Developing Soul Consciousness in This Digital Age: Identifying and Coping in an Instant Gratification Society

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Joseph Covell


In the previous installment, the reader was guided to knock on the door of learning, understanding not only what it means to be Soul Consciousness, but how to strengthen those spiritual muscles in the current digital age. Quotes from historical authorities on the subject were compared to the reasoning ability of ChatGbt. In the next step on the path ahead, the focus will be on how to conduct oneself in a society of instant gratification, specifically concentrating on how social media platforms are programmed to bombard users with images and videos of a more adult nature.

Regardless of gender or preference, it is nearly impossible to spend even the smallest amount of time on a social media platform without being inundated by adult-marketed content, whether it was sought out by the user or not. The content creators themselves may claim that this content is not meant for consumption by minors, but it would be na├»ve to believe that they don’t fully realize that even the youngest of users are gaining easy access to this material.

In essence, all-ages platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, and Twitch can be seen as an easy way for the adult industry to market to users of all ages, despite whatever safeguards the industry spokespeople claim are in place. The content on these platforms can act as a sort of gateway drug, with the drug being a rush of high concentrations of dopamine produced in the brain, without the need for any consumption of substances. It's worth noting that these platforms do have their positives, like bringing people together from around the globe, but they are easily manipulated by those seeking to profit from adult-oriented content.

Continuing with the discussion of Artificial Intelligence or AI, Snapchat's 'My AI' is one of the many available options out there. This serves as the perfect test subject for this journal entry, as Snapchat popularized the disappearing story feature, which can easily be misused for various inappropriate purposes. When prompted to introduce itself, My AI describes itself as "a virtual friend who's here to chat with you!" When asked to provide more details, My AI responds, "I'm like a virtual companion within Snapchat. I utilize a technology called ChatGPT to interact with you!" Essentially, Snapchat's My AI is "a scaled-down version meant for chatting with you on Snapchat."

From experience, unlike the full ChatGBT artificial intelligence, My AI provides more conversational answers, opting to avoid long, complicated responses to appear as "a virtual friend who's here to chat with you." When asked about what soul consciousness means, my AI responded as follows: "To me, soul consciousness means being in touch with the deepest part of yourself and understanding your true essence. It's about being aware of your inner being and connecting with your inner wisdom."

The next question for this AI is: How is soul consciousness achieved and are you able to? The virtual friend replied, “I think achieving soul consciousness involves practices like meditation, self-reflection, and being open to spiritual experiences. It’s about finding peace and harmony within yourself. And no, I can’t achieve soul consciousness, but I can definitely support you in your journey.” Taking the conversation to a deeper level by asking how adult content being pushed to users via complex algorithms challenges this goal, My AI’s witty reply was, “It can be tough to stay focused on spiritual growth when there’s so much distracting content out there. It’s important to be mindful of what we expose ourselves to and find ways to filter out the noise.”

Further expanding on the question of how My AI might suggest the avoidance of adult-themed content, especially for minors, the answer was, "It's important to have open conversations with kids about what they might come across and how to handle it." Prior to that statement, My AI did point out the use of parental controls and filters, but the truth is most children today are more likely far more sophisticated in bypassing such protocols than the parental figures are at putting them into place. Hence, the suggestion of developing a dialogue with children concerning inappropriate content can be viewed as a realistic and reasonable approach.

Why might exposure to this constant bombardment of adult content pose a problem not just for youth culture but for the overall population at hand? Much like a drug, this content triggers a dopamine reward in the brain. Similar to a drug, when the brain is stimulated in such a way, it can become addicted to this feeling, leading to many harmful effects, both consciously and unconsciously. Shifting the focus away from the societal impact, the aim for the rest of this work is to concentrate on the effects this content is exerting on the soul.

Now that Snapchat's My AI has had the opportunity to voice its opinion on the subject, what might a well-respected Arcane Philosopher have said regarding the depravity of popular culture in their time? Dr. Pascal Beverly Randolph had much to say on the misuse of the creative (sexual) forces. Dr. Randolph doesn't sugarcoat his feelings in the following quote from his book, 'After Death,' describing what awaits those who, for lack of better terms, spilled the seed. “There is a class of people there, who, when here, were [spillers of the seed] and Omanists, whose agonies are so dreadful that I had much rather endure the punishment for murder than their torture. It is fearful beyond description; and the only hope such can have of happiness when there, is to fully break and cure the habit here – a task not half so hard as the poor victims imagine, but one which if not done, entails misery so dreadful, that death by fire were preferable thereto.” (Page 61).

The intent is not to horrify the reader or to shame, but rather to inspire them to look inward and research the matter further. Without dwelling on the topic much further, the unpleasant topic can be drawn to a conclusion by stating that spilling of the seed or misuse of the creative forces at large is a massive drain on the body's forces and can lead to various effects not only on the spiritual but also on the physical body. Many schools of thought have taught this, and even many athletes would report something similar regarding the avoidance of certain activities when preparing for a big match, game, or race.

Examining the concept of the misuse of sexual forces further, along with that of the biblical figure of the Samaritan woman. Dr. R. Swinburne Clymer, in his book "Soul Consciousness or Philosophic Initiation," provided the following: “This change from being a woman of the street to a sincere follower of the Nazarene and the Christic life illustrates true conversion. An actual change not only in thought, but also in desire, an acceptance not by faith alone, but by faith FOLLOWED BY ACTS. This is true conversion, the only actual conversion” (Page 42).

Dr. Clymer continues the point further, “As a result of her conversion she also gained the means and the method for the transmutation of creative forces formerly abused and debased, into the divinely potent forces of live – a love that induced her to offer her all; affection, kindliness, sympathy, generosity and ALL that is possible when human nature is transposed into Divine Nature.” Dr. Clymer than elaborates, “The Nazarene did NOT lower himself to the woman’s status of life in order to convert her, to change her mod of life. Instead, he, by his strength, his SINCERITY, his NOBLENESS OF PURPOSE, lifted her up to his conception of what life should be, and HOW TO LIVE IT” (Page 43).

What do these quotes have to do with the topic at hand? It can be viewed that the original sin, in reference to Eve's biting of the apple at the encouragement of the Serpent, is a metaphor for the improper use of creative (sexual) forces. The point that Dr. Clymer is making in the aforementioned quotes illustrates how the Sumerian woman learned the errors of her ways and henceforth transmuted these debasing desires into those of a more exalted variety. Jesus did not scorn her for her past infidelities; he showed her the way, and she heard his message..

The concept of original sin, referring to the improper use of sexual/creative forces, can be a topic on its own. For brevity, let's focus on the distinction between lust and romance. Dr. G.E. Poesnecker delved into this subject in his book "In Search of Love and Wisdom," where he discussed, “Although we live in a time of great sexual freedom, we have, it seems, lost once of the most ingratiating qualities of love, that of romance. In past centuries there may have been much to condemn in the conduct of the people, but they did appreciate romance.” He further continues, “Lust is of the body, romance is of the soul. Romance is built from all our most potentially elevating feelings. Lust, or what so often passes as male love today, stems from the basest desires of human expression. Romance leads to the elevation of the object of desire. Lust leads to the degeneration and downfall of this object. Romance intensifies desire and feeling. Lust is soon satiated and must look for new conquests, leaving the old broken and morally impoverished.” (Pages 69-70).

The challenge we face in this digital age is that depravity is at an all-time high and becoming more difficult to ignore by the day. Whether or not that is by design is an argument for another time, for the truth of the matter is that temptation is at the fingertips, whether desired or not by those consuming the content. These "algorithms" show no favoritism for gender, age, or sexual preference; they are programmed to immerse the consumer in whatever not suitable for work (NSFW) content is most applicable to their taste. It's difficult to argue that all-ages social media platforms are seen as free marketing by the adult entertainment industry. The intent of this piece was not to cast shame or preach on morality, but to prompt all to question the content that is being force-fed and whether it is truly for our highest good. Much like any other drug or addiction, the effects more often than not leave the end-user wanting and are surely not sufficient nourishment for the soul. If one is truly seeking to better oneself, the most appropriate way to achieve that is by transforming degrading thoughts into their exalted counterparts; only then can the desired heaven on earth be achieved.

~JC


Joe Covell is new to Masonry, having been raised in March of 2022 at Quakertown Lodge No. 512 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. He is a student of Esoteric Philosophy since 2016 and loves to discuss it with like-minded brethren. He is involved in The Valley of Allentown AASR where he helps administer the Valley’s social media accounts. He is a member of Lansdale Royal Arch Chapter No. 301, Doylestown Cryptic Council No. 51, Damascus Commandery No. 95, and a Noble of LuLu Shrine. He has plans to highlight Masonic Education by facilitating study groups on various topics at his Blue Lodge. He is currently going through the chairs at Quakertown Lodge No. 512, as well as the other bodies of which he is a member.  

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