Buddhism and informatics
© 2008 Jean-Marc Viallet
Translated from French by Jeanine Viallet
Extract from "Virtualisme"
Just like the notion of duality is applied to light (wave/particle), I can imagine that a notion of duality can be applied to the real (material/spiritual).
Actually, light can be considered either as consisting in particles or photons: -which makes it possible to explain the rays course through an optic lense- or else as being a wave: which makes it possible to explain the interference fringes from Young's slits for example.
These two approaches at explaining are incompatible and yet they are coexisting: the theory which is made obvious depends on the experience for observation (lenses or Young's slits).
Some physicians give the example of a cylinder to explain that it can be seen either as a circle or as a rectangle according to the section. These are two seemingly incompatible perceptions pertaining to a similar reality at a superior level.
Matter is equally subject to this double reality: a particle is described by means of wave function (linked with probability) and is reduced to a particle quite localized through observation by this peculiar property called in quantic mecanics: "the collapse of the wave function". The fact that matter may be considered as a wave is unquestionable: electrons were successfully made to interfere. But this property seemingly appears only just in the sphere of the infinitely small.
I imagine this sort of possible duality, at a macroscopic level, between idealism and materialism.
The materialist point of view is the one of everyday in the West with the postulate of a tangible universe with the laws of physics and the relation subject/object.
The idealistic point of view has been approached by Platon for example in the West, and in my opinion is mainly present in the East with the Vijnanavada or Cittamata for Buddhism in which everything is spirit. In this point of view, "the world is created by our thoughts" and that might explain phenomenons such as synchronicity or else healings through the power of thought (psychosomatic).
In the same manner as, as far as light is concerned, the type of experience conditions the type for theory, one might think that it is just the same for this macroscopic point of view.
In particular the type of event and the turn of mind of the persons implied might influence the applied model.
2-Realizing a "spiritual" virtual world
The idealistic or spiritual point of view has been described by great travellers: I am thinking of Jérôme Bourgine ( broadcasting on Radio "ici et maintenant") who mentions a lot of synchronicities happening during his travels, and I am also thinking of Priscilla Telmon (a lecture on the INREES site) who, travelling in Tibet, does not hesitate saying that the world is created by our own thoughts. After noticing that her turn of mind be it either positive or negative had an influence on the course of events, she tries to remain positive.
If ever this point of view may be questioned regarding ordinary life, on the other hand it is obvious as far as dreams are concerned. It is clear to everyone that dreams are a creation of our minds...
One may say that Second life is a simulation of the material world, even if one can fly in the air or be telecarried. Can we imagine a virtual spiritual world? In short can we really make a machine for dreams?
This is my suggestion to the informaticians:
After noticing that my dreams are made of a patchwork of known elements conbined with some decisions to be taken, I suggest one could make a software, only visual at first may be (without any sound), which would take pictures in our personal lives conditions with a few knobs for taking decisions, all that in real time. To begin with one could choose some dream category (that could be determined from books giving interpretations) of course the pictures and circumstances perso would have to be included in the sofware first, somehow like training for vocal recognotion.
This is greedy for calculation may be but realizable with up to date machines...
Somehow that would be the realization of a personal film in real time.
It can be seen at once that synchronicity is easily realizable in this sort of universe. Jung, the inventor of synchronicity, gives as an example the fact that once a patient of his was talking to him about a beetle and a beetle appeared at the window just then even though there didn't use to be any of that sort of animal. The coincidence is significant.
It is enough for our sofware to identify the word "beetle" and make the picture of it appear in the film...
The principle gets complicated with a spiritual world: there isn't any longer a single dreamer but a lot of individuals. Then it involves collective dream, co-creation in Vahé Zartarian's words...
In consequence, a complete virtual world should combine a material portion of Second life with some spiritual part, sort of machine for dreams.