There has been a strong natural healing movement in the world over recent decades. The many natural health practitioners and easy availability of herbs and natural foods indicate this. However, we see an increasing tendency for people to look to drugs to deal with their health problems.
Interest in natural healing appears to be declining rather than increasing with the new high tech influences. This is perhaps inevitable as high levels of media stimulation and the use of drugs easily go together, following the same demand for instant entertainment and immediate relief.
Our high tech culture today is becoming progressively trapped in growing addictions. These derive from three areas.
First is the growing dependency on pharmaceutical drugs. Many children today are regularly taking medications for behavioral problems, including attention deficit and hyperactivity. Adults are taking larger amounts of new pain relieving opiates and anti-depression drugs, as well as the usual medicines for chronic physical diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes or even simple sleeping pills, stimulants and sedatives. The average senior in America is taking 10-15 medications every day.
Second is increased usage of recreational drugs. These extend from ordinary alcohol and cannabis to cocaine, complex narcotics, and powerful synthetic opiates. Psychedelics and mind-altering drugs are part of this but with new formulations. The use of recreational drugs and alcohol with parties, music events and celebrations remains common. Yet taking drugs, either recreational or medicinal, is also part of living alone to relieve the emptiness involved.
Yet third, new and perhaps more dangerous long term, is what I would call “digital drugs”. This includes addictions to cell phones, social media, Internet, and our wide range of computer games, audio-visual entertainment, movies and cable TV, even pornography.
Our nervous systems are constantly wired by an increasing electronic stimulation designed to sell us what we do not need, or to promote political outrage and agitation. Such media stimulation affects our nervous system like a drug and programs it for dependency and addiction. We are moving into a virtual reality in which our connection with the world of nature is becoming compromised, if not lost.
The important question arises as to what will happen to the coming generation that has been subject to massive media stimulation from infancy, and has been conditioned to it as their normal way of life? They may want medicinal drugs for every ache, pain and discomfort, physical or psychological, and new recreational drugs for increased distraction and entertainment – and all of this to sustain a way of life in which they are constantly wired to one media or entertainment device or another.
Such electronic stimulation reprograms the brain and nervous system in an artificial manner, much like any drug. As a result of this, children today cannot appreciate nature because they are used to more rapid stimulation and immediate gratification. The ability of electronic stimulation to alter the human nervous system may be more powerful than drugs. Our minds reflect environmental influences, and their main source of sensory impulse and human attention. Now this is all artificial and digital.
Some technocrats are looking for artificial intelligence and robots to run society in the future, with we human beings calmed and sedated by supplements, drugs and media control. The Brave New World idea may become a reality if such trends continue unabated. Or there may come a point where human beings, or the human body, begins to reject such media impulses and yearns for something natural, otherwise the body may deteriorate or society may end in rebellion and subversion.
The Way Forward – How to Counter the Digital Assault with Consciousness
Certainly we must learn how to live and work with high tech energies. They do make for easier communication and dissemination of ideas and information, among many other benefits. We will not be going back to the pre-high tech era and do not want to. Yet we must be careful not to be overwhelmed by the new technology, which is challenging if not overwhelming. How can we do this?
First we should not resort to the media first thing in the morning before our bodies and minds have released the residues of the previous night. We should first attune our minds to nature, exercise, and meditation to gain a fresh start for the day. Only a clear and open mind can deal with the complex challenges of the high tech era, not one already burdened with opinions and information.
We should resort to nature’s healing herbs before we decide to take any type of medicinal drug. We should search for contentment within before resorting to any recreational drug to make us happy. We should learn to control our own brain chemistry through Yoga, pranayama, mantra and meditation, creating inner peace and detachment.
Similarly, we should let go of any media involvement an hour or two before we sleep at night, creating space, quiet and calm for the mind to release its media induced stress. We must learn to forget the world, which will calm the mind. We need not worry. The world will still be there in the morning when we wake up.
In addition, we should learn to formulate our own ideas by examining our own thoughts. We should not just repeat or cut and paste what others say. We must recognize that our own thoughts are more important than media messages. We must learn what our own thoughts are telling us; even if it is something we want to hear. Our thoughts may reflect our addictions, attachments, fears, fantasies and compulsions, which will likely have consequences for both physical and psychological imbalances. Yet if we give our thoughts attention and carefully observe then, we can eventually discover a deeper intelligence behind our conditioned impulses to take us beyond them.
Recognizing the Greater Universe of Consciousness
We must maintain a broader perspective on life than what any external media influence can present. Our human world is just a small bubble in the infinite universe of consciousness. Our human society as it stands is spiritually unenlightened, sidetracked into the superficial and artificial, not accessing the true wellsprings of creativity and awareness that dwell deep within us.
To sustain a higher awareness we should learn to live according to the natural healing principles of Ayurveda, and the spiritual practices of Yoga and Vedanta. Your own mind is but an instrument of a deeper cosmic intelligence at the core of your being. Any technological wonder is but an instrument of your mind, a surface display, at best a communication device, but not the true reality. The wonders of your inner awareness can put any outer media displays to shame.
There is no artificial intelligence. True intelligence is always organic, aware and cosmic, not the result of any machine or instrument. It is expansive like light, space and silence, not limited to any instruments, computers and machines. We must remember this. We must learn to connect internally to the network of cosmic intelligence that unites us with the universe as a whole.
The highest prana or energy of life can never be experienced through any media stimulation of our senses, drugs or anything else artificial or external. No media production can ever equal the beauty and wonder of the world of nature, great and small. We must first remember our greater cosmic connections beyond time and space – then we can never be overwhelmed by any media device, statement or stimulation. This is the key to self-mastery and uplifting the world in the digital age.