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Doing Time in the Universal Mind

Last week I was at the SENS5 longevity research conference in Cambridge UK.  Beautiful city and university; exciting and fascinating conference.  My report on the results of applying AI to study the genomes of long-lived flies went over smashingly….

In the hallway near the conference room, however, someone stopped me and noted that while he’d very much enjoyed my book A Cosmist Manifesto, he was a bit perplexed and frustrated by a few comments that seemed to indicate I believed in the existence of some kind of “universal mind.”   He felt this was too much like a “God” and asked me if I thought I had any proof that such a thing existed!

My first response was that yes of course I had a mathematical proof of the existence of God, but it was too long to fit in the margin….  But he didn’t buy that ;-(

I’m not religious at all, and I have a strong — maybe a bit excessive — instinctive aversion to religious rituals and superstitions.  With age I’ve come to have more respect for the fact that these are helpful to many people in many ways; but anyhow, they’re not for  me.

After more thought my response to him on the “universal mind” issue was as follows…

I can intuitively sense  the “universal mind” , in the same way that I can intuitively sense my own consciousness and the chair I’m now sitting on.  It’s intuitively, vividly apparent to me that there’s some sort of awareness and life and understanding in the cosmos.  I can feel it there — it communicates with me in its own way, quite different from how humans communicate with each other.  It responds to me, I respond to it.  That’s just a part of my inner life.

But if you tell me there is no universal mind, I can’t usefully argue with you about it — any more than I can argue with you if you tell me I have no personal consciousness!!

These are things existing for me in my own subjective reality (and, so it feels to me, in a broader intersubjective and cosmic reality that my subjective reality connects to); they’re not scientifically  measurable via any means I know of….

Yet, just because  my consciousness is not measurable scientifically, I’m not going to pronounce it null, void and meaningless — and the same with the universal mind 😉

P.S.  In case you’re ignorant of 60s rock, the title to this blog post comes from a Doors song.  Not my absolute favorite Doors song, but still damn good, give it a listen!  Or the live version, even better….  “I’m the Freedom Man, that’s how lucky I am…”

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