Transhuman Page

Individual Sphere


Mental Enhancements

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
General Methods
Specific Methods and Problems
Other Sites
See Also


General Mental Transformation

Short Term

Short term mental transformation, i.e. optimizing the minds we currently have.

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.

Alt.self-improve FAQ. 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.

Programming 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.

Human Performance Research: An Overview by Monica J. Harris and Robert Rosenthal. A review of various ways of improving human performance.

Long Term Transhuman Goals

These ideas are directed more to a transhuman future, when we have begun to modify our minds extensively.

The Hedonistic Imperative by David Pearce. An outline of a global strategy of abolishing aversive experience and its ethics.

Quotes about the Mind by David Zindell

General Methods

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.

Tools for successful performance in sport.

Sport psychology frequently asked questions.

Psychological Strategies for Bodybuilding Success by Frederick C. Hatfield. These strategies are applicable in many other life domains.

Coaching 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.

Specific Methods, States and Problems

Self-Hypnosis and Hypnosis

Hypnotica - Self-hypnosis techniques.

Betty Erickson's Self Hypnosis Technique.

Hypnosis in Yahoo

Hypnosis Links


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.

NLP links

Meta Publications. Sells NLP books and tapes.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Design Human Engineering General Information Server

NLP Your Self by Dale Kirby. A few techniques for modifying yourself.

Honest 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.

Exploring 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 with anger.

Music and Drugs (from Medical Site for Students at Université de Rennes). Some links between music, emotion and therapeutics.

Dynamic Optimism 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

Mind Tools:

Time Management
Stress Management
Goal Setting

Stress Management for Patient and Physician David B. Posen, MD. A good overview of stress and stress-control methods.

Stress and Performance by Seymour Levine.

10-Day Rewire for Ultimate Success by Alan Lee (XO Magazine). How to live a high performance life.

Procrastinators' Joys Today Can Bring On Tomorrow's Illnesses . Why procrastination can be unhealthy.

Activity Alignment by Flemming Funch

Seven Habits Condensed Summaries. Summaries of the chapters of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Imagery and Meditation

Meditation Techniques

Atlantis, the Imagery Newsletter. A website about imagery methods.

Mental 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.


Communications Skills at MindTools.

Mental Tricks

Mental Heuristics. Tricks to think and act more efficiently.


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.

Learning During Sleep by Eric Eich. Is it possible to learn during sleep?

Dreaming 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 Methods

Subliminal self-help tapes (or other media) are a popular method, but how effective is it?

Subliminal Influence: A Critical Overview of the Research by Todd Stark. Are subliminal self-help cassettes really better than supraliminal?

Subliminal 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. Moore.

Other States

Burnout, a definite danger for transhumanists.

Symposium on Synesthesia

Patients 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.


Psychopharmacology tips.

Medicine 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 ethical handicaps?

Clinical 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.

Other Sites

Arise (Associates for Research Into the Science of Enjoyment). Organisation for the study of pleasure.

Self-help 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 1998

This is your brain on Buddha, review by Erik Davis (Feed).

James W. Kalat, Biological Psychology, Sixth Edition James. ISBN: 0-534-34893-9 1998

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, HarperCollins; ISBN: 0060920432 1991

Cyborg 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.

Learning, 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 mental enhancements.

See also

Relevant newsgroups: alt.self-improve, alt.psychology.nlp


Anders Sandberg /