A: You like to think of yourself as a neuron.
B: Metaphorically speaking, yes.
A: Don’t you value your individuality?
B: What do you mean?
A: Well, a neuron does not know itself. It has no identity.
A: But you have an identity. A personal history. And you have emotions.
A: But if you are a neuron in the mind of Gaia, what do your history, your identity, and your emotions matter to her?
B: Not much.
A: Do you find comfort in that?
B: My beliefs — whether metaphorical or not — have little to do with my personal comfort.
A: But your belief system seems to function as religious belief systems do.
B: How so?
A: You believe in a proposition that cannot be tested. Whatever the big G — be it God or Gaia — your belief that you are a neuron in its mind, or her mind, cannot be tested.
B: We’ve been through this before. Metaphorical beliefs are not subject to the principle of falsifiability.
A: Fine. But religious beliefs are supposed to bring comfort and solace to those who believe in them.
B: Truth — whether metaphorical or not — does not function like a security blanket.
A: Then what does truth matter? Why don’t you believe in illusion and magic?
B: But I do believe in illusion and magic.
A: But illusion, by definition, is a false perception. And hold on! I didn’t say truth brings comfort! I said religious belief brings comfort and solace!
B: Then I guess my belief that I am a neuron brings me comfort.
A: Even though Gaia doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you?
B: And does the Creator of the Cosmos give a rat’s ass about you?
A: I’m not so narcissistic to think so.
B: Nor am I.
A: Your Gaia does not know you exist. And yet it brings you comfort to think yourself an impersonal and unimportant part of a whole that does not — and cannot — recognize you.
A: I sense a contradiction. You recognize your individuality. And yet what makes you you — your soul, if you will — has no bearing on the whole of which you are a part.
B: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”
A: I get the reference. Its from the book of Ecclesiastes.
B: Yes! All is vanity! “There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.”
A: Why is it that whenever I back you into a corner you hit me over the head with the Bible?
B: It makes me feel better.