Today we live in danger of surviving only in essences and not experiences.


We become human when we interact with other people in real time, in a consecrated place, and within the warmth of the body of the other.

The disconnect between reality and essence is made most brilliant, and less divine, in the online ether that surrounds, and pretends to replace, the reality of experiences.

When we trade essence for experience, we endanger our species because we are forced to guess about reality and facts and truths through third-party, temporary, online experiences with invisible people. 

We are then easily able to create our own reality and direct our own set of moral standards that, above all, serve our own selfish interests. 

Transient relationships become real while established, real, and permanent relationships are committed to the avarice of shared memory.

Technology makes it simple to create your own reality that skews the truth of the world. 

You only connect socially to those that share your own interests; you can design your own homepage portal to reflect only the news you want to read; you allow only certain people to become your friends.  This is a cocooning from which there is no escape into the wilds.

There is greatness in a universality of experience that is lost in the eternal ether of the internet. 

When we are not forced to get along with those we do not like; we have no talent for negotiation or sense of reasonableness or need to compromise — we have no idea what’s happening in the rest of the world because we haven’t bothered to add news sources that differ from our preferences; and our myopic values and brittle morals are never challenged into bending because we have created circles inside circles to form a protective shell that coats us from the bitter cold of a variety of realities that would frighten us if we were ever aware of them in the first place.

Only when reality hits us — and shatters our shells — will we begin to live in freedom and die in the fresh air of human responsibility.

3 Comments

  1. The disillusionment argument is a good one, Katha. I worry about the younger kids who are more inclined to interaction via computer only instead of getting out and about in the real world with real people.