Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? – Philip K. Dick
Media in this case, is what we generally refer to as “excessive talk in one or more views” including discussions and talks by people through social media and mobile avenues. Although it has many benefits, one cannot help but observe, feel and even reflect on the potential negative effects this can have on different levels of society.
In this Ramadan, we ask god to protect and forgive us from blindness followed by responsible use of social media and mobile applications which takes into account that even “typed” words, “marketing” and “news” will be accounted for in our inventory of good / bad actions and words taken in life.
We do not claim to know or not know anything, but as we spend the last 10 days of this blessed month in fast, prayer, and supplication … we also spend it in shopping for gifts and new clothes for the upcoming Eid celebration.
As we visited the malls, we were inspired to share this quote to lift the veil of unconsciousness giving ourselves an opportunity to reflect and feedback our experience by the end of the month similar to our entries in Ramadan 6 and Ramadan 13.
We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. -Terence McKenna
Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.
There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means – either may do – the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.
– Benjamin Franklin
When we examine our life, we see that there are three sources for the need for “goods/services/desires”: innate, societal, and strategic.
Thinkers have often categorized this by needs and wants. From our purpose focused view, we categorize them by sources where needs often cross all three. Examples we can think of are money, status, children, respect, food, and education, which cover at least 80% of our needs. We naturally need money to survive, but we also need money to entertain and give charity, and money to help us achieve our goals and dreams. We naturally seek status as part of our human nature, but we also need status to fulfill a social role, and status to help us exploit life opportunities … and the same goes for others.
Like fruit however, what is critical is to identify if these needs are good for us in the life and life hereafter and hence, how much priority and dedication should be given to each. In other words, some fruit look good on the outside and don’t taste as such (Unripened Persimmons) and some do not look so good, yet are absolutely delicious (Custard Apple). How we analyse needs as such is challenging and needs a clear life purpose. We don’t believe that there is a magic trick or way to do that as we go through life ourselves, however, what we can do is follow god’s advice to be patient, take the best means out there and to take that which befalls us as it is, not necessarily good and not necessarily bad.
We ask god, as we enter into the second third of Ramadan, the third of Forgiveness, to forgive us for all the times that we have not accepted his wisdom when faced with choosing what is good and what is bad for us.
Both free images are courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net