Open Source Spirituality: Part 1

Spirituality p2p

Will p2p sharing trickle into the way we think about spirituality.

In the last ten years the landscape of the digital world has changed tremendously.  Everything from high-end photo editing software to video production equipment to the ability to easily create your own website have become readily available and non-cost prohibitive.  This has led to academics and observers to trumpet the “democratization” of almost everything. While the term has become somewhat of a platitude, it does ring true for areas of expertise that used to have a high barrier to entry.

There’s nothing stopping a 10 year old from going on Code Academy and teaching himself how to build a website at almost no cost. Musical instruction that used to require expensive private lessons is now available for free on YouTube. It’s not unrealistic in 2014 to teach yourself how to make a living being a graphic designer with a few months of internet research and dedication.

The term “open source” is one that goes hand in hand with “democratization” in many ways. Originally a term that applied only to software, open source now means something along the lines of anything that can be shared and modified by others without paying licensing fees or even permission. The operating system Linux is a pure open source OS favored by many computer programmers. Wikipedia, one of the highest trafficked sites on the internet is essentially an open source encyclopedia, allowing anyone to contribute and edit.

So how does the open source world we live in relate to spirituality and religion?  A recent Open Democracy article discusses how the concept of Peer to Peer (p2p) sharing that has changed the face of technology may also be applied to change the face of spirituality.  Check out part 2 of this blog post when we’ll discuss what this means in a little more depth.