Don’t let materialist monomania mess your life
Our life is becoming increasingly dominated by machines, mechanistic thinking and mechanical behavior.
Machines: As technology pervades our life, we spend more time with machines than with people. Even when we spend time with people, machines encroach frequently; the thoughts of the ringing of the cellphone or the beeping of a message are rarely far away from our minds. At home, the TV often receives our attention more than our family members.
Mechanistic thinking: The more we interact with machines, the more that interaction tends to make our thinking mechanistic. We extrapolate subconsciously from our experience with machines and expect conscious people to function like mechanical entities that respond predictably to standard inputs. When people fail to behave according to these expectations, we turn off from them. Over time, our relationships become at best superficial and unfulfilling, or at worst disrupted and wrecked.
Mechanical behavior: Our mechanistic thinking also makes us mechanical in our own behavior. We act like robots run by stimulus-response programs: allured by seeing a new gadget, tempted by seeing a sexually appealing form and so forth. We feel frequently titillated, rarely satisfied. Our brain cells fire continuously, but our heart remains dead to deep fulfilling emotions.
Such a materialist monomania, the Bhagavad-gita (18.22) indicates, is representative of knowledge in the mode of ignorance. Those with such knowledge mistake one fragment of reality – the material level in our case – with the full reality. Beyond the material level lies the spiritual level. Awaiting us there is a real life of authentic emotions and genuine reciprocations with Krishna and through him with everyone.
If we wish to stop materialist monomania from messing our life, Gita wisdom stands ready to guide us along the journey from ignorance to transcendence.
“And that knowledge by which one is attached to one kind of work as the all in all, without knowledge of the truth, and which is very meager, is said to be in the mode of darkness.”