Head of World Economic Forum Karl Schwab has said that indiscriminate use of new technologies is putting the entire human civilisation to peril. His statement is welcome. The present economic crisis, for example, has been caused by indiscriminate use of automatic machines that has rendered millions jobless. The consequent loss of purchasing power is the main cause of the present crisis. Similarly, the use of nuclear technologies is leading to proliferation and creating the possibility of the entire human civilisation being wiped out from face of the earth.
The theoretical basis of such misuse of technologies lies in the definition of happiness propagated by the economists. It has been taught that increased consumption begets happiness. But experience tells us that every consumption does not do so. The consumption of a bottle of soft drinks does not beget happiness if one wants a cup of hot tea. Psychologists beginning with Sigmund Freud tell us that deepest desires are rooted in the unconscious or the inner self. Thus, happiness cannot be secured by ignoring the inner self. Economists, however, do not entertain the concept of the inner self. They encourage creation of ever-new desires that actually push the inherited desires deeper into the unconscious. Young children, for example, are encouraged to consume junk food. The desire of eating fresh fruit is pushed back and suppressed. This suppression of desires leads to psychic disturbances. Economists are unwittingly pushing people into psychosomatic diseases by not adjusting consumption with the inner desires. The pursuit of economic growth is solely reckoned by GDP. It matters not whether the GDP begets happiness. Thus we see that countries that are high on the scale of CGDP are most often low on the scale of happiness.
We can see this happening on a grand scale at the Maha-Kumbh that is underway at Haridwar. The Kumbh takes place on the banks of Ganga. Our scriptures say that Ganga provides salvation. ‘Salvation’ must here be understood as beneficent organisation of the unconscious. Bringing a piece of iron near the magnet leads to organisation of the molecules in neat rows even though no change is visible from the outside. Similarly, the unconscious mind of the pilgrim gets beneficently organised by taking bath in the Ganga. The many conflicting desires residing in his unconscious get settled into a clean pattern. This is salvation.
This power of the Ganga to organise the unconscious arises from the penance undertaken by the Rishis on the banks of that river in the hills of Uttarakhand. The atoms of the mountains get organised and develop a psychic charge due to the penance undertaken there. The rain water carried by the Ganga rubs against these mountains and the molecules of water get organised. Researchers at University of Arizona have found that cells have the capacity to carry memory. The memory of the penance is carried by the water off the Ganga as it flows rubbing against the psychically charged mountains. The inner self of the pilgrim gets similarly organised when the pilgrim takes bath in the Ganga. The Ganga acts as a channel to connect the inner self of the pilgrim with the penance of the Rishis. The water of the Ganga imbibes the disturbances from the pilgrims’ inner self. The water becomes ‘disturbed’ while the pilgrim becomes peaceful. This disturbance of the water is removed when Rishis take bath in the Ganga. The especial ability of waters of the Ganga to make this exchange arises from the particular chemicals and bacteria that are found on the banks of the river. It is necessary to let the waters of the Ganga flow uninterrupted from Gangotri to Gangasagar for this exchange of psychic waves to take place. Only then the River will absorb the chemicals and micro-organism that make this exchange possible.
Unfortunately The value of bath in the Ganga is reckoned by economists to be equal to the expenditure incurred in making that pilgrimage. The benefit from taking bath in sullen or fresh waters is equal, they say, if the expenditure incurred is the same.
Economists want to secure happiness of the people. But they see only the happiness obtained by increased consumption. Thus they advocate that dams, be built on the Ganga to produce hydropower; embankments be built to double up as highway and reduce the costs of transportation; and barrages be built to divert water for irrigation. They want make the River flow through tunnels and reservoirs in every inch of the hill stretch for the generation of hydropower. Two main tributaries of the Ganga are Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. Water of Bhagirathi already ferments for months in the Tehri Reservoir. Now it is proposed to build a dam on the Alaknanda at Srinagar. The water of the Ganga today is only half-dead. It will become fully dead after construction of this dam. The ability of those waters to reorganise the inner self will be wholly destroyed. The beneficent sediments that give special chemical qualities to the water settle in the reservoir. The water does not rub against the rocks and sediments to imbibe the chemicals.
The Kumbh takes place at Har-ki-Pauri at Haridwar. A barrage has been made upstream to divert water of the Ganga into a canal that runs through Har-ki-Pauri. The water continues flowing through the canal after Har-ki-Pauri. The psychic disturbance imbibed by the water is never removed because Rishis do not take bath in the canal that flows down from Har-ki-Pauri. The psychic give-and-take is converted into ‘give only’. But the Government is concerned only with the agricultural production that is supported by the canal. It is unconcerned that the give and take of psychic patterns will come to an end when Ganga flows through the canal after Har-ki-Pauri.
Economists and the Government have gone beserk with the power of new technologies in their hands. Technology has today made it possible to make tunnels in the mountains or to build dams. They are misusing the power of technology to increase consumption while ignoring the impact on the inner self. The increase in GDP that takes place from supplying electricity to the shopping malls of Dehradun is calculated but the loss of happiness that takes place from the destruction of the psychic qualities of the waters is ignored. Schwab is pointing towards such misuse of the power of technology.
We must make an assessment of all development projects at both conscious- and unconscious levels. Otherwise we will impose a huge harm on ourselves. We will organise the Kumbh in the canal of Haridwar in order to increase agricultural production. We can use the power of the same technology to lift water of the Ganga through pumps and maintain the free flow of the river and conserve its psychic qualities. We are imposing huge inner pain on the people of Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna and Kolkata by building dams, embankments and barrages on the Ganga. Such misuse of technology must be stopped. The Kumbh must be celebrated on free-flowing Ganga, not the canal at Har-ki-Pauri.
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