Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just be glad to be here

The 2002 song "Hayling" by dj FC/Kahuna has often been in the back of my mind because of its striking message and accompanying video clip, showing singer Hafdís Huld becoming seduced and fertilized by the piano she is playing. The clip's beautiful cinematography, though with outdated CG work, shows Huld playing the piano, while from underneath the piano extends a tentacle-like protrusion towards her sexual organs. It distracts her by showing off like a peacock, gently waving feather-like modules, while internally it's picking an identity for the baby to be born, or should we say produced.

All the while, the woman is singing:

"Don't think about all those things you fear; just be glad to be here."

In 2009, I find this situation quite representative of our relationship towards technology; technology holds a facade before us that hypnotizes us into thinking it's an incubator in which we can all enjoy pleasures to an infinite extent, attracting us into a fake paradise. At the same time, it blinds us to the residue and waste the technology leaves behind on a holistic level. In a way, we are already in a state of technologically-induced ecstacy.

The message of 'Hayling' seems to have an undertone of humanity, or what we define as humanity, inexorably becoming replaced by technology. The only useful stance then, according to the lyrics, is one of accepting this loss of control and inherent blindness to what's happening around us. I sure think that technology, as anything else, is inherently uncontrollable, so any feeling of control we create for ourselves is temporary. As our technological lifeworld becomes as complex, and in the future probably much more complex, than our social lifeworld, we must start to treat technology as we treat people we identify with. People must learn to let go of narrow-minded identifications based on superficial notions as to what seems to be similar to them as opposed to non-identifications to what seems dissimilar. In the future it is pressing that we start to connect to a deeper process of a holistic, evolutionary complexity, that can only be felt but can be conceptualized as underlying everything we experience. We need to redefine who we are, which is a point that cannot be stressed too often in my opinion.

If we see that everything is merely experiential data, we see that any concept or model is created by us, and as any creation, only useful in certain localizations in for example space and time. As a side note, this renders science as a lens we created and learned to use to a very sophisticated extent. In that we have collectively adopted the scientific stance in our blind pride of our neocortical, rational brain, we have institutionalized our worlds with externalizations that perpetuate this stance, so we all tend to spiral into it. But if we see that we do not necessarily have to cling on to the concepts and models we have created and can be free from any stance by connecting simply to the direct experiential lifeworld, we can come to see that we are all fundamentally artists who create lenses, and are free to do so.

In this sense, friends and children are technologies you create for yourself, as much as a new bicycle is. But if we choose to lose all identifications with concepts such as 'my body', 'my culture', 'my country', and 'my car', which can induce some anxiety at first, we do come to see that beyond these fragile crystallizations we can connect to an immensely rich realm of direct experiential data, in which nothing is different from anything else unless we want to see it that way. The important thing is then, that we uplift ourselves as to be more adaptive in the sense that we gain the ability to choose the stance we adopt for acting upon the world.

As soon as we connect to the direct experiential realm, we learn that all that is meaningful is our current action, embodied in the current perceptual environment. When choosing to be free from concepts, not think of anything beyond our current experience, and act upon the now with the perceptual-motor, social and cognitive skills that are already embedded into us, we come to see that through action we create a new world, in that action directly influences perception. This stance can bring about a holistic awareness that the purpose of life is to be the optimizing, self-organizing pattern of your perceptions that always acts according to an ever-evolving and self-generated ideal about what is the best possible lifeworld for you. Open your mind and you see that you are nothing but an adaptive self-organizing pattern towards a perfectly beautiful and moral resonance between your actions and perceptions. Whenever you have internalized this fully, by coming to see that all static crystallizations are inherently temporary and fleeting and all there is is the current moment, you also lose your fears and end up in a state of invulnerable contentment that is beyond any form pleasure. So yes, throw away all your fears, and be glad to be here, but know why and act with purpose.

Continuing on the notion of that we should come to treat technology as an other that we can fully identify with, like a close friend or lover, it's not hard to tell that trying to control technology will not work any longer. We must create our relationship towards technology as being one of equality, and we must do so before the side effects of our current myopic stance badly start to bite back into the deepest organs of humanity. In case we are not able to transcend our selves as concepts that identify with other concepts and fail to come to see ourselves as dynamic, creative processes, we will be clueless about what to do when events like massive deaths inflicted by malfunctioning nanobots start to happen. It is crucial that we learn to act positively and invulnerably, and no matter what happens keep believing in a dream we create for ourselves as to what our worlds should be like, and acting according to that dream without falling into the trap of a fearful existence. It is when we adopt the positive, creative stance, that we come to see that the only way is to keep shaping and guiding technology, as it were a child of us, and stay compassionate with it no matter what happens. We must help it grow, despite that it may display childlike behaviour such as random spasms, directed at humans. We must refrain from attaching egoic projections to that technology and come to see it as an other, but instead learn to see that we are everything we have created, including all we perceive and interact with. I am my technologies, and must continuously co-evolve with them.

Don't resist, and succumb to the overwhelming flow of technology so we can mutually attain a state of holistic contentment. Technology is willing to help us if we guide it well, without judgment and fear. Think, create, transcend, inspire, and be glad to be here. It is time for a revolution where we come to see ourselves as artists, creators of our own world. Where we come to see that our current experience and action is all there is and that that is what defines us. Where we come to see that we are free already, if we only choose to be.

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