Could Physical Reality really be a Dream?
Are you having a dream that lasts a lifetime? Can reality be universal dream of a cosmic mind? What if the answer is yes?
If this reality was some type of dream, then there should be some evidence which shows a relationship between the dream world and the waking world. The first red-flag that comes to mind is directly connected to something known as "Precognitive Dreaming". The idea of precognition spans the written record and Aristotle in 350B.C.E wrote a paper entitled, "On Prophesying by Dreams" http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/prophesying.html where he debated the notion that people in his time were describing having these types of dreams.
Edit: Here is an excellent paper written by Timothy Conway that details historical accounts where people through-out the ages have come to this realization: "This is all a Dream [PDF]"
Deja Vu which is a very common type experience which most people have, is a feeling that comes with a type of deja vu aura where new settings, events and circumstances bring a strong sense of familiarity as if you had been there before. What is not so widely known about the deja phenomena is many people link the source of memory which brings about the familiarity to something they dreamed about in the past. For a comprehensive list of precognitive dream types and examples and evidence I recommend reading my paper, "Theory of Precognitive Dreams" which is open source and freely available on-line. Read: Theory of Precognitive Dreams [PDF]
Frequency studies as mentioned in that paper predict statistically that you could already be one of those types of people who already have first-person experiences with dreams that come true. If science can finally answer this age old phenomena of precognitive dreams; then we will see the first use-case where dreams and reality have a relationship which will help reveal this covert relationship between dreams and this reality.
The next red-flag comes from experiments in quantum mechanics which show that our reality is not exactly as physical as we believe it to be. When physicists first discovered particle/wave duality, this caused quite a stir in the physics community. What this means is sub-atomic particles could behave like a wave, or like a particle based on certain conditions.
When an electron is not being measured or observed it creates an interference pattern which is like a ripple in water that creates the wave pattern or interference pattern. When observed it behaves as physical particles.
"Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality""In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place."
Read More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm
If you thought it was just the sub-atomic particle that behaved this way, an entire molecule of Carbon atoms which form the Carbon-60 molecule known as a buckyball also shows interference patterns.
"Wave-particle duality seen in carbon-60 molecules""The Vienna team sent a collimated beam of carbon-60 molecules through a slit made of silicon nitride and detected the interference pattern by ionizing the molecules with a laser and then counting the ions."
Read More: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/1999/oct/15/wave-particle-duality-seen-in-carbon-60-molecules
What determines when a particle or atom should be have as a wave-form or a solid state is one of the mind-boggling questions for Physics. One of the answers to this new problem comes from Physicist Tom Campbell who worked for Nasa and the Department of Defence. He describes the collapse of wave-function as a requirement only when the larger-system renders the particle because we exist in a Virtual Reality. His theory which is extensive and covers more than just the virtual reality theory describes that in a virtual reality, the computer doesn't need to render all the data on the hard-drive so to speak, just the data that is being observed. This means when we are observing a moment in time/space only the information required to render out the experience is being rendered into particles. To bring you up to speed on this theory here is a link to his youtube channel and videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/twcjr44
The idea that we are living in a virtual reality is also described by many other mathematicians and physicists such as Nick Bolstrom, Brian Whitworth and Mark Wheeler to name a few. This has spawned a new branch of physics called digital physics and a theory called simulation theory.
For more details I have written an article which covers this in some greater detail called, "Time and space are not what you think." http://you-are-dreaming.blogspot.ca/2013/09/time-and-space-are-not-what-you-think.html
If reality is simply information that is accessed by an observer which in turn a computer-like system then renders that data into particles; were lies the relationship between the observer and the observed in this equation? This brings us back to what dreams are, and how they fit in to this reality system as a whole.
The first idea that must be addressed is the flow of information from the server to the client in a virtual reality. This information is what we call a datastream which is simply information. It is up to the client to process this information and render the data into some meaningful view. If we look at objective reality as information; then this information represents the physical datastream which through our physical senses we download the data, process the data and render a final product of the data in a meaningful view.
This relationship between objective data and our selves as the client observing this data is already self-evident. We may not recognize as the observer how important the mechanics of perception and information processing by the brain is; nor see how fundamental the final rendered product of this information actually is. It's importance in my opinion is beyond the scope of just physical reality and deeply connects to the dreamstate and any other state we may find ourselves in where information is being rendered into a view from any caveat of consciousness in it's many altered states.
Why is it self-evident that you are rendering data from the objective world using your physical senses as the inputs that download this information? If you want to see this in action, close your eyes and the final-product of the mind rendering visual information will stop. Open them again and you will continue to render visual information. Where are you rendering this information is important to understanding this fundamental this final-product of information processing and rendering by the brain actually is.
Unlike a computer which uses a computer screen that provides the feedback of what binary information looks like at the information level, our body does not have a physical computer screen whereby it renders our perception of reality. The brain which is simply a neural network of neurons has to simulate the computer screen in a virtual way.
It's worth mentioning how through the ages philosophers tackled this relationship between what the mind generates and what the observer observes dates back to Plato's Cave analogy. Rene Descartes recognized that the brain preformed some type of pre-processing on sensory input and projected this into some kind of internal screen where a "little man" the homunculus sat in the seat of the soul which resided in the pineal gland, and this has become known as "The Cartesian Theatre". Anthony Peake a British Author further expands this idea into what he calls the "Bohmian IMAX".
In many ways, this internal theatre acts like a holodeck like we see in Star Trek as it simulates 3d space, time and every sensory quality of perception in a meaningful way. This doesn't mean however that every detail exactly represents what is out there in the objective datastream. Our senses are very limited and the brain does fill in the blanks as is evident by this simple optical illusion provided in this link: http://gifs.gifbin.com/052012/1337880361_ugly_celebrities_optical_illusion.gif
These subjective differences in how the brain processes sensory information is evident in how a colour blind person perceives the objective data which would appear different to a person who is not colour blind. These subjective qualities are also recognized as something called, "Qualia" or the experience of reality but does not imply what the experience is as having total objectivity. This is likely why some people prefer chocolate ice-cream and others vanilla. Why some like country music and others prefer classical rock. How we perceive our reality is filtered and rendered subjectively; what that implies is that we only see is our experience of reality in a filtered down little-world view.
That doesn't mean it completely omits what is out there in the objective datastream; our brain does an amazing job of putting all that information together in a very close approximation. If it didn't we would likely never be able to drive cars en mass as everyone would be crashing and causing all sorts of mayhem. We wouldn't have accurate measurements down to the micron because what we do have in terms of resolution and is a very close approximation of that objective data.
Again, if you feel that you are not simply observing an experience of reality in this Cartesian Theatre simply close your eyes and it will become very apparent that what you are experiencing is a mind-generated rendering, a final product based on information processing and data inputs through the physical body. Thus we see the client (you and your body) and the server (objective reality) in terms of a metaphorical relationship.
How does dreaming stack up in terms of datastreams and information processing? Is there a relationship between the Cartesian Theatre and how our dream content is rendered? The answer in my opinion is again self-evident that when we are asleep and dreaming, the content of the dream is also rendering on the same Cartesian Theatre that our sensory-perceptions when we are awake are rendering on.
What is interesting to note with dreams however is the dream datastream. What is programming and encoding this datastream? What are the inputs downloading that data? We already know where that data is being rendered so we need to look closer at the first two questions.
Dream content is mind-generated meaning many unconscious processes are involved directly linked to you, and your own consciousness whereby what you think during a dream; renders out into a view on the Cartesian Theatre. Dreams themselves when we are actively having them often appear as real as our waking life. For most people, they do not realize they were actually in a dream until they wake up.
This is not an uncommon occurrence for most people. Dreams can translate into spectacular virtual reality simulations rich with both content and sensory feedback. They can appear physical and solid. You can simulate sight, hearing, touch and even taste and smell during a dream. Hot/Cold and pain can also be experienced during a dream depending on how sensory aware you are during them.
Like cheat-codes in computer games, lucid dreamers can experience "God" mode where the dream content doesn't hurt them, or "no-clipping" mode where they can pass through walls and objects in the dream state. Just an interesting observation and fun to note for you gamers out there.
For a more comprehensive look at dreaming, I've also written a free e-book entitled, "You Are Dreaming" which you can freely download here: You Are Dreaming Free eBook [PDF]
In understanding that a dream reality is a virtual reality created by a system of consciousness, it is also important to note that you are that system of consciousness that is creating your dream content. It's prudent to dismiss yourself as the director of your dream content assuming you lack the aptitude to control your dreams. It's more important to note that you may just be in the passenger's seat of your unconscious processes rather in the driver's seat which is why lucid dreaming becomes vital for better dream control and exploration.
What we do know about dreams is the fact they can be very real when we have them, and the reasons for that can be directly linked to how information is processed and rendered on this Cartesian Theatre. Both dreams and reality render there, and both offer unique experiences directly related to you, the observer.
If we examine dreams, there is another self-evident fact regarding what programs the dream and also what the dream content is rendered as. We know that every detail from light, colour, sound and objects including 3d space itself in a dream is the final rendering of information processing. Unlike atoms and Boson's dreams content is made up of a more fundamental rudimentary "bit", and that "bit" is thought. Thought is the programming language of dreams and is the most fundamental component of that system. If physical reality is simply a much larger dream at a Universal scale then it would also hold true that thought programs the objective datastream as well.
Which makes thought very important for both objective reality and dreams so raising some conjecture regarding this topic is very important to understanding some deep underlying mechanics of reality as a whole. Fortunately, there are some simple self-evident exercises that can help you see thought in action as to how it programs the Cartesian Theatre and how the Theatre simply responds to thought in the most profound way.
When we often think of thought, we associate it to the inner-voice which represents our inner-monologue which is a sub-vocalization in our conditioned language. When you read this text you should have a faint auditory sound of your voice reading out each word. This is thought in the form of sound providing feedback on your Cartesian Theatre.
When you imagine an apple for example with your eyes closed. The visual image of an apple will appear on this canvas in a faint way. The more you relax and focus on this visual form of thinking, the more contrast and resolution will occur and the image can become much more vivid and crisp.
This ability to think in sensory forms is not limited to just sound and thought. You can apply the same attention-focusing techniques to taste, touch and smell. This is most evident when you are falling asleep and the dream starts to take shape. Dreams simply perfect in action how our thoughts form complex sensory feedback on the Cartesian Theatre. This is very self-evident for lucid dreamers or people who pay attention to their thoughts when falling asleep.
This more advance sensory-form of thinking is a type of language. A form of non-verbal communication between aspects of yourself. Sigmund Freud recognized that our consciousness was compartmentalized and composed of what he felt was the id, ego, super-ego and unconscious. How these parts communicate amongst themselves is related to these variances in verbal and non-verbal communication. You already see in action how these systems work to produce very elaborate dreams during sleep.
What if this network of consciousness of which we are a part of extends to the Universe itself? Some kind of cosmic mind whereby we are all individual parts; yet still connected? How would this larger part communicate to it's smaller parts? How would the smaller parts interpret that language and communication?
Through precognitive dreams for those of you who have them, you are already seeing in action how a dream, which is composed entirely of thought represents a future event. When the dream actualizes the dream seems to materialize as an event in objective reality. For those of you who do not, well that missing ingredient is very helpful in understanding this covert relationship between thought and the reality it creates.
This possibility that physical reality could also be derived from dreaming or thought is not a new idea. The question really remains if it's true, how do you see this within your own experiences? And if you can accept that possibility... what next?
Many of these ideas are either touched on or expanded on in the following abstract and book:
Abstract: Theory of Precognitive Dreams [PDF]
Book: You Are Dreaming [PDF]