Friday, December 19, 2014

Are computers spiritual ?

Spirituality is beyond mind. When you cease to have thoughts, you are said to be silent or spiritual. To achieve this state of mind (no mind) we have to just learn to observe or be 100% attentive. When we listen fully, we understand. The way it is to be understood. Some people say that in order for us to learn, there should be information in our mind that we can relate to. Not true. When you speak to the heart, it knows. Everything. It’s language is different. The heart doesn’t speak in words. It speaks between the silence of the words and that is a language beyond all our spoken languages. It’s called love. And it’s well understood by all of us. Speak with your heart, not with your mind, which is simply stating facts. Nobody wants facts nowadays, as its available on the internet. When facts are transformed  to something more interesting – the synopsis – the essence – it’s called Wisdom. This in plain language is simplicity.

The past is nothing but memory patterns. Inside the computer, we call it a RAM or ROM. RAM means that memory which can be wiped clean by cutting off the power to the machine. And ROM means that memory which is not erased when the power goes off. The computer just understands one language – machine language. The language of 1’s and 0’s. When the bits are arranged in a particular manner, we get what is called as instruction. This is an order to the computer to execute it and produce an output. All programming languages are converters, converting the language into a format that the machine can understand, which is machine language. Sometimes the bits are represented as symbols – 123, abc, alpha-beta-gamma etc. This is data. All computers act on data and converts them into information. Data is more pervasive as compared to instructions.

The processor inside a device pretty much decides the capability of what it can do. All processors have their own instruction set. This is nothing but a collection of instructions that are available. All these instructions are burned into patterns within the processor. Software is nothing but a certain sequence of these available instructions that act on data. Data is the objective reality or Prakriti. An instruction is a subjective way of interpreting that data. In short an instruction is like thought which at any point of time acts on data. The overall program of which this instruction is a part is like Consciousness. When thoughts and silence get together in a particular pattern it gives rise to Consciousness. Consciousness that watches itself is Awareness – or self aware, as the term is called. Thus a conscious program that knows about itself and modifies itself is said to be self aware. Although the awareness is qualitatively different from that of a human.

A browser that is made more powerful by loading extensions (and addons) is like a brain that has had a medicinal supplement to make it more powerful. Common programs like those which check the health of a machine are like those tablets (Ginseng, Brahmi) which promise to keep us fit. If you look at the CPU utilization of your machine, unless you are doing some heavy lifting, you will find that it’s quite low. The processor (brain) is not utilized optimally. Hence you have virtualization programs which stretches your processor. Our brain is not like a single CPU machine. You can scale up a CPU, but there is a limit to it. Scale out or machines connected in parallel is a more apt fit to our brain’s way of working. Very soon we will reach a point where a set of machines connected together will challenge the human brain capacity. We have 100 billion neurons, the collective power of which will be simulated by a network like internet. To top it all, we will equip it with software that acts like the brain.

According to Ray Kurzweil, (futurist) this feat may happen by 2030. Will they accept us as there creators ?  There is a wide open debate about this issue. As Artificial Intelligence programs proliferate, we will have machines that will have different personalities. It will be easy to change the personality of a machine. A new software is rooted into the machine and voila! it happens. As time goes by the machine will have lesser and lesser inputs from their human counterparts, in order to make a decision. Like we have software frameworks, we will have the rules that will govern a machine behaviour. We will have more leisure time to ourselves when machine’s kick-in. Already, most of the trades that happen on the big stock exchanges are algorithmic.  There are Auto-Pilot modes inside most of the aircrafts. Driverless cars are a reality. Robots inside nuclear facilities and underwater exercises are a known phenomena. Need I say more.

Will computers ever be spiritual ? If they do, we will have a new experience. Maybe those who have not made headway into their spiritual progress will be guided by machines. The possibilities are endless. We can just hope that these new beings, make this Earth and the remaining universe a better place to be. One machine’s experience will differ from it’s kin’s. Like we all are on different paths at different points in life, the machines will also be on different trajectories. Whether they will cross ours is a good question? But all roads lead us towards Rome (God)  In our quest for more, what we should not be missing out is the aim of life – perfection -  journey towards God. First there was the word; the word was with God; And the word was God. Will a machine see the poetry in this ? I hope one day they will. And their karma will intermingle with ours.Hearts made of Silicon is a possibility – don’t just rule it out.

To your imagination,


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