What are the possible impacts on the world?

Mikhail Zybin, modified 1 Year ago.

What are the possible impacts on the world?

Posts: 57 Join Date: 2/16/20 Recent Posts
How do you think, is it possible someday that, maybe due to advances in our understanding of the brain, a significant portion of the world population (if not 50-80%, then, maybe, 1%) gets enlightened? How, if happened, it would influence the course of the history of humanity?

If the CEO of a corporation, a president of a country, or the whole government gets enlightened, what influence would this make on the company’s policy or the life of citizens? What happens if Secretary-General of the United Nations gets enlightened?
Would it be beneficial if the instructions and maps of enlightenment were taught in elementary school? Should this whole thing go global someday, or will it forever stay largely unknown?

There is a growing community and philosophical movement called “Effective Altruism”, and its goal is determining how to do as much good as we can given limited resources (feel free to read an introduction 
https://www.effectivealtruism.org/articles/introduction-to-effective-altruism/). How effective creating new meditation centers is as a means of reducing suffering in the world?
There are many problems in the world now – global warming, global poverty, air and water pollution, developing safe artificial intelligence technologies, nuclear and biorisks mitigation. Is it more likely for an enlightened person who works on some of these problems to have a more positive impact on humanity than for unenlightened one?
Brian, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: What are the possible impacts on the world?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
I think I'm recognizing hopes in you that I once had, that enlightenment would take root and it'd be something kind of like puberty that we all went through on the way to becoming adults, and the world would be really different than today. A totally different way of thinking about how to solve the problems of humanity than the world is used to! It made me hopeful.

But lately I don't think any large percentage of humanity will ever be enlightened at the same time. I do have some small hope that there could be a relatively big small group, like some fraction of one percent. But I'm not sure it would cause any revolution, because enlightened people still seem to squabble a lot. There are a lot of enlightened monks, and although I think the vinaya prohibits them from talking smack about each other, privately they think their way is the best and that other ways are messed up.

I kept trying to think about whether EEG headsets and stuff like that could contribute to a meditation revolution. But it doesn't seem like it to me. There are probably very clear recordings of advanced meditators in jhana, or having cessations, and researchers are just like "huh, ok".

One thing that gives me hope is that some meditation strategies could easily be disguised as something like NLP or CBT. That is, you could strip away any mention of the Buddha, any terms in Pali or Sanskrit, quit talking about deva realms or whatever, and it'd look like a psychological self-help program. I could get on Skype and coach people on Ven. Vimalaramsi's 6R method, without mentioning anything about Buddhism, and they'd be doing the same meditation practice that's making me have wholesome ecstatic experiences every day. Maybe that's how it could spread.

But on the question of whether it would make us make better choices, I think it would probably help a lot on small local issues, but not so much on bigger issues. For example, two enlightened people could differ on some issue like whether the changing climate is due to human activity. They're both not suffering, but the disagreement is about what scientific papers and so forth they're looking at.

Seems to me like becoming enlightened would definitely help not get in one's own way on trying to do good stuff. But at the end of the day, we live in the most complex of all complex systems, and nobody can tell for sure what the effects of any given action will be. The universe just has to compute it and we just have to wait and watch.
Lewis James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: What are the possible impacts on the world?

Posts: 155 Join Date: 5/13/15 Recent Posts
Shinzen's lab work at the SEMA lab, Arizona University, is pretty interesting, though I'm not sure how much, if any, has been published yet. Last I heard they basically have a device that can temporarily disable/disrupt the default mode network while giving realtime audio feedback to the meditator, probably a few here may have even tried it as I think they demoed it at a retreat. Whether there will ever be a mass interest in it, I don't know, but the tech is starting to get to the point where it could have real world impacts.