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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Monday, October 31, 2016

Your Self or Selfie?

By Coach Cary Bayer www.carybayer.com

Recently I enjoyed a day of tennis matches at the U.S. Open with my cousin, when my body told me it was time to do my evening meditation. A match just ended, and there would be time before the players for the next contest would come on the court and warm up before launching 125-miles per hour bombs at each other.

Before I closed my eyes to meditate, I noticed quite a few of the fans in the stands lighting up with big smiles for their iPhones as they took a number of selfies with the tennis court in the background. It was their way, I suppose, to let the world know through Facebook they were in the same building as Roger Federer and Serena Williams. They were using this downtime for a selfie, while I was about to use the gap in the action to connect to my higher Self. That’s when the idea for this column dawned in my consciousness.

Clearly I was in the minority. as each of a dozen or more people wanted to photograph his self while I wanted to contact my Self. As my mantra brought me inward, it further dawned on me that a selfie should be renamed a “bodie,” because it only captures your body, not your Self. If you want to capture your Self, I thought as my consciousness got quieter, my mind both stiller and more expanded, then why not just meditate. I define meditation as a method for the busy mind to become the serene Self. Meditation is really the selfie. But let’s spell that Selfie with a capital S, because it captures a connection to your higher Self, not your lower self.

As a species, we seem to love the image, and crave it over that which is imageless, like the higher Self, which can be located at the depth of your mind. Hinduism, with its extremely colorful pantheon of gods, appeals to more than 1 billion people, while only 14 million people are Jewish, a religion that forbids the use of an image to depict the Higher Power. Those are interesting numbers, according to numbers presented by the Pew Research Center’s Global Religious Landscape in 2010.

It’s pretty much the same situation with regard to sound and silence. Music is among the most popular art forms in the our century. There are network reality shows like “American Idol” and “The Voice,” but there doesn’t seem to be a single program on network TV or elsewhere about the silence that underlies music. About 50 million people watch these shows. As a lover of music, I think this is great. But as a lover of meditation and the silence that is the foundation of all music, I await the day when equal numbers of people tune in to a TV show that shows them how to tune in to the delicious silence of their higher Self. There’s a lot of drama and competition in these shows, and anxiety for the contestants and the millions of people who vote for them. Silence is different from anxiety. Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher, put it brilliantly, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Imagine a show called “American Idle,” which might feature a man and his ability to sit quietly in a room alone. This wouldn’t be the entire show, of course—too many people would liken it to watching paint dry. Such a program might show how people sitting quietly in a room get great insights, energy, creativity, and live dynamic lives that makes a difference for others, as well.  When “American Idle” becomes as popular as “American Idol,” an age of Enlightenment might dawn in our country. The U.S. might then become the united states of consciousness—higher states of consciousness, in which the selfie photograph is replaced by the Selfie contact and experience.