In the News:
No gadget can ever satisfy the soul
Posted September 3, 2003
As I write this I am looking out of my window at a gardener across the road. He is using a petrol blower to blow away leaves from a driveway. It is quite something that technology has managed to replace even the common or garden broom. What next, I wonder?
No area of life is free of science's rapid advancement, with new inventions appearing all the time. But does it really improve the quality of life? With all our computers, phones, fast cars, dishwashers and robot vacuums (coming soon), are we happier today than we were fifty years ago? Increasingly we are becoming dependent on more and more things, and probably going into more and more debt just to pay for them. And then they break down, or there's a power cut, or we are robbed, or we discover that we are wreaking havoc with the environment.
A key tenet of the Krishna consciousness movement is "simple living, high thinking." This is based upon the understanding that life is meant for something more than satisfying our senses. By keeping material needs to a minimum we have less headaches and more time to focus inward, to cultivate spirituality and think of God. In the end only this can make us peaceful and happy. No matter how much sense pleasure we get, how many comforts and facilities, it is never enough. We've got to have more, the latest gadget, the newest model, something different. And science moves relentlessly on, trying to satisfy that need.
If modern technology can free up our time for more spiritual life, then I for one welcome it. But as I watch the gardener across the road struggling to restart his blower, and I myself struggle to recover lost files from my recently crashed computer, I wonder if this will ever be the case.
Hare Krishna Priest and Author.