Atheists Answer This Question: How Can a Limited Intelligence Contain a Greater Intelligence? The Mystics and Physicist's God.
A Proof of God in Three Steps
If by the end of this you don’t feel God running through your veins and moving through your spinal cord like a shiver… you probably should’ve smoked more weed before reading further than this line. For this is not addressed to those who think God can’t be found in the more fluid states of human consciousness… that is actually God’s permanent address. He’s that gust of breeze at dawn that can only be fully experienced when one is naked. A mind clad in corporate suits and leather shoes would find the touch of God unpleasant; like the brush against a stranger’s body on public transport; something otherwise entirely natural but repulsively inappropriate under the arbitrary paradigms of human civilization.
So leave your shoes outside and follow me. Only the bare of feet are entertained here. But do bring your mind along. You’re going to need it. This is after all, a scientific, rational proof of God.
Your Skin Does Not Contain You
Her name, is Jill Bolte Taylor. She studied the brain at Harvard and Indiana University and went on to establish herself as one of the leading neuroanatomists in the world. One morning she woke up, got out of bed, undressed, got into the shower and as she was taking the shower, realized that she could no longer discern where her hand ended and the tiled wall against which it was resting, began. The boundaries of her being, the outlines of her physical self that she used to differentiate between herself and the world around her, had disappeared. Jill Bolte Taylor was no more. There was only the continuous ocean of energy that extended all the way from her body to the ends of the universe. And she was a part of it. And she could see it and feel it, clear as the fucking daylight.
What did she do? She reminded herself that she was having a stroke; that her brain was gradually shutting down, one hemisphere at a time. That feeling of limitlessness, that was her left brain giving up. She suddenly had a powerful insight; it was her brain that told her that she was separate from the universe. It was her brain that defined her self for her, her brain that was the source of her self-awareness, her brain that explained her how she looked like, and howother things were and how she existed in relation to other things. The reality was, the shower curtain and her hand were more alike than they were different. They were both made of energy.
Everything in the universe is made up of either matter or energy. One of the implications of Einstein’s theory of relativity is the idea calledenergy-matter duality. It goes something like this; matter is, at the very fundamental level, just energy concentrated at a point, and energy is, to generalize a little bit, matter exhibiting wave behavior. Matter can be broken into pieces or fused together to release large amounts of energy and similarly energy can be captured inside matter through changing the state of matter. Matter is energy, and energy is matter. It’s all basically the same thing.
Now, since everything is the same, then the boundaries, limits, containers and skins we imagine upon entities are essentially as much a matter of perception as they are a matter of objective reality. We don’t really know where one thing ends and the other begins, we just imagine arbitrary outlines because that helps us operate in the world in a more efficient and survival savvy way. Consider any two objects, the coffee mug sitting next to your type writer and the workstation it’s resting its bottom on. Now, you’d like to imagine these two things as being separate from one another, but the truth is, there is an ongoing exchange of energy and matter taking place at all times across the boundary where the base of the cup and the tabletop meet. The most obvious of these transactions is the exchange of quanta of energy in the form of heat. Also, all matter at all times is always decaying and giving off some amount of radioactivity; too small to have any significance in our lives, but this barter is still always taking place; taking place right in front of your eyes and right across the boundaries that you would imagine impermeable for matter. All boundaries everywhere are only impermeable for some percentage of some forms of energy or matter. There isn’t a cup out there that holds everything, always, forever.
When we define an entity as an object separate from its surroundings, we are making a subconscious choice to ignore the multitude of uninterrupted connections that the object maintains with its habitat. The cup is connected to the desk, which is connected to the floor and the air around it, which is connected to everything else in the room, which is connected to the rest of building which is connected to the atmosphere and hence the entire planet. The planet in turn, is connected to outer space and hence to the entire universe. Everything is one interconnected blob of energy in its multiple manifest forms. Even “empty” space-time has background energy. Energy is everywhere; it forms the base fabric of our universe. We are not separate from it, we are only concentrated little lumps in the grand custard of energy that is our universe.
The distinction between entities seems even more meaningless when one of those entities is a living thing. Self-awareness or the ability to see yourself as separate from the space you inhabit, isn’t the rule in the world of consciousness, it’s an anomaly. It’s not a fact or self-evident universal truth, it’s just a cognitive skill that some species have evolved and honed into a ruthless über-survivalist weapon. Right now there are hundred of thousands of living species traveling back and forth almost unhindered across the boundary of your self that you call your skin; not to say anything of the heat exchange or other forms of energy barter your body constantly engages in at all times. Your skin is no boundary, it’s just an input output device you’ve evolved to better control the exchange of energy and matter. You are not separate from your surroundings; your mind just tells you you are because this worldview increases your chances of survival and propagation.
Everything is connected. It’s all energy, and so are we; a tiny globule of energy in a big abounding mass of it. Mystics felt this truth in their bones centuries ago. Today, scientistsknow it for a fact.
As her mind flickered Jill Bolte Taylor saw, felt, heard, smelled and tasted this fact in her entire body, and came to a realization of it deeper than the mystics could have enjoyed or other scientists discerned. Jill met God like only a twenty-first century neuroanatomist having a stroke could have.
Decision Diamonds are Forever
There’s a delusion at play here, a hoax, the greatest perhaps in the history of consciousness. We are all victims of it and we’re the perpetrators too. We start running the trick on ourselves the moment we are born, then we continue to layer upon it further magma of fiction, with each layer thickening the artificial profundity of the illusion. But an illusion it is, and in moments of quiet reflection -trying perhaps to imagine what it would be like to ride a beam of light, or watching a bush burn in the desert under a starlit night, or tuning in to the rhythms of the universe uninterrupted after completely losing all hearing- we sometimes finally break through. We see the illusion for what it is, an illusion. We realize that the world of matter that our souls had so obsessed over for so long is only a minor and probably insignificant slice of our entire existence; that our true selves extend from the heavens to hell, that the material form we take in this life does not define us. That the fundamental unit of our existence is not a cell or an atom or a quark, it’s a decision diamond.
What’s a decision diamond, you ask. It’s the fundamental unit of intelligence. An if-then structure with a binary output, any simple rule that says, if condition A is satisfied then do X otherwise do Y. We are not made of cells or atoms, we are made of millions of trillions of these decision diamonds, interconnected, nested, serially or parallel linked to each other to construct the grand symphonies of our consciousness and souls. These decision diamonds are mostly expressed in the form of energy -as the ever morphing cloud of electrical sparks that resides on our neural network- and only partly implemented upon matter as atoms or cells that make up our body, but to take off from there and conclude that we are made of atoms or cells would be like saying that a book is made of ink and paper. It may be true in a strictly physical sense, but it is not the Truth. Mere pigment and papyrus not a volume make.
Now ponder this, everything in the universe, including the universe itself, is made up of these decision diamonds. A collection of these diamonds in any combination, can be called an “Intelligence”. And just as there are single cellular organisms, there are single diamond Intelligences. The light switch on the wall next to you for instance that knows whether to turn the light on or off based on the position you put it in, is a single diamond Intelligence. The light switch and all the other objects we consider non-living things, have most of their intelligence implemented upon matter, and coded in their physical form as the laws of physics and chemistry that govern their behavior. For a more complex Intelligence like us or the universe, most of the algorithmic compilation of decision diamonds is expressed in various designs upon energy, electromagnetic sparks or networks of heat or light exchange. Ultimately it’s the diamonds that make up everything, energy or matter are just the languages the poetry is written in.
So, to summarize so far, you are made of decision diamonds expressed as either matter or energy. But matter and energy are the same thing. Also, the rest of the universe is a material or energetic representation of decision diamonds too so there’s no way you can be separate from the universe, you’re a part. You are just a drop in an ocean of Intelligence. You have individual properties, a little more salt maybe, a higher degree of self-awareness, more of an inclination for communication, but that’s about it. The enumeration of similarities is a whole datacenter with millions of servers compared to the small laundry list of differences.
Are you getting a better picture of the universe now? And your place in the universe? No? Take a couple more puffs and let the universe invade you. Expand yourself to see that you can encompass entire galaxies in your arms.
Proof in the Pudding
I’ve changed my mind, I’d no longer try to prove anything. Now that we’ve established that the universe is one big pudding of intelligence expressed as energy, and we are but a chunk within that pudding, I’ll just leave you with a question.
And the question is this. If we are, but a small part of the greater intelligence of the universe, and we are self-aware and cognizant, how can the universe NOT be self-aware and cognizant?
And what do you call this greater intelligence of the universe and everything beyond, that we cannot even begin to completely understand, that is part of us and includes us, that is therefore at least as self-aware and as complex as us, that knows everything instantaneously and is everywhere, all the time? What do you call it?
Names, names. There are a few out there, but I think they all fall short. For trapping something infinite in the finite bounds of a label, now that's what I call true blasphemy.
Mod edit: I fixed this giant block of incoherent text. Well....it's still incoherent, but at least it's readable now.