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Is the Universe a Conciousness?

Updated: Jul 9

An object flying above hose like a rocket.

According to New Age-style philosophies, the whole universe is, in fact, not just a collection of objects existing around each other, like planets, asteroid belts, and so forth, but actually a one, big, spiritual being that "seems" to care for each and every one of us, not only on Earth but everywhere else where there is life.

I have just stumbled upon this strange quote on my digital stroll: "Your belief in yourself, makes the whole universe believe in you." There is much optimism in this quote, correct, but it raises a lot of unanswered questions about existence. The universe, after all, is everything that is, and if I am to believe that I will pass a level in a video game, for example, how can the whole universe, with all of its planets and undiscovered corners, know of my tiny existence, know of the game I'm playing, know if whether or not I play good and... so on?

The neo-spiritualist mindset is very problematic because it really believes that the universe is this cosmic, omnipresent, conscious being that can hear our thoughts and can actually be influenced by our very mind. Let's take Afghanistan and its current situation as an example: if we gather a group of people who are against the Taliban and make them all, as an activity, to believe firmly and with determination, that the Taliban regime will eventually fall -- what role will they and the universe play, should the Taliban actually be overthrown or collapsed eventually?

It is important to remember that the universe is a vast and mysterious place, and we do not know everything about it. It is possible that the universe is more than just a collection of objects, and that it does have some kind of consciousness or awareness. However, we cannot say for sure, and it is important to be open-minded and to consider all possibilities.

After all, the Taliban's directive is not just to rule the Afghans, but also to extend their rule to their neighboring territories in order to promote and enforce Muslim Sharia Law. If they strongly enough believe in extremist Islamic ideology (which I suppose they do), will the universe support them too?

In other words, does the "universal consciousness" favor those who believe in something the most? Is it kind enough to support anyone who believes in any belief? Does it support anything at all? Is it capable of supporting anything like any self-conscious being can?

How can one even know of this consciousness, and what indication exists that can help one seek it? Some might say it's a logical thing, but it isn't, since there is, arguably, no indication in our current existence that this universe is in fact one, enormous living being. If I enter a junkyard, which is a disorganized mess of things scattered around, what clue do I have that this place is something that is alive, like you and me?

After all, "the universe" is just this worldly term that parallels the term "everything." Of course, that includes you and me, since everything cannot be transcended beyond itself. Thus, if I believe in something strongly enough, will this junkyard believe in me as well? How can a junkyard believe? How can a building be believed?

You might say that organs can't believe, which is true. But even if whole galaxies will collapse into each other, destroying countless planets and even some unknown species, the universe cannot "change" as a concept because it will always be the universe. Likewise, a human body is a body whether the "being" in it is alive or dead (then it's either a living body or a corpse, but a body nonetheless).

Others will turn to the loveliest "indication" of all: feelings. If someone happens to feel immense love for existence, what does it mean about existence itself, with all of its blessings and horrors? How can one truly determine whether one's momentary feelings can be a satisfactory authority about things and beings?

Surely they could be wrong, since many other emotions exist, along with many other beliefs, whether or not they are dependent on emotions. Who said my or your emotions matter the most? Who said emotions are even trustworthy when it comes to truths that exist beyond the human heart? You know, you could just go upstairs and consult the mind, where rationality comes from, given that said mind is sharp enough and dedicated enough to question, inspect, and/or philosophize. The heart, after all, isn't capable of those things, so it's like comparing a ballista and a ballistic missile, or a hut and a skyscraper.

In conclusion, while there is no physical evidence that the universe is a sentient or self-conscious being, it is difficult to actually determine if there is this supposed "brain" somewhere in the unknown universe, which serves as some sort of a psychic "nerve center" of everything that exists and lives.

Therefore, in order to keep an open mind, as we still technically do not know everything, the rational answer would be "I don't know" simply because logical inquisition without sufficient knowledge is insufficient by itself or by bits of knowledge. I am in the position that such a "psychic, omnipresent brain" does not exist at all, but even I—and those who may disagree—could be wrong.

Nonetheless, if you are reading this and you happen to be a far-future astronomer who managed to discover every part of the whole universe, I sure hope you'll agree with me, from the primitive era of the 2020s, that indeed such a psychic brain does not exist anywhere you've found.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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