Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Internet - Connecting for Change

Computers, Facebook and email are an integral part of my life today. Google and I have become old and dear friends, as I spend hours pursuing information on ideas, whims, and reading books. I’m hooked on connecting through the Internet.

Last night, I listened to a young musician who created a digital concert of his rendition of an elegant piece by a composer we both love – Erik Satie. His expression was intent as I watched his fingers drift across the keys. The melody spilled into my room. Completely seduced, I felt a wonderful serenity settle over me.

As the music faded, I thought about that mere click, when two strangers, this young man and I, thousands of miles apart met and shared a part of our souls.

In my 30s, while living on an island off the coast of Bahia in the north of Brazil, I wrote long long letters – sometimes as much as thirty pages by the flickering light of a gas lamp on the table. I still recall the faint comforting hiss of the flame. There was no electricity on the island, only a generator that chugged from dusk until around eight o’clock at night when the fishermen and their families went to bed.

When I finished my letter, it would leave on a hollowed out log or a raft, with a sail, taking several hours to reach a town on the mainland. From there it was loaded on a larger boat bound for the capital of Bahia, Salvador da Bahia de Todos Os Santos - 6 hours distant. Finally, trucked and sorted it flew to the States. Usually 6-8 weeks had passed, sometimes more when it finally arrived at its destination. Sometimes it seemed as if I was writing to the moon.

I can only imagine how my life seemed for my friends when my 'journals' spoke of poisonous snakes in my garden, learning to use a machete, buying lobster for 25 cents a kilo and bathing clothed in the town bath that had been built by the Dutch in the 1600s. I wondered if they felt, as I did, the magic of the sunset hour when I joined the women in the village perched on a wall overlooking the sea – watching for the return of the men, praying that that siren and Goddess of the sea, Yemanja, hadn't seduced them to jump overboard and into her arms.

Events that defined the rest of the world sometimes arrived on decade old newspapers wrapped around packages sent to the villagers. My return mail arrived intermittently; depending on the delivery system of course (I later learned that mail was sometimes purposely dumped into the sea.) In addition to the mysteries of the postal system, allowance for the tempo and rhythms of the busy lives of my friends, had to be figured in. Answers could be months in coming. But my friends and I remained connected and for that I'm grateful.

Now, we have the Internet!

According to the mystic Jesuit priest, Teillard De Chardin, the evolution of humans would occur in two stages. The first had to do with the growth of population and the accompanying development of trade, medicine, science, the arts, education and so forth.

The second stage, which is what we are living through now is called the ‘unifying stage’. The defining factor for this period is not the survival of the fittest, but our ability to meet and unify.

The most important part of this second segment of was what he called the ‘Noosphere’ which he described as a ‘living membrane stretched like a film over the lustrous surface of the star which holds us… This envelope was not only conscious, but thinking...the Very Soul of the Earth."

I believe Chardin’s stunning vision is playing out on the Internet, in ways we haven’t anticipated. There is an enhancement, a new convergence of people from all corners of the globe as we join, meet and sign on with groups of like visions. Whether it's through the environment, music, the arts, sports, politics, social justice, age, food...what is in our minds and hearts is being downloaded by millions – soul to soul. And if we tuck purpose and our intent for a positive future as we send ourselves through the Noosphere, who knows what those connections will give birth to. As long as those connections are being made, we're enhancing Teillhard's theory of unity becoming the defining factor of now.

It’s after midnight and I’ve finally managed to finish this post. Wherever you are in the Noosphere, my anam cara…this is me hoping that I’m connecting with you…

p.s. thought for the day - turn a good woman loose and everything is at risk!

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