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Finding Eternal Calm in a Chaotic World (Dante-ism)

Finding Eternal Calm in a Chaotic World (Dante-ism)

-the action or practice of meditating: a life of meditation.
• a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject: his later letters are intense meditations on man’s exploitation of his fellows.
ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French, from Latin meditatio(n-), from meditari (see meditate) .

We can practice meditation at any time and in many forms in our lives. Some of us practice it without realizing it.

I myself have been a longtime practitioner of something I like to call Dante-ism. It is an exercise in relaxation. The goal is to imagine a new level of hell for someone and through that visualization melt away the feelings of stress that you are currently experiencing. Dante probably imagined quite a few more levels than nine. I am sure he had to cut it short due to deadlines. I myself have blown way past double digit figures.

I find Dante-ism particularly effective while driving. Case in point. I find myself at a four-way stop sign waiting for a couple to exit the crosswalk when another car jumps their turn. I calmly let the tension go as I design a new level of hell for the driver; a time slightly less than eternity spent waiting for pedestrians at a crosswalk while an infinite stream of cars jump the gun. Not quite satisfied, an additional inspiration adds the coup de gras. The car stereo of the perpetrator will now be playing that one Rick Astley song (“ never gonna give you up …”*) in a loop. There are two dangers for you the designer when crafting these scenarios. The first is that you may visualize the imagery for too long forcing the drivers behind you to taylor a level of hell specifically for you. The second danger is that you run the risk of being stuck with that blasted song in your head the rest of the day.

I find Dante-ism to be especially calming in cases where a narrow escape from death has just occurred and the culprit is the carelessness of others. This experience is more common for those who commute to work but may also occur for those who actively participate in life as the role of an innocent pedestrian. The cases in this category that I am familiar with are usually attributed to someone not paying attention. The pedestrian scenario can provide more of a challenge when crafting a new level of hell if the perpetrator is sans automobile. In this case there is no vehicle with with which to imprison the guilty for all eternity and more imagination is required to craft the ultimate floor in your ever increasing high rise of hell.**

One may find that writers block is getting in the way crafting a sufficiently annoying level of hell. In such cases the afore mentioned cross walk scenario works well in a pinch. The idea of the guilty forever unable to cross an intersection can be quite calming. Throw in the video for that Rick Astley song in a loop on his smart phone and you have the ingredients for nirvana. Limit this scenario to cases where you have tried mightily but can not quite come up with an adequate scenario to achieve that state of calm that may be desperately required. Instead, use the opportunity to challenge your imagination. Bystanders can often be incorporated into the scene to help trap the perpetrator in time.

Creating the added annoyance factor is where ones imagination can be really be stretched. While I find it hard to fathom that someone would not find Rick Astley annoying, and neigh I say enjoyable, improbable events do occur in life and there is plenty of irritating songs out there to choose from. It is not important as to whether the perpetrator will find it maddening, it’s all about you . Remember meditation is a means to achieve personal growth and is meant to be a rewarding experience.

*I can’t bring myself to continue.
**Good band name by the way. I am thinking something in the Death Metal genre

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