06 Mar The entire Universe is inside your body
Do you remember the first Matrix movie? When Morpheus asks Neo how he can know what is real. Morpheus points out that what we can see, hear, feel and smell are just electrical signals interpreted by our brain. That is how science looks at what we call reality. This is a fascinating statement that I repeatedly see new aspects of. I’ll try to describe what I saw last night. (Yes I lie and think about this stuff at night, I am a nerd). 😉 I am of course not the first to think of this, but I want to use my own words to describe it. Let’s go fuzzy.
If you for example look at a couch, what happens is that electromagnetic radiation, in this case the visible light impulses reflected from the couch, radiates through your eyes. The retina of the eye registers the light signals and converts them into electrical nerve impulses, which through the optic nerve reaches the visual cortex in the rear brain where the signals are interpreted into a visual image. (My God I sound knowledgeable, Google is good…) This means that you do not really see the couch but a recognized image of the couch, a simulation of it. The same applies to other senses. The music you hear is not the actual sounds. It is our brain’s interpretation of the nerve impulses coming from the ears that we experience in our consciousness.
This you may have read about in school, but perhaps you did not give it more attention than the knowledge that Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain. But if we dig a little deeper in this simulation-thing it becomes all the more exciting. This also means it is not my own hands I see fingering on the cell phone, it is a simulation of the hands. So I have never seen my own body, but merely a projection of it. Who am I in all this?
Most of us have some kind of idea of who “I” am. It is usually a matter of a personal history in combination with behavioral habits, values and opinions. The Swedish philosopher Alexander Bard once told me that I can write down a lot of statements about myself, but when I have 52 statements, there is always the opportunity to write down a 53rd. Where is this “I” among these statements? They also exchange over time. There are meditations where you repeatedly ask yourself for instance “who am I” or “who cares” and then sit in silence and wait for the answer… But there is no answer, it is quiet. Given that you do not begin to think about your personal history again, which is just a collection of thoughts, a collection of objects.
We experience a lot of things happening, but there seems to be no person there, although we constantly assume that we are “someone”. This psychological someone is not possible so see directly, we have never seen him/her. It is a false assumption, a false self that all our problems and hopes circulate around as my mentor uses to say. They circulate around an empty hole. This is also confirmed by neuroscientists. Maybe this is why there is always a new problem coming up for us, the assumed self can only exist if there is an assumed problem. Otherwise it is empty and then only the wonderful experience of being alive remains.
The image of the couch and of your hands, just like the sound of music arises as simulations of reality in your consciousness. What consciousness is and how it comes to existence no one has yet been able to prove, science and religion have traditionally stood on either side of this debate. Here I will try to show that even without involving God, our reasoning becomes breathtaking.
Everything you see and hear is the thus inside your consciousness, inside your brain, inside your head. You see a body underneath which you call yours, but actually the body is just a simulation inside your brain just like your partner’s body. This may be difficult to take in, that exactly everything you will ever experience in your life is all part of one and the same simulation. “You” are everywhere. Wherever you turn, you will only see what your consciousness plays up for you. It’s like a movie or a dream.
It gets even more extreme when we include the sense of sensation. All we can feel and sense, all over the body and also inside the body, is also part of the same simulation of consciousness. It means that the whole body’s nervous system is involved in the simulation of reality, from head to toe. Not only the brain. Your body including the brain then creates this three-dimensional film that unlike a traditional movie with light and sound also include smell, taste and touch. Everything happens inside your body. Because it is a matter of One continuous film in your consciousness, it should mean that you also can feel everything you can see. This since everything you experience is really going on inside your body and you have sensation throughout the body – there is a communication between all cells in the body. You can feel other people around you in your own body. I have teachers who have guided me to experience this, so it’s not just theory.
I am aware that this is not the experience for us normally, but it does not mean it is not true. Everyone used to believe the earth was flat, for that was how it seemed. Progress gives new perspectives. Perhaps there is a reason that the Buddha and others until this day claim that all you see, the whole experience is “you”. You always meet yourself, as Eckhart Tolle has said. You are not a person, but in a way you are the entire universe of your experience. It is a logical necessity of the above reasoning, as I see it. And it is possible to experience, if we can just get out of the limiting intellectual self-absorption.
It’s amazing really. When I look at the sky I see a simulation that my body has created. I can feel the whole universe in my own body, because the universe I see is within my body. My dad uses to say that he has a feeling that everything we see is only a part of something much bigger. I think so too. If what we see and know only is the inside of our brain and body, then what is outside the body? Something much bigger I guess. You can go the other way too. The body that I see below me is just a tiny part of the whole simulation. But there are cells, atoms and even smaller particles. There seems to be something similar to the universe even in the small scale. Simulations within simulations, perhaps without end, both upwards and downwards.
Here the intellect tend to loose it, it sure is breathtaking. We can not grasp or understand the incredible greatness, even if we can reason logically about it. But it can be experienced in meditation. Spiritual masters have said for millenia that we can experience ourselves as the entire universe, including feeling all as our own body. Then, they say, there is not the same need for the intellect because we are at home – at the realization of who we are. Consciousness experiencing itself as the whole, in line with nature.
So, what is the point of thinking like this one might wonder? As I see it this perspective is more in line with the uncensured experience to be alive, instead of confining ourselves as the sum of thoughts and words. For me this perspective also gives a clearer sense of being at home, a stronger contact with the world instead of feeling separated from it and I get a joyous amazement of reality. When the false self disappears, so does all the self-made psychological problems.
Movie tips on the subject:
The 13th Foor
“Waking Up” by Sam Harris
“The net of Indra” by Sante Poromaa