By greimer on Jan 22, 2007
Is the mind an emergent property of the physical universe, as we normally suppose, or is it the other way around? I think the trend in physics now to describe everything in terms of information, along with recent ideas about the holographic nature of the universe, suggest the latter. Mind precedes matter.
A computer program can be understood either as a meaningful process unfolding over time, or as lines of programming code, or as stepwise interactions of the components of a theoretical machine. Ultimately, however, it's expressable as a string of ones and zeros. Perhaps our universe is also expressible in many different ways, but at the most basic level as a purely mathematical form. Such a form "exists" in the same sense that Pascal's triangle exists; as a conceptual possibility.
A potentially infinite number of such mathematical forms are possible. For each one of these mathematical forms, any number of ways of expressing them are possible. The possibility of consciousness selects whichever one of these gives rise to actual consciousness. In other words, we see galaxies and quantum mechanics because that's a method of expressing a mathematical possibility that coincides with an opportunity for consciousness to experience that expression. In other words, at the intersection of these two possibility continuums lies what we call reality.