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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at


                  THE HEART &WINGS JOURNAL,P.O. Box 574Lebanon Springs,NY,12114,
          6/issues yr. $12.00 - a publication of the Sufi Order of the West. 
                                          By Kenneth Reese 
                    Ifyou're like me, you've probably succumbed to some level of
          consumer electronics mania. Maybe it started innocently with a digital
          watch or calculator and then worked its way up to a VCR and then  to a
          personal computer. You might even have  felt some twinge of guilt when
          you suddenly realized these gadgets had become indispensable (when one
          of them  breaks!). Perhaps you've  felt all this runs  counter to your
          commitment to humanistic values. However, as I see it, new age  values
          and technology are inextricably bound together. 
                    Thefact thatmany peoplefirst involvedwith thehuman potential
          movement were later drawn into the world of high-tech (and vice versa)
          is a  measure of  the affinity  the two worlds  have for  one another.
          Futurist  John  Naisbitt  identifies  it  as  a high  tech/high  touch
          polarity. For the majority of people who have feet planted in both the
          worlds  of advanced  technology and  human potential the  affinity has
          long been obvious, but perhaps not well articulated. 
                    Exactlyhow the interests of thetechnology enthusiast and the
          person  on  the path  merge is  not in  any  way readily  obvious. The
          relationship between the two can be better revealed by considering the
          various tools of  high technology as artificial  devices which magnify
          the  human senses and human experience. With such a comparison several
          observations easily follow. 
                    Aclassic example of thismagnification of thehuman senses can
          be  seen  in the  home  video revolution.    Technology is  used  in a
          straightforward fashion as an  extension of the human senses  of sight
          and  hearing.  This   results  in  a  thousand-fold  increase   in  an
          individual's power to receive impressions. This has been made possible
          by   television  combined   with   more  recent   inventions  --   the
          communication  satellite,  back-yard   dishes,  cable,   videocassette
          recorders,  laser discs,  and other breakthroughs  in video  and audio
          technology. In short, for the person in front of the enormous increase
          in   video  and  audio  choices,   there  has,  in   effect,  been  an
          amplification  of  that individual's  capacity  to  experience reality
          through the medium of sight and sound. And, of course, all this choice
          is  delivered by  the exploding  global network  created by  the news,
          communications, and entertainment industries. 
                    Similarly, withthe personalcomputer revolution therehas been
          an  amplification of the mind. An individual using a personal computer
          has a level  of technological  power that rivals  that once  available
          only to  large corporations  and governments.   This  magnification of
          power may be used to accomplish a variety of directed tasks or in more
          playful and  creative ways. The net result  is that the individual may
          greatly increase personal productivity  and expand mental and creative
          powers by using an electronic tool. 


                    All  this potential amplification  of the power  of a single
          individual by use of these human-made artifacts greatly increases  the
          need for a center or focus around which unprocessed information can be
          organized  in a  meaningful fashion.  In other  words, the  individual
          requires more than ever a sense of purpose simply because the  
          personal capacity for experience and action has been  greatly enhanced
          by these  new technologies. At this  point, the tie-in to  the new age
          becomes more  obvious.  There  is no  more  exact a  science  for  the
          processing  of  impressions and  the  discovery  of purpose  than  the
          ancient  spiritual   traditions  and  their   modern  expressions   in
          transpersonal psychology and the human potential movement. 
                    It  is no accident that new age people often find themselves
          thickly involved  with new technologies. There  is a real  void in the
          midst of the silicon  chip revolution for knowledge which  can balance
          one of the effects of the information age -- a communications 
          explosion which  threatens individual  and cultural stability  with an
          overload of raw, unprocessed  information. This overload confuses both
          individuals  and, more  dangerously, nations  and their  political and
          military institutions.  Spiritual traditions have long taught ways for
          maintaining a center in the face of chaos and offered time-tested  
          techniques  for controlling  the  senses, disciplining  the mind,  and
          discovering purpose and right action. 
                    Thisknowledge isnow applicableat bothan individualand global
          level.  Ancient wisdom has never been more relevant than  it is today,
          to  help guide  and  focus  the  tremendous  power  unleashed  by  the
          electronic awakening of the planet. Esoteric knowledge has been sought
          throughout the ages by a select few as a  response to an inner call to
          discover personal meaning in life. Today, the growth of a planet- 
          wide communications network both   enerates the need and  provides the
          means for the spiritual quest to become of vital global importance. 
                    The enthusiasm ofsome futurists(such as JohnNaisbitt whoends
          his international best-seller 'Megatrends' with the line 'My God, what
          a fantastic  time to  be alive!')  is a reflection  of the  tremendous
          Power for Good inherent in technological advances. But high technology
          is without a mind or a soul unless it is guided by an intelligence  
          more powerful and compassionate  than simple human cleverness. Ancient
          wisdom provides the vehicle for such an Intelligence. 
                    Three decades after the threat of planetary annihilation was
          delivered to humanity  on a silver platter of  scientific achievement,
          it is gratifying that at least the instruments for planetary salvation
          and evolution have  been delivered  by the same  means. However,  this
          possible salvation is a process which can only be achieved by each one
          of  us using the power of our lives  and all the tools at our disposal
          in positive, creative, and purposeful ways. The myth of technology 
          saving  us from  ourselves was  long ago  proven false.  Salvation for
          humanity  is not  a scientific  formula but  a very  human one  -- the
          individual heart in  its search for  God multiplied by  the number  of
          people on this planet. 


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