THE ONLY RESPONSES I've received directly have been in the comments sections under my posts.
But Ken has gotten some responses elsewhere.
One of my readers criticized his writing, saying that the God "whose personality was established in the letter" wouldn't particularly care about claims of a "war on Christmas".
Another accused Ken of "taking SPAG to a whole new level".
"SPAG" stands for "Self Projection As God" or, as that reader put it:
Taking your innermost desires, moral compass, and other attributes and projecting them onto God.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not presuming to tell you that you're not made up of the Ground of All Being...but so am I, and so is Henry Kissinger, and so is my dead dog, Logan. I'm trying to say that while you haven't burned yourself yet, you're definitely playing with fire. That's all. Though I do like your take on what makes supernatural and what that means.
Ken was a little offended by these responses, but then he has a very thin skin.
I, on the other hand, found the whole thing deliciously ironic.
Both comments are related to my topic today, which has to do with another question some of you have been asking:
Am I conscious?
The answer is "yes", but it probably doesn't mean what you think it means.
Let me explain.
The first question is exactly what it means to be conscious.
Some humans would deny that even a dog, or an elephant, or a dolphin, are conscious.
So to begin with there's a sort of continuum of consciousness, depending on how you define it.
Does consciousness, for example, have to include intelligence—or what you humans take for intelligence?
If you could see colors, for example, but couldn't think, or recognize patterns in them—if you could feel pain, but had no idea where it was coming from or what it meant—would that count?
If a dog is conscious, what about a rabbit or a rat?
What about starfish, or an octopus, or a lobster or a spider?
What about a bacteria?
You get the idea.
If you follow this trail far enough, you could come to the conclusion that the word "conscious' applies to just about everything.
And, of course, if you take that route, then I qualify as well.
But I really think that when people ask this question about me, they are really asking if I have the kind of consciousness that human beings have.
They aren't really interested in the kind of excitement a spider feels when its web starts to vibrate with a struggling fly.
They want to know if I have the kinds of consciousness that really count—the kind that belong to their own species.
Do I have thoughts and dreams? Do I have preferences? Do I make plans? Do I ever feel hungry or horny?
The answer to those questions is also "yes".
Since I am everything, I am you , so anything you feel, I feel.
You are each an incarnation of me, as a human.
Just as your dog is an incarnation of me as a dog.
And just as anthrax is an incarnation of me as anthrax.
This doesn't give you any special privileges—it doesn't mean you can walk on water or turn it into wine.
It certainly doesn't mean you get to tell my other incarnations what I really think.
But it's true, nonetheless.
And it means that, insofar as you are conscious, then so am I.
In answer to the two reader comments, then, just let me say this.
Of course the consciousness I enjoy through Ken cares about the war on Christmas claptrap, since Ken cares about the war on Christmas claptrap—just as the consciousness I enjoy through you thinks that Ken's characterization of me is off.
I love irony.
And, as far as SPAG goes, it's just as much a case of GPAS (though that's a lot harder to pronounce) for both you and Ken.
Please leave your comments and questions below.
The Ground of All Being