Mutant/Mutation/Transmutation/The Total Fucking Transmutation of Everything

Excerpt from the unpublished Mondo History Project by R.U. Sirius… partly from preface party from “Chapter 3”

 

Accept for the moment — if just as a literary conceit — that I was entrusted by certain unknowable cosmic extradimensional forces with bringing about what I — in my heyday — called “the total fucking transmutation of everything.” Accept that, a few days after taking a 600 microgram liquid LSD trip, this daft absurd little American whiteboy felt himself to be as one of those windup toys dropped into the play set of the late 20th century human dramedy with a fantastic cosmic mission to transform the human species. An agent of destiny.

This world — the very one we currently occupy — would be led off into n-dimensional hyperspace; or brought via drugs and technology into a novel mutation of being human several degrees up the evolutionary ladder. I would erect my holy grail and plunge forth. All boundaries, borders and banalities clenched by civilization’s tight asshole would be expulsed leaving behind only the alchemical transference of shit into philosopher’s gold and the energies of abundance.

This transmutation was not to lead to the innocent empty eyed bliss ninny paradise of new age gurunoiacs. It would be a postpunk neoyippie trickster utopia — utopia with booby traps to keep everyone on their toes; utopia with a cacophonic bite; with more than a hint of Burroughsian or Sadean perversity, and with just enough science factional ambition to launch a posthuman species into the cosmos.

Of course, smart smug reader, this is all bullshit. I know it too. I knew it even then, except when I didn’t know it… which was just often enough to propel me forth to make this strange thing that was MONDO happen…

Mutant/Mutation/Transmutation/The Total Fucking Transmutation of Everything

In biology, a positive or beneficial mutation increases the fitness of the organism and promotes desirable traits.      

As cultural signifiers, the words mutant and mutation have been in circulation amongst countercultural and subcultural types at least since the mid-1960s when the organizers of the first hippie Be-In declared the hippies “a new generation of mutants.” Around the same time, Timothy Leary started describing the rebellious youths of the ’’60s generation” as post-Hiroshima mutants. Since then, these words have continued to pop up amongst the various flavors of alternativeness. Many Science Fiction fans, for example, see themselves as mutants who are different from — and smarter than — the “normals.”

The main conceit, largely framed by media philosopher Marshall McLuhan, was that the new communications media — particularly TV — in combination with mind-active drugs, was causing the era’s youths to privilege mental and emotionally abilities that were entirely distinct from those privileged by the previous several hundred years of print, alcohol and caffeine-oriented Western Civilization, thus making them a sort of new species living in a linked-up, innately trippy “global village.”

Regarding transmutation, prior to Darwin, evolutionary theorists used the word to describe the transition from one species to the next. The term had been passed down from alchemy and thus also had — and continues to have — a resonance among occultists and other mystics.

The Total Fucking Transmutation of Everything, as conceived by your main narrator R.U. Sirius, represented the idea of a radical transformation in the human condition, both fundamental and surreal.

In fundamental terms, I imagined a humanity that had transcended poverty, unhappy labor, ill-considered taboos, national boundaries, rigid ideologies, racism, sexual repression, absolute gender categorization and identification, and biological and neurological limits on what a human being can do or experience.

At the more surreal level, I was inviting conditions and experiences that defied all possible expectations based on familiarity with how the world is supposed to function, but that might relate to psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna’s notion that during the 21st Century, we will enter into a place where “whatever we can imagine will simply come to be;” or singularitarian Vernor Vinge’s idea that we will take inside of us AIs with intelligences that will be to us as our intelligence is to the ant and that the future beyond that Singularity is beyond comprehension .  

Or in a less explanatory but more lyrical modality, I once wrote and sang:

I inverted the very color of being

But you weren’t there

Yeah the big ball turned right over

It needs no justification

I wanted to be Salvador Dali

I wanted to be dead and unreasonable

Let’s grieve in concentric circles

To make the night release your brain

In other words, rationality aside, my biggest motivation for invoking the Total Fucking Transmutation Of Everything was probably a fuck-all boredom and impatience with reality.

The Cyberpunk Issue — Pull Quotes from MONDO 2000 Issue #1 (1989)

A cyberspace experience might be a simulation of an entirely imaginary world as long as the space is physically lawful and self-consistent. Autodesk

 

Bush doesn’t want us to know whether he’s telling the truth of lying, but he wants us to be sure he’s not stoned while doing it. Robert Anton Wilson

 

McLuhan seemed to be giving permission for youth culture, rock & roll, and post-print libidinal tactility to finally, mercifully dismantle linear stuffed-shirt Western Civilization. Terence McKenna

 

Gibson has produced nothing less than the underlying myth, the core legend, of the next stage of human evolution. Timothy Leary

His females are shaman ladies, sophisticated wizards, playful, humorous, hip diviners. Timothy Leary

 

Burroughs found 50’s science fiction and used it like a rusty can opener on society’s jugular. William Gibson

McLuhan’s revenge. Media monsters . . . the worst street gang you ever ran into were, at the same time, intense conceptual artists William Gibson Read more “The Cyberpunk Issue — Pull Quotes from MONDO 2000 Issue #1 (1989)”

Technological Resurrection by Jonathan Jones Reviewed

 

 

 

And when we die, they pull our minds through a wormhole in space-time and put us into an awesome brand new body in this ‘heaven’.

 

Review by Giulio Prisco

The recently published book “Technological Resurrection: A Thought Experiment,” by Jonathan Jones, is a little gem. It only costs $1.26, and provides a short and readable first introduction to ideas on technological resurrection.

If you value hours of informative, thought provoking and entertaining reading more than $1.26, buy the book now. It’s so refreshing being able to pay a small sum to a deserving writer, instead of downloading a pirated version of one of those expensive books.

The idea behind technological resurrection is that we’ll all be resurrected — copied to the future — by future hyper-advanced technology based on quantum weirdness, time scanning, wormholes, and whatnot.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept and want to find out more, perhaps because you are looking for scientifically believable alternatives or complements to traditional religion, then this book has been written for you.

In my favorite passage, Jones mentions “Nothingness” as a possible answer to the question of what comes after death, but quickly dismisses the possibility because it tastes like tofu: “We’re told that it’s the most sensible, best option. And it will be good for us. But what’s the point of life, we keep asking ourselves, if all we ever get to eat is tofu?”

I interpret this as a perfect reply to the “cultural” thought police and the bureaucrats of philosophy who want to eliminate what remains of spiritual imagination and hope. Screw tofu, I want pizza. And ribs. And a beer.

Temporal resurrection

Jones’ much better answer, inspired by Nikolai Fedorov and the Russian Cosmists, is very similar to mine: We will be resurrected by future humans by means of science and technology. Technological resurrection works like this:

  • Step 1, looking back through time using some future technology built on quantum weirdness;
  • Step 2, using the information retrieved from the past to “print” a copy of your body and mind;
  • Step 3, retrieving your consciousness from the past; and finally
  • Step 4, inserting your consciousness into your new body.

Simple, isn’t it? Well, perhaps not that simple, but super-intelligent AIs will be there to help.

Most technological resurrection procedures that have been imagined based on this “uploading to the future” concept stop at step 2. If your mind is there in the future, what more can you want? Our grandchildren could even skip printing a physical body/brain and insert your mind into a new robotic body, or a software “body” in a virtual world. Read more “Technological Resurrection by Jonathan Jones Reviewed”