I believe that Love is God. While as a child I originally believed this quite literally, as in, that God is some ultimate being of infinite love, I now believe it for mostly pragmatic reasons—that is, I believe it because it is useful. While I still actually believe it may be true in some literal sense, that Love is God, and I also believe pragmatism itself may be a fundamental principle of the universe, I want to emphasize that my main goal is to create a philosophy that is useful, not just correct. So while I do venture into arguments about what is actually true, I can’t be emphatic enough that I ultimately plan to come back to showing that “Love is God” is a pragmatic belief, which is the real reason I choose to believe it.
Of course, you may argue that something must necessarily be correct if it is to be useful, otherwise its usefulness will ultimately crumble when it crashes against reality. And to that, I reply, not at all. Throughout time, humans (and all species below us) have had many false and magical beliefs about reality, though these false beliefs were nonetheless useful fictions for evolutionary development. We believed, for example, that some magical Gods were accepting our sacrifices, and this helped us develop one of the most useful skills we now have, the skill of delayed gratification, the sacrifice of pleasure now for greater grain later. There is no God in the sky telling us to sacrifice animals or people or anything else. Nonetheless, learning to deny ourselves pleasure for the sake of some higher good has been tremendously useful for us to learn.
So perhaps what I am creating below is simply a useful fiction for our next stage in development. In fact, I propose that it probably is. Nonetheless, in some metaphysical sense, I believe there are indeed deep kernels of truth in these suppositions. So let’s dive in.
God is the ultimate force that created the universe. Some people believe that God intervenes in our lives, others believe that God simply lit the fuse on the big bang then went off to play badminton. Either way, God made the universe. Some try to deny God and say there was some weird infinite non-existent quantum soup that gave rise to the universe, others say its and old guy with a beard, probably Morgan Freeman. Again, don’t really care which you believe, just saying, no one knows exactly what started the universe, but it’s a little mysterious and whatever it is is pretty important.
I say this ultimate force we call “God” is simply Love. When I say Love, I mean the recognition of the unity of consciousness, and the desire for consciousness to flourish. So if I love you, I see us as being unified, as being somehow the same, so that my sense of self expands to include you and your consciousness as a part of me. And all consciousness inherently desires itself to flourish, meaning it desires to continue to survive, grow, and experience pleasure. So Love is to see others as somehow being the same as, or unified with ourselves, and to wish them success and happiness in life. Simple right? Easy peazy.
But how can something so simple and mundane be God? Good question. I’m glad you asked.
When we look for a God, we are often prone to look outside the universe. To “before” it, or in some other space of heaven or some God Realm. But how could God exist “before time,” when the very word “before” implies time? In this sense, God only comes before in the sense that God is causal. Cause only has to come before effect in the realm of time, which only exists because God created it. Just because God causes the universe, including time, it doesn’t mean God must exist before time in a linear sense, as God creates linearity, time, and space. God causes time, but because God is unbound by the rules of the universe, God could cause time from before it, after it, from outside it, or from anywhere, as God is not restricted by laws of causality, since God creates causality, and must exist in some realm beyond causality. God is not subject to the rules of time, and so for no reason should we assume that just because God created the universe God therefore had to exist before the universe. She’s God mothafucka. She can do whatever the fuck she wants.
If God wanted to create a universe, in fact, it would only make sense to start with what God ultimately wants to create. So my assumption here is this. God says, “you know what sounds really nice? A universe full of Love. That sounds nice.” So God creates that. Then God’s like: “Damn. The loving universe doesn’t know how it got here. Everyone’s pretty confused about how they exist. Better create some back-story,” so then God creates everything from the evolution of humanity all the way back to the big-bang, creating everything backward in time. God is God. No need to create things moving forward in time. That’d just be cliché. But then God is like, “Well everything is good now. Makes sense. But I think things going backward in time is a little confusing to people also, so maybe I’ll make it so that consciousness experiences itself as moving forward in time.” And so God creates a universe where people experience themselves as moving forward in time, even though the truth is the future is actually the ultimate cause of the past.
I’ve explained this in a somewhat comical and silly way, but I hope I’ve made my point nonetheless. What God ultimately wants is a happy universe with everyone loving and connected. In order to create this, God must start with the end in mind, so to speak, and have a universe only appear to create itself in the direction of moving forward in time. That way consciousness experiences itself as having autonomy and agency, which are required for experiencing happiness and love. But am I saying that consciousness actually doesn’t have autonomy and agency? That free-will is an illusion? Yes and no. I am indeed saying that the entire universe is pre-planned and deterministic. I am not, however, saying there is no free-will. Just that free will is unified with and an expression of God’s will. More on that another day. Suffice it to say here, the experience of free-will and moving forward in time is necessary for the universe to experience itself as Love, which is its ultimate desire.
So why Love? Ultimately because the universe wants to experience itself as happy. As far as we know, the universe is self-conscious information. We’ve never had anything come into our awareness that we’re not conscious of—that would be an oxymoron—and some physicists and consciousness philosophers such as David Chalmers have even proposed that consciousness itself is what collapses the wave function, which would mean literally nothing exists outside of qualia—our conscious experience— except as probability waves. Again that’s a topic for another way.
It is important to note here that consciousness seems to be so fundamental because I am going to make a bold statement about it. Consciousness is the essence of Love, which is the essence of God. Therefore, we, as conscious beings, are essentially God. Now I do believe that grasshoppers have consciousness, though they seem much less godly than us. So I should state further, the more evolved you are, the more consciousness you have, the more Godly you are. I don’t think it’s such a crazy thing to say that we are more godly than grasshoppers. I also don’t think it’s so crazy to say, whatever is evolving out of us humans, whatever we become in a 100, or 100,000, or 100,000,000 years will be much more godly than we are.
Once we learn to move planets around, harness the energy of stars, and ultimately start transmuting whole galaxies into ourselves as we colonize space, it should start to become more and more obvious that we are indeed an important force and facet of the universe. But even if we just look at human consciousness as it currently exists, I believe there is metaphysical reason to believe we are a Godly force in the universe.
Our consciousness creates itself out of nothing. Pretty crazy isn’t it? If evolutionary theory is to be believed, we literally create ourselves out of proteins, the forces of natural selection causing us to create ourselves better and better over time. But even crazier are the adaptations of human consciousness and intelligence. Our minds are so powerful that we can now evolve, that is to say create ourselves to be better and better over time, in a conscious way, using symbolic representation to model and then manipulate our very reality, effectively taking the reigns of our own evolution—especially with things like information technology, artificial intelligence, as well as soon being able to re-write our genetic code.
But the fundamental principle here is actually very simple. It is the principle of teleology. We see a future, we want it, we create it. Sound familiar? That’s exactly how I described God. God sees a reality it wants, then it goes backwards in time, and creates it looking like it is moving forward in time so it can experience itself as growing and evolving with pleasure and agency. So we, as the most evolved creatures we know of up to this point, seem to be the most advanced expressions of God in the universe (so far.) Essentially God is consciousness, creating itself as the experience of conscious beings. God existed in potential “before” the universe did. But the point where God exists most clearly is actually at some point in the future when Love has become more completely manifest as reality, and God’s future manifestation of Love outweighs God’s evolutionary past manifestations as unhappiness and un-love.
But if God just wants to experience happiness and love, why not just be some pink elephant floating in infinite space, experiencing itself as just eternal bliss strung-out on shrooms and ecstasy? Well, it seems to me that for one thing, that may be very boring. Intolerably boring in fact. I propose one fundamental law of logic that is a part of God and not even God can break is the law that for there to be good, there must be bad. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that good equals bad. It simply means that to be differentiated, anything that exists in the universe must have some quantity of “not-itself” somewhere else in the universe. So, we can start as very unhappy for a little while, then evolve to be extremely happy for a much, much longer period of time, so that our happiness far outweighs the unhappiness at the beginning. And, indeed, this law where things seem to start out slow and shitty, then we evolve and gain mastery that lasts much longer than the shitty part, seems to be exactly how the universe works.
I propose there are a number of laws of logic just like this one, which is why God does not, cannot, choose to be a floating-hippy-flip-pink-space-elephant
I would also propose, that perhaps, there are different kinds of pleasure, and that there are even higher magnitude orders of pleasure than floating around on ecstasy. I would propose that these pleasures include meaning, connection, freedom, and other things that require “bad” things in the universe. We must have disorder (entropy) that we turn into order, otherwise there could be no meaning. There must be separate beings, otherwise there could never be the ultimate good feeling we know of, Love. As James Taylor said, there ain’t no doubt in no one’s mind, that loves the finest thing around. And how could we have freedom to move around and move towards what we want, unless there was also restriction of that freedom, and the possibility to make the wrong choice with that freedom. All good things in the universe require some cost, and some possibility of not-those-good-things, a.k.a, bad things. Again, the things may be mostly present at only the earlier stage in the universe, and in the development of any single consciousness, then we gradually mostly evolve past them. I submit, however, that this is probably almost definitely a fundamental and very important principle, that for there to be good, there must be bad. One name I’ve heard for this is the law of contrast.
So, I obviously don’t have all the details here. But the main point I’m trying to say is that I think God wants to experience itself as loving consciousness, and that there must be a certain evolutionary path and certain other things that exist in the universe in order to support the loving consciousness, hence why not everything we see in the universe seems to be just loving consciousness in every direction.
Part of why I believe this so strongly is because this drive toward some ideal future exists in virtually every single human being, and we can only assume in lesser forms in lower forms of consciousness. We all have this drive toward a utopian future. We all want the “ultimate good.” We all want to live in some magical land where all our needs are met, everybody loves each other, there is no war, violence of any kind, no hardship, everyone is just happy and enjoying themselves and creating and expanding outward and with more and more goodness in every direction being created ad infinitum. This is Utopia, heaven, the Garden of Eden, a New Heaven and a New Earth, the Promised Land, the God Realm, etc. etc. etc. I say the essence of this is Love.
Love means we all see each other as one being, and everyone takes care of everyone else as if they were themselves, everyone equally working toward the happiness of everyone. This principle is supreme, though it is subject to the mitigating factor of proximity and caring first for what is closest to you for practical reasons. So in Utopia, everyone would see everyone else’s happiness as equally valid, therefore we would all function as though we were one, or as one united organism of all consciousness, hence achieving perfect harmony and efficiency and easily achieving exponentially more than we have ever imagined possible.
A single multi-cellular organism, for example, say Abraham Lincoln, did infinitely more than would be possible for all of the cells in his body to have done independently. Imagine if all the blood cells and skin cells and brain cells of Abe were just all crawling around independently and disconnected from each other, trying to do what he did. Not easy to imagine. And a little gross. You get the point. When we work together and coordinate our intelligence as though we were one being, we can achieve infinitely more than we do separately. It is not inconceivable that, just as uni-cellular organisms evolved to eventually be multi-cellular organisms, which all share the same mission of the survival of the multi-cellular organism, in the same way humans could eventually evolve to where our ultimate goal is the good of everyone, hence we can accomplish feats (e.g., utopia,) which would otherwise seem impossible.
Love is the uniting factor. This Love is the view that we are all one, we are unified, each person’s happiness is just as important as each other’s, and via this view we can all achieve far more happiness than we ever could have in a zero-sum, “winner-takes-all” game. Ultimately, a world of Love is a greater win for everyone than any single person could achieve when we are pitted against each other.
Love also just feels good and is a precursor to all kinds of happiness. Seriously, have you ever felt anything more good feeling than the feeling of being in Love? Or loving your family? I say the only thing better is the Love of all humanity, which all great religions and wisdom teaching agree with, just saying. When we love humanity we can do things that are deeply meaningful, help people, and do good in the world. This form of love for all humanity (or all sentient beings) feels better than literally anything else in the whole universe. It is a very high stage of development, that of self-realization (I realize I am one with all consciousness in the universe,) and self-actualization (I am actualizing myself by achieving my highest purpose, my highest meaning, for the good of humanity.)
And so when this Love is the primary modality in which all of humanity experiences each other and acts toward each other, it is for me, hard to imagine any better reality than the utopia we would create on that basis. This is why I say, this is the ultimate thing God wants to experience, therefore I believe God is ultimately this Loving Consciousness which decides to teleologically create itself out of the void. But how does it create itself?
I think that perhaps it does so through quantum action. That is, in the quantum realm, there are infinite possibilities of what could exist, and things are perpetually popping in and out of existing. Potential is the only thing in the universe that exists before it exists. Potential neither exists, nor doesn’t exist. It is always potential. Even when the whole universe is absolute infinite void before anything exists, potential is still potential. Quantum potential is especially special for many reasons I won’t get into, but basically I propose that the quantum field of possibility, of potential, is a field which creates a tension or an action potential, which consciousness acts on and collapses from big-bang into the future I just described by “popping” the whole universe into existence, simply based on the fact that potential consciousness “wants” to exist. This “wanting” to exist is the potential pleasure of existence, just as when we want some candy, there is a potential pleasure that exists in our future which we can project, then actualize, by our desire collapsing the set of possibilities into choosing to go and get the candy. In an analogous and fundamentally similar (though much more complex) way, the universe chooses to exist because it sees it would be fun, and it wants to experience Love, therefore it decides to collapse the infinite existing/non-existing set of quantum-potential soup into the reality our consciousness experiences as existing.
This collapsing of quantum possibilities, again, is essentially the action of Love itself. The universe congeals itself into one unified whole based on the inherent joy it experiences in doing so. It Loves itself into existence. Hence why I say, truly Love is God. I think that sums it up.
There’s a few more points I want to make here.
While I described this using some unbelievably sketchy quantum metaphysics, as well as a pragmatic argument, I believe for the scientifically and logically minded, it may help to go into questions around what “Love” really is. Basically, it is the informational structure of reality that I just described, which while it holographically exists in each individual as just such a set of approximations and principles as I am describing, it is in its ultimate form the unity of the entire universe as connected in a web of cause-and-effect inter-relationships, which unifies all information, which is a synonymous with all qualia or all consciousness. This web of interrelationships of cause-and-effect includes every law of the universe, all of physics, chemistry, philosophy, logic, mathematics, as well as all of the logical causal relationships in the soft-sciences, humanities, arts, and every other conceivable field of study known to humankind, plus all logical and causal information we have not yet discovered. Suffice it to say, its complex. This is why they say, God is ultimately unknowable and can’t be put into words. Because God is the totality of all reality. But as I have been making the case for, the most fundamental and important relationship between any two things in the universe is the relationship of Love. So I will take some time now to describe as well as I presently can in words what Love exactly is.
Love is seeing all consciousness as yourself. But that doesn’t really make sense does it? Because clearly, I am me, and you are you. We are not the same consciousness. Sure we can see it in practical terms, that if we see all consciousness as being the same, then we’ll do stuff that will make us happier. But who the hell is going to adopt that if it is not actually true? Well, I haven’t actually figured out how to really prove its true yet, though I can show in one way how it might be true. I can also deconstruct our current views of consciousness to show that our current understanding of consciousness, that we are individual beings with individual, continuous consciousness, is equally unprovable and in fact it seems perhaps clearly prove-un-able. Allow me to explain.
We assume we are conscious individual beings. Most people even believe we have souls, that is to say, an individual conscious structure that is continuous and exists independent of the body. From both an analytical metaphysical lens, and through an evolutionary lens, this is hogwash.
We are fundamentally consciousness. This is obvious. If we had no consciousness, we would simply be philosophical zombies, we would be robots with no experience, and hence, from our viewpoint, seeing as how we would have no viewpoint, we may as well not exist. We are our experience in the moment, our qualia. If I somehow switched bodies with someone else, I would still experience myself as myself. As I evolve over time, from a baby to an adult, everything I am, everything I believe, my informational structure and even the cells in my body are completely different. Yet I still say I am me, because I am still this same conscious experiencing entity.
So fundamentally, I am my awareness. If everything about me is the same except I no longer have conscious experience of reality, then I would clearly no longer exist. My “soul,” my “spirit,” my conscious awareness is most fundamentally the thing that I am. So I am consciousness. This isn’t too radical. But let’s go a little more Buddhist-evolutionary-biologist with it now. Not only am I consciousness, I am only the consciousness that I am in this moment.
We assume we are consciousness existing across time. It is a nice thing to assume. To assume I exist instantaneously and then die every moment seems foreign and uncomfortable. But, in fact, “enlightened’ beings who have achieved an abiding experience of this assumption say it is pure bliss. Without any future or past, we are free of fear, desire, or anything but the pure joy of existence, of being. But I don’t give a flying fuck about any of that.
Point here, is that assuming consciousness has some continuity from moment-to-moment, is an assumption, a viewpoint, a construction that may be useful, may be comforting, but is not ultimately an absolute certainty, and perhaps even just a convenient lens we’ve thrown on what’s actually happening.
Let me go into the reasons why we assume consciousness is continuous, so I can then deconstruct them and say why I think it is more valid to say consciousness is, in one sense, instantaneous.
First, evolution. We have evolved to project ourselves, as selves. While we are most fundamentally our consciousness, as I just explained, at our current evolutionary stage we evolved to see ourselves as mostly being the informational structure closest to us in proximity. In other words, we see ourselves as being the informational structure, the set of facts, memories, and circumstances surrounding our physical, psychological, and intellectual bodies. Colloquially, we see ourselves as a story, the story of me. This story is made of information, to speak technically, and consists in the set of information that our biological organism has collected and organized concerning “itself” and its environment.
We can see why this would be evolutionarily useful. When this informational structure, the story, refers to itself being a continuous, certainly including the most fundamental aspect of it, its consciousness, this leads to the organism wanting to take care of itself, control its surroundings, and do things to make itself happy and make itself survive. All good stuff. Except here’s the problem—in some sense, it is only a useful fiction. It is pragmatically true at a certain stage in evolution, and so true in some deep sense, however at another stage in evolution it starts to become problematic, as at a deeper level it is a lie.
Consciousness is instantaneous. We have evolved to project an image of our consciousness into the future, and an image of our consciousness into the past as memory, but is it really our consciousness that is in the future or in the past? No. It’s not. We experience this moment. Always. Only ever this moment. Our minds project an image of us experiencing the past and the future, but that is simply an evolutionary tool the informational story structure of our organisms have adapted so that we can make intelligent decisions, as if it was the same consciousness that will experience the future and experienced the past which is experiencing our present.
The fact is, this is all just an informational evolutionary mechanism. You are the experience of this moment. Only. Always. Past and future are only projections which don’t even exist to you, except as projections. Memory and projection give us the illusion that this consciousness experienced the past, and will experience the future. But this consciousness, that you are in this moment, is an instantaneous consciousness, and always will be. You are always only one sliver of consciousness, the consciousness of this instant, nothing more, nothing less. Evolution tricks us into believing we are continuous, giving us a story of me, so that we’ll make decisions now and sacrifice so that the informational structure can survive and thrive, but in truth, we are instantaneous consciousness.
There is simply no hard evidence for a soul, but we are constantly creating stories and ways that make it look like there is one. Every religion has a different story, from all the major religions to the hundreds of minor ones. Every story says that consciousness is continuous, because it is imperative for survival. But as I started this whole thing off with, there are many things we experience as true that aren’t really true if you look closely. We simply see it that way because it is a useful fiction for us to survive.
So ultimately, I am arguing, the ultimate understanding of consciousness, what some people even call enlightenment, is ultimate solipsism. It is the understanding that in this moment, the only thing I ultimately know is that I am conscious now, and therefore in an ultimate sense is the most fundamental thing that I am.
Let me explain this another way. Perhaps consciousness is not an entity. Perhaps it is a process. Perhaps it goes something like consciousness is a frequency emitted by God, by the Universe, which we are just picking up. So in every moment consciousness is creating itself anew from this frequency, which like radio signals is pervasive in the universe. So we are not an entity of continuous consciousness, but an impersonal radio signal that is perpetually re-creating itself in each moment. The consciousness is fundamentally new consciousness in every moment, every moment being a new set of emissions of the radio wave of consciousness, but because the informational structure that is receiving the consciousness waves remains the same, the consciousness is able to pretend as though the consciousness itself, was continuous, while really it is only the informational structure.
You can be completely deconstructed. Everything you are is just pieces of the universe that have come together in a specific order. Consciousness itself is universal, it is non-personal, and it just happens to be coming through these personal beings in such a way that it gets to experience itself as personal. But every element of you is basically the same elements that make up other beings. You have a mom and dad. You have teeth and bones and skin. You are a bunch of cells, having a bunch of experiences, but every single one of these things can be deconstructed into its constituent atoms. It is all just information structured in a certain way based on certain universal principles. Not actually sure what I’m trying to say here.
Basically the informational structure is important, but it has superseded the truth that all consciousness is in some sense instantaneous and non-personal, and only using the informational evolutionary story of me as a conduit to temporarily learn to take care of itself at a certain level, only to later evolve into higher forms. The evolutionary point we have been at for some time now, is that we must see consciousness as this story of these multi-cellular organisms who are each individual consciousnesses, because that has allowed us to survive and thrive as multi-cellular organisms.
But now it is time for a new story. I have just attempted, poorly I might say, to deconstruct the story that consciousness is continuous over time. This useful informational fiction of the continuity of consciousness would not be a problem, except that, besides not ultimately being true, it is inhibiting us from adopting an even more useful fiction:
The fiction that all consciousness is one consciousness.
This is another form or view of enlightenment, very clear in Advaita-Vedanta and other neo-advaita teachings. It is the view that all is Self, that consciousness is universal and all fundamentally the same, that all consciousness is a manifestation of the unified universe which is a singular source, a singular God expressing itself in plurality for the joy of experiencing Love.
The view I expressed previously was that consciousness is instantaneous, rather than universal, suggesting that the ultimate state might be some solipsistic story-oblivious ever-present bliss. In some sense this is the most self-evidently true. But I believe it is really only a stepping-stone to this next view, which is that consciousness is, in-fact not instantaneous, but the exact opposite. Consciousness is completely universal.
Rather than you being only this one instant sliver of your consciousness, and the story just being an evolutionary illusion to make you think your consciousness is continuous, this view says that consciousness is not only absolutely continuous over time, but also that every mote (I invented this new use of the word mote, to refer to a singular unit of qualia or consciousness) of consciousness in the universe is experienced by the same singular consciousness.
So whereas the instantaneous view of consciousness is very lonely because you only exist as the consciousness you are experiencing in this instant, this one is very alone, but instead because every being in the universe is actually just you in another form, hence you are the only thing in the universe. You might say that the first view feels more like “self is All,” whereas the second view is more like “All is Self.”
Here’s one way I like to explain this. Some people believe in multiple lives. That is, when you die, then your consciousness moves on and experiences itself as another being. Well, you could say that while I believe in this reincarnation, I also believe that consciousness God, the ultimate force of the universe, and not restricted by time. So after I experience this life, I will have another life, but that life is going to be someone else who actually lived not after I died, but that was alive at the same time I lived. You must understand this is all just a matter of speaking, as these things that are not subject to the rules of time and space are hard to express, but bear with me.
So when I die, my consciousness will go back in time, and experience itself as my next-door neighbor Jeff. Then when it dies again it will go back in time again and experience itself as a mosquito I swatted. There’s a unique view on karma from this view, in that I then experience directly the consequences of how I harmed that mosquito. And this goes on ad infinitum until I’ve experienced every consciousness in the whole entire universe. That is essentially the view.
Now does consciousness actually go back in time? No. It simply exists in multiple different places, and times, all simultaneously, experiencing itself as independent for the sake of getting to have seemingly interdependent and instantaneous experiences, when the truth is all consciousness is actually universal. Make sense? Again, this is not the description of what I believe actually happens, though it would make for an interesting worldview, but it is a description of how one essentially sees consciousness in the worldview of universal consciousness. It is a worldview of infinite love, as it is the view that one Self is experiencing every single consciousness, and therefore all consciousness in the universe ultimately deserves equal consideration, even from a totally “Selfish” view.
Now for the trickier part. I have been thinking about this my whole life and still have no true argument to prove it or even really show it’s likely that consciousness is universal, beyond the pragmatic utilitarianist argument, though I have grown to think that the pragmatic argument is stronger and stronger. Let me at least give some of my thoughts on why we at least can’t be sure it’s not true, then explain how it is wise to assume it is true, and finally show how assuming it’s true is in some sense precisely what will make it true, hence the profound metaphysical importance of pragmatism.
If God is indeed Love as I am arguing, and the whole universe is one unified informational net of cause-and-effect, then God is essentially one unified Being throughout all space and time. Now perhaps this unified God splits itself up into infinitesimally small slivers of consciousness that are in truth fundamentally disconnected and alone. But perhaps, instead, each mote of consciousness is connected to each other mote through the web. We experience this as empathy, and as every instance of logic and cause and effect, and as Love. We experience it as our brains feeling like they are a unified consciousness, rather than as them being separate brain cells firing each with their own consciousness. So what if the whole universe, is, in a similar way one single brain, and in a sense more real than any of the experience of any of its individual brain cells it experiences itself as one unified consciousness? How would a single brain cell (you or me) possibly know that?
If a single brain cell feels its connections to other brain cells, perhaps each of our brain cells does have some experience of its own, but its whole universe consists of “OH I’M LIT UP!” and “now i’m not lit up.” That single brain cell must have a very small world, and feel like it is quite alone except for its axons occasionally being lit up by a neighboring brain cells dendrites. Except for that small empathic connection to its neighbors, however, the universe must look quite meaningless and it must feel quite solipsistic, like it is the only thing in the universe, except the mysterious electrical impulses that sometimes flow through it.
So we’re basically the same, as this theory goes. It’s certainly not implausible. That when we think we are individual consciousness, we are simply failing to see our greater connectivity, and that in fact our consciousness is unified and creating meaning and a greater picture through the whole informational web of the brain of the whole universe. Perhaps all the chains of cause and effect running through us really do connect our consciousness in some way that allows a universal consciousness to flow through and unify us in some way that is bigger than we could ever imagine or see. As much bigger than us as the brain is to a brain cell. The brain cell partakes in that, ultimately the synergy of all brain-cells together IS that, and yet the brain cell cannot really comprehend that what it is a part of is so much grander than it knows.
Well, I’m thinking maybe it’s something like that. At the very least, I think we should postpone any ultimate judgment until the evolution has matured and evolved much more. Perhaps in a million or a billion years these things I’m trying to express will have become so commonplace and obviously right (or wrong) that it is laughable I would even have to write them out, as laughable as it is now when we think about the poor single cellular organisms trying to comprehend a multi-cellular organism, or a single brain-cell trying to comprehend a brain. On this metaphor and theory, I see let’s wait and see.
Another thing on the metaphysics of this. Consciousness seems to obviously be instantaneous, as I have tried to show. But why should we assume that every instant of consciousness is instantaneous, like a radio-signal, rather than just one drop of infinite consciousness, experiencing itself as everything simultaneously? Again this gets tricky as far as theory goes, because theories are based on logic and cause-and-effect. I am postulating here that perhaps consciousness is more fundamental than anything else in the universe, is essentially God, and so is not subject to causality nor space nor time. So there could be just one mote of consciousness, that instantaneously/simultaneously experiences itself as every single experience, all qualia in the whole universe. Hence, again, the name universal consciousness. There is one consciousness that experiences itself as everything. This consciousness also has the quality of being essentially zero, essentially a quantum nothing that both exists and doesn’t exist, and so it appears as all of conscious reality and then, without time, simultaneously obliterates itself back into the quantum soup of infinite potential nothingness. But the main point being, this all happens as one singular event from the point of view of the zero-ness of the consciousness. I feel there’s a whole tome of metaphysics that could attempt to express these ideas, but I’m not going to go into them here, as the guy who did a lot of the mathematics of zero (or was it infinity? I think they’re kind-of the same) actually literally went insane and spent a lot of his time in and out of asylums as he was contemplating these things. Another good reason to stick to pragmatism!
So hopefully that gave some food for thought and at least gave some suspicions of why it might not not be true that consciousness is universal, even if it didn’t in any true sense show anything. Another possibility is that all or none of these views on the nature of consciousness may be true, and that they are simply different facets of the same jewel looked at from a different angle, or that all of them are simply useful fictions but really none are true at all.
Which brings me to my other points here. Whether or not consciousness is universal, I believe it is extremely useful to assume that it is. I think I’ve explained this to some degree earlier, but I’ll go into it now a little more in light of all I’ve said.
If we assume consciousness is universal, we will always act in the best interest of everyone. Seeing the universe this way means that rather than go eat a cheeseburger, causing harm to myself, the cow, and the planet, I would be more likely to go vegan, or even build a vegan restaurant and contribute to the vegan movement in some meaningful way, to create less suffering for cows, more health and happiness for other humans, and greater likelihood we will not destroy the planet, and survive as a species which can move more and more toward utopia. In this way my choice reflects my greater vision of the interconnectedness of all reality and how my actions have cause-and-effect interdependency with all other lifeforms. If I really see consciousness as universal and manifesting itself as all lifeforms, and see how my choice affects all other lifeforms, than I will learn to make choices that are good for all lifeforms. Viola!!!
It makes sense right? I want to introduce an important concept here I’ve dubbed “proximity.” While ultimately there are certain actions I can take that would improve humanity in really huge ways, these actions are often impractical to simply pursue directly. Pursuing them directly is another route to psychosis, as you lose touch with your immediate environment and the limitations that make our human story what it is in evolutionary and practical terms.
One way to understand proximity is that we must consider what evolutionary level we are at. So if I’m 5 years old and have in essence all the views I just described, the best action I could take is to develop myself at the stage I’m at so that I can ultimately align myself to taking practical actions on those ideas. That means learning to read and write, learning math skills, learning basic social skills, etc. etc. etc. Without learning all those things first, it is unlikely I would be able to communicate any of these ideas, and unlikely that I would be able to take any meaningful action on these ideas.
Now being 5 years old is an extreme example. But everyone is at a different stage in life. Much of psychology is devoted to understanding these different stages and the developmental tasks we must learn at each stage. While these views I have described are simple enough that you can understand them at virtually any stage, if they are explained in the right way, you will not be able to put certain aspects of them into practice until you have reached a relatively high stage of development, across multiple different developmental lines.
So proximity means focusing on what is closest to you, starting with yourself, and your own development. This can include developing your own body, your emotional and psychological growth, your spiritual growth, your beliefs, your habits, and all other aspects of yourself. From their you may need to improve certain aspects of your surroundings (this is not linear, btw, just expressed as a sort of hierarchy of needs with everything happening to some degree at the same time, though some things just more important than others,) such as your living situation, your financial situation, your social connections including family, friends, and co-workers, including improving the well-being of all those around you, and then spanning out to your town, your state, your country, all of humanity, all sentient beings now alive, all sentient beings alive in the near future, and all sentient beings alive throughout all time.
So proximity starts out as close to you as possible, yourself, and the most fundamental parts of you and your identity at that, expanding out throughout time and space to include all consciousness that has and will ever exist.
This is a very important idea. You always only ever start where you are, which means with your immediate accessible proximity. Hence why the ideas of story consciousness and of instantaneous consciousness are actually both powerful and important precursors to universal consciousness. They are your immediate and extended proximity, and if you are to have a universal effect, you must totally embrace and work with what is closest to you. While your ultimate goal may be to serve all consciousness which you ultimately see as all yourself, your immediate goal must be to take care of yourself and your surroundings in the present, so as to create a stable base from which you can then try to have more far-reaching effects.
One more thing on proximity. The ultimate proximal thing in the view of universal consciousness, is the view of universal consciousness itself, which is another name for Love. So in other words, even more important than yourself or your immediate surroundings, is your ideal of Love, your ideal of universal consciousness. If you exist but negate Love, you may very well end up destroying the universe which you fundamentally are—and in fact, at this point in time, as we apparently move forward, an apocalypse in which humanity accidentally destroys itself actually does seem feasible. Whether or not we could feasibly destroy ourselves in a torrential fiery nuclear holocaust, and hence seemingly disprove the theory that we are the future consciousness creating ourselves into a utopian universe is another very interesting thread of thought, which I may explore later, but not at the moment.
So, finally, if we indeed assume this view of universal consciousness is true, which would be a really good idea for making the world a better place (I also go more deeply into this in my senior thesis, through the lens of altruism and social entrepreneurship,) then doing so also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and creates itself to be true, hence why this seemingly pragmatic decision is actually an organic property of the universe aligning itself to its own purpose for existing via consciousness.
That was a mouthful. And that’s what she said.
But enough about my sex-life, I now want to explain why this is important. Let me start doing so by explaining the essential difference between Love is God, and God is Love, and why, while I believe both may be true in different and mirroring senses, the former is actually much more important for us, and in a sense it doesn’t even really matter whether or not the latter is “true.” As Truth itself may perhaps be optimally and honestly defined as the teleological potential reality which is chosen and created by consciousness for its own greatest love and happiness. And in fact as the universe continues to unfold and we have greater and greater influence on the physical structure of the cosmos, this ultimate status of the teleological potential future reality as more real and “True” than present reality, which is basically the whole point of what I am saying, may become starkly and blitheringly obvious.
So. When I say God is Love, I am saying that the quantum field, or whatever, basically collapses itself, creates itself, breathes fire into the equations, via consciousness becoming happy and connected to itself, via a universal mind through Love, through the view of universal consciousness. This happens apparently starting with the big-bang, so that we’ll have agency and be capable of Love, though in all reality the entire informational structure of the universe is created instantaneously, and the far-utopian-like-future which has the most beings, the most consciousness, and the greatest Love, is ultimately the most important “cause” in influencing how everything else in the universe unfolds, based simply on it being the highest concentration of consciousness.
So this is God is Love. God is the force of Love, which creates the whole universe by collapsing the quantum field into what it is. Simple enough. God is the Web, the net of consciousness, the ultimate universal mind or brain, the source of everything, which creates us. Whoop-dee-doo. Whatever. Maybe true, maybe not. I honestly couldn’t give a shit any less than I do. Literally. It doesn’t matter. I literally don’t even care. I wanted to give a plausible excuse for believing what I believe based on some logical framework, which doesn’t seem to contradict anything I see actually being true in reality, and this ideology is the framework that does the job. It is clear and coherent and aligned enough with the laws of physics and causality and everything else I know of, that it won’t lead to psychosis or ultimately hit any foreseeable barrier and collapse on itself. Cool.
That said, I don’t know if it’s right or true at all that God is Love, and I really, really, really don’t care. Maybe some random spark of quantum blob just farted us into existence and none of that is true at all. The future doesn’t cause the past. There is not God or greater purpose inherently to the universe. All consciousness is totally separate and isolated, in fact consciousness itself is just an illusion created by evolved animals a la Daniel Denette, in his weird fucked up views which I haven’t studied and don’t understand which if true mean really everything is meaningless and random and Love is just an evolutionary drive to reproduce and sustain the species created by random forces that just happen to be logically consistent with themselves but have no deeper metaphysical connectedness to the rest of the universe or anything. Blah blah blah new atheism blah blah blah nihilism blah blah blah okay I don’t care whatever.
I’m agnostic to the whole thing, as I’ve stated before, I’m agnostic as to everything. A fundamentalist agnostic you might say. Or better yet, a pragmatic utilitarian agnostic. I do what works. And what works is this:
LOVE IS GOD.
So now to the point of this whole damn article. I think I’ve done enough prep-work this should be pretty quick. Actually I need a break. Gonna go mow my grandma’s lawn then will be back. Stay tuned.
I’m back. So Love is God. Honestly I think I actually explained this pretty clearly already. If we act in the way that serves the highest good of all consciousness, taking proximity into account, then we will create a good universe. Therefore, it’s not so much about what God is; it’s about making Love our God.
We all have gods in our life. For some their god is money. For others it is pleasure. Or power. Some make drugs their god. Others make the approval of others their god, a social sort-of tribe god. For some it is the gods of the great religions, for some nihilistic atheists self-interest is god. Humanists perhaps come closest to making Love their god. Ultimately we all have many gods, our gods are whatever we allow to influence our views, our habits, and our decisions. Every choice we ever make is a vote for what our ultimate god should be.
I say our god, should ultimately be Love. This means taking care of ourselves. It means taking care of everything in our proximity. It means making choices to make life better and better, for ourselves, for those around us, and ultimately for humanity as a whole. It means taking responsibility for as much of humanity as we can, thus having the biggest effect, and it means studying effective altruism, social entrepreneurship, and other modalities that help us to have the biggest possible effect.
So yeah basically that’s the whole point. The energy drink I drank has worn off an I’m out of energy now. Gonna make a few final points I wrote down to wrap this up then read it over again but I’m probably just about done for today.
For this philosophy you also need to think about what is the best experience for the happiness of consciousness. If we ultimately want to bring as much happiness to as much consciousness for as long as possible, which is the highest good, then I think the best way to do this is Love. Love reflexively protects and enhances itself because it is constantly taking actions to make sure it is surviving and thriving, as well as being itself the most enjoyable thing possible. So of course the highest good both in terms of lasting the longest because of its self-reflexive sturdiness and because of its inherent joyfulness, are all achieved my simply having consciousness be as loving as possible. So you always want to do what will contribute the most to Love, even if it seems to be at personal expense of your biographical storied self, because for the universal self (as well as ultimately your small self and all selves), Love is the answer, and you know that for sure, to quote John Lennon this time.
So yeah basically I built this whole philosophy out of simply assuming that because all consciousness comes from the same Source, the same God if you will, all consciousness is essentially unified and non-personal and of the same essence as Source or God. Everything is a manifestation of God, and therefore the appearance of our difference is only a surface illusion that allows God to experience itself as multiplicity. So if you’re wondering how I came to any conclusions I’ve stated, this is the ultimate source. If you want more clarification as to how this connects to any ideas or how ideas lead back to this, let me know, but I think it should be pretty obvious how I would create my whole philosophy based around this essential assumption, that everything is an expression of the same singular God or Self. I also call this principle non-duality, I believe it may also be what the term monism refers to, though not really sure on that one.
Another view I haven’t talked about but that’s interesting and deserves some merit is the idea that we are actually more fundamentally information than we are consciousness. I don’t really think it makes sense to make it more fundamental than consciousness, as us being philosophical zombies with no consciousness isn’t particularly appealing, though you could also make the argument that without our informational structure, in other words without our story and all the details about who and what we are, it would be impossible to exist at all. That is to say, if we were conscious and aware, but had no shape, no coordinates in time or space, no qualities, nothing that could be described in bits of information, would we really exist? Consciousness can’t exist without having some form, without having the quality of certain facts, story, information. And so when I say that we are most fundamentally consciousness, I do believe this to be true, but it is not to say there aren’t other elements of us that are of dire importance, such as our informational make-up which is our limits, our boundaries, literally the definition of all we’ve ever been, are, and will be.
Again though, not sure why I’m making these points except that I’d written them down as something to come back to. I think I did already stress that the over-all informational structure of the universe is in the shape of Love, and so that is the most important thing about this informational structure, which is to say that it is in the shape of universal consciousness. So while you could say that the informational structure is highly fundamental, it is not just any informational structure, it is the informational structure that is viable for the universe to form as, and my theory is that the universe would not choose to exist in any informationally-structured shape, ultimately, except Love. So there you have it folks. God is Love, Love is God.