MM-Theory - The Universe and "God

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The Universe and "God"
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we explore the similarities and distinctions between the Universal Mind and more traditional conceptions of God. We also touch on some of the most intriguing cosmological implications that follow from MM-Theory, shedding light on some of the details of the structure of the universe that other papers left unaccounted for. After comparing and contrasting the Universal Mind with the concept of God held by most western religions, we define metaphysics on the basis of the epistemology of experiences, outlining which experiences can be represented by sensations and which can't. Before delving into the heart of the subject matter of God, we formally define two important concepts: "equivalence" and "justification". We then plunge headlong into the central questions of this paper: what is the Universal Mind in essence and whence did it come? The answers to these questions will lead us to a formal definition of "God". Having conceptually encapsulated the essence of the universe in this way, we will be in a position to explore the finer details of the fabric of existence and how it is structured. In particular, we look at space and its three-dimensionality and the nature of fundamentality, bringing the very existence of the latter into question. This skeptical look at fundamentality will bring us into a framework within which we can contemplate the practice of experimental science as a method for asking God questions and receiving his answers. Furthermore, we will consider a view according to which the experimental method is a way of creating more fundamental levels to the universe, God's responses being more akin to approvals rather than answers. The final two sections, before the conclusion, touch on the problem of evil (though taking a different form than what one usually encounters in traditional theology) and the possibility of immaterial beings (spirits).

Introduction

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Everything we have looked at in this website so far, save the brief overviews of the neurosciences and quantum mechanics, has been very speculative. This speculative approach is about to take a giant leap. We can't escape speculation when it comes to philosophy and metaphysics, and it has been implicitly assumed that the reader knows this and, if he/she has followed me this far, has tolerated it - maybe even took pleasure in it. But in this paper, there is an urgent need - one might even say an obligation - to make this assumption explicit. The subject of God is a very touchy one, and it is rarely engaged in without some bias or emotional sensitivity. Therefore, I have deemed it important to warn the reader what we are getting into here. This is indeed a paper on this very subject, and there is no reasonable basis upon which to take what is written here as even remotely close to Truth or objective argument completely free from bias and interpretation. In fact, the approach we will take in this paper will not even be one in which we attempt to rigorously defend a particular position to the exclusion of others. It will be much like in Determinism and Free-Will wherein we considered a variety of different views and approaches to the problem of determinism and free-will. So although one might argue that our approach has always been quite speculative, and he/she would be right in saying this, this is especially true for this paper. What we are involved in here is such a vast and deep subject that to think the human mind capable of grasping even a shadowy glimpse of it is to succumb to a level of naivety only a fool could stoop to. So be forewarned - the reader is not to take the ideas and proposals in this paper to heart without wearing his/her best critical thinking cap. In fact, the reader is not even to take this as my official position on the subject. The reader is to understand that we are only entertaining possibilities in this paper, not answers. Having acquitted ourselves with this disclaimer, it should be added that there is one point this paper will make that should be taken, if not in full seriousness, at least as seriously as everything else in this website, and that is the proposed answer we offer here to the question left unaddressed near the end of the Advanced Theory. We left off saying that meaning may be enough to explain what sustains the existence of the universe, but it doesn't explain why there should be a universe in the first place - that is, how the universe came to exist. Here we will offer an answer to this question. Once this last piece of the puzzle is put in place, however, there will be very little left of our theory demanding immediate attention. This is not to say that everything else is pure child's play, just that the theory could survive without it. Except for the last section of this paper, we will be touching on aspects of our theory that could use some fleshing out and stronger support. But overall, the greater part of this paper is meant to be taken relatively lightly. Needless to say, the purpose of this paper is twofold: 1) to tie up all loose ends in our theory, and 2) to address the uncanny resemblance between what we have christened the Universal Mind and what most western religions understand as God. Now, before I got to work writing this paper, I struggled somewhat with the issue of whether to embrace this resemblance wholeheartedly, revealing and defending as many similarities as I could find, or to reject this resemblance outright, admonishing the reader not to equate our theory with any form of institutionalized religion. What I settled on was honesty. The honest truth is that I do cherish this idea - that I can say I believe in God and that my relation to Him (or Her) is a profoundly intimate one - but at the same time I understand it to be a dangerous idea - if not for me, then for others who might misinterpret or abuse it. Therefore, as much as the idea of God appeals to me (at least, as construed by MM-Theory), I do recognize the responsibility that falls on my shoulders to point out what things can be said about the Universal Mind as God and what things can't - and further, what things should simply be left unsaid. I have deemed the relation between these two concepts - the Universal Mind and God - as too conspicuous not to be treated. If I didn't say a word or two about it, others undoubtedly would. Trusting in this assumption, I feel the need to make it absolutely clear how the Universal Mind can be construed as God, and to implore the reader not to construe it otherwise. Another, less pressing, issue I lingered over was whether to use the traditional pronoun "He" when referring to God. Why not "She"? After all, I've been careful to conjoin "he" and "she" together as "he/she" throughout the rest of this website. Why not in the case of God? One thing that came to mind, soon after asking myself this question, was simply to use "It". God, at least in the present context, is asexual. But that felt too out of place. At one point, in reaction to the angst I felt over the mere use of the name "God" (which is why I felt it appropriate to put "God" in quotation marks in the title), I considered not even using the word, opting instead for the "Universal Mind" throughout, and only describing it as god-like. But that, I figured, was going to an extreme that risked defeating the entire purpose of this paper, and the use of the name "God" was unavoidable in at least a few cases. After a while, I figuratively gave my head a shake and told myself to snap out of it - I was blowing the issue way out of proportion. Right then, I decided to stick with tradition and refer to God as "He", being careful to note, here in the introduction, that by use of this word, I by no means intend to condone a male chauvinistic prejudice about God, but rather to allow my writing to flow more naturally - for following tradition does come natural. I hope the reader can understand.

Meaning

The Universal Mind

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Yet a third issue remained: in comparing and contrasting the Universal Mind with more traditional conceptions of God, how global should I be? How global could I be? By "global", I mean how many mainstream religions should I take into consideration? Having been raised by and now live in a culture whose dominant religion is Christianity, I am foremost familiar with this religion. It would make sense, therefore, that my conception of the traditional God is closest to how the typical Christian thinks of God. I am also familiar with the Jewish and Muslim God, but I would expect slightly less so. I am severely lacking in familiarity with the gods of southeast Asia, and practically all tribal religions, and if I'm not mistaken, a few of these (Buddhism and Taoism come to mind) don't even involve gods. What I have decided upon as my formal stance on this issue is to say that if the religion in question depicts God (or a god) as objectified, anthropomorphic, and individuated from the rest of existence, then this is the sort of god I'm concerned with contrasting the Universal Mind against. One last point to mention before we begin is the following. In the greater part of this paper, it might seem as though our discussion digresses from the topic of God and merges into cosmology. If we were to adopt the standard conception of God (i.e. an objectified, anthropomorphic, individuated deity), this would indeed be an unnecessary digression. But since MM-Theory identifies the Universal Mind as God, cosmology becomes more or less synonymous with theology. This is not to say we will discuss cosmology with a theological flavor - that is, when discussing cosmology, we will stick as close to areligious and scientific terminology as possible, the phrase "Universal Mind" coming in only when necessary. Nonetheless, it will be implicitly assumed that the reader understands that what we say about cosmology can be, and for all intents and purposes is meant to be, translated into theological concepts. After all, if God and the universe are one, then almost anything said about the universe is also said about God.

God - Omni-Everything
Our first task, then, is to formally declare that if the Universal Mind is to be construed as a god of sorts, no link can be drawn between it and the god of the Bible or any other world renowned holy book. This is not the god that created the world in six days, this is not the god that parted the Red Sea, this is not the god that appeared before Moses as a burning bush, this is not the god that created Adam and Even, this is not the god that sent His only begotten son to man in order to save him from his sins, and this is not the god that casts judgment upon our souls and sentences us either to Hell or Heaven after we die. The god referred to in the Bible, the Quran, the Torah, or any other religious text borne from western culture is an objectified, anthropomorphic, and individuated deity. He created the universe but is not one with it - He remains outside of it. He sometimes intervenes in human affairs and performs miracles, and as a consequence, suspends the laws of nature in so doing. Once every so often, He chooses a special someone and speaks to them through a human language. Sometimes, He imparts sacred knowledge to these people, knowledge that can be written as prophecy, and is supposedly destined to be realized sometime in the future. MM-Theory says nothing of this sort. It makes no such predictions, and in fact, speaks against the notion that such things are possible. Our theory says that the experiences of the Universal Mind - of "God" - coincide with the nature of the physical world as we understand it in a scientific context. It says that, for all practical purposes, there really isn't any rational basis upon which to believe that these experiences would ever entail in such a way that we would witness the sorts of miracles proclaimed in most religious texts. There isn't even a rational basis upon which to believe that these experiences are at all remotely like human experiences, in which case we can't say, with good reason, that God thinks this or that about human affairs. He doesn't necessarily think. He doesn't necessarily feel emotions either. We can't very well say, in that case, that He feels this way or that about human affairs, for He doesn't necessarily feel anything. We can't attribute such mental states to God in regards to any human experiences. The only sense in which this is not entirely accurate is in that we are a part of the Universal Mind and therefore, as God, we can only say that He experiences human mental states insofar as those experiences are had by us. To put this point more succinctly, we have no right to identify any one god, like the Universal Mind, with another god, like the biblical one, unless it can be convincingly shown that the concepts of each have a common source. The source for the concept of the traditional God of western religion is the set of holy texts belonging to these religions (the Bible, the Quran, and the Torah). The source for the concept of God as the Universal Mind is MM-Theory. So unless the account the above holy texts give for God can somehow be interpreted as the same account our theory gives, and more importantly that this interpretation is not similar merely by coincidence, there is no basis upon which to claim that the Universal Mind is the one and only God referred to in these holy texts. To claim otherwise would be to posit that the words of the saints, prophets, and other messengers of God, written in the holy texts of western religion, are more or less the same words we have written in our theory. This is highly doubtful, not only because our theory is very specific and depends greatly on the neuroscience known only in the twentieth century, but because such a

Entailment

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claim could never be known with certainty. The God of the western religions is conceptualized today based solely on their central texts, and if the authors of those texts had anything in mind even remotely close to what our theory says, it was lost in translation, never to be known again. The only relics we have of their insights are these texts, and upon giving them a good read, one quickly realizes that they say nothing like what our theory says. Be that as it may, we also want to compare our God with these more traditional Gods to see what they have in common. The great majority of commonalities are features that can be described with "omni"-words - that is, words like "omniscient", "omnipotent", "omnibenevolent", "omnipresent", and so on. There are a few other commonalities, but these omni-words cover the most ground. Let's take a look at some of them to see in what sense the Universal Mind is omni-this and omni-that. Let it be known that for most of them, it is only in a very specific sense that our God can be said to possess these traits, and in other senses He clearly cannot. Omnipotent: The Universal Mind is clearly omnipotent, but the meaning of even this word can be ambiguous. The Universal Mind is not as powerful as the God of the western religions. Although the Universal Mind is responsible for everything that happens, it cannot perform miracles. It cannot preempt its own laws whether those laws be physical or mental. Our theory says that everything that happens is due to the necessity of entailment. The God of western religion, however, can preempt His own laws. On the other hand, it could be said that whereas the God of western religion leaves some things to their own devices such as the autonomy of man - the Universal Mind is always the driving force behind every single event. This might put our God in a more favorable light with respect to His omnipotence. However, this speaks more about His agenda - that is, whereas the Universal Mind seems hell bent on controlling everything, the God of western religion seems to take a more hands-off approach when it comes to the affairs of the universe, or at least man. But He could involve Himself in everything, like the Universal Mind does, if he really wanted to. In fact, having said this, it stands to question whether the Universal Mind even has a choice in the matter that is, a choice of whether or not to let the universe be without imposing its control. Our theory would certainly say not. Even if we brought in some of the considerations of free-will we looked at in Determinism and Free-Will, we still wouldn't be able to tear Him away from the universe itself. Our theory clearly takes the two to be the same entity. It is therefore impossible for our God to separate Himself from the universe, much less relinquish any control over it. If we are to describe the Universal Mind as omnipotent, it might be better to phrase this as "He does everything" rather than "He can do anything". The latter sounds as though it presupposes a choice - and moreover an extraordinary ability to violate the laws of nature, which the Universal Mind clearly cannot do. There is the interpretation of quantum mechanics we offered in Determinism and Free-Will, which leads one to wonder whether the laws of nature are really all abiding as we've just described. In fact, it says they're not. So to a certain extent - and it is an incredibly small extent - the Universal Mind is not bound by its own laws. Whether this infinitesimal scintilla of freedom constitutes a will or simple randomness is another level of interpretation that one can add at his/her own choosing. In any case, this level of freedom is hardly enough to account for the sorts of miracles the God of western religion is credited with performing. Lucky if just one ever happened at all throughout the whole history of the universe. Omniscient: The Universal Mind is not omniscient. If the meaning of "omniscient" is "to know everything", then the word itself is fraught with internal contradiction when it concerns MM-Theory. The great majority of experiences in the universe - which are all there are to know if one is to know anything - do not even entail knowledge of themselves. They cannot be known. Yet there is another sense in which we might rightfully say that the Universal Mind is omniscient. If by "omniscient" we mean, "to have all knowledge there is, was, and will be" then the Universal Mind is omniscient. Knowledge, in whatever form, is an experience, and so the Universal Mind always has it. But by this interpretation, knowledge is limited - not merely in the sense that some experiences don't entail their own knowledge, but in the physical sense in which some events in our universe - what a small rock might be doing in a neighboring galaxy, for example - will never be known by any intelligent being, which is in contradiction to the way western religion depicts the omniscience of God. These events will always correspond to an experience had by the Universal Mind, of course, and so we must say that the Universal Mind experiences everything, and in this crude sense we might get away with attributing omniscience to It, but since these experiences are not knowledge (not necessarily), this really isn't the proper use of the word "omniscient". Omnipresent: This one is really straightforward. Omnipresence is the attribute of being everywhere at once - like space or time. The Universal Mind is all there is, so of course it is omnipresent. The very experience of an extended spatial medium in which all physical events take place is an experience belonging to the Universal Mind. It does not fill the physical universe as a ghost might fill a body, paralleling it without becoming one with it; it is the bare and fundamental experience of the physical universe and all parts of it. Thus, this is one trait the Universal Mind certainly shares in common with the western God.

Quantum Mechanics

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Omnibenevolent: Now this trait is probably one of the most controversial of the omni-words. Believers have faith in God's inexhaustible and undying love for man, while many non-believers despise the concept of God on the grounds that if such a deity would create a horrific place such as Hell, torment us with temptations and unreasonable rules, and allow grotesque massacres to happen, then He would be more aptly described as a sadistic psychopath rather than an all-loving father. Both views, however, rest on the assumption that God can be anthropomorphized. It's only when we cast God in our own image that feelings of intimate closeness or hatred and aversion come to the surface. It's only the likeness of human beings that elicits in us the inclination to offer affection or cast blame. But how angry can one be towards a natural disaster such as a tornado or an earthquake? How motivated does one feel after these catastrophes to shout and rant at the tornado or earthquake? Not much. Yes, we will always go through the trials and tribulations of frustration and anguish over our losses, but this does not come through as blame or anger towards the disasters that brought them upon us. Why not? Because we recognize them as non-human, and so there is nothing in us wanting to exact revenge or cast judgment on them. That's the stance one ought to take towards anything that is best captured as non-anthropomorphic, and it is the stance MM-Theory takes towards the Universal Mind. It is true that the Universal Mind is conscious, and even that it is directly responsible for all natural disasters (even social disasters), but it lacks the essential characteristics of human nature so profoundly that it is the equivalent of a tornado or an earthquake. We have just as little reason to feel animosity towards it as we do the tornado and earthquake. In fact, the tornado and earthquake are physical representations, at least in part, of the Universal Mind. And to whatever degree the deterministic course that these disasters play out through, the same degree carries over to the determinism of the Universal Mind - and it may very well be that the Universal Mind has no choice in the matter. So although there is a conscious force behind these catastrophes, our relation to it is not the sort that exists between and among human beings - it is the sort of relation we have towards the indifferent and mechanical forces governing nature. But there is a sense in which we can describe the Universal Mind as omnibenevolent. It is not in that It wants to please us, or wants what's best for us - it is in the sense that when It does bring pain and suffering to us, It feels it just as much as we do. If we are all a part of the Universal Mind, then all our experiences are Its experiences. Everything we feel, it feels. So It couldn't be doing it out of some kind of sadistic pleasure or scorn - there must be some other reason. But what this reason is is a tricky question to answer. It's not entirely clear. It's not even clear whether it feels loathsome to bring pain and suffering to us and Itself, or is resolute about doing so. It even sounds rather absurd - that It would be self-driven to inflict pain and suffering upon Itself. This is a matter that deserves much elaboration, and we will do so in the section titled The Problem of Evil below. For now, we can take comfort in the thought that when we go through pain and suffering, God, as construed by our theory, "understands", in a manner of speaking, our plight, for He feels it too. Omnicreative: The God of western religion is omnicreative in that He created everything and can create anything. The Universal Mind simply is everything. Is It or is It not, then, omnicreative? Well, at any one point in time, the Universal Mind is in a particular state. At that precise point, It has no choice in the matter. A thing in a certain state can't be in any other mutually exclusive state at the same time (quantum mechanics notwithstanding). The next state that follows in time, however, is under Its control, and so we can say that It creates that state. This is true regardless of whether the control the Universal Mind has over its future states is predetermined (as a compatibilist view would have it) or freely exercised. So the Universal Mind is in a perpetual process of creating and recreating Itself - and therefore creating and recreating everything. We can also express the omnicreativity of the Universal Mind in regards to all subjective realities. The elemental experiences that are fed to us by the Universal Mind are our sensory experiences. Our minds use these experiences to build a subjective reality. The effort is a joint one, of course, since we must take credit for the speculations and theories we construct in order to make sense out of the things we otherwise don't understand and can't verify, but our efforts are also those of the Universal Mind since we and It are one. So in that sense, the Universal Mind is the creator of our subjective realities. These are the omni-words that come to mind when I think of the similarities between the God of western religion and the Universal Mind. There may be others, but the above are a fair sample to demonstrate the way in which we ought to compare and contrast the Universal Mind with the God of western religion. However, we can expand the list if we consider some alternatives to omni-words - words like the following. Eternal: The God of western religion is eternal. He has no beginning and no end. What about the Universal Mind? The origin of the Universal Mind is a big question, and a significant portion of this paper is devoted to it. This question is made more complicated by the fact that time is properly understood in a specific way in the context of our theory. In the Advanced Theory, we explicated what time as we experience it represents outside the mind - namely, those relations between experiences characterized by entailment. So to trace the Universal Mind back through time in order to find its beginnings, we would effectively be tracing Its

Footprints in The Sand

Subjective Reality

Entailment

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experiences back through their antecedents. We'd be looking for the fundamental experience(s) from which all other experiences throughout the rest of time are entailed. Does it even make sense that there should be such an experience? We shall see in the appropriate section. We shall see that one possibility is that the Universal Mind is eternal. Will it go on forever as well? That is, can experiences ever cease to entail further experiences? This is another deep and perplexing question, and unfortunately, we will not answer it in this paper, except to say, right now, that we don't know. But one thing we know for certain is this: we can always take the perspective that, from an abstract point of view, all experiences, even those of space and time as we know them, are members of the universal set of all experiences. Speaking abstractly, this set, like any set as defined in the formal mathematical tradition, is spaceless and timeless, and thus the Universal Mind can be considered eternal if, by "eternal", we mean timeless in this sense - having no temporal beginning and no temporal end. We could even consider the Universal Mind timeless in the same sense without construing it in the abstract sense of set theory if we were to consider only those experiences that time and space as we experience them represent - that is, subtracting our experiences of space and time. Although this may not at first seem warranted since any consideration of the Universal Mind as a whole ought to include all its experiences - those of space and time as we experience them among the latter - upon a second consideration, we realize that all time- and space-bound experiences - such as those of physical systems, and time and space themselves - are founded on those experiences beyond time and space as we know them (the former represent the latter, after all). Therefore, even if the physical universe did have a beginning or will have an end, it would be a fleeting outgrowth coming out of the timeless ground that is the Universal Mind, which is there outside time - eternally - though always connected to time from emergence to oblivion. Supreme: God is often referred to as the "supreme being". What does "supreme" mean? Any dictionary you consult will give you a myriad of definitions. When we say of God that He is supreme, we usually mean that He is the greatest being there is. But even the word "great" eludes an obvious definition. One possible meaning we could give it would be how encompassing of existence that which is great so happens to be. For example, the Universal Mind is all encompassing of existence, and therefore is the greatest thing there is. The God of western religion, in virtue of His individuation from the world He created, does not encompass all of existence, and therefore is not the greatest thing there is - the world He created coupled with Him is greater. But there is another meaning of the word "great" according to which the latter image - the coupling of God with His creation - is not the greatest thing in existence, and God Himself is. That meaning is that greatness is the measure of the superiority of a thing. Superiority may be defined in any number of ways intelligence, virtue, might, status - but they all entail the same thing about how that which is measured compares to other things by the same measure. For example, man could be said to be superior to the rest of nature in virtue of the fact that he measures higher in intelligence. Other things in nature - like rocks, trees, water, air - and even nature herself, not only fall short of matching the intelligence of man, but lack intelligence entirely. Therefore, man, in this sense, could be said to be greater than nature. In the same sense, the God of western religion could be said to be greater than everything else, not only in intelligence, but in a whole slew of measures of superiority. Can we say the same of the Universal Mind? Well, if we can say that man is greater than nature in this sense, then since nature is the physical representation of the Universal Mind, we can say that man is greater than the Universal Mind - at least, in certain measures of superiority. Does it change anything to consider man and the Universal Mind as one? After all, if man's superior intellect and other virtues are incorporated into the Universal Mind, then doesn't this trait also belong to the Universal Mind? It may, if one looks at it this way, but we must also consider when it is appropriate to attribute a property belonging to a part to the whole and when it is not. For example, if I were six foot five but I had really short fingers, then just because my fingers hold the property of being short does not mean I can attribute that property to myself and say that I am short. We have to think carefully about attributing the greatness of any one part of the Universal Mind to the Universal Mind Itself. Would we be making the same error as in the example above? We will not answer that question, but instead draw the conclusion that the greatness of the Universal Mind, and therefore Its supremacy, is subject to interpretation. There are many ways in which we can construe it as supreme, but other ways in which we can't. I leave it to the reader to make the decision on this matter. Providence of an afterlife: According to western religion, when we die, our soul will move on to another world and it will remain there forever. God, in this view, is the great overseer of this process. There is an afterlife in our view as well. According to our view, there is no end to experience. Experiences continually morph and transform without rest, and they do so even after the body dies. When our bodies die, they usually decay. The trillions of molecules that makeup the body will be dispersed into nature - some taking root in the dust, others being taken up by other organisms, and still others being carried by the winds to far-off places. What might this experience be like? If we consider this process as the dilution of ourselves into nature, the experience might be like becoming one with the mind of nature, sharing in its experiences and perhaps remembering that we were once from nature (assuming it experiences memory).

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Epistemic Awareness

But in all probability, there would be no more "you" - that is, no more sense of selfhood. The experiences that constitute our lives are marked by our individuation, which in turn, as the Advanced Theory makes clear, is based on the epistemic awareness we have of our experiences. This epistemic awareness is what allows us to attribute our experiences to ourselves - claiming them as "ours" - and thus furnishing us with a sense of selfhood. So unless the experiences of the afterlife are somehow capable of entailing epistemic awareness of themselves (via acknowledgements), chances are that we will lose our individuation, and consequently lose our "selves". Whether nature herself, or the Universal Mind as a whole, provides a sense of an even greater self to replace this loss is anyone's guess. Another guess that belongs to anyone is whether the experience of the afterlife is a pleasant one, a painful one, or one that fits neither description. On the face of it, it certainly sounds blissful - the notion of becoming one with the universe, or one with God, must be a fulfilling and enlightening experience, we're inclined to think. But our theory explicitly states that this experience is completely unimaginable to us. We cannot surmise by any stretch of the imagination what it might be like. The only thing we can say with any amount of certainty is that we cannot be prepared for it. The above characteristics are enough to get the point across - namely, that the Universal Mind is not the God of the Bible, or the Quran, or the Torah, or any other holy text, but They do share some features in common. Even then, however, one has to be cautious about the sense in which these commonalities hold. For example, we've seen that although the Universal Mind can be described as omnipotent in that It is responsible for everything that happens, it is closer to impotent when it comes to performing miracles. We've also seen that although the Universal Mind seems to have no reservation about inflicting great pain and suffering upon us, and therefore hardly seems omnibenevolent, under a different light - namely, in that It always partakes in the pain and suffering it inflicts upon us - It could be said to be omnibenevolent. These are obviously perspectives, not facts. Therefore, I leave it for the reader to decide whether the Universal Mind really is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, or any of the other characteristics we considered.

Acknowledgements

Metaphysics
The reader may have noticed that we failed to mention one very obvious similarity between the Universal Mind and the God of western religion in the preceding section, and that is the property of being metaphysical (or non-physical). This is because metaphysics is a subject that deserves so much more than a paragraph or two. It deserves its own section - this section. The first to attribute the property of being metaphysical to God was St. Augustine, and he in turn borrowed the idea from Plato. Plato's notion of metaphysics is essentially a realm of ideal forms that all things in the corporeal world approximate. This realm is a perfect realm, unlike the realm we call physical reality. Things in physical reality are imperfect. They're shoddy, rugged, clumsy, chipped, dirty, tarnished, crooked, and so on. The things in the metaphysical realm don't have any imperfections like these. The best way to exemplify this is with a geometrical construct like a triangle. Let's say it's a right triangle. Therefore, one of its corners is a perfect 90° angle. Also, the length of the hypotenuse squared is exactly, not approximately, equal to the sum of the squares of the two sides. But try finding such a perfect right triangle anywhere in the physical world. You can't. No matter what you find, as close as it may seem to a right triangle, there will be some fine degree of imperfection. You may have to look very closely, maybe even under a microscope, noticing the tiny offset of the angle from 90° or the slight meandering of the sides from perfectly straight lines, and indeed you will find mild imperfections. And if you can't find a perfect right triangle lying about, maybe you can draw one - but even then, you're drawing skills don't measure up. You may have the steadiest hands in the world, capable of drawing ever so straight lines and amazingly accurate angles, but they are not perfect. There will be very slight flaws in your triangle. So do perfect right triangles exist? How do we know about them if they aren't to be found in the world of physical objects? What are we referring to when we talk about right triangles? Plato tells us that we are referring to another realm besides this one - that is, another realm besides the physical one. This is the realm of perfect forms, of things that don't bear any imperfections whatsoever. The right triangle we are referring to is here. Its sides are perfectly straight, and its right angle really is exactly 90°. Plato says that the physical world is filled with things that aim to approximate their perfect counterparts in the metaphysical world. The world that we see is just a shoddy imitation of this perfect world. How do we know it exists? Plato tells us that the mind is such an extraordinary instrument that it sees directly into the metaphysical world. When we talk about a right triangle, the reason we are able to tell it apart from all other right triangles - that is, the ones we find in the physical world - is because we have a mental connection to

St. Augustine

Plato

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the metaphysical world where we can see the perfect right triangle and compare it to other right triangles we find in the physical world. The metaphysical world contains all sorts of perfect forms ranging from circles, squares, and other polygons, to houses, boats, and shoes, to birds, dogs, and other living creatures - including people. The metaphysical world parallels the physical world, and all things in one world bear a one-to-one correspondence to things in the other. Now, the metaphysical world, if it is indeed that which we see with our mind's eye, is obviously non-physical. Physicality, according to Plato, is the essential mark of imperfection, and so all metaphysical things can't be physical. He says that whereas physical things are sensible (i.e. they can be sensed), metaphysical things are intelligible (i.e. they can be understood). The reader may notice a similarity between this distinction and the distinction we drew between visualization and conceptualization in The Inconceivability of Consciousness. This distinction is more or less the same (the only exception being that the physical world is known to us by sensation rather than mental visualization). This is the classical conception of metaphysics and it has carried through the ages with little modification. St. Augustine (circa 354 - 430 AD) took this idea and attributed it to God Himself. He says that when we look at these perfect forms with our minds, we are looking into God's mind. It is as if God had a blueprint of the world, a sketch of how everything should be - how triangles should be, how stars should be, how fish should be, and even how humans should be - and what we see when we think of things in their ideal forms is what God has laid out, in His mind, as the blueprints of His creation. Since God is perfect, Augustine says, He takes only a metaphysical form, and it is the same form as that taken by those abstract purely conceptual things we see in our minds, perfect and ideal in all their features. That's Augustine. At this point, we will break from discussing the traditional conception of God and focus solely on the Universal Mind. We will be concerned mainly with what it means for the Universal Mind to be metaphysical. It is unfortunate for us, in this day and age, that the whole subject of metaphysics is so down played and looked upon with derision. We live in an age of hard science, and this makes for an atmosphere in which materialism has staying power and religion and spiritual matters - into which, to a large extent, metaphysics is intertwined - are significantly undermined. On a more positive note, however, our brand of metaphysics is very different from that passed down from Plato and Augustine. It deserves serious reconsideration. Whereas the Platonic/Augustinian concept of metaphysics stands in stark contrast to physicality, ours not so much. The concept of metaphysics our theory offers is one in which physicality is more of an instance, or a special form, of the greater metaphysical universe in which it is rooted. Our theory says that all physicality is reducible to sensory experiences, and experiences in general are the metaphysical basis for, not only physical things, but any form of existence whatsoever. Experiences are the basis for truths and facts as they project from cognition. They are also the basis for value and morality as they project from emotion. They are also the basis for beauty and ugliness as they project from higher functional sensory processes. Experiences are the basis for those forms of existence that are beyond any human subjective reality. They are the basis for existence period, and as such, they constitute the metaphysical groundwork upon which all existence, in its numerous forms, stands. Now, according to this understanding, everything is metaphysical - even the world of physical objects that we sense. Perhaps, then, the word "metaphysical" is a misnomer since it derives from the Greek "metá" (after) and "physiká" (physics) - meaning that which is beyond, or not, the physical (see sidenote ). Perhaps, then, for the sake of this paper, we ought to understand, by the word "metaphysics", only those experiences that do not project themselves in physical form. Although they may still be experiential at base, our theory is monistic, and what this means is that, when it comes to physical things, there is no separate non-physical basis for them. Experiences in the broadest context are metaphysical things that can become physical, and when this happens, they cease to be metaphysical. Physicality becomes the sole attribute they possess and it defines their essence. Therefore, when we talk about metaphysics in the context of our theory, we are

Projection

The Roots of Metaphysics

Physicality

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Beyond The Bubble

referring to a realm of experience beyond the physical, or sensory, world. This realm may give rise to our sensory experiences through entailment, and it may be that which our sensory experiences represent (vis-à-vis the formulation of the correlation between mind and matter given in the Advanced Theory), but it is, for all intents and purposes, non-physical. The visualization exercises we practiced in the Advanced Theory, particularly the 2D scenario in which we imagined we were at the center of a bubble and the entire sensory world was painted on the interior surface, helps us a great deal here. What we get, in this visualization, is a sense that we are engulfed by a physical world and outside it, a metaphysical world that is beyond the reach of our experience and knowledge.

Immanuel Kant

Phenomena

Noumena

Subjective Reality

Knowledge of the metaphysical is a key concern for us. It was a key concern for Immanuel Kant, the 18th century philosopher, as well. In fact, he had a vision much like our bubble scenario. Instead of bubbles, however, he proposed the world of phenomena. Phenomena, according to Kant, are things just as they appear - that is, they constitute the world as defined by our experiences of it, much like our concept of a subjective reality. Beyond the phenomenal world is the noumenal world - the world of things as they really are. To know this world was impossible, according to Kant, since we can't get passed the phenomena that stand between it and us - that is, we can't have any sort of direct connection to the noumenal world since to do so would entail having made such a connection without experience - an oxymoron indeed. So if we equate the phenomenal world with the physical world, this makes the noumenal world the world of metaphysics. Kant knew that since we have no epistemic access (nor experiential for that matter) to the noumenal world, the prospect of gaining knowledge of the metaphysical is slim to none. This opens the door for a whole slew of wild speculation to flood in. If we can't see beyond our bubbles, who knows what lies there? Formally speaking, our theory states that the experiences we do have access to - namely, the human experiences - represent experiences beyond them, experiences that entail them. So as far as we're concerned, we do reserve the right to propose that the metaphysical world is filled with experiences and nothing more (this is a proposal, remember, not knowledge proper). So far, we have been talking about our theory as though the physical world (the world of sense) maps onto the whole of the Universal Mind - that is, that there is nothing, no experience, in the Universal Mind that can't be represented in some sensory form, either directly or indirectly, in our subjective realities. What we will consider now, however, is the possibility that some experiences exist in the Universal Mind that aren't, or even can't be, represented to us in this manner.

Human Experiences

Neutrinos

Electromagnetic Radiation

To begin with, we can say, without much confusion, that there are those experiences that are directly represented by our sensations, and those that are indirectly represented. An example of a directly represented experience would be that corresponding to a tangible macroscopic object that we can immediately sense, in full vividness, before us - something like a household blender or a lawn ornament. These experiences will always avail themselves to sensory representation so long as we are capable, in principle, of focusing our attention on them. Then there are the indirectly represented experiences, an example of which is an entity or force whose presence we can only infer from its effects - something like neutrinos or waves of electromagnetic radiation. We don't sense these things directly. We only sense their effects on other things things like measuring devices. In effect, the only way to sense these effects is if indirect experiences entail direct experiences - otherwise they would have no effect on our senses. This is a general rule of thumb - that indirect experiences always entail direct experiences - that goes into defining them.

Metaphysics and Sensation

Definition: Direct vs. Indirect Metaphysical Experiences 1) Direct Metaphysical Experiences (a.k.a. Direct Experiences): Those experiences, other than sensations, that are capable of reliably and

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consistently entailing perceptions of physical systems. 2) Indirect Metaphysical Experiences (a.k.a. Indirect Experiences): Those experiences that only entail perceptions of physical systems indirectly - that is, by first entailing direct metaphysical experiences.
At first glance, it sounds as though these definitions are painting a picture of direct and indirect experiences as easily pigeonholed into discrete categories. The reality, however, is that there is plenty of gray area. For example, one of the examples we gave above for direct experiences was a household blender. But isn't it really the light reflected off the blender that directly affects our sense of vision? But if we can say that, we can go a step further and say that it's really the optic nerve that has the most direct effect on our vision. But then why not say it's the neurotransmitters that mediate the signal between our optic nerve and area V1 in the back of the brain where vision officially occurs? In fact, it would seem that, in this line of questioning, we contemplated the possibility that the light reflected off the blender was more direct than the blender itself, and since light is an example of electromagnetic radiation - corresponding to an experience we deemed to be indirect - the distinction might not only be fuzzy, but very confused. Well, as an example of an indirect experience, the intended use of electromagnetic radiation is only valid in the case where such radiation isn't on a direct course onto our retina - that is, if the radiation in question is simply traveling from one point in space to another (which isn't our eye), there is no other way we can be signaled to its presence than by its effects. But regardless of whether we treat the experience

corresponding to electromagnetic radiation as a direct or indirect one, this doesn't clear up the muddied distinction between direct and indirect experiences overall. The point I want to make in defining these terms is that we need a way of talking about metaphysical experiences (i.e. non-sensory ones) that maps directly and without confusion onto the physical world. What I want to allow for is an easy way of saying that if an experience corresponds to a physical phenomenon that we can sense directly (like a chair, a box, a window sill, etc.), then that experience is itself direct. And likewise, if it corresponds to a physical phenomenon that we can't sense directly, but through its effects only (like neutrinos or electromagnetic radiation), then that experience is itself indirect. In other words, whether it's the blender that we sense directly, or the light reflected off it, or the signals channeled through our optic nerve, or the neurotransmitters that react in response to the latter, they are all direct. They are all direct because they are all reliably and consistently represented by our sensory experiences. There is always going to be a simple topological correspondence between them and what we sense. Only when this topology breaks does the experience fall under the category of indirect. Of course, a similar topology exists between indirect experiences and our conceptual models of things as we assume them to exist in the physical world, things that we can't directly sense, but this topology is much less reliable and consistent. For example, nearly everyone has a rudimentary conceptual model of the atom. This model is a cognitive representation of experiences in the Universal Mind, and because we can't sense atoms directly, these experiences are indirect ones. Through the ages, the model of the atom has gone through revision after revision, as more and better scientific experimentation yields data that can be put towards refining this model. This revision process will undoubtedly continue to go through change as we head into the future. This is not surprising since our conceptual models cannot reliably and consistently represent

More Ambiguity

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indirect experiences - at least, not necessarily. Nonetheless, as unreliable and inconsistent as these conceptual models may be, we do have a loose connection to these indirect experiences, and they do affect us in one way or another. The question we want to ask now is: is it possible that there are experiences in the Universal Mind that have no effect on our sensory experiences, either directly or indirectly, whatsoever? What would such an experience be like? It would have to be inherent in the meaning of the experience that the grounds don't exist for entailing, by itself, either direct or indirect experiences, which in turn could then affect us in a sensory way. It would be like a premise to an argument that has no way of leading to a particular conclusion, that conclusion being the counterpart to our sensory experiences. Is it possible for such an experience to be had? If it is possible, then the entire chain of experiences following from it (via entailment) would be equally disjointed from, not only the human experiences, but all direct and indirect experiences in the Universal Mind. Otherwise, they could have indirect effects on our sensory experiences. In effect, it would have to be part of a network of experiences that constitute their own independent existence from the network consisting of all direct, indirect, and human experiences. This might sound absurd at first if we imagine these networks having absolutely no relation to each other whatsoever. To imagine such a state of affairs would effectively be to imagine two separate whole existences - two separate Universal Minds - which is not only absurd, but contradictory. The contradiction lies in the meaninglessness of such a notion - that there could be two whole and independent existences in existence. That is, there cannot be an existence in an existence (unless both existences are one and the same), let alone two. For the Universal Mind to be the entirety of existence itself, there can only be one such universe. That's the case if we imagine these two experience networks as fully independent and separate - but does it need to be this way for there to be experiences of the sort we're considering now? Are there experiences that simply can't entail, either directly or indirectly, human experiences even though they have a place in the same Universal Mind as these human experiences? The answer to this question, as we will see, is yes, it is possible for such experiences to exist. In fact, there is more than one scenario that makes them possible. But before we consider these scenarios, we need a word to refer to them. We will call them "irrepresentable experiences" due to their elusiveness to topological representation in our subjective realities. For that matter, we will also define representable experiences as both direct and indirect experiences.

Meaning

Human Experiences

Definition: Irrepresentable vs. Representable Experiences 1) Irrepresentable Experiences: Those experiences that cannot be topologically represented in our subjective realities due to their inability to entail either direct or indirect metaphysical experiences. 2) Representable Experiences: Direct and indirect metaphysical experiences.
What we said above was not so much that irrepresentable experiences must exist as part of a fully separate and independent network of like experiences, none of which could ever have any relation to representable experiences. What we said was that irrepresentable experiences, and those following it through entailment, could have no such relation. But this has no bearing on the experiences that preceded them in the chain. Indeed, it is conceivable that a representable experience could branch in the process of entailing, one branch maintaining its representable status while the other veering into the irrepresentable variety. The latter branch would have to be outcaste from all representable experiences forever, but as they (the irrepresentable and representable experiences) have a common predecessor, they still take place in the same Universal Mind. Another way in which irrepresentable experiences may exist is if they follow from human experiences. That is, given that the experiences that typically exist in the human mind continue to flow

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Flow

even after they leave the mind (this process corresponding to heat loss, efferent signals deployed to muscles and other organs, extraneous physiological processes, etc.), there is no reason to suppose that some of these experiences can't, eventually, become irrepresentable. After this point, however, they would have to be lost to representation in our subjective realities forever. This, of course, is just a different rendition of the previous scenario - that is, a scenario in which a representable experience, in this case a human experience, eventually leads to an irrepresentable one, but there is one important difference that concerns our relation to these irrepresentable experiences. That difference is that in the former scenario, we have absolutely no control over them, whereas in the latter, we do. A third way concerns a point we made in the Basic Theory - namely, that in order to entail a particular experience, some experiences require the cooperation of at least one other experience. The example we used in that paper was the syllogism: All diamonds are carbon. This is a diamond. Therefore, this is carbon. We can never conclude that the inferred object is carbon if either of the premises that all diamonds are carbon, or that this is a diamond - are absent. Now imagine an experience that was entailed by a previous one, both of which are representable, and that the previous experience is reducible to two component ones. If neither of these component experiences can entail, on their own, the ensuing one, then it's quite possible that at least one of them, perhaps both, are irrepresentable. An interesting implication of this is that there may actually be irrepresentable experiences in the midst of, not only representable ones, but direct ones too. In fact, we will have more to say about this in the section Fundamentality below. So we have partitioned experiences into three categories - direct, indirect, and irrepresentable. What's the point? Well, besides clarifying the position we're taking on metaphysics, these distinctions will be important when we consider the multitude of cosmological scenarios that may be possible for the Universal Mind. It is important to understand, from this point on, that when we talk about the Universal Mind, we are talking about the sum total of all experiences - representable and irrepresentable alike. This may seem obvious at first, but it makes a difference when we ask the question: is the Universal Mind exhaustively represented by all the physical systems we are capable of sensing, directly or indirectly, or is there more to the Universal Mind than what can be represented by these physical systems? If the former is the case, then we don't even need to bother with the idea of irrepresentable experiences. Otherwise, we have to keep in mind what can and can't be said about how these irrepresentable experiences relate to the representable ones and the human ones. What we have said about this here will having implications for questions concerning whether anything came before the Big Bang, whether experiences can be further reduced below the level corresponding to the most fundamental particles, whether experiences can correspond to physical systems beyond the three dimensions of known space, and so on. We will not lay out these implication overtly, but instead advise the reader to keep what we have said here in the back of his/her mind as we explore other ideas throughout this paper.

Justification and Equivalence
The meaning we have attributed to the word "metaphysics" should be fairly clear at this point. We now need to make clear the meaning of two more words: "justification" and "equivalence". By "justification", what we mean, in the context of this paper, is that which upholds the being of a given experience. It is more or less the same as what's conveyed by the word "meaning" - that is, the basis upon which an experience, as a real thing, can be sustained - but intended for a different context. The difference in context is as follows. Whereas the meaning of a given experience is unique to that experience alone, its justification belongs more to the class of which that experience is a member. For example, the meaning of a particular thought about the weather may be "if it is raining outside, I ought to bring an umbrella", but it's justification is that it is logical or that it makes good sense to do so. No other thought has the particular meaning just expressed, but many thoughts find their justification in logic and good sense. Logic and good sense belong to the whole class of such thoughts - not all thoughts, of course, as there are others such as memory or fantasy, but logical thinking does define a whole class unto itself.

Meaning

Real Things

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And what about "equivalence"? Equivalence is a bit more complicated a concept. Equivalence is a word we need to use quite frequently when comparing similar experiences. We need to use it in contexts where it might seem more intuitive to use the word "identical". We will show that in our theory, it makes little sense to talk about two or more experiences being identical unless those experiences are literally one and the same. But we will see that there are certain special cases where only the meaning of two or more experiences are identical even though their qualities may not be. In that case, we ought to say that they are equivalent. Both words - "equivalence" and "justification" - will receive their due elaboration in this section, and in the next, we will finally apply these words to the question of why there is existence and how it came to be.

Justification
As we just said, "justification" is a word that applies to whole classes of experiences. But even outside the context of our theory, this is true. For example, whereas mathematicians and logicians might talk about justifying proofs and theorems, lawyers may talk about certain actions being legally justified, moralists may talk about certain actions being morally justified, economists might talk about the most cost effective course of action being economically justified. This can make the meaning of "justification" somewhat ambiguous if taken in too broad a context. Although this is true outside the context of our theory, it is also true within it as well. We already covered one example - namely, logical justification, or justification of good sense - but there is also a sense in which emotions are justified and sensations as well. There are times when we are so moved by our emotions that we feel that the situations invoking them or the actions that they drive just have to be right - or, conversely, that to go against them can't be right based on how wrong it feels. In many such cases, we take this feeling to reflect the moral standing of the situation or action, and thus to be morally justified or unjustified. While it may not be correct in all such situations to describe emotionally laden experiences as having moral standing per se, the general form that justification takes in these situations is certainly that of value. That is, although emotions don't always justify situations or actions morally, it is quite proper to describe them as reflecting value - either goodness or badness - which lends such situations and actions a certain brand of justification akin to morality. In fact, this same brand of justification even extends to physical pleasure and pain - that is, pleasure and pain of the sensory variety. Physical pleasure and pain may not always have moral standing per se, but we certainly deem them, in some sense, to be good and bad (respectively). So whereas moral justification does describe a narrow class of emotional, and perhaps hedonistic, experiences, it is also part of a much broader class of justification that belongs to value laden experiences. Sensations other than pleasure and pain also have their brand of justification, but in a slightly less identifiable way. What I mean by "identifiable" is that we can't always identify, or point out, the justification in and of itself, but sensations always do come with the sense of being justified. I call this kind of justification "existential justification" because it evinces itself through the shear existence of the things being sensed. Putting this another way, we are confronted with the justification of our sensations simply by the fact that we see the real things they project themselves as to really exist, to really be there. That is, we are faced with the fact, whether we understand it or not - that is, whether we understand how it is justified - that these sensations are justified. If it exists - if we are experiencing it - there must be a reason for it, there must be something that necessitates it, there must be something that justifies its being there. The reason why we don't always understand how our sensations are justified is because their justifications stem from the experiences that came before them - that is, the experiences that entailed them - and because these experiences exist prior to our having the ensuing sensations, they are necessarily beyond our minds. So we are confronted with the justified status of our sensations, but without experiencing what it was that justified them. The justification of sensation is much like a passport in that it allows one to enter a foreign country without having to explain or prove that one acquired the passport by legitimate means. In this analogy, the person seeking passage into the country is like the sensory experience, the country itself like the mind the sensory experience seeks passage into, and the passport like the justification carried by the sensory experience. Customs agents require that one produce a passport, but as long as one is able to do this and the passport appears legitimate, the customs agent puts no further demands on the one seeking passage, demands such as

Real Things

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proving the passport was acquired by legitimate means. The customs agent isn't concerned about this. It isn't his/her job to question its legitimacy beyond a fair inspection. He/she simply assumes that if such identification was produced and seems legitimate, then it is legitimate - or justified. The production of the appropriate form of identification is like the encounter with the ontological standing of the things we sense that is, it is like seeing, first hand, that the things we sense are indeed real, and therefore must have earned their justification by some means unbeknownst to us. We don't feel the need to verify how - we just take it for granted. So long as our sensations are able to demonstrate their own justification (by demonstrating their inherent realness), that's good enough for us, and we don't probe further into the source of this justification. Now, although we can't understand the type of justification that upholds our sensory experiences, we are given a representation of it, and that representation is the laws of nature. We already understand that physical systems are sensory representations of experiences beyond our minds and flowing into our minds, and we can now understand that, if this is the case, then the laws of nature through which they seem to play out are the justifications underlying them. But this is a rather broad class of justification. The laws of nature cover an incredibly vast array of phenomena in the universe, phenomena we sense either directly or indirectly - in fact, the whole array it would seem. That is, it covers all representable experiences. There's nothing inconsistent or misconstrued about classifying this type of justification, a type we might call "physical justification", in this way, but it does put it in a light that makes it seem very much like an "other" category that is, the category in which we place all forms of justification that we can't understand. This is important to understand, because if we refer to this type of justification as "physical justification", we don't mean to imply that the laws of nature justify the physical states of things they bring about. The laws of nature may be causally necessary (or as close to necessary as the principles of quantum mechanics allow for), but causal necessity is not the same thing as justification - not even according to our customized definition. A justification, as we are defining it, carries with it, not only the necessity of the experiences it gives rise to and upholds, but the reasons why as well. But we are not given these reasons where the laws of nature are concerned - we are only informed that they exist. Therefore, if we are to classify all experiences represented by our sensations as physically justified, we must understand this to bear a representational connotation as well - that is, physical justification is a term that represents a form of justification of which we really have no conception. It is the form missing from the existential sort of justification that comes with our sensory experiences - the hidden "why" of the existence of physical things. Of course, not all sensory experiences are like this - that is, not all sensory experiences hide from us the means by which they are justified. Higher level sensory processes, such as object recognition or 3D spatial perception, draw their justification from lower level sensory processes such as spot detection or simple line and angle detection. We looked at an example of this in the Advanced Theory when we showed how the perception of a linear sequence of points morphs into the perception of a straight line. In the context of justification, we can say that the linear sequence of points justifies there being a straight line. This form of justification is not logical justification, even though it may sound like it is based on the way we express it. Logical justification is that form of justification that manifests itself through our rational thoughts, and we can recognize this form of justification when we find ourselves engaged in rational thinking. But no thinking is required to recognize a straight line from a linear sequence of points. This recognition depends only on the sensory experience itself. This kind of justification might be described as justification by identity - that is, the presence of a straight line is justified by the shared identity between it and the linear sequence of points. In other words, there is a straight line only because the linear sequence of points is the straight line - their identities are one and the same (but see sidenote ). This is more or less the same kind of justification as the existential kind we spoke of earlier, except that there is more to justifying the presence of the straight line than the simple existence of the linear sequence of points. When we see a straight line, we see that its existence is justified (the existential sort), but we also see where it draws this justification from - namely, the linear sequence of points. We recognize this link as one of identity - that is, the justification that underlies the straight line is that it is the same entity as the linear sequence of points. This type of justification sometimes carries through to other experiences such as when sensations give way to knowledge and memory. Knowledge and memory belong to a class of cognitions that are unlike the one justified by logic and good sense. Their justification is more or less unaltered from when they were rooted in sensations themselves. They are based on the fact that something was experienced to exist and therefore must be themselves justified on the same grounds. For example, we take our memories to be true and accurate reflections of events that were real because that is precisely how we experienced them when we were in their midst - that is, when we were actually sensing them. Same with knowledge. The truth of our knowledge is taken to be justified because it is derived from things or events we once sensed. And what about fantasy that is, the thoughts we fabricate with a full sense of freedom and play? This class of thought is experienced,

Flow

Representable Experiences

A Point on Identity

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not so much as reflections of facts or an independently existing system of logic, but as tools that are at our full disposal. That is, in recognizing our fantasies as such, we know them to be our own fabrications, and thus we have a sense of control over them and a sense that their only existence is rooted in our inventing them. Therefore, their utility is plain for us to see - and that is in their potential to be made into ideas that can be put towards solving problems of one sort or another. These problems can run the gamut from the personal to the public, and the urgency to solve them from self-gratification to altruism. Therefore, if we deem the ideas we invent while fantasizing to be useful towards this end, then they are justified. That is, the type of justification fantasy bears is utility. If it serves some purpose for us, there is justification in its use.

Definition: Justification The common underlying basis upon which a whole class of experiences can be entailed and projected.
I hope this serves to establish an adequate understanding of what we mean by "justification". All experiences are justified in one sense or another. Justification permeates the entirety of the Universal Mind. Everything that exists is justified in its existence, and if the Universal Mind can be summed as one grand unified experience, then we can say that the existence of the Universal Mind is justified. Now it is important to keep in mind our customized definition of "justification", for when we say that the Universal Mind is justified, this is not intended to be taken in any of the conventional meanings of the word - not necessarily, at least. To say that the Universal Mind is justified doesn't necessarily mean that it is logically justified, nor morally justified, nor justified in any one particular sense. The kind of justification that underlies the ultimate experience that is the Universal Mind is a complete synthesis of all forms of justification, the forms that underlie each and every experience therein. As simple and finite beings, we humans understand only a few instances of the numerous types of justification that an experience can be grounded on. This is hardly enough to claim something as bold as an understanding of what justifies the Universal Mind as a whole. We can say that it is justified, based on the fact that our theory leads us to this conclusion, but not how, or even what constitutes this justification. Furthermore, there are complications to consider. It so happens that, based on the definition we have given the word "justification", there can be conflicts. There are scenarios in which a particular experience can be justified in one sense but unjustified in another. Physical pain is such an experience. It is justified in the existential sense - that is, when experienced, it is felt as though it is simply there and that it was given by some source out of our control, and we might even reach beyond existential justification and appeal to physical justification to name this source. On the other hand, it is unjustified in the moral sense - or at least, in the sense that it has no value, or even negative value - that is, it is experienced as something that shouldn't exist yet does. This poses a problem for us. It means that as it concerns the grand justification underlying the Universal Mind, it is rife with conflicts between certain types of justification. Pain exists. We know that. Therefore, the Universal Mind consists, in part, of pain. Thus, it consists of experiences whose justification (the existential sort) conflicts with other forms of justification (the moral or value-based sort). This is a problem we need to deal with. We will deal with it in the section The Problem of Evil below.

Equivalence
There are a couple conditions under which we say that two or more things are identical. We say this when the things in question are actually one and the same thing, or when all their properties are identical in quality and proportion. In the latter case, the things in question are not one thing, but several, and it's the fact that they cannot be told apart except for where they exist in space and time that we call them identical. For example, two baseballs that are exactly the same in terms of their size, their color, their cleanliness, the quality of the stitches and other materials, and all other features can be said to be identical, but if they are indeed two, then there will always be a difference in their place in space and time. It stands to question, therefore, whether they could still be said to be two distinct objects should we somehow take away the properties of space and time that they bear. If their places in space and time are the only features distinguishing them, then to take them away would be to make them unconditionally indistinguishable, and therefore one and the same thing. Although it makes little sense to propose this for physical

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things like baseballs, it makes more sense for metaphysical things - things like numbers, for example. When we talk about numbers, we are not talking about tangible, physical things that exist in the outer world. There is nothing called "a 5" or "a 9" out there. Because of the metaphysical status of numbers, it makes little sense to say of them that there are two or three that are identical. Either they are different numbers, in which case they are not identical in any sense, or there is only one of them. There is no "a 5" or "a 9", there is the number 5 and the number 9. The only kind of identity that makes sense with numbers is the kind in which there is only one of the number in question. This is true of any metaphysical entity whatsoever, the reason being that metaphysical things do not take physical form, and therefore lack the properties of having a place in space and time, which in turn means they can't be distinguish on this basis. Needless to say, this is true of experiences as well. We can easily imagine scenarios in which this doesn't seem to be the case, such as when two individuals come up with the same idea. To think of these ideas as entities in the minds of each individual is to think of them as objects taking a position in space and coexisting simultaneously. This is a misapplication of the objectification process of course. Experiences are poorly understood when objectified. They are better understood when thought of in their projected forms. The ideas had by the two individuals in the preceding scenario, for example, are, when projected, experienced more akin to absolute platonic truths. That is, it is experienced as though it belongs to the metaphysical realm of pure abstract ideals, the realm Plato believed to be truly outer there, beyond the physical realm but accessible to the mind's eye. In this realm, there is only one such truth, one such idea. This is why when these two individuals encounter each other and express their similar ideas, they might say something like "hey, that's my idea" - as if there could only be one, as if the one "stole" it from the other. And if they choose to work cooperatively with each other, agreeing to share in the credit for the idea, they present it as one body of thought on which they both collaborated - not as two distinct ideas that so happen to be identical in their content. There is a good reason why one might think that two identical ideas, each in separate minds, are indeed distinct entities. That reason is that each idea corresponds to a MOD in the brain of the individual whose idea it is. With two separate physical counterparts, distinguished by their locations in space and time, one might be led to believe the corresponding ideas, as metaphysical as they may be, must also be separate and distinct. This reason is not good enough, however, for it overlooks one crucial point. The MODs the ideas correspond to are merely representations in physical or sensory form. It is true that their physicality is what permits them to occupy a place in space and time, and thus distinguish themselves from each other, but as representations, they serve the same denotative function as written symbols on paper denoting, say, the number 5 or the number 9. We may have hundreds of such symbols on one sheet of paper, each representing exactly the same quantity. The symbols themselves, in virtue of their physical form, can coexist at many spots on the sheet of paper, but what they symbolize cannot be so enumerated. There can only be one of the entity symbolized. But perhaps the best way to understand the non-quantified nature of experiences is to think of them in terms of the meaning that sustains them. Meaning is not a tangible thing of which there can be many instances. We always talk about the meaning of an idea, a statement, a work of art, and so on. If we ever find that the meaning of one thing, say a poem, is exactly the same meaning conveyed by another thing, say another poem, we say that the poems mean the same thing, not that there are two meanings, one per poem, that so happen to be identical. So the meaning of an experience is much like numbers in that it has no instances - it only has its own unique, and metaphysical, identity. And because meaning is the underlying basis upon which all experiences justify their realness, the same non-quantified nature belongs to experiences as well. Now, although the manner in which we project our thoughts about truths and logically based ideas can be described as platonic, we are not fully subscribed to platonic theory - at least, not in the context of an independent model of reality, as Plato was. It's all right to think of the existence of this metaphysical realm of ideal forms as real insofar as we understand that it derives its realness from our own minds, and that it is always dependent on our experiencing it as such. This metaphysical realm really is "out there" insofar as this "out there" is also a product of our minds. In other words, Platonism can be grounded within dependent models of reality such as or theory, but it is important to understand what this means. It means that to say that the platonic realm of ideal forms is really "out there" and to say that it is really "in our heads" is actually two different ways of expressing the same thing. This is important to keep in mind for our present discussion because it means that we can't think of concepts as references to something beyond themselves. The entity in our heads - the concept - is not something distinct from the entity "out there". Note the difference between

The Objectification Process

Projection

Meaning

Independent vs. Dependent Models of Reality

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this and the assertion that beliefs are references to things other than themselves. The difference between a belief and a concept vis-à-vis their referentiality is, as noted in the Advanced Theory, the difference between a reference and the referent - that is to say, the belief refers to the concept (if it doesn't refer to some other human experience), but the concept in turn refers to nothing. It just is. The relation, therefore, between a concept and the platonic entity it is taken to be about is not a referential one at all; it is an identity - the thought is the platonic entity. But this oneness between the concept and the platonic entity brings up questions that can't easily be answered by appeal to its identity. For example, if this concept is based on its meaning, and if there cannot be more than one instance of meaning, then what do we say of concepts that are expressed or articulated differently, but projecting as the same platonic entity? If it is expressed or articulated differently, what about it makes it the same underlying concept as its original expression or articulation? There is nothing other than itself that we can appeal to in order to reveal what is being expressed or articulated, no platonic realm beyond itself in which we can search for the referent. But if it is a different expression or articulation, then it can't share the same identity as its original expression or articulation. If the platonic realm really was distinct from it, we could refer to the corresponding entity therein and say that it bears the true identity of the thing being expressed or articulated, but in our theory, we cannot do this. In our theory, the two different expressions constitute different identities, and therefore it stands to question what it means to say that they are different expressions of the same thing. For example, suppose we considered the binomial equation: (x + 2)(x - 2) = x2 - 4 What is it about the left-hand side of the equation that makes it equal to the right-hand side? Common sense tells us that it is the fact that they are two different expressions of the same formula - that is, they are identical. But if so, what is this one identity they both share? Is it something that lies "behind" the expressions? Does it lie far off in some mystical realm of numbers and mathematical relations, a realm akin to the platonic one? Well, one could say this, but not without also acknowledging the mental status of this realm and everything in it. That is, if these two expressions do correspond to a single entity - a number or a preferred mathematical expression - then this entity is no less in the head than the expressions themselves. Consider, for example, a chalkboard on which the binomial equation was written except that no equal sign conjoined the leftand right-hand expressions so that one who is unfamiliar with the binomial equation would have no indication that they are indeed equal. Visually apprehending each expression, one who is at least familiar with the basic rules and notations of algebra understands their meaning. He understands that (x + 2)(x - 2) means that a quantity x with 2 added to it is multiplied by the same quantity x with 2 subtracted from it. Likewise, he understands that x2 4 means the quantity x is raised to the second power and has 4 subtracted from it. Therefore, the visual apprehension leads to a conceptual apprehension. Nonetheless, these conceptions cannot be identical since the one apprehending them still fails to appreciate the central implication of the binomial theorem - namely, that the two conceptions are equal. But this remains true even for those who do appreciate the binomial theorem, for the conceptions in their heads should be no different. Everyone with a rudimentary understanding of algebra should conceptualize (x + 2)(x - 2) the same way, as they should x2 - 4, regardless of whether or not they recognize the equality between them. The only difference is that those who recognize the binomial theorem when they see it understand the two expressions to represent a single mathematical entity. If we were to denote this entity with another variable, say y, then we could write it out, appending it, with an equal sign, to the right of the two expressions above. We would then see that it is just another

The Real Binomial Theorem

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expression, short and succinct as it might be. What this means, however, is that, whether written out or simply held in the conceptual recesses of our minds, this entity is merely another expression - another way of articulating (x + 2)(x - 2) and x2 - 4 - that has no more claim to ideality than the latter two expressions. It is no more the bearer of the formal identity of these expressions than the expressions themselves. To clarify this point even further, we ought to recall the descriptive approach talked about at length in Reality and Perception. At one point, we made the claim that, according to our theory, description is more fundamental than ontology. We said that an experience was, first, a description of a real thing, and only second, the real thing in its full ontological state. Metaphorically speaking, experience is a sort of language that describes reality - but it goes to such depths in its descriptions that it not only describes what's real, but what it means for something to be real. This is why, in the act of describing real things, those things do indeed become real - it exposes us to the very essence of realness. Now, if we can understand experience as fundamentally descriptive, then for any mode of description experience brings to bear on the identity of a thing, that description is the closest thing to the reality of the thing, and, in fact, carries the identity of the thing described. The mathematical expressions above are like this. They are, of course, only analogies for experience and the way they describe reality, but as such, they are very good analogies. As descriptions, they are different expressions or articulations of a quantity or a mathematical relation, each bearing its own unique identity. The question now is: if each one harbors its own unique identity, in what way can we still say they are equal, for we most certainly don't want to deny this? Enter "equivalence" - what we ought to say about the equation above is, not so much that the equality denotes an identity - as though they are one and the same thing - but that they are equivalent. We ought to say this about certain experiences as well. There are certain experiences that bear a special relation to each other such that they are, like the mathematical expressions above, interchangeable. Well, this all makes good sense when it comes to mathematics, but under what condition would this apply to experiences? A prime example of such a condition is when we consider the uniform and homogenous quality of an experience, and then imagine it being broken up into its component experiences. We considered such a case in the Basic Theory when we imagined the full and singular experience of "seeing a park". We can imagine this as one whole experience, uniform and homogenous, if we considered such a description - that is, of "seeing a park" - as the sole property that defines the experience. Yet, we can also imagine, much more easily, that this experience is decomposable into more basic experiences - such as seeing a playground, a park bench, a pond, children playing, etc. In this case, it would be better to say that the latter set of experiences, when considered together, are equivalent to the singular experience of "seeing a park". But it might seem that an identity is also formed here. After all, isn't the experience of "seeing a park" just the sum of the component experiences thus considered? When we talk about the experience of "seeing a park", are we not also talking about the collective experience of seeing a playground, a park bench, a pond, children playing, etc.? A better example should suffice to show how this is not necessarily the case. Consider one of the component experiences - say the sight of the park bench. We can decompose this experience even further - we can talk about the sight of wooden planks, of bolts, of metal stands, etc. Consider one of the bolts. We can decompose this sight into scratches, dents, paint chips, and other such blemishes. Consider one such blemish - a tiny speck barely visible to the eye. Now comes to crucial step. Let's ask ourselves the same question: can the sight of this speck be decomposed even further? Well, if it's barely visible, it wouldn't seem it can. But remember what we said about this point in the Advanced Theory when we discussed how the concept of epistemic awareness can be applied to experiences that feel uniform and homogenous, such as emotions and sights of specks like the one on the bolt. We said:

Real Things

Epistemic Awareness

Something else the reader might notice is how epistemic awareness is being used here to explain, a little more clearly, what we meant in the Basic Theory by the "uniformity" and "homogeneity" of experiences. That is, when we said that experiences ought to be thought of as uniform and homogeneous, we were talking about what it feels like to be epistemically aware of an experience. If we notice meticulous details in an experience, such as looking at a Persian rug, this reflects the multitude of acknowledgements entailed by each and every detail in question. In other words, a complex, heterogeneous experience like this is actually a

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collection of more simple, homogeneous experiences that we are epistemically aware of. If there are no more fine-grained acknowledgements below the level of the smallest details, the details must be considered uniform and homogeneous. It reflects the fact that we can only be epistemically aware of so much detail, and beyond a certain limit, we can make out nothing more (and, of course, we've already seen that some experiences, such as a cup, are more than the sum of their parts, such as the lines, shapes, colors, etc., and therefore are already uniform and homogeneous in virtue of being something distinct from the details). The essential character of these homogenous experiences may just be the "average" of the unique and diverse qualities of all its component experiences, much like the overall colors of the pixels on a screen are the average of their red, green, and blue components. We are only epistemically aware of this average.
And there you have it. The uniformity and homogeneity of an experience amounts to an average. The sight of the speck is the average of all its component experiences, the latter hidden in epistemic unconsciousness. Even if it corresponds to a single neuron, there are still plenty of experiences, abundant in qualitative diversity, corresponding to the components of the neuron, to all the molecular and chemical activity therein. But here's the catch - an average doesn't really exist. If you take a bunch of test scores and derive the average, chances are that no one test taker scored exactly that average. Similar reasoning applies to the color of a pixel. A pixel may look orange from far away, but there are only certain degrees of red, green, and blue - no orange. Well, perhaps I'm being too harsh by saying that the average doesn't exist. After all, in the case of test scores, the average comes into existence when the tester derives it. Likewise, the color orange comes into existence when the viewer sees it (or the colors mix). But how does the average experience come into existence from its components? How does the speck we see on the bolt actually exist as a visual experience if no such experience exists at the level of its components, at the level of molecular and chemical activity? The solution to this problem emerges when we apply the concept of equivalence - that is, when we say that the collection of experiences corresponding to this molecular and chemical activity is equivalent to its average, to the sight of a speck on a bolt. We are not saying that the sum of the component experiences is identical to the average (it couldn't be), we are saying they are equivalent. To fully understand how this brings the average experience into being, or onto the same ontological footing as the component experiences, we really have to understand, in a very profound way, what it means for these experiences to be descriptive first and real only second. It means that it doesn't matter which description whether the sum of the component experiences or their average - we employ. We could either describe those experiences corresponding to the molecular and chemical activity - or - the average, the speck on the bolt. Neither one has priority over the other. They are interchangeable.

Qualitative Diversity

Definition: Equivalence When the meanings of two or more experiences, or sets of experiences, are interchangeable, such as when one experience reduces to its components, the (sets of) experiences in question are equivalent.
There are two general conditions under which this holds: 1) when one whole experience, uniform and homogenous, reduces to a set of component experiences, and 2) when the meaning of a set of experiences is identical to that of a set of qualitatively

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distinct experiences. In the latter case, and the former for that matter, we are justified in describing the meaning of each set of experiences as identical rather than equivalent because when it comes to sets of experiences, the overall meaning of such sets must be an average. That is to say, whereas each experience in the set has its own unique meaning, the meaning of the set itself cannot be attached to any one experience and must be understood as the derivative of the averaging of all meanings therein. In that case, the average meanings of two sets, though their members might have no similarities to each other whatsoever, can be said to be one and the same, and therefore identical - much like the averages of two sets of test scores, if equal, are said to be identical. Similar reasoning follows for the case of the equivalence between one set of experiences and one single experience on its own. It is in virtue of this that we can say that the same meaning can be described in multiple ways that is, by a variety of qualitatively distinct sets of experiences.

Principle: The Conditions of Equivalence There are two conditions under which one set of experiences is equivalent to another: 1) When one whole experience, uniform and homogenous, reduces to a set of component experiences. 2) When the meaning of one set of experiences is identical to the meaning of another set of experiences. Principle: Identical Meanings of Equivalent Experiences Although two or more (sets of) experiences may be equivalent, their meanings are always identical. This is because a set of experiences can only have a singular meaning if that meaning is derived as the average of all meanings, each belonging to one of the individual experiences of the set.
It is no different with mathematics or with meaning in ordinary language. With mathematics, one could take, say, a single number like 1 and substitute it with an expression like .5 +. 5, and it would still signify the same quantity. One could choose from a whole variety of expressions such as .1 + .9, or .25 + .25 + .25 + .25, or 10 - 9, or 1 -1 + 1, and so on. With meaning, one could take, say, a single word like "horse" and substitute it with any of the definitions found in a typical dictionary, such as "a large four-legged animal with solid hoofs and a mane and tail of long, coarse hair". In both these cases, neither mode of expression takes precedence over the others. No one is more "real" or more "true". There may be one that's more convenient or succinct than the others, but certainly not any more valid, not any more justified. It is the same with the meaning of experiences. For all conditions under which equivalence is the type of relation two or more experiences bear to each other, those experiences are interchangeable and it doesn't matter which one is described - either by us or by the experiences themselves. Grasping this concept may be incredibly difficult. We are so used to thinking of things as objectified entities residing in existence in the sense that independent models of reality would portray them. It is extremely difficult, therefore, not to do this for experiences, but we must remember that in a dependent model of reality, such as our theory, experiences play the role of the basis for things to be real and in existence. Experiences are not objects in existence any more than the meaning of words on a page are physically there in the page itself. In fact, the reason why the analogies above - those of mathematics and the meaning of words found in a dictionary -

Revisiting The Binomial theorem

The Objectification Process

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Independent vs. Dependent Models of Reality

work so well is because experiences are actually closer to these in similarity than they are to physical objects. To imagine experiences as objects makes it all the more difficult to understand how there could be one particular experience, yet another experience standing in for it without coexisting with it - that either description of the universe is a proper one. Yet there is no basis upon which we can proclaim any one experience as the "real" one and the others simply waiting to pop into existence should there be a need to replace it. Where their realness is concerned, they are all on equal footing, but this is not to say that they coexist, just that it is either/or - that is, it is either one experience or the other, but without a determined answer to the question "Which is it?" Or, the put it another way, the answer is "It depends on the description." Something else that depends solely on the description employed, taken straight out of the discipline of physics, is the relative motion of objects. Einstein's famous relativity theory tells us that for an object to move relative to another, it really depends on one's description. If one describes the first object as moving relative to the second - whether in words or merely by his/her own observation - then that is a legitimate description and is, for all intents and purposes, true. If, however, he/she describes the second object as moving relative to the first, that too is a legitimate and true description. It's not as though one description is the "right" one and all others "wrong", but it isn't as though both descriptions are true simultaneously either. It's that they are interchangeable. The exact same reasoning applies to time dilation. When one approaches the speed of light, his/her time dilates - it passes more slowly relative to someone else who remains at rest. Yet neither one's clock measures time at the "right" rate. It depends on whose description of the rate of time we consult. Thus, the theory of relativity is yet another useful analogy for understanding the notion of interchangeable experiences and the concept of equivalence. At this point, it should be obvious where equivalence is best applied - to the reduction of experiences from higher scales to lower ones. If it were physical reduction we were considering, we could still speak in terms of identity. We could still say that a rock and the network of atoms that makeup that rock are identical - they are one and the same object. But where the reduction of experiences is concerned, we need to speak in terms of equivalence - at least, when we want to describe the experiences at higher scales as uniform and homogenous. This is, in fact, what we will want to do when we talk about the ultimate experience of the Universal Mind. We will want to consider it from the perspective of a whole singular experience, and therefore as one that is uniform and homogenous in its defining qualitative character. When we do this, we will have the opportunity to explore the concept of equivalence further, and therefore gain much of the needed clarity of this (probably) obscure concept.

Relativity Theory

Foundations and Origins
Scientists nowadays tell us that the universe began with a colossal explosion roughly 13.7 billion years ago. They call this event the Big Bang. All matter and energy, they say, was compacted into an incredibly dense and comparatively small mass. Some say this mass was a singularity; others are more skeptical about this claim. Many say that it was not only matter and energy that spewed forth from this wellspring of creation, but space and time as well - that is, there was no space or time before the Big Bang - or so they say. We don't really know with any certainty what the events surrounding the Big Bang were, what its precise state was at the instant of explosion, or what came before. Indeed, the question of what came before may not even make sense if we assume that time began with the Big Bag. If time began with the Big Bang, then before that there was no time to speak of, and thus no "before". This is difficult for us to imagine since we conceive of time as a dimension - infinite in both directions. In this section, however, we will see that there are indeed ways to understand this. We will consider cases in which time did not begin with the Big Bang, but also cases in which it did yet with forms of existence that came "before" - the word "before" will take on a slightly different meaning in the latter case, but we will make possible a conceivable scenario. Needless to say, there will be many parameters to consider as we explore various scenarios - parameters such as whether the Big Bang marks the beginning or not, whether there are irrepresentable experiences in the universe or not (which opens us to the possibility of a "greater" universe), whether there is a fundamental level to the universe beyond which no further reduction can be undertaken, whether non-determinism is the best description of the nature of quantum mechanical phenomena, and so on. It is inevitable that some of these considerations will spill over into subsequent sections, but they all begin in this one. The reader would do well to heed the warnings voiced in the introduction to this paper - namely, that we are only exploring

The Big Bang

Irrepresentable vs. Representable Experiences

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different possibilities, not a formal position on which we are taking a firm stand. Nonetheless, this is the section in which we address the most pressing question that remains for our theory - why there is existence at all and whence did it come. A good starting point would be to set aside considerations of the Big Bang and assume, for the moment, that the universe is retrospectively eternal. This will be conducive to one approach to the problem of existence in particular - namely, to understand the underlying basis for existence as it stands independently of time. We will then bring the Big Bang back into consideration for a look at the origins of the universe as they are found at the dawn of time. What we want to show, in the former case, is that a full account for existence need not be rooted in temporal origins - not necessarily. This may seem strange since for any given experience, we find its justification by appeal to its predecessor - that is, the experience that came before it. And to find the justification for the latter experience, we appeal to the one before that. We do this until, supposedly, we come to either a "first experience" or we keep this procedure up ad infinitum. Both these options are untenable however. The former is untenable because an experience always needs the support of another in order to exist - it needs to be entailed - and so the notion of a "first experience" is absurd on its face. But the latter is also untenable because, although all experiences are entailed in this case, we fail to find the justification for the whole - that is, we fail to find that which accounts for the mere existence of the Universal Mind. The question "Why does it exist in the first place?" is unanswered. Although we will reconsider the tenability of a "first experience" when we revisit the Big Bang, showing in what way it actually is tenable, for now we will assume that both options are not options at all, and therefore our search for an account of existence must start from within a timeless context.

Justification

Entailment

Foundations
Let us repeat that what we mean by the Universal Mind is all experiences that are had, ever were had, and ever will be had. We mean all such experiences whether they are representable or irrepresentable, whether they were had after the Big Bang, during, or before. The proper context in which to understand this is a timeless one. We expounded upon this near the end of both the Advanced Theory and Determinism and Free-Will, and the reader should have a firm grasp of the concept at this point. Having said that, we also want to consider the Universal Mind as one whole singular experience - uniform and homogenous - which means that the experience that meets this description is the equivalent of the tapestry of experiences, chalk full of qualitative diversity and abundant in components, that fill the universe in its more dizzyingly complex form with which we are familiar. If the reader wishes, he/she may assign the name "God" to this experience, maintaining respect, of course, for the "do's" and "don'ts" that go along with this entitlement, as I know he/she will . Now to the central question: What is this experience and how is it justified? How can it sustain itself, or even come into existence in the first place, if there are no other experiences to entail it? What I intend to prove is that this is the wrong question to ask when it comes to an experience of this sort.

Universal Mind

Irrepresentable vs. Representable Experiences

Equivalence

Justification

Meaning

The question is just fine if it concerns particular experiences - that is, experiences of particular things in existence - but not existence itself. Particular experiences need other experiences in order to justify themselves. By themselves, they cannot account for their existence. They certainly prove their existence by simple manifestation, but this is like the visitor to a foreign country proving his/her right to pass by show of passport. It proves he/she has the right to pass, but not how he/she earned this right. To see an object, say a flower, is to apprehend the meaning "there is a flower there", but nothing in this meaning explains why that flower is there. That account is to be found only in the experience that entailed it. In essence, no particular experience ever explains existence in and of itself; it only explains a particular thing that exists. All particular experiences give us particular things, and as particular things, they need something more to account for themselves. No particular thing is the whole of existence, and therefore can only exist in virtue of being a part of the whole. For it to explain its existence, therefore, it necessarily must refer to that part of the whole to which it is connected - namely, those experiences that entailed it. This is the very essence of what it is to be particular - to be less than the whole, but connected to it in its own unique way. It is this necessary connection that raises the question of its account. It raises the question "What is its connection to existence?", which is really a rephrasing of the question "Why does it exist?" What, then, would become of this question if it were turned onto the whole? What would compel us to ask, "What is the connection of existence to existence?"

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Prjection

The Essence of Realness

Existence is existence. It exists by definition. Definitions are what's at heart here. All experiences are definitions in a manner of speaking. We've already taken the perspective of experiences as descriptions, but what exactly do they describe? They describe the essence of things - that is, they define the things they project - more than that, they define what it is for those things to be real. They define the essence of realness as it manifests in particular things. Therefore, the ultimate experience that is the Universal Mind is a description, a definition, of what existence is - not just from the limited vantage point of finite beings like ourselves, but in its deepest essence. To ask, "Why does existence exist?" is to ask, "Why is existence existence?" Existence is existence by definition. It is pointless to ask the question and reflects great confusion on the part of the asker. The Universal Mind is the definition of existence, and as such, needs no further account. This argument is much like the one often made for the eternal standing of universal truths. Take a right triangle, for example. A right triangle is, by definition, a three sided polygon for which one of its angles is 90 degrees. Now, this definition holds whether or not there exists an actual universe. It would hold if all matter and energy, all of space and time, and the whole of the entire universe were to completely disappear. Even if there never were anything in existence - not even existence itself - right triangles would still be three sided polygons with one angle at 90 degrees. This is an immutable fact - pure and simple - and as such, it is not the sort of thing whose existence one questions. It doesn't come into existence - not like the more tangible constituents of the universe. It is immutable and eternal. It is self-sufficient in sustaining itself. Existence, we are saying, is like this. It is fundamentally a definition that holds unconditionally and doesn't dependent on anything to sustain it. It is not even the sort of thing whose existence - that is, how it came to be - can be questioned. Yet, this still leaves us with an unsavory feeling. Definitions can't give rise to the existence of things, can they? Definitions can't be that potent, can they? I understand the definition of a flower, but I don't see flowers materializing before me on account of this. Well, the sorts of definitions we comprehend in a cognitive light, like our understanding of "flower", project themselves in a different manner - namely, as truths or facts. That is to say, my understanding of the definition of a flower may fail to force that flower into existence before my eyes, but it certainly succeeds in forcing that definition to be true - at least, for me to take it as such. In other words, I can't help but to deem the statement "a flower is a plant that blooms colorful petals in a radial pattern" as true by definition. But the kinds of definitions required for flowers to appear before my eyes - that is, for flowers to exist in the world of sensation - is of a different sort. It is not only a definition of what a flower is, but of what it is for that flower to be "there". In what other way could a thing exist before one's very eyes by definition except by that definition constituting the meaning of a sensation of such? Words will never do. Human communication will never do. To rely on the latter would be as effective as trying to describe color to a man blind from birth. Such a man needs to be struck with the experience of color itself. Experience, therefore, is a very peculiar kind of defining power - it defines, not only the particular things experienced in their unique and diversified forms, but always adds their existence (or truth or other forms of justification, etc.) into the definition so that it must be said that they exist by definition. This is the advantage experiences have over conceptual or lingual definitions - they are so much more versatile. They can convey information that no other language can. Reality, at base, is information being communicated, and it tells us precisely what it means for things to exist. But incorporating existence into the definition of things is not quite the same as defining existence. It means nothing to define something as necessarily existing unless "existing" can be defined in turn. It is the ultimate experience of the Universal Mind that serves this function. As such, its existing doesn't need to be incorporated into its own definition as it does for particular things. Otherwise, such a definition would be fatally circular, and thus couldn't function as a definition at all. It is simply the definition of existence, expressed in the language of experience, and thus needs no further recourse to the meaning of existence as particular definitions do. What's left unanswered is what this experience - the experience that defines existence - is like. But we don't need this answer in order to draw the conclusion we are led to at this point namely, that as the fundamental definition of existence, the Universal Mind needs no further account for how it exists. Its existence is given by definition. Thus, insofar as our current considerations are concerned namely, that we take the Universal Mind in its timeless or eternal context - the question of its existence is moot and need not be asked.

Justification

Definition: The Experience of Existence The ultimate experience had by the Universal Mind when considered in its utmost holistic form - uniform and homogenous - whose meaning defines existence,

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and thereby serves as its own justification for, and is self-sufficient in upholding, its own existence. Principle: The Self-Sufficiency of the Experience of Existence Because the experience of existence is self-sufficient in virtue of defining existence, it exists by definition. Therefore, to question its existence is to be gravely misguided.
As far beyond us as the experience of existence is, we can nevertheless say a few things about it. We've already established that it must be the experience of what existence is in essence, and by projecting itself, it establishes its own ontology. Furthermore, it must also serve as its own justification - that is, it must apprehend its own reason for being. Otherwise, it would depend on some other experience in order to find its justification. As we have seen, this is possible only for the Universal Mind as a whole, for only the Universal Mind exists by definition and not on account of something other than itself. Essentially, it needs to be an experience that, not only reveals what existence is, but reveals it as the only thing it can be - and, in fact, must be. To put this another way, if it were possible for this revelation to be exposed to humans, it would impress us not merely as what existence is but what existence would have to be - that is, we would say "now that makes sense". The feeling of "making sense" comes straight out of meaning. We have seen this in the Basic Theory when we expounded the role of meaning as that which justifies the experience, explaining not just the being of that which is experienced but the "why" of its being. The experience of existence would have to be grounded in this sense without the need to appeal to anything other than itself. It would have to draw its own "why" directly from the "what" of its being - that is, what it is would also have to be the very reason for why it is. Furthermore, it would have to apprehend itself to be existence and an experience in one stroke. That is to say, if we hold true to our conviction that all existence is based on experience, and is one with it, then the "what" of existence would have to be the "what" of experience - and as an experience, it would have to behold itself as this "what". Now, this may come across as somewhat difficult to comprehend, but this is due primarily to our limitations as humans - to our inability to conceptualize mind and reality as one thing. Instead, we are forced into a dualistic framework wherein the best we can do to uphold monism is declare mind and reality to be two forms of the same thing. But if indeed they are one, then this one thing is what all of existence is, and therefore any definition of existence must also be the definition of this one mind/reality entity - the definition of experience (going a little beyond our customized one ). Because the being of existence is rooted in the experience of such, this experience is self-revelatory - that is, it is an apprehension of its own "what". This experience, then, is very much like a thought, an understanding. It couldn't literally be an understanding at least, not the kind we humans are familiar with - but this is a very good analogy. If it is like an understanding, then when it projects itself, it becomes like a principle. We could liken it, then, to the fundamental principle upon which all existence is based, the principle that justifies existence and makes it necessary. Formally put (although it is still an analogy), it is an understanding of how itself, as this very understanding, sustains its own existence. This is, I'm aware, somewhat of a convoluted description, and the reader may want to read it again and think about it a few times over. But once this description is digested well in the mind, and a clear perspective of how it summarizes what we have been saying up to this point is attained, then we can offer it as the formal definition of the experience of existence, of the Universal Mind of God.

Projection

Justification

Meaning

Other Definitions

Definition: God - The Universal Mind A metaphorical understanding of how itself, as this very understanding, sustains its own existence.

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This is enough for it to sustain its own existence. The understanding sustains the truth of the principle by projecting it, and in turn the principle sustains the understanding by grounding it - they are mutually co-sustaining.

Objections
One objection that comes immediately to mind is that this way of construing the experience of existence sounds rather circular. In fact, it sounds circular in two ways: 1) the definition itself sounds circular - at least, when put in terms of an understanding sustaining a principle and that principle sustaining the understanding - and 2) our argument sounds circular. The apparent circularity in the latter becomes evident when we consider it as follows. We set out to "tie up loose ends" that were left behind at the close of the Advanced Theory, and the account given here of the experience of existence meets these ends. In short, our theory depends on it. Yet, at the same time, the account draws its reasoning from the tenets of the theory itself. In short, it depends on our theory. I contend that in both cases, the circularity is only virtual, and stems from a deep misunderstanding of both the theory and the account of the experience of existence. In this section, we will trace this misunderstanding to its source and root it out. Let's begin with the second form of this objection - namely, the objection that our argument is circular. The question we are answering in this paper is "Why is there something and not nothing?" This question represents the "loose end" that we left untied at the end of the Advanced Theory. The approach we are taking to tying it together in this paper, however, is not so much to answer the question, but to show how the question itself is misguided. What we showed was that existence must exist by definition. Existence is of such a nature that it could not fail to exist. Now, this is true regardless of whether MM-Theory is the correct theory of the universe or not. It makes no sense for nothing to be since nothing is the direct antithesis of existence - it cannot be. In other words, if, at the end of the Advanced Theory, we were left asking, "How does existence exist in the first place?" then we now know this question rests on a profound misunderstanding of the nature of existence, and therefore there really was no loose end to tie up. The Advanced Theory is sufficient, in and of itself, to account for all of existence. So if there was no loose end, then that knocks out one of the pillars supporting the (apparent) circularity of our present argument. Rather than say that our theory depends on our present argument for completion, we should say that, in fact, our present argument shows that it doesn't. Our theory does shed some light on the nature of existence, however, providing us with a more in-depth appreciation for it. In fact, it really aims to strike at the heart of existence, not necessarily exposing it for what it is, but tying our conscious experiences into it such that for every experience we have, we can say that we are in direct contact with it. We sense the realness in everything we experience, and we gain an appreciation for its justification in the way our experiences flow. That is, we perceive the "what" of our experiences as something real, and the "why" as something justified. In generalizing this tendency to all experiences, we leave no experience unaccounted for. Every experience, we say, is justified. And if the question of existence is an invalid one - that is, if to ask why existence exists is to misunderstand its very nature - then in leaving no experience unaccounted for, our theory says all it needs to say. But how do we become misguided in the first place? That is, what is it about existence itself that compels us to ask where it gets its foundations? The answer is simple: as a mental construct, we objectify existence. That is, when we formulate the mental model of existence, we imbue it with the essence of "thing-ness". As a "thing", even an abstract thing, we tend to assume that it exists in existence like all other things. We can rightfully imagine a particular thing, like a car or a bird, being in existence, and so we can imagine it not being in existence, which demonstrates its unnecessity, and thus leads us to question its existence, asking why it's there or where it came from. When we objectify existence, however, we make the mistake of assuming the same right to imagine its absence, and therefore question its existence. Objectification reduces a thing to a particular. As something in existence, a particular is reduced to something less than existence. A particular, as we've seen, may manifest its own existence, but it fails to demonstrate its reasons for existing. To get at its reasons, we have to trace it back through its causes, or in the case of experiences, through its antecedent experiences. So the objectification of existence itself, in reducing it to a particular, persuades us to search for its reasons for being elsewhere, in something other than itself or in some past time.

Justification

Flow

The Objectification Process

Mental Models

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As to the other form of the objection - that the experience of existence supports itself in a circular way - let me first note that there is only one thing - not two that are, namely, the understanding and the principle. We are limited to the conception of two things because of the dualistic perspective we are forced to take of the relation between mind and reality. Second, let me remind the reader that this relation - between the understanding and the principle - is not a referential one but one of identity; the understanding is the principle. This is more akin to a tautology - that is, it is more a consequence of the law of identity - that a thing is necessarily itself. It just so happens that, based on how we defined "experience", the thing an experience is is also the thing it experiences - thus, it always experiences itself. We are used to thinking of this sort of relation as the referential kind because we are used to separating the experience from the experienced, but in fusing the two together, we find the notion of "referentiality" superfluous and expendable. Expending it thus, it is replaced by identity - that is, the notion that an experience can experience itself, which, though not easily grasped perhaps, does make sense in the end insofar as such a notion defines experience. It is on this basis that we say that the experience of existence is self-sustaining. It experiences itself as the principle that sustains the very thing it actually is.

Justification

MODs

What makes this experience different from all others is that the principle also justifies its own self-reliance that is, its independence from anything outside itself. This comes straight out of the quality of the principle itself. It is unique among all other experiences in that the thing it becomes when projected has this power the power to stand independently. To be sure, we ought to recall the "infinite pool of experiences" from the Basic Theory and what we said about the relation between it and physical systems (or MODs as it were in that paper). The relation was that if it is possible physically - that is, if a hypothetical physical system is possible in the world we perceive with our senses - then there is an experience in the pool that matches that system perfectly - "matching", in this case, meaning playing the role of the reason the physical system has for its behavior. So if we were to construe existence itself as one gargantuan physical system, then there is an experience from the pool that matches it - the behavior it provides a reason for being the simple act of existing. Of course, at this point in our discussion, we have gone far enough beyond "physical systems" in their limited and sensory bound forms to ponder whether this relation deserves a grander formulation. That is to say, existence in its entirety consists of more than just physical systems, for we have taken into consideration irrepresentable experiences and a timeless context. The former stretches the scope beyond that which can be represented as physical systems, and the latter renders any notion of behavior - a time bound concept vague. Well, at its root, the relation between physical systems and the pool of experiences is really a relation between this pool and what can be empirically verified, for physical systems are, according to MM-Theory, empirical experiences. Existence is certainly empirically verifiable if nothing else is. There may be parts of it that are inaccessible to such verification - namely, irrepresentable experiences - but it is not the whole that needs verification, for even evidence of a small portion is evidence of the whole. As for its behavior, there certainly is empirical evidence for that too, even if we are limited to verifying it in its spatially and temporally expanded form. In its spatially and temporally expanded form, the universe is most definitely "behaving", and the act of "existing" is simply what this behavior collapse into when this space-bound and time-bound form is removed from our considerations, and the timeless context reintroduced. To put it succinctly, we have every right to attribute an experience from the infinite pool to existence as a whole because, very simply, existence exists. And in virtue of the pools infinite variety, there is bound to be just the right kind of experience to match that which we are attributing it to, even if that thing is existence itself. If it seems like an odd sort of experience in virtue of its self-reliance, a property possessed by no other experience, we can appeal to the infinite diversity of experiential qualities in the experience pool and remember that this allows for any experience needed to account for the behavior of any physical system, even if that physical system is existence itself. The proverbial argument that the entire works of William Shakespeare will come out of an infinite number of monkeys typing at an infinite number of typewriters comes to mind. Given an infinite amount of time and resources, the argument goes, anything you can imagine will eventually come out of a process that works, in a random manner, with these resources. Likewise, given an infinite number of experiences, each unique in its defining qualitative characteristic, we will eventually come across one that feels precisely like a full understanding of what the essence of existence is. The experience is not circular; it just depicts, by shear happenstance, its own justification. In conclusion, therefore, we can say that the experience of existence certainly exists - it can be had - and in the case of this particular experience, if it can be had, it will be had, for as a definition, its existence doesn't wax and wane through time. That is to say, unlike a physical object which may come into and go out of existence, definitions are eternal and unchanging. They hold unconditionally. Therefore, if the experience of existence can be had and thus is had - it will be projected by its own experiential self-awareness, and if it is projected, it will be the principle serving as its own foundation.

Cause vs. Reason

Irrepresentable Experiences

Experiential Awareness

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Origins
Even if we took into consideration the Big Bang, we needn't attribute the origins of the universe to it. Although the majority of scientists subscribe to the view that the universe began with the Big Bang, space and time finding their origins there as well, they usually admit that this view hardly ranks as full incontestable knowledge. No one knows, ultimately, whether the Big Bang marks the origins of the universe, space and time along with it, or if there was some form of existence before. But in this section, we will consider such a view - that the Big Bang marks the beginning - and see how our theory can account for this.

Definition: First Experience An experience that no prior experience entailed. Arguably, the experience corresponding to the Big Bang.
It certainly seems strange that there should be a "first experience" - but if an experience must be associated with an original event that ignited the universe, this experience would have to be the first one ever. We noted earlier the reason why this seems absurd - namely, that to trace all experiences back to this one, we need to follow the path blazed by entailment, but that at no point could we ever come up against an experience for which no prior one entailed it. All particular experiences must be entailed in order to be had. So how could there be a first? This is not so great a problem for the experience of existence - the ultimate experience had only by the Universal Mind when all its past, present, and future states are considered in one whole. We have difficulty with the notion of a first experience because, by associating it with one event in time, we deny it the lofty status of the experience of existence - a status whereby it needs no account other than itself in order to justify its existence. In time, however, all experiences are justified by the ones prior to them. We must solve this problem if we are going to recognize the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe. When it comes to entailment, it is presupposed that the antecedent experience and the ensuing one are qualitatively distinct from each other - otherwise, what it means for the former to entail the latter comes into question. That is, if we imagine that the quality or identity of the antecedent experience is utterly unchanged as it morphs into the ensuing one, it becomes doubtful whether it morphed at all, and it stands to question how such an experience could remain static for any extended duration without perishing. But at this point, we might consider the applicability of equivalence to a case like this. That is, although the antecedent and ensuing experiences must bear distinct identities, they might nevertheless be equivalent. It's certainly not the case that all instances of entailment are examples of equivalence. If the sight of a shiny red bicycle reminds me of the bicycle I got for Christmas when I was a kid, we couldn't say that the visual experience is equivalent to the memory (i.e. they are not interchangeable). So the question, then, becomes "Are there any cases of entailment that are also cases of equivalence?" One possible case is that of the universe as a whole, but considered only for one instant in time - that is, if we took the experience that the Universal Mind was having at any one point in time, then it might just be the case that its relation to all such experiences at all other points in time is one of equivalence. So the experience that the Universal Mind is having right at this instant in time is equivalent to the experience it is about to have in the very next instant, and to the experience in the instant after that, and yet again after that, and so on. It is also equivalent to the instant that has just past, and the instant before that, and yet again before that, and so on. In essence, the experience the Universal Mind is having at every moment is always the same one but felt in different forms. There is no reason, therefore, that it could not be the very experience of existence outlined in the previous two sections. The universal experience at any one instant would be sufficient in and of itself to sustain its own existence, but also capable of expressing itself in an infinite plethora of forms.

Equivalence

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The Conditions of Equivalence

We would have to conceive of it as harboring the potential to morph into these different forms without losing the essential criteria that makes it the experience of existence. This proves more troublesome than we might at first guess, for it seems to conflict with the two conditions we setup for equivalence relations to hold namely, that either a set of experiences is equivalent to another singular experience, or that two distinct sets of experiences are equivalent. Here, we seem to be saying that one singular experience - that had by the universe at one instant in time - is equivalent to another singular experience - that had by the universe at another instant in time. This certainly clashes with the principle of The Conditions of Equivalence. We will address this issue and resolve it in the next section, but for now, let's go ahead with this line of argument and consider the experience of the universe at each instant in time in its more complex and diversified form - that is, not as a uniform and homogeneous whole - that is, at a more reduced level (say, at the human level). There is no issue when it comes to sets of experiences, for that meets one of the conditions for equivalence outlined above, and so we will focus our discussion around such sets. We will maintain that these sets bear equivalence to the experience of existence, but without worrying too much about what that entails for the experience of existence as each set morphs into another. There is something special in store for this matter, as we will see in the next section - something that will not only resolve this dilemma, but strike at the heart of the matter concerning the origins of the universe - that is, the first experience. One thing this idea tells us - the idea of each instant being equivalent to each other instant - is that equivalence can function as a form of entailment, but not necessarily all the time (see sidenote ), and not all entailment is necessarily equivalence. This makes sense - if two or more experiences are equivalent, they should certainly be able to entail each other, but it doesn't mean they always will. Another thing this tells us is that when equivalence functions as entailment, it seems to be by way of a rearranging or a reconfiguring of the component experiences from the antecedent experience to the ensuing one. That is to say, if the antecedent experience A was composed of experiences a1 and a2 and the ensuing experience B was composed of experiences b1 and b2, then the combination of b1 and b2, when considered together, would simply be a different description of the combination a1 and a2 considered together. In other words, if A = B (vis-à-vis equivalence), then a1a2 = b1b2. If A and B represent the experiences had by the universe at two instants in time, then the configuration of all component experiences of A are equivalent to the configuration of all component experiences of B. Note that it is the configurations that are equivalent, not any one component from A to any one component from B. The entailment of one particular experience from another is rarely ever a case of equivalence. If it is not, then when this happens, the identity of the whole changes in such a way that the equivalence no longer holds. Some other change must occur - some other experience morphing in parallel to the first - in order to compensate for the loss of equivalence and thereby restore it. We explored this idea in Determinism and Free-Will when we explained the laws of cause and effect in terms of one event (the effect) compensating for the changes brought about by another event (the cause). We said that this was necessary in order to maintain the "balance" of the universe - this balance being the steady and persistent identity, or equivalence relation, of the universe throughout the whole of time. We likened it to a mathematical equation whereby any change to one side must be compensated for by a change of equal proportion to the other. Here, we give a similar example:

Entailment and Equivalence

1 = .5+.5 = .4+.6 = .3+.7 = ...
In the equation above, we can represent 1 as the experience of existence, whole and uniform, and the first expression to its right (.5+.5) as one configuration of its component experiences. We might allocate this configuration to one point in time such that it represents the state of the universe at that time. The other configurations (.4+.6 and .3+.7), therefore, represent succeeding moments in time whereby the state of the universe at the initial moment gives way to these ensuing moments. They are all equivalent because they all maintain their equality to 1, but they are different configurations - different ways of expressing or describing the experience - of 1, the experience of existence. Obviously, .5 does not equal .4 or .3, so the components on their own are not equivalent to each other. But it is for this very reason that a compensatory change must occur with the other components - otherwise the equality is broken. Thus, we get .5 morphing into .6 and then into .7 as a consequence.

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First Experience

Justification

So the first step in resolving the problem of the first experience is to recognize the trail we traverse in going back in time as one in which each instant we pass through is equivalent to every other. Therefore, the first experience is really just the original form of the experience of existence. We are not out of the woods yet, however, for the notion that such an experience can change might be problematic. To be sure, if we assigned the title "experience of existence" to the state of the Universal Mind at any one instant in time, then for that state to change would be for the experience had by the Universal Mind to no longer be the experience of existence. It would be a different experience. Is it still possible for that new experience to function just as the experience of existence - that is, to sustain its own existence independently of anything outside itself? While there is no obvious reason why, in virtue of their equivalence, there couldn't be more than one such experience, the fact of the matter is, so long as the universe we are considering is temporally expanded, every such experience will be entailed by its predecessor, and therefore earns its justification not from itself. Each experience, therefore, fails to meet the conditions of the experience of existence. A second dilemma is that although a first experience exempts itself of the need for justification from outside sources by identifying itself as the experience of existence, it still seems odd that it should be the first. Why a first? What's so special about this first experience that it should initiate the entire series of equivalent experiences, and why would nothing precede it? We will address the first issue now, as its solution is really quite simple. The second issue, however, requires a more complex solution - in fact, it requires its own section - and so we will address it immediately following this one. Concerning the first issue - whereby each of the different expressions of the experience of existence acquires its justification from its predecessor - the key point we want to make is that the justification each one offers the ensuing one is the same justification it offers itself. As equivalent experiences, the justification any one has for itself is also necessarily a justification for every other one. Their mutual justification is a necessary consequence, rather than a condition, of their self-justification and equivalence. It is important to understand this consequence as necessary, for in doing so, we avoid another potential paradox in our argument. The paradox comes about by taking any one instant's capacity to stand independently of the others, and contemplating it alone on this ground. That is to say, if each instant really is self-sufficient, then conceivably we could propose, hypothetically, that it exists without the others. But in that case, the individual component experiences, which are particulars and therefore rely fully on component experiences from another instant, would fall. Without a source for their justification, they cannot exist - and furthermore, without an ensuing instant for them to morph into, they cannot do what is necessary for them to do - namely, entail further experiences. Without component experiences, there cannot be a whole, and this blatantly contradicts the notion that the whole is self-sufficient. Therefore, we need to keep in mind that the mutual justification each instant bears to all the others is a necessary one, and it is logically incoherent to propose that one instant stand by itself. Furthermore, this same reasoning sheds light on the necessity of the particular order formed by the series of instants. This order corresponds to the order of events in the universe through time. This order must be the particular order it is because, although any one instant of the experience of existence can serve as the antecedent of any other, and therefore their particular order is only contingent, this is not so for the particular component experiences. Each component experience, usually, can only be entailed by another, very specific, component experience. Therefore, each instant of the experience of existence can only be matched up with one other instant - namely, the one whose component experiences all qualify as justifications for the corresponding component experiences of the other instant.

The Ubiquitous "Now"

Scale, Time, and Curvy Dimensions
The solution to the second, more complicated, issue gets its inspiration from Einstein's model of a curved universe - more specifically, a spherical universe. Even though this model is complicated and very abstract, we will not get into the details. The reader is advised, therefore, to read up on it before proceeding - the link in the left-hand margin serving as a good place to start. Nonetheless, we will go through a very brief rundown. In Einstein's general theory of relativity, he introduced the world to curved spacetime. The idea that space and time could be curved gave way to a model of the universe as a 4D sphere in which our 3D universe was like the surface. You can imagine, therefore, the 2D surface of an ordinary 3D sphere representing our 3D universe. The geometry of space in our 3D universe would, therefore, mimic that of the 2D surface of the sphere. Whereas in

Spacetime Curvature and General Relativity

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The Truth Behind The Sphere

Euclidian geometry, two perpendicular lines only cross a maximum of one time, in Einstein's spherical geometry, they can cross more than once. Suppose we treat our sphere like a globe, and we start tracing these perpendicular lines at the south pole. Each one would head off towards the north but at 90° from each other. When they reach the equator, however, they become parallel. And when they reach the north pole, they meet, crossing for a second time (see sidenote ). Generally speaking, in Einstein's spherical geometry, lines that appear to be linear may actually be curved and meet more than once. This is the concept that is important for our solution (so it wasn't that complicated

).

Suppose that the path we trace as we go back in time and the path we trace as we go up in scale are like the perpendicular lines in the above scenario. What would happen is that when we meet the limits of these paths - the beginning of time for the former, the utmost whole of the universe for the latter - we will find ourselves at the same point. In terms of experiences, the experience of existence that is had by the Universal Mind at any one point in time is exactly the same experience had during its initial state - not two distinct experiences identical in their features, not even two equivalent experiences, but one and the same experience. Physically speaking, this is a little more difficult to wrap one's head around. It's one thing to imagine the whole universe converging to the same confined space, or perhaps even a singularity, as we go further back in time, but it's quite another to imagine that as we go up in scale, we also go back in time. This is not quite the idea Einstein had in mind, after all. The paths we traverse in Einstein's spherical universe are both spatial dimensions, and although Einstein and others likened the temporal dimension to the spatial ones, treating them as interchangeable in many contexts, scale is not a proper dimension. There is a way, however, that we can conceptualize scale as a proper dimension, in which case the logic underlying Einstein's notion of curved spacetime is equally applicable to scale. But first, let's explore this idea further in its most literal context - that is, in terms of experiences and equivalence. When it comes to equivalence, there is nothing particularly perplexing about linking the experience of existence with the first experience. Of course, we are proposing that these experiences are more than equivalent - they are identical - but as an experience's identity qualifies it as interchangeable with itself, this is also a case of equivalence. To see the connection, all one has to do is think of it in terms of our trusty mathematical analogies. If the experience of existence at a particular point in time is really the same experience as that had by the Universal Mind at its birth, then the number 1 can represent them both. Now, let's make things simple and represent the universe in its spatially expanded form - that is, when considered in its numerous and diverse array of components - as the addition of four simple variables: w + x + y + z. These four variables represent distinct experiences, and as they morph, their values gradually change. So, for example, if we initially let w=.1, x=.2, y=.3, and z=.4, then the following equation represents the flux of the universe through time:

.1+.2+.3+.4 = .2+.3+.2+.3 = .3+.4+.1+.2 = ...
In the above example, w gradually increases from .1 through to .3, x from .2 through to .4, y from .3 through to .1, and z from .4 through to .2. This represents the flow of each experience through time. Now how do we represent scale? We represent scale by equating each of the three expressions above with other expressions consisting of two fewer variables: a + b. If we let a = w+x and b = y+z, then the above equation can be rewritten as:

Flow

.3+.7 = .5+.5 = .7+.3 = ...

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This represents the same universe, and the same passage through time, but at a higher scale. Now if we move up in scale one level further, each of the expressions above becomes 1, which not only represents the experience of existence but goes through no flux - unlike the image we entertained before wherein the experience of existence changed for every instant of time that passed. The number 1 also so happens to fit in either of the above equations - that is, we could place "1 =" to the left of each of the above equations as a symbol of whence they all originated. Now, in accordance with our definition of equivalence, the 1 we append to the left of the above equations and the 1 we reach as we move up in scale are more than equivalent - they represent one and the same thing, and are thus identical. Therefore, there is no point in giving off the false impression that they are distinct entities by writing them in different positions graphically - rather, we can write them like in figure 1b.

Figure 1a: Time and Scale Mathematical Analogy (Linear)

Figure 1b: Time and Scale Mathematical Analogy (Curved)

Meaning

Graphically speaking, this contorted image seems mathematically unorthodox, and maybe even unnecessary, but the concept it represents is clear - namely, that insofar as mathematics, and more generally meaning, is concerned, expressions and equations have nothing to do with curvature or linearity. Whether we write this out in curved fashion or the ordinary straight convention, the equations still hold. It is no different with our concept of equivalence, for although experiences aren't based on mathematics, that which they are based on namely, meaning - has just as little to do with curvature or linearity. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, should the experience of existence and the first experience turn out to be identical. Because the paths we traverse in approaching this experience - namely, scale and time - take us through experiences related through equivalence, the manner in which we express it - or write it out - can be as curved or straight as our hearts desire, and it would not invalidate the equation thus derived. So there's no problem understanding this concept in purely experiential terms. But when the problem is put in physical terms, it does become more taxing on the intellect. The root of this problem has to do with the conventional conception of scale - more specifically, to its non-dimensional character, for if we could conceive of it as a proper dimension akin to space and time, all that would be needed would be to apply the same reasoning that stands behind Einstein's construal of curved spacetime. Therefore, if we could contrive a non-conventional understanding of scale, one that fits the description of a dimension, then this would make our task simple. It is difficult to imagine scale as a dimension because, for one thing, things that vary along dimensions should not affect their positions or values along other orthogonal dimensions. That is to say, for example, an object should be able to move along any of the three spatial dimensions without changing its position relative to the other two dimensions. An object should be able to move from left to right without moving up or down, and without moving forward or back. Likewise, it should have the same freedom of motion to move up and down only, or forward and back only. Time can be construed as a dimension because for an object to exist at any point in time, that point should have no bearing on its position in space. The reverse is also true - that it should be possible for an object to exist at any point in space regardless of the time. This doesn't seem to be the case for scale. As we move up in scale, it would appear that the volume of space we need to take into account grows proportionally. So any point we select on an object, except for its exact center, will necessarily move through space if we inflate that object such that it exists at a higher scale. Therefore, one cannot move across different scales independently of positions in space.

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But I venture that a grave mistake is made in the above example - namely, the inflation of an object from a smaller to a larger size. When we talk about scale - traversing from smaller to larger ones - we are not talking about smaller or larger sizes. Rather, we are talking about greater or lesser resolution. What do I mean by "resolution"? Consider a simple object - say a rock. We could consider this rock at low resolution, which would entail consideration of the rock as one solid object - plain and simple - without any reference to its details, the many bumps and cracks, the atoms that make it up, etc. On the other hand, we could consider it at high resolution, which would entail much talk about its details, all its bumps and cracks, and the trillions of atoms it consists of. Note that we would not be making references to any one detail, or any one of its components, like a single atom - rather, we would be referencing the entire group. In other words, we would be talking about exactly the same rock, from end to end, but in terms of its details. The higher the resolution, the more discriminatingly would we be able to reference the details. In short, by "resolution", we mean the more fine-grained the details taken into our considerations of the things we reference. But make no mistake, the things we reference never change. It is the same rock whether we refer to it as a whole or in terms of its countless atoms. Its size hasn't changed. What this means is that we don't need to go up or down in terms of size in order to go up and down in terms of scale. We don't need to consider bigger or smaller things - only bigger or smaller details and constituents. Figure 2 offers a good demonstration of what we mean by scale in this context.

Figure 2: Scale as Size Versus Scale as "Resolution" Now, there is sure to be retorts to the proposal that scale be construed in this way, and these retorts may be legitimate. The fact of the matter remains, however, that it is precisely this conception of scale that concerns us, for it is this conception that corresponds to the sort of equivalence that pertains to the reduction of objects to their components. The rock considered earlier is a perfect example. When we reduce a rock to its atoms, we have not gotten rid of the rock. The network of atoms that make up the rock is still the same rock. It is the same rock whether we consider it at a higher resolution or at a lower resolution. The same can be said, therefore, about the corresponding experiences. The experience that corresponds to the rock as one whole object is itself one whole experience - uniform and homogeneous - but it is equivalent - not identical - to the experiences that correspond to the collection of atoms composing the rock. The former and latter experiences are different, but they correspond to objects in the physical world that we take to be the same objects - no different in size. Thus, when we traverse the path of equivalence that corresponds to physical reduction, we do so with total independence from where we are in space or when we are in time, and this qualifies our customized conception of scale for consideration as a true dimension. On the other hand, I am not absolutely confident that this construal of scale as a true dimension is the green light to declare that we live in a 5D universe. It is one thing to propose that scale be considered a dimension, but quite another that this dimension is the same kind of dimension as the spatial and temporal ones - despite the fact that it is orthogonal to them. To put this another way, when scientists say that we live in a 4D spacetime continuum, what they imply is that the three spatial dimensions and the one temporal dimension are actually all identical instances of the same kind of thing, their only distinguishing feature being their geometrical orientations relative to each other. In other words, there are no spatial dimensions as such, nor is there a temporal dimension as such, but four "spacetime" dimensions instead. They only seem like different things because of the way we experience them, but our experience of them, these scientists say, is not a fully accurate reflection of their true ontological form. I'm not so sure we can go this far with our conception of scale. Although this might be a legitimate claim, I don't feel the grounds we have covered here are sufficient for advocating it. So although scale may really be a dimension, intertwined as it would be with those of

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space and time, and forming a firm foundation for the structure of our universe, it should be remembered that it is not necessarily the same kind of dimension as space and time. Now, there are two objections that might be raised at this point. One of them is that it remains quite inconceivable how one who takes in the vast expanse of the universe (by whatever means - telescopes, satellite imaging, star gazing, or simply by contemplating it) would be forced to perceive it in a much older state. How is it necessary, for example, that if we take in the universe in its utmost totality at the present time, we would also be taking in the universe at the instant of the Big Bang. It's almost like saying that there is no such thing as a spatially expanded universe, full with diverse physical systems and an abundance of dynamical processes, unless that universe is also a singularity - a contradictory notion indeed. How does one consider the universe in its totality without going back in time? How can such an astoundingly vast and expansive thing, at the same time, not be so vast and expansive? It seems, intuitively, that the universe in its present form must exist regardless of at what scale. First of all, we must learn to distinguish between the two meanings of "scale" when we conduct thought experiments of this sort. Secondly, when we go from the image of a local environment to that of the entire cosmos, we are most likely imagining bigger things - that is, we are going up in size. But in so doing, so long as we stay at the same resolution, this doesn't pose a problem. By keeping resolution constant, we have every right to imagine the whole cosmos, in its present state, as the vast expanse of diverse interstellar debris that our common sense tells us it is. To put this another way, the physical universe we are confronted with will always be a sensory representation of the Universal Mind. Therefore, the level of detail, or resolution, that we are presented with - namely, the macroscopic objects of everyday life - corresponds to the particular scale from which the Universal Mind so happens to build this representation. Therefore, when we look out into the universe, or even when we imagine it in its entirety, we do so always with this particular level of scale as our starting point - that is, our mental models are always based on this level. Experiences at higher scales may also correspond to the same physical representations, but only through the path of equivalence that we traverse as we go up the reductive ladder - not the path of entailment that we traverse as we step beyond the sensory representation and into other regions of the Universal Mind. The latter path always keeps us at the same level of scale, and we might, in fact, contemplate the whole of the Universal Mind at this level - but in that case, this whole would consist of the vast array of qualitatively diverse experiences, which, taken together, would be equivalent to the experience of existence, but not identical. If we were to traverse the former path, however - the path of equivalences that parallels the reductive ladder - we would indeed approach the experience of existence, but our cognitive faculties would be less suited to representing the experiences we find along the way at their corresponding levels of scale. This is not to say that such representations are any less valid, for all experiences we encounter along this path are equivalent, and therefore can all be represented, with equal validity, by the same model. It's just that the higher the scale, the lower the resolution we must settle for, and therefore the less information carried by the model. The less information, the broader the scope of experiences this model is fit to represent, and therefore all the more trivial. So for example, a model of the universe as simply a collection of galaxy clusters - a low resolution model indeed - could represent the current state of the universe just as well as it could the greater portion of past states. And if we were to model the universe as one united whole, all states throughout time could be represented this way. So to answer our question, yes, we can represent the totality of the universe in its present state - if this representation is high resolution, it corresponds specifically to the present state, whereas if it is low resolution, it still represents the present state, but it also corresponds broadly to a much greater range of states. The second objection is that despite the criterion we have set for scale to be a proper dimension - namely, that we be allowed to move freely along it without affecting our position or value with respect to any other dimension - this doesn't seem to have been met with respect to time. Although we have freed space from the influence of our travels along the dimension of scale, we are mandating that time forgo the same degree of freedom - that is, we are mandating that as one goes up in scale, one go further back in time. Well, to be perfectly clear, the mandate we have set for ourselves is not so much that we are forced further back in time as we go up in scale, but that if we make the naive assumption that the path we take as we go up in scale is linear, we will find, to our surprise, that it is actually curved. This subtle difference in the way we put it is crucial. We can see why by taking this very interpretation and applying it to Einstein's general theory of relativity. In general relativity, all spatial and temporal dimensions are curved towards massive objects - the more massive, the greater the curvature. Consider a ball held between your fingers, for example. If you release the ball, it falls towards the ground. Why is this? The answer, taken from general relativity, is that

Mental Models

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because the ball is always traveling forward in time, and because time curves towards massive objects - in this case, the Earth - its passage through time is gradually converted into passage through space. As a result, we see it hurdle towards the ground. Yet time and space are still proper dimensions because this curvature places no restrictions on where in space an object may be at any given time. The only restriction comes about when we naively assume that the ball's passage through time, when released, will go forward in a linear fashion. Because this supposedly linear path is, in actuality, curved, for the ball to maintain its course on it, it would be forced to fall downward. This is precisely what we are saying with respect to scale. If we naively assume the path upwards in scale to be linear, we will find ourselves following a curved path that takes us back in time. However, just as the curvature of time doesn't exclude any point in space from being occupied, the curvature of scale doesn't exclude us from moving freely along the dimension of time at any level of scale we happen to be at. If we happen to be, for example, half way between the ordinary macroscopic scale where the familiar objects and events of everyday life take place and the uppermost level of scale where the experience of existence takes place, there is still a past and a future for us to consider should we choose to do so, and no point therein is prohibited from such considerations. The only point at which this freedom seems to succumb to full constriction is right at the upper most level the level of the experience of existence in its timeless context - for at that level, it really does seem like we are denied any free passage through time. Well, properly understood, we are not really denied passage through time, but rather we have transcended time such that we occupy the whole of it at once. At this level, no point in time is off limits to us. To better understand this, let's consider the complementary trend as it plays out in the path backwards in time. In the latter case, as we approach the first experience, we find that the utmost extents, or boundaries, of space shrink - remember that the scenario we are considering here is one in which space and time are products of the Big Bang. What this means is that all of space began "inflating", like a balloon, the moment the Big Bang occurred (this imagery, that of an inflating balloon, is best understood in the context of Einstein's 4D sphere model, as the link in the left-hand margin elaborates on ). Therefore, the reverse of this, which is what we would see as we travel back in time, is a "deflating" of space whereby its boundaries become more and more constricted. What this entails for scale is that the range in which we have freedom to move about becomes much more compacted, much more limited. But the particular values, or positions, along the dimension of scale do not change - that is, any resolution at which I choose to consider the objects, or experiences, therein is still available to me regardless of how compacted this range becomes. I can still focus on things in terms of their constituent atoms, whole objects, or components of a greater environment. All these levels of scale are still there. So there is no level of scale that is off limits to me any more than there is at any other point in time. What this means, then, with respect to the first instant in time, or the first experience, is that the range of scale here becomes maximally compressed, and therefore, any level of scale we focus on ends up coinciding with all other levels - the range has become a singularity (but see sidenote ). This does not mean our freedom to move about the dimension of scale is lost rather it means that our choices of what level to move to has been reduced to one. But because this one choice constitutes the entire range of the dimension, there are no points along it that we are prohibited from occupying, and that is the key point. The exact same reasoning carries over to the case of traveling upwards in scale and finding the range of the temporal dimension becoming ever more constricted. Although it becomes constricted, all values and positions therein are still there and can still be occupied. This is true even at the uppermost level of scale wherein time becomes maximally constricted such that all points therein converge to one. Nonetheless, because this one point still constitutes the entire range, there is no point therein that is prohibited from occupation. Overall, therefore, we have a right to construe both scale and time as proper dimensions, for neither places any restrictions on the other with respect to the values or positions that things therein may occupy. So the answer to our question - why a first experience? - is that the first experience is really the experience of existence at its upper most level along the dimension of scale. There is nothing particularly bizarre or awkward about there being a whole at this upper most level - we typically take it for granted - and therefore, by making this connection, the awkwardness of the notion of a first experience disappears. So having said all this, we can wrap up our account of existence and its origins graphically by the illustration given in figure 3. Note the similarity between this figure and figure 1b. The only difference is that figure 1b conveys what we are saying by way of the mathematical analogies we have been using, whereas figure 3 conveys it in its more literal context - as experiences related by equivalence. To summarize, our account of existence is that, at its

The Inflationary Model

Questioning the Singularity

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foremost holistic level, the universe is a self-aware, self-justifying, and self-sustaining experience. As the very definition of existence itself, it needs no other account to uphold its existence than that which it provides for itself. The universe at the more familiar macroscopic level - the level we humans encounter in our everyday lives - is chalk full of qualitatively diverse experiences, the range of which is rich and overflowing. Although not identical to the experience of existence, it is equivalent to it, and thereby draws its justification from its interchangeability with it. As we go back in time, approaching the moment of the Big Bang, we again draw near to the experience of existence. We, in fact, come to one and the same experience as that corresponding to the universe as a whole at any given point in time. The path upward in scale and the path backward in time are, like the paths taken on the surface of the 4D sphere, two roads to the same destination.

Figure 3: The overall Structure of Time and Scale in The Universal Mind

Final Thoughts
With this view under our belts, we get a much more in-depth understanding of the concept of equivalence. We see that what it means for two or more experiences to be equivalent, or interchangeable, is that they qualify equally as sufficient components in the grand justification of existence. They are like different brand names for the same car part - like the distributor for the engine - in that so long as they serve the same purpose, and contribute equally to the proper functioning of the engine, which brand is in place really doesn't matter. Each one is a distributor, and each performs the same function. This function is to the overall function of the engine as the function of a particular experience is to the function of the whole - that is, so long as the particular experience contributes in its own unique way to the maintenance of existence overall, which is the function of the whole, then it makes no difference what the quality, or identity, of this experience is. Unlike the particular distributor brand in the engine, however, no one particular experience out of the many that serve the same purpose is the "real" experience - that is, no one is really "there" and the others absent rather, their being in place comes down to a matter of description, a matter of how one decides to define the experience of existence at the level of scale where this experience fits in. Because each experience among all those related by equivalence serves the purpose of maintaining existence equally well, the very definition of existence, which is precisely what they contribute to, can be put in terms of any one of them without degrading in the slightest. And because it is this definition that allows existence to be, then all equivalent component experiences, in virtue of partaking in this definition, are all equally entitled to existence as well. Yet, the entailment of experiences through time, even when all of them at any one point in time are taken together as a whole, needn't be a case of equivalence. We may be wrong in our conjecture that time and scale merge into each other as we approach the moment of the Big Bang. Time and scale may be linear with respect to each other after all. There would still be an ultimate experience of existence, but it would have to consist of all experiences throughout the whole of time rather than any arbitrary experience at a single point in time. What, then, of the first experience? Well, we have not ruled out the possibility that time really has no beginning, and the Big Bang, though an extraordinarily momentous event and corresponding to what would

The Big Crunch

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probably be the greatest and most mind-blowing experience (literally) that ever was, might not be what started the universe after all. There may actually be no beginning, in which case the trail of experiences back in time goes on forever. This can be the case under two conditions: either 1) time is linear and stretches back without an end, or 2) time is cyclical and keeps returning to the same point over and over again. Many believe that the universe will end in a Big Crunch, which means that all mass and energy will eventually be pulled together due to the enormous gravitational attraction that binds them, and when that happens, a singularity will be formed much like that at the exact moment of the Big Bang. In fact, if it is exactly like the singularity at the moment of the Big Bang, then the same conditions should be met whereby the Big Bang was triggered, and should therefore happen again. Consequently, the entire history of the universe has been repeating itself, and will continue to do so, for all of time (I sometimes imagine this repeating cycle as a sort of cosmic heart beat; God's heart beat?). In this case, there is still no first experience even though there seems to be a very significant point in the history of the universe, probably the most significant, that keeps repeating over and over again. But even if the universe is not cyclical, the lack of a first experience is not problematic since all experiences, collectively, still amount to the experience of existence, which justifies itself and is exempt from questions of how it came to be in the first place. Nevertheless, we might still sneak by with the assertion that the Big Bang marks the beginning of what we know as the physical universe, in which case any existence before this would have to take a purely metaphysical form. How would this work out? Well, it could be that the Big Bang marks the advent of the first direct experiences - that is, before the Big Bang, there were only indirect experiences and they morphed and transformed until one or several gave way, in a colossal event that must have been a landmark in the evolution of the Universal Mind, to direct experiences. We couldn't go so far as to say that there were only irrepresentable experiences before this event since irrepresentable experiences, by definition, can't entail either direct or indirect experiences. But we could suppose that if there were nothing but indirect experiences before the Big Bang, what the Big Bang represents is the laying down of the groundwork upon which all direct experiences are possible - it would have to have been quite an explosive and revolutionary laying down, but that is, on this account, what it was. We've referred to this groundwork by another name elsewhere in this website. We called it the "Universal Operating System" (or UOS). We defined the UOS as those experiences corresponding to the atomic structure of things and making possible all experiences corresponding to macroscopic physical systems. The atomic structure of the universe emerged shortly after the Big Bang (after only a few minutes) and served as the groundwork for all material phenomena, to which correspond all direct experiences, ever since. Space is also very important for physical systems to exist and function. Although the current scenario denies a beginning to time, it need not withhold the same assumption for space. Space may very well be a product of the Big Bang. Rather than representing experiences themselves, however, it represents the range of possible experiences that this groundwork allows for. In the Advanced Theory, we described space as representing the relations between experiences, and the more space there is, the greater the range of possible relations. Therefore, the more space "inflates" as a consequence of the Big Bang, the greater the range in which the corresponding experiences can morph and flow. This is not to say that relations between indirect and irrepresentable experiences were impossible before the advent of direct experiences, just that only after this advent could we experience space as the arena in which physical systems carry out their activity. In other words, space as we experience it is the result of direct experiences and the particular kinds of relations they form with each other. The kinds of relations formed between other experiences - indirect or irrepresentable - cannot necessarily be represented in the spatial form we are familiar with. So whereas in the broadest sense, we can define space as the relation between experiences, the more narrow sense considered here is confined to what our human experience of space corresponds to - namely, the relation between direct experiences. We will say more about this after we look into what it means for space to be three dimensional, and the possibility of higher spatial dimensions. If the experience of existence is like a principle, then when this experience is broken down into its components, traversing the dimension of scale downwards, this principle might be expressed, still metaphorically, as a theory. That is to say, it is a body of thought, held together by logic and reason, and culminating in one conclusion: the principle of existence. In other words, it's the Universal Mind's theory of why it exists. If the Big Bang marks the beginning of the universe, and all subsequent stages are equivalent, then this theory is expressed in its many forms as the universe progresses. If each stage is not equivalent, then the entirety of the universe's progress represents the perpetual building of this theory, its working-out, its ongoing invention of the reasons for its own existence. We will have more to say about the latter perspective near the end of this paper.

Direct vs. Indirect Metaphysical Experiences

Irrepresentable Experiences

The Universal Operating System

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The above scenario is as close to the Christian notion of a godly "plan" as we will get. The Christian notion of God's plan is a course that God intends for history and man to take in order to redeem him of sin, which he is doomed to inherit from the original sin of Adam. There is no redemption of sin in our theory. The purpose of our God's "plan" is not the salvation of man, but the salvation of Himself. That is to say, the purpose of the ongoing construction or articulation of the theory is to keep the universe, and thus God Himself, in existence. Man fortuitously also gets saved in the process, but not from sin, and certainly not from pain and suffering. Indeed, his continued existence may only exacerbate his pain and suffering in some circumstances. There is no place, in our theory, of eternal damnation where wicked souls go to be punished after they die, but pain and suffering is a fact of life, and will always be with us to one degree or another, and the maintenance of existence ensures that this will remain a fact indefinitely. On a lighter note, however, I would guess that, for the most part, man cherishes his life and would deem its perpetuation a sort of salvation if the alternative were simply to perish. But as we know from the paper Determinism and Free-Will, the perishing of all real things is always immanent, the more so as one goes further down in scale. This is at least true according to the interpretation of quantum mechanics given in that paper, which is that the more indeterminate a phenomenon, the "less real" it is. Quantum mechanics represents the possibility of "alternative algorithms". We touched on this term in the Advanced Theory when we explained the standard algorithm. The standard algorithm is that set of laws by which the flow of experiences running on the UOS are regulated. They manifest to us as the laws of nature, and for the most part, they are best described by the framework of classical mechanics. Quantum mechanics, therefore, represents an alternative to this. Of course, if our interpretation is correct - that quantum mechanics features true indeterminism and thus experiences whose realness has somewhat faded then this alternative is not really a proper algorithm; it's more a lack thereof, for a proper algorithm requires order and predictability, two things quantum phenomena are known to lack. Later in this paper, we will consider alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics whereby determinism still plays a role, and in these cases, quantum phenomena really do represent alternate algorithms. By the same token, however, it cannot be said that these alternative algorithms contribute to the demise of the universe's existence - rather, they would have to be just as essential as any other algorithm. For a moment, however, let's consider the implications of an absence of algorithm at the level where quantum phenomena are significantly pronounced. If this absence entails a fading of realness, then what does this say about the Universal Mind's theory of its own existence? It says that there are indeed subtle flaws. These flaws are ever so minor and inconspicuous that they may be regarded as trivial or inconsequential, but they certainly hold the universe back, by whatever measure they can, from its goal of attaining full and absolute being. Obviously, the attainment of existence is not an all or nothing deal - the fact that it does exist, however short of coming to a full existence, tells us that quantum mechanical indeterminism is not fatal to this goal. Nevertheless, the thought that the universe's existence is not guaranteed is a frightening one. Christians are sure to feel uneasy with the thought that God's plan may not actually work in the end. We'd have to concede that God's plan is not perfect - and neither is God.

The Standard Algorithm

Flow

The Anatomy of God
So we have talked of time and scale, but we have not talk of space - at least, not at any great length. Why is space three-dimensional? We have already looked at what space represents in the Advanced Theory namely, relations between experiences. But we left the question of what the specific number of dimensions represents unanswered. In this section we will explore the implications that three-dimensional space has for our theory. We will then return to the dimension of scale and traverse it in the opposite direction from which we have been traveling. That is, we will explore how far down, or how high in resolution, the path can take us, exploring other ideas that were touched only briefly elsewhere in this website. This will bring up the topic of quantum mechanics again, and the reader is advised to brush up on his/her knowledge of the subject. If he/she hasn't done so already, I direct him/her to read the paper Quantum Mechanics for an overview and Determinism and Free-will for the official position we take on the subject in this website. This position is not as important here, however, for the central focus in this paper will be to consider alternate interpretations - more specifically, more deterministic ones. As for the title "The Anatomy of God", I consider the subject matter of this section - namely, dissecting the dimensions of space and cutting deep into what lies along the path downward in scale - to constitute an exploration of what God consists of. We won't be looking at specific parts of the universe so much as the specific elements that make up all parts - the fabric, as it were, from which God is cut. So whereas in the last section, we explored what God is, in this section, we delve deep into His being.

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Three-Dimensionality
To understand how the three dimensions of space relate to experiences, we should first ask how it relates material objects together. It should be obvious that, in a physical context, space counts as a relation between the objects that occupy it. So how does the existence of three dimensions affect this relation? We use these three dimensions when describing the particular spatial relation between a pair of given objects, assigning quantities to each. We say that an object O1 is, say, at position (3,10,5) relative to another object O2. Therefore, one thing we can say is that threedimensionality entails that it takes three basic descriptors, which are best put in quantitative terms and can vary independently of each other, to describe the relation between objects occupying those dimensions. But static relations wherein two or more objects don't move relative to each other tells us nothing about the corresponding experiences. Remember that experiences never correspond to objects themselves, only to the activity undergone by those objects. Therefore, to put this in terms of experiences, we really ought to consider spatial relations in the process of change. How do the three descriptors mentioned above help us to describe spatial relations going through change? The answer is simple: the three descriptors necessary for describing static spatial relations are also necessary for describing in what way spatial relations can change. That is to say, if an object O1 moves relative to an object O2, that motion can be described as a change in each of the basic descriptors. So rather than describing a particular position (x,y,z), we would describe a change in position (Δx,Δy,Δz). Note that such a change doesn't depend on O1's initial position relative to O2. That is, O1's position could be (3,10,5), (1,2,3), or any other position and still move by a specific distance (Δx,Δy,Δz). This is fine because it's really the change in the relation between O1 and O2 that represents the change in the corresponding experience. In other words, no matter what the initial quality of the experience, and no matter what the final quality, the difference between the two - that is, the change the initial quality must go through in order to become the final quality - is what the three dimensions of space represent. We can say, then, that the necessity of employing three descriptors for spatial change also applies to changes in experience. That is, there should be three basic and necessary descriptors for describing changes in, or the flow of, experiences. To put this another way, an experience can morph in three fundamental ways, each of which can be done simultaneously with the others. Now, it's important to understand that to interpret three-dimensionality in this way doesn't necessarily mean that experiences are themselves composed of three fundamental elements. Experiences can still be viewed as fundamental and unique in their own right - uniform and homogenous, as we would say - without being necessarily composed of three more basic components. They can be viewed this way - in the usual way we would view the reduction of experiences to their components - but this has nothing to do with three dimensionality. We can understand this best by grasping the same fact about points in space. A given point, in and of itself, is not composed of three coordinates in particular, not essentially. It only has the potential to be described in terms of three particular coordinates. When choosing our description, we have an infinite number of options at our disposal, options for what particular values to assign the point's coordinates. We could choose, for example, (1,2,3), (10,-15,0), (5,5,5), (1983,2984,8327), or any other value. We are not limited to any specific values. It all depends, as shown in figure 4a, on the arbitrary choice of where we place the origin in our coordinate system. Furthermore, the orientation of our coordinate system, as shown in figure 4b, also affects the values of our point's coordinates. Therefore, if each coordinate can vary by so much, how can a particular point necessarily be decomposed into coordinates with particular values? It may be true that, by necessity, a point is always amenable to decomposition into three coordinates, the values of which may be undetermined, but for one to truly say that a thing is composed of more basic things, like an organism is made of cells or an atom is made of protons, neutrons, and electrons, those more basic things must be particular things that don't vary (lest the whole vary with them). No such constancy exists for the coordinates of any given point - even if we suppose that point remains fixed in space - and therefore its coordinates can't be conceived as actual components. Instead, they are necessary components of one particular description of a point - that is, it is necessary to refer to at least three particular things when describing a point, but not that a point is decomposable into the three things so described.

Flow

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Figure 4a: Changing Origin

Figure 4b: Changing Orientation

Scale - A Third Property?

What the three coordinates of each point are fundamental to is the relation between points. The fact that the coordinates of a given point can only be specified relative to another point, usually the origin, is evidence of this. For example, the description of a point (1,2,3) can be construed as a statement of what it takes to move from a chosen origin, or whatever other point this one is being described relative to, to its location. It takes a move of 1 unit along the x-axis, 2 units along the y-axis, and 3 units along the z-axis. It is a statement of change. Of course, by rotating the coordinate system clockwise 90° about the z-axis, we get a different set of moves - namely, -2 along the x-axis, 1 along the y-axis, and 3 along the z-axis. But these three moves are the equivalent of the previous three moves. That is to say, one could still describe it as a move of 1 unit, another move of 2 units, and a third move of 3 unit, just not along the newly oriented x-, y-, and z-axes. One would have to describe it in terms of axes that don't exist, but insofar as one does so, such moves do take us from the origin to where the point is located. So spatial relations consist of an orientation as well as a distance. Only when these two properties of the coordinate system are settled can the relation between the origin and the point in question be put in terms of three particular coordinates, and these coordinates tell us how one point - in this case the origin - must change in order to become the other point. So these three components are components of change. Given two experiences, we can describe the difference in their fundamental quality in terms of three variables. This description also works as a statement of what it takes for one experience to morph into the other - that is, in what ways the experience must flow to become the other. These three ways can be carried out in one smooth, continuous and direct move, much like one point can move from its location directly towards another location by traveling along a straight line. Furthermore, how we decide to break down this move into its three components is, as we've seen, completely arbitrary as it depends on how we wish to position and orient our coordinate system. Exactly the same can be said about the three components constituting the change of a given experience. We might say that such a change consists of so much change in one component, so much change in another, and so much change in a third, but it is by no means fixed to these three amounts. The variability with which we can describe such change is infinite, and so there is a great deal that is arbitrary about our choice of description. To get a better handle on this idea, let's use color as an analogy. In many graphics programs, one can select the color he/she wishes to use by using a color palette. A color palette is a small interface that allows the user to set the current color by manipulating certain determining variables, usually three. Figure 5a shows an example of a color palette. In it, the three variables the user manipulates are highlighted. They are labeled 'R', 'G', and 'B' for 'red', 'green', and 'blue' respectively. Red, green, and blue are the three primary colors from which all other colors in the entire spectrum are derived. The user sets their values by assigning a number between 0 and 255 for each. A value of 0 means none of the particular primary color, whereas 255 means as much of the particular primary color as possible. So, for example, values of R=125, G=0, and B=255 mean a mix of red, green, and blue in the ratio 125:0:255 - that is, a little less than half the total amount of red possible, none of the green, and all the blue possible. This turns out to produce a bluish-purple color, which means that this particular hue is a combination of red, green, and blue by a ratio of 125:0:255. Because each component can vary independently from the others, they are very much like dimensions, and so they are a suitable analogy for the dimensions of space and the "dimensions" of experiential change.

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Figure 5a: RGB Scheme

Figure 5b: CMYK scheme

Figure 5c: HSB scheme However, there are many color schemes by which the user can create the color he/she wants. In figure 5b, we see such an alternate scheme. If the previous scheme was called the "RGB scheme", then this one is called the "CMYK scheme" - so named because its basic color components are cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (or black). If we describe the bluish-purple color we derived above in terms of the CMYK scheme, we would find the ratio to be 69:79:0:0 (convention usually puts the CMYK ratio in percentages). True, there is a fourth term here, but that's beside the more important point that the CMYK scheme is an alternative to the RGB scheme, and the choice between the two is completely arbitrary. Yet another scheme, the HSB one seen in figure 5c, doesn't even put color components in terms of other colors. It puts them in terms of hue, saturation, and brightness. Our bluish-purple color, according to the HSB scheme, can be described as a ratio of 269:100:100 (that's degrees:percent:percent). So this scheme shows that the flexibility in how we describe the components of each color is even greater than one might at first assume. Why so many color schemes? The reason is that color isn't decomposable into any fixed elements, not really. You may have heard that all colors are composites of the three primary colors red, green, and blue, but this is more a statement of our physiology than either the actual physics of colors themselves or our subjective experience of them. That is, the first stage in human color perception, the stage where light enters our eye and stimulates the cones on our retina, involves the detection of degrees of red, green, and blue. There are three types of cone receptors on our retina, each specializing in the detection of one of the primary colors. Signals are then sent from these receptors to the brain where the varying degrees of red, green, and blue are combined to generate the perception of all other colors. But this is how our visual system works - it says nothing of the inherent properties of light. The truth is that each and every color from the whole spectrum is composed of one component and one component only - a specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic Radiation

Mixing Frequencies

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This frequency is unique to each and every color. For example, red corresponds to a frequency of 450 THz, green to a frequency of 580 THz, and yellow to a frequency of 520 THz. This means that yellow, although midway between red and green, cannot be thought of as composed of 450 THz and 580 THz. It may be the average of these two frequencies, but average frequencies don't come about by mixing various other frequencies together (see sidenote ). In fact, as an average frequency, it consists of a lack of frequencies from which this average was derived. So colors, from no matter where in the spectrum we choose them, are fundamental to themselves - each with its own unique frequency, and each with its own unique subjective quality. Nevertheless, it always requires, as evinced by the color palette example above, at least three descriptors to specify any one of them. These descriptors can be configured according to any color scheme that works, and so how we construe them as components is really quite arbitrary. Just like colors, each and every experience is unique and fundamental to itself. It does require at least three descriptors, however, to make clear how any one experience differs from any other one. Of course, with color schemes, the value of each component is absolute - that is, it is not relative to an arbitrarily chosen color. An RGB ratio of 125:0:255 means an absolute amount of red, green, and blue; it is not as though the amount 125 for red holds only with respect to one relation and a different amount holds with respect to another relation. Thus, to tweak this analogy so that it conciliates more with experiential change, all we need to do is consider the difference between two colors in terms of a given scheme. For example, if we wished to change our bluish-purple to, say, a bright yellow, a yellow whose RGB ratio is 255:255:0, then we need only take the difference between these sets of values, which turns out to be Δ130:Δ255:Δ-255, and understand it as the analogy of experiential change. To put such a color difference in terms of the RGB scheme is just as arbitrary as using this scheme to describe the absolute values of a given color. We could take the difference in terms of the CMYK scheme or the HSB scheme just as easily. And whatever scheme we choose, the colors in question are still unique and fundamental to themselves with respect to their frequencies and subjective qualities, just as experiences are unique and fundamental to themselves with respect to their inherent qualities.

Standard and Alternate Algorithms
Although we may conclude with this account, it leaves a glaring gap in our understanding of the nature of these three components. We still don't know what they are. Unfortunately, we will not get right down to the bare essentials of these components, but we can gain a bit more clarity by understanding their role in the standard algorithm. We've already granted that the Big Bang may have been the event that laid the groundwork for the UOS and with it, the standard algorithm (and even if the Big Bang represents the first experience, this groundwork is still in place and the standard algorithm runs upon it). If we also grant that the three dimensions of space were spawned with it, then we can tie them together with the standard algorithm.

The Standard Algorithm

The UOS

First Experience

We can assume that the standard algorithm carries out one primary operation on all material things it deals with - namely, to move them. In essence, this epitomizes what classical mechanics, the framework of physics that most closely maps onto the standard algorithm, is all about. In a very crude manner of speaking, classical mechanics is about how material objects interact - they bump each other and move. There are rules governing how they move, rules determined by the conditions underlying their states the moment they bump. All motion is three-dimensional motion (even two dimensional motion is - the third dimension is held constant), and so what these rules determine is how the objects in question change their positions in terms of the three dimensions of space. As an algorithm, we can think of it as an actual computer program in that it takes in input, goes through computations, and churns out output. The input is the initial conditions of all objects involved. This may consist of their positions in space, their mass, their momentum, their solidity and elasticity, and so on. The output is what they must do as a consequence of their initial conditions. The computation is the intermediate phase where the standard algorithm is put to use. It converts the initial conditions into the consequent actions. Its task is to decide how the initial conditions determine the changes in spatial positions that each of the objects, and parts of objects, involved must go through. Put in terms of experiences, the standard algorithm takes as input a set of initial experiences and determines, based on their qualitative state and the direction of their flow, how these experiences must change - that is, what consequent

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experiences must be entailed. If such changes are necessarily decomposable into three components, then this must be the general rule governing the standard algorithm. It must be ruled by a mandate that says "whatever changes you see these experiences through, be sure they are translatable into three basic descriptors". These descriptors need not be assigned the same values for all such changes, nor necessarily for any one change, but all such changes certainly need to be translatable into some set of three basic descriptors. That, among other things, is what the standard algorithm is bound to. Note that this mandate leaves a lot of room open for further determination - that is, determination of what the precise values of these descriptors can be. That is to say, the mandate doesn't insist that a particular change be put in terms of specific values such as (1,2,3). Those values are left undetermined. It would be like telling the standard algorithm that it could direct the flow of any experience so long as it always remained a perception of color - that way, it would be guaranteed that all such experiences would be decomposable into three components, but whether those components be put in terms of the RGB scheme, CMYK scheme, or the HSB scheme is left undetermined. Thus, what the standard algorithm is bound to is to see to it that all such changes can be assigned three specific values - that is, that the potential to do so is there. What more does it take, then, to determine these values? A human, or human-like, being. Any creature like us who perceives the world as a physical representation of direct experiences is capable of, not only doing the necessary translation, but assigning the three descriptors thus translated specific values. Although it is possible that a whole range of experiential processes may share such capabilities humans, or animals in general, may not be the only mental systems that carry out this task - we can clearly see how it works with human beings. We have seen, in the Advanced Theory, the process by which spatial perception develops through at least three of our senses. Our visual system generates three-dimensional space by first converting spots or locations sporadically scattered throughout our visual field into vertical and horizontal orientations, and then by converging cues taken from both eyes, it creates depth. This makes it possible for us to arbitrarily select a coordinate system by which the three descriptors we are interested in can be assigned specific values. All we need to do is decide where the origin is going to be and how the axes are going to be oriented. Once that's done, we can extract the three components from any motion we perceive and assign specific numerical values to them. The changes governed by the standard algorithm make this possible, and we carry it through to its end. Probably the most comprehensive way to articulate the principle by which the standard algorithm runs is that it aims to keep all experiences fed through it within the sphere of direct experiences. That is, it functions to keep direct experiences direct. The corresponding principle in the physical context, which underlies and guides the processes of classical mechanics, is that it governs the motion of all material objects such that they always remain within the three dimensions of known space. This is precisely how we've defined direct experiences, after all - namely, as those corresponding to the physical systems we are in direct sensory contact with. These systems avail themselves to such sensory contact only by taking positions in threedimensional space, and any change in position, in abiding by the principles of classical mechanics, remains in three-dimensional space. Therefore, the flow of direct experiences seems to be ruled by an inherent drive, which we call the standard algorithm, that, although allowing them to morph their qualitative character into a variety of forms, maintains their status as direct experiences. Supposing that the Universal Mind had a prior existence to the Big Bang, it seems that its purpose in entailing the experience corresponding to this colossal event (assuming it was purposive) was to establish a system of direct experiences, equipped with the potential to manifest as a physical world, that survives in virtue of its perpetual self-reinforcing tendency. Supposing, on the other hand, that the Big Bang marks the beginning of existence, corresponding to the first experience, this system of self-reinforcing direct experiences simply constitutes a vital component of the Universal Mind even if there was no formal purpose in its creation. In either case, we can fairly conclude that the preservation of the potential of all changes in direct experiences to be decomposable into three descriptors is what maintains the continuation of what we come to perceive as the physical universe.

Direct Experiences

First Experience

Principle: Function of the Standard Algorithm 1) In terms of physics, the standard algorithm functions to keep all physical objects within threedimensional space. 2) In terms of experiences, the standard algorithm functions to keep direct experiences direct.

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Dark Matter

There is an exception to this however. It concerns the possibility of dark matter. Dark matter, simply put, is matter that is unaffected by electromagnetism but succumbs to the force of gravity. To be utterly unaffected by electromagnetism means to be utterly insensible therefore, corresponding to indirect experiences. Light passes right through dark matter. It is neither absorbed nor reflected. If one were to reach out in an attempt to touch it, one's hand would pass right through it. It makes no sounds and certainly has no taste or smell. It nevertheless falls under the influence of gravity whether the source is more dark matter or the ordinary matter we know of - "heavy ghosts" so to speak. Therefore, observations of ordinary matter behaving as though a large force of gravity is nearby despite there being no visible sign of a source for such gravity is the only way to tell whether or not dark matter is present. Today, the theory of dark matter remains unproven, but its existence would account for certain astronomical observations - namely, the manner in which galaxies rotate - that could not be accounted for otherwise. Essentially, dark matter represents the possibility that things to which nothing other than indirect experiences can correspond might move through specific positions in three dimensional space, and thereby adhere, in addition to things corresponding to direct experiences, to the principles of the standard algorithm. Yet since they don't correspond to direct experiences, the scope of the standard algorithm must span more than just direct experiences. Two ways in which we can reconcile the possibility of dark matter with our account of the principle function of the standard algorithm are as follows. First, although we would have to concede that the standard algorithm indeed applies to more than just direct experiences, the interaction between dark matter and ordinary matter never, to anyone's knowledge, converts one to the other. Therefore, the standard algorithm still performs the function of keeping direct experiences direct. We simply must add that it performs a twin function - namely, to keep the kinds of indirect experiences that correspond to dark matter the same kinds of indirect experiences. Note that we must phrase this as a kind of indirect experience, for we have no right to claim that all indirect experiences receive the same treatment. Second, we could maintain our position that the standard algorithm works exclusively with direct experiences, and posit a nearly identical algorithm that works exclusively with those indirect experiences corresponding to dark matter. It would be as though two nearly identical programs were running on the same computer, the only difference being the type of data they deal with. Insofar as their gravitational influence on each other is concerned, we would say that each algorithm communicates with the other and takes part in the determination of the other's output. Either view works, and as far as we should be concerned, we ought to assume, for the sake of simplicity, that dark matter is a myth, resting assured that just in case it exists after all, the adjustment we need to make to the account given here can readily be made. But in any case, why should we assume that a direct experience, in entailing other direct experiences, doesn't also entail indirect, or even irrepresentable, ones? There's no reason a physical effect couldn't extend its reach, in addition to the ordinary three dimensions of space as we know it, beyond these dimensions. In that case, a fourth descriptor, and maybe more, might be necessary in order to describe such a change. This fourth descriptor would correspond to a fourth component in the relation between the antecedent and ensuing experiences, and in the physical context, to a fourth dimension (time notwithstanding). All additional descriptors would have similar implications - namely, that they would correspond to additional components of experiential change and to higher dimensions of space. Although this is certainly possible, it doesn't pose a problem for the notion that the standard algorithm keeps direct experiences contained in their own sphere. The latter goal is still met even if extraneous experiences that spill over into other spheres are entailed in the process. No instance on record exists, however, whereby a physical object mysteriously disappears from the three dimensions of known space - and thus, if extraneous "hyperdimensional" experiences are entailed, they are not without their three-dimensional counterparts. Quantum mechanics, which we will get to in a moment, features instances in which the positions taken by certain objects defy the scheme that the standard algorithm, or classical mechanics, would otherwise impose on them, but these don't represent cases in which such positions disappear entirely - they may become indeterminate, or "smeared out", but they certainly don't vanish. If there were any such account, the conservation laws of mass, energy and momentum would be in serious jeopardy (in fact, because these laws are generally upheld, there is good reason to believe that no such extraneous effects make their way into higher dimensions or subsume additional components into their modes of change). This is not to say that things from higher dimensions, or experiences whose change requires at least four descriptors, can't affect things within the ordinary three dimensions, but this prospect seems also to be dim as

Virtual Particles

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there is likewise very little evidence on record for it. The only case that might stand as an exception to this is that of virtual particles. Virtual particles, as we explained in Quantum Mechanics, are particles that seem to pop in and out of existence spontaneously and very quickly. But the proper context in which the laws of conservation mentioned above hold is at a much higher level of scale and a much longer interval of time than that wherein virtual particles are prominent, and it is the same context in which the standard algorithm successfully carries out its function. Of course, there is ample evidence that things corresponding to indirect experiences do affect the more directly detectable things, and visa-versa. We need only list the two examples we cited above - namely, electromagnetic radiation and neutrinos - and I'm sure the reader can add his/her own examples to this list. But when it comes to these sorts of entities, we need to consider them within the framework of quantum mechanics. Anything that is free from direct human observation, and more importantly, from measurement in the broadest sense - that sense, in our case, being a high degree of environmental influence - will succumb to the common effects of quantum mechanics - namely, superposition and non-determinism. We know that quantum effects can influence phenomena within the domain of classical mechanics, a prime example being the double-slit experiment. In that experiment, we start with a classical process (turning on the light source), which in turn triggers a quantum process (the superposition of particles), and then reverts the effect back into a classical state (the marks on the plate). So the line between the standard algorithm and alternate ones is not necessarily cut and dry. They may exact some influence on each other. Putting them in terms of computer programs once again, we can say that each has a fair degree of liberty to "piggy back" some of their own input into the standard input fed into each one's own computations. Perhaps, then, it would be best to speak of only one unified algorithm, and indeed in some contexts this is best. But there are others in which a distinction between the two ought to be recognized, such as when we wish to contrast the laws of classical and quantum mechanics in terms of algorithms. Outside quantum mechanics, however, there really is no practical example, other than dark matter, that science can attest to of entities taking exact positions in space without being sensible in some way. Therefore, unless we wish to take dark matter into account, it doesn't seem likely that the scope of the standard algorithm spans too far beyond direct experiences. One quantum phenomenon that deserves particular attention while we are on the subject of alternate algorithms is quantum entanglement. If the reader will recall, quantum entanglement is the phenomenon whereby two or more objects are related to each other in a special way, namely that effects on one can also be applied instantly to the others despite the fact that vast distances may separate them. The example we offered in Quantum Mechanics was the case of a J/Ψ particle decaying into an electron with 1/2 spin and a positron with -1/2 spin. Because each daughter particle will always have spins opposite each other, a spin measure of one will instantly determine the spin of the other. Now, the standard algorithm, especially if it incorporates Einstein's cosmic speed limit and local realism, would strictly forbid the possibility of quantum entanglement. Although quantum entanglement, unlike superposition, preserves the three dimensions of position of all things involved, the standard algorithm mandates that any change in experience, such as those represented by the remote effects of quantum entanglement, must be translatable into three components. This means that not only must the objects involved in quantum entanglement take positions in three-dimensional space, but also their change must be described as movement through three dimensional space. Otherwise, what would it mean to say that such a change consists of a move so many units along the x-axis, so many units along the y-axis, and so many units along the z-axis? It would be wrong. Such moves would have never occurred. Nothing moves so many units along these axes - rather, the effect transcends all such movement, overcoming the distance between source and destination and attaining its end instantaneously. How could we frame quantum entanglement as an alternate algorithm that accounts for this virtual violation of local realism and the cosmic speed limit?

Quantum Entanglement

The Cosmic Speed Limit

Local Realism

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Figure 6: Standard Versus Alternate Algorithms First, we need to conceptualize physical change - that is, change of an object's position through space - as a series of experiences, each entailing its successor. Figure 6 above helps us in this effort. Note, in the figure, that the first experience in the series is directly associated with the last by the dotted arrow. This represents the immediate effect that the initial state - in the case of quantum entanglement, the act of measurement - has on the consequent state - the determined spin of the entangled partner. What this figure tells us is that one way for the initial experience to entail the final one is by entailing all intermediate experiences that intercede them. But it also tells us that the initial experience may be capable of entailing the final one directly. There is nothing surprising about the possibility that a given experience might have this power. We see it all the time in conceptual propositions and mathematical expressions. One example that comes to mind is the geometrical proof that I recall learning in high school, as might many of my readers, of the congruency of the two triangles in figure 7, which can be expressed as follows:

Figure 7: Congruent Triangles

Theorem: Triangles ABE and CDE are congruent. Proof: Step Justification Segment AD bisects 1) Given segment BC. Segment BC bisects 2) Given segment AD. Segments AE and ED are A bisected segment produces two 3) congruent. congruent segments. Segments BE and EC are A bisected segment produces two 4) congruent. congruent segments. Angles AEB and DEC 5) Vertical angles are congruent. are congruent. Triangles AEB and DEC 6) SAS* (steps 3, 4, and 5) are congruent.
* SAS is a postulate that states if two sides of a triangle and the angle they subtend are congruent to two sides of another triangle and the angle they subtend, then the two triangles are congruent.

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Geometric Proof and Hebbian Theory

So we see that, like any other theorem, this one is established by a formal proof. The proof is the long method of going from the initial premises to the conclusion, whereas the theorem that this proof establishes is the short method. Once this theorem is established, one can use it as a one-step justification without having to repeat the longer proof from which it was derived. So in both cases - going through the long proof or just using the theorem by itself - one is justified in stating that triangles ABE and CDE are congruent. What we can conclude, therefore, is that there are often times a wide variety of routes an experience can take in order to entail another particular experience, some direct and some not. Because, ultimately, the Universal Mind and the experiences therein are metaphysical and non-spatial, it really doesn't make sense to talk about great gulfs of distance between them. There's no reason to suppose, therefore, that anything holds one experience back from entailing another, even if their representational counterparts in the world of sensation and physics do appear to be incapable of affecting each other due to their remoteness. The variety of routes the initial experience has to choose from represent a variety of algorithms. In figure 6, it just so happens that the longer one represents the standard algorithm, and the shorter one, of which we much less frequently get to witness first hand, represents the alternate algorithm that manifests to us as the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. Furthermore, the geometrical proof outlined above is an especially good analogy since the theorem established by it could not be used in subsequent proofs unless it is first derived by this proof (it is not a good analogy in another way - see sidenote ). This mimics the fact that quantum entanglement cannot manifest unless the particles involved are first separated from each other by way of the standard algorithm that is, by traveling through space in the standard manner. The standard algorithm must be employed first before the alternate one that quantum entanglement represents can be brought in. But there are other quantum effects that can't be explained quite like this. Superposition, for example, yields positions that are not so deterministic. It is fair to say, therefore, that the output computed by this algorithm (if it is indeed an algorithm) is not like that of the standard one, which can be described in terms of three variables. If the states that result from quantum mechanical processes have no determined positions in space, then this could be an indication that the relations between the corresponding experiences simply aren't conducive to the three-descriptor scheme. This, of course, assumes that quantum mechanics is indeed an algorithm, or can be described as such metaphorically, which clashes with our formal interpretation namely, that the indeterminism of quantum mechanics is a sign of realness degradation, and that it is not an algorithm at all. But we will allow ourselves the liberty of speculating outside our chosen interpretation for the sake of exploring other more deterministic and algorithmic ones, and this is exactly where we will pick up when we return to this topic later in this paper.

Fundamentality
In our depiction of scale as a series of equivalent levels of experiences, each corresponding to a lower stage in the physical process of reduction, we managed to construe scale as a proper dimension. Each level of equivalence corresponds to the same physical system, but at higher and higher resolution as we go down. The analogy that guided us was one of mathematics, such as the equation 1 = .5+.5 = .25+.25+.25+.25 = .... All expressions in this equation are equivalent - they all represent the same quantity - and by successively picking them apart into smaller and smaller numbers, we do the same to each expression as we would to physical systems when we apply the reductive process. Now, an equation offers a special perspective on the concept of scale, not only in demonstrating the suitability of equivalence in characterizing their relations, but in its potential for endless expansion. That is, the particular pattern here - that of picking apart each expression into smaller and smaller numbers - has the potential to go on eternally. There is no smallest decimal place, and so we could write the above equation out until we get 1×10-100 + 1×10-100 + 1×10-100 + ... and still have room for more expansion. If we understand experiences as descriptions and remember that they all boil down to meaning, then the same rule of indefinite expansion should apply to them as well. It should be possible, that is, to take the meaning of any experience and describe or articulate it in as complex and longwinded a way as we like, and the resulting formulation would serve as a set of descriptions and meaning for component experiences further down the path of scale. This leads one to ask whether there is a fundamental level to things after all, whether there is a limit to how small things can get. There certainly is a limit to what can be represented in physical form, and it may be that as we move beyond a certain level of scale on the side of experience, we surpass the level that can be so represented. But as it concerns these experiences, the notion that we can expand the description of any one indefinitely, coupled with the notion of scale as a dimension characterized by equivalence relations, it would appear that no such fundamental limit exists. Furthermore, it would appear that traversing the dimension of scale downward isn't so much a matter of discovering lower levels, or higher degrees of resolution, but creating them. That is to say, when one expands the expression .5+.5 into .25+.25+.25+.25, what one is

Meaning

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doing is really creating a new form of the expression. So long as the equation still holds, one has the liberty of creating whatever form of the expression one wishes. One could express .5+.5 as .1+287-286+.4-.5 if he/she was so inclined. Therefore, another question one is led to ask is whether the best way to think of these levels is as simply existing, as we would ordinary objects that sit before us, or as being created upon being experienced. In this section and the next, we will address these two questions - is there a fundamental limit to scale and are we creating each level as we pass through them - and come out with the answers 'no' and 'yes' respectively. Needless to say, we are concerned, in this section, with fundamental particles, the most fundamental. We are not concerned, however, with electrons, quarks, neutrinos, or any of the known fundamental particles - not necessarily. What we mean by "fundamental" is more hypothetical than this. We mean whatever turns out to be the most fundamental things physics is capable of discovering. In other words, we hold out for the possibility that what scientists today take to be fundamental - for example, the electron - may turn out to be a composite of even smaller things after all. Scientists today consider this highly unlikely, but it is nevertheless possible in principle. In this way, we avoid attaching anything we say to specific particles, which, should they turn out to be composite after all, would potentially misconstrue what we say about them as invalid. This is not to say that we won't be using electrons, quarks, neutrinos, and the like in our examples, but it must be understood that what we say about them doesn't depend on their being exclusively electrons, quarks, neutrinos, or whatever else we make reference to - it depends on their being fundamental. Let's be cautious, however, for we are going on an analogy. It seems a fair assumption to say that the potential for infinite expansion of mathematical equations carries over to the meaning of experiences, but this is not a firm logical deduction. It's quite possible that corresponding to physically fundamental particles, whatever they may be, are genuinely fundamental experiences. What a fundamental experience feels like is beyond the scope of this paper (and me), but it would have to possess an inherent quality that defies further reduction. It would certainly be odd that such an experience could exist, much like it is for the first experience in a context wherein time is linear with respect to scale, but not paradoxical or inconsistent by any means. Thus, although it would be strange, it is possible that there are fundamental experiences. Having said that, however, let's entertain the less strange (or perhaps more strange) notion that fundamentality is more myth than fact, a notion that might require a slight stretching of the imagination on the part of the reader. If we recall the principle of the Duality of Physical Entities, we know that experiences correspond to the relations between physical particles undergoing activity, or moving, relative to each other. The only way in which experiences could correspond directly to physical objects is if those objects consisted of smaller components moving relative to each other (which, for the most part, they do). But if fundamental particles are truly fundamental, then no internal activity, no moving parts, exists within them, and so no experience can correspond to them directly. Therefore, there must be at least two physical entities in existence at once, for only then could there be a relation - and only then could an experience correspond to it. What if they aren't fundamental though? What if there is no fundamental particle, no such thing as fundamentality, at least not down in scale? Then everything would have internal structure, everything would consist of components that could potentially move relative to each other. In that case, everything could be said to have experiences corresponding to them directly. Is this possible? Is it possible that there really are no such things as fundamental particles? Well, certainly it is possible - at least in principle. That there is an end to scale is just as necessary as that there is an end to space or time. There is no limit to how small things can be. And even if we do reach the lower boundary of scale where things can be no larger than geometrical points - this only marks the physical limit - that is, the limit in space of how small things can be. But when we consider the corresponding chain of experiences, linked by equivalence, we see that the chain is like a mathematical equation unhindered by limits and free to expand as much as possible. It could be that at some point during this ever-expanding process, we surpass the level fit for representation in the physical universe. This point may correspond to a geometrical point or it may be more idiosyncratic to the particle in question. Beyond this point, we may still be dealing with indirect experiences as they might still have observable effects on other sensible things, or they may be utterly irrepresentable, in which case

String Theory: The Limits of Fundamentality

First Experience

Duality of Physical Entities

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we could never know about them. In either case, we are clearly in a metaphysical domain when we delve beyond this point, a metaphysical domain that is far beyond any depiction physical terminology might bear upon it. As stated above, however, scientists are very skeptical about the prospect of decomposing certain particles into smaller parts. The electron, for example, is believed to be truly fundamental. The standard manner in which scientists deduce this is by colliding particles, like electrons, together in particle accelerators. Particle accelerators are enormous devices, often miles in diameter, that normally consist of circular tunnels through which particles are accelerated by means of some force (usually electromagnetic). They accelerate particles close to the speed of light and then smash them into other particles. Often enough, this results in the destruction of the particles, shards and debris flying everywhere. Of course, it isn't really shards and debris, but smaller particles that, prior to the collision, composed the original particles. When this procedure is carried out on electrons and other particles believed to be truly fundamental, however, they remain intact no matter how fast we get them going. This has led most scientists to believe that such particles really are fundamental. But of course, no one can - not even in principle - accelerate particles to exactly the speed of light. Such a speed is unattainable by anything but light itself. It is always possible, however, to approach the speed of light ever closer. Even if one is already traveling at the astounding rate of 99.99% the speed of light, one can still push further to, say, 99.999% the speed of light (see aside ). In other words, there is always the possibility that we simply haven't pushed the electrons fast enough that is, we haven't smashed them with enough force - and so we can never know, in principle, whether or not electrons would break apart should we apply just that much more force. But if we think about this more carefully, we realize this says nothing about whether fundamentality really exists or not. First of all, what scientists are looking for when they conduct particle smashing experiments are smaller physical things - that is, they still expect the components of these particles, if they exist, to be physically there in space (corresponding, as we would say, to representable experiences). But if we are right in assuming the possibility of a level of scale below which components indeed exist but don't take physical form, or a form that physicality can represent, then perhaps, when we look for something physical, we are looking for the wrong sort of thing. Of course, if this is what it means for a particle to "break apart" or be "decomposed" into these parts - that is, to cease to be representable in physical form - we should at least expect the particle to disappear. None of the supposedly fundamental particles do this, however, in particle accelerator experiments. There are cases in which two particles annihilate each other when they come in contact. An electron and a positron will do this. The result is pure energy - a photon. This might be considered a case of particles disappearing when they collide, and the photon that remains would correspond to an indirect experience, detectable only through its effects. But it would still be wrong to say that this indirect experience counted as the components of the experience corresponding either to the electron or the positron. Rather, it is created in the act of collision. It is more accurate to say that the experiences corresponding to the electron and the positron, coupled together and upon morphing into the forms corresponding to the collision event, entailed that corresponding to the photon. But probably the most compelling argument for why these particles seem to be so indestructible is that the method employed to test this indestructibility - smashing them together - makes exclusive use of the standard algorithm. That is to say, the ordinary act of colliding two objects together and watching how they break apart is clearly an implementation of the laws of classical mechanics, and on the side of experiences, the principles of the standard algorithm. As an algorithm, colliding particles together counts as the input and their breaking apart as the output. The "programming" of the standard algorithm may be such that this output simply doesn't compute from the input when the particles are those believed to be fundamental. If this is the case, then these particles will never break apart no matter how much force we smash them with. Perhaps what is needed, then, is an alternate algorithm, a method that we may not expect to work intuitively, something like the effects seen in quantum entanglement. As it concerns the latter, we didn't always know to expect that measurements of a particle's properties could instantly affect the properties of another particle a great distance away. We didn't know that alternate algorithms capable of such accomplishments existed. Thus, it is possible, for similar reasons, that an alternate method, which we wouldn't intuitively expect to work, might be capable of breaking supposedly fundamental particles into their constituents. But even if no such method exists, it still stands to reason that the standard algorithm simply isn't up to the task. This doesn't mean these particles aren't composites of smaller things, just that the standard algorithm can't show them to be.

Particle Accelerators

Small Speed, Huge Force

Photons

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Before we go any further, we really ought to clarify what it means for a physically fundamental particle to "break apart" into its metaphysical constituents. It's easy to imagine crude thought experiments wherein an electron or a quark might explode into tiny fragments, but if we wanted to conduct these thought experiments properly, we shouldn't be envisioning such fragments in any physical or spatially localized forms. But what other way is there to envision them? Certainly, once we plunge below the fundamental level of physicality, we can imagine the realm we delve into in no other way than metaphysical - and in the specific context of our theory, as experiences. But we fall short of understanding what it means for experiences to "break apart". We therefore need to clarify this concept. What it means for an experience to "break apart" is really no different than what it means in any case wherein its corresponding counterpart in the physical world breaks apart - that is, a counterpart whose physical status, on account of its being a composite of smaller physical parts, doesn't fade away upon decomposing an ordinary macroscopic object, in other words. When such an object, a glass for example, is smashed into pieces, those pieces are still physical, and the corresponding experience simply goes through a change. We can draw the correspondence between the initial experience and the glass by associating the experience with the atomic activity that keeps the glass integrated - the electrons buzzing around the nuclei of each atom. As in all cases of physical activity, this atomic activity ultimately comes down to relative movements - namely, the movements of each electron relative to all the others and to all the nuclei. When the glass breaks, many of these relations go through radical shifts. At one moment, there may be relatively little movement between two electrons, and the next moment, there is suddenly great movement on account of their being forced apart by a vast distance. Not all such electron pairs, or pairs of any other constituents of the glass, will undergo drastic changes in their relative motion. Two electrons in the same shard of glass, for example, should experience very little change, whereas two electrons, one in one shard of glass, the other in another shard, will experience a great disturbance. Essentially, what happens to experiences when their corresponding physical counterparts undergo destruction is that they go through a major shift in their qualitative essence - that is, they radically morph. Of course, in cases like this - that is, where the physical system in question breaks apart into smaller physical systems (as opposed to purely metaphysical systems) - the major shift in the corresponding experience's qualitative essence is not one in which the shift brings the experience into a form incapable of being represented physically. The experiences that correspond to the shattering of the glass and the resultant shards are, quite obviously, not only representable but direct. But the above scenario really isn't that different from cases in which the physical system in question is physically fundamental, and we can quite trivially carry it over to such cases. The only caveat we need to keep in mind is that the qualitative character the experiences therein take upon undergoing their radical shift does bring them into forms that are beyond physical representation. Assuming the particle in question really is physically fundamental, these forms are irrepresentable if not indirect. In essence, what it means for an experience to "break apart" is, quite simply, that it goes through a major change in its qualitative character. Whether the "pieces" are still physically representable or purely metaphysical is a matter of the form the qualitative character finally takes. But these so-called pieces don't need to morph so drastically in order for them to be there in the composite experience that corresponds to the particle in question. They can't be there in the composite experience in the same form, of course, but they are not created out of nothing when the composite experience "breaks apart". That is to say, there is continuity between their pre-decomposed forms and their post-decomposed forms, a continuity that can be traced in either direction. To put this another way, the particle in question corresponds to one composite experience - uniform and homogenous - and this experience, although representable itself, can be reduced to a layer of equivalent experiences that, each on their own, may not be representable. Together, however, in virtue of forming an integrated system of experiences, they maintain a representable status - that is, because of the particular relations they bear to each other, relations that preserve their equivalence to the whole experience corresponding to the particle, they share the same representable character as that whole. It is only in regards to each component experience individually that no representable entitlement necessarily goes to it. They must cooperate in order that the system that emerges from such cooperation earns this entitlement. If there is a condition under which this cooperation breaks down, it would

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be when the corresponding particle breaks apart, in which case the whole - that is, the composite experience - morphs into a potentially irrepresentable form, bringing its components with it. This is not to say that it's even possible for physically fundamental particles to break apart - regardless of the algorithm brought to bear on them - only that their physical fundamentality is potentially transcended by further metaphysical reduction. Those experiences that lay there, although necessarily in flux, are constantly reinforcing themselves and the whole that they constitute. As we have seen in Quantum Mechanics, all physically fundamental particles exhibit wave properties, one in particular that is of interest to us here is frequency. All physically fundamental particles have a frequency. This frequency may correspond to the aforementioned flux constantly reinforcing itself. If we may represent the series of experiences that unfold through this flux as A, B, and C, then we would say that A entails B, which in turn entails C, which in turn entails A. Essentially, they form an entailment loop. Similar loops can be demonstrated with other not-so-fundamental physical systems such as electrons orbiting atomic nuclei or planets orbiting stars. In general, any physical system that perpetually reinforces its own prior states represents entailment loops. However, unlike atoms and solar systems, we can't be sure that the entailment loop corresponding to physically fundamental particles can be broken. One can knock electrons out of their orbits and massive astral bodies can do the same to planets, but this may be literally impossible for the metaphysical components of physically fundamental particles - regardless of how we construe their "breaking". In the latter case, the entailment of B from A, C from B, and A from C is unconditional and absolutely necessary - no extraneous experiences can lead them astray. As soon as A comes into existence, it will find a route back to itself again and again, and the physically fundamental particle that it, along with B and C, uphold remains unbreakable and eternal. It is not, however, as though particles don't change. Except perhaps for their frequency, we don't see any internal changes, but the relations that hold between them and other particles are always changing. This change, however, resides in the experiences corresponding to such relations, and thereby doesn't take part in the internal makeup of the experiences corresponding to particles themselves. Moreover, we know from quantum mechanics that the dynamics of these relations, unlike the dynamics of the relations between macroscopic objects, do not play out according to the principles of classical mechanics. Therefore, whereas the algorithm that seems to be at work in the dynamics between macroscopic objects is the standard one, the algorithm that seems to be at work in the dynamics between particles is either an alternate one or none at all. If, however, we reject the notion of fundamentality, attributing infinite divisibility to all experiences, then those experiences corresponding to inter-particle dynamics can be understood as operating according to an alternate algorithm. That is, there may be some method to the merely virtual indeterminism of quantum mechanics after all. We need only formulate an understanding of how.

The Frequency of an Atom

Infinite Complexity
Before we get to the heart of this understanding, however, let's first understand the nature of the variables that quantum mechanics concerns itself with - that is, the variables known to go into superposition states. These variables can all be put in terms of inter-particle relations. For example, a particle's position is defined by its location relative to other particles, it's spin by its orientation to the rest of the universe, and so on. Other variables that don't readily exhibit superposition, like mass or charge, are inherent to the particle in question. These inter-particle relations are what our measurements make use of, measurements of the variables subject to superposition states. That is to say, when we take a measurement of, say, a particle's position, we do so relative to our measuring device. In the case of the double-slit experiment, for example, we measure the position of a particle by where it hits the plate. We designate a particular spot on the plate as the origin of our imaginary coordinate system - perhaps the center, perhaps the top right corner - and we determine the particle's position relative to that spot. Therefore, the measuring device is crucial to the determination of the particle's position, or whatever variable we are concerned with, for it assigns specific values to those variables in relation to itself. Thus, in regards to the alternate algorithm on which the principles of quantum mechanics are based, the state of the measuring device is a crucial element of input that goes into this algorithm, contributing significantly to the output, that is, to the determination of the measured variable's value. Of course, the measuring device is not always present, in which case the nature of the output veers dramatically from what we are familiar with in terms of classical mechanics. In such cases, the output can only be described as a superposition state, which is something the standard algorithm would never compute. Therefore, the algorithm corresponding to quantum mechanics can be thought of as follows: if the value of the input given by the measuring device is

Superposition

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null (or at least, minimal), then the states of the particles of interest will be determined solely by the remaining input - namely, the particle's previous position, momentum, spin, etc. - and that determination will consist of the computation of a multitude of values for position, momentum, spin, etc., whose distribution can be described as a propagating wave. If, however, the input given by the measuring device is not null, then the determination of the particles' states will consist of only one value for the variable being measured (although all other values will remain distributed in a wave-like fashion). How the latter determination is performed, however, is a matter of the use the algorithm makes of the resources available to it. Those resources are found all the way down in scale - that is, they consist of the infinite spectrum of equivalent levels of experiences that the topmost experience, that corresponding to the relation between the measuring device and the particle being measured, reduces to. But as we shall now see, the infinite character of this spectrum can yield some seemingly indeterminate consequences. We recognize determinism when we can predict with perfect accuracy the outcomes of a system given its initial state. But in order to make such predictions, the variables that makeup this system must be finite and exhaustive of the system as a whole. Only when we can determine their initial values and how they affect each other are we able to predict with perfect accuracy the final state of the system. But what if there were an infinite number of variables to consider? If that were the case, then there would be an infinite range of possible outcomes. There would be no possibility of our ever being able to determine the initial values of all variables involved, and therefore no possibility of being able to predict the outcome. Furthermore, if we suppose that each variable is itself infinitely divisible - that is, in such a way that each division could again be divided ad infinitum - then we couldn't even predict the states of these variables individually. In fact, there would be no such thing as a variable whose state could be so predicted. It doesn't follow, however, that the system isn't deterministic. The state of the system, and those of the variables, would be determined by their own internal dynamics, for it is not as though their components are lacking - they are indeed there, and they are contributing, each in their own way, to the overall states of their respective wholes. Therefore, the system as a whole can still be said to be deterministic in virtue of the mere presence of its variables, infinite in number as they may be. It's just that the regularity of patterns in the outcomes, and thus our ability to make accurate predictions, is lost. Hopefully, the reader needs no guidance in order to make the connection between this hypothetical system of infinite components and what we are proposing here with respect to the infinite reducibility of physically fundamental particles to smaller metaphysical parts. If the range of such metaphysical parts, as well as their own divisibility, is infinite, then the behavior of the particles they makeup would indeed appear to be random. At every instant, their output would be computed in a different - and unique - way. We would not be able to predict such output, and we would be forced to regard it as non-deterministic, if not utterly random. Let's toy with a hypothetical scenario to help make this concept more vivid. Suppose an alien species from another world, engaged in the pursuit of exploring the cosmos, stumbled across our corner of the universe and took an interest in our solar system. These aliens are humongous beings - our entire solar system fits in the palm of their hands. To them, the plethora of details that characterize life on Earth is too miniscule for them to notice. To them, Earth is just another ball orbiting an ordinary star. To them, there is no reason to expect that it should do anything out of the ordinary. All it will do is go on orbiting the Sun as all other planets. Now suppose that during their stay, they notice a colossal asteroid three times the size of the Earth heading for our vicinity. By their calculations, Earth is doomed to be obliterated. This is the case by our calculations as well, for our scientists have also noticed the asteroid. It is too massive for any practical measures to be taken, such as launching nuclear warheads or a probe. The only option is for us to detonate piles of nuclear explosives at the South Pole, thereby steering Earth into a new orbit and away from the asteroid's path. As a last hope for the salvation of mankind, this is what we resolve to do.

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Bell's Theorem

Local Hidden Variables

Now, imagine what the aliens must think when they see this little blue ball, spontaneously and seemingly out of nothing, alter its course and take a new orbit - this little blue ball that supposedly should be acting as all the other balls they've ever come across. They would be left with an impression probably akin to that of Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and all other physicists who were there, during the emergence of quantum mechanics, to observe the astonishing and virtually random behavior of subatomic particles. In both cases, given what we are proposing here (that there is no fundamentality in the universe), this virtual randomness is really due to the complexities and diversity of components inherent in the entities under observation. In the case of Earth's shift in orbit, it is man that counts as the key component. This infinitesimally small creature, small in relation to the aliens, is intricately complex and intelligent enough to effectively impose all kinds of influences over the Earth, influences that can veer her drastically from her usual behavior. In the case of subatomic particles, it is the metaphysical constituents of their corresponding experiences that count as the key components, yielding an infinitude of states in a seemingly haphazard and unpredictable manner. Of course, in the latter case, these components may be irrepresentable experiences, whereas in the former, they are clearly representable (the feature of an irrepresentable status is important to keep in mind as it allows us to avoid a potential objection - namely, that Bell's Theorem prohibits us from positing local hidden variables. Because irrepresentable experiences are necessarily and purely metaphysical, as are indirect experiences for that matter, they are necessarily non-local). Nonetheless, the same rule applies - namely, that the more complexity to the makeup of a system, the more complex and unpredictable its behavior. Taken to extremes, infinite complexity entails a complete lack of predictability - at least perfect predictability - and as a consequence, the appearance, on at least a few occasions, of randomness. Of course, the complexity of a system's structure hardly needs to be infinite in order to give off the impression of randomness. Computer programs can be written to mimic randomness quite convincingly without making use of things below the level of the smallest pieces of hardware they run on. Likewise, the experiences that serve as the groundwork of quantum mechanics may be finite after all. Of course, in that case, if the divisibility of physically fundamental particles is still infinite, then there must be levels of experience, and hence other algorithms, below even the quantum level. But then a question rises to the surface. Why not consider the entire series of algorithms as one integrated whole - that is, one algorithm with many parts? Well, there isn't any clear reason why we can't do this - not really. But it is sometimes best, such as for the sake of human understanding, to make distinctions between various levels. The use we make of distinguishing between classical and quantum mechanics is a case in point. Scientists know that out of the two, quantum mechanics is the more accurate description, not just of particles, but all of nature. Even the consistency with which we see things fall is not consistent enough according to quantum mechanics. There is an extremely slight chance that the next time you drop a ball, it won't fall straight to the ground, and thus it can't really be a natural law. Likewise, if classical mechanics were really an algorithm, it would have bugs. The more accurate depiction, therefore, is that classical and quantum mechanics work together to form one whole algorithm, one that computes outputs of objects falling due to gravity under most conditions, but when rare parameters are in place, the output turns out differently. Nevertheless, these same scientists, the ones who understand that there is only one method to the dynamics of nature, still find the term "classical mechanics" useful in describing the laws of nature in the right contexts. Thus, why should we not find use in the same distinction between the standard algorithm and the alternate one we're associating with quantum mechanics? In fact, if there really is no fundamentality to the universe, we might have no other choice, for in that case, it would be impossible to describe the ultimate algorithm underlying the dynamics of the universe as that would entail describing an infinite number of variables. As a dimension, we can think of scale as we think of space. As we move down in scale, it is as if we are moving forward through space. As we encounter the variety of different systems of experiences, different algorithms, it is as though we were passing through various different lands on our journey forward through space. We would be moving forward on a flat Earth, more or less, because this journey never ends - that is to say, unlike on a round Earth where the journey would eventually bring us full circle, the journey down through scale is not circular with respect to space - not to our knowledge anyway. Therefore, we travel through an infinite series of lands, each different from the last, each with things new and unique to explore. Each land is like a nation, rich in arts, science, and commerce. Its inhabitants partake in commerce with exuberance and zeal.

Computers Mimicking Randomness

Visualizing Scale as a Spatial Dimension

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They especially enjoy foreign trade. They readily engage in the exchange of various goods with their neighboring lands, much like each algorithm contributes its share of input to that of each other algorithm, and is affected by their output as well. We never come to the end of this journey. There is no outskirt to the succession of lands, to this flat Earth, no boundary at which ships fall off the edge and birds fly off into the infinite depths of the blue skies and the space beyond it. There are just more and more lands as one journeys further and further. This analogy is much closer to the reality of scale than one might at first guess. Even when we consider it in a physical context, we find that each level consisting of a distinct system, each composed of unique constituents and running on its own algorithm, is like a whole other world. The world of atoms, for example, is markedly different - in fact, incomparable - to the world of ordinary macroscopic objects like clocks and television sets. The algorithms underlying their dynamics - that is, the laws governing their behavior - are equally distinct. Beginning at the cosmic level, wherein we find colossally massive objects such as planets and stars, the most salient algorithm at work is that of gravitational tension. We see these massive bodies circling around each other in elliptical orbits, a jaw-dropping spectacle indeed should such behavior be seen to happen at the level of ordinary human-sized objects. We even find effects accounted for by Einstein's relativity theory manifesting quite noticeably - effects like time dilation and length contraction, the likes of which are too minute to recognize at any of the lower levels. Then we come down to the level of ordinary macroscopic objects like cars, skateboards, and human beings. These things behave according to the basic laws of classical mechanics - the clunking and bumping that goes on when they are pulled and pushed by ordinary forces like being hit or bouncing off the ground after falling. Below this level we come to the atomic level where the force of gravity and the laws of classical mechanics are silenced (or at least, reduced to a whisper). Here, the pulls and pushes of positive and negative charges reign - that is, the electromagnetic force. Here we see the most peculiar objects one could lay eyes on (if that were indeed possible), and we call these "atoms". They consist of a tightly compacted ball of protons and neutrons surrounded by a cloud of electrons, and appear to be bonded to each other by forces of their own - certainly a world very unlike any one familiar to us. And finally, at the lowest level known to mankind, we enter the quantum world. This is the strangest of all worlds, for here things don't seem to stick to any sort of algorithmic pattern whatsoever. We have odd entities that defy description to the extent that the term "wave-particle duality" is the best we can conjure up. Whether this rebellious neglect for algorithmic behavior is a matter of complexity or a blatant lack thereof is something we will never know for certain. A general rule of thumb that can be applied to determine when one has entered a "new land" as one goes down in scale - that is, a level whose identity is distinctly unrecognizable as that of its neighbors - is to conduct the following thought experiment. Imagine that it were possible to grow or shrink a man to any size whatsoever, and without endangering his regular functioning as a living organism. Imagine also that the things that exist at each level can be seen by the naked eye. Now suppose that we grew or shrunk a man to a particular level, but we did so unbeknownst to him - that is, he had no idea he was being grown or shrunk - as though we did so in his sleep. The crucial question then becomes: upon awakening, what is his first impression - that he has been grown or shrunk, or that he has been taken to a different place? In order to assume the former, there would still have to be some degree of resemblance between the ordinary macroscopic world and the world he now inhabits - there would have to be something for him to go on in making the connection. But in order to assume the latter, there could be no trace of resemblance at all. It would literally have to look like the subject had traversed the dimensions of space rather than scale and wound up in a different place. Of course, other conditions would have

Relativity Theory

Time Dilation

Length Contraction

Electromagnetic Force

Biology: A Whole Package of Other Levels

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to be met as well. For one, we would have to assume that, all else being equal, one naturally assumes a displacement in space over a displacement in scale - which seems plausible - and second, that the subject undergoing scale change knows absolutely nothing about the physical structure of the universe at various levels - which seems less plausible, but as a thought experiment, can freely be granted. But given all these conditions, if the subject in question is significantly more likely to assume, as a first impression, that a displacement in space has occurred before assuming a displacement in scale, then that is a sure sign that the level the subject has been taken to is different enough for a divide to be drawn between it and the original level. So now we have two accounts of quantum mechanics for our theory to rely on - that quantum phenomena are "less real" and that quantum phenomena are infinitely complex. It might even be the case that these two accounts are both in play. In that case, as one goes down in scale, the experiences he/she encounters along the way become less and less real. Consequently, the indeterminacy that quantum mechanics is so well-known for is still legitimate indeterminacy, but the complexity of these experiences still plays the role of supporting the impression of such anyway. But in any case, these accounts not only support quantum mechanics, but they also resolve a slight problem we left behind in the Advanced Theory - namely, the problem of how we get so much qualitative diversity from the experiences corresponding to physically fundamental particles. It was said, as the reader will recall, that the manner of behavior taken on by these particles is one of attraction and repulsion, which, we said, is usually an exemplification of pleasures and pains (but see sidenote ). But then it stands to question how we can have the diversity of quality we experience in, at the very least, our own minds, and at most, the universe in general. How can experiences like color, taste, sound, emotion, thought, and so on be derived from simple pleasures and pains? It makes a difference, however, to the approach we take towards this problem when we conceptualize the universe without fundamentality. The difference it makes is, of course, that these supposed pleasures and pains are not themselves fundamental. They are decomposable into yet smaller experiences, experiences whose essential qualities may very well be diverse enough to account for the richness in the experiences we are familiar with. Yet, there is still something to the argument offered in the Advanced Theory, the argument supporting the notion that the behavior of physically fundamental particles corresponds to pleasure and pain. It may be that these particles, and the relations between them, are further reducible still, but this bears no consequence to the attractive and repulsive manner of their behavior. Would the corresponding experiences then not still be pleasures and pain? Well, one thing we might say is that if these experiences are decomposable into much more complex systems, each potentially configured differently from the rest, then perhaps the description of "pleasure" and "pain" is a better label for categories of experiences - that is to say, we might gain clearer insight if we describe these experiences as pleasurable and painful as opposed simply to pleasure and plain. To be sure, we have plenty of examples at our disposal, examples of experiences that can be just as easily construed as categories as they can plain experiences. The experience of vision, for instance, contains, as a category, many simpler experiences that are clearly visual, such as color, lines, complex shapes, motion, depth perception, and so on. So vision, in and of itself, is not only an experience, but a category of experiences. A similar variety of pleasurable and painful experiences can be given to substantiate the construal of pleasure and pain as categories. For example, when one claims to be experiencing pleasure, she could mean a couple of things. She could be referring to physical pleasure or emotional pleasure. Where the former is concerned, she could be referring to warmth, the kind one enjoys when immersed in a hot bath, or to an orgasm, or to the scratching of an itch. Where the latter is concerned, she could be referring to the excitement of winning a prize, or the pride that goes with major accomplishments, or the process of falling in love. Similar categories can be shown for pain, such as sustaining a bruise, tasting something foul, or something more emotional such as fear or anger. So we need not dispense with the hedonistic nomenclature in describing the experiences corresponding to the attractive and repulsive manner in which physically fundamental particles behave, but we do need to recognize that there's so much more to be described than this nomenclature allows for. This additional level of description goes into the pleasurable or painful aspect, mixing in with it so to speak, like paints, to yield a variety of qualities, each uniform and homogenous on its own, that spans far beyond a simple hedonistic dichotomy. Of course, this approach to the problem of pleasures and pains at the base of existence is far from unconditionally effective. It depends, as should be clear, on a total absence of fundamentality. If physically fundamental particles represent the most fundamental level of the universe, then we still have a problem.

Qualitative Diversity

How Pleasure and Pain Are Really Exemplified

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Qualitative Diversity

There is another possibility, however - that there is a more fundamental level below that corresponding to these particles, one that is metaphysical (just as we've been saying), but a finite distance down in scale. At this level, there may be a much higher abundance of qualitative diversity, enough to serve as the elements of more qualitative diversity at higher levels. Another point to consider is our original interpretation of the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics. According to this interpretation, the behavior of physically fundamental particles is not fully deterministic. Therefore, one cannot describe such behavior as either attractive or repulsive. Unless some measurement or environmental interaction has brought about collapse, their behavior cannot be described in any definitive manner. This isn't quite enough to posit a wide range of diversity in the corresponding experiences, but it does render the problem somewhat less challenging. As it concerns this problem in general, we will conclude on this note - namely, that there is at least one way, and maybe more, to solve it, keeping in mind that such solutions are conditional. An additional point that would serve to make such solutions more plausible is the notion that, although there may be a fundamental level to things after all, deeper levels can still be created out of this fundamental level. How to articulate such a notion in a consistent and reasonable manner is the topic of the next section.

Science as Communication With God
Before articulating this notion, however, we ought to clarify what we mean by the "creation" of yet lower levels of fundamentality. For one thing, we don't mean creation in the ordinary "mechanical" sense of the word. That is, we don't mean it as in the creation of rain from clouds or a cake from butter, eggs, sugar, and flour. These forms of creation are processes - that is, they are things that come about through a process before which the creation did not exist and after which it did. The sort of creation we have in mind here does not involve a process, yet it is not something whereby the creation always existed and always will exist either. We mean "creation" in quite a different sense, and we need to exhume this meaning before we can understand how fundamental levels are created. Before we begin this task, however, we need to make one more thing clear - namely, how the creation of components from something fundamental doesn't fly straight in the face of the very meaning of "fundamentality". For something to be fundamental, it shouldn't even be possible to create components from it. So to begin with, let's address the latter issue.

Decomposing The Fundamental
A reasonable definition of "fundamentality" for us to work with is as follows: a thing is fundamental when no components exist, or can exist, into which the thing in question can be decomposed. We need to add "or can exist" to account for the special case in which the components don't actually exist "in" the composite thing but can be derived from it through some process. For example, there is no hydrogen or oxygen gas in water (although there are hydrogen and oxygen atoms), but applying the right chemical process to the water can derive them. Thus, when a thing can't be converted into smaller parts and no such parts exist in the first place, that thing is fundamental. Let's say, then, that we had a fundamental entity. No components exist that could come together to form that entity. But since we are toying with a fanciful scenario, let's take the liberty of supposing that such components magically popped into existence. That is, by an act of pure creation (but not the kind we are concerned with clarifying), a set of things whose essential properties so happened to be of just the right character that they could serve as the components of our so-called fundamental entity came into existence. It is intrinsic to their nature that when they come together, they react and form an entity completely indistinguishable from the original one we took to be fundamental. This is possible (the utter spontaneity of this event notwithstanding) in virtue of the act being purely creative. That is to say, given full liberty to create anything whatsoever, without limitation, without restriction, whatever is needed in order to have components suitable for the original entity is permitted. In this manner, if such spontaneous acts of creation were possible, no fundamental entity would be left without the potential existence of components suitable to its unique essence. If this were possible, and if it happened for a particular instance of a fundamental entity - say an electron, its new components being, say, an x-tron and a y-tron - this doesn't mean that the electron was composed of these particles all along. So long as the electron itself isn't converted into an x-tron and y-tron pair, it is still the same fundamental particle we have taken it to be from the beginning. Nothing about its internal structure or substance has changed. Of course, this puts a condition on the manner in which the x-tron and y-tron come together to form the electron - namely, they can't just be an x-tron and a y-tron squeezed together like sardines (that's not what an electron is). Rather, they would have

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to transform their essential structure such that they become one particle indistinguishable from an electron in all its properties. The x-tron and the y-tron, in essence, would have to have disappeared in this very act. Furthermore, the act would have to be irreversible, for it is an essential trait of the electron that it cannot be decomposed. The important point, however, still stands. So long as it is fundamental to the nature of the x-tron and the y-tron that their coming together results in the formation of an electron, then it could be said that they count as the ingredients for an electron. They may not be there "in" the electron once it's formed, but if we had to conjecture what the components of an electron might be like, should it be decomposable after all, then they count as a possible combination we might consider. Of course, it stands to question, in light of this, whether we still have the right to call the electron fundamental in the midst of x-trons and y-trons popping into existence all around it. If we refer back to our formal definition, we find that one of the conditions of fundamentality has been violated - namely, that no such components exist. Well, certainly this fanciful scenario prohibits us from calling electrons fundamental after all (at least, once x-trons and y-trons are created), but we can still drive the point home outside this scenario. That is, even if we suppose that no acts of spontaneous creation like this are possible, the above scenario still leaves us with a way of imagining what the components of specific fundamental entities might be like - or at least, a rule - should they have not been fundamental after all. The rule, simply, is that it must be intrinsic to the nature of such components that they form the so-called fundamental entity when they are brought together. An important point to supplement this rule is that as an act of creativity, given no limits, our imagination can draw out possibilities for the essential character of these components in much the same way that we draw out experiences from the infinite pool of experiences - that is, based on whatever we need, assured as we would be that it exists therein. We should engage in this act of imagination assuming that there is always something that passes for precisely those components needed to constitute the whole. As an analogy to help us understand this, let's imagine how this works with fundamental colors. If we are to go with the RGB color scheme, then the primary (fundamental) colors are red, green, and blue. Now let's ask what the color orange decomposes into. The answer is simple: red and green (more red than green). Now one might think that, red and green being fundamental, no further decomposition can be carried out. But it's easy to see that red can just as easily be decomposed into purple and orange. Figure 10 demonstrates this. It was created in Adobe Photoshop. The two circles, the orange and the purple, each 50% transparent, were simply brought overtop each other - nothing was colored red deliberately. This is only possible, of course, because, as we've seen above, the RGB scheme is not the only color scheme on which colors can be based. In the CMYK scheme, for instance, red is not a fundamental color, and can be decomposable into orange and purple - the very colors of figure 10 - which in turn can be decomposed into cyan, magenta, and yellow - the fundamental colors of the CMYK scheme. Nevertheless, this example provides us with a way of imagining the fundamental being decomposed into yet more basic parts.

The Infinite Pool of Experiences

RGB and CMYK Color Schemes

Figure 10: Decomposing red into orange and purple. Now, there is a sense in which this analogy is no good - namely, that it fails to show how new and unique components can be derived from fundamental things. We derived orange and purple from the supposedly fundamental color red, but orange and purple are not new colors. They already existed beforehand.

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Nevertheless, there are a couple ways in which this analogy is a good one. First, even though orange and purple are not new colors, it demonstrates the sense in which the components derived from so-called fundamental things must adhere to specific qualitative essences such that they indeed compose the whole when brought together. Second, it shows how the derived components need not reside "in" the composite one. Like all colors, red is quite bland - uniform and homogenous as we would say. There is nothing of purple or orange within it. We could say that red is close to purple or orange, and in that sense, argue that there are hints of purple and orange, but red itself is its own unique color, distinct from purple, orange, and all other colors. Therefore, although purple and orange makeup red, they are not "in" red - not like ice cubes are in my lemonade. Instead, purple and orange, in coming together to form red, have blended and melded together, and red emerged as a product. But in this process, purple and orange disappear, like the x-tron and y-tron disappear when they form an electron. So we don't see purple or orange when we see red - they aren't there. Moreover, this analogy helps us to imagine the point we (hopefully) got across in the last section - that perhaps things can be decomposed infinitely. If we start with one color, say orange, and we show that it can be reduced to a couple of others, red in this case being one, and that this red is reducible, yet again, to orange, we find ourselves faced with a pattern that repeats indefinitely. There's nothing absolutely fundamental about any of the colors, and so it is in the fanciful scenario we are considering here, the one wherein more basic components can be imagined for any supposedly fundamental entity whatsoever. If these more basic components can be imagined, and thus taken to be more fundamental than the entity we started with, then the same process can be repeated with them, and again to the next iteration of derived components, and so on down the line. But what good is a fanciful scenario to us? What good is using our imagination? These exercises are just to prepare the reader for the concepts that follow. They should provide him/her with a means of conceptualizing the creation of parts from supposedly fundamental wholes. The real creation of parts applies, not so much to physically fundamental particles, but, of course, to the experiences that correspond to them. But as we said earlier, the sort of "creation" that this involves is not the standard kind that comes about through a process. The lower levels of experiences that we would deem equivalent to higher levels are not created out of these higher levels as though they didn't exist before and then emerged as some kind of outgrowth. The seeds of creation begin to grow elsewhere. They begin to grow in the minds of those who inquire about the physical nature of the universe - that is, the scientist. The scientist, as we shall now see, creates new, more fundamental, levels to the universe in his/her own mind. He/she calls it a theory and then proceeds to test this theory by experimental means. If the results of the experiment prove congruent with the theory, then the scientist says that the fundamental level thus theorized and proven has been discovered. But in regards to the experiences corresponding to this newly discovered level, this discovery is just as much a creation. It is not a creation of something that didn't exist, but neither is it a creation of something that always existed. Rather, it is more like the discovery, or creation, of a new way of articulating a mathematical expression such as .5+.5 for 1. This new articulation begins as a creation in the mathematician's mind, and then proceeds to be "discovered" by way of mathematical proof. But when it is so discovered, is it also created in the abstract world of mathematical forms (without going too deep in Platonism )? In one sense no - namely, that 1 has always equaled .5+.5 - but in another sense yes - namely, that as a manner of articulating the expression 1, it must be created before it can be "seen", or rather posited, in the abstract world of mathematics. In the latter sense, what has been discovered is not so much the new articulation itself, but its fitness for equivalence to the expression 1. It is in a similar sense that the scientist creates those experiences corresponding to the newly "discovered" levels of fundamentality. This notion requires much elaboration, of course, and this is what we will set out to do in the next section.

Equivalence

Experimental Science
Concerning our relation to the Universal Mind, we are connected to it most saliently through our senses. Information passes from outside to inside by the process of entailment. It is a continuous and unbreaking process, and therefore no point exists where one could say that the Universal Mind has ceased and the human mind has begun. We are all one with it. The constant flow of information from outside to inside is therefore a form of communication - from the Universal Mind to sentient beings - from God to us. We considered this perspective before in Reality and Perception where we offered the "descriptive" model of experiences and how they are communicated to us. Experiences are thus a language. When the Universal Mind communicates with us through our senses, it is speaking in the language of experience - and it is a perfect language, for everything spoken with it becomes true.

The Universal Mind

Entailment

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The scientist is the one who is most interested in what the Universal Mind has to say. He invests all his trust in his senses, and hungers for ever more precision and detail in the things yielded from them. He is drawn to God's message and yearns to decipher it. Over the past four hundred years or thereabouts, man has perfected this craft, the craft we call experimental science. Today it is an extensively refined practice whereby the scientist is equipped with greater power than ever before, power to glean a wealth of information from the dialogue he and the Universal Mind are engaged in. If the Universal Mind is a teacher, then the scientist is the pupil, but as such he not only listens but asks questions. How does one ask questions of God? How does one invoke God's language, the language of experience, in order to pose these questions in a way fruitful to the pursuit of answers? It is done by physical experimentation. The modern form of the experimental method is suitable for this task. The experimenter resolves to find out what the consequences are of specific physical acts performed on a system deliberately setup to react to such acts. That is to say, the experimenter prods and pokes (metaphorically) at some physical phenomenon, the one he's interested in learning more about, in the hopes that, under controlled settings (presumably the laboratory), the phenomenon will react to such prodding and poking (again metaphorically) in such a way that the experimenter can observe and record it definitively and clearly. If his observations count as a message given to him, via the senses, by the Universal Mind, then the experiment, at least that part of it consisting of his actions on the phenomenon under investigation, count as a question. The message that is returned to him is therefore the answer. In effect, experimental science as refined and perfected in the modern day is really the art of asking God questions and receiving His answers. Of course, scientists seldom think of their pursuit in this way. They don't think of themselves as pupils and nature as a god-like teacher. Rather, they see nature in mechanical terms - that is, in terms of objective non-conscious entities and processes. They therefore are not pupils but observers and investigators. The results they get from their experiments are simply the consequences, governed by unconscious immutable laws, of their physical interactions with the systems under study. But this makes no difference to us - we who subscribe to MM-Theory - for in our view, there is an exchange going on whether the scientist shares this view or not, an exchange of "words" - that is, information - between the experimenter and nature, between man and God. Mastering the art of experimental science represents, from this vantage point, an incredible step forward for man, for only in this age of refined scientific technique have we learnt to speak the language of God. The practitioners of this art may not understand it in this way, but according to our perspective, this is indeed the sort of endeavor they have embarked on. Perhaps one day man will take this perspective to be common sense, but today - and for our present purposes in particular - this is not our concern. What we are presently concerned with is what this idea - that experimental science represents a sort of question and answer exchange between man and the Universal Mind - entails about the invention of more fundamental levels on the experiential side of the universe. To understand what it entails, it will help to forget everything we have been saying so far on equivalence - at least to start - and assume there is only one level of scale everywhere in the Universal Mind - that is, one set of experiences interconnected by entailment, each uniform and homogenous without being composed of more basic experiences or composing experiences higher up. In this way, we can imagine the information streaming through the scientist's senses as coming in from this one level and only this level. Therefore, the only message contained in this information - the only thing the Universal Mind wants to tell us - is what we get as vividly and immediately as the ordinary macroscopic objects we encounter everyday. There is certainly a rich abundance of such objects, but let's focus on one in particular - let's say a rock. If we come across an ordinary rock, say one you can hold in the palm of your hand, then the image of this rock is the only experience the Universal Mind intends to give you. What you interpret of it is trivially simple, and the formulation of this interpretation quite automatic. What you see, in the end, is just a plain rock - dull and banal as that. If this experience, across all stages of its entailment in your mind - from the raw visual experience, through the perception of a three-dimensional object in space, to the conceptual apprehension that what you are seeing is indeed a rock - is given from the one level of scale that constitutes the whole of

Equivlance

Entailment

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the Universal Mind, then this is all the Universal Mind wants to convey (of course, a "want" is an all too human word and most likely isn't the particular motive behind this communication, but there is nonetheless some drive underlying the process of entailment that ultimately leads to the human form of this experience). The message man gleans from this communication - that there is a plain old boring rock there - has been the standard one man has intuitively gathered for ages. It was only recently, within the last couple of centuries, that man has added to this interpretation. He began by borrowing the theory of atoms from the Greeks (which is actually more than two millennia old, but only recently become established as scientific fact) and has been refining and adding more detail to it - namely, atoms and subatomic particles - ever since. In other words, man has been going above and beyond - by far - the original message delivered by the Universal Mind, and he has been doing so by way of his fertile imagination - by his faculties of creativity. Now, before we give off the wrong impression - that all scientific theories are "made up" - we ought to point out that what we are about to argue is that even though this indulgence in invention may go far beyond what the Universal Mind originally intends for us to understand, it is not necessarily wrong. It is not even wrong despite the fact that we would be going down in scale - to the nanoscopic level - wherein no corresponding level on the side of experiences, supposing as we are that only one level exists on this side (the level corresponding to ordinary macroscopic objects), exists. It is the latter notion that seems problematic, for if there is no level on the experiential side of the universe for atoms and other such nanoscopic things to correspond to, how could we ever be right in supposing that the physical macroscopic objects that we see in everyday life are composed of these things? To answer this question, we must keep in mind that no one, not even the keenest of scientists, can see things as small as atoms and other nanoscopic entities. We can't even see things as small as cells. What tells us that macroscopic objects are composed of things so small are the results of our experiments. These results are always and necessarily on the level of scale suitable for the human eye (and other senses) to pick up. Even those instruments that are said to help man extend the reach of his senses, such as electron microscopes (which indeed do allow us to see things as small as atoms and other nanoscopic entities), must eventually magnify the things they measure to a level sensitive enough to stimulate our senses and make us aware of them. In effect, we only see macroscopic representations of those things which would otherwise be totally beyond sight. We only ever infer things, in other words, that are beyond the scope of our senses - usually justifiably - and this is an important point that we should remember. How does this help us answer our question? It tells us that even though we may only be making inferences again, justifiably - the macroscopic effects that serve as the basis for these inferences are still consequences of a macroscopic setup. That is to say, the phenomenon the scientist takes an interest in, when studied in a laboratory setting, must be macroscopic in order for him to conduct such studies. It is true that the real phenomenon he is interested in may be micro- or nanoscopic, or at any level too small to see with the naked eye, but there must be some surrounding setup, some environment, that is used to control and contain the phenomenon in question. Smashing particles, for example, can only be done in something as enormous as a particle accelerator, a colony of bacteria can only be studied in a petri dish, the wave-like behavior of individual particles can only be demonstrated by producing an interference pattern in something like the double-slit experiment, and so on. The surrounding setup must be large enough for the scientist to manipulate the independent variable, for without this ability, he has no way of correlating the readings of the dependent variable (i.e. the results) with it. What this means, in effect, is that, although it may be indirect, there is a cause-effect connection between the macroscopic independent variable (the setup) and the macroscopic dependent variable (the results). In simpler words, it is a macroscopic phenomenon leading to a macroscopic consequence. Thus, we can answer our question as follows: a theory of atoms can be right in the sense that its predictions, if they are to be deemed scientifically verifiable, can be invoked and observed, and because such invocation and observation can only be done on a macroscopic level, the theory, if its predictions are to be tested, is in a certain sense about macroscopic things but expressed in terms of nanoscopic concepts. Of course, this only answers our question on the physical side of things - that is, in terms of the physical representations of other experiences in the Universal Mind. But how do we make sense of this answer in terms of those experiences? That, after all, is more to the point. We do so by starting with the perspective given above - namely, that all scientific theories are correct if they make accurate predictions that can be put exclusively in terms of physical macroscopic objects. These predictions are then carried over to the corresponding experiences - the ones that exist solely on the single level of scale - but in terms appropriate to those experiences. What we would say, in effect, is that the particular quality of those experiences corresponding to the manipulation of the independent variable are just the right sort that they entail those experiences corresponding the consequences of such manipulation, which we call the dependent variable. This may not seem that enlightening at first glance unless we consider it exclusively in light of the perspective given above - again, that of macroscopic causes bringing about macroscopic effects. In other words, if we ignore the theory as it is stated in terms of nanoscopic things like atoms, we are led to a new perspective on the nature of the macroscopic phenomena in the experiment. This perspective parallels the more trivial insight about how the

Interference Pattern

Double-Slit Experiment

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corresponding experiences are entailed, and if we understand that insight as stemming directly from the particular quality of those experiences, then it follows from this parallel that we must think of the physical phenomena as equally particular. More specifically, we must think of them as particular in the sense that they react to the particular manipulation imposed by the scientist in a very particular way - namely, that the particular results follow. This particularity must therefore belong to the intrinsic nature of the phenomena themselves. To put this another way, there is more to the phenomena under investigation - even at the macroscopic level of scale - than meets the eye. If we were not to ignore the nanoscopic conception of the phenomena - that is, the theory that it is composed of atoms - then this particularity - that is, the "more" there is to the phenomena - would simply be explained away as the fact that it's not just a macroscopic object but a collection of nanoscopic objects we call "atoms". But if we refrain from taking this perspective, we must posit this particularity to the macroscopic phenomena as we observe them at the macroscopic level. To get a better grasp on this, let's go back to our example of the rock - the bland and dull rock. Now, it so happens that limestone, a certain type of rock, contains a mineral called calcite, which reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce carbon dioxide and water. Let's take this fact and suppose that the rock we're presented with is limestone and we submerged it in a vat of hydrochloric acid to find that, over time, it dissolves with carbon dioxide and water coming off as byproducts. Now, if we are to refrain from going down in scale, this chemical reaction is not to be put in terms of the interaction of atomic structures. Instead, it must be put in terms of the rock and the acid themselves - that is, as we see them at the macroscopic level. Fixing ourselves here, we have no choice but to suppose that it is just in the nature of the rock and the acid to react in the way they do when they are brought together in this way. This poses no problem for the manner in which we would describe the corresponding experience. That is to say, in taking the experience to be uniform and homogenous, we would attribute the particular way in which it entails the ensuing experience, unique and particular itself, to the particular quality of that experience (see sidenote for elaboration ). But there is a problem when it comes to the physical phenomena originally brought into question - namely, that we are forced to end our account of their reactions to each other by appeal solely to their "nature" - that is, to end with "rocks and acid just do that sort of thing". Note that this is not a problem in the completeness of such an account. We end the account by appeal to the nature of the rock and the acid - that is, to some fundamental and intrinsic essence that belongs to the rock and the acid but of which we are blocked from seeing or being conscious of in any way. Because MM-Theory posits this essence as an experience on the same level of scale, this completes our account despite the fact that we don't know what this experience is like. The problem of completeness arises only for those who wish to pursue a more in-depth and refined account along physicalist lines - that is, to craft a new, more complex conception of the rock and the acid such that their manner of reacting together is explained on a much more fundamental, but still physical, level. This pursuit inevitably requires positing smaller sub-structures in the body or substance of the rock and acid, such as molecules and atoms, which can only be done by traversing scale in a downward direction. There comes a point, however, where even this pursuit comes up against a dead-end - namely, when we reach a level so fundamental, such as fundamental particles, that nothing is known about any levels below it - and at this point, we are in the same precarious position we were in above (where we chose not to go down in scale) with respect to providing a satisfactory account of the nature of the phenomenon at that level. We are forced to account for the nature of such phenomena - in this case fundamental particles - by appeal to their inherent characteristics as though they were fundamental themselves. Yet those who pursue this line of inquiry are not leading themselves astray, not so long as they employ the scientific method regularly. But as we will now see, what they are led to is not so much the discovery of smaller physical things but the inventions of such in a way agreeable to the original intention of the Universal Mind in conveying the original message (such as the bland old rock, for example). Let's return to the perspective of science as communication between man and the Universal Mind. The scientific experiment is a question and the results are the answer. What kind of question is asked in the case of those who wish to posit atomic structures to material things? The question is this: "Universal Mind, you have shown us the existence of material things. Take this rock, for example. You have shown us that, as plain, boring, and dull as it is, it simply exists as such. But would it not be fair to say that this rock is also a collection of atoms? Is it possible that instead of a plain, boring, and dull object, this rock is actually a conglomeration of billions of particles firmly bonded together yet too small for my eye to see? I know you have not said as much, but would this be an acceptable way of re-interpreting what you have said?" To put this metaphorically, indeed as we have been whenever we invoke our mathematical analogy, we can restate the question more succinctly as "Universal Mind, I know you have told us '1', but is this not the same as '.5+.5'?" In this case, the question - is a rock not a collection of atoms? - is asked by conducting the appropriate experiment - namely, that experiment which tests the predictions made by the scientist's hypothesis such as subjecting the rock to the

Calcite

More on Particularization

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right sorts of chemical reactions. The answer comes back either supporting the hypothesis or falsifying it. In the former case, the Universal Mind's answer is "yes" and in the latter, "no". That is to say, the Universal Mind either grants the scientist's re-interpretation of the original message or denies it. In the former case, the scientist is bestowed with a sense of confidence that he/she is on the right track in deciphering the message given by the Universal Mind, whereas in the latter case, he/she is led back to the drawing board to reassess his/her understanding of the given message. Now notice, in this case, that for the Universal Mind to sanction such a hypothesis with a "yes", it is agreeing to a re-interpretation on the part of the scientist that it never explicitly conveyed. Whereas the scientist might take the results of the experiment to mean that he/she has discovered new structures on a lower level of scale, the Universal Mind only means for those results to indicate that the scientist has invented an alternate, and perhaps better, way of describing or conceptualizing the meaning of the original message. The Universal Mind may have had no intention of communicating this alternate description to begin with, but once it is brought up for questioning, it may be granted nevertheless - as though it might as well have been communicated as such originally. It would seem that whether the scientist deems this as a discovery or an invention that passes the Universal Mind's muster is of no consequence to the Universal Mind itself. The Universal Mind is only interested in whether the scientist's hypothesis matches the criteria for an answer of "yes" or it fails to match such criteria, in which case the answer is "no". What is this criteria? Well, it's rather complicated, but it is as follows. If the hypothesis the scientist offers up for evaluation were to be communicated by the Universal Mind originally - that is, as though the scientist would know it by empirical experience and therefore would have no need to conjure it up as a hypothesis - then the corresponding experience - that is, the one that entailed the empirical experience had by the scientist - would have to be equivalent to the one from which such communication stemmed in actuality. In other words, supposing that the rock really is made of atoms (and we aren't saying that it isn't), then the experiences that would correspond to each atom must be, when considered together, equivalent to the experience corresponding to the rock as a whole. That is, as long as these equivalent experiences can be interchanged, which is necessarily the case with equivalence, such that the results of experiments conducted on the physical phenomena corresponding to those experiences are indistinguishable, then the scientist is free to assume whatever model he/she wants in accounting for what he/she observes of the physical phenomena on the macroscopic level. Notice, however, the way in which we invoked the concept of equivalence without re-introducing the multitude of levels of scale - we are still dealing only with the one macroscopic level. Can we do this? Are we justified in speaking of equivalence with only one level? Well, if we reflect on the original meaning of equivalence, we see that we are not only justified, but it really drives the whole point of this entire section home. To say that a set of would-be experiences corresponding to would-be atomic structures is equivalent to an "actual" experience is simply to say that the former experiences are a different way of describing or expressing the latter. That is to say, they mean the same thing but put in slightly different qualitative terms. It is as though I told you "1" and you replied "Do you mean '.5+.5'?" To say that these two expressions must correspond to two distinct things, say two concepts in my mind, is to fully miss the point of equivalence. When I say "yes" to your question, I mean to say that you've got my meaning exactly but articulated it in your own words. In fact, you've got my meaning more clearly than I've allowed for in my expression, for now you have two ways of understanding it. There is no more need to posit a finite number of experiences, each equivalent to the others, as there is to posit a finite number of fractions constituting the number 1. The set of all such fractions, like the set of all component experiences constituting a whole experience, is not enumerable. What we ought to do, rather, is understand the variety of qualitative expressions in which every experience can be described to correspond, like the variety of mathematical expressions in which every number can be described, to the same meaning. In this way, we better understand that these various styles of expression and description are fully subject to our creative powers - that is to say, to how imaginative we can be in inventing new ones. Understood in that light, rather than posit the existence of a multitude of levels of scale, we need only posit a multitude of interpretations of a single level. This is what the scientist does in positing new structures at lower levels in scale. He/she invents them in his/her mind, and when he/she puts them to the test in a laboratory setting, the Universal Mind determines whether such inventions still adhere to the meaning (by way of equivalence) of the original experiences that led the scientist to partake in such creative endeavors to begin with. We might as well say, supposing the scientist's invention passes experimental testing, that those original experiences were the experiences corresponding to the finer structure and detail of his/her invention. We would say the same thing in regards to there being '.5+.5' in place of '1' why not in regards to experiences as well? If they really are equivalent, then we have the right to say this, for equivalent experiences are defined as interchangeable, neither one being the "real" experience. The only constant joining them together is their common meaning, and with respect to that, they are merely different expressions or articulations, different descriptions, of that one same meaning.

Equivalence

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So it is clear how atomic theory is more an invention than a discovery, but it is more clear how this is so in the minds of scientists and other thinkers than it is in the Universal Mind. That is to say, whereas we are obviously inventing the scientific theories we come up with, it is still questionable whether we are simultaneously creating new levels of experiences in the Universal Mind, levels that would be equivalent to the one that originally gave us the macroscopic phenomena around which we built our theories. If this is a creative act, then it certainly isn't creative in the standard sense - that is, in the sense that the fruits of such acts emerge through a process that unfolds through time. There shouldn't be any ambiguity that this is precisely the sense in which our scientific theories are created. They only emerge in the mind after we exercise our thought processes, not before, and only in virtue of these thought processes. But there is some ambiguity with respect to the invention of new, more fundamental, levels underlying the experiences that originally provided us with the macroscopic phenomena relevant to our theories. Have the new levels always been there, did we invent them upon asking the Universal Mind our questions and receiving its answers, or does this matter require an entirely new understanding? For one thing, the new level that would correspond to our new theory is a re-interpretation of the original message conveyed to us by the Universal Mind, just as '.5+.5' is a re-interpretation of my original message '1'. Therefore, just as '.5+.5' is not what I initially had in mind, neither are the theories we invent what the Universal Mind initially has in mind. So in this sense, those experiences that correspond to the objects of our theories - atoms for example - were never there to begin with. On the other hand, just as '.5+.5' is equivalent (though not identical) to what I initially had in mind, so too are the experiences that correspond to the objects of our theories. In this sense, those experiences always did exist. The difficulty, of course, lies in the way we defined equivalence. We are prohibited from positing that only one of the equivalent experiences is the "real" one and the others not. We can't say that those experiences corresponding to our newly invented constructs (like atoms) are not there (i.e. not the "real" experiences), but neither can we say that they coexist with those experiences that correspond to the original message (the sight of the rock) - just as we can't say that 1 "coexists" with .5+.5 - they are not two "things" that exist, just two different expressions of the same thing. Equivalent experiences don't coexist - they are interchangeable. Clearly, then, we need a whole new understanding in order to settle this matter.

The Statue in the Rock
There is an old argument that a sculptress never really creates her statue - that the statue is always there in the rock. All she does is chisel away at the excess pieces until the statue is exposed. This analogy works well as a means to grasp this new understanding we are looking for. A similar argument can be articulated with our more familiar mathematical analogy as follows. We can say that .5 + .5 is always there "in" the number 1, and the mathematician, although he may be credited with inventing a new expression for this number, only exposes it as having always been there in the number 1 by formally proving the equation 1 = .5 + .5 (not that it would be a hard feat by any stretch of the imagination ). Therefore, we might think of the set of experiences that corresponds to the objects of the scientist's theory (again, the atoms) as having always been there "in" the experience corresponding to the macroscopic phenomena. What the scientist does, in conducting his/her experiment, is expose the former experiences as a valid match for the latter - that is, as legitimately equivalent. Of course, any experience belonging to the Universal Mind (not in the human mind) is totally beyond our reach. Therefore, such "exposure" is not meant to be taken literally. What's literally exposed is the evidence that the equivalence between the two sets of experiences holds, and this evidence is often indirect. This is the case regardless of what theory of reality we subscribe to - whether it be MM-Theory or a view centered around the absolute ontology of atomic structures - for as we argued above, all the scientist really observes is macroscopic effects brought about by macroscopic causes. From these, he/she infers the validity of his/her theory. Putting this in terms of our sculptress, it is as though she wishes to prove to her friends that her statue is already there in the rock, but because the rock is so massive and immovable, rather than take the rock to her friends, the best she can do, after carving it out, is take a photo and email it to them. Thus, she never has the opportunity to demonstrate her proof to anyone's eyes directly; all she can do is present indirect evidence, highly convincing though this evidence may be. In the case of actual experiments, the experiences (or atoms) the scientist wishes to prove are even more elusive to evidence than this, for not even the scientist him/herself gets to see them directly. It is as though the sculptress was blind but, like Beethoven, possessed

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unparalleled genius such that she didn't even need the most crucial of her senses in order to churn out masterpieces. Nonetheless, as indirect as this evidence may be, we can now catch a glimpse of what it means for this exercise - the exercise of conducting experiments to verify one's theories - to count as a creative act - even to the extent that new equivalent articulations of experiences in the Universal Mind are being created. It counts as a creative act in the same way as the sculptress creating her statue counts as a creative act. Although the statue, in a sense, has always been there in the rock, we scarcely take this to mean her labors were not driven by a creative force within her - as though she randomly chipped away at the rock until, just by happy coincidence, a stunningly life-like statue stood there before her. We would think that absurd! Rather, we understand that the work started with a vision in her own mind - she saw the statue there in the rock before it was ever exposed - and her efforts were aimed at exposing it with chisel and hammer. Nonetheless, her vision was a product of creative mental processes - she did not see the statue as an economist would see patterns in the stock market, but more like a mathematician would see a brand new way of articulating a mathematical expression and demonstrating its validity by writing out the appropriate equation. In both cases - those of the sculptress and the mathematician - the vision is created as one of an infinitude of possible others, and only in virtue of seeing its validity or practical workability do they set themselves to the task of demonstrating it thus. It might still prove a little difficult for the reader to understand in what way an experience can be "in" another equivalent experience. The statue in the rock serves as a good metaphor in virtue of its simplicity, but the sense in which one experience is "in" another is better captured by our mathematical analogy in virtue of its more abstract nature. We can talk about an experience being "in" another in the same sense as .5+.5 is "in" 1 - that is, as though 1 can be broken into two equal halves, each denoted as .5 - but in the case of experiences, the equivalence is shown by a proper translation of the meaning of one to the meaning of the other - much like a word is translated into a sentence long definition in a dictionary. If the translation is a valid one, then the two expressions share the same meaning, and we can say that the derived expression was always there "in" the original one. It is in this way that we are able to re-introduce equivalence without bringing in all the extra levels of scale that we abandoned earlier. So, by conducting the appropriate experiment, what the scientist wants to show is that the meaning of the derived expression (i.e. the experiences corresponding to his/her hypothesized phenomena - like the atoms in the rock) is really the same meaning as the original expression (i.e. the experiences corresponding to the observable phenomenon being experimented on), though much more refined and elaborate. He/she wants to show that the former meaning is there "in" the latter meaning. In other words, each level of scale coincides with all other levels - they don't have to be re-introduced, as though they had to exist independently or separately from each other, for they were there all along "in" the original level. Thus, what the scientist does in conducting the experiment is, like the sculptress chiseling at the rock, invents a clever way of demonstrating the validity of his/her original "vision" - that is, his/her theory. As we said above, this demonstration can never be direct, but even indirect evidence can be quite convincing. And if it is convincing enough - that is, so that the greater part of the scientific community is swayed by it - then they may regard the theory much like an art critic regards the sculptress's statue - that is, as a creative act, if not an actual work of art. If this community were to subscribe to MM-Theory, and particularly what we are arguing here (about equivalence and such), then they might even extend this creative appraisal to the experience so exposed. That is to say, like the art critic who, despite understanding the statue to have always been there in the rock, nonetheless takes the work to be a genuine act of creation, the scientific community may take the results of the experiment to be a genuine act of creation - that the author of the creation (the scientist), in conducting the experiment, really did "carve out" the new and equivalent articulation from the original experience corresponding to the phenomena under investigation. They understand that this new articulation was always there - or was always valid, or always a possibility - and therefore could be taken as only a discovery, but there is this other perspective, fully valid and conceivable, that in being created in the scientist's mind first, it then becomes created beyond his/her mind in the act of demonstration and exposure. The scientist doesn't create it as though it was never there before - not as the end result of a process - but by "chiseling away" all that concealed and obscured the evidence proving its existence therein. In this sense, then, the scientist is an artist, creating new sculptures of fundamentality, his tools being the rules of evidence and the demonstration of equivalence. At this point, the reader might recognize the parallel between acts of creativity in science such as these and those of conjuring up plausible components of fundamental particles such as x-trons and y-trons belonging to electrons. In the latter case, the scientist who hypothesizes the existence of x-trons and y-trons is "carving them out" from the electron. At least, he/she is doing so in his/her own mind. If he/she were to contrive an experiment that could effectively test for the presence of x-trons and y-trons in electrons, then, supposing such an experiment was successful, we could say that he/she has "carved" the x-tron and y-tron out in the same sense as above. In fact, if we've conceptualized x-trons and y-trons properly, then when fused together,

Qualitative Diversity

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The Infinite Pool of Experiences

they are actually equivalent to an electron. Should we not say, then, that an electron just is an x-tron and a y-tron? And if we can say this, then we can say an electron is anything our creative minds conjure up. For example, like the sculptress who is not bound to the particular statue originally envisioned, the scientist can hypothesize any number and combination of particles composing the electron. Perhaps, instead of x-trons and y-trons, he/she proposes a-trons, b-trons, c-trons, and d-trons. The possibilities are limited only by the scientist's imagination (and the results of the corresponding experiments, of course). The only constraint is that such components need to be of such a nature that, when brought together, they indeed produce the composite thing of which they are components, along with all its properties and tendencies. Other than that, the extents of our creative powers, when put towards these sorts of exercises, are permitted to reach infinite extremes matched by the qualitative diversity in our hypothetical infinite pool of experiences. Having said all this, it is doubtful that the ardent scientist will concur with this perspective wholeheartedly. An artist is often the last thing he/she wishes to be associated with. Scientists don't readily take themselves to be creating the atomic structures of macroscopic objects by hypothesizing their existence, nor do they take any other of their theories to be "works of art". They take the common sense view that the atoms are there, and always have been there, in the rock. They don't think of the relation between these atoms and the rock to be one of equivalence, but identity - that is, that the collection of atoms simply is the rock. Given our perspective, however, and MM-Theory as a whole, we might be led to the understanding that the relation borne by the rock and its atoms is the same kind as that borne by the corresponding experiences - namely, that the rock is equivalent, but not identical, to the atoms. In that case, the physical phenomenon in question is either a rock or a collection of atoms, but not both, and not determined to be one or the other - rather, they are two interchangeable forms and with respect to their ontological standing, it really doesn't matter, nor does it make sense to say, which one is the "real" form and the other only something it could have been. The concept of equivalence pertains foremost to descriptions and therefore so long as one such description is valid, it has equal entitlement to a full ontology as any other equally valid description conveying the same information vis-à-vis its meaning. But this is just the thing that makes equivalence problematic when applied to a scientific or physicalistic perspective. In the latter case, we are not dealing with descriptions and meaning; we are dealing with materially real and independent objects in an objective spatiotemporal reality. The very essence of such realities defies equivalence relations. Instead, they are grounded on identity - at least where reductionism is concerned such as a rock reducing to its atoms. So what should we say about this? The simplest thing that comes to mind is to note that these sorts of realities - what we have called independent models of reality elsewhere in this website - are the products of human consciousness, weaved together by the raw material, primarily sensation, given by the Universal Mind. Thus, within their own framework, independent models of reality are indeed banked on identity, and rightfully so, for that is how they define themselves. We who subscribe to MM-Theory are not under the same obligation, for we take physicalism, and all physical things in the universe we perceive, to be merely representations of other mental things. As such, the true form of existence is just the set of such mental things, and therefore equivalence comes in as the proper paradigm describing the relation between wholes and parts. We allow the scientist to keep his/her identity paradigm insofar as the phenomena bearing such identities is defined within the physicalist framework, which is well within his/her preview for it is his/her mind that defines reality in precisely this way. So science and MM-Theory are certainly not incompatible under this light. According to the latter, science is really the study of the human subjective reality. In fact, there is no reason why any number of scientists can't embrace MM-Theory while remaining true to their practice. One famous scientist that comes to mind, one that would stand at the forefront of this synthetic paradigm if any would, is Roger Bacon. A strong proponent of scientific progress long before the scientific revolution even started, this medieval scientist and philosopher argued a case for science on religious grounds. He argued that we all have an obligation to know God intimately, to draw ourselves nearer to God in spirit, and what better way to do so than to study and understand His creation - that is, to study nature. Bacon's point is that we can know much about an author by the common trends and themes that show up in his works. Adding to this that it is our obligation to gain such knowledge about God (for that brings us closer to Him), Bacon argued a powerful case for the compatibility between science and religion, and it persuaded many church fathers of the fruitfulness of science towards religious purposes. Little did Bacon know, however - as little as those church fathers he convinced - that it would not be long before such fruits would turn sour and poison the religious fervor that fed upon it. It was during the Renaissance that the riff between religion and science became undeniable. In the modern day, science has pulled far ahead of religion and seems to have left it behind in the dust. This is why the great majority of scientists don't look favorably on religion, at least with respect to its potential to advance our knowledge and standards of living. But what we

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have considered in this section seems to turn the tables back in favor of Bacon's original aspirations. That is to say, in a paper such as this wherein we are comparing the Universal Mind to the concept of "God", and construing scientific experiments as communication with God, this is very much inline with what Bacon had envisioned so many years ago. In fact, it does him one better. Rather than getting to know God through His creation, we are getting to know God through direct discourse with Him. It is debatable what a man of Bacon's persuasion would have thought of this. It's possible that, coming from a Catholic background according to which God and His creation are two distinct entities, he would have disagreed with such a pantheistic view, maybe even labeled it a "pagan religion". On the other hand, he may have embraced such a view on the grounds that it gets at some of the deepest truths about God that one can hope to know. On this view, all scientific discoveries are not only indicative of truths about God, but are those very truths themselves, and this, I think, is really what Bacon would value most profoundly.

The Problem of Evil
The problem of evil is traditionally put as follows. If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why is there so much evil in the world? Why does pain and suffering exist? In our case, the problem needs to be phrased a little different. In our case, God (or the Universal Mind) is only omnipotent and omnibenevolent in a particular sense. It is omnipotent in the sense that it is responsible for everything that happens - not in that it can do absolutely anything. It is omnibenevolent in the sense that it experiences all our pain and suffering not in that it wants what's best for us or what makes us happy. According to these interpretations, even if the Universal Mind could free us from all pain and suffering - which, it can be argued, it can't - it wouldn't necessarily do so. Therefore, the problem of evil has a slightly different flavor for us. The problem isn't so much how to resolve what seems to be a paradox (God's omnipotence and omnibenevolence certainly conflict with the existence of evil), but how to understand what seems utterly absurd - namely, the fact that the Universal Mind would allow evil. From a certain vantage point, however, the problem of evil, even in this light, might be construed as paradoxical. We left the section on justification on this note, pointing out the conflict that exists between what might be called physical or existential justification and moral justification when painful experiences are felt. We experience pain as something that, morally speaking, shouldn't exist. Of course, we also argued that the reason conflicts like this can arise is because they are backed by different kinds of justification. So, for example, although pain may be morally unjustified, it is grounded by physical or existential justification. This reasoning may help us escape a paradoxical dead-end, but at certain points in this section, it will be conducive to think of the problem of evil as paradoxical. After all, the existence of pain is the existence of something that is simply unjustified, even if only morally, and if this isn't taken paradoxically, it at least stands in need of explanation. Whether this really does count as a paradox or not, we will end this section with a deeper understanding of morality and its relation to the amoral status of the universe such that all paradoxes, whether or not they exist in the first place, disappear. We should begin by getting certain preliminary notions out of the way. First of all, we are going to take somewhat of a utilitarian position on the question of how to define good and evil. That is to say, we are going to equate "good" with pleasurable experiences and "evil" with painful ones. Our scope in making these associations is as broad as possible, meaning that good is all forms of pleasure or comfort (physical, emotional, or otherwise) and evil is all forms of pain or discomfort (physical, emotional, or otherwise). The need to defend this position is second to none. If the reader disagrees with a utilitarian account, then to him/her I say the problem we are dealing with here - the problem of evil - is really the problem of why pain and suffering exist. If the reader can't deem this a moral issue, so be it. The reader should agree, however, that pain and suffering are unjustified in some sense. If this isn't a moral sense, then it should at least be of a kindred sort. Ultimately, we want to answer the question "why?" - why do pain and suffering, whether moral or not, exist? We are also going to assume, in the spirit of utilitarianism, that the "goodness" of pleasure is an expression of the very essence of such experiences. Likewise, "badness" or "evil" is an expression of the essence of pain and suffering. This is simply another way of saying that "good" and "evil" are the real things (or real properties in this case) that the corresponding experiences project themselves as. That is, "goodness" is the quintessential quality of pleasure and "evil" is that of pain. It is particularly in the case of emotional pleasures and pains that such projection manifests as a moral status. When we get angry, for example, the pain of our anger gets projected onto that which angers us - say someone who did us wrong - and we come to perceive that person as bearing an immoral status. It is the hostility we feel, the rage over injustice, that we take to be a property of the person, namely his unredeemed guilt, and which drives us to seek redemption. When we recognize our anger in its unprojected state (that is, as an emotion belonging to us), we understand this drive to stem from it and it alone. On the other hand, when we recognize our anger in its projected state (that is, as the guilt of the wrong doer), we understand this drive to stem from the objective need for a wrong

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to be converted into a right - that is to say, it has nothing to do with us or our emotional state, or some psychological drive pushing us to act from within, but from the plain objective fact - the fact "out there" - that when an injustice has been done, it needs to be redeemed. At this point, I will simply say, without getting into a rigorous defense, that our traditional conceptions of morality begin with cases like this - that is, by way of our emotions projecting themselves onto people and situations in such a way that they bear what we have come to call a "moral standing". Not all such cases are of this sort, of course, but I would say that the bulk of our understanding of moral notions can be traced to cases of emotional projection such as these. It is for this reason that I take the essential character of pleasure, in whatever form, as well as that of pain, to be the seeds of the moral standing of things. No such experiences exist without at least the potential to be taken in a moral light, and for our purposes, we will stand under this light. We will also take it as obvious that no one ever wants pain or despises pleasure. In all cases where one seems to be willingly incurring his/her own pain or denying him/herself pleasure, the situation is often more complicated than we might at first guess. One might endure pain for the sake of greater pleasure in the long run. This long run pleasure may even be obscure or hard to pin down, such as when one who has a headache turns down pain medication on the principle that drugs are wrong. As a moral principle, acting in accordance with it, although she would have to endure the headache, brings about a sense of pride and moral virtue, and this can be a very pleasurable experience. There are also cases in which pleasure is not an option, such as either getting up for work on a sluggish Monday morning or sleeping in and getting in trouble. Neither option is particularly pleasurable, but we nevertheless aim to minimize the pain by choosing the lesser of the two evils (which is usually getting up). Finally, there are cases of masochists, those who inflict themselves with pain willingly. It is said that these people actually enjoy pain, but this is only descriptive of their behavior. To really understand what the experience of pain is like for these people, we need to understand their physiology. Certain hormones, like endorphins, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, are released in the body under conditions of stress and pain. In copious amounts, these hormones can actually give way to pleasurable sensations. It is these pleasurable sensations that keep the masochist returning for more of what looks to an outsider like pain. So although the behavior of the masochist might be taken to be self-inflicted torture, what he/she is really experiencing is not as painful as we might at first assume. In fact, if we find the masochist inflicting pain on him/herself over and over, like a habit or an addiction, then the better guess would be that they are really experiencing pleasure. No one would inflict pain on themselves deliberately unless a greater pleasure was to be incurred in the long run or a greater pain would be incurred otherwise. To this effect, we can define "pain" as that which calls for its own eradication and "pleasure", that which calls for its own preservation.

Can One Like Pain?

Definition: Pleasure vs. Pain 1) Pleasure: Any experience whose meaning is such that it calls for its own preservation. 2) Pain: Any experience whose meaning is such that it calls for its own eradication.
Having formulated our definitions thus, we can phrase the problem at issue as follows. If pain is an experience that calls for its own eradication, then why is it ever brought into existence in the first place? Recall that anything we experience is also experienced by the Universal Mind. Thus, our own thrashing and writhing over pain is also the universe's thrashing and writhing. Why would it see fit to put us, and thus itself, under such conditions while at the same time doing everything it can to eradicate such conditions? As we said before, this is not paradoxical per se but it certainly seems odd. We can understand the necessity of this conflict by appeal to the differing justifications - that of physical or existential and that of moral - but this doesn't help us to understand the universe as doing something unified and with resolve - that is, without being pitted against itself and becoming burdened by the resulting conflict. We might gain some insight into this problem by recalling that although the Universal Mind is, in a sense, omnipotent, this is a very limited sense. In other words, although the universe is capable of doing literally everything that actually happens, there are some things it simply can't do, such as defy logic or mathematics, and if the experiences that lead up to the more painful ones are driven by the necessity of entailment, which is what logic and mathematics exemplify after all, then regardless of how "immoral" the pain may be, the universe would be powerless to do anything about it. Ultimately, however, the universe must understand this to be justified in the broadest scope - that the ends justify the means. That is to say, the universe in its timeless and spaceless context - that is, the universe as fully constituted by the experience of existence - must deem it necessary for pain and suffering to exist to the extent that it does, and if its constitution were to deviate from this by only the slightest degree, there could be no existence at all. Thus, pain and suffering, no matter how bad, no matter how widespread, must be

Necessity

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justified in some overall sense. This is, perhaps, the best way to put the problem at hand, and so we take it upon ourselves to formulate such a justification as best we can. When a utilitarian hears the phrase "the ends justify the means", he/she usually interprets this to mean that a net hedonic value is achieved in the end. For example, if Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were equally great days for some individual, but Tuesday and Thursday were equally miserable - and equal in magnitude to the greatness of the other days - then a utilitarian would say that two of the great days cancel with the two miserable days, leaving a net value of one great day, thus verifying that the ends justify the means. We might argue the same for the Universal Mind overall. That is to say, all the pain and suffering in the universe cancels with all the pleasure, leaving a net value of pleasure to be incorporated into the experience of existence. Notwithstanding the fact that we'd be going purely on faith - that is, that there is indeed more pleasure in the universe than pain - this account is somewhat misleading. It presupposes a construal of the concept of equivalence that is misunderstood. It presupposes that the topmost level of the universe - where we find the experience of existence - is the "real" level - as though all other levels below this are only "potential" configurations of experience that the universe can be decomposed into. That is to say, if the "net hedonic value" is all that matters - all that justifies pain and suffering wherever it might be found - then all such pain and suffering is, in "reality", cancelled, and thus doesn't truly exist. Of course, we might take the view that such pain and suffering really does exist, but because there is so much more pleasure to be enjoyed, it is well worth going through. By this view, however, our central question is completely overlooked. To simply settle with this utilitarian account, even if we preserve the reality of all instances of pain and suffering, we have not answered the question concerning why the universe would create an experience that calls for its own eradication, an eradication that the universe itself is compelled to carry out. Another point of view we could take would be to understand pain, not so much as calling for its own eradication, but calling for the motivation to meet its own eradication. That is to say, it is not so important that the pain be eliminated, but that the being experiencing the pain at least try to eliminate it. In other words, what pain projects itself as is an imperative. It is still an imperative for self-eradication, but perhaps what satisfies an imperative, whether moral or otherwise, is that measures are taken to meet the ends that the imperative mandates, and thus so long as one takes such measures (i.e. one tries), one has already met the demands of the imperative. This makes sense from a moral standpoint: when something disastrous happens, or at least something in need of fixing, the one responsible for remedying the situation (but not causing it, of course) is not held morally culpable as long as he/she is doing what he/she can to fix the problem. To be sure, it follows from our assertion above - namely, that no one ever wants pain - that one is always motivated to eliminate the pain he/she feels. It would be a violation of the necessity of entailment should one experience pain and not feel one iota of urgency to eradicate it. Indeed, in such a situation, not only would there be a lack of justification, but it would amount to a full-blown paradox. It would not be paradoxical, however, should the one experiencing pain lack the means, or even the know-how, to get rid of the pain. As human beings, we are lucky in this regard - that is, not only are we motivated to eliminate the pain we experience, but most of the time we are equipped with everything we need to succeed in doing so (sometimes later rather than sooner). If our skin is cut, we bandage it up. If we feel ill to our stomach, we lie down and rest. If we have been emotionally wounded, we vent or express it in some way that satisfies us. There are even drugs we can take to stomp out the pain directly. But this is not necessarily the case for all organisms, or even conscious systems, in general. In principle, it's possible that an organism is not equipped to handle painful experiences, whether that's due to neurological, anatomical, or just plain mental deficiencies. It's quite possible that such an organism, although immersed in stringent pain, has no idea as to its cause or what can be done about it, and although the motivation to react to the pain in some way - any way - is vividly enforcing itself, it only drives the organism's behavior in a haphazard manner, without rhyme or reason, while the organism can only hope that its actions will somehow bring an end to such an excruciating experience. According to the view we are considering here - that all is morally justified so long as the organism is trying - there's nothing unjustified about this scenario. Now, although this notion strikes us as

The Experience of Existence

Equivalence

Projection

Necessity

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untenable, even if only because of our heartfelt sympathies for the poor creature, the real reason it just won't work is exactly the same as why the utilitarian account given above won't work - namely, that our central question is unanswered. We seem to have done away with moral injustice with this "motivational" account of pain, but we certainly don't understand why the Universal Mind would put a helpless organism such as this under such cruel circumstances - especially when we recall that it puts itself in those very circumstances in the same stroke. Why would it bring about the very situation that it strives so arduously thereafter to undo? After all, even if we construe the pain as exempt from any moral standing, the fact that the bearer of the pain is so motivated to extinguish it implies that it must be unjustified in some other sense. Thus, all that the "motivational" account proposed here amounts to is a repositioning of the moral standing of things - from the pain itself to the actions prompted by that pain to do something about it - but not the unjustified status of the former, which is really what matters for our purposes.

The "Theory" Metaphor
There are really two effective approaches to solving the problem of evil - one dealing with the universe in its spatially and temporally expanded form, and the other in its timeless and spaceless form, the latter constituting the experience of existence. The reason why we ought to consider the problem from these two perspectives is because of the way the central question is put: why would the universe create something whose eradication it thereafter deems necessary? The word "thereafter", like (as we've seen in the previous section) the word "create", is a temporal term - that is, it only makes sense in a time bound context. Therefore, we need to approach the question from within such a context, and thus the form of the Universal Mind we must consider is at least a time bound one, and more generally a space bound one also. But, of course, no consideration of the Universal Mind is complete unless what we say about its time and space bound form can be carried over, in some modified manner if necessary, to its spaceless and timeless context. So let's consider the space and time bound context first. We considered the view, in an earlier section, that every instant of the universe - every "slice" in time - is actually the whole universe, and that each instant is merely equivalent to all the others. But what if this wasn't the case? What if, in order to be whole, the universe had to be taken as the sum total of all such instants throughout the whole of time? Then each "slice" would not be equivalent to all others (not necessarily). Each one would be incomplete. In that earlier section, we also noted that a good analogy for the universe as a whole, at least in its spatially expanded form, was a theory - the theory of why it exists. What would become of this theory if each instant of the universe in time were incomplete as we're considering here? For one thing, the universe at each instant could not constitute a theory of existence - at least not as a whole. It could only amount to a piece of the puzzle. In effect, as the universe unfolds through all its cosmic events and processes - such as the formation of galaxies, the birth of planetary systems, the death of stars, the evolution of life, etc. - this unfolding would correspond to the construction of a theory of existence. Assuming this process is never-ending, the theory could never be completed at any point in time. The full theory could only be expounded after the full passage of time has expired, which, because of the eternity of this passage, necessarily places it in the timeless context of the experience of existence. Therefore, in time, the Universal Mind is in a constant state of building its own theory. Perhaps, then, a better analogy would be that of a question - that is, the universe, at any one point in time, is (metaphorically) the question "Why do I exist?" and the perpetual search for an answer - a quest so to speak - one that is embarked on by building the answer along the way. In this case, then, the answer to our question is simple. The reason why the Universal Mind creates things that it immediately thereafter attempts to eradicate is because it has no foresight into what things should be created and what things shouldn't - that is, it doesn't know beforehand what's morally justified and what isn't. It does know what's justified in other ways, which is what guides the building of its theory, just as a human thinker is guided by what seems logically justified, but also like a human thinker, it doesn't foresee the mistakes, that is the conflicting justifications, that are often stumbled onto in this kind of pursuit. It creates its theory as it goes along, and therefore, like many of us who in trying to account for some enigma might make mistakes, it doesn't always get it right the first time. It stumbles, it reaches dead-ends, it backtracks in order to try again. In essence, it is perpetually pressed to account for its own existence, and because such an account is not readily at hand (i.e. it must invent it), it more or less takes shots in the dark, at least to the same degree as one who contrives a theory. In contriving a theory, it is not uncommon that one encounters unforeseen inconsistencies or erroneous conclusions. At that point, one is motivated to backtrack - that is, to eradicate those points of inconsistency and error in order to reconstruct the theory hopefully without flaws. As an analogy, this reconstruction stands for the state the universe is in when it seeks to eradicate pain after it has arisen. The universe comes to terms with the fact that it made a mistake in entailing the painful experience and takes whatever measures it can to correct it.

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Of course, this mistake is not fatal. It would make no sense to suppose that the advent of pain constitutes a mistake of such caliber that it could have no place in the grand scheme of existence - otherwise this advent would spell the end of existence all together, which is obviously not the case. It must play some role in the makeup of existence. In what sense then is it a mistake? It is a mistake in the sense that the pain thus derived is a signal that the universe, on its current course, is misguided, and that any further pursuit on this course would spell the end of existence. This is where our "motivational" account of the justification of pain comes in. That is to say, so long as the universe is motivated to eradicate the painful experience - and such motivation, we can reasonably assert, is never absent when pain is there - then existence is safe from such mistakes. Existence is only doomed to oblivion when pain arises without the necessary motivation to eradicate it - or in other words, when the universe ignores the signals wrought by pain and presses on regardless. Of course, to stray from a mistaken path is not necessarily to follow the correct one. As we pointed out above, for many organisms, and indeed for humans under certain conditions, being motivated to eradicate pain doesn't guarantee success. In a lot of cases, such motivation can lead one in a haphazard manner to enact seemingly random behavior. There is no reason to believe that the universe, even when the signals of pain are clear, has any knowledge or sense of what the right course of action is. In fact, there is no reason to believe the universe ever learns from its mistakes since learning requires sophisticated mental (or neural) tools, such as memory, planning, prediction, and so on. Nonetheless, as long as it sustains the motivation to seek out the proper course, its existence is maintained and it continues to build its theory according to its best judgment. This is not to say that an organism, or any being capable of experiencing pain, can't withstand pain, resisting completely the temptation to yield to it. Indeed, there are times, which I'm sure the reader can relate to, when we deliberately put ourselves in pain for the sake of greater returns in the long run - for example, working out at the gym. As we mentioned before, however, this resistance to pain is not a lack of motivation to eradicate it, for if it ever were possible to reap the same long-term benefits from such painful engagement without the pain, we surely would take advantage of that possibility. So motivation doesn't need to be behaviorally manifested in order to exist - in fact, it can even be ignored. This might be a point of confusion, however, for it certainly seems, in that case, that the warning signals of pain - that the wrong course of action is being taken and should be abandoned - are not being heeded. Why, then, does existence not all together perish? The reason is similar to why a theorist doesn't instantly abandon his/her theory at the first sign of logical problems. There is hardly a theory in the world that doesn't suffer at least some minor weaknesses, such as when certain points appear, at least from some vantage points, to be inconsistent or implausible, or when its predictions don't exactly match up with empirical evidence. The reason why we don't typically abandon our theories immediately in the face of such conundrums is because all that has so far upheld and justified our theory - the number and strengths of the arguments that do work - can't just be ignored. The latter count as evidence that still holds plenty of water despite the obstacles and challenges it faces. In other words, in a lot of cases when pain and suffering is experienced - particularly, when the being experiencing these presses on regardless - it is because there is still enough justification in pursuing the course of action being taken at that time, enough justification that it compensates for the lack thereof with respect to the pain and suffering. In the example given above - that of working out - we are consciously aware of this compensating justification - namely, that all this hard work makes us stronger in the long run. But it need not be consciously experienced. Suppose, for example, that our hands and feet, for whatever reason, are shackled such that we can't scratch the nagging itch that pesters us from the tip of our nose. Although we are highly motivated to eradicate this painful (or at least uncomfortable) experience, the metal around our wrists and ankles physically won't allow us to satisfy this motivation. This is because the experiences corresponding to the shackles - to the incredibly fortified bonds between the atoms therein - are way more justified than the whole system of experiences driving us to scratch our nose. Perhaps, then, we ought to refine our account of pain and its lack of justification. Rather than say that pain is a signal that if the present course of action is not altered, all justification will be lost and existence brought to an end, we ought to say that pain is a warning that if the present course of action is not altered, we run the risk of losing all justification and ensuring the downfall of existence, but not that this is guaranteed to happen. Pain, then, is much like the empty light on a car's fuel gauge. It is a warning that the gas (which symbolized justification) is running low, but not that the car is about to die the next second. There is still enough fuel to go for a little while longer (like the persisting justification that led one to the present course of action in the first place), but the more the driver procrastinates pulling into the neighborhood gas pump, the more he/she risks having his/her car

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die in the streets. In other words, pain is inversely proportional to the justification in carrying out the actions that sustain the pain - the more painful the experience, the less justified those actions. Indeed, if existence is upheld with all the pain and suffering that goes on therein, it can't really be a mistake for such experiences to exist. Note that having said this, we are not being inconsistent. That is, although it might seem that this leaves our question unanswered, it should be realized that, as we said already, the question, as we phrased it (with the "create" and "thereafter"), only makes sense in a time and space bound context. The question is really quite moot in the spaceless and timeless context. In the latter context, all pain and suffering, and all experiences for that matter, are set in stone so to speak - meaning that the universe depends on their existence for its own existence and never tries to eradicate them, for "trying", in a timeless context, has no meaning. Here, whatever came to be at any point in time just is. Crudely speaking, all is static. All is justified. But all is justified in some sense we cannot understand. It is an ultimate sense, to be sure - that is, all is justified in virtue of its shear existence. How the whole is justified is a question that's clearly beyond us, but however this is, it serves as the justification for the experience of existence itself. Having said that, the final question thus becomes: in what way does our answer to the previous question - that is, why the universe would bring about a state it thereafter attempts to eradicate - carry over to the spaceless and timeless context - that is, the static context in which all is justified? After all, that is a condition we set for ourselves when we stated earlier that whatever we say about the universe in its space and time bound state must carry over, in some modified manner if necessary, to its spaceless and timeless context. But herein lies a dilemma. How does an experience (i.e. pain) deemed urgently in need of eradication in one context (the space and time bound one) get deemed necessary for the sustaining of existence in another context (the spaceless and timeless one)? Well, nothing is really "deemed" necessary in the latter context. If what we mean by "deem" is that the being who is in pain thinks, feels, or experiences in some way that "this pain is horrible! It needs to end now!" then such an assessment can only be made by a being who doesn't fully appreciate the grand justification of existence, and thus doesn't see the importance of the role played by pain in contributing towards the constitution of existence. Of course, the universe as a whole doesn't oppose this assessment, even if it does appreciate this importance, for it doesn't assess, or "deem", at all - except in the sense that the assessment, or "deeming", made by the particular being experiencing pain also belongs to the universe as part of its makeup. The importance of pain in contributing to the makeup of the universe is not assessed - it just is. Such assessments are not wrong, however, for as we pointed out above, the slightest hesitation to ignore them leads the universe down a path that annihilates its own existence, and so it is vitally important to heed such assessments. So long as the latter requirement is satisfied, to the extent that the existence of any pain deemed as needing its own eradication persists, such persistence is necessary and ought not to be eradicated. Only when such eradication becomes possible, and indeed happens, would any furthering of pain conflict with the universal justification of things. In short, the assessment, or "deeming", of pain as needing its own eradication - as long as this need is not satisfied before its time - is just as important in contributing to the makeup of the universe as the pain itself. It is in this way that what we said about the space and time bound form of the universe carries over to its spaceless and timeless form. There must be some ultimate justification, therefore, in the very existence of things. That is to say that a thing, merely in virtue of the fact that it exists, must be justified. This is saying more than just that the existence of things is an indication that they are backed by some form of justification - like a show of passport being an indication that a foreign visitor acquired it by legitimate means - but that the existence of things is a justification - as if to say that the show of passport is the means by which it is legitimated. This is perhaps the best way to understand the justification of pain and suffering - that it is justified because it is something. When the universe in its spatially and temporally bound state goes about inventing its theory of existence, it is permitted to make mistakes because even mistakes are something - that is, though it may be driven to undo its inventions at times, that it invented something is good enough to justify the fruits of its inventiveness. That is to say, it is only in virtue of what it invents that it is motivated to correct its mistakes (if it is indeed deemed as such), but it is in virtue of the act of invention that, in the end, the existence of those inventions is justified. Though we still don't understand the nature of this ultimate justification, it follows from this that the shear existence of things takes precedence over their moral - or at least hedonic - worth. Now, this might strike the reader as somewhat of a disturbing notion. Indeed such a notion has the potential to be dangerously abused. What a horrible thing it would be to go around wreaking pain and suffering on the grounds that "it's all justified anyway". This is why it is imperative to emphasize the non-moral status of this sort of justification. It has nothing to do with morality (although it does subsume it under the right conditions), and therefore all acts that are deemed immoral on the grounds that they cause terrible pain and suffering are no less immoral just because such experiences are real. Be that as it may, it does leave

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something to be desired to end on this note, a note that sheds no further light on the nature of this ultimate form of justification. As human beings, we find it hard to fathom how pain and suffering could be justified in any way. We do understand that pain and suffering is often inevitable, namely when it is brought about by mechanical forces governed by the laws of nature, such as sustaining a broken arm after falling from a great height, and that in such cases the kind of justification maintaining the resultant pain and suffering is what we christened "physical" above, but the defining feature of physical justification is just that we have no epistemic or experiential access to the experiences that entail the pain and suffering by way of this kind of justification. That is to say, pain and suffering, when it is brought about physically or by natural law, is the consequence of experiences corresponding to physical systems outside the human brain, and these experiences are quite inconceivable to us. Therefore, "physical" justification is just a label for something we really don't understand. We can grant that pain and suffering can be justified in this way, but this doesn't help us to understand what the universe sees in pain and suffering such that it deems it justified in this exotic and elusive fashion. It seems too simpleminded to say that the universe is just cruel and unusual, but it is radically more simpleminded - and arrogantly pernicious - to sanction the infliction of pain and suffering on the grounds that the universe deems it justifiable anyway.

The "Drama" Metaphor
The closest metaphor for the kind of justification backing pain and suffering (or even pleasure and joy for that matter) that I can think of is dramatism (see sidenote ) - that is to say that the universe truly is dramatic and that this may actually serve as justification for the things, events, and experiences therein. I repeat that this is a metaphor - and a very loose fitting one - especially given that the concept of justification employed here is already quite metaphorical. Those famous lines from Shakespeare's As You Like It - "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players" - captures the essence of this metaphor. What this metaphor does that the "theory" metaphor doesn't is demonstrate the compatibility of the spaceless and timeless context with the space and time bound one. In the former context, the universe is like an actor, and in the latter, the character played. The plot is that of a quest - to find the reason for the character's existence. The character is absolutely certain that there is indeed such a reason, for without one, he/she could not exist in the first place. But unbeknownst to him/her, the reason can only be understood, and thus the quest brought to an end, outside the context of the drama - that is, the reason is only known to the actor. The actor knows that the reason the character exists is because he/she is playing the character - in fact, he/she is deliberately playing a role in which the character is seeking this knowledge. The character is permitted to stumble and be led astray because that is all part and parcel of the drama. In fact, it would be quite a dull drama if the character didn't struggle somewhat, didn't come up against difficulties, didn't fail from time to time - and, yes, sometimes quite painfully - and therefore it turns out that such strife is necessary for the drama to be, well, dramatic. The justification in drama (if we can call it that) is manifest when it moves people emotionally. But what about a drama is moving? For one thing, it is the intensity of the events that take place therein. In other words, the more intense the experience, the more "dramatic", and this matches up with the realness inherent in the real things projected by those experiences. It matches up such that the more intense the experience, the more "intense" the real thing. This is different from the notion of the gradients of realness offered in our account of quantum mechanics (see Determinism and Free-Will). This notion refers more to the intensity with which real things impress us - that is, the more intense the experience, the more intensely the real thing strikes us - and the more dramatic. We get a feel for this notion when we consider the rush that goes with the death defying stunts that thrill seekers get themselves into - like sky diving or bunji jumping - stunts that make us "feel alive". To feel alive, in this context, means to feel real or that we are most vividly a part of reality. It reaffirms the concreteness and immediacy of existence - ours and the world's. But there is something more fundamental to dramatic effect than intensity. Intensity certainly helps, but it serves something more important - and that is qualitative diversity. An intense experience most certainly is dramatic, but it quickly becomes tiresome when it is repeated excessively (or it wears one out). The drama becomes boring and boos and hisses emerge from the audience. What more is needed is for the script to "mix it up" - that is, to feature a wide variety of events, surprises, and twists - something different around every corner. To understand why intensity is important for this, consider temperature as an analogy. Suppose we were to take a random sampling of days throughout the year and look for variety in the average daily temperatures. We are more likely to find a wide variety when there are a significant number of days whose average temperatures are extreme. If they all huddled near to a single temperature - say zero degrees Celsius

Kenneth Burke's Dramatism

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- there would be very little variety. Therefore, intensity (or extremes) is quite important for diversity to emerge (whether that's qualitative or quantitative). It should be noted, however, that even if the average temperatures huddled near to an extreme point - say 40 degrees Celsius - there would still be very little variety. Therefore, intensity is not sufficient for qualitative diversity, but it certainly is necessary. So if qualitative diversity is the mark of good drama, intensity is definitely a key requirement. The two go hand-in-hand. Of course, it is questionable whether a drama just keeps getting better with more intensity and diversity. It's doubtful that a drama of any genre would keep an audience's eyes glued to the stage if it were too much for their fragile minds to take (overloading their "composure threshold" so to speak), and this may or may not also be true of the kind of justification that grounds the realness of the contents of the universe, but this is a question for another paper (it certainly has a high threshold in any case). The point being made here, however, is (hopefully) clear - namely, that the drama that is the universe, at least metaphorically, is grounded in the intensity and qualitative diversity, at least up to a point, of the things that go on therein. This is why it really doesn't matter what alternatives the universe comes up with when up against painful experiences. As we noted earlier, painful experiences are a signal that one runs the risk of losing all justification, and that the present course of action ought to be abandoned. But we also noted that the "right" course of action is not specified in such signals (recall the poor creature and its honest attempts to evade its pain). The reason for this is because it doesn't matter what course of action is taken, so long as it's different from the present one. Being different is all that matters when it comes to fostering qualitative diversity. The more differences, the more variety. Drastic differences are a bonus, for they add intensity. Change is the important thing. It is the cornerstone of qualitative diversity and of dramatic effect. But when it comes to the problem of evil, this can be a frightening thought. It means that as long as it adds to the qualitative diversity, pain and suffering is sanctioned. It is as though the universe were a canvass and its contents a painting thereupon. Although rife with bright colors, it could still acquire more qualitative diversity by the addition of an unappealing and frankly ugly color: black. In other words, black in and of itself is not that aesthetically appealing, but it can increase the overall aesthetic appeal of a tapestry of other colors when added to the mix (at least if done in good taste). When one considers this in the context of drama, one quickly realizes that a good drama can still be made from characters who don't live happily ever after. We call these tragedies. Tragedies make up some of the most brilliant dramas ever composed. Thus, happy and joyful things like cute puppy dogs and playful kittens, although a pleasure to have in most cases, are not needed to uphold the worth of a drama. In fact, tragedies usually bank on the darker side of things in order to make the grade. Again, I say this is no excuse to go around hurting people on the grounds that you're making their lives "dramatic" - even if you are a brilliant playwright. It does, nonetheless, suggest that there is something more profound than morality, some justification that in a way unbeknownst to us sanctions any circumstance or set of real things - no matter how bad, no matter how evil - simply on the grounds that it is real. Is the universal drama a tragedy? Well, in one sense yes, but in another sense no. It is tragic in the sense that, at least as far as we can surmise, there is no end to the quest it's on, the quest to find its own justification for existence. It seems inevitable that it will go on forever unfulfilled, and in fact never see an end to the sporadic emergence of pain and suffering that is typical of life in the universe (although there will always be breaks and rest periods in between). Yet at the same time, we know there must be a justification in virtue of the fact that it does exist. This guaranteed justification might serve as a more optimistic perspective according to which the drama is not a tragedy but an exciting adventure - not to mention the sporadic emergence of pleasures that will forever be encountered along the way. Now, there is a glaring imperfection in our analogy: with literal dramas, it is the audience and the emotions stirred within them that make the show dramatic. The performance must be assessed as worth seeing and paying for. Without an audience, it amounts to nothing more than a gang of people acting flamboyantly on stage. When it comes to the universe, however, there is no audience to impress. There is the universe itself, and it could substitute for an audience, playing the role of, not only actor, but also spectator and judge of its own performance. This doesn't quite work, however, because the emotions or experiences stirred by such a performance could not be the basis upon which the real things constituting the universe are justified, for in

Projection

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that case those emotions or experiences are extra to everything else. What this means is that no matter how dramatic the universe takes itself to be, this attribute - the attribute of dramatic effect - is projected from these extra emotions or experiences onto every other experience. In other words, the collage of experiences in the universe would not be inherently dramatic, for without the extra emotions or experiences upon which the dramatic effects are based, the universe would be just as empty of drama as the performance given by actors on a stage without an audience in the stands (their own self-assessments notwithstanding). To truly count as a justification for existence, the dramatic effect must be understood as inherent in the experiences themselves (or rather the qualitative diversity among them), for it is the very nature of this kind of justification to be inherent in the bare existence of things. This understanding doesn't come easy with the "drama" metaphor, and this indeed counts as a shortcoming, but no metaphor is perfect lest it lends itself to literal interpretation (in which case it wouldn't be a metaphor at all). This shortcoming can be compensated for by the "theory" metaphor. A theory needs no emotional or external assessment to be worthy or adequate. Its justification is always inherent (empirical verification notwithstanding). But it fails to account for the justification behind the mistakes that are made in the process of its own development. That's where the "drama" metaphor works better. Each metaphor, therefore, has its proper place. The "drama" metaphor accounts best for the justification upholding the spaceless and timeless form of the universe, whereas the "theory" metaphor accounts best for the justifications driving the evolution of the universe in its space and time bound form. Thus, either the world is a stage or the world is a theory (and all the men and women merely arguments? ), but in either case, these remain but metaphors, and the true picture is all but out of our intellectual reach. Of course, we haven't even touched on the implications of all this for the alternate view we left behind at the beginning of the last section - namely, the view that all instants of the universe through time are equivalent. But at this point, it may be obvious to the reader that what is said of the spaceless and timeless context of the universe can also be said of each equivalent instant. That is to say, if, from the standpoint of the universe as a whole, existence is a drama, or is justified in some ultimate way, then it is so for each equivalent instant as well. What then of the construction of a universal theory, or in metaphorical parlance, of the character who, oblivious to his/her role in a play, takes all mistakes and misfortunes as things to be avoided? Well, what really sets the space and time bound form of the universe apart from its spaceless and timeless form, at least in the non-equivalent framework, is not so much the lack of equivalence between each instant, but that, standing on its own, each instant is incomplete - that is, not the whole of existence. It can easily be seen, therefore, that in the other framework, wherein each instant is equivalent, there are still component experiences therein that are not complete. Quite obviously, we are such incomplete components, and therefore our struggles with pain and suffering, and our reluctance to accept it, can be understood as a metaphorical "quest" to find a mode of life that we can deem justified - that is, to experience reality in a comfortable way - and such a quest can only reasonably be embarked upon if we, or any incomplete being, lacks the perspective that such pain and suffering and the measures we take to avoid it are somehow justified, a perspective that only the universe as a whole could have. As it concerns the "theory" metaphor, each instant of the universe, if they are all equivalent, constitutes a completed theory, and it is the dynamics and lively interactions of all its components that constitute the building of this theory (but see sidenote ). Whatever perspective we choose to take - equivalent instants vs. non-equivalent ones, theory vs. drama - one thing is for certain - the universe is dramatic. As we have been emphasizing throughout this paper, we are being very abstract and metaphorical, and it is therefore wise to be humble in our assertions. It is certainly possible that the ultimate justification for existence has nothing to do with the dramatic character of the universe - but there should be no mistake that, at least from a human perspective, the universe and all of life is highly dramatic if only as an interesting side point. Therefore, we very well could take the view that life is indeed a stage, and it is up to us to give the greatest performance we can. It is, of course, questionable whether we ought to live our lives by such a rule - at least, at the expense of more healthy lifestyles (such as the scientific approach or civil pragmatism in general) - but it might be worthwhile to contemplate such a lifestyle in other contexts - more specifically, in the context of beings unlike humans, beings who, by whatever means and through whatever historical process, evolved in such a way and in such an environment that the dramatic approach became the most conducive mode of survival. Are there such beings? We will see, in the next section, what answers MM-Theory affords this question.

equivalence

Building The Theory

Immaterial Beings

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After all is said and done with respect to the topic of God, we might as well say a thing or two with respect to those topics most closely related to it. One such topic, at least coming from a western religious background, is that of the spirits said to reside with God in Heaven (angels) and those as distant from God as metaphysically possible (demons), and all other such immaterial souls. Considered from a non-western perspective, or at least a perspective echoing from the age of antiquity, this topic might be rephrased as that of gods (plural) and other spirits - that is, immaterial beings who are incomplete with respect to the Universal Mind as a whole, although in some sense super-human. If considerations of the existence of God weren't sketchy enough, the reader might think me out of my mind to take the extra step to contemplate the existence of "ghosts". He/she would be on good solid grounds to be so prudent, which is why I am going to say, straight out, that if everything in this paper hitherto has been taken as exceptionally speculative, then this section is pure fantasy. I don't mind taking this stance on the topic of immaterial beings seeing as how we're nearing the end of this paper and have said everything we set out to say already. Needless to say, there is nothing in this section the reader will miss should he/she choose to skip ahead to the conclusion below. If, on the other hand, the read is like me and takes joy in the playful contemplation of such a topic, or finds it intellectually stimulating in any way, I do recommend staying the course and reading through it. If we are speaking from within the framework of MM-Theory, then in a sense we are all immaterial beings. These fleshy contraptions we call our bodies, filled with blood and bones, reduce to none other than sensory experiences. We see them, feel them, and sometimes hear them. It is even possible to smell and taste them. Thus, if we were to take the view that experience, in its metaphysical mode of existence, is really immaterial, then we are all immaterial beings and always have been. This is not the preferred view, however, at least not as MM-Theory would have it. MM-Theory prohibits us from taking any experience as unreal in the sense that it isn't really what it appears to be. Experiences really are the things they project themselves as, and if the experience in question is of a material thing (like our bodies) then the object of the experience (which amounts to the experience itself) just is material. So what do we mean by "immaterial beings" in this case? We mean beings whose experiential constitution consists of nothing but indirect or irrepresentable experiences (or both). We also want to ignore trivial cases such as those indirect experiences corresponding to common phenomena known to science, such as electromagnetic radiation or neutrinos. These entities, although rightfully called "beings" in virtue of their experiential makeup, are not sophisticated enough for us to attribute anything like intelligence to them. Although "intelligence" is itself a term that often evades clear definition, what we are interested in are beings who are just as likely to contemplate our existence - or even study us - as we are them - something like extra terrestrial intelligence. In fact, probably the most concrete argument for the possible existence of immaterial beings runs along the same lines as the argument for the possibility of aliens. We live in a universe that is so vast and rich in content that the possibility of other life-sustaining planets out there seems almost a certainty. We know that life occurred at least once in the universe - here on Earth - and therefore all it takes is for another moderate sized planet orbiting another average star at a safe distance, stalked with just a few basic resources such as water, an atmosphere with a decent amount of oxygen, and sufficient protection from harmful rays (with something akin to an ozone layer), and life could indeed be expected to flourish there. Well, the Universal Mind is somewhat like the physical cosmos. It features a vast array of varying content. And we are a part of this mental cosmos. We are conscious beings enjoying a whole plethora of experiences. Why can't similar beings have immerged elsewhere in the Universal Mind? If it's possible here, it's possible elsewhere. In fact, if there is alien intelligence elsewhere in the physical cosmos, then there must be other intelligence in the Universal Mind as well, for the aliens in question would have to correspond to the kind of consciousness we are contemplating - that is, the other-worldly beings we are wondering about would simply turn out to be those very aliens. Of course, this hardly makes them immaterial, and so the argument we are burdened to prove is a little more challenging. The "cosmos" we would need to search would be that consisting of only indirect and irrepresentable experiences. We know about the physical universe representing direct experiences - the one in which we find our alien neighbors - and we know there must be at least some indirect experiences interspersed between them, but we don't know that the latter is nearly as vast and diverse as the former. We don't know whether the possible existence of the sort of intelligent beings we're interested in is even remotely as probable as it is for physically existing aliens. Nonetheless, as far as the argument goes, it does work in exactly the same way as it does for the case of physical aliens in that it establishes the possibility. If it happened here, it can happen elsewhere. Supposing they turned out to correspond exclusively to irrepresentable experiences, this would mean that they have no way of affecting us. In effect, they could know about us but we couldn't know about them. Unlike the gods and other spirits of most religions, however, their powerlessness over us would put us in a position in which, from their point of view, it is we who are the godlike forces imposing our prowess over them. Of course, as irrepresentable, either of our influences over the other may be completely absent. In that case, the

Projection

Indirect Metaphysical Experiences

Irrepresentable Experiences

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relation we would hold to each other would be that we bear a common predecessor experience, one that entailed both them and us. In none of these cases could we ever hope to verify or falsify the existence of immaterial beings. It is only in the case of indirect experiences that there is such hope - infinitesimal as it may nonetheless be. We will not pursue such hope, however, and instead speculate on what life might be like for these beings. To be perfectly honest, the following section (which will be the last before the conclusion) is simply my own personal take on what life might be like for these beings if we brought together the myths from the great majority of religions around the world and through history and the experiential environment that MM-Theory predicts as their (and our) broadest abode, assuming that they are fully aware (in whatever way they are "aware") of their place in this environment.

Life in the Heavens
Here's what I imagine. First, these immaterial beings would be no closer to God than we are. What I mean by this is, unlike most western religions whereby angels and other good souls reside in Heaven with God, presumably close enough to apperceive Him in some direct way, the idea I entertain is one in which all beings, immaterial or otherwise, are immersed in experiences - immersed in the Universal Mind and are therefore only in direct contact with those experiences that constitute their own makeup. We, as subscribers to MM-Theory, take God, or the Universal Mind, to be a great living presence beyond the experiences that makeup our personal being (but inclusive of our experiences as well). It is not a bit different for the immaterial beings we are considering. What they actually perceive are the real things projected by their own experiences. That there is a God out there is something each one can believe or reject on his/her own accord. But if this "God" is understood to be none other than the Universal Mind (in whatever form "understanding" takes with these beings), it would be more common, though still subject to disbelief, that a given immaterial being concede its existence. To them, that they are immersed in the essential substance of God - that is, the Universal Mind - is common knowledge - much like our science and other worldly facts. In fact, despite the similarity between our relation to God and theirs, their understanding of this relation reaches such depths and their knowledge of the Universal Mind so much more advanced, they would take it as rather silly to be so obstinately atheist. They wouldn't take it as offensive or deplorable - just immature. They understand themselves to be creators, participating in the production of novel forms of experience. They understand themselves to be free agents in, at the very least, the compatibilist account of free-will we defended in Determinism and Free-Will. It requires skill to create experiences. For them, it is both the fundamental mode of technology and the essential art form that defines their way of life. The elite of their civilization wield this skill so well that they are akin to the sorts of creator-gods featured in many of our religions. That is to say, when one has sufficient control over one's experiences, not only is it possible to control what one does and doesn't perceive, but it is possible to create entire universes. For them, there is no science that comes before art - no fact, no objective reality - that isn't the fruit of some creative wellspring. They maintain absolute respect for the role of the Universal Mind as the utmost domineering force in their lives, a force that always has the final say in what's real and what isn't, giving science a niche in the network of their social institutions. But as they understand it, the facts of their science are facts about what God has invented, and therefore they too are the results of creative acts. If our approach to life is a scientific one, or even a religious one - or, as the case almost always is, one in which we take an independent model of reality for granted - the approach taken by our immaterial co-inhabitants is more akin to the dramatic approach outlined at the end of the last section. A dramatic approach certainly fits best within the framework of a dependent model of reality. So long as the drama rests heavily on improv, this paradigm also fits well with an artistic approach according to which one creates his/her own life by the power of his/her will as one moves along. There is no script to follow, no predetermined story line, and so each one is fully an artist. Drama is the highest form of art as it incorporates all other art forms. It incorporates music, visual arts, poetry, fiction, and so on. No wonder, then, that drama brings one into another world, temporarily suspending the real world and fully convincing the viewer of the reality of the world displayed on stage, for, as the saying goes, art mimics life and life mimics art. These beings take this idiom to heart, not only wielding one to mimic the other, but also fusing them both into one.

Real Things

Independent vs. Dependent Models of Reality

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The play is God's, of course, and He is therefore revered as the ultimate playwright. He is the director, sometimes imposing unexpected plot elements, and other times standing back to watch the story unfolds by the hands of the actors and actresses He adores. They are only too proud to be a part of the act. They adore Him in return - they worship Him and his perfected craft. Indeed, improvisation is the order of the day - of every day - as these beings take full responsibility for, not only their actions, but their character. That is, one chooses to be the type of being he/she is. One chooses to play the role of an angelic hero or a demonic villain, or even some role unaffiliated with angels and demons - a muse to human beings, for example, or even an all powerful god (note the lower case 'g'). Whatever the case may be, the dramatic approach makes a crucial difference to how each regards all others. Whereas with humans, when one chooses to lead a criminal life, committing atrocious acts of cruelty, we generally regard that person with scorn, disgust, and contempt. This is also true of the immaterial beings under consideration, except that such scorn, disgust, and contempt is, when expressed, confined to the role being played - that is, to the context of the drama. It is like this: when a troupe of actors and actresses play a piece, there will be many parts - some heroic, others villainous. The villain is, no doubt, evil, and the protagonist regards him/her as his/her enemy. But this is only a character. The actual actor/actress playing the part of the protagonist harbors no ill feelings for the one playing the villain. In fact, the one playing the protagonist may take offense if the one playing the villain suddenly chooses not to play the role he/she has been filling up to that point - as if he/she were to stop in the middle and announce "You know, I'm not going to play the villain anymore. I'm going to play a different character". This would disrupt the flow and surely spoil the entire performance. They have a unique manner of respecting each other. Whereas human beings show respect through kindness and due consideration, these beings show respect by accepting the roles each one has chosen - that is, by approaching the one playing the role according to how the character of that role ought to be approached. Let's say, for example, that two of these beings have chosen to play an angel and a devil. On a superficial level, they are sworn enemies of each other. But on a deeper level - the level of their authentic selves - the animosity that characterizes the superficial level is just the manner in which they show respect for each other. In other words, the proper way to respect one who has chosen to play a devil is to treat that being as a devil - that is, as evil, an enemy of all that is good. Of course, how one shows respect depends not only on the role played by the one to whom the respect is due, but also on the role played by the one issuing respect. That is why, although the one playing the angel ought to be treated with kindness and positive regard by ordinary standards, the proper way for the one playing the devil to show respect, because he/she plays a devil, is to treat the one playing the angel as an enemy. This is how much they value the tapestry of roles played and the freedom to choose such roles. Like actors and actresses on stage, the performance runs smoothly because they have respect for each other and the work they are involved in, for without such respect, little incentive would exist to agree on the roles each actor/actress chooses to play, and one might instead decide "no, on second thought, I don't want to be the damsel in distress and you my heroic savior instead, I'm going to save you". This would be considered disrespectful in a human context - that is, a context in which the drama is in full sway and an audience captivated by the performance fills the stands (rehearsal is another matter) - and would certainly be considered disrespectful among the immaterial beings under discussion. At the same time, however, no one is ever out of harm's way - at least, no more than ordinary human beings in the everyday world. So unlike in the case of actual dramas performed by human beings, when the character played by an immaterial being gets wounded or hurt in anyway, the pain is real - even death is real. This follows directly from the fusion of art and life mentioned above. The dramatic perspective is understood to be grounded in each being's total freedom to improvise and choose his/her character, not in its standing as fiction. They recognize no distinction between fact and fiction in this case. This may be hard for humans to fathom. How difficult it would be to take all of life's experiences as though it were all a plot in story, especially when times are extraordinarily tough. It is during the most trying of times when we can't help but to take life seriously as opposed to a playground in which we make believe. But this is precisely what these beings were built for. This can be taken in an evolutionary sense - that is, that the environment these beings have evolved in was one conducive towards the survival of those who approached life as though it were a drama. Their experiences are several multiples of ours in terms of intensity. These beings can handle an extraordinary amount of pain and suffering, yet maintain the composure and fluidity of a well-trained actor or actress. They don't resist or block out the pain, but allow it to flow through them, wielding and channeling it such that it gives rise to the most graceful performance a being of their disposition can give. The performance is an expression of the pain, of course, but it is not necessarily overdone - that is, the pain, or any experience for that matter, is not expressed in an overly dramatic way, but an optimal way that is, a way just right for the particular audience watching the performance (in this case, the being's peers) to be moved by it or touched in some way, but also striking a balance with authenticity - that is, expressing how it really feels.

Don't Be a Drama Queen

Human Beings: The Apple of God's Eye

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The Scientist: A Noble Character or a Fool?

Independent vs. Dependent Models of Reality

Subjective Realities

Evolution In a Metaphysical Environment

Having been molded through an evolutionary process like us, the phases of this process were much like ours as well - though metaphysical as their environment was. We might say that they started out as a species simply trying to eek out a survival and evolved to the point where they recognized themselves as a community with an acute awareness of their world. They may have had institutions analogous to our sciences, religions, governments, schools, arts, law, industry, etc. Who knows how similar their institutions were to ours, but they did serve the same function - to form the groundwork upon which a whole civilization could exist and thrive. At this point, they took reality to be independent from perception - that is, as an independent model would have it. At a more advanced stage, however, their sciences and technology turned to their own experiences - their mental life - and groundbreaking strides were made in the capacity to control their own experiences from exclusively inside the mind. Paralleling this breakthrough was the rapidly growing awareness that their experiences defined reality rather than being merely a reflection of it - in other words, a dependent model of reality was gradually being adopted. Taking this to its ultimate ends, they built a mental technology focused on the alteration and creation of whole realities themselves (what MM-Theory refers to as subjective realities). The technology spread in both the directions of empowering one's self to take control of his/her own reality as well as the control over the realities of others. Like all other technologies, therefore, it was used for both the liberation and empowerment of the individual and his/her submission to control and enslavement. The struggle for freedom against the powers of authority persisted - many uprisings and revolutions saw their day, some successful, changing the course of history, others dismal failures, strengthening the foothold of oppressive and tyrannical despots. Ultimately, however, the dialect between the conflicting powers settled into equilibrium and harmony - at least to the extent that the societies of their world could function prosperously with minimal suffering and anguish on the part of the individual. They struck a balance between the extent and quality of freedom that was most healthy and that of the dominance of the highest powers for the sake of avoiding chaos and anarchy. They continue to struggle by moderate measures (on average), but it is maintained at a level that can be dealt with in a constructive manner for all. They harbor a deep understanding and appreciation for the fact that, although each individual is certainly free to make of his/her life whatever he/she chooses, and is therefore a force to be reckoned with, there is no escaping the role of intricate connection to a larger universe such that its hold on one is always steadfast and in fact necessary if any security and happiness is to be attained at all. When it comes to social worlds, in other words, theirs is much like ours. They have their politics and religion, science and art, laws and criminal justice systems. Where the latter is concerned, it is never clear-cut who is criminal and who isn't, but neither is it clear in our case. Certainly a criminal is one who has broken the law, but it is rarely ever the case that we can judge with equal certainty whether one is good or evil. Someone who steals medicine to save the life of his/her sick spouse is clearly a criminal in the eyes of the law, but is he/she a bad person? Or what about a vandal who is really just a misguided teenager who, with the right upbringing and more nurturing environment, might have grown, and still may, to be a wholesome and productive member of society? Or what about a soldier fighting for his country? To the enemy, he certainly represents the forces of evil, but to his own people, he is a valiant hero, fighting honorably and bravely. Or what about a protester, standing up against a tyrannical government for what's universally right and just? To his fellow countrymen, he is like the soldier - a hero - fighting a battle in his own land, but to the government he opposes, he is the enemy - a terrorist - threatening the establishment and in need of liquidating. Why should this ambiguity over good and evil be any different for our immaterial beings? All the aforementioned scenarios are just as possible for them as they are for us. These beings fall ill, just like us, and therefore some, under the pressure of desperation, might break the law to save the life of a loved one or a family member. Some of these family members are teenagers, some distraught, some misguided, some abused and therefore prone to criminal behavior. They have wars, all of which feature soldiers, each one judging his own side as good and the enemy as bad. They have many countries (or subjective realities), some prosperous and free, and run according to democratic principles, and others ruled over by cruel and oppressive dictators, and against the latter there are plenty of protestors - some viewed as having terrorist leanings, others as defending freedom and universal rights. The general rule seems to be, although this certainly isn't always the case, that we are inclined to regard as evil those who pose a threat to our well-being. If ever there were a time in history when immaterial beings did in fact intervene in human affairs, we probably would have taken the more traumatic episodes as an act committed by an evil spirit - demonic possessions, for example. But this would be the same way an animal from an endangered species might react to a crew of wildlife rescue workers. We've all seen them on television - they chase after emus and crocodiles and these animals run away, mistaking the rescuers for predators. Little do the animals know, however, that they're really trying to help them. At other times,

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immaterial beings might indeed be dangerous to beings like us, but not evil. For instance, it might be the case that to them, we are like microbes. We humans breathe in and consequently kill millions of microbes every time we fill our lungs, but we do so completely inadvertently and obliviously. It may be the same way with immaterial beings. Even if it were the case that certain immaterial beings wreaked havoc with our lives, it may be the equivalent of a child drowning ants in water as part of a game played in the sandbox. If the parents are sensitive enough to care about the poor ants, the child may incur a stern "No!" but he/she would certainly not be regarded as evil. The reader can think of other examples, I'm sure - like immaterial beings making an honest mistake or sacrificing the welfare of a few unfortunates for the sake of a much greater, and necessary, good - but he/she probably gets the point. When an immaterial being really is evil, according to the judgment of his/her society, the proper measures are taken. Those who might be considered evil by the great majority of immaterial beings from a given community would be those affiliated with the equivalent of criminal organizations in our world. The proper measures to take in this case would be something like a prison sentence, which is one variant of what we might call "Hell". The black market on which the criminal organization sustains itself might be another variant. The fact of the matter is, the most general context in which we could find what comes closest to the human notion of "Hell" is anything conducive to great pain and suffering (it is really a state of mind). An implication of this is that "Hell" is not always deserved, and that whole teams of beings are often united in their efforts to salvage poor victims from variants of Hell in whatever form they take. A good example of this, one that finds a close analogy in the human world, is the attempts made to rescue starving children or victims of political abuse in places much like our third world countries. Indeed, a country whose social, economical, and political systems are destitute and corrupt could pass as a sort of Hell in which innocent beings are not only undeservedly oppressed and tormented, but born into it, making it their native land, sometimes without hope of escape. Other times, however, escape is within their reach, and the opportunity to make a better life for themselves in a more prosperous society not wholly impossible. Beings are not always condemned to Hell, in other words, by an all powerful god-like being whose position it is to sentence all who merit such judgment and to enforce it without challenge for the full term of the sentence. And what about the leaders of these countries - both the tyrants and the more noble ones? What kinds of being are they? It might be appropriate to consider them the "gods". If each "country" is a full reality created and controlled by them, and all citizens the subjects of these realities - their freedom to determine their own reality either stripped or willfully handed over - then these "gods" are not at all different from the biblical God, or any god whose mode of being is objectified and individuated, in that he/she is the creator and all powerful authority of the created. Unlike what we take for granted when we think about the God of western religions, however, these gods are not fundamentally different beings from the subjects of their realities (or kingdoms). It is more akin to the human situation wherein to become an authoritarian leader of a nation, or even a leader with limited powers like in our democracies, one need not be from an entirely different species, but only have the gumption, savvy, and opportunity to find one's way into power. Any immaterial being, no matter from what background or of what stature, has, in principle, the potential to become a god and to lose that status just as easily. It is not a question of what kind of being you are, but of your social position and the opportunities that lay before you. Is all this overly anthropomorphic? I should say almost certainly. But as I already mentioned above, we are being fanciful anyway. This shouldn't be taken too seriously. If there really are immaterial beings out there, beings whose intelligence and sophistication are on par with our own, or greater, then in all likelihood, they intermingle with each other to form a system of equal sophistication - that seems to be the nature of all complex systems in the universe - but to attribute institutions to them, ones like science, religion, politics, law, and the like, and to ascribe the same kinds of joys and problems we humans experience as a natural part of life, is more an expression of an old human habit - that of creating the gods in our own image. What we can take more seriously, however, is the prospect that, although beings whose lives mimic that of humans to such close proximity are extremely unlikely, they may be a glimmer of what we will become in the distant future. It is said of the ancient Greeks that the manner in which they imagined the lifestyle and prowess of the gods was a reflection of their own aspirations to become more than what they were, and indeed today's monumental technology, scientific wisdom, and unparalleled artistic creativity might be considered testimonies to the limitless possibilities that are open to a society inspired by such aspirations. Of course, the fundamental "technology" of the immaterial beings considered here is of the mental variety - creating real things, as they see fit, through the shear power of thought - but why should this pose a problem for a society inspired, as the Greeks were, to make strides in the directions they see as possible? This is a very interesting question, one that we will delve further into in the paper Practical Applications.

Real Things

Conclusion
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Whether one believes in God or not, the world beyond one's perceptions most certainly counts as a higher power. By default, MM-Theory considers the physical representation of the universe that we do perceive, either directly or indirectly, as an exhaustive mapping onto the experiences that makeup the contents of the

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Appendix
Footprints in The Sand There is a well-known proverb whose moral resonates much like the idea of omnibenevolence that we are entertaining here. It is the proverb of the man who, walking along a beach, looks behind him and notices only one set of footprints in the sand for when times were tough. He wonders why, during those times, there weren't two sets, one from his own steps and one from God's who should have been there for him during those trying times. One Night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you you'd walk with me all the way, but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me." The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." SOURCE The Roots of Metaphysics To be truthful, the roots of metaphysics, or at least the word "metaphysics", are a little more complicated than this. The reason the Greeks used the word "metá" (after) rather than "beyond" or "non" (as in non-physical) is because they were speaking, not logically or cosmologically, but chronologically - more specifically, that metaphysics was what literally came after Aristotle's physics in his book - that is, the subsequent chapters. Aristotle's treatise on nature consisted of these two parts - the first concerned with the nature of physical things and the second with non-physical, or unobservable, things. The latter encompassed things like the nature of being, causation, form and matter, mathematics, and God. The common usage of the word "metaphysics" today derives from the fact that

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while all these subjects (i.e. being, causation, form and matter, etc.) came after Aristotle's physics, they in themselves transcend physics in a logical and cosmological way, leading the majority of philosophers over the years to construe the word "meta" as "beyond". Indeed, this would make sense considering the nature of those things Aristotle spoke of and others classified under the banner "metaphysics", and we will not deviate from this usage in this paper. Physicality Beyond The Bubble Physicality is certainly alive and well within the bubble. It is grounded in the physical form that sensations, the patchwork projected on the inner surface of the bubble, take. But this by no means entails that there are no physical things beyond the bubble. At the very least, physical things exist, for example, in the bubbles of other people. They exist in the bubbles of any creature capable of experiencing sensations of any kind. They may even exist independently of animal life - any physical system whatsoever capable of at least mimicking sensory processes may sustain the perception of physical things. Metaphysics and Sensations The wording in these definitions is not to be overlooked. The inclusion of "metaphysical" in "(in)direct metaphysical experiences" is advertently put in so as to distinguish these experiences from sensations in particular. Sensations, being naturally physical experiences, are to be distinguished from metaphysical experiences on precisely this account. This is not to say, however, that sensations, along with emotions and cognitions, are not direct experiences. They really are. They can always be physically represented by the neurons, chemicals, and neurochemical activity that we find in the brain. Although emotions and cognitions can, in addition, be classified as metaphysical, sensations, in virtue of their physical essence, cannot. Throughout this paper, however, we will be a little loose with this rule and drop the "metaphysical" for the sake of brevity - in other words, when we refer to "direct experiences" and "indirect experiences", these are to be understood as metaphysical. More Ambiguity Technically speaking, to say that atoms represent indirect experiences depends on whether we are directly observing them or not. It is indeed possible to see atoms under the right conditions - namely, under an electron microscope. In fact, all sorts of subatomic particles can be observed this way. Anything capable of emitting photons (light) can be seen, and anything carrying an electromagnetic charge (which allows for the emission of photons) can be sensed. What this tells us is that the status of an experience as direct or indirect is really a property of its relation to us - whether it bears a one-to-one correlation with our sensory experiences or not - rather than something inherent in the experience itself. If it does, it is a direct experience. If it doesn't, it is indirect. But whether it is or isn't depends on the conditions surrounding this relation - the relation

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between it and us - and these conditions are by no means fixed. This should be kept in mind, but for our purposes, we will talk about physical macroscopic objects as though they always represent direct experiences. The implicit assumption is that they are being directly observed. A Point On Identity For this sort of justification - the sort by which sensory experiences flow and develop - to be based on identity, there must be something more to the experiences than the fact that they have an identity, for all experiences have an essential identity that defines their core qualitative character. The kind of "identity" that justifies the flow of sensory experiences is more of a proper translation - unique to sensations - of their meaning. That is to say, sensations are primarily experiences of external objects bearing some identity - a flower, a hat, a dog. This identity begins quite basically - it is simply experienced as a thing and it becomes more and more refined the more attributes it acquires as the sensation morphs into more complex forms. That is to say, a house (say) begins as a bland set of points, lines, angles, and whatnot, but gradually becomes a house proper as the brain continually adds additional details such as colors, depth, shade, recognition of more complex forms, identification of familiar objects, and so on.

Now all these additional experiences have their own unique identity, of course, but insofar as the identity of the house is concerned, these experiences, in their projected form, are really properties belonging to it; not separate sensible objects with their own independent identities. This is so because of the sort of "identity" the house bears. It is an identity that is given to it at the very start of the sensory process by which it evolves, and stays fixed throughout the flux of this evolution. It is as though the sensory experience begins by declaring "I have identified a new thing. I will fixate on this thing as I proceed to add a full set of properties to it. At the end of this process, I should be able to recognize its identity, and thereby classify it in the cognitive database accordingly." This is, perhaps, the most general account of the function of sensation we can give - to bestow an identity (as a thing, an object) to the experiences it receives. Once this special kind of identity is attached to these experiences (or rather these experiences morph into this kind of identity), the kind of justification which then sanctions its continued flow is the "identity" kind described here. The Real Binomial Theorem

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The real binomial theorem looks like this:

The equation dealt with in this paper - (x+2)(x-2) = x2-4 - is actually a very simplified version of the binomial theorem - in fact, it's more of an instance. Revisiting The Binomial Theorem We began expounding the concept of equivalence with the example of the binomial theorem, but according to the principle of the conditions of equivalence, it seems doubtful that the binomial theorem is a case of equivalence after all. If we associate the left-hand side of the equation with a specific MOD in the brain, and the right-hand side with another MOD, it is highly unlikely that we'll find one MOD physically reducing to the other. Neither of the corresponding experiences, therefore - that is, the conceptual understandings of (x+2)(x-2) and x2-4 - should reduce to the other. Therefore, the first condition of the principle of equivalent experiences is not met. What about the second? Well, it is difficult to say. Is the overall meaning of the conceptual understanding of (x+2)(x-2) identical to the overall meaning of the conceptual understanding of x2-4? Well, in order for them to be equivalent, they would have to be interchangeable. What this means is that their neurological counterparts would also have to be interchangeable. Is this possible? Would nothing change if we exchanged these two MODs in the brain of the one apprehending the meaning of the two expressions? Would his/her behavior and thinking be utterly unaffected? The reader may hold a different opinion, but to me it seems doubtful that absolutely no changes would ensue. Perhaps, then, we ought to concede that our use of the binomial theorem was only analogous at best. It served its purpose. It brought us closer to a clear understanding of equivalence. It therefore doesn't matter whether the binomial theorem is a true instance of equivalence or just a useful analogy. Other Definitions I find this definition of God to be the best, but there are other ways of articulating it. Here's another for instance: God is a being who sustains His own existence by way of His perpetual selfawareness. Entailment and Equivalence The title of this sidenote - Entailment and Equivalence - seems eerily similar to one we saw in the Advanced Theory - the one titled Entailment and Identity. In that sidenote, we argued that a potential link exists between entailment and identity when we consider the identity of an event unfolding through time. We considered this in the context of our expositions on space and time and what they represent vis-à-vis the experiences beyond human perception. The aim was to show that, just as space represents the relations between parts to a whole - and iv

thus connected by identity - time represents a similar relation between parts of an event - that is, stages in its development - and the whole event itself. Because this too can be construed as a sort of identity - the identity of the event in question entailment can be understood as rooted in this identity. Well, the link between entailment and equivalence noted here is very similar - in fact, it is complimentary. That is, it shows that just as the identity of an event can serve as the grounds for entailment, so can the identity of a system or object at one point in time. If the relation between the parts and the whole, in this case, is characterized by equivalence, and if equivalence has the potential to give way to entailment, then perhaps in a way the relation between the parts and the whole can be construed as a form of entailment. What way is this? Certainly we don't see the parts flowing into the whole, nor visa-versa, for they are always in the midst of each other's presence. Well, it's interesting that modern physics takes space and time to be fundamentally the same kinds of things, and it is only our modes of experiencing them that convince us they are wholly different. But if they are really the same, then perhaps the reason spatial relations don't seem fit for the terminology of entailment is simply for this reason - that space and time are only different in the way we experience them. After all, near the end of the Advanced Theory, we took a view of the Universal Mind in its entirety as static relations between "coexisting" experiences (though in a atemporal framework, such as it was, "coexisting" is a somewhat misleading term). If everything is static (at least in a contrived model) then it should be no surprise that the distinguishing features between space and time dissolve into each other, and all that remains are relations between experiences - the ones that entail others rightfully said to be connected by entailment. The Ubiquitous Now Even though we are on a constant course forward through time, the future streaming through the present and into the past, it is always "now". There is never a moment when it is the future or the past as opposed to it also being the present. This has always struck me, and others I'm sure, as queer - time is always flowing by but at the same time it stays still in the present. The distinction between entailment and equivalence may be our best account of this. Entailment describes the way experiences flow, and thus how time flows, whereas the equivalence between each instant of the universe describes the sameness among them, and thus the constancy of "now". It is as though the equivalence between each instant is what allows us to recognize that this ever-changing world is always the same world - that there is some fixed identity to it - and thus ties every bit of it throughout space and time to the same whole. The Truth Behind The Sphere The difference between Einstein's geometry and Euclid's is traditionally exposed by the example of parallel lines whereby it is shown that the Euclidian axiom stating two parallel lines never meet doesn't hold in Einsteinian geometry. Drawing two lines starting from the equator of a globe and heading due north

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will start out parallel but meet at the pole. We have focused on a different Euclidian axiom - namely, that two perpendicular lines cross only once (if at all) - which is also nicely falsified by appeal to a sphere. Although we could have stuck with tradition and spoke of parallel lines meeting, speaking of perpendicular lines is more appropriate for the ideas inherent in this section. Questioning The Singularity I'm no physicist, but I'm pretty certain that few of them accept the singularity version of the Big Bang theory - that is, the theory that says that the universe began from an infinitesimal singularity - a geometrical point in space - in which all matter and energy, and perhaps space and time as well, were condensed. The fact of the matter is, no one knows what happened during the first unit of time of the universe (the first unit of time is the Planck Time - the smallest measurable unit of time. Anything shorter than that is beyond the reach of physics - thus the mystery surrounding the exact beginnings of our universe). So if the notion that absolutely everything was compacted into a singularity sounds absurd to you (as it does to me), take comfort in the fact that this cannot be known with any degree of certainty. The point of appealing to a singularity in our discussion, however, is warranted since it is only the principle of the argument that matters. Scale – A Third Property? I also considered adding scale as a third property of spatial relations, but then figure it was different from distance and orientation in an essential way. Any change of distance or orientation of a point necessarily requires manipulating the origin of the coordinate system defining that distance or orientation. For example, a change in distance amounts to the shifting of the origin's position relative to that point (shifting the point itself is equivalent). A change in orientation amounts to the rotation of the coordinate system about the origin, and therefore the rotation of the origin itself. But a change in scale does nothing to the origin. Rather, a change in scale reflects a shift in the choice of units one uses to measure positions and distances. This may constitute a manipulation of the coordinate system (by shrinking or expanding the axes) but not the origin, and considering that spatial relations are really characterized essentially by relations between points - in this case, between a point and the origin - a shift in measurement units bears no consequence to these relations.

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Mixing Frequencies It so happens to be a fact that mixing light of different frequencies does not yield the average of those frequencies. For example, if you mix red light (450 THz) with green light (580 THz), you will not get yellow light (515 THz). Instead, you will get two streams of light, red and green, overlapping each other, and thus two frequencies superimposed over top each other. The reason we see a yellow hue when we mix red and green light is because of how the brain processes the information coming from the retina when our red and green cones (the receptors in our eyes that respond to different colors of light) detect the presence of red and green light respectively. The brain, receiving these signals, "computes" the color yellow, thus allowing us to experience it as such. But why, then, do we still see yellow when light of frequency 515 THz, which does correspond to such a hue, enters our eyes? This is because our red and green cones are not so particular about the frequencies of light they will respond to. The frequencies of 450 THz (red) and 580 THz (green) are simply the frequencies they are primed for - that is, the frequencies that maximize their rate of firing. They can, however, fire at frequencies other than these, although not as readily. For example, a frequency of 515 THz, which corresponds to a yellow hue, will stimulate the red receptors a little and the green receptors a little, thus initiating the same physiological process as that initiated by red and green light. Geometric Proof and Hebbian Theory This geometrical proof is not an example of a sequence of experiences that corresponds to an actual instance of quantum entanglement. Rather, it corresponds to something quite aligned with classical mechanics. The long proof outlined in the table would correspond to a series of neurons (or MODs) stimulating each other - say A, B, C, and D. The theorem this proof establishes would correspond to the fortifying of a new connection between neurons (or MODs) A and D - that is to say, after A has stimulated D a certain number of times through B and C, it should gain the ability to stimulate D directly - that is, without B and C. This is just an example of Hebb's theory of cell assemblies that neurons that fire together wire together. It is not an example of quantum entanglement at work in the brain. String Theory: The Limits of Fundamentality String Theorists believe they have discovered - or at least theorized - the most fundamental unit of all matter and energy. They believe that all fundamental particles, regardless of their differences and idiosyncrasies, are really tiny strings of energy - some in loops, others stretched out end to end. They say that each particle inherits its unique properties (such as mass, charge, size, spin, etc.) from the particular frequency with which the string vibrates. In other words, all fundamental particles are the same thing but behaving differently.

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String Theorists add to this that having "discovered" the string nature of particles (I say "discovered" in quotes because, due to technical difficulties in measurement and observation illuminated by quantum mechanics, such a nature cannot be discovered, at least not scientifically), we can now claim to have a full understanding of everything. That is to say, if everything is fundamentally strings of energy, then with this understanding, we can say that we know what everything is (for this reason, String Theory is sometimes referred to as the "Theory of Everything"). Well, certainly more can be said about the fundamental constituents of the universe than this. For one thing, we don't even know what this energy of which strings are made is. Secondly, if these strings have any spatial extension at all, and if they vibrate in space, then they must have parts. These parts may not be separable from the whole string, but they are indeed there. A looped string might be said to have a left and a right side. A stretched out string might be said to have one end and a distinct other. If they vibrate - particularly in the form of waves traveling down their length - then there are parts that mark the peeks and others that mark the troughs. In effect, if there is a smallest fundamental unit to anything, it would have to be no larger than a geometrical point, for anything larger will consist of parts - again, inseparable as they may be - that can be marked by such points. Strings, if they really are one dimensional as they say, might be thought of as a chain of such points. Small Speed, Huge Force The jump from 99.99% the speed of light to 99.999% may seem an infinitesimal and trivial one, but when we reach such high speeds, even small increments like this require great amounts of force. This is because as an object approaches the speed of light, it's mass approaches infinity. It literally becomes heavier, and therefore requires more force to push it faster. This is the reason nothing can actually reach the speed of light - to travel at the speed of light, an object would become infinitely massive, thus requiring an infinite amount of force to reach that speed. Therefore, increasing an object's speed from 99.99% the speed of light to 99.999%, though seeming like an insignificant increment numerically, is real a great difference in terms of the amount of force it would require. In regards to smashing electrons and other supposedly physically fundamental particles, a force of such great magnitude could be enough to break them into their constituent parts (assuming the latter exist). The Frequency of An Atom Traditionally, the atom is depicted as a miniature solar system, with electrons like planets orbiting a sun-like nucleus. Therefore, the "frequency" of an atom might be interpreted as the number of times an electron makes one full revolution around the nucleus. This is not right, however. Electrons don't orbit their nucleus, at least not in the ordinary sense of "orbit". Instead, they form what is called an "electron cloud", which, although beyond the scope of the present discussion, can

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be thought of as a thin shell of energy engulfing the nucleus. Hence, there is no orbiting. The atom still has a frequency, however. What this frequency consists of is a little too complex for this discussion, but it will suffice to explain how scientists go about measuring it. What they do is fire a photon of known frequency at the atom, and whatever the minimum frequency needed to force the atom into a state transition is equal to the atom's frequency. For the purposes of this discussion, the reader can think of a state transition as a "jump" from one level of energy to another (think back to our paper on quantum mechanics - Planck's quantum principle in particular). By the principles of quantum mechanics, there are minimum increments that energy can increase or decrease by - the fundamental quanta of energy - and for an atom to make a transition across such a minimum increment, it needs a minimum amount of energy, and that energy is provided by the photon whose frequency corresponds to that amount. Computers Mimicking Randomness The way computers mimic randomness is really quite interesting. It might be thought that computers can't perform random operations in virtue of their rule governed mechanical manner of processing information, and indeed this would be correct. They can nevertheless mimic randomness in the following way. First, they are programmed with an enormously complex mathematical formula - a formula so complex that no one with less than godlike intelligence would be able to predict the output given any arbitrary input whatsoever. Therefore, the number computed with such input would seem random, but we would know it to be determined, not only in virtue of our knowing the formula to adhere to the rigid laws of mathematics, but in the fact that it would give the same output every time this input is plugged in. Therefore, an extra step is needed to make it seem truly random. The input value must be different every single time. How can this be accomplished? The time! Every computer has a built-in clock that keeps time from the year right down to the millisecond, and stores it in the form of a single number (so a computer whose time is stored as 5676480000000000 has been running for 5,676,480,000,000,000 milliseconds - or 30 years). This number only ever goes up - by one every millisecond - and so is never the same twice. The computer simply grabs this number, whatever it is at that instant, and throws it into the formula. Thus, not only is the output unpredictable in virtue of the complexity of the formula used to derive it, but so is the input in virtue of the user not knowing the exact time at that instant - hence, the appearance of randomness. Visualizing Scale As A Spatial Dimension In order to help people visualize the temporal dimension as a spatial one, physicists often use the concept of "worldlines". This concept is useful for us as well in the aim of visualizing scale as a spatial dimension. A worldline is, crudely speaking, the path that an object traces out in both space and time as it moves forward through time. This is best visualized when we forget that known space is three dimensional, and instead image it as flat (i.e. two

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dimensional) or even just a string (one dimensional) and that time fills in the extra space left void by the missing dimension(s) (click here for further reading). For example, figure 8a shows the worldline of an object moving along only one spatial dimension. The worldline (in red) ends up looking diagonal because a portion of the objects movement, the one through time, is oriented perpendicularly to the portion of its movement through space. In figure 8b, we have an object that's not moving through space at all, yet because it still moves forward through time, it still traces out a worldline in the vertical direction. Figure 8c shows the worldline of the Moon as it orbits the Earth. As you can see, it traces out a helix for its worldline. What all this tells us is that if we could perceive the world as though time were really a fourth spatial dimension, all movement would cease to exist and worldlines would take its place. The universe would be filled with strangely shaped strands of rigid spaghetti.

Figure 8a: Diagonal worldline

Figure 8b: Vertical worldline

Figure 8c: Worldline of Moon.

NEXT PAGE >> Well, what would the worldline of scale look like? There are two ways to answer this. First, let's understand by "scale" the enlargement or shrinkage of objects (i.e. not the customized definition of "resolution" we're toying with in this paper). Then the worldline of an object would be conically or pyramidally shaped. Take a look at figure 9a for example. There we have a sheet of paper, representing our 2D spatial plane. In the paper are atoms. To go down in scale at any particular point on the paper would be to hone in on a particular atom at that point. With respect to our point of reference, therefore, the atom would appear to be getting larger. Thus, the worldline would go from having a very small girth to a large one. If this helps to imagine scale as a spatial dimension, then it would appear the universe consists of spaghetti strands growing ever larger as one moves down in scale.

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Figure 9a: Worldline of scale (as size)

Figure 9b: Worldline of scale (as resolution)

But, as we pointed out, scale in this sense - that is, as the enlargement or shrinkage of objects - is ill-defined for consideration as a proper dimension. The better definition is as higher or lower resolution. Under this light, the worldline of scale is a little different. It can't be construed as consisting of spaghetti strands, but rather of different contents arranged linearly along the dimension of scale. Instead of a point on the paper growing conically or pyramidally, we would have, as figure 9b shows, different objects arranged in a vertical column. At the top, we have the sheet of paper, and a little ways below that we have the atoms, and below that, smaller particles. In effect, by visualizing scale as a spatial dimension in this sense, we find that the smaller constituents of macroscopic objects are not in the objects, but beside them. In effect, we have several different objects. We have the paper as one object, its atoms as a completely separate object, and even the particles that compose the atom as separate objects. This may seem twisted and bizarre, but it works in perfect accordance with the concept of equivalence and with our hypothetical thought exercise of traveling through different lands, each with different content, on a flat and endless Earth. << LAST PAGE Biology: A Whole Package of Other Levels If we were to take biological systems into consideration, we would have a multitude of other levels to add to this paradigm. If we start with a whole organism, say a human being, then it would probably be best to associate it with the level of ordinary everyday objects, the kind dominated by the laws of classical mechanics. Below this level, we find systems of organs and tissue, and below that, cells, and below that, large molecular structures like proteins and DNA. We can see, however, that this partitioning of levels might be excessive, and really defeats the purpose of this whole exercise. The organs and tissues in our bodies, for example, don't behave any differently from the macroscopic objects governed foremost by the laws of classical mechanics - not noticeably anyway. Likewise, the large molecular structures in our cells, like proteins and DNA, are quite noticeably on the level of atoms (although bordering on the high end). Cells are a little more questionable, however, for although they don't readily display behavior discordant with classical mechanics, we will see shortly that they do pass a certain test for classification into a whole level of their own. The point, however, is that it is not wholly justifiable to whimsically divide up

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any level of scale into whatever partition one wishes. The point is to mark out the difference between levels of scale wherein the laws of physics governing the entities therein are noticeably different.

How Pleasure and Pain Are Exemplified If we are going strictly with the interpretation we conjured up in the Advanced Theory, then perhaps we shouldn't put it quite as we did - that is, in terms of attraction and repulsion. Recall what we said in the Advanced Theory: I also hesitate to label attractive behavior as "pleasurable" and repulsive behavior as "painful" - that is, two oppositely charged particles as experiencing pleasure due to their mutual attraction and two identically charged particles as experiencing pain due to their mutual aversion. What is it about "coming-together" that makes it inherently pleasurable or good? What is it about "moving-apart" that makes it inherently painful or bad? Could it not be that two electrons, streaming as far away from each other as possible, actually enjoy the experience of moving away from each other? My best guess as to where the pleasures and pains lie in this arena is in the successfulness of the mutual aversion or attraction. That is, if two oppositely charged particles attract each other and move towards each other without any extraneous obstacles preventing this, then they will experience pleasure from the fact that they are succeeding in coming together. Likewise, if two identically charged particles repel each other and do so without obstacles, they will experience pleasure in so doing. Pain would be experienced when particles are compelled to move together or apart but are being prevented from doing so for some reason. More On Particularization ...in taking the experience to be uniform and homogenous, we would attribute the particular way in which it entails the ensuing experience, unique and particular itself, to the particular quality of that experience Although this statement sounds quite convoluted on its face, it's really very simple. Take the following syllogism, for example:

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All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. We know from MM-Theory that the two premises - "All men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man" - entail the conclusion "Socrates is mortal". What we are adding to this is that it is because the premises are the particular ones they are that they lead to the particular conclusion they lead to. In other words, no other premises will lead to this conclusion and no other conclusion is drawn from the premises. Trivial, isn't it? What's not trivial is how this carries over to the physical counterparts that represent the experiences in question. It's quite basic to MM-Theory that an experience should be unique and particular - uniform and homogenous - and therefore fundamental unto itself, but it's not nearly as basic to physicalism that macroscopic phenomena, as complex and intricate as they may be, should be fundamental unto themselves - as though they were the atoms that serve as the basic building blocks of all phenomena in the physical universe. Can One Like Pain? This topic - of the masochist and his/her way of experiencing pain - is a complex and interesting one. Much more can - and should - be said on it than has been here. One line of thought that should be addressed, one that is pertinent to our claim that pain cannot be liked, is that masochists really do experience pain as, well, painful, but nevertheless enjoy it for its intrinsic quality - that is, they feel it as you or I or anyone who normally abhors the experience. How could such an experience possibly be liked? This is a perplexing question. If we construe pain as the epitome of all that is quintessentially undesired, then it is as though, after being told that I see blue where you see red, you are told in the same breath that I don't experience what you see as red any differently than you - that is, I see red as red but blue at the same time. Such a notion seems impossibly paradoxical, and thus unbelievable. The most sense that I can make of this is to divide pain up into two component experiences, which I will call its "quality" and its "negativity". The quality of a particular brand of pain is that aspect of it that stands out from other brands. For example, a burn feels different from a cut. It also feels different from pressure, extreme cold, broken bones, nausea, unsatiated itches, emotional pains, full body exhaustion, grogginess from a cold, and so on. The quality of pain even contrasts with the quality of different pleasures, and all other experiences for that matter. The negativity of pain is that aspect of all pain (the masochist's experience notwithstanding) that makes it inherently unwanted - the experience of "Oh, please make it stop! I don't want it!" It's possible that the masochist is one who's experience of pain lacks, or at least minimizes, the negativity, but maintains the quality such that, in virtue of its standing out against other experiences, he/she is

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able to identify the experience as pain. It is as though we took the experience of seeing colors as composed of the actual quality of the colors themselves plus the pleasure we delight in when colors are taken in (most of us anyway). If somehow the pleasurable aspect was cut off, we would still be able to see colors as they are and identify each one individually as the particular color it is. NEXT PAGE >> In fact, the medical literature on brain anatomy supports this assessment. The relevant parts of this literature were alluded to in Preliminary Concepts when we outlined the function of the cyngulate gyrus, and particularly the anterior cyngulate gyrus. This is where our "emotional reaction" to painful stimuli is controlled - such as the negativity of pain. It could be the case that in the brains of masochists, the anterior cyngulate gyrus, or just the cyngulate gyrus in general, has a higher stimulation threshold, is underdeveloped, or is damaged or dysfunctional in some way. Those with lesions in this part of the brain report pain feeling "not as bad". The quality of pain most likely corresponds to specialized MODs in the somatosensory cortex. Thus, whereas the negativity of pain is much more difficult for masochists to experience, the quality of pain is left undisturbed, and therefore just as readily identified as pain as it is in all other people. Needless to say, the word "pain" can be ambiguous. Some might mean the quality of pain while others might mean its negativity. In this paper, the word "pain" refers to its negativity, which, we maintain, cannot be liked. << LAST PAGE Kenneth Burke’s Dramatism There is a formal theory called "dramatism" proposed by Kenneth Burke, which is much like what we are suggesting here. Admittedly, however, I know very little of this theory and can't guarantee that my usage of the term matches Burke's by any measure. One thing I do know is that Burke intended his theory to be one of communication and the motives behind why we partake in this activity, whereas I intend dramatism to be taken as a perspective on life and the many ways of experiencing the universe. In the end, however, this is only a matter of emphasis, and the two interpretations can, for the most part, be taken as the same. For more on Burke's dramatism, click here. Building The Theory One must understand that the building of the theory of existence can only be done through time. But this seems inconsistent with the notion that the theory is xiv

complete at every instant in time. What is there for each component experience that is, each incomplete being - to build? Well, it is true that each component contributes to the building of the theory in time, but it doesn't follow from this that the particular instant of the theory they are contributing towards is the one they form a part of at the moment they begin to donate their contribution. In other words, each component already constitutes a vital part of the overall theory simply in virtue of being a part, but as they are merely components, they are still driven to seek, or at least maintain, completion by perpetually building, each with its own unique contribution, the theory anew - and this is what gives rise to the whole series of equivalent instants.

Don’t Be A Drama Queen One very good reason not to strive for overachievement in pursuing the dramatic lifestyle is that, as human beings, there comes a point when we can't take the emotional intensity and the load of overwhelming experiences. In fact, pressed far enough, instincts within us, through no will of our own, will take over our actions and lead us like zombies away from all the intensity and influx of stimulation. Sometimes our instincts are so overbearing that it is as though it were the hand of God itself that overrides our free-will. As a matter of fact, this is not far from the truth. We all have these instincts built into the deepest strata of our nature, instincts to avoid pain and discomfort in whatever form, and so it follows that they were put there by nature herself - or, putting it another way, by the Universal Mind - that is, God. If God put these instincts in us, instincts that can easily take full control of our behavior despite our willingness to do the contrary, then it is perfectly fair to say that God never intends for us to go so far as to render our lives so overly dramatic that we ourselves can't even handle it. He does intend for us to

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improvise to a certain degree, but only insofar as we have the freedom to do so. Where this freedom is preempted by our instincts, we are expected to heed more to a script, a plotline that God has preordained for the sake of optimizing the dramatic effect - in other words, it would risk the ruin of the play's brilliance if we were permitted to take it to ridiculously overly dramatic ends. The play is best performed when we engage in improvisation at the right times and when we leave it to our instincts at other times. Human Beings: The Apple of God’s Eye If these immaterial beings are so much aware of the dramatic lifestyle they were meant for - so much in harmony with what God has in mind for all His children then one might think that they are God's most prized subjects. But the very fact that they are so aware puts them at a disadvantage in this regard. The reason is that if life is to be taken as a drama, then the way one goes about living the best life he/she can is by perfecting his/her craft as an actor/actress. Any actor/actress will tell you, however, that the best are those who completely lose themselves in the role, and succumb to full belief that they are the character being played and the story absolutely real. But this becomes all the more difficult the more aware one is that it's all just a play. To be the best actor/actress that one can be, it is best to be completely oblivious. In that case, it is not the immaterial beings who most impress God, the director, but human beings. Of course, almost all animals on Earth are the same in that they all go about their lives completely unaware of the dramatic perspective they could take. But whether God is as fond of them as He is of human beings on this basis depends, not only on how deeply immersed they are in their roles, but how dramatically they play them out. Recall that a dramatic life is one with just the right amount of intensity and qualitative diversity, one that moves a hypothetical audience to tears, laughter, fear, and joy. Therefore, if the animal life can meet this measure as well as, or even better than, man, then they too are the apple of God's eye, but if not, then it seems we, insofar as we have no other equal, are the only apple - the star characters in God's play. The Scientist: A Noble Character or A Fool What do these immaterial beings think of scientists? Well, it depends. It depends on if the scientist in question recognizes himself as playing a role or is completely at odds with the dramatic perspective, taking life rather as an objective fact that ought to be studied critically with no room for speculation or creativity. In the latter case, they view the scientist with mockery - he is the actor who, in mid-performance, stops to point out that the heavenly angel floating above him is really being suspended by strings, and a man behind the scenes is controlling the strings with levers and pulleys, and that the flashes of lightening and the rolls of thunder are merely strobe lights and sticks struck against gongs. No doubt, he is correct in his observations, but he is the greatest fool for misunderstanding the whole point of the play. Of course, the angel is suspended by strings and the lightening and thunder just special effects made possible by

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strobe lights and gongs - all the actors and actresses know this - but they also know, unlike the scientist, that these are necessary for there to be a play in the first place. They accept it, use it, and move on passed it in order to fulfill the whole point, which is to give the greatest performance they can. This seems to have flown right by the scientist... unless it is all part of his/her act. That is, it is certainly possible for an actor/actress to be playing the part of a scientist. How is this dramatic or even interesting? Well, if we look back on our own culture (i.e. western civilization), we see much drama in the history of science. It is the story of a people who overcame the greatest obstacles to be rid of superstition and forced ignorance, to be free of the terror of the gallows, the steel jaws that would rend heads from their bodies, only for speaking the truth of what was objectively and with diligent care observed in nature. It might also be seen as a great adventure - a story of discovery and awe striking wonders - of a people coming in ever closer contact with the secrets of nature and the truth of the fundamental structure of the universe. The scientist who sees himself in this role, and plays it with a full heart, is no fool. Evolution in a Metaphysical Environment How does evolution work in a metaphysical environment? What is a metaphysical environment? Well, we touched on the point, earlier in this paper, that from a certain perspective, even the physical environment we find ourselves in is metaphysical on a more fundamental level - that is, all physicality ultimately boils down to experiences, and as such can be said to be fundamentally metaphysical. So it is not unthinkable that a metaphysically based environment can give way to an evolutionary process. But the reader would probably be more satisfied with an evolutionary account for a non-physical environment. Can this be possible? If so, how? Well, it so happens that the principles upon which evolution is based are a lot more versatile that we might at first think. One clear example of this is Richard Dawkin's memes. Coined from the word "genes" in order to make the parallels crystal clear, memes are defined as units of cultural or ideological information that propagate and evolve in the minds, media, and artifacts of societies the world over. The same process of natural selection that works on genes also works on memes. If a particular meme gains popularity or is deemed useful, it will go on to survive and spread in the minds of more and more people. It will also have the chance to evolve and become better. It may even adapt to changes in taste or demand. Now if a meme is just an idea - a mental construct that survives only in virtue of a human being consciously entertaining and employing it - then there we have, at least as far as MM-Theory is concerned, a metaphysical entity undergoing an evolutionary process. Another example of where the principles of evolution might show up is in computer programs. Programs can be written such that their entire purpose is to meet specified goals or maintain equilibrium in a simulated environment, and

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bestowed with the ability to self-modify, they can change themselves, reprogramming their own functions and algorithms in order to continually meet the goals they were designed to meet and maintain equilibrium with the simulated environment that was built for them. Technology is another example. We build tools to take on certain tasks. When these tasks become more complex or change in some manner, we usually respond by modifying the tools we built to deal with the task in its original form. This, again, is an evolutionary process. As we can see, the principles of evolution are applicable to a whole range of different kinds of environments. Albeit, not all the examples above are metaphysical, but the point is that these principles are highly versatile and transcend the context of biological evolution they were originally brought to account for. There is no reason they couldn't manifest in a purely metaphysical environment ("pure", in this sense, meaning non-physical). What we have to understand about the latter context is that a system of experiences survives in a metaphysical environment by maintaining a steady state of some sort. That is to say, whatever experiences it is composed of, they are capable of reinforcing themselves in response to specific incoming experiences from outside (i.e. from the environment) such that the incoming experiences have little to no damaging effect on the steadiness of the internal state - that is, no effect whereby the system's functions are altered in a permanent way. The system must be able to reassert its internal constitution in the face of as many environmental challenges and antagonizing forces as possible. The minute the environment has altered the system so drastically as to no longer be the system it was previously, it can be said to have failed survival. As to what a metaphysical environment is, it is the same thing as the metaphysical being striving for survival - a system of experiences - except that it is the larger system of which the smaller system (i.e. the being) is a part.

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