Since the dawn of civilisation mankind has pondered deep philosophical questions such as “Do I exist? How do I know I exist? What is knowledge? What is consciousness? What is reality made of? Why is there something rather than nothing? Do we have a free will? What is the meaning of life? What is time? Where do good and evil come from? Does God exist?”
Most of these questions traditionally belong to the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things and involve abstracted concepts about being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time and space. This branch is well known as “Metaphysics”.
Unlike physics, which takes the metaphysical questions for granted and merely describes the behaviour of every physical, material manifestation that can be measured, the metaphysical questions seduce us to speculate about those issues that are deemed to go beyond the physical.
However, the technological mastering of less tangible “subject-matter” such as energy and information (which nowadays can be transmitted wireless via e.g. “Wi-Fi”) and the weird quantum-mechanic behaviour of matter at its apparently most fundamental scales, have blurred the borders between physics and metaphysics.
Strangely enough, despite the undeniable evidence from quantum-mechanics that the behaviour of matter is influenced by observation, the vast majority of scientists still adheres to a completely obsolete 17th century classical physics paradigm of the universe as mechanical clockwork. A philosophy called “Materialism”.
It seems as if scientists have not fully realised the implications of the basic tenet from quantum mechanics: “Whenever you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
In the September 2016 issue of the New Scientist, which was dedicated to the topic of metaphysics, it became crystal clear to me that many scientists still believe that mind and consciousness magically emerge from a kind of billiard ball interactions between particulate material objects.
This is not possible, if quantum-mechanics is right. Rather, quantum-mechanics shows us that the influence of consciousness changes the behaviour of matter at its most fundamental scales. In order to do so, matter and consciousness must share the same energetic language to interact. Matter must be aware somehow of an influence exerted thereon, it must be able to sense the influence of consciousness and then react on it. This means that matter must have the quality of sensing input, processing the information and responding with an output of energetic information. This ability to sense, feedback and react are aspects, which we usually only attribute to the consciousness of living entities.
Could it be that scientists consider this issue the wrong way around? That it is not consciousness which emerges from matter, but matter which emerges from consciousness?
Terrence McKenna used to criticise the materialist stance as follows: “Object fetishism is completely bankrupt”.
In my previous book “Technovedanta”1, which has as one of its subtitles “A panpsychic Theory of Everything”, I defend the thesis that every material particulate entity at its most fundamental level has a very minute type of consciousness. It is aware of the influences of its surroundings. This is usually known as “Animism”, “Hylozoism” or “Panpsychism”. The opponents of “Panpsychism” often argue that it is a naïve theory, which considers inanimate objects such as a rock or a chair as being imbued with consciousness. However, in my definition Panpsychism does not mean that non-evolved aggregate objects, have an overall object-consciousness. With non-evolved aggregate objects I mean objects, which did not naturally evolve by their own force, but were put together by coincidence by nature so as to create e.g. rocks, or intentionally by man so as to create e.g. chairs or thermostats. Only the self-generated, self-evolved and self-sustaining (i.e. autopoietic) constituents such as the atoms or molecules of these entities are considered to have a certain level of consciousness in my theory.
I also defend the thesis that the ultimate foundation for matter is consciousness: Particulate matter arises as a kind of vortexes within an ocean of conscious energy. This is a type of “Idealism”. If the vortex is self-sustaining, it can be considered as a sensing entity. The universe of matter and energy forms a kind of Mind in the ocean of a cosmic all-encompassing consciousness.
Departing from this point of view, the physical appears to be embedded in the metaphysical realm of consciousness. This perspective of the “primacy of consciousness” leads to a collection of very different answers to the questions posed at the beginning of this chapter, when compared to those given by the science establishment. Many of those questions were in fact addressed in my book Technovedanta, although some finer points may have been left unanswered for the critical reader.
In particular, the rapid evolution of Technology appears to be heading towards what is nowadays called the “Technological Singularity”. The Technological Singularity is a point in the history of mankind (and its possibly artificial intelligent progeny), beyond which our future predictions and speculations become pointless, as this Technology explosion will transcend our way of living completely and dramatically beyond compare. Transhumanists hope it will grant us immortality and other Godlike properties if we succeed in uploading ourselves to a computational substrate and merge with artificial intelligence. We will then inhabit a world, in which we can shape a simulated virtual reality (or a plurality thereof) as our “new reality”.
In the ruling belief of the Singularitarians our consciousness is merely the consequence of material interactions in our brains. Once we become able to fully upload a copy of our brain with a granularity that at least shows all individual synaptic links between individual neurons, we will automatically have a copy of our consciousness emerge in the computing substrate; at least so the Singularitarians believe. Although agreeing with the Singularitarians that a kind of Singularity will one day be achieved, my panpsychic stance makes me a heretic, cursing in the “Turing church” (the name of the quasi-religious movement of “Transhumanism”).
One of the points I myself had difficulty in fully fitting in my “Theory of Everything” (T.O.E), was the apparent irreconcilability between my theory of “Panpsychism” and the fact that I have noticed numerous strong indicators (which will be discussed in a later chapter) that we are indeed living in some kind of computer simulation.
In my next book this paradox will be resolved and it will show that “Panpsychism” and “Pancomputationalism” are not mutually exclusive concepts and that we are indeed very likely living some kind of computer simulation. Not a fully predetermined computer simulation in which we hardly have any freedom of action, but a quantum computer simulation, which fully reacts and depends on our actions and being. A participatory simulation.
The T.O.E. developed in the Technovedanta series shows that the dividing line between physics and metaphysics is an arbitrary one. In fact, everything that exists is embedded in the sole entity that cannot be considered as “existing-as we know it”, but which is rather the subsisting “Primordial Consciousness” (the PC). A priori it would seem that in Technovedanta only Primordial Consciousness could be considered as “metaphysical” and that the whole of existence is “physical”. Yet this is an incorrect dualistic interpretation. Technovedanta is monist (although dual aspect oriented): As every “physical” manifestation is an expression of the metaphysical primordial consciousness, it is more correct to state that there is no physical nature existing apart from its metaphysical source. Hence everything is ultimately metaphysical and the idea that there is a separate physical nature an illusion.
As the PC will moreover be shown to have a pancomputational aspect and is the expression of the “Highest Transcendence”, “Cosmic self” or “Purusha” (note that I do not mention the unclear terminology “God”), the term “Personal Computer” is a kind of synonym of the Primordial Consciousness.
My next book will moreover question the very foundations of our knowledge and dive into the very question of Epistemology: What is knowable at all? I hope I will succeed in convincing you that logic, science or religion are all uncertain ways to come to correct knowledge. Yet I will attempt to indicate where technology can help us to find the most promising way forward out of this quagmire of uncertainty and turn us into Gods ourselves. I will also speculate on the transfinite possibilities of the Highest Transcendence, the
Transcendental subject and object at the end of
time (called the “Eschaton” by “Terrence McKenna” and “Omega point” by Teilhard
de Chardin). Here my metaphysical theory culminates in an absolute
Transcendence of everything that can possibly be transcended both physically
and conceptually, so that this book rightfully can claim to address the topic
of “ Transcendental Metaphysics”.