“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”
– Aldous Huxley
While scientists and movies simultaneously rave and tremble about the impact technology is having on our planet and chances for human survival, consciousness has another game plan.
Click to hear a brain balancing audio enhancement as you read.
Whether humans will get smart enough fast enough (through IA, which stands for intelligence augmentation) to withstand the challenge of AI (artificial intelligence) is a debate that, while serious enough - given that the outcome may spell our demise or rescue - still misses the most important point.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil proposed that, “When you talk to a human in 2035, you'll be talking to someone that's a combination of biological and non-biological intelligence.” 1
“… it would be foolish to ignore the likelihood that as A.I. gains awareness it can and will rapidly compromise any containment system we devise, because it is programmed to survive.”
Ray has faith in our ability to co-inhabit the planet peaceably. Others in the know aren’t so confident. In my last book, Awakening from the American Dream, we quoted a scientist who warned, “… it would be foolish to ignore the likelihood that as A.I. gains awareness it can and will rapidly compromise any containment system we devise, because it is programmed to survive. People may argue about how to breed artificial intelligence that has morality but evolution, at its core, seems indifferent to that. Why? Because morality would be far less efficient. If we tried to breed that in and it wasn't 100% optimized for its own survival, the selection pressure over a trillion new generations would effectively breed it out and that could happen in a few nanoseconds. What I’m saying is that the program would automatically outperform anything which is compassionate toward humans because that trait wouldn’t increase survivability.” 2
That may seem a chilling prospect and it is, if we honestly believe that our best scenario is survival, as much the same but with modifications. Unfortunately, there are no serious indicators to suggest this even this modest gain is a viable long-term option. Short-term, we will surely continue to enjoy our distractions, but what’s our plan for the day after tomorrow? You know, for a future that includes radically higher sea levels (turning sea side resorts into underwater relics), chronic water shortages, scorching temperatures that render exponentially expanding areas of the planet uninhabitable and, worst of all, the possibility that Donald Trump might become our next American president?!
“Consciousness is the author of everything. Unlike humans and unlike our projections about God or whatever else we credit or blame for the way things are, consciousness does not make mistakes.”
Consciousness does indeed have another game plan. Actually, it’s the same strategy it’s always employed and the very nature of consciousness itself: to continue expanding awareness. Consciousness contains all. AI, IA, you name it, consciousness is the author of everything. Unlike humans and unlike our projections about God or whatever else we credit or blame for the way things are, consciousness does not make mistakes. No, the avocado pit is not too big!
Awareness expands, inevitably. You know this experience very well; just recall your last meditation. Then think back a few years. Your awareness has expanded radically (unless you’re wasting the gift of your life in front of a television, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this post) and awareness shows no signs of shrinking back any time soon. Remember, consciousness is everything. Yes, you are included and but you are also “including.” That means personally welcoming it all. Do you feel fear when you think about the future? Welcome that. Do you feel anxiety and doubt? There’s another appropriate creation of consciousness. There is also love, and trust, and excited anticipation. And, you have choice.
Consciousness creates with imagination, at least that’s the thoroughly inadequate word we use to describe the incredible ability to make things up. Einstein famously said that imagination was more important than knowledge. He added: “For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” 3
This champions a fundamental quality of consciousness, which we might describe as faith in itself, or trust in what’s developing. You may recall jokes about some situation being labeled as bad… then a moment later being re-considered as good, then – with even more information – bad again… oops, it constantly changes from good to bad then back again. In other words, hold off on judgment.
This reminds me of a comment that Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-Lai was reported to have made to President Nixon when Nixon asked him how he thought the French revolution had impacted western civilization. Chou En-Lai apparently replied, "The impact of the French revolution on western civilization - too early to tell." 4
The impact of consciousness expanding human awareness – too early to tell! But, contrary to advances in technology, this is one aspect of progress that always moves forward.
Click Below to Download a Free High-Tech Meditation® Program
2 - Awakening from the American Dream, Cannon and Wilkinson