What is Software?


When I came out to L.A. and needed to make money I landed a job at night at a law firm based on my academic credentials – I nailed a spelling and grammar test. I went into a room with a large word processing computer the size of a dresser with a small text only screen, and my supervisor handed me eight large floppy disks and put the first one into the machine.

She told me to go through one at a time and the machine would “train me.” Then she left and for the next few evenings I was there at night completely alone with the IBM “System 6” as it showed me how to copy and paste, format and print legal documents.

At one point there was a mistake in the program (a bug) and I knew I had the right answer on the test to go to the next disk but it wouldn’t let me advance. I got really angry at the machine and had to wait until the next day when the supervisor cleared the program and I finished up.

I worked at the law firm for six months grateful that this machine and I had made friends.

It also made me aware and awe struck that human ingenuity could create a machine through which electricity could manifest intelligence that did complex tasks. It inspired the first screenplay I ever had optioned and the amazement continues until today as that intelligence is now compounded within my cell phone and tablet.

But like the space between the synapses in the neural networks of our human brains, the “software” or mental component of the computer is within the energetic space of the machine – within the electricity that courses through silicon based on the intentional programming of its creators.

As I’ve written before, it can be reduced to symbolic zeroes and ones whether it’s in the computer, or our own DNA. It is intelligence manifested through consciousness of some kind.

While it is “on” the word processor had a “mind” that was teaching me itself. But what does “mind” really “mean”?

And the word “consciousness” or “intelligence” does not do the reality of mental energy justice either…

But let’s take it a step further. The other night I watched Inside Job, a wonderful documentary about the financial meltdown of 2008. While got pissed off all over again, it made me think about money in a different way – especially since most of what transpired was done electronically.

(When Henry Paulson told the media that he had persuaded Congress to give him 800 billion for the first bailout, and he was asked for how he knew it was necessary, he said, “the computers told us what we needed to do.”)

If we truly and deeply understand that Software is mental energy generated from a physical form then money is actually software in the truest sense.

Why do I say this? Because the paper dollar you have in your wallet only has value to the extent that everyone around you believes in its intrinsic worth. Otherwise it is just paper.

Even gemstones like emeralds, which may have some mystical properties, but it is truly their existence as software, or the “dream” or story that we overlay onto them, which allows someone to go to an honest market and exchange emeralds for goods.

If the software in our brains did not attribute value to emeralds or the paper money, it would be worthless. It is mental energy just as the computer that trained me where the value resided in the capabilities I gained to manipulate other mental energy, and help the law firm sue people with the work product I created for it.

A moment ago I likened the story overlaid onto money to a “dream”. I did this purposely, because it is truly a spiritual (non material) reality that resides only within the human consciousness.

Returning to the film for a moment, we can also see that the absolute chaos created in 2008 resulted from an illusory aspect of the dream; namely all that was created and moved around was more dream currency not based on any actual value. That’s why the trillions in wealth squandered on material objects “bought” with phony money have left the planet destitute – “real” wealth was exchanged in the form of homes, yachts, jewelry, and sexual services for the fake financial instruments created on Wall Street.

But what can the reality of such a dream teach us as human beings?

Well spiritual teachings like a Course in Miracles and the work of Eckhart Tolle point to another dream within our existence on the planet as consciousness – the dream of our own individual identity.

Even neuroscience has been unable to identify a stable, absolute and static “I” within our brains. Instead the latest theory go back to the synapse, or space between neurons that “manifest” an identity according to the temporary connections with the immensely and almost infinitely complex neural network that operates in our skull when the brain gets oxygen from the lungs through blood from the heart.

Turn off the electricity and the “I” ceases to exist. Sound familiar? With software running (the electricity on and energy flowing through its silicon) the System 6 computer was also “dreaming” – not metaphorically but actually. Mental energy – programmed by humans – was manifesting (coming into being from “nowhere”).

This is also happening in ourselves—within our brains–in a very real sense, therefore, your “own” existence is literally (not metaphorically) a dream.

This is what leads me to the discussion night I am hosting at the Gateway Portal this Wenesday evening beginning at 7 pm (doors open for networking at 6:30 pm).

I will be joined for the conversation by three teachers and thinkers who work closely with “dreams” as they are commonly understood. First, Dr. Michael Lennox is the author of Dream Sight, a dictionary of the symbolism of dreams or the inner landscape of our “I.” Michael Jeffreys, organizer of the Santa Monica Eckhart Tolle Group has recently delved deeply into a Course in Miracles and has combined his teaching of Eckhart Tolle’s work on the Ego with a concept of all of life (no exceptions) as a “dream.” And we’ll be joined for a feminine perspective by Moira Shepard, NLP, CHt, private coach and practitioner and a Guide to Abundance whose work focuses on changing the beliefs (dreams) of her clients to effect changes to their circumstances (reality).

For more information or to RSVP please visit the Meetup page for this potentially enlightening evening.

One response to “What is Software?

  1. What is Software? It’s the (intelligent) product of a human mind to program a mindless machine. No one has yet devised a way of converting a pig’s ear into a silk purse, or lead into gold, or pipe dreams into grass. As Gertrude might say, a computer is a computer is a computer. By the way, a comma goes after “Well,….” and ” awestruck is one word in my Webster’s Ninth ed Dict.

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