Thinking About Cables in the Head

A show on the radio talked about cables
coming out of a brain in the same way
cables come out of a computer –
and prosthetic hands feeling touch
like Luke Skywalker testing out his new
hand in the Star Wars movie –
thoughts from the brain transferring
to the hand to move the prosthetic
fingers – and that night I woke up from
a dream about cables coming
out of a head – my sleeping self
trying to process brains and computers,
cables and touch and movement –
and technological improvement.

And I thought: If Consciousness is infinite –
fills all space – and if our bodies are just
the manifestations – the forms – of infinite
Consciousness – then why couldn’t a robot
be just another form – another expression,
idea and manifestation of Consciousness?
Why couldn’t a robot reflect Soul?
What makes human bodies any more Soul-
filled and Soul-reflecting than the form
of a metallic hand, a robot, or an earthworm?
I’m thinking Consciousness isn’t any more
housed in a brain and a flesh-body, than it is
in a robot body and a computer chip.

Yeah. This is the kind of stuff I think about
sometimes when I take myself on a mental trip.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever.”
– from Mary Baker Eddy’s interpretation of Psalm 23

Immortal Corporeality or Immortal Consciousness?

Life, Love, Truth, is the only proof of immortality.  Man in the likeness of God as revealed in Science cannot help being immortal.
– Mary Baker Eddy

A young friend was conversing with me about the strides science has made towards giving humans immortality. My friend told me that one path science is taking to find immortality is one that would keep the body alive and un-aging. The other path, he told me, is one that would somehow keep our consciousness alive.

A quick google search led me to this story:”At the recent Global Future 2045 International Congress held in Moscow, 31-year-old media mogul Dmitry Itskov told attendees how he plans to create exactly that kind of immortality, first by creating a robot controlled by the human brain, then by actually transplanting a human brain into a humanoid robot, and then by replacing the surgical transplant with a method for simply uploading a person’s consciousness into a surrogate ‘bot.He thinks he can get beyond the first phase–to transplanting a working brain into a robot–in just ten years, putting him on course to achieve his ultimate goal–human consciousness completely disembodied and placed within a holographic host–within 30 years time.”
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-03/achieving-immortality-russian-mogul-wants-begin-putting-human-brains-robots-and-soon

Another google search took me here: “”The discovery of Turritopsis, along with many other recent observations of longevity, suggests that science may help us find the fountain of youth. With a host of new biological techniques and the rigor of the scientific method, investigators at UC Berkeley and around the world are poised to take the human race closer to everlasting life than we’ve ever been before…”
http://berkeleysciencereview.com/artic…/chasing-immortality/

So I’ve been thinking about all this – about the scientific search for an immortal body and an immortal consciousness – thinking about which of these two scientific methods I’d prefer, if I had to choose, and thinking about immortality as it’s referenced in the textbook for Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. 

If I had to make a choice between an immortal body and the disembodied immortal consciousness that is Itskov’s goal, I’d opt for Door Number Two. I don’t want to be carrying this corporeality around for eternity. It’s a lot of responsibility. It has to be hydrated, fed, clothed, cleaned – and society has certain aesthetic standards that we are expected to maintain. This body is a lot of work.

Door Number Two sounds kind of cool – but, again, our consciousness would be inside a holograph, and that sounds limiting. I kind of like the idea of not being contained in ANY form – of blending my consciousness in with a collective universal consciousness maybe. I’ve sometimes toyed with the idea that maybe that’s what “God” is – a collective consciousness of Good that we all maintain together.

I really like what Mary Baker Eddy has to say about immortality. She writes that, as ideas and expressions of God, we already ARE immortal. Love and Truth and Spirit are immortal – and she tells us that we are the reflections of Love and Truth and Spirit. Christian Science teaches that our immortality is based on a spiritual foundation, rather than a material one.

If we call the Christian Science idea of immortality Door Number Three, I’ll pick that one over the other two. The other two sound kind of complicated and convoluted and iffy. Both of them are depending on matter. I say let’s forego matter altogether – let’s just skip that part and claim the immortality we already possess and express – the immortality of Love and Truth.

Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own, – the radiance of Soul. Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense.
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perception and Connection

One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Went for a walk along the dike yesterday, and came upon this sign that said, “Keep Out”. On the other side of the sign was a wheat field, and beyond the wheat field was a road, and beyond the road were hills, and rising above the hills – all majestic and beautiful – was Mount Baker. And I was obedient to the sign, I did not bring my body beyond it. But my eyes went beyond the sign and the sign wasn’t really separating me from the glory of Mount Baker. And then it hit me – no sign could stop me from bringing that image of the mountain into my conscousness. In fact, even if I never saw that mountain again, it would still be a part of me, living in my consciousness. All that I’ve perceived in my life is part of me, isn’t it? Not outside me, separated from me by my skin, or by time or space – but connected to me, and carried around within me. And that includes every book I ever loved, every sunset and rainbow I ever saw, every song that ever touched my soul, and you!

perception

– photo of Mount Shuksan taken by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird  which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight.
Mary Baker Eddy

…remember Jesus’ words, “The kingdom of God is within you.” This spiritual consciousness is therefore a present possibility.
 – Mary Baker Eddy

You are…

You are the idea of Love and Truth and Life –  eternally perfect and whole, healthy and active, unchanged, undimmed, loved, loving, intelligent, alert, aware of all good. The belief that you can ever be less than your perfect, ideal self, is a lie. The belief that you can ever be separated from Love, Good, God, is a lie. As an idea, you dwell forever within the consciousness of Love. You are the image and likeness of Love. You are the perfect child of perfect Love. You reflect nothing but Love, Spirit, Life, Truth, Principle, Mind, Soul. There’s nothing about you that is imperfect, for there’s nothing in your Father-Mother out of which imperfection could come. Amen.

God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1: 27

The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is  not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so  unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so under stood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of  Love; he is not physique. – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

Meet the incipient stages of disease with as powerful mental opposition as a legislator would employ to defeat the passage of  an inhuman law. Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind,  alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in  sickness and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the  judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, “Thou art whole!”  Instead of blind and calm submission to the incipient   or advanced stages of disease, rise in rebellion against them. Banish the belief that you can possibly entertain a single intruding pain which cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and in this way you can prevent the development of pain in the body…   Mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and rise to the true consciousness of Life as  Love, – as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit.  – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

On Consciousness: A Comparison Between Biocentrism and Christian Science

Home is the consciousness of good

 That holds us in its wide embrace;

 The steady light that comforts us

In every path our footsteps trace.

 – Rosemary Cobham, Christian Science Hymnal Supplement, #443

***

I just finished reading Robert Lanza’s book, Biocentricism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. I found it thought-provoking and utterly fascinating. And as I was reading Lanza’s book, I couldn’t help but make comparisons between the ideas I was reading in it, to the ideas found in Christian Science.

Lanza writes: “Take the seemingly undeniable logic that your kitchen is always there, its contents assuming all their familiar forms, shapes, and colors, whether or not you are in it… But consider: the refrigerator, stove, and everything else are composed of a shimmering swarm of matter/energy. Quantum theory… tells us that not a single one of those subatomic particles actually exists in a definite place. Rather, they merely exist as a range of probabilities that are unmanifest.”

A little later, Lanza writes: “Three components are necessary for a rainbow. There must be sun, there must be raindrops, and there must be a conscious eye (or its surrogate, film) at the correct geometric location… your eyes must be located at that spot where the refracted light from the sunlit droplets converges to complete the required geometry. A person next to you will complete his or her own geometry… and will therefore see a separate rainbow… As real as the rainbow looks, it requires your presence just as much as it requires sun and rain.” In other words, the answer to the question about whether a tree falling in a forest makes a sound if there’s no one to hear it, is “no.” A falling tree may make waves and vibrations, but an ear is needed to turn those waves and vibrations into sound. Lanza writes: “… without perception, there can be no reality.”

In her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a book published back in 1875, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Belief in a material basis… is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect.” Eddy writes: “Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.” And further in the book she writes: “As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible.”

In Biocentricism, Robert Lanza points out that the “dividing line between self and nonself is generally taken to be the skin, strongly implying that I am this body and nothing else.” But Lanza believes this is a myth. “Nothing,” he writes, “is perceived except the perceptions themselves, and nothing exists outside of consciousness.” According to Lanza then, we are directly connected to whatever we see, feel, and hear – it’s not outside our consciousness, but a part of it – and there’s no separation between what we perceive and what we are.

Mary Baker Eddy would agree that individuals are not isolated beings, separated from the rest of the universe, but she has a different take on our connectedness to each other, and to all. “When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: ‘Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.’ Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.”

Of western religions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam – Lanza writes: “No mention is made of other states of consciousness, nor of consciousness itself… except in mystical sects…” Ahem. Well. Yeah. This is simply not true. In her textbook (published in 1875 – long before Lanza arrived on Earth) for Christian Science – a denomination that is considered “Christian” by its adherents, and which they do not consider in the least “mystical,” Mary Baker Eddy mentions “consciousness” 80 times.

But I suppose we can make a distinction between the consciousness Lanza is attempting to explain in his book, and the consciousness Eddy refers to in hers. Lanza talks about the structure of the brain, and a physical universe. Eddy speaks of a spiritual consciousness – the consciousness of Mind, God – and provides a practical use for drawing our thoughts near to that consciousness: “When we realize that Life is spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.”

“To succeed in healing,” Eddy writes, “you must conquer your own fears as well as those of your patients, and rise into higher and holier consciousness.”

Eddy provides us with a choice. She claims we can choose which consciousness, which perception, we want to accept as real in our lives – and that choice will determine our experience here. “Dear reader, which mind-picture or externalized thought shall be real to you, – the material or the spiritual? Both you cannot have. You are bringing out your own ideal. This ideal is either temporal or eternal. Either Spirit or matter is your model… If sin, sickness, and death were understood as nothingness, they would disappear. As vapor melts before the sun, so evil would vanish before the reality of good. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality!”

Foreseeing the future, Eddy wrote in 1875: “The mariner will have dominion over the atmosphere and the great deep, over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air. The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, – he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed. Thus matter will finally be proved nothing more than a mortal belief, wholly inadequate to affect a man through its supposed organic action or supposed existence. Error will be no longer used in stating truth. The problem of nothingness, or ‘dust to dust,’ will be solved, and mortal mind will be without form and void, for mortality will cease when man beholds himself God’s reflection, even as man sees his reflection in a glass.”

***

…within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul. – Ralph Waldo Emerson