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June 28, 2014

A First Approximation to Mindspace

The first few posts will be from past writings of mine. Here is most of a letter I wrote to a friend who had moved from being a pillar of the counterculture to espousing ultra-traditional Christian / Calvinist theology and young-Earth Creationism:

Imagine Indra's net, filling all space and time with a web whose intersections are jewels, each reflecting all of the others. The jewels may also be seen through other schemata – Leibnizian monads, vertexes in Feynman diagrams, atomic perceptions/ perceivers of varied potentialities and probabilities. What seem from the physical point of view as particles (interactions) are seen from another point of view as perceptions whose collective patterns are thoughts. God is immanent in the totality of the net, these atomic perceptions are collectively a basis (in the mathematical sense) for the power set of all their possible permutations. This power set can be viewed in turn as the total mindspace, which has all possible perceptions and thoughts implicit in it. Parts of it are human thoughts (all the possible human thoughts), thoughts of particular groups, individuals, etc. Most of it is outside the region of human thought. Most of it is far less than God, the totality of the mindspace (plus parts of which we cannot speak) – yet also far more than human. A given jewel/interaction may be parts of beings at all levels: God, gods, angels, humans, animals, plants and cells. Because mindspace is not like physical space, these entities which are categorizations of sets and power sets of jewels may overlap like Venn diagrams.

Viewing the net as Feynman diagrams expressing physical reality, in particular thermodynamics/information theory (which are the same thing), a direction of time emerges from the tendency of information (entropy) to accumulate in the form of heat (2nd law). Viewed as a process in time the net expands from a low entropy state to fill more and more of the implicit unfilled space of possibilities. It never contracts again, it can only expand. It seems in physics that information cannot be destroyed, only scrambled, turned into heat and diffused across the universe, but any event which has had even a microscopic effect is on the permanent record of the universe. This heat/information diffusion is mathematically the same as Schrodinger's equation, but with ordinary time replaced by imaginary time. (turning t into it is called Wick rotation). The equivalence works both ways. By rotating our view of the imaginary time of the universe considered as heat diffusion into the ordinary time of the wave equation, the scrambled record of the universe, including all the people who have ever lived, is translated back into ordinary time. This is the basis for the reality of the afterlife. The permanence of information in the heat diffusion/ imaginary time view is eternity.

Morality does not enter on a particle level but in the aggregates. Morality, ethics, emotions, thoughts and so forth exist in the mindspace schema, not the physical schema, in the same way that my words exist in the application layer of the OSI model; on the physical layer there are only patterns of charges and spins suitable for interpretation by the higher layers. The difference is that in the physical view of the net, interactions/particles are not only atomic perceptions but equally atomic acts of will. The universe is alive down to the lowest level, not only alive but perceptive and willful. From these more complicated and subtle patterns are composed which are the thoughts and wills of more complicated and subtle beings. Their perceptions and intentions are of varying likeness to other, more general regions of human mindspace which we label imperfectly as “good”, “evil”, etc. These regions of mindspace itself are not changed by our labels on our maps of it, they exist objectively, yet our perceptions of them are necessarily subjective. Our perceptions of them are not the things themselves, though the “things” are ultimately made of atomic perceptions. Other levels of being have their own accordingly larger or smaller regions of mindspace that they perceive as good or evil. There are other categories beyond the basic two, and higher beings are more able to discern them as well.

God, I suspect, finds these limited regions of mindspace that humans regard as good and evil as being not particularly more interesting than the rest of Himself, and scarcely a drop in the bucket of his All. On the other hand, God the absolute can have no experience in the way we do; being All, with nothing outside himself, there can be no separation of subject and object. To have such experiences, he must limit his point of view, and to that extent he becomes less than absolute. The full range of experiences demands all possible types of splits between self/selves and other(s). Thus all our and others' views of the net and each other are a consequence of God's need to limit himself so that he can be not only everything but each thing. No matter what we do or don't do as our limited selves, for God nothing is undone, all is complete.

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