Category Archives: Important Ideas

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

 

Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

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

 

Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

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

 

Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 1

Created December 2, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

The Meaning of Life
A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 1

As we transition from one year to the next, I’ll be sharing with you here a serialization of my newest shortest book The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God”. I wrote this short book mainly for physicists but also for everyone. I’d like physicists to accept the scientific possibility of something very much like God, and to prioritize the subject. This book explains why. Hope you enjoy it and feel what Freud called “the Oceanic feeling”. –Bill

Preface

It is long past time to discuss the ultimate questions. We set those questions aside because things were interesting enough in the world of the senses and the everyday pleasures.

Now when things have gotten rough and the existential challenges are many, we remember that homework not done. Now we need the answers to why we are keeping up on our daily routines, in order to have the guts to stand up and do whatever it takes to overcome all the new challenges.

Inner Life

From the start, many of us could not shake off a strong compulsion to know more about who we are and why we are here.

Early aspirants to self-knowledge attained high levels of sophistication in contemplation of the self, remembering key ideas from generation to generation as lyrics in songs. Spirit and mind were regarded as the same thing then, so that psychology and spirituality were in the same category. Most of these key ideas being saved relate to the Oneness of all things. The Rig Veda, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Torah, Tao Te Ching are classic examples.

Science ought to consider this as evidence of a long-running human intuition that there is a far greater intelligence overseeing the universe, and that we are all parts of That. Just because almost everyone at some point experiences such an intuition does not prove that there is anything scientific about it. However, it is a reason to keep an open mind. Science is supposed to do that all the time anyway, the only exception appears to be in this one subject domain, “God”. As if a flinch reaction to having been “deluded” by it for so many millennia – that is the implied script. Hopefully most scientists do have open minds. Because this subject needs more attention stat.

The “inner life” tradition continued alongside every step forward we made in “outward” science and technology. In the world of 2022, meditation and yoga are practiced worldwide, and represent the 101 course of self-examination and thought experiments into what the world might be. The most advanced thinkers of every Age gave us (sometimes only through their followers) the findings of their own inner explorations.

For 6000 years of written history describing as far back as 10,000 BC based upon oral “records”, the ideas of materialism and spiritualism were always of nearly equal importance in explaining people’s behavior. That healthy balance took an odd turn a few hundred years ago and there has been a shrinkage first in the average person’s own spirituality, and then in the outward self-identification people give in surveys. This last drop took place only in the past 20 years, in which self-proclaimed spirituality (an exaggeration of true spirituality) dropped for example in the U.S. from 90% to 70%.

Eisenhower’s speech as he left office described Americans as “a free and religious people”. The absurdity of saying that in 2022 is obvious. The daily news paints all of humanity as running amok. People invoke God to sanctify deeds of extreme hostility. They must be thinking of the old vengeful images of God we first had while hiding in caves.

The “hip” thing to say since around 1970 is a bit like “I believe in something – some kind of force – it may be nothing like us – it may not care about us – but it is there.” This is the way to announce that you are a spiritual, and therefore a good, person. That is another concept of God.

The deists who founded the USA believed that whatever God was, was supremely benevolent, had our best interests at heart, and the teachings of Judeo-Christianity and Islam well described what God would want of us, for our own good. We trust in God. Even though we don’t know what “He” is.

Except that nowadays, even with the social pressure to go along with the herd, a third of us boldly state that we don’t trust God or acknowledge that “He” exists.

Eisenhower was not alone in his association of spirituality with the economic, social, and political success of a nation. He did trust God. A plausible social science theorem would be that the degree of law and order in a culture is predicted by its degree of trust in God.

All of this by way of explaining why a short book like this had to be written.

If we are to trust God in this modern cynical age where we are mostly ruled by violent mood swings, we cannot avoid discussing the nature of God within a scientific framework. If God cannot be reconciled within science, the game is over. The denouement shall not be pretty. The cards are stacked against us. Hedonism, material accidentalism, cynicism, selfishness, ego, scarcity of wealth (only a few have it), power, hate, racism, misogynism, xenophobia, fear, weapons of mass destruction, collapsing environment, dying species, fiat money, superficial education systems, unmoderated systems of social mass communication, all of which are the self-destructive negative forms of creative expression in the absence of spirituality.

The Benefits New Science Can Bring

If science shows that “God” is on the scientific agenda, humanity shall experience the strongest upsurge in positive emotion in hisandherstory. Science’s acknowledgement of possibilities very similar to the existence of God makes each of us important again. We were important enough to have been created by something like God. Life is important, has great meaning, is not to be treated frivolously.

Better behavior will steadily take over. Working together in a friendly way will become the norm. Doing things that you enjoy shall be the employment principle, inspiration and creativity and compromise shall all blossom, love will flower.

What Exactly Is Needed

These are the upside benefits to humanity if science decides that there is no scientific basis for ruling out a benevolent God whom we are right to trust. And taking a fresh look through the lens of science at how consciousness might be related to matter and energy, for that is the experimental direction to determining what “God” there truly is.

A “fresh” look means not again and again solving for the matter-energy quantum brain phenomena which generate the epiphenomenon of consciousness. But explaining why we experience consciousness, why there is Flow state, why there are other states of consciousness and powers of mind that come and go.

And theoretical scientists are needed to focus on all of the possibilities for how the universe came to be, without any presuppositions.

For example, could Wheeler’s first cause “quantum foam of probabilities” exist within a consciousness?

A Role for Individuals 

There is a second experimental path for individuals described in the last Chapter of this book. How an individual can test various ways of using his or her own consciousness, and observe what the results might be. These results may not be of use to science, but could turn out to give you useful new tools and possibly even a profound spiritual feeling.

Love to all,

Bill

 

Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel