Throughout the ages, civilization has opened up for us new horizons in knowledge and science, and it has raised our material standard of living. More recently, modern technology, especially the use of mobile devices, has made our lives dramatically easier in many ways: the way we work, the way we travel, how we communicate, how we find the information we need, etc. However, instead of lifting us to a higher level of being, our technology has only developed certain faculties to the detriment of others.
More often than not, we use our mobile devices when the situation demands that we think twice and get in touch with our conscience. In short, we become mechanical. Only by thinking twice do we get in contact with our conscience. Instead, we use our devices to do the thinking for us, and therefore we don’t feel present. The present should be our lifelong companion. But when we make technology our lifelong companion instead, the present is absent.
Our modern habits give rise to imitation (the desire to “do as others do”) and make us constantly compare ourselves with other people. Ego and vanity are at play, which form part of our ‘false personality’. False personality is not the natural side of us. It is acquired and takes over us at every moment. We live our lives through the lens of our personality, not directly. We do not see our personality, we are not conscious of it, and so we don’t feel present. Instead, we feel dissatisfied with life.
When we are bombarded non-stop with digital “highlights” of other people’s lives, we are always hoping, perhaps, that if only we could experience what other people are experiencing, for example a nice holiday, then we would be happy. How could that be, since we are always carrying the burden of our personality – with all its manners acquired through imitation. Manners of walking, manners of speaking, finding fault in others, and so on.
When we constantly compare ourselves with other people, we are not happy because we are not present and not connected with our conscience. So, what can we do to free ourselves? Well, the solution is not to throw away our devices and go and hide in a cave. Not at all. According to the method I give in my book, we must use all the bad influences around us as material for ‘the Work’ (working on ourselves). In other words, turn every curse into a blessing. In the case of using modern technology, observe yourself at every moment. Watch what you are doing. Are you sensing yourself? Are you keeping your attention on your breath? Remember to remember yourself – that prevents you from identifying with whatever you do. Only then will you feel present and alive.