Finding Depth In Our Shallow Surroundings


    We are slowly disappearing. It seems like every aspect of our existence is getting more and more shallow each year as we continue to forget our true selves. We move further away from truth as we desperately grasp at illusions to fill our artificial, inner voids. If you want proof of this, simply walk through any public place — I’ll use a grocery store as an example — and begin to notice how distant we’ve become from each other. Eye contact is now taboo, and it’s common to exchange hollow, habitual greetings when interaction does occur.

    “How are you today sir,” the cashier asks me as she robotically begins to scan my food. I decide to say nothing just to see what happens; she doesn’t even flinch.

    “Paper or plastic sir,” the other voice asks.

    “Plastic, very much plastic,” I reply. This is the plastic world we find ourselves living in and I believe it’s our duty as “awakened souls” to both notice and put a stop to it.

    We are so hungry for truth and realness that we are literally starving in this world of abundance. Even music has fallen victim to this trend. I searched the radio for music with heart, but what did I find instead? I found cookie-cutter, man-in-a-bowtie approved, test-marketed, slicked-up, prettied-up, safe attempts at art. Being a music instructor, I find it impossible to promote such soulless music to young, aspiring musicians. This is why I believe The Beatles are still bigger than ever. Society is being fed corn husks while the soul needs real nourishment; it clings to what it perceives as filling. Thank God for the Fab Four.

    These are just a few examples, but I could go on for hours. I ask you to take a few minutes and seek out the truth in your own life. What is real to you? Do you feel connected to yourself and others? Do you fall into the “small talk” trap when talking? Are you present as you do your day-to-day tasks? Are you “true life” walking among the ghosts, or are you yourself becoming transparent?

    These could be life-changing questions, so please consider them deeply. Your life depends on it.

    The next question I get is usually, “What can I do to escape the shallow end of life?”

    My answer is simple, yet it can seem very illusive.

    Swim against the stream of society a little at a time. Shut off your TV for one day and get used to the silence. Stay in sync with every task you do throughout the day and catch yourself “falling asleep” as your mind tries to wander. Look at people and make sure you’re really listening to them when they talk; feel free to respond with silence without even a hint of awkwardness. BE the awareness that people hunger for instead of always trying to do everything. Read a book slowly and digest every word. Take a long walk outside, or (if you live in Minnesota like me) take yourself on a date to an art museum or a book store. Breathe deeply and slowly and decide to live without tension and fear for once.

    You will begin to awaken, and the depth of life will slowly work its way back into your world. Next time I see you at the grocery store, I hope to make conscious eye contact with you as we give each other a silent nod of awareness. Peace be present within you always.

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    1. In a world where people are lost in being cool – lost in being politically correct – lost in covering their own shallow self interests and self involvement I find this article so refreshing.

      There is a lot of advise on how to usher in change but it is in a vacuum – change also takes place via interaction – authenticity.

    2. Thank you my friend. It was a pleasure writing this article. Never stop digging deeper in finding what’s real. 🙂 Then again, what is real? 🙂 I like the word you used, authentic.

    3. Mike, hats off. i have looked for Truth for years, gave up due to exhaustion and after a series of the shallowest of dreams, I realize something is missing. Yes, music is a very real indicator. I am listening to Leonard Cohen’s ‘stories of the street’ now, and some of Jacques Brel’s good ones (Amsterdam, Jacky…) and others. Where the hell is depth? Facebook is a great idea but I look objectively at the idiotic ‘groups’ people join and you are right, put it away and think and feel and don’t be afraid to feel awkward. Bless you man may you find all you seek and more.

    4. Are we really becoming more distant, or just recognizing the distance that has existed, that was not visible or understood to exist before?

      Is a grocery store really the place for in depth conversations?

      Are we really become more distant from each other or more distant from the old energy of Self, that has permeated through the human earth experience?

      I agree totally with you in reference to “Small Talk”!

      Have you ever notice how we great each other though?
      What do you do?
      How are you doing today?
      My response to the question is…..”Doing What?”

      How about:
      “Who do you know your Self to Be?”
      The person will either not answer and change the answer to match a question they are more comfortable with. Or!
      Fumble with an answer! Or!
      Just ignore the question all together.

      Your cashier statement: “How are you today sir,”
      Usually includes the word “Doing”!

      Until we realize we are not Human Doings, but Human Beings, the distance between us will continue!
      The human identity has been encouraged to be realize through our accomplishments.
      Human’s have been taught, our value is representative of what we accomplish, so it is how we communicate with each other.

      Maybe the cashier, not really desiring to be a cashier, keeps their communication limited, because their Value of Self is not very strong.

      Maybe what exists below the surface of the shallow conversation, is often a person who has not yet realized their own true value of Self, hiding their Self to what degree they have to, to feel secure within their own little box, he/she is not interested in allowing to many others to peek inside.

      So humans create the wall of the illusion that suggests they are safe within those illusionary walls!

      Nice subject!

    5. I don’t see it as noticing the distance that’s always been there, I see it as creating distance through fear and ignorance. Since we are all one, in my opinion, shouldn’t we be able to walk around a grocery store and feel like we are amongst family? I’m not saying we should all sit around and talk, though that would be nice, but instead how about people getting out of their minds long enough to just look at somebody. The cashier is of course just reacting from the repetitive nature of his/her job but is that a good thing? Are we losing the very thing that makes us human, our consciousness, our awareness? You are right on when you talk about people not knowing their true value. It’s just like when religion comes up in conversations. Many will just shy away due to lack of self knowledge. I believe that if you were truly comfortable with who you are then it should be just as flowing of a conversation as who was on American Idol last night. 🙂 Thanks for the email my friend. P.s. Asking someone who they truly are is always interesting, I know what you mean. People always say that they’re a title: teacher, mom, dad, preacher. They have trouble seeing past these roadblocks.

    6. I don’t see it as noticing the distance that’s always been there, I see it as creating distance through fear and ignorance.

      It all goes back to perspective Mike!
      It is about seeing!!
      What is the vantage point from which we are observing?
      Neither right or wrong, just a different observation deck, with different eyes!

      Thanks for the feedback!


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