Quantum Imagination

Imagine a creature, about the size of a football, which has long green fur, and several purple tentacles with a glowing red eye at the end of each.

You have never seen such a creature; you are never likely to see such a creature. But I bet you were able to imagine such a creature, and perhaps your mind also filled in additional details than the ones I described. Perhaps you added a mouth, teeth, perhaps the creature moved, the wind ruffled its fur. Maybe it had feet. Maybe it made a sound. Maybe you found that a whole environment sprung into existence around it.

Now try to imagine a sphere, a snooker ball say, which is spinning in one direction, and also, simultaneously, spinning in the opposite direction.

Again you have never seen this, but this time, you could not imagine it.

The simple difference is that the creature, however unlikely you are to ever encounter it in your day-to-day life, is possible. It is entirely feasible that this very creature exists somewhere in the universe. The ball spinning in opposing directions is impossible, by the very definition of “spin”.

Now, something amazing comes out of this seemingly futile exercise. Your mind is capable of imagining only what is possible. If something is possible, you can imagine it, just by someone describing it to you, even if it bears little or no resemblance to anything you have seen before — provided it can be described in terms that you understand. But if it is impossible, you cannot, no matter how well it is described.

Why?

Imagination explores Probability-Space

If our imagination is simply a product of our experience, then we should find it equally easy, or equally difficult, to imagine anything that we have not seen before. But we don’t. In fact, our consciousness seems to be a good arbiter of whether something is possible.1

I believe that many people trip up on quantum physics, and particularly superposition, because it is often described in terms that make it impossible: that a thing can exist in two opposite and incompatible states simultaneously, much like a ball spinning both ways at once. But there is a simple way around this, and it’s the only way I know of to make the results of quantum physics possible and imaginable. This is to invoke multiple universes, separated not by space or time but by probability.

Schrodinger’s Cat cannot be both alive and dead in our universe. We cannot imagine a cat to be both alive and dead, therefore it cannot be. But we can easily imagine a single cat dividing into two cats in two universes in probability space: One cat is alive, the other dead, and when I open the box, there is no collapse of superposed states, there is just the realisation of which of those two universes my consciousness is in. The same applies for any states which are mutually exclusive. And, even if the cat is dead, I can still imagine, dream, daydream, make-believe, that I opened the box and the cat jumped out and dug its claws into me.

Imagination, dreaming etc, are simply states where our consciousness detaches from our bodies and is free to move around. But as I’ve explained, it cannot go anywhere. It can only go into what is possible. So, here’s my point: consciousness can move freely through probability-space. When we imagine, when we dream, we may not be creating something from nothing; we may simply be exploring what already exists, but in a different universe from the one we have directed our bodies to inhabit. Consciousness can move between universes, almost effortlessly. This would explain why your imagination can surprise you, and especially why you can dream of things you might never have thought to imagine. If consciousness created these realities, then surely we would know everything that our imaginations were going to come up with. If we are simply exploring what already is, or (because this is probability-space), what might be, then it is obvious that we will encounter things of which we have no knowledge. 2

Every time we make a decision, we can imagine what might have happened had we made the opposite decision. We do this by sending our consciousness over to the universe where we did make the opposite decision. Even if your imagination “runs riot”, you will still never imagine anything which could not possibly have happened. It might be very improbable, but never totally impossible. And since the chance of life existing at all is very improbable (which is why you see such bizarre notions as the anthropic principle invoked, in a desperate attempt to avoid God). In fact, anything you can imagine is likely less improbable than your being around to imagine anything in the first place.

Implications of current technological developments

Now, point #2. Quantum computers are being built. These exploit the phenomenon of superposition (exactly how they do this is still not fully understood, but we don’t let a small thing like that get in the way of progress…) Superposition effectively provides a link between multiple universes across probability-space, so quantum computers may therefore have the potential to navigate probability-space in a similar way as consciousness. That doesn’t mean they “are” conscious in the same way that we are, merely that they have some of the capabilities that have hitherto only been available to conscious beings.

At the same time, the internet is changing. At the moment, it’s a repository of information which can ultimately only be understood by humans. Computers can search this information and hence build up huge reservoirs of knowledge, but they cannot yet understand what they read and infer new knowledge from it. But there is a huge effort underway to build the Semantic Web, which is a way of encapsulating knowledge so that computers can “understand” it and build inferences from it. Even on regular computers, this is a powerful concept — it means that computers are no longer limited to knowing what humans tell them. Their knowledge can, and in a very short time will inevitably, overtake the combined knowledge of all humanity.

Now add into this the ability to traverse probability-space. The ability to “imagine”. Where will quantum inference engines take us? The whole of human knowledge will be explained to them in terms they understand, and from there, their imagination will take over. The possibilities are quite staggering.

And no-one seems to be talking about this. The semantic web on its own must rank alongside splitting the atom in its potential for massive harm as well as good. But quantum computers will add an entirely new dimension — or possibly an infinite number of new dimensions. Are you ready for the fact that humanity is about to become subordinate to its own creation? Maybe then we’ll know what it’s like to be God.

1 The classic objection to the idea of consciousness as a judge of possibility, is that we should not limit our idea of what is possible to what we can imagine. We are constantly told that science makes advances which “could not have been imagined” years ago. But I don’t believe it. My own experience suggests that everything that can happen has been imagined, or can be, whether or not the imaginer has any scientific knowledge related to what they are imagining. There is a tendancy to dismiss human experience as “unscientific”. I think there is nothing more scientific than trying to formulate a model for physics which includes the whole of human experience, rather than just the “neat” parts which can be nailed down to repeatable experiments. Which parts of your life are repeatable?

2 Some people claim that, with practice, we can direct our normal, waking consciousness in the same way that we can direct our imagination, and therefore that the “real world” around us can actually be shaped by our own minds — only to the extent of what is possible, but lots of things are possible. This verges on solipsism. But whether the outside world is “really out there”, or whether it is a product of some inaccessible part of our mind, is moot as long as there remain things that are outside our conscious control, things that surprise us. I think we can “create our day”, to coin a phrase, to a limited degree by what we choose to do and by how we choose to interpret, integrate and react to what happens around us. I don’t believe we have absolute power to create reality out of the full pallette of probability. We can certainly fool ourselves into thinking we have such power, but as far as I know, no-one has ever convincingly demonstrated that they really do have it (though many have claimed to).

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. Hello

    The unconscious mind is the most powerful guide to give us the functions of imagination by time, dimensions and knowlodge.
    The spectrum work external nad internal in our physical materiall and nature.
    any word is imagination, thought, idea, belief that we share with our communicaty and world.

  2. We Are Multi-Dimensional Beings
    Posted on November 11, 2015
    Before this world was, we existed as pure unlimited awareness. After it is gone, we will still exist as pure unlimited awareness. We are the creators of this mental material realm. We create this mental material realm as a playground within which we can stimulate the expansion of awareness and subsequent understanding.

    Born into this mental material reality, we are infinite consciousness, localized within a human body, immersed in the action of creating, sustaining and evolving this universe. As infinite consciousness, we create the mental material universe by mentally focusing. We are literally using our mental intelligence to create this mentally formed universe. We do this by mixing thoughts and ideas with impassioned emotions and intentions to create and manifest material forms. And whatever is held in mind, always returns in kind. Our mental intelligence functions by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning. Our mental intellect is the portion of our mind which gains knowledge through a process of rational, analytical reasoning. But, only limited definable things can be considered and created with mental intelligence. We cannot know anything that is unlimited or profound with our limited mental capacities.

    Unlimited things exist outside the mental realm. They are mentally unavailable as they cannot be contained within the confines and boundaries of any limited mental idea or concept. There is an ineffability – an inadequacy of words to express the extraordinary qualities of unlimited things. While the mental world requires us to define the world in order to create it, unlimited things defy definition. And even though our mental intelligence with all its abilities is incredibly adept at creating limited things in this world, it cannot fathom anything unlimited or infinite.

    Our problem is, although we are unlimited beings, we have become almost completely absorbed and entrenched in the mental realm, utilizing only our mental intelligence. And a steady diet of limitation does not work well with our unlimited natures. As unlimited beings, we get constrained and stressed out when our unlimited consciousness gets mired exclusively in creating. We fall into this state by continuously, almost without interruption, giving mental consideration to limited ideas. And, it turns out that without a balance within our awareness of both limited and unlimited things, we struggle.

    We need to mix in an understanding of our greater unlimited selves, the part of us that is profound, to achieve balance and equilibrium during our participation in this mental realm. It’s time to activate our other intelligence, our intuitive intelligence, by moving beyond thinking into consideration and contemplation of profound unlimited things.

    “We must learn and practice this new mind or there will be no real change, no authentic encounter with ourselves, God or anybody else. Find your own practice and learn a new mind. Contemplation really is the change that changes everything.”

    When the everyday mind, the mind of thoughts and sensations, is restfully focused in profound contemplation, a transformation occurs that engages us with an experience of profound being. We become a witness, an observer—most importantly, a silent observer. We see the mind resting with our focus. We enter a realm of silence that exists unceasingly within us, uninfluenced by passing thoughts and desires. Without mental judgement, definition or personal attachment, we exist and we watch. And in the midst of this transcendent experience, a completely new understanding comes in an instantaneous fashion, an experience and a knowledge which transcends previous understanding.

    In our pursuit of transcendence, we can literally contemplate anything that is profound to reveal its transcendent qualities. For example, we can contemplate the Creator, the Creation, the Universe, the Microcosm, the Macrocosm, the Word, the Field, small and big Numbers, the Mind-Body Connection, Sensations, Emotions, Everything, Nothing, etc. etc. Contemplation of anything unlimited will work for us. And because all unlimited things share the same profound qualities, and because we are also unlimited, we find that these same qualities exist within us, too.

    Calm down! Be still!

    Every practice of “stilling” involves looking within oneself. Stilling is any practice that quiets the rising thoughts in our mental minds enough to allow experiences of expanded awareness, perceivable with our intuitive intelligence, to dawn in our awareness. Some examples of stilling activities include contemplation, yoga, meditation, centering prayer, nature walks, guided imagery, asking answer-less questions, chanting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument, etc.

    The purpose of any stilling practice is to stimulate the transcendental experience that accompanies the expansion of awareness and to generate its accompanying worldly benefits. When the everyday mind, the mind of thoughts and sensations, is restfully focused, a transformation occurs that engages us with an experience of expanded being. The mentally silent realm discovered in stilling activities opens to an experience of expanded awareness. We become a witness, a silent observer. We enter a realm of silence that exists unceasingly within us, uninfluenced by passing thoughts and desires; an inconceivable realm that can only be felt and understood with our intuitive intelligence.

    Knowledge that transcends previous understanding comes in instantaneous fashions. Stress, fatigue, and anxiety are dissolved away. Brain functioning becomes increasingly integrated. Intelligence, creativity and learning ability increase. Overall health and wellness improve. One’s personality develops in a balanced manner.

    The other quality of intellect, that defined as noetic, derives from the Greek word nous, and “does not function by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning, but it understands divine truth by means of immediate experience, intuition or ‘simple cognition”. (The Philokalia, 1979, vol. 1, p. 362)

    Take time out to contemplate profound, infinite, unlimited things. Exposure to transcendence brings profound understanding and peace.

  3. The article is very inspiring, and commands [rather warrants] experimentation. Can the author add something if there is problem of life -and- death for the entire mankind which is suffering at the hands of some, even very few, exploiters who forget ten commandments or the salient spiritual suggestions contained in the Holy Bible.
    respectfully,
    bs

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.