A Big TOE
Now, if you have been a reader of mine for awhile, you will know that I have been a big believer in the need to understand how we fit into the larger sense of the world. For me, a understanding of the spiritual, as well as the physical world and how they interact has been a large portion of my life.
I held revivals, preached, and was a regular speaker at a very young (comparatively) age. So even from my earliest adulthood, the concepts of the “hereafter” have pre-occupied my mind.
Apostasy Comes At A Price
When I left the church, I embarked on a lifetime journey of self discovery. Unlike many who “backslide” or leave the faith; I did not give up my search entirely.
Never in my life has the concept that “God” did not exist. It is illogical to state that there was no god. As it is impossible to know everything definitely, as in 100%… the Bible would be correct in that sense...”The fool saith in his heart… there is no God.” (Ps. 14-1)
However, it becomes another matter when you cannot intellectually accept “the stories” anymore.
The Faith Of Our Fathers.
While for my recently departed mother, a simple faith in Christ was enough. It does not ‘gel’ with my twenty first century existence. Of course, the “inerrancy of the Bible”; or the “Inerrant Word of God” has dictated that my daughters (who are Jewish) will be condemned to an existence apart from a loving God because they have “chosen to ignore Jesus” is quite simply impossible to believe; and logically accept.
Sure. In 1940, when the world was black and white… (in many cases, literally) you could make the argument that it was an “Us vs. Them” world. But in 2015, when my best friends and neighbors are Muslim, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics and the oddball Hindu every now and again; it’s really hard for me to believe that I am “created in the image of God”; when the God of the Bible is clearly filled with hate.
Nick Bostrom And Simulation
In a recent post, I shared with you how I recently discovered a theory quickly gaining acceptance amongst physicists and other philosophers called “The Simulation Theory”. It was initially proposed by Nick Bostrom, it essentially states that one of a few statements are true. One of the statements was that we are almost certainly living in a simulated reality.
In his theory, as people living within a computer simulated reality (similar to a Sims® game); our purpose would be for the posthuman society that created the game we are living in to study us, and our behavior.
To put it simply, one possible reason why you would be here on planet Earth, is really for a posthuman (maybe your far in the future ancestor) to study why you did this or that. That you are just really part of a bigger “false reality”. A computer simulation to study you.
The implications of this theory are pretty staggering. What if you really are no more than that? At the end of your life, the “switch is flipped” and your character ceases to exist?
Enter Dr. Tom and His TOE
While “The Simulation Theory” has some very compelling arguments, it doesn’t explain many of the other things in life that we experience. For example; the almost mystical way things happen in life. You know what I’m talking about… those moments when you are thinking about someone, and they call. The Deja vu moments, the “Ghosts in the Machine.”
One of the hardest things for any religion, or theory to explain however, is the “you behind the eyes.” The real you.
You know who I am talking about. Not the eyes that are reading the words on your computer.
The Consciousness that is understanding the words as sentences, and is interpreting the ideas into thoughts.
Not the body that is listening to the outside noise. But the ears that hear my words in your mind. The judge inside you.
The Consciousness that can’t be found in your brain. Nor in your heart. It is the essence of who the YOU really is.
Dr. Thomas Campbell is a well renowned NASA Physicist and Consciousness expert. In his seminal work “My Big TOE” he outlines what he perceives is his Big “Theory of Everything”.
Theory of Everything?
Obviously, I couldn’t possibly do justice to his lifetime of work in such a meaningless blogpost. However, I can tell you how it has affected me personally. Perhaps by reading my experience will compel you to look into his many speeches and videos that are freely available on YouTube.
What essentially is meant by a “Theory of Everything” is a basic understanding of how everything works in the Universe. From “The Big Bang”, to Evolution. From your purpose of being here, to explaining the basic constructs of time and space.
To put it in short, when trying to develop a Grand Unifying Theory between Newtonian Physics and Quantum Physics, you have a problem. Mostly because the physical world you perceive as “real” is anything but real!
Quantum Physics Kindergarten Style
Imagine 1000 toothpicks falling from the sky per second. At any second, you can only grab 10. That leaves 990 other “toothpicks” per second that are falling around you that are available, but you cannot physically pick up.
That 10 toothpicks represents your ability to perceive and interpret the available data every second that goes by. Your physical mind cannot comprehend the 100% of data that is available at all times. Otherwise you would go crazy with the data! Think of it this way.. if during the time you were reading this article; you heard every door close, every bird chirp, every car that passed by, every word spoken, or felt every heartbeat or felt every breath.
You can quickly see that just by mentioning those items alone, you become a little more aware of your surroundings. This is because of a portion of your brain called the “Roticular Activator”. It controls what you see, to only what is relevant. That’s why right after you bought your last car, it seemed like you saw them everywhere… when before, you hardly saw them at all.
Consciousness To The Rescue
Unlike Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument (which I agree, we are more than likely living in a computer simulation); I believe that Thomas Campbell’s “Theory of Everything” is a more likely argument. Here’s why.
It’s undeniable to me that I as a person exist. A computer “person” of me (Plato’s Form for example) seems unlikely. Even within the games that I play (shout out to Call of Duty) my avatar can only act within the confines of the game. He has no “free will”. He acts because of the way I instruct him to.
Therefore, as a “person” I am comfortable with the acceptance that there is a “separateness” of “me”.
However, I know that when I die, the “body” is what dies. Which is of no concern for the “me” which exists within my body.
But “What is the Me?”
If we are indeed living in a computer simulation, and our purpose is to learn how to evolve our Consciousness to a point of Love, free from ego; then the “me” is the Consciousness trying to communicate to my outside world.
Put another way… if my Consciousness is the real me.. in this physical body, subject to the laws of this simulated reality. Then it appears my goal as a “Consciousness” called Karl is meant to learn to love. Release my ego and become a better Consciousness.
If Consciousness exists prior to the “Big Bang” as Dr. Campbell suggests, then it really is true. If consciousness is like the ocean, then I am not a drop in the ocean.
I am the entire ocean… in a drop.
And So are You.
The Scary Implications
What this means on a personal level is actually quite scary if you think about it. That means that there is no “god” as I previously thought.
Does that therefore mean that you cannot lead a moral life without the threat of eternal damnation upon you? Of course not. What it does mean however is a rational approach towards ethics. One measured by intent rather than obligation.
It means you help a little old lady across the street because its the right thing to do. Not because Jesus is going to give you a cookie at the end of the day.
What it also means is all this nonsense I hear about how God blesses the increase of your labor as divinely sanctioned and subsidized becomes morally bereft in the face of abject poverty.
To say that our businesses are blessed by God and our “following of His will” now means that you alone are responsible for the success or failure of your efforts. You can’t blame god if you fail, nor can you give credit if you succeed.
It encourages me to work on the behalf of doing better for my fellow man and my Consciousness because I am a responsible being. Not of threat of eternal condemnation.
Heaven and Hell
While it is true, no one can definitively state the existence of Heaven or Hell… I do believe it is a fair guess that neither exists.
Nor do I believe that we cease to exist. Energy does not disappear, it changes form. So do we.
Since water never is destroyed, it simply changes form. I believe we do as well.
Therefore, the family members that have preceded me, have changed form. Where they are now, I do not know. It is impossible for me, as a player in the game, to see where the other players are now.
Just like when you were a child playing a game of hide and go seek. Once you were found, you were out. If you played by the rules I did, you went to the “base” and you couldn’t tell anyone where the Seeker was. Nor could you tell the Seeker where the other kids were. It had to be fair.
In life, I think maybe people like my mother, my father, and my relatives who have gone before me have simply been parts or “Drops” in a greater “consciousness” . That once they had reached the end of that particular “character” in our simulated game of life, they had to go back to “home base” until the next game starts.
I don’t know that I have enough information to say that there is or is not reincarnation. However, it would make a lot more sense. As I think about the aggregate size Heaven and Hell must be… I mean. There are currently about 7 BILLION people on Earth NOW… not counting how many have gone before.
It would seem very inefficient of any system to give you only 70 years to “get it right”. Considering that I am currently 45, and I hardly feel like I know what is going on at all in life sometimes!
What makes more sense however is a “recycling” of your consciousness. Your basic essence, your “Consciousness” the You behind the eyes has multiple times to go through life and get it right. Screw it up? You gotta go back through until you get it right.
Not The Best Theory Ever
Maybe my thoughts are totally off base. If you’ve read this much, then I thank you. However, I would leave you with a thought that Dr. Thomas Campbell encourages you and I to do. I think it’s great advice.
Be an “open minded skeptic”
What he means by that is two things. First, be Open Minded. Meaning that you are open to the possibility of other thoughts. Not that you will necessarily agree with them. Just that you are open to them.
Second, a Skeptic. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take his word for it. Research things for yourself, and come to your own conclusions. Do that about any subject. Be open minded to consider it, and research things to make a fair decision for yourself.
For me, this may not be the best theory I’ve ever heard, but it sure makes a lot more sense to me than trillions of souls burning in hell from a “God” who loves them, but will allow them to suffer.
What do you say?