McLuhan (Wikipedia) said the computer was the extension of the brain, in the same way the wheel was an extension of the legs. Prosthesis. Kevin Kelly (podcast) has taken this a step further. The web, the cloud, the one connected machine, is an extension of the self. Well done. Everything is out there in that cloud.
But self? What is self?
Via negativia, it is not the thoughts, not the sensations, not even the breath as air interfaces with the body, it is not the body. Psychodrama postulates the personality as the sum of our roles and more than the sum of the parts, and each role is part of a system of networked roles. I’m tempted to say the self is our networked roles, and that they are extended into the net. Useful as that idea might be it is not the self.
And does self have a small or a capital S? to place the notion in a Jungian frame, self or Self? Another word for “me” or an archetype?
Is it the self that dreams?
The self is what’s left when we drop the ego?
It is not so much a mystery, but a difficult thing to talk about. Psyche, soul, self, spirit all these things are usually appended to a tradition of language, they are hard to talk about without metaphor, as there is no “thing”. Soul, in the Archetypal psychology tradition is somewhat different from soul the Christian tradition. Ken Wilber tried to typologise it all, usefully?
For all that, Kevin Kelly’s contribution adds something wonderful to the sphere of discourse. And via negativia, something similar happens in cyberspace as in the age old discourse about Self. Is the Net the hardware? It is not the hardware. Is it the software then? Certainly not one particular bit of software, and not really all of it either. The net involves people, it is between people, perhaps it is people mediated by the net. It is a conversation, one conversation.
One. There may be a few small clouds but to be really part of anything is to be connected to the net, to the one big cloud. One net. Hold that idea and reflect on the collective unconscious. Also hold the idea that all life is expression of one unfolding DNA fest. And then note the religious idea we are all one.
Once again I am at a familiar place, psyche & cyberspace resonate, psyberspace.