Under the influence: breathing life and spirit in/to a mediated world

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The constant barrage of bad news in a 24 hour news cycle, coupled with opportunities for multi-platfrom entertainment 24/7 with its relentless gospel of consumerism, can be depressing and …

The constant barrage of bad news in a 24 hour news cycle, coupled with opportunities for multi-platfrom entertainment 24/7 with its relentless gospel of consumerism, can be depressing and overwhelming. The demands this electronically mediated environment places on the human person, body and spirit, depending on age and circumstance, requires a response that is personal, social, and cultural. Sister Rose will lead us on a silence-prayer-conversation reflection on this reality using sight and sound samples from popular media to discover ways to breathe and grow joyfully while "under the influence." I gave this presentation at Loyola University, Baltimore, Feb. 28, 2014, faculty retreat, Education Department.

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  • 1. Under  the  Influence:     Breathing  Life  and  Spirit  in/to     a  Mediated  World   Rose  Paca>e,  MEd  Media  Studies   Pauline  Center  for  Media  Studies   Los  Angeles,  CA   PaulineCMS.com  
  • 2. Our  response   in  a  noisy  mediated  world  of  stories   •  The  demands  that  are  made  on  the   human  person,  body,  mind,  spirit   •  Asks  of  us  personal,  social  and  cultural   responses  
  • 3. What’s  your  story?  
  • 4. Silence  &  the  Word   A  forgo>en  aspect  of  communicaNon?  
  • 5. RelaNonship  between  silence  and  the   Word   •  Alternate  and  balance   •  Integrate  one  with  the  other   •  To  allow  authenNc  dialogue  and   achieve  deep  closeness   between  people  
  • 6. CommunicaNon     breaks  down  when   •  Word  &  silence  become  mutually  exclusive   •  Giving  rise  to  confusion  and  coldness  
  • 7. CommunicaNon  acquires  value     and  meaning  when   The  Word  and  silence  compliment     one  another  
  • 8. Silence  is  an  integral  part  of  human  existence   When  absent     Words    rich  in  content     cannot  exist  
  • 9. The  word  is  all  around  us  
  • 10. Who  is  my  digital  neighbor?   •  Today  we  are  living  in  a  world  which  is  growing  ever   “smaller”  and  where,  as  a  result,  it  would  seem  to  be  easier   for  all  of  us  to  be  neighbors.     •  Though  closer  than  ever  deep  divisions  within  our  human   family.       •  On  the  global  level  we  see  a  scandalous  gap  between  the   opulence  of  the  wealthy  and  the  u>er  desNtuNon  of  the   poor.    
  • 11. •  We  have  become  so  accustomed  to  these  things  that  they  no   longer  unse>le  us.     •  Our  world  suffers  from  many  forms  of  exclusion,   marginalizaNon  and  poverty,     •  To  say  nothing  of  conflicts  born  of  a  combinaNon  of   economic,  poliNcal,  ideological,  and,  sadly,  even  religious   moNves.  
  • 12. Voices  from  the  culture   •  •  •  •    Movies  about  breathing,  taking  a  breath   Listening   Silence   And  someNmes  …  change  
  • 13. From  silence  arises  jusNce  
  • 14. The  word  is  all  around  us   the  word  is  us  
  • 15. Personal   silence  
  • 16. In  silence   We  can  listen  and  understand  ourselves  
  • 17. In  silence   Ideas  are  born  and  deepen  
  • 18. In  Silence   We  gain  clarity  and  understanding  of     –  What  we  want  to  say   –  What  we  expect  from  others   –  How  we  choose  to  express  ourselves  
  • 19. In  silence   We  allow  others  to  speak  
  • 20. In  silence   We  avoid  being  Ned  to  our  own     untested     point  of  view  
  • 21. In  silence   Space  is  created  for  mutual  listening  and   deeper  human  relaNonships  
  • 22. In  silence  we  observe  authenNc   communicaNon   Facial  expressions  and  body  language  are   how  people  reveal  themselves  to  one   another  in  love  (or  not)  
  • 23. Silence  is  a  powerful  mode  of   expression   All  human  living  is  communicated   –  Joy   –  Anxiety   –  Suffering  
  • 24. Silence  gives  rise  to  acNve   communicaNon      That  requires   –  SensiNvity   –  A  capacity  to  listen     These  manifest   •  The  true  nature  and  measure  of   relaNonships  
  • 25. In  noise   •  Silence  is  essenNal  for  discernment   •  To  disNnguish  what  is  important  from   what  is  insignificant  or  secondary.  
  • 26. In  silence   Deeper  reflecNon  helps  us  discover  links     between  events     that  at  first  seem  unrelated    
  • 27. In  silence   We  can  become  media  mindful     •   Evaluate  informaNon         •   Analyze  messages    
  • 28. The  media  mindful  person   Then  shares  thoughaul  and  relevant  opinions  that   give  rise  to  an  authenNc  body  of  shared  knowledge    
  • 29. Create  your  own  media   environment,  eco-­‐system   A  balance  between   –  Silence   –  Words   –  Images   –  Sound  
  • 30. Benefits  of  authenNc   communicaNon   A  culture  of  encounter,  solidarity,   good  
  • 31. Search  engines  &  social  media   StarNng  point  for  communicaNon  
  • 32. Today  the  process  of  communicaNon  is   fueled  by  the  search  for  answers   •  •  •  •  Advice   Ideas   InformaNon   Answers  
  • 33. People  are  bombarded  by  answers  to   quesNons     they  have  not  asked        And  needs  they  did  not  know  they  had  
  • 34. Silence  is  precious   •  So  we  can  focus  on  important  quesNons   •  Exercise  discernment   •  In  the  informaNon  surge  and   entertainment  sNmuli  in  which  we  live  
  • 35. The  human  condiNon  sNll  seeks   existenNal  meaning   •  •  •  •  •  Who  am  I?   Why  am  I  here?   What  can  I  know?   What  am  I  to  do?   What  may  I  hope?  
  • 36. In  silence   •  We  affirm  those  who  ask  these  quesNons   when  we  can  give  more  than  a  hasty   answer   •  We  then  open  the  possibility  for  profound   dialogue   •  We  call  them  to  silent  reflecNon     •  …  and  to  reach  into  the  depths  of  their   being  and  open  themselves  to  what  God   has  wri>en  on  their  hearts  
  • 37. Constant  flow  of  quesNons   •  Demonstrates  the  restlessness  of  the   human  heart   •  People  constantly  searching  for  truths  of   lesser  or  greater  import   •  …  to  give  meaning  to  their  lives  
  • 38. We  all  yearn  and  search  for  truth   But  we  cannot  rest  content  with  a   superficial    and  unquesNoning  exchange     of  skepNcal  opinions    and  experiences  of  life    
  • 39. “When  people  exchange   informaNon,  they  are  already   sharing  themselves,  their  view  of   the  world,  their  hopes,  their  ideals”    
  • 40. CommunicaNon  is  a  human   endeavor  not  technological  –  Pope   Francis   •  Who  is  my  digitl  neighbor?   •  The  parable  of  the  Good  Samaritan,  which  is  also  a  parable  about   communicaNon.       •  Those  who  communicate,  in  effect,  become  neighbors.       •  The  Good  Samaritan  not  only  draws  nearer  to  the  man  he  finds  half  dead   on  the  side  of  the  road;  he  takes  responsibility  for  him.       •  CommunicaNon  is  really  about  realizing  that  we  are  all  human  beings,   children  of  God.    I  like  seeing  this  power  of  communicaNon  as   “neighborliness”.  
  • 41. Pay  a>enNon   Know  where  websites  and     social  network  sites  are  that  can  help    people  find  Nme  for  reflecNon  
  • 42. Create •  •  •  •  •  Provide  content  for  reflecNon   Prayer  experiences   MeditaNon   Sharing  the  Word   Living  the  Word  
  • 43. Tweet  the  Word   But  concise  phrases  sNll  need  the  context  of   a  culNvated  inner  life  
  • 44. World  religious  tradiNons:   silence  is  a  privileged  state   For  people  to  rediscover  self  and  the  Truth  that  gives  meaning  to  all   things  
  • 45. The  God  of  revelaNon  needs  no   words  
  • 46. In  darkness  God  speaks  in  silence  
  • 47. Eloquent,  loving  silence  
  • 48. wHat  we  can  discover  in  silence  
  • 49. AuthenNc  communicaNon  =  taking   responsibility   •  Whenever  communicaNon  is  primarily  aimed  at   promoNng  consumpNon  or  manipulaNng  others,  we   are  dealing  with  a  form  of  violent  aggression     •  like  that  suffered  by  the  man  in  the  parable,  who  was   beaten  by  robbers  and  leh  abandoned  on  the  road.    
  • 50. •  The  Levite  and  the  priest  do  not  regard  him  as  a  neighbour,   but  as  a  stranger  to  be  kept  at  a  distance.       •  In  those  days,  it  was  rules  of  ritual  purity  which  condiNoned   their  response.       •  Nowadays  there  is  a  danger  that  certain  media  so  condiNon   our  responses  that  we  fail  to  see  our  real  neighbor.  
  • 51. •  EffecNve  ChrisNan  witness  is  not  about   bombarding  people  with  religious  messages,     •  but  about  our  willingness  to  be  available  to   others  “by  paNently  and  respecaully  engaging   their  quesNons  and  their  doubts  as  they   advance  in  their  search  for  the  truth  and  the   meaning  of  human  existence”    
  • 52.                    
  • 53. Along  the  way   •  Let  our  communicaNon  be  a  balm  which  relieves  pain  and  a  fine  wine   which  gladdens  hearts.     •   May  the  light  we  bring  to  others  not  be  the  result  of  cosmeNcs  or  special   effects,  but  rather  of  our  being  loving  and  merciful  “neighbors”  to  those   wounded  and  leh  on  the  side  of  the  road.       •  Let  us  boldly  become  ciNzens  of  the  digital  world.     •   The  Church  needs  to  be  concerned  for,  and  present  in,  the  world  of   communicaNon,  in  order  to  dialogue  with  people  today  and  to  help  them   encounter  Christ.     •  The  Church  needs  to  be  a  Church  at  the  side  of  others,  capable  of       accompanying  everyone  along  the  way.  
  • 54. Breathe,  breathing,  empowering   others  to  breathe  
  • 55. Silent  contemplaNon   •  •  •  •  •  Immerses  us  in  the  grandeur  of  God   And  the  source  of  Love   Who  directs  us  to  our  neighbour   So  we  can  feel  their  suffering   And  as  a  response  offer  them     –  The  light  of  Christ   –  His  message  of  life   –  His  saving  gih  of  the  fullness  of  love  
  • 56. Silent  contemplaNon   •  Leads  us  to  the  eternal  Word,  the  Creator   of  the  world   •  Who  becomes  more  present  to  us   •  Makes  us  aware  of  God’s  plan  being   accomplished  in  history  
  • 57. In  silence  we  learn  “to  communicate  that   which  we  have  seen  and  heard”     (1  Jn:  1-­‐3)      
  • 58. This  mystery  impels  us     to  become  heralds  of  hope  &  salvaNon   and  witnesses  of  that  love  which     promotes  human  dignity     and  builds  jusNce  and  peace