Spirituality in the age of high-end technology and modern life
The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): Namaskar Acharya Ji. Modern life has created conditions that privilege material over the spiritual. In your view, is it possible to reconcile the best practices of the spiritual mind with the high-tech material and super-modern life? If so, how?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Life has always been high-tech, according to the age you live in. When has life not been high-tech, you tell me? Even the caveman, when he first used a sharpened piece of stone, was really going high-tech. And then, think of the one, who got an axe. The axe was the equivalent of the fusion bomb today.
So, you say as if technology is something that has happened just today. Given man’s intellect, technology has always been there. And technology is a function of times.
Two hundred years from today, if man survives till then, given the climate catastrophe and other things, all the technologies that you have today, will be considered of the Bullock-cart category. Two hundred years from today, all of today’s technologies will not merely be obsolete, but actually laughable. Just as today you look at the ENIAC computer of the 1940s, and wonder, of what use it could have been. But when that computer first came, it was absolutely high-tech. Was it not?
We fail to see beyond the limitations of time because we are so identified with time. We are products of time, so we think according to our times. We do not allow our thought to have a bit of expanse. You are calling these times modern, and then you look at all the people who have been, and you want to call them dinosaurs. Right? We take great pride in calling all those people as savage cavemen- “Oh! The primitive barbarians and we are modern people.” And every generation that thinks of itself as modern, and here I do not use the word ‘modern’ in its technical sense. In the technical sense, modernity is something that is defined by a particular era, by a particular century.
But every generation that thinks of itself as ‘modern’, is brought to its knees, is brought to some humility, by the successive generation, that terms it backward, regressive, obsolete.