Monday, October 24, 2005

Are Technology and Paganism Mutually Exclusive?

I'm not what most would consider your standard Pagan. I spend 6 months of the year hundreds of feet underwater in a cold steel black tube where there is no sun or moon, the days are 18 hours long, and I only have artificial light powered from a nuclear reactor. I am an electronics technician on a nuclear powered submarine and for most, the job is about as far away from living a natural life as you can possibly get. Still, I enjoy my job and still consider myself as much of a Pagan as any other person out there. So here's my question to you. Do you think you need to live a "natural lifestyle" to be really Pagan?

Do you need to reject technology to appreciate nature? Do you need to spend time running through the woods to feel as one with the universe? Is it a tenet of Paganism (specifically Wicca since that's what I label myself) to live a life unburdened by the synthetic and manmade? The bulk of what I read here would make it seem so. But as one whose lived the life completely isolated from nature (aside from the whale-songs, dolphin squeals and, more than anything, the incessent clacking of shrimp that can be heard from sonar) I would say no. The bond with nature and the universe is an internal, spiritual thing that cannot be taken from us no matter where we are. We are, after all, creatures of nature, and that can never be changed.

I believe in environmentalism as much as any of you, and of taking care not to damage the earth we live on. But I do not accept the ideal that technology is somehow inherently evil. I do not use tea-oil shampoo or eat organic vegetables. Am I wrong to do so? Am I wrong in my belief that technology and human progress can coexist peacefully with Paganism and spirituality?

What do you think?

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