Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Get Out of the Groove

More and more, I come to believe that our lives are on automatic.

Whether it is the ideologies we choose to believe, how we interpret neutral facts, the fears we exhibit, the morality we accept, or the interests we pursue.

Can someone who automatically reaches for science-fiction books decide to change his groove and begin reaching for philosophy books? The groove thwarts him at every turn. These other books are "boring" (but not for everyone, so why for you?), the language is too difficult (but language can be learned), the subject is uninteresting (surely not inherently). That's the groove speaking; the other voice is life itself.

Can someone who habitually responds with sarcasm and cynicism change his groove and become thoughtful and positive? Can someone who eats junk food change and learn to like more healthy food and exercise?

It's not easy, but the answer is Yes. We are more than capable of such radical changes. But the groove has us in its warm and comforting grip.

The longer you've been in the groove, the more tearing at the roots when you try to climb out of it. Halfway up and you'll be convinced that it's not worth it; so much energy, and you were so comfortable!

But I say: the groove is not where your life is. If there is anything to the movie The Matrix, it is in its allegorical implications about our own life. Life is not in the comfortable programming that keeps us in comfortable illusion. Real life is found out of the groove.

But beware; it is not enough to just rip. Ripping out has its own negative effects: rootlessness, discomfort, depression. Ideally what you want to do is to find a way to bring nurturing soil with you. Not to hurt those around you, nor to simply re-root somewhere else, but to become mobile, self-sustaining, and a positive force for the world.

Get out of the groove, but don't abandon the field altogether. Build steps for others.


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