“A profound shift is taking place all over the world. Humanity is waking up to the fact that the current system that dominates the planet is failing to provide us with health, happiness or meaning. The dominant paradigm is based on separation, as exemplified by the financial system, and the corporate emphasis of profits before people.” – Occupy Love
Taking a moment to present to you the trailer for a very important documentary currently raising funds for completion. “Occupy Love” is a film looking at the bigger picture of the Occupy movement that made headlines last fall, arguing that the revolution is not only worldwide – the revolution is love.
The Indigogo campaign has raised almost $40,000 of its $50,000 goal, with 6 days left. So if the following video speaks to your heart, as it did to mine, you know what to do.
More from Occupy Love:
“Our headlong rush towards infinite growth is destroying our communities, our ecology, and threatening our very existence. The climate crisis is hitting us with droughts, extreme weather, floods, sea level rise and more, yet corporate lobbyists block any attempts at mitigation. Unemployment is at an all time high, and the gap between the wealthiest 1% and the remaining 99% is growing alarmingly.
People are losing their homes, and the quality of life for the many is plummeting, while the few are raking in absurd profits. Wall Street is making dangerous bets, greed is running rampant, and entire economies are collapsing. Governments have been bought by the corporations, and many of us had lost hope. Until now.
This crisis has become the catalyst for a profound transformation: millions of people are deciding that enough is enough – the time has come to create a new world, a world that works for all life. We have experienced an extraordinary year of change, from the Arab Spring, to the European Summer, and now, erupting into North America: the Occupy Movement.
This is a revolution rooted in compassion, direct democracy, and shared power, as opposed to the “power over” model of the corporate world view. The new story is one of Inter-dependence. Love is the movement. As the Occupy cry goes: “We are unstoppable. Another world is possible!”
Onwards, with a little inspiration from Charlie Chaplin. “The Great Dictator” was Chaplin’s first talking picture, a controversial film that took on Hitler, fascism, and the Nazis. The speech Chaplin wrote for the end of the film (here edited with different visuals) leaves us with a powerful message that over seventy years later, still resonates deeply.
“Wouldn’t you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? Perhaps? Wouldn’t that be interesting? Just for once?”
Well here’s your chance. Here are some people you may not have known were inspired by LSD:
• Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs called taking LSD “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” To this end, Jobs said that Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once.”
• Many early computer pioneers took LSD for inspiration, such as Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse.
• Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD when he first deduced the double-helix structure of DNA nearly 50 years ago.
• Cary Grant (amongst many others in 1950s Hollywood) was treated with LSD by a psychiatrist in the 1950s, long before it was made illegal:
“All my life, I’ve been searching for peace of mind. I’d explored yoga and hypnotism and made several attempts at mysticism. Nothing really seemed to give me what I wanted until this treatment.”
“I have been born again. I have been through a psychiatric experience which has completely changed me. I was horrendous. I had to face things about myself which I never admitted, which I didn’t know were there. Now I know that I hurt every woman I ever loved. I was an utter fake, a self-opinionated bore, a know-all who knew very little. I found I was hiding behind all kinds of defenses, hypocrisies and vanities. I had to get rid of them layer by layer. The moment when your conscious meets your subconscious is a hell of a wrench. With me there came a day when I saw the light.”
Much to his friends’ surprise, Cary Grant began talking about his therapy in public, lamenting, “Oh those wasted years, why didn’t I do this sooner?”
• Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winning American bio-chemist, told Albert Hoffman (the inventor of LSD) that LSD had helped him develop the polymerase chain reaction that helps amplify specific DNA sequences:
“Back in the 1960s and early ’70s I took plenty of LSD. A lot of people were doing that in Berkeley back then. And I found it to be a mind-opening experience. It was certainly much more important than any courses I ever took.”
Replying to his own postulate during an interview for BBC’s Psychedelic Science documentary, “What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR?” He replied, “I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.”
• Aldous Huxley is well-known for writing ‘The Doors of Perception’, an account of his experiences with mescaline. But on his deathbed, unable to speak, Huxley made a written request to his wife for “LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular”. His wife duly obliged.
• “My trip led me to some epiphanies about who I was as a performer, what I wanted to do and how I needed to create my own opportunities.” – Adam Lambert, runner-up on American Idol told The Sun.
Since 1966, we’ve lived under worldwide LSD prohibition. Ken Kesey, author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” said “We thought that by this time that there would be LSD given in classes in college and you would study it and prepare for it.”
Kesey gets right to the crux of the issues surrounding psychedelics in that statement. As tools, drugs such as LSD can used responsibly or irresponsibly – lead to good trips or bad trips, healing or trauma. Lacking a scientific or spiritual guide, the recreational use of psychedelic substances without planning, respect, or forethought can lead to some pretty unpleasant experiences. Which makes it all the more frustrating that there has been a complete moratorium on scientific research using LSD for over forty years (recently broken by a small handful of scientists who have finally been given permission to research LSD with terminally ill cancer patients.)
Stanislav Grof, pioneering researcher into non-ordinary states of consciousness, remarked “Whether or not LSD research and therapy will return to society, the discoveries that psychedelics made possible have revolutionary implications for our understanding of the psyche, human nature, and the nature of reality.” Isn’t it about time we awoke from our cultural amnesia?
David Bowie once said “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.'”
Of course he’s not the only one. It’s an aspiration as timeless as the quest for the fountain of youth, or at least mere immortality.
In the meantime, we’ve seen Michael Jackson use technologies such as plastic surgery and skin-lightening drugs over the course of his career. He effectively blurred all identifiers of gender, race and age in one of the most dramatic transformations publicly witnessed. He left us at a turning point in the development of technologies for human enhancement. We are now learning to perform body modification at the most fundamental level.
The scientists currently grasping at the reigns of evolution are known as transhumanists. In 2008 the World Transhumanist Movement became Humanity+. (The term ‘transhumanism’ is now often symbolized by H+ or h+, as in ‘human enhancement’.)
Last weekend David Wood led the Humanity+ UK 2010 conference, and I felt privileged listening to ten equally brilliant speakers representing a full spectrum of the transhumanist agenda. With technology advancing at the rate that it is, Mr. Bowie’s ‘repulsive’ needs just may be met. New developments blur the lines between high-tech and sci-fi.
The convergence of current technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC) and future technologies such as artificial intelligence, mind uploading, cryonics, and simulated reality, is truly inspirational. Overwhelming however are the numerous moral debates which dominate the transhumanism Wikipedia page. There are so many different ways humans may be enhanced, so many ways of defining enhancement, and of course, the existential risks we face if those enhancements go wrong.
I think we all have a vested interest in Aubrey de Grey’s idea that aging is simply a disease, and a curable one at that. His plan is to identify all the components that cause human tissue to age, and design remedies for each of them through his approach called SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence). Once we can extend human life spans by thirty years, we’re well on our way to immortality. Aubrey de Grey claims that the first human being to live a thousand years has probably already been born. From the way he talks, the biggest challenge in the race against mortality is funding! So I highly encourage those of you with means and an interest to donate to the SENS Foundation.
Another fascinating speaker was David Pearce, advocating the abolition of suffering throughout the living world. This mission can be accomplished through the use of drugs or ‘wire-heading‘ but perhaps more interestingly through genetic engineering as we come into a ‘reproductive revolution‘. He argues that as we develop these technologies, it is both our moral and hedonistic imperative to rid all sentient beings of pain. He has a fantastic array of resources for you to read through online. Within a few decades, we will see breakthroughs in in-vitro meat. It will be grown in a lab without any killing or cruelty, but tastier than any ‘real’ meat. A cruelty-free world without even having to revolutionize our diets by ‘breaking our addiction to meat’!
On a final philosophical note, Amon Twyman reminded us that we are naturally unaware of the limits of our perception, and that trans- or post-humans may sense things imperceivable to us now. I’ll leave you with Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Future Shock Levels (SL), an interesting way of categorizing just how familiar or far out different technological developments or concepts are:
• SL0: The legendary average person is comfortable with modern technology – not so much the frontiers of modern technology, but the technology used in everyday life. Most people, TV anchors, journalists, politicians.
• SL1: Virtual reality, living to be a hundred, “The Road Ahead”, “To Renew America”, “Future Shock”, the frontiers of modern technology as seen by Wired magazine. Scientists, novelty-seekers, early-adopters, programmers, technophiles.
• SL2: Medical immortality, interplanetary exploration, major genetic engineering, and new (“alien”) cultures. The average sci-fi fan.
• SL3: Nanotechnology, human-equivalent AI, minor intelligence enhancement, total body revision, intergalactic exploration. Extropians and transhumanists.
• SL4: The Singularity, Jupiter Brains, Powers, complete mental revision, ultraintelligence, posthumanity, Alpha-Point computing, Apotheosis, the total evaporation of “life as we know it.” Singularitarians and not much else.
I say if you can speculate what SL5 is, you’re already post-human.
Reading the full version of his article alerted me to an astounding set of statistics:
“A telling review of 10-year media reporting of drug deaths in
Scotland illustrates the distorted media perspective very well
(Forsyth, 2001). During this decade, the likelihood of a newspa-
per reporting a death from paracetamol was in per 250 deaths,
for diazepam it was 1 in 50, whereas for amphetamine it was
1 in 3 and for ecstasy every associated death was reported.”
Talk about distorting perception of danger…
Also at Brainwaving is an excellent review of the movie Avatar by Dr. Ralph Metzner, for anyone who’s interested in looking deeper into this newest cultural phenomenon:
Winner of the 2008 New York short film festival Tropfest, The Daily Transmission is delighted to share with you this inspirational little movie. Produced on a budget of $57 and shot entirely on a mobile phone, Mankind is No Island is an inspirational reminder to all of us that we are one.