The Spiritual Meaning of the Internet

Images-1There are not that many friends at my age that are as romanced as Fred and I are with the power of the Internet.  I have one close friend who is as passionate about the web as I am yet her passion is about the spiritual meaning where I am all about how many incredible businesses we can grow.  I love talking to her about this. 

She believes the Internet is a spiritual gift.  This tool has given us the ability to connect with people across the globe.  That the Internet fills us up and gives us each the access to people that we would have never had the opportunity to connect with before. 

This conversation really started me thinking about so many different things.  How people in areas of this world who in the past had limited access to education can now (through the web) use their brain to learn and perhaps think differently.  In turn that might be the key factor in changing what is happening in war torn countries.  How about the artisans in countries that had a very small audience to sell their wares to now has the entire globe.  How through those transactions the income will change the way they live by just putting a roof over their head and food in their belly. 

I have probably told this story before but in the 90's I had a friend who had started an interactive agency.  He understood the power of the net.  He owned more simple one word domain names because he fundamentally knew that each of them would be worth something down the line.  His sister lived in Pittsburgh and had a teenage daughter who felt lost in her own community.  She really did not find a connection among her peers based on her own interests.  That can be incredibly lonely particularly as a teenager.  She happened to be a They Might Be Giants fan.  Their website had a community that had grown around it.  She'd come home and get on the computer and talk to other people around the globe that had that one connection which was being a fan of the music group.  This online community made her feel empowered and connected and that translated to feeling good about herself and the future.  She knew that she would go on to college and find other people who she could connect with.  To me, that is the spiritual meaning of the Internet.

The web continues to transform the way that we live our lives starting with a constant connection in our pocket.  An ecommerce platform to buy anything around the globe, the access to content, the ability to constantly communicate, to share our experiences, photos and thoughts, the ongoing daily flow of new music, to ability to build unique business models that would not existed even 10 years ago, to crowd funding and crowd sourcing the web is an amazing place with powers that most of us just take for granted.  Can we all remember when we did not even have ATM cards or wireless phones.  As we move forward with technology it is easy to forget what life was like before hand.

Thinking about the world wide web as a world wide tool for community is the one piece that not only connects us to each other across many divides but also has given us a reason to take a breath, stand back and connect with the people we see every day at a different level because no matter what the web provides us in regards to finding our way and a community that we connect with, being able to sit around a table and break bread becomes even more important as we all ride this technology train that is taking us to a place that none of us are quite sure of. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. takingpitches

    This may be one of my favorite Gotham Gal posts ever.The big spiritual and empowerment transition that has taken place in the last 20 years is a shift from waiting around for institutions and leaders from above to realizing we can do it person to person.

    1. Gotham Gal


  2. JLM

    .Spirituality is a journey toward the truth. In that manner, the Internet has become a conduit in which the truth — unvarnished and unsullied — can be disseminated far and wide.No longer are we held hostage to the control of those who would alter the truth to serve their own purposes. Or would hold up their lens to color our view of the truth.In this manner, we can see both the truth and its shadow — lies.This transparency frees the human psyche to run toward the truth and to reject lies. Of all forms.Freedom and truth and transparency are all good for the human condition.Viva la Internet!JLM.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Yes. Vive la internet

  3. laurie kalmanson

    before the internet, a small town friend who was the best chess player for 100 miles came to nyc every so often and got pwned by the hustlers in washington square park and went back home humbled; per a.j. liebling, prairie geniuses are raced in cheap company. then came the internet, which eradicated time and space beyond even the capabilities of railroads and the telegraph, and a rural prodigy can find peers across the miles.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Love it

      1. laurie kalmanson

        At the end of all that technology is community and connection.

  4. David Smuts

    The spiritual element lies not in the technology itself but what humans do with it! In this end, it provides a remarkable opportunity for human advancement, closeness and a greater understanding between the people.Your friend sounds like a kindred spirit to me. Who is she? Would love to check her out.all the bestDavid

  5. bsoist

    Exactly! It’s easy for me to see the downside of all this technology as I fight to keep it from ruining my life every day, but when we stop to think about it, the connection it brings us blows my mind.I read this a few days ago and found myself talking about it all weekend – offline, with real people. 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      love it


    This online community made her feel empowered and connected and that translated to feeling good about herself and the future.