What if our memories, experience, thoughts and worldview are all just a side effect of our brain's evolution? What if human consciousness as we know it is something we'll eventually evolve out of? What if we are essentially just a strange dream cooked up by a piece of meat that drives our bodies on a genetic mission to reproduce?
The day that scientific knowledge blots out human meaning -- that's the semantic apocalypse.
Image by Chris Butler.
Could sentience be a passing evolutionary phase? If so, what comes next? Elsewhere, I've wondered if the strange behavior exhibited by UFO occupants might reflect a post-sentient mode of being:
If we're dealing with aliens -- regardless whether or not they originate in space or on Earth -- maybe their clumsy, oblique interactions with us can be explained if they're endowed with intelligence but devoid of sentience. They could have taken an evolutionary route that bypassed awareness entirely, or they could have achieved a form of sentience only to lose it, perhaps by recklessly merging with their machines.
In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn't have used the word "recklessly." After all, we're conditioned to accept self-awareness as an advantage because it's a fundamental aspect our our existence; just because it seems "natural" or consoling now doesn't mean it will last. If the future survival of life on Earth entails ultimately jettisoning consciousness, perhaps we should welcome the prospect -- regardless how "cold" or alien it might seem from our slender perspective as social primates.
Once again I'm drawn to the prospect that the "Grays" function as posthuman metaphors summoned forth from the collective unconscious, their clinical disposition underscoring our own postbiological trajectory.
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