Does God Exist?
“Suppose you were timeless.”
“What do you mean?”
“Means you cannot die.”
“Suppose you have anything and everything that you ever wanted or
“Yeah, any thing you wanted or needed.”
“You were infinite.”
“What do you mean?”
“Means you are everywhere.”
“That’s odd! But okay.”
“You were perfect.”
“You mean never made any mistake?”
“Then what would you be doing now?”
Baffled, trying to fulfill his obligation to answer these weird questions from his dad, eight o’clock in the morning, and trying hard to keep his mind away from his digital acquisitions, my thirteen-year-old Monish attempted to force this reply out of his reluctant mind, “Sounds like you are once again confused about God, Papa! Well, I would do what God does! Just watch and help, as you know ‘run this universe.’” He pretended to sound interested and meaningful.
As I dropped him to his school and headed to my work, his words reverberated in my mind. “Why is a thirteen-year-old so clear about God that has me confused and unclear about its existence and nature for so long?” I pondered. At one time, earlier in my younger days of learning and practicing hard-core science, I had never allowed my mind to entertain such thoughts about behavior or even existence of such a godlike entity. However, today, I must confess, it has become my obsession.
With incredible progress in science over the last century, the inner workings or our universe is becoming clear both at the physical and computational level. This is leading to an incredible paradigm shift. It is leading us to see universe as a grand, digital, informational, computational entity. Hustling and bustling with incredible dance of bits, bytes, and quantum, creating incredible array of events and action, almost like a living entity. Is there a God, divinity, or even a digital divine buried in the nature of this entity?
Most of us are conditioned to think that we are all distinct three-dimensional beings and live in a physical universe comprising of three-dimensional space-time where time represents change. As the gap between science and spirituality closes, a new dimension of our perception is emerging that is challenging this view. Information is at the root of it all. The words like data, knowledge, wisdom, programs, meaning, and intelligence reflect the mode of inner workings of this universe. The concepts like systems, emergent properties, entanglement, oneness, information processing, mind, and self-knowledge become the hallmark of this paradigm. All the complexity of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and even spirituality all reduce into a simple computational reality reflected by posing of simple yes/no answers.
This is so bizarre and hard to believe and yet forms the cornerstone of our new reality. A reality that undermines the separateness of all, and highlights oneness, that resides at the root of all existence. The oneness that is critical for us to understand, benefit, and manipulate our true reality. It is the dimension which arises out of advances in mathematics or science of computation or science of information. It is the information processing which transcends space-time, acting in concert with our physical universe, which runs in a computerlike manner. Our universe is a mega quantum computer that is performing a grand act of information processing. What is it computing? It computes itself and its components, says Professor Seth Lloyd of MIT, in his book Programming the Universe, a pioneer in the field of quantum computing. In addition, there appears to be a seamless link between the separates in physical dimensions and oneness of this computational dimension.
This feature of computation has remarkable likenesses to the dimensions of spirituality. So-called mystics may now believe that finally there is an expression of science, which supports what they have always believed in. A dimension that is free from constraints of space and time, that is timeless, and spaceless. A dimension with computationally executable programs, like computer programs we are familiar with or instruction sets of a special kind. A worldview in which all interactions in a space-time world are rooted in computation. A perspective that involves computational elements of space-time floating and interacting with one another in various mathematical forms such as functions, equations, and computational systems. Some may even call it the dimension of divinity, as its description resembles closely to omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent description of God. A dimension of miracles, greatness, and grandeur as it succeeds in creating and managing infinity of the universe. It is a dimension of perfection, eternity, and infinity. A dimension where all dualities merge, and one emerges! A dimension of, one may say, unconditional love, an essential ingredient of oneness. A depth in which supreme design, connectivity, and management live. An incredible capacity, which represents supreme intelligence and perhaps supreme empathy. Undoubtedly, a dimension of universal love, or connectivity, with omniscient, omnipresence, and omnipotence characteristics.
Humans have intuitively felt the computational nature of our existence since ancient times. Scientific methods involving theory, control experimentation, observation, and analysis evolved from that belief. Newtonian physics almost came to a conclusion that universe, including us, are a part of a physical, mechanical device that works with complete determinism, reductionism obeying mathematical theories underlying the Newtonian physics. This was a different universe that spiritual and religious belief led to, where a holistic and empathetic universe with divine, unconditional love was the central principles of universal existence.
An even deeper computational nature of existence has evolved from the advances in modern science. Latest scientific studies have shown that this deeper computational dimension lies at the root of our existence and goes well beyond what Newtonian physics could realize. It is the dimension of digital divine. Later I will explain the relevance of this emerging dimension with our ever-growing understanding of a quantum world and evolving principles of quantum physics. From this perspective, the universe still appears to be a machine, but a different machine than Newtonian physicists suspected. A quantum universal information-processing system that is holistic, empathetic, and exudes promise of unconditional love, just as spiritual wisdom projected. Same to be true for life including human beings, which can be viewed as quantum information-processing entities, linked with universal quantum information processor, connected to one another using local as well as nonlocal quantum communication channels. At the east, the gap between the scientific and spiritual wisdom is narrowing in a meaningful way.
I have always been an ardent advocate of systems view of the universe. A repeated theme that you will encounter will be that the universe is one system, and all in it are interactive subsystems. Over a period, we have developed vocabulary such as matter, mass, particle, waves, energy, silence, machine, and devices to describe this one system, our universe. I will start with a general discussion on the devices of nature operating between silence and energetic states. A deeper discussion on the nature of silence and energy will reveal a computational nature of universe and its devices. From this point of view, the silence will appear, not as profound emptiness, but more like grand fullness or an incredible inkpad on which energy, the ink of creation, has written the equations of universe. We will explore Newtonian determinism with quantum uncertainty and general nature of quantum entities leading to atomic, subatomic, and molecular entities to further our grasp of these fascinating devices of nature. We would learn to recognize the visible universe as the interactive collection of quantum mechanical, computational devices operating between silence and energetic states. More importantly, we will develop a model of our universe as a giant quantum computing system where a quantum bit or qubit is the smallest unit for processing quantum information, and the universe itself is a grand quantum information-processing and distribution system. This computational system can also be described as a cosmic mind, just to emphasize its similarities with the human mind. How does life arise through a process of self-assembly, from this quantum distribution system, and masters a binary information generation and distribution system, leading to modern humans and human society? I will address how the quantum and binary information switches need intelligence or mind to make cooperative decisions.
Today, we are forced to examine our reality based on at least three levels of existence. First, is the physical level. It is the physical universe that we see, touch, or feel. I have portrayed this physical universe as myriad of interactive systems or one may say the system of devices. From this view, humans are one such device of the physical universe. The second reality is mental reality, which is a property of a conscious observer that is able and desirous to make sense out of this existence. The mental reality leads us to another reality, which may be the most absolute reality of the three. It is the mathematical or informational reality. I would refer to this reality as computational reality stemming from its likeness to computers or more precisely computational algorithms. There is another, fourth level of reality, which may be even more critical to access true reality. It is experiential level. It relies on subjective experience of an observer or observer-based reality.
With advances in quantum physics, the observer has become central to experiencing and creating any sense of reality. Our senses confirm that we are separate from the rest. Nevertheless, the connectedness at the quantum level as one defies this description of reality. How do limitations of our senses affect our view of the true nature of reality? What kind of perspective leads us to unity consciousness as suggested by quantum nature of our universe? Does this nature of universe turn our concept of reality upside down? What is the true nature of reality? As it will become clear that much of human sufferings root from an old perspective of separation-based binary thinking, inculcated deep in our psyche, especially reinforced during the evolution of materialism or an era when Newtonian deterministic belief reigned supreme. A newer mode of human thinking, rooted in quantum nature of our being, will revolutionize the way humans look at their world, their challenges, and their joy. Once understood well, the world will never be the same and collective human sufferings will gradually disappear. In order to accomplish this, we must take that road to understand the new form of divinity or better yet digital divine.
An excerpt from the book Road to Digital Divine, Computational Nature of Mind and Matter
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