POST-MATERIALIST CONTEMPLATIONS: OUR WORLD AS SOUL-EXPERIENCED VIRTUAL REALITY
(related to our essay "A pataphysical view on origin and existence of our physical world)
From the materialist point of view, we can distinguish three categories of worldviews: pre-materialist, materialist, and post-materialist. “Pre-materialist” refers to religions and their dogmas, imposing on people their teachings concerning our world and its origin. “Materialist” refers to science, for instance, physics. The post-materialist view indicates the future of science, a paradigm shift from materialist to post-materialist science. It includes certain already ongoing theories telling us that essentially it is consciousness(!) that is fundamental to our world and that consciousness cannot be reduced simply to electrical and chemical activity in the human brain. Let’s quote here Max Planck, Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1918: “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulating consciousness”. Nowadays, post-materialist theories still are in their infancy.
The most controversial but also most innovative category of post-materialist theories concerns theories that expressly predict that consciousness is (1) not created by material systems, is (2) separate conceptually from material systems, and in addition to (1) and (2), is (3) the precursor to the creation of matter itself. In other words, consciousness is “primordial to matter”. In our theory, “consciousness being primordial to matter” is understood in the sense that matter is a subjective illusion; it only exists in our mind. The universe could then well be a simulation or virtual reality. In this respect we remark that there are computer scientists and technologists (among others, Elon Musk), but also theoretical physicists, who wonder literally “Are we virtual beings in a virtual reality?”. If so, then there is really nothing material in and around us. This even holds for our human brains; the brains would then not produce the functions usually assigned to them, nor would they be biological receivers of external signals, but only correlate with these functions.
The author’s philosophical work belongs to theories in category (3) with, as said, the features of categories (1) and (2) incorporated. For an important part, the theory is based on the author’s personal imagination. (Let’s present at this place a quote from Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For, knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, and giving birth to evolution”.) Because of its imaginary character, we have called the theory “pataphysical”. Pataphysics is defined, among others, as the “science” of imaginary solutions. Pataphysics relates to metaphysics as the latter to physics. Although a parody of science, the concept of pataphysics resonates and, in the author’s belief, nothing prevents us from taking it seriously and even redefining it to meet our aims! This is precisely what we have done in our theory, in which a central question is “Where does (individual) consciousness come from?”. We are convinced that science will never ever be able to explain the origin of consciousness and life! Our answer to the question asked: consciousness arises from the one and only eternal “Infinite Consciousness” in a spiritual world, or more precisely in the eternal “Spiritual Singularity” (see next paragraph). In the following, we present an extensive however non-exhaustive summary of our philosophy.
In our philosophy, we have derived a so-called “Spiritual Singularity”. (*) It includes the aforementioned eternal Infinite Consciousness (called AllSoul) and an eternal All-Embracing Plan (called AllSpirit) of infinite intelligence. The Infinite Consciousness or AllSoul consists of a timeless, so eternal, process of Emanation in infinitely many interconnected, mutually integrated, “aspects of Consciousness” (called Souls) of continually lower and lower order (level of Consciousness), and reversely, a timeless process of (building up) Consciousness up to Infinite Consciousness. We could regard the infinite set of interconnected Souls as the “neurons” of a supreme Divine Brain in which the process of Consciousness takes place; in this, we imagine the intercommunication between Souls based on the principle of “fully integrated systems”, the most sophisticated coupling mechanism in science. The process of Emanation and the process of Consciousness are actually two aspects of the same eternal process. Very amazingly, a considerable series of the author’s own spiritual experiences, in the form of sometimes spectacular “synchronicities” (meaningful coincidences as originally described by Carl Gustav Jung), could be understood as a relevant indication for the existence of the combination “Emanation / Consciousness” in the spiritual world (somewhat comparable to empirical evidence in the physical world).
On the lowest level of the process of Consciousness in the spiritual world, that’s to say the Soul’s 3-dimensional Experience, Consciousness is extremely low. In accordance with a simple but frequently used growth model in science, the growth of Consciousness is proportional to its magnitude and therefore also extremely low. In our philosophy, the growth then results in a superposition or combination of a 3-dimensional Soul Experience and a 1-dimensional Experience along the 4th dimension, and this all in a 4-dimensional framework. The latter however is impossible, because, coming from a 3-dimensional Consciousness, sufficient 4-dimensional Consciousness is still missing in the Soul. The process of Consciousness would stagnate, already in its initial phase. Therefore, instead of the spiritual world (parallel, static) on the main road of the process of Consciousness, on a side road the Soul experiences necessarily quite another world, an opposite and counterpart world; to wit, a physical world (sequential, dynamic). The 1-dimensional Experience in the abovementioned superposition then represents physical time and the 3-dimensional Experience physical space. On the considered still low level of Consciousness the mentioned superposition represents a Newtonian physical world; however, as Consciousness increases in the process of Consciousness, on a sufficiently higher level of Consciousness the superposition is interpreted in the Soul as a 4-dimensional spacetime world.
In the spiritual world, the aforementioned All-Embracing Plan or AllSpirit consists of an infinite set of top-down spiritual relations; however, in the physical world (on the side road of the process of Consciousness) it consists of an infinite set of corresponding bottom-up spiritual relations. The transition from top-down into bottom-up spiritual relations causes in the physical world rules and laws, such as physical and evolutionary. There are no rules or laws in the spiritual world. In analogy with computer programs, we consider the bottom-up spiritual relations positioned in layers. Most relevant and crucial is the upper layer of spiritual relations, supported however by all spiritual relations in all lower layers.
Let’s now focus on the crucial question “What is a Soul in our philosophy?”. A Soul (an aspect of the AllSoul) is defined as an Experience of a Plan (an aspect of the All-Embracing Plan) as if (!) this Plan, consisting of top-down or bottom-up spiritual relations, is spiritual or physical reality; a reality, including an Entity that experiences this virtual reality and its virtual self as objectively real. The mentioned Entity is called respectively spiritual being (let’s say, angel) and human being. From the perspective of spiritual and human beings, the experienced objectively real spiritual and physical world actually exist only in the “mind” of the beings concerned. Throughout the whole essay the terms “spiritual world” and “physical world” are regularly used. Whether we mean the Soul-experienced virtual world or the objectively real world experienced by the spiritual or physical beings in their mind, should be apparent from the context. The same applies to the spiritual and physical beings themselves.
From the presented definition of the Soul is clear that the physical reality, including dead matter, plants, animals, and humans, only exists as such in the human mind. As a consequence, before the human (we take here for good reasons the “civilized man”) there was no physical reality. The fact that we nevertheless find, for instance, skeletons of dinosaurs, although according to our philosophy these dinosaurs have never existed, is explained by the impact and consistent effect of certain lower-layer spiritual relations on the upper-layer spiritual relations. We mean of course those specific lower spiritual relations which are interpreted by the Soul as dinosaurs in the far evolutionary past, this in accordance with the All-Embracing Plan or AllSpirit. Since the upper-layer spiritual relations reflect a physical world that in very essence is Soul Consciousness, experienced however in the human mind as objectively real, we could speak of an illusion of physical reality. Then, the physical evolution, expressed in the lower-layer spiritual relations, is an illusion within this illusion of physical reality The first illusion implies a beginning of several thousands of years ago (based on the eldest human civilizations we guess about 6000 years); the second illusion 13.8 billion years ago (a scientific result!). In this respect we remark that the more Consciousness in the process of Consciousness grows, the more spiritual relations in the lower layers become interpretable to the Soul and reveal through their impact on the upper-layer spiritual relations a continual evolution of the universe, taken in the human mind as objectively really happened in the evolutionary (far) past. In this respect, we also think of, for instance, the occurrence of elementary and composite particles in the very far evolutionary past, and even the “Big Bang” and its resulting cosmic background radiation.
When in the physical world humans die, a timeless and spaceless retrospection of their life provides on the main road of Consciousness (so in the spiritual world) exactly the needed information to remove the aforementioned stagnation in the process of Consciousness and to gain a little bit more 4-dimensional Consciousness. The “side road strategy” is repeated again and again, many times. Meanwhile, the 4-dimensional Consciousness will continually grow until a level that the side road is not needed anymore. We speak of the end of times and the end of the physical world. The human being has become a spiritual being. However, since both the main road of Consciousness and the side road are eternal (only the content of the side road is time- and space-bound), everything in the physical world will start all over again. The whole story of the Soul-experienced appearance and disappearance of the physical world repeats, again and again, infinitely many times. We are faced with an eternal sequence of cycles of existence of the physical world. The life that we humans currently live has already been lived infinitely many times and still will be lived infinitely times more, every time in exactly the same setting, the same circumstances, and the same surroundings (this in accordance with the immutable All-Embracing Plan in the Spiritual Singularity). In our philosophy, this repeated human life in the eternal sequence of cycles of existence is an absolute prerequisite for the process of Consciousness; no single life (albeit poor/rich, sick/healthy, irrelevant/successful, miserable/beautiful) can be missed in this process! That’s in our opinion the purpose and meaning of human life! Because of the low level of Consciousness, individual human lives cover a spectrum of what we consider, on our level of Consciousness, as extremely bad to extremely good, with all gradations in between,
Finally, in addition to the AllSoul and AllSpirit, the Spiritual Singularity also includes in our philosophy the eternal infinite Overall Reality (called AllReality) and its inner Experiencer, called God. The AllSoul, AllSpirit, AllReality, and God are equal but distinguishable. Most fundamental is the AllSpirit. The divine AllSpirit is primordial to literally everything, even to the divine Infinite Consciousness. The infinite intelligence of the AllSpirit is a guarantee for perfect consistency in the Experience of any Soul, as well as consistency with respect to the different Experiences in different Souls (this with regard to for instance physical time and location), and therefore also consistency in the different human minds. Moreover, due to the AllSpirit’s infinite intelligence, all aspects of the AllSpirit are “constructed” such that they allow infinitely many interpretations, responsible for the subjective individuality of spiritual and human beings.
So far, a non-exhaustive summary of our philosophy, from which is clear that in essence our physical world is not made up of matter but of Soul Experiences (Consciousness). On a side road of the process of Consciousness, the Soul interprets bottom-up spiritual relations that characterize the physical world and reveal issues of both quantifiable (material) and qualifiable (mental) nature! This means that in the human mind physical phenomena and mental features (such as awareness, thoughts, emotions, desires, and feelings of good/bad, beautiful/ugly, love, joy, hope, fear, anger, disgust, hate) are experienced as objectively real. A “body-mind problem” doesn’t exist in our philosophy. To say it again, all Soul-experienced spiritual and physical beings, as well as their spiritual and physical worlds, are virtual or illusory in our theory; however, the Soul-experienced spiritual and physical beings experience, from the inside of these worlds, their virtual surroundings and virtual themselves in their mind as objective spiritual or physical reality.
If indeed the spiritual and physical worlds would be simulations or virtual realities, one could question what and where the “ingredients” are for creating such simulated realities. In our theory, they are to be found in our introduced “Spiritual Singularity”: the AllSoul, AllSpirit, and AllReality including its inner Experiencer (God), all thought to be real (in the spiritual sense), so not virtual. The “AllReality” encloses the supreme divine “simulating computer and supplies”, and the “AllSpirit” the supreme divine “simulation software”. The “AllSoul” encompasses in its Emanation the Experiences of the simulated worlds, and finally, “God” encompasses all (spiritual and physical) beings, keeping their simulated worlds, from the inside of these worlds, in their mind for objectively real.
Lastly, some final remarks. In our theory, we distinguish three parallel worlds: the physical world (physical/metaphysical but virtual), the spiritual world (metaphysical/pataphysical and virtual), and the Spiritual Singularity (pataphysical and real). Literally everything in the physical and spiritual worlds actually happens in and arises from this Spiritual Singularity (in our imagination a zero-radius point with infinite dimensionality, respectively representing an infinite intensity/density and infinite depth of Consciousness)! What we call the “Big Bang” (in the appearance of a physical singularity) is in our theory just the Soul’s physical interpretation of the Spiritual Singularity; physical energy just is the physical interpretation of Spirit arising from the AllSpirit in the Spiritual Singularity; the equivalence of matter and energy just is the physical interpretation of the equality of AllSoul and AllSpirit, and therefore on a lower level essentially the equality of Soul and Spirit; the human being just is the physical interpretation of God as the inner Experiencer of the AllReality. Only to mention some examples of the deep meaning of the Hermetic saying “As above, so below”, in which all “ingredients” of the Spiritual Singularity (AllSoul, AllSpirit, AllReality, and God) come to the fore. To finish these final remarks, let’s give another implication of this Hermetic saying. With the current AI and Virtual Reality technology, we humans are able to create artificial worlds that in our experiences approximate pretty closely the (what we consider) real physical world (and, for sure, this will be considerably improved in the not-too-far future!). That is “the below” in the mentioned Hermetic saying; now “the above”: in our theory, the physical world and spiritual world are divine virtual realities arising from the Spiritual Singularity. Compared to what we humans are able to create, the Divine in the Spiritual Singularity can do this infinitely much better and on an infinitely larger scale! As to the latter, please note that it is not a matter of creating (there is no way of Divine Creation) but a matter of BEING!! All is as it is, in all eternity.
It is our hope that post-materialist theories might be a stimulus for scientists to include spirituality and spiritual experiences in their research. Spirituality involves the feeling or belief that there is something greater than ourselves, that the greater whole, of which we are part, is cosmic or divine in nature. Spirituality includes any experience that brings us into contact with the divine. To finish, we emphasize that our philosophy is not at all questioning the practically needed and very valuable activities in science, scientific research, engineering, and technology. On the contrary! Our philosophy only may sketch an underlying “Truth”.