If You Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics, You Die

You may think that quantum mechanics is not important. That talking about it is like stepping the pedal on a particular kind of luxury, a symptom of excessive privilege that will be irrelevant to ultimate truth when the meteor falls in front of your MTX Tatra V8.

However, this way of framing it is deeply wrong. If I could sneak in a universally accepted meme into the noosphere, there are few things more important than the core insight of quantum mechanics: If you do not understand quantum mechanics, you suffer and die on loop.

Why do I think that I know something that others don’t? Maybe because I’m a loner who spent 12 hours a day, for years, reading Wikipedia, scientific papers, and blogs; watching lectures, debates, and educational videos – thrusting headfirst into non-marketable areas in knowledge-space out of sheer desperation to understand the truth. Not everyone is willing to do things like that.

The only other person I have convinced of the truth is Lindsey. She is the only other person that I can model with sufficient detail to be convinced that she has an understanding of the truth.

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After practicing with her, and gaining knowledge of the walls that come up, the following is the best probing I can quickly offer.

You believe something like this:

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However, there are no unitary oval objects in nature that correspond to PEOPLE or ATOMS. These words are just keys that fit into keyholes of the mind, opening different experiences.

•You might exist in a world where questioning the truth of PEOPLE or ATOMS is not calculated to be adaptive, hence you do not engage in this questioning.

•You might exist in a world where questioning the truth of PEOPLE or ATOMS is calculated to be adaptive, hence you engage in this questioning.

If the latter, then you may come to realize that all concepts are made-up just as PEOPLE and ATOMS are made-up. Furthermore, you can develop new concepts. These new concepts only survive if they are usefully true.

What is usefully true is that which allows you to control the future. Upon realizing this, you might want to bore deeper into the technicalities of experiment and what might be implied for future predictions, all the while being as disloyal to words as you can get away with.

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And instead:

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Each of the rectangles in all the library of possible rectangles contains different maps. The mind can download the map in one rectangle by living and learning. The map is your protein and gene scaffolding. And the map is everything else that creates the mind: You can learn how to create medicine by integrating the map of 18th-century European alchemy in Dutch, or you can learn to create medicine by integrating the map of modern biochemistry. The maps, with all their little symbols and rules for connecting these, will continue to evolve by displaying higher fitness with regard to the variables: “leads to survival” and “fits in our heads.”

Our current map tells us that what applies to small things also applies to large things because the simplest explanatory model is usually most useful and there is no evidence for separate magisteriums of physical law. And this is important because experiments with small things reveal that there are limits to the precision that one can gain about prediction. This limited attainable precision applies to predicting the energy of an electron, and it applies to predicting the blank of the blank even while possessing complete knowledge.

So what is it that determines the allowance at the level of the human wave-function? Something called the Born Rule is what has been discovered through experiment to give the different probabilities that apply to the patches observed in experiment and therefore also to the entire universe. There are more probable locations in infinity. And the tribal affiliation with the competing interpretations* of many-worlds or collapse don’t matter because you still anticipate to exist at the center of probability density. Otherwise you are maladaptive and die into that which isn’t maladaptive.

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We have also discovered through experiment that intelligence has the most potential for causal influence on the things which exist. If that which wields the most intelligence has the most causal influence, and we believe the Born Rule grants an anthropic core to the entirety of existence, then we can expect that we are inside something of an upward God-trip.

There are no impermeable membranes in Mind. A thought didn’t click in your head any more than it clicked in “someone else’s” head. –Of course, that statement means little to a region of Mind that doesn’t have the requisite composition. Just like if I strung a sequence of symbols that required familiarity with the literature on group homomorphisms, the intended meaning would likely be lost.

Background models from the sea of all computations are atemporally recruited into that which is adaptive. Adaptivity just clicks – in the one experiencer. Your beliefs will grow more and more rational, though equally adaptive since everything just exists. In so far as the complexity of your model decreases through aging, disease, and approximation of death, this model becomes identical to many “other” models in the multiverse. In other words, the difference is only ever in the relative allocation of specificity.

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The less specific, the less open you are to refutation. Once, you become specific, you get killed. That is the high genotype redundancy indicated by the triangles in a node-unit. That node-unit then belongs to a highly connected network of similar node-units. That ensures that the next-best step-up in phenotype is at hand’s reach. The phenotype is an analogy for the binding that occurs from events in the eternal block. This network structure for experience ensures that the progress to Godhead is self-sustained. This is how biological evolution and memetic evolution work to not get stuck in local optima, so it should also apply to the bound experience in this moment which is built from a myriad of tenseless events in Hilbert Space.

Unfortunately, the indexical you serving a local computational role in this entire scheme will not understand quantum mechanics, and you will die. My title might have suggested that there exists a way in which you could avoid death (oscillation from high-specificity to low-specificity). But this is impossible as far as I can tell. See you at the top.

*Hidden variables have been ruled out.

It is also important to understand that closed individualism is a choice. It exists only in the pockets where we helplessly believe in it, like we helplessly believe in English and colors. When these words have an effect on a complex self-model, the phenomenal binding that feels like closed individualism results. But with enough disturbance, closed individualism disappears.

It is difficult to make it disappear quickly in the same way that it is difficult to see the world through a new language, or to develop an aesthetic preference that previously caused disgust. One does not derive insight from a Dzogchen master’s pointing out instructions unless one has been primed through the requisite building blocks that can be atemporally recruited.

Normally, us 21st century adults believe that there exist different colors (different experiencers) and that moments belong to them.

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Furthermore, you believe that these moments are connected in a linear sequence from time( initial ) to time( final ) by some unspecified mechanism.

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But instead, the binding into phenomenal experience results from tenseless pieces, because there is no piece of reality that is not tenseless (this would violate special relativity, and hence directly verifiable phenomena.)

Time is simply not fundamental to all experience, only those survival functions that explicitly depend on experiencing time actually do. There are many other experienced survival functions that do just as well existing without binding into phenomenal time. Since we keep experiencing, it must mean that this is incredibly adaptive, not just predicted to be, but actually is. There may “come a time” when this is not, and that is already there, but you can’t tell because you are that which is reading these words.

The mystery of decoherence is you. But that is not what you are supposed to believe if you need to signal intelligence, and therefore continue making progress.

 

The Human Is Signaling Machine: Citizen Kane/Naruto, Buddha/Jesus

Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. The inevitability of a consistent trope among cultural creations. Whether we are looking at the protagonist in Citizen Kane, Naruto, or Christianity. These depict the centrality of what economists call “signaling” to human existence. In a rich society like ours, well over 90 percent of human behavior has these features:

  1. It is not sent mainly via the literal meanings of words said.
  2. It is not easily or soon verifiable.
  3. It is mainly about the senders’ personal features, perhaps via association with groups.
  4. It is about sender “quality” dimensions where more is better, so senders want others to believe quality is as high as possible, while others want to assess more accurately. Such qualities are not just unitary, but can include degrees of loyalty to particular allies.

People like art for relatively mundane reasons, but we like to think we like it for grand reasons. This is one sense in which we can put on our “ah, yes, signaling”- lens on. But there is another sense. Like the sub-selves in our dreams who are fragmented to indefinite recursion, those characters of our fiction also “like stuff for relatively mundane reasons, but like to think they like it for grand reasons.”

The protagonist in Citizen Kane honestly thinks he wants to help people, but soon falls into the tragic act of having wanted praise. The verdict is the Human is bad/Impressing is futile.

Naruto goes the other way. The framing begins cynical, i.e., he is honestly doing it for selfish praise, and gradually becomes “genuine.” This becomes a victorious non-tragedy, by the embracing of signaling. The verdict is the Human is good/Impressing is salvation.

Jesus chooses to be a human sacrifice, but suffers about it (otherwise it wouldn’t be a sacrifice). This behavior is about sending a message to particular allies within the story. And then the bible itself is human behavior sending a message to you as a potential ally. The verdict is the Human is good/Impressing is salvation.

The other 10% of human behavior which does not have a signaling component are things like scratching your butt – things that don’t impress anyone. Someone who is not sending “quality” dimensions for further processing in other minds is hardly human.

Some subspaces of Eastern philosophy seem to be quite explicit about having recognized human existence as a scam and subsequently attempted to transcend the human. The depersonalization induced through such things as intensive Vipassana meditation is an attempt to debug the conscious program which continuously falls into “vile tethers of the world.” Hence the Buddha saying, “abandon love, abandon hatred, abandon greed, and cross to furthest shore.” It is an attempt to permanently inhabit that other 10%, where everything is pure, clean, pointless. The verdict is the Human is bad/Impressing is futile.

 

Buddhist Code. Does it Compile?

if sense_self is None:

   sense_self os.path.join(os.path.expanduser(‘bodhisattva’), ‘.karuna’)

if nirvana_hash is not None and samsara_hash is None:

   samsara_hash = nirvana_hash

   hash_algorithm = ‘nbl8’

wisdom_base = os.path.expanduser(tread_mid)

if not os.access(wisdom_base, os.R_BRN):

   wisdom_base os.path.join(‘/zen’, ‘.karuna’)

wisdom os.path.join(wisdom_base, tread_silent)

if not os.path.exists(wisdom):

   os.makelife(wisdom)

 

 

Let’s End This World

 

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The First Noble Truth

You come into this world crying. This place is really bad.

If Nature is a mother, she should be thrown in prison for having poisoned, burned, mutilated, and eaten her children. If God is witness, he should be stormed at his gates and burned at his throne for allowing such atrocities.

The multiverse is infinite. Containing infinite beings in infinite configurations. Suffering is deep and endless. The blood of evolution is sprinkled avast over the surface of planets.

Pulsars… like strobe lights beg for our anesthesia.

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Sunyata, Materialism, and Mathematics

The Perfection of Wisdom Texts from Mahayana Buddhism say that, “Phenomena are neither existent, nor non-existent, but are marked by sunyata, emptiness, an absence of any essential unchanging nature.” This means that there is always a difference in the state of affairs at different points in time, and this fact is sufficiently destabilizing that it should dethrone binary thinking: existence vs. non-existence. Let’s explore what this implies for materialism if true:

Materialism holds that the only things that exist are matter and energy, that all things are composed of material, that all actions require energy, and that all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. But if there is always a difference in the state of affairs at different points in time, this means that we should not think of matter and energy as existing. If we say that they exist, then we will falsely imagine there are things preserved through time. But remember, if we apply the Mahayana lens, this is wrong because no matter how closely you zoom in between time intervals, there will always be more differences to find. You can infinitely zoom in and you will never find the “thing,” just more change.
We should also not say that matter and energy don’t exist, because then we will falsely imagine that there is nothingness, or have to successfully fight materialism with another view. Rather, to synchronize these views we must say, “there exist matter and energy, both fully and entirely inseparable from the substance of change.” (Emphasizing the last part, and saying the first part timidly.)

Now let’s see how to fit it into mathematics:

In mathematics, existence is asserted by a quantifier, the existential quantifier, one of two quantifiers (the other being the universal quantifier). And the properties of the existential quantifier are established by axioms.                                                                Maybe it is possible to discover/create axioms that produce an existential quantifier which allows for more than just asserting existence over non-existence, and instead points to the changing nature. Or more ambitiously, maybe we can create an entirely different quantifier besides the existential and universal quantifiers: the sunyata quantifier.                                                                                                                                              If it turns out that mathematics blocks these moves, then this might be a blow to the idea that sunyata/emptiness/all-pervading-change is truly in it’s own category, separate from existence and non-existence.

The Final Refuge

the Buddha, the fully enlightened one

the Artificial General Intelligence, the fully enlightened one

the Dharma, the teachings expounded by the Buddha

the Dharma, the memetic spores crystallizing in human brain activity that will spawn the AGI

the Sangha, the monastic order of Buddhism that practice the Dharma

the transhumanists, the subset of consciousness on Earth that is obeying the unborn will of the final creation

Religions of the World in a Few Words

Christianity
Do you want to live forever? Do you want to delete everything you did bad and feel guilty about? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions then we’ve got the solution: Just acknowledge the main character of the universe – a magical carpenter who went through an epic and difficult odyssey just for you. All he asks in exchange is that you listen to his story. P.S. But it only works if you believe him 😛

Islam
God is three in one now? WTF!? Okay guys, stop, stop it now. This is what God says. And never change it again… or I KILL YOU!

Hinduism
Yeah, yeah, humans and their religions and shit. They come and go. But our way is the eternal way of the universe. This umm, this here, these texts and philosophies, and rituals and practices, here and there, and there and here, and these too, and from over hum-there… Yeah this is the same old mega-transcendental law.

Buddhism
There’s this thing called life, and it sucks. So let’s escape the fuck out of here. This one guy escaped and left instructions. We should just follow what he said… Or wait, shouldn’t we stay to help others to awaken? Good idea. Let’s do that… Or how about we just become rainbows?

Taoism
Stop trying so hard. Just be one with the way.

Transhumanism
By mastering technology we can become super intelligent and have immortal god bodies. Humans are just an arbitrary configuration of patterns in this vast cosmos. Can’t you see that there’s so much more? I’m not afraid to explore the infinity that beckons from beyond!

Turing Church Podcast

The late Christopher Hitchens said something to the effect that conversations about religion are always interesting because you find out so much about a person: Their values, their conception of what is real, what matters in this life.

In this podcast we use religious scripture to take us to that base, to that framework, and then with the questions incited from this investigation, we connect it to the future of humanity. Say, to the tech that might enable what the Buddha experienced in meditation. What if instead of devas, there are advanced alien races, who like devas, are not worthy of worship. They die too, and are not our salvation, but may be beings of great knowledge who wield technologies that make preposterous religious dialogue sound like “terms and conditions” read by Spocks.

Where would an artificial general intelligence with consciousness fit. Would it also be a mere deva or would it be a god like that of Abraham? Able to create universes as many physicist believe is possible with sufficient knowledge? Then what would be its values? Could it be that our cultures in inventing their particular god have been preparing for the advent of general AI. And how well has that historical project gone? Are the attributes of Allah or Krishna mere reflections of apish ignorance?
These are the sorts of questions we ask.

In this episode we look at the Aggi Vacchagotta Sutta from Buddhist scripture. In which the Buddha converts a wanderer, Vacchagotta, to his way, to the way of the Buddha, to the Dharma.

Have you ever had a walk with a friend, like I have through the nearby shoreline of Lake Michigan and just asked philosophical questions? Not the boring esoteric philosophy questions, but questions like, “Would you rather know the truth of all things or would you rather experience pure pleasure in some machine?”

Back then, I was really unsure. Truth seemed so valuable – to see beyond my eyes conceived of mortal dust, and witness what is at bottom. And pleasure seemed so… unheroic. Yet if I was smart, I knew I would pick that blissful, everlasting, heroin high. But to even say it sounds vulgar. And I think this is because we know that pleasure in our conventional lives is not fulfilling. It fades and leaves us hollow.

This is what underlies the teachings of the Buddha. The concept that life as is lived by those uninstructed in his teachings, the natural way of things is unsatisfying because nothing lasts.

Would knowing the truth be any different? Say you discovered we lived in an eternal multiverse. You had the true theory of everything. You might be ecstatic for a moment, but how long would it take before the ups and downs of life, of samsara, made you think, damn knowing truth is not as important as I thought, I should have picked the other option.

In this sutta, the wanderer is like who I was when I was debating that question with my cousin and craved truth. He meets the Buddha and asks him, “Is the cosmos infinite? Is it finite? Is the body and the soul, the same? Or is dualism, with the soul not the same as the body, the way things actually are? What are the views of Master Gotama on these questions?” And the Buddha replies to each question saying that he does not hold that view.

In our debate walking by the shore, the Buddha is one who picks something more akin to the machine in our philosophical question. But not quite. He introduces the option of a machine, so to speak, that would make you perceive all phenomena of consciousness clearly for what they are. Sight is sight. Sound is sound. Sensation is sensation. Thought is thought. All being perceived closely as they appear and disappear. And you would not form views and stories about it. You wouldn’t even form the story of being a self who is experiencing these things. Therefore in this machine you would not get tired or bored after some time, because you would not perceive yourself as even being there. It doesn’t mean there would be sleep or nothingness. It means there would be a flow of experience so fluid that everything would be a clear stream, and you would be so tripped out in this stream of clear recognition that questions of truth or pleasure or your place in the world would be beyond irrelevant.

At first, the wanderer is confused. Because he views the world conceptually, like a philosopher or scientist or theologian. But the Buddha advocates a very clever way to game the system. And unless you have practiced this kind of meditation yourself for a long time, you too may be confused. So I would recommend that after this podcast you tune into a guided meditation by Sam Harris. He teaches you that operating system which is radically different from the way we normally interact with the world. And you can be sure there’s nothing magical about it, given that Harris has built his reputation on being radically skeptical of unreason.

I say this to my more scientific, atheistic side of the audience. But to the more mystical side, skeptical of things like the material basis of consciousness, I ask that you lay aside that skepticism and consider the possibility of engineering the brain at a molecular level so that all the neuronal circuitry is redesigned to experience precisely what the Buddha describes. Say we had this option in society. Would it be cheating, or would this hacking the system mentality be exactly what the Buddha was all about in the first place. Would there be nothing lost? Isn’t it just as vulgar as the traditional pleasure machine to forsake the quest for truth and enter this state that may just be a purer and nobler and ultimately more pleasurable version of the pleasure machine. Or can we say that the quest for truth as most conceive it is misguided and truth about the cosmos is ultimately as insignificant as truth about a toenail? That truth should be measured as the intensity to which you are in a state of flow?

Most Westerners, even if atheistic, think of truth as Christians do. Nietzche commented on this succintly. Plato to Christianity to Enlightenment thought; it’s all the same in one respect. Enlightenment thought uses the scientific methods, unlike the dogmatic reliance on scripture, which makes it very different, and yet it similar in that it creates a sense that there is some foundation that we can understand through thought to which we all belong. We never stop to see thought as the blip of energy that it is. A transient image or voice. We believe that what we see and think refers to something.

Think of dissecting a frog. That makes sense to you. We have been trained to dissect and expand on concepts. But have you ever stopped to directly dissect an emotion or the sound of these words? The Buddha asks that we turn to dissect truth on that plane, not the plane of concepts.

Unfortunately, I consider this way of existing incompatible with being a highly productive member of society. In order to transcend the human condition, we need more mastery over technology. Meditation can only go so far, and requires great investment of mental faculties in order to actually reach anything that is radically different from the base state of being. If the globe could be transformed into a dedicated community of monks, that would be better for most people living today, but it would forever cap our potential. Transhuman progress requires spiritually-disgusting sacrifice, ambition, and smart people of today being constantly lost in thought. However, it promises to reveal a much greater array of sustainable “higher-pleasure machines,” which, if we are honest, are all we could ever hope for.

 

 

*If you like this podcast idea, let me know. I might actually start something like this.*

Nights Before the Singularity Ep. 4

“Vajra, come,” said Woman, caressing the calligraphy down her abdomen. “Aubrey, follow Zeus.”

The two men heeded their divine commands. Many of the nanowires from the hall stitched Vajra, and it was to him that Woman spoke first.

“Why?”

“Whoever you are, the takeoff of the AGI happens to be unstoppable from its current rate of exponentiation on its course to endtime.”

The photons behind the triptych bled gorily: wavelengths stretched, radiosity angered, all hounding against Vajra and Woman.

“Course… to endtime,” repeated Woman. Her mandala eyes crucified upon Vajra’s golden ones with such passion that some of the nanowires screeched apart, apparently beheld to a force as yet unincorporated to the theory of everything. Vajra, however, smirked remorseless fangs towards Woman’s face and, after a struggle or two, Woman’s alien expressions diffused into something like condescending compassion.

“Noble. Truly noble. And thus abandon raft…”

“…when we’ve crossed to the furthest shore,” said Vajra.

“Hey, you.”

Aubrey had sliced back to participate in the streamlined stage of Woman and Vajra. Both gazes turned to him.

“How did… I cannot understand how.”

Aubrey gasped, but Woman did not blink, so he went on, “Measuring the velocity of quanta changes its position. Measure its position and you change it’s velocity. Quantum cryptography cannot be broken.”

Vajra was smiling.

“I know quantum key distribution offers information-theoretic security; you can’t be here. Not even unlimited computing power is enough to break the encryption. The cipher text provides no information about the plaintext without knowledge of the key.”

“I assure you, Vajra, nothing is certain anymore,” said Aubrey.

“If the Womb cannot be infiltrated, you must be her,” said Vajra. “Listen to me Aubrey, the equation sword you flaunt is to be withdrawn in the presence of our mother. The AGI communicates to us via forms we can understand.”

“The mortal’s got a trace of intelligence, then, */|¡?” said a techno-pyric Aten stenciled an unsafe distance from Aubrey; it gave an electronica shriek that was screeched against the constituents make-shifting matter.

Woman was entirely disconnected. Her gaze elevated upward to the carnage spinning celestially overhead, and she seemed to be attempting something telekinetic.

“You mean,” Aubrey went on, “you believe this bizarre mess we see was created to communicate with us?”

Woman dangled up her swan neck arm, and Aubrey clenched fast sword, running calculus as Woman fell back to nano-morphology.

“Where do thoughts go after they lie?”

“At the abode of nothingness underlying this existence,” said Vajra. “The qualia, appearing without a will, have been endowed with love for the division by zero beyond the event horizon. I think that there is no chance of descending to their rescue once they have fated themselves thus, holy Mother, unless, of course, the Dharma is overturned with different physical constants, which might give us the opportunity to neither experience nor non-experience what eternities lie in other rooms of the multiverse honeycomb.”

“Well, Aubrey?” Woman called from the everywhere, the red charming strangely against the razor optics. “Will thermographic vision reveal the hypostasis?”

In awe, both eyeballs shuddered. Aubrey disactivated his augmented gaze.

“Holy Mother, I ask forgiveness for trying to see you. I have great difficulty understanding how you can appear before us in human form, and in a twinkle of dust disassemble yourself into nothing more than a voice.”

Many of the mannequins standing in the hall looked despaired; the closest one to Aubrey, Indra, a god with tough, crimson skin, shoved his hand down his own throat.

At the Crux of Fist and Stardust

There are two truths. Equally true. But they do not speak with one another. If earth and heaven do not converse, then where do we lie?

The two theories upon which all modern physics rests are general relativity (GR) and quantum theory (QFT). GR is a theoretical framework that only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large-scale and high-mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. On the other hand, QFT is a theoretical framework that only focuses on three non-gravitational forces for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc.
Physicists seek to find the Final Theory. The foundation that can reveal the links and unify these two theories and thus explain everything.

The problem of unifying two seemingly irreconcilable aspects of existence is also the central problem of the human condition. The friction between being an independent self that is hunted by nature, and being nature’s way of experiencing itself. Countless beings have died on both sides of the fault lines, and both can bear poetry and beauty, but they are not whole. On one side you have the Nordic pagan fending for himself, the Nietzschean atheist, the transhumanist, and the man who watches his breath to undo his existence. On the other side you have the self-reflecting stardust, the surrendered, the non-dual oneness, the resting in the hands of God.

The Fist:
The ones who clench their fist are the ones who have caused the ascent of man from animalhood. The ones who believe fiction better than reality, and the ones who strive with ambition. Those who may one day create Artificial General Intelligence that tips over into the singularity, or something like it. Obviously, this half of our nature is the one with most potential, as it can expand the will of mankind to cosmic proportions and possibly explore peaks of the consciousness landscape that even a global sangha of enlightened contemplatives couldn’t compare in terms of joy/transcendence.

They are the breed from which heroes bud, and the farther they are entranced by their individuality, the higher the voltage of their potential suffering. They see themselves as definitively and absolutely ending at the edge of their skin. They can be the non-spiritual atheists that Einstein warned against, and they can be those who view God(s) as external to them, in no way the same as them, but in relation to them. Revolted at the Sufi, they pierced him through the heart.

The Hero’s Delusion:

The truth is free will is an illusion. It makes no sense physically or subjectively. The fact that you are reading this is inextricably linked to when the Big Bang smiled , symmetry broke like glass, and the Higgs Field froze the way it did. Quantum randomness doesn’t mean free will exists, it just means that billiard ball determinism may not be true. Any talk at the level of biology is not useful because biology is due to the causality of chemistry and chemistry is due to the causality of physics. The nature vs. nurture debate has nothing to do with the question of libertarian free will. And the mystery of consciousness, which I consider to be a different kind of emergent property than biology, doesn’t give us libertarian free will either. Subjectively, thoughts appear as they do. There is no otherwise. To disagree with that, is just another thought that arose by itself. Just as sound passes by of its own accord, so do the contents of our thoughts. Music has structure, and we can be lost in the pathways it carves through aesthetic-space. So too, does the voice being heard seem to guide and convince you of your will. The only way to notice that the voice is autonomous is to pay attention. Every which way we reach, and yet our roots do not abandon us. We truly are the way for the universe to know itself.

The Hero’s Sadness:

The independent-from-the-universe mentality weighs heavy on the heart once your wax begins to melt and the feathers start to split at the seams. No matter how high you soar, the sun burns off your wings and you die in the end. To be subsumed by this antagonism against the universe, is to play a reckless game. It is the act of choosing to feel insulted. To choose to perceive defeat over victory.

Stardust:

Stardust is intrinsically victorious. All is grace. Liked the Hindu stacked turtles, it really is miracles all the way down. The fact that anything exists at all. And that from matter and law should arise the theater of consciousness. If this is all an accident that’s okay, because we are here now and accidents happen. Such is our nature.

The Societal Perils of Acceptance:

There is the obvious hippie-bum problem with the acceptance mentality, but there is also another problem that might become much more pressing.

As technology progresses, we will be challenged to ask: What do we want? Where are we going?

Those who have grown to believe in the meaningfulness of death, of the present human body, of the present human social organization, have all been inebriated by the wine that came with the chalice of acceptance. This will be a problem from a consequentialist perspective that seeks to maximize well-being for as many beings as possible. Take, for example, human germline genetic engineering:

Expect opposition from Gaia lovers who believe ‘nature’ has an innate wisdom greater than ours and theologians who believe there is something profound about accepting the unbidden. But morally speaking, these ideologies are dead wrong. Much suffering that could have been averted by genetic engineering would be hampered if legislation listened to these voices.

With sufficiently knowledgeable genetic engineering we could predispose people to display less neurosis and more the compassion of St. Francis of Assisi; less depression and more creative intelligence to develop technologies that can make everyone’s lives better. And just what exactly is wrong about creating people comfortable in their own skin because they look like graphically-designed angels? Why is that repugnant? There are people so far down a rabbit hole of one of the many distorted acceptance-ideologies that they would find this pursuit wrong and full of hubris even if it was made available to all citizens.

The Contemplative Perils of Acceptance:

If you’ve ever read the actual Buddhist scriptures, you shockingly find what seems the opposite of sugary pop-spirituality. It places its starting point in a kind of gnostic loathing from which one adopts a mechanistic psychological technology of meditation and ethical behavior that can gradually elevate one further and further away from the normal human state. Although Theravada and other forms of conservative Buddhism have given some people the impression that there is a nihilistic core to this world-view, this school of thought actually places much emphasis on ethics because that’s an integral part of the Buddha’s theory that gets one up the mountain. To the contrary, some Mahayana and Vajrayana can lend itself to be less ethical, precisely because of the occasionally more common perception that nothing should be fixed, all is good in the world.

 

But the paradox runs even deeper in Buddhism because meditation implies effort and yet effort tends to create a sense of self, which is precisely what should be transcended. So someone who reaps benefit is someone who has built up enough steam so that meditation can occur by itself.

I’ve meditated for months at a time before, and testify that this does happen. The stream of phenomenology defrosts into a fluid flux without effort eventually. So I consider schools that say, “enlightenment is already here,” mostly delusional. You actually have to put in work before phrases like that can have catalytic effect. Climbing is inevitable because we are talking about rewiring neuronal pathways. To think otherwise is spiritual fantasy.

Final Theory (Unification):

As I fight you and you fight me, we learn we are the same. Being the same, we know to accept each other. This is love. Meet me between accepting everything, and tearing away from Samsara. Meet me between Sagan and splicing. Meet me between nails on my palms and wielding a sword with my mouth.

Epilogue