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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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