Hey all, Monika here, posting the first round of our TNT book club, with a review and warm recommendation of "TotIs", by J.Joseph Kazden:
TotIs is an exploration of some of the theoretical consequences of modern science, as told from the familiar mouthpiece of ancient Socrates. When anyone tells you Metaphysics is dead, show them this book. No math degree or prior knowledge required, the text is readily accessible, comprising somewhat tenderly meandering Socratic dialog, touching on everything from the nature of free will to the fabric of reality using specific modern experimental science to back it up. What the book does is state rather boldly that scientific entry into the quantum world has essentially "pierced the veil" of our true reality. The author makes a distinction between the reality we perceive, where time flows like an arrow and spacial relativity exists (he calls antIs) and the reality that truly exists- a unified plane where time does not flow but merely IS- where it does not matter how far away two entangled particles are, because from the vantage point of TotIS- they are at the same place, at the same time. In this view, free will, consciousness, and even our reality does not exist at all. When his friend Sanida states Einstein's quote, "reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one" Socrates of TotIs throws back, "Indeed. He could practically touch the reality of the illusion, but, alas, like us all, he was ever unable to appreciate that the illusion does not exist 'out there' but is created from within our biology itself."
This framework of seeing reality as an illusion is not new in the slightest. The concept of "Maya" has been central to the Hindu religion for thousands of years. They believe that this world, this plane of existence is a great show; a great play. Souls constantly being reborn again and again until they WAKE UP and see past the illusion that surrounds them, and detach from so called "reality". According to the Hindu mystics we are deep into the Iron age, about a thousand years away from any hope of a Great Avatar of Vishnu to finally come down and take a human role in our Play again. TotIs it seams is a glimmer of hope when the illusion of Maya is demonstrating it's full power; that science is steadily coming to appreciate a deep sense of there being something Absolute in all this Uncertainty of Matter.
So, check it out, read the book, and here's some questions to think about;
-What do we mean when we say "free will"?
-Do the principles of non-linear time necessarily indicate pre-determination? How was this modern quandary answered in medieval philosophy? (The famous razor?) In Vedic times? (Dharma)
-And here's a thought; IF [time] [reality] and [consciousness] are all illusions springing from our biology, could it be conceivable to build a machine that could somehow access the information of TotIs in ways that we cannot? Much time and resources have been spent on creating robots that re-create the biological experience, but think of the ramifications when they begin building ones that transcend them.