Reality appears to be accelerating towards complexity. We do not know what this complexity is. More importantly, our role as human beings in this unfoldment—if we’ll even get to pass through the keyhole—we also do not know.
To complicate the matter, reality seems to dislike being talked about. But there’s a sense in which, through attempting to speak the unspeakable, the understanding of this isness can be approached on a larger scale.
1 Why Consciousness
If the expansion of consciousness doesn’t play a major role in the human future, what kind of future is it going to be?
Any world order based on knowledge other than our shared being is at best a fragile alliance. To not become mechanical technocrats, the spirit somehow has to be brought along with us. To not leave our human soul behind, there have to be effective efforts in accelerating awakening. With growing existential risks, large-scale top-down governing is Russian roulette. Consistently wise species-level decision-making has to be done in a many-to-many fashion. The path isn’t quick, but it is necessary, and it starts in Mind.
1.1 Fundamental Okayness
In failing to look past evolutionary fear, not much has changed since first leaving the savannah. Physical needs remains the go-to space for seeking wholeness. And it is no doubt that contemporary western ontology, with its dead mechanistic outlook, has contributed to our materialistic worldview in this everyday (and not only metaphysical) sense. But what those letting go of scarcity discover—if only for a moment—is when the fight with fear subsides, a fundamental okayness remains: An inherent joy of being—which doesn't make you complacent, but which makes you okay. More likely to achieve good, such as when seeking to help corners of the world actually living under scarcity. So it is from this recognition the future has to be built.
1.2 Can We Engineer Enlightenment?
How do we inspire action from joy, wonder and compassion, rather than fear, need and desire?
Of course, no effort in engineering enlightenment will ever be complete—will never be it. Like the dog fixating on your fingertip instead of tracing the imaginary line extending beyond it—this can never be explained, never fairly represented; only experienced. But as Picasso said, although art lies, it points to truth. So external efforts may be insufficient, but they are necessary. In other words, there is stuff to do.
1.3 What Is Happening
Our civilization is unwell. We eat food that kills us, we’ve lost sight of beauty, and we neglect our spiritual lives. The world is deranged and decayed, and this frightens people. We don’t look up from our screens; we seek to live within them.
—0x7a02, Introducing Praxis
For many current cultural shifts, malignancy is too early to tell. But even in the gloomier cases, such as physicalist atheism, the game is far from over. Some mere intuitions:
1.3.1 The Secularization of Meditation
The clinical rebranding of meditation has been two steps forward and one step back. Its nuts and bolts have been abstracted, and its deeper purpose—of awakening the practitioner—left behind. Meditation apps have played an important role in this spread via secularization. Let's just not end the discussion with listicles on how a daily practice makes us more effective worker bees.
1.3.2 The Church of Technology
Second, technology has its eyes on the throne of God. When nature is merciless, we consult rationalism. When death discomforts, we turn to transhumanism. One shouldn't reject this sort of religion on principle, as long as we recognize it as such; but if not, we’ll end up longing for all we’ve dismantled. So not disregarding change per se, theological innovation should accompany an utmost caution, since we're treading land where any misstep could bring risk of special significance. Put bluntly, theology demands a level of wisdom that remains uncommon within the boyish field of technoscience.
1.3.3 A Psychedelic Renaissance
Mostly through personal accounts online, and a few outspoken celebrities (Joe Rogan, Mike Tyson, Tim Ferriss), psychedelics are making a comeback—this time with a wider appeal. More states and countries are legalizing; although similar to meditation, it is with industrial practicality as carrot whilst their real potency remains largely undiscussed. Furthermore, there is a lack of cultural infrastructure to ground and guide their destabilizing effects on the individual and society.
1.3.4 Science Turning Its Gaze Inward
Lastly, science is going through an epistemological crisis. Thinkers are dismantling the pseudophilosophy that has been scientism, and the belief in matter is revealing itself as such: A belief that has produced the so-called “hard problem,” as well as a meaning crisis among its predominantly western adherers.
Ordinary folk are realizing that science has been operating rather dogmatically with regard to its metaphysical assumptions. What field wouldn't—given the same societal success—have turned equally arrogant? And the science community is beginning to see how admitting these philosophical errors is but a momentary strike to the ego: An insight that doesn't disqualify every previous finding, but will instead strengthen its long-term integrity: How it permits a more solid—indubitably more hopeful—interpretation of what we are doing and why.
2 How to Catalyze
The dichotomy between Nature and Technology is a superficial and untenable distinction. Technology is actually a teleological phenomenon intrinsic to the cosmic evolutionary process. The danger is not from Tech as such, but from the technological equivalent of viruses or cancers.
—Jason Reza Jorjani
The goal is prosperity with individual sovereignty. There are already consciousness-catalyzing technologies that may help us get there. But all technology being inherently neutral—so as to not risk corruption—we must come from joy, wonder and compassion, rather than fear, need and desire.
2.1 Contemporary Work
- Immutable money, and new inter-networks can aid decentralization of power and thought.
- DAO-cities, and communities promoting natural living.
- Censorship-resistant media platforms built on public blockchains, enabling freedom of speech.
- VR games and media creating induced awakening experiences.
- Mind alteration is as old as us, but there is likely much unexplored territory using modern hardware and software.
- Psychedelics R&D, including funding and legislation.
- Meetups, courses, and participatory culture.
- Good things happen when individuals get together—if not only to inspire others' to individuate.
- Art, independent journalism, and integrous intellectual work.
- Ideas change the world, and beauty will save it!
Tools like these constitute our escape pod. With tyrannical tech such as surveillance AI and social credit systems already being implemented, the gravity of the situation calls for acceleration.
Thank You for Reading
On a personal note, I'm looking for future-oriented conversationalists. Topics of interest include the death of the nation state, decentralized work, monistic idealism and similar metaphysics, emerging ethics, and spirituality. If this sounds like you, I'd love to connect.