According to this Psychology Today article, the earliest images of meditation from the Indus Valley date to 3500 BC to 5000 BC.
That means 7,000 years ago individuals felt the need to remove themselves from the distractions of daily life.
Nagging wives? Demanding bosses? Crying children? Ten text messages?
Seven thousand years ago there were no telephones, radios, televisions, Internet, magazines, books, daily mail or newspaper waiting on the front door.
What was so distracting?
There’s a lot of complaining in my part of the world about distracted driving. While distracted driving is certainly a menace, I think the bigger issue is distracted living.
Distractions have been around since men created wall art, so isn’t really about hand-held devices. Maybe at dinner your friends have always been distracted and now it is simply more evident as they move their eyes from yours to the phone as you narrate the thousand reasons you left your ex.
Attraction to distractions
When I mention to people that I don’t have cable channels, they respond quickly with the different options. It’s always assumed that I want options.
Back in the 1980s when there was much complaining about violence on television (do we not care anymore?), I wondered why people didn’t simply turn off the television. Watching violent TV or any TV was a choice.
That was the seed of what was to come. We not only can’t or won’t turn off our televisions, regardless of content, but willingly pay for the content, even content we don’t want.
We want distractions.
Here’s an interesting blog article called The Plague of Distraction which comments on the increasing distractions of today.
My own Mercury has been processing a lot about the astrological Mercury lately. This wing-footed messenger between the gods is much more than communication and papyrus scrolls. He is perception and stands between you and what you consider empirical reality.
Mercury becomes a menace when he moves from his sentry post of interpreting “out there” and starts running loose “in here.” In meditation some question whether the distraction is what we’re sensing or our thoughts regarding what we’re sensing.
If a bad event occurred in the past, is it still hurting you or are your thoughts regarding it hurting you?
Mercury seems prone to distraction in lesser or greater degree dependent on the personality represented by the horoscope. Those handing us cell phones and constant streams of tailor-made entertainment are simply feeding Mercury.
The tailor-made portion of the entertainment may also be feeding the moon which gets hungry and pecks at any available food like a bird.
A bird – we’re back to the wing image. Winged beings fly quickly, peck often and rarely sit in one place for long periods of time.