Q. Are we a body dreaming or are we a dream bodying?
A. Neither. Body and dream are two opposite sides of the same coin. We are the coin itself; the sense of the two sides opposition to and unity with each other.
Q. What is time?
A. Time is an aggregate measure of physical change modeled in a linear fashion. It has no existence of it’s own beyond our sense of sequential causality (which evaporates predictably under altered states of consciousness – dreams, drugs, trance, etc). We are the ones who interpret the digits on the clocks and the calender squares as a shared temporal text. In reality, there are no days, just astrophysical orientations woven together by our memories and monitoring of regular oscillating patterns.
Like space, time can only be as discrete or continuous as the substances and processes we use to measure it. What we are measuring is not an objective condition, but our own normalized intersubjective detection of relations between patterns of energy/change.
Q. Is consciousness just electromagnetic patterns in the brain?
A. Only if we allow that electromagnetic patterns are always symptoms of detection and response (sensorimotive) experiences. It makes more sense to consider consciousness and electromagnetic patterns in the brain in the same way that we consider the self and the body: two sides of the same coin. One side is public, generic, literal, and understandable as relations between biological and chemical objects and the other side is private, proprietary, figurative, and understandable as experienced events and perceptions through time.
Q. How is time related to electromagnetism?
A. If we understand that our own experience can be described in two opposite ways, we can understand that electromagnetism in general can be understood in two opposite ways as well. Viewed from the outside, electromagnetism is a pattern of coordinated activity among multiple objects in space, and another, a single, private continuity of detection and response. We are used to understanding the exterior patterns in terms of forces and fields, however, like time, it would be a mistake to consider this inference to be literally true.
It is the hypothesis of Multisense Realism that electromagnetism does not exist as an independent force in a vacuum across space, but as a shared experience among material objects – atoms, molecules, cells, organisms, planets, stars, etc. Atoms do not stick together because of an external field that exists between them, it makes more sense that they stick together because what they inherently are mutually drawn together from the inside. We look at this from a distance, and disqualifying any possibility of sensorimotive content, model it as a mechanism through which space propagates waves of, or is penetrated by particles of ‘energy’.
Once we update our model so that matter detects and moves itself in relation to matter, that detection and motion comes to define energy. The implications of this are tremendous, as something like color and light can be understood as a visual experience of the human nervous system relating to a human universe rather than an independent particle-wave. Light is not just how we see, but it is how matter sees. Electromagnetism is not just how our brains feel, it is how matter feels. Once we can understand that, we can see that feeling and seeing is also what matter itself actually is.
The two sides of the coin are symmetrical and anomalous so that even though they are really the opposite sides of the same thing, each side perceives the other as unrelated. This is because one side is quantitative and topological and the other side is qualitative and narrative so they are not related one to one. You can’t look at a person’s brain and be able to tell what they are thinking because you would need to know the specifics of the entire story of their life first. The brain is many neurological ‘whats and hows’ but the self is a continuous fugue of signifying moments of ‘who and why’.
Time then, is part of how matter feels, how it makes sense of itself and its role in the universe, and feeling is the sensorimotive ‘heads’ side of the coin that is electromagnetic energy (‘tails’) on the other side. The Hard Problem of Consciousness and the Explanatory Gap arise from presuming that the heads side can be explained by figuring out everything about the tails side, when in fact, the two are perpendicular in every way, overlapping only in the synchronization of ‘where and when’ (an impulse in a region wherever the brain activity is associated with particular feelings whenever they are felt). The self extends from birth to death through a semantically charged universe of experienced times, people, places, and things while the brain extends from spinal cord to cerebrum, described only in a-signifying biochemical terms. It exists in a universe of neurotransmitters, spike trains, and ion channels. The two systems intersect only in the here and now, they are otherwise orthogonal to each other, pursuing opposite agendas of neurophysiology and autobiography.
Q. Are all forces and fields figurative?
A. Yes. From electromagnetism to gravity to the strong and weak force, to love and hate, beauty and morality, all ‘forces’ are the direct and indirect experiences of matter. When we see lightning or an electric spark we are seeing the gases that make up our atmosphere igniting spontaneously in response to interior tensions being released. In a complete vacuum, there is no spark – no atoms to offload the feeling of tension (charge) to. Matter does different things on different scales, and in different arrangements, but it is all ultimately the same protons with the same potential to build feeling and significance as well as unconsciousness, entropy, and death. Multisense realism is really very simple. The universe is a concrete reality which is matter ÷ space on the outside and experience * time on the inside. Space and time are true voids, containing nothing whatsoever except for the capacity to whip up the solitude of primordial potential into a frothy multiplicity of social realities.