Will Technology of the Future Become Boon or Bane?
In this article, Sadhguru shares his perspective on how future technologies will reshape our lives.
Once machines start doing this, it is inevitable for you to explore the deeper dimensions of who you are. And that will be a great day, because that means we are on a holiday. We will not work for a living. Then we can look at life in a completely different way.
A Dimension Beyond Memory
What you call as your body and your mind is a certain accumulation of memory. Memory is what has made you everything that you are. For example, if a man eats a piece of bread, the bread becomes a man. If a woman eats it, it becomes a woman. If a dog eats the same bread, it becomes a dog. That’s a smart piece of bread! It is not the bread but the kind of memory the system carries that transforms bread into a man, woman or dog.
The very structure of your body is a certain dimension of memory. Memory is also a defining boundary. But there is a dimension of intelligence which we call chitta, or in modern terminology, it can loosely be called consciousness. This dimension of intelligence has no memory in it. Where there is no memory, there are no boundaries to it.
Human intellect is an island. All products of human intellect are small islands, including technology. Consciousness is the ocean in which we exist. Consciousness is an intelligence that is not identified with any memory or boundary of you and me, and this and that. This is a dimension of intelligence which has no boundaries.
As our technological capabilities increase, we must also strive to upgrade human beings to move beyond the limitations of their intellect and come to a deeper dimension of intelligence which is the very source of life itself within us.
Infrastructure for Consciousness
If anything needs to happen, a certain amount of human energy, time, and resource has to be dedicated to it. So, we have to invest in consciousness. Till now, we have been investing only in our survival. But once these technologies start becoming a reality, survival will not even be an issue. When survival is not an issue, we will definitely start investing. But the sooner we invest, the lesser the aberration when we move into these new possibilities that technology will open up.
Technology is always a double-edged sword. Which way you are going to use it depends on who you are. Whether your identity and your experience are very exclusive, or your identity and experience are very inclusive, will determine in which way the sword will swing.
So, what do we have to do for consciousness to manifest in human societies large-scale? In every generation, there have been very conscious beings. But in some generations and in some societies, they have been heard. In other societies, they have been ignored. It is time we make that voice, which refers to a dimensionless, boundary-less consciousness, heard, and make available, methodologies of how to become conscious.
Technologies for Inner Wellbeing
As there are technologies to create wellbeing in our surroundings, there is a science and technology to do the same within us as well. With any amount of technology, if you do not know how to be, you still are not well. We know more comfort and convenience than any generation ever knew in the history of humanity. But can we claim we are the most joyful and fantastic generation ever? No! People are becoming neurotic. I am not saying that we are worse than other generations, but we are not significantly better, despite the amount of toll we have taken on every other life to have what we want to have.
These technologies will bring comfort and convenience but will not bring wellbeing. It is time to focus on inner wellbeing. Right now, your wellbeing is still determined by what is around you, not what is within you.
If your body and your brain took instructions from you, would you keep yourself healthy and blissful every moment of your life? If you had a choice, definitely you would. If you are not blissful every moment, obviously, your body and your brain are not taking instructions from you. This means you are not conscious enough.
So, we have to invest in that direction. In our cities, there are hospitals, schools, toilets, and everything. But do you have a place for people to meditate? When technology starts doing most of the things that you are doing now, and you do not know why you exist, then the need for inner wellbeing will become super-strong. So, if we want to be ready for that day, it is very important that we invest both physical infrastructure and human infrastructure which focuses on the innermost core of who we are.
Editor’s Note: Inner Engineering is an opportunity to engineer an inner transformation that deepens your perception, bringing about a dimensional shift in the very way you look at your life, your work, and the world that you inhabit. There are three different modules in which you can learn Inner Engineering. Check out this page for more details.
A version of this article was originally published in Forest Flower, July 2018.