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Author Topic: Other: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?  (Read 4102 times)

Ghost235

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Over the past year or three I'm noticing that I've lost my sense of wonder and joy at the world. 

To paraphrase William Blake, when I look up at the sun I see "a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea" as opposed to "an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty".

When turn on my TV I see death, pain, and misery with no real hope of things getting better.

When I read the paper I see example after example of little expectations and even less hope.

When I look at my spiritual path I'm not sure if it is a path to joy or oblivion.

I've tried to find resources that are less dark but have come up with a whole lot of nothing.  I'm truly blessed in that my personal life is actually pretty ok but when I look anywhere else outside of my own personal sphere it looks like a limitless morass of yuck.

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 03:13:03 pm by RandallS »

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2014, 02:20:10 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?

 
The world has always been a horrible place.  It's just that with the internet and 24-hour news coverage, we're more aware of it.  I think people should just accept it and move on.

Then again, I'm an extremely cynical individual to whom the concepts of "hope" and "progress" are as alien as blue as a number...so I guess you should take everything I say with a grain of salt.


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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 02:31:40 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117


How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?


Definitely turn off the information stream--TV, websites--for a stretch.

I find science--learning more about the natural world around me--constantly renews my sense of wonder. Just yesterday I was reading about lichens: Each kind is at a minimum 2 different species living symbiotically to create a new organism. Way cool!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Ghost235

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 03:09:31 pm »
Quote from: Altair;167119
Definitely turn off the information stream--TV, websites--for a stretch.


 
I can definitely agree with that.  The problem I'm having is replacing what I cut out.  For example, I spend a lot of time in between assignments at work reading the New York Times and watching the Rachel Maddow show when I get home.  I agree that I should cut it out but all of the replacements(other than this very forum) are arguably worse.  

Honestly I'm beginning to think that I may have to figure out a way to create the resource that I want to see.

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2014, 03:13:09 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167122
I can definitely agree with that.  The problem I'm having is replacing what I cut out.  For example, I spend a lot of time in between assignments at work reading the New York Times and watching the Rachel Maddow show when I get home.  I agree that I should cut it out but all of the replacements(other than this very forum) are arguably worse.  

Honestly I'm beginning to think that I may have to figure out a way to create the resource that I want to see.

Maybe read a science website or a book  on a topic that inspires wonder in you? I know that sometimes I just need to focus on all the neat things we're discovering or doing or just be amazed at how things work.

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2014, 03:23:03 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117
How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?

For one thing, I am *really* careful about how much news media stuff I consume.

Basically, I don't ever use news/current events/etc. as background noise or filler, I make it a thing I choose to consume consciously, for limited periods of time, and then I go do other things with my brain.

I don't own a TV. I do watch a lot of TV shows, but I watch them streaming. (Breaking news stories are a little trickier, but there's been a grand total of one news story in the past 7 years where I really wanted the video - the I35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis when I was living there. I went to a friend's house.)

When I was commuting more than 5 minutes, I'd listen to NPR on the radio at least one leg of the commute, and usually 20-40 minutes is enough to get one cycle of the news, but not be dragged down endlessly by it. (NPR is also better than a lot of sources about a mix of information, or info and then deeper analysis, or whatever, that I find a lot more generally helpful and hopeful.)

Beyond that, I poke at news feeds regularly, keep an eye on things other people are talking about (and most news bubbles out that way very quickly) but spend my watching/listening time on other things. (That same story, btw, is the only big news story in that time frame I heard about some way *other* than online at first.)

I'm a huge believer in being attentive about what I'm putting into my head, and into my living environment, so I make sure that most of what I read/watch/listen to has things that matter to me - it's not that everything I consume is unicorns and fairy lights and bunnies romping through the fields, but most of it has people being good chosen family to each other, or improving the world somehow, or competence making a difference, or something to do with beauty.

The other part is doing things that are improving the world. Some people do this through work (I'm a librarian, and while I know I'm not saving lives every day or something, libraries are a light in the world, and we do dozens of things every day that make people's lives that much easier, better, or give them more choices, and that's really awesome.)

But I do that knowing that I'm making less money (and that has implications for lots of my life like where I can live and what else I can do) and also means being more at the whims of the state and university system, and so on, in ways that I necessarily wouldn't be in other jobs.

Other people work at jobs that pay better, but funnel some of that money or their spare time into things that make the world better. I'm not *just* talking charities, here, or non-profits, that can be things like helping organise conventions or writing fiction that makes people smile or taking really good care of friends who are having a bad year, or all sorts of things.

I've found that it's a thing where I need to step back and check on what I'm doing regularly - usually at least once a year, plus major life changes (I've been putting it on hold recently, for example, because I'm working on job hunting and moving, and that's going to change a lot of *other* factors, and it's actually making me sort of antsy, but.)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 03:29:09 pm by Jenett »
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Olivia

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 04:52:43 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117
Over the past year or three I'm noticing that I've lost my sense of wonder and joy at the world.  

To paraphrase William Blake, when I look up at the sun I see "a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea" as opposed to "an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty".

When turn on my TV I see death, pain, and misery with no real hope of things getting better.

When I read the paper I see example after example of little expectations and even less hope.

When I look at my spiritual path I'm not sure if it is a path to joy or oblivion.

I've tried to find resources that are less dark but have come up with a whole lot of nothing.  I'm truly blessed in that my personal life is actually pretty ok but when I look anywhere else outside of my own personal sphere it looks like a limitless morass of yuck.

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?

 

Like others have said maybe try to read some science journals. A big thing for me is that I actively seek out feel good stories. For all the awful shitty people there are in the world there are just as many good ones. Idk why but seeing the good deeds of others makes me feel like it isn't so hopeless.

Pix

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2014, 07:06:18 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167122
I can definitely agree with that.  The problem I'm having is replacing what I cut out.  For example, I spend a lot of time in between assignments at work reading the New York Times and watching the Rachel Maddow show when I get home.  I agree that I should cut it out but all of the replacements(other than this very forum) are arguably worse.  

Honestly I'm beginning to think that I may have to figure out a way to create the resource that I want to see.

 
Scandal and misery keeps people glued to the screen and thus revenue coming in to the media. It's a bit more complicated than that but I don't feel like writing an essay on it and that's the gist of it. It's not so bad (note, I didn't say it wasn't present) in other countries where media gets supported in different ways from us in the US.

So with that in mind...

http://www.dailygood.org/

Also, for a quick fix:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/pictures-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity/

There's a lot of good and hope, but that doesn't sell advertising space or keep you glued to the screen (or magazine, whatever), nor is it as useful in manipulating you to buy, vote, or whatever in a certain way. And then there's boring...there's a reason you don't hear of all the countless plane trips that don't end in disaster, but someone who has no personal experience with planes might fear them based on the news.
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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2014, 09:59:46 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167122
I can definitely agree with that.

 
I subscribe to Amazon, so I stream a lot of TV shows and movies, and that's my disposable-entertainment-alternative to cable, which I fully control.  (If I had cable, I'd be flipping between news networks  I'm a news junkie-- politics especially-- and it's best if I just limit my content.)  
I like talk radio in the car, but alternate it with frequent bouts of loud music.  
Most of my time on the 'net is spent here, on FB, or writing.
And, for the best kind of escapism, there's always reading.  Read whatever you want.
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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2014, 10:03:08 pm »
Quote from: Altair;167119

I find science--learning more about the natural world around me--constantly renews my sense of wonder.  

 
Yep, observing nature is always awe-inspiring.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 11:35:21 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117
Over the past year or three I'm noticing that I've lost my sense of wonder and joy at the world.  

To paraphrase William Blake, when I look up at the sun I see "a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea" as opposed to "an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty".

When turn on my TV I see death, pain, and misery with no real hope of things getting better.

When I read the paper I see example after example of little expectations and even less hope.

When I look at my spiritual path I'm not sure if it is a path to joy or oblivion.

I've tried to find resources that are less dark but have come up with a whole lot of nothing.  I'm truly blessed in that my personal life is actually pretty ok but when I look anywhere else outside of my own personal sphere it looks like a limitless morass of yuck.

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?


I go out for long walks- frequently. Different kinds of places. I am lucky that I live in a place abundant with different ecological niches: forest, ocean, mountain.
But often I take to the urban world and explore the streets. There is *always* something new, funny, beautiful, evocative etc., to see. Using a camera can help as well for at that one moment when you frame something that interests you, you see nothing else and are truly concentrating on something that moves you in some way.

I'm very trollish and 'out of the world' .It has meant making conscious decisions to do and go only to places *I* wish to and do the things that interest me.

I read constantly and so can 'borrow', for a little while, other people's experiences as well. Books, music, Art and the whole 'outside' has never been short of awe and beauty.

I am an avid news reader but I also remember only a tithe of the world gets paraded in the news. The rest is mine to wonder and dream about.

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 12:31:12 am »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117
Over the past year or three I'm noticing that I've lost my sense of wonder and joy at the world.  

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?


I watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, as well as Last Week Tonight, so that the doom and gloom on the news is easier to swallow. Heck, watching Last Week Tonight gives me ideas to DO stuff about it sometimes!

And in all seriousness: cat videos. Though I am a cat lover, so these might be more helpful to me than you. But seriously. If you are on Facebook, weed through your feed and get rid of the stuff you don't really like. Pick off the more vitriolic, partisan political pages. Find ones that make you feel good. Quietly unfollow people who post stuff that stresses you out. I did this. Now my feed is full of cats, gay rights stuff, and George Takei. But I love it...
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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 01:05:17 am »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117
Over the past year or three I'm noticing that I've lost my sense of wonder and joy at the world.  

To paraphrase William Blake, when I look up at the sun I see "a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea" as opposed to "an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty".

When turn on my TV I see death, pain, and misery with no real hope of things getting better.

When I read the paper I see example after example of little expectations and even less hope.

When I look at my spiritual path I'm not sure if it is a path to joy or oblivion.

I've tried to find resources that are less dark but have come up with a whole lot of nothing.  I'm truly blessed in that my personal life is actually pretty ok but when I look anywhere else outside of my own personal sphere it looks like a limitless morass of yuck.

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?


Like others have said, I tend to look to nature and science for that feeling of awe and peace. Look at nature photography. I follow a bunch of blogs on Tumblr that offer stunning landscapes and beautiful animals. I limit my exposure to mainstream news, as they just feed on and spew out negativity. I listen to music that cheers me up or touches me in some way. When I can, I try to do something related to social activism, even if it's just signing a petition. Small acts do matter, after all. I'll read a book or a piece of fanfiction to get my mind off the world. Write poetry or do some other creative activity. I roleplay with friends. It's all about finding a personal focus to shut out the shitty world we live in.

Juniperberry

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 10:55:46 am »
Quote from: Ghost235;167117
Over the past year or three I'm noticing that I've lost my sense of wonder and joy at the world.  

To paraphrase William Blake, when I look up at the sun I see "a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea" as opposed to "an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty".

When turn on my TV I see death, pain, and misery with no real hope of things getting better.

When I read the paper I see example after example of little expectations and even less hope.

When I look at my spiritual path I'm not sure if it is a path to joy or oblivion.

I've tried to find resources that are less dark but have come up with a whole lot of nothing.  I'm truly blessed in that my personal life is actually pretty ok but when I look anywhere else outside of my own personal sphere it looks like a limitless morass of yuck.

How do people stay "ok"?  How do you not stay in bed and not come out?

I see it as a conscious choice and effort. Happiness really isn't something that happens to you, it's something you choose. And it can be hard, but with practice it gets a lot easier. (This is in terms of general discontent and not clinical depression.)

As an exercise, step outside and find one thing that you find beautiful or pleasing. Then feel thankful for that one thing. Say out loud, or in a meditative state of mind, that it really is amazing that you exist and are able to experience this one good thing, and even if that's all there is, it's beautiful that you and it were able to Be in this vast and crazy Universe for just that moment. In my experience, that moment of thankfulness is received by something, and it does get sent back almost immediately. Like a psychic hug. (To be all new-agey. :) )

When you're feeling down, remind yourself that you are choosing to indulge this emotion. That you also have a choice not to validate it, that being content feels so much better, and then redirect your thinking. The more you tell yourself you are choosing to embrace a sense of happiness and wonder, the more you build that muscle. The easier it becomes to chose a more positive outlook. (Not that you shouldn't ever feel down or you have to become an annoying Pollyanna, but you don't have to let 'feeling down' become your default, either.)

Then remember that it's a sign of growth and maturity to be appreciative of the positives and proactive in resolving the negatives. It's ok that people are different, that the world seems scary, that you don't have all the answers. This doesn't make the world a horrible place, and it shouldn't make you feel powerless. You have the skills and qualities to turn it into a place full of wonder and surprising experiences. It means you are alive, which is so much better than the alternative.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 10:57:47 am by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Ghost235

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Re: How do you cope with the state of the world and a loss of wonder?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 09:59:07 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;167165
I watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, as well as Last Week Tonight, so that the doom and gloom on the news is easier to swallow. Heck, watching Last Week Tonight gives me ideas to DO stuff about it sometimes!

And in all seriousness: cat videos. Though I am a cat lover, so these might be more helpful to me than you. But seriously. If you are on Facebook, weed through your feed and get rid of the stuff you don't really like. Pick off the more vitriolic, partisan political pages. Find ones that make you feel good. Quietly unfollow people who post stuff that stresses you out. I did this. Now my feed is full of cats, gay rights stuff, and George Takei. But I love it...

There were a lot of very good responses here.  If the system would allow it I would have just hit reply so that everyone felt equally valued.  

With that said I'll start with the one above me.

The Daily Show and Colbert(long may it live in our hearts) is really good stuff.  I'm really hoping that the Colbert replacement is good.

Re; Facebook.  That sounds like a good idea.  I stay away from FB unless I want to see what's happening in Iceland(I have one native Icelander, one foreign resident of Iceland, one most likely ironic Icelander and the local English magazine for Reykjavik in my feed) but looking at it there seems to have gotten a lot of stuff in there I don't want to see.

Also in regards to cat videos.  I think you need this.  And it is totally SFW.

The one thing I'm noticing in this thread is the wonder in science thing.  I'm glad that there are a lot of people who get that out of science.  Unfortunately I'm not one of them.  I think a lot of it is because I've been metaphorically beaten over the head with the science stick by militant materialist atheists who are trying to slowly take over my primary religion for years and years now*.

With that said, I have been way cutting down my news intake and that seems to help a lot.  From Rachel Maddow 5x a week to 0 and the NY Times twice a week(Mondays and Fridays so I can keep up with Paul Krugman, though I may cut that down to Fridays).

Overall excellent ideas and I am very grateful for them.  Thanks much, people.


* It is seriously irritating, honestly.  I am totally ok with people being militant atheists away from me but when they go onto Buddhist forums and troll about how consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain it gets really old really fast.  I swear they remind me of charismatic Christians enough that I sometimes call them charismatic/evangelical atheists.  I'm just glad they aren't as pronounced in the Pagan community.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 09:59:33 am by Ghost235 »

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