(Excerpted from Earth Magic: Ancient Shamanic Wisdom for Healing Yourself, Others, and the Planet)
MYTH: All of the industrial and technological innovations are absolutely necessary for our survival in today’s world.
Every major human innovation that has been adopted almost universally not only requires us to change, but also eventually becomes a massive operating system for most of the civilized world. The products of such innovations—such as the printing press and electric lights—gradually infiltrated our consciousness and our lifestyles, and they’ve become so familiar that they feel unquestionably necessary for our daily functions. Although anyone who was born in the 1990s or later may not believe it, there really was a time when there were no cell phones, computers, or televisions, as astounding as that may at first seem! Even for those of us who were born prior to the 90s, these are all such an integral part of our daily lives that it’s hard to do without them.
I recall that when I first got a cell phone, I vowed to never use it while driving. That lasted about three weeks before I caved in and started making calls on the way to my office where I held my private psychotherapy practice, which was about 15 minutes away. After all, I could use the time more efficiently by getting some of the calls out of the way while I was doing the relatively automatic task of driving. After several months of this routine, it seemed quite natural to check in with my answering service and return calls pertaining to the practice or perhaps to just dial up a friend to chat. It certainly took away some of the boredom of driving the same route each day. But then one morning on the way to work, tragedy struck. . . . I’d forgotten my cell phone!
When I first noticed that it wasn’t with me, my heart jumped from the adrenaline that shot into my system. For a few brief moments, my conditioning took over with a reaction that was akin to losing my only weapon against a lion that was about to attack. Then I was struck by the absurdity of becoming so agitated over a forgotten cell phone. It wasn’t the end of the world, and in spite of my habit of conversing on the phone while driving (which had etched itself into my brain), I acknowledged that not only could I survive without it, but I could actually enjoy the drive to my office without the distraction of having to be extra vigilant because I had this electronic object attached to my ear. What a concept!