“Total Escapism” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Total Escapism

I already shared with you that I get emails all the time from people who have questions they cannot resolve. In one email, a physician wrote me the following question: “Lately, I’ve noticed that people are in distress. There is high demand for prescriptions for antidepressants; people feel insecure and uncertain about their lives, and besides drugs, I have nothing to offer them. They’ve tried coachers; they’ve tried trainers, but nothing seems to help. So my question to you Dr Laitman, is what can they cling to in order to move forward?”

I can understand why people feel this way. For thousands of years, people’s lives changed very little. They lived in small towns and villages, had a craft or a plot of land to till, and they knew their surroundings and the people around them. They were close to their families, married within the town or village, so everyone had the same way of life, culture, and tradition. People knew what to expect. Their lives were hard, but they had a sense of direction, a clear set of values, and therefore, peace of mind — the very thing people do not have today.

Today, material life is very easy, but people feel lost because they do not understand the world around them. They no longer live in small villages because the whole world has become a global village. Even farmers cannot till the land without seeds and machinery from other countries, and the price of their crops depends on global commodity markets. In other words, to be a farmer, you need to understand global systems of supply, demand, markets, climate, and fuels. You need an internet connection, contracts with shipment and supply companies, and accountants to understand your own balance sheet. Is it any wonder that people feel lost?

Because they feel this way and cannot find answers, they have no choice but to try to forget. They dream about the moment they can get away from it all. They take up hobbies, play computer games, and exhaust themselves in sports.
They travel, vacation, and meditate. They drink and do drugs, convert and become extremists, and do whatever they can to avoid dealing with their inability to understand the world they live in. In their effort to suppress their disorientation, they turn to total escapism.

Everything that we have built — the entertainment industry, professional and amateur sports, shopping, tourism, art — we have built them in order not to think about our lives.

But we have run out of gas. We have used up our energy — our own and what we can pump out of the ground — and we are running out of ideas for escapism. Soon, there will be only two options left: a war that will annihilate everything, or to learn about the world we live in.

Assuming that we choose the latter, we will have to learn how we all affect each other, how we are connected around the world, and how we are dependent on each other. As a result, we will realize that we must care for one another.

And if, at the moment, we do not, we will acknowledge that it is harmful to others and harmful to us. Only when we accept that the world has changed for good, and we must embrace the changes and welcome the connection with all of humanity, we will be able to reap the benefits of progress and feel comfortable both physically and emotionally.

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