Entry #1

This entry is focused on the writing by Jenny Odell we were assigned. 

It is a free write with many different thoughts and not much flow, just my bubbling feelings on the passage.   

“How to Do Nothing” reflection

 The reading made me think a lot about what it means to be present and what being present means in our current society. The way this passage talks about attention and will and how the two are interlocked and quintessential to one another made me want to question if that’s always been true or if that is a relatively recent human development, I think that the development of Advertising and media created problems in attention, that moment feels like the same moment that the difference between vocation and avocation became distinct and important because suddenly people had an option to distract themselves from the lives in front of them. 

I believe there are infinite ways to experience a thing and none of them are inherently wrong, because all experience is good experience  but that being said I do think there is a difference between experiencing something presently and experiencing something absently. I believe we live in a world that currently benefits from absent experience, which is where the will comes in, when you’re experiencing absently then you have to will yourself to keep attention with something whereas if you were present then there would be nothing else to experience but that thing in front of you and there for you would experience everything as fully as you can, which I don’t think is as unattainable as it sounds it just requires a retraining on a global and individual level. 

The part in the reading about internal distractions and not being able to keep a clear enough mind to be able to focus on something made me think about meditation and spirituality which I don't believe is spoken about enough in this passage. Meditation if traced back to Siddhartha under the tree and the key teachings of Buddhism, then the goal of meditation is to clear the mind, to fully clear the mind and to hold that state without effort and at that moment you will become enlightened (my own philosophy of Buddhism) so to me I believe that being enlightened means being able to have a clear mind so that you can then experience everything for what it truly is and nothing more or less and that mode of being to me means the same as being truly present.  

Gopal Harrington