Silence Is Golden
January, 6 2009
In the modern world we live in, we are bombarded with noise and information. This is far different from the environment we evolved in and are adapted to. It is only the last two hundred years that most people even had books to read, and only 80 years since we started to have radios in homes. Before that people were alone with their thoughts other than conversing with the people who were in the room with them.
The net result of this is many of us never have time to think. We no longer have the quiet time for reflection that our ancestors did. When you just sit and think you can start to put the pieces together and begin to understand yourself, and the forces that are shaping your life.
The other problem of modern life is the steady stream of media input itself. Not only does it stop you from having your own thoughts, but it replaces them with its thoughts, which are mostly programming you for the benefit of others.
Modern music and movies are social programming. Their two main goals are to make you want to buy things you donít need and to be unhappy with your lot in life so you will be easier to manipulate.
Advertising manipulates your needs and makes you feel inadequate so they can sell you stuff you donít need. Then you have to work harder to pay it off, leaving less time for yourself.
Just as the ads tell you that if you only had a new whatever, youíd have a more fulfilling life; politicians, preachers, and activists tell you that youíd feel more fulfilled if you just followed them, adapted their beliefs, and joined their movement.
Want to be depressed and feel bad about everything? Turn on the cable news when you wake up and leave it on till you go to bed. News is a constant drumbeat of violence, tragedy, and pathos; just what you donít need to hear all the time. The world isnít going to end tomorrow and if it does, hearing about it on TV wonít make it any better or delay the enevitable.
All this stuff poisons your mind. Just as your body is what you feed it, your mind contains what you put into it.
If you can do it, work in a quiet peaceful environment. Turn off the TV and radio if they are just background noise. If you have a job that requires thought, you will think more clearly, do a better job, and get done sooner. If you have mindless tasks to do, doing them in peace and quiet will allow you to think of other things as you work. I have often worked out solutions to programming problems or the next scene in a story while washing dishes or mowing the lawn.
At night, or whenever your relaxation period is, instead of watching TV, a Movie, or listening to music, just sit there quietly. Once you get over the shock of not being entertained, you will begin to think. Something few of us take the time to do anymore. We have had the ability to think in peace and quiet from the time our ancestors first had enough brain power to worry about more than food, shelter, and threats. Until the last few hundred years, when first mass produced books, and then radio, TV, movies, and now the Internet filled our spare time with the thoughts of others, people had time to think. At least on some days, you should begin to reclaim this activity.
Thinking is the thing that separates us from the rest of the creatures on this planet. Thinking is how you plan your future and understand how you got to where you are. Thinking is where all the clever things humans have invented came from. If we quit doing the thing that defines us, we will lose who we are.
No one is forcing you to pollute all your waking hours with the messages of others. Every TV, radio, and computer comes with an on Ė off switch. Use it regularly.