NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 17:
Prior to excerpting the other Ramana Maharshi disciple in the text below we continue the series: Fine-Tuned Universe 9, the premise that a small change in several of the dimensionless fundamental physical constants would make the Universe incapable of Life.
Fine-Tuned Universe 9:
[In the unreal reflection called the “Universe”, a product of an unreal Mind, even there, Infinite Intelligence is evident and inspiring.]
The Multi-Verse scenario was suggested by some Cosmologists as a way to avoid the conclusion that the Universe was specially designed for Life by a Grand Designer. Others saw it as a way to avoid having to say anything more about the problem of Fine Tuning at all. We see that once conscious Observers are allowed to intervene in the Universe, rather than being merely lumped into the category of “observers” who do nothing, that we end up with a scenario in which the gods reappear in unlimited numbers, in the guise of the simulators who have power of Life & Death [as in The Matrix movie] over the simulated beings that they bring “create”.
The simulators determine the Laws, and can change the Laws, that govern their Worlds. They can engineer Anthropic Fine-Tunings. They can pull the plug on the simulation [very Biblical] at any moment, intervene [very Biblical] or distance [like Deism] themselves from their simulation; watch as the simulated creatures argue about whether there is a God who controls of intervenes; work miracles or impose their ethical principles upon the simulated reality.
All the time they can avoid having even a twinge of conscience about hurting anyone because their toy reality isn’t real, is it ? [While true in Non-Duality, highly ethical behavior in the Dream World is a necessity for Liberation.] They can even watch their simulated realities grow to a level of sophistication that allows them to simulate higher-order realities of their own.
Faced with these perplexities do we have any chance of winnowing fake realities from true ? What we might expect to see if we made scientific observations from within a simulated reality ? Firstly, the simulators will have been tempted to avoid the complexity of using a consistent set of Laws of Nature in their Worlds when they can simply patch in “realistic” effects. When the Disney company makes a film that features the reflection of light from the surface of a lake, it does not use the laws of Quantum Electro-Dynamics & Optics to compute the light scattering. That would require a stupendous amount of computing power & detail. Instead, the simulation of the light scattering is replaced by plausible rules of thumb that are much briefer than the real thing but give a realistic looking result – as long as no one looks too closely [like well done “lollipop” trees in a crayon drawing, or rudimentary faces behind all the windshields in a cartoon of the highway – but Non-Duality suggests just this thing, only with a high degree of fidelity that could include Electro-Dynamics and so on].
There would be an economic and practical imperative for simulated realities to stay that way if they were purely for entertainment. But such limitations to the complexity of the simulation’s programming would presumably cause occasional tell-tale problems — and perhaps they would even be visible from within. [Actually, however, many inexplicable things are reported – these could be some of those inconsistencies.]
Even if the simulators were scrupulous about simulating the laws of Nature, there would be limits to what they could do. Assuming the simulators, or at least the early generations of them, have a very advanced knowledge of the laws of Nature, it’s likely they would still have incomplete knowledge of them (some philosophers of science would argue this must always be the case). They may know a lot about the physics and programming needed to simulate a universe but there will be gaps or, worse still, errors in their knowledge of the laws of Nature. They would of course be subtle and far from obvious, otherwise our “advanced” civilization wouldn’t be advanced. These lacunae do not prevent simulations being created and running smoothly for long periods of time. But gradually the little flaws will begin to build up.
Eventually, their effects would snowball & these realities would cease to compute. The only escape is if their creators intervene to patch up the problems one by one as they arise. This is a solution that will be very familiar to the owner of any home computer who receives regular updates in order to protect it against new forms of invasion or repair gaps that its original creators had not foreseen. The creators of a simulation could offer this type of temporary protection, updating the working laws of Nature to include extra things they had learnt since the simulation was initiated.
In this kind of situation, logical contradictions will inevitably arise and the Laws in the simulations will appear to break down now and again. The inhabitants of the simulation – especially the simulated scientists – will occasionally be puzzled by the experimental results they obtain. The simulated Astronomers might, for instance, make observations that show that their so-called constants of Nature are very slowly changing.
It’s likely there could even be sudden glitches in the Laws that govern these simulated realities. This is because the simulators would most likely use a technique that has been found effective in all other simulations of complex systems: the use of error-correcting codes to put things back on track.
Take our genetic code, for example. If it were left to its own devices we would not last very long. Errors would accumulate and death and mutation would quickly follow. We are protected from this by the existence of a mechanism for error correction that identifies and corrects mistakes in genetic coding. Many of our complex computer systems possess the same type of internal “spell-checker” to guard against error accumulation.
If the simulators used error-correcting computer codes to guard against the fallibility of their simulations as a whole (as well as simulating them on a smaller scale in our genetic code) then every so often a correction would take place to the state or the laws governing the simulation. Mysterious sudden changes would occur that would appear to contravene the very laws of Nature that the simulated scientists were in the habit of observing and predicting.
We might also expect that simulated realities would possess a similar level of maximum computational complexity across the board. The simulated creatures should have a similar complexity to the most complex simulated non-living structures – something that Stephen Wolfram (for quite different reasons, nothing to do with simulated realities) has coined the Principle of Computational Equivalence.
So we conclude that if we live in a simulated reality we should expect occasional sudden glitches, small drifts in the supposed constants and Laws of Nature over time,& a dawning realization that the flaws of Nature are as important as the Laws of Nature for our understanding of true reality. [Similar to missing the point about the Multi-Verse that these anti-simulation arguments miss, there are other practical error points in the speculation. For instance, if there are bad simulations, there can still be some good ones. If ours seemed like a good one, as it does, no surprise. This doesn’t mitigate against any number of bad simulations which, by the way, can always just be deleted until the simulator gains by experience. And again, inconsistencies abound in various reports about our World. These things, that art are not explained, are ignored in the hope that explanation will come about somehow, sometime. Our World fits in, over the inconsistency argument, which does not really distinguish the simulation from our current World very well at all.]
Some more selected verses from the other Maharshi disciple:
You should trust the Guru because his interest is in showing you the Truth. He may occasionally say things that are not true, but he will say them only because he knows his words will push you in the right direction.
I once heard a story that illustrates this. A rich man used to meditate once in a while. He had a Guru, an enlightened man, who used to tell him, “You are not the Mind or the Body. You are the Self. Always abide as the Self.” The man would listen attentively, but neither his meditation nor his Guru’s words had much of an effect on him. One day he approached his teacher and said, “You have been telling me for years that I am not the Mind and the Body, and that I am the Self. I believe it and I meditate on this, but I don’t see any changes in myself. This must be a very difficult technique because I don’t seem to be making any progress with it.”
The Guru said, “Let me look at your palm. I may be able to see something that is more suitable for you.” After examining the disciple’s palm, the Guru’s face dropped. “This is very bad. You should have put in more effort earlier in your life. I can see that you only have about one week to live. There’s not much that can help you now.”
The disciple was shocked. He went home thinking, “All my wealth and businesses are useless to me now. I put too much time into them, and not enough into my spiritual practice. There’s nothing I can do now, but I can at least spend my last few days meditating.” He went home and told his wife, “My life is coming to an end. My Guru has warned me that this is my final week. I am going to spend my last few days meditating alone. Please tell my friends and relatives that I don’t want to be disturbed.” After a few days his Guru came to see how he was getting on.
“How’s the meditation going ?” he asked. “Your wife tells me that you have done nothing else for days.” “Gurudev, there is no one left to meditate. I have found the Peace you have been talking about all these years.”
The Guru knew that this man would never focus full-time on realizing the Self because he was too caught up with his family and his business affairs. By making him think that his Death was imminent, he made him concentrate on what was real and important. And it worked. This is not just a story; it is a tactic that will work for anyone. If you can withdraw energy from your worldly attachments and instead focus full-time on the Self, you will soon get results. If you are having trouble with your enthusiasm for sadhana, just tell yourself, “I may be dead in 7 days.” Let go of all the things that you pretend are important in your daily life and instead focus on the Self for 24 hours a day. Do it and see what happens.
You should only work enough to maintain the body. Try to avoid unnecessary activities. Less work is good. Devote yourself to your sadhana all the time. You dissipate your desire for the Self by undertaking all kinds of useless activities that waste your time and lead to attachments. You think that your life is endless and that you can put off meditation till a later date. With this kind of attitude, you will die filled with regrets, not filled with Peace. Always be aware of the Self while you work. While you are doing that work keep your thoughts a hundred per cent on the Self. You are what you think you are. You become what you think. If you think of the Self all the time, that is what you will become. If you live and die with thoughts of work and family, you will I be reborn in a place with more work and more family business l to worry about.
If you spend your life with worldly thoughts, these will be the thoughts that fill your Mind at the moment of your death. But if you life is devoted to sadhana, to attaining an inner Peace, then, at the moment of your death, this will be the State that you die in.
Your thoughts arise on a moment-to-moment basis because of your vasanas, but it is a mistake to think that you can do nothing about them. You can be interested in them, or you can ignore them. If you show interest in them, they will persist and you will get caught up in them. If you ignore them and keep your attention on the Source, they will not develop. And when they don’t develop, they disappear.
In Who Am I ? Bhagavan compared this process to laying siege to a fort. If you cutoff, one by one, the heads of the thoughts as they come out of the fort of the Mind, sooner or later there will be none left. The way to do this is by Self-Inquiry. As each thought rises, you ask yourself, “To whom does this thought appear ?”
If you are vigilant in doing this, the forest of thoughts will lessen and lessen until there are none left. When the thoughts have gone, Mind will sink into its Source and experience that Source.
Little conversations may be going on. A crowd of people may be congregating around. None of this is your business, but there is always a possibility that you will get interested in some or all of these activities and forget the reason why you are out on the street yourself. Don’t get excited by anything you see and hear. Just walk steadily towards your destination. Your vasanas are all the sides how’s in your head that can drag your attention away from your main business, which is being aware of the Self. If you have no interest in them, you will walk straight to your goal. If something temporarily distracts your attention, bring yourself back by asking yourself, “Who is interested in all this ? Who is getting interested in this distraction ?” This will deflate the distracting desire and it will bring you back to an awareness of your true purpose. Remember, nothing that happens in the Mind is “you”, and none of it is your business. You don’t have to worry about thoughts that rise up inside you. It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you.
Whatever kind of thought arises, have the same reaction: ‘Not me; not my business.’ It can be a good thought or a bad thought. Treat them all the same way. To whom are these thoughts arising ? To you. That means that you are not the thought. You are the Self. Remain as the Self, and don’t latch onto anything that is not the Self.
The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through:
or with Caps-sensitive:
Duplicates (but with graphics) have been available on:
http://www.blogger.com as “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:
[But from now on, they will be different & still usually daily.]