From 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck
“(Martin) Heidegger notes that the origin of the word “technology” comes from the Greek word techne, and this word was applied not only to technology, but to art, and artistic technique as well. ‘Once there was a time when the bringing-forth of the true into the beautiful was also called techne.’ He found this to be a numinous correspondence, and considered that, in art, the ‘saving power’ capable of confronting the abyss of the technological enframing might be found.
If art contains a saving power, it is not in the atomized artworks produced by individual subjects, but in a deeper collective vision that sees the world as a work of art, one that is already, as (Sri) Nisargadatta (Maharaj) and (Terrence) McKenna suggest, perfect in its ‘satisfying all-at-onceness’.’ Instead of envisioning an ultimately boring ‘technological singularity,’ we might be better served by considering an evolution of technique, of skillful means, aimed at this world, as it is now. Technology might find its proper place in our lives if we experienced such a shift in perspective–in a society oriented around technique, we might find that we desired far less gadgetry. We might start to prefer slowness to speed, subtlety and complexity to products aimed at standardized mind. Rather than projecting the spiritual quest and the search for the good life onto futuristic A.I.s, we could actually take the time to fulfill those goals, here and now, in the present company of our friends and lovers.
Part of the problem seems embedded in the basic concept of a concrescence or singularity, which compacts our possibilities rather than expands them. The notion of a technological singularity reflects our culture’s obsessive rationality, reducing qualitative aspects of being to quantifiable factors, and imposing abstract systems over complex variables. Instead of a technological singularity, we might reorient our thinking toward a more desirable multiplicity of technique. Technique is erotic in essence; it is what Glenn Gould or Thelonious Monk expresses through the piano–the interplay between learned skill and quantum improvisation that is the stuff of genius. Technique embraces the now-ness of our living world; technology throws us into endless insatiation.”
–From Part Two: The Serpent Temple
Chapter Four, Pages 106-107
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