The Afterlife Dysfunction

Uploaded by AtheneWins on 31.07.2012

The afterlife paradox
Over the course of the past 100 years, we’ve had a wide array of paradigm-shifting scientific
discoveries. Many of which shake the foundations of how we see reality and some of which even
sound like they are science fiction:
We know that matter is 99% empty space and that quantum particles are zero-dimensional
We can verify that time-travel into the future is possible at high speeds.
We have quantum particles that can teleport through impenetrable walls, be in two places
at the same time and change their behavior when there is a conscious observer.
Quantum mechanics is much more than theories and interpretations. It provides undeniable
and mathematical proof that everything we know and experience works in ways that are
fundamentally surreal. And it isn’t the only field in science that is making us think
about our sense of reality.
Part 1
Neuroscience studies the nervous system and it has given us many insights about what is
still the most profound mystery in biology: consciousness. The definition proposed in
2012 is that it is the ‘sum of the electrical discharges occurring throughout the nervous
system’. When this activity becomes unusual due to, for example, brain injury, we experience
things very differently. One rare disorder that can occur in association with migraine
attacks and diabetes is called the Capgras delusion, which causes patients to believe
that close friends and relatives are actually impostors. Even when patients who suffer this
delusion seem to retain all their intellectual abilities, they will still insist and create
elaborate rationalizations to explain how their family and friends have been replaced
by frauds. Other disorders can cause patients to lose the ability to describe or perceive
the right half of people’s faces, but they will not be aware that they have this condition
and instead come up with inaccurate descriptions that they believe to be correct.
We traditionally and intuitively assume that our capacity for mathematical and rational
thinking gives us the ability to make objective distinctions. And while it is certainly responsible
for our incredible spectrum of intellectual and scientific progress, the same intellect
that can lead us to groundbreaking discoveries can just as well get us caught in delusions.
The underlying patterns of our consciousness define our entire perception of reality.
It also seems that our consciousness works more like a digital clock than an analogue
one. Rather than a constant flow of experience, our experiences could be broken up in intervals
or time-quanta of 0.042 seconds, each of which make up one moment of consciousness. This
is called quantization, it means that something can be broken up in small discrete building
blocks. Each state of consciousness consists of a certain amount of information and can
theoretically be stored on, for example, a hard drive. While not currently within reach,
we are seeing tremendous progress in research that is aimed at simulating the brain.
Some of the most reality-shattering discoveries of the past century haven’t even been absorbed
in mainstream culture yet, and what we have found in only the past decades is starting
to point to an understanding of consciousness that will change the way we look at life and
Part 2
In 2007, stem cell pioneer Robert Lanza proposed that time and space and even our entire reality
are not what we think they are. Criticized for being incomplete but at the same time
recognized as scientifically sound and potentially revolutionary by scientists ranging from Nobel
Laureates in Physiology to astrophysicists at NASA, the theory of biocentrism describes
reality as a process that fundamentally involves our consciousness. Lanza’s scientific theory
explains how, without consciousness: all matter dwells in an undetermined state of probability,
time has no real existence and space is just a concept we use to make sense of things.
If we look towards neuroscience and quantum mechanics to further fill in the blanks and
shortcomings of biocentrism, all that we are left with are quantized states of consciousness.
Reality, how we know it, does not exist. And if it had any sort of existence that we could
visualize, it would look something like this: An endless sea of static, of information in
which all probabilities exist. Imagining all these probabilities within a
zero-dimensional space without time is not easy. But it is perhaps as close as we’ll
ever come to imagining what reality really is.
Every possible chunk of information exists, including the chunks of information that perfectly
describe the moments of consciousness that we experience from one moment to the next.
In quantum mechanics, we have had theories of a holographic universe, where the entire
universe could be seen as a two-dimensional structure, containing all the information
that we seem to perceive in three dimensions. In a new model, all of existence is encoded
in quantized moments of consciousness that contain all of our experiences.
Every moment of experience is a reality in itself and we experience time as obvious and
straightforward, but with each moment of consciousness containing a different set of memories and
experiences, it wouldn’t matter if our timeline is completely scrambled. Tomorrow could happen
before yesterday. Our memories are dependent on the information encoded within each moment
of consciousness and can only tell us something about the reality we experience right now.
Any perception of time or continuity is actually an illusion.
This is one of the reasons why Robert Lanza’s recent theory was considered to be ‘a wake-up
call’ by NASA’s astrophysicist David Thompson: when we look at the big bang or when we observe
how quantum particles jump back and forth in time, we have the arrogance of assuming
that time simply moves forward in a straight line and we then go on to see these time-anomalies
as unusual and counter-intuitive. But there is no indication that our perception and memories
define the arrow of time.
All of this seems to suggest that our reality would completely disintegrate or, at the very
least, become highly inconsistent and random at any moment. But the reason why we experience
a rigid world with deeply structured laws of nature is because consistent patterns evolve
according to mathematical principles. Since every possible pattern can exist within infinity,
the only connection between two independent quantized moments of consciousness is the
information that overlaps. Smaller or more compressed units are more common and the laws
that we are subject to naturally emerge and bring about our consistent reality as it is
the most probable one.
Patterns can be found in any type of chaos and since very complex structures are required
for consciousness to exist, the reality that we experience evolves along the probable branches
of its own specific pattern.
If neural disorders such as Capgras syndrome have taught us anything, it’s that we have
an incredible ability to rationalize the oddities in our reality. There is one claim though,
that becomes hard to refute: that the pattern of quantized moments of experience is inherently
infinite and, statistically, an afterlife is inevitable.