Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Final Solution: Consciousness and Beyond

Timothy Leary at State University of New York at Buffalo l969 (photo: Dr. Dennis Bogdan)
Back in the 60s Timothy Leary and others sought to expand consciousness through the use of LSD and mushrooms that were filled with psilocybin. Are lockdowns and shelter-in-place mandates with their restriction of ambulation an opportunity for heady adventures? Boccaccio Decameron is structured as a psychic journey undertaken by a group of people quarantining outside Florence during the plague. Consciousness is one of the most stellar products of human evolution and its development went hand in had with advent of toolmaking by prehensile creatures.  However, can it be said that consciousness, a quality that few scientists still understand (is it a biological process like ingestion or something separate as dualists like Descartes famously argued), itself evolving, perhaps in ways that have never been conceived of before. Are technological emulations like A.I. helping to create new amalgams in which the products of man’s mind engender higher states of awareness. Could it be that one day consciousness will no longer occupy the highest rung on the food chain? Just when you felt like a total prisoner, forced to recuse yourself from the connectivity in which you once gloated, will you find yourself freed to explore whole new levels of the quality once known as “thought?” 

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