"People out of Stone" - a brief backstory of modern-day robotics and AI:
In India, it is a tradition amongst certain Tantric sects to anoint their phallic lingam images with oil, milk, and sometimes semen. A similar tradition involving living statues and plaster busts exists in Western culture - at least on a literary level. E.T.A. Hoffman, Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Jules Verne amongst others, have reinterpreted the original myth of Pygmalion from Ovid; it can even be seen in the musical 'My Fair Lady'. This tradition fulfills an ancient human dream, that of bringing the dead back to life, either artificially or with the help of the gods of magic. Even today there are hints of it in cybernetics and genetic engineering. Inspired by the attempts of Charles Darwin's grandfather Erasmus Darwin to re-animate dead worms, the nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley wrote the novel 'Frankenstein: or the new Prometheus' which was published in 1818. More on the theme has been written more recently by authors such as Philip K. Dick (as in 'Blade Runner'), Alfred Bester, Stanislaw Lem and Pierre Klossowsky. In Switzerland in 1972, a drama based on the classical myth of Galatea appeared, expressing the eternal dream of a man for a woman who is wholly dedicated to him. In the play, which was a reworking of an 'Alpensaga' (Swiss mountain fairy tale), some farmers create a 'Sennentuntschi', an artificial woman grown in a bottle from a mixture of dung and cheese. Needless to say, Sennentuntschi soon frees herself from their attentions.
In Jewish mysticism, there is the legend of the Golem, which is ultimately based on Psalm 139 verse 16; the story is best known from the mediæval golem created by Rabbi Löw of Prague, as described in Gustav Meyrink's impressive novel The Golem (1915). Golems are reproductions of Adam, formed from the dust of the earth, and they go even further back in Jewish culture, as may be discovered in a commentary on the ancient Cabalistic text the Sefer Yetzirah, as expounded by the eminent scholar Gershom Scholem. The German author of occult and erotic potboilers H.H. Ewers added a sexual twist to the legend with his novel Alraune in 1911. Also in Germany, Paul Wegener directed a film of The Golem in 1915, the first in a series of German films such as Nosferatu, Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari and Dr. Mabuse which evoked a fascination for evil. Neo-Gnostics and secret societies in Germany and elsewhere got a lot of inspiration from fictional sources such as these - enough for them to devise their own 'Order Secrets'. The concept of the Homunculus, an alchemical mannikin produced in a bottle, was not foreign to Theodor Reuss, the O.T.O.'s founder. The prescribed reading-list for O.T.O. members included G. Herman's work called Genesis - das Gesetz der Zeugung (Genesis - the Law of Procreation) which describes the production of a being "who is realized through the odic power of materialization, and which as odic mist streams from the vulvae, and under the traditional uterine influence easily forms child-souls." The alchemist Paracelsus described his formula for creating a Homunculus using blood and semen, and this has been compared to the consecrated hosts of the Spermo-Gnostics. In 1914 Aleister Crowley wrote his Xth degree instruction De Homunculo Epistola in which he described the homunculus, even though he was less than enthusiastic about it. It is quite possible that he had been inspired by Somerset Maugham, who had published a novel called The Magician in 1907, whose villain Oliver Haddo is based on Crowley; in the novel Haddo manufactures a mad homunculus by devilish arts. Similarly, Crowley himself wrote a novel in 1917 (not published until 1929) called Moonchild, in which sex-magicians create a speaking homunculus with astrological enchantments.
"You are my Creator, but I am your Master — Obey!" - Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Text is an excerpt from: "Nosferatu's Baby (Much Too Much) Too hot To Handle" - by Peter-R. Koenig
#Comment: It is rather comedic, that generations of highly educated elite men tried to make inanimate matter come alive through ever-evolving complex means. It seem obvious, that the driving psychological force behind such efforts, is a pathological jealousy of men towards women, resulting from the biological inability of males to give birth.
Consider the somewhat related insights, by Robert Anton Wilson: "Elohim," the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as "God," but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean "goddesses." Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still. - Genesis, p. 197
#Robot #Religion #Magic #History #ML #Robot #ALife