What is reality?
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?
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.”
Excerpt – Click link for complete article: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/new-hypothesis-argues-the-universe-simulates-itself-into-existence
Picture: Your posthuman great grandchild ponders your fossilized skull and wonders what inspired you to reach for the stars.
There you have it friends. Yes, this paper is groundbreaking and recently published but it is just what I have been thinking here for almost a decade or more and what the Buddha taught, to those with ears to hear and eyes to see, twenty-five hundred years ago.
Flesh is temporary, transient and only stuff like the dust of the Earth. Life is something precious which is eternal and animates flesh upon the Earth and in this state we become capable of action, karma. When we die we no longer act we become “stuff” once again.
(Picture by Alexander Gerst from the ISS)
We take good old O2 for granted. People are always going on about how early Earth was “perfect” for life. A perfect hell maybe. No ozone layer, no oxygen, extreme heat, an abundance of highly corrosive chemicals in the atmosphere including sulfur and methane.
Much like found on Titan the largest of the moons of Jupiter today. It was a literal red sky hell. With all of that methane and sulfur, it must have smelled like a frat house on chili and hard boiled egg night. So, the Earth was devoid of oxygen in the beginning but as I said there was a metric butt-load of methane and sulfur in the oceans.
So, little single-celled organisms developed that lived on methane and sulfur. After a while, the sulfur level dropped and the methane level did as well. No one is sure why. There still was little oxygen. So some more little critters evolved which produced oxygen called “cyanobacteria”.
It took a billion years for these critters to terraform our planet for the evolution of animals and more complex plants. To this day all plants incorporate these ancient cyanobacteria into their cells in structures known as a “cyanoplasts”. You see life itself changed the planet to support life.
This is what life does.
More informations to this topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event
One of the most interesting things about DNA is that we have discovered, in humans, the 3% of the code which builds our physical bodies also has encoded within the bodies of all of our ancestors. We can switch on these old systems (in animals of course since this would be highly unethical to do to human beings) and give a chicken teeth or scales. We are not just us. We are all the physical forms in our lineage.
Now, that accounts for 3% of our storage. What of the other 97%? It is memories. Now the skeptic will go “yeah right Mr. Science”. Hear me out here though. Why is it so hard to accept memories encoded into the helix? In fact all “instinct” is encoded memory. What beach to lay your eggs by the light of the full moon if you are a tortoise. Where to migrate if you are a starling or a monarch butterfly. Sharks even have maps of the magnetic markers on the seafloor. None of this is learned. It is there at birth.
There is a very good evolutionary reason for this. Rapid adaptation. We have a repository of past experiences so we do not have to reinvent the wheel every time our environment changes. Human beings have noted this for at least as long as we have records and this has given rise to theories of reincarnation which appeared in nearly every civilization on Earth. Science has resisted this because it sounds too “supernatural” in the same way they resisted the “Big Bang” because it sounded too much like creation. Yet, it is anything but supernatural. It is entirely natural and the only explanation which makes any sense.
(Picture courtesy of Ya-Webdesign)
We live in a time when many people are losing faith in the traditional Gods but mankind seems to have a desperate need for worship. So, we worship celebrities. Movie stars. Royalty. Athletes. Fake preachers and gurus. Yet they too let us down. They get caught in a scandal, they say something inappropriate when they are drunk, beat their wives. They bilk the trusting and are caught.
Then the false gods plummet to the Earth.
You see, just as we are fond of setting up false idols to worship so are we keen on seeing them fall. Never worship human beings. Human beings are frail and worship often tears them apart. They will fail you. They will always fail you.
Always think for yourself.
“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.”
~ Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, from The Kalama Sutta