Mirror, mirror on our screens...

I just love computers. Most of my (office) days I'm behind a computer screen. Creating all these beautiful virtual constructs, online communities, digital worlds: I can't seem to get enough of this. Each one of these creations contributing to the consciousness and wellbeing of its users. It is like digitally playing with my own creation potential; everything is possible in the virtual world.

Computer technology however also has this miraculous mirror effect: it reflects (our) potential. It demonstrates what our reality is actually composed of, what we are actually composed of...

The holistic perspective claims that everything consists of energy and everything is interconnected. Replace the term 'energy' by bits and bytes, by ones and zeros. How 'woo woo' is this assumption actually? Our current computer technology shows us that it is a given, that you can build a reality by something that ins't visible to the naked eye... In both this energetic as virtual reality the possibilities of this creation potential are infinite.

Internet: the world wide web
The internet demonstrates our interconnectivity. Through the internet it is possible to have a realtime connection with someone on the other side of the globe, in a different time zone. Not bound to time and space.
The internet also gives us access to a world wide library, to an unfathomable amount of information. We can store data in the Cloud, in information fields we cannot see with our naked eye, in virtual data banks. Everything is information, everything is energy.

The Internet of Things is adding, connecting, a growing number of  ‘things’ to the internet, creating one big data network. In which all this data leads a life of its own, where it is being analysed and mapped (often) without the need of human intervention. This data netwerk contains all of your health data, data from your private life uploaded in Social Media but also your Geodata (where you are when), purchases, payments and data from all your ‘Smart’ ware and wearables (Smart phone, Smart TV, Smart watch, Smart meter etc).

Chat features offer us a modern form of telepathic communication. Without any spoken word we're having conversations and we can read each others thoughts on our computer screens. We exchange gigabytes of data through our desktops, smart phones, tablets, gadgets and games.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is todays crystal ball, through which we can predict our future by complex algorhythms. To some extent that is, because we are limited to using that information which is quantifiable, measurable.

Wifi – wireless internet
Where we used to need wires to get access to the internet, today all we need is a Wifi connection. We think it's completely normal to swim in a constant sea of data, amidst waves of information, that we can't observe with the naked eye. We're non-stop surfing these waves, directly or indirectly interacting with all of this data.

We think it's completely normal that we can pick up sounds and images by switching channels on a television or radio, tuning into other frequencies or by entering numbers, dialing a phone number. We consider it to be paranormal though to perceive other realities, other dimensions by tuning into other frequencies ourselves.

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Virtual Reality - reality or illusion?

VIRTUAL REALITY –reality or illusion?

One of my favorite movies of all time is ‘The Matrix’. I still remember the day like it was yesterday in which I (back in 1999) left the cinema after watching this movie: I was flabbergasted but also hugely inspired. I felt this movie was about much more then I could grasp at that time and my system, my whole being was in overdrive. It triggered so much in me but I couldn't comprehend it back then…

For those who haven't seen this movie: the hypothesis is that we're caught in a illusory reality called ‘The Matrix’, a computer simulation with its main program being about enslaving mankind into a constant ‘buy, consume, die’ mode. Every individual has the choice to awaken from this so called 'reality'.

One of the fascinating quotes of this movie is in which Neo , the main character, asks himself this question about reality:

‘This isn’t real?’

Morpheus answers: 

‘How do we know what we experience is ‘real’? What is ‘real’? How do you define ‘real’?’

‘If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain’.

This hypothesis hasn't left my brain, my system ever since…

Fact or fiction
In our 3D reality (let's simply call it that) we mainly assume that what we observe with our five senses is our reality, and we also collectively assume this is the only reality. 

We however do talk about the existence of a six sense, the third eye. Which can observe that which is outside our visual spectrum: like clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience etc. The so called extrasensory perception. 
There is a lot of controversy about this amongst (the classical) scientists, because they tend to focus on what is measurable, visible and can be seen with our eyes. 

What is observation?
Maybe therefor it's a better idea to focus on the term observation.

Wikipedia says 'observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings, observation employs the senses. In science, observation can also involve the recording of data via the use of instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during the scientific activity. Observations can be qualitative, that is, only the absence or presence of a property is noted, or quantitative if a numerical value is attached to the observed phenomenon by counting or measuring.'
Again it is referring to the use of our five senses (with or without the help of instruments), as if this is the only means of observation. 

The Quantum Theory adds another dimension: in which the observer seems to have influence upon that which is being observed.

Perception deception
Observation is also called perception. And this seems to demonstrate a closer link to the subjective element of observation: the interpretation of the triggers. How objective is our so-called reality...?

You are probably familiar with the drawings in which you can observe multiple elements (see image): do you see the old or the young woman? The art of M.C. Escher is also brilliant with regards to this perception deception.

Your frame of reference also plays an important part in your interpretation; often times we consciously or unconsciously draw all kinds of conclusions to what we assume we're observing through our lens of perception at that certain moment in time. This influences our view of the world, of humaniy and this is being taken advantage of by mainstream media and politics. All be it in a seemingly innocent product marketing to the level of collective (subliminal) brainwashing that is called the News...

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Biohacking, Lifehacking versus Consciousness Hacking

Nowadays ‘Hacking’ is one of the newest buzz words. You've probably heard of Life Hacking, Biohacking, Brainhacking or Neurohacking.  'Hacking' in this context actually means finding ways to make processes run smoother, faster, more efficient and more effortless. In fact each one of these are catch-all concepts, which contain many different aspects.

Life Hacking is about day to day things, about how to go about your life in a smarter and more effortless way so you can do more in less time. This does not have to be achieved by means of computer technology and the term "hacking" herein refers to finding clever ideas, tricks and shortcuts.

Biohacking is about the application of gadgets, wearables (gadgets you can wear on your body like eg. smart watches and heart rate monitors) to improve your health, your biology. According to wikipedia it is about looking at biology from the perspective of a hacker. Think of pedometers or gadgets that monitor and map your heartbeat or brain frequencies. This is also where you'll see The Quantified Self movement which is all about generating and mapping data, creating measurable data about yourself. From simply measuring your daily calorie intake to personally measuring your blood values, blood sugar, brain waves, mood, hormone levels, etc. With the aim to optimize your body and your life. Here you will start noticing a gradual symbiosis between biology and technology.  

Measuring your calorie intake is like the Light version of Biohacking and Transhumanism is like the Advanced version. You'll come to see that the 'Die Hard' version is maybe even a more appropriate term considering the context.

Transhumanism
This movement represents the continuing fusion of biology and technology. Where Biohacking is promoting wearables, wearing gadgets on your body, transhumanists actually advocate implanting, applying computer technology within your body. This can start in a (seemingly) harmless way by implanting a chip but can go as far as creating bionic limbs, application of genetic/ nano technology, 3D printed organs, cloning to uploading your mind into a computer and continue life as a cyborg in an immortal and indestructible robot body. Which is all about actually TRANScending biology.

As you can see there is not always a clear distinction between the different types of Hacking and some elements are represented in multiple types of Hacking. A common thread running through these movements however is the need for improving and optimizing life and wellbeing, with or without using computer technology. Which, in essence, is a wonderful intent.

You can imagine that the more and the deeper you enter into these types of Hacking the more ethical, moral issues will arise. To what level should we be able to take on the role of becoming our own doctor, to 'fiddle' with our own DNA and what are the actual implications of implanting computer technology, like nano particles in our blood stream that are remotely controlled by artificial intelligent computer systems. What is done with all this data, who has access to it and do we actually want to become more interconnected, linked to a global Internet of Things. How about our privacy, self-determination, our own responsibility etc.

Consciousness Hacking
Looking at my fascination for the cutting edge of consciousness and computer technology I came across a Ted Talk last year about Enlightenment Engineering which lead me to Consciousness Hacking. This community is founded in 2014 in the US by Mikey Siegel, a Computer Engineer who worked in Silicon Valley on projects that dealt with Robotics Engineering in MIT Media Lab. Until at some point he realized that we are more than just our physical bodies, that there is something like an inner reality and that it is important to explore how computer technology can be of service to our consciousness and wellbeing. In other words: how you can improve the quality of life, create inner harmony instead of focussing solely on improving processes, making them cheaper, more efficient etc.

How can you apply computer technology in such a way that it shifts your attention from outwards to inwards, triggering introspection, facilitating meditation. Instead of keeping your attention focussed on all of your gadgets and computers, in an almost compulsive obsessive manner. So moving from outside to inside instead of the other way around.

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