The following is a reduced version of the sermon that was delivered as part of the live service held today in Chat. At the end of the sermon are links to a video version of this service, which also contains a discussion of the Primary Tenents in relation to the topic as well as the reading of the Jedi Creed, a link to a relevant piece of music, and opening and closing prayers.
Like many people here, I use Facebook. But it's rare for me to post something as deep and personal as the one I let slip out a few weeks ago. I didn't really expect a response, since my intention wasn't to gain any sympathy. However, after a few days I noticed that only 2 people had responded to my post and both were vague acquaintances. None of my close friends had posted any response. Even though I wasn't looking for any, the lack of support still hurt a bit (hey, I'm only human!).
In most cases, it turns out that my post had simply been lost amongst the huge amount swilling around Facebook on a regular basis. I understand that commerce is dictated by consumer demand and the emergence of Twitter has caused changes in Facebook to the point that we are being swamped by a torrent of information from our contacts. Every little detail of our lives is being broadcast – what we're doing, where we're doing it, and who we're doing it with. There has been a distinct shift from quality to quantity and I'm not entirely sure that it's a good thing.
A lot of my “friends” have a spiritual focus and I usually open my news feed and have to sift through an endless stream of reposted words of wisdom and inspirational quotes. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good uplifting phrase as much as the next person, but how meaningful are they when the deluge drowns out the personal cries for help? How useful is it to know every trivial detail of people's lives when the individual connections are being lost? It worries me to realise how many times I have missed the chances for personal contact simply because they passed me by so quickly. Our lives are being pushed along at such an incredible pace that it's no wonder that we are increasingly suffering from such things as “stress”, a concept that is a symptom of our modern age.
It is crucial to take some time in our lives to just slow down. I have spoken before about the qualities of stillness but in order to approach such a state of being we need to ease off the accelerator first. If we try to move instantly from high speed to a sudden stop, our beings react in the same way as if we had played that scenario out in a car. That midpoint, the movement from hectic to peaceful, is a valuable place. Then we can chill out, relax, meditate, spend some time doing very little.
The important things in life can pass you by if you're too busy always rushing from one thing to another. Our brains may be able to absorb and react to the streams of information that bombard us from all sides, but our beings still need time to process how we feel about each aspect. Anything worth considering is worth taking time over. We cannot begin to respect something unless we give it enough time to be honoured and that process is so much more difficult unless we slow down.
Video version of the service:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oPlXZ7Y7JY
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01b0bzOOT8c