| 5 Jun 2004 @ 05:31, by ming|
From Ming the Mechanic: The concept of "The Singularity" is all the buzz amongst certain types of futurists. Mostly it fits in with transhumanist thinking. It is based on the observation that a lot of technological trends are accelerating, even faster and faster. And there are a number of them that in and of themselves have the potential for deeply transforming our collective lives. Take nano-technology, which ultimately might allow us complete control over physical matter, so that we can build any physical object we might desire, at essentially zero cost. Take artificial intelligence. What happens if a computer becomes smarter than you are? What happens if computers are a million times smarter than any of us? What would they do that we wouldn't even be able to comprehend? Or, take genetic engineering. What happens if we're able to understand and design genetics freely? If we can make bodies or new life forms with whatever attributes we want.
The Singularity is both a potentially wonderful, but also terribly scary idea. The "point" of the Singularity is essentially when all of these trends go out of control. They move beyond our event horizon, and we can no longer follow along in any linear manner. Technological change is instant. And what if the machines decide we are no longer relevant?
Now, if one is well versed in other metaphysical models than the materialist transhumanist ones, there are some striking similaries to find. The Singularity is potentially like a technological ascension. It is like the Rapture. Many adherents will even deal with it in a rather religious way, even if they would deny any such thing.
However, the connection I particularly wanted to call attention to is with the model of "dimensions" or "densities", which is found in various mystical traditions, and which is common in new age thinking and often occurs in channeling. If we de-mystify it a little bit, it is simply a chart of how things change when they accelerate, and what stages the world is likely to go through as the frequency of everything is increasing. The story is usually told in a person-centered way. I.e. the focus is on how the world changes for people. But, as a corrollary, how the world actually changes. And the model shows some of the potentially dangerous pitfalls in an accelerating world, as well as the necessary answers. And it gives some hope that this sort of meta-patterns have built-in safeguards that means that vastly increased power has to somewhat go hand in hand with mental development.
Just notice for a moment that a number of the technologies that are envisioned simply couldn't be released into the world today. The world would be destroyed very quickly, mostly because there would be some wackos who would push the wrong button. Imagine if the plans for a do-it-yourself hydrogen bomb were available on the Internet, and anybody who could use a screwdriver could build one out of $50 worth of parts from Home Depot. It would be a matter of days before some crazy guy would decide that it is a cool idea to nuke your city, just to see what would happen. Nano-tech can be like that too. One big mistake with self-replicating nano-machines and you turn the whole world into grey goo. Humanity at large is obviously not of a mental state to be able to handle that kind of power and responsibility.
OK, so now let's talk about the 3rd, 4th and 5th dimension. Calling it "dimension" is maybe confusing, as we're not necessarily talking about dimensions in the geometrical sense, even though that might be a sub-part of it. Think "Buckaroo Banzai in the 8th Dimension". It is more like a place or a world or a level where the rules are different. More down-to-earth, the world doesn't necessarily go anywhere - it is simply that the rules change, as things move at a faster click. Instead of "dimensions", some people say "density". I'm not sure that makes it better, except for that it implies that more stuff is packed into the same space as we count up in the numbers.
So, humanity starts off in the 3rd dimension. Which is the world as we know it, or rather, as we knew it. The best way I heard of making sense of it is that this is the way that you get things to happen in 3D:
spirit -> thought -> emotion -> effort-> manifestation
I suppose you could replace "spirit" with something else if you don't believe in spirituality. "The sub-conscious" could fit somewhat, although not exactly. Regardless, the idea is that an urge or inspiration to make something happen forms at a deep, or high, non-verbal level. Then it gets formed into a thought. Then one gets into the right mood for doing it. Then one actually works on carrying it out. For some amount of time. And finally one gets the result. That might potentially have taken years.
For example, you might get the inspiration to make it big in the vacuum cleaner business. You then form the thought. I.e. you think about it, and you get clear on what your plan is. "Selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door - there's a huge market there!". And then you get excited about it. That's the emotion part. And it might include stubbornness, and various other kinds of emotions that support this project. Then you start working on it. You maybe start yourself, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. You have failures and successes, and you learn. Maybe in a couple of years you're really good at it, and you make enough money to hire another person and have a bit of inventory. And over 20 years, maybe you built an empire, from hard work and dedication and 16 hour days. And you have 10,000 people working for you, and you can buy a yacht. And there's your manifestation: making it big in vacuum cleaners.
Duh, you might say. Or your parents might say. That's just how things are done. Work hard, and get a good education, get a solid job, and work hard some more, and maybe you'll make it to something someday. But it takes time.
So, to contrast it, let's move on to 4D, the 4th dimension, or 4th density. Here the sequence that leads to manifestation looks like this:
spirit -> thought -> emotion -> manifestation
You'll notice right away that we took out the part about effort, hard work, and long time. So, the way it works there is:
An inspiration appears, to make something happen. You formulate the thought of what that is. And then, if you can get into the right mood about it - if you can feel it, taste it, smell it, and you're excited about it, and certain about it - what you're asking for might just happen rather quickly.
So, here we're talking about a world where things move faster and where everybody's exposed to a lot of information. Now, what something looks and feels like suddenly is more important than how many years it took to make it. If you look the part, you can have the role. Doesn't really matter you didn't go to acting school. If a new product or idea or person is exciting enough, inspiring enough, and makes us feel enough - they might spread like wildfire into the public mind, and make a lot of money. This is where a one year old company of hackers doing software might buy out a venerable fortune 500 company that produces really substantial products and has existed for 100 years. Doesn't really matter any longer.
From a personal perspective, the trick is that if you really feel it, in a positive way, you can have it. If you obviously feel right about it, there will be someone you can go see who can get you what you want, like tomorrow. But one of the pitfalls is that you need to agree with yourself. It is not necessarily enough to act excited about your "bright" idea. It is more important that you're in alignment, in congruence with yourself than that the idea is really bright. It is more important that your emotions are real. So, your hidden negative emotions will come up and bite your ass. If you're not really sincere, people are more likely to notice, and it is much less likely you get where you want to go.
OK, on to 5D, the 5th dimension. What happens there is:
spirit -> thought -> manifestation
So, we cut out the emotion part. No longer necessary to get into the right mood, and broadcast the right vibes before you get things to happen. You just need to form the thought clearly enough, and, bing, there it is.
Well, that's kind of like the holodeck in Star Trek. "Computer! Give me ..." And, indeed, maybe technology is a way it will manifest.
One way or another, it means that the brakes have been removed. It doesn't take work to make things happen. It doesn't even take sincerity and dedication. You just have to form the thought.
You might realize, with the way most human minds work today, that it could quickly be a complete nightmare. Like, think about the humorous situation you have seen on film, where somebody's granted 3 wishes, and they screw them up, by lack of control over their thoughts or emotions. "I wish that hotdog was stuck on your nose", "I wish I was the pope". And you usually have to use the last wish to put everything back to normal, after which you're sort of relieved that you can't just go around wishing for things anymore.
So, imagine that you could. It suddenly becomes absolutely vital and essential that your thoughts are clear, and in alignment with what you really want. And that you don't let stray negative emotions suddenly decide what you think. One "I wish he was dead" can have fatal consequences that can't be undone.
This is where you again might imagine that anybody could build a nuclear bomb. "Computer! Give me a 50Megaton nuclear warhead!" ... and there it is in the matter compiler in your kitchen.
That would never ever work unless all humans are sane on a totally different level than today. Humankind would have to evolve and mature, mentally and emotionally, for that kind of world to be possible.
Even if we're not talking nuclear bombs, most humans of today would go insane rather quickly if whatever they were thinking or asking for continously would happen to them more-or-less instantly. You'd be bouncing against the walls, trying to undo the misplaced wish you did five minutes ago.
We could go on the same way to 6D:
spirit -> manifestation
which in more materialistic terms would mean that the whole contents of your sub-conscious will just be manifested, without you particularly having to voice it. That would be wall-to-wall nightmare. Or it will be nirvana and paradise. The cold drink appears before you realize you could use one. If your sub-conscious mind is very mature, or we could say, if you're aligned with yourself on all levels, it would be marvelous. If you aren't, it would be even worse than 5D. Think about a nano-tech matter compiler/VR/Holodeck thing mapped directly into your brain and into your sub-conscious. The slightest under-the-surface hint of something would immediately be manifested in front of you. Uaaarrrgh.
7D would be that you no longer need the manifestation even. Pure spirit. Or, if you want to look at it materialistically, it could be if you had uploaded yourself to a computer, and you were perfectly happy with simulated experiences, rather than "real" ones. And anything you might ever want is instantly available to you. All at the same time, if you want. You can be anybody you want. So maybe you move on to a different kind of meta-perspective that no longer seeks human kinds of experiences.
As to where we are now .... A lot of people think that humanity has moved from 3D into 4D. I.e. it is no longer a world where hard work and time invested is the most likely thing to pay off. More important what things look and feel like. Media exposure is more important than the facts. What you radiate is more important than what experience you've actually had.
And, one way or another, one of the next steps will be what is described as the 5D. We can easily lay out how it will happen with technology alone. But it is much more than that. It is a total change in how the world works. And it requires some substantial evolutionary changes in humanity to be able to deal with it without short-circuiting and self-destructing.
Luckily there's a bit of an inherent training program built-into accelerating change. You'll have to continuously run a little faster, and there will continously be more stuff to deal with, in terms of information, thoughts, emotions, ideas, people. The only way of surviving and staying sane is to somehow keep up with it, processing it along the way, which means that you evolve, and you become much better at handling the faster action. You might not notice, and you might think you're way behind, but if we compare what you deal with every day with what people were required to deal with in their lives every day 20 years ago, there's just no comparison. You're vastly more able to deal with fast-moving complexity than you've been before. And that will keep going. Some people will crack along the way, but if you make it, you'll someday take for granted that we can all comfortably deal with capabilities that would have frightened us out of our skulls before.
And, somehow, it is all not happening faster than we can (barely) keep up. It is probably because the change is generated collectively by us, ourselves, here, and there are some feedback loops in place. So things tend to not happen before we're somewhat ready for them. We might not think we're ready for them, but there's something in our collective super- or sub-conscious evolutionary mind pattern that's smarter than any of us.