Axioms of world and mind:
- The world exists.
- The mind exists.
- A mind exists inside of the world.
- The mind can observe the world.
- What the mind perceives isn’t the complete truth.
- There is an infinite set of possible minds.
- Each mind contains an element of truth (veridical perception).
- The sum of all possible minds contains the whole truth.
- The sum of all possible minds is a mind itself.
- The mind which is the sum of all possible minds is a type of God if we take God to be Omnipresent.
- One type of God is a mind.
We have to imagine at the beginning of Noogenesis (the evolution of intelligence) there was a mind of the most basic form. That is where we begin. The intelligent mind is clearly distinguishable from the variety of other minds that fall below it, in its capacity to make sense of the world, as well as its unquenchable desire to do so. Following along the evolution of the mind, we come to a point where man begins to question the ‘nature of reality’. What’s meant by this is, underlying it all, what is the metaphysical basis of reality? Due to the impenetrability of this question, we’ve broken it up into tangible questions, as a method of ‘divide and conquer’ i.e eventually answering all the smaller problems will answer the larger ones.
These ‘smaller questions’ took on domains of their own. Physics, the study of matter. Astronomy, the study of the stars and space. Biology, the study of living matter. In scouring the physical-living land, we’ve made foundational discoveries and the fruition of these discoveries can be found in technological progression. Eventually, reality starts to settle in. Here we are making all of this scientific progress, yet we still fail to find an answer to the metaphysical questions, those that guide our very actions. Before giving up, there’s a last-stand taken up by the fringe. Previously, it was alchemy, which sought the secrets of reality in the mixture of chemicals. The current messiah of science is AI. Although the field holds a lot of promise, it oscillates between a mere pipe-dream and the most imminent existential threat humanity has ever faced. In this brief, overly-simplified, history of science we find a stark realization, as well as an awareness that illuminates a fundamental property of intelligent minds and the direction they’re headed.
Unfortunately, science has failed as a project to answer the fundamental questions of reality. This isn’t to say science is doomed, in fact it is far from it, it just requires a new paradigm of validity. Interestingly, we see a pattern over our short history in the world: our constant need to make sense of the world, to comprehend reality in its entirety. Although humanity has been demoralized over the stretches of time, I want to show a theoretical alternative to understanding the nature of the world that places the mind as central to understanding it.
Let us begin by uncovering what the mind is. Looking back at our scientific efforts, the underlying beliefs of mind become clear. The mind is seen as a tool which serves to uncover the truth before it. That the world is complex and it is through the sheer power of our mind that we make sense of it. Uncovering the shrouds of illusion, the world presents itself as we push on forth with reason. What image is conjured here? A mind intakes the world through the senses, and what is sees is incomprehensible. Like a computer, it then performs a program called Reason and the output comes neat, orderly, and sensical. It is ridiculous to view the world as inherently complex or disordered. It’s in fact the contrary, the world is unbelievably ordered, so much so, that it has evolved conscious creatures. If not for the positive ordering principles inherent in the world, life would be impossible. So then, what is the mind? Well, before deciding what it is, let’s figure out what it does.
The mind, first off, does anything but ‘see reality’. It does the opposite, it distorts the world into a representation which suits it. The world we see doesn’t have to be true; it must simply help us survive. What about our capacity for reason? Our reasoning or Reason, which is so heavenly prided, can only reason towards what we can know. This shows the limited capacity of thought. Like an iceberg with indented tracks, our thoughts lead down similar patterns of ‘truth’ and that ‘truth’ is in a sense predictable. What makes sense is only made sense through the relation to what we know. Knowledge, in this case, can be seen as an ever increasing mountain. Once we find ourselves at the peak of one, we see only the consecutively following mountain with the rest hidden behind its towering size. We conquer that mountain, and behold! A new towering mountain which laughs in our face. I hope it is made clear by this analogy that what is true is incomprehensible, our understanding of the world, can only be accomplished linearly, discreetly, and contextually. Imagine if when Copernicus, who was far ahead of his time, proposed special relativity alongside his findings of the earth-suns centripetal nature? It would be impossible to know this and thus it would be classified as false. Yet, in our modern times, we readily accept this property of physical reality without question and continue to build physics on top of it! So, if we stand at the peak of our current mountain we consequently fail to see what lies beyond.
Now, where is the mind in this picture? The mind, in my view, is far from the veridical machine we presuppose. What is meant by being veridical is that it sees ‘truth’. Viewing the mind as a truth machine, which uncovers reality, is a false view and prizes humans with divine capability.
Now, there are some assumptions to be made that can only be derived, at this moment, with intuition. It’s important that we make the distinction between intuition and reason before progressing. Reason, although with moments of intuition, serves as a linear tracking of conclusions. It should match, given the premises, what follows logically. Intuition is what we derive without explicit reason. Our mind takes into account its entirety and then reasons about the content holistically. Intuition comes to be from all of the pieces working together; that is our memories, our desires, our emotions, our philosophies, our values, our beliefs, and so on. All of these mental properties coagulate, and with a force surpassing the sum, lead us toward intuitive conclusions, or more commonly referred to as ‘insights’. If you were driving down a highway at 90mph and a truck in front of you made a subtle nudge to the left, it would be with reason that given the premise of a nudge the most logical conclusion would be to make a slight swerve to the left, as to avoid collision. In fact, if this were the case you would most likely be dead. Instead, your intuition, that is, the collection held within your mind, would make an evaluation given the entirety of your experiences. With an instant reflexive reaction, you’d maneuver the car ever so slightly as to prevent a potential catastrophe.
Reason isn’t a useless tool; it has undeniable strength in particular domains. Those domains are coincidentally constructed from reason, resting on formal systems built with the properties of logic (formalized reason). These logical systems provide insight for those that put forth the mental energy, and from these formal systems, may derive truth. Now, what is meant by truth here isn’t what is meant earlier. Truth and let’s say lower case truth are entirely different. Lower case truth is that which is found in Mathematics and Science, or in our evaluations of everyday life. ‘truth’ is a matter of convention, what is agreed upon. Given the axioms, if I am a mind, and I know this through my observation of the world, then I can safely conclude that I am within the world; this isn’t Truth. Capital ‘T’ Truth is that which is undeniably True.
How can we know what is undeniably True? Well, we can’t. We being me, you, and the rest of humans, simply cannot know what is True. That is because our minds cannot see the veridical nature of reality. What is True to us is simply a product of our evolutionary adaptations. A mind is equipped to see only what leads to survival. A mind is not equipped to see the underlying nature of reality. A mind sees the world in terms of fitness, what might help it survive and eventually fulfill its evolutionary purpose. If it is our conscious desire to understand the nature of reality, I’m asserting that minds are fundamentally ill-equipped to fully grasp the Truth.
So, what are we to do? This where I propose the set of all possible minds. Given the mind as an abstract object, something that senses the world, perceives it, and makes meaning out of it, we’re naturally reduced to the living creatures of earth: insects, fish, mammals, humans. These are all minds of actuality. Now, in the possible mind sphere, what is out there? It becomes burdensome because the set of possible minds, which captures all minds in their entirety, might be smaller than the set of all possible minds to a mind greater than our own. So, to avoid this infinite regression into obscurity we will take the set of all possible minds to be that which may be conceived from our present-day minds.
Let us imagine a play. To us a play is known, the characters speak their lines, the stage is set to the theme, perhaps music accompanies in moments of tension and follows well in moments of relief. From our sense-experience, we frame it into a story and from this story we derive meaning, lessons, and emotional excitement. It might seem as if we ‘see’ the Truth of this play, but we truly don’t. We do not see what is happening behind the curtain. The anxious fumbling of cast members, the rehearsing of dialogue, and all that that goes into the making of a play. We see what the director wants us to see. But even the director, who crafted the play, doesn’t see it in its entirety. He doesn’t see the internal mechanisms of his actors: their cognitive processes, their emotions which rise and fall haphazardly. He sees the signaling of certain emotions, which do not always lend to what is underneath. Perhaps an actor, rehearsing the climactic scene of which the leading man passionately expresses his desire for the leading woman, is in fact thinking of what he might have for lunch in the back of his mind. And even this actor, who we might suppose knows what is in his mind, doesn’t know. He isn’t aware of what is happening in the back of his mind, the subconscious. The subconscious being a collection of thoughts, memories, predictions, and all the rest that goes on. From there we might think that’s the whole picture, but it isn’t, not even remotely. Even the subconscious mind doesn’t know the movement of chemicals, the breakdown of food, the firing of neurons in the brain and these levels of description continue ad infinitum. So, who can possibly know what is happening during this play? Neither the viewer, the director, nor the actor can ‘see reality’. In our direct experience, complete knowledge, or Truth, is close to impossible. Instead of finding the concept of Truth to be false, let us imagine a theoretical way of reaching it.
Let us imagine a new play, and let this play be True. In this case it is not bound by the properties of reality, as we know it. Floating in a vacuum the play is pre-written. It is a story like any. The characters neither have lives independent of the play, nor are they truly people. They exist solely as characters and that’s it. Let the non-acting characters in the play stand by the side and not be hidden by any curtains. Let the director be shown and let this play be accompanied by music. With the scene set, we will place our first mind directly in front of the play. The observer, in this case, is only capable of perceiving high frequency sounds. So, when the characters raise their voices, or the music climbs towards crescendo, the mind can register the higher bounded sounds. Obviously, this observers doesn’t get a complete picture of the play and thus couldn’t come to understand it. To get a more complete picture, let us include another observer, by the first observers side, who can perceive the lower-end frequencies, and then, let us finally put an observer that can perceive the middle range frequencies. With these three observers, we get a more coherent understanding of one aspect of the play, sound. What about the sounds that ricochet from the front to the back, slightly altering the sound? This is surely part of the play’s reality, and so we will place a duplicate of those three observers in the back, as to experience the slightly changed sounds. Following, let us form our visual-perceivers. Let them vary in their depth-perception, color-perception, and brightness-perception. Let the sum of all these varying visual viewers form a comprehensive visual experience of the play. The play differs depending on the angle viewed. From the back we see one image, the side another, the top another, the bottom facing up, and so on. Let us then include the sums of visual-perceivers in every viewing angle possible, including on the stage. Let the characters possess minds themselves as to give us a first person account of the play. Next we must have intelligent observers, ones which can make sense of the play and derive its many possible meanings. So, we include an infinite amount of varying minds who all observe the same play and all make their distinct conclusions on it. Some take it to be a story of love, and others death. Some resonate with the leading actor, and others the supporting characters. Let the sum of all these intelligent observers form into a singular observer who captures the range of all possible interpretations as to give us the most coherent representation of this reality’s meaning. And so, in this vacuum world we have infinite observers (minds), of varying perceptive capability, observing the same play. What I argue next is that the sum of all these possible minds, observing simultaneously, gives us a complete understanding of this reality… the True nature of it. At this point it is no longer forming a representation, but is viewing the thing itself. And so, the sum of all these minds becomes a possible mind in the singular form. A mind which does not have any physical dimensions or specific placing, but is in an essence everywhere at once. This fact makes the mind all-seeing, all-being, and all-knowing. All these qualities mesh together to form a hypothetical omnipresent mind. A quality usually accompanied by a God, making this possible mind one type of possible God.