Introduction Part 2: Core Elements of the My Big TOE Model

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We saw in Part 1 why consciousness, not matter, is the fundamental stuff of reality. It will now become clear why consciousness, time, free will, information, entropy and evolution all logically go together, forming the fundamental building blocks of the My Big TOE reality model.

To quickly recap Part 1, the idealist model proposed by My Big TOE solves the shortcomings and inconsistencies of the current materialist scientific paradigm. Based on the insight that only consciousness is fundamental to reality, it suggests that what we experience as our physical world is best described as a virtual reality: an immersive simulation that only exists in our minds. We are the players in that virtual reality game – pieces of consciousness who have logged on to the simulation to play human avatars. If that sounds inconceivably strange to you, it might be good to re-read Part 1 before going further.

Before getting to the heart of the My Big TOE model, it’s important to be clear about what a scientific model is, what we can reasonably expect it to deliver, and why My Big TOE is a very good scientific model of reality. If you’re unfamiliar with scientific models and the importance of their fundamental assumptions, it’s highly recommended to read the boxed text below.

A good scientific model must explain as many observational data points about the world as possible, and must not be contradicted by any of them. Ideally, it should also make testable predictions – predictions that can be falsified and thus potentially prove the model wrong. My Big TOE ticks all of these boxes. However, a good scientific model is not required to reinforce existing scientific beliefs.

Every scientific model, and certainly any Theory of Everything (TOE), must be based on one or more fundamental assumptions – the fewer the better. That is because the chain of causal derivations it provides cannot go back indefinitely; it has to begin somewhere. Explaining everything in terms of everything else is not an option, either – that would be circular logic, ultimately explaining nothing. Thus a TOE, whatever its name promises to deliver, can never explain absolutely everything.

The question, therefore, is: Which fundamental assumptions are the most useful to make? Which minimum number of premises account for a maximum number of observable facts and are not contradicted by any of them?

Most scientists and philosophers today place their bets on the materialist paradigm, which assumes that the physical laws and entities are the fundamental stuff of reality. Yet, as we saw in Part 1, despite its impressive successes over the last centuries in furthering our understanding of nature and developing new technologies, materialist science fails to account for one of the most fundamental facts about the world: consciousness. In addition to many other problems, materialism also denies that our lives have any ultimate point or purpose – we merely came into existence by an improbable stroke of chance.

While the weaknesses of materialism are becoming increasingly obvious, it remains the dominant view in the scientific community. Nobody has had any new compelling ideas to replace the current scientific paradigm. My Big TOE is one important contribution towards that goal.

Since My Big TOE is a scientific model of reality, it seems natural to ask: What is real? We can also slightly rephrase the question in metaphysical terms: What fundamentally exists? This brings us right to the model’s conceptual foundation.

My Big TOE’s Two Basic Assumptions

The entire My Big TOE model of reality is built on only two fundamental assumptions, which each of us can easily verify for ourselves:

  1. Consciousness exists.
  2. Evolution exists.

The first assumption concerns the fundamental substance of reality: consciousness. While materialism fails to account for the existence of consciousness, the opposite is perfectly possible: the existence of consciousness with its cognitive abilities and the awareness required to effectively process the data derived from an avatar’s virtual sense perception can easily explain why the material world appears to us as "real".

The second assumption concerns the fundamental process by which consciousness logically brings the physical world about: evolution. (In the My Big TOE books, this is often referred to as “the Fundamental Process of evolution”, or simply the Fundamental Process.)

From only these two assumptions, My Big TOE derives everything else. Let’s look into them one by one (evolution will be the focus of Part 3 of this introduction).

First, the fact that consciousness exists is something which we can all confirm from our own experience. To recall Descartes’ argument discussed in Part 1: if there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that we’re conscious.

But what is consciousness, anyway? It’s worth taking a moment to understand the nature of consciousness and the key implications arising from it.


Even in the 21st century, consciousness remains so elusive to most Western scientists, philosophers and medical professionals that there’s no universally agreed upon definition of it. One popular version focuses on “phenomenal consciousness”, defining it as the subjective experience of what it “feels like” to be someone or something – what it “feels like” to be you, me, a bumble bee or a bat.

A big part of this subjective experience consists of our awareness of the world around us – our personal, private sensation and perceptual interpretation of phenomena such as colors, shapes, sounds, tastes, smells and tactile sensations. To be conscious means to be aware of something: to most of us, most of the time, that means seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. For a bat or a dolphin, it also means perceiving its surroundings via echolocation.

Consciousness is aware of the physical world, but it doesn’t have any physical attributes itself – it has no size, mass, charge, spin or any other physical properties. This is why we can’t measure consciousness directly through objective scientific observation. All we can do is measure brain processes correlated to subjectively reported conscious experience, or observe behavior in humans or other animals which suggests they might be conscious. The fact that consciousness is non-physical is another strong hint that it can’t be the product of any physical stuff or processes.

Consciousness is non-physical

Besides being aware and having experience, consciousness has multiple cognitive capacities, which can all be grouped under the heading of making choices and the processes leading up to those choices. They include, to varying degrees in different species, the ability to understand, think, memorize, plan, imagine, introspect, intuit and interpret; the ability to direct and focus one’s intent; and the ability to feel a wide spectrum of emotions.

In light of this analysis, My Big TOE offers a concise and pragmatic definition of consciousness:


Consciousness is a purposeful awareness that makes intentional choices.

Again, we can easily confirm this from our own experience: we’re aware of ourselves and our environment, and at any given moment we can choose what to do, think or say next. Our purpose, as will become clear in Part 3, is defined by the goals and mechanics of consciousness evolution. Choice-making is central to that evolution, and the means by which we make our choices is our free will.

Free Will

Philosophers have debated the issue of free will for centuries, and during the past decades they have been joined by scientists: whether we really have it, and if so, what that actually means. In its strongest, so-called “libertarian” form, philosophers define free will as the ”freedom to do otherwise”. This means that whatever physical or mental state we’re in, we always have multiple options of what to think, say or do next.

Freely choosing between alternate possibilities is such a normal, common everyday experience for every conscious individual that doubt about free will only arises when people adopt a materialist worldview. Under materialism, consciousness is believed to be a product of our brain. This leaves no room for free will whatsoever, because it would mean that anything we think, say or do – and thus all of our choice-making – would be fully determined by electrochemical brain states or processes. We would deterministically be acting out what our brain forces us to do. We would have no consciousness, just awareness without choice.

This logical implication poses all sorts of problems for materialism. Without free will, we would bear no moral responsibility for our actions, because we couldn’t have chosen to do otherwise. This goes squarely against both our personal intuition and our everyday observations; it also runs counter to our sense of how to organize functioning societies. This is why so-called “compatibilists” try to define free will in a way that supposedly makes it compatible with materialistic determinism. They argue that we as individuals still bear moral responsibility for our actions since it is “our” body, and no one else’s, which makes us do what we do – and that this is good enough to count as free will. Many materialists themselves don’t find that argument very persuasive, though. If the word “free” is to have any meaning at all, materialism simply doesn’t allow for free will.

An idealist model of reality such as My Big TOE offers a much better explanation: it feels like we have free will because we do – and we do because we are consciousness. Consciousness is the fundamental substance of reality, and free will is a fundamental attribute of consciousness. No need to postulate free will as an additional assumption – it comes as part of the consciousness package.

So, what exactly does it mean to have free will? Surely, we can’t do anything we want – there are obvious limitations to what we can do. These limitations define our decision space.

Our decision space contains all of the choices we are aware of

Our decision space is constrained by multiple external conditions, such as the physical limitations of our body, the laws of nature, or our present life situation. As humans, we cannot flap our arms and fly away. We cannot jump ten feet in the air. If we’re thrown in jail, our decision space no longer contains the possibility of going shopping on Main Street.

Furthermore, our decision space is limited by internal conditions, which we might also call psychological conditions. For example, the more fear we have, the more limited we are in our choices and thus the smaller our perceived decision space. If we lack focus and awareness due to an unstable, fearful mind, that too limits our decision space. Outgrowing these internal constraints, as we shall see in Part 6, is essential to consciousness evolution. The more we evolve, the more of our internal limitations fall away. A highly evolved consciousness has a much larger decision space than a less evolved one, given the same external conditions.

Thanks to the concept of decision space, we can now formulate a useful definition of free will:


Free will is the ability of a conscious awareness to freely make or not make any of the choices in its decision space.

Importantly, we must not confuse the existence of a limited decision space with the notion of free will itself. However tight the constraints posed by our external and internal conditions may be, they limit only our decision space, not our free will. If we happen to be paralyzed from the neck down, we can still choose freely from the remaining options, such as how to move our head and what to think or say. The late British physicist Stephen Hawking was a prime example of someone exercising their free will within highly constrained external conditions.

The same goes for the role of the brain. To be sure, there’s a strong causal link from our brain to our consciousness. Changes to our brain chemistry or structure – whether through injury, alcohol or other mind-altering substances  alter our perceptions and reduce our decision space. Some of those changes may even force specific experiences upon us (such as when we take psychedelic drugs) or temporarily shut down our waking consciousness altogether (such as in the case of general anesthesia). But none of this means we don’t have free will.

Our habits, mental conditioning or addictions do not disprove free will, either. The fact that we tend to prefer some choices over others may make some of our choices more predictable, but we always remain free to choose otherwise. Habits can be broken and addictions overcome if we really put our intent to it. It may require great effort, the right external conditions and perhaps a little help from our friends, but the choice is still ours. Nor is free will disproved by the fact that some of our thoughts seem to pop into our minds involuntarily. These thoughts come from the depths of our consciousness. We can always choose whether to ruminate or act upon them or whether we simply let them go – it all depends on our mental conditioning, our level of awareness, and our intent.

So yes, we do have free will and we are morally responsible for our choices. Free will means that however big or small our decision space in any given situation, we can always try to make the best choice from among the available options. This is the key to consciousness evolution. The moral value of our choices is defined by the intent which motivates each choice (self-centered intent vs other-centered intent), but it’s our free will which chooses in each specific situation how to express that intent.


Another key implication of consciousness’s ability to make choices is the existence of time. If consciousness is fundamental and makes free-will choices, then it logically follows that time is fundamental to reality, too. Choice means change, and change means time: a state of affairs before the choice and a different state after the choice. Without time there could be no change, without change no choice, and without choice no consciousness.

Consciousness, free will and time necessarily go together – you cannot have one without the other two

What is time? Humans have always measured time by observing periodic changes in nature – the cycles of day and night, the moon phases, the seasons. Modern physics does something similar: it uses a second as the basic unit of time, defining it in terms of the number of times certain types of cesium atoms flip between two states.

While it is one thing to measure time and we’ve become pretty good at it, defining the concept of time remains notoriously difficult. Many definitions involve circular reasoning, as in “time is what clocks measure” or “time is the succession of events”. As with free will, the fact that we struggle to explain time in terms of anything else suggests we have hit rock bottom as far as causal explanations go: time is as fundamental as consciousness itself – it is part and parcel of the “consciousness package”.

For consciousness to perceive the passage of time it must perceive the speed at which things change, but gauging that speed requires some kind of absolute reference time. How does consciousness achieve this? As we will see in Part 3, it is helpful to think of consciousness as running an “inner metronome” of periodically changing internal states. By calibrating its awareness against this regular background beat, consciousness can perceive all other changes in reference to it.

In our individual experience, the reference beat is mostly steady, but it may be sped up or slowed down in specific circumstances. For example, during meditation practice or moments of great danger, we may enter states of consciousness in which time seems to be “standing still”. Psychedelic trips may subjectively feel as if they last months or years although in physical reality only a few hours elapse. This scalability of time is a real effect, as opposed to the merely psychological impression of time “flying” when we’re having fun or “dragging” when we’re bored.

While the above may be rare examples of subjective experience, the expansion of time is an objective fact about our physical universe (which physicists call “time dilation”). Einstein’s theory of relativity describes how time passes more slowly when we move very fast with respect to others or when being close to a massive body (when we’re near the surface of earth, for example). This slowing down of our clocks is relative: we ourselves experience time passing as usual, but when we compare clocks with others moving slower than us or being located farther away from the massive body (orbiting earth on a space station, for example) we’ll notice that for them, time passes differently than for us. The relativity of time (and also that of space) represents further evidence that we don’t live in an objective material world but in a computed, virtual reality that is rendered individually to conscious participants who perceive it in a highly subjective manner (see Part 1).

In our virtual, physical universe, space and time are mathematically woven together into a four-dimensional fabric of spacetime. That does not put time and space on an equal footing, though. Whereas time is fundamental to all reality, space is virtual: it only exists in our perception. We can move forward or backward in all spatial dimensions, but we can only ever move forward in time.

Time is fundamental, space is virtual

This “arrow of time” has important implications. It means that a cause must come before its effect – nothing can be its own cause. It also means that the past is a done deal and can no longer be changed. In the brief sliver of time called the present moment we can use our free will to make choices. Thanks to the combined effects of our free-will choices and the randomness of quantum events, the future is inherently uncertain: we can predict it only in terms of probability, but never in terms of absolute certainty.

Free will, change and time are essential ingredients for consciousness evolution. But before we can move on to see how the Fundamental Process of evolution works, we need to look into one important concept that will make it clear why consciousness needs to evolve at all: information.


Just like time, change and free will, the concept of information is so inseparably tied to consciousness that you can’t have one without the other. And as with the other three, it’s important to understand the nature of information to see why it is fundamental to reality, and thus to My Big TOE.

Because information technology (IT) is so central to our lives, it’s easy to associate information with physical things, in particular with devices such as computers and cell phones. That’s misleading, though. What all these devices store and process is data, not information – there’s an important difference between the two.

The difference between data and information

Data are the code symbols via which information is stored and transmitted. In physical reality, these code symbols can take various forms, such as hieroglyphs carved into a wall, ink blots forming letters on the page of a book, or sound waves emitted from a radio. There’s also digital data, which, for example, may be stored as sequences of transistor states in a memory chip. These transistor states are often represented as a series of ones and zeroes – the binary digits (bits) we typically associate with digital data.

Information, by contrast, is the content, meaning or message encoded in the data, as well as the value and significance attributed to that content. Understanding something (“getting” its message or meaning) is something only consciousness can do. While data can be physical and therefore be transmitted and received as well as processed by machines, only a consciousness can decode and interpret data in order to understand its content, meaning, significance and value – all of which are mental attributes. Like consciousness itself, information is non-physical. Information only exists within a consciousness.

In Part 1, we logically derived that reality is information. And indeed, a growing number of physicists seem to conclude from quantum physics experiments that information is at the root of the physical world. Few, however, are ready to take this insight to its only logical conclusion: that consciousness must be the fundamental stuff of reality. Yet as we have seen, information cannot exist in a void. Postulating the existence of information that isn’t grounded in consciousness makes as little sense as believing one can have the experience of seeing a rose or smelling freshly baked bread without being conscious.

There is no meaning, no information without consciousness

While information cannot exist without consciousness, it can very well exist without matter – in fact, it has to. After all, in a virtual universe as described by My Big TOE, the perception of matter is merely an experience within our minds, after all – the result of our individual consciousness interpreting the non-physical data we receive within the Larger Consciousness System. Recall the diagram from Part 1 illustrating how consciousness creates our virtual universe: we are the players receiving a data stream which we interpret to be our three-dimensional physical reality.

Diagram showing the relation between base reality (consciousness) and our virtual, physical reality

As a player in this virtual reality game, our individual consciousness decodes and interprets different types of data to represent different kinds of information. We interpret a non-physical stream of sensory data as our qualitative experience of the physical world: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Then we choose how to understand and interpret that physical experience by attributing meaning, significance and value to its various aspects.

All this interpretation is highly subjective, based on our own individual experience and biased by our fears, likes, needs, desires, expectations, and beliefs. Thus, we live in a shared reality rendered to all participating players via logically coherent data streams. But each of us interprets those data subjectively and thus experiences reality differently. Our reality is our interpretation of the data we experience. From our perspective, there is no reality other than our personal reality. Everybody lives in their own, subjective reality.

We can now revisit the definition of consciousness in light of our understanding of information. If consciousness is defined as awareness that makes choices, then being aware entails receiving data that we subjectively interpret into information that informs our choices.

More precisely, consciousness:

  • receives data (we perceive our environment and ourselves through our sensory and other data input)
  • processes information (we interpret these data by understanding their content and assigning that content meaning and value as best we can)
  • stores information (we memorize and remember our perceptions and interpretations)
  • sends data (we make free-will choices and, as best we can, describe the information in our minds in terms of data that can be sent to others.)

Note that the process of interpreting received data into information and the opposite process of describing information in terms of data to be transmitted are necessarily imprecise. They must contain substantial amounts of uncertainty because a practical language – and data is a form of language – can rarely express all the depth and breadth of the content, meaning, significance and value that is naturally understood and felt by consciousness, unless the information is trivial to begin with. Using data is an imprecise and uncertain way for consciousnesses to share information. It is also the only way.

All the functions described above take place within each individual consciousness and within the Larger Consciousness System (LCS) as a whole – consciousness trades data at all levels and among all its parts. We noted in Part 1 that consciousness is an information system. Unlike our ordinary IT systems, which are only data processing systems, the LCS is an intelligent, aware, self-modifying information system with the ability to make free-will choices – it is an intelligent, conscious and evolving system that communicates via data streams to subsets of itself which also have awareness and free will and evolve on their own paths.

Consciousness is an aware, intelligent, self-modifying information system

At this point it cannot be stressed enough that the computer and IT terminology used by My Big TOE is meant to be understood metaphorically, as a useful way to illustrate how and why consciousness operates the way it does. What exactly consciousness is and what its internal structure might be, we cannot say. Since we are consciousness, we can’t look at ourselves from the outside to see what’s going on inside our own consciousness.

So, if you find concepts like non-physical data processing difficult to fathom, try not to let it bother you. Given that consciousness creates, processes and stores data and information, and converts one into the other, it is reasonable to assume that consciousness must have some internal data structure and processing rules that allow it to do so.

Perhaps a different model of reality will use different metaphors in the future. For now, though, IT metaphors will take us quite a long way. Moreover, expressing consciousness in terms of IT metaphors will seem entirely natural and obvious once we’ve added another concept to our metaphorical toolkit: entropy.


All information systems have a property called entropy. First introduced in physics, the concept has since been applied in other fields as well, including biology, sociology and information theory. In its broadest sense, entropy is a measure of disorder: the less ordered and thus the more random a system is, the higher its entropy.

In an information system, maximum entropy means maximum disorder in its data structure: if all the bits are random, they encode zero information. Low entropy, in contrast, means lots of information. But what exactly does such low entropy look like?

Low entropy in information systems

Since high entropy refers to great disorder, it’s tempting to think of low entropy as the exact opposite: rigid, orderly patterns, like the alternating black and white squares on a chess board. But that’s mistaken: such patterns are very orderly but they do not contain much information, just a lot of repetition. You don’t have to be a programmer to see that a billion bits of alternating ones and zeros (…101010101010…) do not encode much information.

As we can tell from our everyday experience, creating information is not about generating self-replicating patterns but about producing meaningful complexity. For instance, by using a limited number of symbols (such as the 26 letters of the English alphabet) according to a limited number of rules (the words and grammar of the English language) we can encode a seemingly limitless array of data that can generate meaningful content within a consciousness. This meaningful content expresses a lower-entropy configuration of the possibilities. If we encode a similar array of data that can generate only meaningless gibberish when interpreted by a consciousness, this does not express a lower-entropy configuration of the possibilities of the English language – even though both cases had the same number of the same letters lined up in neat little rows. It is the value and significance of the content or result of the ordering that matters.

The same logic applies to other systems. A social system such as a local community, for example, is not as productive as it could be if its members’ actions are totally uncoordinated, or if individuals only care about themselves (high entropy); neither is it very productive if everybody does exactly the same thing, even though that might seem very orderly. It’s much better for various community members to specialize in different activities, and for everybody to cooperate and share resources accordingly. Specialization combined with cooperation is a win-win for all. This represents a low-entropy outcome because it produces the most meaningful and valuable long-term results possible for all the participants in the social system.

The Larger Consciousness System (LCS), as we shall see in Part 3, can be defined as both an information system and a social system. In either case, it seems apt to look at the concept of entropy not only in terms of (dis)order but also in terms of (dys)functionality: the system’s level of entropy is inversely related to its efficiency and capacity to do positive things for its members – the lower its entropy, the more functional, productive and thus the more profitable the system is for all who share the system.

With regard to the LCS, we can therefore look at the metaphor of high and low entropy from various perspectives, depending on which aspect we wish to emphasize:

High Entropy

Lots of randomness & disorder

Evolved structure & complexity
causes dysfunction

Lots of contention, fighting,
struggle, scarcity and fear of not having enough

Very uneven distribution of system resources; a few are wealthy and powerful, but the great majority are poor and powerless

The system’s organization and management are optimized for the few at the top

Self-centered control, power, and force is what makes things happen

Low functionality, productivity & profitability

Low level of happiness

Low Entropy

Little randomness & disorder

Evolved structure & complexity serves all members by eliminating dysfunction

Lots of satisfaction and mutual support; abundance and few disagreements

All agree that system resources are to be shared equitably 

The system’s organization and management are optimized for the benefit of everyone

Caring about others and finding a workable balance is what makes things happen

High functionality, productivity & profitability

High level of happiness

Because the LCS consists of countless interconnected pieces of consciousness making their own free-will choices, the system changes all the time – and so does its entropy. Standing still is not an option. Trying to freeze the status quo would be as futile as trying to balance a pencil on its tip.

In the long run, therefore, the system is faced with two strategic perspectives: to lower its entropy or to raise it. What does each entail?

  • Lowering entropy: evolving towards more useful and valuable information and thus greater awareness, complexity, cooperation, productivity, functionality and profitability
  • Raising entropy: de-evolving towards less useful and valuable information and thus less awareness, less complexity, less cooperation, less productivity, less functionality and less profitability, eventually spiraling towards death by decaying into total randomness and disorder

Given these two options, the choice seems clear. The LCS, being an aware and intelligent system, seeks to lower its entropy and achieve more profitable states by which it can exploit its full potential and experience its possibilities in ever new ways and forms.

Consciousness evolves by lowering its entropy


Thanks to the concept of entropy, we can see that evolution is an inevitable consequence of the nature of consciousness itself. Consciousness, by its very nature, evolves.

Other metaphors for consciousness evolution

 “Lowering entropy” is perhaps the metaphor most often used in My Big TOE. As a synonym for consciousness evolution, it applies at both the individual and the system levels. At the individual level the metaphor is often replaced with other expressions meaning the same thing – growing/evolving one’s quality of consciousness, spiritual growth, or simply: growing up.

However, while the Fundamental Process of Evolution is natural (and in the long term inevitable) for the LCS, by no means does it happen automatically: consciousness evolution requires effort. Again, the entropy metaphor helps us understand why – this time, in the context of physics.

So far, we have defined entropy as a measure of disorder within a system, but in physics, entropy can also be defined as a measure of a system’s ability to do work. If you’re unfamiliar with that idea, it may be useful to read the boxed text below.

Imagine a very thin plastic jug of water. If you drop it on your big toe, your toe will hurt and perhaps be bruised. By pouring some of the water over a water wheel, you can generate electricity. In both cases you will see the water’s gravitational energy at work.

However, if you take the cap off, the water will eventually evaporate from the jug. All the same water molecules still exist but now instead of being in the form of more highly ordered liquid with a collective gravitational energy they are randomly scattered throughout the atmosphere in the form of a gas and have no collective gravitational energy.

The initial system of water molecules has gained entropy through the natural process of evaporation. Its disorder has increased, and it can no longer do work. Everything breaks down, has a finite “shelf life”, and eventually decomposes into higher-entropy components.

As a result of energy transformations such as evaporation, a physical system’s entropy naturally increases over time. When our universe began with the Big Bang, it was in a state of very low entropy with an immense capacity to do work and cause changes. (Where it came from and how it got into that low-entropy state is an unsolvable mystery to physicists committed to a materialist paradigm but easily explained by the My Big TOE virtual reality model, as we will see in Part 4). Since that initial moment, the universe has been constantly gaining entropy through all the energy exchange processes that have been occurring.

Against this overall trend, entropy may be lowered in certain areas, but that requires work to be put in from outside those areas. A good example is the Earth, where life self-organizes into complex, low-entropy organisms that have the capacity to do a lot of work. That is only possible because the energy the Earth receives in the form of sunlight is low-entropy (energy received that can do work, like photosynthesis or solar power), whereas the heat energy it emits back into space is high-entropy (energy lost that can no longer do work, like the evaporated water). It is this entropy difference which makes life on our planet possible. This example shows that work must be put into a system to increase the system’s ability to order itself and thus increase its potential and capability – that is, to lower its entropy.  

The bottom line of the entropy metaphor, then, is this: whether in physical systems or consciousness evolution, lowering entropy requires work. As we can observe in ourselves and in others, personal growth – improving the quality of one’s being, or lowering one’s own entropy – is hard work indeed: it takes time and constant effort. The moment we stop making an effort, the moment we stop caring about our choices, we start sliding backwards and our entropy increases again. Consciousness is destined to evolve. The Fundamental Process works for the LCS as a whole and for each of us individually – but our individual evolution doesn’t happen unless we choose to make it happen. How exactly we can do that is what we’ll see in Part 6.

Revisiting our basic assumptions

The concept of entropy shows that My Big TOE’s second basic assumption (evolution exists) logically follows from the first (consciousness exists). This means we might as well limit ourselves to making only the first assumption, which would make the model even more parsimonious and lend it even greater explanatory power. But evolution is such a key idea within My Big TOE that it seems useful to emphasize its importance by keeping it as a separate assumption in its own right.

Going Deeper

With a good understanding of the basic concepts of the My Big TOE model under our belt, we are now ready to move on to Part 3, which shows how My Big TOE derives the existence of the physical world and our purpose within it as a logical consequence of the idea that consciousness is an evolving information system.

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