Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My dearest, I wonder where you are, if you've been in transit, and landed, and are either asleep or set off straight to the office, working long hours. I don't know. I just speculate, wonder, surmise. Spin a little narrative out of nothing, that might make sense. At any rate, wherever and whenever you are, I hope all is well with you.

My thoughts have had a metaphysical cast today, a mishmash of assorted thoughts & impressions. I dreamt about you last night, a long jumbled fragmentary dream, and yet it did hang together with a coherent story line. We were together, but with your family & others and, much as in life, we wished to be together (I certainly did, and I sensed it from you, in my dream, believed it to be true) but were constrained not to be, and as well to scrupulously conceal our feelings. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sad, the separation from you so vivid in my dream, but as I lay in the darkness, my arms wrapped around a pillow, soon enough happy, loving thoughts of you crept in and I fell back asleep.

At the same time, yesterday I read a NY Times profile of the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, which in turn reminded me of points 1.0 made in his book that I recently finished reading. For one thing, they both find (as I understand it) evolution progressive, that it is about perfectability, or if not that, then increasing complexity. I myself, in my spacey armchair way wonder if that's always true, because (and I'm not "trying to be funny") there seems to be such a devolution of species, seemingly - people seemingly becoming not more complex at all, but rather more bovine, and/or rabid, not to mention (too many of them) grotesquely obese. Darling, I know I'm not making sense, I'm sorry. (I am feeling tired, but what else is new.)

Anyway, both Dawkins (in the profile) and 1.0 in his book, touch on the idea of mind evolving past the need for the mortal coil, and that machines might one day think, write novels even. To which I viscerally can't help but react - great, I can believe that humans would be capable of creating a sentient machine that thinks - and then what would we do to it? Torture it and make it feel miserable, that's what - just what we do to one another, as well as to every other species that we haven't either made extinct or (mainly) miserable (coddled pets, such as cute Beverly Hills lapdogs with tragic hairloss issues excepted).

So I've been incoherently mulling over these ideas for weeks now, since reading 1.0's clearly thoughtprovoking book, and then - hard upon waking from a dream with you in it - I thought - wait, we're the ghost in the machine. I mean, I feel as though mind did need corporeality, and somehow or other settled on (among others) the human species - and here we are. And I say this not from a philosophical point of view about the nature of consciousness, and certainly not from any strict religious point of view (of which I sincerely hope I am not, in my mild, personal musings, perceived to be taking aim - I'm not, not at all), but rather from a very personal, visceral spiritual sense - of on rare (or maybe not so rare, but occasionally extraordinarily memorable) occasion of having encountered, communicated with, touched, another spirit, bound within his mortal coil. I had such a moment with you, dearest, the last time you and I were together - that is, at occasional instants occupying the same rooms - over the course of the space of a day, all of 26 hours I think it was. And at that moment, I had felt half - I want to say dizzy, but no it wasn't that - but a bit believing, yet disbelieving, incredulous, that it was you, and - just as in my dream last night - there was all this need for keeping things hidden. Which at that point you were way more practiced at, when it comes to me - it was I who had had the shock of realization that you were much less of a background figure than I could possibly have ever imagined. Shot to the foreground, suddenly, and I was happy. But stunned, and - as I said - incredulous. (And I can imagine having, if it had been someone else - 99.99999% of anyone else - of whom I would have been not elated, not at all - but severely turned off.) So even to - all in this quiet unspoken way - to realize -

Still, where I'm trying to go with this, was there was this one tiny moment where you and I stood together for the briefest moment in the dining room, and you looked at me, and I looked at you, and I swear - I had this sense of - that it wasn't yours and my bodies and eyes and names and formal relationships encountering each other - but in fact, minds - or more than that, spirits. That we were two spirits that have great affinity towards one another, and it was the first moment that our spirits met on those terms and acknowledged each other -- a singular moment, and no more than that, that happened without anyone else's notice, in that bustling downstairs room, preparations for festivities going on all about us, in various corners, adjoining rooms.

And then we don't see each other, can't possibly, and yet here we are, communicating each and every day. And it's not about my words that I type and send out over the ether being instantly potentially immortal artifacts of thought, though there is always that possibility, perhaps even now (assuming the fact that google & its draft.blogger are in the beginning stages of a Borgesian infinite "Library of Babel"). It's that - in just the way that, standing in that dining room, several feet away from you, the two of us frozen for a second, regarding each other, my sensing absolute electricity from you and my feeling the same - that our spirits had encountered and recognized and acknowledged each other, and after that there could only be mutual, tacit understanding.

Right, so in that same way - our minds touch via my writing, and your (I'm convinced of it) reading what I write - it's our spirits connecting - I suppose without the mortal coil, though in fact our physical bodies are completely necessary for this connection, across space & time, to occur.

My darling love, this is not meant as some sort of polemical rejoinder (I confess I feel guilty about what in instant retrospect felt like, some days or weeks ago, a driveby, unthought-out criticism I made of one of 1.0's book's conclusions - I apologize, truly, I was reacting to an idea that I find myself grappling with in my way).

My dearest, day is fading to night, there's a heavenly aroma of peach pie wafting up the stairs...

And how extraordinary it is that I think of you, and that you think of me. And we're not machines. We're humans. With spirits, implanted somehow in our bodies, spirits that don't always find release do they? Vitruvian, biodynamic... love. Those are ways of being that help bring out spirit - longburied, sometimes - at least that's what I've found for me.

Many kisses, my dearest love. See you again here, and perhaps, in my dreams.

Love you.

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