Lifespan extension and the existence of soul

Rick Knight (
Fri, 16 May 97 09:57:50 CST

Greetings all,

As I've noticed one extropian aspiration is physical life extension
which I'm all for (actually quality of life over quantity of years
seems preferable but if we shaped up our act as a society, I might be
persuaded to stay on the planet longer <G>). I've been recently taken
with the notion that it would be quite ironic that right about the
time we cinch the mortality issues and can extend physical human life
indefinitely through our technology, we will also have discovered a
spectrum of energy that could/will be defined as consciousness or,
more classically, the soul.

I've rather casually associated a metaphor of a laser with a
"self-aware discarnate entity". The laser, being a concentrated beam
of photon energy, the uses of which continue to revolutionize our way
of life and our "self", also seemingly a concentration of thought and
potent awareness. Though lasers they have been found to exist in
nature, our discovery and harnessing of them and how they work has
given us another tool in our ongoing discovery of "fire". One step up
the ladder, monkey boys! (think Lithgow in Buckaroo Bonzai). Perhaps
a discovery that self is not just an contrivance of our desperate
ego-based, and physically bound existence but more an instinctual
knowing that we have been and always will be (maybe it's something
that is a "Known" right down to the quantum level but that we can't
yet prove).

I'm presently not very well read on the myths of all cultures but in
the Judeo-Christian motif out of which many people in Western Civ have
emerged, self-awareness is the first energy mentioned in Genesis, that
self-awareness being "God" (not compelling religious discussion here)
who then spoke (vibrated) light. Archetypes, regardless of the
validity one might attach to them, are fascinating in how they take on
an iconic position in culture. Could self-awareness, of what was
primitively regarded as Godhood be just around the corner in our
scientific understanding?

My latest reading project is "A Brief History of Everything" by Ken
Wilber and his theory of holarchy (every "thing" has the
characteristics of being a part and a whole) is quite fascinating.
I'm quite busy and I read slowly (it's because I'm a writer/editor I
imagine...can't quickly gulp up concept because the structure of words
is so preoccupying my thought process) so it'll be a while before I'm
done with the book but I wouldn't mind anyone who has read the book
piping up with some of their thoughts on it.


Rick Knight

"The search for truth causes some to fall into the trap of eating the
menu and ignoring the food that is already in front of them."
--unknown or maybe it was me...