We’ve all seen the warning on our rear view mirrors “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. In fact, I’ve seen it so many times I had to check to see if it was on the mirror of the car I’ve been driving for three years. I wasn’t sure because I don’t see it anymore when I look at the mirror. Our brains are developed to filter out things that are not important. See the same message in the same place every day and eventually, you simply don’t see it. What if your mirror said “Objects in mirror do not exist”?
I’ve been dabbling in A Course In Miracles which talks about how this world is just illusion. The science I’ve been studying tells me that time and space don’t objectively exist. They are constructs humans have created to keep everything from happening at once. Physicists are telling us that everything is “just energy”. There is no matter, as such (Max Planck) said this nearly 100 years ago. Ever and ever smaller particles are found and now we’re at the point where we’re saying there are no particles, it’s all “just energy”. All of this blows my mind. What do you mean there is no time? Of course there is. I experience it every day.
Today I’m pondering all of this as I’ve been listening to a series of lectures on A Course In Miracles and trying to wrap my head around these notions. I’ve listened to several lectures on A Course in Miracles in the last few days. I struggle with it. I stumble across a three minute video by Donald Hoffman, a professor in cognitive sciences. In the video, “The Debate Over Materialism Is Finally Over” he claims (and backs up) that our perception of reality is not what reality actually is. Humans have evolved to perceive what we need to perceive in order to survive. The brain and our senses approximate reality to the degree necessary for our survival but no more. It’s all designed simply to keep this body alive. Anything that doesn’t serve that function is filtered out. We may not know what ultimate reality is, but we do know it’s not what our senses tell us. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this concept. It makes sense. Brain function burns a lot of calories and can take a lot of time. Our brains take short cuts to see patterns (and sometimes to create what turn out to be illusions). OK. I get this. It’s like the convex mirror on the passenger side of your car. The mirror distorts the image you see. Why? It’s designed that way to give you a wider scope of view. It’s more important for you to see everything that is behind you than to know precisely how far it is behind you. A wider scope brings in more information. A trade off is made that shows you more, but it does so at the expense of not being an accurate representation of how far away the objects are.
The claim Donald Hoffman makes is not that the objects we see are closer than they appear. It would be more like “Objects in mirror do not exist”. I was intrigued so much by the video I spent the next hour and a half watching two more of his videos that went into more detail. I’ve been trying so hard to wrap my head around the claim that space and time do not exist and that material objects are “just energy”, and that this reality is an illusion. He used a couple of analogies that finally (and I mean after many attempts on my part) worked for me. Space and time are like the user interface we have to the world. They are the desktop on our computer. The desktop on our computer is a representation of what is going on in our computer. But, when we look at an icon on the desktop and we see a “folder”, it doesn’t mean the emails we have written that are contained in that folder are blue and square like what we are looking at on the screen. The screen is space and time. The icons are objects. Objects do not actually exist. They are merely representations of something else. We move the objects within space and time and things happen. But, dragging a folder across your desktop and putting it into the trash doesn’t literally drag the files across the desktop. However, doing so does cause an action to happen in your computer. The desktop merely shows us what is happening. Hoffman goes on in a later video to talk about conscious entanglement. Everything is consciousness. Scientists diving deeper and deeper into the sub-microscopic world of atoms and quarks and gluons, and whatever are like people looking at the icons on our desktop, drilling in, seeing the pixels and saying “Ah… I’ve found the ultimate reality” They’re still looking at the icon which is merely a representation. The ultimate reality is actually consciousness. We are consciousness interacting with consciousness through forms. When we encounter an object whether it’s another human or a dog or a rock, it’s not actually the object that is real, it’s a consciousness that we interact with through that object.
Suddenly this clicked for me. The Course In Miracles stuff made more sense. The hacks people talk about with law of attraction, with prayer, etc. are when people get a deeper understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. Instead of moving icons around on the desktop trying to manipulate form to get the effect they want in consciousness, they are going straight to consciousness which is what actually is the cause of any effect we see in form.
Coincidentally, the day I have this revelation is a day that I literally did not want to get out of bed. I woke up wishing I could just lie there forever. Taxes are due. I’ve put if off as long as I possibly could. The accountant has said I have to be there today to face the news. I’m expecting bad news on another front. My mind has been racing through the worst possible scenarios and today is the day I know I’ll be hearing more. I’ve been putting out “positive thoughts” into the universe, trying to manifest a miracle. I go to the accountant and find out how much I owe in taxes. It’s 4114 dollars. Not as bad as I thought it might be. Sales were down last year, but the business moves we have made cut our costs even more than the lost sales. So, net profit was up about 25%. Owing money is a good thing. It means our profits were up. On the way home, I’m thinking about the 4114 dollars I owe. I have to write the check to the IRS this afternoon. I look up and in front of me is a semi-trailer. On the back of the trailer is the number 1441 (4114 rearranged). Odd. I make a mental note. TtodayI get the news I’ve been trying to avoid and I got the miracle I was hoping for. Wow. Really?
If the first video by Hoffman whetted your appetite, here is the one that really put it over the top for me. The concepts can get a bit technical, but it’s the big picture that’s important.