Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What Will Tomorrow Bring: Tuning Out

Let's face it: evidence is piling up that the flight of Planet Earth is oversold. Open spaces, at least in most of the US, Europe, Asia, and even Africa are getting smaller, rarer, and more pressured. They're already having to kill elephants in Africa and we all know what's going on with the mountain gorillas. They'll soon be literally pushed off the face of the Earth.

We're far better at adapting, but the population squeeze increasingly impacts us as well. Enough people talk plenty about the health impacts (ahem, India). What about the psychological? Oh, and then there's the info-overload we all fight on a daily basis.

In the not too far-off future, we will find that our inability to "get away" will necessitate a new escape: "tuning out." I'm not talking hippie-style sitting in the woods. I'm not talking about leaving your Crackberry on silent during dinner. I'm talking about total in-place mental disengagement. Our mental circuit-breakers will demand that we simply stop our brains or they'll do it for us.

Some day you'll ask your co-worker "What are you doing on your day off, Jane?" and she'll tell you "I'm just tuning out." And she'll mean it.

On one hand, this opens the potential for an amazing expansion of the meditative industry.

On the other hand, this will cause a loss of potential production, collaboration, and learning.

Until we can re-master the skill of FOCUS and just move a teensy bit slower, we will find ourselves resorting to "tuning out" to escape our physical realities.

No comments: