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 Hack Yer Mind!

I can almost hear you thinking: "Hack the mind?  Isn't that illegal?".  I guess I'll have to explain the title. 

"Hacking" has earned bad connotations that it does not deserve.  A hacker is someone who can look at a system and figure out how it works internally, from which they can derive a model of how it would react under different inputs, so that they can duplicate it, improve on it, and manipulate it better.  In this sense, people "hack" all the time, and not always with computers: a mother tries to "hack" the mind of her infant child to figure out why they are crying or what those hand motions mean.  A math teacher trying to show a student how to do multiplication has to "hack" the student's mind to figure out why they are getting their products incorrectly.  A "cracker" is a hacker gone bad: a manipulator who uses their ability to "play games" with people's heads instead of being a psychiatrist who could help them understand themselves.  An e-mail scammer who uses his writing ability to fool the recipient of his phishing scams is a cracker.  Thus, when I say "Hack yer mind", I mean getting a better idea of how your mind works so that you can improve it and manipulate it for good ends. 

Why should we be concerned about the human mind, and "hacking" it,  when the real problem is sin (in the form of Paul's "Old Man") and the lack of power in the Church?  Recall that in the first essay, I outlined what I call the Symbiotic thesis: that the relationship of the Holy Spirit and the believer in which He dwells is indistinguishable from a symbiotic relationship between symbiote and host.  In the third essay, I showed that the site where Deus resides in Homo is what the New Testament writers ("the ancients") called "the heart" of man.  Assuming that there was a difference between the way the ancients viewed themselves and the way we moderns view ourselves, we undertook an examination of verses in the New Testament that spoke of the heart.  While our modern definition assigns a metaphorical role of the heart as being the seat of emotions, the ancients viewed the heart as the place from which human thoughts, intentions, good acts, and evil acts, all spring.  In the second essay, I pointed out that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit was to create a "virtual Jesus Christ" within the believer that mirrors Jesus Christ.  I postulated that this virtual presence in the disciples must have seemed so vivid and real that they would talk of themselves as "being in Christ" or that Christ was "in them". 

However, we today do not sense another "presence" within us, either as Jesus Christ or as the Holy Spirit, so we have viewed such phrases as metaphors of the Christian's relationship to God the Son.  In this essay, I will argue that this inablity to sense either "Christ in us" or the Holy Spirit as a symbiote within ourselves can be explained in terms of a misconception of how our minds are constructed.  The expectations are mistaken because we are trying to understand what the Apostles were saying about the Holy Spirit in terms of a "classical" model of the human mind.  What we should do is try to understand what they were trying to say in terms of their model of what we moderns call the human mind, but what they called the heart.  I will try to construct, using modern notation and views, a model of the human mind as they saw it so that we can maximize our understanding of what they believed.  I will give links to recent work that supports the reconstructed model.  We will then fit what they said about the Spirit into that model.  

You may be sighing while wondering how recreating a 2 millenia old model of the human mind to replace a later conception could be of any use.  "After all", you may be thinking, "Isn't that setting the clock back?"

It was C.S. Lewis who pointed out that if a clock was wrong, then setting it back might be the right thing to do to make it right.  If we are to have the mind of Christ, we should, if we want to really know what Paul was saying, figure out what he was thinking when he used the word "mind"? 

"But what good is having a model?" you may ask. 

That all depends on who is using it.  To a layman, it would be a curiosity.  To a biblical historian, it would be an interesting insight into the mind of the bible peoples.  To a modern atheistic psychologist, it would be an example of naive primitivism.  However, to a serious researcher, it would serve as a mental seed to generate new ideas and new ways of looking at old phenomena, leading to (publishable!) experiments to validate or invalidate it.  To a serious hacker/engineer, it would be used to develop "technology": a set of rules and methods for accomplishing specific results.

And in the end, it is RESULTS that really matter.

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