While I was doing this sketch, trying to show that the senses connect our inner and outer worlds, I realized how the addiction to be popular on Facebook is similar to the way our mind likes or dislikes everything it experiences.
How we learn
Our mind is this incredible apparatus that translates what we sense into what we know. The rational brain learns about the world by categorizing, memorizing and naming sense patterns. Our inner life is packed with words and symbols we learned over time: We see a strawberry, we think strawberry.
Keeping track of what we like and dislike
With every word we learn we feel more in charge, our ego-mind grows. Feeling responsible for the good things in life, the ego-mind one day decides to post our experiences onto its internal Facebook timeline. It wants to help out by keeping track of what we like and dislike. “Wow, strawberry got 1000 Likes!” it marvels, “I will be famous soon. I should post more pictures of strawberries.”
With our ego-mind focusing primarily on what we like or dislike, our attention shifts inwards. We start living our life according to the likes the ego mind accords us. We hope that a satisfied ego-mind will bring lasting happiness.
Until one day we run out of strawberries.
The race starts
Realizing that we don’t get as many likes as before the ego-mind rings the alarm bell: “You need to change something. Go and get me more strawberries!” This is the moment when the race to satisfy the ego-mind starts. Instead of fully enjoying the sensations the last strawberries this summer could give us, we ruminate about what we need to do to keep ego-mind happy.
The magic of life
I believe we can learn to experience the magic of life in a strawberry. If we can do that, we at least have a place to go back to, if old age or bad luck give us a hard time.
It’s not easy to fully experience a strawberry. We need to learn how to slow down and shift our attention to our senses. After relishing in the experience, we slowly let the pleasurable feeling fade away, resisting the temptation to post anything onto our internal timeline.
Breathe in….breathe out.
And please, like this post on Facebook.