Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I am a process, not an object

Life is a process. It is not a quality owed by the living creatures. When something dies, this process is stopped. A consequence of this idea is that we, human beings, and all living entities are just the substrate by which the process of life takes place. Under this point of view there is not difference between the life of a mosquito or a person, they are both alive. But a person is a far more complex organism than a mosquito, hence capable of more complex procedures that characterize life and even more, intelligent life.

You get a similar idea when you consider a more simple case: a piece of music. Say that you listen to a recording of Rossini's "William Tell". And while you listen, ask yourself "where is the music that I'm listening?" and you can say that it is in the cd that is being played or the mp3 file in your computer or in the grooves of a vinyl record. But that is not true. Those are the substrate in which the music is stored. The music is listened and comes to existence when the process of reading the information in the substrate is translated into sound waves in the air or when a orchestra is playing live. Then that piece of music exists for a interval of time, while the process is taking place. It doesn't matter if is a recording or it is a live concert, you will grasp its existence in either way.

Of course life is more complex that listening to music. The bottom line is that life is not something that we have. We are highly complex organisms, made out of the same matter that everything else is made of. The difference between a being alive and being dead is that the processes that happen in the body when we are alive are not happening anymore when we are dead. Those processes are interconnected among them so delicately that an alteration of one of them can have consequences in other. At end of the day were are no more than the harmonious orchestration of thousands of processes, perceived as the feature of being alive and conscious.

I personally don't believe in things like a soul or reincarnation. My life is the collection of all the processes that take place in my body. If the same processes could me mimicked exactly by any other substrate (theoretically speaking), then I would be alive. Like a piece of music that becomes alive every time is it reproduced by any means!

How narrow our views still are... Let's empty our minds of all the little preconceived ideas and prejudices, and we will have room for greater realizations of our existence.
Post a Comment