QBism shows that the world is personal because only what you have personally observed in the world is determinate, meaning physically real and actually so. And that in turn means the ancient law of karma is a real phenomenon. This states that what goes around comes around, meaning that the actions you perform seem to happen back to you ‘out of nowhere’. It sounds about as unscientific as you can get, but in fact it is a direct consequence of the way this kind of reality works.
The phenomenon happens because of the process described on the Interactive Destiny page. As you go through life, the world hologram will increasingly represent the kinds of actions you perform, and thus the kinds of events you observe yourself bringing about. Logically, one would not necessarily expect these kinds of events to be those that would happen to you. However, they nonetheless form fundamental data about what happens in reality, as defined by the record of observations. In other words, they become increasingly powerful expectations although they may be entirely unconscious. And these nonetheless give rise to strange attractors. This means these kinds of events are increasingly likely to occur in your world. As a result, the world you live in more and more reflects the things you do. Inevitably therefore, eventually, these kinds of events are likely to happen to you as well. Karma operates.
As with all the effects of observation, this is not because anything you do changes the objective physical reality. It is simply that the observations you make generate an expectation of more of the same. And in a personal world defined solely by observations, this means that you are more likely to experience these kinds of events in the future.
Heaven or Hell
In this kind of world, karma is more than just a force to be reckoned with. Not to live in accordance with this principle is self-destructive madness in the long term. But it seems hard to believe it could be so significant. After all, some people seem to do terrible things and still have a nice life. But there is more to the reality of each person than just one lifetime. As described in Quantum Immortality, the true identity is effectively immortal. And it is in the transition from this lifetime to the next that karma really counts. All of the karma takes effect all at once. This reality could be anywhere a human civilisation could reach. And the circumstances could be anything that was physically possible. It could be a heaven of plenty, ease and fascination, or something very different. In the universe of all possible worlds, every possible variation of the next life exists.
In day-to-day reality, the things that are likely to happen are strongly constrained by all the ordinary rules of the physical world. In many ways the world is a fairly predictable place. But in the jump from this lifetime to the next none of that applies. With no limitations in operation, the whole of your karma takes effect in the blink of an eye. The version of the world you find yourself in as you arrive in your next lifetime will be the one with the most precise fit with your true identity, your conscious mind, otherwise it would not be you in the next lifetime. This means that all the tendencies in reality defined by your history of observations, the karma, will be perfectly expressed in the way this world works, and the kinds of things that are likely to happen to you. It could be a heaven or a hell. And every choice in life has an impact.
This means there is an inherent morality. But this has none of the connotations of moral absolutism, an objective standard handed down from on high. The question of morality has been heavily debated ever since there have been philosophers – always. Charles Darwin gives us a scientific view. We are naturally empathic beings, social animals capable of understanding others as beings like ourselves. He divided the effects of morality into altruism and selfishness, which he called the high moral rules and the low moral rules. The high are based on the impulse to prosper the other, whether or not this is to one’s own advantage. The low are the set of principles that one knows from education and experience one is required to conform to.
So the science tells us that karma is a real phenomenon. The things you do tend to happen back to you. So there is a basic and straightforward motivation to prosper others, and not to disadvantage or harm. The humanitarian impulse is built in. The high moral rule, wanting the other to do well, becomes also the low moral rule, the rational reason for doing the right thing.
In this kind of reality it is clear that egoism is potentially disastrous. Egoism here means not so much self-obsession but rather the belief that acting in one’s own best interests is the only criterion that matters. This is a popular view in the modern world. But in this kind of reality, in effect, that is literally the road to hell. Ignoring and trampling over the needs and wellbeing of others is clocking up bad karma, and it all takes effect in the transition to the next lifetime.
As spiritual leaders have been trying to tell us for some time, ignoring these principles is is a very bad idea. But there never seemed to be a really convincing logic to karma. Now there is. As stated by Heinz von Baeyer, quoted in Quantum Theory, there are deep things that our physics is urgently trying to tell us about our world. Clearly interactive destiny and the karma we generate are tremendously important, not only for ourselves personally but also for the cultures we produce.
The Quick-Start Guide and Operating Instructions
So the great spiritual rules, such as the famous Ten Commandments and the Buddhist Eightfold Path, are vitally important. The Ten Commandments form an essential quick-start guide to this kind of reality. The first two are how to generate good karma, being positive about life, and being nice to others. And the rest are how not to clock up really bad karma.
The Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path lays out how to engage positive strange attractors in the most powerful and fundamental way. Right Living is the path to good karma, and an increasingly happy and satisfying life as one makes one’s way through the infinite possibilities of the universe. These are the operating instructions of this kind of reality.