🌱 seedling

I first started thinking about the relationship between spirituality and information when Kyle Courtney, the copyright librarian at Harvard, told me about an interaction he had with a Buddhist monk. Some monks were collaborating with Harvard to give texts to the library, I think. These texts go back to the Middle Ages, so of course they’re in the public domain, ready to be digitized.

Until one Monk said, “I wrote this one.”

Because in Buddhism, rebirth exists. 1b Not all knowledge systems will hear archival silences the same way. Kyle paused and asked the monk if he had his permission to digitize the text to put online. The monk said yes, and the process continued.

I’ve also encountered some pieces by Bob Doto recently that discuss spirituality and productivity1 and, right before I wrote this, how Tibetan Buddhist monastic debate is not just a form of creative expression but serves a similar purpose that writing does in cultures that write: “We don’t know what we think until we express it.”2 Writing is thinking.

This all has me thinking about spirituality as practice and information management as practice. Questions I’m thinking about:

  • If we use tools and systems to meet specific needs in information management, are we also using tools and systems to meet specific needs in spiritual practice, or is the spiritual practice the tool which is meeting a need?

  • What information management practices are there in various spiritual practices?

  • Is spirituality itself a form of information management?

  1. [[Spirit of Productivity]] by [[Bob Doto]] ↩︎

  2.  ↩︎