This is mostly going to be about the weird thoughts I have had regarding our existence and how we got here. I was raised in a religious house, so I know the Christian story, and it could be true.
Prior to reading this, it is important to note that my entire point is, I have no idea. I have random thoughts about it, I have considered different things, I have heard different people, and arguments about our origins, and my conclusion is, I have no idea, and I may never know. Also, I will put a disclaimer in here as well. I know next to nothing about physics, and don’t pretend that I do. It doesn’t stop me from having thoughts on the matter, but that does not mean my thoughts are in line with reality.
The difference between what I tend to see with a lot of people, and myself, is that I don’t care that I don’t know. I have no fear of death, nor what comes later. I don’t live my life the way that I do because I am hoping for some eternal rewards, or concern of being damned, or wanting to do right by God. I live how I live because I am interested in being the best version of myself I can be. What comes next is irrelevant to that.
That said, let’s talk about some weird thoughts, shall we?
The first thought I had, I had a very long time ago having to do with reincarnation, and memories of past lives. Beginning with the theory of the multiverse. Part of the multiverse, or meta-universe theory is that every possibility exists in a universe somewhere. This mean infinite versions of you. Not only now, but what you could and would be like in the past, or many pasts, the present, and many presents, and the future, many of those as well.
Next consider that energy never dies. It simply changes form. What happens to the energy that makes up this form when this form dies. The reality is, we have no idea. So, what if that energy, instead of dissipating into space is drawn to like energy. Your other versions would be an example of that like energy.
So, perhaps the memories that you possess belonged to a different and already departed version of yourself. That energy brings with it certain information which then joins your own. Perhaps if this is done when you are young enough you would be able to decipher some of that information and it would appear to you to be a memory.
There is no way of knowing. It's an idea, one of a million of what happens when we die, where our energy goes, and where our memories come from. This is only an exercise in thought. Life itself is only a vision. A dream. Nothing exists save empty space, and you...and you, are but a thought.
We can expand on this idea to the idea of the simulation theory, or construct theory where we do not live in base reality at all. You can find an interesting video of Elon Musk describing this below:
The notion behind this is based on how quickly our computational power is expanding, and that sooner or later we will reach a point where games are indistinguishable from reality. The theory goes from there to state that any civilization that is advanced enough will create a simulated environment that reflects their own, think in our case for the time being, The Sims. If you further extrapolate that out into our own world, as our actual reality is overwritten by the simulated one, how long before no one recalls the base reality, and the cycle begins again. Within the simulation, we grow towards creating a simulation, again and again.
If we can create a simulated environment indistinguishable from our actual reality, then what is to say that is not exactly what we are already existing in one? I was thinking about this recently, as I know many people that play MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like Eve Online, or World of Warcraft. Obviously there isn’t one or two of these, there are several iterations of different types of games. Some you are in the Star Wars universe, in another you are in a battle royale type situation. In some you can be an elf, or some other imaginary creature. There is a point to this thought, just stick with me and follow along.
If we live in a simulated world, what is to say that there are not many simulated worlds existing next to one another in the same way that we have MMORPGs? In this world, maybe we are like the Sims, but in another, if we existed in that manufactured reality, our code would instead create a dragon.
If all of these different worlds coexist next to one another, no overlap, but within the same sort of “brain”, perhaps when we “die” our code gets recycled and rewritten into another creature in a different world. Maybe that is why some people think that they are dragons, maybe they actually were, and the code is degrading from being overwritten time and time again.
Perhaps it could also, like the reincarnation idea I had up above, explain why people can remember past lives. Maybe they did live those lives, on another server, in another game. They have been recycled, but they still remember. Also perhaps, this is why so many people recall being someone like Cleopatra. If we are in a simulation, there is no law dictating that there can only be one Cleopatra.
Recently they said that they had “debunked” simulation theory every being possible based on our current computing power. We don’t have it now, therefore it won’t or can’t exist. This seems nonsensical. It would be like saying, we will never be able to get to the other side of the earth faster than six months, in the 1700s, because they could not comprehend air travel, or combustion engines on ships.
If we live in a simulation, our understanding of computing power is based on what we have, not the external world that would be generating it. We can’t comprehend it in here, in the simulation, not out there, where the world is created. This limitation in sight fascinates me, because it seems to miss a very obvious flaw in their reasoning.
Interestingly, there is what appears to be computer type coding in the math when you examine string theory. At a debate about the universe being a simulation, hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson, there was discussions of this very intriguing notion. James Gates, a professor from University of Maryland stated that while studying the mathematical equations that make up our understanding of string theory, it seemed that there was computer code within the equations. Not just any code however, rather code that is used to correct errors that occur within computer processing, and is fundamental in our current web browsing technology.
That’s… interesting, but, it is also math, and I suck at math, so I either have to take his word on that, or I have to listen to what other people who are familiar with string theory, and able to do math, debunk what he claims, but it really is quite fascinating.
Because it’s fascinating, I am going to continue with this line of thinking. So far we we talked about energy never dying, past lives, different games recycling code among them, corrective computer code, and living in a simulation. Maybe it’s more than that, maybe, if there is a god, (and by the way, simulation theory actually plays along into the notion of a god existing, because it would mean that we, and everything that we experience as real, is in fact created by someone else, or a defacto “god”, or “gods”, and what if god likes games as much as we do?
It is stated in the bible that we are created in “God’s” image. What if that is true all the way to the games we play, and by that I mean difficulty level. I have made this analogy in the past, that I see the different types of existences in the word, like I do different difficulties on a video game. Usually I make this comparison with just empathy, but in reality it is a great deal more than that as I have observed.
A video game accounts for many lives, or in our understanding, reincarnation. If we are playing a god’s game, and the goal is to master the game to the best of our abilities, then it makes sense to me that there are different levels of play. Once you master one level, you move onto the next, ever changing as you move through the system as it was designed.
As your soul goes through this process, you adapt and change, or you stagnate. If you stagnate, you go through the same types of levels over and over again to find the shiny MacGuffin (quest item, or in this case the lesson you have to fully embrace) before you can move on. When you do, you are in a new set of levels.
Games often start with a tutorial stage. It usually just gets you through the first mission, and is designed to teach you game mechanics. Every game is different, just like every lesson is different, and you have to learn the rules of the one you are currently engaged in. This one lines up with the religion stage of life. It is where the rules are laid out, and all you have to do is comply.
Basically, you are following along without any fear of failure, because if you do fail, the stage just resets, and you try again until you get it right. If we are to apply this notion to the stages of a soul, you are just following what you are told, for instance in a holy book of some sort, and you act accordingly. No internal self reflection required, and hopefully you learn the basics of how to function in the world that you are in, get your needs met, not die, and advance to the next stage. It’s the easy mode, with infinite lives, and infinite respawn points. Basically it’s noob land for all the fresh souls. In this difficulty, the souls must learn how to exist within the construct of the game without perishing.
Next stage, or medium difficulty. This is where you have had some previous experiences with games, and feel relatively comfortable to go forward without the game holding you hand. You are ready to rely on your instincts. In most people’s case, this means rely on their internal voice, their emotions, and their empathy. These things dictate how they are going to interact with the world around them. The first stage primed them to be able to understand how the world functions.
You aren’t relying on a book to tell you what to do, you are figuring out as you go. You basically do what feels good, to you. My guess is with difficulty, the goal is to learn to start asking questions of oneself and for the souls to figure out what their definition of success is without being told. It is where the journey to self discovery starts, and with those paying attention, they lean a bit on the heart, a bit on the mind, and try to use common sense.
The third stage, better known as hard mode. Things are a bit more difficult in this stage, and there is going to be a lot of hardship to get through. This is meant to be this way. You are slogging through it to prove that you can. This mode might throw everything it can at your emotional brain so it is overwhelmed. Can you see above that, and struggle through rationally, or do the emotions eat you alive, and you stagnate again? If you can get through it, and learn to rely on the rational voice and recognize that the emotional voice is far louder than it needs to be, and you can step away from it, and soldier on, you move onto the last stage. Or, maybe the second to last stage, I’m not sure.
Now we are talking about the specialty stages. Those that you don’t take on unless you really like the game, and are a completionist like I am. Difficulties like these get special names, like Dante Must Die, 1999 Mode, Madhouse Playthrough, Village of Shadows, or, for this discussion, psychopathy.
You’ve got no directions, nothing is where it’s supposed to be, there are no infinite spawns, you can literally lose everything, there are almost no save points, no one prepares you for any of it, and GO!!! Figure it out sweetheart, because the only way out of here is death. This is the difficulty where you are left with some of the aspects of your previous playthroughs. You understand the basic workings of the world, but the cues you relied on are now absent. Also, the prefrontal cortex, while not processing emotional information, it is processing “want” information. It doesn’t have any stopgaps in terms of internal restraint systems, and has a focus on rewards, and has no aversion to punishment.
In this difficulty, you can be ruled by impulse, or you can be ruled by reason attempting to constrain impulse. I think that the lesson in this life is to learn how to be the master of those impulses, and I admit that I often fail, but it is a journey, not a destination. Another lesson is to live to a better version of self that the wiring seems to want for you. If you simply went along with what your brain wants to do, you might find yourself in a fair bit of trouble, which brings us to enhanced end stage difficulty.
When I game, frequently I do so with the sound off, whether or not I have ever played the game. Yes, I do understand that I may be missing story context when I do this but that doesn’t change the fact that I prefer to do so on many occasions. Another thing that I do is that I shut off the controller feedback. I have never liked the “rumble” feature. What this does within the game is that I may not be aware of an enemy that has snuck up behind me, or I won’t feel the critical heartbeat that the controller is emulating that would tell me my character is about to die.
How do these relate to psychopathy? Some psychopaths will be antisocial. We know this, they get studied in prisons. Antisocial traits can stand in the way of a person being successful in the world, and it is essentially like shutting off the sound, and controller feedback while playing Village of Shadow mode. It isn’t exactly the difficulty you want to handicap yourself, but some people go through like that. If you are antisocial, you are unlikely to learn cognitive empathy. This would be like shutting off both the sound, and the controller feedback. Cognitive empathy is a choice to develop, and if you are antisocial, it is unlikely that you have developed it very far.
In fact, it may be that you have none at all. If you have no cognitive empathy, you are at a disadvantage in an already extremely difficult life playthrough. You basically are devoid of the external input of the controller, or in this case, society. Some of us do well, and some hear the wah wah wahaaaaaaaa….. music followed by the prison doors.
Perhaps there is a final stage as well. The stage where you are the game master, or “god”, for this argument. Maybe our simple world is a game master test run to prove that you are of a mind that can create a world with the best intentions in mind. Perhaps you have to reach a zen like state, and be able to prove it, before you get your own slice of space to create a world.
Perhaps we will know what happens next after we leave this existence. Perhaps our code will be immediately rewritten and spat out in a new lifeform, leaving snippets of our past lives memory flitting in and out of view. Perhaps it just goes dark, and what we have in this moment is all we will ever have, so we should do our level best to appreciate it.