In response to the Fermi Paradox, Caleb Scharf, an astrophysicist at Columbia University, has explored the possibility that humanity has yet to find otherworldly intelligent life out in the cosmos due to the fact that the alien intelligence may be the cosmos itself. Tie that in with a groundbreaking new research project suggesting that the human mind, consciousness itself, can influence the physical world, is it possible that all that spooky universe out there is conscious, and awake?
Assuming that an intelligent civilization may eventually reach a point of ‘singularity,’ what better way to preserve itself from a dangerous universe than by entrenching itself into the fabric of space and time. Scharf points out that a huge portion of the cosmic fabric is dark matter, about 27%, and it exists in pure theory and mathematics to fill in gaps for odd cosmic behavior.
While totally speculative, Scharf points out that the machinations of the universe are so strange, that a singularity event occurring for an alien civilization may fit the bill.
…perhaps the behavior of normal cosmic matter that we attribute to dark matter is brought on by something else altogether: a living state that manipulates luminous matter for its own purposes.
If an alien intelligence has achieved immense and infinite technological know-how, the uploading of their consciousness into something more stable than biology or even mechanized technology makes logical sense. Scharf points out,
If you’re a civilization that has learned how to encode living systems in different substrates, all you need to do is build a normal-matter-to-dark-matter data-transfer system: a dark-matter 3D printer.
This begs the question, if an intelligence did upload itself into the dark matter cloud of the universe, is it conscious? Does it maintain agency of some sort? Can it communicate?
Lucien Hardy, a physicist from the Perimeter Institute in Canada, has posited an interesting new hypothesis. Using a mix of quantum mechanics, the philosophy of Rene Descartes, and some EEG headsets, he wants to test if human consciousness can influence the physical world on the quantum level. In other words, can quantum theory be violated by “systems that might be regarded as conscious, human or animal.”
By taking the Bell Test, which sends two entangled particles in opposite directions, A and B, and randomly testing their states, Hardy plans on adding humans to that equation. Using 100 people connected to EEG headsets, his plan is to test for human contamination at the quantum level. With the humans switching the settings on the detectors using the headsets, the results would be compared against previous Bell tests. If the results of Hardy’s test and the previous Bell tests don’t match, something else is influencing those particles; consciousness.
Scharf writes that,
Perhaps hyper-advanced life isn’t just external. Perhaps it’s already all around. It is embedded in what we perceive to be physics itself, from the root behavior of particles and fields to the phenomena of complexity and emergence. In other words, life might not just be in the equations. It might be the equations.
Furthermore, as Hardy’s hypothesis suggests, consciousness may not be made up of the same matter which is governed by physics, and that it is able to overcome the laws of physics. Upon reaching a singularity state, and by uploading oneself into the fabric of the cosmos, one could potentially maintain agency; one could possibly “stay awake” in this form of existence, assuming Scharf and Hardy have it right.
This all leads down an interesting philosophical path; if Scharf’s singularity speculation concerning an intelligence becoming the ebb and flow the universe, and Hardy’s hypothesis that consciousness itself may be able to influence the physical world, does this potentially give some scientific credit to the metaphysical and esoteric New Age movements which argue for a universal consciousness? Were the shamans, monks, and mystics of our ancestors actually communing somehow with a conscious cosmic, albeit hyper-advanced alien force?
Human spiritualism and shamanism is ancient and found the world over. Is there something potentially scientific concerning a shaman’s ability to communicate with what have typically called spirits? Perhaps some singularity reaching alien civilization embedded in dark matter is still communicating? If Hardy is correct, their consciousness may very well be intact, since it may not follow the rules of regular matter.
Elizabeth April, a cosmic intuitive channeler, or what we might call a modern-day shaman, claims that the universe is not only awake but quite talkative. In an interview with Mysterious Universe, she stated,
As this reality is a direct projection of our physical existence and observation as a human species, this universe is also in-part created through both the spiritual and scientific capabilities of extraterrestrials. The majority of these capabilities are woven into the fabric of what we call quantum physics.
Contemporary society has pretty much done away with the belief in a mystical shamanistic world. However, are April and her contemporaries potentially on to something? Could it be that spirituality and technology are fundamentally connected? If Scharf’s speculation is correct, and we simply exist within a universe made up of an uploaded alien intelligence, maybe the spookiness of quantum physics isn’t naturally spooky, but intelligently so. The so-called ‘laws’ that govern the cosmos may not be natural, but very literally alien.
Even more interesting than the idea that the universe itself may be a conscious alien force is the cultural and social aspects that cold logical science and the ethereal mystical realm of spirituality may once again intertwine. Perhaps the Age of Enlightenment was a much-needed trial separation of the two, only to realize centuries later that they were perfect for each other.
Whatever the case, humanity can only hope that if it ever reaches the much-anticipated singularity, there is enough room in that dark matter for two intelligent life forms.