Buddhism, Internet, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 16: Internet Series: Effects on our Consciousness

alex
Artwork by Alex Grey – https://www.alexgrey.com/art/

What is internet doing to our state of consciousness as human beings?

Are larger companies monopolising us by creating themselves out of thin air, based on our belief in them? How does this affect small businesses and individuals alike?

What will the internet, Google, Instagram, and these platforms do to us and our children if they exert control based on the power we give them?

These questions and others will be explored in this part II of my “Internet Series” — see part I: De-Google Yourself.

We seem to be blinded into the notion that “we need the internet to survive” today. Smartphones, Google, and the upcoming 5G — our dependcy on these devices further gives them power rather than us obtaining our own power through the food we eat, the way we treat our bodies and minds, and the way we interact with other beings.

The internet is so smart that it is now installed in refrigerators, so every time you remove a carton of almond milk or potatoes, it knows you’re getting low and will write you a new shopping list to order more. You are no longer thinking or making considerate choices about your body, your health, or who you are buying from: a computer is doing it for you. This gives your power away so you keep creating purchasing patterns so the business you buy from is making decisions for you — perhaps to the same business again and again. And it’s all under the guise of convenience.

If we’re not conscious enough, striving to become evermore efficient, we will lose our true efficiency and hand it over. But we can’t say that we haven’t considered the consequences.

If we as “customers” and “consumers” of the internet, apps, and online shops keep this as our main reality, here is a possible forecast:

  • The internet will feed us our food on our couches with applications like Just Eat and Uber Eats as we lose the motivation to cook or make an effort to move based on our wants or needs. This will have vast implications on our health. We will become unknowledgeable about what we are putting into our bodies as orders are placed and fed to us (What are the exact ingredients? What care went behind our meal? Is the space we ordered from clean and suitable for cooking?) which could lead to more physical diseases.
  • The small business with a physical location will disappear as orders are constantly placed online. A few monopolise the market, like Amazon, who take a percentage from craftsmen and small businesses who actually create and maintain their products or creations (books, films, etc).
  • Physical service to others will become obsolete, because human interaction is already declining. What will happen to going into a doctor’s office to be checked out when you can describe your symptoms on Skype? Will people move from their home to get a massage or haircut? Will religious and spiritual centres disappear as people obtain more information stand-alone, rather than with older, wiser, beings?
  • Impatience will increase as our attention spans become shorter and shorter

The best thing that can happen, though, is that we realise our societies are becoming out of control with dependency on technology, and go back to:

  • Looking each other in the eyes
  • Cooking and being aware of our bodies and their needs; going to the market to buy food from knowledgable farmers who have so generously grown and prepared our food for us
  • Collaborating with others in real life out of empathy, compassion, and service to them in physical reality
  • Having more physical and mental energy/space which is conducive to a happy life and nurtures creativity, problem solving, productivity when things need to be done, and strength when performing physical tasks
  • Turning around from the big giants, refusing to buy duplicates and rubbish; buying instead from small businesses and conscious creators, like artists (musicians, wood-workers, metalsmiths, custom guitar or violin makers, painters, sculptors, jewellery artisans, etc) who spend enormous amounts of energy and time to channel “God” into the world, spreading beauty, creativity, true individuality, and essence which we are all capable of
  • Spending more time in nature and outdoors, not struggling to think or strategise when unnecessary
  • Being more aware of our environment or surroundings when in a building or outdoors, including other people who are with us
  • Devoting more of our life to being present with ourself and others
  • Improving our focus, motivation, and clarity of mind
  • Putting others first as we rely less on social media and our own ego / false persona it creates and seeks to maintainAnd finally…
  • Using technology and the interet as the tool it is meant to be rather than a dependent reality
Buddhism, Society, Spirituality

Episode 13: Samsara Explained; Getting off the Wheel

 

samsara

Samsara is the arena in which we all operate; life is “dukkha”, said the Buddha.

“Dukkha” is normally translated as “suffering”. However, that’s not a very accurate portrayal. It’s more like “dissatisfaction” that lingers around our every move as we flow through life. What we think will give us pleasure, satisfaction, or security, eventually lets us down.

There is a way out of this cycle, though, and the Buddha laid down the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold Path for us to see how to get there. He found this information under the Bodhi Tree on the night of his enlightenment.

I am sure that this is not the only way to become liberated, and I am also sure that we all have the capacity and capability to find liberation on our own, without teachers, words, or gurus. But, if it works for you and you see results, why not go for it?

The path to liberation is hard. But Samsara is also hard.

So choosing the best way forward is up to us — whether we feel the pull in our soul to be satisfied… or to put up with the unending cycle of life and its subtle sways.

In our next episode, I will explain the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold Path.

Buddhism, Satsang, Spirituality

Episode 12: Going to the Roots of “Being”


inkedbuddha

In this episode, we talk about Be-ing and how to “get there”. It’s a bit disingenuous to say that anybody can “get there”, because in reality, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. It is a recognition of Being and going back to your roots.

This is what is meant by the great perfection; meditation. To be, and to simply watch your thoughts, emotions, sensations, patterns, concepts, and basic human experience arise and pass away from moment to moment from one eternal, unchanging, permanent place. Any moment.

If all is passing through and changing, then what is left?

As always, give me a shout at curiousbodhi@zoho.com!