While there may be no god and no objective morality, we may act as if there were. Some of us find that we must.
Do I deny reality if I dream of a better world? Or, by contrast, do I create a better reality by dreaming of one. We are creators. However we arose, and whatever horrible sump we emerged from, we are a miracle. No less. However brutal and vile our past, our future can be different. If that is our desire. If we dream such a beautiful place into existence. We have that power.
My job is to dream and to write about my dreams. In my meditation, I may not solve the mystery of dark energy, nor plumb the singularity at the center of a black hole. And yet somehow I often feel a quiet comfort and certainty about reality. A conviction that perfection exists and is within our reach. That eternal peace, happiness and joy are somewhere not so very distant.
Do I dream of a technological singularity? A world where the infinite resources of a boundless universe create plenty for all. Where we merge our minds with those greater by far than our own. A world where the miraculous is commonplace and yet we never tire of the excitement and awe of the infinite.
Yes, I believe that I do so dream, and that I am right so to dream.
There are those who will say that such a supposed utopia will be dominated by the rapacious and villainous, but our dreams may make it otherwise. We have minds and we will create even better ones. We need not retread our brutal evolutionary path if we decide that it should not be so.
I like to drift in a twilight zone where I see dryads and talking naiads. Where a god, or something very like one, calls and tells me all is beauty and ugliness can be banished. Where children visit magical lands. Where moral absolutes are real and where good always triumphs over bad. Where cruelty is ended and a warm sun always shines. Where tyrants are toppled and hunger and disease are ended.
Will you tell me that I am wrong to dream such a dream? My mind is my reality and I choose, increasingly, to live in such a place. Where I hear the cry of a red kite circling above on the fresh breeze, and see a land unsullied by crude tarmac and the internal combustion engine. Where I hear plainsong rising from an ancient abbey by the sea and feel the peace of the monk’s herb garden as they pad around in their simple garb.
Perhaps in some distant future we will be able to re-create such places. Places which retain the beauties of the past but with the comforts of an infinitely advanced future. Where medicines and the comforts of modern living do not have to entail tower blocks and diesel fumes. Tyrants and torturers. Crooked politics and self interested business.
And if I were young would I join the search for the infinite mind? Where some see terror in artificial intelligence, I see the prospect of ecstasy and the eternal. If there is no god, why not become one. It does not seem so far fetched.
Alas no. Were I twenty years old I would probably become a contemplative. I would earn my daily bread as a postman in the Scottish islands perhaps, but set my mind free to wander. Or roam as a warden in some remote reserve, with only nature and simplicity as my companions. Or perhaps just live in a simple caravan somewhere remote and live on thin air and the cry of gulls over the sea.
Or do I belie a streak of ambition? Were I young again would I make amends for the follies of my past and search the far side of Big Bang. Or, more likely, look for the means to allow man to live in gradients of bliss. Yes, I think the latter.
Too late alas. The time to do is long past. I will content myself with my dreams and hope in some small way that my thoughts may find purchase in other minds and contribute to the search for omega.