Executive Summary

Executive Summary

There has been a scientific revolution. Quite likely you have not heard about it. As stated by Heinz Pagels as head of the New York Academy of Sciences:

We live in the wake of a physics revolution comparable to the Copernican demolition of the anthropocentric world a revolution which began with the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics in the first decade of this century and which has left most educated people behind. (1982, 347)

When it comes to the full meaning of this revolution it has left everyone behind, even the greatest scientists. As physicist Nick Herbert wrote in Quantum Reality:

Basically physicists have suffered a severe loss: their hold on reality (1971)

The problem is that in both pillars of the ‘new physics’, Einstein’s relativity and quantum theory, there are fundamental paradoxes. Avant Garde Science presents a radical and unorthodox view. The paradoxical phenomena are simply correct, not mistakes at all. The trouble is that the implications run directly counter to our natural, deeply held presuppositions about the two fundamental attributes of life as we know it, the nature of the world and the nature of ourselves. Taken at face value, the physics reveals what has been missing, a whole ‘dimension’ of explanatory principle in ‘logical type’.

Relativity

We start with relativity because it is quite a bit simpler. The great paradox is that there can be no such thing as the passage of time. The physics shows us that the universe is a four-dimensional space-time domain of matter-and-energy. It all exists ‘already’, static, permanent, like the whole movie on a DVD. Yet we are all experiencing the passage of time, hence the great paradox. So in physics, the only possible explanation seems to be that this experience is an illusion as Paul Davies states:

… it appears that the flow of time is subjective, not objective. … I and others argue that it is some sort of illusion. (2002)

But while it makes sense that, for instance, the Sun going around the Earth is an illusion, it makes no sense that we constantly find ourselves at later and later times if the passage of time is an illusion.

Hermann Weyl solved the whole thing back in 1949:

The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling up the life-line of my body, does the world fleetingly come to life. (1949, 116)

In other words, objectively the passage of time is an illusion, but subjectively it is an entirely real phenomenon. The problem is solved, but what does it mean? It means that consciousness has an extraordinary and inexplicable property, and this is not allowed in physics, on principle. Logical type is the explanation.

Logical Type

The principle of logical type was discovered by Bertrand Russell (1908). A class of things is a completely different kind of entity to any one of those things, the elements of the class. It thus has the potential for different kinds of properties. A movie film is an ideal example. One frame of the film is the ‘primitive’, basic element of the system. The movie, the class of frames in this sequence, is a second-logical-type entity. It thus has the property that it can be brought to life, giving the effect of the motion picture. The projector is a different type of thing again, a third-logical-type phenomenon because it operates on the class of all possible movies. It thus has the property that it can bring the film to life by iterating the frames.

As Weyl describes, consciousness is to the sequence of moments in time as the movie projector is to the frames of the movie. In other words it is a third-logical-type phenomenon. It is literally meta to the physical, and thus cannot appear in the physics. But in a static four-dimensional space-time, matter-and-energy world, a metaphysical iterator is a requirement for any kind of transtemporal reality, a reality in which time actually progresses. Which is what we are constantly experiencing. This is described in detail in Relativity. The implications for the nature of us as individuals are remarkable as we shall see. 

Quantum Theory

The great paradox in quantum theory is that there are two different fundamental dynamics, different ways in which physical reality changes over time: the linear dynamics and the collapse dynamics. And they are incompatible. This is the infamous ‘measurement problem’. The solution is that they operate in two different kinds of world, existing at different levels of logical type.

Lev Vaidman defines the world we all take for granted, but as is well known in theoretical physics there are two different kinds of physical world:

A world is the totality of macroscopic objects: stars, cities, people, grains of sand, etc. in a definite classically described state. This definition is based on the common attitude to the concept of world shared by human beings. Another concept (considered in some approaches as the basic one, e.g., in Saunders 1995) is a relative, or perspectival, world … a centered world. This concept is useful when a world is centered on a perceptual state of a sentient being. In this world, all objects which the sentient being perceives have definite states, but objects that are not under observation might be in a superposition of different (classical) states. (2014)

The centred type of world, determinate only where observed, is the reality demonstrated in QBism, the latest interpretation of quantum theory. Recently, experimental physics has given rise to evidence. But this is not either-or. That is the presupposition causing the main problem here.

The Inside View

As Tegmark describes, the development of the new physics has taught us it is crucial that we distinguish between two radically different perspectives:

• The bird perspective or outside view, which is the way a mathematician views it.
• The frog perspective or inside view, which is the way it is perceived by a SAS [self-aware substructure] in it. (1998, 23)

The outside view defines a ‘quasi-classical’ world. This means that at the everyday level it is an ordinary world of Newtonian mechanics, but down at the most fundamental level it is made of quanta, which work quite differently. The inside view is the central component of Hugh Everett’s famous many-worlds theory.

Everett solved the conflict of the two incompatible dynamics very simply. As he demonstrates, the collapse dynamics operates only with respect to the “state of the memory of the observer”, defined as the record of observations. Here we see exactly what that means.

The World Hologram

In humans the integrated synthesis of all the observations forms the experiential reality, meaning the reality one actually experiences. The nature of this reality has only recently been understood:

Our brain constructs a three-dimensional model. It is a virtual reality in the head. (Dawkins, 1998, 276)

What we experience directly is a virtual-reality rendering, conveniently generated for us by our unconscious minds from sensory data (Deutsch, 1997, 120)

In other words, the brain produces a representation of the three-dimensional physical reality, the world, in the form of a three-dimensional virtual reality.

This of course is all happening inside the brain, but that is not how it is perceived. This virtual reality is mentally projected out onto the real world so as to match up precisely. It forms a three-dimensional spatially distributed field of information, here the ‘world hologram’. This is the reality you actually experience directly, a projected model generated by the brain. To think about somewhere else in the world, such as where a friend is at the moment, is to access a specific view of this world hologram. The world hologram is of course the inside view, the way the world is perceived by the SAS. 

The full significance of this field of information has been greatly overlooked. Everett did not elaborate on the nature of this field of information, that was left to the philosopher of science Michael Lockwood. This is what he terms the mind, which he also calls the ‘phenomenal perspective’ and ‘a complete state of consciousness’. As described in … this is in fact the self-aware substructure on the inside view. The term individual will here be used to refer to this entity, while the term observer is used specifically for the physical structure, the body, in which it is instantiated.

The Superworld

Now we get to the bit where this makes sense of the quantum theory. The many-worlds universe is the totality of all possible quasi-classical worlds. Thus in the quantum universe, as Tegmark describes, there are many identical copies of you. There are many versions of the world in which your life was just as you know it, but things elsewhere in the world were different.

Your world hologram exists in every version of the quasi-classical world where this sequence of observations has been made. So this is the inside view of all of these worlds, all at once. Crucially, all these worlds are all here and now, in the same place at the same time. And this means that the physical reality on this inside view is the superposed sum of all of them, a ‘superworld’. The physics is described in Superworld.

This produces exactly the QBism type of world, Vaidman’s centred world. It is determinate only where observed. All the superposed worlds are identically the same with respect to what you have observed. But everything else is the superposed sum of all possible versions of how it could be – thus indeterminate. As demonstrated in QBism, this type of world resolves the measurement problem completely. But this interpretation is not taken seriously, let alone accepted because as the authors state, this means there is no such thing as the ordinary objective physical world.

The interpretation presented here shows that both kinds of world are real, at different levels of logical type. The ordinary objective quasi-classical world is the primitive, first-logical-type entity. The superworld is a second-logical-type phenomenon. It is a physical frame of reference formed by a view of the domain of first-logical-type elements that simply encompasses many instances in a class of worlds. This is the ontology of the QBism world, the explanation of its fundamental nature.

As Everett demonstrates, the collapse dynamics operates only on the inside view, while the linear dynamics operates only on the outside view. Now we have the full explanation. The two incompatible dynamics operate at the two different levels of logical type. 

The Holographic Universe

The evidence is the ‘holographic universe’ of quantum cosmology.

The holographic principle states … that volume itself is illusory and the universe is really a hologram which is isomorphic to the information “inscribed” on the surface of its boundary.” (Bekenstein, 2003, 59)

What’s happening in space is, in some sense, all described in terms of a screen outside here. The ultimate description of reality resides on this screen. Dijkgraaf, 2019)

As physicist Lee Smolin writes, this is for sure:

… an idea which at first seems too crazy to be true, but which survives all our attempts to disprove it. (2000, 178)

In other words, the world is actually like this. This is the topology of the quantum universe. But of course this is not a fiendishly counter-intuitive redefinition of the ordinary world, yet to be comprehended, but a completely different type of world. This is the superworld. It is defined on the surface of its boundary, which is the observed surface. Beyond that all is indeterminate. This is the superworld. Quantum cosmology, QBism, the many-worlds theories all define the same kind of world, a second-logical-type phenomenon, determinate only where observed by this individual. As Lee Smolin concludes:

The world must be a network of holograms … the holographic principle is the ultimate realization of the notion that the world is a network of relationships. Those relationships are revealed by this new principle to involve nothing but information. (2000, 178)

This is quite literally the many-minds universe described by Lockwood. It is all the same thing. Taken literally, quantum theory tells us there are two types of world, quasi-classical world and superworld, existing at different levels of logical type. The classical world is the ‘primitive’, first-logical-type phenomenon in this scenario. It operates the linear dynamics. The superworld is a class-of-worlds-as-a-world, a second-logical-type phenomenon. Thus it inevitably has different properties. Of primary interest in physics it operates the collapse dynamics, as QBism demonstrates. The missing piece of the quantum puzzle is that both types of world are real. You saw it here first!

As Russell described, failure to discriminate between different logical types inevitably leads to nonsense results and paradox.The invisible category error is the assumption of only one type of world. As we have seen, the incompatible dynamics are operating at the different levels of logical type.

Interactive destiny

The further implications are utterly bizarre from any kind of realist perspective. If correct, however, they are also precisely what is needed for the human race to live long and prosper. So this is of immediate interest, and fairly serious. With regard to the nature of the world, the key is the tremendous significance of observations in the superworld. As is well known, visualisation enhances expectations, and expectations cause confirmation bias. In this kind of personal world the bias on observations winds up biasing which version of physical reality is likely to be experienced in the future. Expectations thus form ‘strange attractors’ in the system, meaning tendencies for the visualised types of events to be observed. Best to make sure you have good ones!

This is absolutely not, however, because physical reality itself is altered (or like attracts like, or thoughts become things, as has been stated in reference to the ‘law of attraction’). It just means that this individual takes a different path through the infinite possibilities of the quantum universe. I call it ‘interactive destiny’. It means you can use visualisations to steer the path of your life deliberately. You are the trim tab on the rudder of your passage through the infinite possibilities of your future.

Quantum Karma

With regard to who you really are, the key is the triune nature of the individual. As shown in The Self Avatar, the world hologram, the mind in Lockwood, is the operational conscious individual, the self-aware substructure in the physics. The body is the vehicle in which such an entity exists, but it is only this field of information itself that has transtemporal existence. The time evolution of the world hologram is the movie of life.

This shift in comprehension returns the cohesive force of the great spiritual and religious traditions to the modern culture so desperately in need of them. ‘As Above So Below’ is a truism. In this kind of world the definition of the determinacy of the physical reality of the world one lives in is the same as the definition of oneself as an operational conscious individual.

In the world of this type of entity there is an inherent morality because a kind of karma operates. The things you do are observed as events in reality, and thus form powerful unconscious expectations of what kinds of things are likely to take place in reality. In principle, this implies that living at the expense of others is directly counter to one’s own best interests because of the strange attractors this generates. Effectively karma operates. We only really do well when we do our best to do well by everybody.

Certainly there seems little evidence of this in everyday life, but any remainder on the bill is presented at the end of the life. As described by Hans Moravec death cannot be the end. The movie of life changes reels, and runs on. In the space of all possible worlds there is always a continuation of life. Why, however, would one necessarily somehow pass on from this world to some other world? This is where the nature of consciousness comes in. Being a property of the universe it does not switch off when you die. It goes on forever, so experience continues straight on to a new version of reality, just as Moravec describes. Each episode of the movie of life is one lifetime in the space of all possible worlds. It means that the world hologram is the soul.

So life continues, but the version of the world in which this individual arrives will be determined solely by the record of observations made in this life. That is the only determinacy in this frame of reference. It could be heaven or it could be hell, and this depends entirely on the karma, the tendencies in the record of observations.

This means there is an inherent morality. Egoism that harms others is self-harm. In this light, the intelligent imperative is always selfish cooperation. So in effect human nature is transformed. In fact we are still just as egoistic, but the agenda now operates on a far wider perspective. This is described in detail in Quantum Karma.

Survival and Prosperity

Effectively, every individual is actually the world he or she knows. So not only is there a powerful inherent morality because of karma, there is also a far greater sense of identity to aspire to, and a vastly longer times span. A new paradigm of human nature appears.

In the vision proposed here the human race recovers from the various madnesses of rampant egoism and atomisation, and revives to make a real global village where everyone is empowered and cared for. At present that sounds like ludicrous dippy new age dreaming, but this is at the very least what we should be aspiring to. We have modern technology. There is no physical reason why we should not have a world that works for everyone. We have just been completely incapable emotionally of setting it up. And without question this is a good thing. Global cultures of this nature do not fry their planet.

The understanding described in Avant Garde Science provides the path to an effective community in all human affairs. Whole new fields of achievement are opened up. Unaware, we have been asleep at the wheel, and interacting with our destinies in ways which are often not helpful. By becoming aware of this process we not only transform our sense of empowerment, we revolutionise society. And by communicating the rationale we evolve the effect. By regularly picturing the future we are aiming for, and making it as real as possible, we move toward it in reality. Dare to know.

 

All references given in References