The new physics means we all go on after death. As cosmologist Marcus Chown states:
If the Many Worlds is correct, it seems the only certainty in life is not death but immortality. We’re all gonna live forever. (2002, 40)
But how? The consciousness goes on. And the most likely reincarnation is a new body in an advanced civilisation.
As Deutsch explains, we will soon have the technology to manufacture complete, functional human bodies:
Illness and old age are going to be cured soon – certainly within the next few lifetimes … by creating backups of the states of brains, which could be uploaded into new, blank brains in identical bodies if a person should die. (2011, 455)
In the versions of the world in which this technology exists, people are bound to experiment with creating completely new people, with adult world holograms. And somewhere in all of that, the world hologram they happen to use is going to be yours. So you wake up in this other world. That would seem to be much the most likely type of physical reincarnation.
This of course is still fantastically improbable but that does not matter. However improbable it might be, it actually exists in the space of all possible worlds as Moravec (1998) states. So when you die, you wake up in a brand new body. It will be like the scene in Avatar where he wakes up in the new Naavi body. You will come to in a new body in another world.
But will it still be you? Yes indeed because the mind is the whole of the person. Just as the world around me is only determinate where observed, the same is true of my body. As stated by prominent physicist Hans von Baeyer:
If I am the agent, the objective world is everything outside my mind―including other agents and even my own body. All of that I may, if I chose, treat quantum mechanically and describe by wavefunctions.
In other words, all of that is indeterminate except where observed, even including my own body.
This seems very strange, but this is exactly the result of the superposition of worlds. I exist in every possible body that gives rise to this mind. Therefore my superworld includes every possible variation of the body in which my mind exists. In all these worlds, the things I have observed about myself, the outer appearance, the inner traits and so on, are exactly the same. These observed attributes of myself have to be the same in all these worlds because they are defined by the record of observations, my mind itself. So, like the body of the butterfly, all these aspects of my body are determinate in the personal world. But everything else is the superposed sum of all the ways it could be. So things like the positions of small internal blood vessels are indeterminate, like the wings of the butterfly.
It means that in the personal world, only the mind is real because the body is only real where it is defined by the mind.
But how can I be just a mind? This makes more sense once we understand the nature and the importance of the ‘self-avatar’.
Just as we build up knowledge about the world with our observations, we also build up knowledge about what we ourselves are like. This gives rise to the complete mental image of myself, built up from all the observations, looking in the mirror, noticing my preferences and so on. So this includes all the attributes of myself: the self-concept, who I think I am, the self-image, how I see myself, and the ‘body schema’, the mental map of where everything physically is and how it all works – ‘proprioception’.
All together this is the self-avatar, meaning the three-dimensional representation of myself at the centre of my world hologram. This self-avatar is what is symbolised by the me inside my head in the pictures in The World Hologram.
As with the rest of the world hologram, the self-avatar is a holographic field of information. Just as with the virtual-reality representation of the world, the self-avatar is mentally projected out onto my physical body.
Objectively, of course, the body is exactly what we imagine, an ordinary object in the world. Albeit an object very special to its ‘user’. This is the highly complex and sophisticated biological structure that produces and houses the extraordinary mind. But subjectively, in the relative world, the determinacy of the body is completely defined by the self-avatar. My body is actually the body of the self-avatar.
The meaning is highly significant. In my personal world, the mind is who I really am as a conscious individual. And this is exactly what effectively passes on to the next life, in a manner no physical entity can. The mind is the soul.
Of course we take all our psychology with us. The nature of the mind, the world hologram, explains exactly what passes on to the next life. It is the mind as we ordinarily know it, the ‘me in here’, that continues to the next life. Get ready!
The next main section is The New Enlightenment.