It is the human predisposition towards drama and projection that underpins much of our suffering – our need for drama. I define drama as the “irresponsible emotional manipulation of others with the aim of establishing a personal agenda.” Drama is rewarding to the ego because it grants an opportunity to get what one wants in situations where the ego feels that it either has no real power, or when it does not want to pay the price for embodying genuine strength. That cost may vary, but always involves taking personal responsibility.
This strong tendency of the mind towards rumination is today a far bigger challenge than it was for mindfulness practitioners of yesteryear. The Buddha didn’t have to struggle with a daily dose of Twitterous twits constantly attempting to trigger him into emotional reaction. Lao Zi’s attention was most likely inward much of the time, aligned with the Dao, not battling opponents on Reddit. The ancient Chinese sage was quite happy to permit the dramas of king and courtiers to carry on as preferred. And Christ’s daily prayer sessions were not interrupted by smart phone alerts, notifying him to the urgent “breaking news” that he just had to read in order to stay informed and on top of his game.
The emergence of a self-generated solution to tribalism in the US and elsewhere is unlikely to emerge from those currently embedded within the system. The system itself promotes division and drama, which in turn sustains the minds within it (in their current small-s expression). In a kind of pathological, dark feedback loop, the system is then perpetuated by those minds and their projections.
Amidst all this we are foundering upon the collapse of sensemaking, the digitization and politicization of everything, systematically retarding our ability to understand the world and our relationship with it. We have lost touch with our inner knowing, set adrift upon a vast ocean of competing narratives and agendas. Which captains are we to believe, which shores are we to seek, and which winds are we to reset sail upon? These are questions that lie at the heart of this book.
Yet the spirits of the ancestors move within us still; nervous, foraging ghosts with hungry bellies, scanning incessantly for sustenance, water and predators upon the African savannah. Despite our increasingly protected, controlled lives, we humans of the 21st century remain prone to the whims of our biology. And perhaps to mind fields that connect us beyond space and time to the trauma of past lives lived and ultimately lost by our desperate forebears, now long returned to the dust from which their physicality arose.
Power and Presence begins with the disturbing proposition that the ITopian nightmare has descended and possessed us. The weaponization of the internet, politics and society is all but complete, and our souls – our authentic selves – have been defeated. Our awareness has shifted from the inner wisdom of the psyche to become ensnared in a virtual MemeWorld, which we now confuse for reality. Power and Presence is a confronting but (I hope) ultimately uplifting volume designed to shake readers from the illusion and empower them to rediscover their authentic selves, and from there to build a truly meaningful and empowered life.
When we do not forgive, we hang on to old wounds, hurts, and upsets. We keep the unhappy parts of the past alive and feed our resentments. When we don’t forgive, we become slaves to ourselves. Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kesler
The Journal of Futures Studies has just released its July 2020 volume. You can find the link below. The volume features ten written pieces on perhaps the most crucial problem of our time: the internet and crisis in meaning and sense-making. Each of the writers examines a slightly different spect of the problem. You will…
The benefit of Engaged Presence is not just that it promotes a more peaceful and open dialogue. You will also grow and develop as a human being. You will learn so much more over the next few weeks, months and years than you ever could have if you’d been less open and welcoming of other people and ideas. Better still, you will likely be part of the healing of the cultural divide.
What would happen if you took a week, or even a month away from your favourite media outlets and commentators? What if you stopped posting on the internet and instead tuned in to listen to those who hold different opinions from you?