Is life a computer simulation?


Submitted in response to reading Andrew Collins's article GODS, GRAILS AND MORPHIAN CONTACT, Gary Osborn, co-author of THE SERPENT GRAIL with Philip Gardiner, asks is reality updating itself constantly to accommodate new thoughts and ideas, not just in the here and now but in the past as well? Read what he has to say in this debate ...


Is life a computer simulation? Well ask philosopher Nick Bostrom. He says our lives:

' . . . could well be programmes developed by a post-human society living in what we think of as the future.'
'At some point, probably in this century computers will become capable of mimicking what we call consciousness. The rest follows logically. Once there's enough computing power to simulate consciousness, creating an environment for it to interact with would be easy. Simulating an entire universe down to the minutest level would be a waste of resources; you would only need to simulate to a degree where the inhabitants didn't notice any irregularities. There would be no point filling in every microscopic detail, or the minutiae of distant astronomical objects, unless someone decided to look at them. Then the creators could fill in the necessary details on an ad-hoc basis. This recalls whether a tree exists when no one is looking at it; and it might explain why "reality" at the quantum level appears so strange.'[1]

Really? - You mean 'strange,' as in how energy takes small, quantum steps; fixed at certain values, as if all things are "snapped" to different frequency-energy grids, just as pixels and rendered objects are "snapped to grid" in computer art programmes?

However, if we are living in a virtual simulation, why is it that I have to continuously endure such trivial discomforts as a virtual itchy nose for instance? - And why do I have to suffer virtual sinus headaches, virtual asthma, virtual hay fever and other virtual allergies? Are these things really necessary?

I remember in 1993, my brother saying that the sun, the moon, the planets, the stars and the infinite space of the universe might not really exist - that it might all be an illusion; an appropriate "backdrop" or a "stage-setting" for our particular virtual-construct here in this particular dimension.

He added: "We create it all: the complex nature of these things and their history, by our constant observation and focus upon them: the results of our observations adapting themselves to our expectations - which in turn have adapted themselves to the historical mythic reality of the consensus."

If this is so, then these heavenly bodies would follow the natural, subtle and hidden, archetypal forces of our own consciousness, which is likely to hide the truth behind all the increasingly complex illusory patterns we see and which become more complex as we observe them further - and all according to our beliefs and expectations.
As Paul said - predating the above statement by Nick Bostrom:

"If we think of the repetitive 'blank space' of our universe as a 'back-drop' or 'stage-setting,' then what immediately comes to mind are those simple background scenes we see in Hannah-Barbera cartoons. The background is usually repetitive and simple compared to the intricate movements of the cartoon characters . . . until we come across a scene which requires us to take a closer look, and then the background becomes a little more colourful, detailed and complex."

I remember turning to look at him with my mouth open.

"Just a thought" he said smiling and shrugging his shoulders.

I have wondered about the so-called "Dark Matter" which makes up 90% of the universe, and which seems to be potential energy/information that hasn't been activated as yet. This 90% seems to be linked to the 90-odd percent of "Junk DNA" - again potential information that hasn't yet been activated - maybe the reason why most of us only use 10% of our potential brainpower?

As we will see, if today's theoretical physicists are correct, then we are creating our own reality as we go along . . . and we are also creating our own history.

I can't help thinking that when the first large bone was dug out of the ground, that this was the moment when the story of the dinosaurs and all their history began. The thought that we have created and elaborated on the history of the dinosaurs by our constant search for more bones, which we then create by our expectations of finding them - seems absurd, I know . . . but try proving me wrong.

All kinds of exotic species of dinosaur now exist - but not in our own time frame - Oh-oh no . . . that would be too dangerous from our point of view. But saying this, some people have pondered over the thought that man could have been around when the dinosaurs were around and its no surprise to find reports of people finding 60,000,000-year-old footprints found in rock.

The history of civilisations are not exempt from this creativity of ours: If we believe that we have evolved from primates and that the evolution of man has been a 'gradual process' then we are going to find proof of this; we will then uncover all kinds of primitive paraphernalia associated with the gradual rise of civilisations - i.e., an embryonic ascent from simple to more complex forms of development in which the earliest form of writing was found to be simple pictographs known as hieroglyphs which gradually developed into cuneiform script and then to the modern style of writing we know today.

However, if we get bored with the above, and want to "boldly go where no man has gone before" by believing that the ancients possessed an advanced technology handed down to them from the time of "Atlantis," or maybe given to them from "Pleiadian extraterrestrials", then we will also begin to find evidence for this as if the energy/information in our surrounding reality morphs itself to suit our beliefs. When discovering this new evidence we are often confounded as to why we never noticed it before.

To support what I am saying, I am amused by the fact that I may have actually discovered an example of something that has been caught in the act of 'morphing' - and I report this with "tongue firmly in cheek."
The photo below is of a bas-relief from inside the temple of Osiris built by Seti I at Abydos, Egypt. So many different photographs of the cartouche exist that the possibility that this image comes from a photograph that has been digitally touched up is nonexistent.

Now who can fail to notice a figure that looks like a "helicopter;" something next to it that some say is a "submarine," - really a hieroglyph in the form of a hand - and below that something that looks like a spaceship drawn by my five year-old nephew? Well it's not surprising that this particular relief has sparked off another minor controversy between Egyptologists and UFO enthusiasts.

Egyptologists are saying that it is a 're-carving:' that someone filled in the stone to replace some of the hieroglyphs. The technical term is 'palimpsest' - the explanation being, that when the filling falls out, bits of the old and new glyphs overlap and form strange glyphs or figures.

Mmm, it's possible I suppose, because if you look closely you can see the outline of a previously-carved falcon-like figure just below and in front of the "helicopter" - so yeah, maybe. But doesn't this just show that there is enough potential information here to suit both camps? As always someone will come along to explain it - and then again, the explanation will be based on the person's beliefs and will become an "undeniable truth" as more people see it and believe it.

But who can really dispute the possibility that the reality we are living in is made-up of information that conforms to our beliefs, and that the information in and on the relief is in fact morphing itself to suit the new believers who are growing in number all the time and who believe that an ancient technology once existed that may have been far in advance of our own?

As far as I know, no one has come up with this explanation. And although some would say that to some extent I am "playing with the reader's mind", what I am saying is 'thought provoking' all the same because it cannot be determined one way or another - and this my friends is the 'uncertainty principle' in action - something which is thought to only exist at the quantum level.

As we will go on, we will find that the so-called "truth" only exists in 'uncertainty.' The moment when we feel "certain" that we have discovered the "truth" - then that's the time when the truth moves into uncertainty again. If we are intelligent enough, then we will find that we were merely playing with the "shed skin" of the truth, and in the place where the truth once was or might have been.

If we really are creating our reality as we go along and if all the information of the universe is within us and also spread out around us, then we contain all the ingredients we need to construct any scenario we like. All the seeds or 'information strands' are there for us to use, manipulate and exploit in any way we choose. We can "cut," "paste," connect, disconnect, and reconnect together all kinds of information to create all and any scenario or "theatrical production" that agrees with our 'internal dialogue' and the way that we perceive the world.

If we believe that there is a conspiracy, then the information, which validates our belief will then "pop-up" everywhere and it will then weave itself together to create a scenario in which we will then find ourselves playing a key part.

In truth there is only the 'Eternal Now' or 'Present.' From this point we can create the future and we can also create or 'recreate' the past - as shown in the example of the Abydos bass relief and the so-called "Face" on Mars.
I remember my brother and I having a conversation about how we seem to be creating reality every moment from the point of 'Now!' However, like 'Truth,' the point of 'Now' is a paradox, because while in our normal everyday consciousness, we cannot really capture the 'Now' - it has passed before we can ever know it or feel it as something in itself - although a 'peak experience', a 'flash of insight' or a 'synchronicity experience' is evidence of our being somewhere closer to capturing it - even though we don't remember the actual moment when we did this.
Paul and I chatted about how we can also alter the past, as new evidence will suddenly appear that will reflect these alterations.

History then can change dramatically according to our beliefs about it - especially if a large percentage of the collective are expressing these beliefs.

The more people who believe that a certain 'alternative' scenario once happened as regards a specific 'key point' in history, then the evidence for that particular scenario will begin to show up everywhere. At first, this evidence will be subtle inasmuch that the evidence seems not to violate the initial events and will always agree with them. But after a while all these subtle changes to the old pattern will coalesce together to drastically transform the version of events that was once believed - even transforming the evidence relating to the former version of events.
If needed, and just in case we notice it, the new version will always have enough room to contain the old version within it so as not to contradict it - bringing it to a new level of understanding that will help transform the present paradigm. Therefore the past affects the present and the present affects the past and all from the 'Eternal Now' - which always seems to be just out of our grasp - most of us being unconscious of it. (This will be explained later.)
My brother brought up the "Jack the Ripper" case as an example of the 'uncertainty principle' working within certain events in our so-called "history."

Because the murderer was never caught and has not been properly identified, the 'uncertainty principle,' that has been brought to this brief but highly dramatic period in our history, turns these events into a creative medium for the collective; a testing-ground for our creativity, which of course can be moulded to fit any pattern we choose. The uncertainty surrounding the murderer - which is our 'focal point' - creates all the ever-changing theoretical scenarios based around the initial events - all of which seem quite valid in their own way.

One could say that the collective consciousness seems to have some influence over reality - even over what has happened in the past, especially in regard to the smallest details. These alterations or changes to the old pattern of events which show up right now or very recently in new research as if the space-time continuum had been disturbed "way back then", are due to the power of the Collective Consciousness.

Just like the 'Rosenthal Effect' (which we will be looking at in the next chapter) evidence keeps cropping up, which seems to fit any and all suppositions. Again this shows evidence that we can also create the "past," and it would seem that the intensity regarding the 'transforming evidence' which seems to morph or 'shapeshift' itself to agree with all and any theory, depends on the 'strength of numbers' regarding those of us who are focusing on a particular theory about the said event.

The J.F. Kennedy assassination - something else we will be looking at later - is another case in point . . . a brief but highly dramatic event in our history which expresses this 'uncertainty principle.' For example, many of us ask who was behind the assassination? Again all scenarios and theories tend to agree with the initial events and each to a surprising degree.

All the phenomena associated with the paranormal or the mystical is the greatest area of debate this is because certain elements of 'paranormal phenomena' express the 'uncertainty principle' - i.e., does the paranormal exist or not? . . Meaning that all the phenomena associated with the paranormal and the mystical is the 'uncertainty principle' at work. This 'Uncertainty Principle' - also expressed in physics to indicate the paradox that exists in 'particle/wave duality,' is one of the key attributes of the very Centre from which we are creating our binary-processed, dual reality in the first place.

The Source or Centre is neither 'This' nor 'That' . . . and neither is it wave or particle, but both. It is what that great artist-mystic, Austin Osman Spare termed the "Neither-Neither."

In the same way, it's possible that our own minds are also creating the existence of UFOs, visiting ETs and what some people call the "alien abduction" syndrome. It would certainly tie in with all the many different kinds of "alien" that were reported to have been seen since the late '50s. From the limited media attention given to the UFO subject in the last two decades, it's not surprising that we now identify only one kind, the so-called "Greys" - as if people's minds are now tuned-in to expect this one species of "alien" which has now become an archetype.

It gives a whole new meaning to the old saying "Ah . . . it's all in your mind" - but this doesn't mean that the latest mythic reality of "ETs," "aliens" and so-called "alien abductions" is any less real - and especially if the truth be, that everything is all in our mind. I'm certain that we create everything in our reality - all of us being unconscious "co-producers," directors, "actors" and "extras."

However, if we do create our own reality, then why is it that most of the time we are working against ourselves? - As in the irony of someone going to the cashpoint to draw out £30 and then going back to the car to find a parking fine for £30. This kind of absurdity is called "Sod's Law" - but it smacks of some kind of 'perverse precognition' working behind the scenes. Does this mean that by going to draw out £30 the person already knew deep down that he would need that £30 to pay the parking fine? . . And before you ask . . . yeah, that person was me - someone who has had more than his fair share of sad situations in a 'virtual reality' that has 'parking attendants' programmed within it.

While thinking about the above, I began looking back through the notes I made during my research on the link between the uncertainty principle in quantum theory and the dual nature of human perception . . .

1. Taken from New Scientist, magazine, 27th July 2002