There has been a scientific revolution. Likely as not you have never even heard of it, but this changes everything. The meaning of the new physics has extraordinary and empowering implications for us in our daily lives. The world is not only bizarrely personal but also strangely interactive, and there is all the time in the world. The shift in identity leads to a shift in nature, which makes possible the resolution of our global crises.
As stated by Heinz Pagels as head of the New York Academy of Sciences:
We live in the wake of a physics revolution comparable to the Copernican demolition of the anthropocentric world – a revolution which began with the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics in the first decade of this century. (1982, 347)
A Severe Loss
Basically physicists have suffered a severe loss: their hold on reality (1971)
The old way of thinking about the world is dead, but for a hundred years the new way could not be born. What has been missing is an entire dimension of explanation. ‘Logical type‘ is the principle that makes sense of the apparent paradoxes. The meaning for us in everyday life is extraordinary.
The Deep Things
As Hans von Baeyer writes:
Flawlessly accounting for the behavior of matter on scales from the subatomic to the astronomical, quantum mechanics is the most successful theory in all the physical sciences. It is also the weirdest. … Physicists have grappled with the quantum world’s apparent paradoxes for nine decades, with little to show for their struggles. The deep confusion about the meaning of quantum theory will continue to add fuel to the perception that the deep things it is so urgently trying to tell us about our world are irrelevant to everyday life and too weird to matter. (2013, 47)
Avant Garde Science presents a simple explanation, although radical and unorthodox. The paradoxes are just the facts. They do not make sense because of a fundamental category errors in our thinking.There are two different types of world, coexistent. They exist at different levels of logical type in the unitary system. This is what quantum theory is trying to tell us. This is the physics is taken at face value. This reveals that the paradoxical contradictions exist because of a category error of logical type. In a nutshell, there is more than one kind of real world.
The New Paradigm
When Copernicus showed that the Earth was not the centre of the universe that was a major upset, but this change to our understanding of reality is incomprehensibly huge. Which is the reason the science that reports this change seems to make no sense. It contradicts our natural, deeply held presuppositions about the two fundamental attributes of life as we know it, the nature of the world and the nature of ourselves.
The problem is that we just cannot formulate something so alien as the physics describes as real. The world encountered by each individual is personal, determinate only where one has observed it. And your mind, defined as the record of observations, defines everything that is real of your world. And thus you are deeply involved with all of it.
The objective physical reality is nonetheless entirely real. Such worlds are the building blocks of the personal worlds as we shall see.
The further implications are indeed weird but they are supremely important because they are deeply and immediately relevant to everyday life. We are not just irrelevant bystanders in the daily unfolding of global events. Each individual is deeply involved with the whole of their personal world, piloting the path taken through the infinite possibilities of the quantum universe.
And this means we have been in denial about basic principles of the world that are essential not only to personal success but also to cultural cohesion. This demonstrates the truth of certain principles central to the great spiritual traditions that have come to seem irrelevant in the modern era. When all this is realised we discover the natural resolution of the appalling crises with which humanity is currently faced.
We start with relativity because it is much the simpler. The great paradox here is that there can be no such thing as the passage of time. The physics shows us that the universe is a four-dimensional space-time domain. It all exists ‘already’, static, permanent, like the whole movie on a DVD. As David Deutsch explains in detail in The Fabric of Reality it is a ‘block universe’:
… because within it the whole of physical reality — past, present and future — is laid out once and for all, frozen in a single four-dimensional block. (1997, 267)
Which means time cannot flow. Yet we are all experiencing the passage of time.
In physics, the only possible explanation seems to be that this experience is an illusion. As Paul Davies states:
… it appears that the flow of time is subjective, not objective. … I and others argue that it is some sort of illusion. (2002)
But this makes no sense. The illusion of the Sun going round the Earth makes sense. But we are constantly finding ourselves at later and later times. We get older. This is no illusion!
Hermann Weyl solved the whole thing some time ago:
The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling up the life-line of my body, does the world fleetingly come to life. (1949, 116)
In other words, objectively the passage of time really is an illusion. But subjectively one is moving through time, so the passage of time effectively happens.
This certainly solves the problem, but the implication is not acceptable. It means that consciousness has an extraordinary and inexplicable property, and such things are not allowed in physics, on principle. Logical type is the explanation.
The principle of logical type was discovered by Bertrand Russell (1908). A class of things is a completely different kind of entity to any one of those things, the elements of the class. It thus has the capacity for different kinds of properties. A movie film is an ideal example. One frame of the film is the ‘primitive’, basic element of the system. The movie, the class of frames in the sequence, is a second-logical-type entity. It thus has the property that it can be played, and thus ‘brought to life’, giving the effect of the motion picture. The projector is a different type of thing again, a third-logical-type phenomenon because it operates on the class of all possible movies. It thus has the further property that it can bring the film to life, by iterating the frames.
As Weyl describes, consciousness is to the sequence of moments in time as the movie projector is to the frames of the movie. In other words it is a third-logical-type phenomenon. It is literally meta to the physical, and thus cannot appear in the physics. But, of course, in the static four-dimensional space-time world of relativity, an iterator meta to the physical is a fundamental requirement. For there to be any kind of transtemporal reality, a reality in which time in some sense progresses, something must move through the space-time. Which is what we are constantly experiencing. As is well known, We All Travel Through Spacetime at the Speed of Light. This is described in detail in Relativity.
The implications for the nature of us as individuals are remarkable as we shall see. Each individual is not only body and mind but also the spirit known as consciousness.
The great paradox in quantum theory is about how the real world actually works. There are two different fundamental ‘dynamics’, different ways in which physical reality changes over time – the linear dynamics and the collapse dynamics. And they are incompatible. This is the infamous ‘measurement problem’ that has stumped the greatest minds for over a hundred years. The solution is that they operate in two different kinds of world, existing at two different levels of logical type.
In principle there is no question that there are two different types of world. This is not a new idea. As Lev Vaidman describes:
A world is the totality of macroscopic objects: stars, cities, people, grains of sand, etc. in a definite classically described state. This definition is based on the common attitude to the concept of world shared by human beings. Another concept (considered in some approaches as the basic one, e.g., in Saunders 1995) is a relative, or perspectival, world … a centered world. This concept is useful when a world is centered on a perceptual state of a sentient being. In this world, all objects which the sentient being perceives have definite states, but objects that are not under observation might be in a superposition of different (classical) states. (2014)
The Relative World
The ordinary world, technically a ‘quasi-classical’ world, is the world we imagine as physical reality. The relative world is a very strange idea, but this type of world, determinate only where observed, is the reality demonstrated in the latest interpretation of quantum theory. This is Quantum Bayesianism, now known as QBism. This means that reality is personal. As the authors state:
What is real for an agent rests entirely on what that agent experiences (Fuchs et al., 2013, 3)
Moreover, experimental physics has recently produced evidence of this type of world:
… this result implies that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer-dependent way. (Proietti et al., 2019, abstract)
Such a concept seems to make no sense in the context of our current scientific worldview, but the key is that this is not either/or. That is the category error causing the main problem here. Both of Vaidman’s descriptions define fully operational types of physical world. This is the meaning of quantum theory, demonstrated in the experimental physics. Two different types of physical world exist, at different levels of logical type.
The Inside View
A fundamental dualism of this nature is inherent in the physics. There is no question that there are two radically different types of physical frame of reference in the science. As Tegmark describes, the new physics shows us it is crucial we distinguish between:
• the outside view of the world (the way a mathematician thinks of it, i.e., as an evolving wavefunction), and
• the inside view, the way it is perceived from the subjective … perspective of an observer in it. (1997, 2)
The outside view defines a ‘quasi-classical’ world – as if classical, but in fact quantum behaving as classical. This means that at the everyday level it is an ordinary world of Newtonian mechanics, known as classical physics. That is the world we know. But down at the most fundamental level it is made of quanta, which work quite differently. The quantum world behaves as if it is classical because the zillions of quanta in everyday objects average out to classical physics. Thus it is a quantum world that behaves as if it is all just classical physics stuff.
The inside view is the central component of Hugh Everett’s famous many-worlds theory. And it is very different, so different it has never been properly explained. This is the relative world, the world centred on a perceptual state of a sentient being. This is the world of the operational conscious individual.
Everett solved the conflict of the two incompatible dynamics very simply. As he demonstrates, the collapse dynamics operates only : “… judged by the state of the memory” (1957, 462) of the observer, defined as the record of observations. Here we see exactly what that means.
In humans, the integrated synthesis of all the observations made forms the experiential reality, meaning what is actually experienced. The nature of this reality ‘in here’ has only more recently been understood:
Our brain constructs a three-dimensional model. It is a virtual reality in the head. (Dawkins, 1998, 276)
What we experience directly is a virtual-reality rendering, conveniently generated for us by our unconscious minds from sensory data (Deutsch, 1997, 120)
In other words, the brain produces a representation of the three-dimensional physical reality, the world, in the form of a three-dimensional virtual reality.
The World Hologram
This of course is all happening inside the brain, but that is not how it is perceived. As Deutsch goes on to say, this virtual reality is mentally projected out onto the real world so as to match up precisely. It forms a three-dimensional, spatially-distributed field of information, here the ‘world hologram’.
This is the reality you actually experience directly, a projected virtual-reality model generated by the brain. To think about somewhere else in the world, such as where a friend is at the moment, is to access a specific view of this world hologram.
The world hologram is of course the inside view, literally. This is the way the world is perceived by each individual. But the full significance of this extraordinary field of information has been greatly overlooked.
Everett did not elaborate on the nature of this inside view of reality. That was left to the philosopher of science Michael Lockwood in his many-minds explanation of Everett’s theory. He defines the mind as the integrated synthesis of the observations. He also calls it the ‘phenomenal perspective’ and ‘a complete state of consciousness’. It is the subjective perspective of the observer, a field of information. This is the mind.
This field of information seems like a somewhat abstract concept, but as described in The Self-Avatar, this is the complete definition of the human entity on the inside view. The body, like everything else in the superworld, is determinate only where observed, and thus defined by the mind. Thus it defines everything physically real about the observer. This is the entire person on this perspective. The term individual will here be used to refer to this entity, the mind as defined by the record of observations. The term observer is used specifically for the physical structure, the body in which it is instantiated.
Now we get to the bit where this makes sense of the quantum theory. The many-worlds universe is the totality of all possible quasi-classical worlds. Therefore, as Tegmark (2003, 10) describes, there are many identical copies of you in the quantum universe. This is inevitable. In this infinity of variations, there are many possible versions of the world in which your life was just as you know it, but things elsewhere in the world were different. There is an identical copy of you in each such world.
Therefore, your mind, your world hologram, exists in every one of these versions of the quasi-classical world. In each one the same sequence of observations has been made. So this is the inside view of all of these worlds, all at once.
Crucially, mind-bendingly, all these worlds are all here and now, in the same place at the same time in the quantum universe. Tegmark, Cox and others make this clear. And this is where we get to the radical new explanation. The one mind is in all these worlds, all at once. Thus for this mind on the inside view this means that the physical reality is the superposed sum of all of them, a ‘superworld’.
This produces exactly the QBism type of world, Vaidman’s centred world, the relative world. It is determinate only where observed by this individual, but in the superworld the logic is clear and simple. All the superposed worlds are identically the same with respect to what you have observed. So this is all determinate. But everything else is the superposed sum of every possible variation of how it could be, thus indeterminate, unreal.
This is the ontology of the relative world. By definition it is a second-logical-type phenomenon. This is why it has different properties to the ordinary quasi-classical world. As described in Quantum Theory, it naturally operates the collapse dynamics.
Two Types of World
As demonstrated in QBism, a world indeterminate except where observed resolves the measurement problem completely. But the QBism interpretation is not taken seriously, let alone accepted because as the authors state, this means there is no such thing as the ordinary objective physical world, only the centred world. The interpretation presented here shows that both kinds of world are real, at different levels of logical type. The ordinary, objective, quasi-classical world is the primitive entity. The superworld is a ‘class-of-worlds-as-a-world’, a second-logical-type phenomenon. This is the explanation of the QBism type of world, how it actually works.
Logical type demonstrates how both types of world coexist. This is the new explanatory principle. This also dissolves the measurement problem. The two incompatible dynamics are simply the operating principles of two different types of world. As Everett demonstrates, the collapse dynamics operates only on the inside view, while the linear dynamics operates only on the outside view.
The linear dynamics is the time evolution of the quasi-classical world. The collapse dynamics is the time evolution of the superworld.
The Holographic Universe
The evidence is the ‘holographic universe’ of quantum cosmology.
The holographic principle states … that volume itself is illusory and the universe is really a hologram which is isomorphic to the information “inscribed” on the surface of its boundary.” (Bekenstein, 2003, 59)
What’s happening in space is, in some sense, all described in terms of a screen outside here. The ultimate description of reality resides on this screen. Dijkgraaf, 2019)
As stated by Lee Smolin, a specialist in the field, this is for sure:
… an idea which at first seems too crazy to be true, but which survives all our attempts to disprove it. (2000, 178)
In other words, the world is actually like this. But this of course makes absolutely no sense. How can the whole solid three-dimensional world be just an illusion? Like the illusion of the passage of time, the problem is a fundamental category error, a false presupposition. This is not the definition of the quasi-classical world but of a superworld. It is defined solely on the surface of its boundary which is simply the observed surface. Beyond that all is indeterminate.
As Russell described, failure to distinguish between logical types inevitably lead to nonsense results and paradox. The holographic universe is simply the superworld of an individual, a class-of-worlds-as-a-world. You saw it here first!
The further direct implication is another major departure from the current worldview. As demonstrated in QBism, quoted above the physical reality of the real world is different for different people. As the authors state:
This means that reality differs from one agent to another. This is not as strange as it may sound. What is real for an agent rests entirely on what that agent experiences, and different agents have different experiences. (Fuchs et al., 2013, 3)
This confirms precisely the nature of the many-minds universe described by Lockwood. As Matthew Donald describes:
Many-minds interpretations of quantum theory are many-worlds interpretations in which it is argued that the distinction between worlds should be made at the level of the structure of the individual observer. (1998)
This is what has now been experimentally confirmed by Proietti et al.:
… this result implies that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer-dependent way. (2019, abstract)
And this fits with quantum cosmology precisely. As Smolin concludes:
The world must be a network of holograms … the holographic principle is the ultimate realization of the notion that the world is a network of relationships. (2000, 178)
These are the idiosyncratic worlds of individuals, each one a relative world in the form of a holographic universe.
The further implications are utterly bizarre from any kind of physicalist perspective. If correct, however, they are also precisely what is needed for the human race to grow up, live long and prosper. It is rapidly becoming all too clear what our egoism is costing us, a workable ecosphere. So this is of immediate and urgent relevance. The key is the extraordinary significance of the observations that definite the determinacy of the superworld.
As is well known, visualisation enhances expectations. Also well known, expectations cause confirmation bias. And confirmation bias means a different version of an observation is experienced and recorded. In an ordinary world this just means the observer is mistaken, but in the superworld it means a different version of reality becomes real.
In this way the bias on observations winds up biasing which version of physical events is likely to be experienced in the future. Expectations thus form ‘strange attractors’ in the system, meaning tendencies for the visualised types of events to be observed. Positive thinking takes on a radical importance!
This is absolutely not, however, because physical reality itself is altered (or like attracts like, or thoughts become things, as has been stated in reference to the ‘law of attraction’). It just means that this individual takes a different path through the infinite possibilities of the quantum universe. I call it ‘interactive destiny’.
It means you can use visualisations to steer the path of your life deliberately. You are like a ‘trim tab‘ on the rudder of your passage into the future. That is how the nature of the real world reveals what we have been doing wrong, and how to do it right.
And we are greatly empowered. Visualisation, making things real mentally, tends to make the situations or events more likely to be encountered in the personal physical reality. It means the ancient concept of ‘As Above So Below’ has a very specific truth to it. We thought the world was just the ordinary world, and totally impervious to what we thought or felt. Which it is. But each individual lives in a superposition of such worlds, and this type of world is interactive.
Meanwhile, relativity reveals the nature of who you really are. The conscious transtemporal individual is triune. We are body, mind and spirit as held in the ancient Gnostic doctrines. This is identity at the three different levels of logical type. As shown in The Self Avatar, the world hologram, the mind in Lockwood, is the operational conscious individual in the physics. The body is the vehicle in which such an entity exists, but it is only the mind itself that has transtemporal existence. The time evolution of the world hologram is the movie of life. The consciousness is the spirit that brings it to life.
As Above So Below
The inside view is the view of this consciousness, which is why it is ontologically fundamental. Which is what makes sense of the mind defining the world. The weird empowerment is less astonishing in this light. In this kind of world the definition of the determinacy of the physical reality is the same as the definition of oneself as a mind. As Above So Below is a truism.
It means a kind of karma operates. The things you do are observed as events in reality, and thus form powerful unconscious expectations of what kinds of things are likely to take place in reality. In the world of this type of entity, this generates strange attractors also.
This means there is an inherent morality. Generosity generates positive expectations with corresponding results. Living at the expense of others is directly counter to one’s own best interests for the same reason. We only really do well when we do our best to do well by everybody. That is just the nature of the personal world. The Ten Commandments are the quick start guide, though perhaps a bit over-interpreted. The Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path is the operating manual for this kind of reality. The practices work because the inner life operates like a trim tab, generating strange attractors in the real world of this individual.
Certainly there seems little evidence of this in everyday life, but logically that would mean that any remainder on the bill is presented at the end of the life. The karma would just accumulate. Well, as you die at that point, that seems like quite a clever way to have your own way regardless. But as described by Hans Moravec, death cannot be the end. In the space of all possible worlds there is always a continuation of life because there is always a world of some kind in which the world hologram continues to exist. The movie of life changes reels, and runs on. I call it the ‘Moravec jump’ from one lifeline to another.
The weak point in Moravec’s assertion is continuity. Why would one necessarily somehow pass on from this world to some other world? This is where the nature of consciousness comes in. Being a property of the universe it does not switch off when you die. It goes on forever, so experience continues straight on to a new version of reality, just as Moravec describes.
The most likely form of reincarnation is arrival in a purpose built body. As Deutsch describes, quoted in Quantum Immortality, we will soon have the technology to build new bodies and upload minds into them, as depicted in Altered Carbon. Whether by accident or design, in the space of all possible worlds this must happen to you. So when you die, you wake up in some new version of the real world.
This means that the world hologram is the soul. The obvious question is why do we not remember previous lives. The answer is that this is a newbie world of starter souls, blanks born ex nihilo by cellular genesis. What is remarkable is that our human race has managed to work out the operating instructions for this kind of world, as described in the great spiritual text. To our great detriment, personally and collectively, most of us have been very slow to follow the instructions.
So life continues. And logically, the version of the world in which this individual arrives will be determined solely by the record of observations made in this life. That is the only determinacy in this transtemporal frame of reference. It could be heaven or it could be hell, and this is defined entirely by the karma, the record of observations and the tendencies defined. So the inherent morality is absolute – in this relative frame of reference.
It would seem that certain principles of the great religions hold vital clues about our situation. Egoism that harms others is actually self-harm. In this light, the intelligent imperative is always enlightened self-interest, egoistic cooperation. This is the great message of the spiritual path, now revealed as embedded in the type of world in which one lives.
As Thomas Friedman writes:
The fact is, for our survival as a species, our very notion of “community” has to expand to the boundaries of the planet (2016, 352)
This is a good definition of the traditional spiritual path, the transformation of human nature to altruism. Loving life everywhere, everywhen, especially – expediently, if one possibly can! – all the other people. The goal is said to be worth the climb. The meaning of the new physics gives us just such a transformation, but through intelligence rather than raw willpower, which the evidence makes very clear is in short supply. Presumably the atomisation of modern human cultures in existential and materialistic independence is a factor.
In effect human nature is transformed. We are still egoistic but the agenda now operates on a far wider perspective. This shift in comprehension of the nature of the world, and the nature of oneself, returns the cohesive force of the great spiritual traditions to the modern culture so desperately in need of them.
Survival and Prosperity
Effectively, every individual is actually the world he or she knows. So not only is there a powerful inherent morality because of karma, there is also a far greater sense of identity to aspire to, along with a vastly longer time span. A new paradigm of human nature appears.
In the vision proposed here the human race recovers from the various madnesses of rampant egoism and atomisation, and revives to make a real global village where everyone is empowered and cared for. At present that sounds like ludicrous hippy-dippy new age dreaming, but this is at the very least what we should be aspiring to. We have modern technology. There is no physical reason why we should not have a world that works for everyone. We have just been completely emotionally incapable of setting it up. And without question this is the solution to our modern predicament. Global cultures of this nature do not fry their planet, or have wars about it.
The understanding described in Avant Garde Science provides the path to an effective community in all human affairs. Whole new fields of achievement are opened up. Unaware, we have been asleep at the wheel, and interacting with our destinies in ways which are often not helpful. By becoming aware of this process we not only transform our sense of empowerment, we revolutionise society. And by communicating the rationale we evolve the effect. By regularly picturing the future we are aiming for, and making it as real as possible, we move toward it in reality. Dare to know.
All references given in References