Noel King coined the term spiritual athlete, as far as I know.
He called us spiritual athletes. Now, 30 years later, I have an idea
what he meant.
Spiritual athleticism is simply pushing the physical body to extremes
with the intention to create a spiritual result.
Breathing exercises, psychedelics, enduring cold or heat, fasting
and strange diets, isolation tanks, that sort of thing.
By contrast, love, charity, prayer, generosity don’t
necessarily involve any particular physical action, and they
are spiritual, not just in result, but in nature.
Spirituality arguably is beyond the body and has nothing
to do with the body. The body may come in to play
incidentally, but it’s not the spiritual platform, like
in spiritual athleticism.
Nowadays the term bio hacking has become vogue.
It’s not the same as spiritual athleticism. We
could, for instance, try to hack our genes or metabolism
to promote longevity, health, or even better cosmetics.
But in both cases, the idea is to take the body beyond
it’s normal parameters, it’s typical operational envelope.
Interestingly, the examples off the top of my head of
spiritual athletic practices are all things that could have
been done any time through history. Some of these
overlap with “bio hacking.”
But much of the new idea of bio hacking, which, initially,
has much more relevance to the physical than the
spiritual, is emerging out of new technologies, which
open up never before possible ways we can push and
tweak the body.
One of the immediate fields of contemplation that arises
from the recognition of the accumulating and accelerating
technologies which can be used for bio hacking, is how
might these tools be applied by a spiritual athlete?
For instance, with CRISPR, after we enlarge our muscles,
dicks and boobs, what comes next? Increasing our
intelligence isn’t exactly spiritual, but it’s not strictly
physical either. And then what?
What is the implication to our spiritual selves, if things
like neural lace wed our consciousness to the accelerating
capabilities of a.i?
It’s an exciting time for us spiritual athletes, who have
been dancing for decades merrily on the precipice of the eschaton,
while around us the human drones of history march
lemming like, in unconscious somnolence, towards that
temporal membrane of awesome creation and destruction.