Reviving a Lost Consciousness

As technology advances, needs are simultaneously met and created.  Define technology: applied science (Merrian-Webster).  Define science: a branch of study concerned with the observation and the clarifying of facts.

Crows build levers with stones and sticks.  Monkeys use rocks to crack fruit.  With the right tools, one can get from point A to point B, from want to attainment.  Tools allow us to build, and as we build we discover other tools to accommodate tasks that are more complex.

Today we face an age of technology indulgence.  The constant turning to Personal devices such as Smart Phones and iPads for gratification creates a bottomless dependency on usage, or addiction.  Yesterday, at the nail salon, a little girl was getting a pedicure.  Her mother sat not far away.  She asked her mother for her iPad.  “I’m sorry,” said the mother.  “I left it at home.”  “I need it though,” said the little girl, who was at most six years old.  “I like playing it.  It makes me relax.”  The mother procured her iPhone, which she gave to the little girl, so she could play a game.

Why did the mother give her child the iPhone?  Mindless action breeds ignorance.  The mother did not realize that, by giving her daughter a “substitute” for the iPad as opposed an alternative, she is saying it’s OK to depend on an object for gratification.  Sense gratification perpetuates suffering.  That’s no easy lesson to teach a child, and I don’t condone denying a child of something that he or she so desires.  However, if a child wants to indulge in hours watching TV up-close, or gorge on a large bag of sweets, would you permit her?  Better yet, would you provide her the means to do so?  If a parent does not teach his child by example–for he is the child’s first role model–how to manage and control anxiety rather than band-aid it with a screen (or candy), then the child will have a difficult time forming new, healthier habits as she grows and enters a world where distraction is valued over quiet time to the self.

Please don’t set your child up for a future of silent dinners in the glow of “Smart” devices.  Teach her to communicate.  Conversation is a gateway to the path of truth and self-knowledge.  Knowledge is Liberation.  Ignorance is Bondage.

“The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.”  Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

 

“Therefore, directly understanding the constitutional position of the soul is the solution of the whole problem.”  -A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Sense Enjoyment and Spiritual Beings

Sense enjoyment is part of being human.  We eat what we enjoy.  But when does it cross the line?  Fulfilling the senses outside of what’s necessary to survival causes both happiness and misery.  When we focus on sense gratification, we adhere to the material world, where life is about “obtaining” versus “attaining,” “having” instead of “receiving,” “taking” instead of “giving” through devotion, a labor of love.  In truth, nothing is owned, nothing “ownable.”  As human beings, we owe our spirits to the universe.  As spiritual beings, we can attain bliss.

First, we must consider our actions as modes of operation.  The way we do things affects the outcome.  As we continue to do them, a pattern sets in.  Such patterns can be life-long, usually learned, habits.  We think, “habits are hard to break,” but why set ourselves up for defeat in thinking we must “break” or act in violence towards seemingly unchangeable modes of action?

Action is a product of the mind.  We think with intention to solve a problem, or receive thoughts without effort.  Consciousness works that way.  It is comprised of thoughts that can ignite bodily passions, compulsions towards non-conscious or “mindless” action.  Instead of allowing yourself to be consumed by the senses, watch thoughts happen.  Watch, but do not act.   Practice mindful action, conscious thinking.  This is divine inactivity, or meditation.  The old way will dissolve and yield clarity.

The mind can be compared to a puppy.  It wants to play, eat, sleep, chew furniture and dig holes in the backyard, but we have to coax it to rest.  In a state of rest, our motives become clear; the old “ways” disintegrate so that new patterns and connections to the world and how we experience it can emerge.