Information and consciousness are gaining weights and momentum in our investigation into nature. Some are thinking information and consciousness are more fundamental in existence. “For to understand the holographic principle, the pioneering science of the twenty-first century is also beginning to comprehend that information is indeed more fundamental than matter, energy, space and time.” Jude Currivan writes in her new book The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation.
But till now, there lacks a comprehensive understanding of how information, consciousness, matter, energy, space, and time are related to each other in a structured and unified way – not mentioning the unfulfilled wish of many physicists in the search of a theory of everything.
Little is known that the Yogacara School of Buddhism which has its origin from 4th century AD could provide a complete understanding to the above puzzles (and more). Yogacara School of Buddhism, from the very beginning, states that all there is are mere consciousness and seeds. Seeds are some structure of information. All that we experience are nothing but the playing out of information (seeds) by our consciousness.
The following is a quick tour of the Yogacara Buddhism theory and its relevance of our understanding of nature especially with string theory.
Infinite Number of Universes with Holographic Principles. Yogacara Buddhism does not debate the existence of “reality” as we know, but states that all our experiences are nothing but information and consciousness. Information is also considered as the most fundamental as it is the first cause with consciousness as the second cause. According to Yogacara Buddhism, our view of the physical universe is a common, shared, and combined projection by ALL sentient beings (in the “universe”). There are infinite number of sentient beings. “Law of physics” and experiences for the sentient beings are never the same. This is the same as infinite number of universes required in string theory and there exist universes where law of physics are different from ours.
Block Diagram for Simulated Hypothesis. Yogacara Buddhism provides very detail explanation the mechanics of how information and consciousness interact. For examples, there are definition of consciousness, definition of seeds, seeds as the causes and the results, and so on. The following diagram shows a simplified view how Yogacara Buddhism relates from the earliest version of string theory – the Bosonic String to the latest M-theory. Our investigation into nature (in physics) matches almost perfectly to the definitions in Yogacara Buddhism.
Matter arise from Mind. The roles of matter and mind have always been debated but futile. So far there is no one theory – philosophical or physics could provide a decisive and complete view of the two. Yogacara Buddhism, however, is very clear from the beginning – matter arise from mind. There is a very specific and detailed mechanical sequence how this takes place. According to Buddhism (not only Yogacara), we and all sentient beings are nothing but aggregates of five – The Five Aggregates. The following diagram shows how matter in the most basic form – bosons arise from The Five Aggregates. The story continues to next section on Grand Unification of Science. Space, time, position, momentum, and all other physical attributes are derivatives of Group 1, 2, and 3 combined.
Note that Group 4, which is a kind of a common work pad, is not yet discovered by science (physics) today. (Group 4’s roles, however, is similar to the function of prefrontal cortex in human brain). As Group 4 is derivatives of the first 3, they are what physicists are calling “emergent properties” – which include times and space.
Dualities and Illusion. According to Mahayana Buddhism, existence in this world is an illusion. In an interview by Quanta Magazine: A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality: Edward Witten reflects on the meaning of dualities in physics and math, emergent space-time, and the pursuit of a complete description of nature. One of the dualities is the our everyday physics vs the meaning and use of information. Two quotes:
- “If there’s a radically different dual description of the real world, maybe some things physicists worry about would be clearer, but the dual description might be one in which everyday life would be hard to describe.“
- “I tend to assume that space-time and everything in it are in some sense emergent.“
Yogacara Buddhism states all phenomena are just the playing out of information and consciousness and time, space, and other physical attributes are derivatives or emergent of the two (information and consciousness) as the following diagram shows,
Grand Unification of Science. The Five Aggregates in the following diagram (column C, 1 to 4) shows how every level of nature are being aggregated. Every layer up (lower in the diagram) is an aggregation of the lower layer in The Five Aggregates structure.
To be updated and revised.
David Foo. firstname.lastname@example.org