by Alex Vikoulov
"What science discovers at the end, the mystics have known since the beginning." - Inayat Khan
Mathematical formulas and models describe our "physical rule set" but we still don't have much of a mathematical representation to describe our "neural code" and inner experience, i.e. consciousness which is needed to "activate" time.
Time is NOT dynamic, but rather the static 4th dimension in holographic 4D space-time, unless you add a special ingredient to it - conscious observer. Otherwise, time without a conscious observer would be like a frozen river, one of the static coordinates in 4D space-time (scientists labeled 4D space-time the "Block Universe") - there's neither special "Now" nor objective flow of time in any direction.
This is the second part of my essay - Temporal Dynamics: Seven Misconceptions About The Nature of Time. Please review the first four misconceptions about the non-linear nature of time, hidden from our senses, before proceeding with this part of the essay:
Misconception #5. Time of Our Universe is Eternal
If there is a beginning to time, is there an end? Or TIME is eternal?
Depending on the perspective, time could be considered eternal if experienced from within the 4D Block Universe, just like the Earth's surface, in a sense, infinite if you travel endlessly on it in any direction. However, if viewed from the higher dimensions, described by String Theory, space-time of our Universe would be finite, whereas Multiversal Time (time of the multiverse) outside our Universe could be eternal. That's what scientists refer to as Eternal Inflation.
Although there's a widely accepted inflationary model of the origins of time (and space) - the Big Bang, which sets the 4-dimensional space-time in our Universe, there is no agreement among the physicists how it all ends. There are basically two opposite scenarios for the Universe's finale: The Big Rip and the Big Crunch.
Video: MyHughestFan - Mr.Nobody's Temporal Dimension
In classical terms, we view time as linear progression from the Big Bang where time pushes forward. There's, however, another way to view time of the Universe, via the concept of the Omega Point, coined by the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) to describe a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving. The idea of the Omega Point was further developed by other renowned proponents, such as John David Garcia, Paolo Soleri, Terence McKenna, Frank Tipler, Andrew Strominger.
Why is the concept of Omega Point so important?
Science is based on empirical observation of the physical world, but that seems to be just a shadow of the greater reality which lies beyond our perception and measurement. No wonder, science currently can explain only 5% of the visible cosmos by its Standard Model of Particles. The rest of the cosmos is conveniently labeled Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Flow, or simply "Dark Universe". From time to time, science makes a paradigm shift like from Newtonian Mechanics to Quantum Physics, thus expanding our understanding from deterministic laws to probabilistic realities.
I don't even want to entertain the idea that our Universe sprang into existence without purpose and at the end will dissipate into nothingness, like in the Big Rip scenario (however, I discuss that less likely scenario further). In my view, the goal of creation is "Experience through the Mind's Evolution" toward the Omega Point with ever-higher levels of complexity and consciousness.
From bio-intelligence, individual minds connected to form planetary ecosystems, to the technological singularities, like the one we should expect here on Earth sometime by mid-century, which I refer to as the most important event in the history of our planet - the Syntellect Emergence - evolution of our Universe will inevitably lead to the networked Superintelligence which must eventually engulf the entire Universe and control it. As the final product of evolution, Universal Superintelligence will possess immense integrating power to slow down, stop and then reverse the expansion of our Universe. At the final stage, galaxies, star systems and all other matter, energy, and space-time itself will be pulled back together and eventually compressed into an infinitely dense point - the Omega Point.
Why would Universal Superintelligence want to do that?
When the Universe collapses into a single point, it has infinite space-time density, i.e. maximum information processing capability. Ray Kurzweil, one of the most prominent singularitarians, argues that "evolution moves inexorably toward our conception of God, albeit never reaching this ideal." The increasing complexity and integration of the Universe are conducive to higher levels of consciousness and God-like states and attributes: omnipresense, omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, immortality, love, beauty, creativity.
Video: Closer to Truth - Far Future of the Universe w/Ray Kurzweil
Dr. Frank J. Tipler, a mathematical physicist and cosmologist at Tulane University, who further developed the Omega Point Theory, claims that the Technological Singularity is inevitable and the destiny of the human race is to live forever, expand universally and finally reach the Omega Point, the networked mind of universal proportions, living conscious Universe. Tipler identifies this Omega Point final singularity and its state of infinite informational capacity as God.
As the laws of physics dictate, all particles as well as macro objects, including you and me, are wavicles, exhibiting a probabilistic wave function, consequently, one way or the other, we're destined and, as a civilization, "superpositioned" to achieve the Technological Singularity, and then move forward toward the Cosmological Singularity, the Omega Point (OMG! Point). It's a logical necessity, argues Dr.Tipler.
According to Tipler's Omega Point Theory, as the Universe comes to an end at this cosmological singularity in a particular form of the Big Crunch, the computational capacity of the Universe will allow an infinite amount of information to be processed and stored before the end of space-time. Superintelligence will be able to simulate every possible future before the Universe ends, as well as recreate earlier histories - a state also known as "Aleph." Any simulations run by Superintelligence could theoretically continue forever in its own terms (i.e., in "experiential time"), an infinite subjective time before the cosmological singularity. Life will become immortal in its own perspective, even though the Universe lasts only a finite amount of proper time.
Video: Through the Wormhole - Dr.Frank Tipler's Omega Point Theory
Andrew Strominger, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University, published a paper "Inflation and the dS/CFT Correspondence" a few years ago, where he speculated that the observed universe has a dual representation as renormalization group flow between two conformal fixed points in time - the Alpha Point (the Big Bang) instant of inflation creating the causal diamond of the conscious observer and the Teilhard de Chardin's Omega Point of maximal entropy. The Alpha Point has only 1 bit of entropy compared to the 10^10^123 bits at the Omega Point.
While alluding to that we are part of the conscious universe and time is holographic in nature, Strominger writes in his paper: "The picture proposed here recasts the question “What is the origin of the universe?” in a new light. In a sense it puts the origin of the universe in the infinite future, rather than the infinite past." Greatly influenced by theoretical work of Gerard Hooft of Utrecht Iniversity and Leonard Susskind of Stanford University who developed the Holographic Principle, Dr. Strominger hypothesizes that information is being projected as we would consider "backwards in time" from the "holographic plate" in the distant future - the Omega Point.
Video: Leonhard Euler1 - Lecture by Andrew Strominger
The Universe you and I live in is by far more complicated place than the early universe was. As Terence McKenna once said: "I see the cosmos as a kind of novelty-producing engine, a kind of machine that produces complexity in all realms - physical, chemical, social - and then uses that achieved level of complexity as a platform for further complexity."
The amount of complexity at any given moment is in direct correlation to the temporal distance from that event to the OMG Point. Say, primordial mitochondria are much farther from the OMG Point than the humans of the early 21st century. Think of the Omega Point as a star radiating energy, universal attractor - things are not being pushed from behind on the evolutionary timeline but being pulled toward the Omega Point, a point of maximum complexity and connectivity. As McKenna eloquently puts it: “With the emergence of the global Internet, a human population of several billion, and an electronic noosphere, we are now within the shadow of this transcendental object at the end of time."
Since all events, including the Big Bang and the Omega Point exist simultaneously in the eternal Now, it's through our subjective experience that we rediscover the future that has already happened. In a sense, our consciousness is a stream of realized probabilities. See my recent article, here:
The ultimate destiny of our Universe, according to the Omega Point Theory, is a multi-billion year expansion, then controlled contraction and finally compression of space-time, matter and energy into an infinitely dense Omega Point, leading to the next Big Bang - the Alpha Point in another universe. This cyclic cosmological model is in line with the Big Bounce Theory, positing that our Universe could have formed from an older collapsing universe, the idea currently gaining traction in the scientific community. The final singularity of the OMG Point itself is estimated by Tipler to be reached between 10^18 and 10^19 years.
This estimation is, of course, a subject to revision and dependent mostly on our ability to network with alien civilizations (should we encounter any) as well as travel faster than light in order to colonize our Milky Way galaxy, Virgo Supercluster, and so on. Indications are, however, that FTL travel is theoretically possible, and if the physical laws don't forbid it (in this case warping of space), as David Deutsch says, than it's technologically feasible. Alcubierre warp drive spaceships, self-replicating Von Neumann probes, and even traversable wormholes could be the means for posthuman civilization to expand universally. See my recent article, here:
The Big Rip scenario may still happen, too, but it will lead to the inverse Omega Point
Within our probabilistic multiverse, there may be some versions where our Universe (or rather its probabilistic versions) will end up with the Big Rip scenario. For one reason or another, Superintelligence will not be present to prevent Dark Energy to rip all matter apart. One may speculate that Superintelligence will be long gone by the final stages of that dying universe, perhaps, escaping to a newly created universe.
The logical outcome of the Big Rip scenario would be a multi-trillion year accelerating expansion of the universe, where all matter, including subatomic particles, will eventually disintegrate. Such universe will represent a homogenous void with no interactions between particles. And with no interactions and change in the universe, space-time would effectively reach, what I would call, a perfectly balanced state of the inverse Omega Point, a point of indeterminate size (infinitely large or infinitesimally small), precursor to the Big Bang in another universe.
This scenario is theorized by physicists Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan in their Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC) model, which postulates that the universe iterates through infinite cycles, with the future timelike infinity of each previous iteration being identified with the future Big Bang singularity of the next iteration. Penrose popularized this theory in his 2010 book "Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe".
The Omega Point is intimately related to the Zeroth dimension - the whole of all potentialities, as well as the 10th dimension of String Theory, describing essentially the same timeless ultimate ensemble - the Omniverse. Mathematically, it appears impossible to reach (from our perspective) but that's what it is - the mathematical concept that exists and provides the foundation for everything else which is derived from it. Rob Bryanton brilliantly depicts the Zeroth dimension and the concept of the Omniverse in the following video:
Video: 10thdim by Rob Bryanton - "Imagining the Zeroth Dimension"
From a transhumanist perspective, the Omega Point is the logical conclusion of our striving towards higher levels and goals, regardless of their nature. It becomes clear that it is more of an engineering problem than a philosophical question.
“Think of an enormous space of possibilities, a giant multidimensional sphere", says AI visionary Eliezer Yudkowsky. "This is Mind Design Space, the set of possible cognitive algorithms. Imagine that somewhere near the bottom of that sphere is a little tiny dot representing all the humans who ever lived… ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is just a name for the entire space of possibilities outside the tiny human dot.” I would continue this statement and pinpoint the Omega Point as a tiny dot right at the top of that multidimensional sphere.
- by Alex Vikoulov
HERE'S PART III (Conclusion, Misconceptions #6 & #7):
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Tags: consciousness, temporal dynamics, temporal mechanics, Alpha Point, Omega Point, Omniverse, unified field, quantum consciousness, quantum theory, quantum physics, conscious observer, quantum immortality, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Frank Tipler, Ray Kurzweil, Andrew Strominger, Gerard Hooft, Leonard Susskind, Terence McKenna, Eliezer Yudkowsky, David Deutsch, Inayat Khan, Big Bang theory, Big Bounce theory, Comformal Cyclic Cosmology, Syntellect emergence, multiverse, multiversal time, Newtonian mechanics, quantum multiverse, virtual reality, holographic principle, 4D space-time, block universe, Von Neumann probes, Alcubierre warp drive, Digital Physics, general relativity theory, probabilistic space, AI, Artificial Intelligence, simulation hypothesis, digital timescales, noosphere, entropy, maximal entropy, causal diamond, renormalization group flow, Aleph, de Sitter space
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a futurist, evolutionary extrapolist, transhumanist, digital philosopher, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter and media artist, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution". Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).