the number you have dialled does not exist


Unable to communicate.




We have phones. Mobile phones. Old school landline phones. Skype phones.

We have Facebook. The Google bouquet. Texting. E-mails. Twitter and a smorgasbord of ‘social media’.

Technology has given us more ways to ‘connect’ than ever before in recorded history.

I was listening to Michael Jackson talking about change. The speed of it. The inevitability of it. He was saying, today, in a single day more phone calls are made (not counting mobile phone calls) than all the phone calls that was made in a year in 1984. More e-mails are being sent in a single day here at the end of 2010, than all the e-mails sent in
an entire year in 1994.

And yet, the number we dial does not exist.

Imagine being stuck in a room. You’ve got your mobile phone. You’ve got service. You’re alone. No windows. No sound. You dial your friend.

“The number you have dialled does not exits.”

You dial your next friend. Someone else.

“The number you have dialled does not exits.”

You try again and again, check the service & reception. Check the contacts if your phone didn’t mess them up somehow.

“The number you have dialled does not exits.”

You grab your notebook. Log in to Facebook.

You see friends online.

You try chatting.

They don’t respond.

You go to Skype.

Same thing.

Lots of people online, but no response.

No contact.

We live in a disconnected age.

People talk.

People FB, Skype, mail, text, msg and do whatever they can to reach out, desperately reach out in an attempt to connect.


People have sex.

We get married.

We have children.

But still, it leaves us hungry.


Some would try to blame it on technology. They would say it is because of all the technology that we are so disconnected, but I don’t think it is as simple as that.

Alan would say it is a left brain, right brain thing. We were sitting on our deck earlier in the week watching the sun set. We were talking about life. About how western thought has popularized the idea of individualism. The strongest survive. Every man for himself. Alan was saying it is the cornerstone of a very succesful economic system. I was wondering if this system is really so succesful and we asked the question if Bill Gates and the people he has inspired by giving away his fortune, if this does not echo the call of our time.

The call that we hunger for more.

The call that we are tired of disconnected lives. We asked ourselves if this individualistic Western
way of living – if it really and truly is satisfying and meaningful and if it is the best way to live.

Alan was saying that there are ‘good people’ out there. People who give away their money (like Bill and his own father who’ve tithed his entire life and over and above giving 10% to the Church also helped people). People who care.

But it is not about ‘stuff’, this ‘disconnectedness’.

It is not about some giving and others receiving.

It is about something ‘alive’.

Or rather the absence thereof.

And this absence is destroying us.

It is killing us.

Why do we feel so disconnected?

Why do we feel shame when we receive?

Why is our worth derived from our success?

“The number you have dialled does not exits.” – this goes to more than a ‘feeling’.

A ‘feeling’ of a few.

How many of us need medication to emotionally make it through the day?

How many of us live in fear?

Afraid we’re not going to ‘make’ it.

Afraid and tired and disappointed.

I believe if we’re ‘reconnected’ some of this fear and disappointment will dissipate.

Maybe Tania has a point when she encourages us to listen creatively. Maybe if we just start listening we’ll start connecting?

Maybe it is about more than listening?

Maybe the disconnection will disappear if we can get to a place where can be honest?


A place where we are free enough and open enough and comfortable enough to be honest.

To say it, regardless of how people will respond.

To risk failure.

Perhaps our desperate desire for connection has made us dishonest?

Perhaps our fear has encouraged us to present what we think will be acceptable, denying our heart, our passion, our being?

Maybe if we start talking honestly AND listening creatively, maybe then some connection will be established.

I don’t know.

I do know that I’ve been fortunate.

That I’ve been enabled to escape the disconnection.

From myself.

And people.

And They Whom I choose to call our Origin and Sourceror.

And, for me at least, escaping this disconnection, has brought me deep happiness.

I don’t have answers.

I imagine getting beyond our disconnection, our personal disconnection, is much deeper than a few one-line memes or a bit of meditation.

It is about more than a personal, emotional or individual relating.

It is about a societal or cultural change.

Perhaps even a political change.

I do think this ‘the number you have dialled does not exist‘-thing is our biggest need and desire and even hope.

It is at the root of our deep-seated unhappiness.

How will we answer this?

How will we reconnect?

Perhaps, as we discover a new way, as we set aside, everything we’ve been told and have come to believe, we could discover a new way?

A Way of Gift?

A Way along which we discover we are holding the Gift of Enough?

A Way along which we might embrace the idea that there is a Completeness already Received?

For me, discovering this Way has changed life, into a happy life, every day.


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5 thoughts on “the number you have dialled does not exist

  1. your post reminds me of a beautiful piece Paul Simon penned with some haunting lyrics off a tune on his “One Trick Pony Album”
    the songs’ name is “How the heart approaches what it yearns”

    it is written in 5/4 meter which is an uneven time signature that seemingly suggests loping along with a sort of an uneven limp which to my mind only adds to the feeling of uneasy un-eveness and even possibly frustration as the singer tries to get connected and make contact but gets rejected as his coin returns…

    “In a phone booth

    In some local bar and grill

    Rehearsing what I’ll say,

    my coin returns

    How the heart approaches what it yearns”

  2. I like connecting through blogs which is the upside to technology, but I must say it makes me grumpy to know people can find me and know I know they can find me wherever I am at any time by cell. I can’t stand it. What happened to the spontaneous nature of living in the moment and arriving by intuition to the right people at the right place just the right time? It is hard to do with that buzz going on and off, and mostly, I just want to discover the nature of humans acting spontaneously again.

  3. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on connection and relating. A question that comes to mind when I read your observations is; Where is the common denominator? Who or what is the center point? The drawing power?

    Where is the absolute?

    • Thanks for taking the time to read, Reinart, and for your question.

      I imagine you are asking if God is the drawing power? If so, then yes, and although he is ‘absolute’, for me it would be a bit arogant to imagine I could ‘box’ him or his thoughts or desires. I think, in history that happened often and always lead to Christians subjecting people to injustice or even death, think Christian Crusades, Apartheid in RSA, segregation in the US and even slavery in Europe and the US – all ‘ideas’ which motivated Christians from some ‘absolute’ and ended in something I do not consider very constructive.

      So as I’m found & wonder if others are also found I am very careful to claim absolutes.

      What I can confess is that I believe to be living in relationship with God and I believe he brings an element of synchronicity into my (and other’s) life and I can ‘experience’ or existentialy hope that my ‘feeling’ of being ‘found’ or ‘drawn’ grows from that relationship as I might be inspired to do something for my Zuko or kids from our relationship, not claiming to absolutely know the heart of God, but rather living from my love for him and if that brings about something beautiful, then I am grateful and if it brings about something destructive, then I am disapointed that despite my best intentions it did not accomplish or bring about what I had hoped for.

      I do feel ‘found’ or ‘drawn’, though and I do feel it is something outside of myself, for it is with the intention to bring about something not only for myself, but for a community of people, and in myself I’ve not found such goodness?

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