My Response to Hut-Alford-Tegmark

This is the 3rd installment of a 3 part series. The first two were:

  1. Piet Hut the Hero Physicist
  2. Hut-Alford-Tegmark Debate on Math, Matter and Mind

In this piece I will comment on the Hut-Alford-Tegmark debate. For their debate Hut-Alford-Tegmark used a simplified version of the “Three Worlds and Three Mysteries of Penrose.”


After some discussion they proposed alternative diagrams:

Mark Alford’s alternative diagram


Max Tegmark’s alternative diagram


Piet Hut’s alternative diagram


My response to Piet Hut

Like Piet Hut I also believe that matter, mind and other abstract realms originate from the source (soul).  But, I don’t think these 3 arrows correspond to 3 independent processes. I think that the transformation of the source/soul into mind, matter, math, and even subtler realms – yes, there are subtler realms than the “Math” – occur in a progression. I have discussed the the divine progression in other articles but I have to remind the readers about this once again in order to explain my response to Piet Hut.

The ? in Piet Hut’s diagram is known as the soul

Spiritual philosophy calls the “?” in Hut’s diagram the soul.  The Sanskrit term for soul is purusha (I do not emphasize the other Sanskrit term atman). In modern literature the soul is also known as  the “source.” Robert Wilkinson refers to the soul as the “soul/center/axis” which is a concise synthetic term. Traditionally the term “Self” was used to refer to the Cosmic Soul but I prefer the terminology of “Soul/soul.”  The soul whether it is a unit soul or the Cosmic Soul is a special perspective on the ultimate reality. The perspective of the soul is special because it is a vantage point where the distinctions between manifested and unmanifested disappear.

Conundrum of the synthetic approach

My overall view is closer to Piet Hut but I do not reject some aspects of Alford’s and Tegmark’s diagrams either. I hate to be in a position that says everyone is partially right. Spiritual philosophy cannot avoid this conundrum because spiritual philosophy is a synthetic approach. The synthetic approach is not very popular among the intellectuals because they focus on differences rather than similarities.

Cosmos cannot be understood by ignoring the ‘flow perspective’

My first criticism of the diagrams shown above is that the ‘flow perspective’ (process, progression, evolution) is not emphasized. There are arrows but the progression/evolution aspect has not been mentioned.

The transformation and emanation are the key concepts of the ‘flow perspective.’ The flow perspective is the vantage point of the mind. 

Cosmos cannot be understood by ignoring the ‘flow perspective’ because Cosmos is a transformation of the Cosmic Mind which emanates from the Cosmic Soul and the Cosmic Soul is a special perspective on the ultimate reality (Consciousness, Absolute Being, Godhead).

The Big Picture (Cosmic Cycle) = flow perspective (divine progression)

Absolute Being (Godhead, Nirguna Brahma) —>  Divine Center (Cosmic Soul, Cosmic Consciousness, Parama Purusha)  —>  Reality (Saguna Brahma)  —>  Cosmic Mind (Mind of God)  —> Cosmos  (totality of spiritual, mental, physical realms)  —> primordial fabric  —>  space-time-matter  —> galaxies —> planets —> organisms —> individual mind  —> expansion of the individual mind  —> merger of the individual mind with the Cosmic Mind  —>  identification of the individual soul with the Cosmic Soul  —> Absolute Being

If we focus on a particular stage of the divine progression where a portion of the Cosmic Mind is transformed into the physical universe and ignore the big picture we would be labeled as idealists. If we focus only on the part where the individual mind emerges from the space-time-matter then we would be labeled as materialists. These are half-truths. Keep the big picture in mind.

Comment on Tegmark’s “Math”

All physical existence is embedded in the Cosmic Mind. There is nothing outside of the Cosmic Mind. So, yes, mind emerges from matter but matter was (cosmic) mind in the first place. Max Tegmark replaces the “Cosmic Mind” with the “Math.”  My comment on this is that  the “Math” may be a realm within the Cosmic Mind but the “Math” is not the Cosmic Mind. The realm of Maharloka (the realm of ideas and abstractions) within the Cosmic Mind may correspond to Tegmark’s realm of “Math.” I would like to remind readers that according to spiritual philosophy the realms of Janahloka (the realm of true knowledge and wisdom), Tapahloka (the realm of Divine Love) and Satyaloka (the realm of the Cosmic Soul beyond Cosmos) are much more fundamental than the Platonic “Math” realm.

Comment on Alford’s mind/matter polarity

Like Alford, I also believe that mind and matter can be seen as two poles of the same reality. Yes, there was a progression, a portion of the Cosmic Mind was transformed into space-time-matter in a progressive manner but this transformation was not as simplistic as condensation. During that transformation the mind-matter polarity emerged. Mind-matter polarity is different than mind-matter duality.

  • Duality: very broad term emphasizing distinctness
  • Polarity: more specific term emphasizing tight-coupling of the two poles

Mind-matter polarity in elementary particles

I refer to the mind-matter polarity of elementary particles as the “mind-dimension” of elementary particles and I differentiate the “mind dimension” from the individual mind of complex organisms.

Modern physics is very close to discover the “mind dimension” of elementary particles. Initially, I was thinking that the intrinsic properties such as “electric charge” and “spin” would be labeled as the “mind dimension” but more recently my thinking has evolved. I think that the “mind dimension” will be discovered along the lines of the arguments put forward in the “Primordial Generator” article.

When protons and electrons form an atom their mind-dimensions come together. When atoms form a molecule their mind-dimensions merge as well. Similarly when molecules form an organism the mind-dimensions of the molecules form a collective. That collective mind which is also known as the “unit mind” or individual mind controls the life energy of the organism.

Transition from mind/matter polarity into mind/body paralellism

In the involution phase of the Cosmic Cycle (Cosmic Mind  —> Cosmos —> primordial fabric  —>  space-time-matter  —> galaxies —> planets) there are no organisms and no individual minds but each physical particle has that mind-dimension.

In the second phase of the Cosmic Cycle, organisms, animate structures and the individual minds emerge. Until this point there is mind/matter polarity. After this point there is mind/body parallelism.

Evolution of the individual mind (memory kernel)

The “mind/body parallelism” means that after this point (emergence of organisms) the individual minds in the form of memory kernels maintain their independent existence. When the organism dies the memory-kernel of the unit takes shelter in the soul. Remember…the soul never dies. When the memory-kernel establishes parallelism with another organism with the help of the Cosmic Mind a new lifetime starts and the new individual mind starts reaping the results of its unrealized reactions from the previous lifetime. The new and the old individual minds are different but there is a connection between them.  The memory kernel of the previous lifetime is passed to the new individual mind. Throughout this process the individual soul is the source of life, existence, consciousness and continuity of the lifetimes.

The memory kernel evolves through this process of rebirths becoming more aware of the Cosmic Mind at each lifetime. Individual minds (kernels) evolve through experiences in cell, plant, animal, and human bodies. There are subtler bodies too. Experiences in those subtle bodies are possible as well. Lifetimes continue until the memory-kernel becomes an integral part of the Cosmic Mind and/or the individual soul returns home to the Cosmic Soul.

Future science

Science will eventually discover the details of the stages “Cosmic Mind —> Cosmos —> primordial fabric  —>  space-time-matter  —> galaxies —> planets —> organisms —> individual mind —> merger of the individual mind with the Cosmic Mind.”

Science will provide multiple perspectives on the nature of “space-time-matter” and eventually multiple perspectives on the nature of the primordial fabric. There will never be a single “Theory of Everything.” The coverage of the these scientific perspectives will increase. The coverage of science may include the entire Cosmos some day. I am thinking very big at this point. I hope that some day science can even say something on the ways of merger with the Cosmic Mind. 

There will be millions of scientific perspectives on Cosmos in the far future but science will never be able to tell us anything about the soul. 

Beyond science

The initial stages “Godhead —>  Cosmic Soul —>  Reality  —>  Cosmic Mind” and the final stage “identification of the individual soul with the Cosmic Soul” are beyond science.

Beyond spiritual philosophy

The final stage  “identification of the individual soul with the Cosmic Soul” is beyond spiritual philosophy as well . This stage is attained by God’s grace only. Those who have realized the true identity of their soul were not able to communicate their experiences in intellectual terms but in poetic terms only. Scientists are not required to pay attention to the reports of spiritual experiences but I certainly take the poetic expressions of Soul-realization very seriously. 



About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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