Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
For centuries, wise sages and great teachers have taught that the world is what our thoughts make it. For most of us living in the modern, rational age, even if we buy into such ideas, we tend to see them as metaphorical and not literal.
Donald Hoffman, a cognitive psychologist at The University of California Irvine, has a very different perspective. He and his cross-discipline team have developed a theory that our brains are devices that literally create the reality that we perceive. They call it Multi-Modal User Interface (MMUI) and it picks up on some of the ideas of the Simulation Hypothesis and on age-old teachings from contemplative spiritual traditions.
This is a very old idea for me personally. Back in the early 1990s, I spent some time playing with the idea of whether “my reality” showed up wherever I was located. For instance, I wondered, when I was at work, did my apartment still have objective reality? Or, did it become real again by my traveling there and perceiving it.
For those who have never considered ideas like these, Hoffman’s work may seem ludicrous. However, there’s a ton of scientific evidence backing up these ideas. Two he mentions frequently in his presentations are that fully one-third of our brain is devoted to visual perception. That would be unnecessary if we are just “taking pictures” of the world. Secondly, his research has shown that Evolutionary Theory has not taught us to see truth, but rather see what allows us to survive.
The implications seem fanciful, even a little crazy by our consensus view of the world. We have made a major assumption that “reality” is something objective that exists out there and that our senses are simply designed to show us that reality.
What if our senses are, in fact, a means of taking raw data like a matrix of numbers and converting that into the reality we experience? What if we are literally manufacturing objective (agreed upon) and subjective (individual) reality from our consciousness? What if our senses have been designed, like radio receivers, to receive these impulses and manifest space and time?
The implications are broad and profound.
While we are likely mere children playing with adult capabilities, the ability to consciously control the creation of our reality would mean literally anything could be possible for us individually and collectively. Given our current state of development, that could be scary. It could also be a game-changer.
Perhaps, the tools we have talked about in our 365-day series are the rudimentary beginnings of techniques to put this into affect to change our lives and the world.
What it says about our space-time reality, our materialist viewpoint, and the nature of our existence are bigger questions to be explored. Nonetheless, these ideas open a world of vast possibility and potential, if we are willing to drop old paradigms and courageously walk through the gateway.
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