Overview of this work
Related: metaphysical ideas in other people's work.
This work touches upon many subjects from the perspectives of System Science and Ancient Wisdom. It pivots upon four fundamental questions:
What am I?
What is the world?
What is happening?
What is possible?
This work utilises the parallels between information theory, system theory, quantum theory and mystic metaphysics, and results in a mathematically based scientific-spiritual-engineering paradigm (See System Theoretic Metaphysics). It draws upon numerous ancient metaphysical world views, especially Advaita Vedanta (underlies Yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism), Kabbalah (underlies mystic Judaism, mystic Christianity and Sufism), and Daoism. It takes these seriously as realistic and coherent metaphysical paradigms that are not to be naively taken literally but which provide intricate subtle analogies that reveal a profound understanding that may form the foundation of a holistic scientific enquiry into the metaphysical foundation of reality (see VR Analogy alongside Scientific and Mystic Wisdom and Correspondences).
“No science can be more secure than the unconscious metaphysics which it tacitly presupposes.” (Alfred North Whitehead)
In contemporary usage the term 'mysticism' is often associated with blind belief and superstition, however this is a gross misunderstanding.
“The concepts of science show strong similarities to the concepts of the mystics... The philosophy of mystical traditions, the perennial philosophy, is the most consistent philosophical background to modern science.” (Fritjof Capra)
Rationality applied in the widest possible context, not just a narrow materialist one, is identical to mysticism; true mysticism is holistic science that draws not only upon our intellect and five senses, but on our whole mind and whole being, it is not bound by simplistic concepts of who and what we are, it is open minded rather than conforming to a materialist belief system. And materialism is indeed a belief system, it relies upon the naive acceptance of sensory experience as being definitive of the nature of reality rather than simply the appearance of reality.
Many of the dogmas that have formed around the ancient mystic cores are materialist misinterpretations of the subtle analogies that were used to express that which is inexpressible in any direct form and which may only be truly known via direct subjective experience. This has often led to the demonisation of mysticism and subjective experience, thus reinforcing the irrational belief in materialism and objectivism, despite the evidence of human experience throughout history. Objectivism is simply a collective story that we tell each other; see Being in the World. Many who claim to be sceptics are in fact fanatics. Scepticism implies open minded enquiry whereas fanaticism implies the attempt to force reality into the mould of one's limited understanding.
“Nothing is more curious than the self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of the finality of its existing modes of knowledge. Sceptics and believers are all alike. At this moment scientists and sceptics are the leading dogmatists. Advance in detail is admitted: fundamental novelty is barred. This dogmatic common sense is the death of philosophic adventure. The Universe is vast.” (Alfred North Whitehead)
“Normal consciousness is a state of stupor, in which the sensibility to the wholly real and responsiveness to the stimuli of the spirit are reduced. The mystics, knowing that man is involved in a hidden history of the cosmos, endeavor to awake from the drowsiness and apathy and to regain the state of wakefulness for their enchanted souls.” (Abraham Heschel)
Guided by intuition I have developed mathematical methods and built mathematical models of aspects of the transcendent process that manifests the world of experience in each moment (i.e. the relation between Brahman, Maya and Atman; or God, the physical universe and the Soul). These mathematical models are simply a more modern analogy by which to express the inexpressible. Only the transcendent truths are timeless, but their mode of expression is bound by history and human culture, thus there is no one perfect expression of truth, but instead countless ways of approaching truth. I refer to the analogical approach presented here as the computational paradigm, which likens 'the universe' to "virtual reality" (See Metaphysics of Virtual Reality).
“Religion will not regain its old power until it can face change in the same spirit as does science. Its principles may be eternal, but the expression of those principles requires continual development.” (Alfred North Whitehead)
Underlying the modern terminology and the scientific methods there is a deeply intuitive and mystical vision that far exceeds the limited connotations that are usually associated with the concepts of 'computation' and 'information'. Just as the cosmic consciousness underlies but is markedly different to mundane consciousness, so too with cosmic computation. In their purest and most general form, stripped of mechanistic connotations, 'computation' and 'information' are an excellent analogy for cosmic consciousness and spirit, but nevertheless only an analogy. In essence, it is the coherent flow of 'spirit' or the computation of information that underlies the existence of all empirical phenomena. This analogy opens up avenues of detailed scientific analysis that can help people to rationally comprehend and systematically approach the mystic paradigm. Rather than blind belief in the mystic or materialist paradigms people may enter into a deep and abiding recognition of the holistic nature of reality. This is a path of wisdom rather than devotion (Jnana yoga rather than Bhakti yoga). See Academic Overview.
“What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.” (Bertrand Russell)
The phenomenal world is only known to us via personal experience and EVERYTHING else is a mythology that we unquestioningly believe in. See Being in the World and Knowledge of the World. Our concept of “the objective world” that is composed of matter in space is actually a product of occasions of experience and there is no intrinsic solidity at the foundation of reality. If you were a sentient being within a virtual reality universe, then yourself and your world would be a fluctuating pattern of information in motion but your senses would cause you to believe in a world of solid objects in space. Only by looking inward to the core of your consciousness would you encounter the computational essence that animates yourself and your entire universe. That essence is the indwelling God that is the innermost essence of all things. See Metaphysics of Virtual Reality.
Time cannot ultimately be modelled as a dimensional variable within empirical equations, such as those of physics; that only captures the appearance of things. Time is a dynamical existential process that is happening, thus producing the experience of present moment awareness; thus it can only be accurately modelled by a computational process. For example, consider a virtual reality with objects in space. A series of equations describing the behaviour of these objects would only capture the appearance and not the inner essence of the situation. One must model the structure of the program itself and recreate the computational process in order to accurately model the situation.
This is a process oriented paradigm. Some claim that the first known Western secular proponent of such a paradigm was Heraclitus of Ephesus, an ancient Greek philosopher, although Daoism is a much old process metaphysics. More modern proponents use the terms process philosophy and process physics to refer to their work, implying that the fundamental elements of reality are not 'things' but 'processes' and the things that we perceive are points of stability amidst a ceaseless flow, like whirlpools in a stream. Also see Process Systemics. The nature of reality is quite different to the appearance of reality and modern science is beginning to reach the bottom of the objective world mythology and thereby encounter this fact.
“The fundamental assumption [underlying process physics] is that reality is to be modelled as self-organising semantic or relational information using a self-referentially limited neural network model, where the information-theoretic limitations are implemented via self-referential noise. This modelling was motivated by the discovery that such stochastic neural networks are foundational to known quantum field theories. In Process Physics time is a distinct nongeometric process while space and quantum physics are emergent and unified.” (R.T. Cahill)
“The reception of a new paradigm often necessitates a redefinition of the corresponding science. Some old problems may be relegated to another science or declared entirely 'unscientific'. Others that were previously non-existent or trivial may, with a new paradigm, become the very archetypes of significant scientific achievement.” (Thomas Kuhn)
The computational paradigm proposes that the “physical universe” can be thought of as analogous to a dynamical information construct, such as the experiential context produced by a highly advanced virtual reality program. The experiential context is the world of forms, it is the "universe" that arises in consciousness via occasions of experience. These experiences convey information regarding the outer appearance of systems within the virtual space. Some refer to that experiential context as 'maya' (Vedanta), 'earth'(Christian), 'samsara' (Buddhist), “relative reality” (trans. Vedanta) or “the ten thousand things” (trans. Taoist). Here I'll refer to it as the empirical context (empirical implying that it is a construct of our experiences).
The entire empirical context is manifested by an underlying causal context, a context that is not composed of objects in space (these are concepts derived from the world of form), it is a computational context consisting of information and causal logic (or spirit and the Way). See Metaphysical Origins. This is the context that quantum physicists are discovering and mystics have known for aeons. This context is referred to by some as 'brahman' (Vedanta), 'heaven' (Christian), 'nirvana' (Buddhist), “absolute reality” (trans. Vedanta) or 'hundun' “the uncarved block” (trans. Taoist) and I refer to it as the transcendent context (transcendent meaning prior to or beyond the world of experience). See Metaphysical Discussions.
“The sages, in meditation and through concentration, have pierced through the cover [world illusion or Maya] to see that great power [computation] belonging to that one himself [transcendent process], what is hidden in its own qualities [the veil of simulation]. Being one, he superintends all the causes, time, self, and the rest [animates the VR universe].” (Shvetashvatara Upanishad, 1:3-6)
The transcendent context can be thought of as a computational process or a virtual-reality-generative-process, that manages the complex 'dance' of information that underlies the detailed coherent manifestation and causal dynamics of the world of manifest forms. It is this process that is modelled using the mathematical formalism called system matrix notation (SMN). Everything that exists and happens within the empirical context emerges from and is sustained by transcendent computational processes (spirit and energy). Thus transcendent computation or primal-awareness is the inner-most essence of all manifest forms. Just as physical computation is the inner-most essence of every character in a computer game, so too is Brahman or God our inner-most essence. Although we may seem separate and solid we are all patterns of information flowing within the one simulation.
Our high level humanly conscious minds are products of the world of form, they are akin to artificial intelligences that arise within the virtual space. Our inner-most being is the same as that of the cosmos but our 'minds' are constructs within the world of form, they have been biologically and culturally conditioned. Our minds filter reality and perceptually bind us into the world of form, thus we come to believe in and dwell in the world of form.
“The ignorant and simple-minded who are favourably influenced by the erroneous views of the philosophers do not recognise that the views that are influencing them are only dreamlike ideas originating in the mind itself, and consequently they are held fast by their notions of oneness and otherness, of being and non-being. It is like a painters canvas on which the ignorant imagine they see the elevations and depressions of mountains and valleys... ” (Lankavatara Sutra)
To a limited degree this is to better suite us to life as a physical organism within an evolutionary process or as an individual in society but it does not give us accurate insight into the underlying nature of reality. In the long term the lack of awareness and understanding of the true nature of our context leads to suffering and destruction. Overcoming this fundamental ignorance is the central goal of all mystic and spiritual traditions.
“I am the life in all living beings... know Me as the eternal seed in all created things, I am the intelligence of the intelligent... [but] Those without wisdom regard Me, who am imperceptible, as being perceptible, failing to realise my superior, supreme, immutable form... Being enveloped in My mysterious power (Yoga-Maya) [simulation], I am not manifest to all. The ignorant do not realise that I am unborn and immutable... I know all created beings in the past and present... and those that will be, but no one knows Me... All creatures in the world are immersed in ignorance... the result of the delusion caused by the dualities arising from desire and hate [attachment leading to immersion in the world illusion] ... But the virtuous, whose sin [delusion and denial] has ended, escape from the ignorance caused by the dualities.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chpt 7, The Way of Knowledge and Realisation)
“The ignorant are given up to discrimination and the wise are not because the ignorant cling to names, signs and ideas; as their minds move along these channels they feed on multiplicities of objects and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it; they make discriminations of good and bad among appearances and cling to the agreeable. As they thus cling there is a reversion to ignorance, and karma born of greed, anger and folly, is accumulated. As the accumulation of karma goes on they become imprisoned in a cocoon of discrimination and are thenceforth unable to free themselves from the round of birth and death. Because of folly they do not understand that all things are like maya, like the reflection of the moon in water, that there is no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings, and that all their definite ideas rise from their false discriminations of what exists only as it is seen of the mind itself. ” (Lankavatara Sutra)
These ideas have roots going back thousands of years (although using different analogies) in the form of Taoism, Vedanta, Buddhism and Kabbalah. See Correspondences and also Survey of Ancient Traditions. In the West the Kabbalah underlies Judaism, Christianity and Islam thus these ideas manifest in the mystical cores of these traditions as well, although much misunderstanding has accrued around them. There are many groups working on related concepts, such as integral science, process studies, information physics, cybernetics, cognitive theoretic model of the universe, etc.
As one thinks deeply into this analogy, (likening the physical universe to an information process such as a virtual reality or a computational experiential context), it makes sense of the whole of the scientific paradigm (especially quantum physics and relativity), of the many spiritual paradigms and of the personal experience of being in the world. This simple analogy has the power to unite all conceivable ways of knowing into a single unified paradigm. This description here is only the barest outline and to grasp the full implications requires a profound paradigm shift within ones most deeply held beliefs about the nature of reality. In particular, naïve realism (see related articles).
The rest of this website is intended to provide different views on these concepts and their many diverse and profound implications, plus some other ideas peripherally related to them.
The mathematical models and scientific techniques are by no means complete (there is still vast scope for further development) but they indicate a path ahead and the core of the methodology is coherent. The mathematics has been directly implemented in software thereby recreating aspects of the transcendent process and showing that it does manifest coherent experiential contexts or "virtual realities" within which empirical systems or created beings may exist, perceive and interact. It models the way in which Brahman/Heaven gives rise to Maya/Earth and how beings arise and experience existence.
This is effectively a basis for a mathematical science of mysticism that provides proof of the coherence of the mystic world view in which consciousness/spirit (transcendent computation/information) is the fundamental 'substance' of reality and is therefore universal and transpersonal. Consciousness does not arise from the functioning of a physical brain and it is not mechanistically isolated from the cosmos. Furthermore, the concept of an "inanimate object" is a fallacy, all systems have both inner and outer aspects, the inner aspect is what we experience in ourselves as consciousness and the outer is what we experience as observable form, without both there can be no behaviour or interaction, even for the most elementary systems. The cosmos is as alive as we are!
The software also produces a revolutionary computational technology that gives a deep metaphysical foundation to the concept of 'cyberspace' and a mathematical basis to the fields of general system theory and massively parallel distributed computing. It also naturally gives rise to quantum and relativistic phenomena, thus suggesting how and why these phenomena arise and thereby indicating a method for further theoretical modelling and experimental verification.
This work essentially proposes a mathematical, scientific and engineering paradigm that is founded upon insights gained from ancient wisdom. It provides general analysis, modelling and engineering methods as well as indicating a long term process whereby many aspects of the transcendent level of reality are amenable to empiricist scientific study. See Academic Overview and modelling reality. We may make inferences based on information theory then develop models of the resulting virtual-reality-generative process and determine the nature of the resulting empirical universe. This can then be compared with the observed universe and the inferences and models can be refined.
For the main results arising from this work so far, see System Science of Virtual Reality. For an explanation in layman's terms see The Red Pill.
This approach has also made contact with the Planck constants from quantum physics and thereby also with the speed of light and the universal gravitational constant. It indicates that these quantities form a dynamical group that are part of the logic of the simulation of the physical universe. The discrete nature of the transcendent information leads to the phenomenon of quantisation and the finite nature of the transcendent information leads to the phenomena of special relativity. The transcendent computational process depends on cyclic rather than binary processes. This leads to a computational space composed of cycles within cycles forming a spectrum of frequencies. From within the simulation universe these are the waves or resonant energy states that fill the zero-point vacuum and that comprise the field. This analysis leads to intriguing parallels with the fundamental cosmic frequency and our own unit of time the second. See The Mathematical Analysis for more information on these aspects or this Notice to Scientists.
“I hold that, knowledge of the field and of its knower is true knowledge.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chpt 13, The Yoga of the Division of the Cosmos into Body and Soul)
By representing the entire system model within a single unified mathematical framework (using matrix algebra), this allows for advanced simulation and system analysis techniques to be developed, thereby providing a coherent foundation for system science. And given that anything may be conceptualised as a 'system' this may be developed into a unified mathematically based metaphysical foundation for the whole of science and any conceptual frameworks that attempt to comprehend reality. Concepts in one domain could be expressed in terms of the common foundation and then re-expressed in the context of another domain. Such a coherent foundation would allow for the unification of all the fragmented disciplines of science as well as the unification of science and spirituality.
The engineering applications of SMN revolve around it being a low level enabling technology that gives complete control over all information logistics within complex dynamical systems. It is built upon a system modelling paradigm that has potential applications in any field of interest that involves systems, which means everywhere. The software implementation allows one to simulate or create systems in a metaphysically coherent manner without the introduction of any spurious assumptions (such as the inherent empiricentric bias of the Object Oriented modelling paradigm.
Arbitrary systems may be constructed within an information space and connected via interfaces with other systems and the outside world, thereby providing a metaphysically correct way of performing system engineering. See SMN Comments or this Notice to Software Developers.
There are two major avenues of future development. Firstly, a metaphysical enquiry into the holistic nature of reality using a fusion of modern scientific methods and ancient wisdom, and secondly the development of the software/system methodology into a revolutionary technological paradigm that has the potential to eventually transform the IT and systems engineering industries from a pseudo-science into a fully fledged mathematical science.
The metaphysical exploration would assist in bringing genuine knowledge and wisdom into the modern world as well as shedding light upon the meanings of the subtle analogies in the ancient scriptures and mystic traditions. The software/system-science aspects would provide a revolutionary low-level enabling technology, with new ways of analysing and interacting with complex systems of ALL kinds, as well as new software methods and products. Both of these avenues lead to greater awareness, understanding and harmonious participation in all aspects of life and in our interactions with the world.
There is a paradigm shift brewing within the collective consciousness. Many people are intuitively converging on certain ways of thinking about reality and they are each intellectually comprehending it in different ways. Thus there are many theories and ideas that all share a common underlying metaphysical theme - they are more information theoretic than materialist. See Global Awakening. Also see other related works.
In terms of impact on ones own experience of being in the world the main realisation from this paradigm is that consciousness is fundamental, it underlies physical existence, not the other way around. A focused consciousness creates a field of coherence that brings order and structure into otherwise random processes and a focused will can imprint an intention upon the very fabric of reality. The cosmos is a field of consciousness and with consciousness we participate in reality on all levels. See The New Science. In terms of impact on human history the main ramification of the coming scientific and spiritual revolution will be the full and widespread comprehension of the nature of reality, in particular, recognition and understanding of the Soul. This will lead to greater harmony and participation in life, leading on to new levels of growth and evolution.
This work is a small part of a vast paradigm shift. See Message from the Great Sage. It bridges the divide between the materialist and spiritualist paradigms and spans all domains. It is a work of holistic understanding on all levels. It seeks to cling to no particular representational forms or methodologies. When I speak of “system science” I do not mean some proprietary group or particular domain of science in the contemporary sense. To me the concept 'system' is the most general low level and abstract analogy that we have for “things in the world” that may help us think beyond the materialist “world illusion” that is a construct of our senses. See Information System Theory. By “system science” I mean the detailed science of information and how it gives rise to manifest systems within a world, thus leading to understanding of the phenomenal world and how it arises, thus building a bridge between the transcendent and empirical world views.
This website is by no means a finished work, it is simply an opening comment in a dialogue with the world and will evolve as the discourse proceeds, hence I encourage you to provide feedback and any comments, questions or suggestions are welcomed. If you think the ideas presented here are worthy of further attention then please tell someone about this website, I have no access to formal channels by which to inform people of this work. Aside from the software being listed in a few places, this work relies primarily on word of mouth.
As well as seeking to disseminate this information for the benefit of humanity, the other purpose of this website is to encourage some open minded critical analysis of these ideas, i.e. to incite some peer review, in order to clarify, verify and generally improve this work, to separate the wheat from the chaff, as well as to help integrate it into other works. I seek to elicit critical feedback from anyone with enough interest to respond but especially from people in related fields, such as mathematics, computer science, various spiritual / mystic traditions, physics, information theory, system theory, metaphysics, philosophy and so on. The full mathematical details are provided, the metaphysics is made explicit and the software can be seen to be functioning coherently (aside from a few bugs in the interface, which are irrelevant to the proof of the coherence of the overall paradigm).
The scientific world should not protect its traditional materialist beliefs behind a wall of denial and mystics should not ignore the importance of the scientific approach to the modern world. I challenge people to either, find any fundamental flaws in the conceptual approach presented here or to assist in verifying and clarifying it, I would welcome any open minded attempt to do so and would gladly assist in any way I can. I seek only the refinement of knowledge, not the irrational maintenance of belief systems.
If you know anyone with related expertise or interest, then please inform them of this website. There is information here, which when fully realised may be of great significance. If scientists can overcome their prejudice against mysticism and mystics can overcome their prejudice against modern science, the two will discover that they have a great deal in common and may be able to be of great assistance to one another. The world needs both in balance for a holistic world view.
“Mere purposive rationality unaided by such phenomena as art, religion, dreams, and the like, is necessarily pathologic and destructive to life.” (Gregory Bateson)
“The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest
driving force behind scientific research.”
“Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” (Albert Einstein)
“The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“The old foundations of scientific thought are becoming unintelligible. Time, space, matter, material, ether, electricity, mechanism, organism, configuration, structure, pattern, function, all require reinterpretation. What is the sense of talking about a mechanical explanation when you do not know what you mean by mechanics? The truth is that science started its modern career by taking over ideas derived from the weakest side of the philosophies of Aristotle's successors. In some respects it was a happy choice. It enabled the knowledge of the seventeenth century to be formulated so far as physics and chemistry were concerned, with a completeness which lasted to the present time. But the progress of biology and psychology has probably been checked by the uncritical assumption of half-truths. If science is not to degenerate into a medley of ad hoc hypotheses, it must become philosophical and must enter upon a thorough criticism of its own foundations.” (Alfred North Whitehead)