Thursday, April 21, 2016

"The sleeper must awaken."

The title is from the science fiction book, "Dune" by Frank Herbert.  This title is most apt today because we have allowed our technologies to be a substitute for truth and wisdom, merely by stating  a much lower dominator of facts and information.  We have artificial intelligent machines speaking to our "smart" phones and computers, answering our superfluous questions, like "Who is buried in Grant's tome?  Of course I am being sarcastic, and I am aware that some of the information is helpful, but I fear that such reliance will eventually erase our capability to seek truth and transform it into wisdom.  We must not take the seeming easy course by letting loge rhythms substitute for our human reason: "the sleeper must awaken."

We live in an era described by our cultural savants as the "Age of Instant Communication."  Most people would nod their head in agreement to the above statement.  Most people would agree too, that it is scientific technology, which is the fuel behind this age of communication, and also behind most all of our country's economic and evolutionary progress.  All of our hope for a better tomorrow therefore, seems to rest entirely within the advancement of scientifically, applied technology. Consequently, the logic of our collective belief system tells us that all the major problems existing within our culture and in the world will ultimately succumb to the future technologies of science.  We would say, "It is only a matter of time before world hunger, energy from none fossilized sources, optimum health,  alleviation of the aging  process, etc., will be mastered by  technologies adapted from scientific theories.

Because of our strong faith in science, we have unconsciously begun to worship at the alter of its technology.  For most of us scientific theory has advanced far beyond our intellectual understanding, but we can directly experience its truth through ownership and operation of its technology, ie "smart" phones, computers, etc.  For example, by owing and operating a computer we directly participate in the esoteric, scientific theories that are the creative bases behind this technology, even though we have no understanding of those  basic theories.  This ownership and operational use of scientific technology gives us a feeling of mastery, and it is this feeling of mastery that motivates us into the mysteries of science.  

As we wrap the cloak of scientific mystery tighter around us, we lose our awareness of where all of scientific theories and technologies originate, and trade that lose for the ability to compulsively manipulate the technology for fun and entertainment.  We forget that all scientific theories, technologies, and innovations, no matter how extraordinary, are the creations from a human mind, and are not miraculous manifestations from a divine source.  As such, they contain, not only the human mind's great capacity for creation, but also its great impulse to become entangled in its own narrow and selfish desires. 

If we closely examine the primary motivations moving most all of scientific technological development in our society today, we will find that underneath the scientific mystical veil, beats a heart of greed, selfish ambition, power, ownership, and domination.  All of which is played out upon a field of intense competition and urgency.  This disturbing  realization tells us that the fuel firing our entire economy does not originate from our highest virtues, but from our lowest.  Thus the values we live by today are of the lowest quality.  We value money over morality, power over equanimity, dominance over cooperation, and pretentiousness over humility.  In transposing  our values we have become unsuspected victims of our own narrow and selfish motivations, and have planted the seed of our destruction within our own house. 

It is time to awaken from our self-indulgent stupor and remember that scientific technology originates from our own minds.  We therefore have the capacity to direct our inventions with a clear mind, and to nourish those technologies whose roots are deep within the soil of social balance and harmony.  We must awaken and recall that we are all relations living on "spaceship earth,"  and that what each of us does, touches us all, for good or ill.  As the poet said, 'you cannot disturb a flower without affecting the entire cosmos.'  It is time for us to awaken and to begin to live our lives according to our highest values: where character is valued over appearance, morality over money, equanimity over power, cooperation over dominance,  and humility over pretentiousness.