Even before I took up Busting Loose, I was becoming less and less interested in the things of this world. It started about a year ago when my partner and I decided to split up. The impending end of that phase of our long-term relationship scared me straight.
Almost overnight, I lost interest in cable TV, politics -- then news in general. To put this in perspective, I was a newspaper reporter/editor for 25 years. it was the height of the presidential campaign and I was watching MSNBC political coverage and reading political blogs 6-8 hours a day. News junkie does not even begin to cover it. I wanted to know every twist in the campaign and lambaste everyone on websites who thought differently than me. Finally, last July, I decided who I was going to vote for, that nothing was going to change and I'd tune back in on Election Day. I did, said a prayer for Obama, and tuned back out.
From a Phase 1 perspective, I had been in denial for a long time that TV, politics, sports, cruising the Internet were merely huge time sucks which took away from other things I might want to do. My judgment was that they were distractions for my unhappiness in my relationship and my life. They were a lot of things, except supportive. But I found justifications everywhere.
After I moved out of the house, Expanded Self reinforced this by having me move in with a friend of mine who had a TV, but only got local channels. There went the "House" re-runs, and although I could still watch "Seinfeld" every night -- something I had done for literally years -- I chose not to. Besides, my buddy had to watch his "Stargate" DVDs about that time.
But my lack of interest accelerated after I tuned in to Busting Loose. Then I understood that not only were these things Phase 1 time sucks, but that they fed into my illusion that the physical world was all real -- the economic crisis, global warming, hunger and Susan Boyle.
Soon, I could not even stand to turn on NPR in the morning, because I just didn't want to listen about this crisis or that catastrophe. It grated. I tuned out radio talk shows forever. TV news -- verboten. I occasionally read the daily newspaper when I'm bored. But it's a quick read. Want me to join your cause on Facebook? That's pretty much not happening. Even sports became less and less of an interest and for the people who know me, that's almost inconceivable. (Go Bucks!) Except for an occasional online rant about the health care bill up for consideration, I mind my own business.
It's sometimes difficult to finesse an explanation to one of my "aspects," (people who appear to be other individuals in the hologram, for those of you not into Busting Loose yet) especially those not in Phase 2, about why the "existence" of starving children in Africa doesn't move me. It sometimes reflects back to me as cold and self-absorbed. But to me, it means to me that I have a lot of beliefs to un-learn about "reality."
Then again, I just have to smile at the futility of those aspects who are diligently trying to change the hologram from the outside, playing a game they can never win.
Dropping out has been my path, and I don't necessarily recommend it for everyone. I can't say has been like a near-death experience, where I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, came back and began appreciating every butterfly alighting on the petal of every rose, then wrote a best-selling book about it.
No, not quite that dramatic.
But, it has given me the space and time to rediscover what would be really fun for me in Phase 2, to take responsibility for my fun, in a sense. For the last few months that has been writing screenplays, blogging, producing TV shows, promoting indie filmmakers and generally expressing my creativity. That's been expansive for me. I've created a bunch of new aspects who are caring, generous, fun and interesting. So something seems to be working.
As Robert Scheinfeld always like to remind us, there's nothing "wrong" with caring about certain issues. There's nothing wrong with trying to be a healer, for example, and healing illusory bodies of illusory illnesses. It's just that you realize it's part of a fun creation in the hologram and has no meaning outside of that. If you're doing anything out of a sense of obligation, guilt, money, morals, gratification, well, I'm not going to tell you to stop. But I would suggest you do the Busting Loose process.
I don't judge anyone who is caught up in these issues. That's part of their unique mission and purpose, and I hope they're having fun doing it. But I remain unswayed. Please don't get mad at me. I imagine over time, as I process this stuff, fewer and fewer people will be approaching me with "Save the Chinchillas" petitions as I walk through Nob Hill. I can only hope.
I'd be interested to hear what you're losing interest in. Please post in the comments section.