In Identity it is explained that the true nature of the individual is defined solely by the world hologram. And as this entity you live in a world superposition, which means that physical reality is determinate solely where observed, exactly as described in QBism. To take on this identity is a major shift in many regards, but taking up the identity of the individual has extraordinary benefits. In order to illustrate the two different frames of reference with vivid personification, the observer identity is here called the eidolon, and the individual the daemon.
Macrocosm and Microcosm
As described in Identity, as daemon one is in a way very much less than one thought. At the detail level a tremendous amount of me is indeterminate. Incidentally, this does not of course mean that the things I have not observed are not really there. The reality is a kind of overabundance of existence, not a lack. At the same time, the daemon identity is something much greater than we could possibly have imagined. One is the whole of the world one knows, literally: the whole of the world hologram is what defines the individual on the inside view, and this defines the determinacy of the real world encountered. One thinks of oneself as the body-mind, and that alone. But while the self-concept avatar figure is what one knows oneself to be, the rest of the world hologram is all an attribute of the individual also. And this defines the determinacy of your world; it is your record of observations.
You are not aware of this aspect of your identity because this is the personal unconscious. The world hologram as a whole is not in immediate awareness, but it is all part of yourself, and this defines the determinacy of the world you encounter. And this means you are not just the ordinary entity in the world; you are also the determinant of your whole reality.
‘Macrocosm and Microcosm’, or ‘As above so below’, is the idea that the microcosm, the personal, reflects the macrocosm, the whole, and vice versa. This concept is found throughout the history of thought over millennia, and it is included in Buddhism. This is precisely true for the daemon, while it is utterly false for the eidolon. For the daemon, the holographic individual, Tegmark’s self-aware substructure, living in the inside-view reality of the world superposition, the myth is simply correct. The ‘above’ and the ‘below’ are the same thing because both are defined by the world hologram.
Naturally, all this is only true on the inside view. If the ‘above’ is taken to be the ordinary objective physical world, the idea is ridiculous. But in ancient literature it is the cosmos which is taken to be the above, meaning the orderly or harmonious system, i.e. how everything works: the above is the world you encounter. Therefore, as the modern sage Krishnamurti puts it:
You and the world are not two different entities. You ‘are’ the world, not as an ideal, but actually. (Lutyens, 1983, 74)
Hearing this kind of mystical sounding statement, we tend to assume, quite reasonably, he is talking about some cosmic experience of connection which is quite outside ordinary, rational, daily life. But the opposite is the case. The new science shows us that this is all too literally and somewhat terrifyingly true. Given that this is the case, each one of us is deeply responsible, individually, for the state of the world one encounters. As explained in Interactive Destiny, one’s expectations generate strange attractors that operate in the system, and these bias the versions of events likely to be encountered in the world at large. One is complicit, and responsible, but one is also greatly empowered, once one recognises this position.
The old adage of being careful what you wish for takes on a whole new dimension of meaning in this context. To envision a specific outcome of events is to invite its arrival in your version of the world. This is because anything and everything one expects is more and more likely to appear on one’s reality. What is more, the kinds of things one does are more and more likely to appear on one’s reality, as explained in Quantum Karma. One is deeply and fundamentally causal in the world one encounters and experiences. To borrow from Douglas Adams, you may find this disturbing; it scares the willies out of me.
This is terribly alien to our thinking. Bound by our current worldview, it is all too obvious that everything else in the world is essentially separate, other, not-me. It seems clear the world exists regardless of oneself. And in terms of objective physical reality this is as true as it is obvious. But in the world of the daemon, the world of the individual one actually is, the world that one is actually experiencing, this is not the case. In this domain, you are deeply involved with the way things go in the world. In this kind of personal world, the individual is the world. This is the nature of the daemon identity. Crucially, as this entity, as the self-aware substructure on the inside view in quantum mechanics, you are constantly steering the path of the reality you experience. Naturally, given our current worldview, we have absolutely no idea we are doing this. Without the understanding of the full identity, this ‘steering’ is a purely unconscious process. But this is both a useful, fascinating and vitally important phenomenon to observe and get familiar with.
The way to develop a full awareness of the process is to be highly aware of one’s expectations, and then to be acutely aware when they are fulfilled, especially in a holistic and apparently irrelevant way. If I strongly expect a new venture to be successful, I may or may not be rewarded in the manner I am expecting. However, the trick is to look out for remarkable success in other very similar fields, and for other folk being successful in exactly the kind of situation one has been imagining. These are the kinds of consequences that the science of interactive destiny explains one will encounter. If this is correct, this is exactly what is going on all the time, as a result of one’s expectations of what is going to happen in one’s world. But we do not recognise them as such. One just does not categorise them as having anything to do with oneself because of the way one categorises oneself, and one’s place in the world; but this is how the personal world works. What one expects, tends to appear in reality. What one does, will inevitably be echoed in the world one encounters. This is Quantum Karma.
The other great discovery is that the experiencing consciousness is an emergent property of the universe, as described in Universe Consciousness. In other words, as individuals we are completely different kinds of beings than we thought. One is the physical entity, the body-mind that is the accustomed identity; but one is also the daemon, the immortal and causal being ‘in here’. These two identities are very different with respect to how one sees oneself, and understands one’s place in the world. As the daimon, as the individual on the inside view, one is the causal process in the real world one encounters.
The daemon is immortal. This is the soul, as explained in detail in Quantum Immortality. (The experiencing consciousness always continues to experience, so after each life there is always another one, as Hans Moravec explains (1998)). More immediately, in the world of the daemon, the individual is constantly influencing which version of the world is likely to be experienced in the future, in this timeline, globally, very slightly, all the time. This is explained in detail in Interactive Destiny. (What happens is that the expectations of the individual bring about confirmation bias, and in this kind of personal world this results is bias in what is likely to be experienced happening.) This means visualisations work remarkably well. It also means karma operates, as described in Quantum Karma. The daemon is generally pretty extraordinary compared to the ordinary idea of ourselves in our current worldview. It is nothing but good news because it means one is directly engaged with the world one encounters in a causal manner, and immortal. One is empowered, enfranchised, and there is all the time in the world.
The Disaster of Egoism
The eidolon is essentially egoistic, which is exactly how it should be. We are the product of the millions of years of evolution that led to the extraordinary success of the human race. If we were not like this we would not be here. It works. And raw egoism is usually moderated by the effect of socialisation, which is how people evolved to develop packs and tribes which were highly successful. Thus humans became capable of forming powerful and cohesive groups, effective in the human world of packs and tribes, and other, generally lesser, dangers. That is our evolutionary heritage. Now, having evolved to discover logic, reasoning and science, we come to discover we are daemons, meaning holographic fields of information ‘inside’ observer body-minds. Finally, we also discover the world is primarily defined by this field of information because the real world is the class-of-worlds-as-a-world. In this kind of world, egoism is disastrous because it pits one part of oneself against another. The result, holistically, is the kind of world we find ourselves in.
This, however, is not the only possible way. It is perfectly feasible to have an accepted morality. It has not worked up until now because it has been externally referenced. In other words, we were supposed to be good because someone or something said so. The greater the egoism, the more incentive to thwart such a system. The results are what we see. We have moved so far down that path that any sense of morality as a general expectation is generally in tatters. And the world is a mess.
The alternative is a world in which we each understand we are doing it to ourselves. The spiritual sages have been saying things like this for a long time; but again, there is no explanatory principle. Or rather there has not been. One is a world, and constantly clocking up karma. If it does not detonate in this lifetime, it all takes place in the transition to the next one. In this kind of world one only acts in one’s own best interests if one acts to the benefits of all. This is the path to heaven. The converse is equally true.
From ancient times, it has been held vital for a good and vibrant life to know oneself. The reason is not solely that one should understand one’s psychology, one’s programming, and know how to change it when needs be. In order to be fully successful, in the widest sense of the word, one has to understand that one is the daemon as well the eidolon. This is crucial because their relationships to their worlds are significantly different. Nonetheless, this is not either/or situation. That is eidolon thinking. We are both eidolon and daemon. However, life does tend to work out massively better when you know what you are, and how all this actually works.
The longstanding adage to ‘know yourself’ might be better rendered as ‘know your Self’, meaning your higher self, for this is where a full and proper relationship to reality begins. In the discovery of the daemon perspective one acquires a new and powerful awareness: how reality actually works, and you you actually are. Almost as a by-product, there is an inherent morality. But this is not being imposed. This is simply the set of guidelines one uses for oneself for one’s own good. The egoism has not actually gone away; it operates on a much wider agenda, the whole known world.
One of the great myths in spiritual circles is that the ego must die for the higher self to emerge and prosper, but this is a deeply counterproductive idea. There is no need for sacrifice or self denial. Personal evolution is a natural process as one goes thorough life, as has been recognised in so many of the great traditions. There are three major phases of development in life, categorised in modern developmental theory as pre-personal, personal and trans-personal levels (Wilber et al., 1986). The first is childhood, the development of the functional body-mind in preparation for adult life. The second is adulthood, making one’s way in the world. The first produces the eidolon perspective, the second is where it is mastered. Hopefully, hints of the daemon start to become apparent. The third phase is the transpersonal, acquiring the wider perspective as one steps back from all the urgent demands of ordinary adult life. But this does not exist in the modern world. Retirement is a cessation, not a transition to the next major phase of life. But this phase is every bit as important as the preceding phases. This is the time to explore the meaning of life, and the nature of death. Some go walkabout. Some become elders. But all on this kind of path begin to connect with the self that does not die, and formulate a vision of what is to come next. In this process the eidolon, ego self does not die but is gradually transformed into the higher self, the daemon.
In the eternal life of the individual, this particular world is a kindergarten. This is where new individuals are formed and begin to develop. In a little while one will be moving on to a new lifeline. In this transition, the properties and the quality of the current timeline, the exact embodiment of the karma in the personal system, will be precisely instantiated in the next timeline. This is described in Quantum Karma. So in the vital third stage of life there is not all that much time, and plenty to keep one busy. Visualising how one wants the world to be is an extremely productive activity at this stage of life. Detachment, simply holding one’s ideal as a real possibility in the next life, rather than striving desperately to make it happen now, or resenting this world for not being that way, is very important.
The eidolon view of life is tragically different. Death is the end. Life is ultimately pointless. Legions of trees have been sacrificed to explaining how there really is meaning in such a world. No one is really convinced. Eventually the entire universe comes to a freezing stop, unless it implodes in a big crunch. All the rest is silence. And for our brief and meaningless spell, ongoing life is pretty pointless too. You give, and you don’t always get in return. Life is hard. Friends die and disappear. Only Mr Bean could be happy as an eidolon. But of course this is not the whole story. The life of the daemon goes on from world to world, and there are no dreams that cannot be realised. There is an infinity of lifelines in the universe of all possible words, the reality of the new physics. There is all the time in the world to realise one’s dreams, and be complete. After that, who knows? All this may seem a godlike illusion, but that is the exact meaning of the third entity in the Quantum Trinity of logical types. The great challenge of incarnation is to know one’s self.