The Internet is Alive


When an idea reaches critical mass there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.
~Marianne Williamson


What if the Internet, itself, was spiritual in nature? This is a question I wondered about back in 2001, when I designed and wrote a thesis on Spirituality and the Internet. My ideas at the time were roughly hewn. I had just finished three years doing a lot of coursework in design, computer science, and digital art. The project was to create a spiritual space on the Internet. But, the deeper message, was that the Internet itself was a spiritual space, simply in its form – following on the form follows function idea.

On this same idea, just today, two very interesting and timely articles fell into my lap, by way of – you guessed it – the Internet.

The first, Saudi women revel in online lives, written by Caryle Murphy, gives us a small glimpse into how the internet is opening up the world to women in Saudi Arabia.

In a country where about one-third of the population regularly goes online, the internet gives women “a place to vent out our frustrations and our dreams,” said Reem Asaad, 37, a professor of banking and finance in the Saudi port city of Jeddah who blogs at

It also has allowed women who normally are “physically invisible” to participate more actively in Saudi society, Asaad added.

“From the authorities’ viewpoint,” she explained, “so long as women are behind a curtain, or a screen, and so long as they are not before a camera or walking down the street, then everything is fine. Women are free to do anything they want as as long as they aren’t seen, heard or spotted doing it by men.”

When I read the words “physically invisible”, my heart felt a sharp pain of sadness and despair. I can’t begin to imagine how it feels to be physically invisible. Feeling into what it might be like to be hidden in such a way stimulated a deep sense of compassion for all women who are experiencing this. Obviously, I don’t know what this is like. And, of course, I am projecting my own fears and feelings onto the story here. But, from one woman to another, from one soul to another, I feel for these women.

To read on and see how the internet is bringing them into connection and out of such separation brought a sense of possibility for what might be, how the world could shift simply through the Internet. To shift this way, we have to see that the Internet is the means for connection, something I believe we are beginning to understand more deeply each day.

After sitting with these thoughts, the second article fell into my lap (or I should say, landed in my inbox). The Internet as a Living Symbol of Global Oneness, written by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee Ph.D., a Sufi teacher and author, is an extremely important article on Huffington Post. It could change the nature of how we experience, and use, the Internet.

“I believe that the Internet is a gift we have been given. It provides an image of how the energy of life can flow freely in a way that defies the barriers of nationality and geography. Yet sadly because we are so immersed in the surface activity of this technology, in its tools of commerce and communication, we do not realize its deeper, symbolic dimension. A symbol is a connection to the sacred ground of our being which alone gives real meaning to our daily life. The Internet, as a living symbol of global oneness, offers us a direct connection to an awareness of divine oneness (italics mine). But because we have lost touch with the symbolic dimension of life, we do not fully recognize this potential of the Internet: as a dynamic expression of a new consciousness of oneness that has within it access to energies and means that can unify our divisive world (italics mine). If we were awaken to its real potential, we would be truly in awe–and we would laugh, with wonder, at life’s capacity to recreate itself while we are not even looking.

What does it mean to shift to seeing the internet as a symbol of global divine oneness? What does this mean for our everyday use of the Internet?

I can see, now, that all my attention back in 2001 on this notion of connection through the Internet was coming from intellectual and psychological perspectives. The internet as a dynamic symbol? A brand new door of understanding and knowing.

The Internet as this symbol feels deeper and richer. It feels alive. It is alive. It is dynamic. It has energies and means within it to bring about the awareness of oneness that already exists. We aren’t in control here. Yet, we can, if conscious, align with this potential inherent in the “gift we have been given”.

We can see ourselves in connection with others out there, like these women in Saudi Arabia who are now experiencing a new kind of visibility. We can know we are moving within this dynamic consciousness of oneness as we bring our own gifts to the interplay of connection and expression. We don’t have to figure out how to use this. We can’t figure it out. It knows. It is alive. We can trust in its aliveness. We can move with it.


One thing I do know: the importance of connecting women, in order to awaken the vital energies of healing and nourishment that lie dormant in the cells of our bodies – to awaken the primal sacred feminine nature of women’s creativity. We won’t fully bring to life this force within that is pushing to awaken, if we stay hidden, invisible and alone in isolation. We will awaken in community. We have been given the gift. How will we use it?


And, you?

How have you already experienced this divine oneness? How does knowing this change your perspective on the Internet? How might you being to move with it?

What if simply knowing the Internet as a living, dynamic manifestation of oneness were the idea that needs to reach critical mass that Marianne Williamson speaks of? How might things shift?

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7 Replies to “The Internet is Alive”

  1. Bravo for putting this into words, for thinking on it, for gathering input from others.

    I think about this all the time, daily, hourly. I first imagined the Internet as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all things; but it seems, very quickly, to have developed into an actual/real interconnected universe, an out-picturing into form of what our minds know is possible. One day, a few generations down the line, I’m guessing we’ll begin to do this w/o internet. Or, as in Avatar, the internet will begin to pulse with life energy and connect to the natural world, and then, the cosmic.

    Though I can’t explain how this will happen, I sense that it will.
    This is only the beginning.

  2. Lovely, Julie.

    I like to think of the internet as a version of Indra’s net:

    Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net’s every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite.

    The Avatamsaka sutra
    Francis H. Cook: Hua-Yen Buddhism: The jewel net of Indra, 1977

  3. Wonderful post.

    I think the internet is a key tool in connecting people, for ascension, for 2012. In some ways, I think it was created for the purpose of developing a network. I don’t know of any other tool that could connect us so easily with people all over the world, like-minded people who are on the same wavelength. I think there are also different dimensions. Depending on what you’re interested in, you’ll automatically find references to what you’re searching for. Lots of synchronicities happen on the web. Sometimes I just have to think of something and I’m directed to a site that has just what I need. A lot of magic has happened for me online. There’s definitely some invisible hand at work.

    I think, too, that the internet will be less important at some stage and, by that point, we’ll have developed telepathy and other similar abilities. We’ll connect to that oneness.

  4. i know there are theories that explain the occasional negative, critical, spitting, divisive digital voices we sometimes hear from as necessary. some say if you don’t receive any of those, you haven’t been honest enough. maybe so. i don’t dispute that line of thought, even though i don’t totally subscribe to it, either, having my own theories about that kind of thing.

    my own experience is that i am constantly affirmed and challenged and inspired by my digital associations and connections. the blogs – the emails – the tweets, they are now a daily food group. necessary. and the internet gives me a forum – a convenient one – to offer my encouragement and support to other women around the world.

    we all have our metaphors, and i think of the internet as the well where women gather. the well from which women drink. it is a well of abundance – no matter how many women drink from this well, there is always enough. it constantly replenishes itself so it can constantly nourish those who take the time to gather at the well to give and take nourishment.

  5. I could not have said it any better than Jeanne did above. I am constantly amazed at the power of the Internet to connect extraordinary people in extraordinary ways. A few weeks ago, I attended the Web 3.0 conference in Santa Clara. “They” say Web 3.0 is all about connecting people with information (while Web 2.0 is all about connecting people with other people). “They” say that Web 3.0 will eventually surpass Web 2.0. I say it won’t. People–particularly women– long to be connected to other people. The Internet, web 2.0, social media–whatever you call it–is a powerful force in helping us connect with one another. And no matter how many new technologies come on the scene, THAT will never change.

  6. Love the flow of connection ….
    I came looking to find the connection to all the world,
    to find a way for us to understand and support eachother,
    and what an amazing tool.. twitter has been.
    The flower of human interconnectiveness blooming in front of our eyes
    expanding our hearts, we’ve come soo far in such a short period of time.
    I hope all the wonderful goodness of it is never lost.
    Soo many have come looking …..and are finding such depth to their own souls.
    so grateful to be apart of it

  7. This reminds me a bit of the character Jane in the latter books of Orson Scott Card’s Ender quartet. A being who dwells in and is constructed of the connections humanity has constructed, who has amazing knowledge and also the potential for amazing folly…

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