To unravel things a little we need to simplify them. No matter how complex a situation may appear on the surface, when we break it down we find a series of simple guiding posts. In this regard we can speak of two 'sign posts;' relative reality and absolute reality.
From the latter perspective we must remain just as we are. That is, as we really are; the changeless, ever present self from which all of this 'display' arises.
From the relative perspective things are a little different.
There are all kinds of positive things happening, just as the opposite is also true. Spiritual webinars, on-line guidance, eBooks on all manner of spiritual and religious topics, meditation music, free courses, seminars, consultations, all manner of blogs covering very diverse topics. A vast array of information and self help tools exist for those who want to dive deeper into the world of spirit.
On-line spiritual communities are sprouting up around the globe and in these virtual environments, common interests link people together whether they are in Alaska or down town New York. Your racial background, your gender, even your language are no longer a barrier. There are now so many ways for people to connect and interact.
The potential for reach and influence is enormous but at the end of the day does any of it bring us closer to finding out who and what we really are?
The world wide web has been very aptly named, these cyber fibres envelop the globe in one pulsating, vibrant buzz. But what does all of this 'buzz' actually amount to?
With so many choices available, the need to develop discrimination is imperative. Without it we simply enter another 'reality' of our own creating and the mind can create endlessly, but to what end?
Technology may appear to bring us closer together, it may help us to become more aware of the bigger picture but does it lead us to 'truth?' Does it bring us nearer to the things that matter?
In a relative sense the potential for good or bad is very potent, but as is always the case with the 'tools' that we create in this world, our use of them determines the out come. If we take note of which characteristics are uppermost in peoples minds, and more importantly in our own minds, then we might get an idea of how our future can be shaped and moulded by these developing technologies.
If our thoughts are of one humanity and the development of a global community, of loving kindness between ourselves and all living things, including the planet on which we are living, then surely the outcome could be something quite wonderful. We are the only ones that can prevent such a spectacular global community from forming.
However most people's minds are not far seeing or harmonious, at least not 99 percent of the time, in fact the mental atmosphere of our planet has become quite toxic and this is a human creation. What is in our minds, will in due course manifest itself in the outer technologies that are becoming increasingly a part of the way we live. Ultimately how they are used will be a reflection of our inner state.
Mind is powerful and it creates. This is why simplicity and the importance of getting back to our place of balance is so crucial. The more powerful the 'tools' we create, the greater the potential for good or evil.
If our minds are peaceful and inclined towards higher goals than the mere making of money, getting of power, appearances and greed, then we could be very optimistic about the future, but from all appearances there are still many hard lessons to be learnt and these generally come by way of painful processes. At least this is what history shows us has been the case time and again.
'Turn within. Know yourself,' are phrases that many of us are very familiar with but unless the essence of this is taken into the heart and experienced directly, the power and potential inherent in their true meaning can not manifest.
'Experience' is most likely to visit those who are not dissipated, multi-tasking, imbibing, doing, engaging and generally 'busy' with their spiritual pursuits in what ever form that may be taking.
In the midst of our complex digital world, which can appear at times to be spiralling out of control, there is ever the quiet, still silence. Unaffected and unchanging. Ever present and omnipotent.
To know who and what we really are is to know un-contrived simplicity. I remember one evening when i was sitting in a corner of my master, the previous Dilgo Khyentse's room. Sogyal Rinpoche swept in with a number of his foreign students and at one point asked Khyentse Rinpoche, 'how it was possible to recognise our true nature, directly and un-mistakenly?'
Khyenste Rinpoche simply replied, 'you can be certain when it is unaltered.' That may not make any sense to the uninitiated, but once one has had a whiff of the 'scent' of the true 'self' that simple statement will speak volumes and open us to the recognition of what always is.
'Unaltered' refers to what is, to that which knows and exists as 'I Am.' We become so absorbed in reading the text on a page that we seldom, if ever, notice the page, the paper on which the text is written, without that paper there would be no text, no story, nothing...
It cannot be repeated often enough, because it is so vital that we understand the ultimate purpose of our lives. Everything that manifests in this world arises because we exist.
To know who it is that knows it exists is wisdom...
We may feel very clever and modern with all our digital technologies and yet it is stated in the Ecclesiastics (1:9) "what has been will be again; what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
The most vital truth of all may seem far from dazzling, yet everything; absolutely everything exists in and of that.
In the midst of the 'noise' of living
may we all come to know who and what we really are.
This truth alone is the ultimate problem solver
and the one single panacea
and it is closer to us than we can even imagine...