Top scientists and philosophers have been debating this topic for quite some time now…wondering whether the universe we live in could be a simulation. Let’s examine the key features of this idea and leave it to you to figure out the rest:
- DIVINE SIMULATION: The idea of the universe being some sort of a simulation has been explored in science fiction, literature and philosophy for a long time. Several millennia ago ancient Vedic texts have proposed that the entire universe is a dream like simulation emerging like a lotus from the navel of Narayana or Mahavishnu as he sleeps and dreams up Brahma, and Brahma in turns unleashes the entire universe into repetitive cycles of creation and destruction in each of his days and nights. Fast forward to the 19th century when Edgar Allan Poe once asked, ‘Is all that we see or seem, But a dream within a dream?‘
2. VIRTUALLY REAL: The 1964 science fiction novel Simulacron-3 by by Daniel F. Galouye brought forward a world of virtual reality where a simulation is so real that the characters within it live human lives just as we do unaware that they are infact simulations. This book became the inspiration for movies such as The Thirteenth Floor that explored the idea of simulation within a simulation where simulated beings can simulate other universes within their own simulations. If the world really could be some sort of a limited simulation with a digital edge as shown in this movie, what about our own world with its amazing electromagnetic auroras at the poles of our own planet?
3. A CRYOGENIC DREAM: Does simulation necessarily have to be a computerised one? Could our dreams be a simulation. How about the day to day events we engross ourselves in, the places we visit, the adventures we experience? In the 1981 published Simulacra and Simulations, by Jean Baudrillard which was also an inspiration for The Matrix movies, the author writes, ‘ Disneyland is a perfect model of all the entangled orders of simulation. To begin with it is a play of illusions and phantasms: pirates, the frontier, future world, etc….. By an extraordinary coincidence (one that undoubtedly belongs to the peculiar enchantment of this universe), this deep-frozen infantile world happens to have been conceived and realized by a man who is himself now cryogenized: Walt Disney, who awaits his resurrection at minus 180 degrees centigrade.’ Walt Disney, it turned out, was not actually cryogenized. Yet the 1997 came the film ‘Open Your Eyes‘ featuring a character who is dreaming up his complex ‘reality’ while actually sleeping in a cryogenic state. So could we be in a sleep like state awaiting our awakening while being so attached to this dream like world we are living in?
4. A REALITY SHOW CALLED LIFE: Could we be characters simulated by a higher reality being who is actually having the time of his life watching all of us go through our lives? In the 20th century The Truman Show made many of us imagine we could be watched right now. Frightening? You bet! True? You’ll never know until you find out!
5. THE AI ANGLE: Nick Bostrum in 2003 proposed the Simulation argument based on the idea of a future ‘super-intelligent’ civilisation that could create Artificial Intelligence (AI) of powers so enormous that they could infact simulate worlds much like ours. This made many of us think, what if, we were already in one such simulation and what if we were infact a simulation, with all our ‘naadis’ and ‘chakras’ and our ‘etheric’ blueprint being merely the digital energy channels flowing through our simulated bodies?
6. INTELLIGENT PATTERNS AND LEAPS: Intelligent Design theorists quote the complex and specified information content in DNA (which we now know can store more data than most of our computer systems), and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago to propose that ‘Certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.’
7. AN EXTERNAL CREATOR: Intelligent Design might have been a disputed theory, but if we look around us there are ample examples of a natural intelligence within the universe, whether it be the fractals of nature or the fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio seen in each growing plant, whether the spores of cauliflowers, spiral leaves or the petals of a flower. The infinite permutations and combinations in nature and the universe seem to be a play of numbers. Creationists try to use this as an excuse to propose that there is an ‘external’ God being who has created the entire world through this intelligent design. Could the 216 lettered or numbered name of ‘God’ be really hidden in the ‘fibonacci’ cube of Metatron. On the other hand Simulation Theorists hold that keeping God aside, nature has indications that we might be living in a complex life like computer simulation created by a higher intelligence which is no more divine than it is AI. In either case the universe does seem to be a mathematical wonder to say the least.
8. SELF-SIMULATED MIND REALITY: The New Age metaphysicist would be likely to agree that the Law of Attraction does work and we all do seem to somehow manifest our life experiences through our conscious as well as subconscious thoughts. Decades ago this was called ‘witchcraft’ and believed to be an ‘occult’ power possessed by some individual ‘witches’ and ‘wizards’ who could change reality at will. Today we are all discovering our our inner power and attract love, health, success and money our way. Well if we do seem to be able to change the permutations and combinations of our life from moment to moment through mindfulness then what does it tell us about the nature of our reality? Could it be a simulation fed through our own minds, somewhat like those latest AI websites that self-design based on the text content that you feed in? Is our conscious and subconscious mind constantly providing the data to this ‘project’ called the universe?
9. ARE WE THE ULTIMATE DIVINE CREATOR: If the world is a simulation created through our minds as we have the power within to change any aspect of our life at will, could we infact be the ultimate higher world simulators of our own reality projecting mentally in this lower world. Is our Higher Self the Creator itself who is dreaming up this entire universe including our own lower existences in these infinite incarnations and reincarnations from time to time and place to place. Could meditation be the way we literally ‘wake up’ our inner ‘Narayana’ whose subconscious messages we are channelling all the time in the form of this energy called existence. After all the dreamer and the dream are no different. It’s the dreamers own subconscious that becomes his or her dream and even sends messages to help him or her awaken. Perhaps the divine lotus of this ‘divine’ dream-world is our own Sahasrara or crown chakra which becomes the ‘flower’ of life and the fibonacci pattern of the universe, leading us back to the wormhole or ‘vishnu naabhi’ – the navel of creation? Back to our real self!
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Swati Prakash is a spiritual author who can be followed on www.amazon.com/author/swatiprakash