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Hang onto your crystal ball. What do you see as the future of humankind? The final PBS episode of THE BRAIN with Dr. David Eagleman is titled “Who will we be?” As he explores research being done in organic brain/technology combinations, he begins speculating that perhaps we humans truly are living in a Matrix-like computer simulation, after all. His proof that we exist comes from Descartes: when we think about who or what we are, who’s thinking? Me! The “me” who’s getting a headache trying to figure life out is the core. “I think; therefore, I am.”
Oddly, I’m reminded of something I read in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books. If you can think about yourself, looking at yourself from the outside, then you must be something beyond the confused self you’re looking at. What makes me laugh is the similarity between the two views of the “essence” of a person—a spiritual perspective and a strictly wires-and-electrochemical sparks perspective. I know my scientific friends are holding their heads and grimacing right now, but be fair. Don’t these two descriptions sound a lot alike?
Dr. Eagleman speculates that one day our technology may free us from our physical bodies so that we can take control of our development and “…shape our own destiny.” He envisions digital versions of our consciousness that can extend our reality and operate beyond or instead of a body—perhaps moving our consciousness through space and time. (When he says it, it doesn’t sound occult.)
What is it the “spiritual” folk are saying? People are essentially spirits having a temporary physical experience. All human beings are connected by the pieces of a HUGE nonphysical “force” or Source–each person contains–as the humans interact (like the interacting parts Dr. Eagleman says are necessary for consciousness to emerge). What we think impacts what we do (as physicists say looking at a wave can turn it into a particle), so the whole of humanity and all of our many thoughts are changing reality. For a concrete example, if we find the “natural” world important and place a high priority on preserving it, the future of the planet is different than it would be if we continued to destroy Earth’s resources like used toilet paper. We shape our own destiny. We’ve got the ball.
Likewise, when psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss, MD, extended his research into past lives regression (detailed in his book SAME SOUL, MANY BODIES), some of his patients spoke of the future. While Dr. Weiss readily admits he cannot verify the truth of future views as he could past lives, he did discover impressive similarities between the futures his patients described. They spoke of the distant future (approximately a thousand years from now) in which the world is a peaceful place without violence or grief. In this lush, green Earth, people may be able to choose to function as consciousness and light, without bodies. (I should mention that this peaceful world might come after a potential Dark Age, depending on what people think/do in the meantime.)
As our present world and its inhabitants wrestle with the problems of who do you trust and what happens if you guess wrong and become dead, I find these comparisons fascinating. Somehow the physicists, digital scientists, and spiritual leaders don’t sound too different to me. It looks like what we think of as life may not be a simple physical reality like we thought. Of course, I could be misunderstanding the big picture. Perhaps our spirits will find out?