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“Finally, I very much doubt that the ultimate nature of reality can be understood in terms of current technology”

Can the created ever be intelligent enough to figure out the intelligence and the mystery of its creator?

Stated another way can the created eternal ever be able to fully know the infinite?

Can the created aspect of the Absolute ever fully know the infinite Absolute? Maybe the created can only know the Infinite when it becomes exactly like the Infinite then it no longer is the created aspect so therefore the ultimate nature of reality is unknowable.

I have always believed that all is knowable but this may just be the one exception. Or not.

"If we can suggest that it is nonphysical awareness attempting to become more organised and devolving this responsibility to 'free will units' like us in virtual environments, then teleology can perhaps be made respectable again"

This almost exactly states the ideas expressed by physicist Tom Campbell in his trilogy "My Big Toe." Michael, while I agree with you that the ultimate explanations will go beyond our technology, the VR hypothesis comes closest, particularly when you add the assumption that it is consciousness itself, both running the VR and as segmented virtual beings, experiencing the VR. This hypothesis not only goes a long way in explaining quantum physics(granularity, non locality etc) it also explains our reason for being here. The virtual beings(us)act to increase the awareness of the basic construct of the multiverese, consciousness.

“The virtual beings(us)act to increase the awareness of the basic construct of the multiverese, consciousness.”

We must ask what is the purpose of increasing the awareness and consciousness of this “multiverese”.

If we believe the source of all that is; is infinite then why increase the basic construct of the multiverse, consciousness.

Michael, I think you hit the bullseye when you said somewhere else that we tend to explain reality by whatever model is in fashion at the time. Right now, computer simulation is the rage.

Off topic, have you heard of the odd story of Edgar Allan Poe and Richard Parker?:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Parker_(shipwrecked)

"have you heard of the odd story of Edgar Allan Poe and Richard Parker?"

I'd never heard of this strange series of cannibalism incidents all involving someone (real or fictional) named Richard Parker.

The name is probably pretty common, but the coincidence is still strange.

If I were named Richard Parker, I would stay off the high seas.

"If we believe the source of all that is; is infinite then why increase the basic construct of the multiverse, consciousness."

Infinite, by our standards. It must evolve too, we are a part of that evolution.

Greg said: "This almost exactly states the ideas expressed by physicist Tom Campbell in his trilogy My Big Toe".

As it happens, I wrote a review of that:
http://sites.google.com/site/iscatus/review-of-my-big-t

Brian Whitworth doesn't go as far as Thomas Campbell -probably because he doesn't have OBEs.

“Infinite, by our standards. It must evolve too, we are a part of that evolution.”

Not sure what you mean with the words by our standards.

Awareness and Consciousness

Can Infinite evolve it is already all and all and that that is? I think if we look at Infinite as consciousness then it will appear that Infinite can evolve. If we look at Infinite as pure, perfect, or absolute awareness what is there to evolve?

From my point of view if we believe Infinite can evolve then we are looking at Infinite through the eyes of a human. Stated another way we have made God in man’s image.

I think when we hear that man is made in the image of God it is not a statement that the Absolute evolves but rather we are indwelled with the same essence or spirit as the Absolute. The spirit within so to speak. Maybe eternal can evolve but infinite.

I think the no beginning part of Infinite may be too difficult to understand.

Of course operational definitions apply here. I see at this time that awareness is primary and consciousness the created aspect of this infinite source of all that is. As Jeans stated the universe looks more like a giant thought than a giant machine. That giant thought was the big bang of consciousness. I suspect the time will come when all substance will be discovered as a form of consciousness.

As our consciousness grows and expands we become more in touch with this infinite awareness or stated another way more receptive to this infinite awareness and we become more aware of reality, which is spiritual. Awareness might also be defined as love and divine intelligence. There are all levels of souls on earth with different levels of consciousness but what separates what one might term an old soul from a newer soul. It is their degree of awareness of the underlying reality of phenomena.

How does our consciousness expand? Experiences almost infinite experiences and choices combined with the law or principle of karma gives a soul an opportunity to expand or as some would state awaken. Awaken to what? A greater awareness of the spirit within? It appears we learn from our mistakes, failures, and our successes.

Now another possibility is that the source of much of the creation that occurs in the universe are gods with a small g. Meister Eckhart hinted at this when he stated that the Godhead is as barren as a desert and God is the source of creation. This may be looked at as very Hinduism but Meister Eckhart was a catholic mystic. He realized that the spirit was stillness what the Buddhists call emptiness but yet creation was dynamic. How can infinite stillness be dynamic? He resolved it in his mind by having a Godhead and a God.

And indeed if this is the reality of much of the creation we witness in the universe is of gods (very advanced souls) then indeed they are still in a stage of advancement of their consciousness. When does a soul quit advancing in their consciousness? I believe these higher realms of existence are worlds where souls become more creative. Intelligence and creativity seem to be very much correlated.

I have much more to say but this post is way too long now but love the dialog.

"Not sure what you mean with the words by our standards."

I meant infinite to us, but not infinite in the absolute. It has room to evolve. We don't have to connect to this reality, we are already a part of it. William, many of your points are contained within the theory but expressed and explained in a different manner. I look at it as a more precise metaphor for some of the old terminology. Yes, it limits the meaning of "God" somewhat. But it provides us with a God that has room to grow and includes us within the definition.

Ben wrote a great review. I suggest that some of the posters here might want to read it. MBT offers an outstanding "outside the box" look at many of the issues discussed here.

GregL thanks for the tip I will spend some time looking into his ideas and books and his presentations on you tube.

just the name my big toe was a turn off for me and did not look into his writings.

caught in my own bias thing I guess.

“As a scientist, he is at pains to say that his TOE (MBT) is a model, not a fixed set of beliefs. He pretty much despises beliefs, whether materialist or religious, because they put bounds on our experience; they tend to turn into dogma and become a prison for the mind. If something happens that does not fit our beliefs, we tend to reject it, often without enquiry. This is no way to make philosophical or evolutionary progress. (Sometimes you can tell from the tone that Tom has had to suffer ridicule from materialists.) So Tom insists that we should not take his model on trust, which is by necessity a work in progress; the last thing he wants is to make a scientological-style religion out of it. Always, we should “taste the pudding”, test it and see how it measures up to our own understanding; and then develop our own version of the model.” http://sites.google.com/site/iscatus/review-of-my-big-t

I found this paragraph of particular interest to me by Thomas Campbell’s overview of my big toe. Especially these two sentences below.

“If something happens that does not fit our beliefs, we tend to reject it, often without enquiry. This is no way to make philosophical or evolutionary progress.”

If anyone has been reading my comments over the past couple of years I find it interesting that the atheists and the religious fundamentalists have so much in common when it comes to their beliefs and their contempt and even to ridicule others prior to investigation. Many atheist I blog with claim to have no beliefs at least the religious admit to having beliefs.

This author of TOE if he indeed despises beliefs he needs to do some introspection as everyone has beliefs. Some are just more demanding than others. I used to develop models in the business-consulting world and those models had plenty of underlying beliefs and I suspect the author of TOE’s and his model also has some in depth beliefs underlying his model.

I wouldn't say Thomas Campbell despises beliefs as much as sees them as limitations. He says, and I concur, "Your belief systems limit your reality to a sub-set of the solution space that does not contain the answer." Saying Tom needs "some introspection" is like saying the oceans could use some water, but I am biased as Tom's model is actually useful to me as a human being interacting with other human being, and such. What I would like to see see more humans doing more gathering of their own experience so they may develop their TOE. That is behind the name of the trilogy My Big TOE, it is Tom's model, and he highly suggests you toeing up to experience your own. Until nonphysical is experienced it isn't your own to understand, in my opinion. The easy thing is you don't have to understand for the evolution of quality of consciousness to work, doing so though, opens up wonderfully useful new vistas.
Love
Bette

“If we think we’ve solved the “hard” problem of Consciousness, then we’re automatically going to promote the second and third hardest problems, which are: ‘Do we really have free will?’ and ‘The Problem of Evil’.”

The mystics tell us there is no such thing as evil as a reality. The advanced spirit I have studied for the past 12 years also states that evil in nonexistent. How can this be?

The short answer is all evil is based in some form of ignorance and that ignorance has its original home in innocence. I found the critique of the TOE book very interesting. He uses 21st century language (jargon) to explain some of these profound mysteries of life. Not my cup of tea but to each his own.

““Consciousness cannot exist without the ability to make self-determined, self-modifying choices. Without free will, there is no consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no free will. Consciousness and free will cannot be separated –they are simply different aspects of the same thing…the concept of evolving consciousness without free will is a mistaken and illogical theoretical construct that self-destructs in static, meaningless, determinism.””

This is a very profound statement. I prefer the term choices within boundaries rather than free will but this statement from my point of view defines the difference between consciousness and awareness. If choices do not exist then we have awareness, pure awareness.

From a religious point of view this statement knocks on the door of the difference between God and its creation.

When there is no need to ever make a choice there is only awareness or just Isness. This Isness is often defined and experienced as stillness or emptiness and often misstated as nothingness, but Isness is anything but nothingness, in reality it is everything. I.e. all and all. The spirit that knows no boundaries.

With consciousness we have a flow of thoughts and in that flow of thoughts we make choices and those choices have karmic outcomes. These karmic outcomes are like guiding lights to guide us in the direction of love and divine intelligence.

Consciousness is the created or manifested aspect of infinite awareness that most call God. Awareness is realized as stillness and expresses itself as consciousness. Two sides of the same coin, one side “felt” as stillness and the other side experienced as drama. Stated another way on one side of the coin is awareness with the other side consciousness.

And even these words profoundly fail to accurately describe the reality of the “relationship” of awareness and consciousness. It is the necessity of awareness or God to express itself as consciousness. Consciousness being both substance and living forms. The phenomenal world is a world of appearances; with consciousness one can not only be aware of these appearances but also experience these appearances. Not sure that made any sense.

All and all this critique of TOE is an interesting read.

"Your belief systems limit your reality to a sub-set of the solution space that does not contain the answer."

This is a most interesting statement. The only word I would add is the word usually in front of the word contain. It would read as follows: your belief systems limit your reality to a subset of the solution space that does not usually contain the answer.

And the word despise I got from the person (Iscatus) doing the critique not from the author of TOE.

“I found this paragraph of particular interest to me by Thomas Campbell’s overview of my big toe.”

This statement is a misread on my part, as Iscatus did the critique of TOE, not Campbell. Thomas Campbell is the author of TOE. Whoops.

I think Brian Whitworth is probably a very brave individual. He is apparently willing to deal with the major problem in science today- that being that science has to some extent been married to the philosophy of materialism- a philosophy we can state with some certainty is disproved by science! (See the examples in the paper)

Claiming to be a 'creationist' is a one way ticket to loss of funds--
Questioning the causal closure of the physical is dangerous to one's funding as well--

Yet these questions must be raised- we need a new paradym to deal with the discoveries of physics-

I applude Brian for this attempt.

“That information is the basic underlying “stuff” of the universe is today not so easily dismissed. Given the big bang, what is simpler, that an objective universe was created out of nothing, or that a virtual reality was booted up?”

Anyone want to take a wild guess as to what university department the author of these words works in? He did mention consciousness once in his article but awareness and love were not mentioned. And heaven help a professor if he or she mentions a soul. If you do in a science department you had better be tenured.

We all have our own unique journey and this author’s approach to help him discover the mysteries of life is though the path of computer analogies. I suspect to judge his approach as correct or incorrect fits in the category of judge not least thee be judged or something like that.

Of course he is writing about the physical world. But a physical world without love? Ouch.


“Science may be preparing further disillusionments in areas like dreams, genetics and consciousness. The trend is clear: science finds us to actually be less than we imagine, and we imagine ourselves to actually be more than science finds we are.”


Has science actually found that we are less then we imagine? I think the reality is we are more than we can ever imagine. I think the human ego and even the soul is incapable of even imagining its potential.

I sincerely believe that I have found others and myself to be more than science imagines us to be. I admit I may have misread what he is stating in his article.

Bete said: "Until nonphysical is experienced it isn't your own to understand, in my opinion."

This is true, but there are plenty of people who visit this blog who have, in fact, had nonphysical experiences. I do admit though, that Thomas Campbell seems to have nonphysical experiences at will - this is much less common, and has given him the opportunity to form his own theories.

The idea of the universe as virtual reality is similar to the idea in the Matrix movies, and it has been around a while. All it's really saying is that the universe, including all forms of matter, energy, fields, etc., are made out of information. In other words, there are no ultimate particles -- but I guess we knew that already.

Saying that the universe is made out of information is really the same as saying it is made out of intelligence, or meaningfulness. Which those of us with spiritual beliefs knew anyway.

So the idea of the cosmos as virtual reality is not new or surprising. It makes sense, but doesn't explain things or make things simple. We can't explain the universe or make it simple, because it's infinitely greater than we are.

“We can't explain the universe or make it simple, because it's infinitely greater than we are.”

Well stated. To define the infinite is to limit the infinite so infinite is indefinable. Not that the universe is infinite but the vitality and intelligence that is the underlying reality of the universe is infinite. Giant thought thing.

The materialists have solved in their minds what was before the big bang with the infinite universes theory. This is kind of like the earth is held up with infinite turtles.

Does anyone every ever have doubt that all the matter in the universe was compressed in the size of a point of a needle before the big bang? Apparently their math formula runs of steam when matter or energy or whatever gets that small.

"So the idea of the cosmos as virtual reality is not new or surprising."

It was (somewhat) new to me. I think there's a difference between seeing an idea presented in a science-fiction movie and seeing it presented in a a scientific paper. Also, although the characters in The Matrix were experiencing a virtual reality, they had real physical bodies which had simply been sedated. Whitworth's view is that our entire cosmos is a virtual reality.

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