Spirituality Through Technology

by talkbackty on Oct 1, 2011

On this week's podcast Rolando and I were discussing the changes Netflix is making as a company and when that morphed into talking about globalization and the positive/negative affects of technology, I kind of went off the deep end. This blog is to clarify my ramblings, and expand on a fun concept that my brain kicks around from time to time.

The gist of what I said:

“I think we are at the point in our society when there is the possibility that we could develop a way to connect our minds through the internet, or something like it. Not just you sign in to facebook and look at what I'm doing, but your mind is plugged into the internet, and my mind is plugged in and we literally are one. We know everything there is to know about each other. When/If that happens I think that is what religions are striving for. To become one with all humanity.”

I didn't come up with this idea in a vacuum (In fact, no idea comes from a vacuum, but that's a different blog post). This is based on Ray Kurzweil's thoughts on the future of technology and what he calls the singularity. The point when a man-made machine becomes better than the human who created it, mankind ceases to exist. He was on the cover of TIME a few months back and there is a great story there.

Technology is on an exponential growth curve. Each year it grows faster and faster because it is being created with the previous years' new technology. Think of it this way: Windows 8 OS isn't made on a computer running Windows XP, it's made on a computer with Windows 7. Windows 9 will be made using Windows 8. That's incredibly simplified, and not even entirely correct, but it's a good example for what I'm trying to say. Technology develops on an exponential curve because it uses the newest possible technology to create the next greatest thing.

Our Smartphones today are thousands of times more powerful than the first computer, and they fit in the palm of our hand. As technology keeps progressing exponentially, why would it be crazy to think that they could put our smartphones into our brains?

For me, that's where things get interesting. The line between who you are as an individual begins to fade away. All of a sudden you can literally sign on, see, feel and interact with the internet using your own mind. The same way you can, right now, imagine and visualize signing onto your computer and reading a blog; in a few years you'll be able to actually do that. All in your own mind.

Using that technology, we create the next tech. Which would be to completely remove any chip in our heads at all. We could, theoretically, copy all the information on our brains, everything that we are, and put it inside a computer.

Here comes the spirituality. Once you do this, and I do this, and a guy in India does this, and a girl in Russia... then we are connected. Not in a flimsy way that Facebook tries to tell you are connected to all 500 of your friends. It would be as if their minds were my mind. As if there was one collective mind of all our combined knowledge, emotions and thoughts.

To me, that is Nirvana. That is heaven. That is what it means to become one and achieve enlightenment. 

This idea- or goal if you must think of it that way- is talked about more often in Eastern religions than Western ones. But just because we don't talk about it doesn't mean it's not there.

Old Testament: Lev 19:18- Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

New Testament: Mark 12:31- And the second is namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

It doesn't say love your neighbor a lot. Or love your neighbor like you love your children, or your wife, or your best friend. It says love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Ask yourself who is the person you love the most.

My guess is it's the person that you know the best. That you've spent a lot of time with, because the more you know a person the more love you have for them.

Now to bring it all back. Imagine this world I'm talking about when minds can be shared. Not pieces of a mind, or the flashy outsides that we display publicly. Everything a person is. You would know them exactly as much as you know yourself.

If that happens, how could there be anything but an overwhelming amount of love for one another?

That's a good intro. I'll expand another day.

Thanks for reading.

One love.