Numb Our Experiences Of Life – 5 quotes from Mathew Fox’s book – Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet
by Mark Votava
1. Meaninglessness becomes more widespread than meaning
“But if we live in a machine, then we are mere cogs in it, mere pieces that just happened to show up. Our main duty is to shut up and obey – obey the economic machine, the political machine, the military machine, the religious machine, the educational machine. To live inside a machine is scary business. Fear takes over. Anxiety increases. Numbness multiplies. Meaninglessness becomes more widespread than meaning. Coldness dominates. Sterility reigns. Creativity dies. Passivity becomes a virtue.”
2. Numb our experiences of life through addictions
“The universe brings with it great joys and great sorrows. Deep heart experiences, such as joy, delight, and ecstasy, on the one hand, and grief, sadness, and loss, on the other, trigger creativity in us… These the universe gifts us with in abundance. They are integral to all our living – provided we choose to live deeply from the inside out and not to live vicariously or superficially from the outside only and to numb our experiences of life through addictions.”
3. Mediation teaches us not to fear being alone
“Meditation teaches us not to fear being alone. In meditation we learn to calm the mind and its infinite powers of distraction and projection so that stillness might be entertained on a regular basis. With the stillness comes Spirit. Silence gives way for Spirit to arrive… Stillness gives way to centeredness… If we succeed and have not prepared our soul for success by teaching it to honor solitude, then we may be in trouble. So many artists do get themselves in trouble. When success is not balanced with solitude, fame can snatch away one’s soul, it can seize one just as much as any other addiction. It can dictate to the soul and kill the soul. Meditation nurtures the soul with good food, with the food of silence and aloneness.”
4. To cut our beliefs in cynicism off at the root
“To know joy, we must know the heart. We must live where the heart lives. There is no other path to real joy. We need to be expectant of authentic joy; we might even say we need to believe in joy, to believe it is possible. And to disbelieve, to cut our beliefs in cynicism off at the root. If there is joy in the heart of all creatures, then we, too, are on that path and have ample opportunity and are invited to join the universe that is eminently joyful.”
5. A great aspect of our mind
“It is important, indeed vital, at this moment in cultural and planetary history that humans learn to calm ourselves and to call on our best and most positive natures. For this reason, it is essential that we learn to meditate… Meditation is simply one more way to use the mind. To ignore it is to ignore a great aspect of our mind, an aspect that feeds peace and feeds creativity.”
How have you numbed your experiences of life?
My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!
“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism
My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!
“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline… without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.” Shane Claiborne, author and activist