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Spirit Tech

The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering

Wesley J. Wildman, Ph.D., and Kate J. Stockly, Ph.D.

St. Martin's Press

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ISBN10: 1250274931
ISBN13: 9781250274939


400 Pages



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We already rely on technology to manage our health, sleep, relationships, and finances, so it’s no surprise that we’re turning to technological aids for the spiritual journey. From apps that help us pray or meditate, to cybernauts seeking the fast track to nirvana through magnetic brain stimulation, we are on the brink of the most transformative revolution in the practice of religion: an era in which we harness the power of “spirit tech” to deepen our experience of the divine.

Spirit tech products are rapidly improving in sophistication and power, and ordinary people need a trustworthy guide. Through their own research and insiders’ access to the top innovators and early adopters, Wesley J. Wildman and Kate J. Stockly take you deep inside an evolving world:

- Find out how increasingly popular “wearables” work on your brain, promising a shortcut to transformative meditative states.
- Meet the inventor of the “God Helmet” who developed a tool to increase psychic skills, and overcome fear, sadness, and anger.
- Visit churches that use ayahuasca as their sacrament and explore the booming industry of psychedelic tourism.
- Journey to a mansion in the heart of Silicon Valley where a group of scientists and entrepreneurs are working feverishly to bring brain-based spirit tech applications to the masses.
- Discover a research team who achieved brain-to-brain communication between individuals thousands of miles apart, harnessing neuro-feedback techniques to sync and share emotions among group members.

Spirit Tech offers readers a compelling glimpse into the future and is the definitive guide to the fascinating world of new innovations for personal transformation, spiritual growth, and pushing the boundaries of human nature.


Praise for Spirit Tech

“Prepare for lift-off. Spirit Tech is a critical look at the cutting-edge intersection of science and consciousness, where experiences once called 'mystical' are now being reproduced in the lab, with technology, and all bets are off as to what the future holds.”—Steven Kotler, The New York Times bestselling author and executive chairman of the Flow Research Collective

"Wesley and Kate are uniquely qualified to guide us, with wisdom and rigor, into the wild new world of technology and spirit. This will be a landmark work in the emerging wonderland of techno-spiritualities."—Dr. Patrick McNamara, neuroscientist, Boston University School of Medicine

"Spirit Tech is a marvelously readable and often mind-blowing introduction to new frontiers in spiritual exploration. We find science fiction made flesh, here among us, now. Prepare to have your brain rewired."—David Voas, head of the department of social science at University College of London

“A thought-provoking treasure of information and reflections on multiple tools that may accelerate the processes of personal development and spiritual awakening.”—William A. Richards, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and author of Sacred Knowledge

"Wesley J. Wildman and Kate Stockly make it clear that a brave new world is upon us, as high tech entrepreneurs develop 'God helmets,' virtual reality landscapes and churches, and concoct high-tech drugs and other technologies to induce spiritual states and heightened consciousness. Wildman and Stockly offer a fascinating exploration of this emerging high-tech spirituality and its ethical implications."—Fred Nadis, author of Star Settlers: the Billionaires, Geniuses, and Crazed Visionaries out to Conquer the Universe

"This fascinating book takes a fresh look at religion and spirituality, through a closer examination of 'spirit tech'— e.g., technologies that enhance spiritual experiences, ranging from those trying to 'hack' spirituality through traditional shamanistic substances like ayahuasca, to others using cutting edge technologies like magnetic brain stimulation to simulate ecstatic experiences. We suddenly find ourselves in this Brave New World of spirituality which warrants a closer examination of both its impacts and ethics. This well-researched and well-written tome is a necessary guidebook for readers seeking spirituality in the digital era, as well as for religious leaders contemplating ways to attract digital natives whose interest in 'church' has waned, as glittering cell phones and social media enchant them instead."—Julie M. Albright, digital sociologist and author of Left to Their Own Devices: How Digital Natives Are Reshaping the American Dream

"Dr. Wildman and Dr. Stockly bring creativity, insight and wisdom to their ongoing exploration of life at the border of science and faith."—Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill, Dean of Marsh Chapel, Boston University

"Spirituality, technology, neuroscience, data, values, culture—every time you think you could not throw more complex ideas into a conversation, in walk Kate and Wesley. They bring a fresh voice to the examination of an emerging industry that mixes high tech science with ancient wisdom. Look to Spirit Tech to challenge all your assumptions about the future of spirituality as well as the consciousness and wellness movements."—Kippy Rudy, Chief Development Officer, Center for Mind and Culture

Spirit Tech is especially helpful for the 'spiritual but not religious' who want to navigate new spiritual techniques, choose more wisely, and avoid problematic outcomes. It is also useful for the committed religionists who don’t have the time, expertise or resources it takes to become an expert meditator or mystic, but nevertheless want to find a way to improve their spiritual lives. For the daring spiritual explorer, this is an essential guide-book to take along on the journey.”—Linda Mercadante, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor, Emerita, Methodist Theological School in Ohio and author of Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious (Oxford Univ. Pr.)

"Wildman and Stockly’s revealing introduction to this brave new world of transcendent tech will give both pious pioneers and defenders of traditional religiosity something to consider."Publishers Weekly


Read an Excerpt

[ 1 ]

The Scattered Supermarket of Special Spiritual Services

There is a depth to the potential of these technologies that is rarely addressed. Because this isn’t just about reducing stress. This is about a really...

About the author

Wesley J. Wildman, Ph.D., and Kate J. Stockly, Ph.D.

WESLEY J. WILDMAN, Ph.D. is a professor of philosophy, religion, theology, and ethics at Boston University and author of over a dozen books. These include the Outreach Series of accessible introductions to the scientific study of religion, and Macmillan Reference's two-volume Encyclopedia of Science and Religion.

KATE J. STOCKLY, Ph.D. is a research fellow at the Center for Mind and Culture. In addition to Spirit Tech, she is co-author of High on God.

Kalman Zabarsky

Wesley J. Wildman Ph.D

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Aaron Eisman

Kate J. Stockly Ph.D.

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Author Profile at the BU School of Theology