Hovering Around The World Without Touching

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When I have talked about people floating in space as a metaphor for describing how they feel within their experiential vacuums in modern technological society, it’s not that they feel they are floating so far away from their field of experience that they are floating in outer space.

They don’t experience themselves as floating in pure blackness.  A good fine-tuned metaphor for describing how people experience their numbness in modern technological society is to say that they hover over what should be their grounding, their grounded location.  This is an important distinction, because it means that people today are so close to their grounding without touching it or bonding with it that they don’t consciously experience their disconnect from it, or if they do, the disconnect is experienced only partially. The truth is that if people somehow were able to feel totally disconnected from their grounding within their field of experience, then they would, at least, metaphorically speaking, be floating in outer space and they would become schizophrenic.  And they would then have to live in an alternate reality that wouldn’t correspond in any meaningful way to the reality where they can feel functional.  Now I am obviously not saying that all of us are normal just because we feel only partially separated from our grounding.  We feel normal to the extent that we feel somewhat functional in all of our different spheres of life.  The functionality is what we experience as our means  of feeling connected to our grounding.  Personal, social, romantic, occupational, recreational, spiritual.   In other words, we feel connected to our grounding to the extent we feel functional.  It is not that we feel functional to the extent that we feel connected.

This is also true for non-human creatures.  The natural vibrations that we discussed in our last article are the model for a template of functionality for non-human creatures.  At least in traditional natural living environments where natural vibrations are more accessible. Modern technological living environments have patterns of stimuli that are very disruptive to the functionality of non-human creatures.  One doesn’t see rhinoceroses strolling nonchalantly down major thoroughfares in urban downtowns.  One wonders if rhinoceros even in zoos experience a kind of rhinoceros schizophrenia being so separated from the natural vibrations which give them the grounding that connects them to the external world.  At any rate, getting back to humans. This metaphor of hovering in our numbness, is a very good way of explaining how a person is in a situation where he feels like he is engaging in activities which should allow him a strong sensory connection to the people and things needed for the activities, but it’s almost like they are a part of screen reality rather than external world reality, and he can’t really connect with them not only in a tactile way but also through sensory pathways that involve the other major senses as well.  Screen reality becomes so prevalent in our daily lives today and we are hovering over our field of experience so much that screen reality and external world reality become increasingly interchangeable.  Screen reality becomes a model, as it were, for the way people start living in modern technological society.  We become more and more incapable of reaching through the vacuum over which we hover and making commitments to the external world.  Now I know the word commitment is usually used today to indicate a strong emotional bond to someone else usually involving a romantic relationship.  But I believe a person has to first be able to reach beyond the vacuum in order to fully connect with the external world and thus in order to have a strong romantic relationship.

The younger generations today are increasingly settling in for something called a situationship, which is basically another name for a friendship with benefits, an ongoing relationship with sex without any deep emotional commitment.  Usually, it has been the men who are castigated for their desire for sex without commitment, but among the younger generations, women are equally culpable.  Because there are so few sources of organic stimulation, so few organic surfaces with which to bond in the external world, people today become hardened like the machines that surround them, and it becomes almost painful to reach beyond the emotional vacuum over which they are hovering, in order to make an emotional commitment.  Painful because beyond the hard surface that they present to the world, a lot of people have the equivalent of undifferentiated emotional pulp, which leaves them vulnerable to figuratively be swallowed up by a strong emotional relationship.  This is why there are so many divorces today and so many people who don’t even bother to get into a relationship that could lead to marriage.  Of course, then there are situations like polyamory which will be the subject for another article.

© 2024 Laurence Mesirow

Acerca de Laurence Mesirow

Durante mi estadía en la Ciudad de México en los años setenta, me di cuenta que esta enorme ciudad contenía en sus colonias distintos "medio ambientes vivenciales", que iban desde muy antiguas a muy recientes; desde muy primitivas a muy modernas.Observé que había diferencias sutiles en la conducta de la gente y en sus interacciones en las diferentes colonias. Esta observación fue fundamental en la fundación de mis teorías con respecto a los efectos de la tecnología moderna sobre los medio ambientes vivenciales y sobre la conducta humana.En México, publiqué mi libro "Paisaje Sin Terreno" (Editorial Pax-México), y luego di conferencias para la U.N.A.M. y la Universidad Anahuac. También, presenté un ensayo para un Congreso de Psicología.Ahora que mis hijas son adultas, tengo el tiempo de explorar mis ideas de vuelta. Le agradezco mucho a ForoJudio.com y en especial al Sr. Daniel Ajzen por la oportunidad de presentar mis ideas.

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