Psychedelics and The Internet: A Look into Technology’s Role in Human Evolution
by Danielle Bohmir
Consciousness, culture, and technology ever-remain in constant communication, moving our information around and sculpting our emotions in the process. Looking upon the stage of reality, we might dare to examine the finer details of this feedback, and how it relates to the drive of human evolution. Throughout this writing, I will refer to ‘consciousness’ as a term for awareness, or sense of self-existence. Note that under the category of ‘technology’, I nest the entirety of all tools, machines, medicines, foods, and forms of communication. All general advancements that have altered the course of our evolution as a species through governance of our social norms and customs are inherently a part of this unfolding. When we look at the relationship between humanity and technology, we see that our culture is a product of technology’s effect on consciousness at-large.
In today’s era, most importantly in the realm of energetic connectedness and the effects of its transformative nature, consider the technology of written language through the lens of the Internet. According to McKenna’s “Stoned Ape Theory”, psychedelics helped to usher in the development of spoken language, which of course eventually led to written language. The alphabet is a powerful technology on its own, and the internet wouldn’t be around without it; neither in terms of coding, nor would there exist the ability for people to communicate across great distances in the same way.
The Internet is a messenger of media; an amplifier of the power of written language. Some may consider it the epitome of our technological development thus far. It connects up all who can read it, leading to their greater awareness of the smaller parts to the greater whole – knowledge of different cultures and ways of life. It also gives us the ability to connect up with others who have similar intentions and goals. In general, it helps us to make more connections!
Doesn’t this sound a bit like our favorite mind technology?
Other than good ol’ fashioned experience as a whole, psychedelics might arguably be considered the single most transformative technology of the individual, while the Internet could be considered the same for our culture at large. Each of these technologies connects the individual psyche with a greater representative whole, via reframing the pieces in a wider perceptual context. Through increasing our awareness and ability to perceive of different realities and ideas, we learn to hold more tolerance and understanding of the pieces involved.
The internet also introduces us to other ways of being that we may have never been exposed to otherwise. Our general sphere of influence – that is to say, digital communications with others around us – expands and comes to include the web of planetary communications. This increases our compassion, ideally, as we become aware that different modes of operation than our own exist everywhere. Why do you think there exists such capitalization on creating backlash off the emotions of people who can’t deal with different opinions than their own? Identity politics seeds doubt, ironically, through the internet. It isn’t the technology itself that is negative, though – it’s the traps that can be planted within it.
When we look beyond these traps, we see that the Internet ideally helps us to kindle our compassion; that is, if we can learn to ‘forgive’ others for being different from ourselves. Psychedelics increase our compassion as well, by allowing us to forgive ourselves for the ways in which we’ve responded and reacted to our past traumas.
Allow for me to speak metaphorically for a moment longer— our reality is one built upon an exchange of information, which often manifests as a technological feedback loop between consciousness and culture. Inspired by several theories, including McKenna’s Timewave Zero and Kurzweil’s singularity theory, I have extrapolated on the ideas therein in order to back up my own personal theory; which is, that this technological feedback eventually results in a quickly-moving evolutionary progression.
This progression is often introduced as a conflict; a disparity between what was (only recently), and what is (now), which facilitates a necessary evolutionary “jump”. I equate this “jump” to the metaphorical firing of a neuron’s action potential. There is a threshold that must be reached, and once it is reached, the disparity is corrected. Everything humanity has experienced through the story of our technological development, even through the loopholes of technology that have resulted in an increase of surveillance and spying, has still been a part of the technological intelligence that inherently permeates through our reality.
If one takes this logic far enough…
it basically forces us to admit that everything is somehow meaningful— yes, even those who rule the world, and all of the suffering we experience and observe. One might counter my point, saying: “Of course suffering is meaningful… it is forced to shape your life with meaning due to the trauma involved!” …and they would be correct, as seen by the reality which exists all around us. However, we also have many evolutionary tools that, if used properly, may result in a greater interconnectedness amongst humanity. This process unfolds, dare I say, in the essence of telepathy, and the effort of transparency.
I theorize that this type of communication is tied into the realms from which our spirits came forth; a pathway back to where we’re bound. Perhaps psychedelics and the internet, together, will create unique circumstances insofar as opportunities for evolution. If we move in the direction of transparency and compassion as a whole, we will have passed the test that life has issued us. I don’t think that the illusion and suffering-based model of reality will be working for much longer. Psychedelics and the Internet both show us that awe, and sometimes even shock, are still better teachers than prolonged trauma. Furthermore, Truth is always waiting underneath all lies and fear-based illusion.
For as long as we are here, if we cultivate an ability to see life and all of its traumas as opportunities for growth, it makes the experience a little bit more meaningful. If we can maintain this attitude along the way, it might not make it hurt less, but it might make resilience and faith that much easier to reach.
I spy a strange paradox
through the lens of the internet, regarding our informational exchange. Its facilitation comes through the nonlinear growth of human connection, which mirrors both the Universe’s expansion, and the endless neuron chains constantly unfolding in our brains.
Our ability to lie has been encouraged and permitted through societal norms at-large. Every day, it becomes easier to hide behind our digital personas. Manipulators have been given a grand-scale medium to share their propaganda amongst much of the connected population – and many fall for it. Yet, we’re also more connected with one another than we have ever been before, because the common person is now aware of the colorful spectra of human experience – in belief and lifestyle; in culture and opinion; in the variety of anecdotal stories shared by individuals. Still, paid information campaigns abound in the forms of astroturfing and advertising; for purposes of garnering votes, shifting public opinion, and generating attitudes of fear. People can be further manipulated once they descend into this emotionally-reactive state.
Telepathy would be a wonderful addition to our current evolutionary toolbox, because we’ve been using spoken and written language for so long that we’ve lost touch with looking within ourselves and illuminating our own symbolic maps – rather, we think in maps that were linguistically constructed long before our time. This is not to say that fighting against language is the right path to take. Language is more or less with us for the long haul now – and at this point it has become imperative to embrace language.
Language, as amplified by the internet and its feature of anonymity, has created myriad openings for ‘syntax hacks’ and loopholes that make it easier to lie and play on peoples’ emotions, on a world stage far and wide. This has encouraged better critical thinking skills amongst those who pay attention. If we were all connected up to a greater extent via ‘telepathic’ means, this might help for us to jump across the evolutionary precipice formed by the instigator, threat, and opportunity of illusion. Is this where our technology is taking us? If so, how might we respond to these developments? While this idea may seem grandiose, we might need to be asking ourselves these questions.
The network of organically-occurring communications of truth and transparency between individuals is powerful enough on a wide scale, such that the deception involved in mass media probably would not be able to discount this effect. The sheer importance of informational connectivity in humanity’s evolutionary path can’t be thrown off course that easily, especially not with our implementation of psychedelics as tools. I believe that as people are collectively exposed to each other’s different ideas and opinions, despite any backlash, they still experience an increase in human compassion.
Eventually they learn to live with awareness and gain the ability to communicate with people from different walks of life. On a grand scale, this process equates to more tolerance, integration, and unification. People with similar interests can network and travel for job opportunities they never would have known existed otherwise. The best groups of people can get together – nerds that love one specific topic can join forces. All of these things exponentially speed up the travel of information, which is contained within the process of connection.
What is consciousness other than our connections with one another, our exchanges of information, and there-following. Our emotional reactions to such?
Connection to ‘the other’ may be seen as synonymous with our connection to awareness itself. Might we already be deeply and inextricably connected to ‘Source’?
About the Author
Danielle Bohmer (“Bohmir”) is a writer, philosopher, and artist, as well as an aspiring death doula. She is a student of psychedelics and the universe. Her specialization resides in the areas of logic, metaphor and paradox. Her blog [http://theorganictechnology.blogspot.com], art page [http://psychedaniellia.deviantart.com/gallery] and Facebook page [www.facebook.com/daniellebohmer] can be found here.