Friday, July 14, 2017


The Mystery within...
I became painfully aware how much the world of electronics is consuming the time and attention of so many and it is a worry.  As I sat outside my grandchildren’s summer school waiting to pick them up, I watched parents walking into school with their heads down looking at their electronic devices and barely glancing up in time to see how close they were coming to the school door.  And when coming out again, these parents had the same downward fixed gaze as they walked back to the parking lot.  That same afternoon when I took my granddaughter to her orthodontist appointment, we walked into a full, but very quiet waiting room.  Parents, and grandparents, looking down at their electronic devices, occupied every chair.  And later that day, when I went to lap swim at the pool, sunbathers reclining in poolside chairs were also absorbed in that fixed downward gaze.  I checked out the lifeguard to see if he was minding us swimmers who were temporarily free from that electronic grip.

I recalled my earlier reading of the evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, who wrote, “Every movement made by an organism is based on a physical environmental input, which initiates a physical chain of events inside the organism, which results in the physical movement of the organism—its behavioral output.”  And “Left unattended, cultural evolution will take us where we don’t want to go.”

Wilson highlighted the late priest and paleontologist, Teilhard de Chardin, and wrote of him:   “For Teilhard, the vital spark that transformed us from a mere species to a new evolutionary process is the capacity for reflection…the power acquired by a consciousness to turn in upon itself, to take possession of itself as an object endowed with its own particular consistency and value…to know oneself…to know that one knows.”  

Teilhard believed an atmosphere of trust was needed for reflection; trust in the slow work of a Loving Vine Dresser who leads us through some stages of instability and gradually forms in us a new Spirit.     

What I wonder is all this absorption in electronic devices affecting our evolution as a species?  Is it taking us where we want to go?  Does all that information being absorbed facilitate trust?  What are we loosing in being less present to our surroundings and one another? Do our devices broaden our focus and lead us to ask the right questions to become better people? Do they help us listen? Do they facilitate reflection and contemplation? Are they improving our behavior?  Can we reflect on our use of our new technologies so we will be led to better love, serve, and forgive one another?

I’ll confess I am at the other end of the spectrum and should be more facile in the electronic world.  I have a little flip phone that I try to remember to take with me in case of emergency.  I never leave it on because I won’t remember to recharge it and then it would be useless in an emergency.  This frustrates my children since they can’t always get in touch with me, which at times has its advantages.

What if we each reflected on our use of electronic devices?


  1. Marcia, as with anything there is a up and a downside. Technology can help a person feel more connected to loved ones and the world in general. And as with anything too much or little is not the optimal. Striking a balance is the key. Thank you for the thought provoking post.

  2. Thanks Jazzminey for you thoughtful comments. I like your connection to the upside and downside of all things. I am in the process of writing another memoire that explores my experiences of that dichotomy in all things. Our connection gives me hope. Marcia