Breaking News

‘We need new and more humane technologies’


Ma Prem Naina

Our planet earth is home to all that is beautiful, valuable and sacred. The planet earth is mother to us all. Had we understood this basic fact, we would have treated the earth in a different way. But we have continued to destroy it; we have almost poisoned it and broken its ecological unity. We have disturbed the balance of its environment.
Life is all aboutinter-dependence. Nobody is independent and nobody is dependent upon anyone else; everyone is inter-dependent. Dependence has to be understood, not avoided. Dependence is just a misinterpretation of facts. While we all know that we are dependent on the Sun, it is also a fact that the Sun is also dependent on us. Without us the sun cannot be, as we cannot be without the sun. Even if a small blade of grass matters a lot in the creation of existence. In existence, nothing is great and nothing is small, because existence is one.
Osho says, “These three words have to be remembered: dependence, independence and inter-dependence. Dependent you are; independence you seek; interdependence I teach. Dependent you are, because everywhere you will feel you are dependent, everywhere a limitation comes in. If you love somebody you become dependent on him or on her. Everywhere life brings dependence. Then the idea arises that in the world you can never be independent. Escape from the world. You can escape, but independent you can never be: you can only be deceived. Even in the Himalayas you are not independent; you are still dependent on the sun. If the sun does not rise, you will be dead immediately. You will be dependent on the oxygen and air: if the oxygen disappears, you will be dead. You will be dependent on water; you will be dependent on a thousand and one things.”
Man has lived in dependence, and man has desired and fought for independence, but nobody looks into the reality that dependence and independence are both extremes.
The reality is exactly in the middle, and that is known as inter-dependence. Everything is interdependent. The smallest blade of grass and the biggest star, both are inter-dependent. This is the whole foundation of ecology. Since man has behaved without understanding the reality of interdependence, he has destroyed much of the organic unity of life. He has been cutting his own hands, his own legs, without being aware of it himself.
Forests have almost disappeared from the face of the earth; millions of trees are being cut every day. Scientists are issuing warnings everyday but nobody is ready to listen and accept the fact that mankind cannot survive without trees. Man lives in a state of deep inter-exchange with nature. Man goes on breathing in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide while trees go on inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. Neither can we exist without the trees, nor can the trees exist without us.
It is true that “by using modern technology we are hurting this vibrating, juicy earth with the dead garbage of plastic, radioactivity, bad air and so on.” This has two possible solutions, one is to go back to the point where all modern technology is dropped which superficially looks right. If modern technology is creating an ecological crisis on the earth, disturbing the balance of nature, then it is a very simplistic solution to drop modern technology and go back.
But we have to understand that in Gautam Buddha’s time, just twenty-five centuries ago, this country only had twenty million people. The earth was enough to support them. Today India’s population alone is 1.35 billion people.
It is not the fault of modern technology; the fault is that we have not been very clear about what we want from modern technology and what we don’t want. The scientists have been making discoveries almost in a blind way, and whatever they discover, we start using immediately, without thinking of the aftereffects or their impact.
Going back is impossible and idiotic, the only way is forward. We need better technology, more evolved than modern technology, which can avoid plastic garbage and disturbance in the ecology. The scientist has to be very alert that whatever he is doing should become an intrinsic part of the organic whole; technology should not go against the whole. It is possible, because technology does not lead to any destination in particular; it is we who go on discovering things in a blind way. All the scientists of the world have to come to a consensus: they have to make a world academy of sciences, which decides what should be discovered and what should not be discovered. If something wrong is discovered, it should be undiscovered immediately.
Osho points out, “We need a superior brand of technology, a more enlightened technology. Technology is in our hands; we are not in the hands of technology. We can drop all those parts which are dangerous, poisonous, and we can discover substitutes which enhance the ecology, which enhance the life of man, which enhance his outer and inner richness and bring a balance into the world.
But I don’t see anybody in the whole world preaching for a more sophisticated, more enlightened technology. Sometimes I wonder: millions of people, thousands of great scientists; are they all blind? Can’t they see what they are doing is cutting their own roots?
Humanity can only go forward; there is no way backwards and there is no point of doing that, either. It is just a figment of people’s imagination that in the past, when there was no technology, everything was beautiful and good. That is an absolutely wrong concept.
Technology should not be looked down upon. In India, just before this century, nine children used to die out of ten. Today, the situation has reversed: only one child dies out of ten, because of the advancement of medicine and creation of more healthcare facilities.
Technology can create better houses. Technology is bound to create better food. As Oshosays, “Technology has a positive side as well.But if you drop all modern technology, you will be falling into the dark ages, and that will be the greatest violence on the earth, preached by the man who thought that his philosophy was non-violent.But something has to be done. Up till now, we have just been groping in the name of technology. Now we can give it a direction; and we can drop all those things which are destructive of ecology, harmony, nature, life.I am all for technology – but a better technology, a more humane technology.”

About the author

Ankur Kalita