What is Reality

You can be sure of conscious existence. Conscious existence is the first real thing. The reality you experience emerges as an ever-changing flow of images. This flow is superficially orderly but upon close examination that sense of flow is derived from random change. Random change is the second real thing. From existence and random change we derive space. Spatial extension is the third real thing. Space undergoes changes is scale. We can count arbitrary intervals between the instantaneous conscious experiences of space and call that time. Counting time is the fourth real thing.

At certain scales a reliable probabilistic succession of images emerge. We call this reliable succession of images “Physics”. Physics is the method that allows conscious beings to predict the future and match expectations with future experience. Physics allows for there to be a shared predictive reality. But conscious existence is fundamentally random so it is important to remember the laws of physics are contingent and are fundamentally very good approximations.

The idea that what we perceive is an illusion is, perhaps, the biggest illusion of all. Most discussions about what is real and what is illusion begin without any epistemological foundation, and are quite shallow as a result. There is usually no method offered for distinguishing illusion from reality. Here are several different kinds of illusions:

  • An optical illusion is a trick of perception.
  • A magician’s trick is an illusion of distraction.
  • Hallucinations and dreams are where there is perception in the absence of immediate external stimuli.

The world is understood through conscious perception. Some of these perceptions are distorted or are interpreted by brains in particular ways to help organisms orient themselves in the world. These distortions and interpretations are often shared by all members in a particular species and thereby form a persistent, and predictable collective experience. Collective experience is the fifth real thing.

The world in its totality is very different from how we perceive and interpret it. However, this totality is actually LESS real than the limited perceptual data we receive from our senses, and LESS real than the distorted interpretation of that perceptual data. In my system, every object of the subjective imagination including illusions — from gravity to unicorns — are real. Subjective imagination is the sixth real thing. From subjective imagination, all subsequent realities are derived.

Subjective imagination can be likened to an unbounded and free scalar field. Reality, therefore, would be a density function in that field.

We imagine there is space to think, to breathe and move. This imagination is very, very, very persistent so its density in the field of imagination is high. Very dense imaginations we designate as more real and we rely heavily upon them to generate future experiences.

So all experiences are images in the imagination. This is what drives the idea that all experiences are illusions. But illusions are characterized their trickiness — by being unreliable for generating future experiences that are desired or anticipated. If something that is illusory becomes effective in satisfying desires and expectations it will increase in frequency and increase in its degree of realness. It is possible through collective agreements and collective practices to convert what was illusion into reality. This is because illusion and reality are not totally different things but operate as a unified field.

So reality is the set of experiences that persist enough that one begins to rely on them for generating new experiences. Dreaming is a part of most people’s, reality, while the content of dreams are usually not persistent enough for most people to rely on. Clearly, building reality as defined here is not a purely objective process; nor is it reasonable to expect reality to be necessarily objective. Our most profound realities are indeed collectible and shareable. In closing:

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

― Wilfred Arlan Peterson

So , here’s my working definition for “reality”: Reality (R) is directly proportional to the frequency (f) that a perceived event aligns with predicted expectations (p); plus the signal amplitude (a) of any event above a flat baseline (b) of awareness (or boredom).

This would imply that “reality” is something experienced by observers, and that it is determined by how often a given event meets the anticipated expectations of a given observer. The more often the expectation of the observer is met, the more real the event to determined to be.

Scientific phenomena would be accounted for by the high frequency aspect of this definition. Cultural practices, social norms (like the use of money), and individual habits would also be described by the frequency component of the definition.

Very intense one-time events, like a punch in the face or natural disasters, can also seem real. This is accounted for by the amplitude aspect of the definition. The relative amplitude of an event is determined against the baseline boredom level of the observer(s). Observers can be said to be bored when they report that nothing is happening in the perceptual field. Boredom itself, given its high frequency in the awareness of observers, is type of reality.

Love|Sex

LOVE

If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus.

In the above quote, Emma Goldman might be referring to free sexual exchanges between lovers. One view is that at the time Goldman wrote “love” was often code for “sex.” However, the above quote uses the word “love” twice in a manner which to my mind is greater than and encircles “sex”. I think my view is supported by this other quote by Goldman from her writings in “Anarchism and Other Essays”:

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny…

Sexual aggression, passivity and obsession require a subject and an object. The most expansive and resonant love is non-dual. There is no subject or object. The dualistic giving and the receiving is an exchange within a single self. My interpretation of the quote is that it refers to a romantic and sexual love between two adult people where there is no passive-active, top-bottom, subject-object, or even gender categories. Fundamentally, non-dual love is closer to the ONE SOURCE of all existence as all mental categories are merely superficial projections. True love is a kind of ego death — a return to what I call the Unified Field of infinite potential. It is the fear of ego death that often blocks the path to spiritual unity and enlightenment.

Ego games are fun to play and can lead to knowledge. But ego games are ultimately attenuating. Sometimes ego games are lethal to one’s physical and spiritual well-being. Most of the games we play in love relations are quite toxic to true unity and real connection. Games can be loving expressions. However, there are far more ways that games are used to divide and serve egotism than love. So one must be wise.

Sexuality (e.g., sexual-preferences and sexual-orientations) is often about playing games. Some of these games are programmed genetically by evolution. They are not chosen. But love is about expanding the ego beyond dualism and games to a resonant reciprocity where the egos of the lovers achieve non-dual awareness. Sex and love are both about building community. The first step to community building is the relation between two lovers. Initially it is dualistic. Sometimes these dualistic relations are characterised by power (superiority-inferiority complexes) and sexual games, but through the development of love the relation becomes non-dual and the two lovers become ONE resonant being. The ONE resonant being love relation supersedes all other games.

Resonance is really about reciprocity. Reciprocity is important in all aspects of reliable and amplifying love. Some lovers are amplified through giving their minds and bodies to their beloveds. These lovers will be frustrated by beloveds who block their giving. This lack of reciprocity will lead to disharmony and loss of resonance. There are other lovers who enjoy receiving but are egotistic and selfish. These lovers do not feel like giving back. These lovers will deplete a partner who gives. The depletion of the giver occurs faster when the giver has little or no connection to sources for receiving that do not rely on the selfish partner. Eventually, the lack of reciprocity will lead to disharmony, energy dissipation through redirection, and loss of resonance. Both dynamics can involve sex, but can easily manifest in many other aspects of the relation between lovers and beloveds.

A fully reciprocal give-and-take dynamic must be accessible to both adult lovers in a romantic and sexual union. This resonance is necessary in order to maximise the reliability and energy potential of the relation. When full resonance is accomplished through all seven chakras:

  1. body
  2. sex
  3. integration
  4. heart
  5. communication
  6. vision, and
  7. mind

no earthly institution can stand in the way of two individual souls so united. This resonant relation transcends even death of the physical body, because it has moved consciousness to a realm beyond the limiting logic of this physical Universe!

Getting to that point is very difficult. Many lovers choose to play games instead of entering into an ego dissolving relation. In the end, a choice has to be made by both participants between the non-dual experience offered by a fully resonant union and egotistic selfishness.

What does it mean to say that God is both Love and Evil?

For many, the biblical god is benevolent, but for more and more modern observers the same god is a monster. There are times in the biblical scripture when the god it describes, is revealed with an unapologetic and sincere clarity. Here are two such scriptures:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

— Isaiah, 45:7

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

— Amos, 3:6

There is divinity in embracing total Love, and divinity in embracing total Evil. All is Oneness and the distinction (as all duality) is ultimately an imagination of the brain. Life is about making choices. Every day we must choose between food and poison. Food increases the entropy in the universe, but it also gives the body the freedom to make more choices. The Universe lovingly expands to accept the entropy of the body and the new choices that the body makes. Poison increases the local entropy in the body, but the freedom of the body to make further choices cease.

The path of life and pure Love is the one I choose. Being pure Love or pure Evil is not easy in society. Both can lead to one’s destruction. Jesus was pure Love and he was executed, but because he was Love he had the freedom to choose to live again. A path to pure Evil might lead to an even faster demise, and a permanent death with no choice for resurrection.

The unenlightened go through life being a mix of Love and Evil. In the Bible there is warning against lukewarm service to two masters.

So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

— Revelations, 3:16

The question comes down to who you are at your core. Life is about becoming a better person — whatever you determine “better” to mean. It could mean becoming a better hero or a better villain. It is my observation, that the hero is aligned with the overall universal movement towards greater space and more degrees of freedom (or increasing entropy); while villainy is aligned with local movements towards lesser degrees of freedom (or death). Love is large and encompassing; Evil is small and constricting.

So if you want to live a life where you maximize your freedoms and potential, choose Love. If you want to live a life where you limit your freedoms and potential, choose Evil. Whichever one you choose becomes your God.

Stephen Hawking on the risk of Advanced Alien Encounters with Earth

The idea that advanced super-intelligent aliens would want to eat earthlings or consume Earth is nonsense. Why would such an entity travel across huge distances for such a small meal? The energy needed to get to Earth from even the closest star-system would be on the order of the mass of Jupiter. Any entity that can harness energy on that scale, can do anything it wants really. I assume that any super-intelligence worthy of the name would be able to synthesize any tasty morsel it wanted. They would have access to vast and rich sources for raw materials and even water almost anywhere in the distances between their home star-system and our Solar System.

However, it is possible that a clumsy or lazy super-intelligence might bring lower-level parasites and other pesky hitchhikers that might be harmful to earthlings.

Stephen Hawking on Artificial Intelligence

Mr. Hawking is wrong. Autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AAI) is potentially dangerous but the alternative of relying on human intelligence is worse. I have observed that true intelligence is always more loving, more compassionate, more inclusive, and self-sacrificing. It is stupidity that is greedy, racist, anxious, and acts out of fear and panic. Read about Mr. Hawking’s statements on AAI here.

Is reality an illusion?

The word “illusion” implies misrepresentation, trickery, falsity, or deception. Existence is not trying to trick us. Existence just want to get back to the default zero state of balance and symmetry. It is consciousness that is running the scam. And what a delicious scam it is! Living beings resist the zero state so it can extract enjoyment out of what is essentially nothingness. To that end, we have derived the material Universe. And every moment of enjoyment, every sunrise, every sunset, every dream of love, and every sadness we can derive is a gift.