Becoming and Become
KEITH: Concerning the subject of transvaluations, one of the most revolutionary transvaluations you have made is surely with regard to transcendent spirit being, as you conceive it, essential rather than apparent. In other words, the idea that pure spirit would be the very opposite of the stars in appearance - indeed, not something that could be discerned as phenomenal because purely noumenal, and therefore beyond the realm of sensuous appreciation.
COLIN: Yes, transcendent spirit, whether in the penultimate context of Spiritual Globes converging towards one another, or as the Ultimate Spiritual Globe ... of the Omega Absolute, would be completely essential, as befitting an absolute at the very opposite extreme from the stars which, as we all know, can be highly apparent, particularly on a clear night! I don't envisage pure spirit shining in the dark, like a star.
KEITH: And consequently you tend not to look upon enlightenment in terms of light, whether metaphorically speaking or otherwise?
COLIN: Certainly not in any apparent sense! For all such traditional valuations seem to me but an extension of pagan criteria - like, for instance, the idea that the heavenly condition would be blissful.
KEITH: Yet you don't envisage it being so yourself?
COLIN: No, because I regard bliss as a feeling, a very strong and positive feeling, and feelings can only be connected with the will, which is to say, the subconscious part of the psyche. By contrast, I regard spirit - which should emerge from what is now the superconscious part of the psyche, but will eventually become the only part of it for a superior life form than man - as lying beyond feelings, emotions, and passions, in a realm of pure consciousness that transcends everything but itself through the most complete self-absorption of psychic fulfilment. As men, we can't know exactly what this supreme state-of-mind will be like. For, besides being relative, our spirit is regularly subjected to instinctual intrusions, as feelings, emotions, et cetera, of one kind or another condition our thoughts or, conversely, as our thoughts engender certain usually appropriate feelings, et cetera. Value judgements concerning the heavenly Beyond are therefore liable to reflect our own psychic limitations, and that is why one should be extremely sceptical as to their literal applicability, especially when conceived in terms of an instinctive feeling like bliss, which is undoubtedly the strongest positive one. If evolution were a journey, as it were, from one extreme feeling to another via the world of man, one could take the idea that it will culminate in bliss more seriously. Yet it seems to me that bliss can be attained to, over intermittent periods of time, on the human plane, whereas evolution must go well beyond that plane to a purely spiritual one, such as would transcend feelings altogether, and thus culminate in a context antithetical, in every respect, to how it began - namely, as the most absolute will of the stars.
KEITH: So from agony to bliss and then on again to some as yet unimaginably abstract psychic fulfilment?
COLIN: Yes, that is approximately how I see it anyway.
KEITH: Then, presumably, you would agree with the Buddha, who strove to get away from feelings, of whatever description, in an attempt to escape from pain.
COLIN: Yes, insofar as he realized that pleasure and pain were interconnected and that one couldn't escape, in any absolute sense, from pain simply by indulging in pleasure. Sooner or later one would have to pay one's dues, through fresh pain, for the pleasure in which one had earlier indulged, so that one would remain trapped in a vicious circle of pleasure/pain alternations. Consequently the Buddha sought no pleasure in order to avoid pain.
KEITH: A highly paradoxical procedure that doesn't necessarily lead to spirit being cultivated to any significant extent.
COLIN: Indeed not, because non-evolutionary and too naturalistic. Sitting under a tree all day, every day of the week, won't change the basic constitution of the psyche. For one will still be the victim of a subconscious mind, and this lower mind will prevent the superconscious mind from expanding in the direction, so to speak, of the Divine. Of all places to meditate, the jungle or forest is among the least suitable, because the air is heavily leaden with the sensuality of surrounding plant life and one's psyche is therefore likely to be conditioned in a manner favouring the subconscious. No, the radical cultivation of spirit, in the future, will require the assistance of technology, in order that the brain, or physiological base of the psyche, can be artificially supported and sustained in collectivized contexts, and provided with such artificial stimuli as may prove necessary to the facilitation of psychic development.
KEITH: No doubt, you are alluding to LSD or to some such equivalent synthetic hallucinogen which artificially induces upward self-transcendence in the psyche?
COLIN: Yes, a stimulant that should develop the superconscious at the same time as it neutralizes the subconscious. The Supermen of the post-Human Millennium will be fed specific quantities of this vision-inducing drug and thereby partake of an aesthetico-religious experience superior, in essence, to what the men of the preceding age - that of the transcendental civilization - were fated to experience when they meditated in front of holograms in specially-designed meditation centres - the hologram approximating to a kind of external 'trip'.
KEITH: And thus preceding, in chronological time, the widespread recourse to an internal 'trip'?
COLIN: I believe so. External visionary experience of a static nature would signify an inferior phase of aesthetico-religious development to internal visionary experience of a similarly static nature, and should accordingly precede the latter in chronological time - it being accepted that evolution proceeds from apparent to essential levels.
KEITH: So art and religion would become inseparable again, as they were during the most religious centuries of the Christian era?
COLIN: Yes, because, at its height, art is designed to facilitate religious development, being the handmaiden, as it were, of religion. I cannot conceive of a meditation centre being without a specific quantity of the finest art, particularly holograms, though holograms, needless to say, of a religious character. There might also be room for certain kinds of laser and/or light art, whether with fluorescent tubes or plastic tubing; though, as you know, I tend to have a relatively poor opinion of light these days, even when artificial. Possibly, meditation will mostly be practised in the dark, with strategically-positioned holograms close-by in order to facilitate concentration and act as a kind of psychological focal-point.
KEITH: Some people might prefer to meditate without recourse to such a focal-point.
COLIN: Which they could continue to do, and simply by closing their eyes or looking straight through or above it, as the case may be. Yet meditation ought not to be encouraged to become too naturalistic, as in traditional oriental contexts, but should be accompanied by such artificial stimuli as I have just alluded to, if only to prevent some persons - perhaps less spiritually earnest - from dozing or falling into thought traps. The more profound persons will still prefer to interiorize their meditation as much as possible. But the existence of holograms shouldn't present a serious obstacle to that!
KEITH: One could argue that the deeper persons, being introverted, would prefer to take some hallucinogenic stimulant, and thus contemplate internal 'holograms' rather than their external equivalents?
COLIN: True. But that would only apply to a relatively small minority of people, who might well be catered for in that respect during or before the latter stages of the next civilization. I cannot see hallucinogens being used on a truly widespread or comprehensive basis, however, much before the advent of the post-Human Millennium, when human brains become artificially supported and sustained in collectivized contexts.
KEITH: Why ever not?
COLIN: Frankly, because most people wouldn't be psychically mature enough to properly appreciate them, with consequences not unknown to those of us who lived in the late-twentieth century. Not everyone is born to become a sophisticated 'acid head', the majority of people being more disposed to alcohol or tobacco. No doubt, this fact will still apply over the coming decades; though we may assume that alcohol and tobacco will cease to be available with the advent of the transcendental civilization, a civilization which could not encourage the use of natural drugs.
KEITH: Then surely it would be necessary to plug the gap, as it were, with the help of synthetics ... in order that people could have a superior alternative with which to carry on?
COLIN: In theory, this may seem so. But, in practice, I rather doubt that so potent a mind-expanding hallucinogen as, say, LSD could be brought into regular, sustained use much before the post-Human Millennium. Perhaps a diluted variant could be adopted in the meantime. Yet I still can't envisage the next civilization as being an out-and-out 'acid' one. For a comparatively small minority of people - possibly. But not for any Tom, Dick, or Harry whose chief inclination, under the influence of such a powerful stimulant, might well be to do either himself or someone else a grievous injury! The meditation centre should be a place of calm, quiet, concentrated consciousness, togetherness, and happiness, not a place where, at any moment, one's neighbour might throw-up, freak out, jump about, or cause bodily violence to those in the immediate vicinity, and all because LSD was proving too mind-boggling an experience for him or her to handle! I witnessed quite a number of such disturbances at music festivals and rock concerts in the past, and often enough it seemed to me that they took place less through any fault of the drug than because the persons concerned were insufficiently spiritually mature to cope with it.
KEITH: A situation analogous to the sight of the Cross to Count Dracula, or even the purity of the Clear Light of the Void to Eustace Barnack, that character from Aldous Huxley's Time Must Have a Stop, not to mention the complexity of a great tome to a simpleminded person.
COLIN: Precisely! Which is why I cannot envisage LSD being put into regular, widespread, and intensively-sustained service much before the post-Human Millennium, when there won't be any arms or legs to thrash around with, and no tongue to cry out with, and, in all probability, no cause for alarm - each brain being enclosed in its own psychic world and therefore not subject to the fear-provoking distraction of sight vis-à-vis other people, which of course applies to the human world. The superhuman one would be much more interiorized anyway, since deprived of or, rather, elevated beyond the usual senses ... as applying to the body. Probably there would be some kind of artificial means of communication, whereby each brain could tune-in, as it were, to the thoughts of another or to instructions coming from without at certain fixed times of day, either before or after the 'trip'. I am thinking along the lines, for example, of an artificial voice-box linking the Supermen, or a chosen representative of their number, to the external world of the scientific technicians. Possibly the most intelligent brain of each commune would be responsible for liaising, in such fashion, with the human technicians, and it would appertain to the superman who, for reasons of spiritual suitability, had been elected to function as a priest-equivalent for each gathering of Supermen. This priest-equivalent would actually be in the spiritual 'promised land' of the post-Human Millennium, not external to it like a technician. For it seems to me that spiritual leaders in whatever stage of evolution always enter the particular 'promised land' to which their leadership appertains - as, in another sense, do artists.
KEITH: Whereas politicians and scientists remain relatively aloof from the flock in the interests of their respective external roles as coercive or controlling agents?
COLIN: Precisely! And for that reason they do not identify with the flock after the manner of priests or artists, who create and maintain the successive spiritual 'promised lands' on route to the ultimate 'promised land' ... of the heavenly Beyond.
KEITH: But will there be artists at work in the post-Human Millennium?
COLIN: No, not in the professional sense! For every Superman, in experiencing the 'trip', will witness his own superconscious mind and thus effectively be his own inner 'artist'. What man would ordinarily witness but for the opaque veil of the subconscious mind, the Superman will daily witness because LSD, or some such synthetic hallucinogen, will have drawn the veil across by neutralizing the subconscious. He will be dreaming awake, and thus experiencing the antithesis of sleep dreams. So he won't require an external artist, in the sense that transcendental men of the ultimate human civilization would have required one to create the various holograms as incentives to meditation. All he will require is a priest-equivalent, a fellow Superman with a stronger mind who, besides liaising with the scientific technicians, will offer encouragement and advice, if needed, to the surrounding Supermen on any given artificial support. Thus the priest- or, if you prefer, guru-equivalent will supersede the artist - just as, in the external realm, the scientific technician will supersede the politician - with the advent of the post-Human Millennium.
KEITH: So a class distinction between priest-equivalents and lay Supermen, as also between technicians and post-human life forms in general, will persist into the Millennium in question.
COLIN: Yes, but only throughout the duration of its first phase. For, with the second phase of millennial life, such class distinctions will be totally eradicated, since the Supermen will be elevated, by the technicians, to the post-visionary consciousness of collectivized new brains, and the ensuing entity will have no need of priest-equivalents to liaise with anybody - each Superbeing, or collection of new brains, being beyond communication with the external world, as their consciousness is directly programmed, through hypermeditation, for transcendence, and thus the eventual attainment of the most free life form on earth to the ultimate freedom of the heavenly Beyond. There would be no class distinction between one Superbeing and another - no more than there is really any such distinction between, say, one Oak tree and another, or one Beech tree and another - and so the higher phase of the post-Human Millennium would indeed be classless.... As regards the human technicians, who would become completely external to the superbeingful society, following the operation designed to elevate Supermen to a post-visionary life form, my guess is that they would thereafter have very little to do and could accordingly entrust supervisory responsibility to artificial 'technicians', viz. robots and/or computers, while the spiritual life of the Superbeings continued to expand towards transcendence. Having placed such supervisory responsibility as was still required into the hands of artificial overseers, the technicians would increasingly remove themselves from millennial duties and die quietly in their own time. For it could well transpire that transcendence would take decades or even centuries to occur in each of the superbeingful communities, and that the only sensible thing for the human technicians to do, in the circumstances, would be to let matters take their preordained course under the watchful 'eyes' of overseers capable of surviving for centuries. Besides, it is doubtful whether, at that advanced post-atomic juncture in time, man would be capable of propagating himself anyway, so he would probably die-out sooner or later - there being no real justification for his remaining alive.
KEITH: Presumably because he had done what was necessary to set the Superbeings directly on course for transcendence?
COLIN: And also because his continued presence would constitute an infringement of the classless society, even if the Superbeings were oblivious of anything or anyone outside themselves on account of their being so wrapped-up in the hypermeditation of the most free earthly society.
KEITH: What you are saying suggests that evolution proceeds in a kind of zigzagging fashion, since lower-level meditation would be the spiritual norm for men of the ultimate human civilization - a norm which would be eclipsed with the LSD-experiencing Supermen of the ensuing post-Human Millennium?
COLIN: Evolution does indeed proceed in such a fashion, and you might alternatively choose to define it in terms of a romantic/classic alternation - the religious focus of the Superhuman Millennium betokening a kind of romantic interlude between the lower classicism of the transcendental civilization and the higher classicism of the Superbeingful Millennium. To trace this development right back to its beginnings, one could contend that what began, with the First Cause, as the lowest romanticism ... is destined to end, with the Last Effect, so to speak, as the highest classicism - the definitive classicism of the ultimate Become. Even on the human level there were alternations between the classic and the romantic in this respect, the lower classicism of pagan antiquity being superseded by the classic/romantic dichotomy of Christian modernity, its early, or Catholic, phase being romantic or, as we prefer to say, gothic, and its later, or Protestant, phase comparatively classic, emphasizing the Become rather than the Becoming. Well, above Christianity will come the lower classicism of transcendental futurity, as men congregate together in meditation centres in order to approximate to Heaven through a supreme human level of Being. Now you ought to see why LSD would be inappropriate in this context, which must stress togetherness.
KEITH: Yes, LSD, corresponding to a romantic orientation, would simply segregate one person from another in their individual preoccupations with such psychic contents of their superconscious minds as the drug was designed to free. Wrapped-up in his individual 'trip' - and therefore largely if not completely oblivious to other people when the lights were off - each person would exist as a law unto himself, and thus as a refutation of the group or communal context which this phase of human evolution was intended to signify. There would be no real justification for people being in a group at all, if all they intended to do was to experience the visionary contents of their individual superconscious minds.
COLIN: Absolutely! Which is why the widespread use of synthetic hallucinogens like LSD is unlikely to be endorsed until the advent of the Supermen ... with the first, or romantic, phase of the post-Human Millennium. The transcendental civilization, on the other hand, should signify the highest human classicism, placing due emphasis on the spiritual togetherness of each meditating community in whatever meditation centre, in order that a superior approximation to the Become may be achieved. By contrast, the first phase of the post-Human Millennium will signify a romantic Becoming, as each Superman experiences his own 'trip'. He will of course be part of a community of similarly artificially-supported and sustained brains, but this community will be more apparent from the outside, i.e. from the scientific technicians' standpoint, than from the actual internal experience of each Superman. If this phase of evolution seems a little zany in its post-human romanticism, so should the antithetically-equivalent phase to it ... of the pre-human romanticism of apes, our own direct ancestors, swinging collectively in trees ... be regarded as a little zany - indeed, as more than a little zany; though we tend not to be particularly conscious of that fact these days. Apes, too, would have formed a paradoxical community!
KEITH: And still do, wherever they exist in the world. However, as the Supermen will signify a romantic Becoming, the highest earthly Becoming, we may assume, I take it, that the ensuing Superbeing phase of evolution will represent the highest earthly Become, as the post-visionary life form indulges its penchant for hypermeditation in the most communal togetherness of which it is possible to conceive in earthly terms.
COLIN: Indeed we may! And that penultimate classicism will lead, via the romantic Becoming of numerous Spiritual Globes converging and expanding in the heavenly Beyond, to the ultimate classicism of the Omega Absolute in the most perfect Become - a Become in which essence is maximized, in the perfection of spiritual unity, and evolution accordingly attains to its culmination. At present, however, it is still some way from that culmination. For we have yet to attain to the spiritual classicism of the transcendental civilization!
KEITH: In which, presumably, people will meditate collectively in specially-designed meditation centres?
COLIN: Yes, and with the assistance, if needs be, of suitably religious holograms. The classical age which lies before us will be far superior to the classical age behind us ... in the Graeco-Roman past. We need not rush headlong into the post-Human Millennium, as if this ensuing age were merely an obstacle to further development. That is something it most assuredly won't be - not if properly explored and evolved away from when the time is ripe!