Don’t read this first of my Haystack reflections!
Our 21st-century bodies are essentially those of prehistoric hunter-gathers and not equipped to relate to the tsunami of today’s torrent of information. Daily we are inundated by everything that comes to us through television, telephones, email, faxes, ipods, smartphones and the host of other new e-gadgets. Basically, our brains are the same as they were until 10,000 years ago when agriculture and herding replaced foraging, and they instinctively react to this constant stimulation by feelings of stress, distraction, depression and ironically—isolation.
We have evolved from previous humans who lived mostly out in creation, and also in close-knit groups. Technology has liberated us from the crueler elements of creation, gifted us with independence from being needy, and the ability to converse with others without being physically with them. Thousands of Facebook fans are proud of having hundreds of “friends,” yet two out of three Americans report lacking anyone to whom they can talk or share intimate information!
If you’re still reading, stop!
Instead, shut your eyes and ears; shut off the endless echoing inside your mind of messages and news for five minutes (if you can endure the pains of that much withdrawal). Sink down deeply into the luxurious absence of noise and distractions in the darkness of this self-inflicted power outage. Allow yourself to rest there in that vacant but affluent darkness soaking up the peace and serenity of a quiet heart. Then return rehabilitated and revitalized to your former activity.