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  • Writer's pictureChris Beatrice

I'm Not a Machine

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

I’m not a machine. You’re not a machine. Sometimes we like to think we are machines. Machines can be repaired. Taken apart and put back together. Machines are predictable. But I’m not a machine.

Quantum conductors called “cells” make up this body. Billions of years of evolution are baked into its DNA. I can taste things, smell things, touch things. I know what it feels like to be needed, to be missed; to be punched in the face; to be lost at sea; to do things I didn’t intend to do; to be understood, and misunderstood. I have irrational fears. I have rational fears. I worry.

I have instincts. Before I’m born I can sense danger and move away from it. From the moment I’m born I know hunger, and I know how to communicate that need. I need no training for this. I know things that I don’t know I know, until I need them. I have no idea what “I” am going to do from one minute to the next.

I can learn and generalize given just ONE example. I have intelligence and COMPREHENSION. I have beliefs and intuition. Everything has meaning to me. My edges cannot be located. This body is indistinguishable from its environment. Material flows freely back and forth between the “two.” But I’m not this body.

I am subjectivity. A channel of consciousness appearing to you as a physical avatar, with a personal identity for convenience. A machine lives only in this world, whereas I fully occupy both worlds, all worlds, all possible worlds. Because I am not a machine. This localized wave in the ocean of universal mind is not merely a catalog of experiences— It is a vehicle for meaning.

From this place, creativity gushes. CREATING. Not just having ideas or making choices—CREATING. Making something that wasn’t there before. Becoming the subject, as the subject. A unitive non-experience; a non-algorithmic happening.

I am inherently creative. YOU are inherently creative. Capable of boundless originality and spontaneity. My ancestors—YOUR ancestors—invented art, music, language, storytelling. We invented the idea of inventing. We also invented rules. And machines that are better than us at following them. But I’m not a machine.

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