Deliverance through Technology
Until recently, I have been involved with the Earth Organisation for Sustainability, an association with technocratic roots. While the organisational concept was significantly improved in comparison with it’s ideological grandfather, Technocracy Inc., the basic technocratic premise of solving problems through material technology still remains. [ 1] In fact, this is the rationale most of the Western countries officially identify themselves with: Progress through Technology. Of course, the question of where this is going and whether this is the kind of progress we actually need can seldom be heard. The assumption is that the development of new technologies allows for the production of new goods and services, which in turn help to create employment and further economic growth. My argument here is not over the uselessness of economic figures such as gross domestic income in order to gauge the well-being of people or the now-obvious shortcomings of economic growth. Rather, it is about refuting the idea that so-called modern technology builds us the golden bridge to deliverance. I would like to inspire an alternative route.
The Singularity was Near
I was introduced to typing at the computer keyboard at the age of 4 by my father. Over a decade later, in 2006, I was completely into technology, especially new developments in computing – and of course PC games as well. Almost every day after school, I came home to read up on my RSS feeds (digital newspaper), downloading the newest trends in the IT industry, news about technological breakthroughs and new games. Shortly after futurologist Ray Kurzweil’s book “The Singularity is Near” came out, I read it in order to give a presentation to my class. I had recently come across the concepts of Technocracy and was active on a forum, finally having found a seemingly sound, rational alternative to the system of control and distribution we currently have. Being somewhat of a geek, brought up in Vienna within the sphere of techno-scientifically focused Western countries, it should come to no surprise that I was amazed by the ideas presented by Kurzweil. I can still recall the most amazing developments outlined in the book – robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology – I could already envision the exciting future which was outlined before me. I almost couldn’t wait for these amazing new technologies to become available so I could enjoy them. They would include Head-Up Displays, essentially computerized glasses which would display information about the surroundings and enable internet communication. Such HUD’s had been predicted in the book to be in widespread usage by 2008 – development fell short of this goal, but it seems that in 2013 this situation could appear in the near future.
The prospects described by Kurzweil showed an even greater promise, perhaps the greatest of all: Unity and Immortality. These desires should be brought about by the eventual development of so-called strong artificial intelligence, which could learn to improve upon itself without the need for human intervention. [ 2] In order to keep up, humans would artificially augment their own intellect through bio- and nano-technological implants. The culmination point would be the Technological Singularity: An explosion of intellectual capacities within which it would also become possible to upload your brain into the computer network in order to live in eternal unity with the artifical intelligence and the rest of mankind. Physical bodies would be left behind as nano-robots could instantly create any body for you to inhabit at any point in space. According to Kurzweil, this would happen in 2045, and I was amazed that I would most likely still be around to experience all of that. [ 3] Life within this technological utopia – what could be more amazing? I believed this argument to be plausible enough and the scenario to be desirable. Mind you, I was 16. [ 4]
Limitation as the Hallmark of Creation
It is perfectly understandable that anyone accustomed to the capitalist, urban type of society would come to think that material technology does indeed hold all the answers. After all, the conditioning includes the assumption that the material world is all there is and that your whole being is dependent on nothing but matter. A spiritual mindset with a self-understanding of yourself and the world as being consciousness allows for a more inclusive viewpoint. [ 5]
It is most interesting to note that some of the greatest scientific minds of the past century – including Einstein, Planck and Tesla – have all transcended a purely materialist mindset and spoke on the importance of consciousness. [ 6] Tesla reportedly had vivid visions of various technologies he invented. These visions were so exact that he could build a machine exactly as he had seen it, then having it work perfectly within the material world. But even ignoring such exceptional abilities, we can easily understand the process by which new technology – and any act of creation – is being brought about. In the age of information and start-up companies, it is known that great ideas are among the most important assets. While it often takes a lot of time and energy until an idea can be realised so it is objectively manifested within the material world – without the idea, there would be nothing to manifest. No advanced production facility, no IT-startup, no obscure ice cream flavour. Even mundane tasks such as shopping for groceries, walking down the street and drinking a glass of water are ideas and decisions before they can manifest themselves as actions. This sentence was an idea and a decision before it could be written. So it seems every single thing we can perceive within the material world is originating from the realm beyond – the sphere of through and spirit. Previously, I had thought that atheist researchers who later developed an interest in spiritual concepts were becoming fearful of death and lacked willpower. Now I agree with the basic premise of Planck’s statement about the necessity of spirituality: ”Both Religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations… To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view.“
While many are accustomed to honouring the researchers of the natural sciences, we rarely acknowledge those who have worked to transmit spiritual knowledge. The model of the creation of the world (cosmogeny) in Quabbalah lore gives a concept of how the realm beyond the material can be understood: The beginning of all creation is brought about by AIN SOPH, The Most Ancient of All the Ancients. This is the eternal state of BE’ing, the unconditioned state of all things – without substance, essence or intelligence. [ 7] Manly Palmer Hall explains it best: “The nature of AIN SOPH they symbolize by a circle, itself emblematic of eternity. This hypothetical circle encloses a dimensionless area of incomprehensible life, and the circular boundary of this life is abstract and measureless infinity. According to this concept, God is not only a Center but also Area. Centralization is the first step towards limitation. [ 8] Therefore, centers which form in the substances of AIN SOPH are finite because they are predestined to dissolution back into the Cause of themselves, while AIN SOPH Itself is infinite because It is the ultimate condition of all things. ” Within Quabbalistic theory, the cosmos is composed of 40 concentric spheres of which we perceive the 40th, most dense sphere, to be the material world. As everything springs from an inconceivable source of limitless potential, what is the way in which its myriad manifestations differentiate themselves from it? It is through limitation – the hallmark of creation. Thus it is logical that the material world of the densest sphere is the most limited and concrete of all which are imaginable. [ 9] We can easily test this assumption of different spheres by thinking about a pink elephant! Why? Because the fact that you envision some variant of a pink elephant in front of your mind’s eye proves that you are able to operate within a higher, less dense and less limited sphere as well: the astral realm of ideas. Luckily, merely thinking of it doesn’t make the pink elephant appear in your room and break through your roof, since the material sphere is bound to time and space – but in your mind the elephant might well be jumping around or discussing with the philosopher Husserl about his subjective experience of piloting a spacecraft…
The Externalization of Magic
Recognizing this phenomenon, it becomes clear why the world can’t be understood through this most limited, material sphere alone. If the “core of the matter” is inherently inconceivable, how should it be defined? The shortcomings of materialist science are made obvious in that while cells may be cloned, it is entirely impossible to create a cell – create life – by putting its constituent parts together. So it seems the sum is indeed more than its parts and the organising principle – consciousness – originates from beyond the material realm.
Those who choose to ignore everything outside the materialist paradigm often find themselves unconsciously sublimating or externalizing the limitless potential of consciousness. For myself, it was within games and stories that presented a world where different things were possible. Those very much interested in technology often find themselves equally fascinated by science fiction movies or fantasy role playing games. The unseen force or magic of consciousness is externalized to these fictitious realms in a distorted fashion so their actual realization in real life is always seen as impossible. [ 10] While I’m not proposing that we should train ourselves to throw fireballs at each other, this materialist way of thinking deprives you of many powers of consciousness everyone does naturally possess. However, it takes time and awareness to recognise and develop these powers, starting with the most banal practices such as learning to breathe properly in order to calm one’s nerves. [ 11]
This materialist mindset is the reason why many now attempt to attain apparently superhuman abilities through technologies which mimic the potential powers of consciousness. Modern transportation is an approximation of teleportation just like communication technologies are an approximation of telepathy. The idea of quantified self – constantly measuring one’s bio-signals, sleeping patterns, exercise regimen and movements through space with a smartphone – are an approximation of a well-developed memory and sense of awareness. It is logical that those who deny their nature as consciousness attempt to take the bull by the horns and realise these abilities – the eventual goal being unity and immortality – through technological means. However, as I have shown above, the material as the mere shadow of the higher realms of consciousness can only be an imperfect effigy at best. Why not take the direct route and become mindful of your natural abilities – some of which you might not even have discovered yet? It is your conscious choice alone whether you choose to accept reports of prolonged physical stasis, multiplication of vital energy, remote viewing and telepathy. Even though some well documented and scientifically validated occurrences of these abilities exist, most would only believe them to be attainable through technological means rather than their inherently limitless abilities of being conscious(ness).
Wake up, Neo. The Matrix has you.
Many enjoyed the Matrix movie released in 1999, in which human are depicted as living within a virtual reality created by machines. Most saw an action-packed story with astounding slow-motion effects, some saw a complex psychological drama, and just a few saw spiritual realities adapted into a science fiction setting only so it could be readily received by mainstream culture. In case no-one told you yet: Welcome to the Matrix! Within the movie, it is hoped that the main protagonist, Neo, would be able to see through the Matrix in order to escape from it and liberate the rest of humanity. Please note that I’m not implying we live in a reality created by machines. Rather, we live in a reality created by ourselves as consciousness. [ 12]
Have you ever noticed the ongoing obsession with consuming and creating reality frames? All stories create an alternate reality frame, whether through movies, comics, religions, books, video games, the virtual reality of the internet – the format and delivery method is just only different to be adapted to the current culture. Many technologically-minded people dream about an increase in possibilities up to the point of creating a Matrix within which they could live the life of their dreams. In case you didn’t notice it the first time, I gladly repeat my greeting: Welcome to the Matrix – time to wake up!
Just imagine you would be able to create a video game to be the perfect experience – with the best combination of immersion, difficulty, complexity and joy. The best part of it is that, while you are playing you are game, you can choose to identify so much with your character that you forget you are just playing a game! [ 13] The more I understand the spiritual side of reality, the more I believe that this is a fitting allegory to what’s actually happening.
We need to realise that it isn’t our task to create a new reality frame within which we can fulfil our desires and explore new possibilities. The inherent definition of the material world mandates that such a new reality frame created through material means will always be more strictly defined and thus less complex. [ 14] As such it will be perceived to be smaller and ultimately less satisfying than the one we currently experience through our minds with our physical bodies. Thus I see it as our task to completely understand the nature of the current reality frame and learn how to manipulate it so we can have the most wonderful and pleasureable experience. We are all players in the matrix already – the question is whether we choose to become active, conscious and responsible players. I contend that the best method to do this is to foster our spiritual powers inherent in our being as consciousness. Both traditional and new schools of thought and religion offer myriad ways of accessing these abilities. [ 15]
Of course, it is difficult to fully grasp the nature of the Matrix unless you have had an experience of logging out. This is the experience which makes your realize without thinking that you are not your physical body but that you originate from a realm beyond. I am certain that anyone truly willing can have such an experience. Although the path can only be of your unique choosing, there are several techniques designed to expedite the process, ranging from Enlightenment Intensive seminars to Vipassana meditation or the use of substances such as Ayahuasca. [ 16] Once this is achieved, you can more easily remember your natural state and effectively break out of this reality frame, at least to a certain degree. This equivalent of logging out of the matrix allows you to put your whole life in context and realise that material ambition is really quite meaningless – it is really about the type of experience you want to have. From this point on it is possible to explore many different reality frames as well. [ 17] The larger framing also makes it easier to realise advanced abilities within the limitation of your individual incarnation in human form. Instead of losing ourselves within the smaller constructions built within this reality frame, we can make this frame ever more explicit and understand its rules. We can understand life as the dream it actually is and devote ourselves to having the most amazing experiences and inspiring others to do the same. If we would see this life as a game, then I would propose the first goal to become aware of the fact that it is indeed a construct of our own making continually evolving with the free-will choices we make as players. It is our decision whether we subordinate ourselves to the will of others or become active and responsible ourselves. Once we have fully realised this and understood the game’s rules, we have the maximum amount of options at our disposal to enjoy life to the fullest and accept the challenges we chose to encounter. We can choose to manifest our limitlessness as consciousness within the definition of the material world and recognise ourselves as the whole of creation. [ 18]
This viewpoint is the reason why I don’t see technology as bringing fundamental progress to the spiritual evolution of humanity. If anything, it may serve as a training ground – becoming used to the effects of our natural spiritual abilities so we aren’t too surprised about telepathy and remote viewing once these powers comes into more widespread use. An experience which previously might have only been away a single thought in the astral realm, in a time when people were more aware of their abilities, is now instead a mouse-click away on the internet. [ 19] Personally, I now prefer to build my skills in thought-forming and conscious intent (which could as well be called prayer or meditation) in order to attract specific situations rather than becoming excited about a virtual world within which other experiences might be simulated. [ 20] There is simply no point in creating a materially limited simulator within an expansive simulation in terms of gaining access to new experiences. Especially once you understand that you can learn to effectively hack your experience within the already running simulation.
Therefore, instead of looking forward to Head-Up Displays in the likes of Google Glass, I am rather refining my own awareness in order to be able to extend the range of perceptions I can access. This doesn’t need to be about seeing auras and talking to gnomes – it can be simple things such as reading emotional cues or becoming aware of the subtle symbolism surrounding us in everyday life. Instead of downloading the newest App to plan my training schedule, I train my memory as well as my knowledge of yoga by planning and remembering it myself. Rather than using external tools to quantify myself, I re-discover my natural abilities to have a qualified feeling of my body within this world. So for every specific task a technologically-minded person would install the latest smartphone application, I rather train my mind so I can achieve the same functionality without dependence on anything external of myself. There is a reason why Facebook’s slogan is “stay connected” – because it feels just as if you were intertwined with the conscious field of your online friends when you read their status updates. This is just another weak substitute of our dormant conscious powers. I would therefore propose to rather become more aware of the eternally persistent spiritual connection we have with each other, the planet and even the whole universe. There is no subscription fee or forced advertisement getting in the way when accessing this connection – you only need to become aware that it has always been there, no matter how hard you tried to ignore it. This inner guidance is the only connection we truly need – and although the process might at times be difficult, life will definitely start changing for the better once you start clearing out the channel and listen closely. Of course, this is the part of the Matrix which is still concealed for most of us – for this represents its in-build feature to forget that we are even playing this game. However, a single decision by the power of your free will can immediately start turning this scenario around in your favour – instead of being played you become a player yourself.
Turn off your Smartphone and start to Meditate!
I’m not even suggesting to throw away your smartphone (but they mostly seem to be mis-used as distractive time-wasters anyhow) or stop using Facebook – but you can eliminate all distractions for an hour a day in order to engage in simple self-reflection, contemplation and meditation. Obviously, I still use a computer and the internet in order to access the field of consciousness through this material method. And yes, I am still fascinated by technological breakthroughs and truly innovative video games. However, I am suggesting to become mindful of the interrelationship between the material and the underlying spiritual realm of consciousness. Understanding more about the origin of the universe and the reality frame we inhabit, the prospect of the technological singularity indeed becomes pointless. Instead of developing technological tools in order to advance our abilities, we can simply choose to start fostering our inherent powers as consciousness. Instead of becoming a pro at using the newest gadgets, we can just start to meditate and access deeper realms. Many science nerds are intrigued by the concept of the type I civilization, which has advanced to make the best possible use of the resources of a planet. [ 21] I believe the actual graduation into a type I civilization is marked by the emergence of creator-consciousness – every one of us becoming active creators and taking full responsibility for our actions. The rest will be a piece of cake.
[ 1] The Earth Organisation for Sustainability has developed the top-down hierarchical modes of organisation proposed by Technocracy, Inc. into a model based on the self-organisation of holons, independent units embedded within a network structure. It has been a haven for rational deliberation and discussion both before and amidst the rise of The Zeitgeist Movement (I recommend their movie Zeitgeist Addendum), which was inspired by Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project of a sustainable society based on the intelligent use of advanced technologies. This type of technocracy has little to do with the so-called technocratic management found within EU institutions. [back]
[ 2] Strong artificial intelligence would be more advanced that human intelligence and automatically enter a virtuous cycle of self-improvement. This idea is dealt with in many science fiction scenarios such as developed by Isaac Asimov in I, Robot. [back]
[ 3] Following the current trends would also make a dystopia of perception such as in the short film Sight possible. We seldom notice how much our feelings and experience have already been invaded by those who wish to control us, such as the movie Branded brilliantly exposes. And for those who might not be able to survive until then through normal means, cryonics such as provided by Alcor already allows the body to be conserved. The materialist assumption is that sufficiently advanced nano-technology could revive the body at a future point. [back]
[ 4] I admit that it took some time until I got a clearer view on these issues. In 2009, I applied to Singularity University since I thought their inter-disciplinary approach and focus on technology to be intriguing. In 2010, I developed Starfish, a vision of a fully distributed user-controlled network as an improvement upon the heavily centralized internet infrastructure we have today. This marked my last attempt to develop an idea for societal improvement based on technological, material means. At this point, I could already see that the real problems are to be located at a deeper level, within societal structures collectively projected by individual psychology of the people. [back]
[ 6] Quotes sampled via Wikiquote:
Albert Einstein: “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
Max Planck: “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
Nikola Tesla: “From childhood I was compelled to concentrate attention upon myself. This caused me much suffering, but to my present view, it was a blessing in disguise for it has taught me to appreciate the inestimable value of introspection in the preservation of life, as well as a means of achievement. The pressure of occupation and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways. Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves. The premature death of millions is primarily traceable to this cause. Even among those who exercise care, it is a common mistake to avoid imaginary, and ignore the real dangers. And what is true of an individual also applies, more or less, to a people as a whole.” [back]
[ 7] The One People’s Public Trust proclaims to have legally foreclosed on the old system of ownership (or rather, slavery) through a series of filings with the Uniform Commercial Code registry. Interestingly, this was done using spiritual arguments – rightfully claiming that there can be nothing between creator and creation. If anyone would choose to object these filings, they would need to expose themselves as thinking of human beings as property, which effectively has been the mindset until now. I wrote a summary on these developments on the P2P Foundation Wiki. The idea that nothing can stand between you as consciousness and the ultimate source of your being is supported by many spiritual concepts including the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva I explore within my essay on Awakening to Creator-Consciousness. [back]
[ 8] In a limitless void of infinite potential, nothing is defined, so centralization indeed is a necessary step to bring about any creation. However, I believe that in society we have taken the idea of centralization too far when people give up responsibility for their own lives over to others and stop to think independently. Features and mechanisms of centralization are described in my essay on The Hierarchical Principle. [back]
[ 9] I find it interesting that one of the most ineffective and yet (or rather, thus) economically profitable construction materials is called concrete. As Italian comedian Beppe Grillo observes – if you take away the concrete, politicians don’t know what to do any more. However, his so-called movement might well be a false flag operation itself. [back]
[ 10] The most successful science fiction scenario of Star Wars also integrates the spiritual side through the field of the force which is said to permeate everything. The blessing “May the Force be with you” has attained cult status. The spiritual nature of this statement and usage of its variants by occult scholars such as the Thule Society should be understood. Indeed many successful video games, whether World of Warcraft, Heroes of Newerth or Guild Wars include magic powers and occult symbolism. Popular books and movies such as the Harry Potter series follow suit. Within the logic of the particular story’s setting, these phenomena are an essential part and rarely questioned. They exert such an attraction precisely because the practice of the powers of consciousness – also called magic – has been suppressed in so-called real life. Since we subconsciously relegate them into the realm of games and fantasy, the potential to realise these powers within ourselves is automatically labelled as unattainable fiction. [back]
[ 11] Within a game setting, the ability to stay calm in a turbulent situation might well be called “nerves of steel” and be seen as a desirable trait. But rather than helping us to realise this ability in our lives, most games rather serve to distract us from ourselves and put us into an excited and often uncomfortable, anxious state. [back]
[ 12] Roman Christian Hafner provides an alternative account on the creation of the world and the purpose of existence on Earth in the German book “Die Reise als Schöpfer auf unserer Erde”. The content is derived from his ability I would call astral sight, but it also mentions recorded spiritual insights from Quabbalistic and Vedic lore. He proposes that we are essentially all eternal creators choosing to participate in the current scenario playing out on Earth. It is about gaining experience – so it is our personal decision whether we choose the experience of actively participating in the process or merely be passively observing and going along with the changes. To those interested in the first truly profound analysis of the Matrix trilogy I encountered, please check out The Matrix Trilogy Decoded by Mark Passio. [back]
[ 13] As Manly Palmer Hall describes, this is “…the mythological fall of man, at which time the human spirit descended into the realms of Hades by being immersed in the illusion of terrestrial existence. ” Basically, the spirit of man (you) chose to get so distracted by god’s (or his own) creation of the body and the material world that he forgot his true nature. Without remembering that you are just the player behind the arcade machine rather than pac-man on the screen eating dots and fleeing from ghosts, how can you be able to see the framing of existence? An interesting elaboration on the control mechanisms in place to keep you from remembering is provided by Sonia Barret’s presentation on The Holographic Game. [back]
[ 15] These abilities are also described in many modern books, often along with instructions on how to develop them through dedicated self-study. While occult powers are not a goal in themselves and shouldn’t be used for power games, they can help you to live the life of your dreams and bring your limitless potential within this most concrete of worlds. Examples of relevant books include The Art of True Healing by Israel Regardie, Magical Use of Thought Forms by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, Taoist Yoga and Sexual Energy by Eric Yudelove, Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce, Experiments in Mental Suggestion by L.L. Vasiliev. [back]
[ 18] Considering the aforementioned book by Hafner and the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva, the next step within our evolution could indeed be the realization of ourselves as effectively being the whole of creation while experiencing the material world through our limited material bodies. [back]
[ 19] According to Armin Risi, in the golden age of satya-yuga, empathy was so well developed that any lie would immediately be detected. In combination with the descriptions in the aforementioned books by Hafner and Ashcroft-Nowicki, the manifestation of thought within material realm might become possible for all of us. [back]
[ 20] A very simple meditation technique is described by Israel Regardie as The Middle Pillar Exercise. This is essentially a conscious, directed form of prayer in order to manifest specific desires. This is magic – and it can be learned and applied by everyone. An online search should easily reveal the associated PDF and sources to acquire the printed book. [back]
Image credits (as available)
Fabricius Fludd – Natura
Athanasius Kirchner – Systema Sephiroticum / The Quabbalistic Tree of Life
Albrecht Dürer – The Dragon with Seven Heads
Screenshot from movie The Matrix (1999)