Re: Is There A Need for Transhuman Spirituality?

Anders Sandberg (
25 Feb 1999 19:22:08 +0100

Natasha Vita-More <> writes:

> Is there a need for an extropic transhuman spirituality? I'm not referring
> to Theology with gods or Gods, or Paganism, nor by spirituality am I
> referring to mystical acceptance of spirits in a hereafter, and the reward
> of such. What I am referring to is a sense of one's essence in connection
> to life, will and the universe.

A great posting, Natasha! It mirrors my thinking a great deal. We don't want to let go of our rationality, our appreciation of science, technology and human ability in exchange for comfort, great feelings and sense of meaning. We want both. And I don't think there is any contradiction here, it is just that this is a relatively unexplored area of spirituality.

What is sacred? That which is deeply meaningful to us. What is truly spiritual? That which touches our innermost values and thoughts. They might or might not be universal. But one thing is sure: sacredness and sprituality cannot exist without beings that experience them, as little as joy can exist without anybody capable of feeling it.

We are of course connected to the universe, in a trivial (?) way: we are simply subsets of it. But what does it *mean* to us? That is hardly trivial, it is a question that links to the basic questions about our core goals, core values, what ethics and aesthetics we follow. I think a lot of the "revelations" mystics achieve are really expanded emotional understanding of this relationship, their intellectual content is usually trivial or tautological but their real value lies in refining one's connection to the rest of the world on all other levels. It is one thing to know everything is fields and quantum states, another thing to feel it and see how this relates to other aspects of oneself.

> There is a need for some form of emotional/intellectual synthesis which
> brings out the integrity in our being. There is something, some sort of
> synergy, some element that I sense is not discussed. Anders, in a separate
> post states, "One might imagine a gradual ascent into embodying something
> regarded as positive, a kind of slow apotheosis as the personality and
> ability develops."
> Perhaps this is a returning point for me as I realize that what I need is
> not only intellectual and creative stimulation, but also a stimulation of
> the essence of my being. I don't want a placebo, I do want a continued
> understanding that the essence of my being is continuously becoming
> enlightened and balance - more conscious.

We want transhumanism to be more than just supercharged humanism with high technology, we want a synergy of being.

When using various mental techniques, setting up habits and metaprogramming oneself, it sometimes turns out that one's methods or apparent goals are in conflict with deeper goals. The result is that the techniques and methods do not work or one stops using them, employing more or less transparent rationalization. But if they fit together with one's deeper values and goals, then they get a fantastic boost, things almost click together. I expect the same thing to go for other transhumanist technologies: we will likely not be able to efficiently transform ourselves without being at least in touch with our core. Some technologies and methods really have spiritual properties or sacredness to us.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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