The Computational Paradigm
(#1367) Process Metaphysics and Computational Paradigm
(#1415) SMN, Free Will and Unification of Paradigms
(#1418) SMN, Computational Metaphysics, Free Will and Duality
(#1427) Labels, Essence, Awareness, Computation, SMN
(#1428) Free Will, Attitude, Awareness, Self Control, Causality, Karma, Cosmic Will, Computation and Consciousness
(#1430) Metaphysics of Virtual Reality
Mathematics of Intension
(#1437) The Chinese Room, Experience, Knowledge and Communication
Computational Processes (proof)
(#1470) Religion/Spirituality, Energy/Information and the Unification of Material and Spiritual Science
(#1663) System Theoretic Metaphysics and the Unification of the Transcendent and Empirical Sciences
Also see other excerpts from my discussions with the Society for Scientific Exploration.
> Suppose we were to begin by stating explicitly some basic assumptions and > working with their logic. > > > > 1 - there can only be one <> 'primary' > cause and effect chain in a universe to avoid chaotic behaviour. (re P) > > > > The logic of this assumption is that the universe is not random but works to > an overall pattern - perhaps design. >
That is true. But it does not preclude the existence of randomness. As an analogy, a computer program can employ randomness, often to great effect (e.g. montecarlo algorithms), but if the program itself was just a random collection of symbols then there would be no coherent computational space within which virtual objects could exist or interact. So even if there is randomness in the virtual space, the program must be coherent and the computer itself must be free from random behaviours.
If the quantum realm of our universe was considered as a vast computational process, then it is a single unified process that operates on the wavefunction of the whole cosmos. This process involves the interference of probability waves in a deterministic manner but the process whereby these waves collapse into a single perceived classical actuality is an entirely random process that is guided by the probability distributions but not strictly determined by them.
Hence the cosmic wavefunction and it's quantum dynamics can be thought of as a single unified foundation underlying the universe that we experience. However the exact classical actuality that we experience is open to random influences.
> > 2 - the primary cause of the universe is not a process but an essence; an > unmoved cause. > > > > The logic of this assumption is that all 'constantly acting' processes are > secondary, not primary. >
Many ancient scriptures describe the 'essence' as the innermost consciousness, pure awareness, perfect watchfulness without any modifications or disturbances. I describe it as computation in its purest most abstract form.
This computation is then 'woven' into a process that functions as a virtual-reality generator. In its fundamental principles it is similar to a virtual reality simulator, at least certain aspects of it can be understood by using such an analogy.
> > > 3 - All constantly acting processes are derivative transformations of the > primary universal cause. > > > > The logic of this is that all measurements and models of time, space and > movement, etc are derivative processes. >
I agree. Just as all computer programs "are derivative transformations of the primary" computational essence, so too are all processes. It is the operation of the virtual-reality generative process that creates the virtual space. Within this space entities come to exist and interact, hence "all measurements and models of time, space and movement, etc are derivative processes"
> > > 4 - there is only one universe made up of a primary essential cause together > with derivative processes that work through a common pattern. > > > > The logic here is that there is no unobserved objective universe, no unseen > rainbow or unfelt solidarity. (see Owen Barfield) > > Specifically, observation is a secondary process that speaks to other > secondary processes and brings them into creation (existence). >
Indeed, in quantum physics it is the act of observation that causes the collapse of the wavefunction, without this there would be no classical reality, there would just be a constantly evolving quantum wavefunction and all entities would be non-local in both time and space.
Furthermore, Vedanta speaks of the "three worlds"; E.g. Aum bhur bhuva swaha, which means "Brahman (the unified cosmic essence) which permeates the outer, the inner and the innermost worlds. From the Vedic perspective reality is an emanation from the innermost world out to the outer world. First there is the cosmic essence, pure consciousness or computation, which is the innermost essence of all manifest forms, just like in a virtual reality, nothing can exist in it without it somehow being 'computed'. This cosmic essence creates a virtual-reality generative process that then manifests a virtual space within which processes operate and manifest virtual dynamics. Within this space 'systems' arise, which (in my own terminology) are abstact information constructs. These systems perceive, transform and output information. As they perceive and transform this information they experience the underlying reality according to the nature of their particular perceptual and interpretive aparatus (i.e. senses and mind in our case, but all manifest forms, even so called 'inanimate' ones transform information in this way, otherwise they could not interact and exhibit behaviour). This is the subjective inner world and all manifest forms have such an 'inner' aspect. Then, in the case of high level beings such as ourselves we form ideas about these inner experiences and attach words and concepts to these ideas. Then we tend to blur the distinction between words, ideas, experiences and the underlying reality (which is beyond all words). Thus we think that our experiences are an infallible indicator of the nature of reality. We subtly assume that our experiences give us a perfect grasp on reality, that our ideas perfectly represent those experiences and that the words perfectly represent those ideas. Then we communicate these words between ourselves and thereby develop the collective mythology of an objective world that is separately existent to the subjective observer. So the worlds arise in the order of innermost, inner and finally outer.
It is true that there is some definite reality underlying everything that we experience but our experiences are not necessarily a good indicator of the true nature of that reality. Just as when one interacts with a virtual world on a computer, what you see and experience is not indicative of the true nature of that reality. Instead of being made of objects in space it is instead made of abstract non-local compuational processes that operate in some unseen transcendent context. Furthermore, the concept of 'matter' is a concept that we attach to our experience of solidity. Underlying this experience there is a definite reality but it is not 'solid', that is only our experience - hence the search for the "fundamental particle" resulted in quantum wavefunctions rather than some little bundle of solidity that magically exists and magically possesses behaviour. Thus materialism is a mythology based upon a deep seated superstition that has be shown to be false. It still has useful applications within many mundane macroscopic contexts but it has no place in any deep metaphysical enquiry. > > > 5 - no secondary process (measurement) can become or directly represent the > primary cause - 2 can never become 1. > > > > The logic here is that the primary cause is known, not through secondary > processes of movement, measurement or scientific instrument, but through the > primary essence itself. >
The cosmic essence is refered to in the Upanishads as "the sight within seeing", it cannot be directly discerned, it is the very means of discernment. In that sense the "absolute reality" is described as transcendent, as in 'beyond' and the experiential "relative reality" can be described as empirical, as in "a construct of our sensory experiences".
The clearest and most direct means of coming to know the primary cause is to still all disturbances of the mind, to delve deeply into one's own innermost consciuosness because that is the innermost essence of the whole of reality. Just as a computer game character can look out through its programmed senses into the virtual world and thereby experience a world of people, places and things but if they delved into their innermost essence they would eventually realise that they are a computational construct and that every 'thing' is a computational construct. Furthermore, there is only the one computational essence that animates everything and that is the universal primary cause.
Also, it is true that "no secondary process (measurement) can become or DIRECTLY represent the primary cause" but the cosmos seems to have a fractal structure, which implies recursive self similarity. Thus miniature microcosms can arise, which are not identical to the primary cause, but are similar. For example, within the computational space of a physical computer one can simulate a virtual machine (this is one of the aspects of Java that makes it so cross-platform). This virtual machine doesn't simulate every aspect of a physical machine down to the semi-conductors and quantum tunneling effects and so on, and it loses power or computational efficiency because it is a secondary process. But if it can capture the logical principles of the computer it can create, for most intents and purpose, a computer within a computer.
In many ways the subtle quantum fields that mediate the intricate communications within living organisms (which have only recently been discovered), these fields are like microcosms of the cosmic quantum fields. In this sense we are a little like fractaly self similar microcosms of the cosmos itself. Furthermore, when our consciousness is perfectly aligned with our innermost essence (the primary essence of reality) and our minds and bodies manifest this without distortion then we are what Christ described as "sons of God". I think it was partly this fractal self similarity that he was implying. We are not just objects in space, we are consciousnesses within a cosmic consciousness and we are microcosms of the whole cosmos.
In a similar manner to the Java example above, my own mathematics (SMN) attempts to model aspects of the transcendent virtual-reality generative process so that we may better understand it and thereby the rest of reality. Such an approach, especially in conjuction with quantum computing, could eventually led to the creation of metaphyisically realistic artificial worlds that we could create and even occupy and experience as tangibly as we do this world. But that is not my reason for developing it. My own reason was that mystical concepts were so compelling to me but my mind would not simply believe, so I found a way to prove to myself that such concepts are indeed coherent and that they can give rise to a reality such as the one that I experience.
> > > 6 - the primary causal essence is reflected more by simultaneity and > symmetry than by differential pattern and multiplicity. > > > > The derivative logic here is that the greater multiplicity (processes acting > on processes) the more removed from the primary cause. >
In my own language, the fundamental essence 'computation' is associated with the concept of 'information'. Computation is the coherent input, transformation and output of information. And information is simply "discernable difference", hence it can manifest in ANY medium and is a low level conceptualisation of the cosmic 'substance'. Because it is 'discernable' difference it implies the process of computation, which is needed for discernment. Hence each concept implies the other and they form a conceptual pair. These form the foundation (Brahman in Vedanta).
As information and computation combine (prakriti and purusha in Vedanta) they give rise to all kinds of processes and patterns, these are all part of the world of manifest forms (Maya in Vedanta). Just as a single computer can display all kinds of images and sounds and virtual worlds, which may come and go, all these things are a part of relative reality. The absolute reality is that which persists between worlds, the computer or the cosmic essence (i.e. Brahman).
> > > 7 - the personal relationship we have to the primary cause is symmetrical > and holographic. > > > > The logic here is that like each point in a hologram, we both represent a > point in the overall universal iterative pattern and at the same time the > whole is contained within each of us. >
I'm not sure what you mean by symmetrical in this context but I agree that things seem very holographic at the quantum level. Even the tiniest most insignificant motion or event is not just localised to some small region in space and time, it is a movement of the entire cosmos. All concepts of localisation are meaningless at the quantum level. Instead of a static optical hologram where all the individual elements have a static input/output modulation thereby forming an optical holographic image, the cosmos is more like a dynamic informatic hologram. Each system keeps evolving, hence it's input/output transform keeps changing and the global holographic construct keeps evolving. I'm not certain of this bit but it seems to me to be something like that.
> Specifically, for science to move towards embracing consciousness and spirit > it will have to give up on the two universes of 'objective' and 'subjective' > and embrace The Holographic Field that transcends them both. > >
All paths of knowledge are mythologies. The underlying reality is beyond all words and concepts, however we experience it in our own ways. But so long as we unquestioning blur the distinction between our words, ideas, experiences and the underlying reality we will go round and round in circles of semantics. If we think that our words are direct and infallible refferents to reality then we are trapped in a mind-made world. The best way to escape such a trap is to return to direct subjective experience, without the interference of high level concepts, i.e. to look upon a tree and not see a 'tree', or a 'cedar', or 'timber' or any of these limiting concepts, but to look in open minded awe and to gaze upon the underlying essence that cannot be put into words. It is a state of deep subjectivity. Only when one has a firm subjective foundation can one build truly reliable objective knowledge because objectivism arises from subjective experience.
And as one delves deeper into the underlying universal essence one realises that it is one and whole, it is not made of seperate parts, it is perfectly unified and all concepts of separation arise from the act of perception and interpretation of the underlying reality. From this perspective there are no separate objects or subjects, there is no objectivity or subjectivity, there is just the unified cosmic dance of existence or the "Dance of Lila" as it is called in Vedanta.