Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It’s a Legitimate Scientific Hypothesis: Are We Living in a Giant Computer Game Simulation?

(Stillness in the Storm Editor) Elon Musk and others have proffered the notion that we are living in a computer simulation. It's a theory that the technology saturated population of modern society is more readily able to accept than the antiquated notions of divinity, and the spiritual nature of reality. Yet, in examining the tenets of the theory, a remarkable similarity to concepts of a conscious universe can be drawn. But it appears that objectively, both simulation and spiritual primacy theories are unverifiable—which makes the whole discussion all the more interesting. 

In essence, simulation hypothesis seems to be a theory of a conscious universe for those who haven't yet made the leap to a spiritual comprehension of existence. Given that in the information age, critical thinking and abstract thought has been severely hampered by an overexposure to image-generating technologies, the genesis of simulation theory is congruent with the social fabric of society. But what is the actual truth? Is this theory a version of the consciousness universe for the modern age or is spirituality and religion merely a shadow of the simulated reality?

Last year, I wrote an introduction for a similar article discussing the theory, which I have included here. 

Ultimately, these things can be discussed in an open way and impart consciousness expansion in the process. We need not hold fast to one theory over another when there is so much uncertainty in each respect. The truth behind these big questions in the universe is still there waiting to be claimed. So why not put all ideas on the table and work together to see which one works the best?

Here is the introduction from the article, Consciousness Universe vs. Simulation Hypothesis | Are We Living in a Computer Simulation Created by an Advanced Civilization? Elon Musk Says ‘Yes’

(Justin Deschamps) The notion that we are living in a computer simulation has gained increasing popularity of late. It suggests that everything we think, feel, touch, see and interact with is actually code in an ultra advanced computer program run by an equally advanced alien civilization.

An Organized Universe

It sounds like a compelling idea for several reasons. When we look at how the universe is organized, from the very small to the very large, there are systems of motion and energy expressed in scales. The Scaling Law Nassim Haramein derived from observations of energy as a function of radius demonstrates that the same general geometric relationships (proportions) are repeated throughout the cosmos.

Abstract. From observational data and our theoretical analysis, we demonstrate that a scaling law can be written for all organized matter utilizing the Schwarzschild condition, describing cosmological to sub-atomic structures. Of interest are solutions involving torque and Coriolis effects in the field equations. Significant observations have led to theoretical and experimental advancement describing systems undergoing gravitational collapse, including vacuum interactions. The universality of this scaling law suggests an underlying polarizable structured vacuum of mini white holes/black holes. We briefly discuss the manner in which this structured vacuum can be described in terms of resolution of scale analogous to a fractal-like scaling as a means of renormalization at the Planck distance. Finally, we describe a new horizon we term the “spin horizon” which is defined as a result of a spacetime torque producing boundary conditions in a magnetohydrodynamic structure. — SCALE UNIFICATION – A UNIVERSAL SCALING LAW FOR ORGANIZED MATTER, Nassim Haramein, Michael Hyson, E. A. Rauscher.
Wading through the science lingo, what is essentially being described here is that the same geometry (a torus) appears at all scales of universal expression. The hydrogen atom has a toroidal structure. The human body produces a toroidal electromagnetic field via the piezoelectric liquid crystal oscillator of the heart. The Earth's magnetosphere is toroidal. The Solar System is Toroidal. And so on. 

Torus Geometry at small and large scales. Top middle, hydrogen atom.

These observations describe organization, at massive levels, all throughout the known universe. Everywhere we look in the cosmos, we see a precisely unfolding dynamic of organization, which mainstream science still hasn't really come to terms with. 

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics involved in the study of how slight changes in deterministic systems compound over time, making long-term prediction impossible. But unlike the name suggests, it is a theory based on the premise that if one knew all the initial conditions of the universe, they would be able to predict everything that happens thereafter. While we could debate the validity of such a premise, the important point to note is that it is a theory founded on holism—although that isn't explicitly stated. By this I mean, slight changes have holistic effects; everything must be interconnected via some process. Thus, the universe isn't chaotic at all, it just appears chaotic because our capacity to determine what it looked like in the beginning is lacking. 

And there are more examples of universal organization, leading some to conclude that antiquated theories about the universe being fundamentally chaotic and random are in error. But most of the big thinkers for these theorems are not of the opinion that there is a creator, a supreme and ultimate intelligence that caused the universe to begin unfolding. As a result, a somewhat short-sighted, yet interesting theory has emerged, the Simulation Hypothesis. 

Simulation Hypothesis vs. Creationism or Intelligent Design (a Conscious Universe)

We've already covered the key components of this theory, but for the sake of discussion, let's list them again. It contends that the universe, as we know it, is a vast computer simulation, with each one of us as stimulants or variables random elements able to change the system from within—to a certain extent. The universe is organized by the rules of the computer program, but the stimulants provide a random factor.

Now let's compare this with a creationist or intelligent design theory. 

Note: I will refer to a universe founded on consciousness as the prima materia, as Creationism Intelligent Design, or Hermetic—but none of these should be confused with any religious belief or dogma, despite the fact they are somewhat related. 

The creator of the universe, at some eternally distant moment in the past, made reality as we know it, with a built-in system of rules known as Natural Law. This reality is ultimately an illusion when compared to the primal reality of the creator. Within this universe are aspects of the creator, we know of as souls, who can eventually realize their true nature and manipulate the fabric of reality from within the creation. The universe, in this theory, is organized by the rules of Natural Law, with each soul contributing the random element via free will. 

Sound familiar?

Simulation theory suggests that the ultimate creators of the simulated universe are aliens. Creation theory suggests that the ultimate creator is a transcendent personality. All the remaining components of the theory are almost identical. Computers have rigid programming rules that cannot be broken. Creation has Natural Laws that cannot be broken. The computer has stimulants (people) that cause change in the system. The creationist universe has free will (souls) that cause change via choice.  

Simply put, Simulated Hypothesis is an atheistic euphemism for creationism or intelligent design. If you can't buy into a belief that the universe was created by "God" then you have an excellent replacement that is essentially the same, with a few significant problems. 

Who or What Created the Universe?

For confirmation of this supposition that Simulation Hypothesis is appealing to those who can't or won't entertain creationist theories, consider this quote from Musk in response to the question "is there some master intelligence [that created the simulation]?"
"I think probably not because then you have to say: Where does the master intelligence come from? So it sort of begs the question. So I think really you can explain this with the fundamental laws of physics. You know its complex phenomenon from simple elements." - Source
Although Musk doesn't say he is an atheist, the answer he provides details a belief system that denies the existence of an intelligent creator. To be clear, I am not casting judgment on those who reject creationist views—I was an atheist for 28 years of my life, so I know from first-hand experience how this belief alters the perception of reality, just like any belief.

Musk has a valid point in that there can't be a master intelligence, " ... because then you have to say: Where does the master intelligence come from?" From this perspective, there has to be a creator to create this "intelligence." In one example the rationale can be deduced from the observation that reproduction of some species occurs through coupling; people come from other people. In this way, it's logical to conclude that an ultimate theory of the universe can't be founded on intelligence without also wondering where it came from.

A transcendent creator solves this paradox because ultimately this personality is both creature and creator, the observer and the object being observed. Hence a transcendent personality. We could discuss this one point at length, but suffice it to say, the great thinkers of the past acknowledge the paradox Musk raised in his commentary. The solution for this seeming inconsistency is that reality, at its ultimate level, is a singularity, a grand harmony of oneness.

Consider that within a dream or imagined reality, we can observe an envisioned scene as a single observer (a person) while also having the ability to watch and experience all other objects in the scene. Within our imagination, we are everything and have omniscience, as well as omnipotence. Therefore, within our own minds, we can create an analog that is equivalent to the transcendent nature of the creator. In other words, the best way to explain the ultimate reality of existence, within a creationist view, is that the universe is a dream within the mind of the creator, and we are dreamers within that dream.

Simulation Hypothesis: Intelligent Design-lite

The theory I am putting forth is that those who ascribe to Simulation Hypothesis do so because it is a theory they can buy into without having to let go of the rejection of an intelligent creator—because it is a theory of intelligent design. They get all the benefits of an intelligent universe, from personal life purpose to transcendence of the material world, without having to explore ideas of a spiritual creator. But there's some apparent inconsistencies to consider.

Simulation theory, like other materialist theorems, has built-in circular logic. For example, if the universe was created by an alien civilization, who created the aliens? Musk's answer alludes to the fact that there is no "master intelligence" and that intelligence itself emerged from "the laws of physics." But that leads to the next question, who or what created these laws?

A similar discrepancy can be found in the Big Bang Theory: if the universe was created 16 billion years ago from nothing, who or what caused that event to be set in motion? Did the fundamental laws of physics exist before the material of the universe expanded? If so, what existed before? And why is it that conservation of momentum and energy—sacred principles within physics—ceased to exist at the moment of the big bang?

Plus there's another problem, what is the ultimate purpose of the universe? Within materialist viewpoints, there isn't any purpose. The belief is that everything we see unfolded randomly, whether in a Big Bang universe or a Simulated reality. 

On this question of is the universe a simulated reality, a computer program? I think the answer is, maybe. 

Simulation and the Hermetic Universe

Studying hermetic tradition and Natural Law describes a universe that is just as organized as a simulated reality, but with fewer inconsistencies and poor logic. All the key elements are there, from definite rules and principles (Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Causality, Gender) except there aren't any irreconcilable paradoxes. Interestingly enough, the hermetic universe—which, by the way, is effectively equivalent to a great many other ultimate belief systems about reality—has been described as a dream within the mind of the creator. 

Everything, from time, space, matter, energy, electromagnetism, gravity—literally everything—is a thought-form within the mind of the All. So if we substitute the word thought-form for computer code, we're essentially discussing the same overarching concept. 

In other words, reality is—for all intents and purposes—a simulation, just not one buzzing inside of an alien computer. At least this is the most logical explanation I found thus far. 

The Search for Truth

One interesting point I'll leave you with is that ultimately what makes the most sense, what explains all the observable phenomenon, in reality, is usually the simplest and true. This is what forms the basis of Occam's Razor. The only difference is that unlike reality, the human mind can divorce itself from the universe. It can pick and choose what to accept and in the process distort perception. From this distorted place we can concoct all sorts of theories that will feel true from our limited point of view. Thus in our search for ultimate truths, we must not fall into the trap of thinking we know it all. Untested or unvetted assumptions will compound into significant errors that eventually make any resulting theory untenable. 

Errors in thinking plague nearly every field of science on Earth today. Assumptions about reality, which have not been properly verified, become sacred cows that block the imagination in its ability to transcend such limitations. We tend not to think outside of the boxes we place on our consciousness. The rejection of an ultimate creator—without a valid cause—is one of the biggest blocks to overcome. 

All this being said, I bear no ill will or judgment for anyone who entertains materialist theories of creation. As I said earlier, I spent most of my life in that camp, and combined with my inquisitive nature, have explored a lot of these ideas looking for the best one to explain everything. Eventually, I had to set aside my atheistic views because they just weren't good enough to explain everything I was observing. 

Ultimately, if we want the truth, we need to follow it wherever it leads. But the good news is, there's no rush—at least when it comes to the big truths of reality and existence. So don't feel pressured to swap one set of untested beliefs for another. Instead, explore these ideas like a child explores a bedtime story, just be honest with yourself when they no longer provide answers to the questions your asking. 

- Justin

Source - Collective Evolution

by Alexa Erickson, January 2nd, 2016

As another year far into the millennium comes to a close, many may be reflecting on how different our future turned out from how we once imagined it would be. Contrary to the many movies, books, and personal speculations on the future, we have no flying cars and no robot servants, no time travel or warp speed. And yet, so much has changed, but we simply didn’t see the technology coming.

And though we can only make grandiose and educated guesses on what the future holds, we at least know what’s going on right now. And that’s the most important of all.

But what if we don’t actually know our reality? What if, despite everything we know, every way in which we’ve lived our lives, we are merely just a computer game simulation? Could it be that every person and thing in the cosmos is a really character in a massive computer game? How would we even know? Though it may sound like another idea best left for the creatives of the world, it’s actually a legitimate scientific hypothesis.

Researchers have been mulling over the possibility all year long. One of the biggest arguments for the simulation hypothesis came from University of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrum in 2003. Bostrum posed the idea that members of an advanced civilization with massive computer power may choose to generate simulations of their ancestors. They could potentially be able to run multiple simulations at one time, and most of the minds contained therein would eventually be artificial ones, as opposed to the original ancestral minds. Statistics say we would most likely be the simulated minds.

As time goes on, we learn more and more about the universe, and it seems that the more we figure out, the more likely it can be assumed it’s all based on mathematical laws. “If I were a character in a computer game, I would also discover eventually that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical,” noted Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.”

Our virtual reality is further supported by the ideas from information theory that continue to show up in physics. “In my research I found this very strange thing,” explained James Gates, a theoretical physicist at the University of Maryland. “I was driven to error-correcting codes—they’re what make browsers work. So why were they in the equations I was studying about quarks and electrons and supersymmetry? This brought me to the stark realization that I could no longer say people like Max are crazy.”

High-profile advocates continue to bring this idea to the fore. Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk said that the odds are “a billion to one” against us living in “base reality.”

Google’s machine-intelligence mastermind Ray Kurzweil said that “maybe our whole universe is a science experiment of some junior high school student in another universe.”

How are we supposed to react to the idea that, very possibly, at least according to several physicists, reality as we know it is a lie? How do we wrap our heads around the idea that our Universe isn’t real, but instead a giant simulation? Maybe we don’t need to. Maybe, dare I say, it doesn’t even matter.

The bottom line is, why worry, when it is likely to be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to find enough valuable evidence to prove we are in a simulation.

It’s also important to note that, if we are living in a giant simulation, we have been programmed to function within the rules of the game, so we wouldn’t know the difference anyway.

“There is, however, a more profound reason why perhaps we should not get too worried by the idea that we are just information being manipulated in a vast computation. Because that is what some physicists think the ‘real’ world is like anyway,” explained Philip Ball for BBC.

Ball also brings up the point that, even though people like Elon Musk are considering this theory, he most likely doesn’t view everything around him, including his friends and family, as characters of a computer game.

“Partly, he does not do so because it is impossible to hold that image in our heads for any sustained length of time. But more to the point, it is because we know deep down that the only notion of reality worth having is the one we experience, and not some hypothetical world ‘behind’ it,” Ball noted.

Perhaps we shouldn’t care simply because it cannot be proven at this time that comprehending this reality would change our thoughts or actions. And without this link, our reality can only continue to be meaningful in the way that we know it, real or not.

But, if we are indeed living in one, what happens when we become self-aware? What happens when we become aware of the matrix? Interesting to think about.

Picture Source.

About The Author

Alexa Erickson

Inspired by balance, Alexa finds that her true inner peace comes from executing a well-rounded lifestyle. An avid yogi, hiker, beach bum, music and art enthusiast, salad aficionado, adventure seeker, animal lover, and professional writer, she is an active individual who loves to express herself through the power of words.

Stillness in the Storm Editor's note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at sitsshow@gmail.comThank you for reading.

January 4th, 2017: Minor grammar corrections were made to the introductory portion of this article. 

Question -- What is the goal of this website? Why do we share different sources of information that sometimes conflicts or might even be considered disinformation? 
Answer -- The primary goal of Stillness in the Storm is to help all people become better truth-seekers in a real-time boots-on-the-ground fashion. This is for the purpose of learning to think critically, discovering the truth from within—not just believing things blindly because it came from an "authority" or credible source. Instead of telling you what the truth is, we share information from many sources so that you can discern it for yourself. We focus on teaching you the tools to become your own authority on the truth, gaining self-mastery, sovereignty, and freedom in the process. We want each of you to become your own leaders and masters of personal discernment, and as such, all information should be vetted, analyzed and discerned at a personal level. We also encourage you to discuss your thoughts in the comments section of this site to engage in a group discernment process. 

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." – Aristotle

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views Stillness in the Storm, the authors who contribute to it, or those who follow it. 

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