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FleshFactor: Cyber-versus-Neuro gnosis



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A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"
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While enjoying ploughing through all the recent posts on Naive Libertarian
Attitudes on returning from vacation, might I suggest that to concentrate
too much effort on the critique is to make the same mistake of
over-focussing on computers and electronic networks as (the only)
technology that counts in a discussion of changing relationships between
nature, humans as nodes (the body) in a society (network). 

Most recently, 

>Grayson Cooke wrote:

>"Might it be that it is not so much a matter of communication but of
>consciousness?"


and Siegfried  Pflegerl replied:

>[I think] he means: to bring humanity to [a] consciousness of itself as
>a whole!  [If so, he is] totally right! As I pointed out in my posting to
>this net-symposium on 21.8.1997, it is only a matter of consciousness. 

>But the new media *to a certain extent* are favouring this evolution to
>mankind's awareness of its unity.  Communication structures by themselves
>are not able to bring humanity to this state.


No, nor are new media the only technologies that will aid humanity to make
this quantum leap of understanding. I'd like to ask the list: when did
you first appreciate the unity of humanity (and perhaps beyond?)? Was
it

a) When Marshall McLuhan said the world was a global village

b) When you first logged on to a MUD/IRC or any other net-related
epiphany

c) The first time you dropped acid/mushrooms/peyote

d) The day Princess Diana died?


Speaking about the politico-spiritual ramifications of ayahuasca (a
potent, plant-based entheogen or "inner-god-releasing substance" - Ott)
and its western analogues, Peter Lambourn-Wilson said something relevant
at the Next Five Minutes conference in Amsterdam, January 96: 

"One of the great "rediscoveries" of this New Entheogenesis is the
dialectical nature of ayahuasca or yage, that is, that organic DMT can be
"realized" in combination with an MAO-inhibitor like harmine; and that
plant-sources for these two substances are globally diffused, widespread
to the point of ubiquity, impossible to control, and free.  Preparations
require only low kitchen tech.

"Neo-ayahuasca, unlike computer technology, is not a "part" of capitalism
or any other ideology control-system. Is it even fair to make this
comparison? Yes, to the extent that entheogenesis & cybertech are both
concerned with information & therefore with epistemology; in fact we could
call both of them "gnostic systems", both implicated in the goal of
knowing that emerges from the gulf that seems to seperate mind/soul/spirit
from body. The entheogenic version of this knowing however implies
enlarging the definition of the body to include "neurospace", while the
cybernetic version implies the disappearance of the body into information,
the "downloading of the consciousness".

These are both absurd extremes, he acknowledges, "images rather then
political situations; - they are also potent myths. We need a politique
here, not an ideology but an active cognizance of actually-persisting
situations (as clearly as we can grasp them) & a strategic sense of where
to apply the nudges of our material art. Neuro-hackers vs the New World
Order?" 


Jules Marshall    <jules@xs4all.nl>

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Hobbemakade 75
1071 XN Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0) 20 675 5811

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