Christan Botes

Feed your body, feed your soul.

Every Thursday evening, the Neelsie at Stellenbosch University echoes in song and happiness.  At six o’ clock the Spirituality, Philosophy and Yoga Society gather in the Van Zyl Hall at the top floor of the Neelsie to sing, learn, socialise and eat. This week, a talk was given on how one can assimilate their spiritual life and health into our current world of technology and the age of machines. By referring to Ancient Sanskrit texts, such as the Bhagavatham, talk incorporated ancient wisdom and predictive passages to explain how we live in a Spiritual Age of Chaos. In the Age of Kali, as is described, people live short, quarrelsome lives dictated by machines. Our lives are controlled by the information we constantly receive, and as a result we become overstimulated and spiritually stunted.

We gave literally given part of ourselves to machines: we have given them our ability to process information and the ability to produce automation. In giving them the machines a part of ourselves, we have lost our own free will. We no longer control how our information is processed, we no longer control how our duties are performed. We have lost part of our humanity to machines, but all hope is not lost. By actively choosing to live with machines and not by machines, we can pick what information we receive and when we receive it. We can choose wholesome, spiritually additive knowledge. We can choose to step away from the world of machines to reconnect to nature and ourselves. We can separate from the entanglement of electronic wires that our lives have become. If we consciously filter out what we put into our minds, the way we think and live will no longer be dictated by the filler information supplied to us by machines.

During the talk, an extended metaphor was drawn between the body and the mind. We have all heard the phrase: “Your body is a temple, worship it.” But have we ever really understood it? To worship the body is to look after it: to eat good food, exercise often and sleep well. To worship your body as a temple is to ensure that all that enters your body is good for you, and if you have done so, your body will thank you. Everyone knows how amazing one feels once one has eaten a full healthy meal and drunk a lot of clean water – the mind works the same way! If one ensures that all the information one allows oneself to absorb is worthwhile, one’s mind will be healthy. This essentially entails the elimination of toxic information such as the nonsense provided by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This does not mean you give up social media altogether but means that you choose not to interact with the negative and critical information that clutters up your dashboard.

We are not plugged into the machines, we have the power to unplug the machines. We are responsible for our own lives, and what we do with them. Machines are a tool, not a lifestyle, and they can be used to enrich one’s live rather than enslave it. Choose your information, choose your intellectual nourishment – it is not chosen for you. Remember that yes, your body is a temple, but so is the mind, and so it the soul. Feed it well.



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