The Fountain of Youth, Human Evolution & Futuristic Synthetic Life: Where does that leave the individual, what about the soul?

21 December 2017, 18h28:

Summer Solstice for the Southern Hemisphere

Today is the summer solstice – it is the day of the year where we experience lengthened daylight hours and have shortened night hours. In the Southern Hemisphere we are at the peak of summer with high temperatures and frequent rainfall, which means an abundance of food and cherished time with the family.

The summer solstice is aligned with Fire, an element equally capable of creation and as it is destruction. The element of fire is often associated with the mind, which is able to come up with wondrous ideas that assist humanity (light aspect), but it can just as easily come up with many cruel ways to harm another (shadow aspect). Here I also link Fire with Earth, where a mental idea born from fire manifests as a physical entity; perceived in its solid form, like the earth. Thus, this leads to the main theme of today’s article.


What is the future of humanity? Many debates between citizens and scientists alike have led to interesting and disturbing predictions, from single toed-feet to uploading our brains into computer networks. However, one key point is somewhat over-looked in many of these predictions; the one where evolution and natural selection mostly operate in a ‘natural’ environment.

RWS Tarot 13 Death Wikipedia Rebirth Humanity Synthetic Organic Life
What is the future of humanity? Organic or Synthetic Life? How will we be reborn after death?

 

“Everything is everywhere nature selects” as well as “Survival of the fittest” generally rule the progression of a species throughout their interaction with nature. So, the question becomes: Does evolution in this sense still apply when we start to add the advances of technology as an ‘environmental factor’ in an ever-increasing synthetic life..? Because, we are living in a world, and living our lives more removed from nature than ever before and closer to technology – so much so that technology becomes the new environment. Thus, nothing natural would exist anymore for evolution to select upon. Therefore, should we not be more concerned rather with our self-imposed artificial selection? Whether-or-not some of us are more optimised towards the initial integration, and later the creation, of wholly synthetic humans…? Human-computer integration in the form of robotic bodies to brain networks seem more likely, especially if we live on a harsher Earth where resources become increasingly scarce, genetic modification would likely be vastly unreliable/irreproducible due to the complexity of DNA and its interaction with cellular mechanisms, and additionally, if we have not yet developed the ability to become space-faring. Genetics as the bases of Evolution becomes nearly obsolete.

 

Human Future Space Stephen Hawking allnaturalspirit.wordpress.com

 

Several films, such as Transcendence, Ghost in the Shell as well as TV series such as Pure Genius already touch upon this topic of blurring the line between natural and synthetic, whereas the movie Arrival and the video game trilogy of Mass Effect even ventures towards alien-contact as a means of improving humanity. When one starts to replace the physical body with synthetic material, the physical identity becomes blunted even to a point of non-existence, since customisation of our entire outer appearance (such as eye or skin colour, hair type, length of limbs and body shape) could become just as easy as applying make-up or pressing a button. We also see a scenario where genetics starts to become less important, in the sense that disease-resistance or healthy physique becomes unnecessary, because a ‘robotic’ body would surpass all of that. Only those who are mentally (and emotionally) strong enough would be able to survive (and become templates for new human life). When I refer to strength here, it is in the sense of having enough willpower and enough sense of identity without a ‘fixed’ natural body to be able to live as a synthetic. Whether we obtain our body through brain-transplantation (as in Ghost in the Shell) or get modified as we go (similar to Pure Genius), it leaves one thing in question – what about our souls? The part of us that guides our identity, our morals and ethical values, our capacity for compassion and humanity – when we are not even ‘human’ anymore…

 

Time Arrival 2016 Dr Louise Banks

 

We already see individuals in our societies with no regard for human life, including their own life regardless of the fact that we are all so very mortal. Existing as synthetic life would be in effect the ‘Fountain of Youth’ situation where robotic bodies do not age or become diseased and when damaged, can be repaired. Effectively we become immortal. I am assuming that some human-like activity would still be necessary in robotic bodies, such as supplying the brain with nutrition (through eating in some way) as well as sleeping (for the brain to process information). But, if the brain itself also becomes synthetic and we simply upload our consciousness into these bodies or even discard bodies entirely, opting for life in a digital network. How do you retain your sense of self and soul? What about of perception of time? How does our value of life change and would things like emotion still be possible? Or would we simply be reduced to electrical signals as our minds become stored as digital information? It would be far easier to be space-faring as digital signal rather than physical bodies. Maybe it would be possible to seed other planets with physical life through the transportation of ourselves in digital code, much like DNA travelling on meteorites. Could this be the salvation or the extinction of ‘The Human Identity & Soul’? Is evolution towards the digital our new path for survival?

 

Borg Star Trek First Contact allnaturalspirit.wordpress

 

Would you be able to live as a synthetic, without physical identity? Where you essentially become raceless, even genderless – would you retain enough identity to preserve your uniqueness and expand your perspective as digital code? How would this type of change influence the socio-economic state of our communities? When we no longer fight over land that has oil or water/food for sustenance? When discrimination based on physical appearance falls away – no more bureaucratic tick boxes of gender, race and nationality, not even religion or culture! No comparisons of physical prowess, beauty or age! Everybody becomes physically equal, since the body is stripped from the human experience. When physical actions, such as eat, sleep, run, swim, get married and even the bearing of children ceases to exist as our lives become converted to alternate universes based on digital constructions? How would your morals and ethics change?

Are you able to create an identity representative of yourself without the purely physical? Would you be able to retain your soul, grow and thrive as a person without a physical world? I think this is an important point to consider and it will dramatically change the way in which we presently view the world, ourselves and others. We start to identify with ourselves and others beyond the physical, to truly appreciate each other as people, not just as bodies. Since, we are more than just our bodies and to truly understand or love someone is to realize that they have the potential to exist without a body. To ultimately see and cherish people as they are; precious lives with unique souls.

 

Soul Ghost in the Shell 2017 Aramaki

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Art Share #2: Earth Turtle Spirit Animal

earth, turtle, reptile, frame, art, print, digital, graphite, tinted, Derwent, graphitint, mixed media, spirit, animal, meaning, metaphysical, properties

 

The turtle is a symbol of harmony, longevity and taking life at a steady pace. I wanted to combine elements of the World Turtle myths from several cultures (those from China, Maori, Native American and Ancient Greece).

Available as a print, please see my Fine Art Digital Print Page for more information. Also available @ ImageKind!

The art print is available as various customisable products on Zazzle Logo!

earth, turtle, reptile, frame, art, print, digital, graphite, tinted, Derwent, graphitint, mixed media
Example of the framed picture

You can print to any size and frame the way you want! You can print as many copies as you like, under a personal and non-commercial licence. All intellectual and commercial rights belong to All Natural Spirit. More photos to come!

Alternatively, both art and photo prints can be purchased as digital files through my HelloPretty Online Store. The JPEG will be emailed to the buyer within 10 days after purchase in made. The JPEG file will not contain the logo or text as seen in the sample pictures.

– Good Vibes –

All Natural Spirit

Divination on a Budget: The Elder Futhark Runes 101

Rune, Norse, Viking, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark, Amulet, Talisman, Protection, Travel, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kaunan, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Haudiz, Isa, Jera, Ihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Brekanan, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Othila, Dagaz

Divination System Breakdown

Origin: Germanic
Dated: 2nd – 8th century
Type: Oracle
Number of Runes: 24
Traditional Format: Wooden disks or tiles
Traditional Size: ~ 3 mm diameter

The Elder Futhark is a set of 24 Germanic alphabet discovered in Gotland (1903) on the Kylver Stone that dates back to 400 AD. They represent one of the earliest writing scripts. It is postulated that they were inspired by the natural surroundings and life histories of the people during that time. The exact script usage and meaning of each letter has been lost to time.

Kylver Stone, Gotland, Sweden, Elder, Futhark, Runes, Viking, Germanic

The Old English Rune Poem is of Anglo-Saxon origin, dating (8th – 9th century) well after the Elder Futhark and is used as a proxy for the rune meanings. Therefore, clear linkage of the Elder Futhark to the Rune Poem is lacking and there is much scholarly debate as to the translation of both the script and the poem. The Elder Futhark was recorded throughout history by hand, usually carved with a knife, hence the linear and angular properties of the script. The first edition of the Rune Poem was contained in a historical manuscript, the Linguarum veterum septentrionalium thesaurus
grammatico-criticus et archæologicus by George Hickes during 1703. The original manuscript (MS Cotton Otho B. X) perished in the Cottonian library fire of 1731, thus George Hickes’ edition became the only copy of the Rune Poem. Similarities of the Thesaurus to the MS Cotton Domitian A. IX sparked scholarly debate as to whether the Rune Poem was recorded in the original manuscript. Additional oddities arose due to hand-copying, translation efforts and comparisons of the Elder Futhark with the reduced Younger Futhark (9th century, Scandinavian origin, 16 runes) and expanded Futhorc (5th century, Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Frisian origin, 33 runes). Therefore, it is postulated that both copying error and translation errors could have crept into the (re)documented versions of the Rune Poem. As such the both the translations and interpretation of the Rune Poem is very subjective.

As such, I believe it is best for anyone interested in learning this system to acquire a translated version of the Rune Poem, which resonates with you and to interpret its exact meaning for yourself. You can use the ‘traditional’ interpretations as a rough guide (such as those in Ref 2 below are a good starting point), but you will find that some of your own interpretations start to deviate from the widely used norm. This is a natural progression and personally links you to your runes. Here are my sets:

DIY Seed Runes:
Cost: R 0

Traditionally, one should make a set of runes for yourself. I have made myself a set using palm seeds, which symbolises fertility and new beginnings. I painted the runes on them, traditionally they would be carved or pyrographed – but I opted for painting so that I do not damage the seeds. These cost me near to nothing as I found the seeds, already had the paint and painting equipment. They are a great set to cast with, but their transportability is limited and also nobody would want you to fly around with them lest they carry a plant disease. Thus, I wanted for finding a card set as well.

Rune, Norse, Viking, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark, Amulet, Talisman, Protection, Travel, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kaunan, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Haudiz, Isa, Jera, Ihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Brekanan, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Othila, Dagaz, seed, diy
Elder Futhark DIY Seed Runes
 Elder Futhark Travel Rune Cards:
Cost: R 42
Size: 4.5 cm x3.5 cm – fits into a matchbox even after lamination
Creator: TheCatHatter (All Natural Spirit’s old art alias)

These are a set of 24 printable cards available as both a PDF and JPEG file from my Online Store (@ R 25 ~ US$ 2.5). Therefore, the cost breakdown is: 1x R 25 for the digital files, 1x R 10 for printing on A4 300 mg card stock, 1x R 7 lamination of A4 page = R42. To preserve historical authenticity the set contains Proto-Norse writing, with Proto-Germanic names and English transliterations. I will also summarise the card set review with a few considerations, which can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on personal opinion.

Rune, Norse, Viking, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark, Amulet, Talisman, Protection, Travel, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kaunan, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Haudiz, Isa, Jera, Ihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Brekanan, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Othila, Dagaz, TheCatHatter, Download, Downloadable, PDF, TheCatHatter
Elder Futhark Runes 24 Card Digital File with Sample Water Mark

 

Rune, Norse, Viking, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark, Amulet, Talisman, Protection, Travel, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kaunan, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Haudiz, Isa, Jera, Ihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Brekanan, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Othila, Dagaz, gilding, cards, thecathatter, travel, set
Elder Futhark Travel Rune Cards Set of 24 all printed, laminated, cut and gilded.

Considerations:

  • Inexpensive (@ R 42 for South Africans, likely less than US$ 5-15 all in)
  • Easily transported
  • Spreads take up a small amount of space
  • Caters for reversals
  • No guidebook
  • No artwork on card back
  • Manual printing, lamination, cutting and optional gilding of cards (in South Africa at least, overseas POD companies are available to produce the cards for you, for example: MakePlayingCards).
Rune, Norse, Viking, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark, Amulet, Talisman, Protection, Travel, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kaunan, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Haudiz, Isa, Jera, Ihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Brekanan, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Othila, Dagaz, gilding, cards, thecathatter, travel
Travel Rune Cards with multi-coloured gilding

The runes are my go-to system, since they can be used as both a divinatory (passive) and magickal (active) tool. I personally use them for the latter, where I actively participate in setting the intention that I seek. I use the runes extensively for my shadow work, creative problem solving and spiritual rituals. Hence they have become a spiritual tool which I use to explore the depths of soul and to introduce some light and magick into my everyday hum-drum life.

Rune, Norse, Viking, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Elder Futhark, Amulet, Talisman, Protection, Travel, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kaunan, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Haudiz, Isa, Jera, Ihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Brekanan, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Othila, Dagaz, gilding, cards, thecathatter, travel, set, matchbox
Travel Rune Cards in a matchbox

References:

  1. Elder Futhark Runes 24 Card Print Out (2016). TheCatHatter aka All Natural Spirit.
  2. Oswald, B. Discovering Runes (2008). Chartwell Books Inc.
  3. Van Renterghem, A. (2014) The Anglo-Saxon runic poem: a critical reassessment. Masters Dissertation, University of Glasgow.

Rune & Flower – usesense @ pixabay

 

– Rune Casting –

All Natural Spirit