I love technology, I always have. I got my first computer back in the early days of computing in 1980 (shit I’ve just dated myself) and was swept away by it from then on. It was the most basic machine compared to today, I was thrilled when I was able to program it to display “Hello World” on my small green and black monitor. I spent over 12 years since then working as a computer systems engineer and in the last few years as a freelance web designer leveraging the power of the web to help people in my community express their vision. My Macbook Pro is one of my most important material possessions. As I’ve walked my path and unfolded the practice of being a more conscious, more fully awake alive person I’ve met many like mined people who demonize technology and point to its evils including its destructive impact on the environment and society and its amplification of modern warfare. Many of them hope for or at least long for a change back to a simpler life. Some people I know even have expressed hopes that somehow our technology will be wiped out (maybe by a solar flare or something) and we’ll have to live without it. I am not one of those people.
Like so many things the perspective you look at something through determines the conclusions you make. Being a lover of technology I am inclined to look at it in a positive light. In this age of transformation and awakening I see that technology has played a major role in helping more and more people awaken. This is because for the first time in human history information can be individually shared with the entire planet. Your creative expressions, thoughts, words and even feelings can be put out there for the entire world to share in. What we’ve achieved with technologies like the internet, personal computers, smartphones and social networking is nothing short of a global community which given our state of evolution in this moment anyway would not have been possible otherwise.
Technology has also played a major role in helping us retain our freedom. The trend in many of the worlds governments has continued to move in a more repressive direction and this has resulted in restrictions on communication and the media among other things. Computers and the internet are almost impossible to completely control (just ask the Chinese because they’ve tried with limited success) so information, even information governments would like to restrict, is usually able to find a way through. From smartphones taking video of police abusing protestors getting posted on youtube to social networking sites being used in massive uprisings (the middle east) to Wikileaks outing the practices of our corrupt lying governments, technology is now a key tool in the realization of freedom. When you can’t count on the media to tell you whats going on you can now become your own reporter and share information with everyone. Were it not for the internet we would be almost entirely at the mercy of the media propaganda machine.
Defending Democracy is not the only value its had and if your a spiritually minded person like me you may just owe the internet a bit of gratitude. Compared with the not too distant past the breadth of quality spiritual teachings available on the internet is mind boggling. Everything from learning Astrology to Western Occultism to the Sutras of the Buddha. Many libraries are going electronic making more and more of the worlds knowledge available to almost everyone. This is even becoming true for low income people as laptop technology has now reached the level of the cost of a television. Its true that much of that information is unreliable, meaningless or even deceitful but having more information is better than having none in my opinion we just have to become adept at sifting through it to find the gems.
There are deeper implications of all this in my opinion because from the level of consciousness we may ask what this represents. What are the implications of human knowledge being available to the entire planet and individual people being able to communicate and express in multiple mediums with the entire planet? Well I would say the implications are evolutionary. Human beings are not separate from the planet, we are the Earth. We are expressions of the Earth as is all life. But we are the only physical form of life on this planet that is capable of self conscious creative expression and we have formed the means of that expression into a planetary sphere of consciousness. Could we be the process by which the planet is becoming self aware on a new level? Could our technology be a manifestation of that? I think so. There is such a tendency to think of technology as being separate from nature but how can it be, its made using the materials of the Earth by living beings of the Earth. There is now a network of information moving across and above the planet at the speed of light. Governments think that network can be controlled, they are wrong. It has moved beyond the ability to control and become an expression of consciousness. No one person or group of people or organization can control it or even completely understand it, it has taken on a life of its own.
Some people I know would be quick to point out that technology has had a major destructive impact on our world and they would be right. The creation of it has harmed the environment, has created weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the governments to invade our privacy and created social barriers by isolating us in behind computer screens. I fully acknowledge the negative aspects of our technological revolution, hell it may even be cell phones that are killing so many our of amazing honey bees. However its not technology that’s to blame for this, that would be a poor excuse for us to make. Rather its the state of consciousness behind its creation. Technology does not need to be harmful to or in opposition with the environment or a healthy way of life. The state of mind that cannot conceive of consequences and acts only for power and its own self interest is the culprit here and it just may be that our evolving technology while being a tool of the dysfunctional consciousness can also help it evolve. My vision is of a healthy conscious relationship with our technology. Using it for creative expression, communication, education, exploration and even evolution. A technologically advanced society that is fully balanced with the natural world and the spirit sounds like an amazing vision to me and its what I am putting my energy into creating. Whats your relationship with technology, your vision?