What does Spindrift co-founder, Bruce Klingbeil, give as a reason why spiritual power doesn't cut through materiality as it used to do in the past? Bruce's reason: The whole zeitgeist of society has switched from a religious paradigm to a scientific paradigm. Between religion and technology, technology is absorbing the minds of men.
Bruce was pro-science. Science is good, but there are unintended consequences of science and technology changing spiritual influences in society.
What Bruce meant is that man has developed his ego to create almost anything. There is some truth to it. Now man thinks he is a creator and doesn't need any metaphysical and religious concepts of a creator beyond man himself as a creator. For example, the creations by 3-D printers, realities created by virtual realities, invisibility (stealth), and the new kid on the block that man set loose: The creation of "ambient technology" where computers carry on machine learning conversations with each other without human beings knowing that they are doing it. These examples are a foretaste of the digital future for human beings.
Actually, human beings need a vacation from the virtual, visual, and viral, but they can't have one. Tech intrusions are omnipresent. With social media, forgot about throwing a switch to avoid people and chatter when you need some private time to think your own thoughts. Religion and spirituality face the serious problem of being diminished and extinguished because of technology filling nearly every second of the day.
If man can become a creator of tech, why couldn't the advanced machines man creates become creators of tech? Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk, all who have some doubts of God as the first creator, have the fear that the intelligent machines that man has created could potentially decide to become creators themselves. These AI machines could potentially decide to get rid of all mankind or make mankind into slaves. Elon Musk predicts that AI machines will probably keep people as pets.
Musk also said, “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, he’s sure he can control the demon. [It] doesn’t work out....” “Potentially [it’s] more dangerous than nukes.”
Louis Del Monte is a physicist and futurist. In an interview with Business Insider, Monte said: "You are going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines.... The concern I'm raising is that the machines will view us as an unpredictable and dangerous species."
Stephen Hawking alerts us that sentient machines "could end the human race." Hawking predicts that the point of no more human beings existing is as close as a hundred years.
Sean Parker was the founding president of Facebook. Parker said Facebook was designed to exploit chemical triggers in the brain and “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.... It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains.” A book to consider is "Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat" by journalist Naomi Riley.
Good religious practices used to inspire wonder. Now religion inspires resistance. Hollywood, sports, and social media seem to be the places where the youth learn their values. Here is a question I was recently asked: "Do young people want lasting religious values?" I'd say "No" for an increasing number of youth.
As a result of the zeitgeist shift in emphasis from religion to science and technology, there is an increase in comfort, materiality, confusion, atheism, and even suicide reported by one survey. The infinite nature of scientific discoveries have gradually replaced God, spiritual teachings, and moral distinctions. A current example of confusion is that there is no more binary: Man can create new sexes. There are a number of new gender creations, and there are more genders soon to arrive on the human scene. In 2019 in California, a driver's license gives the choice of checking male, female, or non-binary.
Bruce and John were not alone in their worry about the unspiritualization of America. Their prediction for the downfall of Christianity and modern Judaism was because the youth of America would reject religion. The youth would also reject several western values that have a relationship to the Judeo-Christian influences on the founding fathers' thinking. Some youth would even work to purge religious teachings from mankind and have the teachings replaced with new and addictive technologies.
The atheists have found the youth to be on their side to roll with new moral twists, the purging of prayer in schools, the substitution of God and most religions with secularism, science, social media, artificially generated simulations of reality, and only have materialistic explanations of truth.
Bruce and John said something like: "You can't expect Christianity to be relevant to people without making Christianity relevant to the scientific age." That statement just doesn't register as important to a lot of Christians. Another possibility why Christians, Jews, and others aren't bothered much is that technological progress is moving so fast that we human beings aren't able to develop a perspective and digest its negative spiritual consequences on society.
To add complexity to us discovering spiritual reality is this barrier: We are hampered by what we believe is material reality. Material reality is our brain's "best guess" at reality. Neuroscientist, Anil Seth, said, "Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality."
People are also making this observation: As our communication becomes more sophisticated, we seem less able to communicate with each other in micro-details.
There is even a high-tech word to describe average human beings. They are "neurotypicals."
What is needed to clear the air before spirituality can get through to us? Spindrift suggests: "Get past quantities of things to the Quality of things. It's easy for quantity [measuring things] and the constant noise thrown at us to overwhelm the presence of Quality in the American culture."
It's easy to get quantities of information from Twitter etc., but it's not as easy to get individual Quality thoughts that don't have a mass media tinge to them. Individualized ''Soul is the only real consciousness which recognizes being.'' That sentence is one of my go-to quotes for Quality. (Mary Baker Eddy in Rudimental, page 5)
Again, science is good. It's that technologies and noises are creating opaque filters to spirituality, Quality, and religious values. Fortunately, there are some innovators, artists, healers, and inspirational people who go straight to the Quality. They are tincturing opaqueness with light.
With exceptions, in our Twenty-first Century, there is a lack of moral distinctions that were previously provided by religion, parents, and friends in peer-groups. Along with lack of distinctions, we can't have preferences anymore without being mocked. Radio host, Tommy Sotomayor, said if we have a preference for one person over another person, a working person over a homeless person, a person with good habits over a person on crack, we are called racist.
What does a lack of distinctions and preferences mean for modern society? Partly because of the social media and VR, there is little feeling-for, or intuition of, a spiritual Principle operating within our human consciousness.
Hidden underneath the materialistic view of human existence, what do a spiritual Principle and Christ offer people of Earth? A moral compass to reference when there is confusion. Increasingly, our century has fewer spiritual symbols and institutions that reverberate for us the fundamental truths of being as a compass.
With terrorism giving religion a bad name, and the adoption of technologies as mankind's primary desire, can we still have hope for spiritual values to breakthrough on the individual consciousness of some nonconformist human beings? Yes. There are some people who will surprise and inspire us with their talents for mankind. Mankind might even surprise us someday with a supply of more prayer-a-troopers.
For more discussion about the diminishment of spiritual influences and values in society, see Question 12, [on the FAQ page here].