Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Diving into God’s happiness, peace, and tranquility~

Written by: on November 19, 2021

How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency is a collection of essays written by Akiko Busch. Akiko Busch has been writing about culture, remote places in the world, and design for over two decades as a contributing editor at Metropolis magazine and a faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Akiko examines and compares our identity and relationship with the modern world where “visibility has become the common currency of our time, and the twin circumstances of social media and the surveillance economy have redefined the way we live.”[1] Busch features eleven essays to present her meditations and philosophies to invite the readers to slow down to connect with her thoughts. She shares her fascination and enthusiasm in modern desire and beauty in choosing to disappear from a preoccupied world that tracks every movement, expression, and thought.


In chapter 4 – Invisiphilia, Akiko shares about her underwater diving experience. She connected her experienced “sensation of life slowing down, of being suspended in time, of being outside the rhythm of ordinary life”[2] as being submerged – becoming a refugee from the visible world. It is part of people’s innate desire to escape the repetitive rhythm of ordinary life. She further writes about her underwater discoveries that bring a person to a tranquility and peaceful state. The chapter concludes with a vague assertion that the practice of becoming invisible will require letting go of our self-ego that I am the center of things. This chapter led me to reflect on our modern world of selfies and their impact on identity. What is the newly visible world that many people are connected to? I would categorize the visibility state of our modern world as a world of selfies – the world of visual identity that is made up or puffed-up in a way. More and more, the younger you are, you are being forced to be connected through the visible world of many layers of ‘selfies’ where you get to choose the visual world that you live in. Tremendous money, time, and efforts are spent building the identity and inventing the stories, which leaves many tired and busy in the ordinary world.


Invisiphilia is not an accurate word. I think it is a made-up word by Akiko, and I think she wants to express love or fondness for becoming invisible. Personally, I think many of today’s world of selfies are more used to describe the innate desire to become invisible and detached from reality, an escape from the pressures of reality that makes us happy, at peace, and be in a state of tranquility. Seeking happiness, peace, and a state of tranquility is a vital renewal discipline for our life rhythm. But I wondered if seeking happiness, peace, and a state of tranquility in the modern form of building up a fragmentation of self-identity through many ‘selfie’ images is healthy for the individual and the society? The current data and research is showing teenagers who are adding more layers of fabricated identities and interacting through text messages and online comments as the main communication channel are exposed to a higher level of anxiety, emptiness, and frustration because it simply drains life living in the made-up world of false identities. How can we, as the older generation of faith and God’s church help our emerging generation to be rooted in happiness, peace, and tranquility that can only come from God our creator?

[1] Akiko Busch. How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency (New York: Penguin Books, 2020), 5.

[2] Busch. How to Disappear, 82.

About the Author


Jonathan Lee

President of Streamside Ministry Lead Pastor of EM @ San Jose Korean Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, CA

8 responses to “Diving into God’s happiness, peace, and tranquility~”

  1. mm Troy Rappold says:

    Jonathan: I think the last question that you pose at the end of your essay really gets to the heart of the matter. We must allow God to be the center of our happiness, joy and fulfillment. Busch talks a lot about nature and escaping from technology, but in reality, we can escape to Christ in our homes, in our workplace, anywhere and anytime. We can be centered on God no matter where we are and what we are doing. Paul felt centered on Christ when he was sitting in a jail cell. And so can we.

  2. Kayli Hillebrand says:

    Jonathan – Your post made me think of the front-stage and back-stage that we’ve already explored this semester. I’d be interested to know if any of what Busch talks about in terms of that disconnection from technology will impact your NPO.

  3. Thank you for this reflection Johnathan. I am curious about the desire to connect and the virtual avenues younger generations have taken to connect. What do you think has been disconnective about non-virtual/in-person settings?

  4. mm Denise Johnson says:

    I enjoyed your reflection on the freedom of that revealed itself while being submerged while diving. The type of solitude that enables a person to establish a slower more controlled rhythm of peaceful tranquility. Then contrasting that peace with the visibility of self-published selfies. I have often thought that the selfie created a greater disconnection between people, simply because everyone has become their own photographer. There is no longer a need to ask for help and everyone is their own “professional” photographer. It also interferes with people actually observing and engaging with the world around them.

  5. mm Henry Gwani says:

    Jonathan, much thanks for your review of “How to Disappear” and the question about how we as the older generation can help our youth find happiness and peace in Christ. I believe that more than anything else we must model these virtues through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, study, and general obedience to God. I think that when the younger generation see us demonstrating – not simply preaching – happiness, peace and tranquility, they will most likely be inspired to also reach out to God

  6. mm Eric Basye says:

    Jonathan, thanks for your review of this week’s read. I would agree with your question at the end. This is paramount that we (as the older generation) be rooted in our true identity (not of how we are perceived, but who we are) so that we might inform, instruct, and coach future generations.

  7. Elmarie Parker says:

    Thank you, Jonathan, for your reflection on Busch’s writings and for the questions you posed. I’m curious–in addition to the research you mentioned about the negative impact of social media/virtual connecting on younger people, what are you hearing directly from the young people in your circles of influence? Do they experience any positives? How do they connect their virtual experience with their spiritual journeys?

  8. mm Nicole Richardson says:

    Jonathan, I appreciate your reflection on chapter 4. This chapter also caught my interest. You talk about our “selfie-World”…Is it much different than what drove Adam and Eve to cover with fig leaves when God came wandering in?
    What responsibility do older generations have in creating a context that younger generations feel compelled to make false identities?

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