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A shaman once told me that nothing is sacred, except that which we choose. Sacred is one of those words with multiple meanings. If I can choose something to be sacred, then what would happen if I chose my computer or my phone? What kind of difference would that make in my life? After all, I have always loved technology and carry it with me almost everywhere.
Years ago, visionaries marveled at the possibilities of technology. They predicted that much of our work would be replaced by leisure time as machines, such as robots or flying cars, would take care of the hard work. These fantasies were founded on good ideas. A fellow by the name of Mr. Moore correctly predicted in 1965 that the speed of computers would double every two years. A few years later, the term ‘Moore’s Law’ was coined. Such rapid growth has given the average human access to countless tools of creation, limitless information and avenues of communication that would have appeared magical to generations past.
Technology today has surpassed the expectations and fantasies of the past. But what has happened to the promised land of leisure? Have we replaced it with distraction and procrastination, the children of the illusory productivity and efficiency? We are all fully aware of the double-edged sword, that technology is both helping and hindering us on many levels. Consider the number of times you’ve found yourself resurfacing from a Google or Facebook dive – hours after intending to do some work – feeling anxiety, shame or remorse.
I could rant on about why we find ourselves in these Google dives. How increasingly sophisticated marketing triggers the neurotransmitter dopamine (a key element in our brain’s reward system) by using powerful principles such as gamification (using game elements to promote desired behaviors in customers). But I prefer to mention this simply to recognize that there will continue to be external triggers that seek to manipulate our associations with a product or idea. In short, marketing is becoming much more sophisticated.
It’s not just down to marketing of course. It takes two to tango. The Buddhists speak of the ‘hungry ghosts’, often depicted as beings with huge bellies and tiny pinprick mouths. No matter how much they eat they are always hungry and wanting more. They represent addiction, obsession and compulsion – three behavioural patterns that are most powerful when their host is unaware of their roots. The hungry ghost archetype is quite fitting for aspects of my personality. When I am not making conscious choices on my technology, I unwittingly choose to let others make them for me and fall into the haze of marketing upgrades that inevitably lead to an insatiable need for more. My technology becomes an anchor for this unconscious void of more: more apps, more media, more research, one more Facebook click, upgrades, updates, another email to check. More. More. More.
If marketing through technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated in ‘helping’ us make our choices, then it stands to reason that we must be ever-more vigilant about the choices we make.
Choice is a dance where we lead if we choose but are unconsciously pulled if we choose not to choose. It is only through becoming aware of our psychological tendencies and emotional triggers that we can consciously lead. To do this, we must first observe our relationship with technology.
Linda Stone, a computer industry heavyweight who has studied human interaction with computers for years, suggests the art of attention management: “Attention is the most powerful tool of the human spirit ” she says. I love this as I’ve heard so much about time management in various guises and it never really meant much to me. Time is something I have no control over, whereas my attention is something I can really learn to work with. Upon further reflection, though, I realised that the most powerful kind of attention is fuelled by conscious intention.
I believe that any object can be made sacred through receiving and storing my conscious intention for it to be so. If I set a conscious intention to become centered when I play with technology, this object of my focus will anchor this. I can create a powerful feedback loop as my intention-filled object encourages centeredness and my centeredness further energises this object. Alchemising a powerful, ever-deepening and expanding sacred relationship.
Since technology is literally staring us in the face for much of the day, how amazing would it be to anchor conscious intent within it? Of course, it will take time to reprogram habits created through years of unconsciousness. But there is no time like the present to start.
Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism, Buddhism and in animistic traditions. These influences strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power that reflects the power of the gods. Consider that even the most synthetic parts of computers, phones and tablets are sourced from natural elements. One might say that we are playing an instrumental role in this relationship, helping Nature to upgrade Herself into technology.
Imagine for a moment that your computer is human. What kind of relationship do you presently have with it? Does this nourish you or drain you? Does this empower you or overwhelm you? Is this a relationship that you would choose to continue? How could you create something different? How can the way you interact with your computer bring out the best in you personally and professionally? How can the energy with which you sit down to produce or play be imbued with the highest possible intention?
With this shift in perspective, I have the opportunity to change my relationship with technology. The relationship is now infused with consciousness and a freedom to see my potential pull towards the need for more. I have cut in on the dance and no longer follow technology: I have begun to lead. When I am leading, I love the dance so much more!
With this new intention, my old reality explodes as everything becomes possible.
We live in a time of great freedoms and our technology is an evolutionary game changer. The internet is still very much in its infancy and has spurred us into the Age of Information. With so much at our fingertips, we need to be conscious. This is not really about the information or the technology. It is about our actions and our embodiment of chosen intention that will dictate the next step in our personal technological revolution. We have at our fingertips magical doorways of creation – art, music, words and worlds. We have control over these doorways through our intentions. It is up to you which one you step through.
I consciously intend my technology as sacred, beautiful and magical. What intention does your technology hold?
Arron Artikai is a creative innovator and technical expert at artikai.com; as a Music Producer, a web designer and mac prosumer. He is also an experienced teacher, a clarity coach.