Photo by Daniel Hertzberg
Why This Guide Could Transform Your Mind
In his cult classic Mega Brain, Michael Hutchinson writes about the untapped power of the mind:
“The brain is much more powerful, capable, and complex than had previously been imagined. What we think of as normal intelligence is probably just a pale shadow of the brain’s actual powers and faculties. It’s as if we’ve been given superbly engineered sports cars in which we’ve been putt-putting about without ever shifting out of first gear, never realizing that there were higher gears.”
Super learning. Memory enhancement. Higher states of consciousness. These are some of the exciting places your mind could take you. Yet as Hutchinson describes, few people have even scratched the surface of their mind’s power – until now.
Over the last few years there has been a growing number of psychonauts, mind explorers, and tech adventurers who are harnessing emerging technologies to optimize their mind, expand their potential, and experience levels of awareness once reserved to mystics. These devices are called transformative technology. Transformative technologies are science-based hardware and software that can produce reliable and positive changes in the human psychological experience.
From a therapeutic standpoint, transformative technology is being used to treat suboptimal brain states. Here are some of the ways these devices are being used to heal the body, mind and soul:
- Treat depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental illness
- Heal crippling trauma holding you back
- Manage and reduce daily stresses once ruling over your life
- Break free of negative habits and destructive patterns of thought
Taking it a step further, transformative technology can be used to optimize already health brains to enhanced levels of performance. As Hutchinson points out, they can be used to shift our sports car into higher, more powerful gears. Here’s ways they can supercharge your mind:
- Supercharge learning
- Enhance memory
- Increase focus and attention
- Gain faster information processing
- Recall long past memories
- Heighten creativity
Finally, transformative technology can offer spiritual benefits. With the push of a button, you could reach mystical states that could shatter your reality, and transform your life. Here’s what you could see:
- Rapidly expand consciousness
- Reliably tap into meditative states akin to Zen monks
- Have a deeper understanding of the non-dual nature of reality
If any of this sounds enticing, then this guide is for you. We’ve compiled the best resources online to best explain the cutting edges of this new transformative technology movement. Over the next 8 chapters, you’ll learn what these tools are, and how you can use them to take your mind to new heights.
Chapter 1: Consciousness 101
To start our adventure, it’s important to first establish a proper foundation on which we can build upon.
We’ve thrown around a word that is typically wrapped in ambiguity and confusion: consciousness. Many use transformative technology to experience higher levels of consciousness, yet most people don’t know what it is. Before we move forward, let’s attempt at defining the mysterious term. The keyword is ‘attempt’ as it’s nearly impossible to rope something as infinitely vast and indescribable around the limitation of language. To help us in this aim, we can turn to one of the leading frameworks in describing consciousness – The Integrated Information Theory (ITT).
ITT is one of the few theories of consciousness that both scientists and spiritual leaders (such as the Dalai Lama) have agreed is an accurate description. Theorized by neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, it states that consciousness can be seen in systems which contain numerous interconnected bits of information. The sum of these connections can be calculated as phi. The more phi a system has, the higher its consciousness. With over 70 billion neurons connected in the human brain, we have a high degree of phi. Fruit flies with 250,000 neurons, have a lower phi. Roundworms with only 300 neurons, have even less phi.
If this sounds like complicated scientific talk, don’t worry. We’ve gathered some of the best resources to clear the fog, and help best explain one of the best theories of consciousness:
Chapter 2: Transformative Technology To Explore Consciousness
There is a growing movement of explorers harnessing emerging technology to travel to the depths of their consciousness. This ‘transformative technology’ movement is the product of two trends:
The first is the rise of spirituality, consciousness, and mindfulness in our society today. Using google trends (which tracks the number of searches for a given keyword over time), we can see the term ‘mindfulness’ has exploded over the past decade:
The second trend is that of self-tracking, otherwise known as the quantified self movement. Wiki’s definition of this movement is the following:
The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical).
Like mindfulness, this community has drastically grown over the past decade:
These two trends have converged and given birth to the consciousness hacking movement – a community of tech-savvy, spiritually minded adventurers using budding technology to push the limits of their minds. Meditation apps, self-tracking devices, mind enhancement machines, and a host of other tools are giving them powerful vehicles in this pursuit. The following articles will paint a clearer picture of this growing community, and give ideas how you can join in on the mind hacking revolution.
“It is only by means of the sciences of life that the quality of life can be radically changed. The release of atomic energy marks a great revolution in human history, but… the really revolutionary revolution is to be achieved, no in the external world, but in the sounds and flesh of human beings.” – Aldous Huxley
Chapter 3: Tracking Consciousness
In 2002, neuroscientists at The University of Wisconsin-Madison invited a number of Buddhist monks to their research lab. Hooked up to 128 electrodes and asked to meditate, these monks produced powerful activity in the brain showing both intense focus, and positive emotions. At the time this was a groundbreaking study proving that with enough practice, the structure of the brain could be altered to enhance things like attention and emotional response.
Fast forward over a decade later. Advances in technology have drastically reduced the cost of the same neuro/bio feedback equipment used by these elite research institutes. Anyone with a few hundred dollars can hook up Electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets, Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) machines and the like, to help track the mind and expand consciousness. In this chapter, we examine these measurement tools available to us, and how we can use them to optimize our minds.
- What is EEG (electroencephalography) and how does it work?
- Types of EEG machines
Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
- Have You Checked Your Heart Rate Variability Lately?
- Types of HRV machines
Software To Record Bio/Neuro Feedback Data
Chapter 4: Hacking Meditation with Brainwave Entrainment
Brainwave Entrainment is a technology that allows you to hack meditation, seeing its benefits in a fraction of the time. Think of a tuning fork used to tune a guitar. Upon hearing the frequency of the tuning fork, you can adjust your guitar strings to the right pitch. In the same way, a guitar string can be tuned to certain frequencies, so too can the human brain. Brainwave entrainment uses specialized audio and visual technology to tune your brainwaves to certain frequencies. If those frequencies are slow enough, you can tap into the same brainwave patterns that seasoned meditators experience deep in practice. The only difference is, it won’t take you years of difficult work. You can hack meditation and see its benefits quickly with the use of brainwave entrainment technology. The articles below guide you two of the most popular forms: audio & visual.
Information about Brainwave Entrainment
Brainwave Entrainment Systems
Brainwave Entrainment Forums
“Man will not wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain.” – Corneliu E. Giurgea
Chapter 5: Brain Stimulation Machines To Supercharge The Mind
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are machines which send low-level electrical currents to stimulate (or inhibit) specific areas of the brain. The benefits of tDCS are vast. Many studies suggest that it could help treat health issues such as depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain. It could also help enhance cognitive function such as focus, memory, learning, and creativity.
Although this sounds exciting, the mere thought of strapping electrodes to your skull to zap your brain is enough to scare off even the bravest of self-experimenters. It’s reassuring to know that tDCS machines send extremely low levels of electrical currents to the brain – unable to create any significant spikes in neural activity. However, they are able to increase your brain’s potential to feel better and think sharper.
In this chapter, you’ll learn more about this exciting technology, see the tDCS devices available to us, and a learn a host of resources that brain stimulation enthusiasts regularly turn to.
Information about tDCS
Chapter 6: Float Tanks: Addition Through Subtraction
Rumi was famous for saying, “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” Flotation tanks work off this idea by not only quieting sensory input but eliminating it altogether. Flotation tanks are pitch black, soundproof containers inside which subjects float in salt water heated to skin temperature. The float tank was originally created by the famous neuroscientist John Lily to isolate the brain from outside influence and better study the mind. To his surprise, Lily noticed sessions in the tank lead to deeply transformative experiences.
The practice of reducing the senses to aid in personal and spiritual growth has been used throughout the millennia. To quote the 2014 documentary Float Nation:
“It has been suggested that since ancient times, sensory reduction has been used across cultures to intentionally induce different states of consciousness. Spiritual leaders, philosophers, tribal initiates, and even followers of Pythagoras are have said to have retreated to the seclusion and darkness of tunnels, caves, and catacombs in order to gain forms of insight and wisdom through mystical revelations.”
Even in traditional meditation, practitioners are encouraged to move to a quiet space, close one’s eyes, and lie in a comfortable position to remove external distraction. Whatever the case may be, it’s no secret consciousness expands as senses are removed, something you’ll no doubt experience when you step inside a float tank. Here are some of the best resources to learn more about this tool:
Information about Float Tanks
Float Tank Resources
Warrior Radio Episode
“The drugs of the future will be computers. The computers of the future will be drugs.” – Terrence McKenna
Chapter 7: The Future of Transformative Technology
What is on the horizon of transformative technology? As Moore’s Law continues to advance technology exponentially year after year, the possibilities become endless. In the near future, things like augmented / virtual reality will reach the hands of the mainstream public, giving the wave to a host of new applications in the consciousness hacking movement. These new technologies will be integrated with bio / neurofeedback devices (which will also continue to become more sophisticated and accessible to the public), which further expands the possibilities how science and spirituality will merge.
In the next few decades, most futurists agree that we are entering an era of Singularity – a period of technological explosion, in which advancements occur so rapidly they are incomprehensible to even fathom. The inevitable rise of artificial intelligence will have us question if consciousness is tied to a biological being. The ability to upload our consciousness to computers gives rise to the possibility of becoming immortal.
Although these crazy ideas are something you’d only see in the pages of sci-fi books, they are becoming real possibilities in the future. In this chapter, we explore these strange and exciting technological avenues ahead.
Artificial Intelligence & Consciousness
Reaching Immortality With Technology
Chapter 8: Next Steps
Congratulations! We’ve reached the end of our Ultimate Guide to Transformative Technology. After reading the chapters in this guide, hopefully you have a better grasp of how emerging technology can be used to improve our lives, expand our consciousness, and maybe even make the world a better place. Yet we’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg.
If you want to dive deeper into the world of transformative technology, you have a number of options before you. In the list below, we’ve outlined some of the best sites, podcasts, research institutes, community groups, and conferences that will take your journey to the next level. You’ll be able to expand your knowledge, connect with other Trans Tech enthusiasts, and begin incorporating these new tools into your life. If you know of any resources we’ve left out, be sure to let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
Trans Tech Info Sites/Podcasts:
Trans Tech Conferences:
Did you enjoy this guide? Download a free PDF version of this guide to have for future reference. We also are including a bonus chapter: 5 transformative technology thought leaders to follow.
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