[A transcript of a talk given at the Galileo Commission, 29th August 2023]
- TECHNE & TERRAFORMING:
Human life upon this planet is now transitioning into an era of techne (technē). Techne is not only a piece of technology, but also the behaviour, lifestyle practices, attitudes, skill sets, and more, than run alongside, or are activated, by the architecture of technology in order for its inclusion into human life.
In 1987 the English poet Heathcote Williams published his epic poem ‘Autogeddon’ about the impact of the automobile. In it he wrote:
If an alien was to hover a few hundred yards above the planet
It could be forgiven for thinking
That cars were the dominant life-form,
And that human beings were a kind of ambulatory fuel cell:
Injected when the car wished to move off,
And ejected when they were spent.
The same can be said for the world of today if we replace ‘car’ with ‘technological infrastructure.’ And yet, which is the dominant life form?
If humanity is to transform itself from being used as ‘a kind of fuel cell’ or battery within the megamachine, then we need a recalibration of what technology means for human life. External structures frame how people perceive the world around them à this perceptual framing then influences how particular worldviews, behaviours, and environments emerge. At each stage, how we think affects what we create, or – what is created or put in place as our environmental structures affect and/or manipulate how we think (and this can lead to what I call a ‘machinic consciousness.’ A small example: if human behaviour becomes more automated by a piece of technology, such as the use of a spell-checker, then the laziness in personal grammar that results from this is also a part of the techne of the computer and word processing software. What I am saying here is that the direction that humanity is taking, in the name of progress, is towards establishing a new environmental infrastructure that will reorganize and recalibrate human behaviour.
I’m putting forward the view that the planet is undergoing a mode of terraforming. Terraforming literally means “Earth-shaping” and is used to describe how a planetary environment is deliberately transformed so as to accommodate the dominant life form. And in this case the ‘dominant form’ that is under construction will be amenable to a certain type of intelligence. For starters, it will be kind to an intelligence that understands or accepts digital modes of governance, security, and control. And it will be unkind to those intelligences that don’t fully accept or comprehend the rise of digital lifestyle management. It will be kind to those who are willing to accept a life ‘within the grid’ of digital-everything – finances, surveillance, internet-of-bodies, 5G/6G/7G/8G, social-credit ratings, 15-minute cities, etc – and it will be unkind to those wishing for an off-grid, or less digitally-dense lifestyle.
The rise of a civilizational technocracy & hyper-materialism brings about the material fallacy: the continuing encapsulation of the human being into artificial constructs based upon a mode of deep embedded materialism (Metaverse) and the recalibration of social identities; social mobilities; civil rights, human sovereignty, and much more. Such an environment also affects the cognitive functioning of the mind as it becomes ever more deeply immersed into an electrified realm. This will designate the new domain of techne where different cognitive skills will be necessary and many existing human cognitive skills will be pushed into redundancy. It will also frame how humanity is tracked, monitored, catalogued, and processed. Techne is not only a form of physical terraforming but also a re-forming of our human thinking patterns. Humanity will become symbiotic within an environment more conducive to a regulated, automated or inorganic mode of consciousness – a ‘machinic consciousness.’ The human intelligence that will result from this environment is not yet formed and in most ways, unknown; an ecosystem of automation will affect not only human behaviour but also states of human psychology and emotion. The unconscious human may, by degrees, be transformed into the robosapien where behaviour sets and cognitive perception are limited to a very low level. Such a person will, effectively, be little more than a cog in the machine. And the machine will be well-oiled by AI-regulated infrastructures.
Such a dystopian future was once described in the 1960s by French philosopher Jacques Ellul as the following:
“It will not be a universal concentration camp, for it will be
guilty of no atrocity. It will not seem insane, for everything
will be ordered, and the stains of human passion will be lost
amid the chromium gleam. We shall have nothing more to
lose, and nothing to win. Our deepest instincts and our most
secret passions will be analyzed, published, and exploited.
We shall be rewarded with everything our hearts ever
desired. And the supreme luxury of the society of technical
necessity will be to grant the bonus of useless revolt and of a
consenting smile.” (The Technological Society)
The ongoing terraforming of the natural, organic world opens itself up for a replacement by a ‘machinic civilization’ based on technocratic governance and processes of techne. When the ecosystems of Nature are broken down, reduced to material systems, then the building blocks for artificial structures – structures devoid of organic life – are established which give host for the manifestation and expression of anti-developmental forces (or what I sometimes refer to as entropic forces). The present times are hyper-materialistic and heavily intellect dominant. This allows for an organization of human thinking where free speech, human imagination and intuition, is highly controlled and subjected to monitoring, management, and technocratic administration (ie, cultural censorship).
If this continues then it is likely to lead to a state where the human species, unknowing to itself, will have lost the ability for true, genuine thinking. The inner world will have become diminished, and any inner, developmental impulses become over-ridden by material forces. Furthermore, the inner being of the human may be drawn into a sub-natural state. According to the Austrian mystic-philosopher Rudolf Steiner, electricity is light in a sub-material state. That is, it is a form of light that has fallen below the level of nature and has become what he termed ‘sub-nature.’ Technocracy runs on electricity. One hundred years ago Steiner warned humankind to be cautious not to build cultures dependent or based on electricity. An electro-ecosystem will only serve to draw us farther away from our natural environments and into a lower vibrational state of sub-nature. In a lecture from 1925, Steiner says:
“There are very few as yet who even feel the greatness of the spiritual tasks approaching man in this direction. Electricity, for instance, celebrated since its discovery as the very soul of Nature’s existence, must be recognised in its true character — in its peculiar power of leading down from Nature to Sub Nature. Only man himself must beware lest he slide downward with it.”
Put simply, sunlight feeds organic life and electricity feeds inorganic life.
The deeper immersion into materialism gives rise to stronger entropic forces – for materialism is not an evolutionary end goal – it is only a stage upon the developmental path. If we stop at materialism, we will have taken the dead-end path – the cul-de-sac choice – of evolution. And transhumanism is this hyper-materialistic path that, for me, represents an evolutionary error. Such anti-evolutionary forces are establishing an electrified realm of sub-nature upon the Earth where electricity is replacing our need for genuine light, and chemical skies are increasingly blocking the reception of the sunlight. Furthermore, such forces, being highly materialistic, are primarily focused upon the dominance of an economic realm; a reality where humans are coerced into thinking of economy as the main driver and principal concern. The focus is upon the reign of quantity and not the quality, exemplified by a culture that is governed by numbers, statistics, algorithms, data harvesting, and evidence-based proof. It is these unseen forces of cataloguing, identifying, and accrediting – such as the China-led social credit score system – that are splitting off people from their natural, organic relations.
Thus, to summarize here: the terraforming of modern life, through techne, automatism and technocratic governance, is having the result of desensitizing people, driving them into sub-nature and lower states of conscious awareness and separating them from the realm of vital, creative forces. This is a situation that moves further and further away from the understanding of the human being as a vessel of spirit – as a manifestation of Source-consciousness within a physical body. It is within such a barren landscape, devoid of the transcendental impulse, that such entropic or anti-developmental forces can play upon the weaknesses of an unseeing, unperceiving humanity. The crisis of our times is that our societies do not consider human purpose and the deeper meaning of human existence.
- THE TRANSCENDENTAL IMPULSE
Humanity is in the midst of transitioning from one era or epoch to another. According to the wisdom traditions, at the end of each developmental epoch, humanity receives conditions necessary in order to activate a new organ – or faculty – necessary for the incoming epoch. This new organ or faculty is required to receive the energies that will be part of the future era. This energy is always made available as the incumbent era is in decline. Each new developmental capacity within humanity allows for it to receive a wider spectrum of perceptual reality. Yet we may be largely unaware of these transformational processes that are already in motion. As the saying goes: Did the philosophy of the fish ever help it to become an amphibian?’
However, this ‘transformation in process’ antagonizes those social forces that are intent on maintaining their current power regime. For this reason, there tends to be a counter-initiative established by the ruling powers to block and to impede the general masses in the reception of developmental energies. This movement is currently playing out as transhumanism & involves the terraforming of planet Earth (as I’ve discussed). At such transitional times, chaotic periods are most prevalent for there is this struggle or contestation between out-going forces fighting to maintain the status quo of power and control and new socio-cultural forces emerging that are driven by the transcendental impulse for further development. Such chaotic periods may appear to be in opposition to us yet may actually be working to our benefit. What I mean here is that forces of disruption being unleashed by the push towards transhumanism may actually activate people into other avenues of development, literally shocking people into awareness; periods of upheaval allow movements in many directions, just as ploughing the soil allows for new growth.
It is necessary for the transcendental or developmental impulses to be recognized and supported in order to steer away from a counter-evolutionary trajectory. In our organic, human world there is no place for anti-human forces. The sacred impulses – sometimes referred to as the ‘immaterial fire or light’ exist as the background radiation to physical existence; and it radiates, or flows, into physicality through material bodies/forms. That is, the metaphysical light infuses materiality through a vital force of energy – the ‘Holy Spirit’. This non-visible metaphysical fire/light/spirit is generally not perceived by the outer senses, but by the inner being. This is why it is crucial that the inner being is not blocked to receive these sacred impulses by the material forces of inertia (ie, Transhumanism). There are attempts to create societies devoid of developmental impulses. What we need to nurture is a ‘focused intention’ – to support aspects of the Creative Imagination that work through an integrated thinking capacity, rather than being trapped within a materialistic, analytical, intellect-dominant brain domain. The creative imagination suffuses the individual’s inner being rather than being a product of the social ego. Along with the creative imagination there is the Intuitive Intellect that operates beyond the veil of a rationalized, conditioned intellect. Art, literature, geometric designs & symbols – even gardens – can act as portals or gateways for the transmission of developmental information into human cultures and societies.
We must reclaim our mediums of meaning & significance. Much of our modern language has recently been hijacked to become slogans, branding, twitterings, etc, and thus mostly ‘dead language’. Also, individuals need to gain a sufficient degree of psychological autonomy – away from entanglements in superficial ‘social satisfiers’ – those dependency-orientated activities and entertainment-comforts – that offer only crudities but not refinements. To speak metaphysically, it is about how we cultivate our vibrational signature: what we align with physically, psychologically, and emotionally will ENTRAIN our own frequency to its own. What we actively oppose often ends up attuning us to its frequency. As the inventor Tesla said: ‘If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’
A person needs to be able to discern between the lower, denser frequencies, and those of a more uplifting, inspiring, and developmental nature. Then such a person is able to stand aside from the context of their environment, so that it has minimal effect on them, yet also blending with it when required. It is the lower, denser energy that seeks to dominate the environment and those within it – and it is this style of behaviour that is both encouraged by consensus society as well as rewarded by it. We can see examples of this ‘reality splitting’ already occurring: people are tuned to a different reality set. Vibrational alignment with a balanced, inner life helps to detach an individual from a life that is being bombarded by lower order impulses and influences (media, news, entertainments, etc). We need to disentangle ourselves from the energetic entanglements of outer ghosts: the dominant social-cultural programming transmitted through our communication channels. Quite literally – the revolution will not be televised! … because it needs to be a human evolution and not a tech-Revolution.
Without sufficient insight, all focus gets placed upon the transient and the superficial. These are the external factors that hook and pull people into a controlling consensus reality with very limited understanding. Thus, to summarize here: the real catastrophe of our times is not the upheaval and chaos that plague our societies, but that the human individual is being lured away from the potentials of their own innate creative forces and into a state of ignorance and dumbed-down servitude by hyper-materialistic forces.
- SACRED RESPONSES
The essential characteristic of these times is that humanity is experiencing an existential as well as an evolutionary crisis. This is why so many aspects of our social structures appear either broken or in breakdown. Yet personally I cannot envision there being a unified response – the situation is too varied & people exist in too many different states of awareness. Some people will choose to actively fight or revolt against the incoming wave of transhumanism – and these people will feel this to be a necessary action. Yet what I feel is needed is inner transformative change first – to transfigure the human individual through the availability and transmission of perceptive materials: texts, talks, conferences, meetings, organizations. That is, through the communication and organization of developmental information, so that a person can discern the difference between a world of external, manipulated events and an inner world with a distinct degree of perceptive understanding. However, this outreach will not get the majority on our side. Yet I don’t feel that a majority shift is needed in order to get the ball rolling. Real change always begins from the periphery first – this is the law of complex systems.
First off, let us remember that fear feeds the forces of denial and control. The wavelength of fear strengthens the anti-human forces. Our weakness and lack of inner resolve strengthens the forces of human control. And yet, our collective lack of fear frightens them and their control structures. Without fear, we are not compelled into compliance. Willing compliance with transhumanist agendas and the onslaught of technocracy shall be our greatest failure. Yet non-compliance does not necessarily mean physical resistance – it means developing a parallel path – often from the bottom up in a decentralized manner. And this is how humans have always thrived – by getting on and doing things following an inner guidance & necessity. We don’t need to wait to be told! That is, for the creation of parallel paths in how we establish our relations; our needs; our transactions; our trust – and how we focus on our objectives for a life based on quality and not quantity. In other words, the quiet growth of parallel cultures that exist within the ‘Belly of the Beast’ – for now. And it is already happening across the world today – just not yet visible to many of us.
What is required is for enough able-minded people to shift their priorities and to work towards the re-calibration of human relations and human betterment – a new way of comprehending the human condition – before human civilization either is dragged into a technocratic transhumanist future or falls into a quagmire of wishful thinking. And it is the recognition of sacred, holy, or transcendental forces that will not only assist this transformation but will also better serve those individuals for the current transition as well as for a post-transition future. We may ask ourselves: when everything collapses, what remains? The human spirit can be thwarted, blocked, suppressed – yet its existence remains: it does not collapse. To repeat what I said previously: At the end of each developmental epoch, humanity receives those conditions necessary in order to activate a new organ or faculty necessary for the incoming epoch. This new faculty is required to receive the energies that will be part of the future era. We need to be open to these potentialities by having hope, trust, and faith – and not to be closed down by fear.
One sacred response perhaps would be for as many individuals as possible to prepare themselves – physically, mentally & emotionally – for the application of different faculties and skill sets necessary for the shifts set to occur on this planet in the coming years. Only let us be aware that there is also likely to be turbulence upon the way. Yet the act of transmuting and grounding turbulence into transformative forces is the very least of the sacred responsibilities of the human being.
To summarize: transhumanism wins though the indifference and the demoralization of the human being. Our response must be the opposite: we need to be living through our truths. To quote from Vaclav Havel: ‘We need the rehabilitation of values like trust, openness, responsibility, solidarity, and love.’ I have spoken largely from a philosophical standpoint – each individual will have to consider the ways appropriate for themselves for manifesting their ideals into their physical lives.