Observing the dramatic advances in our technological products over the past decade, and noticing the under-30 crowd virtually tethered to their devices, begs the question of where we are headed as a species. For a while technology may serve us in valuable and important ways, if we lose our connection to Nature and our ability to relate to each other as a result of living in a ‘virtual’ world, we will have lost the best part of being human–and an opportunity to develop into a more evolved species.
We have passed Kubrick’s 2001 and yes, our computers are now smarter than we are: Watson has not only competed in and won a Jeopardy challenge, but has been awarded the 2011 Webby for “Person of the Year.” Could devices become ‘intelligent’ enough to take over? Perhaps. But whether or not they take over à la Hal, or simply co-opt our time, energy and attention à la Wii, the fact that the lives of more and more are being lived in ‘virtual reality’ must be considered alarming. How can it be more enjoyable to engage in activity in front of a screen than to engage in real life?
We are on the brink-an undesirable time to be myopic. Before us is the most important crossroads in the history of civilization: one way leading to a world where humans are little more than servants of the machines they have created to serve them, engaged in front of screens where lives are lived ‘virtually’ (FarmVille!); the other leading toward a civilization that has recognized its Spiritual Nature and the Oneness of all Life: where the environment depended on for existence is respected and cherished, and brotherhood is not a cliché but a way of life.
And while the media are bombarding us from every direction with enticements toward the former, fortunately, there is a growing segment of the global population that has been steadily evolving toward the latter.
Wake up! Look dispassionately at the rapidly disintegrating world around you and see if it’s to your liking. Entertaining gadgetry is not a good enough reason to relinquish human contact or human-kindness. If we allow our devices to dictate our behavior and co-opt our lives, we are in danger of becoming the adjuncts of our machines, losing our hearts and souls to circuitry and disassociated from Life itself.
A conscious and concerted effort must be made to steer the ship of civilization toward the desired destination, and it’s not the impossible task it seems: each one has the power to make the necessary change within. Awareness is the key.
Embrace the Evolution Revolution, become self-aware, and help create a world where humanity flowers and real life is much more interesting than any machine could ever be.