Personal development

How to use technology to deepen your spiritual life, not worsen it (Part 1)

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 3:15 – 16)

Today advances in science and medicine have provided cures to previously fatal diseases, increased our life expectancy and have boosted our standards of living to a quality that our ancestors wouldn’t have dreamed of.

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However, it is undeniable that these things have pushed a significant amount of the world’s population to a life of religious disbelief and a dead consciousness to the spiritual life. Does this then mean technology can only serve to murder our spiritual lives?

I believe not, depending on one’s intentions and intelligent use of it. A piece of technology that has significantly aided me in my spiritual life is a computer program called evernote. Evernote has unbelievably transformed me spiritually! Some people refer to this cunning program as their digital or second brain.

Advantages

It’s key benefits are…

  • Centrality: Provides one neat location for all information i.e. gathered from online, and your own typed up notes.
  • Retrievability: it possesses remarkable search features and capabilities. There is nothing I can’t find on Evernote. If I remember it’s on it, I can find it. It even allows you to search for words or phrases in images (OCR) and PDFs stored on it.
  • Categorizing: you can organize related information through “tags” and “notebooks”.  For e.g. all the quotes I have of St Isaac the Syrian are tagged as “St Isaac the Syrian”. Or all of my lives of the saints articles are taged as “*LOTS”.
  • Cloud-based: all your information is uploaded to the cloud privately to your eyes. Hence all your evernote notes can be viewed through your smartphone application.

Biggest benefit

The main ultimate advantage of evernote is that it provides a highly effective memory retention tool of the spiritual things I read. I can never lose a spiritual resource! I can rarely forget about it! They’re all in one location! And using evernote’s search capabilities, I can pull them up with ridiculous ease.

Hence for any spiritual information I place on to evernote, I very strongly absorb them and read them very deeply. The stored spiritual literature on it, thoroughly permeates to the depth of my thoughts and governs my actions, words and being to an enormous extent.

Finishing story

One time in the long past, an elder said to a visiting pilgrim, “When you come across a saying of Athanasius the Great, if you have no paper, write it on your clothing”. So great was the appetite of this elder for the writings of the holy fathers and teachers! But nowadays we have no lack in the ability to save and retrieve valuable information as in this story. For me, this is a core feature of where evernote shines.

Let us use technology not to turn us into highly distracted, entertainment addicted, spiritually dead people who use it to kill the life of our souls and heap up condemnation upon ourselves. Rather let’s use it for good – to become more holier, zealous and perfect Christians. Stay turned on my blog for a follow-up post about evernote.

Discussion: What is the best technology tool you’ve used for your spiritual life? How has it helped?

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