The path to peace lies within, while reaching out.

There is a Buddhist phrase, to become one with the universe that lies within each of us. I like the content of the message. What I wonder is what is the universe around us today that we can seek and discover within ourselves?

Sitting under the Banyan tree Buddha saw a changing world. What would he see? Has the world changed beyond what could have been recognized? Or are there still the same essential questions that we all ask?

clip_image002How does all of that relate to this, a technology blog? It is the eternal conflict that all of us have, or at least I have. I am not one to believe in the concept of technology for technology sake. I do see where technology in and of itself can corrupt and lead to the power problem. It is also because as you see in the graphic technology expands the universe we are in. What once was a simple and easy proposition, people never traveling more than 30 miles away from the place they were born has become a flat world with instantaneous communication. As long as I follow the rules of time, I can call anyone in the world at anytime.

That changes the world around us. Technology makes the connection much greater than it was before. We connect via Facebook, we connect via LinkedIn. Communication isn’t the only thing that has changed. Where once Buddha sitting under a banyan tree could see all around him, now with your smart phone you can see the surface of Pluto from 3 days ago. Not a long distance blurry picture of a distant speck in the sky but an image of the planet from a close passing Satellite. A flat world that is ever evolving.

clip_image004Technology is a path. It may include enlightenment and in the end it may not. But it a path we can choose. But I wonder if it leads us astray? Do we in watching the world though our screens miss out?

Can we become one with a universe that is contained on a screen in front of us? That screen may hold more secrets than any one person could even dream of 200 years ago. But it also closes the world around us, and replaces the things that are with the things on the screen.

clip_image006I joking blogged about the devolution of humans, where we suddenly are hunched over our small screens. I did intend it as a joke originally but now I worry. In the last 10-15 years injuries from distracted walking have continued to rise. Younger folks are more likely than older folks and more people talk while walking than text while walking but both are equally bad. We lose the piece of the universe when we talk and walk. We begin as we speak to lose the external world. Try it sometime. Walk with your cell phone and have a conversation with someone else. See if you remember the color of the flowers you walked by. Don’t pick a place you’ve walked by 100 times, try somewhere new. Then after the conversation is done, remember what you saw. You will find that as the conversation goes on you remember less and less of what was going on around you. It is a part of the way the human brain works. It is also the universe slipping away from us for a time.

The path to peace goes through you to where you need to be.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow!