Bring Your Heart to the Internet and Use It Like a Digital Buddha

John Vincent Shrader
6 min readSep 20, 2022

You’re before the interent. It emerges from your own mind. Drop into your depth and surf the web like a Buddha

Photo by NICHOLAS LOO on Unsplash

Social media is like money. It doesn’t care what you think about it.

Ultimately, it’s a neutral force. It depends on the intention of our relationship to it that changes what it means to us.

Use it as an extension of your heart and grow in love.

Use it as an extension of your brain and get lost in its maze.

In truth, it’s an extension of both. This is beautiful because it can represent the very best of humanity and bring us closer to home. It’s scary because it can represent the worst of humanity and drag us deeper into chaos.

I’m no neuroscientist but I’m a neuroscience geek. I love learning about fancy words like the Anterior Cingulate Cortex and knowing how the SSA and HPAA(that’s Sympathetic Nervous System and Hyptothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal-Axis for you luddites ;) ) work together to undermine our peace of mind. Not only does it make me feel smart, it really gives a sense of how things work in this skull of ours. Learning a little bit about neuroscience has shifted my relationship to social media.

Having 1.1 trillion brain cells and 100 billion neurons, all making multiple connections faster than a flash of lightning, our brain constantly yearns for stimulation.

Just knowing these facts about the brain was a game changer for me.

At the same time, there is a theory of the unified consciousness of humanity, that we are all cells in one giant global brain. It’s a bit more complex, sometimes called the ‘Field Theory’ or the ‘Unified Human Consciousness’ theory; the underlying idea is that all of our thoughts, emotions, and knoweldge are interconnected in an invisible ‘sphere of reason’ that floats above and between us.

When I consider these two persepctives (the neuroscience perspective and the global-mind perspective) my view of social media shifts towards seeing it as an organic extension of our inner consciousness.

Here are a few takeaways on how to use social media to uplift your life and unite humanity.

Sounds a bit grand, I know, but hear me out.

Photo by Brayden Law on Unsplash
  1. Social media is a reflection of our minds. What’s outside is always a manifestation of what’s inside. View social media as an extension of humanity’s mind.
    2. Social media represents the ever-growing complexity of the human race. Just like our brains with 1.1 trillion cells, social media shows the vast complexity of the global human mind.
    3. With the growing complexity of the web and social media, we can either be perplexed and overwhelmed by it or allow it to open us up to countless new perspectives. If we step away from judgement, or the need to ‘understand’ everything, we can see that every person is offering their perspective and point of view. If nothing else, this is an opportunity to expand how we view the world.
    4. Like with our minds, when we step back into the silence of our hearts, we don’t take every thought so seriously. When we relate to tech and social media from a spiritual poise, we’re less likely to be bound in its net and able to retain clarity and detachment. Step back and be the observer. See your relationship with social media with a calm poise, and don’t get sucked in.
    5. Our brains are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The reward network of our brain is designed to give precedence to dopamine and feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and oxytocin. Social media knows this and tries to keep us hooked on their platforms by quick dopamine hits that train our brain to find pleasure in notifications, likes and DM’s. Understanding your brain chemistry can help you understand how Socia medial manipulates your neural network.
    6. Like in real life, we are all trying to connect. Sink into the positive and natural side of the need for human connection. Sure, nothing beats in-person contact and community. Still, when we see social media as a desire to connect, then we can sink into our humanity and deep empathy and mutual understanding through social media.
    7. We’re all arising together. There is a Buddhist concept called interdependent arising. It means that, at this moment, everything is occurring at once. All of our hearts are beating at the same time. At this moment, you are inhaling, and all of humanity is inhaling with you. As you read, trains are whirring in Japan, factories are buzzing in China, temples are crowded with devotees in India, and trees are dancing in South America. When we see this, social media begins to reflect the incessant nature of our creative minds, all rising together.
    8. Traditional media is being decentralized. Before, just a handful of media companies controlled the flow of information. These empires dictated opinions and worldviews and limited the complexity and nuance of any situation. Social Media represents the decolonization of media and allows us, the users, to rewrite the rules. We’re interested in life’s minutia and inner world as much as we are ‘world-events’. In fact, we realize that we are the world and creating what matters as we go along.
    9. When finished using Social Media, detach completely. When you log out, log out. Put the phone down and connect to nature.
    Or connect to your body or breath.
    Read a traditional book.
    Play an instrument.
    Go on a bike ride.
    Hike a mountain. Remember, tech and social media are fantastic tools but are just extensions of human life. When offline, shift the focus back to your immediate human experience.
    10. The noosphere concept states that there is an entire atmosphere of human thought. While all of the reason and intellectual advancement and scientific discovery is contained in this, social media plays a huge part. When you engage with social media, let it be like tuning into the atmosphere of humanity. Tune into what you most appreciate and value. Contribute something from your heart and soul. See it as a crowded, loud place, but one inherently craving more elevation and coherence.
    11. In evolutionary psychology, there is a theory that, ultimately, the noosphere must ground in the biosphere. After all, all of the mental sphere created by humanity rests in the biosphere. When we connect these two fully, there is an integration, a union, and a harmonization between the two spheres. Don’t let the noosphere get away from the biosphere. Just like when we get way too mental in our minds, the body loses balance; when we focus too much on tech and the internet, we lose focus of the earth that supports us. Let social media be rooted in connecting us back to the earth, allowing the collective consciousness to collectively recognize how precious the earth is. Not to lose ourselves in the mental world, but to ground everything back into our ancient roots and achieve real harmony.

Conclusion

These are just a few pointers that might help us all engage with social media with more heart-centred human consciousness. We live in such pivotal times, and tech plays a huge role in defining these shifts, but we must remember that it is ultimately born of the human heart. It is up to us to use tech to bring a higher understanding of life and humanity and remind us of who we are and what we value the most.

Let’s keep connecting, sharing, and learning, but remember to let it all land back in our hearts and precious human bodies. Let social media lift you up, merge part of your mind and soul with all of humanity, and then ground back down into the earth’s roots and integrate it into our unique human perspective.

--

--

John Vincent Shrader

John is a yogi, visionary and author residing in India. He has dedicated his life to the eternal search for truth .