Stop the Seduction Factor: Thinking and Time Alone is Good for the Soul

Cynthia Bull Is it possible to be seduced by society? Yes! In fact, many of us have a vague sense of being mentally seduced, but with no idea of how it happened. All we know is that we're flooded with information, feel a loss of control, and have no time to think about anything anymore. At times, an ominous feeling prevails that narrows our field of mental and emotional vision, leaving us with the impression that “something” or “someone” else controls our master switch, that we no longer guide our own destiny, or that our path is darkened by negative circumstances. We sense that we've been sold a “bill of goods” and that the ability to think for ourselves has been mysteriously removed. Somehow, we’re caught in a maze of uncertainty that affects us mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, potentially leaving deep scars. Hazy, incomplete thoughts cloud our thinking and we feel confused. Confused and scarred about what? About life in general. In today’s culture, it is easy to divert our attention to what society is trying to sell us through the media or in the marketplace. “Product A is better than product B. Buy Now!” The seduction factor is strong, and this frenzy adds pressure to an already hectic pace. Competition fosters thoughts of “Me first” and “Look out for #1.” We’re conditioned to ignore the “other guy” and thoughts or practices of brotherhood. Only personal tragedy or national disaster alters our perceptions, attitudes and actions, and then only for short periods of time until we pass the crisis. It seems we're always being told to “hurry,” “rush,” “do it now” in many situations at home and on the job. We're made to feel that we must “take on more” and that what we do, no matter how well we do it, is never enough. Time seems to have overtaken us to the point that there is no time and we end up with feelings of resentment, that somehow we have been cheated. Unfortunately, we tend to focus such feelings on people rather than on issues. This resentment is compounded by jobs that take so much of our time weekly. Many of us work in jobs we don’t particularly like for people we don’t particularly respect, and extended travel and traffic jams to and from work compound the picture. These stressors add tremendous strain to our lives and often without our full awareness, as our sense of self-control gradually lessens. Due to excessive schedules and trying to do too much in a sane manner, we have become desensitized to spending time alone. Too many of us have stopped living lives based on enduring principles and values that give light to move through each day and have been seduced to paying too much attention to “stuff” dictated by society. The result is that many have forgotten how to think, how to process thoughts with feelings, and vice versa, and by doing so have inadvertently opened the door to being led rather than being a leader. The idea of being alone to “think” is practically foreign if it doesn’t involve a problem posed by some external entity having little to do with “real” life, where people truly live. Caught up in chaotic routines, some believers experience being disconnected from God and doubt their faith because, unintentionally, they allowed “something” or “someone” to replace God in their life. Faced with erratic, extreme routines, some nonbelievers experience heightened solitude or despair and that “another” is in charge and controls their destiny. Fear then dwells within the soul and either prevents or significantly limits truly positive action from taking place to combat negativity and confusion. Where time to think is willfully rejected or denied, the media is ever present to intervene with diversions, illusions, false hopes, and hope. Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” is the latest example of the media challenging believers and nonbelievers alike to think and not just be entertained. Prior to this release, Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” stirred people to think about their very essence and a relationship with God. Both presentations provide a forum for provocative discussions of man’s existence and purpose, challenging the viewer to think about barriers that separate man from himself, and from God. It would be better if internal motivation, curiosity, and a desire for the truth stemming from our own lives prompted our thought processes, rather than by obvious or blatant external stimulation on any subject. But first, a path must exist and be open. To open the channels, we must remove the collective garbage that's stored up in lies and half-truths held as convictions. We must unblock thought and heart channels in order to reconnect human synapses with universal wisdom. For believers, Christ embodies that wisdom. To regain control over our lives, it is imperative that we make time to be introspective and not fear our own mortality by rushing through life overly concerned with world issues. We need to slow down to hear ourselves think, to actually engage in dialog with our souls, where we can uncover opportunities and solutions to problems, heartaches, disappointments, and even tragedies. Solutions to sanity and peace are waiting during quiet moments in conversations with self and God as believers, and with self and the universe as nonbelievers. Stop the seduction factor by taking time to think, to be alone, and to regain the self-control you thought was lost.