Technological Singularity: Hermetic Magic + Alchemy + Sci Fi = Becoming like God

Trans-humanist Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at  Google claims that by 2100 the biological parts of our body will be replaced with  mechanical parts and in just over 30 years, humans will become digitally immortal by uploading their entire minds to computers  - an event  called singularity.  (We'll be uploading our entire MINDS to computers by 2045 and our bodies will be  replaced by machines within 90 years, Google expert claims, Victoria Woollaston, 19 June 2013,

In Romans 1:25, the Apostle Paul describes the only two options available in response to questions concerning the ultimate origin of the cosmos and life.  These two are worship of the living Creator or worship of His creation.    At the foundation of the technological singularity is the latter: naturalism and/or monism, which refers to the view that nature (or matter) is the Ultimate Substance of which the universe and all life are made, thus “all is one.”    The ancient Babylonians,  Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Aztecs and modern Latter Day Saints in the West and in the east, Buddhists and Hindus are for example, naturalists.  In this view there is but one realm (the material or natural) as opposed to Judeo-Christianity’s creation ex nihilo model with its two interacting realms: natural and supernatural.

Kurzweil's brand of trans-humanism is a  wild and crazy mix of neo-pagan monism combining an esoteric view of mystical dialectical matter with Hermetic magic ,Mystery Religion, an occult Tree of Life or Great Chain of Being, alchemy, both biological (Darwinian) and spiritual evolutionary conceptions, Eastern pantheism, science fiction and highly-evolved extraterrestrials. 

Whereas the Genesis account speaks of a fall from good (high point), trans-humanism reverses this order.  Everything somehow begins at the bottom--from nothing---and then miraculously evolves up the Tree of Life by its own amazing powers, thereby affirming on one hand that living beings created themselves and on the other, that their spirits are free, meaning untouched by the living, triune God.

 According to this account, billions of years ago there was nothing.   But then through an alchemical process 'something' finally transcended itself, allowing a process of transmutation (what astrophysicists call vacuum fluctuation) of nothing into a singularity (bright light) from which our universe (matter) was born.  After another billion years or so (mystical thinking) atoms, especially carbon atoms, which according to Kurzweil can of themselves create rich information structures, combined and  transcended themselves, allowing for the complex molecules that in turn resulted in physics.   Physics, said Kurzweil, gave rise to (mystical) chemistry.   A billion years later, chemistry transcended itself allowing for another transmutation process, this time of chemistry into a complex (thinking and life-bearing) molecule called DNA, which by its' own dialectic and life-bearing properties could "precisely encode lengthy strings of information" according to Kurzweil, thereby generating living organisms by way of its' information "programs."

 So mystical chemistry transcended itself giving rise to biology:  thinking and life-bearing molecular organisms pregnant with communication and decision networks called nervous systems that over another billion years or so finally transcended themselves allowing for transmutation into brains.  Thus trans-humanists went from nothing, to singularity, to mystical thinking atoms to mystical chemistry to thinking and life-bearing DNA to brains and finally to Kurzweil, et al.

Behind evolutionary biology is an ancient esoteric science, meaning that like all Mystery Religions, both ancient and contemporary, it has both an exoteric or outer meaning for mass consumption and a hidden, or esoteric meaning, for higher initiates like Kurzweil.  Hiding beneath the idea that conscious life will eventually arise from a transmutation-process of something from nothing is the age-old technology of alchemy and its magical or mystical meaning: the Hermetic principle of the macrocosm's  correlation with the microcosm (man), “As above, so below” symbolized by the Singularity and occult tree of life.

Hermes is the father of the magic tradition.  His world-famous magic formula demonstrates the consubstantiality (oneness) of Herme's  divine intellect with the Divine One Substance/Tree of Life (Singularity) above.  In teaching the meaning of the formula to his son Tat he said:

"The intellect, O Tat, is drawn from the very substance of God.  In men, this intellect is God, and so some men are gods and their humanity is near to divinity...If man makes right use of (God's gifts), he differs in no way from the immortals."  (God and the Knowledge of Reality, Thomas Molnar, p. 78)

Hermes Trismegistus had a guru, a teacher called Poimander who taught Hermes that,

"Unless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God, for the like is not intelligible save to the like." (ibid, p. 79)

In order for the magic to work, matter (the Singularity, prikriti matter, World Spirit or Divine One Substance) must either pre-exist or have come into being from the Big Bang.   In either scenario, all being is at bottom one, or monistic.

 Alchemical trans-humanism is based on a Pelagian view of humanity. Human nature is supposedly good, thus the possibility for evolutionary perfection is always present. Human beings are not flawed by the effects of ethical rebellion against the God of Revelation.  Given the evolutionary outlook, trans-humanism's  self-transcendence (divinization) of mere man becomes a sociological imperative:

At the stage we have reached in scientific research our minds and intelligence will have to surpass themselves and rise to transcendent heights; the human, all-too human, will no longer suffice.” ( Mircea Eliade, The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and  Structures of Alchemy, Dr. Erdmann)

 The self-transcending Hermetic practitioner said Molnar, strives first for separation of the soul from the body (purification), and second, for the spiritualization and divinization of all matter.     Darwin's formula attains the first goal while inventers of theories of spiritual/cosmic evolution made possible the second.

 Molnar writes that travelers on this second highway were characteristically recruited from theology.  Representatives are:

"Bergson, Laberthonniere, Le Roy, Blondel, Bloch, Teilhard de Chardin, Heidegger, Bultmann, Karl Rahner, and numerous others..."  (God and the Knowledge of Reality, p. 133)

With Teilhard's idea, after billions of years of evolution, matter finally transcended itself thus allowing the transmutation of matter into a divine substance.   Now that the One Substance or Singularity is divine, said Teilhard:

"The great affair for modern mankind is to break its way out by forcing some threshold of greater consciousness." Christians should not fear the natural processes of evolution because it brings them inexorably to God and self-deification, "Though frightened for a moment by evolution, the Christian now perceives that what it offers him is...a magnificent means of (being) at one with God..."    (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 590)

Humanist/trans-humanist philosophy, naturalism (monism), Hermetic magic, Cabala, Great Chain of Being, evolution, reincarnation and other forms of occultism were two sides of the same revival of Renaissance paganism underlying the intellectual edifice of modern science. Thus, C.S. Lewis argued in his great masterpiece, That Hideous Strength, occultism and humanistic rationalism are not enemies in principle but rather cooperating philosophies that are united against supernatural Christian theism and Christian civilization.

Lewis underscores this point in "The Abolition of Man:"

"You will even find people who write about the sixteenth century as if Magic were a medieval survival and Science the new thing that came in to sweep it away. Those who have studied the period know better. There was very little magic in the Middle Ages: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic. The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse. I allow that some (certainly not all) of the early scientists were actuated by a pure love of knowledge. But if we consider the temper of that age as a whole we can discern the impulse of which I speak."

In conclusion, the technological singularity symbolizes the deep religious desires of self-perfecting transcendence and self-redemption, thus are incarnations,

“ ...of the ancient, deeply religious endeavor “to become like God” – infinitely wise, omnipotent, autonomous, and immortal." ( The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and  Structures of Alchemy,  Dr. Erdmann)

@Linda Kimball