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    1. #1
      Xei
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      Has The Universe Been Designed For Conscious Experience?

      A quick word: I don't want any creationists ranting about their views in this thread, that's not what this is for.

      Right. So basically, I've always kind of held this view in the back of my mind, and studying A Level biology has really made me consider it a little more seriously. The deeper and deeper I go into the workings of life, the more awed I am by the sheer beauty and wonder of the whole thing.

      To try and put it in words (and most likely failng terribly); it seems to me a huge, huge coincidence that a reality has come to be in which lives such as the ones we live are possible; by which I mean a reality where there are emotions, and varying life experience, and symbols and beliefs, and music and art and literature and love and wonder and colour and dreams, just to name a few... all these things I consider to be beautiful and sacred: and, to name what I consider to be the most crucial thing of all, conscious experience.

      I want to take that as an example to try to highlight what I'm saying. Conscious experience; what are the odds? I mean, we start with the fundamental laws of nature, which give rise to particles, energy and time. Then the particles form into vital groups with vital behaviours; protons and neutrons group together forming mass, and electrons buzz around them in elegant shapes which are equally vital to the behaviour of elements and the like; and also we get photons, which are vital for motion and basically anything involving energy.

      And then due to the shapes of electron shells, this whole system of behaviours of elements simply falls out. And from there you get the organic compounds, which give rise to organic structures and, crucially, DNA, which virtually just pops out of the ground all by itself. And then it just keeps going, and it builds up and up. You get bigger and bigger organisms, until finally, due to the very same process of evolution, you get intelligence. And the whole system of neurons is just waiting there to be harnessed, and consciousness just appears all on its own, just like that. And due to a vast number of other coincidences, it appears in a beautiful world where there is infinite variation of experience, and others to experience it with.

      So, from this set of incredibly simple rules, there automatically arises this beautiful, fractalesque world which is the optimum, or perhaps only possible medium for consciousness. Can we really just accept that? Because - and again, I stress that I don't believe in any religious nonsense and I'd ask if we could lean away from that in this discussion - but it seems to me a huge coincidence that this could just come to be with no purpose; by which I mean, it really does look designed. And that implies, for me, that there is something designing it. Is this all of reality the product of a conscious architect with some big idea?

      Very convoluted, obviously, but there's a lot there that I've really been wanting to express of late, and I'd really appreciate it if you could contribute a little.

    2. #2
      The Supreme Echelon Absolute's Avatar
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      I think that we were meant to learn and experience as an eternal conscious, forever learning and experiencing. When it comes to imagination, you can ask a person to draw a bear and come up with a different one by each person. IF you think about it, there is not end as the complexities of life continue to form.

      I think that as we live in this realm bound by time and space, a great designer outside the boundaries of space, time, and rules gave birth to this physical existence so that other consciousness could learn and evolve to be like the great designer/architect himself. Life is so very unique in so many ways. There is so much to experience and learn.

      I'll get back to you some more on this. I got some food to eat.
      -Absolute Wisdom

      "Life is much like a barren road. You can choose to leave it and end up in a deserted wasteland, or you can follow the road to see what is beyond the horizon."

    3. #3
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      I still find it weird and intresting when i look in a mirror and see my face i know a brain is inside there (protected by the skull, obviously), or my body i know there are tons of stuff in the little body. All the things we feel from
      doing whatever. Anyway it's some weird, yet intresting stuff.

      Also, all the brain related stuff..i mean WTF!!!!! it's like we are uber noobs connected to an uber leet player or something. Us being the noobs, elite being the brain.
      Last edited by LucidFlanders; 10-09-2007 at 04:31 AM.

    4. #4
      On the woad to wuin R.D.735's Avatar
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      In science, this would be the argument over the anthropic principle. The universe's fundamental constants are so sensitive that a really tiny change in just one of them would make life impossible. Some scientists consider this reason to believe that our universe is one of many, each with different fundamental constants. In that scenario, it is no coincidence that our universe allows our existence, since there would be ~10^500 other universes allowing different forms of life to exist.

      The complexity and intricacy of life in our universe is mind-boggling, but the idea of so many other universes makes most scientists disregard the fine-tuned constants as a fluke caused by something that happened in the big bang.

    5. #5
      The Supreme Echelon Absolute's Avatar
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      Why would other universes exist though? And are there more being created? What if our goal in life is to ascend so high into divine understanding that we, as well, create a universe? Can you imagine the complexities and the road necessary to even achieve that level of understanding?
      -Absolute Wisdom

      "Life is much like a barren road. You can choose to leave it and end up in a deserted wasteland, or you can follow the road to see what is beyond the horizon."

    6. #6
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      I wonder, does anyone think it's possible that there can be some type of cloud like thing or alien type thing that can move around in space? something like rise of the silver surfer movie kinda thing.

    7. #7
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      Um... let's not go down that path just yet.
      Quote Originally Posted by R.D.735 View Post
      In science, this would be the argument over the anthropic principle. The universe's fundamental constants are so sensitive that a really tiny change in just one of them would make life impossible. Some scientists consider this reason to believe that our universe is one of many, each with different fundamental constants. In that scenario, it is no coincidence that our universe allows our existence, since there would be ~10^500 other universes allowing different forms of life to exist.

      The complexity and intricacy of life in our universe is mind-boggling, but the idea of so many other universes makes most scientists disregard the fine-tuned constants as a fluke caused by something that happened in the big bang.
      Thanks for that reply, some very interesting points there.

      First thing I'd like to say is this; is this really the realm of science? Don't take that in a New Agey, 'scientific method is rubbish' way, I'm not for any of that. But recently somebody on DV was talking about how, the only function of science is to predict observed phenomena, and anything which doesn't involve this is not technically science. So are questions such as multiple universes actually the realm of science, considering they actually make no difference to ours?

      Anyway, back to the philosophy; first off, the whole multiple universe thing does seem like a bit of a getout clause in this case to me. My major objection would be whether the whole thing is even true. Wouldn't I be right in saying that the multiple universes theory is simply a theory among many, and lacking in actual evidence at the current time?

      And the second thing; the anthropic principle really bugs me. It seems like another getout clause which some scientists try to use to logically explain things which are really in the realm of philosophy, but it never made much sense to me. Am I right in saying it goes as follows?

      The universe only supports beings which can observe, because if it didn't, we wouldn't be around to observe that it didn't.

      It seems like a very weak idea to me... I mean, it seems to go against quite a few things which science claims the rest of the time. Even if there are many universes apart from our own... isn't it still just as large a coincidence that reality is optimum in ours? If not, isn't the anthropic principle suggesting that our consciousness can somehow switch between different universes until if finds the right one? Since when was that in anyway scientific?

      I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, and I'm not necessarily affirming any of the above; I just want it explained, if you know what I mean.
      Last edited by Xei; 10-09-2007 at 05:55 PM.

    8. #8
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I want to take that as an example to try to highlight what I'm saying. Conscious experience; what are the odds?
      The simplest answer to this question is "100%," as the evidence bears out.

      But if we look at it from another perspective, and imagine that the chance for consciousness to evolve in any one place is extremely small, we have to also see that there are such a unfathomably large number of places that the overall odds are overwhelming. It's kind of like buying a billion lottery tickets... something has to hit.
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    9. #9
      Xei
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      The simplest answer to this question is "100%," as the evidence bears out.
      Haha, yeah, point accepted.
      But if we look at it from another perspective, and imagine that the chance for consciousness to evolve in any one place is extremely small, we have to also see that there are such a unfathomably large number of places that the overall odds are overwhelming. It's kind of like buying a billion lottery tickets... something has to hit.
      I don't think so. I'm not talking about one region in space; I'm talking about the whole of space. If there were no such things as electron shells, for example, there would be no chemical bonding. There'd just be lumps of mass all over the place, and no conscious life at all. Same applies for many other factors.

      That's what I'm talking about here, if you see what I mean.

    10. #10
      The Supreme Echelon Absolute's Avatar
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      The intricate design of the universe, in my opinion, seems to be rather quite persuasive in the possibility that this universe was specifically designed for consciousness. The complexities of reality are astounding and beyond our own comprehension, let alone the existences of higher dimensions and other universes.

      When you speak of odds it is not about odds, it is about precision, logic, and meaning. There obviously is an intelligence behind the design of the universe because it's flawlessness is unfathomable. Whilst you speak of the whole of space in regards to consciousness, what if consciousness developed space instead of space becoming conditional for conscious awareness? And that consciousness is the source to how existence came to be so that consciousness could experience things physically? Thus - energy and matter is the result of thought.
      -Absolute Wisdom

      "Life is much like a barren road. You can choose to leave it and end up in a deserted wasteland, or you can follow the road to see what is beyond the horizon."

    11. #11
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      The existance or nonexistance of universes without conscious experience has no meaning for us. If they exist then no conscious being will ever observe them and it's as good as if they never existed.
      Super profundo on the early eve of your day

    12. #12
      The Supreme Echelon Absolute's Avatar
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      Very true, Belisarius.
      -Absolute Wisdom

      "Life is much like a barren road. You can choose to leave it and end up in a deserted wasteland, or you can follow the road to see what is beyond the horizon."

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      Quote Originally Posted by Belisarius View Post
      The existance or nonexistance of universes without conscious experience has no meaning for us. If they exist then no conscious being will ever observe them and it's as good as if they never existed.
      Wait, so if something doesn't pertain to us, it's automatically useless? What use is studying history then?

      The reason we think about these things is because they're interesting. Yes they have no meaning for us, but that's no reason to become apathetic. Or are you just too lazy to think?

    14. #14
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      Perhaps it is that everything is consciousness itself, manifesting physically to one degree or another, eventually working its way to where it can percieve itself.
      Whether its open space, energy, subatomic particles, complicated atomic structures, a rock, a tree, a bird, dog or human being, perhaps the base nature of all of it is consciousness.
      Last edited by NonDualistic; 10-18-2007 at 11:34 PM.

    15. #15
      The Supreme Echelon Absolute's Avatar
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      Perhaps it is that everything is consciousness itself, manifesting physically to one degree or another, eventually working its way to where it can percieve itself.
      Whether its open space, energy, subatomic particles, complicated atomic structures, a rock, a tree, a bird, dog or human being, perhaps the base nature of all of it is consciousness.
      Precisely. And the point Belisarius was making was how if there are existences out there that do exist but do not support conscious experience would mean that nothing would exist at all because consciousness is a part of everything.

      History, as your example - in a universe that is not meant for conscious experience how would there be any history in the first place if it did not support consciousness at all? There would be no consciousness around to even create any type of history..
      -Absolute Wisdom

      "Life is much like a barren road. You can choose to leave it and end up in a deserted wasteland, or you can follow the road to see what is beyond the horizon."

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
      History, as your example - in a universe that is not meant for conscious experience how would there be any history in the first place if it did not support consciousness at all? There would be no consciousness around to even create any type of history..
      This appears to be stated from a standpoint that time exists in such a universe. What if there were no such thing as time in such a place? Without time there can be no future nor past, therefore no history. All there would be would be an ever present now.

      In such a place one would have to actually consciously be there to know it , but once one consciously left such a place there would be no memory of it to work with becuase one would be leaving the timeless environment to dwell in a time applicable environment. Seeing as how the timelessness was prior to time, and that memory and history arise only in the timed environment one coulndt possibly remember it.

      Consciousness deals in past present and future, however, awareness is NOW and is always NOW. It may be possible to be aware of it(consciousless environment) rather than remember it. Do you get my drift?
      Last edited by NonDualistic; 10-19-2007 at 06:16 PM.

    17. #17
      ex-redhat ClouD's Avatar
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      Purpose is non-attainable.

      Though, apparently we are here, dreaming away.

      I guess, it's for us as dreamers, to decide if we are lucid.

      Either way, we decide the rules to this eternal game.

      cloudWalker
      You merely have to change your point of view slightly, and then that glass will sparkle when it reflects the light.

    18. #18
      The Supreme Echelon Absolute's Avatar
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      In such a place one would have to actually consciously be there to know it , but once one consciously left such a place there would be no memory of it to work with becuase one would be leaving the timeless environment to dwell in a time applicable environment. Seeing as how the timelessness was prior to time, and that memory and history arise only in the timed environment one coulndt possibly remember it.
      Very good point! But now this gives me the concept of where we originate from: A place of pure consciousness not bound by time or space. Funny how you mention that we would forget all memory once going into a place bound by time. Our universe is bound by time, but the place we originate from isn't. This makes logical sense as to why we forget everything when we reincarnate. Thus it is logical to say that death is not meant for conscious experience until you live, for once you live you experience the infinite possibilities of imagination in the realm of space and time. when you die, you bring this conscious experience back to share and continue your evergrowing imagination. Life here is kind of like the spark to our endless existence in the afterlife.
      Last edited by Absolute; 10-20-2007 at 02:36 AM.
      -Absolute Wisdom

      "Life is much like a barren road. You can choose to leave it and end up in a deserted wasteland, or you can follow the road to see what is beyond the horizon."

    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
      But now this gives me the concept of where we originate from
      It may not be necesary to even pick up the concept. Whos to say one ever left "a there" to be here?

      Perhaps here and there are one in the same. If true, then that would mean that one is in both at the same moment.

      Stated previously:
      Consciousness deals in past present and future, however, awareness is NOW and is always NOW. It may be possible to be aware of it(consciousless environment) rather than remember it.

      Perhaps it is not consciousness that is the base of all things but awareness?

      If awareness is ever present and ever NOW, it would make simple sense that consciousness could then only arise upon awareness.

      Where does one consciously have thoughts of the past or the future? Its NOW, in the present. What is always HERE NOW? Awareness. Just look at it within yourself and see if it isnt so.

      Does one need consciousness to be aware? Consciousness seems to deal in duality. Is it not consciousness that labels averything this or that?...judges things one way or another?

      Awareness on the other hand seems to only see what is HERE NOW just as it is without labels, concepts or judgements.

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