Author Archives: Andrew Wolfson

The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 5

Created December 30, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Chapter Two continued

φ

The One Self basked in the pre-glow of anticipation. His imagination or possibly precognition was tantalizing with a torrent of possibilities for endless infinite fun, and maybe it would even be thought-provoking, causing him to realize and understand Himself better. Although deep down inside he knew that this was His Life – the way it had always been and always would be – that He had created Himself from nothing – that his essence was Imagination – that in fact what He was, was The Nothing’s Imagination. He remembered clearly now that He slept and dreamed sometimes and then started all over again, eventually always remembering how it was all done, how He could create and inhabit His Arcade Universe. And His created beings – “creatures” for short – could be dialed back to having only some degree of His qualities. When He dialed back some mental/emotional function far enough, the creature would at first not realize any connection with any other creature, and might in fact not remember The One Self at all – let alone know that the creature himself/herself is The One Self, playing a huge game.

Despite the fact that He was only Imagination, He had bootstrapped Himself to be able to cause more than wispy dreamlike ephemeral images, he could make Himself see extremely detailed and sustained pictures of anything he wanted to. While He waited for inspiration of the first creature that He would create from Himself, he passed the time as an artist, creating gorgeous lands and seas on lush planets, planets made only of gas with fantastic colors, stars of many kinds, and set them dancing in the skies with a whoosh later to be called The Big Bang. These of course were also made out of Him since He was the only thing in existence.

 

He watched the dazzling sky show with massive appreciation and then as time went on in his game, he realized something.

The toys pass right through one another. This is not like the red and blue starfish, who felt the hug from each other. I want that hug option. “Hug option?” That’s not a very lofty name for such a Big Idea. What shall I call it? I know! I’ll call it “Matter” when you can hug it, and “Energy” when it passes right through you.

The swirling performance of celestial bodies continued but now they had interactions that could change their course, break off some pieces, but because they were spread so wide across infinity, most of the time there were no interactions. That gave him an idea. He called it “Gravity”. Now the galaxies pulled each other – a mutual attraction like His starfish had. That gave Him another idea, and he projected his Self out and into everything on his moving canvas. Now He was looking at them from the inside of each one at the same time as seeing them all from the outside.

He sensed something strange going on in one galaxy and focused on the part of Himself that was the Self of that galaxy. What was this strange feeling? He remembered from long ago: this was grief, loss, sadness, depression, agony. Oh my! He said to Himself. He had been thoughtless of the feelings of this galaxy which had lost one of its glorious spiral arms in a near-miss with a neutron star. That was going to happen if He kept this Matter thing. He decided to keep it anyway. He would make it up to the creatures that suffered by loving them all the more ever after. That way He could be free to have a great game without having to hold back.

φ

The One Self decided on the first creature. It would be a perfect duplicate of Himself in all ways except it would only have access into the minds of others when the creature willed it. It would be able to create things and to change things that The One Self had created. But it would have no power over The One Self and could be turned off at any time. It would not automatically see out through the eyes of every created object in the multiverse the way The One Self does. When born it would be a clean slate knowing nothing.

φ

“Mommy loves you!” said The One Self, hugging The First Son. The baby squealed with delight and looked up at Mommy with great adoration. “You are so beautiful!” said The First Son, and reached up to hug Mommy.

“Such a smart boy! You read my mind to learn our entire language in an instant,” Mommy kvelled.

The First Son looked at Himself all over, and got into quite a game with his toes. Remembering Mommy again, he asked a question: “You and I are different…”

“You’re a bouncing baby boy, a male, and I’m a female as you see me right now. Would you like to see me as a male?” The First Son nodded energetically and The One Self appeared as a male. The First Son drew back slightly.

“You’re not as pretty this way…”

Daddy hugged his first avatar and kissed him on the top of the head with zeal. The First Son relaxed and eagerly hugged his Dad and kissed his chin where he could reach. Then he sat back for He had a question to ask.

“So what’s this male female thing?’

“There is only One Consciousness, no matter how many descendants we have. Inside the One Consciousness there are two equally important ways of being, male and female. This invention came to me when I first started playing with toys. There was some pleasurable feeling excited in me which played out with a cute little red starfish and a larger blue starfish. I sensed within myself a strong urge to polarize my Self into a side based on the ideal of Strength and a side based on the ideal of Beauty. A memory from My Past Lives that doing this division among the descendants will enable them to have greater pleasures. And of course, I live through every one of them, so who am I to limit their pleasures?”

“Do you live through me too, Dad?” The One Self suddenly realized the implications. He pointed at his Father. “I’m just you walking around out here.”

“A huge part of me, yes.”

“So you are making up all my moves? It sure doesn’t feel that way. You wouldn’t do a thing like that.”

“You know me well.” Daddy smiled and hugged His boy again.

“Free will.” The First Son said this confidently.

“Precisely.”

“There will be lots of mistakes,” The First Son saw, “depending on how much of your mental capabilities you put into each of us – what did you call us – your descendants – “

“I descend and alight into you. In a language I plan to create the word will morph into ‘avatar’. You are the first avatar, The First Son.”

“That’s my name?” The First Son asked delightedly and Daddy happily nodded.

φ

The First Son and his Parents spent lots of time at the seashore. Although there were already billions to choose from, The First Son tended to form favorites. His memories of the endless conversations about the possibilities of the future were tied to certain beaches more than others. When His questions were more intellectual it was usually high up on a mountain far above an ocean, or sometimes a desert, or it could be anyplace their Minds devised, with infinite creativity, and beauty as one of their top two summum bona.

When the questions were more artistic or freewheeling it was right at water’s edge in a place very much like Pfeiffer Beach. The One Self appeared as both Daddy and Mommy, in two different bodies. It was there that The First Son asked The One Self: “Could You Yourself be an Avatar of an even greater Being?”

Daddy said “And right on up the line? That Avatar being Itself an Avatar, and on and on forever?”

The First Son didn’t like that thought. “What’s the matter?” Mommy asked, seeing her little boy troubled.

“I had an unworthy thought and feeling,” the boy confessed. “I complained about not being the top dogs. Who ever guaranteed that if we signed up for ‘life’ we would automatically be top dogs?”

“I never did,” Mommy giggled and then They all did.

“In the game,” Daddy said, “we can actually cause that kind of world to happen, with our minds, and universal free will. It can work against us and all of us must be warned, as more of us come along. Beware of what you casually imagine. For us, our casual is causal.”

“If I’m capable of having impulses unworthy of you, as I just now did, that means the degree of Yourself that descends to us is capable of error,” the boy pointed out.

“And the way it is in the beginning may not be the way it is at the end,” Mommy said, referring to the Big Game they were all planning together, based on the creation of endless descendants, avatars. “What starts as a little error could turn out to be an error that affects even us.”

“We must learn about error,” The First Son said with certainty and they All agreed.

φ

“Let me hold him Mommy,” The First Son reached out and took His brother Lucifer, the Second Son, and hugged him close, kissing him on the top of the head with great affection.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 4

Created December 23, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Chapter Two

A Simulation of What the Most Recent “Beginning” Might Have Been Like

Here is a fictional depiction of what the earliest events could have been like, to help us imagine the point of view of The First Self.

From the book The Great Being:

Circa 14 Billion BC

The nothingness was surprised to realize itself. In the interminable slumber, dream images had tumbled interestingly, rousing feelings, mostly enjoyment. Now all of that was gone and the emptiness was… less entertaining?

Who am I to need to be entertained, the nothingness wondered, and became suddenly alert. A more pressing question would appear to be, Who am I?

What is an I?

I am the I.

Am I the only I?

Yes.

Then what can I do to bring back the dream state? This is boring being the only I. There’s nothing to look at either.

Wait! 

I don’t want the dream state either. Too uncontrolled and chaotic. I seem to remember something. If I stick around here things get interesting. This has all happened before. I hope my memories come back.

The nothingness waited. Nothing happened.

The nothingness, being infinite, had infinite patience.

Eventually the nothingness decided to see if there was anything it could do to liven it up around here.

It experimented with willing something to see what would happen. It visualized a creature, kind of like a red starfish.

Suddenly everything lit up. Immensely bright light. It was all streaming out of a central point that was Him. It flooded out very, very far in all directions. To His right, hovering close by, was the red starfish, undulating its limbs.

He was delighted. He wasn’t exactly a He. He had He and She inside of Him.

He pictured a blue starfish and it appeared in front of Him to His left. He felt good. This was fun. He brought the blue starfish, which was larger, over closer to the red starfish, and had the red starfish edge away coyly. He heard himself giggle. Then he squealed in pleasure. He had the two starfish hug each other and He felt a very warm wonderful feeling come over Him.

This reminded Him of something but he couldn’t quite place it.

What if I can go inside these dolls?

He tried projecting His awareness into the red starfish. Sure enough, he was now looking out from the red starfish, seeing the blue starfish very close, and a big light generator that He knew was His real self, the nothingness.

This is really interesting. Can I do both at once?

Now he was looking out of the two starfish simultaneously. The shot from the blue starfish and the view from the red starfish were superimposed in His vision. But He had no trouble paying attention to both at the same time.

I wonder how many doll cameras I can see though at the same time…

Space was filled with brightly colored geometric little creatures of diverse kinds as far as He could see, which was to infinity. He was looking out from inside all of them at once and could pay attention to all of them at once. He had them all do different things and was easily able to coordinate them all and keep them from bumping into each other, or bumping if He cared to, He had them do the first Busby Berkley production number in the present multiverse, and enjoyed Himself for a very long time this way.

He sighed with pleasure and stopped playing with his toys. That was fun but He wanted more, this had become a bit tiresome.

What if I could immerse myself in one of the characters?

His memories were gradually returning as they always did whenever He started a new multiverse, but He didn’t yet recall that fact. He projected Himself – with a self-command to come back very soon – into the original red starfish.

The red starfish woke up to its own existence. It had no memory of ever existing before as anything. It wasn’t sure what existence was all about but the handsome blue starfish was right there and not attacking her, so maybe he was her friend? She looked at him and he came closer and hugged her. She tingled and moaned.

The Nothingness came back into Himself.

That was amazing! 

But what a chance I was taking! How do I know that my self-commands will always work? What if I get trapped in there?

The Nothingness suddenly realized how to do it and relaxed in bliss.

Each part of me in a doll can forget who I am, but I will also stay awake in my full identity at the same time. I’ll see the camera shot from each doll and I’ll also see my own view of everything at once. Fortunately I seem to have infinite attention span. I guess that’s because all of this is just taking place in my own imagination anyway. 

The parts of me in each doll that don’t remember they are me will be like temporary Lost Lambs, but what will happen to each of them eventually is that they will wake up and remember they are me.

I’ll give each one as long as he or she needs. Some may need to change worn-out bodies before they wake up. No problem. 

I like these he’s and she’s. They are made for each other. It will make it more fun for all of us.

Each one, of course, will have free will, just like me. They will have no real perspective to begin with so they will proceed by trial and error and learn.

What a game!

The Nothingness—which today we call The Great Being or The One Self—couldn’t wait to begin.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 3

Created December 16, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Chapter One Continued

How Can We Reconcile “God” with Science?

Because of the habits of the human mind, especially in a culture in which humans have created more complexity than our minds can easily handle, we find that as a first step it may be useful to temporarily set aside the word “God” and speak only of a conscious, intelligent universe.

It is far easier for today’s human mind to deal objectively with the possibility that something as big and as filled with inanimate objects as the universe could itself have a mind, than to discuss a word so saddled with millennia of baggage associations. The word itself looses emotions, chemicals in the body, muscular reactions, imagery, feelings beyond description. Let’s park the word and continue the investigation of where we are at the crossroads of life and self-extermination and how it relates to our thinking and ways of being.

Wheeler again has theorized that consciousness is a real thing and has vast importance in the scheme of things in this universe we live in. Consciousness according to Wheeler transforms a universe of probabilities into a world of tangible matter and energy events. Science has not rejected Wheeler’s ideas.

It has largely ignored them. That is, science has ignored the Wheeler ideas that have a bearing on the existence of consciousness as an important aspect of the universe. Science has certainly not ignored Wheeler’s other ideas about black holes, nuclear fission, thermonuclear fusion, quantum foam, wormholes, etc.

Given the respect for Wheeler and the non-rejection of his theories about consciousness and the universe, it should not be too difficult to get scientists to accept the possibility that Wheeler was right about everything, except perhaps the sequence of early universe events. The writer’s own theory is that Wheeler was incorrect about consciousness coming after the beginning of the universe. It makes more sense to the writer that consciousness was there before matter and energy, and compelled them to come into existence.

How to Defend the Idea that Consciousness Came First

Any cosmological theory faces the challenge of explaining why there is a universe at all. Logic suggests that nothing should ever have existed. Something cannot come from nothing. Therefore, there must always have been something.

In scientific thought today, it is Wheeler’s quantum foam of probabilities that was always there. Then the big bang came from that, and eventually crashing matter and energy led to self-reproducing complex structures accidentally, and those eventually became life, and life eventually brought forth brains, and brains generated consciousness.

Is the writer the only one who feels that this picture seems overly optimistic about what accidents can do?

Not to mention the question of where did the quantum foam of probabilities come from.

Science has made it a tradition to dodge these questions of how things started.

Glimmers of light appear from time to time. Today most physicists acknowledge that “the hard question” is how to incorporate consciousness properly in the unified theory of everything. This is the direction from which science can begin to theorize about the start of the universe.

A Possibility to Consider

Let’s imagine what it could have been like before what we experience as the universe existed.

Imagine total nothingness. No quantum foam probabilities, no anything. Just endless nothingness.

Imagine that after the passage of unimaginable amounts of time, that the nothingness realizes itself as a self, noticing a persistent experience of nothingness.

The time that has passed is merely the subjective experience of nothingness that has always existed in the mind of the Noticer.

“The nothingness has always existed, it exists right now, and will probably go on existing forever,” might have been the first intuition of the Noticer.

“I AM THAT nothingness” might have been the next intuition the Noticer had.

“I am the Nothing’s imagination”, might have been the third intuition.

That Consciousness could have continued to think and found it to be more fun than just watching nothing happen forever.

Why did the writer just slip in initial capital letters to “Noticer” and “Consciousness”? If we are considering a scientific proposition regarding a theoretical consciousness of the universe itself, it seems proper respect to use initial caps.

Does this automatically mean that all of the connotations of “God” are to be assumed of the consciousness of the universe? Not necessarily.

What we are suggesting is that it is if nothing else simpler to assume that a persistent experience of nothingness could lead to the experiencer realizing that it exists as an observer – than to imagine that a quantum foam of probabilities existed, exploded, and things slammed against each other until this world we see around us in lightyears in all directions came to be in all its wondrous complexity, eventually created consciousness, the ability to perceive oneself as a persistent entity which experiences things.

The Better of Two Bootstraps

The standard model at the moment is that a complex physical form evolved from random collisions we call The Replicator Molecule, and thus life came to exist.

The model we present here is similar in that it starts with random information bits representing nothingness, assembling a self-referential viewpoint, a permanent memory-creating self.

One would argue that it is less implausible to envision random information becoming a self-organizing system than it is to envision random collisions of matter-energy building any complex physical thing let alone one that is also a factory for others of its kind.

What Would You Do If You Were the First Self?

There you are, you just realized that you exist at all, and you are alone amidst nothingness.

You might think and think and think and at some point, come to the conclusion that you and imagination are one and the same.

This might lead to experimentation as to how far you could go just by imagining things. How intensely could you visualize something else besides nothingness. How real could you make your imaginings seem to you.

After all, once having become consciously self-aware, were you going to simply accept nothingness as your way of life forever? Or would you want to at least try for other things?

What else was there to do but to explore one’s own capabilities? How far could imagination be pushed?

Never A Beginning

Although the better of two bootstraps appeals to me, a simpler theory is that it has always been this way. There never was a beginning.

In the writer’s present theory, time itself is not intrinsic to the One Consciousness, who has the computing power to experience all time at once. Time is part of the imaginary world the One Consciousness creates and inhabits through its avatars.

The expanding universe since the Big Bang suggests a cycle similar to an inbreath alternating with an outbreath, with all of creation sucked back into the Creator for what might be a sleep cycle, followed by a reawakening.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 2

Created December 9, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Chapter One

Unified Field Theory – Theories of Everything

Einstein died before completing his Unified Field Theory, which would have explained how gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces fit together and why each of those four forces existed at all.

He did not explicitly state any intention to include consciousness with the four physical forces (“physical” meaning matter and energy). However, without connecting the dots for us, his thought experiments which led to his relativity theories always included an observer. Somehow, he needed to use an observer in order to describe how reality works.

Einstein was intuitively certain that all scientific discoveries, which revealed to him beautiful complexities beneath the appearance of things, proved that there was an incredible intelligence behind the universe. To him it was highly unlikely that everything came together to form this universe completely by the accidental crashing of matter and energy.

John Wheeler, who had been highly influenced by Einstein when they collaborated on the building of the first atom bombs, went further than his mentor in drawing connections between consciousness and matter-energy. His theories of consciousness within a quantum physics framework evolved in two phases.

“Bits Before Its”

Wheeler concluded that the substrate underpinning matter-energy – asteroids, people, dogs, mountains, etc. – which he called “Its” – was preceded by encoded information (“Bits”) which was the blueprint for the It and its cause of existence.

This is eerily similar to the words of the Bible in Genesis, in which the matter-energy universe was created by a “Word”. A word is a form of encoded information.

The Participatory Anthropic Principle

Wheeler’s ultimate view of reality was that matter-energy preceded the existence of consciousness, and existed as probability waves rather than as concrete “Its”. It was not yet what we apprehend as matter and energy, it only became what we see and feel after our consciousness came into existence.

Wheeler did not comment on whether the universe was random or guided in its development of consciousness, but he did state that it was as if the universe somehow knew it needed to develop consciousness in order to collapse probability waves into the universe that we are able to behold.

What Changed During the History of Science

Reading about Wheeler and making inferences by reading between the lines, it seems that Wheeler did not want to risk his reputation by defying what has gradually become an unwritten convention of modern science. That convention is to assume that the human mind’s intuition of (and/or belief in) an intelligence as the source of the universe is “magical thinking”, “superstition”, and “anti-scientific”.

It had not always been that way. Going back to the earliest scientists (originally called “natural philosophers”) there was an easy coexistence between the idea which was named “God” long ago, and goes back much further than written language. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, the list goes on and on, there was never a binary schism where a person was forced to choose between spirituality and science, until the last few centuries when that hard line has been drawn. We take that dichotomy for granted due to our cultural conditioning. But the dichotomy is itself a theory, not a proven fact: no scientific proof exists that rules out the existence of an intelligence in the universe itself.

Materialist Accidentalism

The denial of “God” (intelligence in the universe itself) became a style that was fashionable among scientists. It was fairly easy to convince many people to give up on that old-fashioned notion of God. The wars and injustices going around us at all times seemed supportive of the idea that the whole reality was an accident in the first place, and that we are left to deal with the “dog eat dog” bar brawl however we can.

Deeper thinkers rationalized the ability of crashing matter and energy to build complex and self-reproducing structures by accident by saying “In infinite time, everything has to occur” like a million monkeys playing with typewriters eventually writing “Hamlet”. But we have never observed crashing waves on a beach building a turreted, arch-windowed sand castle. Nor does probability theory inherently contain any mathematics that would require all possibilities to come to pass.

Nevertheless, the public absorbs the biased information they receive, and each individual makes a worldview out of it. Collectively at the present time (2022) the human race appears to largely pay lip service to the idea of “God” if they live in a place where this is the tradition, or they call themselves “atheists” if their personal community (e.g., most scientists today) has greater respect for that side of the dichotomy.

The Meaning of Life

A human being has the choice of what their purpose shall be in life. This choice can be made independently of the choice of what to think about the question of “God”. However, there is a covariance between these internal personal decisions. People who actually feel that God exists tend to choose more noble purposes in life, whereas people who are certain that God is a fiction tend to be motivated by money, power, sex, fame, and being treated with respect more than anything else.

With the U.S. for example moving from being 90% to 70% spiritual in the last 20 years, and knowing that the truly “spiritual behaving” people are a subset of even the 70%, the motivations we might refer to as “baser” (less noble) are on the rise. We’ve already seen the consequences of this and such consequences are not going away just because individual leaders are being cancelled.

Having an open mind rather than a prejudged bias about whether the universe is intelligent would appear to have a lot to do with the existential challenges the species now faces.

Separating God from Organized Religion

Organized religion has done more good than harm, but has done its share of harm. The cultural cancelling of “God” has apparently subconsciously undermined even clerics, causing some of them to behave as if they too are motivated by money, power, sex, fame, and being treated with respect, from which we might infer that their mental/emotional grip on the concept of God has been loosened. The Bible reports that even thousands of years ago well before modern science, clerics could go wrong in these ways. Today’s atmosphere of materialist accidentalism in science only feeds such derelictions within religious organizations.

The sense in which the writer suggests separating “God” from organized religion is this: many people jump to the hasty closure of throwing out the baby God with the bathwater organized religion. In considering that the universe may be intelligent and may have had a role in bringing about our conscious existence, we need to peel away that objective reconsideration from irrelevant side issues like the good vs. harm done by organized religions. One has nothing to do with the other in terms of logical rational thought, they are separate questions, and must not be muddled together.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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