Category Archives: Speculations on the Nature of Reality

Who Are We?

Old Coin
Who Are We

As we travel to and fro in search of knowledge, what would it be like if we could experience and hear all of the world’s conversations at once?

I mean if we could blend them, we would hear a diversity that would inspire a sense of awe – at least for a while.  Think about that for a moment…  That awareness would have quite an effect on our conversations. Even this writing would take on a sense of omniscience.

Also, if we were that omniscient, we would probably not talk about our excuses and blame others for much of anything. For the world at large, such common complaints would blend into a roaring plea for survival. Yet for ourselves, it would be so easy to see through and compare all the opinions and stories that we make up to justify our own impulses.

If we could truly understand that everything we say was part of a larger whole, then wouldn’t we find it easier to give up selfishness and prejudice? Our conversations would probably be about what we want and not just what we complain about. I mean, they would be more inventive – in the ‘now’, so to speak.

 

When asked to define ourselves, we often describe physical things that we do, or even likes and dislikes—“this is what I do and don’t do,” and so on. And that’s fine, but as far as a true identity, it’s not quite enough.

There is something disempowering about describing oneself as a laborer or an executive, or as being from a certain place. I believe that our reality is so much more.

To understand this, I want you to consider the importance of language in manifesting the reality that we have. Does it not affect everything that we experience?

After all, our words do have a tremendous effect on our perceptions. At the very least, that concept, “our words make our reality”, is an enlightened way of viewing the world.

I suspect that an enlightened existence is actually something that occurs when you take responsibility for what you say, and when you choose who you get to be inside of that.

For example; If you are going to participate in spreading the news of what you believe is the opposite of Christ and ultimately the opposite of choice, then you would want to take responsibility for who you are being in order to be effective.

And choosing who you are being is something that most of us don’t even have any idea on how to do. I mean, seriously, who are we?

 

But let’s step back and take a journey for a moment and imagine the earth outside of our immediate being. After reading this paragraph, close your eyes and imagine how the land is laid out beyond you — see it in your mind’s eye —the trees, the people, the cars and buildings and continue moving your vision beyond the curvature of the earth. Continue to imagine drifting out from the earth, outward until the moon comes up behind you and passes by. Continue drifting outward until the other planets and asteroids go by. Continue drifting outward until the stars with other solar systems begin getting smaller and smaller. Continue until the galaxy comes into view. Continue outward until galaxies are passing by and become like little white dots. Continue outward until the known universe is just a ball.

And then imagine yourself turning around and looking at the black emptiness of the unknown beyond our universe.

Without language, the awareness of a larger universe and beyond would not be possible. Sure, there are memories involved in the words learned to describe the universe, but that kind of awareness was created through language.

We didn’t actually travel through the universe. Our words allow us to recognize things on a whole other level (hence the phenomenon of conception). And in a similar manner, language gives us a future that we can choose.

What I’m trying to say is that animals may use tools, but they don’t carry those tools for future use, because they don’t have a concept of the future—because they don’t have the amount of language needed to acquire one. (Certain animals may use shells for shelter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are thinking of the future. They are simply feeling the security of a shell and not necessarily thinking of the future.)

 

You, on the other hand, can create a future of untold spiritual wealth through revolutionizing your global awareness. We may never achieve the full promise of our humanity, but that is no excuse not to try.

We can understand our relationship with the environment, our community, and the world enough to grow well beyond the animal within. We can discover new realities without it being an effort, but rather a choice.

There are conversations waiting to happen that will not only inspire children to take pride in their ancestry, but also in their own humanity; before some machine does it for them.

 

WHAT DO WE WANT?

 Safety—that’s what it all boils down to.

What do we want?
Poster Print by Arthur C. Radebaugh

What do we want; food, shelter, and security—it’s all a matter of feeling safe. And the ultimate safety is freedom from death. Underneath it all is this animal body trying to survive, to beat death.

Ask any medical researcher and they’ll tell you, that as researchers, they have a responsibility to help people. Help them live longer? How much longer—until we’re immortal?

With the continuation of technology, there really is no limit. Immortality is what this animal wants. If you don’t believe that, look up “man blending with the machine,” “man and machine become one,” and “live eternally with technology” on the Internet. There are now thousands of virtual churches based on the idea that we can find salvation through technology.

When I was young, I remember telling myself that I didn’t want to grow old—but when old age is upon me, will I really want to die? I mean, how does one know when one is old? I say this because I’ve seen a ninety-five-year-old man with hands stricken so badly with arthritis that they looked like crab claws, yet he looked at me intensely and said, “Even when you’re this old, you still want to live!”

This animal doesn’t want to be afraid. It doesn’t want to die. It wants to roam and play freely without fear. Yet it doesn’t know that fear is what feeds it.

Maybe it’s doomed to chaos in that way—perhaps an endless cycle.

OPTIONS?

What about pure unadulterated awareness—what does our awareness want?

It wants a purpose. It wants to be more than the emptiness of an ethereal concept. And the only way that awareness can become more is to become a part of others. In other words, to become greater than itself.

Perhaps awareness doesn’t even serve a purpose when it’s alone. And if you take the idea of togetherness to an extreme, you begin to realize that collectively we are, as Howard Bloom would say, forming a global brain. And the thing to get about that is that our brains are proof that consciousness is possible. Therefor,  with the formation of a collective brain,  multi-consciousness becomes possible.

Now the question becomes: How do we achieve that?

Through material, or spiritual means? Now, I’m going to delve into something a bit abstract (as if I hadn’t already), so bear with me as I ask this question: “What is real?”

Material can be verified, but a material collective hasn’t happened yet. On the other hand, it is part of a rather predictable future. Yet it isn’t here and therefore it isn’t real—not yet, or not that I can tell. On the other hand, in order to experience a spiritual salvation one must die, so as long as we are living there’s no way to know. We can only choose to believe, or have faith.

As of yet, neither a material nor a spiritual collective is real to any living individual—not in the present. And that leaves us with the question: which one do we want?

THE SEARCH FOR PURPOSE

Being in the zone, and revolutionizing the method that you’re living, is a never-ending process. But whatever revolution you may have had can easily become an ego trip. Once it becomes a rule, it becomes a device for being right and justifying the ego. That’s when it becomes a distraction rather than a truth.

I can see that in the feeling I have whenever I ask someone if we’ll ever achieve immortality and they say no. That frustrated feeling has me thinking, “How is anyone that shortsighted?”

It seems like people can only see fifty years into the future and that’s it. Their vision just stops. That frustrates me to no end, but when I put my emotions aside and ask, “What about two thousand years from now?” They open up then, and I can see their minds beginning to work.

The purpose of revolutionizing your awareness is to possess it and rise above animal limitations. Are you doing that, or are you waiting for a crisis to awaken you? Are you waiting for someone to identify your ego for you? Or are you actively focused on a purpose? Because if you don’t talk about it then you’ll probably never find out if any chosen purpose will affect much less inspire anyone.

In the search for purpose, you will manage to find many distractions—not only in what you do, but in who you’re being.

I may be engaged in what seem like distractions—social gatherings, dating excessively, watching TV, playing video games—but even with all these things, I can suddenly have an epiphany.

It’s not what you’re doing (nothing wrong with that); it’s about who you’re being that leads to discovery.

Being isn’t about doing. Heidegger referred to existing with awareness as a “sense” of being.

Listen to yourself, friends, and everything around you for inspiration. Listen for a purpose to reveal itself, no matter what you’re doing. There is a flexibility that comes from keeping your focus on. That doesn’t have to be an excuse for being actively involved in the world at large. You can still choose to engage others in your purpose, or not.

Just because you’ve discovered something empowering doesn’t mean that you have to be a victim of self-inflicted rules. You can remain flexible. You can remain open to inquiry and alternatives. And you can do this knowing that you don’t really know anything.

However, that’s not an excuse for doing nothing. When you stay home to entertain yourself with some product of technology, or to take care of the household, you deny your desire for a mission—to be a part of something greater than yourself.

You won’t always know what your purpose is for the moment. You won’t always remember what you want, but in time discover it and live it fully. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself empty and resentful.

YOUR PURPOSE

Will this purpose, that you’ve chosen as worthy of your life’s dedication, be one you can actually accomplish? You don’t know until it happens.

So how do you know if you’re doing something that you don’t want?

How can this finite little animal ever know anything? Even if the truth is known for one moment, the next moment it’ll be gone. Tomorrow will find a new truth and the old one will be forgotten. Only that which is truly eternal can ever know anything. Yet somehow I know that that’s not a reason to give up fighting against a global apathy toward faith, dignity, and humanity—a stand in choosing to resist life-extending technology.

My declaration: I choose to take a stand against that which has become a substitute for God.

PRIORITIZE

I try to keep in mind that if my personal relationships were gone, I’d still have a purpose. Without a purpose, I’m distracted and my relationships have the potential to become servile, passive, and temporary. At the very least, they have the potential to become a lack of focus. In other words, without purpose I’ll always be tempted to blame rather than take responsibility.

Being able to relate to a person in the moment can be weakened by a lack of purpose. What do you talk about when meeting someone new?

For me it’s as if I get aggravated at the apparent lack of connection, if I fail to relate. (I’m still thinking about the future.) This is especially true if I don’t spend enough time serving a purpose greater than myself, or if I don’t examine things and grow my awareness.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself… —Mathew 6:34

 

 

The Three Dimensions of Awareness

 

Let’s take a moment to look at awareness – not just as an ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, or sensory patterns – but as a phenomenon.

In order to help view something like awareness as an independent phenomenon, let’s break it down into six sides as if it were three-dimensional – without time, the fourth dimension, or memories. So, what is awareness? And for the sake of understanding, can it be broken down into basic spatial components?

My use of the word spatial is not about, “knowing where I am in relation to other objects”; here the word spatial is in reference to awareness being a 3D object—an independent phenomenon that exists in a three-dimensional reality.

In an attempt to simplify, the diagram below illustrates awareness as it happens now, not in remembrance. Let’s leave out memory, because memory relates to the question of time. You don’t exist in the past, or in the future, only in the moment. In that way, you and your awareness are finite to an extreme, so let’s look at the six sides of awareness.

Awareness

There is a sense of self and a sense of others (other sentient beings)—an internal and an external—not a tangible external, but an opposite sense of self.

The opposite of the tangible would be our ability to conceptualize. In other words, I have five senses to tell me what is physical, and an imagination to tell me what may be possible.

And let’s not forget the ability to feel emotions. I have a sense of impulse reflex responses/emotions, and opposite this are the massive categorizations of human language—in other words, the animal programming (stimulus reflex response and emotional associations that enhance attention) opposite the machine programming (the knowledge and reasoning that I get from a degree of language). Both emotions and language give me a sense of awareness that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

  1. Self
  2. Others
  3. Tangible
  4. Conceptual
  5. Animal
  6. Machine

All six of these phenomena come together and give us a sense of awareness. In other words, awareness isn’t ethereal. It isn’t mystical. What it is however, is something real, something actually happening – a unique and separate phenomenon that stems from energy, to material, to life, and then awareness.

The fundamental nature of our experience of reality is three-dimensional. The experience that you have of awareness is fundamentally three-dimensional as well. Again, that’s based on looking at it without the dimension of time, or memories, but as if it’s finite and can be broken down into six basic categories.

The point I’m attempting to explain is that it’s real—not magic—and as such, it has the potential to be replicated by technology.

As an afterthought, perhaps a soul is not just some mythical blue mist that rises from the body upon death, but a conglomeration of phenomenon that pool together to allow an independent happening. And to follow that line of thought, one might ask; can awareness participate, or exist in other dimensions beyond our everyday experience?

 

What Is Energy, Anyway?

One could say that energy is electromagnetism, or mass times the speed of light squared, but what about electricity, fire, or even the energy that I don’t feel? Is it really as ambiguous as it seems? Is it so tiny that I’ll never truly understand, nor fully comprehend it?

 Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth

In spite of my lack of comprehension, I can make one simple observation. Energy can do something other than burn, and that is evident by the tangibility of this reading material.  Matter: somehow energy can build upon itself, or be built upon, until it becomes the building blocks of atoms. Atoms—something other than energy! How can this be? How can some intangible vibrating vapor become tangible? Maybe there is something else—something before it – something wrapped up and built upon until it became energy.

Do I have the freedom to build upon my awareness until it becomes something else as well? Perhaps I can achieve enlightenment. But what am I supposed to do with this awareness if I can build upon it, or do I really have an option? Maybe the mark of true enlightenment is whether it is shared. Not that I’m enlightened, but will I ever be satisfied until what needs to be shared is understood? I’ll never know for certain. The only thing I can do is put my energy into the effort of being aware of the costs of technology and then share that awareness with the generations to come.

The oceans, the sun, the earth—all of these terms seem so inadequate in describing energy, because of the way it permeates everything in the universe. People can be said to emit an energy in the way we affect others, and the way we leave an impression. Our influence is an energy of our own making. And this influence can be built upon until it becomes something else as well.

Our words are like energy forming into atoms. (I digress for a moment.) Thoughts take shape and grow and build upon themselves until words stream forth like atoms billowing from a bubble machine. Soon others begin to react with more words—perhaps beginning to act. New flavors create new reactions. Then conversations catch on and take a life of their own in a moment of self-replication, beyond the little atoms that began the process; like protein molecules beginning to replicate, plans are made through thoughts that feed off each other. Self-replicating molecules twist around each other, forming the fibers that solidify and capture the resolve of inspiration. The results of initiative move the material needed as tangible results appear, and after considerable metamorphosis, a car is invented. Like a single-celled organism, a tangible, corporeal thing has occurred. Now we are way beyond the atoms of the words that we started with. We now have a unique phenomenon independent of anything before it.

Some time later, manufacturing reaches a point where roads are built through the compulsion of mass production. Highways are the blood vessels that are drawn upon earthy flesh until a global animal begins to form. Through its wealth, a nervous system begins to spread and then permeate every provincial road before it. Slowly this system grows and grows until it becomes an entity of its own, a global multi-cellular organism that is more than the individual cars and the people who drive them. Now we have a massive, breathing, pulsing organism on the verge of a complexity that will take it to a whole other level.

Serpent Biting Its Tail
Serpent Biting Its Tail

Soon it will become aware of itself, and we will have come full circle and returned to looking at something intangible, something ethereal: awareness. Like an ouroboros feeding on its own tail, like all things finite, we are back where we began. And now the question reappears. What is awareness? But now the question has a tail with a query of its own: “is it related to energy?”

Different Levels of Phenomenon

Assuming that people will prevail and continue through generations of time, there’ll almost certainly be a time when our descendants realize that their technology can govern better than natural-born people can. The probable outcome of the pursuit of technology is that it will surpass human abilities and eventually non-biological intelligence will surpass all human intelligence. Now before speculating on the ultimate goal of such technological progress, I’d like to ask; how does one explain or describe an underlying modifier, or underlying cause? Instead of trying to figure it out through the tight mathematical language of physics, let’s see if we can simply visualize it.

Let’s start with what we know: matter. We know that matter can be broken down into its smallest particle, the atom. Yet even the atom can be broken down into smaller and smaller particles. At some point, these particles get so small that they look like nothing but energy. Hence, we claim that the universe is made of energy.

Different Levels of Phenomenon

It’s weird if you think about it. Energy can be wrapped up on itself, added upon itself, built up, and built up until it becomes another phenomenon: matter, or atoms! Now that’s rather incredible. Think about that: during massive changes in scale (and in certain arrangements), energy becomes matter.Different Levels of Phenomenon

Let us continue. Matter can be added upon itself, built up, and built up until it becomes another phenomenon — matter becomes life!

Life Different Levels of Phenomenon

I may be oversimplifying a bit. Mountains, planets, and stars are certainly on a massive scale other than atomic, but depending on the way things are wrapped up, another level of unique phenomenon can be achieved. Better yet, life can be wrapped up on itself, added upon itself, built up, and built up until it becomes another phenomenon called awareness!

Awareness Different Levels of Phenomenon

(Again, it’s the type of wrapping up that determines the phenomenon achieved, but it’s rather amazing nonetheless.)

Let’s continue to speculate for a moment, but in the other direction. Is it possible that space can be wrapped up on itself, added upon itself, and built up until it becomes energy? And beyond that, is it possible that time can be wrapped up on itself and added upon and built up until it becomes space? And beyond that, is it possible that nothing can be wrapped up on itself and added upon and built upon until it becomes time?

Now that’s rather interesting—to think that there is a nothingness that permeates everything. And if this were true, then one could agree that this is one weird reality that we live in. It starts with nothing to create time, then time creates space, space creates energy, energy creates atoms, atoms create life, and life creates awareness. Then awareness creates what?Different Levels of Phenomenon

Or, we can look at it from this perspective:

Nothing begets time, time begets space, space begets energy, and energy begets the strong and weak nuclear forces, which in turn beget gravity and electromagnetism. Which then beget the next level, the strong and weak astronomical force—which is something quite speculative, since we can barely sense, with our high-powered telescopes, the dark voids of the universe simply through the effect they have on the rotation of the galaxies.

Different Levels of Phenomenon

Assuming that there is another level, it’s obviously beyond the Newtonian level that we use to sense our reality.

Now the question is: do these different levels of phenomenon go on indefinitely? And is it possible that these primary forces of nature may be something solid? Is it merely our perspective that is creating these divisions between nuclear physics, Newtonian physics, and astrophysics? If that’s so, then our universe may be something that is repeatable.

Are we a side note, or are we necessary for the cycle to complete itself? And what’s next? What is the next level beyond awareness, or even beyond the astrophysics of space?