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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 363
Donald Hoffman 0:00
Ultimate consciousness is transcends any form. It's formless. But how do you know yourself? How? How, in some sense? Does it know itself? Well, it knows itself by taking different perspectives on itself. So, and that's what an avatar is. It's a projection of itself. It's saying, Well, let me look at myself from this point of view. And let me actually get so wrapped up in that point of view that I don't even know. It's a point of view. I think it's the truth. So then I really absorb that point of view. And then let me wake up. Then I'll wake up and realize no, I spent 70 years of my life thinking I was just this body. And then I woke up, and I, but so I realized, I'm not that as complicated as this world is.
Alex Ferrari 1:04
I'd like to welcome to the show, Don Hoffman, how're you doing?
Donald Hoffman 1:07
Very good. How about you, Alex? Thanks for having me.
Alex Ferrari 1:09
Thank you so much for coming on the show my friend. I'm excited to talk to you about simulation theory, which is one of my favorite subjects in the world to talk about spirituality, consciousness, quantum physics, all of that kind of mixed in a nice little big soup. So I'm going to start off with a very easy question, what is consciousness?
Donald Hoffman 1:30
One way to think about it is something that psychologists call ostensive. Definition. Okay, so. So, when you're teaching a 18 month old, some words for them, they're just starting to learn words, what do you do? So your mom or dad is sitting with their with, you know, Chris, the 18 month old Chris, and there's a cat on the mat. And it's time for Chris to learn the word cat. And so how do you define the word cat to Chris? Well, what you do is you point at, at the cat, and you say, cat, and you then expect your baby Chris, to look and get it. And it's a miracle they do. They look and they get it. Now, it's a miracle. Because if you point at the cat on the mat, you could be referring to the ear, the color of the fur, the texture of the fur, the left paw and the mat, the nose and the left, the left paw, what is it that you're referring to? Right? And yet they get it. So you're counting on, there's some coordination between the parent and the child so that you can just point and say cat, and they get it the first time. And so this is called ostensive. Definition. And it for someone who's never tasted cinnamon, how am I going to define cinnamon to them? The way I'm going to define cinnamon is I'm going to give them a piece of cinnamon say tasted, and they say and there are points say that cinnamon, and hope they get it right, if they. So that's how we define everything, we essentially define almost everything by pointing. Now in mathematics, of course, once you have a certain number of pointers in mathematics, then you can start to do formulas and so forth. But in general, we have all the important stuff in life that we know about. We got it by pointing, and and then learning by extensive definition, so So what I'm going to do with consciousness is the same thing as the parent does with the cat, right? I have to point at something and say, Do you get it? And if you get it, you get it? And if you don't, you don't. So that's how you define these kinds of concepts. So what I can say is pure consciousness. If you sit alone, and it's dark, and it's absolutely quiet, and you let go of all thoughts, and you're just aware, you're just sitting there and aware, but not aware of anything just aware of being aware. That's my pointer to consciousness. And you either get it or you don't write just like you get cinnamon or rabbit or you don't. That's the point.
Alex Ferrari 4:17
Yeah, it's interesting. But anyone who's meditated, understands that, if it was meditated deeply, or just under, done it at a certain level, gets that I mean, I understand exactly what you're saying. But for someone who hasn't meditated, or how can you further point to another aspect of consciousness that they might grab onto?
Donald Hoffman 4:37
There's consciousness and then there's the contents of consciousness, the if you want to know consciousness, the contents are easy. If I say, you know the taste of mint, that's a conscious experience, the smell of garlic, that's a conscious experience. Everybody can get that. If you're asking what is consciousness, then I have to give you a little instruction, sort of like if you want to taste what coffee is like, well, you have to take these coffee beans To grind them up, put some hot water on them, put it in a cup, and wait until it cools down, then drink it. And that'll be what we mean by the taste of coffee. And so there are certain procedures you have to go through. So for those who've never meditated, I think most people have had some point in their life where they're silent. But we can't do that. If you haven't ever done that, you can just go in a dark room, turn out the lights, avoid all distractions, all sounds, sit there, and let your thoughts go. And when you get to a space where there are no thoughts, even for just a second, or two, it doesn't have to be long time. Just you're sitting there and nothing's going through your head for just a second or two, and you're just aware of that you're aware of the gap, you're aware of that gap, the wherever the awareness gap, then that's what I'm pointing to you by consciousness. That's the direct experience of it. Now, as a scientist, I want to then go on and do mathematical models, right? I'm gonna say, okay, that's the thing I'm modeling. It's just like, if I say, like, for example, in physics, we have Euclidean models of space time, or we have Einstein's models of space time. Now, those are mathematics, right? There's Newton's Euclidean approach, there's Einstein's hyperbolic space time approach. But if I if you ask me, what is space time? What are space and time? What is space time? I would say, okay, just here's my pointer. Look around you there, you see walls and furniture. So for the What's between you and the walls and the furniture, that that emptiness is what we mean by space or space, time. And Einstein. So that's going to be my direct pointer to you to say that's what we mean. And then you say, but Well, that's not Euclidean mean that there's no numbers there. There's no hyperthermia. It's just my experience. Absolutely. Your experience the space is your experience the space what we do as scientists then is say let's attach numbers to that experience. And then see what we do the end and you might say well, but the experience is far deeper than the numbers. Absolutely. The experience is transcends the numbers. And yet, what we find is when we start to assign numbers and structures to our experiences and start to do mathematics with them, we get we we get someplace like Einstein, with his mathematics predicted that there are black holes in his mouth.
It really is true. And you as you say it does show that there are limitations to the structure of space time as being a fundamental structure. It suggests that as we probe in into physics more deeply, we're going to be looking for things beyond space time. And there's Another pointer in that direction. And that is that Einstein's own equations together with those of quantum theory, so his gravitational theory and quantum theory together entail that space time ceases to have any operational meaning at what, that about 10 to the minus 33 centimeters, and 10 to the minus 43 seconds. But that means that if you try to use FaceTime any further, you get nonsense, it does the, you know, experimental wall and you run into a wall, you run into a wall, so space time, and as not 10 to the minus 33 trillion centimeters is just 10 to the minus 33 centimeters. So, we run into that wall where spacetime ceases to have any operational meaning at just 10 to the minus 33 centimeters. So many physicists now are saying space time is doomed, like David Gross, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on quantum chromodynamics. Mr. Connie Meadows at the Institute for Advanced Study, and many others have been saying, I think to them is just obvious these are again, all high energy, theoretical physicist, physics is a very, very broad field. The physicists who are saying space time is doomed are the experts in this particular area of physics, who are the, you know, the Guru's of space time, you know, high energy, theoretical physics, they're sort of the Guru's of space time. And they're the ones that say, it's over, we're looking for a deeper structure. And they're, by the way they're finding so we can talk about that if you want the findings.
Alex Ferrari 11:31
So that so that was that was my next question is because space time is fundamental, or was fundamental to our experience of this universe. I mean, between here and the moon, there is space, and it takes time to travel through that space. That is just fundamental in this materialistic world that we're in right now. But now, with quantum physics, it seems that the physics community in general is starting to, there's so much evidence before it was a little bit here and there, but now the evidence is piling up so high, that they can't ignore it anymore. And they're just like, No, this is over, we need to start looking for other areas. And it from my understanding, they're starting to open themselves up to, not to the word spirituality, but they're opening up to things that just didn't, would never even been spoken about 50 years ago, 20 years ago, even and they're opening up to these ideas like consciousness, having a conversation with the scientists about consciousness is fairly new. Would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 12:35
Well, yes. When I was a graduate student, it wasn't kosher for us to talk, but I was interested in it. But I knew I shouldn't talk about it.
Alex Ferrari 12:42
Don't ask it in class. Don't ask that question in class.
Donald Hoffman 12:43
That's right. No, you would, that would show that you weren't a serious scientist or thinker. But yeah, many high energy theoretical physicists are now saying, we need to look beyond space time. Now. Most of them are looking for mathematical structures beyond space time now. And they may have spiritual ideas as well. But but but, but there is actually rigorous work by these physicists being done where they're saying, okay, space, time is not fundamental. We need deeper structures beyond space time, that then project back down to space time. And give us back the physics that we know inside space time as a special case of a deeper physics, and they're finding, they're succeeding in finding these new structures. So it's really quite impressive what they're doing, they found something called the amplitude hedron, which allows him to compute scattering amplitudes, but like when particles smash into each other at the Large Hadron Collider, and then go sprang out, they look for the probability amplitudes for all those things happening. And when you do it inside spacetime, the math is mess. hundreds of pages like to glue on smashing into each other for glue on spray, spraying out or Sixgill and spraying out hundreds of pages of pages of algebra for one event, hundreds pages algebra to compute the probability for one event, do it outside of space time, three or four terms you can compute by hand. And then you seem to symmetry. So what they're discovering is, if you let go of space time, I mean, FaceTime is very useful, right? We use it all the time. Every day. It's very, very useful. But but it's got limits 10 to the minus 33 centimeters, and it's over. And when you then say, Well, are there new structures not curled up inside spacetime? Not not like string theory, where these things are curled up inside extra dimensions of space time, utterly outside of space time? We have to think outside of space time you and you might go, Well, how in the world can you do that? And here's how you do it. Space Time, I'll suggest is just a VR headset. We're using it as a VR headset. And what science has been doing we thought we were getting a theory of everything. We thought we were studying the final. We're closing in on the theory of everything. What we've discovered here Is all this time, we thought we were just going after the final reality. We were just studying our headset, we got really good at figuring out our headset, so good that we then we figured out Holy Smoke spacetime is just a headset. It's not the truth is not the final reality. And there's so now, now that we have all these tools that are rigors of science, no dogmatism give me mathematical theories make hard predictions, we go test them no nonsense. That's, that's brand new, like since Galileo roughly that we've had those incredible tools. And using those tools. They're so powerful that they told us that we were wrong about space time, we thought it was the final reality. And our own science told us you're wrong. It's only a headset. So now, we are you. But now we have the tools. And so we can use those tools and step outside the headset, we can take the headset off, not literally because we're sort of saddled with this headset, we but because we have mathematical tools, and we can do experiments, we can as scientists move outside the headset, and start to find these new structures like the decorator permutations and the amplitude hedron and other other structures that they're finding. So and this is only in the last 10 years, only in the last 10 years that these new structures have been found outside you know that where we really say okay, we have to go outside spacetime, hints of it. There's something in 2005 there something called the BCF W recursion relations that Ed Witten and his collaborators discovered, which were the big, big clue about these new structures outside space time. But we really use in some sense, the real big first step was in 2013 2014, with the publication of the amplitude hedron, by Nima, our Connie Hubbard and his collaborators, collaborators. So that's less than 10 years. So this is all brand new stuff. And most physicists who are not high energy, theoretical physicists don't know about this, they just don't know because this is a special branch of, of physics that's that focuses on this. So most quantum theorists don't know this.
Alex Ferrari 14:13
Right! So that was my next question is that there's from my understanding, there's physicists, and then there's quantum physicists. And many times, neither the two shall meet, because they are once really locked into more materialism, which is, you know, older dogma, like this is just the way it is for the last four or 500 years. And then when quantum physics showed up, they they're like, no, no, no, we can't we can't go into that world, because it's going to disprove all this stuff that we just know is real. And now it seems that there's even something higher than quantum physics is what you're talking about all these other things that they're discovering, at this other branch of physics that is really working within quantum physics, or at least aiming towards it. But it's it's at least moving it had quantum physics hadn't even moved in 80 or 90 years. Really, Is that Is that a fair statement?
Donald Hoffman 17:55
Well, the of course, there's the foundations were laid long ago. And then we got to with Fineman in his, in his, you know, contemporaries, we got quantum field theory. But now what what, what many of the high energy theoretical physicists are saying like No, like the Marconi amedd are saying that not only a spacetime doom, but quantum theory is don't it's not fundamental either, because it's not deep enough. And what what he's looking for, and what many of them are looking for now is a deeper framework in which space time and quantum theory emerged together, joined together? And here's the idea is this. If you when you look at quantum theory, well, this is one I do not know what I'm about to say is my idea. I'm not putting this on. Anybody else. Okay, so this is? Well, I would say that Robert seconds, who's a physicist is saying something very similar. But again, I'm not going to tar and feather these guys, you know, so, if anything I say stupid, it's on me not on these guys. Okay. So if what I'm saying and but I think that many other physicists would would agree, like Chris Brooks, who's does cubism interpretations, is that all the weirdness of quantum theory, so the no cloning theorem, entanglement, superposition, and many of these properties are simply due to incomplete information. And that ties into this headset idea if our if all space time is just a headset, what the headset only gives you incomplete information about what you're interacting with, right? Like when you play virtual reality games, I'm playing granted thought of virtual reality. What is the reality that I'm interacting with? Well, at some supercomputer, how much information does my head my headset give you about that supercomputer? Not much. It lost a ton of there's this whole complicated universe out there that I'm really interacting with. And I have no clue about that. If I'm a typical VR user, I have no clue about the gigabytes of software and and diodes and resistors and voltages and Magnetic fields that are all, I have no idea about there, I'm just turning the steering wheel and hitting the gas pedal. And that's all I see. So, so quantum mechanics, all the weirdness of quantum mechanics is just a symptom of the fact that it's tied to space time and space time as a headset. And the headset loses information. Just that simple. So that's all the weird. So there's nothing really deep about the weirdness of quantum mechanics, except that to say, well, you thought that you saw the truth and you don't you see a headset, which is giving you a veneer veneer over this complicated reality beyond it?
Alex Ferrari 20:38
Well, it's, it's but it's basically what's going on. So if you take your headset off, the reality we live in, there is so much more information in this room, than can be jammed into that little, that little headset that I have on. And if I walk out my door, then nature and this and you look up, and there's so much processing power that would be needed to render all of this, which then brings me to my next question, I would love to hear your theory on simulation theory that we are all in this quote unquote, matrix simulation. What is your theory behind that?
Donald Hoffman 21:16
So Nick Bostrom, and others are quite famous for this kind of theory. And the the assumption, I should spell it out just a little bit what version I'm talking about, they typically will say, you know, that you and I in the world we see around us, we think it's the truth, but it really isn't. It's just there's some computer programmer, some Pimply kid with their laptop, in another reality that is, has programmed us all up, and we're just a simulation in their little laptop. But then you can recurse that back. But that person that Pimply head programmer, is not the final reality because there's another Pimply head programmer, he had a deeper reality with their laptop, that's programming. So we can go this hallway back, and you go to the back, and it's funny some laptop and some programmer at the fundamental reality, that's the start of this whole thing. So they'll probably say the probability that worth the base, given that there could be 1000s of these, probably that we're the ones at the base of zero. So we're probably in a simulation, that sort of the now what they say then is that the base reality, they assume is a physical kind of spacetime reality. So there's still a physicalist framework. And they're assuming that a properly programmed computer can generate conscious experiences, or the illusion of conscious experiences. And to date, I mean, many of my colleagues who are studying consciousness, believe that, but when you ask them to, and there are many, many theorists, where there's integrated information theory, there's global workspace theory, orchestrated collapse of quantum states of neuronal microtubules. There's potential schema theories, their higher order theories, first order theory, there's tons and tons of theories, but and all of them in one way or another are saying, We can't, if you give me certain functional properties, right, kind of functional properties of certain kinds of physical systems, then I can give you conscious experiences out of that taste of chocolate, the smell of garlic, and so forth. Great. So that's, that's what they claim that they can do, that we are scientific theories, we'll start with some functional description of some system, and they're always thinking of some kind of physical system, maybe neurons or some circuits an artificial intelligence system or something like that. And then we will give you conscious experiences emerging out of it, or the illusion of conscious experiences emerging out of it. So I, these are my friends and colleagues and they're brilliant, and they've been, I mean, they are, they are brilliant. But when I asked them, and these are my friends, you know, I said, Okay, you know, like Stuart Hameroff with orchestrated collapse of quantum states of Northern microtubules or Giulio Tononi worth it. Great. So, banana for several decades. So what what conscious experience have you been able to show? I mean, the functional structure for like the taste of chocolate or mint, can you give which which one which one, there are millions of colors, millions of not presumed by now you have hundreds of 1000s of conscious experiences that you've given me, you written down the functional thing, that must be the taste of Mendham plentiful thing that must be this shade of red there, you must have hundreds of 1000s to do so. Just give me 100 Nobody has anything. So there are so the it's so bad that Steven Pinker in his nice 2018 book, enlightenment now said, you know, what we may have to do is just stipulate that, you know, there's this functional pattern he didn't he was talking about, I think the global workspace theory will have to stipulate that this conscious experience, it corresponds to this state of the global workspace. Well, latitude is you're stipulating the conscious experiences, you're stimulating the physical stuff, you're stimulating the functional stuff. It's all stipulation. There's no explanation going on here. So So I say all that to say that the now to get back to your question, the simulation theory is assuming that the computer and functional properties of the computer can actually give us conscious experiences are the illusion of conscious experiences. And there's not a shred of evidence in terms of successful scientific theories. That that's that that's feasible. There's nothing on the table that says, you should believe that.
Alex Ferrari 25:33
Is there a world where in the future maybe in your lifetime, maybe in mind, maybe in my kids lifetime, where there'll be physicists and theorists that are going to be cross pollinated with spiritualist, because it's the only thing left to kind of go after because once you keep running into walls with these theories, and math, math, eventually also runs into walls, because you haven't cracked it yet. But when you start getting into spirituality, which is what the ancients were talking about, and we could talk about the ancients in a minute, about, it seems that they are transcending reality, and there is there is proof of different types of transactions of realities. You know, there psychedelics that take you into different realms, different realities, there's so many things that are unexplainable by physics, but yet there is something happening. So to find a physicist, or theorists that can bridge between the two, and finally, open things up in a way that one or the other can't do by themselves. I think that's where we're all going. Would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 26:48
Yes, I think that the spiritual traditions have been saying the spacetime isn't fundamental. For 1000s of years. The Vedic texts, yeah, of course, and the scientists are coming to that party late. We're late to that party. But but but the high energy, theoretical physicists are saying, yes, but space time is not fundamental. It's space time is doomed. So I think that humanity, we've had the spiritual traditions and the scientific, and they've tended, since Galileo, and his imprisonment, and so forth by church, there's been a little bit of antipathy between the two and distrust, and so forth. But I think both have a piece of the picture. And both have a problem. So the, the piece of the picture that the scientists have is the scientific method. We know now to do mathematical models, have hard nosed standards, no BS, give me an experiment, give me the math, we go test it, and so forth. So that's, that's, that's important. They've assumed that spacetime is fundamental. They've been physicalists. That's been a useful hypothesis for a few centuries. But now it's over and beyond and is what most scientists don't know. It's over the high energy theoretical physicists who are spreading the word it's over, and we need to go so. But now the spiritual traditions have are there, they're saying, Hey, we've been out there beyond spacetime for 1000s of years. Welcome to the party, you know, you're late comers. But now what the spiritual traditions tell us, they say it's very important. None of our writings are the truth. They're pointers to the truth. And they're, they're very, very careful to say that the Tao de Ching says, The Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao. And if you understand that, then it's fine. It's to read the rest of the book. If you don't understand that, you'll think that you're seeing the truth. No, you're getting a pointer, just like, I started off with a sense of definition of partly for this very reason I pointed to consciousness in a certain way. I can't, unless you don't, if you don't know what consciousness is yourself, I can't help you. If you've never tasted mint, I can't help you, I can give you a piece of mint and let you taste it. And then say that is meant and I point to it. So so. So that's in the sense that the spiritual traditions are pointing to the spiritual realm, if you don't experience it yourself, no word will get you there. But what the spiritual traditions are missing is mathematical precision in their pointers. They understand that their words are pointers. But the mathematical pointers tell you their limits. Einstein's mathematics for space time, tells you that that point or the space time pointer falls apart at 10 to the minus 33 centimeters, and 10 to the minus 43 seconds. That is an antidote to dogmatism. And it tells you you need a new and deeper pointer. Haven't had that in the spiritual traditions. And what's been the result? dogmatism fighting to the death people of one religion killing people of another religion because your pointer I don't I don't agree with your pointer. I believe my pointer is the final truth. Well, wait, wait him and wait a minute, your leader told you right up front is just a pointer. The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao is not worth killing people over pointers. So that's where the spiritual traditions have failed. Their pointers are not rigorous. And so they lead to dogmatism, they invite dogmatism, not in the the added, not that they're the leaders. But the followers who don't really understand that the pointers are pointers.
Alex Ferrari 30:30
I mean, we may look we can, we don't have to get into the wars that are going on right now. But there are specific, dogmatic traditions that are creating the wars that we are that are going on as we speak. You know, I think it was Yogananda, the great yogi who said, about Jesus, it's I've said this many times, I'll say it, it's one of my favorite quotes. He goes, Jesus died on the cross in one day, but his teachings have been crucified for the last 2000 years. And it's so true that if you go back to the origin of any of the spiritual leaders, they are they say these things, they're pointers. But then it's the, the apostles, the Father, the the followers, the, they are the ones that start constructing this dogmatic, you know, system, because they can't grasp at the level that they were, they were at such a higher level of evolution, or vibration, or whatever you want to call it, that they just can't grab the can grab on to these ideas. I mean, Jesus is a perfect example. But then so are many of you know, from Buddha, to Mohammed to so many different spiritual leaders from around the world. They all eventually go to dogma. And that's one thing I didn't understand when I was growing up. I'm like, so when you meet it, so, um, so, um, I'm right, right, because I'm Catholic, obviously. So I, I mean, I, I'm a recovering Catholic, by the way. So I was like, so I'm like, but then even as a child, I'm like, so the billion and a half Buddhists, they're, they're all going to hell, or the Muslims are all going to hell, or the Zodiac, Austrians are all going to hell, or God forbid, if How about, there's some poor schmuck in the middle of the Congo somewhere? Never heard of Jesus? Is he gonna go to hell, like it started, like, just like your mathematics, like I'd say, space time, it just starts to break apart. That doesn't make any sense, any logical sense. So then this other theory of everything that I've come knife and come up with, but that we're all one, that we're all part of a human consciousness, a quantum field, if you will. And there's a lot of people talking about the quantum field, and how certain things are possible, like entanglement theory, possibly through the quantum field, that space that what's going on in that space. And I've seen models now, I think it was Neil Neil deGrasse, Tyson was showing it in one of his interviews, that space around the planet, it's like a flat space, and the planet pulls down, and that's the gravity. So it's kind of like the ball going in, like, around that's how the gravity. So space is not space, it's a field that's being manipulated by gravity. And other things. It's, that's it makes your head hurt.
Donald Hoffman 33:24
Right, so So I agree that what you said about the pointers of the religious groups that typically the, the originators of, you know, Christianity or Buddhism and so forth, were added different level they they were, they were not dogmatic, they understood that the towel that can be spoken of and is not the true towel, and but the rest of us typically don't get that we get dogmatic about it. And what science brings to the table is a language, math language of mathematics, where the mathematics itself tells you, this only goes to 10 to the minus 33 centimeters and then it stops, and then you have to look for something else. So don't get dogmatic about space time. It tells you now, of course, scientists are people they are as inclined to be dogmatic as anybody else. It's science as a social institution. And the demand for mathematically precise theories is the antidote to dogmatism. So that's what I think science can offer to the spiritual traditions is a mathematically precise thing. Now. The notion of quantum fields. Turns out the high energy theoretical physicists who are going beyond space time, are saying quantum field theory was, of course, an important breakthrough and very real with Fineman and his contemporaries gave us a great gift. And it's been useful for several decades for you know, 80 years or so. Well, yeah, I guess.
Alex Ferrari 34:59
Donald Hoffman 34:59
Well, that wasn't a quantum field theory, Fireman probably in the 40s 1940s 40s 50s, where the the quantum field theory came out, so you know, almost a 70 70 or 80 years. But it turns out that the quantum fields introduce unnecessary redundancy. And no one's ever seen a field, a quantum field where we see particles, fields are a construct to try to help us compute things like scattering amplitudes. But, but new Marconi Med, for example, is saying, basically, quantum fields are sort of a Cluj, there, the fields probably they're getting in the way, when you use these fields and space time, they make the mathematics unnecessarily complicated to gluons. And for six gluons out hundreds of pages of algebra, you don't need all that that's, that's because we're using quantum fields. It's a bad computational apparatus time it had his place. But we've we've gone beyond it. Now we can do that computation in three or four terms, and see symmetries that are true of the scattering data that you can't see in space time. So I mean, quantum fields were a necessary step in our growing pains to try to get to a better theory. But I think, frankly, that the notion of fields will fall by the wayside as certainly as an ontologically interesting thing with the fields just but the idea of things beyond space, time and connections beyond space time, that's gonna stay. So that's the sense in which I think you were using fields talking about some kind of connection. Absolutely. But quantum fields are a Cluj, and additional connections beyond space time, that that can still hold them that I agree with you when you said, we're all deeply one.
Alex Ferrari 36:50
I mean, that's at the end of the day, that is the truth. That is the one truth. That's not a point that I agree, that's not a point, or that is the truth, we are all one, if you look at the planet, from space, you could just see what we're all in this together. We are all one. You know, what's really interesting to me is I've been seeing what's going on with AI, in translations. And I just saw when I started see the power of what's coming up, in it's already here. But really, we're probably about six months to a year of this conversation, where translations will be so easy to do, yes to video, that it's going to open up this world in a way that we really don't understand yet. But then I just came back from Europe, where I was using an app to communicate with my Uber driver, and have full conversations with my Uber driver with Google Translate. But then I was like, Well, wait a minute, in my lifetime, there will be a little machine that will put in my ear. And that as soon as I speak, it will come out in the language through the speaker of the person I'm hearing. And I would hear it will be instantaneous. To the point where we are all becoming one this limitation of language. And not culture culture, of course, still, you know, there everyone has their culture. But this globalization that we've been eating eking towards, and you know, from where we were in the 20s, of last of 90 of the 19th century to where we are in the 20s. Now, how much more globalized we are that we are really dependent on each other, and the internet really opened that all up for all of us, I do see that that's going to be a world where language is not going to be an issue anymore. And the miscommunications won't be as, as prevalent as they are now, would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 38:44
No, I absolutely agree, I think that the technology is moving, we'll probably have that within a few years. And, and it'll, it will help bridge the gap, I think that will do something to help us understand each other better. And, and, and not discriminate against each other. It's hard when you can't understand somebody at all, it's much easier to sort of put them off and say they're unlike me and and, and not treat them as as an equal. But when you actually start to hear very human things coming back to you from them, then you realize, oh, no, that's another person have feelings just like me and maybe different beliefs than me. But
Alex Ferrari 39:20
And you know, what, as you, you know, and the thing, I think this is only from someone who can travel a little bit outside of their own home country. I mean, you could travel within the country, and there's very different people within our country of the US without question, you know, from different area in different regions. But when you start to go around the world bit and started going to different countries, you just start to realize that they just want happiness for their kids. They want to be safe. They just want they want to be happy. In general. They want to live their lives in peace. I mean, we all have this in common. And it's getting I think that that those walls are starting to come down and more and more Again, the internet opened us up in a way that was a model. I always I always said that I always said this I'm sure I'm not the first to say it that the internet is kind of the, the rudimentary kind of barbaric example of what the ancients called the Akashic records, where all information is all connected at all time. Right? We're, you know, right now we're starting to get close to being able to just say, Hey, Siri, what is quantum physics? Can you explain it to me as a three year old, digital and then just chat a jet up tea? Can you explain it to me? We're starting to get to that place. And let me ask you this question though. What is your what is your understanding of the Akashic records? Akashic field, if you will, because I had Dr. Erwin Lazlo Nobel Nobel nominee on who's written multiple books about the Akashic Records, the Akashic field, and how that is what's that connects us all, I'd love to hear if you have any points on that.
Donald Hoffman 41:01
Right. So as a scientist, what I want are mathematical models about as much as I can about the one connecting consciousness, and I've got a paper called fusions of consciousness that came out in January. So people, it's free. So if you just Google fusions of consciousness, you can get the paper for free and look at our mathematical model. And but this gets back now to the start of our conversation, which is, even the mathematics precise mathematics and all the things that we can prove. And as soon as a lot is just a baby step. It's, it's trivial, what I've done, what my team has done, what all of us who are doing mathematical models of consciousness have done is trivial compared to the real thing, right? And and it's, it's, in principle, we can never get a theory of everything in science, sciences, the best pointers that mankind has ever come up with. But it's, it's obvious that a scientific theory says, grant me these assumptions. If you grant me these assumptions that I can explain all this wonderful stuff. But if you don't give me those assumptions, then I can't explain anything. And notice, the theory doesn't explain this assumptions. It assumes the assumptions it doesn't explain them, it assumes I'm so it doesn't explain everything we say. But of course, I can get a deeper theory that explains those assumptions. Yes, you can. And that deeper theory has its own assumptions that it doesn't explain. So there is no theory of everything. And there can never be. And in fact, science, in a technical sense, will only know probability zero of the truth. But it's very important what we're doing, we should continue to do it. Even though it's measure zero, it's clear that we do get insights. And some theories are better than others. Einstein's theory is better than Newton's. And Newton's theory is better than almost anything that you and I could come up with. Right? That's fair enough. So so so it's clear that even though there's no scientific theory of everything, not all theories are created, created equal, some are better than others. And we should put our efforts in to get good scientific theories, and to be completely humble, and say, our best scientific theories are trivial, compared to the reality to the deep Akashic field, if you will, the deep one consciousness, if you want to know that deep one consciousness, intellectually, yes, our mathematical models might be the best thing that you can come up with right now. If you want to know it more deeply. Then my pointer is this you are that consciousness, and so why. And the way to know to know it is to let go of any conceptions of who I am. If you sit in silence and in darkness, and let go of all thoughts, and just ask yourself the question, Who am I? And then let go of any thoughts, no answers, and just sit there? That's your answer. You are and being able to non conceptual knowledge, you know, directly, just like you know, the taste of meant, by tasting meant, you know, the deep, profound truth of reality just by sitting in silence and tasting it, so to speak, by being it
Alex Ferrari 44:17
And that is why the these masters who walked the earth all, almost always, especially coming from the east, spoke about meditation, spoke about medication. Prayer, is another example of meditation in many ways. Just being silent, being quiet within yourself. Is, is something that I've seen again and again and again, even in my own studies and experiences. Now,
Donald Hoffman 44:44
Because you are the truth, you are the truth that transcends any statement of truth. The ending description, that's what that's that's why that that's the case. And that's also the problem that we have is that we don't recognize everybody else as just the same truth as I am. I have my words, you have your words, and they're different. And so then we fight over the words where when you let go of the words, and you realize I'm face to face with the reality that I am, and you are the one reality,
Alex Ferrari 45:12
But Don, we need a middleman to be between us and the ultimate consciousness, don't we? That's all Yeah, that's Dogmatic middle man.
Donald Hoffman 45:20
Right, right. We need Jesus or a priest or both. Whereas it's interesting in the Bible, at one point, you know, the, the Pharisees were picking up stones to stone Jesus. And Jesus said to a white, why are you guys going to kill me with stones? And they said, well, because you claim to be the Son of God. And Jesus said, well, in the Psalms, it says, I have said, You are gods and all of your sons have the Most High. Jesus said, If the, if he calls them Gods, to whom the Word of God came, why are you trying to stone me for just saying, I'm the son of God, but what Jesus is saying is to each one of them, You are God. That's what he's saying. You are God. And he couldn't have been clearer. And and he quoted from from the book of Psalms, so, but of course, you don't get that, you know, my father was a Protestant Christian minister for many years. By the way, you know, he was Protestant. So we all believe Catholics weren't going to make it to heaven. Right? So it was there
Alex Ferrari 46:19
I mean, obviously, all this all the different sects of Christianity is ridiculous at this. So it was,
Donald Hoffman 46:26
It was it was that kind of ridiculousness though that when you actually look at Jesus words need and he's basically saying all of us, are children of God, what does it mean to be a child, a child of a human is human, a child of God is God. And, and so when we say we're children of God, what Jesus, what we're saying is, all of us are God, what we are is God, looking at itself, through an avatar, there's my avatar, there's your avatar, there's Jesus avatar, there's Buddhism, these are all just avatars is the one infinite intelligence, looking at itself through different avatars. So your little baby, your 10 year old child, your wife, your husband, they're all the infinite intelligence, looking at itself, through an avatar,
Alex Ferrari 47:21
I with the conversation of simulation theory, there's also game theory, that gets gets tossed on there sometimes to have had some game theorist on the show talking about simulation theory through a gamers point of view. And I always use the the example of Lincoln Zelda, you know, like when back in the day, and that's when I gained the late 80s, early 90s. So you know, you are link link is your, your avatar, and you continuously go through the game. And then when you turn the corner, you get killed all those that work there. But then the next time you go through, you know that there's going to be an arc there, so you're prepared for it? Well, that's just the evolution of the soul, as the evolution of life you learn along the way. So and then even video games in inherently proof reincarnation again, and again, because multiple lives to come back and retry the thing again, and again and again. So but the question is, though, if that's the player, who is the one with the controller, playing the game, because just like us, when we're playing a video game, we really, it's almost irrelevant what's happening in the game, like, our avatar can get ripped apart 1000 times by a boss of the level. And we're just like, oh, let's do it again. Oh, let's do it again. Oh, let's figure it out. Oh, let's do it again. But to that poor avatar, it really hurts. Like, it's a torturous event, but for the player, so that would say, then then and you look at that, like, well, well, we're going through on this earth and this experience, there's an on oversoul a player, the soul itself, the higher self, whatever word you want to call it, is you're not playing the game but observing the game. I'd love to hear your thoughts on on this kind of game theory idea.
Donald Hoffman 49:15
Yes, I think that there is this this infinite, timeless one intelligence, one consciousness. That is what you are and that's what you actually tap into when you go into silence and let go of all thought you are you realize that that's what you really are, you really aren't just this, this guy that your way so much and has this color hair and lives and so and so, those are just your avatar descriptions. And so, there is the question, why would the one timeless intelligence do this? Why and why? What's the point of it? What am why all these wars fighting and, and religions where people are killing each other and dogmatism and the whole bit why, why? Why does it do that? Why does it? And? Of course, the answer is I don't know. But But here's one possibility is that in some sense, the one intelligence, the one, ultimate consciousness is transcends any form, it's formless. But how do you know yourself? How? How, in some sense? Does it know itself? Well, it knows itself by taking different perspectives on itself. So and that's what an avatar is. It's a projection of itself. It's saying, Well, let me look at myself from this point of view. And let me actually get so wrapped up in that point of view, that I don't even know it's a point of view, I think it's the truth. So then I really absorb that point of view. And then let me wake up, then I'll wake up and realize no, I spent 70 years of my life thinking I was just this body. And then I woke up, and I, but so I realized, I'm not that as complicated as this world is. And you know, the universe is billions of light year, there's the moon, there's the sun is hitting, look at the planets and the flowers, incredible microbiology, all the science and all that stuff. And I completely transcend all of that all of that is trivial compared to who I am. When you wake up, you realize, all of that is complicated. I'm not that I transcend. So now I go holy smoke, what am I this mean? So that's what consciousness is up to putting on an avatar, allowing yourself to get lost, completely identified with the avatar, re really absorbing that point of view, and then recognizing it's only a point of view, and waking up. So that's my best guess about what, what's what's going on here?
Alex Ferrari 52:02
It's a very interesting point of view. Because let me ask you, I've spoken to a lot of near death experiencers, yes, probably over 100. At this point in the game, also spiritual masters, yogi's and so on, from all walks of life. This concept that I'm about to ask you about is a concept that is it was introduced to me on the show, and it's fascinated me and I've asked all sorts of my guests from near death experiences, to channels to most to the spiritual masters I've had on the show is that we, we've heard of the concept of reincarnation, that we, we have past lives, we have future lives, we have this current life, and that we die, and we keep evolving, and we keep coming back and the concept of Karma and all this kind of stuff. But the concept that that was thrown to me, and I find it so fascinating is that there is no past life. There is no future life, that all the lives are happening at the same time, because there is no time on the quote unquote, other side, this other realm that we're from, where this consciousness that you speak of lives, or is is it lives, like he has a house. But the this concept of everything happening all at once, and that if I do something in this life, it quote unquote, ripples back to my time as a Roman soldier. And it also ripples forward to my time as the president of a small country in 25th 25 50. All at the same time. When I say ripples, it's because rippling within my own souls evolution. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, this theory.
Donald Hoffman 53:52
Yes, we can actually make a sort of mathematically precise using the language in our paper fusions of consciousness. So and we actually talk about this, there's your very point at the very end of that paper, what we point out is that we have this mathematical model of the dynamics of consciousness outside of space time. And of course, the disclaimer, as always, is of course, it's just a theory is not the truth. It's just a baby step. But it's an interesting baby step. In this in this mathematical model, there need be no arrow of time. So the arrow of time that we have is the URL of entropy, entropy increases with time, right? Entropy always increases with time second law of thermodynamics in our dynamics of conscious beyond space time, there, the mark of dynamics can be what's called a homogeneous Markov chain. And you know, the earth there is entropy, but it doesn't increase. So there is no entropic arrow of time, but it's a theorem. If you look at that dynamics, that's timeless. From any projection, you project it anyway, so you're losing little infant ation, the projected dynamics will be a dynamics, but it will have an arrow of time. As an artifact of the projection, this is a theorem. So, in other words, what you were talking about informally, we can, we can actually write it down as a theory on the chicken proven three or four lines and show that the arrow of time that we experienced now is not an insight at all into the nature of the reality beyond our avatar, it's entirely an artifact, completely an artifact of the projection, not an insight at all into the truth beyond. Now, from an evolutionary point of view, right here, you know, evolution, organisms competing for limited resources, trying to mate, and so forth. What's so and then these are limited resources, what's the most fundamental limited resource time, if I don't get food in time I die. If I don't make it in time, I don't reproduce federal get the next breath of air and time, I'm dead, that My heart doesn't beat in time, I'm dead. So time is the fundamental limited resource. Now, evolution by natural selection is an incredibly beautiful theory. I think it's, I mean, I've published papers on it. I've worked on evolutionary game theory, it's incredible. In it inside our spacetime headset, there is no better theory about biological systems in biological evolution than the theory of evolution, natural selection. But space time is just a headset. It's just a virtual reality is not the truth. And that includes the theory of evolution. Evolution is the best theory inside the headset, nothing can beat it right now. But all of evolution by natural selection is an artifact of the projection from outside, none of it is a deep insight into the nature of reality. So there's this timeless, infinite intelligence, the consciousness, looking at itself from a projection. And when it sees itself from the projection, it looks like evolution by natural selection, it looks like all this competition, fighting for resources looks like an arrow of time. And all of that is not true of the deeper reality. All of it is mathematically in an artifact of the projection.
Alex Ferrari 57:10
So if I make again quote, Paramahansa Yogananda, he said so eloquently, since you were saying projection. He's like that we are all so focused on the screen. And all of the violence and the action and the love and the drama of it all, like you were just saying, he goes, but the point is not to focus on the screen, is to look behind you, and focus where the light is coming from the projector. That's right, so eloquently, in his in his yogic yogic ways, such an eloquent extra explanation for a lot of what you were just saying, Would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 57:50
I think that that's an excellent metaphor to get the idea across that you're not the video on the screen, you are the screen, and the light that can show any possible video, my laptop that I'm looking at you on right now, I see a video on it. But the laptop itself could show countless different images, countless, not just one, I'm sure that's who you are, you are the infinite potential that could see anything.
Alex Ferrari 58:14
I heard an explanation of this idea of everything happening all at once, which was so beautiful in its it was television. He goes, I think it was here, she she said to me, Well, if you're looking at a television screen right now, you turn on your TV, and you're watching the football game. Well, even if you just stay in the realm of the football game, you know that there's 26 other games being played at the same time on Sunday, but you can't see them. But they're happening. And also, but there's also episodes of Seinfeld, reruns, it's also episodes of friends. There's also episodes of all in the family. There's the sopranos, there's all these other shows going on, and movies going on all at the same times. But your focus is on that game right now. But you have to understand that all this other stuff is happening at the exact same moment that you are watching this. So I was like, Oh, that makes that makes a lot of sense. Would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 59:13
That's right, it makes sense. If we're stuck with an ER little headset that has an arrow of time, when we transcend that, then they just all exist, right? That's right, the very the very notion of time and simultaneity then then goes away and which is really quite quite interesting. So we talked about an incarnate you know, reincarnation. So I've incarnated into this body and consciousness is incarnated into your your body, but also, it incarnates into religious doctrines because if I'm willing to kill you for my Protestant isn't where your, your Catholic Catholicism or whatever, I've identified myself with that doctrine. So we, and then you know, every time I get involved in something else, and give it you sort of identify with it. I've reincarnated into that. So we're incarnating ourselves all the time into stuff. When we, when we don't realize that we're the consciousness that transcends any thing that we see anything that we believe we are.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:15
You know, what's really interesting when you said that something just popped into my head is that throughout history known history that we that we have records of, is that there is these these these dogmatic ideologies that have been throughout humanity throughout throughout time, where at a moment, I would have killed you, if you didn't believe in raw, I would have killed you, if you didn't believe in Zeus, I would have killed you if you didn't believe in that. And but those kind of go away, and we evolve to something else, even the dogma, even the ideologies are evolving. So like raw, not that I'm an expert on Raw, the sun god, or the I forgot the other Egyptian before raw, there was the other Egyptian gods, Horus, and so on. I'm not an expert in any of them. But it seems like with these newer, newer meaning within the last 2000 years, they seem to be attached to more spirituality, that there was an actual person that was preaching these ideas, whether it Buddha, Jesus, you know, even Yogananda, so on and so forth, that create these ideas, it seems that even those things are evolving, and humanity is starting to let go of the things that doesn't, that doesn't serve them anymore. Maybe one of the reasons why we are going through this uprising of, of war now and of hate, and it's been going on for the last 1015 years, really, it's been going on for a long time. But it really seems to have been bubbling up over the last decade, more so than it was when I was growing up. It was just different when I was growing up. And it's like maybe the final hopefully, the final realization of humanity is go, that doesn't serve us anymore. We don't want to do this anymore. We need to evolve beyond this. Would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 1:02:14
Yeah, I would say that, well, there's a couple of parts to it, I would agree that our purpose is to wake up. And waking up involves realizing that the people I hate are in fact myself. And that, you know, in Christianity, Jesus said, Love your neighbor as yourself. Well, that's because your neighbor is yourself. And true love is recognizing that fact, that's that is you don't really love until you really understand that the person in front of you is you. Not like you is you being a different avatar, when you really understand that that is you. Your neighbor is yourself. That's the foundation of real love. Now, whether it seems to be getting worse now, Steven Pinker at Harvard has data suggesting that there are bumps in the road, but humanity's homicide rate has been declining, who was far higher per capita back in Aboriginal times than it is. And he's got, of course, clear data. So we are experiencing a terrible bump right now. I mean, and, but but there's been a decline. I think that my own experience is that there are a lot of people who are waking up, but it's still still a tiny, tiny fraction. But my hope is that we see right now, still, the scientific paradigm is a physicalist. One. And in the popular mind, and in most of most scientists mind the spacetime physicalist framework of reality is still what is dominating. Most people when science so no spiritual traditions are saying no, that's not right. And physicalism is false. But they've not had the beef, right? They've not what technology can they make? Right? It's the scientists who gave us laptops and the technology that you and I are using to know spiritual form, but in physical form, in the physical in the face, right. So but that's what's going to really persuade people, right? The scientists can give us all this technology, right? Of course, scientists are the ones who then realize space time is doomed, and actually start getting mathematical models of reality beyond space time. That starts to smell like consciousness. I think that will really be the stepping stone for a lot more people to wake up and when Scientists then actually start going after that. With mathematical precision, I think the wake up process will, so then there'll be more, they'll give more tools now to the spiritual traditions, they'll all of a sudden have these pointers that are much more clear. And also, I think that some of the pointers that spiritual traditions have are wrong, and we'll find them, we'll we'll actually be able to find them and say that that's just a bad pointer. These are that's a good point over here. And that's, but we can actually evolve that pointer. So I see a back and forth between science and spirituality that will not not in the next decade, not maybe not in the next, maybe not in my lifetime. But but but I see it coming. Where scientists realize space time is doomed. There's a realm beyond space time. And as we study that, we begin to realize, Oh, we're actually just discovering ourselves. And we're just avatars here in space time.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:52
Well, let me I would argue with you, though, that, that the spiritual space, the spiritual traditions, especially the Eastern traditions, that are older, much, much older than the Western, that their technology that they gave us was more of inner technologies. Sure, sure. The meditation, yoga, how to change these ideas. These philosophies are inner technologies, where science has given us amazing outer technologies. But they both can't come. You can't do one without the other, in many ways, in many ways. So there, I wanted to clarify that. And I would want to know if you would agree with me or not?
Donald Hoffman 1:06:38
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Meditation in particular, is an incredibly important tech technology. So I was just using the technology in terms of what would persuade people, right, right. Sure. Sure, sure, sure. I've gotten I've gotten my iPad because of the scientists and their physicalists, maybe physicalism is better than this religious stuff is sort of the idea of life. So it's pointing to, but I agree that there's meditation is an important technology. But when the scientists who are giving you iPads and iPhones are also saying, our science seems to say that spacetime was in fundamental and maybe consciousness is, then people will go well, shoot, the scientists are saying so well, maybe I better check into this. Maybe I should try meditation. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:14
I see your point. Yeah, I see your point. Because I completely see your point. I think it's going to be two different kind of wake up calls. I think the the person who is more physically inclined, is going to wait for those queues. And the people who are more spiritually inclined are going to wake up from the more spiritual queues. I think you're right, though, I think both. Both. I don't I don't think it's one pill for both. I think it's gonna be multiple different areas. And by the way, this is not even going to be too I mean, a movie like The Matrix. I mean, that movie woke up. A prot simulation theory with Kung Fu, brought simulation, bra simulation theory into the zeitgeist, you know, and now Marvel is bringing the multiverse and parallel realities to billions of people around the world where yes, those ideas have been around, even in even in, in general culture, but not the way it is now. I mean, people are having conversations, deep conversations about multi the multiverse, and parallel realities and the Mandela effect. And these kinds of ideas, because of these other, these pop culture or stories. I mean, look, if it wasn't for HG Wells, I don't know if we would have gotten to the moon. You know, he inspired so many scientists to go into science, because before HG Wells, there was not really a conversation about those kinds of things. I might be wrong. But generally speaking, he's one of the more popular ones that really brought it out of people. Would you agree?
Donald Hoffman 1:08:51
Well, I think that many people were, the young people were stimulated by these imaginative novels or movies that they saw on. I mean, I was stimulated, I was 13 years old when the first astronauts landed on the moon, Apollo 13, Apollo 11, landed on the moon. And it completely inspired me and made me want to be, you know, a scientist and so forth. So and So novels, movies, you know, real accomplishments by brave people going to the moon risking their lives. The moon, yeah, they wake up at a generation and say, oh, yeah, I want to do that too. Or even like when President Kennedy said, you know, we, we want to by the end of this decade, send a man to the moon and bring home safely. Green. Absolutely. I mean, that's a clarion call to a generation and makes you work real hard. With 1960s technology. Boy, those guys were brave.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:43
No, no, no, no, no, I, I've been. I've been to the Kennedy Space Center. I've been to the Houston Space Center. And when you look at the stuff, you're like, Are you out of your mind?
Donald Hoffman 1:09:52
Those guys had they,
Alex Ferrari 1:09:54
They were with pencils. They were doing the math with pencils and pens, on paper, and they're just Like, hold on, I gotta get this this algebra equation done. Okay. Yeah, I think we could get them back if we do this like, that is truly insane.
Donald Hoffman 1:10:09
Yeah, they were incredibly brave and
Alex Ferrari 1:10:12
Or stupid or stupid either one
Donald Hoffman 1:10:14
Well some of them died.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:17
Yeah, exactly. You know, many, many died. But the line of insanity and genius are very close together.
Donald Hoffman 1:10:25
That's right and brave blue but they someone had to be brave. God bless John Glenn to do the first orbit around the Earth. Exactly.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:35
Well, let's talk about the poor dog that was sent or the monkey originally. It's, it's fascinating. Well let me ask you this question. A lot of the things we're talking about have been discussed in, for example, the Vedic texts or ancient texts, 1000s and 1000s of years. And these theories, these ideas. Where do you think they got this information? I mean, because we just figured it out a little while ago, in the West, quote, unquote. But these eastern Vedic texts are older texts that are six 7000 years old. We're talking about simulation theory, the idea of Maya data, the idea of the great illusion, the dream, even when I mean, little early, a little later, like Plato, and and, yeah, in the case of the glory of the cave, these ideas, but specifically even older, that predates the west with some of these Eastern traditions. Where do you think this information came from? Because it didn't have the materialistic basis that the West has now? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Donald Hoffman 1:11:50
That's a good question. I, I think that they didn't have the technology like right now. And right now I can talk about a virtual reality headset and say, all those and end sort of getting Plato had to use the cave and say, Well, I've got a fire, and I've got objects, and you're seeing the shadows of these objects against the cave wall. And people go, okay, I can I yeah, I can see the shadow is not the real object. It's just a shadow of the object. And so So maybe what I'm perceiving is just shadows of reality. And and I think that many people when they sit down, and just when sometimes, you do have illusions, right? visual illusions, like if you stick a stick and water, look at the part above water and part in the water, it looks like the stick is broken. And it bends right. And you go well, okay, that's not right, the stick isn't broken, and yet I'm seeing it broken. And when you do, so I guess a lot of people may have seen those kinds of things. And then then or like, if you're in Holland, and you see a windmill turning from a distance, sometimes when you're looking at it, it'll all of a sudden stop and turn the other direction. If you're foreign. And you go, Whoa, what how did that happen? And then you realize, no, that's just, that's just an illusion. So so it doesn't take too sensitive a person to then go, Well, wait a minute, if I was wrong about the stick in the water, and I'm wrong about that windmill, and you find some other things that you're wrong. Okay,
Alex Ferrari 1:13:22
You take a pencil and you take a stick and used to in it all becomes because bendy when you start
Donald Hoffman 1:13:25
It becomes bendi, but that's right. And then you then you start doing things like you draw pictures, like have a cube on on a piece of paper, and it looks like it's 3d. But you know that it was just a picture on a piece of paper. So then you go, Okay, wait a minute, I'm making up some of this stuff. Maybe I'm making up all of this stuff, maybe. And then that's so I don't think doesn't require too much genius. To just go whoa, I was, I was wrong there. I was wrong there. Maybe I'm wrong everywhere. So that's my one guess about the Maya kind of thing.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:58
And the idea, though, that imagine? Because you and I are talking about this in a very safe world, in the sense that we can have these conversations publicly. But can you imagine being a yogi 1000 years ago, and saying, you know this whole thing, not real? Can you imagine where that came from? My my interpretation of it is that they were at a spiritual level that was so much deeper than we understand that they weren't in words. And a lot of this information they might have tapped into what the truth was a fact that it's only someone who meditates understands that
Donald Hoffman 1:14:40
Well, and I agree with that. I think that that's also in addition to the I was talking about no just an average guy, but these Yogi's that are that are actually going very, very deep. That's where I think the fact that they're they are the one and just like you and I are the one that they are the infinite intelligence. So they didn't have the technology that we have, but they had something even better. They have the Infinite Intelligence. But that, that is you and me. And that is also my, my baby four year old or whatever it might be. There's also Infinite Intelligence. It's just not yet expressed. Right? So So yeah, I agree with you.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:10
Now, if we are in a simulation, and this is all a giant, you know, giant video game that we're all playing. Do we eventually break out to eventually escape? To eventually stop playing this game?
Donald Hoffman 1:15:27
Yes, but there's infinitely many games to play. So yeah, we pop out of this one. But it's the the one is so deep, that there's literally an infinity of different perspectives to be taken, literally infinity. In some sense, if if the one consciousness he is up to understanding itself, sort of self realization, who am I? Then I think that this will, for example, it's there's a theorem that no system can ever fully understand itself. So five would like a computer system. And I want that system to understand itself, well, I can have the computer system like build a software model of itself, and of its interactions and so forth of its parts. But now, but now the system has changed, because now he's got some software that he didn't have before. So now I need to model that new software addition to me, but as soon as I do that, I've got the fact that I have this new software addition that I bet so in other words, you can never catch up, you can never get a full model of yourself. And so maybe the the one infinite consciousness is forever, quote, unquote, taking different perspectives, because in principle, there is no end to the exploration of itself, it can never know itself completely. And so once we take it, once we step out of this headset, there's infinitely many more to step out. And one question for me that is, you know, that I wonder about is does it allow itself to be completely reincarnated into the new head headset and completely lose itself and have to wake up sometimes painfully? Right, kicking and screaming, so to speak to its infinite nature? And to realize no, I'm not this projection? I'm not this avatar in this in this tiny little projection? My guess is yes.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:22
You know, it's interesting, because even with what you just said, this spiritual explanation for it, from my point of view, in my experience, is that when you become an Ascended Master, like Yogananda, or Jesus or Buddha, you choose to either come back or you choose to help others awaken through other ways. But there are Ascended Masters who leave and they're like, I'm good. Now, I don't need to come back to Earth. I don't need I have learned the lessons. Yeah, I could be 1000 other things. But I've learned all the lessons I need to learn. Here, I now want to go to the next video, I want to go to the next game that Playstations putting out, I've been in the Xbox, I want now Playstation and then and use and you evolve to a higher level because it doesn't make sense for you vibrationally, to be down here anymore. Because if you've heard the stories of the yogi's, even in our in, in the 1900s. When people got in front of the Maharishi, they just the energy that they felt there was something that there was intoxicating, some couldn't stand too close, because it was just too much. And they would have to go back and he like radiated 30 or 50 feet out or something like that. But it's fascinating. And I want to ask you one last question, because I mean, I could talk to you for another hour or two. Without question, but I mentioned the question in regards to the concept of, of frequency. In the spiritual traditions, they talk about that the higher the frequency, the closer you are to source. So hate, anger, prejudice, these are all very low, low frequency very, very slow. But love, service, kindness, these are higher frequencies in nature, according to spirituality. But we have proven that there is frequency and that we all in many ways. The whole planet sings at different frequencies at all time hums almost at a different frequency at all at all times. And these especially like I was just saying with the Maharishi they were at a higher frequency that they couldn't even attract you know, a mugger that's like like you don't see Yogi's getting mugged. Or, you know, that's just not a thing you hear you also never heard of the yogic crusades where they were killing people for in the name of the source like so what is your what's your perspective on frequency and spiritual frequency and also just mathematical physics frequencies and is there a way that those to connect
Donald Hoffman 1:20:00
Yes. And it ties in with also with what you were saying about some yogic masters saying I don't need to go with stay at this level of go to, to a higher level don't have to come back here. So now, I think the space time was a fairly cheap headset, it's only four dimensions, right? to three minutes is spaced one dimension of time, why not 50 dimensions, one a 5 billion, why not a trained dimensions? Why not having 30,000 different dimensions of color instead of just three dimensions of color, and so forth. So the length of the hue, the hue space, for example, there's saturation, and brightness and all those. But so in other words, we have a certain number of dimensions of color, why not have a trillion other dimensions of color that we you know, why not? So we I think we have one of the cheaper headsets that the one can use to look at itself, and it falls apart at 10 to the minus 33 centimeters. So we're not in we're in one of the low frequency that low frequency models, right. But yes, in the mathematics that we're working on this Markovian dynamics of conscious agents, so the that we talked about in the fusions of consciousness paper, and I talked about in my book, The Case Against reality. So I talked about this, in the very last chapter of my book, The Case Against reality. It's a Markovian dynamics, and it's all about frequencies, it's the we'll put it, this is a mathematically precise theory about where these frequencies come from. And it turns out, as you get more and more integrated systems, then the frequencies go up. The so if you get these larger, larger communication classes in the mark of communicating class gets more and more coherent. And the as a result, we think we call them momentum gets larger, and therefore the spatial frequency gets smaller. So the frequencies get fineries to get higher and higher frequencies. In this time, so, so yes, we actually have a mathematical model that I wasn't trying to model, this kind of yogic idea of higher frequencies and so forth, it just came out of our mathematics as the as you got more and more coherent, larger interactions of conscious agents, the frequencies that correspond to it get higher. So yes, it's really it falls right out of the theory. But again, I'm not putting our theory out as the truth. It's a first baby step outside of space time towards understanding consciousness, just the first first baby step.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:27
And that's what this show is all about, is just trying to figure everything out as much as we possibly can, and going through different avenues. That is why I talk to so many different kinds of people from so many different walks of life. Because in this conversation, you've opened up my eyes to a bunch of different things and thought about before. And hopefully, I've thrown a couple at you that you've thought about differently as well. Because there's not a lot of quantum physicists talking to near death experiencers. But there's some value there and vice versa. So hopefully, we can all I'm trying to bridge the gap, Don, I'm, I'm doing the best I can to bridge the gap. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions, ask all my guests. What is your definition of living a fulfilled life?
Donald Hoffman 1:23:14
I would say, No, that look, learning to let go of thought being able to be in this moment, without being lost in my thoughts, and just being present. That is what we're here for. That's what our purpose is, is to wake up. So you wake up when you can actually be washing the dishes and be present. And not being grudging that you're washing the dishes not being upset that you're washing the dishes would rather be doing nothing, but literally, in the moment being present. And so that's a fulfilled, fulfilled and fulfilling life. If this moment, which is the only moment I can actually choose to do anything. I choose to not be lost in thought. But to actually be aware of my emotions, to be aware of the thoughts that are going on, not identified with the thoughts, but being just aware of the thoughts, looking at them, without reincarnating into them. And then that that is living that way. And I'm not saying I do that all the time. I do it occasionally. But I think that if you ask what is a fulfilled life, I think that is a fulfilled life is not just not getting rich. Because everything that you get, you're going to take the headset off. It's everything that you accumulate, you're going Need to lose? Guaranteed? Fame, riches, cars, houses, followers, you're going to lose every bit of it, and you'll lose it within a few decades, probably sooner. So none of that. It'll make you happy for a few minutes. And then all of a sudden, you're on to the next thing, you know, that wasn't that wasn't it? What is it? When you when you become a billionaire? And that's not it? What is it that you need? Being present in this moment, without thought, and just then realizing who you are the you are the Infinite Intelligence, you're not the avatar. That's a fulfilled life.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:40
If you can go back in time and talk to a little Don, what advice would you give him?
Donald Hoffman 1:25:44
Learn to be, have internal silence. It's fine to go and pursue fun things. You can education get a good job, as long as you realize you're gonna walk away from all of it. So none of that is you don't identify with anything. You will always So learn to go into complete inner silence and find out who you really are. The big question is, who am I? If you know who you really are, and it's not my bank account, it's not my car. It's not my house. It's not my popularity is nothing. None of that is me. None of that is me. My body isn't me. So I would say find out the answer to this question. Who am I? That's what I told myself.
Alex Ferrari 1:26:38
How do you define Source or God?
Donald Hoffman 1:26:40
Yeah, and only by our sense of definition, so we go right back to the very start of our conversation, where I would have to say, if I tried to just use words and give definitions, it won't work. But if I point, if I give you pointing instructions, like giving you a glass of wine and say you've never had wine, here have a glass takes it, that's wine, all I can say about source is if you want to know what source is, sit in silence, turn out the light, no distractions. Let go of thoughts. And when you're aware of the silence, and nothing else, you had your first little taste of source. But just the first little taste, now, go into it further, spend more time there more time there. When you can start to spend hours there, then you're starting to really know a little bit more about the source. And yet you've only scratched the surface of the depths of who you are.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:42
And what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Donald Hoffman 1:27:45
Of our life here, I think is to wake up. I mean, we're here to get lost, to not know who we are, to think that I need to compete with you to be smarter than you or more richer than you or more popular than you are faster than you are, whatever it might be. And you see this even three or four year olds, right, they're already there. That's mine. And it's in lines better than yours. And so we're so we're here to get lost, to identify with the avatar. And then to wake up and to recognize to walk away from that all and to realize we're going to take this headset off, and nothing was lost.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:24
And where can people find out more about you and the amazing work you're doing in the world?
Donald Hoffman 1:28:27
I have a book called The case against reality. The subtitle is why evolution hid the truth from our eyes. So it's more within this FaceTime headset kind of framework where I'm talking about that. But then at the last chapter, I say, but now that we've done all this stuff in evolution, now it's time to let go of space time all together. That includes letting go of evolution. So the book sort of goes through through that. So I would say that and I've got a Twitter account. So at Donald D. Hoffman.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:56
Fair enough. And do you have any parting messages for the audience?
Donald Hoffman 1:28:59
Yeah, I would just say this, that there's been this tension between science and spirituality. And it's not going to be necessary that science is realizing that spacetime isn't fundamental, and is bringing new tools to the table. The spiritual traditions have already said that. They've said the space time isn't fundamental. There's a spiritual realm outside of space time is more fundamental. But they haven't had the as good pointers. So when science and spirituality meet, science can provide new pointers and spirituality can provide 1000s of years of meditation and the insights and together I think humanity can move forward with a scientific spirituality that is going to not only help us personally, but the technologies will be outside of space time and will be indistinguishable from magic.
Alex Ferrari 1:29:52
Don I appreciate you and everything you're doing in the world. My friend, thank you so much for being on the show.
Donald Hoffman 1:29:57
Thank you so much. Appreciate it for the kind invitation.
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