Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. – Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Thursday, November 18, 2021

R.E. Slater - Process Panpsychism: "Is the Universe Conscious?"



Process Panpsychism
by R.E. Slater

We are deeply connected to the cosmos

So I'm not sure where Klee Irwin is going in his 6 part Emergence Theory Overview series below having not reviewed it in the detail it requires, but I would like to state for the record that at Relevancy22 we discuss Process Philosophy and Theology on a regular basis. You need look no farther than Alfred North Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism to discover that the cosmos in God is described by Process Thought as:

  • (cosmo)panrelational - highly relational,
  • (cosmo)panexperiential - from whole to parts and parts to whole the cosmos experiences itself through and through, and
  • (cosmo)panpsychic - referring to a cosmos which "feels" the entirety of its depth and "being".

1Process Thought states that the universe is alive in some sense even as we, ourselves, feel alive to the universe. This is why Whitehead saw the cosmos as a living "organism" that "feels it's existence," by which he was referring to i) all the quantum physical forces and energies and ii) all biologically "living" plants and creatures.

2 - Moreover, our feeling or identity of "aliveness" is NOT unique to ourselves as participants in God's creation but is a result of being deeply connected with the earth, universe, or cosmos (however you wish to term it).

Humanity is not unique to (or separate from) it's environment but is birthed from its environment and shares deeply in its cosmic structures.

That is, panpsychic concepts such as human consciousness is not unique to itself in the human species but is shared with the rest of the cosmos. Which is to say, because the cosmos has some kind of panpsychism within it, the human species does too, as do all things around us.

More simply, we are who we are because of the type of cosmic creation we have evolved from. Rather than looking at humanity as being distinctly unique from its environment we need to see ourselves as deeply connected to the world about us.


Process Resources

The process philosopher, Matt Segall, from CIIS, has lately taken up Whitehead cum John Cobb et al's earlier positions of panpsychism to flesh those viewpoints out a bit more within an extended process context. If you wish to contextualize this area a bit more simply go to the Index section in the topic list to the right and look under "Index - Process Thought with Matt Segall" or "Index to Process Philosophy and Theology" or even "Index - Process Theologian John Cobb."


Process Flow and Rhythm

In short, Process Thought is how one may describe the world and find the process flow and rhythm of life everywhere. From the physical and social sciences, to anthropology and evolution, to literature and economics, and integrally with the all other non-process based philosophies, cosmic process is everywhere.

As example, let's picture the proverbial elephant where blinded philosophers and psychologists are feeling the elephant's tail, trunk, ears, feet, body and making conjectures about the world at large. Essentially, they are seeing the bits and pieces of a process world through their own unique perspectives, which makes process philosophy and theology an integral theory circumscribing all other parts of the sciences, humanities, and so on.

I mention this because here in this post there are two posts which are describing the universe as conscious or as a holographic projection of some kind (Klee Irwin's Quantum Gravity theory). Not unlike other philosophers and scientists of their day they are describing what Whitehead has described in his theory of cosmology as a Process-based Cosmos. These are not new thoughts so much as part of very old discussions.


A Process World attested to in Many Forms

The area of Process Thought would also include religion itself, such as Christianity and Islam, but perhaps more poignantly rests within the Asian cultures of India, China, and the Orient re Buddhism etc. That is, process inhabits all of humanity, from its religious, social, industrial, and recreational life.

For instance, in the area of Christianity there are a number of Process theologians who are reworking process thought into how one thinks about God; how one might read the bible in a legendary and historical, phenomenological, and redactive way; how social justice, personal and church worship, and life constructs might be made more pronounced when speaking to the human religious identity through the multi-hued process perspectives of love, sharing, burden bearing, service, or wellbeing and caretake of the soul.
If process is real it should be found everywhere, and especially in the living out of one's life in a healthily connected way with this earth and all those around us. 

Process is Felt by Many

As a process-based Christian, where I personally wish to stop short epistemically is moving too far into the mystical ideas of New Ageism, Astrology, and the eastern cults which I'll generally describe as Eastern New Ageism. And though I've written past articles giving a nod towards the astral "feeling" of the universe I wish to stop short of using the astral beliefs, or, of entering into the mystical spaces, which may run tangentially in other highly subjectivized directions beyond where process theology might naturally go. More simply, I wish to acknowledge these areas without going too far down the yellow brick world of subjectivized mysticism.

Our identity is found meaningfully
connected to creation about us.

Conclusion

To summarize then, we live in a process creation where there will be those among us who may be more attuned to it than the common man or woman. Who say they "feel" the world in its process flow and energy as if they were human tuning forks grasping to reach into the infinite arrays of cosmic energy flows which touches them in some meaningful way to the "cosmic All", to God, to mankind, or to themselves. It is this very normal, inherently built-in feeling of connectedness to everyone and everything which bears within its organic structures this "beiningness" of presence and relationality which process philosophy and theology is presenting to the colder worlds of our denied irreligious experience.

Our identity is found meaningfully connected to "the creational whole" of life. It is how our God is, and it is that Image of God which we feel or sense all around us.

Process flow is what makes our universe special when we hike down a trail in a sun splashed woods, or ski down a snowy mountainside, canoe across a blue-green lake, hunt or fish or camp, or simply walk the concrete city streets feeling alive to the flow of life flowing everywhere around us.

We sense creation's flow. We feel it. It is how we might describe the process flow of life that hints to the poetry which lives within us as we breathe in-and-out those esoteric feelings of spiritual community every moment of our mortality.

Namaste,

R.E. Slater
November 18, 2021


* * * * * * *



Tetrahedrons representing the quasicrystalline spin network (QSN), the fundamental  sub-
structure of spacetime, according to emergence theory. | Credit: Quantum Gravity Institute


New hypothesis argues the universe simulates itself into existence


A physics paper proposes neither you
nor the world around you are real.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • A new hypothesis says the universe self-simulates itself in a "strange loop".
  • A paper from the Quantum Gravity Research institute proposes there is an underlying panconsciousness.
  • The work looks to unify insight from quantum mechanics with a non-materialistic perspective.

How real are you? What if everything you are, everything you know, all the people in your life as well as all the events were not physically there but just a very elaborate simulation? Philosopher Nick Bostrom famously considered this in his seminal paper “Are you living in a computer simulation?,” where he proposed that all of our existence may be just a product of very sophisticated computer simulations ran by advanced beings whose real nature we may never be able to know. Now a new theory has come along that takes it a step further – what if there are no advanced beings either and everything in “reality” is a self-simulation that generates itself from pure thought?

The physical universe is a “strange loop” says the new paper titled “The Self-Simulation Hypothesis Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics” from the team at the Quantum Gravity Research, a Los Angeles-based theoretical physics institute founded by the scientist and entrepreneur Klee Irwin. They take Bostrom’s simulation hypothesis, which maintains that all of reality is an extremely detailed computer program, and ask, rather than relying on advanced lifeforms to create the amazing technology necessary to compose everything within our world, isn’t it more efficient to propose that the universe itself is a “mental self-simulation”? They tie this idea to quantum mechanics, seeing the universe as one of many possible quantum gravity models.

One important aspect that differentiates this view relates to the fact that Bostrom’s original hypothesis is materialistic, seeing the universe as inherently physical. To Bostrom, we could simply be part of an ancestor simulation, engineered by posthumans. Even the process of evolution itself could just be a mechanism by which the future beings are testing countless processes, purposefully moving humans through levels of biological and technological growth. In this way they also generate the supposed information or history of our world. Ultimately, we wouldn’t know the difference.

But where does the physical reality that would generate the simulations comes from, wonder the researchers? Their hypothesis takes a non-materialistic approach, saying that everything is information expressed as thought. As such, the universe “self-actualizes” itself into existence, relying on underlying algorithms and a rule they call the principle of efficient language.”



What Is Reality? [Official Film]
Mar 4, 2017


Quantum Gravity Research
What if the very fabric of space and time isn't made of one-dimensional strings or energy as we think of it, but instead was simply a code or a language made from a geometric projection?

Quantum Gravity Research is a Los Angeles based team of mathematicians and physicists working on developing a theoretical framework for a first-principles unified quantum gravity theory they call emergence theory. Still in the early stage of development, emergence theory attempts to unify, through mathematical and scientific rigor, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and consciousness.

This film is presented in layperson terms and explains basics tenets of emergence theory, quantum mechanics and digital physics in ways that are meant to be communicative and fun. However, if you'd like to read any of the scientific and more technical papers, please visit our website.
What Is Reality? [Official Film]


Under this proposal, the entire simulation of everything in existence is just one “grand thought.” How would the simulation itself be originated? It was always there, say the researchers, explaining the concept of “timeless emergentism.” According to this idea, time isn’t there at all. Instead, the all-encompassing thought that is our reality offers a nested semblance of a hierarchical order, full of “sub-thoughts” that reach all the way down the rabbit hole towards the base mathematics and fundamental particles. This is also where the rule of efficient language comes in, suggesting that humans themselves are such “emergent sub-thoughts” and they experience and find meaning in the world through other sub-thoughts (called “code-steps or actions”) in the most economical fashion.

In correspondence with Big Think, physicist David Chester elaborated: “While many scientists presume materialism to be true, we believe that quantum mechanics may provide hints that our reality is a mental construct. Recent advances in quantum gravity, such as seeing spacetime emergent via a hologram, also is a hint that spacetime is not fundamental. This is also compatible with ancient Hermetic and Indian philosophy. In a sense, the mental construct of reality creates spacetime to efficiently understand itself by creating a network of subconscious entities that can interact and explore the totality of possibilities.”

The scientists link their hypothesis to panpsychism, which sees everything as thought or consciousness. The authors think that their “panpsychic self-simulation model” can even explain the origin of an overarching panconsciousness at the foundational level of the simulations, which “self-actualizes itself in a strange loop via self-simulation.” This panconsciousness also has free will and its various nested levels essentially have the ability to select what code to actualize, while making syntax choices. The goal of this consciousness? To generate meaning or information.

If all of this is hard to grasp, the authors offer another interesting idea that may link your everyday experience to these philosophical considerations. Think of your dreams as your own personal self-simulations, postulates the team. While they are rather primitive (by super-intelligent future AI standards), dreams tend to provide better resolution than current computer modeling and are a great example of the evolution of the human mind. As the scientists write, “What is most remarkable is the ultra-high-fidelity resolution of these mind-based simulations and the accuracy of the physics therein.” They point especially to lucid dreams, where the dreamer is aware of being in a dream, as instances of very accurate simulations created by your mind that may be impossible to distinguish from any other reality. To that end, now that you’re sitting here reading this article, how do you really know you’re not in a dream? The experience seems very high in resolution but so do some dreams. It’s not too much of a reach to imagine that an extremely powerful computer that we may be able to make in not-too-distant future could duplicate this level of detail.

The team also proposes that in the coming years we will be able to create designer consciousnesses for ourselves as advancements in gene editing could allow us to make our own mind-simulations much more powerful. We may also see minds emerging that do not require matter at all.

While some of these ideas are certainly controversial in the mainstream science circles, Klee and his team respond that We must critically think about consciousness and certain aspects of philosophy that are uncomfortable subjects to some scientists.”

Want to know more? You can read the full paper online in the journal Entropy.


Klee Irwin - Emergence Theory Overview - Part 1 of 6
Apr 6, 2020


Klee Irwin discusses the origin story of how Quantum Gravity Research was started and reviews the latest overview of how the self-simulation based physics of emergence theory is shaping up in its latest evolution at the top of 2020. https://quantumgravityresearch.org/