The dark ages came to an end with an extraordinary leap in human consciousness. After half a millennium of stagnation the light of science began to dawn. Since then, religion has gradually been losing its grip on the hearts and minds of us humans. But we have become increasingly soulless as concern and care for others withers. Egoism is not only seen as natural but even lauded as an ideal. And, as is becoming increasingly evident, our planet Earth is not going to be able to sustain eight billion egoists, let alone more.
Now another momentous change is dawning. The new physics is showing us that egoism is its own worst enemy. As described on the home page, karma is a real phenomenon in the personal world. The things you do tend to ‘happen back to you’. And this means that undiluted egoism constantly increases the probabilities of harmful or even catastrophic events. It means that ‘enlightened self-interest’, doing as you would be done by, is the only intelligent way to live.
So this has the potential to reinstate the cultural morality of the great religions, without the dogma. This in turn leads towards intelligent cooperation as the universal ideal, rather than the competition and greed that are currently characterised as success in so many of our modern cultures. But we are going to need a major shift if we are going to truly turn the tide of the egoistic culture. The new physics delivers.
As the AI specialist and futurist Hans Moravec states, when we die:
We lose our ties to physical reality, but, in the space of all possible worlds, that cannot be the end. Our consciousness continues to exist in some of those, and we will always find ourselves in worlds where we exist and never in ones where we don’t. (1998)
In principle, this is by definition the case. The consciousness is the perceptual reality, the world hologram. In the universe of all possible worlds, there has to be one in which my world hologram is somehow reproduced.
Without question such a next world is fantastically unlikely, but that makes no odds. In the space of all possible worlds it must occur, as Moravec states. It is real because all possibilities exist in the quantum universe.
Heaven & Hell
Karma is a significant shift in the meaning of life, but in the light of this it means something of fantastic significance. The world we are living in now is mostly very stable, but the opposite applies in the jump to the next world. Absolutely anything could be reality in the next lifetime. The only certainty is your world hologram. This presumably means that the version of the world you find yourself in, out of all possible worlds, will be the one with the best fit with your world hologram.
Logically, therefore, all the tendencies in reality defined by your world hologram, the karma, will define the nature of this next world. In other words, the way this world works, and the kinds of things that are likely to happen, will be perfectly expressed in the tendencies defined in the record of observations. The real and terrifying power of karma is how it will shape what kind of world one will arrive in, next after death. It could be heavenly or hellish, and it all depends on how one has lived this life on Earth.
Immortality means that karma is of truly major significance. We may manage to insulate ourselves from many of the vagaries of life through wealth and power, but it would seem that all the karma takes effect in the blink of an eye at the point of death. The next world will be the one most precisely in accord with the record of observations, the information defining the world hologram. The next life will be the enactment of this information without any filters.
The expectation of immortality is a major change to the meaning of life. We are just getting started. If we build a superb ideal as the hope and expectation, this visualisation becomes ever increasingly likely to reflect the new reality experienced. If one lives by it, of course. So there is a fascinating and absorbing occupation for us, a wonderful challenge, especially as we approach the big transition. Planning your best next life. We will give up what we have in this world, but we can at least set out everything we would like to find in the next. Which creates a strange attractor.
So death is not the end, but a great leap into the unknown. Obviously, the body dies but the world hologram goes on. There is always a next moment in life, somewhere in the space of all possible words. And karma takes on an immediate and dramatic significance. One reaps what one has sowed in a lifetime of living, in the blink of an eye. But what will it be like? This is discussed in The Next Life.