Looking around, it is amazing how unhappy the majority of people are – even living in the Western world, with all the mod cons, access to all we need for life to be struggle free – water, food, clothing, homes. Having spent several hours at airports recently, I felt like I had been transported into a B-rated sci-fi movie where everyone’s souls had been sucked out of them, leaving empty shells to walk around...... It was quite unsettling.
It reminds me of a film called ‘Surrogates’ which is a sci-fi set in the future, where the real bodies lie in darkened rooms, hooked up to virtual reality machines – whilst their surrogate bodies go out into the world and do the “living”. It was sold to the human race as ‘life – but better’ (!) because the surrogates could not die, so there was no fear; they could do superhuman feats (whilst the real body gets fat on the table) and they could be designed to be beautiful – so the whole world was inhabited by ‘perfect’ surrogates whilst the real bodies and all their imperfections, were holed up. It was also quite unsettling!
It’s an interesting concept though – the surrogates cannot have old age or fear, they can forever change their complete personage, but power has them in its grip, big time- they are unstoppable. But that is really the twist, what duped the human race in was the power they could have, when in fact, in reality it was the most disempowering thing of all.
Now, you might think it’s just a sci-fi, but did you know that the move towards this lack of real social interaction is already happening? This is a short excerpt from an excellent book – Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer:
“In the last decade, Japan – practically the spiritual home of new technology – has seen the rise of a new phenomenon, known as hikikomori. Young people in their teens and twenties, especially males, are increasingly withdrawing from all human contact. It’s thought that more than a million young people have locked themselves away in one room of the family home, refusing to come out, preferring instead to retreat into a virtual world. In hikikomori the natural reserve of the Japanese has been magnified into complete social isolation.”
To me it feels like we have several pathways at this time – one leads to becoming completely disassociated with the real felt sense of being embodied right here right now; the other leads to complete loss of self. And what we do as adults is so being mirrored by the children right now.
What can we do? Simple really; spend time with each other and with yourself - away from the distractions of this digital age.
Craniosacral sessions are available with Ri in Bristol, Cirencester and Cherington.