Part III of the book “The Psychocentric Revelation” was not revised for publication in the Esoteric Quarterly because the Journal was discontinued. Therefore, summaries of the remaining chapters, and the Epilogue, are presented here drawn from the original book.
System theory posits that reality is composed of systems nested within each other, each with its own properties and behaviors. From atomic particles to human societies, from microcosms to macrocosms, everything can be seen as a system interacting with other systems in a complex web of relationships.
Through this lens, we can perceive the universe not just as a collection of isolated entities, but as an integrated whole where every part contributes to the overall harmony. This holistic view allows us to appreciate the profound interdependencies that underpin the fabric of existence, reminding us of our interconnectedness with all forms of life.
The Encyclopedia Britannica’s definition of hylozoism, a philosophy that views all matter as alive, aligns with the concept of “Space as an Entity”. The text explores the notion of space filled with etheric substance, symbolizing unity, synthesis, and brotherhood. This etheric substance acts as lifeblood, nourishing different parts of the same organism.
The General System Theory from theoretical biology predicts that systems are not simply additive, but have a hierarchical organization with informational “blueprints” of higher order or dimension.
The author raises the question of consciousness at different levels of organization. It suggests that if information changes at each level, why should consciousness not change too? The author proposes that super-conscious states may exist, supported by quantum mechanics’ experimental findings.
The conscious nature of our planetary life is put forward as a potential experiment for scientists. Humanity, the text suggests, might be a conscious organism within larger organisms like the planet, solar system, and cosmos. Evolution, viewed as a mix of slow progress and sudden changes, creates a chain linking smaller entities to larger ones in a “brotherly communion” - the Hierarchy of Life.
The author warns against trying to describe these complex concepts using our ordinary three-dimensional understanding, which would violate the General System Theory’s postulate about irreducibility. Instead, he suggests that more inclusive levels are informed by higher levels of understanding.
The text concludes by arguing that knowledge cannot exist without consciousness. It likens this to thinking about waves without a medium, a concept modern science accepts when postulating about void space. The author asserts that every wave of energy has a coherent impulse, or Purpose. The revelation of a higher Purpose from a larger organism that includes ours could represent a transcendent realization of God.
The chapter ends stating:
“There is a coherent impulse behind any wave of energy. Impulse and medium are as distinct as day and night, and yet, they represent two sides of the same reality. To this coherent impulse underlying all informational systems we call Purpose.
“When such a higher Purpose is revealed from the higher organism that includes ours, making our apparently separate wills an integrated whole, this revelation may be called a transcendent realisation of God by its own immanent Presence within each human being.
“What stands revealed is nothing less than the Plan: the information system within the Mind of God, as it unfolds within the hylozoistic Hierarchy of Life.”
Having established our systemic perspective, we turn our attention to the evolution of consciousness, a fundamental aspect of the psychocentric worldview.
The evolution of consciousness is not a linear process, but a spiraling journey towards greater awareness and understanding. It begins at the most basic level of sentient existence, gradually expanding in complexity and sophistication as life forms evolve.
Consciousness, in this context, is not exclusive to humans or higher animals. Rather, it permeates all layers of existence, from the simplest organisms to the most complex societies. Each stage of evolution represents a different level of consciousness, reflecting the unfolding of life’s potential in myriad ways.
This perspective challenges us to rethink our place in the universe, encouraging us to see ourselves not as the pinnacle of evolution, but as part of a grand cosmic journey towards greater wisdom and self-awareness.
The text explores the relationship between humanity and nature, asserting that we are integral parts of the planetary life that informs it and are subject to its laws. The author suggests reincarnation as a mechanism to explain gradual expansions of consciousness corresponding to different levels of organization.
The author dismisses the notion of ultimate death, arguing that while death may seem like an ending from an individual perspective, from a higher viewpoint, the cycle of life continues. This aligns with the cyclic law of seasonality in nature: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The author challenges the idea of finality, citing the existence of geniuses as evidence of evolutionary processes rather than sheer chance.
The text suggests that evolution is not limited to the physical world but extends to subjective realms, proposing an evolution of consciousness into increasingly inclusive states of being. This process of becoming conscious of our little self, our family, our group, Humanity, the planetary life, the solar system, and the cosmos is complex and unlikely to occur within a single lifespan. According to the General System Theory, a lower level of organization cannot fully explain a higher one. Therefore, the evolution of consciousness appears to be a logical alternative to truly ascend the vertical dimension of Reality.
The author presents the Soul as a reservoir for accumulated experience, necessary for the evolution of consciousness. Evidence supporting this concept includes Jungian psychology’s acknowledgment of an inner, higher self and findings from psycho-neuro-immunology. The text concludes by advocating for simplicity in our approach to reality, echoing Christ’s injunction to become as little children to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Our Elder Brothers: the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion
In the final section, we delve into the concept of our Elder Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion. These enlightened beings represent the highest attainable level of consciousness, embodying the pinnacle of spiritual evolution.
They serve as guides and mentors for humanity, illuminating the path towards enlightenment with their wisdom and compassion. Their existence is a testament to the potential that lies within each of us, a potential that can be realized through diligent pursuit of truth and self-knowledge.
Yet, the Masters are not distant or aloof. They are intimately connected with all forms of life, embodying the principle of interconnectedness that lies at the heart of the psychocentric worldview. Their wisdom and compassion flow from their profound understanding of this interconnectedness, reminding us that our well-being is inextricably linked with the well-being of all life forms.
The text explores the inherent, instinctual aspiration within all humans to reach for something greater than themselves, likened to the heliotropism found in plants. However, this greatness isn’t tied to material proportions, but to an instinctual recognition of shared life at varying levels of containment.
The author addresses potential criticisms that could dismiss these spiritual instincts as primitive needs, prompting humans to create imaginary beings or concepts to satisfy them. The author counters this by arguing that a need does not negate the existence of what satisfies it. For instance, our need for sunlight doesn’t disprove the sun’s existence.
Further, the author distinguishes between natural, instinctual needs and artificially created ones. The former, unlike the latter, pre-suppose the existence of what is needed. The author points to various natural human needs as evidence of this, such as hunger proving the existence of food, and self-preservation proving the existence of life.
The text also highlights humanity’s historical need for hierarchical structures, seen in ancient cultures and even modern democracies. This need suggests the existence of evolved beings who serve as our guides and counselors. The author argues that this concept is not about superiority, but about growth in experience and wisdom across many lives.
The author then emphasizes the importance of spiritual aspiration and striving, suggesting that these efforts lead to higher states of consciousness. The existence of a spiritual hierarchy on Earth serves as concrete evidence of these multidimensional states of consciousness.
The text concludes by acknowledging the presence of a front-line group of progressive thinkers across various fields, attuned to the vibrations of their souls. These individuals, who work towards unity, brotherhood, and interdependence, are considered part of the New Group of World Servers, representing humanity’s collective aspiration towards higher consciousness.
The striving flame of aspiration –aspiration in the service of Humanity– is very much alive and vibrantly present in this pioneering group. They are, in fact, the vanguard of the Group Avatar that will establish the awaited Kingdom of Souls on Earth. And their motto cannot be more universal: THE GLORY OF THE ONE!
In conclusion, “The Psychocentric Revelation, Part III: A Hierarchy of Life” invites us to expand our horizons and deepen our understanding of life and consciousness. Through the lens of the general systems approach, the evolution of consciousness, and the guidance of our Elder Brothers, we embark on a journey towards a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of reality.
Humanity is not following a haphazard or uncharted course. There is a Plan. Foremost within this Plan is the growth of the group idea with a consequent general emphasis upon group good, group understanding, group interrelation and group goodwill.
We have attempted to demonstrate the living reality of this vision –a Plan– as it precipitates in the collective mind of Humanity, and in the scientific community in particular. We have also tried to provide a wide significance to the word “spiritual” as synthesis, inclusiveness and brotherly communion.
Two main ideas are developed in this monograph: Brotherhood, and Soul-consciousness. They represent the horizontal and vertical components of a life of service. And we have seen how the very fabric of the scientific endeavor is intimately interwoven by these concepts. Furthermore, the subjective revelation of the Soul was related to two imminent objective realisations: the factual recognition of the etheric plane, and the presence of the spiritual Hierarchy of the planet.
Finally, a dated prophecy has been selected as to an imminent discovery in the field of science, the significance of which is left to the passage of time to truly assess.
“… a certain scientific discovery…of such moment (will be made) that our present scientific inhibition in recognising the fact of the soul as a creative factor will disappear. This discovery will be part of the acknowledged facts of science by the year 1975.” -The Externalisation of the Hierarchy by D.K. (January, 1938)
The 2014 paper titled “The Interface Theory of Perception” by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh, and Chetan Prakash from the University of California, Irvine, presents a fascinating perspective on our perception of reality.
The authors argue that perceptions are not veridical – they do not necessarily reflect the true nature of reality. Instead, they propose an ‘interface theory’, suggesting that what we perceive is more like a user-friendly interface, simplifying complex aspects of the world, much like how an icon on a computer desktop provides a simplified interaction with the underlying computational machinery of the computer.
They draw parallels between this interface theory and evolutionary game theory, suggesting that organisms that see reality as it is would be outcompeted by those tuned to see only what they need to survive.
In the context of time perception, the authors suggest that our perception of time is not necessarily a reflection of any objective reality, but rather a useful tool shaped by evolutionary pressures. They argue that the concept of ‘now’ is a part of our perceptual interface, a dividing line between past and future, but does not correspond to any physical division in objective reality.
This paper offers a radical way to think about perception, suggesting that our senses provide us with a simplified interface to interact with the world, rather than an accurate depiction of reality itself.
The authors propose that consciousness, not space and time, is the fundamental basis of everything. Furthermore, consciousness can be mathematically modeled using systems of conscious beings. Each conscious being experiences a sequence of events, similar to the concept of “subjective time”. Each person’s subjective time may not align with others, but we can connect them by looking at cause-and-effect relationships.
By associating certain mathematical algebras with these connections, we might be able to construct a patchwork of discrete space-time units that, when smoothed out, resembles the curving space-time we know from general relativity (Einstein’s theory of gravity).
In this view, space-time is something we observers construct, rather than an inherent reality. Perhaps the measurement of space-time is created to represent our potential knowledge or lack thereof. If so, the second law of thermodynamics (which states that disorder in an isolated system cannot decrease) might simply be a consequence of how we construct space-time. Larger volumes represent greater ignorance, and smaller volumes represent greater knowledge.
For example, consider a box with a partition dividing it in half, with gas confined to one half. If we quickly remove the partition, the gas expands to fill the entire volume without changing temperature, and its entropy (a measure of disorder) increases. Our ignorance grows with the volume of space.
This idea aligns well with the discovery that the entropy of a black hole is proportional to the area of its event horizon (the point of no return), and the elaboration of this discovery into the holographic principle. It also aligns well with a view of probabilities as reflecting our ignorance rather than any inherent randomness. Space-time might be an invention of conscious beings to keep track of what they know.
Even though we perceive the world with certain symmetries (like Euclidean or Lorentzian), it doesn’t mean the world actually has those symmetries. These symmetries in our perceptions might instead be convenient representations of aspects crucial to our evolution.
Lorentzian space (or Minkowski space) is a mathematical setting in which Einstein’s theory of special relativity is most conveniently formulated. In this space, time and space are not separated entities but intermingled in a four-dimensional space-time continuum. This space has one time dimension and three spatial dimensions.
One of the key features of Lorentzian space is its ‘metric’, a mathematical function that defines the concept of length (or distance) between any two points. In a simple Euclidean space, the metric is positive-definite, meaning all distances are positive. However, in Lorentzian space, the metric has a different signature (it’s “indefinite”), leading to the possibility of ‘intervals’ that can be positive, negative, or zero. This is what allows for the strange effects of special relativity, such as time dilation and length contraction.
The geometry of Lorentzian space is non-Euclidean. Straight lines in this space are called ‘geodesics’. Unlike straight lines in Euclidean space, geodesics in Lorentzian space can appear curved when viewed from certain perspectives, which is how gravity is explained in Einstein’s general relativity.
So, where does time come from? The theory of conscious beings suggests that the origin of subjective times might be the finiteness of observers. A finite conscious being can only process limited information at a time, so it must experience a sequence of events, i.e., subjective time. If a conscious being were infinite and could process infinite information, one “look” would be enough, and there would be no need for a sequence of experiences or subjective time. Time (and space-time) as it appears in physics then emerges as simply a way to organize the subjective times of countless conscious beings into a coherent framework.
In summary, the authors propose that consciousness, not space-time and physics, is fundamental. They suggest that consciousness can be modeled using systems of conscious agents. Each agent experiences a sequence of events, or “subjective time”. Different agents’ subjective times may not align but can be connected through cause-and-effect relationships.
By associating certain mathematical algebras with these connections, we might create a patchwork of discrete space-time units. When smoothed out, this resembles the curving space-time of general relativity.
In this perspective, space-time is a construct of the observer, not an objective reality. The measurement of space-time might represent our potential knowledge or ignorance. This could explain the second law of thermodynamics, where larger volumes represent greater ignorance and smaller volumes represent greater knowledge.
This idea aligns with the discovery that the entropy of a black hole is proportional to the area of its event horizon, and the elaboration of this discovery into the holographic principle. It also aligns with a view of probabilities as reflecting our ignorance rather than inherent randomness. Space-time might be an invention of conscious beings to keep track of what they know.
Even though we perceive the world with certain symmetries (like Euclidean or Lorentzian), it doesn’t mean the world actually has those symmetries. These symmetries in our perceptions might instead be convenient representations of aspects crucial to our evolution.
The origin of subjective times might be the finiteness of observers. A finite conscious being can only process limited information at a time, so it must experience a sequence of events, i.e., subjective time. Time (and space-time) as it appears in physics then emerges as simply a way to organize the subjective times of countless conscious beings into a coherent framework.
Several authors have critiqued “The Interface Theory of Perception” by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh, and Chetan Prakash. Here are a few key rebuttals:
“Usefulness drives representations to truth: A family of counterexamples to Hoffman’s interface theory of perception”: The author of this paper challenges the core premise of the Interface Theory of Perception, proposing that usefulness, rather than the interface, drives perceptual representations towards truth. This argument suggests that Hoffman’s theory might not fully account for the relationship between perception and reality. Source
“Debunking interface theory: why Hoffman’s skepticism (really) is self-defeating”: In this critique, the author argues that Hoffman’s skepticism about perceptions aligning with objective reality is self-defeating. The author points out that if our perceptions were entirely untrustworthy, as Hoffman suggests, we wouldn’t be able to trust the perceptions that led us to Hoffman’s theory in the first place. Source
“Hoffman’s Conscious Realism: A Critical Review”: This review criticizes Hoffman’s broader philosophical framework, known as Conscious Realism, which underpins the Interface Theory of Perception. The author questions how Hoffman and Prakash will integrate perceptual experiences into their proposed model of conscious agents. Source
“Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries”: Though not a direct rebuttal, this reply from Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash to various commentaries on their theory includes several critiques. Anderson, for example, argues that the interface theory of perception contradicts many perceptual scales that vary monotonically with physical resources. Source
While these rebuttals challenge various aspects of the Interface Theory of Perception, they also contribute to a broader discussion about the relationship between consciousness, perception, and reality.
The article titled “Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries” was published on September 30, 2015, by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh, and Chetan Prakash from the University of California, Irvine. The paper serves as a response to various counterarguments presented against their proposal that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness.
Barton Anderson, one of the commentators, argued that the authors’ characterization of perceptual strategies misses the point about what constitutes both the objects of science and experience. He suggested defining veridical perception in terms of the coherence between different observables and expressed skepticism about the ultimate veracity of the properties we ascribe to physical reality. In response, the authors provided explanations and counterarguments to Anderson’s points.
Cohen critiqued the authors’ definition of veridical perception and argued that their evolutionary games show that perception veridically represents fitness payoffs. The authors countered Cohen’s arguments, stating that they do not require identity for veridical perception and that content is irrelevant to the quantification of information in the science of information theory. They further clarified that fitness payoffs are ephemeral relationships between an organism and states of the world, and perceptual states that represent fitness payoffs are not ipso facto representers of the world .
Jacob Feldman agreed with the authors’ basic position but felt that the article gave somewhat short shrift to the question of whether true beliefs tend to facilitate fitness. He also suggested that Bayesian inference already embodies a similar stance to the Interface Theory of Perception (ITP). Chris Fields proposed that ITP is supported by proven limits on solving the system identification problem and that the notion of a hierarchy of virtual machines provides a useful way to understand ITP .
Jan Koenderink argued that the notion of a prior probability density on the physical world is useless, even self-contradictory. Rainer Mausfeld briefly reviewed a long history of intellectual inquiry, concluding that notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world” play no role in explanatory accounts of perception.
In conclusion, the authors maintain that our perceptual systems have evolved to hide the true causal structure of reality and that there is no brain basis for vision and other faculties. Neurons are simply a species-specific set of symbols that Homo sapiens uses to interact with an objective reality that is different and more complex than neurons.
Further refinement of the model
“Fusions of Consciousness” by Prakash, Prentner, and Hoffman is a scientific paper published in 2023 in the journal Entropy (Volume 25, Issue 1).
The paper dives into the geometry and dynamics of Markov Polytopes and elaborates on the different types of faces and vertices. It references a range of scientific articles and books to discuss consciousness and the nature of reality. The paper explores the idea that spacetime and particles may arise from the dynamics of conscious agents. It also investigates how a forward-directed, entropic time might arise in the theory of conscious agents.
The authors construct a Markovian dynamics of conscious agents with constant entropy, which has no preferred direction. However, they propose that any projection of this dynamics via conditional probability induces an entropic arrow of time.
The same formalism (Markovian networks of conscious agents) that could explain scattering events in spacetime could also shed light on experienced temporality. The paper also raises the question of whether the evolutionary framework, in which organisms compete for resources to counter entropy, could be an artifact of projection from the dynamics of conscious agents where there are no limited resources and no competition.
Therefore, the theory suggests that entropic time may not be a fundamental feature of reality but rather an artifact of projection. The paper concludes by stating the need for a specification of the dynamics of agents and the mapping of this dynamics into spacetime in order to obtain evolution as a projection of agent dynamics.
Hoffman’s work greatly contributes to the paradigm shift towards a psychocentric understanding of reality. However, it does not fully encompass perception beyond physical senses, such as clairvoyance and clairaudience. This could explain why misrepresentation of reality by physical perceptions provides a tangible survival advantage, arming the organism with enhanced physical skills to withstand threats and reproduce.
Yet, to assess the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ in the more abstract domains of logic and the evolutionary development of a post-mind intuitive sense, a more extensive (multidimensional) model would be required.-JB
Testing the model
John Archibald Wheeler, the famed physicist, proposed a concept that has stirred the waters of philosophical and scientific discourse - the notion of “it from bit”. This idea suggests that every particle, every field of force, even the fabric of space-time itself, derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely from binary yes-or-no choices, bits. In other words, all things physical are information-theoretic in origin.
Wheeler’s proposition challenges our understanding of reality, hinting at a universe not composed of matter but of information - of bits. It’s a bold notion, one that blurs the line between the physical and the theoretical, between the tangible and the abstract. In Wheeler’s view, the ‘bit’ is the fundamental building block of reality - the ‘it’. He posits that the universe is essentially a vast, complex information processing system. Therefore, to understand the ‘it’, we must understand the ‘bit’.
Hoffman, on the other hand, suggests a metaphorical interpretation of the ‘bit’. He proposes that our perceptions of reality - our ‘bits’ of information - are not accurate reflections of an objective reality - the true ‘it’. Instead, these ‘bits’ form a user interface shaped by evolutionary survival needs.
So, in essence, both perspectives propose the ‘bit’ as a crucial element in understanding reality. However, they differ in how literally we should take the ‘bit’ and what it represents. While Wheeler sees the ‘bit’ as the literal building block of physical reality, Hoffman views it more as a tool for survival - a useful but potentially deceptive representation of the true ‘it’.
Therefore, the ‘bit’ is indeed another useful metaphor for the real ‘it’, but its interpretation and implications can vary significantly depending on one’s perspective.
For instance, the genetic material, the DNA, is an exquisite repository of information. It holds the instructions - the ‘bits’ - for building every form of life we know, from the simplest bacteria to the most complex organisms. Each gene, each sequence of DNA, encodes a specific set of instructions that guide the formation and function of living entities. This information is essential for survival, directing the processes that enable life to thrive and adapt in a myriad of environments.
However, just as Hoffman suggests that our perceptions of reality are shaped by evolutionary fitness rather than objective truth, so too does the information encoded in our DNA prioritize utility over accuracy. The forms and functions that our genes dictate are designed for survival in the macroscopic world we inhabit. They do not necessarily reflect the true nature of reality at its most fundamental level - the quantum realm.
Quantum mechanics tells us that at the subatomic level, reality is far removed from our everyday experiences. Particles can exist in multiple states at once, be in two places at the same time, and even influence each other instantaneously over vast distances. Our genetic information, designed for survival in a macroscopic world, offers no intuitive grasp of this counterintuitive quantum world.
Therefore, the ‘bits’ of information encoded in our DNA create ‘bytes’ of forms and functions useful for survival, but they do not represent the actual sea of dynamic energies that constitute the ‘it’ at the quantum level.
In essence, the genetic code is another example of a ‘user interface’ designed by evolution for survival, providing a simplified, utilitarian representation of a vastly more complex and fundamentally different underlying reality.
This aligns with both Wheeler’s ‘it-from-bit’ construct and Hoffman’s Interface Theory of Perception. It suggests that our understanding of reality, whether at the macroscopic level of genetics or the quantum level of subatomic particles, is constructed from ‘bits’ of information that we interpret based on their utility rather than their accuracy.
In conclusion, while genetic information is invaluable for survival in the macroscopic world, it offers little insight into the true nature of reality at the quantum level. The ‘bit’ is indeed a useful metaphor for the ‘it’, but its interpretation and implications can vary significantly depending on the scale at which we examine reality.