Technology, Nature and the Spirit

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Technology, Nature and the Spirit by Dustin W. Pack - a Service Project presented at Atlantic University's Fall Convocation, September 30th, 2013

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Technology, Nature and the Spirit

  1. 1. TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND THE SPIRIT Dustin W. Pack Service Project September 30, 2013
  2. 2. Agenda • Spiritual Reflections on Nature • Road to Service • Environment Defined • Digital Creatures • Building Spiritual Reflections • Conclusion
  3. 3. Spiritual Reflections on Nature • Perennial Philosophy • 2 Reflective Exercises • 13 Perennial Plants • Meditation Timer • Nature Journal
  4. 4. Spiritual Reflections on Nature A Mental Model for Perennial Philosophy: Perennial plants bloom across the spring and wither in the fall. Their resilient rootstock allows them to grow year after year. Perennial Philosophy is the resilient rootstock of the major religions and spiritual practices that survive across the cycles of time.
  5. 5. Dandelion The Dandelion is a perennial weed that produces small flowers that later transform into seed heads. Many dandelion species reproduce without pollination. This causes each offspring of the dandelion to be an exact genetic replica of its parent. The Dandelion, if untreated can cause nutrient problems in lawns, gardens and cropland. Perennial Connection Weeds require detection and action for corrective measures. There may be weeds in our spiritual practices right now that need our attention. Apathy in taking care of weeds and ourselves is common. A Dandelion in the garden may look small and unassuming but in reality it is eating away nutrients that could be going to your tomatoes and cucumbers. In meditation we may find ourselves with spinning thoughts (weeds) intruding on our garden of peace. Like a good gardener we can recognize the thoughts, understand their existence and then gently remove them from the mind. More thoughts may come and we can remove them just as easy so long as we have patience.
  6. 6. Poison Ivy Poison Ivy can be found in the Eastern United States and Canada. It presents itself in vine form or as a bush and is distinguished by its 3 leaf stems and hairy vines. The leaves may look oval with a tapered tip or have a mitten like appearance. Poison Ivy represents a well known harmful plant but is only one of many types of plants that can cause painful rashes and itching. Perennial Connection Not all experiences in nature are pleasant and not all spiritual practices lead to painless growth. Sometimes our spiritual endeavors cause our illusions to be broken and much pain ensues. Sometimes we go too far and fast into a practice without caution and find ourselves in painful situations. The dark night of the soul and other spiritual crises are real. Like Poison Ivy, preventative knowledge is the best means to keep out of trouble.
  7. 7. Reflection Exercise The Willow tree has a strong shallow root system while the Hickory Tree derives its strength from a deep root system that can tap into minerals other plants can’t. Both systems accomplish the same purpose through different ways. Can you find a similar instance in your spiritual life of two seeming contradictions working towards the same purpose? “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.” – Niels Bohr The perennial spiritualist may sometimes need to be able to balance between seeming contradictions. The perennial philosopher may be able to believe in a universe that is designed by clockwork karmic laws as well as a universe ruled by a supreme power that cares about each individual’s growth towards the source.
  8. 8. Meditation Timer “Meditating on the breath is a basic technique to practice mind and body awareness. To meditate on the breath sit in a comfortable position with body slightly erect. Clear your mind and focus on….”
  9. 9. Nature Journal Take pictures and write your own observations from within the application.
  10. 10. Road to Service Atlantic University Classes Taken Across 3 Years: Introduction to Transformative Theories and Practices Spiritual Crisis Qualitative Research Methods The Inner Life: Dreams, Meditation Creativity… Origin and Destiny of the Human Consciousness Becoming a Teacher of Mission in Life Becoming a Teacher of Dreamwork An Introduction to Visual Arts Skills Mythology and Symbolism Religion, Spirituality and the Transpersonal
  11. 11. Road to Service Atlantic University Mentors: Candis Collins Raye Mathis Cameron Plagens Bobbie Ann Pimm Henry Reed James Van Auken
  12. 12. Environment Defined *Source Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends/explore
  13. 13. Environment Defined *Source Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends/explore
  14. 14. Environment Defined *Source Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends/explore
  15. 15. Environment Defined *Source Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends/explore
  16. 16. Environment Defined Gardening, fishing, camping, hiking, bird watching, nature, Virginia Beach, national parks *Source Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends/explore
  17. 17. Environment Defined Technology is a growing part of our lives Downward trend of activities in nature Disconnect between today’s youth and the natural world
  18. 18. Digital Creatures More connected and less connected Exposed to spiritual concepts in disguise: • Networking • Creating • Mentoring
  19. 19. Digital Creatures Target Audience: Modern men and women who want to begin a spiritual practice closer to nature but don’t know where to start. Peripheral Audience: Anyone who likes to contemplate the transpersonal in a natural setting.
  20. 20. Building Spiritual Reflections The Mental Model Plant and Transpersonal Research Spiritual Graphic Arts Interface Design Publishing
  21. 21. Reflection Exercise Language is our greatest tool to communicate with one another and more importantly with ourselves. We place labels on objects and concepts to describe what is. Root Plant Pattern Spore Bearing Plants Algae Mosses Seed Bearing Plants Ferns Flowering Plants (Angiosperms) Monocotyledons Conifers (Gymnosperms) Dicotyledons All plant life represents different expressions of the root plant pattern.
  22. 22. Reflection Exercise Universal Truth Eastern Religion Hindu Buddhism Western Religion Tao Judaism Islam Christianity Catholicism Protestantism All major religions represent different expressions of the universal truth.
  23. 23. Spiritual Graphics Art
  24. 24. Spiritual Graphics Art
  25. 25. Interface Design
  26. 26. Publishing Apple Review Process Key Word Search Terms Software Description
  27. 27. Final Product (iPad)
  28. 28. Final Product (iPad)
  29. 29. Final Product (iPhone)
  30. 30. Conclusion • Free to Download on Apple App Store • Open Source Software Future Updates: • More Plants! • User Submissions • …more Apps?
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