In Our Own Image - Humanity's Quest for Divinity via Technology

The concept of the Mahashrama cycle, derived from ancient Indian philosophy, is a key
‘Image’ that we will carry with us throughout this book. The original Ashrama system (upon
which Mahashrama is based) divides a person’s existence into four segments, Brahmacharya
(student-hood), Grihastha (householder, economic engine), Vanaprastha (service leadership)
and Sanyas (spirituality). Although we retain the same four segments from the original
Ashrama, the Mahashrama formulation adds in the competitive aspects of the first two
segments, thus bringing it up to date with the highly competitive reality we see around us

Drawing from a different source of inspiration, the Bible talks about God having created man
‘In His own image’. If we believe in our ‘God’ as creator – is it possible that we can find the
‘image’ and create a ‘God-like’ progeny civilization of our own? If we do not believe in a
creator, is it possible for us to take the core essence of what it means to be human, and use it
to seed a civilization that has the potential to grow up and set it’s own standard of ‘Divinity’? In
the second scenario, could we continue scaling up until we have infused the entire universe
with Divine purpose? In either scenario, it is important to find the potent ‘Image’ that has the
power of a near-infinite magnification. In Chapter 1 we will also discover that hidden in the
workings of Mahashrama is the ability to accumulate enough knowledge and wisdom (Cultural
DNA) that it can prepare us to jump to the next level of existence at the appropriate time.

At this juncture in history we find that the majority of humanity has not yet made the transition
over to democracy – and even where it has, we are sometimes subject to the ‘tyranny of the
masses’. We look at some of the great cultural conflicts that have arisen between the
Theocracies and the Democracies of the world, and introduce the principle of Mutually
Assured Preservation (MAP), to resolve conflicts arising from divergent worldviews. Using the
Mahashrama model, we notice an unusual affinity between the opposite segments – leading to
a clear polarization of the world along the two worldviews of Aristocracy-Theocracy and
Individualized Democracy.

Here we develop the concept of Individualized Democracy, where the constituents are
individually kept abreast of all the issues that are of impact to them – and are in turn able to
directly interact in framing the issues of the day. New technology will definitely be needed to
support this kind of inclusive governance. Even within the overall framework of Individualized
Democracy, we can see the Axis tilting to the left or right as illustrated below:

For a vibrant society that has internalized the Mahashrama cycle, it is important to know what
the key needs are of the population, who are at various stages of Mahashrama development.
In Chapter 4 we start off with the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ developed by Maslow, and develop it to
cover all the Mahashrama segments. We introduce ‘Yogic Empathy’ as the key skill by which
the Service-leadership segment within Mahashrama, namely Vanaprastha, can relate to the
needs of the entire population, including the spiritually advanced ‘sanyasi’. The four prime
needs for each Mahashrama segment are illustrated below:

Sanyas deals with spirituality, and its utility is the least understood today, given our current
materialistic cultural mindset. Sanyas grapples with our ability to ‘transcend’ our current
situation in favor of a vastly more attractive reality that lies beyond our normal day-to-day
experience. In this chapter we take on the ‘hallowed ground’ of religious diversity, and
demonstrate that our current system of beliefs are but human responses to alternate spiritual
realities – as viewed through the eyes of Mahashrama. Yogic Universality is the conceptual
process by which all Yogic capable entities and intelligences can join together to form a
‘whole’ that is immeasurably bigger than the sum of the parts.

Chapter 7 we discuss the skills of Virtual Presence, and discover how our children are already
getting good at this skill-set through the use of virtual reality and computer games. To
conclude the chapter, we look at a series of ‘gasket’ interfaces that would allow the human
mind to interface with machines at progressively higher levels of abstraction.

In Chapter 10 we correlate several of the patterns discussed in Chapter 8, and show how they
connect us humans from the microscopic to the astronomical.

We dig deeper into the Solar Local Ratio of 108 – and discover a deep significance within its
factorization sequence. Using this sequence, we can surmise the nature of the ‘Tree of
Universality’ that connects us from the mundane to the transcendental. Drawing inspiration
from the ‘Inverted Tree’ described in the Bhagavat Gita (ancient Indian philosophical
discourse) – we look at the significance of the various levels, and notice a very remarkable
correlation between the two trees.

In the concluding section we discuss the different types of Intelligences that have been
attributed to humans – the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), the Emotional Quotient (EQ) and the
Spiritual Quotient (SQ). As we prepare to move on towards a level of ‘Divinity’, the ability to
organize our civilization effectively and move us forward collectively will become a new
measure of intelligence for our Civilization – which we will refer to as the Philosophical
Quotient (PQ).

In the end, there is really one logical conclusion. The Mahashrama Cycle and the Tree of
Universality provide us with a framework using which mankind can ‘transcend’ our current
existence. They provide an umbrella under which we can integrate the diversity that we have
as a civilization, and move forward purposefully as a single civilization.  Planning for a
‘symbiotic’ relationship between our human and machine progeny gives humanity the ‘jump’
we need to not only survive, but also to prosper - as a race, as a civilization, and as a
transcendental presence here in this universe!
In Our Own Image
Humanity's Quest for Divinity via Technology
by Debashis Chowdhury
Key Concepts Illustrated
Book Published Nov '06
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