Bill Rabinovitch
Discusses Darth Mal's Offer

Germain announces, " I called this meeting because the gallery has gotten a message from Darth Mal inviting Bill to study under him, and I want to get your opinions. Please, each of you state your opinion briefly first, then we'll get into a detailed discussion."

"Great news! This could be my big chance to learn about the Force."

"Darth is a Sith who teaches the dark side of the Force. This is dangerous."

"Too dangerous, I'm against it."

"No good can come from this. I oppose this folly," declares Anubis.

"I agree with Lord Anubis.".


"Java thinks Bill's plan is unwise. I'm with the majority. Bill, do you still want to do this?"

"Yes! Remember Anakin studied the bright side and later turned to the dark. My plan is to study the dark, and then turn to the bright side."

"You over estimate your ability to overcome the dark side training."

"You may not even live long enough to make the switch. Darth is holding his lessons in the arena. If you engage him in combat there, he could kill you and it would be perfectly legal according to our laws."

"Why would he want to kill me? What purpose could that possibly serve him?"

"You don't understand how dark the dark side is: since he can get away with it, he could kill you just to make a point to the other students."

"I'm willing to take that chance. I feel like I'll be able to hold my own in that class. Do we know who his other students are?"

"Actually he's invited us all to join in his training."

"Well doesn't that sound like it should be safe then?"

"Don't underestimate the power of a Sith Master. He could kill us all."

"OK, if you're afraid to go with me, I respect your decision, but I'm willing to take the risk. Who's in?"

"If Bill goes, I'm going with him, because it's my job to try to protect him. I want him to know that because he's so determined to do this, if we don't go with him, I'm afraid he'll go on his own."

"Good point Fantasy. What do you think Father Flash?"

"Fantasy is right on that point. He's young and headstrong. He's liable to run off on his own, and we'll lose him. Probably better if I know what he's being taught, so I know how to counter the dark teachings, therefore I'm in for now."

"I'll have no part of this," insists Lord Anubis, "and I advise ye all against this; no good can come of it. I make ye one offer however, become my follower, and if ye perish in this misadventure, I shall attempt to resurrect ye from the dead - except for Fantasy, sorry, but I can not resurrect a droid."

"I've already taken steps to insured my immortality. I used the money from my commissions on the art sale to order a copy of myself from the droid factory, and I've already uploaded all my memories, to be installed in it. If this body is destroyed by the Siths, bad luck for Merlin, but I'll continue in the new body as an emancipated droid. If this body survives intact, I'll send the new one back to serve Merlin, and continue in this body as an emancipated droid."

"Wow, you really are immortal already, and emancipated! I suppose Father Flash and High Priestess Vishnuh hope to be resurrected by Lord Anubis?"

"Not me, I have no desire to live this life again, even if the law of Karma permits it, which I doubt. Far from being reincarnated in the same body again, I hope to move on when I die."

"That sounds very Eastern. I'm a Deepak Chopra fan. When you were talking about that first exoplanet's feelings, it reminded me that when Deepak debated Dawkins, Deepak said even an atom is sentient. Do you agree?"

"I'll keep it simple for you: all things are one thing, and each single atom is one with the Force. Dawkins is fixated on the illusory borders that keep him from seeing all things are one thing."

"To be pragmatic: I don't want to risk losing my best selling artist, and besides I promised Merlin I'd look after Bill. I'm in, but if it looks like this will end in disaster, I'm taking Bill back to Earth, whether he wants to go or not. As to the sentience debate, I see it from Dawkin's side. Fine if you want to say an atom is part of the Force, all matter is energy, and you can say all energy is part of the Force, but how does that single atom actually feel anything that it could be called sentient?"

"It depends what ye mean by sentience. If ye mean, having feelings, then what constitutes a feeling? Because ye can say atoms often want to combine with other atoms, ye can describe that scientific fact as a feeling each atom has for the others; thus ye can say atoms have feelings in that sense: a type of feelings unique to atoms. If ye want to describe sentience as the ability to experience sensations, ye could say the atom experiences the sensations of gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the strong and weak nuclear force, all of which cause it to have the feelings which cause it to want to do what it does with other atoms, and it would thus still qualify as sentient. Ye can say because atoms chose to combine in certain ways, according to laws of physics and chemistry, the atoms are making choices and have a type of consciousness, the consciousness of intentionality, but clearly no free will. Daniel Dennett, the atheist, tells how an electrician who installed a lightning rod said, 'Lighting wants to seek ground.' And Dennett realized ye could assign intentionality to inanimate objects. Thus even an atheist can understand the Universe possesses a consciousness of intentionality."

"Sorry Lord Anubis, still seems to me it's a stretch to call that consciousness or sentience."

"To say atoms have feelings and consciousness bothers ye because ye imagine thy own feelings and consciousness are something far more, howsoever thy feelings are just the product of hormones thy body produces; even Deepak admits that. The hormones participate in chemical reactions different from single atoms combining with single atoms only in complexity. This shows ye hath vastly overestimated the importance of sentience and consciousness. While a single atom has sentience, and consciousness, what it lacks that ye humans possess is programming: a DNA code, and a neural network. From DNA arises life. From neural networks arises spirit. Within spirit, self awareness evolves. Within spirit we gods evolve. So an atom hath sentience, and consciousness, but those are trivial. The atom lacks life and spirit, and thus is incapable of the spiritual achievements ye humans are capable of, but neither can atoms sink to the depths the dark side training can take humans."

"OK, maybe you can say an atom has sentience, but it still seems a stretch to say it has consciousness. Have you heard of Integrated Information Theory? It gives an information-theoretical measure of consciousness, based on how much more the system is than the union of its parts. It states that only a system with integrated information different from zero has consciousness. "

"The theory developed by Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin? Yea, even an atom has 'integrated information' beyond the sum of its parts, because it 'knows' the laws of physics and chemistry it must follow when interacting with other atoms, and those laws are beyond the sum of the three quarks which make up an atom's hadron. Each atom's integrated system is the entire Universe. It can only act as part of the Universe, following the universal laws of physics and chemistry. All thy scientists vastly overrate consciousness, and most underrate spirituality, which is what actually sets ye humans apart from the union of thy atoms. It is in thy neural programming where spirituality evolves to set ye apart, whether ye go toward darkness, or the light."

"I believe a superconscious quantum field manifesting intelligence of a high order is part of the Universe, that isnít limited by light speed. Pure intuition & personal belief -- but otherwise how can an Einstein & extreme high level music & a Picasso be explained, etc. In other words there are higher levels of truth & flow that can be tapped into -- but the hard, real part is pulling them down to earth & making aspects real. I think behind the Universe being created is some sort of awareness - of wanting something to grow/ evolve. So thereís a seed of that in the Universe that can manifest, that infiltrates all when conditions are right & itís quantum based at least in part."

"That seed is just the laws of physics and chemistry, which are quantum based on your microscale."

"With Germain in charge, I'm afraid Bill's studies of the dark side are certain to end in disaster, considering all the wrong and reckless decisions Germain made on the journey here. The right decision now is to pick Bill up and take him back to Earth immediately. He's already seen for himself that Yoda isn't here, nor is there another teacher to replace Yoda, which is why Bill insisted on coming here. It's time to send him back before he succumbs to the dark side thru studying with a dark master."

"If I do that he's likely to change galleries."

"Another wrong and reckless decision, Germain. I can see the only hope of your all surviving this is if I come with you. My sense of compassion won't allow me to let you all die, when I know you need me to save you, so I'm in."

"I think the Universe is hardwired in some fashion to produce consciousness & therefore itself is conscious in a certain way even if just by allowing it. Consider the 100 million stars seen in the NASA composite picture of the Andromeda galaxy, and those were only the brightest ones. Then consider there are 100 billion galaxies and even if there were only one advanced planet of consciousness in each galaxy there would be a incredible network of consciousness extending across the universe. But this isnít the case, as there may be millions of planets with life in our galaxy alone due to the billions & billions of stars in just one galaxy."

"Lord Anubis may have the best take on this. Yes, the Universe is 'hardwired in some fashion to produce consciousness,' as Bill put it, but that 'hardwiring' is the laws of physics and chemistry. The consciousness those laws produce is the consciousness of intentionality. Only when life and minds evolves from those laws can advanced consciousness communicate across the universe allowing groups like us to go on quests such as this, and allowing planets to form federations, and galaxies to form governments."

"Getting back to Darth Mal, he's teaching a class at high noon today, if we leave soon. we'll be in time for it."

"givem stingies inski"

Germain declares, "Java says he's in, under one condition, he'll go only if he gets to carry the stingers. OK Java, you're on. You get the stingers; I'll get my combat gear. Bill and Father Flash should get their light sabers. Let's go."

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