Transhumanist

TRANSHUMANISM: BRAIN CELLS COME ALIVE ON COMPUTER CHIP

Last week I blogged about the achievement of scientists at Harvard growing a kind of cyborg electrical tissue of sensors out of a biological matrix. Well folks, the transhumanist genie is not only out of the bottle, but appears to be growing week by week, as this article sent to me by Mr. D.W. in the United Kingdom, attests:

Brain in a Dish Comes Alive

Now, as the article notes, all this is being done in the noble pursuit of trying to help stroke victims (with, let it be noted, Stem cells, which brings to immediate mind all sorts of ethical questions, not the least of which is: how were they obtained?). But as I was reading this, I could not but help be reminded of this passage from Percy Shelley's great novel Frankenstein (and yes, once again, I said Percy Shelley, not Mary Shelley, and to all the academics who will object, I respond only: "Get real!"). This passage was pointed out to me by my friend Dr Scott de Hart as we were researching and writing Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas, and Dr. de Hart was quick to point out not only the general transhumanist "aura" but even the specific technical vocabulary of alchemy:

"I collected bones from charnel houses; and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame. In a solitary chamber, or rather, cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and a staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation; my eyeballs were starting from their sockets in attending to the details of my employment. The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials; and often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation, whilst, still urged on by an eagerness which perpetually increased, I brought my work near to a conclusion.

...

"I wished, as it were, to procrastinate all that related to my feelings of affection until the great object, which swallowed up every habit of my nature, should be completed."(Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, The Original 1818 Text, Boradview Literary Texts, pp. 82-83. Obviously, for sake of academic citation, I cite Mary Shelley as the author, not Percy, though I  disagree with this standard academic dogma and maintain that Percy is the real author, a case my co-author Dr de Hart will make in an upcoming book).

"The great object" is, of course, "alchemy's great work," the confection of the Philosophers' Stone, the creation of life, and manipulation and transformation of man from "base metal" to "gold." Within esoteric alchemy, this process of transmutation was, of course, primarily viewed as an interior or spiritual process alone. But in the hands of a Shelley and others, following traditions of the art handed down through von Hohenheim (aka Paracelsus), it was also an actual material technique and technology. Shelley, genius that he was, foresaw the transhumanist future of a century and a half later, and began to write, and in his own way, to warn of it.

With this article, we have a similar alchemist's brew:

"THE GIST

  • Neurons were grown on top of a computer chip that has an array of electrodes.
  • Adult stem cells are added.
  • After a month, the "brain in a dish" generated super bursts of activity.
  • That activity could one day stimulate quiet areas to reboot after a stroke or other brain damage."

As I mentioned, hovering over this article, as I read it, was Shelley's Frankenstein, for there is no real reason why such a technology would have to be used to aid stroke victims, and indeed, perhaps that is just "the cover story" being put out to assuage a nervous and still very Victorian public. What if this technology - in some deep dark closet of Viktor Frankensteins, working away isolated from public view and scrutiny- was but one of the necessary steps along the way to create the brains of the homunculus of Paracelsus, of alchemy? What if, when all is said and done, when all the stories of geneticists growing human blood in pigs and human ears and hearts in rats, and culturing stem cells, and now, the brain cells of rats on silicon chips, is for the purpose of creating the alchemical homunculus?

If this sounds far fetched, think again, but to see just how deeply alchemical all this "modern" science really is, you'll have to wait for the book... in the meantime, I come away from this article thinking once again of that early nineteenth century literary genius named Shelley, and of his haunting transhumanist vision of the future, a vision that even he, through the mouth of his protagonist Viktor Frankenstein, had to express both the misgivings, and the mania of alchemy.

See you on the flip side....

 

24 thoughts on “TRANSHUMANISM: BRAIN CELLS COME ALIVE ON COMPUTER CHIP”

  1. Robert Barricklow

    My favorite Frankenstein is Andy Warhol’s(3-D).
    Saw it in San Francisco when it came out.
    Way ahead of it’s time,

  2. Curious title, BRAIN CELLS COME ALIVE ON COMPUTER CHIP and text, “scientists at Harvard growing a kind of cyborg electrical tissue of sensors out of a biological matrix.” because this technology was spoken about prophetically happening in future computer development during the mid-1980’s by David Webber and Noah Hutchings on a radio program called, “Back to the Bible”.

    I do not think they were inspired by Shelley’s Frankenstein.

  3. The justification for genetic and cellular engineering HAS to be framed in terms of helping the masses somehow. Or else we peasants would be out there with the pitchforks and torches, going after the scientific elite whose R & D we pay for while profits are corporatized.

    Speaking of corporeal,,, As someone who spent most of my life functioning as a flesh robot (aka working person,) I realize just how little we matter to the econopath elite. Otherwise workplace technology would have been adapted to us rather than the converse.

    No surprise then the goal seems to be the creation of technoneurology and control of the neuron signals to operate the monster. But this assumes that the animating mechanism is entirely an epiphenomenon of physiology.

    We alchemists know better. The quest for the philosopher’s stone was neither in the physical realm nor in Mind, but both. Transformation, development of the soul, was confirmed by careful observation of synchronic changes revealed by the physical world. When Dr. Frankenstein shouted “it’s alive!” he, like his modern contemporaries, assume they have the power to animate dead matter.

    The Greek word for soul is psyche; containing in addition what we consider psychological functions. But germane here, it also includes the idea of life energy. So “it” IS alive… in ways shamans, alchemists, Hermeticists, mystics, and even some among the traditional religions still remember. Plus many within the scientific community, a few of whom have even said so publicly. Thus there are lots of us. The weltanschauung of death and destruction has not won.

      1. Oh, I realize that. Not only the level of pneuma, but in between, nous– which I referred indirectly to as ‘Mind.” But I still think alchemy was about psyche=>nous; Pneuma is of the Transcendent. Could also render this by means of the Kabbalistic terminologies. However, covering the nuances would have made the essay rather unwieldy.

        1. the soul is the lower, the spirit is the higher, divine based.
          The greeks observed that body and soul could be separated, and soul and spirit could be differentiated.

          The fallen man is the fallen chakra…being fed like an animal by the lord. Being led by your belly by the hand that feeds you.
          The Lord needed a slave to till the earth, and thus man had a soul.
          The fallen one….literally.

          Born into sin, slavery.

          The knowledge of good and evil, sophia, the knowledge of deception through emotionalism…..whom the philosophers hated, …the babblers of the whore of Babylions which remove man from the tree of life….your genetics destroyed.
          Its all in the bible.
          honor your mother and father
          do not alter your dna
          do not bear false witness
          do not speak for god…etc etc.

    1. Orwell was a “french” student of Huxley….who coincidentally passed away during the JFK incident.

      The people get the govt they deserve?

      hey doc, that passage sounds like the interior of Giza pyramid, 23+23=46 chromosomes.

      1. So the genetically “special” kids have 47?
        I’m asking…..really……?

        Looking at it…
        yes, I think so………..
        The double helix is confusing because it is unfinished.
        A third is in the making.
        READ
        the Caducious 🙂
        not my spelling of the word

        1. The special ones are blessed by the divine…or so Socrates said, Aristotle added those with material wealth are the least deserving of it…being absent of morals as well as miserly.
          Rev 2.9 and 3.9 sheds a bit of light on the “chosen ones” as well.

          1. It’s not true that nothing ever changes,
            but in the last 5000 years, not much has.

            Socrates might have been a common
            writing trick to get points across,
            ugly bust aside, although I tend to think it is SO
            ugly that it’s actually evidence for his
            non-existence.

            At any rate, I’m still mulling that over and it’s
            unimportant.

            umm, I didn’t know that Socrates and Aristotle
            were in the Bible…
            goes to show you what little “I” know !

            AND
            you are a ‘chosen one’ (?)
            …glad I’m not

            Thanks for your penny

          2. of course its all made up…Platos cave dwellers…with Plato himself being made up for added insults to the heathens.

            figuring out the matrix makes you a Neo….

            oh and the original transcript of the bible being in greek might be a dot to connect……just saying.

          3. No, both Plato and Aristotle are/were real.

            On the third hand, YOU are made up………
            how does it feel ?…………Jede…….

          4. i dunno, i like to use it too describe the masses that sit on there asses…..just fooling around with you.

            I have been busy this morn doing some matrix mathematics, taking a break from the heathens hellbent shenanigans of world extinction.

  4. My network is still around….?….urh

    ………when [trying {?} intending ]
    to do good…ends up doing good
    [being {?} becoming ]
    evil……………..?

    I don’t have the answer to that conundrum,
    so am throwing it out for other’s [ free thinking ].

    1. Now my hotmail account is coming in all weird
      and I can’t open my mail.

      AND I PAY FOR THAT,
      the main one anyway.

      Up until now, that was almost off limits…
      TO THEM.

      I kind of expected that so much would worsen
      [for me]
      as THEY rush to their own creation of destruction
      [I am still learning from it all, though]
      out of sheer desperation …
      ending their own time [line].

      The so-called end game is, above all,
      their own end
      by their own hand and no other.

      In fact, the reverse is true, as good must
      uphold evil,
      to show itself as good……..
      ot everyone would have the meaningless
      smile of dolphins and porpoises.

      I’m not sure why I’m posting this.
      Is there a connection with Shelley and
      Frankenstein (?)

      I will have to free-think that as no one cares to answer..
      and I’ll bet none of you could exactly say why that is.

      It all just gets “curiouser and curiouser.”
      AND
      who really cares (?)

  5. Of the future:
    Two things here, perhaps to ponder as well, is that
    [Viktor] Frankenstein is so obviously [promoted as {?} ]
    Jewish / German and that the “monster” did himself in
    when [trying {?

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