Observations & meditations on the day-to-day

The world is a simulation.

Fascinating to see the Guardian report that a number of prominent scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, believe that it will one day be possible to demonstrate conclusively that the world is a simulation. That we are not just the creators of robots, as in the TV show Westworld, but that we are ourselves the inhabitants of a fabricated universe.

Although this may seem bizarre, this reflects precisely the view of reality held by a number of extremely profound and highly respected ancient Indian spiritual texts. In the Bhagvada Gita, one of the most venerated of these texts, the god Krishna says to the warrior Arjuna, “When the wise man sees that all are merely actors in a vast drama, then he becomes that which is beyond this drama – and then he comes into his true Being, and dwells in his inner nature.” The interest of this is not just that the Gita accepts that we are rather like characters in a play being directed by beings of a higher order but that, crucially, it is possible for us to attain that higher level of consciousness even while we are constrained by the everyday limitations of being human.

I wonder whether these scientists would be prepared to countenance such a leap between alternative levels of reality! Certainly many, over the years, have been aware of it (J. Robert Oppenheimer, for one, famously quoted from the Gita when discussing the making of the atom bomb). More immediately, I am also curious as to whether something of this order is not in store for us as we move further along the plotline of Westworld. After all, the characters allude often enough to the wisdom of ancient texts – and it would be a shame if the creators of the show were not to exploit the vast potential for both intensity and learning implicit in the paradigm shift that is at the centre of the human enterprise.

— Shomit


Posted in Blog on Thursday, October 27, 2016