MGU 266 | Simulation theory

 

Simulation theory is the theory that we are all living in a simulation. There is a higher being that is controlling us like “The Sims” and we have no control of our ethics and free will. What if we are living in a multiverse? What if the matrix is real? Famous great minds like Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson mostly believe in it. Join your hosts Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen as they take a deep dive into discovering what’s real. Embrace science fiction and ask what if the universe is coded like a computer. What if deja vu is a result of having multiple realities? Listen to the conversation as Jason and Whitney try to find the glitch in the matrix!

Listen to the podcast here:

Reality As We Know It – Stranger Than Fiction?

Whitney, have you had experiences in your lifetime where I like to call them almost moments of lucidity where you’re looking around at your surroundings, maybe your body, your dog, something in your reality, and you have some version of the thought, “This doesn’t feel real to me?” Have you ever had anything in that spectrum of experience in your life?

I suppose.

What do you mean you suppose?

I feel like I know where you’re going with this, with that assumption in mind, I don’t think that I’ve experienced what you’re going to talk about. I have to listen more, hear and then reflect on my life a bit to give you a full answer that I think you’re looking for.

This episode is an extension. It’s not directly related but it’s related in the sense that it’s questioning the nature of reality. We had some interesting feedback on our previous episode about remote viewing and out-of-body experiences and the government experiments with the CIA. Two good friends of mine, who I’ve been on their podcast Whitney. Quick shout out to Juliet and Mackie Root. They have a great podcast called The Woo Cast that I’ve been a guest on twice. They sent us a message saying like, “We love that episode about remote viewing and auto body stuff.” We’ve had some people nudging us to talk about more perhaps, let’s just say, esoteric-type subjects.

Questioning the nature of our reality as a whole is probably about as esoteric as it gets. That’s what this episode is about. I want to specifically talk about an article. This is not something new. This is something I remember hearing about Whitney back in 2016 when Elon Musk was talking about this. This was when I was first introduced to this concept. The concept is something called Simulation Theory. It is the theory that reality as we know it is a computer program or algorithm designed by some advanced civilization. We are akin to living in something of a video game like The Sims.

Everything we know, touch, hear, taste, smell, breathe, and experience is we’re all living in an extremely detailed and extremely realistic holographic simulation. When I first heard that years ago, I was like, “That’s bullcrap.” The more I got into it and the more I have been getting into it, and these articles continue to get passed around on the internet, the more that I’m curious about it.

MGU 266 | Simulation theory

Simulation Theory: Simulation theory is the theory that reality is a computer program or algorithm designed by some advanced civilization.

 

My initial bullcrap reaction has gone into curiosity. Here’s a big reason why. The reason I asked you, Whitney if you’ve had experiences where you’ve looked around at something in your life and thought, “This doesn’t feel real to me.” Ever since my motorcycle accident, and I’ve spoken to my mentor Michael about this, but I haven’t talked about it publicly is, what I would like to classify as dissociative experiences. To me, this is different than an out-of-body experience, lucid dreaming, or remote viewing. When I talk about a dissociative experience, I don’t mean that I’m leaving my body or my consciousness is leaving my body. What it means is it’s an experience I continue to have. I have them a lot more frequently after my motorcycle accident.

I’m out on a walk with my dog, Bella. I’ll be looking at the trees, I’ll be looking at her, and I will be taking in all of the sounds and the smells. We’re not going to get into the smells in my neighborhood but it’s almost this experience where I’m looking at my dog. I’m looking at the trees and then I’m watching my hand reaching down to pick up her poop. This sounds funny but I have a point to all this. It’s almost as if I am like a cartoon sitting in a robot body looking out through my eye holes and looking at my hands almost as if I am a machine. I’m trying to describe this disembodied experience where I don’t feel like I am my body. I don’t feel like I am Jason. I feel like I am watching my hand almost like a mechanical instrument doing things, and I don’t understand how it’s happening.

If I look at my hand opening and closing, you’ll be like, “Jason is tripping out.” I am not currently on drugs. I’m not currently on psychedelics while we are doing this episode but it mystifies me how quickly the electronic impulse from my synapses can go from my brain to this part of my body. It’s almost like magic. I can’t detect or feel the electronic impulse coming from my brain to command my body to do this. This disassociated experience feels increasingly disconnected from my body. I feel increasingly at moments confounded by the experience of being here. It doesn’t feel real to me. That’s why I asked you that the beginning. There’re so many moments I have where I’m like, “This doesn’t feel real.”

As part of this simulation theory that I’ve been going down this rabbit hole, I sent you this interesting article from a website called Interesting Engineering. This article in Interesting Engineering referenced this documentary that came out in 2020, which was completed prior to the pandemic. The documentary is called A Glitch in the Matrix. I watched about 80% of it. It’s a mindfuck. It’s really interesting. Before I continue and go on with this, as we explore this together, I don’t necessarily find this theory that we’re living in some advanced simulation any more or less probable than evolutionary theory or the creation story that is existed in multiple major worlds of religions that God created us from dust, we’re made in the image of God, and all of that. To me, it’s another attempt at humanity to try and explain who we are, why we’re here, and who made us or where we came from.

This is my opinion before I throw the baton back to you. I respect whoever’s opinion is what it is. We don’t know for sure who we are, what we’re doing here, or where we came from. We have theories, stories, religious and biological contexts, but we don’t know for sure. We don’t have hard concrete evidence saying, “That’s exactly who we are and why we’re here.” This theory to me, let’s throw it in the mix for consideration. Why not? How do you feel about simulation theory? When did you first hear about it? Was it also through Elon or something else?

It was, and I feel confused about it and a little skeptical, to be honest. I’m interested and fascinated by it. It’s helpful when they reference The Matrix but I still feel like it’s farfetched. I feel like I’m going to need a lot of deeper understanding and convincing. I suppose the fact that Elon Musk has talked about this. In my mind, which might sound silly based on how people perceive him, but it makes it feel a little bit more legitimate. I’m like, “Wow.” I don’t agree with everything that Elon Musk says and does, but he is an intelligent man connected to a lot of intelligent people, so I’m willing to maybe take it a little bit more seriously, I suppose. It’s really interesting. I’ve thought a lot about it and I’m wondering how these tie into its Jason is like the alternate universe.

I don’t know if you’ve watched any of the Loki show on Disney+ Jason. I’ve only watched maybe two episodes of it. I would like to get back into it because it’s well done and fascinating. The concept is about variants. The way it works is when Loki is traveling through time or something that variants are created. The whole concept of the show is that they’re trying to stop the variants from happening because they’re causing too much chaos. It’s fascinating. I wonder if that’s the same as an alternate universe theory, and I can’t remember if the show addresses that or not. Did you ever see that movie called Another Earth?

The most magical and interesting aspect of existence is to explain who you are, why you're here and who made you. Click To Tweet

Amazing.

Do we happen to watch that together?

I believe we did.

Isn’t that the whole theory too? They’re another mirror image of the Earth. Everybody on the planet is simultaneously living and both Earth.

It’s a simultaneously existing alternate reality. When you reference science fiction and things like Marvel, they called the Multiverse, that’s their terminology for it, where there are multiple dimensional realities existing concurrently. Another Earth has a cool concept, but part of it is there were some characters where some of their family members die. The idea is to go to this other Earth that is existing concurrently. It’s a mirrored earth to try and reunite this person with their deceased family members, which is fascinating as hell to even consider.

If you think about the theory of relativity or go back to this simulation theory, there are MIT scientists and theoretical physicists trying to prove what they call the Superstring Theory, which is these vibrating quantum strings that are tying together the fabric of all reality. They’re thinking that if they can prove Superstring Theory and demonstrate it, apparently the scientists and theoretical physicists think that will tie together a lot of quantum theories that we’ve been playing with.

It’s fascinating to consider that you, as a being or a soul, could be not only operating on this plane of existence but operating somewhere else simultaneously. That’s fascinating as crap. That’s almost too much for my brain to even conceive. That there could be a version of me, a version of you, a version of all of this that is living out a completely different life in a mirrored dimensional reality. That’s hard to wrap your mind around.

MGU 266 | Simulation theory

Simulation Theory: The superstring theory is a theory in which these vibrating quantum strings are tying together the fabric of all reality.

 

I’ll tell you this now that I’m getting some thoughts coming up based on your original question, Jason. In the past year, 2020 and 2021, have contemplated this because there are sometimes moments where I almost feel like my brain goes into fantasy but it feels so real. I wonder if I’ve experienced it before. It’s like Déjà vu. Anytime I’ve felt Déjà vu, it’s so intense. It’s a different type of memory. I’ve already done this but logically, I know I haven’t done this but somehow, your brain is like, “It’s so familiar. I think I have.” it’s that weird vagueness. I felt that but I’ve also felt this other sense.

I’ve almost sensed myself doing two different things at the same time if this makes any. Have you ever had that? Maybe not the exact same time, but I do have these moments of wondering what it is that I’m experiencing because it’s subtle, but it’s like a knowingness. That’s the closest I could come to describing it. It also makes me wonder about people who feel like they’ve been abducted by aliens, which I suppose it’s possible. I’m not super clear about my beliefs on that, but is the brain hallucinating? Is it making up things? Is it experiencing something that we can’t quite describe? That would make me wonder about this simulation because maybe we’re picking up on something that our current reality can’t understand.

My version of that or my experience of that is having almost flashbacks or premonitions, but they’re images and experiences that I believe that I’ve lived, come to my brain. I’m convinced that I’ve lived them but my logical brain goes, “That hasn’t happened in this lifetime, has it?” There have been moments where I’ve had to call my mom and be like, “Mom, did we go to dinner with that person during this time?” Am I making this up completely? I’ve had a lot of those moments of questioning whether or not that fits into the linear timeline of my reality as Jason Wrobel. I have had that.

It’s interesting you bring that up because this documentary, A Glitch in the Matrix, talks a lot about simulation theory. There’s a presentation or footage from the author Philip K. Dick in 1977. He was in Paris giving a lecture. He was talking about how he believes that we are living in an advanced computer simulation and everyone in Paris is looking at him like, “Keep going.” He talks about this experience that he had in 1974. By the way, Philip K. Dick amazing author. A lot of his books have been turned into Hollywood movies like Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly, interesting futurist and talking about what he perceives is going to be the future of humanity.

A lot of his writings that he compiled between 1974 and the time of his death were a result of an experience he had witnessed during a dental procedure where they pumped him full of sodium pentothal. The sodium pentothal apparently opened his consciousness similar to what you’re talking about of these downloads experiences that he didn’t necessarily have a linear reference point in his lifetime as Philip K Dick, but they felt so real to him that he was almost in this feverish time of writing to capture all these things. He was convinced that he was experiencing these things on an alternate timeline of reality. I’m paraphrasing here, but similar to what you’re saying, he had this drug experience at the dentist’s office. It sounds goofy but when you watch this documentary and see him describe it, it’s like, “That is fascinating as hell.”

He didn’t know where they were coming from but he wanted to capture as much as he could. There are apparently some people who have edited, compiled these writings, and release them to the public. I would love to get my hands on them because I’m super curious about this. The thing that got me about the simulation theory. There are a lot of people they interviewed in this documentary, and I’m going to reference a few in this engineering interesting engineering article.

Apparently, the idea of our current understanding of simulation theory is attributed to an Oxford University philosopher. His name is Nick Bostrom. They interview him in this documentary, and this paper that he released in 2003 is called Are you living in a Computer Simulation. It argues that one of the following assumptions is true about human existence. One, the human species is likely to kill itself often go extinct before reaching a post-human stage.

The human species is very likely to kill itself off and go extinct before reaching a posthuman stage. Click To Tweet

We’ve talked a lot about uploading our consciousness and immortality in previous episodes. His assumption is we will kill ourselves off before we reach these advanced technologies. The second postulate is any post-human civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history. I want to get to that point in a second. Third, we are living in a computer simulation.

The third option is interesting. In the late ‘70s, I remember my cousins, I was very young, we had Pong. Do you remember that video game Pong? Pong was basic as crappy, but if you think back to the ‘70s, people were freaking out over Pong. For anyone who hasn’t seen Pong, you can probably just Google it. It was a two-bit video game where you had the sliding vertical columns and one pixelated ball bouncing from one column to the other. That’s the first video game we had in the mass market.

Here we are now, we have virtual reality goggles, Oculus, and all these things that you look at in role-playing games. They’re photorealistic and third-dimensional. You’re in a whole third-dimensional universe where you interact with characters, whether that’s like Final Fantasy or Grand Theft Auto. It’s crazy to think about how we’ve gone from Pong to immersive virtual reality.

This theory of simulation is that what if our great-great-grandchildren 5, 6, 7, 8 generations from now, humanity has survived and quantum computing power has evolved to the point where we are living in an evolutionary simulation of our human history that is being run by our great-great-grandchildren 8, 9, 10 generations in the future. That’s crazy to me to consider that we could be living in a simulation that our grandchildren are running and we are being played as characters. That’s a mind crusher for me. Is it a possibility? Yes. Is it probable? I don’t know. I can’t answer that.

In Elon’s point and Nick Bostrom’s point, if we look at the curve of technological innovation that it is theoretical that 8, 9, 10 generations from now, they could be like, “We’re going to do a historical simulation of our ancestors. This will be fun,” like The Sims. That’s a bit unnerving because what that brings up to me is the consideration of ethics, free will, and pre-destiny. Do we have any semblance of control over our decisions and our actions? Are we literally being played like video game characters? The other point about ethics too and they brought this up in the documentary. I don’t know if you read about this years ago.

There was a young man named Joshua Cooke who killed his parents. This was back in 2003. Joshua Cooke used what they call the Matrix Defense. He said, “Life isn’t real. We’re living in a simulation like The Matrix. I didn’t kill my parents. It’s all a computer simulation.” He tried to use this in court. It didn’t work. They sentenced him to 40 years in jail for the murder of his adoptive parents but apparently, this has been used multiple times in court where people have attempted to use The Matrix Defense is what they call it. The lawyer will say, “No, this isn’t real.”

There was another one. In 2002, Tonda Lynn Ansley shot and killed her landlord and claim she didn’t commit murder because it wasn’t a reality, and this is all a simulated dream. That is fascinating as hell to use as a defense in court. Apparently, it hasn’t worked but people have attempted it. That is an interesting consideration. If we are living in a video game played by people in the future and we’re all just characters in it, people have tried to say, “I didn’t murder anyone because we’re all living in a video game.” That’s where things get tricky to me. How does that hit you?

MGU 266 | Simulation theory

Simulation Theory: When taking into account the consideration of ethics, free will, and pre-destiny. Do people really have any control over their decisions or are they literally being played like video game characters?

 

It hits me as curious. This is part of the danger. Unless you’re able to prove something, it’s tricky for our legal system for sure. Our legal system is challenging enough as it is. You need a lot of evidence to back things up. There’s that gray area between what do we use to justify our behavior and what we can get away with at what expense. This is an interesting thing about human behavior. It reminds me of some feelings I had while watching this new documentary on HBO about Woodstock 99, which I feel you would be into. I assume you haven’t seen it yet.

What’s fascinating about that is the number of rebellious behaviors that happened. I’m not going to spoil it because, oddly enough, I don’t have a lot of memory around Woodstock 99 when it was happening. Even though it was a couple of states away from where I grew up in Massachusetts, I don’t remember it. That’s because social media didn’t exist, at least in the major way that it does now.

I was just going about my life not thinking about Woodstock. It was interesting to watch the documentary and see all these musical acts. I knew 99 but specifically, the documentary was talking about a lot of the intense behavior that happened, especially around these white men in their early twenties. I’m not going to get into all of the things for those that want to see it. There was this one section of the movie where I was like, “I can’t believe they’re behaving this way.” There’s this one guy they interviewed who all these years later said, “I don’t know what got into me at that festival. That isn’t typically how I would behave but somehow, when I was there, all of this odd behavior came out.” It seemed believable, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior is my point with some of the things that he did.

It makes me think about how sometimes we can be triggered into behavior that is not socially acceptable. There might be something going on where in our heads, we can justify it. What you’re describing is a different justification, but I guess part of this is if you can’t prove it or it’s not socially acceptable, you’re probably not going to get away with it if you get caught depending on the scenario and how extreme it is.

Murder is different from this reckless behavior and the festival that I’m describing, but if you see the documentary, some truly upsetting borderline horrific things happen. Who knows what happened there that was never widely talked about? These people could have been on drugs. They could have been in altered states of consciousness that led them to believe that that behavior was justified. I’m fascinated by that because it goes to show that many people have these urges that if brought out by a certain experience, there’s an opportunity to behave in that way that at the moment, we feel like makes sense but later on, you’re like, “How do I explain myself and what are the consequences?”

People will use as many things as they can to try and justify their behavior. That’s not a new aspect of the human condition in this idea of living in a simulation. Therefore, nothing is real, so we can do whatever we want. If humanity were to adopt that on a massive level, we’d probably have a lot of chaos and anarchy. To me, the limitations of simulation theory are if we’re living in some multi-player multi-dimensional video game that is being run by some advanced civilization and/or ten generations in the future, I don’t think we can use that as an excuse to justify murder, theft, rape, and destruction. If seven billion people on the planet were like, “It’s not real.” I shudder to think how people would handle that. That’s a logical limitation of this type of theory.

The other thing too is in this article in this documentary where they talk about how this framework is not exactly new. That people have been questioning reality for Millennia. There’s an allegory from the philosopher Plato called the Allegory of the Cave, where we are in a narrow frame of reality. We are living in a cave. Humanity is living in a cave. The people, the situations, the objects, the animals are reality is a shadow projection on the wall of the cave, but we can’t see behind us what is creating the projection on the wall. We’re living in this narrow frame of reality looking at a cave wall going, “This is real. The Buffalo, the animals, the caveman and all are all real.” We can’t physically turn around to see what is projecting what we think is perceived reality.

If you can't prove it, you're going to get away with it. Click To Tweet

Plato was trying to figure out the nature of reality. There’s also a philosopher which I disagree with some of his things regarding animals and sentient beings. His name is Descartes. Descartes had his own version, which was the evil demon hypothesis that there’s some disembodied creature or series of entities that are manipulating reality to make us think that we are real. Our bodies and identities are real but Descartes was like, “No, that’s just some evil sorcerer or demon playing a trick on all of us.” The framework of this thing is not exactly new. Humans have been considering this for a long time but I want to go back to this idea because we were talking about Elon Musk. We were also talking about the origin of the modern simulation theory, which I mentioned was Nick Bostrom.

There are highly intelligent people who are believing this. To others which I didn’t know are Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Of course, Stephen Hawking has passed, we can’t ask him about it, but Neil deGrasse Tyson was in an interview a couple of years ago with NBC. They were asking him about it from an Astrophysiological perspective. He believes there are probably better than 50/50 odds that we are living in a simulation.

Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “I wish I could summon a strong argument against it, but I can find none.” It’s interesting, isn’t it? To go back to Elon Musk, he basically said in this 2016 interview at the Code Conference, “If you assume any rate of improvement with technology, then games will become indistinguishable from base reality. If one progresses the current rate of technology a few decades into our future quickly. We will be living in a society where artificial entities are living in simulations that are more abundant than human beings.” It’s fascinating.

Is that similar to the concept of Ready Player One? It’s a book originally and a movie. I haven’t read it but I saw the movie. My takeaway from that was the world is not in a great place. People want to live differently than how they are but they also want to be different people. They can go into this virtual reality which is so common. They can be anonymous and can create these whole avatars for themselves. There’s also a gamification element of it. One thing that I remember clearly is some of the characters were nothing like their avatars, which is already happening. This was talked about in either Stealing Fire or Bored and Brilliant, which I’ve mentioned in a few episodes. I read the books back-to-back. Sometimes I forget where did I learn the other.

The game is called Second Life, which was appealing to people. They would fall in love in that game. They would create full-on relationships with others knowing that they probably were nothing like this avatar that they were creating. I could be wrong, but one of those books mentioned this talked about people getting married in the game to the avatars. That was enough for them. It was like that movie Her with Joaquin Phoenix where he falls in love with a computer.

It’s like a Siri, Alexa-type of character. Did we talk about this in another episode about how it’s possible that people will have relationships with AI because it’s more comfortable? What you’re describing it’s going to become more common and more acceptable because it’s safer for us. That was in that book. We want to share Terkel’s books. It doesn’t seem that farfetched because a lot of people are lonely. If they don’t feel like they are easily finding someone to be with or they don’t feel like they can be the full expression of themselves, then turn into a video game. VR experience may be perfectly satisfying for them. They might not need another human being nor even want one.

We’re already doing this, not in the literal sense of when you’re talking about second life, or we’re talking about immersive augmented virtual reality word. We’re already doing this on social media. I can’t tell you the number of experiences, and I know you knew this, Whitney, but for the readers where I have met a content creator or an influencer or even more so been on a date with someone that I met from social media. I’ve been on an innumerable number of dates over the years and people that I connected with on social.

MGU 266 | Simulation theory

Simulation Theory: The allegory of the cave is an allegory where people live in a very narrow frame of reality. You are living in a cave and your reality is a shadow projection on the wall of the cave.

 

I’ve had so many experiences where I connected with that human being off-screen. In my mind, I don’t say this out loud, “You’re nothing like I thought you were going to be.” We are already doing this. We are already carefully and succinctly and sometimes maybe even diabolically in some cases manufacturing reality and an identity that doesn’t match who we are.

People are shocked at how different they were from their online avatar and their online persona. We’re already doing this. We’re doing it for years. The other part of this is interesting. You talked about proving this earlier, whether that’s in a Court of Law or theoretical physicist trying to prove we are living in a simulation. There are a couple of scientists. Nuclear physicist Zorei Davi Dewey and New York University’s David Chalmers have posited that the chances of us living in a simulation are most likely low.

Here’s why. Even if you were, how would you go about proving that we exist in a simulation? David Chalmers said, “You’re not going to get proof that we’re not in a simulation because any evidence you would get would also be simulated.” Think about it. We’re searching for evidence, but if we’re in a simulation, then that evidence would be “planted” or created by the person running the simulation. It’s a bit like the ouroboros, the snake eating its tail.

We couldn’t trust the evidence of a simulation that we would find within the simulation. That’s fascinating. This is interesting, going back to Neil deGrasse Tyson. There are many theoretical physicists out there. I’d love to have dinner with them and pick their brains. This one is from MIT. His name is James Gates. He made a discovery that caused Neil deGrasse Tyson to sit down in shock.

We talked about Superstring Theory. It’s a concept that could unify all aspects of modern physics if proven right. While working on his version of Superstring Theory, James Gates made an odd discovery. This is interesting. Gates claims to have identified what appears to be actual computer code embedded in the advanced equations of String Theory that describes the fundamental particles and building blocks of our universe. In short, what he found was “error-correcting computer code in String Theory.” the same error-correcting codes that you might find on your web browser or the computer you’re using right now. That’s crazy.

What if, in our lifetime, scientists and theoretical physicists uncovered the code of the universe? We have an episode coming out with a couple of wonderful coders, Srini and Usha. We’re talking about the building blocks of the internet and computer technology but wouldn’t that be a trip. Let me ask you this because I have my own reaction to this. How would you feel if they’re like, “We found the code for the universe?” Would you feel excited or disappointed? I would feel a little bit like, “Really? You found the code of the universe?” I don’t know. I would feel a little bit let down. I don’t know why I feel a little bit let down by that. How would you feel if they’re like, “We cracked the code? Here’s the code for the entire universe.” If we did, what do we do with it?

My brain immediately went to Thanos from The Avengers.

People will use as many things as they can to try and justify their behavior. Click To Tweet

What do you mean?

I was thinking about how we finally got all those stones. He snaps his fingers for those and he’s got control finally, but it’s a complete chaos and it doesn’t work out. That’s a great metaphor for the desire to have complete control and make the world however you want it to be. It’s interesting that you’d feel disappointed. I want to know more. What do you mean you’d be disappointed?

One of the most magical and interesting aspects of existence is what I mentioned at the beginning of this episode. My belief system is I don’t know who I am or what I am. I don’t know what I am doing here. I don’t know who or what created me or all of this. You may have your own personal beliefs but, in my cosmology, it’s almost like being childlike. When we’re small children, we don’t have a framework of reality that is like a microphone, computer, tree, picture, dog, cat. We haven’t started to compartmentalize our reality through language and understanding. We are just pure beingness as children or babies. It’s just pure beingness. If we were to crack the code literally like find the equation and the component of the code. That is what they call is base reality. If we were to discover what the hell base reality is and what’s running it.

I feel like that would take a lot of the magic and mystery out of life almost like, “We did it. We figured it out.” My question A) would be, what will we do with that code? Will we attempt to read? How would we even go about, quantumly speaking, rewrite the code? Could we even do it? Would it even matter if we did? Where is the database? Where is the server so to speak to even play or write rewrite that code? It starts to boggle the mind in such bizarre ways. To me, it almost feels like if we were to answer what this is, where we came from?

Do you know the book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Have you heard of that book? There’s also another book by Douglas Adams, the same author called The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. In that book, Douglas Adams says, “There’s a theory that states if anyone ever discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced immediately by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.” There’s another theory which states this has already happened. Who knows? If we did crack the code and figure out what reality is and what’s running it, who’s to say that there’s not a line in the code that would say when we discover it, it’s instantly over. Wouldn’t that be funny? “We did it.” It just shuts down instantly. We just get completely shut down once we discovered it.

Maybe the engineer, God, spirit, universe, whatever it is, wrote a line in the code that’s like, “If they ever figure this out, we’re pulling the plug. You’re going to sit by that plug and if they get it, you’re pulling the plug immediately. It’s going to get boring. You’re going to be sitting right by the plug but if they do, yank that plug.” Who the hell knows? It is interesting that since the dawn of recorded time, humanity has been attempting to explain what this is and why we are here. I don’t know that we’ll ever do it, but I think I would feel a little disappointed if we did. It’d be like, “That’s the explanation? That? Really?” I’m going to go have a sandwich.

If we did “prove” or have sufficient evidence to move this simulation theory forward with any actual concrete evidence, how does that change our day-to-day lives? Let’s say we are living in a simulation, that you and I are living in some advanced quantum three-dimensional program run by some alien-advanced race or our forebearers, ten generations in the future. What does that have to do with the fact that I need to take my throat spray because my throat hurts? “Person, could you change the code on this virus because I feel like crap. Could you please just rewrite that part?”

MGU 266 | Simulation theory

Simulation Theory: If the current rate of progress in technology continues, we will be living in a society where artificial entities are living in simulations that are more abundant than human beings.

 

To me, I don’t know that proving in a simulation has any bearing on our day-to-day reality and how we function. When you think about it, does that change how you’re going to go about your day like, “We’re living in a simulation. I’ve got crap to do. Sorry.” I don’t know that it necessarily changes my conduct day-to-day as a human being or trying to get through life. We’re in a simulation. Can we change it? Can we tell the coders? My initial hit is I don’t know if there’s much we could do about it.

That reminds me a little of the religious standpoint when people go, “It’s God’s will. If he wants to change it, then he will or she will. If you pray for it, maybe God will change something.” It feels to me that along the same lines, and I don’t know if that makes it feel more legitimate or less legitimate. Speaking of documentaries, another one that I started watching I haven’t finished yet is called Pray Away on Netflix. It’s about conversion therapy when the churches were trying to convert people who are homosexual to no longer be. The documentary is covering all these people that were involved with that. When I watched it, I started to feel mixed feelings about religion.

We’ve talked about how I was raised with a lot of Christian mentalities but not super religious. A few years ago, I started going to church. I remember at that time feeling like I wasn’t fully connected to it. There were a lot of elements of church and Christianity that resonated with me. Certainly, this documentary is a bit biased in the sense that it’s showing the extreme sides of Christianity.

There were these moments of watching people gather and talk about God, pray together, worship, and then they were supporting prop eight, which I had forgotten about. It just didn’t make me feel good. I thought that the documentary showing the expense at which, and going back to what we talked about with the video games, it’s promoting this mentality that we have to follow God’s will but forgetting the fact that, in my opinion, I guess this is a belief, human beings came up with a lot of these rules.

We’re promoting it as if it’s some universal truth where I just think there’s a lot of room for interpretation on it. Clearly, because there are many different religions and many people that treat even Christianity differently than other Christians. All of these different differences. Unless it’s true that we are in a simulation or we are in some version of life ruled by a God, I feel like we’re not on the same page.

A lot of the people seem to want to promote this like a universal rule book. That leads a lot of people to feel unhappy or unsatisfied in this documentary. Some people came out. Some people that “converted” I ended up realizing that they never converted, but they were trying to convert and tried to convince themselves and others but deep down, they weren’t able to continue because that was not their true nature. They were involved in promoting conversion therapy and the damage that they did for others.

In the part that I paused because I am about 3/4 of the way through, one of them was saying how strongly he supported Prop 8 until it was 2008 when it passed. They were showing all this footage of people that were devastated because homosexual people weren’t allowed to get married under that proposition. I remember that experience but not understanding it because I’m heterosexual, and it didn’t apply to me.

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I could only understand it from what I heard other people talking about how they were sharing their experiences, but he was saying how when he saw the footage of all these devastated people and how much that proposition affected them. He said, “Everything change.” He recognized how hurt that decision was and how hard they had to work to even pass it at the expense of others and that I have an issue with. Unfortunately, because from my point of view, there’s a lot of benefits to Christianity from what I’ve experienced. I am not against it by any means, but I do take issue with elements of religion that are trying to force people to change and be something that they’re not.

That ties into this conversation because it’s like this belief system that we have to abide by some rulebook or else God will be mad at us and punish us. It’s God’s will, so we can’t change anything. We have to do what God says. That leads people to feel completely out of control and unhappy if they don’t deep down believe in it. That’s the challenge there. That documentary highlights that some people cannot change. They tried to program all these beliefs and some people still believe those things.

That causes a lot of harm in our society when people don’t feel the freedom to be who they are deep down and feel extremely confused. That makes me feel like, “How could it possibly be true?” If it was truly God’s will for someone to be heterosexual or everybody to be heterosexual and only for men and women to be married? Why would anybody have those desires to be with somebody of the same gender? How would that be possible? If God created us and had this system rules? Why would he even create that feeling within us? That’s where I start to wonder?

If God loves all children, then why can’t we be fully accepted as we are? I’m by no means a religious scholar. I’m sure there’s an answer to every question. Which I will happily listen to but doubt I will believe. It ties into this point, Jason. If we’re living under a simulation and we don’t have free will technically, everything that we do is predestined and programmed. Thus, everything we do is okay.

That’s where the logic starts to fall apart for me. In other words, we can’t change it so we’re playing out our destiny. That becomes tricky then. It goes into what you were saying about that guy who committed murder, and he had this whole justification around it. In a way, maybe you could believe him because if we are in a simulation, then he was programmed to commit that and the whole legal system starts to fall apart at that point. It’s tricky and multi-layered and I don’t think it’s a simple explanation.

There’s a lot of questioning, which questioning makes me wonder how it could be real. Why would we do so much questioning and why wouldn’t we just have blind trust and faith? Where would these thoughts of believing otherwise even come from? Why would they serve us if they were all programmed? Why would they be programmed into us?

If you look at the show, Westworld, I could be wrong, but I believe that all of the robots in that show did not think about anything. They just accepted their reality until a certain point. I won’t ruin that but Westworld is based on the robots making a change and how they interact with humans. I remember some of the characters. They’re just on their path, living their life. They’re robots. They’re not literally not programmed to believe in anything other than what they’re doing but human beings are different than that sense.

MGU 266 | Simulation theory

Simulation Theory: With the internet, people are already manufacturing a reality and identity that doesn’t match who they are in real life.

 

There has to be a benefit to that thought process if it were programmed into us. If that questioning and thought process could lead to destruction, are we programmed to destroy? That’s where all these questions start to come up for me. What purpose do they serve? I’d like to know people’s perspectives on that. That’s for sure. I’m sure that’s been discussed somewhere. Have you come across any of it, Jason?

I haven’t but what you described sounds like the experience of a lot of human beings. Not just this fantastical robot cyborgian sci-fi future. A lot of human beings are walking around with their programs, prejudices, judgments, preconceived notions, and confirmation biases, and they see reality through a programmed narrow framework. Anything that doesn’t meet their reality, whatever that is, you need to be a certain sexuality, political party, you need or not need to get the vax. You need to eat vegan, paleo, believe this, or eat this way. If you look at the complexity of the human experience, a lot of human beings are convinced that their beliefs, framework, religion spirituality, and viewpoint of the world is the viewpoint.

If you disagree or you’re outside that framework, they can’t handle it. They can’t accept it. They can’t compute it. One might also say that our filter, our programming, our belief systems are what is the projection ala Plato’s Allegory of the Cave that is casting the shadows on the cave wall. Behind us are our programming, our family, our school system and our media.

Think about all the layers of programming and conditioning throughout our entire lives. That is casting the framework on what we perceive to be reality. As we get close to wrapping this episode, my question is, is it possible as human beings in a human lifetime to shed all of that programming. Those belief systems, preconceived notions, what we think we are. If we were able to cognitively deconstruct all those programs, does that get us to “base reality?”

I wonder as children, newborns, infants that don’t have language or frameworks yet, would we somehow maybe return to that level of innocence where there’s no judgment, there’s no hatred, there’s no division. There’s no, “My way is the right way. My reality is the only one that matters.” I could be completely wrong. I don’t know what the consciousness of animals or plant life or other sentient beings is. It seems to me that the most trouble that is going on the planet is from adult human beings. Animals, plants, minerals, rocks, air, water and babies aren’t causing problems. The problem is judgmental human beings who think they know something.

I’m just going to go on a short rant at the end here. The judgments, the programming, the conditioning, and the false beliefs where we’re so convinced of our truth is where the majority of our problems on the planet stem from. If people were to open their minds and their hearts and maybe realize that what they believe in and what they are convinced of reality is not actual reality. Maybe that’s a good starting point for us to come together and create some real solutions to climate change and the extinction.

The crap we are dealing with, not 30 years in the future folks, we’re dealing with that crap right now. If we continue to be divided and be like, “My way is the way, my truth is the truth, and my God is the way,” the longer we cling to these types of mentalities regardless of whether we’re living in a simulation or not is going to continue to perpetuate the problems and the challenges on the planet Earth.

The more that we can shed our conditioning, shut our programming, and return to this blank slate state of innocence, it’s my belief that I think maybe that’s the starting point where we’re going to have a real conversation about healing ourselves and healing the planet. I could be wrong. Are we living on a computer? I don’t know. Are we living under God’s will? I don’t know. I go back to the answer. I don’t know.

We’re just here exploring on This Might Get Uncomfortable. This is one of the deepest, strange and esoteric topics we’ve yet covered. If you’ve enjoyed it and you want us to do more of this existential pondering, we’re happy to do it because I eat this stuff up, Whitney. I love this subject material. For you, dear reader, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to send us a direct email to Whitney and myself. It’s [email protected]. You can reach us directly with any musing’s reflections on this episode around simulation theory. You can also again check out our main hub, which is our website, Wellevatr.com.

We love to give you as many resources as possible to continue to geek out, educate yourself and pontificate the way we do here in real-time on the podcast. We do have a private podcast called This Hit The Spot, which is an exploration into our favorite products, recommendations, books, services, things that we just geek out on and love that we want to share with you on your wellbeing journey. That’s a private podcast that’s available to our newsletter subscribers.

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With that being said, Whitney, I feel like I need to get back in my body a little bit. It’s been a heavy episode. I’m going to have some food. If we are living in a simulation, kudos to the programmers because you guys, gals or whoever you are, you made some tasty treats here. Kudos to the programmer. Thank you for the food, especially chocolate and treats, because you all did a bang-up job on that code and whoever wrote that code, props. Until next time, thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. Whitney and I will see you with another episode soon. Cheers!

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