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Internet Interconnectedness

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Relationships on the Internet. Not a new phenomenon really, not in the relative sense of how long we've had the Internet for, and how long people have been using it to develop relationships with others.

Here's one of the most amazing things about it all to me:

We don't have any idea a lot of the time who we're talking to. We can't make judgments based on looks, education, money, position, social status, age, color, race, creed, etc.

Well, we try, if we know a little something about someone, the tendency is still there... but it's harder.

Even if you think you know something about someone based on what their profile says.... well, who knows for sure if it's true? I know people who put information in their profile that isn't correct, for whatever reason. Like age for example, or sex.

Even then, what's in a profile is such a small bit of the normal information we usually have when we meet someone in person. Also, so many don't put anything in their profile.

So, what are we going to base our connections on? The person themselves, and the things they say. You can tell so much about someone as they really are, beyond all the externals, when you're only dealing with the things they express.

Yes, the Internet has it's drawbacks, and we don't want to make it our only way of relating to people, but it's also an incredible medium for getting beyond the things that usually keep us apart.

Here on connect, I can hear the opinion of a man from India that I would not meet otherwise, or develop a relationship with a woman from Slovenia who I would not even know existed.

There are very young people too, who I am able to talk with here, and get to know, that most likely would be with their own age group, if not for the Internet connection that brings us together.

Those are just a few examples, but really, we have a sampling here of just about every "group" possible, in terms of age, race, nationality, religious background, sex, education, interests, etc.

The thing that I notice most of all is the interconnectedness of us.

Everyone here on connect, devotees, are so interconnected with each other in so many ways. I don't mean we share the same "external" interests.

I like do to needlework, I seriously doubt the man from India does. I know for a fact that having raised my children long ago, I have little interest in the things a young mother does.

Still, here on connect, we all have the common interest of furthering spiritual pursuits, and knowing and loving Krishna.

It amazes me how alike we all are in so many ways. Though we have different approaches and opinions, still, that feeling of connectedness and the ways we are all so alike is amazing.

Sometimes, as I read posts and letters from devotees here, I have to give myself a "mental shake" and remind myself that these are separate persons, because the things one says, are so "like" the things another says. I don't mean rhetoric or way of speaking, I mean essence.

Our deep inner workings are so alike, so much of the time, in so many ways, that it takes effort at times to "make distinctions". In ordinary life, those distinctions are going to be there, right up front, we don't have to try to make them, we have to try to "keep" from making them.

Karnamrita prabhu and I were discussing connecting deeply in his recent blog post. How it can be challenging, and even frightening. Yet, the soul always longs to connect. It's our nature.

We all share this deep connection with Krishna, which has been dormant, and is now in the process of becoming uncovered.

The soul longs for that connection.

We search for it in our relationships with others. In material life, through making connections about material things. In spiritual life, through connecting with others about spiritual things.

It's a truly amazing opportunity we have here. We all want world peace, everyone respecting everyone, views that are in opposition to be understood, issues that cause wars to be resolved with peaceful negotiations, etc.

It's pretty obvious that we have a good foothold on that when thousands of people come together, on one website, from all different walks of life, and all have something in common.

It's even more obvious when those people can talk about the things they don't have in common, or don't agree with each other about, in a peaceful, calm, rational way.

We can respect and appreciate the differences, while at the same time, not feel threatened about ourselves. There is so much to learn in that, so much value. Especially because we are talking about spiritual life. Religion.

That's always a challenge to talk to others about. People tend to get very emotional and affected when their spiritual views, beliefs and religious traditions are discussed or challenged. We all do.

A long time ago, I was thinking about how emotional and intense it all gets sometimes, and I said to someone "well, it's not like we're discussing gardening"...........

This opportunity to connect deeply with so many people about such a deep thing as spiritual life is, amazes me. It can be overwhelming at times, and challenging at times, but all and all, the rewards are incredible. Not just on an individual level, but also in the broader scope of the entire world.

I don't know who decided to call this "connect".... but they surely had exactly the right name for it.

* Navasi's blog
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Comments
Fri, 11/21/2008 - 07:16 — tekisui
tekisui's picture
Internet association as a lesson in non-attachment

Internet association is in some ways very vulnerable, though.

If one loses access to the internet, or one's computer breaks down, or the power runs out, then this means that the people one has associated with via the internet are in effect gone too.
Given the world crisis, it is possible that in some time, the internet will be a thing of the past.

This makes me wonder how much internet association is worth investing in.

There is no doubt that internet association can be valuable.
But the fact that the connection with the internet can be lost anytime makes internet association also a stern lesson in non-attachment.

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Fri, 11/21/2008 - 10:40 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Meanwhile...

Hi Fire-Flower ;)

Well, it's true, we could lose the internet or our power at any moment.

In fact, it's actually really funny, because at this very moment, I am about to have my power turned off entirely for hours and hours because there is some repair work being done on the electrical system.

lol

Yep, what a strange thing finding your message just now.

The thing is though, we are not just dealing with the Internet, we are dealing with Krishna.

So, even if we all lose the Internet completely in the next 5 min., still, every single thing we've done for Krishna, every word we've said, every thought we've had, is not lost.

It is all part of our devotional progress and never can be taken away.

So, this particular internet association because it's about Krishna, is far different from just ordinary internet association.

It's also good to cultivate detachment from material facilities for sure, but never detachment from Krishna, or the association of His devotees.

: )

I'm glad I found your comment just now..... Krishna lead me here just before my power was turned off ;)

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Sat, 11/15/2008 - 00:29 — abrennan
abrennan's picture
Yes it is pretty amazing

Connecting is surely what it is. There is one devotee I have spoken to who cannot write in English only in Russian. Well I can't read Russian. Using the Internet I found a web site that would translate the Russian into English. Then we could have a conversation. How about that for Connecting.

It can be so difficult to communicate on the interweb : ) it is a miracle that so much of it can happen here at Connect. It takes patience and understanding. No jumping to conclusions about what someone means. Spending time asking considered questions instead. Being relaxed, having fun. Laughing at my jokes. Ok I threw the last one in, I thought no-one would notice. You can cross that one off.

Connecting is hard to come across. In regard to developing Krishna Consciousness it is critical. Get some while you can.

What do you think?

________________________________________
Visit the Food Channel @ Krishna.com

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Sat, 11/15/2008 - 23:27 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Connecting To Krishna

Dear Antony,

Seems like you've "made the connection" : ) (that's what I think)

When people try to connect on the internet, or anywhere else in life, they are not connecting to Krishna. Therefore, there really is no connection at all.

That's why people feel empty, lonely, needy, in need of finding connection. They try and try to make these connections with others in various ways. Despite all these efforts, they still feel alone inside.

That's because they are not making the real connection. The connection to Krishna.

Here at Krishna.com "connect", we are connecting with each other, yes. The main thing though is that by connecting with each other about Krishna, we are actually connecting to Krishna.

That satisfies the soul. Connecting to Krishna happens as we talk about Krishna, and discuss the philosophy of Krishna consciousness (it is Krishna consciousness after all).

Developing relationships with Krishna's devotees, is developing a relationship with Krishna.

Krishna is always with His devotees, and His devotees are always with Him.

: )

(now don't you just love that?)

That's real connecting.

Which is what "connect" is all about.

I won't cross off laughing at your jokes :) Laughing at your jokes is essential. (as is laughing at other's jokes)

lol

I think it's very helpful not to take ourselves too seriously, in terms of making connections here on the internet. Of course it applies in real life too, but even more so here.

So, laughing at your jokes, and everyone's jokes is really important.

I'm glad you understood (and hopefully laughed at) my joke to you in the forums....

Oh Man Oh Man :)

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Sun, 11/16/2008 - 00:44 — abrennan
abrennan's picture
Hare Krishna

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Thu, 11/13/2008 - 11:23 — Go-Seva
Go-Seva's picture
My only association

Hare Krsna Navasi prabhu~ Since signing up on Connect around Janmastami of last year, I have become pretty much "addicted" to Connect. It is the only opportunity I have for devotee association. Aside from meeting so many wonderful people, I have also learned so much from them. It has helped me progress so much in devotional attitude and service, that I cannot even remember what my Krsna Conscious life was like prior to this odyssey...

We are all so fortunate to have the opportunity to read the insights of senior devotees such as yourself, Karnamrita prabhu, Radhikesh prabhu, Nityananda Chandra prabhu (although not so often since he had his girl!), Rasa Rasika prabhu and others to gain the knowledge you impart and associate with you all on a personal level. And you are so right about not making assumptions based on the physical characteristics or conditioning of various people. It doesn't matter what anyone looks like here; all that matters is their love of Krsna and their interest in finding out more about Him.

I can go for days or longer without seeing or talking to anyone outside of my family, and that's fine with me. But I cannot bear to go through the day without checking in here and seeing what nectar is being passed around for all to drink!

Krishna.com Connect ki jai! Haribol!

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Fri, 11/14/2008 - 00:06 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Drinking Nectar :)

Hare Krishna, Lisa,

That is just about one of the most lovely comments I've read.

You really are making so much advancement. It shows in your writing.

Devotees like you, who come to this website, associate, discuss, read, interact "connect" : ) etc. and then show their advancement in their behavior and words is really a testament to the power of this website.

I think I can speak for all of us who are here trying to help others (and ourselves in doing it) when I say that seeing this is the very encouraging for us.

This is the nectar that keeps us going, and wanting to keep writing, and keep discussing and keep associating and keep "connecting".

Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and mostly, for taking Krishna consciousness seriously and then sharing your progress with us all.

ys,
Navasi