An interesting link between Christianity and the world of The Machine. This might sound a bit geeky, occult and sect-like even. If you think about it, this is the European legacy. We rarely want to look back into polytheistic times, where even Genghis or Romans had allowed other people to keep at least scraps of their culture. And they loved ritual space (a space of unknown and transformation). Do we really need all this and is it the only direction we can be following? Is our ‘development’ more like a religion focused on technology?
Christianity invented or blessed the invention of the technological Machine. The bulk of people in the Third World today have experienced Christianity not as separate from technology but almost as a part of it. Throngs of people went to school to learn to be modern — that is, to be Christian. Many ended up serving the administrative machinery of Christianity, hoping for a taste of greater modernism. It was a team of Christians who came into my village over twelve years ago to ask those who went to church on Sunday to grow cotton so that they could buy it from them. The naive villagers saw in it an immense opportunity to become modern — that is, to acquire bicycles, short-wave radios and clothes. What they did not see was that these white Christians had their own separate agenda. Because they were in control, they laid out what they wanted the villagers to do. It included using fertiliser and pesticides that were banned in France. No one had the money, but everyone bought on credit. They were barely able to pay their debts out of their sales. With bitterness, the villagers returned to their traditional farming, but the land was angry. Tortured by foreign chemicals, it “went into a coma.”
Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ritual: Power, Healing and Community