[ExI] Transpersonal Extropianism?

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Nov 5 04:46:14 UTC 2019

On Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 7:17 PM Aaron Force via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Because of the nature of the psychological construction of the ego to have
> a strong belief in separation and often putting a personal agenda of one's
> own protection and promotion before others or without general regard for
> consequences, I propose that the ego is ultimately the source of all
> mankind's problems.

It also seems to be ultimately the source of all solutions to mankind's
problems.  For instance, if you had no ego (which you seem to be suggesting
is a state to drive toward), then who would be making that proposal, and
why would whoever it is bother doing so?

> For instance, if we collectively had the higher consciousness that ego
> transcendence brings we would likely not be facing down the doomsday
> scenarios of the modern-day.

Yeah...here's where it breaks down.  For the most part, those who bring on
the doomsday scenarios can be seen as animals or forces of nature, from
your point of view: they will never heed your advice, they will continue to
act on their impulses, and you will never be able to reach them.

At least, not as you are now.

One solution space you can play a part in, is where they are already doing
that and we are reacting to it - doing something about it, finding ways
around it (including disarming their doomsdays), or something of that
nature.  Merely telling us to stop doing that - I'm pretty sure no one on
this list has the ability to launch a nuclear missile, and the total
consumerist behavior of everyone on this list is not even a drop in the
bucket, so urging us to stop accomplishes nothing.

Another thing we can do, is to find and pull the levers that do change
others' behaviors.  Help invent and commercialize new technologies.  Find
the upcoming doomsday scenarios that the masses don't yet have a lock on,
and engineer things to prevent them before they start.  Demonstrate new
ways of being, in ways that the masses will recognize the benefits of -
which includes using words they can understand.  (Don't bother with mere
lectures by themselves: however cheap and thus appealing those seem,
lectures alone have proven to be failures.  Lectures can be part of a
solution, but if you start with them and do nothing else, you will delude
yourself into thinking you're helping when you're really not, and waste
your chance to change the world.)

> While I think humanity must absolutely embrace technology I also believe
> it is imperative that we equally find advancement in our psychological
> capacities, something that The Principles of Extropy / Perpetual Progress
> seems to support. It appears to me that as technology increases to the
> point of potential existential risk we should have a commensurate degree of
> consciousness to have better understanding and wisdom in our actions and in
> any potential scenarios that might arise.

Technology being not just circuits and stuff, but new ways of doing things,
would you say that better (faster, cheaper, and more effective) ways of
achieving better consciousness would themselves be technology?

I am aware of science fiction where the "miracle" was educational
technology: better (again: faster, cheaper, and more effective, all at the
same time) ways of learning the truth of the world and how to do things,
and this was coded in everyday language that almost anyone on the street
could understand easily.

Thus, absolutely no mention of "consciousness", "ego", "transcendence", or
any such terms.  Perhaps you might try rephrasing what you wish to say with
said restriction?  Hopefully it is readily apparent why I believe that
doing so would make your message far more effective, and why I believe that
using terms that most people do not understand - without regard to what you
are trying to communicate - is itself the reason why most people will
aggressively ignore your message.

In other words, I recommend this improvement to your linguistic technology.

> This is plainly seen in how our blatant consumerism and drive for profits
> by producing single-use items or junk that deteriorates nearly immediately
> and must be disposed of has led us to our ecological crisis, for instance.

As the Lone Ranger's companion put it, "Who 'we', kemosabe?"

I believe that no member of this list is an executive of or decision maker
for a company that does more ecological harm than good.  (Granted, I myself
may be the closest exception to that, among everyone on this list at this

> However, I want to be mindful of the fact that this term attempts to marry
> with yours (extropy.org) which has been far more established and is, of
> course, more technologically-oriented.

Technology is, at its core, nothing more than finding better ways of doing
things.  These things can include how to think about the world, get along
with people, do less harm to the environment, and so on.  There seems no
reason to believe that what you are doing is not an attempt to further
certain types of technology, even if it is a type with less correlation to
most to small classes of physical objects.

Please advise if this choice of wording seems to muddy the waters

Yeah, it kind of does.

In addition to the above recommendations, I would also strongly urge you to
read up on Simple English - see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_English_Wikipedia to start - and
contemplate why it is seen as useful.

Restating complex topics such as "ego" and "transcendence" into simple
terms that most people can intuitively understand is a difficult project.
Wise men from throughout the ages - Jesus, Buddha, and so on - have
attempted this with varying degrees of success.  There have been literally
thousands of years of study as to what they did right, and how they are
usually misread.

This is not mere background to be shrugged at!  Take heed of those who have
gone before.  Study their failures.  Use what you learn from them, to do

If you could be even merely mostly successful at that task, and prove it by
getting lots of people (millions, preferably billions) to understand, that
would be most worthy.
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