the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.
I have come to a conclusion. Our consciousness can only originate in one of two places; Internally or externally. In either case, the millennial will be the first human generation to definitively live forever.
If internally produced, our consciousness is manufactured by our brain. In this sense, the brain is a self-aware computer, the control center for all of our processes, conscious and unconscious.
By mapping the brain, we understand how it is utilized when performing various functions. Understanding every aspect of the brain’s functioning is the first step to immortalizing the internally-produced consciousness. Once sufficiently mapped, replication is the next frontier.
Science fiction this is not. Already there exists a supercomputer that can emulate a 1.6 billion neuron brain, equivalent to a cat. Admittedly, a Blue Gene Supercomputer is a tad slower, and still much larger than the brain of our feline friends.
And yet there is hope: The first digital computer was built a single lifetime ago. It was 50 tons, took up 1,800 square feet, and had no CPU. We now have pre-teens with more powerful computers in the palm of their hands. And no, humans have not gotten significantly larger in the past couple generations.
The progression of computing technology has shown no signs of slowing. Moore’s Law insists that processing speed and power in computers will double every two years. At such an exponential rate of growth, we will have computers fast and powerful enough to house the contents and framework of the human brain in our lifetime. It is at this point we will determine the origination of human consciousness. If produced internally, it can theoretically be transferred to an identical platform. This is the transcendence of death, our ultimate evolution.
If externally produced, our consciousness is of a different variety. Divine? Cosmic? Quantum? Perhaps. All valid suppositions. What it does infer is that our consciousness is a form of energy, a “soul” or a “ghost in the machine”. Energy is the key word here.
As we know (or should), the Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed; rather it transforms from one form to another. Therefore, our consciousness, if externally produced, would continue to exist once its biological tether perishes.
Is energy alive? That’s a good question. My best answer is that self-awareness is attributed to the living, meaning consciousness would have to be. However, the nature of such a life, and what it means in respect to our perception of reality, is unknowable until occurrence.
External consciousness bridges some religious gaps, in terms of salvation, eternal life, and reincarnation. Free of human strife and confinement, salvation can be recognized. Eternal life is undeniable if our consciousness is energetic. Reincarnation is easily assumed as an external consciousness would be inclined to adopt more than a single host.
While many things in this existence are trivial, death is not one of them. We allow the unknown to cloud our judgement with anxiety. As often is the case, breaking concepts down to their simplest parts unravels the mystery. Such a pragmatic approach will lead you to see, much as I do, that consciousness is the foundation of life. It will also lead you to see that, upon discovering whether consciousness is internally or externally produced, millennials will be the first generation of humans to definitively live forever.
Life’s a bitch and then you live.
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