I’ve definitely NOT been writing consistently on this blog for many reasons, but the main one is that I am journaling, with pen, ink, and moleskine, my thoughts, insights and ideas. That means that the blog, or online journal, gets no attention because of the focus on my own work. What gives?
First, I’ve come to understand that posting on social media and blogs is an intense form of narcissism. I know. We try to rationalize the fact that it is not narcissistic, but we are pulled toward the ego-stroking that posting on a blog or media site gives us. I imagined, when I started this blog, that I was doing it simply for information, and for the most part I have pursued that goal. At the same time, I wonder at posting at all? Do we, as a society, really need to “put ourselves out there,” as folks say?
About 6 months ago, I started deleting my tweets on a regular basis. I’ve never really cared about having some number of followers; the people I follow, I’m genuinely interested in their ideas and insights. At the same time, if I didn’t have those insights, would anything be worse or better? Of course, the answer is a hard no. Online social media can bring a sense of connection to some folks in some ways; at the same time, those connections are illusory.
Deleting those tweets, I think I had some crazy number over 10,000, was wonderful. No one history of my responses to tweets or insights of my own. As I’m writing this note, in fact, I’m seriously considering just ending my association with Twitter. Same thing for Facebook; I rarely post, and, for the most part, it just doesn’t seem worth the time to glance at the pages that pop onto my wall, stream, whatever.
I know the argument that we can stay connected to those not near us, and that’s especially true for people I know who live on the other side of the world (literally). Maybe, what I’m saying here, is that staying on one platform and maintaining connections through that ONE platform is the best way to combine the connection with the distance. Posts, then, become like letters to a friend rather than a vomit of information about what I ate or did on any given day.
That’s where my journaling comes in; it’s my record of thoughts on a wide variety of subjects, and it’s only for me to consider or consume. I write for me and for no one else. The journal becomes a non-narcisstic train of thought…it is not for public consumption and does not stroke my ego with platitudes. It’s an analysis of my thoughts, feelings, and insights. Too, it keeps private what I want to be private. I’ve written A LOT over the past few years in my Moleskine journals…Most recently, about 300 pages since December. It has become, in some ways, my release.
Journaling, then, replaced the idea I originally had for this blog as a kind of expression of my thoughts and experiences. Too, it fits within the context of my Buddhist approach which says, basically, keep it to yourself. I’ve actually written on this blog about that idea; do I keep it all to myself and focus on liberating all sentient beings with my practice? I certainly think that is what my teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche, wanted, and what the teachers I now follow would want as well.
Hmmm. It is all pretty confusing. All I need to focus on is this one thing: everything that I imagine and think and feel comes from my mind and those mental formations. Maybe today is the day that I not only acknowledge that idea, but put it into practice.