One of the things that suggests to me that there is no such thing as death is the law of physics that says that you cannot create nor destroy energy: you can only transform it.
You create a nuclear chain reaction and what you’re doing is liberating mass into energy; or for that matter, you do the same thing when burning wood. Death is the absence of the energy of consciousness in a physical body… and that energy must go somewhere. (We haven’t yet figured out how to make matter out of energy, but for those you need something with a lot of gravitational pull. Black hole, anyone?)
I think the same law of physics applies to the level of economy of effort that computers, and microprocessors in general, provide us. It’s as though there’s a constant amount of efficiency in the world and for every sun of technological effort-savings there’s a black hole of technological time waste.
As in yesterday, when the stars aligned the wrong way for me and not only did my smartphone crash continuously in a never-ending loop, but my laptop slowed to a crawl, such that booting up was an exercise in yogic patience (or meditating on emptiness).
I’m going to call this “Ricardo’s Technological Constant”: for every advance in technology there is an equal and corresponding decrease in efficiency. I was guilty, you see, of trying to push my smartphone beyond what it’s supposed to do. Upgrading Android 1.6 to Android 2.2 was beyond the old technology of my phone (old, as in two years old – what have we come to?) but thanks to some enterprising folks who figured out how to shoehorn the new operating system into the phone’s crammed memory, four months ago I was able to feel like I had a smarter new smartphone. A little like figuring out how to get ten extra miles out of each gallon of gasoline going into your 20-year-old car: if you know how to do it, how can you pass it up?
The problem is when they switch the gasoline on you and the car won’t move: Thanks to its decision to start implementing a different way of charging for data, my cell phone carrier turned my smartphone into a dumbphone, and by some cosmic irony or technological affinity it coincided with my laptop’s rebooting rebellion.
I spent all day dealing with one and the other. And not getting very far.
Then I had to go teach a yoga class.
And when I got home, I didn’t care that my phone only half-functioned or that I might have to resort to a different laptop if worse came to worst. So be it. My world was at peace.
Which leads me to a better understanding of that Zen saying, “Do nothing and accomplish everything.”
Or, in my terms, “Reboot the consciousness, not the problem.”
By the end of the evening the phone had reset itself back to factory standards (yes, itself, not with my help) and I got a flash of insight into which program was causing the problem, and how to fix it.
I wonder if we can apply this to everything from fixing our relationship problems to addressing the economic recession? Stop doing. Press that Yoga/Meditation/What-have-you Reboot-Your-Consciousness button in the mind. Let things sort themselves out. Then act from clarity.
And I wonder: if I ran for office on the “Reboot the Consciousness, not the Problem” platform, would nobody showing up at my rallies and meetings mean that I won?
Photo credit: Karl Baron