WHAT IS REALITY?
By Rob Shelsky, Author
What is reality? Well, a plethora of philosophers, physicists, quantum physicists, cosmologists, and yes of course, theologians, among many others, has pondered this question for millennia. In addition, we are still waiting for the ultimate answers for the most part.
Even so, we have begun to see some intriguing indications of just what reality might be. There has been a sea change in the last few decades with regard to this topic of just what is reality. Physics, in particular quantum physics (the study of the very small, such as subatomic particles), now actually seems to be giving us some answers. In fact, quantum physics is beginning to sound rather like some types of religions, at least in certain aspects of the behavior of reality.
Just as many New Age followers are convinced that we can transcend to a different state of being if we change our frequencies or vibrations, so, too, String Theory says that all particles (which make up everything in the universe, including us) are really just “vibrating strings of energy. Change the vibrations, and you change whatever particle is manifested, and again, it is those particles that make up atoms, which in turn make up molecules that make up us!
So to dismiss the ideas of humans being able to change their vibratory rate, and so transcend to a different state of existence doesn’t seem nearly so farfetched these days as it once might have. In the quantum world, the base of our reality, it seems reality is actually based on vibrations, and to change those vibrations changes what then becomes “real” for us in the way of particles that make up everything the universe seems to be made of.
However, does this work on the human scale, on the reality we know, the one physicists refer to as the macro level of reality? After all, what works on the quantum level reality and what works on our macro level are two very different realities. Right? On the macro level we are governed by “classic physics,” whereas the subatomic level is governed by quantum physics. Or so we thought until recently…
The Strange Quantum Drum.A recent invention is the quantum drum. Without going into too much detail, this miniscule device vibrates under certain conditions, just as the skin of a drum vibrates when struck, and so the reason for calling it a quantum drum. However, physicists discovered something incredible. A quantum drum can exist in two separate states at once, or as quantum physicists like to refer to it, as showing superposition.
Now it’s important to note that it is common for subatomic particles to do this, but we on the “macro” level, governed by classic physics, do not demonstrate this strange phenomenon. How many friends have you seen exist in two states of being at once, for instance? Again, that’s because the macro world (the world of the large and very large) is supposedly governed by a different set of rules than things on the subatomic level.
Or is this really true? Up until very recently, just the last few years, in fact, scientists used to think there was a definite line or barrier between our two worlds, the macrocosmic world (us), and the microscopic world of subatomic particles, atoms, and such. There was the “quantum world,” and there was our “classic physics” world, one that was safe and solid from any weird behavior from the quantum world.
Not so, it seems! The quantum drum created was not on the microscopic level. Although still very small, it is actually visible to the naked eye, without the aid of a microscope. In other words, we can actually see, unaided by instruments, an object that demonstrates superposition, existing in two separate states at one time!
This shook up the world of physics because it seems the safe barrier that they thought existed between us and the quirky quantum world of the very small doesn’t really seem to exist at all! Something in our macro world actually shows it can behave in a quantum way, exist in a state of superposition!
Of course, the consequences of this discovery are huge! If something we can see with the naked eye can have superposition, why not other things, even larger things, as well—like us? Can we have two states of being at once? There is some intriguing evidence this just might be so. Now scientists are working on experiments to see if they can cause living things to exist in such a superimposed state, as with bacteria.
One caveat here:quantum physics already has long thought that even we, living in our normal, macro level of this physical world can exhibit to a tiny, tiny degree, superposition, but on such a tiny scale as to be virtually meaningless. This new discovery is different. The quantum drum demonstrates that things on our level of existence can actually exhibit superposition, again, be in two states at once! An incredible and bizarre idea…
This idea is made even stranger because of the idea of the “process of collapse.” Quantum physics has long stated that when observed, a subatomic particle behaves like a particle, but when not observed, it behaves like a wave. This is referred to as the “duality” principle. Furthermore, many physicists think that this observation must be by a “conscious” entity in order for this collapse from a wave state to a particle state to occur.
Some physicists even wonder if the conscious mind doesn’t exhibit quantum behavior and that the human mind can alternate between two superposed states at the same time. In other words, to put it simply, it might really be that our minds, our consciousness, at least, could “vibrate” between different states of being.
Furthermore, researchers also have discovered tiny “microtubules” in the brain, and some researchers go so far as to say that this may be how the human brain can function on a quantum level. A couple of researchers even said that consciousness might actually “drain” out of the microtubules at death, and thus the consciousness can escape the physical body in this state and yet go on existing in some strange fashion or other. Where exactly it would go to is a matter of total conjecture. One scientist said it could simply go out into the universe, become part of the universe itself. Others simply have no idea where the consciousness might end up, some saying it might go into a parallel universe. This concept is referred to as “Quantum Immortality.”
Are We Just Ghosts? There is something else to consider. It is a matter of common knowledge among scientists and many laypersons now that the atoms that compose us are almost entirely vacuums. In fact, an atom is 99.9999999999996% empty space. That means that we humans, and the entire physical world around us are made up of 99.9999999999996% empty space, as well.
In short, we are almost entirely composed of NOTHING! Moreover, the tiny, truly miniscule bit of us that could be considered solid isn’t really solid at all, either, since in reality it is composed of those vibrating strings of energy, according to the String Theory of the universe.
In other words, we are just ghosts for all practical purposes. We are composed of nothing. The only thing that stops us from passing through other objects in our reality, just as ghosts would, is the repulsive nuclear force. This force is what stops your hand from passing through the surface of your desk, for example.
So if you ever wondered if ghosts can walk through other ghosts, it seems they cannot. By the way, according to the laws of quantum physics, if you had enough time and repeatedly did it, that eventually there is a probability by sheer chance that your hand could pass through the desk! It’s only a tiny probability, but given enough time, and enough repetitions, it could happen! So much for a solid “real” existence, then.
Reality is just a Probability Wave? Many physicists think that since consciousness collapses the wave state of a particle into the particle state (solid reality), that perhaps reality is just that—a probability wave. Put simply, our reality is not real, not as we perceive it, until we actually choose to perceive it by observation. Until then, it is just a probability wave, a wave of what might be. Then, our consciousness would collapse that wave into the reality we see around us.
This is a difficult concept, of course, because it implies that each of us is just a consciousness, disembodied and existing in a world of possibilities and probabilities, so to speak, until we “make” the probability wave collapse into the reality, the solid world we see around us. Without us, there would be no reality. Critics, of course, say this is nonsense that reality is separate from us. They say reality continues even if we die, so it can’t be just a probability wave, a wave of possibilities, as it were. They argue that reality exists separately from our consciousness.
Does it? Well, reality seems to rely on observation to collapse from the wave state to the particle state on the quantum level. And as mentioned above, the thought-to-have-existed barrier between the quantum world and our macro world is not much of a barrier after all! So using logic, if conscious observation on the quantum level makes things become solid particles, then perhaps it does the same thing on the macro level of our everyday existence. In which case, the universe, our reality, would be just a mutual consensus derived from our consciousness.
What does all this mean? Well, in reality, our world could well be a spectral one, a world with the illusion of solidarity, but a world in which nothing is really solid at all, but is almost entirely made of vacuum. What’s more, even that poor reality composed of mostly nothing may just be a result of conscious observation in order to collapse the probability wave into a more solid appearing state of reality!
In which case, we are, to put it simply, nothing more than conscious phantoms living in a phantom world, a phantom universe. In addition, if nothing is really solid, is just an illusion, than the age-old idea that we are just living in someone else’s dream, as the Hindus have said, isn’t nearly so farfetched an idea anymore. Is it? After all, a dream seems very real but has no “solidity” either…
There is more.And yes, it is just as mindboggling as what I’ve discussed so fa with regard to reality. For example, there is the idea of us all living in a simulation. Yes, we’ve probably all seen or at least heard of the Matrixmovies by now, and there have been countless discussions on the idea that we might be living in such a thing. Some scientists claim there is about a 35 percent chance we do actually live in a simulation, one created by “someone else.” They also state that as time goes by, they expect to find more evidence for this, and this means the percentage chance of us living in a simulation will go even higher!
E (Emergence) 8 Theory. Another theory gaining ground with some physicists is the idea of the E8 (the “E” is for “Emergence”) Theory of the universe. Ignoring some very intricate mathematics to simplify this idea, the theory states that we are as if a projection cast of an eight dimensional crystalline like structure of a universe. Or to put it another way, our three-dimensional universe is derived from an eight dimensional representation, one which mathematicians then derived a four dimensional representation, and then from that, a three dimensional derivative (our universe). This means the world we see around us is sort of a projection of that more complex crystalline-like, eight-dimensional universe, and that this then forms an asymmetrical existence, or quasi-crystalline structure that is ours.
CERN scientists, after years of effort realized the basic particles that make up everything else, us included, as well as the basic forces, can transform from one to the other. This is done through something called Gauge Symmetry Transformation.”
More importantly for us this conversion process could be described as a crystal of sorts, but an eight-dimensional one. The image below gives us a 3D view of what that 8D crystalline structure would look like.
The mathematics of this says that our space must be composed of a “smallest” unit. This unit would be made of the smallest possible distance on each of three sides but in three dimensions.
Why is any of this important? Well, the advantage of this theory over String Theory is that where String Theory can’t predict anything at all to back it up, literally nothing at all, E8 Theory does. And it does it rather well.
For that prediction of a tiny 3D triangle, for instance, of E8 predicting a smallest unit of 3D space; we actually have that. It is called the Planck Limit, and it is the smallest unit of measurement one can make. So one can think of our universe as being pixelated. This is much like the pixels making an image on a TV screen, although instead of being two-dimensional, the universe is composed of three-dimensional pixels.
E8 Theory also predicts a smallest unit of time, and we seem to have that, as well, a tiny measurement of time called the Jiffy. As Wikipedia defines this:
“The jiffy is the amount of time light takes to travel one fermi (about the size of a nucleon) in a vacuum. Planck time is the time light takes to travel one Planck length. Theoretically, this is the smallest time measurement that will ever be possible.”
So E8 Theory of the universe seems to make predictions that String Theory cannot, and scientists seem to have real evidence to show those predictions are accurate.
However, what is important for us here is that the E8 Theory says that there is retrocausality in our universe. This means that something in the past can be altered by something done in the future and vice versa. This goes against our sense of logic, because as we all know, cause always should come first and then effect. However, E8 Theory says this does not have to be the case and probably is not.
Again, there is evidence to back this idea up, as well, and it is from something known as “Physics’ dirty little secret,” which is, as any quantum physicists will tell you, that mathematical formulas work in “either direction” equally well, that they are not subject to cause and effect at all, or time! They work backward just as well as forward. This lends credible support to the E8 Theory of retrocausality.
By the way, this also explains away Einstein’s description of quantum entanglement as being “spooky action at a distance.” Quantum entanglement is where scientists can take two “paired particles.” If they change the attributes of one of these twinned particles, the other particle instantly alters accordingly, as well.
“Instantly,” is the important catchword here, because no matter how far the particles are separated from each other, even if a billion light years, the change is instant. The problem with this is that such “spooky action at a distance” seems to defy the Laws of Relativity, in that nothing should go faster than the speed of light. Based on that law, it would take at least one billion years for the one particle so far away, to receive the information that it should change, since information, well, not anything for that matter, should be able to travel faster than the speed of light. Yet, the particle would change instantly, thus seeming to defy that law.
How does E8 Theory explain this? Well, it says that with retrocausality, the change isn’t instantaneous at all! That it just seems that way to us, but this is just an illusion. In reality, the scientists’ changing of the state of the one particle in the present (or future), then acted to alter the past state of the other particle that had been traveling for one billion years. In other words, the effect came before the cause, not after it. They change the particle now, and its twin is changed in the past, so that when scientists then look at it, they think it has just changed “instantly” now.
If this is a difficult concept to understand then consider the idea of you suddenly experiencing a terrible burn on your arm for no apparent reason, and then days later, you accidentally poured boiling water on your arm. Thereby, you had the effect (the terrible burn on your arm) come well before (days before) the cause of spilling hot water on your arm.
What does this mean with regard to reality? Well, if the future can affect the past, just as we know the past affects the future, then that means that a consciousness in the far distant future could possibly alter the past, and vice versa.
So (as just an example), if there was a vast super consciousness existing a trillion years in the future, it could theoretically reach back into the past and alter how it originated, when it originated, how it developed and evolved, thus changing its future state by having changed or edited the conditions of its evolution in its own past. If humans evolved (perhaps along with other intelligent species) into this “final mind,” then we would be capable of changing our distant past beginnings to create a different version of ourselves in that far future. In effect, consciousness would then exist outside of time, and could be as a self-editing god.
In simpler terms, it would be as if you could reach back into your own past to correct physical problems with your appearance, such as changing how you looked as a child, so the “present” you would then look different and better. This may seem strange, but it works well the other way. Knock a tooth out as a teenager, and as an adult, you won’t have that tooth. But according to E8 theory, it’s conceivable through retrocausality that it could work the other way, as well, that you could in the future “reach back” and alter the past event of you losing your tooth, so that it didn’t happen. Thus, the “you” of the future would still have the tooth.
Again, why is this important to us? Well, if this sort of thing is actually happening, it would cause changes in our timeline, and as many people are aware, there is a great controversy going on about the Mandela Effect, which seems to be doing just that! So, could this be the real cause of the Mandela Effect? Possibly.
Yes, heady stuff, but then discussing reality is no easy subject. Often, these concepts are hard to grasp, and just how valid they are depends on which scientists and researchers one talks to about them.
Conclusion. When it comes to reality, what we consider “real” may not be real at all. It could:
(1) All just be a computer simulation, and there is about a 35 percent chance that this is so, according to some scientists.
(2) It could be that consciousness determines reality, acts to collapse the ethereal world of probability waves into what we think of as solid reality, and this only happens when a consciousness makes such an observation.
(3) If String Theory is correct, then we are nothing but a composition of vibrating waves that manifest this “reality,” but really, all is just composed of vibrating strings of energy and nothing is actually “solid,” as we think of it. In fact, some physicists think the universe isn’t just “made up” of information, but actually is just information!
(4) The consciousness exists outside of time in a sense, and the future can change the past, just as the past can change the future.
(5) That we are composed of almost entirely of “nothing” and so this vast universe we see, including ourselves, is really just an illusion, a manifestation without any real substance, as in us just being ghosts living in a ghost realm.
Or as Edgar Allan Poe put it in his poem, “A Dream Within A Dream:
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream...”
Perhaps that’s just what reality is, a sort of dream, an unrealized probability state until consciousness makes it “real,” and there well may be an infinity of such dreams or realities, as every possible probability wave plays out. Thus, we would have the multiverse. Just something to consider….
By the way, the idea the Mandela Effect might be a side effect of the E8 Theory of the universe and its retrocausality is just my thought. I’ve not heard of any scientists proposing this, so take it for what it’s worth—the ramblings of a dreamer of sorts, and perhaps just one of many?