Flutterby™! : tech spirit

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

tech spirit

2000-10-06 14:46:50+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Thought for the day: Spirituality is a function of available technology.

[ related topics: Religion ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:23+00 by: ziffle

I heard it expressed as the 'god of the gaps'. That is we infer to a god that which has not been understood yet. So, the things alluded to a god are shrinking in number as you say. Ziffle

#Comment made: 2000-10-06 21:50:09+00 by: rhecker [edit history]

Ziffle, it's not God or even religion in question, but spirituality. Are you not clear on the differences? Still, I can't imagine a way in which spirituality is a function of available technology. Aldus Huxley said that surgar is the demise of spirituality in western civilization. If you push it a little, that can be taken as the oppositite of Dan's remark. It was said by one of the "gurus" of the 60's (can't recall who) that Americans are the most spiritual people on earth because they have had the opportunity to discover and be disillusioned by the limits of material gratification. An interesting thought, but I will hang with Huxley. Rob Hecker

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:23+00 by: Larry Burton

I think you can always find some form of spirituality in anyone, it's just a matter of identifying it. Climbing a mountain can be a spiritual adventure for one person while another just looks at it as a days work. I first read Dan's thought on a mailing list we both subscribe to in reference to Native American spirituality and its ties to nature. Would their spirituality have developed in that direction with the same ties to nature had the Native Americans had the technology to build a steel plow?

#Comment made: 2000-10-10 01:45:00+00 by: rhecker [edit history]

Larry, interesting thoughts. I've heard it argued that the Native Americans did not have the reverence for nature we attribute to them now, but drove whole herds of Buffalo off of cliffs and basically had a slash and burn approach. I don't mean to be cynical or to belittle them, but it has been strongly argued that the American Indian reverence for nature is not today what it was originally. I grew up in low tech Congo, the child of missionaries. Now I live in the land of high tech opulence. I did not find that people living in the acute misery and poverty and simplicity of the Congo were more spiritual, or even any less neurotic, than people in America. They were, however, more physical, open, generous, and less paranoid. This discussion about spirituality and technology may suffer from a lack of clarity about what we all mean by spirituality. Technology is pragmatic, evolving, material. It can save lives and destroy lives. How does spirituality stand up to or even next to technology? Spirituality is nothing next to technology. Likewise, technology is nothing next to spirituality. I don't really see them on the same map. Rob Hecker

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:24+00 by: Dan Lyke

I see spirituality as the belief framework whithin which we build rituals. Spirituality is how we help to define the aspects of our lives which escape the understanding that lets us create technology. As Larry mentioned, the context was replying to someone who was praising aboriginal American spirituality as tremendously earth-centered, I asserted that I'd been to reservations, the only place that that belief still existed was among privileged Marin County sort of rich white folks and the occasional rare optimist anthropologist, and that even had this belief set existed ages ago, with the introduction of the blow and the horse collar it would quickly fall beneath the ability to support more people per unit of land.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:24+00 by: Larry Burton

Rob said, >> I did not find that people living in the acute misery and poverty and simplicity of the Congo were more spiritual, or even any less neurotic, than people in America. << I don't believe that any one group of people, current or historical, are any more or less spiritual than another. I do believe that the basis of spirituality changes based on many different aspects of the society one lives in. Dan said, >> I see spirituality as the belief framework whithin which we build rituals. << I tend to view spirituality as the way one relates to one's god and I'm not using the term god to necessarily relate to some deity. To me one's god is what is truely most important in one's life. I think stone-aged man was closer to viewing nature as god just due to the fact that they had very minimal control over nature and their close observation of nature was literally a matter of life and death to them. By contrast, the society that I live in allows me the a greater opportunity to choose my god and nature isn't necessarily going to find its way up as high on my list of what is important.