I recently used some “mind-altering” substances. Going into it my plan was simply to watch some videos on YouTube and relax. Instead, however, I decided that while I was “under the influence” that I would try to put some of my thoughts into words because at the time the thoughts I was having seemed “profound”. For posterity, I decided that I’d paraphrase my observations here and try to parse and describe what each of them meant.
Observation Set #1 – Visual Pattern Prediction
My first observation (or set of observations) was fairly straightforward. I noticed that when I would watch a video with patterns present in it, that the patterns would also appear beyond the edges of the monitor upon which I was viewing the video. In short, my mind was seeing the patterns in the video and extrapolating to the point that I could visually see the pattern “projected” beyond the edge of the monitor by a significant amount. The pattern was “projected” all the way into my peripheral vision.
As a follow-on to this observation I made a note that questioned whether or not this sort of visual pattern extrapolation occurs when I’m not in an “altered” state of mind. My general assumption is that it does. Additionally, it seems clear to me that if that visual extrapolation does occur, that your memories of events could be much more vivid than they actually were in “reality”. For example, lets say you were watching a video where you appeared to be riding a roller coaster. In reality, you are just looking at a computer screen and visually beyond the computer screen your legs can be seen, as you’re just sitting on the couch relaxing. If you become immersed in the video, however, your memory of the video may include the pattern extrapolation to the extent that your memory does not include the visual of your legs kicked out at a computer watching a video – it would just include the fully immersed visual of you riding a roller coaster, including portions that your mind had created (extrapolated) on its own based on the contents and patterns it recognized in the video. I hope that makes some sense.
As a secondary follow-on to this observation I noted that this sort of visual extrapolation could be both very good and bad. It can be good for the reasons I noted above – that it can make one’s memories more vivid. On the other hand this same principle could be bad in other cases. Say you’re watching an extremely biased news source and getting fully immersed into some of the news stories you’re watching. Now instead of just having a visual memory stored of “me sitting on the couch watching the biased news” you have a visual memory of “me directly observing this biased news story” with the portions of you sitting on the couch being left out due to the pattern extrapolation and immersion. My conclusion based on this is a little vague and hard for me to put into words – but it more or less comes down to this: When your mind visually extrapolates in the context of something like watching a video, you’re (in essence) “allowing” the creator of the video to have increased control over your memories and as a result, your thoughts.
Observation Set #2 – Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness?
This second set of observations is more difficult for me to explain in words, as the “notes” that I took get very confusing at this point (and they only gets worse as the notes progress…).
To start off, I noted that a human’s ability to receive visual input (i.e.: photons) is inherently finite, restricted by the number of visual receptors that they have in their eyes. I also noted that photons themselves are one of those weird quantum particles that are (in theory) in some sort of probabilistic “superposition” of all possible states prior to being observed or measured. My observation or theory that stemmed from these notes was that humans are subjected to more visual inputs than they can handle and that due to the limitations discussed that they’re only able to process a subset of what’s being received. Additionally, due to the fact that the photons that are viewed by a human eye are absorbed and destroyed, that the visual input received by a single person is uniquely observed and processed by them and them only. No one else could observe the same set of photons as they are destroyed in the process.
I kept emphasizing throughout my notes in this section that I believed that, regarding visual memories, that while quantum particles like photons are theorized to behave in a random and probabilistic fashion – that I did not believe it. I believed that the process I described above was deterministic. It was my theory that your eyes and mind received only the inputs that they could handle, and that the determination of which inputs would be received was a deterministic process. It was also my theory that the deterministic process that determined what inputs would be received was governed by some vague concept of “consistency”. “Consistency” was (I think) my way of trying to express that a human brain can detect patterns in the inputs that have already been processed by it. My theory was that the subsequent inputs that are processed by the brain are “chosen” deterministically based on the patterns that the mind had already observed – in effect, the subsequent inputs “chosen” were the ones that were most consistent with the current “pattern” that the mind is expecting or predicting.
I theorized that a conscious entity could (in effect) alter reality based on what it thought was consistent, and that there is no inherent randomness in the universe. I theorized that the “randomness” in quantum mechanics arises due to our lack of understanding of how the deterministic process I (vaguely) described above works.
This provides a good transition into my third (and last) set of observations…
Observation Set #3 – Objective Reality??
This last set of observations is going to be even more vague than the last two – this was when I was experiencing the most effects from the mind-altering substances and was feeling “one with the universe”.
In the section above I theorized that a conscious entity could alter reality based on what it thought was consistent. At this point, I took the theory further to state that a conscious entity creates objective reality – if a conscious entity is the only one to observe (and alter based on their expectations) a particular set of events as they occur, then that version of reality IS the objective reality. Furthermore, if multiple conscious entities observe (and alter based on their individual expectations) a particular set of events as they occur, then the reality that is mutually agreed upon is what “becomes” objective reality. I theorized that the process of mutually agreeing upon (or creating) an objective reality between conscious entities was not in itself a conscious process that the entities were aware of, and that it was also responsible for what we perceived as “randomness” in quantum mechanics. I theorized that the reason we observed it as randomness was largely because we don’t understand the deterministic process by which a single conscious entity (or multiple conscious entities) come to a consensus on what objective reality is.
I also have notes in this section regarding what I described as the “stream of reality”. I think the clearest way I could describe this would be in terms of quantum particles. Imagine that you can somehow gather the set of all quantum particles at a particular instant and that within this set of quantum particles that all of them are in a state of superposition – they haven’t been observed or measured yet. I think that the set I’m describing in itself was (vaguely) what I was describing when I would refer to the “stream of reality” in my notes. I basically described that this stream of reality exists but that without any conscious entities present that there is no such thing as an objective reality. Once you add the first conscious entity to the stream of reality, then that conscious entity starts making measurements and observations on a subdivision of the stream. That conscious entity has now created an “objective reality”. As you add more conscious entities to the stream of reality then all of the conscious entities combined create “objective reality” based on the deterministic consensus process I theorized previously. I noted once again that the stream of reality is divided amongst the conscious entities on a deterministic basis, and that the determinism is governed by what each conscious entity expects or views as “consistent”.
At this point I had notes indicating that I was experiencing a great amount of fear around this idea of a theorized deterministic “consensus process” that occurs between conscious entities. In particular I had a lot of fear stemming from a connection back to my ideas above regarding the immersion that can occur when watching a video. My fear was that such immersion was (in effect) a methodology by which one conscious entity could exploit the consensus process. If one conscious entity could subject many conscious entities to their expectations of reality (say, by broadcasting an “immersive” video to the masses), then that conscious entity can have an unequal influence on the “objective reality” I discussed above. My fear was that a “bad” conscious entity could alter reality to match their own expectations using this exploit and that in a worst-case scenario that you could have a single conscious entity in control of all of “objective reality”. Hopefully that isn’t as incoherent as it seems to me as I’m writing this…
Towards the end of my notes, I express the notion that true “objective reality” is the result of the expectations or consensus of all conscious entities. At this point in my notes, however, it gets very confusing as I start referring to myself as if I am the combination of all conscious entities – I think I “felt” connected with all other conscious entities to the extent that I couldn’t differentiate myself from the whole anymore…