Understanding Our Minds and How We Can Liberate Ourselves and Others From the Hex of the Internet: A Vedantic Case Study

Understanding Our Minds and How We Can Liberate Ourselves and Others From the Hex of the Internet: A Vedantic Case Study

Sister Gayatriprana
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3032-9.ch018
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In facing the frustration and anger generated by the imposition by the digital world of the power of conceptual thinking and unseen algorithms, the West has sought to find the balance of inner experience. From progressive developments in psychology and a study of the great spiritual teachers of the world a model of balance between conceptual thinking and internal experience emerges: There is a need, not only to think clearly and rationally, but also to feel and empathize with all, to know deep from within what is of primary human value and the innate relationship between all beings, from the physical world to the greatest Buddha. The suggestion is that, through a secular type of spirituality integration of all of those qualities, an overall worldview will emerge. Such integration will lead directly to exuberant action that not only benefits individuals, but all whom they meet and from there outwards, outwards, and outwards, to integrate and bless the contents of the entire universe.
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The Internet Sky Becomes Darker

The advent of social media was a first sign of change. The author signed up for Facebook and LinkedIn, and was happy to meet so many people, to have an online interview with a then-prominent American spiritual leader, and to connect with buddies from university from forty years back, the result of posting online the publication of the author’s first book. This all seemed very promising. Then began the tsunami of requests to “like”, to “share”— especially rating in “feedback” the hapless online helpers one encountered in the course of trying to resolve problems. There was an endless and unrequested inflow into one’s inbox from all manner of socially active groups. Hot on the heels of this fairly innocuous stuff came phishes, malware, identity theft, ransomware, to resolve which endless phone calls to one’s security company were necessary. From there one was shunted to tech support, the providers of which did not show any understanding of the actual problem or how to resolve it. Getting to speak with someone who had any idea how to help often involving shouting, demanding over and over to speak to a supervisor, or once in while just slamming down the phone in utter exasperation. This was intensely humiliating, given that the author is a nun and supposed to be serene at all times!

Ordering online, which was previously so effortless, became an obstacle course of routinely retired passwords, including requests to prove human identity, which got more and more complicated as time wore on. There were endless feedback requests and, in the case of overseas orders, a tussle with banks not wanting to release payment for overseas purchases.

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