America has been on fire these past few weeks. A nation struggling with its racist past, its contemporary racial shadow, its deep political and cultural polarization, and a divisive president who will never be capable of leading a nation, we continue to find ourselves in the heart of The Great Release (and this time, not from an economic depression or disease pandemic, but from our deep and terrible racist heritage). In this brief article, I want to use a few lenses of integral metatheory—concepts you’ll be familiar with, but applied in ways you’ve never seen before—to see if we can get a broader view of what’s happening.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Great Release is truly and fully underway. That earthquake has now begun. Nanoscopically small and quietly transmissible, Covid-19 would be almost laughable as a catalyst for the great release if it weren’t so deadly. But as it stands, it is in fact the perfect spark to alight the ample tinder of total system irresilience.
A lifetime of practice has prepared integral people to carry the world through the trying and rapidly-changing times we are entering.
Ken Wilber and Corey deVos ponder the evolutionary mysteries of the universe, speculating on how abundant life might be in the kosmos, why we haven’t met any of our galactic neighbors yet, and what might happen if a UFO landed on the White House lawn. It’s a fun conversation — and one that takes its subject matter more seriously than you might expect. Whether you are a true believer of UFO phenomena or an iron-clad skeptic, you don’t want to miss this fascinating and far-reaching exploration.
Andrew Holecek explores the fascinating and fruitful vanguard of consciousness and technology in this stunning presentation about virtual reality, lucid dreaming, and awakening in the midst of rapid social change.
The hopes and fears surrounding the advent of artificial intelligence are fantastical, from Ray Kurzweil’s promise of spiritual machines to Elon Musk’s warnings of killer robots. And yes, some version of that future is barreling toward us at an ever-increasing speed, says philosophy of technology professor Michael Zimmerman, who is Jeff’s guest today.
As part of our work on the Innovation Lab advisory board of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, I had the pleasure of sitting down with OpenCog founder and leading AGI researcher Ben Goertzel and IONS Innovation Lab director Julia Mossbridge to discuss LOVING AIs, a project aiming to design and develop an “unconditional loving” module for AGIs. In this interview, I dive into the rabbit hole of AGI with Ben and Julia to discuss the state of the field, what it would mean to program unconditional love into AGIs, and some thorny implications for the brave new world we’re entering.
Rising populism and the election of President Trump are symptoms of massive irresilience that has been building in the U.S.-led world state since 1945, and may reflect the end of the fourth cycle of economic hegemony of the past 800 years. The Great Recession of 2008 was just a tremor. We wind toward a coming global breakdown, a great release that threatens regression across our lives.
It seems clear is that we are seeing a general pattern of accelerated returns in at least four irreducible dimensions of our lives. It is a “singularity in all four quadrants” — Post-Humanism, Post-Scarcity, Post-Irony, and Post-Metaphysics. Let’s take a brief look at each of these dimensions.
When it comes to the future of artificial intelligence, we have more questions than answers. Are atoms, molecules, and mathematics alone enough to produce machines with genuine human-equivalent intelligence? Can that intelligence ever become truly conscious and possess the “inner light” of interior self-awareness? Will artificial intelligence be capable of determining its own morals, ethics, and values? Listen as Ken Wilber reflects on the future promise — and potential perils — of artificial intelligence.
What future we are imagining for ourselves, for the integral movement, and for the impact of the integral vision on our shared future? With all the emphasis we see in spiritual communities about the importance of being in the NOW, it can be easy to forget how important it is to keep a careful eye on the future. After all, aren’t our thoughts about the future just another way to distract ourselves from connecting to our true selves in this present moment?
These days, discourse about intelligent robots—thinking machines—is as widespread as discourse about zombies. Both have been the subjects of recent bestsellers, which are the basis of two forthcoming films. Popular culture’s depiction of humankind under attack by either the undead or by the never alive (autonomous machines) suggests widespread anxiety about and fascination with technical developments that may generate a future out of human control (as if the future ever were under our control!)
Although the apparent confirmation of the Higgs Boson, the so-called God particle, has been attracting attention recently, the most vexing problem in science and philosophy remains the mind-body problem: What relation is there between material brain states and conscious, first-person experience? In the past few years, as we shall see in a moment, some neurosciences have now arrived at an answer that was anticipated by Ken Wilber’s version of integral theory.
Anti-aging and longevity research reports, in addition to predicting lifespans beyond 200 years within just a few decades, also report no theoretical reasons preventing extensions into the thousands of years a few decades after that. What if you lived for another few hundred or thousand years? Would you bear witness to the end of disease, the coming of an integral age, the creation trans-human cyborgs, the end of poverty, the enlightenment of the planet — or maybe even flying cars…?
Wired magazine’s own “Senior Maverick” talks with Ken Wilber about some of the ideas behind Kevin’s blog The Technium, which explores the various ways humanity defines and redefines itself through the interface of science, technology, culture, and consciousness. Kevin also shares some of his own thoughts about the role of spirituality in the 21st century, going into considerable depth around his own spiritual awakening several decades ago.