It’s always interesting looking up Google statistics on who’s searching what. I thought I’d look up enlightenment, to see just how much people were interested. But it seemed the results might be clouded. The news headlines seemed to have nothing to do with the meaning of enlightenment as I intended.
OK, I thought to myself. That’s fair enough. Perhaps enlightenment is not a good word. Yet, when you look at the interest in Buddhism it almost exactly parallels the interest in enlightenment. It even gets the same amount of searches. So, what about meditation then?
Similar. So why is this downward trend? Why are people losing interest in meditation? Or are they? Meditation has currently approximately 3.4 million searches. It’s reducing but still a lot. However, look at mindfulness. While it only gets 1/4 of a million searches a month, it’s basically tripled since 2004.
Perhaps this signals an increase in people who realise that mindfulness and concentration are really the keys. But it still doesn’t explain the drop in interest in enlightenment. Perhaps enlightenment is becoming seen as something mystical and not very practical.
As an aside ranked by count, the Indian sub-continent scores highest on the meditation front, Europe scores on the mindulness front. Suggestive of the above interpretation.
What then about spiritual? It’s the same trend. What is going on?