Unification of Science

Abstract: This essay addresses the issue of the complementarity of empirical science and introspective science. After some introductory remarks it is proposed that a mathematical methodology called SMN may be useful in this endeavour. The mathematics of SMN gives rise to theoretical implications that connect with the theoretical implications of both the empirical and introspective sciences and can help situate them within a unified context. Hence SMN potentially provides a mathematical / scientific framework within which meaningful communication and collaboration can occur between these two sciences. This is of particular interest because these two sciences have a great deal to learn from each other that would be of enormous and lasting benefit to all.

Introduction

Different sets of experiences lead to different conditioning and hence different meanings for things (see Roots of Meaning). This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in the dispute between empirical science and introspective science. These are complex and diverse fields, hence taking these descriptive labels as strict categories is misleading, however if used with caution they do provide explanatory advantage.

Note: the term 'empiricist' has subtly different meanings [ref]. In the sense of using “empirical methods” involving observation and verification, both approaches are empiricist (this meaning will be referred to here as “scientific methods”). However in the sense of “relying on sense experience” the empirical sciences are empiricist whilst the introspective sciences are not. It is this latter meaning that distinguishes the two approaches here.

Some people may object to the use of the word 'science' for anything other than empirical science. That term has over time become a label that is synonymous with empirical science, however science is the systemic accumulation of knowledge that is repeatable, rigorous and leads to testable principles. In this sense the term 'science' applies to any approach to knowledge that incorporates these factors. Reliance on sense perception defines only one type of science, but there are others such as introspective science.

Some people may object to the idea that introspection can be a science because it is 'subjective', however, by taking sense perception as its foundation empiricism also has a subjective foundation. Let us consider what it is that makes empiricism scientific, what the limits of that approach are, what it would take to make introspection scientific and what its limits are.

Consider the simple example of an empirical observer experiencing some sensory phenomenon (a phenomenon is an appearance within the mind, which is subjective). Say that the phenomenon appears as a region of colour that moves across their field of view and traces out a parabolic trajectory. It is scientific to say that the phenomenon, when perceived from their perspective, has certain attributes and exhibits a behaviour that can be modelled by a certain mathematical equation. Then other observers can, by adopting the same perspective, verify these claims upon which it is clear that there is something happening that can be repeatably observed by independent observers, hence there is something that is 'objective' and not purely subjective. In this sense empiricism can explore the attributes of subjective sensory phenomena, their behaviours and the relations between phenomena in a manner that can abstract out many aspects that can be repeatably observed and are therefore objective. This approach is scientific.

However, if the empirical observers were to draw upon prior naïve realist [ref] conditioning and positivism [ref] they would then assume that the observed phenomena was a material object moving through space within a physical universe. With this assumption the theory steps into a field of unfounded assumptions. These terms can be useful labels for underlying suppositions, but when invested with intrinsic reality they are not only unproven but are unprovable by scientific methods, hence it is a step towards superstitious dogma. This then ceases to be scientific and becomes scientism [ref].

Thus empirical science is the study of sensory phenomena (sensory appearances within the mind) and the attributes, behaviours and relations between those phenomena. It doesn't have an objective foundation because it relies on subjective sensory experiences, however it can abstract out aspects of those experiences that are objective. However once it posits an objective material universe, to which the mind has direct access via sensory experience and invests the phenomena with a mythical substance called 'matter' then it goes beyond its scientific scope and enters into pseudo science and engages in materialist superstitious dogma. (See The Scientific Case Against Materialism)

Now let us consider what it would take to make introspection scientific and what its limits are. Introspection is inward looking towards cognitive phenomena (states of mind) rather than outward looking towards sensory phenomena. Both types of phenomena are purely subjective, but in the same way as the above example, we can determine that there is some objective foundation to certain observations. If there is some repeatable method whereby independent observers can adopt a similar perspective, observe similar phenomena and verify for themselves the attributes, behaviours and relations between those phenomena, then those observers can come to an agreement that there is something objective that underlies the phenomena. If those observations lead to the systematic accumulation of knowledge and the development of testable principles then this forms the foundation of a science. This is the approach taken by many meditative traditions such as Buddhism.

When applied to sensory phenomena this approach results in empirical science and when applied to cognitive phenomena it results in introspective science. However, just like in the case of empirical science going beyond its scientific scope and entering into pseudo science, introspective science can also do the same thing when it invests the cognitive phenomena with an assumed and mythical substance 'spirit' or 'divinity' and claims that the phenomena exist in the manner that they appear to awareness, resulting in claims of spirit beings or gods; this is a form of introspective naïve realism and results in superstitious dogma. These terms can be useful labels for underlying suppositions, but when invested with intrinsic reality they are not only unproven but are unprovable by scientific methods, hence it is a step towards superstitious dogma. This then ceases to be scientific and becomes religion.

Hence both empirical and introspective approaches can be either scientific or dogmatic and the boundaries between these states are often quite blurred, with many scientists, due to subtle unconscious assumptions, unknowingly becoming superstitious dogmatist. These dogmas, either materialist or spiritualist, form the foundations of socio-political movements which pursue various political agendas and further confuse the situation.

Empirical science is primarily outward looking, whilst introspective science is primarily inward looking. This creates a fundamentally different set of conditionings in these two groups, which has resulted in different modes of expression which have at times produced profound misunderstandings and antagonisms between these two sciences throughout history.

This divide has at times been widened as insights arising from both perspectives have been misunderstood and misrepresented then either adopted as absurd belief systems or suppressed. Thus in the modern world there is profound, entrenched and endemic confusion on all sides regarding many subjects of profound importance.

Could it be that they are both talking about different perspectives on the same reality using different symbolic systems that can only be fully comprehended by minds with the appropriate conditioning? Could it be that they have explored different but complimentary perspectives on reality and could have a great deal to learn from each other if only they could clearly understand each other?

Unified Science

'Science' in its general form can be described as an organised, systematic enterprise that gathers knowledge and condenses it into testable principles. It involves careful observation, rigorous analysis and open-mindedness that allows one to question even one's most cherished assumptions (paraphrased from “Buddhism & Science”, ed B. Alan Wallace, Banarsidass,2003). A science cannot take anything for granted and must remain in a continual state of revolution; the moment it makes unfounded assumptions or becomes closed to challenge and change it becomes dogma.

Within the broad scope of 'science' there can be many different branches of science, characterised by different perspectives and focuses of study, whilst at the same time employing scientific methods. This work is focused on the reconciliation of two integral yet, at times, estranged and antagonistic branches of science – empirical and introspective science.

Both use scientific methods to explore reality but from different yet complimentary perspectives. However through cross-cultural and inter-generational misunderstanding many layers of confusion have arisen and calcified into pseudo sciences. Furthermore, there has arisen around each of them socio-political movements that obscure their scientific foundations. These layers must be identified and disentangled in order to understand how the two sciences connect because only at their cores are they unified.

We experience worlds that are characterised by phenomenal attributes. For example, due to our sensory, cognitive apparatus we experience colour, sound, temperature and so on, which are all subjective attributes. Underlying these there are deeper phenomena, for instance, colour is related to electromagnetic frequency, sound is related to vibration and temperature is related to kinetic motion. We do not experience these underlying causes directly, but only via subjective attributes.

Colours, sounds, temperature and so on only exist within the mind hence the phenomenal worlds that people experience exist only within their minds. We infer from these world-experiences the existence of an objective external world and we imaginatively project onto that world subjective attributes. In pure science we do not naïvely do this, however the overall context in which both sciences have arisen and in which we interpret their results is primarily conditioned by such projections.

Through imaginative projection many other phenomenal attributes are projected and experienced by people as existing “out there”. For example, utility, aesthetics, fashion, economic value, legality, taboo and so on, all come to condition our world-experiences. We internalise the culturally conditioned concepts and unconsciously project them onto the allegedly external objective world. In this way the raw sensory stimuli are augmented and our world-experiences are cognitively and socially constructed. These are all ramifications of naïve realism [ref].

There has been general ignorance of this process throughout much of human civilisation, hence many have unknowingly constructed their individual world-experiences and then assumed them to be an objective external universe that the mind somehow has direct access to. Many have assumed that everyone dwells within and experiences this same world, hence leading to many confusions when people dwell in fundamentally different world-experiences, or resulting in conflict when we deliberately or inadvertently attempt to force others to live in ways which may be meaningful within our own world-experiences but not meaningful, or even destructive, within their world-experiences.

Whilst it is clear that there is some underlying commonality to our world-experiences that suggests the existence of an 'objective' reality at some level, whether there is a 'material' or 'spiritual' world beyond our world-experiences is pure conjecture. Those ideas result from the unconscious projection of phenomenal qualities onto an assumed external world (naïve realism). There is no scientific way of observing whether such worlds exists or not, yet it remains in many minds an unquestioned and sacrosanct belief system that such worlds do exist.

This assumption is brought into question here by the presentation of an alternative perspective that arises from mathematical models and expands through theoretical models. It is logically coherent and is in full accord with our empirical and introspective experiences, yet does not rely on any unfounded and untestable assumptions; it is devoid of naïve realism. In this way this approach circumvents the danger of naïve realism that is inherent in all observational approaches by the application of rationalism [ref]. It does not deny the important role of observation but augments it and sheds further light on it by recourse to rational, logical and mathematical models that can place the observations and the perspectives from which they are conducted into context.

The intricate details of this alternative perspective are not given here for several reasons; they are extensively discussed elsewhere, this discussion is about the use of that alternative rather than its intricate details and finally, further dialogue and analysis is required to fully elucidate the intricate details and how they apply to this particular context.

The purpose of this work is to introduce a scientific context in which the foundations of empirical and introspective science can be clarified and seen to be complimentary parts of a unified science, and to open a dialogue that may lead to deeper understanding of these issues. It is within this context that non-conditioned methods can be applied to clarify the underlying conceptual structures that unify both of these branches of science.

When obscured and separated there is conflict between them, but when unified and working together they can provide great insight, wisdom, social cohesion, technological innovation and a clear path for future scientific advancement. Together they augment each other, but more importantly, they allow humanity to evolve to higher levels of awareness and understanding, thereby overcoming the oppression and suffering that arises from ignorance and false beliefs.

This discussion seeks to elucidate conceptual “entry points” into the alternative perspective, to arouse interest in exploring it further and putting it to the test, and to hopefully help heal the long standing fracture in our collective knowledge that has limited its scope and potential throughout history.

Systemic Virtual Reality

It is no simple endeavour to comprehend these things via linguistic expressions, nor to discern the common pattern that unites empirical and introspective science. Yet there is a mathematical model which, if studied, can provide insights into these many subtle issues.

System matrix notation (SMN) is a mathematical methodology that provides an algorithm which functions as a virtual-reality-generative process, thus producing virtual realities that have striking similarities with our own perceptible universe. It can therefore serve as a mathematical model and foundation for a theoretical context within which we can explore many issues related to the nature and functioning of our own situation. It may potentially serve as a useful analogy / model with which we can grasp many issues that were previously impossible to grasp. We must keep in mind that it is just a useful analogy / model and not take it literally, however it can elucidate an underlying conceptual structure that may assist us to unify various perspectives and probe deeper into areas that were previously inaccessible to the rational mind.

Systemic virtual reality as modelled by SMN provides a way for phenomenal consciousness to begin to comprehend noumenality. It cannot lead to full realisation of noumenon but can illuminate the relationship between the noumenal and phenomenal contexts. This provides initial comprehension that dispels many misconceptions and provides motivation and guidance as one delves beneath the contents of consciousness (phenomena) to comprehend the pure unconditioned consciousness itself and thereby come to 'know' the universal timeless essence of existence (noumenon).

The theoretical implications that arise from SMN-VR have many points of similarity with the implications that arise from both the introspective and empirical sciences. Furthermore, there are no fundamental contradictions, either within SMN or between SMN and the two branches of science. Hence it may help to reveal aspects of the unified pattern that underlies both branches and furthermore, each branch may help to shed light on SMN.

Whether or not all of the particular speculations introduced here turn our to be true or not, the relevant point is that this is a mathematical / scientific framework within which many previously incomprehensible issues can potentially begin to be comprehended. It potentially provides a means whereby we can collectively and rationally explore many profound issues, eventually coming to a deeper understanding of them. Hence it should be put to the test in order to verify its utility and to determine its limits of application.

Below is a brief introduction into some of the key points on which the theoretical implications of SMN-VR connect with the implications of introspective science and empirical science, in turn.

SMN-VR and Introspective Science

A 'phenomenon' is an experiential form. It is through cognition that phenomena come into being. These phenomena have no existence other than as the contents of experience hence the phenomenal world arises within the mind (inner process) of the experiencer. The virtual-reality-generative information process is the noumenal process that underlies the experiencer, the experience and the contents of experience. Hence there are no separately existing entities but only the appearance of an entity that experiences and an entity that is experienced. In SMN-VR there is an underlying 'reality' but it is an information process rather than a 'material' or 'spiritual' universe. This helps explain how it is that we not only experience a seemingly 'physical' universe but also the fact that we experience at all.

In the context of the SMN-VR analogy there are two fundamental contexts, noumenal/phenomenal, which may be called Brahman/Maya, Nirvana/Samsara, Heaven/Earth, Hundun/Wanwu, quantum/classical, simulator/simulation, etc. Furthermore, by recognising that the virtual systems have both inner and outer aspects we can discern three contexts – outer appearances and inner experiences both of which occur within the virtual reality and then the noumenal virtual-reality-generative process. These are analogous to Bhoor, Bhuva and Swaha (the outer, inner and innermost worlds) described in Vedic tradition.

Because SMN is an iterative algorithm (technically, a finite-state automata) only the present moment truly exists and the concept of the extension of time is a phenomenal concept that arises due to memory (past) and expectation (future). However, in the present moment, at a quantum level, all possible states of existence are present (in potentiality), but are not ordered in terms of any time sequences (story lines). Hence it may be said that all past and future states are represented in the present moment even though all that is actual is the present moment.

Whilst in the phenomenal context there is a multitude of forms, in the noumenal context the information process is universal and whole (without parts). Thus there is a noumenal 'oneness' that underlies the multiplicity of phenomenal forms. In SMN-VR there is a single SMN algorithm but there are many virtual systems that experience each other from perspectives embedded within the virtual reality.

All phenomena are devoid of the “intrinsic nature” which we often assume them to possess. They seem individual and tangible from an empirical perspective but from other perspectives they are dynamic patterns of information that have no independent existence other than what we ascribe to them via an act of discernment. In SMN-VR information / computation is the fundamental noumenal substance, but there is no fundamental phenomenal substance, hence the phenomenal world has an underlying 'emptiness', this is the nature of 'virtual' reality.

All phenomena are animated by an essence which we experience, in its complex form, as consciousness, this essence in its simplest form is analogous to computation within a virtual reality; it is fundamental and universal. Just as simple forms integrate to produce complex forms, so too, simple inner processes integrate to produce complex inner processes, hence the interplay of pure awareness (computation) gives rise to complex consciousness and personality.

Thus the individual identity that we experience has no fundamental foundation in reality but is an emergent phenomena that arises from many dependent causes. It is not singular and complete, but is instead a convergence of many 'threads' of awareness that integrate to form a complex awareness and may dis-integrate back into many threads of simple awareness. What we experience as our 'self' is more like a 'pattern' than some intrinsic 'substance'.

Our own experiential process or consciousness is an aspect of the computational process hence by “turning within” and coming to 'know' our “inner self” we can penetrate through the veil of phenomenal appearances and come to 'know' the universal, omnipresent, timeless essence of reality.

Although from an individual virtual system's perspective it experiences a world localised around its perspective and in the context of the phenomenal world events seem to have local causes, in the context of the SMN algorithm there is an inherent interconnectedness between all virtual systems. They are all aspects of a single unified information process in which the concepts of distance and duration have no meaning, hence all causes are ultimately universal. Only within the logic of the virtual reality do phenomena seem to be localised in space and time, hence the universe is synchronistic rather than random.

The concept of a material universe is a product of cognition that is based upon sensory experiences of a phenomenal world combined with naïve realist assumptions, which is only one perspective on the situation. Hence there are other 'subtle' aspects to the universe that arise due to the underlying interconnectedness and non-locality of the virtual-reality-generative information process. Hence the range of possibility is much broader than mechanistic concepts allow and there also exist things that may be called a causal-body and energy-body that underlie the phenomenal appearance of what may be called the physical-body.

Whilst the phenomenal context has a compelling appearance of being a “material universe”, it can also be conceived of as being more like a field of consciousness. Hence energised thought-forms have real effect and are not simply localised activities within a 'physical' brain. Instead the physical brain is our phenomenal experience of the virtual systems whose combined activity results in our experience of sentient consciousness. Hence the universe is animate rather than inert – thus SMN gives rise to a form of panprotoexperientialism [ref].

Finally, these factors show that there is an underlying 'reality' that forms a foundation for genuine 'Truth'. Although each expression of a truth is subjective and culturally conditioned, there is a foundation of absolute truth to which they can converge as our understanding improves. It is through misunderstanding that we come into conflict with reality and experience suffering and destruction. It is through understanding and alignment with the underlying truth that we come into harmony with reality and experience abundant life and creative flourishing. Thus we cannot define 'truths' arbitrarily otherwise we come to suffer from delusions, hence reality and truth are the only authority and all earthly power must align with this rather than create delusions that serve narrow agendas and lead us into suffering and destruction. By aligning with truth and reality we attain liberation.

SMN-VR and Empirical Science

A systemic VR such as SMN-VR is very different to contemporary VR. In a contemporary VR the software operates within the computational space and defines everything that exists and happens within the phenomenal world of the virtual reality. The computational space and virtual reality are two fundamentally separate existential 'spaces'. The phenomenal world is simply the virtual appearance of the functioning of the software, and events within the phenomenal world cannot directly influence the functioning of the software within the computational space.

For example, if the software defines the existence of some phenomenon with certain attributes and behaviour then a virtual being within the virtual reality cannot in any way alter these attributes and behaviours other than in ways that are pre-programmed by the software. Imagine a contemporary computer game in which buildings are defined to exist and given certain attributes and behaviours. A virtual being cannot then dismantle them and perhaps melt the metals into new alloys then use the materials to build an entirely different kind of phenomenon that is truly novel and not anticipated by the software. The building within the computer game is just an outer phenomenal appearance and everything else about it is part of the software, which the virtual being cannot access or modify.

This limitation means that even if virtual beings within a contemporary VR were to be endowed with genuine AI they could not dissect or dismantle things to study how they 'worked' because the 'workings' are situated within the software. Hence there could be no genuine science or technology within such a virtual reality.

However in SMN-VR the only software is the SMN algorithm itself, which only provides virtual existential potential. On its own the SMN algorithm provides a totally empty phenomenal world, devoid of any spatial topology, objects, processes and so on. There are however some fundamental constraints due to the nature of the algorithm itself and the fact that it is an information process; the virtual universe is quantised, relativistic and systemic. Within these broad constraints the existential potential can manifest any possible universes but the software (SMN algorithm) does not play any part in this.

Whereas in contemporary VR there is the software and the phenomenal world, in SMN-VR there is an intervening layer that could be called virtualware because it embodies aspects of both the phenomenal world and software. In SMN this is the 'model' that is processed by the SMN algorithm. The model contains data that defines the attributes and behaviours of all virtual systems – the model data is related to the wavefunctions of quantum physics. Virtual systems are existential forms that have both outer appearance that is discernible to other virtual systems and also an inner process by which they discern each other.

Because of the virtualware, the actual 'workings' of phenomena lie within the virtual universe and are not concealed within the software; they are apparent within the phenomenal world due to their outer appearance. Hence a virtual being within such a virtual reality could dissect or dismantle phenomena in order to study how they worked. Such a being could manipulate the sub-system interactions within systems in order to change how they work.

Hence within an SMN-VR it is possible for virtual beings to develop science and technology. They could dissect brains to study the outer aspects of the virtualware that provides them with sentient consciousness and could even create particle accelerators and other sophisticated technology to probe deeper and deeper into the foundations of their phenomenal world. They would find that within phenomena there are sub-phenomena and that there are coherent patterns that could be abstracted as 'laws' and represented as equations. They would find that at some point there were no more sub-phenomena because the existence of phenomena breaks down and they penetrate into the information process itself, which is quantised, non-local, non-classical and incomprehensible in phenomenal terms. This does not mean that the indivisible phenomena are truly fundamental but only that they are not composed of any sub-phenomena; they are still composed of information and various components of the SMN algorithm.

There exists a phenomenal world that is quantised, relativistic and systemic, within which virtual beings can intimately participate. Because the experiencer, experience and contents of experience are all part of the one information process, that which is experienced is tangible, coherent, persistent and deterministic, thus resulting in the compelling appearance of a seemingly 'physical' universe. It is reasonable in most circumstances to infer that there is some substance to it, which may be called 'matter' and a naïve realist interpretation of things does not immediately run into contradictions and thus it can become a widespread and compelling world-view amongst virtual beings.

The virtualware and hence the virtual systems within the phenomenal world operate via deterministic means. By deconstructing phenomena we can discern the 'mechanism' by which they function.

Information can be encoded or represented giving rise to the persistence of recorded states, which through memory leads to the concept of 'past'. From the current state it can be inferred or expected what the next or succeeding states will be, which through imagination leads to the concept of 'future'.

The current state of the virtualware determines the next state of the virtualware hence there is an apparent evolution of phenomena “through time”, from past to future, in a causally coherent manner that can be modelled using mathematics, thus giving rise to the concept of an “arrow of time”. Mathematics is exceptionally useful for such modelling because it is the science of information; of pure symbols and their relations, and the phenomenal world is the resulting appearance of an underlying information process.

Energy is the amount of change in virtualware state per iteration of the SMN algorithm. Hence within the phenomenal context energy underlies all events. The underlying information process, when conceived of from a perspective within the phenomenal world can be thought of as a vacuum or unified quantum field. It can be imagined as an “energy sea” from which all phenomena arise, into which all phenomena dissipate and which supports and drives all events within the phenomenal world.

Simple systems integrate into networks of interactions thereby producing phenomena that can be conceived of as complex-systems. These complex systems seem to have a single complex outer appearance and inner experiential process, although they are in fact networks of simpler systems. In this way simple systems appear to integrate into complex systems via evolutionary processes and complex systems appear to dis-integrate into simple systems via entropic processes. Thus phenomena arise, evolve and disintegrate.

The mathematical model connects with the Planck constants of quantum physics indicating what they mean and how they operate together to provide a set of dynamical relations that underlie all phenomenal dynamics. The Planck distance is analogous to the 'pixelation' of the phenomenal world and the Planck time is analogous to the frame rate, and so on. Through a process called cyclic computation the Planck constants also lead to an energy spectrum of photons with different energies other than the Planck energy as well as other dynamical quantities with values other than the Planck values. Hence the phenomenal world has a quantised spectrum of dynamical quantities such as energy, distance, frequency and so on that accord with the same values that arise in quantum physics.

Finally, SMN-VR provides a context in which one can rationally comprehend the many apparent paradoxes of quantum physics, for example, how non-locality can underlie a seemingly localised physical universe. To get a glimpse of this, consider the perspective of a virtual being within a virtual universe. If it makes the assumption that the phenomena that it experiences are 'physical' systems that exist in essentially the same manner as they appear to exist then it will believe itself to exist within a physical universe. These physical systems appear to have locations and to be separated by distances. How then can there be instantaneous state transitions such as in entangled systems? It seems that some information has travelled between them with infinite velocity, but in actual fact the information does not travel 'through' the phenomenal world. The information flows through the underlying virtual-reality-generative information process where distances have no meaning and systems can interact instantaneously because they are just states within a computational process. In this way, if we interpret quantum physics through the SMN-VR analogy its implications are logical necessities and there are no paradoxes. (See A Cybernetic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics)

Complementarity

The SMN-VR approach suggests that the introspective and empirical sciences are two complimentary perspectives on the one reality which is analogous to a virtual reality. Empiricists have primarily studied the outer phenomenal appearances of the virtualware and introspectives have primarily studied the inner experiential processes of the virtualware. In this way both have come to an understanding of the virtual reality. By going deeply both have encountered aspects of the underlying information process. To use very broad generalisations, which are not truly apt but nevertheless provide some explanatory advantage, empiricists comprehend the underlying information process as a unified quantum field whilst introspectives comprehend it as a universal consciousness. To call it an information process is apt only within the context of the SMN-VR approach but nevertheless, as an analogy, this too provides some explanatory advantage. There are no literal terms that can be applied, but the SMN-VR analogy provides an entry point whereby phenomenal consciousness can gain some grasp of the noumenal context and the interplay between the noumenal and phenomenal contexts.

The virtual-reality-generative information process is pure inner process and the phenomenal world is pure outer appearance, however the virtualware merges both because each virtual system has both inner process and outer appearance. As systems experience each other and seemingly integrate into complex systems these inner and outer aspects become intimately entwined. By studying either we can probe deeper into the 'workings' of the 'universe' and come to comprehend aspects of that which manifests it.

By probing deeper and deeper into our own inner process (consciousness) we can penetrate through the phenomenal world and come to directly experience the virtual-reality-generative information process as it animates us and all things.

By probing deeper and deeper into outer appearances ('physical' universe) we can penetrate through the phenomenal world and come to rationally comprehend the virtual-reality-generative information process as it animates the phenomenal world.

Both perspectives give insight, yet not the whole picture because they are based upon perspectives embedded within the phenomenal world (either empirical or introspective). However using an approach that unifies them, we can come to both directly experience and rationally comprehend the underlying information process to a much greater extent and situate this understanding within a unified context.

Both perspectives can help augment, guide, correct and inspire each other thereby allowing humanity to heal the rift in its collective knowledge and coherently work towards a deeper and more unified awareness and understanding of all aspects of existence.

It is important for science that there is a coherent theoretical foundation to experimental practice. In the case of empirical science a mathematical foundation provided an enormous boost to the coherence, accuracy, productivity and broad acceptance of empirical science. SMN-VR could provide a mathematical foundation for the introspective sciences and unified science as well.

Non-Conditioned use of SMN-VR

The mathematics of SMN is inherently non-conditioned due to the nature of mathematics. Furthermore, SMN forms the foundation for an ontology that derives from the theoretical implications of SMN (for example see PCC ontology). Whilst when describing SMN the language of computer science and system theory is generally used these terms are not essential and the ontology can be developed as a pure conceptual structure to which many different sets of terms can be attached as labels. This has not yet been done but the PCC ontology illustrates a conceptual structure to which this could be applied, particularly the information and system levels of the ontology. See Roots of Meaning for more on this.

It is the underlying conceptual structure that is important, not the particular sets of labels. Hence this structure can be used to translate between native SMN terms, empirical science terms and introspective science terms.

An initial example of this approach is illustrated in Seven Steps to Unified Metaphysical Awareness. This is just a preliminary exploration of the approach that will evolve and be further refined through input and collaboration from various experts in the related fields.

The purpose of this current discussion is to inform others of these developments so that they can integrate it with their own work and also to elicit interest in creating an organised, systematic project to develop the underlying ontology as well as sets of related labels that represent the ontology in terms that are meaningful to both empirical and introspective science. This would also help elucidate and rigorously test SMN.

This approach could assist in the dialogue between the two sciences, by using the conceptual structure to help minimise the chances of misunderstanding and maximise the chances of meaningful collaboration. Furthermore, if these ideas are found to be useful they should be further communicated and developed for the good of all.