The latest technology that will transform everything

The latest technology that will transform everything. This is huge. You will want to have it. You won’t be able to live without it.

I want something that will transform me for the better. I am not sure if any technology that I’ve embraced in my lifetime has transformed me for the better. Would I probably be constantly sick or dead without some food safety technologies and advances in health and medicine? Maybe. Except, I am not so sure that I wouldn’t be a similar man in a similar role with all of my similar flaws, were I to have been born a hundred years earlier. Assuming I had survived wars and waves of diseases, I would probably be working as a clerk in a bank, a bookkeeper in a business, a teacher at a high school, a librarian, etc. There is no reason to believe that I couldn’t have figured out how to master the world of 1917 as a forty-something, any more or less than how much I’ve mastered this one.

When I talk about being transformed, I am speaking of something or someone I might believe constitutes the essence of myself becoming something more than or other than who or what I was. For example, I am reasonably competent with high school math, and I can generally follow along with popular math books for the lay person, but I am lost when I start trying to actually do math that is taught in pre-Calc or Calc classes during the Freshman year of most college students. Clearly, there are some individuals who are capable of rapidly understanding the underlying patterns that constitute some such high abstraction, and manipulating the symbols to produce novel theorems and proofs, or at the very least, excel in higher math classes with minimal effort. Why can’t we come up with some type of technology that will just zap the areas in my brain that are deficient at understanding higher math, and make it quite easy to understand?

Naturally, the response might be that I am opposed to hard work–like someone who opts for bariatric surgery instead of trying to diet and exercise their way to thindom. But, this isn’t necessarily the case. I put in tedious hours every week manipulating data and performing routine functions in an office. I do these things because the payoff is quite clear and always available. If my employer stopped paying me, I would stop working for them and vice versa. Except when it comes to attempting to understand more mathematical concepts, the correlation is never so clear. I might spend months plugging away at a college textbook and a problem solvers book and become minimally reacquainted with some of the things that I used to know. Outside of that, I find myself continually thwarted and frustrated by how many times I can’t seem to actually get a math problem correct and how many things I thought I was beginning to understand that I really do not.

What is the payoff for such an investment? A few months where my brain seems to operate at a slightly more optimal level of cognition before I forget everything again and fall back into my old ways of lapsing into my dreams and writing out my stream of consciousness thoughts. I catch enough glimpses of the beauty of mathematics to make it ever-tantalizing for me, but nothing is ever revealed to the point where I would be certain that I, too, might master higher math one day.

It’s difficult to explain, then, what such a transformation of myself would really look like. Becoming good at math is simply one example illustrating one tiny piece of the puzzle. The real change involves a complete overhaul in the way that I think about any given thing when it is brought to my attention, be it a math problem, a painting, a poem, a work of art, a technical or human problem at work, etc. Most of my efforts to meet such things are based on an autopilot mode of being that has for better or worse been locked into place since the end of high school with the only changes happening by degree.

Wouldn’t it be of some exceptional note if I could pick one thing to work toward for the rest of my life and wake up on the last morning of my life having discovered that I was irrevocably altered for the better due to my strivings? I’ve stated elsewhere many times over what my vices and problems are–my character flaws that seem to repeat themselves with much regularity no matter how far along I think that I’ve come.

I’m no fool who still believes that he can step outside of time itself and play around like a merry joker/prankster, dancing in between all of the games of humanity that humans take so deadly seriously. I am caught up in the crush of time like anyone else. I am inextricably woven into the fabric of a single story that will be told, and my impact is marginal at best. There is no time travel, because it would completely destroy me.

I can’t possibly begin to accept that the world will look much like it does today some fifty years from now when I could be drawing my last breaths. Perhaps God will be merciful to me, but I can’t completely believe that, knowing how little I’ve removed the bad parts from me. It would seem that you could unrealistically damn or praise yourself too much–all in the name of hubris or ego. You may not even be worth so much as to be as damned as you think you are. The anger in the Bible directed toward those who would be damned may be reserved for those who are especially heinous or especially grand in their crimes and sins.

I fancy myself to be a big person too much, when, all the while I should know better. I am indeed one of the little people. I am destined to live a life that is mostly spent dreaming and being half awake to engage with others who are similarly still slumbering.

…and you have to ask yourself: “What am I going to take with me?”

You can’t bring anything along, except what’s in your mind. You can bring your mind with you, of course, and you can bring it along in whatever state of development it has reached at departure time. If everything that’s tied to your mind is actually out here in the form of notes and photographs, you probably won’t remember much of what you need to bring with you. If all the development you’ve done with your mind is really work being done by search engines and calculators, then your mind is probably mostly as developed as it was the day you arrived.

So then, let’s start with what you really know, and not with what technology is helping you remember. Retreat for a moment from your limbs, and focus all of your attention on the mind itself. Try some basic arithmetic. Good. See how far your mind can take you spatially. Are you probing the outer reaches of our vast 3D universe? Perhaps you’re knocking on Heaven’s gates after flying for trillions of light years. Maybe you’re ready to take your mind back through time, and witness the growth of our fine country, and then race on back to dinosaur days.

Let’s try something a little bit harder.

No, we’re not going to ask you an impossible trivia question that nobody can answer off the top of their heads–like, who was the 32nd President of the United States, or, what is the capital of New Hampshire…rather, we’re going to ask you to carefully and objectively drop yourself into the mind of the eight-year-old you. Describe in a few words what the common thread of identity is between the you of today and the eight-year-old you. Now, do the same for the future, eighty-year-old you.

Let’s ask you some tough questions.

Why do you suppose it is that people, like you and me, can change so radically from eight to eighty, and yet retain that thread of identity throughout? At the end of the day, what do they carry with them that makes them uniquely them, and what do they bring on board as baggage that turns them into fools, monsters or saints–and what do they utilize to completely shape and change their uttermost beings?

Are you moving through life making progress in shaping, changing and developing your core identity, or are you the same entity you’ve always been (and perhaps you’re proud of it)?

Maybe, you say, we are all who we are, unfixed and unmoving, pieces of the Great Spirit, and personal growth and development is a fraud. The experiences we are having are what they are, and there is no Greater Good for each of us or all of us that we must strive to attain.

But after you’ve cooled down this kind of rhetoric, and you’ve gone back to your everyday existence, you still feel deep in your bones that something is missing, and that you should be striving toward some kind of pinnacle of development. That life does have a purpose, that there is a point to being here that goes beyond just having fun and experiencing reality as a human of this or that culture or gender.

With that in mind, you have to begin to examine what you are really building up inside the part of you that will go with you when you die. (If you don’t believe in life after death in any shape, form or fashion, then you will have to develop your own strategy of being, because your mind is alien to the minds of everyone else here. We would urge you to consider examining whether or not you might ultimately be developing your person toward a mechanized state of zombiehood.)

When you die, whether you go on to brighter pastures or you’re sent back here, you will take something with you of this life. You will take what it is that you inherently know to be you–those pieces of your mental hard drive that cannot be moved when the angels go to defragment you. Assuming you accept this proposition, and you accept the proposition that you are living right this moment to make those fixed pieces–your core identity–better, then you likely have come to the conclusion that you still have much work to do.

There are habits and tendencies that you’ve carried with you from childhood. Some of them you’ve met and dealt with in ways that have seen them mostly eradicated, but there are also habits that pop up when you are stressed, nervous, hungry, tired, etc. Some of them are nasty habits you think you have license to do when nobody’s watching.

Do you really want to carry these with you when you die? They seem like things that were likely there embedded in your soul the day you came onto this earth as the you that you presently call you.

Such habits tend to be easily overlooked when you are meditating on your innermost core self. You don’t really see them until they’ve overcome you and you are in the middle of a whiny, scowly episode where you just want to go home and the boss is keeping you in his office. Or, you’re picking your nose, or talking to yourself, or…you name it…

First, you shouldn’t dwell on them. But, you need to be made aware of their triggers.

Second, you should try to visualize the person you want to be. Perhaps you want to be, along with your wife, like that handsomely dressed, older couple who were completely at ease in the San Francisco Airport bar when you were flying home five years ago, and had just been completely singled out and frisked in security, and you were at your wit’s end. The couple had that un-anxious attitude of people who aren’t especially in a hurry, because if they missed their flight, they knew how to go about catching another one, and chatting up strangers in the airport bar while they waited. If they needed to stay another night, no big deal. They had the money to do it, and they were sufficiently retired so that any lingering professional responsibilities could wait another day.

You just have to know the difference between a fantasy and a way of being for visualization–a way of being that you can work to become while knowing full well that you are stuck in a podunk town not anywhere near being able to retire and travel at your leisure.

What we really want to stress here is how dangerous the television and new technologies are to this process of developing your core self. Your growth can become easily stunted if you’re not careful, because these outer things the mind soon clings to are things that typically don’t shape or change you for the better. When you turn the television off, or power the computer down, do you shut your mind off as well?

We aren’t asking you to do away with these technologies. We enjoy watching a good mindless episode of reality television or an old movie. We like disseminating our wisdom via the Internet. But, you won’t get where you need to go if you don’t put down the gadget, turn off the television, and take time to work with the best technology ever invented: your mind…