Oh yes, will technology transcend biology … and our mostly metaphysical reply:
Technology, while a big and important cultural driver, has always been only a part of the fundamental shifts that humans have increasingly manifested over time and which may
be expected to culminate in the coming Singularity event.
From a Metaphysical point of view the so called , Transhumanism, AI, or whatever one may wish to call it, represents an illusion, spawned within a continuing cynical, materialist hallucination in projecting a disrespect for life and a desired ultimate dominance of and a total submission from nature. This technological vision promotes an adolescent wet dream of the ego supreme; a very attractive, but delusional and dangerous fantasy that revels in power and control.
Indeed, at the end of the day, who would the Technological Singularity Trans-humanist agenda serve and how? For the bulk of humanity it would not and could not exist. This option will only be for a very select few and they will need to check their humanity, empathy and compassion for the rest of Earth’s children at the door. The keys to a digital heaven will be given only to those who can afford it and are willing to turn their backs on its ancestry, history, humanity and soul.
There could indeed be a singularity in human consciousness occurring in the exponential growth manifesting in data, information and inter-connectivity; but it will not be exclusively a technological one. There seems to exist, a natural evolutionary breakthrough in human consciousness, occurring in humanity’s time-line and swelling in our life time. An accumulation of rapid change that has already been overwhelming and ravishing us. Humanity has been accelerating into an intense, instinctual, migratory phase physically, psychologically and metaphysically. A shift that is happening and that cannot be avoided, revealing itself as a culmination of our past epiphanies, experiments and collective experiences.
That this looks conflicted and confusing should be no surprise. Metaphorically we are like a caterpillar in its self-constructed cocoon, dying to one reality while also being born into a fresher and expanded being-becoming. A metamorphosis stimulated through the awaking of a deeply en-coded biological message triggering a transformation of old material into new.
The sum-total experience of any form of Singularity approaching our world would be by definition grander than technology. Technologies are the tools that enhance the imagination of human consciousness in service of creativity. Technology is an interim step and not the goal. The goal or consequence of a cultural singularity would be a focused unity formed from out of our diversity. A coming together, in an extreme sense, where all prior notions and ideas, rules and habits break down and all previous bets are off.
We can observe that these shifts happen from time to time in the geological fossil record. They appear as time line spikes of novelty in evolution as life mysteriously first appears and then regularly jumps from one state to another. These events seem to occur outside of any obvious causes and are not the kinds of mutations brought on by calamity or extinction events. How or why these tipping points take place remains a mystery cloaked within many competing scientific theories. Nevertheless, we do find leaps. In the famous Cambrian Explosion 550 million years ago, sea life previously consisted of vulnerable critters growing exoskeletons to protect themselves as shelled creatures. Then suddenly, by the end of the next geological day, we have fish with soft flesh on the outside and internal skeletons. This is also when vision – eyes – unexpectedly appeared. The result produces a literal line in the geological sand where an unparalleled rate of animal diversification explodes. All these new species colonized a wide range of what were previously unavailable ecological niches. This event has been called the Big Bang of animal evolution, as it produced all the known phyla of animals: insects, worms, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
What if, the event we are calling a singularity was actually another of these biological evolutionary spikes? That the approaching singularity could be the result of an accelerating increase in consciousness and communication, experience and transcendence arising from out of the evolutionary progressions of a primordial earth. A cosmic transcendence from a no-thing (the original Big Bang singularity) into a something(s) and eventually a someone(s); who have only very, very recently been enabled by technology.
Modern humans are officially said to have evolved into our current format about 200,000 years ago, though recent archeological finds (see part 2 in this series) call this figure into question and we could be two to three times older, maybe more. Regardless, humanity is the new kid on the block in the 4.5 -billon year story taking place this planet; a world where multi-celled life first appeared less than one billion years ago. The ontological universe presents a mighty mystery, that has spawned viable life and grown the natural world as we experience it, and she trumps science and technology by her very being and becoming. The uber mother-matrix of our universe is infinitely greater than any artifact we, her children, can create from out of itself.
Nevertheless, our human mission seems to be powered by free will and destined to go and grow into spaces and places, progressive developmental phases and more logical conundrums than we have never known before. From a neurological point of view we would appear to be energetically each a universes unto itself. Each of us, projecting a brilliant, sparkling, illuminated spiral density of chemical-electrical activity; which accumulates information and remembers experiences, while expressing itself on a rainbow continuum ranging from the ultra logical to the extremely irrational. It seems an amazing feat that we can communicate at all, let alone agree on anything. How we choose to express this self-aware consciousness has been and will continue to be our story; personally and collectively.
There will be much of our past that we will need to digest and overcome, while there also exists a great deal that must be retained. Throwing out our biological baby with the perceived, outdated, ethical bath-water, would not only be another mixed metaphor, but a stupid idea. Describing and limiting this apparent coming transformation as being an exclusively materialistic manifestation of human ingenuity provoking a technological singularity leading us towards an immersion into the machine as an on-line, all the time, eternal application can only be a dead end.
Unless, we can also celebrate, integrate and embrace our human capacity and genius for relatedness. Experiencing, expressing and demonstrating a unity of our collective dreams
and purposes through cultural expressions, that are empowered by technology but mediated and ruled by the empathetic “heart.” This would be our ancient quest for the redemption of the wounded land and the ideals of wholeness, which is traditionally known as the Grail. What comes from the earth returns to the earth in the service of an eternal renewal in the spirit of life; thus any technology can only serve and never dominate the life force.
We need to re-member ourselves as human-beings rather than redefine ourselves as human-doings. Being-ness represents an open ended, mysteriously alive, sensitive and progressive creature re-cycling its lively self-aware energy within a universal creation. A celebration of our very recent cosmic development, appearing as a human consciousness, arising to be a someone emerging from out of the womb of no-where. Each an unprecedented psycho-physical energy pattern, evolving within gravity through matter as a striving bio-logical entity reaching back up into the light as a being~becoming. We are each an alive, aware and responsive being-ness, expressing itself within great spiral cycles of time by engaging in activities of spinning and weaving individual manifestations of our truest dreams and fears, deepest insights and ideals. We are most precious, self-remembering sensory nerve endings to a profound and sacred mystery story 14 billion Earth years old.
We are all Singularia. An individuated verb-noun for which there can be no plural, yet which are also not uncountable examples of a unique expression of consciousness called human. Singularia, each approaching its own unique, yet collective event horizon, as the waves of novelty and change carries us up onto the shore of a very new and unknown land.
Welcome to a truly new world, which is not only stranger than you suppose but stranger than you can suppose:
Slartibartfast: I must warn you, we’re going to pass through … Well … a sort of gateway thing.
Arthur Dent: What?
Slartibartfast: It may disturb you. It scares the willies out of me…
About the Author: James Harvey is a poet, a mystic, a seasoned Light worker and learned observer of Life… Most recently, he is the author of the thought provoking book Singularia: Being at the Edge of Time.