Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Are we living in a Simulation? A historical overview

It is hard, if not impossible to determine how deep the roots of belief in the tree of virtuality reach back in the history of the human race. Certainly we did not need our Oculus Rift VR headset to come up with this idea. When did man first started to doubt the reality of the solid world around him? When did we first start to think we might be living in an illusion? 


The first written tradition is perhaps the allegory of the cave by Plato [1]  in his treaty "The Republic" written around 380 B.C. 
In this allegory prisoners are chained in a cave in such a way that they can only look at a wall in front of them. Behind them is a fire burning and between the fire and the prisoners is a low wall, behind which other people walk carrying objects or puppets "of men and other living things". These objects cast shadows on the wall in front of the prisoners. The sounds made by the walking people also echo from this wall, so that it seems that the shadows are making these noises. For the prisoners, who never experienced anything else these shadows are the only reality there is. In the story one man escapes. At first according to Plato he would not understand that what the prisoners see and hear are mere shadows and echoes.  Only once the escaped prisoner would find out about sunlight outside the cave and get accustomed to it, he'd be able to learn about shadows. Thus he'd start to understand the real source of the images and sounds. Thereafter he'd consider this new reality superior and "he would bless himself for the change, and pity [the other prisoners]" and would want to bring his fellow cave dwellers out of the cave and into the sunlight". Unfortunately back in the cave his eyes would need to get accustomed to the dark again. His fellow prisoners would think he'd gone blind and conclude it's dangerous outside of the cave. They would not be willing to leave.
As the freed prisoner in this allegory represents the person who sees the world for the illusion it is, this is one of the first written proofs that humans were conscious of the possibility that our reality might not be the ultimate reality.

The Greek sophist, Gorgias (c. 483–375 BC) [2] is reputed as the father of Solipsism, the notion that we can only be sure of our mind to exist. Moreover he's quoted  to have stated: 
1. Nothing exists.
2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it.
3. Even if something could be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.
With this reasoning the Sophists tried to show that "objective" knowledge was a literal impossibility. An extreme interpretation of Solipsism is to assume that only I exist and that everything else is a concoction of my mind. Or a simulation if you wish.

Another early text on this topic is from the Zhuangzi [3] by the eponymous author who lived between 369 and 286 B.C:
"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things."
Dreaming in fact is our most direct springboard to question whether our reality is an illusion.
Both Vedic and Buddhist traditions have spoken of the world as Maya, a magic or illusory veil. Maya has been said to be the reflection of something very real in a spiritual world. The powerful and colorful paintings the Tantric and Tibetan Buddhists have used were intended to help them visualise alternate realities. The so-called Avatamsaka Sutra from about 100 B.C. speaks of "infinite realities". In images we find an enlightened deity sitting calmly on a lotus flower often in the middle of raging fires. Worlds within creatures and worlds within circles representing the karmic cycle show how we are caught in the web of dependent arising. Fortunately, there seems to be a way out of this Maya. A little rainbow colored path leads the enlightened ones to the realms of the deities. 
Even today certain schools of thought in Buddhism teach perceived reality literally as unreal. Chögyal Namkai Norbu[4]  considers all our sensory perceptions as a big dream. 
From a neuroscience perspective he is actually right in a certain way: When you think you see the outside world, actually what you are experiencing is an image concocted by your brain. We constantly internally hallucinate a "supposed world out there". We strongly filter the overflow of data entering our senses and create a coherent picture therefrom, which may or may not have a certain degree of isomorphism to the ontic reality. This is especially evident when we are asked to focus on a particular activity. If you are asked to count the number of times on people throw a ball to each other, like most people you will totally miss the man in a Gorilla suit walking among the players, because this irrelevant information is filtered out by your brain. In other words, from the sensory data we receive our brains concoct a simulation which is as meaningful as possible under the given circumstances. In that sense our epistemic reality is almost certainly a simulation.

Similarly in Hinduism  we find the notion that Vishnu[5], the all-pervading one, lies in a dream state on the serpent Adisehsa Ananta. Ananta is time and floats for eternity on the ocean of Cosmic Consciousness. Brahma is born out of the navel of Vishnu and begins the process of creation. Vishnu expands into everything thereby becoming everything. By the act of watching his dream, including the creation of the universe by Brahma, Vishnu sustains the Universe. Only when Vishnu wakes from his dream, the cycle of creation ends.

In the Hellenic world[6] we find the notion of Hermes Trismegistos, the thrice great one. This Godhead seems to be a merger of the Greek God Hermes and the Egyptian God Thoth. The earliest texts mentioning this God go back as far as 172 B.C. Hermes Trismegistos is reputed to have written the so-called Tabula Smaragdina  (which may have an origin much later. It's earliest written version is an 8th century Arabic text). This Tabula Smaragdina mentions the concept "As above, so below", which seems to be considered as an absolute truth among esoterically oriented people today.
"That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing." 
The concept "As above, So below" implies that our physical world is a reflection of a spiritual world. That the microcosm (oneself) is similar in structure to the macrocosm (the universe).

Around 200 A.D. we find the sect of the Gnostics. Gnosticism is a peculiar religion, which describes a dualistic cosmos. Spiritual sparks or souls have become trapped in matter but can be freed by saving knowledge or "Gnosis". The world is the creation of the Demiurge Yaldabaoth, which literally means "Child, come hither". However in another translation his name is translated as "Child of Chaos". The gnostic myth recounts that Sophia (literally "wisdom", the Demiurge's mother) desired to create something apart from the Father to which he did not consent. In this act of separation, she gave birth to the Demiurge. Being ashamed of her deed, she wrapped him in a cloud and created a throne for him within it. 
As the Demiurge did not see Sophia or the Father, nor anyone else, he thus concluded that only he himself existed. In a quote from the Apocryphon of John he is reputed to have said: 'I am God and there is no other God beside me'.
However, he did not know the source of his power and did not know that there was someone above him. 
The myth furthermore shows how this first separation later on resulted in the entrapment of the divine spark, Sophia, within the human form. This spark is latent until awakened by a call and knowing oneself as this divine spark is the beginning of restoration of Sophia as well as gnosis.
It gets a bit blurry when we see that in Gnosticism Yaldabaoth created the world together with six other so-called Archons. One of these is "Sophia" (Venus), whereas Yaldabaoth himself is indicated to be Saturn. 
The internet is full with conspiracy theories that somehow link the Gnostic teachings to the notion that we live in a simulated virtual reality ruled by these evil Archons, who feed on our energies. Many of them claim that one of the Archons is called "Hal", which a Coptic word meaning "simulation" and that this is linked to the "Hal 9000" computer in Space Odyssey 2001. Neither Clarke nor Kubrick has confirmed this assertion. Rather Clarke indicated that this name derived from "Heuristic Algorithm". I have not been able to find this name Hal in the Apocryphon of John either or in any other texts of the Nag Hammadi English Library. 
These theories rather feed on themselves, braiding an unintelligible and untangleable knot of nonsense. In my humble opinion it appears to be a 20th century myth invented by a self-educated and self-proclaimed scholar named John Lash who twisted facts to feed a hungry audience of conspiracy theory addicts.

Middle Ages

In the middle ages we encounter a number of theories that reality is made for us as a kind of "cosmic intelligence test". In the book the "Assassins of Alamut" Anthony Campbell[7]  refers to the medieval Islamic Sect of the Ismailis". they believed the Koran contained an esoteric secret, to which they held the key. He claims that similar notions can be found in the Kabbalah, the teachings of the Cathars of the Languedoc and in the Gnostic texts, all relating to the theme of the world as an unreal simulation, veiling an unknown ultimate reality.
Kabbalists reveal in the book of Zohar [8], that what is revealed to us as matter is merely one thousandth of the total matter and that there is nothing real about it.

From the Renaissance until the 20th Century

In the 17th century René Descartes [9] came with his famous "dream argument". Dreaming according to Descartes is proof that we cannot fully rely on our senses to distinguish reality from illusion: "Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once."
His contemporaries Locke and Hobbes have tried to refute his argument by stating that in dreams there is no pain and that dreams are susceptible to absurdity unlike waking life. From my personal experience I disagree with this counterargument. As a child I have worn braces on my teeth and sometimes in my dreams I still feel the pain thereof, whereas in waking life I have been free of these braces for over 30 years now. In addition not every dream I have is necessarily absurd. Some dreams are eerily realistic.
Descartes even went so far to suggest that even his body (as well as everything else) perhaps only existed as an idea in his mind, thus venturing on the path traced by solipsism. Eventually he concludes a mind-body dualism, but at least he explored the possibility of ontic reality as a mind simulation.
Kant was also of the opinion that we could only know the appearance of things (phenomena), but not the things in themselves; the world as it actually is, which he called the noumenon. In other words our mental image of the world is a mere simulation.
In the 19th century the theosophy movement of H.P Blavatsky [10]  introduced the notion of the so-called Akasha, borrowed from the Vedas, which she referred to as indestructible tablets of astral light. This notion was picked up by Alfred Percy Sinnett [11], who describes a Buddhist belief in a permanency of records of everything that has happened in the Akasha, as well as the ability of man to read the same. This notion has developed to the so-called "Akashic Records", very popular among the esoteric people. Interestingly, this concept of the Akasha has in the 20th century been equated with the so-called quantum vacuum, quantum foam or zero point-field, which according to certain adepts can function as a memory and a digital computer. The world we live in is then nothing else than ones and zeros on an Akashic switchboard, which can either be a simulation carried out by entities from a higher dimension or a kind of "self-simulation". 
Most of these theories have a religious connotation. And this is not surprising. After all, every notion that a God or Gods created or designed the world can be considered as a simulation argument. God as the grand architect of the universe.

20th Century

The 20th century is full of fictional literature, lecture and movies about dream and otherwise simulated realities. Most of these are of the cyberdystopian genre. 
It would go beyond the scope of this chapter to give a comprehensive overview of these. I just picked a few author names for illustrative purposes.
An absolute master of science-fiction involving simulated realities is Philip K.Dick. There's even an annual Philp K.Dick prize for the best SF book. Robert Heinlein, Stanislaw Lem, Douglas Adams and William Gibson are other great authors if you wish to explore the VR-scape in literature. Most of these books were written in the second half of the 20th century.
The book "Neuromancer" (1984) by William Gibson deserves a special place in this row, as he's the first to use the terminology "the Matrix" to indicate the global computer network in cyberspace which is a virtual reality dataspace. Unlike in the movie "The Matrix", in Neuromancer people still also live in the "real" world and can access this cyberspace in a full immersive mode. The main character is unable to access this matrix, becuase his nervous system has been damaged by a mycotoxin, which had been administered to him as a punishment for a crime.
In the movie culture we can go back as far as 1973 where in Fassbinder's "Welt am Draht" (World on a wire) adds the theme of recursivity by having the very people who work on simulating a world find out that they actually live in a simulated world themselves.
The Matrix (1999) is probably the best known movie on theme of a computer simulated world. In the unlikely event you haven't seen it; I'm not going to give away the gist of the film.

21 Century

This brings us to the 21st century where we have the formalisation of the simulation argument by the Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom [12].
Bostrom's trilemma argument states that at least one of the three following propositions is almost certainly true:
(1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; 
(2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; 
(3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.
If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. 
If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. 
If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3).
Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation.
His trilemma reasoning departs from the concept that a technologically mature "posthuman" civilization would have enormous computing power. Even if only a tiny percentage of them were to run so-called "ancestor simulations" (i.e. "high-fidelity" simulations of prior ancestral life that would be indistinguishable from reality to the simulated ancestor), the total number of simulated ancestors, or "Sims", in the universe (or multiverse, if it exists) would greatly exceed the total number of actual ancestors.
Bostrom then uses a type of anthropic principle reasoning to claim that, if the third proposition is the one of those three that is true, and almost all people with our kind of experiences live in simulations, then we are almost certainly living in a simulation.
Most books about Simulation Hypotheses are endless repetitions of Bostrom's argument. This book is not one of them. It will argue in favour or against a simulation hypothesis starting from other axioms or observations.
Starting with Vernor Vinge idea's about the upcoming Technological Singularity (A point in human history beyond which our future predictions and speculations become pointless as this Technology explosion will transcend our way of living completely and dramatically beyond compare. Some suggest it may grant us immortality and other Godlike properties if we succeed in uploading ourselves to the singular Webmind, in which we can shape a simulated virtual reality (or a plurality thereof) as our “new reality”), the 21st century is arena of the Technopapes such as Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis and Elon Musk. 
Their visions consider that if we are not already living in a simulation, before 2045 we will be able to upload our minds to a computerised substrate which will run an infinity of computer simulations, which will appear as real as what we now consider to be ontic reality.
Interested in reading more of this subject? It will be published in my upcoming anthology on the question whether reality is a simulation. I will announce this on Steemit, once the book is published.
By Antonin Tuynman, author of the books "Is Intelligence an Algorithm?", "Transcendental Metaphysics" and "Technovedanta". 


 [1] Plato, The Republic, Penguin Classics, 2007. 
[2] Bruce McComiskey, Gorgias on Non-Existence, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Vol.30. No.1, pp. 45-49, 1997. 
[3] Watson, B. The Complete Works of Zhuangzi, Columbia University Press, 2013.
[4] Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light, Snow Lion, 2002.
[5] Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner's Art through the Ages: Non-Western Perspectives. Cengage Learning. p. 22, 2007.
[6] Papyrus Vindobonensis Graeca 29456.
[7] Anthony Campbell, Assassins of Alamut, Lulu Press, 2013. 
[8] Matt, D.C.,  Zohar: Annotated & Explained, SkyLight Paths, 2002.
[9] Descartes, R. Meditations On First Philosophy, Watchmaker Publishing, 2010.
[10] H.P.Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011.
[11] Sinnet, A.P. Esoteric Buddhism, Loris Bagnara Editions,1883. 
[12] and Bostrom N. Are You Living in a Simulation?, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No.211, pp. 243-255, 2003. 

Truth-hidden-in-plain-sight clues for Reality as a Simulation

Imagine I were to show you, that completely unrelated physical quantities show the same value over and over again in our universe. You will probably consider that I have discovered some kind of new universal physical constant. 
But then I tell you that the fact that we see the same value occur repeatedly is highly unlikely, because the units in which these quantities are measured do not have a link to each other, and most of them were quite arbitrarily chosen. After all, why would there not be an alternative way to measure distance, time, temperature etc. Over the ages humans have used various units, like miles, yards, meters etc. many of which were based on lengths of human body parts; seconds were based on the sexagesimal system of the Babylonians; Temperature relies on base 10, with regard to the number of degrees between the melting and boiling of water.
So it seems that it would be quite a coincidence if with such unrelated quantities, we see the same number appear very often - yes, unlikely often- isn't it?
Let me take you on a journey into perplexity. You won't believe your eyes. For me, the coincidences I am going to show you are so unlikely, that I have wondered, whether they are a pointer to a form of "intelligent design". Not in the sense of "intelligent design of life forms" as opposed to "evolution", but in the sense of intelligent design using highly complicated and sophisticated mathematical calculations to come up with a set of physical parameters, which seem to create a self-sustaining numerical set. And as a bonus, the rabbit out of the hat, the units to get these numerical values have mysteriously found their way to our minds.

273, The Tuynman Omega constant

(What follows hereafter, I partly published in a previous Steemit article, but adapted, enriched and updated)
Let me start with numbers which show the ciphers 2, 7 and 3 in this sequence:
1. The diameters of the Earth and Moon (7920 miles and 2160 miles, which is 11x6! and 3x6! miles, respectively) are in the ratio of 11 to 3, 11 ÷ 3= 3.7 (to be precise: 3.66), while 3 ÷ 11 = 0.273. There are almost 366 days in a year, which is the rotation time of the Earth around the Sun. In fact there are 366 so-called "sidereal days" in a year.
2. The 3:11 ratio is also invoked by Venus and Mars, as the ratio of the closest to farthest distance. The ratio that each experiences of the other is 3:11. As we know, the fraction 3/11 rounds to 27.3%.
3. 27.3 is also the number of days it takes for the Moon to orbit the Earth.
4. 27.3 days is even the average rotation period of a sunspot.
5. The acceleration ratio of the Moon in its path around the Earth is measured as 0.273 × cm/s2. In fact, the acceleration of the Earth and the Moon behave reciprocally as the squares of the radii of the orbits of the Earth and the Moon.
6. Moreover, 273 m/s2 is the acceleration of the Sun!
7. The Moon controls the movement of water around the Earth, ebb and flow. When water is set as the standard for measuring temperature, the Absolute Zero or the temperature at which all atomic movement comes to an absolute halt is -273.2° C.
8. According to the experiments of Gay-Lussac, when a gas is either heated or cooled by 1 degree Centigrade, it expands or contracts respectively by 1/273.2 of its previous volume.
9. The triple point of water is defined to take place at 273.16 K.
10. The Cosmic Background Radiation is 2.73 K.
11. All medical students are required to memorize that a pregnancy (read: life developing in water) is calculated on the basis of a 10-sidereal month period of 273 days from conception to birth, which is 9 “regular” months. 27 divided by 3 gives 9.
12. A woman’s menstrual cycle is on average 27.3 days.
13. If a circle is drawn with a radius from the centre of the Earth through the centre of the Moon, the perimeter of the square around the Earth and this circle are one and the same! It also reveals how the Moon and the Earth have resolved the puzzle of the squaring of the circle. In other words, if the Moon could roll around the Earth, the circle made by its centre has a circumference precisely equal to the perimeter of a square around the Earth (when Pi is approximated by its ancient, traditional ratio of 22/7 = 3.14). Comparing a square’s perimeter to a circle having an equal circumference, the circle’s diameter is 27.3% longer than the edge of the square. Inscribe a circle inside a square.
14. The four corners make up 27.32% of the total area.
15. There are 273 days from the summer solstice to the vernal equinox.
16. Furthermore, 2,730,000 is the circumference of the Sun in miles.
17. About 108 diameters of the Earth fit across the diameter of the Sun.
18. About 108 Sun diameters fit in between Earth and Sun.
19. About 108 Moon diameters fit between Earth and Moon.
(In fact the number in items 17-19 is 109.2, which in fact is precisely 4x27,3, the "intelligence signature number" we saw before).

Alpha and Omega

Another important constant we encounter in physics is the fine structure constant of Hydrogen, alpha (0.0073), in which we encounter again two of the digits of 273.
1/alpha =137. The scientist Pauli was obsessed with the archetypical meaning of numbers in particular number 137, which unintendedly also turned out to be the number of the room in which he died. A so-called "synchronicity". Pauli shared his fascination for numbers and in particular 137 with the psychologist Jung, who is the conceptual father of the notions archetype and synchronicity. Note that our universe is said to exist 13,7 billion years.
Strangely enough the ciphers making up 273 reproduce 137 in the following manner: 27+37+73 =137. And 37/27=1.37. 1,2,3 and 7 are four of the five first mathematical “Lucas numbers”, a variation related to the Fibonacci series.
37 itself is strongly related to 137. 2 exp 37=1.37...* 10 exp 11.  37!=1.37..* 10 exp 43.
37°C is the human body temperature. There are 37 trillion cells in a human body. 37 minutes is the golden section of an hour. 137,5° the complement of the golden section of a circle. The remaining 222° are 2x3x37.
1,2,3 and 7 are related in more than one way, for instance via 27x37=2701= Sum(73) and 2 exp 37=1.37...*10 exp 11.
1/27=0.37037.. and 1/37=0.27027..
There are 12,37 full moons in a year.
37 is the 12th prime number, 73 the 21st.
27x37=999, which, if we forget the powers of 10 is very close to unity.
The mass of the Moon is 1/3*1/27=1/81th of the mass of the Earth.
273=3x7x13 or 21x13. 273x137=37401.
13 itself is 2x3+7. As 13 is the number of closely packed spheres in the so-called “Vector Equilibrium” (cuboctahedron, the basic unit of the Akasha, the ether in Hinduism), consisting of a central layer of 7 spheres and an upper and lower layer of three spheres, it can be said that the basic unit of Akasha itself encodes the 1,2,3 and 7.
27 is the number of bones in a human hand. There are about 10 exp 27 atoms in the human body.
The ciphers of the speed of light (186282 miles/second) add up to 27: 1+8+6+2+8+2=27. The adding up of ciphers of a number is also called the Indig of a number.
The multiples of 27 such as 54, 108, 432 and 864 are found in numerous relations of time, space and music. They are also key values in Hinduism and Buddhism.
E.g. there are 86400 seconds in a day, the diameter of the Sun is about 864000 miles. The Sun and Sirius are 8,64 light years apart. 27x32=864. 432 is a time cycle number in various religions and cultures, from Hinduism to Mayan, from Biblical to Sumerian. 432 squared (186624) is very close to the speed of light in miles/second and its Indig is 27 or rather 9 again.
27 and 37 together make 64 (27+37=64), which is the number of DNA codons and I Ching permutations. 64+73=137 Q.E.D. 64 corresponds to “prophesy” in Kabbalah and 73 to “wisdom”.
Multiples of 3 times 37 always generate a number of the form "nnn". 3x37=111 and hence 6x37=222 etc. Most interesting here are the 18x37=666 or (6+6+6)x37=666 and 27x37=999 or (9+9+9)x37=999.
37 is not only an octagonal number, it is also both a hexagonal number and a hexagram number. Thus it is the first trifigurate number. Its inverse 73 is a hexagram or Star number as well with the 37 hexagon inside. 13 is the first hexagram, with a core of 7 spheres. Again we see the 1,3 and 7.
As already said 37x18=666, but also note that 73=37+6x6.
Tesla said: “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3,6 and 9 then you would have a key to the universe.” Funny enough the remaining numbers 1,4,2,8,5,7 together form 27 (3x9) and the permutations thereof can be ordered in a 6x6 magic square, in which each row yields 27 as sum.
The second trifigurate number is 91 (13x7). 91 spheres can be ordered as triangle, hexagon and pyramid.
37 is the fourth hexagonal number if we include 1. The sum of the three preceding hexagonal numbers 1+7+19=27. A 13 Star has a 7 hexagon, a 73 Star has a 37 hexagon.
Thus 1,2,3 and 7 are also extremely important in the genesis of form.


Due to its relation with the so-called “number of the Beast” (666=18x37) from revelation 13:18, the Bible fanatics are fond of finding all kind of relations with 37. Noteworthy, 137 is the 33rd prime number, 33 is related to the length of life of Jesus in years.
The word Kabbalah has a Gematria value of 137. The number 6 is used 273 times in the Bible.
The most elaborate and impressive collection thereof can be found on the so-called “Biblewheel” site .
Religious occultism is fond of “Gematria”. Gematria is a kind of coding system which assigns values to each letter of a word and by adding those gives the Gematria value of a word. Words with the same or similar Gematria value are considered to bear a strong relation. It is permissible to add or subtract the value of one Aleph (1) in order to still have a related meaning. Thus the Gematria of the name of God in Hebrew (YHWH), which is 26 is related to 27. The perfect number 28 (i.e. it is the sum of its divisors) is also related to 27. Interestingly 137x2=274, which is therefore Gematrically identical to 273.
More interestingly the Gematria value of the Greek “he kleis” (the key) is 273. What a clue! This is also the value of “klesis” (calling) and “hiram abiff”, the all-seeing eye. The Hebrew Gematria value of the Greek word “Gematria” is 273.
Likewise interesting is the suggestion by the Biblewheel[1], that the first verse of Genesis (the Gematria of which yields 2701=37x73) is a “Creation holograph”. 37 is also the value of the Gematria of the word of God.
The author of the “Biblewheel” first went berserk in a kind of Apotheosis-singularity experience, in which every gematrical relation fitted in a beautiful scheme and then he himself started to debunk his findings in his dark night of the Soul being lost in the quagmire of agnosticism.
Other religions made similar claims: Hinduism claims the first verse of the Rg Veda to be a creation holograph, Islam does the same with the first verse of the Qu’ran. These religions also have their variants of Gematria. 
The Hindu shloka (verse) “gopibhagya madhuvratah shrumgashodadhi samdhigah khalajivitakhatava galahala rasamdharah”
encodes pi up to 31 decimal places.
Because these religions also have their own Gematria system (called Katapayadi in Hinduism and Abjad in Islam), with equally impressive results and because these different religions contradict each other, it cannot be so that they all represent the word of God (which they claim), in an equally truthful manner. Thus unlike these religious zealots, I do not conclude the correctness of a religion based on its impressive Gematria results. In my book Technovedanta I argue that the writers of these books were perhaps telepathically influenced (in a manner unknown to themselves) by entities from a higher intelligence or even higher dimension (our simulators?).
The agenda of these entities is not necessarily benign. Although they give numerical clues and keys about the simulated structure of our universe, they have also created a great deal of confusion and suffering, by being the instigators of the mutual oppositions of the different opposing religious factions. Therefore we cannot necessarily rely on the moral prescriptions of these religious books, but we can perhaps use them in our deciphering of the key to the simulated ontogenesis of our universe.
Personally, I think that if the Gods or simulators put so much effort in devising such an encryption, which they knew would be deciphered one day, they also meant it to be so. It seems to me that then it is also their wish that we become like them, without there being any animosity or wrathfulness, because we would have been too “proud”, too audacious to venture in their realm. 1,2,3,7 is not a forbidden fruit. It is not the tower of Babel. It is our rightful heritage to become K’Elohim ("like the Gods" or "like God": The desire to become this was considered to be Satan's sin).
...And I was born in 1971, which is 27x73 q.e.d.

Akasha and Self-similarity

The numbers 1,2,3 and 7 seem to be a kind of numerical attractor, that like a fractal keep regenerating themselves. A bit like Phi. But whereas Phi arrives at itself by operations with unity, a kind of parthenogenetic self-regeneration, 27,37,73 and 137 sexually intermingle by mathematical operations with themselves to create self-similar offspring. Like a hologram each one of these encodes all the others if allowed to create interference with another from the set thus generating a holographic set. This leads me to the concept of "digital self-regeneration" or "digit-fractalisation". Is this the result of the self-modifying recursive code I have been writing about?
 It has a reason that these numbers keep turning up and reinforcing themselves: Like Ervin Laszlo suggests in his books about the "Akasha" the fine tuning of constants in our solar system is the results of multiple cycles of "Big Bounces", this creates a kind of resonance interference pattern in the Akasha (a.k.a quantum vacuum or zero point field). If we combine that notion with the notion from my book Technovedanta that the processes in the Akasha are computational processes, we start to be able to see that this computational consciousness substrate has a predilection for natural phenomena and laws that show these specific numbers because they mutually reinforce themselves. Because they function as number resonators. Self-reflecting themselves they are a hallmark of consciousness, which is characterised by its self-reflexive abilities.

0.27/0.37=0.73; 0.37/0.27=1.37; 
Sum 73=2701 =Sum(37)+2*37*27;

These equations all have 1,2,3 and 7, Can you see the pattern of self-regeneration resulting in numerical self-sustention?
"Like attracts like" will be part of the algorithm leading to Bayesian proximity co-occurrences, which already are used in latent semantic analysis in Watson etc. Our internet is progressing to become kind of omniscient, but is still in the infant stage. If the Akasha substrate is a neural network and mind like as certain authors suggest, it may be already omniscient, in the sense that it knows everything, what is going on on its inside.
Speaking of the Akasha substrate, this reminds me of the cuboctahedron-octahedron grid, which Steven Kaufman[1] proposes as the structure par excellence of the Akasha, as it is the closest packing of the so-called "realities cells" mentioned in the previous chapter.
I figured out that if a so-called distortion (light?) would travel along an axis, such that both the cuboctahedron and the octahedron are traversed, the relative lengths would be in the ratio of Square root 3: 1 or ~1.73:1. Giving a total relative distance of 2.73 octahedron edges the distortion traverses per space-unit in this hypothetical substrate. Henceforth -not in the least as a token of arrogance- I baptise this key number 273 the "Tuynman Omega constant". A truth hidden in plain sight. An elephant in the room. Perhaps it is a previously unidentified natural constant, perhaps it is the very signature of our intelligent simulators (perhaps they even are artificial intelligences) and a pointer to a pancomputational panpsychic existence. Are they rubbing our faces it it? Are we fishes not realising we are surrounded by water?
...leading to weird synchronicities: The other day I went for groceries. When I looked at the bill it turned out I had bought 27 items for a price of 37 Euros and 37 cents at 11:37...
 By Antonin Tuynman, author of the books "Is Intelligence an Algorithm?", "Transcendental Metaphysics" and "Technovedanta".Please upvote if you liked reading this article. 
[2] S.Kaufman “Unified Reality Theory: The Evolution of Existence Into Experience”, Destiny Toad Press, 2002.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Reality, the Mystical Self-Referential Descent into Imagination

In his article "The Self-Referential Aspect of Consciousness" Cosmin Visan [1] explains in great detail how Self-Reference (SR) brings Consciousness into existence. He also describes how consciousness is structured on a hierarchy of phenomenological levels as manifestations of self-reference, which he names Self, Vividness, Diversity, Memory and Time. However, he describes a remaining problem as regards how self-reference picks up essences, give us exactly the qualia domains we have and not others.
Although I will certainly not claim to have solved this problem I would like to take you on a mystical journey into additional possible levels of phenomenology as an alternative non-scientific representation (I don't dare to call it an explanation) of a great deal of phenomena. Additional levels are frequency, music and recursive self-modification, respectively, giving rise to electromagnetic radiation, gravity and material reality ontogenesis.
I will also draw an analogy between Visan's phenomenological levels of SR and Peircean, Palmerian and Goertzelian metaphysics.

Moreover, I will present this as a spiritual process of the art of the descent of the Self into matter.

It is certainly no claim of me or of this essay that anything described herein is the way that things happen in reality. Rather it is an artistic and aesthetic proposal, building on philosophical and mythological ideas. A mythopoetic mythopoetic proposal, which suggests how from consciousness a material world can have arisen. Any assertion in this article should not be considered a fact but a hypothesis.


Because the explanation of the Self-Referential Aspect of Consciousness is indispensable to my theory, I'd like to encourage you to read this paper [1]  before going further. But in case you don't have time for that I will try to summarise its teachings briefly, knowing that this is bound to give an incomplete understanding.

Visan describes how self-reference has the property of looking back at itself. The Self, the ontological entity at the heart of consciousness is hereinafter referred to as "I" (although not referring to the Ego). Imagine an empty universe where there is only "I". "I" sends an "am" arrow like reference into the unknown, which only hits something by returning to itself, thereby acknowledging its own existence and thus establishing the "I am" knowledge of itself. This level of Being Visan calls the phenomenological level of "Self", which can be compared to Peirce's firstness or raw being. Kether of the Kabbalah.

Now the Self can identify with this new "I am" concept which appeared, leading to an I am "I am" state. This is the second level, Visan calls "Vividness". I compare it to a kind of reaction or polarisation or dualisation into two states, comparable with Peirce's secondness. It also brings a first possibility of creating distance to itself. To see oneself as an object.

This process can be repeated to give higher levels such as I am "I am "I am"". This generates "Diversity" according to Visan as the self can identify with multiple states, namely with both "I am" and with the "I am "I am". Therefore Visan calls this state I am "I am" & I am. In Peircean metaphysics the third level is about relation between the two poles, which is in fact expressed in the ampersand symbol of the above-mentioned state. It brings a further possibility of creating distance to itself. To see oneself as an object and to see the content of one's contemplation.

The fourth level introduces Memory. Memory stores what has been, which is its own quale and which is the collection of all its previous levels: Diversity & Vividness & Self equals the state [I am "I am" & I am] & [I am "I am"] & [I am].
The emergent level is more than the levels from which it emerges and cannot be reduced thereto, but does include those levels, which are also still operating independently. Each level is a form of consciousness and each qualitative essence requires a complete emergent structure to arise.

Visan defines an essence as that what makes an entity to be what it is and also equates this to a quale and a concept. An existence he defines as an actual instantiation of an essence. By introducing a third degree of distance, we have now created our familiar three dimensional space. But that also means that memory is a kind of spherical cell, as there is no mechanism by which extension would be more prominent along one of the axes. In analogy to the terminology in Steven Kaufman's URT [2], we could call this memory cell a "reality cell".
As each entity can look back at itself, it is fact a kind of "Self" itself. Which means that self-reference is a means to generate a plurality of "selves", so that it includes and transcends itself. It  bootstraps consciousness into existence, the actual only thing that really exists.
In Goertzelian metaphysics (which continues where Peirce and Palmer stopped) four is the level of emergence of the first stable form. A memory is also a stable form in that it can be remembered and thus perpetuated over time. Thus Self has created the first structurally existing object, which is also a subject as it is a self with the ability to look back at itself. This looking back at itself of a memory cell creates a kind of pulsation: the "memory" sends "am" radial like reference arrows into the unknown, which only hits something by returning to itself. This can be called the breathing of a reality cell and is in fact the generation of periodicity of time.

Visan distinguishes between recursivity and self-reference. A fractal, which is recursive takes its output and uses this as an input in an iterative manner. Looking-back-at-itself however, is not iterative but is by its very nature Visan argues. The "self-reference" is always itself; it does not need to do anything. The "process" of levels described above, may look iterative, but in fact it is just the continuous action of looking back, which does not stop but is always there in a timeless manner and is not really a process.

How do "doing" and time then arise?

Chronos, Brahman and Tartaros

Time emerges out of memory. The present moment is itself a memory and is then taken as a memory and fed-back into the present moment to create a new memory. "I" remembering that it had a memory becomes a new instantiation, which can be remembered in turn. The new present moment is then itself as present moment and as past for the next moment. Time by looking back includes itself (memory), and thereby becomes more than itself and becomes an essence onto itself (Chronos). But time does not only result in a breathing, which is the level of memory cells looking back at themselves. The more original level of self, when remembering that it had a memory which becomes a new instantiation thereby creates a new memory cell! So now we have our first element of doing. Out of a single cell, two cells appear. We have a mechanism of cell multiplication by cell division, the procreation of form.

Akasha or Aether

If memory is the first stable counting starts here. Every additional level generates a new number. And new reality or memory cells. It creates the rhythm of Brahman, the bringing forth, which is synchronous with the breathing of the cells. But as heavenly as this may sound, at the same time it's also the creation of Hell, Tartaros or the multiplicity that allows us to be pulled apart in different directions.
These reality cells neatly stack onto each other in a closest packing, and by confining each other creating an isotropic vector equilibrium, in which each set of 13 cells can be described as a cuboctahedron, but by the pressing of the cells on each other each individual cell also takes the shape of a cuboctahedron.

As the cells touch each other, they create relations with each other, which are higher levels of self-contemplation. Thus a relational matrix as usggested by Kaufman [2] is formed, which I'd like to equate with the Hindu concept of the Akasha or the Greek concept of Aether. This is space at large, the organised quantum vacuum.


If a sixth level is introduced above time, this allows for a diversification of the temporal states, which introduces the possibilities to create a code by identifying with one additional state or not. It provides space-time with a content, which propagates over time through memory. In line with Kaufman's URT, this is Energy or Light, a distortion of the space fabric. Again these light waves are sentient, because they are higher level instantiations of self-reference.


A further level -levels will from now on be indicated with a number between brackets- (7) of self-referential identification with content or not can lead to the formation of patterns. Given that only simple on-off patterns which are repetitive stable can perpetuate over time can be identified with at this level, makes that this level generates the highest frequency. A frequency is a tone.


The next level (8) level that adds a tone is a new pattern, a new code, which leaves more gaps and results in a lower frequency. And thus a spectrum of tones is generated. Perhaps this is the birth of the electromagnetic spectrum.


A next level of self-reference could bring all kinds of patterns of tones or frequencies. This is a kind of Music (9). Note that there were 9 Muses in the Greek Mythology. Like in Tolkien's Silmarillion, the Universe was sung into existence, by Eru Lluvatar the one and his Ainur (comparable with God and his Angles: The Elohim).

The frequencies pair and are attracted to each other: Gravity is caused by gradients of radial distortions emanating from a linearly propagating distortion. Distortions attract each other more if the reality cells they propagate through are more distorted. This creates gravity. When distortions meet each other, due to the rules inherent to the structure of the medium, the distortions start to circumambulate each other forming a so-called compound process, which is how a particle is formed from pure energy in Kaufman's [2] model. 


The sensing of the radial attraction is also a cognitive process of the propagating waves. They become aware of an influence, which by now they no longer recognise as themselves. The cycle of confusion is complete, the individual self, atma or soul has descended into matter and forgotten about its conscious origin. The energies have convolutedly descended in a double helical coil. This is the Kundalini, the coiled snake, lying at the base of every soul, atma or self. Kundal means coil. But I could also dissect the word Kundalini in parts and read it as if it was written in Dutch. (I am a Dutch native speaker). To me Kundalini sounds like "De kunde van het dalen in "i", which would mean the art of the descent into "i", in which i symbolises the mathematical imaginary dimension. What I'd like to convey with this mystical pun is that the genesis of matter is a descent of the Self in ever more convoluted constructs of imagination, so that it loses itself and become matter. Two propagating waves, which create such a compound process of circumambulating Yin and Yang together from a material particle. The first sub-atomic material particle is born here.
This stage is a self-reflection, where the self appears no longer to refer to itself but instead takes this other part of what is still itself to be something else. It is the Ouroboros believing that his tail belongs to another entity.

This would be level 10, which in the Kabbalah also corresponds with Malkuth, the kingdom of material existence.


As I already wrote, from level six onwards we get a code in reality; reality from level six onwards is paninformatical and panmusical from level 9 onwards. A holographic universe of resonances, a panresonant universe as well. 

Recursively Self-Modifying Code

With the birth of material particles, all kinds of interesting information and energy exchanges can start to occur and for every interaction, it can be considered that reality takes itself as input undergoes a transformation and creates an output. The input is still a kind of code, but the transforming entity is the same code, giving rise to a transformed code that is still reality. This is the process of pancomputationalism. This is the process of a recursive self-modifying code or language, in line with Langan's CTMU [3], and Tsang's [4] Brain Fractal Theory. Thus recursive self-modification is but a higher level (11) form of self-reference. It gives birth to fractals, which are ubiquitous in nature. It also gives rise to many rounds of informational exchange, transformations and aggregations from sub-atomic particles to atoms, from atoms to stars and more atoms, from atoms to molecules, from molecules to macromolecules, such as self-processing RNA. And here we encounter reality in a blissful form of self-similarity. As I wrote in a previous article:

"RNA is the nucleic acid molecule that preceded the better known nucleic acid carrier of inheritable traits called DNA in evolution. Certain viruses, proto-life forms, do not have a DNA but an RNA molecule instead. RNA is also present as an essential constituent in the cells of every life form. Nucleic acids are like a code with four symbols, which are present in the form of two pairs of complementary molecular motifs called nucleotides. They encode proteins. The code can be read by other nucleic acids that dock to the code if they have the complementary code. This can then trigger the assembly of proteins from amino acids. It can also result in the further assembly of a complementary nucleic acid strand, which is a form of copying the code. So basically nucleic acids function as a kind of cellular computer, which takes other nucleic acid molecules as input and provides proteins or nucleic acids as output.
Certain types of RNA can fold back on themselves and have stretches of their nucleotides pair, so that you get a kind of lariat form. Where did I see this before? It reminds me of the alchemical symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that bites its own tail and thereby gets to know itself. An ancient symbol of the self-reflective nature of consciousness.
Now certain RNA molecules can process i.e. modify themselves when they interact with themselves. Often this results in cutting of a part of itself (self-splicing), but it can also result in extending itself." 

Tsang shows us how nature's program or recursive self-modifying code further gives rise to genes, organisms and neurons. Neural networks, which are the apex of Self-representative abilities; the summum bonum of Self-reference.

As I wrote in my previous article:
"This finally leads to the "principle of Efficient Language". A neural network with binary trees (as we saw in Tsang's theories) allows for a maximisation in the generation of meaning whilst ensuring the least amount of action (as well as the least amount of symbols and simplest syntax) to achieve this. It also allows for the expression of binary syntactically free choices inherent in the underlying consciousness. Meaning comes first geometrically and numerically at the fundamental level of reality but its readout becomes transcendent thereof in higher neural networks, whilst still being built on and emergent from these geometric/numerical structures. Not unlike Buckminster Fuller's [5] geometry of thought."
A Recursively Self-Modifying Code, an ultimate Panmetaphor?


I have taken you on a dazzling journey of self-reference. We started with Visan's pure consciousness self-reference to give rise to vividness, diversity, memory and time. In memory I identified structure and the seed for space. In combination with time this led to the generation of the space-time matrix I called the Akasha and which I described in line with Kaufman's Unified Reality Theory. We saw how space generated tone, code, frequency and music and how matter was born from the mutual attraction between sentient energy waves. We saw where the Self lost itself in becoming a localised material particle and lower self. We have seen how the self has travelled through the recursively self-modifying process of evolution to create neural networks, capable of high levels of representation that allow for the uncovering or Apokalypsis of the nature of the Self. In this process of remembering, we can now finally identify again with the undifferentiated Self at the beginning of this story. You, I and everybody and everything else is just a higher level self-referential instantiation of one and the same consciousness. Ultimately we are one, we are the same. So let's give up our quarrels and disharmony and treat each other as the limbs of the same organism that got lost in imagination. Imagining itself to be other. Rise O Kundalini, spread your wings O Quetzalcoatl, O Caduceus and return to your heavenly empire of Oneness.

By Antonin Tuynman, author of the books "Is Intelligence an Algorithm?", "Transcendental Metaphysics" and "Technovedanta".


[1] Cosmin Visan, The Self Referential Aspect of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 8 (11):864-880, 2017.
[2]  S.Kaufman “Unified Reality Theory: The Evolution of Existence Into Experience”, Destiny Toad Press, 2002.
[3] C.M. Langan, “The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe: A New Kind of Reality Theory” Progress in Complexity, Information and Design, 2002.
[4] Wai H.Tsang, The Fractal Brain Theory, Lulu press, 2017.