Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6, 2015 - Finite Energy


For all practical purposes, the sun has an infinite amount of energy.  Each day, however, we have a finite amount of energy to spend, and once it’s spent, it’s spent.  We can’t ever get it back.  So it’s important to know how and where we are spending our energy in order to make the most of what we are given.

I believe that human energy is a powerful thing--much more powerful than most people know.  I mean this in the literal sense:  The human battery pack is very potent.  However, it has its limits.  Once we’ve reached the limit, we have to recharge, which takes place at night when we sleep.  A good portion of that recharging depends on what we have eaten.  Our bodies transform the energy from our food into energy that we can use.  It is at our disposal to freely use as we see fit.

The infinite energy of the sun.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of energy siphons out there that are always on the look out for more human energy.  Some of the normal ones are simply work in its various forms.  We spend energy doing our work to accomplish tasks that we (hopefully) want to accomplish.  This is a more or less fair exchange.  But there is another way that our energy can be siphoned from us, and for all practical purposes, this way is invisible.  As such, we often do not notice it.  We only feel its effects afterward and are often baffled by our exhaustion.

And it’s so subtle and insidious, too.  Often it comes in the guise of friendship and caring.  I’m talking about an emotional siphon here.  Make no mistake about it:  The emotions provide a direct conduit to our energy source.  Becoming emotional causes us to directly engage our power, and once engaged, if we are not paying attention, it can be siphoned.  It’s a little easier to see it with negative emotions, such as anger, but it is not so easy to see it with positive emotions, such as sympathy.

How many times have you felt perfectly fine and gone on to a social network or a “news” outlet only to find yourself feeling agitated, angry, or just plain exhausted in a very short time?  Here’s an example:  You watch one of those “feel good” videos about someone who learned a lesson the hard way and lost a loved one, but at least now he realizes what he had.  You become very emotional.  You can’t help it.  It’s a good story, it’s well told, and you start to cry.  Deep inside you start to wonder about the things and the people that you have lost in the past, about your own hard lessons, about what you could have done, about what you should have done.  And sure enough, you start to feel tired.

Then you go on to a news article about a criminal who finally got caught and is being sent to jail.  You are outraged when you hear of his crimes!  You are horrified, but you can’t seem to stop reading or listening to the video.  You pronounce judgment on him.  You cry for the victims and their families.  You voice your opinion in the comments.  Most importantly, your fear level goes through the roof as you think about such horrible crimes being done to you.  You may even start to think of ways you can change your own surroundings so you won’t fall victim to such crimes.  And sure enough, you start to feel even more tired.

And on and on it goes.  What you might not have noticed in the posts and the videos and the chats is the background.  Often this background is pushing a certain lifestyle or an idea or a belief.  Sometimes it’s not a visible background but a reinforcement of certain societal rules.  It could even be a simple “herd” mentality.  And your emotions are feeding it.  You are directly being targeted, and the marksman has hit the bullseye.

So what’s going on here?  What do I mean?  I am not suggesting that you become a stoic and never display or experience your feelings again.  But I am suggesting that you be careful how you engage your energy and where you spend it.  If an advertiser or a builder of social structure can engage your emotions and rile you up, he has you.  He can then use those emotions for many things.  He can get you to buy something or donate money to something.  He can get you to uphold unwritten and unspoken social constructs (some of which you may not even be conscious of).  He can use your energy and add it to the energy of all the other people he has siphoned, and with that he can get even more victims onboard.  He can use the energy to lead society in any direction he wants.

The past cannot be changed, and the future is just a concept.  All we have is the present, and each day we have a certain amount of energy to spend on our present lives.  The more of it we unwittingly give to someone else or to a corporation or to a cause, the less we have to construct our present lives and thereby improve our future possibilities.  If we are being drained by certain social conventions, certain morals, certain events that are deliberately constructed to display only the viewpoint of the siphoner, we have no energy left for ourselves and our own life.

Again, I am not suggesting that you become a stoic.  Sometimes becoming emotional is necessary.  However, there are always at least two sides to a story, and often more than that.  There are always alternative views and ideas, but if we are constantly being steered via our emotions into a direction that someone else wants for us, then we never get to see the other side of the story.

So be careful about how you spend your energy.  Don’t just give it away.  Be discerning.  If you see that energy drain coming your way, head it off at the pass.  Turn it off, switch it off, close it down, shut it out.  Then go and do something worthwhile for yourself.

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