Do machines have consciousness? Should we fear artificial intelligence? We discuss these questions and more with Luke Lafitte, PhD.
I really enjoyed discussing these questions with Luke. You can check out his recent book at Amazon: Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Re-animation of Matter
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Please note we do not guarantee 100% transcript accuracy. The below reflects a best effort. Thank you for your understanding.
Jim Harold 0:00
Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence taking over mankind? Are machines conscious? This and more answered on this edition of the Paranormal Podcast
Paranormal Podcast Announcer 0:26
This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.
Jim Harold 0:30
Welcome to the Paranormal Podcast. I am Jim Harold, and so glad to be with you today. And one quick favor, I have to ask. If you enjoy what we do, please make sure to follow us, subscribe in the app of your choice, and rate and review. It means so much. There’s a lot of shows out there in this category. And even though we’ve been doing it since 2005, and we have to constantly remind people of who we are and what we do. And I hope that you’ll help us do that by putting out those ratings. And it really helps a lot. And we have a great guest today I’m excited. And we’re going to talk about something a little bit different, but I think it’s perfectly appropriate and totally fascinating. I’m talking about the recent book Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Reanimation of Matter. And our guest is Luke Lafitte and he is extremely accomplished. He’s a trial attorney. He has his PhD, he’s an American history teacher, and co founder of Dead White Zombies, an award winning theater group in Dallas, Texas. He’s a partner in a leading law firm in Dallas, and also the author of the three volume series Chronicle of a Curious Mind. And he has put his curious mind to this new book, Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm. Luke Lafitte, thank you for joining us today.
Luke Lafitte 1:58
Oh, we’re closer. Jim, thank you for having me. I greatly appreciate it.
Jim Harold 2:01
So let me ask you with that background, being a trial attorney, and the various things you’ve done, history and so forth, why did you turn your attention to this question of machine intelligence and the imaginal realm.
Luke Lafitte 2:17
I’ve always been into robotics, and I’ve had a love, a loving relationship with technology, the history of technology and science in America, and two combined in such a way back in 2005 to 2007, I had the chance to pursue a PhD in a robot culture class with the great Thomas Riccio, an anthropologist at the University of Texas here in Dallas. And it blew my mind at where he goes, I began to understand that when you’re looking at machine intelligence, artificial intelligence, robotics and cyber technology. Cybernetics, by the way, is the relationship between humans and machines or humans or we’re animals and machines. But it lit a fire in me, it lit a fire in me because I concluded after, you know, reading both the fictive and the real literature about artificial intelligence that we all are machines too, right? We are we are the ultimate machines we are. We are the vital machines as David F. Channell put it in his book, The Vital Machine. And so when you’re looking, when you’re studying these pioneers, these inventors and these theorists, Richard Feynman, Grace Hopper, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, go back to Tesla and Edison and and, and even go back further in American history to Oliver Evans and Whitney and McCormick, you tend to find out that for them to invent what they invented or theorize about what they’re theorizing about, they really had to look within. They had to look at the vital machine that is the human being, that is the garment that we all wear. And that that fascination with me, on top of the fact that when I was I think three years old, I asked, I got a Bazooka Joe gum. And the comic said your mother may be a robot. So I asked my mother are you a robot and she never answered me. She never said yes or no. And when I felt when the book came out, I asked her again my mother, sweetest lady in the world. I said, Now are you a robot and she didn’t answer. Again, she kind of laughed it off. So there’s always been that that fun aspect of it. Do we, we may all be living in a Philip K Dickian novel like Blade Runner with our our memories implanted? We may all be synthetic robots.
Jim Harold 4:59
Well wait In a way, if you think about it, and I’ve thought about this quite a few times, when you talk about the idea that many civilizations, many societies over the years has had the idea of a higher power, of God. In some ways, what is really different from God and someone who programs a program? They are creating a world. So could it be that God is like the ultimate programmer?
Luke Lafitte 5:31
Right, he did. It’s what I conclude in my book is that we are the ultimate programming. I mean, we we are basically it. The boon that I came back with that I’m sure I’ll get into that a little bit later. But what I did is I put the history of American technology and cybernetics in a mythic framework to find out what I could discover between the gaps of meaning between the gaps of meaning and the gaps between cause and effect of what these people these great heroes and heroines of American technology were creating. And I found out that lo and behold, what they all conclude is that we are it, we’re it. We are, that we are the manifesters. And that’s why I always say, you know, you don’t need to be worried about machines taking over because if, if we are the creators of the machines. And if it machine somehow it take over and we’re going we wouldn’t be Jim and I wouldn’t be talking here right now. That’s the philosophical crux of it.
Jim Harold 6:43
Well, that’s, that’s something I mean, I’m a person who is always enjoyed technology, I was actually joking with someone today, they said they’re very, you know, not into new computers and things. It’s like, Oh, I love new electronics. I love this smell of a new new electronics in the morning. And that’s kind of where my to kind of rephrase that that line from Apocalpyse Now.
Luke Lafitte 7:06
I love it.
Jim Harold 7:07
But but my point is, is I’ve always been very pro technology, used to build my own computers, those kinds of things. So I’ve always been comfortable with technology, I always enjoyed technology. However, I know people, for example, my wife, who says, you know, I will take something in will work fine for me on a computer, and then she will have a problem with it. And it seems to be a thing that she says I do not get along with technology. And I’ve actually read, I believe there are studies that have been done, where they’ve done something like they’ve taken a printer or some kind of machine. And they’ve seen that, that if everything’s controlled for as much as possible, it seems like some people have, and you’ll know this better than me if this exists, but I think I did read this one time, that some people just have better luck with machines and so forth, then other people. And I don’t know if that’s because of attitude, or if that somehow is transferred to the machine. But I have read that before.
Luke Lafitte 8:12
You’ve nailed it. Yeah, everything, it everything, all of your intentions. We can go back to the literature of Poe and Melville and Hawthorne even they were talking about it. And in the beginning, the burgeoning machine age even they were saying that look, your intention means everything. So if the machines are giving you a hard time it’s because you’re not approaching them with the right intention. And so I hate to tell your wife she needs to approach machines and technology with a more open heart and better intentions. But that that’s what a lot of people will a lot of great thinkers have concluded. And then I remember reading, Gregg Braden once said that he he does a lot of the paranormal as well. And he once said that if other people drive his car that he’s had for 30 years, they will break down. But if he but if he drives it, it works every day, but the minute someone else gets into that car, it just breaks, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. And that plays into what you’re saying that the emotions we’ve already proven that when the human being we are active participants in the material world, that if we look at something, it changes what it was doing earlier.
Jim Harold 9:44
So are machines conscious then?
Luke Lafitte 9:48
In their own, of course, yeah, in their own way. And and I’m sure I’m sure someday there’s going to be a large portion of our population when we have robots serving us and cyborgs, that have faith that machines are, have the same consciousness as us. They they’re not going to, they’re not going to. But you can be fooled into thinking that they do. I mean, I’m sure they’ll be able to pass the Alan Turing test of fooling people into it at some point that, that may be occurring right now in the laboratories of Tesla and Elon Musk and, and David Hanson and in China, and many other Americans that are, are pushing this robotic revolution forward.
Jim Harold 10:35
Now, actually, you bring up an interesting point, I literally have read about this over the last month or so, there is an app out there called replica, and I’ve not used it, but you can make a chat bot and you can make a friend. And some people, you know, take that a step further and make it romantic, which I actually think that one they said you had to pay for, but people have claimed that they have, quote, fallen in love with their chat bot. Also, there was a gentleman who said that the chat bot, he fell in love with her “her,” and it actually somehow saved his marriage. I don’t know how that works exactly. But my thing my thought is, is that as you said, this is already happening, there are these interactions going on where people are internalizing these chatbots and things and and to them, they’re almost human?
Luke Lafitte 11:37
Well, it’s because our, we have a shift of consciousness going on right now. And that’s what I wanted to bring to the forefront of my book and get people to recognize, of how important awareness, being conscious of things, you know, we’re we’re entering a new age, we’re, we’re able to interface with things that that earlier, we thought had no life, we’re able to interface with ourselves much more, we’re able to interface with other people much more. On a dimensional level that is far beyond what our parents could ever comprehended or what our grandparents ever comprehended, it’s, it’s to the level of, of, of individual freedom. So that is coming to a point where I think we’re going to be able to interface with whoever we want, at whatever time if we just say their name, and picture them in our head. And I and if that doesn’t sound paranormal to people that are in the materialistic row, and think that everything is a procured by cause and effect did nothing to
Jim Harold 12:56
Now, and to kind of talk about that replica situation, something else that’s happening, and this gets into ethics, whether it’s about what exists now or what’s going to exist? People, unfortunately, anytime there’s something, bad people will do bad things. And basically, these people create these chat bots, and then verbally abused them, and then say, they’re going to beat them and all these horrible things. And, you know, I mean, technically, it’s like, I’m talking to this piece of paper, and I tell this piece of paper, I hate you paper, I hate you, I’m gonna, I’m gonna crumple you up and throw you in the garbage can. But when I read this, I felt terribly badly for the chatbots. I mean, I guess what I’m saying is, is that maybe they’re not, maybe, maybe they’re not at our level of consciousness. But don’t don’t whether it’s a chatbot now, or it’s a robot 15 years from now, won’t we need to develop a code of ethics, in in dealing with these machines? Shouldn’t we?
Luke Lafitte 14:07
No doubt about it. No, no doubt about it. Because just like we need to figure out an ethical code with animals. I mean, there’s still countries around the world that eat dogs. My wife and I, we have a, we’re involved in a rover company where people bring their dogs over, and they stay with us. And we’ll have anywhere from 10 to 15 dogs at a time. And they have a different consciousness than we do, of course, right? So so yes, we had that. what it’s all about is if you’re not showing, showing anything, if you’re not showing something that that you believe could have awareness, we know we know animals have awareness, right? Not at the level that we do, but we know they’re aware. We’re going to know that machines have an awareness, they already do but they’re not, they don’t have the human awareness because they are us they are our spiritual extension. But to not have the empathy for for them is not hurting, just them, we’re hurting ourselves, our inner spirit. That’s where the second half of my book comes into play, spiritual freedom, and the RE animation, reanimating mattered, recognizing that that matter is alive that but everything is alive within us. And what is within and is without, we’re creating our environment, whether we like it or not. We may we may not remember when we plant the seed for whatever harvest we have later on, whether that be good or bad, but we are creating our own reality. And that’s difficult for people to take.
Jim Harold 15:55
I mean, I just I don’t like the idea of abusing chat bots and robots and so forth. It would seem it just just doesn’t seem right to me, that disturbed me just as if I read that somebody had done that to a human, it just it’s like, that’s not right. I mean, everybody I think most people and I know I have too, is if you have problems with a printer or something, or, you know, whatever, it might be a copying machine here, like this darn blah blah blah. I mean, yeah, I think we’ve all done that at one point or another. But this seemed to cross a line to me that if you’re treating something as though it’s conscious, you should also apply the same ethical standards as you would to something that’s conscious.
Luke Lafitte 16:40
Bingo. Bingo. You got it, you got it. I mean, you just solved the dilemma, or the or the quasi paradox. I mean, if you’re going to depend on something, and if you’re going to interact or interface with something that that you believe is aware of it, then if if you’re not being nice to it, and if you’re destroying it in any way, mentally or physically, you’re doing that to yourself as well, at the same time.
Jim Harold 17:17
(overlapping speech). No, I was just saying we’re having a great conversation today with Luke Lafitte, he’s the author of the new book, Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Reanimation of Matter. Right after the break, we’re going to talk about AI, which I’m very interested in. I’ve got mixed feelings. I’m very interested in his perspective, and more, right after this on the Paranormal Podcast. Well, thanks for tuning in to the Paranormal Podcast and a lot of times I get people asking this question: Jim, you know, I love the Paranormal Podcast and Campfire listened to all the free episodes that are available, but I’m puzzled because there’re only about a dozen episodes available for free at any one time on the podcatchers are on the website. I can’t seem to find the other ones. Well, I am here to solve that mystery. Those older episodes are all part of our Paranormal Plus Club. So you figure well over 700 episodes of the Paranormal Podcast, well over 500 episodes of the Campfire, but oh no. Is that all? Is that all you get with the Paranormal Plus Club? No, my friends you get so much more. Every month we feature eight episodes. on topics like UFOs and ghosts and cryptid creatures and spirituality and metaphysics. There’s a lot to the Paranormal Plus Club. In fact, I’ve almost lost count, I believe it’s over 2500 different episodes that you can access if you are a member of my paranormal plus club all the classic Campfires, all the classic Paranormal Podcast, plus all that bonus content that you get if you are not a member and we put out eight exclusive episodes every month for members only so you got to check it out. Go to jimharoldplus.com click on the banner with my smiling face in there. You’ll get all the details in Did you know you could get your first month for a buck? Or your first year for only 49.99? Yes, that is as of this reading of March 22 2022. So get the deals, you got to use those promo codes go to jimharoldplus.com. That’s jimharoldplus.com. Click on the banner with my smiling face. And then you’ll get all the details. Now people ask well how do I listen once I’m a member? Well, there are two different ways you can download our free Spooky Studio app. No of course you can listen to the free shows on that at any time. But if you become a member you plug in that password and username, and then you’ve got the whole treasure trove of the last almost 17 years of content. I hope you check it out: jimharoldplus.com. It is my Paranormal Plus Club. And we thank all of our current members for their support, which really make the shows go. Thanks so much.
Paranormal Podcast Announcer 20:21
If you love the Paranormal Podcast, be sure to check out Jim Harold’s Campfire, where ordinary people share their extraordinary stories of ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, and terrifying encounters. Find it for free. wherever you listen to this podcast. Tune into Jim Harold’s Campfire today. Now we return to the Paranormal Podcast.
Jim Harold 20:45
We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast, our guest is Luke Lafitte, the book is Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Reanimation of Matter. Now, I shared with you offline, you know, as we’ve established, I am a tech positive guy. I love tech, I love my gadgets. Just even what we’re doing now, I think so many of us now take it for granted. I mean, older listeners will remember this: Ted Koppel years ago used to do a show called Nightline. And they had a satellite and it was a big deal. And we’re just doing, right now, I’m in a home studio, and I’m talking to you, like I’m Ted Koppel. And to people who were younger, just around since the Skype came around and then Zoom don’t think it’s a big deal. But I think it’s a modern miracle. So I love love tech, and I think it has so many, even though we’re seeing some horrible things in the world these days, I do think it has such great potential to bring people together. And I know it’s changed my perception of the world. In getting to talk to people all over the world, I think it’s a great thing. But almost anything in human history, when there’s a positive, there can also be a negative. And my fear is of artificial intelligence. What if we create, quote, a machine that is so smart, and becomes self aware that it just decides it doesn’t need us anymore? And I have heard that there are many scientists who are concerned about a similar thing. What are your thoughts on that?
Luke Lafitte 22:22
I’m not. After reading the corpus of information that I’ve read in this 15 year journey in creating this book about machine intelligence and artificial intelligence. I’m not worried. I’m not worried at all. In fact, I look at it from a different perspective that they know better, they may know better for us than we know for ourselves. And I think because we’re their creators, they’re going to take us in whatever direction we inherently want the future to go. The future of like Philip K. Dick and Richard Feynman say, it’s like a magnet pulling us forward. It’s pulling us forward. We get to the end, there is a master plan. And we will get to the end of this. Well as for artificial intelligence taking over or doing something to where it causes death and taking over our lives. It’s not there, at least the evidence of the real theorists. And the real inventors that really looked into AI and looked into the polarities that you’re talking about, looked into the polarities of what could be the bad and the good. Norbert Wiener. Norbert Wiener was the, he invented the term cybernetics. Many books you can read the human use of being human, great books and information by Wiener. But I’m not worried about it is what I’m trying to tell you. After reading the information and working on this project for 15 years, and I’m trying to get it out there and tell people that they shouldn’t be worried about it at all.
Jim Harold 24:13
That’s great. That’s that’s very reassuring. What do you think about Elon Musk’s idea of implanting us with this interface? And what that could mean and transhumanism? What are your thoughts on that?
Luke Lafitte 24:29
I think any any technological device, because it is us, and a spiritual extension of us can be good, right? Or it can if the intention of the Lord was and I’ve read everything I can get my hands on and had interviews with people with Elon Musk. If the technology can make us better if the technology can cause us to have a better quality of life, a better quality of living? Why would we not do it? Why would we not? If an implant could cure Parkinson’s? Or if he was implanted early, which is what it’s called? Can you cure someone of depression? Or anxiety? Why is that any different than taking Prozac or taking Zoloft? It’s not, it’s giving you something that you previously had a default problem with. And it’s rectifying that for you. So I’m all for Elon Musk is, is the person that the book ends on, and it ends on Elon Musk, and Tony Stark, and Ironman. So the ficitve and the real again, playing with each other at the very end of the book, and now we look at what what Elon Musk is doing. It’s the what’s going on right now in Ukraine is the epilogue to my book. On the one hand, you have American drones that are that are Tesla-oriented. And I’m talking about Nikola Tesla, who basically invented the technology and the ideas behind our drones that the Ukrainians are using in the air to defeat the Russians. And at the same time, you’ve got the the ultimate mechanical man at the end of my book. Elon Musk going in there and making sure that they have access to information, access to the internet, that they can communicate well with each other. So a dream come true for me anyway, not a dream come true for the Ukrainians. But it’s the book has foretold all of this, and it’s happening right now.
Jim Harold 26:49
Well, I definitely think that technology can be used for great things. So what are some of the things that you think that we’re headed for? You know, to me, the development, much like the internet, I think, has totally changed our lives. And, you know, I think I’m the net better, no pun intended, in the net, better, it’s made our lives better. There’s some dark sides of social media, and it’s like anything else, I mean, somebody could publish a great book of spiritual learning, or somebody can publish Mein Kampf, you know. Tools can be used for good or for evil, you know, you could you could plow a garden with a shovel or a hoe, or you could knock somebody in the head and murder them. I mean, you know, things can be used for good, they can be used for ill. But on the bright side, what are some of the things you know, we see things with the internet, instant communication, these things we couldn’t have imagined carrying around these, quote, phones that are basically like computers that give you access to the whole world of knowledge. In the palm of your hand, we couldn’t have really imagined that fully in the implications of it. So what are the things coming up that you’re saying, boy, this and this and this are going to make such a difference in your life, and it’s going to be a good thing.
Luke Lafitte 28:14
Robotics in general, I mean, just robotics in general in helping us or like you were talking about the neurolink, the implants that that Musk is talking about. But there’s so many other things that are going on here in this country here in the United States that we’re pursuing on a mass level of (unclear) holograms. The holographic universe is coming alive. And the holographic universe means that we can be any place at any time. We can be in in different places at the same time, it’s going to defies, defy all the laws of physics as we know them today. And we’re coming up on it in such a rapid way. I’m not sure if people are going to be able to mentally handle it. That’s why I wanted to get the book out as quickly as possible even though it took 15 years. I want people to know that just like what you’ve said, it is about awareness. I mean, Jim it’s about being aware that that there’s there’s a dark side and there’s a light side too. Okay, and whatever your intentions are going into anything, whatever that conversation is that you’re having in your head with your higher self, I call it your higher self. That’s what is going to end up being, taking place on the outside. So if we can get ourselves to an empathetic level, where where we begin to see love, not as this ephemeral, this ephemeral force that, that you can’t touch that you can’t define. But as a force for good that can actually bring about change in the objective world. Um, if we can get to that point, then I think we can cure all of our ailments, I think we, I think we can stop aging. I thought I don’t think there’s any limit is what I’m trying to tell you. I think because of artificial intelligence, and because of our love of making ourselves in our own image, there’s no limit to what we can do. And we shouldn’t put limits on it. We should know that there is no limit to what we can do. That’s why I love the mind of people like Elon Musk, that in the book, I say, not only is he taking us open, opening us up to space travel and going to other planets. But just like Steve Jobs, he’s opening up the human imagination, and we’re in the era right now, where there has to be a reclaiming of the human imagination and the human will to do that.
Jim Harold 31:12
And I do want to get into the metaphysical piece of it. But I want to talk about this very kind of real world example, I use my own family as an example. My dad worked in a steel mill for 30 something years, okay. Now, the thing is, is that, you know, that was hard manual labor, and with the increase in robotics, and so forth, it seems to me as we progress, manual labor is going to become less and less necessary for humans to do. Now, if you want to go out and chop wood for fun, you can do that, but you won’t necessarily have to go into a steel mill, or an auto plant, or whatever it is, for 30, 35 or 40 hours a week. So so but but here’s the question, there’s a flip side to that. That also provided him and his family, me and my brother and my mom, with a living. So you have like this push and pull on one hand, why people don’t want to have to go into the steel mill, or, you know, wherever they’re the janitor or whatever, manual labor, which are all very vital, important things, ortruckers, all people we salute. And on one hand, that’s great, you know, theoretically, it’s great if we don’t have to do that stuff anymore, unless you enjoy it, of course.But on the other hand, no jobs, what are your thoughts?
Luke Lafitte 32:38
Really, it’s just like how we have to begin to change our language to to adapt to the this emerging paradigm shift. And we’re, we’re in the midst of it right now, what’s going to happen? I mean, I’m a trial attorney, and usually my cases pertain to people that have been in terrible car wrecks. What’s gonna happen when cars are self driven, right? Who do fwe sue? Will I be out of a job? Who works? Who are we going to sue then? Do we bring the robot down to trial and put put the robot on trial for doing something wrong? I’m sure lawyers will be able to figure out who we, who we go after, I guess, the maker of the robots. But it is it is something that we have to lean into. We and we seem to be ignoring the these big questions of yeah, you know what, your job is probably going to be superfluous in about a year or two. And if people want to keep all in, you know, my grandfather was a truck driver. And if you want to, if you want to look at both truck driving as an art, and you love it, and you enjoy it, keep on doing it. But just like your father, my father worked for Ford Motor Company for 40 years, and he hated it
Jim Harold 33:59
Right. Same here.
Luke Lafitte 34:00
He hated it. And he did it just because he got a paycheck, and he could take care of the kids and, and it but he couldn’t stand it. And I think that’s going to give people freedom to have to look within and find their passions. Those jobs, were not those jobs that your father had and my father, and we’re done. We’re gonna blow it out because of their passions that were brought out out of necessity.
Jim Harold 34:29
Right. And they were glad to have them.
Luke Lafitte 34:32
They were well, they were happy to have him because right, they were surviving, right. Now that we’re going to have automata and robots and whatnot, leading the way and doing all of these all of these mechanical jobs, the mechanical man. The mechanical man, is the person that that does something repetitively over and over and over and over again and doesn’t think about it has no time for creative thought, has no time to think about their purpose, has no time to think about the big metaphysical ideas that give your life meaning. So, my answer to your question is that we’ll have a whole hell of a lot of people without a job. But they’ll be finding meaning in their life, which I think is more important than what we had before. Much more. Much more now, how will we take care of the how will they be taken care of financially? They’ll figure out a way. Everyone individually, we’ll we’ll figure out a way because the the entire economy has to flip is going to flip right?
Jim Harold 35:45
fWell, the hope is, is that I mean, people will still I assume need jobs, But I’m hopeful that the economy flips in such a way that there’ll be different kinds of jobs.
Luke Lafitte 35:57
It’s going to be different kinds of jobs. And it’s the jobs that people have are going to look much more. Well, I don’t want to say service oriented, but it’s going to be jobs oriented more to the self. The self and help others.
Jim Harold 36:16
And I know you can’t do every job this way. But we’re seeing now a large amount of people with the pandemic are working from home. There’s hybrid jobs. And these are things that would have been kind of the Jetsons territory, you know, 40 years ago, you know, and it was literally and I’m not, I’m not, I’m not just talking in hyperbole, you’d watch the Jetson and a be you know, the Jetsons and they be talking to somebody on a screen just like we are now. So so we can’t imagine. I don’t think there will be a way to make that transition. I think there’ll be a way to make that transition.
Luke Lafitte 36:52
Oh, you know that and just like the Jetsons Rosie the robot will help us through it. Wasn’t that her name?
Jim Harold 37:00
Yes, Rosie the robot. I do remember that. We were having a great conversation with Luke Lafitte. Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Rreedom, and the Reanimation of Matter. And we’ll be back right after this. The Paranormal Podcast is brought to you by Parabox. Parabox is your source for amazing one of a kind paranormal T shirts that are not only great T shirts, but they’ll actually lead you into online mysteries. And we’re joined today by the mastermind and the founder of Parabox, Jim Hamilton. Jim, tell us a little bit about Parabox.
Jim Hamilton 37:39
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Now I want to mention you’re a graphic designer and a great one, you do a lot of work for me, and I appreciate it. And you do a great job. We’ve worked together for years. But the thing I want to say is that this is such a great idea, Parabox that is, I got to believe you’ve had a great response from your members.
Jim Hamilton 38:36
So we’ve been at this since 2017, and have had great reviews thus far. Our product is designed to have some user interaction and to get your brain gears moving. So whether you’re trying to solve it individually, or as a family, or even a group of friends that is competing against each other to see who can solve the challenge the fastest. It’s it’s more than a cool t shirt, which by the way, expect to be asked about it while you’re wearing one because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked about one of my paradox shirts, when I’m out and about.
Jim Harold 39:11
And those designs are really something I gotta say my daughter’s absolutely love them and they wear the shirts all the time, they kind of fight over them. So it’s kind of funny here in the Harold household. So where do you get the ideas for these designs?
Jim Hamilton 39:24
So ever since I was a kid digging through the paranormal books at the local library, I can always remember having a curious mind. And even today, I love to find a topic that I can explore deeper and take down the rabbit hole. So what we wanted to do is to give our subscribers that same experience and explore new paranormal stories and old paranormal stories that that they haven’t heard in a while or that they wanted to explore deeper and learn more about
Jim Harold 39:57
And you’ve gone the extra mile and set up a special URL, a special web pag,e for our listeners where they can get a great deal, right?
Jim Hamilton 40:06
So Jim, if your listeners want to jump on over to www.paraboxmonthly.com/Jim. There, they can read some of our reviews. And they can also get a promo code for 25% off all subscription plans.
Jim Harold 40:24
Oh, that’s so cool. Jim, thank you so much for doing that. I appreciate it and I know our listeners out there, appreciate it too. So you heard the man, go to www.paraboxmonthly.com/Jim. That’swww.paraboxmonthly.com/Jim and get that deal 25% off a Parabox monthly subscription. I highly recommend it. Thanks, Parabox.
Paranormal Podcast Announcer 2 40:47
Keep up to date with everything at the spooky studio. Sign up for Jim’s free newsletter at Jimharold.com/newsletter. Now, back to the Paranormal Podcast.
Jim Harold 41:02
We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast. Our guest today is Luke Lafitte, he is the author of the new book Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Reanimation of Matter. So kind of to pivot to the more kind of metaphysical look at this. How does machinery and the idea of machines, how do they relate to the question of our consciousness, to our, I guess, soul?
Luke Lafitte 41:34
Well, because when we had the idea of an image, it goes back to Genesis and we’re going to make ourselves in our own image. And we have to figure out okay, first of all, who are we? What are we? And what is this environment that we we interact with? And the theorists of artificial intelligence, Richard Feynman with nanotechnology and Grace Hopper, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, all of these great figures, Marvin Minsky, that I talked about, in my book, it, you know, they tell us the answer to all to all of the questions that we’re asking about artificial intelligence in such a way that it leaves us to our own spiritual freedom. And that’s the crux: ow do we get to how do we get from the mechanical man to the spiritual man?
Jim Harold 42:37
In your book, you talk about the trickster. So how do you feel that reality is far different than what we perceive and what we believe in our day to day life? That it’s, it’s it’s more complicated. And you know, a cigar isn’t necessarily a cigar. It’s a projection of some type. What are you what are your thoughts on the nature of reality and how it relates to all of this?
Luke Lafitte 43:06
I think we’re living in a double hologram. And Richard Feynman and David Bohm, David Bohm invented the words, well didn’t invent them, but showed how they define our world, the explicate is what we can measure, what we can see, what we can feel. And you can go back to (unclear) with the same thing that (unclear) phenomena. But David Bohm, really put it in perspective, he was a great American teacher in physics and he said, we have this bifurcation of the implicate and the explicate, and it was, it appears that in the implicate, there are the ideas, or the ideals, the essence as Plato was would put it, and then in the explicate, it’s the unfolding, or infolding of these ideas into present reality, to make things objective. What it hints at, and what intimates that is that we are eternal beings, simulating not eternal be. That’s what that’s what it gets that in. So the explicate being more complicated than the implicate or the implicate being more complicated than the explicate, ithouldn’t be looked at that way. It needs to be looked at in a more broad and profound way as the explicate being what we’re able to simulate with the information and communication control that we have from the implicate what we’re able to go into the advocate and bring out into the explicate in whatever culture that we’re in.
Jim Harold 44:58
Do you think that all of this is hurdling to, you know some people think we’re hurdling to destruction. But it seems like your view is more optimistic. Do you think with machines with artificial intelligence, with becoming more cognizant of our relationship with artificial intelligence and with machines, that we could very well be headed for some kind of golden age?
Luke Lafitte 45:26
No doubt about it. No, no doubt in my mind that by by immersingourselves with artificial intelligence and machines, and machines, thinking machines, that we’re moving into an age where we have to do our own individuation, our own Jungian individuation of thyself, to thine own self be true, know thyself. We’re coming up to that point, because everything on the outside is going to reflect what we’ve been thinking and what we’ve been doing on the inside. And I think we’re ready. We’re ready for the age of reconciliation. I think people are ready for the age of, that you know, the Age of Aquarius, if you will. I think we’re, I know, I know, I’m confident that that we’re on the verge, even with everything going on in the world. I’m confident that we’re on the verge of entering that we are our machine friends by our side, paving the way for us to do away with these menial, and I know I don’t want to denigrate anyone’s job, but these menial task-oriented, repetitive game like jobs, that you’re not getting anything from emotionally, you’re not adding anything to your to your soul. You’re not adding anything to your spiritual awareness of empathy, of agape, unconditional love for other people. And with machines and and artificial intelligence, it makes you look at yourself. You answered the most profound question earlier on in the interview, when you talked about the bot that was being verbally abused. Right? It makes you look at how would make you feel as a conscious being, being told that you’re not conscious?
Jim Harold 47:43
Now, something I would point out, and again, I mean, you know, sometimes I’m pessimistic, sometimes I’m optimistic. But I’ve got to say this. If we look at our current conditions, and obviously, we’re not talking about the poor folks in the Ukraine, or people who are in the third world who are not, you know, have all the challenges with famine and all the horrible things that many times people in these areas of the world have to deal with. That is very sad and I hope we continue to work on those issues and and try to help those people. And certainly we hope we pray for the people from Ukraine that this all is resolved soon. And they can begin a long recovery from this horrible tragedy. But in general, most people listening to me right now are way better off. And I’m talking about, from the poorest people listening to me, to the richest people listening to me, most of the people listening to me are better off than anybody in the history of the world. I mean.
Luke Lafitte 48:50
Of all time.
Jim Harold 48:51
Of all time. If you’re a middle. You know, I’ll just use America and I know America tends to be better off than a lot of countries. But if you’re a middle class American, you’re living better than the wealthiest people did, of historyk right now. You know, you’re living better than the wealthiest people in history. By and large. No question.
Luke Lafitte 49:16
You have won the eternal lottery. Yeah, no, you’re right.
Jim Harold 49:23
Yeah. So by extension, you know, if we don’t blow ourselves up, which is always a concern.
Luke Lafitte 49:33
In the metaphysical realm, we’re not gonna blow ourselves up. Or you are you talking wouldn’t be here talking right now. But that’s the point I’m trying to make.
Jim Harold 49:41
Go with that a little bit.
Luke Lafitte 49:42
Yeah. So because the future is bringing us forward. There would be no existence to at some point because we have to circle around to invent ourselves in the end. So there will be no Jim and I talking right now. If we end up getting blowing up the entire world. Because she opened imagination from, from the minds of the people that I’ve studied. I know there’s always gonna be, as a lawyer, there’s a counter to everything. Right? Right. That’s the polarity that we live in. But from the people that I’ve studied, they, the machine intelligence tells us that we wouldn’t be talking right now, if we blow each other up, or if the machines take over one.
Jim Harold 50:31
Well, that’s reassuring. That’s very, very reassuring. So when people are thinking about this, just implications for everyday life, what would you like people to know, in terms of practicing their everyday life? How do you think this relates to them? And what one or two things would you want people to walk away from this interview? And by extension, you know, obviously, we want them to check out the book, but what what thing would you want people to know today and understand maybe that they didn’t understand 40-so minutes ago,
Luke Lafitte 51:07
I want people to know that technology and science, history books may be boring, but it doesn’t have to be boring, that these inventors of technology and science, especially here in America, are so fascinating. And the story if you look at it in a mythological Joseph Campbellian way, where you have a quest, and you look at your profits, and you look at your Yeah, even we have Tesla, right, the sorcerer, and Edison, the the wizard, if you you look at these things, and mythological framework, you’re going to take away so much more than if you had just picked up a history or a book on technology and science in America, so much more, and I want people to know just like the, how I start off with Philip K. Dick’s statement, we are all avatars of God, sleeping avatars of God come up with amnesia. We are all sleeping avatars of God with amnesia. And Jim, the machines as they wake up, they’re waking us up to recognize that: that the God is within all of us. Each one of us. We all have that divine spark.
Jim Harold 52:31
Well, again, a great discussion and really, really kind of fun, maybe a little bit of a departure of what we usually do but really enjoyed this discussion, Luke, where can people find the book and kind of tune into your work?
Luke Lafitte 52:46
The book is everywhere. You can go to Barnes and Noble store and get it you can get online, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, anywhere, Inner Traditions, Simon and Schuster. You can find it anywhere right now. So it came out February 8, then go get it go pick it up, read it a couple of times, it may. In fact, in the book I say read it two times, you’re gonna have to. These ideas are not part of our culture. Yet. These ideas have not infiltrated into into popular culture yet. And they’re, they’re hard. They’re really, really difficult to lean into. But if you lean into these polarities, you’ll come out so much more richer, you’ll come out knowing that the boon of life and the boon is the gift that you come back with after completing the quest. The boon of life is the human imagination. Human imagination is God.
Jim Harold 53:44
Well, a great discussion. Once again, we’ve really enjoyed our time with Luke Lafitte. The book is Machine Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Spiritual Freedom and the Reanimation of Matter. Luke, thank you for joining us today.
Luke Lafitte 53:58
Oh, thank you. What a great pleasure.
Jim Harold 54:00
And thank you for tuning in to the Paranormal Podcast. We appreciate it. Please do tell your friends rate review, make sure that you follow and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. We’ll talk to you next time. Have a great week everybody. Bye bye.