The New Culture
We stand on the brink of a momentous change to our understanding of reality. When the paradoxes of the new physics are unravelled they show we have been living under two false assumptions of extraordinary significance. The first is the nature of the world, and the second is the nature of ourselves. This is the meaning of the great scientific revolution of our time. In this section of the site we explore the amazing implications with regard to the world and how it works. One is strangely connected to the world at large, and this means we are far more relevant to the events we witness than we could possibly have imagined. Who we really are is another wild ride into the unknown as described in The World Hologram.
What is revealed is that we are pilots of our personal worlds in a somewhat more fundamental and dramatic manner than we realise. This empowering new worldview engages a profound transformation in human nature, and so provides the resolution of our seemingly intractable problems. By taking on this knowledge we can restore the humanity missing from so much of our global human culture and now so desperately needed. This in turn resolves our mounting global crises. The aim here is to communicate how we can take these ideas and live our best possible lives, and also transform our human world.
Climate Armageddon is just one of ten human-caused global catastrophic risks facing our entire species with possible annihilation. As stated by John Holdren as scientific adviser to President Obama:
The way I like to put is is that we’re driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure now that the cliff is out there, we just don’t know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes. (Friedman, 2008, 160)
Since these crises are all self-induced, there is one type of solution that resolves them all, and will also stand the test of time. In other words, this transforms the chances of our survival as a race. As stated by the pioneering environmentalist Alexander King:
Any durable solution to [humanity’s] external and internal problems can only come from evolution beyond the egoism that motivates every individual. The wisdom we desperately require can only come through inner transformation. (2006, 22)
Given history to date this seems like pie in the sky, but precisely such a transformation arises from the meaning of the new physics. Each person is unconsciously steering the whole of their reality. It means we are far more relevant to the events we witness than we could possibly have imagined. And once the implications are fully understood, the evolution King describes is exactly what is produced.
The physics is described in Quantum Theory. Very briefly, there are two quite different types of world defined in the new physics, both of which fit the facts. One of course is the ordinary world, technically a ‘quasi-classical’ world. The other is the ‘relative world’, which is determinate only where observed.
The weirdest thing about this is that it means we live in different versions of the real physical world. As stated by the authors of Quantum Bayesianism, now QBism, the latest interpretation of quantum theory:
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)
They demonstrate that this strange personal type of world is the one in which one lives, and on which we do experiments.
It is certainly weird, but experimental physics has recently produced direct evidence of this type of world. This, however, has not halted the earnest debate about which type of world is the real one. As I have demonstrated, however, both types of world are real. And this is what resolves the longstanding paradoxes. The ordinary world is the basis of all reality, but the world in which one lives is different type of reality that arises as the result of many of these worlds superposed. This works exactly as described by QBism. From here on we will take this fantastic-sounding world of QBism as a given, and see what it mean for us in everyday terms.
In a domain of this nature, observation is of extraordinary significance because this alone defines the physical reality. And this is where the surreal effect in our day to day lives arises. The effect is extraordinary, but the underlying mechanism is quite ordinary, and very human.
Confirmation bias means that you see what you expect to see, something we all tend to do in one way or another. This means that the observation is unconsciously altered to be more in accord with the expectations. As Mo Costandi reports:
A new study now shows that visual working memory can influence our perceptions, so that mental images in the mind’s eye can alter the way we see things. (2011)
In an ordinary world, all this does is produce a rose-tinted view of the world, thinking things turned out how we expected. But in the personal superworld the situation is very different, and the implications of confirmation bias are truly astonishing. It is the biased observation that becomes part of the definition of your physical reality.
Let’s say you have been looking forward to an event. Then you go past the notice board where it is listed, and it has a cancellation notice across the bottom. But your picture of the future overrides the meaning of the sensory input, and instead you see a confirmation notice. In this kind of word this means that you now live in the version of the world where the event is going ahead. (It is not quite that simple because it is a matter of ‘Bayesian probabilities’, but you get the idea.) This is a direct implication of the physics the relative world, defined solely by observations. The result is that you are actually doing a jump into a slightly different version of physical reality than would otherwise have been the case.
What is extraordinary is that this phenomenon can apply to anything in your world. If you had misheard someone saying the result of a major election, you might now be living a version of the world with a different result. Thus the destiny of this world, the events which are bound to happen, is different as a result. That is the extraordinary difference between the reality of a relative world and the reality of an ordinary physical world. When an observation is modified by confirmation bias, this produces a change in the destiny of your world. I call it ‘interactive destiny’.
In the reality of Newtonian mechanics the world is as predictable as clockwork. We might not know enough about some physical situation that we can predict exactly what will happen in the future, but it is utterly predetermined. In other words, the destiny of the world is fixed and certain. But the relative world is very different because it is defined solely by what has been observed. So if an observation is altered the future is changed. As a result one is effectively interacting with the destiny of one’s personal world. Metaphorically we are the trim tabs on the rudders of our worlds. The trim tab is a tiny mini rudder on the back of the main rudder of a big ship. Just turning the trim tab turns the rudder, and that turns the ship.
This means you are the unconscious pilot of this world, your reality. And you always have been. Not that everything is your fault. We are dealt a hand at birth and this determines many things – sometimes even epigenetic things we now discover. But one is constantly steering the way everything goes with one’s beliefs and expectations. It is a trim tab level effect, but can nonetheless give rise to significant effects. This is described in detail in Interactive Destiny.
There are three rather vital learnings from this. Firstly, it means that positive thinking is absolutely essential for a happy and productive life. We want to make sure we are steering our personal realities in the most positive direction possible. Secondly, we can take charge of this dynamic, and actively make the kinds of events and occasions we want to experience more likely. Thirdly, it means that there is an inherent morality in the personal world because of the way the interactive destiny operates, as described in Quantum Karma. Altogether this has the potential to bring about the great cultural shift so desperately needed, just as King describes.
Survival and Prosperity
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)
As Gus Speth famously describes, the problem of ecodestruction is not any lack of scientific and technical expertise, but “selfishness, greed and apathy” (2016). These are the primary expressions of egoism. This is what egoism looks like in terms of behaviours. As he goes on, we need a cultural and spiritual transformation, and the scientists don’t know how to do that. But just such a transformation arises from adopting the literal meaning of the new physics.
In the personal world, all the things we do have a direct effect on the quality of our personal worlds, in a cumulative, non-local, holistic manner. But this is not something we are likely to notice unless we are looking for it because the effect is diffuse. And if one did notice things seeming to happen as one had wanted, the obvious explanation is just that one is seeing it that way. But if these concepts are correct something else is going on as well. In the personal, QBism type of world one is constantly piloting the world for better or worse, interacting with the destiny of the whole personal physical environment. Personally I find this disturbing in the light of how my world is doing, but I do my best to focus intensely on better futures for all.
As explained in Quantum Theory we are the worlds we experience, and the only way for us to be truly healthy is to treat our worlds well. This realisation enables us to take responsibility, and take charge. The further incentive to come to grips with the new worldview is the extraordinary glimpse of immortality, as described in Quantum Immortality. And as described in Quantum Karma, the nature of life after death is what gives the whole idea a bit of bite.
With this new worldview people more naturally adopt a moral way of living. If one adopts the logic, the only sane position is enlightened self-interest, doing well by doing good. Egoism, me first, still operates, but now on a different agenda that encompasses everyone. Exactly what Friedman is calling for. And this recreates the force of cohesive community that propelled the human race to dominate the planet. This now re-emerges at a global level. Consequently a new race intelligence emerges, and a new efficiency permeates the human culture.
This is the next step. As King describes, evolution beyond raw egoism is the only durable solution. Understanding the immediacy of one’s relationship with the whole of the world brings about this transformation. One is reconnected with nature in all its forms, and life is imbued with meaning in a manner impossible in the narrow egoistic framework. Thus we have the means to produce a new age in which human potential can truly flourish.
All references given in References