The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all
progress and all moral development.
Transhumanists are interested in metaprogramming, rewriting the programs
of our minds so that we become more efficient, dynamic, positive - you name
it. The good news is that most methods are quite simple, the bad news is
that they require continuing use - it is not possible to just read about
them, they must be used to become truly effective.
There is plenty of snake oil out there, and it is important to carefully
test claims, not just accept the hype because it sounds so good. Memetics
and a dose of sceptical thinking can be helpful for this. Most metaprogramming
is based on our own inherent powers of change and our will to ch ange,
the rest is just gimmicks to make it work better, appear more convincing
or sell lots of audiotapes.
General Mental Transformation
Short Term Goals
Long Term Transhuman Goals
Specific Methods and Problems
Short term mental transformation, i.e. optimizing the minds we currently
David Riklan and Michelle Weintraub's
Self Improvement Web Guide. Big site covering just about everything
related to personal growth and actualization.
BigDreams. A newsletter about
personal development and topics related to starting up a small business.
Contains many very useful ideas and memes.
Ranges from proven, efficient methods over commercial crap to various
cults. See it as an exercise in sceptical thinking and openmindedness.
Nucleus Inc. Icelandic
site about increase intelligence, awareness and consciousness. While I
disagree with much of the assumptions and claims, the techniques appear
to be workable. Just because a technique is based on "mumbo-jumbo"
it doesn't have to be worthless, many quite usable metaprogramming techniques
come from religious or occult origins.
and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer by John C. Lilly, MD.
A bit dated but classic text about how the human mind can be affected
by drugs and o ther psychological tools, and how it can reprogram itself.
Performance Research: An Overview by Monica J. Harris and Robert Rosenthal.
A review of various ways of improving human performance.
These ideas are directed more to a transhuman future, when we have begun
to modify our minds extensively.
Imperative by David Pearce. An outline of a global strategy of abolishing
aversive experience and its ethics.
Quotes about the Mind by
Coping with Urges
by Robert Westermeyer.
Brain Dancing Online by Patrick Magee.
Website linked to the book (first 3 chapters + overview mindmaps available)
about capacity enhancement, planning and lifestyle.
Sport psychology contains many interesting areas for transhumanists interested
in imporving performance. See for example the Mental
Equipment column by John F. Murray.
for successful performance in sport.
psychology frequently asked questions.
Strategies for Bodybuilding Success by Frederick
C. Hatfield. These strategies are applicable in many other life domains.
Science Abstracts by Professor Brent S. Rushall. A collection of abstracts
in sport science.
Jane's brain Page. The
biochemical basis of behavior, personality and perception, and how it
can be modified.
Self-Hypnosis and Hypnosis
Hypnotica - Self-hypnosis
Betty Erickson's Self
NLP, Neurolinguistic Programming, is a pragmatic set of tools to influence
the behavior and thinking of humans. A basic idea is "pretend it
works, try it, and notice the results you get. If you don't get the result
you want, try something else". The scientific validity of many results
are hence a bit low, but there are doubtless useful tools in the system.
Meta Publications. Sells
NLP books and tapes.
and Design Human Engineering General Information Server
NLP Your Self by
Dale Kirby. A few techniques for modifying yourself.
Abe's NLP Emporium NLP book reviews, FAQs and links.
Flow: What's worth
living for? by Rob Jellinghaus. About the Flow experience, and how
it related to our culture.
the Relationship of Flow and Alpha-Brain Wave Incidence. There may
exist a link between peak performance and alpha-rhythm brain waves.
Controlling Anger before
It Controls You (American Psychological Association). How to deal
and Drugs (from Medical
Site for Students at Université de Rennes). Some links between
music, emotion and therapeutics.
by Max More. How to turn optimism into a way of life.
Fight of Flight - what to do about this
ancient emotional package?
High Performance Living
for Patient and Physician David B. Posen, MD. A good overview of stress
and stress-control methods.
and Performance by Seymour Levine.
Rewire for Ultimate Success by Alan Lee (XO Magazine). How to live
a high performance life.
Joys Today Can Bring On Tomorrow's Illnesses . Why procrastination
can be unhealthy.
Alignment by Flemming Funch
Habits Condensed Summaries. Summaries of the chapters of Stephen Covey's
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Imagery and Meditation
Imagery Newsletter. A website about imagery methods.
Practice: A Revised Meta-analysis of the Mental Practice Literature on
Motor Skill Learning by Deborah L. Feltz, Daniel M. Landers and Betsy
J. Becker. About the efficacy of mental practice on sports performance.
Recipe for Concentration by Leonardo Gonzalez.
Improving your attention by David Musick.
Skills at MindTools.
Mental Heuristics. Tricks to think and act more
Optimizing Sleep Patterns
The Best Cure for Insomnia
is to Go to Sleep and Ignore It. Page about various methods of dealing
with insomnia by Mick Winter. Since we transhumanists tend to have a lot
to do and think about, method s of relaxing and sleeping are important
(and pleasant). My personal recommendations are methods 17 and 18.
Sleep by Eric Eich. Is it possible to learn during sleep?
Realities: A personal account of lucid dream exploration by Alan Worsley.
Can we use the experience of lucid dreaming to become more flexible and
able to handle personal transformation in our awake life?
Subliminal self-help tapes (or other media) are a popular method, but
how effective is it?
A Critical Overview of the Research by Todd Stark. Are subliminal
self-help cassettes really better than supraliminal?
Self-Help Tapes: Promises, Promises by Barry Beyerstein and Eric Eich
(Rational Enquirer, Vol 6, No 1, Jul 93). Sceptical article about the
alleged positive effects of subliminal t apes.
Subliminal Self-help Auditory
Tapes: An Empirical Test of Perceptual Consequences by Timothy E.
Burnout, a definite
danger for transhumanists.
savor this brain disorder by J. Raloff and Lessons
from Gourmand Syndrome (Science News, June 7, 1997) About gourmand
syndrome, a brain change making people crave fine food.
for the soul by Claudia Wallis (Time Domestic July 11, 1994 Volume
144, No. 2). The new developments in neurospychology will likely enable
us to modify our personalities more and more. This raises complex problems
about personal identity and ethics - is it ethical to cure someone of
Advances In Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor Therapies, edited by Sidney
H. Kennedy ISBN 0-88048-474-8. Reviewed by David Pearce: The
Responsible Parent's Guide to Healthy Mood-Boosters for All the Family.
Many interesting comments and links.
(Associates for Research Into the Science of Enjoyment). Organisation
for the study of pleasure.
Magazine Articles on many subjects.
Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People A classic
book about how to organize one's life.
James H. Austin, Zen and the Brain, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-01164-6
This is your brain
on Buddha, review by Erik Davis (Feed).
James W. Kalat, Biological Psychology, Sixth Edition James. ISBN:
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,
HarperCollins; ISBN: 0060920432 1991
101: The Warrior's Guide to the Blackboard Jungle by Angus
Wong. A very unorthodox and interesting study guide, with some good
observations about self-transformation.
Remembering, Believing: Enhancing Human Performance Daniel Druckman
and Robert A. Bjork, Editors; Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement
of Human Performance, National Research Council 1994.
Walter John Williams, Aristoi, Tor 1992. Novel dealing with a
transhuman future civilisation where the leaders employ many forms of
Relevant newsgroups: alt.self-improve,