My father died when I was four. Because of this, I was always infatuated with what happens when we die. That curiosity evolved into to studying everything I could find on spirit and consciousness.
In the mid eighties, I read a book by William Gibson called Neuromancer. It was my first exposure to the concept of joining the human mind with technology to enter another type of reality. As far as I know, this was the first use of the term “the matrix” to describe cyberspace. It was an influential book, in ways that would not be immediately evident.
It was also in the late 80s (in college) that I began to learn more about paganism and alternate spiritual beliefs. I felt there had to be some underlying truth that was just out of sight, but I had to find it.
In the early 90s, I used to play a pen and paper RPG called Shadowrun. The setting was Earth in the near future, when magic had re-emerged and many people had infused their bodies with technology. In this world there overlaid a virtual reality know as The Matrix. This was a place people could “jack into” and it represented the global computer network. It was during this time that I really began to consider tech as humanity’s next evolutionary step.
Then, in 1999, I saw The Matrix . This movie revealed that technology could be the background for our reality. I was especially intrigued by the idea that everything is, in essence, code.
This lifelong spiritual and intellectual journey has brought me to where I am today. I think about religious and spiritual beliefs. I see them as application suites. Like Office 365, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, etc. Each one has things in common, but they also have their own style.
In my view, the components, rituals, and practices of belief systems are code snippets.
In my practice, I develop my own applications and I can incorporate aspects of any other spirituality for the specific purpose at hand. I can invoke any deity. I can invoke a deity I create. I can use prayer. I can use chanting. I can use sex. I can dance to EDM music. I can join a drum circle. Some rituals I will reuse, some may be one shot routines that I won’t ever use again. Religions are projects on my spiritual GitHub, and I’m just a dev trying to build the apps for my life.
From my perspective, the underlying power of spirituality is the recognition of our personal connection to something greater: the source code. Belief systems typically have top tier explanation from which everything else branches. Whether we call that God, the big bang, or the source code is semantic. Ultimately, we adhere to whatever personal truth that best meets our need to understand our world, our universe, our purpose, our place in it all.