This article is part of a series of articles on design thinking and thought leaders that transform into what we at CLC Advisors call “i.e.,” the “idea economy.” Where ideas become and transform into widgets for those who choose to dare mighty things to build something bigger than themselves. We are explorers of the universe.
Adah Parris is a storyteller and creator of Cyborg Shamanism. Through her storytelling, she empathetically subverts the status quo by encouraging her audiences to become critical thinkers, philosophers and immersive storytellers themselves.
With over 20 years experience in transforming cultures to create human blockchains, Parris has worked with businesses and individuals in advertising, education, entertainment, entrepreneurship, marketing, media and technology start-ups.
I met Adah last summer at Kinnernet Venice at H-Farm in Roncade, Italy. Needless to say, her exuberance, energy, and gift of storytelling transcended from the real world into the spiritual. Read on to learn more.
I use the word “cyborg” as a deliberate provocation and call for us to think about what it means to be human – the ethics, power, responsibility, boundaries and possibilities of what is possible, and what we are capable of.
How did Cyborg Shamanism come about and why is it relevant right now?
Cyborg Shamanism is a way to empathetically subvert that status quo. It is the result of 5 years of mind-mapping patterns that I saw across different ecosystems and worlds: digital and quantum technology, spirituality and mysticism, psychedelic studies, quantum physics and other areas that I have long had an interest in.
At the time, I was working as a futurist at The Friday Club, organising an event on Transhumanism and was speaking to Liviu Babitz from The North Sense. Liviu calls himself a Cyborg and has a piece of technological hardware inserted into his chest. The North Sense is a device which when it detects magnetic north vibrates. The device effectively turns you into a human compass. I asked him why he had the implant and he said that he felt that this was ‘future human’. The device helped him to develop senses that we as humans didn’t have but some other mammals such as birds do. Liviu talked about how the device helped him to connect and understand himself, his environment and because there were others who had the device they had formed a community.
To me, he was saying the same thing that some people from the psychedelic, plant medicine and shamanic communities were saying. That they journeyed down those paths because the medicine, shaman or psychedelic tool helped them to connect with themselves, their environment and with a particular community of fellow explorers.
I use the word “cyborg” as a deliberate provocation and call for us to think about what it means to be human – the ethics, power, responsibility, boundaries and possibilities of what is possible, and what we are capable of. I use the word “shamanism” as a call to actively seek and find other perspectives, other ways of knowing, and that could be shamanic, quantum, spiritual, algorithmic, or purely by a difference in life or professional experience. All are of equal relevance. I found a new connection between those seemingly juxtapositional worlds. The only difference was their means of exploration, the tool, the technology. And so, Cyborg Shamanism was born.