The idea of self confuses me. On the one hand, I am a distinct organism. I am separated from what is around me and have my own nervous system which functions only to inform me about sensation in my vicinity. On the other hand, everything about who I am is connected in this web of human life. The people I see, the people I have known, the environment I am in, and that which I have grown and developed in have all shaped the thought patterns and behaviors that I define as self. There is such a rich, deep inner world that encompasses what it means to have self. You make inference, you imagine, you daydream. You hope, you fear. You loathe and hurt.
When I think about who I am… I think about my brain, how it is different and unique compared to the other brains of my species. None other quite resembles the specific connections and swelling of neurons that represents my memories and habits. Self changes and dies. Life changes and dies. What is the underlying truth? Self does not matter. Life does not matter.
String theory offers a unification of quantum theory and general relativity, yet yields zero new testable predictions, and does not offer any explanation for wave-particle duality. What is the point of finding a ‘unifying theory’ when it doesn’t answer the most fundamental questions we have?
This is what I think about when I get home from work.
If you go out of your way to try to come up with mathematical strategies for unifying concepts, you will no doubt find a way. But the nature of mathematics isn’t so cut and dry. Numbers are like language. You can experiment and rearrange to form patterns that are beautiful and interesting. But that doesn’t make their meaning true. Math represents the structure of reality. Just because your math holds up doesn’t mean its an accurate representation. Especially when your work is based entirely in assumptions.
I can accept that this reality is a virtual reality system. That is the model that is the most probable. That is the only theory I have found that makes logical sense of wave-particle duality.
Tom Campbell asserts that, in addition to this, the larger reality is consciousness. This idea I am more hesitant about accepting. It is possible that the larger reality is consciousness, but if so, what about causal closure? If our physical reality is a closed system, how would the larger reality of consciousness relate with this subsystem? Since energy can neither be created nor destroyed, there is no possible way for this transmission of information to occur. But then, what is the correct way to conceptualize the larger reality? This question could be inherently wrong, but that is what has been on my mind for the longest time. I feel like in my life I am constantly trying to put who I am into context. I need to understand the nature of human experience and reality in general to understand what I am. I feel like I will never come up with a satisfactory answer.