The Rise of Psychedelics as an Evolutionary Response to the Accelerating World?
The emergence of new cognitive tools
Evolution, psychedelics and accelerating world? WTF is the connection? Hold tight!
When Darwin observed the evolution of biological traits in animals he stumbled upon something much greater than how biological life comes to its forms.
The evolutionary process is how the Universe manifests itself. It works in layers — more complex built on a more basic.
After the Creation of our Universe basic elements evolved and formed. Evolution of galaxies, suns, and planets followed. Life came to be later from basic inorganic matter. Biological evolution then took off bringing humans to be. By a chance, we evolved the most advanced evolutionary tool — our brain. Brain allowed us to transcend our limitations. We created tools and started shaping our World. That started a more complex evolutionary layer — cultural evolution. Sum of all humanity with its culture has become defacto a new being. A meta-organism which evolves on its own. Soon this new organism will integrate its parts (humans, machines, and environment) more effectively and sustainably. One example for all is the Internet, which serves as a global neural system. It allows an unprecedented flow of information, which raises the overall effectivity of the system.
Evolution is an emerging process. It’s aimless in its pursuit. Yet looking back it leads to higher complexity and lower entropy (lower chaos). Evolution optimizes for the whole system.
We, individuals, are part of this new meta-organism. As it grows it puts bigger pressure on ourselves as individuals.
Ancient brain living in exponential times
Change in the world is accelerating. Everything is becoming more interconnected. The complexity of the system rises.
The emergence of new and complex behaviors start to affect us on a global scale — climate change, threats of useless groups of people due to automation and more. We see whole industries appear and disappear in a matter of years. Jobs not automized yet are more cognitive-demanding than their predecessors. This puts a huge demand for life-long learning.
Our brain evolved for a simpler, more linear world. It has a hard time adapting to exponential change and handling global issues.
The brain becomes more rigid as a person ages. This served us well — you learn something and make use of it for the rest of your life. It becomes baked in your neural circuitry. Neural pathways become more and more orderly. This worked well in a relatively stable environment. Now it’s becoming our limitation. Our brain is a bottleneck in handling the ever-complex world.
We need new tools and mindsets to transcend this limitation.
Spiritual technology emerges to help
This is where psychedelics come to play. Psychedelics work in an opposite fashion to our increasingly rigid brain. They break the old pathways. They make the brain more flexible again. This can allow a person to take a new look at things and learn. They bring a little bit of chaos (entropy) to our overly ordered (anti-entropic) brain. You can read more on fascinating Entropic brain theory here.
The current rise of psychedelics is one of the evolutionary responses to our accelerating world. Psychedelics are one of the spiritual tools to transcend our limitations.
It’s not a coincidence that psychedelics are the most popular in Silicon Valley, where people experience accelerating change at its highest.
Psychedelics might become a more integrated part of a future society.
Once we understand them more deeply and develop frameworks for working with them, they will serve as an important tool to keep our mind flexible and adaptable to change.
This goes hand in hand with the advancement of anti-aging technology, which allows our biological bodies to live longer. Psychedelics could allow our mind to live a healthy life longer — healing or reversing many of our mental diseases.
Together with other cognitive technologies and enhancements, they will allow us to progress further, develop more wisdom and connect deeper to each other and the Universe.
Why am I writing this stuff? I want to share my thoughts on the world from a perspective of evolutionary theory, systems theory, neuroscience, and philosophy. I’m a deep techno-optimist and believe in humanity’s transcendental future.
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This is one of my first articles. Please, I’ll be glad for any comments, shares, suggestions for improvement and generally stirring up the discussion.