Wednesday, 26 March 2014
H0W T0 SLAY A D3V1ANT G0D
I believe that technology is an astounding and phenomenal thing, and that technological progress is frequently mind-blowing and almost phantasmagoric in its speed and complexity. And yet I don't really believe in the popular notion of the technological singularity, as proposed by John von Neumann, I.J. Good and later popularized by Ray Kurtzweil. This notion that there will be some kind of nexus where Artificial Intelligence, Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology all fuse to produce a greater-than-human intelligence -- it seems to hinge upon the view of progress as an exponential upward curve. The singularity in this context appears much like a form of transhuman afterlife; a posthuman techno-utopia, or dystopia. However, I suspect the truth in this regard will be far more gradual than imagined by futurists, and will be shaded with many subtleties, nuances and grey areas. This is not to say that I don't believe A.I. can theoretically achieve intelligence comparable to or even greater than humans, only that in real life the spectrum of possibilities and eventualities is often very wide and ridiculously complicated.
I do think the idea of a transhuman or A.I. is a useful concept though, especially when applied to a Gnostic context. I often find it useful to imagine the Demiurge of Gnosticism as some kind of monstrous Artificial Intelligence -- some kind of ensouled but created being; something that was granted sentience for whatever reason, or achieved it accidentally by some fluke of cosmic mystery. As with all creation myths and interpretive strategies there are flaws in this metaphor, but I still think it can go a long way towards explaining the almost inorganic, anti-life, predatory impulses that course through the human mind. Not only are there aspects to our behaviour that seem monstrous or demonic, but there are parts of our psyches that seem artificial, constructed, inflexible. I know I'm not the first Intuitive to notice these things.
So, with this idea in mind -- this Demiurge as malevolent A.I. -- it makes me think of various cyberpunk fictions. It makes me think of the metaphysical realm as the sophisticated manipulation of the mysterious source-code from which this demiurge (and possibly ourselves) is generated. It invites me to muse on the notion that magick, mystery and miracles are also the manipulation of some unknown software or code, but are also an awareness of the imaginary or fictional space that the code must inhabit. These are all complex, multidimensional ideas and we could riff on them endlessly, but here I just want to draw attention to the notion of a false god existing within us. I want you to consider the idea of an un-god living like an overseer within the confines of our collective psyche. A demiurge of the human imagination. There needn't be a conflict between the idea of an internal versus external overseer, seeing as such boundaries and thresholds seem to blur and virtually collapse at the deepest levels of reality. Indeed, the internal and external worlds seem to compliment each other. More than this, they seem to co-create one another; opposed aspects of a seamless continuum separated only by a perceiving consciousness.
This means that any Gnostic Demiurge, actual or imagined, will be almost inconceivably powerful. But also, by this same seamless connection between internal and external we humans are truly just as powerful. Our sentience is our portal into a realm of limitless power. I call it the Innermost. Others call it the true God, or Love, or the Living Source-Code. And it is this power that can teach us how to crash and re-engineer the compromised systems of our psyches and our societies. This power is endless creation, endless insight and lucidity. It is not just an abstraction. Although I'm usually further from this Innermost Light than I would like to be, I've felt the truth of its raw power. I have felt its legitimacy. It is this power that can teach us how to become the strongest, wisest version of ourselves.
It's this power that can teach us how to slay a deviant god.