Double Bubble

The most mysterious thing in the universe is also the most intimate: consciousness. It’s an inti-mystery, something we experience constantly at first hand and yet cannot describe or explain. We are each a double bubble: a bubble of flesh and a bubble of conscious experience. The second bubble bursts regularly, when we sleep. Sooner or later, the first bubble will burst too, when we die. And that will be it for the second bubble, the bubble of consciousness. Or will it? Can consciousness survive death? Can it exist without a material substrate? Or without a particular kind of material substrate: the soggy, sparky substance of the brain? Can the clean, dry metal of a computer be conscious? Who knows? The double bubble attracts lots of double-u’s: what, where, why, when, (w)how. What is consciousness? What is its relation to matter? Is it king or courtier? Where does it exist? Why does it exist? When? And how?

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2 thoughts on “Double Bubble

  1. This is some incredible writing. I’m amazed.

    Young Earth Creationists believe that the world was created six thousand years ago. One objection raised against this idea is that we can see celestial bodies many millions of years away (we can know the distance of a star from Earth using triangulation, and some other methods). Once I heard a YEC reply that God created the light from the stars “on its way” so to speak, and that the photons reaching our telescopes came into existence at the exact moment that the stars themselves did.

    This is a unsettling idea. It means that when we look at the night sky, we’re watching a huge cosmic picture show, full of events that never happened and objects that never existed.

    What if the YECs are wrong, and Creation occurred one day ago instead of six thousand years? All our memories could have been implanted and every evidence of a past could have been faked, just like the light from the stars.

    Think of how that would change things theologically. Lucifer was never cast down from heaven, the Original Sin never happened, neither did the Crucifixion, and mankind must pay a spiritual debt that was never on the ledger books to begin with. God would appear to be deceiving mankind for some purpose known only to Him.

    …But then, maybe God Himself is being deceived. His recollections of the past might be just as unreal as everyone else’s.

    • Thanks for comment. Free will next, I’ve not decided.

      Once I heard a YEC reply that God created the light from the stars “on its way” so to speak, and that the photons reaching our telescopes came into existence at the exact moment that the stars themselves did.

      Yes, that’s the Omphalos theory. If Adam and Eve were created as ordinary human adults, they’d’ve had navels (omphaloi in Greek), i.e. they’d’ve seemed to have once been embryos in the womb. See:

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Omphalos_hypothesis

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