Aldous Huxley stated in The Doors of Perception that the mind is “a reducing valve”, filtering a greater reality – what he called Mind-at-Large – to the human organism. In his latest book, the consciousness theorist Anthony Peake employs cutting-edge science to more thoroughly investigate those doors of perception and makes a profound conclusion regarding the greater reality beyond.
Peake recently spoke to The Eternities podcast about the book, Opening the Doors of Perception: The Key to Cosmic Awareness. The discussion touched upon the ideas of Huxley, the famous near death experience of the top neurosurgeon Eben Alexander which changed Alexander’s perspective on the brain, the bicameral theory of consciousness of Julian Jaynes, and the strident material-reductionist orthodoxy that sees consciousness as solely created by, and contained within, the brain.
“Time after time we come across materialist-reductionist scientists who pooh-pooh [these experiences] until they experience something themselves, and then they literally have an epiphany and suddenly their opinion changes totally,” said Peake. “Eben Alexander is a classic example. He had considered that near-death experiences are simply chemicals in the brain [and believed] that the brain was just mechanistic function. He had a profound near-death experience … when he knew that technically there should have been no brain activity. He was virtually flatlined … and yet he had these intense experiences.”
“[I] suggest that in some way we are existing within this reality and it’s a kind of illusion, a form of simulation, our own virtual reality world. If this is the case, what does it tell us? It tells us that wherever we are, we’re not ‘here’. This is a simulation we are in. And in the final chapter of my book, I do the science of this in great detail [including] the latest research on the idea of the universe as being made up of digital information. But there is part of us that is outside of the simulation.”
“This is in some way a learning place. We are living in an ancestor simulation created by our own future selves, which sounds incredibly crazy, but I do the science. We’re in some form of ‘sim’ that’s been created by a very advanced, probably post-human [civilisation].”
“People will say, how can you scientifically prove this? And the argument is, no, I can’t. But I can cite examples of how science is now starting to discover the digitisation and the fine tuning of the universe, and they’re starting to discover the structure of the hologram we exist within, and also how the hologram works. Lots of very, very top thinkers and scientists believe that this is the answer to the mystery of how the universe works – it’s a simulation.”