The Central Idea of

Computational Metaphysics

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Overview of this work
Metaphysical Context
Related: metaphysical ideas in other people's work.

To give a brief glimpse of the central idea, consider this hypothetical situation. If a highly advanced computer creates a virtual reality within which intelligent beings contemplate their situation, how would such a world seem to them? What metaphysical concepts would they arrive at? What would it be like to be a sentient being in a virtual world? What kind of a world would they experience by looking out through their senses? What kind of a world would they experience by turning within through meditation? Would either of these perspectives, which are embedded in the virtual world, allow for an accurate and complete understanding of the real situation? In this VR scenario the beings (and all forms) are patterns of information within a computational space and they are also seemingly 'physical' objects within a virtual space. There is no conflict or contradiction; they are both - but the physical space is virtual. It seems totally solid and tangible to the beings because they too are virtual forms within that virtual world. Only the information flowing through the computational space has absolute existence, i.e. only the Atman/Soul and Brahman/Heaven have absolute reality - everything else is a perceptual construct that relies upon a reinterpretation of the underlying absolute reality.

If you were a sentient being within a virtual reality universe, then your self and your world would be a fluctuating pattern of information in motion (spirit) but your senses would cause you to experience and believe in a world of solid objects in space (materialism). These objects would seem to arise from a quantum vacuum (a plenum of potentiality), this is a unified foundation to physical manifestation. The unified vacuum is an apparent membrane between the computational space and the virtual world of forms - as seen from within the virtual world.

By looking inward to the core of your consciousness (meditation, spiritual practice) you would encounter the computational essence (cosmic consciousness) that animates yourself and your entire universe. When one considers the subtle influences of the computational space on the virtual world one would propose the existence of an Akashic Field that underlies the functioning of the physical universe. In the context of this VR analogy, the computational essence is the indwelling God, which is the innermost essence of all things. In this context you could act as an object amongst objects (material existence) or you could act as an information-construct (spirit being) within a computational space (psychic/spiritual existence). If one contemplates this simple analogy it has the power to shed light upon the metaphysical nature of our situation and our experience of existence within the world.

See Metaphysics of Virtual Reality and System Theoretic Metaphysics for more details, also see The Information Theoretic Metaphysics of Ross Rhodes.