When an idea reaches critical mass there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.
What if the Internet, itself, was spiritual in nature? This is a question I wondered about back in 2001, when I designed and wrote a thesis on Spirituality and the Internet. My ideas at the time were roughly hewn. I had just finished three years doing a lot of coursework in design, computer science, and digital art. The project was to create a spiritual space on the Internet. But, the deeper message, was that the Internet itself was a spiritual space, simply in its form – following on the form follows function idea.
On this same idea, just today, two very interesting and timely articles fell into my lap, by way of – you guessed it – the Internet.
In a country where about one-third of the population regularly goes online, the internet gives women “a place to vent out our frustrations and our dreams,” said Reem Asaad, 37, a professor of banking and finance in the Saudi port city of Jeddah who blogs at reemasaad.blogspot.com.
It also has allowed women who normally are “physically invisible” to participate more actively in Saudi society, Asaad added.
“From the authorities’ viewpoint,” she explained, “so long as women are behind a curtain, or a screen, and so long as they are not before a camera or walking down the street, then everything is fine. Women are free to do anything they want as as long as they aren’t seen, heard or spotted doing it by men.”
When I read the words “physically invisible”, my heart felt a sharp pain of sadness and despair. I can’t begin to imagine how it feels to be physically invisible. Feeling into what it might be like to be hidden in such a way stimulated a deep sense of compassion for all women who are experiencing this. Obviously, I don’t know what this is like. And, of course, I am projecting my own fears and feelings onto the story here. But, from one woman to another, from one soul to another, I feel for these women.
To read on and see how the internet is bringing them into connection and out of such separation brought a sense of possibility for what might be, how the world could shift simply through the Internet. To shift this way, we have to see that the Internet is the means for connection, something I believe we are beginning to understand more deeply each day.
After sitting with these thoughts, the second article fell into my lap (or I should say, landed in my inbox). The Internet as a Living Symbol of Global Oneness, written by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee Ph.D., a Sufi teacher and author, is an extremely important article on Huffington Post. It could change the nature of how we experience, and use, the Internet.
“I believe that the Internet is a gift we have been given. It provides an image of how the energy of life can flow freely in a way that defies the barriers of nationality and geography. Yet sadly because we are so immersed in the surface activity of this technology, in its tools of commerce and communication, we do not realize its deeper, symbolic dimension. A symbol is a connection to the sacred ground of our being which alone gives real meaning to our daily life. The Internet, as a living symbol of global oneness, offers us a direct connection to an awareness of divine oneness (italics mine). But because we have lost touch with the symbolic dimension of life, we do not fully recognize this potential of the Internet: as a dynamic expression of a new consciousness of oneness that has within it access to energies and means that can unify our divisive world (italics mine). If we were awaken to its real potential, we would be truly in awe–and we would laugh, with wonder, at life’s capacity to recreate itself while we are not even looking.
What does it mean to shift to seeing the internet as a symbol of global divine oneness? What does this mean for our everyday use of the Internet?
I can see, now, that all my attention back in 2001 on this notion of connection through the Internet was coming from intellectual and psychological perspectives. The internet as a dynamic symbol? A brand new door of understanding and knowing.
The Internet as this symbol feels deeper and richer. It feels alive. It is alive. It is dynamic. It has energies and means within it to bring about the awareness of oneness that already exists. We aren’t in control here. Yet, we can, if conscious, align with this potential inherent in the “gift we have been given”.
We can see ourselves in connection with others out there, like these women in Saudi Arabia who are now experiencing a new kind of visibility. We can know we are moving within this dynamic consciousness of oneness as we bring our own gifts to the interplay of connection and expression. We don’t have to figure out how to use this. We can’t figure it out. It knows. It is alive. We can trust in its aliveness. We can move with it.
One thing I do know: the importance of connecting women, in order to awaken the vital energies of healing and nourishment that lie dormant in the cells of our bodies – to awaken the primal sacred feminine nature of women’s creativity. We won’t fully bring to life this force within that is pushing to awaken, if we stay hidden, invisible and alone in isolation. We will awaken in community. We have been given the gift. How will we use it?
How have you already experienced this divine oneness? How does knowing this change your perspective on the Internet? How might you being to move with it?
What if simply knowing the Internet as a living, dynamic manifestation of oneness were the idea that needs to reach critical mass that Marianne Williamson speaks of? How might things shift?