As the inventor of the personal computer, iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, as a mover/shaker in the Hollywood fantasy business (as owner of Pixar films and as a collaborator with Disney), and as a pioneer in the field of digital books, Steve Jobs had a massive influence on modern society.
Jobs represented the merger of New Age philosophy, the sexual revolution, the me generation, drugs, music, and technology.
According to his sister, Jobs’ last words were “Oh wow; oh wow; oh wow.” Many commentators have tried to figure out the meaning of these enigmatic words. They could have meant that he was merely high on pain killers or that he was having a glimpse into a beautiful afterlife or that he realized at the very end that he was going to give account to a holy God without benefit of the Saviour.
The Bible is the only book that allows us to look into the next life, and it plainly states that death is a journey and there are only two destinies, Heaven or Hell, the destiny being determined by one’s relationship with the only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus boldly testified, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Bible says of Him, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
According to Jobs’ authoritative biography by Walter Isaacson, who had unprecedented access to the man, Jobs rejected the Bible in his youth. His parents took him to a Lutheran Church, but as a teenager he told the pastor that he didn’t want anything to do with a God who allowed innocent people to suffer and he never went back to church. (Though the vast majority of men have rejected the God of the Bible, they have the audacity to demand that God intervene in human affairs and act in accordance with human thinking.)
Jobs studied Eastern religion for the rest of his life. He studied Hinduism in India and with the Hare Krishnas in California and studied Buddhism with Shunryu Suzuki and others at California Zen centers.
Isaacson writes, “Jobs’s engagement with Eastern spirituality, and especially Zen Buddhism, was not just some passing fancy or youthful dabbling ... it became deeply ingrained in his personality” (Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Simon & Schuster, 2011, p. 34). He read Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Autobiography of a Yogi once a year up until the time of his death (p. 527).
Jobs was powerfully influenced by hallucinogenic drugs. He said, “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life” and claimed that people who have not taken acid could never fully understand him (pp, 41, 384).
He developed a lifelong commitment to alternative New Agey diets and procedures, eating only fruits and vegetables, engaging in prolonged juice fasts, living for weeks on one or two types of food, practicing hydrotherapy, bowel cleansings, acupuncture, the “expression of all negative feelings” (he had engaged in scream therapy as a young man), and consulting with psychics. It is possible that his refusal to have his cancer operated on in a timely fashion and his commitment, instead, to “alternative therapies” resulted in his untimely death at age 56 (p. 454).
In all of this Jobs was a product of the 60s rock culture. “Vegetarianism and Zen Buddhism, meditation and spirituality, acid and rock--Jobs rolled together, in an amped-up way, the multiple impulses that were hallmarks of the enlightenment-seeking campus subculture of the era” (p. 36).
In turn, Jobs became an avid promoter of the rock culture with its anti-Bible philosophy and through his technological inventions he helped create the interconnected global society that is preparing the way for the antichrist. He was “at the nexus of the counterculture and technology” (p. 58). He embodied “the fusion of flower power and processor power, enlightenment and technology” (p. 56).
Timothy Leary, the 60s LSD guru, revised his philosophy after the invention of the personal computer (which Steve Jobs had a large role in creating). He said that personal computers had become the new LSD (p. 57). Instead of “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” his mantra became “Turn on, boot up, jack in.” This is precisely what the ensuing generations has done. Its mindless addiction to the pop culture is fed intravenously through 24/7 connectivity. Jobs designed the iPod specifically because he loved rock music, and rock music is the sound track for end-times apostasy and the mystery of iniquity.
Jobs acknowledged that he was carried along by unseen spiritual forces that were beyond human analysis. He trusted in “intuitive understanding and consciousness” (p. 35). He said that “the whole vision of a personal computer just popped into my head” (p. 60). “His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical” (p. 566).
From a biblical perspective, we know that this influence in a lost man’s life refers to the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).
Jobs’ immersion in Eastern philosophy deceived him into thinking that he could change reality through the power of his mind and will. It was called his “reality distortion field” and “magical thinking.” One of his friends said, “If he’s decided that something should happen, then he’s just going to make it happen” (p. 51). The phrase “reality distortion field” came from episodes of Star Trek, “in which the aliens create their own new world through sheer mental force” (p. 117).
As for his view of God Jobs said, “I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery” (Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p. 15). Soon before he died he said, “I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God. ... I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures. But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch. Click! And you’re gone” (p. 570).
Jobs’ spirituality didn’t produce good character. He was “an enlightened being who was cruel” (Isaacson, Steve Jobs, p. 32). He was “always temperamental and bratty” (p. 81), “tyrannical and sharp in his criticism” (p. 81), “the opposite of loyal” (p. 103). He “tended to lie” (p. 118). He believed himself to be some sort of Nietzsche “superman” to whom “rules didn’t apply” (p. 184). He was “completely obnoxious and thought he could get away with anything” (p. 184). He had a “perverse eagerness to put people down, humiliate them” (p. 223), was vindictive and “held grudges, sometimes passionately” (p. 299).
Born six years before Jobs, I was swept along by the same powerful cultural/spiritual forces in the 60s and early 70s. I followed Eastern religion, loved The Autobiography of a Yogi, and took a lot of acid. I understand Steve Jobs and his times, and I thank the Lord for His mercy in lifting the spiritual blindness from my eyes and liberating me from bondage to the god of this world and granting me eternal freedom in Jesus Christ.
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