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

So Where’s The Spirituality?

It seems a lot of people want to tell me and my friends how to live, act, love, etc. all in the name of their “god.”

They have lists of things to do and don’t do. They have rules. These are all things we have to follow – though it seems certain people get to make exceptions. Usually those shouting the loudest about “divine” guidance seem to get to follow none of it.

They have opinions of who can do what. Often around gender, sometimes age, and in the end skin color and ethnicity. Oh they’ll deny the latter, but it’s fairly obvious their little checklists of who is exceptional is pretty small – and funny thing is all the religious shouters are in that small group.

Know what I don’t see in these religious authoritarians? Any kind of spirituality.

Where’s the soul-shattering insights that lay you humbly low? Where’s the connection of some universal truth that comes through from elsewhere into your mind and words? Where’s the depth of it all, of that great sea of being behind things? Be it god, archetype or insight, these religious checklist-wielders don’t have it.

There’s nothing because all they have is their pile of rules (that of course they don’t have to follow). It’s clear as desert-noon day that there’s nothing spiritual at all, nothing deep, in their minds. There’s just the rage-fueled clockwork click-clack chatter of their demands we conform.

Sure some of them make it up. They fake speaking in tongues, they get ghostwritten books, they have some media consultants. A few are wacked-out enough to think they’re having visions, but then you hear about portals to hell over landmarks and other recycled internet conspiracy theories.

And, in the end, there’s nothing there.

I’ve said that I don’t have to take religious fanatics seriously. I don’t believe in their religion, and as they’re obvious hypocrites I don’t have to believe them. But let me add to that, in my more esoteric moments, it’s pretty damn clear they have no claim to deep spiritual insights.

They’ve just got a checklist, and obviously an agenda. If they every encountered some moment that cracked their soul open to something bigger, they wouldn’t be such assholes, or they’d crawl away in shame.