The Spirituality of Technology

Many people (perhaps more specifically within the older generations) may argue that technology and spirituality cannot coexist, that they are incompatible with each other. That technology distracts humans from what should be focused on or seen as ultimate truth, it’s an evil tool of some malevolent force to sucker in the less devout, or that it’s just not relevant. But, I would argue that technology drives spirituality, or that it can when it’s used in the right ways.

Spirituality is a funny thing in that when it’s being talked about, it’s assumed that the person bringing it up belongs to a religion. I would argue that you don’t need any book of faith to be spiritual, even a nihilist can be spiritual. Spirituality, to me, means that you are passionate about something to the extent that, when you see a spectacle or experience some awesome event which is encapsulated within that context, your are deeply moved by it.

Watch this really quick:

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My favorite thing about that video is that it doesn’t push any religion-specific ideals, but at the end you still feel deeply moved by it on a spiritual level. Neil Degrasse Tyson is just a very good speaker in general, he seems to have a unique way with words when it comes to the things that he’s passionate about, and a great way of presenting them to other people so that they get excited about them. And, being and astrophysicist, that’s a rare skill to have in his field – the only other that comes to mind is Carl Sagan.

All of this to say that, in most cases, it’s technology that fuels the growth of spirituality. The more we learn about our universe and the more technologies we invent and develop, the more we learn about our relationship to those technologies and the universe as well. Neil said it best in that video – “…and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than most of those facts, is that the universe is in us”. And, if that doesn’t fuel spirituality, I don’t know what does. I don’t care if you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Satanist, Hindu, Shinto, or whatever – if the knowledge that you are directly connected with everything around you doesn’t make you feel at least a little warm and fuzzy inside, I’m not sure you can call yourself spiritual.

The spawning of that idea came about because of the telescopes scientists have used for centuries to observe the planets, stars, nebulae, black holes, and other stellar bodies of this universe. Without that technology, that wonderful spiritual observation, and countless others, would have never come about and we would just be stuck waaaayyyy back in time when everybody still believed that the earth and sky where both cognitive beings (not that there’s anything wrong if that’s what you believe, but uh…well… yeah, it’s wrong).

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