This article is a follow-up to the recently published: Your reality is in fact, a conscious universe
We are used to seeing our universe as something physical, that always behaves in predictable, physical ways which we can describe with math and physics. And we depend on things staying that way, such as with the fundamental physical constants and our morning coffee.
But we have minds, which can throw quite the wrench into our tidy vision of a physical universe. As I described in my previous article, our universe, the one we experience, cannot be physical in the way we understand it. A better explanation is that we seem to have a physical reality scaffolding over a timeless, spaceless reality, which means that separateness isn’t a fundamental property of the universe.
Everything is Entangled
The only explanation that we are left with, when all else has been ruled out, is that our physical reality can best be described as a collective product of consciousness and the most likely explanation of its seeming permanence is that our entangled connectedness with everything is what holds our physical reality together. It’s not something that we individually created, and we cannot easily alter the established rules of our physical reality because it’s bigger than us.
We currently have a kind of ad hoc way of dealing with our reality that mostly works. We tend to act as though we’re in a completely physical world, but with exceptions here and there.
For example, the events of our lives aren’t normally arranged chronologically in our memories, but rather by their importance to us, be it positive or negative. Places that we have visited seem close, those we have never visited seem farther away. Our minds easily soar with imagination, and we regularly deal in concepts utterly foreign to our physical world such as time travel and magic. The mind isn’t as closely tethered to our physical existence as we tend to think.
We Act Like our Universe is Conscious
This leaves us with all sorts of practical inconsistencies and the universe can seem chaotic and nonsensical if we’re not working from a good model. To start with, our minds are not wired for a strictly physical reality. Our eyes get fooled by perspective, by assumptions and expectations and by optical illusions. Our sense of time and space is quite malleable as is our hearing and taste. Sometimes it all just mashes together, such as with synesthesia.
This ability for our senses to be fooled is often used as an argument against the paranormal; the assumption being that “believers” are fooling themselves, (with the rather arrogant assumption that debunkers are somehow immune to this), but it’s actually an indication that everyone’s view of reality is inseparable from their values, attitudes, ideas and beliefs. We can all look at the same things, but they are very colored by our individual perceptions of them, sometimes to the point where people can’t agree on what they are seeing.
This is predicted if reality is consciousness based: we are unable to separate reality from our own consciousness because they are the same thing. It’s not weird, it’s normal.
The Practical Side of a Conscious Universe
This brings me to the point of this article. Assuming that our physical universe is made of consciousness, so what? At first glance this seems about as important as debating the usefulness of lightsabers and whether a non-force user should ever use one. I have strong opinions on this, but are those opinions really worth sharing? I think not.
A conscious universe isn’t an important concept to anyone without an advanced degree in nerdiness unless it comes with practical applications. Does knowing that the universe is conscious change anything? Yes it does.
Different Fundamental Assumptions
In a physical universe, the following assumptions usually come along for the ride:
- Determinism: Everything, including human action, is ultimately determined by external causes and not free will.
- Separateness: Our thoughts are completely separate from other people and the physical reality around us.
- Randomness: Events in our lives are often random and beyond our control. i.e. life happens to us, and we have little control over it.
- Mechanistic Reality: Only physical reality is real and that the mind is illusory.
- Life is purposeless: Meaning is illusory and life doesn’t happen for a reason.
In a conscious universe, the assumptions are different:
- Free Will: We decide our future. It is not predetermined.
- Entanglement: Everything and everyone is connected.
- Intent, conscious and subconscious: Our will, both conscious and subconscious, play an important role in what happens in our lives.
- Information Reality: Reality is information/consciousness and physical reality is part of that.
- Life has purpose: Life creates its own purpose and meaning.
We live in a universe full of meaning and purpose. We do not live for no reason; we do not experience our lives for no reason, we do not have emotions for no reason. We are constantly learning, growing and changing and to a certain extent, we decide what is meaningful for us. The world is not an inherently cold and sterile place; it’s what we choose to make of it.
Thoughts Have Power
The most important realization of a conscious universe is that our thoughts have a certain amount of power. Our values, attitudes, ideas and beliefs have an impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. The connectedness of everything shields us from the worst of our thoughts, but does not shield us from all of it all the time. Persistent belief and intent will gradually steer us in that direction and keep us there.
We are part of a unified, collective consciousness and our own free will within it isn’t absolute, but more like a negotiation within the connection. The farther we stray from the expected norm, the more difficult the task is to accomplish.
Using this model of reality can help us adjust our expectations with our lives and decide where to put our energy. Instead of seeing the universe as a random, brutal place where we have little agency to change things, or imagining that our every thought brings us fairies and unicorns if we just believe hard enough, we instead find ourselves in a world where change is difficult, but not impossible. Persistence, intent and resolve will move the needle over time.
Positive Thinking Isn’t How It Works
Positive thinking, then, doesn’t automatically lead to fame and riches, but rather we each have our own starting points that go in the direction of our values, attitudes and beliefs, and we need to change those, (a fairly difficult task) in order for things to change for us. A super rich person might become significantly less wealthy through bad decisions or a poor person might work their way up to living comfortably, but the super rich don’t become poor and the poor don’t become super rich except for the extremely rare outlier.
An easier example to perhaps understand is that we get the romantic partners that reflect us. Our values, attitudes, ideas and beliefs lead us to people who match us in those areas. People with a strong sense of self-worth tend to find themselves with partners who share that attribute. Likewise, low self-worth leads to low self-worth partners.
You are generally not going to find any long term pairings of people who are not equal in emotional stability and maturity. There are, of course, outliers. There are always outliers.
We will tend to find ourselves either rising or sinking to our normal state of affairs and changing that will typically be rather slow. Nor are we exempt from the realities of the society in which we live because that is part of our own collective consciousness. Thriving in a society where most people live in a struggle is harder than living in a society where people normally thrive.
Information, Not Physical Objects
In a conscious universe, it’s more accurate to say that we’re dealing with information rather than physical objects, which explains a lot of paranormal phenomena. Telepathy? We’re all connected, so this is to be expected and is probably constant on a subconscious level. Clairvoyance? Precognition? Our minds are timeless and spaceless, so it’s just a matter of accessing that information. Hauntings? Information embedded in physical objects that not everyone is aware of. Ghosts and apparitions? Consciousness that either projects while someone is alive or possibly dead.
Reincarnation? Consciousness is fundamental, so survival of death is assumed, rather than something that “breaks physics.” Synchronicity? Well, we’re all connected, so that sort of thing is to be expected sometimes. The placebo effect? It would be predicted.
A benefit of correctly identifying consciousness as fundamental to reality is that we stop dismissing experiences that don’t match materialism’s expectations. Because information and experience are basically our reality, we no longer question their existence or importance. We move on to the practical application of the knowledge.
It’s All About Connectedness
Connectedness tells us something important about our place in the world. We’re all in the same lifeboat and what we do affects other people just as surely as what they do affects us. Working together will produce the best results over time and working against each other will produce worse results. Society functions better when we recognize the connectedness.