Heart and Soul

by rthieme on June 24, 1998

In response to my communication that my wife’s mother had died, many of you responded with sympathy and wisdom. The web of electronic support touched us deeply.

Many shared visions of the relationship of this life to “the next” or the body to the soul. There was a wonderful variety of images with which to imagine ourselves existing in other media or in no media whatsoever, discarnate entities alive and aware, like light without the bulb.

In my explorations of paranormal phenomena – normal phenomena, really, that came late to the party of western psychology – distinctions begin to melt like a sheet of ice held up in the sun. Once it is realized that the Self knows of events that transcend spacetime, the boundaries around the self dissolve. If one knows a fact of eighteenth century life in Ireland, for example, is it through telepathy? Or clairvoyance? Long experience with meditation and prayer teach us that the only irreducible fact is that the Self knows more than a self can know.

Our struggles to make meaningful distinctions between machine intelligence and thinking organisms, “real” and “artificial,” “natural” and “genetically engineered” attributes, are doomed to the same fate. Consciousness is a process, a means of becoming aware of its own current containers. Then it aims itself at a new goal state, the arrow and the bow alike the conscious agent acting to extend itself, using whatever molecules or machinery are available.

An “artificial heart?” All I care is that it beats and moves blood through my body. The Internet an “artificial” network of humans represented by digital symbols? All I care is that the understanding and compassion moving through this medium is real, dye in the arteries of a heart that is more than chips and switches, more than muscle and blood.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: