My dear Elizabeth,
I must apologize for not writing to you for the last few weeks. I have found it difficult to reach you since I made the decision of which you find so reprehensible. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel the pain you feel. Your loss was our loss.
I do not wish to diminish your pain — not that I could. William James wrote an essay in 1904 titled Does ’Consciousness’ Exist? within which he postulated, contrary to Descartes, the idea that our consciousness is not a self-aware being, and in fact, is not a being or a “thing” at all. He stated that our consciousness is nothing more than our perceptions and thoughts — it is a process of “thinking” and “perceiving” in a way to achieve a sort of “knowing”.
Consciousness does not exist as an entity but as a function. This function is that of knowing, not of being. Consciousness does not consider “being” to be a state. Instead, James postulated that “being” is “knowing”, and that in and of itself is a function of consciousness.
Prior to William James, a common concept in philosophy and early psychology was the study of the soul. This topic was so commonly discussed that we still have the word “soul” in our daily vocabulary. Ask a child what a soul is to them. They will likely have an answer.
This discussion of the soul was driven by a need to define the world around us. Plato believed that there were three souls: one for plants, one for animals, and one for us, humans. Over time, this developed into the idea of dualism, which is the belief that the soul and body two mutually exclusive entities.
James’ ideas of consciousness referred instead to the idea that our consciousness is not that of a soul separate from our body, but instead a process performed by our brains, rather than our minds (which is a relatively modern-yet-outdated way of referring to the soul).
Elizabeth, remember this when intrusive thoughts of our Tyler flood into your head. He is out of our hands, but he is out of theirs, as well. This is why he was chosen. As was clearly expressed to us by Dr. Hardwell, he lacked a conscience. Whoever he was before the accident was no more. He was forever to be locked in that vegetative state.
The Farm has an accredited history of applying its collected materials to needs that benefit the survival of our human race. Remember, we feel your pain. Your loss was our loss. The Farm, Dr. Hardwell — they know what is best. Their minds are not blocked by emotional inhibition, as are ours.
This is why I am happy to inform you that thanks to the hard work completed on behalf of The Farm and Dr. Hardwell that you have been selected to be our next subject. Your bringing of Tyler into this world has made you a wonderful candidate for our program. Women who are unable to provide suitable bodies for our great nation’s workforce are instead more suitable to be subjects on The Farm.
Remember, your consciousness is a function. An incredibly powerful, vital function.
Your opening of this email verifies that you have read the included description of your selection. Your conscience plays a vital role in maintaining our highly protected Internet Freedom laws, as was established in the early twenty-first century. Once we match your conscience to our harvested data, the physical parts of your being will add to the continual efforts of The Farm.
Do not come to us, we will come to you.
Have a great day!