Chapter One: The Illusionary Nature of Physical Reality

Chapter One:

The Illusionary Nature of Physical Reality

The concept of infinity is fundamental to understanding the true nature of physical reality. The word “infinite” means “forever” or “without limit.”

For example, let’s imagine the list of all possible odd numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. There is no end to how many numbers can be added to this list so it is infinitely long. Now let’s imagine another list, this one including all the possible even numbers, 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. This list is also infinitely long.

Next we add the two lists together to make a list that is twice as long — but it is the same length — infinity long. How can something be twice as long while at the same time being the same length? It can’t. It is physically impossible.

To clarify this, imagine the odd numbers are apples and the even numbers are oranges. The line of apples stretches beyond the horizon into outer space, past the Sun, across the galaxy, past countless galaxies to the edge of the observable universe, then a million, trillion times that distance and there is still an infinite distance yet to go. You can double the distance traveled every second for eternity and the line of apples will still be just an infinitely small part of the distance yet to be traversed. Even without adding the oranges between every apple it is obvious that nothing in the physical universe can actually be infinite.

Imagine you are going to cross a room by traveling half the remaining distance at a time. First you cross half the room, then a quarter of it, then an eighth, a sixteenth, and so on. Eventually the distance left to go will be infinitely small and you will never reach the other side of the room. When we cross a room we understand that we must travel through half the remaining distance as we go, yet we eventually leave the room. If infinity actually existed this would not be possible.

Infinity is a concept or idea. Nothing in the physical universe can be infinite. Astrophysicists tell us that a black hole has infinite density, but if that were true it would also have infinite gravity and everything in the physical universe would be sucked into the black hole the instant it was created. Physicists know that, and they agree a black hole can’t have infinite density, but that is what the math tells them, so they admit that their understanding breaks down at that point.

In quantum physics the smallest unit of space is referred to as a Plank space. It is defined as an area that is so small if any energy at all existed in that space it would instantly turn into a black hole and disappear. A Plank space is unbelievably small. The halfway point between a Plank space and the size of the observable universe is roughly 1 or 2 millimeters long, the size of a small seed. Science admits that even a Plank space is not the smallest possible distance, but it is the smallest unit that has any value in their calculations.

How long is now? The present moment is so brief that by the time you read these words it has taken light 4 billionths of a second to reach your eyes and much more time than that for your brain to recognize what you are seeing. The present moment is infinitely short in duration, and by the time you know what is going on you are already experiencing the past. “Now” is an infinitely short period of time.

We should also be aware that the past and future can not be proven to exist.

If I place a candle on a table and ask you to prove it is really there, you can measure its length, weigh it, run chemical tests in order to discover what it is made of, hand it to other people and they will agree it is there. This is how we are able to determine that something actually exists.

If I ask you to prove that the candle existed five minutes ago, you can not measure it, weigh it, or otherwise prove it exists. We “assume” it existed in the same way five minutes ago, but I could have cut the candle in half before I put it on the table and you would have no way of knowing that. It is impossible to prove that the candle existed in the past, and the same is true of the future.

Now is infinitely short in duration, and by the time you recognize what is happening in the present you are observing the past and the past can not be proven to exist. Because the present moment is so brief we can not even prove the present moment is real.

Infinity is not physically possible. It is simply an idea. Here is where things get interesting.

Infinity forms the boundaries of the physical universe, the places where our ability to perceive comes to an end. From the infinitely small to the infinite vastness of space, from the infinite past to the infinite future, the boundaries of the physical universe are infinity. Infinity, an idea, acts as a container within which the entire physical universe is perceived to exist. Physical matter can not be contained within an idea unless physical matter is itself an idea.

All of this may seem like a meaningless mental exercise but it exposes a fundamental truth about the nature of physical reality. The world around us can not possibly exist in the way we perceive it to be because it is contained within an idea. The universe consists of ideas, not physical objects in time and space.

What we perceive as physical matter behaves according to the “laws” of science. These “laws” are mathematical in nature. If you drop a ball the speed of its acceleration toward the ground and the force of its impact can be precisely predicted using simple mathematical formulas. All chemical reactions can be accurately predicted with mathematical formulas. From the orbits of the planets to the functions of your body, all physical matter behaves according to mathematical rules, but the rules do not exist physically, they are ideas. Science does not invent the laws of physics. Those laws exist as concepts or ideas before they are discovered.

When we look at the world around us we conclude that it IS the way we see it, but we only perceive visible light, a narrow band in the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. If our eyes were tuned to perceive the infrared part of the spectrum people would appear to glow in different colors in the way infrared cameras create images from different amounts of heat being radiated from the body. If we perceived X-rays we could see through many physical objects, the sky would not be blue and instead we would see a constant shower of particles coming down from space and much fewer shooting out of the ground. The world we are so certain is the way it appears to our eyes would be something else entirely. Our eyes deceive us because they do not tell us the whole story. What we see is actually an illusion.

Have you ever awakened from a dream and been shocked to discover it wasn’t real? You could wake up in bed right now and everything you just experienced would have to be thought of as “just a dream.” Dreams are realities when we are experiencing them, and when you go to sleep tonight this dream of reality will be replaced with other worlds that will seem just as real.

The most famous experiment in quantum mechanics is called the double slit experiment. It was first conducted in the early 1800s, before the field of quantum physics even existed, as a way to test if light is a particle or a wave. A light source was directed toward 2 tiny slits in a thin piece of metal then viewed on a a screen behind the slits. If light is a wave it should produce an interference pattern similar to how two stones dropped into still water will produce waves on the surface which form a predictable interference pattern. If light is a particle then it would form two vertical lines on the screen, one directly behind each slit, which is what one would expect if you were tossing thousands of baseballs toward two long, vertical holes in a wall. When the experiment was conducted, an interference pattern was observed, which proved that that light travels in waves.

In the 1920s the experiment was repeated, only this time just one photon at a time was directed toward the two slits, with the result building up slowly over time on a sheet of photographic paper. Since only one photon at a time was involved it would be impossible for the wave to interfere with itself, so the prediction was that two vertical lines should be detected on the screen. Instead, the wave interference pattern appeared. This didn’t make sense, so the experimenters placed a detector near the slits in order to determine which of the two slits the photon actually went through.

The result was astounding. When the observer knew which slit the photon went through, two vertical lines appeared on the film, indicating the photon was behaving as a particle. Later experiments shot electrons and even whole atoms toward the slits and the results were the same. If an observer knows which slit the particle went through the object behaves like a particle. If the observer does not know which slit the particle went through the particle acts like a wave. Does this mean that physical matter exists only as a potential or idea until it is perceived by a conscious observer?

Most quantum physicists accept what is referred to as the Copenhagen interpretation, which was proposed in the mid-1920s by two pillars of quantum mechanics, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. They concluded that physical systems exist only as probabilities until an act of measurement occurs, which causes the “quantum wave function” to collapse into an objective reality. This implies that a conscious observer is required for matter to exist.

(This has significance related to the big bang theory. If matter can not exist without consciousness, then consciousness must have been present at the time of the big bang.)

Many in the science community are uncomfortable with the idea that matter doesn’t physically exist until it is perceived by an observer, and some who accept the Copenhagen interpretation claim there is a distinction between a measurement and the need for a conscious observer. I don’t see how a measurement can be made without someone eventually knowing the results of that measurement, so as far as I can tell that distinction does not exist. The Copenhagen interpretation appears to require the existence of a conscious observer.

Other interpretations have been offered, including the many worlds theory proposed by Hugh Everett in 1957. The idea here is that there are an infinite number of universes and anything that can happen does happen in one of these alternate realities. When a photon travels toward the 2 slits in the double slit experiment, it actually goes through both slits as a “probability wave function,” and the act of measurement determines which of 2 possible worlds we perceive. We exist in the world where the photon went through the slit on the right, but there is another world where the photon was measured going through the left slit — we are simply not aware of that reality.

Hugh Everett was ridiculed when he first proposed this idea, but the many worlds interpretation has been receiving much more support in recent times.

We All Live In Our Own Universe

According to relativity, the faster an object travels through space the slower time passes for that object relative to a stationary observer. You may be familiar with the idea that if an astronaut travels at near the speed of light for a year (according to the clock on his ship) when he gets back to Earth ten years will have passed for those who remained here — because time was passing slower for the astronaut while traveling at such high speed. The same kind of alteration in the apparent passage of time is produced in strong gravitational fields — the stronger the gravity, the slower time passes relative to an outside observer. At the speed of light, or while approaching the event horizon of a black hole, it will appear that time stops from the perspective of an outside observer, while for the person doing the traveling time will appear to progress normally.

The theory of relativity has been proven correct on countless occasions. One example is the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS satellites orbit the planet at thousands of miles per hour and use atomic clocks which must account for the relative change in the passing of time in order for the system to operate correctly.

Over the course of our lives all us us travel to one extent or another, and our positions relative to the center of the gravitational field of the Earth also varies. This is particularly true for those who are frequent fliers on jet aircraft. The amount of “time dilation” at speeds far slower than the speed of light is minuscule and a cross country flight on an airplane will only slow your passage of time by a few billionths of a second relative to your friends who stayed at home. However, over the course of a lifetime these tiny changes in the passage of time can add up to a small fraction of a second. The change is tiny, but the truth is none of us are experiencing the same present moment.

What would we experience if we all live in the same universe but you and Bob are, for example, 5 seconds out of sync with the present moment?

Let’s say Bob is 5 seconds ahead of you. He comes into the room and asks what time it is. You are looking right at the doorway he just walked through but you don’t see him come in yet so you ignore him. Bob is annoyed by you pretending he doesn’t exist so he grumbles and walks away. Then you see Bob and tell him the time in response to his question, but instead of saying “thank you” he just grumbles and walks away.

If you and Bob are one-minute out of sync with the present moment it would be impossible to communicate normally.

We ARE in different moments of “now” due to alterations in the passage of time caused by relativity. If matter can only be proven to exist in the present moment, and we are in different present moments, then we must be experiencing a different reality, a different version of the physical world. Each of us must exist inside our own bubble of reality.

Seth describes this by saying that in a room with 2 people sitting at a table there are actually 2 rooms, 2 tables, 4 people and 4 chairs. There are the two people in Bob’s reality and 2 people in your reality. Seth doesn’t provide any evidence to prove this is the case, but I just described how relativity provides that evidence.

It would appear that the many worlds interpretation may be correct. If this is true, the photon travels through both slits and the probability wave collapses into a particle in 2 different realities. There are 2 particles and two versions of the observer. Each of us live in our own bubble of reality.

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The physical universe appears to be solid and real in the way our senses cause us to perceive it, but our senses do not provide the whole truth — nothing would look the way it does if we perceived other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Without a conscious observer matter can not exist. The boundaries of the physical universe, the places where our ability to perceive ends, will forever exist only as an idea called infinity, and if everything we perceive is contained inside an idea, what we perceive in the world around us must also exist only as ideas. The “laws of science” are intellectual concepts (ideas) which exist independently long before they are discovered. Because we are all experiencing a different present moment we must be living in our own independent universe, where we share the perception of “ideas” which cause us to experience the illusion of an objective world.

If all that is true then there must be a “mechanism” of some kind which produces our perception of reality. It would seem that the “mechanism” which makes the illusion of reality possible would have to exist on a metaphysical level. “Meta” means “beyond,” so “metaphysical” refers to something beyond the confines of physical reality. The mathematical laws of science would have to exist in that “non-physical” dimension. It is possible that these “ideas” governing the behavior of matter are somehow connected to the “quantum field” which exists everywhere in space, where subatomic particles of matter and antimatter are known to pop into existence out of “nothing” then annihilate each other and disappear. Exactly how such interactions between the physical and metaphysical dimensions might operate is beyond our current understanding, but one thing appears certain — some kind of “non-physical” mechanism is responsible for our perception of reality. Because matter can not exist without consciousness, that mechanism must involve consciousness in some way.

I realize that all of this may seem difficult to grasp, but like everything else, the basics are simple once you understand it. There are real benefits possible once you have a logical, practical, convincing understanding of the true nature of the reality you experience every day. What we experience is an illusion. The illusion is real because the illusion is what it actually is, but time and space and matter can not possibly exist in the way we think they do.

If you are able to apply critical thinking to the observations above, rather than fail to reach a convincing conclusion because you are mentally lazy, the evidence should convince you that we are living in a highly organized dream environment. On the other hand, you can not simply accept that these ideas are true without doing your best to find an alternative explanation or you will never truly become aware of the illusion. Nor can you simply adopt a skeptical attitude and refuse to believe something because it doesn’t fit your preconceived ideas about the nature of reality. Reason, logic and critical thinking are how we separate truth from fantasy. They are the tools that have enabled human beings to dominate the planet. Once you KNOW life is a kind of dream, ideas like creating highly desirable events and conditions by controlling your beliefs and expectations will seem much more plausible and within your ability. You can not truly believe you can create your reality until you understand the basic facts which make such a thing possible.

The next section explains how to perform visual telepathy in just minutes. It will enable you to see the world change right before your eyes, and at the same time prove that your conscious awareness has affects beyond your physical body.