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Technology Consciousness

Café-Salon Philosophique #62

June 17, 2000

No. of Participants: 10

Topic for Discussion: "Technological Consciousness, Who needs it?"

Samuel welcomed one and all to our Café gathering, and invited participants to share topics of interest. Suggested topics were: "Love and Loss," "How do we use Creativity?" "Why are we here?" "Suffering versus Pleasure" "What is Urgency?" "Technology with a Conscience."

The group chose "technology with a conscience" as the topic for the evening's discussion. What does this mean? To where have we evolved in our consideration and consciousness towards our fellow human beings versus technology?

Since the dawn of the computers, the world has been changing at lightning speed. The invention of microchips, satellites, wireless systems, just to name a few, has made this possible. We've come to expect results "instantly!" "now!" "faster!" "in 30 seconds" - "less than a day" - "not even a week" - "ten days will never do!" "We have got to have it now!" We have come to expect "instant gratification."

Advancements in electronics and technology is all well and good, but what about "personal contact with people?" Remember when you could talk to a live person on the telephone instead of being forwarded through three menus before having to leave a message?

The Internet and E-Mail is changing and shaping the way we do business. Pagers, fax machines, and voice mails leave us "talking" to, or "reading "machines instead of relating to real live people.

Televisions, DVD's, stereos, video & computer games, etc., have enabled us to lose our self in space and "entertainment." We can "escape" into virtual reality. I'm not trying to say that technology and electronics is bad, but like all good things, compulsiveness and abuse of "the gadgets" is once again taking over.

We are spending more and more time in front of screens. We sit in front of computers and TV's; play video and computer games for prolonged, indefinite periods of time. Could this possibly be affecting the way we relate and interact with other people?

David Orb gives a good example of how prolonged pre-occupation with technology can affect our ability to communicate. In his article, "Like Whatever"...., He describes "how the vocabulary of 14 years olds, has declined by 40 percent in the past 50 years - from 25,000 to 10,000." That's a big change! Why is this happening? Could the rapid pace and change in technology be a possible cause?

He believes, "the decline is not merely in the loss of words, but also in our ability to be able to think. Our minds are becoming dulled from a lack of intellectually stimulating, creative thinking."1 We are losing our ability to think for ourselves, say what we mean, and do what we say.

The new attitude is, "Why do anything when we can do it with the touch of a button?"

The rapid growth and spread of Silicon Valley is creating a kind of "shrink-wrapping" and "engineering" of our experiences into an ever increasingly uniform and ugly world - peddling it as "fun" and "information." Experiences are becoming superficial, artificial, and prepackaged.

So, what are the driving forces behind this new "Age of Technology?"


Values are changing. These driving forces are eroding the structure and nucleus of the family. Insane and cut-throat competition is at work with "one trying to outdo the other." We compete for the sale of a product. We compete against each other. We compete against our selves. Why? What is the real satisfaction we are deriving from this? Does this really fill the void inside?

What about creativity? Does anyone remember what that word really means?

What has happened to "soul consciousness?" Why are we hypnotized by the creation of matter, rather than the Creator Self?

Where are the genuine artists? Why does Society not teach us how to balance our worlds of the inner artist with the scientist?

It seems we have been so conditioned, that we choose to where blinders, and live in our own little worlds. We find "informational intellectual masturbation," "visual bombardment;" and "earsplitting" acoustics more "exciting" rather than discovering the inner creative workings of our being.

We concentrate more on "technique and technology;" and slowly slip further and further away from the soul essence of our being. This keeps the doors closed to other dimensions. The only dimensions that most humans want to explore are cyberspace, virtual reality, and "outer" space, not inner.

But, Society likes "wearing masks," playing out "roles," and identifying with the personality and ego only. We have forgotten the true artist within - "The synthesizer and transformer of matter and spirit, right and left, creation and creator, and so on."2

We don't honor this vehicle - the body, we abuse it. We continue to keep our bodies constantly "on the go." We "work hard, play hard," are over stimulated and stressed; and have forgotten the value of Motion and Stillness.

Good intentions and ideas tend to become distorted from the original idea. For example, in the "exercise craze," moderation of activity has been suggested for years, but the cry from the health nuts is, "No Pain, No Gain!" "More is better." So, we run around, wear out our bodies, eat bad food, and become lazy by not creatively stimulating our minds and bodies. We run on automatic, do things mechanically and repetitively.

We continue to lie to our selves and deceive the "inner hidden treasure." Oh yeah, the ego and personality says that we "know what we are doing," but I bet when one is alone and by him self, if he would just be honest for one minute, he would realize that "something is missing."

But, hey, it is easy to brush it off, right? We then continue to wander around the planet consciously or unconsciously wondering, "What is the meaning and purpose of this life?"

The troubling thing, my friends, is that we have become confused about "book learning" versus "human body learning." We think that the wealth of information is in a book or on the Internet. This leads us to be conditioned and confused about the real meaning of information versus knowledge, knowledge versus wisdom.

All the books will gladly tell you "how to do" anything. Don't you know the outside experts know what is good for you? Ha! Ha! Come on! Where is your innate intelligence and intuition? Don't you like to think and do for your self? Do you really like following the crowds? Doing what everybody else is doing?

That's why I like to study mime. It demands a particular discipline to expand the mind and body intelligence. One works to seek and find the essence of the soul. Discoveries are made of how to organize and meaningfully express one's self. One can develop a new, energetic attitude for living in this world.

A return to the artist could help to fine tune the world of technology if we would only take the time to learn to operate from the inner, soulful level. The work would then contribute to the whole.

Where are you? How are you driven?

Our next Café discussion will be held Saturday, July 8, 2000 at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St. in Boulder, Colorado. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there! Invite your friends! Come prepared with a new and interesting topic.



1 Orb, David. "Like Whatever." Utne Reader, July-August, 2000, pgs., 28-29.

2 Avital, Samuel. MIME and BEYOND: The Silent Outcry. Hohm Press, Prescott Valley, Arizona, 1985, pgs. 19-22.

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.