In a flash I understood the Truth that’s been hidden since the first fireside stories were told by our ancestors in a bright little scatter of migrating hope across the howling African night of the Rift Valley savannah. We expect salvation to be a source of something profound and powerful. Peace. Certainty. Sanctuary, maybe? But there was no serenity, no overwhelming bliss or joy in the saviour I saw. This being, whom scripture teaches us to perceive as God, an omnipotence without equal, was the exact opposite of potent. Jesus Christ, Siddhartha Gautama, Jahweh, Allah, Krishna, whichever your chosen form of God: He was alone, vulnerable, and desperately fragile. He was the one needing to be saved; by me.
Let’s define an individual consciousness as a distinct self-aware identity passing through a succession of moments in time. It is your locus of spatiotemporal sensation (i.e. limbic-reality experience, memory-echo experience) parsed through the brain-prism of cerebral disposition (memory). The “self” is convincing to “itself” by its very nature, and we feel it subjectively as a linear continuity, aligned with the arrow of time. But what if instead we described the objective reality of consciousness in terms of a staccato frame-rate that seems continuous only because memory is ontologically persistent and the experiential crucible is spatiotemporally consistent – and therefore predictable. The brain itself works faster than the frame-rate required for quotidian self-conscious identity, so it’s able to give an absolute impression that’s perceptually indistinguishable from objective continuity.