The normally peaceful and tranquil English Garden of my hometown was teeming with Pokémon Go “trainers.” The Garden, described as a horticultural attraction and floral sightseeing destination, has since attracted a wider range of visitors with the Pokémon craze.
Off the Grid
In a less crowded garden, I encountered a neighbour who informed me that my former elementary school cultivated the community garden in which we stood. He and his young daughter strolled through the plots naming the assorted vegetables. They were interacting much more with their surroundings than the Pokémon enthusiasts at the English Garden.
When I commended my neighbour on his knowledge of the plants, he replied that he was preparing himself for a possible collapse of “the grid.” We’ve become so reliant on technology that the slightest glitch can wreak havoc. An interruption in the power supply can affect access to water, fuel, fresh food, as well as hamper communications. A case in point is the recent grounding of one of the world’s largest airline carriers due to a simple power outage.
Barring an imposed disconnection from the grid, many of us are unable to detach ourselves from our technological shackles and are unable to function without them.
Along with the physical and social repercussions from the overuse of technology — particularly electronics and information technology — there are challenges to our self-identity. Research indicates that as the use of technology increases, the locus of control for a sense of being, which should come from within a person, has become increasingly external.
According to spiritual healer, Mas Sajady, the more we are bound to our electronics, the more we reside outside of ourselves and are disconnected from our true essence. In other words, in unhealthy use, we connect to technology to disconnect from ourselves.
In other words, is Pokémon Go ‘augmented reality’ or is it diminished reality?
The Soul or the Machine
Sajady distinguishes between spiritual technology and mechanical technology and suggests that we get off the grid in order to become aware of our own spiritual technology. He states that our spiritual technology is much more advanced than any mechanical technology humanity has created and it allows us to know ourselves at a deeper level.
Like the two gardens I visited this summer, we can choose to consciously engage in the web of life that surrounds us or we can allow the artificial web to dictate our life experiences. Which garden will I find you in?
Karen Gay, A-Roaming Bodyworker, is a holistic health practitioner practicing in Hanoi. For information on the types of services provided, visit a-roamingbodyworker.com