Influence, Ego, and Divine Spirit

In todays world of the internet, where you can hardly get a job without a clean Facebook page and an active Twitter account, its hard not to get swept up in the madness. In these cyber pages you can build an influence that will build a business, build a reputation, and even a personality, but when the smoke clears, can you still be that divine presence that every Yogi strives for?
Many yogis have frown on the growth of the internet; the more time you spend in the realms of the cyber world the less you are out there spending time in the realms of the real world. Here is where the Guru of old and the yogi of today differ. Many Gurus humbly say, it is not the amount of followers that they have but rather that the message they have get out; yet those who look to make the world better know they must amplify the amount of people who hear their message.
Many of those regarded as Gurus today, have themselves reached out to their followers via social media. Obvious to the Guru, the activist, as well as the artist, when looking to bring about change they need followers, influence. I too have been thrust into the world of influential social media, giving into key words, and networking. Unemployed, social media has opened up opportunities; opportunities that require me to look into social media, then write findings. Further and further I go down the rabbit hole. Now, heavily addicted to the world of social networking, I lock myself away inside my computer, day after day, hour after hour, at different cafes and the library working. Even when spending time with my friends, I am infamous for fiddling on the different social media apps on my phone, looking for wifi to check my profiles, and talking up this and that site moving me up in their ranks of influence. Incidentally, all of this meant nothing to me.
What I was doing on the social network sights was nothing more than learning for the internship that I had landed, nothing more than me becoming a better writer. SOPA, and my work to stop it, changed my perspective on everything. Laboring to stop the dangerous bill, not once did I stop to check my status, to check the difference-if any-I had made in voicing my thoughts. I was inconsequential in what I did: changed my profile picture, and asked a few influential friends to do the same. One such friend called me and asked, “have you see then amount of response we have gotten from your protest?” Flabbergasted, I had not. I had no idea that one mere suggestion had led to influence hundreds. My thoughts lingered, what did this influence really mean? Having influence, especially with those you know, causes a strange feeling of power. Not only am I concerned about what it means, but rather what this would do to grow my own ego. What would happen if I did actually become a big writer? Would I make millions of dollars and then lose myself to the world of fame and fortune? Would I be able to keep to my divine nature?
A dreaded parallel was drawn in my mind. What a miserable person I was as a manager, and what a terrible person. I shuddered to think these two experiences were similar enough to cause the same result. Two seemingly different situations with one same end result; collection of power. Even with extreme awareness, theres always that surviving fear that we will resort back to our egos, we will let influence and power corrupt ourselves. My mind raced and I feared the worse thing to happen; in my work on social media, I would allow any influence I had to twist my delicately pure intention, into something selfish, and voracious. Awareness brought two very important things to mind, I was influential for who I am and for my passion. Humbleness alone was a huge part of me being able to influence anyone at all. I reached out to a few people who I knew would care and had a much greater reach than my own. Never once did I ask them to cite me as their influence, rather I just asked them to help the issue. Their love for the truth was enough to convince them to help.
My influence would not distort me as a person, because I was not interested in fame, I was interested in getting a message out. Influence is necessary these days. We are forced to measure ourselves in the amount of other people who willingly nod their heads and tell us to lead the way. And where is our influence to lead people? Influence is a great power that has a greater responsibility; those who influence the most, need to take the most care in what they say, how they say it, and the messages that they are sending.
Influential power, and everyone has it, must be instep with our own beliefs and in the intreats of over all benevolence. By keeping pure intention, and a divine nature; the message can never be skewed. Go a head, check those Klout scores, build that Twitter followers list, and try to grab as many people to your blog as possible; but take all of these actions in the way that is right. Do not take the opportunity to gain influence and throw it away, do not fill the world with more idol and mindless wreckage, but rather try and heal the wounds there. Raise up those who listen to you as best as you can, and influence yourself with as conscious people as you can, bring peace and freedom to the world.

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About 8petallotus

Here are the thoughts that hit me after everything is done and quiet, capturing the few moments of enlightenment between the grind and giving it a place to inspire. A place for yoga and divine inspiration.
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One Response to Influence, Ego, and Divine Spirit

  1. Thanks for your post! I think the Sivananda organisation found a way of how to deal with social media and internet, embracing it, enriching its followers, but without getting caught up in a virtual reality, sacrificing yoga’s spirit. They have daily newsletters, veggie recipes, quotes from Swami S. you can subscribe to (and so on….). As you say, yoga and social media don’t exclude themselves. It just depends on how they’re used.

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