Self Transcendence versus Transhumanism

Yfke Laanstra

We are living in fascinating times. A time in which the impossible becomes possible and in which many sci-fi movies are side tracked by reality. A time in which computer technologies are emerging that are capable of radically and unrecognisably transforming our humanity and our reality over the next 15 years. In such a way that we can speak of the genesis of a Human 2.0.

At an unprecedented pace, more will change in the next twenty years than in the last three hundred years.

So far, our growth has been linear, i.e. at a gradual pace. When you look back at our human evolution to date, it is striking that our transformation from, for example, hunter-gatherer to farmer took place over a period of thousands of years. In other words, from our current perspective and experience of time at an excruciatingly slow pace. When the Industrial Revolution began around 1784 and technology appeared onto the scene, in the form of mechanical control by water and steam, and later the introduction of electricity, this caused an enormous acceleration. This made mass production and thus economies of scale possible. Almost a century later, around 1879, Thomas Edison gained world fame with the invention of the light bulb. Less than 90 years later, in 1969, we would take our first steps as humans on the moon.

At one time we covered distances on foot or by horse and carriage, now a network of roads has been built and we travel by motorised transport over land, sea and in the air. It's only a matter of time before the self-driving car and space travel go mainstream. Richard Branson of Virgin and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX are fighting for the scoop.
The digital revolution, the introduction of the computer and especially the worldwide web have boosted our evolution to an unprecedented level. 24 years after the lunar landing, around 1993, the internet became a reality for the general public. Moreover, the origin of the Internet can be traced back to ARPANET (ARPA is the predecessor of DARPA), a military network built in the United States in 1969, which was later made available for general use by American universities.
We don't have to physically bridge distances anymore, but instead travel through the digital highway: we Skype, email, chat or whats-app and handle the most of our business and financial transactions online. Ten years after the worldwide introduction of the Internet, in 2003 we completed an intensive project to map the human genome, our DNA. The Human Brain Project and 'Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies' (BRAIN) is currently being developed. We are well advanced in being able to artificially simulate our brain and even link or upload it to a computer.

The speed in the current digital phase of the industrial revolution is now on an exponential scale, so from 1 to 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 etc. Where you can imagine that the higher the numbers the bigger the jumps. At this rate, after only 30 steps, you will reach a billion. The driving force behind this exponential growth is the evolution of the transistor, the basis of the microprocessor: the so-called computer chip. With regard to the increase in processor speed and storage capacity as well as the decrease in production costs. A characteristic of an exponential growth curve is that it first goes up slightly gradually, but then suddenly moves up in a practically vertical line. This is the point in our evolution where we are now, just before this growth curve suddenly turns up. An immense acceleration that has never occurred before in our history. At least, in our collectively conscious evolution.

All this paves the way for many current, exponential developments in the field of nanotechnology, quantum computing, genetic technology, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer and human-machine interfaces. Within ten years we will be able to buy computers that match the calculating power of our own brain and less than 25 years later we will have computers with the capacity of all human brains combined. Our reality is currently flooded by all these new computing technologies and wireless networks. We are in a reality in which the belief is that we have to be online 24 hours a day and not fall behind. A world in which everything and everyone is connected and we experience the world from behind our screens.

Inner (hard) drive
The world around us is more or less obsessed with innovation, efficiency and economic growth. Fortunately, in all this (virtual) violence, a deeply human aspect has remained intact: our inner drive to grow on a personal level and to develop ourselves. This is encoded deep inside us, like hard code in our biocomputer. Computer technology now enables us to even change our human evolution and artificially accelerate it. The desire to control our evolution is off all times but it now has a high tech twist. Welcome to the world of Transhumanism.

Transhumanism
Transhumanism is a school of thought, an (intellectual) movement in which (computer) technology is used as a means to accelerate our evolution. Through transcending our biology. In the form of upgrading our biology, gradually merging with technology or even eventually actually transforming it into such a technology. In the opinion of Transhumanists, this is the logical next step in our evolution.

The ideas behind this date back to 1906 when Nikolai Fyodorov, a Russian philosopher and writer, developed 'cosmism': a scientific philosophy inspired by Christianity that advocates physical immortality, space exploration and the ability of science to rise from the dead. It is also close to the Eugenics philosophy that advocates racial improvement: improving the genetic composition of a population. Eugenics is based on the idea that there are superior and inferior genetic markers in the human population. The British biologist, writer and humanist Julian Huxley first used the word 'Transhumanism' in 1957. Huxley was a member of the British Eugenics Society. It is also consistent with a technocratic world view in which reason, logic and data are leading rather than ideology. Machine-thinking instead of holistic thinking.

Technology is used to combat aging or even overcome physical death, to eliminate disease and pain and to acquire above-average or even superhuman qualities and skills. Through for example Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology.

Our current exponential computer technologies and those in the (near) future provide us with the tools to have an incredibly large impact on what it means to be human, on our abilities and thus on our evolution.

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Reloading lost data_

Yfke Laanstra
'Memories are not just something from the past. 
"They determine our future'

The straight roads, the functional homes, the practical working environment and even the uniform clothing: everything looks very orderly, clean and structured. Well, perfect, actually. Everyone looks calm, civilized, decisive and decent. There is no more struggle, no more inequality, no more war, no more poverty, no more pollution. Everything is guided in the right direction, everything and everyone knows and has their role. There is no longer an individual, only a collective. Birth and Death do not exist, only a form of chemical entry and exit. Pain and suffering have been erased from the sensory spectrum. Sadness and anger still exist, but on a small scale. The same goes for euphoria, bliss and infatuation: such deep emotions are only something from the distant past and superficial versions remain. In the current vocabulary, respect, appreciation, harmony and admiration are the main themes, and a word such as 'love' is immediately embarrassedly corrected and nuanced. Children are no longer conceived in an act of love, but grown in laboratories, where their qualities are chemically refined and the perfect specimens obtain their right to exist. After which they are allocated to the families in which they are at their best, so that they can develop into the unique wheel that they are in the oiled machine. Physical affection is no longer exchanged, at most a practical nudge or a tap on the shoulder. It is no longer about the happiness and the deepening of the individual but about the contribution to a harmonious community, a perfect society. Everything and everybody is there to serve. The residents seem to experience satisfaction and peacefullness and are happy with the usefulness and function of their orderly existence.

The Receiver
Every day they administer a drug to themselves just before they go to work. This maintains the peace and harmony and prevents disturbance. During the course of a lifetime, various ceremonies take place in front of everyone in society. For example, when babies are allocated to their caretakers, when young people are given their permanent position in society and when someone is 'let go', they are given thanks and are remembered. However, there is one person who is assigned a unique role, as this one displays a combination of five abilities.
1. Intelligence
2. Integrity
3. Courage
4. Wisdom
5. The gift of being able to be able to see beyond.

This person will perform the task of Guardian of the Original Memories of Humanity. A very responsible task; as a kind of living database with an advisory function towards the Council of the Elders, which governs society. The transmission of these Original Memories does not take place by means of advanced technology or by means of a chemical intervention in a laboratory, but from Human to Human. By being together and physically connecting to each other. Out of sight of society. This transmission is done by the Giver, the current guardian of the Original Memories. An old man who lives on the edge of society in an old wooden house. In the house the many cupboards bulge with books, like an immense library. There are also some forgotten musical instruments to be found. The large glass back wall of the house overlooks the bare plains outside the control area of this community, where in the distance a single real tree can still be distinguished. Far out of sight is the boundary of this preconceived oblivion, of this orchestrated modesty. When this limit is crossed by the Guardian, all memories will become available to everyone again. All residents will be flooded again by the forgotten memories and all the accompanying emotions. Like a tsunami. This border is forbidden area and is meticulously guarded, with cameras and drones.

In the Giver's house the transmission begins and memories of the erased, original emotional spectrum of Humanity are reloaded. From that which is lived, felt and experienced. Very steady and slowly, to avoid overload and possible shock. For the spectrum varies from blissful emotions such as love and wonder to raw emotions such as shame, depression and revenge. When the Giver grasps both arms of the Guardian and the Guardian closes his/her eyes, the Guardian is overwhelmed by a wave of images and experiences. Reloaded on a cellular level. About, among other things, the power of Nature, of the human body and the Original history of Humanity. Feelings of both creation and destruction. Memories of extinct animal species, wiped out by man, devastated nature reserves and populations slaughtered in war. But also the physical sensations of lust, pleasure, finding true love, the birth of a baby and starting a family. Being together with family and friends, growing your own food, cooking together, creating together, playing and having fun. Days pass and the Guardian slowly wakes up from his general anaesthetic, from his colorless existence, from his sleep mode and realizes that the daily medicine he has to administer to himself is not meant for his health but rather as a means to maintain this sleep mode. To prevent him from waking up. To keep the peace, the harmony and the current status quo. Colour gradually returns in his life; he regains his liveliness, playfulness, wonder and curiosity and has no choice but to share it with others. Risking his own life because it is forbidden to talk about the memories.

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Virtual Reality - reality or illusion?

Yfke Laanstra

One of my favorite movies of all time is ‘The Matrix’. I still remember the day like it was yesterday in which I (back in 1999) left the cinema after watching this movie: I was flabbergasted but also hugely inspired. I felt this movie was about much more then I could grasp at that time and my system, my whole being was in overdrive. It triggered so much in me but I couldn't comprehend it back then…

For those who haven't seen this movie: the hypothesis is that we're caught in a illusory reality called ‘The Matrix’, a computer simulation with its main program being about enslaving mankind into a constant ‘buy, consume, die’ mode. Every individual has the choice to awaken from this so called 'reality'.

One of the fascinating quotes of this movie is in which Neo , the main character, asks himself this question about reality:

‘This isn’t real?’

Morpheus answers: 

‘How do we know what we experience is ‘real’? What is ‘real’? How do you define ‘real’?’

‘If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain’.

This hypothesis hasn't left my brain, my system ever since…

Fact or fiction
In our 3D reality (let's simply call it that) we mainly assume that what we observe with our five senses is our reality, and we also collectively assume this is the only reality. 

We however do talk about the existence of a six sense, the third eye. Which can observe that which is outside our visual spectrum: like clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience etc. The so called extrasensory perception. 
There is a lot of controversy about this amongst (the classical) scientists, because they tend to focus on what is measurable, visible and can be seen with our eyes. 

What is observation?
Maybe therefor it's a better idea to focus on the term observation.

Wikipedia says 'observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity. Observations can be qualitative, that is, only the absence or presence of a property is noted, or quantitative if a numerical value is attached to the observed phenomenon by counting or measuring.'
Again it is referring to the use of our five senses (with or without the help of instruments), as if this is the only means of observation. 

The Quantum Theory adds another dimension: in which the observer seems to have influence upon that which is being observed.

Perception deception
Observation is also called perception. And this seems to demonstrate a closer link to the subjective element of observation: the interpretation of the triggers. How objective is our so-called reality...?

You are probably familiar with the drawings in which you can observe multiple elements (see image): do you see the old or the young woman? The art of M.C. Escher is also brilliant with regards to this perception deception.

Your frame of reference also plays an important part in your interpretation; often times we consciously or unconsciously draw all kinds of conclusions to what we assume we're observing through our lens of perception at that certain moment in time. This influences our view of the world, of humaniy and this is being taken advantage of by mainstream media and politics. All be it in a seemingly innocent product marketing to the level of collective (subliminal) brainwashing that is called the News...

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Quantum Hacking

Yfke Laanstra

Isaac Newton was the founder of the tangible, measurable view of reality. Where we use our senses to confirm what we think we perceive through measurable perception. In short: a Newtonian reality loop. Matter, however, is estimated to make up only four percent of the universe, 96 percent is dark space. In other words, the mainly empty space within atoms. Isn't that a bizarre fact? In addition, our DNA apparently consists largely of junk DNA (92%), obsolete and useless DNA. Really? Our cosmos consists largely of dark matter and so-called black holes, our body and brain largely of water.
I find it fascinating to see how mainstream science tries to interpret or reject what apparently goes far beyond our material view of reality. In any case, we can only see a fraction of the enormous light spectrum, of the entire 'reality'. When something consists of energy frequencies that exceed our visual spectrum, we cannot see it with our naked eye. Just like a radio station in a certain area will have no range, you won't have reception here, but the radio station is very much present in the aether. The fact that something is not visible, measurable or fully understandable to a scientific eye does not mean, however, that it has no function or is of no or minor importance. There is more that we do not understand with our brain or can perceive with our modern measuring equipment or our senses than we do. The empty space between the atoms, for example, consists of an incredibly large amount of energy and the water in our biocomputer plays an important role as information carrier/conductor and memory bank.

Quantum theory
Fortunately, as early as the 20th century, some pioneers decided to bridge the gap between science and spirituality, between matter and spirit, between the visible and the invisible. These pioneers were Max Planck, David Bohm and John Wheeler, physicists at Princeton University and direct colleagues of Albert Einstein. They were at the cradle of a revolutionary new science: quantum theory. It looks at both the nature and origin of a thought. To how it affects reality, what reality actually is and what it is made up of. David Bohm introduced in 1970 his holographic perception of our reality. It is based on a hypothesis that our world is located in a cosmic hologram, where the whole is embedded within every part. John Wheeler hypothesized a participatory universe, in which we are active participants. Nassim Haramein is a fascinating contemporary scientist who delves into our true origins and how our reality is constructed. In his Unified Theory he demonstrates that everything is one and therefore constantly interconnected.

Non-sens
Quantum theory is an entirely new science that aims to explain the very small: the quantum particles or the subatomic
world. Where Newton' s theory didn't seem to apply. Quantum theory shows that subatomic particles can be located in several places at the same time and at that time can be both a wave and an object in one fixed location. A decisive factor here is the observer. Both the perception in itself and the process of perception, in terms of feelings, thoughts and intentions. Not measured and not observed, these particles remain waves and are pure potential. Observed and measured, these particles take on a solid form and location.

A well-known and intriguing physics study that shows this quantum effect is the double-slit experiment. You can Google on double slit experiment for an animation video by Dr. Quantum. Matter in the form of marbles was directed towards a wall through a wall with two vertical slits in it. These created two vertical strips on the wall behind it. However, water, waving through these same slits, created an interference pattern that created many more strips on the wall behind it. However, when this experiment was carried out with electrons, i.e. matter at supersmall and thus quantum size, the same interference pattern was created and the particles behaved like waves. Several strips were created on the wall behind it. When this was then observed by the researchers or measured by equipment, they behaved as particles again and the two strips reappeared. Something actually exists only when it is perceived, so the observer is the creator, as it were. The more powerful the perception, the greater the effect.

Quantum reality is a multidimensional reality that extends beyond our sensory perception, where there is no body, matter or time. It's literally 'non-sensory': non-sens. In order to connect with this field, it is therefore important that you connect to that which is beyond your body, your current material world and linear time. Quantum theory is as it were an inner, subtle model in contrary to the Newtonian outer, dense and material model. This quantum model challenges us to let go of what we think we know, to surrender to the unknown and then to observe its manifestation as feedback in our lives. It is only in this final stage that our senses come into play again.

Quantum computer
In the meantime, computer technology has also entered this erratic, subatomic layer of reality with the introduction of the quantum computer.

As I indicated in my previous article, the driving force behind the current exponential growth in computer technology is the evolution of the transistor, the basis of the microprocessor: the so-called computer chip. Since its introduction in 1971, it has increased its processing and storage capacity at an utterly unprecedented rate, while at the same time becoming much smaller and substantially reducing its production costs. This has paved the way for immense computing powers from which several generations of computers have now emerged. All this paves the way for many current, exponential developments in the field of nanotechnology, quantum computing, genetic engineering, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, brain-computer and human-machine interfaces.

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