“The Silicon Tower of Babel”
The over utilization of technology, its abuse, is unweaving humanity at the seams. Human health, sanity, and spirituality are under attack. The boom of accessibility over technology has increasingly subtracted from the frequency of face to face human interaction as well as human interaction with nature. The result is a declining emotional and psychological health and a ******* of spiritual values. Each individual who values holistic health should limit the time he or she spends using technology that isolates them to less than twenty-four hours in a week. They should make more purposeful efforts toward interacting with nature daily and for periods of at least an hour at a time. Lastly, these individuals should labor to replace reclusive technologies with modes of technology that encourage face to face and group social interaction such as movies, Skype, etc.
Self-limitation of the use of isolating technology will begin to correct the twisting of our spiritual values and the social and physiological damage that has been caused by the overuse and abuse of technology. In James T. Bradley’s review of Joel Garreau’s book discussion of radical evolution, called “Odysseans of the twenty first century”, Bradley quotes Garreau when he says that technology will result in human transcendence. In “Odysseans” it is said that “The nature of transcendence will depend upon the character of that which is being transcended—that is, human nature.” James. T Bradley, scholar and author of this peer reviewed journal says that “When we’re talking about transhumanism, we’re talking about transcending human nature. . . One notion of transcendence is that you touch the face of God. Another version of transcendence is that you become God.” This is a very blatant ******* of the roles of God and man. When the created believes it can attain the greatness of its creator, and reach excellence and greatness on par with its God, it has completely reversed the essence of spirituality. This results in the ability to justify the “moral evolution of humankind” according to Odysseans. And this “moral evolution” often results in “holy wars”. In “Man in the age of technology” by Umberto Galimberti of Milan, Italy, written for the Journal of Analytical Psychology in 2009, technology is revealed to be “no longer merely a tool for man’s use but the environment in which man undergoes modifications.” Man is no longer using technology. Man is no longer affecting and manipulating technology to subdue our environments. Technology is using, affecting, and manipulating the populace; it is subduing humankind into an altered psychological and spiritual state.
Technology, in a sense, becomes the spirituality or the populace. It replaces nature and the pure, technologically undefiled creation as the medium by which the common man attempts to reach the creator. The common man begins to believe in himself as the effector of his Godliness. Here there is logical disconnect. People come to believe that what they create can connect them to the being that created nature. They put aside nature and forget that it is an extension of the artist that created it. Technology removes man from nature (which would otherwise force an undeniable belief in a creator) and becomes a spiritual bypass. “According to “The Only Way Out Is Through: The Peril of Spiritual Bypass” by Cashwell, Bentley, and Yarborough, in a January 2007 issue of Counseling and Values, a scholarly and peer reviewed psychology journal, “Spiritual bypass occurs when a person attempts to heal psychological wounds at the spiritual level only and avoids the important (albeit often difficult and painful) work at the other levels, including the cognitive, physical, emotional, and interpersonal. When this occurs, spiritual practice is not integrated into the practical realm of the psyche and, as a result, personal development is less sophisticated than the spiritual practice (Welwood, 2000). Although researchers have not yet determined the prevalence of spiritual bypass, it is considered to be a common problem among those pursuing a spiritual path (Cashwell, Myers, & Shurts, 2004; Welwood, 1983). Common problems emerging from spiritual bypass include compulsive goodness, repression of undesirable or painful emotions, spiritual narcissism, extreme external locus of control, spiritual obsession or addiction, blind faith in charismatic leaders, abdication of personal responsibility, and social isolation.” Reverting back to frequent indulgence in nature can begin to remedy these detrimental spiritual, social, and physiological effects. If people as individuals would choose to daily spend at least an hour alone in nature, they would be healthier individuals overall.
Technology is often viewed as social because of its informative qualities, but this is not the case when technologies make the message itself, and not the person behind the message, the focus. To be information oriented is to forsake or inhibit social interaction. Overuse of technology is less of an issue to human health if it is being overused in its truly social forms. Truly social forms of technology such as Skype and movies viewed in public and group settings are beneficial to societal and personal health. According to a peer-reviewed study conducted by John B. Nezlek, the amount and quality of one’s social interactions has a direct relationship to how positively one feels about one’s self. Individual happiness is supported by social activity.
Abuse of technology is a problem because it results in spiritual *******. It points humanity toward believing that it can, by its own power, become like God. Abuse of technology inclines humanity to believe that human thoughts are just as high as the thoughts of God. It is the silicon equivalent of the Tower of Babel. It builds humanity up unto itself to become idols. In extreme cases overuse of technology may lead to such megalomania that some of humanity may come to believe that humanity is God. Technology is a spiritual bypass, a cop-out to dealing with human inability and depravity. The misuse of technology results in emotional and psychological damage. It desensitizes and untethers the mind from the self. It causes identity crises. Corruption of technology from its innately neutral state into something that negatively affects the human race results in hollow social interactions, reclusion, inappropriate social responses, and inability to understand social dynamics efficiently.
It may appear to some that technology cannot be the cause of a large-scale social interrupt because technology is largely social. However, the nature of technology as a whole is primarily two things: It is informational; it is for use of entertainment. Informational technology changes the focus of interaction from the messenger to the message. Entertainment technology is, as a majority, of a reclusive nature.
Readers may be inclined to believe that nature is not foundational to spirituality and has little effect on one’s spiritual journey, it is best to look through history. Religions since the beginning of time have either focused on nature or incorporated nature into their beliefs. Animists believe that everything in nature has a spirit. Native American Indians like the Cherokee believe that nature is to be used but respected. They believe that nature is a gift from the Great Spirit; that earth is the source of life and all life owes respect to the earth. Christians believe that it is the handiwork of God, and a gift, to be subdued and used to support the growth and multiplication, the prosperity and abundance of the human race.
In a society that has lost touch with its natural surroundings it is sure that some believe that nature has little effect on health, as plenty of people live lives surrounded by cities and skyscrapers, never to set foot in a forest or on red clay and claim perfect health. However, even in the states of the least contact possible with nature, nature has an effect on human health. The amount of sunlight one is exposed to is a direct factor in the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been determined to be linked to an increased likelihood of contracting heart disease, and is a dominant factor in the onset of clinical depression. Nature has such a drastic effect on human health that the lack of changing season and sunlight can drive individuals to not only depression, but also suicide. This is demonstrated clearly when Alaska residents, who spend half a year at a time with little to no sunlight demonstrate a rate of suicide and clinical depression diagnoses remarkably higher than the national average.
Dependence on technology is engrained in our society, and to some the proposed solution may not seem feasible. They find the idea of so drastically limiting technology use imposing. They do not feel that they can occupy their time instead with a daily hour of indulgence in nature. For these individuals, try limiting isolating technology use to 72 hours a week, and indulging in nature only three times a week for thirty minutes. Feel free to choose reclusive technology over social technologies sometimes, but do not let technology dominate your life. Make conscious efforts to engage in regular social interactions for extended periods of time instead of playing Skyrim or Minecraft. Watch a movie with your family or Skype your friends. Use technology responsibly.
To remedy the effects of the abuse of technology and the isolations of humanity from nature, individuals should limit their reclusive technology use to 24 hours in a week’s time, indulge in nature for an hour daily, and choose to prefer truly social technologies over reclusive technologies as often as possible. In doing so, individuals will foster their own holistic health. They will build and strengthen face-to-face relationships. They will, untwist, reconstruct and rejuvenate their spirituality. They will be less likely to contract emotional or social disorders and will treat those they may already struggle with. So seek your own health and wellbeing. Live long and prosper.