The brave new world of consciousness hacking and enlightenment engineering by Wesley J. Wildman and Kate J. Stockley

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Written By Chris

WE ARE typically informed that expertise is altering all the pieces and that we have to catch up. Spirit Tech needs to steer you that the identical revolution is beneath manner in terms of God, by way of “brain-based applied sciences of spirituality that carry the potential to be recreation changers for the best way we observe faith within the twenty-first century and past”. The authors look at half a dozen areas of present analysis and experimentation, together with psychedelics, mind stimulation, and using neurofeedback to tell meditation.

The tone is optimistic, coupled to an sincere consideration of current findings. The guide can be not solely about private experiences. One chapter considers how virtual-reality expertise would possibly foster “engineered togetherness”. One other seems to be on the rising demand for non secular administrators who may help folks to combine peak experiences. The upbeat message, nonetheless, got here throughout to me as hiding shadows.

For instance, every of the chapters particular applied sciences ends downbeat, as tell-tale phrases creep into the narrative. Take the science. It seems that it’s “poorly understood”, “extremely complicated”, or “not working in the best way we expect it’s”. Alternatively, long-term results of spirit tech haven’t but been studied, although it’s already clear that no intervention is a magic bullet.

In frequent with different techno-optimists, the authors write promissory notes: setbacks are the stepping stones that scientific investigation not solely requires, however loves. However I think that there are deeper points at play that are significantly necessary in terms of spirituality.

One is the positivism that underpins the guide’s confidence. That is the conviction that data accumulates progressively, with the implication that the knowledge of the previous will inevitably be outdated by insights now. I’ve little question that the situations of life change, at occasions dramatically. Pandemics and wars come to thoughts. However non secular adepts for millennia have been telling us that consciousness of life’s everlasting simplicity is the important thing to awakening. The perfect are nonetheless saying so.

This explains why the brand new science tends to substantiate previous insights. Gratitude is nice. Love issues. The distinction is that these days a mind scan could be produced in proof, which could assist some, though I’ve but to listen to a neuroscientist reveal a fact that wasn’t already completely explored within the teachings of yesteryear.

It additionally illuminates why novelties and improvements partaking the human psyche can initially make an impression arguably for the nice, just for the impact to put on off in time. For instance, tens of millions took LSD within the Nineteen Sixties, and a visionary revolution was promised. Look the place we are actually.

I say this not as a result of I’m a techno-pessimist. The printing press was the spirit tech of the Reformation. Somewhat, it’s as a result of I think that we have already got the primary insights that we’d like.


Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and author. His newest guide is
Dante’s Divine Comedy: A information for the non secular journey.

 

Spirit Tech: The courageous new world of consciousness hacking and enlightenment engineering
Wesley J. Wildman and Kate J. Stockley
St Martin’s Press £29.99
(978-1-250-27493-9)

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