Permanence vs. Impermanence (Are we ever going back home?)

Tthink about the great relics of human civilization—the pyramids, the magnificent castles of Europe, the Great Wall of China, meticulously detailed sculptures from different eras, the awe-inspiring churches and temples that dot almost every landscape we’ve ever inhabited…

All made of stone. All hundreds of years old. All crafted with the intention of permanence and standing the test of time.

For most of human history, this has been our MO. Kings built temples and tombs because they wanted their legacies to live on forever. Religious structures were built to signal strength, sanctuary, and an everlasting permanence—divine qualities.

Once upon a time, we just got this. It didn’t require conscious thought or consideration; it’s just who we were and what we did.

But thanks to the technological revolution, that ancient paradigm is shifting. We are actively moving—or perhaps have already moved—from a mindset of permanence to one of almost complete impermanence.

This is rapidly changing everything about our world, from externalities like the structures we build to more internal matters like how we behave and what we value.

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Watch this video and see why humanity is shifting from permanence to impermanence.

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In that video, I posited that the only reason you would ever really operate with a mindset of impermanence is if you knew you were never going back home.

This is life’s reset button.

But while individuals may invoke an impermanence mindset from time to time, entire civilizations never do this unless faced with the immediate threat of extinction.

And yet here we are, in the midst of this great technological revolution and without any fear of immediate extinction, all operating in increasingly impermanent ways.

When I first produced the video above, I struggled to make sense of this great shift. How could we abandon our ancient ideals so quickly, so completely, in favor of this new paradigm?

But after revisiting the Joe Rogan podcast with Elon Musk—specifically, the segments on AI—I think I understand what’s going on here.

We are becoming something else.

The next step in evolution is not some linear, organic, and biological addition to the human body.

To illustrate this point, consider the human brain. You can literally trace human evolution through the layers of the brain; in fact, the central—and oldest—portion of our brains is the amygdala, which we share with reptiles.

300 million years ago, we were reptiles. But the addition of the cortex and other components is what changed us into mammals and, ultimately, primates.

Because of this, you could argue that the primary driver of evolution is the brain and how it functions.

And that brings us to today: We have reached a point of technological innovation that makes artificial intelligence (AI) a reality. AI is an incredibly accurate, incredibly fast extension of the human brain.

Among other things, this affords us the opportunity to offload basic cognitive functions so we can focus on higher-level functions like synthesis and crystallization.

Because of this, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the next step in evolution is a synthesis of technology with biology.

We are literally going to strap on an AI-driven super cortex that will elevate our cognitive function in an exponential way.

And in the same way that a lizard brain plus a cortex equals a mammal…

A mammalian brain plus a super cortex equals…something completely different from the homo sapiens of today.

On some level, whether conscious or subconscious, we know this is the path we’re on.

And as a result, we know we are never going back home.

Hence the shift toward impermanence as we prepare for a journey that quite literally transcends our species.