Neurohacking and Hyperhumanism
The concept of neurohacking is not new. In fact, it could be seen as an aspect of our natural evolution since the times when the first shamans ingested hallucinogenic plants to alter their perception and to communicate with gods, to better understand surrounding reality, and to guide their communities. Today science and technology help us to better understand the neurophysiology of the brain, and perhaps open the ways in which we experience the reality.
Neurohacking is best understood as a methodology for intervening with the natural brain processes with the intention to modify its functioning through a series of techniques, methodologies, and tools. The desired effects are very much like techniques that have spoken of throughout human history. Allegorically, this includes mythological stories, such as the search for the fountain of youth, or the quest for the philosopher's stone.
During this search humanity has reached the required knowledge to create a series of technologies that facilitate both the study of the brain, and its manipulation. Owing to the development of these new tools, we have become better at understanding the reactions of the mind in certain circumstances, and each day our knowledge is growing. Soon enough, with the new kind of information, we are able to build new ways of being quickly and accurately. The existing neurohacking techniques can be divided into the following categories:
endogenous nutrition, exercise, meditation, yoga, hypnosis, breathing and psychological therapy.
Technological Machines, binaural and isochronic pulses, NMS stimulation, TMS, CES.
Chemical Herbal medicine, drugs, and food supplements.
By using neurohacking techniques we will be able to balance our neurochemistry to sustain a healthy brain and to improve the quality of our lives. We speculate neurohacking techniques could be used to reach a broader perspective on life, and to improve cognition to better alternate between states of consciousness, eventually leading to a civilization in a state of peace and harmony.
The next stage of civilization could take us on to a level of hyperhumanism - to a condition in which human beings have become so aware of themselves, of their actions, and of their influence on other beings that they will finally be able to overcome ideological barriers and imposed dogmas that limit our capacity to think for ourselves.
In the Mayan legends there is a story in which the gods, after having created the human being, become jealous of their own creation, because humans are able to do so much. Therefore the gods burn dry grass, and leafs in an afrane, creating a cloud of smoke called "mitote", blinding their children, the human beings, and making them unable to appreciate the surrounding world.
This analogy enables us to understand that human perception is the fundamental obstacle in the way of our progress, on the way of what we call "reality". These distortions in our perception are making us engage in thousands of useless conversations with other people who also do not understand reality. The perception plays a vital role in being the conquerors of the world, not the victims.
The relationship between neurohacking and hyperhumanism becomes evident when we talk about creating tools that allow us to expand our perception, to improve our ability to analyze and learn large amounts of information during a very short period of time.
Evolution of the human race begins with the mind, because it our minds create the sensory experience, and are also responsible for making the right decisions to ensure our survival. But can you imagine what would happen if we could elevate that ability, and make our minds into something profoundly superior? Perhaps one day a simple device can enable us to influence the cerebral matter with just a few simple instructions created by the thought…
... but until then there is much work to be done. Today, we are beginning to use tools provided by the knowledge of neuroscience, to learn and understand the purpose of what we are doing, as we continue to progress. For now, we simply wish to improve some basic functions that could be used to advantage of all of humanity.
When we talk about catalyzing the potential of human race, many technogeeks think about transhumanism - important philosophical current of thought embracing the physical fusion between the machine and the human. During the past few years, there has been a great discussion regarding transhumanism, bringing on display many questions about this type of approach that does not regard one aspect of human psychology: the role of animus, or a "soul".
The main difference between hyperhumanism and transhumanism is that transhumanism wishes to use technology to support and improve certain aspects of the physical body. Hyperhumanism, on the other hand, is directed more to improve the capacities of the mind. We also believe that although the use of technologies ought to be encouraged, they should not be used as prosthesis that only benefits us whilst we are using it, but rather like learning wheels for the bicycle, to help us to train a certain skill, that once adopted, can also be used without the technology, aka. The wheels can be removed.
Some aspects of transhumanism could be used to optimize the state of Hyperhumanism, and vice versa. For instance, transhumanist technology can better help us to understand the link between mind, consciousness, and the body.
Unfortunately, all technology is subject to be used by people who exploit its benefits to make people do things even against their conscious will - advertising is a perfect example of this.
Through millions of market studies, advertisers have finally learned how neurohacking the brain can maximise profit for the corporation. Repetition of commercial advertisement certain amount of times (21), and the use of specific pleasant sounds to attract the attention of the potential buyer, are all part of subliminal advertisement techniques that have been in use already since the 70s.
Every day thousands of studies are conducted to analyze the behavior of 'consumers', to understand better what kind of triggers lead to a purchase, how to establish loyalty of a customer to a certain brand, and how to get the users to form emotional attachments to products. Unfortunately, these studies are created in order to violate the individual's psychological freedom, to create illusions of aspirational ways of living, which only create feelings of dissatisfaction among the population because of their 'impossible-to-achieve' -standards.
It is also worth mentioning that these tools of manipulation are now being used in political power games. Trump's journey towards presidency was established by use of artificial intelligence that tailored certain message for each segment of population, far away from the eyes of the other candidate.
Undoubtedly, increasing globalization will create a even more systematic arrangement of population, so that people can be classified according to certain behaviors and series of patterns. This will increase the growth of economy, but will severy damage many living on the edges of the growing system. In regards to politics, this kind of technologies will become a fearsome weapon. Will the free will disappear when large amount of our decisions will be made by someone else?
Our minds are subjected to the influence of many stimuli that make decisions for us, as if we have to decide almost nothing for ourselves. Recent studies indicate that even our free will could be an illusion. There is an electrical impulse generated to prior to the action, which seems to be activated in in the brain even prior to one's decision to carry out an action. It is as if the brain planted an idea, and that once it is being carried out we simply accept it as it is.
Are we the victims of our own brain, and if yes, to what degree? We can begin to understand the degree of complexity of that question by analyzing just how many actions during one day we perform automatically, and how many of those things we take for granted. The involuntary actions are called praxias, whereas the name gnosias stands for the actions of which we are aware of.
For instance, how conscious are we while pressing the switch of a light in a room. If we would get a small electric shock each time we turn on the light, how many times would we electrocute ourselves before understanding that we have to change the programming that leads to that particular behavior? Probably we would get shocked quite a few times before that realization…
Identification of gnosias and praxias allows us to be more aware of our behavior, therefore, although it requires more mental effort, it leads to better performance. A simple example is to compare two workers with the same job. One of the workers does things automatically and without thinking, while the other is aware of the things he does. Let's think that they work in a pretzel production line.
The first worker may finish the job, bored by the monotony of the day, with larger amount of energy than the second worker, who was aware of what he was doing during the every minute of the day. The second worker will probably go home exhausted, but with a greater awareness of his actions, and likely with a greater satisfaction in regards to his job than the first worker.
All of this has to do with passion, commitment, and love, that can - literally - turn over the things we usually do or perceive. Passion can lead to greater amounts of awareness that makes us aware of our actions. Because we try to enjoy every minute of an activity that brings us pleasure. Doing this passionately requires awareness of what we are doing, through which we can achieve better results in whatever we do.
Let's face it, we live in a society that is becoming increasingly unconscious. We walk around with our gaze glued to the screen, not on a peripheral or binocular view. We constantly receive commands in the form of notifications from our smart devices. We are being allowed where to direct our attention, and which options to follow.
Without a doubt, what is not being used, decays. Neuroplasticity - our brain's ability to mold and adapt at a cellular level to generate new connections - is reduced if we are not constantly doing new things. In modern times it is believed that on average, around 30 to 35 years, the brain begins its process of atrophy.
The question is: why does this happen? Perhaps because at that you usually already have a stable job, a spouse and children, and a house, and so on… Life has become regulated. The need to survive has been overcome, and there is less need to acquire new knowledge. Curiously, many people usually listen to music that they listened before that period in their lives, until they are around 30 years. From that point on it is very difficult for them to appreciate novel sounds.
Stability and routine, in some way, makes our growth as humans stagnate. We stop feeding our minds with new experiences, and information. It is important to remember that we are not only talking about neuroplasticity, but also about our processes of perception and reasoning. Often car crashes take place for that very reason, for neither person noticed that the car was coming, because they did not expect it. How many bad decisions have been made because nobody stopped for a moment to analyze and reflect upon the situation, and its potential consequences?
We are so used to believing that we are conscious, and that we are thinking, yet we remain in the illusions of beliefs. Thinking is difficult, it costs work and energy, and as C.G. Jung says: it is far easier for most people just to judge.
Beyond C.G Jung's rational language, Jung understood that there is more to thinking than reasoning. He realized that Western overly rational mindset was deceiving itself. Many young people considered themselves as critical thinkers, whereas in reality they were unable to reason why they were thinking. And even worse; many older people think they are right, when in reality they have only analyzed the thing from one single point of view.
Perhaps thinking is the great neurohacking technology we can master. Becoming aware of our actions, of our decisions, and of the way we do things, and above all why we do the them. By identifying gnosias and praxias we can stop for a second to think about the things that really matter, and act in a less impulsive manner.
There is an interesting concept in the Jewish culture. The human being is divided into three parts: a head, a heart, and a stomach. The head thinks, the heart feels, and the stomach is where all the pain is generated, therefore making us act irrationally. The goal of becoming aware of ourselves is to reduce the power of our physiology on our thinking, in order to think things reasonably, and by allowing ourselves to feel them without becoming machines.
Understanding our minds requires us to carefully analyze different aspects of the brain and body, to observe our health, and our physical condition, our emotional stability, memory, perception and intellect. It is vital to feed the neuronal system correctly and with adequate content, because if we do not do so, the system slowly fills with a load of unnecessary information, in other words: garbage.
Generally current neurohacking techniques allow us to alter our neuronal chemistry to achieve effects that would usually be produced by psychiatric medications such as fluoxetine, olanzapine, or other more common substances, such as coffee. Many of these tools can be used to achieve awareness-enhancing effects that generate more relaxed and concentrated states of mind.
Eventually, we will be able to find ways to enhance these effects endogenously, and simultaneously increase the duration and the effect of the technology. However, for now we are still learning about the interactions that can occur, and looking for safer ways to modify them. Perhaps one day you simply have to take one capsule, listen to an audio sequence, and become a hyperhuman…
...Perhaps one day we all will live in peace.
- 220 / 2017
Translated by José Montemayor Alba
Neurohacking and Hyperhumanism
220 / Human BIOS Project [humanbios.2-2-0.online] – 2017
Translated by José Montemayor Alba