You’re in Information Burn-Out – Read this, Then Go Outside.

by May 25, 2020

Culture is not what your hands touch,
it’s what moves your hands.
Tyson Yunkaporta

We’re in a time of radical uncertainty. Probably, you don’t like it much. And, by now, you may be sick & tired of how reflexively you turn to your screens and click. For information? For distraction? All you want is some relief – some peace – some inkling of clarity.

But here’s the thing. No amount of information can, or has ever, defeated the fact of uncertainty. The natural world lives with intricate exchanges of information, but all of that occurs in and with uncertainty.

The tired impulse to force what is emerging into immediate shape and form arises from an incomplete understanding of human life in and with all of life – of what we’ve been calling Full Ecology.

It’s not that information isn’t useful, even necessary to good decision making. Yet these days, it’s painfully evident that information alone will never be the solution. It can only, ever reflect what we think we know after the fact. Culture functions best when it’s dynamic – changing as information changes, allowing us to modify our stories. In this way information is only ever a tool – a partial view. It can be helpful, but it cannot create a specific outcome.

That’s why you’re tired of it. Information is incapable of delivering sustained clarity. At best, it’s a thumbtack, temporarily anchoring larger perspective, bringing a moment of focus. But we shouldn’t expect from it what it can’t deliver.

Not one life on Earth – not yours, not anyone’s – can exist without uncertainty. COVID-19 – a front-end example of the unpredictable expressions of a damaged environment – makes that uncertainty impossible to ignore. The headlines, the cute cats, the health & beauty secrets, and the endless litter of ‘x’ things to make you interesting or to make you safe – none of these will help much.

So, look to the expert. Go outside.

Leave the screens behind. Get quiet. Pay attention. Watch how the natural world around you lives with information it receives in the moment, while the future remains uncertain. This is Mystery. It’s who you are, who we are as humans – one natural species among the multitude.

Go outside. or at least look outside.
Rest a bit with those kin.