04.35 – Are we outsourcing our thinking?
We have outsourced our arithmetic to calculators, our grammar to spellcheck and our memory to google. The trend towards outsourcing can accelerate the atrophy of our brain if we become habituated to evading all intellectually challenging engagements.
Worse still, it can lend an outward orientation to our thinking that disconnects us from our inner essence. The more we let silicon gadgets do information processing for us and the more they do it well – often better than us, the more we tend to trust them. And the more we trust such gadgets, the more we may subconsciously extrapolate their capacities beyond their legitimate jurisdiction. Consequently, we may let gadgets not only process our information, but also influence our emotion. And the silicon media can act as readymade tools for those who want to dominate and manipulate our emotions: the ad agencies. Through the patterns of light and sound that they play out on silicon gadgets, we can get run over by unlimited material desires: “I want this, and that, and that too… ad infinitum.” Cumulatively, such desires take our thinking deeper and deeper into illusion, further and further away from the awareness of who we actually are and what we really need.
That’s why, the more we outsource aspects of our thinking process, the more we need to consciously take out time to keep the core of our thinking with us. That core is the awareness of our actual identity (we are souls) and our real necessity (love for Krishna which alone can offer us eternal happiness). Scriptural study offers us potent reminders of these changeless core truths of life. The Bhagavad-gita (4.35) assures us that when we assimilate spiritual knowledge, we will no longer be manipulated by illusion.