Your REALITY is NOT REAL & This MIT Scientist Figured Out How! with Rizwan Virk

In the quiet moments of our lives, when we pause to reflect on the nature of reality, a profound realization often dawns upon us. On today’s episode, we welcome the enigmatic Rizwan Virk, a trailblazer from MIT and a veteran of the video game industry, who guides us through the labyrinth of simulation theory and its profound spiritual implications.

Rizwan opens the discussion with an intriguing proposition: “But I would say what the matrix gives us is the opportunity to make choices, right? And that perhaps we are setting up those choices for ourselves. And that is how karma and these ancient ideas relate to the matrix karma becomes a quest. Will you choose this? Or will you choose that, and you still have the free will to do either of those things.” This statement sets the stage for a deep dive into the philosophical underpinnings of simulation theory, likening our existence to a complex video game where each decision shapes our path.

The conversation begins with a reflection on the enduring appeal of “The Matrix” film, which has captivated audiences for 25 years. Rizwan explains how the film, much like the allegory of Plato’s cave, presents a world where our perceived reality is merely shadows on a wall. He draws parallels between this concept and ancient Indian philosophies of Maya, which describe the world as an illusion, masking the true nature of existence.

As Rizwan elucidates, the matrix, much like our lives, is filled with challenges and choices that test our character. These challenges, he suggests, are not random but are intricately designed to help us evolve. This perspective brings a fresh understanding of karma, not as a punitive force but as a series of quests that guide our spiritual growth.

The discussion then turns to the concept of a simulated multiverse, where every choice we make spawns a new reality. Rizwan shares his insights from his extensive research, highlighting how this theory aligns with quantum mechanics and the idea of multiple simultaneous histories. He introduces the notion that our past, like our future, is a collection of probabilities, and by making conscious choices, we navigate through this intricate web of possibilities.

In exploring the practical implications of these theories, Rizwan touches upon the importance of belief and perception. He recounts the transformative journey of Neo in “The Matrix,” emphasizing how Neo’s shift in belief about his own identity enabled him to transcend the limitations of the simulated world. This, Rizwan posits, mirrors our own potential to alter our realities by changing our beliefs and perceptions.


  1. Reality as a Reflection of Belief: Just as Neo’s belief in his identity as ‘The One’ enabled him to manipulate the matrix, our beliefs shape our perception of reality. By altering our beliefs, we can transform our experiences and unlock new potential.
  2. The Nature of Karma and Choice: Viewing karma as a series of quests rather than a system of rewards and punishments encourages us to see challenges as opportunities for growth. Every choice we make is a step in our spiritual evolution.
  3. The Power of Consciousness: The concept of a simulated multiverse suggests that consciousness plays a crucial role in shaping reality. By making conscious choices, we navigate through different probabilities, creating our path.

In this profound conversation, Rizwan Virk invites us to see beyond the surface of our everyday lives and recognize the deeper patterns at play. By embracing the idea that we are active participants in a grand simulation, we can approach our existence with curiosity, creativity, and a sense of purpose.

Please enjoy my conversation with RIZWAN VIRK.

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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 442

Rizwan Virk 0:00
But I would say what the matrix gives us is the opportunity to make choices. Right? And that perhaps we are setting up those choices for ourselves. And that is what how karma and these ancient ideas relate to the matrix is that the karma becomes a quest, will you choose this? Or will you choose that and you still have the freewill to do either of those things. And then the matrix creates a situations for us of difficulty based upon our level of character.

Alex Ferrari 0:34
I like to welcome back to the show, returning champion, Rizwan Virk. How you doing Riz?

Rizwan Virk 0:48
Doing great! Thanks for having me on again.

Alex Ferrari 0:51
Thank you, my friend. Last time you were here, we were speaking about one of your newer books called The Wisdom of I think there's Wisdom of a Yogi of his name of it, which was talking about one of my favorite Yogi's of all time Yogananda, Paramahansa Yogananda and I was like, well, and then we started talking about simulation theory a little bit and, and game theory. And all this kind of stuff was like, Well, I gotta have this guy on. And you know, he's from MIT. I'm like, Oh, this is going to be this is going to be a lot of fun. So that was a great episode. But you reached out to me to hey, you know, the 25th anniversary of this little movie called The Matrix is coming up this year. And I wrote some other books, called the simulation hypothesis, where it's right here and the simulated multiverse, which is right here. And I'm like, if you want, we could just sit around talk about the matrix for a little while and talk about simulation theory and game theory. And the nature of reality. I'm like, Well, you had me at a low, sir. So. So that's why we have you back. So thanks for coming back, man.

Rizwan Virk 1:52
Yeah, it's awesome to get back on and talk about some of these geeky subjects with you. And you know, me while I'm admiring the the picture behind you there. It looks like you've asked some Yogananda related figures up in the,

Alex Ferrari 2:05
Yes, that would be that's Jesus, Yukashwa, Lahiri Mahasaya, Baba Ji, Yogananda and Ma all kinda chilling. And then an unknown yogi, which I assume is you and me. Whoever was there, whoever wants to place themselves in that? Could you imagine sitting in that? Oh, one day. Maybe one day on the other side, we'll be able to do that, sir. But right now. But yes. They're always around, they're always around. So my first, my first question to you is, can you explain to people what simulation theory is, and and how the matrix really, truly brought it into the zeitgeist?

Rizwan Virk 2:46
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, simulation theory is the basic idea that what we think of as the physical world around us, isn't really physical at all, but that it is a fake reality that's been generated for us. And you know what, that sick world is a computer generated simulation, or a computer generated massively multiplayer online role playing game. So depending upon how you look at it, but the idea is that the fidelity and resolution is so good in this video game, that we can't, on a on an ordinary basis, figure out that, you know, we're basically being deceived. And this, of course, is one of the core ideas of the film, The Matrix. And that's probably the most popular representation of this idea, the idea has been around in different forms, going back 1000s of years, right, you can go back to Plato, and the allegory of the cave, you know, which many of your viewers have probably already heard of, but where you know, all you're seeing is shadows on the wall, rather than what's actually going on outside because you're chained to one side of the wall. And so, you know, that's a Greek philosophical version, that the world isn't the real world, we're looking at shadows. And of course, this touches heavily on the Indian traditions within Buddhism and Hinduism of Maya, and the world being an illusion. But really, it's, it's because of our ability to create computers and also to create better and better computer graphics, that the idea has taken hold. So when the matrix came out in 1999, this was considered pure science fiction by most people, right? I mean, we watched it, it was a great action movie is probably the most talked about film of that year, which by the way, it was not supposed to be right. The most talked about film or that year was supposed to be the new Star Wars movie, right? Which actually was still the, you know, the largest grossing box office receipts, but by and far the matrix kind of stole the show, in terms of you know, the conversation that year because I think of these ideas, because it was more of a philosophy wrapped in a movie than just an action movie.

Alex Ferrari 4:55
Right and that year too I mean Fight Club came out. I mean, that was a heck of a year for movies. 99 was a hell of a year for movies. And there's I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of movies that came out in 99. But that was one of them. And with the matrix, I remember sitting in the theater watching it for the first time, and my head exploding. I mean, just absolutely explode. I haven't watched the I watched it in the theater easily four or five times, back back when people went to the movie theaters. And it was such a mind blowing thing, because it was, I didn't really understand what made the actions great. And the visual effects, the visual effects are insane, and, and all of this, but there was something inside of it that really drew me in on a more philosophical standpoint, and more of a spiritual standpoint. And I think some of the great sci fi movies of all time have some really deep spiritual aspects, Star Wars, being one of them, has a tremendous spiritual undertone with everything that that star was did. And I think just like Star Wars introduced the idea of the force, which is ancient ideas, and many other many other ideas of looking within yourself and all of these kinds of spiritual ideas. The Matrix brought simulation theory to, to the masses to the point where now, we're not even just talking about simulation theory. We're talking about multiverses. We're talking about parallel realities in a way that it's not, you know, kind of just like comic book II anymore. It we're talking about it seriously is and please correct me if I'm wrong. Did it was it last year, the year before last that the Nobel prize went to quantum physicist or physicists who proved that we are actually in a simulated, simulated reality?

Rizwan Virk 6:46
Yeah, it was last year, I think. And it was that they showed that Bell's inequality, you know, theorem, which really is the basis for nonlocality. So you know, that the universe is not locally real, that was sort of, you know, the basis and that's still mind bending, right. And these concepts are difficult to grasp. And I think that movies like The Matrix, help us to understand, you know, what are the implications or interpretations of these weird scientific findings, it's almost like, on the one hand, the public is catching up to the weird science that started with quantum mechanics from last year, but of which there was no good explanation as to why the universe work that way. But at the same time, you know, the public is catch that science is catching up to the weird pneus of reality, and I call it sometimes when a concept has passed the 10 year old test, right. And if you think back to the early 20th century, we knew about other planets and others stars out there, there was a growing knowledge of astronomy within science, but the public didn't necessarily know about it. But there was a point at which, you know, even a 10 year old could understand that Superman, you know, God has powers because he's from Krypton, which is another planet and another solar system. Now, if you had said that back in 1830s, or 1730s, nobody would have understood what you're talking about, right? And so the concepts got, you know, imbued into society, to the point where, you know, a 10 year old or a teenager could understand the ideas within the context of fictional stories, perhaps, but it shows that these ideas have taken hold. And I believe the simulation theory and multiverse, as well, especially with all the superhero movies, right, superheroes, I think tend to be science fiction and superhero movies tend to be at the forefront of trying to explain some of these weird ideas in ways that we can you know, more readily, I think, understand.

Alex Ferrari 8:34
Yeah, and the thing that the matrix did so well, I think in regards to this was that it was said like, Oh, it's a computer generated reality. And I don't believe personally, that we're in a computer generated reality that there was some video games, some teenage alien, somewhere who, who designed us in a sitting in a laptop somewhere, or on a heart, a mainframe, someone who's created this insane, you know, multiplayer game. But it is a simulated reality. It is a illusion, as well as the Vedic texts talk about and all these other traditions talk about, which is hard for people to grasp. Though I think it was Elon Musk who said, in 200 years, if we just keep growing our technology at the pace that we're growing it, reality and simulation will be completely indistinguishable. And I'll tell you example of it. I was in Universal Studios, a little while ago, and they have a new show. They're called the Bourne. The Bourne Identity stunt show something along those lines. If you remember Bourne Identity with Matt Damon Yep. And it's this giant screen. In this youth gonna walk into theater giant screen, I was like, Oh, wow, this is pretty nice. And, and then all of a sudden, the first scene of the show is born Jason Bourne, doing a street fight for money. In like, you know, Morocco or something like that, right. And you see the human players up front. And then the screen in the back, you see a bunch of people and a car. And they're all like waving and trying to bet and stuff like that. And the people who are on stage are interacting, pretending to interact with the people on the screen, my I could barely tell the difference. The resolution of the of the background screen was so crystal clear that I really had a problem. Like whose it was, it was just some slight shadowing, and lighting. The depth is the only thing that got me if I closed my eye, and I didn't have the depth perception, I would have not been able to tell the difference. That's in an in a amusement park.

Rizwan Virk 10:51
Right. And I think you hit on a key point. And this is the point that got me involved in all of this, because you know, my background is as a computer scientist, and then I started building video games in Silicon Valley. And then I became an investor in the video game industry. And back in 2016, which is the same year that Elon Musk made that statement, which was at a code conference in Paris and think I had sold my last video game company and I decided to try on virtual reality game that the company that had acquired our our game was was building it was called Free Range Games. And so it was a virtual ping pong game. And so I started to play this virtual ping pong. And you know, right now, today, the headsets are way better than they were in 2016. That was seven years of progress we've had since the Oh, eight years right of progress. And you know, the Apple vision pro just came out, we can talk about that in a minute. But you know, there were wires coming from the ceiling, it was a wired headset, there was no mistaking that you're in virtual reality. But I had the controllers in my hand. But I started to play this ping pong game. And the resolution was so good, that it fooled me fooled my brain. So much. So at the end of the game, I tried to put the paddles out of the table because it felt like a real table. And then I tried to lean against the table. Yeah. And I almost fell over. And so then I said, Okay, well, if it's already fooling my brain for a few seconds, right? Obviously, I came to my senses pretty quickly. But how long would it take us to get to the point where we could create a virtual environment that is so realistic, we couldn't distinguish it. And so I call that the simulation point. And this is a kind of technological singularity. Now, I'm sure your listeners have probably heard the term singularity. It's been out there in Silicon Valley. It's usually talking about AI. Incidentally, it was it was coined by a guy named Vernor. Vinge II, who was a computer scientist turned science fiction writer, he has some great science fiction, by the way, true names is one of the first really describing the internet and interactive video games all the way back in like 1981. I think, even before you know, the cyberpunk genre really got going. Unfortunately, he died this week, which is why it sort of has been on my on my mind. But but he defined this term, and most people think of the singularity as being super intelligent AI. And we shouldn't be afraid of that super intelligent AI will take over the universe. But he also defined many different ways in which we could get to a technological singularity where things happen so fast, that everything would be different for humans. And so I defined the simulation point as a kind of technological singularity, after which we things will be different, because we'll be able to step into these virtual environments, and it'll seem real, it'll feel real. And I laid out these 10 stages, including brain computer interfaces, and including VR and AR, including intelligent AI to the point where you could talk to the AI and not not be able to tell that you're not talking to human. And so I tried to figure out how long will it take us to get to that point, right. And so Elon Musk said, even if it takes us 100 200, he said, even if it takes us 10,000 years, right? If if the video games keep improving, we'll definitely get there. And so that's what got me sucked into this whole idea of simulation theory was, if we can build something like The Matrix, then there was a guy at Oxford named Nick Bostrom, who came up with this, this theory called the simulation argument. And he coined the term simulation hypothesis, I believe, which is the term that's used now pretty pretty frequently for this idea. But basically, he said is if somebody else could have gotten there, then they've probably already gotten there. If you think of a universe with a million billion years, okay, think of a civilization a million years more advanced than us, right? I mean, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, who's to say that there aren't planets that are, you know, 10 billion years old, right? Or, or 9 billion twice his luck. And so if they're a million years ahead of us, they've probably already created these simulations. In fact, they've created so many of these simulations, that there's way more simulated worlds than there are physical worlds. Okay? And so if you're in a world and you can't tell the difference, this is the key. If we can tell the difference, then you could say you're not in a simulated world. But if you can't tell the difference, there's probably billions of simulated worlds. There's only one physical world but Essentially, although the multiverse idea, we'll come back to that later, that means the chances and this is what he like most of the chances that you're, you're in the physical world is one in billions, right. So that means the chances that you're in a simulated world is billions to one, basically. And that was kind of a famous statement that he made about simulation theory. And that's what got a lot of academics talking about it. Now, when we talk about it, on programs like this, and when I talk about it, I like to make a distinction between the AI version where everybody is an NPC, or a non player character, like everybody's an agent, Smith, let's get back to the matrix. versus everybody is a character, you know, playing a character like Neo Morpheus Trinity, they all exist outside the simulation in some way. And that is closer to I think, where their religious traditions come down to. So as I started researching it, I found that not only does the text say we're gonna get there, quantum physics has all this weirdness, we can talk about a minute in more detail if you want. And then all the religions have been telling us that the world is fake, that it's not real, that it's been set up for us. And so all of these tend to agree that the world is a hoax, you know, but simulation theory was a way to bring all of this together. And that's what really got me started down this path,

Alex Ferrari 16:18
Which was really interesting is that the idea of being born sick, you see, that really kind of throws things out of whack a little bit for me with simulation theory, because if you're in a computer game, you usually don't see births. In computer games, I might be wrong. But generally like you, you just pop up fully formed, you create your avatar, and you jump in the concept of being born and growing. And all of that aspect is something I really haven't seen, because you know what, you know, that first year or two, it's kind of sucks, you can't walk, you can't talk and figure things out. It's a really rough scenario for those first three, four years, until you really start to gain speed, and start learning and growing and really starting to be able to play the game at a higher level. So I understand why that doesn't matter. But there was a movie, I forgot the name of it. It's the one with Brie Larson. I think it's called the room. Yeah, the room or room, where not the room not the famous bad movie, but room, she won the Oscar, she won the Oscar for it. Where her child, if I remember correctly, her child knew no other existence, other than the room that they lived in. The her mother, the child's mind, knew nothing of the outside were very, very Plato's Allegory of the Cave, knew nothing of it, her world was that room. So I mean, the mom knew what was outside. But the child didn't. And I forgot, I think it was she was hiding. I forgot the plot of it. But she lived in that room and the child lived in that room. And that was it. That was the that was the world. So if you're born into an existence, you could take a baby right now. And no research is done like this, because it would be absolutely cruel and immoral to take a child and start messing with it this way. I mean, you can't really do this. But if you could take a brand new baby, bring it into a war and only teach it that this room is the world or that this is the planet or and they have no other way to know what is real or what is not because they haven't been informed of it. That would be a really interesting idea. Wouldn't you say?

Rizwan Virk 18:31
Well, yeah, that would be interesting. I mean, I

Alex Ferrari 18:34
Immoral, immoral, immoral, right?

Rizwan Virk 18:38
Absolutely. To figure out, you know, where does that leave? Boy, they lose the capacity, when they go outside the room to you know, interact with other things. And, you know, there's like stories of, you know, particular tribes in Africa, who were, you know, from the forest areas, and then they get out to the Great Plains. And to them, it's like too strange of a thing. Like they don't see the Buffalo. And they don't know, depth perception, because they've grown up their whole lives within this environment that said, you know, the way that I view it is that there is a process of installment, right. And this is a big debate within the religious traditions as well. In fact, I was invited to the UK last summer to speak at an Islamic conference, a conference on Islamic jurisprudence. And I was like, Wait, you guys sure you want me to talk? You know, I'm, you know, a virtual reality guy.

Alex Ferrari 19:27
Will there be security?

Rizwan Virk 19:30
We had like an Ayatollah in the room, you know, from Iran. We had scholars, Islamic scholars from Cairo and different places. I mean, it was a very kind of different, very eclectic group, actually. And so but I was talking about Islam and the simulation hypothesis, because I think there's, there's enough overlap with the different religions around this idea. And they were talking about when does the soul get attached to the body is it can we have the same debate here right? With abortion, and that happened at the moment of conception? In Islam, there's like four 30 days or 120 days, you know, first trimester, all of those types of things. And I said, Well, I'd like to offer a different definition. Because the ancient scriptures had to use metaphors. Right when they were written 2000 years ago were revealed, depending on your perspective. And so they had to explain things in language that would be understood by the population at the time. And I said, for today's youth and today's environment, if you weren't explained this process of enrollment, it would be the moment when you put on the headset, or you plug into you know, the matrix. Going back to the movie, they had the little, you know, socket in the back in what we call a BCI, or brain computer interface today, and you forget, right, there's what's called the veil of forgetfulness that gets pulled over you. And because the environment is so real, you become attached to that body. And so the moment of unfoldment is when you you no longer are able to remember that you had this independent existence outside, and you are now fully taken up by the dream world of reality. And I think that that, you know, is until that point in time, and there are reports, right, I'm sure you've on your show, you've seen a lot where people, you know, report kind of hovering over their parents and seeing, seeing their parents experience, you know, the pre printed birth experience. Yeah, the pre birth experience. And you know, those were pretty interesting, along with the near death experience, but also, while they're a baby, sometimes they'll remember and they'll go out, you know, they'll they won't be in the body the whole time. Right.

Alex Ferrari 21:32
Yeah, they kind of jump in. No, no, I'm gonna go to the other one, or that, that mean, it. That's what I've heard from people who've had pre birth experiences. It's, it's fast. And again, I've heard different things from it's, you know, they were there at the beginning, or they're literally there at the moment of birth, or maybe a day or two after birth. And there is no soul inside of it. Technically, I've heard all sorts of stories. So there's no real way to figure that out. But it's pretty fascinating. The one thing about the matrix too, is that when you start looking at the matrix, as an analogy, for what we're talking about here, the matrix itself is a simulation that we're in. And the real world is where Morpheus and Trinity live, and it's all dark, and, you know, beat up and all this kind of stuff. Well, technically, that would be the heavenly realm. For lack of a better word, it would, that's where the real soul would live. Technically, in the analogy of the matrix, though, the matrix again, the matrix takes things a little bit differently than religion, which is a computer generation and, and that there's an evil, evil thing, trying to control and suck the life out of you, and all that kind of stuff. But generally speaking, that would be the so in the matrix, the real world is where the soul lives, in theory, and they plug in. And they come in and out, though they jump in and out all the time on like, our rules here is once you're in it kind of in unless you have a near death experience, if you need a break for a second, you jump out and go, do I want to stay in this situation? Do I want to not stay in this situation? Or you or you if you raise your consciousness to a level of a master where then you can jump in and out whenever you'd like, which is another way of going about it, which is essentially what Neo becomes Neo becomes Neo becomes the ultimate yogi, with yogic powers, and able to do things in the simulation, that is breaking the rules of physics, which is what a yogi, what Yogi's, that are known have been known to do for 1000s of years, and also Jesus, for that matter. I mean, he was doing miracles, back then, he was a yogi as well, in many ways. And Buddha, and all of them all the Ascended Masters. So they figure out a way they figure out the rules of the simulation, but then they transcend the simulation to the point where they can now play with it very much like Neo, you know, dancing with bullets and stopping things. And he sees the code, we see the code. Would you agree with this?

Rizwan Virk 24:08
Yeah, I think you hit the analogy of the head there. I mean, I think that that is basically the idea is that within video games, you can have super users, right? You can have users who have more powers or more skills than everybody else. So for example, you and I, we're not really talking to each other right now. I mean, technically, we think we're in the same room, but we're actually rendering our images right on each other's computer. So I'm talking to my computer. And so in a sense, I think the analogy is we all render the world. But we could both be in the same field and a video game and there could be a dragon. And you could see the dragon because you know, you're Alex, you're level 30 Right. And I'm only level two player right, let's say and so I can't see the dragon. And so that starts to resemble the cities, as they're called. Old In the yogic traditions, right, and we talked a little bit about this last time because An Autobiography of a Yogi. And other books like that, you know, there are like all these accounts of people who are able to produce objects out of thin air moved from place to place materialize in different locations, love it, you have levitating saints, you have all of this type of stuff going on. And to me that does represent an advanced skill or power. And there's a point at which, you know, I believe that the yogi's are able to then in the same way that I could look at our video game world on my screen. And perhaps, you know, Alex is not just a matter of us leaving. And coming back, perhaps there's a part of us that's already there. It's watching the screen right now, right, in the same way that we're watching this interaction, and your viewers are watching us, there's a part of us that's watching this kind of three dimensional scene. And now we touch on the holographic panoramic life review, right? The fact that they can reproduce it, but they're just watching it. And in the pre birth memories, in some cases, you have people who say they're able to see, you know, what might happen in their lives, almost as if it was actually happening, right? Like, they're actually watching the hologram move forward, run forward as well. But perhaps there's a part of us that's already outside. And that's watching what's going on inside. And so when we say leave, what we're really talking about is just remembering that there's a part of us out there. And that's where I think things get a little a little interesting when you start using analogies, like The Matrix analogy, right? Because Neo is still out there, although in the matrix, once you plug in, you know, the physical body is kind of under but what if you're not completely under what if there's a part of you that's, you know, completely under and a part of you that's watching, like the rest of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, they're like watching the matrix to see, you know, what actually happens.

Alex Ferrari 26:48
No, I think that, I think you're absolutely correct in the sense that, from my understanding, and my research is that it's not like, our whole soul jumps into our body. And we're on vacation from the other side, and there's nothing going on, from my understanding is that there is an oversoul, or a part of you that's higher. And from there, parts of you go into the simulation, parts of you can go into different, different areas. And then if your head really wants to start to hurt, the concept of there is no past life, there is no future life, all lives are happening at the same time really starts to make your head hurt. And then to add insult to injury, then you start going into like, Well, every time you make every time you make a major decision in your life, it spawns off a new reality. So like, you know, what if you wouldn't have invested in video games? What if you would have never seen that movie? What if that thing didn't send you off on another path? Well, for my research and my interviews with near death experiences in the life review of some of them, they asked a question, and then the guide, there goes, Oh, you want to know what it was like to Mary Jane? Here it is. And it goes off into another reality. And you're like, and that plays out. So there's infinite realities in this simulation at this time, but they're all happening at the exact same time. So right now you and I are in Atlantis, somewhere. You and I are in Egypt somewhere. And we're also in, you know, 2500 ahead of us, you know, quote unquote, ahead of us happening at the same time. And that's very difficult for our, our hardware, our brain to wrap our head around.

Rizwan Virk 28:41
Well, I agree with that. And so you know, my first book on this subject was the simulation hypothesis, which is about this idea that the physical world is not real. So in a sense, we're saying the space isn't real, it's just generated by computers or by an algorithm. But then I ended up writing my second book, The simulated multiverse for this very reason was that if you can run a simulation, most simulations don't run with only one option. What happens is, if you're simulating the weather, or you're simulating, you know, a population to see if the population is going to blow itself up, what do you do you change variables, and you rerun the simulation? And so, you know, the whole idea of the simulated multiverse is this idea that every time we have a choice, is it possible that part of us is actually running that part of the simulation? Now, if time isn't real the way we think of it, because we're stuck in this program that's going forward, right? But if you think about your computer right now, okay, I'm running zoom, let's say and then I'm running Microsoft Word. But within one program, it's only got like a very linear progression, but it can stop. And other progressions can be happening. Other programs can run we call this context switching within the world of computer science, and so each choice that we make, what if we run it forward? And then the part of us that's watching the simulation says, You know what, that's not such a great idea. Let's let me try that other option, right. And then, at the moment, what we're experiencing at the moment is only one of those branches of this infinite tree of possibilities, which I call the multiverse graph, right? And what we think of as time is just one path through and and that's why we often get you know, this ideas of deja vu have I seen this before. And I kind of stumbled into this through another science fiction writer, who by the way, inspired the matrix, it was through the work of Philip K deck. And so you know, Philip K, Dick was one of the people before the matrix came out to talk about this idea of being in a computer program reality, he had a famous line in 1977. In maths, France, he gave a speech where he said, we are in a computer program reality. But he said more than that, and I interviewed his wife, Tessa, as part of my research for the book. And you know, the rest of that speech, if you read it, it's a little mind blowing, because he says, The only way to tell is if some variable changes, some alteration occurs in our reality. And he says, basically, there are these beings outside the simulation that can go back and change some things in the past and run forward, and will have the sense of deja vu will have the sense that we're seeing the same things. We're replaying the same things. And this was the basis for his film, the adjustment, the adjustment was the movie. Yep. And the team was the book. And his wife told me that he came to believe that the Man in the High Castle, which is about Japan, and Germany, winning World War Two was a real timeline that actually ran. And then for whatever reason, that timeline, they decided to rewind it and rerun it. And now we're in a different timeline. But that it wasn't just fiction, and he said, he got memories of the whole timeline. So you know, and he also claimed to be communicating with some beings who said, They prevented JFK assassination in Dallas. But it led to him being assassinated in Orlando, or somewhere else, right. At each time, the outcome was either worse. And so they let this timeline proceed. But, you know, to me, I got sucked into this to the Mandela effect. And I had a friend at Google, who came to me and said, Well, your simulation book is interesting. You realize that's one way to explain the Mandela effect. And I didn't take the Mandela effect that seriously, you know, coming more from a scientific background. I said, Oh, maybe it's just faulty memory. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized, what if these were actual timelines that actually ran, and people are just remembering pieces. So getting back to your multiverse idea? What if that was the timeline where you would I met doing something else? Right? And that's where, you know, the Froot Loops box or the Berenstein Bears

Alex Ferrari 32:52
Berenstein Bears, of course. But the question to you then is did Ed McMahon so give million dollar checks to people at their door for the publishers?

Rizwan Virk 33:03
Remember it? He did, right, but

Alex Ferrari 33:04
I did as well. And there's actual, there's actual proof online of him doing guest appearances on 80s tv shows where he would show up, there's clips of this, he would show up in the episode as the guy with the check at the door. Why would he be at the check if he never did it before? So these are the kinds of things and and Star Wars of course, Luke, I am your father.

Rizwan Virk 33:30
Of course, with the movie lines, right? But yeah, the freakiest ones for me, so that the two freakiest ones for me, and you are the scriptural changes, and the physical changes of object where there's traces. And so the really weird one for me is so I was in Silicon Valley for a long time. I'm in Arizona now. And at Stanford University, they have one of the bronze casts of Rodin's The Thinker. Right. And so so you know, what, what is the pose of the thinker?

Alex Ferrari 34:00
It's, I think it's, I think, originally it was this, but is it this, so if you look at the chin, it's to the chin,

Rizwan Virk 34:07
But it's also a light touch on the chin, right. And so but there are pictures of people. You're standing next to the statue, with the fist up here, and there's actually a picture of George Bernard Shaw, in the title of the picture is GB shot in the pose of the thinker from like 1907 at the unveiling, did the night before the unveiling of the bronze statue of Rodin's The Thinker in London. And the guy who took the picture was a well known photographer, and she'd be Shah used to pose for him, and he's gone like this. And it's there in the museums and stuff. Even though if you look at the physical objects today, you look at the actual thinker today, it changed but there are artifacts of the previous change.

Alex Ferrari 34:51
So how so how does this work incident in the simulation? So if something changes in the simulation, is that a Okay, we're gonna get super geeky here is that a, an error in the code, where you see kind of like in video games with like when something goes wrong, you'll see that, like you'll see something offer, the person keeps you know, there's something off in the code, because something happened is that just defective code at this point?

Rizwan Virk 35:19
Well, what happens is in computer science, and what's happening now when we'd like Mac's, you rarely have to turn off your Mac, right? Whereas in the past in the 90s, the Windows machine, and you had to, like turn that thing off and restart it. Why? So the way that computer programs run is that we it uses memory, and it stores a bunch of things in memory, but there's only so much memory. So what happens at some point is that the software runs out of memory. And so bad computer programs are bad is depends on your definition, they just use up so much memory, but there's a process called garbage collection. I mean, this is an actual technical term, like garbage collection. And what it does is it goes through all the pieces of memory that aren't being used anymore, but they were so these, these are not like zero, the values in these registers are not zero, they actually have values there from the last time the program ran, right, but they're not necessarily being referenced right now. And so the way that I like to think of it is if you run the same program twice, but you change variables, and you try to use the same memory to do it, you are going to have residue of previous runs of the program. And so what happens is that it's not the garbage collection hasn't happened correctly. Now, let me tie this to the scriptural changes. And I don't know if we got into this last time. But you know, there's people who talk about the biblical scriptural changes, and the Mandela Effect, like Isaiah, The Lion and the Lamb. Right? And then they actually have physical, you know, they have like a little thing on their wall that actually shows a lion in the lab and shows the old version of Isaiah, whereas today, it's the wolf and the lamb right? Well shall lie with the lamb. It's not the lion and lamb. And people take their scriptural scripture seriously, right? Oh, that's yeah. Oh, yeah. And so that's what I call a higher proximity to that object, just like GB Shah had proximity to the thinker, right? He wasn't just making up this pose, he actually saw, you know, the physical statue. But so I wonder if other religious scripture like in the Quran, has been changed. And so I looked around and there was a Sufi saint or Sufi Imam, I don't think he's a saint yet, but an imam who basically said, In Islam, they memorize the Quran, word for word, and they have for 1000s of years since, you know, 1600 years ago, whenever the religion started, and I grew up in a Muslim house, I think, why did they do that? We got books, we don't need to memorize the physical, every single word, right? And he goes, the reason is, there are entities that can alter time, they can change the past. And therefore they can change physical objects, but they're not allowed to change our memories, right? And so they can change these, these entities are called the jinn. Right? And so this is where it gets quite interesting, because now we tie the religion to the Philip K. Dick to the Mandela Effect, right, because Philip K, Dick said there were entities that could change variables in the past. And the more you look into quantum mechanics, the more you realize this idea that the past and you know, has already happened. And, and now it's the present and the future, it's pretty easy for us to say the future hasn't happened yet. Therefore, there's three possible futures, I make a choice, I go this way I make a choice I go, that way, we can understand that right, but we can't understand is that there are multiple possible pasts as well. And that we are actually choosing one of those. So the collapse of the probability wave, which is called the observer effect. And I go into more detail in this in my in my simulation books, the simulation hypothesis and the simulated multiverse. But the idea of the collapse is, you know, with shorting there's cat, the cat is alive or dead. Common sense says it's either alive or dead. We don't know we haven't looked. But quantum mechanics says it's both alive and dead, right at this point in time, until the observer observes one of those and measures one of those outcomes. So it's in a state of what's called quantum superposition. Now, that's the current state of the cat. But the weird part is quantum mechanics also says whether the cat came out from the kitchen or the cat came from the living room, whether you adopted the cat a year ago, or three years ago, those are all different possible paths. And when we collapse the probability wave, we're not just selecting the current is outcome. We're actually selecting what Schrodinger called in a very obscure so we're talking about Schrodinger scat, there's a very obscure talk he gave in 1940, that priests, you know, preview the whole Multiverse idea, he said, we are actually choosing from one of and these are his words, multiple simultaneous histories. Okay? And so we're actually choosing one of those every time we collapse, the probability wave. So in a sense, what we think of as the past is also being happening and to being chosen right now and gets back to your idea with The near death experience are saying that you can change something now and it'll change your past life. Well turns out there's support for that in quantum mechanics.

Alex Ferrari 40:08
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So I actually spoke to a channeler on the show and asked him about this idea of all lives happening at the same time. And what he was telling me. He goes this is the best way is been explained to me. And I have yet to find a better way to explain the idea that there are no past or future lives that we're all living in at the same time. He goes if you're watching a television show, you're watching friends on TV right now. Cool, you're i You you're focusing on an episode of Friends. But you understand that there's an episode of Breaking Bad being played at the exact same time, there's an episode of The Sopranos being played at the same time Game of Thrones is being played at the same time. Gilligan's Island is being played somewhere at the exact same time that there is multiple 1000s of other possibilities on that television that can be seen on that television at any time. You chose episode of Friends. But that does not negate all of these other shows being played at the exact same time. And I was like, Well, that makes all the sense in the world. Oddly enough, and when he said that?

Rizwan Virk 41:53
I think that's a good way to explain this idea that we're tuning in, right? It's when you say what does it mean, when you're tuned into this program? It's the same as the observer effect, in a sense, right? It's like we're tuning into this reality. Now the best explanation I've heard for this past stuff, just to bring it into the science realm is something called the cosmic delayed choice experiment. And I don't know if you have not heard of that. So we all know about the double slit experiment, which is the basis for the observer effect and coding this cat is a good way to explain that. But the cosmic delayed choice experiment was proposed by John Wheeler, who was one of the giants of 20th century physics, by the way, he worked with Einstein at Princeton, he worked with Niels Bohr all these guys. He was the supervisor of whoever it who came up with the multiverse idea, right? So, I mean, this guy had his hands in everything. And so he also came up at the end of his life, just to diverge from the cosmic choice. He came up with a phrase that is used in simulation theory, his phrase was, I looked for the essence of matter, and I couldn't find it. And he came up with this phrase saying it from bit, we says, The only thing you could find at the end of the day when you keep looking down for these, this thing called matter, right, the table is mostly empty space. Underneath that the atom is mostly empty space, the subatomic particles he was the only thing I could find was a series of yes no questions to say what a particle is. So he said the only thing that defines one particle versus another particle is different answers to these yes, no questions. And those are like bits of information. So the universe basically consists of bits of information, it doesn't consist of actual physical particles, like there's no such thing as a particle. It's just a configuration of, of bits of information. So his phrase was it from bit so if there's something that looks like it, like this glass, all it is, is a collection of and of bits of yes, no questions, and how they're arranged.

Alex Ferrari 43:48
You mean like ones and zeros?

Rizwan Virk 43:48
Yeah, like ones and zeros. It's just ones and zeros. That is the fundamental unit of information science, which is just yes or no one or zero. And in fact, there was a there was a new story about how in China they had teleported a quantum particle quantum teleported to a satellite what they really meant they didn't actually move the particle it wasn't like you know Star Trek, it wasn't like you know, Captain Kirk is is D materialized here beat me up it was they took the information of that particle the information state, which is the the bits of information and and they ended up making that particle have those same state the same bits of information.

Alex Ferrari 44:28
So they clone or they cloning it is a two different, two different being

Rizwan Virk 44:33
The state. It's like, they put it into almost an entangled.

Alex Ferrari 44:37
So in other words, the particle here, so the particle here, when they moved it over here, it actually moved, or was there's no one here,

Rizwan Virk 44:45
There's no one here, but it had the same exact same state here as here.

Alex Ferrari 44:49
So kind of cloning

Rizwan Virk 44:50
Kind of cloning but is cloning of information more than they didn't create that particle? Right? They actually were able to change the information of that particle to reflect that This particle, do you see what I'm saying?

Alex Ferrari 45:01

Rizwan Virk 45:02
So that gets to this idea that the world is just physical objects are just information. If you put on an Apple vision pro now, you will see things in your room that aren't there. Right? It's like a augmented reality. And what it's showing is there's a blurring between what is physical and what is information. And then I'll come back to do a choice experiment. But you know what the Masters realize, if you if you read Yogananda, he has a whole chapter on the law of miracles, right? He calls them light trance, but really what he's talking about he goes, they just rearrange these particles. And what does that sound like? It sounds like they just change the information of the three.

Alex Ferrari 45:38
It's, it's it's Neo. He knows how to work with the code. In the matrix. This is the yogic, the yogic or the Ascended Master principle, where you once you have you once you have achieved level 4000 player, because you've worked your way up there, because no, by the way, no master ever shows up fully formed. It doesn't work that way. Jesus didn't do it. Yogananda didn't do it. Buddha didn't do it. Everyone's got to go through a journey. They might be more they might have come in with more stuff, experience, to be able to get there faster than maybe you and I because we haven't reached that level on the soul level to be able to reach that. So they came in with the opportunity. And that's the big key here. They had a choice, an opportunity to reach this enlightened state. It wasn't a predetermined path. They still had to work and go through obstacles and journeys and black to get to this a little bit just like Neo in the Matrix. Neo was not a realized by far from being a realized, Master, you know, and he wasn't a master he was the mat. He was the baba Ji. He was the baba Ji of that world. And people who don't know Baba Ji, we could talk about Baba Ji, he's my favorite, one of my favorite Yogi's of all time, but he was the Baba Ji of the world to the point where he could he can control anything to do anything. He became essentially a God of that reality, Neo did to a certain extent, until the end, this is another idea. Anytime there is a force that rises negative or positive, the opposite force rises as well to balance it. So in war, World War Two showed up, the Nazi showed up. Well, what happened, the Allies showed up, because without that balancing force, the Nazi would have just ran over the entire planet, they literally could have, but there was a force to stop them. And you start seeing that again and again, in history, when there's this one negative force comes up a positive force comes up to balance it and battle, not battle. It's irrelevant, but it will balance itself out. So in that Matrix, Neo showed up, but then Agent Smith showed up to balance that scenario. And it was this back and forth. But without just like classic storytelling, Joseph Campbell, hero's journey, you need to have balancing polarities. In order for the story to go, this simulation can't go if everyone is in the polyanionic world, there has to be contrast, or else it's, then you're in heaven. Because in heaven, there is no there is no bad guys, there is no, there is none of that stuff on the other side, according to everything I've ever heard or read or spoken to 400 plus people about spirituality. It does not, it does not exist. You come here to this simulation to experience that, among other things. Would you agree, sir?

Rizwan Virk 48:40
Yeah, so I often get asked, and since I read about simulation theory, one of the, you know, the biggest questions I get asked is, well, why is there suffering in this world? You know, I mean, if I was going to make a simulation, I would be, you know, a billionaire, and I would, you know, be a movie star, I would do all these things in life would just be great, right? And, you know, there's a rule in the video game world about how to make a game interesting. And that rule came from Nolan Bushnell, who is the founder of Atari. And he said, make it easy to play but difficult to master. Right? So it's easy to play. And that is the essence of making a good game. Because if the game is too difficult, you won't play, you won't want to play again. But if the game is too easy, you're gonna do it for a little while you have your fun, and then you'll say, Okay, I've had enough for this game, right? I mean, suppose you gave yourself all the riches in the game, you can do anything you want.

Alex Ferrari 49:31
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right. B A start essentially, right. Contra the changes, right?

Rizwan Virk 49:36
Yeah. Yeah, there you go. You've got the cheat codes. Yeah. But you know, unless you go back in for other players in the game, but there has to be challenges and there has to be difficulties. I like to use the analogy of an Indiana Jones film, right. Well, what if Indy just got the Ark of the Covenant map right at the beginning is there it is go get it. Well, that's not a very interesting film.

Alex Ferrari 50:01
Just walked up two minutes later, I got the Ark of the Covenant. I don't know what to do.

Rizwan Virk 50:06
And, you know, Yogananda himself was meditating on the suffering of World War One, which was called the Great War. And he was like, Lord, why do you allow such suffering and he got, he got the message. Now he was using the technology of the time, he got the message that Think of it like a film reel. Right, what you're seeing when he saw the news reel is a film within a film that if you're an actor in the film, just because your character dies, doesn't mean that you die. At the same time, you who wins the Oscars, it's the ones who take the roles that have the most suffering are the most challenges or the most, right, it's that's what makes a juicy, interesting role. And that is part of I think the roles that we play here is we have these general paths that we might follow like in the multiverse, but we may not have gotten, we still have free will to choose which paths we take, just like in a video game. Like in a video game, there are kind of storylines mapped out for you. But you don't always have to follow them you can decide to go on this side quest, you can go off and do this other thing. And so I believe ours are simulated world is like that, where we basically have a genuine storyline like I in the same way you choose the Dungeons and Dragons character right way back in the day, like I'm dating myself, but we used to have actual physical character sheets and you used to say, my strength, you know, dexterity intelligence, all you'd roll the dice and you get these, you know, I have a particular character with particular physical constraints, right? I'm not a seven foot, you know, Kareem Abdul Jabbar type guy in his life. So that part of my scrip was not to be an NBA basketball player, right. But there are different pieces within that script. Like, for example, I ended up becoming an entrepreneur moving to Silicon Valley, but part of me also always wanted to be a professor, get a PhD and teach. And so I've always had that me now at the age of, you know, mid 50s, I'm finally doing that, right. I'm teaching a class at Arizona State University, and then getting a PhD, where I'm teaching a class called simulation theory, religion, technology, philosophy, science, right? It's like a mixed science fiction. It's like a mixture of all these things. And so I feel like we have these parts, or quests or achievements that we might do in this life. And those are part of our karmic set of quests. You can think of it like a quest manifest, and different people might choose, oh, yeah, we've had this quest to do together, let's let's get together. And let's go on this particular quest. So I think, I think that does tie into the nature of the game.

Alex Ferrari 52:33
So let me ask you this. What do you think the matrix teaches us about spiritual awakening, because so many people around the world right now are awakening, what unquote, awakening, our consciousness is higher than it's been, at least in this, this round of existence. That's not talked about pre 12,000 years. That's a whole other conversation. But let's say in this, this run of the yugas that we're in right now, and this run in this space of the yugas. And if you guys don't know what we're talking about, you can Google yugas or I have multiple episodes on it. But in this time of the Yuga's that we're in I lost my train of thought and now because

Rizwan Virk 53:20
You are asking about what's the spiritual message of the Matrix.

Alex Ferrari 53:22
Thank you spiritual awakenings! Yes, yes, exactly. So that we're raising, so we're raising our consciousness, the the planet in general is more conscious now than it was before. Things that are unacceptable. Now, we're completely normal 100 years ago, 200 years ago, 500 years ago on this naming start going back to 1000 or 2000 years ago. So we are raising our consciousness what is the the matrix teach us about our spiritual awakening, because in the movie, Trinity is a pretty highly evolved, quote unquote, spiritual person. Morpheus is essentially the Yoda of of the matrix is the all seeing All Powerful Guide, other than the Oracle, who's at a whole other level, beyond Morpheus, you know, the Oracle is, is I don't even know if he was she was Yoda, she probably would be Yoda. And Obi Wan would be Morpheus, if you will, something in life. We're gonna really geeky about this kind of stuff. So but then Neo essentially transcends all of them. Eventually, they become beyond all of them. So Neo would be Darth Vader, or Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, but he chose dark as opposed to choosing light, but Neo chose light. So what does that teach us about how we are spiritually awakening in our own lifetime and how we deal with that because Neo went from a hacker, very materialistic hacker, to the one in 90 minutes.

Rizwan Virk 54:58
Today, it would be a deaming series. Right? And it was

Alex Ferrari 55:02
Clearly a limited series, sir.

Rizwan Virk 55:06
It would take a little longer than 90 minutes, but he'd get there. But it's a good question. And I think, you know, there are multiple messages. But I think, you know, on the one hand, we have more people spiritually awakening than ever before. On the other hand, it seems like there's still a lot of closing, you know, closing down of minds, right? Even towards religion, right? It's like science has become the dominant paradigm. And so I spend a lot of time in the academic world, and I spend time and, and talking about these spiritual subjects and UFOs. And other thing, so I spend time in these different circles, right? And at the same time, you have very close, your minds are even more closed in some ways now than they were before. Because before at least people would would acknowledge, okay, it's okay, if you believe in a God or your religion within those worlds, but now the norm is, you know, those things are not real, right? Those things are, that only science is real. And that's it. And so, so we have this kind of dual thing happening. On the one hand, I think you're right, more people are waking up, and there's more spiritual awakening. But I would say what the matrix gives us is the opportunity to make choices, right? And that perhaps we are setting up those choices for ourselves. And that is what, how karma and these ancient ideas relate to the matrix is that the karma becomes a quest, will you choose this? Or will you choose that, and you still have the free will to do either of those things. And then the matrix creates situations for us of difficulty based upon our level of character, right? You might think that, hey, you know, somebody who's had an easy as Oh, life and, you know, made billions and, you know, was was an advanced character that's possible. Or it's possible that they're an early character who's just getting used to this. And they chose the Easy, easy quest. But you know, somebody who's suffering born with a physical ailment, chose a very hard difficulty level on the quest.

Alex Ferrari 57:05
And I'd argue with you that the billionaire path could be as difficult if not more difficult than other paths, because people only see Oh, my God, they have all the money in the world. You You've been in Silicon Valley, you know what money does to people. You know, what money does for. You know what I've been in Hollywood for most of my career in life. Yeah, I know what fame does. It is not all rainbows and unicorns, my friend, it is a tough, yes, you are, you might have riches, you might have money, you might have access to things that you haven't, but there is it there is a price to pay for all of that, you know, if you're a super gorgeous woman, or gorgeous guy, you go that guy or that guy, they got it all figured out. That brings a lot of other things with it. Yes, a lot of other things, a lot of other things that you and I as handsome as we are, don't have to deal with as well. You know, like, if you're Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt walking down the street, man, the amount of energy and attention you get, even before you even before you were famous,

Rizwan Virk 58:20
Right and negative attention to right.

Alex Ferrari 58:22
That's my point. It's not positive. So I would argue a lot of people always like, Oh, you were, you know, these billionaires are these are these famous people have it all man, it can be tougher than that than just being a simple man or woman doing a simple job somewhere in the middle of nowhere, live in their life, and have all of their needs met. And anonymous. That is a much more simple world walked, I think, than having to deal with all the other stuff that you were just mentioning.

Rizwan Virk 58:52
Yeah. And you're, you know, you've been in Hollywood. So you know, the status quo there. And I've seen similar things in Silicon Valley. In a sense, money amplifies problems. I mean, yes, it makes you more, it makes you more comfortable. And in the material sense, right? You can have a nicer place, you can have multiple places, but it amplifies all of those psychological issues, and the challenges the karmic challenges that we have, right. I mean, you hear about all these Hollywood marriages, but also you hear about when you get money, how it changes, other people's reactions to you. Right? And so it becomes very difficult. And so yes, it's very possible that a billionaire has a very difficult life, as well. But I think in the end, each of us is choosing challenges going back to Yogananda his quote, ceaseless joy is not the nature of this world, right? This world is set up to have, you know, these challenges and while I like to call them quests and achievements coming from the video game world, and that is the path that's why you're here now, in the Koran. You know, when I was looking at these different Scriptural passages, I found numerous passages that Oh, that had an analogue to the idea of Maya, right? So Maya is illusion, but Maya means more than just illusion. Maya is also the force to pull, pull the wool over your eyes. Right? So in a sense, it's, it's a carefully crafted illusion that you yourself agree to. I like to use the analogy of The Magic Show, you go to the magic show, you know, the guy is not really signing the woman in half. But that's the fun is you were like, you're like, Oh, my God, is it the woman and half. That's what makes it kind of interesting. And so within the Koran, there were these passages that talk about the world being a delusion, but they say, We have set this world up for you, meaning as a mortal soul, as a game as a pastime, as a sport. And there's specific words they use around the illusion, it's like an art. It's like an enjoyable delusion, in the sense that the fun is, because you're deluded, you think it's all real. And the only the only way you're going to find that challenge or real challenge is if you if you take it seriously. Right. And so you have to kind of forget that it's just an illusion in order to really get in there. But I think what the matrix does is it gives us a perspective to say it's okay to step back, right? Yes, it looks like things are difficult. But at some level, I may have chosen this particular set of challenges, or this particular set of quests, and it may actually be a part of my path in a strange way. Like, my path may not be like, you know, to be an NBA basketball player, or a Hollywood movie star. But maybe it's to write books, or maybe it's to do this other thing. And that is part of our path. And I think that's one of the things that the matrix teaches us is, you know, it's okay to enjoy the delusion. But at the same time, you know, there's those of us who are like, want to know what's really happening, right, we want to take the red pill versus the blue pill. And we're interested you know, in the in the matrix, there's a there's a scene that's become probably my favorite one of my favorite scenes I played for my students.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:55
Now, can you read my mind? I was about to say cipher, that cipher scene with the state Go ahead.

Rizwan Virk 1:02:01
That's exactly the scene. So you know, he's sitting with Agent Smith. And, you know, the first time I saw the matrix I Okay, he's the bad guy. He's betraying that Morpheus and the team. Spoiler alert, spoiler alert. 25th anniversary today. So if you haven't seen it by now, but you know, he's eating the steak. And he goes, You know, I know the steak isn't real, but it feels real. And he goes, and the reason he's, he's working with aged Smith is he's like, I want to go back in and I don't want to know, I don't want to know nothing, right? That was a line. Like he just wants to enjoy the steak and enjoy the illusion. And there is an element to that. I mean, why do we play video games? Okay, we just will ask me this, what's the purpose of the simulation and said, Well, why don't we play some video games? You know, usually, for a couple of reasons. But one of the main reasons is, we play video games to have experiences that we wouldn't have outside of the game, right? I mean, this is why, you know, you'd like to fly around on a dragon or Star Wars spaceship, or Halo, first person shooter. These aren't experiences you can have outside. So within our simulation, perhaps the experiences we're having here, including the pain, including the financial difficulties, or the health difficulties taking care of each other, when something goes wrong, you know, maybe in heaven, like you said earlier, right, these things, they're not problems. And so you don't get to experience that level of emotion. And I think that's another lesson of the matrix is getting back to the verse from the Quran. It's an it's an enjoyable delusion, even when we're not enjoying ourselves. Let's put it that way.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:37
Well, there's a thing, there's a thing in Hollywood or in storytelling called in movies, specifically, the sense of disbelief. The concept of the sense of disbelief is that, you know, when you watch a suspension of disbelief, or suspending disbelief, which is when you're watching a movie, you know, there's not a T Rex, right? They're like, alright, you know, they're, that that's not real. And then, you know, sometimes, like, when my wife watches a movie, she's more grounded. So she'll look at things and she's like, well, that would never happen. I'm like, could you just suspend disbelief and enjoy the story? Just a little bit? That's why she hates sci fi. She's like, Oh, God, what did this do that spaceship? I mean, it just just go with it. Just have fun. I am a storyteller. So I'd like to jump into a story and just what are the rules of the game of this of this simulation of what we're about to watch? And let me just go through it. Sometimes the storytellers don't know what they're doing. And they break their own rules inside of a movie, and that's when things start getting a little wonky. But generally speaking, you just kind of go with other people. Yeah, there's a world where this old man will have some old SAP and then cloned a dinosaur and he wants to open up a park. Sure. You know, you talk to a paleontologist their head explodes. Their head explodes if you ever saw Ross on Friends, anytime they brought up Jurassic Park, he almost alright. It can really happen, you know, know what it's like. But that's a span of disbelief. And that's going along with this accepting of the delusion, which then brings me to my next question to you is the world that we are choosing to believe exists in our own perception is based on the programming that we have been programmed with, since the moment of our birth, our experiences and our programming from people around us, our family, our friends, our religion, all of that is skewing how we see the game completely. So as we move forward in this life, I believe and I think so many other metaphysical teachers have said, you can choose to change the parameters of your life. If you've always been poor, you don't always have to be poor. That is a mindset that you can shift and open yourself up to other ideas, and so on and so forth. So in the simulation theory, I mean, when we go back to the matrix with this, neon Neo had to believe he was the one without the belief of him going, No, and he stopped the bullets. Without him doing that, because he was shot. He was dying, he died. And it was Trinity. Again, if you haven't seen it, I'm sorry. And tried to learn. And Trinity is saying, I believe you, I believe in you, I love you. And that was the moment where he turned he at that was the moment that he stopped, that he started to manipulate the code in a much larger way than he had before. He before he was kind of just playing with it. Now he can manipulate it, he came back to life as Jesus, he came back as the Savior. And they said no, and stop the bullets mid air because he believed his belief of what his reality was, was more powerful than what he had been told all his life. Would you agree with this? Go, sir?

Rizwan Virk 1:07:06
Yeah, well, I mean, that's a really deep question. And it gets to how do we change lives? But also, how do we influence where we end up? And you know, there's a there's another scene, I think it's in the second Matrix movie. Sometimes I lose track of which which movie The scenes were in. But you know, where he meets the architect, and he has the TV screens.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:25
That would be the SEC. Yeah, at the end of this. It's at the end of the set? Yes. The end of the second?Yes, the beginning of the third end of the second. Yeah. So and then the second the architect.

Rizwan Virk 1:07:37
And you know, and you have Neo making a response. And you see him making different responses, right on each of the monitors. And I think just gets to an interesting idea. Tying back to what we were talking about earlier with a multiverse is, what if there are these different paths for us? Right, I mean, Lila Neil had a path where he took the blue pill, went back and just completed his, you know, his little job. By the way, I watched it again recently, and saw something I never noticed, which was the name of the company that Neo worked for, what was it? It was meta cortex. Think about it. I mean, they're dropping all kinds of hints.

Alex Ferrari 1:08:10
Oh, so much, so much, so many easter eggs in that movie.

Rizwan Virk 1:08:13
Yeah. But getting back to this idea that perhaps when we're making choices, what we're really doing is we're choosing one of these different paths. And so there's the code and programming that we have had until now. But then there's the overall programming of the matrix itself and of the physical world. And turns out that we can choose different paths, you know, within that world, or we can then transcend it. I mean, there is another another Indian master who's pretty well known, actually, he's mentioned and Autobiography of a Yogi Ramana Maharshi, Maharsha, who are Mercy who, you know, when people would ask him even Yogananda went to ask him questions, you know, because he was considered one of India's foremost, you know, kind of realized saints. And, you know, he was, why is there this? Why is there that, and his point with suffering, and why is there suffering, I think, is what you're gonna ask him? And he said, who is suffering? And that's all he would say. And in that little question, you ask yourself, he said, Who is God who is suffering, right? If he was asked, Why does God allow suffering? who is suffering? Right, who is God? And that's all he would say, and he wouldn't say any more. But his point was, I think we're all interpreting that if you think about who is the character, that suffering, it's actually you know, the soul. It's actually just a character being played by an what we call an avatar within video games of the soul that may have this divine spark and as part of God, and it's almost like getting back to the illusion and the suspension of disbelief right? We have suspended our disbelief but once you get back that disbelief to realize that this isn't real, but but by remembering, and in the Indian traditions, it's called the atma Here's the part of God that's you. Right? It's like your personalized version of God or little piece of the Divine Spark, you know, in the Islamic traditions, they talk about God breathed soul into the, into the body. And I think in the Bible, they have similar metaphors, right? For these types of things. So in any case is a deep question, but I think it hits at a lot of these issues. But yes, I do believe that we have been programmed by our environment. And that limits our beliefs, you know, significantly, it's almost like an NPC. Okay, so that I mentioned this a lot. But the biggest distinction in simulation theory, when talking about it as a kind of academic subject for me, is the NPC versus the RPG version, right. And so the NPC version is non player character. It's like an AI. That's just like The Sims you watch it, it's just an AI that does things. And then there's the RPG version, where it's your avatar, you're controlling it, you're making every choice. But what if there's something in the middle, right, which is, so in 1999, the matrix was released, but there was another simulation, movie 13 for 13th floor. And in that they would go in and inhabit these characters in 1947, or 37. In Los Angeles, from 99, is when it was, you know, taking place. And when they weren't inhabiting the character, it was just operating off of its own AI. Right, it was an NPC. And then it's when it when they were inhabiting it, then they were, it was like an RPG version. And so what if our programming is kind of running us day to day, and we're in NPC mode, and it's only when we realize or connect with our player, which is us also, we're using different terms, that that's when we become connected. And that's when we realize, you know, where our intuition is telling us to go this way or that way? Or do the things we were meant to do in this life

Alex Ferrari 1:11:53
Would that be, and when if you're going in down the road of the spiritual masters, they've been able to go back and understand that at a level, in a belief that is beyond what you just explained, meaning that they were able to go back, go, oh, oh, I see what this is all about now. Okay. Now they get it, as opposed to what you were suggesting is like, even even when you meditate, even when you pray, even when you feel there's something bigger than you are there that you have a soul outside of you. That is what you just said. But these masters go to the next and the next and the next and the next level. Yeah. And deeper and deeper and deeper to the point where they become Neo.

Rizwan Virk 1:12:38
Right, and, you know, a lot of the Tibetan traditions do they have this idea of Dream Yoga, Dream Yoga, is what we would call lucid dreaming today, but it's a more spiritual practice than then lucid dream. But if you've ever had a lucid dream, or you consciously do lucid dreaming, you realize that, oh, there's a part of me that's sleeping. But then you realize it's really you, if you lose that really quickly. And I think that's what happens to a lot of us when we meditate, we have a sense there's another part of us, we remember it for a bit but then we forget it very quickly. But if you if you if you become that person that's leaving, then you realize the whole thing is a dream and you start keeping manipulate it you can change things within the dream, but you might also choose you know what, there's a reason I'm having this dream let me just enjoy this dream as it is even though but I believe the Masters they become that that the outside soul, but they're still here. So it's like being 100% in both places at the same time, rather than most of us you know.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:33
So before we finish off because I could talk to you for another five hours for about this for sure. The the yogic master that we mentioned earlier, Baba Ji Baba Ji is essentially according to the Autobiography of a Yogi which is one of the few depictions of him really in history, but Baba Ji is Neo. At the level of where Neos powers were, to a certain extent in the matrix. Baba Ji is here. All of these masters we've talking about Yogananda, Jesus, Buddha, Saint Germain, we didn't go list on off and on. They had arts of those abilities here and they're wanting to do this. St. Germain was supposed to be around for 700 years. Yogananda could do certain things other over the yogi's could do other things. But Baba Ji is the one that's decided is like, you know, you know, I'm just not going to die. And I'm just going to chillax in the Himalayas, with my group of souls that I am training and being with, and I can materialize a Crystal City when I want to take it down when I want to bring people back to life. As that one guy came in, he threw himself off the Himalayas he they brought his body back and brought him back to life and now he's hanging around with with him. Sometimes he eats sometimes he doesn't sometimes he walks sometimes he just materializes the whole camp somewhere else. These are all ideas. He's essentially that even more so more powerful than Neo, actually, in the simulation here and he's considered the, the teacher, he is the teachers of math of masters. He is the master of masters. He, according to according to the text, he worked with Jesus, he worked with all the yogi's since then he you know, here Maha Shai brought gear yoga back, all this kind of stuff. So what are your thoughts of this analogy between Baba Ji? And Neil from the matrix to a certain extent, God, I find his I mean, he's the most fascinating one of the most fascinating characters in history, in my opinion.

Rizwan Virk 1:15:38
Yeah. I mean, you know, I read, you know, those stories, and they stuck in my mind for many years. And, you know, Yogananda calls him avatar, Baba Ji, I started so when I wrote my book wisdom of a yogi, which is what we talked about last time, I looked into, you know, the the stories about Baba Ji, and, you know, to see if there were other references, and turns out, there are a few other references to him, you know, here and there. And sometimes it's hard to reconcile the different references, but I think within this tradition, you know, he is presented with pretty much having all of these powers, particularly the physical manifestation powers, I mean, you mentioned the story of the Crystal Palace, right. So he manifested an entire palace to initiate the hearing ma che, you know, back in 1860 1861, or whenever it was that that had happened, and the palace wasn't there. And so I believe what he is what he represents, in that sense, is the power of creation, right? It is Maya, because Maya doesn't just mean illusion, it means the power to, you know, create an illusion, like the end. So in that particular instance, he gave the reason why he created that palace for the initiation. And the reason was, he said that in a previous life, Lahiri had expressed a strong desire to be a prince and live in a palace. And he said that that strong desire became karma, right? It's, and I go into this a lot in the wisdom of a Yogi book, where you know, the varieties are like, our mind stuff, or whirlpools of mind stuff, they harden into samskaras, they become karma. And then the karma is like a database of things that you have to then go through and achieve those quests. And so what he said was, by creating the palace now, I have absolved you of this karma, right? So I've taken it out of your list of quests, you don't have to worry about it anymore. You don't have to go live a whole life as a prince, we just shortened it, but I physically created it to you. So it was like he had the power of creation. Now, if you go to the matrix, when I watched it again, recently, it was interesting that when they talked about the one, Morpheus said, There was a man in the first version of the matrix who had the power to change the matrix. And we believe that man will come back, right. And that's what they were looking for was Neo. He said, he was the first person to set people free, you know, from the matrix. So it was like he had the power to just change the matrix however he wanted to. And so I believe in that sense, Baba Ji represents, you know, that person who, even though it wasn't necessarily the first right, even within Yogananda tradition, he became enlightened and but then he stuck around and he retreated receives such a level of, of enlightenment that he could then decide to, whether he's just gonna stay living the whole time in the Himalayas, or he materializes himself in the materializes himself, whatever he was, right, so depending on which, which version of that you believe, but it's almost like he has taken on that role, you know, not so much of Meo but of the guy who controls the whole matrix and sets people free. And so you know, there's a, there are so many interesting stories in the yogic traditions of these different saints. And then within Yogananda is tradition, you know, he says, Kabir Kabir was an interesting Weaver in Banaras, who was a Muslim, but he became a Hindu. But eventually he said, you know, God's not in the temple, it's not in the mosque, who else supposedly, Baba Ji also initiated him in even though that they don't have records of that. But But that, to me is really fascinating. It gets back to Morpheus talking about the first person to set people free. And so maybe Neo represents a kind of reawakening of that same spirit in a certain sense. And so, you know, in the sense, you know, who is Baba Ji, right, who is he really right, who are we really, right? Those are fundamental questions that I think the matrix makes us think about it which is why on this 25th anniversary, it's it's made a real impact on culture itself. I think, the way we think about things,

Alex Ferrari 1:19:48
And the and those and those movies really weren't, it was the time for those movies. That movie comes out and 77 First of all, the technology wouldn't have been able to do it but even if for some miraculous reason the technology was around to handle that kind of visual effect. The society wasn't ready for that it was barely ready for it, which still unraveling the matrix to this day. And by the way, it aged very well. It still holds very, very well, the visual effects of the time. That's 25 years ago, they still are hunting it, it still looks pretty badass. You know?

Rizwan Virk 1:20:26
I watched it again recently, and I was thinking the same thing like the effect he said, I mean, it's a period piece of the 90s, of course, but sure, we're in a period piece. The effects are amazing. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 1:20:37
And it doesn't even it doesn't even count as a period piece. Because even say, Oh, this is the time period that we decided the matrix to be in. So you're just like, oh, that's like, okay, whatever.

Rizwan Virk 1:20:48
It's apparent within, within the right, it's, yeah, it's

Alex Ferrari 1:20:52
So it's so brilliantly done, but it was, it was the time for it. And we're still unwrapping it to this day, we're still trying to figure it out. And it's, that's what great art does. I mean, look at HG Wells work. I mean, and what that those books did for humanity. And you know, they were science fiction, but those ideas basically started the revolutions of the of the early 20th century of technology and ideas and thinking about things and going to the moon and all that these these ideas were never around in Charles Dickens day, they just weren't around. There's nothing's ever thought about Shakespeare's day. So they it's it's about where we are evolutionary, our evolution as a species where it comes out. But Riz like I said, Before, I could talk to you for a few more hours about this. But can you tell everybody where they can find out more about you and pick up your two books, the simulation hypothesis, the simulated multiverse? And if you really want to go down the deep rabbit hole, oh, the wisdom of a Yogi Oh, no, I keep it on myself money. I love

Rizwan Virk 1:20:53
That's great. Well, thank you for that. So yeah, so they can go to my website, which is called, which was based on the title of my very first book, which was called Zen entrepreneurship. When I was living a double life being a Silicon Valley entrepreneur by day and exploring things like lucid dreaming and Yogananda stuff at night. It was a little chronicle of that they can also follow me on Twitter at RizStanford, like the university or on Instagram at @RizCambridge, like the city or the university name as well. And they can get the books on Amazon, I always encourage people to go to their local bookstores. You know, they can usually get them there. If it's a spiritual bookstore, they may even already had them. But yeah, I'm online and a bunch of places so you know, they can pretty much find him anywhere.

Alex Ferrari 1:22:44
Riz thank you so much for coming back on the show and talking to me about this. It always gets me jazzed up. I love this conversation. I love talking about this kind of stuff. And it has been such a pleasure talking to you about this and really opening up the going down the rabbit hole, as they say, Sir, with the matrix and everything we talked about. So I appreciate you my friend. Thank you.

Rizwan Virk 1:23:03
Yeah, thanks for letting me go down the rabbit hole with you. This is a great time to do it.

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