Written in Rishikesh, Uttaranchal, Northern India.


Introduction  1

Part 1: The Universe as an Information System   3

The World  3

Nature of Perception  4

What do we know and what do we believe?  5

Form and Behavior 7

Information System Theoretic Paradigm   12

Metaphysics of Virtual Reality  16

Part 2: Information Systems and Mysticism   21

Modeling General Information Systems  21

Metaphysics of Information Systems  35

Parallels with the Mystic Paradigm   42

Experimental Evidence  70

Same Reality but Different Analogies  81

Part 3: Living in a Systemic Universe  84

The World is an Evolving Dynamical System   84

The Second Cambrian Explosion  84

Memes and Culture  84

Systemic Health of Dynamical Systems  84

Empirical and Confused Mystic Beliefs  84

Breaking the pattern of Dysfunction  84

Deep Understanding  84

A New Science and Technology  84

Self Awareness and Liberation  84



What am I? What is the world? What is happening? What can be done? Are there inherent limitations to our experience and knowledge of such things? To what extent can we know ourselves and the world? To what extent is the nature of things comprehensible by observing their form? What subtle lessons may be learnt by close observation of the seeming paradoxes in the world? Are there paradigms or world-views that can provide a clearer perspective on the holistic situation? What would such a paradigm be like? What ramifications would it have on our experience of being in the world? These questions and more are addressed in the following pages.

To give a brief glimpse of what lies ahead, consider this hypothetical situation. If a highly advanced computer creates a virtual reality within which intelligent beings contemplate their situation, how would such a world seem to them? What metaphysical concepts would they arrive at? What would it be like to be a sentient being in a virtual world? What kind of a world would they experience by looking out through their senses? What kind of a world would they experience by turning within through meditation? Would either of these perspectives, which are embedded in the virtual world, allow for an accurate and complete understanding of the real situation? These beings are patterns of information within a computational space and they are also physical objects within a virtual space. There is no conflict or contradiction; they are both.

If you were a sentient being within a virtual reality universe, then your self and your world would be a fluctuating pattern of information in motion (spirit) but your senses would cause you to believe in a world of solid objects in space (materialism). By looking inward to the core of your consciousness (meditation) you would encounter the computational essence (cosmic consciousness) that animates yourself and your entire universe. In the context of this VR analogy, that essence is the indwelling God, which is the innermost essence of all things. In this context you could act as an object amongst objects (material existence) or you could act as an information-construct (spirit being) within a computational space (psychic/spiritual existence). If one contemplates this simple analogy it has the power to shed light upon the metaphysical nature of our reality and our experience of existence within the world.

In part 1, we begin dealing solely with the objective world and how we come to know it, leading onto traditional scientific approaches toward understanding it. These approaches begin from the common sense world-view but approach such ideas as general relativity and quantum physics. These ideas seem somewhat paradoxical in light of the common sense world-view however via the agency of information theory and system theory this discussion smoothly delves into the causal dynamics that underlies the world of form. From this information/system theoretic perspective we see that paradoxes only arise due to the limitations of the common-sense world view.

In part 2, we turn toward understanding general information systems in detail and we explore the kind of universe that would arise from such a metaphysical foundation. The universe thus revealed is not only in accord with the physical sciences but it is also identical in all major respects with the mystic description of reality. This is illustrated by a collection of quotes from several ancient scriptures and the writings of many mystics. Modern science has also recently started to produce concrete experimental evidence in support of the mystic world-view. It is revealed that both science and mysticism are speaking about the same reality but from different perspectives and using different analogies.

In part 3, we explore what it is like to exist in such a universe, both in terms of what is happening around us and within us. We then address the issue of what is the difference between harmony and disharmony, between systemic health and systemic dysfunction. Through our individual perceptions, interpretations and responses we each play our part in the process. Finally we explore the general principles of how we may individually and collectively do our part to move the holistic situation, and our personal experience of it, toward greater health and vitality.

A word of advice when reading this book. Most books discuss people, objects, ideas, places and events; things in the world. However this book discusses the low level general principles underlying the world. This may seem highly abstract to some. Many people spend most of their time focused on particulars; particular people, objects, ideas, places or events. But here we delve into the general principles that underlie all particulars. Some examples and analogies are provided but in most cases the general principles alone are discussed. If one tends to think in terms of particulars the general principles may seem abstract and remote. If that is the case it would be useful to imagine any particular scenario and then apply the general principle to it and see what it means in that context.

For example, when we are discussing perception, experience, response, interaction loops and interaction networks one may think of a population of people who interact and form organisations. Or one may think of a system of particles that interact and form a material object. Or perhaps the network of computers that form the internet; any scenario will suffice. Within this particular context, visualise how the general principles operate and you will thereby get an idea of what they actually mean, rather than just being abstract concepts.

Part 1: The Universe as an Information System

The World

The World is the commonly accepted and routinely experienced theatre of experience. Everyone accepts from the evidence of their own experience that “the World” exists in some sense. Thus it has been the starting point for all serious metaphysical enquiries throughout time.

After billions of years of evolution we are born already adapted for existence in the world. We naturally and effortlessly experience it and believe in it. It forms the foundation for common sense, for the empirical sciences and all kinds of day-to-day interactions.

But what is this idea about the ‘world’? From where does it arise? There are two main dimensions to this idea, one of which is the idea of an objective world that exists independently of any observers; often conceived of as the “physical universe”. But let us start closer to home with our own personal experience of the subjective world and then work our way toward the idea of the objective world.

Without our own subjective experience we would not know of any world to speak of. We cannot know of it without perceiving it, furthermore we perceive and experience it according to our particular perceptual and experiential apparatus. For example, we humans see with our eyes which have very particular properties and we process this visual experience with our minds which also have very uniquely human properties. In this manner the subjective world is a construct of our particular senses and mind. The subjective world of an ant is very different to that of an eagle.

Nature of Perception

It is only through the process of perception that we come to experience and thereby know anything about the world. So what is perception exactly?

Consider the phenomenon of hearing. In-coming audible signals cause vibrations to propagate through the surrounding air and produce pressure variations in the region of our ears. These are channelled into the ear and cause tiny hairs to vibrate to different frequencies. These then stimulate nerves which propagate signals into the nervous system and the brain.

In general; an observable phenomenon (pressure) undergoes variation (vibration), which then produces a corresponding variation in internal state (vibrating hairs then neuronal signals). This describes a general interface for the receipt of signals. Thus perception is an inherently information theoretic phenomenon; it is the transduction of information from an external medium to an internal medium.

All that the perceiver can experience of their world is based upon the signals that are incident on their senses. But what is experience? There are two aspects to it. When the internal state of the perceiver is influenced by the incoming signal, this change in internal state is the experience; it is a change in the perceiver’s state of being. But also, when the signal is received it is comprehended by pure awareness, which is the underlying essence of all experiences. As we will see later, at the foundation of existence there is both being and awareness, or representation and computation.

The content of the perceptual experiences is coherent and exhibits persistent forms or patterns, which we come to experience as objects. We experience ourselves as an object amongst other objects, which are arranged in space. These objects can also be seen to be composed of objects, thus there are objects within objects. These objects interact in ways that produce solidity in some situations and this experience leads to the idea of matter, which is a kind of solid stuff that exhibits behaviour.

We experience observable phenomena and also the absence of observable phenomena; for example, sounds and the silences between sounds. The observables form the substance of our experiential world and the void between observables forms the context within which the world arises. For example, we experience objects in space where the space is just an emptiness that contains the objects and through which the objects stand in relation to one another.

But on closer analysis we see that the vacuum is not an empty stage within which matter exists. Physics suggests that it is more the case that the vacuum is the deeper reality; it is the ocean and particles are like waves on its surface. It is a plenum of potentiality, containing all particular forms. It is out of this fullness that particular actual (as opposed to potential) forms arise. The vacuum is a formlessness from which arise all forms. This is the perspective of the situation from within the world and later we will consider this from a much different perspective.

In the world composed of objects of perception, we experience ourselves as being aware; i.e. we perceive, experience and respond to our situation. All of this is experienced to occur in the present moment; the past is memory and the future is expectation. Furthermore our experiences are produced by our own senses and mind so we have a unique singular perspective and we cannot experience the world from any other perspective.

We interact with the objects of perception and thereby participate in our context. We exhibit behaviour (patterned activity) which then organizes into roles. In this way we become enmeshed in the world.

The objects that we perceive around us have both form and behaviour. Their form arises from our perception of them but what about their behaviour? Perhaps in some sense they too perceive experience and respond. Perhaps in their own way, from their own singular perspective, they too are aware of their world. This is reasonable to assume for other objects that we identify as human or living but even so-called inanimate objects may have rudimentary awareness that allows them to exhibit behaviour. Otherwise how do they interact?

Our own experience of awareness is a good indication of this but we cannot directly experience the awareness of anything but ourselves. So for now we can only be certain that the objects of perception exhibit behaviour.

What do we know and what do we believe?

Ultimately we can only ever know ourselves. Only through our perceptions, experiences, responses and perceived effects can we know anything. However there are two aspects to this situation that one may focus on. One can focus on the objects of perception and thereby contemplate a world of objects or one can focus on the awareness that produces those objects of perception and thereby contemplate a world of consciousness. Both approaches are valid and valuable because both outer form and inner awareness are fundamental to oneself and perhaps also to every thing.

Each being experiences a subjective world and these worlds overlap giving rise to common experiences. The individual beings experience each other as objects within each other's subjective world and they thereby respond to each other as objects in a world. By recognising similarity with themselves they ascribe awareness to some objects and not to others. They communicate and interact and share their stories thereby reinforcing each other's beliefs and subtly conditioning each other to believe in the concept of an objective world; a world out there that is the common foundation of everyone's subjective worlds. Whether the objective world exists or not our knowledge of it relies solely on shared subjective experience.

This is a process of perceptual feedback which creates and reinforces the idea of the objective world; it boot straps perceptions into apparent reality by providing each singular perspective with a perceptual mirror on itself. From this collective interaction and feedback whole cultures and philosophies and mythologies and metaphysics and sciences arise trying to explain the appearances of things out there. The objective world then becomes central to every beings story and becomes a central article of faith in every beings belief system so every being then comes to perceive and experience an objective world whose structure depends upon the mixture of belief systems at that time.

For example a being may live in a world of devils, witches, saints and sinners, or divine priesthoods and human sacrifices, or imperial powers and monarchies, or consumers and producers, or corporations and markets, or pop stars and fans, or artists and musicians, or sex, drugs and rock'n roll, or laws and authoritarian hierarchies, or a mechanistic materialistic "clock work universe" where consciousness is a by product of the biochemical functioning of the brain, or many other worlds. Human history is a show case of many intriguing states of collective being.

From this perspective we can see that our understanding of the “objective world” is an idea, it is a consensus and a belief, but we have no direct evidence of it other than our own subjective experiences. But the observed coherence of our shared experiences means we can safely surmise that there is an objective world of some kind that produces each of our subjective experiences but we can only ever know that world via our senses. But our senses only give us access to its observable form so any ideas about the nature of the objective world are inferences and not direct experiences because the form of the world isn’t necessarily indicative of the nature of the world.

By focusing on the objects of perception one may surmise that the world consists of matter in space because that is how it appears to our awareness. Or by focusing on awareness itself one may surmise that it is a field of consciousness or a computational space, through which information flows and impinges upon our senses thereby producing the appearance of objects in space.

Form and Behaviour

Within the context of the consensus based “objective world” most people routinely live and ponder the world around them. We perceive objects (or forms with behaviour) as they manifest to awareness, without questioning how they arise. These objects have observable properties such as colour, position and size through which we come to experience them. Through observation we come to recognize relations between these properties, for example, if one applies a certain force to a free object it will move in a certain way, or when the volume of a gas is decreased the pressure increases.

By continued observation we come to comprehend many of the behaviours of and relations between objects. These relations between observables can then be represented in abstract ways, such as verbal descriptions or mathematical equations. This is the underlying process of traditional science. But these objects are actually “objects of perception”. There is definitely some underlying phenomenon that manifests the objects in our awareness and the awareness of others but we can only observe the outer form and not the inner dynamics of that phenomenon. So the traditional scientific method rests upon descriptions of the observed form and behaviour of things and the descriptions may not be indicative of the real nature of the underlying phenomena.

For example, in the case of equations describing the economic behaviour of nations; the people involved know nothing of the equations and most definitely do not base their actions on any such equations. However through their individual activities and interactions they produce an economic system that manifests behaviours that can be described by the equations. Thus the equations are simply descriptions of observed forms and behaviours and they do not necessarily indicate the actual processes that give rise to the forms and behaviours.

Whilst traditional science began by describing simple relations between observable phenomena, via continued theorizing, experimentation and inference it has in many ways delved beneath the outer forms and tried to capture the inner workings of systems. It has inferred the existence of internal states and the relations between these that produce an inner dynamic that then produces the observed outer behaviour. Such is the case for the development of quantum physics. No body can directly perceive a wavefunction but we hypothesize their existence because by doing so we can use quantum physics to accurately describe other phenomena that we can directly observe. By degrees traditional science has delved deeper and deeper, diverging from the familiar appearance of the world and becoming more and more abstract. Two products of this approach are general relativity and quantum physics, both of which produce seeming paradoxes but this is because our form based ideas of the nature of reality are too limited to comprehend the real nature of reality.

General relativity describes the situation on the large scale – where the finite speed of light imposes strict limitations on the range of interactions between objects. This indicates that all physical interactions depend on propagating signals and are thus information processes.

When general relativity is interpreted solely from the equations only the outer forms can be comprehended because the equations are derived from observed objective phenomena. From this perspective the world appears to be a predefined four dimensional block of space-time in which there is NO present moment. Thus our own experience of the present moment is thought to be an anomaly of consciousness that limits our awareness to a single three dimensional slice of space-time that moves smoothly in one particular direction through the temporal dimension. Thus awareness becomes an anomaly when the forms are accentuated.

However the paradox of time dilation indicates that our idea of time depends on the experience of the change of state. In certain conditions when the flow of information slows down the rate of change also slows down so outside observers perceive time to have slowed down. For example, a person flies in a space ship near the speed of light for a short trip and when they return their children are older than they are so time has progressed slower for them. Or like two characters in two interacting simulation programs running on distinct but connected computers. If one computer undergoes a heavy computational load because there is a lot of activity occurring in it’s model, then the simulation moments are computed at a slower rate. Thus time moves slower in that simulation.

However for all observers time seems to progress normally for themselves because their awareness of time only occurs via information processes occurring over successive moments of time so as these vary, their awareness also varies accordingly. They cannot be aware except in the present moment of existence so they cannot be aware of the varying rate at which the moments are generated.

This lends weight to the idea that all objects have some basic awareness via which they perceive, experience and respond to their situation. The equations of general relativity describe the observed behaviour of objects near the speed of light but the objects don’t obey these equations; instead they engage in perceptual interactions which thereby manifest behaviours that can be described by those equations. In this way we see that present moment awareness is not an unexplained anomaly within general relativity, but is instead central to it. Awareness cannot be observed as a form in the world so it is not explicitly represented in the equations, which only describe the observed behaviour, thus awareness is an anomaly in that context. But when one considers the underlying dynamics that produces that behaviour, it is fundamentally based upon present moment awareness and the interactions that arise between objects due to perceptions and responses that are propagated via signals.

Quantum physics delves beneath the observable classical phenomena and describes the underlying quantum dynamics. In this sense it is far removed from the common sense world of our experiences but it is also the most exact science that has ever been developed. So its many inferences must have some correspondence with the inner dynamics that underlies the observed outer behaviour.

This science is based upon the interaction of non-local waves of probability that interfere and produce complex probability distributions. Then when an act of observation occurs the probability distribution is collapsed to produce a single actuality that is then experienced as the observed state.

Quantum physics presents many seeming paradoxes for the common sense world view. It breaks down our concept of distinct objects that are localized in time and space. There are instantaneous quantum interactions between objects that are far removed (EPR pairs) and objects that are seemingly solid are seen to pass right through each other (quantum tunnelling). Furthermore, Feynman paths indicate that when any event occurs the entire universe is involved. For example, a simple particle undergoes simple motion from one location to another nearby location but in order to accurately calculate the behaviour of this event one must include terms for EVERY possible path that could potentially have been taken, including paths that follow convoluted routes around the universe and then come back to that nearby location. As all of these terms combine and cancel out, what is left is the simple path from point A to B. Thus the dynamics that occur are not simply localized to the particle and the region of space between points A and B, but they are a computation involving the whole of the quantum universe.

Although the quantum dynamics involves instantaneous interactions across any distance, when the final classical phenomena are observed they involve only classical behaviours where signals must travel at or below the speed of light. The classical world is produced from the quantum world via an act of observation and our experience of the world is totally based upon these observations, hence each observation is like a frame in a movie and all the quantum dynamics occurs between moments. The observed classical world arises from underlying quantum dynamics, which have a very different nature to the observed classical phenomena.

In quantum physics the idea of distinct objects that are localized in time and space breaks down but these are replaced by a field of interacting waves of probability. Probability and information are very closely related, most famously by the equation for Shannon Information
(H = -p. log(p) ). Thus one sees that the flow of information is primary to the basic functioning of the world.

In the above discussion I have drawn a distinction between descriptions of observable phenomena (which describe how the world appears to us) and descriptions of inner dynamics (which describe how the situation actually functions). When observing the forms and behaviours of the world one can take time as a dimensional variable and then describe how properties change over time in relation to other properties; this gives rise to the equations of traditional physics. However when trying to implement the inner dynamics of a situation one cannot treat time as a dimensional variable, instead it is the flow of awareness, it is a process that is happening.

For example, one may describe the behaviour of a computer program using equations based upon time as a dimensional variable but if one actually tries to re-create that program one must go into the inner causal logic of the programming and then try to re-create the actual process that gives rise to the observed behaviour. The idea that time is a process rather than a dimension is central to the fields of process philosophy, process physics and process studies in general.

Throughout history these ideas have been in the background of scientific thought but in recent decades they have begun to assert themselves as a coherent and compelling idea that overcomes many seeming paradoxes; in particular, the role of present moment awareness in the dynamics of the physical universe. Rather than inert matter obeying physical laws there are systems that interact via present moment awareness of their situation.

If one keeps only to what can be know with certainty and tries to capture both the inner dynamics and the outer form and behaviour of the world, as well as the experience of the present moment, what kind of world view arises? Is there a single concept that can succinctly capture ALL of the above and everything else that we may definitely know about the world?

Information System Theoretic Paradigm

Information System Theory (IST) is traditionally concerned with computers and other such systems that obviously process information and much of what I speak about is commonly known as “system theory”. But I take the ideas one step further hence I use the term information system theory to make it clear that information is central to the concept of system (as we will see later).

Firstly, what is information? In essence it is discernable difference. This involves the phenomenon of discernment or awareness/computation. It also involves the concept of a varying observable property. If there is no observer or there is nothing to observe there can be no flow of information. Furthermore, if there is a varying observable phenomenon but the observer cannot distinguish these variations then it perceives a constant phenomenon and no information can flow. However, if the observer can distinguish the variations then these may convey information, such as for a radio tuning into a base frequency and detecting the variations in this and thereby conveying a radio station to the listener.

Because of its general nature information can manifest in any medium, whether waves of electromagnetism, configurations of matter, water waves, packets of binary data and so on. It is a general concept that is not dependent on any particular medium, thus it is a useful concept for the general analysis of systems.

Information and computation are dual concepts; they cannot exist without each other. Information arises from the computational discernment of varying data and computation is the transformation or variation of data. Furthermore, the concept of discernment involves the phenomenon of symbolic association, i.e. what meaning the different observable states have for the observer. It doesn’t matter exactly what the meanings are so long as there are distinct meanings. For example, if a computer program reads in a binary file but that program ascribes the same meanings to both the symbols 0 and 1, then that program could not discern the information encoded within the file. Thus discernment is related to encoding and decoding or symbolic representation.

System theory posits that everything is a system in the sense that the concept system can be applied to everything in a meaningful and practical sense. Every thing is a system that is composed of sub systems that interact to create that system and so too for each of these sub systems down to some ground of being. Thus ultimately there is only a field of primitive systems and the information that mediates their interactions. Through their permutations and combinations they build up the successive levels of systems. Furthermore, every system is a sub system within larger systems and interacts with other systems passing information, coordinating, organising, cooperating, competing, etc. Thus forming the higher-level super systems and so on up to the universe as a whole which is a single unified and coherent system.

System theory is the foundation of a truly general understanding of the world; the concept 'system' is a universal analogy for any 'thing' at all regardless of its particular properties, origin or substance, thus it provides a unifying or synthesising force to counter the fragmenting or analytical aspects of science and empirical knowledge. With the use of this analogy one can consider aspects of any and all things and phenomena. It may be used to translate and unify concepts across the many fragmented and often estranged fields of knowledge.

Information systems are a general concept that captures all that we can know about the world. Because of the generality of information an information system can manifest in any medium, whether galaxies, stars and organisms in the medium of matter, or viruses in the medium of genetics, or memes in the medium of minds and culture, or characters in a computer game, and so on.

They are entities that exist in a world. They have interfaces (sensors and actuators), they perceive signals (varying observable phenomena), experience internal state changes (varying state of being) and respond (vary their own observable phenomena).

They cannot experience anything else but the world that appears to their senses. They experience external phenomena and also have internal experiential dynamics that produces these experiences. They experience solidity (e.g. a login portal is a barrier if one lacks a valid password).

They are capable of but do not necessarily experience themselves as being aware. Self awareness is due to internal feedback loops. We for example, not only experience, we also experience the experiencing and we experience the experience of experiencing, thus we come to know that we know that we know.

They only ever experience things in the present moment and they can record the past in memory and predict the future as expectation. They can only ever experience from their own perspective so they have a unique singular perspective on their world.

They interact with the objects of their perception and thereby participate in networks of interacting systems. They exhibit behaviours and thereby occupy roles in these networks. They are composed of networks of interacting sub-systems and they are themselves sub-systems in larger super-systems. They are both immersed and enmeshed in their world.

They have both form and behaviour, both outer observable form and inner dynamics. Their form only becomes apparent when perceived by a system from a particular perspective. Their basic inner awareness/computation allows them to perceive, experience, respond and thereby interact.

They can only ever know themselves; whether the objective world exists or not their knowledge of it relies solely on shared subjective experience. If these systems focus solely on the world presented to them by the objects of perception then they will totally believe in that world, however if they have feedback loops via which they can focus on the process of their own awareness, then they will come to believe in a very different kind of world.

When comprehending the world of their senses they can only rely upon observed form and behaviour. If they posses the appropriate inner dynamics (like humans) they can discern relations between observable properties and then make deductions based upon prior knowledge. In this way they can come to understand the outer form and behaviour of systems and also the inner dynamics of systems.

Due to their ongoing interaction, information flows between them, thus the holistic situation dynamically changes. These changes can be observed and the relations described but the situation is fundamentally driven by perceptual systemic dynamics rather than in accordance with any equations that simply describe the observed behaviour.

If one system experiences another system it manifests as an object of perception; only the outer observables are apparent and the inner awareness cannot be directly discerned. But each system has both outer observables and inner awareness.

When perceiving the outer form of other systems, they do so with finite resolution and from a particular perspective. If there is a tightly interacting network of systems that is being observed but the observer lacks the resolution to discern the distinct sub-systems, then that network is perceived and experienced as a single system. This is how super-systems form; the general process is referred to as a meta-system transition (MST).

Communication between classical systems occurs via propagating signals that are limited by the speed of light, thus relativistic effects arise, especially when the situation approaches the speed limit.

Their capacity for discernment is finite thus signals have finite resolution, i.e. a variation that is infinitesimally small cannot be discerned. Thus the signals and states are quantized, thus quantum effects arise, especially when the situation approaches the resolution limit.

Systems can be either quantum or classical, as will be seen when we come to model general systems. The two are very closely related types of systems.

As we will see in part 2, information systems do not only exchange information and process information, in fact they ARE information. Systems are persistent patterns of information within a computational space, which is their common universe. Thus systems communicate by exchanging systems through systems, they are all made of systems and they form systems; and all of this is patterns of information flowing within a computational space.

Thus IST implies that the ultimate theatre of reality is a computational space and the basic substance of reality is information. This implies that “the world is virtual”.

Metaphysics of Virtual Reality

If a computational space animates a virtual reality within which intelligent beings contemplate their situation, how would such a world seem to them? What metaphysical concepts would they arrive at? What would it be like to be a sentient being in a virtual world?

I propose this hypothetical situation as a neatly defined context for analysis that has some interesting parallels with our own context. This computational analogy likens primal consciousness or pure awareness to the computational stream of a computer and thereby describes the manner in which computation is structured and woven together to create a distributed context in which individuals may experience the same underlying context from countless unique perspectives. The resulting perceptual dynamics drives the network of systems and causes it to evolve.

Suppose that there is a computer (a CPU and memory) that provides a computational space. Within this space there are information constructs such as data types, lists, etc as well as information processes such as threads, conditional loops, etc.

These are all woven together into a simulator program. This is an information process that manages all of the existential and causal data that structures exactly what exists and happens in the virtual world. It also manages all of the moment by moment information logistics that underlies all interactions between systems. This is the role of the mathematics and software that is introduced in part 2.

As the simulator functions the virtual existential context is computed one moment at a time and as the moments blur together the virtual world comes into existence.

Within this context every system is defined by existential information and every process is defined by causal information. As the computational process animates the context each perceptual process draws upon the existential state of the universe and a perceptual experience is generated for each system according to its context. Each system then interprets and responds to this according to its programmed nature.

The virtual systems perceive, experience and interact within a context of systems in relation that impose upon their senses and create the impression of their existing a world out there.

Within this dynamic system theoretic context the systems interact and combine into higher level systems. These systems become more complex and refined through repeated adjustments to each other. Thus there eventually evolve complex systems that can be called organisms.

Some of these organisms develop complex internal feedback loops, or higher cognitive functions so that they experience the experience of experiencing. They also make associations between these experiences and others using an abstract system of symbols. Thus they come to know that they know that they know.

These sentient beings would arise as a population and they would evolve in a symbiotic relationship with an external ecosystem as well as an internal ecosystem of memes. The latter is their culture which would contain a broad spectrum of ideas about all kinds of experiences and inferences from experience.

With this culture they would have conceptual frameworks within which to begin to analyse and discuss the nature of their situation. They would seriously question "What am I?" and "What is this place?".

Given this context of intelligent beings in a virtual reality running on a computer, a number of questions arise.

What could they experience of their reality? Mainly the objects of the senses which combine to create the illusion of the virtual world. But if they turned within through meditation they could also experience an inner space of pure awareness as well.

What would an empirical perspective lead to? A belief in an objectively existing "world out there" that consists of objects in space and which exists independently of the observer. There would be concepts such as 'matter' and the idea that everything is "made of" matter, including themselves. Their own experience of consciousness would be surmised to be some unexplained result of the functioning of their material bodies.

What would a deeply subjective perspective lead to? A belief that consciousness is fundamental and that the "world out there" is just a construct of the objects of the senses. They would propose that there was a deeper level of reality that was not "made of" matter and which underlies the coming into being of all such things as 'matter'. In this deeper reality all the individual consciousnesses are unified, the universe is seen to be a field of consciousness and with consciousness they could participate in that field.

What would they conclude about their reality? What would logic demand? That depends upon one’s perspective. Whether one’s experiences were of the senses or of consciousness itself. The empiricists would conclude that the world was an objective construct made of matter and the transcendentalists would conclude that the world was an illusion of the senses that arises from a deeper world of spiritual dynamics.

There is no way of proving any of these perspectives; they both rely solely upon the voracity of outer or inner experience. The beings have no direct means of discerning the underlying computational context. They could discover it through meditation and inner unification with it or they could scientifically take the objective world mythology to its logical extreme by searching for the fundamental unit of existence, that magic stuff that just exists in space and behaves, but without any underlying or inner dynamics. This exploration would eventually breakdown and give rise to a theory of abstract non-local information processes such as quantum physics.

Ultimately they can only infer it and given that all knowledge is a tapestry of experiences and associations which are modified and built into new conceptual frameworks, they would have no direct means of comprehending the underlying dynamics. They could only adapt known concepts to analogically capture the strange new ideas. They would describe the unfamiliar computational space in terms of spiritual beings and other worlds or subtle dimensions, or perhaps wavefunctions and quanta, and so on.

They could also develop their own computing technology. That would provide a set of experiences and a language of associated concepts with which they could comprehend and analyse their deeper situation.

They could eventually build a computer that was running a virtual reality simulation inhabited by sentient beings that are contemplating their situation. Then they would have a model of their situation - an actual implementation rather than just descriptions in terms of cultural discourses and observable phenomena. Then they could really begin to explore the deeper foundations of their reality.

Computation but No Computer
I will here point out one possible stumbling block for some. This is the idea that a computer is a physical object that creates a computational space within which the virtual reality exists. When this is applied to the metaphysical context it implies that the computational space is the transcendent aspect of reality but beyond that there is a physical object that is the real foundation. Ideas such as a cosmic computer as an actual object in a world of its own, or of a God that is a being with a body in a world of its own, these ideas lead to confusion.

The assumption behind such ideas is that all processes have a physical foundation. Indeed that is how things seem to us when we experience our world. But one cannot take an idea from one paradigm and apply it to another; in this context one must remember that all objects are objects of the senses, these arise from underlying information processes. 

Thus when one constructs a physical computer one is taking the computational capacity of the cosmos, in the perceived form of electronic circuits, and this is woven into a configuration that makes that computational capacity available to us in a convenient way. When comprehended through the senses it seems that physical objects are being configured to create computation, but underlying this it is the cosmic information process that is being configured to channel computational capacity.

Just as when the virtual beings discussed above build their own computer, they perceive a physical computer but really it is the computational capacity of their virtual world that is being channelled to create another virtual-virtual world. This will become much clearer when we discuss the underlying information processes in detail later.

Computation doesn’t arise from physical computers; it is the fundamental essence of reality that underlies the existence of all the objects of perception. It is the animating pure awareness that underlies all perception, response and interaction. The computational space is the foundation of all virtual worlds and our world is a virtual construct within a computational space. This implies that the cosmic foundation, the ground of being, God or the Supreme Self is not an object in a world; it is not the computer, it is the formless computational space within which all worlds form. The whole has no other thus it cannot be perceived and experienced as an object, thus it has no outer form and it is pure inner awareness. The VR analogy indicates that everything that exists exists within the computational space.

Part 2: Information Systems and Mysticism

Modelling General Information Systems

So far we have described information systems a little but here we introduce a mathematical model of information systems. The basic methodology of System Matrix Notation (SMN) will be introduced. On the whole the mathematics is very simple although there are many conceptual subtleties. If one has no interest in the mathematics of system models one can just skim over the overtly mathematical portions but there is still a great deal of interesting discussion in this section. One will get a deeper and more complete understanding by comprehending the mathematics but this is not essential for understanding the general properties of systems or for understanding this book.

Only a basic outline of SMN will be introduced here, just enough to show that it is a coherent virtual-reality generative process for virtual worlds. For more information on extensions, finer details and examples see the website (www.anandavala.info).

Because information can manifest in any medium information processes can manifest in any medium, however not always with the same resolution. This is the general principle of modelling. For example, a plastic model airplane captures the basic observable properties of an actual airplane within the medium of plastic. In this way one information medium can be used to model information systems that exist in some other medium.

Mathematics is a highly flexible modelling medium. This is because it is itself an information process. It has an information space composed of numbers which are symbols for discernibly different quantities, e.g. the set of integers, the set of reals and the set of complex numbers. There are also operations on these numbers or relations between these symbols. The symbols and relations can be combined into equations and systems of equations. These program the information space, structuring its form and behaviour. SMN is one example of this.

Scientists have long pondered the fact that “mathematics is so unreasonably effective” in the physical sciences. Particles and numbers seem so different so how can mathematics mirror the physical universe so effectively? But as we have seen in this discussion, the physical universe is an information system that appears physical to us because we are immersed in it.

Mathematics is an information system and the study of mathematics is the science of general information and information processes. This is why domains of mathematics have proven so useful when analysing other information systems such as physics and the physical universe.

The fundamental substance of an information process is information. This includes representation and computation. First we address the issue of representation.

To represent something to infinite detail requires infinite information and to represent a value that is infinitely large requires infinite information, but an infinite amount of information would take an infinite amount of representational capacity and an infinite amount of time to compute unless one had infinite capacity; but in this infinite regime all finite well formed values lose their meaning. But we experience a world that is in all respects finite and well formed.

This indicates that the information medium has finite resolution and all quantities expressed within it are finite and discrete. There is a maximum possible value and a minimum possible non-zero value.

General relativity suggests finite dynamical quantities or existential parameters that are finite in value; e.g. the speed of light or the mass energy of an object. Quantum physics suggests discrete dynamical quantities such as a quantised energy spectrum, or quantised time and space.

Consider the cover image of this book. It illustrates a distance metric (Pythagoras’ theorem) within a finite discrete information space where the colours are a function of the distance from the centre. If the space had infinite resolution there would be only a radiating field of colour emanating from the centre and no other detail whatsoever. However the finite discrete constraints impose an order upon the space and create complex forms.

Finite resolution also constrains the recursion of systems within systems within systems. At some point the recursion bottoms-out leaving primitive systems. These are fundamentally simple systems that have a single state or observable and an internal causal process whereby that state can change in response to perceived external conditions.

These systems combine and interact to form all higher levels of systems formed out of systems and so on. As we will see, a complex system is an integrated collection of primitive systems, bound into a network of interactions. This system may also partake in a network of interactions and thereby participate in the formation of a higher level system.

To represent an information system we need an information medium that manifests discernable difference. In its most general form information is discernible difference, which may manifest in any medium. The discernible difference encodes the information and thereby represents it or symbolises it in some coherent manner.

Any information medium will suffice, so without loss of generality we can choose to use a finite discrete number line as an information medium. Hence different observable states are represented by different numbers.

This makes possible a mathematical analysis, primarily using algebra. Algebra and especially the sub domain of group theory are a complex and subtle science of the behaviour of information spaces. Given a set of states, such as the set of integers and a set of operations on those states, such as addition and multiplication, this forms a group. This mirrors the operation of a memory space and a CPU, where the computational operations effectively map one memory state into another. Here we will use matrix algebra because of the special properties of matrices.

Consider the above model of two systems. Let each element of the vector represent the state of a system. Now let each row of the matrix represent a perceptual interface for a particular system through which it can potentially perceive any other system. If the channel is closed then no information can flow and no perception of that observable can arise.

Furthermore, each column represents an output interface through which a system can respond to any other system.  Thus each element represents an output channel from one system that is the input channel for another system. The diagonal elements from the top-left to the bottom-right represent self interaction channels.

Each system is thus represented by a row, a column and a corresponding vector element.  The image below shows system A observing the states of systems A & B. Note that the first matrix row is the input interface for system A.

Every system has a row and a column, thus every system can potentially perceive and respond to every other system. Thus the matrix can represent arbitrary networks of causal connectivity between systems.

The information space has been structured into multiple systems, each with singular perspectives into a common network of systems. Each system has an observable form thus each system can be observed and can observe other systems.

The process of multiplying a square matrix with a vector implements this causal connectivity between systems. It draws the existential state of the vector through the information channels and produces a new vector.

Each element of a matrix row is paired with a corresponding element of the vector as shown above. Each pair is then multiplied and these are then summed into a single total that represents the new system state and also the new vector element.

A variation of this scheme is where a system’s state vector element (x) represents the intermediate state of that system and each element of the matrix consists of two terms, an output filter and an input filter (i.o). The observable state of the system is o.x and it can present different outputs to different channels by having different output filters down the associated matrix column. Outputs from other systems are perceived as i.o.x where o.x is the other systems output and i.o.x is that output after it has been filtered by the perceivers input filter. A system can perceive systems differently by having different input filters along its associated matrix row.

The matrix multiplication process may also be further generalized. In regards to the various pairs that are formed by matrix and vector elements, instead of multiplication, the matrix element can be any generalized function that takes the vector element as input. Furthermore, instead of all the pairwise results being summed into a single total, they can be operated on by any generalized function that takes them as input.

In this manner many causal networks or mappings between the current state and the new state are possible. Hence, many possible information processes are able to be represented. The generalized functions need not be mathematical functions, they could be any information process that made use of the input information and produced an output, such as computer code or hardware.

If the virtual systems are software modules these could be used to develop complex software systems. Utilising mathematical analysis and simulation methods this could provide a rigorous foundation for future software engineering (some such methods are discussed in detail on the website). If the virtual systems represent hardware then SMN can be a behind the scenes event manager that coordinates all the information logistics that animates and controls a physical system. In this sense SMN could form the basis of a general control system.

The vector represents the existential state of a system and the matrix represents the causal connectivity of the system. Multiplication causes the existential state to be transformed by the causal network into a new existential state. This represents a new instance of virtual existence, a new moment in time.

If the matrix is multiplied with the new vector another moment in time will arise. Thus as the matrix and vector are multiplied over many iterations, the existential state flows through the causal network and the virtual universe is animated into existence.

The existential state changes hence the observable forms or patterns of information change. Forms arise, interact and disperse. As the information flows, interactions occur and higher level systems manifest.

Each virtual system, via its causal programming, perceives, experiences and interacts with the world that it experiences from its particular perspective. At a transcendent level there is just a flow of information through a causal network but stepping into the virtual world, this flow underlies the perceptual/experiential dynamics that are occurring between systems. Thus the transcendent flow manifests empirical awareness.

Simple Classical Model
Let both the matrix and vector elements be distinct classical quantities. This can be thought of as a set of quantities with specific linear relations, such as simple equations of motion for a particle. For example, let the state vector contain the variables: position x, velocity v and force F for a single one dimensional particle. The following model is not a metaphysically accurate system model of a particle. It is just an example to show how the mathematics can simulate a simple system.

The causal matrix would be:

Thus producing the set of iterative equations:

Where setting a = F / m gives us the familiar equations of motion:

One can influence the particle through the state F, which imposes a force upon the particle that causes it to change its position and velocity. In the absence of external forces it travels with constant velocity. When the velocity is zero its position remains constant.

For a particle in three dimensions there are three positions, x, y and z, with corresponding velocities and forces, thus three matrices similar to the one shown above. These three matrices are merged into a single matrix that represents the state of the particle. If there are multiple particles there is a matrix for each particle; these are merged into a single matrix that represents the entire system. A force field such as gravity is implemented by a relation between the force experienced by each particle and the positions of the other particles. Thus the positions of particles influences the forces experienced by the particles and these forces change the positions of the particles.

This simple model is further illustrated by a particle simulation program called ParticleDraw that is downloadable on the website. With this program one can create systems of particles that interact via gravity and electromagnetism. One can interact with them in real-time and use them as dynamic paint brushes or even play pool with them.

Network of Reservoirs
Let the vector elements be distinct classical quantities and the matrix elements be proportions of flow (a measure of the openness of the channels, between 0 = closed and 1 = open). This can be thought of as a system of reservoirs that contain various volumes of fluid, which are interconnected by a network of pipes. The vector represents the volume in each reservoir, each matrix row represents the various flows into a particular reservoir and each matrix column represents the flows out of each reservoir.

A reservoir cannot emit more fluid than it contains so the proportions in each column (outflow) must sum to one. This indicates that all of the volume in the reservoir flows. However the self interaction channel (diagonal element) represents the flow that returns to the reservoir and is thereby retained.

For example:

Simple State Space or Quantum Model

Let the state vector be a probability distribution (quantum state) over the range of potential system states and let the matrix represent proportional flow. When a particular classical actuality is required the probability distribution can be collapsed randomly into just one of the possibilities. Thus the state vector values represent the probability of being actualized or the probability of existential instantiation.

For example, if we have two state variables a and b and each may exhibit the value 0 or 1 then there are two probability distributions that can be combined into a single compound probability distribution via a direct product as follows.

Here a0 is the probability that a = 0a1 is the probability that a = 1 and similarly for the variable b. The resulting compound state vector contains the probabilities of actualization for all possible states
ab = { 00, 01, 10, 11}.

Think of the potential system states as reservoirs where the fluid is probability. This probability flows through the causal network and thus the probabilities of the states changes over time. If the system is in one particular state, the probability then flows through the causal network thus making other states more probable and the system thereby evolves.

Above is a simple example of two quantum binary systems (qbits) that interact such that  a = a NAND b and  b = a XOR b (simple logical operations). See the document Finite Discrete Information Systems on the website for more detail on this matrix and how it was derived. However, exactly which relations are implemented is not important here. What is important is that each system state maps to another system state so the system can evolve.





a’ = a NAND b

b’ = a XOR b

















Above is the truth table for this simple system. Read the rows from left to right. If ab = 00 then the new state is  a’b’ = 10 and so on for the other three possible states. Below is a state transition diagram for this system.

Suppose one begins from a classical-like probability distribution such as [ 0, 0, 0, 1] where the system is definitely in the last state ( ab = 11 ). Then the next state is definitely ab = 00 or [ 1, 0, 0, 0 ]. However we may begin from a quantum state where there are multiple potential states. For example, [ 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.1 ]. This mixed state will evolve into another corresponding mixed state with each iteration of the matrix.

Permutation Space
In the above example there is a state space with a network of state transitions connecting them. Each state, such as 00 or 01 represents the particular state of a small but complete universe, and there are transition probabilities from one permutation to another. These define the topology of the cosmic state space. Each universal state can potentially transform into any other state. There is also a probability distribution describing the exact quantum state of the universe at the present moment. As the probability distribution evolves according to the topology of the state space, the quantum state of that universe evolves.

But that was a very simple system, only two binary variables. As the number and complexity of the systems increases the size of the permutation space increases exponentially. For example, for 100 8-bit systems there are 256100 potential state permutations. So the required matrix would contain 256200 elements. For a system on the order of complexity of this universe, the scale of the required matrix is astronomically cosmic. But it is definitely finite and therefore computable for a cosmic computational process.

The quantum permutation space approach is the most general form of SMN. Any system that has a finite number of states can theoretically be modelled using this method. This approach is very computationally intensive because it is so general, however the simpler variants of SMN provide more efficient methods for representing systems. These variants are not as flexible so they cannot be used for metaphysical analyses but they are very useful for engineering purposes.

Software and System Science
SMN is a model of a general information system thus it is also a model of general distributed computation. It is a general information processor that can structure, organise, distribute and transform information of all kinds in a massively parallel manner. SMN provides an abstract network of nodes and relations and it implements the dynamic causal connectivity within that network. This general structure can be imbued with any meaning that one can imagine, from system models, software, websites, concept maps and so on. Who knows what ingenious uses may be found over time.

This virtual space is structured according to the conceptual principles of system theory and could be represented as an interactive environment within which a user could visualise and interact with systems. It would provide a space within which to create systems and to develop an increasingly complex and powerful methodology of system engineering.

SMN can be efficiently implemented as a software application that provides one with a metaphysically coherent information space within which systems may exist and interact. These are artificial universes that we may interact with; technological extensions of our own universe. The algorithm takes the memory and processor of the computer and structures them into a virtual-reality generative process that reifies the concept of cyberspace as a tangible coherent space with a deep metaphysical structure. The algorithm can also be implemented directly in-silicon thus allowing for system simulation chips.

Furthermore, the parallels between SMN and quantum physics may indicate the way toward a method for the general programming of a quantum computer, thus allowing us to create fully interactive metaphysical spaces into which we could teleport quantum states, and eventually even ourselves thereby experiencing them as tangibly as we experience this 'physical' space.

This technology provides methods for the construction and analysis of complex dynamical systems that arise from deep system theoretic principles. With further development it could thereby transform the 'art' of software engineering into an exact science, thus allowing for the development of systems who's complexity was previously prohibitive.

Furthermore, by representing the entire system model within a single unified mathematical framework, this allows for advanced simulation and system analysis techniques to be developed (see website for details of some methods), thereby providing a coherent foundation for system science. And given that anything may be conceptualised as a system this may conceivably lead to a unified coherent metaphysical foundation for the whole of science and any conceptual frameworks that attempt to comprehend reality.

Earlier we discussed general information systems but then, without loss of generality, we restricted this to using numerical spaces and mathematical operations as the information space. Within that context we developed a mathematical model of a fully generalized information system. Any finitely representable system can be simulated with such a model.

But given that all information spaces are conceptually equivalent, the mathematical process just described has conceptual analogues in any information medium. It is conceivable that the virtual-reality generative process that manifests this universe has similar general principles to the mathematical model just described.

If we were in fact forms arising within such an information process, how would we know? The virtual world would be exactly as we currently perceive our world to be. We could only perceive the objects of our senses and the underlying information processes would be invisible. Could it be that we actually inhabit such a universe?

Metaphysics of Information Systems

Here we consider the metaphysics of a universe that has arisen from an underlying information process such as the one discussed above. Given a software implementation of SMN that manifests a virtual world, what do we actually have?

There is a memory space or a transcendent existential space; a field of discernable difference. There is a CPU or an active causal process; a stream of transcendent activity that operates on the transcendent existential space. These constitute a transcendent computational space.

Within this computational space there is an SMN-like simulation program. This is memory and computation structured into a dynamic virtual-reality generative process.

There is a model, which is a pattern of data in memory that also represents a virtual universe. The state vector represents the existential state of the universe (what is) and the matrix represents the causal state (what happens).

As the simulator functions the computation operates on the model thus causing the model to evolve. The model tells the information how to flow and the flow of information tells the model how to evolve. Thus the existential state of the virtual universe flows through the causal network and is transformed into another existential state. Thus each moment is created in succession and the virtual universe comes into existence.

Within this virtual context there exist many information systems that exhibit all of the empirical/subjective properties previously described in the section on the Information System Theoretic Paradigm.

Main Properties of Virtual Systems
They can manifest in any medium. They are entities that exist in a world. They have interfaces (sensors and actuators), they perceive signals (varying observable phenomena), they experience internal state changes (varying state of being) and they respond (vary their own observable phenomena). They cannot experience anything else but the world that appears to their senses. They experience external phenomena and also have internal experiential dynamics that produces these experiences. They experience solidity.

They experience observable phenomena and also the absence of observable phenomena; for example, sounds and the silences between sounds. This emptiness is the formlessness out of which all forms arise. This was discussed earlier in regards to what we call the vacuum. But earlier we considered it from an empirical perspective within the world but now we can also consider it from a transcendent perspective. The transcendent information process operates and the empirical world comes into being. This transcendent process is the formlessness that underlies the existence of all forms. The vacuum is the transcendent process as seen from within the virtual world. It seems to be an abstract membrane that separates the transcendent and empirical worlds. It is all that we can directly experience of the transcendent process.

Information systems only ever experience things in the present moment and they can record the past in memory and predict the future as expectation. They can only ever experience from their own perspective so they have a unique singular perspective on their world.

They interact with the objects of their perception and thereby participate in networks of interacting systems. They exhibit behaviours and thereby occupy roles in these networks. They are composed of networks of interacting sub-systems and they are themselves sub-systems in larger super-systems. They are both immersed and enmeshed in their world.

They have both form and behaviour, both outer observable form and inner dynamics. Their form only becomes apparent when perceived by a system from a particular perspective. Their basic inner awareness/computation allows them to perceive, experience, respond and thereby interact.

They can only ever know themselves; whether the objective world exists or not their knowledge of it relies solely on shared subjective experience. When comprehending the world of their senses they can only rely upon observed form and behaviour.

Due to their ongoing interaction, information flows between them, thus the holistic situation dynamically changes. These changes can be observed and the relations described but the situation is fundamentally driven by perceptual systemic dynamics rather than in accordance with any equations that simply describe the observed behaviour.

If one system experiences another system it manifests as an object of perception; only the outer observables are apparent and the inner awareness cannot be directly discerned. But each system has both outer observables and inner awareness.

When perceiving the outer form of other systems, they do so with finite resolution and from a particular perspective. If there is a tightly interacting network of systems that is being observed but the observer lacks the resolution to discern the distinct sub-systems, then that network is perceived and experienced as a single system. This is how super-systems form; the general process is referred to as a meta-system transition (MST).

Communication between classical systems occurs via propagating signals that are limited by the speed of light, thus relativistic effects arise, especially when the situation approaches the speed limit.

Their capacity for discernment is finite thus signals have finite resolution, i.e. a variation that is infinitesimally small cannot be discerned. Thus the signals and states are quantized, thus quantum effects arise, especially when the situation approaches the resolution limit.

The systems have quantum states (probability distributions) and these give rise to distinct classical existential states.

Free Will or Self Determinism
The models discussed earlier were all ergodic. This means that the relations between different states are constant and the matrix doesn’t change or evolve. In this context there is no room for any concept of free will.

But what is free will? Is it not the idea of an active agent that is not bound by any pre-defined programming of any kind? This idea arises from a cursory understanding of our own experience of our relation to the world, but how does it stand up to close scrutiny? Once we understand our own minds, particularly the subconscious and the instincts we realize that we have a nature of our own and our thoughts and actions arise from that. True free will would be an event without a cause; something completely outside the causal structure of the universe. Such a phenomenon has no place in an information system theoretic world-view.

However there are variants of SMN where the state of the matrix is a function of the state of the universe. But I won’t go into the mathematical details here, see the website for more information on this.

The systems act according to their inner nature but their inner nature evolves according to external conditions. Using this feedback loop systems may program their own behaviour to an extent.

It relates to the fact that any activity has two aspects, the active ‘process’ (or existential phenomenon) and the program (the data that defines the process). A process is determined by its program but the program may also be determined by the process, hence the process can be self-determined.

The empirical universe is still determined moment by moment but it is also self-determined rather than pre-determined. The moment by moment determinism leads to causal coherence and the self-determinism leads to the ability to both exercise one’s will and to decide ones will. Hence one can choose one’s state of being, hence one is able to determine one’s own conditions of experience; it is this that underlies the concept of free will. Thus a deterministic transcendent process creates a programmable existential space in which empirical systems may determine their own existential states. The entire context is itself deterministic but from the perspective of the empirical systems it is the case that they can exert free will – they can act upon their will, they can decide their will, they can decide on how to decide their will and so on. The existential context is completely self-programmable and there is no deterministic algorithm determining the nature of empirical existence.

Consider the scenario of a nation and its governance. All of its actions as a whole are determined by the nature of its context, the nature of matter, human nature, the nature of ecological systems and technological systems and bureaucratic systems and so on. But if it is a ‘free’ nation it can exercise self-determinism. For example, laws determine many of the societal processes but these laws are able to be changed and the process by which laws are changed can itself be changed and so on. Although the societal processes determine the nature of the society these processes are able to be determined by the society, hence it experiences freedom.

Consider the scenario of an individual addict. They may quit whenever they wish but the drug controls their will to some degree. Their internal decisions are driven by the addiction and in order to exert free will they need to re-program their will. They need to exercise self-determinism to overcome the determinism imposed by the drug. It is not a matter of a disembodied “free will” trapped within a deterministic body; the entire situation can be re-programmed.

Two Worlds
Information systems do not only exchange information and process information, in fact they ARE information. Systems are persistent patterns of information within a computational space, which is their common
universe. Thus systems communicate by exchanging systems through systems, they are all made of systems and they form systems; and all of this is patterns of information flowing within a computational space.

IST implies that the ultimate theatre of reality is a computational space and the basic substance of reality is information. SMN is a methodology that describes the virtual-reality generative algorithm that structures the computational space and allows it to generate coherent virtual worlds.

 So to recap on the metaphysical scenario implied by SMN and IST; there is a computational space, a virtual-reality generative process, information flows, a virtual universe exists, singular systems experience subjective worlds, they perceive each other and interact, these interactions drive the dynamics of the universe and through communication of subjective experiences the systems may develop an idea of an objective ‘physical’ universe (although the real objective universe is an information process).

This general metaphysical scenario implies two fundamental realms of existence – the computational space and the virtual space.  These are also referred to as the transcendent and empirical spaces. Transcendent implies that it is beyond the realm of direct experience and empirical implies that it is a construct of direct experience. In these definitions the experiencer is a virtual system; a virtual system can only experience the virtual space so that is the empirical space. Thus the information processes occurring in the transcendent space manifest the empirical space.

The computational space is the more fundamental one, by its coherent functioning the virtual space arises and is sustained in each moment of its existence. Any form that manifests in the virtual space has a corresponding form within the computational model and any interaction that occurs within the virtual space has a corresponding flow of information through the computational process. Thus nothing can exist or happen within the virtual space unless it also exists and happens in the computational space.

The two spaces are intimately connected but there is also a fundamental separation as well. Virtual systems cannot directly discern the transcendent aspect of their reality and they cannot discern the ultimate source of their reality; the cosmic transcendent process. This places a fundamental limit on the scope of direct experience and thereby empirical knowledge.

For example, a character in a computer game experiences the game world, but they cannot directly discern the computational nature of that world since it appears to them to be composed of characters, places, objects and events, these are the objects of perception.

Furthermore the character cannot directly discern the outer nature of the computer and thereby know it as an object. If the computer is picked up and moved around the game character cannot discern this at all. There is a separation of information spaces. Similar to how a character in a book may have many experiences but they cannot experience a cup of coffee being spilt over the very book in which their character exists. The book exists in transcendent space and the character exists in empirical space.

The example of the computer game and book indicate that these transcendent and empirical spaces can be nested one within the other. A computer game is an example of empirical forms (computer and program) acting so that they form a transcendent context for sub-empirical forms (systems within the game world). These worlds within worlds can be nested to any depth, however the computational stream becomes attenuated at each step.

The two spaces are really just two different perspectives on the one information process. However due to the nature of representation one can focus on the symbol or the meaning. If one focuses on the symbol alone there is a flow of information through a computational space, but if one focuses on the meaning then there is a virtual world in existence. This is a general property of all information systems, for example, consider a novel. On the transcendent level it is a pile of ink stained paper but when a human reader decodes the symbols and animates them with their imagination there arises an empirical world of people, places, objects and events.

In this dual context a virtual system’s form is a pattern (data) within a transcendent existential space (memory) and its awareness is the computational stream or primal consciousness (CPU), which is directed by the virtual-reality generative process into the virtual space through a particular empirical perspective.

Regarding the question of what is real and what exists, the virtual world does definitely exist in some sense but not in the same way that the computational space exists. The virtual world is ephemeral. If you stop reading a novel the story world disappears but the book still exists, or if you stop playing a computer game the game world disappears but the computer still exists.

Parallels with the Mystic Paradigm

There is a thick halo of popular confusion surrounding mystic or spiritual topics. It is a contentious issue for some and is the focus of a great deal of fervent belief by others. For many the term mysticism is associated with incredulity and naïve belief in what are essentially fairy-tales. That is not the style of mysticism that we are discussing here.

The mystic paradigm is markedly different to the common sense paradigm. A paradigm is a complete, self-consistent world view. It assigns meanings and implies relations between things. It dictates what is believed to be possible and impossible. It influences all of one’s perceptions, interpretations and experiences. It guides one’s actions. It structures and organizes one’s world into a coherent and meaningful place.

A paradigm defines the range of what is believed to be possible and the information system paradigm allows for a much broader range of possibilities. Consider a computer game for example. Within the virtual world there are characters, places, objects and events that all interrelate via mechanistic processes (physical principles). These constitute the scope of the common-sense world-view. However underlying this mechanistic context there is a computational context in which pure information can flow and interactions can occur. These transcendent processes occur behind the world but may still cast empirical shadows within the world. Thus systems can interact in ways and produce effects in the world that seem miraculous to the common-sense mechanistic world-view.

It is not easy to comprehend one paradigm from the perspective of another. To really comprehend another paradigm one must undergo a paradigm shift. One must conceptually move across to another perspective and experience things from there. The nature of a paradigm shift alters the very ground of what we consider to be irrational, what we consider a belief as opposed to a fact, what is considered normal and what constitutes a sensible extension or inference.

The principle conceptual difference between the mystic and common-sense paradigms is that mysticism proposes a deeper reality that is the foundation for the world of form. Whereas common-sense accepts that the world of form is all there is and that the real nature of the world is the same as the appearance of the world.

Mysticism is a science of the transcendent reality. It comprehends the mysterious formless world that underlies the world of form. Whereas the common-sense paradigm is predominantly materialist the mystic paradigm is information system theoretic. I say this because the conceptual structure of the mystic paradigm parallels the information system paradigm.

Although mystics have used very different analogies than information theory and system theory, in all fundamental respects they are talking about the same kinds of phenomena. The countless empirical analogies involving people, places, objects and events are analogies that subtly direct our minds to transcendent phenomena that common language cannot directly refer to.

Following are some quotes from various sources that indicate some of the parallels between the mystic paradigm and the information system paradigm.

From chapter 13 of the Bhagavadgita an ancient Vedic text that underlies the philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism. (“The Bhagavadgita”, trans: Prof V. Nabar and Prof S. Tumkur, Wordsworth Classics, 1997).

This very body... is called the ksetra [field or information space], and he who knows it is called the ksetrajna [the knower of the field or the computational process]... Know that I am the ksetrajna in all ksetras... I hold that, knowledge of the field and of its knower is true knowledge.

... who its knower is and what his powers, I shall explain briefly.

I will tell you what is to be known... [the ultimate goal of knowledge] It is the Supreme Brahman [the transcendent process], without beginning, said to be neither imperishable nor perishable... He pervades everything, abiding in it...He gives the impression of having the qualities of the senses, yet is without the senses ['information' depends upon perception but transcendent computation precedes empirical perception]. Though unattached [not believing in the world illusion], He still supports everything [It is analogous to the computer that sustains a simulation]. Void of qualities, He enjoys them nevertheless. He is outside and within all things. He is immoveable and yet moveable. Subtle, He is incapable of being known [occupies a different information space]. Far away, He is still near. Undivided, he is still broken up among all things [transcendent computation is One at its source but distributed throughout the empirical simulation]. He must be realised as one who, supporting all things, destroys them and refashions them again. He is said to be the Radiance among radiances, beyond darkness, Knowledge, the object of knowledge, and that which can be known only through knowledge [cannot be perceived but only inferred]. He is seated in the hearts of everyone [transcendent computation is the inner essence of all things].

Know that prakriti [nature, mechanical existence, causality, outer aspect] and purusha [soul, consciousness, will, inner aspect] are both without beginning [prakriti is the representational aspect of information and purusha is the computational aspect]. Know also that all forms and constituents arise from prakriti [the base information medium is the ultimate foundation; it is pure semantic representation (prakriti), which underlies the potential for existence. Purusha or computation then animates this and together they combine to form ever higher levels of creation]. Prakriti (nature) is said to be the cause behind the act, its instrument and its doer, while purusha (soul) is said to be the cause behind the experience of pleasure and pain. When purusha is positioned in prakriti, it enjoys the constituents born of prakriti [immersion in the perceptual stream, identification with the information stream, partaking in the simulation through the suspension of disbelief and thereby experiencing the phenomenal world or the 'virtual' reality]. This marriage with the constituents is instrumental in its taking birth in good and bad wombs [empirical manifestation or samsara].

This Being [the simulator or virtual-reality generative process that operates within the transcendent context] who, close to prakriti, witnesses its constituents, consents to them, adds to them, and experiences them, is termed the Great Lord, the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Purusha [the 'Supreme' computational process] which dwells in the body [transcendent context].

Whatever is born, moveable [empirical forms] or immoveable [transcendent processes], comes into being through the union of the ksetra and the ksetrajna [computation within an information space produces the simulator and simulation, which produces empirical forms].

He who sees the Supreme Lord [transcendent process], who is present equally in all creatures [simulated systems manifested by the transcendent process], who is not destroyed even when they are, he may be said to have truly perceived. Perceiving the Lord as equally pervading everywhere, he does not let his self-sense [empirical egoic delusion] destroy his true Self [awareness of ones transcendent nature] and, in that way, he attains a state of excellence [true understanding and alignment with reality]. He who perceives that all aspects of actions are performed only through prakriti [everything is information and we are dynamical patterns of information] and also that the self is a non-doer [universal consciousness is the doer], he may be said to have truly perceived. On perceiving that the multifarious aspect of things is located in one point [the transcendent process], from where it extends severally, he attains the Brahman.

Without beginning, devoid of qualities, the Supreme Self, imperishable, though stationed in the body, neither acts nor is touched in any way [separation of information spaces]... Just as ether, pervading everything, is unsmeared on account of its rarefied nature, in the same way the Self, present in everybody, is not besmirched. [a computer cannot be defiled by a program that is run on it]

Just as the Sun, alone, lights up this entire world, so also does the Keeper of the field light up this entire field... those who in this way, through the eye of wisdom, perceive the difference between the field and the one who knows it [between simulation and the simulator], and the manner of release of all beings from prakriti [overcoming the objective world illusion through detachment and transcendent knowledge], they obtain the Supreme.

From Chapter 9 of the Bhagavadgita:

I have pervaded this universe through My imperceptible form. All created things are in Me but I am not in them... However, these created beings do not abide in Me. Behold this, My Divine Yoga. My spirit, which created these beings, is embodied in them but not in them... Just as the great wind [ether], blowing everywhere, is forever contained in space, likewise are all created beings in Me. Know this. [this is hinting that 'simulation' is the manner of the manifestation of the empirical context, it is not contained within God in a simple physical manner]

All created things are absorbed into My prakriti [transcendent nature, the metaphorical cosmic computer itself] at the end of a kalpa [one complete cycle of transcendent creation] and, when a kalpa begins, I recreate them... Seizing hold of My own prakriti, I fashion again and again this great number of beings which is helpless, being subject to prakriti [they cannot but act out their nature]... since I exist as if indifferent, unattached to My action, these actions do not bind Me [God does not fall for the illusion so there is no karma]... Under My direction, prakriti creates the moveable and immovable universe [the base information medium is structured and animated so as to manifest an empirical universe].

I am all that makes holy or which can be known... the ultimate state, the supporter, the lord, the witness, the dwelling, the refuge, the friend, the origin, the destruction, the existence, the place of repose and "the imperishable seed"... I am immortality as well as death, the imperishable and perishable too... I am the beneficiary and lord of all sacrifices... I am the same towards all creatures. To me no one is unliked or dear. But I am embodied in those who worship Me with devotion [focus their mind beyond the illusion of the senses and into the underlying transcendent processes], and they in Me.”

From Chapter 7 of the Bhagavadgita:

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, reason and sense of self [empirical identity]: these are the eight divisions of My nature... This nature is of a lower order [empirical or virtual nature]... know that there exists besides, My other superior nature [transcendent or computational nature], which is the essence by which the world is maintained... Realise that all created beings take birth in both these [the virtual space is a projection of the computational space]. I am the origin of this cosmos and also its end... there is nothing else higher than Me. Like a row of beads strung together, so is all which is here strung on Me...

I am the life in all living beings... know Me as the eternal seed in all created things, I am the intelligence of the intelligent, and the magnificence of the magnificent... I am the strength of all the strong...

Those without wisdom regard Me, who am imperceptible, as being perceptible, failing to realise my superior, supreme, immutable form [they think of God as an empirical being that exists in space and time] ... Being enveloped in My mysterious power (Yoga-Maya) [simulation], I am not manifest to all. The ignorant do not realise that I am unborn and immutable... I know all created beings in the past and present... and those that will be, but no one knows Me... All creatures in the world are immersed in ignorance... the result of the delusion caused by the dualities arising from desire and hate [attachment leading to immersion in the world illusion] ... But the virtuous, whose sin [delusion and denial of Truth] has ended, escape from the ignorance caused by the dualities... those who realise me as existing in the physical plane, the divine planes, and also in what concerns sacrifices, have a mind which is focussed and know Me even at the time of death.”

From the Upanishads, which are a collection of ancient Vedic texts. {{refference}}

Beyond the senses there are objects [phenomenal world or empirical context], beyond the objects there is the mind [the suspension of disbelief that binds us into the empirical space], beyond the mind there is the intellect [empirical computation or causal flow]. The Great Self [Simulator] is beyond the intellect. Beyond the Great Self there is the unmanifest [transcendent context], beyond the unmanifest there is purusha [cosmic Person, the spirit, the transcendent process]. Beyond the spirit there is nothing – that is the goal, end of the journey.” (Katha Upanishad 1:3:10-11)

What is that through which, if it is known, everything else becomes known?...

That which cannot be seen, nor seized, which belongs to neither this social order nor that, which has no eyes nor ears, no hands nor feet; the eternal, the all-pervading, the infinitesimal, the imperishable, that it is which the wise regard as the source of all that exists...

The brahman [the transcendent context] expands (manifests itself) by means of concentration [self-referential computation leading to simulation]; hence is produced matter; from matter life, mind, the intellect, and the seven worlds. And from the works performed in the worlds follow the endless chain of effects of the works [empirical dynamics].

From him who perceives all [the transcendent process] and who knows all, whose concentration is filled by knowledge, from him is born that first manifest brahman (Hiranyagarbha or the Golden Egg) [the Simulator], the name, the form, and the matter [the empirical context].” (Mundaka Upanishad 1:1:3-9)

The sages, in meditation and through concentration, have pierced through the cover [world illusion or Maya] to see that great power [computation] belonging to that one himself [transcendent process], what is hidden in its own qualities [gunas, the veil of simulation]. Being one, he superintends all the causes, time, self, and the rest.

We meditate on him [empirical context, the universe] who (like a wheel) has one felly (single first cause) with three tiers (the three gunas) [sattwa (being), rajas (dynamism), tamas (inertia)], sixteen ends (components of empirical existence), fifty spokes (five kinds of misconceptions and ignorance, twenty eight kinds of disabilities, nine inversions of satisfaction and eight inversions of perfection; all of which combine to sustain the world illusion), with twenty counter spokes (five sense organs, five organs of action and ten corresponding objects of both) [all of which combine to bind one into the world illusion], and six sets of eight (primordial nature, physical substances, powers of expression and of action, classes of divinities (or fundamental cosmic entities) and the virtues (or paths of proper conduct)); whose one rope is manifold (desire), which proceeds on three different courses (righteousness, unrighteousness and knowledge), and whose illusion (ignorance of the nature of the Self) arises from two causes (virtuous and sinful action) [both good and bad karma bind one to samsara].

We meditate on the river (phenomenal world) [empirical context] whose waters consist of the five streams (sense organs), which is wild and winding with its five springs, whose waves are the five vital breaths (pranas), whose fountain head is the mind, and whose course consists of the five kinds of perceptions. It has five whirlpools (objects of the five senses), its rapids are the five pains (being in the womb, being born, being ill, growing old and dying), it has fifty kinds of obstacles and five branches (ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and fear of death).

In that vast brahma-wheel [phenomenal world], in which all things live and rest, the bird [jiva, individual self or empirical egoic individual] flutters about, so long as one thinks that the self is different from the mover [illusion of isolated empirical being]. When blessed by Him, then he gains immortality [realisation of ones transcendent being].” (Shvetashvatara Upanishad, 1:3-6)

beyond all the elements, and all the letters. There is no commerce with It [transcendent process]. It brings all distinctions and developments to end; as such it is utterly unavailing. It is only peace, repose and oneness.” (Mandukya Upanishad 12)

That which is the subtle essence, in it is the self of all that exists. It is the True. It is the Self, and thou ... art it.” (Chandogya Upanishad 4:10:1-3)

From the Tao Te Ching, which is an ancient Taoist text. (“Tao Te Ching”, trans D. C. Lau, Penguin Classics, 1963)

The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way
[the nature of reality is non-empirical](1)

The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;”(2)

The myriad creatures rise from it yet it claims no authority;
It gives them life yet claims no possession;
It benefits them yet exacts no gratitude;
It accomplishes its task yet lays claim to no merit
[this is pure existence without any egoic corruption](7)

The way is empty, yet use will not drain it.
Deep, it is like the ancestor of the myriad creatures.
[the nature of reality is not material, it is empty in that sense, but its use is inexhaustible](11)

Darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there.
I know not whose son it is.
It images the forefather of God.”(13)

Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs; ... [honoured as an offering then discarded and trampled on, we are not ontological beings with innate rights, we are patterns of information](14)

Is not the space between heaven and earth [the simulator] like a bellows?
It is empty without being exhausted:
[it is a dynamical creative information space]
The more it works the more comes out.
[heaven is the computational context and earth is the empirical context, which arises from the former via 'simulation' which manifests all the myriad creatures.](15)

The spirit of the valley never dies. [computation, the ability to 'channel']
This is called the mysterious female.
[the primal existential potential]
The gateway of the mysterious female
Is called the root of heaven and earth.
Dimly visible, it seems as if it were there,
Yet use will never drain it.
[This refers to the plenum of potentiality that is the transcendent computational space. It is forever yielding to the demands of the simulation, it is the root of heaven and earth](17)

It gives them life and rears them.
It gives them life yet claims no possession;
It benefits them yet exacts no gratitude;
It is the steward yet exercises no authority.
Such is called the mysterious virtue.
[it manifests the entire cosmos but it doesn't act as an entity 'within' the world, it is the inner essence 'of' the world](25-6)

Its upper part is not dazzling;
Its lower part is not obscure.
Dimly visible, it cannot be named
And returns to that which is without substance.
This is called the shape that has no shape,
[like a 3D computer model]
The image that is without substance.
[like a computer image]
This is called indistinct and shadowy.”(33)

The best of all rulers is but a shadowy presence to his subjects. [the way is the most shadowy ruler, it is intangible but it causally manifest everything that is and happens, it is the ultimate ruler, not an ego driven empirical ruler](39)

When his task is accomplished and his work done
The people all say, 'It happened to us naturally.'”(41)

As a thing the way is
Shadowy, indistinct.
Indistinct and shadowy,
[information theoretic rather than physical]
Yet within it is an image;
Shadowy and indistinct,
[virtual world]
Yet within it is a substance.
Dim and dark,
[not matter but energy]
Yet within it is an essence.
This essence is quite genuine
[ontologically exists unlike empirical forms]
And within it is something that can be tested.
[i.e. amenable to perception and experience, thus giving rise to transcendent representation and empirical appearance](49)

There is a thing confusedly formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
Silent and void
It stands alone and does not change,
Goes round and does not weary.
It is capable of being the mother of the world.
I know not its name
So I style it 'the way'.”(56)

Man models himself on earth, [we conceive of ourselves as material beings]
Earth on heaven,
[the simulation is produced by the simulator]
Heaven on the way,
[the simulator is a program in the computational space]
And the way on that which is naturally so.
[the computational space is naturally self-existent](58)

The way in its passage through the mouth is without flavour.
It cannot be seen,
[computation is the 'seeing' within sight]
It cannot be heard,
Yet it cannot be exhausted by use.
[it is not a physical substance that is diminished by use, it is information](78)

Of old, these came to be in possession of the One:
Heaven in virtue of the One is limpid;
[yielding, providing]
Earth in virtue of the One is settled;
[dynamic equilibrium]
Gods in virtue of the One have their potencies;
[transcendent operations]
The valley in virtue of the One is full;
The myriad creatures in virtue of the One are alive;
[dynamical existence]
Lords and princes in virtue of the One become leaders in the empire
[empirical power stems from transcendent power].
It is the One that makes these what they are.”(85)

The myriad creatures carry on their backs the yin [outer aspect, being, matter, representation] and embrace with their arms the yang [inner aspect, doing, mind, computation] and are the blending of the generative forces of the two.”(94)

From the Book of Concealed Mystery, which is an ancient Kabbalist text that underlies the philosophical systems of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. ("Kabbalah Unveiled", trans S.L. MacGreggor Mathers from the Latin, published by Weiser, 1993).

"The Book of Concealed Mystery" is the book of the equilibrium of balance.

For before there was equilibrium, countenance beheld not countenance.
[no computation so no perception]

And the kings of ancient time were dead, and their crowns were found no more; and the earth was desolate.
[the disordered computations are ended, the computational data structures and functions are gone (the kings are dead, see Greater Holy Assembly below), even the prior class hierarchy is destroyed, it’s not just the instantiations or particular kings, their crowns too are found no more](BCM 1-3)

This equilibrium hangeth in that region which is negatively existent in the Ancient One. [potentiality as opposed to actuality, quantum/classical]

Thus were those powers equiponderated which were not yet in perceptible existence.
[computation has not yet given rise to simulation so nothing is perceptible since there are no perceivers and no perceptual process]

In His form ... existeth the equilibrium
[computational stream]: it is incomprehensible, it is unseen.” (BCM 5-7)

... the kingdom of the restored world [this simulation run] was formed from the kingdom of the destroyed world... [the kingdom of the destroyed world is that of unbalanced force, unstructured computation, chaos](BCM 19)

It was formless and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep, [prior to the simulation] and the Spirit of the Elohim vibrating upon the face of the waters [pure computational potential (spirit) combining with representational potential (the waters)](BCM 20)

But there are excavations of excavations. (The excavation is the receptacle, like that which is hollowed out, or carved out, like a cave... [the excavations are dynamical information spaces or worlds within worlds]

"And the Elohim said let there be light, and there was light [perception leading to empirical dynamics, or animation] ... since He Himself spake, and it was done.” (BCM 31)

Like as it is written: "And the Elohim saw the substance of the light, that it was good."” (BCM 34)

Microprosopus [simulator] was at first alone ( ... separated from his bride [the simulation world]). But all things returned into the unity. (... Microprosopus returned to his bride [the simulator starts and the simulation begins](BCM 35)

From The Greater Holy Assembly, which is another ancient Kabbalist text. ("Kabbalah Unveiled", trans S.L. MacGreggor Mathers from the Latin, published by Weiser, 1993).

... the Arcanum of the Arcana is what men can neither know nor comprehend, nor can they apply their rules of science to it. [the ultimate Source is unknowable](GHA 29)

It is said that before the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, the Concealed One of the Concealed Ones, instituted the formation of the King (under certain members and paths of Micropsrosopus) [the simulator] and the diadems of the diadems (that is, the varied coverings whereby the superfluity of the Lights is circumscribed) [the data structures and functions that harness the representational and computational capacity of the computational space]; beginning and end existed not (that is there was neither communication nor reception) [prior to the operation of the computational space and the manifestation of the cosmos there is no computation so there can be no existence and no change](GHA 30)

Therefore He carved out (that is, hollowed out a space by which he might flow in) [the transcendent computational space through which transcendent information flows] and instituted proportions in Himself (in as many ways as the Lights of His Understanding could be received, whence arose the paths of the worlds), [the proportions are the finite discrete data types] and spread out before Him a certain veil (that is, produced a certain nature, by which His infinite Light could be modified, which was the first Adam); [this is like the foundational 'program' in the computational space, its "operating system"] and therein carved out and distributed the kings and their forms by a certain proportion (that is all creatures under a condition of proper activity; by which He Himself might be known and loved); [the various data structures and functions that combine to manifest the simulator] but they did not subsist... [once the simulator begins functioning the data structures no longer reign, it is the simulator that is the new king](GHA 31)

That is the same thing which is said, Gen xxxvi. 29: "And these are the kings which reigned in the land of Edom, before that there reigned a king over the children of Israel." [the king  is the simulator,  the land of Israel is the simulation world and the children are empirical forms or systems](GHA 32)

The land of Edom “is the place where all judgements are found [the computational space]” (GHA 984)

The Keeper of Israel [simulator] neither slumbereth nor sleepeth.” (LHA 114)

as it is written Exod. iv. 22 "Israel is my first-born son." [the first fully manifest creation of God and also a likeness of God, implying fractal multi-levelled self-similarity](LHA 296)

From The Lesser Holy Assembly, which is another ancient Kabbalist text. ("Kabbalah Unveiled", trans S.L. MacGreggor Mathers from the Latin, published by Weiser, 1993).

God, the most Holy One ... is called the Living One.” (LHA 23)

He hath been formed, and yet as it were He hath not been formed. He hath been conformed, so that He may sustain all things; yet is He not formed, seeing that He is not discovered. [no outer aspect so "He" is not an object in any world but is the origin of all worlds, and "He" has a definite form like a finite state automata that sustains or simulates all things. There are definite information theoretic constraints.](LHA 42)

He is that highest Light concealed with all concealments and He is not found ["He" is the hidden source of the simulation or projection, i.e. a computer game character cannot perceive the computational stream that sustains their universe](LHA 46)

[In this text they develop a detailed analogy of the transcendent origin of reality as a head, implying a consciousness.]

... since this Head is the supreme of all the supernals, hence He is only symbolised as a head alone without body, for the purpose of establishing all things. [the transcendent process is an information process, it does not exist in an external world and has no need of a body or outer aspect. Everything exists 'within'.](LHA 169)

The Supreme Head is that which is not known, nor comprehended, nor designated, and that (Head) comprehendeth all things.” (LHA 179)

The skull of the White Head hath not beginning, but its end is the convexity of its joining together, which is extended, and shineth.

... From this convexity of the joining together of this White Skull daily distileth a dew into Microprosopus, into that space which is called Heaven...
[representation and iteration combine to produce the transcendent computational space and the simulator]

And His head is filled with that dew...

and in that Skull is the Supernal Wisdom concealed, who is found and who is not found.
[transcendent information that defines all empirical existence, the model](LHA 51-3)

... from Him are all the Lights illuminated...["He" animates all simulated forms and phenomena](LHA 75)

He the most Holy Ancient One is found to have three heads, which are contained in the one Head.[triune nature](LHA 78)

The conformation of Him, the Most Holy Ancient One, is instituted through one form, which is the ideal Syntagma of all forms.[the finite state automata process as modelled by SMN]

The same is the Concealed Supernal Wisdom...

And this is called ODN, Eden, or the supernal Paradise, concealed with all occultations.

And it is the Brain of the Most Holy Ancient one, and that Brain is expanded on every side.

Therefore is it extended into Eden, or another Paradise,
[there is a superior and inferior Paradise, the transcendent and empirical existential contexts] and from this is Eden or Paradise formed forth.[the empirical world is thereby simulated and brought into being](LHA 103-7)

Unto the Ancient One pertain all the Superiors [transcendent aspects], and unto Microprosopus [the simulator within the computational space or the first Adam within the supernal Eden] the Inferiors. [empirical aspects](LHA 126)

... the Name of the Ancient One [the essence or synthesis of its power, i.e. computation] is concealed in all things, neither is it found.

But those letters which depend from the Ancient One,
[empirical forms] so that they may be established, are all inferiors...

And therefore is the Holy Name
[computational essence] alike concealed and manifest.

For that which is concealed
[the inner aspect of all things] pertaineth unto the Most Holy Ancient One, the Concealed in all things. [i.e the cosmic computational process IS the inner computational essence within all simulated forms]

But that, indeed, which is manifested, because it dependeth, belongeth to Microprosopus
[simulated forms]...

And therefore do all the blessings
[aspects of manifest existence] require both concealment and manifestation. [both inner and outer, or inner causal essence and outer objective appearance, or transformation and representation](LHA 128-33)

The place of commencement is found from the Most Holy Ancient One, and it is illuminated by the Influence. That is the Light of Wisdom.

And it is extended in thirty-two directions,
[the 10 numbers and 22 letters in Hebrew, this implies idiomatic permutation, symbolic representation and also the Tree of Life] and departeth from that hidden brain, from that Light which existeth in Itself.” (LHA 183-4)

... this Wisdom instituteth a formation and produceth a certain river which floweth down and goeth forth to water the garden.

And it entereth into the head of Microprosopus, and formeth a certain other brain
[the simulation itself]

Thence it is extended and floweth forth into the whole body,
[material existence] and watereth all those plants (of the garden of Eden).

This is that which standeth written, Gen ii.9: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden &c"” (LHA 188-91)

All things depend mutually from Himself, and mutually are bound together unto Himself ... all things are one ... the Ancient One, is all things, neither from Him can anything whatsoever be separated.” (LHA 199)

... that river that floweth on and goeth forth is called the World, [experiential stream producing an experiential existential context] which is ever to come and ceaseth never.” (LHA 245)

... all the lights which shine from the Supreme Light [individual consciousness], the Most Concealed of All, are all paths (leading) toward that Light.” (LHA 349)

And all those lights adhere mutually together... [consciousness is One]

And they shine mutually into each other, neither are they divided separately from each other.” (LHA 351-2)

From the Bible:

I [simulator] came forth from the mouth of the Most High
and I covered the earth like mist.
I had my tent in the heights,
and my throne in a pillar of cloud.
Alone I encircle the vault of the sky,
and I walk on the bottom of the deeps.
Over the waves of the sea and over the whole earth,
and over every people and nation I have held sway
From eternity, in the beginning, he created me,
and from eternity I shall remain.
Approach me, you who desire me,
and take your fill of my fruits.” (Bible, Sirach. 24:5-6, 9, 26)

[Wisdom] pervades and permeates all things...
[She is] a breath of the power of God [and] a reflection of the eternal light,
untarnished mirror of God's active power, image of his goodness...
Although alone, she can do all;
herself unchanging, she makes all things new.” (Bible, Wisdom 7:24-26)

In Christ were created all things in heaven and earth: everything visible and invisible... Before anything was created, Christ existed, and Christ holds all things in unity.” (Bible, Colossians 1:15-17)

Yahweh created me when his purpose first unfolded,
before the oldest of his works.
From everlasting I was firmly set,
from the beginning, before earth came into being.
The deep was not, when I was born,
there were no springs to gush with water
Before the mountains were settled,
before the hills, I came to birth;
before he made the earth, the countryside,
or the first grains of the world's dust.
When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there” (Bible, Proverbs. 8:22-26)

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
This Word was with God in the beginning.
Through it all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through it.
All that came to be had life in it
and that life was the light of the people,
a light that shines in the dark
a light that darkness could not overpower.
But to all who did accept this Word
it gave the power to become children of God” (Bible, John. 1:1-5,12)

The spirit of the Lord, indeed, fills the whole world, and that which holds all things together knows every word that is said.” (Bible, Wisdom, 1:7)

The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” (Bible, Zechariah, 12:1)

[Disciples ask] Tell us when the kingdom of God is to come? [Jesus replies] Do not look here or there. For the kingdom of God is among you.” (Bible, Luke 17:20-21)

[Wisdom] deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things for good.” (Bible, Wisdom 8:1)

{{sermon on the mount}}

From various mystics throughout western history. From the book ("The Coming of the Cosmic Christ", by Mathew Fox, Harper & Row, 1988).

I have often said God is creating this entire world full and entire in this present now... There where time never penetrates, where no image shines in, in the innermost and highest aspect of the soul God creates the entire cosmos.” (Meister Eckhart)

The whole world... [is] a certain representation of the divine wisdom conceived within the mind of the Father.” (Thomas Aquinas)

The absolute, Divine Mind, is all that is in everything that is... Divinity is the enfolding and unfolding of everything that is. Divinity is in all things in such a way that all things are in divinity... There is only one mirror without flaw: the Divine, in whom what is revealed is received as it is. For this mirror is not essentially different from any existing thing. Rather in every existing thing it is that which is: it is the universal form of being.” (Nicholas of Cusa)

God loves all creatures as God... God enjoys all creatures, not as creatures, but enjoys the creatures as God. In the same enjoyment in which God enjoys the Godself, God enjoys all things.” (Meister Eckhart)

Wisdom is eternal, for it precedes every beginning and all created reality... [It is] everywhere... in every tasteable thing... burning in all things... the animating power of things... [Wisdom] tastes us. And there is nothing more delicious to comprehend.” (Nicholas of Cusa)

Its source I do not know because it has none.
And yet from this, I know, all sources come,
Although by night.

I know that no created thing could be so fair
And that both earth and heaven drink from there,
Although by night.

Its radiance is never clouded and in this
I know that all light has its genesis,
Although by night.

The current welling from this fountain's source
I know to be as mighty as its force,
Although by night.” (John of the Cross)

The being of things is itself their light and the measure of the being of a thing is the measure of its light.” (Thomas Aquinas)

Everything is full and pure at its source and precisely there, not outside.” (Meister Eckhart)

See! I am God. See! I am in everything. See! I never lift my hands from my works, nor will I ever. See! I lead everything toward the purpose for which I ordained it, without beginning, by the same Power, Wisdom and Love by which I created it. How could anything be amiss?” (Julian of Norwich)

I who am the Ancient of Days, do declare that I am the day by myself alone. I am the day that does not shine by the sun; rather by me the sun is ignited... I have created mirrors in which I consider all the wonders of my originality which will never cease. I have prepared for myself these mirror forms so that they may resonate in a song of praise. For I have a voice like the thunderbolt by which I keep in motion the entire universe in the living sounds of all creation. This I have done, I who am the Ancient of Days.” (Hildegard of Bingen)

Without the Word of God no creature has meaning.
God's Word is in all creation, visible and invisible.
The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity.
This Word manifests in every creature.
Now this is how the spirit is in the flesh - the Word is indivisible from God.” (Hildegard of Bingen)

God is constantly speaking only one thing. God's speaking is one thing. In this one utterance God speaks the Son and at the same time the Holy Spirit and all creatures.” (Meister Eckhart)

Creatures can be called God's Words... [they] manifest God's mind just like effects manifest their causes.” (Thomas Aquinas)

In this Word the Creator speaks my spirit, your spirit, and the spirit of every person who resembles the Word. And in this utterance you and I are true sons and daughters of God, as the Word itself is child of the Creator.” (Meister Eckhart)

Your human nature and that of the divine Word are no different.” (Meister Eckhart)

The Logos of creation in whom all things were created can be nothing other than divine wisdom.” (Nicholas of Cusa)

Every creature is a word of God and a book about God... Divinity shines forth in creatures as the truth of a reflected image.” (Nicholas of Cusa)

It is God whom human beings know in every creature.” (Hildegard of Bingen)

Lay hold of God in all things and this will be a sign of your birth, a sign that God has given birth in you as the only begotten Son, and nothing less.” (Meister Eckhart)

The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw and knew I saw all things in God and God in all things.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

In my understanding I saw God in a point. In seeing this I saw that God is in all things. God works in creatures because God is in the mid-point of everything.” (Julian of Norwich)

I, the fiery life of divine wisdom,
I ignite the beauty of the plains,
I sparkle the waters,
I burn in the sun, and the moon, and the stars.
With wisdom I order all rightly.
I adorn all the earth.
I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.
I am the rain coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
I call forth tears, the aroma of holy work.
I am the yearning for good.” (Hildegard of Bingen)

I who am Divine am truly in you.
I can never be sundered from you:
However far we be parted, never can we be separated.
I am in you and you are in Me.
We could not be any closer.
We two are fused into one, poured into a single mould.
Thus, unwearied, we shall remain forever.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

God poured the divine being in equal measure to all creatures, to each as much as it can receive. This is a good lesson for us that we should love all creatures equally with everything which we have received from God.. The greatest blessing in heaven and on earth is based on equality.” (Meister Eckhart)

I, God, am your playmate!
I will lead the child in you in wonderful ways
for I have chosen you.
Beloved child, come swiftly to Me
for I am truly in you.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

Each creature is a witness to God's power and omnipotence; and its beauty is a witness to the divine wisdom... Every creature participates in some way in the likeness of the Divine Essence.” (Thomas Aquinas)

Our Lord Jesus oftentimes said:
"This I am. This I am.
I am what you love.
I am what you enjoy.
I am what you serve.
I am what you long for.
I am what you desire.
I am what you intend.
I am all that is."” (Julian of Norwich)

In heaven, our origin, before each soul and body
therein gleamed the reflection of the Holy Trinity.
Each of us is a mirror of eternal contemplation,
with a reflection that must surely be that of the
living Son of God with all his works.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

One day I saw with the eyes of my eternity
in bliss and without effort, a stone.
This stone was like a great mountain
and was of assorted colours.
It tasted sweet, like heavenly herbs.
I asked the sweet stone: Who are you?
It replied: I am Jesus.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

The cosmos is fundamentally and primarily living... Christ, through his Incarnation, is internal to the world... rooted in the world, even in the very heart of the tiniest atom... Nothing seems to me more vital, from the point of view of human energy, than the appearance and eventually, the systematic cultivation of such a 'cosmic sense'.” (Teilhard de Chardin)

All creatures are gladly doing the best they can to express God... They are crying out to come back there where they have flowed out.” (Meister Eckhart)

As soon as the soul begins to grow the dust of sin falls away
and the soul becomes a god with God.
Then, what God wills the soul wills.
Otherwise, God and soul would not be united
in so beautiful a union.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

When are we like God? I will tell you.
In so far as we love compassion and practice it steadfastly,
to that extent do we resemble the heavenly Creator
who practices these things ceaselessly in us.” (Mechtild of Magdeburg)

It is given to every person to become the child of God, substantially indeed in Christ, but in himself or herself by adoption through grace.” (Meister Eckhart)

Everything that is in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” (Hildegard of Bingen)

Relation is the essence of everything that is.” (Meister Eckhart)

In the just person there is fulfilled what the Holy Spirit and the prophets said about Christ... The seed of divine nature is the Son of God, the Word of God... The seed of God is in us... Now the seed of a pear tree grows into a pear tree... the seed of God into God... [It is] the good seed, the root of all wisdom, all knowledge, all virtue and all goodness.” (Meister Eckhart)

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from.
Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass;
I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name.” (Walt Whitman)

The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe... All is registered in the 'boundless heart' of the bodhisattva. Through our deepest and innermost responses to our world - to hunger and torture and the threat of annihilation - we touch that boundless heart.” (Joanna Macy)

Only those that have dared to let go [of the common-sense world-view] can dare to re-enter” (Meister Eckhart)

The above is just a small sample of quotes that are easily available to me at present, however there is a vast legacy of mystic wisdom that goes back throughout history and across all cultures. Although they have related to it in their own personal way, the general world view portrayed by these mystics is one that is conceptually equivalent to that portrayed by information system theory.

I too have had mystic experiences and also arrived at such a perspective on the world. It is a state of being and a state of experiencing the world in a subtly but radically different way. It is accessible to anyone who opens up to it and undergoes the paradigm shift. It is a world-view in which beings are not separate, isolated objects that struggle and compete – they are intrinsic to the nature of reality, the life of the cosmos flows through them and they form a vast interconnected whole that is in perfect harmony.

If a being is identified with its form in the world it is an isolated ephemeral object that is destined to non-existence but if the being is identified with their deeper reality they are an inseparable part of the whole. Their inner most awareness IS the mind of God. The world and they themselves are God in action. As many yogi’s say: “I am That” – “Atman IS Brahman”.

Experimental Evidence

History contains documentation of mystics, yogis, saints, shamans and miracles from all cultures. Although this is compelling from its consistency it is not repeatedly verifiable. However several recent experiments provide repeatedly verifiable indications of the deeper nature of reality. Some basic phenomena that have been commonly known throughout history have finally been proven to have a basis in fact.

In the following section I will discuss the overall world-view that is arising and then briefly relate some of the major points of interest regarding some of the experiments. These are all quoted or paraphrased from three recent books Science and the Akashic Field, The Field and Piercing Time and Space. For a more complete account of these findings please refer to these books.

(“Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything”, Ervin Laszlo, Inner Traditions)

(“The Field”, Lynne McTaggart, HarperCollins (Element), 2003)

(“Piercing Time and Space”, Traci L. Slatton, ARE Press, 2005)

Regarding the impact on the experience of being human the main realisation is that consciousness is fundamental, it underlies physical existence, not the other way around. A focused consciousness creates a field of coherence that brings order and structure into otherwise random processes and a focused will can imprint an intention upon the very fabric of reality. The cosmos is a field of consciousness and with consciousness we may participate in reality on all levels. In terms of impact on human history the main ramification of the coming scientific and spiritual revolution may be the full and widespread comprehension of the nature of reality, in particular, recognition and understanding of the Soul. This will lead to greater harmony and participation in life, leading on to new levels of growth and evolution.

First I will quote some passages from the book by Ervin Laszlo.

In regards to cosmology and the current puzzles therein Laszlo states that “these mysteries have a common element: they exhibit a staggering coherence throughout the reaches of space and time.Furthermore, “There is no reasonable explanation in 'BB [big bang] theory' for the observed flatness of the universe; for the missing mass in it; for the accelerating expansion of galaxies; for the coherence of some basic cosmic ratios; and for the 'horizon problem,' the uniformity of the macrostructures throughout cosmic space. The problem known as the 'tuning of the constants' is particularly vexing. The three dozen or more physical parameters of the universe are so finely tuned that together they create the highly improbable conditions under which life can emerge... These are all puzzles of coherence, and they raise the possibility that this universe did not arise in the context of a random fluctuation of the underlying quantum vacuum. Instead, it may have been born in the womb of a prior 'meta-universe'... [i.e.] a vaster, more fundamental universe that is behind or beyond the universe we observe and inhabit.

The staggering coherence of our universe tells us that all its stars and galaxies are interconnected in some way. And the astonishing fine-tuning of the physical laws and constants of our universe suggests that at its birth our universe may have been connected with prior universes...

In regards to biology Laszlo states that “Instant, multidimensional correlations are coming to light between the parts of a living organism, and even between organisms and environments... [these] are nearly as 'entangled' as microparticles that originate in the same quantum state [such as EPR pairs]... What happens to one cell or organ also happens in some way to all other cells and organs... [also] what happens in the external milieu of the organism is reflected in some way in its internal milieu. Thanks to this coherence, the organism can evolve in tune with its environment... [Darwinian evolution and random mutation is not enough]... That our world is not populated solely by the simplest of organisms, such as bacteria ... is due in the last analysis to the kind of 'entanglement' that exists among genes, organisms, organism species, and their niches within the biosphere.Furthermore, “the organism's coherence goes beyond the coherence of a biochemical system; in some respects it attains the coherence of a quantum system... Simple collisions among neighbouring molecules... must be complemented by a network of instant communication that correlates all parts of the living system, even those that are distant from one another. Rare molecules, for example, are seldom contiguous, yet they find each other throughout the organism. There would not be sufficient time for this to occur by a random process of jiggling and mixing; the molecules need to locate and respond to each other specifically, even if they are distant.

In regards to consciousness Laszlo states that “in the conservative view human communication and interaction is limited to our sensory channels ... [but] we are linked by more subtle and encompassing connections as well.Also “The connections that bind 'my' consciousness to the consciousness of others... are rediscovered today in controlled experiments with thought and image transference, and the effect of the mind of one individual on the body of another.Furthermore, “Native tribes seem able to communicate beyond the range of eye and ear... In the laboratory also, modern people display a capacity for spontaneous transference of impressions and images, especially when they are emotionally close to each other... transpersonal contact includes the ability to transmit thoughts and images, and ... it is given to many if not all people... this is the finding of recent experiments... Reliable evidence is becoming available that the conscious mind of one person can produce repeatable and measurable effects on the body of another... [also] Intercessory prayer and spiritual healing, together with other mind- and intention-based experiments and practices, yield impressive evidence regarding the effectiveness of telepathic and telesomatic information- and energy-transmission. The pertinent practices produce real and measurable effects on people, and they are more and more widespread. But mainstream science has no explanation for them. Could it be that our consciousness is linked with other consciousnesses through an interconnecting Akashic Field, much as galaxies are linked in the cosmos, quanta in the microworld, and organisms in the world of the living?

In regards to the origin of the universe and its metaphysical foundation Laszlo states that “the universe we observe and inhabit is a secondary product of the energy sea that was there before there was anything there at all. Hindu and Chinese cosmologies have always maintained that the things and beings that exist in the world are a concretization or distillation of the basic energy of the cosmos, descending from its original source. The physical world is a reflection of energy vibrations from more subtle energy fields. Creation and all subsequent existence, is a progression downward and outward from the primordial source.

In Indian philosophy the ultimate end of the physical world is a return to Akasha, its original subtle-energy womb. At the end of time as we know it, the almost infinitely varied things and forms of the manifest world dissolve into formlessness... In Akasha, all attributes of the manifest world merge into a state that is beyond attributes: the state of Brahman.

Although it is undifferentiated, Brahman is dynamic and creative. From its ultimate 'being' comes the temporary 'becoming' of the manifest world, with its attributes, functions and relationships. The cycles of samsara [individual lifetimes] ... are the lila of Brahman: its play of ceaseless creation and dissolution. In Indian philosophy, absolute reality is the reality of Brahman. The manifest world enjoys but a derived, secondary reality and mistaking it for the real is the illusion of maya...

The traditional Eastern conception differs from the view held by most people in the West... [that] reality is material. The things that truly exist are bits or particles of matter... Matter moves about in space, acted on by energy. Energy also enjoys reality (since it acts on matter), but space does not: space is merely the backdrop or the container... and is passive in itself... space is not experienced... it is only the precondition of experience... [this last comment exposes the Western reliance on sensory experience and therefore its entrapment within the illusion of the empirical world or Maya]

The view that space is empty and passive, and not even real to boot, is in complete opposition to the view we get from contemporary physics... it is clear that what they describe as the unified vacuum – the seat of all the fields and forces of the physical world – is in fact the primary reality of the universe... What we think of as matter is but the quantised semi-stable bundling of the energies that spring from the vacuum. In the last count matter is but a waveform disturbance in the nearly infinite energy-sea that is the fundamental medium – and hence the primary reality – of this universe, and of all universes that ever existed and will ever exist.

Evolutionary Panpsychism: Laszlo further discusses the likelihood that consciousness is universal and that all 'things' are to some degree conscious; “there is no categorical divide between mind and matter... conscious matter at a lower level of organisation (the neurons in the brain) generates conscious matter at a higher level of organisation (the brain as a whole)... the emerging solution to the classical brain/mind problem is evolutionary panpsychism... [which claims that] all of reality has a mental aspect: psyche is a universal presence in the world... [and] psyche evolves , the same as matter... both matter and mind – physis and psyche [prakriti and purusha] – were present from the beginning: they are both fundamental aspects of reality... [although] we do not claim that they are radically separate; we say that they are but different aspects of the same reality. What we call 'matter' is the aspect we apprehend when we look at a person, a plant, or a molecule from the outside; 'mind' is the readout we get when we look at the same thing from the inside.

We do not merely perceive the world through our empirical senses or the “five slits in the tower”, we can “open the roof to the sky”. He states that “The informed universe gives us not only a new view of the world, but also a new view of life and of mind. It permits our brains and minds to access a broad band of information... We are, or can be, literally 'in touch' with almost any part of the world, whether here on Earth or beyond in the cosmos. When we do not repress the corresponding intuitions, we can be informed by things as small as a particle or as large as a galaxy”.

Laszlo then discusses the question “Could the cosmos itself possess consciousness in some form?”, but this is difficult to answer since we cannot perceive the quantum vacuum directly and even if we could, “consciousness is 'private', we cannot ordinarily observe it in anyone but ourselves”. However “We could enter an altered state of consciousness and identify ourselves with the vacuum, the deepest and most fundamental level of reality [like the vedic method of meditating upon Brahman]... would we experience a physical field of fluctuating energies? Or would we experience something like a cosmic field of consciousness? The latter is much more likely... when we experience anybody else's brain 'from the outside' we do not experience his or her consciousness... But we know that when we experience our brain 'from the inside' we experience not neurons, but the qualitative features that make up our stream of consciousness... Would not the same hold true when we project ourselves into a mystical union with the vacuum? ... there is indirect yet significant evidence for it... in deeply altered states of consciousness, many people experience a kind of consciousness that appears to be that of the universe itself... They describe what they experience as an immense and unfathomable field of consciousness endowed with infinite intelligence and creative power. The field of cosmic consciousness they experience is a cosmic emptiness – a void. Yet ... it is also an essential fullness... The vacuum they experience is a plenum: nothing is missing in it. It is the ultimate source of existence, the cradle of all being... The phenomenal world is its creation: the realization and concretization of its inherent potential.

Regarding the future evolution of human consciousness Laszlo mentions numerous theories, “but they have a common thrust. Consciousness evolution is from the ego-bound to the transpersonal form. If this is so, it is a source of great hope. Transpersonal consciousness is open to more of the information that reaches the brain than the dominant consciousness of today. This could have momentous consequences. It could produce greater empathy among people, and greater sensitivity to animals, plants, and the entire biosphere. It could create subtle contact with other parts of the cosmos. It could change our world. A society hallmarked by transpersonal consciousness is not likely to be materialistic and self-centred; it would be more deeply and widely informed.

The Experiments
A major set of experiments were performed by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research group (PEAR) from Princeton University. These used random event generators (REG’s), which are devices that use quantum indeterminacy to implement what is equivalent to a perfect coin-toss. They can produce one of two states with a 50/50 likelihood. When left alone they produce a stream of coin-tosses with a uniform 50/50 distribution.

A person then attempts to influence the machine, through force of will, to produce more heads than tails, for instance. By accumulating vast numbers of trials and analysing the data it was found that all people can have a measurable and non-random influence on these machines. Thus mind can influence external physical processes.

Furthermore, it was found that if the person willed upon a set of coin-tosses that had already been produced, perhaps weeks earlier, but not observed by anyone. Exactly the same degree of influence was detected. Thus an event that had already happened but had not yet become a part of the observable world could be influenced by force of will. It was also found that events that had not yet occurred could also be influenced.

Even when people where not deliberately trying to influence the REG machines, the machines would show a response to any field of consciousness. In the presence of a focused field of consciousness, such as a group of meditators or an audience at a captivating and moving event, these machines would be deflected from their 50/50 random state and would produce a more ordered output.

Portable field-REG’s were made and many different scenarios where tested, from concerts, meditation sessions and so on. Furthermore, a network of REG machines encircles the globe, these are connected by computers and they measure the moment by moment coherence of the global collective consciousness. Major world events show corresponding variations in the detected coherence of collective consciousness. For example, several days before the September 11 2001 Twin-Towers incident there was a major spike in the global coherence, then hours before the event there was another spike followed by a huge spike just after the event as the news began to spread. Behind the obvious physical events taking place there was an undercurrent of activity in the global collective consciousness.

The field of coherence created by consciousness not only affects REG machines but all systems. Studies showed that a group of people meditating on peace could exert a measurable influence over a surrounding area. Studies involved different locations, groups, times etc and looked at statistics for violent crime, war casualties, traffic accidents and so on. The results showed noticeable reductions during the focused meditation sessions.

Another study at Princeton University revolved around the graduation ceremony. The ceremony is outdoors and there is a common belief that the weather will always be good on that day. Researchers analysed the weather data for the Princeton area and found that on that day, in the vicinity of the Princeton campus there is a significantly higher degree of fine weather as compared to other nearby areas or days. This suggests that the collective will power of people at Princeton may have had some influence on the nature of the weather.

Another study showed that by removing all other sources of light it can be seen that organisms emit a very weak field of light around them. Whilst being weak in magnitude it does however have some very interesting properties. It shows a coherence on the order of quantum systems, thus organisms have a whole and undivided quantum state. It is like a quantum biological field that surrounds and permeates living beings. It acts as a subtle communication medium whereby every cell is in constant communication with every cell.

It was found that one could expose an organism to a drug and record the weak field of the organism, then send this recording via email to another laboratory where a special playback device would recreate that field. Another organism was then exposed to that field and it exhibited a response to the drug that was administered to the first organism. It seems that the effect of the drug could be transmitted via these fields.

When a being experiences pain this can be seen as a response in the subtle energy field; this is clear when the leaf of a plant is burnt and the energy field responds. However it was also found that if the leaf of one plant was burnt neighbouring plants and animals would all register a pain response. Human beings as well. This indicates that at a deeply subconscious level all living beings are connected and our feelings are experienced not just by isolated material bodies but by a collective field.

The main lines of force within this energy field are personal relationships; an intimate bond creates a permanent mixing of information. In exactly the same way as an EPR pair in quantum physics, where once two particles form a quantum bond their information becomes entangled and they remain instantaneously connected across any distance. That is the nature of the bond between two humans who have been close.

As seen in the movie What the Bleep do we know? water interacts with these fields, it can record and transmit these fields. This principle underlies the practice of homeopathy whereby tinctures are made by constantly diluting a solution until none of the original substance remains and only the imprint of the field upon the water is left. The weaker the tincture is the stronger the field effects.

Research was also carried out on remote viewing. Given a map coordinate, for example, a person would make their mind a blank and then allow images to arise spontaneously. If this is done without instantly locking them into categories by recognising them, then the images evolve and present the viewer with impressions of the map location. Much of this work was carried out by the CIA, spurred on by the fear that the Russians were making progress in this area.

In another case a person is given a map coordinate of a remote location. They then create a simple visual symbol and visualise it imprinted onto the map location. A separate person proficient in dowsing can then scan the ground at the map coordinate and identify the symbol that was imprinted there. The image would remain detectable for years but it could be immediately erased if the original artist wiped the image clean in their mind.

The vision that is emerging in this new science is one of no separation, and distance means nothing. There is a single, whole, coherent energy field and lots of points of physical perception but it is only through these points that there is any kind of illusion of separate existence. One can heal or harm with a feeling in the heart across any distance, one can exert an influence of any kind with ones consciousness that reaches across the cosmos. These things can be shielded to different degrees, it depends on the strength of ones focus, will and inner need. If one flows with the Way and truly lives one's dharma then all doors are open, but if one has turned against the Way everything becomes an ultimately futile struggle. There are currents in the energies, our entire lives and worlds are made of this energy, we cannot swim against our very substance for long.

These phenomena are real and have been measured in weak but definite proportions throughout the entire population. The cosmos is a coherent field of consciousness, thus consciousness may participate in it on all levels. The cosmic information space is a canvas within which consciousness creates.

At present we participate unconsciously, we are unfocused and uncoordinated in our thoughts and intentions. When a being is fully integrated in body, heart, mind and soul, when they are self aware and able to sustain a concentrated force of will, then that being taps into their latent potential and fully participates in life on all levels. That is the goal of all true spiritual practice. But in the end realisation comes through surrender to our inner-most nature rather than through victorious struggle or clever thinking.

Same Reality but Different Analogies

The discussion so far throughout this book illustrates striking parallels between the mystic and the information system paradigms. We have also seen how the common-sense mechanistic world-view fits into these. The mystic paradigm and the mechanistic paradigm both comprehend the same reality but from radically different perspectives and they use very different concepts and analogies to describe what they know.

Given these two different perspectives on reality, what can we experience from them? Empirically there are the objects of the senses which combine to create the illusion of the virtual world. But if one turns within through meditation one can also experience an inner space of pure awareness as well.

What would an empirical perspective lead to? A belief in an objectively existing "world out there" that consists of objects in space and which exists independently of the observer. We have concepts such as 'matter' and the idea that everything is "made of" matter, including ourselves. Our own experience of consciousness is surmised to be some unexplained result of the functioning of our material bodies.

What would a deeply subjective perspective lead to? A belief that consciousness is fundamental and that the "world out there" is just a construct of the objects of the senses. We propose that there is a deeper level of reality that is not "made of" matter and which underlies the coming into being of all such things as 'matter'. In this deeper reality all the individual consciousnesses are unified, the universe is seen to be a field of consciousness and with consciousness we can participate in that field.

What can we conclude about our reality? What would logic demand? That depends upon one’s perspective. Whether one’s experiences were of the senses or of consciousness itself. The empiricists would conclude that the world is an objective construct made of matter and the transcendentalists would conclude that the world is an illusion of the senses that arises from a deeper world of spiritual dynamics.

There is no way of proving any of these perspectives; they both rely solely upon the voracity of outer or inner experience. We beings have no direct means of discerning the underlying computational context. We could discover it through meditation and inner unification with it or we could scientifically take the objective world mythology to its logical extreme by searching for the fundamental unit of existence, that magic stuff that just exists in space and behaves, but without any underlying or inner dynamics. This exploration eventually breaks down and gives rise to theories of abstract non-local information processes such as quantum physics.

Ultimately we can only infer it and given that all knowledge is a tapestry of experiences and associations which are modified and built into new conceptual frameworks, we have no direct means of comprehending the underlying dynamics. Thus we describe the unfamiliar computational space in terms of spiritual beings and other worlds or subtle dimensions, or perhaps wavefunctions and quanta, and so on.

However we have developed our own computing technology. This provides a set of experiences and a language of associated concepts with which we can comprehend and analyse the deeper situation.

We could eventually build a computer that was running a virtual reality simulation inhabited by AI beings that are contemplating their situation. Then we would have a model of our situation - an actual implementation rather than just descriptions in terms of cultural discourses and observable phenomena. Then we could really begin to explore the deeper foundations of our reality.

Science has explored the empirical world in great detail and worked its way through to the bottom where all recognisable forms and phenomena dissolve into non-local quantum waveforms. Science is now on the verge of exploring the transcendent realm, the space of pure information and information systems. But the mystics have already explored and lived in that realm. Their experiences and legacy, if properly understood, provides invaluable insights that may guide us all.

Part 3: Living in a Systemic Universe

The World is an Evolving Dynamical System

The previous discussion shows that there are different ways of conceiving of “the world”. From a purely empirical perceptual perspective it can be thought of as objects in space that exhibit behaviour but this cannot capture many of the subtleties of the world such as consciousness, present moment awareness and self organisation.

Another way of conceiving of the world is as a dynamical information system. In this context there are no objects that simply exist and there is no inherent solidity to the world; all such phenomena are objects of perception and it is through perception that we experience the world.

As the Buddha said, it is with our thoughts that we make the world. Furthermore, it is with our beliefs that we structure our thoughts. If we believe in a material universe there is only so much that we can comprehend and all else remains as an unexplained anomaly. But by restructuring our thoughts according to the principles of information systems all these anomalies become not only easily comprehensible but they are necessities of the process of existence.

Underlying all of our ideas regarding the nature of the universe that we experience there is an implied metaphysics. The ramifications of that metaphysics influences everything that we believe to be possible and impossible. It determines that which we focus on, it creates a filter through which we interpret our experiences and the manner in which we conceptualise them. Different metaphysical perspectives lead to different world-views and thereby to different experiences of the phenomenon of existence.

We may think of the world as a random profusion of objects in space or as a unified and holistically organised whole.

From the system theoretic perspective everything that exists is a system. Systems interact; these interaction pathways form a complex network that integrates the systems into super-systems. Systems are also composed of sub-systems. This forms a fractal structure of systems within systems within systems. Thus everything that exists is a system embedded within a fractal systemic structure and bound within a network of interaction pathways. This structure does not arise in physical space; the concept of physical space itself arises from the interaction network.

We are systems in this context, so our understanding of the world begins from our own subjective experience of our own existence. Each system throughout the systemic structure has its own unique perspective upon the structure. The structure is not composed of inert objects that we perceive, it is composed of 'systems', which are perceptual entities, thus each element of the structure is perceiving things from its own perspective, including ourselves.

There are two principle elements to a system, the interface and the core. Picture a circle where the circumference is the interface and the area inside is the core. The interface has two aspects, input and output or perception and response. The core is that which transforms input signals into output signals and it is implemented by sub-systems. Thus each system has an outer and inner aspect. An external system can only interact with the outer aspect of a system and the inner aspect underlies the behaviour of the system.

Now consider what can be perceived from the perspective of being a system within a systemic world. A system can only perceive those signals that are incident upon its input interface. These signals can only travel through the network of interaction pathways that interconnects the systems. Thus each signal originates from the output interface of a system, travels along an interaction pathway and is then incident upon an input interface. Thus the only thing that a system can perceive is the output signals from systems. It cannot perceive the systemic structure, the interaction pathways, the input interfaces or the inner aspects of systems. It can only directly perceive a small aspect of its total reality.

For the general functioning of systems this is all that is required. By perceiving the output signals it can interpret, experience and respond to them, and as each system does this the signals percolate through the network of interaction pathways and the systems evolve, thus the systemic dynamics is 'driven' by perceptual processes.

But what if a system wished to comprehend its situation as well as participate in it. It could begin from its direct experience of phenomena via its perceptual interface (looking outward), but this just gives access to the perceptual state of the situation. If it relied solely on this it would form ideas based upon the objects of its perceptual experiences, it would propose that those objects were simply existent, that they were 'objects' with an independent existence that were defined by the perceived properties of those objects. This leads to an objectivist materialist understanding of the situation that only captures a small proportion of the total situation, the outer aspect.

Another approach could be to realise that those perceptual objects are not simply existent, but rather they are constructs of a perceptual process that is operating within the perceiving system itself. The objects are based upon incident signals that are then interpreted and experienced. Thus the external objects themselves are not primary and the phenomenon of perception and experience is primary (looking inward). The objects of perception do not exist "out there"; instead they exist "in here". So the focus of the enquiry turns from "out there" to "in here". It is not a matter of contemplating what is happening out there but rather a matter of contemplating what is happening in here. This leads to the conclusion that "out there" there is a vast profusion of signals, information, energy, spirit, maya, etc and the real issue is what is "in here", which is pure awareness, consciousness, the core, the soul, atman, etc. This leads to a spiritual or mystic understanding of the situation that only captures a small proportion of the total situation, the inner aspect.

In this proposed systemic scenario neither of these perspectives gives the whole truth. That is because they are derived from the perspective of particular systems embedded in that world. The complete situation cannot be directly perceived or experienced from a perspective that is embedded within the situation, it can only be inferred. But if one comprehends both of the above perspectives, clinging to neither one nor the other, and takes them both seriously as valid perspectives on reality but not as absolute facts about reality. Then one is driven to question, how could it be that both perspectives are true in their own way? How can they be reconciled?

The reconciliation of the two opposing perspectives (inner and outer, mysticism and materialism, subjectivism and objectivism, transcendent and empirical sciences), leads us to infer contexts that can accommodate both, showing how they relate to each other and how they arise from a deeper unified context. There is perhaps only one underlying context that can do this but there are many ways of conceiving it, representing it and expressing it. Two such ways are through system theory and the computational paradigm (virtual reality). These are not distinct separate ways, they are intimately related and are essentially just two ways of expressing the same underlying general principle. The common general principle is that they are both information theoretic. This suggests that reality is not fundamentally made of 'matter' or any other kind of high level 'stuff', it is made of information/computation, signals/transformation or spirit/consciousness.

From this perspective we see that the world is a dynamical information system that is constantly evolving via distributed perceptual processes. Each part of the universe experiences and responds to its perceptions, thus the state of the universe is constantly evolving.

In this fluid and infinitely creative context the world and its phenomena can be seen in a new light.

The Second Cambrian Explosion

A major implication of system theory is what it can say about the state of the human world at large, it relates to an aspect of evolution that is little considered by many. An outcome of creating beyond ourselves is a phenomenon I call the Second Cambrian Explosion which is an example of a global Meta System Transition (MST).

An MST is the apparent transition from an ensemble of sub systems into a single higher-level system; it is a perceptual phenomenon. All events are mediated by the flow of information so imagine a vast cosmic information network; asymmetries in interaction bandwidth (or communication energy) within this network mean that some regions are more closely interacting and tightly integrated than others.

Via an entropic perceptual process (entropy is the loss of information) the high bandwidth interactions seemingly bind systems into single high-level objects whilst low bandwidth interactions are perceived as the space between these separate objects. When sub systems are tightly interacting then when an incident signal impinges upon one it is distributed amongst many of the sub systems, which respond to that signal and thereby produce collective behaviour. When sub systems are loosely interacting then the incident signal will dissipate or be deflected without impinging upon most of the sub systems so they will be perceived to be independent. During the entropic perceptual process most of the information is lost; pixelated surfaces seem smooth, quantised systems seem classical and collectives of many sub systems seem to form into higher-level systems.

Now think back to about 550 million years ago (about the time of the First Cambrian Explosion), the earth had been dominated for billions of years by single celled organisms we call prokaryotes. They were individual beings that encountered their world on their own terms, they were formed simply of a cell membrane that divides their world into inner and outer and they maintained a DNA-RNA-Protein cycle within that was their mechanism of creation, sustenance, perception, response and dynamical existence.

Their internal biochemical process is perturbed by chemical agents flowing from the exterior through the channels in the membrane and producing responses within that cause chemical agents to be produced and which flow outward into the exterior. This gives them a basic form of perceptual apparatus that informed them of their environment and allowed them to perceive and interact with it in small scale biochemical ways thus giving them a degree of individual power. Their sphere of physical awareness and control was on the scale of millimetres.

Then came along an innovation that produced what we call the eukaryotes, which are essentially a cell membrane that contains several prokaryotes, which are the organelles (cellular organs) of the eukaryote. Thus there is an inner membrane that gives them a nucleus with a DNA-RNA-Protein cycle and an outer buffer zone with various specialised organs. This allowed them to develop more intricate and abstract chemical communication idioms and allowed them to form chains of communication, autocatalytic loops, dependencies, specialisations, etc.

Initially these all occurred between free individual single cells that would be accumulated in natural cavities in rocks etc; they were loose organisations of single cells that benefited the individual cells due to the collective power that the organisation wielded, thus the eukaryotes could act collectively and thereby wield greater power and influence than the prokaryotes. This phase lasted only a few million years and their sphere of physical awareness and control was on the scale of centimetres.

Over time these organisations had an effect on the eukaryotes and caused them to become dependent on these organisations. They adapted to their organisational niches and became specialised. They became limited and constrained by the collective contingencies and the specialised perspectives that they occupied, being only parts of a whole. Rather than being single cells in an environment they were increasingly cells occupying a specialised niche within a larger organisation, they lived and operated within the context of that organisation which became an artificial environment that both protected them and constrained them.

They no longer encountered the world on their own terms but perceived it via the agency of the organisation; all of their necessities of life were delivered by the organisation, all of their information regarding the world was filtered and delivered by the organisation, all of their actions were increasingly harnessed into being actions as a part of the organisation and on behalf of the organisation. Increasingly they lost sight of the outside world and came to know only of what the organisation informed them of and that was increasingly only what the organisation needed them to know in order for them to assist the organisation in pursuing its agendas. They underwent a meta system transition.

These organisations eventually evolved, individuated and became the primitive ancestors of what we now call multi-cellular organisms. Initially these were remarkably crude, there was a period of massive innovation when all kinds of crude multi-cellular organisations were formed and engaged with the environment and each other, most of which died out. There are fossil records of about 50 distinguishable types or phyla (organisational structures) and about 26 of these still exist today.

During this time of innovation much of the existing environment would have been devastated; rapid change, competing influences and a proliferation of new and bizarre organisms were in the process of irrevocably altering the face of the earth. The comparative peace and serenity of the single cellular world would be lost forever and the world was thrown into a period of creation, innovation, devastation and imbalance. These organisms, over hundreds of millions of years, formed a new ecosystem, tightly integrated and delicately balanced. Their web of interactions and dependencies brought a new harmony to the world.

One of the innovative multi-cellular organisational patterns (or phyla) that arose from the First Cambrian Explosion was a small inch long worm-like formation that we call Pikaia. It survived in an obscure ecological niche whilst others dominated the world, but this worm had the potential to later develop a spine and over time this small worm gave rise to descendants that evolved into mammals and have come to dominate most of the earth, especially in the form of humans. Their sphere of physical awareness and control is on the scale of metres to kilometres.

Civilisation is a Cambrian Explosion on a higher level

Initially humans lived in family or tribal groups, which were loosely structured based upon physical power relations and physical necessities such as procreation, biological succession, food acquisition, shelter, and defense. These were purely informal structures (organic collectives integrated via the "grape-vine" and guided by traditions) without any formal structure (institutional control via propaganda and legislation). Without a complex externalised culture, the people confronted their world from a more subjective perspective and where more in tune with their world, with themselves and with each other.

However some thousands of years ago, humans developed intricate and abstract verbal communication systems which led to the development of a formal structure defined by externalised cultural traditions, thus the tribe evolved and became more institutionalised. These cultural innovations further developed into written and mathematical idioms. These enhanced the scope for organisation, collaboration, specialisation, and so on; analogous to the eukaryotes and their enhanced communications. Thus humans began to organise into complex structures, initially loosely defined but the roles and relations became successively entrenched and institutionalised.

People became more and more dependent on these organisations and came to identify with their organisational roles and to conceive of themselves from within the discourse of the organisation, thus they were assimilated or harnessed into the organisations. The people became more enmeshed in external cultural forms expressed in terms of an objective external world and they lost touch with their inner subjective reality.

Around the time of the Sumerian and Egyptian societies these innovations in communication and institutionalisation of power relations led to the invention of the Man Machine. An organisational methodology evolved where a ruling class controlled the masses via intricate traditions and superstitions, which are the source of the myth of authority or organisational power. This had first evolved within the context of the tribe with 'authority' arising from the informal structure and then being enshrined within the formal structure.

A brief aside: although I later use words such as ‘broken’ and ‘subvert’ I do not imply any form of value judgement as to whether this is right or wrong. Such values depend entirely upon ones agenda; if one wishes to remain natural then it is wrong but if one wishes to create beyond oneself and extend the range of the natural then it may be right. But these are a separate issue and here I simply discuss general phenomena.

Furthermore, although this discussion touches upon sensitive subjects, such as the treatment of the young, for the sake of clarity I avoid polite euphemisms that conceal the truth and I use direct terms in a descriptive sense.  For example, one may speak of breaking-in a horse to make it obedient to human commands and useful within the context of human agendas. Or one may speak of educating it for its own benefit and teaching it to become a useful member of a community. The first statement is far more direct.

To build the man machine the informal structure had to be dissempowered, the tribe had to be broken, its processes and traditions had to be subverted. Just as when one takes a wild animal and subverts its basic functions in order to extract work from it, such as yoking it to a plow; one takes a natural collective of humans and yokes them into a labour system of some kind. For this the wisdom of the tribe and the personal contact with the world had to be broken. The personal subjective relationship between an individual and their immediate experience of the world was broken, we became isolated physical bodies, able to be utilised by the man machine.

This same general pattern has been seen repeated in numerous colonisations throughout history. Furthermore each new generation that is born is a product of a holistic resonance with the world, the organic collective is trying to counter the imbalance, but the formal structure must break each generation in turn to maintain the man machine. In a healthy organic society adolescents are not as they are in modern societies, in modern societies the young are being heavily conditioned, their minds are being re-programmed, their natural spirits broken, their innate hope and joy are being crushed, they are being alienated from themselves, from others and the whole organic cosmos. They are being assimilated into a cultural construct and in this way they are bound into the man machine and they become useful members of society. Their life energies are diverted from the purpose of living their lives and channelled in ways that are useful for the man machine.

The inner vision of the world as it could and should be that we each hold in our hearts, this vision must be betrayed and replaced by societal myths, expediency and obedience. Just as the tribe's contact with the web of life was broken, so too each child's contact with their inner life must be broken. Just like a horse they must be "broken in".  Through rewards and punishments their natural autonomy and sense of self-worth must be broken and replaced by a craving for acceptance and approval by others; particularly those who wield the magic of authority.

With the people confused and powerless, and the organisational structure of the tribe shattered the people then become a raw material that can be fashioned into the man machine. The shaman became the high priest who became the media, the tribal elders became the pharaoh who became the government/corporate sectors and the people became workers and consumers. The population is immersed in a system of myths backed up by physical and psychological force; the power is appropriated from the people and a hierarchical system of roles distributes the power and applies it in specialised situations.

Thus a population of humans can be organised into a mass labour system, which can be centrally controlled and has a productive capacity far exceeding that of an individual human (just as eukaryote organisations, or organisms, exceeded individual eukaryotes). Thus a single person or single group could wield the power of many as if it was their own. Smaller and less organised populations were overpowered and annihilated or assimilated, and vast works were undertaken, some of which can still be seen today in the form of the pyramids.

This process has only been going on for several thousands of years so it is still in the early stages but it has progressed in marked ways; the institutionalisation of power has become more entrenched, less questioned and more ubiquitous. People conceive of themselves primarily in terms of the organisational discourse, they are citizens, consumers, workers, students, job seekers, employees, officials and so on; not simply organisms or organic systems of experience and reproduction. We are no longer beings in the world but individuals in society.

This is not some conscious conspiracy; it is a self-perpetuating feedback loop. Each generation is broken and in turn breaks the succeeding generation – each is simply doing what it feels to be the best. Questions of right or wrong have no simple answers here. It is an organic process of self-organisation; a restructuring from one organisational principle to another. It is no surprise that the young "act up". In one respect their innate nature is in the process of being betrayed by their society and they are being deceived and alienated from themselves. In another respect they are being educated and refined, civilised and augmented in ways that will extend their latent abilities.

Youths are biologically programmed to be trusting so that they will more easily assimilate into society but they are only given euphemisms and positive propaganda to explain what is happening to them, they are not able to comprehend the negative aspects. But the pain that they feel tells them that something bad is happening, so they are horribly confused by what is going on. This often leads to distrust and cynicism towards society, which in turn causes them to be perceived as trouble makers, thus they are further alienated. In this manner the process of socialisation produces many casualties, but so long as the majority of people accept the conditioning process and the casualties don’t cause too much damage, the process is successful and perpetuates from one generation to the next. With each successive generation we become more dependent upon the societal organisation. We gradually lose touch with one state of being and become more entangled within another state of being.

Over time the mechanisms and paths of communication have evolved considerably allowing for mass control of the mechanism of encountering the world. People now primarily interpret their world via the lens of culture and media dominated discourses rather than via direct experience and word of mouth. The means of production and distribution have evolved to the extent that people are entirely dependent upon the organisation for their necessities of life. The geographical arrangement of people has become rigidly institutionalised with cities encasing people into multi-cellular like structures of apartment blocks and suburban blocks that act like cell membranes encasing the human nucleus and providing an interface into the larger organisation via telephones, television, transportation systems, electricity, water, cable TV, internet and so on.

We are becoming cells within larger organisms and these organisms use us to pursue their own agendas just as we use our cells to pursue our agendas. For some people this can be a difficult concept to accept!!!! When we look out on our world from our human perspective, we primarily see a world of humans engaged in interactions and concepts such as ‘nation’ or ‘corporation’ are just abstract concepts used to organise us into productive configurations. But think about how you would appear from the perspective of a single cell, it would only experience a world of cells engaged in interactions and concepts such as ‘body’ or ‘person’ are just abstract concepts.

Furthermore, if you approached people on the street and asked them about the cellular interactions occurring within their bodies, to most people this would be a remote and abstract issue. Similarly the interactions between us humans are a rather abstract and remote issue to organisations. Each system experiences and conceives of its world on its own level of complexity; cells see a world of cells, humans see a world of humans and organisations see a world of organisations. There is no correct perspective, each view is correct in its own way.

If one likens individuals in an organisation to cells within an organism then our belief systems, world-views or organising principles within our minds are analogous to the DNA within the cell's nucleus. It is the transformation matrix that takes an input stimulus and transforms it into a cascading sequence of internal state transformations, which result in an output signal. It provides the perceptual entity with an interpretive mechanism, providing meaning, value, context, orientation and direction; it structures behaviour.

If each of our belief systems were to change, this is like the DNA within each cell in an organism changing, each cell then behaves differently and interacts differently thus forming different collective emergent forms, thus the whole body of the organism or organisation takes on a different form and essentially becomes a new species of being. In the context of genetic and memetic programming, physical organisms are hard-wired organic systems and organisations are soft-wired organic systems.

Furthermore, it has been noted that underlying the ageing process there is the phenomenon where the DNA becomes 'frayed', most likely due to years of exposure to toxins and lifestyle abuses thus leading to holistically dysfunctional behaviour. This could be likened to a population where the people become cynical and self-centred due to years of hypocrisy and egoic reinforcement from society, thus breaking down the collective cohesion. If people's world-views were to align with truth and their allegiance to the collective was holistically cultivated then a society could persist indefinitely and there would be no intrinsic ageing process. But so far, all societies seem to experience gradual decay, tending towards decadence and widespread cynicism.

To further illustrate the parallels between organisms and organisations, consider the similarities between single cells and animals as well as between multi-cells and humans. A single cell bacteria and an animal is exquisitely adapted to its natural environment. If you observe a bacteria or an animal in nature it is harmoniously integrated into its world. However multi-cells and humans are integrated into their organisational niches. If they are released into the environment on their own the multi-cells and humans cannot fend for themselves and they rapidly die. However when multi-cells and humans are safely ensconced within their organisational niches they thrive and collectively wield great power.

By abstracting out the general principles inherent in different scenarios we see that system theory can help shed light on many seemingly different but intricately related phenomena. Each level of creation is like an analogy for other levels. A cell is like a human and a human is like an organisation; each can experience similar problems and exhibit similar potentials. Just as the first Cambrian explosion passed through a period of instability and resulted in a new world order, so too can this Cambrian explosion result in harmony on a higher level.

The human population has increased well past the natural capacity of the environment thus people live in areas or in ways that were previously untenable but have been made viable through technology and organisational systems such as artificial water supplies, heating, delivery of goods etc. This is analogous to eukaryote organisations occupying locations that were previously impossible; consider birds; no single eukaryote can fly. People have become almost entirely dependent upon the organisation; if it were to collapse there would be massive starvation, conflict, suffering and general devastation of the environment and the fabric of the society. This is analogous to a multi-cellular organism dying, the collective cohesion breaks down and the individual eukaryotes are unable to persist without the collective; although hair and nail cells survive longer than most.

The productive capacity of these multi-organism organisations has increased markedly with whole landscapes being remodelled, the global atmosphere changing, the capacity to totally annihilate the planets biosphere, the ability to send probes to neighbouring planets, the ability to exert control over vast complex systems via propaganda, surveillance, deterrence, sanctions and intervention. Their sphere of physical awareness and control is on the scale of hundreds of kilometres to many thousands of kilometres.

Organisations form according to the lines of communication; consider Machiavelli's advice on developing a dictatorship. Create a hierarchical system where power flows down from the top, each level keeps a close eye on the one beneath and there is a culture of extreme distrust and fear, thus eliminating any other lines of cross communication from forming. Thus even if everyone desires to revolt no one can because there are no lines of communication along which the revolt can be organised. If any particular person revolts they will be immediately silenced and made an example of by those above them in order to carry out their duty and ingratiate themselves with their superiors and ultimately with the dictator. Each person is forced to seek only their own advantage and to fear only their own suffering, and they are only able to do this within the narrow confines of the power structure within which they are trapped. Any form of holistic thinking or unselfish activity is automatically stamped out due to the very nature of the system.

In contemporary western societies, the media forms a high bandwidth channel of influence that attempts to condition people to the dominant establishment perspective of materialism, capitalism, consumption, distrust of people, trust in institutions, fear and insecurity and so on. The media follows the establishment perspective and never questions its legitimacy but always reinforces it. In contrast there are large numbers of people questioning the motives and methods and they are condemning the actions of the government and the hegemonic system in general but this can only propagate by word of mouth; through the informal structure of society, whilst the establishment line propagates via all of the media channels and thereby through much of the grape vine as well.

Of course the media propagates some of the non-establishment line but only minimally and only a distorted version expressed from the establishment perspective (much like an inoculation). Thus the field of communication and organising potential is heavily geared to favour the establishment or the formal structure of society. Therefore our societies are organising more and more in the image of the formal structure as opposed to the informal structure, we are becoming less of an organic self-organising community and more of a mechanistic controlled hierarchical organisation. The process is still organic but on a higher level, just like a solar panel is like a leaf but on a higher level.

Another factor that determines and controls the development of systems is a system of laws. They are abstract mechanisms for channelling institutional power and they also form lines of communication, interaction and enforcement. A particular system of laws can influence the type of collective organisations that can form. Thus in the ongoing jostling between the US and the UN the US seems to be saying that it refuses to be a part of a collective world system under the UN and defined by international law, indeed it is attempting to dominate and control the world by building a global system of its own that will harness the productive capacity of the world in favour of the US. They envisage a system with US military supremacy as the institutional power and US interests enshrined within the system of laws.

There has been and currently is a plethora of organisational structures which are engaging with their environment and with each other, such as empires, corporations, religions, unions, guilds, industrial sectors such as media, manufacturing, fashion, entertainment, junk food, weapons, etc, universities, nations, national conglomerates such as the European Union or the United Nations, militaries... also activist groups, humanitarian groups, interest groups, etc. These occur on many different scales, in many different contexts, for many different purposes and have many different effects. They form a complex ecosystem that is highly unbalanced and is constantly innovating and readjusting; thus previous ecosystems and other collectives are being weakened, annihilated or assimilated into the new world that is evolving.

Imagine how the world would have seemed to individual single cells 550 million years ago. The stable balance that they had experienced for billions of years was being torn apart. Strange new organisations of cells were storming about creating intrigue and destruction. The very fabric of their environment was falling apart with the methane rich atmosphere being polluted with oxygen. It must have seemed that the world was coming to an end.

We humans are vastly different to cells, so too are the present organisational innovations different from those of 550 millions years ago that evolved into organisms. This difference however is primarily in detail not in their underlying essence. One can observe the analogous formation of primitive organs such as industry, media, military, etc that coordinate to form primitive nationalist organisms. These have membranes or borders, they have organs of sense perception and of action such as trade, military, diplomatic, and so on. They have a crude sense of identity, well-being, memory, intelligence, etc.

They perceive and interpret their environment via neural nets that are made of humans connected together rather than cells, and with these they make decisions and act upon them. Just as our bodies have only a small percentage of cells that are actually human (i.e. that contain human DNA) so too are these organisations composed mostly of machinery, infrastructure, animals, legal documents, lines of communication and so on, with only a small percentage of their total mass being composed of actual humans. The parallel is incomplete because present day multi-cellular organisms are highly evolved and tightly integrated whilst multi-organism organisations are newly evolved and loosely integrated.

However it is increasingly the case that there is no particular person or identifiable group of people in control of this world; power has been so dispersed, the interconnections and dependencies within the system are so complex and intricate that they develop their own dynamic. The system itself is beginning to take control rather than any particular parts of it. This has occurred long ago in the case of organisms, there is no particular cell or group of cells that controls the organism; the consciousness that humans experience is a phenomenon that arises only on the level of the whole organism not on the level of the cells. Thus we as humans are gradually losing control over the organisations that we have formed and the organisations themselves are beginning to set the agenda, mediate the discourse, perform the actions and make the decisions.

The latter case is clearly seen in domestic politics were for some time now issues dear to individual people are constantly attacked and undermined by governments that are purportedly there to serve the interests of the people. The governments now serve the interests of the nation as an organisation; industry sectors (organs), economics (metabolism), foreign policy (inter organisational issues) and so on. These are the key factors that determine government policy and priorities.

Education, health care, welfare, culture and so on are only a side issue that governments consider in the context of being re-elected or because of their indirect influence on national well-being, they are no longer a key aspect of the discourse which is now primarily set in terms of issues regarding the organisation as a whole. Just as humans give little thought to their cells and tend to think in terms of human level desires so too are governments thinking in terms of national agendas and giving less and less thought to people. Just as we don't understand our cells, our organisations don't understand us, we are parts of their bodies, we respond to their wills and perform functions for them but beyond that we are specks.

We are presently in a transitional phase where multi-cellular organisms, as the measure of this world are on their way out and multi-organism organisations are beginning to individuate and dominate the world. No longer are the major issues and dynamics that of humans or organisms, they involve corporations, globalisation, nations, wars, trading relations and so on. The discourse has shifted to a higher level and now predominantly involve organisations interacting and competing in an ecosystem defined in terms of organisations. The new discourse occurs on a power level that individuals cannot match, e.g. no individual can successfully fight against a nationalist military, no family business can compete with a multinational corporation, no individual propagandist can compete with the mass media.

This is the direction of the process of evolution; we cannot prevent it. We have never left nature behind; through us nature is reaching towards higher levels of being. We are presently at the beginning of the transitional phase; in the distant future humans will be parts of larger organisms just like cells are within our own bodies. The difficulties and traumas that we individually face (social fragmentation, exploitation, alienation) and collectively face on a global scale (political struggles, wars, resource depletion, pollution) are largely due to these transitions that are occurring.

Innovations are arising and are being tested by natural selection; models of nationalism, socialism, capitalism, democracy, corporatism, fascism, exploitation, domination, cooperation, compassion, slavery, propagandist deception, rational consensus and so on. All of these and more are aspects of the innovations and trials that are occurring. Ultimately the evolutionary process will decide how things go and what mechanisms and organisational patterns are successful but we are not entirely powerless.

To some degree we organisms still have control over this world, the transition period is not over, we can control to some degree which paths will be explored and which will succeed, we can choose between fascist dictatorships or genuine democracies, between propagandist deception or rational consensus. We can choose between systems that preserve our humanity or diminish it, that nourish us or deplete us, that inform us or deceive us, that unite us or divide us, that help us to grow and develop our still untapped potential or that oppress us and mould us into uniform automatons that are nothing more than homogenised building blocks of a larger system.

Utopias are unreachable, they are stable states that are dead ends for evolution and the force of evolution has vast momentum and will not stop. Whilst it has effectively stalled on the human physical organic level with the removal of survival pressure based upon physical fitness (indeed our gene pool is dispersing in genome space and diversifying thus blurring the very concept of humanity), it has started to take effect in terms of survival pressure based on the ability to assimilate into the collective, thus leading to the specialisation and fragmentation of society. It has also taken effect upon the collective level where new organisms are arising out of human collective organisation.

Thus no static state utopia's can be reached whilst ever there is an evolutionary force driving change. It is maybe theoretically possible that a concerted and collective effort by everyone accompanied by a complete change in our organisations and institutions could perhaps neutralise the effect of systemic evolution and thereby bring about the possibility of a human utopia. But would such a dead end be desirable? Perhaps for the egos of individual humans it might, but there is something deep inside of us that links us with the world and binds us to the process of evolution, of reaching beyond ourselves, it is this drive that has brought us thus far. This drive would be restless in any static state; virtually all true innovation, cooperation and creativity would need to be abolished.

It would be extremely difficult and ultimately crippling for humans to reach for utopia, the best we can do is to be aware of the types of higher level systems that we form and to teach these systems about “being in the world” and about ourselves so that they will not mistreat us. It is in our power to create systems that respect us as integral parts, that provide for our needs, not only physical but psychological and spiritual. We all have experience with the variety of types of humans and their behaviours, this can give us some way of conceptually grasping different types of 'superhumans' (higher organisms composed of humans).

We should endeavour to form systems that integrate harmoniously with their environment and behave in reasonable, healthy and responsible ways. Systems that behave more like a wise and revered person, a balanced and contented person, even a yogi or a saint but not a mercenary, a glutton, a drug addict or a schizophrenic.

Currently most of the superhumans are very base and primitive, there are adrenalin and oil junkies with real ego problems that go about the world using violence, deception and terror to force themselves onto others and to exploit and dominate them. We have corporations that thrive on greed and encourage confusion, neurosis and blind mass consumption. We have a plethora of national governments that neglect their populations and engage in school-yard politics with each other. We have an economic system that implements a regime of artificial scarcity amidst the greatest abundance the world has ever known, exploiting millions of humans for the benefit of a few organisations. Forcing millions of humans into starvation and grinding poverty whilst goading others into over consumption who then suffer from afluenza. We have military / industrial complexes that thrive on constant conflict between organisations that have a terrible toll in terms of human lives and social and ecological destruction.

These processes are the metabolisms of the systems that we create;, these systems come to depend on these processes. So if a system forms that depends upon military conflict, or an addiction to oil, or deceiving generation after generation of youths, then no matter what we humans try and do, these phenomena will keep arising via some avenue in order to keep the system alive. So long as the dependence exists the system will strive to continue to reproduce the phenomena. These systems don't know about the ramifications from our perspective, they only know that to them it feels good; just like someone who is addicted to a poisonous drug, it doesn't matter if it is killing their cells, so long as they get their fix that is all that matters.

We need to exercise understanding and care when dealing with any life forms such as ecosystems, social systems, agriculture, viruses, epidemiology and so on. But memes and organisations are life forms as well, with whom we are engaged in deeply symbiotic relationships. We need to better comprehend the nature of these relationships, their dependencies, tendencies, power relations, interaction strategies, potentials, dangers and likely abuses.

Memes are cognitive viruses that occupy our collective mind space and we as individuals are cells within organisations; our collective life is the metabolism of organisations. Thus memes occupy us from within and organisations metabolise us (or feed upon our life energies) from without. We also metabolise memes and we occupy organisations, each life form is intricately entwined with each, across all levels. Thus there are interactions between memes, individuals and organisations whereby, for example, commercial memes in people's minds result in commercial organisations which output commercial propaganda that reinforces the commercial memes in peoples minds and all levels resonate into a strongly bound and tightly interacting commercial system, wherein the individual has lost control.

A useful meditation is to think of oneself as a cellular organisation; look within at all of the lives that are harnessed within oneself, each cell is a living being, then look out at society as an organism such as yourself. If you look long, hard, deeply and earnestly much of the problems of this world will be brought into focus. A single cell possesses, all of the functionality of an organism and a single human is a microcosm of society, each is a mirror of the other. Imagine if your left and right hands were constantly competing rather than cooperating, or your head neglected your feet, which became battered and bruised.

Or even worse, if every single cell in your body developed an ego and tried to comprehend its world entirely from its own perspective without aligning with the greater 'flow' and harmony. Through egoic arrogance these cells would start living 'lifestyles' where they mindlessly consume your biological resources for their own enjoyment and your body would rapidly fragment, with its intricate metabolic processes becoming diseased and dysfunctional.

Within ourselves the cellular collective is the organic population and this has given rise to a centralised power nexus that has taken on a life of its own. This is our conscious mind, our ego, the part of ourselves that thinks ‘I’. So too in society the population of individuals has given rise to a centralised power nexus that is taking on a life of its own. This is the government, bureaucracy, legislature, corporate sector and so on. It too is beginning to individuate and to think ‘I’. Just as we ignore the well-being of our cellular collectives and seek the advantage of our conscious selves – thinking only of ‘I’. So too are governments, and organisations in general, doing this to an increasing degree.

Within us we may find parallels to all of the phenomena of society and vice versa, from cells to organisms to organisations there are complex and subtle generative forces that produce and condition each new level of creation; our society is a product of humanity but it is not human just as we are a product of eukaryotes but we are not eukaryotes.

The minds of organisms have been geared toward the individual perspective over millions of years of evolution as individual organisms. Still this perspective dominates, thus the real dynamics of the present context remain elusive and confusing to many people. Often the discourse shifts between the individual level and the organisational level in order to exploit the confusion as a means of control. For example, when we attack them all kinds of justifications are given on an organisational level, and the individual victims are overlooked and devalued. When they attack us the focus is primarily on individual stories of suffering, and the political machinations that may have incited the attack are overlooked.

The world has evolved to a higher level of being without us realising, just as the cells did not realise what was happening to them. In the case of the single cells, they became entirely enslaved within our bodies just as organisations try to enslave us within their bodies, but we as humans are far more aware than single cells. This Second Cambrian Explosion will be different from the first; we humans have a greater capacity to perceive what is happening, to care about what is happening and to act to influence what is happening. We can only stop this process of evolution by ceasing to cooperate and interact, living in relative isolation in small tribes; this would cause evolution to stagnate and ultimately we would become anachronistic and redundant, the world would move on and leave us behind. Therefore evolution is necessary and inevitable but the question is “what kind of evolution?”.

It is our individual perceptions, beliefs, responses and interactions that collectively form into these organisational organisms, therefore we may wield considerable influence over this process of evolution by re-imagining the situation and controlling the way that we relate to each other and our world. We may create brutal regimes that treat humans like expendable cells; we get sick, we suffer, we die, but we keep growing back so it’s alright to the organisation. Or we may create regimes that recognise our humanity, that encourage our growth and development, that harness the best of our potential and lead on to greater growth and evolution on all levels. It is through the living of our own lives that we create beyond ourselves so we must live well to create well.


Memes and Culture

Systemic Health of Dynamical Systems

Empirical and Confused Mystic Beliefs

Breaking the pattern of Dysfunction

The path of return, from isolation to intimate communion is manifold but the most direct route is to turn within, to reconnect with our own inner being rather than social mythologies. Our own inner being is the reality that we have greatest contact with. As one reconnects with ones self one can then reach out coherently into the surrounding world and reconnect with ones life and the broader web of life.

Deep Understanding

A New Science and Technology

Self Awareness and Liberation