Spirituality and Modernity

You know God’s funny. You know the God that I don’t even believe in anymore. It’s funny. And now you’re gonna die now in a painful way, and that’s gonna be the end. I think that when push comes to shove, there is as much reason to despair and be cynical as there is to be hopeful and believe in the possibilities of life really triumphing. And because it’s really equal on both sides, the real heroism is to get up in the morning and say, “Okay. It’s equal on both sides. I’m gonna take the risk. I’m gonna risk hope. I’m gonna risk love.” And the other is that that seems to have been always expressed in increasingly new technologies; increasingly new use of our minds to fashion objects that allow us to use that ever-evolving consciousness. Now sometimes that technology is ahead of our consciousness, so you can . . . you know, you can build the technology that actually kills you. And that’s . . . One of the real features of this moment is we’ve been through three of four major, technological, and psycho spiritual moments of transition. So whether it’s from hunter-gatherer, to agrarian, to industrial, now to we can call this technological, or informational, or we can call this post-industrial. And that goes with a spiritual cycle evolution. And if those two things aren’t together, a lot of people get killed in the mix. And now right now one of the issues that we are in that transition. We have a technology that actually captures the deepest spiritual insights. The deepest spiritual insight is that we are all inter-dependent and connected. That’s the fundamental spiritual insight of every tradition. And because we are interconnected, and because we are interdependent, we have to treat each other in a certain way; because when I treat you, I’m actually just treating myself in a different form. Now that takes a lot of awareness to get to to feel that. That’s why you have spiritual traditions doing their teachings on the wisdom side, and you have a lot of practices to try to make that happen. For the first time in human history we actually have a technology that matches that spiritual insight. That’s what it means to have a global community. That’s what it means to be able to have a global web. People really are interconnected, and I think that’s mind blowing because . . . And for a lot of people for sure it’s mind blowing because for one thing it’s kind of, you know . . . you know kind of talk about it in some kind of highfaluting spiritual way. “Oh we’re all interconnected. We’re all interdependent. A butterfly, you know, in Alaska. And we, you know, in Mexico waves,” that’s very nice. And here you go online and you see the technology and you are. My daughter has pen pals all over the world. She went to Hungary for a summer and she has pen pals . . . She has relationships and IMing people in India. She’s IMing people in Russia. She’s IMing people in Hungary, you know? I mean my parents . . . my father came here in 1938 from Poland. It was the longest . . . He had never traveled more than seven miles in his life, and he was traveling across the ocean. And now my daughter can go “poof” and talk to somebody in India and see what her house looks like. And so that technology, which in a sense concertizes and realizes the deepest spiritual insights, now it realizes it in the material world what this spiritual insight is. It was more than just the material world, but it’s an emotional, and intellectual, and spiritual, and ethical world of meaning that has to match up to that technology. Recorded on: 8/15/07

Since there is as much reason to despair and be cynical as there is to be hopeful and believe in the possibilities of the triumph of life, Kula sees heroism in waking up each day to risk hope and love.

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less