Who Is God?

I’m starting this ridiculously presumptuous topic with the assumption that we live in a consciousness-driven digital reality. (For the reasons that I think this is the ONLY compelling theory of reality, please see the evidence, or my book, “The Universe – Solved!”) As such, we can draw from the possibilities proposed by various simulation theorists, such as Tom Campbell, Nick Bostrom, Andrei Linde, the Wachowskis, and others. In all cases, our apparent self, what Morpheus called “residual self image” is simply, in effect, an avatar. Our real free-will-wielding consciousness is in the mind of the “sim player”, wherever it may be.

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Some possibilities…

  1. We live in a post-human simulation written by humans of the future. This is Nick Bostrom’s “Simulation Argument.” “God” is thus, effectively, a future human, maybe some sniveling teen hacker working at the 2050 equivalent of Blizzard Entertainment. We are contemporaries of the hacker.
  1. We live in a simulation created by an AI, a la “The Matrix.” God is the Architect of the Matrix; we may be slaves or we may just enjoy playing the simulation that the AI created. We may be on earth or somewhere entirely different.
  1. We live in a simulation created by an alien. God is the alien; again, we may be slaves or we may just enjoy playing the simulation that ET has created.
  1. Stanford physicist Andrei Linde, the developer of the “eternal chaotic inflation theory” of the multiverse, once said “On the evidence, our universe was created not by a divine being, but by a physicist hacker.” That would make God a physicist – a future human one, or one from another planet.
  1. We live in a digital system, which continuously evolves to a higher level due to a fundamental law of continuous improvement. Physicist Tom Campbell has done the most to develop this theory, which holds that each of our consciousnesses are “individuated” parts of the whole system, interacting with another component of the system, the reality simulation in which we “live.” God is then a dispassionate digital information system, all that there is, the creator of our reality and of us. We are effectively a part of God.

The kingdom of God is within you” – Jesus

“He who knows his own self, knows God” – Mohammed

“There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self of all beings, who makes His one form manifold. Eternal happiness belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves – not to others” – from the Vedas, original Indian holy text

“The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” – Native American

There are a couple major challenges with possibilities 1 through 4. First of all is the problem of motivation. Would a significantly advanced civilization really be interested in playing out a seemingly mundane existence in a pre-post-human epoch on an ordinary planet? Would we want to live out the entire life of an Australopithecus four million years ago, given the opportunity in a simulation? Of course, this argument anthropomorphizes our true self, which may not even be of human form, like its avatar. In the System model of God, however, motivation is simple; it is part of the fundamental process of continuous improvement. We experience the simulation, or “Reality Learning Lab”, as Campbell calls it, in order to learn and evolve.

The bigger challenge is how to explain these anomalies:

  • Near Death Experiences, many of which have common themes; tunnels toward a white light, interaction with deceased (only!) relatives, life reviews, peace and quiet in an unearthly environment, a perception of a point of no return, and fundamental and lasting change in the experiencer’s attitude about life and death.
  • Past Life Experiences, as recounted by patients of hypnotherapists. Roots of reincarnation beliefs exist in every religion throughout the globe. It is fundamental in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and many Native American nations and African tribes, as well as some of the more esoteric (some might say “spiritually pure”) sects of Islam (Druze, Ghulat, Sufism), Judaism (Kabbalah and Hasidic), and even Christianity (Cathars, Gnostics).
  • In-between Life Experiences, as recounted by patients of hypnotherapists, as well as historical prophet figures, and modern spiritualists, such as Edgar Cayce, have common themes, such as encountering spirit guides who help design the next life.
  • Mystical experiences have been reported in many cultures throughout history, from Mohammed, Moses, Jesus, and Buddha to Protestant leader Jacob Boehme to modern day astronaut Rusty Schweickart. Common experiences include the expansion of consciousness beyond the body and ego, timelessness, the perception of being part of a unified whole, a oneness with a “cosmic consciousness”, and a deep understanding of the universe.

Only possibility 5, the “System” concept, can incorporate all of these anomalies. In that model, we are part of the whole, as experienced. We do reincarnate, as experienced. NDEs are simply the experience of our consciousness detaching from the Reality Learning Lab (RLL), and interacting with non-RLL entities.

The problem with the word “God” is the imagery and assumptions that it conjures up; old man with a flowing beard in the clouds. With the variety of simulation models, “God” could also be an incredibly advanced piece of software, or an incredibly advance alien (“light being”?), or a human in a quasi-futuristic grey suit. The word “System”, while probably much more accurate, is equally problematic in the assumptions that it generates. Still, I prefer that, or “All that there is” (ATTI?).

The System model clearly wins, in terms of its explanatory power. Which makes God a very different entity than most of us are used to thinking about.

But I bet the Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed would all love this theory!

Signs of Real Humanity Evolution

We humans spend a lot of time talking about and worrying about and doing stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.  And I’m not just talking about the obvious things, like Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I mean stuff that the media and schools tell us is important.  Including stuff that I used to think was important – like politics, GMOs, how “big chemical” is poisoning us, the revolving door between government, finance and business, widespread corruption, and how the financial elite continues to fleece us peons.  I still think these things are important, because they impact those whom we care about.

But, from a broader, larger, and historical perspective, which party wins the election, what the stock market does, which countries rise or fall, or who wins the war, are, to quote Dr. Evil, “quite inconsequential.”  It’s like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.  Everyone dies and new humans take their place.  Every civilization declines and new ones rise.

Where is the evolution of humanity?

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It is a mistake to think it is found in science or technology.  As much as I love gadgets and the bleeding edge of high tech, products do not equate to the evolution of a species.  Cloning, nuclear power, nanotech, and 3D printing are not signs of human evolution.  They are merely examples of our ability to control matter.

Nor are medical advances that extend our life expectancy.  Does it really make sense that living longer evolves our species in some way?  On the contrary, it only causes more problems.  Humans now have to compete with an ever-increasing number of humans for limited resources.  Instead of dying of quickly of natural causes, we live past our natural life expectancy and instead die slowly and miserably, often without dignity.  And the increasing human population rapidly takes away and destroys habitats for countless species of other conscious life forms, as well as using them for cruel experimental medical research, which continues the cycle and only serves to make big pharmaceutical companies even bigger.  It is all based on the mistaken assumption that we live in a cold materialistic objective reality.  Hardly evolved thinking.

All is not lost however.  Despite the war profiteers and religious nuts that contribute to the devolution of humanity, we slowly progress in the right direction.  From the Magna Carta in 1215 to the United States Bill of Rights in 1789 to broader recognition of gender and racial equality in the 20th Century, to the fact that homicide rates have dropped by a factor of 30 in Europe over the past 500 years, it can be said that this trend represents positive evolution.

Another good sign is the general trend away from religious dogma and toward spiritual growth.  The percentage of Americans who don’t identify with a particular religious preference has grown steadily from 2% in 1950 to 16% in 2010.  At the same time, the desire for “spiritual growth” has increased from 58 percent in 1994 to 82% five years later, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll.  Why is this a sign of evolution?  Because religious dogma teaches you that you are right and they are wrong, while unaffiliated spiritual discovery almost always results in the recognition that love is what really matters.

And finally, my favorite sign of human evolution is exemplified by what India did a few months ago in declaring dolphins to be “non-human persons” with similar rights including the right not to be held captive.  Three other countries have similar laws and more are sure to follow.  I believe that this, along with a significant trend away from cruel animal practices (think free range chickens, more vegetarians, and the growth of no-kill shelters) is a sure sign that more and more humans are recognizing that they aren’t the only ones with rights on this planet.  Truly evolved thinking.

So maybe there’s hope for us yet.