Reader comment on Diane Ackerman's passage ...

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    On Aug 14, 2011 rahul wrote:

    The passage reminds me a of a conversation I was having with a friend where I complained about the insidiousness of the media world, continually snagging, distracting, trapping, and dissipating people.  He responded by acknowledging that truth, but pointing out that to get snagged, you have to have hooks.  The lesson for me was that its more important to work on smoothing out those latent tendencies and desires that lead us to our own entrapment than complaining about the systems that are designed to trap people.

    Anyone who has bought organic vegetables knows that they spoil much faster than industrial vegetables.  Anyone who has visited a tropical forest knows that there are tons of bugs that want to eat a little piece of your body. It seems that wherever there is some life energy, there is something that is trying to take a little bit of that energy for itself.  In a modern western environment where we have largely eliminated the natural pests that perform this function, we seem to have incorporated the pestilence into our collective nature, where to varying degrees, people live off the energy, attention, and inattention of their fellow man.  To some degree, this is a statement of our interconnectedness, but just beyond that is the realm of our individual intentions in the world.  We must take to live, but we must also give to live.  What is the most skillful way to dance in that reality?

    The only answer seems to come from concentrating and deepening our attention so we're conscious of our hooks, and put some space between us and our lures.  The space gives us choice, and choice offers us increasing freedom in outsmarting our evolutionary hooks.

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