The ideals of bringing people together, making them aware of themselves and the world around them is nothing new. Seeking harmony with the world while challenging the limits that seem to be imposed on us by the world has always been a part of human culture.
Throughout history, humankind has struggled to define and attain an ideal state of human existence. However, human consciousness has always been controlled by a mishmash of physical, biological, cultural and metaphysical forces. These forces, often in conflict with each other, were capable of producing minds with various ranges of undefinable chaos and self-perpetuating structure.
Recently, new self-programming tools and technology have become available to the common person. Although people will continue to be influenced by authoritarian forces like organized religion, education, and parenting, people are discovering their ability to reprogram themSELVES more now than anytime in human history. Biological hardware modifications through neurochemistry, and eventually genetic engineering and mind/machine interfacing will be coupled with the software modifications acquired through various information networks and new forms of sensory stimulation. This data will be filtered and and transformed into percieved experiences in ways that will be limited only by our imaginations.
mind-expanding drugs, trance-inducing music & stimulating visual effects only the beginning; just a hint of how we are able to control (and free) ourselves.
The techniques of reprogramming our minds are techniques of selfempowerment. Although communal guidance is very much a part of raving, and may even be desirable, the communal acceptance of individuality and the lack of overbearing leadership can continue to foster unity through *choice* and through *personal* exploration and discovery. Disagreement is OK, and varied perspectives are fun, because our basic common unity is SELF-evident and will continue to make us care for and respect each other.
What is trying to be achieved, i.e. the "common good", "truth", or happiness, will always be debatable. Definitions can be questioned, limits surpassed. The recognition of a basic unity between all things can be viewed as a foundation from which all rules can be experimented with and broken. There will always be a question as to where the rights of individuals interfere with each other, and where freedoms need to be restricted. But human evolution may point to a solution to this dilemma.
The next step in human evolution is being characterized by our ability to alter the way we experience reality. By directly manipulating our minds, we are able to directly manipulate our experience of reality. Each of us will be able to choose to be a god or devil, a pattern of cosmic energy or a biological animal. Both or neither. We will be able to become any combination of anything that can be conceived. We will be able to choose to recognize the independant existence of other beings, or see them as mere projections of our all-encompassing minds, or not see them at all. In the future, if we do indeed evolve, the question each person may have to try to answer for themselves may simply be:
What do I want Reality to be?
Each humans can seek the answer alone, or acknowledge the existence of other minds with which they can join with in the adventure. Or we can simply choose to experience our existence as it is now without attempting to understand it at all. Whatever we do the choice will be ours.
On the 50th anniversery of civilization's discovery of LSD, I wish everyone fruitful, challenging, and mind expanding journeys of discovery and experience, wherever they may lead. The future may be unknown, but the potential will always be infinite.