The WIZ Mind
Computer Scientists have long been seeking to create an "artificial
intelligence". They have the idea that human consciousness is an
emergent1 property of the complex connection of neurons
in the brain, and that a computer too can eventually become
Their problem is, they don't actually know what consciousness is! In
particular, they confuse intelligence with consciousness, or mind
I believe that consciousness is something entirely different from
intelligence. Machines can be intelligent. A machine can be "aware"
of its environment. A windshied wiper that automatically comes on
when it senses that it is raining is "aware" and "intelligent".
But it cannot be "aware that it is aware", that is, "conscious". I
believe that consciousness is something completely outside of
In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard published the landmark book Dianetics,
the Modern Science of Mental Health. In it Mr. Hubbard
described the mind clearly for the first time. And in the Axioms
of Dianetics he wrote:
"The mind perceives and stores all data of the
environment... The process of thought is the perception of the
present and the comparison of it to the perceptions and
conclusions of the past in order to direct action in the immediate
or distant future."2
There are schools of thought that consider man to be a dual of mind
and body. Mr. Hubbard showed that man is actually a trio of mind,
body, and spirit. He says of the mind
"The mind is a communication and control system between
the [spirit] and his environment."
Mr. Hubbard discovered that the spirit is separate from the mind. It
is the "life force", it is "consciousness", and it is something
independent of the matter, energy, space and time of our physics.
According to Mr. Hubbard, you don't have a spirit, you are
a spirit, and you, a spirit, have and use a mind and a body.
A complex connection of neurons, or an electronic computer, or many
other kinds of mechanical devices, can indeed be very "intelligent".
A computer can be "aware" to the degree that it can sense its
environment, and "intelligent" to the degree that it can compare its
sensory data to data from past environments and direct action
accordingly in the immediate or distant future. This ability is what
we call "Mind".
But a computer can never be "aware of being aware", or have what we
generally call "Consciousness". Consciousness is a property of
spirit only, that is, of life.
Thus, it is possible for a computer to be a mind. In fact, the human
mind is nothing but a computer. We must distinguish clearly between
mind and spirit. A computer mind cannot be "aware" of its own
computations. Only a living being, a spirit, can be aware of its
By failing to realize this, Computer Science, in the field of
Artificial Intelligence, fails: it tries to accomplish too much! It
can (and will!) accomplish mind. It won't accomplish spirit. Again
quoting Mr. Hubbard:
"In the matter of such a thing as an automatic switch,
we might consider that the switch is capable of making a decision
whether to be off or on. However, we must remember that the
original decision that a switch was to be made, and that "off" and
"on" could be accomplished and, indeed, the design of the switch
itself depended entirely upon life quality."
Thus, while a computer can never have "consciousness", it can still
be very intelligent, and therefore very useful. It can use "the
perception of the present and the comparison of it to the
perceptions and conclusions of the past in order to direct action in
the immediate or distant future."2 And it can be a
"communication and control system" between its environment and a
"Where mechanics have ability, the ability is only apparent and
has been endowed into the mechanics by life. It is all right to
suppose that an electronic brain (computer) is capable of thought
as long as one realizes that life itself must necessarily be
present in order to give cause and quality, or direction, to such
a brain. An electronic brain will sit all day and do nothing
unless life starts the machine running. It will give millions of
answers, but none of these, no matter how sharp, have any meaning
until they are viewed by life. The machine is never anything more
than a servomechanism to life. Indeed, a machine cannot even exist
in the absence of life."3
Mr. Hubbard published a great deal of data on the mechanics of the
mind. It is my intention to use this data as the design for a new
type of computer which will compute in much the same way.
I envision such computers being installed as a Mind in all the
day-to-day objects we interact with, anything that is mechanical or
electrical, anything that moves, any tool, any thing, so
that it will become an intelligent
thing -- a servomechanism to life.
Steven Swift, 2009
1. "Emergent" is a specialized word here which refers to a
specific type of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"
phenomenon. Emergence in this definition is when a complex
behavior results from -- emerges from -- the combination of a very
large number of simple and identical parts, especially when it is
a surprising, unpredicted and complex behavior. For example, a
number of very amazing behaviors of ant colonies emerge from the interactions
of the simple behaviors of individual ants. Each ant does only a
few simple things, but as a large group, unexpectedly complex
behaviors can emerge. Likewise, brain cells, when
looked at individually, seem to have a very simple function, and
some scientists believe that "consciousness" emerges from the combination
of billions and billions of them. Thus they believe that if they
could build an artificial brain cell, and put billions of them
together, "consciousness" would suddenly occur, ie, emerge.
2. From the Axioms of Dianetics, number 64 and 65.
3. From Dianetics 55, Chapter 2: The
Fundamentals Of Life.