There is a fundamental inconsistency at the core of the scientific method / world-view that makes it unable to comprehend quantum mechanics (which seems paradoxical due to the inconsistency) nor can it comprehend consciousness or spirituality.
I have been identifying, explaining and challenging this inconsistency in a series of articles to help motivate the paradigm shift that will eventually make quantum mechanics understandable as well as making research into consciousness and spirituality understandable to modern science and recognised as vitally important.
There is an entry point here: http://anandavala.info/article/Are-we-today-as-wrong-about-any-scientific-fact-that-is-widely-accepted-as-geocentrism.pdf
If what I say is correct, which it seems to be, then these documents point towards the possibility for a radical paradigm shift!
Pass on the good news if you know people who would be interested, the more people who help figure this out, the sooner and the clearer the shift will be.
Especially people interested in the interface between science, consciousness and spirituality. As well as the hard problem of consciousness, psi-phenomena, scientific realist interpretation of quantum mechanics, cybernetic interpretation of quantum mechanics, virtual realism, virtual reality hypothesis, simulation hypothesis, computational metaphysics, reinterpretation of ancient mystic wisdom, etc... It's all connected!
Only a few hours ago the I Ching urged me to commit to my highest
aspiration and to announce my intention. It said "Make known
the arrival of a message from heaven and announce it at the Earth
altar. If you don't deliver your important message you will be cut
off and isolated. Call out. Tell us now. Now!" Then along
comes an invitation to do so on Facebook, which motivated this... :)
So, what is the highest
perceived benefit or aspiration of my Life?
When one sufficiently overcomes the habit of naive realism one can
coherently understand the nature of reality rather than remain
trapped in a self-reproducing closed loop of unconscious assumptions
and resulting misunderstandings.
A coherent understanding can be attained personally and also
examined scientifically. A personal understanding will transform
one's life. A scientific understanding will transform civilisation.
The main features of a coherent understanding:
Reality is that which perceives rather than that which is
perceived. The objects of perception are not objective because they
depend on how we perceive them. The objective reality is the stream
of awareness within which the objects of perception arise and which
is our true self.
We have experiences of "being in a world", which is
how the situation appears from our perspective. However those
appearances do not reveal the true nature of reality, just as
experiences of a VR game world do not reveal its true nature to be
There are underlying processes that animate our stream of
awareness and give rise to the appearances that we apprehend. These
processes are that by which we perceive and cannot be apprehended as
objects of perception, thus they themselves seem unmanifest and
All manifest forms are inferred to
exist from our perceptions, however they have no independent
self-nature. Hence the ideas of matter and a physical universe are
The underlying processes animate all systems and enable them
to experience, react and thereby interact. All system interactions
are driven by reciprocal experiences and there are no inanimate
The underlying processes that enable our individual streams
of awareness are part of a unified process that animates everything.
There is a global coherence to this unified process, which
imparts a global coherence to the realm of manifest forms. Thus no
event is local, every event is a 'movement' of the entire cosmos.
We can operate via sensory perceptions and thereby exert
influence locally, or we can operate via the inner-most animating
process 'within' us and thereby exert influence globally or
Our individual state of being (both body and mind) arises
from the many levels of interacting sub-systems that comprise us. If
these sub-system interactions are dysfunctional we suffer.
Our interactions and relationships integrate us into many
levels of super-systems (groups and organisations) that comprise
society as a whole. The collective state of being emerges from this
integration. If our interactions are dysfunctional the emergent
The main results of the work from which this world-view arises can be found
My initial motivation was the need to resolve the tension between my rational and spiritual sides. Once that was eased my attention also turned to the civilisation-wide tension between science and spirituality.
There is so much needless suffering and destruction that arises from misguided sciences, misguided religions, the conflict between them all and the resulting confusions and dysfunctions that permeate our cultures and minds.
I really believe that this tension can eventually be resolved and out of that will arise a unified science/spirituality that will have a lasting positive influence on our whole civilisation; so profound that we can barely even imagine what it will be like from our current vantage point.
There are so many people contributing in different ways to this process of unification at present and my greatest hope is to serve some useful role in that effort...
"There is this hope, I cannot promise you whether or when it will be realized - that the mechanistic paradigm, with all its implications in science as well as in society and our own private life, will be replaced by an organismic or systems paradigm that will offer new pathways for our presently schizophrenic and self-destructive civilization." (Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Founder of general systems theory)
Schizophrenia seems to be a problem where there is no means for thoughts to be coherently 'grounded' in truth or reality, hence the tension of confusion builds upon itself creating more confusion and running out of control.
If the wikipedia description is interpreted as applying to our civilisation rather than an individual person it is surprisingly relevant to our current situation as reflected in politics, media, social breakdown, etc:
"Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by impaired emotional responses. Common symptoms are delusions including paranoia and hallucinations, disorganized thinking and a lack of emotional intelligence. It is accompanied by significant social dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia
In the case of our civilisation I would propose that the core confusion is naïve realism, which gives rise to numerous other confusions such as exoteric religion, empirical science, mechanistic views of human nature, oppressive legal and social systems, entrenched struggle for dominance over others, etc. These reinforce the confusions and generate vast amounts of tension throughout civilisation.
I explain this in more detail in "Simplified Anatomy of the Global Systemic Crisis and How to Heal Civilisation" http://www.anandavala.info/STAR/anatomy.html
I was recently asked: "Is QM in its abstract mathematical proceedure that applies to particles, and just abstract conceptualisations, not considered naive realism?"
No, it is called scientific realism because it claims that aspects of reality can be known scientifically. Scientific realism can be naïve realist, for example via claims that particles are real. This is naïve realist because it is based on the assumption that that which is portrayed by our observations is real.
However in the case of QM it is not naïve realist - it is in fact the antithesis of naïve realism because it claims that the observables that we apprehend are not in any way objective, they are created in the act of observing and are thus totally dependent on how we observe.
Thus QM claims that anything that is portrayed by our experiences cannot be objectively real - whilst naïve realism claims that that which is portrayed by our experiences is objectively real. The two are diametrically opposed.
QM is realist because it claims that that which is represented by wavefunctions are real. I.e. they exist independently of our observations - in fact they are inherently unobservable. Whenever we try to observe them what we experience are the 'observables' that are created in the act of observing.
So QM doesn't claim that particles or waves are real, these are just observables. It is that which is represented by wavefunctions that are real and which give rise to observations of either a particle or a wave depending on how we observe it.
BTW QM doesn't claim that the mathematical proceedures are real - these are just symbolic models via which we comprehend quantum systems.
Hence this type of realism is scientific realism because the things that are considered to be real can only be apprehended by the mind via 'abstract' scientific conceptualisations. The fact that these are 'abstract' doesn't imply that they are unreal - in fact it implies the opposite.
Within a naïve realist paradigm 'abstract' means 'unreal' because it can never be portrayed by the content of an experience no matter how augmented that experience may be (e.g. by microscopes or telescopes or particle accelerators etc). Due to naïve realism we are in the habit of thinking that only the things portrayed by our experiences can be real and that everything else is abstract and unreal.
However, when we step away from naïve realism and seriously consider the role of experience we realise that if experience is fundamental and not just an anomaly then that which is most real must underlie our ability to experience. Furthermore, "that which underlies our ability to experience" cannot be "that which is portrayed by our experiences". Thus that which can be observed is unreal and that which is real would seem 'abstract' because it can never be observed.
In other words, to use a metaphor, reality is the sight within seeing rather than that which is seen. Hence the most real is the most abstract.
BTW it is very rare to find a coherent discussion of the non-naïve realist nature of QM. Most discussions try to introduce naïve realist features or apply it within a naïve realist context.
This is because over the past 80 or so years there have only been a handful of physicists who could think outside of naïve realism. Thus the standard attitude is that we should focus on the world that we know via naïve realism (i.e. the physical universe) and we should use QM to make calculation about that world. Meanwhile we should avoid any attempts to think about what QM really means, i.e. what it is really saying about the nature of reality.
Thus it has been declared over and over that QM makes no sense and that attempts to think deeply about it will drive you insane. This attitude arises because a naïve realist cannot conceive that there is anything beyond naïve realism, thus someone who thinks outside of naïve realism must be insane, or so it seems to them.
There are now a few physicists who are beginning to see beyond naïve realism, but the vast majority of physics and science in general is still thoroughly naïve realist.
Here is a very short article that I wrote for a fringe science newsletter regarding the paradigm shift that is slowly emerging within physics: http://anandavala.info/article/EmergingParadigm.pdf
A more detailed analysis is conducted here: http://anandavala.info/OIPVSE.pdf
Note: in order to conduct this research I had to break away from habitual ways of thinking by dropping out of academia, however this means that this work has no way of being heard by academics or others engaged in similar work. If these ideas resonate with you then you can help by bringing it to their attention.
Thank you for listening and helping! I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me to develop a clearer understanding of the nature of reality.
Here is a bottom up reformulation of the philosophical foundations of the virtual reality hypothesis, i.e. the idea that we could be living in a virtual reality.
I have noticed over the years that there are many subtle confusions that arise when people try to approach this subject, myself included. Even for those who are cautious and sincere in their approach, there are unexpected pitfalls that can cause misunderstandings.
This reformulation attempts to elucidate and minimise the impact of those pitfalls in order to create a coherent foundation from which to approach the topic.
It is still a work in progress and any feedback or constructive criticism would be much appreciated
The Objective Information Processes & Virtual Subjective Experiences Hypothesis
This is an edited version of my comments from a recent conversation with a good friend Glisten (with extra comments to clarify a couple points). More >
Some questions regarding the relation between a 'process' and a 'schema'.
Note: in this context a 'schema' is structured information that symbolically represents a process.
Examples of schemas are sheet music (for a musical sound-scape), written language (for a linguistic speech act), computer code (for a running application), DVD encoded data (for a digital movie) , html/php/... (for a website), wavefunction (for the dynamical evolution of a quantum system), neural activity (for a sensory or cognitive impression), etc. More >
I was recently asked about introductory material to the
computational paradigm and its intersections with related fields of
ideas. Here's a bit of a brainstorm... More >
My earlier work (up to 2010) focused specifically on understanding the transcendent context and the manner by which it gives rise to the empirical (virtual) context. The models attempt to capture core aspects of this situation.
I modelled these aspects first using mathematics then software and finally OWL ontologies. More >
Here I discuss some basic aspects of quantum mechanics that are
not often explained and are often at the heart of common
misconceptions about the role of consciousness in reality and the
type of reality that is implied by quantum mechanics. More >
Ultimately, we're not made of things but of processes; we're not
objects or subjects, we are happenings.
Both subject and object are complementary aspects of an
experiential process. The process is fundamental whilst the subject
and object are virtual appearances.
The unified cosmic process (Brahman) has subject=God (Supreme
Self) and object=quantum field (spirit world).
This unified cosmic process operates 'between' moments of
existence; changing the state of NOW so that it seems that there are
many successive moments.
As these moments blur together there seems to exist myriad
individual experiential processes (Atman), which operate 'across'
moments of existence.
This is how Atman is Brahman, depending on whether we contemplate
the process as operating 'between' or 'across' moments. When
'between' it is One, whilst when operating 'across' it is many.
The individual experiential processes (Atman) have subject=Jiva
(personal self) and object=Maya (phenomenal world).
In this way the unified cosmic process seemingly animates myriads
of virtual processes, hence the One manifests as many. Many subjects
(embodied beings) and many objects (physical universe).
But ultimately there is just one unified cosmic process, which can
be known as either one subject (God / Supreme Self) or one object
(quantum field / spirit world).
Anyway, that is one possible English interpretation of the
mathematics that I intuitively received and have been contemplating since
2000. The maths is crystal clear and very succinct but it is hard to
find words to describe it because words have so much egoic /
materialist baggage attached.
Hope it makes sense to you...
BTW for much more detail see System
Science of Virtual Reality.
Worldly concepts, words and thought processes cannot give the mind
enough traction to grasp reality. However the mind itself CAN grasp
these things and the intellect can understand. Although the word
'mind' means different things to different people... Hence I'll
explain a little of where I'm "coming from" in regards to
'mind'... More >
The following is a brief overview of an information system
ontology and metaphysics, i.e. those concepts, entities and processes
that provide a foundation for a non-materialist, consciousness based
world-view. The explanation is kind of technical because it is
difficult to explain non-materialist issues in a mostly materialist
language, however the understanding itself is very simple and intuitive
once one shifts to a non-materialist paradigm. This explanation starts
from general principles and works towards particulars. More >
There are some who believe that only sentient beings such as
humans can collapse quantum wavefunctions. IMHO this is a fallacy and
it leads to a paradox, which can be resolved by developing a deeper
understanding of consciousness.
The paradox is, if sentient being are required to collapse a
wavefunction, then how could the classical universe exist before
sentient beings evolved, and how could sentient beings evolve if the
classical universe didn't yet exist? At what stage did the pure
quantum potential suddenly start collapsing into particular classical
actualities? How did this new ingredient
"wavefunction-collapsing-sentience" arise from the pure
quantum potential? There is a maze of paradoxes here...
In fact any interaction with another system will collapse the
wavefunction. Any observation will do it, because whenever an
observable is required by another system as part of an interaction
the wavefunction must collapse to provide an observable. This
approach is a natural part of an efficient simulation algorithm,
which only computes the state of a virtual system when another
virtual system requires an observable in order to experience and
interact with it.
The sensitivity to collapse is why researchers are having so much
trouble building quantum computers, they call it the "decoherence
problem". In order to perform computations with wavefunctions we
can't have them collapsing willy-nilly, but the slightest interaction
with any aspect of the surrounding universe will collapse the
wavefunction. So how can one develop a framework within which to
compute with wavefunctions?
If it was only sentient beings who collapse wavefunctions then
the decoherence problem would be easy to solve, just put the quantum
computer in an opaque box and don't let anyone open the box until the
computation has had plenty of time to complete. Then a sentient being
can open the box to collapse the wavefunction and observe the final
result of the computation. This is not what happens in reality.
The only way out of the quantum-sentience-paradox is to accept
that not only complex systems with complex forms of awareness (such
as ourselves) are involved in the collapse of the wavefunction, but
even simple systems with simple forms of awareness. Hence the way out
of paradox is to overcome anthropocentric concepts of consciousness
and accept some form of panpsychism, such as
Even a fundamental particle has its own primitive form of
consciousness - nowhere near as complex and rich as ours, but it is
aware nevertheless. A particle couldn't interact with other particles
if it wasn't aware of their existence and their state of being. It
needs to observe their state of being in order to react to them, and
this observation collapses the wavefunction of the other particles.
Thanks to Tim Cumper for raising this issue and inspiring me to
write this article...
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