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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  Your Self or Your Selfie?
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Wednesday, June 7,2017

Your Self or Your Selfie?

By Cary Bayer  

I was recently enjoying a day of tennis matches at the U.S. Open with my cousin Barry when my body told me that it was time for me to do my evening meditation. A match had just ended, and there would be some time before the players for the next contest would come on the court, unpack their rackets, and warm up with each other before launching 125-miles per hour bombs at each other.


Before I closed my eyes to meditate, I noticed quite a few of the fans in the stands around me lighting up with big smiles for their iPhones as they took a number of selfies with the tennis court in the background. It was their way, I suppose, to let the world know through Facebook that they were in the same building as Roger Federer and Serena Williams. They were using this downtime for a selfie or two, while I was about to use the gap in the action to connect to my higher Self. That’s when the idea for this column dawned in my consciousness.


I was clearly in the minority as each of a dozen or more people wanted to photograph his self while I wanted to contact my Self. As my mantra brought me inward, it further dawned on me that a selfie should be renamed a “bodie”, because it only captures your body, not your Self. If you want to capture your Self, I thought as my consciousness got quieter and my mind got both stiller and more expanded, then why not just meditate? I define meditation as a method for the busy mind to become the serene Self. Meditation is really the selfie. But let’s spell that Selfie with a capital S, because it captures a connection to your  higher  Self, not your lower self.


As a species, we seem to love the image, and crave it over that which is imageless, like the higher Self, which can be located at the depth of your mind. Hinduism, with its extremely colorful pantheon of gods, appeals to more than one billion people, while only 14 million people are Jewish, a religion that forbids the use of an image to depict the Higher Power. Those are interesting numbers, according to numbers presented by the Pew Research Center’s Global Religious Landscape in 2010.


It’s pretty much the same situation with regard to sound and silence. Music is among the most popular art forms in the 21 st century. There are network TV reality shows like American Idol and The Voice, but there doesn’t seem to be a single program on network TV or elsewhere about the silence that underlies music. About 50 million people watch these reality music shows. As a lover of music, I think this is great. But as a lover of meditation and the silence that is the foundation of all music, I await the day when equal numbers of people tune in to a TV show that shows them how to tune in to the delicious silence of their higher Self. There’s a lot of drama and competition in these reality music shows, and anxiety for the contestants and the millions of people who vote for them. Silence is different from anxiety. For as Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, inventor, and mathematician, put it so brilliantly, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”



So imagine a TV show called “American   Idle,”  which might feature a man and his ability to sit quietly in a room alone. This wouldn’t be the entire show, of course - too many people would liken it to watching paint dry. Such a program, however, might show how people sitting quietly in a room get great insights, energy, and creativity, and live dynamic lives that make a difference for others, as well. When American Idle becomes as popular as American Idol, an age of Enlightenment might dawn in our country. The United States might then become the United States of Consciousness -higher states of consciousness, in which the selfie photograph is replaced by the Selfie contact and experience.



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