In his poem "I sing the body electric," Walt Whitman gave voice to the opposite tendency in the electromagnetic imagination. For Whitman, electric life meant the erotic life, and his love of bodies, his desire to "charge them full with the charge of the soul," only led him to embrace the most exuberant of heresies: that the body was the soul. Unlike the mesmerists, who pointed to the new technology of photography as proof thtat the physical world was really made up of the mental vibrations of light, Whitman recognized that the vital spirit of electromagnetism - with its lightning strikes of charge, its dynamic polariities and visceral attractions - was more a language of Eros than a mantra of transcendence. After all, Mesmer's original magnetic techniques had nothing to do with the inner planes, and everything to do with stoking the convulsive life of desire in order to heal real bodies.
- Erik Davis - _Techgnosis:
& Mysticism In the Age Of Information_
The rule of thumb is that consciousness manages 7 +/- 2 chunks of data at a time. How that figure is arrived at I don't know, but the idea behind it is expressed in Marvin Minsky's (MIT) _A Society of Mind_. Consciousness occurs at all levels of our body, traces of brain matter are found throughout our entire system, awareness occurs from trillions of points of "experience"...much of this happening outside of waking consciousness. At this moment rillions of neural and muscular firings are occurring orchestrating a complex network of articulated "activity" and hopefully, "thinking" all operating in a sort of "specialized environmental awareness" (I am not cognizant of the twitching of my right foot until consciousness is directed there). So there is a lot of empirical and anecdotal data concerning limitations in conscious awareness, as opposed to the vast sea of data management occurring at the unconscious level all the time.
A variation on the quantum model of consciousness looks a lot like the spiritual model of consciousness. It is theorized in some circles that "thought" doesn't originate in the brain. Brain cells and their shaping of "liquid" within them, suggests those cells potentially could serve as transmitters and receivers. These could process "subtle energy" transmissions in a "scalar" of thought which would shape our thinking. This sort of follows the model of body/soul in many religious circles. I think it was Becker (sp?) the author of "The Body Electric" who discovered a battery-like current in the human body that acted as a sort of pre-firing mechanism. Microseconds before the complex "dance" of neural and muscular activity it takes to move an arm, "something" outside of consciousness has dictated that movement...a sort of "over soul". I believe this "over soul" is introduced to us in hypnosis. Watching a hypnotic subject one observes a "stranger" now in control of the hypnotized person. This possessing spirit moves stiffly, slowly, does not distinguish subtleties of language and yet when properly addressed...can alter our very DNA... or raise burn welts from the touch of a cool eraser tip...it is that powerful.