Ask yourself – why are you here?
I hope that you are here because you have been searching for answers – big answers to big questions. I hope you are here because you are willing to reach beyond the limits of your species – to extend yourself into something new. I hope that you are here because you see no other choice – that there is nowhere else you can be.
There’s a great line in a famous movie that is profoundly relevant: “Along with great power comes great responsibility” (Spiderman). The power to make decisions about saving an entire species certainly imposes great responsibility. Here, we have the choice to not act – and risk loss of the human species. Or we might act without full awareness or proper intent and move the species to self-destruction. Or we could advance the species to its next evolutionary step. Choices – they’re what life is all about.
I began my search with the idea that discovering the process for advancing our species was inherently a desirable thing. As I advanced down that path, it became more and more apparent that I was naïve and overly ethnocentric. Perpetuating our species is not inherently a good thing and “advancing” our species is not risk free. Here’s the basic “catch” and issue: advancement requires empowerment and empowerment without morality is dangerous to us and to all other species that we affect. Although what we’re dealing with is quite different, I think there is a strong parallel with the development of atomic power: it has great potential to empower us but it could also kill us and every other living thing on the planet. Are we ready for such power?
If moral transformation was as simple as setting things up and flipping on the switch, the matter would be much simpler. Instead, it is a process that takes time and progresses in stages. In order to achieve such transformation, we must empower ourselves in new and unexplored ways. Since you’ve come this far, I can walk you through the basics. At each stage in this process, we have to ask: what happens if we get that far and choose to stop there.
First, we have to achieve a “quantum leap” in mental capability. This is easier than we might think, but with numerous unintended consequences. Two major results are the ability to influence others in new ways and a greater awareness of the total environment (“reality”). Let’s examine just these two results in some detail.
It would be great if we were assured that the processes that yield enhanced mental capability are intrinsically linked to enhanced moral awareness and conscientiousness (moral will to do the right thing). While there is linkage, it is not rigid or absolute. So, if we produce an enhanced ability to influence others that is used for immoral purposes, have we progressed? Obviously not, so it is imperative that the process either be restricted to those who have already developed sufficient morality or that we build in certain checks and balances to ensure that our process cannot be misused. We’ll return to that discussion below.
Next, we must anticipate the likely outcomes of enhanced awareness of our total environment. This enhanced awareness of reality naturally results in greater creativity. We can’t know what creations will result, but we can expect a few likely possibilities. Consider these two: the development of genetic modification that leads to an average human lifespan of 250 years and the creation of quantum weapons that allow us to selectively dissolve any object or person we choose. Both have great potential and great risks. Are we ready for either?
This leads to the next issue – staying separate. One answer to the above quandaries is to say that those who have made stage one transformation would be kept apart from others and therefore whatever they create would be controlled by “more advanced” people. Who?
One suggestion has been to create small advances and slowly integrate them into the “mainstream” – getting rich and thereby having power to change the world. Sorry, that’s the current state of thought by those who care and want to improve the world and it doesn’t work. Perhaps it could be made to work, but there are many problems with that approach and unless someone comes up with solutions to those problems, it’s an approach that is doomed to failure. Remember, we’re talking about a huge leap in creativity – not the kind we’re accustomed to.
There are plenty of options and ideas – and when tested in the crucible of reality, they all have problems. Turning the process onto itself has proven worthwhile, but it hasn’t produced the anticipated result. Instead of revealing a solution, it poses a bigger question: should the human species be saved?
Owww! As things stand, the answer is – probably not. OWWW!!!
An objective disassociated analysis of our species is strikingly saddening. We have such great potential; we have come so far; and we have done some good. But then, we are the most destructive creatures in our ecosystem (planet and beyond); we have wasted so much; and we are headed in the wrong direction. The argument in our favor is based largely upon the hope that “we can change for the better”. But will we?
I don’t think we can answer that question. But what is apparent is that we are simply not ready – as a species – for the next stage of evolution. Our understanding of reality reveals that creatures who fail to evolve usually become extinct (over time). Similarly, creatures that evolve (or devolve) so that they are less suited for survival in their environment also become extinct. And yes, we’re devolving. I know we’d like to believe otherwise, but the “writing is on the wall.”
You must acknowledge that we’re not evolving biologically – the human genome is “stagnant”. With current technology we could change that quickly, but who thinks that would be a good idea? Some would say that we’re evolving extra-genetically (including me). But are we evolving extra-genetically in ways that make us better suited for our environment (or less)? Clearly both, but where does the balance lie? I propose that Einstein had it figured out long ago: “A perfection of means and confusion of ends seems to be our main problem.” We have evolved the means to change things faster than the wisdom necessary to discern whether we should change them (and how and why).
So, “cutting to the quick”, this is where we stand:
1. We are on the road to oblivion and we’re generally oblivious to it.
2. We have the ability to recognize our position and to make better choices.
3. We generally do neither.
4. We have the power to take control of our own evolution.
5. It’s not clear that we’re ready for such.
6. We have available means to begin the process of change.
7. We don’t have available the will to initiate the process.
8. The process can enhance our will.
9. The process can also produce very risky unintended consequences.
10. So, we build and wait.
Certainly, it is tempting to “forge ahead”.
Clearly, it would be irresponsible to do so.
Conversely, we must do something.
Again – cutting to the chase – what can we do NOW? First, we can live under John Garcia’s directive: learn, teach, and create. If the human future is in the hands of future generations, then we simply must do what we can to prepare them for the way and the way for them. To best do so, we must prepare ourselves. LEARN! Then TEACH! And always CREATE!
Each path is different and each “according to their own”. The path that worked for me may not for you. The things that I prioritize may be no better than yours. Quit expecting others to provide answers – find them for yourself. I have been writing down my ideas for decades, but I haven’t stopped learning. Seeking truth is a process of continuous inquiry. Regardless of your view of the future or the nature of your commitment to creating it, that’s a good starting place.
I suggest that the best way to ensure advancement of the species is to form small groups (although I have no “magic” size such as Garcia’s eight). If your group gets too large, just split it up (Duh). It’s quality, not quantity, that matters here. I see no hope for political, religious, or social solutions to tour problems. Our best hope is to take direct intentional control over human evolution through transformative processes. One method that has proven to work is detailed in my writings. I’m sure that there are others that are even better.
Find them. Make them work – for “heaven’s sake”.
 “Heaven” is that state of mind where one knows that they’ve done their best to do the right thing.
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