Spudboy100 wrote:
> 
> To your comment, how do we demonstrate  
> that the Universe is conscious?  There must be some cause and effect, some  
> falsifiable, tests that can be done, perhaps centuries, from now, with
> better  
> equipment.
> 
Since we are the universe being conscious of itself, and there is no other
outside of it to confirm it, the only way is to realize it for ourselves. It
is possible to directly realize that we are the universe (or rather the
consciousness that it appears in), an experience that is commonly called
samadhi or cosmic consciousness.
It is just not valid to ask for a falsifiable test for something that is
beyond objective tests and measurements, and beyond falsifiability (just
like 1+1=2 is beyond falsifiability and still valid).
To say that this means that is can't be true is just scientism. There is
nothing in science suggesting that it has to be applicable to everything,
and be the sole authority on truth.

It is not true that the only alternative to this is pure faith in something
more or less abitrary (like in many religions), which is what some
scientists and philosophers seem to suggest. We can directly experience, and
we can rely on intuition which doesn't exclude skepticism. In fact science
already relies on intuition, like the intuition that the universe follows
laws that can be described, that the scientfic method of measuring and
making theories is the appropiate way to find out which laws these are,
etc...

If you want to make it plausible that indeed consciousness is all that is,
and the source of the universe, and inherently meaningful, there are a
number of possibilities.
Probably the one that is most convincing is direct experience. Try
meditation (my favorite is just doing nothing while being aware not to
snooze or think or search for something to do,etc...), or, if you are a bit
more daring and very cautious and well informed, psychdelic drugs (eg
Salvia, Mushrooms, LSD, DMT) or suspend your belief that you are just a
person for long enough (then the reality of unity tends to reveal itself
spotaneously). If you are in the right mindset and maybe a bit lucky you can
experience states in which it is directly evident that there is
fundamentally no other, just this consciousness that you are. If you don't
deny your experience (which we unfortunately often do due to cultural
conditioning) it is very convincing evidence. There is just no reason that
the most extraordinary states of consciousness would be states of oness with
everything if everything wasn't really one and the experience is often very
powerful and overwhelmingly real (more so than everyday consciousness).
There is also indirect evidence, which may be useful until you can
experience it directly. First, enlightened people. These people, like
historically Buddha and Christ, have had enormous postive cultural influence
and they often report permanent sensations of peace, freedom and clarity. Is
it really likely that this just comes out of a delusion? Why would a
delusion provide liberation?
Secondly, modern physics. In modern physics there aren't really seperate
particles, there is just a wavefunction, which suggest that everything is
one. Also, it is not an accident that we search for a unified theory.
Because actually, reality is a unity. That this unity has to be conscious is
clear from seeing that a part is conscious (at least you are) and since it
can't be seperated from this unity, the unity is conscious.
Also, even though faith can't be an ultimate answer, ask yourself whether it
couldn't be useful to just make a leap of faith for a while and trust that
reality really is good (but not as the opposite of bad, just as inherently
meaningful, geared to give results that will be satisfying). If reality is
good, it makes sense that it works as one for the goodness. And who could be
the one if not all of us? Consider the "goodness wager": What is there to
lose if you believe that reality is fundamentally good (without making an
image what this has to mean, and without attaching to this belief, since
these may have bad consequences)?

benjayk
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