Kleshas and Tanhas

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The Like Button: An End to the Evolution of Human Discernment

with 7 comments

“To innovate is to introduce the new, to engage in a process of change. To invent is to produce a different variation of the old…Yoga tries to help us to truly innovate, to develop the intelligence that allows us to create a new relationship to our ego and our world. This new relationship is dependent on perceiving the world objectively and truthfully and on making choices, discerning what is best.” -B.K.S. Iyengar

Whisper away Facebook...

                Quite feasibly, we could take the concept of Facebook and its Like Button and interchange them with yoga in the above thesis. Or technology for that matter. Facebook gives us the false illusion that we are pushing the boundaries. We are somehow inventive with our ability to create an online identity, whether it is true or false. Not innovative. We are not introducing something new with a status update or an upload of a new photo. We are merely inventing a “different variation of the old.” Technology and its advances are not propelled by our signing in and logging off. If that discretion was common knowledge, and I think it can be when most people take a moment to absorb it, we would still fail to see that we “create a new relationship to our ego and our world.” A sickly relationship with our festering ego. A half-hearted, half-born relationship with our world.

        All Facebook does is cater to our desires and occupies mass amounts of our time with worthless information. It hinders our ability to innovate, especially outside of the technological world. It would only take an individual to pull the plug on the whole apartment complex of the world, and every tenant would be without their Facebook. It’s intangible if you haven’t noticed. (That isn’t to say that for technology to be innovative, it must be tangible.) Yet, society is crippled by the effects of the amount of time we spend on a virtual social networking site.

          “This new [decrepit] relationship is dependent on perceiving the world objectively and truthfully and on making choices, discerning what is best.” Maybe that is the origin from which youth lack social skills that older generations like to harp on.  We cannot perceive the world objectively or truthfully when our relationship to our ego is out of synch. It’s almost as if Facebook whispers to our ego to let go of our capacity to socially function outside of the means of technology.

                Our ability to discern is therefore thwarted by this new, damaged relationship our egos have created. We don’t “know what’s best” since we no longer discern properly, but we sure as hell know what Bob’s feelings are on the Monday night football game. We can Like his status and add our own witty comment, all of which are inventive, yet we impede our capability to innovatively evolve in order to foster a healthier relationship with our egos. We don’t have to make anymore decisions save for “Do I like, or do I not like.” Not a lot of discernment involved there. It seems like Facebook hit this crossroads between inventive and innovative, and many of us are under the impression that this medium of technology proves to be the latter of the two. If so, it’s only a matter of time until…



Written by Jack Viere

October 31, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Posted in B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga

Tagged with ,

7 Responses

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  1. Great blog post Jack and I like the new look……way to go…..Like!

    Lisa Olko

    October 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    • I am glad for the immediate feedback!
      Hope that my repeated use of Iyengar isn’t bothering you!

      Kleshas and Tanhas

      November 1, 2011 at 3:15 am

  2. As I said…glad I found you. I saw Wall-E with my 8 year old son…younger at the time…and laughed so hard at this scene and others…you hit the nail on the head. Another movie that frequently comes to mind is the Matrix…I am sure you understand the context within this post. Glad you joined WordPress.


    November 1, 2011 at 2:10 am

    • The Matrix didn’t come to my mind but you need not explain how that fits with what I am saying!
      It might even drive the point home more accurately. Though, I don’t know how many individuals
      fully understand the point(s) made in that film…
      Hope to stay in touch-I’m loving WordPress!

      Kleshas and Tanhas

      November 1, 2011 at 3:17 am

  3. Very well said. Great points.

    Aurora, HSP

    November 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

  4. The “like” button was something which repulsed me when it was first introduced. I realised instantly that here was a means for people not to have to bother actually telling people what they thought, instead they would hit a simple “thumbs up” and feel like they had input in the matter, when in fact they had said nothing at all. Nowadays I am guilty of sometimes hitting “like”, as a general agreement that I approve of the update or image that someone else has posted. For the most part I comment though, because saying you “like” something is saying very little at all. I fear the “dislike” button because I believe it’s only a matter of time till it actually comes along, giving people a chance to say they disapprove of something without backing up their argument with reasons why.
    Also, I love Wall-E 🙂 Great post!


    November 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    • I’m glad to know that someone shares my frustration over the oversimplification of the feature. I think that the device becomes self-incriminating the way you describe it. Instead of replying with a little blurb to someone’s status or picture, we end up affirming their post. (As if that meant anything…) I also share the fear of a dislike button. One hyphenated word. Cyber-bullying. It ain’t going to dissolve on its own. And adding a negative option to our mindless affirming tool isn’t helping the case.

      Kleshas and Tanhas

      November 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

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