or the Possibilities of Unmediated Parallel Worlds
Many memes went viral proclaiming France is now a multiverse referring to people wearing costumes of avenging superheroes during the riots provoked by the police assassination of Nahel Merzouk in June 2023. As inaccurate and fake as these memes may be, they are symptoms of a fragmented world. Never before humanity has been so undefended before such a centralized and omnipotent power as the one that’s emerging in the Age of Digital Control. AI, social media, Tik-Tok, Meta Platforms, and so on are the instruments that power uses to kidnap our consciousness and deviate human perception from direct experience toward an even more pervasive version of alienation. Centralized digital power and control is the modality that colonization has adopted in the 21st century. Such an invasion of the human spirit has decentered a great number of people who incrementally go postal while the youth continue to annihilate themselves through chemical drugs and suicide.
This is true in industrialized countries as well as in developing countries. Mental and psychological illnesses have increased in a world mediated by the Internet. Contrary to the transhumanist-technocrat euphoria, life on our planet has been socially degraded and ecologically devastated by technological industrialization. The digitalization of social life has standardized human perception, giving the illusion of connection, diversity, and multiculturalism when, in reality, giant internet corporations have taken control of human desires to transform subjectivity into a commodity. This tragedy is called standardization and encompasses a one-dimensional experience regardless of its contents and messages. Such disconnected experience from embodied relationships fosters the dependency of human beings on electronic devices and screens. No multiverse here but a flattened, isolated reality of cyborgs plugged into the Megamachine.
In the so-called society of spectacle, the media has however popularized the notion of the multiverse through various films and TV productions. Shows like The Flash or The Avengers, and movies like Run Lola Run (1998), The Matrix (1999), or Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) have successfully included this notion in their plots. Quantum physics theorizations have been more accessible through authors like Stephen Hawking and documentaries like What the Bleep Do We Know? (2004). The mere notion of the multiverse has been culturally directed toward human consciousness by the machines of cultural, symbolic, and aesthetic production massified through electronic devices, including TV.
Religious narratives have also incorporated the idea that reality has multiple layers. This idea is at the core of the foundation of civilizations. The distinction between the material world and the spiritual world is indeed part of the dichotomy of all religions. For the ancient Aztecs the afterlife existence encompassed 9 hells and 13 heavens. The Vedas spoke about parallel universes a long time ago, while in the Christian world the human soul endures the earthly suffering before going to hell, heaven, or purgatory.
The epistemological conflict between these metaphysical visions and scientific theorizations has decreased in the 21st century because there is consensus now that everything in the universe is a vibration of energy, including the universe itself.
When graduate student Hugh Everett came up with the many-worlds interpretation, he had the feeling that the universe was splitting constantly. In his 1957 dissertation he explained there are parallel realities emerging in a nanosecond from a single reality. The interaction of quantum entities with each other creates alternative outcomes, generating parallel universes. If all possible outcomes of a quantum measurement are real, but we can only observe one in a single moment, then the other possibilities must be in parallel realities. This idea inspired the film Another Earth (2011) and is the base for the popular supposition we all have replicas in duplicate worlds.
The notion of cosmic natural selection proposes that the universe comes from other universes. Each universe is the offspring, so to speak, of other universes and it inherits the characteristics of the previous universes. The bulk or supra-dimensional entity would correspond to a sort of primordial source of all multiverses, which would have their own characteristics and laws of physics. One speculates that the so-called white holes, which would be on the other side of black holes, are entrances to parallel universes with their own physics and laws.
Dr. Brian Greene has explained that everything in the universe is connected by strings of vibrating energy. These nanoparticles of energy compose the landscape of the universe, which unfolds in extradimensional spaces. Superstring theory has five versions, which are all unified in one single theory in 11 dimensions called M-theory. This theory proposes there are infinite possible universes with different dimensions, physical principles, and laws. In other words, there are multiverses instead of one single universe.
The same way our body hosts trillions of microorganisms, astral bodies (planets, stars, comets, and so on) might be the cosmic biome of a totalizing and yet conscious and living matrix that we call reality—or whatever we perceive as reality in our world. In the realm of probabilities, the universe could be the interior of a living gigantic being—something like the creative principle corresponding to the Vedic Brahman. Alchemist Paracelsus already established in the 16th century the analogy between macrocosm and microcosm. And 19th century experimental psychology ventured that there is a mirror relationship between the inner self and the exterior reality. Multiverses could certainly mirror each other.
Unlike the mechanized cyber life, a more natural life, connected to the biodiversity that Mother Earth offers, brings human consciousness to a holistic perception. By holistic I mean wide open to the real multiverses we are indeed inhabiting regardless of our lack of awareness. Each individual is a whole universe walking among other universes (or individuals). The universe itself might be an entity of pure energy interacting with other cosmic energetic entities. But these multiverses might be slightly different than the bifurcations the universe experiences before a specific event, producing versions of itself. This is what Everett implied in his theory, and Jorge Luis Borges fictionalized in his short story The Garden of Forking Paths (1941).
Master plants have taught human beings for thousands of years that there is a correspondence between the inner world and the outer world. Nothing is truer than the conceptualization of the exterior landscape as a projection of our subjectivity. This concept is embedded in the wisdom that visionary plants transmit to psychonauts and spiritual seekers. Master plants have indeed unfolded the human imagination and spirit while enhancing social and ecologic bonding. Plants of power illuminate while machines of power control. As Terence McKenna pointed out, consciousness might have sprung out from the contact between hominids and magic mushrooms.
The shamanic understanding of reality is ultimately the recognition that there are multidimensional realities. The Nagual—a mysterious and separate reality—is Carlos Castaneda’s term to describe a universe composed of many layers. The brujo (sorcerer) travels through these layers in search of freedom. That journey is what the conquistadors and the Christian Church called sorcery. Nothing was further from the truth. Nagual practitioners were training themselves to be able to jump from one dimension to another as if time was encrypted in one ditch, so they could jump to a different ditch by modifying their perception at will—something like surfing the cosmic waves of energy to travel from one universe to another. That was an act of freedom and true liberation that allowed them to experience the reality of multiverses. This experience is not exclusive to Nagual practitioners; it is available to all human beings. . But humanity must start disconnecting from the Megamachine—that social machinery made of human parts. Maybe then, men and women could come back to their bodies and senses and truly embrace the possibilities of unmediated, utopian, parallel worlds.
July 16, 2023