Holding a Mirror to the Future of Our Humanity
Lately I’ve been asking this question daily:
Who am I?
Life is a continuous journey towards that answer, and the future. We’re on an endless journey seeking the answers that can possibly suit ourselves.
Far Beyond The Stars has always been a duality between answering that question about myself, combined with giving a small group of people who feel the same way as me permission to be themselves in a world which isn’t quite yet open to the idea of who we actually are.
It isn’t easy being different. We’re up against a society that wants us to conform to a common idea. We all know that common idea well, it’s plastered on billboards across the world, it’s in every television commercial. It’s a common idea that’s killed and is killing us.
Society wants us to be the center of society, we want to be the center of ourselves.
If we try to be any more or less than normal, we have to be ready to deal with the repercussions from everywhere. The status quo doesn’t like to be challenged.
I think if you quantum leaped me from two weeks ago to now, I would hardly recognize me.
One event leads to another to another and then you end up in a damp hotel parking lot at 3:30am asking yourselves a different question: who are we?
The definition of who I am continues to deepen, and thus the group of people who will find common ground with me and the others who are like me will grow more vast.
Having the ability to deepen ourselves, to evolve faster, is okay, it is beautiful. If we were all the same, going the same velocity, the world would be very boring.
…and so I journey towards the center of the Earth with the mindfulness that riding this edge is treacherous. I know that when I continue to come out as a continuously complex individual on the Internet, that a growing number of people will be uncomfortable with who I actually am.
I’m fully aware that this discomfort can even possibly come from a place of recognition.
If you see someone being yourself publicly, and you haven’t let yourself be yourself, the first act is usually to react.
Ask yourself first, can you open yourself to the idea that a group of people exist that I’m going to describe? Then maybe look and see if pieces of this future generation already exist within you.
I am eternally grateful for the amazing people who are supporting me in this journey (esp Gwen Bell, Jonathan Mead, Julien Smith, Maren Kate, Corbett Barr, Crystal Silver.) Thank you for the bravery to ask these questions with me, of me, and of yourself as we continue on this investigation towards who we really are.
If that’s me lying there, then what am I?
Recently it became clear to me that minimalism had to have a root cause. It wasn’t simply that all of the thousands of people who have tossed all of their junk to live with less had decided to do this just for it’s own sake. There had to be a deeper reason.
For now I’m referring to the reason as “beyond minimalism”, as I can’t figure out what the word is for the idea staring at me from across the table that separates us here tonight.
Over the last few months, I began to delve deeper. I’ve been meeting with digital vagabonding minimalist changemakers in person. I’m beginning to see that we have a lot more in common than just minimalism… the similarities between us ran much deeper than simply deciding to throw out all of our stuff.
In a way, we’re all very much children of the Internet.
Our brains have been wired since shortly after birth to be hardwired to our digital selves. This appears to have wide-spread implications for how we evolved and are evolving (quite rapidly) as the exponential nature of technology continues to accelerate.
I’m not ready to delve into the answers yet — though I really wish I could just come out and say what I’m truly feeling all at once. I just know deep down that at this moment in time, as the year comes to an end, the world is not quiet ready for the conclusions that are beginning to form in my mind.
It could also be that I’m not ready either, and maybe you aren’t as well. I just know that we’ll both be ready soon.
In any investigation towards a deeper understanding of our own humanity, there is a danger of going too fast, too furious.
I just want to throw myself at the answers without thinking too much about them, that’s the kind of person that I am. I want to bound and leap towards conclusions, I want to know everything and be everything and never stop. I want to ride the edge of this wave forever.
…but, as we know all too well, driving too fast on a slippery slope is dangerous.
And thus I intend to walk towards this new idea of ourselves mindfully, aware of every step. Aware every second with the clarity that comes from every breath.
The journey towards understanding will take me through Chicago over Christmas and onward to New York on January 4th. There’s still no ticket booked back to San Francisco.
If you’re in Chicago, follow @ninayau on Twitter for more details on our epic tweetup on December 30th at 7pm.
Now stay tuned for two brief announcements…
Why you might not want to come with me on this journey.
The next year on this blog is going to ask some incredibly tough/interesting/wowholyshit questions about ourselves and the society that we live in. How fast is technology accelerating evolution? How does this change the relationships that we have with each other? How do you create a healthy independent digital self that takes care of you? Is the Internet a living/breathing entity that’s changing us more than we change it?
We’ve come a long way from the days when this blog was about decluttering desks. This blog is definitely NOT about simplicity anymore — though I’m hoping to search for a simple answer to all of these incredibly complex questions.
As they say, ignorance can be pretty blissful. If you’re the kind of person who just wants to sit on the couch and watch The Office until your heart condition catches up with you, this might not be the blog for you anymore.
I want everyone to come with me, but the truth is that most of you aren’t ready to step onto this path. The ideas that will be on this blog will open doors in your mind that you might wish hadn’t been opened.
You have my permission to return to safe, clean, calm, normal reality. All you have to do is step back from the edge and look away.
I decided not to raise the price of Minimalist Business. To be honest, I don’t need more money than I already have. You can continue to buy it at the price that is currently set.
Instead I’m writing a new e-book, which doesn’t have a title because I can’t figure out what the word is yet, which will ship on February 1st.
I’m probably not going to post here again until next year, but maybe I will. Who knows.