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>>Are you suggesting biological evolution and/or a technologically augmented human?Definitely a both/and scenario. Although once we start changing our own genome Darwinian forces will act on us on a higher order, I think ultimately we will become more, rather than less, responsive to it. I think human evolution will definitely eventually go the way of merger with the machine, but one not necessarily need think that to believe that as we evolve we will have to become more integrated with our environment, whether as organic, synthetic, or hybrid beings.
>> many of those societies don't view the world as something to control with the right to subjugate it.Agreed, however, I think we can also see from the history of interaction between peoples at different modes of production (i.e. between hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, agriculurtalists and industrialists, etc.) that there is a convergent trend in human societies to an 'othering' mode of consciousness, primarily because of the uni-directional nature of technological progress. Even as pre-linguistic hunter gatherers, we might not have had the idea that we had unlimited right to use the land, but for example we believed often that our use of fire was endorsed divinely, and so spread a technology that (minutely by today's standards, but still measurably) set our species on a collision course with environmental calamity (agriculture and the fertility gods of the fertile crescent and its subsequent collapse being another good example.)
However, clearly some myths are better than other to inculcate positive values. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in a valueless system people will cling to the things that provide the cheapest return on their value reward system. It's the responsibility of people who can see the danger in this to instill a positive value system -- even if it means broaching the icky topic of instilling myths (in the ideological, rather than conspiratorial, sense.)
But definitely not exclusively a western phenomena, agreed. The modern west is just the most egregious example in the most advanced stage of a civilization undergoing this process, which is most likely universal.
>> I've gotten that impression during hallucinogenic experiencesFWIW, (and having had the same myself) people have had similar impressions without the aid of hallucinogens, so hopefully there is some truth to it.
>>Wont there always be a divide of self though? The physical separation of our skin from the environment and nothing more...For human (as in h. sapiens) consciousness, probably yes, definitely. The experience of separation is intrinsic to the perception of the ego, and is a physical structure of the brain that is always there to eventually bring it back, unless it is somehow permanently destroyed (there are interesting head trauma cases related to this.) However I don't think it is an essential condition of consciousness as such, so I think it is not a universal condition. The fact that you can subdue the awareness of this through phenomena like meditation, or hallucinogens, or head trauma, suggest to me that the perception of the distinct self, while undeniably useful in many circumstances, is just another mental program our brains evolved as a survival mechanism, and that often we are at our best when we can turn that perception off and see our connection with the greater whole.
Nowadays, the best ways of accomplishing that are either societal engineering like you're suggesting, which is always difficult because you're trying to induce a new state of consciousness in society while the old one is still in effect, or are methods only useful briefly and are dangerous or difficult, like drugs or mental techniques. In a future where one can program one's own brain state, through nanomachines or advanced drugs or genetic engineering or whatever, one could still be 'human', and yet have absolute control over that sense of self, rather than being beholden to it more or less as we are in our present state. This will naturally facilitate other improvements (although it carries its own dangers, like everything.)
Still, your general point absolutely stands. Without some kind of intervention, human society will always be subject to the divide of self.
>> carthatic events like shows or protests, to take action, [etc]I think this will be a key part of the revival of …
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