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 at a fundamental level because 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, and goes on.
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.
This is very good news. There is a logical explanation for immortality. So we need not fear the annihilation which makes life meaningless. But this also makes real sense of karma in the ancient meaning.
Heaven & Hell
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. Logically, therefore, all the tendencies in reality defined by your world hologram, the karma, will define the nature of this next world.
The real and terrifying power of karma is how it will define what kind of world one will arrive in, next after death. It could be a heaven or a hell, and it all depends on how one has lived this life on Earth.
Many of us manage to insulate ourselves from many of the vagaries of life through wealth and power. This means we are able to ‘hold off’ the karma, seeming to have a charmed life. But all the karma takes effect in the blink of an eye at the point of death. The next life will be defined by the karma without any filters. The principles of the great religions echo real phenomena.
The New Reality
What will it be like? In the jump to the next life continuity is a requirement, otherwise it would not be you in the new world. So you are likely to wake up a familiar type of body. It will have the same type of interface with the mind. It will have been made with a world hologram, yours in this case. So in this sense it will work in the way you are used to. That is the most likely form of the body in the next lifetime. Though how this is implemented in a neural network or even some other type of system is an open question. There will no doubt be new technologies. If we take it in the spirit of exploration it is exciting beyond belief.
Immortality brings a major change to the meaning of life. We are just getting started. And anything is possible, especially the things we missed out on in this life. 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 great 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. As will be described on the next page, this is because the consciousness, the experiencing goes on. As described in Consciousness, the experiencing consciousness can only be a property of the universe, as Chalmers describes.
So in experience, 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.
The next main section is The New Enlightenment.