pandora’s box

“They gave Pandora a box. Prometheus begged her not to open it.
She opened it. Every evil to which human flesh is heir came out of it.

The last thing to come out of the box was hope.
It flew away.”

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

(an annoying pest moments before its demise / Julie Cook / 2017)

What have we become?

It was way back in 1989 when the world wide web, or more aptly known www., was
officially “created” by the British scientist Tim Berners-Lee,
an independent contractor working in Switzerland at the European Organization for
Nuclear Research…otherwise known as CERN.

It’s actually all quite above and beyond me really so I won’t even try to rehash any of it
or even attempt to explain it or its history except….
that I know that it was shortly after 1989 that one of those governing bodies
of all things science there at CERN proclaimed that access to and of the “web”
would be made available and free to the general populace….meaning you and me.

And life as you and I know it has never been the same.

And maybe that was the opening of pandora’s proverbial box.

Fast forward to 2017.

I am not a fatalist nor am I a henny penny the sky is falling doomsday sayer…
I’m also not one to put a whole lot of stock in prognosticators such as
the likes of a Nostradamus…
those soothsayers among us who carry the fatalistic signs proclaiming
that the end is near and we best all be ready…..

However that is not to say that I ever dismiss Christian mysticism…
I’ve lived long enough to know that I don’t know nearly as much as I often think I do.
I do believe in prophets.
I do believe in spiritual gifts.
and I also believe in spiritual curses…

I believe that there are those among us who tune in much better to God and His vast
and otherworldly Word than most of us average bears.
They hear and see and believe on a much deeper level than most of us are ever capable of
doing, possessing or going.

Theirs is a burdensome faith that most often comes with a heaviness that would suffocate
the average believer.
Carrying the weight of God’s very direct and personal words is not for the faint of heart.

Oh we’d all like to think we believe, we think we are faithful,
we think we step up to the plate when called…but trust me,
the majority of us fall much shorter than those few hearty inwardly seeing souls.

These certain individuals have been with us throughout the duration of time.
We know the ancient ones readily by name.
Simeon, etc…

on down to the very saints that today we so often reverently recall….
in places such as Fatima, Guadeloupe, Medjugorje, Lourdes
and even in the death camps of places like Auschwitz or in the Gulags buried deep
in Siberia.
Those select few have heard with a cutting clarity what the rest of us often naively
yearn for….but foolish mortals, you know not what you ask….

Most of us are not ready for such a sorrowful burdens of the Divine.
Think of the pieced heart of Mary…

And yet we must know that this mysticism of God is not far nor is it absent from our
modern-day lives despite many claiming quite the contrary.
Those frustrated among us who today proclaim we have no prophets,
no holy ones who see and call us to stop, look and listen–
No holy vocal polestars who point the rest of us in the right direction…

So what does Christian mysticism and the world wide web have to do with one another?
Well, not much really to the casual observer.
But to the more attuned…a great deal really….

Shortly after 1989 access to everything came to everyone with a frightening speed and
a deadly accuracy.
Now everyone had and still has the power.

The gift of technology was a boon but also a curse.

As it has begotten unto itself a wealth of spiraling accesses
of both new boons and endless curses.

It’s brought a connectivity to mankind that had never existed before.

Cell phones tying a crisscrossing virtual thread of global webs to the far flung edges
of civilization.
Internet at your fingertips anywhere, anytime….with anything you could imagine available
24/7 free of charge,
as our brains are now altered to seek out and be satisfied.

Twitter and its war of words with the tit for tat endlessness of anger and hatred…
Instagrams and its images galore be they good or be they bad….
Facebook and its sharing, bragging and constant underlying theme of human mayhem
Pintrest and its posting of the frustratingly fantastic
Snapchat and its humor of shenanigans
and so it goes…on and on, ad infinitum it begets and begets….

And what meaningful purpose does the majority of this all provide, offer or share
other than simply that, sharing…
with that sharing not always being a betterment for mankind kind of sharing….

And within all this dizzying wonderful and awful connectivity and sharing lies a
dark and sinister side…

Yet no one really wants to hear or acknowledge the darkness.
No one wants to see those who hold the signs proclaiming dangers or
that the end is near and are you ready….

For an unhealthiness has been bred deeply into mankind and it’s only boring deeper
and wider within.

Some now simply call the world flat…
Such as is the title of Thomas L Friedman’s 2005 book
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century.

But at what cost have we flattened our world and ourselves?

There is new research stating that the brain has actually been altered by this
obsessive and loving addiction to our technology and it is called brain hacking…
as in people are actually working on programs to addict your brain to
the need to access…..

So with this gift of access came to us a great responsibility along with a great curse…
Such that the majority of us were or are not ready nor prepared to bear…
rather we have been swept up within the fracas of begetting…
while the din of a million voices now vie for our thoughts…

Have we lost our ability of hearing…
listening and being attuned to those mystics among us calling out the words
of our God as we stare, with the blinders attached to our heads, ever so intently at the
devices at our finger’s reach……

Lest we be wary to whom and to what we now listen and give our beings over to…..

But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end.
Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined;
but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand;
but those who are wise shall understand
But go your way till the end; and you shall rest,
and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Daniel 12: 4, 9, 13

22 comments on “pandora’s box

  1. Citizen Tom says:

    Interest post. Good advice. Parents need to regulate the Internet for their children. Doesn’t happen enough.

    Observation. The technology is a headache, but Internet developers are not devising ways to program people’s brains. Let’s not confuse marketing techniques with programming. I think you know better than I that words mean something. When journalist write story they market it by choosing the most scary words they can. Thus, instead of a product being marketed to us with feature we would do better to ignore, they speak of us be helplessly programmed.

    What does the Bible teach us? The Bible teaches us that we will not be tempted beyond our means to resist. This is a hope we must not relinquish.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

    13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

    • I found the 60 minute story interesting in that the programming or arranging or whatever they call it works to train us to check our devices more often with the positive “feedback” of likes etc– that it is arranged in such a way as to cluster the notifications luring us back and back as the brain responds to the notion of connected positive responses–

      This educator saw and endless spiral of what the kids fed off of with the exponential growth of all things digital– it was almost like an addiction, a hunger of wanting and needing more and more with very little in the way of that which was edifying or truly positive — granted schools and savvy teachers are learning how to incorporate the technology utilizing the phones, etc into the curriculum but I worry of really where this takes them and us

      • Citizen Tom says:

        The crucial difference between programming a computer and programming a human being is that the human being has to accept the instructions.

        Someone can trick us into doing something, but we can discovery the trickery and resist. Children need the protection of their parents. We cannot depend upon government to protect children.

      • I hear you Tom- when everyone has access to everything there needs to be some sort of stopgap– and as for parents policing their kids– well they need to first police themselves!

  2. Lynda says:

    As always, it is the responsibility of each person to use the resources available wisely. This has been true throughout history. The internet is a valuable tool but we need to discern what we believe and how we use it. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

  3. says:

    This information highway is a road destined to destruction if some major changes aren’t made. There have to be controls for it just like the rules of the road.

  4. Tricia says:

    Good post Julie, on so many levels. I was thinking just recently that I have such a little attention span. I used to read books, a lot of them, but now I find my brain getting foggy and my eyes tired after a few paragraphs. Too much social media surfing no doubt has affected this.

    There is also so much untruth being spun that reality is literally whatever a person deems it to be. Political issues never get worked out among the populace because people can’t seem to think critically without personal bias taking over. When solid facts are presented they merely post a link to a story with opposing “solid facts” and call it a day.

    We are in unchartered waters here. As with everything God has a plan but it would sure be nice to know where He is going with this.

    • thanks Tricia—I’m like you—I use to read books, real books and loved getting a hold of a really good one—as a teacher, summers were really reading time—but now the focusing, the bleary eyes, the holding of attention is now almost overwhelming, as you say, just after a few pages—and I know it’s the lack of overt stimulation that is found on our devices….
      And how right you are with the tit for tat of links and tweets and opinion and conjecture—the “I’m right, you’re wrong and here’s why, boom I’m done” on and on and on
      yes God knows where this is all going—and I’m hanging on to those coat tails of His—but I keep thinking someone has got to get a hold of all of this madness!

  5. Harold maloney says:

    “I feel that someday technology will surpass human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”. : Albert Einstein.

  6. Julie, praise the Lord, that He is more powerful than all our technology and still has things in His control and plan. We are called to endure through what we can’t understand; to pray for our faith to increase; to see how God’s Word and His Spirit work when we continue to follow His plan as we know it. As I was reading your post, I was reminded of something I will probably write about ~ Jesus’ question to a few who came to Him, “What do you want me to do for you?” When we know that answer for ourselves, we will know what the world needs, and how we can provide some of the answers. Suggestion for an interesting read ~ The Latent Power of the Soul by Watchman Nee. Blessings, as we continue to seek to know what the Lord is doing behind the scenes. (Much greater than what man is doing.)

    • Ahhh Fran—such a balm always are your wise words—and as for Watchman Nee… well, I’ve loved him since I first read his books in college—I might just have that book squirreled away that I’ll need to go retrieve and reintroduce myself to 🙂
      hugs Fran!!
      as we persevere 🙂

  7. Wow, bam, bam, bam, you hit nail after nail squarely on the head! Stellar post Julie and so well said!!! 🙂 ❤

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