Information (geometry) starts with the quantum. Existence starts with the quantum. Before the quantum, there is aether. There can be an aether without quanta, but there can be no quanta without an aether. Matter is dependent on the aether (aka., the Higgs field), it depends on the background as an energy supply, hence, wave-particle complementarity.
At the beginning of time there was a change in state, symmetry was broken, we went from equilibrium and order, to instability and chaos. From a singularity, to a universe. From certainty, to uncertainty. Reality went from a simple state, to an ever increasing complexity. From an empty and perfectly flat vacuum state, to an objects full, curved spacetime. From not just being, but also, to existing.
According to contemporary science, the universe is ruled by four fundamental forces and logic, the rest happens by chance. Electrons always move the same way, just as magnetic fields always follow the same rules. Those things are controlled by another thing, they cannot choose which way to move. The aether acts like a traffic light which directs energy flow as required by all types of field interactions. There are no decisions being taken, the field will always interact in the same exact manner. Neither the universe, nor Consciousness, or whatever you prefer to call it, cares about us. The day we are gone, the universe will continue to exist as if nothing had happened. Sorry, no Promised Land, nor an afterlife, those are physical impossibilities.
There is no death, only renewal. God is, but cannot exist unless it exists as matter, as a universe. I see the universe as God in its material form, and matter as an instrument to get the information it needs to constantly re-create itself. Considering that matter is made of fields, that if there were no fields there would be no universe, then, we could safely assume that all objects that exist as matter are little more than apparitions which exist only temporarily. Objects come to be within that which is. They are thanks to the aether they come from. If you are because of the aether, then your being comes from the aether. You, the biological unit, because of the rules that govern matter, are only for a short period of time.
The universe is where knowledge comes from, and that is what existing is all about... seeing, learning, and becoming. If information were really contained by some universal mind, then, what need would Nature have for a DNA molecule? And, if there were an all knowing mind, a creator, why would it need this long to finish its creation? (13.7 billion years and counting)
I think, therefore I am -- Descartes used to say. I say -- I think, therefore I exist. I agree with Carl Jung's materialistic interpretation: the collective unconscious as a morphic field where fields are considered to be a form of matter. Teilhard de Chardin was on the right track.
Just as all objects, the Earth has its own superwave function, which includes each species' particular pilot wave. And, just as self-reflection is a built-in feature, gathering and preserving information are also built-in features in matter. That is what all these species have been doing since the beginning of life. We, just as all matter does, also want to acquire and preserve information as we process it (or as we think). As far as we know, we are the repository and gate keepers of all the acquired understanding in this part of the universe.
"An act is a temporal process, and self-inclusion is a spatial relation. The act of self-inclusion is thus "where time becomes space"; for the set of all sets, there can be no more fundamental process...
Every object in spacetime includes the entirety of spacetime as a state-transition syntax according to which its next state is created. This guarantees the mutual consistency of states and the overall unity of the dynamic entity the real universe...
...thus, we can speak of time and space as equivalent to cognition and information with respect to the invariant semantic relation processes, as in "time processes space" and "cognition processes information"...
It follows that the universe freely determines its own constraints, the establishment of nomology and the creation of its physical (observable) content being effectively simultaneous and recursive. The incoversive distribution of this relationship is the basis of free will, by virtue of which the universe is freely created by sentient agents existing within it." --- Christopher Michael Langan (www.ctmu.org)
Ponderable matter has its own refresh rate, like a TV screen, just that it happens at a much faster rate, and in 3D. As described by contemporary Quantum Mechanics, each object is accompanied by a continuously collapsing spherical wave, each full collapsation representing a moment in time. This is where motion comes from. This is what makes evolution possible, or how else could state be preserved if or when information were not? It is a learning mechanism. Objects, including the universe as a whole, go from state to state, as each new state supersedes the previous one. All this information replication and preservation being caused by this continuous succession of states. Matter goes from state to state in a direction determined by how balanced, or coherent, the now state is... or feels. Is this where emotions come from? Is this qualia?
Meaning is intrinsic to sentience. As cybernetic systems go from state to state, these will keep or reject data depending on its usefulness. In other words, depending on its meaning or significance. Meaning being discerned through a mechanism of wave superposition, or parallel information processing, which acts from top to bottom and bottom to top, all at once. Self-replication, learning, memory, self-organization, etc., all depend on process, and for these mechanisms to work, these systems must be able to go from one state to the next. As the wave function collapses, each collapse, each wave-front, representing a new state, each new state representing actuality, or the now moment. The particle being in a rock-like state only during this moment, however brief that moment may be. Each moment the particle having its own wavelength, wave-phase, frequency (or energy), etc.
Because of the gravitational properties of the empty space in which these little quanta oscillated, they grew into ever more complex wave structures, eventually forming three dimensional structures, in spacetime. So, what we now have are these tiny little particles following information that exists embedded on their own particular matter waves. But these particles kept growing in complexity, eventually becoming human beings. Remember, information begets information, it is its nature. In my view, our consciousness is represented by this pilot wave, which is still present, and of the utmost importance, in the development of each one of us.
Sentience, in this view, is analogous to active information. Just as cell automata can produce infinite complexity from only a few laws, active information follows Nature's fundamental forces, which are directed at the aether level, constantly recreating itself according to information already contained within each particular system's pilot wave and the environment in which it evolves. Sentience, the way I see it, comes from an inherent self-reference mechanism in active information.
Sentience is probably a set of built-in algorithms... archetypes... memes... like beautiful passages in a musical composition integrated into biological matter's morphic waves, whose functions are to make information grow, self-organize, replicate, and preserve itself, all at the same time. It is active information. Do these algorithms come from Natural selection? I see this information gathering function in self-animated matter as a representation of a process ruled by a syntropic principle. The Mandelbrot set comes to mind.
One could see Nature, in this sense, driven by a hunger, an urge to continue to exist until it satisfies a need to balance and harmonize. To order reality; to gather and preserve the information that guarantees its long term survival. It is what makes us continue, it is what makes all matter continue. Could this be the reason why this process, which is reality, seems to be following a preferred time line?
As long as the basic laws remain the same, the universe will always anthropomorphize itself in the sense that, whatever comes out as a top product will likely have many of the qualities characteristic to human beings. We were not created in God's image, the universe created itself in Man's image. After dinosaurs disappeared, humanoids were the most likely outcome on this planet. Make any changes to any of the fundamental forces, and we may not even get a universe. But as long as the laws remain the same, we will probably end up with something similar to what we now have. It could happen anywhere in the universe, but sooner or later, as long as there is matter, it will happen. It is the way of Nature.
We are just biological units active which information employs to see the world, to exist. Look at birds, all they want in life is to get somewhere where they can mate, have offsprings, provide for them, and then die. Same with salmon; in their world, getting to the top of that mountain is all that counts. To them, that is what life is all about, that is the information world they live in. A pigeon's life story may be a beautiful thing, but that is not enough, not enough information compared to what we humans can gather. As far as we know, we get God (the universe) the best possible input. Because of the way we see the world, and our ability to process the information we gather through our senses, we are God's most efficient source of usable, valuable, and especially meaningful information in this neighborhood. In this sense, we truly are God's servants.
Spirit is one. You may say, but how am I connected to God? How can God be every man, or every man be God? Well, that is why I am obsessed with the concept of an aether, or empty space, if you prefer to call it that. Remember, thanks to wholeness, state, not knowledge, instantaneously spreads throughout the whole universe. Empty space is all pervading, it is the space between the points. And the points, the particles, are just clusters, nodes of information floating in that empty space, as a hologram, ruled by the laws of Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Relativity. Because this empty space permeates everything, it is omnipresent. So, it does not matter where you are, you could be a man in Buenos Aires, Montreal, or Tokyo... you would still be connected to God through the empty space in which the universe sits. Empty space is not what separates us, it is what unites us!
We are basically a group of cells, an organism, moving around in 3D space. That is why we need eyes. When you need something, you locate it using your eyes, then you lift an arm and reach for it. When you walk, you first look for a safe path, then start walking through it. But, who's the one looking? What is the Self? When you introspect, who's the one doing the introspection? When we say I, who do we really mean? We know we are the ones thinking, Descartes got that right. And we also know that we are a bunch of cells floating in an empty space that permeates everything.
There is a universal being that we are connected to, then, there is our soul, to which we are also connected, and which serves as our own particular filter. The soul is a compilation of all of the experiences we have had as we interacted with the world. It is the lens through which we as individuals see the world. In my view, it is a field, or what some call, a unified consciousness field. In this view, fields are material, but the universal being we are connected to, is not. The collective unconscious, as Jung used to call it, is also a material field and a compilation of all the experiences our species has had, each species having its own field. Teilhard de Chardin called it the Noosphere, and it is supposed to surround planet Earth.
Meaning and Purpose
We cannot use subjectivity to understand or explain objective reality. Love, purpose... these things have meaning to us, but neither Science nor the universe cares about what they mean. To understand and explain reality, we must look at it in an objective way, and the facts say that the aether... God... Mind... Consciousness... the Self... or whatever, is just a thing with no purpose. It can neither see, nor think... until process turns it into brains with eyes. We see and think for it, and we like it and want to continue, that is where purpose comes from. We have purpose, the aether does not. In other words, the quantum state of the universe is barely affected by the quantum state of Humanity, or planet Earth. Its state depends on many other factors. Also, as far as we know, many other civilizations may be also contributing to the universe's overall state.
Material systems will use only that information which contains meaning to them, or meaningful information. Whatever happens here on Earth has meaning only to us humans, and we, as Nature's top product, are accountable for it. Scientific research is our duty. By the same token, whatever advances in science extraterrestrial beings may be responsible for, would never be transferred to us... unless we went to one of their schools.
In this part of the universe, humans, after 14 billion years of evolution, are state of the art. Our brain, Nature's jewel in the crown, will be doing what it created itself to do: which is to gather the best available information in order to better understand and enjoy existence. Always thriving to maintain a state of well being, stability, and tranquility.
In his book, Answer to Job, Carl Jung wrote:
"The importance of consciousness is so great that one cannot help suspecting the element of meaning to be concealed somewhere within all the monstrous, apparently senseless biological turmoil, and that the road to its manifestation was ultimately found on the level of warm-blooded vertebrates possessed of a differentiated brain - found as if by chance, unintended and unforeseen, and yet somehow sensed, felt and groped for out of some dark urge."
Why does matter try to better itself, where does this syntropy come from? Is the best possible choice always selected? I tend to think it is a phenomenon ruled by the laws of Thermodynamics, the path of less resistance, or the most energy efficient, meaningful, and useful process. But at the same time, I think that aether is Spirit, and that this is where energy and Will come from. Will that manifests itself as an urge to fight entropy, a need to order, balance, stabilize, and preserve information, e.g., atoms and DNA. Maybe, this is where Humanity's hunger for knowledge comes from.
When your thoughts wander away, what brings them back, what makes you pay attention? Will does, that is where intention comes from, but this thing can neither think nor see by itself, it needs our brains. There is Will, energy, and matter, then come human consciousness, and purpose.
As I said before, all you need to be physical is to be able to act. To will is to act. There is matter because there is Will. This is where active information, or quanta, come from. Quanta is defined as a quantum of action, in other words, an amount of energy, a quantized amount of fluctuating spacetime.
Will is intrinsic to matter because matter sits on the aether. Energy, or Will without purpose, is but does not exist... until it turns into spacetime; purpose comes afterward.
Aether/God/Spirit -> Energy/Will -> Matter/Information/Purpose
If we are to understand what some philosophers call the hard problem, or to answer -- What is that which is? -- we need the notion of an aether. After all, what is real, this ever changing material reality, or the eternal? What was five seconds ago, is no longer.
The aether is that which is. It is immutable, it is now what it always was, and simply because matter is in constant change, there is nothing in this universe you can say that about.
That which is needs to be something eternal, immutable, and absolute, with no beginning and no ending. For that to be possible there needs to be no motion, therefore, no time. Matter is then ruled out. Matter is what it is only at present time, neither the past, nor the future exist as matter. Whether you call it God or not, would depend on what you think God is. To me, God is a thing, an entity incapable of thinking until matter and brains come to existence. Many call it Cosmic Consciousness, others call it Mind, or the Self, but they are all referring to same thing: a universal being. The aether, like God, is omnipresent and eternal, with no beginning and no ending. The aether is the seat to all fields, and without fields there can be no universe, therefore, it is the source of everything there is.
God (aether) is Spirit, Will without purpose... pure energy, which is neither hot, nor bright. Aithor means I burn, maybe that is why the meaning of the word aether is maker, or burner, as in the fire that builds? [Thousands of years ago, Aether and Thor were also known, respectively, as the gods of light and thunder.]
Thanks to the aether, state, not information, instantaneously spreads throughout the universe. God feels what biological matter feels, and the day it feels at peace and fulfilled, or the day there is no more uncertainty, will be the day the universe freezes and goes back to being just flat, empty space, but in a different state of being.
Aether is the physicalists' God.