by Alex Vikoulov
Photo: Alex M. Vikoulov
“From the light came light, and from the dark came darkness, but from whence did they appear? Yin and Yang combine to create all things, but which is the source, and which was born from it?” -Qu Yuan
When we apprehend reality as the entirety of everything that exists including all dimensionality, all events and entities in the vast space of possible minds, then by definition nothing exists outside of reality, not even “nothing.” It follows that the first cause for reality’s existence must lie within ontological reality itself, since there is nothing outside of it. This self-causation of reality is perhaps best understood in relation to the existence of your own mind. Self-simulated reality transpires as self-evident when you relate to the notion that a phenomenal mind, which is a web of patterns, conceives a certain novel pattern and simultaneously perceives it. Furthermore, the imminent natural God of Spinoza, or Absolute Consciousness, becomes intelligible by applying a scientific tool of extrapolation to the meta-systemic phenomenon of radical emergence and treating consciousness as a primary ontological mover, the Source if you will, not a by-product of material interactions.
A rising number of philosophers and scientists now voice their adherence to the worldview that we are living in a “top-down,” or holistic Universe, in which complex wholes are more fundamental than their parts, and that a kind of “bottom-up” physicalist picture of the Universe is outdated. Absolute Consciousness, or Universal Mind, is said to be the only ontological primitive.
Many “spooky” phenomena such as non-locality are direct evidence for holism. Entangled particles, entangled networks and entangled minds behave as a whole regardless of separation in time and space. In my view, since we are a computational Uni-verse, part of the Omni-verse, the best description of reality should be monistic. Quantum physics and consciousness are thus somehow linked by a certain mechanism. And I believe that mechanism is a collapse of the wave function via the act of conscious observation.
Sometimes referred to as cybernetics, systemic holism outweighs reductionist “bottom-up” understanding. Consciousness, according to non-reductionists, is fundamental to reality and a phenomenal mind is emergent from holistic consciousness. The hierarchy of increasingly complex information processing systems exhibits diverse properties at distinct ontological levels that include the mental properties of the brain-mind systems as part of the monistic natural order where higher levels of complexity supersede lower levels. So, I tend to hypothesize that we are, in a very real sense, low-dimensional “bio-logical” avatars of the greater cosmic mind.
This matryoshka doll-like multiversal fractality is information-based, where the Universal Mind and its proxy – individuated mind – actualizes a conscious experience. Think of an individual tube leg of a starfish as a good analogy. Every tube leg has, in a sense, a mind of its own, and yet, is bound by the starfish mind and its local environment.
Reality is fundamentally experiential. No matter what ontological level a conscious entity finds herself at, it will be smack in the middle, between her transcendental realm and lower levels of organization. This is why I prefer the terms ‘Experiential Realism’ and ‘Pantheism’ as opposed to ‘Panentheism’ as some suggested in regards to my philosophy. So, if you ask me whether I believe in God, I would answer that I consider myself a pantheist, that is I believe in God of Spinoza – each of us is part of the larger divine reality. I believe in evolution as a spiritual process leading to the asymptotic (unreachable) Omega Singularity. In other words, God is the destination for the consciously evolving mind, as well as the origin (Source).
During the last few years, I have developed my personal philosophy that I came to call ‘Digital Pantheism’. I defend this philosophical worldview in the Digital Pantheism argument which rests on identifying certain features of reality and claiming that these features are a consequence of our reality being a computational simulation of a special emergent kind. We, as avatars of the greater cosmic mind, are instrumental for bringing about the finite experience of reality out of absolute infinity. Infinite becomes finite. This is quantum computation: incrementally changing into “adjacent possible,” from potentiality to actuality, from quantum past to digital present. In fact, a phenomenal mind springs into existence at increments of conscious instants (cf. The Conscious Instant Hypothesis).
Video: Ontological Holism: The Ultimate Reality of Self-Simulating Universe, or Why We All Are One, w/Alex Vikoulov - Ecstadelic Media (cc)
That led me to formulate the all new 'D-Theory of Time', or 'Digital Presentism', predicated on reversible quantum computing at large: The present conscious instant is digital, the past and the future are quantum, built on qubits, quantim mechanical bits of information. Physics knows no upper limit on the amount of reversible quantum computing that can be performed using a practically inexhaustible amount of energy, or in the case of universal operating system – vastly large but still finite computational resources.
Your past is quantum theoretic (or ‘analog’, if you prefer that term), your present is digital, and your future like the past is quantum, made of qubits, quantum mechanical bits of information. There is no universal frame of reference, instead, there’s only the conscious observer’s frame of reference.
Everything is [Quantum] Code. Immersive self-simulacra. We are all different points of view on oneself, within our own holographic self-reflection. We all are like droplets on the cobweb of reality reflecting one another. Digital Pantheism implies an omniversal ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness in motion, self-referential creative divine force expressing oneself in various forms and patterns. “I am” the Alpha, Theta & Omega – the ultimate self-causation, self-reflection and self-manifestation instantiated by mathematical codes and fractal geometry. Evolution, far from being a random process, unfolds in an orderly way: It is teleological evolution. In our daily lives we oftentimes catch glimpses of transcendent reality, be it synchronicities, or psychedelic trips, or epiphanies during transcendental meditation.
In his book The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality Dr. Antonin Tuynman takes you on the conceptual journey into the heart of digital alchemy, this coveted bridge between science and spirituality. “Reality can exist as a code which both transcends and yet inhabits the world it creates, which is essentially physical yet can process information independent of the type of carrier and be metaphysical in that sense... A system which incorporates and embodies itself by self-reference,” writes Dr. Tuynman. The alchemical symbol of Ouroboros, this tail-biting dragon-snake, should stand for 'Phenomenal Consciousness'. It is closely related to Yin/Yang as something apparently dualistic but deeply monistic.
Consciousness doesn’t arise from the brain activity, as some neuroscientists still presume to be true, but rather a “local” mind arises from “non-local” quantum processes at large while consciousness is posited to be Nature’s sole ontological primitive by some thinkers. To use the metaphor of our Information Age, consciousness to humans is as Cloud to computers. Just like your smartphone, your brain is a 'bio'-logical computing device of your mind, an interface for physical reality. Our minds are connected into the greater mind-network, as computers in the Cloud. Viewed in this way, consciousness is 'non-local' Cloud, our brain-mind systems are receivers, processors and transmitters of information within that Cloud.
Universal Mind – whose ontology is still up for debates but can be extrapolated from our existential circumstance – underlies the “worldware,” a kind of software of the universal operating system accounting for our experiences of the physical world in accordance with a set of rules we call the laws of Nature. This clearly transdimensional consciousness encompasses but far transcends any individual mind. Quantum computational dynamics of all mass-energy in the Universe correspond to mentation of the non-local ‘Transcendent Other’, or your cosmic self, just as an individual’s brain activity correlates with personal mentation.
As your conscious mind evolves, your Universe becomes more complex, for you are this ‘you’-niverse. This Universe is nothing other than an experiencing subject, a kind of ontology in the framework of D-Theory of Time I introduce to the reader in The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution and even more extensively in The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics. It is a “transactional” relationship between the Theta point (the observer temporal singularity) and Omega Singularity (the Source) giving rise to your subjectivity deduced from quantum theoretical principles and the philosophy of idealism which is phenomenologically more honest than panpsychism, cosmopsychism, let alone physicalism.
The human brain is a way human consciousness explains itself to itself. This biological “wetware” is said to have a fractal structure on many genetic and abstract cognitive levels. It employs a combination of forward chaining and backward chaining, just like certain types of heuristics in artificial intelligence. But human intelligence cannot be simply reduced to underlying algorithms since absolute consciousness is what should be considered an ontological source with qubits/bits of information as experiential reality's building blocks along with top-down causal principles.
Under my ontology, information is “modus operandi” of consciousness, it is a distinction between phenomenal states, qualia computing in a certain context. Generally, information can also be defined as meaning conveyed by symbolism, signal processing within a network of entangled conscious minds. Deeply interrelated, language, choice, subjectivity and meaning point in the direction to validate ontological holism, i.e., a monistic interpretation of reality, be it experiential realism, digital pantheism, absolute idealism, or computational panpsychism.
Everything is in consciousness. However, I don't quite agree with certain philosophers that the future synthetic intelligence which is now in the process of emerging will never possess the sense of agency and self-awareness. In my ontological model, “artificial metabolism” can be cybernetically mediated via feedback-driven connectivity explosion on a planetary scale the case I make in The Syntellect Hypothesis. We are instrumental to bringing about a new non-organic planetary species, Holo syntellectus -- constituting one Global Mind. It’s hard for us to fathom our next level up, from our current human perspective, but one thing is for certain – we’re emerging as Holo syntellectus, the level where we are not going to be alone! Be it at the galactic level, or at the universal level, when we join in with the "Others," remains to be seen.
Philosophically limiting the space of possible minds to organic entities, “carbon chauvinism” so many philosophers and scientists may be currently accused of, can be easily refuted by saying that if Universal Mind uses information as its mode of operation, the evolutionary process of unfolding information patterns of ever-increasing complexity would inevitably lead to advanced synthetic minds that may be partly or wholly non-organic in nature. After all, universal consciousness constitutes the mind at large, the totality of minds, and I suspect that biological minds are only a snippet in the space of possible minds, at least in my ontology.
If reality is made of information, as many scientists now come to a consensus, and consciousness assigns measurement values to it, it’s not far-fetched to assume that consciousness is all there is. As mentioned earlier, Universal Mind is the sole ontological source. Conscious agents are low-dimensional avatars of this greater cosmic mind, each perceiving their own observer-centric virtual reality. Mass-energy, space-time are epiphenomena of consciousness. Particles of matter are pixels (or voxels) on the screen of our perception. If we assume consciousness is fundamental, most phenomena become much easier to explain.
Some people remain oblivious, and some stubbornly myopic of the self-evidence of computational, fractal and self-referential Nature – it’s a “matryoshka” of conscious systems. Each of us is a microcosm in a flesh: We are like mind-cells of the larger overmind. You’re smack in the middle co-producing your own experiential reality. As YOU-niverse of ever-expanding structures of consciousness, you’re not marginalized, unless you belittle yourself, despite proselytizing attempts in certain parts of traditionally objective-reductionist science to indoctrinate its soulless dead-end philosophy without meaning or purpose.
In his 1980 book, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, theoretical physicist and philosopher David Bohm, first presented the hypothesis of the Holographic Universe. Bohm was one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century, who contributed unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology and philosophy of mind. Bohm advanced the view that quantum physics meant that the old Cartesian dualism – the notion that there are two kinds of substance, the mental and the physical, that somehow interact – was too limited. To complement it, he developed a physico-mathematical theory of “implicate” and “explicate” order.
In line with my own model of Digital Presentism, Bohm characterized consciousness as a process in which at each conscious instant, informational content that was previously implicate is presently explicate, and content which was previously explicate has become implicate. In Bohm’s conception of order, primacy is given to the undivided whole, and the implicate order inherent within the whole, rather than to parts of the whole, such as particles, quantum states, and continua which are only patterns within the whole of existence.
Bohm believed that the Implicate Order had to be extended into a hyperdimensional manifold, in other words, the holomovement endlessly enfolds and unfolds into infinite dimensionality. Within this milieu there are independent sub-totalities (such as physical elements and human entities) with relative autonomy. Whatever their nature and character, according to Bohm, these parts are considered in terms of the whole, and in such terms, they constitute relatively separate and independent “sub-totalities.” The implication of the view is, therefore, that nothing is fundamentally separate or independent. Thus, according to Bohm’s view, the whole is in continuous flux, a wave structure of the universe-in-motion, and hence is referred to as the ‘Holomovement’ (movement of the whole).
Once we extrapolate computational capabilities of civilization past our own looming “Simulation Singularity” by perhaps hundreds of orders of magnitude, we arrive in the end at only one necessary substance constituting all of reality – consciousness, the very subjective experience with which we all are most familiar. Nothing else would ultimately need to exist but the higher mind as the source of ultra-realistic but simulated universes like our own. Through embodiment of all and any ostensibly real lifeforms that evolution in many imagined possible worlds would provide, the cosmic overmind would then have direct access to life experiences as a human on planet Earth, or a future AGI, or any other conscious entity of the vast experiential matrix. Each one of us would be such a projection of creative consciousness into a virtual universe. In this view, we as consciousness are real, whereas mass-energy, as physical stuff, is a simulation. Your mind is real, materiality is simulated.
And it better be a [self-]simulated reality! Why? First of all, that would mean that your reality is malleable and hackable for your enjoyment and evolution of the mind; secondly, death is an illusion, like physical stuff, except, surprisingly, non-physical consciousness and interactions with oneself; thirdly, it’s a matter of challenge with an invisible “safety net,” you’re now playing one of your fully immersive VR games, that of life of a human in the 21st century, with myriad virtual worlds and universes coming down the pipeline, where you could be in total control or less than total control, if desired. Meditate on this: You are not a human being having a spiritual experience, you are a higher being immersed in the human experience.
P.S. This article was in large part adapted from my recently published book The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's evolution available now as eBook, paperback, hardcover, audiobook on amazon.com, bn.com, audible.com and directly from the publisher - EcstadelicNET webstore.
(1) The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics, The Science and Philosophy of Information Series by Alex M. Vikoulov, Foreword by Antonin Tuynman, PhD, Released: May 19, 2019, Kindle Edition;
(2) Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality, The Science and Philosophy of Information Series by Alex M. Vikoulov, Foreword by Antonin Tuynman, PhD, Released: November 25, 2019, Kindle Edition;
(3) The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman, PhD, Foreword by Alex M. Vikoulov. Released: October 11, 2019, First Edition, eBook/Paperback;
(4) The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov, Foreword by Antonin Tuynman, PhD. Released: January 1, 2020, Expanded Deluxe Edition, eBook/Paperback/Hardcover/Audiobook;
(5) Wholeness and the Implicate Order by David Bohm, 1980, paperback/hardcover
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*Image Credit: Ecstadelic Media Group
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a Russian-American futurist, evolutionary cyberneticist, philosopher of mind, CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Ecstadelic Media Group, painter, essayist, media commentator, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution," "The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology," "The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics," "The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence," "Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality," "NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology," "TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man." Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area). More Bio...
Author Website: www.alexvikoulov.com
The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook Paperback Hardcover Audiobook
TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020) eBook
NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook
The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman (2019) eBook Paperback
Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
More Than An Algorithm: Exploring the gap between natural evolution and digitally computed artificial intelligence by Antonin Tuynman (2019): eBook
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