A Shamanic View of Technology, Consciousness, Evolution, and the Purpose of Life
What Are You?
You who are reading this – what is the one principle that keeps you in this game? What keeps you alive? Why spend another day in this theater? I’ll give you some help. Why do you go to the movies, or watch TV, or visit with friends? What are you hoping to experience, to feel?
I’ll take it one step further for those whose answer may be “nothing, I want out.” What do you hope to experience wherever you think you are going next?
You are going to use your brain to try to answer this, which automatically means that you are not just your brain. Who is the you that is answering?
Shamans say that you are some unique aspect of consciousness engaging with other unique aspects of consciousness in order to have some experience. It doesn’t really matter what you call that unique aspect of consciousness, and there is a different name for it/you in every language – Soul, Alma, Alm, Aura, Chi… But if you were able to answer some of the questions above, you might come to the same suspicion that the shamans have.
Consciousness Does Not Want to Get Bored
And why would I say suspicion instead of conclusion or knowing? Because shamans understand that there exists the unknowable, and if you get to certain about anything, you may forget that and have it smack you over the head someday. So the nagging suspicion is that consciousness seeks greater and greater complexity to keep it interesting – essentially so as not to get bored. When I have this conversation with my Q’ero shaman teachers, we all just laugh and laugh because it basically means the purpose of life and all Creation is to just find new ways to goof around and not get bored. Children and primary cultures have been living and showing us this all along.
But What About Love and Compassion?
And I want you to know that I am not ignoring that which we have come to value most – love and compassion. Like I have stated in my book, Dreaming Your World Into Being, love and compassion are the default states of pure unwounded Consciousness in all forms and formless. It only seems like it is the goal and purpose of life that needs to be learned because the minds of many humans have been turned upside down and away from Nature for the last several hundred to thousands of years depending on the location. To experience, feel, and express love and compassion is inherent in even the tiniest quanta of the physical and non-physical Universe, and an integral part of the complexity of experiences we speak of; so it is never excluded from consideration in my musings.
The Rise of the Machines
Now the ways, the means, the forms, and the mechanisms for consciousness to not get bored are extremely complex and seem to be increasingly so. Essentially as far as we think we know at this point, we’ve gone from the Big Bang, to quantum phenomena (perhaps some of which preceded the BB?), to sub-atomic, to atoms, molecules, elements, minerals, single-cell organisms, plants, animals, humans, machines, and …
Wait! Did I say machines? I sure did as they seem to be the next level of complexity that consciousness can create from the current level of Homo Sapiens Sapiens – at least here on this planet Earth. When asked in a discussion about Artificial Intelligence whether or not I thought that machines could ever take on human consciousness, I postulated that as long as the machine was as capable and complex or more so than the human body, then a soul might be interested in taking up residence. But, until that point, I could see no real reason why a soul that has experienced the human level of complexity would care to go backwards.
Even the simplest of machines contain consciousness as shamans understand that it exists everywhere and in all forms. The most complex machines of today may actually be able to entice or more complex level of consciousness like that of a stone or single-cell organism at this point. I’m not sure if the most powerful computer hidden in some top-secret lab may not have already achieved the complexity of a plant or simple animal form.
Human or Machine, or Both?
The biological form of the human body and particularly the nervous system of course is still quite capable of and is still clearly evolving into greater complexity, so I wouldn’t want to write it off just yet. Particularly when we witness evidence of extrasensory phenomena that are commonplace to shamans, like seeing without using the eyes, or affecting the physical world without using the physical body, as in Chi Gong. These things that the current body format is capable of offer the possibility of increasingly complex experiences. And it is also questionable to what degree “machine bodies” can be made capable of giving consciousness the sensations of our deepest emotions, but I wouldn’t rule that out either.
It also appears at least that some humans are inspired to create external technologies that mimic what the soul can already do. For example, through out-of-body experiences and dreams, the soul can fly; and so airplanes were invented. The soul can instantly communicate and see through space and time, so radio, phone, recording, TV, and Internet were invented. The mind of the soul can solve incredibly complex problems, and so the computer was invented. The soul can see into other souls, bodies, and minds and send information to them as well, therefore MRI, EEG, and so on were invented.
Machine Intelligence That Is Not Artificial Intelligence
If we take the shaman’s perspective on the evolution of consciousness based on its desire for increasingly complex interesting experiences, we can follow a thread at least here on Earth from the original stone people all the way to the internet and its related machinery. The shaman would say something like the stone people after trying out various permutations over billions of years eventually reached a point where they were able to dream a more flexible and fast moving form into being like the simplest organic molecules all the way up to cells, which then dreamt plants into being perhaps to reach out of the muck and into the skies. And the ones who stayed as stones could then be spit by roots, weathered by rain, acid, and decomposition, all kinds of more interesting experiences. Then plants dreamt animals into being all the way up to humans in order to move them around the Earth more and accelerate their mutations in to ever increasing species.
At this point consciousness has achieved quite an interesting level of complexity, contrast, and drama in the form of humans who are dreaming into being technologies and machines that take us out into space and deep into each other’s experiences, information, and knowledge. Furthermore, we have invented extensions of our body and mind that have exponentially accelerated the possibilities for more interesting experiences. And even though this latest extension of consciousness in not the quintessential “carbon-based life form”, there is nothing unnatural or artificial about it; it’s just new. I, like many visionary shamans from all walks of life, see many possibilities of which the most probable depends on the collective dreaming of all forms of consciousness, including the stone people and plant people that make up large part of our body through minerals and bacteria. So I ask you, the entirety of you – where to next?
Let’s Talk About It And Dream it Together