Skip to content

Free standard shipping on all U.S. orders over $50. All goods made in the USA. We currently ship only to the U.S.

Be Here Now!

Be Here Now!

When I launched Exquisite Eons last year, it was as a cry of protest--against a culture that valued digital experience, usually filtered through an electronic device, over real life. I didn't intend it as a denial of contemporary existence, but as a way of marking and preserving our Dinosaur Values.

Back in the 1960s and early '70s, when I was in absorbing the various strains of counterculture in grade and middle school, the book Be Here Now, a 1971 volume by Ram Dass (formerly known as Richard Alpert) was a seminal guidebook to spiritual awakening. The concluding section of the book is called "Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger." Without getting into the metaphysics, I believe that today's painted cakes are the facsimiles of lived experience that people create with their selfies and photos documenting their travels through everyday life. On the face of it, it seems harmless, like the snapshots of old. But those photos establish a distance to what should be an intimate encounter.

I recently attended the Michelangelo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. All I saw around me were people photographing the art as they swept through the galleries, never stopping to truly look at what was in front of them. The importance of attending such an event is to see art "live," a direct transmission, as it were, by the hand of a genius. No smartphone photo, no website, no book can reproduce this. And I can assure you these photos were made primarily to share as a souvenir on some social media outlet. Look! I was there!

Yes, you were. But you weren't... paying attention, that is.

Dinosaurs, we remember when a Xerox machine (which didn't produce smelly mimeographed or coated copies) was completely amazing. And how wonderful to have a crisp copy of something indistinguishable from the original. But the copy isn't the whole story. It's not the original. 

Let's always take the time to stop and remember to be in the moment. Today, we call it mindfulness or being present. Be here now. 


Be Here Now!

Be Here Now!

Comment (1)

Dear Leslie,

We just met at the Wellness Center! This article provides a great example of how my generation is missing out on genuine experiences and memories just to make sure they have the memories on their Facebooks. I think many young people (baby dinosaurs) are aware of the fact that they are too obsessed with their phones, but are too deep in the culture to be able to do anything about it without majorly disrupting their lifestyles. So much of what we do is based on constant communication. The idea that anyone can notify a group of an occurrence at any time allows the person in charge to notify the group of something at the last minute. This, in turn, requires the members of the group to have smartphones in order to receive this notification on whatever social media platform is being utilized. I wish it were not such a vicious cycle, but it seems almost unbeatable. I hope that we can realize as we spend more time on our phones that real experiences are passing us by. Thanks for writing about such an important topic and for taking the time to talk to me about it today. Not many people do that. Have a great weekend and good luck with everything.

John Camoratto

Jack Camoratto

Leave a comment

Error Name required.
Error Comment required.

Please note, comments must be approved before publishing. All fields are required.