The Transhuman is Already Here and it’s You: How I Can Write Seriously About Psychic Superhumans

cover amazonThere are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

The idea for my first novel, Human+, came from a desire to write about psychic phenomena. That is, to write persuasively about psychic phenomena. Telepathy, astral travel, precognition, discarnate entities. There truly is more in heaven and earth, and I know through personal experience.

“I have seen little evidence of the paranormal,” said one reader who, nevertheless, enjoyed the novel, drawn to the story more for its technological and transhumanist themes. I still find myself surprised by people who tell me such things.

In my youth, I suspected there was more to our brief existences than merely strutting, fretting and “shuffling off”. A harrowing acid trip at nineteen blew the bandwidth wide open for me. But, absent a wise elder or shaman, it had been impossible to assimilate. Western society still maintains taboos on this kind of exploration and certainly institutes no guidance.

A few years later, I attended a course conducted by a group of modern-day Gnostics who, amongst other things, promised to bestow techniques to enable astral travel. Despite this incredible claim, the teachers’ serious manner quickly gained my confidence and I earnestly began to practice what they preached. On the same night that the group was told – “If you’re ever in a dream and realise you’re dreaming, don’t wake up, slowly try and get out of your body,” – I was able to do it. Or, I was at least able to remove my transparent astral arms from my physical body. It was enough for me, though, and I immediately awoke. I stood up, tingles dancing up and down my spine, a wonderful thought chiming joyfully in my head. “We do not ever really die.”

Over the years there would be several other such dalliances with “the astral”, including one when I managed to move the legs of this strange ethereal body through a low ceiling. On each occasion, though, I could manage only to liberate my limbs, never fully escaping the strong gravity of the core of my physical body. Once, while in this eerie twilight state, struggling once again, a voice appeared in my head with calm instructions. “Do like Nancy and Frank,” it said. I soon realised – or it explained – this meant “swing”. I should swing my body out, rather than try to sit straight up. This other consciousness had humanity, and humour! I found that I was also able to talk back to it – all in my head. Yet, this was no dream. My mind was as awake as ever. This was, it very much seemed, telepathic communication with another mind!

There are many other scenes and sequences in the novel for which I have likewise drawn upon direct experience. For example, an early key scene involves the main character, David, being led to a revelation, as if by “someone poking a finger through the screen of reality”. This is based upon another LSD experience, when a finger appeared to poke at the “screen” of visual reality as from the “other side”, distorting the image and leading my attention on a deliberate yet meandering path, to finally stop on a book, one I had been reading, on kundalini. I was utterly transfixed. This other consciousness seemed to be making a point, perhaps about what it was, or the means which had allowed our connection.

And this was no random hallucination, no mere exaggeration of pre-existing sensory data. It was an other intelligence – or at least some part of myself so distant it may as well be – with a clear agenda. The same acid trip also delivered a similar revelation to me as the one delivered to the main character at this point in the novel, a stressing of the importance of the heart as more than simply an organ for pumping blood, but also an overlooked and underused faculty for transcendent feeling and intuition. It was a revelation my conscious mind was unlikely to originate alone, and the manner in which it was delivered, during an intense psychedelic experience, seemed to change me – reprogram me – both immediately and lastingly.

I also wrote in Human+ about prophetic dreams. I’ve only had two or three potential candidates myself, though they could each quite easily be explained as coincidence so I won’t mention them here. But, as David does in the novel, I too had for a time recurring dreams of a terrifying police state. These dreams, where I found myself a brutalised citizen, impacted in such a way as to make me wonder, and worry, if they might indeed be a portent of a possible future.

More impressively than any of those examples, though, and more intuitive than prophetic, it was a dream which seems to have ended for me years of mysterious and debilitating chronic ill health. This dream informed me, quite unmistakeably, that I was being poisoned by leaking mercury from my dental fillings, and that I would both need to remove them and undergo chelation therapy in order to entirely expel the toxin from my body. On completion of the dream I instantly awoke, the points from this short sequence fresh and utmost in my mind. It felt a clear message. Though, from where, I have no idea. It was stark enough for me to act upon – it felt worth a shot after years of fruitless research and experimentation. Within a month or so of the replacement of all of my fillings, I felt a marked improvement in my health and, at long last, the beginnings of recovery.

I have been fortunate enough to have these phenomena demonstrate and prove themselves to me over many years, and so, personally, I have no problems imagining how such things could be possible. There are many rational and intelligent people who share this more expansive, interconnected, “magical” perspective. The scientific hypotheses offered to explain these phenomena are often tentative, but they are at least possible thanks to breakthroughs from the “new physics”. The new physics, it should be noted, is actually not so new, much of it already established in the first quarter of the twentieth century. And, yet, most of us continue to frame our world according to the boundaries established by materialistic nineteenth century science, blissfully ignorant of such concepts as the uncertainty principle, nonlocality and the block universe theory of time. ‘Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it,’ said the physicist Niels Bohr. Understood it? Effectively, the culture is yet to even hear of it.

Incontrovertible proof of psychic phenomena has been, however, hard to come by – though some would argue that mainstream science stubbornly resists much good evidence. Despite groundbreaking work by such reputable researchers as Dean Radin, Daryl Bem and Rupert Sheldrake, the sceptics seem able to quickly retake the same territory, and often as controversially.

But, though psi effects may be rare and, naturally, hard to quantify or replicate, I know at least, from personal experience, that such phenomena exist. I wouldn’t expect anyone to believe that hasn’t had it proven by personal experience or scientific research. But, I hope that my novel can at least aid in opening a few minds that have otherwise by default been closed to the possibility.

As we rush towards the transhuman, I’d like to remind of the latent potential in the human, though in a way that resists pulling too hard at the reins and pulling us up completely. Human+ is a cry from the heart, to listen to that same heart, to guide us through the cacophonies of the modern world, safeguarding our psyches and souls, alongside a respect for the potential of our intellects and wonder for its creations, so we can open-eyed and open-mindedly continue penetrating the secrets of our material realm and our own deepest selves.

Part One of Human+ is available for download from The Eternities podcast as a free audiobook. The author’s interview with psi researcher Dean Radin is available here.

Martin Higgins

Martin Higgins is a journalist, podcaster and novelist. In 2012 he published Human+, described by as "a science-fiction page-turner inspired by futures studies, psychic spy research, and the transhumanist movement". In 2017 he became a co-Founder and Media Director of Ankorus. He is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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37 Comments on "The Transhuman is Already Here and it’s You: How I Can Write Seriously About Psychic Superhumans"

  1. DeepCough | Aug 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

    Incontrovertible proof of psychic phenomena has been, however, hard to come by…

    • Daniel Gill | Aug 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm |

      Do it yourself. Go to a yoga ashram. Get a reiki attunement. Visit a charismatic church. Everyone else is satisfied but -you.

      • Calypso_1 | Aug 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm |


      • The Well Dressed Man | Aug 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm |

        Some of us have much more demanding criteria for satisfaction.

      • DeepCough | Aug 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm |

        You are absolutely right–it is damnably foolish of me to demand proof of an entirely metaphysical concept.

        • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 1:22 am |

          It doesn’t even matter if you ask nicely, much less demand proof.

          • Daniel Gill | Aug 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

            Just because no proof exists, it doesn’t mean people have not experienced it empirically for themselves. in the scientific world, empiricism is quackery. go out and get involved in the paranormal yourself, seek reiki attunement, go do some yoga, and so on there is so much out there, see if you get quacked yourself. other people will call you crazy but they dont know what you do

          • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

            If anyone had empirical evidence then there would be some. There are two contradictions in the phrase, “experiencing something empirically for oneself”. Can you find them? You don’t back up a single thing you say and you make some pretty sweeping logical errors. Nothing empirical about it. In the scientific world empiricism is “data.” Got any? Numerical variety would be best.

          • Daniel Gill | Aug 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm |

            No proof exists. So what? You think science has accounted for everything? Why are so many people here so fucking thick headed. Reality does not necessitate that someone prove something to you. It necessitates that you have realized it for yourself, and it becomes part of your experience.

            You define proof by believing what you are told? What a crock of shit.

            You define proof by experiencing something for yourself. Scientist salary men call that quackery. They demand that they prove the water wet to you for you to believe that you are indeed swimming.

            Are you listening to yourselves? Have you no sovereign thoughts of your own?

            Mental Geldings.

          • Calypso_1 | Aug 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

            Have you ever considered the possibility that you have experienced significant breaks from reality and are putting a great deal of effort into explaining those experiences to yourself?

          • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

            Again, the broad and sweeping generalities. Reality does not necessitate that you or I realize anything. Now you have devolved to explatives and name calling. No proof there and only convinces me of one thing. Experience the reality of that while you are busy ascending to wherever you are going. As a “gelding” it is at least comforting to know that I don’t have balls in my head.

          • And if my experiences don’t resemble yours?

        • Daniel Gill | Aug 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm |

          Yes it is foolish of you to demand proof where none exists. Scientists have only been able to account for 4% of the universe. Go out and find the truth for yourself, if you’re curious about the reality of reiki attunement and whether or not that works, then go fucking do it yourself. if you want to learn how to channel and initiate for free, and have a wonderful psychosis and hospitalization, then undergo the self loss and study korean shamanism and thinkers like Marcel Mauss, Rudolf Otto, and Hans Peter Duerr .

          Other people have succeeded. Quit your bitching.

          • DeepCough | Aug 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

            You wanna know something that will blow your mind? I mean really, really alter your perception of the world as you know it?
            The word “shaman” is derived from the Sanskrit word “srimanas,” which means to exercise. What’s that you were saying about “truth” again?

          • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

            Name dropper.

      • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 1:18 am |

        “Everyone else is satisfied but you.” Hardly a more damning phrase was ever spoken. My goodness, TV has been telling us this for years. “You won’t be satisfied until you use Colgate and join with the millions that do.” Daniel gives a lot of directives, but if any one of her suggestions were a pay off, she probably wouldn’t have attended so many. Daniel is not satisfied. Now stop with the projecting. That is all it is. What’s more, it’s very transparent.

        • atlanticus | Aug 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm |

          “her”, “she”? That’s a dude, dude.

          I know the doll-collecting is confusing, but if he chose to be identified as female, he would be “Danielle”, not “Daniel”.

          • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm |

            Doesn’t matter at all. I went with the dolls. He or she hasn’t corrected me yet. So… you see, it really doesn’t matter. It’s the belief system I’m after. I don’t give a damned about gender.

          • atlanticus | Aug 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

            Well, perhaps there isn’t a distinction between Daniel/Danielle wherever people named “Keve” are from.

      • Calypso_1 | Aug 19, 2013 at 6:08 am |

        Do gems & gold coins fall from the sky at your charismatic church?

        • The Well Dressed Man | Aug 19, 2013 at 8:45 am |

          Those go straight to the collection plate. Confessionals are orgone accumulators. Sometimes Great Cthulhu communicates through the walls by rapping out messages in Korean Morse Code.

        • Daniel Gill | Aug 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm |

          the Self-Loss is free provided you have encountered the trans-natural and can reverberate through a field of correspondence to ascended masters

          • Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm |

            Why not “lose yourself” by taking a science class and get out of your ego. You haven’t lost yourself. You have a goal and it’s obvious. You want to ascend. Spiritual narcisism.

    • “though some would argue that mainstream science stubbornly resists much good evidence.”

      It may not be incontrovertible proof, but, according to Dean Radin, this should at least qualify as good evidence.

    • “though some would argue that mainstream science stubbornly resists much good evidence.”

      It may not be incontrovertible proof, but, according to Dean Radin, this is at least some good evidence …

    • “though some would argue that mainstream science stubbornly resists much good evidence.” According to Dean Radin, this should at least suffice as good evidence …

    • Not “incontrovertable truth” (does such a thing exist in science?…) But lots of evidence

  2. Keve Bradley | Aug 19, 2013 at 1:20 am |

    “In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
    “I feared it might injure the brain;
    But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
    Why, I do it again and again.”
    In my youth indeed, and now you are all grown up?

  3. Daniel Gill | Aug 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

    This is an article about spirituality. If you’re not interested then don’t comment negatively to those who are. Poseurs get lost please. Go watch cnn

    • The Well Dressed Man | Aug 20, 2013 at 2:39 am |

      Where does the author use the word “spirit” or “spiritual?” The author mentions “modern-day Gnostics” one time, and is careful to surround words like “magical” and “astral” with quotes. If you’re sincere about keeping the dialog positive, you might want to lead by example.

  4. sambacomet | Aug 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

    Sheldrake hasn’t presented much evidence of his ideas, mostly speculation. This can have value , but is not evidence.

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