The Spirituality Machine (Part 2)
Before continuing, I feel the need to clarify some things. I am not attempting to say that there is anything necessarily wrong with being a spiritual person. I do not know what happens after you die (if you can read this, and you have already died, please drop me an e-mail). I do not believe that anyone else really knows, either. I am objecting to the exploitation of spirituality by means of an unrelenting reiteration of a certain system of beliefs and symbols, and the effect that this has on the human mind. There are all sorts of possible scenarios for spiritual connections (or lack thereof) in this life and/or afterward. Some of these scenarios are more plausible than others, some appear absurd, but none to my knowledge are provable. I have my own theory, but I have also experienced things first-hand that I cannot easily explain in terms of finite organic existence. For those who deal strictly in logic, I will simply say that Occam's Razor would lead me to believe that there is a man hidden behind my dashboard, making the sounds I hear from my radio. Ok, that’s frivolous, and I am stretching a point to make the point that sometimes the solution is not so simple. I can think of at least one theory, making use of theoretical higher dimensions (above the four in which we operate) that could be used to explain persistence of being beyond death by postulating a non-linear aspect to time itself. Since I cannot experience or measure these dimensions, this theory is as un-provable as three dimensions are to Mr. A Square of Flatland. What I won’t do, is convince myself that I am so sure that I’m right that I must be right, and use this theory as the basis for yet another New-age Psudoreligious mega-scam. In the absence of proof, it is nothing more than a product of my imagination, which brings me at last to my topic.
Imagination is the way in which the human mind differs from the computer. If I tell you to close your eyes and imagine a lawn of pink grass, most of you will be able to do it, given that you know what “lawn”, “grass”, and “pink” mean. If this reaches enough people, there is a good chance that one of you will never forget this image, and “pink lawn” will be with you until the day you die. Sorry about that! Without imagination, our ancestors would not have been able to improvise their way out of bad situations. Nothing can be invented without a human mind imagining it first, no matter how imperfectly. There is, unfortunately, an exploitable aspect to imagination. If I tell you that I have just had a divine revelation, wherein a six-winged messenger of god told me to gargle with armpit sweat to please the deity, you can picture this scene taking place. You might not believe it, but if you had no reason not to, and if I was adamant that it happened, you might accept the picture formed in your head as truth. This process is used both deliberately and inadvertently, to plant false memories. The fact that we can form pictures in our heads of unreal events and objects increases the chances of false information slipping through the gaps in the picket fence and bypassing higher reasoning and critical thinking.
Who was the first person to imagine the ram-horned (or cow-horned), Mr. Universe-massive, wedge-chinned devil creature that keeps showing up in bad occult/horror movies? Could any of us have pictured this before the picture was painted for us? And, why does he always talk like a bad-tempered, basso-profundo Fozzy Bear?