[Note to my readers: I know this is super complex so just do your best!. I am sharing because I think this is the most revolutionary thinking happening right now, which is focused on actual paradigmatic change and not more incremental deck chair choreography.]
Professor Donald Hoffman is the undeniable front-runner in terms of developing the scientific context for a paradigm shift in our understanding of reality. He equates our experiential realm – what we see, hear, taste, touch, smell – as akin to playing a video game like Grand Theft Auto.
Wherein we have an experiential layer that is easily comprehended by the human senses and navigable for all our wants and needs. But which is only the interface that lies ‘in front’ of the vast and complex computational sausage factory that generates it.
He has rooted his studies and theorem in evolutionary game theory and simulations which prove – through mathematical formulae – that historically, in evolutionary terms, this total mis-understanding of the nature of this ‘reality’ we are living has been essential to our survival. As he writes in the Abstract for his 2014 paper The Origin of Time In Conscious Agents, the “interface theory of perception proposes that:
Taking it further in a podcast with ZDogg (linked below), Hoffman says that in evolutionary terms “organisms that see reality as it actually is have lower odds of survival than organisms of equal complexity that see none of reality and are just tuned to fitness payoffs. In general, fitness payoffs destroy information about the structure of reality.”
For those of us who have been working – from a non-scientific basis – on the development of a new understanding of the actual operational nature of this spacetime reality, this has profound implications. Why?
Because, we understand that we are locked into an extinction algorithm by the market and political authorities, and their proxies, which assert that we know all there is about reality and how to change it (voting, investing etc). And Hoffman’s theory offers a potential for accessing the gears that generate our paradigm and working from the inside out – instead of the outside in as our current authorities prescribe. Which they do because it keeps us locked in a deterministic framework that they essentially manage and control.
As Hoffman rightly indicates during the podcast:
We’ve become Wizards at playing Grand Theft Auto. We’ve been come stunningly good. We used to be really bad at playing our interface and then we died from not being able to take out the problems in the body and so forth. So we’ve become wizards at GTA.
But now I’m someone who discovers, Grand Theft Auto, that’s just a program on the screen, that you’re seeing. There’s all the circuits and software behind it, and they actually get access to the code. And they realize that they can hack the code. They can start to do stuff to Grand Theft Auto that the Wizards are going to go, “that is magical, I had no idea that you could do that.”
So the Wizards themselves will be left in the dust and that’s what this new level of seeing the conscious agents behind objective reality is going to open up a Pandora’s Box. It will be allowing us to get behind the screen and get into the source code of the game. And even change the parameters perhaps of space and time. The technology that comes out of this is going to be truly truly stunning. All of our science and scientific tools have been about the interface and how it works. And we’ve been wonderful at that. The tools of science are up to the job of going beyond the interface and looking at this realm of conscious agents behind the interface and then reverse engineering that whole thing and playing our interface.
So this is going to bring a lot of responsibility to us because once we understand the mapping from conscious agents into our space-time interface, we understand how to hack it, who knows what kind of technologies are going to open up.
It will leave current scientific technology in the dust. It is going to be a whole new level.
Historically, the study and illumination of the mechanisms which generate our experiential realm have been labeled and derided as ‘mystical’. The study and practice of accessing those mechanisms and manipulating reality have been known as ‘magic’, labeled heretical and punished barbarically.
In this context, you can see why the past Authorities have done everything in their power to destroy any and all theorists or practitioners of magic and actual mysticism (not the banal and benign New Age kind), which they mostly did.
Or pushed it very far underground.
But with the failure of science to construct a viable theory of the nature of reality, we are now seeing unprecedented msm/scientific think pieces that are posing new and entirely revolutionary ways of understanding reality. In the past week we saw this Salon piece on panpsychism which is another heretical deconstruction of what we are experiencing (though one that Hoffman – who already contends with the derision of his peers on his own theory, which is rooted in mathematical theorem – feels lacks scientific rooting). Or this, from Scientific American, which places the conundrum of quantum physics next to Plato’s Cave – though predictably mocking the ancient philosopher for his certainty about the nature of reality – which my readers know is one of my favorite mystical narratives.
Hence my renewed excitement about Hoffman, who I have been reading for years and who places himself outside of the regressive scientific academy that has captured his peers.
If you are awakening to the dire truth: that we are responding to civilizational threats in highly authoritarian/deterministic ways that only serve to edify current desktop-paradigm hierarchies, this is your wake up call.
There is a vast new territory opening to those who authentically want to CHANGE reality instead of simply modifying our relation it with incremental adaptations that have nothing to do with the actual mechanism that generates it, while increasingly empowering those authorities who are most threatened by a paradigm shift that would enfranchise all people in a new level of agency and autonomy and… yes, reality creation.
For me, the impetus for this work is rooted in the learning or discovery of liberationist modalities. I am always surprised that we don’t see more (r)evolutionary movements investigating these scientific approaches to engineering new social, political, and economic outcomes for their people. Except of course, the Black Quantum Futurists, who are my absolute heroes and definitely on the bleeding edge of quantum liberationism.
Are you going to be a muggle or a wizard? What was once a fanciful and mostly rhetorical question is increasingly one we will all need to consider as the time for deep system change moves toward us. As my readers know, this is something I relate to the surfacing hyperobject that is the quantum society.
In my view, we are indeed living in a profoundly complex and beautifully-rendered interface that overlays and masks the quantum engine that generates our reality. But this interface is not just a desktop, it is a sentient layer. Call it (big N) Nature. As the mystics have long told us, it has volition and purpose and is coded with its own set of game mechanics designed to entice its players to a new level of self- and ontological-awareness.
What is more beautiful than the idea of a cosmic mother urging her offspring keystone species to level up through the simulation of an experiential realm that is unraveling in cataclysmic proportions?
Our recorded history is one great evolutionary thrust, which has brought us to this moment of profound crisis but also, as Hoffman repeats ad nauseum, of great potential. Science has been miraculous in its applications — it got us this far, and (amazingly) with a vastly limited understanding the ‘meta workings’ of our world — and it is perfectly staged to embolden a new generation of pioneers who have the incentive to break from the dogmas of scientism and embrace an entirely new approach to decoding our world. This is our moment. We can either remain in our Cartesian mode and die with those ancient certainties… or break out of the orthodoxies of the old world to embrace a new approach that finally unites the false duality of science and spirituality, into a hyper-modern scientific spirituality, to solve the great mystery of our world.
And in so doing, secure our future within it.