The Berenstein Bears – The Smoking Gun of The Matrix?

Hollywood has had a great deal of fun with the ideas of time loops, alternate universes, reality shifts, and parallel timelines – “glitch in the Matrix”, “Groundhog Day”, “Back to the Future”, to name a few that have entered our collective consciousness.

But that’s just entertainment.

In our reality, once in a while, something seems to be amiss in a similar manner. Years ago, there was some speculation about the “Mandela Effect”, the idea that many people seem to have remembered that Nelson Mandela died in prison, which, of course, he didn’t.

At least not in this universe.

It seems that this was sort of a “soft glitch”, because only some people remembered the event – one of those cases where you don’t quite remember where you heard the news, but it is in your memory. Perhaps it was just an urban legend that got passed around through word of mouth.

Then, yesterday, one of my friends posted this link on Facebook about the apparent glitch in reality where the Berenstein Bears became the Berenstain Bears:

I remember it being pronounced “Ber-en-steen” and spelled “Berenstein.” Do you? Turns out that not only do all of the friends and colleagues who I asked, but also most of the people who have weighed in on various blogs and articles about this topic throughout the Internet and Twitterverse. The originators of the book series only recall their names as “Berenstain” and seem perplexed by everyone else’s recollection. Is it a case of mass confusion, an example of a parallel universe in action, or a rare and extreme piece of evidence that our reality is purely subjective?

MWI (Many Worlds Interpretation) Quantum theorists would have one possible yet incomplete explanation. In this theory, reality bifurcates constantly every time a quantum mechanical decision needs to be made (which occurs at the subatomic particle level countless times per second, and may be influenced by the observer effect). The figure below demonstrates. At some point, one of the ancestors of Stan and Jan Berenstein, the creators of the Berenstein Bear book series, encountered a situation where his name could have been spelled one of two ways. Perhaps, it was at Ellis Island, where such mistakes were common. For whatever reason, the universe bifurcated into one where the ancestor in question retained his original name, Berenstein, and another where the ancestor received a new spelling of his name, Berenstain (or vice versa; it doesn’t matter). Down the Berenstein path travelled we and/or all of our ancestors. Our doppelgängers went down the Berenstain path.


According to MWI, all of these realities exist in something called Hilbert Space and there is no ability to travel from one to another. This is where MWI fails, because we are all in the Berenstain path now, but seem to remember the Berenstein path. So, for some reason (reality just messing with us?) we all jumped from one point in Hilbert Space to another. If Hilbert Space allowed for this, then this idea might have some validity. But it doesn’t. Furthermore, not everyone experienced the shift. Just ask the Berenstains. MWI can’t explain this.

The flaw is in the assumption that “we” are entirely in one of these realities. “We,” as has been discussed countless times in this blog and in my book, are experiencing a purely subjective experience. It is the high degree of consensus between each of us “conscious entities” that fools us into thinking that our reality is objective and deterministic. Physics experiments have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it is not.

So what is going on?

My own theory, Digital Consciousness (fka “Programmed Reality”), has a much better, comprehensive, and perfectly consistent explanation (note: this has the same foundation as Tom Campbell’s theory, “My Big TOE”). See the figure below.


“We” are each a segment of organized information in “all that there is” (ATTI). Hence, we feel individual, but are connected to the whole. (No time to dive into how perfectly this syncs with virtually every spiritual experience throughout history, but you probably get it.) The “Reality Learning Lab” (RLL) (Campbell) is a different set of organized information within ATTI. The RLL is what we experience every day while conscious. (While meditating, or in deep sleep, we are connected elsewhere) It is where all of the artifacts representing Berenstein or Berenstain exist. It is where various “simulation” timelines run. The information that represents our memories is in three places:

  1. The “brain” part of the simulation. Think of this as our cache.
  2. The temporary part of our soul’s record (or use the term “spirit”, “essence”, “consciousness”, “Being”, or whatever you prefer – words don’t matter), which we lose when we die. This is the stuff our “brain” has full access to, especially when our minds are quiet.
  3. The permanent part of our soul’s record; what we retain from life to life, what we are here to evolve and improve, what in turn contributes to the inexorable evolution of ATTI. Values and morality are here. Irrelevant details like the spelling of Berenstein don’t belong.

For some reason, ATTI decided that it made sense to replace Berenstein with Berenstain in all of the artifacts of our reality (books, search engine records, etc.) But, for some reason, the consciousness data stores did not get rewritten when that happened, and so we still have long-term recollection of “Berenstein.”

Why? ATTI just messing with us? Random experiment? Glitch?

Maybe ATTI is giving us subtle hints that it exists, that “we” are permanent, so that we use the information to correct our path?

We can’t know. ATTI is way beyond our comprehension.

Dark Matter, Parallel Worlds, and Bizarro Neighbors

It turns out that it is very likely that an unseen world is occupying the same space that we do.  What goes on there?  Are there Bizarro humans living with Bizarro pets in Bizarro homes, working at Bizarro jobs, just like we do?

Astronomers who have studied the motion of galaxies and clusters of galaxies have noticed that such large astronomical objects rotate too fast for the amount of matter inferred by their size, distance, and luminosity.  Further, in order for the universe to be flat, as it is observed, there must be much more matter than is currently visible.  In fact, by some estimates, observable matter only accounts for less than 1% of the mass of the universe.  The rest, therefore, must be dark – hence the name “dark matter.”  Many varieties of dark matter have been proposed, including exotic dark matter consisting of various high energy loose particles such as neutrinos and theoretical particles called WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles).  Also in the menu of candidates for dark matter are big chunky masses called MACHOs (massive compact halo objects – don’t astronomers have a great sense of humor?), which include brown dwarfs, planets, or black holes.  Certain studies of the structure of the early universe, however, have demonstrated that MACHOs can not account for more than a fraction of the total dark matter.

As a result, WIMPs are winning the battle.  Anomalous scientific results from Results from ATIC (Advanced Thin Ionization Calorimeter in Antarctica, PAMELA (an Italian space mission called a Payload for AntiMatter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics), and INTEGRAL (a European Gamma Ray satellite, INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) ) are starting to narrow down the kinds of particle that could be responsible.  See Kaluza-Klein particles for more (also see New Scientist article).

Interesting, this has some fascinating implications.  The fact that WIMPs don’t interact means we don’t even know they are there.  Because the measurements imply that they are integrated into our space just like ordinary matter is, they are effectively right next to us and we have no way of detecting them.

But what form are they in?  Is it a sea of particles?  Or do they clump like ordinary matter?  The answer appears to be the latter.  According to Hubble data, dark matter clumps at all magnitudes (see Science Daily article), which means it looks pretty much like ordinary matter.

What does all this mean?  All indications are that there is tons (figuratively speaking) of invisible, undetectable material existing right in our own space.  In fact, by all accounts, there is about 7 times as much as our common ordinary matter.  For all we know, there are dark desks, dark Volvos, and dark versions of Donald Trump’s hair.

intergalactic space Bizarro Trump