We all know those people—the ones who love to talk about being “woke” and are constantly railing against all the sheeple who just need to wake up. Yeah, it can get annoying but there is some truth behind it. It’s not that they are as awake as they think they are but that almost all of us have had that uneasy feeling that something is off.
Cultural trends might have popularized the concepts in a way that can be off putting but the idea of awakening from a false reality is nothing new. Religion, spirituality, and philosophy throughout the years have all had great thinkers who discussed how the confines of our perceived reality prevent us from experiencing a pure or higher reality.
I’m not here to discuss examples of this dialogue through history, so much as to speak to my own experiences. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already familiar with Plato’s allegory of the cave and similar writing—if not, that’s a good place to start.
There’s a lot of prejudice about discussing these concepts openly. If not doing so privately with friends or with people already interested, it’s easy to come across as that annoying “woke” person. It’s never been easier to wake up though and it doesn’t matter what people think about you if you help even a few find their way.
If the postmodern human condition is to seek meaning or happiness in a simulacrum of reality, the only exit from the hyperreal is through the Void—by way of dissociation, negation, destruction, and the eventual emergence of self-creative will to action.
We get nowhere through imitation of what is already simulated. It’s not enough to read about it, believe in it, and talk the talk. Understanding isn’t the same as knowing through direct experience but they do go hand in hand.
Understanding without knowledge breeds pop-culture spirituality—Hollywood Kabbalah, mainstream religion, and couch philosophy. Knowledge without understanding can at best cause confusion, anxiety and endless questions. At worst, it can break a person’s ability to function in reality.
We need understanding—we need a framework to integrate the knowledge gained through experience of the unknown.
The Void, Emptiness or Nothingness, in mysticism and religion, is a state of consciousness in which the experience of reality has been emptied of all concepts, distinctions, objects and images.
Reality is undifferentiated—subject and object, our definitions and the names we give things—all multiplicity and duality is known to be the simulacrum from which the self can now be removed. It gives us the ability to step outside the fabricated self and identify our witness self.
Without this experience of negation, we are just dipping our toes in the waters of the unknown. Our perception of self must necessarily be removed from our everyday perspective to see that it is nothing more than one perspective of many.
As long as we perceive through the eyes of this form, we can not understand the formless, and can never truly understand creation.
This negation of self isn’t a deletion or destruction. We’re not talking about destroying our old personality or our ego. It’s not about destroying the self to become one with all reality. It’s more of a sous rature, where what we knew as the self is crossed out but still remains. We can both be differentiated from existence and simultaneously one with existence, there is no need to eliminate the self to become one with all that is.
The transhumanist approach to the rapidly advancing singularity, through human enhancement technologies, will displace the hyperreal by accelerating the human capability to process and release trauma and suffering.
There is no doubt that biology and technology are converging. What the postmodern world does with this is a choice—fusing the two together for the good of humanity or doing so for self gain. With the ever increasing spread of communication networks and access to free information, I envision a future where the choice shifts from a societal level to the individual.
The painful intensity of Being and suffering is a rejection of the original reality, and by nature it necessitates a simulacra to take its place.
The lack of tools and resources available to the average person is a barrier to reaching higher stages of human development and consciousness. In the same way we cannot see very small objects without a microscope, we cannot see facets of false-self and false-reality without cognitive enhancement.
Until the modern age, we enhanced our cognition through disciplines like meditation and yoga, through extreme physical experiences, or through consciousness altering plants. Future technology will grant us with more precise forms of consciousness altering substances, more time for disciplines and the alleviation of most, if not all, hindrances to personal development.
Along with the ever expanding nature of open source information and our ability to access it, we will give more people than ever what they need to pursue a path through the Void and to the real. These tools and resources are just as necessary to see the real as a microscope is to see what the human eye cannot.
If a person doesn’t know they should be looking, it is no surprise that the mapmaker’s representation of the original reality is mistaken for the real. Reading the book does not make one an expert. We have to try things for ourselves, over and over, until we build up the skills to be confident in our assertion that we are adepts.
Even when awakened to the existence of the real, and the simulacrum that has taken its place, some people are physically, emotionally or mentally incapable of reaching the real without assistance.
We are all born with endless variation and furthermore, shaped by time and place. If a person is hindered by emotional distress, stemming from trauma, why shouldn’t they have access to personalized help and medicines? If a person is born with a hyper-active mind or the constant distraction of physical pain, why not give them the means to alleviate that so they can walk alongside those who are already capable? Equity is more successful and thoughtful than forced equality, which ends up pushing people into conformity.
Human augmentation technologies are the next step in freeing oneself from the hyperreal and anchoring to the present moment in the original reality. The simulated self must be analyzed, understood and left behind before self creation can take place. Only then can we unlock the option for personalized character design.
When we emerge from the simulacra and discover the real, we end the cycle of rebirth and are reborn from our own volition.
A.I. & cybernetics are increasing the bandwidth of our mind’s augmentation layer. Intelligence now is heavily reliant on adaptation of technology—increasing mental bandwidth, speeding up communication between technology and the brain. We increase retention both through mental improvements and external storage.
What is it like in the head of the self created—It’s like a never ending explosion. A radical creativity engine that’s always running at extremely high RPM’s (Realities Per Minute)—It’s like running that engine with no resistance.
Before self creation, you may have constant ideas bouncing around but never had the means to express them in the same wide and certain capacity.
Being reborn means we need to learn to walk again. Opened to a new potential, our impact on the world is dependent on our ability to learn how to live outside the simulacra we grew up in. We’re not alone though and we don’t have to do it on our own.
The trends of previous generations featured pointless consumption and excess. Today’s trends are largely based on finding some greater sense of meaning and purpose in this world. More and more people are feeling there is an absurd layer of the unreal, and a burning desire to pierce that layer is growing in each of us.
So much of what is becoming trendy in today’s culture is about sharing our personal quests to find a sense of meaning and authentic individuality.
I think that is a good trend and will lead to better things. Soon we will see an increasing number of adepts who have made the trip, sharing not only the path and different ways to walk it, but also what they’ve learned while living on the other side.
For those of us who have made the trip, it’s time to go back and grab your friends. Don’t be afraid to admit where you are and share how you got there. If you are coming from the place I am, with the excitement you get showing someone something beautiful and have an honest desire to help, you have nothing to fear.