Our Haunted Planet
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Our Haunted Planet

The Associative Universe

Why does everything work?

A Photo of A Sequential Universe

If you ask a doctorate educated scientist that doesn’t have a preexisting religious bias, they’ll usually revert to going on about photons, waveguides, DNA producing proteins, etc. A lot of good technical jargon, but it doesn’t get at the crux of the question, all of it is simply an explanatory model, a story about how things are, no different than the myths of Homer except their justification. The philosophically trained scientist will usually reply that they just don’t know, and all the work they do doesn’t really require knowing how it works, but rather assume that it does just work, to make the predictions that are necessary for research. A shaman living alone in the jungle might respond with their pantheistic view of the life force of the universe itself.

Modern materialism dictates that there are no connections between disparate events, what occurs in time and space is purely localized. This is 18th century physical thinking, however, from the days of Maxwell and Rutherford. Relativity and furthermore quantum mechanics turned this notion on its head. Now motion itself and how one perceives others is relative to the observer’s position respective to the observed.¹ Most physicists like to deny the consciousness-related aspects of QM but they have to admit that the probabilistic nature of it is strange compared to the mostly deterministic nature of the rest of physics, and the notions of entanglement and non-locality cause problems for the local view of physics within relativity, a good example of this incompatibility between QM and localistic interpretations is Bell’s theorem. I’m not going to place my article on a scientific basis since I’m not qualified enough to make a coherent explanation. Rather I’m going to place this article on a philosophical basis, philosophic thinking is the basis of all other reasoning, and so it is from here rather than an empiricist approach I will begin. Why does anything happen to us at all?

We go through our lives and many strange and unusual things occur that really shouldn’t. We’re born to parents that seem wildly incompatible for each other, and yet still some wonder why the divorce rate is so high. Millions of your ancestors mated with each other to produce the combination of animal and spirit you see in the mirror. Life forming through abiogenesis is very unlikely, shouldn’t have happened, in fact I don’t think it was created via a random process at all, but I’ll get into that another time. Unlikely survival, unlikely odds that you even exist. In fact, you shouldn’t exist, nothing should really, and yet it does.

I must refrain from using the frequentist interpretation of probability here and instead use a bayesian one. How confident would you be, if I asked you tomorrow when you went to a crowded train station you’ve never been to before if you think you’ll meet someone you’ve known from a decade ago who you barely even knew then. Would you bet money on it, your life, your mother’s life? There’s 7+ billion people in the world, a little over 300 million in the United States, even accounting for population density and cultural influences the odds are very low that you’ll be there at the same time and place, unless you’re in a low density area with a similar culture, like you would see in small towns and cities in the middle of the country.

I think this point illustrates something straightforward, that time and space aren’t what we make them out to be. That the phrase, it’s a small world may mean more than anything you’ve thought before.

[1] For a simple explanation of SR I would look at “Relativity Simply Explained” by Gardner, unfortunately, I don’t have any quantum physics recommendations.

Synchronicity

Jung had a term for very unlikely events that shouldn’t exist but do, synchronicity, we in the English language have a similar term for it in the positive sense, serendipity. Jung developed the concept from his own synchronicities like the Scarab Beetle incident. There’s an uncountable number of romance movies and feel-good stories about the phenomenon. I have a recent story about seeing someone from college who I knew in one of the busiest airports in America, I was with a coworker who saw a girl he knew from high school in the middle of DC, where he should have met nobody. In modern physicalism, none of this should happen for the chances are literally one in a million.

A black Scarab beetle
A Scarab Beetle

Synchronicities abound in our lives if we look for them, Sharon Rawlette in her book goes over many of these coincidences, including her own Jungian Scarab Beatle synchronicity. I myself had a coincidence while writing this article, in that, her kindle version book seemed to order itself and somehow ended up on my kindle reader list without me ever actually ordering it despite the fact that I knew the book existed. I wasn’t planning on reading it until I’ve caught up with my long list of other stuff I want to read. Now maybe it was some guy who happened to find my 12 character long cryptographically secure amazon password and just so happened to order a random book that relates to this article or taking Occam seriously here, it just ordered itself.

Jung titled his book on synchronicity, “Synchroncity: An Acausal Connecting Principle” in that it connects two events without any apparent cause. But what if there were a cause? However, in what we might term the spiritual realm. A cause invisible to us, but lying just a few feet in front of us in the unmanifested world. I’ll get to this point in a bit, but first, we must delve deeper into quantum synchronicity.

Randonauting

What if there was a way to create synchronicities, well there’s an app for that. There’s this new app going around called Randonautica, where a user can choose a location using a QRNG (Quantum Random Number Generator) which is located at the ANU in Australia, which selects a series of random numbers based upon properties of specific particles within the quantum vacuum. A series of coordinates is generated, areas with a high concentration of coordinates is called an attractor, and a lack of them, a void. The idea is that the statistical significance of a lack of points or a concentration of them indicates a location of importance.

A heat map generated by a QRNG.

Many have found that their intention gets them exactly what they want. And there are some anecdotes of intentions like death leading them to areas that had deaths, or even real-life murders. These can all be too easily dismissed, but many others like on the randonaut subreddit show examples of eerily coincidences that can’t be easily explained away through hand waving statistical arguments. The mere fact that the attractors and voids are so statistically unlikely, implies some sort of significance to the location. Mine usually gets a z-score, which is a measure of statistical likelihood compared to the mean, of 4.0 and above.

What can be made of all of this? the use of intention to achieve specific results while disregarding non-pragmatic aspects is a key component of chaos magick. Randonauting is essentially a magickal process, from which results can be gained that are in line with the intention. The heat map of attraction in a sense is the map of intention, how similar is a certain location to the intention of the querent. However sometimes the location is a place of significance to the querent, and they associate the past location with their intention. Somehow the quantum random generator located thousands of miles away in Australia encodes the information that pertains to the querent’s life, and in a little bit, I’ll explain how this might happen.

A Mistaken Metaphysics

Bernardo Kastrup in his many books and articles has laid out a fairly good case for the problems of modern scientific materialism. Within the conception of most materialists, things occur sequentially, events flow from past to present with the cause in the past and effect in the future. For those not literarily inclined, he has many good interviews as well. Bernardo defends a hybrid of objective and subjective idealism, within idealism all is mind. The universe itself is a cosmic mind of sorts, however, one that likely isn’t like ours but much more instinctual. One thing that mind is really good at however is associations, it takes two ideas and finds the connections between them, this is where synchronicity and coincidence lie.

If it is true that the universe itself is a mind, then what does that mean for everything in it. It could mean that everything is associated with everything else, space itself would be a form of association where things are only next to each other because they appear next to each other. The information does not even necessarily need to be stored sequentially within the “physical” substrate that stores the information. Think of a video game where the data for the save game could be stored across multiple mediums including the cloud and a hard drive. Time would be much the same, with events temporally separated not necessarily being actually separate, and thus a method for the future to influence the past can be explained.

A Vallee

It always excites me when I can go into a story that relates to my former profession, and here we go into a man I greatly admire, the computer scientist Jacques Vallee. Vallee in several talks has repeatedly put forth his information-centric model rather than the current sequential model we have today. The model of today used in physics and mathematics is a cartesian one, of numbers sequentially along a number line. 1, 2, 3, we perceive everything this way, from events in time which we call linear time. Problems with this arise when we look to our memories, however. Can you remember events sequentially, unlikely, most of our memories work associatively, events occur as related to others. A smell of a burger reminds you of your mom’s cooking, or a little chef’s cooking reminds you of home. We also see this non-linearity in dreams, where one dream morphs into another without continuity. Vallee asserts that it all fits an information-theoretic model better, where information is stored as it is related to other pieces of information. Like instead of storing my mail in sequential PO boxes, I stored them in boxes that represent my birthday and my mother’s birthday.

Donald Hoffman, a social scientist; who has become popular in recent years, has done experiments, albeit computational ones, which show that evolutionary it is highly likely that we evolved mechanisms that prevent us from seeing reality but rather a screen of perception. This is just a modern scientific rehashing of older mystical and occult notions, going back to Plato’s cave and the hidden lokam of Vedic mythology. And of course the all-pervasive gnostic notion of a false reality with a divine pleroma behind it. If this reality which materialistic science takes so seriously is such an illusion, then the reality behind it must be an associative one. Where information gets retrieved based not upon proximity, but association.

Tarot, Is It Real? And Other Chaotic Systems

Mitch Horowitz has an interesting writeup on his thoughts on tarot. Everybody likely has a theory on how it works, and I also have a similar but different view from him on this. That of chaos, and of intention. If you think back to the Randonauting section, the way Randonauting works is that a series of quantum random locations are generated. Areas with a high or low concentration of points are considered statistically significant, and therefore more likely to have a history associated with the intention. Similarly, with Tarot, or any other divination system, an intention is associated with the output of a quasi-random system, whose significance is then determined by the reader.

The only major difference with randonauting is that this process is repeated thousands of times when using the randonaut app. When I say quasi-random, I mean it in the sense that all “randomness” really is, is a deterministic system with a time-varying outcome that is unpredictable. In that sense, Randonauting is no different than Tarot or the I Ching because there’s an intention, which is associated with the series of symbols represented by the divination system or the series of points on a map, all of which could be significant, but we only pay attention to the most important ones.

The Unmanifest and Manifest

We finally get to the point I was talking about earlier, where we go into how this all really works (maybe). Where the acausal connecting principle lies, but first we must get into holograms. If you haven’t read it yet, I would highly recommend The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, who wrote the book after his own paranormal experiences. It’s easily in my top 5 book list, and for a good reason, it postulates the Pribam-Bohm hypothesis. It connects consciousness to the brain, by postulating that the brain is a holographic information storage device, but not only the brain, but the entire universe itself is also.

There’s good reason, to believe in a holographic theory of the universe related to phenomenon around black holes and other complicated matters, I’ll leave Leonard Susskind to explain better. A physicist who Talbot references heavily, David Bohm also believed in a holographic physics and created a metaphysical ontology to back this up. His version was called the implicate and explicate order, I use the terms manifest and unmanifest, alluding to the act of magickal manifestation, but the terms are used the same. The implicate order was the holographic realm, which contained all the information of the whole but in an encoded format. Similar to how a CD using reflective notches encodes binary data about all the information of its source. But instead of each notch just holding a bit, it holds all the information that the other notches hold which is the whole CD itself.

What the implicate nature of a hologram looks like, notice the notches like a CD.

In a sense, the explicate is what we see, and the implicate, where we’re inspired. The implicate unfolds into the explicate as an unending unity that is constantly in motion. All the information in one part of the explicate contains all the information of the rest of the explicate because it is all ultimately folded into the implicate which contains everything. An analogy I use is that of a paper sheet. When the sheet is unfolded and flat, it’s still just one paper sheet, I can crinkle it into a ball, if I apply enough force, a ball that is really, really, small, even small enough to become a singularity, and form a minuscule black hole. An infinitely small ball of crinkled paper is a thing without space, but yet it contains all the information that was written on the paper. In a sense, an invisible order from which all things contained can arise.

“Ultimately, all moments are really one, therefore now is an eternity.”

David Bohm

Three origami birds, with blue, red, and orange colors.
Maybe instead of a ball of paper, it’s folded up like a pretty origami model.

The holographic theory to me is exciting because it can provide an explanatory model for all paranormal phenomenon no matter if it is an incomplete explanatory model which it most certainly is, because of its human origins. Remote viewing then isn’t a signal sent to the brain, but rather a perception of the implicate. I could learn everything I wanted about the possible civilizations around Gliese 581 just by perceiving the implicate. The implicate however is fickle, and it’s unlikely like any data channel to have 100% accuracy, some bits will get flipped, and we get a partly inaccurate view of the phenomenon in question. This is why remote viewing, telepathy, or any other implicate order method of communication is not accurate all the time.

It is within the implicate that we find our acausal connecting principle the hidden order which connects everything. I believe we find this order when we take DMT trips, meditate, and when we die, meeting your maker is simply meeting the implicate order from which all things arise. Not that it’s mechanistic necessarily, on the contrary, I think since it’s holographic, it is a hologram of our own mind. When we stare into the abyss of the darkness of the mind, we are staring into space, fleeting thoughts within like the countless star systems that inhabit the void of space. That my friends is the source of The Associative Universe.

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