existence and me

Wow, that last post was a doozy. Summarizing it, I tried to say–dying is less of a big deal than it seems–nothing really gets destroyed, the bag of particles that makes up me, just gets rearranged into a more diffuse distribution. The concept of me is immortal, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is no difference between what is real and what isn’t. You say, there is too a difference–I am real, but the idea of me is not… But reread that last sentence, it is really very astonishing. You think you are real, but the death of you is just “your” particles floating about in a different way–you are just the *idea* of particles in a particular order. You are no more real than me defining you as a circle, and then creating a real you by putting a bunch of rocks in a circle. By the same token the idea of the circle, or of you, is just as real as you are.

The utterly profound way to think of reality is that ideas and reality are one and the same. Reality has no more meaning than an idea. When you die, it’s just a shuffling of the deck. The combination of particles and environment that made you, the idea of you, disappears, but no particles will disappear–the only thing that vanishes is that particular order. When we suffer loss of loved ones, we suffer loss of the idea, the particular arrangement of particles will not recur. I know I’m probably sounding rather bizarre here, but to the best of my abilities, I have concluded that this thinking is “true”, that is most likely from a global point of view.

The concept of existence as a distinct entity from non-existence becomes in this way of thinking becomes somewhat narrower than we might think. Here we are, full circle from the thinking about something arising from nothing. Existence can readily be defined as something, and non-existence can be defined as nothing. But Existence is really just one particular ordering and non-existence is another. One way to see this is by studying what it means to die–it’s just a different ordering–but you must realize that my statement is true, because we say that in one case we exist and in the other we don’t. There is basically no difference between existing and not existing!! (I need to throw in a caveat here that does not break this analysis but just needs to be mentioned–I am assuming that in one form or another the particles, or the equivalent energy is conserved. Standard physics says the energy-mass of a particular system will be conserved, although in extreme cases such as black holes we might see some odd permutations of this–but the basic concept of the idea is valid in the space-time we “exist” in.

So what the heck does it mean to realize that existence doesn’t really have significance over non-existence? Well, one thing is for sure–philosophizing over the meaning of existence, why we are here, and does God exist, and similar questions, takes on a whole new light when this realization is made. The realm of existence as different from non-existence is intriguingly very small using this analysis. But doggone it, when we are born or die, there is no question a major cataclysm occurs, there is definite change of some sort. We form or lose a particular pattern, an *idea* that has great meaning to us, the pattern that we call the “existence of me”. We really hate it when that idea vanishes.. uh actually I guess we dont hate it once the pattern of our existence vanishes, but we sure hate knowing that the pattern will vanish (that is, knowing we will die), and do everything possible to make the pattern last longer. That’s because that longing to preserve our existence is built into our pattern. You can see that it doesn’t have to be that way, but it is in order that the patterns can be self propagating/reproducing. A pattern that has the ability to produce similar patterns will not decimate itself if this urge to survive is built into the pattern–the Darwinian principle of survival.

What is so cool about this is it starts to answer the question about consciousness. I’ve always wondered why we seem to have that trait but a pile of rocks doesn’t… Does the fact that we have consciousness mean that there is a soul, or some entity separate from our existence (!), ie, the existence of our pattern of life. The answer has got to be no. Rocks dont have consciousness, among other things, that allows propagation, survival, and reproduction. So rocks won’t reproduce, and have no apparent consciousness. *BUT*, that’s only from our perspective when we look at rocks–it might be conscious if we look at the complete earth, or some such subsystem over the appropriate scale of time. Does my toenail have consciousness of itself–no, but the pattern it is part of does.

Now, what does all this say about God?

I suppose you’ll have to wait for the next post for the answer to everything…!


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