Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spirituality and the Internet

It's been ten years since I wrote this... and while the experience of surfing the Internet has now become routine, and many of the dangers exposed (not the least of which the isolation it can paradoxically bring), my initial claim still rings true. The Internet still connects people to something Beyond unlike anything else.

Sit down in front of your computer after midnight and see what is there. Reach out to connect - and not necessarily with people. Simply connecting to the latest news, to stock results or late ball scores, is enough to evoke a feeling of “humble surrender” and awe. How lovely can this universe be, how orderly and sound, when, without waking a soul, I can order cut-rate plane tickets to Chicago? How close to the mountaintop can you ascend, when, with a few clicks, you can see the deep blue earth from the perspective of a roving satellite hundreds of miles up? How dusty must my weary pilgrim’s feet get, when I can click my way to a live shot Jerusalem’s Western Wall in seconds, and fax my prayer to be placed within its ancient cracks? Mircea Eliade, a modern master of the study of the Sacred, writes of a sacred space as a place of breakthrough, a point of passage to another realm, an absolute reality. From where can we jump off into a higher world if not from a springboard whose range appears so limitless? Who would have thought that the “road less traveled” could be so easily located on the Information Superhighway?” (, p. 113)

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