I got an upgrade over the last 5 days. Appearing in the form of Streptococcal pharyngitis (a bad case of strep throat),
I've come to realize that it has, in fact, functioned in an aspect which kinda parallels PKD's 3/74 incident, the "beam of pink light" he alleged downloaded all this information to his brain
he previously was not in possession of (such as ancient Latin and other esoteric knowledge).
We come to loathe and despise these viruses or bacteria cultures because of how bad they make us feel, temporarily. And when they kill us, well that really gets our goat though don't it? By "us" of course I mean our friends and family, people we read about in the news, but I'll get to the fatal viruses in another section, bear with me whilst I ruminate on non-fatal, but kick- you- in- the- ass- while- raping- your- head type viruses, like the Epstein-Barr virus for instance, which infects B cells (B-lymphocytes), producing a reactive lymphocytosis and atypical T cells (T-lymphocytes), and leads to everyone's favorite kissing disorder, "mononucleosis", or mono.
Allow me to use my own strep throat as an example.
This thing has taken up residence in my head
and has consequently made me feel bad for the past 5 days.
Thing is -- what if (and here's the clincher), what if in the larger scheme of things, this infection is actually part of the overall software program (which we, in our ignorance bless us all, refer to as "divinity") which in actuality ends up being a good thing, i.e, a necessary sort of tool that is implemented to tinker with our particular subcellular physiognomy in order that we might be maintained properly, as the good lil' robots we actually happen to be.
This is my theory: Imagine, if you will, a type of robot whose programming was just sophisticated enough to bestow it with smooth functioning yet never allow it the comprehension to perceive itself to be a robot. That, I believe, is analogous to our own particular state, as the species homo sapien sapiens.
Think of it this way: by analogy, and for the purposes of this essay, let us imagine 4 Classifications of virtual, artificial agents, exemplifying a spectrum from crudest to most sophisticated, and let us label them:
1. puppets 2. robots 3. androids 4. humans (for a 5th, you'll have to use your imaginations, I'm afraid)
Now let us ask ourselves, where is the line drawn, or how is it rendered, between each of these classifications? Just what is the significanse of these delineations?
I propose that a real demarcation exists only between 3 and 4, and here's why. Although all 4 are in essence categorizable under the same classification, there is a distinct paradigm shift when you get to the 4th, that is humans. What defines this shift is the power source, so to speak, which renders each of these beauties functionality.
The first 3 can be said to belong to the same subset; that is, all were literally conceived, assembled, and programmed for execution by the 4th, humans. But the 4th! Now that seems a different order entirely, does it not? Or does it? After a fashion, we do conceive each other.... Such speculation is left for the tireless (yet becoming oh so tiresome) debates between religion and science, spirituality and philosophy, and of course these debates have been propogated for as long as we can remember, with no end in sight circa the dawning of this 21st century.
My point being, all 4 of these categories are essentially spread across a spectrum, from crudest or most simplistic (puppets w/strings) to more sophisticated (robots/no strings attached) to super-advanced degrees of sophistication (androids - I'm just using the word as a label to get my point across) to finally, the most sophisticated meat puppetry programming we are aware of, ourselves.
What really seperates the 4th category (humans) from the first 3 (puppets, robots, androids), is that our programming appears to originate from an unknown source outside of ourselves. Of course, historically we've referred to this "source" vaguely as "God", "Allah", "the Universe", a giant turtle, or even gone so far as to conjecture there is no source, which leads us off into a veritable entangled forest of philosophical semantics with endless variants from gnosticism to existentialism, until we are quite blue in the face.
I propose that due to the fact we have found ourselves as a species emerged on this planet from some unimagineable chrysalis, that we must maintain a certain respect for the unknown. For instance, it would be a shame indeed, would it not, if we were to somehow take it upon ourselves, in our egotistical presumption that we may be the "end all, be all" masters of the universe (an idea I will only stop scoffing at when I see evidence of our having gotten our shit together as a race which can politicize its existence on this singular planet in a self sustaining fashion allowing the perpetual maintenance of the future of life on earth), and decide to, for instance, "eradicate all viruses", if it turned out that these selfsame viruses where in actuality part and parcel of our programming's necessary modification and maintenance protocols?
What I've come to realize is, there is a "grand design" or "higher purpose" of which we are yet currently engaged in the execution of. Fear of the unknown is rapidly transforming into wonder and amazement the more I take in the details about my surrounds and our world history.
I went from thinking viruses (such as those which cause mono to be considered a vile and evil thing) should be hated, to having emerged from the experience of being afflicted with strep throat with a sobering sense of increasing wonderment about the potential overall benefit or even plain necessity of bacteria and viruses to our ongoing evolutionary progress into the ever improving specimens of this regiment of artificial intelligence I am beginning to suspect humanity to be.
The thing to do is get a grip on the perspective of how we interrelate with the unknown. And the only way I can see to manage that, is through faith. It doesn't have to be your standard, orthodox Faith, but I believe we could do the human race and consequently all interdependent life on earth an immense favor by remaining humble enough to admit that we don't know everything, perhaps can't know everything due to the nature of the paradigm we take part in, and by this time in our historical development it is paramount that we elect emissaries for the human race to take it upon ourselves to better serve the potential continuation of our progeny here.
Getting back to the fatal viruses for a moment - perhaps the greatest stumbling block to our advancement as a species are not the base results of fatalities to our fellows, but rather, the very gravity these fatalities impose upon our own perceptions of how "bad" or "good" these lethal viruses may actually be. On an individual, personal basis, an ordinary common cold virus would warrant enough contempt from just one of us to justify its eradication; on the same token, the fatal varieties inspire most of us with an even more fervent desire to achieve their annihilation. But if one stops and thinks for a moment that the greater scheme of things may in fact justify the presence of lethal viruses, one might not be so inclined to pursue their extinction necessarily.
As the picture gets bigger, we must suspend our own convictions. Faith is naught but the grease with which to keep this suspension well oiled. This has been a public service announcement brought to you by a common case of strep throat.