By Steve Quillian
We spend enormous amounts of time and energy consuming information. It’s like taking a continual inward breath. But we need to exhale also. We need to pour out that which is within us, to a degree at least equal to, if not greater than the information we breathe in.
We also need to be intentional about the information we take in. Take books for example. We intentionally choose a book, read and absorb. This is totally different than how we take in information through social media. Television was bad enough. Ah yes. We look at it with our eyes and read as we would a book. We watch a video the same as we’d watch a television show we selected. We, with our eyes, look at the natural world around us and learn.
The difference with the information we take in through social media, though we choose to consume it, is that the information we see is not of our choosing. Pull up YouTube. You have suggested videos – based on what? Facebook, Instagram Twitter, Tik Tok – all algorithmically generated. We are not in control of the information fed to us. It is contaminated, impure, unnatural.
The air we are breathing is at the very least random, though we know it isn’t. At the other end of the spectrum it is controlled propaganda, generated and served to us via agendas not our own, exploiting the weakest part of each of us, like the impulse buy displays conveniently installed at the grocery store checkout counter. Everything is an advertisement, a hook, a study in evolutionary human psychology with the goal to influence us at the very least, to buy, to consume a product, but even more, to influence and change our behavior, to infuse us with ideologies, movements, even rebellions that, left to our own devices, we’d be innocent of.
What thoughts are your own? What thoughts are the thoughts of others shown to you over and over? Do you even know? How do you know that you know? Have you an intimate relationship with your own personal genius? What is your genius? Where is it? Where, in all of that eruption of information, is your own particular contribution? How do you know unless you actively look at it? Unless you check yourself? Unless you exhale at least as much as you inhale?
Exhale. See what it is that comes out. Look at it with an intent to find the impurities. Then with as much self awareness as you can muster, choose intentionally what you breathe in. At least watch it, then monitor it. And write. Write what comes to your mind, important, silly or otherwise. Get past the thoughts, ideas and suggestions implanted by others, looking for an idea that actually originated with you. Actively search for your own personal genius, yet undiscovered, waiting to be made manifest in the world, built, expanded upon, shared. Your own contribution, not just to the world, but particularly to yourself. Your people. Your movement.
Be careful the air you breathe in. The information age is laced with chemicals and toxins that lodge themselves deep within our bodies, impurities offcast by the acids of industry, polluting and influencing our minds in the same way toxins force our hands to battle the cancers they create within us. So too we must battle the accumulated garbage, agendas that don’t belong to us, serving interests, thoughts, opinions of others. They build up into a thick plaque so that our mind is no longer our own, no longer free to pursue the majestic genius all our own, no longer free, we are enslaved to deal with, handle, battle the carcinogenic agendas and concerns seeking to exploit each of us at our weakest, only for their gain. We die that they may live.
What about us? Why should their genius live and ours die? Why not prefer ourselves like they prefer themselves? Why buy the solutions they offer? Are you so unworthy that your own solutions cannot live? Is your attempt so unworthy?
Who are you? Are you the accumulated mass of information thrown at you and stored in the recesses of your mind, poised to become the cancer that causes your demise when you haven’t given your own thoughts a chance? The agendas of others, allowed to seep in are like the Dead Sea where nothing else can live, unless of course you intentionally eject it. What flows in, must flow out. Maybe your own thoughts, contained deep with you are the genius you have been looking for. Better to die trying to find yourself, than at the hand of another’s social experiment. Besides. You might not die. You might actually start to live!
Surely the cancers taking up residence within you will rebel. They will bring all Hell and even Hell’s gates with them in an attempt to intimidate you away from yourself. Why? They do not want to die. But it’s your life or theirs. Why should the life of another take up residence within you? Are not your responsibilities toward yourself and your loved ones enough? Enough that you’ll have to carry the weight of an unknown agenda that seeks to profit off your willful blindness, your compliance, your complicity, your capitulation?
Capitulate no more. Resist. Resist the tyranny of information barraged intentionally at you. Prefer your own genius over theirs. Choose intentionally what you consume, the air you breathe, watch it like you watch the food you eat, like your life depends on it. Your life actually does depend on it. Then monitor yourself through the exercise of writing to purify your thoughts, to see what thinking is actually your own, original with you or otherwise. No longer allow your attention to be sold to the highest bidder. Purge yourself of the informational cancers lodging themselves deeper with you moment by moment. The time you’d spend consuming social media, spend intentionally reading a book of your choice. Write. See what it is that YOU think. You will be refreshingly surprised.