The Big Questions
1. Why is there something rather than nothing?
Nothing doesn’t exist, rather ‘no-thing’ is an idea that a thinking thing has about it its own absence. I suggest that the question should be better worded “Why is there something rather than everything?” The answer to that is because the nature of awareness is to divide and insulate the wholeness of the largest inertial frame (simultaneous eternity) into multiply nested diffracted fragments.
2. Is our universe real?
Yes, but ‘real’ just means that it makes sense in the most possible ways to the most possible participants. The whole idea of ‘real’ is impossible in a universe of disoriented simulations. Realism is a matter of convergences of multiple channels of sense participation, so that greatest integrity of mutual reinforcement is the local standard, i.e. ‘In the land of the blind, a one eyed man is king’. A dream is real until you wake up into a more real experience. The previous reality is redefined within the richer participation as a dream, illusion, delusion, etc. This is not completely relativistic however, as realism is ultimately anchored in the Absolute inertial frame
3. Do we have free will?
Surprisingly yes, but not nearly as much as we might think. Despite the well-meaning misinterpretations of experiments by Libet and others, the possibility of a universe which is completely deterministic is incompatible with ordinary experience. In reading these words for example, there is no conceivable purpose that would be served if not for the possibility that the reader will consciously evaluate the ideas being expressed for use in their own personal agenda. These sentences do not address the sub-personal or impersonal agendas of neurology or evolutionary biology, but rather the person who is doing the reading. This is a complicated topic since consciousness is by definition held out of its own reach, but my understanding is that free will is no less real than determinism, and that both appearances are opposite-seeming points on a continuum of sense-making. Free will is what determinism is on the inside, determinism is what free will looks like on the outside, and the more we can relate to another, the more ‘inside’ we feel that we both are.
4. Does God exist?
You can call it God if you want to. Or Nature. Sense. Totality, Absolute, Tao, Singularity, Ein Sof, Brahman, Transcendental Signifier. I don’t personally anticipate a human-like face on this kind of ‘everythingness’, but there may be all kinds of alternate forms of intelligence which influence our lives from a ‘larger now’…ourselves in the future? Probably better not to think about it too much unless you really have no choice.
5. Is there life after death?
If time is a figment of awareness, then death could bring about the end of human constraints on time perception and a rejoining with the Absolute. In that case, there could not only be life after death, but many lives or every life after death. It is difficult to think of any circumstance which would satisfy everyone one way or another that there is or is not life after death. I will count this question as the first legitimately unsolvable in the negative. In theory, if we were able to connect the internet up to the afterlife or something so that we could communicate with the dead at will, that would probably satisfy most people.
6. Can you really experience anything objectively?
No. Experience is a juxtaposition of finite sense capacities. Without a subjective perspective, there is no sense, and sense is what defines objects.
7. What is the best moral system?
One which does not value a system over morality. Morality is a sense, and like other senses, some people have more finely developed capacities than others.
8. What are numbers?
Numbers are figures which refer to particular lowest common denominator themes in organization of experiences and objects. They seem enigmatic because all experiences and objects can be understood to ‘cast a quantitative shadow’ but they should not be confused with the concretely real experiences with which we might associate them. Reducing the universe to numbers is like trying to figure out the questions to a crossword puzzle based on the answers. It doesn’t work that way, but it isn’t obvious why. Numbers do not make sense by themselves, something real has to makes sense of them with physical presence and participation. Computers cannot be built out of a vacuum, they require rigid bodies capable of sustaining recursive enumeration operations – not fog or cartoons – only discrete ‘stuff’ can compute.