I see the ills of modern life very intensely, and I have concluded that much of it stems from not knowing anything outside mass media and consumerist culture.
I remember when teachers tried to “fight the system” of mass media and consumerism. That generation has since retired, and now the educational system buttresses modern living, rather than trying to teach a healthy resistance to it.
Also, one must consider that children view teachers as kind of lame and weak compared to mass media and peers. Children only know who is most influential in their small world; very few seek ideas outside of the small world.
Children that are homeschooled and grow up TV-Free are well aware of the wider world, and are able to see peers as inhabitants of a small world that pales in comparison to the greater world out there. This protects them from being dragged into a small world of proles and drug use and obesity and Idiocracy.
Adults who grew up as TV babies and trapped in the small world of consumerism and screen time can get themselves detoxxed through temporary monasticism that breaks old habits and thought patterns, and teaches meditation and self teaching, emotional intelligence and conscious empathy of others, and also fasting, proper diet, and smart exercise.
Basically, we need to teach people how to live well and get along. How to avoid being someone who screws people over and burns bridges. How to avoid being a fatty, an addict, a person who cannot stay together with a spouse for the long term.
A Sanga is a Buddhist meditation group. I want to start a Sanga that does standard Buddhist meditation, kung fu and exercise, and mathematics as meditation.
The problem of Buddhism is attaining the Middle Path between ascetism and pleasure seeking. Between starving yourself in the woods and snorting coke off a hooker’s tits.
If you practice mathematics while exercising patience with yourself, and with the material, you find the Middle Path. Working out math problems doesn’t cost money and it doesn’t involve consumption of food or drugs or sex so it is ascetic, but it gets you in a pleasurable but not degenerate “flow state” as Firas Zahabi discusses in the above Joe Rogan video.
Attaining the Flow State is a path to the Middle Way of Buddhism, and studying math is a healthy and accessible path to the Flow State.
In positive psychology, flow, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.
Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975, the concept has been widely referred to across a variety of fields (and has an especially big recognition in occupational therapy), though the concept has existed for thousands of years under other names, notably in some Eastern religions.
Flow shares many characteristics with hyperfocus. However, hyperfocus is not always described in a positive light. Some examples include spending “too much” time playing video games or getting side-tracked and pleasurably absorbed by one aspect of an assignment or task to the detriment of the overall assignment. In some cases, hyperfocus can “capture” a person, perhaps causing them to appear unfocused or to start several projects, but complete few.
I would recommend a one year detox, and through the spring to fall season, every detoxxer would grow a small vegetable garden on a raised bed.
Young couples who plan to marry would detox together, and study emotional intelligence and practice a mindful relationship that recognizes sexual polarity and that the man has to be masculine and the woman has to be feminine, to hopefully avert future divorce and raise healthy children. We used to be able to take this for granted, but relationship between men and women has been derailed, and needs to be put back on track. Also, future parents need to study Dr. Leonard Sax on authoritative parenting.
Most modern people need to spend a year working on themselves, learning how to live and how to be in a marriage and how to raise children.
Someone who has spent a year living monastically will know that it’s something they can go back to, if they get in trouble later in life. It’s a tool they will always have, that most people do not have, a “last resort mom’s basement” type retreat of meditation and detox that they can go back to if life overwhelms them.
If I make millions, or find an investor, I’m going to do the Modernity Detox Sanga.