Category Archives: The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life: A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” Pt. 10

Created February 3, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Chapter Seven Cont. 

He/She/It is having your experience. You are sensing this as you having that experience. How could you tell the difference?

The one sure way you could tell the difference is if you find that you continue to experience experiencing after you die. If this happens, then the experiencer has obviously not died. You could then say, okay, it’s still just me, I am just reincarnating or something. True, but it could also be the other way: there might not be any separate “me”, it might be God looking out through your experiencing-window, having your experience, making your decisions, talking to Himself/Herself in your experience-bubble.

All we are proposing is that you imagine this is at least possible.

In fact there is as yet no scientific evidence to say which way it is or isn’t. The notion that our “separate consciousness” may be not separate but God talking to Himself/Herself within us, is no stranger than the it-all-happened-by-accident Big Bang something-came-out-of-nothing explanation.

If you can delicately balance your mind so that you can buy into neither notion but just admit to yourself that either one (or something else) could be the true explanation of reality — then you will have reset your mind to zero base on this subject.

When this happens, there will come a point when you suddenly say to yourself, Wow, it really could be true — anything could be happening here — I really have no idea — none of us do — and yet we all keep running on doing our thing as if it is a matter-based universe with nothing special going on in the background. Maybe that’s the smart thing to do, and maybe it isn’t. We are certainly not hedging our bets in any way. By basing everything on matter we might be missing some of the best stuff life has to offer.

What to do about it?

The sensible thing is to keep all options open and to explore all options more fully. Experiment carefully in all directions that pass the test of being positive, without any negative side effects potentially hurting anyone’s feelings or worse.

Enjoy the journey.

Love to all,



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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,



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What Is the Meaning of Life? – Revisited

Updated July 9, 2021

When I was younger, I would ask this question whenever anyone, even a tour guide in a museum, asked me if I had any more questions.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn

Internally, it’s the question I asked myself multiple times a day all my life until I felt sure of the answer, which occurred sometime in my 30s.

The underlying question is “What is the meaning of ‘meaning’ in this context?”

The intent of the question is to understand what life is, what its purpose is (if any), what the universe is, what its purpose is (if any), why we are here, who we are, how we are to behave, what our relation is to one another, is there a God, and why are we compelled to consider any of this as relevant or meaningful to the second-to-second management of our personal business of existence.

One alternative to asking and answering this question to one’s own satisfaction is to go about life happily without caring about the question (which could be a Zen-like answer in itself, essentially filing the question away into the “Overthinking” file). Another alternative is to consider life meaningless, which many existentialists did in the last century.

Other than an intuition I had at age 12 that “I am God and so is everyone else”, which I tucked away as an interesting but unexplained aberration, the meaninglessness of life was my own position for the first 30-odd years of life. Around age 20, as I studied philosophy, I put reasoning around this earlier intuition, deciding that one took positions like this based solely on aesthetic preference, since knowability of the answer to What Is the Meaning of Life? was apparently beyond our scope.

In my 30s I had some unusual experiences that also reminded me of similar experiences in my childhood, at which point I felt as I do now — a very strong conviction that I actually know the answer.

The way I see it, all that exists is a single consciousness of such great computing power as to know everything that goes on within itself instantaneously at all times (though God or the One Self is above time). Since we don’t share this omniscience, God gets to play our roles with more drama and excitement. So the meaning of life must be to realize and enjoy this game as our true Original Self does, and thereby re-merge into the Original Consciousness.

I talk about this theory more in my book You Are The Universe: Imagine That.

From a practical standpoint, life becomes most meaningful for us to the extent that we realize our own unique gifts; we love doing the things inspired by those talents; we develop a life plan around sharing these things with others, and then we go forward with that plan without being attached to the outcome.

We then have a Purpose, a Mission, which satisfies the thinking mind of our own meaningfulness. Just as I go into meetings with awareness of my preferred outcomes, I set them aside at the last minute so I can go with the meeting flow, taking the standpoint of simply trying to help out everyone else in the meeting as best I can. Pragmatically and empirically, this appears to work best in balancing out the complexities of life as well.

So “What is the meaning of Life?” Enjoying it, loving it, loving all, and helping others to do the same.

“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return.”
— “Nature Boy”, by Nat King Cole

Pragmatically, one’s philosophy of life – i.e., one’s values – will tend to lead to the most rewarding outcomes, to the degree that it does not contain seeds of negativity. For example, if our worldview includes the tendency to sit in judgment of other people, this will create situations of unhappiness for ourselves in the long run. This realization is why Jesus said “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.

The founders of the great religions were, at minimum, seers, visionaries, who grasped the way things work in life, and shared these observations to help others.

The Perennial Philosophy is the synthesis of all this wisdom.

Game Theory leads one to recognize that in the game of life, one is always making bets. If one is betting that the universe is benevolent not accidental, one will live a happier, more fulfilling life. Pragmatically, that is the bet to make, according to Game Theory, whether or not the universe is an accident in reality.

At this time of great crisis in the world, what we all really need the most is the spirit of cooperation and sharing.

Ideologies we have become attached to, groups we have become identified with down to the core of our being, the deification of competition as a perfect Good, the Marxist dialectical materialist love affair with contradiction, mindless devotion to an authoritarian leader, lazy subscription to ideas of others rather than one’s own contemplation of personal empirical experience, are baggage which must be left behind in a deep mind cleanse and reset that is open to new learning from attentive worldly experience, the scientific method applied to life, rising up above the pettiness of one’s own robotical negativity to embrace higher states of being which come with pure unclouded observation as if seeing everything for the first time.

I propose that if you are not yet in that state, to allow it a try. If we all do it starting now, events will unfold that will take us away from the spiral of doom now seemingly at our doorstep.



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Your You-ness

Created December 17th, 2020

To recap recent posts, this series within Pebbles in the Pond, “On the Road to Flow”, is aimed at helping you establish yourself in the Observer state, so as to be able to spring into the Flow state more often. We kicked off the series by reviewing the work of Abraham Maslow, who identified the existence of these higher states of consciousness, which he called “peak experiences”. We then introduced the work of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, who identified a higher state that Maslow had not alluded to directly but which ought to fall within Maslow’s definition of peak experiences. This he called the Flow state, and it is characterized by perfect action doing itself and a disappearance of the difference between self and other, a unity of self with the entire experience bubble (as I call it).

I introduced my additional higher state I call the Observer state, which appears to be the first step on the ladder upward from normal waking consciousness. I provided some preliminary takeaways about how to know when you are in the Observer state, and how not to immediately kick yourself out of the Flow or Observer states when you get there. After this post we shall turn from theory to practice: takeaways helpful to getting into and staying in these higher states.

I promised at the end of the prior post to discuss one more eminent philosopher of psychology in this issue, and because I used the hint “Ego” many of you probably knew I was going to talk about Freud.

To Sigmund Freud, when we are born, the original self we are is the Id, an animal-like mentality devoid of conscience, and the Ego arises as a mediator the first time our needs are not immediately cared for. Later we gain a Superego by being taught what civilization expects of us, that is the conscience.

I agree with Freud about a few things, and differ about a few. (Of course, what do I know, I am only talking about my own experience, a sample of one.) I agree with Freud that there is “The Me That Was Born”. To me, that is the Observer, the True Self, the Essence, the Witness, The Experiencer, Who We Really Are. To me it does not have conscience nor lack conscience, it is pure of such considerations, but intuitively loves and protects everything. So, quite unlike Freud’s description of the id, the original you-ness is neither animal-like nor intrinsically selfish, in my estimation: it is the pure experiencer, consciousness itself. On the other hand, I agree with Freud’s writings about the source and nature of the Ego and feel that the Superego is part of the Ego.

To me, the Ego consists of the neuronal connections the brain makes, starting when the individual begins to have experiences. Freud likens it to a manager but I think of it more as a press agent, and that’s close enough to know Freud and I are both talking about the same thing.

What I am saying is that the protein constructions the brain builds are the Ego and Superego. The True Self is The Observer that was born. When we get into the Observer state, we are residing in and acting from the Me That Was Born. At all other times, the Observer, The True Self, is merely along for the ride, watching and identifying with the modulations of the mind and feelings generated by the neuronal net the brain has built in a “machine learning” way from internalizing and learning from our experiences.

My hypothesis is that the Ego we think we are is actually like a bio-AI. A robotical system we have become falsely identified with over time, starting from the original terror we felt upon noting our own helplessness and lack of understanding at a world that could and often did hurt us. This subsentience became our tour guide and we trusted it to take care of us. We had no idea how it would enslave us. In the average moment, the average person believes this AI is the self.

What does this mean for you?

You will know you’re not in the Observer state (nor in any higher state) if you are experiencing even mild negative emotion, making judgments that are critical of people or things, rating your own performance – the list goes on and we will cover all of it in this series. These experiences are “tells” that you are centered in your Ego – that built-up defensive self that you were not born with but is now a network of real physical neurons in your brain. In my estimation this evolutionary development is not a positive survival factor – even when we need to protect ourselves the Ego just seems to make things worse – whereas staying out of Ego would make you more formidable and effective in your own self-defense.

Your sense of self (I call “Your You-Ness”) can be in one of two places:

  1. Your true self that was born, which is an observer not obsessively attached to what is going on in experience bubble. The Observer enjoys an intrinsic sense that everything will work itself out and it therefore stays cool. That is where you want your You-ness to reside. And the locus of your You-ness, your sense of self, is controllable, but much trickier than riding a bicycle.
  2. Your Ego, or robot, a mechanistic and deterministic response of a neuronal net biological AI in your brain which evolution thought might be helpful. Science has observed in many species that evolution produces dead ends sometimes.


  • Keep your sense of self apart from the thoughts, feelings, and images rolling through you. Observe those ephemera and decide if there are gems of wisdom in there anywhere which could be actionable in your current life situation, and let the rest go by.
  • Especially let any annoying thoughts go by, those are definitely the Ego. It can only help you as an alarm clock does, by pointing out that deep down inside a few things are bugging you. Write those down and when you feel like it, look at the bug list dispassionately as if these were concerns one of your children or mentees brought you, asking you to make it better. Intelligently and without excessive caring determine what your best advice will be to your Ego-self.

To be continued.

My best to all,


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