Re: Is There A Need for Transhuman Spirituality?
Fri, 26 Feb 1999 17:42:37 EST


I apologize for being tardy in my acclaim for your post. Indeed, I too have felt the need for more warmth to Transhumanism. When I think of spirituality, I think of several different connotations. There is the intuitive side, where often surprising and wonderous insights arise out of the subconscious integration processes of the brain (which are even better once evaluated and augmented by more serial, rational processing). There is the emotional side, utilizing the rich and powerful valuation and motivation system which is the latest results of an evolutionary process that stretches back millions of years, which has become, dare I say it, transcendently enriching with the addition of awareness of the self and others. And lastly, I think of the spiritual, ecstatic side by which I refer to the perception of the presence of, and/or connection to something (or someone?) deeper, greater, more expansive than anything else encountered or conceived. I have experienced and valued all of these in my life, and use them as guides to my more rational, critical side. Often my spiritual side says, "Come, look here. What do you see?" I find myself most efficient when I am able to integrate rationality and spirituality. It is not always easy, but often times it is.

Now then, before my fellow Transhumanists become concerned for my faculties, I would like to say some more on this subject. First, I propose that transhumanism is most in need of embracing what I have termed the intuitive and emotional aspects of spirituality. Not that we need be ruled by it, but simply to acknowledge this part of our humanity, and consider it in our ponderings. Now, what I have termed yet a third aspect of spirituality, this perception of the "Spiritual" if you will, I have felt compelled to include in this posting just as I have felt compelled to acknowledge it in my life. It is a real, repetitive experience in my life. I admit to ignorance as to the exact nature of this perceptive faculty. Maybe it is indeed akin to hallucination, a malfunctioning perceptual portion of my brain. But if that is so, I find it odd that so many people report similar experiences who are otherwise in good physical and mental health. Indeed, I myself have found this trait an addition to my life, as opposed to a disability. Perhaps it is in some way a vivid product of the imagination. If so, I think I should find out all I can about this product of my fancy, for it is one of its best creations by my judgement; guess I'll have to see if I can give it substance. Or maybe it is something more, maybe it is a real perception of something I do not yet fully comprehend. Again, I am inspired to study this phenomenom to see what is behind it. I propose that there is nothing particularly untranshumanist about this aspect of my spirituality, because I am approaching it in what I think of as a fairly logical, >H manner; observe the experience, make some hypotheses, test these through logic, further observation, comparison to other phenomena, experimentation, revise the hypotheses, repeat, try to see how this information can be used to improve yourself. Now, I realize some of my fellow transhumanists might think this an avenue of exploration not worth looking into. They might be right. Tell you what, I'll keep looking, and if I come up with anything I think might be of benefit to transhumanism, I'll let you know. What could be more transhumanist than that?

Glen Finney