458,000,000 results (in 0.53 seconds) – how do we know?

Searching the internet – are we discerning the results?

458,000,000 results (in 0.53 seconds) – how do we know?

Searching the Internet recently for information about the human rights act, and when the results came, I sat looking at the note that says, ‘‘About 485,000,000 results (0.53 seconds)” … Whilst this is truly remarkable – as in how quickly we can get information on the Internet – my first thought was ‘what on earth do I do with 485,000,000 results?’ How many of us have looked beyond the first few pages of results? Does anyone actually look at all 485,000,000 results?!

Given the simplicity of the search itself, many questions emerge:

  • How many results do we actually need?
  • What value does it bring to have that many ‘answers’?
  • What is all of that information on the Internet doing?
  • What purpose does it serve?
  • And will it just continue to ‘grow’, in that in two years’ time I get double the amount of responses?
  • Surely if searching for a factual answer – what is the human rights act? – there would only be the need for one answer...

What then happens when I am searching to find information about a certain food, for example; “Is dairy good for our body?” Again, an enormous volume of results – this time 151,000,000 in .60 seconds.

You could say this is amazing, there is so much information available, yet there are a lot of mixed and even conflicting opinions about what to eat and what is good for your body. So again I asked myself; what on earth do I do with 151,000,000 results? And in this case given the results on the page, how do we discern which items to click? There is a perception that if something is written, whether it be on the internet, in a book, or even a research journal, that it is real and correct. With so much conflicting information, how do we know what is true?

At this point, we must also ask how the search engines determine which results they will even show. For we know that we all get differing results for the exact same question based on geographical locations, past searches from that IP address, a country’s censorship laws, and most of all, the search engines algorithms set for that day – what is it that ‘they’ want to be seen at that moment in time? It’s not relevance or most visited websites that come up on the first page of results, but the result of what google et al deem the narrative to be on that particular topic. We are at the mercy of what ‘they’ want us to know, forever manipulated and controlled. Where is the truth in this?

This raises a further question as to how we are faring with the Internet and the instant access to information, when we now have new disorders such as ‘Internet Addiction Disorder’ – a pathological or problematic Internet user that psychologists are seeing cases of in their treatment rooms, and is becoming a serious mental health issue around the globe.[1]

How on earth did things get this way? And what on earth did we do before the Internet? I mean, how did we even live without searching for information on the Internet? Are younger generations who have grown up in the Internet age going to be deficient in finding their own way, discerning or using other methods to understand, explore, or get information about something?

The ‘answer must be in the first 2 pages’ mentality that many of us have, including the young who are developing and finding their way in a modern and often complex society, seemingly leaves out of the picture personal discernment and our own innate understanding of life.

Aeons ago we talked in our small towns and villages about things – together. We made sense by sharing our experiences, by looking to nature, to the stars and to life itself. We connected to the seasons, to the natural rhythm of life and things became known. People of all ages coming together to share learnings and experiences is seemingly a thing of the past, with those 151,000,000 results taking the place of shared experience.

Fast forward to when I was a child in the 1960’s where not even an electric typewriter was present, let alone a computer or the Internet. Yes, there was radio and TV (black and white in our house at that time), and so there was access to more in that way – but we talked about things: as a child when I accompanied my mum to the butcher’s she would ask about the meat and how to cook it; she would ask in the greengrocer’s about a certain vegetable, and she would use a book to look up a basic recipe e.g. for making pastry – and, life went on… I don’t ever recall feeling the need for 458,000,000 responses to a question – as the radio, TV, school, or the local library or maybe a relative or someone in the neighbourhood would have a solution or be able to explain something.

Fast forward again to the present and we have 151,000,000 results when we ask whether dairy is good for us. With all this information at our fingertips, could we say we are truly more informed, vital, healthier, more well in society? Have some of the deep-seated problems and issues in society (for example hatred, abuse, corruption, greed etc.) actually changed? Is there less crime? Less slavery? Less paedophilia? Less domestic violence? With so much information on our hands, surely we have the answer to everything?

Yet if you look at life, it is clear we do not have the answers. Illness rates are rising, childhood conditions like ADHD are common, there are more people living with multiple long-term conditions than ever, we still have relationship breakdowns, poverty, slavery, paedophiles, war, etc.

So why do we keep looking outside ourselves for the answers, when with even 485,000,000 results we cannot get the basics of health and society right?

For all that can be found on the Internet, there is something I know that does not come from the Internet: that there is another way of knowing.

When you meet Ageless Wisdom teacher Serge Benhayon, one of the first things he says is to discern. To discern what is in front of you, to discern what we are told (by whatever means we are told it), not only to discern what is being said, but more so, to discern the quality and integrity of the intelligence itself.

A way to discern is through clairsentience. When we are children, we naturally navigate our way through life using this sense more than any other, we feel with our whole heart, with our bodies and with our being and this has been a life saver for me in so many ways.

One example of this was with dairy. As a child I hated drinking milk, it made me feel sick, I didn’t like the look or smell of it, my whole body cringed at the thought of drinking milk – yet we were all made to drink a small bottle of milk every day at school. Adverts on the TV and the radio also said dairy was good for us. I persisted with dairy and I grew to like the taste of cheese. I’d had rhinitis and sinusitis for most of my life, never understanding where it came from, until one day someone suggested I eliminate dairy for a few weeks, which I did. The results were astonishing; the life-long rhinitis and sinusitis stopped. The dripping tap of a nose was no longer dripping. I had as a child not liked dairy, but as I was told it was good for me I persisted. My body knew through clairsentience, but I overrode it with knowledge – the knowledge of others – and I overrode my own sense and knowing of what was true.

So, no matter if every single one of those 151,000,000 responses tell me dairy is good for my body, my body says ‘no way’ – and that is the intelligence I know to be true.

So where does that leave us with ‘485,000,000 results (in 0.53 seconds)’?

While we have the internet and access to so much information I will continue to use it – for example, for a map to show me directions, to be able to see the opening hours of a shop, to buy online items that I cannot buy locally, for currency conversions if I am purchasing something overseas in a different currency etc. It can definitely support in daily life, but I also know there is so much more about life that is not on the Internet, or if it is, it is a reductionism of the truth.

No matter how many researchers have published on a topic, I will always discern for myself what makes sense. For if it doesn’t make sense to my body as a whole, why would I take the information on as ‘true’ without further discerning, or keeping my curiosity open to sense what is actually going on?


  • [1]

    Curtis, P. (n.d.) Can you really be addicted to the internet? The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/jan/12/internet-health.

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