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Issue #1 : Spring–Summer 2023
Editorial - Utopia vs Dystopia from MSMag Issue 001

Utopia vs. Dystopia with Picus Maximus in
Darwin’s Lesser-Known Theory of Unnatural Seduction

Man thinks ‘cause he rules the Earth
He can do with it as he please.
And if things don't change soon, he will.
Oh, man has invented his doom
First step was touching the moon…
— “License to Kill” by Bob Dylan

Man and machine, keep yourself clean
Or be a has-been: like a dinosaur.
Man or device? For everything nice
You better think twice, or at least once more…
— “Cheese and Onions” by Neil Innes

During a trip through New Mexico in the 1920s, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung encountered a Pueblo chief who impressed upon Jung the need to balance the rational mind with other, more mystical approaches to knowledge. The chief described the alarm that white Americans inspired in him.

“See how cruel the whites look,” he said. “Their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted with folds. Their eyes have a staring expression: what are they seeking? The whites always want something: they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think they are mad.” Jung asked him why he thought the whites were mad. “They say that they think with their heads,” the chief replied. “Why, of course. What do you think with?” Jung asked him with surprise. “We think here,” the chief said, indicating his heart.
— from On Jung by Anthony Stevens

In the modern world of the 21st century the ultimate balancing act lies between relying upon the systematic logic of the rational mind and being capsized by the irrational tides of the emotional body. We witness it everyday in the classic polarity of how human beings choose to self-identify: conservative versus radical; tradition versus progress; individual versus the collectivist. How does one go about the mystifying business of developing a set of spiritual and moral values that is not in hypnotic lockstep with the arid, escapist materialism that dominates Western society? What are the dogmatic myths and belief systems that we perpetuate within ourselves, and with one another, that supports this worldview? Are the modalities we choose to enter into the universe with open-ended, mutable, and expansive? Or are they merely the dead, static constructs of an existence destined to play out as a form of purgatory? It all comes down to your ethics and what you value. And what you choose to value is a product of your consciousness: what you are capable of and willing to perceive and co-create through your thoughts, deeds, and projections.

All machines are an extension of our psyches. The reason we deploy a tool is to achieve a means to an end. But all tools contain a dualistic nature: a hammer can construct an edifice as efficiently as it can destroy one. The quantum supercomputers of the present day are so powerful they are capable of erecting a society that transcends all of our current limitations, catapulting us into an unprecedented level of affluence. But is that necessarily a positive development? At what price “Utopia?” And what are the spiritual and material ramifications of hurling down a corridor fraught with the heavy artillery of artificial intelligence? Every cautionary tale we have on the subject smacks of a Faustian pact if we bother to read the fine print at the bottom of the contract.

In today’s culture we take artificial intelligence for granted, as it’s become completely ubiquitous in our lives. But what exactly is artificial intelligence? Speaking in practical terms, AI has a multitude of applications, such as the search engine on your personal computer, the automated phone tree at your local DMV, or the GPS (Global Positioning System) that assists in navigating your automobile across town. We have appliances you can hold conversations with. Through robotics, AI is capable of performing such dangerous tasks as firefighting, soldiering, and exploring the seven seas. We utilize AI on the assembly line of industry as well as when we probe the stars and galaxies with satellites to track the activities of governments and individuals around the globe. But what is the potential collateral damage of inventing and unleashing a network of machines that is capable of computations a billion times more complex than that of the human brain? And in a world of seemingly finite resources, what would be the outcome if those machines decided that in order for their silicone servers to self-replicate and perpetuate, that we carbon-based human beings (i.e., “useless eaters”) would need to be removed from the equation? Is it possible to program mutual respect and “friendliness” into artificial intelligence, or is AI simply the fast lane to our ultimate destruction? That is the alarmist red flag at the core of 2013’s dissertation on AI by author James Barrat titled Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.

Consequently, these are the parallel-queries ricocheting throughout the LP Darwin's Lesser-Known Theory of Unnatural Seduction, an epic song cycle by San Diego’s Picus Maximus. As their fourth entry in a series of masterful concept albums, this fully-realized work by Rick Sparhawk and Jim Soldi delves into the murkiest aspects of human nature, simultaneously celebrating what it means to be spirit-embodied on planet Earth, circa 2021, while echoing Barrat’s well-founded fears of how AI could lead to humankind’s extinction.

Govern = control
Ment = mind

The future is not what it used to be. How has AI been involved in such covert operations as the Manhattan Project, Operation Paperclip, MK-Ultra, or Project Looking Glass? Did H.G. Wells really possess deep insight into building a literal time machine, or were his fantastical narratives simply the product of an elitist, hyper-inflated imagination? Was George Orwell a true political visionary or just a well-connected officer within MI6 when he conceived and published in the aftermath of World War II his dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four? Did James Cameron have insider information when he created the Terminator franchise and Aliens? What is the basis of knowledge that produced the futuristic visions of Brave New World, Star Trek, The Prisoner, Logan’s Run, THX 1138, They Live, The X-Files, Fringe, Torchwood, V for Vendetta, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Why exactly are there flying saucers among the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt? All across the globe there are ley lines and power spots that raise questions about the origins of humanity: namely, did non-terrestrial beings of supreme and superior intelligence create humans or speed up their biological evolution through a genetic intervention, simply to provide those god-like beings with a slave race to perform menial tasks that they couldn’t be bothered with? Through a scholarly analysis of the Old Testament, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Sumerian Tablets, Zacharia Sitchin sifts through a number of those mysteries of humanity’s origins, and the role that the Anunnaki play, in his 1983 tome The 12th Planet. Did those same non-terrestrial beings put into motion an evolutionary riddle that we humans are still in the midst of unraveling? In these weirdly idiosyncratic times are we simply playing out the science fiction of the recent past in order to turn reality into the science fact of the here and now? The solutions to each of the above queries depend on whom you ask and at what level of perception the investigator is firing at.

With respect to AI, despite how compelling Barrat’s alarm bells are, his paradigm remains quite narrow, incapable of taking into account the emerging and vast body of evidence regarding entities that have already demonstrated technology that suggests the use of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI). These AI constructs include wormholes, time travel, jump rooms, multi-dimensions, free-energy devices, medical miracles, deep underground military bases (DUMBs), and alternative laws of physics. The reverse-engineering of what was gleaned in 1947 from the Roswell incident forward led to covert government programs like Area 51 and China Lake being utilized by the military-industrial complex to further agendas that, to put it mildly, do not have humanity’s best interests at heart.

Returning to the idea of humanity being created as a race of slaves, in the attempt to emulate our creators and delegate mundane tasks to robots and machines capable of self-learning and self-improvement, we have no idea what sort of Pandora’s box we are opening. Or, actually, with all of the previously mentioned cautionary tales of so-called science fiction, we do know some of the potential perils that await humanity. To understand our relationship with machines it is crucial to better understand our relationship with ourselves, along with the true origins of the human race. Is it possible that human nature has some inherent defect that is beyond redemption or evolution? Or perhaps we have some sort of collective death wish hard-wired into our consciousness by the beings that created us? If so, where does freewill fit into all of this? Barrat’s conventional analysis provides an extremely good argument of how AI could lead to humanity’s annihilation. Lest we get too lazy in our thinking, these laborsaving devices could indeed be a means to an end: the mortal conclusion of our existence here on Gaia.

There is such an enormous disconnect among the majority of human beings between the heart and the mind—between the spirit and the intellect—due to an over-reliance on the external hard drives that hijack our consciousness and cause us to project realities that serve no one but an elite few who appear to be heartless calculators rather than ascended masters. Depending upon which archetypal myths you hold dear to explain/project the nature of our existence, a paradigm shift of the highest order can occur, rewriting history and flipping the present-day dystopian timeline, in order to form a more perfect union with Self, others, the cosmos, and the multi-verse. But where are we, how did we get here, and where do we choose to go from here as a collective? The answers to those queries depend entirely upon how we collectively choose to exercise our freewill, meaning how do we choose to program and control AI?

Everyone wants to be entertained on some level. And who among us wouldn’t wish to live on a planet devoid of disease, deprivation, and needless suffering? Only a psychotic masochist would want to be enslaved. But if you do wish to be subjugated, then aren’t you being entertained in some perverted, neurotic fashion? These twisted impulses are a form of Stockholm syndrome, where we sympathize and over-identify with our captors, and these Gordian Knots within our collective psyche must be transformed in order for us to evolve and ascend.

Seduction is, of course, the ability to attract or lead someone away from what is considered “proper” behavior or judgment. As a race we have spent the last century being mindlessly seduced by the Machiavellian manipulations of Madison Avenue’s greed machine. The church and state have certainly contributed to this depletion of spiritual sovereignty, where each of us is encouraged to surrender our power to the most glittering temptations in a cosmic replay of the seven deadly sins. We needn’t fall prey to the vainglorious superficialities on offer, and that is what makes Darwin’s Lesser Known-Theory of Unnatural Seduction a substantial addition to the sci-fi canon. Along with the above-mentioned classic tales, Picus Maximus puts these truths into a musical context that makes the familiar feel wholly original, proving once again how music can affect the soul in ways no other art form can. They have pulled off a masterpiece of musical invention, drawing from a well-oiled tradition of classic rock ‘n’ roll that evokes the emotion of the music while instilling a progressive mindset. It’s a 360° musical cartwheel: simultaneously propelling your consciousness forward while peering back over your shoulder.

You have been forewarned. Sparhawk and Soldi’s message must be heeded before humanity is trapped into an existential corner and forced to ponder (alas, too late): “How can we ever get back from the point of no return?” Darwin’s Lesser Known-Theory of Unnatural Seduction echoes the eternal conundrum: how many times does humanity have to destroy itself before it internalizes the lessons of all the great empires that have collapsed due to their regressive nature?

And speaking of Charles Darwin and his erroneous theories of evolution, published in On the Origin of Species (1859), whereby humankind evolved over a period of thousands of years from apes due to “natural selection”—physicists, scientists, and archeologists have developed enough additional data since Darwin’s passage (1809–1882) to deflate his theory completely. No matter how compelling it might have appeared through the 1930s, during the time of the infamous “monkey trials,” as dramatized in Inherit the Wind (1960), experts in the field of Unified Physics, such as Dr. Nassim Haramein of the Resonance Science Foundation have established enough scientific data to prove that there is a mystical “X factor” regarding how humanity has evolved throughout the ages, most likely through the genetic intervention of non-terrestrial beings that we are still in the process of understanding and coming to terms with. Which raises the most important question of all: do we know enough about our human origins and development to now master the origins and development of another; namely AI?

Analogue versus digital?
Organic versus plastic?
Love versus the absence of Love?

Are there additional strands of DNA within our physiology currently hidden from us that would increase our perceptual abilities, and thus fundamentally change how we perceive and create existence? Can we evolve the rational, cerebral cortex and merge it with our heart chakra in order to create greater empathy, compassion, and the ability to love? Is it possible that AI could assist us in activating the soul consciousness of the Merkaba instead of taking directives from HAL ala 2001: A Space Odyssey? When all is revealed, the truth will certainly set us free, provided that, as a race of spiritual beings in these currently compromised meat suits, our psyches can absorb the shock of so much cognitive dissonance when the truth finally is revealed. If we can manage to initiate a more expansive paradigm for the human race after being subjugated for countless millenniums, we can do anything that our imaginations are capable of dreaming up. It’s all a matter of exercising your freewill and being response able. And in the final tally, what we choose to value.




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