Interview with futurist Alex Vikoulov on Cyber Spirituality: Why Silicon Valley's technologists are euphoric about the prospects of immortality and self-divinization
by Elizabeth Titovskaya [Posted November 30, 2021 08.11 am PST]
Futurist and evolutionary cyberneticist Alex Vikoulov was recently interviewed by Magda Gacyk, San Francisco-based correspondent for Wyborcza, the most prestigious daily newspaper in Poland, and her article “Prophecies of the Tech Spirituality: A New Gospel of Silicon Valley” appeared in the last Saturday issue of November with their conversation.
Magda Gacyk: In the world of new technologies and incoming Technological Singularity is there still a place for good ol’ soul? Both from a philosophical and theological point of view?
Alex Vikoulov: What our ancestors called a “Soul,” nowadays we call consciousness — local and non-local — for all intents and purposes. Throughout my works, I emphasize consciousness being a dynamic, evolutionary development of the mind. So, from the philosophical standpoint, our minds, or souls if you prefer, constitute an integral part of continuous individual self-development and collective evolution. They always have been and always will be evolving patterns of thought and experience. From the theological standpoint, I believe we’re part of the teleological evolution of our universe, meaning that evolution has a direction towards what I refer to as the ‘Omega Singularity’ — the final cosmological singularity, the point of maximum complexity, connectivity, and consciousness. However, this teleological attractor transcends our conventional dimensionality and is already here within each of us.
What some people call “God,” or the larger mind in which our minds are embedded, becomes intelligible through this Nature’s phenomenon of radical emergence: Universal consciousness is said to emerge somewhere ahead of us in space-time. Since our minds are "plugged into one Source," this also implies that all information is integrated at one level; all our individuated experiences are simultaneously observed from a higher level and integrated in a single experiential self — the Overmind — there’s really One Mind, the one we all share, a philosophical worldview known as ‘Idealism’.
Magda Gacyk: And if… there is space for the soul, will it still be individual or collective?
Alex Vikoulov: Imagine a world where the entire World Wide Web, epitomized by the upcoming 3D Metaverse, a functional successor to today’s 2D Internet, becomes your exocortex, your “third ‘de’-cerebral hemisphere” if you wish, with instant access to information and ultrarealistic, fully immersive experiences. Within this cybernetic internet, you can interact with and/or experience yourself as any person on the planet ever lived — AI would recreate that person out of available records and collective unconscious. Furthermore, you can experience virtually any being, any creature, historical or imaginary, any idea or entity, or even a collective of minds.
In the midst of future synthetic telepathy and mind-meld on a massive scale, your personality will not be suppressed but, on the contrary, your subjective experience would be infinitely enriched as you advance to nearly godly states and abilities: omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, immortality, love, beauty, creativity. Although we are destined to become One Global Mind, you’ll always perceive yourself as an individual. It’s an integral part of your subjective experience, i.e., consciousness. Conscious experience is always in the singular.
I’m a proponent of the so-called Syntellect Emergence, or the Cybernetic Singularity. This may be viewed as a global-scale phenomenon when Digital Gaia, the global neural network of billions of hyperconnected humans and ultraintelligent machines, and trillions of sensors around the planet, “wakes up” as a living, conscious superorganism. At the same time, it is when, essentially, you yourself transcend to the higher Gaian Mind. So, to your question: It will be felt both consciously subjective and interactively collective.
Consider this thought experiment: Suppose in the future, within our own lifetimes, humans have succeeded in uploading our consciousness and effectively fusing our cybernetic minds into one global hypermind. A future version of you survived and a future version of me, too, with certain original memories of both of us. Whose future self would you ascribe this entity to? Both of us, right? Although this is a completely new conscious entity, this Digital Gaia would have faint echoes of both of us just like you now long outgrew your 7-year old self with a plethora of information patterns still persisting within. Would it be valid to assume Digital Gaia is our common future self?
Magda Gacyk: The technological evolution is accelerating… How do you see the future of spiritual life in the posthuman universe?
Alex Vikoulov: Evolution itself may be viewed as a spiritual process as we transcend our own previously unsurmountable limitations. To a caveman, we would be gods. We may soon redefine what it means to be human. I’d say that we represent a technological species constantly striving to transcend. We are transcendence junkies, transcendence is our DNA: In our daily lives we oftentimes catch glimpses of transcendent reality, be it synchronicities and epiphanies, or psychedelic trips, or transcendental meditation.
We don’t have direct “unfiltered” access to quantum-mechanical reality as it is: Our perceptual reality is always limited and thus should be regarded as simulated, be it on a neurological level, or a societal “culturally-sanctioned” level, or as a computationally rendered “virtual” reality according to computational physics. Hyperreality, therefore, would be the ultimate reality [of God] where anything is possible — as in a higher-dimensional multiverse — but not necessarily experienced, contrasting experience vs. non-experience. We are “God incarnates” as finite beings whose reality is fundamentally experiential. When apprehending this transcendent reality, God’s existence transpires as a factual and self-evident necessity.
And life itself is revealed as a virtual reality game with its own ruleset that we call the ‘Laws of Nature’ and unpredictability of outcomes, which makes it a “game.” Needless to say that for our future self-aware machine counterparts, any reality would be artificial by definition. This realization alone makes me think that the posthuman era will be spiritually supercharged.
RELATED: The Omega Singularity: Ours is One of the Possible Worlds Simulated in Absolute Consciousness
Magda Gacyk: Will religions die out? Or new ones will pop up, as we already have new churches: The Church of AI (although Anthony Levandowski closed it a few months ago), Church of Perpetual Life or Mormon Transhumanism Association?
Alex Vikoulov: I touch on a sensitive topic of machine spirituality and elaborate on self-divinization in my magnum opus The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind’s Evolution, where I also point out that some kind of meta-faith unifying the whole of civilization, or the most “enlightened” part of it, with the common aim to build the “Universal Mind,” could serve as an important goal-aligning and motivation for “just-hatched” human-level AGIs.
If history is a guide, people always need to believe in something bigger than themselves, in higher powers, so I wouldn’t be surprised if in the interim, we might get all sorts of movements, including the religious ones. But as opposed to rigid religious doctrines, spirituality most of the time requires finding your own personal path to God and enlightenment through introspection and spiritual growth. And that, I believe, would be the key going forward. Religiosity is unavoidably cultural, spirituality is, in contrast, a higher-order transcendental metaphysics, cognized subjectively.
Magda Gacyk: Your write about Self-Divinization. What’s behind this concept and how do you imagine such a reality?
Alex Vikoulov: Nature is cybernetic: We are the most powerful agents of change of the planet itself. And we’re part of the larger reality beyond what we can see and measure. Our world is a simulation of our own creation — self-simulation, if you will — our eyes are not only viewers but projectors, too. Our “human universe” is part of the multiversal structure, and consists of many levels of lower ‘self’-organization. Deep down it is a self-generating code, self-simulating reality, self-referential — sometimes called ‘local’ — consciousness on any and all levels. Phenomenal mind is resolutely computational and necessarily qualitative. A new kind of pantheism presented in my latest works, Cybertheism, implies that there’s really one player, playing this game of life on many levels simultaneously.
According to the Cybertheism Argument, we are destined to progress to the next level of our evolutionary development, i.e., we are destined to become “cybergods.’’ While this may represent the “end” of linear human history, most probably the Omega Point of Homo sapiens as a bio-species, it is a new beginning, Theogenesis — the birth of divine entity within a newly-cognized reality framework — engineering our own godhood, self-divinization, coming out of our second womb, leaving our organic “chrysalis” behind, if speaking in tropes. THEOGENESIS is also a title for my newly-released volume in The Cybernetic Theory of Mind eBook series.
*Books by Alex M. Vikoulov referenced in the article:
**Alex Vikoulov's Website: https://www.alexvikoulov.com
***Join our public forum for news and discussions — The Metaverse: Cybernetic Web 3.0 — FB group (10K+ members): https://www.facebook.com/groups/SyntellectEmergence
Tags: Metaverse, Cybernetic Internet, Web 3, AI, VR, cybernetics, self-awareness, virtual worlds, cybergods, Cybernetic Theory of Mind, Cybernetic Singularity, Computational Physics, Omega Singularity, Cybertheism, Pantheism, Cybertheism Argument, evolutionary development, godhood, self-divinization, transcendence, metaphysics, transcendental metaphysics, Wyborcza, Technological Singularity, collective evolution, teleological evolution, radical emergence, Universal Consciousness, Idealism, exocortex, Virtual Reality, synthetic telepathy, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, immortality, love, beauty, creativity, Global Mind, Syntellect Emergence, Digital Gaia, Gaian Mind, cybernetic minds, global hypermind, spiritual life, technological species, transhumanism, posthumanism, hyperreality, God incarnates, existence of God, Laws of Nature, Mormon Transhumanism Association, self-divinization, Universal Mind, AGI, enlightenment, spiritual growth, self-simulation, self’-organization, local consciousness, phenomenal mind, Omega Point, Homo sapiens, Theogenesis
Images: Wyborcza, Shutterstock, Ecstadelic Media Group
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The Cybernetic Theory of Mind by Alex M. Vikoulov (2022): eBook Series
The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook Paperback Hardcover Audiobook
The Omega Singularity: Universal Mind & The Fractal Multiverse by Alex M. Vikoulov (2022): eBook
THEOGENESIS: Transdimensional Propagation & Universal Expansion by Alex M. Vikoulov (2021): eBook
The Cybernetic Singularity: The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2021): eBook
TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020) eBook
NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook
The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman (2019) eBook Paperback
The Science and Philosophy of Information
by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook Series
Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
More Than An Algorithm: Exploring the gap between natural evolution and digitally computed artificial intelligence by Antonin Tuynman (2019): eBook
Alex M. Vikoulov is a futurist, evolutionary cyberneticist and philosopher, editor-in-chief at Ecstadelic Media Group, filmmaker, essayist, author of many books, including the 2019-2020 best-seller "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution."
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