Preface to the Second Edition
All human beings' all persons who reach adulthood in the world today are programmed biocomputers. No one of us can escape our own nature as programmable entities. Literally, each of us may be our programs, nothing more, nothing less.
Despite the great varieties of programs available, most of us have a limited set of programs. Some of these are built-in. The structure of our nervous system reflects its origins in simpler forms of organisms from sessile protozoans, sponges, corals through sea worms, reptiles and proto-mammals to primates to apes to early anthropoids to humanoids to man. In the simpler basic forms, the programs were mostly built-in: from genetic codes to fully-formed organisms adultly reproducing, the patterns of function of action-reaction were determined by necessities of sunival, of adaptation to slow environmental changes, of passing on the code to descendants.
As the size and complexity of the nervous system and its bodily carrier increased, new levels of programmability appeared, not tied to immediate survival and eventual reproduction. The built-in programs survived as a basic underlying context for the new levels, excitable and inhibitable, by the overlying control systems. Eventually, the cerebral cortex appeared as an expanding new high-level computer controlling the structurally lower levels of the nervous system, the lower built-in programs. For the first time Learning and its faster adaptation to a rapidly changing environment began to appear. Further, as this new cortex expanded over several millions of years, a critical size of cortex was reached. At this new level of structure, a new capability emerged learning to learn
When one learns to learn, one is making models, using symbols, analogizing, making metaphors, in short, inventing and using language, mathematics, art, politics, business, etc. At the critical brain (cortex) size, languages and its consequences appear.
To avoid the necessity of repeating learning to learn, symbols, metapbors, models each time, I symbolize the underlying idea in these operations as metaprogramming. Metaprogramming appears at a critical cortical size - the cerebra] computer must have a large enough number of interconnected circuits of sufficient quality for the operations of metaprogramming to exist in that biocomputer.
Essentially, metaprogramming is an operation in which a central control system controls hundreds of thousands of programs operating in parallel simultaneously. This operation in 1972 is not yet done in man-made computers_metaprogramming is done outside the big solid-state computers by the human programmers, or more properly, the human metaprogrammers. All choices and assignments of what the solid-state computers do, how they operate, what goes into them are still human biocomputer choices. EventualLy, we may construct a metaprogramming computer, and turn these choices over to it.
When I said we may be our programs, nothing more, nothing less, I meant the substrate, the basic substratum under all else, of our metaprograrns is our programs. All we are as humans is what is built-in and what has been acquired, and what we make of both of these. So we are one more result of the program substrate--the self-metaprogrammer.
As out of several hundreds of thousands of the substrate programs comes an adaptable changing set of thousands of metaprograms, so out of the metaprograms as substrate comes something else_the controller, the steersman, the programmer in the biocomputer, the self-metaprogrammer. In a well- organized biocomputer, ehere is at least one such critical control metaprogram labeled I for acting on other rnetaprograms and labeled me when acted upon by other metaprograms. I say att one least one advisedly. Most of us have several controllers, selves, self-metaprograms which divide control among them, either in time parallel or in time series in sequences of control. As I will give in detail later, one path for self-development is to centralize control of one's biocomputer in one self- metaprogrammer, making the others into conscious executives subordinate to the single administrator, the single superconscient self-metaprogrammer. With appropriate methods, this centralizing of control, the elementary unification operation, is a realizable state for many, if not all biocomputers.
Beyond and above in the control hierarchy, the position of this single administrative self-metaprogramrner and his staff, there may be other controls and controllers, which, for convenience, I call supraself metaprograms. These are many or one depending on current states of consciousness in the single seLfmetaprogrammer. These may be personified as if entities, treated as if a network for inforrroation transfer, or realized as if self traveling in the Universe to strange lands or dimensions or spaces lf one does a further unification ope- ration on these supraself metaprograms, one may arrive at a concept labeled God, the Creator, the Starnaker, or whatever. .At times we are tempted to pull together apparently independent supraself sources as if one. I am not sure that we are quite ready to do this supraself unification operation and have the result correspond fully to an objective reality.
Once one has control over modelling the universe inside one's self, and is able to vary the parameters satisfactorily, one's self may reflect this ability by changing appropriately to match the new property.
The quality of one's model of the universe is measured by how well it matches the real universe. There is no guarantee that one's current model does match the reality, no matter how certain one feels about the high quality of the match. Feelings of awe, reverence, sacredness and certainty are also adaptable metaprograms, attachable to any model, not just the best fitting one.
Modern science knows this: we know that merely because a culture generated a cosmology of a certain kind and worshipped with it, was no guarantee of goodness of fit with the real universe. Insofar as they are testable, we now proceed to test (rather than to worship) models of the universe. Feelings such as awe and reverence are recognized as biocomputer energy sources, rather than as determinants of truth, i e, of the goodness of fit of models vs. realities. A pervasive feeling of certainty is recognized as a property of a state of consciousness, a special space which may be indicative or suggestive but is no longer considered as a final judgement of a true fitting Even as one can travel inside one's models inside one's head, so can one travel outside or be tbe outside of one's model of the universe, still inside one's head (see Lilly 1972 level or state +3, Satori +3). In this metaprogram it is as if one joins the creators, unites with God, etc. Here one ca:n so attenuate the self that it may disappear.
One can conceive of other supraself metaprograms farther out than these, such as are given in Olaf Stapledon's The Starmaker (Dover, New York, 1937). Here the self joins other selves, touring the reaches of past and future time and of space' everywhere. The planet-wide consciousness joins into solar systems consciousness into galaxy-wide consciousness. Intergalactic sharing of consciousness fused into the mind of the universe finally faces its creator, t:he Starmaker. The universe's mind realizes that its creator knows its imperfections and will tear it down to start over, creating a more perfect universe.
Such uses of one's own biocomputer as the above can teach one profound truths about one's self, one's capabilities. The resulting states of being, of consciousness, teach one the basic truth about one's own equipment as follows:
In tbe province of tbe mind is the region of one's models, of the alone self, of memory, of the metaprograms. What of the region which includes one's body, other's bodies? Here there are definite limits.
In the network of bodies, one's own connected with others for bodily survival-procreation-creation, there is another kind of information:
But, once again, the bodies of the network housing the minds, the ground on which they rest, the planet's surface, impose definite limits. These limits are to be found experientially and experimentally, agreed upon by special minds, and communicated to the network. The results are called concensus science.
Thus, so far, we have information without limits in one's mind and with agreed-upon limits (possibly unnecessary) in a network of minds. We aLso have information within definite limits (to be found) with one body and in a network of bodies on a planet.
With this formulation, our scientific problem can be stated very succinctly as follows:
Given a single body and a single mind physically isolated and confined in a completely physically-controlled environment in true solitude, by our present sciences can we satisfactorily account for all inputs and all outputs to and from this mind_ biocomputer (i.e., can we truly isolate and confine it?)? Given the properties of the software-mind of this biocomputer outlined above, is it probable that we can find, discover, or invent inputs-outputs not yet in our concensus science? Does this Center of consciousness receive-transmit information by at Present unknown modes of communication? Does this center of consciousness stay in the iisolated confined biocomputer?
In this book I try to show you where I am in this stretch and research. In previous books I have dealt with personal experiences. Here I deal with theory and methods, metaprograms and programs.
*Quoted in entirety from John C. Lilly, Simularions of God: A Science of Belief