Thursday, March 7, 2013

I am an iPhone, not a mainframe computer!

Scientists have used computers as metaphors for the human experience for almost as many years as computers have been around, so let me extend the metaphor:

Looking at my new iPhone I realized that I am more like that than I am like a desktop or mainframe computer.

I have a running conversation with a good friend of mine about the existence or non-existence of 'God.' He is an Atheist and I am a believer. But I am a believer who admits that my belief is just a belief - I could be right or wrong.

What I realize though, is that my belief is really not about whether or not God exists, but about there being more to life than what most of us see as 'reality'. I am pretty convinced that what passes for reality is mostly illusion, smoke and mirrors, ...... theatre! (Hence the Title of my blog: "Looking Backstage in Life")

I am pretty convinced, through my own experiences, that "I" is more than my mind, emotions, or body; and that "I" continues after 'death.'

From my experiences and from reading about Quantum Physics I have come up with an extension of the computer metaphor.  "I" is more like my iPhone than my old non-cloud-connected desktop computer. Most people think that consciousness resides in, and is generated by, the brain. I think that Consciousness ('God') exists 'outside' the brain, in the 'Cloud' and that my brain is a transmitter, or focuser, of Consciousness, much like my iphone brings the content of the web/cloud to me, but the web/cloud does not reside on my iphone.

If my iphone (mind, emotions, body) breaks ('God' forbid!), then I just get a new one and download the content from the cloud/web - no loss of 'Me.'  Now, just as with my iphone, there is some content stored on the device of my mind/body/feelings, and that content probably does get lost when I die. I liken that to my personality in this particular incarnation. As Alzheimers shows, the personality IS destructible, when memory goes - identity goes too. As Thornton Wilder says in Our Town, "What's left? What's left when memory's gone, and your identity Mrs. Smith?"

So, my grand purpose in this particular lifetime is to make sure that the "I" I identify with is NOT the personality but the larger, indestructible, eternal, evernow "I" of Consciousness.

That is the purpose of meditation, T'ai Chi, Yoga, zen, and all real spiritual practices. It was the purpose of the founders of the world's religions before those religions got corrupted by ignorant followers. Every great religious figure saw into Truth, saw the distinction between the temporal and the eternal and tried, with the metaphors available to them at the time, to point the way to Truth.

I also do not think such an idea is unprovable or lacks evidence. I believe science and mysticism are getting closer and closer - that if such a concept is 'true' then at some point it will be provable and evidence will be discovered. Until that time it will remain a belief for me, but a belief backed up by personal experience, and one that makes a whole lot more common sense to me than the belief that our "I" is just an amalgamation of memory, mind, and body.


  1. Wonderful, thought-provoking metaphor.. that also makes me look at my iphone a bit differently! Thanks, Gary

  2. Of course there is also Blaise Pascal's:
    You may believe in God, and God exists, in which case you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
    You may believe in God, and God doesn't exist, in which case your loss is finite and therefore negligible.
    You may not believe in God, and God doesn't exist, in which case your gain is finite and therefore negligible.
    You may not believe in God, and God exists, in which case you will go to hell: your loss is infinite.