03/01/2018

# Liked: Our Dystopian Now – Om Malik...

I often wonder why we don’t think of now as dystopian. We live in a time where we have had destructive hurricanes and wildfires reach our urban borders. Information warfare unleashed by totalitarian regimes is impacting the democratic process. The reality is torn between real and fake. Why do we worry about artificial intelligence and robots, when in our now, the humans are creating a society that is undesirable and frightening. Or is it because deep down we know that we will program our animal instincts into machines and software that runs them?

Anything we can do to take back even the slightest control and empower ourselves is essential to lessening the dystopian nature of our existence.

For some that has meant stepping away from Twitter after the last straws of Trump literally starting a "mine is bigger than his" contest with Kim Jong-un or Jack Dorsey taking a 10 day silent meditation retreat when it is felt he should be speaking out and leading the network through turbulent times.

Om's post got me thinking that our perception of dystopia itself is likely time based and depends on where we are in that timeline.

We nostalgically look back through rose tinted glasses and wish now could be like the good old days. We extrapolate this feeling fowards so can only imagine life getting worse.

But could the generations that came before have considered their time as dystopian and would have considered ours, with its technological advances, relatively utopian?

Dystopia, and our interpretation of it, is cultural, political, economic; "now" is our point of reference which we compare everything to so, perhaps, it is natural to not even consider now as dystopian. It's just now, it just is and we accept it accordingly whilst subconsciously using it to fuel our fears.

Our present concerns didn't exist in the past so, surely, it must have been better. By extension, on our mental timeline, the future can only get worse.

We must learn the lessons from now to stop that from happening.

# Just three days in to my new meditation routine I'm already finding it easier than I have in the past.

A lot of the problem with meditation is that you are often not really told how to do it, just given sweeping statements that you are instantly expected to grasp.

Oak is the first app I've personally used which actually tells you how to focus on your breath. It's guided meditation is simple which helps you settle quickly but, rather than just saying "focus on your breath" you are told to identify where you most feel it and that becomes your focal point.

For me, it's the feel of the air in my nostrils during inhale then switches to the relaxation of my chest during exhale. Identify and focus.

It may seem a simple, perhaps insignificant, distinction to make but, in doing so, it illustrates that your practice is unique to you and, because of this, there is no right or wrong way to do it.

Too often we get hung up on doing things in exactly a certain way (often as dictated by someone else) but there is no single right way for everyone.

15 comments: click to readComments

Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog