The goal of this article is for the reader to come to understand the re-orienting realization that the scientific and modern technological agenda is built upon the same spiritual philosophies as that of ancient alchemy. With the advent of artifical intelligence and cybernetic/robotic automatons (prosthetic human body) the applications and intentions for these innovations become more and more clear. To regain our immortality through our own workings (Science & Technology). The temptation and desire of man to create artificial life (play God) is nothing new. One of the main goals and aspirations for the alchemist was to create what is known as the “Golem.” The Golem is an animated anthropomorphic being created merely from inanimate matter through magical workings. This Hebrew word is used once in the bible, in Psalms 139:16, translated as Unformed Substance: “Your eyes saw my unformed subtance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” In respect to Talmudic legends, Adam was initially created by God as a Golem (a body without a soul) for the first 12 hours of his existence. The subtance that enabled a soul inside his body was the breath of God, at this point man became the image bearers of God. “…then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7. While it is appropriate for God to create life out of non-life, it is clear to see man attempting to do the same, is in essence, playing out the lie that was promised to us in the Garden of Eden by the serpent before the fall of mankind.
The methods to form a Golem were myriad and complex; involving everything from meditative techniques, numerological markings, and ritual chanting. There are even many Jewish traditions of Holy Rabbis and Sages creating a Golem. One example is of Eleazar of Worms, a 12th century talmudist and mystic, commented on the Sepher Yetzirah or The Book of Formation (one of the earliest Kabbalistic writings) he gave a detailed report on how to form a Golem through advanced spiritual meditative techniques called the “221 Gates.” Yet the most famous Golem is the one that was allegedly created by the Rabbi Yehudah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague known as the “Maharal,” in the 16th century. The legend states that the Maharal created a Golem named Yossele in order to help save the Jews of Prague from the Blood Libel, an early cult of anti-semitism derived from Roman Catholicism, which FALSELY accused the Jews of kidnapping and murdering children in order to use their blood in religious rituals. After fulfilling his goal, the Golem, Yossele was deanimated by his creator the Maharal, and is widely believed that Yossele’s body was stored and still resides in the attic of Prague’s Old New Synagogue, which was curiously NOT destroyed by the Nazis in World War II. It is also believed that the Gestapo didn’t even enter the attic when they occupied the synagogue. It is not surprising since it is well-known that Hitler subscribed to his own ideology of the Übermensch which he spoke of in order to describe the national socialist’s agenda of producing a biologically superior Aryan race that would rule the Earth for 1000 years.
Regardless of whether or not the tales of these esoteric practices to produce soulless lifeforms are true or not, it makes no difference with what we are facing on the horizon. Aldebaran Robotics in Paris, France have said that according to the United Nations robotics will be the technological revolution of the 21st century, thus resulting in this group working with current platforms of interactive technologies to provide the first commercialized autonomous humanoid robots. Furthermore on December 2013, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences had reported that they had developed machine learning algorithms which can make chemical reactions intelligent. Which brings up another project which began in 2000 by Hod Lipson (Cornell University) & Jordan Pollack (Brandeis University) called the GOLEM Project whose acronym stands for Genetically Organized Lifelike Electro Mechanics, and with the help of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), conducted experiments in an attempt to develop self-replicating and self-manufacturing robotic lifeforms. Artificial organisms have been developed digitally to evolve in response to programmed conditions, but the ultimate goal is to get these organisms from the digital realm to the physical. While some of these programs and projects are available to the public, one can only speculate as to what really may be going on behind closed doors in the laboratories of the deep underground.
Francis Fukuyama, in his book The End of History, said quote: “Biotechnology will be able to accomplish what the radical ideologies of the past, with their unbelievably crude technologies, were unable to accomplish: to bring about a new type of human being…Within the next couple of generations…we will have definitively finished human History because we will have abolished human beings as such. And then, a new post-human history will begin.” The concepts and intentions behind Genetic Engineering and Artificial Intelligence are both remnant aspirations of ancient spiritual doctrines about human transcendence. Joel Garreau supports my statement above in his book Radical Evolution, and I quote: “The ability to tinker with our genes offers the astounding promise and peril of immortality, which mythically had been the difference between gods and mortals. It also offers the possibility of an even greater variety of breeds of human than there is of dogs.”
Now, in the literary landscape of Alchemy, it was the 16th century Alchemist and occultist Paracelsus who described how to produce the Golem, referred to as the Homunculus in Alchemical terms. He said quote:
“But neither must we by any means forget the generation of homunculi. For there is some truth in this thing, although for a longtime it was held in a most occult manner and with secrecy, while there was no little doubt and question among some of the old Philosophers, whether it was possible to Nature and Art, that a man should be begotten without the female body and the natural womb. In order to accomplish it, you must proceed thus. Let the semen of a man putrefy by itself in a sealed cucurbite with the highest putrefaction…until it begins to live, move, and be agitated, which can easily be seen…If now, after this, it be every day nourished and fed cautiously and prudently with the arcanum of human blood, and kept for forty weeks in the perpetual and equal heat, it becomes, thenceforth a true and living infant, having all the members of a child that is born from a woman, but much smaller. This we call a homunculus; and it should be afterwards educated with the greatest care and zeal, until it grows up and begins to display intelligence. Now, this is one of the greatest secrets which God has revealed to mortal and fallible man. It is a miracle and marvel of God, an arcanum above all arcana, and deserves to be kept secret until the last times, when there shall be nothing hidden, but all things shall be made manifest.” –The Hermetic and Alchemical writings of Paracelsus.
All of the goals of sorcerers and alchemists of antiquity, as well as the attainment of the Philosopher’s Stone, are today under the guise of the Scientific advancement of modern technology. These grandiose and ultimate intellectual gains that are promised are all things that are directly correspondent with that of the gifts which we lost in the Biblical tale in the garden of Eden, which are sought to be regained by the advent of our pursuit in science and technology. Immortality, to be without disease, to not age, to not be limited by your own physiology and neurology, these are the proclaimed benefits of implementing our consciousness into a cybernetic automaton. A post-human state, meaning the state of existing in an artificial body, with artificial senses, all integrated by simulations of neural transmissions in an artificial brain, produced by the hand of humanity, it must be clear to anyone with enough intuition that this is NOT natural law. If we are to get to the point in time when making artificial intelligence and artificial bodies become a major possibility, it would merely be innate to agree that the human soul could likely be fragmented or lost in the transcription of the spirit-mind into the cybernetic memory bank, meaning our complete self or holistic self, will NOT be entirely integrated and implemented through the digital prosthetic-brain interface. We would be relinquishing the essence of God within our own ontology (existential being). It is like being in denial of the natural fundamental laws of the cosmos, which surely is a river that bares us all along on its flowing course, from the beginning to the end of time, from planet Earth out to the farthest star. Sure, the human adventure that is cosmic existence, may be rich in infinite mysteries, and some of those mysteries are ones that will never be solved, and certainly some that SHOULD NEVER be solved, but it is nevertheless an opportunity to seek and to question, with the spirit of integrity, virtue, and existential pride, from our humble beginnings in the shadow of understanding, to the eternal wisdom which is the shinning light of truth, we all must return home, death is always the final guest.