The Digital Age
The Digital Age or Information Age we are living in, is characterized by a shift from traditional industrialized societies to a society and economy driven by information technology. Today, we are able to transmit information without limitation, with access to information in ways that were previously impossible. Simply put, the digital age is the computer technology age as we know it and live in it, an age where incredible volumes of information are available to people through the use of devices like a phone or computer connected to the internet.
In plain terms, Spirituality is the practice of finding meaning within one’s self through an awareness of divine and natural laws, the universe and God. The concept of God in spirituality refers to an entity that is not rigidly defined or limited by man’s conception. Here, God is regarded as a creator, a life force with multiplicities and expansive love for all creation.
Within the Rosicrucian context, Spirituality is a conscious desire to explore the depths of our soul’s existence and the universe we reside in. This typically involves a tenacious inquiry and consistent examination into the spiritual and natural laws governing our universe and everything in it. Appreciation, respect and fundamental understanding of these laws will aid us in achieving harmonious living. The more we are in harmony with how these laws operate, the deeper our level of spirituality and the better our lives and those of people around us become.
Navigating The Digital Age Using Spirituality
With advancement in technology, we are brought closer to one another, as we have definitely found it easier to communicate with each other. With a tap of a button or a swipe on a screen, someone in Lagos, Nigeria can speak to another person in London, United Kingdom. Even better, people from different parts of the world can communicate with each other all at once through a conference audio, a video call or text group. It is fascinating to see what digital technology has been able to do for us as a human race from remote work to telemedicine and even activism. In the English West African Administration of the Rosicrucian Order for instance, hundreds of people from different parts of the world are often tuned in to listen to messages of light, life and love followed by a joint meditation.
While the Digital Age has brought us closer to one another in some ways as described above, ironically, the Age has caused a significant disconnect between our inner and outer consciousness which is vital to the development of spirituality. There is so much information online that keeps us distracted from doing the necessary inner work of spirituality. We are consuming loads of information at such a fast pace and this, according to several research, is negatively impacting our grasp of reality akin to being on a non-stop roller coaster ride in a park. This is not to say that deriving pleasure and joy from online information, communication or even entertainment is bad. But we must be honest with ourselves regarding the effect it has on our mind, soul and spirit. How many times have we been distracted by our phones when trying to have a quiet meditation? How many times have we been pulled into online arguments that leave us feeling drained afterwards? These things tend to add up and may one day cause us to fall into a deep sense of disillusionment and all other harmful emotions and actions that come with it.
Beyond this downside to the Digital Age, there is an even deeper problem – the growing reduction in kindness, tolerance and compassion among humans. It may seem unclear as to whether this is a direct consequence of the technological advancements of the digital age but the effects are very real. There is clearly a reduction in human goodness and this is a result of widespread low levels of spiritual development. People who are in touch with their spirituality tend to be more compassionate and tolerant of their fellow human beings. They are aware of the changing cycles of life and therefore able to practice detachment from the changes. This means that regardless of what the society evolves to, they remain focused on doing the inner work for the good of their soul’s consciousness and the greater humanity.
So how does one navigate spirituality in the digital age? The Rosicrucian Order recommends a combination of meditation, prayer, studying the Rosicrucian time-tested teachings and practicing the Rosicrucian principles. Mediation helps ground you within yourself and keeps the pathway to God open; Prayer helps you commune with God and the Divine; and the Rosicrucian teachings teach you principles for light, life, love, health, happiness and peace.
To end, let us reflect on the words of Harvey Spencer Lewis, that “man is essentially a soul clothed with a body, and not a body animated with a soul. In order to evolve and become what nature and God intended us to be, we must attune ourselves with this process of constant change.”
As the French priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”