Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the article below are entirely those of the author and associated organizations and are not representative of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine or its team. This piece is intended to spark a larger conversation and dialogue about the future of humanity and human consciousness as we enter the impending age of genetic engineering, which will require great responsibility to be used safely and beneficially for all life.
The Past and Future of Consciousness
Man’s quest to understand his origin—and therefore his power, is eternal. At its core, every religious construct seeks to lead mankind to be more conscious of the mysteries of his existence. Eastern philosophy in particular, teaches that in order to attain that consciousness, we need only look within—because it is there that our true power lies. As a collective, we have succeeded only in making hard work of this, reserving heightened states of consciousness for the likes of monks and mystics.
The last fifty years have seen incredibly rapid advancements in science and technology. The Information Age brought vast knowledge to our fingertips and saw the invention of the Internet, considered to be one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Even with its myriad of benefits, the Internet’s potential to alienate us from each other has long been a concern.¹ Another quantum leap in technology, artificial intelligence, challenges humanity to be more than just a fleeting phase in a robotic evolution.² Humanity’s scientific transformation carries an important lesson: the most valuable evolution is that of our consciousness, without which we may lose every semblance of our humanness. Scientific breakthroughs and consciousness evolution must work in tandem. The former, devoid of consciousness, may very likely lead to our destruction. The latter, without the benefit of scientific advancement, will continue its very slow progress in achieving any widespread understanding of the Power from which we came.
Before exploring how science can impact the evolution of our consciousness, perhaps we must first attempt to define consciousness. Being conscious can be described as being aware of one’s own existence. Possessing higher or spiritual consciousness can be described as being aware of things as they truly are. This implies a deeply spiritual understanding of our existence, far beyond the everyday confines of our humanness. We humans have the power to achieve this awareness, but until this time in our history it has been only through a slow process of intense introspection, meditation and even extreme solitude.
Both Western and Eastern Philosophy have long recognized the cognitive potential of the human mind.³ While science has begun to acknowledge the mind exists outside of our physical bodies,⁴ it is yet to fully explain anything beyond the mechanical workings of the human brain. Neuroscience is beginning to catch up with Eastern Philosophy in recognizing that our cognitive faculties can be trained through meditation.⁵
Yet, scientifically explaining the human consciousness potential remains elusive… at least, until now. One organization undertaking pioneering work in this field, Future Life Institute, has applied a scientific approach to explaining spiritual states of being. In the book Transcendental Engineering (by FLI’s founder John Mee), mathematical axioms and formulas are applied to reveal cardinal laws governing the dynamic interplay between spirit, or the Power from which we originate, and the material universe. Transcendental Engineering introduces a new branch of science called “cognitive physics,” which expresses fundamental laws governing consciousness (which exists outside of our brains), and its relationship with our physical neurology. Why is this important? The huge implication is that in having a scientific understanding of consciousness, we can look to other scientific applications to enhance it.
The science behind genetically engineered DNA molecules for cloning in foreign cells has been with us since the early 1970s.⁶ The commercial sale of genetically engineered food began in the mid-1990s. In the U.S., the Human Genome Project was launched in 1990 and the mapping and sequencing of the human genome was announced in 2000. Humanity has entered its Genetic Age. The standout development of this era so far is a genome editing technology called CRISPR.⁷ This technology’s impact on biological research is being compared to the steam engine, which gave rise to the Industrial Revolution and the transistor, which launched the Information Age. CRISPR has enormous potential, particularly for applications in medicine—and investors are paying attention (according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, public and private genetic engineering companies raised $15B globally just in the last two years). Genetic engineering application in enhancing human physical attributes such as appearance, strength and agility is possible. If genetically engineered food causes contention, the genetic engineering of humans can be an ethical minefield. Again, the evolution of human consciousness alongside scientific technological advances comes into sharp focus. That evolution is necessary, indeed mandatory, if we are to counter the base human tendencies of power and greed—tendencies which could lead to the gross misuse of advances in genetic engineering.
In its research into scientifically actualizing the potential of human consciousness, FLI envisages the use of CRISPR to enhance human cognitive functions. FLI calls this “cognitive engineering,” but with a greater emphasis on consciousness enhancement, as opposed to only enhancing cognitive brain-based skills. FLI is overseeing research programs for the formulation of genome engineering designs to achieve these aims. FLI will implement not only the scientific editing of the DNA affecting higher states of consciousness, but also comprehensive education and psychological counseling around managing those higher states of consciousness. Universities with appropriately trained teachers will tutor students, delivering education and counselling programs. This education is vital to managing higher states of consciousness and will therefore precede the actual genetic upgrades, which will be administered via reversible pill therapy (enabling short, long or permanent states of higher consciousness). It is a given that not all students entering these universities will eventually meet the stringent requirements for gene therapy.
It is intended that the research entities and universities will, with astute management, establish a gold standard of quality, and importantly, integrity for human genetic consciousness engineering.
GenI and the genetic Revolution
What does all this actually mean to someone interested in, and qualified for, cognitive engineering? As mentioned, students who prove themselves ready to attain and manage higher states of consciousness will become eligible to receive access to gene therapy resources. FLI has coined the term “GenI” (pronounced Gen-I), to describe cognitively-upgraded individuals who successfully complete the course of education and receive the gene therapy. The higher state of consciousness enjoyed by GenIs is its own reward, but there are important benefits which will extend to communities and society as a whole.