Spirituality and the Internet


Day 7 – Gwen Bell’s The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge: Blog Find of the Year

This is how I see the blogsphere. A million stars tied together through connections, deeply intimate thoughts, fiery proclamations, warm invitations – a connection of souls sharing the essence of who they are and what they are here to do.

In my academic travels at Stanford, I wrote my honor’s thesis on Spirituality and the Internet. Back in 1999, when I first had this idea, the Internet held fewer constellations. In my part Computer Science/part Design major, I wanted to marry these two aspects. This topic came to me in a moment of panic as I sat across from my adviser in a show-down meeting where I HAD to make a decision on what to create. At Stanford, Spirituality and the Internet met with many raised eyebrows, a few chuckles, and couple of thoughtless remarks, but only curiosity and encouragement from my adviser, Clifford Nass.

Since those days, I have moved into coaching, teaching and writing rather than computer science; but, I am still intrigued by technology and its ability to connect us, and our thoughts, yearnings and aspirations to share our deepest essence with others, and to know others by way of theirs.

In perusing the blogsphere, I have discovered many homes where beautiful souls live. In this realm, I just can’t say what is best, for best is determined by the moment, when I happen to land on a site, am warmly invited in, and I find a moment of connection where my guest serves up her/his beat meal.

Some meals are hot and fiery (White Hot Truth), some are sexy and funny (Cleavage by Kelly Diels), some are simply breathtakingly beautiful (Amy Lenzo), some offer me the opportunity to look deeply into life (Hiro Boga), and some call me forward to take the road less travelled (Chris Guillebeau).

But, ONE blog calls me back to why I do what I do: Peace X Peace. As their name implies, their mission is to bring peace to the world, by bringing women together. Each time I read their blog, check in with the site, and read women’s stories at Voice X Voice, I re-dedicate my life’s work to bringing peace to the relationship between men and women, for the sake of our children, our planet, and all living beings.

Voice X Voice is a good analogy for the blogsphere as I see it. It’s why I blog – to sing my soul into the chorus of all souls. As I looked at all the blogs I had discovered this year, I realized even more that we all have something so important to say, AND our voice has its own flavor, its own qualities, its own complete ordinary uniqueness.

For too long, our voices have been silent. What a beautiful thing Spirituality and the Internet has become.

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5 Replies to “Spirituality and the Internet”

  1. Imagining you in that show-down with your adviser. And wondering what made you move away from the computer science aspect through the years. It’s a bridge that still needs building – spirit and technology. I know there are many building it a day/post/breath/line of code at a time.

  2. Gwen, Thanks for your comment and thx for getting us all going with ur challenge. Just to be sure it’s clear- my adviser was completely with me!
    I moved away from computer science and being involved with work where I created software for others, spending all my time with a computer rather than with people. I also moved away because I moved toward my best love- the creative process, aka the awakening process. I couldn’t not move. It does need building, and I now work with CS in a different way, teaching many in Silicon Valley how to get in touch with spirit within, and those touchy-feely places. I find I can speak both languages, use both sides of my brain, stand outside the algorithmic mind-set and see it from a totally different place, allowing me to speak to it in a whole new way. I feel as if I made the switch to a whole new mind before it was written.
    I obviously still use it! 😉 But, I felt compelled to learn to use my analytical mind as a tool, rather than have it run the show. So my work up until now, has been to develop the capacity to do so.
    A long explanation. I love that you wondered, because it opened up the question for me. I am now looking at creating some beautiful viral pieces…stay tuned.

  3. Thank you for this post, I do agree with you, but I would like to add that people like your good self are doing a really very important job by bringing your own spirituality on to the internet. Think aout it. If there are billions of websites, some uplifting some not so, what is the overal balance is the internet a place of peace and harmony, showing the best of humanity, most people would probably say not really, it is very out of balance. But here is the thing every site, every post like yours is helping to readjust that balance, so keep up the good work and I urge others to play their part also.

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