Some, I am sure, will find it absurd that I, of all people, muse on such topics. But when sitting among one’s olive trees, one hears whispers of many things.
Since our inception, for good or ill, Capsuleers have always been at the vanguard of the cluster’s technological refinement; notice I refrained from using the word progress. The ‘evolution’ from being what we were to what we are is indeed a defining moment in any self-reflective Capsuleer’s ‘life,’ it raises profound questions about the nature of the soul and its relationship to this altered existence.
While the nature of how one becomes a Capsuleer has evolved over time, the process still requires the death of the physical self in the first instance. Many Capsuleers of a religious/spiritual bent grapple with whether they still possess a soul in their ‘infomorph’ form. Does the soul reside in unity with the biological? Many traditions believe a ‘soul’ may inhabit many bodies over time. Being born and re-born yet retaining the self, even if seen through a glass darkly, “a different face, a different name, but always me.” There has been a good deal of debate around the topic, but in my estimation, few, if any, definitive answers.
Is the functional immortality that ‘infomorphs’ enjoy a blessing or a curse? While we can now live indefinitely, in my estimation, it should compel us to confront closely the moral implications of our actions. I understand that some do not share this proposition. Some Capsuleers become reckless, even depraved, believing that death and all the morals and ethics that undergird said mortality have lost their meaning. Meanwhile, respecting the moral and ethical boundaries that define us as sentient beings, others are beset by the feeling of enhanced responsibility that comes with their newfound longevity and the implications of power accompanying it.
As we embrace the technological, there is growing concern that many are losing touch with humanity. The inability to experience ‘life’ without the possibility of death has led some to feel disconnected from the trials and tribulations of our mortal kin. Perhaps the very things that give life meaning.
The power ‘infomorphs’ wield is immense. Our individual and collective actions shape the fate of billions, and this power inevitably leads to ethical dilemmas. Some Capsuleers have used their abilities for munificent purposes, some have exploited them for personal gain, and others simply to cause suffering and destruction for no other purpose than its own.
I will not consider the cost to the individual self and its potential soul presented by the many furtive and failed attempts toward collective consciousness.
To me, the existential question regarding the meaning and purpose of life is what we, or even if we strive, what it means to be truly alive when one has transcended the physical. Retaining our humanity and those grounded ethics and morals can lead us to achieve a higher state, if not of being, then at least of understanding.
I look forward to your ideas on the topic, should you choose to share. Should you find yourself adrift, take a moment and listen to the gentle murmurings of life.