If there is one thing we can be certain of, especially now, it’s that nothing lasts for ever. The temporary nature of everything in the universe is scientific fact, of course, and central to most spiritual teachings.
Over the years, a number of people have said to me that they find the notion of impermanence quite depressing – yet it’s supposed to help us and cheer us up!
Nevertheless, conditioned as we are to aim for health, longevity and maybe prosperity, we can feel a bit wobbly and disconnected when everything familiar seems to be falling apart.
How much do we really need to know?
Feeling adrift, it is natural to look for something to hold onto. We are ruled by our minds and emotions, so that often comes in the form of seeking information – lots of it.
Isn’t it great that we seem to have almost limitless access to information? Well, not necessarily. Information is not the same as knowledge.
Real knowledge resides in the boundlessness of pure consciousness and is accessed not by facts but through stillness and clarity.
We have all probably experienced that clarity many times, even if just for a few seconds. It usually occurs when there is a gap in thinking that gives us an “aha” moment.
If the information we seek leads us a little closer to the experience of pure consciousness, that’s great. Information as education should do that.
The trouble with most of the news, theories, rumours and banalities of social media is that they do the opposite. They actually pull us away from our inner nature.
Instead of peacefulness and unity, the mind careers into divisiveness, analysing and judging. Once that begins, the process is very hard to stop. It is like having an itch that, once scratched, moves somewhere else and needs scratching again.
If your mind is not peaceful, why not try a news and social media fast for a few days? After the initial withdrawal symptoms, you may feel surprisingly better and upbeat.
More of this in The Art of Not Doing