Gibson grapples with technology and God in his epic novel Count Zero. Science and religion seem to be at separate ends of the spectrum. Could god be a computer program? Gibson makes an interesting choice to merge both schools of thought into one larger question. Less and less is it about science versus creation, and more and more does it become an argument of what truly defines god. Is god defined as a smarter entity? Is god the shepherd for lost souls through the valley of darkness? Perhaps Gibson is saying god is an entity that transcends the shackles of the human body, and reality itself.
"Ah, still getting smarter....Well, I don't know. Like I said, I don't think I can swallow them being a bunch of Haitian voodoo Gods, but who knows? Could be they're virus programs that have gotten loose in the matrix and replicated, and gotten really smart...That's scary enough; maybe the Turing people want it kept quiet. Or maybe the AI's have found a way to split parts of themselves off into the matrix, which would drive the Turings crazy. I knew this Tibetan guy did hardware mod for jockeys, he said they were tulpas"
"A tulpa's a thought form, kind of. Superstition. Really heavy people can split off a kind of ghost, made of negative energy." He shrugged. "More horseshit. Like Jackie's voodoo guys."[p. 169]
1. Since many cultures have made god look like man, is it significant that Gibson chooses to discuss god up in terms of a program lost in the matrix?
2. "I don't think I can swallow them being a bunch of Haitian voodoo Gods, but who knows?" Does the fact that this character struggles with accepting the form of presentation the gods take reflect man's over-absorption with the superficial? Should the presentation of God really make all that much of a difference?
3. "Really heavy people can split off a kind of ghost, made of negative energy." Do these ghosts represent the negative energy of our being? Tearing apart the ying and the yang that keep all of us stable. Could these "heavy people" perhaps be the technological embodiments of angels?
Last modified 30 October 2006