Faster Than The Speed of Human

Everything seems to move so fast doesn’t it?

New product. New product update. Removing the new product update because of a security risk. Rival product. Must buy!

Social media post. The need to respond instantly. The need to respond to the response instantly, so you can seize the narrative.

Must-see video streaming. Bingewatch it. Now it’s gone. Now it’s back. You don’t want to miss out.

We have more of everything, not enough nothing, and it’s all so much faster that it feels like we’re getting lost. Buy, update, post, comment, watch, we’re all doing so much it feels like we don’t have time for ourselves. We don’t have time to be people.

We don’t have time to be human, we’re moving too fast for human.

No time for a nuanced reaction or contemplation of a purchase. No time to wrestle with ambiguity, with the sheer humanity of our situation. We’re all on to the next thing or the current thing, but it’s always something we have to react to, as opposed to be ourselves having an experience.

In the age of 24-hour internet-enabled media and culture we’ve left our humanity behind. We’re posters, commenters, customers, influencers, podcasts, all checking off a bunch of lists as fast as possible. But we’re not people to the big corporations, to the algorithm, and to each other.

This is why I’m appreciating meditation and quiet walks more and more in my life. A chance to stop, to be myself, to just be. I’m not in Social Media Samsara trying to keep up on a hundred things that I don’t care about or really don’t care to have an opinion on. I’m just there.

You can go so fast you’re not human anymore. Slow down and be a person.


We All Deserve Better

“You must will the liberation of all beings; you cannot handle attainment with a careless or arrogant attitude.”

– opening of chapter VI of Cleary’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower

The above sentence got me thinking in my meditations. This has been a thread through Taoism for ages, that liberation comes with wanting to share it, fitting the tale of it’s creation (the story is some Taoists channeled it from Lu Dong-bin). It echoes with some of the fusion Buddhist sentiments from the time it was published. What is the role of wishing the best for others in the attainment (of the Tao, Enlightenment, etc.)?

So, simply, I started thinking about it, and it’s one of those moments where a few simple thoughts opens your mind. So of course I share it.

I realized how better the world would be, how happier people would be if they were more “practically” enlightened. If people were driven to be better, to be happier. It wasn’t just willing the liberation of others, it was hoping they’d seek to be happier that way.

I realized how hoping the best for others improved my own actions and meditation. I realized maybe I could help others in my practice, but also that they were fellow travelers on a journey. I wasn’t above them, or behind them, or whatever – we on the same path and it was best to do it together.

Finally I realized how people deserved better. Yes, even the assholes.

Call it Samsara or the mundane mind or whatever. Life didn’t come with a user manuals so between sages and gods and philosophers we’ve tried to figure it all the hell out. A lot of us yes, even the worst of us, could be better, could have been better. But we’re all here just trying vaguely to figure it out. So many of us would be better if we had a better idea of just what the hell we were doing.

We don’t have a full roadmap. We deserve better. We don’t deserve to suffer, and we don’t deserve to be assholes who cause suffering. This doesn’t mean I spare the assholes per se, but I can at least know things could have been better.

I’d like us to have better and we deserve it. Even when it’s time to slap some assholes down, it can be with some regret that it happened.

It really is best when the journey to self-improvement of whatever kind isn’t alone. It takes down your boundaries and your ego, and opens you up to others – and maybe to the you you want to be.

Amazing one a few sentences can do, can’t it?

You deserve better.

– Xenofact

Transgression Session

Spare me talk of “transgression” because it seems popular in media, culture, and spirituality. So many people like to brag about transgression it seems everyone is transgressing. Even the people stuck in hyper-conservative trad-life bullshit seem to be acting like it’s transgressive to give up any new ideas for the last 200 years. Hell, “transgression” seems like a brand that privileged people use to be assholes.

(Plus plenty of people who want to be transgressive also seem to hate other people who are the wrong kind of transgressive, which is kind of weird.)

Most “transgression” seems to be aimed squarely at someone else. “Look I’m violating this social norm! I’m offendingthis person.” Transgression, for too many people, is based on if you piss someone off, which is a rather silly thing. I mean I can transgress on someone’s rug with a bran muffin, a cup of coffee, and time but it doesn’t do anything.

Transgression for transgressions sake. Saying one is edgy, different, while of course being like everyone else. Also, most “transgressives” that brag about it loutly are also busy being cruel towards others as part of their “transgression,” so apparently for many “transgression” means “asshole.”

Want to know what’s really transgressive? Transgressing against yourself and your biases.

Try something different. Think different. Read something else. Contemplate if maybe you’re being cruel and mean in the name of transgression-as-brand. Blow your own mind by being someone else for a change. Maybe be someone betterb.

Transgression against your locked-down behaviors and own mummified beliefs is some real transgression.

Hell, meditation is transgressive. Stopping for a time not to be you, to sit and not act, to be different is a remarkable thing. Yes it may not seem transgressive, but really think how regular meditation seems to change you to something else. It’s quite transgressive.

Besides, when you change who you are you can really transgress against bigotries and boundaries that need to be torn down. It may also keep you from the transgression that is just cruelty and greed masquerading under another name. Sounds like a win win to me.