Find sanctuary in oneself: new ways to meditate
Three and a half billion people (43% of the world’s population), quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic, immobilised and socially separated, are now observing the rapid changes that are occurring in all areas of life through digital means of communication from their homes. Video chat window, that is the main means of communication in the pandemic era, granted us an opportunity to see ourselves from the outside among our conversation partners, colleagues and friends, to confirm our constant presence with endless home live streams, to narcissistically observe in the mirror not only others, but also ourselves.
When in the 1970s Nam June Paik created his famous TV Buddha sculptures series, where Buddha statuettes contemplated their own image, that was broadcasted on the TV screen in real-time, live streams as a practice did not exist. Still, even then, the work was as a clear illustration of Marshall McLuhan: “It is this continuous embrace of our own technology in daily use that puts us in the Narcissus role of subliminal awareness and numbness in relation to these images of ourselves. By continuously embracing technologies, we relate ourselves to them as servomechanisms. That is why we must, to use them at all, serve these objects, these extensions of ourselves, as gods or minor religions.”