The following exchange recently took place. I thought it would be of interest to the forum:
Nathan: Tom, you say we are a projection of a fragment of our individuated consciousness. So does that mean that there is a large part of ourselves existing in NPMR that the average PMR resident isn't aware of? Are we really like a leaf to our individuated consciousness' tree? So that means that there is a large part of ourselves that we aren't aware of? How big is that part in relation to our PMR fragment awareness? That is quite a thought to ponder-- I have no idea who or what I am! Is that larger part where our intuition comes from?
Tom: Nathan, let me modify the metaphor a little. Look at a leaf from a silver maple tree -- it has multiple projections like fingers from a hand. Let's say that Nathan, with his unique history and experience, is one of those still growing projections... -- part of a whole leaf that contains the experience of each of its projections. The tree this leaf is connected to the Larger consciousness System. Just a metaphor, but perhaps one that you will find useful.
Ramon: Tom, would you say that the awareness we have as the focal point of our current personality (the I of oneself that receives the data) is, in fact, the same awareness that is the I of our IUOC? Or at least one focal point of it? In turn, wou...ld the awareness of our IUOC be but one focal point of the LCS' total awareness? One continuos stream from the top down simply passing through various filters and constraints creating the illusion of separation within the one. As we grow up, are we simply expanding the scope of our awareness back up the chain?
Tom: Ramon, different metaphors are not so much more right or more wrong as they are more or less useful to a given individual. The top down model/metaphor sorts us from higher to lower levels and functions in a cascade of dependency like parent and child. The simplest model has no levels -- it is simply the LCS manifesting whatever it needs to further its evolution and development. It bubbles us up into existence from the historical database (or from scratch) along with guides and PMRs and whatever else is necessary to most effectively facilitate consciousness evolution. Just the LCS and subsets/expressions of the LCS. One level, one thing -- consciousness and all the information and learning and data it has accumulated. Or perhaps, more poetically, a self optimizing (evolving) consciousness system with a good memory and a good imagination.
Ramon: Tom has mentioned this "bubbling up" concept before and it creates a conflict in my thinking and understanding of reality as I have come to understand it personally.
I long ago came t...o grips with the fact that "Ramon," as a temporary personality in PMR, is transient and impermanent. "Ramon" is just a title that is given to the subset containing all the data "I" have accumulated in this lifetime/experience packet. At birth, all I (Ramon) came in with was awareness, potential, and the free will to develop this awareness/potential however I choose. When I die, "Ramon" is finished, wrapped up. Yes, the data is recorded and persists in the historical record but I have always taken it that the individuated unit of consciousness, that is the source of the awareness/potential/free will, and all of the data it has collected over the course of many packets (including Ramon as data of course) persists as a separate and distinct entity (though still just an artificially bounded subset) within and of AUM.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding Tom, but it seems as if this bubbling up concept insinuates that even the individuated unit of consciousness is dissolved and called back up and doesn't persist consistently and indefinitely as a separate entity with awareness and free will. This seems different to me than how he used to describe the process. As he said though, he is describing it in the simplest way here. I'm comfortable with the fact that the only fundamental reality, of existence and beingness, is AUM so either way I'm good.
Yessin: My thoughts "Bubbles up" is just a metaphor, obviously, for what happens when TLCS wants to facilitate it's own evolution. And if the path of Ramon, with all his lifetimes, have been learning experiences or potential learning experiences,... the historical record which that is important for TLCS to grow more from and to make more change from. And that's basically what we all are, a present mechanism of the whole: a constant choice-making observer, and a historical record, we call that "individual". TLCS is the only separate entity with awareness and free will
Tom: You are both correct in your thinking.
The consciousness system has free will -- freewill is necessary for consciousness. Little and big you, as an individual character such as Ramon and as an individual IUOC (defined by the historical data of your experience within virtual realities) are always a potentiality within the larger consciousness system. This is more accurate than saying that you are an independent piece of the LCS – you are not independent, you are one with the LCS – you have the potential to be independent, to have an independent freewill, within a virtual reality within the LCS. Your independent free will requires a virtual reality. Otherwise you are simply data, a potentiality within the LCS. The LCS has free will and you are one with it, not independent or separate from it.
From the historical database, the LCS selects a historical individual, like Ramon, or a sequence of historical characters that have progressed through multiple lifetimes, like Ramon's IUOC. To this information, the LCS adds a freewill -- which means it inserts this Ramon and/or IUOC into a virtual reality where it can make free choices within an evolving decision space appropriate to their ability/quality/awareness. Recall that consciousness itself is the only thing that is fundamental and that everything else is virtual. This “everything else” includes all structured (within the bounds of some sort of rule-set) realities where experiential interaction takes place. All experiential realities are virtual.
Consciousness creates the structure. The structure defines the reality, and the reality creates the possibility for an interactive experience between subsets of consciousness. The quality of the subset of consciousness (as specified by its history) and the structural bounds defining the reality together determine the available decision space and the nature of possible interactions. Some examples of virtual realities from our point of view: PMRs, dreams, where you end up after dying in a PMR, OOBE "locales", NPMR in general.
The historical record of these subsets or entities grows or evolves as choices are made and their intent is expressed. What is gained by a subset of consciousness (either Ramon or his IUOC) participating in a virtual reality is a new historical record that (thinking positively) accumulates quality (reduces entropy) as it engages in exercising its freewill intent.
To this point we have used language that implies that Ramon and his IUOC are two different entities. Assuming that Ramon is a subset of his IUOC, both he and his IUOC could each be considered individual subsets of consciousness with a history and could be “bubbled up” or be chosen by the LCS to engage in a virtual reality appropriate to their evolutionary needs. However, that assumption of separateness seems little more than a habit of PMR thinking when one considers that Ramon is a representative of his IUOC. Ramon participates in this PMR virtual reality as a manifestation of his IUOC, and as such he brings with him all the quality and history that his IUOC has to offer at the time. He is, in more technical terms, a specific instance of his IUOC that is restricted to abide by the PMR rule-set. As Ramon experiences and chooses in PMR, his IUOC collects the data and integrates it in real time.
1) If that IOUC is simply collecting data to be processed by the LCS, it is no more than a history file in the process of having data uploaded to it. 2) If that IOUC is making freewill decisions and choices within one or more virtual realties that subsume PMR then it has two or more tracks of evolution running at the same time that may influence each other. For example, two separate experience packets in PMR at the same time (that may or may not interact) plus the IUOC actively interacting acting with one or each of them would constitute three tracks of evolution running at the same time. 3) If that IOUC is making freewill decisions and choices within one or more virtual realties that are independent of PMR then it has two or more tracks of evolution running at the same time that do not directly interact or influence each other. For example, two separate experience packets each in a separate PMR plus the IUOC is engaged in some other virtual reality that has nothing to do with either PMR packet would constitute three independent tracks of simultaneous evolution. All configurations/combinations of 1, 2, and 3 are possible; and several are probably used very commonly, however, I suspect that each specific instance is individually optimized. No doubt, the LCS implements whatever seems like the best use of available resources to further the systems evolution in the long run.
1) represents the simplest arrangement, and thus one that is probably used often, especially in the beginning stages of consciousness evolution. 2) is probably more common for a lower entropy consciousness and 3) is not very efficient use of system resources unless more than one independent subject is being learned at a time. Consciousness evolution, because of its cumulative nature, is usually considered a singular subject that is better approached serially than in parallel. Of course, there are always exceptions and special cases.
The bottom line is that there is no fixed one answer to how the IUOC relates to the individual PMR character – the system is intelligent, aware, and flexible enough to optimize the huge array of possible choices and processes always available within a large complex digital information system. We humans don’t like uncertainty – we tend to develop closed solutions for every problem – its simpler that way. People need metaphors they can easily grasp and feel comfortable with – as we grow our understanding, our metaphors change.