to occur in our experiences simply because we are too terrified to claim and live our truth, purpose and destiny.  It isn’t just the social indoctrination we are all exposed to well before the time, if ever, we remember who we truly are.  It isn’t even the betrayal all of us suffer from those whom we believe are closest to us.  We are all eventually seduced by and compliant to the artificial belonging, meaning and principle of common reality.

“How we perceive is what we believe.”

An Affinity for Acquiescence:

Since the dawn of belief, history, legends, stories and traditions have been invented to distract us from our souls.  We have been attached to a blind faith in others more than we empower trust in ourselves.  Our dependency upon the external world has enabled an ever-expanding, internal vortex that has left us aimless, empty and unfulfilled.  We have been modified to a simulated lifestyle of attention, desire, status and survival.  It has become the very nature of our existence.  This has conditioned us to seek in others what we can only truly discover within ourselves.

Swimming Upstream:

Contemporary society is designed to function and exist against the flow of humanity.  This is why for most of the world; life is deemed as “difficult.”  The elements of apathy, challenge and distress are constantly and strategically infused into our everyday reality.  We enable this belief and lifestyle by deciding to perceive it as such instead of choosing to embrace it as a powerful opportunity to transform ourselves and make a difference.  The mere perception that life is excruciating and insurmountable provides the perfect circumstance and excuse to yield our personal power and become social slaves.

Elusive Epiphanies:

We are multi-dimensional beings with vision and potential that reaches well beyond our human experience of imagination.  We have the ability to create, express, exist and destroy.  Our potential for adaptation, endurance, relation and transformation far surpasses our inclinations to consume, think, reason or feel.  Our addictions to our personal dramas, judgments and opinions distort our discovery, focus and purpose.  We have the inherent ability to clarify, intend and manifest all that our heart and soul desires.  Yet we continue to sacrifice our opportunities at the zenith of their possibility.

“It is only as real as we believe it to be.”

Towing the Line:

For centuries, the human race has born witness to the tragic consequences of a society ruled by the wants of the few at the cost of the needs of the many.  Each of us bears the burden of this “reality.”  Most of us are not willing to be present to or engaged in the human catastrophes of global inequality, injustice and impunity.  It has become contemptible, impractical and political to identify or entertain the vital issues of our contemporary time.  Consciousness transcends the current trends of our society, though its presence and expression garners great animosity and resistance.

Turning the Tide:

Those of us committed to and empowered by truth realize standing for it always requires great sacrifice, dedication and ridicule.  When we are inspired to choose to embark on our journey for authenticity, integrity, purpose and the fulfillment of our true destiny, the whole world appears to descend upon us.  The more we live against the popular currents of present day society, not with defiance but intention; we realize that even the strongest tides shift.  The affirmations we receive when our actions, thoughts, feelings and insights make a difference are the foundation upon which our transformation is possible.

A Call to Destiny:

We each have a vital contribution in the evolution and transcendence of the human race.  Our intuitive vision, personal power and creative expression make an extraordinary difference in the way we perceive, interact and exist in society.  The composition of our reality is created in the wake of our focus, truth, purpose and love.  The extent of our expansion and transformation is defined by our commitment to express, share and sustain its presence in our daily lives.  No matter how often we have opted to defer our personal responsibility, we are entitled only to fulfill our destiny.

An Emanation of Truth:

The world will always be exploited to the degree we enable with our amusement, drama, egotism, indifference and oblivion.  The power and possibility to transcend the present condition of society has always been within us.  It is up to all of us to offer our personal contribution for its manifestation.  Each one of our unique expressions is essential and significant to the multi-dimensional experience of global transformation.  This is the fundamental dynamic of enlightenment.  It is the only choice we will ever have to make.  If we don’t choose to be a universal emanation of truth, who will?

http://www.zengardner.com/an-emanation-of-truth-2/

The Lie We Live

Living the Dream:

“Dreaming and dreaming your freedom away,
The world keeps on turning and taking your days,
And you fall faster and faster and you fall deeper and deeper asleep.”

Go to school.  Get a job.  Get married.  Buy a house.  Have kids.  Retire.  Grow old.  Die.

This is the formula for the “American Dream.” We don’t know who invented it and we don’t really know how effective or fulfilling it is. Yet, we chase this dangling carrot mostly because everyone else does. It is one of many societal standards that set the tone for an artificial, victimized and oblivious life. Billions are engaged, mesmerized and imprisoned by “the dream.” They are rendered powerless and fall prey to it. They measure it by their titles, possessions and bank accounts. Most people live out their entire lives never knowing whether or not they actually achieved their dream.

The human race has never reached its full potential. As a global community, we haven’t even seen the horizon. There is a stark distinction between vision and reality. It is difficult to see one’s vision when it hasn’t been defined let alone beheld. The primary reason why we as a society have been unable to transform our lives and our experience of them is our lack of shared and manifested vision. This is the evidence of our narcissistic focus. It prevents us from reaching our full potential as a community. Our vision has been high jacked and manipulated into what we refer to as the “American Dream.”

There is a deficiency of creativity in contemporary culture. Our lack of vision and imagination as a society has chained us to a reality where our dreams are not our own. We surrender our power to numerous people, vices, institutions and circumstances because we are terrified of claiming and expressing it. Eventually we allow the structures of society to shape us into “functionally acquiescent” adults. We settle for positions that give the impression of purpose and achievement. Yet in truth, they are self-centered and serve only the few at the cost of the many. We are so accustomed to this “dream” it has become our life (lie).

The Lie of Life:
At some point in our lives, we are inspired, empowered and enlightened by the epiphany of our purpose and destiny. Once we make a connection with this calling, it continues to transform and expand our very experience of life. It is an eternal energy that illuminates and guides us toward our true passion and expression. There is nothing else in our life that inspires our excitement and fulfillment. The younger we are, the less our egos are developed and the more we are aligned with our true path. Yet, as we mature into adults, we replace our genius with intelligence.

There is the fantasy we all invent of a life we wish to have called our “daydreams.” Then there is the fantasy we all enable with our compliance and participation called “reality.” Most of us get caught between the two in our quest to merely survive. While we bounce back and forth between the two chasing the “American Dream,” we sacrifice our life force. As we succumb to the myriad of influences and obstacles reality imposes, we live further away from our destiny. We become a reflection of a lie instead of an expression of truth.

The lie of life we adopt becomes our reality and eventually our truth. Whenever we encounter the truth of another, we tend to react with defensiveness, self-righteousness, criticism and judgment. Consciously or unconsciously we attempt to diminish their truth to endorse, praise, impose and preserve our own. Living a lie compels us to act superior, eccentric and conceited. It compromises our sincerity, kindness, empathy and possibility. When we allow ourselves to be seduced by the lie of life, we sever our relatedness with our heart and soul. It segregates us from all that is sacred within.

The Forest for the Trees:
Reality is a lie. This is why our lives are a lie in relation to reality. Society has been and is engineered to project an illusion of life. It is a simulation imposed upon the human race to deceive us into believing that it is real, or even true. Our belief in this illusion makes it a reality. This is how powerful we are as human beings. Yet, our power has been manipulated against us to manifest and maintain this illusion we accept as life. Only when we remove ourselves from this global hallucination are we able to see it for what it truly is, an invisible prison that embezzles our energy to sustain its existence.

All of us fight to protect the investment we have in the illusion. We sacrifice anything and everything to hold onto as much of our synthetic paradise we can. Sometime during our early adulthood we stop resisting and revolting against society and reality and we begin to join the ranks of the billions who have succumbed to its merciless influence. We begin to believe that our contribution may make a difference. The rare instances we may find truth in the lie is either our own experience that has little value to others or just another facet of the lie of life. A lie can appear as truth when we believe it into reality.

It is much more difficult to live the lie than it is to live the truth. In this upside down world it may seem easier to give our power away with our vote, dollar, energy, amusement, addictions, obligations and lifestyles to indulge our entitlement as human beings. We have been conditioned to believe that identifying, establishing and living our truth is needless, arduous, painful and dangerous and could lead to fatal consequences. The stigmatism of fear that has shrouded the existence of truth in this world has sustained the illusions of war, greed, violence, murder and environmental holocaust. This is the cost of our compliance to the lie of life.

All of us are accountable for this grand illusion. All of us have enabled it with our fear, failure and unwillingness to be our truth in a world of lies. When given the choice between making a difference and making money, we have eagerly opted for the latter. Our experience of truth is being torn apart by our artificial “responsibility” to the lie that is reality. The greatest lie of life is that reality is “real.” Living this lie gives us a false sense of purpose, security and fulfillment. It is a permissible excuse from standing in our truth. The measure of the lie we live is found in the measure of the truth we sacrifice upon the altar of our vanity, arrogance, expectation and entitlement. Our lives will never come true living in the lie of life. It is only when we create our lives and live them will they become true.