When I look back on the time I have spent in Facebook during the last 200 days in which I have been an active member, something very remarkable stand out in my experiences which I think fit worthy to share among friends. First, Facebook shattered some beliefs and myths which I had long since held in mind as a result of being born to a particular country and religion. From the childhood it had been dinned into my ears that Hinduism is the most scientific and spiritual among all religions and it is only the fortune of the very meritorious ones to take birth in India, even the gods envy them. That was the myth no.1. My friends in Facebook demolished the myth from my mind by showing how, though belonging to an alien faith like Christianity, they have mastered the concepts like Vedantic Non-dualism or Oneness so thoroughly as to shame any of us Indians. When Karen Richards writes a post on Non-dualism and fifteen or twenty friends of various faiths and countries take part in a discussion that ensues, I follow the lofty thoughts spellbound by the mastery and knowledge of the participants and very often wonder if I was suddenly transported in a Time machine to a deliberation of Upanishadic Rishis on their pet themes of the Supreme Self and Oneness of all.

Facebook demolished another unexamined but widely held belief to which I too was an adherent in no small measure due to my upbringing in a society where this sort of beliefs were just in the air to be picked up. This is my myth no.2 which Facebook demolished very decisively for good. That women are good only if kept inside the homes for raising children and doing household chores and loving their menfolks. Intellectually they are no match for men, so nothing intellectual can be expected of them. But, my experiences and encounters here  with women of the west were eye openers, to say the least. Just one chat with Julia Day was enough to convince me the hollowness of the myth. By the time our chat ended I was left wondering whether a woman could be so understanding, wise, witty and empathetic. I felt so inadequate to the level of maturity, wisdom, empathy and broadness of mind and vision demonstrated time and again by many gifted women who frequent Facebook and adorn its pages. If I name them here their names will run to pages. It convinced me that the west is rich and prosperous not because it exploited the third world countries, another myth so widely held, but because it has such great women in it. After coming to honour them I began to see the greatness, though not as distinctly and abundantly found as in the western women, of Indian women too though much caged,confined and conditioned by a country subjugated for centuries under foreign invaders who did very little for their education. Chatting with Indian women, as a result, has been an ordeal for me. You don’t know what is going to offend them, such low is their tolerance level and their sensitivity to anything remotely personal. Once I asked an Indian woman who has been in America for the last 15 years regarding the name of the place in India where she came from and immediately I was defriended. Another married woman of my country sought me out for a chat and within minutes I was defriended for asking what her husband did for a living. Since then I accept invitation for chat from Indian women not without a considerable amount of trepidation and fear. I hate defriending anyone or being defriended by anyone. It has been my experience that the more educated and wise you are the less easily you get offended by others or the less egoistic you are. Our women need more education to be on par with their western counterparts.

My time in Facebook also erased a myth, let me call it myth no.3, which was also a fear, from my mind for ever. That internet in general and Facebook in particular, is a den of vices, pornography and purveyor of values that destroy family and relationships. My experience here is a testament to the contrary; that Facebook is a wonderful platform for sharing spiritual thoughts, ideas and experiences. It is a wonderful place where you can pick and choose like minded people who are like you. My friends here almost always raise my morale, show me more clearly the reality and the truth about myself. It is one of them who convinced me that what I call myself is only 2% physical and 98% spiritual; so I am a spiritual being in essence. The way to realise that is through feeling the radiance of the Self, being silent and being at peace with every one and every thing.

For all these I shall remain ever grateful to my friends here, numbering 1581 till date and increasing by day, and Facebook for being the wonderful platform it has been. It is almost like the Ocean of Wisdom here, but I have been able to drink only limitedly as my capacity for profiting from it was too limited.