"Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . . where did he go, and why doesn't he call?"

Leave The Dark Age And Enter The Light

Last night, I was enjoying my first issue of a new magazine subscription I just received, Shambhala Sun, and in it, there was a piece that struck me titled, "Just Leap!" written by Sakyong Mipham. The first sentences read:

"This current Dark Age, to put it very simply, has come about by people not properly being on the spot. We have ended up in a distracted, mindless state . . . "

Something about those first four words really resonated with me - "this current Dark Age." To be honest, it was somewhat of an "Ah ha!" moment for me. Yes! We are in a Dark Age. Finally, that's it! That's the perfect phrase to describe exactly what I've been personally observing of mankind.

We are in a Dark Age, folks.

And by that, I mean this - as a race, Sakyong is correct, we've lost our focus. What gives us the greatest pleasure in life is to love, accept and assist your fellow man. I mean let's face it, we are a social species. We need acceptance, we need to love, we need to be loved, and we need to assist and be assisted by others. Yet those necessities seem somewhat further out of reach than they ever have before. We have a lot of technology that keeps us "social" and connects us with others. But is that really the type of connection that feeds our souls? Do you feel all warm and fuzzy when connecting with an avatar in a social forum? I'd say, no. It's an impersonal connection at best and a virtually anonymous connection at its worst. It's what I term a "superficial social."

And when it comes to support, love, assistance and acceptance – I wonder, is that really even possible these days? That's a tricky one because some would say that they do find those necessities in the real world and the virtual one. But how can someone really support, love and assist you via your laptop or mobile device? Isn't a face-to-face connection really required to “feel” for someone in a genuine manner?

In the real world, frankly, it just seems that such matters are relatively unimportant to most people these days. Everyone’s more worried about getting the next best gadget or updating their Facebook page than they are about how people perceive them, or how they can help, support and assist others, or things such as integrity, reputation, compassion, kindness - those somewhat esoteric concepts that they cannot grasp or feel in their hands. Those are the concerns of days gone by. Matters that held much more importance with previous generations, but not much weight with today’s society.

Remember the days when someone’s word was everything? It wasn't that long ago.

These days, people are busy, they're in a hurry, and they're generally focused on "self" instead of "others." Add to that a need for instant gratification, which makes everyone a tad more selfish, abrupt, arrogantly expectant and thus, ugly and somewhat cross in nature.

In the real world, this all creates a mentality that's somewhat of a, "Hurry up, tell me what you can do for me. . . I don't have much time." An abrupt and somewhat cross type of attitude. Many people sense this type of overall “disgust” mentality so they withdraw from it and plug into their electronics and settle for "superficial social" bonds instead. There they can find an instant superficial connection that they really don't have to invest much of themselves into.

Let’s face it, making bonds and forming satisfactory relationships in the real world is much more difficult when compared to the virtual world because you have to actually make investments into those relationships. You have to be present, you have to be available, you have to be understanding, you have to be supportive and you may, at times, even have to do things that you otherwise would not choose to be doing simply to make the other person happy and balance the bond.

Give and take is required. People love to take but giving proves a bit more difficult these days. None of that is required in the virtual world. There, you make an instant connection, you are instantly accepted, you receive instant support in the form of texts, tweets or emails, and you're not required to be physically present. It's a lot less work. It's the easy way out. Besides, when you've used up that connection or you just don't want it anymore - it's much easier to get rid of someone in the virtual world than it is to stand in front of their face and reject them or push them away.

I’m a child of the 70’s and my teenage years were spent enjoying the headbanging days of the 80’s. We didn't end friendships or break off relationships via text or email or by changing our Facebook status from “In a Relationship” to “Single” or by “unfriending” someone. Me and my peeps spent just about every single day together, hanging out, conversing, enjoying life and each others company. Because of that, many of my friendships extend back some 35 years - to my first day of kindergarten. The bonds are so strong that to this day, many of us are in touch regularly, still get together and the children of my peeps are now forming those types of relationships with one another. What you could call a “second generation” bond has resulted from those earlier bonds created.

I wonder, will today’s youth be able to experience those same types of strongly bonded, long lasting relationships and friendships? The kind that possibly even get passed onto the next generation? Hmm . . .

Real relationships require real work. Whether it's a friendship, a romantic connection, a neighborly connection, a working relationship - it doesn't matter, real world relationships take real work. And in the end, they are the much more satisfying type of "social" that we seek. So why are so many people investing in "superficial social" relationships rather than doing the work required to maintain a real world relationship?

Why are so many people living in the dark?

Let's be honest with ourselves, this really isn't our finest hour:

• We're polluting our planet at a previously unseen rate of destruction;

• we're placing the important people in our life on the back burner because there's always something more pressing;

• we're not spending quality time with our children because we're too busy, (that's what daycares and grandmothers are for);

• we're quickly judging people at a superficial face value rather than investing the time to get to know them on an inner level;

• we're moving through life at the speed of sound and making quick, erroneous assumptions all over the place;

• we're not volunteering our time to those in need;

• we don’t give things such as compassion, integrity, reputation and character much value;

• we prefer superficial, unsatisfying social relationships because real world relationships require too much time, effort and understanding – too much work;

• we're generally ignorant to one another, even though we don't realize this and it's not our intention;

• if we do a favor for someone, it’s a big damn deal that’s really put us out, it’s not the kind courtesy of assistance anymore;

• we're behaving as cowards who cannot seem to face one another directly;

• we have very little compassion or patience for one another;

• and the only connections we're investing in are those that can benefit us somehow.

Indeed, it is a dark age for mankind.

Many of you may disagree with my observations above and you're certainly entitled to do so. If you're finding that being "superficially social" is working for you . . . well then it works for you. But in that case, I'd have to ask that you read through the above bulleted points and ask yourself, "Can I identify with any of these?" I bet you find that the answer to that question is, "Yes."

Turn on the light and pull yourself out of the dark.

None of this makes us bad people perse'. . . it just seems that we've lost our focus and we've forgotten what this life is for – for living, interacting, loving and experiencing – both the good and the bad. Instead of "we" many are coming at life from a perspective of "me." That thinking needs to be reversed if our species is to survive and evolve further. That arrogant mentality is the type of mentality that exists right before a great fall – just ask the Romans if you don’t believe me. Abundance, luxury, self-importance, lack of compassion, and a false sense of security.

When you focus too much on yourself and your superiority, your narrow lens doesn't allow you to see your downfall rushing towards you.

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Anonymous said...

Well stated! I, too, have made many of the same observations as you have regarding modern man and our current way of living. However, more people are beginning to feel dissatisfied with the way things are and hopefully, change will soon follow.

Wake up people!

Anonymous said...

Bea-u-tiful.. :D
IF only more people would understand the gravity of those FOUR words...
It's sad how times have changed, nothing is really more important to people than their own selfish selves. Own urgent needs,own priorities. (sigh) It's extremely sad but it's become a fact. More and More people are hidden in the dark now..and prefer to be and stay that way. Illuminating themselves from all these negativities is far too difficult,time consuming and unpleasant. So much cynicism, being optimistic now is really a big deal. To really be Realistic along with Optimistic.

damn gorgeous said...

i totally agree with this article.
great work.
And I love this statement "Real relationships require real work." super duper like. ^^

Trouble is part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough. ~Dinah Shore

Birth Chart HQ said...

Very insightful, thanks for the very interesting read. It is always good to see another on the path to Spiritual Awakening. I hope to read much more in the future! XOO Your Sister in the Stars, JoJo

Birth Charts HQ

Astral Projection said...

This article is right and i understand what you are talking about. and the real problem is that people are stuck in the system and they can get out,its the consumer world where the total isn't important any more and its making a mess...

thecrazyladie said...

I can totally agree with this and at the same time wonder if this kinda of thinking may be part of the problem.......assuming that I know that other people need to "wake up". Who gave me the title "master of other people's alarm". Not trying to be rude but just by posting on here that we know something they don't......kinda brings in a superiority thing and drives the wedge between "us and them" even deeper. Just saying......am I adding to the "me smart they dumb" cycle???? Thoughts???? Knowing or the thought of knowing can really become difficult!!!! Ya think?!? :P MUCH LOVE!!!!ME

The Mirror of Aphrodite said...

Hi Crazy Lady (lol),
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I get what you're saying, however, I don't think it's a matter of intelligence so much as spirituality. It's not that some are smarter than others, it's just that some do not view life through a spiritual portal while others do is all.

Anonymous said...

There is so much information out there and I am still baffled to discover more. Even most of it seem to say the same, more or less, however there is always this thing about what is your flavour. Some like it sweet others like it hot.

For me, personally reading all these words of wisdom has taught one thing. When it is inevitable, why bother. However if we do believe that we can change the outcome, then instead of writing and intellectualising it, it is time to take action. As it is said, Journey of a Thousand miles begins with the first step.

Many seem to miss the fine difference between knowledge and wisdom. Not to touch a hot cup is knowledge. In action NOT touching a hot cup is knowledge in action thus becoming wisdom. I have a small story to illustrate this difference. A small baby, barely crawling on on the floor, one day sees a hot cup. The steam emitting from it was a curiosity for the child. Wants to reach for it and see what it is. Someone in the room shouts, "Don't touch that little one, it is Hot" ... baby looks back with a question mark on the face, "What do you mean it is Hot". Continues to grab the cup. Gets the shock of life. Learns what 'Hot' means. For rest of the life, every time when a hot cup is presented, the child does not sit and think 'is it hot?' ... trying to use intelligence. Child knows it is hot and thus not touch it, wisdom. Isn't it time that we all accept our duty and be wise? Cheers. This was indeed a great article.

Anonymous said...

i so agree with all that has been said .. i unfortuatley am one of those people who made these mistakes but my eyes have been open .I have always been a compasionate person for all of humanity, and i hope this is not an anialation of humanity, but a new begining of a more spiritual and loving humanity with no more war and the need for power and world domination, only love ,peace , food. ,compasion, and most of all spiritual understanding of why we are here!!!!! kudos wonderful artical

Abhishek Raje said...

love the post. respect.

the same internet that is trivialising relationships can unite people - like this post and all those who've read the post (and commented above) - much like the universe. :)

the choice is ours. it's what we make of it, from our thoughts.

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