Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Imagine that you are trying to stare into a deep lake to see what may be below the surface, but every where you try to look in there are ripples. All you can see are jumping, broken, moving reflections of the sky with teeny glimpses in between of the depths below. You sit and stare for hours, even days, but the ripples are constant and you are never able to see more than a fleeting bit of lake bed.

How discouraging it would be to try to find something, to learn something new about the world, but constantly battle a changing viewscape of static and disruption.

This is what we live in today.

We try to take a lovely walk in nature, but the scenery is broken up by telephone poles, litter, cars on nearby roads and houses. We try to read a book but we hear our upstairs neighbors yelling, stomping or playing loud music. We try to learn something new by reading online but are faced with thousands of ads and other links and distractions, even popups about surveys and little buttons on the side telling us how many people have liked that page on facebook... information which has no bearing on anything, really.

Even if we remove all distraction from our own homes, we're still bombarded by it from the moment we leave until the moment we return. A stretch of highway or road with no billboards or advertisements is rare. Right outside our front doors we see signs for open houses and whoever it is we're supposed to be voting for, traffic, people, and noise. Litter can find its way right up to our doorsteps, glaring us in the face until we do something about it. You can't touch the internet without being bombarded, both with relevant distractions and irrelevant ones. Everyone and everything wants your attention, wants you to ultimately spend money on whatever it is they are offering.

That's what it's all about... it's what everyone wants and what everyone pushes for. It's the thing that seems to universally matter to everyone.

I'll be honest - I am a gamer nerd. And Assassin's Creed is one of my favorites. There's a feature in the game where you can set your money to your weapon hand default and throw money on the ground. When you do, people around you dive on it and it even distracts the guards.

This is a common theme in entertainment and media, throw money and people will break their own necks trying to get as much of it for themselves as possible.

The irony is people will tell you how money doesn't buy happiness, but in the other classic saying - actions speak louder than words - their actions say the same thing as everyone else's. More money equals more happy, and any opportunity for more money is an opportunity you shouldn't miss.

I'm almost tempted to throw a bunch of $1 bills just to see if anyone doesn't dive on them. That would probably be the only person in the crowd I'd have any interest in talking to anyway... Hmm. This could be a great new way to make friends.

Anyway, I am digressing again.

The point is, the little universes we live in are infinitely cluttered not only by ourselves but by other people... and it is unavoidable, mostly. I am tired of websites covered with ads, I'm tired of seing commercials and billboards and signs stuck in the ground and giant graphics on cars. I'm tired by being accosted by the millions of people who are begging for my money by trying to cause me to have a seizure of some sort.

It's very hard to focus on anything while being subjected to this, let alone try to focus on something as important and fleeting as spiritual connectedness.

Decluttering your home is great, and it helps, but we need to declutter society, declutter the internet, and declutter our minds. How? It always starts with us.

Remove the excess from your own site. Simplify it, make it bare so that the only thing on the page that matters is your words and images. I promise that your visitors will appreciate it.

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