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Conscious Agents and Decentralizing Spirituality

How Conscious Agent Theory supports Spiritual Renaissance

This weeks contributors: Ron Rivers

In May 2023, Donald Hoffman, Chetan Prakash, and Swapan Chattopadhyay put forth a paper titled "Conscious Agents and the Subatomic World," presenting a theory where "conscious agents" (units of consciousness without size or spatial limitations) are the foundational entities of reality—suggesting that our interactions within a network create spacetime as a means of interfacing with each other. It presents a framework of the world where consciousness is fundamental, and spacetime and matter emerge from it. Here we'll explore how such an experiment might further the proliferation of a nature-rooted non-religion religion to overcome the past's influence on the present.

Hoffman is outspoken about how present theoretical investigations of elementary particles point to the existence of structures beyond spacetime and quantum theory. Specifically, amplituhedron and decorated permutations. Their existence beyond the material constructs of this universe further advances the idea of our inhabiting infinite, sequential universes of observing experience. Of equal importance is that they support Markovian dynamics, which refers to systems where the future state depends only on the current state and not on the sequence of states that preceded it. 

Markovian dynamics as a defining system of reality tell us that as conscious agents, the most essential skill we can master is bringing our awareness to the immediate present. From here, we define past and future, both existing independently from the past event chains we inherit within the moment. Despite what our circumstances encourage us to believe, the nature of being is, in fact, "memoryless" — only ever predictable based on the present. This state of nature described in Self-Actualization in the Age of Crisis helps reinforce the need to reorient meaning and value frameworks to better align ourselves around what is.

Informal picture of a CA, which acts on a network of other CAs based on its experiences.

Conscious agents (CA) represent our inhabiting a relational universe, and the constructs defining our interactions only ever arise from our interactions with the other. One interesting note the paper suggests is that while CA is a unit of consciousness, it is not a self. Conscious agents have no size, as size is a feature of spacetime. CAs exist before spacetime, generating spacetime via projection and orienting themselves around an arrow of time. These projections only ever develop within an immediate present, binding CAs to the single truth of change within an ever-expanding universe. 

Through the proposed experiments, the authors attempt to demonstrate mathematically that consciousness is the core element of the universe that gives rise to all else. This theory suggests that when a "smaller" consciousness observes a "larger" one, it sees only a subset of the larger consciousness's experiences. This means the smaller consciousness might perceive things differently from the larger one. We might imagine a fly looking up at us, understanding full well that being a fly leverages entirely different sets of information inputs than humans—no less accurate or valid, yet utterly foreign to our lived experience. 

The Higgs Boson of the Standard Model of particle physics sits at the
top of the local meta-stable energy-intensive point of the “Mexican-hat” potential of the Higgs
scalar field. In other words - the ball represents the observer immediate present and the direction of your focus and energy the direction towards will the ball will roll.

Through the context of spirituality, conscious agents as the grounding would further ground a nature-rooted non-religion religion as the ideal framework for overcoming the world. If conscious agents are the root element of the universe, then the meaning and value frameworks we embody have a verifiably outsized influence on the time experiences we inhabit. It would recognize the inseparability of experience from our circumstances and therefore provide further grounding for the binding of system and spirit to enhance our collective capacity to express divinity in the moment. The question then turns to an ideal. How might we organize ourselves in such a way as to convey this phenomenon to the masses so that it is both understandable and applicable?

In Self-Actualization in the Age of Crisis, I've explored this topic in-depth, developing new core values and systemic rights to free the latent imagination trapped in the world. However, I want to focus on the necessity of framing these philosophies and practices within a decentralized communal structure for maximum effectiveness and virality of adoption. Today hierarchical frameworks of meaning and value drawing from the salvation narratives—spiritual technologies proposing hierarchical notions of divinity through the idea of heaven—have an outsized systemic influence. There is a clearly defined pathway of what is expected and layer upon layer of hypocrisy to explain it away when leaders break these values. Spirituality suffers from many of the same incompatibility problems as modern economics, politics, and law, and the development of static philosophies to govern an ever-changing world. They are not enough to meet the needs of the moment.

SpiritDAO is one such vehicle serving this purpose. Decentralization matters because aligning ourselves with the single truth and relational universe is a practice without worship or obedience to a higher power. It recognizes the embodied infinity within us, our experience of being momentary totality. Decentralizing spiritual community empowers stakeholder-governed central structures like a formal 501c3 nonprofit and decentralized local communities. At the same time, this model provides pathways for scalable capital accumulation and investment in alignment with our core purposes. It's a significant departure from the dominion religions that presently dictate spiritual narratives, where a select group of insiders serves to sow further divisions between their community and "the others." It allows spirituality to evolve alongside its practitioners instead of confining them to a past they had no say in choosing. 

Through the lens of conscious agents, decentralizing spiritual community puts the individual at the center of the philosophies and practice—much like our present theories of physics put humanity at the center. It provides us a context for shared bigness that aligns with the nature of the universe as we continuously observe and recognize it to be. To that end, the spread of this message must meet those who need it most, our youth, where they are. Decentralizing the community empowers various generations to connect with their circles using resonating language and memes. The message transforms from a one-size-fits-all dogma to a flexible approach to support embrace and application to the individual’s life. In doing so we orient ourselves in alignment with nature so as to most fully realize our personal and shared powers.

By postulating that consciousness is the primary fabric of the universe, we pave the way for a holistic understanding of existence, one where the lines between the spiritual and the scientific blur and perhaps even disappear. This emerging paradigm suggests not just a shift in our scientific models but a transformative opportunity for how we perceive spirituality. The challenge now, as presented in models like SpiritDAO, is to align our communities and systems with this perspective. As we stand on the precipice of a new era of understanding, the blend of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science offers us a promising path forward. It's an invitation to transcend past limitations, reconceptualize our place in the cosmos, and embrace a future rooted in the intricate dance of consciousness, spacetime, and matter.

All images and references from: Hoffman, Donald, Chetan Prakash, and Swapan Chattopadhyay. "Conscious Agents and the Subatomic World." IONS, 1 May 2023.


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