Reflection not Reaction

You want to know someone who seems to follow his bliss pretty consistently?  I nominate the musician/composer and writer/producer/artist Brian Eno.  Since the 1970s, he has basically been inventing his own genre of music known as ambient music.  He has paved his own path in experimenting with a completely new approach to music, and has played not only with many other musical pioneers, but other forms of art as well.

Eno is English, and was a vocal opponent of Brexit.  So many of his friends feel the same way about British politics that many Americans feel about our last presidential campaign.  However, on his New Years Day post on Facebook, Eno wrote a thoughtful post that negative politics were not a sign of the coming Apocalypse.   Rather, he argues that things were a sign of people waking up to the inequality in the world and screaming to the world, as Paddy Chayefsky wrote for the 1976 movie, Network, that “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.”  While he didn’t agree with the vehicles the voters chose to register their discontent, he suggest it is better than just being resigned to the growing injustice in the world.  He ends his post with these words:

Inequality eats away at the heart of a society, breeding disdain, resentment, envy, suspicion, bullying, arrogance and callousness. If we want any decent kind of future we have to push away from that, and I think we’re starting to.

There’s so much to do, so many possibilities. 2017 should be a surprising year.

– Brian

It’s worth reading his entire post at:

And while you are there, you may want to check out his latest album, released January 1, 2017, entitled Reflection.  It is a 54-minute, slowly evolving, meditative piece that was designed to encourage, well, reflective thinking.  As Eno describes it on his album notes:

Reflection is so called because I find it makes me think back. It makes me think things over.  It seems to create a psychological space that encourages internal conversation. And external ones actually — people seem to enjoy it as the background to their conversations.”

I haven’t listened to the album myself yet, but I intend to.  But I’m grateful to Eno, and not just for coming up with an upbeat interpretation of last year’s political upheavals.  He also reminds me that I think reflection is a critical component of bliss.  Too often in life, we just react to things, and our reactions are usually based on our human fears, frustrations, and frailties.  Reflection, however, gets us in touch with our deeper wisdom, our inner knowing, and our spiritual connection.

So we can react to the things we don’t like about Trump and Brexit or we can reflect on the possibilities for change for the good they might represent.  You choose.


2008 photo of Brian Eno, used under Creative Commons license from Wikimedia Commons

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