Virtual games exist to benefit their players not themselves, so the aim of Civilization isn’t to conquer a virtual earth nor is Warcraft about conquering orcs. Their aim is the player experience not the game result. The success of a game is measured by the player effect and the same applies to simulations – we don’t care if a virtual plane crashes in a flight simulator as long as the pilot learns. In general, virtual realities exist to benefit those that experience them, so a virtual reality that doesn’t benefit its observers, that exists by and for itself alone, is utterly pointless. If we observe a virtual reality, it must benefit its observer but who exactly is that in this case?
In quantum theory, an observation is what collapses a quantum wave in a physical event, so the first quantum collapse after the universe began was the first observation. This observation was before matter or the information we abstract from it arose, so it can’t derive from either. And if to observe is to experience, as the first fact asserts, it must have been so from the beginning. After all, what could make it so afterwards?
Quantum theory also states that a photon wave chooses where hits a screen from its quantum distribution without regard to its physical history. Physics calls it random, as if it had no value, but if the same quantum choice allows our attention, that is a choice worth having. To call photon choices random but not apply the same logic to our own choices isn’t scientific.
Observation and choice are critical to quantum theory because it needs them to work. When electrons collide, their quantum waves overlap until a physical event entangles them into a quantum ensemble that spreads waves again. This suggests that being the same entangled entity lets them observe each other at that moment, and this gives observation a quantum base.
A photon wave that is spread over a galaxy can still restart at a physical point because it is an entity. In quantum realism, a quantum wave is an entity because there is one server causing it that can restart the wave at any point. In human terms, that server entity is it’s being, defined as what it really is. A photon then isn’t quantum waves spreading on space but the entity that creates them and our physical universe began as photon entities, each able to observe and choose.
The observations of a photon are infinitesimal but it is argued that all later beings originated from this primal ground. The observer of our universe started small but was able to evolve with it because quantum entities can entangle into a bigger entity to increase being. Most entanglements untangle at the next physical event, but some survived as matter. Being increased more as matter evolved into life and eventually human beings that are both sentient and conscious. To call oneself “I” needs data processing functions like language and the unity of consciousness. We are sentient beings because we can both experience reality and think about it.
Figure 6.41 expands Wheeler’s observing eye universe to include the role of consciousness.
In the beginning, quantum reality existed alone, as the only reality. Our universe (U) began when a quantum entity gave its activity to its neighbors, creating one photon in a unit of space, and others followed suite until space expanding stopped it. This creation split the primal reality into:
1. Server entities that generate quantum waves and restart them as necessary, and
2. A client network on which quantum waves spread and interact in a lawful manner.
This split was needed because a reality that exists alone must make a universe from itself. Potters make pots from clay that is around them but what existed before the universe began had nothing to work with but itself. It had to create a virtual reality and provide the observer and the observed from itself, as follows:
1. Server entities generate quantum waves on the client network.
2. Quantum waves interact to overload the client network in a physical event.
3. The physical event causes the quantum entities involved to restart at a chosen point.
4. Restarting at the same point entangles them into a larger quantum entity.
5. The entanglement generates an observer experience.
6. This experience reflects reality at that instant but doesn’t exist in any other sense.
A physical observation then is a snapshot of reality but isn’t reality itself, which is the quantum waves that exist before and after it occurs. A physical event takes one quantum cycle but countless quantum cycles came before, so it is like a camera that takes a photo of quantum reality every million years or more. The photo we observe isn’t reality because it is just a photo.
Photons observing on an infinitesimal scale was the beginning but then, the left side of the U in Figure 6.41 evolved into matter, life and brains like ours. There were electrons, quarks, atoms, molecules and, on earth at least, macro-molecules like RNA. Biological evolution then took over where matter left off, first as simple cells then the complex cells of plants and animals. At each stage, quantum being increased. Over billions of years, part of a universe of light became matter, part of matter became life and part of life became sentient. Most of the universe isn’t conscious but the trend to increase it is clear. The universe evolved into human beings that observe it.
Figure 6.41 gives a new answer to the question “Where does observation occur?” Physical realism locates it in the brain but can’t say what nerve systems observe. Dualism locates it in a mind realm but can’t say how that realm works. Dual aspect monism locates the pain experience at the point where it occurs (Velmans, 2021), but phantom limb pains have no such point.
In quantum realism, the observer isn’t in our space at all because a server can’t be on its own client network, as a client event at its location would crash it. Figure 6.41 has to keep server entities apart from the client network to ensure that observing never fails:
“The materialistic theory is a logical blunder, because it is based on a confusion between the object and subject. It asserts that matter is objective, but at the same time tries to show that it is also the cause of the subject, which it can never be. ‘A’ can never become ‘non-A’.” (Abhedananda, 1905) p22
In Figure 6.41, server entities must observe physical events from outside the client network because observer and observed must be “A and non-A”. The observed physical event is local but the observer isn’t in physical space at all. We observe physical reality as we see a snow scene in a glass globe – from the outside. One can tap a point to see what appears but can no more enter the globe than a player can jump into a game screen. The “I” that observes and chooses the scenes of physical reality must exist outside it.
But why bother? How can a virtual universe that must end one day benefit its creator? One answer is that its evolution raises the coherence of the entities that created it. If so, our physical universe exists to increase consciousness, perhaps because only the observation and choice of physical events allow that. In this case, rather than an accidental byproduct of an indifferent universe, we may be part of why it exists.
If our universe exists to increase consciousness, given its scale, we are at best an ongoing experiment of consciousness and at worst, too smart for our own good and about to die out. It took six million years for a chimp-like ancestor to become human, so if we fail, something else will come along in what, for the universe, isn’t even a heartbeat. Either way, the universe will continue to evolve quantum consciousness on a vast scale.
The next chapter considers the possibility that some among us long ago realized by intuition what has been deduced by science and logic here – that physical reality isn’t what it seems and that what is manifest exists for the realization of what is not.